No new contestant

A nice touch

Meant to meet up with a new contestant last week but I bailed and saw the most important woman in my life after Alison, instead.

Her: You don’t have to come, it’s too rushed.
Me: It’ll just be for a bit and I’ll keep my distance. I miss you, mom.

But I did get to see ML for a hot second.

Me: Sorry, I’ve been busy lately.
Her: It’s fine. Every time a guy is with me, their status goes up.
Me: Man, and people think I’m vain…
Her: (shrugging) But, it’s true. (later) Dating in NYC is awful.
Me: It is. But, I think you exchange your sad story too early. People should earn your sad stories and you should earn theirs.
Her: Why?
Me: I want people to like being around me because I’m cool as fuck. Not because they feel sorry for me.

Mouse stopped by along with Chad on Saturday for just a bit to train with us again but then bolted to take care of her family.

It’s a shame because we all just ordered some more Vietnamese food.

She came back on Sunday with sunflowers for me and to say hi to the boy over Skype, again.

They miss each other and it’s mad sweet.

The sunflowers were a nice touch so I picked us up some Indian food. We ended up watching The Gentleman, because of a massive food coma.

The film was really excellent.

Her: (settling down) Don’t get any ideas, Logan.
Me: Heavens, I would never.
Her: (laughs) Suuure…

Podcast Version
Location: my hot, hot, home
Mood: happy?
Music: Don’t tell me to go (Spotify)
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Hating being single

How do you think I’m accomplishing that?

It was raining here for a while.

Me: I wanted to tell you to your face, but the weather’s conspiring against us.
Her: Can I ask why?
Me: I don’t wanna waste your time – anyone’s really. I’m not your person and everyone should be with their person.
Her: Is it the other girl? Or your ex?
Me: That’s a distinction without a difference.
Her: I always did like how you talked. (later) Goodbye, Logan.

I hate being single.

On the plus side, Chad came by to coach Mouse and me on some new stuff that he’s been working on. They both said hi to the boy via FaceTime.

This is us listening to him sing the Rolling Stones.

She and I took Chad out to eat as part of thanking him for the training.

We also chipped in to get him a nice automatic watch.

Him: Wow, thanks you two.
Me: We wanted to give it to you after COVID for always helping us but who knows when that will ever be?

Afterward, she stuck around for a bit to catch up. In a weird but kinda cool nexus, Lviv wrote me about another guy she was seeing.

Mouse, upon hearing some of it, took my phone and gave her her opinion via text.

Mouse: You don’t need that in your life. You can find something better.

If there’s any commonality to the women I’m attracted to, it’s that they’re all universally kind. That’s a baseline requirement for me.

And all – very coincidentally – seem to come from the same European country.

Him: Wait, this is a new person?
Me: Yes. From the same town as one of them.
Him: Wha…how…are you finding them on purpose?
Me: How do you think I’m accomplishing that?
Him: I dunno, Logan. I feel if there’s someone that can figure something like that out, it’d be you.

Podcast Version
Location: Verdi Square, discussing Nightwing with Joseph
Mood: sad
Music: you made me happier than I’ve been, by far (Spotify)
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Weapons invite death

A Faustian bargain

Weapons and grappling are two, very different, forms of violence.

The former is binary – I will die and/or sustain grave bodily injury, or you will die and/or sustain grave bodily injury. There’s no middle ground. It’s useful as a force multiplier in situations like multiple attackers or similarly armed assailants.

The latter, however, has an n-ary relationship, whereby I can control the level of lethality from simple control all the way to death. It is my option. As with weapons work, grappling is also a force multiplier but it’s less useful against armed and/or multiple assailants.

When the police are not allowed to use the latter, their only option is the former. This means going from an n-ary relationship to a binary one of life or death/grave bodily injury. Again, there is no middle ground.

This is because weapons invite death. That is the nature of a weapon.

Mr. Floyd’s murder is a horrific one and one where the murderer deserves the most extreme punishment; at best, he showed a depraved heart, at worst, he’s just a piece of shit. But note that Mr. Floyd is dead precisely because of the option of death; the murderer chose to kill a man.

Just like you could kill someone with a fork, a fork serves many other useful purposes beyond murder – in fact, a fork is a sub-optimal means of killing someone, just as grappling is a sub-optimal means of killing someone. A gun or knife does that far more quickly and efficiently.

Note that, the particular movement used by the murderer – knee on neck – is one I’ve never done and would never do. I’ve never seen it done in real life. I’ve never had it done to me. It’s because it’s not the best tool for the job of restraint.

