The main Rivendell serious blog is the BLUG. This one, the Blahg, lets me get the garbage out, whatever it is. Speaking of garbage, here's is a depressing garbage-related story. It'll make you glad or grateful for something, I don't know the particulars.
There is one fellow in it with an unfortunate last name, but the whole story is...argh, yes, depressing.
Kids don't do poetry anymore, at least rarely in school, where, in the olden days it was normal for 4th graders to have to memorize a poem and recite it to the class, and then had to follow that up with an original poem that they'd have to turn in for a grade.
The internet has killed certain parts of poetry, like reading it during down time or to unwind, because a screen that changes and offers answers and delights often enough to keep you locked in like an elderly human at a slot machine, and leaves no time to struggle with unfamiliar rhythm and vocabulary, like this, from Edgar A. Poe's Ulalume:
The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crispéd and sere—
It was night in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year;
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
In the misty mid region of Weir—
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.
I bet you blasted through that, at best, and probably didn't even do that. It's old and weird and tends to make you feel modern-dumb for not knowing exactly what "sere" is, and then he rhymes Auber with Auber and Weir with Weir, and we haven't heard of either of those places. Plus, it's like he wrote the second line and then thought the third line should have replaced it, but he ended up keeping both. I believe this is the most difficult-to-memorize verse in all English poetry. If any of you has memorized Ulalume already or can do it in a week, you win a 30 percent discount off of anything, but this is limited to one winner, and you'll have to prove it by sending a video of yourself reciting it blindfolded with no buds in your ears, by June 18.
It's almost passive-aggressive, but the point is to get you to lookup the poem and read it, anyway. This is not the only verse, it's just the first one.
Bike rides are a good time to memorize poetry. You rig your bike like this:
or, once you get to the point where you just need prompts and not the whole line:
The thing is, if you ride your bike solo a lot with nobody to talk to and on roads or trails you're familiar with and don't need to concentrate on, it's a good opportunity to do this stuff. It doesn't have to be poetry. It could be the Gettysburg Address—only 302 words, I think—or song lyrics, or whatever you want. It makes the time pass, etc.
Although the internet IN GENERAL is killing poetry, not always. This woman, Yrsa Daley Ward, got famous on the internet with poems like these, and now has a book of poems, called Bone. She specializes, I read somewhere, in troubling topics. Whatever, though, huh? The news is troubling...
and then this one:
These aren't right down my own personally poetry/lyrical style, but they have gumption, don't they? And without the internet she'd have had a hard time bringing her poetry out, so in her case the internet worked for poetry.
I constantly think about what Rivendell is doing or should be doing, and its future and who will be here after me, or nobody, and what'll become of the people who work here now, and how will they think of their time here. I plan to work another 7 years or so, but I want to think we're not a flash in the pan. I know it's not cleaning up India, but for a bike business it's good, because we try hard and don't cheat or lie, and we take everybody's problems or questions seriously no matter how small. A few times a year we may mess up on something---somebody sends a gift and it lands in the middle of super hubub and doesn't get acknowledge promptly or may even be forgotten, and it feels really crappy. Sometimes there's miscommunication or offense that just erupts out and wasn't intended that way but got took that way.
I wanted to do a Sheikh-themed something, involving helicopters and parachutes, but was talked out of it. Are Sheikhs super bad? Or is it the theming them that's offensive? The intent was to make a point, but not a pro-oppression point. Like, if sheikhs fly in to an event or unveiling or something, it's got to be big, right?
But...I don't know, but we won't show a bunch of sheikhs, that's for sure. One, maybe.
Bigfoot talking with Stephen Hawking. Is that bad? "It depends on the context," some might say, but in what context would it be fine, and in what, bad?
"Stick to bikes!" ? Nothing we do or nothing I think about doing that seems not related to bikes detracts from the effort we put in to the bikes. None of the money you spend at Rivendell supports projects that involve things that seem, on the surface, to have nothing to do with bikes, but actually do, in ways that sometimes are almost invisible. It's all support in some ways. A line or verse of poetry that is as amazing now as it was 150+ years ago when it was written contributes at least grains of sand to bikes that are confidently different in 2018. And in 2019, we have two more coming, and watch out...
Last week I was interviewed. I think it's about 30 minutes of actual interview.
We are working, not full-time, on two new bikes for 2019, at opposite ends, but both right in line. I missed out on the Frank Jones Sr bike and I really wanted one, but that's not a reason for us to do another single-speeder. You CAN single-speed any of our bikes just by locking the derailer under the cog you want and disconnecting the shifter cable, but most people want to both remove all temptation to hook it up again and to flaunt their commitment. The Frank is such a beautiful bike, though, and we had those dropouts made just for it, so maybe a less beautiful but cheaper still good version, done as a Rosco Bubbe.
In making the Billie Bar (our current most popular), Nitto used a different process that resulted in a grip diameter of less than the targeted 22.2mm. All things still fit in and on it, but there was one instance where a guy's brake lever slipped a little--not in a dangerous way. I couldn't duplicate that here, but it happened. If you got one of those and it bugs you, we'll square up with a new bar when we get them in. But here's a favor: Don't do it just on principle. Do it only if it's a problem either on the bar (unlikely) or truly in your head. We won't question anything, and this is just an idea/favor.
Speaking of Things That May Offend again, here's a rain-gauge that yes it really works, made entirely of car parts by Scott, who's next door to us, for his sister, who oddly enough has an even bigger auto-repair place in a nearby town, so is his competition in that regard.
This coming weekend Mark and i and possibly Rich will be in Portland at John's RIVELO shop. It's the Third Anniversary, replete with hot dogs and music. It's possible that Mark Nobilette (our custom builder) will be there, too. RIVELO is a super neat store in an out-of-the-way place by the Tillukum bridge or something like that. If you're around go there and buy a few things if you eat any hotdogs, for sure, but even if you don't. John is a major Rivendell stockist, as they say in England. "Stockist" is one of those things they say in England should stay there. "Gobsmacked," is another. I wonder if in England there are expressions borrowed from America that come off the same. Oh--"petrol" is another. What do we have?—"rad, dude,"? "Hey, bro.."? Any of you English blokes who want to weigh in, PM me or comment, but I don't look at the comments. Dave does, tho.
------ a few pictures, then I'm out of here---
Cleaning nickels with flaming alcohol.
On a ride in the hills recently, I ran into former Riv part-timer Doug, riding his Romulus with click-in shoes and 25mm slicks. The typical bike in this park is a full-suspension job.
Mark sees more bobcats than anybody within 300 miles. This one, on a recent ride.
My ultimate dream meal: Liver and sauerkraut with some mustard and ketchut. Remember "catsup." the other way? I think manufacturers should go back to that spelling, at least for a few months to try out.
Manny, local famous rider, usually overloads his Sam Hillborne, but this time rode a Clem L he and his wife share. Manny can make any bag work on any bike. That's a Large SaddleSack. We have two left, and then that's it. I will buy one of them on Thursday if we still have one.
MORE ATLANTIS FRAMES due the week of the 17th, and they'll be the last of them for the year. On the same shipment, new BLUE basket nets. They seem trivial, but baskets are not trivial, and these are super good nets for them, made to our specs and all.
A few orange ROADINI frames are coming in July. It's a small shipment, and Blue Lug is getting ten of them, so it's even smaller after that. We'll have like...6 in each size, and that'll be it for the year.
Here are the links again, in case you forgot:
depresssing India story:
internet poetry sensation Yrsa Daley Ward:
BONUS link, about making rims by extrusion: