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#299 :: Mom

December 2, 2004

The madness of the “Christmas season.” drapes over sanity throughout December like a perfumed scarf on the only good lamp in the room. People behave like apes, focus like hummingbirds, drive like children. There are years when I loathe my fellow man from Dec. 1 to 20. It’s getting worse. A bit of perspective: Just […]

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#249 :: WD-40

October 14, 2004

Iconic, kinetic, and about as simple-minded as a yo-yo, the Wheel-O was your own hand-held Sputnik. The red wheel spins on axle-tips of magnetized metal that cling to the wire frame. Tip the frame back and forth, and it spins faster as it rolls around the frame. Get good enough at it, you can get […]

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#95 :: Flash bulb

May 15, 2004

Here’s another amulet of urban protection, rendered useless by my faulty memory. It’s difficult to say how many of these I’ve owned over the years, for school lockers, bikes, gym lockers, strongboxes. Without the combination, it becomes a sturdy paperweight, thumb-twiddler, hammer-in-a-pinch. Back when I used them full-time, I wish there had been something like […]

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#1 :: Schwinn Twinn freewheel

February 6, 2004

The archetypal heavy little thing. The drivetrain crapped out on our decrepit Schwinn tandem. I yanked this off to replace it, and it’s been sitting on my desk ever since. Put your thumb through it and spin it. It makes a pleasant, hushed clicking noise.

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