Minkey Business

"Over the cage floor the horizons come."

Category: Off the Cuff

The view from the repair stand

When you identify as a cyclist, and the owner of your local bike shop calls and asks if you’ll come in when you’re free and work on bicycles, you don’t say no. As a cyclist it’s a matter of pride that I don’t go to a shop for repairs, upgrades, or maintenance. A bike shop […]

A Gang Member on a Bicycle

C runs a small bicycle shop in my new hometown of Azusa, in Southern California. He’s close to the Gold Line Metro station and while things are slow right now, he’s gambling (as we all are) on the area getting more upmarket and busy in the next few years. I always try to shop at […]

Technology that’s too good for it’s own good

You’ve heard a Class D amplifier, even if you haven’t heard of one. That’s the audio amplifier on your phone, in your TV, in that home-theatre box, and anywhere else you need a lightweight, efficient way to boost a music signal. Class D amplifiers operate on a principle called pulse width modulation. They’re highly efficient, […]

Black and white and read all over

Several people have looked at an object lying around our house and said, “Wow we haven’t seen one of those in a long time!” Some of these guests are younger than we are, but quite a few are about our age—in their late-30s or early-40s. The object is not one of those consciously ole-timey ones, […]

Barbie for grown men

I get guns. I really do. I don’t own any, and don’t plan to, but I find them fascinating as objects. Growing up, my brother and I had a .22 air rifle, and it was one of our favourite possessions. Once in a while I handle a friend’s handgun or go clay shooting, and I […]

Where did non-business email go?

There’s a scene in one of the episodes of the American version of The Office, where the character Ryan is using a smart phone during a pub quiz. This isn’t allowed, but he refuses to put it down, and it has to be taken away from him. As it’s taken away, Ryan tries to sit […]

Who needs a modernised typewriter?

A few years ago my mother sent me a link to a product called the Hemingwrite. It was a distraction-free word processor, or if you like, a modernised typewriter. It had a small screen, a high-quality keyboard, solid aluminium casework, and could do little else beyond accept your words with a series of satisfying clicks […]

The art of the two-person monologue

After a long break from social media (essentially Facebook) I’m back, but on Instagram. The photo sharing site feels more manageable than Facebook, though a few of my interactions give me unpleasant flashbacks. Let’s take Thomas. On social media (and on the phone and in person) Thomas has a clever-clever response to everything. It annoyed […]

Don’t run over anyone in 2018

The sound a car makes when it crashes into a human being is a loud bang—making you think at first it’s a car-on-car collision—but with an edge of meaty wetness that makes you realise something is very very wrong. There was a musician outside the Target that that evening, as I waited with our dogs […]

When desert winds blow

You’ve no doubt seen the news about the terrible fires in Southern California, some of them still burning. The Thomas fire is on its way to destroying 300,000 acres. As you may have read, they have been fuelled by a bad bout of the Santa Ana winds, a Southern California weather phenomenon that isn’t talked […]