As of today, our decorations include a gingerbread house that Melanie made at school (instead of learning something useful for her future career, like sine waves, how a bill becomes a law, or All Quiet on the Western Front). But even though it comes at a high, high academic cost, it's an adorable little cottage. An adorable, delicious little cottage.
We'll be in Nebraska for a little over a week, so while there may be Neblogsking, you should plan to be pleasantly surprised if there's an update rather than up in arms if there isn't.
Update: Whoah, dudes - Missy doesn't cook very much, but she just busted out a salad that involved candying walnuts. Happy holidays, indeed!
1) You very rarely travel, internationally even less so, but you own a cozy cottage in the woods. In fact, your cottage is on a lake and your birchbark canoe is tethered to your personal dock. Vacations aren't spent in far-flung locations or multi-million dollar amusement parks, but reading in the hammock off your cottage's back porch.
2) Exactly the opposite - no cabin, but your visa is stamped full. You've seen the corners of the world, eaten numerous bugs, and spent time in an Indonesian jail after what you're calling a "misunderstanding".
Although I'm not writing the name of my new school, you can do some detective work if you want to. My copy of Faith Builds a Chapel by Winifred Boynton (1st ed., 1953) came today, and although I haven't read it today, it's a really stunning addition to my bookshelf. 10"x13", gilted edges, set-in color illustrations, full-page pencil drawings - just stunning.
The story of its relation to my new school is really fascinating. Go to work, Sherlock.
Amazon has a few used copies available if you want your own.
I'm writing to let you know that we've extended an offer in our search for a faculty position in International Relations. We received many strong applications and our decision was quite difficult at every step of the process. Unfortunately, we were not able to include you in our list of finalists.
I know it's a difficult year on the job market. I hope you can appreciate that the department was impressed by many of the applications. Having received more than a few such letters over my career, I take no pleasure in sending so many out.
I wish you the best in your pursuit of a tenure-track position. Our review of these applications has reminded me how vital and deep the scholarly study of politics is in this country. Frankly, I'm inspired, and I wish you the best in your job search.
Chair and Rejector Extraordinaire"
As most of you know by now, though, I've already accepted a fantastic position at another university - at least as good as the one I would have drawn up for myself if given a blank slate. No only is it a great school, but we'll still be in the midwest, so my daughter will get to moan about heat-haze in the summer and pull on my beardsicles in the winter. I haven't decided how much to write about the new position (which is why I'm being intentionally vague here), but I'll say this for now - this would be an amazing house for $300K (but even better for $140K).
Most of the time. But sometimes you click an Onion link from cnn.com, then a story from the archives happens to randomly pop up on the sidebar, and you just have to post that story because it's satire, but it's so totally not satire at all.
I give you: Rural Nebraskan Not Sure He Can Handle Frantic Pace of Omaha (1/17/01)
"Don't get Fred started on Omaha," friend Ken Carlson said. "He's always resented Amy for going there. They're a lot less close now than they used to be, and Fred feels it's because she's gotten a bit of an attitude since moving to the big city, like she's superior or something."
"Let's just say the glamour of city life has changed [Amy]," Linder said. "She's definitely 'gone Omaha,' if you catch my drift."
Linder has visited the Nebraska metropolis three times in his life, most recently in 1996 for a farm-equipment show.
"I prepared plenty well before that trip, you better believe," Linder said. "I bought a money belt and travelers' checks to protect myself from all those Omaha pickpockets and con men. And I made sure I had a full tank of gas before going, because I sure as heck wasn't about to pay Omaha prices for gas."
Linder said he has no plans to visit his sister in Omaha anytime soon.
You don't even send holiday cards, do you? For shame! Look at these from Ted Sears, an early Disney animator - now he knew how to send a Christmas card! (I read about them on Daddytypes, because yes, I read new-dad blogs).
Wow. Ted Sears was an animator and the first head of the story department at Walt Disney Studios. According to his IMDb bio, he was very influential in the adoption by the film industry of storyboards. He wrote the lyrics to Peter Pan ["We're following the leader, the leader, the leader."] And for years, until his death in 1958, he and his wife Vee--and eventually, their daughter Marcia--made insanely elaborate Christmas cards using props, collage, trick photography, and other techniques.
From my comment there - On one hand, he's clearly an egalitarian when it comes to charitable contributions. He's also pretty secular. On the other hand, though, he runs a pretty big factory, and I've never heard of an elf-union. Tough question, JT - no wonder you were confused!
