Wednesday, December 28, 2005

All Time Faves

My buddy J. came up with a proposition that I found irresistable and also a good blog post too start a flame war. Here is the proposition.

"I forgot to mention to you on Sunday that my latest project is to
recruit my musically astute friends and ask them to provide me with a
list of their top 20 or 25 all-time favorite rock tunes, in approximate
order. I would love to receive your selections, in this regard. Here's
the bribe: I'll do the heavy lifting. All you need to do is put your
list together. I'll burn your selections to a CD and get a copy to you,
along with my choices (if you're interested - and bearing in mind that I
turned my radio off in 1974 and never turned it on again). Other than
the Official Rules, set out below, the only thing to keep in mind is
that your selections should be songs which have stood the test of time
for you, personally (I tried to think of songs that I seem never to tire
of hearing). OK, get to work (and thanks).

Rules of the Favorite Rock Tunes Project:

1. No legitimate rock song is unworthy, as long as they're your
favorites. I know how much you'd like to be writing for Rolling Stone
but this is not yet another tedious effort to catalog "the most
significant rock and roll songs of all time".

2. Although the definition of "rock song" is intended to be
liberal, it is not unlimited. Just because a song hit the pop charts
during the last 50 years does not make it a "rock" song. For
example, the following songs should be avoided, no matter how much you
love them:

The Green Berets - Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler
Sukiyaki - Kyu Sakamoto
Abilene - George Hamilton IV
Dawn of Correction - The Spokesmen
Ballad of Paladin - Duane Eddy
Dominique - The Singing Nun
Alabama Jubilee - The Ferko String Band
England Swings - Roger Miller
Battle Hymn of Lt. Calley - C Company Featuring Terry Nelson
Call Me Mr. In-Between - Burl Ives
James (Hold the Ladder Steady) - Sue Thompson
1432 Franklin Pike Circle Hero - Bobby Russell
Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast - Wayne Newton
He's Got the Whole World in His Hands - Laurie London

3. No song by Neil Diamond will be permitted.

4. OK, some songs by Neil Diamond will be permitted but only if they
are performed by other people. For example, "I'm a Believer" by
the Monkees is acceptable. Nothing actually sung by Neil Diamond will
be permitted. If you'd like to apply this rule to Paul Anka, too, I
won't argue with you. Or Barry Manilow. Or Nancy Sinatra, for that

5. Ballads are definitely okeedokee, as long as they are "rock"
ballads, at least arguably. "The Tracks of My Tears" by the
Miracles is certainly acceptable (an excellent choice, actually), as is
"Don't" by Elvis Presley, "When a Man Loves a Woman" by Percy
Sledge, or "Ferry Across the Mersey" by Gerry and the Pacemakers.
On the other hand, "Just for Old Times Sake" by The McGuire Sisters,
"The Second Time Around" by Frank Sinatra, and "My Coloring
Book" by Kitty Kallen should not be considered. I don't care how
high they charted.

6. By the same token, we all know that way too many country songs have
appeared on the pop charts over the years. That does not turn them into
rock songs, for the purposes of this project. The following are
examples of songs that should be avoided:

Wolverton Mountain - Claude King
Crazy - Patsy Cline
He'll Have to Go - Jim Reeves
Harper Valley PTA - Jeannie C. Riley
Stand By Your Man - Tammy Wynette
Take This Job and Shove It - Johnny Paycheck
Coal Miner's Daughter - Loretta Lynn
Okee From Muskogee - Merle Haggard

Marty Robbins is a toss-up, as is Johnny Horton, I suppose. And Brenda
Lee. And Conway Twitty. And Glen Campbell. And Johnny Cash, too, at
least his work during the late 50s. I mean, "Ballad of a Teenage
Queen" and "Guess Thing's Happen That Way" seem pretty much like
early rock 'n' roll songs. But "Don't Take You Guns to Town"?
"Folsom Prison Blues"? "A Girl Named Sue"? Don't make me

7. Folk songs - uh... no. "Cotton Fields" by the Highwaymen? Sorry.

8. Finally, the USA PATRIOT Act requires me to advise you that any
artist from any country outside of the United States, not allied with
our effort in Iraq, is disqualified from consideration. My apologies to
you fans but the law is the law."

