But that’s exactly what I did. A quick flip through the pages of Continuum and I realized I have no interest in plowing through its contents. But the cover is a keeper.
The artwork is a bit stodgy and square, computer generated like a minecraft character my kids created. But it gets the point across and gets me thinking about procedural memory. Which is something I never think about. Like riding a bike. Procedural memories are all the things we’ve learned how to do and do without thinking. Like walking or chewing and swallowing. Muscle memories, now subconsciously hard wired.
Stir in some semantic memory: general knowledge about the world that includes facts, concepts, and ideas. If you surveyed the entire population of people that ride bikes on earth, there would be some cross-cultural differences but a whole lot of similarities.
To top it all off, sprinkle on some episodic memories. Like that beautiful sunny spring day 32 years ago when I took some acid and rode a bike around in circles for hours on an old outdoor ice rink.
Some months ago Dr. 37 sent me a little care package that included three of his old dead bike computers. Collecting dust on the workbench in the garage for a while they'd say hi once in a while until a couple weeks ago when I found a cute little scrap of wood in the junk pile of the architecture department. It was drilled full of holes but cut just right for these purposes. I happened to have a little bit of JB Weld sitting around. When the very last bit of each tube squeezed out the ratio was off a bit. As the black puddle was bigger than the gray puddle. However, as I told 37, even a halfass mix of JB Weld is probably strong enough to secure the static load on this particular project. To top it all off I tacked on an old old brake cable. In situ resource utilization all around. I snapped a photo before I stuffed it back in the same box 37 sent me and wrapped it all up in a brown paper sack. Now it’s a little bit of history 110% post-consumer waste upcycled, recycled and bicycled back to the post office and straight into Whatcom County.
I thought I’d be talking about this sometime next week. But the USPS rocked the shit out of it. Taking it 90 miles and the final fifty fucking feet in 28 hours.
48 hours came and went but i still can’t say it all makes sense
ask me about 515 Madison some day...
Here and now clocking the passage of 96 hours and counting I’ve gained some retrospective perspective after I took a little stroll down misty water colored memory lane in the 98101 this past Saturday. Along the way I only took a few photos but they all fit the that-was-then this-is-now theme. Same spot, different year.
And on this shortest darkest day of the year I say “lux sit” which in generic Latin translates to “let there be light” Lux Sit is the motto for a large state school with a scenic 700 acre campus in Seattle. Perhaps you've heard of it. I believe a more accurate translation of the cute little Latin phrase is: “Can I get a lamp up in here? Seattle is fucking dark in December”
A building by any other name would be a building. You can call it SeaFirst, Safeco, Bank of America or blah blah blah plaza. I call it 1001. And that’s pronounced (ten-oh-one). As a legal messenger I spent a lot of time in and around it. So when I walked by at 1:00am Sunday morning, I took a photo but I didn’t have any tall cans to sip on the stoop beneath Dasher or Dancer or Prancer or Vixen. But it made me smile to think of when I did when I would when I could hide in plain sight.
Several hours later I stopped on a bench near teletubby hill and had a tall can. Easy like Sunday morning like. Same bench, different year, different beer. Same park but way more 5-story condos all around
an Ortlieb backpack and layer upon layer of thriftstore scores
same shit different year
is it raining?
all the cool kids worked at Fleetfoot, but I never did
roundabout exactly 23 years ago today I was working at Wa Legal and when Devlin got a job there too we did a little Bucky’s style ride along training day and he took that photo with Santa in the lobby at 800 5th. the shot above is Devlin and Erik at 1201
fast forward to here and now today this 13th day of December in 2021 where we got a new employee at the salt mines and we’re doing a little Bucky’s training day ride along electric-assist-bathtub style.
as if I’m just another sad sack subject stepping into the big big psychology study so called life and everyone else is in on it confederates placed sporadically strategically systematically here and there everywhere all around are you kidding me pumping quarters into the vending machine because all I want is a Bodhi and I have to pee and the buttons don’t light up or they do light up and they don’t do anything or they do do something but it’s completely different from what’s advertised and then it’s all duly noted recorded recounted regurgitated in the extracts published quarterly toeing the line between keeping it together and letting it all go to shit don’t overthink it you cannot out-boyscout the emergency backup to the contingency plan it’s just a rough recipe to rip off or riff on
Sometimes some things remind me of some other things. Sometimes the same old thing reminds me of other people from another time in the same old place.
The pig will always remind me of Matt Case’s ass and if the crowds in the market weren't so thick perhaps Junior or Junior Junior could've reenacted the classic photo today with a concerned 49er fan family in the background looking on instead of the Cowboy family of yesteryear.
43 pounds of steel. Behold the Schwinn Varsity. Ask me about Ashtabula, Ohio and then we can talk about Chicago and Japan. I won’t just talk shit about the bike but I will refer you to this recapitulated by this
Over the long holiday weekend this bike was left in the bushes near The Ave on the Burke Gilman. Then some well-meaning state workers propped it up on a handrail thinking someone would come by and reclaim it. But that was days ago. The original owner probably bought it when Jimmy Carter was in the white house. Then it passed its time in dusty garages and yard sales. Fast forward a few decades… ...when the Thanksgiving thief gave up on it before he made it to 15th Avenue. Because of its monumental weight, he couldn’t so much chuck it as just lay it down and walk away. If a bike isn’t parted-out or stolen in the U-district within 24 hours, then something isn’t quite right.
It wasn’t there when I went in. But it was there when I came out. I like to visualize the Provost or some other high level figure head emeritus returning from lunch and working to get that one last little chunk of teriyaki chicken out of their teeth and then nonchalantly dropping their dental pick behind my bike just before reentering the building to return to their office to scroll through their facebook feed for a few more hours.
dark cold rainy November days in Seattle sometimes remind me of big fat bags of Vashon shrooms from the hands of Ortega followed by dark cold rainy November nights trippin balls in affordable Capitol Hill apartments listening to Down by the River one more time over and over and over
“I’ll have a venti caramel macchiato and can you add an extra shot of espresso... ...and then like, you know, to compensate with the sweetness because of that extra shot, can I get like two extra pumps of vanilla??? ...oh, and an apple fritter”
that’s what she said
no joke really for real I was right there in line behind her patiently waiting staring off into space and licking the back of my teeth huffing my face mask thinking about how once the allotted word count is exceeded it’s no longer about coffee it’s about some kind of personal identity expository essay or horseshit jibber jabber debate on the wire monkey vs the cloth monkey or trust funds or disparity or the perception of our place in the universe at this exact moment or organized religion oh wait are you fucking kidding me how can you get through the day trying to communicate all that shit to the barista muffled through a face mask and two layers of sneeze glass and how in fact her macchiato mashup is nothing compared to the foo-foo drinks so-called-Seattle-coffee people order all the time and then I watched the student worker cashier fumbling to ring the shit up as she couldn’t find enough buttons to cover all the variables to get the ten bucks out of the customer...
wacky cliques click tacky clocks tick indecisive advisor a divisive incisor two for you two for me too two too many tutu shimmy blown out chamois two of a kind kind of pair up pare down lose weight it’s a long wait pull up a chair in the waiting room wipe down a bench in the weight room non fat mocha extra whip extracurricular extramarital trip late night liaison lair laissez faire kissing cousins county fair it’s all there it’s only fair pay the fare lawyer = liar liar liar house on fire outerlayer outlander outlier bit player bricklayer 3-ply toilet paper thin veneer one more beer
Some time in the last couple years pre-post apocalypse as I unstrapped another oversized amazon box to schlepp it the final fifty fucking feet into Bagley or Benson a car whizzed by and I probably thought it was just another asshole uber driver speeding down a narrow oneway lane to pickup an entitled kid that was too lazy to walk back to his frat house. But it was a google drone vehicle gathering up more intelligence in the name of street view maps. 2019ish based on that cluster of Lime Bikes.