But to throw out the entirety of the latter – pin controls and restraints – means that the only option NYC is giving the police is the former.

This is Faustian bargain on its face; the very people the law Mayor DeBlasio is claiming to help will be the ones that will have to deal with the consequences of the police having less-lethal options to do their job.

Podcast Version
Location: home, waiting for a plumber
Mood: puzzled
Music: I don’t usually give in to peer pressure (Spotify)
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The only nice day of the week

Taking the invite

Me: I’m probably gonna work out with my friends that day.
Her: The only nice day of the week?
Me: Or, I could spend it with you.
Her: Good choice.

Her: How do I know I’ll be safe around you?
Me: Because you will be. And because I don’t lie and I never break a promise.
Her: Is that true?
Me: I suppose you’ll find out. I have my rules. But you’ll ask me before I ask you.
Her: I doubt that.
Me: That’s what every girl says.

Her: What’s that shirt say?
Me: Atari. It’s a game console from the 70s and 80s.
Her: Ah, from when you were born. Makes sense you’d wear that.

Her: You made out with both of them? On the same night?
Me: There were three actually, if you count her.
Her: (pointing over to the women at another table) You should make out with them.
Me: (shrugging) I’ll need more alcohol, but sure.

We ducked into an empty mall and had the whole joint to ourselves. I might tell you about that some other time.

Me: When is your birthday again? The 22nd?
Her: 23rd! OMG, Logan!
Me: What? When’s mine?
Her: (dismissively) How would I know? Besides, you’re old. You shouldn’t be celebrating.

Me: Beer or cider?
Her: I don’t drink beer.
Me: You just lost another point. OK, cider it is. (cashier asks for ID) See, she thinks I look young.
Her: She’s just being nice, Uncle Logan.
Me: (shaking head) That’s…that’s just mean.

Her: Watch the movie! (slaps phone out of my hand) And stop texting other women when you’re with me. Have some respect.
Me: You’re texting other guys!
Her: It’s my apartment!

Me: I had a nice time, Lviv. Thanks for inviting me down here.
Lviv: Sure. (smiles) Have a safe trip home.

Location: 10 mins ago, walking her to her car
Mood: so. damn. hot.
Music: It all comes back to you (Spotify)
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How JFK killed the hat industry

The president leads

A cornerstone of this blog is that communication isn’t what you say, it’s what the listener hears. That’s because this is my blog and that’s a cornerstone of my life.

Above’s a picture of JFK’s presidential inauguration. Look at the men in the crowd of the picture. What do you see?

Hats. Dudes wore hats back then. Period.

But now, check out Johnson’s inauguration pic just a few years later. Notice that, while there are hats, there are a lot fewer of them.

What happened?

The answer’s pretty simple; JFK generally didn’t wear hats. And dudes that saw him walk around without a hat thought – consciously or unconsciously – Well, if he’s not wearing a hat, I’m not gonna wear one either.

Did JFK purposely go out of his way to single-handedly destroy the hat-making industry in America? Probably not. But that’s what happened.

Unintended consequences and alla that.

I’ve been noticing that the deep red people I know are suddenly fixated on China as the evil empire – which it is, for sure – when they never previously posted anything about it before.

Similarly, wearing a mask has become a political statement versus a simple safety measure.

I also note that Trump has generally not worn a mask and that the US now leads the world in COVID-19 rates and deaths.

To say that JFK destroyed the hat industry is to simply go back and piece together facts.

To say that Trump killed his fellow Americans by the thousands is probably similarly accurate, although only time will tell.

As for me, I’m glad that JFK didn’t wear hats because, with my huge head, I’d probably block out the sun.

Podcast Version
Location: Battery Park City, seeing about a girl
Mood: hot, hot heat
Music: I’m just gonna go out (Spotify)
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Review: iMortor 3.0 Wireless Electric Bike Front Wheel Conversion Kit

Building a folding eBike with a child’s seat for ~$1,000

This is a super-long entry and not part of my usual nonsense about nuthin.

Before all the madness with the pandemic set in, I hit upon an idea during one of my sleepless nights: For the summer, I would buy an eBike, slap on a child-seat, and take the kid all over the city, and potentially, as far as Westchester.

I’d get some exercise, he’d get some fresh air, we’d bond and avoid watching too much TV: win-win-win.

