Category Archives: quote

The enjoyment of one’s tools is an essential ingredient of successful work. — Donald Knuth

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My local library does not supply my reread every tens years list. (I must move.) So I have inadvertently wandered into my reread every thirty odd years list. I didn’t know I had one of those. (I doubt I will see it again, so should savor while I can.)

I blame Matthew Crawford for this — gratefully.

The radio was a clue. You can’t really think hard about what you’re doing and listen to the radio at the same time. Maybe they didn’t see their job as having anything to do with hard thought, just wrench twiddling. If you can twiddle wrenches while listening to the radio that’s more enjoyable.

Their speed was another clue. They were really slopping things around in a hurry and not looking where they slopped them. More money that way — if you don’t stop to think that it usually takes longer or comes out worse.

But the biggest clue seemed to be their expressions. They were hard to explain. Good-natured, friendly, easygoing — and uninvolved. They were like spectators. You had the feeling they had just wandered in there themselves and somebody had handed them a wrench. There was no identification wit the job. No saying, “I am a mechanic.” [….]

— Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

I remembering reading it, and liking it. Sometime around 1980, after I had learnt Fortran, before I learnt number theory and Gödel. Sadly I don’t remember my reaction.

I know I understand the road now. And the prairie. I don’t know if I underatnd the philosophy better yet.

I love seeing a house built, so I respect the role of hammers. But if you fall in love with the hammer rather than the house, you’ll just go around looking for nails to pound, and that’s not the way to build the best possible house. — Jarrett Walker

Do you offer health benefits to staff?

  • Yes, to full-time employees only
  • No, can’t afford it
  • Thinking about enrolling in the insurance exchange marketplace for small businesses
  • Don’t need to. Most employees are still on parents’ insurance.

Weekly SurveyBicycle Retailer

Depressing. Don’t know if they intended black humor or just recognized a sad reality.

How about BB30?

We do offer a pressfit BB30 shell but we always remind people that it takes away from the overall stiffness of the BB area of the frame. The cranks are a larger diameter, but you don’t increase the stiffness of the frame at all. Also, a threaded BB has more purchase and creates a wider platform for the cranks, not to mention gives you the option of changing systems if you would like to do so in a few years. Remember, the frame will last a lifetime, technology doesn’t. — Kent Eriksen, Kent Eriksen Cycles – FAQ’S

The idea that a significant amount of transportation will be done by politically correct people who have been enticed by false promises of safety to ride on slow and dangerous bike paths deserves all the jeering it receives. Basing the national cycling program on such a pathetic hypothesis is a scientific disgrace. — John Forester

SunTour Superbe (2100

On this particular example every single bolt head and allen key socket has been chewed as if by some crazed, chrome-eating beaver. This illustrates a rule known to all bicycle mechanics – that ace racing cyclists think they are ace bicycle mechanics but, in fact, athletic prowess and mechanical sympathy are mutually exclusive.

Next time you observe an accomplished cycling star eschewing a ring spanner in favour of the open-ended variety, using a screwdriver as a chisel or tightening a nut with a pair of pliers, remember all those adverts you see claiming that this or that product was developed using the expertise of that or this professional racing team – and thank your lucky stars that the claim is only so much marketing bullshit. — Michael Sweatman