Archive for the ‘Casual snark’ Category

Piss on the dogs and call in the fire

October 14, 2021

Space: the final frontier. (Some restrictions apply.)

What’s that ominous rumble? O buggah — it’s the Trane XR80 roaring to hideous life astride the cooling carcass of summer.

Mid-October is a wee bit early for this sort of thing. But these are strange times, and getting stranger by the minute.

Captain Kirk rode one of Jeffy Bozos’ dick-missiles to the edge of space yesterday and returned to tell us all how glorious it is to be a wealthy white man with friends in high places. A first-class ticket for Aer Dingus is just one more thing you can’t afford, suckers. Now get back to work.

“Live long and prosper,” murmur the Vulcans. But they’re being ironic, as usual.

Either that or they’re talking to the Vogons, whose Constructor Fleet should be popping round to start work on that hyperspatial express route any day now.

Resistance is useless!

The Farce is with you

October 5, 2021

How do you “like” them apples, Obi-Wan?

“I felt a great disturbance in The Farce, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.” — Mark Zuckerberg, Jedi Not

All those delicate eggs in Facebutt’s inexplicably unraveling basket. Has anybody pulled in the Easter Bunny for questioning? Just what is it he does between Easters, anyway?

In its coverage, The New York Times observes:

The Facebook outage on Monday was a planetary-scale demonstration of how essential the company’s services have become to daily life. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger have long been more than handy tools for chatting and sharing photos. They are critical platforms for doing business, arranging medical care, conducting virtual classes, carrying out political campaigns, responding to emergencies and much, much more.

Pardon my smirk, but the only reason these “services” have become “essential” is because the rubes, marks, and suckers have made them so.  Some of us limp along just fine without them.

I croaked all my social-media accounts long ago and I don’t even pop round to piss on their graves, that’s how little I think about Buttface, Twatter, and the rest of ’em. Hideous time-sucks that encourage humans to indulge their every whim, no matter how grotesque.

Convenience is not always your friend. Convenience leaves you with Amazon, Walmart, and Starbucks after the mom-and-pop corner stores are gone. Anybody remember AOL? Email, messaging, browsing, website hosting, chat rooms, etc., all under the same leaky roof. O, the howling when that dog decided for one reason or another that it would not hunt when you whistled it up.

Some of us eventually built our own website(s) elsewhere, set up any number of email accounts, used Netscape for web browsing, and so on and so forth. More fiddly, but more rewarding, too.

I did use AIM for instant messaging when Netscape and AOL teamed up for that project. What the hell, it was convenient.

Buzzworm Crossing?

September 18, 2021

Certainly seems serpentine. …

I don’t think so, but maybe we need a few of ’em around here.

Herself and I saw three defunct snakes at roadside during yesterday’s ride. At speed it was impossible to tell whether these were buzzworms or bull snakes, and since “at speed” is the way I prefer to view snakes, whether alive or dead, we’ll just have to content ourselves with blissful ignorance as regards species.

Speaking of vipers in the collective bosom, I understand today’s Justice for Jagoffs rally is starting to look like a tailgate party for a tank-town JV field-hockey match. Seems the paranoia strikes deep:

Users in far-right Internet forums and groups have claimed without evidence that the rally is a “trap,” created by the federal government to lure demonstrators to Washington, where federal officials will arrest them. Users also allege without evidence that the event will be infiltrated by left-wing activists who will disguise themselves as Trump supporters and deliberately cause trouble to make the rallygoers look unlawful.

Hee, and also haw, etc. Like The State needs to corral all these selfie-snapping shitheads in one place to snatch ’em up instead of picking them off one by one using their own social-media postings as a virtual breadcrumb trail to their various holes in the wall.

“I couldn’t do that. Could you do that? How can they do that? Who are those guys?”

Just a couple federales with a laptop, Butch. You and Sundance ever consider relocating to Bolivia? They love a good demonstration.

These kids today

September 14, 2021

All tired out.

So there I was, just riding along, when the rear tire started going softer than Brett Kavanaugh’s FBI background check.

I was already heading home, so I figured I’d just head there faster. But first I stopped to pump the tire up a bit because cornering on the rim at speed is always iffy.

That worked, for a while, but it was clear I would have to stop to give the ol’ Zéfal another workout if I wanted to ride this mess home, where the floor pump, workstand, and air conditioning reside.

So there I was, just pumping along, when a couple young women on mountain bikes rolled up.

“Do you need any help?” one asked brightly.

“No, thanks, I’m good,” I replied. And off they went.

Wasn’t that nice of the younguns, to offer aid and comfort to the auld fella? Lucky for them I wasn’t a Supreme Court justice.

Mission accomplished

August 31, 2021

The backyard maple is shedding leaves, and it’s not even Labor Day yet.

’Twas a glorious day to ride the bike in ’Burque.

Nobody told me I had waited too long, or left too soon, or was just plain doing it wrong. That I had left my wife and cat behind raised nary an eyebrow among the chattering classes.

This may be because El Rancho Pendejo remained firmly under the control of said wife and cat; their autocratic ways are not exactly breaking news. Herself has been in the driver’s seat since 1990, and Miss Mia Sopaipilla has been a key member of the ruling class for nearly half that time.

In my absence they do exactly as they please, which is pretty much what they do when I’m around, the United Nations and Geneva Conventions be damned.

The only uproar arose when I returned after 90 minutes of pooting around in the foothills on the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff.

“What’s to eat around here?” they yowled. The knives were out, along with the forks. Can a call for comment from The New York Times be far behind?

Adventure capitalism

July 11, 2021

Unlike VSS Unity, the local blat goes into orbit.

Christ, what a bunch of homers.

