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“I’m telling you again, Johnson, if you don’t get a fucking contagious disease mentioned in the goddam lyrics, you are FIRED”

2024jun18.

Dutch bike day 8. I fixed the frame lock’s knob. Added a small metal sleeve, held in place by a screw that screwed nicely/tightly into the knob hole. Fortunate, because there’s no room to add a nut at the bottom. It will do. Now I don’t have to shred my fingers engaging the lock. Also ordered the “plug-in” lock, but it’s not going to be here until July. A nervous, dumbshit nation watches ... and waits.

Today the bell did not randomly ding at all. Temperature thing? Ghost bell?

Got a message back from gazelle.nl. The bike was manufactured in 2008. There have only been two owners previously, and the one before me didn’t ride it all that much. Thought it was 10+ years older. I am not a bicycle wear expert.

Occasionally I roll off the greenway because sometimes the BART cars are just too loud. But then I have to up my curb/mis-aligned sidewalk game. It’s like the movie Awakenings, which was filmed in The Bronx.

At the intersection of B Street and Behrens Street, someone added a tall box-shaped sign to the street sign pole. It had the image of bee, and a bear, along w/the obvious text captions, aligned with the respective streets. Bee. Bear. So that’s what I brainlessly repeated throughout the rest of the ride for no reason at all, like I was a defective See ‘n’ Say. “Bee. Bear.” [FX: seven minutes pass] “Bee. Bear.”

2024jun18.

Defunctland: Kid Cities.

2024jun18.

Dutch bike day 7. Rode 11.7 miles, some along the coast of the bay. It’s difficult to get to without having to go through areas that this particular city has decided to ignore completely vis-a-vis any cleaning ever. I just looked at a raw graphic map and winged it, because I don’t like stopping to look at my phone ever for any reason except when I’m taking nice photos. I wasn’t worried about my tires in the depressed areas (SCHWALBE!) but the poor dears don’t need that sort of workout. Tiny dog attack at the start, I’ll have to get that piercing dog siren thing. This dog was so small, and so ferocious. Maybe I should get a small mirror? “This is you, you are smol. Be cute and be quiet.” Then, routed unfortunately into Big Traffic and Big Intersections At The Freeway Interchange. Then, two people camping out directly in the horrible path under the expressway with four dogs, all of them not on leashes. “Don’t worry, they won’t attack.” I turned around and had to re-cross giant intersections to avoid that scene.

Today the bell started making soft little rings on every medium+ bump. I don’t know why. More reason to get rid of it.

I ordered a rearview mirror. I may order a front caliper brake thing, I don’t know how long I’m going to be dealing with a reduced-strength arm.

Pink canvas webbing is on the way. I will have to learn how to tie a canonical pretty bow. I’m horrible at knots.

2024jun17.

Slate: Amazon’s hand-scanning biometric disaster now available in Food Hole.

let’s go back to the 80s w/the churchy nutbags screaming about getting scanned by a machine head or hand 666 etc

they were on to something

enclosed: dynamic flyer found on the street 1988, iirc

yes i posted this in 2022 along with a chaser

you are a good rememberer [FX: gives you one (1) dubbel zout button]

2024jun17.

Dutch Bike Day 6. I rode and I rode and I also rode. I have to say I’m pretty sick of the yellow curb cut appliances, the ones with the nurbual bits sticking out. I’m not mentioning the name of the manufacturer. Here’s a rare metal version by a different manufacturer that seems to only exist at the foot of the University-ish ped bridge.

