Posts Tagged ‘The Bug’

And they’re off!

August 29, 2020

You just knew there was gonna be some sunflowers involved, amirite?

Any bets as to whether they make it to Paris?

In case you can’t read The New York Times story, enjoy this howler from Le Tour general director Christian Prudhomme, discussing whether a squad with a shot at the yellow jersey might try to circumvent the race’s plague protocols should The Bug® join the team late in the game.

Prudhomme dismissed such concerns, arguing that it was “everyone’s responsibility” to respect the protocols. “I don’t see how people wouldn’t respect the rules,” he said.

Ho, ho, etc. Laugh, I thought I’d die.  I was born at night, Christian old scout, but it wasn’t last night.

La Grande Bollocks

August 23, 2020

Remember those fabulous Nineties? There was some question about whether the Tour would make Paris in 1998, too.

“A Tour like no other:” That’s William Fotheringham weighing in on Le Shew Bigge, which starts Saturday in Nice.

How far it gets is anybody’s guess.

As Fotheringham notes:

In fact, it’s hard to see as far as Paris. For the next four weeks, the world of cycling and all of France will be living in hope, watching for the first positive test and the first cluster. By mid-September, running this Tour could look either like an act of calculated daring resulting in the biggest sports event of the year or it could be clear this was utter folly and delusion.

I don’t have a mutt in this hunt, as I no longer earn a portion of my meager living off the bicycle racing.

But if Lawyer Pelkey and I were LUGging this one I’d wear a mask from start to finish and deploy my feeble witticisms from a bathtub filled with bleach.

Will the riders have any vital fluids remaining after testing for La Grande Bug and the usual controlled substances? Might full-face helmets become en vogue in the peloton? How does one manage a socially distant sprint finish? Could post-stage interviews be conducted via drone?

Incidentally, some jagoff was flying one of those buzzing annoyances above the cul-de-sac yesterday and I longed to have a go at it with the Ruger 10/22.

I resisted the impulse. It seemed unwise. Here’s hoping ASO doesn’t come to regret taking its shot.

Five months

July 22, 2020

Waiting on the “provider” at urgent care on Feb. 21. Is it just me,
or does “The Provider” sound like a third-tier Marvel superhero?

That’s how long it’s been since I broke my right ankle, getting an early jump (har de har har) on lockdown.

This one-two punch certainly restricted my movement, even without the intervention of the 101st Vanborne, which is said to be en route. Since Feb. 21, I haven’t ventured north of Tramway and Interstate 25, east of Carnuel, south of I-40, or west of Interstate 25.

In an ordinary year I would have hightailed it at least once by now, to Arizona or Colorado. At the very least I would have cycled around the bosque, ridden up to the Triangle, or even tackled a short tour. If the State is going to track me, I want the sonsabitches to work up a sweat.

But 2020 has been anything but ordinary, in terms of personal mobility, global pandemic, and creeping fascism.

Bad ankle! Bad, bad, bad! Get in that boot and stay there, thinking about what you’ve done.

Re: personal mobility. I gassed up the Forester the day before breaking the ankle, but I didn’t fill ’er up again until last Thursday.

This means that in the past five months, I’ve driven maybe 300 miles, which is what I get from a tank of gas when motoring around Albuquerque. Bum ankle notwithstanding, I’m pretty sure I’ve walked more than that.* For sure I’ve cycled more (943.8 miles).

By the way, this cycling mileage is not impressive, even for a 66-year-old gimp. My best week since the mishap saw me ride all of 80 miles. The worst? Three-point-five. Seriously. It was March 7, I was on the trainer with my Darth Bootsy footwear, and I lasted a whole half hour.

The good news is, I’m biking and hiking regularly, and the ankle continues its slow, steady rehabilitation.

The bad news is, I don’t think I can outrun one of those federales in the cammy-jammies if he catches me off the bike. And that dodgy right foot is the one I use to kick annoyances in the balls.

