R.I.P., LHT

January 17, 2021

The Surly Disc Trucker, up against the Wall of Science.

A moment of silence, please, for the Surly Long Haul Trucker, which rolled west in November. It was 16.

When I reviewed the Surly Disc Trucker for the July 2020 issue of Adventure Cyclist, product manager Amy Kippley told me the rim-brake LHT wasn’t going anywhere other than everywhere, just like always.

“Our Long Haul Trucker is the best,” she said. “We’re team #savetherimbrake all the way. People love to build that frame up and make it their own. There’s nothing quite like touring-tinkering.”

Maybe so. But there was nothing quite like 2020, either. And therefore never send to know for whom the [bike] bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Come the February 2021 issue of Adventure Cyclist, our very own Khal S. — himself a LHT owner — was reading the bike’s obituary, headlined “Requiem for a Two-Wheeled Dream.”

“It was a bike that could do nearly everything, and usually did. At any given time, you could close your eyes, toss an ice-cream sandwich into Adventure Cycling’s courtyard, and hit a Long Haul Trucker.”

Progress marches on, they say. But when it trucks, from Surly, it will do so with disc brakes.

‘What’s all this stuff I keep hearing about. …’

January 16, 2021

I’m feeling a strong kinship with Emily Litella these days.

“What’s all this stuff I keep hearing about DikDok and ChapSnat? I remember when you paid money to the telephone company! The telephone company never paid money to you! And you watched TV on the TV! Not on the telephone!”

I know, I know … since the first proto-influencer sketched a warthog on the cave wall while his elders looked on disapprovingly (“Fuckin’ kids today, amirite, Ogg? Minding the fire isn’t good enough for ’em anymore.”) some entertainment-delivery system has been poised to bring society crashing down around us.

Cave paintings. Comic books. Radio. TV. The Innertubes.

But damme if I don’t think the smartphone will be the tombstone of civilization, such as it is.

Fuckin’ kids today. Hey! Influencers! That’s my goddamn lawn you’re dancing on up there, y’know! The last one I’ll ever have! Get the hell off of it!

Poll dancing

January 15, 2021

My avocado toast is actually guacamole toast, but whatevs.

Some things should be a no-brainer.

This just in: Americans oppose militant dipshittery, though electing seditionists, traitors, and eejits is apparently A-OK.

Avocado toast, for example. You don’t need a Washington Post-ABC News poll of 1,002 U.S. adults to know in your heart of hearts that a big-ass slice of homemade whole-wheat bread slathered with mashed avocado, onion, tomato, lime juice, and salt makes a delicious start to the morning.

And you’d think you don’t need a poll with an error margin of +/-3.5 percentage points to know that a riot is an ugly thing, especially when it involves the storming and sacking of the U.S. Capitol by the Village Idiot People.

But we got one anyway.

What the hell. Even Inspector Kemp was of two minds on the subject. You wanna know, you gotta ask, I guess.

Shell game

January 14, 2021

The Turtle won’t stick his neck out. Original photo by Susan Walsh | AP

With ’Is Lardship’s second impeachment in hand, The World’s Greatest Deliberative Body™ does … fuck-all.

According to The New York Times, the Turtle has rejected a plea by Democrats to recall the Senate and go to trial. After the House vote to impeach, he said there was “simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude” before Sleepy Joe’s inauguration next week.

In low tones that for some reason emitted from the rear of his shell, The Turtle spake thusly:

“I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden administration.”

O, to be sure. The People’s Business been uppermost on his devious little mind ever since he discovered he could run it at a profit for himself.

The good news? The Turtle is said to have sworn that he will never again speak to ’Is Lardship. Boy, that’ll show ’em.

Going down with the shit?

January 13, 2021

His Lardship in the Porcelain Throne.

After Adolf Twitler rode to victory on the shoulders of his Brown Noses I argued that he would survive in office exactly as long as the Elefinks and their mahouts felt he still had some value to them, and no longer.

Have they finally squeezed him dry, with a week remaining in his term, which has become our sentence? Is there no more golden juice in the Orange?

Representatives and senators take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” and Adolf is demonstrably the latter. Whether they honor their oaths remains to be seen. That oath, in and of itself, should be enough for honorable people.

Impeach. Convict. Remove. Period.

 

Shall we dance?

January 11, 2021

I love a good musical. This ain’t one of ’em.

On a bright cloud of bullshit shall we fly?

