The sausage is made

July 7, 2016

fatso-WTF-2God damn. Another long shift in the barrel, including three-plus hours of Live Update Guy, one “Shop Talk” cartoon, and one “Mad Dog Unleashed” column.

Still, some people had worse days.

• The House GOP managed to fall into a barrel of tits and come out sucking its thumb.

• Der Trumpenführer invaded Washington and it went over about as well as the Russian thing did for that other guy.

• Roger Ailes seems badly in need of a lock on his zipper (the filthy old shitbag may find that it’s better to keep rubbing his little weenie all over the news business than trying to stick it into actual, you know, like, women, an’ stuff).

• Albuquerque seems to be a giant open-air, free-range prison populated entirely by killers, thieves, firebugs, rapists and burglars.

• And don’t get me started on cops killing people just because they can.

The troll of Tramway

July 6, 2016
"Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the troll.

“Who’s that tripping over my bridge?” roared the troll.

If you can’t stand the heat, get under the overpass.

The Tour stages cut deeply into the cool morning hours, so we Live Update Guys can’t get out and about until 10-ish most days.

Today it was already 80-something when I finally got rolling, and 90-something when I got home. Drank two bottles and snarfed down a gel but found myself slightly weary for some reason. Go figure.

The only shade to be found on the entire two-hour ride was underneath Tramway, between Manitoba and Spain, so I took a brief photography break before resuming my climb back to the air-conditioned barn.

When I arrived home I saw that Ronald McDonald McTrump was panhandling his Twitter followers, so I graciously offered him the steam off my piss. Haven’t heard back yet. There’s just no pleasing some people.

Self-funded campaign, me arse.

Self-funded campaign, me arse.

Wreck on the highway

July 2, 2016
Say hi to Sam Hillborne.

Say hi to Sam Hillborne.

The first day of what appears to be a very long Tour de France is in the bag. Thanks to everyone who joined us at Live Update Guy. And chapeau to Mark Cavendish, who avoided a last-kilometer pileup — one of several on the day — to win the stage and take his first yellow jersey.

Too, a special “ow, wow, yow, zow” goes out to everyone who hit the deck on Stage 1. The body count would seem to include — well, just about everyone except for Cav’, me and Charles Pelkey (office furniture and road furniture rarely become entangled).

Alberto Contador in particular looked like he’d been attacked by a deranged chef with an assault cheese grater. One wonders whether he’ll have to be strapped onto his bike, El Cid-style, in order to start Sunday’s stage.

I wasn’t strapped to a damn thing when I rolled out for my own ride, aboard a brand-spankin’-new Rivendell Sam Hillborne (see pic above). No clipless pedals on that bad boy, not even toeclips and straps — just flats. So I rode in street shoes, baggies, an emblem-free Pearl Izumi jersey and a Rivendell cap unencumbered by helmet, just to make the Safety Nazis crazy. Took ‘er out on the highway, too.

I wish I could change this sad story that I am now telling you. But there is no way I can change it. For somebody’s ride is now through.

Vuelta a Voodoo

July 1, 2016
No, this isn't deep in the Amazonian jungle. This is Trail 341, just west of the non-bikeable wilderness.

No, this isn’t deep in the Amazonian jungle. This is Trail 341, just west of the non-bikeable wilderness.

The first ride of July is in the bag — 90 minutes on the trails surrounding the Elena Gallegos Open Space — and now I will shun the singletrack until the Fourth of July weekend is over. From now until Tuesday morning the trails will look like the aisles at Interbike on day one.

I was rocking the old Voodoo Nakisi with slightly overinflated tires to avoid pinch flats and rolls (I really need wider rims) and despite my best efforts managed to (a) keep the rubber side down, and (2) avoid centerpunching a small flock of early-bird weekenders.

Tomorrow Counselor Pelkey and I commence coverage of Le Tour over to Live Update Guy. We struggled mightily with the notion of cranking up the NRRBBB® Machine again — frankly, I was advocating a LUG-free July — but in the end we decided to bite that big yellow bullet and see if it blows our heads off. See you there.

Mooned again

June 28, 2016
Morning, moon.

Morning, moon.

I knew yesterday would be a lovely day when I stepped outside with The Boo and saw the moon fraternizing with the foliage.

