Indoor sports

Oak Creek Grade, between Cañon City and Weirdcliffe, where a fella is definitely gonna want something lower than 30x30.

Oak Creek Grade, between Cañon City and Weirdcliffe, where a fella is definitely gonna want something lower than 30×30.

The silver maple in the front yard at Chez Dog wearing a thick coat of snowy goodness.

The silver maple in the front yard at Chez Dog wearing a thick coat of snowy goodness.

“Man plans, God laughs,” goes the Yiddish proverb.

So, naturally, as I was contemplating the intricacies,  logistics and amusements of a bicycle tour, Management reminded me that spring is only a word, an arbitrary date on a manmade calendar.

Yesterday I was motoring around Fremont and Custer counties with the windows down, scoping out various back roads between Florence and Weirdcliffe with a Colorado Atlas & Gazetteer in the passenger seat while tugging frequently from a water bottle. Today I awakened to a few inches of heavy, wet snow on the deck, with more on the way.

No complaints here, mind you. Water from on high is water I don’t have to buy from Colorado Springs Utilities. And it sure beats being on fire.

So it looks to be a fine day for hanging around indoors, viewing with alarm. For instance, I notice that the Supremes are trying to make it less onerous for the 1 percent to run the country the way they see fit. And a Colorado judge is intent on making it harder for the 99 percent to catch them at it.

I’m starting to think Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy and Alito are deserving of life terms after all. Not on the high court, mind you, but in Leavenworth, making little rocks out of big ones for their crimes against the people.

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29 Responses to “Indoor sports”

  1. matlinp Says:

    And thus begins the transformation of the United States into an oligarchy. After all, Patrick, we little people needn’t worry our little heads about things that wiser (and wealthier) people tell us we shouldn’t worry our little heads about. That’s what the Golden Rule is all about – he who has the gold, makes the rules.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    I commented to the NY Times last night that the oligarchy is well along the way. The Supremes are merely applying the coup de grace.

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Best government money can buy, and most citizens don’t give a shit.

  4. Larry T. Says:

    Who wants to bet the next great Supreme decision (are these guys ruling from Tehran or Washington, DC?) will be that so-called religious corporations don’t have to pay for their employees contraception as required by healthcare reform?

    • Steve O Says:

      If I was king, I’d say, sure, go ahead, leave out whatever you want from your employees’ health care plans … just as soon as you start caring for the sick for free, the way Jesus did.

      Crazy that one can slap a cross on their logo and then claim a religious exemption.

      But no crazier than the NFL and IKEA both being non-profits. (IKEA’s effective global tax rate is around 3%, because they give some spare change to the Institute for Interior Design Education.)

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, I’d call that a slam dunk, Larry. The fun part is going to be watching how the Supremes manage to justify continuing to throw you in jail for not paying the portion of your taxes devoted to the military-industrial complex should you happen to take the whole “Thou shalt not kill” thing seriously.

  5. Steve O Says:

    It’s a bit frustrating that both sides of the court will twist, turn, and contort their ideology in order to fit the outcome they want.

    I’m convinced that all three branches are occupied by those who are otherwise unemployable. Career pontificators, pundits, and political masturbators who keep the self-licking ice cream cone industry humming along.

    Of course, we’re all part of the problem. NDGT threw this interesting observation out there:

    The problem is, there’s an obvious retort to his question. “Where are the engineers and scientists?” he asks. Good question … where are you?

    • khal spencer Says:

      I think government is self-selecting for the lawyer types and idealogues, as the idea of public service in a dispassionate manner is an anachronism.

      I’ve seen scientists and engineers on our own county council, and while that has generally raised the level of public discourse, it is not a 100% guarantee for lofty debate when it comes to politically hot button issues. Unfortunately, the scientists and engineers who run for office are often the ones not who are dispassionate, but the ones with an axe to grind.

      Scientists are rarely as wide-minded as NDGT. Often, we are squirreled away in our own rabbit holes and when we pontificate on something outside of our own expertise (such as I am doing right now), one has to put on one’s bullshit filter. We have had debates about this internally in the Bombe Factorie after one of my colleagues testified on the dangers of RF fields down in Santa Fe while advertising himself as a national lab scientist.

      My old mentor at the U of Hawaii was an exception to that “don’t bother me” rule. A geochemist whose principle fields of study were mantle processes and flood basalt genesis, the late John Mahoney (yep, O’G, another Irishman) also read widely on climate processes, low temperature geochemistry, and science fiction. He had written to Al Gore about science and public policy and had been interviewed by Al Gore’s team. He probably would have been appointed a science advisor of some sort to Gore had the Supreme Court not elected Junior to the presidency in 2000.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        PS: If I remember right it wasn’t that long ago that your silver maple was in real dehydration trouble. It was the fire year, 2011, right?

      • khal spencer Says:

        We lost an aspen and much of the yard is holding on by a thread, in part because we run up the water bill. I grew up where everything is green. This sucks.

  6. Larry T. Says:

    Does this NDGT fellow say any of this stuff on the network owned by good ol’ Rupert Murdoch? I saw him on a Bill Moyers show and was shocked when I heard his COSMOS show would be on FOX.

    • Steve O Says:

      Cosmos is on Fox, not Fox News. And it’s produced by Seth McFarland. Strange bedfellows indeed.

      • Larry T. Says:

        But the whole works is Uncle Rupert’s, no? Same with the SKY pro cycling team? Faux News Sunday with Chris “Smarmy” Wallace comes over the free airwaves into my TV if I’m not careful….I laugh for a minute or two, then have to change channels before I start throwing things at the screen!