Here's my list, in no particular order.

1.Ballad of El Goodo – Big Star
Usually, when I pick up something years after it was released, it doesn't seem to move me like it may have when it was new, particularly when it has been touted for years. I wasn't able to find a copy of Big Star's Number 1 Record, until the re-release of this along with Radio City.

"Gets so hard at times like now to hold on
Guns they wait to be stuck by
And at my side is God"

2.Surrender – Cheap Trick
Another great pop song, by one of my favorite bands.
"When I woke up, mom and dad are rolling on the couch.
Rolling numbers, rock and rolling, got my kiss records out."

3.My Back Pages – The Byrds
Not the first song that comes to mind when I think of the Byrds but one that I love to sing along.
"I was so much older then, I'm younger than that, now."

4.Honey Hush – Big Joe Turner
A list of great rock songs should span the entire history of rock. This is one of the earliest.
"Don't make me nervous, I'm holding a baseball bat"

5.Overnight Sensation (Hit Record) – Raspberries
Overblown but beautiful. A perfect record and a fitting finale to what must have been a frustrating career for the Raspberries.
"Well if the program director don't pull it
It's time to get back the bullet"

6.Positively Fourth Street – Bob Dylan
All the bile of Buddy Holly condensed and sharpened. Love is hard.
"You got a lotta nerve
To say you got a helping hand to lend
You just want to be on
The side that's winning"

7.All the Young Dudes – Mott the Hoople
I heard this listening to WNCR in Cleveland on headphones while my family was getting ready to move away from Ohio. I was crying by the time it was over.

"Is there concrete all around me or is it in my head?"

8.Suffragette City – David Bowie
Another perfect rock and roll record and the crunchy guitar riff.

MMMM, wham bam thank you, ma'am.

9. Red Neck Friend – Jackson Browne

I know, it's a dick song. Jackson Browne did at least 2, "Rosie" beign the other. But this one rocks.

"Pretty little one
How has it all begun?
They’re teaching you how to walk
But you’re already on the run"

10. Gun – Uncle Tupelo
I heard Jeff Tweedy say this was the song where he found his voice.

11. Will the Wolf Survive – Los Lobos

12. Badlands - Bruce Springsteen
I know Born to Run gets all the acclaim but I think Darkness is a better record. The guitar playing has never been better on his records.

"Poor men wanna be rich, rich men wanna be kings,
And a king ain’t satisfied till he rules everything."

13. Fall on Me – REM
REM, probably the best band of the Eighties, at their most distinct and it bears repeated listenings. Layered harmonies, guitar hooks, great metaphors in the lyrics.

14. The Ledge – Replacements
If not REM, the best band of the Eighties. It's a song about suicide that I find life affirming.

15. Lola – The Kinks
The Seventies had begun.

16. Roll Over Beethoven – Chuck Berry
Rock and Roll is here.

17. Oliver's Army -Elvis Costello
Combining hooky melodies with brilliant lyrics.

18. Couldn't I Just Tell You -Todd Rundgren
Post-Beatle Power Pop at its absolute best.

19. That's When I Reach for My Revolver – Mission of Burma
Some deeply buried perfectly crafted rock and roll. Mission of Burma was one of the bands that caused everyone who listened to form a band.

20. Voodoo Chile - Jimi Hendrix
Hendrix took the blues swagger and drove it further.

21. Fools Gold – Graham Parker
On his first two albums, Parker and the Rumour put together some great songs and performances. This song of longing and love hits it.

22. Badge - Cream
George Harrison co-wrote this, IIRC. The guitar parts bring a shiver to me.

23. Marie Marie - Blasters
The story I heard was that Dave Alvin thought they had to start writing their own material and this was the first thing he did.

