Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Paring Down: Less Is More (Expensive)

You know those pleasant moments of reflection when you're riding a bike and you think to yourself, "Hey, life is actually pretty darned good"?  Well, it isn't.  Actually, your life is falling apart.  And you're falling apart.  For one thing, you probably have too much stuff:

Yes, as a reader informs me, people who write for newspapers continue to discover and be seduced by the pseudo-philosophy of "minimalism:"


When a man named Andrew Hyde began an adventure in minimalism, he only owned 15 things. It eventually moved to 39 and now it sits around 60. It all started when he decided to take a trip around the world and sell everything he didn’t need. As Mr. Hyde noted on his blog, it changed his life after a brief period of befuddlement:

I’m so confused by this. When we were growing up, didn’t we all have the goal of a huge house full of things? I found a far more quality life by rejecting things as a gauge of success.
Actually, I didn't have the goal of a huge house full of things.  It just so happens my goal was to become a fakir and live in a cave suspended by flesh hooks.  In fact, I actually did live in a cave suspended by flesh hooks for a time, but I got tired of having to swing pendulum-like every time I wanted something out of the fridge, and so I finally caved (that's a little fakir humor) and bought a sofa. Anyway, what's so impressive about "only" having 60 things?  That's actually a lot of things.  You could have 30 tuxedos, 20 Mercedes Benzes, and five solid-gold toilets, and you're still coming in at well under 60 things.  Most revealing though was this sentence:

I found a far more quality life by rejecting things as a gauge of success.
I'm not sure if he means he's "rejecting things as a gauge of success," or if he's "rejecting things as a gauge of success."  I suspect it's the latter, because as a wealthy person you have the luxury of not having to own stuff.  It's like boasting about how you don't own a bunch of kitchen appliances because you just dine out every day, or bragging about how you don't own a car because a limo just fetches you  whenever you need to get to the airport.

Nevertheless, the writer of the article was clearly impressed:


When I came across his original story of only owning 15 items, I was so inspired I immediately went home and found 15 things to give away. Most of these things were clothes that I had long since stopped wearing, but I held on them because . . . well, just because. In fact I have no idea why I still had a tie I hadn’t worn in four years or a shirt that no longer fit.


He may have no idea why he had a shirt that no longer fit, but to me the reason is obvious: he got fatter.  Sometimes having a bunch of clothes you never wear isn't a sign that you need to become a minimalist. Sometimes it just means you need more exercise.

In any case, your life is falling apart because you have too much stuff, and you're falling apart because, as another reader informs me, you're drinking crappy ice:


No, it’s not because water is getting scarce, it’s because Haute ice often takes more time to make than the finished drink. A top San Francisco pub built a cocktail using 18-year old single malt scotch and slow melting Glace Luxury Ice crafted from bubble-free, double distilled water.

Shocked and appalled that I've been drinking sub-par solid-state water, I visited the website of the Gläce Luxury Ice Co., which I hope is an elaborate hoax:


Here's what I learned:

Gläce is a meticulously designed and differentiated drink-ice product.  A 'perfectly spherical', 2.5" diameter ice product designed to occupy the top position in the premium ice market.  The presence of minerals, additives and other pollutants found in artesian sources may contaminate the taste of premium liquors and drinks.  That's why Gläce is made with purified water to ensure its tasteless quality.

I had no idea there even was a "premium ice market," which shows you what a rube I am.  Foolishly, I'd just been using an ice recipe that's been in my family for generations.  Here's that recipe if you want it:

--Water
--Coldness
--Time

You can also add a little cream cheese for texture.  But use the homemade stuff at your own risk, because bootleg ice is liable to give you cancer:

Traditional machine-ice, generally made with local tap water, can contain upwards of 150 impurities and carcinogens, resulting in poor tasting and potentially unhealthy ice.  In contrast, Gläce Ice is an engineered product protected in a resealable package, ensuring a sanitary chain of custody from origin to enjoyment.  As a premium, branded product, Gläce Ice provides a unique, consistent experience for the consumer who demands the best.

That's why I went ahead and ordered 50 spheres of premium ice product for the low price of $325:


Scoff if you will, but Gläce is the Chris King headset of ice--if Chris King headsets were made of frozen water and melted at room temperature.

And you don't have to take my word for it--just listen to this douchebag who's quoted on their website:

Gläce “is an amazing product for me,” said Jeff Carrillo, of Los Angeles, with respect to marketing his high-end water to celebrities.  Ed Hardy Structured Water offers a better taste and more
health benefits than other stuff you would pour into your glass, Carrillo said. And Sequeira’s luxury ice helps Carrillo make the point, when he’s pouring his water at a celebrity party, that his isn’t your average agua.