“Oh my,” said I, or something very much unlike that.

Near the top of the La Cueva picnic area.

Near the top of the La Cueva picnic area.

I had planned a longish road ride but burned a little too much cool daylight early on, walking The Boo while it was not yet scorching, watering plants, and viewing with alarm (the Limeys appear to be having Bregrets over Brexit). Those folks need a king, or at the very least a leader who hasn’t got shit all over him.

So do we, come to think of it.

Anyway, instead of logging four hours of saddle suffering, I spent about half that time climbing hills in the ‘hood, and that was just fine.

There’s not a lot of velo-traffic on a Monday, so I’m spared the stony “What are you doing on my road?” looks from the shaven-legged set. The four-wheeled traffic is up, but that’s fairly easy to dodge if you know the roads and there aren’t any three-time losers behind the wheel with a nearly empty 30-pack of Busch for company.

“She’s just really having a hard time in jail,” says her lawyer. Hey, counselor, that’s why they call it “jail” instead of “happy hour.”

Today is looking less bicycle-friendly, alas. I’m wrapping my print and video reviews of the Velo-Orange Piolet and sending the bike back to its owner; collecting a Rivendell Sam Hillborne, the next bike up for evaluation; thinking about my next column and cartoon for BRAIN (thank the suffering Christ that we go back to monthly publication after two more issues); and hitting the grocery.

I need some brain food (no, not BRAIN food, brain food). Looks like Counselor Pelkey and I will be calling the Tour de France over at Live Update Guy, if we can find some ether to spray in the carb and a couple rattle-cans of yellow Rustoleum.

 

Hell sucks

June 25, 2016
You may never have read "Dispatches" by Michael Herr, but chances are you've shared some of his experiences at the cinema, in "Platoon," "Apocalpyse Now" or "Full Metal Jacket."

You may never have read “Dispatches” by Michael Herr, but chances are you’ve shared some of his experiences at the cinema, in “Platoon,” “Apocalpyse Now” or “Full Metal Jacket.”

Michael Herr deserves his own post, if only for “Dispatches,” a work I’ve mentioned here before.

He went to Vietnam for Esquire, not for Uncle Sam, and he had to have a breakdown before he finished the book for which he would be best known.

If you saw “Apocalypse Now,” you’ve heard his work (he wrote the narration). You got some more of it in “Full Metal Jacket” (he wrote the screenplay with Gustav Hasford, author of “The Short-Timers,” for his friend Stanley Kubrick).

But “Dispatches” was the real deal. Seventies reportage from the scene, slightly fictionalized, deeply admired, by the king of Gonzo journalism, Hunter S. Thompson, and by me, too.

Rest in peace, Mr. Herr.

Extra-credit reading

“Hell Sucks,” which became part of “Dispatches,” reprinted in its entirety at Esquire.

“Breathing In,” also from “Dispatches,” excerpted by NPR.

• Herr’s New York Times obit.

A remembrance by Graydon Carter.

A 2000 interview in The Guardian by fellow war correspondent Ed Vulliamy.

My brain hurts

June 24, 2016

Clearly, the Universe is hellbent on putting satirists out of business.

First, the Brits tell the EU to go pound sand.

Second, Floyd Landis will be fronting a whacky-tobacky enterprise, dubbed “Floyd’s of Leadville.” Cheech and Chong must be shittin’ themselves. I guess someone else already cornered the whiskey, beer and synthetic-testosterone market. (Pro tip: Never get high on your own supply, Floyd old scout.)

Third, Comrade Eeyore says he’ll vote for The Hilldebeast. Bernie Bros everywhere ring up Floyd.

My brain hurts.

Trail blazing

June 20, 2016
The Paseo del Bosque makes a nice change from riding Tramway.

The Paseo del Bosque makes a nice change from riding Tramway.

Summer has announced itself with some authority here in the Duke City.

The temperature was in the 70s at El Rancho Pendejo before I finished my morning java, and hit the 80s before I left for the daily ride at 9-ish.

This little fella was trying to make the irrigation ditch before some earbudded triathlete did him in.

This little fella was trying to make the irrigation ditch before some earbudded triathlete did him in.