Junior and Junior Junior curated this tour last month and sent it off in an email immediately which hi-lights for me the disparity here between my comfort level and theirs with electronic devices, zoom meetings, virtual learning and any old on-line hocus pocus. What I mean is, I have no idea how to make a screen shot or a video like this. kids these days. word
Today I had my hands on a formmagazine but it wasn't mine it was headed for the library. The cover image could do nothing but remind me of Dr 37 Mike and the ultimate snap-on ratchet in hand. Upon first glance I thought it was German but it’s actually a coffee table magazine of Nordic architecture and design from Sweden. Digging just a bit deeper I learned I could have my very own copy delivered to my home for the low low price of $147.50. What it all comes down to is that everything is gonna be fine fine fine. I mean for just under $25 per issue it could be delivered six times per year across the pond into the hands of the US Postal Service and into my mailbox. Flipping through this “tool” issue I found it interesting in a Nordic design way but I was unable to read much of the Swedish text. I would proudly display this $25 magazine upon my $5 yard sale coffee table if I could get a print version in English free at the library.
If things really do happen for a reason then for some reason all the pieces of this puzzle fell into place today and inspired this performance art piece that I like to call “still life with roadmaster” subtitled: it’s a triptych bro ::: Helga, Cindy Sherman & Tippi Hedren
Round about 2006 Jimbo got this Simpsons themed patch from a Stiffies pre-RAGBRAI ride in Iowa. Then he gave it to me. I hauled it back to Seattle and asked those guys down at DANK bags to put it on a coozie and I proceeded to drink a few roadmasters hiding in plain sight here and there on the streets of Seattle. Then I hauled the coozie back to Iowa for another RAGBRAI and gifted it to Jimbo. A few months later there was a parade of some sort that the Grinnell Griffins rugby team was participating in with the pilderwasser team bus and this coozie was kicking around so it got scooped up to shim-out some hose clamps around a flag that the Griffins wanted to fly off the passenger side mirror. That coozie stayed there for more than a few years secured well with those hose clamps hanging on through wicked Iowa winters and weird Iowa summers, long after the flag stick broke off. When I finally made it back for another RAGBRAI I borrowed a screwdriver and removed the hose clamps to reclaim the coozie. I’m sure I already told you that part of the story at least once. Anyway… the other day digging in the archives for a photo to personify drinking-beers-hiding-in-plain-sight to go along with the idea of working a little RAGBRAI into your everyday life I stumbled upon the Stiffies coozie photo I posted a few days ago. And then another other day while defrosting the beer fridge at HQ I uncovered a roadmaster of Milwaukee’s Best Ice that those DANK bags guys gave me some time in the last five years. All the while St Ides Heaven is looping in my head. Finally after work today I put two and two and two and two together and jammed that nasty old roadmaster into that nasty old coozie and cracked it open. While savoring that fine beer, I created the triptych seen here, featuring three of my favorite wall hangings: Helga, Cindy and Tippi.
In the absence of St. Ides, Milwaukee’s Best Ice will do
Cheers to things falling into place and or staying put with a well placed hose clamp. Here's to old friends. Thanks Jimbo. Thanks DANK bags. Thanks Elliott Smith. Thanks Milwaukee's Best.
“to maintain the lifestyle you’ve grown accustomed to”
That shit used to crack me up when I read it on the divorce papers and legal documents I was delivering to King County Superior Court. Now it cracks me up for different reasons as I roll around mumbling to myself or talking to crows. I just want to keep doing the same things and expecting the same results. To feel like I have some control over something. Anything. Any little thing. Because I know every little thing is not going to be alright. A 12oz drip coffee. That’s right. The name is “Mark” same shit different day no words exchanged just a smile and a thank you and a see you tomorrow. The barista knows me as a model of consistency. Same shit different day. No need to waste time on the details. It’s not so much that I love routine. It’s that I’d like to use that bandwidth to ponder other things. And I think it’s hilarious that baristas remember me 18 months later and start pouring my coffee when I walk through the door. The crows know me too because they know I’ll share a snack with them.
Speaking of snacks, let this vending machine serve as an illustration, an example, a metaphor, a parable if you will…
For 18 months it was empty. Picked clean and not to be restocked until further notice. There was no food because there were no people to eat it. I got used to it. Seeing nothing but my own reflection looking back at me. Not that I’d buy the shit in there. It was all about knowing that it was there. But it wasn’t. And now it is. And that back-to-school feeling isn’t just a vague sensation in the pit of my stomach. It’s a full-on gut punch.
I’d like to take this moment to acknowledge the return of 55,000 people to campus: undergraduates, law students, graduate students, faculty and staff. As well as all the service suckers, spoon feeders, vendors, delivery trucks, electric scooters, jump bikes, meter maids, shuttles and metro busses that accompany all those people. I’m not ready to say “welcome back” because I’m not exactly sure how I feel about it.
today is my Wednesday and here's to Andy Friday. Now more than ever I have a sincere appreciation for the bikes he scrapped together and rode around town with authority. 26" rear x 700c up front or whatever was around at the time. sweat pants. flannel shirt. rain or shine. here's to long shadows and short americanos.
This guy’s continuum, as you can see, is not limited to the X-Y axis. It’s headed in a few directions and circling back around again. He probably had a cup of coffee in his other hand when he snapped this shot. It’s the same on the weekends as the rest of the days, the clock just runs faster or slower or not at all.
My coffee-beer continuum is dialed in. So much so it’s like muscle memory. If there’s a red beer in there it must be Saturday. If there’s a short americano in my hand I must be at Solstice. Most of my favored coffee shops have shut down completely or open sporadically and I’ve adjusted accordingly until further fucking notice. Burning some new neural pathways, but only when I have to. My favored beer stops have been tweaked a bit too. But beer is beer. And prices everywhere (except the Northlake Tavern) have gone up and up again.
bring me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses just don't bring me your rad power bike
September 16, 2021
I know a guy that has his finger on the pulse of the ebike industry. Actually he’s all up in there with both hands. In his shop they’ve had to draw the line with a policy that’s kinda sorta summed up by this sign.