24. Big Time - Neil Young
Neil Young and Crazy Horse at their best. A song that draws you in. Slobberbone did this one live which blew me away.

25. I Can Hear Music - Beach Boys
As the demons drove him deeper into himself, Brian Wilson made some music with more depth and still kept those incredible harmonies.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Critical Mass - October

For the second time this year, I made Critical Mass. Not to say that I made Critical Mass, as if my presence could create an event. I joined the group circling the Mill Street parking lot and went out and made our presence known. Resplendent in my Spot jersey, I was hardly the grandest tiger in the jungle. Michelle Kegley had sewn herself a Victorian or Suffragette style cycling outfit that she wore on her vintage Schwinn 5-Speed Mixte and there was a woman named Cory or Laurie who was wearing a vintage coat and tweed jacket. We're getting there but we're not a big city yet in Kansas City.

It was a fun ride. We cruised through Westport and the Plaza with Sarah's iPod blaring Beck and Radiohead. Definitely, someone needs to find some better bicycling music. And not Queen's Bicycle Race, it just reminds me how a once great rock band descended into Novelty. Luka Bloom recorded one, the title cut from The Acoustic Motorbike and Otis Taylor has one about Major Taylor on Double V.Anyone, anyone....

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I finally took the Stella out for a long ride this weekend. I did the Metric Century at BikeMO, an event put on by the Missouri Bike Federation. Ordinarily, I don't do pay rides but I am married to the vice-president of the organization. Actually, I have done 2 pay rides this last month but I don't do a LOT of them. Anyway, I arose extremely early and drove halfway across the state for this ride. I hadn't ridden too much after fighting a cold for a week. (Thank God for Zicam!) Now, I'm healthy again.

It didn't prove to be much of a handicap. Here I am at one of the rest stops,resplendent in my attire from Rivendell. The long sleeve seersucker shirt kept me cool and the MUSA pants were ideal for a fall ride when you couldn't be certain what the weather would be and I liked walking into the coffee shop in Fulton, Missouri at lunch and not having my package out there for the world. What I had forgotten, though, was a change of underwear. Fortunately the start/finish area was at a shopping center which housed a Dollar General store where I ducked in afterward for a package of Fruit of the Loom boxers and a package of Junior Mints. For the record, I actually did ride the 62 mile route. I told someone that Monday morning would be the test for it, whether riding a fixie would hurt me and I was fine. I've learned that riders overestimate the advantage a derailleured bicycle gives them. I can climb about as well on Stella as I can on my Cannondale go-fast bike or my Panasonic granny-geared touring bike. And it's so much FUN!! Who could have thought that forcing myself to pedal all the time could be so enjoyable? After all, though I am a runner first and cyclist second or maybe I'm just an athlete.

The only thing that was missing was beer. I'm a believer in rewarding myself with a beer after strenuous exercise. I settled for a 24 ounce Busch from the gas station rather than the craft beer I would have loved. Of course, ideals only exist in heaven.

After the ride, the officers and organizers of the Missouri Bike Fed discussed the ride. Most riders thought it was a very good event. Levie, one of the officers, told Laurie, my wife that "some of the riders on the 32 mile did not seem like very experienced riders and one of them was YOUR HUSBAND!" Guess some people don't get the sensible rider look. I do ride in spandex, too and I can ride fast if I want, too.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Friday, August 19, 2005

Basket Woes

I've spent about 100 miles on the Stella, maybe more and I can't seem to get comfortable with the Moustache Bars. Part of it is that the basket interferes with using the brake hoods for a hand position. The basket should be lower.

There are some other solutions. Ahearne makes a wonderful rack, as does Paul. I put out a question to the BOB list and the estimable Kent Peterson sent this. I'll have to check with Acme to see if they can do anything.

That aside, I'm having so much FUN riding this bike. I just seem to become one with the bike. I love riding it. It's been a tough week, three morning of getting up before 5 AM and getting out on the road but when you get off work and see Stella there waiting for you, it all seems worthwhile.

