Tuesday, December 8, 2015

How To Do What You See Here

Hey, everybody! This is a nerd thing about how to embed a gfycat (a snazzy html5 based streaming animated GIF) in a blogger post.

If such things interest you, please go ahead and watch the following video. Otherwise just skip past it to the awesome gfycat I made featuring people I'm not going to name. I will tell you that none of them are me.








No matter what you think of the How-To nerd part, please tell me you love the BOOM part as much as I do. The look on that guy's face just cracks me up, even now after many many viewings. I am fully aware that it might just be me. Let me know.


Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Thursday, December 3, 2015

When In Doubt

I've not experienced anywhere near the good old need to write stuff that started this blog in quite some time. That's not necessarily bad, since when my muse does elbow me in the eye, the results rarely warrant actual reading. On the other hand, video is video, which almost always sucks too! 

Wait, what am I doing then? Damned if I know. When faced with the quandary of how to justify my online existence (aka "When In Doubt") I know I can always fall back on something that is utterly reliable and pure and worth doing: showing Canadians for the freakin' awesome people they are.

What follows is a sequel to When Canadians Cyclists Clash . It's not just cyclists who are great with each other in my mightily kind nation. It's also me and some lady with a bunch of dogs!




Stay Canadian (or at least #FeelTheBern),
R A N T W I C K

P.S. - I don't have a real good sense of what brand of politics my American friends subscribe to... I fear I may be guilty of making assumptions. Whether I have or not, I am fascinated and encouraged by the existence of Bernie Sanders. Obviously I can't vote in the Primaries or the General election. I'm Canadian. I wish I could, I really do. If any of my American brothers and sisters hate me for loving Bernie Sanders, ah well. Lighten up; I can't vote anyway.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

#ithinkitsafox

Since I only received one response on Twitter (thank you Sarah) to the following question, I thought to myself, "self", I thought, "maybe the blog people would want a crack at this". And so, here is a picture, with my question and #hashtag, which I know full well has no use here:



Yup, that's the kind of gold you're missing over on Twitter. Now you know.

Please answer my question in the comments, hopefully in #hashtag form, because being annoying is the next best thing to being liked, and #hashtags in places where they don't work, like in my blog comments, are super annoying. Almost as annoying as mobile phone video taken in the upright position rather than the horizontal. Almost.

Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Friday, November 13, 2015

The King of Autumn, 2015

Hello there! I'm in a rush but wanted to touch base with the old blog, you know, so I'm just gonna pay homage to the King of Autumn now that that the leaves are mostly gone.

Here's the best shot I was able to get this year:



The King - October 23

What was interesting to me was that the outer leaves were that bright orange, but the inner ones were an awesome glowy yellow green...




I wondered how that would play out, but I didn't make it back before he was TOTALLY NAKED!



The King Is Shed! Long Live The King! - November 9


I'm hoping to have the time and energy to revive the Autumn Tree Smackdown next year. I'm thinking a nice flexible name that I can use over and over without worrying about a new acronym or numbering system would be good, like the "Sort Of Annual Rantwick Autumn Tree Smackdown", or SOARATS. I think that has a nice ring, even though for me it also brings to mind high-flying rats.

Rather than leaving you with that mental image, SnowFace and Mrs. Rantwick wanted to say hi, so here they are instead:





Well Hello There!


I am SO PLEASED that Mrs. Rantwick is the one with the buggy eyes...



Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Friday, September 25, 2015

Pull Up Bar

Fridays are supposed to be fun, right? Well I think this fits the bill...



Wish me luck on actually getting fit/strong enough to do my pull up. Right now I am quite overweight, but "fit" thanks to cycling. In case you're worrying that I'm feeling down on myself, don't, because I'm not.

What follows is a quitting smoking story. If that stuff doesn't appeal to you, please bail now.

I have wrestled with smoking for much of my adult life. When I've smoked, it was typically a pack a day or more. Here's my whacko smoking chronology:

Age 16-30: smoker
Age 30-40 or so: quit and happy about it
Age 40-46: On and off smoking, often quitting for months at a time but always falling back into it.

My Dad died (of lung cancer) when I was about 40. I fell off the wagon at that time; my brothers smoke and, well, shit happens, I guess. I hate smoking, but addiction is a very strange thing, as anyone who's ever been addicted to anything can tell you.

