Archive for the ‘Illness’ Category

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.

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.

Hi-def’, where is thy sting?

October 8, 2013
I had a little fun shooting the video of the Jones bike. There's plenty of room for gadgetry on that 66cm H-bar; I was going to add a flower vase, but ran out of hose clamps.

I had a little fun shooting the video of the Jones bike. There’s plenty of room for gadgetry on that 66cm H-bar; I was going to add a flower vase, but ran out of hose clamps.

In comments, Patrick O’B. asks whether I’m having trouble deciding which bike to ride since adding a nifty Jones rigid-specific 29er to the Mad Dog fleet.


I haven’t been on a bike of any type for a week — a terrorist wasp nailed me in my left ankle during a hike last Wednesday, the sonofabitch swelled up to the size and shade of a ruby-red Texas grapefruit (the ankle, not the terrorist wasp), and I have whiled away the hours since full of Benadryl and bad ideas, trying to get a metric shit-ton of work done with my shoeless left leg propped up on a box.

And the weather has been picture-postcard, Chamber of Commerce, fall-in-Colorado perfect, too.


The Co-Motion Divide Rohloff got its closeup today.

The Co-Motion Divide Rohloff got its closeup today.

I did get out for a short while today. The ankle looks more or less like an ankle again, rather than a botulistic bratwurst, and I needed to shoot a bit of HD video for an online review of the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff, having just wrapped production on a Jones video. So I spazzed around in Palmer Park for an hour, playing Quentin Ferrentino with a couple of dusty old Hero 3 Black Editions.

The Adventure Cyclist gang and I met with the GoPro people at Interbike, but only editor Mike Deme walked away with one of the new Hero 3+ dinguses, though I thought I batted my eyelashes most fetchingly at the product guy. Bitch.

So I had to make do with obsolete technology in my latest projects, and as usual it is the little people — you, the viewing public — who must suffer.

Still, that makes two videos in two days. Stick that in your hobbit-pipe and smoke it, Peter Jackson.

In like a lion

March 8, 2013
Novara Verita

The Novara Verita from REI.

March, is it? Whose idea was it to make February so short and start Daylight Saving Time on Sunday? Jesus, I take some time away from the blog to do a spot of work from my deathbed and the whole place goes to hell.

I brought some heavyweight class of an upper-respiratory bug home from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show and mostly have been sleeping at The House Back East® to keep from catapulting Herself out of bed and into the madhouse with my coughs, which sound remarkably like an M777 howitzer in action, if M777 howitzers fired 155mm olive-drab snot rockets.

Between booger barrages I have had to crank out the word count for Adventure Cyclist and Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, the latter now back to twice-a-month publication. Doubling up on the funny is heavy lifting when your brain is braising in bacterial tapioca.

The past couple of days have brought some mild improvement, happily, and I’ve even been out and about on the latest review bike, a Novara Verita, one of the steeds in REI’s velo-stable. I’ve tried not to dribble on it, because the green would clash horribly with the nifty blue-and-white color scheme and might even dissolve the tubeset.

I shan’t have access to that refreshing little pasatiempo this weekend, however. The wizards predict rain, snow and wind — to wit, March weather.

Just as well. Another round of deadlines is upon me like some fresh plague, and I might as well stick to embarrassing myself in print instead of upon the bicycle until the sun comes back sometime next week.

Ten days that shook the ribs

January 14, 2013
Baby, it's cold outside.

Baby, it’s cold outside.

Ten days after the flu sank its meathooks into my respiratory system I’m finally starting to feel like a primate instead of a paramecium.

And there’s no danger of being tempted to imperil my fragile recovery by throwing myself headlong into a futile attempt to recover all those miles unridden because it’s 8 degrees and snowing.

It would be just like me to rocket out the door in search of a nasty case of bronchitis and perhaps a broken bone or two, so I think I’ll surprise the universe and stay indoors, maybe ride the trainer gently for a half hour or so.

