Powdercoat: Emerald Kilo

My bike is refreshed anew.

Seattle Powdercoat did the finish, a two stage coat by Cardinal finishes named “Sparkling Granny Smith Green.” It’s a base green with gold metal flecks covered with a second clear coat to give it the depth and smoothness of paint.

It’s fantastic.

Oddly enough, the same day I chose my color and dropped off my frame, bikeforums user Gonathan85 dropped his frame off… and three hours after I had chosen my color, reported that he had chosen the same color.

I rode the piss out of the bike on GoMeansGo’s 9-5 solstice ride: a scavenger hunt that takes place on the shortest night of the year. I put close to 55 miles on the bike and realized the saddle and bars were limiting. Great on a track or sprint, not so great over poorly paved urban roads. On Monday I remedied that by picking up a used set of Ritchey Pro Biofit ergonomic road drop bars and an old Vetta Gel Turbo saddle. The saddle’s a great shape for my posterior, but the foam and covering are on their last legs. Whatever, it was five dollars… and if it rips to shreds in a few months at least I learned Turbo saddles fit me very well.

I took it out that night for the Monday Muscle ride. We did 35 miles around Alki to West Seattle and back. I was extremely pleased with the saddle and bars on the (shorter) trip. Much improved hand and wrist comfort and the saddle seems to support my sit bones a little better.

It was a great night.

I wrapped the bars with fizik microtex tape- which is also gonathan’s choice and again, my purchase predated his posting by about three hours. I think we’re the same person on different quantum wavelengths.

In addition to the finish and bar/saddle upgrades, I picked up a Knog Boomer taillight. This thing is AMAZING. It’s a one watt LED like the famed planet bike superflash, but it has more patterns and a brilliant Knog form factor and attachment loop, for easy mounting on either of my bikes. I’m in love with it.

However, not all is roses and daisies in my biking exploits. It’s summer here in Seattle, and today was a scorcher. My attire is lacking in the ‘keep my cool’ department.
Because of this, I’m having a severe case of “want but can’t afford” a lightweight short version of the swrve knickers I blogged about so lovingly earlier. These shorts are made of a sweet and light fabric and would be amazing on my thighs during these hot days.

http://www.swrvestore.com/servlet/Detail?no=152

Not to mention, as part of their blk label collection, they have a very sexy cut and featureset including a reflective buckle loop and extra u-lock pocket. Lust.

I will have to wait for these until I’m gainfully employed. Going to make that happen soon.

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Pinstriped Running Tights

Pinstripe looks great on a suit, or a hat, or a smart chic garment of any nature.

As long as that nature is not “exercise.”

Cmon, lady.

Aside from such material things, I’ve been pretty disappointingly lazy of late. I need to get a move on. More routine and urgency is called for.

My bike is going through some major cosmetic surgery. It’s going to look off the HOOK. Can’t wait to get it all together and photograph the piss out of it.

Ideas, plus Cycles.

Consider this a journal entry.

I’ll try to fit a picture or two in somewhere.

I’ve been reading a wonderful book Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford. In it he chronicles the rise of industrialization and many, many other trends in work and society. It’s a great book, and I have been enjoying it.

However, tonight for the first time I’ve been extremely annoyed with it. At the start of chapter seven, he starts explaining something through a story that I find very silly. He talks about how ill formed the conception of knowledge is in western thought by talking about the platonic ideal… but he does this by talking about socrates in the Aristophanes play clouds and he doesn’t actually address the Platonic Ideal at all, so it’s very confusing and dumb sounding… which is rhetorically his point —  but it’s tiresome to read. He is calling platonic ideals a “universal knowledge” which is more grandiose-sounding than he would likely elect for it. It does a good job of explaning and acquainting these concepts succintly, but for someone who knows what the fuck he’s on about it’s frustrating to read many words that point, fumblingly and with cumbersome imprecision, to concepts I believe myself to already understand, as least basely ‘universally.’