Addiction flies in the face of reason, logic, morality, intelligence, common sense, blah blah blah. The thing is, if you've never experienced addiction personally, addicted people seem more like selfish people rationalizing their own selfishness. To a certain extent, maybe that's true; depends on the person, I would think. Still, I think it is safe to say that all addicted people would happily trade their fucked-up (and often selfish) addiction for freedom from their stupid substance ANY DAY.

In case you hadn't noticed, addiction fascinates me. Drugs, booze, smokes, whatever. Addiction touches all of our lives, like it or not. If you have never experienced addiction, you should be thanking your lucky stars HARD. For myself, I am thanking my lucky stars that I have escaped my addiction to nicotine once more, for 5.5 months so far. When you're addicted to something, your fight is never ever ever over. It gets easier over time, but won't ever go completely away, and that's alright, because every day out from under an addiction is cause for celebration. 

So, I'm overweight and can't yet do a pull up, but I haven't smoked in a long while and enjoy riding my bike every weekday. I also have a family who loves me and a pretty decent job. I am in no way down on myself, nor should you be, I bet. Look hard at what you have; if you're reading this, I'm guessing it comes to a great deal when you think about it.

Holy crap! This post started with "Friday's are supposed to be fun"! What the hell happened there? Damned if I know, but thanks for reading, for sure.


Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Lawnmower, Man...

Hello Hello! I am pleased to say that great things are underway in my small life; things like learning to cut mosaic tiles with a wet saw (which is freakin' awesome, btw) and, um, well that's it.

I continue to ride my bike a lot, which of course is FANTASTIC. My province (Ontario) also recently put into effect a 1m (3ft) passing law, which is, while good spirited, MEANINGLESS. The guidelines include the most excellent and vague-ifying phrase "where possible"! I'm over the moon that the general public now have new laws to vaguely suggest what the police might but probably will not enforce regarding cyclists on our roadways. Whew! It's about time!

Enough with my negativity and sarcasm though, because there are (as always, if you look) myriad reasons to be joyful, like, people who just make ya think:





I, of course, have already come to a conclusion about what was happening there. Since Mrs. Rantwick concurs, I am pretty well certain all has been explained. For us. Your theory may be way better (more entertaining), if less intelligent. Unless of course you've come to the same conclusion as we have, in which case we're just engaged in a self-congratulatory-circle-jerk, aren't we? How sad! Perhaps we should just ride our bikes and forget this post ever happened. Yes, I think, as always in cases of cycling ruminations, repression is the best course of action. Adieu, dear reader, adieu! 


Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Monday, August 31, 2015

Coulda Shoulda Woulda: Bike Hatin' Dog

No time to write much, so I'll make this quick. You know when you have an interaction with somebody out there and then replay it in your mind, thinking of the things you might have said or done differently? Well, the magic of video editing is allowing me to go back in time and remake such interactions for myself. I have got to say it was super fun and I hope more opportunities to do this come along.

Here's my first example of this kind of fun:





Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Rattle Snake!

Hi all, long time no write! I thought I was back in the swing with that little spate of posts in July, but I guess not! I'm not ever gonna write anything about my posting frequency or the difficulties of writing regularly or any of that from now on. Have I said that before? Well, this time I mean it, because if you're here you are awesome and don't need me wasting your time talking about this stuff for one more damn second.

Mrs. Rantwick and I got away for a bit on our own recently, staying in a cabin with a max occupancy of 2 in a fine National Park that you can only access by boat. Not 1 car on the island. Staff drove those John Deere gator things, but its not like they we were buzzing around all the time. It totally jacked up the peaceful quotient; no exhuast, no engine noise and even visually no chrome or metal or headlights junking up our surroundings.

We rode bikes and hiked pretty hard in our short time there, and saw an honest-to-god rattle snake! There is only one poisonous snake to be found in my fair province of Ontario, the Massasauga rattler. One of these guys rattled at us from beside the trail while we were walking our bikes through some deep sand. We stopped and I grabbed a little video from a safe distance:




Hah! That was fun. I love snakes. I know many others hate 'em. See ya soon, I hope! 


Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Monday, July 27, 2015

Are You #%^1n' Kiddin' Me #9

I used to think the Royal Canadian Mint was a kind of cool institution. I imagined serious, expert engravers and artists crafting collector and circulation coins that would have real cultural meaning to Canadians.

Apparently American cartoons now fit that description.





