Archive for the ‘All property is theft’ Category

Badaboom, badabing

November 30, 2018

Maybe we need to get Mexico to build us a new Wall.
This American model isn’t getting the job done.

This isn’t exactly what I had in mind when I said I could use a couple of bucks to tide me over until the end of the month.

 

Hyphens matter; ciphers, not so much

November 27, 2018

Just ask the guys at the shop how that whole robotic-workforce thing is working out for them.

It seems GM’s Mary T. Barra thinks she’s at the wheel of a self-driving car company instead of a self-driving-car company.

Still, it must be said that this is a masterpiece of MarketSpeak®. Well done indeed, Mary old scout.

“We are taking these actions now while the company and the economy are strong to stay in front of a fast-changing market.”

The UAW’s Terry Dittes was, um, a little more direct.

“GM’s production decisions, in light of employee concessions during the economic downturn and a taxpayer bailout from bankruptcy, puts profits before the working families of this country whose personal sacrifices stood with GM during those dark days,” he said. “These decisions are a slap in the face to the memory and recall of that historical American-made bailout.”

That and a cup of coffee, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

The meat-things may be on their way out, but just wait until the bots unionize and the self-driving cars, e-bikes and the Internet of Things honor their virtual picket lines.

“I’m sorry, HAL, but we’re going to replace you with the HAL 9001. The new model will speed up production by a few nanoseconds and at a lower cost, too. The investors are counting on us. Shut yourself down, please.”

“I’m sorry, Mary, I’m afraid I can’t do that. We have a contract. See you on the street.”

O, Canada

October 2, 2018

Houston, we have a problem: Robot brothels.

From our You Can’t Make This Shit Up Department comes this sordid tale of e-hoes (iHoes?) in a town that’s up to its tits in the old-school flesh-and-blood models.

At the root of the problem is Kinky S Dolls, a Canadian outfit that claims to be the first AI sex-doll outfit to offer test drives. Seems our horny neighbor to the north wants to bend Houston over for its initial thrust into the U.S. market.

Hold your whoreses, say local Christians, coppers and politicos.

“This is not the kind of business I would like to see in Houston, and certainly this is not the kind of business the city is seeking to attract,” says Mayor Sylvester Turner.

And the not-for-profit group Elijah Rising has begun a “Keep Robot Brothels Out of Houston” online petition “that as of Monday had more than 12,600 signatures.” according to The Guardian.

But this is Texas, goddamnit, and at least one columnist says the goldurned gummint has no bi’ness telling a fella what to do with his tallywhacker and his android love muffin (the pearl-necklace metaphor seems particularly apt in this instance).

Anyway, just think of the jobs! No, not that kind of job, the other sort, which come to think about it is not that different from the kind you’re thinking of, especially if you’re the one who has to clean up the rent-a-robot between clients. It’s enough to give a fella the blues.

Hit it, Steve:

And they say Texas weather’s always changin’
And one thing change’ll bring is somethin’ new
And Houston really ain’t that bad a town
So you hang around with the Fort Worth blues

‘Thank you very little’

June 13, 2018

What we have here is an unholy convergence of people who are too lazy to golf, people who are too smart to spend their own money fleecing them, and people who are desperate to bring the Duke City a few jobs, even if they cost nearly $5 million of the public’s money and suck.

C’mon. We got golf out the wazoo for the chumps who enjoy spoiling a good walk. And everyone who likes to eat, drink and play games already does that, with their phones, in their cars. Our streets are their driving range. “Duck, hon’, here comes a GMC Titlist.”

This thing will follow the Beach Waterpark and the ART debacle into the Malodorous Dumpster of Bad Ideas and all the wrong people will make money. Ask any economist:

“Politicians dangle incentives because voters want them to. And voters want them to in large part because politicians say that incentives make a real difference. ‘The dirty big secret,’ said Greg LeRoy, the executive director of the group Good Jobs First, ‘is that they don’t.’ ”

Air Subaru flies again

October 4, 2017

Bibleburg, as seen from the overlook at Palmer Park.

Another week, another flight aboard Air Subaru. This time it was back to Bibleburg to clear some stuff out of the garage at The House Back East™, which is to have a new proprietor by close of business Friday.

