*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Thursday 25 October 2012

"Fat, dumb and stupid."

"Fat, dumb and stupid," a good friend describes his drinking and eating habits.  I respect that.  Everyone has a poor habit, or ten, but denial is not an acceptable one.

Denial is North America, and I won't even go to politics, 'culture wars', voting against your class interests...  If you've too short an attention span for a full education:
Back on subject...  North Americans are fat, dumb and stupid, because they are in denial of how they've been manipulated, how easy that is, and how little will power it takes to free themselves, yet are too lazy to summon even that.  America's average weight is 180lbs: five more than mine, a male, 6'+, in my forties, and not underweight, but spot on for my BMI.

Here's the thing: if you eat shit, drink shit, mortgage your ass to buy a shitty house in a shithole and drive miles in your shitbox from there to your shitty job, this is what you become.
And numbing your brain with America's shite media won't help.  No asshole, you don't have a metabolic problem, unless you are the one in a thousand who inherits one; you gave yourself diabetes.  No, don't get offended if you have a bit of a pot, some wobble in your tuchus, because even I am not perfect...  I am talking about the half of North America who look like the people in this picture, or close to it.  The next picture shows what people looked like when I was an infant, in Canada's now fattest province.
See much type 2?  Oh, how times have changed...

I do feel bad for the family in the first picture, but if the parents are shamed and change their weights, they might just save the boy's life, and lengthen their own.  Shame is good!  You should feel shame for things that are your fault, and you can change.  The kid: little shame for eating what his parents give him.  The parents: criminal shame.  Someone born with a congenital condition: none.  That kid's parents: none, nearly always.  This meme of 'accepting your weight' is bullshit.  It kills people, and it deadens them.

Oh yeah...  haven't you heard that there is more to HFCS than diabetes?  High-fructose corn syrup: it makes you stupid, before it makes you foul, and then it makes you dead.

But we can solve everything by putting in a couple of bike paths and play areas, no?  No.  I know that train station.  It's nowhere.  Tract housing on the edge of a bedroom town on the edge of Toronto, itself inaccessible outside of a car anywhere further than five minutes from its mere twin subway lines (Sheppard and the Scarberia RT do not count).  Nobody uses bike paths that do not take them to work or to school.  That is a plain fact.  Sure, a few people will toddle around on them on weekends, and a few teenagers will get impregnated and stoned in the bushes, but it is not going to make any dent on bellies or traffic congestion.  If you don't believe me, or the studies you can find yourself, go sit on a suburban bike path and count the traffic.  Take a good book.

So let's see:
- HFCS makes you stupid
- and fat
- is addictive
- so you'll vote like an idiot
- buy a house with a huge yard
- you are now too lazy to use or maintain
- and too lazy to get anywhere out of a car
- so you have a loan for the car
- and a mortgage for your house
- so you'll support phantom tax-breaks in hope you don't go under
- that help another class altogether, who were doing fine already
- since they've moved half the work offshore
- and rigged the game in many more ways
- and your subconscious suspects all this
- so you need to take psychoactive drugs, legal or not
- which are made by the same corporations who make HFCS
- sold you a car
- the house
- your insurance policies
- and your investment portfolio, if you have any money left for it
- make more money keeping America at war that at peace
- lose none if your kid's killed abroad
- or from petrochemical pollution
- and are owned by the people who'll benefit from you being a sucker.


Oh forget it.  Just watch the video again.

Tuesday 23 October 2012


I decided I wanted the piece of shit plastic fork off of my steel-framed bike: 2006 Lemond Croix de Fer Triple (not my bike in the picture).  Thank god for the Internet, and the solution I found.

This was so that I could clear more than a 28mm tire in the front once in a while, and the 28mms I do run wouldn't make so much noise when they pick up dirt and try to clear it through the 2mm space remaining.  Look, I am not racing, just running 100km+ days and planning to join brevets.

To do that I had to find a steel fork with similar geometry.  Thank you All City for the Mr. Pink fork.

In a simpler world, I would get this through my local shop and they would install it.  Well, besides the fact that every city has maybe one shop that is competent, this part is not carried in Japan: so I ordered it from the States.  To install it the shops gave me BS: pay us double installation since you did not order through us (you don't carry steel forks, fuckhead), and bring us your bike to look at before we commit to doing it (bag and it and schlep it across Tokyo twice?  And you might do it?  Fuck you.)

So this means I have to install it myself.  This is not so simple.

First thing is that the original front-brake on the Lemond was short-reach, but I will need medium/long-reach with the new fork.  I thought I was lucky that my Kona Paddy Wagon has medium-reach brakes, that I could switch over for the brakes from the Lemond, and the Lemond's shouldl just reach on the Kona...  No: the Lemond's brakes fit on the Kona, but the Kona's did not on the All City Fork.  Ordered some long-reach Shimanos.

Next I need to cut the fork steerer to the right length myself, without the proper cutting guide, as another $50 starts to make this cost much more than it should.  Read somewhere to use two hose-clamps as a guide.  Sweet idea.

So those are bought, and so is a 30tpi metal handsaw, and a metal file for the finish.  Also bought a soft-headed mallet to pop the fork out, and the star-nut.  Luckily I have a dowel I can use for pushing the star nut into place.