Any jackass can buy anything these days and have it shipped to their door. This includes an ebike. When it arrives they pull it out of the box, charge the battery, finger-tight the bolts and ride away at 25 mph. When things go wrong they bring it into their local bike shop where the average mechanic says “we don’t work on ebikes” So they take it to a shop that specializes in ebikes and the mechanics there have to say “we don’t work on piece-of-shit internet ebikes”
if the bike retails for $1000 it probably cost about $157 dollars to produce in a HUGE factory in China. Which means the quality of the components is less than Huffy level. Down below Wal-Mart bikes bro. Sketchy shit that goes really fast.
Because he’s a fictional character, there are no photos of the real Todd Beamer. He’s not real but there’s a high school named after him right down here in Federal Way. Is there a Holden Caulfield High somewhere? Or a Dean Moriarty Middle School?
Because there are no photos of him, they had to make a comic book. A really c r e e p y comic book.
Because it fits in with the narrative they’ve been selling you for 20 years I’m wearing my Todd Beamer t-shirt today. Don’t ask questions. Swallow it whole. Let’s Roll.
Roundabout almost exactly 11 years ago today (I thought you said you’d never forget) I laid down my Nextel and walked away.
In the weeks and months that followed I experienced a few flashes of phantom ass pocket u-lock syndrome (PAPULS) which as you know, is a very specific form of phantom nostalgia syndrome (PNS) that affects former bike messengers.
You know those rose colored glasses that pop up in retrospect? I chucked those long ago. I can cherry pick memories from the good old days but I won’t say it was all fun and games.
The nostalgia wore off sooner and sooner with each time I quit and came back.
Q: What did the messenger say when he stopped drinking beer?
A: This job sucks.
Today I’m looking back over my jacked up right shoulder. Looking towards Junior and Junior Junior and wondering how eleven years went by. Asking myself, how did I get here?
During this little global pandemic thing I stopped toting around any lock at all for a year or so because there was no place to go, before or after work. It was neither here nor there. It was only here or there.
These days my u-lock is along for the ride swimming around all the way at the bottom of an Ortlieb backpack. It gets used at the following locations:
Big Time Brewery
Columbia City Ale House
my dentist’s office
All of this may just be a thinly veiled excuse to once again draw your attention to my favorite Ortlieb messenger backpack model:
A few Fridays ago I was riding home on the train trying to read a Rachel Kushner novel when a dude got on at Capitol Hill. He chucked a wad of paper towards me which came to rest just below my bike. There was a lot of loud talking and gesturing. At first I thought: whatever, another crazy person. But the loud talking and overly fake exaggerated laughter guffaws continued and I looked up and realized it was the quintessential brogrammer. He got up and paced back and forth and switched seats several times during the trip all the while cracking jokes to his virtual phone friend. Commenting on the state of public transportation and various stupid brogrammer shit as well as a string of snide comments about Seattle in the context of wherever the fuck he came from. It was as if a series of variables fell into place and created a perfect storm in my mind:
bro stayed on the train until Othello
bro kept moving around talking LOUDLY
it was a new train with lots of room and clear lines of sight so he never disappeared from view or out of earshot
it was my Friday and I had a couple beers on the way to the train
18 months of pandemic frustration gurgled below the surface
30 years of Seattle gentrification flashed before my eyes
bro embodied everything that’s going wrong with Seattle including a skyrocketing cost of living, pronounced income disparity and a huge influx of entitled brogrammer attitude
As the train approached Columbia City I picked up the wad of paper he chucked when he got on. It was a Whole Foods breakfast receipt, matching his brogrammer lifestyle. (let me remind you how much it takes for me to actually open my mouth and speak to someone) As he moved around again to stand by the door next to me I said, “hey bro, you dropped this” and sort of surprised him. Then he said “no, I’m good” and I said “No bro, it’s all you. Remember your breakfast this morning. Maybe you can tell your friend on the phone about it” then he mumbled some shit and got off the train.
When I tried to tell my old lady about it later I couldn’t really explain why it got to me so much. Two weeks later I recounted the story to friends and I got angry and red faced all over again, as if the guy was barking on the barstool next to me. Now a month later I’m still trying to figure it out.
I ride the train every day. Both ways. I’ve seen some shit. Heard some things. Smelled some smells. Over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at ignoring things and tuning out with thicker skin, so to speak. Maintaining the illusion of personal space on public transportation is essential. But that bro broke through my delusion. If he chucked down a dental pick I would have shit my pants.
Of all the variables that fell into place that day, I believe 18+ months of pandemic rollercoaster yo-yo frustration bubbling beneath the surface played the biggest part. Stand by until further notice lock down shut down keep out stay in stay put 50 gallons of hand sanitizer social distance dancing mean muggin mask face sourpuss aftertaste essential worker working vaccination attestation frustration mask up scrub down with two disinfectant wipes mandating mandatory mandate burnout.
...I mean a Bodhi and to swap out the handlebars. Moving on from the little arc flat bar onto an old man swept back riser. For now I think I’m done. New saddle, new chainring, cables and housing and a few other changes. Slow and steady. The only OE today is the headset on the frame & fork.
The last time I paid any attention to the parts in the getup of this bike it looked like this and my kids were about 3 feet shorter. Since then I’ve paid it no mind only to ride it in the rain to the train. I was still rolling the FSA wheel set bro-dealed at Mad Fiber. Those wheels retired a few years ago with Seattle sidewall syndrome.
roundabout 11 years ago Sally Claus had this Raleigh delivered to me straight from the factory because it was all I wanted for Christmas. A lot of the OE parts can be seen in the mix in this random shot taken some years ago between Mad Fiber and Bike Works on my resume. Note the bar end shifters jerry rigged into down tubers. V-brake levers halfassing cantilever brakes. And I was still trying to kick the clipless habit.
That sliver of orange peeking out from within the Salsa SUL stem is no accident. As you know it’s there so that you know that I know that you know that I shimmed-out this giant swept back dork bar with a can of Bodhizafa. Nothing beats a beer can for shimming out 25.4 clamp diameters. Don’t bring me Diet Coke or LaCroix or cold brew foo-foo cans. It’s all about in situ resource utilization (ISRU) that IS R U fucking kidding me? Actually it’s all about IPA.
Over the weekend I swapped handlebars setting off a sequence of events including unrolling a country mile of cable housing splaying off these big dork bars in every direction. Which inspired me to ditch the front thumb shifter and front derailleur and all that unwieldy housing because I never shifted the thing off the little big ring anyway. I also pushed the rear shifter away from the brake lever, around the horn in toward the stem. So instead of a wide sweeping 180 turn the housing now has a neat little 90 turn down to the el diablo. Shifting is overrated. I shift once or twice on my epic (train) ride to/from work and I can still shift with my thumb.
you can ask me about inflation but let's talk more about wage stagnation
in my index of leading economic indicators, the $7 pint of beer is first, followed closely by the $5 tall can and the $3 cup of drip coffee. It's almost comical when it constantly feels like I'm at the airport waiting for a connecting flight and I cough up the money because I don't have a choice. Except I'm not at the airport, I'm at the corner store. All of it's underscored by the fact that take-home pay hasn't increased at anywhere near the same pace.
A.T. who sent me this photo, brought to my attention that the cost of living in Seattle is about twice what my two-income household makes in a year. put that in your electric scooter and smoke it.
