Archive for the ‘Ranting and raving’ Category

Austin shitty limits

January 11, 2015
One of the nine thousand 'cross cartoons I've done since taking up the benighted activity. This one appeared in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

One of the nine thousand ‘cross cartoons I’ve done since taking up the benighted activity. This one appeared in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

It’s not often that I say, “Wow, I’m glad I didn’t go to cyclo-cross nationals.” But this is one of those rare occasions.

Somehow, the promoters, USA Cycling and the Austin Parks and Recreation Department — after four days of running lesser championship and non-championship events — found themselves at odds over whether Sunday’s Big Finale was appropriate given the appallingly ‘cross-like conditions at the venue, Zilker Park.

A less-than-joyous noise apparently having been made unto the Lord by some non-Belgian whose voice carries, the marquee events were first canceled, then postponed until Monday, though a sober copy editor might raise a few pointed questions about the “Barring more rain” qualifier in the headline some USAC media type slapped atop its announcement.

I’ve been to ‘cross nats more than a time or two, and I can’t recall anything like this happening anywhere else, despite flood, freeze, snow or snafu. Course changes? Si. Cops running people away from the venue, perhaps never to return? No.

Someone has intercoursed the penguin with a vengeance here, and if I were sitting on a flat wallet in an Austin Motel 6 with a useless race number, all kitted up with no place to go but home, I’d want to know who the hell the all-hat, no-cattle sonofabitch is. If he had a brain, he’d be out playing with it, as Dan Jenkins once wrote.

Everything’s bigger in Texas, they say. I guess that goes for the fuck-ups, too. Oops.

All et up with the dumbass

June 13, 2014

Jesus H. Christ, how does Sen. Babbleyap McCrankypants (R-Off My Lawn) keep getting on TV? You’d get a smarter interview from a plastic plant at a nursing home. Or a sack of hair outside a barbershop that caters to the feeble-minded. Or a bag of Chinese hammers at Walmart.

You get the idea.

This bellicose plastic sack of wet war dreams never met a meat grinder he didn’t want to stuff someone else’s kid into. You could scrape enough stupid off his dumb ass to make a six-pack of Louie Gohmerts with enough left over for two Scientologists, a Fox News anchor and the DMV of your choice.

And I would like nothing better than to see some deceased grunt’s mom give him a roundhouse dick-punch with a roll of Kennedy half-dollars in her fist, just plain pop him like the pimple he is. Arizona and the nation would be better served by a Magic 8-Ball full of old Pat Buchanan columns.

I call this one ‘War Criminal With Bicycle’

May 2, 2014

aebushHeeeeeee’s baaaaaaaaaaack. …

Jesus H. Christ. Couldn’t this asshole stick to painting pictures of himself in the bathtub?

And the less said about CNN, the better. Those dildos started toeing the company line before the echoes of the second plane hitting the South Tower faded and it’s been nothing but train wrecks ever since.

The path of most resistance

October 26, 2013
The streets are safer, even with a light coating of leaves.

The streets are safer, even with a light coating of leaves.

If you ever wonder why so many Americans have so much trouble making their government function, just watch them making a shambles of another shared space — the infinitely simpler bike path.

I nearly got crashed twice yesterday — first by a pair of knucklehead roadies in team kit who cut across my bow in Goose Gossage Park, exiting the bike path for the street without bothering to check for oncoming traffic, and a few minutes later by some helmetless dipshit on a beater road bike careening down the wrong side of a sketchy slope coated with sand and pea gravel.

Mind you, these incidents constituted the cherries atop a turd-cake that included the usual ingredients — oblivious strollers three abreast, untrained dogs sans leash, and fleawits wandering across the path without checking to see whether they might be about to violate the laws of physics by trying to occupy the same space at the same time as a 180-pound Irish-American on a 30-pound touring bike traveling at 15 mph.

The offenders invariably wear the blank, bovine gaze of a feedlot cow doomed to wear a soggy bun, a slice of pickle and some processed cheese “food” in the afterlife. And yet some of us we marvel at the popularity of Rupert Murdoch’s various entertainment outlets, which shove a similarly toxic product at the feeble-minded through the flat-panel windows in their living rooms.

How hard can it be to walk, run and ride to the right, pass left, and keep your fucking eyes open?

