09 November 2019

Let's make a Cooziecage™

Click images to embiggen
For about a year now, a few friends and I have been beta-testing several different iterations of the Cooziecage™, an on-bike beer-transport system that I'm pretty sure I invented.  

Based on our extensive research, I can report: so far, so good. We have enjoyed many a lovely bevvie together whilst sitting atop big rocks, blown-down trees, in grassy meadows, and on snow-covered stumps way out in the woods.   Turns out, this is a thing almost everyone likes to do.  

I sincerely hope the totally free, public domain, how-to-make-a-Cooziecage instructions below make this crazy world we live in a slightly better place, one bike ride and one beer at a time.

乾杯!




Thanks, Cooziecage
I like beer!  Do you like beer?  I think bikes and beers go well together.

If you do too, you should make a Cooziecage™ to take a beer with you on your next ride! Why wait until your ride is over to enjoy a lovely beverage? With a Cooziecage™ attached to your bike you'll be able to conveniently crack open one of your favorite brewskis the next time you get to the top of your route.  Just imagine how refreshing that will be!

DISCLAIMER: If you choose to use a Cooziecage™ to drink-and-ride, please do so responsibly.

What you'll need:

TIME:

  • approximately 5-10 minutes
PARTS:
  • One (1) plastic Cateye BC100 bottlecage. NOTE: Cateye BC100 cages are no longer being manufactured, so if you don't have an old one in your parts stash, you can always find them on eBay. WARNING: Other models/brands of vintage plastic bottlecages may fail to optimally retain beer at-speed and should be used only at your own risk
  • One (1) neoprene coozie of your choice
  • A couple (2) washers
  • Two (2) small rivets
  • One (1) beer of your choice
TOOLS:
  • A drill
  • A Sharpie pen
  • A hole-punch
  • A small sharp pokey thing

Step 1:

Put the coozie in the cage and mark the bolt holes.


Step 2:

Use the hole punch to open the neoprene enough that you can get a bolt through each hole.  You need not remove the entire punch.

Step 3:
Put the coozie into the cage along with the washers and the bolts and install on the seat-tube of your bike. Don't forget to regrease your threads!

Step 4:
With your drill and a small bit, make two holes, one on each side of the cage, near the corners of the top rim.  The hole should be just big enough to allow your un-popped rivet to fit through snugly.

Step 5:
Stick your sharp pokey thing through each hole and then through the neoprene.

Step 6:
Install a small rivet through each hole in the neoprene and the cage so the flat side of the rivet faces in and pop it permanently into place with your gun.

Step 7:
Insert one (1) standard 12-ounce beer of your choice into your brand-new, hand-made Cooziecage™ and go ride and drink a beer! WARNING: Your beer may very likely be a little bit to quite a lot or even very very shook-up when you open it, depending on what sort of ride you've taken it on.  Be advised!  Similarly, if you've been riding in muddy or dusty conditions, you may find that your beer is covered in such materials, flotsam, jetsam, and the like, as you've encountered during your ride.  Some Cooziecage™ users prefer to all their beer to self-clean if this is the case, by opening it quickly and blowing off the ensuing head.  Others choose to initially insert the beer upside-down for transport, thereby keeping the top cleaner by shielding it within the Cooziecage™ itself.  Up to you. There's no wrong way to use your new Cooziecage™.  The point is to use it.

Step 8:
When you're done, don't crush your empty can!  Simply reinsert it into your Cooziecage™, haul it out and recycle it at home.

Cooziecage™ Stats:
As-built weight: about 42 grams
Weight when loaded with one (1) standard 12-ounce can of lager-type beer: about 382 grams
Weight when loaded with one (1) standard empty aluminum can: about 56 grams

*Please note: The Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license applies to these instructions.

07 August 2019

past summer

This past summer was filled with good music, good rides, good books, good dogs, and, most especially, a whole bunch of really, really good people.

