They say you can’t make this shit up. But maybe you can. Make it up as you go along. Make the most of it. Make an ass out of you and me. Is it Infinitely variable? Or just the same old shit? What day is it? Walk the last mile in my shoes. Blown out Sambas. Tracing the same habitrails repeatedly. Final fifty fucking feeting. Like clockwork like. Muscle memory. Glycogen stores sold out. More coffee. Dry mouth, nausea, vertigo, hallucinatory indifference and or post nasal drip. Psychosomatically suggested to me. Ask me about my learned helplessness. Until further notice. Switching to beer. Transitioning seamlessly. We now join the daily routine already in progress. That’s not deja vu, it’s the same shit different day. Are you my Bucky?
I’ve been exchanging photos with Dr. 37 for a while now. We used to send shots of Swisher Sweet wrappers in situ. Now we’ve moved onto discarded dental picks. They’re everywhere. And once you see them you can’t unsee them. I’m glad Junior Junior hasn’t trained his eye on these things yet because he’d be pointing them out all day and night.
Much like overflowing garbage cans full of individually wrapped single serving sized multicolored plastic baggies of dog shit, the discarded dental pick is a recurring theme here. They started to get my attention back in the day when I was a legal messenger and I’d see them on sidewalks all over downtown.
These fucking things don’t just melt away like an unwanted ice cube. I’ve been watching one for a few months now in a parking lot near my place of employment. It’s faded and scuffed up but it’ll last another 10,000 years or until somebody sweeps it up. I don’t understand why anyone that gives a shit about flossing their teeth doesn’t give a shit about chucking their used dental pick on the ground.
There are a series of coordinates in three dimensions that come together just so. A recipe. A ratio. A combo. A composite. An amalgamation. There’s no simple formula but it can be repeated within an acceptable range. It occurs in nature so naturally the fakes are easy to identify. It’s hard to define, but I know it when I see it. Just like Potter Stewart said. It all happens in the blink of an eye. Subliminally.Triangulate. Calculate. Size it up. Your brain runs the numbers but it’s not a math thing. It’s a tip of the tongue, back of the throat, base of the spine, gut feeling thing.
you’re unique and special
just like everyone else
shut the fuck up
get in line
don’t ask questions
this is what SIX FEET looks like
until fucking further fucking notice
you’ll get nothing and like it
I like the idea of the thing. But when I’m presented with the actual thing it pales in comparison to the idea of the thing that’s all in my mind.
There is no new normal just as there is no way-it-was.
Looking back over the past 18 months peeling off the masks, after all the attestations, warning signs, stickers, directional arrows, stay home posters, one way signs, face mask demands, adhesive six foot ruler graphics, mean-muggin personal space dances, zoom meeting, home school, sore ears, hand sanitizer dispensers, disinfectant wipes, vaccination attestation thousand mile stare...
I’ve got one hand in my pocket and the other one’s making a please sign. It’s a poster I recently altered at my POE. When I say alter I don’t mean photoshop. I mean scissors and tape. please. I believe it boils it down and sums it up. please.
Here and now in 2021 you can pronounce it however you want. fluidly flowing among or between or back and forth.
The word punctilious came to me from Bret in ABQ on the back of a postcard cut from a Marble Red Ale six pack which reads “punctiliously brewed in ABQ NM USA” As I told Bret, I had to look it up.
This may be the one and only day I’ll use that word in a sentence as I prefer short-shorter-the-shortest word that gets to the point. I do however have a deep appreciation for attention-to-detail. Maybe I should just say I dig details.
You’ll often find me talking to myself as I roll around town on a bike going over things I’ve gone over before. Repeating repeatedly. Back in the day when I was a legal messenger and expected to catch the mistakes of highly trained legal secretaries, paralegals and attorneys, I’d be mumbling to myself “we appreciate your attention to detail, unfortunately it’s all the wrong details”
But the details are where it’s at. Sometimes I go downstairs for a zip tie or electrical tape and I get distracted with some petty detail like a Scott Norwood card stapled on the wall oh just so and I forget why I went down there in the first place. Some say that’s called getting old. I like to call it attention-to-detail.
Barking up the wrong tree is fine with me. Just keep it outta my face.
On the 4th of July my sister usually texts me a link to that goddam Chicago song with a man selling ice cream, singing Italian songs... You know Saturday in the Park. This year she threw me a Joni Mitchell curveball.
A few years ago I got this Seurat painting at a yard sale for $3 gold frame and all. I think I chose to forget the real name of it but mishmashed it in the back of my mind as Saturday in the Park - pointillist. Probably because of that goddam Chicago song. It’s actually called A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
A few days ago I decided to silkscreen on the thing in Bucky Blue because I don’t take gold-framed artwork too seriously. However, the paint was runny and I smooshed the shit out of it. My kids laughed at me. Then today I hit it again with white and the blue became a drop shadow. As if I meant to do it all along. I think it was the 4th of July.
3m/10' is all about bicycles. We're not framing houses
July 3, 2021
As of a few hours ago I’m the proud owner of a Wheel Fanatyk tape measure. Some might say it’s just another tape measure but those in-the-know know a tape measure means a lot.
When I worked on bikes all day, I insisted on having a tape with both metric and standard and I thought that was about all I could ask for. Park tool makes one but it’s tepid and doesn’t make me want to write a paragraph.
The Wheel Fanatyk tape is great for several reasons. You can actually feel its quality in your hand. Ric’s description sums it up so well he sold me on it enough to buy one for myself and another for a friend.
I worked a bit for some contractors that were framing houses and they were particular about their 25' tapes in other ways. But I’ve never seen a tape measure printed on both sides with so many features ideal for a bike mechanic.
I know a guy that rode his bike from Shoreline to Rainier Beach to hand me that can of IPA. And as he said later it turned into a homeschool lesson in both geography and spelling for Junior & Junior Junior. I didn't drink it until several days later while hibernating in the basement where I paired it up with the coffee cup.
Just a few weeks ago I was walking with Junior Junior on a typical Junuary Seattle afternoon: 58 degrees and raining.
The old joke around here has been: Summer in Seattle starts July 5th.
But not this year. We had a couple classic Junuary days but now the temperature forecasts are blowing the fuck up
and you may ask yourself
what would Cliff Mass do?
I believe Cliff Mass would start his Friday early and I know he’d have a coozie on his beer can
If I ever get my hands on some Atmospheric Sciences patches I will get them to those guys at DANK bags so they can make another one-of-a-kind coozie like the one I keep on hand to start my Friday in the shadow of Husky Stadium aka the Sports Medicine parking lot before I tackle another epic (train) ride home
Not sure how long she was there before I noticed her but Ms. Ladybug was along for the ride the last few stops on the route this morning averaging 7mph on the electric assist bathtub’s shortest stem ever. She got some fresh air and converted 8Nm to 15.9 ft-lb all the while reminding me to not overthink it and snug it up or maybe she said suck it up. Mind the gap and Goldilocks that shit. Not too tight. Not too loose. Just right.
When you say Guthrie Hall I don’t think of the rugby player from South Africa. I think brick by boring brick and not in a 1972 “new brutalist” way, just a boring brick building where I delivered packages four times yesterday.
