Archive for the ‘Bad news’ Category

The torture never stops

December 10, 2014

Some days it just doesn’t pay to be a news junkie.

In addition to the actual torture we’ve discussed the past couple of days, day seven of Zappadan 2014 brings:

The Soma Double Cross and I took a spin on Trail 365A, a fun, swoopy adjunct to Foothills Trail 365.

The Soma Double Cross and I took a spin on Trail 365A, a fun, swoopy adjunct to Foothills Trail 365.

Great googly moogly! FZ was right! The torture never stops! And that was just from The New York Times. Elsewhere, we have the UCI awarding Astana a WorldTour berth, which is like giving Dracula the keys to the blood bank.

I fled the office and took a nice bike ride into the nearby hills, proving that the American dream can still be had, if only as a brief respite between nightmares. I’m gonna do it again tomorrow. I recommend it to you all.

Back to the drawing board

November 5, 2014


R.I.P., Lori Cohen

October 7, 2014
"Lori "Doc" Cohen.

“Lori “Doc” Cohen.

My friend Lori Cohen went west on Saturday after a long battle with cancer.

“Doc” was my chiropractor, and she spent a lot of time and energy saving me from myself, so much so that she tried to get me interested in yoga to lighten her load a bit (sorry, Doc).

We shared a wide variety of interests — food and the preparation thereof, exercise to burn off the attendant calories, Santa Fe, Vespas, lefty politics, snark, and so on.

The final stage of her illness came on as we were beginning the transition from Bibleburg to Duke City, and I wasn’t able to give Doc as much attention as she deserved, having given so much of hers to me over the years.

But I did drop by on the day she was selling her beloved blue Vespa LX 150, to take it for a short test ride, make sure everything was in working order, and see how she was bearing up.

After I rolled the Vespa back into her driveway, Doc said she wanted to take a final spin on the scoot. The cancer had brought her quite a bit of pain, and limited her use of one arm, so I wasn’t eager to sign off on the ride, noting that if anything got horribly sideways her longtime friend and caregiver Jeff Tarbert would beat the shit out of both of us, but mostly me.

But Doc wasn’t going to let that final opportunity pass her by. She climbed aboard, twisted the throttle and putt-putted off up the hill. She didn’t fall off until Saturday.

My thoughts are with her many friends and family.

Shhh! (Part 2)

September 29, 2014
The Turk grabs (what else?)  a catnap on a bit of furniture we bought from the previous owner of Rancho Pendejo. It won't last.

The Turk grabs (what else?) a catnap on a bit of furniture we bought from the previous owner of Rancho Pendejo. It won’t last.

Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) doesn’t know it yet, but his repose is about to be disturbed yet again.

The movers are supposed to show up with all our crap today, and you know what that means: the terrifying sounds of Unauthorized Personnel Operating Within the Perimeter.

Sigh. And we had just gotten back to what passes for normal around here, if your idea of “normal” includes a small satchel full of soiled clothes, no cooking/eating gear, and less furniture and electronica than one might find in the average Motel 6.

R.I.P., Robin Williams

August 11, 2014

There should be a law against really funny people doing themselves in.

I’m talking the harshest possible punishment here: Bring them back to life and make them be funny some more.

That’ll teach ‘em.

Hump Month

July 16, 2014

If I were to find work in this neighborhood, would I be justified in calling it a Nob job? No, don’t answer that.

I know, I know, the term is “Hump Day.” But it’s gonna be Hump Month around here, and maybe even Hump Quarter, because Herself has gone and landed a new job — in Albuquerque.

Ay, Chihuahua.

It will be a homecoming of sorts. We met and married in Santa Fe, but left New Mexico for Bibleburg in 1991 to take care of my mom, who was developing Alzheimer’s and had begun acting nearly as outlandishly as me. We’ve lived in Colorado ever since, either here (twice) or in Weirdcliffe (once).

We’ve been in residence at the ultra-chic Chez Dog in the upscale Patty Jewett Yacht & Gun Club Neighborhood for going on 12 years now — 12 years! — and I figured we were all done moving, that my years of rocketing pointlessly around North America like a turpentined ferret had finally come to an end.

I’ve lived in two countries, 11 states and 18 towns that I can remember, and in several of those towns more than once. Hell, I’ve lived in five different houses right here in Bibleburg. And the appalling state of three of them is none of my doing, no matter what you may hear from the few neighbors who survived.

Well, looks like we can toss No. 19 up there on the Big Board. Some people around here insist on having actual jobs, my shining example to the contrary notwithstanding, and next month Herself starts work as a technical librarian in electronic resources and document services at Sandia National Laboratories.

And me? Well, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise — which it appears to be doing as we speak — I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing since 1989, to wit, annoying the readers, staff, advertisers and ownership of various bicycle publications. My primary residence will always be a Mad Dog state of mind.