Wave dynamics redux

June 18, 2013
Five reasons you should wave back.

Five reasons you should return a friendly wave.

Editor’s note: The Twitterati are abuzz with references to various wave/not wave essays, which goes to show you that the times, they are not a-changin’, no matter what Mr. Dylan said. I wrote this piece for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News back in 1995.

I swear to Eddy Merckx, the next time I wave cheerily at a passing cyclist and he just gives me The Look, I’m gonna chase his arrogant ass down, knock him off his bike, drag him back to my house and chain him to a wind trainer in front of the television, where a steady diet of anaerobic-threshold intervals and “Full House” reruns — coupled with a chamois full of red ants and occasional encouragement from a Bull Buster cattle prod — should drive home the argument that courtesy is the grease which keeps society’s bottom bracket spinning freely.

What is with these guys? Unlike passing motorists, I generally wave with all five fingers on a given hand, and there are no pentagrams tattooed on my palms. Has the mousse that grips their so-carefully coiffed ’dos soaked through their scalps to enmire the already-sluggish machinations of their brains? Are their Oakleys so dark that they simply can’t see my friendly salutation? Have they heard the ugly rumors about me, their sisters and the Sonoran donkey?

Beats me. I have no answers. But, as you might expect, I have a few theories. And here they are:

• Me Cool, You Lame — You, the non-waver, may think that your bike and/or cycling attire is way neater than mine, and that to wave would be to compromise your coolness. But I’m a Media Dude, see, and that means my bike is so much cooler than anybody else’s that I have to let it get all grunged up and filthy-looking just to keep wanna-bes like Claudia Schiffer and Tom Hanks from trying to steal it. Should anyone make off with this bike, of course, I can track them by the hideous shrieking of its 4-year-old, unlubed Dura-Ace chain. But I won’t bother, because I’ve got three or four even cooler ones at home that I never, ever ride, and I didn’t pay a nickel for any of them. Hahahahah.

• I Have a Goatee and You Do Not. This is a corollary to Me Cool, You Lame. It’s also on a par with thinking a Murray preferable to a Merlin. I sport a full salt-and-pepper beard and a sizable bald spot because of a nagging case of testosterone poisoning picked up in Vietnam when I was teaching Chuck Norris all about karate. You, on the other hand, wear a straggly soup-strainer named for a smelly barnyard animal fond of eating garbage, and it doesn’t even cover your zits all that well. As my daddy was fond of saying, if you can’t grow more hair on your face than you can on your butt, you should shave.

• I’m Too Scared to Take One Hand Off the Bars. This is a theory with potential, since most velo-snobs seem to spend all their free time rifling Mom’s purse for the cash to buy purple chainrings and trying to trials-ride the tables at Espresso Yourself instead of practicing basic cycling skills, like waving to other cyclists, riding a straight line, and and blowing your nose without getting boogers all over your Banesto jersey.

• I’m Dumber Than a Food Stamp Office Full of Suntour Executives. Also a theory with potential, this assumes big lag time between the eyes registering an occurrence — a friendly wave, a big smile, the development of trouble-free indexed shifting — and the brain processing the information: “Duhhh … hand up; smile on face; duhhhh … he was WAVING, George! Yuh, yuh, that’s right … he was WAVING, George! Can I pet the rabbits now, George?” That’s a Steinbeck reference, dude. Jeez, four years in grammar school and four years of reform school, and you didn’t learn nothing in either place.

• Don’t Bother Me, I Am a Racer. “Look, Marlin, it’s a USCF licensee! And here we thought they were extinct! We’ve got to move quickly — I’ll get the tranquilizer rifle and the ear tags; you call the Smithsonian and National Geographic!

• Exercise is Serious Business. Sure it is. So is getting chained to a wind trainer by an irate stranger with a sound-proofed basement, an ant farm and a cattle prod. Think about it … then wave.

Fetuses have Second Amendment rights too

April 17, 2013

Do you suppose a mass shooting of fetuses might move the Senate to action on gun control? Naw, they’d just vote to station armed guards in American wombs.

Herself and I sent the usual NastyGrams® to our senators, for all the good that does. Two more mutts yapping. You don’t even hear it after a while. I’ve lived next to runways and railroad tracks, crack houses and frat houses, and if I’ve learned one thing it’s that a fella can learn to sleep through any kind of godawful racket, even me screaming at you over the phone.

