PAgent’s Progress

Words Are My Favorite Toys

September 14th, 2006


Blur is a company that has turned out some amazing animation and motion graphics. They have released some of my favorite CGI animations. If you want, you can find them on YouTube, but that would be a real disservice to the artists at Blur. You should really try to watch the Quicktime clips linked below.

Aunt Luisa

Aunt Luisa is a quirky lady that hears music playing all the time.

Watch Aunt Luisa

Gopher Broke

A hungry gopher will try almost anything to procure some tasty veggies.

Watch Gopher Broke

In The Rough

Man has evolved throughout the ages … Relationships, unfortunately, have not. After being kicked out of his cave, Brog discovers that living a bachelor’s life is not all that it’s cracked up to be.

Really funny stuff. Watch In the Rough.


This is one of the best CGI shorts I’ve ever seen, and is one of my favorites. Not just because it looks terrific (and it does) but because they did such a great job depicting the relationship between the characters, and displaying the technology without killing it with exposition. This is genuine science fiction.

Watch Rockfish

September 14th, 2006

A Bummer About Burley

Burley recently announced that they will be “ceasing production of all recumbent, tandem, road and touring bikes effective immediately”.

That sucks. Big Time.

Burley has always been an awesome company. Until recently, they were an employee-owned Co-op, which really made you feel good about buying their products. But what made you feel really good was the quality of their products.

We have had a Burley Piccolo trailercycle, a Burley bike trailer, and most recently, my beloved Burley Koosah recumbent. All have been incredibly well-designed, and well-built. I know that I am truly passionate about my Koosah. It rides more smoothly and more quietly than any bike I’ve ever had. And I’m not alone in that, Burley recumbents have a huge fanbase.

The good news is that Burley will be trying to honor the warranty on bicycles already sold. They have parts in stock, and may try to work with 3rd-party manufacturers if necessary. So hopefully I personally won’t get screwed. But I feel badly for all the folks that would have been able to get a quality long-wheelbase recumbent for less than $1,000, because those are going to be hard to find.

September 14th, 2006

I Shouldn’t Feel Guilty

I got back in the saddle again this morning (or in my case, back on my comfy recumbent seat) for my morning commute. Forecasts were for cool and showery, so I wore a shell. Of course, there was no rain, and I got a bit overheated. But if it starts raining this afternoon, I will be PREPARED.

I had a bit of excitement coming into downtown. As you come in on Barbur Boulevard, two lanes split off to the right to go down to Naito Parkway. The two left lanes continue on into downtown and become 4th Avenue. If you are a cyclist, you need to get across those two lanes in order to continue on Barbur.

The more aggressive bike commuters usually just take a lane and charge on over, crossing two lanes of traffic (see Path A below). And, if the traffic is clear and I have plenty of room, I will do the same. But if there’s traffic in those first two lanes, I won’t. Instead, I’ll go down to a crosswalk and wait for a break in the traffic to cross (see Path B below).

This morning as I approached the decision point, the traffic was pretty heavy so I opted for the crosswalk. I arrived there at the same time as a pedestrian who was walking to work. A car in the first lane stopped promptly. After a moment or two, a truck in the far lane braked heavily and came to a stop at the crosswalk. The car behind the truck also braked heavily and stopped. Unfortunately, the third car didn’t start braking in time.


The pedestrian and I started across the crosswalk, and he remarked to me “I was waiting for that to happen.”

And it’s a recipe for disaster, putting a crosswalk there. But looking back, I wouldn’t do anything differently than I did. If I was going to assign blame, I suppose the fact that traffic is routinely flying through there at 10-15 mph over the speed limit doesn’t help. But most importantly, nobody leaves enough distance between themselves and the car in front of them. If that third car had been following the ‘two-second rule’, I don’t think they would have had that fender-bender. Unfortunately, almost NO ONE in Portland follows the two-second rule.

And of course I can’t know for sure, but I’m willing to bet the driver of that third car doesn’t think the collision was their fault.