The thing with plastic is that when there is rain on plastic, it is slippery. I almost lost it on a scooter over one of these, or rather, I did lose it, I just got lucky and recovered before a full wipe-out. But why test things. “We have this ... plastic chunk. It’s got bumps.” City: “OH GOD GIVE US YOUR ENTIRE INVENTORY YOU BEAUTIFUL BEASTS”

This long ride gave me ample opportunities to figure out how to be a nice bicyclist in public (again), both in general and given my problem arm. The arm gets little better day by day, which is just wonderful because March and April were hell months in which the arm just ached the entire day and night and sapped my will to do anything. It was surprising. “It’s just an arm! Less than 1/4th of the body!” I yelled to my brain. Brain wasn’t having it. So now, some normal bicycle things like looking behind you, well, I’ve got a different way to do it and it’s going to be muscle memory for quite some time even after the arm has healed up entirely. Might just have to buy a mirror to fool-proof it. Find out which arm I’m talking about on my patron thing! Sure there’s Patreon, but you should use ko-fi, the one person patron there is getting lonely! May get up to dark magicks w/o company. $1/mo, join now, avoid the summer rush.

I am buying some pink canvas webbing so I can tie a pretty bow on the bike and it will last more than a week. I like pretty things because they’re pretty.

I am very glad I bought this bike and not that $4000 Carbondale I was looking at. Canyondale. Caltropsdale. Five thousand dollar Communedale, Michael! COME ON!

2024jun16.

TheSideChannel: Voice-over for NBA Top 10 says “Top Ten” faster and faster.

2024jun16.

Dutch bike day 5. A correction from my initial entry. Gazelle actually does have multiple non-electric models, but they are only available on the NL Gazelle site. It is Gazelle USA that only has the Tour Populair. I accidentally sent the s/n to gazelle.com for carbon dating and the nice people there directed me to gazelle.nl and complimented me on my purchase. IKR? Wait, does Gazelle sell parts. “Store” is “winkel.” WINKEL. Yes they sell parts in their NL winkels. BRB.

Double-tested the rear light assembly. Does not work. Given that the whole rear light assembly is ... ~USD35-50, I will try to gimmick up something to get the circuit board going. It’s not a rush job, again, not using this thing at night.

There is a sticker on the back of the bike which is from NL. It will be removed.

There is a sticker on the rear fender of the bike which indicates the original store it was purchased from. Maybe I will send them a nice note. [FX: goes to site] There is a manufacturer of bikes named “Cowboy.” The image shows a nut-bar bike. Everyone loves the nut bar. I’ve only seen one person explain why the nut bar is popular. It is because it makes the bike less wobbly. Of course, I’m not going fast enough to get any bike wobbling, nut bar or no. So you can have your nut bar, Speed Racer Cowboy Mansweat. Anyway, they look like they’re a big operation ... many stores, lotta brands. Elektrisch? NEE. At some point, ja, but not right now. [lqqks] Oooh front rack, forgot about the front rack. Not sure how I’m going to deal w/groceries, still have to order my plug-in chain (it literally plugs into the frame lock then then the frame lock hooks onto it when it is also locking your wheel).

There was a control number sticker on the bike. It has been removed.

I removed the batteries from the front light so they do not corrode. They would be quick-load/unload if it wasn’t a big flathead screw. Looking into replacing that. Probably not original?

1x compliments. Father saw quick flash of side view of bike. “Nice bike,” he said in a very low voice. I didn’t process it until later, otherwise I would have at least rang the bell. Rung the bell? Rang. I would have pressed the bell button to make it ringy-dingy.

1x bell ring. Ped has own lane, is walking in bike lane at a bottleneck. I may start ringing the bell any time I suspect a ped is not aware of me but it usually seemed like they were glancing back after hearing the seat squeak.

3x cars ignoring well-marked ped/bike xing. Looked like one accidental, one fuck you, one “what can you do” (a shrug). I think I’m going to stop recording these, it’s just going to be about 10% of the cars on the greenway path, much more in traffic. Hey wow cars are killing a lot of walking/biking people. USA: “How about ... trucks take growth hormones, cool right?” Vote for me, I’m running on a platform of “Let me walk back that bike infrastructure proposal.” Sure win.

I looked up the tires in case they might offer a clue as to when the bike was manufactured. That’s SCHWALBE, baby! Jam thumbtacks up in, I don’t care! SCHWALBE! I am sure I paid more for puncture-resistant inserts on my like-a-bike.

2024jun15.

Thejuicemedia: Honest Government Ad / the state of Democracy™.

2024jun13.