The Wall Street Journal argues it would be worth it to move the decimal point one digit to the right for any future scarf purchases I have planned. Guess whether this snippet is about an Italian company that makes $950 sweaters or the kiosk at my local mall:
This is the story of how your sweater pollutes the air you breathe and how the rise of China shapes the world.
The country's enormous herds of cashmere-producing goats have slashed the price of sweaters. But they also have helped graze Chinese grasslands down to a moonscape, unleashing some of the worst dust storms on record. This fuels a plume of pollution heavy enough to reach the skies over North America, including Washington state.
The yarn was then shipped to the Cucinelli factory, which is in a 17th-century castle. Each of its 1,500 employees has a key, says Mr. Caronna. They work each day from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., breaking for a 90-minute lunch. Many go home for lunch, but Mr. Caronna says that those who stay are served a free three-course meal cooked up by three local women who shop for fresh groceries every morning. Employees return to work from 2:30 until 6 p.m. and then head home.
Cozy home with lots of charm and many updates. Hardwood floors, open stairway, three sets of french doors, fireplace, beautiful woodwork, newer appliances. There is a three season room and a nice deck overlooking a large landscaped yard. Newer furnace and roof; plus great finished space in clean dry recreational room.
The furniture in the bottom picture would get burned in the fireplace before we unpacked the first box, but check out the brick fireplace! And French doors to the screened-in porch! Which I'll call the sun-room! And other French doors to the back yard! Which I'll probably just call the back yard! To distinguish it from the front yard! Two yards!
I would show you the site with the rest, but I don't want you to swoop in and buy it from under me. You housing-market vultures.
Can you use "douchebags" in a major newspaper? I guess you can. I'm particularly willing to allow it if when the term is used to describe those to adopt the style fondly-called American Jackass (AmJack, for short, since you'll have to use it so often). If your name is TOWWAS, read closely - there's some real science up in here. Am I right, brah?
Untucked bold-striped dress shirts? Check. Distressed bootcut jeans with back pocket stitching resembling a peacock's plumage? Check. Square-toed Kenneth Coles in gloss-black? Double-check. Let's hit the clubs, broseph.
Interested in more douchebaggery? I highly recommend the blog Hot Chicks with Douchebags. The first part of that is debatable about 50% of the time, but the second is scientific fact, broheim.
“I love those boots,” says the designer and nightclub habitué Lazaro Hernandez, who had his Bean Boots refurbished after two years of everyday use. Hernandez, half of the fashion wonder team Proenza Schouler, insists, “All my friends have been copying me.”
Dig out your tote bags: fashion’s true believers, arguably the least authentic humans on the planet, are clamoring for the “real” America. Trend-deaf homegrown brands, whether fancy or just plain homely, have never been hipper. Will downtown Manhattan start looking like Martha’s Vineyard? “I look at old images of Bill Blass with his duck shoes and a cable-knit V-neck sweater and, like, a pipe in his library — it’s amazing,” Hernandez says. “It’s like wearing your grandfather’s clothes. It feels cool.”
However, some industry analysts caution that the early buying frenzy could soon peter out - and endanger crucial weekend sales - as millions of pre-dawn shoppers succumb to shopping fatigue.
"The early bird shoppers are definitely out there. But will it last through the day?" said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst with market research firm NPD Group.
Update: Aaand, that experiment's over. I think I just heard the song that's playing now say something like, "Watch me crank it in these hos", which is definitely not Nirvana. Melanie has no musical stamina. When I had Nevermind on cassette, I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say I listed to it a dozen times in a row. Melanie fast forwards through the intro music of songs to get to the chorus, then reverses to listen to the chorus again. She would be ecstatic with a compilation CD of five hundred 15-second snippets. Maybe "NOW: That's What I Call The Attention Span of a Third-grader!"
My alma mater's no ugly duckling, mind you. Like all campuses that had an influx of students from the GT Bill, it's marred by a few Soviet-looking dorms, but it was voted the most beautiful campus in the midwest many times.
This is the dorm my grandfather lived in when he was a student there - 50 years later, it was where I lived my freshman and sophomore years. That's right - I'm a legacy.
Also on the good-father front, I don't want to jinx it, but I think I nailed yesterday's phone interview. If it doesn't get me to the next stage, I need to fundamentally rethink and retool my approach to job-hunting.