How is “rich guy does something you can’t” in any way “historic?”* That’s what I call “business as usual.” Just another limo ride for Sir Richard Branson.

Back In the Day®, working people rode the lightning to heaven. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin took a lap around the planet in April 1961. The next month, American astronaut Alan Shepard became the second man in space, a quick suborbital trip up and down.

Soon, North American X-15s were being carried aloft by B-52s, set free to fly to the edge of space and beyond, then return to earth. Thirteen missions met the Air Force criterion for space flight, and eight pilots scored astronaut wings.

Moon landings, shuttle flights, space stations all followed. We were on the edge of great things, and then we stepped back.

If we hadn’t been so busy croaking each other down here on terra firma we might all have condos on Mars by now, and we could tell Elon Musk to piss off when he came calling. Private property, bub. Try Venus, I hear it’s a fixer-upper.

So don’t talk to me about “historic.” If you overlook the non-essential personnel, this trip would have seemed very familiar to the Mercury astronauts and X-15 pilots.

The only thing I find remarkable was that somebody managed to drive a vehicle out of New Mexico and back again without getting pulled over by la migra. But then it was a white guy driving, so no worries.

* Sheeyit. NPR also called this wankfest “historic.” I may have hysterics.

The new Disneyland

June 24, 2021

Road hard.

Americans are hewing to the Gospel of Willie Nelson:

On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again

The New York Times says tracking indicates that mountain-resort bookings are off the charts, well ahead of even last year’s record-shattering level.

Hotel rooms cost more, and so does go-juice for the family tank. Planning to camp? Do you have a reservation, m’sieur? Non? Please ’ave a seat in your Buick and I’ll see if we can pencil you in for, oh, let’s say … October. October 2022. Your bicycle should be available by then as well.

On the edge, back in the early Oughts. Photo: Merrill Oliver

I’m not immune to this sort of questing, especially since I’ve been up on blocks in Bernalillo County since fall 2019.

A couple old comrades recently invited me to join them for a spot of biking and hiking around Truckee, Calif., as in days of yore, but I couldn’t warm up (ho ho ho) to the idea of driving a thousand miles each way in a 17-year-old Subie through a series of forest fires. Visit colorful Flaming Rock! Retardant drops every hour on the hour!

So I scoped out a few getaways a little closer to home, quiet locales without zip lines, mountain coasters, or via ferratas, and ho-ly shit, no thank you, please.

Your modern highwayman is not an armed robber ahorseback bellowing “Stand and deliver!” but rather an innkeeper telling you your pitiful pile of Hilton points won’t make the nut here, Sonny Jim. You think Arizona was smokin’? Wait ’til you see what we do to your Visa card.

Samey same at campsites at any location with an elevation where daytime highs stall out in the double digits. Wanna pitch a tent? Thumb up some porn on your smartphone, Johnny Muir, our dirt is all spoken for. And you couldn’t afford it anyway.

The amusing part of the NYT piece is about how all these destinations hope to teach tourists how to eschew outlandish dickishness, which is a primary characteristic of the meandering jagoff. Pivoting from tourism promotion to tourism management, as The Colorado Sun puts it.

Hee, and also haw. You won’t have to drive to Tombstone to see the O.K. Corral, podnah. The same salt-of-the-earth types who were doing it hand to hand in the Dollar Store over the last jumbo pack of Charmin will be drawing down on each other — and the hired hands — at overloaded campsite pit toilets, chairlifts, and undistinguished chain eateries from coast to coast.

Being up on blocks in Bernalillo County suddenly doesn’t sound all that bad.

Mustn’t-see TV

May 27, 2021

No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe.

Call me a weirdo. …

“You’re a weirdo!”

Very funny.

But whatever you call me, I couldn’t care less about the “Friends” reunion making “Top Stories” queues worldwide; I have absolutely zero interest in what Paul “Lyin'” Ryan has to say about a flim-flam man he doesn’t have the stones to call out by name; and I am definitely not celebrating the first “post-plague” Memorial Day weekend by joining 37 million of my fellow Americans in motoring around the nation with gas prices at a peak not seen since 2014.

Vegas? Orlando? Seriously? You want to get me near Sin City or Disney World at three smacks per gallon, Skeeter, you’re gonna need a bigger sneeze shield. I’m thinking an all-encompassing dome, something a little green fella can use to sight in the old laser cannon, ack ack ack.

I’d watch that shit all day long. But I ain’t watching no “Friends” reunion. Ain’t a laser cannon big enough, not in this galaxy or any other.

Blather warning

February 14, 2021

Cold? Yah. Blizzard? Nah.

The weather wizards are proclaiming a blizzard warning for the Duke City and its environs, but Boreas seems to have pissed off somewhere. Maybe he’s stalking Cupid.

Anyway, we have maybe an inch of snow on the deck, and some flurries continue, but the wind speed is far short of double digits.

It is colder than relations between Mitt Romney and Ron Johnson, but they’re both as rich as Croesus so I’m sure they’ll get over it.

There stands the glass

January 5, 2021

Drink up … while you still can.

Is it half full? Half empty?

Forget about those nagging short-term problems like epidemic idiocy, creeping fascism, and the future of the Republic — what the hell’s happening with water?

And which of the three stories below do you think will get the most “likes” on Facebutt?

Shit, I forgot to squeeze a little lemon in my water. I guess I won’t live forever.

• Is the Dust Bowl returning?

• There’s gold in them thar rivers!

• Beauty and the boost: Hydrate your way to health! If you can find water, and can afford it once you do. Just don’t forget the lemon, dipshit.

Meanwhile, just because, here’s “There Stands the Glass,” as covered by Half Man Half Biscuit. It starts at 6:15, but you should probably listen to the other bits that precede it. Get yeer full glass mate!