Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Riding on the rims

January 13, 2020

My old bro’ Dr. Schenkenstein practices the mystical art of puncture resolution during a February 2011 ride around Bibleburg.

Do you remember when you learned how to fix a flat?

I don’t. But I’m pretty sure that in my first incarnation as a cyclist I served my time as one of those guys you occasionally see trudging gloomily along, pushing a bike, instead of spending a few moments at roadside swapping tubes and getting back after the riding of the thing.

No doubt some lucky shop handled flats for me until I got “serious” about cycling in the mid-Eighties. I didn’t have any mentors, or friends who were deeply into the sport, so I read every bike magazine and book I could lay my hands on and got my basic training and maintenance tips from a distance as I moved around from job to job, town to town, Pueblo to Colorado Springs to Denver to Española to Santa Fe, where I finally joined my first club and started taking instruction the hard way.

Flats, it seemed, were part of the price of admission to the game. You want to play? You got to pay. It’s like taking your pulls, or sharing food, water and kit as circumstances dictate. Sooner or later you have to give it up. Patch it up. Whatevs.

It’s no big deal. Unless you have been seduced by what the engineers call “progress,” fixing a flat on the fly is not rocket surgery or brain science. Open the brake caliper, flip the quick release, remove the wheel, pry off the bead, remove the old tube, check to make sure that whatever violated its integrity is no longer in the tire, install the new tube, inflate, replace the wheel, close the QR and caliper, stuff the flat tube in a jersey pocket, and get on about your business. Easy peasy. Even the Irish can manage it.

Of course, they’d have to make a short story out of it. Perhaps a song. Or maybe a podcast.

A podcast?

Yes, yes, yes — pull out your patch kits and push in the earbuds, it’s time for another thumb-fingered edition of Radio Free Dogpatch.

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with an Audio-Technica AT2035 microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder. I altered the recording setup a bit, breaking out an old Auray reflection filter to help isolate the large-diaphragm condenser mic, then edited the hot mess using Apple’s GarageBand on the 13-inch 2014 MacBook Pro. The background music is “Out of Step” and “In His Own Way” from Zapsplat.com. The rim shot is from xtrgamr at Freesound.org, which also supplied the pop! (gniffelbaf) and the squeaky chain (Jamesrodavidson), because you just know that a pro like me would never, ever have a squeaky chain. Yeah, right.

The doors of perception

May 2, 2019

The’ hell is that? Jon Snow lopping the noggins off wights? The Night King riding Viserion to battle like Robert Duvall in a Huey? Melisandre lighting it up? Nope. Just Maester O’Grady taking a picture of his TV in the dark.

And now, for something completely different. …

If you thought Sunday’s epic battle between the dead and living seemed a little, well, dark, even for “Game of Thrones,” you’re not alone. But before you dash out to buy a new TV, attend ye to the wisdom of Maester Devin Coldewey at TechCrunch (h/t Jason Snell at Six Colors).

Speaking of the walking dead, Matthew Butterick (h/t John Gruber at Daring Fireballhas a few words to say over the lumbering carcasses of the typographical foot soldiers employed so far by the Democratic candidates for president. The lede? It kills:

“You cannot bore people into buying your product,” according to David Ogilvy. So true. Nevertheless, election season arrives, and radical boredom inevitably becomes the preferred strategy for most candidates. Let’s have a look at the typography anyhow.

And yes, today’s headline is drawn from William Blake via Aldous Huxley and Jim Morrison.