today somebody stole my water bottle with my ABC gum stuck in the nozzle. It was on the electric ass bathtub parked outside the Life Sciences Building at 3747 W Stevens Way. I wish I could have seen the person because I would have just laughed in disbelief watching to see what they’d do with the wad of gum.
My kids think it’s disgusting when I save my gum for later if I step inside for a coffee or grab a snack. If the gum has some mileage left, I’ll save it on my water bottle. Which is the best place for it. I’ve set it on my headset top cap in the past. But often, I forget it’s there and it ends up stuck to my shorts.
I grabbed the bottle off my personal bike to finish the day and stage the photo reenactment above.
In the photo below you’ll see my ABC gum in situ on The AVE at Big Time time.
I’m guessing the thief needs that water bottle more than I do. It could be worse. It could always be worse. They could have stolen my favorite coffee cup from the other bottle cage. Fortunately I was holding it inside the building drinking some overpriced coffee. They could have stolen my snot streaked gloves or the $1000.00 electric ass battery.
When I was a messenger nobody ever stole my crusty old water bottles. I did get a half-empty bottle of ginger ale stolen from my bike once when it was locked outside a podunk law office in Pioneer Square. That’s not a euphemism, it was actually ginger ale and I guess the thief saw it as half-full.
Catching a glimpse of clarity. Seeing things in a new light. Peeling back the layers of haze, if only for a moment. So when you go back to what you’ve grown used to over the years you smirk silently to yourself because you know what’s out there, what’s possible. You’ve seen it with clear eyes.
Like taking a squeegee to the Salad bar sneeze guard, schmutzing off all of the all-you-can-eat buffet residual build-up that’s built up for years.
Like extracting cataracts from both eyes.
Like fingering WASH ME into the road grime on the side panel of a FedEx truck in February. What you thought was white is actually really fucking dirty.
Here I am thanking you for this fine copy of Jack Spicer’s posthumous “One Night Stand and Other Poems” (Grey Fox Press, 1980), introductions by Donald Allen and Robert Duncan.
It’s such a rare little bird, I was careful to purify my hands before sliding it out of its clear Mylar sleeve.
I was careful, too, when I turned the pages, but when Jesus began making out his will and Alice in Wonderland went missing from the chessboard, the book had to be restrained from taking flight and flapping its many wings against a window pane.
So now, the front cover is bent back a little like a clam with its shell slightly ajar the way Spicer’s mouth could look sometimes when we would see him at Gino and Carlo or in the park by the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, where he would often sit cross-legged under a shade tree.
There on hot summer afternoons he would suffer the company of young poets if they observed the courtesy of arriving with cold quart bottles of Rainier Ale, as green as the sports section of the paper.
It was a practice that my friend Tom and I and his friend A. B. Cole followed religiously. Spicer even called us “The Jesuits” for he knew where we had gone to school.
To be imperfectly truthful, I was intimidated by his reality— a lonely homosexual adult who dressed funnily in summery shirts and baggy pants, belt buckle to the side, his sad moon-face pocked as the moon itself, and with a name like a medieval vender’s.
He would talk about poetics, of which we knew nothing, and about the other Berkeley poets, but we poetry juniors felt more at home when he talked about Willie McCovey and we would be on to another still cold quart.
Then a forceful wind came off the Bay and blew Jack Spicer away, found a year later at 40 on the floor of an elevator going neither up nor down.
Later still, Tom would be blown over a golden bridge, his soft inner arm full of holes, and I sadly lost track of the sardonic Andy Cole.
And here I still remain, more than twice Spicer’s final age, rolling through the pages of his little book,
listening to his bewildering birds, and watching Beauty walk, not like a lake but among the coffee cups and soup tureens,
causing me to open my hands and allow this green aeronaut of paper to lift off and fly around my yellow house and beat its wings against glass as the thrilling sky continues to change slowly from blue to black then, miraculously, back to blue once more.
put a fresh key leash into rotation today because Stevil brought it to my attention this morning. Check out how crisp & clean & pristine it is.
I’ve used more than a few of these for so long that the cute little AHTBM dog tag gets beaten beyond belief. Like the rabies tag on a chocolate lab's collar. Locking and unlocking the cafe lock on the electric ass bathtub countless times per day — Monday through Friday.
A touch of heat-shrink tubing does wonders for the durability and longevity. I know you know I know.
Sitting around Kozmo base in the heart of Capitol Hill in 1999, watching DVDs for hours and hours and eating day-old Cougar Mountain cookies or loitering in the parking lot watching coworkers bring bike polo back… …the rest is history, and industry.
As seen in the Museum of History and Industry MOHAI I did a brief stint at Kozmo.com between tours at WA Legal. It didn’t last long because I got tired of sitting around doing nothing. I can confidently say I played bike polo once for about 3 minutes and that was more than enough for me.
