Housekeeping: Mr. K’s Wild Ride

On January 24 of last year, Riverside Green welcomed Tom Klockau to our short but extremely handsome list of writers. He is a consistent favorite with our reader base thanks to his detailed, forthright, and heartfelt reviews and retrospectives. I appreciate his efforts more than I can easily say and have never read any of his contributions without a settled, comfortable pleasure. Whether he is talking about Brougham-era sedans or his own experiences, Mr. Klockau makes the reader feel like an old friend — and although I consider myself to be a bit of an expert on Seventies cars, I rarely close one of his posts without having learned something.

Tom’s diligent and worthwhile contributions are part of the reason this site is climbing while his former online home sinks slowly towards the proverbial abyss. I should probably send him a sizeable check. Unfortunately, we’re still wading in red ink here at Riverside Green. So if you’ve enjoyed his work, please feel free to tell him in the comments below, and maybe that will distract him from the fact that I probably owe him a mint-condition Designer Edition Town Car for his work!

Housekeeping: Ignorance, Madam, Pure Ignorance

Last year I had the singular pleasure of visiting the house in London where Samuel Johnson composed his Dictionary. Having studied the man’s work for nearly thirty years, I found it almost overwhelming to finally be at the spot where Johnson ascended to literary immortality. It was more than a little humbling; I cannot in any way imagine that people will come to Powell two hundred and fifty years from now to see the Natuzzi recliner where I wrote my Malaysia article.

Yet I share more than a few qualities with Britain’s premier lexicographer: general size and bulk, myopia, irritability, a hopeless love of classical antiquity, and a preference for long, deliberately paced sentences composed in labyrinthine fashion. Oh, and ignorance. Did I mention ignorance? From Boswell’s Life Of Johnson:

A few of his definitions must be admitted to be erroneous. Thus, Windward and Leeward, though directly of opposite meaning, are defined identically the same way; as to which inconsiderable specks it is enough to observe, that his Preface announces that he was aware there might be many such in so immense a work; nor was he at all disconcerted when an instance was pointed out to him. A lady once asked him how he came to define Pastern the KNEE of a horse: instead of making an elaborate defence, as she expected, he at once answered, ‘Ignorance, madam, pure ignorance.’ His definition of Network* has been often quoted with sportive malignity, as obscuring a thing in itself very plain. But to these frivolous censures no other answer is necessary than that with which we are furnished by his own Preface.

I was alerted to my own ignorance this morning by a reader email concerning yesterday’s Jordan Peterson article.

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Housekeeping: It’s Sellout Time

In the summer of 1997, I started the “BMX Basics” website. It started as an Apache subdirectory of a local internet provider (there’s a 1998 snapshot here) and ended up as Once I realized that Internet newbies only understood dot-com I opened At one point I was serving over 560,000 pages a month — even though I only wrote one new piece a week. I closed that site and opened around 2005. Finally, I closed that site and opened this one up a decade ago, eventually moving it to the WordPress site that you all know and tolerate today.

Over the past twenty years, I’ve never had a single banner ad, promotional tie-in, sponsored marketing piece, or any for-profit content whatsoever on any of my sites. The most I’ve ever asked you to do is to use my referral codes for Club Eaglerider (thank you for that, I’m up to 18 free days in the bank!) and Massdrop (28 referrals so far, they sent me some very nice notebooks and pens.) That’s about to change and I’ll explain why in terms that I hope make sense to all of you.

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Housekeeping: Two Million Ways To Waste Your Time

Thirty-four months to the first million and twenty months to the next. When I started this blog I had no expectation that it would eventually attract a couple thousand readers every day of the week. It’s not like Bark and I have done very much to make that happen. Rarely do we have more than a few new posts every week. Much of the credit has to go to the tireless and perceptive Tom Klockau. His classic curbside (wink) reviews are tremendously popular here, and with good reason.

As I did at the one million mark, I’ll answer some Infrequently Asked Questions below.

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Housekeeping: In Which The Other Cheek Is Turned

Earlier today, I wrote a post about how a little bit of effort is required in order to succeed. The example I used in this post was a Google document, written by the wife of an auto journalist and promoted by that journalist on Twitter, containing all the ways in which she would be resisting Trump.

Over the course of the afternoon, I had a conversation with the autowriter involved in which he disavowed the document and stated that his wife had not created any of the content in said document. I added a disclaimer to the beginning of the article. Since then, I’ve spoken to a couple of people, including Bark, about whether the article should stay up regardless of whether the person involved actually wrote that document. I also had a second discussion with the autowriter in which he said “do whatever you want”.

After some consideration, I’ve decided to take the article down. If you care about the reasons, and you’re willing to put up with a little bit of expressed frustration on my part, feel free to click the jump.

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Housekeeping: If You’re Buying Anything Music-Or-Audio-Related

I got a call today from my pal Matt Emick at Sweetwater. Apparently one of you magnificent bastards bought a set of Westone UM2s from him and mentioned this site. Many, many thanks for this. I’ve been working with Matt for eight years now; he’s sold me everything from guitar strings to a Gibson R9 Collector’s Choice and a PRS Private Stock. In all of that time he’s never failed to answer a question, find a particular item, or cut me a brilliant deal on something that I absolutely, positively did not need!

Contact Matt here. Full disclosure: I don’t get anything from Matt or from Sweetwater if you deal with him. I just think that you will benefit from the interaction. The primary thing you can do to make my life better, other than reading and commenting on here, is to join Massdrop and buy something with this link. Every so often, Massdrop sends me fun stuff like titanium sporks thanks to your patronage.

Housekeeping: In Ukraine (and China), The Game Plays You


That’s how many fraudulent login attempts this site got yesterday from the Ukraine and China combined. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So starting next week, I’m going to block traffic from those countries. If you’re a (at least semi-)legitimate reader of this site from either of those countries, post in this thread and I’ll email you a workaround. Thanks!

Dashing Through The Snow

The rumors are true: Matt Farah’s Corvette is coming to live at my house. Yesterday we drove it from Venice, CA to Albuquerque over the course of seventeen dismal snowy hours.

If you know the story behind this car, you know it is very loud. 132dB at full throttle. I’m still a little deaf even though I brought and used three different kinds of earplugs.

Here’s hoping you all have the best holiday possible. I can’t stand Christmas, but I don’t expect all of you to share my opinion!