Archive for April, 2010

Bike Commuting Boxers

When I first started bike commuting to work, I would dress every morning as a “Spandex Sally.”  When people look like freaks, there’s usually logic behind it.  As it is so with the Spandex Sally look.  Bicycling specific tights have a chamois pad in it.  The chamois (or “shammy”) is roughly the difference of sleeping on a wood floor or sleeping on a mattress.  Shammies are super comfy.  The downside to the tights are that 1) you look like a freak and 2) formunda cheese manufacturing.

Time’s progressed, and now I usually wear my underwear for the day and a pair of Arc Teryx shorts.  The shorts are lightweight.  The fabric, of the shorts, is highly bomb-resistant.  My boxers, on the other hand, are not:

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Sometimes for short errands, I wear pants.  For this reason, I now look for pants with gusseted crotches:

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It’s also fun to say gusseted crotches.

When I told others about my idea of repairing my underwear, one reoccurring statement I heard was “Why don’t you just buy new underwear?  It’s not like underwear is expensive!”  I like to think I’m the Bill Bowerman of bicycling underwear.  Even though there are products similar to a gusseted crotch boxer on the market, it’s not quite what I want.

I see it as reducing my consumption as well as preventing future failures.  Buying new underwear will just fail in the same spot.  I borrowed dre’s sewing machine and ripped up the failed jeans.

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So far I have about 3 miles on “Version 1.”

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The Phone Bill That Buys Me a 6-Pack

Two years ago I started automatically investing $137 every month.  I based it off a calculation of a known surplus in my budget.  After reading a Rowdy Kittens’ post, I noticed the monthly amount is close to a bill for a cell phone with a data plan.

When I bought a 6-pack of expensive beer a few nights ago, the guy behind me asked what kind of job I had that allowed me to buy that kind of beer.  He was joking, so we just laughed.  On the walk home, I realized it’s the kind that doesn’t require having a phone plan.

After two years, the dividend now pays me $30 per quarter, which is one 6-pack of expensive beer per month!  It’s not a lot.  But, it’s fun to identify “cross-over” points.  Just like the marathon is one mile at a time, so are a lot of other aspects of life.

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Growth Is Not Sustainable

Earth Day is a pagan’s Christmas: no more special than any other day, but yet a universally recognized celebration.  Last year I wrote that the best way to go green is to stop buying stuff.

This year I’ve been reflecting on growth.  Specifically, that many businesses depend on growth in their business model.  From a business perspective, this is great. Especially when it is done with re-investments from previous sales: organic growth.  From a materials perspective, this is not good.  In this model, there is an inconsistency in assuming that the Earth is full of infinite resources.

I also see it in investment ads: contribute as much as possible to your XYZ fund!!  (Why? There are much more wise methods to calculate your contributions.)  The public schools are currently getting killed because they set their budget as a percentage of real estate value.  I assume this was an attempt to maximize the amount of the school systems’ income, but a flat tax would have kept them from their current problem.

More, bigger, easier!

When is enough?  Currently, I can’t tangibly figure out this calculation based off of resource depletion.  My current angle is figuring out when my marginal returns decrease, and stopping myself there.  Most people call this a budget.  Other people call it being a cheap, lame-ass.

A budget allows yourself to reflect and figure out what’s enough, and to keep from excessive use of the Earth’s mass and energy.


Hey, on a related note, check out my right sidebar.  I’m sporting my first badge!

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