03 May 2019

adiós buen invierno

A winter Eden...
...lifts existence on a plane of snow
One level higher than the earth below,
One level nearer heaven overhead
- Robert Frost





















01 May 2019

Archival footage: Request for reassignment


It has been one year to the day, give-or-take, since I sent the email reprinted below to my school district's superintendent after a "long dark night of the soul," asking to be released from my job as an elementary school principal, a job that I did not seek or apply to, but rather was quite unceremoniously drafted into. I nevertheless worked hard at the job of school principal (as hard as I've truthfully ever worked at anything) for seven school years, each one filled with its own special sort of arduous labor, and replete with seemingly unending rancor and contention.

Being granted a reprieve from this work was followed by an immediate and confirming sense of relief which has not abated in nearly a year.  Unequivocally, I was never meant to be a school leader.  I am a teacher by training and teaching children remains the principle domain of my heart.  On one of my last days in office, I wrote these words to the faculty and staff of the school I struggled to shepherd adequately for years,"[W]e all know, I was really only ever the interim principal [here], holding a spot between [the principal I succeeded] and the next "guy" while trying not to break the place in the meantime.  I'm glad we've come to a point where I can step away, confident in knowing that I really did work super hard everyday to do my best by [this school] while you needed me to, to return to a role that's far less contentious and much more in line with what I feel I've actually been called to do with my life: teach."

Looking back today, on the first anniversary of this thoroughly consequential, life-changing decision, having now spent the better part of a full year back in the classroom contentedly teaching fifth grade as I did for so many years before entering the principal's office, and despite the nearly 40% reduction in salary I incurred, I nonetheless still feel only an abiding sense of well-being in my soul about all these things, which confirms to me that stepping down as principal shall forever be charted among the best decisions of my life.

---

Dear Superintendent,

This is not my letter of resignation.  Put quite simply, I cannot afford for it to be such at this time, nor do I desire in any way to ultimately sever my 25-year working relationship with our school district.  But my heart is heavy, and has grown increasingly so of late. And, as I now find myself propelled once again toward another sleepless night wrestling with my thoughts, I hope instead to use this moment of sound-minded wakefulness to make a simple and sincere appeal to you in an email this morning.  The hour is late, so I will try my best to be brief.

After much deliberation, having spent the last seven years in the principal's office, I can say with great confidence: I no longer can endure this work.  When first I was drafted out of our teacher corps as our school's interim principal, it was to fill an unanticipated gap in leadership that was, in the near term, likely to be unable to be filled.  When, sometime later, I was officially appointed to the role by the superintendent and the board, it was with just one objective in mind: to lead until I felt my leadership was no longer tenable or of benefit to the school's community.  I feel I have arrived at this point, that this school has surpassed its need to be lead by me, that it both craves and deserves new vital leadership.  In view of this realization, I would like to step down at the end of my contract in June.  Pragmatically and financially speaking, however, I am not willing, nor am I able, to proffer my resignation from the school district at this time.  It is, in fact, in no way my my desire to do so.  Public school teaching is undeniably my life's calling, a pursuit to which I happily dedicated the first 18 years of my career, and I feel I still have many meaningful contributions to make in this regard.

I am aware that, in the past, district superintendents have provided assistance in reassigning similarly exhausted principals to currently vacant teaching positions for which they were qualified within other district schools.  I would like to appeal for this sort of assistance and consideration to you at this time: Please allow me to gracefully leave my work as a principal but retain my longstanding relationship with the distrit by reassigning me to a teaching position within the greater district school community.  I have truly enjoyed working with all of my administrative cohorts over the years and am confident when I tell you, I would be happy to work for any of them in the future... and that, given all that I have encountered and overcome during seven years in the principal's office, I am likely to be a reformed and exemplary classroom teacher going forward. I will happily take on any new classroom teaching role in the district, in any building in the district, if you are willing to grant me this request.

It has been my great honor to serve as the principal at this school since 2011, and likewise to work as a teacher in our district since 1993.  I do not wish in any way to sever my relationship with the district at this time, nonetheless, I hope you will carefully consider my appeal and allow me to be reassigned into a teaching role beginning at the onset of the 2018-2019 school year.

Thank you.

04 February 2018