Sunday, November 30, 2008
The site of the collision was the MABRA championships at Taneytown. The Lea family and friends - you may have heard of the Leas, they are pretty fair bicyclists - put on a nice cross race. The venue was gorgeous - lots of little twists, little ups and downs, plenty of bike handling but no pure climbing. On a nice dry day, I can positively hammer on a course like that.
Unfortunately, it had been raining for about 24 hours by the time I rolled into the parking lot with Official Distaff Docent of Squadra, Uff Da. Jon Seibold, Competitive Beard Grower Extraordinaire and Bike Dealer to the Stars, could not make the trip with us due to a virus pretty much decimating his family, along with a whole other series of woes plaguing him this week. Hang in there Jon!
The pre-ride was pretty effin' miserable. The temperature was in the low 30s, and there was a little bit of wind. The course was already getting very muddy prior to the Cat IV race running on it. Not good. I also had a bit of a bummer stomach. After pre-loading on excuses, I did a lap or two, then stood around shivering. The cheap trainer has a problem with securing the bike (it doesn't, basically) so I tried doing some efforts on the road. That was really sucky and I was getting hypothermic so I just changed into my race jersey and sat in the car. At race time, I got out and started riding to the staging area, and it was too cold. So I U-turned, made a beeline for the car, and put on a second base layer. I decided this was going to be a race about survival, not prospering. Good choice, as it turns out; avoided disappointments later on.
The start was uneventful, we hit the grass and motored to these two steep little up-downs. On top of the second one the guy in front of me stopped dead in his tracks. I was mid pack at this point. I nearly fell off, since my rear wheel was still on the steeply pitched slop, but I saved and ran across the top, got back on, tried to pedal down the off camber, and ate it hard.
This was an utterly fatal mistake, the one place and time in the race I could not afford to crash. The pack was tightly clustered, and going down right then and there let 50% of the pack - the back half - just jet by. My race wasn't over, but it was damn near over and I knew it.
I got untangled from the bike and started running, clearing the little uphill and remounting, DFL by about 10 feet. This was bad. It didn't really get any better.
I jetted up past a few guys pretty quickly and tried to find a pace. I grabbed on to the back of the string and kept riding. No problem, right? Matter of fact I stayed upright all across the rest of the front of the course and found the pace quite comfortable. This was going to work; I was going to start passing some people and have a good race.
We got to an off-camber on the back side, behind these little barns. You ride across the face of a hill; at the end, you drop to the bottom and hairpin turn back up. In practice I had ridden a high line, pedaled most of the way, took two steps and was remounted.
This was before the Men's IV race had turned that off-camber hairpin into a slop chute. I rode into it at decent speed and went hindquarters over tea receptacle, back down, bike up, still clipped in. I slid under the tape, probably sliding 15-20 feet total. Um, about all those nice white colors on the Squadra Coppi kit...
By the time I untangled and got running, most of the dudes I had passed, had passed me back. This was grim. Not to mention that Fred Wittwer shot on by like he had afterburners.
Still I kept at it, hope once again triumphing over experience.
I'd pass one or two guys, then crash, and lose the ground I had just gained. I went down a total of 6 or 8 times, two or three of them hard, leaving lumps and bruises I didn't detect until hitting the showers.
Some good things came of it though. I figured out how to corner in the mud - you keep the gas on, pedal steadily, and don't worry about the slip. I figured out how to traverse a curvy off-camber by following a pack of canny 55+ racers - again, keep on the gas with the soft-pedal, clip the apexes, and exit on a straight line, don't try to turn directly up the hill. I also provided endless amusement to a group at the steep little mud runup, which was a three-legged run (two feet and one hand) for most of the race. On the last lap, it seemed feasible to ride the thing. It was small enough that if you carried momentum and pedaled once or twice you could go straight up. So I gassed it hard down an off camber, turned left, and found myself moving to my right, at an angle perpendicular to the bike. I tried to step off but went upside down and landed with a huge "Ooooof!" The crowd went wild, or at least the people assembled at the runup, and Joe Jefferson did. Making people smile is a good thing, right?
After the race I changed into thermals, carhart pants, wool sweater, parka, wooly hat and snowmobile boots. I was still cold all day. But at least I had something to do, pitting for Judd (who had a nice race in the Master A's), cheering for various friends, and watching Melanie Swartz and the Uff Da take second in their respective classes. They both rode super well. Along the way I had many pleasant chats with people, and particularly appreciated some kind words that a few people laid on me, as well as some advice from Mark Gwadz.
