They say you’re supposed to change the tap line in your kegerator once in a while. Not just clean it, but replace the entire thing. I bought a new hose a few months ago and I planned to swap it out between kegs. After watching a couple youtube videos I thought I could just loosen the nut behind the tap with a cone wrench or an adjustable wrench or whatever happened to be hanging around in the garage. But when I popped the top off the tap tower I realized there’s a reason they make special wrenches for this setup. It’s no cone wrench and an adjustable wrench won’t even come close. So I put it off, tapped another keg and bought the right tool for the job and now it’s hanging up, waiting for the keg to blow…
"The KOMOS tower wrench is specifically designed to tighten the nut on the back of a faucet shank. It is double offset for clearance inside of coffin boxes and larger round towers and to move the handle away from the insulation or other nearby objects. Also super handy when tightening shanks inside a cold box when space is at a premium and it is hard to fit a traditional wrench. Pubs have historically made their own, now you can get one the easy way."
When I open my bike shop this wrench will be hanging with the tools somewhere not too far from the Campy corkscrews.
When I finally quit this messenger shit, once and for all, I’m going to open a bike shop. A big bright historic space with huge storefront windows and high ceilings and wood floors. With passive solar heating in the winter, and well placed shade in the summer. I’m going to work there all the time, six or seven days a week. The shop will be beautiful, stocked with every bike tool ever invented. French, Italian, Japanese, you name it, I will have it, hung neatly on the shop walls. Everything in its place. A place for everything. I will have two Campagnolo corkscrews with cherry handles. I will have seven different kinds of bike tool bottle openers. I will have four brands of headset presses. The 3000 square foot work space will have work stands and tools for 5 full-time mechanics, so I can work on 5 of my bikes all at once. Two air compressors enclosed in sound proof cases. Truing stands bolted down to work benches 42.5 inches off the ground. I will have two Phil Wood spoke cutters/threaders. There will be cement floors and drains built in so I can hose it all down when the kegs overflow or the chainlube explodes or the cat pukes or the shit hits the fan. I will have shop dogs and shop cats. The bike book library will be monumental. The furniture will be well designed, attractive, comfortable and functional. There will be no non-dairy creamer. The coffee will be good. The beer will be cold. There will be wholesale accounts with everyone for everyone. Paul, Phil, Chris, Grant, Brooks, Mavic, Moots, Sachs, Sidi, Swobo. For me and my friends of course.
I will be at work all the time. I’ll show up at 5:30am, or 3:00pm, or not at all. I’ll spend the night. I’ll stay for two weeks straight. Or take a week off if I feel like it. However, the shop will not be open to the public. The sign on the door will say “closed”, and if you flip it over it‘ll say “closed”. I’ll also have a large neon CLOSED sign, and it’ll be on all the time, like a beacon of freedom constantly sending its message, at all hours of the day and night. I’ll be in there working hard on my own bikes. Or on poetry, freelance writing, silk-screening, carpentry, cooking breakfast, pondering or drinking beer and pondering. The shop hours will not be posted. The phone will not be connected, so people cannot call and ask about the shop hours. And there will not be any employees because I won’t need any. This will eliminate any potential human relations issues, staff meetings, communication failures, personality problems, scheduling conflicts, and all the junior-high shit that goes along with trying to run a business with employees. Fuck that.
I will be in the shop but I won‘t be selling anything. Retail bullshit will not enter my sphere of existence. The windows will have incredible displays of bicycle art and elegant simple functional bikes because I like window displays. And I’ll spend hours creating them for my own enjoyment, not to attract customers. I‘ll be in the shop, reading the NY Times, listening to Miles Davis, or the White Stripes, or the Minute Men, or Bob Mould, or Guided by Voices, or Modest Mouse, or Guns n Roses or NPR and drinking coffee and beer and beer and coffee. Customers with stupid questions or flat tires or sheepskin seat covers or cracked carbon fiber forks can knock on the door all day long and I might even notice them between Hüsker Dü songs playing on the Bose Wave Radio, but probably not, and if I do, I’ll give them a half smile then get back to my work. My work as a sole proprietor and my work drinking beer and pondering.