Speaking of disease, beyond my little cocoon the speculation as regards impending revelations by the One Ball To Rule Them All has reached a fever pitch, and don’t I wish I could give a shit. Watching him summon the Reverend Mutha Gaius Helen Winfrey and her rubber gom jabbar to Pelotaville for a televised confessional in hopes of getting his personal gravy train back on the rails looks very little like a penitente journeying to the Sanctuario de Chimayó on his knees.

I can’t decide which cultural reference to deploy here. Is it an unrepentant Alex insisting that the Int Inf Min spoon-feed him in his hospital bed? Or is it Lucy at the chocolate factory, only with the chocolate being money and Lucy a great white shark and the assembly line running not too fast, but rather not fast enough?

“What’s it going to be then, eh?” I’m going to go with Alex here, because no matter what we may hear on Thursday, I suspect that a “cure” forced is no cure at all, and we will have our malevolent little droogie on our hands for quite a while yet.

One flu over the cuckoo’s nest

January 10, 2013

Tomorrow I will have had this friggin’ bug for a week and I can tell you the sonofabitch has most definitely overstayed its welcome.

I have launched two tureens of chicken noodle soup against the invader (“From hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.”) and yet it remains encamped upon my ribcage, brazenly flying its yellow-and-green Kleenex banners. Ptui.

Tomorrow I’m escalating to Scotch broth with kale. And after that, the B-52s.

A sure cure for Big Tex fever

January 6, 2013

I’ll tell you what will take your mind off TCWSNBN real fast — the flu that’s going around.

Lordy sweet Jeebus, I recommend in the strongest possible terms that you do not contract this bad boy. It got me on Friday and ever since I have felt like I got et by a coyote and shit off a cliff. Not even green chile helps. Hell, I don’t even want a drink, so you know it’s bad. That said, some of my symptoms might belong to the DTs rather than the flu, so your mileage may vary.

Needless to say, I did not get up at dark-thirty this morning to hustle up some pirate video of Katie Compton clinching the World Cup title in Rome. No, instead I curled fetus-like under a heap of sweaty bedclothes, emitting feeble mewling sounds interspersed with mighty honks into tissues and the occasional hacking jag one might expect from a Vegas bluehair working three slot machines at once with a Chesterfield glued to her lower lip.

Later, in the shower, after a few moments of abominable racket reminiscent of a pack of werewolves with kennel cough trying to kick-start their Harleys I passed a lung biscuit the approximate size, shape and color of an apricot. I thought it bore the likeness of Our Lord, but that was probably just the flu. Or the DTs.

ChipIn for Charles

August 15, 2011

My friend Charles Pelkey, a.k.a. The Explainer, Live Update Guy, etc., et al., and so on and so forth, got a bit of good news for a change today — the fine folks at NYVelocity have set up a ChipIn account to help Charles defray a portion of his medical costs as he undergoes treatment for cancer.

Charles, as you know, was among those recently downsized by Velo‘s corporate overlords, Competitor Group Inc. CGI extended his health insurance for a period, but the sand is rapidly running out of that hourglass, and once he finds himself in COBRA country the costs will commence piling up like venomous snakes in an Indiana Jones movie.

If you’ve enjoyed one of CP’s famous live updates (and who hasn’t?) or gleaned some insight from one of his Explainer columns at, please consider making a donation. You’ll find yourself in some excellent company. For example, I have it on good authority that a certain American winner of the Tour de France has kicked in a couple of bucks.

And no, it wasn’t the rubber-band guy.

On the road again

August 11, 2011
The corner of PPIR and I-25

That's "Hanover," not "Hangover," though I have felt hungover here many a time while chasing leather-lunged leg-shavers back in the Nineties.

I don’t care what the calendar says — yesterday was the first day of fall. It was mostly cool and overcast until late in the day, when summer made something of a comeback. Nice change from the 90-plus weather we’ve been enjoying lately.

Naturally, I didn’t get out for a ride. It’s been heavy lifting around here, what with breaking in a new dog, working the site by myself on weekends, and deadlines for Velo the magazine (Monday) and Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (Wednesday).

