Monday, February 23, 2009

Unclear on the Concept

Today we have another classic incomprehensible road sign. I photographed this one while riding the Harley down Phantom Canyon Road, between Victor/Cripple Creek and Canon City, Colorado during the summer of 1995. The sign gives the helpful warning that there may be loose gravel on the road.

Uh-huh... the whole road's gravel, of course. Is there any particular patch of it that the highway department wanted to warn me about?

It's kind of like encountering a "BUMP AHEAD" sign in Illinois, where the roads are nothing but bumps, mile after mile of them. I want to ask, which bump does the sign refer to?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Today's Road Sign

I saw this while passing through Yellowstone National Park in 2006.

I'm still not sure whether it's just a road construction sign or a deep philosophical statement about the meaning of life in general.

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Piece Up on Projects At Work Website

The Projects At Work online project management magazine has put up my latest piece, a review of Jerry Weinberg's new book, Perfect Software and Other Illusions About Testing. If you've never visited the Projects At Work site before, you'll need to do a free registration (sigh... is there anything on the Internet that you can read without filling out a registration?). Go ahead... you know you want to...

Perfect Software is a valuable book even if you don't write or test software, because it's really not so much about software or testing as it is about people: why we think we want to test things in the first place, how we see and interpret tests, how we act on their results, and how we mess up. These observations and suggestions are applicable far beyond the world of software. For instance, they could be applied to education--as I was reading and reviewing the book during my slack periods at the high school (I spend a couple days a week as a substitute teacher), I found myself wishing the people who came up with "No Child Left Behind" had read it.

You can read my review of Perfect Software by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Yeah, I've Been There

Friend of mine is suggesting we go to Colorado on the motorcycles this summer. OK, Colorado's a pretty state... where do you want to go? Oh, there? Yeah, I've been on that road; it's pretty...

His suggestion got me to thinking, just how much of the Colorado Rockies have I explored on a bike? So I took my road map and a bright orange highlighter, and traced over the roads I've traveled on my various expeditions. It seems pretty close to a complete set (click on the image to enlarge it).

I first put a wheel in Colorado in August of 1977, coming across from Utah on the way back from the Pacific coast. We camped outside of Glenwood Springs in a dreary rainstorm that continued through the next day (during which we had to sit out a long delay near Vail, because a private pilot had gotten in trouble and was trying to make an emergency landing on I-70). The rain didn't end until we passed through the Eisenhower Tunnel (which was, at the time, a single hole with one lane in each direction; the second hole wouldn't open for another two years)... and then we came down the long hill into Denver in glorious sunshine, whisked through town, found a cheap motel in the prairie town of Idalia, turned on the TV and found that Elvis had left the building for good. A strange and memorable introduction to the state...

My most recent visit was in May of 1999, too early for my own good (but timed to match a business meeting). I rode west out of Colorado Springs, and just west of Wilkerson Pass on US 24, I ran into a snowstorm. Luckily, it was a short one, and it was spring so it melted fairly quickly, and I was able to go on my merry way.

I still don't have the complete set: 13 north of Meeker, 139 south of Rangely, 141 through Gypsum Gap, 491 north of Cortez, 140, 172 and 151 around Durango, and the little stretch of US 40 between Granby and I-70 have escaped... for now. But summer's coming...