Hellth care

July 25, 2017

It’s nearly impossible to live a normal life, or even one like mine, and keep an eye on all the outrages flying out of DeeCee like bats from a belfry.

The main one right now is what the GOP is cynically calling its “health care” legislation. Next to nobody knows exactly what’s in it — or perhaps “them” would be more accurate — or exactly when the Senate is likely to take up the motion to proceed.

But with John McCain saddling up to provide a key “yes” vote (yeah, I know, more Pinto than Maverick), it’s gonna be close.

The Turtle can only lose two of his bots on the motion to proceed, which is the precursor to actual debate on the legislation itself, whatever the hell that might be, and it looks like a few of them are teetering on the ragged edge.

I’d say that if you have the stomach for it, and even if you don’t, phone calls to your senators are in order. This mess needs to die in the waiting room before the GOP can get it into surgery.

Fleet readiness

July 22, 2017

A quick loop around the cul-de-sac to check the capabilities of a Canon camcorder.

It’s been Ride Your Own Damn Bike Week around here, and what a trip down memory lane that has been.

The Nobilette has been getting a lot of road time, but on Thursday I gave it a rest and broke out the old DBR Prevail TT road bike for a 90-minute spin.

The DBR Prevail TT, with a fresh set of goopy tubes to repel the goatheads.

One reason I haven’t been riding this relic is that it didn’t have sealant-filled tubes, a shortcoming I remedied before leaving aboard it. Another is the low end of 34×25, which is a tad tall for Your Humble Narrator these days.

But as it turns out, 34×25 is pretty OK when the bike only weighs 20.7 pounds, as opposed to, say, the 32.2-pound Soma Saga Disc, which I rode Friday.

Today the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff gets its moment in the sun. It, too, lacked goopy tubes, until yesterday, when I reacquainted myself with the joys of rear-wheel removal and replacement, that Rohloff hub adding a few additional steps to the process.

All these little chores make a fine distraction from the news, which is all bad. A choking shit-mist has descended upon the nation’s capital and the doings therein seem likely to make “Game of Thrones” look like “Survivor: Canyon Ranch Spa.”

This is assuming, of course, that the Republicans in Congress grow a functional pair, which seems a very wild assumption indeed. What a motley clot of harem guards that lot has turned out to be.

The Great Zot

July 18, 2017

When The Zot speaks, a wise man listens.

And lo, I did find at last that the work was done, and while it was not good, at least it was Tuesday, and thus it was good enough.

Therefore did I step outside clad in cycling togs, and clutching a bike, and it was then that The Zot spoke to me, saying thusly:

“Boom.”

“The hell you say?” I replied. “The forecast said nothing about electrocution. Some cloudiness, tops.”

And yea, there was a cloud overhead, and it appeared dark and foreboding, yet also exceedingly small, and thus I rode on, the work having been done.

After a time The Zot spoke once more, saying thusly:

“Booooooooom.”

“Fuck right off with that noise,” I replied. “The work is done and this bike I shall ride, lest my inner fat bastard arise from the dead to take dominion over me, and also my new stainless-steel LG refrigerator, and the contents thereof. In any case, you do not appear to be The Great Zot, but only one of the Lesser Zots.”

And thus I rode on, ascending along Simms Road toward the Elena Gallegos picnic grounds.

‘Twas then that The Zot spoke a third and final time.

“BOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!”

“Oh, ‘BOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM,’ is it?” I replied, putting it in the big ring and wheeling about. “Why didn’t you say so? There’s always something needs doing around the house, especially the inside of it. And it’s not so bad being a fat bastard, I suppose. Must be something on TV. Right, I’m off.”

Videocy (an ongoing series)

July 18, 2017

Just past the turnoff to Heartbreak Hill, the marquee bit in the Santa Fe Century.

Wrapped another video for Adventure Cyclist yesterday. I was sick of all my usual backdrops, so I went up to Heartbreak Hill off NM 14 and fiddled around a bit there.

Going up (but not very far).

And no, I didn’t ride the Co-Motion Deschutes there, thanks for asking. It would’ve been fun, but we’re talking a hilly 65-mile round trip from El Rancho Pendejo. Herself was serving jury duty, The Boo is very much not interested in being alone for several hours, and I had to edit the video and do the voiceover when I got home.

Also, and too, it rained like a mad bastard here yesterday afternoon, and had I been an actual touring cyclist, instead of merely playing one on TV, I’d probably have gotten caught in it. I hear you’re supposed to suffer for your art, but still, damn.