Now nothing is left but the swearing...  (Part II).

Sunday 21 October 2012

I am not the target market.

Getting clothes is not easy for me in Japan.  Maybe it is because I am taller than the average Japanese man,
and did not go home for a year and a half to restock the wardrobe.

It's also because the men dress like women.

(And the women like children).

Come to think of it, it's not easy for me to get clothed properly in Canada, either.  I can get something that is long enough, but too wide; or I can get something that is slim enough, and too short.  This is as I am 6'+ with the proper BMI, but everyone else wants to think I am thin.

Canada has the same chains that the US has, since Mulroney sold us out, but does not carry the same variety of sizes.  Why?  I can't see it as an economy of scale problem, since all that needs doing is to ship it up.  We will also have a much poorer, and more expensive, selection in-store or online as the same chain in the States, which would matter less if I could order up from the States without getting sodomized by Canada Revenue's duties.  'Free Trade' my ass.  For this we gave up our sovereignty and domestic economy.

It also drives me around the effing bend that, when available, my size is always sold out first.  You think maybe you don't stock enough?  Naw...

But I am in Japan now.

Bland as it is, I know what size at Banana Republic fits me, so I checked out a Banana in Tokyo.  Now, never mind that the prices are double of the US (in Canada, just 150%), but the sizes are useless.  No tall sizes (Canada too) and no inseam longer than 30".  Long-waisted or not, a lot of Japanese men are not that short legged.  What do they do?  Custom?  Have you ever tried a Japanese shop, like United Arrows?  They don't always sell by waist/inseam, but in sizes 'small', 'medium' and 'large'.  Even the Japanese are not that uniform.  Please.  That's the way to size for chicks (then again, photo 2).

It would be simple if I could go online and order from the States, right?  I can do everything but get them to ship overseas; however, Banana US is 'helpful' enough to direct me to Banana Japan.  I'd almost consider sucking up the price difference if Japan's had a size I could wear.  Suppose it's a licence issue, but why should I care?  I still need the clothes.  It's a good thing I have a brother and a best friend in the States, and I still talk with the friend.  I shipped to him, and he'll forward to me.  I send him the coin for the postage.  The result is that, even with the cost of the postage, I get twice as many clothes for the same price I would in Japan, but it fits and is made for men.

God, corporations are as stupid as people, and as easy to work around.

Monday 8 October 2012

Shades of... grey?

I'm not the first person to be left speechless by the 'one drop rule'.  It's fallacious in obvious ways, but put that aside for a moment and shouldn't it apply to any amount of Chinese?  Of Samoan?  Of 'White'?  (Full disclosure: my kid has a Japanese mother, and I freckle in the shade).  At least the Japanese say 'hafu' for a mixture of Japanese and anything else.  Since my kid is as fully Japanese as he is Canadian, 'half' is insensitive in its own way, but denigrates both equally...

I'm going to break the TV the next time another idiot says, 'Barack Obama is America's first black president'.  Not to diminish that he's not all 'pale-face', but race is a social determination, and even by such an arbitrary determination he is no more 'black' than he is 'white'.   The very fact that people obsess on his lower-status* 'race' proves that race is a social determination, doesn't it?  But I do not buy that we may not refer to race at all as some taboo.  I prefer that humans appear in different shades and minor morphological eccentricities.  I just don't draw assumptions about their interior lives and characters from it.

Let's tease out the tenuousness of Obama's blackness.  He had one genetic parent who might be refereed to as 'black', who did not raise him, and one parent who wouldn't be referred to as 'black'.  He was raised by his 'white' grandmother.  Is he 'half'?  We all are half, or something close, of each of our parents, but was his father 'black'?  Not 'black' American for certain.  (Until too recently many in the British Empire would refer to South Asians as 'black': 'black' has a usage that only means 'other', or 'despised').  America's 'black' population was stolen from West Africa some time ago, and after more than a century and a half have an average 80% West African DNA, but that's going to vary a lot from person to person.  His father did not come from a family with that experience: an American experience of any kind.  His father was from Kenya, which is to say entirely the wrong side of Africa, in the wrong era, with the wrong experiences to be 'black' in America.  Did you know that there is ten times the human genetic diversity in sub-Saharan Africa (once called 'Black Africa') than there is in all other human populations combined?  Two dudes on the opposite sides of a river in central Africa differ far more genetically than me and my Japanese brother-in-law, and you could not tell the former two apart.  Skin colour matters how much?

You see, there is only one objection left to the previous paragraph's shading of the meaning of 'black' or of 'African', whether worded delicately or as plainly as this: 'I know a black when I see one!'  As well as odious, defining the speaker and not the subject, wouldn't that be more proof that 'race' is socially determined?

But that both Obama father and son would have been snubbed by idiots for their appearance in America, they are not 'black': except that may be just what 'black' means...  Obama is as 'black', or 'white', as he takes ownership of, because it's his experience and his face in the mirror.  Our opinions don't matter, and pundits' even less.  Here's a simple rule that society needs to enforce: if you can't speak about 'race' with intelligence, shut up!

*Not my opinion, mind.  I don't think I need to justify saying that 'black' is considered lower-status in the US, and socioeconomically is effectively so.