Dust my broom

January 10, 2021

The Mount Dog Ski Area.

Another “snowstorm” blew through town last night.

Didn’t need the rooftop laser cannon for this one. Five minutes with the pushbroom and our north-facing driveway is open for business.

It’d be a fine day for running if I still did that sort of thing. Instead I burned a little frosty daylight puzzling out the Apple TV HD Herself and I gave each other for solstice.

It’s been “improved” since our third-generation model, which means a remote that’s less intuitive and a box devoid of apps. We’re not big TV consumers, but still, I had to download and do the who-are-you/prove-it tango with the few apps we use, fencing with iTunes and the App Store and keeping one eye on Apple’s support site for tips on how to make that remote hunt.

You can use Siri, of course, but with my predilection for coarse language she’d probably be downloading porn 24/7.

“Siri, I was speaking rhetorically. I didn’t actually want videos about motherf … oh, just forget about it.”

I should have contracted the kids next door to handle the job. Their brains are all fresh, not clogged like a bus-station toilet with old usernames and passwords. They’d have had us up and running in no time.

Well, maybe not running running. …

‘At least it’s an ethos’

January 9, 2021

Were the Capitol Hill Commandos nihilists? Or do they have an ethos?

Beats me. They didn’t appear to be granting interviews — too busy smashing cameras and/or taking selfies — but if I were to guess, it seems to me that their ideology starts and stops at Adolf Twitler.

A few clearly had an agenda, but a lot looked like dumb dogs that caught a Cadillac and didn’t know what to do with it. They sure as shit weren’t prepared to drive it.

From the collection of Chairman Bao Wao Wao.

The Weather Underground Organization had a program when it bombed the U.S. Capitol back in March 1971 — armed struggle against imperialism a la Che Guevara and Mao Zedong. Create “two, three, many Vietnams,” as Che advised.

And the WUO decidedly was not above “demands for control and power through seizures of institutions,” as the leadership explained in the 1974 political statement “Prairie Fire,” with the caveat, “Actions are more powerful when they are explained and defended.”

The WUO didn’t exactly drive their program home, either. A bunch of them wound up in the carcel or the camposanto, and a number of their former comrades in the old Students for a Democratic Society split off in other directions, as Mike Klonsky did with the October League and later, the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist); Your Humble Narrator had a brief affiliation with both organizations in the late Seventies after an undistinguished stint with the Socialist Workers Party.

But at least these organizations had an ethos, a plan, a vision, however myopic. What were (are) these new insurrectionists thinking? Give us your best guesses in comments.

If you can’t say anything nice. …

January 8, 2021

It’s not Cold Mountain, but then again I’m not Han Shan, either.

I know a lot of bad words. None of them seemed bad enough for what I saw yesterday.

So I went out to finish shooting some video for Adventure Cyclist. It was not a speaking role.

A salty Dog

January 7, 2021

Avast, sunrise off the port bow!

This must be what it feels like to be in the brig after a failed mutiny. Or on deck and in the grip of an obsession, like a one-legged sailor chasing a white whale.

If it’s jail, we built the cells and hired the guards, who’ve been off playing pinochle somewhere, giving the inmates the run of the joint. The whale? Raised it from a pup.

How in hell does anybody get any work done? License plates stamped, kujira sushi rolled? After burning all of my daylight monitoring yesterday’s debacle via NYT and WaPo, trying and failing to finish a job that had nothing to do with a riot goin’ on down in cellblock No. 9 or going fish-fish-, fish-fish, fish-fish-fishin’, I finally threw in the towel and devoted myself entirely to the porthole.

We watched a few minutes of PBS NewsHour during dinner. Holy hell, has that wee beastie ever lost most of its teeth and talons.

Afterward I went back to NYT, watching “live” as the national legislature reconvened for its mutt-and-crowbait show. A few of them acted like they’d gotten the message, emphasis on “acted.” Others, mmm, not so much. Shut that shit off when Lindsey Graham was called to speak. Showered, didn’t feel any cleaner, went to bed anyway.

Woke up at 3. Herself finally bit the bullet and got up when Mia stormed the bedroom 4-ish. I managed to drift back into some interesting nightmares and finally crawled out of the sack around 6.

“Is he dead yet?” I sez to her I sez.

“Nope,” she sez to me she sez.

“Impeached?”

“Nope. Just beaten.”

Ho, ho, etc. He is not beaten. They are not beaten. Hey, screw, here’s your plate! Where’s my sushi?