Project Jagoff

March 12, 2017

And now, from our Just Fucking Shoot Me Department, comes the news that Levi’s and Google’s ATAP division have teamed up for a “smart” denim jacket, slated to be released this fall for $350.

“Project Jacquard,” they call the technology. For those of you who don’t parlez the français, that’s pronounced “jag-off.”

I’m thinking this garment will be smarter than many of the people who buy it. My best guess is that the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jag-et is an ruse to soften us up for the jeans (call ’em Levi’s 666). Look for Guccifer 3.0 to hack ’em and pants every hipster in America at once as they bend over to lock their bespoke fixies to the railings at java joint/artisanal alehouse/toast café patios nationwide.

That oughta uncurl their moustaches.

Jailhouse rocks with turkey

March 11, 2017

I’m goin’ down. I’m goin’ down, down, down, down, down.

I’m still not very interested in what I have to say about anything, possibly because I just wrapped one deadline and am wrangling another.

Plus the weather has been, in a word, top notch (OK, so that’s two words, but you get the idea). So I’ve been spending a whole lot of my free time outdoors. Yesterday I ran in the morning and rode in the afternoon. Fat city, is what.

So while I slack, feel free to kick back and sing along with some of today’s greatest hits, unearthed between bouts of work and play.

• If You Don’t Have a Dime, Don’t Do the Crime: Deep-pockets offenders can buff the rough edges off their jailhouse stays in Southern California. Says a guy paying $100 a night for a 90-day stretch for driving while smacked (it was his third DUI): “I’m really happy I was able to come here. But you need the money to do it.” Everybody sing!

• Make America Gravel Again! The cash-strapped folks in Omaha City Hall have been “reclaiming” some crumbling roads — if your idea of reclamation involves helping them crumble all the way down to gravel to cut upkeep costs. Kids quit riding their bikes on one street after the asphalt was torn out, said one retiree living next to what is now a dirt road a block from a busy Starbucks. “During the summer, it’s just a dust bowl,” she said. Everybody sing!

• It’s Nobody’s Business But the Turks’. Seems Mike Flynn was working for two turkeys at once during last year’s pestilential election. Which one came first? Sounds like a turkey-and-egg tale, or maybe a porno. Everybody sing!

iStone

March 7, 2017

A grave decision.

Cleanup in Private Sector B

March 4, 2017
Is this art, content or journalism? I'm so confused.

Is this art, content or journalism? I’m so confused.

Today we’re gonna take a break from governmental stupidity and focus on idiocy in the private sector, where they expect results.

• From Digiday: “RIP contributor networks as a publishing shortcut to scale.” Translation: “We’ve squeezed the last dollar out of amateurs who’ll work for the byline. Time to get back to fucking over the pros.” This is what we call putting the “con” in “content.”

• From The New York Times: Palm Springs residents who have made fortunes off their vacation paradise are shocked, shocked! that others want to do likewise. Money quote, from a design blogger with a huge Instagram following: “You want to stay places that are Instagram-worthy because you are living your life as content.” Um, no.

• From The Verge: Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” has been adapted into a video game. “Rather than love, then money, than fame, give me truth. And a really big pair of thumbs.”

Fire burn and cauldron bubble

March 3, 2017

Well, given yesterday’s deluge of shoes in Washington, D.C., if Friday continues in its traditional role as a day for dumping bad news, well … buckle up, folks, and break out the Florsheim bumbershoot.

Yesterday we had:

• Jefferson Davis Beauregard Belvedere “Come Here, Boy” Sessions simmering nicely in a cauldron of his own bullshit.

• Mike Ha’pence popped for using a private AOL email account for public business (and getting hacked).

• Freshly minted EPA chief Scott Pruitt doing likewise, but with an unhacked Apple account.

• Jared Kushner (and pretty much everyone else in the Beelzebozo administration) meeting with the Russians.

• The GOP playing hide-and-seek with its health “care” legislation.

And the hits just keep on coming.

Well, sheeyit. If this’ere witch hunt keeps finding witches all the doo-dah day, I propose someone introduce a measure to change the name of the nation’s capital to Salem.

A nose for news

March 1, 2017
Paper! Get your paper here!

Paper! Get your paper here!

Woke up around 3 a.m. feeling as though I had spent the night snorting chain degreaser, convinced my brain had liquified and was seeping out of my snout onto the pillow.

Further sleep proved elusive as Herself arose to shower and the bathroom iPad commenced making news noises. It seemed King Donald the Short-fingered had not actually ordered anyone executed during his performance before the Congress, and the media were as usual focused on packaging rather than content. A golden chest overflowing with excrement is still a box of shit, no matter how many air fresheners are working overtime in Pundit Glade.

