Showing posts with label My Personal Faves. Show all posts
Showing posts with label My Personal Faves. Show all posts

Thursday, September 18, 2014

News Flash: Stuff Is Gonna Happen

I had an interesting morning on my way to work. A kind of "perfect storm" of road sharing (or lack thereof) in which a truck with a trailer gave me a wide berth (thank you, btw), pushing an oncoming white pickup close to a runner going the same direction as me facing traffic on the other side of the road, as runners commonly do. Thing is, it resulted in the runner and the motorist coming to blows. I have video. Here's the "perfect storm" part:

After that is when things went all sideways. The runner told me he may have made a gesture at the pickup's driver when he came so close. Just after that the driver of the white pickup did a u-turn, drove up to the runner and the driver got out. Yelling and a pretty serious scuffle ensued. I dismounted my bike and approached, but not too close. The white pickup left soon after. I spoke to the runner who gave me his version of what happened. I offered my video. He didn't want it. 30 seconds after we parted ways, the runner was yelling after me asking if I could get a plate number off my video. The truck had swung around again and the driver had thrown hot water or tea or something on him! Crazy. Just crazy.

Now for the surprising (at least to me) part: I am not going to post the video of any of that. I am making it available to the runner in case he wants to press charges, but I am not going to post it anywhere online. When I first got it, I was mentally rubbing my hands at the thought of tons of views (and maybe a little ad revenue) on youtube. Now though, I have decided that would just feel sort of wrong.

As much as they are fun to watch, nobody learns anything from videos of negativity and violence on the roads; they entertain by appealing to the worst in us and just leave the viewer more convinced than ever that everybody else out there is a dangerous idiot. Hate 'em all, whoever they are!

Here's what I wish people would learn instead: so long as there are roads and people using them, Stuff Is Gonna Happen. I sometimes make mistakes when I drive my car and when I ride my bike. So do you. Sometimes complex scenarios result in people making poor decisions. It isn't malice or carelessness; it's just a mistake. I heard somewhere that people learn from those. In addition, there are careless unsafe idiots using every possible mode of transportation. Contrary to how it feels sometimes, these are a small minority; if they weren't it would be non-stop carnage and bedlam out there. Last but not least, there are road users who want to strongly assert their rights, real or perceived, 100% of the time.

For those who assert their legal rights at all times, go for it. You (ahem) have every right. I would remind you that a little well-timed and considered courtesy that is not required by law can really help others out sometimes and make you an awesome person in the process. For those who are always asserting perceived rights, you wouldn't know they weren't real, would you? Ask yourself if you often find yourself in conflict with other road users. If so, you may want to look into what your rights and obligations really are under the law.

My point, however, is that no amount of legal correctness or common courtesy can protect any of us in all scenarios. Stuff Is Gonna Happen. My hope is that by remembering this fact I (and others) will maintain enough road zen to be peaceful and civil, even when we feel we've been wronged. Stuff Is Gonna Happen. It's OK, we're all only human. Let's be kind. Stuff Is Gonna Happen. Ohmmm.

Yer Pal,

PS - For the curious, I was unable to pull a plate number from my video. Even in HD, plates can be hard to get good video of unless they're right in front of you. The runner has my number if he wants the video anyway.

Friday, July 25, 2014

If Snakes Got Tattoos

I have suffered a WTF (Word To Form) Syndrome double-whammy! If you don't know what I'm talking about, click here

Anyway, long time reader of Rantwick and awesome thoughtful blogger Cafiend, aka Citizen Rider, wrote something that struck my WTF bone pretty hard. Go here for full context, but in short he has suffered some sort of bite or sting that is requiring loads of antibiotics and stuff. In reference to said bite, likely that of a spider or insect, he wrote, "This would be a lot easier to take from a nice macho rattlesnake". Of course I knew exactly how he meant it. But WTF caused me to wonder what a "macho rattlesnake" would look like. Damn.

WTF syndrome is not to be trifled with, so I got to work right away when I got home from work. So: What does a macho rattlesnake look like?

Tom Selleck's Moustache (literally), Steak House kinda guy, tattoo. Done.

When I was working on the stupidness above, I drifted into a second wave of stupid: If snakes got tattoos, what would they get? I figured a deadly human preparing to strike, y'know? So, if you're a snake, what does that look like?