Yesterday Junior Junior took me to the museum and I stumbled upon this little cube of history containing a mallet and a ball and that photo of Messenger and Mobius. Later I found Irving and Bryce taken out of context. I find it comical to see these cataloged as historic artifacts in such a stale-sterile-academic way.
On the way home I pointed out to Junior Junior that not one of the buildings on Fairview Avenue North existed when I was a bike messenger. That whole zipcode is now a new fangled mishmash of tech bros and shiny tall buildings.
In the late 90s Elliott Bay Messenger Company was at 411 Fairview North, inside a shitty old warehouse in a neighborhood full of shitty old warehouses. A few years later the CMWC came to town and fit right in.
Junior Junior didn’t really care about my phantom nostalgia episode.
Smells like six days into a 9-day weekend. Looks like Captain Junior Junior on the bow of a boat washed up on the Chehalis River just this side of where the Wishkah spits out and chimes in. I’d like to think it’s the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah. It’s close, close enough. Not very close to Point No Point, but I like the name and the chance to use it in a sentence. It reminds me of the band from Tacoma more than the Kitsap Peninsula.
got my hands on this postcard yesterday. Or perhaps I should say this postcard made its way into my hands yesterday after traveling through the old school campus mail system all the way from the Medicinal Herb Garden and back to the MotherShip via electric ass bathtub.
A postcard can make your day, so they say. A postcard reaches corners of your brain that an email or a text message cannot. I like this card for several reasons. The other side features some Kenneth Patchen words and a bird. This side has some fine words too. But my favorite feature is the bicycle with wheels made from an old postmark and canceled stamp.
got my hands on this postcard today. Or perhaps I should say this postcard made its way into my hands today after traveling through the old school USPS system all the way from Bellingham to Rainier Beach. This postcard brings me joy as it’s 100% original artwork front and back from an artist I know and you might know him too.
Sunday morning I paid a visit to a thrift store and stumbled upon a slim pleather portfolio in pristine condition. It caught my eye only because it said INTERBIKE 1993 on the cover. Inside was an untouched pad of lined paper and this neatly typed symposium agenda taking place in boring Ballroom A of the Las Vegas Hilton on the Tuesday before the real action started Wednesday or the Tuesday after everyone left town hungover. I have no use for a pleather portfolio but I snapped a photo of the agenda to take a closer look later.
Today I learned that Interbike moved to Vegas in 1993 from its usual spot in Anaheim. I believe if anyone we know was there in Vegas in 93, it’s Mr. Ric Hjertberg. Perhaps he even attended this symposium. I plan to ask him.
Looking back through my mental W-2 archives to 9/21/93... ...I was living in Bellingham and commuting to work at Casa Que Pasa on a GT Continuum, with absolutely no knowledge of or interest in the bike industry. Oblivious. Unaware that my bike was rolling 700D tires. Unaware of the difference between 700C and 700D. Unaware of the strategy behind the decision to mass produce a bike with 700D wheels in 1991. 700D with a 583 bsd never caught on. While 650B with a 584 bsd gained some popularity as well as some 27.5" marketing horseshit.
Looking at this agenda. The only thing I’d be interested in is Thomas Albers of TREK bicycles talking “A view of the bicycle market in the year 2000” It makes me smile to imagine looking forward 7 years in the bike industry while looking back at 30 years in the bike industry. After a 90 minute lunch break I’d have a very short attention span for stale talk of China… NAFTA… and Canada. I’d probably be in the Hilton Bar instead of Ballroom A until the reception started at 5.
This is not the handlebar I happened to have sitting around. This is a klunker bar. A belated Christmas present. At MSRP it’s about twice as much as I paid for the complete RockHopper at BikeWorks when Obama was in the whitehouse.
This bike has been built up like this for years with 3 or 4 or 5 different handlebars. None of them felt quite right. Kinda halfass with what happened to be sitting around. The klunker bar pulls it all together. It just feels right. Heavier than all get out. A metric shit ton of steel. It's a 1991 RockHopper bro.
I’d like to draw your attention to the $5 price scrawled by Andy Voight on the best brake levers in the world.
Not that I’ve ridden it much. But a brief Saturday morning spin in the rain was enough to feel that feel. The just-right-feeling feel. So anxious to get out and ride it, my left grip slipped off when I dropped the curb. A true test ride rookie mistake. I didn’t crash but it kinda woke me up. I will get the grips to grip before I really ride the shit out of it.
I shimmed out the 25.4 clamp diameter into a SUL Salsa stem with a strip of aluminum cut from a Warchild can. Why Warchild you ask. Because that’s the beer I was drinking at the moment so I sliced up a shim with a fresh IPA residue on it leaving just a hint of a millimeter peeking out so I know that you know that I know that you know I shimmed it out with a beer can.
It takes a lot to get me to wrench on a bike these days. It takes something special to get me to scrape up enough giveashits on a Friday night after a week of commuting to work in the winter and working in the vicinity of bicycles for 40 hours to want to wrench on my bike. But I dove into this klunker last night wearing my new Free Range shirt.