Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Doggie Diner

Doggie Diners used to be a familiar sight around the SF Bay Area. The big smiling dachsund promised kids a nice meal from the home of the friendly doggie. Alas, the worldwide golden arches and their ilk have done in the favorite local dog. But the heads still live and I was pleasantly surprised to happen upon this trio smiling in the sunset.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Full Circle

A few decades ago a journalist whose name I've forgotten, wrote an article for a magazine whose name I've also forgotten, in which he observed an interesting fashion trend amongst urban Japanese citizens while on a visit to Tokyo.

He described seeing many people wearing clothing that had 'nonsense' english sayings on them. Something along the lines of:

Mighty Vacation Fury


Salute to Stigma

or some such. Of course, it did not matter to the garment wearers what the words on their clothes actually meant, all that mattered was that the idea of having English language words or pronouncements on your clothes was a cool fashion statement.

We (in the English speaking world) laughed.

OK, so flash forward to last week during which I noticed this peculiar hand bag being worn by the pedestrian in front of me.

Well, this handbag has nice Chinese characters printed on it.


You see, words are not quite right. As any person who can read the most elementary Chinese can see, the characters don't look right until you hold the bag up to a mirror and read them from there. Yes, the characters are completely mirror image 'backwards'

Of course, this condition likely didn't matter one bit to the person 'holding the bag', all that mattered was that the characters, readable or not, were making a cool fashion statement.

East and West have come full circle around each other !

When the going gets weird...

The weird turn pro...

I forget from where I first heard that phrase, but how appropriate it is...

My knee is recovering steadily and I am able to bicycle for ever so slightly longer commute distances. I'm really looking forward to when I can do some basic recreational riding (starting off at about 30 miles / 3 hours of easy riding). My touring road bike had minimalist 'clip' only pedals on it and I wanted to change them out for some dual-use 'clip' and 'no-clip' pedals as my right knee is still a bit sensitive to twisting..

I replaced the right pedal without any problems, but the left pedal just wasn't going to budge with the cheap soft-steel short wrench that I was using (see top picture. I've left out from the photo the hammer that I was using to bang on the wrench lest I cause heart-attacks within the chests of any professional bike mechanics as a result displaying such abuse of equipment).

Time for some real equipment !

I bit the bullet and ante-d up for a professional grade purpose made 15mm pedal wrench. A thick piece of hardened steel that's long enough to provide plenty of leverage. I hook the wrench up to the pedal and apply torque via the nicely cushioned handle...

viola.. With the greatest of ease the pedal is loosened and I complete the pedal change.

Right tool for the job !