I did tons of research – particularly speaking to CoB and her boyfriend, who manages a Trek bike shop – and figured I needed four major things:

      1. A bike that folded because I live in a tiny Manhattan apartment.
      2. A full sized (26″) bike so I could safely use a standard child-seat for maximum protection of my most prized possession.
      3. Either a front or center mounted motor to keep it as far away from the kid as possible.
      4. A battery that was also as far away from the kid as possible.

You’d never guess how few options I had. Actually, zero is the answer. No one made anything with those four criteria.

So, I decided to build/assemble it myself (with Chad’s help, in exchange for (copious amounts of) food and rum).

I started by doing some research on inexpensive but well-regarded folding bikes and Dahon seemed to fit the bill. But they stopped making 26″ bikes.

So, I picked up a used Dahon Matrix. Much more on this later.

I also figured out that the simplest option was to get the iMortor 3.0 Wireless Electric Bike Front Wheel Conversion Kit.

It’s a pretty ridiculous name – “iMortor” is how they actually spell it – but people looked like they were having fun on it, at least the 2.0 version.

On Amazon, it was about $620 (this is the 2.0 version); I picked it up for $500 from Banggood but it would take two months to get here. I wasn’t in a rush so that was fine.

Insert worldwide pandemic here.

By the time the wheel arrived, the boy was safely in NJ. So, with Chad’s help, we tried installing it onto the Matrix.

Dude, nothing we did could make the damn wheel fit. We even Dremeled part of the axel. Nuthin. A week of nuthin.

Either the disc brake kept hitting the braking mechanism or the wheel itself couldn’t fit into the fork.

Giving up, we brought it to a pro shop and they cracked the fork. Balls!

So, we bought another fork and that too didn’t work.

The bike shop was so irritated that they told us to get out and never to return.

Him: Get out, get out, get out, get out.
Me: It sounds like you want me to leave.

This whole thing took a total of five months from the time I ordered the wheel to getting kicked outta the shop.

Was about to give up when I eventually figured out that the Matrix had shocks on the front fork – and so did the replacement fork – and the hub was hitting against the shocks.

So, I gave it one more try.

I sold the Matrix at cost to Chad – who is now a NYC biking fool with a brand new fork with shocks – and picked up a Dahon Espresso (also used), which didn’t have shocks on the front fork.

Bam! The wheel took literally 5 minutes to install. (ARGH!)

After weeping in a fetal position for a bit, we were back to work. Chad and I spent the next week learning how to install V-Brakes onto a bike. That’s a whole ‘nother entry.

Good thing I went to law school.

One thing that was puzzling was that there was no throttle.

Chad: How does it start?
Me: I know exactly as much as you do at this point, man!

Usually, with these conversion kits, there’s either a throttle that you press with a thumb or twist like a motorcycle OR, on the higher end models, there’s a sensor on the pedals that sense when you’re moving and kick in for assist.

This thing, nuthin.

Turns out that it kinda combines both types: Once you reach a nominal speed, the wheel kicks in. Now, one time Chad was pushing the bike, it started to go, which freaked him out, but it didn’t do that with me…yet.

Most of the controls are via the fairly sketchy but still functional app that they have for both Apple and Android. It works rather well, connecting via bluetooth; the app just doesn’t look very polished.

During this whole time, I also managed to get an extra battery for $50 on ebay.

So, after five months of insanity, I finally have what I wanted: A folding ebike that could take a standard child safety seat with the battery and motor far from where the kid was gonna be.

Cost a bit more than I planned but it was still worth it.

Honestly, it’s insanely fun. The motor is super powerful and with both batteries, I could easily make it out to my parents on the tail end of Queens. It’s pretty amazeballs.

I’ll put up a video of the bike at some point – this entry’s getting super long as it is. But if you’re thinking about getting it, with the right bike, it’s just great.

I’ll let you know if there are any problems down the line too.

Here’s it’s final form. Just need to figure out where to put the damn thing:

Cost:
Bike (used): $400
iMortor electric wheel: $500
Extra battery: $50
Accessories and wasted purchases: $100
Total: $1,050

Location: home, with a fully functional eBike but no kid to put on it
Mood: hot
Music: I know I can count on you (Spotify)
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Pandemics and lifestyle

Going through this very moment

Nick Cordero’s death really shook me. Mainly because I thought he would make it, somehow.

I guess you can relate.

Also, because I know exactly what his young wife with their young child is going through at this very moment. Exactly. It’s heartbreakingly awful.

I wish her whatever she needs to survive this. Making it through to the other side is never guaranteed.

I married Alison for dozens of reasons. One was that she didn’t wear shoes in the house.

