Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I once worked for a company that did revenue management systems, and our biggest customers were airlines. For those of you who don't know (and that is most of you, so don't feel bad), revenue management systems are what reservation-based industries, like airlines and rental car companies and hotel chains, use to figure out what to charge for their product. Basically, it was my company's fault that you had to book that flight to Newark six weeks early or pay another $83.21.

Anyhow, I once ran across a flight cost item labelled "TFOP" and had to find out what it meant. It turns out that it was an expense for various parts of an airplane that get lost during the flight, and stands for "Things Falling Off Plane."

Once you get beyond the initial "What the ...." of realizing that the airlines not only know that things are going to fall off of the plane, but that they budget for it, you find that this acronym works for all kinds of things. With cars, TFOC covers lost hubcaps, coffee cups that you left on the roof, and various nuts and bolts that work their way loose and cause things to shake badly or break. TFOB - Things Falling Off Bike - is probably less prevalent, but there is no roof for a coffee cup and fewer nuts and bolts on a bike, so we more quickly notice when stuff comes loose.

Today's post, however, is about TFOOB - Things Falling Out Of Brain. These are little things that I've got on my mind, and now they are falling out. Of course, they will probably continue to fester in my brain, so it's not like I've got Dumbledore's pensieve (woot - woot - nerd alert!) to dump them in. This is just clutter that I'd like to share with you.

Doesn't that make you feel special?

My Knuckle Tattoo

Get your own knuckles at the knuckle tattoo gun.

If you've ever been to Bike Snob NYC's blog, the above is probably familiar. I just noticed, however, that "Randoboy" has eight letters, so it's perfect for a knuckle tattoo. Not that I would ever get a knuckle tattoo, or any other kind of tattoo, although I have been known to sport a "cat two tattoo" of chainring grease on my right inside calf. That's as much skin adornment as I am likely to get.

I must admit, however, that I like the idea of this knuckle tattoo. It would still allow me to hide my secret identity by wearing cycling gloves, or I could remove the left glove and pretend that Scott Bakula just quantum leaped into me, since my tattoo would read "O Boy."

Movie Music

I recently put the James Bond theme song on my iPod, and it just came on a few minutes ago. Can you listen to that song and not want to kind of crouch down and do the finger-gun thing? I know that nobody can see me doing this, however, as I am hidden behind the credits scrolling over a background of the silhouettes of naked women.

I also have "Man With a Harmonica" from the Sergio Leone western "Once Upon a Time in the West" - or "C'era una volta il West" if you want to look it up on IMDB. It was the music for the hero, played by Charles Bronson, and they play it during the big gunfight at the end.

My point here is that movie music is really fun on your iPod because it can recapture key moments from the movie. Would you still get this feeling from the music, however, if you'd never seen the movie? Further research is warranted ...

If Ever I Stop Biking ...

How could it be in Fall? Okay, Robert Goulet I ain't, but I do love riding a bicycling in October. If only the days weren't getting shorter, it would be perfect. I've biked in and out from work for the past four days straight, and enjoyed an almost perfect 200K Saturday. It's just warm enough in the morning that I might need a light jacket and knee warmers, and not so hot in the afternoon that I have to hurry home.

Something that helps is this new commuter pannier I got from Arkel last week. It almost looks like a messenger bag, with a padded sleeve for my laptop, but it's really a pannier so it hooks onto my rear rack. This keeps the weight of my stuff lower than carrying everything in the backpack did, which makes the bike more stable. Also, when I carried the laptop in my backpack it would strain my lower back, and who needs that? The new pannier also looks really cool, and it's made by Arkel, who just about make the best bags in the world.

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