Blue bird

I really stuck the dismount this time. Even the East German judge gave me a 10.

I really stuck the dismount this time. Even the East German judge gave me a 10.

Hm. Been a little quiet around here lately, no? A couple shifts in the old VeloBarrel, some snow-shoveling, a bit of trying to learn my way around the new WordPress-based beta site, and a crash on the ’cross bike, and all of a sudden it’s five days later. How time does fly when you’re having fun.

For some reason yesterday I thought it would be smart to go for a short ride in the icy goo. Not so much, as it turns out, especially with a deadline looming. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it can be to dispense the wit and wisdom with only one functional hand. The other, as you can see, is sporting a splint to support its dislocated birdie finger, which I popped back into place as I was lying there in the puddle, the one masking the sheet of ice.

Road-raging motorists will get little in the way of obscene gestures from me over the next month, unless they park curbside to peek in through a living-room window and shout at me for riding an exercise bike.

35 Responses to “Blue bird”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Get well soon, O’G. And paint a little happy face on the bird-warmer…

  2. barry Says:

    Good thing you’re not Italian, or you’d have a speech impediment with that thing.

    Heal up Old Paint!

  3. Libby Says:

    It’s going to be hard to dispense your usual culinary skills and the cleanup. You can still shop, hoist a draft, open a box (!) of wine – no you wouldn’t drink that stuff – and easily tweet!
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Hey, Barry. I resemble that comment….

  5. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    Arrgh. Typing one-handed sucks. ‘Course, I generally only use four or five fingers to type even when fully functional, but I like to involve both hands in the process. I had to crank out a BRAIN column today, and the process fell well short of barrel-of-monkey-level fun, though oddly enough the column turned out OK. Maybe you do have to suffer for your art.

    Cooking Thanksgiving dinner will be interesting, for sure. I generally whip up some massive New Mexican feast — green chile chicken enchiladas, beans in chipotle chile, Mexican rice or red chile roasted potatoes, posole, pico de gallo, and so on and so forth — but I believe I’ll dial it down to chicken cacciatore this year to give Old Bluey a break. Less prep’ time and fewer pots, pans and what have you to rattle around. Herself will be detailed to open the vino.

  6. khal spencer Says:

    I gotta sympathize with you, Patrick, in spite of some recent and feeble attempts at humorous journalism at your expense. A couple years ago on Thanksgiving Day I did an endo on the mountain bike while riding back down some singletrack from American Springs to Water Canyon, just west of BombTown. Dislocated my right thumb and like you, did the instant first aid treatment. I had a hell of a time getting back to the car without shifting or braking much. Was helping cook dinner as the damn thing swelled up and got nasty. Ouch.

  7. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    Hey, K,

    I did the thumb on this hand many years ago. Folded it right back to the watchband in a mountain-bike endo … ironically, not too far from where I stacked it yesterday. It never really healed properly, and I have trouble gripping, carrying and doing stuff with it. I always drop at least one spud while peeling a bunch for mashed potatoes. Now I’ll probably drop two. Sheesh. Much more of this and I won’t qualify as even a lower primate. Oook oook ook.

    Rode home after the pileup and ho ho ho, was that ever fun. As an old-school ’crosser, I reverse the brake levers on all my bikes — left brakes the rear wheel, right the front — and so I was mostly using the front brake to stop on the slushy streets. Party time.

  8. Charley Auer Says:

    Heal well and fast.

  9. John Dallager Says:

    O’G: Here’s hoping you’re right handed…..or the pic is reversed! Turkey cacciatore with some green chile would be perfect!

  10. O'Neill Says:

    I’ll stop by so you can flip me off. Gotta stay in practice.

  11. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    Thanks for all the sympathy, gang. Herself even took me out for dinner so I wouldn’t have to cook, and we got a floor show for free — two auto crashes, one while driving to and the other from the eatery.

    Both clearly involved speeding red-light runners, and the first was the worst. One car wound up atop the other, and I expect the folks in the bottom car came away with worse than dislocated fingers.

    The rule in Bibleburg is “green don’t mean shit.” I always wait a couple seconds after the light changes in my favor and look both ways before moving into the intersection. And even then a dingbat almost got me the other day. She roared into the intersection a full three seconds after the light turned red. Good times.

  12. James Says:

    Here’s hoping you heal fast and furious. And use your new super power to it’s best intent. Bud Adams would be proud.
    Cross riders are hardy, but this is a good time to be off the bike for a few days/weeks. What with the weather turning south and such. Remember ice is only good for two things: Katarina Witt and ice hockey.
    Heal soon.

  13. khal spencer Says:

    Shit. If the worst was a dislocated finger.

