Tuesday, July 31, 2007

happy birthday, jerry!

65, man. far out, jerry.
the wall of sound. nothing like it. definitely NOT a buzzkill.
amazed the hell out of me first time i experienced it.

with the grateful dead, san francisco, may, 1969
this was jerry when i first saw the band.

what a wild and crazy guy.
killer bluegrass player, too.

the way many folks will remember jerry . . .
deep in musical thought.

although this is more in my recollection.
. . . . .
i loved the grateful dead.
perhaps not surprisingly, the dead played a bit of a formative role in my adolescence, along with the beatles, elvis, sam & dave, sam cooke, paul butterfield, the allman brothers band, and a whole bunch of old blues players. i never considered myself a deadhead; i didn't see them hundreds of times, nor even dozens of times. but i did see them lots of times. i made it a point to skip important events to see the dead. we had good times, jerry and i. saw them a couple times with my brother, who was kind of on the run at the time. special memories.
he died twelve years ago,
but more importantly, he was born 65 years ago.
for that, i am grateful.
and so is my young granddaughter.
soon, my young grandson will be grateful, too.
we miss ya, jerry.
thanks for all you've done for us.

why italians love cycling [and why americans don't?]

see any vehicles with more than two wheels?
neither do i.
hey, america: "y'all are raising your kids wrong!"
it's as simple as that.

i'm on page 350

. . . and loving every minute of it!!

why i love bill

just back from le tour, tan and fit,
bill is shown relaxing with his latest wife, maureen.
. . . .
below, bill, shown proudly with his family tree
. . . .
just because he doesn't really grasp the subtle nuances of cycling,
don't think big bill has lost his grip on the black and white of
national politics, and the role of "the mainstream press" therein.
doubts? read this.
if bill doesn't try to shut me down,
i'll cry.
it's like not being on nixon's enemies list.
see ya at sec taylor tomorrow night!

dogs are cub fans, too!

mark your calendars!!
wednesday, august 1, 7:05 pm
sec taylor stadium
* * * *
woof! wufwuf wufwuf woof-woof!
woof! wufwuf wufwuf wooooof!
. . .
[to the tune of "take me out to the ball game"]
. . .
beers and hot dogs?
what do YOU think?
. . .
it's a great tradition here at the orphanage.

Monday, July 30, 2007

i have a really well-developed character

it's gotta be, since they always says
"the shit that doesn't kill you only makes you stronger."
well, i'm not dead yet, but i think it would have been less painful
than my mornings have been lately.
i REALLY miss my daily bike rides.
i'm getting out maybe 3, 4 times a week,
and it's getting better.
i know that i'm not as badly injured as last october,
but, dang, state road race sunday, tour of k.c, state crit,
races i'd intended to win, not just do.
oh well. if i'm there, you won't hear me bitching.
but if i take off the front alone, don't worry:
it won't stick this year.
. . . .

Saturday, July 28, 2007

getting by is tough. . .

. . . no matter how many legs you have.
. . .
i visit many places as i paddle my raft around the series of tubes
that comprise this wondrous internets.
one of the more surprising places is a sighthound place.
"sighthounds" is the family of dogs that includes
my borzoi/greyhounds and staghound, and afghans, rhodesian ridgbacks, and the more common members, but worldwide, members claim a vast array of great sub-varieties of sighthounds, including many strains of salukis [mountain, desert and others], and incredible eastern european and asian breeds not seen in the west. these dogs--and one of the reasons i love them so--are hunters of animals much larger than they [wolves, deer, coyotes, and others], and do it with speed, agility, cunning, and intricate teamwork.
. . .
these hounds are survivors,
they do what they must to live, and yet, when with humans,
they are the most docile, loving and caring creatures i've ever known.
their enthusiasm and zest is either contagious,
or annoying as hell [if you are in great pain,
and just want to dizzily stagger to the kitchen for more drugs],
but they just want to be your friends.
. . .
now, i don't buy into a lot of this save the "dogs and cats" shit
[notwithstanding my earlier post about clicking on a site to make some other corporation give money to give money to animal shelters--which IS a great idea, so click above]
when real people are starving and dying and not getting needed medical attention,
but . . .
the above photo is rather compelling.
taken by a hound fancier in toledo, spain,
it shows a beautiful yet starving galga, an indigenous sighthound,
warily eying the photographer.
if you are familiar with these hounds,
you know the conflict the dog is experiencing:
to eat and survive, or to come over, interact, and be social.
its face shows the sadness of isolation and hunger,
yet it also shows the compassion and love they instinctive feel.
. . .
to watch these dogs run and romp is to see another species feel
the joy that i experience when i ride my a bike balls out.
gotta love that!

catching up

those of you who know me know that i am a very busy man. . .
. . .

