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

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nostalgia for what never was

April 26, 2019

each time I pass an armored car that's parked in a random bullshit spot I mumble to myself "I heard those guys are dicks" and I smile thinking of Seth

I like to say phantom ass-pocket-U-lock syndrome which is a specific form of phantom nostalgia syndrome, poets like to use the word saudade, but that guy in the hard hat is on the phone saying "please send 25 over to link together a grip of starbucks straws with a wad of gum on the end so he can fish out the five dollar bill that's down there"


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April 24, 2019

sometimes reading a book review is enough and there's no need to read the book


It’s easy to poke fun at office workers when you get to pop in and out paying only brief visits once or twice per day. Long enough to smell what was in the microwave or who wears too much perfume or catch a snippet of empty conversation about parking or traffic or TV or the weather.

some offices I visit once a day evoke strong feelings and reminders of why I am not a 9-5 office kind of guy. 


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reinventing the sliced bread

April 24, 2019

"The phrase is sometimes used without derision, when a person's activities might be perceived as merely reinventing the wheel, when they actually possess additional value. For example, "reinventing the wheel" is an important tool in the instruction of complex ideas. Rather than providing students simply with a list of known facts and techniques and expecting them to incorporate these ideas perfectly and rapidly, the instructor instead will build up the material anew, leaving the student to work out those key steps which embody the reasoning characteristic of the field."  -wikipedia bro


I like to think a HCDE student spent her entire winter quarter designing a bottle cage and 3D printing it. She got an A- on the project then took it over to Recycled Cycles and got $5 store credit for it.  The next day I picked it up and took a photo then chucked it back in the bucket and bought two Profile Design cages in pristine condition for less than half the price of her big project. 


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how i roll that is

April 16, 2019

constant cost-benfit analysis

that's neither here nor there

that's my jam


where you are 

where you wanna be

inside outside     come around



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1993 Trek 2200 composite

April 14, 2019

my friend neighbor got this at a thrift store a few months ago and brought it over to see if I could revive the blownout brifters but I could not and it's been in my garage ever since collecting dust. I did take it out to take this photo. Viewing this bike through the eyes of a bike mechanic that refurbished a shit load of used bikes I feel just a bit shy of tepid. As my former mechanic self I might not touch it and sell it dirt cheap as-is. I might strip it of its useful parts in order of excitement for me they are: the el diablos, the rear derailleur, the brake calipers, the stem and the cranks. Then I'd chuck the frame as far as I could. ( I did suggest my friend take his new used bike to Bike Works and have them set it up just like he likes )  This bike doens't do much for me except remind me of 33 John because he rode one in 1997 when we both worked at Elliott Bay.  If anyone can delaminate carbon fiber 33 John can. exploit the bond between carbon and aluminum. enjoy the strange creaks and crackling and croaking of a frame pushed past its limits. ride a bike into the ground remove the parts you like and repeat. Strong-like-ox 33 could play Grizzly Adams in a bike messenger centric remake. I remember when he was working Zen Courier and he destroyed the hood of a Honda with his fists after the driver cut him off and he would have gotten to the driver too if the construction workers building Benaroya Hall didn't call the cops. I remember when 33 was dispatching at Elliott Bay and he took a minute to sing the Gilligan's Island theme song on the mic repeating the opening line many many times in a row cracking himself up. I remember the "promotion" to dispatcher didn't suit 33 too well, sitting in a small windowless room with a phone and a radio is a long way from roaming the streets on a bike especially when you rip gnarly farts all day everyday like 33 John.  

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tall tales

April 13, 2019


photo from Tuesday,  memo from 1999



June 30, 1999     3:28pm


From:  Ben Birnie

To:      All ABC;   Carol Boddy

Re:      BBQ


One hot summer day in September 1987 about 1:20:43 pm I was delivering a small copy machine and seven three inch binders to a residence in Redmond for Davis, Wright, Tremaine. It was such a nice day I thought I’d bike the long way around on the Burke Gilman Trail. I got as far as downtown Bothell when a chicken came out of the brush and ran under my front tire. With the extensive weight on myself and the bike the front wheel ran over the chicken injuring it and gave the tire a flat. With only nine minutes left to make the delivery, I strapped the dying chicken on top of my satchel hoping to find a vet hospital on the way to my delivery. I threw the bike over my right shoulder, carried the copy machine under my left arm and satchel on my back with the notebooks and chicken. I ran to Redmond and made my delivery, but it was too late for the chicken. I called in to dispatch and Chris Van Damme answered, I told him of my plight and Chris being an animal lover, sent me off to give the bird a proper send off. So I started on my way back looking for a nice place to dispose of the chicken. On my way through Woodinville a sign caught my eye, CHICKEN. I ran over the train tracks to where I saw the sign and lo and behold ARMADILLO BBQ. We threw the chicken on the grill, slapped some sauce on it and I’ve been in love with their food ever since.  

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i'm still not your Jimmy John

April 12, 2019

Jimmy John is not the new black but there are numerous subliminal messages oozing out of the sweaty cleavage between the breakfast burritos

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the squeaky wheel gets annoying

April 9, 2019

award winning architecture makes for a good place to get a cup of coffee even if the coffee isn't so great

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I'm not creating the bullshit I'm just moving it around town

April 4, 2019

today I read this little ditty I wrote 20 years ago and what sticks with me now is how much has continued to stick with me like reaching into my tool belt for the same old worn out tools mumbling those same phrases to myself 20 years later like that crazy lady at the bus stop I'm still juggling the petty details of everyday life just as I was in 1999 making good time but not making much progress on the personal road to inner peace


today before I set out for work I said to myself I'd like to get myself a Free Range Cycles T-shirt and I'm not going to buy it on Amazon I'm going to buy it from Free Range Cycles a truly local bike shop and then I thought maybe I can bring them a souvenir of yesteryear like an issue of kickstand with a Free Range ad designed by Mitch in the late 90s.     In the archives I found a pristine copy of issue #8 so I notarized it and then I hand-delivered it via bicycle to the shop at 35th & Phinney and along the way I read the little ditty about bad coffee contained therein. 

Free Range doesn't have T-shirts but they will some day

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still life with chair

April 4, 2019

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