Archive for the ‘Bad news’ Category

Voodoo child

May 14, 2015
The old Voodoo Wazoo will be my daily driver for the foreseeable future. Toward that end it got a couple upgrades, including slimed tubes, Jandd Grocery Panniers and Egg Beater pedals.

The old Voodoo Wazoo will be my daily driver for the foreseeable future. Toward that end it got a couple upgrades, including slimed tubes, Jandd Grocery Panniers and Egg Beater pedals.

Damn, what a week. Another Bicycle Retailer deadline, the Giro every morning, and an abrupt and unwelcome thinning of the vehicular herd in the garage.

No, we didn’t lose any bicycles. That would be unbearable. But we did say sayonara to Herself’s 2002 Subaru Outback, which has been donated to KUNM-FM after the wizards at Reincarnation said that just about everything between the bumpers was completely fucked.

What began as a timing-belt replacement quickly blossomed into your basic nightmare, in which one repair leads to another: head gasket, clutch, tranny, front rotors, struts front and rear, wheel bearings, tires all around aaaaaaahhhh Jesus make it stop!

When the discussion starts with, “How much does your wife love this car?” you know it’s going to end badly. So, yeah. Off it went. Some cars you’re only gonna get 205,000 miles out of. We was robbed.

Happily, as Master Yoda said, “There is another.” My ’05 Forester. Guess who’s driving that now?

Right you are.

And my vehicle? That’s pictured up top.

• Editor’s note: What are you mutts using for motor vehicles these days? Subarus and Toyotas have been pretty good to us over the years, but we’re always willing to entertain other possibilities. Please to keep in mind that we’re (a) cheap, and (2) have nothing to use as a trade-in.

Light at the end of the shuttle bay

May 7, 2015
If I ever offer to work on your bicycle, I advise you to decline, no matter how desperate your situation.

If I ever offer to work on your bicycle, I advise you to decline, no matter how desperate your situation.

Oh, lawd, it’s been a busy ol’ week around El Rancho Pendejo, what with deadlines, Herself jetting off to the Twin Cities for a conference, and the Elly May Clampett Memorial Critter Farm to feed and water.

Still, could be worse. Could be hailing.

Meanwhile, in honor of Bike Month, we might be trading Herself’s 2002 Subaru Outback in on a 1979 AMF Roadmaster after the fine folks at Reincarnation advised us that the only item still functional in the sonofabitch is the cigarette lighter.

I dropped the stuttering, groaning monstrosity off there bright and early this morning for what we had hoped was only a timing-belt replacement and cycled back home, but not without incident.

First, a bit of backstory:

It’s been raining lately, probably because I took the fenders and rack off my Soma Saga. I put them back on for this little outing, with the help of an English muffin and not nearly enough coffee, and added some Arkel Dry-Lite panniers to fetch along a bit of foul-weather gear because, well, look at Bibleburg, f’chrissakes. You never know.

Anyway, I roll away from Reincarnation and almost immediately the Saga’s drivetrain starts acting out. This never happens because it’s one of the simplest mechanical devices known to man — Silver friction shifters commanding Shimano derailleurs (Ultegra front, Deore rear) and a nine-speed cassette. But here we are, limping along on impulse power in the Diesel-Airhorn quadrant, an easy target for any Klingon bird of prey (F-150 model).

Shit, maybe the Outback’s cooties got on it, I thought as I lurched up onto a convenient curb for a quick look-see. No obvious defect presented itself for correction, so I remounted, gave the rear mech a couple of light kicks to knock it into a serviceable position, and rolled off in a gear that was just a little bit too small or too tall, depending upon which chainring I was using.

I’m not fussy. What I am is lazy.

Also, and too, dumb. Derailleur problems one may remedy with a bit of skill and the proper tools, but stupid is forever, the gift that keeps on giving.

How dumb, you ask? Well, after lurching up to the top of the bike-ped bridge across I-25, I paused to swap my leg warmers for some knee warmers. And hey presto! As I’m pulling the latter from the drive-side bag, I notice that some fool has clamped the rear rack onto the rear derailleur-cable housing.

For once I actually had a minitool in the saddle bag, and with a couple twists of the wrist warp speed was restored. But I canna say I felt much like Montgomery Scott.

 

Paddywhacked

March 17, 2015
I was wearing green, but the iMac pinched me anyway.

I was wearing green, but the iMac pinched me anyway.

Ah, jaysis, I should’ve known better than to declare victory in my battle with the auld iMac so. Froze up on me again it did, as before, after less than 12 hours of extremely light use.

It caused me to explode in righteous wrath, and before I could go for a wee ride in my St. Patrick’s Day finery too.

Peeling Apple for the CIA

March 11, 2015

Unhappy Mac

Oopsie. I guess this means the Geniuses at the local Apple Store will be taking turns pouring Coca-Cola, honey and kiddie porn into my iMac this morning.

[The Intercept] said it based its story on “top-secret” documents received directly from whistleblower Edward Snowden. It alleges Sandia researchers tried to find security flaws in Apple devices to open “backdoors” for surveillance of any device.

