Thursday, August 12, 2010

The New Smugness: Keeping it to a Minimum

As you're probably tired of hearing by now, this evening at 6:30 I will be visiting the Rapha Cycle Club in the Bowery, which is a once-gritty and now "douchey" area in Manhattan. Once there, I will display images loosely connected to the theme of "epic." I will also give away a few t-shirts and other random items I have in my home (who wants the toilet plunger?), probably by "curating" a game of "Rapha Price Is Right" in which people must guess how outrageously priced certain Rapha garments are. There will also be copies of my Pulitzer Prize-winning book available. I'll also add that, if you're considering attending but are unsure, there is some rain in the forecast for this evening, and that means your ride to the Rapha Cycle Club will automatically be "epic:"

Also, if you want to make your ride even more "epic," I recommend following these directions:

If you leave now you should arrive by the end of the month.

Speaking of "epic," in researching the theme I discovered an exciting and new (at least to me) form of smugness. Apparently, there is a movement of people who advocate and brag about living a "minimalist lifestyle," and this minimalism is supposedly the key to making your life "more epic:"

At first glance, I thought that perhaps these minimalists might be on to something. I certainly believe that, for the most part, we have way too much stuff, and I also don't think it's a stretch to say that "we've been duped into buying things by an advertisement-dominated society for the last 50 years." However, as I continued to read I grew increasingly suspicious. As you can see from the title of the above post, the author only has 57 things. Here is the list of those things:

Here’s my list of 57 things:

MacBook Pro
Macbook cleaning cloth
iPhone 4
iPhone earbuds
Black Yoga Mat
Moleskin notebook
Pen to write in moleskin notebook
Surly Steamroller Fixie
Bike lock
Frye Boots
Gray Converse Allstars
Tom’s Shoes
REI two-person backpacking tent
Sleeping bag
Gray hoodie
Wind breaker
Army jacket
Tweed jacket
Black heavier jacket
Gray backpack
Black Diamond Gray Backpacking bag
Cutoff old jeans
Purple tank
Purple tank
Gray tank
Gray long-sleeve sweatshirt
Gray long-sleeve T
Coffee tank
Gray v-neck
Gray v-neck
Black v-neck
Blue v-neck
Purple T
Gray T
Gray T
Black T
Swim Trunks
Keys to apartment + bike lock
Minimalist “wallet” (really just a paper clamp that I keep my cards and cash in)
Gray sweatpants
Brown sweatpants
Brown button cowboy shirt
Gray button-down
Socks (about 10 pairs)
Underwear (about 10 pairs)
Sewing repair kit for clothes
Travel towel
Knit hat that Alix made me
1 TB harddrive
500 Gb harddrive (looking into cloud backup options)

My first thought after reading this was, "Wow, minimalist or not, that's a lot of crap!" Indeed, I immediately spotted a number of items that could be pruned from this bloated list. For example, do you really need a MacBook Pro and a MacBook cleaning cloth? I mean, there's nothing wrong with taking care of an expensive computer, but if you're going to be a minimalist couldn't you just wipe it off with your shirt or something? And speaking of shirts, the author has two purple tank tops. I would argue that simply owning one single purple tank top is grossly excessive, let alone having a second one to wear while the first one is in the wash. Just lose the cloth and the extra tank top and you're already down to 55 things. Plus, honestly, does a minimalist really need deodorant? The only reason to wear deodorant is for other people, and I can't imagine many people are trying to get too close a guy who walks around in sweatpants, Frye boots, and a purple tank top. Where I live, when you see that you cross the street.

Also, why does he count keys as a separate item (arguably the key is part of the bike lock just as much as the keys are a part of the computer) yet counts his ten pairs of underpants as a single item? Why does a minimalist even need underpants? If Iggy Pop can live as long as he has without wearing underpants, then so can a minimalist. As far as I can tell, this whole "minimalist" thing is really about rationalization. Consider this "disclaimer:"

It would appear from this that he lives with someone called Alix, and between them they share the usual kitchen and furniture items as well as "a blender/food processor which is decidedly un-minimalist," but which he rationalizes by saying it facilitates minimalist breakfasts. Now, if you live with someone who has a bunch of stuff, and you use that stuff, at best that makes you the same as everyone else in this country who has a bunch of stuff, or at worst it makes you a freeloader. It does not make you a minimalist. That's like saying you're a vegetarian even though you're always taking bites of your boyfriend or girlfriend's hamburger.