R.I.P., Don Gale, 1959-2014

May 19, 2014
The Mud Stud, boldly going, as usual.

The Mud Stud, boldly going, as usual.

An old crony from Santa Fe went west on Saturday in Utah. Don Gale finally lost his long battle with colon cancer.

Don was a cyclist, a skier, and a snowboarder, one of several real-life wrenches whose character traits I shamelessly exploited when creating my cartoon character the Mud Stud. We hadn’t seen each other for years, and I feel badly about that now. But we exchanged notes on Facebook recently, and I was struck by how how courageously he was pushing on to the Big Finish Line. “Inspirational” is a term that has become cliché, but not in Don’s case. He made death seem a part of life, which of course it is.

Happily, like most of the 7.2 billion people on the planet, Don did not require my close attention; he was surrounded by family and friends at the end. My condolences to those who knew and loved him.

Indoor sports

April 3, 2014
Oak Creek Grade, between Cañon City and Weirdcliffe, where a fella is definitely gonna want something lower than 30x30.

Oak Creek Grade, between Cañon City and Weirdcliffe, where a fella is definitely gonna want something lower than 30×30.

The silver maple in the front yard at Chez Dog wearing a thick coat of snowy goodness.

The silver maple in the front yard at Chez Dog wearing a thick coat of snowy goodness.

“Man plans, God laughs,” goes the Yiddish proverb.

So, naturally, as I was contemplating the intricacies,  logistics and amusements of a bicycle tour, Management reminded me that spring is only a word, an arbitrary date on a manmade calendar.

Yesterday I was motoring around Fremont and Custer counties with the windows down, scoping out various back roads between Florence and Weirdcliffe with a Colorado Atlas & Gazetteer in the passenger seat while tugging frequently from a water bottle. Today I awakened to a few inches of heavy, wet snow on the deck, with more on the way.

No complaints here, mind you. Water from on high is water I don’t have to buy from Colorado Springs Utilities. And it sure beats being on fire.

So it looks to be a fine day for hanging around indoors, viewing with alarm. For instance, I notice that the Supremes are trying to make it less onerous for the 1 percent to run the country the way they see fit. And a Colorado judge is intent on making it harder for the 99 percent to catch them at it.

I’m starting to think Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy and Alito are deserving of life terms after all. Not on the high court, mind you, but in Leavenworth, making little rocks out of big ones for their crimes against the people.

Indica ciclavia

March 12, 2014
Roll another one. ...

Roll another one. …

Meanwhile, hot on the heels of the news that Apple wants to get drivers playing with their cars instead of driving them comes this tale of stoned cycling from “The Cannabist,” The Denver Post‘s ganja gazette (hey, it can’t be all Broncos, all the time; not after that Super Bowl, anyway).

I’m old enough to have cycled while stoned in an era when (a) you couldn’t buy the shit at Buds ‘r’ Us, and (2) if you wrote about it for your city editor he wouldn’t read it because he was on a three-day bender somewhere. The assistant city editor would chuckle, tear it up, and reassign you to cover the cop shop until you got your mind right.

Being that old, and having grown less resilient over the decades, especially when it comes to high-speed contact with the ground, I’d prefer that the folks sharing the trails and streets with me have their minds right and keep ‘em that way until they get home, where they can do whatever they please.

Plenty of my fellow cyclists appear to lack many basic skills already, and piling impaired judgment on top of that regrettably sparse skill set strikes me as … well, as impaired judgment. Add a pair of earbuds and what you have is a dumb bomb seeking a target.

Jesus. MFA poets writing about stoned cycling for The Denver Post. Another thing I’m old enough to remember? When The Post was a real newspaper.

Meanwhile, congratulations are in order to a cyclist who almost certainly was not stoned, though he was certainly burning a fatty — Ned Overend, who over the weekend won the inaugural U.S. National Fat Bike Championship in Wisconsin.

Cars don’t play

March 10, 2014
Oh, good. More people playing when they should be driving.

Oh, good. More people playing when they should be driving.

I took my gradually fading cold out for a walk yesterday afternoon, and boy, was it ever a beautiful day. Didn’t need to see that pudgy jogger airing out his man-boobs, but occasionally a fella must take the bitter with the sweet.

We’re looking at another blast of springtime today — 72! — before the rain, snow and wind play a return engagement on Tuesday. So I plan to get out again while the getting out remains good.

Friend of the the DogS(h)ite Weaksides will not be so fortunate, alas. In comments, he advises that he’s enduring in-patient therapy after getting blitzed from behind by a car, and his condition may keep him out of his own damn’ home for a while. So shoot him some good wishes in comments if you have a moment.

Meanwhile, feel free to wax wroth about Apple’s latest brainstorm, CarPlay, a setup intended to make it easier for motorists to jabber on the phone, check their email and not incidentally run us over. Released today as part of iOS 7.1 and soon to be a column coming to a bicycle-industry magazine near you.


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