...so, please bear with me as i tell you about this bit of video footage.
scroll for the clip entitled "the audacity of dope."
it will be worth your time.

more family stuff indulgences

makes it easier to miss my first ragbrai since 1994
[well, this and 6 or 7 broken ribs]
. . .
me and jabari
[allman brothers folks are missing out not making onesies]
. . .
one of these critters is appearing uncharacteristically well-behaved
[both of them enjoy the classic ride of the "town & country"]
. . .

a woman with eyes like these
would be welcome in or near the orphanage,
i suspect, though i'd prefer less fur.
. . .
later this weekend, i'll be back to my usual acerbic self,
one can only assume:
cheney--=how long HAS he been dead?

Friday, July 27, 2007

disturbing revelations

i find this REALLY troubling,
for so many reasons,
and from so many perspectives.
i can't imagine how his family must feel,
as these unbelievable reports and clarifications keep coming out.
it makes many political and military leaders
seem as trusthworthy as this guy.

indulge me, please--new baby photos

jabari charles hinson-
-"jabari" meaning brave, which he'll need to be,
with a big sister like nyla,
was born last night, july 26, at 820 pm.
he's a big guy, at 8#11.
i can hold him, daddy

i can hold him and read to him

jabari, you need to put this on, right now.
he's pretty cool, and seems almost as laidback as dmitri.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

discovery wins 8th tour!

Rasmussen pulled out of Tour
Yellow jersey Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) will not start
Stage 17 of the Tour de France Thursday morning.
Team manager Theo DeRooy has withdrawn the maillot jaune
from the Tour de France,
allegedly because Rasmussen lied to the Rabobank team
as to his true whereabouts when he missed his out of competition tests in June.
DeRooy will not withdraw the entire team,
but will allow the riders to choose to start the stage tomorrow.
please. disco!
don't fuck this up!!!
note: this is a good thing,
that the team is the entity making this decision,
not a governing body,
because it places ultimate responsibility on the body
to whom the cyclist owes first allegiance.
rabobank has fired him, as well it should.
thank goodness that the team has been pursuing this matter.
--typing as i listen to NPR--
ah, i missed this, but as he crossed the line today,
he was NOT surrounded by team members,
as they knew the eventuality at that time.
time to review the tapes.
grid help our sport.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

flash--THIS just in!!

Starting August 6th.
Coffee. Conversation. Cycling. Casual.
6:30pm. No specific route.
Meet at Mars Cafe. 2318 University Ave.
Might wanna bring a blinky.
Any bike welcome but fixies will be free of mocking.
[doping optional--no testing--no phone-ins]
. . . . .
it's good news week,
by hedgehoppers anonymous [1965]

head-on collision at the crossroads

how many victims do you count?
beginning with robin and the rest of the abc crew,
and the american public, and listerine...
well, view and compare for yourself!
watch this video,
and then watch this video.
will the REAL guitar god take a bow?

babies, orphans, & other creatures

news flash: vino busted, astana out of tour. WTF???
. . . . .
quote du jour:
McQuaid refused to make any statement on the matter
until probably the B sample had been tested.
"I can't comment on it. We have to follow the rules," said the Irishman,
who like predecessor Hein Verbruggen has now seen a team pull out of
the world's most famous cycling race over a drugs scandal -
-Festina having been kicked off the Tour in 1998.
. . . . .
but on another topic . . .
babies & orphans
there might be another one added to the west family shrub today.
we've been calling it "thing 2"
it will be a gender surprise.
i might miss the ride tonight,
as i had been hoping to hang with the women,
following my disastrous ride on the coonville loop.
[NOTE: thing2 is now scheduled to arrive thursday]

these little guys will be back in iowa by the time you read this.
if they ride bikes in northwest iowa someday dressed like this,
i hope they have my number in their cell phones.

nyla does beyonce. she does a mean diddy, too.
words and moves. no wardrobe malfunctions yet.
maybe she disdains k-fed as much as i.

my latest addition, dmitri.
a delightful little laid-back trip.
. . . . .
as my orphans create--and encounter--little orphans of their own,
they are learning the joys, sorrows, and tribulations of passing along
the choice kernels of wisdom they were given so many years ago
under similar and different circumstances of their own creation.
i find it immeasurably rewarding, believe me.
can i get an amen?