In fact, most people in a relationship would probably agree that, if in addition to all the items you share with your spouse, life partner, or significant other you also have 57 things that are entirely your own, then you've got what professional organizers call "a lot of shit."

Of course, true minimalism has nothing to do with keeping low inventory--it has to do with your attitude towards the stuff you have. While I might have more than 57 things (I never bothered to count), I have a pretty simple view of all of it. Here's a list of all the stuff I own and share as I see it:

--Shit I Need
--Shit I Play With

The only way I could make my life any simpler would be to get rid of the shit I play with, but in a lot of cases I also play with the shit I need (computers, bikes, and "pants yabbies" come to mind), so in a way it would be impossible, and in any case things are so simple already there would really be no point.

It's hardly surprising though that minimalism would become the latest form of conspicuous consumption, living as we do in the age of the overpriced fixed-gear and the designer ax(e). Plus, there are a whole lot of people in the world living with a lot less than 57 things because, well, that's just how it is. At the very least, if you're going to be a minimalist, then go all the way. I realize this guy is a blogger and "needs" a computer, but if his only possession was a Snuggie and he preached his minimalist doctrine on a little hill someplace Jesus style then I might be impressed. Really, even the Snuggie would technically be more than he needs, since a true minimalist would have nothing. Until then, he's just a tech geek with a Costanza-esque wardrobe.

And what about that Steamroller he owns? I notice he doesn't list a pump, or a patch kit, or chain lube, all of which I'd argue are necessary if you own a bicycle. I guess you can go to the gas station or the bike shop when you need air, and I guess you can "borrow" things like patches and lube from people when you need them, but at what point is the effort involved ultimately less simple than simply having the stuff? This bike is "minimalist" at the expense of practicality:

Whereas this behemoth, while arguably bloated, might also arguably make your life simpler:

Either way, between fixed-gears and futuristic "concept bikes" the Forces of Minimalism are compelled towards cycling like the the moth to the coconut. (Moths love coconuts even more than they love flames.) Consider this minimalist frame design that was forwarded to me by a reader:

Not only is it minimalist, but it's also "green" because it uses fewer welds (Earth, thou art saved)--though that's still more than it would require if it were never made at all, which it probably shouldn't be considering the fact that you can't even adjust the seatpost:

Anyway, everybody knows the real "green" frame material of choice is bamboo--ask the New York Times:

But don't ask an actual rider of a bamboo bicycle. This one seemed annoyed when I asked about his awhile back:

I can't really blame him though. I am pretty annoying.

But regardless of what smug manufacturing process is currently in vogue, the minimalist lifestyle seems to be gaining traction--though it's not because of their shoes. In fact, a reader in Philadelphia recently spotted this person cycling without them:

("Cycle Chic" goes barefoot.)

I guess shoeless is the new clipless.


Anonymous said...

bed, at last. ce

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

phew, no work tomorrow. ce

Anonymous said...

d'oh, top ten

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

No comment!

ringcycles said...

So close, yet so far away...

Anonymous said...

Hamburger bikes?

Johnny said...

Top 10!

Paul Bowen said...

Top ten!

Anonymous said...

This is a great post. I tried to paste a link to it on the smugger's comment section, but couldn't do so because I don't have a disqus.

mikeweb said...


recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Brown button cowboy shirt -WTF?

ringcycles said...

anon 12:30 Yes, as we learned during the Giant Mannschaft etymology discourse, Hamburgers do ride bikes. But I don't know why one's boyfriend or girlfriend would allow you to nibble on it, or how german bicycles could be that tastey.

lummox said...

Wow, two typos (toiled instead of toilet and bikes instead of bites) in one blog. Vito must be on vacation!

Paul Bowen said...

