Forward, into the past (part 1,672,078 in a series)

June 18, 2018

The road to the clouds. OK, so it’s the road to the tram. But the tram is the road to the clouds, so there, smartypants.

How pleasant to enjoy a respite from summer before its official arrival.

The rain ushered in a brief spell of cooler temps, and I actually considered wearing knee and arm warmers for yesterday’s ride. But the sun eventually came out, and stayed out, so I troweled on some sunscreen instead and got after it.

The Eurocross lacks handlebar tape, but otherwise it’s all set for 1990.

What was intended as a short spin wound up taking a couple hours, and afterward Herself and I slouched on the back patio with refreshing beverages, helping the cats watch the birds.

On Saturday, while it was still raining, I continued my time travels, chucking my favorite Steelman Eurocross into the Wayback Machine for a journey to the era when aero levers and bar-end shifters ruled Velo-earth. That Shimano 600 STI was just too dern modern for me.

While I was about it I added a new, wider bar, a 44cm Soma Highway One, which has less reach and drop than the old 42cm Cinelli Eubios. The Cinelli may be as old as the bike, which says something about Cinelli quality, the luck I was pushing, or perhaps both.

Make it rain

June 16, 2018

Finally. What a great day to be a rain dog.

‘Save Money. Live Better. Do As You’re Told.’

June 15, 2018

This mural depicting Il Douche greets children at Camp Walmart. That should keep appetites suppressed and food expenses down. Arbeit macht frei, bitches. | Department of Health and Human Services via Jacob Soboroff (MSNBC) and Kevin Drum (Mother Jones)

As a child I went to summer camp in Texas. I didn’t like it.

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like this modern version, either, especially if I didn’t hablo the Inglés and didn’t know when (or if) my parents would be coming to take me home.

Time to call the congressional delegation again. Lord, are they gonna be tired of hearing from the O’Gradys.

“Go back to Ireland already before we put you in a camp,” they’ll mutter after hanging up. Ná bíodh eagla orm.

Mister Rogers evicted from neighborhood

June 14, 2018

Rob Rogers seems pretty on point to me. | Rob Rogers/Andrews-McMeel Syndication

A comrade bites the Big Orange Bullet.

Seems the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette thinks more of the free-press-hating Il Douche than it does of its own editorial cartoonist.

Former editorial cartoonist, that is.

According to The Washington Post, the Pittsburgh paper’s management had begun regularly spiking Rob Rogers’ cartoons, many of which were critical of the country’s management. And as cartoonists tend to want to see their work published, while fascists tend to lack a sense of humor, well, matters came to a head, as they will.

It sucks to see an editorial cartoonist get the heave-ho after a quarter-century for doing his job. There aren’t that many of them left — hell, there aren’t that many newspapers left.

But good on Rob for sticking to his guns and hollering “Bullshit!” when he smelled some. The PP-G editorial page should include a complimentary scratch-and-sniff air freshener henceforth.

• Late update: Rob steps away from the drawing board for a moment to write a short piece for the NYT.

Up the Wazoo!

June 14, 2018

 

I suffered an allergic reaction to advanced technology this morning and went out for a much-needed refresher course in the advantages of stone knives and bearskins.

My Voodoo Wazoo dates to 2005, but is largely a creature of the previous millennium:

• Reynolds 853 main tubes with a Tange Infinity fork.

• Shimano 600 crank with a single 38-tooth chainring and a Salsa Crossing Guard.

• Seven-speed Shimano 105 derailleur.

The Bloo Voodoo Wazoo (file photo).

• Seven-speed Shimano Hyperglide freewheel, 12-28T.

• Shimano Hyperglide Narrow chain.

• Seven-speed Shimano bar-con mounted on a Paul Components Thumbie.

• Shimano 600 hubs laced to Mavic Open Pro clincher rims.

• Continental CrossRide tires, 700×42.

• Vetta saddle liberated from a Team Crest Pinarello Prologo TT.

• Control Tech seat post from God only knows where.

