what was that? is that all there is? who is this? this is it.

pilderwasser unlimited T-shirts  pilder what? kickstand P know knew spew snap shots autoBIKEography RAGBRAI  slide shows phot-o-rama stationary-a-gogo 1/2 x 3/32 links

gritty underbelly

February 8, 2023

among the news, interviews, faculty, advanced degrees, presentations, lectures and publications, down at the bottom of page 12 in the Fall 2022 Grinnell Anthropology newsletter:

 

Mark Pilder ’91 reports that he’s “rolling around the 700 acre campus of U Wisconsin delivering mail on a giant cargo bike. Holding an all-access pass to the gritty underbelly of a large state university... [and doing] urban archaeology focusing on discarded dental picks and KN95 masks.”

 

Udub this or UW that, you know, Seattle, Madison, Washington, Wisconsin,  whatever it takes, plus or minus 2000 miles. Not bad information gleaned from a recycled cardboard postcard scrawled in sharpie. 

 


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we'd like to help you learn to help yourself

February 8, 2023

 

I want to ask you

about your learned helplessness

it’s working for you 

 

haiku coo ca-choo

don’t ask me if it’s raining

when I’m dripping wet

 

your last stop last night

is your first stop this morning 

do it all again

 


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whylessness

February 7, 2023

 

strategic withdrawal: any attempt to step from a why, however worthy, into whylessness

 

— as in going fishing without desire for fish, so that

desirelessness becomes the prey you’re catching

 

David James Duncan 

“Strategic Withdrawal” 

My Story As Told By Water 2001

 

 

 

I took this bike out for a stroll the other day after many moons collecting dust in the garage. It was a 30 pound single speed roll along Seward Park Ave, plodding along at 7 mph on 40 psi or less (slow leak up front) No backpack, no pump, no tools, no raincoat, no fenders, no lycra spandex. Getting some looks from the Rapha-Castelli bros mashing around the lake. I had both bike racks to myself at Chuck’s Hop Shop, before a gravel bike posse rolled up straight outta Swift’s instagram, literally, looking askance at my ‘91 RockHopper, or maybe it was my outfit ??? all wrong  

 

Slow heavy bikes are great when you don’t have to ride uphill. The slow roll is not so much a change of scenery, just a different perspective on the same old shit, getting away from the rat race to the next train northbound-southbound-northbound repeating repeatedly. Away from the Mr McFeeley route rote rut. Away from the whys and closer to the whylessnesses. 

 

The day after that slow roll, I was cleaning out a metric shit ton of recycling from my monumental file cabinet, when I came upon the David James Duncan essay “strategic withdrawal” from a 2001 book. It was nestled among old-older-oldest tax returns, keg receipts, Seattle Legal pay stubs and other shit I used to think was important. Someone special pointed this essay out to me in 2007 and I haven’t given it much thought since, but it jumped out at me and said “read me again, please” and as I did, it summed up my change of perspective on that slow bike ride. The this & that fit together like hand in glove or both hands in a pair of sweet gloves I found on the train one day.  

 

You can read a revised version of the essay here  

 

In case you didn’t know, DJD is the author of The River Why as well as several other books. So it only makes sense that why, whylessness, fish, fishing, water and rivers pop up more than once here and there in his writing. Mark your calendar 8/8/23, DJD has a new book coming out. It’s called Sun House


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diptych = 66.6% triptych

February 6, 2023

this photo flew in from the 98225 last night. 37 sent it to me. A commentary on decision making, forks in the road less traveled, choices, priorities, favorites, this way, that way, either way, Nana’s Pudding not so much. A black & white filter would sort of weed out the kid in the red hoodie and leave us with a grayscale composition to ponder. butterfinger

 

one way or another  


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

two thirds of a triptych...  ...815


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caps not hats

February 3, 2023

brown paper packages tied up with strings

these are a few of my favorite things

about this guy in Fremont

 

I can’t ride by without slowing down to pay tribute somehow 

 

sometimes I do

 

ask Sri Chinmoy a question

 

pinch his cheek

 

dig deep into his ear with a Q-tip

 

as you can see my Double Darn cap fits him really well 

 

those ladies on the trail, out for a walk, rounded the bend and then, they got a look at me taking pictures of Sri wearing my cap. that’s when I put it back on my head and rode away on an electric assist bathtub

 

what day is it?

 

what year is it?

 

same as it ever was

 


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ONEWAY or another

February 2, 2023

 

yesterday around 3:33 this photo flew in from Rip City. One of the guys from DANK bags sent it to me. As you can see it’s a commentary on composition, reality vs illusion, introspection, points of view, Las Meninas mirrors, consumption, product placement, brand recognition and consumer loyalty   …sometimes you wanna go, where everybody knows your name….  and or …I’ll fake it through the day with some help from johnny walker red…    Like 93 always said, just a bunch of pictures of 39. 

