Blind

October 15, 2019

Where’s the Turk? He was here just a minute ago, I’d swear it.

After a brief encounter with actual fall weather we’re back to what passes for normal here in the Duke City — heat and homicide.

Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) returned to his favored observation post upon the battlements, to wit, the ledge of our bedroom window.

His adjutant, Miss Mia Sopaipilla, has been shifting among various cozy spots — atop one of the Twin Towers, across a sun-splashed stretch of carpet next to the living-room coffee table, near the foot of the bed  — and sometimes burrows under the covers, where she adopts her alter ego of Lumpy the Bedbug.

There are worse places to be than astride the saddle of a Vespa on a sunny day.

A fella has to be careful where he sits on the bed when Lumpy’s in residence.

I was able to run in shorts and a T-shirt by 9:30 or thereabouts, chatted productively with a local bicycle retailer (road bikes are out, mountain bikes are in), and late in the day decided to take the Vespa for a spin to charge the battery and keep its vital fluids circulating.

The highlight of the day may have been this little news nugget, from my old hometown of Greality, Colorado. As I sez to one of my old UNC bros, I sez, ’tis often that we were crazed on the auld L-S-Dizzy Back in the Day®, but ne’er e’er did we try to bite a constable in the cojones. We were hopin’ for a nip at the coeds so.

Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day

October 14, 2019

“All I want in this life and time is some good clean fun.”“Fat Man in the Bathtub,” by Lowell George, from “Waiting for Columbus.”

Ed Zink rides west

October 13, 2019

Ed Zink, one of the founders of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic in Durango, has gone beyond.

The Durango native died Friday of complications from a heart attack, according to The Durango Herald. He was 71.

Ed was a rancher, a retailer, and a pillar of the U.S. cycling community. He ramrodded the Iron Horse through good times and bad, helped bring the first World Mountain Bike Championships to his hometown, and was a gent when dealing with irksome cycling scribes who wished to quiz him about this, that and the other.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.

Contributions in Ed’s memory can be made to Trails 2000 and the Mercy Health Foundation. My condolences to his family and friends.

The Terminator is a wordsmith

October 13, 2019

Sweetheart, give me rewrite … and an oil change.

Ho boy. There goes the neighborhood. The Poindexters are building the next Billy Shakespeare out of 1s and 0s.

In this piece for The New Yorker, John Seabrook wonders:

Could the machine learn to write well enough for The New Yorker? Could it write this article for me? The fate of civilization may not hang on the answer to that question, but mine might.

Sigh. Remember the good old days, when automatic writing was limited to the spirits or subconscious? I have a feeling this new breed of writer will rely on a different solvent than did its human predecessors.

“Gimme a benzene. Make it a double. I’m stalled on this goddamn novel.”

‘Season liberally’

October 12, 2019

I go through smoked paprika and Mexican oregano faster than
Il Douche commits impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors.

I like Penzey’s Spices for their excellent products, some of which I used yesterday in this posole verde, and for their cheerful, helpful staff here in the Duke City.

Now I like the company for another reason. It’s outspending everyone save Il Douche on impeachment-related FaceButt advertising, according to The New York Times.

Penzey’s Spices also used ButtFace to urge people to vote in the midterms, with owner Bill Penzey saying: “Don’t let history lump you in with the white hoods and robes crowd. History has its eyes on all of us, and history remembers.”

In a chat with Mother Times, he added: “We’ve always been about kindness and compassion. And with the recent trends in the Republican Party and unlimited political spending, it’s created this message of anger toward marginalized people in order to create votes for tax cuts for the very wealthy.

“If you are a company and you have values, now is the time to share them. Now is the time that it’s important to share them.”

Consider them shared by this salty ol’ dog, Bill. Keep spicing things up.

Name that tool

October 10, 2019

“Hey, what could I tell you?”

We’ve had “Scarface,” “Joe Bananas,” and “Ice Pick Willie.”

So, whaddaya think Rudy Giuliani’s mob nickname is?

Leave your best guess, and the gun, in comments. But take the cannoli.

At ’cross purposes

October 10, 2019

Oh, yeah: It’s fall.

When the temps dip I head straight for the chile — green, red, or green-and-red — and the cyclocross bikes.

The eats lately have included turkey tacos with red Mexican rice; a red-chile posole; and a green-chile stew heavy on diced chicken thighs and spuds.

This bike will even work in California, because you don’t have to plug it in.

And the cycling? Lately it involves singletrack and my second-best Steelman, a red Eurocross that Brent built as part of an arrangement with the Clif Bar team back in the late Nineties or early 2000s.

It’s a snappy climber in the 34 x 28, but a little harsh on the bumpy stuff coming down, possibly because of the oversized, shaped True Temper top and down tubes, which have an aluminum vibe to them.

Yesterday, while climbing a trail that sensible people ride downhill, and certainly not on a ’cross bike, I successfully dodged a perambulating tarantula only to screw the pooch on a recently rearranged rocky bit (the trail fairies have been shifting the furniture around again). Caught between a rock and a hard place it was either plant a foot or take a dive. Bah, etc.

I need to reassess the cockpit configuration on this beastie. I half-assed it when I swapped stems a while back, grabbing an old Giant from the treasure chest; what I need is an entirely new stem and handlebar, the latter with a shorter reach and drop.

Plus I’ve always disliked this bike’s chunky aftermarket Shimano STI levers, which seem designed for the jumbo mitts of lesser primates. Oook ook ook.

Now that I think of it, what I really need is for Brent Steelman to come out of retirement and make me one of his old CCs, slightly updated for our modern world, such as it is. Now that was a go-anywhere, do-anything bike, back before any marketing smarties spitballed a few pitchable monikers for the category.

Powerless

October 9, 2019

“Who turned out the lights? Strike a match, Betty Lou, I can’t see shit.”

Remember the good ol’ days, when you could make magic just by flipping a switch? Communication, refrigeration, information, even transportation, all delivered with a wave of one hand. One finger, actually. No, not that one.

And without burning down half the county, too.

As is often the case, our brethren and sisthren in California are getting a sneak peek at the future this week as PG&E returns them to the Dark Ages, that they may not be barbecued by their desires for communication, refrigeration, information, even transportation.

I wonder how much safer everyone will be with a few million generators busily chugging along next to the woodpiles.

“Crank up the Honda, hon’, ‘Dancing With the Stars’ is coming on!”

• Extra Bonus Snark: Good timing, awarding the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to three scientists behind the lithium-ion battery. We’re gonna need a bigger one, dudes.

We are not amused

October 9, 2019

His Lardship in the Porcelain Throne.

Well, now we know what Republicans mean when they say they favor small government.

A government of one.

A king.

I guess we can lay off all these other idlers, yeah?

I’m cat, man

October 8, 2019

Gotham kitty.

Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah, cat, man.