When I first saw that ad I thought it must be some kind of sneaky poser mint pretending to be the Real mint. Not so. The Real mint has gone into the cheesy licensed image collector coin business. I don't know why this seems like a betrayal to me, but it really does.

I have no doubt that the Mint employs many wonderful people with very well developed artistic, historical and cultural sensibilities. If this kind of crap pains me as a proud Canadian, I can only imagine what it is doing to them.

I guess I should be glad the Canadian mint isn't doing Disney Princess coins. They're just reselling the New Zealand mint's Disney Princess Coins:





Is this what the producers of legal currency around the world have come to? For God's sake, why? I mean, WHY? AAARRGGHH! Are You #%^1n' Kiddin' Me?

Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

PS - I sure didn't think so, but I guess there's a chance that the Mint has been involved in this kind of thing for decades. If so, it doesn't make it any less repugnant to me.

PPS - Now I see that thanks to my searching on the topic to see if anyone else was incensed, there's an ad on my site (I don't exactly pick 'em) to go buy one of these damn things! Insult, meet injury and irony.

PPS - I feel the need to report that upon typing the words "injury and irony" above, the tune "ebony and ivory" sprung to mind. I am trying to stop myself from composing a full damn word-substitution Weird Al - style "Injury and Irony" song right now. Wish me luck.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Gone Campin'

The Rantwick clan is going camping next week, for the first time in quite a while. I will not be writing blog posts during that time, but if you're just addicted to the small details of my life I will likely be tweeting pictures of anything cool we come across. There's a Twitter "follow" button in the sidebar if you're so inclined.

We're going to Bruce Peninsula National Park near Tobermory Ontario, so not too far from home. We've been there before but the kids were too little to enjoy the excellent hiking and stuff that's available. Should be awesome.  



Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Link Not Taken

Before we begin, can we agree that despite terrible over and dare I say ill-use of it, the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost is still really great? Having ill-used it once more in a glancing way with my title, I re-read it for the first time in a long while. You hear it all over the place (i.e. graduation ceremonies), but reading it in print is, for me, so much better. So easily bent to the private emotional purposes of the reader! Ugh. Good stuff. Now, on to your scheduled programming: My stuff, which is of a consistency and quality that most definitely belongs in some other category, preferably a category of its own since it could potentially harm the other words...


I can't believe I missed this post from my friend Steve at dfwptp.blogspot.com . It was posted back in February of 2014. It is a good post about our mutual friend kermit, who rides on Steve's handlebars and was on that occasion lost, run over, and found. I had previously written about (and mutated) kermit in a post in 2010, taking


this: to this:  

Turns out, if you visit Steve's post from 2014 you'll find a link to an image I had no idea existed until just yesterday. It is fantastic, depicting kermit when he is, in Steve's words, Rantwick Mad:



Oh man, he just looks so wrong... He features not only my squinty eye and mouth, but dinosaur head, dripping blood, and claws! It is a fr***kin' masterpiece, yet it was not displayed in the post; it was just hiding under a link! Bravo, Steve, I love it!

That got me to thinking about stuff on this blog that I had assumed just hadn't been of interest or worth comment. Had some things suffered the same fate, hiding under links not taken?

So, I now beg you to follow these links:

Mordecai McBumpanoggin's website. Mordecai was first referenced and his site created for this post, which was written March 2012. Mordecai's site was not directly linked to (other than in the comment sections) until October 2013.

The indie band website for Evil Peace created and linked to in this post from June of 2012.


Now, if you had already seen these and just thought, "meh" to yourself, don't tell me that. Instead pretend you didn't see them until now. If it's still a "meh", don't tell me that either. Praise me for how great they are. I mean it. I don't care at all if your praise is sincere; just try to make it seem that way.


Yours In an Ongoing and Inane Quest for Validation,
R A N T W I C K

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Huff N' Puff Cycling Groups

This Wednesday morning I once again ran across a local cycling group comprised mainly of seniors. The first time was in 2011...





I posted on that encounter here , and explained that I was unable to locate any info on their group after we met, having only been told they were the "Silver Spokes". This time however, the leader told me they were a Huff N' Puff Cycling group, which when I looked into it yielded lots of good info.