“It’s the best invention ever,” Carrillo said. “Roberto is so smart. It’s like, whoever thought you could make ice better?”

Wait, "structured water?"  Sure:



Ed Hardy structured water is natural alkalized calcium ionized living water and is treated with reverse osmosis for maximum purity as well as infra-red stimulation and electromagnetism to create the best (+) positively charged hexagonally shaped structured water ever.   By using their proprietary technology they are able to break up the larger molecules into smaller hexagonally shaped and now STRUCTURED MOLECULES, which are much more easily absorbed by the cells inside our bodies. The absorption rate of hexagonally shaped structured water molecules is a much as four (4) times more efficient than water that is not structured, which enables you to drink less water while achieving hydration faster and more efficiently. Whether young or old, professional athlete or common everyday person, everybody can benefit from Ed hardy Structured Water, which was created with some of the most important ingredients of all: lots and lots of love, care and positive energy.

You'll be happy to know my toilet is running entirely on natural akalized calcium ionized living water that has been treated with reverse osmosis now.  If flushes like a dream, and every bathroom visit is like relieving yourself into the mouth of an angel.

I'm just glad nobody uses this sort of language to sell bikes:



FACT IS 11R CARBON

WHAT High-modulus carbon aero frame utilizing our most advanced carbon construction method.
WHY Gives the Venge the best Complete Performance package of light weight, stiffness, and aerodynamics.
HOW Each tube and junction has been optimized for maximum stiffness and minimum weight, while maintaining aerodynamic advantage. For instance, head tube assembly is extra wide at crown for increased stiffness but remains narrow at the waist and tapers quickly to airfoil shape for weight savings and aero advantage. And, we employed stiffening plies of our highest modulus carbon in strategic areas throughout the front triangle to further increase torsional stiffness.

In case you're unfamiliar with cycling jargon, "optimized" is another way of saying "put together."  For example, here is a bicycle with tubing that has been "optimized:"


And here is a bicycle with tubing that has been "de-optimized:"


Generally speaking, you want the "optimized" kind.  Also, spend plenty of money to get the lightest bike you can, because that way it will hurt you less when someone throws it at you, as forwarded by yet another reader:



Here's what happened:

Patrick was speeding eastbound in the 700 block of East 13th Street when he ran the stop sign at Arlington Avenue, swerved and struck a male victim riding his bicycle on the north side of the street, according to the arrest affidavit.

Patrick then backed the van up to where the victim was on the ground, got out of the vehicle and approached the victim, the affidavit says.

The victim thought Patrick was going to help him when he saw him get out of the van, the affidavit says. Instead, Patrick picked up the broken bicycle and threw it back down on the victim, the affidavit says.

Patrick then punched the victim in the face, kicked him once and drove off, the affidavit says.

Fortunately it happened in Iowa, because if this were New York City the cyclist would have been ticketed for bleeding on the sidewalk.

Meanwhile, the industrious people of Portland have come up with a new way to quantify their smugness:



Portland Adds Nation's First Bike Counter to Hawthorne Bridge from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Whereas still another reader has spotted a new way to secure your bike:


Either that, or it's a very poorly thought-out chain tensioner.

106 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wohoo!

Anonymous said...

Optimized victory! Herbal remedy.

Anonymous said...

POOO DIUM

Anonymous said...

Damn... podium any ways. Herbal remedy.

Mike in Dallas said...

I love the padlocks. And I have one less of everything that would take for me to be divorced...

JB said...

Chodium chaser

McFly said...

I like just a little bit of hair on top of my muffin....

singlespeedwaster said...

The podium was too securely locked for me to ride it away

mikeweb said...

Iced it!

McFly said...

I thought you meant the cave itself was suspended by flesh-hooks. Which would pretty cool. IF THIS CAVES-A-ROCKIN'.......

theEel said...

weed.

JD0g said...

Whoo, top te..
crap!

babble on said...

How's it hanging, big boy?

Hyde may have found a far more quality of life, but he didn't find the key to correct grammar anywhere...

Must be on ice.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

woosh-not

wishiwasmerckx said...

How many ways can you bind two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom to form dihydrogen oxide?

Apparently, I have been doing it wrong all this time, resulting in slant parallelograms instead of hexagrams.

If somebody tries to sell you octagramateous water, run the other way, because it will give you terrible gas pains.

Buffalo Bill said...

Relieving yourself into an angels mouth. Sounds kind of dirty.

Kenny Banya said...

“It’s the best invention ever,” Carrillo said.