Monday, July 23, 2007

HELL-OOOOOOOOOOOOO ! ! ! ! [hell-oo!!] [hell-o!]

if you look closely enough, in the bottom photo,
you will see these words scrawled in the wall of this colon:
FLASH: update!
while we're down here in assville,
it seems like a good time to report what i think is
some interesting polling data:
all-time low approval ratings for post-ww2 presidents.
. . . . .
Here are the low points and their dates:
Truman, 22%, 14 Feb 1952 All time low.**
Eisenhower, 48%, 1 Apr 1958
Kennedy, 56%, 17 Sep 1963
Johnson, 35%, 12 Aug 1968
Nixon, 23%, 7 Jan 1974
Ford, 37%, 13 Jan 1975 and 31 Mar 1975
Carter, 28%, 2 Jul 1979
Reagan, 35%, 31 Jan 1983
Bush (GHW), 29%, 2 Aug 1992
Clinton, 37%, 6 Jun 1993
Bush (GW), 37%, 13 Nov 2005
. . .
good news, dubya--you just hit 25%--
and those numbers don't include how i feel!
ironic, what with the dow hitting record highs,
and your numbers are down in the crapper.
geez, folks think you suck more than LBJ, carter, slick willy,
your DAD!
THAT'S gratitude.
repeat after me:
9 eleven
9 eleven
9 eleven
9 eleven
9 eleven
[not working? hmm. always worked before!]

Sunday, July 22, 2007

life at the orphanage: junkyard dogs

new and old, reclcying, adoption, giving new life...
it's what we do here at the orphanage.
still floating around in a raccoon-induced stupor,
i trekked to iowa city saturday morning.
finally, i'd be able to see my good friend, former orphan, and
president of the mostly reverend's fan club,
g. pickle. he's wrenching nowadays at the broken spoke,
a quiet little bike shop on dubuque street south of downtown.
it's the only bike shop that i can recall
that features a street corner view for the mechanics!
the shop had become a repository for my latest orphan,
a 1984 cusom-made trek track bike.
he not only wrenches, he helps and sells!
. . . . .
built to showcase shimano's first-generation aero group, shimano ax,
this frameset features aero tubing throughout:
skinny little fork, flattened and ovalized main triangle, and
skinny little flattened rear stays.
it was spec'd with, and came with, the aero ax seatpost.
i have hanging in my basement an old 24" front wheel,
built for the 80 olympics and finally used in the 84 LA games.
it is a tubular, built as a radially-laced wheel for 1984 time trial bikes.
it came with a panaracer sew-up, which makes me believe
that this track frameset came from the same builder as
panasonic's top-of-the-line pearl white with blue accents ax-600,
which featured the same style aero frame and componentry.
my friend joe in mason city bought this bike from lakeside cycles,
and we were all so impressed with its cool centerpull brakes,
and the very cool low-platform quill pedals.
i bought my 24" front wheel from michael's cyclery in ames,
where michael had EVERYTHING, and stories about each,
and is in my mind the model for how a good bike shop should be run,
at least in some repects.
i learned a lot from michael, and continue to realize and marvel
at the depth and knowledge of that man.
. . . . .
[michael, if you're reading, i hope you're well,
and i hope to run into you on the roads around ames soon.]
. . . . .
here's how the bike looks so far:

i've thrown on some wheels for photo purposes.
it came with a like-new dura-ace track crankset, 165 mm,
but also with a new 53-tooth chainring.
i'm shopping, but i'll keep the nitto 110 pista stem and bars,
both stamped njs.

head-on view
stand-out features include half-wrap benotto tape.
ubiquitous at the time.
there is some label visible but not legible under the right-hand tape,
and i'm dying to know what it says,
but not so badly that i care to disturb the wrap job.
it's all about proper respect, you know.

