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Friday, July 29, 2011

The Worst Song Lyric Ever Written spurs Bon Jovi WTF Episode

The worst song lyrics I have ever heard belong to the song "Bed of Roses" by Bon Jovi.

Sitting here wasted and wounded with this old piano
Trying hard to capture the moment, this morning I don't know
'Cause a bottle of vodka still lies in my head and some blonde
Gave me nightmares, I think that she's still in my bed
As I think about movies they won't make of me when I'm dead

With an iron-clad fist I wake up to french-kiss the morning
While a marching band keeps it's own beat in my head while we're talking
About all of the things I longed to believe, about love, the truth,
What you mean to me and the truth is...
Baby you're all that I need

I wanna lay you down in a bed of roses
Tonight I sleep on a bed of nails
I wanna be just as close as the Holy Ghost is
Lay you down, on a bed of roses

Now, Bon Jovi was huge in his day and is still successfully touring. He has made buckets of money and appears to have dodged many of the pitfalls facing all rock stars. In many ways I admire him. My admiration, however, is weakened somewhat by the ugly WTF syndrome episode Mr. Jovi brought on. "With an iron-clad fist I wake up to french kiss the morning"? What? I mean, What?




Sorry about that. Blame WTF and Bon Jovi for it. My syndrome, his idea.
R A N T W I C K

PS - That "I wanna be just as close as the Holy Ghost is" line is a pretty desperate rhyme too, but at least it didn't WTF me up.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

If You Were Riding the Bicycle #5 - Can a Hook be Right?

Most cyclists are familiar with what is commonly known as the "right hook". It happens when a car overtakes you and turns right either immediately in front or on top of you. Right hooks are bad.

The arrival of bike lanes in most cities makes the right hook situation worse for the cyclists who remain in the lane at intersections. If my intention is to go straight or left, I will take the lane for this reason. However, if my intention is to turn right myself, I will usually stay in the bike lane. I've tried taking the lane for right hand turns and for me, the potential of a cyclist coming up from behind on my right in the bike lane remains worse than staying in it myself. It seems to me that taking the lane sets me up to right hook a fast bike lane thru cyclist. That isn't very clear. Picture time!

Basically, I prefer this:


Over This:

Please note that in either scenario, I clearly signal my intention well in advance by sticking my right arm straight out. I know ahead of time that the merits of my thinking and riding in this way will be up for dispute, and that's cool, but I am unlikely to be convinced that my way is wrong. I have experimented with both methods and I'm sticking with this one.

So far this has mostly been a re-hash of a  previous "If You Were Riding the Bicycle" post. The difference this time is that I have some video of a right turn that felt fine to me despite the "right hookiness" of it all:






If you were riding the bicycle, would you be OK with that car? I was... it seemed abundantly clear to me that we both knew precisely what we were doing. Is it more difficult to sense intention and automotive "body language" when watching a video?  Perhaps. What do you think? 


Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Oh Man. Maybe You Shouldn't Look.

Fabric stores seem to have a knack for advertising that is awful yet intrigues me. A while ago I went on about Frabricland and their outstanding minimalist jingle, which has come to take up scarce space in my feeble brain, which I must say I resent. A fabric store ad has once again spurred me to write something here.

One thing most people (other than rappers) can sense deep in their social bones is that they should not rap. Or, even if they don't have such a sense, cautionary sitcom scenes like this abound:



Now, call me crazy, but I can't think of any business less suited to a rap jingle than a fabric store, and this one is done by a couple of fabric ladies. Brace yourself, because this is the part that may feel like a bit of an assault on your mind or tastes. You know what is coming. I will leave a bunch of spaces in this post now as an attempt to offer an "exit ramp" of sorts. If you scroll down and watch the video, you may never be the same. You have been warned.
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Well, if you're reading this, you have probably seen the video. This commercial is currently airing here in London Ontario. Scrap bookin' ? Rug Hookin' ? Oh man. I warned you. I am disturbed and fascinated by this commercial. What were they thinking? How could they? How will their children or grandchildren survive this? So many questions, starting with Why? Why? Why?


Yer Pal, R A N T W I C K

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bikes, Grips and Sexy: The New Math


Hey there! Long time no write, I know. I have worked out in every detail an invention that will produce buckets of time that I can use as I wish, but unfortunately I have not had any time to build it. Isn't that just always the way when you want to fine-tune the Universe a bit? Terrible.

So, anyway, some other creative people sent me an email recently. They wanted me to pass on their message and maybe help drum up support for their project, something called OOQI grips. Here's their email:

Hey! we dig the ride you posted on Fixed Gear Gallery!

We like sexy bikes and feel that they deserve sexy bike grips. OOQI grips are fat and sexy. A fat grip is more ergonomic and absorbs vibrations better than a regular, puny, loser grip. Also they're sexy.

We’re trying to spread the notion of do-it-yourself bike customization and getting more people riding bikes as a main mode of transit. You can support us by visiting our website (http://www.ooqi.ca) and our Kickstarter (http://www.ooqi.ca/kick).

If you dig it, please spread it.

Much love,
Eddy + Jared

I really don't mind passing on this link because who knows, these grips (or the potential of these grips, I guess) might really appeal to somebody who reads this blog. So I guess I'm spreading it despite the fact that I don't personally dig it. The whole notion of "kickstarter" campaigns is interesting to me too, because I don't know how I feel about them. I mean, I usually don't have much trouble forming opinions about things, but this time I am ambivalent.

I am not necessarily convinced that what they are really trying to do is "spread the notion of do-it-yourself bike customization and getting more people riding bikes as a main mode of transit"; I have a sneaking suspicion that what they are trying to do is make and sell bicycle grips. Every maker of everything, however, seems to need ad copy that says they're really about something else these days, so I don't really hold that against them either.

My last observation is that I have another sneaking suspicion, one that they didn't look very hard at my bike and that the fact that I posted it on fixedgeargallery.com was enough to make me part of their target consumer group. The thing is, while I do ride a fixed gear, I may well be one the least likely consumers of this style of grip they could have found.  My guess is that their target consumer would be more like this dude on their website:


I couldn't use grips like theirs on my bike. And they like sexy bikes. No offense to my fixed gear, but I think I am the only one who might find it sexy. I also have a thing for women using lawnmowers, and I would expect that the demographic for that one would be equally insignificant. I haven't done any pictorial math for a while... perhaps if you are finding my writing as confusing as I do, the following expressions will help:












Whew! I'm glad I found a way to make myself clear. I'm off to find a good therapist, you have a nice day now.


Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K