What kind of bike

Jim at Oil is For Sissies writes about someone wanting to know what type of bike his Atlantis is. Reminds me of a conversation I had on the "Slow Ride" last week. I was riding the Stella and happened to mention I couldn't coast to a guy on an Aegis yellow carbon fiber thing.

He said something like, "Nobody makes bikes for this kind of riding, the kind of riding we do."

I said, "Well, there's Rivendell, Surly, Kogswell. They make sensible bikes."

"But those are niche producers, small. You have to get a Rivendell over the internet."

"Well, not exactly. They have dealers."

My point is that there are plenty of sensible bikes. As a category, "Sensible Bikes" is probably as attractive as sensible shoes. Maybe not, Birkenstock and Keen and Doc Marten sell a lot of shoes.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Here it is, 95% complete,

I've ridden it 4 times, tweaking it a little more on each ride. I think the brake levers are where I want them and I'll tape it after a couple more rides, commutes to work perhaps. The other thing I need is a freewheel and I'm not sure what size, most likely 18 or 19 tooth.

Before installing the basket, I should have taken a picture. But I'm going to ride with the basket so here it is.

In building it up, I found that the original brakes I had picked out weren't going to reach far enough. So I dug through the parts bin at Acme and found these Weinmann Centerpulls at Robert's suggestion. Robert is the former owner of SouthSide Cyclery. I installed Scott/Matthauser salmon pads on them. I'm told this originally had 27-inch wheels on it so check out the great clearance.

The handlebars are Nitto Moustache Bars, that I acquired from an i-Bob, along with the Nitto Technomic Stem, sanded down to fit the headset. Brake levers are Dia-Compe, unknown models that have a quick-release, also acquired through the i-Bob list. It has a 1/2 inch chain and the original, or at least the ones that it came with, crankset and gear. With the Surly 16 tooth, it has about a 67 inch chain. I'm using the larger of the pair as a chainguard. Down the road, I may install a newer bottom bracket. Petals are Lyotard, that Acme had available to fit the French crankset. Down the road again, I may install PowerGrips or new pedals, as wear and tear merit.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The City of Big Shoulders

Visiting my wife's sister and her husband in Chicago, I made it my goal not to get into a car. I took the L from Midway to meet all for dinner but was stifled by the rain so we rode back to their house.

Yesterday, we did hit it on 2 wheels. I borrowed Joe's 19 inch unsuspended Specialized Hardrock. (Wonderful bike that. Just some Albatross bars from perfection. I'd love to trade my 16 inch for it.)

Rode down to Uptown Bikes/Urban Bikes for a new saddle for Laurie's Giant Nutra. (What does that name mean? I'd prefer Nutria, like those water rats down in Louisiana.)I found a basket that easily transfers from one bike to another, only it rests on the brake cable and bought some TriFlow for the unattended HardRock.

What really impressed me was the way the shop and the city accomodate bikes much more so than my fair city of KCMO. Singlespeeds, old Schwinns (they were once built here) and all kinds of mixtes and sensible handlebars. And cheap,cheap bikes! I rode along, watching the sidewalk and racks for all kinds of old interesting bikes.

Millenium Park has a bicycle parking garage, for heaven's sake.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Out on the Streets

So I took the dogs for a run around the neighborhood yesterday, after spending about 2 hours reinstalling the OS on this computer. Fortunately, I didn't lose any data this time and I didn't have to rebuild my browser.

Anyway, I'm standing at the crosswalk, two dogs tethered to my waist, sunglasses and bandana on my head. Some dork, driving a pickup truck full of lawn mowers, yells "FAGGOT!!"

Oooh, I'm scared.


So maybe this week, the Stella Scorcher will hit the road. My Suzue finally came in to Acme last week and I got Sarah to build up a beautiful wheel with it, Mavic rim and all.

I chose some Michelin tires with reflective sidewalls, kevlar belts and knobbed shoulders for off-road use. Digging through my closet, I found some self-repairing tubes in the right size. These wheels will be bomb-proof and ready for anything.

