Meanwhile, back on the bike. …

June 9, 2023

Dirty work, but someone’s gotta do it.

While we wait for the sounds of steel bracelets clicking shut, steel doors creaking open, and a judge intoning, “Will the defendant please rise?” … how’bout a bit of bicycle content?

Find the typo.

I haven’t been spending much time in the Elena Gallegos Open Space lately, other than in passing during road rides, so yesterday I grabbed my favorite Steelman Eurocross and headed over there from the Embudito trailhead.

The trail pixies have been busy in and around the EG, laying out alternatives to old routes, and as of National Trails Day last weekend I guess they’re finally official, with cautionary signs and everything.

The old routes had some sections that were pretty well overcooked and sketchy in spots, with a few slip-’n’-slides, gullies, and blind corners tailor-made for mayhem. The revisions are twisty, narrow, and mostly lack thrilling descents, but also present fewer opportunities for high-speed, head-on collisions.

I didn’t ride every trail in the area — there are a few that remain just plain unfriendly to 69-year-old stumblebums rocking rigid steel, drop bars, and 33mm tires — but it was pleasant as all get-out to escape The Duck! City drivers (and the news) for 90 minutes.

Sitting on some docs at the bay …

June 8, 2023

Ain’t this some shit?

… watching his time roll away.

Canadian bakin’

June 8, 2023

Smoke gets in your eyes. And your nose. And your hair, your clothes, and. … | File photo by Crusty County correspondent Hal Walter

Huh. The Elitist East Coast Big City Liberal Smartypants Media has finally discovered what us hardy Westerners have knowed for years — huffing a giant forest fire’s secondhand smoke sucks.

We’ve experienced a few lulus over the years in Bibleburg, Weirdcliffe, and The Duck! City. And yeah, they got a little ink despite being largely confined to Flyover Country.

But holy hell. When the Big Apple looks like the Devil’s been feeding his firebox a passel of green wood with a weak draft you gon’ git yoreself some wall-to-wall coverage, son! That’s Scripture!

And even a dyed-in-the-Carhartt mountain man and desert rat like Your Humble Narrator has to admit that a few hundred Canadian wildfires blowing smoke from Maine to Spokane might just be worth a few “Live”  headers over to The New York Times.

My old hometown of Ottawa has been taking a hit (and not the kind made famous by Cheech and Chong).

And I expect our Great White North correspondent Ol’ Herb might have a few thoughts on the matter, if he can stop coughing long enough to file a report expanding on the Detroit News coverage. Anyone else out there wearing their N95s again?

Running on empty

June 6, 2023

And miles to go before I eat.

You think you’re living on the edge, miles from home with a cargo area full of perishable groceries in early June and the low-fuel warning light giving you an orange mal de ojo from the dash.

Until you get passed by someone driving on the rim.

So there I was, motoring back from the Wholeazon Amafoods with a week’s worth of grub, and I knew my low-fuel light was on. It flashed me before I even got to the store to offload a hunk of my Socialist Insecurity entitlement funding on tasty bits of this and that.

Ah, bugger it, I thought. I still have a couple gallons in the tank. Shit, I could probably make it to Santa Fe for an early lunch at La Choza, if I had a cooler and some ice for all this chow. But it’s probably smarter to head for home, refrigerate the perishables, and gas up the next time out.

Thus I’m in the left lane on Wyoming, getting set to hang a left on Comanche, when I hear this hideous racket coming up fast in the middle lane.

I figure it’s the Devil finally come to collect, or maybe just some poor workingman’s beater truck fixin’ to retire before he does, and in some spectacular fashion, too. But it sounds even worse than either of those possibilities, about like three Terminators dry-humping an Alien in a junkyard full of feral cats.

As I make the left lane I glance right and screeching past shudders some shitbag sedan with the left front tire completely gone and the driver either deaf, drunk, or some combination of the two, ’cause he ain’t making any effort to get out of that middle lane and over to some safe place where he can maybe figure out why the hell all these assholes are staring at him and how come he can’t hear the radio goddamnit?

This may or may not be a metaphor for politics in 2023.

Some of us are low on gas, but we’re aware of the situation and hope to address it at our earliest possible opportunity.

Some others are gonna just drive it right into the ground and Dog help you if you’re standing anywhere near where the wreckage skids to a stop.

The good news is, you can hear it coming a long ways off.

‘Where’s the money, Lebowski?’

June 2, 2023

The after-action reports are rolling in, and the general consensus seems to be that Congress spent the latest debt-ceiling “crisis” either jacking off, letting its mouth write checks that its ass can’t cash, or some combination of the two.

Performative government at its finest. Hollywood dreams of getting a script like this. Alas, the writers are on strike.

At The New Republic, editor Michael Tomasky says the mouths that roar over at the FreeDumb CuckUs basically brought a spork to a gunfight. At The Atlantic, staff writer Russell Berman suggests that the GOP really doesn’t want to cut spending in any significant way because — hey, guess what? — their leadership recognizes “that what the federal government funds is more popular than they like to claim.”