Yesterday, at West Towne Mall (far from shady - well, unless you only shop at Hilldale), we found two new kiosks hocking x-mas gifts - one selling fake Burberry cashmere scarves and the other with fake Coach bags. I'm not talking about general look-a-likes or homages, but completely fake $12 scarves with Burberry tags (note: not "Berbarry" or "Burrberrey", but correctly-spelled and all). The Coach bags have one tag that talks about their authenticity...and another in Chinese.
West Towne Mall's no fly-by-night organization (Look at its spelling!) - how in the world did these kiosks get approved? I assume whatever company owns the mall has some lawyers, right? (Someone has to defend the management from Orange Julius-related slips and falls.) As the new owner of two fake Burberry scarves, I'm not complaining too hard, but I'd still like to know what the deal is. Not enough to call the mall office, though - I think I still want a green one.
I forgot: West Towne Mall is also the home of the least-guessable url in mall-shopping history. Welcome to www.shopwesttowne-mall.com - if the extraneous "shop", "e" and "-" didn't lose you, that is!
2) A student standing where the Crazy Christian Preachers usually stand, yelling, "I'M BETTER THAN YOU! AND I'M GOING TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT! I'M PRETTY INSECURE! THAT'S WHY I'M YELLING AT YOU INSTEAD OF TALKING TO PEOPLE WHO CARE! YOU SUCK AND I AM AWESOME! ETC!" Hiiii-larious.
3) The job market has peaks and valleys - I got another phone interview today, but also (a) found out that one of my colleagues got a campus interview at a school we both phone-interviewed with, and (b) got a letter from ABOYAM (A Bunch of Your Alma Mater) that they've hired someone for the position I applied for.
UPDATE: The peaks and valleys come very quickly! Three minutes after I posted #3, I got an e-mail from one of my top 3 choices making sure I was still interested in the position! I'm on an emotional roller-coaster!
I hate winter so much.
The "little finger" gesture is meant to be given to speeders in lieu of other, more traditional fingers. Rather than anger or annoyance, it's meant to imply that the speeder...uh...has a small organ. While it sounds like an 8th-grade game and is clearly less effective when used at female speeders, it meets all the qualifications of a good driving gesture - quick, easy, widely understood (in Australia, anyway). And based on this article, effective.
Simon Jardak was fined $400 by a magistrate yesterday after an accusatory finger on the Anzac Bridge enraged him so much he threw a plastic bottle out of his car window, hitting the gesturing woman's car.
Jardak blamed his malicious damage charge on the RTA's anti-speeding campaign, in which hoons are mocked with wagging little fingers, suggesting they have tiny penises.
I'm a long-time wisher that there was a commonly-understood hand signal for "I'm sorry, dude - that was 100% my fault, and I recognize and acknowledge that." It would prevent so much anger on the highways and byways - frankly, I think a public awareness campaign in our country is in order. Now we just need a gesture to use. George Bush, if you're reading this, don't use the "index finger on the nose" for the apology campaign - it's already been assigned.
Is there anything I wanted to write about?**
*A reference to my dissertation title, which exists to please no one but me.
**How goddamn cool is the new iPod Touch? It's killing me dead, that's how cool.
To congratulate me on getting to this next stage of the job market process (and, let's be honest, to help me get through it without looking like a hipster grad student), Missy gave me this very Ivy League-looking leather bag. I feel like such a grown-up when I take it to school - hopefully that means I'll look like a grown up when I take it to interviews, and knock on wood, to teach classes next fall. My bassboat-red Schwinn bag (by Chrome) isn't getting retired anytime soon - it's like the old Toyota pick-up that I take to cut wood for the furnace at the cabin. I guess that makes the new bag the practical mid-size sedan.
But the disappointment doesn't end there for the intarweb people who come to my blog searching for answers. I've also disappointed people wondering "how do i shrink polos", "what does 501XX mean", "what is difference us japanese LVC" and "how can you tell if jeans are sanforized".
Most troublingly, though, I'm worried about the person that found my blog after searching for "what if i like j crew". My advice is just to run with it, anonymous internet dude. If you like the New England Professor on a Saturday Morning look, I wouldn't turn it into a re-evaluation of your entire life. Just wear some argyle v-neck sweaters, suede-patched sportcoats, golden-honey-colored corduroys, and wingtips and let the judgmental fashionistas have their Dior Homme and their Raf Simmons and their Rick Owens. What I'm saying to you is as simple as this: if you like J.Crew, you should just wear it. I'm sorry if that's not the deep, intellectual advice you were hoping to find here, but you get what you pay for.
