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

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canti boss

May 26, 2020

i appreciate art at face value but there are times when i appreciate it in more ways than one when there’s a back story. like when i get a chance to actually read the paragraph in the tiny print hanging on the wall next to the painting in the museum or the caption near the photo in the psychology textbook or the art history collection and the words in the little paragraph add up to a new appreciation. 


in recent days i’ve been weeding through my bookshelves finding some books i can’t believe i’ve held onto for 30 years and gladly donating them to the free library as well as some books i’m really glad i still have after many years. in the pages of several of these old books i’ve discovered some tidbit treats that spoke to me enough to be longterm bookmark keepsakes like this little drawing in the photo above. 


i’m hoping some of you bike geek gear head learning disability art history psychology brain injury formal drawing instruction buffs out there can remind me of the back story of this art work. i feel as if i clipped it from a textbook some years ago but its story has faded from memory. like that guy at the bar that tells the same old stories after a few beers maybe i’ve already put this up and if i have please point it out to me.


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disconnecting the dots

May 25, 2020

When I heard Steve was in the 98144 working for a bit I asked him to head down our way like Skyway to have a beer or seven and that he did. Proximity leads to assumptions as your brain makes connections that it thinks make sense. Like you thinking of Steve rolling on 27” wheels with a six-speed freewheel and a triple up front? And grip shift? Are you fucking kidding me? But then you catch yourself and think maybe that’s not his bike because if you know Steve you know his bike. 



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you talking to me?

May 22, 2020

I heard the owl call my name only he wasn’t an owl he was a crow and he wasn’t calling my name he was just talking shit because he wanted another banana bread muffin but I already gave him one and he was really demanding so I said no more today bro and flashed him the sign for “all done” 

He doesn’t know my name but he knows where I sit and what I eat and what bike I ride and what route I’m on. He probably knows what day it is. He lets me know that he knows the coffee shops are all closed and the 30,000 undergrads went home 10 weeks ago and it’s hard to find a good muffin around here.  


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fallout new vegas

May 20, 2020

Thought about a big fat lag bolt through the square taper but it seemed  spreading the load into the chainring bolts at 130 bcd was a better idea not that bolt circle diameter matters when you’re mounting cranks to a beam with 3” deck screws to hold up a 40 pound heavy bag for junior junior to kick the shit out of see boxing gloves in photos below and if you hit 4 out of 5 bolts in the bcd you can call it 80% and you can also call it in situ resource utilization ISRU fucking kidding me 

what day is it? 

Junior Junior has been shredding on bikes for a while now up through two different balance bikes before he moved on to his current bike rolling with the pedals removed until Monday when he asked to have the pedals reinstalled then pedaled away and was so happy to ride up and down the sidewalk over and over and over simply for the sake of riding kind of like the first time you took acid and rode your bike in circles for hours on an old abandoned outdoor ice rink in Iowa in the late 80’s or was that me? 

what day is it?  

We know that bikes are the way to go and will be when the shit goes down from CHUNK 666 to your LBS what it is and what it will be JRA bro JRA.  I believe the post-apocalyptic mailman will look alot like Messenger 29 and less like the guy from Fallout New Vegas. He’ll be on the ultimate urban utility bike which as you know is any old fucking bike that gets the job done. His bike will carry more than just a bundle of mail and will be absolutely stripped clean of any fluffy trendy shit. 

what day is it?  


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the day after the day after

May 17, 2020

The day after the day after Bike to Work Day. Some say two days too late. Some say 363 days until next year’s.  


Junior and Junior Junior don’t really care one way or the other or another. 



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80lbs of shit in a 10lb bag

May 15, 2020

There is no doubt about the 80 pounds of shit but it wasn’t stuffed into a ten pound bag. It was plant food busting out of four amazon boxes. The final fifty fucking feet were a bit precarious but at least I could ride the bike all the way into the building and up to the mail cabinet to unload the boxes on the floor and PoD the pile. I only had to stop once along the way to cinch down that strap on the bezos boxes when they started to tumble. I prefer to keep the frowns upside down whenever I can but these boxes were shot before I got my hands on them.  


Steve reminded me that today was Bike to Work Day. shit. 




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some of its parts

May 14, 2020

Most of the time for me a bike is way way more than the sum of its parts. But the bike in the photo has moved beyond “bicycle” and into “art” 


Although it still has some of the elements of bikeness it has morphed into one man’s junk is another man’s lawn ornament is another man’s metal recycling is another man’s job to sort that shit.  


I have a greater appreciation for this bike than most people because I spent a few years pulling shit like it out of donation dumpsters at Bike Works. I still get a not so peaceful queasy feeling when I see or smell bikes like this. 


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perfect pandemic prose poem

May 13, 2020



The Phone Call  

by James Tate


I sat on the steps for a very long time. No one passed, no cars went by.

It was as if the world had stopped. Then the mailman walked by. I was

so happy to see him I nearly jumped out of my pants. ‘Hi!’ I shouted to him.