Too late, you say? Yep. ‘Cause I was enjoying 90-something in hour three of today’s little outing, which took me down to the Paseo del Bosque Trail, through downtown, and then home via the North Diversion Channel and Bear Canyon Arroyo trails.

It was an eventful day. I saw bison grazing on Sandia land along Tramway; a small tortoise trying to cross the bosque trail (I gave him a hand); ducks paddling underneath the Interstate 40 bridge over the Rio; and a dude on a skateboard pushing a canoe on wheels.

I am not making that last part up.

“Interesting way to get around,” sez I.

“Hey, it works,” sez he. And so it did.

I should’ve snapped a picture, because I’m not entirely sure I actually saw it. It was hot out there.

• Addendum: I’m not sure I saw this either. I can’t wait to hear the good constitutionalists out there screeching about activist judges (cue the crickets).

Endurance

June 17, 2016
Hal Walter and Spike in 2000, after winning what I believe was their second world pack-burro championship in Fairplay, Colo.

Hal Walter and Spike in 2000, after winning what I believe was their second world pack-burro championship in Fairplay, Colo.

My man Hal “Mr. Awesome” Walter, who races burros and raises an autistic son, is the subject of a profile over to Narrative.ly, just in time for Father’s Day.

You might think that managing what Hal prefers to call a “neurodiverse” child would be heavy lifting. But like burro racing, it has more to do with endurance, which just happens to be the title of a newish short book the man is hawking between his other chores.

Like father, like son: Young Harrison has his very own burro circa 2005.

Like father, like son: Young Harrison has his very own burro circa 2005.

Hal and I first met back in the Eighties on the copy desk of The Pueblo Chieftain, where we also dealt with varying degrees of neurodiversity and as a consequence enhanced our capacities to endure just about anything.

I went on to become an extraordinarily prosaic amateur cyclist while professionally lampooning leg-shavers, dope fiends, and leg-shaving dope fiends, while Hal became a world-champion pack-burro racer and author.

But we’ve remained friends despite our class differences, and thus I recommend that you read the profile and buy the book.

Hot town, summer in Duke City

June 16, 2016
It was a wee bit hazy with a scent of smoke in the air as Mister Boo enjoyed his promenade this morning.

It was a wee bit hazy with a scent of smoke in the air as Mister Boo enjoyed his promenade this morning.

Smokin’ hot in the Duke City this morning, and for the immediate future as well.

We have a nice little fire cooking away down southeast of here, and a couple others elsewhere. The smell of a forest burning revives a memory of our storied Bibleburg days and provides a preview of my anticipated afterlife.

Taking a few hot laps around the Elena Gallegos Open Space on the Jones 29er.

Taking a few hot laps around the Elena Gallegos Open Space on the Jones 29er.

The heat is tough on the turf, which is slightly scorched due to someone not noticing that a sprinkler head had gone sideways. (Thanks, Obama!)

And it’s no party for the pets, all three of whom have whiled away the day sleeping. Mister Boo is barely interested in his meals, which ordinarily would be a sign of the Apocalypse but in this case indicates that it’s just too bloody hot to eat.

Or cook, for that matter. Last night Herself and I dined on a hunk of smoked salmon, sharp cheddar, crackers and a big-ass salad (note the crucial hyphen there; a big ass salad would be something else entirely).

Tonight I think it’s gonna be some hot Italian sausage, onions and peppers, a tomatoey, garlicky thing, perhaps over orecchiette, a pasta I’m really starting to appreciate.

Elsewhere The Stupid is swelling like a boil on the buttocks of the body politic. Sen. John McInsane (R-Off My Lawn) is spastically trying to walk back a brain-dead crack he made about Obama’s responsibility for the massacre in Orlando (time for your meds, some soup and a nice nap, Johnny me boyo). And Rumor Control hints that Cheeto Jesus may be less interested in the presidency than in his own cable network.

Seriously? We’ve all watched the GOP sawing feebly away at its skinny wrists with a butter knife for eight long years. Suddenly Ronald McDonald McTrump accelerates the process with a “Game of Thrones” flourish that leaves 16 heads rolling in the aisles, and all he wants for his trouble is a fucking job in TV?

Well, son, that’s one hell of an opening act. But what d’ye do for an encore?


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