I don't want to jinx my chances by being so public about wanting the job, so I'm tempted just to delete this paragraph without posting it.
*The parents-in-law of one of my non-department friends are also professors there, and good friends with the head of the department I'm applying to. I don't know them, but their daughter-in-law is ecstatic about the idea of me working at Lawrence.
We need you for the Context fashion show: Friday Oct 26th. I met with most of the models last night. I'm asking everyone to stop in to get fitted this week wed, thurs, friday, or sunday during store hours. I will be available all day Sunday if people need me to be. I'll be sending you an additional email shortly with more show info. You'll start to see ads in the Isthmus and Onion this week.
Dress rehearsal is Wed Oct 24th at 9pm. I really need everyone there, but if you absolutely can not make it we can arrange something.
Hope to hear from you soon,
Now that Al Gore has a Nobel Peace Prize, you'll certainly run into bolder and bolder conservative skeptics that, like rabid wolverines, are desperate to fight their way out of the corner. "But Bill O'Reilly posted a Michael Crichton article that says a scientist from the 1970s thought the world was getting cooler! So take that, IPCC! Or should I say International Panel on COLLECTING CASH!!"
How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic is hours of entertainment, that may, depending on your social circle, provide hours more at your next fondue. I love that it's arranged in four different taxonomies for super-quick reference!
Or maybe I'm on the wrong side of this - Science and Nature, after all, are just censoring all the research that challenges the hippie agenda. When global warming is proven wrong (like that nonsense theory of gravity), you can all laugh at me as you float away.
The job application process seems neverending, although it is tapering. I've sent about seventy packets total (in four waves) as of this morning, but new job postings keep showing up - I already have three more to send. The frustrating part of sending them out a handful at a time is that the time commitment to make three packets is not substantially shorter than the time commitment to put together twenty packets. It's a matter of hitting a different button the copier and waiting a few more minutes. Essentially, it's four hours to mail three packets versus five hours for two dozen.
At the behest of a couple schools (ones I'm very interested in) I've written two more syllabi (Int'l Political Economics and Global Environmental Politics) in the last week, which makes me think they're either interested or curious what hoops I'll jump through to get an interview. The answer is bring on the hoops. I'm ready to jump.
And if I wasn't ready to jump, M.Bro would be shoving me through hoops. She's ready to move on from her job - as difficult as it will be to leave Madison, she's always felt like this job is a temporary one. It's been a temporary one that opened a lot of doors for the type of career she wants to have, so she certainly appreciates it, but her stress and frustration are constant reminders that staying in this department and TAing for a year would be an unpopular option, family-wise.
Two weeks from yesterday until our 20-week ultrasound, which not only marks the half-way point but is our chance to find out whether Bean is a boy-bean or a girl-bean. We're keeping Bean's name secret (and even continuing to call Bean "Bean" after we find out), but we're sharing the sex. Neither one of us wants to redecorate in all pastel blues or pinks, but we've passed up good deals on clothes because of the color. Don't get me wrong, we're not so traditional that we think only girls belong in pink and only boys in blue, but conversations like this would get old fast:
Lady on the Street: "What an adorable little girl!"
Me: "Thanks, but he's a boy, and his name is Truckdriver McFlash"
Lady on the Street: "But, but..the pink onesie?"
Me: "Could we sit on the bench over there while I explain society's view of gender roles? I stood for the last three conversations like this, and my arches hurt"
[I suppose the alternative would just be to say "thanks" and move on - not that Bean knows one way or the other.]
I'll see if I can find a Youtube link in a little bit.
10:52 - JM's being very careful with his words
10:53 - He's making a relatively uncontroversial argument, but you have to listen to the words and not between the lines.
10:54 - [Outside info - the Israel Lobby has a very, very large conservative Christian component]
10:55 - Excellent question - how *should* we treat Israel?
10:56 - I'll try to do better when I'm on in five years. Keep support Colbert's advertisers so I have a chance.
The Mission of the Department of Government is to promote practical application of biblical principles and the original intent of the founding documents of the American republic, while preparing students for lives of public service and citizen leadership. Students will systematically study politics, government, and journalism as they learn to apply the Creator’s great gifts to humanity that aid us in the understanding and ordering of civilization: His special revelation (the revealed word of His Scripture) and His natural revelation (the light of right reason and the knowledge humans develop). Using these tools, graduates can bring unity, clarity, and purpose to the understanding and practice of government.
