Monthly Archives: July 2014

Overt Ghost

Overt Ghost

Photo: Don Wallingford – Burke-Gillman trail near UW campus headed to Ballard. Note the New Mystics Art Da$h for Cash poster creeping like a ghost in the background…

In Response to the Drunken Boot

of life lived here walking in the streets of the neighborhoods, the paths undiscovered and those well trod alike awash in memories of former selves and past lives to be remembered with shocking clarity or emotional trace, I am often the graveyard ghost haunting my present…

Don Wallingford

We have two American flags always: one for the rich and one for the poor. When the rich fly it means that things are under control; when the poor fly it means danger, revolution, anarchy.

Henry Miller

Gear Shakedown: Dank Bags Backpack

Dank Bags backpack

With tons of room, straps and carry options, this is clearly the best bike equipage I’ve ever owned. Note the reflective strip on the right back pocket – visibility A+.

Dank Bags is Seattle based company specializing in messenger bags, tool rolls, coozies and other bike based accessories. I gotta say – many of the homies who are working messengers have been rockin these bags for years, so when Harpo commissioned one for my birthday I was stoked, having heard so many positive reviews. Now, after a month with it on the bike, I can confirm that the hype is justified – the Dank Bags backpack is the best bike bag I’ve owned.

Sholder straps & holster

The extra cushy shoulder straps are a lifesaver. Also note the grab handle, and load lifters (which seem excessive, but I didn’t realize how much I needed them before they were there). I also ordered a phone holster – which Corey customized with velvet & secret interior camo…

As an urban cyclist, choosing you equipage is an intimate experience… you form relationships with bags you use everyday, through thick and thin and the occasional downpour (ok – through 8 months of rain, lets be honest, it’s Seattle).

Over the years I’ve had meaningful relationships with a number of different messenger bags; a Timbukt2 purchased at REI in 1994 (actually probably my shortest relationship – this one didn’t have much to offer), an REI single strap triangle bag (mountain biking 1995-2000), a RELoad single strap bag (2004-09, traded for a painting at the Seattle shop while it was open), a Bailey Works single strap bag (2009-12, a messenger hand-me-down), and most recently, an Ortlieb Velocity backpack (2009-24). I’ve loved all of these bags for different reasons – some for their versatility (the BailyWorks), some for being lightweight (the Ortlieb – also highly visible, in shock yellow) and some for their sheer carrying capacity (the RELoad, with the extension strap, would carry six 30″x40″ silkscreens) but overall the Dank Bags backpack is king.

Many people prefer panniers or trailers for carrying cargo, thinking that it’s better to keep the weight on the bike. I prefer to carry my biz on my back – it keeps the handling of the bike nimble and allows me to split lanes and cut narrow gaps with confidence, and climbing the ever present Seattle hills seems easier. I’m also an artist and find myself carrying oddly shaped cargo than might not fit conventional pannier, and I don’t really want to hook up my BOB trailer downtown… it makes riding in traffic difficult, and is a sure target for thieves if you leave it out on the sidewalk. So although I don’t always like carrying 40# on my back, the Dank bag makes the best of a bad situation with superbly cushioned straps, pack lifters (which I never even knew I needed) and a full frame sheet which keeps the cargo from digging into your back while stabilizing the pack shape. With the absolutely brilliant double length velcro straps for the main flap, the built in extender straps, the side compression straps, and the possibility of adding an additional extender strap the carry options are virtually unlimited. This pack will fit 3 30″x40″ silkscreens, gallons of paint, 30 cans of spraypaint, a 18″x24″ sketchbook – all together if you really gotta get it in one trip.

Dank main flap detail

The extendo velcro straps are brilliant – the velcro doubles back on itself and can be unfolded to double the strap length, which gives more options to secure the main compartment flap.

The number of interior pockets and their organization is staggering – it’s actually a bit frightening, because I’m worried I’m going to lose something if I don’t set up an organizational system. There’s an interior document pocket which will easily hold a 11×17 doc or a sketchbook flat against the frame sheet, and keep it dry with your groceries in the main pocket. The extra large interior pocket is lined with light grey to make finding object easy (the black interior lining with the RELoad was my main gripe – it was a total black hole) and will fit 2 bankers’ boxes or a case of rosé with ease. The two large exterior pockets have velcro closure, each pocket sports 2 slash pockets perfect for organizing a notebook, pens, a lighter, wallet or other personals you want to keep out of the cargo zone. It’s also great for tools and other specific items you want fast when you need them, but otherwise out of the way…

Front velcro closure pockets

The front closure velcro pockets have ample room for personal effects, and two slash pockets which work great for organizing a notebook, pens, wallet, weed pipe, pint of whisky and other necessities..

The construction of the bag is also bulletproof. Other bags I’ve owned (the BailyWorks, RELoad) have exhibited similar high standards of manufacture, but I think in terms of attention to detail, economy of design and overall thoughtfulness Cory’s bag come out on top. And it always feels good to support a small local producer – these bags are made in downtown Seattle in a shop he shares with Mobius Cycles in an alley off of 1st Ave.

