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Monday Message Board

December 22nd, 2003

It’s time as usual for your comments on any topic? My starter question: is there anything new that can be said about Christmas?

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  1. December 22nd, 2003 at 08:24 | #1

    How about “It falls in July”?

  2. December 22nd, 2003 at 09:53 | #2

    nah – that’s been said. Apparently, jebus was born in July.

    how about “wow, the in-laws are visiting! that’s great!”?

    merry christmas

  3. December 22nd, 2003 at 10:45 | #3

    In-laws? I find it hard enough to cope with my kith and kin, without having someone elses…

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  4. December 22nd, 2003 at 13:15 | #4

    “At last, I have discovered the cause of Christmas!”

    (attributed to Nicholas Kaldor, after noting that the money supply surges in December and declines in January)

    Its not new, but its funny.

  5. Homer Paxton
    December 22nd, 2003 at 14:28 | #5

    You don’t need anything new just celebrate the birth of Jesus. for pedants we aren’t sure when he was born.

    Kaldor was a true socialist. He married into wealth .He came up the the expenditure tax which all nations should have but the respective treasuries always say is too hard to put into practice however they can rarely give reasons how it is harder than oncome tax.

  6. December 22nd, 2003 at 22:08 | #6

    On behalf of the folks down here at Catallaxy files I want to wish PROFESSOR QUIGGIN a blogging HAPPY CHRISTMAS.

    For something new for Pr Q, may I suggest that he gives that bear, which always seems to hog his server, a bit of a nudge and finds the time to let the odd bull run loose in his top paddock.

  7. December 23rd, 2003 at 05:27 | #7

    Hi Dr. Quiggin, I enjoyed reading your posts at Crooked Timber last week. Merry Christmas!

  8. observa
    December 24th, 2003 at 01:29 | #8

    A quick Xmas quiz for all you gift givers and accumulators of useless information(hopefully not gifts) What gift item could you buy, with the absolute confidence, that it would suit the truck, car, motorcycle, trailer or caravan of every recipient? Actually there are only two such items, and they are very closely associated with each other.

    The prize for the winner is a free comment and bragging rights on PrQs next message board. No correspondence will be entered into by yours truly the judge, but bribes and other largesse will be gratefully accepted. Drive safely this Xmas and if you really want to be safe on the roads, I believe the latest is to dye your hair blonde and paint your car silver. Dyslexics take extra precautions.

  9. December 24th, 2003 at 01:45 | #9

    Having something new to say about Christmas misses the point. Christmas affords commentators an excuse to take it easy because they can get away with recycling the same old blather about the holiday spirit and ineffectual whining about how the season is too commercialized.

  10. December 24th, 2003 at 09:23 | #10


  11. observa
    December 24th, 2003 at 16:16 | #11

    Not paint John. It must be an item like a spare part. Every first year apprentice mechanic will probably know the answer. For the slower intellectuals I’ll add a clue. The answer might be discovered on ‘The Road to Surfdom’.

  12. December 24th, 2003 at 22:53 | #12

    A long felt want? A dolly bird? (Very ’60s, that, pre-PC anyway.)

  13. observa
    December 25th, 2003 at 00:12 | #13

    Perhaps Tim is closer than any of us to its inventor????

  14. observa
    December 25th, 2003 at 08:42 | #14

    If Tim at the Road to Surfdom can’t give you a clue, then perhaps the fact that a car has twice as many of these parts as a motorcycle will help.

  15. Brian Bahnisch
    December 25th, 2003 at 11:55 | #15

    I dunno. Tyres, wheels, hubcaps, but they seem too obvious and ungiftlike. But then people keep giving me useless stuff like chocolates when they know I can’t eat them.

  16. December 25th, 2003 at 18:13 | #16

    gotta be tyres, or something else made of rubber (but maybe we won’t go there!). what brian said – strange gifts. but useful, i guess.

  17. observa
    December 25th, 2003 at 21:30 | #17

    Gianna is warm and yet fuzzy methinks. These parts are quite small and ensure the great benefits, of the gift to motoring, of one of Tim’s ancestors perhaps.

  18. John
    December 25th, 2003 at 22:20 | #18

    Obviously, something to do with the tyres, then. But the only small part I can think of connected with the tyres is the valvecap, which wouldn’t be much of a gift. Then there are those temporary spares that are widely used in the US but not here.

  19. observa
    December 25th, 2003 at 22:56 | #19

    Close enough John. The part that fits all is actually the valve insert to keep the air in Mr Dunlop’s great invention of the pneumatic tyre. You’re not going far if it fails. As far as I know the screw on cap will also fit all automotive valve stems whether tubeless or tubed. Some of these metal caps are designed to be used to unscrew the valve insert. The current universal valve insert was designed by the German firm Schraeders I think, although the patent may now be obsolete. Bicycles almost always use this automotive valve nowadays, although they used to use a different type in earlier times. Even pneumatic tyred wheelbarrows and sack trucks use the automotive valve.

    This minimal interchangeability of automotive parts is probably a strong statement about the current level consumer choice in our society.

  20. December 26th, 2003 at 09:56 | #20

    Er… in my experience between twenty and ten years ago, which I call fairly recently, many if not all bicycle inner tubes settled on an integral insert that could not be replaced – you had to replace the entire inner tube if it failed around there. (Since the most likely failure mode at that point was creep tearing the whole thing out, you usually had to replace the whole tube anyway.)

  21. observa
    December 26th, 2003 at 10:39 | #21

    After a quick search, it would appear the blogdom is not the only authority on the expiration of (hot) air. This layman will defer to the authority in these matters at sheldonbrown.com/flats.html

  22. December 26th, 2003 at 12:18 | #22

    That site bears out what I remember. But to clarify, I was getting at something else: how on many bicycles you couldn’t interchange that part as it was installed integrally. It’s not a question of whether the part actually was standard but of whether the hypothetical present would actually be of use to a cyclist; I think some cyclists would have problems.

    Incidentally, readers interested in the area might want to do a google search to find out my horror story experience of catastrophic failure of a Brompton folding bicycle in the early 1990s – a mailing list of correspondence got archived. Brompton’s claims about the actions they took are unjustified – they did not do what was asked but instead made out that unsolicited and unwelcome interference – actions that had been explicitly ruled out in advance – were really “help”. They also falsely claimed that I had admitted misusing the bicycle beforehand (I neither abused it, nor did I say I had, and in either case it shouldn’t have had such a catastrophic failure mode).

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