All ’crossed up

December 10, 2017

I managed to take the flowers in a one-rider field. Huzzah, etc.

There’s nothing like a little cyclocross to take your mind off pretty much everything save the few meters of the Earth directly in front of your wheel.

It was chilly in the Duke City this week, and as I revisit the old training log I see that I ran twice and ’crossed twice. Didn’t get an actual road ride in until yesterday, when the temps finally inched back up into the 50s.

Running is a useful alternative to riding the road in Michelin Man kit (or worse, riding the trainer). And cyclocross is a pleasant diversion from all of these things. So I pulled the bottle cages off my favorite Steelman Eurocross, dug up the Sidis with the Time ATAC cleats, and got after it.

The trails that loop around the Sandia Foothills Open Space’s Menaul trailhead parking lot make a pretty good circuit, albeit one without much in the way of flats for motoring, which would be nice for recovery (since I have trouble motoring in my dotage).

The first course I laid out had one too-long uphill gravel run, so I made some revisions for the second outing, awarding myself two shorter runs, one at each end of the circuit. There was too much twisty singletrack, a whole shitload of cactus in various flavors, and some deep gravel that made a couple corners sketchy with 32mm clinchers at 35 psi. And it took me a few go-rounds to remember all my mad skillz from days gone by.

But I never fell over, and I even managed to amuse a couple dog-walkers who apparently had never seen an elderly fella running around wearing a perfectly rideable bike.

Zomby Woof

December 9, 2017

“Never check your Twitter feed before breakfast,” advises the Zomby Woof.

Mister Boo IS the “Zomby Woof.” Especially before that first cup of coffee.

R.I.P., John Lennon

December 8, 2017

John Lennon was murdered 37 years ago today.

“I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we’ve passed the audition.”

You did, John; you did.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

December 7, 2017

OK, you knew I was gonna dig this one up, yeah? C’mon.

Broken bicycles

December 7, 2017

Carl sent me on a trip down the Tom Waits rabbithole with his tip about a BBC documentary on the man, so blame him for a dose of Waits during Zappadan.

This is from “One from the Heart,” the score for a Coppola flick I don’t believe I ever saw; I have the vinyl around here somewhere.

And pardon my French, but you ain’t heard shit until you’ve heard Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle doing a duet.

 

Jerusalem

December 6, 2017

As Charlie Pierce notes, the Numbnuts-in-Chief has found another puddle of gasoline to chuck his tiki torch into.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night? Jesus wept.

• Editor’s note: Here’s the first version of this tune I heard, on the CD of the same name.

Brown shoes don’t make it

December 5, 2017

Roy Moore? Nope. Roy Less, thanks all the same.

She’s my teen-age baby
She turns me on
I’d like to make her do a nasty
On the White House lawn

It’s Day Two of Zappadan 2017.

Bummernacht

December 4, 2017

Now, more than ever.

Nickel and dimed

December 3, 2017

Bare trees, gray light; oh yeah, it was a cold night.

We’ve a cold front moving in, dagnabit. The Lord must be punishing us for voting Democrat.

Well, never fear. The Republicans will keep us warm by rooting through our pockets, looking for spare change to lay on real-estate developers, oil and gas operators, multinational corporations, banks making payments to offshore subsidiaries, and religious schools.

You’ll recognize the headline as having been lifted from Barbara Ehrenreich’s 2001 book of the same name, which took an extended look at the millions of Americans slaving away full time for poverty-level dough.

Jessica Bruder has done something similar with “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century.” She follows a cadre of rootless neo-Joads, 21st-century tinkers and gypsies crisscrossing the country in their “wheel estates” — beater RVs, vans and cars that also serve as their homes — in search of grueling, low-paying jobs.

It’s a fascinating read about Americans who are literally struggling to make a go of it. “A man who couldn’t make things go right could at least go,” as William Least Heat-Moon wrote in “Blue Highways: A Journey Into America.”

And another quote about going: “There but for the grace of God go I.” Our “leaders” would be well served by a little more meditation on interdependence and a little less study of the Book of I’ve Got Mine, Get Yours.

Sausage party

December 2, 2017

More shit soufflé? Of course we accept food stamps. Ha! Just kidding!

When you send whores to church, you should not be surprised to find them turning tricks in the pews.

Charlie Pierce says this more eloquently, and at greater length. The incomprehensible and unread tax bill that cleared the Senate in the wee hours this morning was larded with “conservative fetish objects” and the process “shot through with a contempt for democracy,” because of course they were.

And after this infernal hound comes howling out of the conference committee, and King Donald the Short-fingered gives it his blessing, and it begins devouring everyone who chose his or her parents poorly, and the MAGApies find that their health bennies don’t cover Tegaderm for the ouchy rug burns on their knees and elbows, to say nothing of that famous “burning, itching sensation,” well, you may be certain of one thing:

They will blame the black guy and the woman, not The Turtle and the Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver.