Archive for the ‘Bad news’ Category

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.

Snot rag

March 6, 2014
Kleenex and Mucinex and tea, oh my.

Kleenex and Mucinex and tea, oh my.

Gah. I was congratulating myself for having avoided the cold that felled Herself — dodged a boogery bullet, evaded a snot rocket, as it were — and then, boom!

Attack of the clones: Cloning the MacBook's hard drive to a new OWC SSD using SuperDuper and a USB Universal Drive Adapter.

Attack of the clones: Cloning the MacBook’s hard drive to a new OWC SSD using SuperDuper and a USB Universal Drive Adapter.

Got me.

Thus, while it is a springlike 64 degrees outdoors, here I sit, full of drugs, hot tea and bad ideas. Like installing a new SSD in my old black MacBook to give it a taste of the 21st century.

This is not unlike putting spinners on a Nash Metropolitan, but what the hell — at just under a C note from the fine folks at Other World Computing, a bigger, faster drive is a whole lot cheaper than a new laptop for road trips requiring a bit more screen real estate and software than the 11-inch MacBook Air provides.

Plus, being slightly crazed on caffeine, pseudoephedrine and guaifenesin, I need something to keep my hands busy. It’s either this or follow the news, and that seems futile since I no longer have any hair to pull out.

• Late update: The surgery was successful, and now I have a zippy little 120GB SSD in my 8-year-old MacBook. Probably should’ve gone bigger, but SSDs are pricey, and I have a 120GB external drive I can use to store image files.

R.I.P., Harold Ramis

February 24, 2014
To-GA! To-GA! To-GA!

To-GA! To-GA! To-GA!

This interview at Shambhala Sun made Harold Ramis seem like a person worth knowing, and not just for his movie work, which included “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” “Caddyshack,” and “Groundhog Day,” all of which are in the library here at Chez Dog.

Ramis also worked in the Second City comedy troupe; as the joke editor at Playboy; on “The National Lampoon Radio Hour,” which I remember fondly from my stoner days down on Mill Street; and in “The National Lampoon Show,” a revue that followed “National Lampoon’s Lemmings,” which I have on vinyl around here somewhere. Alas, my copy of “Radio Dinner” is long gone.

Here’s his obit in The New York Times.

What a shame he and John Belushi left the toga party so early.

Poultry slam

February 23, 2014
When a cold comes into the house, you've got to give it the bird.

When a cold comes into the house, you’ve got to give it the bird.

There is catarrh in the house, curse its name.

A terrorist assault on the snotlocker has laid Herself low, and with the Horse of Pestilence thus having escaped her boogered-up beezer barn I am belatedly barring the door to my own by preparing a massive tureen of chicken noodle soup.

Oh, she gets a bowl, too. Just in case you were wondering.

The recipe can be found in “Dad’s Own Cookbook,” by Bob Sloan, and it is the foundation of any number of other meals, among them chicken quesadillas, chicken chilaquiles, and chicken eaten with the fingers straight out of the pot before you make anything other than a big-ass pot of simmered chicken.

And when I say “big-ass,” I do not lie. This sucker starts with a 4.5-pound bird, plus four extra drumsticks, and adds four quarts of water, four carrots, two turnips, a large onion, a leek, a dollop of honey, salt, dill, egg noodles, peas and parsley.

As chicken soups go, this is the equivalent of Rolling Thunder, a culinary carpet-bombing, a real poultry slam. I just hope it’s not too late. Some doughty little bug in green pajamas could be out there right now, pushing his Ah Choo Minh bicycle loaded with deadly bacteria through the triple-canopy jungle of my nose hairs.

A bad day at work

February 1, 2014
I was my usual awesome self on a short ride in the snow this afternoon.

I was my usual awesome self on a short ride in the snow this afternoon.

Damn. It must be going around. Katie Compton just had one of those days at work, too.

What sucks about hers is that so many people were watching. When we lesser lights have things go pear-shaped, the audience is a good deal smaller.

I’ve never been really good at sport, so my defeats came early and often, and continue to this day, when my memory of how I used to suck a little less kicks my in-the-moment ass. It must be mind-boggling to be absolutely top shelf and suddenly find yourself rattling around in the bargain bin.

Ah, well. Homegirl has two World Cups for consolation. But she and we would’ve loved a real battle for that rainbow jersey Marianne Vos clutches so fiercely.

After watching today’s races and doing a spot of work I went out for an hour of riding the mountain bike in the snow. Also being asthmatic, I hit the inhaler before I hit the trail. And I was mighty glad that (a) there were no Marianne Voses around, and (2) hardly anybody was watching.

For everything there is a season

January 28, 2014

Herself almost made it home last night, if you will concede that Denver International Airport qualifies as “almost home.”