The Huff N' Puff Seniors Fitness Association in London Ontario has a large membership and they do all kinds of stuff, not just cycling. I had never heard of them before; these people (at least the cyclists I met) are so nice it makes me almost wish I were old enough to join. I've been an old man at heart for, like, a decade at least anyway. Seriously though, their motto is "Because for us, life is not a spectator sport!" I think that is awesome and I sincerely hope to be that kind of senior when I get there.

I'm not going to post video from this morning, because the 2011 one is better. Today I was overtaking the group, so the video is just the back of a lot of heads and people yelling "bike on the left!"

When it comes to Huff N' Puff & cycling, the best info I could find was in their Spring newsletter, from which I snipped the following:











This seniors group appears to have THREE cycling groups, some of which have a WAITING LIST! I think that is just outstanding, since I think cycling is a great fit for seniors and I hope to do it forever myself.

Also, like I've already said, they do a ton of other stuff 
too, so go to


If you're interested.






















Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Monday, July 13, 2015

Knowing Wave

Hey everybody! Did you all have a decent weekend? I did, because I attended a wedding on Saturday and had such a good time (hic!) that I slept most of Sunday. But enough about me. This post is (I think) about one of you.

A cyclist going the opposite way on the TVP (Thames Valley Parkway, or in more common parlance "The Bike Path") gave me a wave that looked like they knew me. I came this closeto signalling them to pull over for a quick hello. What if it wasn't somebody I "knew", but rather just somebody who's waves are inadvertently familiar and encouraging? Even getting somebody I sort of know to pull over and say hello would feel kind of awkward to me. I ended up just saying "good morning" on my way by.



So, tell me, is this you, and god help me, should I have known who you were? Is the mighty Richard Sleegers just sporting a beard now? I may never get an answer, but you can't say I didn't try.


Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Friday, July 10, 2015

Things People Say Fridays #16: GoPro Kids

I sometimes wonder if there is some ad campaign I am unaware of, or an Internet meme, or something that explains why people (usually young people, but not always) feel compelled to yell "GoPro!" when they see my helmet cam.

If not, why does this happen with such regularity and in such a similar way? I hope somebody can solve this mystery for me, because otherwise I think it's a little freaky. I'm trying to think of some other consumer item that prompts people to yell out its name on sight, but I'm coming up empty. Here's a just a sampling of what I'm on about:





Mrs. Rantwick, the best (and perhaps most intelligent) woman on the planet, theorizes that it is just the combination of realizing you're being recorded, wanting to stand out and the fact that the ubiquitous GoPro brand name has achieved something like the common usage enjoyed by Kleenex. By that I (or more accurately, she) means people yell "GoPro" rather than "helmet cam" because they have no built-in fear of the willy-nilly use of trademarked names the way online or print writers do. Or, um, should*.

Problem is, despite how cool and smart she is, I don't always take Mrs. Rantwick's opinions as gospel truth, because, well, we're married and if I did, that would be sort of wrong. There is great interest and entertainment to be had in arbitrarily disagreeing with the one you love most. I'm sure many of you do it all the time and know exactly what I mean.

So, I ask you, dear reader, do you know what's going on? Theories are OK, but I'm still kind of hoping for some meme or ad or whatever like I said at the start. Help me. Like, really, please help me. Hey, maybe the good people at GoPro know... I'll tweet them a link to this post just in case. 

Yer Pal,

R A N T W I C K

* Dear Trademark™ owners: Please know that I thought that this blog post constituted normal and reasonable use of your brand names. Please don't sue me, because, well, I'm a good guy who just wanted to talk about your products for what I think are decent reasons that don't really convey any message for or against the stuff you sell. If you disagree, please let me know via email at which time I look forward to entering into a lengthy and confusing period of correspondence culminating in my doing whatever saves my ass. Be warned, however, that if you think this little blurb is running long, this ain't nuthin', and you or your lawyers will be in for a veritable shitstorm of me trying to be funny about something that is potentially very serious.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I Know I Shouldn't Give A ****

I took a nice ride yesterday after work, lengthening my afternoon commute by about 15k just for kicks. It was rainy, which was nice because 1) I like riding in the rain and 2) it reduces the number of people out on the paths and 3) I was nice and cool. Anyway, I was in a pretty good mood and getting fairly close to home when this happened:





I didn't have to touch my brakes. I did have to let up on pedaling a little. In the grand scheme of things, it is not a big deal. It shouldn't even be a small deal, but it is to me. Would the officer have done that to a slow car? Maybe, I don't know. I do know that if it is OK for cops to do it, surely it is OK for everybody else, right?