I don't know whether it's the quickly-expanding signs of my impending fatherhood or the sliver of hope that I'll fool some department into letting me dress like a professor there, but lately I've been wanting to dress more like a J.Crew catalog model and less like a grad student who wears a lot of sneakers and Goodwill shirts. Awesome Goodwill shirts because I know what I'm doing in a thrift store, but thrift-store shirts nonetheless.
Don't get me wrong, though - I'm still totally hipper than you. The asymmetric full-button cardigan that M.Bro gave me (from Context) for my 28th last week would make the J.Crew buyer wrinkle his snooty blue-blooded nose with derision. But I want to go to the mall right now and buy a pair of slim-fit washed chinos in tan, light tan, dark tan, dusty tan, navy, and olive, and just alternate those with jeans every other day. And doesn't every guy secretly want to wear a thin diagonally-striped ivy-league tie under a herringbone vest? And the fact that I would eat nothing but toast for two weeks to buy these shoes should tell you that I'm willing to sacrifice to look good - not that I want to be a Kennedy cousin.
If it's J.Crew today, what's next? Brooks Brothers? Paul Stuart? Good god, where does it end? If ever mention "bespoke trousers" to you, you hereby have my permission to immediately walk away.
And maybe the most frustrating part - college is just about the only time in your life when you get to act like you want without serious constraints, but she doesn't seem to be interested in it. Oh, sure, she says she's going to college. But maybe she knows something about the process that I don't know, because I don't think colleges choose her and then fill out applications to be her alma mater. "What kind of a place do you think you'd like to go to college? Big city? Small town? Midwest? East coast? West coast?" "STOP FLUSHING MY KORAN DOWN THE TOILET GAWD! WHERE IS MY ATTORNEY FOR THIS CROSS-EXAMINATION?!"
i was riding with this guy the other day and we came to a red light and he totally blew through... i was like "dude! what's the deal?" and he was all like "man.. it's cool, me and my brother do it all the time". I was pretty freaked out. We kept riding and he kept blowing red lights and i was getting kinda freaked out. So we keep going, and i see a green light up ahead. I was pretty stoked that it was green, since this guy would have just gone through if it were a red- but coming up on the green he pulls a long skid and i'm like "buddy what's the deal?" and he goes " i had to stop... my brother might have been coming the other way".
Wait, I can't work like this - why does the SAVE NOW bar get longer as I type? Wait, it stopped growing - maybe it reached maturity. I'm confused.
Anyway, MY TRIUMPHANT RETURN is what Britney Spears would be talking about if, uh, she had done the opposite of whatever she did at the Video Music Awards last night. As much as I'd like to believe she was stoned out of her gourd, my money's on either (1) nervous - apparently too nervous to even lip-sync correctly, or (2) a spoiled diva who refused to rehearse because [HER] TRIUMPHANT RETURN was preordained. It was a trainwreck, y'all. Such a trainwreck that I'm going to break my videoblogging hymen* and put a YouTube link here.
This blog argues that, NO, THE WHOLE SHOW IS OUT OF ORDER! ("Your honor!" "Chambers, Mr. Elliot!")
Also, why wasn’t Fergie there? You know your awards show is in trouble when a woman who will basically show up at an opening of a KFC to sing “Fergalicious” is too busy to swing by and pick up her Female Artist of the Year award. Maybe my friends and I should have taken a page from her book and blown it off as well.
*Unless I posted a video while riding a horse as a young blogger.
WE'RE HAVING A NEW CAR!!! I was pulling up to a red light in a left-turn lane two Tuesdays ago when I heard a squealing from my left. The squealing was a large white pick-up that was trying to make a hard right turn at about 40 mph. I floored it and pulled to the right as hard as I could, and in one of the only positives of the day, only the back end of the car was utterly destroyed. The other positive was that the other driver was cited for reckless driving, so there was no question of fault. Since my wheels were barely rolling, it probably wasn't much of a question.
Unfortunately, our car was new enough that even replacing most of the back end didn't total it. So we're trading in the hatchback's carcass and the check from the insurance company for a Hyundai Elantra. Just like this one -
But we won't have it until tomorrow, because if we're getting a new car, we're getting the color we want. Which is silver. Like this one.