That said, this bag is not light (6# unloaded, almost 9# with tools, a spare tube, notebook &pens) and not cheap at $280, plus the $20 for the phone holster. But as custom luggage goes, it’s worth every cent. I ride every day, and will use this bag every day for the next 5 years minimum – until it looks way less fresh pressed than it does right now. With the full Cordura construction, heavy strap material and velcro, and solid feeling hardware I feel like I can load it up with whatever without worry. Thanks Dank for making awesome bags… I look forward to having a long relationship with this one…

Dank interior

Note the large document pocket – easily big enough to separate a a file folder or 11×17 print – and keep it flat against the plastic pack last, while keeping my receipts dry. And the interior pocket easily accommodates 2 bottles or rosé, a 6 of cider tallcans, and groceries for dinner…

 

To revolt is a natural tendency of life. Even a worm turns against the foot that crushes it. In general, the vitality and relative dignity of an animal can be measured by the intensity of its instinct to revolt.

Mikhail Bakunin

If I were asked to answer the following question: What is slavery? and I should answer in one word, It is murder, my meaning would be understood at once. No extended argument would be required to show that the power to take from a man his thought, his will, his personality, is a power of life and death; and that to enslave a man is to kill him. Why, then, to this other question: What is property! may I not likewise answer, It is robbery, without the certainty of being misunderstood; the second proposition being no other than a transformation of the first?

– Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

Mailbox Peak

Memorial

This memorial was new since last we visited the peak…

Mailbox Peak
Distance: 6 miles

Elevation Gain: 3821 Feet
Date: July 19, 2014
Hikers: Harpo, Groucho
Duration: 5 hours

Groucho sez –

Harpo and I went out for a quickie – forgetting that no matter how fast you want to go, this hike will always pencil out to about a mile a hour, unless you want to run it. Regardless, the rigor is always fun especially when you’re hung-over from your friend’s film premier the night before and went to bed with the spins…

Mailbox was busy as ever with athletic bodies aspiring to conquer, well, something… but we conversed with a number of friendly and enthusiastic folks. We also left a couple of trophies in the box… gold stars for all who make it to the top. There wasn’t really a view – actually visibility was about 15 feet above the treeline – but the wildflowers were out in force, including the alpine lilies and desert paintbrush.

Treasure

We left a couple of airplane bottles (spraypainted gold, of course) and a couple of the new H+G pins as trophies for the intrepid souls who brave the elevation gain.

Desert Paintbrush

The wildflowers were out in force, even if the cascading horizons, normally the highlight of this trip, were absent.

Other Trees

A little scrap of sunshine on an otherwise overcast day…

Panorama

The views at the top were amazing…

On Working … Saint Genet

Photo by Dan Hawkins

Alan, Darren Dewse, Jessie Smith, Matt Drews, Thomas Vincent Chapel and Harpo-mane. Photo by Dan Hawkins.

Grouchy sez –

We all gots to work sometime, I guess…

Harpo & I are happy to be settling back in to Seattle, and taking a bit of a break, after a long stretch of working really, really hard. In addition to our other freelance gigs we just finished an engagement with Saint Genet, the experimental theatre/performance art company we work with. Harpo works as the company manager – basically the director’s right hand, and Groucho works as an art director and graphic designer – we also both perform in the show and serve additional roles like communications director, prop master, war chief, and therapist.

Photo by Dan Hawkins

Alan emerges from the grave where he’s been buried alive for up to 4 hours…
Photo by Dan Hawkins.

We presented Paradisiacal Rites at the Luminato Festival in Toronto, which was a great adventure when we had moments to escape the black box (which in this case was the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art – who were awesome). Toronto had great raw/vegan food, and lots of it close to the MoCCA, which was awesome because apparently experimental theatre requires 18 hours a day to make… and really good snacks. You know you’re doing good work when at least one person hates it… on the on the other hand it’s nice when somebody likes it, too. It was also an opportunity to put in time with homies who didn’t travel with us, but are still integral to the process, like Casey Curran, Dan Hawkins and our friends at Publicide.

Overall, it’s great to work with the body politic which is Saint Genet – a crew of talented, kind, and beautiful folk. The 6 months of budget meetings, work parties, and endless 4 hour rehearsals were a pleasure to share with you all… and thank god that’s over.

Photo by Dan Hawkins

King James in the installation part of the Paradisiacal Rites show – a four hour excursive exercise in suffering?
Photo by Dan Hawkins

“The real enemy” is the totality of physical and mental constraints by which capital, or class society, or statism, or the society of the spectacle expropriates everyday life, the time of our lives. The real enemy is not an object apart from life. It is the organization of life by powers detached from it and turned against it. The apparatus, not its personnel, is the real enemy. But it is by and through the apparatchiks and everyone else participating in the system that domination and deception are made manifest. The totality is the organization of all against each and each against all. It includes all the policemen, all the social workers, all the office workers, all the nuns, all the op-ed columnists, all the drug kingpins from Medellin to Upjohn, all the syndicalists and all the situationists.

― Bob BlackThe Abolition of Work & Other Essays

Names Are Like Jewelry…

H&G buttons
We printed these buttons at VERA Project for our Field Studies project coming up this Sunday… they are 1″ buttons printed with transparent white on a 2004 W magazine I found in the bin with the button maker at VERA, EDITION of 99. Iz nice how each one is individual… that’s some hippy ish right there. It’s nice we have a local button making store too.. when I stopped by I realized they have pinball and beer, a new development since the last time I was there.