      • Steve O Says:

        Yep, all Uncle Roo’s … so on one channel, cartoon characters blather all forms of nonsense looking for a laugh, and on the other channel, there’s the Simpsons and Family Guy.

      • veloben Says:

        And an excellent production. NDGT does a better job that Carl Sagan presenting the even more complex evidence for the science presented.

  7. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Bush and Gore spent $130 million on their presidential campaigns in 1999, and Bush still lost the popular vote by 500,00 votes. Obama and Romney spent $2 Billion in 2012. At least we know who really won that election. Price for office has gone up. After the kowtowing was done at the alter of Sheldon, I wonder who will get his $9 or $10 million for their presidential war chest? Truly disgusting. But, let the kids who will inherit this mess get off their ass and fix it. If they don’t vote, and they don’t right now, well, you know.

    But, no worries mate. Brown canyon awaits tomorrow, and I have new Schwalbe Smart Sam tires (just delivered) and new brake pads to put on the Niner. So, with cold beer in hand, it’s out to the garage.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’ve always had doubts about the efficacy of voting, primarily based on the no-choice choices we get offered at the ballot box. But there must still be something to it or the Repugs wouldn’t be working overtime to make voting more difficult.

      The Donks are going to need a strong get-out-the-vote drive this time around if they want to hold the Senate. I might have to offer up the Dogmobile, maybe drive a few folks to the polls. And God help them if they think they can get it done with a digital campaign alone. They’re already pissing me off with their endless e-begging for money, and I’m on their side, f’fucksake.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        True dat. The 1% pretty much picks the candidates during the primary contests. Independents recently became the majority among registered voters recently in AZ. So maybe there is hope. I guess a protest vote to dump the incumbents is the only answer at this point. If enough voters do it we can at least get the politicos attention. That’s my plan anyway.

      • Larry T. Says:

        Amazing to think the “Party of No” without any real alternative plans vs the Donks might gain seats in Congress. But you know what my wife says. I need to figure out how to get an absentee ballot since we won’t be here in November to neutralize a couple of those “keep your gummint hands off my Medicare” morons at the polls.

      • Steve O Says:

        The Koch Brothers have figured this thing out. Turnout for presidential elections is around 65%, but near 45% for off-year/mid-terms … and it’s mostly the young’ins who stay home. So they’re hammering state, House, and Senate races for the mid-terms. Making hay when the sun shines.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        I think if you check turnout figures, especially for eligible voters vs registered, they are lower than that. And primary turnouts are even worse. The turnout for the 2008 presidential election, when we elected the first black prez for crying out loud, was 62 percent of registered voters. True turnout was probably less than 50 percent. That’s how the oligarchs pick their folks. Because we let them. You know what Larry’s wife says.

      • Steve O Says:

        http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Thanks Steve, that is one I hadn’t seen before. I used this one and others , and calculations that I did using Arizona Secretary of State and census data on registered vs eligible voters in Arizona. The thing I learned that surprised me is that this turnout rate is nothing new. I assumed that it was much higher in the past. Not matter how you look at it, our elections turnout over all is nothing to brag about.

        http://elections.gmu.edu/Turnout_2008G.html

  8. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Did you choose the Saga for this next tour? What tires did you put on it?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Pat, I’m planning on riding the Saga, but I’m not sure yet which tires to slap on it.

      The first 40 miles of my tentative route are on good pavement. The next 40 start on pavement, but that route includes 26 miles of dirt, washboard, loose gravel and sand — rolling terrain for the most part, but with one really steep mile-long climb (pictured at top) followed by an equally hairy mile-long descent.

      Where I go from mile 80 has yet to be determined. But for sure there will be more dirt, gravel and sand involved in addition to pavement.

      With fenders the Saga is limited to about 700×38; without, 47s are possible. I like fenders, because when you’re pooting around in the San Isabel National Forest and the Wet Mountains you never know what the weather’s gonna be like. They call ’em the Wet Mountains for a reason.

      So, yeah, tires. I got Schwalbe Little Bens (700×38); WTB All Terrains (700×37); Michelin Jets/Muds (700×30/32); and Continental SpeedRides (700×42, but I might be able to make ’em work with SKS fenders if I can find some struts I haven’t trimmed yet).

      I was thinking a set of Continental Travel Contacts in 700×37 might do the trick, too. They remind me of the Jets and the Ritchey SpeedMax, with a minimalist center section and cornering knobs at the side.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I like the Speedmax and usually commute on them in the winter because they roll fast but have some decent grip if the white stuff comes down while I am at work. I rode them home in a blizzard one night on my old Redline cross bike when motorists were unable to drive a straight line (and that’s why it was the last time I commuted by bike in a blizzard). They wear out pretty fast when used on pavement, but that’s what you would expect.

        Wish I could find some of the old Speedmax tires in 26-1.9. Mine are 26-2.2 because I bought them for a previous mountain bike, but that makes fenders pretty tight on the Long Haul Trucker. Anyone want to trade a set?

  9. Ryan Says:

    When do we invade Crimea?

  10. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I would use the Little Bens.
    You already have them – nothing to buy – makes Herself happy.
    Decent puncture protection.
    Use existing fenders.
    Not pushing the rim tire recommendations too much (open pro, right?)
    Many Adventure Cycling readers probably use this tire.
    Tread seems to suit terrain your will ride if dirt roads.

    But, you are the pro; I’m just cheap and like simple solutions.

  11. Sandy Says:

    On the other hand, those Conti Travel Contacts look like the perfect match for those conditions.

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