I must be annoying to cyclists too. On the first day of operation of london's new hire bikes ( I went up to a guy who was parking one in a docking station and asked if they're as heavy as they look. He says, with some venom "Well now I wouldn't be the big expert cyclist but they're fine for my purposes" and flounced (definitely flounced) off down the street, keeping his helmet on for some reason. People are weird.

What happened to your intern Snobbers?

REDD FOXX said...

Why does the Big Dummy have 2 drive side cranks on it?

Anonymous said...

I'd love to attend tonight, but I grew up around the corner from there, and now I spontaneously burst into tears whenever I'm within three blocks of what used to be the Bowery.

That particular storefront where Rapha is used to be a weed spot. It was a reggae record store with half a dozen records for sale, a huge ventilation system by the door, and a back room behind a two-way mirror.

samh said...

I think Vito is on honeymoon.

Bike Lemming said...

The minimalist information cracked me up... I finally wrote a new post today, I minimally used some of your old stuff, sorry...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Which 57 things one should own really turns into an existentialist debate.

I would readily trade in one of my purple tanks for a box of condoms, but is that an even-up trade, or does the box of condoms count as 12 items? If so, paring your list back down to 57 would then become something worthy of blogging about.

Along those lines, Snob recommends borrowing lube, but I say something has to go to make room for some Astroglide or a tube of KY Jelly.

I am not sure what a coffee tank is. Is it an item of clothing, an assault vehicle modified to shoot streams of steaming hot liquid in lieu of artillery shells, or some sort of elaborate Italian tabletop expresso machine?

I am not sure what has to go in order for the list to include a refrigerator, a bong, and a few PBR tallboys.

Some Guy on the Innernets said...

Now this guy is actually a minimalist, and damn good at it. Lots of good reading here and on his other blogs.

I'm just glad he's exploring the whole "homeless by choice" realm so I don't have to.

ant1 said...


Anonymous said...

funny one. For a minimalist this guy seems to really like having every color tank top available, even coffee. but maybe that is an actual coffee tank, aka thermos? not to mention his veritible calvelcade of neckways (tank, V, crew). also, I like the way he qualifies his wallet as a minimalist wallet. is a wallet really such a big extravagance? I'm thinking this guy may be a douche.

ant1 said...

heinz does just fine with a minimalist 57 varieties.

Anonymous said...

And give up these? No way!

Anonymous said...

I have a ton of shit but no iphone 4 or macbook. Does that make me the anti-douche?

ant1 said...

frilly - i think being a minimalist would mean wearing only those.

ant1 said...

anon 1:20 - if only it were that simple.

mikeweb said...

Snob, I'm looking forward to being annoyed by you this evening.

Alas, I wasn't able to procure a chicken suit for the occassion.

Pontius Pilate said...



Anonymous said...

If the "minimalist" has a tent, but doesn't live in it, doesn't it become "extra crap" just like having all those extra "chain-stays" and "seat-stays" that the rest of us are destroying the earth with.


Anonymous said...

What an incisive post!

To make your ride from Portland truly epic, follow the map literally but refuse to take the ferry and swim with your bike across Lake Michigan; preferably without water wings.

Since I'm in a relationship, I consider my "pants yabbies" a shared possession and don't include them on my list.

@ wishiwasmerckx: I could rationalize that condoms are disposable and therefore not subject to minimalist guilt trips. Notice he did not include any perishable object, like food, among the 57 items. But I guess you could always reuse...

Esteemed Commentor DaddoOne said...

I was on a ride with six folks last year - 100 miles point to point - no turning back. Berkshires, MA: 3500 ft of climbing. We got to a 15%ish grade at mile 40 or so, did it for 3/4 miles, got to the top. As we waited to regroup, it started POURING like nuts. One in the group asked "is it epic yet?" I responded, "no, we're getting close, but no". To that he questioned, "How will we know?" I answered "We just will". 5 miles down the road, as we're descending in a rather peppy speed-way, in a pretty tight group, in the continuing downpour, a dog runs out in between riders 2 and 3. Nobody wipes out, the dog lives, but 4 of the 6 all yell out "Now it's Epic!"

hillbilly said...

I love the minimalist-idiot, (minimidiot?). "I have 57 things, that's all, oh, and some crap in the kitchen that I am choosing to not count"

Nogocyclist said...