Angry dude with a shovel. I was channeling a snake spirit I think. I ended up spending more time on macho snake's tattoo than macho snake himself. And so, another episode of WTF has occurred and been dealt with. I won't bother with the usual apologies and stuff; it changes nothing. Let us all just move on. 

Yer Pal,

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


borg image source -- background image source -- plate of food image source

Yep. Somebody in my house, I forget who, accidentally said "smorgasborg" the other day. Might have been me. Anyway, Word To Form (WTF) syndrome kicked in hard. And here we are.
Are you disappointed that there is nothing about cycling in this post? I would hate for that to happen... I don't want to be a poor host, given that you've come all this way...
image source - a review of tire pictured above - that be cycling content right there, uh huh!

Yer Pal,

Monday, September 16, 2013

RANT: Just a Joke

I can't handle many more a-holes who post content expecting others to back them up in being stupid or negative or mean and then cop out with something like "it was Just a Joke, relax bro... " when people don't like it. It was never intended to be a joke. Calling it one after the fact doesn't make it one. "Just a Joke" is an infuriating, childish and cowardly cop-out that drives me crazy, at least as I write this.
Here's the specific thing that set me off: last week I posted a video entitled London Ontario City Workers Doing A Great Job. When I played it for myself YouTube did its usual thing, displaying related videos when mine was over. One of them was entitled "London Ontario City Worker's Typical Day". I played it, expecting to see some people leaning on their shovels or looking lazy. Which is still no fair in my opinion. Imagine what your work day would look like if somebody filmed you the whole time. Any down time? Any hanging around waiting for stuff beyond your control? Any time wasted chatting? Just sayin'.

Where was I? Ah yes, this other video. Turned out it was of a City dump truck that had become stuck, probably due to some driving or other error. It was being hauled out of its predicament by a big tow truck. The video narrator says: 
"Pretty funny what our tax dollars pay for, stupid drivers...". The closing credits and the description both ask if we should have to pay for this, inviting viewers to comment. Doesn't sound like a joke to me. Here's a link to the video , and now some screenshots in case you would rather not waste your time watching it:

Hmm. Not so jokey, really.

 "Pretty funny what our tax dollars pay for, stupid drivers"

Video poster asks for comments, and gets one!

As you can see above if you look closely, what happens when a commenter objects? The video's owner replies with "It was just a joke man it's all good. Everyone screws up".  Just a joke man? Where was your easy-going "everyone screws up" attitude when you went to the trouble of making the video and trying to get people all pissed off? Coward.

I have written things on this blog to which some people have objected in the past and I likely will again. When that happens I think about whether I still feel OK about what I wrote or whether I need to back pedal a bit and maybe even apologize, or stick to my guns and argue. That is what grown-ups do.

I would much rather that the poster of that video responded by saying, "I don't care who you know, buddy, this is a waste of my tax dollars"! Wrong-headed or not, doesn't matter. It's better than this weak "Just a Joke" bullshit. If you want to post as a grumpy taxpayer, go for it. In doing so, however, you forfeit the option of responding to criticism like a kid. Pick which one you are, or shut up.

The specific example I cited above is not enough to set me off in and of itself. I've been reading too many comments sections lately or something, because to me it seems symptomatic of a negativity and cowardice and stupidity that seems to be taking over my precious Internet.

The Internet presents such a crazy opportunity for good debate from thousands of valid viewpoints, the sharing of positive and interesting and entertaining stuff by almost everybody in the world! I mean, how cool is that, really??? Trouble is, everybody just has to accept that to get to the good stuff you have to wade through the bad stuff, being in some danger of being sucked in at all times. I hate that part.

In person, when some idiot says "easy man, it was just a joke" when it definitely was not, you have the option of punching him in the face. Online you have the option of getting them more attention by arguing, which is always pointless when facing off against a moron anyway. Thanks to this blog I have an additional option: vent like I have just done and then go kick some empty cardboard boxes. It works, thank God. See you next time. 
Yer Pal,

PS - Nothing in this post was Just a Joke. If you don't like something in it, bite me.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Things People Say Fridays #11: Bike Path Trash Talk

The time: Early May 2013.
The Place: London, Ontario.
The Battle: Hill climbing supremacy.
The Protagonists: Awesome. 