• Easton EA50 stem and Cannondale Fire flat bar with cork grips.

• Real brake levers (that was actually the name of the company: Real).

• Avid Tri-Align cantilever brake (front) with KoolStop pads.

• Dia-Compe 986 canti (rear) with Dia-Compe pads.

• Actual straddle-wire-and-yoke setup for both.

• Time ATAC pedals.

There was none of your fancy “10-speeds,” nor your high-draulical brakificationist grand-doo and foofaraw, nossiree. And we had tubes in our goldurned tires, and we liked it!

Oh, to be sure, it was a little strenuous climbing in the 38×28, and I nearly got centerpunched in a blind corner by a lively young rapscallion riding one of your whatchacallem, “mountaineering bikes,” but all in all it was a pleasant reminder that “old” doesn’t always mean “useless.”

 

A working-class hero is something to be

June 13, 2018

The economy is rocking, they say — but for whom?

“It’s a bit of a puzzle,” says Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell. Do tell.

‘Thank you very little’

June 13, 2018

What we have here is an unholy convergence of people who are too lazy to golf, people who are too smart to spend their own money fleecing them, and people who are desperate to bring the Duke City a few jobs, even if they cost nearly $5 million of the public’s money and suck.

C’mon. We got golf out the wazoo for the chumps who enjoy spoiling a good walk. And everyone who likes to eat, drink and play games already does that, with their phones, in their cars. Our streets are their driving range. “Duck, hon’, here comes a GMC Titlist.”

This thing will follow the Beach Waterpark and the ART debacle into the Malodorous Dumpster of Bad Ideas and all the wrong people will make money. Ask any economist:

“Politicians dangle incentives because voters want them to. And voters want them to in large part because politicians say that incentives make a real difference. ‘The dirty big secret,’ said Greg LeRoy, the executive director of the group Good Jobs First, ‘is that they don’t.’ ”

Mad dogs and Englishmen*

June 12, 2018

Climbing Simms Park Road on the Co-op Cycles ADV 1.1 with almost 40 pounds of gear and not nearly enough legs.

Well, a mad dog, singular, anyway. Noonday sun, to be sure. And temps in the 90s by the time I returned to El Rancho Pendejo from some weight training and videography with a fully loaded REI Co-op Cycles ADV 1.1, which is the next bike in the hopper for all you eager Adventure Cyclist readers.

Two bottles would about get me to the city limits on a day like today.

If this had been an actual tour of the parched upper Chihuahuan Desert, there would be at least one more water bottle on that bike. Maybe one of those big blue Adventure Cycling Association-label Hydro Flasks, slung underneath the down tube. And p’raps a couple of fat Ortlieb water bags in the panniers, too.

*Englishmen not included.

Goo and dribble

June 12, 2018

Some folks thought I was wasting my time reading science fiction. They never thought we’d be living it.

Kevin Drum is on the nosey here. The grip-and-grin is a time-honored tradition in marketing, and that’s all that came out of the much-ballyhooed Dotard-Lil’ Kim “summit.”

Drum’s dismissal of the official statement’s four bullet points reminds me of a scene early in “Foundation,” by Isaac Asimov. Faced with an external threat from a rogue kinglet, the Foundation’s Encyclopedists and Salvor Hardin, mayor of Terminus City, were very much at odds over how to handle the situation.

The academics were content to rely upon their memories of a robust Empire. Hardin was not so sanguine. And when Lord Dorwin, Chancellor of the Empire, paid a diplomatic call upon Terminus to reassure everyone, the mayor took the liberty of having his every word recorded and subjected to symbolic analysis.

After the analyst filtered out what Hardin described as “meaningless statements, vague gibberish, useless qualifications — in short, all the goo and dribble — he found he had nothing left. Everything canceled out.”

“Lord Dorwin, gentlemen, in five days of discussion didn’t say one damned thing, and said it so you never noticed.”

Star Dreck: The Wrath of Con

June 10, 2018

Is the rest of the galaxy starting to figure out where Ricardo Mountebank is coming from?