The BRAIN column was a real bitch to write. The turmoil at Velo and has been much on my mind, as has my friend Charles Pelkey’s cancer, and of course the never-ending mad-hattery in the nation’s capital, where the League of Small Hat Sizes holds sway. So I’ve been oscillating between rage and despair, neither of which is exactly fertile ground for bicycle comedy.

Nevertheless I prevailed — I shat out something, words in a row, and beat the clock with minutes to spare. And today I fled the office and the Innertubes for a fat-burning 50-miler that really flushed out the old headgear.

I’ve been contemplating a short bicycle tour, but finding a safe, pleasurable route out of Bibleburg has proven problematic. I’ve never liked riding Highway 24 west — too easy to get picked off by an 18-wheeler or RV between Manitou Springs and Cascade. North lies Jesus country and then Denver; no, thanks. And nobody in his right mind goes east. We’re Westerners, goddamnit.

That leaves south. But Highway 115 is under construction through October at both ends — Fort Carson and Penrose — and after a short recon by Subaru the other day I crossed that formerly delightful highway off my list, too. Single-lane climbs, gravel trucks and commuting prison guards give me the heebie-jeebies.

Thus the mainline out of Bibleburg is Interstate 25 — not exactly the sort of bucolic backroad one sees chronicled in Adventure Cyclist magazine. Still, you tour with the road you have, not  the road you might want or wish to have at a later time. So today’s outing was something of a recon on two wheels, and it proved very illuminating indeed.

I wanted to avoid as much of the interstate as possible and so took Las Vegas Street to Highway 85/87, and portions of both roads sucked very much indeed, as in crumbling 55-mph two-laners with little or no shoulder. Nonetheless I survived and picked up I-25 at the Fountain exit. Hoo-boy, was that ever a barrel of laughs. At least the endless parade of tractor-trailer rigs blunted the headwind until I pulled off at the defunct Pikes Peak International Raceway, 22 miles south of the DogHaus.

Coming back was excellent. I not only had a tailwind, I skipped the interstate in favor of Old Pueblo Road, which is a staple of the leg-shavers’ Saturday ride out of Acacia Park downtown. It’s a winding two-laner that heads back to Fountain, and traffic was light, practically non-existent.

At Fountain I briefly considered revisiting the 85/87-to-Las Vegas route and then said screw it, instead picking up the Fountain Creek Regional Trail, which leads to the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail and home. Fat city, especially with a tailwind. More miles, but more smiles.

This, incidentally, is how Brian Gravestock of Old Town Bike Shop and the Bike Clinic Too gets out of Dodge when he has a hankering for some Mexican food in Pueblo, 45 miles south of here. He rides the trail to Fountain, picks up Old Pueblo, and then takes the frontage road where it’s available and the interstate where it’s not.

Sure beats sweltering in the office, awaiting evil tidings.

Round two

August 4, 2011

Via Facebook, Charles Pelkey advises as follows:

“Pathology is mixed. Nodes are clean, but tissue margins are not. Ready for Round II. The Rolling Stones were right: ‘What a drag it is getting old.’

Charles faces a second round of surgery to clean up around the edges, plus a dash of radiation, but he’s not lying around on the floor, drink-sodden and weeping, the way I would be (and often am anyway, regardless of how well things are going). He was in court today, handling a case, and another client just walked into his office for a consult as we were chatting on IM. So he’s still very much up and at ’em.

In other Velo news (ho ho ho), Neal Rogers has been named editor in chief, replacing the departed Ben Delaney. Please say a prayer, light a candle or sacrifice a goat on his behalf, but don’t blame him for the unintelligible quotes in the press release, which appears to be a Google machine translation of the original Cretin.

My personal fave is attributed to Peter Englehart, CEO of CGI: “His sense of what makes a strong editor will continue to represent Velo as the voice of authority in the cycling space that speaks with authenticity and uniqueness to the sport’s many fans.” But I doubt he actually spoke these words. Nobody can be this stupid, not even a TV guy.


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