Many moons ago I got my hands on a sports medicine patch and sent it to those guys down at DANK bags. Fast forward to my birthday when the mailman arrived with a small parcel containing a one-of-a-kind coozie from those DANK guys and it went directly to enveloping a tall can
note: Jonny Sundt’s autograph still on the workbench ten years later
That parcel also contained a few Shag Bag stickers, one of which went on the wall immediately. Although it’s only the ides of June, it’s a favorite to win the imaginary 2021 sticker-of-the-year award at HQ
As I left the store looking for a place to set my coffee down so I could take off my mask and shove it back in my pocket all I could see were long planks posing as horizontal surfaces but I knew they were actually cocked at 34 degrees like ass plants for bus riding patrons waiting on busses to lean their asses on but they wanted me to set my coffee down so they could laugh and tell me it’s not unprecedented until further notice and there’s a reason for it for if they were truly level they’d be full of big gulps beer cans chew spit & piss bombs
As you may recall from your photographic memory, I took a photo of this shit steel bike back on February 25 and wrote a little ditty 2/26/21 about its level of shittiness indicated by how long it has stayed basically intact in the 98195. In late February it had already been there for weeks and the vultures had only plucked the brake calipers.
Fast forward to last week when some thief finally plucked the front wheel, a nondescript solid axle 27 inch steel hoop, memorable only for the presta tube oozing out of the schrader hole. Then over the weekend somebody perhaps in the name of art, placed a sketchy 700c 20-bladed-spoke wheel in the fork. No quick release, just sort of perched the bike there for the sake of appearances. Perhaps they did it just for me so I could take this photo and share it with you because we have nothing better to talk about.
Please note these new trains have 4 bike hooks per car and they feel bigger inside in an open space way… ...bigger windows all around and a streamlined seat design that isn’t all in my mind. But one clueless tourist or two, to or from SeaTac can still fuck it all up with a poorly placed suitcase.
the electric assist hand truck comes in handy for delivery of large heavy or awkward parcels. two wheels transitioning seamlessly from streets to sidewalks into locked buildings down the long hallway onto the elevator and down into the secure mailroom in the basement with 80 pounds of bird seed.
after riding the electric assist bathtub all day the hand truck feels nimble. It’s quite quiet too without the aluminum kettle drum cargo box bolted on. I’m not scaring the shit out of peds and dogs and small children on the Burke Gilman.
About 30 years ago I moved to Seattle and joined the ranks of clueless bike commuters. I wore whatever backpack I had sitting around to haul my shit to work and back.
In 1995 I bought a weak REI one-shoulder backpack that combined the worst of both worlds. It was awkward uncomfortable small and inconvenient but I thought it looked cool because it had one strap instead of two.
Then in 1996 I rode on on that one strap bag theme and bought a Timbuk 2 bag from 3. the company Suzanne Carlson started with her siblings before she started The Free Ride Zone which later morphed into Bike Works.
On May 12, 1997 I got a job at Elliott Bay Messenger Company and wore that T2 bag to work, wore it all day, then I wore it home. I probably wore it to the grocery store on weekends too.
In 1998 I got an Ortlieb messenger backpack which is basically a giant waterproof grocery bag with shoulder straps. I was working as a legal messenger delivering numerous small legal documents and taking off the bag hundreds of times per day to dig through it wasn’t so fun so I sold that bag to some other messenger and got a PAC designs one shoulder bag that I wore for a couple years until I tried to quit messengering by doing all kinds of other things including remodeling a 24 unit apartment building where I was also the manager/RA/babysitter, attending UBI in Ashland and then working in a couple bike shops.
In 2003 I went back to legal messenger work and ordered a backpack from those guys down at DANK bags. Not too long after that I ordered a one shoulder bag from those DANK guys. Being a legal messenger taking the backpack on and off so many fucking times to find the one unsigned order wrinkled up at the bottom of the sack got really old. I sat on the backpack for several years using it for groceries and beer and various things.
I always wore single strap bags on my right shoulder and my shoulders are now and forever uneven, jacked, tweaked and unbalanced. That first T2 bag was average size in 1997 but by 2007 it would be laughably small as bags got bigger and bigger.
From 2003 to 2010 working as a messenger I wore the shit out of the black DANK bag seen in the photo below as well as a camo/blaze orange DANK bag and then I finished my messenger career off wearing the tasteful understated wheat colored DANK bag in the photo above.
On September 10, 2010 I turned in my Nextel and reverted back to crusty commuter status. A short time later I started hauling my shit to work at Mad Fiber in that old DANK backpack. When I quit that job I wore the backpack to Bike Works for a while until one day Ortlieb gifted each and every Bike Works employee a backpack. And that’s the backpack I’ve been hauling my shit to work in every day since. The corners at the bottom of the bag have delaminated and are supported with gorilla tape on the inside and the cute little snap-in pouch organizer zipper stopped zipping some time in 2019.
Here and now as we speak I’m getting a new Ortlieb messenger size backpack with 39 liters of displacement. A big waterproof grocery bag with shoulder straps as seen in the top spokesmodel photo I poached from Ortlieb because it appeals to me on several levels. I'm not a bike commuter. I'm a light rail commuter with a bike. 99.997% of the time I will not be riding with 39 liters of shit on my back. It'll be unused potential and empty space that's lighter than air.
Those guys down at DANK bags make a fine product but zee Germans know what’s up for crusty commuters like me.
Over the past 20 years I’ve realized that I can't be the only one that thinks a few pieces of the Todd Beamer story don’t add up. I did however think for a moment that I could be the only one hearing Husker Du and Bob Mould’s voice as I chuckle at the cover of yet another horseshit Todd Beamer book.
Riding along the Jimmy John -- John Forester continuum on a 120 pound electric assist bathtub tends to be a little closer to the vehicular cycling end of the spectrum than it would be rolling a traditional 20 pound bike. However I like to think it’s kinda sorta still cycling and not strictly rectilinear distances adding up. I can still take the hypotenuse through the park or take the bike path and get a little Euclidean. But I’m not hopping curbs and splitting lanes and jumping on the escalator with my bike like a real messenger.
I'm not saying Jimmy Johns are real messengers but I like the sound of JJ - JF continuum better than urban utility cyclist - vehicular cyclist spectrum.
"grandpa, what's a taxicab?"
Taxicab geometry versus Euclidean distance: In taxicab geometry, the red, yellow, and blue paths all have the same shortest path length of 12. In Euclidean geometry, the green line has length 8.49 and is the unique shortest path. -the Wiki
When I say Linus, I like to think that you think of Linus van Pelt, Lucy’s brother and not just another shitty mail order bike brand.
Yesterday I parked my bike next to this ecclesiastical vision and thought of Linus telling me about an angel of lord. Upon further review it was actually just the remnants of some asshole truckdriver’s lunch that he chucked in the loading dock.
Yamasaki knew a thing or two about building buildings. If he were here I'd buy him a beer and we'd sit on the patio and talk about controlled demolition and the melting point of steel. Except the patio is gone now. So we could chat over by the IBM building. Looking up to its exoskeleton and over to the Rainier Tower's too.
this isn't the permanent rookie
when I say Benson, 39 thinks of Benson's Grocery. And I have to admit the nostalgia for mom & pops and six packs of tall cans beats the shit out of the milktoast sitcom from the 80's and makes me smile more than chemical engineering.