Hey, find your inner Annabelle and have a great weekend!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Things People Say Fridays #9 - I Am Wan Ming! Do Not Ignore!

People say the darndest things. Which is why this particular series of blog posts exists. The ramifications of shtuff you hear can reach deeply into your life, you know. More on that soon. Right now, let's meet a couple of friendly, high-spirited young men:

I showed this video to my wife, laughed a little, and decided to do a "Things People Say Fridays" post on it (YOU ARE HERE). That should have been the end of it, but it wasn't. It became kind of stuck in my mind. Later I wrote the new catchy phrase next to a cartoon face one of the kids drew on our whiteboard:


Next thing I knew I was using it in conversation (at home only, of course) when I felt that I was not being heard. Try it yourself! Say it with me: I am Wan Ming! Do Not Ignore!

Feels good, right? I mean, don't we all need to feel like Wan Ming, the powerful dude with the bigass bamboo stick once in a while? Using the phrase at home was working for me, stopping cross-talk and getting me the attention I required. It might have helped that I was yelling and had perfected the "Wan Ming crazy eyes"...

Anyway, this new phrase and the very temporary but very powerful alter-ego that went with it was working for me, so much so that I tried using it at work in a joking way. People liked it a lot. They snickered and looked sideways at each other and fidgeted around and said stuff like, "you are one super weird dude". It was awesome. None of my jokes had ever worked before.

With the phrase being so successful in all parts of my life excluding the professional, it was only a matter of time before I tried it out in a more formal setting. Have you ever been required to participate in a conference call? For those of you who have not, a conference call often takes the form of a group of people with a conference (fancy speaker) phone talking to other groups or individuals about something they all have a mutual interest in.

In the many conference calls I have participated in, it is common and almost unavoidable that you feel "talked over" sometimes. This is sometimes because one or more parties on the call are using conventional office half-duplex speaker phones (the fancy conference phones are full duplex*, meaning they can transmit and receive simultaneously) and can't hear your attempts to interject because they are talking at the time. Or, the speaker is just a jerk who won't stop spouting their BS sales jargon, or an egomaniac who can't get enough of her own voice or just a good old rambler who won't shut up. In any case, I was feeling "talked over", and Wan Ming made an appearance.

Of course, everybody else stopped talking. I said what I wanted to say and waited for a response. There was none! It was almost like the other people on the call were sort of stunned and didn't know what to do. I needed to shock them into action and called upon the Grumbear. I figured the combination of the Grumbear and Wan Ming would be impossible to ignore!

I was right, it was impossible to ignore. Sadly, most of the people just took off or hung up and then called my boss. Now I'm in trouble at work. Turns out, my employer doesn't think it is acceptable to take some weird shtuff a kid said, fixate upon it until you create an angry but powerful character in your mind and then try to use it during a business conference call while channeling a construction paper and wool bear who is filled with insane ursine rage. 

I chalk it up to a lack of vision on their part.

* please forgive this little foray into complete nerd land. I couldn't help it. I wish more of us who end up on conference calls understood it. If your workplace has real conference phones, use them and encourage the people you are talking to to use them as well if they can. Huge difference. Much better comm.

PS - Just in case you're new here and are taking me seriously, almost none of the above narrative is true. To see where I crossed from the somewhat true to the completely fictional, find the blue line _______________ above.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Peace and Quiet

As I indicated in my last post, I was away for a vacation recently. I've been slow getting back into the swing of this blog and everything else, really, because it slowed down my brain in an awesome way. I went home to Thunder Bay and spent most of my time on Bolduc Bay, Dog Lake at our family camp (cottage) near Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Here's an excellent example of what has been dominating my thoughts lately:

The sound was included in that video. Notice how you could hear my footsteps in the sand, but nothing after? I didn't take the sound out; there just wasn't any. Oh yeah.

As I resume with my more usual stuff, I find my mind keeps going back to this... I'm thinking most people would fully understand. I mean, look at it! If I could choose anywhere in the world to be...

Yer Pal,

Monday, June 11, 2012

Downtown Fixed Gear, RANTWICK Style

As some of you may know, my summer commuter (named Summer) is a fixed gear. Way back when I did a post about the unhip nature of its setup.