And at Esquire, Charlie Pierce dismisses the whole magilla as a matter of the money power flexing a pinkie:

“In other words, politics as usual, a basic Washington transaction conducted in the most basic of Washington ways, a Swamp Thing from start to finish. And all in service to the money power, to the corporate elite, woke and otherwise. [Jim] Jordan, [Marjorie Taylor Greene], et. al. are about as much a threat to the real established political order as a water pistol would be to the Nimitz. ”

That’s the bad news. The good news is that cracker-barrel regular Pat O’B turns 74 today. Happy happy joy joy to him and his. Dog willin’, we won’t be singing “The Parting Glass” to the oul’ fella anytime soon.

A wee bit of civics

June 1, 2023

The backyard maple is trying to coax a bit of rain from those clouds.

June 1. Good gawd awmighty. Three weeks until the first day of summer.

Where the hell does the time go?

It doesn’t feel very summery, not yet. We’re slathering on the sunscreen when we go out and about, but highs have only reached the mid-70s to mid-80s, which are very much bearable.

Thus, we have no excuses for staying inside to watch Sleepy Joe and Charlie McCarthy make the sausage. We’ll be eating it soon enough.

It all reminds me very little of what we were taught in junior-high civics classes. Or home economics, for that matter.

What it reminds me of is gym class, specifically the shower portion, wherein a jock occasionally would pee surreptitiously on some poor geek’s leg while distracting him with conversation.

The geek was usually so astonished to be having a chat with one of his betters that he didn’t notice the augmented fluids coursing down his calf until the giggling began.

And then he couldn’t do anything about it anyway.

The geek didn’t yet know about the sausage. He still thought it was just something mom put on his plate with the scrambled eggs and toast. He still thought Bob Dylan was just singing a song.

All is well, safely rest. …

May 29, 2023

At ease, dad.

A historian, former ceremonial bugler, and Marylander (like Your Humble Narrator) explains the origins of “Taps.”

Throwing some Shade

May 28, 2023

The B-25J “Maid in the Shade
Photo lifted from the Commemorative Air Force

We had a blast from the past yesterday in The Duck! City.

As I was out riding trails on the Bianchi Zurigo Disc I heard a low-flying aircraft overhead. Glancing up I saw the unmistakable shape of a B-25 medium bomber rumbling northward.

The Auld Fella, Col. Harold J. O’Grady (USAF), got some time in the B-25 when he wasn’t working his day job flying C-47 Skytrains out of New Guinea during World War II (“The Big One”).

Introduced in 1941, the North American B-25 Mitchell was named in honor of Brigadier General William “Billy” Mitchell, as was the Bibleburg high school Your Humble Narrator attended without distinction during 1969-71.

This particular model, a B-25J dubbed “Maid in the Shade,” was based out of Serraggia Airbase in Corsica during 1944 and saw service over Italy, which was appropriate, as I was riding a Bianchi.

Happily, the Maid was unarmed, and I escaped unscathed to tell the story.

From hairballs to purrs

May 25, 2023

“We are adequately served. You may go now.”

O, Lord, sometimes a fella feels like he’s barefoot navigating a carpet spotted with hairballs in the dark.

Warner-Discovery bollixed its big switch from HBO Max to Max, forcing subscribers like Your Humble Narrator to dash hither and yon across the Internets, trying to figure out how we could enjoy “content” we were paying for but suddenly not receiving. Handy Household Hint to W-D execs: As error messages go, “Something went wrong” is just a wee bit vague.

E. Lawn Mulch stepped on his own dingus (yet again) with a rapid unscheduled disassembly of Ronald DeSadist’s pestilential campaign on Twatter Spaces. I expect various minions, varlets, and knaves (if any remain) were promptly laid off and escorted from the Twatter offices (for which rent is not being paid). Look for DeSadist to ban Twatter in Florida.

At Verizon, which is shedding customers, employees in “customer experience, loyalty, and technology positions” have been advised to prepare for “transition to the next stage of your career journey.” Your call is important to us. Or not.

Meanwhile, in the vast retail/services landscape, there is at least one happy customer. Miss Mia Sopaipilla got an A++ in her most recent visit to the vet and gives the chef’s kiss — muah! — to her bedcave.

Is there a Meow as well as a Yelp? I’m looking forward to a glowing review.

‘Anti-fat-bastard cream there is none’

May 19, 2023

It’s bucketing down.

Almost a quarter-inch of rain in the past 48 hours! We’ll happily take this little gift from the gods, especially since there’s a chance the Rio will run dry again this year thanks to (a) dust on snow and (2) no storage for the early snowmelt.

The day dawned gray and gloomy, but by noontime Tlaloc had shut off the water works, and I was feeling a tad cabin-feverish and a bit peckish all simultaneous-like.

“Should we go for a jiggety-jog or segue straight into lunch?” I asked Herself.

“A jiggety-jog it is. And keep up, you fat bastard,” she replied, having just learned that “The Full Monty” is getting a 25-years-later reboot as an eight-episode Disney+ TV miniseries.

Ah, not s’bad. …

Herself didn’t actually address Your Humble Narrator in this disrespectful fashion, of course.

The “fat bastard” line is from “The Full Monty” and spoken by the slender Gaz, who is taunting portly Dave during a run as they try to get in shape for a one-off gig as bargain-basement Chippendales.

The original flick also contains a memorable line from Dave: “Anti-wrinkle cream there may be, but anti-fat-bastard cream there is none.”

Truer words, etc.