schmenzer speaks!

Solar Eclipse 2017 is Tomorrow!

The family and I are on our way to Douglas, Wyoming to take in the total eclipse of the sun (sing it with me!) I was checking out the Sky and Telescope Market Place and came across an invitation from Boy Scout Troop 1935 enjoy the views of the eclipse from Douglas Middle School in Douglas, Wyoming. According to the ad, the school campus offers more than 10 acres of lush lawns and practice fields and is situated next to the North Platte River with vistas of Laramie Peak and surrounding mountains. Sounds good to me! The total solar eclipse will last for two minutes and twenty-three seconds in Douglas. We are looking forward to it!

Wisconsin Bike Bigwigs Meeting with Scott Walker

Via Facebook from Wheel and Sprocket’s Chris Kegel: He, Trek’s John Burke and Wisconsin Bike Fed’s Kevin Hardman are meeting with Governor-elect Scott Walker today. Their goal get? Get Walker’s support to help make Wisconsin more Bike Friendly. As a $1.5 billion part of the states economy Walker OUGHT to be friendly towards biking and cyclists!

Economic impact study –

Spectrum Solutions Painting Company Website

Did a quick website for my friend RC. Nothing fancy yet. We need more content and let the site tell us what it wants to be but we have a start at –

From RC:

Spectrum Solutions is a painting and fine finish contractor in Southeast Wisconsin specializing in interior and exterior painting, cedar staining and many other types of finish work on homes in the greater Southeast Wisconsin region including the counties of Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Waukesha and Ozaukee.

Flipboard for iPad

I’ve been using the free Flipboard app for the iPad that agregates Facebook posts, Twitter tweets and news from various organizations like ABC News, Huffington Post, Washington post Magazine and a bunch of others and displays the info into Magazine-like pages that you flip through. The presentation is engaging and it works well.

Flipboard displays galleries in Facebook as thumbnails that look great and it pulls in articles that users link to and displays them too. Cool!

Flipboard lets you “zoom in” on a specific article or post and will allow you to comment if that feature is available from the site you are using. Facebook, for instance, allows you to comment on posts.

It would be cool if you could post a status update from within Flipboard but either you can’t do that of I haven’t figures out how yet.

Santa Cycle Rampage 2010 in MIlwaukee

santa cycle rampage

The time is near for the 2010 edition of the Santa Cycle Rampage bike ride. The guys from Schlick Cycles will again be attending. We will meet at Cafe Hollander at 10am dressed like Santa! There will be free coffee, route information and Fat Tire Beer! Bike Fed members and newbies get drink specials throughout the day. (Make sure you bring your Bike Fed membership card).

There are a few pre-ride meeting points if you’d like to join other Santas for the ride to Hollander. The roll-in rides depart the following locations  at 9:30am.

  • Riverwest: Fuel Cafe
  • Tosa Village: Cafe Hollander
  • Bay View: Anodyne Coffee Company

Stops on the list this year include:

  • Cafe Hollander on Downer
  • Lakefront Brewery
  • Rehorst Distillery
  • Kochanski’s Convertina Bar
  • Cafe Centraal
  • Mystery stops!

Here is a link to a PDF of the flyer.

Website for Metallurgical Associates Failure Analysis and Testing

material testing engineerI’ve been working on a new website for the engineers are Metallurgical Associates, Inc. MAI is a testing lab that is set up to determine why mechanical parts fail and what can be done to prevent future failures.

After visiting the shop about a dozen times over the last few months I am gaining an appreciation for their failure testing and analysis methods. The work reminds me of being a detective but on a microscopic level. The fact that MAI investigates material failures in everything from beverage can “pop tops” to aircraft gas turbine blade failures means there is always a new challenge and new discoveries to be had.

While failure analysis is the core work the methods used vary but always seem to include some really cool equipment like their Scanning Electron Microscopes that can magnify to over 200,000X! Whoa!

Well, I hope the new site does well for MAI because I believe they are very good at what they do. If you are a manufacturer and need to know why a part or product failed you’ll find you answers at Metallurgical Associates.

New Website for B2 Construction

I am working on a site for our friend Bob from B2 Construction. Bob has helped us with several projects around our home and has done super work at very competitive prices.

So far it is a really simple website. The main goal will be to showcase some of the projects Bob is working on or has completed while allowing me to check out the new default theme in WordPress.

A bit more about B2 Construction:

B2 Construction specializes in home remodeling in the greater Southeast Wisconsin region including the cities of Milwaukee, Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, Bayside, Fox Point, Mequon and Germantown.

Heading Home From Interbike

Another year, another Interbike in the books. It was a long one this year. Sorry, family, it was how the flight worked out. Last one in Vegas for a while. Interbike will be moving to Anaheim next year as well as being in mid August instead of late September. Fine by me! Vegas is getting old and, as manufacturers, the timing is better plus I can take my family! For retailers, especially Midwest retailers in our own backyard, I think it will be tough to go in the middle of the selling season. Hope it works out for them!

I met The Captain, Spinner, Drew and Sean on Sunday so we could hit the Outdoor Demo days early Monday and ride a bunch of cool bikes. Lots of nice stuff out there. A few things struck me about the MTBs:

  • Carbon has come a long way since I last rode a plastic bike. The ride on the Marin and Breezer I rode was well damped and the bikes are stiff where you need them to be. Cost is still a barrier though. The high-end spec Breezer is $5,600 or so! Yikes. I think I’ll stick with steel and more realistic components. Crash worthiness is a consideration too. There is not much material in a 2.5 lb frame and a good whack can destroy the integrity of carbon.
  • If I lived near Bootleg Canyon outside Las Vegas I’d have to have a Full Sus rig! No doubt about it, having tons of plush travel on both ends is great at 30-40 mph down the side of the mountain. Back home in Wisconsin I don’t need it, which is good because I don’t need ANOTHER bike. Oh, wait, see below.
  • Rode a Pugsley again this year. Spent more time on it this year and there is a complete bike version available! I got one coming! Let me know if you are interested in one. Winter is coming and I can hook you up! Note that you can also go down the side of a mountain just fine on the Pug. I know, I did it!

The coolest product I rode that is more targeted to our Schlick Cycles commuter/transportation focused bikes was the redesigned Nuvinci Continuously Variable hub. No gear steps! When we last rode this thing it was 9-pounds! Nine! Say it with me, NINE! The new version is much more in line with the currently available Nexus and Alfine hubs and seems lighter than the SRAM i-Motion 9. I guess that is what shaving 3 pound off will do. The are also bomb proof, very smooth and have a wider ratio than previously.

Surly has a nice trailer too. Gonna have to look hard at one because I can think of a lot of uses for one and the ability to unhook when you don’t need it is a real plus over a cargo-specific bike. Tracks behind the bike incredibly well, even with The Captain on board.

Saw a lot of cool, commuter/urban oriented clothing. Good to see that you don’t have to look like a rolling billboard to enjoy the benefits of technical fabrics and comfort. you can do it and still look stylish.

I’ll have more thoughts after I digest more of what I saw. See ya!

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