I had a nice ride in downtown traffic on that bike a few days ago. Upon reviewing the video, I realized I had now also made the antithesis of one of those exciting fixed gear films from places like New York.

Taking all the cool and/or hip out of a downtown fixed gear video is much easier than you might think: It is a simple matter of substitution!

Evil Peace
When I went ahead and made the requisite substitutions, I got this:

I hope I am now firmly established as the most publicly lame fixed gear weirdo in North America. When I showed that video to the rest of the Rantwick clan, they just shook their heads. I don't blame them. I don't know why I do such things.

Yer Pal,

Logo from my friends in the cool new indie band called "Evil Peace" You should follow the link and check them out.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I Am A Blogging King!

You know, people start blogging for all kinds of reasons. Some people find it theraputic. Some have some sort of agenda or message they're trying to promote. Some just enjoy writing so much that they just do it for fun. All of those reasons apply to me to some degree, but my real reason for blogging for over three years now has been something else entirely. FREE STUFF.

I hadn't been reading BSNYC and Fat Cyclist for very long before I noticed that bicycle companies were sending them FREE STUFF to review or whatever. I wanted FREE STUFF for myself and so began writing this blog. It has been a long road, but I Have Arrived.

At first I thought it was too good to be true when I received an email from a VP of a company who has had its products written about here on Rantwick.

From his email:

Thanks for the post on ___ _____ ______! Always interesting to get a new pairs of eyes looking at our product.

Would like to send you off a couple of samples...  

That was on May 2. Yes, those words shone like gold on my computer screen. I was pumped, but suspicious. Would they REALLY send me FREE STUFF, or were they just getting my address so they could send me the legal papers necessary to sue me? Or, worse, send hired goons?

The tone of the email was friendly and I was confident that all would be well. Still, I resolved not to write of it until the FREE STUFF had actually arrived just in case. Brothers and Sisters, that time has come!

I've had a really bad cold the past few days and was at home when the package arrived; nice because normally we have to drive out to a pickup place.

Medium sized box. Whatever might it contain?

Some of you may recall a post from a couple of months ago about Maple Syrup and Bread Crumbs. That's right, the good people from SunPac Foods sent me 6 (6!) tubs of Bread Crumbs and a dozen bottles of various Juices! Suck on that, BikeSnobNYC. Eat my dust, Fat Cyclist. You enjoy all your free bike stuff (italicized with a sneering tone) and I'll discover a great many ideal uses for bread crumbs while enjoying chilled juice that may help with my cold.

Please brace yourself for a bit of content shift here on Rantwick... I'm thinking that now it will be mostly about beer and Maseratis. If you're thinking "Maseratis? Why not uber-racing-bikes?", I get you, but I also know I have at least some chance of making a Maserati perform at its best, if you get my drift (pant, pant, wheeze).

Yer Pal,

PS - Steve A left a comment on the first Bread Crumb post which read "Are bread crumbs merely uncooked croutons or are they something more?" The dude who emailed me had this to say in his email: "And….Crumb is very different than croutons!" So there you have it, Steve. Ball is in your court. Learn what those differences are, man.

PPS - If you have some sort of recipe in which bread crumbs play a large part, please send it my way. I just might make it and post about making it here on the blog. Now that I'm a BIG DEAL in the bread crumb world, you would be made famous by association!

PPPS - I wasn't being honest at the beginning of this post. I didn't start writing this blog in order to get free stuff. Am I insane, or does the fact that when I do get free stuff it turns out to be bread crumbs seem kind of fitting somehow? I mean, the way this blog is and everything? Bread crumbs are perfect, don't you think?

PPPPS - I don't really have a PPPPS. Just looking to set a new record.

PPPPPS - Smashed it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Encounters with Rantwick, episode Eighteen: Cycle Satan and Devil Dog

You know, most commutes are pleasant, but boring. I delete most of my commuting videos from my camera because they are just plain uninteresting. Ever since I've mounted my very obvious top 'o the helmet cam, they have become even more so because very few cars do crummy things. That's cool with me!

Once in a long while, however, something downright spooky and upsetting and behaviour changing occurs. This, as you may have guessed, is one of those occasions. Good, Evil, Cars, imminent Death, screeching brakes, HellHounds... brace yourself:

Yer Pal,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Great Satan

I have a devil living in my driveway. It is a beat up 2006 Hyundai Elantra.