Thanks a lot, fellas. Now instead of a daily crash or three I’m gonna have to listen to this. And Dave’s not even here, man.

• Editor’s note: Hat tip to Steve O’ for flagging this first, in comments.

• Today’s Gratuitous Apple Joke: Early adopters, take note. If you like the Apple Watch, you’re going to love the Apple CockRing. It grabs you by the nuts and squeezes until you sign over your 401(k) & IRA to Cupertino.

R.I.P., Leonard Nimoy

February 27, 2015
Mr. Spock, everyone's favorite green-blooded, pointy-eared freak.

Mr. Spock, everyone’s favorite green-blooded, pointy-eared freak.

Mr. Spock has beamed up for the final time.

My favorite quote so far comes from The Los Angeles Times: “My folks came to the U.S. as immigrants,” he said in a 2012 speech at Boston University. “They were aliens, and then became citizens. I was born in Boston a citizen, and then I went to Hollywood and became an alien.”

I don’t know about you, but I watched me a shitload of “Star Trek,” mostly in college, when I was supposed to have been getting one a them, whatchamacallit, edjimications.

Here's a little LLAP dance for you.

Here’s a little LLAP dance for you.

I could Name That Episode about a nanosecond into any one of them, which made me a hair slower than Ed the Beard, a total sci-fi geekazoid who christened his beater Step van “The Hawkwind.” We used it to deliver appliances rather than Michael Moorcock-inspired space rock.

Spock almost always had the snarkiest lines, which may be why I liked the character so much. Scotty and Bones were too excitable, and Kirk was a dickhead authority figure, so yeah, Spock.

When Edith Keeler asked what he was building, Spock replied, “I am endeavoring, ma’am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bearskins.”

Chatting about Tribbles with McCoy, who said they were “nice, they’re soft and they’re furry, and they make a pleasant sound,” Spock replied, “So would an ermine violin, Doctor, but I see no advantage in having one.”

Discussing Harcourt Fenton Mudd’s having skipped appointments with Bones, Spock noted: “It’s not at all surprising, Doctor. He’s probably terrified of your beads and rattles.”

Well, now he’s boldly gone where all men (and women) must go. We’ll miss him. Live long and prosper, the rest of yis.

Two dogs, same bone

February 24, 2015
It's a gray morning in Duke City, and the wizards predict a chance of snow.

It’s a gray morning in Duke City, and the wizards predict a chance of snow.

Once again we are reminded that elections have consequences.

Scott Walker, by some accounts the foremost of the 2,375,296 Republicans running for that party’s 2016 presidential nomination, is going after working folks again with “right to work” legislation. He professed no interest in reviving this anti-union measure while campaigning to keep his present job, but that was so 15 minutes ago. A tricornered hat full of Tea Bagger gold is all he cares about now.

Elsewhere, Bill O’Reilly is flailing around like a big dumb mutt in the dogcatcher’s truck, trying to convince the suckers that he was a double Ernie Pyle with a side of Ed Murrow back in the day, doing it hand-to-hand with the bad guys in the Falklands when he was actually boffing a sheep in his suite at the Hilton Buenos Aires.

He’ll be successful, of course, for the same reason that Walker will get his latest union-busting tool. Larry’s wife can tell you why.

Worry

February 18, 2015

aebushOh, lawd, this is going to be a long campaign season.

Jeb Bush — you know, “the smart one” — has been cranking up the family Kennebunkumport Klunker for a leisurely-yet-manly drive to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and despite all evidence to the contrary he claims to be his own man when it comes to foreign policy.

Notes Steve Benen over at The Maddow Blog:

“Everything about Jeb Bush’s national campaign is built on a foundation established by his grandfather, father, and brother — powerful Republicans all. Jeb has spent most of his life exploiting the benefits of his last name to advance his interests, and by appearances, he’s doing it again.”

Ho, ho. This bozo has all the originality of a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band rocking Ladies Night at the Desert Inn in Yeehaw Junction, Florida. If you loved President Alfred E. “Worry” Bush, you’re gonna love this guy.

Say it ain’t so, Joe

December 23, 2014
Out near El Malpais National Monument on a shoot for the Adventure Cycling Association.

Out near El Malpais National Monument, “working” as a model during a photo shoot for the Adventure Cycling Association.

I was somewhere near Grants, New Mexico, riding a touring bike for fun and profit, when the word came that Joe Cocker had passed on.

It’s a wonder Joe made it to 70, given the way he lived his early years. John Belushi, who mocked him so well, didn’t last half as long.

And man: “A Little Help From My Friends.” “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window.” Dude out-Beatled the Beatles, is what. “The Letter.” “Delta Lady.” Hoo-lawd, he left it all out there on the stage.

“You Are So Beautiful.” “You Can Leave Your Hat On.” And “Feelin’ Alright.”

“I’m not feeling too good myself,” Joe sang, and he wasn’t kidding. But he had too much to do before he died, and thank whatever gods there are that we got to watch, and listen.

As Pat noted in comments, give our best to Frank, Joe.

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

 


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