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.

Ride ‘em, jewboy

March 5, 2014

The inimitable Kinky Friedman, he of the Texas Jewboys, has made it into a runoff for the Donk nomination for Texas agriculture commissioner.

You may recall that Kinky, who favors legalization and cultivation of hemp and the whacky-terbacky, once ran for governor and got thumped  despite winning slogans like “Why the Hell Not?” and “How Hard Could It Be?”, references to predecessors Alfred E. “Worry” Bush and Goodhair “Bad Head” Perry. His chances in the ag-commish race appear equally poor, since if he manages to beat his runoff opponent there is a Republican candidate waiting in the wings.

Still … why the hell not? Ride ‘em, jewboy.

• Editor’s note: A tip of the Mad Dog Stetson to Ed Kilgore at Political Animal for noting that Kinky was in the hunt again, and for reminding me of the timely melody, “We Reserve the Right To Refuse Service To You.”

And the winner is … George Washington!

March 3, 2014
The last time one of these things was parked outside my house, I was fixin' to trade it in on a Toyota.

The last time one of these things was parked outside my house, I was fixin’ to trade it in on a Toyota.

Some class of awards show was hogging all the bandwidth last night, I understand.

We freelance cycling rumormongers never get to put on the Ritz and walk the red carpet, even those of us who dabble in the cinema. When we open the envelope, our prize for a job well done is a few wrinkly pictures of dead presidents (if we’re lucky).

I was able to skip the big show last night, Herself being on the road for bidness purposes. She had to motor through the mountains to Dysfunction Junction for a library conclave, and it being March in Colorado, rather than rent the usual half-pint fuel-sipper she settled on a big-ass Ford F-150 crew cab with a 26-gallon tank and four-wheel drive.

Holy shit, that thing looked like the USS George Washington, speaking of dead presidents. I asked Herself if she’d need a stepladder to chisel the ice off the windshield and she gave me the rough edge of her tongue, being less than fond of driving in conditions that lead to 104-car pileups.

I wasn’t exactly sanguine about the mission, either. I owned an F-150 once, a bare-bones 1996 4WD model, and it was without a doubt the biggest hunk of junk I’ve ever owned, a real Motor City garbage scow. Everything that could go wrong with it did, and by the time I finally determined to trade the devil-possessed sonofabitch in on a 1998 Toyota Tacoma I was expecting any minute to hear the voice of Terry Jones saying, “And now it’s time for the F-150 in your driveway to explode.”

But she made it to DJ without incident and is bounding merrily about the place with her fellow librarians. Last night they took over a brewery and spent the night putting their hair up in buns, peering over the tops of their glasses and telling everyone, “Shh!”

Trailer trash

March 1, 2014

A gay old time

February 26, 2014
"Don't we have anything to read in here that isn't a bicycle magazine?"

“Don’t we have anything to read in here that isn’t a bicycle magazine?”

That little Albuquerque training camp spoiled me for the remainder of February in Colorado.

After a week of long, steady distance in springlike temperatures, coming back to winter flat crawled up my butt. Twenty, feels like 10, y’say? Well, to hell with that, I think I’ll just stay inside and eat everything, watch Arizona try to out-stupid Colorado. Next these sunburnt simpletons will be issuing 55-gallon spray cans of Homo-NoMo® to the National Guard. Send the bill to the po’ folks, sonny, this here’s a Christian state.

Anyway, I was in danger of reaching that tipping point at which my inner fat bastard says, “Fuck a bunch of bicycles, let’s sell ‘em all and buy a pie factory.” And it struck me that the problem wasn’t so much the weather as it was riding other people’s bikes all the damn’ time. Inspecting this, questioning that, making notes about it all — this is not unlike riding a couch in the company of a psychotherapist.

“How does that 30-inch low gear make you feel, Patrick?”

“Like a fat little girl with polio, you head-shrinking halfwit. Now shut the fuck up, I’m trying to climb this hill without chowing on the handlebar tape.”

So today I dragged the old Voodoo Nakisi out of the garage, aired up its Bruce Gordon Rock n’ Roads, and rode off to see how many times I could fall down on the ice in Palmer Park (none, though one sneaky patch in the South Cañon nearly got me). It was a beautiful day and I hardly endured any shrinkage at all, being covered from tonsure to toenails in colorful fossil-fuel weather repellent.

I even saw one bozo riding in shorts. Take that, Arizona.

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.

Animal house

February 22, 2014

Jon Paulos was asking the other day about when we might expect fresh pix of The Three Stooges (Boo, Mia and Turk). That would be today. The Turk has been remarkably photogenic lately, rolling around on the carpet as if it were the nice green lawn we don’t have. And Mia and Boo are always ready for their closeups.

Looney Tunes

February 19, 2014

If you ever feel the urge to drive yourself stone batshit crazy, I recommend shooting a bunch of video with two GoPro HERO 3 Black Editions, only one of which works with any degree of reliability, and then editing the pile in iMovie 10, which you have never used, on an 11-inch MacBook Air, which is basically an iPhone with delusions of grandeur and a keyboard.

Good God awmighty. My brain hurts. Especially when I recall that I did this for free, just to see if I could. The next time I see a beach ball spinning that wildly, that often, I’d better be on an actual beach, and full of drugs, too.


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