This thing is sucking away my soul, bit by bit. Melodramatic, I know, but ever since the Rantwick clan once again had two cars, I've been riding less and less. When Lucifer makes an appearance in one's life, one must respond swiftly and without mercy. This car has got to go. Despite my best laid plans, this thing is keeping me from riding as much as I used to. The dark one is clever, disguising himself in the trappings of goodness...

The promise of bike hauling is just a ruse aimed at making me think this instrument of evil could be made to serve a higher purpose. I shall exorcise the evil and free the pure spirit of the bike rack, saving it to strap on our main family vehicle. I shall cast the rest out, out, out to the automotive part-mongers. Yes. All shall be well again soon. Stay tuned. 

Feeling Lighter Already, I Remain,

PS - Did you notice? In heaven, or at least among angels, the bicycle drivetrain is sometimes on the LEFT side! Also, angels ride the top tube with reckless abandon, pain free. Crazy, man. God, I mean. Crazy, God!

PPS - I realize that this post may have offended more religious types. To all of you Satanist RANTWICK readers, please know that I was just having a little fun and meant no disrespect to you or your Dark Lord.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Day the Rantwick Way

Mrs. Rantwick and I believe that Valentine's Day is pure commercial nonsense. For years now, we have agreed to do nothing on Feb 14. I do, on occasion, surprise her by having flowers sent to her office or something, but never on Valentine's. We usually get some candies and stuff for the kids, but that's it.

I had been away from home (in Winnipeg, Manitoba) for over a week and was missing my family like crazy. By the way, I attempted to collect video votes for trees at the airport a couple of times, but it would seem travellers are a rather surly and suspicious bunch, and so I got nothing. I hope to have a winner before you all hate me, but no promises. Anyway, I returned home on Valentine's day. Mrs. Rantwick and the two little Rantwicks were at work and school, but they had left a lovely handmade Valentine for me!

Pretty sweet, right? Well just wait, it gets much better. Don't all the best things in life come with a disclaimer? Oh, I think so:

WARNING: We could not think of anything other than toilet humor so don't take this poem personally!

Then they hit me with a verse I shall cherish always (sniff)...

Roses are red, violets are blue
You smell funny
Just like my poo!

This came from the bottom of our HEARTS!

God I love my family. That card was LOVE with a capital P baby! Please don't be too envious of me and my awesome wife and children... although I don't know how on earth you could help it.

Yer Pal,

PS - I now realize that "LOVE with a capital P" is a rather strange thing to write. In my addled brain, the "P" was for Poo.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Other Other Other Woman

When cycle blog reading people see a title like "The Other Woman" they naturally make the assumption that "she" is yet another bike. Car enthusiasts use the expression all the time for their secondary passions too. Indeed, I have posted on three bikes in just such a manner in the past. In this case, however, "The Other Woman" actually refers to a woman. I love her. It's a good thing Mrs. Rantwick is OK with my fixations on unreal women like Mother Nature and my new flame, Billboard Bike Woman:

She speaks to me every time I ride by, whispering sweet bike path nothings filled with the promise of freewheeling sun-dappled romance and a nice red wine buzz. She is a stylized, unreal swoopy-figured lady purposefully crafted to drive me mad. She is the natural advertising result of the current popularity of cycle chic, transportation cycling and many people's deep love of red wine; in the immortal words of Meatloaf (the only true authority on love), two out three ain't bad, baby. Cycle Chic isn't really my thing... although maybe I'll make an exception in her case.

my latest devastating crush

Now, contrary to the abundant evidence otherwise, I ain't stupid. I can see through this billboard lady's wine and dress and bike and basket. I know that she is really just another famous woman, repackaged for the gentle cycling wino set:

I don't care. In fact, her less refined and more lurid past in the mud flap trade just makes her even more attractive to me. I mean, everyone has a past, right? Who am I to judge?