* OK, so I’ve only walked 123.7 miles. I had to check.

Masque of the Read Death

July 19, 2020

Always nice to see the smarties having a word.
Even if they can’t spell it.

Well.

I guess he told us.

I’m not sure what he was saying, exactly. But whatever it was, he sure told us.

‘We’ll be right back after this message. …’

July 15, 2020

Down time.

The question very much not on everyone’s mind is: “Whatever happened to Radio Free Dogpatch?”

My little podcast was ticking along nicely there for a while, with episodes popping up semi-regularly since the first of the year.

Then the broken ankle took me down in February, and The Bug® put the boots to me in March.

And that, as they say, was that.

A podcast, even a low-rent, one-man, half-assed model like mine, takes time. Thought. Quiet.

It’s quiet out there. Too quiet.

All those things were suddenly in short supply when Herself joined me in working from home.

If any of you have been doing likewise in lockdown, you know the drill. Zoom meetings. Phone calls. Speakerphone calls, with voices that often fail to harmonize with the ones in my head. Skypeing. Messaging. Texting.

And it all starts at stupid-thirty, ’cause Herself is an early riser. By the time I crawl out of my coffin around 6-ish she’s already brewed the coffee and fed the cat, and is two-three phone calls into her day.

Which is rigorously planned. She has a List. Items will be checked off same or she will know the reason why. Any gaps that appear unexpectedly between chores will be filled with … more chores. Herself is a Tasmanian devil of relentless functionality and accomplishment.

Me? I just, y’know, kinda, like, fuck around, an’ shit. See what happens. If anything.

Ho, ho. Too bad for me. Her gig is the one that makes it rain around here. My contributions to the general fund have become a little less laughable since I started collecting Social Security in April, but next to her mighty fiscal Niagara my revenue stream remains the dribbling of a very old dog with prostate issues and a bladder stone the size of the Hope Diamond.

Shucks, the podcast never brought in a dime anyway. In fact, it sent dimes out, in the form of dollars. Many, many of them. An essential worker it is not. Like Adolf Twitler’s “presidency,” it is primarily a cash-burning vanity project.

So if anybody is going to STFU around here for a minute, or even for months, well … it’s gonna be Radio Free Dogpatch.

I take solace from learning that I’m not the only voice to develop a little situational laryngitis in The New Weird Order.

For instance, parents who podcast are finding it tough to get their Ira Glass on with herds of unschooled munchkins free-ranging around the home studio, according to Caroline Crampton of the “Hot Pod” newsletter (scroll down).

Writes Crampton: “[F]or those who work in audio and need to edit for long periods, or record links and tracking to the highest possible standard that the moment will allow, there’s the extra challenge of finding the space and quietness to do that.”

The short version, from one anonymous podcaster: “Take after take just gets nuked.”

(Insert sound effect of Trinity atomic blast here. Oh, wait, we’re doing text now, not audio. Never mind.)

Happily, my primary distraction is not a horrifically bored, runny-nosed, ankle-biting, boundary-testing expense that a dozen or so years down the road will call me a fleshist at my own dinner table for not pledging some of my hard-earned Imperial credits to the Robot Liberation Army. She’s an income-generating asset, and right now, too.

So if Herself screams “GRILLED CHEESE! GRILLED CHEESE!”, she’s gonna get some grilled fuckin’ cheese from yours truly. We call it a quesadilla around here, but still, whatever you wanna call it, she’s gonna get it.

Radio Free Dogpatch is not the new toilet paper. It may be in short supply, but that doesn’t mean the punters are throwing hands over it at Libsyn. If I have something to say, I can always slink off to where the old toilet paper is, close the door, and squeeze out a quick blog post.

And yes, I’ll turn on the ceiling fan and wash my hands afterward.

Who was that masked man?

July 13, 2020

A lot of nothing.

Today marked the re-enactment and expansion of various Bug-related restrictions, among them a requirement that New Mexicans wear masks while exercising.

