I love living in the future. Technology is fantastic. Remember pencils? Seriously, how fucking stupid were they?
Have you ever forgotten your sharpener and had to resort to chipping away the wood with your fingernail? And don't even get me started on the Erasermate.
I'm not saying you don't still need to write on paper once in awhile. Of course you do. It's just that if you're going to do it you should treat it like the special occasion that it is by using something like a steampunk pen:
Or even a quill pen:
In places like Brooklyn and Portland, quill pens are the new MacBook. Walking into a cafe in Prospect heights is now like stepping into the Constitutional Convention, and the barista can hardly hear your order over all the scratching.
I wonder what kind of writing implement Pete Hamill's brother uses to pen his limp anti-bike lane screeds. Probably some overblown reminder that he's from Old Brooklyn, like a stickball bat dipped in marinara sauce. By the way, returning to his column this morning to see if it was as stupid as I remembered it (it was), I couldn't help noticing the following testament to The Daily News's formidable editorial skills:
Here's a closer look:
He was lives, now he is dies. And so goeth the circle of life and grammar.
[Update: I also see according to item #7 that a Parke Avenue penthouse sold for big money. Where's Parke Avenue?]
Speaking of Ed Koch, since this is sort of a bike blog, I should note that he did have an interesting and disparate relationship with the bicycle during his time in office--from opening bike lanes in Manhattan in 1980:
To closing them a month later and ultimately unveiling the Midtown Bike Ban in 1987:
I'm certainly not trying to pee-pee on his legacy the day after he's passing; it's just an interesting chapter in New York City cycling history that's worth noting, especially given all the current bike lane bickering and the ever-present possibility that municipal support from them will wane. If you're one of the two or three people who also find New York City cycling history interesting, you may also enjoy this article from way back in 1971:
Here's then-Congressman Koch on bike lanes:
"To encourage bike riding without providing the necessary safety precautions is foolhardy," Mr. Koch said in a statement. "The only way to insure safety for the many thousands of New Yorkers who want to bicycle is to designate official and exclusive bike lanes, and the city has failed to do this."
And here's some doofus on the idea of opening bike lanes on 5th Avenue:
"Sure," he said, "I can see those matronly women coming to Bergdorf's on a bicycle."
"I favor bike riding like I favor motherhood [sic] and apple pie," Mr. Grosso said, "but we've had it. I think the city should explore other areas."
Some things never change, and one of them is that people seem to think cycling is too precious for the working class, yet it's also too dirty for the rich. (And as for the middle class, who has the time?)
While I'm on the subject of bike lanes and smugness, here's how many pedestrians and cyclists "is dies" in traffic in New York City in 2012:
commercial cyclists are going to have to take online safety courses now:
DOT also announced that enforcement of a package of laws passed by the City Council last October will start in April. The new laws, which include a requirement that commercial cyclists take an online safety course, were touted by City Council Transportation Chair James Vacca as a way to end the “wild, wild west” environment on city streets.
I'd love to get a look at some of the questions on that test:
You have sixteen bags of Chinese food hanging from the handlebars of your ebike. You're traveling at 25mph and the light turns red. What do you do?
B) Take to the sidewalk
C) Circle in the crosswalk until there's a gap in traffic
D) Close your eyes, twist the throttle, and hope for the best
I'm not sure what the answer is, but the only one of these I've never seen is A.
Speaking of tests, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz. As ALWAYS, STUDY THE ANSWER, THINK, TURN OFF YOur caps lock (sorry about that), and click on your answer. If you're right you'll know, and if you're wrong you'll see Andy Rooney's illegitimate child.
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and avoid foul odors.
--Wildcat Rock Machine
("I don't see what the problem is.")
1) Due to flooding, the Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville, KY is being rescheduled.
(Landis enjoying a good novel.)
2) Floyd Landis is launching a:
--Sequel to "Positively False" entitled "Negatively Positive"
(Professional cycling: why bother?)
3) Professional cycling is being destroyed by:
--Lack of sponsorship
--Deeply embarassing team photo shoots
(Not him, his brother.)
4) What did Pete Hamill's brother used to deliver by bicycle?
--"100 pounds of meat"
--"500 cords of wood"
--"1,000 smiling knuckles"
--"Beets and stuff"
(No, that's not Bruce Campbell.)
5) What is a "prepper?"
--Someone who prepares for the collapse of civilization
--Someone who wears polo shirts and sockless loafers
--Someone who chops vegetables and scales fish in a fancy restaurant
--Someone who helps the actors maintain their erections between takes during pornographic movie shoots
(Photo via yesterday's comments.)
6) Using modern aerodynamic equipment, Greg LeMond beat a bare-headed Laurent Fignon in the final time trial of the 1989 Tour de France, winning the general classification by only eight seconds.
("In your face!")
7) People totally don't want to own cars anymore.
***Special Vintage "Woo-Hoo-Hoo-Hoo!" Speed Bonus Video***