Archive for the ‘Stupidity’ Category

Nuts

February 11, 2016
Not exactly the Battle of the Bulge, was it? Unless you count the bulges at the portly patriots' American-flag belt buckles.

Not exactly the Battle of the Bulge, was it? Unless you count the bulges at the portly patriots’ American-flag belt buckles.

Could the Battle of the Budgies be coming to a peaceful resolution?

The Oregonian reports that the last holdouts at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon are ready to give themselves up, and that their patron saint, Cliven Bundy, was snatched up in Portland and faces charges from the 2014 debacle that triggered this whole clusterfuck.

Perhaps as they continue to enjoy the hospitality of the State at another venue these small fellows can take solace from a Longfellow, translating Friedrich von Logau:

Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small;

Though with patience he stands waiting, with exactness grinds he all.

 

It’s morning in America

August 7, 2015
Well, it's morning in Albuquerque, anyway.

Well, it’s morning in Albuquerque, anyway.

“Morning in America?” Maybe not.

Ed Kilgore at Political Animal sure wasn’t impressed by last night’s GOP beauty pageant (examine his six-part LiveBlog series).

Charles P. Pierce opines that the “debates” were a further demonstration that the field has gone full hotpants-and-pushup-bra and now they’re just haggling over the price. The GOP “should be torn down and replaced by a good, honest brothel,” notes Brother Pierce.

The New York Times has a “How the Candidates Fared” lowlights piece, adding that Trump stole the show with “an antic performance.”

Steve Benen at The MaddowBlog calls Hillary the big winner.

And me? In the end, I decided not to try to watch the thing. It would have required some shenanigans, since we don’t have cable, and I didn’t want to give Fox the eyeballs.

But I’m considering ringing up Queen Elizabeth and asking whether it’s too late for us to say we’re sorry and can we come home please? If it weren’t for the whole potato-famine thing I’d have been on the phone first thing this morning.

Full Cleveland

August 6, 2015

Jeebus. I bet you’d get a bigger crowd for a pig roast at a PETA rally.

Light at the end of the shuttle bay

May 7, 2015
If I ever offer to work on your bicycle, I advise you to decline, no matter how desperate your situation.

If I ever offer to work on your bicycle, I advise you to decline, no matter how desperate your situation.

Oh, lawd, it’s been a busy ol’ week around El Rancho Pendejo, what with deadlines, Herself jetting off to the Twin Cities for a conference, and the Elly May Clampett Memorial Critter Farm to feed and water.

Still, could be worse. Could be hailing.

Meanwhile, in honor of Bike Month, we might be trading Herself’s 2002 Subaru Outback in on a 1979 AMF Roadmaster after the fine folks at Reincarnation advised us that the only item still functional in the sonofabitch is the cigarette lighter.

I dropped the stuttering, groaning monstrosity off there bright and early this morning for what we had hoped was only a timing-belt replacement and cycled back home, but not without incident.

First, a bit of backstory:

It’s been raining lately, probably because I took the fenders and rack off my Soma Saga. I put them back on for this little outing, with the help of an English muffin and not nearly enough coffee, and added some Arkel Dry-Lite panniers to fetch along a bit of foul-weather gear because, well, look at Bibleburg, f’chrissakes. You never know.

Anyway, I roll away from Reincarnation and almost immediately the Saga’s drivetrain starts acting out. This never happens because it’s one of the simplest mechanical devices known to man — Silver friction shifters commanding Shimano derailleurs (Ultegra front, Deore rear) and a nine-speed cassette. But here we are, limping along on impulse power in the Diesel-Airhorn quadrant, an easy target for any Klingon bird of prey (F-150 model).

Shit, maybe the Outback’s cooties got on it, I thought as I lurched up onto a convenient curb for a quick look-see. No obvious defect presented itself for correction, so I remounted, gave the rear mech a couple of light kicks to knock it into a serviceable position, and rolled off in a gear that was just a little bit too small or too tall, depending upon which chainring I was using.

I’m not fussy. What I am is lazy.

Also, and too, dumb. Derailleur problems one may remedy with a bit of skill and the proper tools, but stupid is forever, the gift that keeps on giving.

How dumb, you ask? Well, after lurching up to the top of the bike-ped bridge across I-25, I paused to swap my leg warmers for some knee warmers. And hey presto! As I’m pulling the latter from the drive-side bag, I notice that some fool has clamped the rear rack onto the rear derailleur-cable housing.

For once I actually had a minitool in the saddle bag, and with a couple twists of the wrist warp speed was restored. But I canna say I felt much like Montgomery Scott.

 

Laws a mercy!

March 4, 2015
The renowned political analyst Mister Boo tries to sniff out the sense of it all.

