This kid’s smile says, “I like bikes. Bikes are cool. And my bike is really cool, as you can see. Hydraulic disc brakes on 16” wheels and a Gates carbon drive.”
I’d never heard of these bikes until Hultman sent me this picture. Oftentimes little kid bikes weigh as much as their parents bikes and there wasn’t much you could do about it. But now you can get your kid a bike that’s lighter than yours, a lot lighter and a lot cooler too.
This is Jason’s kid, obviously at home on a bike. If there is a wheelie gene, Jason has it, without a doubt. And if it’s possible to pass on that wheelie gene to the next generation then this kid has it too.
Rumor has it that Bartleby, the scrivener, previously worked in the Dead Letter Office and it had an adverse affect on his affect. That is, it sort of rubbed him wrong, or right, depending on your point of view staring out the window all day at a brick wall. But that’s another story I would prefer not to get too into.
When you say Dead Letter Office, I might say: REM album from 1987 that I paid no mind, as it was between Lifes Rich Pageant in 86 and Document in 87. Some say it wasn’t even an album, more of a compilation. Whatever. Nomenclature. Jibber jabber. Blah blah blah. I’m an REM fan pre-1991, but that’s another story I would prefer not to get too into too.
When I say Dead Letter Office I’m referring to what the USPS now calls the Mail Recovery Center. The place where mail with bogus addresses and no return address goes to die. Employees there make an effort to redirect the mail if there’s any hope at all. If all avenues have been taken and it’s totally dead, they open it and trash it or auction off anything of value.
I have this romantic notion in my mind, an image of overflowing piles of drunken love letters written to old flames that moved away years ago, Christmas lists to Santa, hate mail, fan letters, delusions and clueless scribbling. Many people out there do not know how to address an envelope or affix proper postage or embrace the concept of a return address. It’s amazing how many things actually get delivered. It took me years to address my postcards to Shaggy with the proper directional. But the mail carriers in Milwaukee were looking out for me because I never put my return address on postcards. I’m no USPS worker, I’m an electric assist Mr. McFeely cycling in the margins of futility but I get my hands on some mail here and there and I get to see some clueless scribblings. It’s as if the sender believes people will read their minds and realize what they meant to say, not what they actually said. That goes for simple campus mail as well as international letters.
“you get out what you input” said the 1982 computer guide
reciprocity reciprocating returning round trip
payback (the big payback) said James Brown
like a sawzall or a two-way street it goes both ways
a postcard beats the shit out of a text message on the tangibility meter. a postcard is the definition of tangible. you can touch it, you can smell it, you can taste it and if you try really hard you can hear it too.
handmade hand delivered hand-me-down. a beer label, six pack box or random packing material… …111% post-consumer waste upcycled into a postcard postmarked yesterday and on its way to you and you and you two too.
From a distance, this bike looks like a Bullitt. When I say distance, I mean about 35,000 feet. This bike is available at AliExpress.com direct from China to your door for $1,495 with free shipping.
are you fucking kidding me?
An electric-assist cargo bike that retails for $1500 will not be safe to ride and don’t even think about strapping your kids on the front. The components are sub sub-WalMart level and the bolts will strip out before you finish slapping it together out of the box.
At your local bike shop an actual Larry vs Harry Bullitt starts around $4000, add electric assist and it jumps to $7000. Accessorize the shit out of it and the sky’s the limit.
…what is in a name?
That which we call a MASI by any other name would smell as shit.
When a name was a name. When the name was the name. When the name meant something, signified something, stood for something.
Before it was adopted, co-opted, usurped and used up. Mimeographed and slapped on the downtubes of 1,000,000 mass produced aluminum crap bikes available online, from a distance.