Other folks had a great day. Chris Auer tore it up in the Faster Geezer class, running away from Gunnar Shogren. Fat Marc was an excellent third. In my race Joe Lillibridge continued his dominance and Peter Jensen - a good guy I've gotten to know better this year at random between 'cross and MTB racing - took a strong second. A couple other folks - Nystrom and Birner - didn't look like they were having their strongest races of the year but were pushing themselves so hard that it hurt to look at them. On days when the absolute speed isn't there, utmost effort is enough to earn my respect and those two guys showed it. Can't say too much about the other races; I was too cold to remember many details.
It was a pretty good day in a lot of respects. I doomed myself by getting behind the wrong guy from the start and then pressing really hard in the technical sections trying to catch up and pass folks. That guaranteed my usual mediocre race would wind up being a bad race. It was very cold and quite rainy. I didn't eat enough and my back hurts from all the crashes. But still it was a lot of fun, and long after my cold feet are warmed up and the creeping, cloying wetness of the day is forgotten, I'll remember about the fun we had in the ridiculous mud slop fest and cold weather. In the abstract, the day will seem more pleasant than it probably was to live through in reality, but the small pleasures - a cheer from friends, nailing a corner, cleaning that off-camber not long after the start - were genuine. Yeah, I was every bit the bug today. But even bugs have a good life, if you look at it from the bug's perspective.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
That's why I'm proposing some alternatives for the holiday table this year. One healthy alternative is fried worms on a stick with a nice peanut sauce.
Worms are healthy. You've never seen worms in your doctor's office or in the hospital, have you? No. Of course not. That would be ridiculous.
Worms subsist on a diet of rainwater, dirt, vegetation (especially hemp and hemp by-products), and more dirt, which is comparable to the diet eaten by top mountain bikers in the early 90's such as Tom Ritchey and Bob Roll. With references like that, I think there's a lot to commend fried worms on a stick as your main course at Thanksgiving. Warning: as any fisherman can tell you, the slaughter of worms as a food product is a grizzly sight. Do not give any television interviews about this dish if the worms are being prepared in the background, otherwise people might be put off.
Watermelon often surprises us with hints of subtle and delicate flavors, much like a fine coffee or scotch will surprise us with hints of melon. If you look closely at the video, the world's evilest watermelon afficionado takes a bite, rolls his eyes with delight, and says, "a bouquet like shrimp!"
Watermelons are like a box of chocolates; you never know what you'll get.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I still feel pretty nasty, still have a piercing pain in the sinuses, and still feel like ten pounds of poo in a five pound sack. But at least I got a ride in, right?
Sorta. Guess it was pretty lame, as rides go. But the trainer is what it is - a substitute for a real ride, a bit of sweaty aspartame to sweeten up the bitter reality of not having the time to get in a real ride today.
It's been busy. Got some S.G.O. - maybe getting a new car or possibly just a new engine and catalytic converter for Sainted Wife's car, got going replacing some bank cards and a truck window, picked up a new driver's licenses and all that. The turkey is thawing in the laundry tub and I'm wondering what kind of rub it'll be this year, the sourdough loaf is ready to bake, RouleurMom is upstairs racked out after the kid wore her out playing with blocks... and maybe I'll be able to sneak out and get a little ride in with the family tomorrow, then hit the Thursday morning Patapsco ride. After yesterday's roller coaster I'm grateful for the good things I have going on in my life, grateful for the generally easy lifestyle I enjoy compared to most of mankind thorughout most of history, and I'm not going to complain any more about yesterday's succession of stiff kicks in the ass. God gives us a lot - or just plain life or the universe if you don't believe in that - and Thanksgiving is a good time to remember what we have.
Monday, November 24, 2008
That was this afternoon's news. This evening's news was that while the Sainted Wife was out picking up the son & presumptive heir from day care at a church-operatedf Pre-K, some nasty SOB busted out a window on my truck and stole her purse.
From a church ****ing parking lot?
I'm not 100% positive about this, but I think that it's not classified as a sin to beat the bejeezus out of somebody who steals something from a church, or people in the process of transacting business at said church. You're not allowed to end their life, but I think branding their forehead with the Mark of the Beast or lopping off various minor appendages, along with vestigial organs and every second eye, ear, or thumb, is permissible.
