It’s just Monday, not “Cyber Monday,” for crying out loud. And Thanksgiving catharsis

I woke up this morning, as you all did, to emails announcing “Cyber Monday” sales. Yuk. Isn’t Monday enough? Is tomorrow “Cyber Tuesday”? Is all week “Cyber Week”? Enough!


Computers and blogs and even Blugs can get you into trouble, but they can also save you money while making me saner. This one’s about general and perennial year-end stresses that every involved and dependent small business owner feels. But, I am speaking only for me, not those others. They’re free to horn in.

The general stresses are sales, which means bills get paid and the emps get some kind of holiday bonus; and taxes, always a big one for us, because we’re taxed on assets, which includes money in the bank which we never have, and inventory, which we have either not enough of or too much of. But we can’t pay the taxes on the assets with the assets that are inventory, so while the government (and I like the government, don’t get me wrong here) sees profit on paper and thinks we can afford a $30,000 tax bill, we in fact have no money in the bank (to speak of, no pile after payroll and bills and the twenty or so other extremely boring but extremely real bills that we get every month are paid)—yes, no money left after that, and so we borrow money to pay our taxes, which makes it harder to pay the normal bills that have to be paid, and make holiday bonuses extremely painful, and yet—everybody is so deserving, and I’m not going to stiff ‘em.

Every year I plan to plan better and every year I don’t. A paper Holiday flyer seems so basic. I’d fire anybody put in charge of that who failed, year after year, to get it out on time or at all, and yet I can’t fire myself. I do other good and valuable things. I earn my salary ($75,000). But I do a lousy job of putting out a holiday flyer on time. It should include fun gifty things and a few fun normal things.

I did a really really great fun fantastic one about eight years ago, but nobody noticed. It may have even backfired, in it’s own tiny way. It is here. I cannot emphasize enough that this is an ancient one, we don’t have lots of this anymore, and if we happen to, the price is changed. It is here purely for entertainment value, and offers little of that.

This year, now and soon, as you’re reading this it’s happening, we’re getting in some possum wool

You’re all old enough to remember the song Society’s Child, right? Janis Ian? She wrote it at sixteen, and here she is, still sixteen, performing in on the Smothers Brothers show.

And then there’s this one, too. It’s chock full of mondegreens, but what a fine little compact contribution it made. It’s about the dad of a dead soldier. Do they make songs like this anymore, and would they…be Top Forty? I don’t know.

OK, then, one more. This is the second easiest song of all time to identify within one second….if you’re, like, 55 or older. A fantastic video.


Hurricane Sandy Damage

The owner and his people are OK. His nextdoor neighbor’s house exploded, blowing up his house as well, and this bike was in int. It came in the mail today. For puposes of inspecting it, assessing whether or not it can be ridden safely, repaired, and how much all that would cost, and how long. Here are some detailed pix:

It was built in 2001.

Here’s the downtube decal. Not too much heat got to it.

The top tube was paint-melted over a lot of them.

Front of the bike. Mostly soot-damage.

This is not beasage, it’s burnage. Brake lever.

Presumably the bag was all-consumed. Lugged stem. Computer.

Rear brake with some meltage. The invisible pad suffered more than the visible one, but still, what’s a brake pad?

I am guessing there is insurance. I know that of many burned things, this is a relatively unimportant one, it being fixable or replaceable for less than the piano, as an example.

We’ll look it over and see where it all goes. This is no reason to buy a steel frame, but a frame of any other material would be unsalvage-able for sure.


We got chambray shirts in, and they’re exactly as planned, hoped, etc. They’re on the site now. I’m thinking no more shirts after this. I won’t rule it out, but we’re not cut out for the shirts, the whole textile world. Bottoms are easier, shirts…hard. But these are good ones.

We also got soap. Holiday soap. We’re not veering off of Pine Tar for good, just offering some holiday additions, and they’re all on the manly side of things. The new two flavors are clove and anise (like licorice). These are strong, pungent soaps—-nothing subtle about them. You can wash hair with them (as with Pine Tar soap) and now here’s my once-or-twice a year washing tip. I can’t be the only one who does this, because it’s so simple and works so well, but here it is:

OK, you’re in the shower, the bath, or in front of the sink washing. Lather up your armpits, scrub a dub, then rinse. Now later up again and LEAVE THE SUDS. That’s the the deodorant you need. You won’t stink, the soap will dry, it won’t itch, and you won’t have to spray weird stuff in your armpits. I have not stunk in 40 years, and that’s how long I’ve been doing this. It works fine, and if you sweat after it dries, it doesn’t froth up.

Three great soaps. When they get down to stubs, compress them together in a ball. The flavors mingle well—-all dark smells, really good.

All for now. OH—on Dec 8 between 6 and 9 there’s a Brooks event at Huckleberry in S.F. I was invited to go there and talk a little, somehow related to Just Ride, and so I’ll be there. More later, but ——- we’re closed till Monday the 26th. Want a fun novel to read over the weekend? Run, by Emma Donohugh.