Quite frankly, he is not even in the ballpark of being a minimalist.

Paul Bowen asked what happened to your intern. What ever happened to Spenser Madsen? The last mention of him was at one of your BRAs, and we are still waiting for his review of the Mongoose Fixed Gear.


On an average epic ride i think i carry more than 57 things, but what has me confused is how do I consider one bag converted to 10 joints?

I will now wipe my ass with a minimal use of paper and await an answer.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:11pm,

His "minimalist wallet" is what "back in the day" we used to call a "money clip."

Paul Bowen and Nogocyclist,

Intern is AWOL--I think he became a minimalist.


rural 14 said...

ant 2nd!

Esteemed Commentor DaddoOne -
3500' in the Berkshires...there's all sorts of spots to add to your climbing, should you want. Try coming up Mount Washington from the NY side...

Test Tickle said...

What about Q-TIPS? Surely he needs to clean his ears. Can this guy hear anything?

And no teddy bear? How does one go through life without a teddy bear?

As for the uber-narrow fixie locked up to the rack...




Anonymous said...

I had a tree-hugging buddy that refused to own a car or a cell phone and denounce them as polluters and objects of comsumerism. However, he ended up borrowing everybody else's phone and car all them time. Good blog!

Anonymous said...

That holier-than-thou bike frame looks to be vertically compliant and laterally pathetic.

Mother said...

People who live in places that are larger than NYC apartments have a third category of shit:

* shit I don't need and don't play with anymore

This is one of the arguable benefits of living in a larger space. The beginning of the path to minimalism is to get rid of that third category of shit. Once that shit is gone, the minimalist can then get on with the act of choosing which of the n+1 bikes to get rid of. Personally, I kept the xtracycle, and got rid of the rest. The xtra doesn't look very minimalist, but it indeed does make life simpler.

Anonymous said...

I like how minimalist lists his favorite brand name items first. Fruit named purveyor of overpriced electronic goods will be proud of this loyal consumer.

Also 10 pairs of socks equals one item, as does 10 pairs of scivvies? Someone's cooking the books.

Esteemed Commentor DaddoOne said...

Rural -
Done Washington, Done Greylock (north side) done a lot out there - this was point to point - we were on our way east so moving out of the mountains - through Huntington (the climb I mentioned is County road), Amherst, Hadley, etc.

Anonymous said...

The minimalist owns a toothbrush and deodorant, but no soap.

Perhaps he had to choose between the two?

All You Minimalists Don't Use Soap.

ervgopwr said...

Don't these "minimalists" know that we are in the greatest recession of our life times.

Buying crap you don't need is how we are going to get out of this mess.

Now I could also argue that you don't necessarily buy the crap for yourself. But still BUY for the sake of the economy.

So Mr. Minimalist, I'll take your ifone four and mac book.


3G said...


Anonymous said...

I have 295 items just in my car camping list and that doesn't include the car!

acquiesce808 said...

i like how the portland/broklyn map has you taking a ferry from milwaukee into michigan (unless that ped/bike bridge across lake michigan is done yet.)

Anonymous said...

@anon 12:52, this big dummy has a secondary drive (electric motor), hence it has two drive side cranks.

Anonymous said...



CommieCanuck said...

If I had to reduce down to 57 things, a 500GB hard drive, and a 1TB hard drive would not be two of them. 1TB is a lot of bullshit for a writer.

Anonymous said...

I love it. A blender/food processor as "an investment." Should we expect a future issue of The Robb Report to feature resale and price trends for "vintage" kitchen appliances, right along side recent auction prices for collectors' Ferraris? Rationalization indeed. For Pete's sake, why not just say you bought a food processor and that you find it useful?

But there is a deeper and more substantial ill here that Mr. Snob, as usual, has detected. It is something like this: the language and logic of consumerism and market economics still permeate the mind of those who publicly proclaim their ostensible rejection of these very systems. "The return of the repressed" in socio-economic form?

Bike Snob NYC: One part Richard Mitchell (aka The Underground Grammarian), one part Theodor Adorno, one part Lenny Bruce.

