Friday, July 27, 2012

Smooth as Sandpaper

I am many things, but today, grace is not one of my strong points.  I rode my motorcycle home from work today, pulled it into the garage, shut it off, jumped off, and quickly realized that I had forgotten to put down the kick stand.

Struggling to maintain balance as the bike and I both fell toward the garage floor, I somehow managed to escape major injury and prevented any damage to the bike.  In the process though, I put my head through the drywall, resulting in small cuts over my left eyebrow and on the bridge of my nose.  I'm still not quite sure how I managed to keep the bike from dropping but rest assured, that hole in the drywall will serve as a daily reminder to put down the kickstand.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Economics and Humanity

My ramble for the day...

It seems to me that one of the main premises of economics is figuring out how to make the pie as large as possible, thereby giving everyone the largest piece possible.  The fundamental problem with this idea is that people behave in an unpredictable manner.  Specifically, some people are selfish, taking whatever they can and screwing everyone else, and some people are exceedingly altruistic, placing the wants and needs of others first.

These opposite ends of the scale bring disastrous results on an aggregate scale, economically speaking.  Greed, when allowed to flourish unchecked, brings satisfaction to a select few, but despair and suffering to the masses.  We only need to look at the early days of the industrial revolution to illustrate my point.  Altruism, when taken to the same extreme, breeds laziness.  After all, why should someone work for less than they can make on a welfare check?

Somehow, in our unending quest to find a satisfactory balance, we've allowed both specters to flourish.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bank and (Mis)Trust

I was listening to the radio a bit ago and heard a commercial for a bank "...blah blah blah Bank and Trust blah blah blah..."

I thought How is it that the phrase Bank and Trust still exists in the English language?  Didn't "Banks" and "Trust" part ways several decades ago??

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Get a Grip

Having owned my little Sportster for six years, it should come as no surprise that my stock handgrips were showing their age.  In fact, a little bit of handgrip remained on my hand after each ride.

With this in mind, I decided that it was time to change out my handgrips.  I went with the Kuryakyn ISO Grips with ISO Throttle Boss, as seen to the left. A throttle boss is the little nub on the throttle side that allows you to accelerate by pushing your palm on the throttle boss, instead of using your grip to twist the throttle.

I let the pros do most of my work, but this was an easy task.  I accomplished it myself in less than 30 minutes.  The new grips are immeasurably more comfortable than the stock grips.  The only thing I would change is to make the throttle boss slightly larger.  Due to the small surface area, it can become a bit uncomfortable on the hand after a while.  Kuryakyn does offer a larger throttle boss, as seen on the right (though I'm not yet 100% sure that it will physically fit my grips); it would be nice if this choice was offered right out of the gate.

One thing that I noticed was that the throttle was a tad sticky immediately after swapping the grips, but this worked itself out after sitting overnight.

The grips were expensive, but the difference in comfort can't be described; it can only be experienced.  If my grips had come with the larger throttle boss, I would give 5 stars.  As it is, I have to give 4.5.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, USA

This is an open re-post of something I wrote on Facebook a bit ago...

A few hours ago, I wrote a trite "Happy Birthday, USA" as my Facebook status.  For no reason in particular, I realized that my previous words were insufficient, and as I said before, trite.  With this in mind, I'm going to take a little more time to express what Independence Day means to me, right here, right now.

-Independence Day honors people far braver than I, who chose freedom from a king who arbitrarily set rules from a throne, thousands of miles away.

-Independence Day calls forth the ideal of self-rule, which was worth more to these individuals than their reputation, property and careers.  Freedom was worth more than their very lives.

-Independence Day commemorates people far wiser than me, who worked together to devise a framework to propagate this ideal of freedom throughout the world, and throughout the ages.  This framework was strong enough to withstand the whims of a fickle population, but flexible enough to grow and change with its society.

-Independence Day reminds me that people far better than I have stepped forward, ready to sacrifice their very lives so that future generations could enjoy the freedoms set forth by our founding fathers.

-Independence Day brings the realization that we, as a society at large, take all of this far too lightly... it brings the wish that we can appreciate what we have... and it brings the hope that this appreciation can come without further bloodshed.