May 16th, 2014
Calling itself the worlds first bicycle-friendly multi-purpose space, the Onomichi U2 is now open for business. What makes the space special is not that its a hotel, café, bakery, restaurant and bike shop all in one, but that you can ride your bike through almost all the facilities. You can ride your bike up to the front desk to check-in, and then take your bike up to your hotel room, which is equipped with a bike rack. The café even has a cycle-thru lane so you can get your caffeine fix without ever getting off your bike.
Onomichi U2 is at the end of a 70km cycle path that sounds, logistics aside, marvelous. Maybe I can Gerty to ride there this fall.
November 1st, 2012
October 31st, 2012
Lovely Bicycle!'s 1946 Griffon & Howle Rando-Broom
I am embarrassed to admit that Griffon & Howle's exquisite work was unknown to me until now. In case you are as ignorant as I was, according to Lovely Bicycle!:
Griffon & Howle were the constructeurs of flying brooms, back in the days when fine craftsmanship and attention to detail truly mattered. They used only the finest wooden tubing, the lightest metal fittings, the softest, most aerodynamic bristles. But more importantly, they fabricated all components and accessories in a manner that truly integrated with the broom itself. To hold a Griffon & Howle is to hold a masterpiece. To fly a Griffon & Howle is a privilege that few experience.
More pictures and design drawings are here.
November 20th, 2011
these people that they stole from
who's lives they laid to waste
they should have to meet them all face to face
and explain just why their momma
didn't teach 'em not to steal
if you want us to believe in justice
justice better be real
Written before the housing crash and, like much of their music, even more relevant today.
After watching the videos of the police clubbing and pepper spraying peaceful people, I was reflecting on "the banality of evil." Torture has become routine, so routine that the Republican candidates for office can criticize the sole fellow who is against it as unpatriotic.
But the routine practice of evil is not confined to the police or the CIA or the government. At least in part, I trace the acceptability of evil to the substitution of "the market." The market works because of selfishness. As "the market" became and becomes the sole and usually undisputed touchstone for organizing our entire society -- not just the buying and selling of goods -- selfishness has displaced what most of us would think of as normal moral values.
Surely a big question is how can you act like these police officers? But there are many other questions about matters that are typically never questioned. How can you sell mortgages to those who you know can't afford them? Bet against your customers? Sell securities of dubious value? The excuse is, I think, it's the way the market works. Buyers make their own choices. If I profit from screwing them over, that's an expression of the market, in which I am playing a small but laudable part.
November 12th, 2011
September 3rd, 2011
What a crappy album. It completely wastes the band's best asset: Adele Bethel's vocals. And, I can't figure out why because nothing on this record comes close to replacing them.
I'm not sure what is supposed to be attractive, new, or interesting here. Most of the album sounds like it is being played by a machine. The vocals are sunken behind leagues of dull, techno-sounding muck. If someone is actually playing instruments here, they suck and could replaced by a teenager with a computer.
Only because I liked their second album and loved the third did I listen to every excruciatingly dull moment of every tedious cut. I kept hoping that the monotonous, uninspired beginnings on the cuts were a setup for some raging breakout, but by track 6 even I started to catch on. Not going to happen. The cuts start boring and stupid and continue boring and stupid. And then the next track is boring and stupid.
I was stunned when the album ended. I was hoping at least one cut would display something of value.
Rarely have I encountered an album that is as bad as this one.
July 27th, 2011
Image by Ojisanjake at More glimpses of unfamiliar Japan.
Whether you are interested in Japan or not, More glimpses of unfamiliar Japan is a great blog.
Ojisanjake is a talented photographer -- really and truly. Typically he photographs places I will never visit. And, his images capture things that I wouldn't see even if I were there.
He expands my world and makes me more aware of my own. And that's the greatest praise one can give an artist.