Monday, July 30

Bad Bike

My wife's bike is a Trek Pure. It's just a junky bike, built for people that ride a bike four or five times before hanging them up in the garage. I realized that pretty early on, but, so far, with a lot of high strength Locktite, I've kept it running. I may have to change out the rear freewheel pretty soon. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any close-ratio seven speed freewheels for sale.

Can anybody tell me why someone would build a bike with a left-hand thread on the right crank and not put any form of positive retention on the cartridge bearing?

Wednesday, July 11

Sibling Rivalry from a Common Mother

The Peach Arch at the Border Between Washington State and British Columbia
The Other Side of the Arch States "Children of a Common Mother"
The US and Canada share the longest, undefended border in the world. Both celebrate their national days in July. Canada celebrates Canada Day on July 1 and the US celebrates Independence Day on July 4. 

After the War of 1812, Britain and the US agreed to settle their disputes peacefully. Thankfully, we have managed to avoid any real fights since then. Still, there remain many differences. The video lists 25, though I'm not sure I would really cite Quebec as Canada's Texas....

Tuesday, June 12

Helmet Hilarity

Yesterday, I rode my bike past the library and dropped some books into the return slot. Sitting by a bench next to the front door was a man, seated on the bench, taking advantage of the library's free internet that works even at 6AM on Mondays. He'd ridden his bike to the library and, as is typical of tourists, had a colorful helmet on. Now one might wonder how a helmet offers protection while seated on a bench operating a laptop.

Suddenly, the thought occurred to me that he was wearing the helmet for protection in case his computer crashed! I really, really wanted to ask him that, but rode on instead, silently chuckling to myself...

Monday, May 28

Flags of Our Fathers

It has been nearly 60 years since the USA reached its current status with 50 States. Three major wars were fought by the US during the period when the flag of our fathers and grandfathers was our national banner.

First, there was World War 1; sometimes known as "The Great War" or "The War to End All Wars." It's been just a few years since the last veterans of that war passed away. This year marks the centennial of its ending. Then, there was World War 2. There are still some veterans of that conflict alive, though some of them are more than 100 years old now. Finally, there was the Korean Conflict. Veterans of that war are well over 80. Vietnam was our first major war in which our armed forces fought under a 50 star flag.

Memorial Day was established shorly after the Civil War to remember our soldiers that have been killed while serving in our armed forces. Veteran's Day, on the other hand, was established after the end of the First World War on Novmember 11. In the US, it is intended to honor all veterans, living and dead. Things do get a little more confusing, since in The Commonwealth, November 11 is known as Remembrance Day (evolving out of Armistice Day) and it honors those that died while serving. I don't think the British/Canadians/Anzacs have anything equivalent to Memorial Day.

Anyway, this year, we elected to remember those of the past on Memorial Day with our 48 Star Flag.

Monday, May 21

Mixed Feelings

It really caught my eye. The first I saw, it was cited as something along the lines of newlyweds depart in "vintage" car. I thought: "Cool, this is an English tradition I can endorse!" My own E-type is the same age as the one Harry and Meghan departed in. The only thing I really noticed is that it seemed odd for them to be driving a left-hand drive car away from Windsor Castle. As it turns out, theirs is a bit different. They yanked the beautiful, three carb straight six double overhead cam engine and put in a boxy looking electric motor.

I suppose these are the times we live in. Perhaps this is the way the English attempt to change to a more modern way of life. Perhaps someone at Jaguar simply overloaded on Scotch one day. What will come next for this poor car; air conditioning and power steering? Perhaps, just as the French played "God Save the Queen" using the engine of a Renault as recalled here, this is an English attempt to be more humorous than the French.

They took a Milestone Car and Stuck a Washing Machine Motor in it?

You can see more on the electric E-type here. I suppose it is better than them yanking out the engine and sticking a Chevy engine in there...