The renowned political analyst Mister Boo tries to sniff out the sense of it all.

I don’t envy the folks who have to make sense of today’s politics for the rest of us.

Maybe I’m just suffering a bit of tummy upset after having sipped from this poisoned well for way too many years, but I’m really getting sick of watching our “leaders” flail and squeal like over-sugared kindergartners who aren’t getting their way right this second.

When was the last time you saw a speaker of the House invite a foreign official to call the president a deluded pussy, for his own political purposes, before that august deliberative body?

When will the Clintonsand the Bushes — learn they’re not royalty, or even poor imitations of the Kennedys, and they don’t get to hide the family skeletons in an ermine closet in the Black Tower?

When will faux-populist, cash-hoovering whores like America Rising and Correct the Record be fed into shredders, or better yet, to the IRS, instead of being treated as authoritative sources and quoted in The New York Times? Incidentally, I notice that The Times’ love for false equivalency does not extend to mentioning that the Bush administration hid its emails too. Though they did get around to mentioning Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney.

When should intent trump ambiguity? Stop preening for the cameras, bozos, and give the bill another critical read before passing it. And don’t I wish the Second Amendment had enjoyed the tender attentions of a copy editor. We would have fewer, poorer lawyers.

It’s gonna be a long haul to 2016, folks. And you already know what the roads are like. So buckle up.

Two dogs, same bone

February 24, 2015
It's a gray morning in Duke City, and the wizards predict a chance of snow.

It’s a gray morning in Duke City, and the wizards predict a chance of snow.

Once again we are reminded that elections have consequences.

Scott Walker, by some accounts the foremost of the 2,375,296 Republicans running for that party’s 2016 presidential nomination, is going after working folks again with “right to work” legislation. He professed no interest in reviving this anti-union measure while campaigning to keep his present job, but that was so 15 minutes ago. A tricornered hat full of Tea Bagger gold is all he cares about now.

Elsewhere, Bill O’Reilly is flailing around like a big dumb mutt in the dogcatcher’s truck, trying to convince the suckers that he was a double Ernie Pyle with a side of Ed Murrow back in the day, doing it hand-to-hand with the bad guys in the Falklands when he was actually boffing a sheep in his suite at the Hilton Buenos Aires.

He’ll be successful, of course, for the same reason that Walker will get his latest union-busting tool. Larry’s wife can tell you why.

Hold my beer and watch this!

January 28, 2015

Cogito ergo dum

January 18, 2015
The culprit.

The culprit.

I will never be smart.

I’m riding the Soma Double Cross on Tramway this afternoon and on the speedy big-ring drop to Interstate 25 I suddenly hear this high-pitched whine coming from what I’m certain is the front wheel. Sounds like a brake shoe rubbing up against the tire, or maybe Jimmy Olsen’s watch calling Superman. Zee zee zee zee zee.

As this can only end badly on a fast descent, I stop — not once, not twice, but three times — to try to diagnose the problem. No joy. But then, as I turn around at the bottom for the climb back up, the noise stops.

Well, OK, then. Ain’t much bad can happen to me at 10 mph. So on I pedal in blissful ignorance.

Until I shift back into the big ring, get out of the saddle to stretch, and hear it again — zee zee zee zee zee.

A light bulb sputters on, about a 20-watter. I’m running the biggest tires this bike will take, 700×38, and I bet the rear tire is heating up and expanding and rubbing up against the front-derailleur mech. Genius!

Well, maybe not so much.

The Double Cross doesn’t have one of those bulky new Shimano mechs that intrude into the rear triangle the way the NSA does into your life. It sports a svelte old Ultegra model.

And, as I found when I got home, it also has a front-derailleur cable that somehow got itself bent inward, and the cable cap was rubbing the rear tire whenever I shifted into the big ring.

So if you’re ever riding with me and wonder what the funny noise is, don’t worry — it’s just the air leaking out of my head.

 

 

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.

Bloody hell

October 17, 2014
Sure, it's a little blurry. So was I.

Sure, it’s a little blurry. So was I.

This is either my impression of Ebola sweeping the nation or a quick iPhone shot through the windshield while zooming past Santa Fe on the latest 12-hour U-turn from Duke City to Bibleburg and back.

The maple in the front yard has commenced the annual leaf dump.

The maple in the front yard has commenced the annual leaf dump.

The Old Home Place® still stands, and I had a chance to chat with several of our former neighbors while trying to see how much stuff I could cram into a Subaru Forester without actually causing its rims to bottom out on the driveway.

This took my mind off what blithering eejits we’ve become over this Ebola business. Seems you don’t actually have to have the disease to shit yourself over it.

Tell you what, though. I get sick in Texas, I’d rather see a barber than a Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital sawbones.