Cthulhu 2020

March 23, 2018

Look for Cthulhu to run for president in 2020 on the No Lives Matter ticket.

Asked why he turned down an appointment as national-security adviser, NecronomiCom CEO Cthulhu replied, “What,  I should work for a lesser evil? See you in New Hampshire.”


Trail of tiers

March 22, 2018

The Paseo del Bosque hasn’t leafed out yet, but it’s still a nice change, snotlocker-wise, from the juniper-heavy foothills.

Spring? Meh. Don’t talk to me about spring. We got summer down here, dude.

Yesterday I did a nice little two-and-a-half-hour ride that took in a number of the local bike trails — Paseo de las Montañas, Paseo del Bosque, Paseo del Norte, North Diversion Channel — and finished with the Tramway climb.

This is a really good ride for letting the mind wander alongside the body. The first hour is mostly downhill with a few tense moments — a couple dicey multilane-thoroughfare crossings, too much time on Indian School Road, and a narrow, stop-and-go, pain-in-the-ass stretch of Mountain skirting the north edge of downtown — but after that it’s smoove like butta, yo.

The bosque trail is flat as flat can be. The Paseo del Norte rises a bit to North Diversion. And Tramway is a pleasant steady-state, half-hour climb. There’s a little suffering at the bottom, near Interstate 25, and a little more at about the six-mile mark, but mostly it’s a matter of picking a gear you like and turning it over.

Mid-50s at the start, mid-60s at the finish, what’s not to like? When I got home I ate everything worth eating and then set about making some more — tacos, pico de gallo, spuds and turnips roasted in olive oil, salt and pepper. There were leftovers so I can eat it all over again today.

Then this morning I arise to learn that Il Douche and Uncle Joe are barking from a safe distance about throwing hands. Jesus H., etc. Can someone give these noisy old farts a couple of bikes, turn ’em loose in the desert sun for a couple of hours?

The only thing they’ll want to pound on afterward is a taco platter. But I ain’t cookin’ for ’em.

Spring has sprung …

March 20, 2018

I’ve had to mow twice already. Next up: Replacing the string in the electric trimmer. No, not the one I use on my nose hair.

… and the grass, it has most definitely riz.

I wonders where the flowers iz.

Happy spring equinox.


R.I.P., Robert Grossman

March 20, 2018

One of Robert Grossman’s famous covers for The National Lampoon.

Illustrator and caricaturist Robert Grossman has stepped away from the drawing board for the final time.

He created some memorable covers for National Lampoon and other magazines, and took strong whacks at a wide range of politicos, among them Dick Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Jerry Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

In a 2008 interview with The Times, asked whether caricatures of presidents and presidential candidates were undignified. Grossman replied: “Undignified? Virtually anything has more dignity than lying and blundering before the whole stupefied world, which seems to be the politician’s eternal role.”

That same year, in an interview with The Tennessean, Mr. Grossman explained the edge illustration had over other forms of journalism.

“Reporters labor under the terrible requirement that what they report must be true,” he said. “Opinion writers need to endure the less stringent demand that what they opine be at least plausible. Nobody ever expects what cartoonists do to be either true or even plausible. That’s why we’re all as happy as larks.”

Losing Face(book)

March 20, 2018

“No sir, I don’t like it.”

Mr. Horse was nobody’s fool. I bet he never signed up for a Facebook account. You may argue that this is because he’s a cartoon character, but then so is Il Douche, and he’s all over Twitter. There, I’ve run rings around you logically.

A status update from Mike Keefe at the Colorado Independent.

Over at Wired, Brian Barrett argues that Facebook “has been a poor steward of your data, asking more and more of you without giving you more in return — and often not even bothering to ask. It has repeatedly failed to keep up its side of the deal, and expressed precious little interest in making good.”

And at CNET, Sharon Profis goes a step further, recommending that users cash out of Mark Zuckerberg’s casino, and showing them how to do it.