He continues to discuss causal reality, but through the guise of ‘interest’ and subject-object relationships. Among such subjects are a hammer and a beautiful stranger. I’m writhing in my chair to keep Madonna out of my head. Guh.

This is, of course, a perfectly functional intro-primer to an otherwise enjoyable, funny, poignant chapter when viewed on the whole. But for someone who has taken a few courses of philosophy, it was annoying to hear it discussed in such barstool eloquence. It just surprised me, because for a book which has filled seven chapters with somewhat dumbed-down content, this was the first time I felt I was being talked down to. Shit, I felt like he was telling a five year old a magical story to set up for some moral lesson.

Finally, on page 168, he co-opts another’s language in a huge block quote and completely ignores the context of the argument he refutes, in a falsely proud rhetoric of accomplished victory. He says “(tacit knowledge can result in) intuitive judgements of complex systems … (that) are sometimes richer than can be captured by any set of algorithms.”

I view mathematics to be a language, and language simply as the distillation and communication of knowledge. The set of algorithms that could replicate such intuitive judgements would likely be more complex than any person alive could fathom, and would likely need to include a distillation of concepts of conciousness we have not yet discovered… but to say it’s not possible to distill one particular type of knowledge into one particular type of language, especially mathematics, is silly. He didn’t say it couldn’t be done currently, he said it couldn’t be done period. This is why I felt it was a disastrously myopic, miscalculated argument.

Or maybe it’s not. I don’t know. I just feel like his distrust of computational thought is a little crass and careless. Specifically because, we don’t know that the mind is NOT simply computational, with influences we cannot measure or have not discovered yet. He states that that idea is falling out of favor, but doesn’t go into why and doesn’t give the whole concept due credit.

Science is just a way of understanding things, and what makes it so gloriously beautiful, so eminently brilliant… so justly and wonderfully REAL is the simple fact that it accommodates for, and often actively seeks out, additional complexity or revisions of knowledge. If we discover, through science, another influence on how a brain thinks, such a discovery can equally reinforce or diminish the idea of intellectual technology that he spits so sourly on. Knowledge, through science most admirably but also through his precious ‘tacit’ understanding, can become more complex to incorporate such judgments.  Understandings have been, historically and most convincingly through science, turned from tacit to explicit knowledge.

Just because we don’t know everything about a particular thing, like a skilled expert’s decision making judgments, doesn’t mean we know nothing about them. It just means we may not have all the pieces of the puzzle yet.

But enough of that.

In other news, my bike is at the powdercoaters, being colored a brilliantly chipper metallic green, like sunshone grass or ferocious leaves on young trees. I’m excited. It’s a deep, two coat process of first a metallic green and then a clear… so it should look sufficiently ‘wet’ and deep to replicate the look of a nice paint job all while being harder, thicker, and more resilient than paint. It is costing a considerable amount and I can’t really afford it, so I feel bad about it… but not bad enough to quit loving and being excited for it.

This green is the kind of green you see in the eyes of a girl who puts emeralds to shame with her gaze. It’s a bright, lively green that eminates from the freshest and most lush of nature’s bounties. It’s sexy in the way fingertips tracing lines across flesh are sexy. It beckons. I have always loved green, in a strange, mysterious way. Darker than mint but more brilliant and jazzy than grass. It’s called sparkling apple green. It’s a warm green. Very yellow, similar to a snake but deeper. I am so excited.

Because I’m broke I’ll have to simply clean my parts and rebuild it with my existing black components. The current groupo splashes with gold cranks and white rims, while the black post stem saddle and wheel hardware plays a shadow act to the silver pedals and bars. I may enrelish the steed with some doublestraps for the pedals, and rewrap the bars with some black or brown tape I have lying around… but the real lovely changes I want to make will have to wait. For the sake of  cohesion, I have the option of switching to black bars and pedals(well, mostly black pedals anyways) with a gold brake… but part of what I love about my kilo is that it looks so sexy as a subtle, new-techy track bike.

I do want to reequip the frame with a slew of new parts. If I had the money I would give it a full boutique offering.

Namely, a King or campy headset, silver Thomson components, Phil hubs, an Arione saddle, and some nicer rims, likely mavics. All of that is far too expensive though for now. I can’t help but think the bike would really pop with all silver components including polished rims and bars, accompanied by white phil hubs, white grips, and a white saddle. I’m kind of done with the black bike parts thing.

Speaking of bikes, here’s photos from a trip to Alki today. I had a great time with these three chaps.

I’ll leave you with a quote that just oozes attitude. It’s something I find myself echoing at least in spirit often lately…

“Yeah, that sounds like a whole thing. I’m not into it.” – Dennis, Always Sunny.

Things I can’t believe

I’ve been having a lot of musing thoughts lately. I’ve seen some stuff I just can’t believe.

One is a picture I found in a flickr group from a cheap, manual focus 85mm 1.4 prime lens, which I’ve heard is a great lens. This picture wasn’t very well edited, or really artistically composed, but it wasn’t a terrible picture either. The photographer had to know what he/she was doing at least in a competency sense. It was more the focus that made my jaw drop.

There were three little girls in this picture, probably age 10 or so… and only two were in focus. The third, two or three feet back of the focus plane on the left side of the image, obviously had Down’s syndrome. The other two were in perfect focus. All three were smiling warmly, but the photographer decided it would be great to use the wide aperture of this super fast MF lens to throw the Downs kid completely out of focus. It’s not like an AF lens where the camera can just lock onto one subject, usually in the center of the frame or at a particular AF point, and the photographer doesn’t really think, “oh, I didn’t mean to focus just on that.”

And it wasn’t like she was only a little out of focus… no, she was blurred out like bigfoot in some idiot campervan conspiracy theorist’s “valuable collectible” photo album. Not out of focus enough to disguise the fact that this girl was different from the other two, but so blurry you couldn’t tell which way she was looking, or how many nostrils she had. (Sorry, I saw an episode of How I Met Your Mother last night.)

This was a manual focus lens that was determinedly focused in front of the Down’s girl and got not one, but two other subjects… all other subjects… in stunningly sharp focus. I was in disbelief.

Talk about a picture saying a thousand words… this was an orated epic poem composed of slurs and bigotry.

Another thing I thought was funny…

In a particular commercial, I recognized that someone made the choice to leave three letters of a determined order visible when obscuring the trademark on a bike frame in a McDonald’s commercial. The commercial is talking about their frozen sugar drinks… sorry, frozen coffee drinks… and features, toward the end, an attractive couple, male and female, who had been displaced onto an aerobed in the study so their in-laws could sleep in their bedroom. That was their justification for drinking sugar-coffee.

Personally, if I’m sleeping in a less-than-ideal situation for a temporary amount of time, I’d rather have a McSedative. I’ll have the Ambien Frappe, please.

Nevermind that you just blatantly coopted your (much better in every sense of the word, employee treatment and product quality, namely) competitor’s nickname for the drink you’re copying, I’m more amused that the one thing in the scene with any recognizable text, beyond the drinks the models are holding, is noneother than:

A late-model Specialized Allez road bike. It’s not brand new, but it’s no more than a few years old and it’s very striking, propped behind the inflatable bed wearing its striking red and white party dress.

Allez means ‘let’s go!’ in French, but when you cover up all letters of both marks besides:

LEZ

it means something completely different, in homophobic street speak. Way to go, America!

Also, the bike is the larger, and presumably the male’s steed. Which means that the husband is riding a Lez. Which means in-laws invading his bedroom are probably the least of his marital worries.

I’m just surprised at that decision, not really in disbelief.

The world is evil.

I’ve been shooting a lot of film lately. I need a scanner so I can show you more than the store-processed images from the Black Slim Devil I love so much.

I also have a roll of Velvia 50 and a roll of HP5 or two from the F100 which are… quite sharable, in my summation.

I really like film. I think people should take fewer snapshots, and focus on making photographs. At least, that’s what I feel I should do.