May God Bless You, my son.

Anonymous said...

I got it down to 4:
1. Clothes on my body
2. Deodorant
3. Rubbers
4. Credit card with 50.000 limit.

Asians could do without nr.2, as their sweat doesn't smell, I hear.

Members of the clergy could do without nr. 3.

Buddhists could do without nr. 4.

So, if you're an Asian Buddhist Monk you can do without 2, 3 and 4.

If you're a Nudist Asian Buddhist Monk, congratulations. No one can ever have an edge on you.

leroy said...

Family commitments will keep me from attending the Rapha BRA festivities this evening.

Can someone please report on whether BSNYC takes my advice and combines the event with Tupperware and Mary Kay Cosmetics parties?

Honestly, publishing would have a more robust financial future if it would simply offer consumers a less differentiated and more multi-faceted commercial interface.

At a minimum, literature needs more stuff.

hillbilly said...

There is really no reason to ever read a single word written by someone who calls a money clip a "Minimalist “wallet” (really just a paper clamp that I keep my cards and cash in)".

CommieCanuck said...

Kramer: "I keep my money on a roll, with the big bills on the outside"
Jerry:"Kramer, that's a five".

leroy said...

Heinz has been touting 57 varieties of canned and bottled products for years and you don't hear them complaining about minimalism.

Chronicle should be exploring a BSNYC condiment line.

Kelly said...

So Mr Minimum, (I wonder if Alix calls him that too) also needs "cards" and "cash". I am assuming those are credit and debit cards, so then he owns a bank account(s). I wonder if he maintains the minimum deposit to avoid fees. I don't see a paycheck as an item so I also assume one trust fund needs to be added to the list.

Anonymous said...

"I am not sure what a coffee tank is. Is it an item of clothing, an assault vehicle modified to shoot streams of steaming hot liquid in lieu of artillery shells, or some sort of elaborate Italian tabletop expresso machine?"

Very funny.

Tex said...

Dude doesn't even have a pocket knife? Come on! I'm callin' bullshit.

leroy said...

Aarrghh, beaten to the Heinz 57 reference by ant1!!!

Curses, foiled again!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Mr. 57 really did get me thinking. I own 7 pairs of cycling shoes:

2 prs. old-school lace-ups w/slotted cleats;
2 prs. Mtn bike shoes w/ SPD cleats;
1 pr. Sidis w/Look cleats;
1 pr. Sidis w/ old-style Seedplay cleats;
1 pr. Sidis w/new-stlyle Speedplay cleats.

What Mr. Minimalist must think of me! He probably wants me to go on that TV show about compulsive hoarders.

Now I have only 50 items left, but getting rid of cycling shoes means getting rid of bikes, and I am not about to start on that.

yogisurf said...

I've pared down to around 10,000 items. Do I count my Park PK-63 tool kit as one or 63 items? Is this new minimalism trend a reason to buy high-end wheels with less spokes? If your SUV lacks the DVD player and multiple screens can you be included in the movement?

hillbilly said...

speaking of douchebags, more stuff about your favorite music critic

Anonymous said...

I dont have a macbook, I dont have a cellphone at all, I dont own a car. Cycling is the answer! I am a minimalist!

Anonymous said...

tweed coat?

Anonymous said...


I don't know about the knife but I can guarantee there is an ax(e)somewhere in the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

I think you're being rather harsh on our minimalist friend - you shouldn't knock it till you've tried it. We just sold the house in Aspen and it's been a great weight off our minds - now we just have to worry about our main home and the summer house. Well, and the condo in Maui but that's in my wife's name so it doesn't count.

The Gulfstream, of course, is an absolute necessity since it's the best way to pick up a truly fresh Florida grapefruit for breakfast.

Anonymous said...

All I need is this ashtray and this paddle game, that's it. And the remote control.

I guess you gotta make up for growing up with more toys than anyone else in town by pretending to be an ascetic with a $2000 laptop. What an ass. Cuz you know you can't get by with anything less than a Mac.

Anonymous said...

lol'd @ 'tweed coat'

leroy said...