I mean really. A ****ing church? Are you kidding me? We joke about evil this and that, but staking out a ****ing church as your preferred location for crimes? I may not catch the little bastards (though some of their immediate spending spree in the 10 minutes after the crime, conducted in the presence of video cameras gives me hope), but I was taught to believe that if you did something like that, Jesus and his legion of angels, Joan of Arc, the entire Marine Corps (Lee Harvey Oswald excepted) , and pretty much every celestial badass roaming around heaven's streets with a snoot full of mead and manna will monkey stomp your ass. Either that, or delegate the job to Satan & His Minions, see e.g. United States ex rel. Gerald Mayo v. Satan and His Staff, 54 F.R.D. 282 (1971), who may in turn then subcontract the monkey stomping to the guards, trustees, and permanent residents of the local federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.
I don't know about you, but I'm gettin' my drink on tonight. Packers at Saints, right? Should be a good one... to drink on!
I hate to break the news, but it's not. Check it out:
H/t Lindsey, and Sid Farkas.
If you want a taste of the Tacchino, go to Scott Thompson's excellent writeup about prep here, racing it here, and the afternoon scene (including Jake's big adeventure) here. Of particular note are Scott's typical strong performance (9th, Men's 35+45+ 3/4), Lindsey Hillesheim *crushing* the women's 3-4 field to earn her upgrade to Cat 3, Gwadzilla's burst of speed to drop a chasing pack of 6 and win a kielbasa, and the amazingly outstanding work of all the Coppis to put on a great race. This includes Coppis kicking in with prize ducats (Paul at Resource Dynamics Corp., and Lindsey H. with a donation to the Women's Elite pot), Coppis who brought beer or other stuff (Joe Metro), and Coppis who helped underwrite and put together the super tasty free barbecue chow down (Dave and Cheryl Battan). Thanks so much you guys, and to everybody who came out to race and spectate.
You want to know what the redesigned Tacchino course is about? It's about this:
The Promoters Run You Into Them Fast Enough
If you don't have the stones needed to kill it and clean it, you probably shouldn't be eating it. See those sharp teeth on the front of your mouth? They were evolved to be omnivorous. Those pointy ones on the side are particularly useful for tearing at bits of London Broil, or gamy venison. See that thumb? Very, very useful for grasping a club.
There's nothing wrong with being a vegetarian, or being a meateater, IMAO. But there is something wrong with eating meat, then getting hysterical over how it gets to your plate. The Turkeygeddon pseudo-scandal is a particularly grotesque example of it, and if I see anybody complaining about Turkeygeddon then eating a piece of meat, I'm going to slap it out of their hands and eat it myself, just to make a point. And if they have a problem with that, I'll bite them too, just to see how they taste.
I read an article the other day about a family that joyously serves Mac & Cheese at Thanksgiving, because it got them out of the tough task of explaining to their kid about where the turkey came from.
Newsflash: if you don't have the stones to explain the provenance of the real national bird - roast turkey - to your kids, you probably aren't going to be very much use to them when they face genuine problems in their lives.
By no means do you need to be gung ho about killing tasty animals and processing them. You don't need to make a 4 year-old go bust a cap in Tom Turkey's aisch, and you don't need to butcher old Bessie yourself. Even the most glorious hunt with the cleanest and most humane kill, along with an unexpectedly easy gutting and butchering is nasty work at best. Even if the blood and what not didn't make you queasy, the smells and assorted visceral goings on when you clean an animal carcass and butcher it could be tough to take. If you don't do that kind of thing on a factory basis, you may find yourself, say, gutting a deer, and you get a good look at its gut and get a little funny feeling, thinking, "he was just eating lunch. Just like I was a half hour ago."
You don't have to do all that, but you should be honest enough with yourself to admit where that tasty stuff comes from, and the fact that you value living and the sweet taste of cheesburgers (or turkey legs, as the case may be) more than you value the life of the turkey or cow. In the western cultural tradition and judeo-christian moral tradition - traditions that generally guide our way of life even if we aren't big fans - that's perfectly acceptable. Don't sweat it, alright? You're living the way humans were physically evolved to live, and the way our culture evolved. It's normal. Stop lying on the floor in the fetal position screaming just because your kid asked if the pork roast came from Porky Pig.
You should be honest with yourself, and accept how you live, and if you don't like it, change how you live and spare the rest of us the histrionics. And if you meet one of these network guys who think the above video of Turkeygeddon, or the Turkypocalypse is alarming, slap the cheeseburger out of their well-manicured arm, eat the burger, and bite them. Alright? Can you do that for me? Thanks. I'm trying to cut down on the junk food.
