a word from the milk people

This is Scott, who owns Discount Brake & Muffler next door to us, has had it for 24 years, works 12 hour days it seems, comes to our aid a few times a year with recalcitrant metal challenges that have nothing to do with frames, and upcycles used car parts into robots (humanoid and canine) when he's not fixing cars. Here are some phone pix (the one above is a camera pic).

This is ours. It's modeled after my Westie (Scoutie),

It was $300.

These are the originals, outside Scott's place. The Robot and Dog both have solar-powered eyes.

Other tenants saw them and wanted them, so here are a few more (not all there is--literally, just a few):

 Doggie scratching at door.

Two doors down. I think we all know what the score is here.

There's a closeup, and no more robots for now.


When people go up on stage to receive an award, they often say things like,

"I'm honored to be here" and "I'm humbled even to have been on the same list  with such fantastic (my word) nominees. Meryl Streep, Sean Penn, o my..."

We've all heard it. They're trying to be gracious, and that is a nice thing, but the words they pick are all wrong for it. "Honor" is a thing other people do to you, not something you can just grab out of the air and infer. Plus, all you did was win some sort of election. Hey man, we're not honoring you, we're just giving you the trophy because you got the most votes. Good job, dude...NEXT!"

And giving somebody a trophy never actually humbles them. It has the opposite effect, even though they use the H-word. People who win a lot of awards would have to be oblivious or something to be humbled by them, so unlikely, but when they say "I'm humbled," it kind of comes off like, "not only did I beat those other guys, but I'm humble, too," which is not the thing a humble person would say.  I humble person would say, "I would like to ask the nominating committee if they are all insane for suggesting that my performance was anywhere close to those other guyses performances. And now that I've actually won, I wonder the same of the voters. And even though I won, I don't buy it, I don't feel deserving of this, and that is not me being gracious to score more points. I will either destroy this trophy or--I have a better idea: I think X should have won it, so X raise your hand and I'll give it to you. Please, everybody, don't applaud this or say nice things about me for doing it. In my head, I'm just making it right."

Then maybe it would start a trend, and at least people would quit saying they feel "honored" and "humbled." I know it's not a big deal, but this BLAGH can be about anything. That was the idea from the start.


 When you're in the area, go to Fairfax and see the Bike Museum. It's really neat, has the ancients and a good progression from 1817 to 2000 or so, including (since it is the home-home of mtn bikes) most of the steps from clunkers to modern uglies--including the best of 1976 to early '80s. But as good as an of those is this ladder Joe Breeze designed and made--I think with a little assistance from Otis Guy:

IIt's a ladder that gives access to upstairs storage. Here it is DOWN.

And here it is RISING, which it does kind of magically, hard to explain:

And then here it is fully risen and inset fully internally flushed and smooth with the ceiling:

I know what you're thinking: What kind of shifter to they have that activates a cable that lets it stay there, once the hanging handle is given a pull?

Good question:

It's a 1983 SunTour XC Thumbshifter, the model for the possibly ill-fated SILVER2 shifter that still  has a glimmer of hope, but let's not kill its chance with information, updates, questions, or conversation.


Are "milk people" good or bad or neutral? I thought they were good (and never thought the job applicants were bad) when I ordered some bumperstickers. They may go onto the site, just a few. Save room on your bumper or briefcase.


This is Roman making a grip of wool felt and cloth tape.


I'm technically on vacation, but you know how it is, and I've got my bike and I ride it to the nearby town when an upcoming meal requires something we don't have, and I shop with my blue medium shopsack and put it back in the basket and ride home on the best bike ever, but I forgot a lock, so this is how I've been locking it:

It's not your safe slum-alley lock, but if you just have to run into a tiny-town grocery store and you put the buckle out of sight, and you do a couple of half hitches to make the thief have to fuss a bit before unbuckling, it might not be bad. It would be better still if it were -- odang, what's that strong stuff...shoot..KEVLAR! webbing. Then it would be tough to cut, too. Anyway, when you need a lock and don't have one, you have to be creative, and you should always have a spare John's Irish Strap with you.


This is in the Fairfax museum too, as an example of "state of the art" in the early '90s, or maybe late '90s, I don't know or care. O my.


Those of you who've read Eat Bacon, Don't Jog know that I'm a fan of feeding carnivore pets dead meat fit for humans, and that's why my doggie Scoutie (a 13-year old Westie gets. Her staple (but there's a lot of variety, with eggs, cheese, mascarpone, chicken, and beef)--but yes her staple is Trader Joe's canned salmon in the 15oz can for $3.29. She goes thru a can every four days., and this is one can that doesn't fit the nifty plastic can lids you sometimes see, so I improvised with a flat head screw, a cork, and a rare earth magnet...

and when the salmon's almost gone, you can still take the lid off with the long handle:

that's all I've got in the pet food department. For the holidays we hope to ahve some some nifty MUSA riding apparel that can work as dress shirts in a pinch, with a Japanese all-cotton fabric that is like the superest fabric of its kind (kind of like oxford cloth) you've ever seen. The colors are amazing. Some of these:

Please buy them. They'll be about $90. It's a lot, I know, but this will be a one-time thing for us. Three, maybe four colors. Maybe just two. It's hard to say. Money money-- that's all it takes.


Here's a Trump cartoon I found in some newspaper packing material from a NITTO shipment. I don't know what it says. Masa told me, but I forgot.


Here's a technically bad photo that I still like because I like spokes. I really, really like spokes. Unsung heroes is what they are. Three cheers for spokes:

HH Hooray, HH hooray, HH hooray.


Remember this poster?

We're trying to get reprints, but apparently--according to its designer-maker-printer David Lance Goines--it is particularly challenging, and the new 67-year old machine he uses makes it harder than the 95-year old machine that finally died, so they might not happen, which is a bummer, but we'll know in a few months.


This last thing, finally...first, I don't know why it came out pink. It's just a phon-a-graph of a book page. The book is called (no caps) bird by bird, and it's by Anne Lamott, and it's basically a writing book my oldest daughter read, and she'd not even into writing, but she reads a lot, and she recommended it to me, and I read it and am showing you the best part. I mean, if you write, the whole thing is good. But this part has its own appeal. You don't need to know the context, but it's true. OK< enough..I know, My build-ups are too long, sorry:

All for now. I'm on vacation, but I still love work.

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