For BGW --

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Rapha jersey?
My friends all wear Primals I can't stand to see.
I got no window to throw thru a pot with my pee,
But Lord, I sure want me a Rapha jersey.

(What I really want is a BSNYC T shirt, but I'm not going to be able to show up tonight.)

Anonymous said...

minimalism is fine until you have kids, then 57 things explodes to somewhere between 10,000 and 1,000,000 things, most of which you end up tripping over.

Poco Veloce said...

"The only reason to wear deodorant is for other people, and I can't imagine many people are trying to get too close a guy who walks around in sweatpants, Frye boots, and a purple tank top. Where I live, when you see that you cross the street."

i just spit out my snapple laughing.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm gonna to go then. And I don't need any of this. I don't need this stuff, and I don't need you. I don't need anything except this.

[picks up an ashtray]

And that's it and that's the only thing I need, is this. I don't need this or this. Just this ashtray. And this paddle game, the ashtray and the paddle game and that's all I need. And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that's all I need. And these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control and the paddle ball. And this lamp. The ashtray, this paddle game and the remote control and the lamp and that's all I need. And that's all I need too. I don't need one other thing, not one - I need this. The paddle game, and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches, for sure. And this. And that's all I need. The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine and the chair.

[walking outside]

And I don't need one other thing, except my dog.

[dog barks]

I don't need my dog.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 4:08pm,

Seriously, what kind of minimalist doesn't have a Thermos?


shmaltz herring said...

Fess up, Snob. The only reason you talked up the minimalist in your blog today is so that you could maybe score some commission gelt on sales from his e-book.

g said...

Dammit anon408, I have been thinking of that scene all afternoon, but just too busy to get it up here!

I only have 8 things. The other 2.5 million I have transferred to my wife and not even the IRS can count them. So there.

bikesgonewild said...


...were you aware that when the rapha weavers (not a 'folk music" group but the people who make those cherished jerseys) look for quality wool, they actually walk amongst the herds of sheep & choose only the ones that appear to have a smug attitude...

...'baaa'..."nope, not that one"...
...'baaa'..."unh, unh, not that one either"...
..."baaah !!!"..."there we go, that's what we're looking for...ewe've got that 'shear' smugness factor"
...'s the details that make 'rapha' what they are...

...& ya...i missed out on a t-shirt by being late to the sf stop on the 'bra' tour...had my hands on one but who knew that sf hipster chick in the parking lot was gonna be so tough...

PawnShop said...

Got 57 things in your pocket, or are you happy to see me?

wiwm: To get rid of the shoes, it's not necessary to get rid of bikes - just pedals.

Very pleased with the renewed discussion of balls.

cwg said...

if I was to compete for smugness points in minimalism, I suppose I could get by on wearing bike wear all day. Plus, bike pants have built in underwear (chamois), which takes one item off the list.

Turd Ferguson said...

Anonymous 4:08 and RTMS 4:19

...Or pizza in a cup

Nude Thai Guy said...

I am a Thai buddhist living in a nudist colony with b.o.

Anonymous said...

Turd F., here you go...

Navin R. Johnson: Yeah, I got all this stuff from the old Cup 'o Pizza place before they tore it down.

Marie: Good pizza.

[the two are eating pizza in a cup]

Navin R. Johnson: Oh, this is the best pizza in a cup ever. This guy is unbelievable. He ran the old Cup 'o Pizza guy out of business. People come from all over to eat this.

Fit 2b Thai'd said...

How does it rain like nuts?

Anonymous said...

V neck wearers and V neck talkers are a strange kind of hipster

Hey lady at the bar your vay jay smells great, all the while checking out tight pants doods looking for evidence of a ball sack

To wear a V means your batting for both teams

abelgus said...

Heinz 57??

57 things I own!!!

No, not at all influenced by 50 years of advertising, you betcha.

abelgus said...

oops! sorry,
Somebody already picked up on the
Heinz 57 issue.

I am the cracked engine said...

“Then I tried to sit up and an invisible angry dwarf with a knife stabbed me in the back,” Sagal blogged. “So I enjoyed a relaxing scream and lay back down, carefully, and they put me on the backboard with the neck brace and put me in the ambulance and I stared at a series of changing ceilings until I got the emergency room at a nearby hospital.”

