I’m not going to drag this on except maybe just this little last one more time—the Oxford comma issue. My booky editor and many others call it the serial comma, because it deals with things in a series. It’s all the same. It’s not like I’M going to contribute anything that hasn’t been said before and better, and no matter what it’s going to be a divided camp. Probably not 50-50, but closer to 55-45, and a success here would mean shifting it to 52-48…and little victories are fine, but it’s not like I live for them.
Here’s a column I enjoyed because of the subject matter, but was unswayed by:
The Winston Churchhill blood-toil quote—-it shamefully took me three readings to see it, and when I did I instantly preferrred the OC version. Why lump together tears and sweat? Just because they’re both clearish body liquids? It doesn’t make as much sense. Is the author saying it’s not as powerful with the OC?
I’m wondering probably what many of you are: Is this the ORIGIN of the name of the old music group? How does the group deal with the OC?——not that that should have any impact. Here’s the answer to both of those questions. Here are the answers to both questions? There are two answers, so the latter must be right. Does it need “of” ? I am not a grammarian. I’m interested in it, I have books, and I read them now and then, and imagine a time when I’d have more time to read them, but when that time comes it’ll be too late.
When you read the first line and see that the group is also known as “BS&T” — it could be read—I mean, if you didn’t know, as Bullsh*t & Tears, which just reinforces the importance of commas, but I know abbreviations follow their own rules, and poems and songs don’t follow any.
When we finally open Rivendell Bike, Book, and Hatchet, I will go comma-free.
Here’s a funny thing. Knives. If you hang out here or on the site you may know that we now offer Opinel knives. I mentioned around here that some kind of cheap but not gross pocket knife might make a good companion to our hatchets, and after all, we don’t have the old Swiss Army Soldier model we sold for a few years. It’s now like a $45 knife, and maybe that’s just life these days, but it seems too close to half a hundred….for a Swiss Army Knife. I was raised on Case, Schrade, and Buck—none now is a boutique brand, but my dad wasn’t into the red plastic handles and all the gee-gaws, so I grew up think of Swiss Army knives as for people who liked red tricks and trinkets. I wasn’t indoctrinated that way, and I don’t feel that way now, but I was more of a knife snob then. The SA soldier is a great little knife. I always have one with me and I use it many times a year for some bike-related thing, in addition to normal cutting. The tiny screwdriver, the reamer, the—whatever, it’s there and useful. But still, $45. So I wanted something cheaper but respectable, and Opinel seemed perfect, so I mentioned it.
Seven or so weeks ago somebody here said Velo Orange sells them or mentioned them — something… and I said. “Oh.” But then two people here looked and saw no evidence of VO having the knives, so…door seemed opin, and we got them, and THEN I found out VO does sell them.
Now, I want to to clear about this, because a twister can twist this all up and get it wrong. Velo Orange’s carrying them doesn’t make the knives less — personally attractive or anything. But I don’t want to copy them, and here’s the part that I want to make super clear. Not wanting to copy can be taking two ways. I mean it the NICE way. If VO is cool (and they are) for selling the Opie knife, then — I want them to own that, at least in the bike world. They should be able to. I feel like we horned in, but it was not only unintentional, but we made a conscious effort to avoid doing that. And then this.
So maybe we’ll get the Swissy knife back after all, and the price is what it is. There’s a good cheap Swedish knife, too. Mora.
"Only" is another word with problems, but it’s all about placement. Again, let me say this may not matter, but it’s interesting if you’re interested in language.
Here’s a sentence:
I like fried fish. Now add “only in different places:
Only I like fried fish.
Everybody else gags? How do you know?
I only like fried fish.
Strictly, this must mean: All I do in my life is sit around liking fried fish.
But it could be interpreted as:
(1) Fried…is the only way I like my fish. or
(2) I like fried fish, sure, but I wouldn’t exactly say I love them.
I like only fried fish.
This could mean:
(1) Branch out, fella! Try grilled sometime.
(2) Just plopped in the pan and fried. OK. No butter, salt, pepper, lemon. Fried and nothing more. So shall it be.
I’m the one only who likes fried fish.
