The Feds Didn’t Kill Pontiac, I did. | The Truth About Cars

The Feds Didn’t Kill Pontiac, I did. | The Truth About Cars.

An excellent write-up from TTAC that echoes, but also explains and validates my previously written loathing of Pontiac.

Not all blades are equal

SuperMaxBlades

These are the worst blades I have ever used. Click to embiggen.

I switched to an old fashioned double-edged safety razor shortly after I began using shaving creams and a brush instead of canned gels and what-not. A good friend of mine sent me two vintage Gillettes- a Tech and a Super Speed. The Tech quickly became my razor for every shave, replacing my new-fangled Fusion and it’s five or six blade cartridges. But one of the things the old-timey shavers debate is which blades do the best job actually shaving you. The oft-touted cost savings of a blade vs. a cartridge don’t amount to much if the shave is lousy.

I’ve never thought much about the great razor debate until now. Discussions about esoteric Gillette blades no longer available in the U.S. vs. Feather and dozens of others has always struck me as a bit obsessive and something that couldn’t possibly make that big a difference until now. The Super-Max Super Stainless pictured above gave me the worst shave I can recall having, more pulling at my whiskers than cutting. It was painful, awful, and left patches of whiskers I dared not try to remove again. Specifically, the hairs high on my lip and directly below my nostrils. And that’s before it cut off a small chunk of my cupid’s bow, the edge of the upper lip directly below the philtral dimple. I’ve never felt discomfort from shaving, but this blade caused outright pain.

Super-Max’s website claims they’re made from the “Highest Quality Swedish steel”, but my package was labeled as being made in India if I recall correctly. Maybe they were counterfeit, I don’t know. I don’t even remember where I got them. All I know is they were awful and I threw away the rest of the package and swapped in one of the hundreds of Silver Blue I bought overseas. Ah…. much better.

So the blades DO make a difference. Guess it’s time to find a blade sampler pack for sale from a specialist site. Maybe one of these from Royal Shave will do the trick…

Pinlock

Tacky vs. Tasteful, the helmet is also more practical.

Tacky vs. Tasteful, a full-face is also more practical.

By now, readers know I’m a firm believer in always riding helmeted- mostly because arguments against helmet laws are tremendously stupid. But what does one do when the weather turns cold? As it happens, a helmet is also better for shielding a rider’s face from cold wind blast than a tacky skull face bandana! The vents and visor of my Schuberth C3 Pro seal up nicely, the inner liner unfolds to cover vent inlet ports for additional protection and warmth, and the chin curtain encloses snug but comfortable around the rider’s neck to create an isolated environment. The one downside that’s always been with cold weather riders (or full face helmets stopped at a light) is fogging visors. There have been anti-fog sprays, coatings, etc. but most accounts I’ve read say they don’t work all that well.

Until now.

pinlock-anti-fog-visor

Note the fog on the visor and clarity of the insert when it’s in focus.

Holy cow, this Pinlock insert works flawlessly. Seeing physics at work as the edges of my visor fog but the pinlock insert stays clear and provides visibility is just another reason to be grateful for science! My particular helmet has an easy and tool free removal/installation process, which made dropping in the pinlock even easier and faster than the YouTube video embedded in this post. But the most effective example I can show is this gif I stole from webBikeWorld.com. Read their review for more proof and testimonial of how well the Pinlock insert works.

Clear Pinlock insert and helmet with integrated sun visor = perfect.

Riding to and from work, I was so thrilled by how well it worked that I caught myself breathing as hard as I could in an attempt to overwhelm the insert. Despite my very best efforts to the contrary, the insert stayed clear. The worst visual artifact I’ve witnessed is a slight and only occasional prism effect at the edges of my vision – and even then it’s only caused by man-made lights when riding in the dark and could be a result of my LASIK. Applying the same care and cleanliness as when I homebrew some beer kept my optics fingerprint free, and has made me an avowed fan.

I won’t own another helmet without one.

10 psi

I'll replace this photo with one I take of my blue caps, but the dash of color really stands out and helps for finding/reminding when airing up.

A dash of color really stands out and aids in finding/reminding when airing up.

I really wish I was a sophisticated enough rider to communicate what I feel when the air pressure gets low in my motorcycle’s tires, but the best I can do is say “it feels wrong”. More specifically (but more grammatically vague), it doesn’t turn right. Of course I’m not actually limited to left hand turns, it just feels funny whenever I try to change direction. It’s like the bike leans or falls into a turn too quickly, or the front and back halves are disconnected or something. And all this phrasal dithering is about as articulate or precise as my attempts to understand the handling of my bike. It’s really quite frustrating.

“Of the many imprisonments possible in our world, one of the worst must be to be inarticulate — to be unable to tell another person what you really feel.” -Roger Ebert

I’ve used terms like “squishy”, or when my wife has ridden pillion and I haven’t adjusted the pre-load I’ll say the rear end feels “squirrelly”, but I’m really just repeating what I’ve heard or read from others. If anything, compromised suspension on the motorcycle just serves to show me how little I actually know. It’s a very humbling experience to have a decent command of words and expression, only to realize my understanding of the event is the weak point. All I really know is this: a pocket air gauge usually proves that 10 psi makes all the difference in the world.

19 Reasons to Not Abandon Handwriting

This pretty much says it all.

Attention to Detail

Image

Just happened to notice this as I was doing yard work. Being colorblind, this was a pretty remarkable observation on my part since it was green on green. Making the photo black and white causes the subject to be much more defined to my eye.

20130924-172447.jpg

Why commuting by motorcycle is good for everyone – Telegraph

Why commuting by motorcycle is good for everyone – Telegraph.

Testing the “press this” extension, seeing if I like it. Pretty sure I’ve shared this link on facebook with my friends already. Just doing it here as a test. Enjoy the article.