Yer Pal,

Friday, August 19, 2011

One Way Cyclists Die

Sorry for the rather forceful title, but you know, it is what it is. A great many readers of this blog are experienced, knowledgeable cyclists who don't need to read any further. On the off chance that you are not however, I strongly urge you to read on. I was riding home yesterday and cringed as I watched this:

Now some cyclists might think a move like that is a calculated risk and not so bad. I disagree. Do that move with a car and you might get knocked over, injured or worse. Do it with a truck and you'll get knocked over and then be crushed by its rear wheels and have an excellent chance of dying. The guy in my video obviously came out just fine. But what happens when the truck driver isn't all over his mirrors for a couple of seconds and then sees a break in traffic? In addition, few people realize how huge the blind spots on a big truck are. Here are a couple of videos to illustrate:

The next video is good too, especially the blind spot bits at 3:10 or so.

Lorries, LGVs, Semis, Cube Vans, Big Ass Trucks ... no matter what you call 'em, I hope you get my drift.

Yer Pal,

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.

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.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Identity Theft - I've Lost Face in a Rachael Ray opinion poll!

I have a peculiar affection for my little Rantwick face. I made it as part of the very first website I ever published about 10 years ago. That site has been retired for about 5 years and isn't available any more. He was the image link for "Odd Stuff" or something. This little face has become more than a simple button to me. He is my blogging alter ego. I paste that head on stuff. That head is Rantwick and Rantwick is "me".

Other people seem to like it too.They take it out to restaurants in Texas...

Drink beer with it in London England...

Copyright . Click pic for source web page.

And use it in saluting stuff of mine they agree with...

I get a great deal of pleasure from people using my Rantwick head in creative ways. Except when it isn't Rantwick at all. My little guy has been demoted to "button" status once more. Not only that, but he is being used to call TV cooking show hottie Rachael Ray "mediocre" (if you can possibly believe it) in a poll found on an opinion site called The site isn't really to my taste, but looks like it is pretty popular.

C'mon, man, mediocre is even spelled wrong! So sad. Chin up, little guy!

It would be hypocritical of me to be crabby about others using the image, since I use images from the web all the time. I try to remember to link to sources and give credit, but my record is by no means spotless. In any case, this only bugs me because I have begun to think of that little guy as a reflection of myself, or at least of this blog. I signed up for the site just so I could leave a comment about this misuse of my face. Mediorce? Me? Impossible.

Yer Pal,


me·di·orce (mee-dee-orse, meh-di-orse) - noun

1. A divorce mediated by a third party.
2. A divorce caused by medical concerns or issues.
3. A divorce conducted during the Middle Ages in Europe, usually characterized by the killing of one of the betrothed.
4. A divorce caused by inappropriate spousal behaviour at a Medieval Times dinner and show.
5. The divorce of married doctors, usually characterized by lawyers making tons of money.
6. A misspelling of the adjective "mediocre".

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

OPD - Ortlieb Pannier Disorder

Some of you may know this already, but I have something of an unhealthy obsession with Ortlieb Panniers. I have blogged at each stage of what I now consider my Ortlieb Pannier Disorder.

It began with researching Ortlieb Pannier fabrics and their relative merits and environmental implications...

Then I got all freaked out about their different pricing in various countries...

Then, once I had the panniers, I began obsessing about properly closing them leaving no creases without the shoulder strap, so much so that I developed a hack in order to do so and used up 2 posts worth of your precious time telling you about it:

After writing that post I knew I was getting WAY too interested in the tiny details of simply using a bicycle saddle bag. I mean, who cares, right? Well apparently I do, because yesterday I followed a link on bikesnobNYC that went to pedal strap maker Hold Fast's web site.

Instead of appreciating the nice bikes in the picture, my eyes were immediately drawn to the Ortlieb Pannier. The first thing I noticed was that it was done up very poorly (at least by my OPD standards). Second, it contained something sort of oddly "pokey".

Just for the record:

Now as far as the "pokey" nature of the pannier in question, it just makes me curious.

What could it be in there? A bong perhaps?

Author's Note: When faced with a mysterious object, I always guess "bong" first. They come in such a wide variety of shapes and sizes that it is never a bad guess. Also, it is just fun to say the word "bong".

A dreaded attack squirrel?

I could be anything! Except maybe a book or a loaf of bread. They don't have pokey bits. I welcome your guesses as to the contents of that bag. Whatever is in there, I like to think the bike and bag belong to this this guy:

That way it could be like a pannier version of pets looking like their owners! Umm, I think I had better stop now and take a nap or something. I hope I don't dream of pokey, poorly closed panniers...

Yer Pal,