I wonder a little if I'm just being opportunistic, because cops make great video fodder. There may be an element of that in my posting of this video when I let so many other drivers off without a mention here or on youtube. That said, shouldn't I be able to hold police to a higher standard? I know when I'm in a marked work vehicle I drive like anybody might report me for just about anything, which is probably true.

So, having seen the video, what do you think? Cheap shot or legitimate beef? I'm starting to think a little of both.


Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Review: Doritos Intense Pickle

My last post was about how I wished  for a return to the days when I wrote more and better stuff for this blog.

Today does not mark such a return, but something rather far from it. Nonetheless, this is IMPORTANT STUFF. There was a 2-fer kind of sale on Doritos at the grocery store today, plus there was a flavour on offer that I had never seen before: Intense Pickle!



hmmm. Bag opened, but not empty. A clue to the reviewer's opinion, a symptom of his level of satiety or merely the state of the bag at the time of the photo? We shall see, dear reader. Oh yes, we shall see. That much is certain...


Speaking of junk food, I am always rather amazed at the wider variety found in American grocery stores as opposed to Canadian. I mean, in Canada you might find like 3 flavours of Mountain Dew on any given store shelf, where in the US it is more like 6 or 8. Same goes for chips, candy, etc.

Given the fact that our national diets are very similar, I'm guessing it is simply a function of how much larger the US market is; there are enough consumers to make more variety financially viable. Or maybe, Canadians are simple folk who would just stand in the aisle undecided until the store had to close if presented with so many choices. Hell, I don't know why, really. Why are we talking about this anyway? Can we just talk about the chips I tried today, please? Sheesh! You and your rambling tangents! Don't get me wrong, it's kind of endearing and one of the many things I quite like about you. You da best, dear reader.

Where was I? Oh yeah, Intense Pickle Doritos. I think pickle flavoured chips are one of those black-and-white, love 'em or hate 'em kind of things. People who like pickle chips really like them, and people who don't really don't. Obviously, I'm in the pro-pickle chip crowd. Even so, I couldn't quite get my head around corn-tortilla-chip-pickle-flavour fusion, let alone an intense version of said synthesis.

Sorry I'm so damn wordy. This was supposed to be a review, not a never-ending run-on continuous stream of ceaseless meandering without final destination of a textual journey that fails to come to any conclusion within a reasonable time frame! So here it is:


Intense Pickle Doritos are frikkin' awesome. Also, not too intense.



That is all.
R A N T W I C K

PS - In case you're new here or whatever, please know that I have no relationship, financial or otherwise, with the makers of these pickle chips, and as such have not and could not receive any kind of consideration monetary or otherwise for my frikkin' awesome review.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Personal Faves

I've added a new item under "Post Series and Emerging Themes" on my sidebar called "My Personal Faves". I've gone through the 605 posts on this blog and applied that label to 49 of them. That means while I am almost always OK with what I'm putting out, I am really really pleased with myself about 8% of the time. The distribution of Faves, however, is heavily weighted toward the first few years, which makes sense because I used to spend untold hours thinking about and writing for this blog. Although I of course would love for everybody to read them again or for the first time, this particular label is really more for myself.

Reading some of the old posts reminds me of when I've enjoyed writing and goofing around here the most, which fires me up to do more and better stuff than I have of late. I wanna get back to the sort of writing I used to do all the time. I may or may not succeed in this regard, but I want to try.

I love writing for this blog and the conversations that ensue afterward. I find it amazing that there are still a few of you hanging around after all this time and after lengthy absences.

Thank you so much.

Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Well Go and Figure: I Like Strava!

I really like reading bikesnobnyc, and bikesnobnyc really likes poking fun at roadies who obsess over all the latest tech and bikes and training stuff. One way in which some people do this is something called Strava. Snob pokes fun at it too, which made me somewhat reluctant to try it, I must admit. Sad as some (including the bikesnob) may find it, I hold the bike snob in pretty high regard. 