I had a dream where a rookie was trying to sell a bike on craigslist and the only reason it got a small sliver of my attention was he claimed it was 57cm. I took a closer look at what appeared to be about a 48cm frame…
And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream from the top of my lungs
"What's going on?"
What the fuck rookie? I said the only thing approaching 57cm on that cute little frame is the downtube. And he said it’s not my problem and I should worry about my own problems then he proceeded to insult me about my advanced age and other random things that I couldn’t really hear as he whined and mumbled beneath his facemask.
what does any of that have to do with a fun loving cheap beer drinking photo of Foster & Sundt circa 2006?
When I say Benson you probably think of the milktoast sitcom from the 80’s. But when you say Benson I think of the Chemical Engineering Department in Benson Hall on the campus of a large university situated on a sprawling scenic 700 acre campus just north of the ship canal.
There’s a crow that works the territory which includes Benson Hall and he knows me. Over the past year in the absence of 50,000 students, faculty and staff he has gotten to know me so well he’s ready to ride my electric assist bathtub.
In the photo he’s eyeing the throttle which is right next to his foot. He would have no problem giving it some juice with a foot or his beak. I’m not sure what he would do when the bike lurched forward, probably just chuckle and then ask for some more stale cheese balls.
Haven’t really been downtown for 10.5 years. When I say “downtown” I mean working on a bike delivering legal documents in and around the core. When I was a messenger Cafe Zum Zum was a stop I made a few times a week for a heaping helping of good food at a fair price.
Walking around Seattle these days there are so many new buildings I often stop and stare and try to remember what used to be there but I can’t. It’s like a warped form of deja vu.
Adam sent me this photo yesterday and it will help me remember what used to be there next time I walk down 3rd Avenue.
A small parcel arrived yesterday sent by Doctor 37 Mike. Among other things it contained an Elliott Bay Messenger Company Slip as you can see it’s #378909 in triplicate.
It brings me to 1997 as swiftly as a familiar smell. I can almost feel the heft of the duct tape covered book in which I kept my completed slips and some fresh ones too for those clients without a clue. That book was tucked in its special pocket in my Timbuk 2. That book was money as it contained the only thing I had to show at the end of the day for all the miles I rode. Back when bike messengers carried pagers and brick-size radios. Back when people used landline phones to call messenger companies to carry VHS tapes and airline tickets and architectural drawings and legal documents printed on actual paper and they used ballpoint pens to sign their names on triplicate forms. Back when road masters cost a dollar.
Dispatcher: Zero Seven head to Ad Serv for a ‘teener to Wizzy Wig.
When you get to Wizzy Wig they’ll have four half-hours for you to KING-5, KOMO, KIRO & KCPQ
07: Copy five
Thank you 37. Here’s to 02 Joey, 27 Aaron, 35 Brian (75% of State of the Union) as well as 33 John, 75 Max, 03 Bryce and 09 Dave. 61 Marcus and 61 Matt and the many other riders and numbers I cannot remember from 1997.
If I had a purple & black Elliott Bay Messenger Company vest I’d be wearing it as we speak.
That Snap-On wrench is a developing story. More on that some other day.
"The vanishing point in paintings forms part of a linear perspective scheme. It is the point in fictive space which is supposed to appear the furthest from the viewer - the position at which all receding parallel lines meet."
Sitting down staring up at the clouds staring out into space staring indirectly at the architecture here and there pondering the parallel lines receding to their cute little vanishing points. I’m a big fan of exploring fictive space while hanging out in architecturally pleasing open spaces.
The Life Sciences Building (LSB) is no Yamasaki but it sure has a lot of parallel lines. Part of my route includes posting up holding down its benches standing by among all its lines and friendly crows and open air. It reminds me of the Rainier Tower aka 1301 5th and patio parties past. I’d often sit there staring at the Yamasaki architecture watching the lines recede. Hanging on the beep. Standing the fuck by.
Across 5th Ave kitty-corner from the Rainier Tower is the IBM building. You can call it 1200 5th, another Yamasaki that has an exoskeleton just like the Twin Towers had. Built in 1964, it was on Minoru’s resume when he got the big gig in New York. Ask me about controlled demolition. Ask me about Todd Beamer. Ask me about Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire. The IBM building has a peaceful courtyard patio plaza where I spent many a minute standing by tipping tall boys and or roadmasters hiding in plain sight.
Across 4th Ave catty-corner from the Rainier Tower you'll find the Financial Center aka 1215 4th. When I was your age we'd call it purple for a so-called RV like those bikes lined up all neat like an Ames room illusion and up the stairs above what was the wine bar "Purple" there's another peaceful roof-top deck to roadmaster as Steve demonstrated when I took a picture so it'd last longer. My last day as a bike messenger I had a beer up there, with fucking Flapjack of all people, contemplating my exit strategy which turned out to be handing in my radio and riding home with no clue to what was next.
I'm just cherry picking here in retrospect because I guess here & now is what was next.
Junior Junior said “dad that’s not a good picture, it’s all blurry”
And I said I think it’s a great picture because it reads 25 loud and clear as any one in the know knows. To the untrained eye the cigar smoke, the leather and the single malt scotch may not be visible in the blurred photo but they’re there so much so I can almost smell them.
As we scrolled through 200 of Andy Voight’s photos from CMWC Seattle 2003 on an old CD we stopped on this one of 39 who as you may know is 25’s cousin. I believe I used this shot for a DANK bags ad in an issue or two of kickstand. Here’s to 18 years going under the bridge, like time was standing still.
Visualize a container ship like the one that was stuck in the Suez Canal holding 20,000 containers, each the size of a semi truck trailer. Within each of those containers are pallets stacked with hundreds and hundreds of cases and cases adding up to multi millions of single use dental floss picks that potential users will floss with then chuck on the ground in and around your place of work, near your home as well as parks, playgrounds and public spaces.
Just another dental pick pic for my next next coffee table book. This one already went out to Dr. 37 Mike as soon as I snapped it amused with the authentic UW colorway. Once again I’d like to remind you how happy I am that Junior Junior has not yet developed an eye for these things in situ like he did for Swisher Sweet wrappers.
In my left hand I hold the Wizard Staff-Hodala-AHTBM calendar, Herb Albert's Whipped Cream & Other Delights on vinyl and finally Soul Asylum’s Clam Dip & Other Delights CD… ...not necessarily in that order. Have I already said this six times before? What day is it? repeatedly repeating repeatedly. Repeat as needed, especially after a few beers.
When I sent these same three photos to Sally way way back in 2020 he responded with “I didn’t have the production budget they had” But I think Sally et al did a fine job. It’s spot-on on April Fools Day.
I have a soft spot for calendars and flipping their pages at the end of the month and the invented idea of the passage of time and what the marketing fucks want you to think about it in the name of selling more greeting cards.
