Posts Tagged ‘First snow’

Voodoo economics

December 3, 2018

The first “real” snow of this not-quite-winter.

We got what I’d call our first real snow yesterday, probably because I had to drive Herself to the airport (the Universe is always on the lookout for ways to snatch a knot in my ass).

As real snows go it was fairly unreal, and the New Mexican sun was already dealing with it as I dropped her off and headed for home.

Elsewhere, Charles P. Pierce was occupied bringing light, heat and a metric shit-ton of knot-snatching to the legacy of George H.W. Bush.

I’d been trying to decide whether I had anything worthwhile to say about Poppy’s passing. There was no shortage of hagiography from the usual suspects, who seemed relieved to yap about something other than Il Douche shitting the national bed.

But all I could think of was “voodoo economics,” the one-two punch Bush v1.0 laid on Dutch Reagan’s fiscal acumen, such as it was.

When he transitioned smoothly from delivering that pop in the chops to joining the Gipper’s team as veep, I thought, “Fuck this guy.” And it seems ol’ Chazbo was thinking along similar lines. He summed up Bush v1.0’s political career as an extended exercise in “cheap theatrics … the pragmatic insincerity, the subcontracting of the hatchet job to a hired hand, the willingness to play a role, no matter how clumsily, in order to keep and maintain power.”

Quoth Charlie:

You will recall that, in 1980, he’d said the last sensible thing any Republican has said about the snake-oil that is supply-side economics. He called them “voodoo economics,” and he was dead-right. But he signed on as Reagan’s vice president anyway and, by 1988, he was getting up at the Republican National Convention and butching himself up by borrowing an idiotic line from an Arnold Schwarzenegger film. Read my lips. No new taxes!

As an authentic American patriot who did his bit during The Big One, Bush v1.0 didn’t need to descend to this sort of back-alley play-acting. Furthermore, as an authentic American patriot who did his bit during The Big One, he had a duty to call his party out on its descent into theocracy, willful ignorance, and fascism, but he never even cleared his throat, much less spoke up. Perhaps staff was unable to dredge up a suitable bon mot from the popular cinema, or he was all worn out from signing pardons for anyone who could rack him up like a second-hand suit over the Iran-contra scandal.

If you think that’s unkind, you should revisit Hunter S. Thompson’s thoughts on Bush v1.0, as I’ve been doing the past couple of days. In “The Scum of the Earth,” from his book “Generation of Swine,” HST wrote:

He has the instincts of a dung beetle. No living politician can match his talent for soiling himself in public. Bush will seek out filth wherever it lives — going without sleep for days at a time, if necessary — and when he finds a new heap he will fall down and wallow crazily in it, making snorting sounds out of his nose and rolling over on his back and kicking his legs up in the air like a wild hog come to water.

That the current occupant of the Oval Office makes Poppy look like a combination of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Pliny the Elder is no excuse for the ongoing failure of national memory. Props to Charlie Pierce for continuing to serve the Republic as that voice crying in the wilderness.

’Tis the last rose of summer

November 12, 2018

It’s not a poppy, but it will have to do.

This is a very confused rose.

It popped up a few days ago on the southwest side of El Rancho Pendejo, which proved fortunate, because the northeast sector is getting flogged by a light snow driven by a heavy wind. The thermometer tells me it’s 26F outdoors, feels like 16.

If I felt like 16 I might go out for my usual Monday-morning run. But I don’t, so I won’t. It seems a fine day to stay indoors and practice the guitar, script the next podcast, or fiddle with technology.

Over the weekend I hopscotched the 2009 iMac from Yosemite to High Sierra, and while the patient briefly took a turn for the worse yesterday, this morning I am cautiously optimistic.

For some time the auld fella has suffered from a bad case of thermal mismanagement that for no good reason cues the fans to crank up to swamp-boat ferocity.

Neither the Apple Geniuses nor I have been able to find the root cause, so I figured what the hell, give it a Dr. Gumbyesque brain transplant, and if it croaks on the table, well, off to the boneyard with it. Cupertino won’t even take this bucket of bytes as a trade-in; Apple’s GiveBack program deems both it and our 2010 Mini suitable only for recycling.

But ’ee’s not dead yet, and while ’ee may not be foolin’ anyone, it seems ’ee still doesn’t want to go on the cart.

Got fenders?

November 16, 2015

The abominable snowdog

January 4, 2014
Fat guy, fat tires, fat city. Photo: Herself

Fat guy, fat tires, fat city. Photo: Herself

I’ve never liked gyms, and I despise the stationary trainer. Back when I was still a man, instead of whatever it is that I am now, I would go for a run when the weather got sideways, but creeping decrepitude seems to have written finis to that sordid chapter in my exercise history.

So what’s a fat bastard to do in January?

Ride his old mountain bike in the snow, that’s what.

After moving a little of the white stuff around this morning I decided it wasn’t all that cold out — 20-something, but not a really nasty 20-something — so I aired up the tires on the old DBR ti’ to about 20 psi, tugged on a shitload of winter kit, and got busy.

And y’know what? It was big fun. I’d forgotten how much I like riding in the snow.