rear view
it is about as thin and aero as dmitri, my staghound.
both are in better shape than my 69 ghia coupe.
this morning, i added my 1974 campy quill pedals,
which now feature soma track toe clips and double toe straps.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

back where it all began

[click here to set the theme for this post.]
such an innocent dream...just a castle in a themepark.
165,000 people EACH gave $1000 to jim for this?
and that's a crime?
tammy faye, ever true to her style ...
two husbands, two federal felons, and a reality show

jimmy boy, STILL hustling for his lord.
click here for proof that life goes on.

jessica hahn, the "other" woman,
holding the symbol of what fucking jim got her-
-dates with gene simmons and sam kinison,
two playboy covers, and a low-grade porn career.
click on her stylish photo for further proof.
some people seriously question my concerns with
[nice background music available here]
i was raised in a home where religion and church
was just part of what was done.
you said your prayers, you went to sunday school and church,
and you were a good person,
and you lived your life accordingly.
there were tv shows of actual church services, where the serice was the star. but gradually, the focus shifted. from the early 60s on, you'd see more and more of these sunday morning television shows, featuring crazier and crazier preachers. and they were asking YOU to send money.
well, hell, i thought that's why you'd watch it on tv--so you wouldn't HAVE to pay!
my personal disenchantment with organized religion, curiously, started to grow and blossom at about the same time.
but maybe i'm just twisted. perhaps i fail to see the link between the stories of the gospel and the giant 5,000 seat arenas in west des moines, and the monstrosity just up the street from me [first federated?], and the 700 club, jim and tammy's praise the lord club, and the vatican city [the LA diocese can AFFORD to pay $600,000,000+ to settle CHILD SEX ABUSE CLAIMS???].
yeah, i guess i'm just fucked up.
there really is no disconnect in organized religion.

mistaken identity

attention all political readers, fans, & anti-fans:
there seems to be a misconception floating about
that the drivel i post in a political vein shows me to be
an incredibly liberal, nay, extremist kind of person.
i would offer that
the drivel i post shows me only to be mildly liberal,
although extremely proud of my liberal heritage.
i haven't posted how i REALLY feel about a lot of things,
for fear of scaring the living shit out of a few of the folks
who think they know me well.
. . . . .
now, folks who do know me well,
and have known me for some time,
know how extremely liberal, and deeply-rooted, my positions are.
but i certainly have not posted them.
. . . . .
but to know me a little better, read this.
the author expresses my thoughts on this particular topic perfectly.
for a little more insight to the inner thinkings of the mostly reverend,
read this. once again, i couldn't have said it better myself.
but please note, i didn't.
. . . . .
chalk it up to "impulse control,"
an area of concentration that i'm working on
with my nearly three year-old granddaughter.
but nyla doesn't read my blog,
and i don't really have a problem with throwing the remote control at mommy, nor am i inclined to call everyone on the playground "ass" [even thought they may very well be asses], so maybe i really will just start saying how i feel about things.
that way, folks won't be confused about what i really think,
since there has been some confusion lately-
-despite my efforts to clarify.

i've finished the deathly hallows, and...

caution: SPOILERS!!

. . . i think the american cover is less busy than the british.
if you MUST comment, do it in the comment section.
if you haven't finished reading the book,
but some people just have to blurt it out, so feel free.
i won't stop you.

Friday, July 20, 2007

from the mailbag

a regular reader [AND contributing editor, too!] writes:

I love your quote: "if you've never been hit by a car on your bike, it's because you aren't riding enough" Well, I think I've been riding enough.
While 5 blocks from my house on my way home from my ride today. I was track standing behind this black Escalade at a stop light. Light turns green, she doesn't go. I wait a second and right as I was about to go around her, she throws it into reverse and fucking plows into me. I'm fine and after I told her to go fuck herself, I was on my way. Must be tough to operate a vehicle. So many obstacles!

this reader was MUCH too nice, the orphans have voted. they indicated THEY would have surrounded and then tipped the escalade.

those little rascals!

[11:27 pm, cdt] note: i'm on my way to my little neighborhood bookstore, beaverdale books, to enjoy some refreshments, socialize with other fans, and pick up my copy of the final harry potter book. i promise not to disclose the ending, but unlike other books in the series, when i would read no more than 100 pages a day, i probably will read through the first time a bit more quickly.