The weather was moderately evil, and Herself’s flight from Chicago to Bibleburg was rerouted to Denver, a change of schedule about which I was blissfully ignorant until hanging a left off Powers onto the airport road after a very slow drive on icy, snow-covered streets.

“Where are you?” asks Herself, and I figure I’m about to get an earful for being late picking her up.

“Coming up on the airport,” sez I. “Where are you?”

“In Denver,” sez she.

And that’s the way things stayed. I hung out in the cellphone lot for an hour or so, waiting to see if the situation would resolve itself. United was waffling on whether the 15-minute flight was go or no-go, saying the Bibleburg airport was closed (the airport’s website proved useless on the iPhone, The Gazette had nothing about it, and I was feeling cantankerous and forbade myself to investigate in person).

Anyway, long story short, I motored back to Chez Dog to await instructions, United finally canceled that DIA-COS flight altogether, and I arranged a hotel room for Herself, who — having been scheduled to touch down in Bibleburg at 8:03 p.m. Monday — finally hit the hay at two-ish Tuesday in Saudi Aurora. Now she’s due in at 3:15 this afternoon. So it goes.

While awaiting dispatches from the front I learned of Pete Seeger’s passing, and this morning, in his honor, I decided not to go a-tilting at the windmills of customer service. It was late, the weather sucked, and the harried minions who seem like knee-jerk shitheels at first glance are just working stiffs, like us. They probably don’t like being United employees any more than we like being United customers.

Pete, that unreconstructed old commie, would have sung them a song.

Remembrances

• “Pete Seeger: This Man Surrounded Hate and Forced it To Surrender,” John Nichols, The Nation

• “R.I.P., Pete Seeger,” Charles P. Pierce, The Politics Blog

• “Pete Seeger, Songwriter and Champion of Folk Music, Dies at 94,” Jon Pareles, The New York Times

• “I simply wanted him to know that I loved him dearly,” Arlo Guthrie

Nothing out of the ORDinary

January 27, 2014

united-flightYou know you’re fucked when United gives you an estimated date for your flight home.

Herself is wheels up, jetting from Philly to Bibleburg via Chicago’s O’Hell International Campground, and on a whim I checked her flight status on the United website. The result of my inquiry is posted above. Seems the Soviet-surplus Aeroflot PS-84 inbound from Duluth ran out of bathtub vodka (for either the windshield washers or the flight crew) and is at least 90 minutes behind schedule.

A charging station in O'Hell. Has USB and everything. Hi, Uncle Sammy, it's your trusty taxpayer Herself, just keeping the iPad full of electrons.

A charging station in O’Hell. Has USB and everything. Hi, Uncle Sammy, it’s your trusty taxpayer Herself, just keeping the iPad full of electrons.

Happily, knowing through bitter experience that O’Hell is the aviation equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle (or perhaps the Hotel California), Herself has all her must-have items in her carry-on bag in case she has to kip in a plastic chair at Mickey D’s.

When reached for comment, Herself replied succinctly, “Shit.”

On the bright side, O’Hell apparently has these nifty little charging stations to keep one’s personal electronics ticking along like Chinese watches. All the better for the NSA to keep its files up to date, don’t you know.

• Late update: Well, she got onto that delayed flight, but now the Bibleburg airport is closed due to inclement weather and the sucker was rerouted to DIA. And after such a fun drive too. Funny, everything seemed to be on schedule right before I left Rancho del Perro Loco. The guy with the shovel must’ve knocked off early.

• Extremely late update: After dithering a bit, and herding people off and on and off the plane, United finally canceled Herself’s flight from DIA to Bibleburg, leaving her stuck at DIA around midnight, and from the sound of it their minions were none too helpful in (a) booking a Tuesday flight or (2) helping her find a place to lay her head for the evening. I may have to shout at some folks.

The parting glass: R.I.P., Peter O’Toole

December 15, 2013
Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn in "A Lion In Winter."

Peter O’Toole and Katherine Hepburn in “A Lion In Winter.”

Peter O’Toole went west today. Some called him a ham, but damn — “The Lion In Winter” is and will always be one of my favorite films, alongside “My Favorite Year” and, of course, “Lawrence of Arabia.”

“Lion” was based on a Broadway play by James Goldman, and it is a darkly funny bit of work, with Anthony Hopkins, Nigel Terry and Timothy Dalton chipping in. I prefer it to “Lawrence,” which The New York Times dismissed as a “huge, thundering camel-opera” in a 1962 review (I’d call that a little harsh).

Steven Spielberg had a different take. He called it “the first film I saw that made me want to be a moviemaker.” It made me want to read “Seven Pillars of Wisdom,” by T.E. Lawrence, and if you’ve never picked up a copy, I recommend it to you.

The film was restored, laboriously, for its 50th anniversary, and the book has likewise been abridged and restored. Alas, O’Toole could not be returned to youth and vigor. He will be missed.


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