Posts Tagged ‘The Bug’

Spring broken

March 1, 2021

There’s the signpost up ahead … you’re about to enter the McDowell Zone.

Can you be both stuck and unstuck, at the same time?

Dern tootin’, podnah.

Case in point: Last year, I had planned a March trip to McDowell Mountain Regional Park, to (a) get the hell out of here, and (2) get the hell out of here.

Well sir, God, He got wind of those plans and had Himself a good old hee, and also a haw. And the next thing you know I had a broken ankle, a dead cat, and a strongly worded suggestion from the State that I (and everyone else) stay put while the Plague sorted itself out.

So I was what you call stuck.

Now, a year later, we have a vaccine. And by “we,” I mean … well, what I mean is that there is a vaccine, and some other people have gotten it. But I haven’t. And I don’t know when I will get it.

Thus I am, you might say, unstuck. Which means I’m stuck.

Which in turn means that you get the needle. Because yes, yes, yes, it’s time for another medicinal episode of Radio Free Dogpatch.

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: Once again we go to the Comedy Closet for this one, using a Shure MV7 mic and Zoom H5 Handy Recorder. Editing was in Apple’s GarageBand, with a sonic bump from Auphonic. Music and sound effects courtesy of Zapsplat with an Apple loop or two from iMovie and GarageBand. House call by kindly old Doc Firesign. Now just turn your head and cough.

Down in the dumps, or up in the air?

February 1, 2021

Didn’t know Kal-El had a white-trash eejit cousin, didja? Now you do.

Some people never learn.

And yes, I’m looking at me.

It took slightly more than nine months, and it was a breech birth, like all the other little bastards.

But baby, here we go again — yes, yes, yes, it’s another episode of Radio Free Dogpatch!

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: Acoustic considerations (Herself doing paying work right next to my “studio”) dictated that I change locations yet again (to her walk-in closet). This time I used a Shure MV7 mic and Zoom H5 Handy Recorder. Editing was in Apple’s GarageBand, with music and sound effects courtesy of Zapsplat and Freesound. No DC Comics properties were harmed in the production of this podcast. If “Justice League” couldn’t do ’em in, nothing can.

More, late*

December 21, 2020

A little light and a lot more tunnel.

“Pandemic Deal by Congress Provides Economic Relief, for Now,” reports The New York Times.

But it’s too little, too late, and perhaps the last of Uncle Sammy’s pennies in the ol’ tin cup for a while, adds The Old Grey Hoor, in an analysis by Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley.

The injection of money comes months too late for tens of thousands of failed businesses, however, and it may not be enough to sustain unemployed workers until the labor market rebounds. Moreover, it could be the last help from Washington the economy gets anytime soon.

Call me cynical, but I think we need some brighter bulbs on this job.

*Apologies to Chris in the Morning.

Climb every mountain

December 15, 2020

The southern end of the Candelaria Bench Trail.

My work, such as it is, is done for the year.

Actually, I’ve already shipped the first cartoon of the New Year to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. That hole in the back of the book won’t fill itself, after all. Especially since all the hate mail goes up front.

I should’ve celebrated with a bike ride, but I didn’t feel like pulling on all that winter kit, like some elderly knight gearing up for a quest. So instead I went for a short march through the foothills, figuring I’d finish breaking in the low-rise Merrell hikers I’ve mostly been using for street wear.

Looking west along Comanche.

El Rancho Pendejo sits at the bottom of a cul-de-sac and endures considerable shade on its eastern and southern sides, especially when the sun is low in the sky, so I always think it’s going to be colder outside than it really is. And our little weather station said 32 degrees with a brisk wind out of the north.

But once I got out in it I enjoyed myself immensely, in large part because it’s harder for the shit-flinging monkeys of the media to draw a bead on a moving target.

The lightweight boots felt great on the trail, so I scampered up a couple short climbs just for giggles. While I was up there I took a nice long sight along Comanche at all the country I haven’t been able to visit this year.

Hey, at least I was outside. Forty-five minutes, an hour, hour and a half … they’re not much, these little expeditions of mine, but they’re a whole lot better than nothing at all. A small thing, but oh, how very, very necessary.

And now that the vaccines are rolling out, maybe it won’t be long before the people who’ve been locked down for real, for months, in nursing homes, group residences, and assisted-living facilities, will be able to get a breath of fresh air. Even if they have to take it through a mask, in a wheelchair, on a sidewalk.

Let them eat shit

December 10, 2020

“Be Best?” How about, “Begone?”

So I’m standing in the kitchen after a morning of bad dreams, idly thumbing through the news on my phone as the toaster mutters to itself, when I stumble across these two items back to back on The Washington Post app:

• Stealing to survive: More Americans are shoplifting food as aid runs out during the pandemic. One manager interviewed said he usually doesn’t call the John Laws, but instead tells the offenders not to come back.

“It’s become much harder during the pandemic,” he said. “People will say, ‘I was just hungry.’ And then what do you do?”

• Dismissing health concerns, State Department treats 200 guests to holiday drinks, tours and leftover “Be Best” swag. The hoopla included a tour of the White House holiday decorations, beverages at Blair House, and “Be Best” merch’ from the phenomenally unremarkable anti-bullying initiative by the First Plagiarist, Countess Malaria Dracula.

“It’s time to get rid of the leftovers,” said one official.

Indeed it is. There’s never a guillotine around when you need one. Jan. 20 can’t come soon enough.

