Posts Tagged ‘Red Kite Prayer’

Writer on the storm

September 29, 2019

Smilin’ Jack isn’t the only fella in there, y’know.

My man Padraig at Red Kite Prayer is having a rough go of it lately — so much so that he has turned to ketamine therapy in his ongoing struggle with depression.

In a word, this takes huevos. In my misspent youth I dabbled with various psychedelics — mostly psilocybin, mescaline and LSD — and I don’t mind telling you that any or all of these can really pop the top off your Jack-in-the-box.

Thing is, Smilin’ Jack isn’t the only fella in there. And he isn’t always the first one to hit the door running.

It’s one thing to hitch a ride on the Magic Bus when you’re young and sprightly, with your script largely unwritten. I’m not certain I’d have the guts to screen my personal in-flight movie a half-century further on up the road. A lot of that footage is on the cranial cutting-room floor for a reason.

So chapeau to Padraig for having the courage to lift the lid (or rip off the Band-Aid) and face what’s underneath. And for inviting us to join him on the trip. I wish him health and happiness.

If you’ve enjoyed his work, why not pop round to his place to say so? I think he’d like to hear from you.

• Extra-credit reading: Scientific American on ketamine therapy. And William Styron’s “Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.”

Café au merde

December 8, 2013

My learned colleague, the fangy-toofed legal beagle Charles Pelkey, in his role as the Explainer over at Red Kite Prayer, discusses the shameful treatment given Café Roubaix by Specialized Bicycle Components.

What do you mean ‘we,’ white man?

February 27, 2013

One of the downsides of spending 22 years working solo in a home office, besides not being able to get a gig at Yahoo!, is that one tends to take on attributes of those lost tribes National Geographic is forever un-losing, or the Japanese soldiers jungled up on various Pacific islands who never got the word about the emperor’s surrender.

Outsiders are suspicious characters, their fabulous tales not to be given credence. And should they drag you from your village or spider hole toward what they deem “civilization,” you may expect to contract smallpox, TB or the clap. Better to make pincushions of the foreigners with blowgun darts and shrink their heads, or fillet them with a katana and get back about your business.

Boo Glissando

The Boo Glissando is a concept townie that marries a bamboo laminate with titanium.

Which is the long way around to saying, yes, I was compelled to attend the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Denver, where I was put on display by the white devils, and all I came away with was a massive tab for docking my Subaru Outrigger and a medium-heavy case of Snotlocker Surprise.

In all fairness, I wasn’t exactly dragged. Having missed last year’s NAHBS, I was determined to take in the Denver edition, if only because I wouldn’t have to depend on United Airlines to get me there.

But I was planning to attend mostly for kicks. I didn’t count on being shanghaied into helping judge the 2013 NAHBS Awards, filling in for the absent Patrick Brady of Red Kite Prayer. This was not unlike inviting a Jivaro headhunter to stand in for Len Goodman on “Dancing With the Stars.”

So I had to get there way too early for a daylong refresher course on how little I know about the velocipede, and if you were one of the losers who came away empty-handed, award-wise, well, I can only say that it wasn’t my fault. It was those other guys. My judicial pronouncements were limited to the usual half-witticisms, like “I’d ride the shit out of that one if someone gave it to me,” “That belongs on a wall with a frame around it,” or “I can see taking that thing into your average shop for a tuneup and finding out afterward that the mechanics all hanged themselves.”

Being simpleminded, I gravitated toward simplicity, as exemplified by the Level keirin bike, the Boo Glissando and the English Cycles time-trial bike, which we named best in show shortly after noon on Saturday.

This last really has to be seen up close to be believed, as photos don’t do it justice. Rob English is a time trialist, a two-time winner of the Oregon state championship, and his considerable talent and ingenuity were clearly focused by his love for the discipline.

Once we’d wrapped up the awards, I took another refresher course, this one in bullshitting. It’s easy to bullshit over the Innertubes or in a magazine column, but improvising chin music on the fly takes practice, which I was out of. So I spent the rest of the show chatting up a number of old friends and colleagues, and that’s probably how I contracted the Snotlocker Surprise.

Damn the white man anyway.

Public service announcement

October 24, 2012

I don’t often make pitches like this, but a friend and colleague finds himself in something of a financial hole and I’d like to help some other friends throw him a long green rope.

Patrick Brady, the guiding light behind the website Red Kite Prayer, provided space and funds to Charles Pelkey and John Wilcockson last year when they found themselves abruptly double-flatted with no spares in three-legged-pit-bull country. Now Padraig himself is in something of a pickle, having kissed the planet at speed and, as a consequence, incurred some medical bills to which the insurance company is giving the old ho ho ho.

Long story short, another friend is soliciting small donations on Padraig’s behalf — basically, the equivalent of a tasty microbrew that one might buy for a riding buddy — and if you feel moved to kick in a fin or two I will see to it that he personally kisses you on the lips once his lips are more or less back where they belong. That is all.

Sky high

July 9, 2012

Wow. Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome crushed it today in the Tour’s first big time trial, opening up a 10-gallon-can of whup-ass on Cadel Evans and everyone else — including El Fabuloso, Fabian Cancellara, who must be pinching himself to see whether he’s still asleep and having a nightmare.

I was over at Red Kite Prayer, helping Charles “Live Update Guy” Pelkey track the race for our friends sentenced to cubicle farms worldwide, and we had a record haul in terms of contributions to the tip jar— in no small part to some silly little hooter logged on as Two700c, who complained about “politics” being injected into the play-by-play (oddly enough, it was one of our least political live updates ever).

Two700c slagged me in a snippy note to Charles, which goes to show you that not even the anonymity of the Internet is comfort enough for at least one timid Tea Bagger. Still, I feel obliged to thank him for helping us rake in a pile of coin. I’ll be donating a portion of the proceeds to the Democratic Socialists of America.

If you’re not already joining us for the daily live updates, swing on by. Always room for another pinko in the Party photo.

But it’s not all politics, all the time. Today, for example, I reprised one of my favorite National Lampoon covers to urge readers to contribute to the Cause.

If you don’t support this website, we’ll kill this dog.