Dutch Bike, Day 3. The front light is powered by three AAA batteries, I don’t know if it’s original. Requires large flat-head screwdriver. They are at near maximum charge, no corrosion. I’d rather have a dynamo, it’s more likely the batteries will corrode before I use up the charges. Riding at night, that’s Advanced Biking ... I’m sticking with beginner courses. The back light is standard, requires small Phillips screwdriver and ... half-stripped it. Get vice grips. [GETS] Okay. Two seriously-corroded JOS International “SPANNINGA” (“tension” or “voltage”) batteries. The tiny circuit board appears fried. Let’s get our safety glasses. [GETS] Batteries removed. Removed light assembly as well, no use having it if it doesn’t work. The circuit board will have to be replaced, I don’t think it can be repaired. It is obviously not complicated.

I forgot to mention that during my initial ride, a motorized scooter went flying by me and ran straight into a car that had stopped to let me by. I did not see the accident, but from all the contextual clues, scooter person was probably in the wrong. The scooter person exclaimed something like “WHY AREN’T YOU WATCHING” or something similar w/o swears. In total, three drivers have ignored ped/bike xing markings when I was already in the street, out of ... ~70 car encounters. I’ve mostly been on a “greenway” that travels under/near BART 90% of the time but it crosses a ton of streets. They are well-marked. I should flaccidly ring my C+-tier bike bell at them. Haven’t used it so far. The smaller your car is, the more enthusiastic my “thank you” wave will be. Exempt from waves: Tesla vehicles, megatrucks & similar clown cars. I am Richard Petty, famous stock car driver.

I am nowhere near the daily minimum suggested by this friendly website. I am out of shapes. Side note: see this article about Dutch bicycling habits, not that I’m comparing my riding to the average NLer. It is just an interesting artifact of a country that is not obsessed with cars and making sure cars are #1 and nothing gets in the way of cars and makes sweet, sweet love to cars. Never leave me, cars. Never!

Steering is a little more fluid than a “normal” bike, since your center of gravity is up higher, it feels like. Or I’m just not used to riding a bike in general, since I haven’t for ... 14 years.

I ordered a new key for the frame lock, the “just in case” key. I will need to order an auxiliary chain which is grabbed by the frame lock so it’s all one big lock thing. The key stays in the lock until you engage it. So when you’re riding, the key is in the lock. Apparently sometimes when bikes get jammed up against something the key is bent in the lock. Not good. I am looking into adding guards on either side of the key to prevent this.

I found a Kryptonite U-lock awhile ago, I need to change the combination and it will be my secondary lock. If all the other bikes have 27 locks on them, you should have 28. Take it from me, Mr. Rides Bicycles All The Time The Last Three Days.

2024jun13.

Dutch Bike Initial Impressions. I have acquired a Dutch bike, after looking for one for over a year. You’d think it was that long because I’m a stingy bastard who is old and remembers when pinball was a nickel and candy bars were a quarter and weren’t made with industrial shavings designated by secret coded initials. “PGPR is mainly used with another substance like lecithin[2] to reduce viscosity and wheel chocking. Check your owner’s manual.” I think I only passed up two bikes, but the prices were way out of my league. The premise behind a relatively low-priced bike is that I will not cry about lost money when it is inevitably stolen. I will only cry about lost time.

I have only ridden this today (other than a short test ride), so there’s still a lot of work to do and research to be researched. For instance, I have no idea when this bike was made (my seat-of-pants guess is 1998). It is a Gazelle Populair. It is very similar to the current Gazelle Tour Populair and may actually just be the actual model. The Tour Populair is now Gazelle’s only non-electric offering and is priced at USD1499. My version is one gear, coaster brake. No calipers. It looks like it was originally sold in Amsterdam (pending research: pending).

It has rust, here and there, thin. Not like my beach cruiser bike that was left out in the rain for several centuries by the previous owner. I think it’s now made out of 20% rust. I rode the beach cruiser bike yesterday and the Populair is very different, all in good/great ways. Instead of yammering on about this, let’s replay a Not Just Bikes video about this very thing. Catch me on the “other side,” fren. [FX: gets all comfy in couch fort]

Hello again. See? SEE? I am a convert. However there are small things that need adjusting/etc.