‘Hello,’ he answered back. ‘How are you today?’ I said. ‘I’m just fine. How

are you?’ he said. ‘Well, I was a bit lonely until I saw you,’ I said.

‘There’s no reason to be lonely. There’s all the world to keep you company,

he said. ‘I guess you’re right,’ I said, as he disappeared down the block.

Then school got out and the streets were flooded with youngsters. They were

sweet and friendly. A while later work ended and the grown-ups came home. They

were exhausted and not so friendly, but, still, they reminded me that there

was a world out there. I sat on the steps all that time, thinking about

what a funny place we live in. Then I got up and went in the house. I had

lost my job at the oil refinery and was waiting to hear from several other

companies. I had some savings and wasn’t too worried. Jack called and

asked if I wanted to go hunting tomorrow. I said I’d like to but I had other

plans. Then Betsy called and asked if I wanted to go drinking tonight. I

said that sounded great, but I just couldn’t. I waited for the phone to ring

after that, but there was nothing. I played some crossword puzzles, then

watched television and fell asleep on the couch. I woke up in the morning

feeling achy and lost. I wasn’t sure where I was. It took me a few minutes

to figure it out. I was home, as always. I shaved and ate breakfast.

My mother called and I said I was just fine. It was a lie, of course, but

the truth would hurt her more. I wanted to go for a walk, but I was afraid

of missing a phone call. Finally the phone rang. The voice said, ‘Hello

my name is Mark Smith and I’d like to offer you a job as president of Prudential

Banks, the largest bank in America. Are you interested?’ ‘Well, yes, but

why me?’ I said. ‘We want someone with no experience and no ideas about

banking, and you seemed ideal,’ he said. ‘Why would you want someone like

that?’ I said. ‘We want to kill him,’ he said. ‘I don’t think I’m interested,’

I said. ‘It’s a great salary, nice vacations,’ he said. ‘No thanks,’ I

said, feeling relieved and very lucky to be just where I am.





for what you wish careful be bro


read this poem in Tate's Government Lake in September then I picked it up again this morning and it hit me in a different way if you know what I mean

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tastes like chicken

May 11, 2020


like chicken

tastes like shit

tastes       like 

forced formulaic 

chemical approximations 

of things that occur 

in nature       


not quite right

tastes like 

Bud Light 


add propylene glycol 

to taste



study group 



writers aren’t creative

they’re recycling 

so it’s not 

too much 

of a stretch 

easy to swallow 


“let’s roll” 

Todd Beamer 

supposedly said heroically 

fictionally fake as fuck 

“we’re all in this together” 

a la High School Musical 

circa 2006

you lost me 

faster than 


I’m not angry

I’m      cynical 

as all get-out 


s e a m l e s s l y

coffee-beer continuum

continues continuously

my cup runneth  

over hiding in plain sight

you can find me

sitting near my bike

hanging on the


bike hook in the


car on the next

southbound train 


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cover your hair and your eyes

May 11, 2020

phantom nostalgia syndrome redux

May 8, 2020

you lost me at unprecedented

May 6, 2020

don't do this, don't touch that, hey

May 5, 2020


bike racks are boring and sometimes it's more convenient to lock up to a hand rail. remember the first time you locked up to a railing in front of the Columbia Center?  

remember those radioactive isotopes you put in your backpack last weekend when we wanted to carbon date some groundwater samples? you should probably take those out now. 

remember swisher sweets and 16oz bottles of Rainier, no cheeseburger - diet coke combos, no sadsack Peter Gabriel "Say Anything" references, no upright front suspension aluminum comfort grip shift hybrids.

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inside looking outside looking in

May 1, 2020

In 1996 the psychology department at UW was seeking human subjects for a study on the effects that the consumption of alcohol has on decision making. They placed an ad in the Stranger to round up a herd of subjects.  I responded to the ad and took part in the study. It paid $15 or $20 or something like that and took about 22 minutes. They asked a series of questions and then gave you a “drink” and then asked another series of questions. Some subjects were given actual gin & tonics with lime some were given just tonic and lime. It also involved a confederate staged in the waiting area who voiced a scripted opinion or two and their comments were weighted along with your responses. It was all kind of cheesy and stilted and overly complicated and too academically roundabout at getting to the point. If the study was designed by grad students they left the ground work to undergrads. It was pretty bush league. More reliable results could be recorded sitting in a real bar with real drinks and real people. But that shit doesn’t fly in academia. 


That little study took place in the Brooklyn Trail Building near the main UW campus. A select few now refer to it as The Center for Child and Family Well-Being. You might know it better as 3903 Brooklyn Ave NE. I know it as 5665 as in box #355665. It's the building I was standing in yesterday for this photo inside looking outside looking in. 


In 2020 I visit the psychology department every day and the Brooklyn Trail Building quite often. 


Where were you in 1996? 


Is it raining? 


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