I have been absent recently from the blog and for that I apologise up front. Honestly I love writing when something happens and recently not a lot has been going on… except that isn’t true because plenty has happened and I have just not been actively thinking on it. I purchased my first baby present for the new addition (due December) to my buddy’s new family. The gift in this case is in delivery mode from Apple and is a Withings Baby Monitor.
It’s got a bunch of functions where is streams its video to an iOS or Android device showing room temperature as well as humidity, it can play lullabies and has a soft coloured nightlight as part of the whole kit, it’s wireless and it can fold into a super handy cube shape for grabbing and going. Very cool tech for what I am sure is going to be a very tech savvy kid. At present I am considering what other goodies I need to get because on balance the baby cam is very much a gift for the happy expectant couple but not as much “touch, feel and rattle” fun for the boy so I’m also contemplating some toys.
Ask people who know me and they’ll tell you that though I have a job and I work and stuff I haven’t quite grown up completely. I like toys of all sorts and in a not too distant past I bought myself some Automoblox. For the uninitiated Automoblox are kind of similar to wooden cars you may have seen when you were little because back then some carved wood with wheels were to us “Twuck” or “Caaa” and even the differences between the two were difficult to discern sometimes… for other kids maybe. For me (at the time) they were rather bland mainly because I already identified with marques by then though I barely knew what I was doing, I needed more to stimulate the small petrol head within me. Fast forward to 2010 and I am a young man and I was in a toy store looking at gifts for an upcoming birthday when instead I got something for myself. This toy was and instant classic as it was made of wood and had more detail than the old pre-school caaa and stuff you could change on it to make it your own. I saw this:
Long story short I collected a bunch of other ones to round out the collection and I wonder how I could have turned out if I had these to play with, would I have become a car designer?
The gist of Automoblox is a little bit shapes and reasoning and then all of the rest is car based creativity. You want a utility pickup with a sports coupe roofline and old school muscle car wheels, done you can make it. Switch glasshouses, people, wheels, front and rear ends, if you can think the design and you have the cars with the parts you want you can swap things around to make the car of your dreams. At $45 a pop it isn’t cheap but the build quality is fantastic and the plastic parts are made of polycarbonate and are designed to be kid sat on thrown around etc.
So that’s that I have convinced myself that some Automoblox are in this kid’s future because cars look like they’re going to be around for some time so if he jumps into a career related to cars then I’ve done my job in planting the seed.
Now to other news, I have finally made a change to my bike which I have been thinking of for a long time. Riders of motorcycles can attest that your foot and hand controls are hugely important components when you ride. They link you to the critical systems that make you stop, go, shift gears and turn on and off signals and lights. for the most part you are throttling, braking and shifting gears so when you feel like your components are not as solid as you’d like you make a change to make them solid-er. I have always felt that stock levers i.e. the ones that put the front brakes and engage the clutch are a bit wibbly-wobbly.
Maybe you aren’t that fussy, I know I should do something else with the money as the levers do work just not the way I like and they are silver which is the colour of a default component that nobody bothered to make pretty so they must go. The levers I decided would take their place are now installed after some deliberation and here they are:
They are components made in Italy by Rizoma, the particular ones I chose are called RRC and they are quite stylish with red switchgear to match my other minimal red components.z
What has that all that other stuff about baby monitors and wooden cars got to do with bikes. Well not a whole lot, the wooden cars are modular and in that way they can be changed very much like my bike which has just had some new levers swapped out. the baby monitor is some brand new tech that enhances life allowing parents to make better decisions about their baby and even providing new information previously not easily available which is a nice segue to the emerging electric market. I am utterly convinced that the next time I purchase a bike it will be motivated by electricity. I am not some environ-mental or anything like that however the emerging and even established eco friendly vehicle manufacturers are producing products too tantalising to pass up. Besides the weekly fill-up will be super cheap and I can ride my noise maker for pleasure. Not only are they motivated by electricity they have many interesting features, taking the Mission R motorcycle for example it has a cool full colour display that (other than providing GPS a requisite) records telemetry AND makes you think you’re riding some Jetsons era tech with it’s fancy meters and graphs all in realtime as you ride, think iPad mini in your dash. It’s battery can be swapped out for an improved one when the time comes and battery tech catches up so you can go even further on a single charge. The motor only consists of one moving part so there is very little that can go wrong and all you really need to maintain the bike are new brake pads and tyres as they wear out.
Until next time!