Archive for the ‘Spring’ Category

Doggy Pop and the Stooges

April 13, 2012
Soma Double Cross in touring mode

The Soma Double Cross in touring mode.

After the deluge earlier this week, I reconfigured the Soma Double Cross as a fendered kinda-sorta touring bike instead of an unfendered kinda-sorta cyclo-cross bike. Naturally, conditions have been dry and windy ever since, so much so that today I became a pedestrian rather than gnaw on the gentle double-digit zephyrs.

The weather wizards say all this will change over the weekend, but I’ll believe it when I see it. In the meantime, the fenders stay on as a Stooge-like double-finger to the eyes for the gods.

Speaking of the Stooges (nyuk nyuk), the Farrelly brothers’ tribute to Nyukledom opens this weekend. I’ve seen two reviews, one from a man, the other from a woman, both basically going “Awwwww. …” Cute? The Three Stooges? Nawwwww. I think I can wait for the free library DVD on this one.

Right now we’re up to our bowl cuts in “Boardwalk Empire,” which gets off to an awfully slow start for the uninitiated, and “The Wire,” which was just so goddamn motherfuckin’ good that we watchin’ them shits again, yo, a’ight? Maybe this time we won’t need the subtitles.

Foggy Friday

April 6, 2012
The cruelest month

Things are all fogged up around here today.

“April is the cruellest month,” wrote T.S. Eliot. The quote arises unbidden as I watch the weather change from sunny to snowy to sunny again, and finally to a chilly shvitz of fog — all in less than a week.

Appropriately, April also brings the cruelest race, Paris-Roubaix. And while I no longer help cover such sport for vampire capitalists, I plan to get up way too early on Sunday and lend a paw to my friend and colleague Charles Pelkey over at Live Update Guy.

Charles will be on deck at dark-thirty, as usual, but I won’t plug in until the race is well under way. In the meantime, give us your picks for the V in comments. Tom Boonen is obviously a fave, but with filthy weather in the forecast and no Fabian Cancellara it could be anyone’s race. T.S. Eliot was right.

S-brrrrrr-ing!

March 20, 2012
Spring flower

It's a tough row to hoe, being a flower in March.

The first day of spring and whadda we get? Thirty-friggin’-four with wind from the north at 26 mph, gusting to 41.

As usual, this is my fault. Last week, when we were enjoying an unseasonable stretch of 60- and 70-something temps, I connected hoses to faucets, watered the lawn and — worst of all — put a new battery in the Vespa. Imagine my embarrassment.

Best of all, the wind is peppering us with tree pollen, and allergies have me by the snotlocker with a downhill pull. Snork. Gluck. Hawk. Ptui. Repeat as necessary.

This means that instead of riding my bike in shorts and short sleeves, as I did all last week, I will be slouching here at the computer, searching for things that piss me off to elevate the old heart rate.

Like this item about House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Ayn Rand), who claims his “budget” will strengthen the safety net for the poor, disabled and elderly. Uh huh. The “net” to which he refers concerns the fishnet stockings Granny will have to wear while pole-dancing to pay for her blood-pressure meds.

Or this one about employers demanding that prospective employees give them their Facebook user names and passwords so they can go snooping around to see if you enjoy calling their favorite Randite nutsack a zombie-eyed granny-starver. Yo, Mister Human Resources, I got your job right fuckin’ here.

And finally this one, about a self-appointed vigilante who guns down a 17-year-old kid armed with a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona iced tea … and isn’t charged with shit, not even littering. Now and then I think about selling the family arsenal. And then I think again, because guys like this are roaming around, packing. Jesus wept.

A soggy so-long to spring

June 20, 2011

It’s quiet out there … too quiet

May 24, 2011

“Tweet of the day,” notes a colleague, forwarding this:

lancearmstrong Happy hour w/ the whole @LIVESTRONG team here at the house. For those who think we’ll be distracted, think again. We’re here to serve.

The old Million Pound Yellow Shithammer of Denial just ain’t what it used to be, hey? Not as long as Big George Hincapie may be one of the moles in need of a stout whacking. This shot will require some finesse, muses Big Tex, consulting his caddy: “What club do I use here, do y’think?” All the anticipation makes one’s putter flutter.

I get a feeling we’re on a rest day here on the Tour de Lance. But sometime soon it’s gonna be game on and Big Tex will have to start taking some very long pulls indeed, with the Devil running alongside him. And I ain’t talking Didi Senft here.

Meanwhile, I awakened to the sound of rain, thunder and hail at Chez Dog. I think I’ll sell all the bikes and buy a submarine. A yellow one. I bet I know where I can get one cheap, and all the rats should be out of there momentarily, if they haven’t all leaped overboard already.

May showers bring what, exactly?

May 19, 2011
Back deck, May 19, 2011

All hands on deck? Not today: Today I need an office with a lid on it.

Jeebus. More water on the deck this morning. Just because I have fenders and neoprene doesn’t mean I enjoy using them.

Oh, well. I’m signed up for an extra-credit day in the VeloBarrel today, helping cover stage five of the Amgen Tour as our boots on the ground rotate in and out. It’s supposed to start at 10:15 a.m. Bibleburg time, but since we don’t do live updates anymore (just a Twitter feed, which is like passing out bullhorns to the voices in Sarah Palin’s head) the heavy lifting won’t start until much later in the day, when the streaming video kicks in.

One thing’s for sure: I won’t be using the open-air office this afternoon. It’s plenty soggy already, and there’s more rain in the forecast. No point in getting electrocuted in advance of Saturday’s Rapture. I want to stick around long enough to see who the real Christians are. I have a feeling the Tower will not approve some of the self-righteous flight plans on His desk.

Well, at least it’s not snowing. …

May 15, 2011
Reflections

Ah, it's the old "trees reflected in the puddle" shot again.

The poor bastards at the Amgen Tour of California are facing weather that the Chamber of Commerce would be cheering — if this were a ski race.

Alas, it’s a bike race, and with cyclo-cross season behind us it’s looking like the lads will face a shortened course. No word whether they’ll be running the Emerald Bay KOM.

Here in Bibleburg, meanwhile, it’s rain with temps just above freezing. Good for the trees, but also bad for cycling, if you’re a sissified geezer like me, anyway. I’m almost jealous of Herself, who is off to my old hometown of Alamosa this morning, where temps should hit the 70s by afternoon. She and a colleague have some work to do with the local biblioteca and plan a visit to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

Me, I’m sentenced to rumormongery without parole today, with both the Giro and the AToC going on. Oh, well — it beats shoveling snow. Or racing in it.

• Late update: As you know already, organizers pulled the plug on the Amgen kickoff after the weather got ridiculous. My friend, colleague and fellow Bibleburger Casey B. Gibson, who’s shooting the race for VeloNews, says six motos went down 20 minutes after the race was canceled, so it seems organizers made the right call. So the racers got a day off, but I didn’t. You’d be astounded how much crap there is to post about a race that never was.

Gloom and doom

May 11, 2011
Rainy May day

Sure am glad I watered the lawn yesterday.

This is May? What, did the GOP manage to privatize the weather, hand it off to Halliburton or Goldman Sachs? It rained last night, the wind is flat barreling out of the northwest at 24 mph and there is the usual chance of snow “with little to no accumulation,” which means, “Just enough to kill anyone who thinks 4WD helps you stop.”

It’s just as well, I suppose. I had work to do this morning, and were it not so dismal outside I might have said piss on it and gone for a ride instead.

Speaking of rude awakenings, it seems the mainstream media have finally sniffed the java where Punkinhead Boehner is concerned. Bloomberg News reports that the House speaker’s economic “theories” depend upon “several assertions that are contraindicated by market indicators and government reports.” The Washington Post‘s Ruth Marcus cuts to the chase and calls him a lying sack of runny orange shit.

Careful, now, Ruthie ol’ scout. You’re liable to set off Weepy John’s sprinkler system bringing that kind of heat. Thanks to Steve Benen at Political Animal for the tip.

April flowers bring May showers

April 29, 2011
Weather over the mountain

Shorts weather down here, not so much up there.

May is lurking around the corner like a thug with a fistful of pipe. I rode in shorts and short sleeves today, watered the trees fore and aft, even mowed what passes for a lawn in Dog Country. It was 75 degrees and sunnier than the smile on the face of someone who hasn’t been paying attention.

Naturally, tomorrow the temps will drop like an elevator full of fat bastards and there’s rain, snow, and rain mixed with snow in the forecast.

Whatever. I don’t care. Our Canadian red cherry is showing some blossoms, and I had a wonderful ride today, just goofing around in Palmer Park, trying to stay out of the wind. I was on the Voodoo Nakisi drop-bar 29er and rode like I knew what I was doing for a change, kinda sorta, even cleaning a couple rocky bits that have been setting me afoot. Plus I stumbled across an entire gym class of young folks riding mountain bikes at the behest of their teacher, which as an industry observer I call good news.

One, on a loaner bike, was having trouble with parts of the Grandview Overlook trail and just a tiny bit lost. “It gets easier,” I promised, lying shamelessly through an encouraging smile, and showed her the way to the paved road that leads to the overlook parking lot.

I took a shortcut and advised teach’ that one of his students once was lost, but now was found, and then got the hell out of there while things were still going good. I’m not greedy, and I’d already had more than my share of good news.

• Late update: I capped the day off with a simple new recipe, ale-braised sausages with bell peppers, from Williams-Sonoma. I dicked around with it a bit, having neither apple cider (I used organic cranberry-pomegranate juice instead) nor fresh thyme (due to a persistent case of brain damage I have three or four jars of the dried stuff cluttering up the kitchen). And surprise, surprise, it turned out just fine. I used Deschutes Brewery’s Red Chair NW Pale Ale and Niman Ranch bratwurst, for anyone tracking my movements. The mashed spuds were your basic organic russets with chives, parsley, butter, heavy whipping cream, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Tulips and Tea Baggers

April 27, 2011
Frosty tulips

The tulips seem to be saying, "If this is spring, you can have it."

This is the second day lately we’ve awakened to a light, slightly crunchy frosting on the ground.

I don’t know whether it’s a light snow or a heavy frost. I do know the lawn drinks it like Birthers chug Insane-O-Tea®. You want a solid argument against evolution, these folks are your poster children. Chimps look at these asshats, shake their heads and say, “I ain’t got nothin’ to do with it.”


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