56 years ago today this Herb Albert album was released. When I was a kid my mom had it on vinyl and as for the music I could take it or leave it. Kinda like the soundtrack of a cheesy movie or a polyester clad gameshow montage. But I spent some serious time staring at that cover. Which is why it’s still here today on the wall at HQ.
With more than just a soft spot for Soul Asylum’s contributions to the world. Once again I appreciate the album cover more than the songs contained within. I can’t recall ever listening to it. It’s just another artifact on display in the shop collecting dust and other delights.
with March 27 falling on a Saturday how can you not envision three hundred and twenty seven words about a meandering bike ride with Professor Dave from 20/20 Cycle to Bill’s Off Broadway and all the beers in between?
Round about ten years ago Peter let me ride his Serotta for about 90 seconds as we were both headed toward the bridge after work at the Mad Fiber widget factory. We stopped and traded bikes back there behind Benjamin Hall hall which is spitting distance from where I work today literally everyday. Back then I just rode past it twice a day. Please note how fitting it is in retrospect to see a Serotta rolling on Mad Fiber wheels, as both companies were bought up by the same investment assholes aka Divine Cycling and immediately ploughed into the ground.
On a positive note… Junior was born ten years ago today. it only feels like 30 years ago walking to the hospital with my old lady in labor leaking amniotic fluid in cutoff sweats and a backpack. are you fucking kidding me? nobody walks to the hospital at 11:30pm to have a baby. But she did. we did. I was there. I saw it.
I was a stressed out former bike messenger trapped in the body of a liberal arts major about to be a dad and overthinking everything head down goggles on two pairs of gloves stacked and sweating respirator huffing acetone grinding out carbon fiber and aerosolized aerospace industry adhesives with a dremel tool one hand built wheel at a time it coulda shoulda woulda been helicopter parts or even better toilet flaps for a 747 but they were cool bike wheels. Totally tubular. I quit before there were clinchers in production and UCI approval never arrived.
My only regret from that brief stint is not snagging a wheel or two from the discard pile. I never envisioned riding them on my bar bike or any of my bikes as sew-ups are rather labor intensive and carbon fiber rubs me the wrong way in all kinds of ways. But I wish I had a front wheel for another Duchamp sculpture to spin here at hq. When I see Mad Fiber wheels wash up at Bike Works or on eBayit makes me smile or maybe it’s a smirk.
Junior and Junior Junior helped me reenact something I visualized but never actually happened. Sort of a dramatization of an almost could have been. For about six years I’ve thought about how much easier it would be to wash out silkscreens if we had a deep slop sink. Or how cool it would be to fill a 5 gallon bucket and clean the kegerator with an actual utility sink seven feet away.
Fast forward to a week or so ago when a neighbor down the road got rid of their old utility sink kicking it to the curb with a free sign. I had visions of rolling down the hill with the cargo bike and rolling home with a free new used utility sink. But my old lady beat me to it. She tossed it in the car yesterday and brought it home.
“I heard those guys are dicks” quoting 69, who could use it in any number of ways referring to messengers, civilians even Point 83ers. I most often use the phrase when I encounter armored cars parked wherever the fuck they want. I used it today at 47th & University where an armored car was fucking shit up. Both under my breath and out loud I talk to myself on the bike and crack up like that crazy lady at the bus stop. I used the phrase a few times yesterday as well referring to my coworkers for various reasons that someone sometime can tell you about.
PS: I made it into that little youtube with Flapjack BoBo Treebeard a few years back only because one of my coworkers refused to wear his rain jacket on a sunny day.
in like a lion out like a lambswool sweater in the wash six sizes too small. six of one half-dozen the other even money or as Steve would say “a horse apiece”: call it a wash. the baby and the bathwater too it all comes out in the wash. washed up. washed out. bow down to washing bro. her alibi doesn’t wash. Alki by and by. Lux Sit on this at U-dub they say “let there be light” by George: 1861 - 2021. Stevil said the non drive side shows off the frame but it’s all about the font trademarked & licensed and that purple is Pantone PMS 2218 C and so on and on.
Junior has been creating creations from old CDs (say “see deez”) with paint, string, yarn, fishing line whatever it takes. While digging for more raw materials to repurpose she found a load of Microsoft Office Suite2000 discs and a CDR (say “see dee arr”) from Andy Voight featuring photos from CMWC 2003 as you can see she figured out how to look at the photos with a DVD player (say “dee vee dee” player)
She also found CDRs with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of photos from Chris Murray featuring RAGBRAIs 2005 2006 2007 & 2008. Someday I’ll scroll through those start to finish with a six pack and some classic rock but first I’ll rub some sunscreen in my eyes and wait in line for a breakfast burrito.
One day a little while back I went to the post office and waited in line to mail a tyvek envelope to a friend and near the conclusion of the transaction I asked for some stamps saying do you have any rock stars or politicians? I got George Bush he said. Which one? I asked. The dead one, he said they don’t make stamps of people that are still alive oh and I have JFK too. I’ll take the JFKs I said.
Today I’m sending a postcard to my mom with a JFK forever stamp. That’s 55 cents for first class letter postage. I believe there are postcard stamps too that cost a bit less but I no longer mess with those because I like to send big fat postcards made out of 12 pack packaging or repurposed scraps sillkscreened with cows or chainrings.
On December 29 2020 I mailed a large postcard to Alistair. He received it on March 2 2021. It only had to travel from the 98195 to the 98115 and it got close to him but not quite to him for more than 60 days.
As a post apocalyptic electric assist mailman I get a little behind the scenes look at the delivery process and realize the sequence of events that must fall into place for a scrap of paper to make its way from one person to another. It’s an epic journey with multiple opportunities for human error, stupidity, laziness, dyslexia, oversight, understaffing, sticky fingers, spilled milk, spilled chocolate milk and good old bad luck. It’s amazing anything arrives at all. And that’s on a good day. I won’t even comment on the current USPS situations you’re reading about in the news.
A side note in the realm of plausible deniability as those in the know know: chocolate milk is a euphemism for another beverage that is popular with bicycle delivery people and I’d like to remind all y’all that when you click on some plastic shit to buy on line… some sad sack sucker like me will be schlepping it those final fifty fucking feet to your door. It’s not magic and it’s not all on line and not everyone is able to work from home.
Philately is right up my alley. I’m not a collector just an observer. There’s a guy on my route that pays his bills with checks written on paper inserted into envelopes with stamps that he hopes and wishes will travel via USPS all the way to their destination. I smile and do my part on the first leg of the letter’s long journey. Today that’s rather unusual because as you know there’s an app for that and that and that too. This guy isn’t just old school he’s way way old school and I like that. In 1985 the price of a first class stamp went up to 22 cents and that Joe Jackson song was a throwback jam and this guy must have been sitting on some serious stamps. As you can see he gets to 55 cents one way or another but he takes the long way. Sometimes he brings in a glue stick or scotch tape for extra support and some adhesion. All this speaks to me as a potential Pearl Jam song titled “elderly professor emeritus sitting in his office in the chemical engineering department of a large state university” I’m humming along to it as we speak.
