Before Noon

I thought I’d go for a short bike ride this morning, before getting around to anything productive. The back tire needed a little air. When I removed the cap from the valve and turned the little widget, the tire collapsed with a long held gasp of air and a spit of grease. Presta valves are a lot more sensitive than the old car-style valves. I prodded at the pin in the valve, it wasn’t clicking into place as smoothly as it should have, but didn’t seem too damaged. I reinflated the tire, closed the valve, and, after turning off the CD player, and leaned down the listen. The hissing sound was nearly inaudible.


There were a couple of summers when I was a bored kid, that I rode my blue hand-me-down ten-speed into town, or sometimes out to Sunnyside, every couple of days. I’d do the business of a friendless teenager, buy a Big Gulp or a Star Trek novel, or run errands for my mom or even for my little brother and sister. The country roads were scattered with puncture weeds and pointy gravel, and I would get flat tires all the time. I’d have to get off the bike and wheel it back home. Sometimes I just rode the rims, feeling a little guilty about it. I eventually started using thick puncture resistant inner tubes wrapped in a tire liner made from strips cut out of the flattened tubes.


I went to the bicycle shop and got a new tube. I tried on a pair of shoes at the hipster clothing store. Then I wandered down to Bauhaus and got a bottle of 7-Up. I went outside, and all the free seats were positioned in places where I’d need to ask the nearest person, “Is this seat being used?”. Before I’d finished choosing which person to bother, a young guy who’d been sitting in an isolated spot next to a parking meter hopped over with his spare chair and set it down beside me. He was wearing a woman’s halter-top. I thanked him and sat down. Shortly thereafter, a husky older guy walked over to a motorcycle that was parked at the meter. He started getting ready to leave, put on a pair of gloves and his helmet, retrieved another helmet from a compartment on the back, and climbed on board. He passed the spare helmet over to the guy in the halter top, who gleefully set it atop his head. The engine revved, they swung a right onto Pine, and disappeared. The guy on back pinched the chinstrap gingerly with two fingers to keep it from rubbing against his adam’s apple.


Movable Type 3.0 Licensing

With the release of Movable Type 3.0 Developer Edition, Six Apart has unveiled a paid licensing structure for installations that involve more than one user or more than three weblogs.

The Movable Type installation at Struat.com supports two users with five active weblogs. If I were to upgrade to Movable Type 3.0, the license would cost me $69.95 ($99.95 after the introductory period).

I’ll be launching another project soon that will be comprised of two Movable Type blogs. This would raise the licensing price for a Movable Type 3.0 installation to $119.95 ($149.95 after the introductory period).

My commercial used book site will include some weblog elements. If I used Movable Type on that site, as I’ve been planning to, the most restrictive commercial license would cost me another $199.95. It seems conceivable that I might use more than five blogs there — licensing for that setup would cost $599.99.

I’ve gotten a lot of value out of Movable Type — probably $120 worth. If I were to upgrade to the new version, it’s possible that it might be worth the licensing fee. But the new restrictions make a paid copy of Movable Type version 3.0 less flexible — less valuable — than my current installation (under its “legacy” license). The new weblog and user limits feel arbitrary to me (“feel arbitrary,” though I’m sure that a lot of thought went into them). I won’t be upgrading my software under these restrictions, and I won’t be able to use Movable Type on my books site. I’m really disappointed. Movable Type is a great piece of software.

At Bat

It’s a Little League game and both teams’ uniforms are the same color. I walk past the batting team’s dugout – they’re a few yards down from the sidewalk – and listen to the team’s well rehearsed chattering encouragement. A batter advances to the plate, another passes in front of him to get to a spot where he can take some practice swings. I turn the corner behind the backstand, now walking parallel to the third/home baseline. The pitcher, catcher, and coach break their pitcher’s mound conference and I stop to watch for one at bat. The first pitch is wide. Ball one. Runners on first and second steal their next bases. The second pitch is hit, and the left fielder and center fielder both make for a point between their positions. Parents cheer and the center fielder backs off to let the left fielder get the ball. The left fielder reaches low to catch it – Out – and I gasp, “damn,” because I guess I’d picked my team.

Missed Pictures

A bright red pint of iced Kool-Aid sits on the table beside a cute mod girl, who leans out over the front edge of her chair on the other side of the window. A large-leaved potted plant pushes into frame. The wall under the window frame is green-painted brick.

Out comes the camera. I push aside the lens cover and nothing happens. The battery is back at home, in its recharger.

There’s a guy leaning back in the sun with his espresso. He wears a red tanktop and his shoulders are already a deep bronze. His short blonde hair pokes up out of a red Chicago Cubs sun visor, worn backwards and upside down.