A rare prayer for a friend

December 5, 2020

“Mons” spreading the good news at WLPO FM.
Photo provided to (and liberated from) The Catholic Post.

• Editor’s note: This is a guest post from my old comrade Charles Pelkey, first published on Facebook. One of the people who helped make his Live Update Guy operation so much fun has fallen victim to The Bug® and is in a bad way. Msgr. Richard Soseman’s essays were a highlight of our coverage of the grand tours, which often leaned more toward low comedy than high art. “Mons,” as he came to be known, put a high gloss on our rattly old jalopy. I wish him a speedy return to health and his ministry, and I hope you will too.

By Charles Pelkey

My friend, Richard “Mons” Soseman, is currently under sedation and on a ventilator because of a COVID-19 infection. We first met while his ministry brought him to the Holy City in Rome.  The Monsignor (hence the moniker “Mons”) has since returned to the U.S., now serving as pastor at Saint Joseph’s in Peru, Illinois.

Mons is an avid cycling fan, which is how we got to know each other. He often wrote beautiful and detailed essays to be included in daily coverage on LiveUpdateGuy.com. He twice hosted my son at the Vatican in Rome over the course of several years.

The monsignor on the job in Rome, hosting visitor Philip Pelkey.

Mons would light candles in Saint Peter’s Basilica for me when I was taking finals in law school, during the bar exam, and when I developed breast cancer. I finally told him, “You know, Padre, I have a confession: I am not a man of faith.”

Not missing a beat, he quickly said: “Oh, Charles, I already knew that. It’s okay. I am,” and he went on lighting candles just as before.

Now it’s our turn. Please keep this sweet, sweet man in your thoughts — or prayers — as he fights the biggest challenge of his life. Pray, light candles, send good vibes, but above all, keep Mons in your thoughts.

Mons took the risks of COVID seriously and took as many precautions as possible. Nonetheless, he caught the virus and is now quite ill. Please be careful out there.

Godspeed, Padre. A lot of us out here love you.

Chile con cooties

November 29, 2020

Cooties, boogity boogity boogity.

Weird dreams last night. More like this morning, actually.  Four straight days of red and green chile will do that to you.

Herself got up at 3:30 for some reason. I made the usual profane inquiries without achieving enlightenment and soon drifted back into a troubled sleep.

I found myself in our old place in Bibleburg and there were bugs crawling everywhere. Great big gnarly muthas that went sploosh if you stomped ’em. Real sandal-soakers.

Don’t suppose we need to engage a brain mechanic to explain that one.

Bang-up job, New Mexico

November 14, 2020

Sunrises and sunsets will be exempt from restrictions
during The Clampdown.

Welp, the gub’nah made it official on Friday the 13th: New Mexico is shit out of luck.

Starting Monday we’re back to where we were in April, more or less: non-essential businesses and nonprofits must cease “in-person activities;” essential businesses (including bicycle repair shops) may operate with restrictions and a reduced workforce; and all New Mexicans “are instructed to shelter in place” save for “the most essential trips for health, safety, and welfare.”

I’d like to give a shoutout to all the fuckwits who have been insisting on strutting around with their faces hanging out, throwing parties, hootenannies, and jamborees, and otherwise acting the fool.

A second shoutout goes to all the poor sods at USPS, UPS, and FedEx who are going to get hernias, sciatica, and flat feet delivering Internet purchases throughout the Land of Enchantment as local retailers suck the bleachy end of a wet mop for the next couple of weeks.

Finally, lo siento mucho to everyone who has to try to enforce this edict, badged or unbadged. I anticipate a few tense moments along the way and a fella can’t find ammo anywhere at any price.

Look for a strong uptick in the online sale of items that do not require a background check or waiting period, such as baseball bats, ax handles, and tire irons.

Pup fiction

October 21, 2020

Anxiety dreams last night: I was walking the earth, like Caine in “Kung Fu,” hoofing it from place to place, meeting people, and getting in adventures.

And everywhere I went nobody was wearing a mask.

I was outraged, weaving through the shambling hordes of brain-dead booger-bags as though they were zombie cowboys bent on nativist misbehavior, until I realized that I was likewise unmasked, with my ugly mug hanging out in the wind.

No doubt any competent brain mechanic could make sense of this. I’m guessing it means that deep down I think we’re all in the shit together. Just another kernel panic in MeatWorld™.

Probably didn’t help that I saw a bunch of maskless wanderers on my bike ride yesterday. Or that the guv’nah gave New Mexicans another dressing-down for spreading El Buggo® like honey on a sopaipilla. We are not yet in the actual shit, she sez to us she sez, but we are certainly circling the bowl.

I’m doing my part, boss. Staying home except for grocery shopping and exercise. Washing my paws. And wearing my mask.

Whenever I’m awake, that is. Who doesn’t dream about not wearing a mask?

I ain’t buying it

October 2, 2020

Step right up, everyone’s a winner, bargains galore. …

There is no reason in the world to believe a single, solitary word that comes out of this guy’s fat yap.

And every reason in the world to believe that a “diagnosis” does him more than a few favors.

So until I see something more than “Trump said,” it’s no sale.

• Housekeeping note: WordPress has decided to impose its new block editor on those of us who had been resisting the change. So expect a few hitches in the gitalong here at the Chuckle Hut until I find the Rosetta Stone for this fucker or find some alternative method of bloggery.