Speaking of suffering, I see the latest iteration of Trumpcare croaked on the table. Take a moment to cheer, by all means, but let’s remember the advice of kindly Doc Winston Wolf before we get too giddy. As Kevin Drum notes, the main reason the beast died is that it wasn’t tough enough on the poors.

Bug music

July 15, 2017

Climb in the back with your head in the clouds and you’re gone.

Blogging is like riding a bike. You don’t forget how to do it, even after an extended break, but the longer you give it a miss, the less inclined you are to get back after it.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, there’s been plenty of bad noise out there lately, and I’ve had to direct a fair amount of my own in other directions, so the bloggery has suffered. Appy polly loggies, droogies.

We watched Ron Howard’s 2016 Beatles documentary on Hulu the past two evenings (made a miniseries of it, we did) and while no new ground was broken, it was a fresh reminder of how quickly the lads got tired of being The Beatles.

I can dig it, as I occasionally get tired of being me, and without nearly the amount of pressure The Beatles endured. There’s a lot less screaming when I get down to work, is what I’m saying. Unless you count the racket coming from Your ‘Umble Narrator, that is.

Anyway, today I have declared a Beatlethon. We kicked off with “Abbey Road,” followed by “Revolver,” and at the moment “Rubber Soul” is blasting out of the stereo. On deck: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” followed by “The Beatles,” a.k.a. The White Album.

We may or may not get to “Let It Be.” I may just let it be.

Vitamin C(at)

July 9, 2017

Maybe it’s Vitamin M(ia).

This is why you should always buy from your friendly local retailer. I mean, look what turned up in our Lucky Vitamin order.

Ice, ice, baby (redux)

July 7, 2017

Chillin’ back at the crib.

Ordinarily this space is reserved for displaying my irritation with the world at large. Today I highlight my own blithering idiocy.

I stuffed it into some trailside cholla on a loose, mildly technical singletrack descent yesterday, collecting a few jillion thorns in my left hand and spraining that wrist.

Naturally, I was riding a drop-bar bike on terrain better suited to flat bars and fat tires. I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway.

The bike is fine; thanks for asking. But that left glove is a total loss.

It’s all a blur

July 2, 2017

Eastbound on I-40, way too early in the morning.

This is how I feel when I get up at stupid-thirty on a Sunday morning: cloudy, out of focus, poorly composed.

This is why I rarely get up at stupid-thirty on a Sunday morning. Alas, this particular Sunday morning Herself needed a lift to the Greater Duke City Cosmological Airport; she and a sis are paying a call on Herself the Elder in Tennessee, which is a right smart drive for anyone who isn’t marginally employed, like her chauffeur.

My rule of thumb regarding travel beyond the city limits is simple: If the trip is under 2,000 miles and doesn’t cross any oceans, it’s Air Subaru for me. Oak Ridge is a piddling 1,400 miles from here, and damme if I’ll submit to the tender mercies of Benighted Airlines for a short hop like that.

Now I’m back at El Rancho Pendejo, and The Boo and I are both out of sorts, our routines having been upended. Not quite as badly as Alejandro Valverde’s, though. I guess he ate shit in yesterday’s Tour opener and needed a bit of time on the surgeon’s workbench afterward.

Happy Canada Day, eh

July 1, 2017

Let’s all pretend we’re Canadian, eh? Maybe that’ll make us feel better aboot ourselves. Beauty, eh? You hosers.

Ice, ice, baby

June 29, 2017

I’ve shot this road before. It drops from near the Michial Emery trailhead to the Tramway bike path.

I’ve been preparing for this year’s (Not the) Tour de France with a series of short rides.

Trail 366, which leads to the Elena Gallegos picnic area.

This is a refreshing change of pace from the usual mad dash to figure out who’s who, and what’s what, and how in bloody ‘ell can I help Charles Pelkey make three weeks in July funny just one more time, please, God and Baby Jesus!

Whoof. ‘Scuse me, got carried away there.

Anyway, short rides, as I said. On road and off. Nine-speed drop-bar bikes and bar-end shifters, because that’s how I roll.

Work reared its ugly head today, but I punched it right between the horns and went for a damn’ ride.

This is probably why our refrigerator committed suicide. It thought I had lost my work ethic and it couldn’t face a world in which it was not filled to the gunwales with lean pork products, fresh vegetables and ice cream.

I went straight down to Home Depot and ordered up a replacement. And tomorrow I’m going on another damn’ ride.

• Late update: I forgot to mention that yesterday was Wild Kingdom Day. In just under two hours on the bike I saw one deer, one coyote and a metric shit-ton of quail. What’s with the quail this year? And nary a buzzworm so far this summer. ‘Course, now that I’ve said that, I’ll probably have to bunny-hop one today.