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Month: August 2010

Bad Avocado!

The avocado that I purchased yesterday from Whole Foods to eat today for breakfast is bad. It’s weirdly stringy, tastes salty, and is of an overall not-avocado color. Oh well. I guess that’s why they were 10 for $10.

No breakfast avocado for me, I guess. At least the peach that was purchased at the same time is good.

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Aurelio’s Italian Grill

Last night Danielle and I went out to Aurelio’s Italian Grill, located in an old car wash at 19 Mile and Garfield in Clinton Township, stuck between a Wendy’s and National Coney Island. While the location seemed a bit strange at first, the narrow building and large number of windows made it feel bright and comfortable inside, all without much artificial light being needed.

Between the four of us we ordered the following minestrone soup, tortellini soup, Italian salad, fettuccine alfredo, spaghetti w/ meatballs, spinach & ricotta rigatoni, and chicken cremosi. All of the food was excellent, and very clearly well made. Portions were immense, with each of us bringing home more food than we ate during our meals. The photo above (and here) shows three dishes after we ate our fill of them, and here is the remains of Danielle’s chicken cremosi. Most of this should reheat well making for outstanding lunches. Prices are also quite reasonable, as for the four of us our total ended up being just under $60, including $10 in tip.

The only bad thing I could say is that the website for Aurelio’s Italian Grill seems to require both IE and the Windows Media Player ActiveX plugin to view the menu. Still, even if you can’t check out the menu before you go, give this place a try. If you’re wanting some nice Italian and live in the area, you’d do well to give this place a try.

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Garmin’s Incomplete Edge 305 Fix

As you may have noticed by now I occasionally fix Garmin Edge 305 cycling GPSs that have a known problem where they will suddenly power off during use. This is caused by the spring contacts for the battery bouncing free from the battery contact and the device momentarily losing power, leaving it in an off state. To remedy this I move the battery wires from the contact PCB directly to test pads on the main board, completely bypassing the iffy spring contacts.

It appears that Garmin is aware of this issue and has tried to remedy it in recent versions of the Edge 305. Tonight when I pulled apart another one apart I found foam rubber stuck under the contacts apparently to provide additional pressure and avoid the problem. Clearly this did not work as otherwise I would not have been repairing this one. I can only hope that Garmin has a much better design in the Edge 500 (and future models) to completely avoid this issue.


RTV Explosion!

While filling a syringe with RTV I accidentally squeezed the tube in the middle instead of the end, applying enough force that the end of the tube burst all over my arm. Oops. at least I had enough silicone in the syringe to finish up the Garmin Edge 305 that I was fixing.

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New Chainring Time

I’ve dropped the chain on my single speed a few times lately, noticing that the chain has become more and more slack. Since I’m not noticing any dropout/wheel slipping since sorting out the sliding dropout issue I decided to measure the chain. Lo and behold, when using my trusty Park CC-3 I found that it’s stretched .75% in some places, 1.0% in others. When I went to swap the chain tonight I decided to clean the chainring, only to find the telltale burrs and hooked tooth pattern indicating it’s time to replace the chainring. Being aluminum this Spot chainring was bound to

I think I’ll just get a nice stainless steel Surly 104mm BCD x 34t then reassemble it all without the Salsa bash guard, although the bash guard may be worth keeping just to protect everything. Hopefully between with the new chainring, proper tensioning, and a new chain everything will stay in place and the chain will remain nicely tensioned.

At least these aren’t the kind of problems that I’d have with carbon fiber chainrings.

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Failed Attempt on I-69

Today after work I couldn’t decide where to go ride, but eventually I settled on heading up from Oakview Middle School to the Polly Ann Trail to see if I could make it to I-69, roughly 16 miles away, in an hour. Leaving the school’s parking lot at 6:00pm I decided to turn around at 7:00pm, giving myself roughly 1:20 to get back to the parking lot before the sun set. I wasn’t quite prepared for this endeavor, but it worked out well.

I ended up only making it as far as the ditch pictured here, as when I rolled up to this area my clock ticked over to 7:00pm exactly. As opposed to last time I’d ridden this when the ditch was passable and fairly easy to climb it’s now much more eroded, and the far side is overgrown to the point where riding it would have been a slow go; definitely not something to do at 7:00pm on a late August evening without a set of head and tail lights.

All done, I ended up riding 27.7 miles with a moving time of 1:46:42, for an average of 15.58 MPH. Despite having some decent hills (particularly along Lake George Road) and terrible path surface (large gravel at times, or just grass) north of the Lapeer / Oakland county line this is the fastest average speed I’ve had on a ride. It even surpasses mostly-pavement rides with smooth tires to and from work or around local paved paths.

Upon returning to the car I felt very worn out and right on the edge of bonking which I’d thankfully staved off by consuming two Hammer Gels (vanilla and chocolate) while riding. I found myself wanting for a some Recoverite, chocolate milk, or maybe a banana upon returning to the parking lot, but I just had to settle for a few handfuls of granola. Oh well. At least it was a fun, hard ride.