Now pass the stuffing, willya? Um no, not that one. The one with the sausage in it. Thank you. Care for the drumstick?
Sunday, November 23, 2008
One of his readers, Hammerhed, pretty much wins the comment thread with the first comment, asking:
You guys make it appear so effortless and natural that the only real question is why everyone doesn’t do it.Um, that'd be because it actually isn't effortless and natural and the reason JP and his buddy make it look effortless is because they are effing great riders, and because you need to be a great rider to make it happen like that, everybody *can't* do it.
Silly comment, but a win's a win, I suppose.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
But most of all, the Tacchino Ciclocross will have... wait for it...
All the fields have at least a few spots open. If you know you're going to get your butt kicked tomorrow, but still come out and race hard, then you're definitely man or woman enough to grab our sausage. Come ride the Tacchino tomorrow and see if you can snag one of these beauties. They include, but aren't limited to:
- Men's 4 - The Jason Pearlman Memorial Hebrew National Quarter Pound Beef Franks (Kosher)
- Men's Master 3/4 - Boar's Head Pepperoni Prime. It's a little wrinkled and aged, but it's hard as a rock and spicy as ever.
- Women's 3/4 - Jimmy Dean Bold Country Breakfast Sausage, "Seriously Hot"
- MABRA Juniors 18 & Under, 16 & Under - Hillshire Farms Li'l Wieners or Johnsonville Brats
- Men's Master 1-2-3 - Hillshire Farms Polska Kielbasa - it's not so hot, but it sure is salty
- Women's 1-2-3 - Crofton My Butcher & More Apple / Maple Syrup Pork Sausage - Sweet, and it'll disappear from sight faster than you'd think.
Details about the event at Bikereg. See you there.
Friday, November 21, 2008
For Fat Cyclist readers stopping by here, thanks for visiting. I tend to do a lot of rambling off-topic blogging, but if funny bike related stuff is your thing you'll find the "Best Of" us down on the right, you'll probably enjoy stuff like this (Cyclocross Practice Tips), this (Secret Landis Emails Prove Floyd's Innocence), or this (A Short History of Knickers). You might also enjoy the Cyclocross Horroscope I did for the State Island CX race that's going down next weekend - the post is immediately below this.
And just a reminder, all: The Tacchino Ciclocross is happing on Sunday at Ida Lee Park in Leesburg. Pre-registration is closed but there are spots open in all races, in spite of having our strongest pre-registration numbers in the history of the race. What do we have?
- Belgian Beer Primes in the Masters Races
- Mid-pack Sausage Primes. And Bacon!
- Li'l Belgians race and multiple playgrounds on-site
- Team-size jacuzzi and swimming pool, changing rooms (costs a couple bucks)
- Food at the venue, plus many great places to eat "downtown"
- Leesburg Outlets and antiquing for the shopping junkies
Thursday, November 20, 2008
[Being the superstitious lot, we at Staten CX begged some Blog-Gods to write the official Event Horoscope. [Ed. They weren't available.] Sensing our New York angst, The Unholy Rouleur from DC volunteered to calm our nerves with clear predictions for Sunday, November 30th, 2008. Thanks Jim!]
The good promoters of next week’s ‘Cross race on Staten Island asked me if I could provide a cyclocross horrorscope for their race. Evidently, the BikeSnob is too busy running his combined Phrenology and Faith Healing shop, and I understand Stevil Kinevil is spending most of the week sacrificing California Virgins – both of them – and test riding a new Norwegian Death Metal-inspired Razr Scooter. So the task fell to D team - the Unholy Rouleur.
I freely admit that I’ve never been to this race. It’s new, and I live about 200 miles away, plus I doubt I could get to Staten Island without getting mugged coming through North Jersey. So I don’t know what I’m talking about when I tell you that it’s going to rock. I know this for certain because they will have free Belgian waffles. Nothing is bad if there are free Belgian waffles – a point I made recently to the King of Belgium when we were talking over beers about how to rehabilitate his country’s image in the eyes of the Dutch. The other half of my strategy was free pommes frites with a chili pepper mayonnaise, but he wasn’t so sure about that. It's entirely possible I was really drunk on Belgian beer and only imagined getting hammered with the King of Belgium, but trust me, even if he was only a hallucination, he is a great, great guy.
