Spring flower

It's a tough row to hoe, being a flower in March.

The first day of spring and whadda we get? Thirty-friggin’-four with wind from the north at 26 mph, gusting to 41.

As usual, this is my fault. Last week, when we were enjoying an unseasonable stretch of 60- and 70-something temps, I connected hoses to faucets, watered the lawn and — worst of all — put a new battery in the Vespa. Imagine my embarrassment.

Best of all, the wind is peppering us with tree pollen, and allergies have me by the snotlocker with a downhill pull. Snork. Gluck. Hawk. Ptui. Repeat as necessary.

This means that instead of riding my bike in shorts and short sleeves, as I did all last week, I will be slouching here at the computer, searching for things that piss me off to elevate the old heart rate.

Like this item about House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Ayn Rand), who claims his “budget” will strengthen the safety net for the poor, disabled and elderly. Uh huh. The “net” to which he refers concerns the fishnet stockings Granny will have to wear while pole-dancing to pay for her blood-pressure meds.

Or this one about employers demanding that prospective employees give them their Facebook user names and passwords so they can go snooping around to see if you enjoy calling their favorite Randite nutsack a zombie-eyed granny-starver. Yo, Mister Human Resources, I got your job right fuckin’ here.

And finally this one, about a self-appointed vigilante who guns down a 17-year-old kid armed with a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona iced tea … and isn’t charged with shit, not even littering. Now and then I think about selling the family arsenal. And then I think again, because guys like this are roaming around, packing. Jesus wept.

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9 Responses to “S-brrrrrr-ing!”

  1. john Says:

    Funny you should mention Ayn Rand — that she should be considered anything other than a dangerous narcissistic looneytunes is beyond me. I highly recommend this brief column by Georges Monbiot:


    • khalspencer Says:

      Must reading for the sane. Thanks for the link, John.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ol’ George sure threw down with that one, didn’t he? Randites strike me as the sort who, after your ship had gone down, would stand on your shoulders in order to keep breathing and complain about your ability to tread water.

  2. khalspencer Says:

    Wow, Patrick. That report in the Post is way beyond approaching Big Brother. That’s totalitarianism. The Founders are spinning in their graves.

    I go for an…um…interview tomorrow having something to do with Uncle Sam. I wonder if the usual proctological exam will include asking for the keys to my email account, which will result in some phone calls to the ACLU (one reason I keep sending them checks even though I occasionally refer to them as the American Criminal Liberties Union). Besides, I suspect if the professionals inside the Beltway want to snoop my email, they can figure out my password faster than I can change it.

    But as I like to remind people, don’t say or do anything on a social media site you would not say or do in front of your mom or spouse. Its amazing what shit people will post, especially Congressmen, somehow expecting to not ever be held responsible for it.

    I don’t mind if people see me drop an F bomb or five on your or my web site. However, there are some things better left only discussed between you, me and the lamp post, as my mom used to say. My dirty linen is my business, not Facebook’s. I refuse to even have an account. If people want to see what is on LABikes or the Mutts page, its up there.

    As far as Florida? God, I went to grad school just a (long) stone’s throw from Howard Beach. This shit doesn’t surprise me, Racist vigilantes are not a thing of the past. Better keep that sidearm. I was getting enough phone calls after 9-11 from worried friends (after that Sikh was gunned down in Arizona) that I briefly considered phoning home for mine.


    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      K, I always thought drug testing was beyond the pale. I submitted to it just the one time back in the Eighties, while jobless, in order to contend for a copy-editing gig at The Los Angeles Times. I didn’t get it, and ever since I have been smugly pleased to watch the LAT’s gradual descent into gibbering idiocy and general irrelevance. Revenge is a dish best served cold, as I believe your people have it.

      It’s definitely a good idea to use your “inside voice” on social media. I don’t really have one, of course, but even I pick and choose where and when to sound off. I mostly use Twitter as a signpost to direct my small, deeply disturbed audience to polemicists I favor and save the chattier stuff for Facebook.

      Of course, all a potential employer need do is browse a half-dozen of my blog posts and then I am well and truly fucked. Ain’t any amount of clean urine samples would wash the red out of an HR person’s eyes after a hideous experience like that.

  3. Debby Says:

    I wouldn’t work for any company that demands that I hand over login information to anything. Nor would I consent to them pulling my credit report or DMV record. A lot of tech companies do that now. They can do it to somebody else as far as I’m concerned. I have pissed in a cup for them, but that’s where I draw the line. Even that is an invasion of privacy. Maybe it’s just a game they’re playing on us, to see how much abuse we’ll take. Like that Monty Python skit.

    It sounds like they’re considering filing charges on that guy in Florida. I thought I heard something about a grand jury on NPR this afternoon, but I’m not sure.

    • Khal Spencer Says:

      Investigations have to be rationally based. If I was hiring school bus drivers, I’d want to see their driving record, esp. since I think it is in the public domain anyway. But I agree that some of this stuff is just over the top in paranoia. If 5 lbs of investigation is good, obviously 50 lbs must be better.

      I suspect this stuff is driven by real events magnified. We had a cop down in NM who shot someone and when the cop was investigated, he listed “human refuse collector” as his occupation on his social media site. That led to some hard questions about motive and intent. Understandably, companies don’t want to hire loose cannons for sensitive positions (cops, etc), and the proliferation of voyeuristic social media sites makes it a tough call as to whether to pry. Frankly, I prefer not to take my pajamas off in the front yard. It would scare the neighbors. Same goes for social media. Discretion is the better part of valor.

      As for my email, that is my business.

  4. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Just more reasons I’m working on permanently escaping from the US of A. The wife’s study-abroad program has been approved so that’s a start. Add that to the CycleItalia tour season and we’re getting ever closer to having the USA a “nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there.”
    PS-weather-wise, first ride of the year in shorts and short sleeves!

  5. Stoking the furnace | Mad Blog Media Says:

    […] looks like Kansas and Paul Ryan looks like a baboon’s ass. But last year, samey same. And the year before that. Annnnd the year before […]

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