Fuzzy Standards: An Incomplete Exploration of Quality

I wanted to start this essay with a reasonably brief and straight-forward definition of the word “quality”. As it turns out, I couldn’t find a practical definition that I was satisfied with. It may be a peculiar trait of mine that I prefer a word’s or concept’s definition not to contain words or concepts that merely point straight back to place I started. Like some … Continue reading Fuzzy Standards: An Incomplete Exploration of Quality

Footnotes to On Quality: An Inquiry into Excellence

On the interior panel of the dust jacket cover of On Quality: An Inquiry into Excellence, there is a brief proclamation attributed to Robert M. Pirsig that “The ultimate goal in the pursuit of excellence is enlightenment.” This was, apparently, Pirsig’s opinion in 1962 – well before either of Pirsig’s more famous books Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance or Lila, were published. On … Continue reading Footnotes to On Quality: An Inquiry into Excellence

My Next Bike

This essay is an extended musing about various motorcycle models that I’m considering as candidates for “My Next Bike” (MNB). In other words, it’s a kind of speculative and comparative shopping exercise. As such, it is a messy rambling of objective motorcycle specifications, subjective impressions and vague associations. Before getting too-far into this, there are two preliminary comments that are probably worth including. First, there … Continue reading My Next Bike

Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Part Five)

You may have noticed that this essay (or episode if you’re listening) is titled Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Part Five. It’s part of an as-yet-indeterminate series of examinations of Robert Pirsig’s books. You may wish to go back to earlier parts of the series before taking this one in, but it isn’t obligatory in any way. You may also want to listen … Continue reading Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Part Five)

Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Part Two)

We want to make good time, but for us now this is measured with the emphasis on “good” rather than “time”….and when you make that shift in emphasis the whole approach changes. –  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Chapter 1 I’d like to begin by commenting that my Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance essays are probably best appreciated by … Continue reading Footnotes to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Part Two)

Learning

Several months after my forty-fourth birthday, I purchased a battered and abused 1982 Yamaha XJ Five-fifty Maxim. While I had previously owned and enjoyed many different cars and trucks, the Maxim was my first motorcycle. So far, it has been my only motorcycle. In part, I acquired the Maxim to fulfill a long-deferred curiosity and ambition. That being, of course, to learn how to ride … Continue reading Learning