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Jason McDowell is also known as Little Tiny Fish. He is the Creative Director for OnMilwaukee. Occasionally he freelances. Mostly he rides bikes.

littletinyfish.com is not a cohesive blog, but a repository of musings on an assortment of topics, such as design, art, cycling, Milwaukee, and other personal experiences.

Every year since the very first Riverwest 24 in 2008, the team has introduced a new tattoo design that bestows 5 bonus laps onto ride participants. The designs have ranged from cool to tacky and upon first glance they’re almost always questionable. The quality of line varies tremendously, but that’s arguably either the aesthetic or not really the point.

In my eight-year history with the race I’ve been too picky about the designs and have so far only gotten one tattoo, but it’s clear that, taken as a whole, you can’t really wait until “next year” for “the good design;” they’re all going to be bad. Regardless, no matter which one(s) you get, you won’t regret any one of them. Continue reading ›

I fell out of love with reading a while ago because I felt like I didn’t have time to make it happen. I also live a very busy, extremely distracted life, and as a result I couldn’t find the peace to escape into a fictional world. Then podcasts started to become popular and I became a voracious listener. Audible, an audio-book service, advertised frequently on those shows: The usual hook was, if I was such a fan of podcasts, surely I could get into audiobooks.

In the few years since I’ve had a subscription, this has mostly been true. Listening to audiobooks is a different experience than listening to podcasts, though. Podcasts are more conversational, while audiobooks require more attention to the plot.

I also found it hard to get back into reading/listening because I had been out of that world for so long. Is this book good because there is a movie based on it? Or does that mean it’s bad? Is this book good because it’s highly rated? Or does that mean it’s too popular to be good? Is this recommendation right for me?

Between being too distracted and paying attention to the wrong recommendations, my first few books were at a loss. But after some amount of time I feel like I’ve figured out the right rhythm, because I’ve immensely enjoyed the following three books. Continue reading ›

At the end of the year I lamented that I didn’t feel like I got on my bike enough in 2013. I clocked in a total of 3,184.38 miles, which was exactly 1,815.62 miles less than last 2012 (in which I went out on New Year’s Eve to cap off precisely 5,000 miles).

I’m not a person who makes resolutions (or rather, I don’t make resolutions on only one day out of the year), but my brother suggested I attempt to circumnavigate the moon by bike.

6,784 miles around the moon / 365 days in the year = 18.59 miles a day, which is over twice my average commute. Considering that takes about 15 minutes, this seems rather do-able.

Even if I don’t make it all the way around the moon, hopping from crater to crater seems like a fun challenge for anyone. Plus, maybe there’s a chance to learn something, too. Continue reading ›

I got a chance to try out the Slipnot Bicycle Tire Chain system. The results were a mixed bag. Ultimately they were overkill for my use cases, but I could imagine situations in which they could prove to be useful. I’ll run through the pros and cons below.

Continue reading ›

It’s Halloween, so that means my “Flower Bomber” costume from four years ago has found renewed interest. This year’s excitement has been an interview with PBS NewsHour as well as being declared “brilliant” by Buzzfeed (take that for what you will).The reason I’m finally writing something about the costume is that it’s clear that it has become “a thing” and may it be the thing that I am most known for around the world, so I should probably give it some context. It’s been sitting in my Flickr feed for four years without much explanation. Another reason is that my image was also used by Buzzfeed without attributing the source.* The excuse is often “well, you know how the internet is.” The virality of photos and the ease of losing the attribution across the vast Tumblr sea is a problem, but when the Google search is as simple as “Banksy costume” you have to wonder how much effort-to-dollar ratio sites like Buzzfeed are expending. This should hopefully ease the burden of the next wannabe listicle outlet (I’m looking at you, TheChive).

PBS NewsHour and, more specifically, Victoria Fleischer were a classy outlet. They contacted me about the photo, asked me some questions and let me know when the article was posted. Good folks. They left 80% of the interview on the cutting room floor, so I’m just going to post the rest of it here.

Continue reading ›