Paring Down: Less Is More (Expensive)

You know those pleasant moments of reflection when you're riding a bike and you think to yourself, "Hey, life is actually pretty darned good"?  Well, it isn't.  Actually, your life is falling apart.  And you're falling apart.  For one thing, you probably have too much stuff:

Yes, as a reader informs me, people who write for newspapers continue to discover and be seduced by the pseudo-philosophy of "minimalism:"

When a man named Andrew Hyde began an adventure in minimalism, he only owned 15 things. It eventually moved to 39 and now it sits around 60. It all started when he decided to take a trip around the world and sell everything he didn’t need. As Mr. Hyde noted on his blog, it changed his life after a brief period of befuddlement:

I’m so confused by this. When we were growing up, didn’t we all have the goal of a huge house full of things? I found a far more quality life by rejecting things as a gauge of success.
Actually, I didn't have the goal of a huge house full of things.  It just so happens my goal was to become a fakir and live in a cave suspended by flesh hooks.  In fact, I actually did live in a cave suspended by flesh hooks for a time, but I got tired of having to swing pendulum-like every time I wanted something out of the fridge, and so I finally caved (that's a little fakir humor) and bought a sofa. Anyway, what's so impressive about "only" having 60 things?  That's actually a lot of things.  You could have 30 tuxedos, 20 Mercedes Benzes, and five solid-gold toilets, and you're still coming in at well under 60 things.  Most revealing though was this sentence:

I found a far more quality life by rejecting things as a gauge of success.
I'm not sure if he means he's "rejecting things as a gauge of success," or if he's "rejecting things as a gauge of success."  I suspect it's the latter, because as a wealthy person you have the luxury of not having to own stuff.  It's like boasting about how you don't own a bunch of kitchen appliances because you just dine out every day, or bragging about how you don't own a car because a limo just fetches you  whenever you need to get to the airport.

Nevertheless, the writer of the article was clearly impressed:

When I came across his original story of only owning 15 items, I was so inspired I immediately went home and found 15 things to give away. Most of these things were clothes that I had long since stopped wearing, but I held on them because . . . well, just because. In fact I have no idea why I still had a tie I hadn’t worn in four years or a shirt that no longer fit.

He may have no idea why he had a shirt that no longer fit, but to me the reason is obvious: he got fatter.  Sometimes having a bunch of clothes you never wear isn't a sign that you need to become a minimalist. Sometimes it just means you need more exercise.

In any case, your life is falling apart because you have too much stuff, and you're falling apart because, as another reader informs me, you're drinking crappy ice:

No, it’s not because water is getting scarce, it’s because Haute ice often takes more time to make than the finished drink. A top San Francisco pub built a cocktail using 18-year old single malt scotch and slow melting Glace Luxury Ice crafted from bubble-free, double distilled water.

Shocked and appalled that I've been drinking sub-par solid-state water, I visited the website of the Gläce Luxury Ice Co., which I hope is an elaborate hoax:

Here's what I learned:

Gläce is a meticulously designed and differentiated drink-ice product.  A 'perfectly spherical', 2.5" diameter ice product designed to occupy the top position in the premium ice market.  The presence of minerals, additives and other pollutants found in artesian sources may contaminate the taste of premium liquors and drinks.  That's why Gläce is made with purified water to ensure its tasteless quality.

I had no idea there even was a "premium ice market," which shows you what a rube I am.  Foolishly, I'd just been using an ice recipe that's been in my family for generations.  Here's that recipe if you want it:


You can also add a little cream cheese for texture.  But use the homemade stuff at your own risk, because bootleg ice is liable to give you cancer:

Traditional machine-ice, generally made with local tap water, can contain upwards of 150 impurities and carcinogens, resulting in poor tasting and potentially unhealthy ice.  In contrast, Gläce Ice is an engineered product protected in a resealable package, ensuring a sanitary chain of custody from origin to enjoyment.  As a premium, branded product, Gläce Ice provides a unique, consistent experience for the consumer who demands the best.