On to putting the other parts together. A French headset requires a French-sized stem, so I spent an hour sanding down a Nitto stem to fit in the headset. It made my hands look like the Tin Woodsman from the Wizard of Oz.

Centerpull brakes with quick release levers, cork grips on Mustache bars and a Brooks saddle of some sort (I have 3 to choose from, a plastic messenger B-18, a B17 Narrow, and a Conquest that I bought for Laurie but is too narrow for her.) All I need is a chain and surely some other expense.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

I awoke from my nap

to hear the speech and was reminded of this. Maybe, he does believe this malarkey. That might be even more frightening than my cynical response.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Who are they selling?
I was reading the latest issue of Progressive Grocer the other day and saw a full page ad for flavored cigars. Now, I'm as "laissez-faire" as the next guy but who are they marketing these things to? What adult wants to smoke a grape flavored White Owl? I'm not that disingenuous.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Real Project Bicycles

I had thought I was really building some Frankenbikes until my mother-in-law brought me a copy of the Chicago Tribune with this in it. I'm just trying to restore and make useful the bikes I've got, not so much trying to create art.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

On the road to Cottonwood Falls Posted by Hello

Laurie passes the Schoolhouse at Z-Bar Posted by Hello

Monday, May 30, 2005

Brakes placed but hardly ready to ride Posted by Hello

Hemp twine to guard the chainstay Posted by Hello

Head tube, Stella Posted by Hello

Where they've been Posted by Hello

the Stella Frame Posted by Hello

Where I shellaced the first bit Posted by Hello

Another bit of hemp twine at the ends Posted by Hello

A round of Bar Tape Posted by Hello

Hemp Twine, New Belgium Bell Posted by Hello

Three Speed Derailleur Posted by Hello

This is one of the unusual features of this bike that drew me to it. I've never seen a 3 speed derailleur before. Usually 3-speeds will have an internally geared hub like this. I am totally unable to comprehend how these work.

Wright Saddle Posted by Hello

Bottle Generator Posted by Hello

First bit of Hemp twine Posted by Hello

Head tube Sam Benotto Posted by Hello

the Sammy in all its glory Posted by Hello

May Hem on my bike Posted by Hello

On my C'Dale Posted by Hello

Friday, May 27, 2005

Fendered, At Last!

So I had some bad news at work, about which I shall vent in another forum, and I needed a fix of some sort. Getting drunk would have just ruined me and other forms of substance abuse were out of easy reach.

It was pouring rain at my quitting time, preventing me from making the 10 mile ride home, so I caught a ride with John, in his BMW and rode home from the Nelson.

"Fenders," I thought, "I need fenders."

So off to Acme where Sarah and Christy were working.

"What's wrong with your bike today?" (I had been in earlier in the week having the bottom bracket rebuilt."

"It just needs fenders."

"Have I got the fenders for you!", Sarah said, picking up a wrapped package of Honjos, "Only a hundred twenty bucks."

"That's more than the bike cost", I laughed. "No, I want those old ones we looked at on Monday... with the fins." I went to the shelf and looked through the old fenders. They were still there, chromed and cool.

By no means did they snap right on the bike. Originally built for a 3-speed, they required 3 tries at extending the stays. And the fronts, they needed to expand their radius to avoid rubbing the tire.

"Nasty chain, Jeff. You really need to replace this. When they get this greasy and gritty, you can't clean them. You're just pushing the dirt into them." I'll have to do that soon.

Anyway, it took an hour and a half, a couple beers and a trip across the street to pound the fender on a round table sitting on the side walk at the Vintage store but we made it fit.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Thought for today

A journey is like marriage.The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
- John Steinbeck

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

So I did a few things.

Donna's bike is in a "first draft" stage. New Tires. New Bars. Actually the original bars that came with my Sam Benotto 3-Speed. Much more upright now but it still needs a taller stem.