Anyhow, relying on my occult knowledge of tea leaves, chicken bones, and things I’ve noticed stuck on the cusp of Uranus, I can tell you that the race is going to be a good one. I can also tell you what your horrorscope is going to be for race day, so you will know how best to prepare for the race.
Aries – the Ram. It’s looking good for you. The weather will be cold, but fortunately, your profuse back hair will keep you warm, and that’s just the female Aries racers. Male Aries will be even better positioned to butt their way through the pack thanks to their enormous horns. Is somebody trying to compensate for something with those things?
Taurus – the Bull. Your riding style involves strength, stamina, and an almost uncanny ability to hop fences to get at female cows. You’ll do well here, but a word of caution. This race coincides with the peak of hunting season. You may want to consider treating this as a Halloween ‘cross race and coming dressed as “bull-et proof vest.” Smith & Wesson and General Dynamics both make good “costumes.” One rated to stop up to 7.62 NATO rounds should be good enough
Gemini – the twins. It’s going to be a rough weekend for the twins. I see multiple flats, a number of hard crashes, and a cracked frame in your future, plus you’re going to get arrested for being underage when you go to get a sixxer of Brooklyn Ale from the bodega. It’s not looking good. I propose an alternate course of action for the Twins. You should forget racing, and meet me at McSorleys on Friday at about 8:00 PM. Wear red. I haven’t seen your palms yet but think that your love lines will be looking longer and longer right about then, or if not longer then at least long enough. I foresee that you won’t miss the race at all. We’ll erect a barrier together, have a really good runup, enjoy the curves, and have a climactic finish. Yeah, it’s going to be a great weekend if you’re me, er, I mean the Twins.
Cancer – the Crab. The good news is, it’s treatable. The bad news is, you’re never going to look at cute little hipster chicks from Williamsburg in quite the same way again. But look on the bright side – not only can you head out to Staten Island and race ‘cross this weekend, but if your mom in Iowa is worried about your diet and exercise, you can tell her that you had crabs every night this week and you rode your bike lots. Racing cross while also keeping your mom happy despite what she suspects is your depraved and aimless hipster lifestyle is a win-win for you, as far as I’m concerned.
Leo – the lion. Okay Leo, we all know you’re not a lion, that you’re actually a 49 year-old orthodox Jewish guy with a long beard and a white-fro, who lives in Mamaroneck. But that’s okay, we all know resting is the most important part of training, and you will have been resting your ass off on Shabbat. As everybody knows - even those f***s at the league office - you don't roll on Shabbat. So next Sunday, you’ll be ready to roll, and I foresee that you’ll sandbag it in the 3/4 Masters instead of racing in the elite where you belong. This will earn you the well-deserved hatred of your friends, as you have a good time at the front of the pack. Sure, it’s possible you aren’t interested in the great bacon primes that the organizers lined up. But you are eligible for the other prizes, and the proceeds from this race go to inner-city youth. That’s not chopped liver now, is it?
Virgo – the Virgin. You really shouldn’t be reading this blog now, should you?
Libra – the Scale. You’re a libra if you looked at the Bikereg page and wondered where the SuperClydesdale / Athena races were being held. Don’t worry about it, Libras. I looked into the future and you’re going to have a fun race anyhow. Seeing as how this is a ‘cross race, you’ll be racing against people for the entire 45 minutes, even if you’re just trying to fend off DFL with two other Clydesdales and a U-14 Junior who is about to lap you. It’s all good. Double Extra Bonus: Staten Island was formed at the end of the last ice age – the geologic era, not the movie. It is comprised of granite. So unlike those muddy races in Portland, where a Clydesdale crashing hard has been known to disappear forever in the deep mud, there is no risk whatsoever of you disappearing into the mud thanks to a solid layer of bedrock underneath the grass. On the other hand, you have a pretty good chance of getting a broken collarbone and separated shoulder when your Michelin Jets slide out from under you, so you may want to consider wearing an older jersey that you don’t mind ripping up and fashioning into a sling.
