When I was a kid my mom took us in a ‘71 Monte Carlo on a road trip to Seattle and then all the way up into British Columbia almost to Alaska and back down and around. Stopping along the way in various hotels and restaurants. I was fond of collecting sugar packets from one and depositing them in another. Taking them out of context and putting them back in somewhere else down the road.
I’m still a big fan of repurposing things retrofitting or flipping it sideways and making an end table out of it. I like road signs in living rooms. I like collections of toaster ovens in surplus piles. I like to make artwork from hundreds of discarded bike computers. I really like free piles on the side of the road and I like to shop in thrift stores.
The other Saturday I saw this shirt hanging in a thrift store. It was already placed on the end of the rack which is the only reason I noticed it.
The only thing cooler than that is spotting a shirt that I made moving around on a complete stranger.
wearing layers when it’s cooler outside and as the day or activity warmed up he’d shed a layer or two then add one as needed.
Layer upon layer of black. He’d step into an elevator dressed in black and take off two layers before the mezzanine exiting still all in black. Like a birthday party clown trick. He kept taking off layers and no matter how you sliced it he was dressed in black.
Did you hear the one about the former bike messenger
Now a crusty commuter he still dresses in layers some of them black rolling into work and at work he’s sporting branded apparel approved by the trademarks and licensing office some of it black rolling around on an electric assist cargo bike provided by the large government-run organization. On cooler rainy days he may have up to 4 layers on and he can still do the birthday party clown trick shedding one or two and they keep coming up with that W on the left breast.
Did you hear the one about the Uber driver
That stopped in the middle of a 4-way stop intersection effectively blocking all traffic without a hint of a warning to unload passengers from 3 doors
It was a disgusting example of where we are today
A conservatively dressed older woman on an E-Lime bike bombed through the gridlock at full speed downhill slicing in and out of it all like a seasoned pro messenger. She completely owned it. And that made me smile and feel a just a little bit better about where we are.
Playing a little rugby at the finest liberal arts school in the country I sang that song with beer in hand while earning an anthropology degree to be put to use immediately in the food service industry then later used as a bike messenger later still at a small carbon fiber wheel manufacturer housed in an old Wallingford bakery heavily influenced by the aerospace industry followed soon after by a small nonprofit community bike shop in an old house in Columbia City.
I used to work in Chicago in an old department store.
I used to work at Mad Fiber I don’t work there anymore.
I used to work at Bike Works I don't work there anymore.
Yesterday Steve sent me this visual of a recent donation at Bike Works maybe you saw it on instagram like 18 hours ago but it brings back memories of sitting on a stool in a windowless room with semiadequate ventilation hunched over a Mad Fiber wheel that looked exactly like the last wheel and exactly like the next wheel grinding away with a dremel tool in hand wearing two pairs of gloves goggles ear protection and a respirator huffing acetone and carbon dust for 8 hours a day.
There's a very good chance that I bonded those spokes to those hub shells and or ground out the valve hole and cleaned up the over flowing super duper super glue and then wiped it all down with a shop rag drenched in acetone.
the other Tuesday I picked up a rather large box out in the 98115 and to bring it back into 98195 I used two long bungee cords to strap it on top of the cargo box. Rolling south I visualzed wind tunnel testing a cargo bike with a stack of boxes on top and it felt like this
finally, in conclusion, because I'm into product placement, brand recognition, consumer loyalty and buying locally I'd like to draw your attention to that slow boat water bottle from the Slow Boat Tavern in the heart of Hilman City.
Darwin was desperate for proof that animals wept. It wasn’t enough that houseflies hum in the key of F or that Dall sheep keep lifelong their horns, adding like trees a ring each year. Darwin wanted tears.
Being the only species that weeps was lonely, thought Darwin, dreaming of manic animals. No, it wasn’t enough that honey bees can count to four. Darwin wanted more.
Or less. Confess it— the reason why humans cry is the mess they fashion in comparison to the paradise they can imagine. Animals, if they imagine, must be less distressed by the severity of the disparity. Or maybe they have less disparity. Or less mess.
As to why Darwin hoped that animals cry we can only guess— which is a form of imagining, and could lead to the emergence of tears. Instead let us hum in the key of F and count to four or more. Or less, and know the aurora borealis as glimpsed through the fretwork of a construction crane is a metaphor for our brain and also an analogy for why we cry, all the while— like Darwin— humming against the immensity.
I read this on the Sheena Easton train printed on the acid-free archival-quality paper of The Threepenny Review and it changed my day