I had some tires in my garage that fit this thing, 700 by 25's. God Almighty, the fork and the seatstays are tight. There's barely enough room for typing paper there, (Does anyone still use typing paper anymore?) let alone a fender. It's definitely a candidate for 650B conversion like the Bluebird with a Technomic or a Periscopa stem. Maybe I'll call it the Blackbird.

There's an article in this month's Rivendell Reader about fork dimensions that demonstrates how poorly most current forks are designed, notably carbon forks. It seems as if manufacturers have worked hard to make it difficult to change to a more comfortable tire, as if we're all going to be triathletes or time trials riders forever.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Tired-Ass Blues

I slept in until 6:15 this morning. Compared to the 4:20 AM I've been doing all week, that's luxuriating. Part of it was participating in the Bicycle Commuter Challenge and getting to work at 6:00 AM. What am I? Fucking Crazy? I made a commitment to do it, mainly to myself. As Christy told me awhile back Gandhi said, "You must be the change you want to see in the world."

As we fight wars for oil to continue the ridiculous "American Way of Life", someone has to say in some small way, "Stop this!" So I ride my bike. At 5:00 in the morning. In the dark. Through Mission Hills. Through the Plaza. Down Metcalf Avenue. With flashing lights.

And on Wednesday night, we rode the Ride of Silence. Laurie, or someone that apparently resembles her got her picture in the Star. Anyway, I noticed a rather pronounced squeak in the bottom bracket on my Panasonic Touring Deluxe. Off to Acme for a rebuild. So, on Thursday and Friday, I rode my Sam Benotto Cazenave 3-Speed with the 650B tires. One note, they ride much better with 55 pounds of air pressure than with 15 or 20. But it's a load of steel to carry.

Friday, May 20, 2005

My Best Week Commuting Ever

I sat on the front porch after I got home tonight, nursing a Red Stripe or two. My regular bike needed some serious work on the bottom bracket, more than I could deliver with
Van der Plas
and my toolset. So it went off to Acme for a rebuild. My other commuter, the Specialized HardRock had been loaned out so it fell on the Sammy for the Thursday and Friday rides. I don't want to cast any aspersions upon myself but it rides much better with 60 pounds of air in the tire than 20. Still a lot of bike work and still fun but man, am I tired. MARC doesn't have me on their rankings yet but I have 80 miles in this week.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Pissed On and Off

I feel like I've lived through Hell this week, although, compared to people I know, it's minor. I mean, last night, we had dinner with a friend who, in the last 3 years, lost his wife (killed in a police chase while riding her bike) and just completed chemotherapy after lung cancer. So, I suppose, my troubles are small but they are mine.

I feel as if I've been scapegoated for difficulties in the department at work. I took this position at other's encouragement, not realizing the steep learning curve to learn a whole new department and purchasing, also under a new team leader. So as the difficulties mounted, blamestorming pointed to me, as the weak link. So, I was told to step down or get out. I'm applying for another position within the store but I feel that if I don't get that, they want me out or something. Maybe I'm misreading it but it sure feels that way.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Where we start. Item 1

Schwinn Left side Before Posted by Hello

Don't take me too seriously

Here we go. I've got 4 bikes of my own. There are 10 in our garage, including the latest. 4 belong to my wife and one to our friend, Donna.

This is where I'm starting. Donna's bike is an old triathlon model, an aluminum Schwinn and the plan is to make it a more friendly, comfortable touring bike or, in the recent spiel of Grant Peterson, a "country bike", one suitable for daylong rides. It should be fairly simple but what is it they say about the best laid plans of mice and men?

The other project is my fixed gear/single speed project, the Stella Scorcher. Ever since I heard a report on NPR's All Things Considered about fixed gear scorchers. So I talked to my friends at Acme Bicycle Company and I'm getting started with the Stella. I'll post as that comes to fruition.

Anyway, Donna's bike, or Project Dervla, as I'm referring to it, after Irish travel writer and cyclist Dervla Murphy who rode a single speed Armstrong Cadet from Ireland to India and chronicled the journey in her Full Tilt, which I've read recently and enjoyed immensely.