So that's it - WE'RE HAVING A NEW CAR!!! It's also a four-door, which will be nice for the car-seat. Oh yeah, we're having a baby too. So that's also pretty new and exciting. Until Dr. S does her thing, the baby's name is Bean.
*I learned from a book that Bean can cross his or her fingers this week (and make faces).
**This guy looks a little like me, except he has a cooler bike and can ride it better than me.
Ward: Mitchell! Why would you say that?!
Ward: You said, "I don't know - like nine hours"! Why wouldn't you say an even number?!? Why did you say nine?
I wear size 12 shoes, so I'm not worried I'll come home to them all in the garbage. Comedy Central is channel 53, but VH1 is 68 and Fox is 8, so I'll still have something to watch when she reprograms the TV. What else do I need to watch out for?
First off, for normal riding, almost any reasonable coaster brake can be made to work fine. If the brake is less than 20 years old, it's most likely a KT (Kun Teng) these are/were sold under the Hi-Stop, Shimano, KT, Suntour, and other names. They are cone-clutched brakes as were most of the coaster brakes made since the late 1800's. I don't know if you saw these drawings I made a while ago but they give an idea of how this type of brake works. If you want more of an explanation I'd be happy to give it. There's also this 'how-to' using a middle of the road Bendix brake. It might help to look at this and the drawings together to see 2D and 3D (sorta') representations of the parts and how they fit together.
The lever that attaches to the chainstay is the brake arm and is used to prevent the non-drive end of the hub from rotating. Basically, what your're doing is creating a friction connection between the hub and the drive-side cog while pedaling and a friction connection between the hub and the bicycle frame (via the brake arm) while braking. It naturally follows that there is no friction connection to either frame or cog while coasting. Look at the drawings and the position of the cone-clutch in those three modes.
The brake on my Rodriquez and my steamroller are Velosteels made in the Czech Republic. I have a nifty slotted, stainless tab welded to the chainstay of the Rodriguez to secure the brake arm. The Velosteels are a really nice hub when properly greased and bearings (cones) adjusted. Sadly, they come from the factory virtually dry of grease so they need work before they are ready for use. The Velosteels are pretty much impossible to get in the US right now which is sad. It's based on a 1904 Sachs design and is not a cone-clutch design but uses a roller-clutch (see my avatar to get a rough idea of this mechanism).
Regarding the best hubs to buy. I'm partial to older German (Sachs, Fichtel & Sachs) hubs. Sachs designs/patents were also licensed to companies like Renak, Perry and Excel so those are nice too. Another slight variation is the Musselman hubs (sometimes branded as Higgins and Elgin). Of course we can't forget the Bendix which range from really nice to reeeealllly crappy. The older units had hub bodies fashioned as a single piece (no pressed-on flanges) but a properly maintained Redline (redband) is a good useable hub. The last hubs bearing the Bendix name were made in Mexico and these are very low quality .... not worth using in my opinion. They're clearly marked Made in Mexico on the brake arm. I would avoid the Blueline (blueband) hubs as well. These are all cone-clutch except (as mentioned) certain models Sachs hubs that were roller-clutched.
Another sweet hub is the Sturmey-Archer SC-1 but they are very hard to find. Penultimately, the Cadillac/Rolls-Royce of hubs is the Morrow. These are really sweet but are quite complicated and require a tricky adjustment, during assembly, to work properly. It's not likely you'll find one lying around anyway. In fact, the reason the slot is so long on my Rodriquez is to accomodate the longer arm of the Morrow that I am slowly rebuilding.
Finally, the New Departure brake, like the Bendix redline, are the easiest hubs to find. New Departures were the first real coaster brake made (1896) and are cone-clutched but they do not use brake shoes like all other coaster brakes. Instead, they used a stack of disks like a motorcycle clutch to provide the braking action. From a design point of view, they're really nice but for braking action, many feel the leave alot to be desired. I have a few of them but have yet to lace one into a wheel to try it. After reading old articles about the early Repack race, the general concensus seemed to be that ND's always burnt up half way down the mountain and that Morrow and Musselman brakes were preferred. But for normal riding they may suffice.
Remember, coaster brakes (like all friction brakes) stop by converting forward motion into heat. Because the braking is done in a small area (inside the hub as opposed to the circumference of a rim), heat build-up can be extreme especially if the brake is used alone during a long decent. For this reason I would suggest adding a front brake to any coaster braked bike unless you live and ride in the flatlands.