If the killing of 20 children in Newtown can’t motivate “our” elected representatives, I don’t know what can. Oh, yeah, right — money. How silly of me.

The National Rifle Association spent $500,000 on Wednesday alone, for advertising critical of “Obama’s gun ban.” Of course, this is above and beyond what they’ve already invested in the best Congress money can buy.

From here to there and back again

March 1, 2012

Twelve hours after I left home and hearth, sallying forth in the service of bicycle journalism, I found myself back at the ranch, cracking the first of what would be more than one bottle of Odell’s 5 Barrel Pale Ale and speaking in a tone and volume that startled the dog, although the cats are used to it.

It’s all of 85 miles from here to Denver International Airport, a distance I once routinely covered via bicycle, and that’s as far as United Airlines got me today before I finally told them, “Piss on the fire and call in the dogs, I’ve had the course.” Not even bicycle racers can make this many excuses for failure. Call it the Tour of Concourse B.

Had I been flying Air Subaru I’d have made Flagstaff in about the same time as it took to fly from Bibleburg to Mile High and back again (total air time: 40 minutes tops). I could have enjoyed a Hopshot IPA at the Beaver Street Brewing Company, hit the sack, then arisen early and motored to Sacramento for a glass of Thunderhead IPA at Pyramid Breweries. But nooo. …

More tomorrow, once I calm down. We must think of the animals.

Hot times in the old town (for now)

April 2, 2011

Bibleburg popped a 4-year-old record today, hitting 78 degrees. And the springlike weather had all the eejits  out and about, believe you me.

First, I nearly got right-hooked by an inattentive motorist at a stoplight on the outbound leg of today’s ride; happily, being a lifelong paranoid, I saw her coming. On the homestretch I avoided T-boning a couple of dipshit mountain bikers on a fast descent through Palmer Park. They rolled casually from a parking lot into the road, right in front of me, screened by a phalanx of parked vehicles. Once again, I was lucky to have seen them long before they saw me. Disc brakes helped, too.

There is a particular class of narcissistic nitwit at large these days whose members believe that nothing they do can ever be wrong. It’s thinking on a par with Tricky Dicky’s “When the president does it, that means it’s not illegal.”

Then again, calling it “thinking” is a bit extravagant. I saw the faces of both motorist and mountain bikers, and they resembled nothing so much as the vacuous mugs of feedlot cows, contentedly chewing their own cuds.

The temptation is to lock up the binders, gesticulate and in general make a spectacle of yourself, offering up loud, detailed and specific instruction delivered mostly in words containing only four letters.  But what kind of crazy bastard shouts at cattle on a beautiful spring day?

The danger of distracted pedestrians

January 26, 2011

First, they came for Muffy’s iPod, and I said nothing. …

Jesus H. Christ. Do our lawmakers have nothing more pressing to take up than the blistering stupidity of fleawits who fall into fountains or totter into traffic while entranced by their Personal Lobotomy Devices?

I fail to see the problem here. Stupidity should be painful, and if it is occasionally fatal, well, the gene pool appears badly in need of chlorination, does it not? Back to job creation, if you please. Hey, here’s a thought: Hire personal assistants for everyone to keep them from hurting themselves!

‘Look, they got jobs’

December 1, 2010

Who’s in the valley when the shit rolls downhill? Twenty-five thousand Coloradans. Another 21,000 folks in Kentucky. Some 454,000 Californians.

And that’s just the the tip of the turd-berg. All because the Republicans have no shame and the Democrats have no balls.

Where was all this hand-wringing over the deficit when the Elefinks were running two wars off the budget, flushing buckets of your grandbabies’ money down the loo of the Daffy-Fudd dream of global empire? That this murderous profligacy continues under a Donk administration is doubly abhorrent, but at least it’s in the budget where everyone can get a good, cold, hard look at the cost of being the world’s cop on the beat.

This is not about the deficit. It’s about power, and the little guy is on the short end of that very big stick.

Kentuckian Latoya Collins gets it exactly right. Waiting at the Jobs Center in Lexington, the 27-year-old — who hasn’t been without work since she was 15, until now — says maybe Congress doesn’t notice the working man.

“Look, they got jobs,” she told the Lexington Herald-Leader. More’s the pity. America is laying off all the wrong people.