First thing, the tires need replacement. I'll take the ones off my Cannondale SR500 and put new ones on the Cannondale that I've got sitting in the garage. It also needs less severe handlebars that can be raised up to allow an upright position as well as a taller stem.

Down the road, I'd like to put 650B tires on it to allow room for fenders and so forth. Maybe it can be saved and rehabbed.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


They used to say that $0.05 of every slice of pizza went to the Mafia. Parenthetically, I don't know which "they" to which I am referring. And what would happen when you had a pizza cut into 8 slices rather than 6. Did the Mob get an extra dime? How they keep track? I read this in a book of Urban Legends awhile back. Anyway, I wonder how much of the price of each gallon of gas goes to Al Qaeda.

Another thing I'm wondering about is this thing with the new Pope. "Joey Rats", as Jon Stewart called him the other night. He was referred to as "God's Rottweiler". Which makes me wonder why an omnipotent, all-knowing, all-powerful Supreme Being needs a vicious guard dog. Can't our heavenly father do his own smiting and stuff?

Thursday, March 17, 2005


I just heard the current occupant of the White House use the words "Courage and Honesty". How can he do that with a straight face? Or does he ever do anything with a straight face?

Just wondering.

I'm trying to track my reading like David but I'm behind, not in the reading but in the blogging. Will get it back together today.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Again, I ask you, "Where's the Outrage?"

I don't get the NeoCons at all. I've said before, perhaps not here, that I felt as if I had found out the neighbors were practicing infant cannibalism when Bush got elected by a majority of voters this time not simply the majority of the Supreme Court.

It seems to me, if Bush is "your Man", than you'll tolerate any incompetence, any drug use in his past, his AWOL time in the Texas and Alabama guard, and even his reprobate daughters.

But this Gannon stooge?

Saturday, January 15, 2005

From awhile back

Emptying the crap vacuum

  • Why is it that I can recite entire Monty Python routines that I've seen maybe twice?

  • Yet I can't manage the Java windowing toolkit.

  • Or the types and keywords.

  • Lyrics to songs I don't even like.

  • But not things I have to do every day.

  • Jerry Seinfeld routines and bits of shows.

  • Movie quotes.

We were discussing this phenomenon the other night at my Anne and Joe's (Anne's and Joe's? My brother-in-law and sister-in-law)and Joe introduced to me the theory of the Crap Vacuum. That is, the place in one's brain where the useless stuff goes and resides. Some people have large butts or thinning hair; I have a large crap vacuum, a veritable ShopVac for the small-penis set, The equivalent of a Hummer in vacuum. Some people are equipped with the equivalent of a Dustbuster or one of those gizmos you buy to get dust off your keyboard. For me, pop culture trash, no matter how stupid or insignificant, gets written to memory and saved right away to hard drive.

On our trip to Chicago Thursday night, my tiny little Swiss Army Knife turned up in my backpack. I must have just emptied my pockets into it when I got home. I make it a point to put all my pocket change in the front pocket before I head for the airport, along with my keys, thus simplifying my trip through the metal detectors at the airport. But in my haste to get out the door, I inadvertantly put my tiny little Swiss Army knife in the pocket. The security people looked for about 5 minutes and then found it.


I had the choice of checking my backpack or surrendering it or renting a locker to leave the thing in while we were gone or handing it to my co-conspirator outside the gate area, a person who didn't exist. So I surrendered it. It was imprinted with LewerMark, my former employer. One more piece of them is out of my life. So long, Chuck.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Here we go. A week into the new year as I listen to the sound of the floor polisher go and go and I am running more. We have had an ice storm which wasn't as bad as they warned us.

I did about 12 miles this morning, from Einstein Brothers in Prurient Village to Kellys.

I'm trying to run 1500 miles this year, an average of 30 miles aweek and the weather is uncooperative, to the largest extreme.