07-11-09 - Saturday Rambles

I bought some underwear on Amazon, and now my main page "you would like this product" is full of closeups of guy's crotches. Yay.

Man it would be sweet to get those rub-down type massages that pro athletes get (mainly boxers and cyclists that I'm aware of, where they really grease you up and rub out the lactic acid). I've never known a "massage therapist" that did that.

When I was biking, I needed to adjust my seat, so I pulled over; I didn't have all the tools I needed, so as I was fiddling around, some guy rode by and yelled out "need help?" and I yelled "yes!" ; he came back and gave me an allen wrench and I got it done. The wonderful thing about cycling is that this is not really remarkable at all - cyclists always are just *human* to each other - you try to be considerate of other cyclists, don't cut them off, you ask if they need help when someone is stopped, etc. It's so pleasant and encouraging to me, as opposed to every other human interaction I have where people are just douches and dicks and manipulating and lieing and at each other's throats. I'd love to cut out all the things I do where people are rotten to each other and only do the things where people are nice to each other. So that means no dating, no pickup, no buying, no selling, no contracts or anything where you might need customer service, no driving. I'll just bike, go hiking (the day hike weekend warriors are total dicks who cut across switchbacks and don't yield to ascenders, but the serious hikers who you meet way deep in the woods are always super nice), and ... that's it, I can't think of any other activity where people are nice to each other.

Yay! The lake here is finally warm enough to swim in. The life guard lady yelled at me. Apparently you have to stay within 50 feet of shore. WTF. I've seen guys swimming right across the lake before. You can easily enough find lake shore with no lifeguard; the little fake sandy beaches get crowded, but there's lots of grass frontage on Lake Wash and you can jump in anywhere there (getting back out is a bit trickier). One problem is there is some very thick seaweedy type stuff (I guess it's not seaweed cuz it's fresh water, but underwater plants) that comes up almost to the surface. In the official swimming areas they cut that stuff out, but in the guerilla swim you can get tangled up in it and it's very hard to move; it feels like tentacles actually grabbing your arms and legs trying to hold you back.

I'm thinking about building up a bike on a classic steel frame with modern components. It would be really expensive, because individual components are absurdly overpriced, you get a big discount buying bikes as whole pieces, and it would take a lot of time (it would be so much quicker and easier if I had a full shop with a stand and cable on spools and whatnot). But it would be a fun project, and then I would have a bike that I was intimately connected to when I'm done.

It sucks being bigger than average in some ways (most of the time it's good). One is at thrift stores, anything good I find is always too small for me. Another is buying used bikes. There are shit tons of amazing great bikes on ebay in the 54-57 cm range. For me (58-61) there's very little.

Colnago is one of the premier steel frame manufacturers, but they make the ugliest paint jobs known to man; it's like they got some high school student from 1984 to air brush their frames; I totally expect to see a unicorn in space on their frames; ( example or example ). The people who think Colnago frames are beautiful are the same guys who wear those weird baggy pants to lift weights. ( Apparently they're called Zubaz Pants ; WTF ). A lot of bike bar tape and Zubaz pants comes in this random color speckle pattern that I think of as someone eating a bunch of skittles and then throwing up. ( oh, here's another Colnago ; it looks like a unicorn took a rainbow shit all over it )

( BTW you can also substitute rainbow barf or rainbow piss )

this is bicycle perfection; Italian steel with a flat top bar and chromed lugs. (the paint job on the frame could stand to be even a little simpler; I hate all the big badges). They are absurdly expensive though, around $2000 for just the frame. Even if that weren't a lot of money to me, I couldn't pay that just out of moral outrage. ( the Classic Bike Shop has a load of gorgeous frames ).

Urgg I really shouldn't be buying bikes right now since it's the peak of summer and the worst possible time to buy, but I'm just loving riding so much and I got a bee in my bonnet that it would be fun to build up a new bike and now I want to play. If you're smart you buy in December.

I think the US is the only 1st world country that still uses dry butt wiping technology. Come on, we're the freaking Roman Empire of the modern era, we should have bathroom slaves to lick our butts clean ! Or at least washlets. Hmm, I've been watching the HBO Rome too much. It's pretty great, so far as trashy soft-core porn soap operas go. It's great for vicarious living fantasies; I'd love to have hot naked chicks scattered around my house all the time, and when upstairs neighbor starts clog dancing at 1 AM I'd just grab my sword and go up and stab him in the neck.

There're a lot of gay guys around Cap Hill here that are just absurdly skinny, very fit, bugling muscles, but with taught skin and bones poking through like a starving African. I hope they just have AIDS and aren't doing that to themselves intentionally, cuz that would be really fucked up.

Honesty in selling is never rewarded. People might consciously think "I appreciate he's being up front about the drawbacks" but they will still go with the liar. This comes up with us at RAD selling middleware. We're very honest about our products and tend to be realistic and limited in our features; many of our competitors promise the kitchen sink but deliver a non-functioning mess. Still, a buyer looking at a feature list that says "just X" or "X + Y + Z + W" will often choose the one they know is too good to be true. Fortunately for us we have Mitch and a great reputation, but you see it all the time in corporate purchasing evaluations. Of course it also comes up in dating and selling yourself. If you're honest about your drawbacks right from the beginning, that turns them off and it blows it. If instead you keep quiet and get them hooked and then much later reveal your problems, you win, it's too late for them to back out. Like if on your first date you just say "you know, I'd like to fuck you, but you're just too dumb for us to have a serious relationship" it's over. The liar is always rewarded. Similarly, people never tell you about STD's. You might think you're being careful and trying to wait until you know someone so you can trust them. HA! They might tell you *after* you have sex that they have HPV or Herpes but just don't have an outbreak right now. Gee thanks. They know subconsciously that if they say anything before you will not give them credit for their honesty, rather you will just flee.

I was thinking about this because of the house I'm renting. The owner has been up front with me that they might have to move back in to the house next year. They didn't need to tell me that, by law they can just do it whenever they want. If they were a real dick they wouldn't have said anything and I would've just moved in. Instead they were up front, and while in an abstract rational sense I respect them for that, in a real sense it makes me not want to move in, and basically just winds up punishing them for their honesty.

BTW the house rental situation also makes me think of something I've written before - the right way to handle promises of contingencies is by betting. Say the owner tells me there's a 10% chance that they will move back in. There's a very easy way to force them to be honest about that percent - just make a bet. I put up $1000 , they put up $10,000. If they were honest about the percent, it's neutral EV, nobody profits on average. But if they were lying and the real chance is more like 25% or 50%, then I make a profit on average. Of course nobody is rational enough to agree to something like this.

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