Reno Walking Commute – Apt to Office

This is the view from the apartment.

The hallway leading from the apartment to the elevator.

The view from the elevator entryway.

The elevator has mirrors in it.

This is the sidewalk in front of the apartment.

A bridge that crosses a part of the Truckee River.

A Truckee river duck.

Another view of a Truckee river duck.

The office is a two block walk from the river.

The stairway leading to the office.

Finally made it. She let me in.

How to Vote in Northern Nevada – November 2018

This is  a working document. I really want to know your thoughts in the comments below.

Nevada Ballot Questions

Question 1 – Trials Expands the rights of crime victims

YES – This seems like a good thing. If someone is a victim of a crime, it seems reasonable that they should be able to get information related to the case, get their stuff back and all the other things noted in the bill.

Question 2 – Taxes Exempts feminine hygiene products from sales tax

YES – Based on principles, the government wastes money so tax cuts are generally a good thing. Especially if these tax cuts go to women.

Question 3 – Energy Regulations on the energy market

YES – Based on principles, I don’t think it’s the government’s job to regulate electricity. The external costs are so I’m open to being swayed here. At the end of the day, I think it’s better to err on the side of freer markets, rather than more tightly regulated ones.

Question 4 – Taxes Sales tax exemption for medical equipment

YES – Our health care system is ludicrous compared to the other countries I’ve seen in the world. In my experience, Thailand, Australia, and Costa Rica all have better, cheaper health care than the United States. Why not start slashing those medical costs?

Question 5 – Elections Automatic voter registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles

NO – My experience with required elections in Australia taught me that it’s fine for people not to vote. Voting is an option in a free society, not a requirement.

Question 6 – Energy Requires 50 percent of energy to come from renewable resources by 2030

YES – We will one day need to have our power system based on renewable energy. Why wait? Humanity is running a bonkers experiment of putting carbon into the atmosphere as fast as possible. Whether or not you care about carbon emissions, it doesn’t matter there is no way we can have non-renewable energy forever because it’s non-renewable.

Nevada Candidates

United States Senate

Ranked in order of my top choice to my last choice:

Jacky Rosen – Democratic (website)

From her website, it appears that Jacky is a pro. She appears to be motivated to shift immigration, environmental policy. Also, I believe in an ineffective government so Democrats are good in the Senate for now as they will limit the power of the executive for the next 2-6 years.

Update: I received a call from Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood ( and they support Mrs. Rosen.

Dean Heller – Republican (website)

This guy appears to be a lifetime politician who worked as a stock trader for a short time. I like that he is from Carson City, the same place I was born, but I don’t see anything other than business as usual. As Republicans have a lot of power these days, I think it’s best to go with the Democrat for the time being.

Tim Hagan – Libertarian Party of Nevada (website)

I’m sympathetic to Libertarians, but I can’t find any information related to Tim’s stance on issues. He seems like a smart guy, but if you can’t build a website with your issues on it, are you ready to play an important role as a Senator?
Kamau A. Bakari – Independent American (website)
WOW! Check this guy out. This video is hilarious:
I want to hang out with Kamau the most, but I’m not sure what he stands for outside making fun, fake cowboy movies.
Aside from the fact that I like the attitude, Everything was done in 2014 and I don’t consider this a real run for political office. It’s a gesture.
Barry Michaels – No Political Party (website)
New Yorker who works in chiropractic “medicine”. The website his team put together still has templating information on it. If they can’t build a website, why should they represent Nevada in the Senate?

Reno Mayor

Eddie Lorton – I really don’t know much about the Reno Mayor position. My cursory look at their websites leads me to like Eddie Lorton more. I like the fiscal responsibility message and his focus on making Reno housing more affordable.
Hillary seems very cool. She seems like someone who would be fun to hang out with. But her website gives me the impression that she thinks the scope of the government is wider than I promote.
If you’ve got any feelings about this, please let me know in the comments. Because I travel all the time, I’m voting a week from now. I’d like to know more about this voting decision. Why do you think either of these characters good/bad for Reno?

Reno City Council Ward 2

I have no idea. Please help with comments below.

Reno City Council Ward 4

I have no idea. Please help with comments below.

Reno City Attorney

I have no idea. Please help with comments below.

United States Representative in Congress District 2

Mark E. Amodei – Republican
Clint Koble – Democratic
I have no idea. Please help with comments below.


Russell Best – Independent American Party
Ryan Bundy – No Political Party
Adam Paul Laxalt – Republican
Jared Lord – Libertarian Party of Nevada
Steve Sisolak – Democratic

Update: I received a call from Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood ( and they support Mr Sisolak.


I have no idea. Please help with comments below.

Let me know your thoughts

I’ve not deeply researched this. If you have a suggestion for me to change the way I plan to vote PLEASE let me know what and why in the comments below.

Understanding Polymorphic Associations in Rails

When first trying to get an understanding of polymorphic associations in Rails, I was completely lost. At this point in my learning curve, polymorphic associations are a high-level concept in Rails which allows the programmer to reuse a single model to be useful for other models. It’s difficult to describe without an example. So… here we go.

An example of a polymorphic association is as follows. Let’s say you’re building a sports history database. Baseball players and basketball players are both athletes, but you want to be able to keep the baseballers separate from the basketballers. One way to do that is to create an Athletes model.

The Athlete model would be a way to tie the sports together.

