My Musings

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Updating My Drivers

If I told you the truth – that I own three cars – would think badly of me? Saying that I have three cars probably sounds like I'm bragging, but the fact is that I'm self-conscious about it. It suggests that I don't appreciate the corner we humans have painted ourselves into and am willing to pump as much carbon into the atmosphere as I can muster. Like I'm one of those guys who drives a giant pickup truck and takes pleasure in "rolling coal" at cyclists or running over them. (Or both). I'm embarrassed that you might think of me that way.

You know why they call it "embarrassed"? Because you feel as though your ass is bare. Little linguistical nugget for your brain to ponder.

But back to me not bragging about my three cars: we have three not because I drive all the time but because I'm bad at finding the sweet spot between the price I was offered on a trade-in (not much) and what I want in my wildest dreams (many, many thousands of dollars more). Also, the car I was trading in is 15 years old and coughs up a bolt or springs a leak often and needs surgery. I own another that is eight years old and it doesn't matter how many ball joints and control arms you replace, it seems to need another almost immediately. Consequently, one of these two cars is on the bench so that when the other is on the disabled list my family isn't stuck with just one car.

"Just one car." Yes, I know, first world problem.

Meanwhile, we had been using the same drivers for our vehicles since we got married in 2003. We finally updated our drivers to include our son when he was around 16. My impression is that we can get away with just these three drivers until 2024, when we plan to update them again by adding my daughter (currently 15). It's just sensible. By then, we may have just one functioning automobile. That's when I buy everyone a bike. 

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Squeal Like A...

When I pop into your head at random times, as must happen now and again, do you think of me as:

  1. That beer brewer who bicycles?
  2. That cyclist who brews beer? Or
  3. That writer who brings home brewing supplies on his bike?

“Ha! 'Writer.' Don't make me laugh." Fine, but the fact is I used to get up every morning and write something, anything, even if it was just a grocery list, but now that the internet has total control over my every waking moment, feeding me fascinating pictures of former Hollywood starlets who are now near death and tales of how most problems can be solved with this one weird trick, I almost don’t write at all. But I do brew beer and ride a bike.

Which brings me to my gripe du jour: I can’t get the front brakes on my touring bike to stop squealing. I don’t mean that these brakes peep a little, I mean they squeal like a pig coming to grips with its fate. “Toe them in, for crying out loud!” Yes, I know. I’ve toed these brakes inside out and upside down. I’ve cleaned the front rim. I’ve replaced perfectly good pads with more expensive ones that I scuffed up, all to no avail. “Sometimes, you just need to get a new rim,” they tell me at Broadway Bicycle School in Cambridge, MA.

At fifty or sixty bucks for a machine-made rim, I think I’ll just let them squeal.

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