So what's the practical differences in all of those brakes I've listed? Mostly in the amount of drag the hub exhibits during coasting and pedaling. Some hubs like the Sachs use a spring clip to actively retract the shoes while others simply allow the shoes to rest on the inside of the hub. Morrows actually 'disengage' the braking mechanism at both ends to reduce drag and the Musselman hubs use a split cycinder shoe to achieve the same type of shoe retraction as the Sachs and Morrow. The roller-clutched hubs have less drag as well. But for all practical purposes, the drag in any hub is acceptable if it is well-lubricated and adjusted. The only hubs that I feel are rediculously draggy are cheap Joytechs and Mexican Bendix hubs.
There's also the 'smoothness of braking' properties too. That is, how 'linear' the braking action is between slight braking all the way to lock up. Brakes that lock up with too little back-pedal force are undesireable. Most of the brakes I've listed do well enough in this area.
Caveats: Marketing departments being what they are, some hubs aren't necessarily what they appear to be. For example, Morrows were made by Eclipse Machine Company which was purchased by Bendix in the mid 1920's. Many years later when Schwinn decided to release a classic fat tire cruiser to commemorate some anniversary, they purchased the coaster brake from Bendix. Bendix, whose entire brake production had, by then, moved to Mexico, thought that it would be a great idea to give the brake a classic feel by stamping Morrow (in it's classy script font) on the brake arm (they did own the trademark).....travesty! I have seen these lowest-of-quality brakes for sale as Morrows. Beware. Back to Schwinn for a moment, Schwinn used coasterbrakes from just about every manufacturer out there. Most of the time, the brake arm is stamped with the words 'Schwinn Approved'. Some of these brakes are superb (like Sachs) and some are not (like the fake Morrow and Mexican Bendix) so you can find gems here but be careful. A German hub should have 'Germany' stamped on the body and would likely have an oil port on the side of the hub too.
Is it even worth watching the rest of the Tour? It would be such an exciting tour - Saturday's TT could decide the whole thing - but I feel so jaded about the whole deal now. David Millar's with a group that has 7:00 on the peloton today - although he's had doping transgressions in the past, now he's a banner-waver for riding clean and I'd really like to see him win the stage. He won't, though - Jens Voight's in the group too.
3:03 PM Menchov
has pulled out of the Tour. He has climbed off of his bike in the feed zone. We don't see a physical reason... but an emotional reason? For sure. Do recall that Menchov won the Vuelta a Espana in 2005... but he was denied the chance to celebrate that victory, because Roberto Heras got to spend the day on the podium in Madrid. Folks thought that Heras had won... until the guy tripped the dopo-meter.
Menchov, who began the Tour, as Rabobank's team leader, deferred to Michael Rasmussen and then worked his arse off to help the skinny little cheat hold the lead. You have to feel for Menchov... sigh.
I want Al Gore to run - apparently he's polling higher in some states than everyone but Clinton & Obama combined, and higher than Edwards in some places. I met Al Gore twice during the 2000 Iowa primary and he remembered me the second time but that's not why I want him to run. Well, it isn't the whole reason.
From the "Worst of Craigslist" series of posts -
It is readily apparent that, now more than ever, people are accessorizing with their bicycles. You can only put so many tattoos and trendy articles of clothing on yourself, so naturally you've got to turn to your bike when you run out of room. Colored Deep-Vs, top-tube pads, stickers, and shiny new paint jobs are just some of the ways that people use their bicycles to play dress-up. The transportation part, while convenient, seems be pretty far down the list of reasons for owning a bicycle.
But what's the point of all this then if it isn't cycling? Well, it's to meet boys and girls of course! In our nation's trendier neighborhoods, bicycles are like dogs: their owners dress them up, they parade them up and down the street, and they use them as an excuse to talk to people. Oh, and like dog owners, they don't ride them. There's no better place online to see this in action than the Craigslist "Missed Connections" section. Here are a few recent examples:
I also need to pick up some crisp white and light blue dress shirts. And probably a dressier watch. I don't think my digital Casio from the 80's is going to cut it at most departments.
Getting a job is an expensive process.
There's one guy that can pull off a full-brimmed hat, and you're not him. Want to know a secret? Nobody is. There is no guy who can pull off a full-brimmed hat. I know you think you're the guy - the mythical one - but you're not the guy. Again, because no one is. And not just because Vice says so - because I say so too.
The new Spoon album ("Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga") is fantastic. I know you wanted to know.
