Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thoughts on It's A Wonderful Life

It's Christmas season again. And like every year, the Christmas classic, It's a Wonderful Life, is played on television.

It's an awesome and favorite show, with a 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the story, here is a quick overview. George Bailey grows up in small town Bedford Falls, and has dreams of doing big things in his life. Travel, graduate from university, see the world, build bridges and skyscrapers.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My First Road Bike: Chimo Criterium

My very first bike was a blue Chimo Criterium that I bought as a teenager. Recently I found some transparencies of it.

It was made by Hong Kong Bicycle (HKB) which is still in business. Although their products look a lot better now.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Bikes

I keep sending pictures of my bikes to people. So I may as well just make a blog post for everyone to see.

My first bike a blue Chimo Criterium that I bought when I was 13. Unfortunately, it was stolen when I was in my early twenties. I'll see if I can find an old picture of it.


This second bike I got as a teenager, when I was 16. It is a Spanish bike, brand name, Torrot, meaning "bull". It was only imported into Canada, by one man, Ozzie Mellon, an colorful and opinionated character.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Microcosm, The Macrocosm And Renewables

Our behavior can affect others, or society at large.

I've been contemplating. Some of our behaviors can be very good for an individual (in the microcosm), but at the same time, be bad for society (the macrocosm). Or vice versa. Or, they can be good for both. Or, even bad for both.

I quickly started to make a long list.

Microcosm (down)









Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mechanix Illustrated 1959: Heat Your House With Solar Energy

Recently, I came across the April 1959 issue of Mechanix Illustrated magazine.

It had the article:  Heat Your House With Solar Energy, by John I Yellot.

I've been looking at solar energy for a few years now, including solar thermal for heating.  It's very interesting to see this early work of this solar pioneer. 

The issue of economics was also mentioned back then: 
"The principles of solar heating are simple. The trick is to install the equipment at a cost so low that the total annual cost of owning it and whatever auxiliary equipment is needed to ensure good year-round performance is less than the cost of doing the entire heating job by conventional methods."

It's good to see that after 50 years, there are a lot more efficient, and cost effective solar systems on the market now!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why I Use Tennis Shoes, Toe Clips, and Straps For Cycling

There are a lot of cycling shoes out there.  Some are quite fancy, like the bindings on ski boots.

However, I've always used my leather tennis shoes with classic toe clips and straps.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Review of the Tubus Disco Bicycle Rack On My Classic Road Race Bike

After struggling with a number of ways to put a bike rack on my Specialized Allez Pro, I eventually bought a Tubus Disco bike rack.

The Tubus Disco rack is actually designed for bikes with disc brakes.  However, after visiting a store with Tubus products, and visualizing every rack up against my road bike, I decided on the Disco. 

Bike Racks on a Classic Road Race Bicycle That Has No Eyelets For A Rack

I always throw my lock, tire repairs stuff, etc. in my bike panniers.  In the past, when I've left stuff in panniers on the bike, some objects have got ripped off from inside the bags.   So, when I go to the store, the bags always come with me via quick releases.  Thus, my desire for a bike racks over the rear tire on all my bikes.  One set of bags and tools.  Just move them from from bike to bike.

I had a older Specialized Allez Pro from the early 90s.

I loved how this bike handled.  But, this bike did not have any eyelets for either rack or fenders.  :(

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Galvin's Clock And Watch Repair - Awesome!

A while back, on Yelp, I gave a great review for my friend, Galvin, of Galvin's Clock And Watch Repair in San Gabriel, California.

But when I go back to the Yelp page, and find Galvin, my review is nowhere to be seen.   Why?

I've since heard that Yelp,  "charge businesses to remove or re-order bad reviews!".

And, at, "six business owners said Yelp sales reps promised to remove or move negative reviews in exchange for advertising and that in six other instances positive reviews disappeared or negative ones appeared after owners declined ad deals."


When I met Galvin, I saw someone who had to be one of the best, if not the best, in the business of watch repair.  But he didn't have a lot of traffic.  I'd hoped a good review on Yelp would help all the wearers of expensive watches in Los Angeles find him.  They would be happy they did.

Well, since it's not appearing on Yelp, or when I do a search on Google, I'm going to just post the review on my own blog.  So there.

Here was the review I wrote:

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Stock Market and Your Girlfriend

The stock market is going crazy these days. And not in a good way. It's so unstable. All the different prognosis do not look good.

So much unlike earlier times. Usually, the markets were basically going to go up. Except for some periods. You could put your money into some financial instruments, and not worry about them. It was much simpler and more stable then.

I sure miss those days.

I think of what Bruce Springteen wrote in "My Hometown",

They're closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks
Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain't coming back

Ever split up with your girlfriend, and regret that it had happened? Then wish for the good old days to return? But ultimately, they never do?

That's how I'm feeling about the stock market right now. I miss the good old days and long for them to return. But they are probably never going to return. At least not for a long while.

It's a whole new paradigm now.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Noticing The Inverse

The past year, I've finally put into words something that has been true for me for a very long time.

If have a certain quality, we will notice the opposite quality in others.  Here is a partial list of inverse qualities that I have noticed.

Personal Quality

Opposite Or Inverse Quality That You Will Notice


Lies and Lying









Good Work

Bad Work

Hard Working


















Law Abiding





Politics and game playing

You are in Love

You can tell when someone is not in Love

You have a nice house, car, equipment, etc., well maintained, fully operational, and works properly.

Unmaintained ugly house, car, or equipment that works like crap, or doesn't work at all.


Loud people

Good driver

Bad driver

Non smoker

Smoke from smokers (cough)

Rich or poor

Poor or rich

Healthy or Sick

Sick or Healthy

And so on.