Ring locks are pretty standard on Dutch bikes. This one is missing what I fancifully call the engagement knob. You push it through the ring lock’s circle, and a bar goes between the spokes. These locks are used to delay your personal US bike thief from tossing the bike into the back of a truck by up to 30 seconds. I can get a fakeroo bespoke (no pun intended) engagement knob at the hardware store for a buck or two. The color of the ring lock is non-black WHAT COME ON.

The dress shield and chain case are both original to the bike and made of vinyl. Though they’ve held up, there is a small tear in the chain case, and I don’t see a way to actually oil the chain if it needs it. I’d prefer metal or plastic.

The kickstand works but is anxious to not work. It collapses at the slightest movement. I don’t think this is the default setting.

The bike bell is not my preferred tone expression. Let’s see if I can find this mini-unicorn desired bell sound on the internet of value. hahah “retro ding dong” You’re probably wondering how many businesses actually have the sound of the bell available on the web page. The answer is 12.7%. I eat up all the descriptions of the sound on these pages. “Oh tell me more.” Holland Bike Shop is smart, they have recordings next to each bell. This bell feels closest to what my brain remembers as the ideal bell. Here are some more: highest . cute . high . high . serious

The seat is squeaky. The bike will be fully moisturized, either by me or an official bike moisturizer, along with a general tune-up/look-see/anti-rusting. It’s odd how I will not be going to the shop that scoffed at my desire to acquire a Dutch bike a few months ago. “They’re so heavy!” the top-fit racing rider/clerk whined. Yes. They are. They’re tanks, that are passed down through the generations. I don’t plan to lift it over my head or wipe out on a dirt trail. I am not in a race with anyone or anything. I do not need to be fast. I am using it to travel the vast, flat plains of the East Bay California area and buy baguettes (yes I AM going to make a baguette holder for it. maybe). There’s so many of them in Holland that the prices are low, low low, gotta sell! I bought local, another reason it took me so long to get one. Anyway, let’s all sit here and marvel at these dunces of Capitalism who habitually turn away consumers or fail to try to understand what their actual needs are. Reminds me of the million stories I’ve read about car salespeople totally shooting themselves in their collective feet with collective shotguns over and over and over. The money is literally walking in the door and you turn it away! What happened to the greed, car salesidiot? The slaking of thirst! Get out there and sell! SELL SELL OR YOU’RE CANNED, YOU GET ME? CAN-N-N-ED

There is strange moisture exuding from my back and arms when engaged in vigorous riding. A trip to the doctor is warranted. I will purchase a “squee-gee.”

Finally, I am kicking myself again for not learning pinstriping instead of staring at the wall and drooling plaintively. “Perhaps there’s still time,” he said, Zimmer frame just out of shot.

2024jun11.

Led by Donkeys: Rishi Sunak ‒ The Movie.

2024jun04.

JaidenAnimations: I found out I have ADHD.

2024jun02.

Claudia O’Doherty: What Is England? (2013)

2024jun01.

Paolo fromtokyo: Day in the Life of a Japanese Game Center Worker.

2024jun01.

James Hoffmann: Trying To Find The World’s Best Coffee Candy.

2024jun01.

BicycleDutch: Cycling in Carmel, Indiana from a Dutch perspective.

2024may31.

Kill the Noise: ABLE10 what new? FINAL (2018). Verge article

2024may30.

Anna Lapwood: Bonobo & Anna Lapwood perform Otomo live at the Royal Albert Hall. Background article (2022).

2024may28.

Vulture: The Portrait of Kim Gordon: Why Eric McNatt Sued Richard Prince. Here is my “hot take” on this situation: this is lazy garbage. It reminds me of street artists that tag other artist’s work. Fuck off, there are other walls. “Look, I took someone’s photo and added someone else’s lyrics and added nothing else, it’s mine now.” JFC

2024may28.