    It took me an extra 25 minutes to get home tonight as all the roads in my little part of the world were blocked off by police and emergency vehicles.

    From what I saw, it looked like someone got off the city bus at the crosswalk near our house and tried to cross the street. A pickup truck was sitting crosswise in the intersection behind the police lines about 20 yards ahead of the bus, and a lone sneaker was sitting in the middle of the intersection in front of the bus, also behind police lines. According to one of the firefighters who I spoke to, the owner of the sneaker was being rushed to the ER in pretty bad shape.

    Ferchrissakes, be careful out there, whether you are on four wheels, two wheels, or two shoes. It only takes an instant and a bad decision to end a life or fuck up your own.

    Still rattled…

  14. bromasi Says:

    give them the BLUE finger

  15. pete Says:

    Add margaritas to the list of things ice is good for. Hope the healing process is quick my friend.

  16. Rush Carter Says:


    You need some studded snow tires…. and a scribe.


  17. Joey Says:

    Sorry to hear about your digit – hope it heals well and soon! Have a great Thanksgiving, O’G, and all… it’s back to the East for our holiday.

  18. Swell Says:

    Stay off the ice for a while and heal fast. Apply alcohol liberally.

  19. khal spencer Says:

    Alcohol…the universal curative.

    When I injured my patellar tendons, my sawbones advice was “stay off the bike and drink beer for a few weeks”. He figured it was easier to lose the weight than to fix the tendons if they got any worse.

  20. md anderson Says:

    Khal, Rattled indeed

    ABQ Journel reports it was a 12 yr old boy who was hit crossing at the crosswalk. He was air lifted to UNM hosp. The truck that hit him was traveling in same direction as the bus, so the driver must have tried going AROUND the bus and bam! Since it was a city bus and not a school bus there are no lights or rules about passing.

  21. khal spencer Says:

    The boy died this morning.

  22. Opus the Poet Says:

    Dagnabbit!! Sorry about the kid, sorry about the wounded wing on the Mad Dawg, sorry y’all can’t come to my place for turkey and fixin’s since you’re wounded…

    On a better note the LA DA is asking for cyclists’ inputs to the sentencing hearing for ol’ Doc Thompson, TTTWLAMWAMD. Go to yield to life (dot) org to click their link to he DA’s office.

  23. chris Says:

    Well, well, well. Kind of puts the old disfigured digit into perspective, don’t it? Be careful out there, gang.

  24. khal spencer Says:

    This sounds ignorant, but can someone decode TTTWLAMWAMD for the web illiterari?

  25. Opus the Poet Says:

    That’s my personal acronym for Doc Thompson, The Thing That Walks Like A Man With A Medical Degree.

  26. khal spencer Says:

    Quite caustic, and I love it, Opus. Thanks.

  27. pete Says:

    Regarding the evening of wine splashes and car crashes. With regards to the red light runners in bibleburg, they must have been listening to Mick on the radio “You aaaalways have the lord by your side. I was so pleased to be informed of this, i ran 20 red lights in his honor, thank you jesus, thank you lord!”

  28. TEngland Says:

    Well, Patrick, I see you’re up to your usual shenanigans you were when you allegedly worked at The New Mex (biking, crashing, coming in to work with some body part bandaged [not the jaw, more’s the pity]). And I see you’ve spread your wisdom and sagacity onto the ‘net and all over creation. Even more’s the pity. Peace, Mad Dog.

  29. John Says:

    At the risk of repeating the well wishes of everyone else….I wish you well, and hope you recover quickly or at least in time for Thanksgiving.

    A decade or so ago I broke my arm five downhill miles of two-track from the truck. I felt every pebble to whole ride back. So I can relate.

    By the way, is there any way for us mere mortals who no longer work in the business to have access to your words and illustrations of wisdom found only in BRAIN?

  30. Jeff in PetroMetro Says:

    That sucks, Patrick. Hope you heal soon.

  31. Ben S. Says:

    Patrick, what a bummer. Heal soon, well if it’s snowing take your time. Let someone else shovel. My experience is a good red works wonders on road rash (taken internally). Maybe it will work on this too. Let us know what you discover.

  32. Rush Carter Says:


    I went out and toured Monument Valley for you….. I also went down on the ice once… But all digits and limbs are luckily unbroken.


  33. bromasi Says:

    Hey Patrick on your mend pick up George Carlins last book “Last Words”, a great book, I sure miss that guy, he would have a field with the palins and tea baggers.

  34. khal spencer Says:

    Check this out on

  35. Aw, fog it | Mad Blog Media Says:

    […] The last time I did that I wound up with my left communications digit in a bright blue splint. […]

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