 

If Shaggy and Dr 37 Mike toss in a photo, I’ll have a 2023 hoodie triptych, but this shot is a tough act to follow. 

 

one way or another

 


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zero ::: shadows ::: time

February 1, 2023

 

 

The Locksmith by Grey Wolfe LaJoie,  is a short story that was published in The Threepenny Review #170. If I could hyperlink-hand-it to you I would, but you’ll need a digital subscription.  This story is a gift that keeps on giving and if you can find it, read it. It appeals to me on several levels. The self-absorbed soliloquistic bike rides around town, punctuated by the petty details of horseshit customer service interactions, ring true. 

 

loud   and   clear   

 

right up my alley

 

day in   day out

 

 

 

here are a few snippets::: 

 

The locksmith is not allowed a driver’s license. He rides a bicycle from customer to customer, granting them entry. He likes to think about the number zero. He likes to think about time travel. He likes to think about shadows. He has watched many videos on each of these subjects. 

 

The symbol for zero is meant to encircle an absence, a nothingness. But the unbroken circle comes also to connote, paradoxically, everything. This excites the locksmith greatly. He has learned much about zero. He has learned that mathematicians and physicists are unsure whether zero is real, whether it should be treated as a presence or an absence. It is an interpretive problem.

 

Since he was a very small child the locksmith has thought of time travel. There is one theory which accepts the flow of time as a cognitive construct. This is the locksmith’s favorite. 

 

In particular, what the locksmith likes about shadows is that, although they occupy a three-dimensional area, we can see only a cross-section of them. The cross-section is a silhouette, a reverse projection of the object which blocks the light. But the shadow itself has volume, dark and imperceptible. 

 




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revitalizing downtown

January 30, 2023

that was then

 

this is now

same sidewalk, different year. Across from 1001, some might say 1000 4th Avenue. Some say Koolhaus, or postmodern or dysfunctional central library.  When I ask Junior and Junior Junior to pause for a photo they usually say “why dad? you’re so weird”.  Five years later they were saying it again with no analog bikes in sight, just a few electric scooters up the block.  

 


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anyway

January 29, 2023

…streets were never dark, and they were flooded with an inflationary quantity of lettering, emblems, pictograms and other symbols; it was impossible to extract and retain any reference points, and accordingly every reference was simultaneously correct and incorrect; the writing system had regressed to a medium of illiteracy. 

 

–from page 10 The Interim by Wolfgang Hilbig

 


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static

January 27, 2023

patterns emerge from the static

static     load     of     horseshit

special   needs   consortium

emotional support animals

like      minded 

daisy chaining 

back patting

chat group

jibber jabber

white noise 

suckcess

static

 

 

 

 

 


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drink the kool aid

January 24, 2023

rock on

January 23, 2023

you put your right hand in 

you put your right hand out

you put your right hand in 

 

it’s what I’m talking about

lost love g

lost glove

 

intentional design

product placement

brand recognition

 

in situ resource utilization

between a rock 

and a yard place

 

urban horticulture bro


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-- behold

January 21, 2023

kill the headlights & put it in neutral

January 19, 2023

 atomic number 47 degrees and raining


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money talks

January 17, 2023

A few days ago my attorney informed me that Specialized canceled my Global Brand Ambassador status. Fortunately, my Miller Lite contract is still paying the bills. 

 

Lucky I'm sane after all I've been through

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Life's been good to me so far

 

$$$

 

Along my predawn commute to the mothership I spotted a dead roadmaster can of Michelob Ultra wedged just outside the escalator handrail in the U-District station. My brain began running the analytics, unable to compute, attempting to retrace the decision making process that went into the consumer’s choice at the corner store that led up to them pounding a 25 ounce can of that shit on their train ride. Were they worried about carbs and calories?  Why does anyone drink that shit?

why ask why? try Bud Dry

why would I ever drink Michelob Ultra?

The only scenario that comes to mind: I’m in a small town in Iowa in late July and somebody hands me an ice cold can and I drink it because it’s free and it's cold and it’s in my hand. 

 


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glimpses

January 16, 2023

glimpses of the past 

imposed upon the present

out of the saddle

grinding up the hill

a car rolls up 

windows down

saying your name

a familiar face

hard to place

glimpses of the present

interrupting your

rosy retrospect

good old daze

same street address 

same live edge wood bar top 

same bar stool 

but    it’s not the same 

the IPA   the logo   the name  

a hollow facade of what was

here & now underwhelmed with 

glimpses of the future 

empty contingencies 

running the numbers

various variable variations

what if - what ifs

obsessive compulsively  

performing the rituals

perpetuating the notion

that you're in control 

 


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smell the glove

January 14, 2023

What you seek is seeking you. 