A few weeks ago my old lady got me this shirt from some place in Southpark and I haven’t worn it yet but I’ve thought about when and where I could pull it off and put it on. Yesterday I schlepped my bike onto a train crowded with tourists each white-knuckling a rolling suitcase the size of a minifridge. As I made my way to the market for an overpriced salad and a bloody mary, I thought to myself here’s where I coulda shoulda woulda worn that shirt. When I got home I added a bike to it to slow your eye down just a nanosecond with another visual and or layer of meaning. (ask about the wicked saddle-to-bar drop) But it won’t slow your brain down enough to wear this to a PTA meeting or to church or to Junior Junior’s soccer practice. I’ll wear this shirt sitting on a sofa on a Seahawks Sunday afternoon. I’ll wear this shirt to work in the winter under another layer of clothing. I’ll wear this shirt to the Wa Legal Christmas party over another layer of clothing. I’ll wear this shirt in a beer garden in Iowa in late July.
The Past and the Future were attending a lecture by Progress while their teenage babysitter (their next-door neighbor’s daughter) looked after their two children. Once the children were safely tucked in, the babysitter stole the Past and the Future’s weed and screwed her boyfriend on their unmade bed.
The Past and the Future rarely got to go out alone, and it was having a negative impact on their relationship. The Past had been crying more than usual and the Future was starting to pull away by focusing more on work and video games. The Past had seen an advert for the lecture at the public library and despite not being particularly interested in the subject because the Future pretty much took Progress for granted, the Future decided to go in the hope that the Past would be up for a drink or two and a tumble in the hay.
Before the event started, the Past squeezed the Future’s hand in anticipation and said, —We really have to start getting out more often. We need to have more time for us. The Future nodded all the while thinking about the black bra the Past was wearing and the night that lay ahead. When the lights dimmed and the introduction began, the Future started to nod off. Annoyed the Past jabbed the Future in the ribs and the Future quickly sat up like a disciplined child. No matter what, the Future did not want this night to end in a fight or tears.
But once Progress took the stage, there wasn’t a sleepy eye in the place. Progress coughed and took a sip of water then scanned the room, its eager and hopeful faces. —I wish I came bearing good news, Progress said with a little smile. —But the truth is that by the time my work is over, your life as you know it will be worth less than a pile of dust and your children’s lives will be worth less than that. And their children’s lives, well, what more can I say?
Raising a shaky hand in the quiet and still auditorium, the Past said in a voice louder than anyone expected, —But that’s not the story we’ve always been told.
The other day I was screening another one-off Venn Diagram t-shirt for a friend. And when the screens were still wet I pulled off a couple Venn diagram postcards and they turned out to be more exciting to me than the shirt. Because I’ve been there and done that one-of-a-kind shirt a few more times than once, but I’ve never tried to configure and reconfigure postcard-sized cardboard to get the three sets represented by three different colored chainrings to intersect into that cute little subset.
This time it’s for real. The letters are not just microsoft paint’d on there They’re silk screened onto the wood next to the crow, who is spray painted. Junior and Junior Junior haven’t noticed yet. But they will. When they do, they’ll ask “why dad?”
Because it brings me joy. And it’s facing the garage so 99 out of 100 passers by will not even see it there on the south side of Little Free Library charter #100780
The medium via which literature travels is part of the meaning that occurs. A book beholds you, is very patient and really there with you on a hill or under a blanket or in the tub. The book itself is not trying to absorb and reflect and grab you.
birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, reunions, traffic back ups, lake washington shit shows, drunk pirates, environmental impact statements, canned beverages on ice, unlimited hydroplanes, dead baby bikes, blue angels, souvenir water bottles
Visualize a room full of cocky PhDs, smug engineers and self-important designers with multiple decades of combined experience, gathering around a conference room table to take another whack at imitating something that has existed in nature since the beginning of time.
Found a moment today in my hectic schedule to meet Toothaker at Recycled Cycles for a coffee break when it occurred to me, that if you ride a bike, you can’t swing a stick at Recycled without hitting someone you used to know, someone you used to work with or someone you still work with.
Look over there (where?)
There, there's a lady that I used to know
She's married now, or engaged, or something, so I am told
We’re all within 1.5 degrees of Adam Smith, the guy that corrected me when I put out that dickstank featuring Justin Moe and Tyler Goldsmith, both PM legal vets.