Posts Tagged ‘Whole Paycheck’

Cranks, stanks ‘n’ thanks

November 24, 2016
Shut up, kid.

Shut up, kid.

Editor’s note: This was intended to be the kickoff to a podcast, but I couldn’t quite corral the folks I had hoped to rope in as contributors. So instead it’s just words in a row, in the usual fashion.

Thanksgiving, man.

The holiday is practically synonymous with “turkey,” and man, did we ever have a big one come home to roost this year. Orange. Noisy. Indigestible.

He looks more like a turkey buzzard, when you get right down to it. Your turkey buzzard sings no songs; when it speaks, it does so in grunts and hisses. It roosts on lifeless trees, and will shit on itself to stay cool when things get too hot for it.

And if you fuck with it, it will puke on you. Generally around three in the morning, on Twitter.

Still, hail to the Chief, right? Right.

Thanksgiving, man. Definitely a holiday with its ups and downs.

In my misspent youth Turkey Day around the O’Grady table was often an exercise in intoxicant management and impulse control, which can be rough on the digestion. Also, the crockery. Once I left home and took up the news biz I generally worked holidays, having no family of my own to preside over with a scepter of vodka and crown of thorns. It’s a lot more fun to argue with people when you’re getting paid and can eat whatever you want for lunch, especially if it’s whiskey.

Once I was married and the parents were gone, the daily news biz receding in the rear-view mirror as I detoured into the cycling press, holiday mealtimes mellowed considerably. Herself and I spent Thanksgivings with friends and neighbors, or my sister and her husband, since Herself’s kin were a ways off in Texas, Tennessee and Maryland. Lacking a sparring partner, I indulged my contrarian streak by cooking non-standard meals — Chinese, Mexican, Italian, whatever. “Home for the Holidays,” “Alice’s Restaurant” and (if we were driving to my sister’s place in Fort Fun, for some reason, “Sam Kinison: Live From Hell”) replaced the turkey in our family tradition.

Thanksgiving, man.

Herself the Elder joined us for our first Thanksgiving here at El Rancho Pendejo, but I can’t remember what I cooked. Last year, with just the two of us, it was chicken cacciatore, Emeril-style, with a side of Martha Rose Shulman’s stir-fried succotash with edamame.

And this year? Braised turkey thighs with roasted spuds and steamed asparagus. It’s just the two of us again — sis and bro-in-law had hoped to come down, but work intervened, and Herself the Elder is in Florida inspecting another daughter’s new quarters. Thus, something easy, for a simple mind in complex times.

One thing that won’t be on the menu: Arugula. Twice now I’ve come home from the Whole Paycheck with bad batches and I’m kind of over cracking the lid on its plastic coffin and getting a $4 snootful of stank. Who knows what’s going on there? The arugula dude probably left his 18-wheeler parked in the sun while he was doing the nasty with a lot lizard in the sleeper, but who am I to judge a man by how he spends his lunch hour? I like to spend mine eating lunch, but it’s not for everyone, especially if you’ve been taking those little white pills and your eyes are open wide.

Thanksgiving, man.

I’m lucky I made it to the grocery at all last week. I put it off until Friday afternoon, which is amateur hour — all real pros shop on Tuesday or Wednesday — and I nearly didn’t get there on Friday because it took three or four tries and about two hours to send a two-minute video review to the Adventurous Cyclists in Missoula, almost certainly because the Duke City remains mired to the driveshaft in the Adobe Age and uploading video via our internet hookup is the equivalent of tossing a thumb drive into the arroyo behind the house and hoping the wind blows it to Montana.

So I’m sitting here watching the progress bar mostly not move and thinking Jesus, the Merrick Garland nomination is moving faster than this file. Hell, the entire federal government is showing more speed, if only in reverse, motoring back to the Articles of Confederation or maybe King George III, if George wore an even cheesier wig and was the shade of an overcooked yam.

I stopped the upload and restarted it, then stopped it again and restarted it again, and finally unplugged the modem and stomped around the house, which still smelled faintly of rotten arugula. Then I plugged it back in and hey presto! The file finally transferred and off to the Whole Paycheck I went.

So I’m thankful for that.