Just before turning back I started recording the route via my phone’s GPS. If you’d like to see a copy of this GPS plot, it can be found here: 24-Aug-2010_PollyAnnBacktoOakview.kmz

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SUNringlé 29er Sigle Speed Wheel Set For Sale

Up for sale is the single speed wheel set from my VooDoo Dambala. I recently picked up a new (to me) set of wheels with WTB hubs laced to Salsa rims, so I no longer need these. These are SUNringlé Equalizer 23 rims and DIRTY flea hubs with silver spokes and fresh Enduro bearings in the front hub. They are in very good shape and would make a great second / winter set of wheels, or a primary set if you are just building up a single speed.

Here’s all five photos that I’ve posted of the wheels: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5. You can also check out this post on the MMBA Forum where I have them for sale with a bit more information.

Asking price is US$150 or best offer. Email me if you are interested in these.

UPDATE: These are pending sale, and most likely sold.

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Backwards Pizza

Sometimes I put the pizza on the plate backwards, making it harder for my right-handed self to eat as cutting with the edge of the fork gets my hand very close to the other piece.

(This pizza is from Sherwood Brewing Company, purchased on Wednesday evening and eaten as leftovers at work both yesterday and today.)

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Network Capture During Boot on Windows 7 (and Server 2008 R2)

When working on network issues it’s often useful to have a network capture (or trace) illustrating the startup of the computer. As a tap, a switch with spanning ports, or wireless capture equipment is rarely available it’s nice to do this right in the OS. Thanks to some improvements in both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2’s netsh it’s now possible to do just this. Most of the information in this post is gleaned from this article at TechNet Blogs Event Tracing for Windows and Network Monitor, but here I wish to present a simplified version of how to get and save a capture.

While there are more advanced methods available by running Microsoft Network Monitor (eg: capture filtering, remote shutdown via specially crafted packets, etc), this method will accomplish the majority of boot time network capture needs. This is also often much more useful than performing a capture via an external tap as it includes the ID and name of the process responsible for sending or receiving the given traffic.

To start a basic promiscuous mode capture listening on all interfaces with a 250 MB ring buffer (the defaults) and writing the trace file to the default location, use the following command, run as Administrator:

netsh trace start capture=yes persistent=yes

The capture will then run until stopped, even through reboots. To stop the capture and write the capture file out to disk, use the following command:

netsh trace stop

Consult the output from netsh trace start help to determine the other options you may want to set. Here are what I find to be the most-useful options:

maxSize=250 MB: Maximum capture size.
overwrite=yes: If there’s an existing trace of the same name, should it be overwritten?
traceFile=%LOCALAPPDATA%\Temp\NetTraces\NetTrace.etl: The output network Event Trace Log (ETL) file.

After an .ETL is obtained it needs to be opened and filtered with Microsoft Network Monitor to remove the extra headers. To do this ensure that you’re using the Windows set of parsers (Parser ProfilesNetworkMonitor ParsersWindows), use the display filter:


From here additional filters can be used, such as the example screenshot above which uses the following filter to display all captured ARP traffic:


While I normally prefer Wireshark for capture analysis, I’ve found a number of cases where Network Monitor is more useful. The PID and Process Name capture, the IntelliSense-like autocompletion in the Display Filter, and the seemingly better decoding of a few protocols (SMB in particular) are great, even if the default layout is a bit crap and there aren’t as many built-in analysis tools. While obtuse to many It’s also quite a bit easier to get apprehensive customers to install a single Microsoft-provided tool on their devices than something they view as simply “a freeware tool from online”.

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A few months back a bunch of unauthorized charges appeared on my credit card resulting in my receiving a new card and having to dispute a bunch of transactions as fraudulent. One of these, listed as DRI*CCNOW.COM*A.FLOWER, billed via CCNow, had information sent back from the processor resulting in me having to affirm that I did not make these charge for a 4.4L rice cooker. Specifically, this rice cooker, from (PNG mirror).

Specifically, I had to affirm that:

In addition, you have further stated that you are not affiliated with any of the information on the merchant’s rebuttal, as you did not order 4.4 Ltrs Rice Cooker from National online. Furthermore you also have stated that you are not affiliated with Sameer N Punnyai, the e-mail address: and and you did not authorize shipment to Rachana Apt No. 241 Al Surendra Nagar Nagpur Maharashtra, India 440015 with Tracking Number 190955283. You also have advised us that you did not give this merchant your name or address for any such charge.

Along with this I received a faxed screenshot (seen above or full res here) apparently from CCNow’s administrative interface, showing that they processed a charge on my card, despite:

· It being a US credit card.
· Shipping going to India.
· The order coming from India, IP address, which they know to be an Indian ISP.
· A phone number of (989) 074-8588, which isn’t a valid number.

I’m not sure what about this transaction looked to CCNow as something that they should have allowed to go through.

Oh, and that email address? That’s not me either, but it’s interesting to see. An in-person transaction would only use my full name (as taken from the card) but I’ll commonly have things shipped to “Steve”, so this pretty much guarantees that the info was acquired from somewhere online.