The spectacular sliding catch that earned me this (as well as a point for team Social Sciences) (and a round of applause from both teams) was at least 85% worth it. I had to sleep uncovered and on my back last night because bumping or pulling the blanket across it was keeping me from falling asleep.
Sadly, 2 1/2 hours of ultimate frisbee was far and away the high point of my week in LA. I spent all of my free time today working on student evaluation letters (a time commitment that the students will never know about, let alone appreciate), and it's more of that, plus lecture, plus Sunday-evening study hall tomorrow. Blerg.
I was only 12 when it happened, but I remember vividly watching it on CNN in my grandparents' basement. My parents were building onto our house at the time, and we were staying there for a few nights while the major work on the kitchen was going on. It's one of my first memories of international politics.
THIS NOT A PAIR OF LEVI JEANS YOU SEE EVERYDAY.
THESE ARE ORIGINAL LEVIS FROM THE LATE 1930'S. COPYRIGHT DATE ON THE TAG IS 1937. THE SIZE ON THE LEATHER TAG IS 42X34.
I HAVE SHOWN THE ONLY FLAW ON THE PANTS, IT IS NOT A HOLE BUT MORE LIKE A SCRATCH ON THE FABRIC.
I HAVE SOLD PANTS LIKE THIS FOR MORE THAN $12,000.00 IN THE PAST SO THESE ARE PRICED RIGHT, PLEASE DO NOT ASK TO END THE AUCTION EARLY AS THERE IS A "BUY IT NOW" PRICE. AGAIN THESE ARE THE REAL DEAL NOT REPRODUCTIONS.
WINNER PAYS SHIPPING AND INSURANCE---WE WILL ACCEPT MOST ALL FORMS OF PAYMENT---PLEASE EMAIL ANY QUESTIONS---THANKS FOR LOOKING.
It turns out that teaching exuberant young children, especially smart ones that are in constant competition, is just exhausting the whole time. I'm only one day down on this California Adventure ride, and I'm beat. I'm toast. I'm flattened. I'm glad my lecture is ready to go for tomorrow already because I'm barely going to make it to the end of this senten
That's a cheap writing gag and it's below you - sorry.
I did bring the little geniuses down a peg during study hall tonight. They were supposed to read about 30 pages (and reading, I told them, means taking notes on what you're reading, not just speeding through it), then write a short response paper (to a specific question I had given them, not like they're in grad school). My TA reported that not one of them had enough time to get to the reaction paper, so maybe they'll be less out to prove themselves tomorrow. Or more. What do I know.
The students descended on us today. They have an entire evening of icebreakers with the residential staff tonight, and we start classes bright and early tomorrow morning. I'm not nervous - just anxious. I really have no idea what to expect out of these kids. With college students, I can be reasonably sure they'll mostly look bored and/or hung-over, and that sureness is comforting - it makes the success of the class almost completely dependent on me and me alone.
The first RA/Instructor student-handoff happens at Leo (the) Lion at 8:50 tomorrow - wish me luck.
You're going to wish you were taking my class on Tuesday - it's going to be a blast and a half. I'm putting them in five groups of three to learn about the logic of collective action. Here's part of the activity instructions -
Congratulations! Your group has been elected by the people of Delta, one of the five independent states on CTY Island, to run the government of the state. The voters have told you their two main priorities – protecting your state from dragon attacks, but also building an island-wide system of roads to allow for the exchange of consumer goods between all the states on CTY Island.
You begin your first month in office with 10 resource points. Each month in office (a turn), you will have the chance to spend as many of your resource points as you wish for the Island Defense Fund, the Road Network Fund, or both. You may also choose to keep your resources in your mattress and not spend them on either defense or roads. You can increase your resource points by engaging in economic exchanges (which require a road network), but you will lose points if dragons are able to break through CTY Island’s defenses (which will happen if the defense fund is too low).
NO OTHER TEAM WILL KNOW WHAT YOU SPENT YOUR RESOURCES ON, OR WHETHER YOU SPENT ANY AT ALL. In fact, you may find that deceit, trickery, and bald-faced lying are useful techniques for preserving your resources.
Toiletry issues aside, I'm also pretty pleased with the housing situation. See that bluff? There's a multiple-mile running trail about halfway up(at least three - which is where I stopped today). See that building at the outcropping? That's Chez J.Bro for the next three weeks.
And this is the view from my classroom - some sort of mutant tree, the campus chapel, and the field on which Monday's croquet showdown will be waged.