The back door will be unlocked and open whenever I am in the shop and friends can stop by and bring their dogs and work on their bikes and add or subtract to the cold beer in the double wide Sub-Zero fridge or hit the bottomless pot of black coffee. The shop will include a beautiful stainless steel commercial sized kitchen. And a sleeping loft and an amazing bathroom with more magazines than a news stand, and I will not have to worry about customers fucking it up, because there will not be any customers. ###
well here I am... sitting on a chair staring at the clouds mowing on a clif bar thinking of not drinking more coffee right around 2pm toting a book of haiku flipping to any random page pondering the vision three short lines can bring inviting my crow friend to take part riffing on Kerouac shedding 5-7-5 constraints realizing he wants no part of it he wants the fucking food
A few feet to the right of the crow-eats-peanut-off-campus-map-show there’s a handiramp outside the Atmospheric Sciences Geophysics building spitting distance from a blind corner obscured by shrubbery. Right around 8:29 am Monday through Friday, one dude freewheels down it and across Okanogan Lane to store his bike, while another dude rolls up it to enter the ATG building. From my vantage point muttering to myself or talking with crows and schlepping packages I can hear each dude’s freewheel singing, approaching from different directions and without looking at my watch I know it’s nearly 8:30. Although my watch always says 3:33 so it wouldn’t matter.
Just yesterday morning… …both dudes hit the handiramp at the same time and dude #2 says “watch it!” then dude #1 gives a long angry but silent questioning why-don’t-you-fucking-watch-it look over his shoulder as he keeps rolling.
I continued muttering to myself and wondering how this could not be the first time these two dudes, who work in the same building, 50 fucking feet from each other, have had a close call. How could these two dudes not know each other? How can this be the first time this “almost” almost happened? Have they not talked about bikes before? Have they not discussed the merits of single speeds or the hype of Cannondales in the late 80’s? Have they not run into each other before? How can this be?
Fast forward 23 hours, 59 minutes and 45 seconds to this morning in the midst of feeding my crow bro peanuts, I hear dude #1’s freewheel and watch him for a moment to see where he stores his bike when half a moment later dude #2 hits the handiramp.
I smile and momentarily ponder the worn out old story problem and the variation I drafted 12 years ago about two commuters meeting at the same spot plus or minus 10 seconds each weekday morning and the infinite number of variables that have to fall into place for these two seemingly unrelated sequences of events to coincide. Insert here some math textbook references, asterisks and footnotes citing the Burke Gilman Effect which I also coined sometime in the last 27 years. But I’ve been there - done that and today’s story problem pondering didn’t last too long
because of a unique package delivery, there was a subtle difference in the routing of my route this morning, but my crow bro caught on and seamlessly transitioned, joining the route already in progress. He actually got a little touchy, some might say aggressive and followed me to Chemical Engineering. Flying low he slapped me on my left shoulder with a wing after I only offered up one peanut. We had a little chat and then I gave him a few more peanuts over at Atmospheric Sciences.
Around about that same time Bret in ABQ was emailing me a digital copy of this Raven sign bounce passing it off a satellite orbiting earth and hitting my phone perfectly on the fly. The words it strings together speak to me on several levels and once again everything is coming together.
the Uber came to an abrupt halt then a passenger door flew open and a frat boy hopped out never looking up from his phone walking around the front of the car and then the Uber did a quick jaunt to the right and a full U-turn left
variations on the theme
play out in slow motion
at all times
on all days
get in line
pay your taxes
don’t ask questions
do me a favor
don't do me any favors
arbitrary goals set
and then met
there’s no sense of accomplishment
no looking back to admire a day’s work
it’s a treadmill
stationary bike like
what’s next !?!
is that all there is?
used to do a little
but a little wouldn’t do
so the little got more and more
trapped in a man-sized Skinner box pressing the lever with efficient frequency or frequent efficiency but the returns are clearly diminishing in a constant cost-benefit analysis. In the beginning the reward pellets were more sub sub sub substantial. It was as if they actually meant something
there is no reward for hard work
just as there is no penalty for being a gold bricking cherry picking total sack of shit
ask me about sustainability
inflatable pools with unpatchable leaks leaching plasticky poofs of last summer’s last breath
spent toner cartridges packed up with postage-paid return labels if that makes you feel better thinking they’ll be recycled but they’re just on their way to a landfill in Eastern Washington
talking the talk sounds good on Earth Day
you’re all fucked–The Replacements
it seems “tall drip” is written in sharpie on my forehead. The barista knows me and my coffee. A little further along the continuum and the forehead sharpie message reads “IPA”
—OK google suck it out of my ass and save it on a server somewhere so you can sell it back to me later—
Cut & Paste the above statement into your browser a few times and take note