"he who must not be named" to rule U.S.?

mixed emotions, and an ominous sign

no sooner had i clicked on "publish post"
for my harry potter post [see immediately below THIS one]
than did i heard on NPR that:
1--bush will be undergoing a colonoscopy tomorrow [glee];
2--at camp david [sounds like going to disneyland for a root canal];
3--he's gonna be put under [again, glee,
because we all know how "dangerous" that can be];
4--the 23d amendment will be invoked;
5--making CHENEY acting president [horrors!].
. . . . .
okay, i've had colonoscopies before. little bit of weed and wine,
the right lighting, good tunes, it's all right.
but they're gonna put that little bitch OUT?
look, this sleaze was AWOL from the fucking national guard
back when they really WERE weekend warriors.
couldn't even handle THAT.
i know folks who were in the guard back in the day.
my absent father was in the national guard back then,
further enhancing its "glamour" aspect. right.
so that little bitch dubya doesn't want to be around
when they put that little wire up his ass.
. . . . .
let me tell you,
there would be more folks lining up for THAT duty
than who volunteered to hang saddam.
i'd miss my own harry potter party tonight to "lend a hand"
for this procedure.
the orphans would not only understand,
they'd expect nothing less.
god bless them and their liberal viewpoints!
but to have that old-man shooting crusty bastard cheney
i mean, we all KNOW who's been pulling the strings,
along with karl, of course.
but it just makes me really worried for harry's fate.
voldemort is gonna kill harry!
i suddenly feel a lot less sleepy.

counting down to 1201 am

plans are well underway for this evening's harry potter party
here at the orphanage.
the kids have been either updating costumes from LAST year's party,
or busily creating entirely NEW ones.
i am struggling to balance my recent head and body trauma with my desire
to be alert and in charge for the late-night revelry.
in years past, i'd don the dumbledore cape and hat,
and that would be that.
but now that albus is gone, i'm a-dither.
not only that, i envision a chemical battle between
caffeine and vicodin.

i imagine it will be another classic battle between
the forces of good and evil
as embodied by the presence of the final harry potter book
and the uncontrollable urge to sleep,
driven by my chronic narcolepsy.
i'll be fueled by:
zanzibar's french roast,
provigil [modafinil],
oh, and dozens of costumed screaming orphans.
. . . . .
. . . . .
and don't give it away!!!
. . . . . .
[the ending, that is! duh.]

Thursday, July 19, 2007


in today's edition, the des moines register
calls me "stupid" for not wearing a helmet when i ride my bicycle.
while long the subject debate and concern,
i resent the register choosing to single me out,
while not using the same editorial page space to refer to
their bare-headed harley-driving pals [and advertisers] as the same.
THEY spend 30k+ for shiny machines that hurtle along at 100+ mph
[not that there's anything wrong with that],
and I'M stupid?
governor culver recently signed a bill making it a crime
for big bullies to pick on little guys like me.
think i'll mention that to chet when we chat.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


They say we have killed him,” Mr. Riedel said,
referring to earlier statements by Iraqi government officials.
“Then we heard him after his death,
and now they are saying he never existed.
That suggests that our intelligence on Al Qaeda in Iraq
is not what we want it to be.”

things seen while walking the dogs in my neighborhood

i'm telling ya, the place is going to hell.

they're lurking just on the other side of "gated communities" waiting to pounce!

this one is masquerading as a "house pet!" [you'll read about THIS tragedy soon]

who's the alpha here? the dude with the cap has no thumbs!

look closely: these two raccoons killed five small dogs.

[just shows they're not without some redeeming qualities, i guess.]
but did you notice that not ONE of these raccoons was shown reading the des moines register? just what the hell does THAT imply? clearly, they have been ordered to not reveal the source of their evil ideas. can it mean anything else? i'm warning you--these little sons of bitches are gonna be riding bikes on ragbrai next week, squeeking out "on your left" like every other stupid jerk on a bike, but THESE cyclists will KILL you.

but you'll deserve it, because you didn't listen to me.

so have fun.

[need further proof? here is stolen--um, not stolen, but it was given to me--surveillance video showing a raccoon sitting in at a register editorial board meeting. watch it, but don't tell anyone where you saw it, or i'm in DEEP shit! for real.]

i'm gonna take the day off . . .

...from being angry with the harm
the des moines register is inflicting upon me,
and my friends who are bicyclists.
i think i'll spend the day being angry
with these folks, instead.

thanks for the swell idea, g.