I croaked my Facebook account some time back after not using it in a good long while, and I haven’t used Twitter since the new year began. Snapchat, Instagram and LinkedIn are likewise safely in the DogMobile’s rear-view mirror.

Some critics will sniff and observe that I’m simply antisocial, and what keen observers they are, too. But as Profis notes, there are plenty of other ways to stay in touch with friends (texting, email, chatting over a cup of coffee).

Why, you might even start a blog with all the free time you’ll suddenly be enjoying. Be sure to send us a link. No, not on Facebook.

• Late update: Want to erase yourself from the Internet? It ain’t easy, says Abby Ohlheiser.

• Even later update: At The Guardian, Arwa Mahdawi recommends deleting Facebook at the very least. “The recent revelations about Cambridge Analytica are an important wakeup call that we are all living with the sociopolitical consequences of surveillance capitalism. We are, I think, at a critical moment where the degree of corporate surveillance to which we are all subjected can either get much better, or much worse. So, I would urge you to extricate yourself from social media as much as you can.”

Make travel great again!

March 19, 2018

Such a bargain!

Now this is amusing: Jason Wilson visits five Trump-branded properties to get a squint at Il Douche, “promiser of luxury experiences, through the eyes of a travel writer.”

And what did the travel writer perceive, luxury-experience-wise? A profoundly unsettling boredom, “a relentless, insistent, in-your-face mediocrity,” even for a pro “who has stayed in many soulless hotels and eaten in many overpriced restaurants in many disappointing places.”

“Nothing was bad, and much of what I was experiencing was even pleasurable,” Wilson writes. “But these were not great places. These places didn’t even seem like they were trying to be great.”

What Wilson experienced was not exactly a reverse Midas Touch, but something very much like it. With Trump, what you get is not the Warhol, but the actual can of soup (and not at Campbell’s prices, mind you). And now this half-assed hotelier has laid his tiny little hands on our country.

Forget bang. Think whimper.

‘Go get the Roach!’

March 18, 2018

The tweetstorm continues without letup, nobody’s in command, and everyone’s just hunkering down in their holes, waiting for Roach Mueller to turn up with his M79.

Rowdy dow dow

March 17, 2018

A happy St. Patrick’s Day to yis from Arthur McBride, Paul Brady and meself. Paul still has this one nailed four decades later. And here’s a livelier version of the same tune, by Planxty circa 1973.

Someone who is not dancing a jig this morning is Andrew McCabe, who has gotten the heave-ho from the FBI. Quite the happy-birthday present from Il Douche.

I imagine McCabe would love to have a trusty shillelagh with which to come over someone’s head. And who knows? P’raps he does so.

Swamp things

March 15, 2018

To drain the swamp, one must become the swamp.
Or something like that.

A brief roundup as we circle the drain:

• Fake news: A truth deficit when it comes to trade.

• Brass balls? Nope, those are gold.

• I am the Walrus: Th’ hell is a walrus doing hanging around a swamp? I thought climate change was a Chinese hoax.

And now, the good news: That water bottle on your downtube? Turns out it’s the Fountain of Youth.

That Voodoo that I do

March 14, 2018

Remember the “Suburban Singletrack” video I posted a while back? This is a sequel of sorts that takes in some of the foothills trails south of Indian School Road. I threw in some northbound bits, too, including a rocky stretch that I usually reserve for running.

The Voodoo Nakisi taking a break before a fast downhill near the Elena Gallegos picnic area.

Different trails, different bike: Last time I rode the flat-bar, single-ring Voodoo Wazoo; this time it was the drop-bar, triple-ring Voodoo Nakisi.

What can I tell you? Sometimes it’s useful to have that 22×26 low end.

I’m particularly pleased to have been able to clean one sharp, rocky, left-hand hairpin that’s been confounding me regardless of the bike I’m riding. I’d been going wide, but turns out tight was right.

Who knew? Not me, brother. I’ve been dabbing on the sonofabitch for three years.

Next I’ll have to shoot some video of the Elena Gallegos trails, which I rode today. Those draw a bigger crowd. The trails, not the videos.