And I remembered not to get any arugula this time, for which I am also thankful.

What are you thankful for?

Road work redux

January 8, 2016
The High Desert neighborhood makes a fine proving ground for touring machinery, with rolling terrain, light traffic and bike lanes.

The High Desert neighborhood makes a fine proving ground for touring machinery, with rolling terrain, light traffic and bike lanes.

Yesterday was one of those insanely busy days that should never afflict the underemployed. We’re not equipped for it.

The Marrakesh Express (c'mon, you knew it was coming sooner or later, right?).

The Marrakesh Express (c’mon, you knew it was coming sooner or later, right?).

With deadlines flitting around my scalp like Hunter S. Thompson’s Barstow bats I committed a few crimes against cycling, emailing back and forth with product managers, marketing wizards and editors; swapping bits of this and that from one bike to another; and bending fender stays around disc calipers, cutting all corners that looked even remotely cuttable, and beating on anything that wouldn’t cut with my favorite tool, the Bravo Foxtrot Hotel (look it up).

Then, before blasting off to the Whole Paycheck for supplies and liberating the Turk from the Nazi war dentist, I managed a brisk, 45-minute ride on the Salsa Marrakesh with full panniers.

It wasn’t actually snowing, which was nice —the temps were in the lower 40s, and I will even go so far as to say that this did not suck, not for January. You may quote me if you like.

This morning it was precipitating again, and Your Humble Narrator was all about writing bikes rather than riding them. Also, furthermore, moreover and too, there was the doctoring of the Turk, the roasting of the poblanos outdoors in a light snowfall, and the cooking of a medium-sized pot of lamb and white bean chili.

Speaking of cooking, now I seem to be slightly baked for some reason.

Getting Felt up

May 19, 2015
The Felt V100 is one of three bikes awaiting review for Adventure Cyclist. At $849, it's a cheap grocery-getter, even more so than a Honda Fit Sport.

The Felt V100 is one of three bikes awaiting review for Adventure Cyclist. At $849, it’s a cheap grocery-getter, even more so than a Honda Fit Sport.

One nice thing about having all these bloody bicycles lying about the place — besides the obvious, which is that it’s nice to have a bunch of bloody bicycles lying about the place — is that when one is down to a single motor vehicle, one has options.

I used this Felt V100, an Old Man Mountain rack and a pair of Jandd Economy Panniers to fetch about $80 worth of groceries home from the Whole Paycheck yesterday. The ride home took 40 minutes, it being all uphill and into a headwind, so everything was nicely solar-cooked by the time I got back to El Rancho Pendejo. Bonus! Mmm, E. coli in botulism sauce.

And looks like I’d better get used to it. Herself and I popped round to the Honda dealer yesterday and she wouldn’t even test-drive anything. And why should she? She has my Subaru Forester, a low-mileage creampuff previously owned by a little old man who only drove it to the Whole Paycheck.

My colleague Matt Wiebe, the tech editor at Bicycle Retailer, says he knows where I can get a deal on a second-hand Harley. But I think I’ll have the Vespa shipped down from Bibleburg instead.

Meanwhile, thanks to one and all for the auto recommendations. You are all hereby penalized two minutes for your assistance.

• Editor’s note: This is my 1,500th post on this blog. ‘Ray for me. 

Apropos of nothing in particular

October 10, 2013
And now, ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Broke Dick O'Dawg and his Gnawin' Prophets!

And now, ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Broke Dick O’Dawg and his Gnawin’ Prophets!

While listening to “The Blue Plate Special” on Radio Colorado College this afternoon on the way back from Whole Paycheck it struck me that what the world needs right this minute is another First World white-guy blues band.

I’ve even got the name and everything.

Broke Dick O’Dawg and the Gnawin’ Profits.

I don’t think the flute is gonna cut it, though. Never shoulda pawned m’gee-tar. I tell ya, sometimes I feel like I been tied to the whippin’ post.

Great Honky Blues Tunes Not Performed
By Broke Dick O’Dawg
and His Gnawin’ Prophets

• “I Ain’t Never Heard You Play No Blues,” by Steve Goodman
• “Can’t Seem To Get the Blues,” by the Rev. Billy C. Wirtz