Jesus. These people. They install a low bar in the Dark Alley of Presidential Address Expectations, and when Beelzebozo manages to clear it without twisting a cankle they all go rushing after him to see where such Statesmanlike Leadership and Gravitas will take us next and boom! Down they go in a heap, and what oozes out of their bandaged skulls and onto the Innertubes afterward looks worse than what was coming out of mine until I swallowed a Claritin-D 12 Hour and a couple-three-four mugs of hot caffeine in various flavors.

Wipe your noses, shitheads. Try not to use your sleeves.

Stormy mental weather

February 28, 2017
Looks like I guessed wrong, weather-wise: I ran yesterday, which turned out to be an OK day for cycling. Today, however. ...

Looks like I guessed wrong, weather-wise: I ran yesterday, which turned out to be an OK day for cycling. Today, however. …

I’m not very interested in what I have to say lately.

There’s just something about February. It’s a short month, but marks the start of every-other-week columns and cartoons for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

Too, the weather is often inhospitable, which can be a problem when shooting video for Adventure Cyclist.

And every so often we find ourselves adjusting to a New World Ordure, which can be irksome.

So, yeah. Apologies, but I’ve been taking a few continuing-education courses at good ol’ STFU.

While in residence I read a 1955 interview with James Thurber in The Paris Review. Thurber — an FBI target dubbed “prematurely anti-fascist” by Red-hunters — was discussing what he called “this fear and hysteria” of that period in American history and how it was affecting his writing:

“It’s hard to write humor in the mental weather we’ve had, and that’s likely to take you into reminiscence. Your heart isn’t in it to write anything funny.”

Speaking of stormy mental February weather, I see King Donald the Short-fingered is to address the multitudes this evening. P’raps instead of watching that excremental extravaganza we shall borrow a teenager from one of the neighbors, immerse ourselves in some novel off-the-cuff and inconsequential lies as a change of pace.

Or maybe we’ll re-read “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

Meow mix

February 25, 2017
The Turk loves him some velour blanket and sunshine.

The Turk loves him some velour blanket and sunshine.

Remember the good old days, when there were commies under your bed?

Now it’s just cats. And they’re both under it and on top of it.

Mia goes to the mattresses. Well, to be specfic, under same.

Mia goes to the mattresses. Well, to be specific, under same.

Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) generally pitches his command tent atop the bed, where he can enjoy a panoramic view of the inside of his eyelids.

For purposes of security, his adjutant and aide-de-camp Miss Mia Sopaipilla favors a (mostly) undisclosed location.

I’ve wondered more than once whether they’re solar-powered. If so, their batteries should be topped off nicely.

Free-deranged beef

February 24, 2017

trump-pressOK, it’s been a long week.

Allergies, deadlines, insomnia, you name it.

And the news? Oy. Don’t get me started on the friggin’ news. It seems to have boiled down to @infinite_scream on Twitter, as interpreted by the band Disaster Area from “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

But I gotta admit, the way The New York Times arranged this news nugget on its homepage made me smile.

We used to have a saying in my biz: “Never fuck with anyone who buys ink by the barrel.” It may no longer apply, but we can always hope, amirite?

First Amendment follies

February 18, 2017
Asked if he would serve as national security adviser, Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) replied: "Let me sleep on it. OK, nope."

Asked if he would serve as national security adviser, Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) replied: “Let me sleep on it. OK, nope.”

I didn’t get my Enemies of the People email newsletter this morning, which means I don’t know what we treacherous media types are supposed to be lying about today, so I’m just gonna have to wing it.

Word is that King Donald the Short-fingered will be holding court today in Florida. You’d think that at some point he might stop applying for the job and start doing it, but that’s what you get for thinking. Not a fan of thinking, the Orange House. Not a fan. Sad! Weak! Man of action! Get that thinking out of here!

Speaking of thinking, the techies at Wired magazine suggest that the paranoids among us — Who? Where? — consider using locked-down Chromebooks and cheapo burner phones that can be wiped and destroyed whenever the secret police decide they need to run their sticky little fingers through your data.

There are $30 Android smartphones out there? Seriously? Who knew? Not me, comrades. Herself just scored a new iPhone 7 and I think she had to pay a $30 cover charge just to get in the door.

Me, I muddle along with a 5-year-old iPhone 5, which I use mostly to receive communiques, dispatches and orders from Herself, take the occasional photo on bike rides, and transmit my activities and location to the State in case its minions wish to discuss pressing matters of national security with me in a windowless basement room at some undisclosed location.

Hmmmmm. Thirty-buck prepaid smartphone, y’say? Bought anonymously, with cash? Something else to think about. …