Nobody would say this, but it is the next step in the sequence. It must mean something, but it’s hard to say what.
I’m the one who only likes fried fish.
That sums up your life? You don’t do anything except sit around liking fried fish? You don’t watch television or walk the dog..you only like fried fish? (THis point would be better made if you sub “to knit” for “fried fish.” I’m the one who only likes to knit. <—-it if ain’t knittin’, I ain’t interested.
I’m the one who likes only fried fish.
Branch out, bub! You’d probably like it grilled, too.
I’m the one who likes fried only fish. <—another way nobody’d ever say.
While I was off or away I forget for a few days, Mark reassembled my old custom (with few miles on it, because it’s roadish and limited to a 35mm tire, and no fenders at that) with Albastache bars, which of course I’ve ridden already, but it’s so nice to have a bike with them. I don’t THINK that future Roadeo customers, or road bike riders in gen’l, will convert 90 percent to Albastache from drops….but I would dare them to try them and not wish for them if it took only an eyeblink to make the switch. Mount the ends of the brake levers so they’re near the outer edge of the bars. Slightly in is OK, whatever—always try before taping. Here’s my bike:
It’s well-known in here but maybe not out there that we’re going to open a small retail store downtown (Walnut Creek). Opening day is in early October, shooting for October 1, but we may not make it. What kind of attitude is that? Well, we are us and we know we and there’s lots of stuff to do and we don’t have access yet. Here is a proto-button for the new place:
But we’re adding colors, I think. I told the maker to add this color and that, haven’t heard back, and it’s been a month. I need to follow up.
The $$$$$$$$$$ rainy day jacket we’re finally going to do after five years of thinking and three of talking about it…will have a snap at the cuff, and we got these snaps from Sweden:
In other not-yet-news:
• Mark’s working on a crank. Some people, a surprising number, don’t trust the Sugino XD because it doesn’t cost enough, so we’re starting from scratch and making a more expensive one. YES, the higher price will be justified. You WILL get something for it. But the Sugino, hooboy, is such a killer crank. As of this time right now on this planet I’d say it is as reliable as any crank, as beautiful as a crank needs to be, and it has earned our confidence 1000 percent. But still———vanity, age, and fiscal irresponsibility have merged and got us going on a newer one, a SILVER brand, and within a year we’ll have them.
• A cheaplight good windy anorak, MUSA of course. By December 24, and with some luck three weeks earlier.
• The tongues on the Sackville Saddlesacks will come in colors now. Diff fabric just for the tongues, a running change. This fabric-that’s-new is not a cost-cutting measure, but a practical one, and I’ve liked for a long time the idea of a cheery contrasty flap-tongue. We have lots of the current stock.
• Some of you are low-carbing it; this we know, and if you’re one of those AND you like chocolate, look into Lilly’s. Erythritol is not bad stuff—google it before condeming it—and Stevia, well, hey. JS, as they say. Not forcing it, but if you’re there at the choco-bar counter looking longlngly and wishing—-snag a Lilly’s. Check out the sugars. That’s all. You’re still better off eating 100 percent, but honestly, it’s not that easy.
• Three MUSA things coming by Nov 25:
—the $$$$$$ rainy jacket
— the $ anorak
— a gray chambray. It’s darkISH grey. The chambray shirts have been so popular, but if you already have a blue one you probably won’t be buying another, so we got this grey one.
Is it weird of me to scoff and hate “tyres” and still spell catalogue that way? I picked it up from ancient ones decades ago and have never in the last twenty-seven years spelled it without the UE at the end, and I’m thinking that’s just dumb. I’m in the kind of trap I dislike. Nobody cares, and I don’t, and it’s not like respectful of anything. My fingers automatically type it, though. Forget it. Our catalog is coming out in a month, we hear.
Here’s a printout as it is now. The final won’t be complete because things are always changing…somethings, anyway—-and it will have that annoying feature of having a separate price list, but we’re making it as little annoying as possible. We’re not J. Crew here, so we can’t do a catalogue every month, and so the separate price list will allow us to save tons of $$$$ on printing, and that, you know, benefits you as well.