The mutt, having micturated, moves on

OK, so I didn’t tackle the software update. So sue me. After spending the morning IM-wrestling with tech support, an experience for which “Brazil” only partially prepared me, I decided I was approaching this whole site-repair thing from the wrong angle.

So instead of risking the destruction of two years’ worth of irreplaceable snark, venom and lunacy, I exported this WordPress v2.6 blog you’re reading as an XML file and imported it into my free backup site, maddogmedia.wordpress.com. It took a couple tries, but I think all my priceless words, pix, videos and podcasts survived the trip across the virtual pond. (Incidentally, they are priceless only in the sense that they were all done for free.)

Now, with the FreeDog site ticking along nicely, and the PayDog site’s tables and other data backed up elsewhere, I can spend a little time trying to scratch the fleas off this verminous virtual hound. I may double-post, both here and there, until the dust settles, but I wouldn’t count on it. Sometimes even mono-posting is beyond me.

So bookmark maddogmedia.wordpress.com, ’cause I think I’m going to be doing most of my raving over there for a while. And feel free to leave your critiques in comments. It remains very much a work in progress.

Don’t touch that dial … unless

OK, boys and girls, we’re gonna try a software update bright and early tomorrow morning, see if we can flush a few of the gremlins out of this here WordPress blog, which lately seems to demand optimization and/or repair of its tables on a disturbingly regular basis.

If worse comes to worst, you can get a terminal dose of profanity sometime tomorrow at the backup DogS(h)ite, maddogmedia.wordpress.com. The original site, maddogmedia.com, will be unaffected as well. Bookmark both those bad boys. My faith in the upgrade process is matched only by my respect for the Democratic Party.

Farking iceholes

Yay! We’ve had our first multivehicle pileup of the winter driving season.

It wasn’t especially massive — only 34 vehicles, including four semis, and 12 people hospitalized, just two of them in serious condition. Still, way to go, guys. Keep speeding and hugging that bumper in front of you, regardless of road and weather conditions. Hell ain’t half full.

Monday is ordinarily one of Herself’s days in the Denver office, so I had to ring her up to make sure she wasn’t dead in a ditch somewhere. Happily, she wasn’t. It took me 36 years to get her installed, and I’m not looking forward to auditioning any replacements.

Here’s mud in your eye

Judas Priest. Today’s Superprestige cyclo-cross in Hamme-Zogge looked like a cross-country run through an open sewer in Hell.

If you missed the live streaming video, you can catch an edited recap at the series website. It’s worth watching, believe me. One of the running sections took a minute-fifteen to cover, and there was more than one running bit. Eight-and-a-half-minute laps. Filth everywhere. My kind of race.

World champ Zdenek Stybar looked like someone had stuffed him head-first down a septic tank, and Niels Albert wore a pained, muck-slathered expression that said, “Fuck this noise, I’m going to get a job in a nice dry factory somewhere.”

• Late update: Katie Compton and Tim Johnson both crushed it today in Fort Fun. It looked like a fun course, a little tackier than yesterday’s, which you’d think would favor a powerful dude like Ryan Trebon, as it clearly did KfC. But after a fast start the big guy popped like a nickel rubber and that was all she wrote. Meanwhile, Todd Wells screwed the pooch while bunny-hopping a barrier and was hauled away on a stretcher, which is rarely a fun way to leave a race. You get to be an old duffer like me, you git off an’ run them sumbitches.

Hey diddle diddle, there goes the middle

Miss Mia Sopaipilla contemplates a dreary future.

Miss Mia Sopaipilla contemplates a dreary future.

Some of those tasty middle-class gigs that went away during The Great Recession aren’t coming back, says Kevin G. Hall at McClatchy.

It’s not exactly news — the author of the report cited, MIT economist David Autor, says the trend has been under way for more than a decade. But it got worse during the latest installment of hard times, with zero job growth for professionals and an 8 percent decline in office and administrative employment.

But wait, there’s more! Writes Hall: “This loss of middle-skill jobs — what Autor calls polarization of the job market — intersects with another discouraging trend, the concentration of wealth at the highest rungs of the wealth ladder.”

Another study, this one from UC-Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez, suggests “that the top 1 percent of earners in the nation captured almost half of the growth in income over a period of stellar growth in the U.S. economy.”

“And this,” Hall writes, “came against the backdrop of disappearing good-paying union jobs in manufacturing, and what now appears to be an escalating departure of well-paying middle-skill jobs.”

