Friday, June 22, 2012

Romney's New Campaign Song

I am totally not making this up. It is a toss up between this

and this

He has his best and brightest on it and, it seems, they need to meet in  Mumbai.

Get Yer Kickstands

I have used several double leg kickstands in my life. In my experience, daily commuting requires a kickstand, fenders, and panniers to be effect and fun. Double legged kickstands are not only very functional but nifty looking.

 In order of greatness. The Hebie. Strong and stable as can be last for ever, hard to get in the USA. It weighs a ton but is unlikely to ever break and I am pretty sure that replacing the spring is easy. Not only does  this hold the bike upright under nearly any load but the pedals turn which makes routine maintenance a snap.

Pletscher's two legged. Nice but unlike the Hebie you can not spin the pedals while the legs are down. Plus the legs fold up to fit on one side of the bike. I added the rubber feet. The mechanism can wear out and it isn't nearly as tough as the Hebie.

The above are my current kickstands. I used to have a M Wave. It is designed after the Hebie but is considerable less stout although inexpensive and very good value for the money.

Then there is the Civia. This was unstable and did was designed so that the leg rubbed the chain. I lost at one of the original feet and two replacements. On the whole a rotten  little item in terms of practicality. It is, however, the most aesthetically pleasing of all the kickstands.

The worst of the bunch is Orange Velo's pretentiously named Porteur Double Kickstand.  Out of the box  mine was broken and the nephew, whose at least wasn't damaged, assures me it is a junky and unstable pile of thus and such.

 What is your favorite piece of commuter gear?

Historishically Thinking

The current The New Yorker there is a review (sub req) of a work of fiction the author of which once said
[i]creasingly, I am less interested in writing about fictional people because it seems so tiresome to make up a fake person and put them through the paces of a fake story.
Her response to her lament was to write a work of fiction interlarded with "facts," we are supposed to believe.

I have said this before and I will say it again: if you don't want to write fiction don't but for god's sake stop pretending that fiction dedicated to factiness is somehow or another factual.

Were she really bored with fiction, instead of tired with all the hard work of making everything up, she could write, I don't know, a biography or a work of history. No really, I doubt, to be honest, that either would be any good as the discipline of either biography or history writing is rather different than the discipline required to write fiction but still.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nobody Likes Conservative Ideas

The other day one or another of the Balloon Juicers attacked a David Brooks essay for being a big ball of nothing.  DeBoer is, on the one hand, right. Brooks' essay is an extended example of how to avoid being explicit. On the other hand, paying even marginal attention to what he writes indicates that what Brooks thinks the Republicans will do is follow a more aggressive neoliberal line in the hopes, one expects, of completely destroying the economy and 100 percent recreating the 19th century.

As the whole ALEC thing indicates the more open and above board the Right is with its ideas and plans the less support it has. Lies, obfuscation, and "cultural war" are their primary means of avoiding the explicit.

They can't win a fair fight so they don't fight one. Brooks is a well paid spokesmodel for the Right whose job it is to squirt  squid ink instead of shedding light.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Too busy, couldn't come, or weren't invite? Well here is what you missed:'

Some odd pounds of smoked porkly goodness replete with fat,  violations of dietary laws, and general loveliness. There were vegetables but who is counting?