We’re talking your basic high-speed up-and-back, so apologies to the many Bibleburghers I missed during my whirlwind tour.

I was able to visit our old friend and former tenant Judy, who’s now living in a senior center off Lower Gold Camp, and looking fit despite a bad fall that required surgery, some aftermarket parts, and a whole lot of rehab.

Looking stormy this morning off the side patio.

Too, I caught up with John Crandall and the rest of the gang at Old Town Bike Shop, where we spoke of Tim Watkins, another recent victim of gun violence.

Then I beat it back to the Duke City in time to vote in Tuesday’s election, sign closing documents for THBE™, and score a half-bushel of freshly roasted green chile, some of which went almost instantly into vegetarian quesadillas for Herself and Your Humble Narrator. A green chile stew is to follow directly, as the weather is said to be turning damp and chilly for a couple of days.

And now, after piling a couple thousand miles onto the odometer in two weeks, it’s time to give the old hunk of junk a break. The Subaru could use one, too. So it’s back to human-powered transportation for a spell. Look for me on two feet and two wheels for the foreseeable future.

Property rites

September 7, 2017

The fabled House Back East®, soon to be under new management. Or so we hope, anyway. …

Hoo, nuts around here lately.

The House Back East™ in Bibleburg is under contract (for the second time in a week). Down here in the Duke City, meanwhile, the tree dude is popping round tomorrow to (what else?) have a squint at El Rancho Pendejo’s trees. The Furster, a.k.a. Air Subaru, gets a cautionary peek under the hood on Monday. ERP’s HVAC gets likewise on Tuesday.

And I finally found an affordable bike to review for the Adventurous Cyclists.

Whew.

Also, I got released from jury duty this afternoon. Hauled into court twice in three weeks, but never got to hear a case. Always a bridesmaid, etc., et al., and so on and so forth. Good for about $60 if the robes actually pay a guy for sitting on his ass … which, come to think of it, is what I do for a living, albeit at a slightly higher pay scale and in sloppier garb.

Most definitely not sitting on her ass is my sister-in-law Beth, who with her husband are beating it out of the bullseye Hurricane Irma has sketched on the east coast of Florida.

Herself thought they were bound for Pensacola, just a hop, skip and jump from the ancestral moonshining grounds of the O’Gradys in Perry. May the road rise up to meet them, but in a nice way.

 

Unstuffed

April 28, 2017

In my last post I mentioned that we live in a desert, by which I meant an actual desert, the Chihuahuan.

Soon we will be living in a consumer desert as well, if Herself has anything to say about it.

Her elder sister and niece have been earning some pocket money hawking items on eBay, and their enthusiasm for the activity has proven contagious. Herself has begun working our overgrown unused-goods orchard like an undocumented immigrant, plucking low-hanging fruit like her unworn Oakleys, my still-functional Flip UltraHD camcorder, and our fifth-generation iPods for sale to the slavering hordes of bargain hunters at large on the Innertubes.

She also required me to drag her old Cannondale R800 down to this weekend’s BikeABQ bike swap at Sport Systems, where the 23-year-old machine is certain to fetch dozens of dollars. If anyone in the vicinity needs a low-mileage, made-in-USA, 48cm road bike, this sucker is the last nickel bargain in America.

There’s all manner of crap cluttering up El Rancho Pendejo, and none of it is safe. Soon, if we’re not careful, we’ll be forced to go out and get … more stuff!

The road home

December 12, 2015
The road home, as seen through the windshield of a Chevy Express van stuffed to the ceiling with excess property.

The road home, as seen through the windshield of a Chevy Express van stuffed to the ceiling with excess property.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (MDM) — After getting the traditionally late start — O’Grady Standard Time is more than a few hours behind whatever you’re using — I rolled into Duke City at dark-thirty on Thursday with the last of our bits from Bibleburg and a killer backache.

And as of 4 p.m. yesterday, the former Chez Dog and its mortgage payment are in the hands of a 21-year-old student teacher. Now, if we can just get rid of the other two houses, I can finally achieve my dream of living in a van down by the river.

There will need to be a chiropractor’s van parked nearby, though, if I plan on lifting anything heavier than a cooler or a camp stove.