Like I said, hardly news — the rich getting richer is right up there with “Dog Bites Man,” headline-wise. But still, is it any wonder that Miss Mia Sopaipilla is checking under the range for loose change? She has no idea where her next bowl of kitty chow is coming from.

’Cross comes to Fort Fun

If I didn’t have to work weekends I’d be up in Fort Collins today and tomorrow, spectating at the New Belgium Cup.

But I do, so I’m not. If you’re in the same boat you can catch the action live via streaming video over at VeloNews.com.

• Late update: Jesus, these guys suck. No focus on the real action, no details of same, lousy camerawork, no sense of timing. It’s like watching your dad’s home videos, if dad smoked a lot of weed. I updated my Flash Player for this? I don’t care how many Clif Shots Colt had — I want to know what lap folks are on, splits between the leaders and the chasers … you know, all that boring journalisticky kind of stuff.

• Even later update: Bad ugly mud up there at Fort Fun. Brick-making stuff, like the evil adobe goo we have in sections of Palmer Park and Sondermann Park, as I discovered the hard way. Now I stay the hell out of those places after a bout of what the Irish call “soft” weather. The Fort Fun car washes will collect many quarters tonight, while local motels endure the dread Brown Towel Syndrome.

Fat city Friday

Nearly three decades old, covered with maple boogers, leaves and acid rain ... and it still runs.

Nearly three decades old, covered with maple boogers, leaves and acid rain ... and it still runs.

Wow. Color me amazed. I hear that the temps are dipping down to 19 tonight and I think, “Hm, probably be smart to run the ’83 Toyota in for a quick check of its vital bodily fluids,” since it mostly lives out its miserable life snoozing beside the curb in front of Chez Dog.

The problem with my little scheme will be starting the old girl, which lately is about as easy as doing the people’s business in Congress. So I break out the portable jump-start system and give ’er a whirl.

Nothing. Zip. Nada. Niente. I could’ve brought a six-pack of monsters to life with the juice I poured into this thing and sent them all to Washington, D.C., to kick ass. Lord, this battery is truly fucked. And it’s not brand new, but neither is it particularly old. Out it comes.

I drag the misbegotten sonofabitch over to Advance Auto Parts on Nevada, from whence it came, fully expecting to have to buy a new one. The place is a madhouse. A businesslike young dude tells me the battery seems OK, if a bit undercharged, and says he’ll pop it into his charger and give it another look-see in about a half hour.

So I go home and give the battery clamps a good scouring because as an auto mechanic, it’s all I’m really qualified to do. I’m thinking, “Uh, huh, the battery’s gonna test out fine, so I probably need new cables, or a new starter motor,” mentally tallying the cost of maintaining a 27-year-old carbureted 4WD rice-grinder that I use about as often as Rush Limbaugh does what serves him for a brain.

But when I return the young dude has run a battery of complicated tests on the thing and declares it a miracle of modern science, leaking magnetism, black magic and voodoo and probably creating a singularity under my hood every time I turn the key, which explains the voices emanating from the radio, if not my head.

And he gives me a brand-new battery. Free of charge.

Thus the White Tornado is powered, oiled, greased and lubed, its elderly cooling system’s loins warmly girded against midnight engine-block explosions due to plummeting temperatures. Another fiscal tragedy averted.

And a man needs a truck, truly, if only to haul his fat ass around.

Old bikes get a new home

Thanks to all of you who — without a single bit of prodding by me — contributed dollars or tools to Brian Gravestock’s Bike Clinic Too. Your example caused me to haul a couple of beat-up old bicycles, soon to be parts donors, down to Old Town today.

Well, OK, I needed some cyclo-cross tires too. And some knee warmers. So sue me. I did a good thing anyway. And so did you.

A word to the wise




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Words and pictures on the DogPage © 2010 by Patrick O'Grady/Mad Dog Media. All rights and most lefts reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, redistributed, laser-printed, photocopied, crocheted into a sampler, knitted into a sweater, tattooed on a floozy, spray-painted on an overpass, tapped out in Morse code, sublimated onto a jersey, shared in whispers in the back row of an adult theater, shouted from the rooftops, scored for tuba and banjo, translated into Squinch, or communicated via telepathy without the permission of and hefty payment to a heavily armed, whisky-addled cyclo-cross addict who knows your IP address. Bonehead shysters and the simpletons who employ them, take note: The opinions expressed on the DogPage contain toxic quantities of hyperbole, satire, parody and humor. Pah-ro-dee. Hyyuuu-mor. Acquire a sense of same or read at your own risk.