That's why I went ahead and ordered 50 spheres of premium ice product for the low price of $325:

Scoff if you will, but Gläce is the Chris King headset of ice--if Chris King headsets were made of frozen water and melted at room temperature.

And you don't have to take my word for it--just listen to this douchebag who's quoted on their website:

Gläce “is an amazing product for me,” said Jeff Carrillo, of Los Angeles, with respect to marketing his high-end water to celebrities.  Ed Hardy Structured Water offers a better taste and more
health benefits than other stuff you would pour into your glass, Carrillo said. And Sequeira’s luxury ice helps Carrillo make the point, when he’s pouring his water at a celebrity party, that his isn’t your average agua.

“It’s the best invention ever,” Carrillo said. “Roberto is so smart. It’s like, whoever thought you could make ice better?”

Wait, "structured water?"  Sure:

Ed Hardy structured water is natural alkalized calcium ionized living water and is treated with reverse osmosis for maximum purity as well as infra-red stimulation and electromagnetism to create the best (+) positively charged hexagonally shaped structured water ever.   By using their proprietary technology they are able to break up the larger molecules into smaller hexagonally shaped and now STRUCTURED MOLECULES, which are much more easily absorbed by the cells inside our bodies. The absorption rate of hexagonally shaped structured water molecules is a much as four (4) times more efficient than water that is not structured, which enables you to drink less water while achieving hydration faster and more efficiently. Whether young or old, professional athlete or common everyday person, everybody can benefit from Ed hardy Structured Water, which was created with some of the most important ingredients of all: lots and lots of love, care and positive energy.

You'll be happy to know my toilet is running entirely on natural akalized calcium ionized living water that has been treated with reverse osmosis now.  If flushes like a dream, and every bathroom visit is like relieving yourself into the mouth of an angel.

I'm just glad nobody uses this sort of language to sell bikes:


WHAT High-modulus carbon aero frame utilizing our most advanced carbon construction method.
WHY Gives the Venge the best Complete Performance package of light weight, stiffness, and aerodynamics.
HOW Each tube and junction has been optimized for maximum stiffness and minimum weight, while maintaining aerodynamic advantage. For instance, head tube assembly is extra wide at crown for increased stiffness but remains narrow at the waist and tapers quickly to airfoil shape for weight savings and aero advantage. And, we employed stiffening plies of our highest modulus carbon in strategic areas throughout the front triangle to further increase torsional stiffness.

In case you're unfamiliar with cycling jargon, "optimized" is another way of saying "put together."  For example, here is a bicycle with tubing that has been "optimized:"

And here is a bicycle with tubing that has been "de-optimized:"

Generally speaking, you want the "optimized" kind.  Also, spend plenty of money to get the lightest bike you can, because that way it will hurt you less when someone throws it at you, as forwarded by yet another reader:

Here's what happened:

Patrick was speeding eastbound in the 700 block of East 13th Street when he ran the stop sign at Arlington Avenue, swerved and struck a male victim riding his bicycle on the north side of the street, according to the arrest affidavit.

Patrick then backed the van up to where the victim was on the ground, got out of the vehicle and approached the victim, the affidavit says.

The victim thought Patrick was going to help him when he saw him get out of the van, the affidavit says. Instead, Patrick picked up the broken bicycle and threw it back down on the victim, the affidavit says.

Patrick then punched the victim in the face, kicked him once and drove off, the affidavit says.

Fortunately it happened in Iowa, because if this were New York City the cyclist would have been ticketed for bleeding on the sidewalk.

Meanwhile, the industrious people of Portland have come up with a new way to quantify their smugness:

Portland Adds Nation's First Bike Counter to Hawthorne Bridge from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Whereas still another reader has spotted a new way to secure your bike:

Either that, or it's a very poorly thought-out chain tensioner.

automotive ,automotive news ,automotive magazine,automotive industry outlook 2012,automotif,automotive magazine automotive ,automotive news ,automotive magazine,automotive industry outlook 2012,automotif,automotive magazine