Gold Carrillo, GOLD!

Anonymous said...

I would have tried harder to get a placing, but when I search for "bike snob" on strava nothing shows up.

Anonymous said...

Top XX??

Now to go vote in the primary....

Anonymous said...

I always thought that distilled water gave you the shits.

butt said...

"it’s because Haute ice often takes more time to make than the finished drink." WTF? ALL ICE TAKES MORE TIME TO MAKE THAN IT DOES TO CURATE A DRINK.

leroy said...

My dog opines that too much has been written about minimalism.

But he assures me he doesn't mean BSNYC.

Anonymous said...

@ butt

I think he was referring to the 18 year old whiskey.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

i thought for sure you'd tie the structured water review into a performance enhancing drug... but instead you just put it in your toilet.

Anonymous said...

Minimalists are like those people who brag about not having a television, but spend 22 hours a day posting about their latest B. M. on Facebook.

butt said...

@anon 12:42

then this (http://bit.ly/3uYkaJ) must be the haute-est ice around, although these hipster scientists prefer the core over the sphere.

i wonder how much a tube of this costs? and how many drinks could a mixologist curate from a single core? fuck. i'm on it. i am moving to los angeles and opening a artisan drinking establishment in just a minute. i will call it: the mioscene. look for my kickstarter soon.

Etherhuffer said...

Like regular water is teaming with giardia, e.coli, vibrio cholera, etc. Gads, seems like people want to make money on absolutely anthing OTHER than real work.

CommieCanuck said...

CommieCo has been selling a similar product for years, it's a hydrogen oxide solid that mysteriously turns to liquid at room temperature, yet can be taken internally. When used with the Q-Ray bracelet, it can cure erectile dysfunction (the label has a picture of Asa Akira foffing off).

In short, there is no shortage of ideas for getting money out of fucking idiots.

CommieCanuck said...

Fact:

Ice was originally invented in 1592 by the Dutch drink curator, Johan Tobais Ice.

Jimboner said...

"every bathroom visit is like relieving yourself into the mouth of an angel"

Snobtastic!

Ryan P. Finnegan said...

Snob,

In taking Friday's quiz, I came across the post for Stanley Wiggin's bike sale. I'm pretty sure that isn't ol' Stan's chariot, because he rides an O-Symmetric chain ring. Anyone that has ever watched a OLN/Versus/NBC Sports broadcast would have surely heard the old British chaps talk about his unique chain ring at some point. Check it out: http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/07/news/tour-pro-bike-bradley-wiggins-pinarello-dogma2-a-bike-that-flies_230060 .

Drink said...

FAKR JACK

Anonymous said...

Just wait till I drop my new track: I Piss Excellence (into the mouths of angels)

I thought haute-ice was street slang for a new performance enhancing amphetamine.

McFly said...

Minimalists like buying artisinal ice because it melts away to water then evaporates back up into the sky like so much Wednesday smoke and adds to their collective smugness.

Anonymous said...

ICEB ALLS

mikeweb said...

Interestingly enough, only a little over 100 years ago ice itself was considered a luxury, especially during the summer months.

Until home refrigeration and before that commercial refridgeration were invented, we had to rely on mother nature for our ice. Huge amounts of ice were cut from ponds and lakes in Northern climates during the winter, packed with sawdust, transported to cities and stored in ice houses to be used as long as it would last. Taking this into account, you can imagine how costly ice was to purchase. In the southern U.S. and the tropics, you could be born, live your life and die without ever having consumed a drink with ice cubes in it.

A great-great grand uncle of mine actually started a business to ship and store ice in Florida, but it failed with the invention of commercial refrigeration.

I am a cold engine said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice-nine

Read it, one of Vonneguts best

Why is the diameter of this artisnal ice so important, its going to melt anyways

mikeweb said...

Yeah, I'm SO much fun at parties.

brother yam said...

You'll be happy to know my toilet is running entirely on natural akalized calcium ionized living water

Peasant. I have a töilët. It even makes Gläce.

brother yam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Why don't they have ice in Portland?

They lost the recipe.

But now Snobs hooked then up.

Bill Cooper said...

Bicycle Marketing at it's finest...

Transition's C.O.C.K. and B.A.L.L.S. technology... http://vimeo.com/45041994

wishiwasmerckx said...

I purchase expensive artisinal ice which I then burn and use to wash my balls.

Heavenly!!!

Anonymous said...

All You Haters Ice My Balls

They're sore, I won bronze without a saddle.

Anonymous said...

If I waned to read about artisnal water I would follow the Water Snob NYC who has a different definition of Salmoning.

The Donald said...