With the Hutchinson Python 26×2.0s at low pressure there was plenty of traction, and conditions weren’t wet enough to freeze up that old eight-speed XT drivetrain, though they were cold enough to freeze my water bottle.

The only bad part was the start, heading north without a balaclava into what proved a pretty stiff wind.

Happily, I had brought a bandanna along and that did the trick, even if it made me look like a Canadian terrorist out to attack the fascist maple-syrup cartel.

The weather outside is frightful

January 4, 2014
"I'm ready for my closeup, Mister DeDogge. ..."

“I’m ready for my closeup, Mister DeDogge. …”

Well, it’s snowing, anyway. Nothing of back-East proportions, but still, it will affect a fella’s ability and/or desire to ride the ol’ bikey bike.

I just saw Dr. Schenkenstein go running past Chez Dog, and if that cyclo-crossin’ sonofabitch is afoot, it means I’m likely to be riding the trainer today.

In the meantime, while Mister Boo gets into character for another exciting edition of The BooCam®, you can get a glimpse of the first snow of the new year via the Mad Dog Media WeatherCam™.

• Editor’s note: The cam will be offline for a while as I try to hurt myself on a mountain bike in the snow.

‘Shoot’ is ‘shit’ with two o’s

November 21, 2013

The writing’s on the wall … er, deck.

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. A guy can’t expect to go rolling around Colorado in shorts and short sleeves all the doo-dah day. Not in November, anyway.

Looks like it’s either poop or a chance of poop for the foreseeable future, with plenty of wind to keep things interesting. The ol’ crystal ball shows a trainer ride in my future, along with the spirited use of various synonyms for “poop.”

A tomb with a view

October 18, 2013
True, it's only a dusting, but still, it's a hint of bigger things to come.

True, it’s only a dusting, but still, it’s a hint of bigger things to come.

There was a thin coat of snow on the Tomb of Chairman Meow when I arose this morning. I blame Obama.

It’s a bit early for this sort of thing, frankly. For starters, the leaves are still on the trees. And a casual check of the Innertoobz indicates that the first snow in these parts generally holds off until a week before Halloween.

Naturally, Herself is out of town on business, so I had to make my own coffee, police up the litter box, and dab the dew from Mister Boo’s delicate little feetsies after his morning constitutional. Oh, the humanity.

The weatherperson says we’re supposed to be back up into the 50s and 60s over the next few days. But what has s/he done for me lately?

There goes the neighborhood

October 26, 2011
First real snow of 2011-12

We finally got our first real measurable snow of the season — just a few inches, but nice to see nonetheless. It'll tamp down the sand on the trails.

It can’t be 70-something and sunny all the time. Still, going from a record high of 78 to snow on the ground is something of a shock to the system.

Happily, the streets and sidewalks retained much of that heat, so I didn’t have to do any shoveling this morning — good news for the ol’ back, since I spent yesterday raking leaves from the huge maple tree that shades Chez Dog. Looks like a bumper crop, too. I’ve already filled six bags and we’re a long ways away from seeing the last leaf on the tree.

Sounds like the cops in Oakland were engaged in a little clean-up operation of their own last night. They went after the Occupy Oakland folks with everything from tear gas to flash-bang grenades and rubber bullets. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, “City officials said they had been forced to clear the encampments because of sanitary and public safety concerns.” Uh huh. Right out of Steinbeck that is, as in “The Grapes of Wrath” and the less-well-known “In Dubious Battle.”

All the stories I’ve read make references to a schism in the Occupy crowd, with some insisting on a non-violent approach and others intent on challenging the cops to a fight. I’d love to know how much of the latter is legit and how much is the work of agents provocateurs. It’s an old trick, and one that keeps working, especially on the media. The Oakland Tribune‘s account of the evening’s festivities could have been written by the PD’s PR flack.

If you’re interested in following the Occupy movement online, bookmark Greg Mitchell’s OccupyUSA blog at The Nation. It’s one of my first stops every morning.

The white and gold

November 29, 2010
Whiskey on the ... snow?

Whack for the daddy-o, there's whiskey in the jar.

Well, we knew it was coming, but that didn’t mean we were ready for it — our first snow of the 2010 multiple-car-pileup season.

Naturally, I seized on last night’s weather event as the perfect excuse for a beaker of Gaelic brain eraser to forestall croup, pneumonia and whooping cough. Herself even had a wee drop.

That was the fun part. The sucky bits commenced this morning, when we had to take Herself’s 2002 Subie to one mechanic and my 1983 Toyota truck to another on roads that were glazed like a copper’s donut. For my trip I dumped six tubes of traction sand in the bed, locked the hubs, slammed it into 4WD and stayed in second gear the whole way.

The good thing about having a 27-year-old rust-bucket like this, of course, is that people in nice cars get the hell out of your way. It fairly screams, “What makes you think I won’t hit you?” And “Hell, no, I ain’t got no god-damn insurance.” Possibly “I’m still half-hammered from the whiskey I was guzzling last night.”

Anyway, it works. Everybody waited to tailgate me until I was behind the wheel of my Forester, inching home from the Toyota mechanic. Some mighty small hat sizes here in Bibleburg, and the body shops love ’em.