When you say Steel Wheels, the Stones lukewarm 21st studio album released in 1989 comes to mind for a split second. I spend a great deal more time thinking about bombing down a hill on an old bike in the rain rocking 27 inch (630 bsd) steel wheels with no hope of stopping at the red light intersection at the bottom of the hill because my brake pads are 46 years old and my rims are steel so I deploy various Flinstone foot techniques to slow down a bit.
This bike has been on a rack at UW for weeks and weeks. After the bike vultures plucked the brake calipers it has been left alone. This speaks to its level of shittiness. Any bike that still looks like a bike after 24 hours unattended in the 98195 must be a piece of shit. If I was sorting through a dumpster of bike donations at Bike Works, this bike, with its cottered cranks and steel wheels, would go straight from donation to re-donation or heaved into the scrap metal bin.
Someday some facilities dude will tag it as abandoned, then wait a few days and grind off the u-lock. But we might reach herd immunity before then.
The coolest thing about this bike is the presta valve tube oozing out of the schrader-sized hole in the front wheel.
I asked for an Immortal and he said oh no no you can’t order from me as he handed me the laminated card with the QR code...
...all I wanted was a pepsi, actually it was an IPA but I didn’t have the app to scan the code to download the menu to order the beer to pay with a credit card to sit outside of a bar I used to frequent frequently so I said fuck this and went to the corner store for a six pack.
When you say Ford Pinto, I say Mercury Bobcat. Then I’d say rear-end collision, gas tank explosion, litigation and tort reform. Eventually I’d say Dodge Omni, Chevy Vega and finally AMC Gremlin. But the last thing I’d ever think of after you said Pinto, would be bike racing.
Well the official car of the 1971 Tour of California was the Ford Pinto. As you can see, I’m holding the souvenir program in my hand as we speak. It features full-page ads for Shimano components, Raleigh, Gitane and Nishiki bikes. As well as various smaller ads for random bike shops and Phil Wood hubs.
The cover price was $2($2 in 1971 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $12.86 today, an increase of $10.86 over 50 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 3.79% per year between 1971 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 543.15%). I was curious to see if anyone like me is selling one of these on eBay but my 7-second google search turned up very little. However it reminded me to remind you that the guys in this 10 stage, 685 mile race were wearing wool jerseys and reaching down to shift onto one of their 5 cogs in back.
I thought I saw another human but it turned out to be my own reflection in the window of the locked down empty building I was delivering to.
I know I’ve said that before but it bears repeating like a recurring dream or theme or theme song or mantra. barely audible mumbles. repeat as needed. repeated repeatedly. repeating repeatedly. been there. done that. same undular bore six months later under six more layers of clothing. head cheese spread sheet repeat.
I thought I saw another human but it turned out to be my own reflection in the window of the locked down empty building I was delivering to.
Looking at all the layers of clothing piled up on the floor at 5:30 am is so surreal so ridiculous so comical that it can’t be depressing that load of laundry left there last night after one winter day of working as a post apocalyptic electric assist mailman and now I’m putting it all back on. I never really cared which way the Pearl Izumi logos pointed but the fact that 87 still gives that shit his full attention makes me smile as I pull on yet another layer. the logos on my leg warmers are barely legible and they never line up.
to Chemical Engineering I delivered this case of 200 Coffee Mate creamers contained in cute little 11 ml plastic cuppies destined for the landfill sooner and or later. I’d like to think that someone’s up in there doing something chem E related to that corn syrup soybean shit but the truth is it’s going into some crusty old timer's crusty old coffee cup.
pull up a chair and postup somewhere on the coffee-beer continuum but please don’t put that shit in your coffee. sitting in the same seat 12 hours apart once for coffee once for beer once more for coffee and beer like clockwork like. you can set your watch by it kinda like my coffee pot plugged in on top of the kegerator. what time is it? what day is it? same shit different drink. same drink different day. same day different drink. same bench different coozie. same coffee cup but that's not coffee bro.
reminds me of that good old first-stop-in-the-morning-was-your-last-stop-last-night routine. reminds me of a Perkins Coie vs podunk lawyer rush round trip signature coffee story. reminds me always and forever of GBV.
just got home from a Cave Singers show but it was in my basement and I was the only one there so I guess I never left never went anywhere never say never whatever my friend Cat told me about the show so I clicked in and it was good sincerely for real really heavily sponsored on youtube live it was and perhaps someday it will replay so you too can live it live later
for the record I have no recollection of the events in question and without sufficient information I can neither confirm nor deny any allegations. but sincerely for real really I have a pretty good memory and that’s the same coozie different year (2007 & 2021) same coozie much more expensive beer. today's my friday and I can hear Tom Bice saying, “don’t start your weekend too early” after he quotes Loverboy’s Working for the Weekend
a helium filled alien bovine balloon invaded this thrift store t-shirt where the grass isn’t always greener because it’s orange whip? orange whip? three orange whips and no wire hangers bro unless it’s in the silkscreen department of redundancy department where i have 21 black t-shirts and 3 orange ones and that big big 3iron-on was already ironed-on by the previous owner when i hastily ad-hoc’d the orange whips this became my favorite t-shirt but y'all won’t see it anyway until st patricks day because it’s buried under 5 layers of clothing is it raining?
Return of the Fist IPA - "Through the challenging times that we face in our lives we have to dig down deep and find a way to persevere. A way to change and be better. We cannot do this alone and we cannot rely on someone else to do it. The struggles are daily and they are real. Together we can make the change we need. Brewed with SVM Copeland Pale, GW 2-row- and Munich malts. Hopped with Amarillo, Comet, and Cascade. This beer is full bodied with the bitterness to back it up. Notes that are floral, spicy, and citrusy. $1 from every pint will be donated to ACLU. This beer also represents a battle that our owner Rick has been fighting after an accident where he lost two fingers on his right hand. After almost a two year struggle, he can finally make a fist again. Demonstrating what hard work and never giving up can accomplish. So raise a fist, raise a pint, and help us raise money for ACLU. 6.8% 60 IBUs"
This has kinda sorta been my philosophy on clothing as well as bike parts and or bike clothing and bike maintenance too. There’s some trial and error in there and learning from experience. The ensemble or getup I wear to work every day is 90% thrift store scores that have taken a while to accumulate sprinkled with a few key new items. Multiple layers in the winter and dependable things year round. When I was an Elliott Bay Messenger I had a polypro long sleeve baselayer that I wore until the entire back wore out to nothing at all. I ignored the threadbare patches until it just fell apart. I still have a pair of double front tights that I had when I worked downtown over 10 years ago. When I find something that works I wear the shit out of it until I can’t wear it anymore and then I have a hard time finding suitable replacements.
I don't believe you can just walk into REI and purchase the perfect outfit. I'm sure you've seen those that try. Just as you cannot replicate the smell of a messenger. Authenticity is earned.
I’m in the process of ordering my 4th Double Darn cap. I prefer the Hunter Cap in an understated dark thin winter wool which works 9.5 months out of the year here in Seattle. A cotton cap is great for the Seattle summers. My current Double Darn cap has been worn day-in-day-out so much that my helmet has worn a hole in the forehead.
Misia makes a fine cap. She can custom make them too if you have a big head like me. My old lady has a couple Double Darns and Junior Junior and Junior have been through a few too.