This may seem like a stupid thing but changing someone’s lifelong habit is difficult, if not impossible. The key to any relationship – romantic or otherwise – is reducing friction between the two parties. This means a combination of communication and shared interests.

Was thinking of this as it related to this whole COVID-19 insanity.

Did you ever read Guns, Germs, and Steel? It’s a fascinating look at why white Europeans were able to essentially conquer the world both socially and economically.

One thing that Europeans did, that Asians and Native Americans did not do, was live with livestock.

Assuming, arguendo, that these pandemics like:

      • COVID-19 (bats)
      • measles, tuberculosis, and cowpox (cattle)
      • influenza (pigs)

originally came from animals, and European invaders essentially wiped out entire populations of native Americans, it’s interesting to see how something as simple as one’s lifestyle can change the entire course of history.

Having now experienced a pandemic firsthand – again, I don’t recommend it –  it’s morbidly fascinating to realize how much of the world I currently live in is the result of just random chance.

This is all just a long way of me saying, while it’s probably better for the kid’s immune system, I can’t have dogs in my pad.

Which is unfortunate because it seems that every single girl in NYC has a dog.

Me: Oh, it’s 7PM. I thought you had to leave for a date.
AnotherGirlWithADog: I cancelled while we were chatting.
Me: Now why would you do that?
Her: (laughs) Well, you’re more interesting.
Me: You don’t know the half of it, lady. I’d prefer to be a bit less interesting, frankly. (later) Oh, you should be investing. Has anyone ever told you about compound interest?
Her: That kind of stuff is too complex for me.
Me: Don’t put self-limiting beliefs like that out into the aether.

Podcast Version
Location: Home, missing out on a thunderstorm
Mood: stupidly sober
Music: It’s dead steady, there’s falling and flying (Spotify)
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Young Boy Logan

Helping after the fact

I don’t give everyone I meet a name because I never know if something is going anywhere enough to merit that.

But, I finally met up with this girl ML for a first date on Friday night after penpaling for a bit because of COVID.

Like I said, having antibodies is assuredly fun.

And, I’m finding that I definitely have a type because she’s super sweet and attractive.

Me: I would put it in this order: Kindness first, and then ambition second. Because pretty goes away but those types of things stay.
ML: I would say kindness, and then honesty.
Me: Shoot, now I want to change my answer to kindness first, honesty second, ambition third, and, oh, probably big boobs fourth.
Her: (laughs) You’re so shallow!
Me: Wait, what about one, two, and three?! I’m deep, really. I just like what I like.

She was in the mood for some Korean food so I made her some.

Normally, a first date is just a walk, but we’d been talking for a while so I figured it was fine. The thing is that I live on the ground floor of a building so I can imagine that it’s a bit terrifying for someone to meet a total stranger by going through a large metal gate and into a relatively dark apartment.

We hung out most of the night so she eventually relaxed and said that when she first walked in, she was very apprehensive.

Me: (puzzled) Wait, if you were afraid I was going to hurt you why didn’t you run out the door?
Her: Because I gave my mom your address.
Me: But, if I was going to hurt you, that would only help you after the fact.
Her: I don’t care as long as justice is served.

We ended up consuming way too much wine and carbs and it was super late when the night ended.

Me: Here’s a toothbrush.
Her: Do you have a constant stream of people coming by?
Me: (shrugging) I’m just centrally located is all. You have to brush with children’s toothpaste, though.

Her: I’ve never done that before.
Me:  It’s good for you. You’re welcome.

Speaking of children (wait for it), Lviv came by early the next day for brekkie and a cup of coffee as we both had plans for the day.

She showed me this cool filter on Snapchat that makes people look like they’re children – I stress that she’s over 30 in real life. That’s her with an Old Man Logan.

I have my rules, people.

Me: Do you want a toothbrush?
Her: You know, brushing your teeth too soon after you eat isn’t good for your teeth?
Me: So I’ve been told. But every guest gets a toothbrush and brekkie in the morning.

I passed out not soon after she left. I still managed to chat with the boy some before I did, though.

Son: It’s Independence Day!
Me: Yup! It’s a special day: It’s America’s Birthday!
Him: Can we sing it, “Happy Birthday?!”
Me: (laughing) Sure! (we sing)

I briefly checked in on Mouse to see about her dad. She only ever spends the 4th of July with family, or those she considers family, so we’ve never actually spent the 4th together.

I was supposed to head out to Brooklyn to see BrightBea but she was going to a small gathering and I wasn’t in the mood to meet new people so we just chatted online.