Strava allows cyclists and runners and swimmers (tri-geeks or mono-geeks) to track their workouts' paths, speeds and distances via gps and also uses any extra info the person's electronics may offer, like heart rate and power meter readings. Caring about that stuff or buying all the latest tech is not really my deal, but way back when I had a basic cycling computer that measured distance and speed, I really liked it. Too much. That little device on my handlebars became quite a distraction and I started to spend too much time watching it and trying to beat previous top speeds, best times and so on. I was getting all OCD about the little screen readings and missing out on the best parts of cycling: fresh air, sunshine, trees, people... you know, the outdoor world in all its fine variety; the whir of the drivetrain, the thrill of speeding along with the wind rushing in your ears.

I wasn't cool with that situation and ditched the computer and have been pleased with that decision ever since. I missed having a tally of my miles because it helps me stay on top of maintenance tasks like chain replacements, knowing how many miles a set of tires had lasted, etc. Other than that, it was good riddance to the computer, especially since I had mastered manual cadence computation.

I forget what made me curious about Strava. In any case, I decided to try it.

I don't spend money on high-end cycling stuff, tech included. However, I do own a smartphone and there's a free Strava app to track my rides with. Knowing the pitfalls of handlebar mounted tech, I just start the app, stick the phone in my fanny pack and enjoy my ride. When I'm finished, I just stop recording and upload the activity and I'm done. Activity tracked, ride enjoyed unimpeded by OCD statistics watching. It's the best of both worlds!

Strava is also a platform for people to compete, trying to go fastest on "segments" identified by riders. Common cycling routes usually have lots of segments on them that have been defined by Strava users. Climbs are very popular segments. The person with the fastest time is referred to as "King of the Mountain" and their achievement is thus called a KOM.



My dog Snow Face is about as close as I'll ever get to a KOM, since we're talking about some of the most fit riders in town riding racing bikes vs. a middle aged overweight man on a heavy commuter bike. That said, Strava allows me to compete with myself, letting me know when I've put in a good effort or a personal best (PB) on a segment. After a brief spate of segment-chasing and over-exertion (a common problem among Strava users because it is kind of addictive) I have chilled out. It's nice to see segment info from a ride, but I no longer seek it actively. On routes I ride often, I know where the segments are and attack them hard some days and ignore them completely on others.

It should be noted that Strava has been criticized for inducing some unsafe riding by idiots chasing KOMs... I believe it. If you're gonna try it, please don't be one of those. Being a cycling nerd is completely forgivable, but putting others at risk so you can play speed racer is not. 

I am finding Strava fun and encouraging and best of all my cycling stats OCD is relegated to times that I'm OFF the bike rather than ruining my time ON it. I think the lesson here is that you don't have to be Kaptain KOM to enjoy using Strava, nor do you have to geek out watching tech strapped to your handlebars. Go and figure, I like Strava! Being a devoted follower of BSNYC, I would ask you to keep this under your hat, OK?


Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Monday, May 4, 2015

Another Damn "Not Dead" Post

Hey, it looks like my posts are just gonna be more infrequent. From here on out, even if there's a lengthy pause in activity here on the blog, please assume that nothing bad has happened. Indeed, you can safely assume that much good has happened, since I'm still riding my bike lots and I'm still blessed with a family who still loves me. Still.

I've got a couple of pictures that aren't very interesting, but what the hell.

Here's the CUBE bike I got a while ago in its normal daily configuration:





Which is to say, here's a picture a dirty bike with panniers and a mirror! I ended up removing the chain guard because as nice as it looked, it was, um, guarding my chain. I like being able to see and get at my chain easily. That guard kept me from fully appreciating how the winter chain was dissolving into a rusty paste of metal and grease. Yesterday I addressed that issue, which it why the drivetrain is the only clean part in the picture:


I could look at that pristine bike chain all day, and I don't have to tell you how nice and smooth and quiet a brand new chain can be. If only there was some way to protect it, like some kind of guard...


Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bike. Yup. Also, Am I a Bad Parent?

Yay! I've been riding again since Monday. As expected, it has left me wondering why I stopped. Endorphin based joyjoys and cycling zen thought clearing activity have me feeling better than I have in some time.

Or is it texting my teenage daughter and being a little mean for fun? Could be that too, because I enjoyed this immensely:


A good parent sets a good example. I paid up.

Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Helmet Cam And Other Weenies

As you may be aware, I am a pretty big fan of cycling POV cam videos. Today, however, I am just fed up with the ever-increasing number of helmet cam cyclists who post about every little infraction. I'm unsubscribing from this guy for sure: obscured license on parked truck? Really? Maybe the truck pissed him off previously or something, I don't know. There just seems to be an upswing in cam cyclists who need to get a life and get off the Airzound.