"His helmet cracked, but his head didn’t. The bike, meanwhile, is still being held by police. Its condition is unknown."

NPR does not equal smugness, why hold the bike, cant it go home on its own.

@adorkablegeek said...

Hey man. Totally great seeing you at the BRA tonight. BTW as you know your handwriting is terrible. Thanks for explaining about the "lobster". The patch kit was most kind and I'm certain I'll enjoy the book.

SmugSeattle said...

Pure hilarious genius -- BSNYC is back in fine form. This week's posts have been the best in a long time. Made me stifle chuckles on board the 737. That hurt, and made my neighbor even more suspicious of me.

I'm off to tend my bamboo patch whilst wearing some sweats and ironically unfashionable tank top. Stay smug!

Zen said...

I will gladly give a free punch in the nuts to the next asshole who seriously uses the word EPIC

Fabian said...

Pull my finger you quasi-minimalist-douche and I shall fart in your general direction.

the bike dork said...

Like the sober alcoholic, who while dry, is still bound by drink. Our "minimalist" is clearly bound by the stuff from which he claims to be free. Thanks for the full-on double belly laugh Mr Snob.

cyclotourist said...

Shouldn't the Victor minimally green (although painted black) bike have the chain stay on the drive/right side and the seat stay on the left? Seems like that would make it minimally stronger.

Anonymous said...


From a mechanical engineering point of view, that thing is an effing nightmare. Ironically, it's still more useless junk.

leroy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leroy said...

Zen -- Check out my cast iron chamois. They are like so totally epic!

leroy said...


g said...

Leroy, Does 100 count if you remove the post before it?

If not,


*under review

g said...

dammit! taken in by "comment deleted". Sneaky bastard.

Matt said...

I like how Mr Minimalist lists the MacBook and its cleaning cloth separately and then the iPhone and its earbuds but apparently doesn't have chargers for either one nor does he ever sync them, unless maybe Alix has a cable he can borrow.

Anonymous said...

Please God - I hope there isn't a series of books written about minimalism!!!

My daughter informed me last week she was leaving home with only 100 things - the rest stays in my basement and garage. Was this BS on Oprah or something?

Anonymous said...

Notice that this minimalist has all the right hipster brands and products:

Apple Macbook and Iphone, Moleskin notebook, Surly Steamroller "fixie",Converse All-stars, Tom's shoes, Black Diamond backpack and massive hard-drive (no doubt with downloaded movies and songs).

Anonymous said...

I measure my minimalism by keeping less than 57 bikes, though I am getting close to that limit. Thanks to the great Craig and his List so I can get rid of a few when I hit the 57 limit.

David said...

Thank. You.

Anonymous said...

Pfft! I'm *way* more self-absorbed than this guy!!!!

Triple O said...

Anonymous said...

graciela. said...

What gets my goat is that he has to list the brands of some of his 57 items. Is "computer" and "bike" not enough?

These folks are full of it.

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Unknown said...

gross...doesn't he have toothpaste to go with that toothbrush?

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Regarding minimalism ... when you live in Africa on 50 cents a day, THAT's a minimalist lifestyle. Involuntary minimalism in most cases. No "10 pairs of underwear" there. But "57 items" (no matter how suspiciously counted), is pretty damned minimalist for the US of A. I'm minimalist-ish and I have hundreds of books, just to start. My possessions are probably in the thousands. The non-minimalist-ish fill whole houses -- and storage lockers -- with tens of thousands of items. So, to Everett Bogue, author of The Art of Being Minimalist, I say: Good for you. And thanks for the food for thought. I hope to implement some of your ideas in my own life. First, let's pare down the eight bikes to, say, two or three....

Anonymous said...

As for (alleged) hipster, douche-bag, minimalism designed for smugness and symptomatic of self-absorption ... the world would be a lot better off with a few million of them than a few million more millionaires in mega-mansions and two cars for every member of the household.

And there are SOME minimalists who are just minimalists because it makes them happier. No need to advertise. They've already done what they wanted to do by having less and enjoying it more.

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The weather is just perfect for smugness.

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