Coding The Polymorphic Association

This requires a migration where we connect the athletes with the sports they play:

rails g migration AddSportToAthlete sport_id:integer sport_type:string

First we set the polymorphic association model:

class Athlete < ApplicationRecord
  belongs_to :sport, polymorphic: true

Then we assign that association to the baseballers and the basketballers:

class Baseballer < ApplicationRecord
  has_many :athletes, as: :sport

class Basketballer < ApplicationRecord
  has_many :athletes, as: :sport

irb rbenv: pry: command not found – FIXED

$ irb
rbenv: pry: command not found

The `pry' command exists in these Ruby versions:

I was having the issue in which I was attempting to test code using irb and the irb command wasn’t opening the Ruby REPL.

Apparently, pry was interrupting my usage of irb.

To fix it, I just updated pry:

gem install pry

irb rbenv: pry: command not found

Now it’s updated and working correctly. Here are my related software versions:

$ rails -v
Rails 5.2.1
$ pry -v
Pry version 0.11.3 on Ruby 2.5.1
$ irb -v
Pry version 0.11.3 on Ruby 2.5.1

Seeing a Rails App Develop From Looking at Git Changes

I’m deep diving into Ruby on Rails this week. One of the things I find interesting is how the scaffolding creates new parts of a Rails app. This is a helpful tool for understanding the stack so I’m stepping through it looking at the changes made which we can see better with git.

Below is a step by step view of the files created when developing a new Rails App. 

Stepping Through Rails and Watching Git Changes

rails new appName

  • git status => All code related to Ruby on Rails

appName => bundle update

  • git status => No changes

appName => bundle install

  • git status => No changes

appName => bin/rails generate controller name_of_controller

  • git status =>
    • app/assets/javascripts/
    • app/assets/stylesheets/ian.scss
    • app/controllers/ian_controller.rb
    • app/helpers/ian_helper.rb
    • test/controllers/ian_controller_test.rb

Note: git changes do NOT note that when generating a new controller, Rails also generates an empty views folder. This is an important thing to be aware of as your view templates will go here related to your new controller.

appName => bin/rails generate model name_of_model title:string body:text slug:string

  • git status =>
    • app/models/tree.rb
    • db/migrate/
    • test/fixtures/trees.yml
    • test/models/tree_test.rb

Creates the new files needed to maintain a model, it’s test data and test process.

appName => bin/rails db:migrate

  • git status =>
    • db/schema.rb

This process specifically reflects your new model’s functionality with the database.

Yuba River Scuttle – Emerald Pools to Washington City, CA

There is an adventure that I had been thinking of doing for a long time, but had never actually done.

I call this adventure the Yuba River Scuttle.

It goes from the Emerald Pools in Northern California to a little town called Washington City, CA. I’m not aware of anyone who has done this. Before we did it, I had never heard of anyone else doing it.

What is a River Scuttle

Nevada County, California, USA: Yuba River
Yuba River – Taken in 2011

A river scuttle is a journey in which you carry nothing but a waterproof bag. The scuttler carries that bag on their arm or shoulder. They use it as a floating device when swimming through challenging spots.

The idea is that you are 100% prepared to be aquatic. You are carrying everything you need to camp for a day or two in a waterproof bag. I’m guessing that it’s an 11 mile trip based on the calculation below.

Emerald Pools to Washington City, California
My rough estimate is 10.95 miles worth of river scuttling. The start is on the right. The end where the red marker is.

Waterproof bags will need to have space for warm cloths, a hammock, some food and a bit of water. I’m guessing this is a 2 day trip.

River Scuttle Statistics

  • Start altitude of 4,500 feet at the Emerald Pools
  • End altitude of 2,589 feet in Washington City, CA
  • Altitude change of 1,911 feet
  • Descent rate of 174 feet per mile

The elevation drop is about the same as the height of the second tallest building in the world.

We are started on Saturday afternoon at 5:00 p.m.

More River Scuttle Maps

The above map is a line drawn using an elevation mapping tool. The bar chart below represents the elevation change related to the image above marked with the red line.

North Fork of Yuba River Large Sized Topography Map

Notes on the Adventure

The Yuba River Scuttle is challenging.

Everyone in our group was enthusiastically athletic. Despite that, we were all exhausted by the end of the adventure. Our feet were sore, the bags became heavier, and the river started feeling colder. People started making mistakes that led to uncontrolled slides. It was getting dangerous.

River scuttling is extremely slow. I’d guess we cover between .15 and .25 miles an hour. Swimming is slow. Rock climbing is slower. My estimate of eleven miles in 2 days was misguided at best.

Yuba river scuttling is also uncomfortably cold. In August, when the river is at it’s lowest and the day is at it’s hottest, the cold water takes the scuttler’s breath away.

There is a road that runs along the river for the last 4-5 miles. If it weren’t for that road, we would have had to camp another night on the river.
Camping on the river is very cold. The hammocks are not great for keeping a person warm. V said something of note, “I’m never sleeping in a hammock again.”

The river is stunningly beautiful. Over and over the beauty of the river astonished us. Towards the end, I would come upon another beautiful waterfall and think to myself, ‘Ugh, do we have to swim it?’

The journey was a constant process of problem-solving. There is a new beautiful waterfall cavern. How are we getting around it? Phew, I don’t want to swim in the shadows. Can we make the climb to get around it? That kind of thing was the name of the game.

It was genuinely fun. It was awful challenging. It was legitimately dangerous. If I were to do it again, I would give myself 3-4 days.