I can’t be certain that this was behind the empty parking lot at the Piedra Lisa trailhead, but damn, I haven’t seen that sucker empty since, well, ever.

Meanwhile, during this morning’s 90-minute trail hike I encountered 10 people, only one of whom was wearing a mask. And she was walking a dog off-leash.

So much for the rule of law.

I was obeying its spirit, as the letter seemed to have some wiggle room. I haven’t seen anything specifying the type of mask to be worn, so I had a bandana looped around my neck, ready to be pulled over my gob and snout as the need arose, which mostly it didn’t.

NPR health correspondent Maria Godoy had my back:

If you’re doing something like running or biking outdoors and you’re alone or just with the people you live with, it’s OK to have your mask down if there’s no one else around, says Abraar Karan, a physician at Harvard Medical School and a member of the Massachusetts COVID-19 response team.

As long as you haven’t been touching stuff along the way, like benches or rails, you haven’t had a close conversation with a stranger, it’s OK to use your hands to pull it down. If you see someone coming, put up your mask until they pass. And if you’re running and passing someone, give them at least 6 feet of space.

I also had an actual mask tucked into a pocket, because quién sabe? When cycling I carry two spare tubes and a pump for the same reason.

Even this relaxed approach to masking during exercise took some of the pleasure out of my hike. But it was miles better than not going out at all.

A hole in one

July 12, 2020

“Say, did one of you guys fart
or is it just my burger breath backing up on me?”

Kurt Vonnegut’s picture of a “president.”

Curchief

July 9, 2020

Who was that masked man?

Well, the bad news is, faced with a rapid increase in the number of plague cases related to an outbreak of the dumbass, the gov’ has ordered that everyone who leaves home, even for exercise, must wear a mask.

The good news? I’m gonna save a shit-ton of money on sunscreen.

Sick and tired

July 2, 2020

The governor is not amused.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham didn’t bring the BFH* yesterday. But she pointed to the drawer where she keeps it and said, “A lot of y’all lookin’ like nails to me.”

No real surprises there. New Mexicans are acting like The Bug® has had its ass kicked. Nope. The caseload is rising, the numbers are even worse in a couple of neighboring states, and any further tiptoeing toward what passes for normalcy around here has been put on hold.

This is bad news for Herself the Elder, who would like to see some relaxation of restrictions on assisted-living centers. She’d enjoy an in-house sitdown with Herself, or maybe a short outing for some shrimp fried rice, that sort of thing.

Nope again. Not this week. Not as long as New Mexicans insist on wandering around in clusters with their faces hanging out, acting like preschoolers who won’t eat their vegetables.

The gov’ is sympathetic, to a degree. She sez to us she sez: “We do have isolation and COVID-19 fatigue. Everybody wants this to just go away.”

And despite all evidence to the contrary, she said she remains “cautiously optimistic … assuming people wear their masks and limit their traveling around in their communities. Let’s do this together.”

But she kept glancing at that drawer.

* That would be the Bravo Foxtrot Hotel, a.k.a. the Big Fucking Hammer.

Glide path, v2.0

June 30, 2020

“We’re coming in hot. …”

James Fallows, himself a pilot, wonders what the National Transportation Safety Board might make of Adolf Twitler’s response to the pandemic.

In the previous two decades of international public-health experience, starting with SARS and on through the rest of the acronym-heavy list, a standard procedure had emerged, and it had proved effective again and again. The U.S, with its combination of scientific and military-logistics might, would coordinate and support efforts by other countries. Subsequent stages would depend on the nature of the disease, but the fact that the U.S. would take the primary role was expected. When the new coronavirus threat suddenly materialized, American engagement was the signal all other participants were waiting for. But this time it did not come. It was as if air traffic controllers walked away from their stations and said, “The rest of you just work it out for yourselves.”

“We’re approaching our final destination. Please return your tray tables and seat backs to their fully upright positions, place your heads between your legs, and kiss your asses goodbye. And thank you for flying Trump Air.”