I gave away my five solid-gold toilets. So can you, if you learn to harness the power of your douchetastic ego.

Anonymous said...

you gotta wonder at the health benefits of ice cubes/spheres when consuming your 6th cocktail

H2o= SHIT

ashcroftchops said...

$325 for ice? You having a fucking laugh? This Englishman only ever has 100% dog piss in his earl grey! Swears by it even. Ice sellers! "I've shit em!" cunts!

McFly said...

There is a strange connection between Glace balls and cleavage. FACT: The amount of cleavage that drives men batty is 2.500 inches(look it up)...Glace balls are 2.500 inches.....ICED TITS

Anonymous said...

Minimalism:

the smug way to tell everyone that our consumerist culture is both vacuous and unsustainable.

PatrickBateman said...

Would anyone like to join me in a new venture? Using only traditional methods, I would like to hand select the finest materials, optimized for their coveted individual characteristics, to carefully curate an Art-is-Anal Super Laser. The Super Laser will be used for the complete annihilation of any new company, business, or collective that: curates, hand selects, optimizes the finest materials, crafts in a traditional method, or produces anything artisanal.

Anonymous said...

The existence of the artisanal ice and special water businesses are among the strongest arguments I've seen recently for instituting confiscatory taxes on the upper class.

Every year, take 5 percent of all holdings over 10 million dollars. I mean, all they're going to do is spend it on crap like this.

Marcel Da Chump said...

LIKE WATER FOR SMUGNESS

Unknown said...

Love your work mate- keep it up!

Anonymous said...

that lock on the chain thing is pretty ingenious actually.

Dooth said...

you're as smug as Gläce!

you're willing to sacrifice

our love!

frilly said...

Yeah, I keep giving away my clothes too. Not usually the result of a life changing epiphany, more like too much alcohol consumed.

Anonymous said...

"relieving yourself into the mouth of an angel" funny

Anonymous said...

@Etherhuffer said "Gads, seems like people want to make money on absolutely anything OTHER than real work."

Yep, and it pisses me off that I'm doing something close to real work when I could be doing something that's even less like real work.

Anonymous said...

I have like 5 bike seats for two bikes. that doesn't seem very minimal but my taint is happier these days. I would highly recommend the fizik arione versus by the way.

Anonymous said...

man, and i thought my bike commute was bad today. that dude in iowa picked the wrong guy to get run over by. i'm surprised he didnt sodomize him just for good measure.

ervgopwr said...

Since drinks are made with alcohol (esentially a poison to us) why wouldn't you want to make sure your ice is pure. I don't want impurities, I want poison.

Really, though, much simpler:

COLD BEER

In Minneapolis West news: I'm very close to a smugness overload as I will attend a bike facility planning workshop in Portland next week.

My report will not be nearly as exciting as your travels, but my world is small and cubicle bound. Mostly.

Big Charlie said...

Those guys are putting ice in good Scotch?

Boors AND tools.

erikbeng said...

STRUCTURED GOLD!, Snobby!

Rollie said...

Wow, I'm still amazed that you can just outright fuckin LIE like that now. (Ed Hardy) The only way they could possibly improve on it would be to claim it's processed with zabtoids from Rigel 4 and will let you quench FUTURE thirsts.

Invisible Man said...

The irony about the very expensive ice in the whisky, as we Scots know, is that malt whisky tastes far better slightly warm and consequently shouldn't ever have ice added. If you're going to be picky about what you put in it, insist that the few splashes of water come from the same Scottish region where the whisky was distilled.

screaming skull said...

Ed Hardy douched water!

Anonymous said...

I use a padlock through the front gear and around the chain.

Anonymous said...

Frilly, you are spelling Frisky wrong.

C. Koch said...

Once my CommieCo stock options value over $1 bil., I'm going minimalist by moving into the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental and reducing my ownership to 5 items:

An egyptian cotton Dior terry clothe robe, a pair of Manolo Blahnik shower clogs, my cashmere/silk Armani pajama's, the Leer jet, and of course my i-phone 5

Everything else I can lease, rent or borrow; including the angel whose mouth I relieve myself into. Gosh I love Romney's America

Anonymous said...

i bet these kids wouldn't scoff at artisanal ice balls! and they probably ride gold-plated fixed gear bikes while sippin' champers...

http://richkidsofinstagram.tumblr.com/

Quilled and Lugged said...

@ Invisible Man - this is the first time I have agreed with you yet. @ Big Charlie - bloody right, what a waste of good whisky.
Take it straight guys,

crosspalms said...