Me: You’d be surprised how many people don’t want to video chat.
BrightBea: Oh, I get that. Either they’re really interested in you or they’re really not.
Me: Wait, how does that work?
Her: Well, if you’re really interested in the person, you have to put on makeup and all that, and no one looks great online. But, if you’re not that interested, you don’t want to bother putting on makeup in the first place.
Me: Speak for yourself about not looking great online, lady.

Ended the night with just me and Harold, which is fairly typical of my 4ths of Julys. I miss the boy plus Alison and my dad, of course.

Mouse is right: 4th of July is for family and I haven’t had that in years.

No offense to Harold.

Maybe next year will be different. One can only hope.

Podcast Version
Location: heading up to Harlem
Mood: nostalgic
Music: Don’t know why I do this (Spotify)
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Who am I?

SLBs

BrightBea’s 15 years younger than me. She’s at a cross-roads in her life.

Me: That makes sense. You reassess everything when you turn 30. You’ll do it again when you turn 40.
Her: So, it’s every 10 years?
Me: Well, you’re biologically a different person every 10 years. Have you ever heard about the Ship of Thesus?

I wrote once about it. Essentially, almost every single cell in your body is replaced every 10 years. Such that you’re literally and figuratively, not the same person you were 10 years ago.

Now, what if you changed your mindset too? Got rid of every negative habit and embraced only positive habits? Who would you be then?

For an added layer of complexity, it turns out that people are actually only 43% human. The other 57%? Not human.

All that, coupled with the potentiality of an influx of life-changing ideas and interactions means that we have the ability to reinvent ourselves better than ever, each and every day.

The reasons why people don’t improve?

I think the main things that hold us back are Self-Limiting Beliefs. Beliefs we think and believe to be true that shackle us, regardless of whether or not they are – actually – true.

I realized recently that the past five years have been a series of SLBs born of the awful experiences I had. I was letting them control me for far too long, and forgetting who I am and what I’m capable of.

Her: Whatever happened to your ex?
Me: Why do you care?
Her: (shrugging) Making conversation.
Me: (sighing) In a nutshell, we were always either taking our weapons out or our clothes off. We were always too busy looking for higher ground to find middle ground.
Her: (smiles) I like how you talk. And?
Me: There’s no “and.” You’re here for a reason. Besides, that’s her story, not yours.
Her: (laughing) What’s my story?
Me: I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.

Podcast Version
Location: my empty apartment, after Chad and She came by for dinner
Mood: hopeful, still
Music: love ain’t simple (Spotify)
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Familiar unfamiliar territory

Finding me

BrightBea: You were by my place? You could have called.
Me: Honestly, how does anyone find me? I didn’t give you my last name.
Her: A girl’s gotta be careful.

I’ve spent the last several 4ths of July by my lonesome for reasons that aren’t important.

This year may be different but it’s hard to tell at the moment.

I’m in familiar unfamiliar territory, again.

Speaking of people reading my blog.

Lviv: You didn’t tell me that you went to see your ex.
Me: We don’t owe each other anything, yet. (later) Wait, I thought besides me you were seeing an economist and a male stripper something.
Her: Ex male stripper, who’s an ex. The economist wanted to hang out more, but I wasn’t feeling him. I like him as a friend.
Me: I need to start making a list.

Neither of us have plans for the 4th so maybe we’ll randomly run into each other somewhere on the Upper West Side?

Maybe.

On that note,

Mouse: I did quite enjoy that you managed to include in (our conversation) the part about a shipment of toothbrushes.
Me: (laughing) I honestly didn’t think anything of them until you mentioned it. I suppose that’s subconscious?

When I’m single I have more house guests for a variety of reasons, all of which revolve around my being centrally located in Manhattan.

Don’t read too much into it.

Mainly because, a rule I’ve always had is that: If you stay over, you get a toothbrush – with a choice of colour – and some sorta brekkie.

Before I met Alison, I bought three 12-packs of toothbrushes and went through two plus a couple here and there.

It might surprise you that some toothbrush conversations were quite sad, as odd as that sounds.

As for brekkie, that’s just to be polite.

Since we’re talking about food – Pac’s been making food videos. That’s his latest.

Do me a favour and like the video and subscribe? I need one of my friends to hit it big so I can borrow money.

Toothbrushes don’t grow on trees you know.

Podcast Version
Location: Morningside Heights, looking at stuff in the prepared food aisle
Mood: hopeful
Music: Ain’t I the best you had? (Spotify)

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