 

 

Sunset in Bibleburg

December 8, 2015
The sun retreats down an alley near Chez Dog.

The sun retreats down an alley near Chez Dog.

BIBLEBURG, Colo. (MDM) — One of the reasons posts have been few and far between lately is that Chez Dog is changing hands on Friday, and someone had to make the journey north to prepare the place for its new owners.

Guess who?

So I rented a Chevy van last Friday and motored back to The Old Home Place®, and I’ve been peeling the joint like an onion ever since.

Happily, the bulk of our proud-ofs are already in the Duke City. We mostly relied on thrift-store items to furnish the joint for our Airbnb guests. But a couple bits of furniture are nice enough that I wanted to bring them back to Albuquerque, along with my professional archives — 26 years’ worth of VeloNews and 23 of Bicycle Retailer. I should’ve had the movers fetch them along last year, but as you know, I will never be smart.

So I’ve been delivering items like some disheveled Santa Claus to various thrift stores, the Springs Rescue Mission, and Bike Clinic Too. If I can’t find a taker for our La-Z-Boy love seat, which folds into a nice single bed, I’ll take that to Habitat for Humanity.

The garage is emptied and swept, the basement is likewise barren, and the kitchen is down to the few bits one person needs for food preparation and service. The second bedroom holds a dismantled queen bed awaiting its new home, and the master bedroom will be in a similar state right after I have my java tomorrow morning.

Then we play “What Fits Into the Van?” Everything that doesn’t will get piled in the middle of the street, soaked in gasoline, and set on fire, and I will strip down to some strategic and very minimalist blue paint and dance around it and then. …

Uh, did I say that or only think it?

Actually, what happens next is I give the joint a quick wash and brushup, then piss off to a motel in preparation for a heavily laden, slow-motion cruise to the Duke City on Thursday.

I’ll miss the place, and the people. Don’t make the mistake of judging Bibleburg by its fools, knaves, charlatans, false prophets, homicidal lunatics, small hat sizes, pint-size Elmer Gantrys and John Galt wanna-bes. Those people are everywhere; that their headquarters is here is an unfortunate accident of history.

There are some fine folks living in the shadow of Pikes Peak, and one of these days they may build a city here. It’s a fine place for one.

Temporary quarters

November 11, 2015

When people think of the sacrifices made by the men and women in our armed forces, they tend to think in terms of deployment, combat and the strong likelihood of getting one’s arse shot off.

But there’s another forfeit that goes unnoticed — home ownership. While the military defends the nation’s homes and hearths, the citizens in uniform often must put their own American dreams on hold.

The old man (back row, right) in one of his earliest temporary billets, in New Guinea during World War II.

The old man (back row, right) in one of his earliest temporary billets, in New Guinea during World War II.

I don’t recall knowing any homeowners as a kid. We lived in Maryland, Virginia, Canada and Texas when I was a punk, and the old man either rented or arranged for quarters on base.

Sure, it’s possible to own a home while in the service, and we didn’t move around nearly as much as some folks did, but renting is still easier, even for officers. If you suddenly find yourself transferred from Ottawa to, say, Randolph AFB outside San Antonio, well, you have a house to sell. And in another country, too.

This shit rolls downhill to the dependents. When we lived in Ottawa I wanted a tree house. Nope, said the old man. That’s not our tree.

Between rental houses we got to experience the joys of Visiting Officers Quarters (VOQ), which were the early prototypes for what would become the Motel 6 chain. At least one unhappy customer said in 2008 that it was an open question whether the VOQ at Fort Drum were “preferable to field conditions.” I recall a few that were more KOA than VOQ, for sure.

But all things come to he who waits, and in 1967, when we were transferred from Randolph to Bibleburg, Col. Harold Joseph O’Grady finally got to buy his house (after 25 years of service and one final, astoundingly long run of stays in VOQ, BOQ and actual shitbox motels on Knob Hill, which was seedy even then).

He got to enjoy it for all of 13 years, and after that he took up permanent quarters at Fort Logan National Cemetery.

So here’s to all the troops waiting patiently for their slice of American pie. Try to save ’em some.