Chain tool: $10
Chain: $25
New bike ("found" on street): priceless

And if I were a minimalist, that would leave me 57 things (where have I heard THAT before?) to go.

Anonymous said...

You're missing the legal fine point in that bike throwing, WRM. It's not an Iowa vs. NYC thing.

You see, as soon as the van driver got out of his vehicle he lost his privileged status as a driver. He was down to pedestrian level off the bat, but when he laid hands on his victim's bike to throw it he became equivalent to a cyclist in the eyes of God and God's America, and thus criminally liable for anything at any time.

A good lawyer could have told him to just stay in the van and finish the job by backing over the cyclist.

Anonymous said...

@ Mike Webb.
Good! I hated your fucking Uncle.
Fucking dumbass.

Anonymous said...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/12/ironman-athlete-dies-hudson-river-swim_n_1769915.html -H20 themed post deserves ironman2012NYC tridork's lack of swimming skills.I feel bad for jabbing at the death,I'm not the best swimmer my self. Those feet kicked in your face and unsanitary water does take it's toll. THat'S hard price to pay for being type A personality.

Anonymous said...

This just in from sunny Glasgow....

http://instagram.com/p/OURI0PTH_-/

hey nonny mouse

leroy said...

I used to enjoy watching paint dry.

Now I enjoy watching ice deconstruct.

I love to work at nothing all day.

Hot Carl Upper Decker said...

Have I got a surprise for yous guyz.

Anonymous said...

hey snob - any thoughts on this?

http://www.youtube.com/user/levis?v=FEFxr6Y4bHw

Admiral Douchebag said...

For a second I thought the chain had been crossed to create a "reverse 20-speed." Its the new singlespeed don't-ya-know.

The Ed Hardy faux-chemistry can only be described as fraud. Or perhaps as one of the most masterful trolling efforts ever "curated." I defy anyone with even the most basic understanding of chemistry to read it without twitching.

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting to see if any Eskimos are buying this stuff. Yeah, I know they are Inuit, but old clichés die hard.

Spence said...

Minimus trail running shoes from New Balance helped get me running again, so there, minimalism works! Fire that up in your pipe!

Anonymous said...

Furthermore, that description of what crabon they use around the headtube had echoes of the old Kraft process cheese commercial where Mr. Kraft finds out that one of his junior employees did not use "our best cheese".

Well at least I think so.

Anonymous said...

euro version of levi's commuter trousers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukXVwvgN2PI&feature=relmfu

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmhiWaOgLUA&feature=relmfu

...more for your pants yabbies.

Admiral Douchebag said...

I wonder what Cipo's up to today.

philip williamson said...

Structured water and no proofreader. I guess they spend their ducats on engineers. Worthless comma in the Venge hyperbole, too. Those things just slow you down.

Anonymous said...

Snob, you fool.
Your familys ice recipe is so out dated.
In my family we have curated "slöw freeze" for years. The point is to freeze the wäter slowly in an +1 C (34 F)environment.
10 years on, we are still waiting for our supreme ice.

Ray said...

In case you forget your old family recipe -
http://www.food.com/recipe/ice-cubes-420398

(read the reviews)

Anonymous said...

sanitary chain of custody from origin to enjoyment - awesome

Anonymous said...

Ma bouche est pleine de Gläce.

Anonymous said...

So artesianal is no longer artisanal?

Anonymous said...

Dead last, BOOSH!

Nebraska Bike Commuter (non DWI edition) said...

Re: twice padlocked chain bike. That's pretty spendy looking wheel for a '70s AMF/Huffy/whatever frame. Fortunately, there is no tool on earth that can break that chain so the quick-release wheel can be easily dropped out of the frame.

Vogel said...

Dont know if anyone has seen this: http://vimeo.com/43038579

apparently about designing an invisible bicycle helmet.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of any Scotch aficionado who would dare pour it over ice. Sacrilege...

The Commentariat said...

Frilly, the comment board is still all atwitter from the last time we saw your BRA.

wishiwasmerckx said...

99th...

wishiwasmerckx said...

...and 100th!

Salty and Sore said...

Yes, okay, but was he wearing a helment?

marielle murray said...

I would agree with you.

biking Philippines

Salty and Sore said...

@philipwilliamson-

Commas are not worthless! How dare you bully the wee ones like that!

They are each, special, little snowflakes that have their own, unique value.

Luckily, they already know this because their mommies (;) and daddies (:) told them so.

samuel johnson said...

when one is tired of wiggo's asymmetric ring, one is tired of life

Bonkwhatnow? said...

I'm gonna start wearing one of those little Canadian flags on my left lapel so people take me seriously when I spout verbal turds.

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