Archive for August, 2008

links for 2008-08-26

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

links for 2008-08-19

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

Riding the river trail

Sunday, August 17th, 2008



Riding the river trail

Originally uploaded by Kate O’

Note both shoes and helmet in basket. Good times.

Barefoot summer bike ride

Sunday, August 17th, 2008



Barefoot summer bike ride

Originally uploaded by Kate O’

Riding bike barefoot = summer

Reducing eco-impact in the daily commute

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

I want to reduce my gas consumption and my carbon footprint. But little by little, I’m getting talked out of my bike commuting plans. Several people in the past few weeks have expressed concern over the lack of shoulder in several places on the road I’d be riding along with the speed of traffic on the road, particularly relative to a (slow) cyclist.

I’m gradually coming to the conclusion that, dammit, they’re probably right.

So now I’m left wondering what I want to do about my commute. Besides commuting by bike, I’ve decided to catalog the options I’m weighing, and see if anyone has any other suggestions:

  • I was willing to trade off lots of time (a daily three hours of bike commuting vs. 50 minutes on average by car on the highway) in order to get to zero, so I should be willing to make the same or similar concessions if I can lower my ecological impact. For example, if I were to buy a hybrid car, it would mean shuffling around some financial plans to accommodate it, but that should be no less inconvenient, in some ways, than the bike commute would have been.

    On the other hand, I was actually looking forward to the quiet time on the bike, whereas I’m not so eager to spend ~$20K on a new car. On the third hand, I do rather like being alive and don’t want to risk life and limb just to be stubborn about being a zero-carbon commuter.

  • Carpooling is a possibility. Unfortunately, no one I work with lives in my neighborhood, so there are no obvious arrangements. A few of my neighbors work in the same suburb I do, so I could pursue sharing rides with them if we can compromise on work hours. And some of my coworkers live on the east side of town, which is easy enough to get to. We’ve tried a few times to have Karsten drop me off at a designated meeting spot, like a gas station en route to the highway, and that’s been reasonably successful, but all of the carpool options do require conforming to a work schedule that may or may not suit my day-to-day needs. On the other hand, bike commuting would have been even more restrictive, since my choice would be to ride during daylight hours, and that means much shorter workdays than I’m used to. Not at all a bad thing, but a big adjustment either way.
  • Another option, albeit one I have less direct control over, is to try to work out a telecommute arrangement with my employer. I have experience with successfully introducing this arrangement in other workplaces, and there is sort of a precedent for it here — we have associates in remote locations already, so it’s not as if we don’t know how to get our jobs done when we’re not face-to-face. But this doesn’t seem like an easy sell and it probably wouldn’t be an immediate change, even if all parties agreed on the terms of a telecommute arrangement.
  • Finally, so as not to ignore obvious options, I could always quit my current job and find work closer to home (or freelance and work from home full-time). But I like what I’m doing, so I’m not ready to explore that option — especially not before I’ve explored the telecommute option.
  • I suppose another obvious option that should be stated is to move closer to work. This, however, is simply not going to happen. Karsten and I love our house and our neighborhood; our remaining happy in Nashville is heavily contingent on feeling as if we’re in a charming urban oasis in a sea of strange Southern suburban sameness. It’s one thing to work in the suburbs — exurbs, even — but living there would make me go postal.

    Other than that, I’m out of ideas. Anyone out there have any novel approaches for reducing ecological impact on the daily work commute?

  • Drinkhaus - our new neighborhood coffee shop

    Sunday, August 10th, 2008


    Drinkhaus - our new neighborhood coffee shop

    Originally uploaded by Kate O’
    Very excited about this cool new coffee shop with tasty drinks and a
    lot of style.

    Check it out: http://www.drinkhaus.com/

    Sad news about Karsten’s dad

    Saturday, August 9th, 2008

    Karsten’s father passed away yesterday. He was 84, and he’d been dealing with a variety of illnesses including emphysema (despite having never smoked a day in his life) and prostate cancer (which he beat — it was the treatment that led to complications). So while his death was not entirely unexpected, it was still rather sudden.

    He hasn’t decided if he wants to be present for the visitation, but I think he’s leaning towards going. I’m navigating this as carefully as I can, because even though I know Karsten and his dad had a complicated relationship, I think Karsten is more affected than he expected to be.

    We’ve been through so many shades of loss in the ten years we’ve been together, from the long, drawn-out, excruciating loss of my own father to the abrupt and devastating loss of Karsten’s mother, and now the sudden and emotionally puzzling loss of his father. We could really write a book. I suppose it would be more appropriate if we just wrote a song. Maybe that’s the project for this week.

    links for 2008-08-09 [delicious.com]

    Saturday, August 9th, 2008

    Look here, youngun. I’m a danged EXPERT, and I say…

    Monday, August 4th, 2008

    My first article in Circulation Management’s “Monday Morning Expert” column is now up on their web site:

    Circulation Management Magazine - kate artice.png

    Can’t believe anyone believes a word I say with a promo picture like that. :)

    Poker birthday party

    Saturday, August 2nd, 2008



    Poker birthday party

    Originally uploaded by Kate O’

    Joe & Karsten looking up drink recipes online; others playing poker;
    others experimenting with mixed drinks in the kitchen…good party.

    Nashville just got a little more perfect

    Friday, August 1st, 2008

    I don’t know how I missed the news that my favorite local cafe and patisserie, Provence, is now partnering with Intelligentsia Coffee. From Chicago. It’s my favorite coffee EV-AR.

    I detect the need to modify my daily commute so that I head downtown before leaving the city on my way to the exurbs each morning: I’m going to need to stop by the Provence at the main library.

    Now if only that location would open on Sundays, I’d be a very happy girl.