For myself, I just need to get back on the bike... soon after my most recent snowy video I suffered a muscle pull that I decided required a couple days off the bike. That couple of days has turned into a couple of months! I don't really know what is wrong with me... I love to ride, even in winter. Is it possible I just don't anymore? I don't think so. I'm just being a weenie, giving in to my lazy bone, both here on the blog and in my bike commuting. Both things are a source of joy for me, yet here I am, bummed out and driving or taking the bus to work.

Maybe I need to start meditating or have my ears candled or get a tattoo or get to bed earlier or stop watching so much crappy TV. "Storage Wars"? "Border Security"? What the hell is wrong with me? All opinions welcome, since my usual source of personal insight through skull irregularities, Mordecai McBumpanoggin, is no longer returning my calls. Perhaps he has returned to Vienna; it's anybody's guess with that guy.

Anyway, thanks for reading and wish me luck as I try to get back on track!


Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hey! Hey! Over here!

Hello! I've been distracted, lazy, busy, confused and generally unable or unwilling to write anything here for a while. Has everyone been well? I haven't been doing much blog reading either.

I deleted my Facebook account! Couldn't be happier, really. I mean I have this blog thing and Twitter if people want to check in on how I'm doing. There's something about facebook that is just tiresome (at least for me) compared to these other platforms. Perhaps it is the constant reminders of the ways in which I'm letting others down by forgetting birthdays, etc, because I don't go on it enough. Anyway, I'm gone from facebook and it feels good.

I hadn't been using Twitter much at all and thought I would give it a try. I'm kind of digging it. There is such a crazy stream of stuff (if you follow many people) that trying to keep up with everything isn't even an option. Going on twitter feels more like popping into a bar and chatting with or eavesdropping on some people you sort of know.

I've done a couple of things on Twitter that simply must be stored forever here on the blog. They are way too awesome to just get lost in the fast-flowing river of tweetiness.

First, there was a hashtag thing called #ReplaceALetterRuinATvShow that triggered my WTF Syndrome (see sidebar) pretty bad:




And today after work I did an animated gif thing that was kind of cool, I thought. It has since morphed into a video:





That pretty well sums up where I've been lately!
Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Friday, January 9, 2015

Things People Say Fridays #15: Yeah, Buddy!

Wednesday of this week was a pretty snowy day in London Ontario, pushing the limits of my relatively skinny tires in the morning and exceeding them sometimes on the way home. I tweeted something after my ride/walk home on Wednesday evening:


At the time I had just arrived home having seen many smirks and even overhearing some mildly derisive comments, so you can understand. However, now that a little time has passed I have remembered someone who was much more positive about my winter cycling efforts:





I am a firm believer that somewhat wild looking dudes with snow and ice in their beards are more likely to speak deep truths than the rest of us. I mean, if you're not going to listen to this guy, who are you going to listen to?




Not actual "yeah, buddy" guy. I was unable to get a usable image from the video. I thought this might do instead. pic source

Thanks, bearded cycling brother. You get it, and that's enough for me.


Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Weather Widget / Gadget / Doodad Thing

Most reasonably small and simple weather things you can post on your web page don't have wind direction or speed on them, and that has always bugged me. You don't have to cycle very much before you start to really notice and want to know what the wind is doing.

That is why I'm pleased to now offer such a widget / gadget / doodad on my sidebar. I'm extra pleased that it is an Environment Canada doodad, free of strings or sneaky links to ads or anything like that.

If you don't live in London, but live in Canada, here's a link to the page that will generate your city-specific code:


I have re-sized mine a little to fit my page better... if you live in London, ON and want one just like mine (and really, who wouldn't) just copy n' paste the code below:

<!-- Begin WeatherLink Fragment -->
<iframe title="Environment Canada Weather" width="260px" height="230px" src="//weather.gc.ca/wxlink/wxlink.html?cityCode=on-137&amp;lang=e" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0"></iframe>
<!-- End WeatherLink Fragment -->


If you don't live in Canada, well, sorry. This is just one of the many things about my country that is better than yours. Don't get me wrong, I love and admire and even envy the < insert desirable quality here > of < your country name >. < Your country name > ain't Canada though. Not by a long shot. Canada so totally rocks it is almost embarrassing. Almost.


Yer Pal,
R A N T W I C K