–Rumi

 

I’m not out there rolling around looking for a new pair of gloves, they just seem to find me. Yesterday I ground-scored my newest new-to-me pair of Showers Pass gloves A while back I found a pair of Showers Pass pilgrim buckle gloves that were a bit small for me and I passed them on to my old lady. But they inspired me to buy my own pair in a larger size. Those are the gloves I wear at work on coldish days.  For commuting these past couple winters I’ve been wearing a pair of off-brand gloves I found on the train one day. On really cold days I wear some real tree camo Cabela’s gloves I found on Walla Walla Road behind the IMA. Back back way back in the day, I found a pair of Isotoner gloves at One Union Square and wore them through several bike messenger winters.  

 

Some of you may be thinking how gross it is to pick up a pair of gloves and start wearing them as your very own. But I’m a smart shopper and gloves are washable. Let me remind you that I rode public transportation every single day of a global pandemic. As a mail carrier I touch every door knob, handle, lock, mail cabinet and elevator button there is to touch in the 98195.  I did the same as a bike messenger all over the core. It cracks me up to see germaphobes try to open doors with their backpack straps or push elevator buttons with a folded napkin. Sometimes I see them just wait helplessly until someone comes along and exits the door they want to enter, so they don’t have to touch it. 

 

I draw the line on some groundscore items. I won’t touch hats or clothing item unless it’s a Grinnell Griffins Rugby t-shirt. Single gloves are sad in a lost puppy way like a twin separated at birth, and I don’t pick them up unless it’s to create a shrine and place them conspicuously on a stuck stick for their people to see them the next time around. 

 

Gloves are overrated. Why should I put on gloves, only to take them off again? I’ll get a little chilly to avoid a hassle. Why should I climb that hill, only to roll back down it?  I can’t scan barcodes on packages and type in POD destination codes on a janky iphone with a big fat pair of gloves on, so I’d rather leave them off.  If I have to ride all the way to Warren G Magnuson Park in the winter, I’ll put on some gloves. But riding an electric-assist bathtub from Schmitz Hall to the mothership – 0.6 miles – when it’s 53 degrees and raining? no gloves needed. 

 

Once upon a time I worked in a carbon fiber wheel bakery near Fremont and I had to wear at least one pair of gloves at all times, sometimes nitrile beneath another pair or two of protective gloves with a Dremel tool in hand. When that gig ended I had more than a strong aversion to disposable gloves, as well as respirators and safety goggles.  I went on to wrench on bikes and I was happy to get my hands dirty, as I still am. Fuck rubber gloves. Seeing coworkers place their skanky used gloves on the table, as if they’re going to use them again makes me cringe more than a used condom on the train platform or a KN95 used as an asswipe on the elevator ala David Sedaris. Throw that shit away please. 

 

I am grossed out by used disposable gloves sitting around. But I won’t hesitate to adopt a gently used pair of winter cycling gloves. Here and now 67% of my winter gloves are ground scores and I’ve got enough to get through a few more winters. 

 


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left. right?

January 12, 2023

Monday is a working day

January 9, 2023

 

kinda like Mr. Rogers, I take off my black cutoff Izod golf pants (work) and put on my blue cutoff Izod golf pants (home) 

 

symbolically gesturing toward work-life balance 

 

with tangible evidence standing by, ready to reverse the exchange in the morning

 

an ever-so-subtle messenger chin tilt, up, not down  

 

psychosomatic    black & blue 

 

unlimited nights & weekends

 

Monday is a working day…

 

walking  the  walk

 

talking to myself:

 

“can’t you people email this shit to each other?”

 

¿cómo se dice? soliloquy

 

psychology

 

guthrie    just guthrie bro

 

not 3921 W Stevens Way NE 

 

round tripping

 

cyclical cycling

 

electric assisting

 

final fifty fucking feet 

 

brick  by  brick

 

day in   day out

 

garbage in   garbage out

 

 

 


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just ride

January 6, 2023

 

pay phone

parking meter

 

throw back

double take

 

fax machine 

bike messenger

 

there’s more where that came from

you can’t get there from here

 

worst case scenario

is that the best you can do? 

 

you’re doing it wrong

just ride 

 

play it by ear

we’re all fucked

 

it’ll never work

I prefer not to

 

enlarged to show texture

serving suggestion

 

lead by example

shut the fuck up 

 

5 gallon bucket

fermented dumpster juice

 

I'm a driver

I'm a winner

 

things are gonna change 

I can feel it

 




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