Archive for the ‘Casual snark’ Category

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!

The Four Horses’ Asses of the Apocalypse

October 21, 2020

It’s all downhill from here, fellas.

A neighbor rang our doorbell a few minutes ago to advise us that the Cowboys for Trump were parading down Comanche, practically dancing in our laps.

Naturally, I grabbed the iPhone, hopped on a bike, and rolled out to collect a few memories.

I’m told that there were four riders on horseback leading the thing. I suppose the irony eludes them, as do many other things.

Including that they inspired my neighbor to drop everything and go vote — for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Just a few autumn leaves

September 22, 2020

You can trust your car to the man who wears the star. Or not.

• Skid Marx: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

• Al Sleet lives: “The weather will continue to change, on and off, for a long, long time.”

• Raiders of the Lost Arkea-Samsic: “We have top men working on it right now.”

Less bushwa

September 11, 2020

OK, now they’re just fucking with us to see if we’re paying attention.

You can’t make this shit up. “Liz Bourgeois?” Yeah, right. Who’s her supervisor, Heywood Jablomie?

Kibboleth

August 12, 2020

I had one of these back in 2001. I got all the strength training I needed pushing the sonofabitch when it broke down.

Top-shelf “van life?” Four-figure “smart” strength-training equipment?

Betimes one wonders whether The New York Times ping-pongs back and forth between Manhattan and San Fran without paying much attention to what’s in between.

Clearly, what Joe and Jane Sixpack are crying out for in Middle America is a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with a factory-installed Tonal.

Either that or, y’know, like, a Bug vaccine, dinner with friends, and maybe a fucking job.

Let’s ask Studs Terkel, shall we?

Channel-surfing

July 24, 2020

A wet brick can be a terrorist weapon in the wrong hands.
See something, say something!

The “monsoons” appear to be upon us. A bit late, but better that than never.

Look for the Homeless People’s Diversion Channel Surfing Championships live from Albuquerque on ESPN, as there are no other “sports” available to televise.*

Simultaneously, on CNN, watch the 101st Vanborne Division (“The Squealing Beagles”) take target practice on the hapless channel-surfers using “less-lethal munitions,” formerly dubbed “non-lethal munitions,” a.k.a. rubber bullets, beanbag rounds,  IRA recruitment tools, etc.

Survivors will be fished out, charged with domestic terrorism for occupying and/or polluting a waterway, and sentenced to take the “troops” water-skiing.

BUM, bum, BUM, bum. …

“Row, y’bastards!”

* Major League Baseball™ is not a sport. It is a business, like AT&T, Facebook, and the White House.