Scorpio – the scorpion. Cursed from birth with a zodiac sign that doomed you to being the head of an enormous transnational criminal enterprise, you’ve found that the only thing that brings meaning and enjoyment to your life, other than plotting world domination, is ‘cross racing. So you see, Scorpio, that makes you just like every other ‘cross addict out there, except for you having about 80% more International Villain-itude. (Only match sprinters and Keirin riders are more villainous). I see you already have some plans to kill your competition this weekend, but think you need to avoid having your clueless henchmen due your dirty work – that whole domestique thing only works defensively in cross, it’s no good on the attack. Moreover, you need to leave the sharks with frickin’ lasers on their heads at home. There isn’t enough water here to make them viable. You might want to look into similarly equipped laser-bearing Snakehead fish, which can walk on land, or perhaps arm up the local squirrels with prison shanks, made in the prison workshop of nearby Riker’s. Even then, I don’t see world ‘cross domination on your calendar for this weekend. But hey, maybe you’ll win a mid-pack prime. It isn’t world domination, but that would be nice, right? I hear they have bacon.
Saggitarius – the Archer. Many ‘crossers say they have ‘arrows in the quiver,’ but it’s only literally true for somebody like you. I foresee you having a very good race next Sunday, right up until the point where a heckler on the runup throws beer on you, and you shoot him with a flaming arrow. You need to know that this is ‘cross, not the NY Knicks. An unsportsmanlike display of that sort would result in the officials sending you to the back of the pack. Plus the Department of Natural Resources guys may be out there, and bowhunting season ended a month ago, so you’d be looking at a thousand dollar fine. I'm cautioning you against using that bow if you want to preserve your normal 53rd place finish.
Capricorn – the horned goat. I foresee you having a good race if you can avoid locking horns or handlebars with the Ram, Aries. There is plenty of flat field for you to graze on, and rumor has it that there are places on the island where various beverages of grainy origins can be purchased – and I know how you like your wheat, your hops, your barley and similar grains. Now for the bad news. Since you’re basically just a sheep, you can forget about spectacular results. Mortal terror of being alone will prevent you from falling behind the pack, just as mortal terror of being alone will prevent you from breaking away for the win. So you’re fated to have a mid-pack finish, no matter what. Hey, have you considered roadracing? You have what it takes to be a great domestique. I hear George Hincapie is from your neck of the woods…
Aquarius – the Water Bearer. Dude, this is a cross race. Leave the water at home. Bring some Belgian brewskis and drink them discretely out of a plastic cup. Bring enough for 20 of your closest friends. I foresee that you are going to get your ass kicked in an epic fashion in the race, but you still have a decent chance of winning the party. You may want to consider some Manscaping too – when the party really gets rolling and you start taking your clothes off and trying to get a naked ‘cross ride going, you’ll be more convincing if people don’t think you’re a grizzly bear trying to lure them to their death in a sand pit.
Pisces – the Fish. There’s no hope for Pisces on this course, unless it rains heavily. For one thing, gills are no use whatsoever on sand pits, they just get packed with loose sand (kind of like lungs, really), though you will probably feel comfortable with the “spawning salmon” vibe you get from hopping over the barriers up the runup, one after another. For another thing, have you ever tried to sling a bike over your back, only to have it catch on your enormous dorsal fins? It’s not good. I’d recommend that you hang out somewhere near the Jersey shore this weekend and eat clams instead of racing.
So there you have it. Some of you are going to have great races, others of you are doomed, doomed, doomed I tell you. But everybody is going to have fun, and it’s for a good cause.
Plus there’s bacon. You did get that, right?
My only other thought for today, is that I like Spam. I don't care if it is down market. I like Miller High Life too. I love the good stuff in life whether it's esoteric crap that only a few connoisseurs know about, or blue collar fun stuff that the culture snobs turn their noses up at. If it's good, it's good. Don't ask no questions, just enjoy it.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Yep, that's right.
Lance Armstrong is Just Like Hitler.* They're both monoglobular.
It must be true because it's in England's most reputable and reliable newspaper. Other than the Grauniad, of course.
Oh yeah, one other bit of news you can use. If you find yourself in outer space, hold on tight to your bag, okay? You may need it.
*Ps. Dear Lance's Crack Legal Team: This is humor playing off commonalities between the fiendish German dictator, and everybody's favorite testicular cancer survivor and cycling hero. It is satire, a joke, which is generally protected by the First Amendment, especially when it comes to public figures. So I'm asking you not to sue me, but if you do, remember three things: (1) It's a joke, he's a public figure, you will lose your asses; (2) I'm a lawyer, I actually practice First Amendment law, so the normal method of litigating people into silence through massive legal bills probably won't be as effective as it usually is; and, (3) Thanks to debt incurred earning that law degree and declining real estate values in my neighborhood, I'm pretty much judgment proof, Suckas!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Four days into the big experiment, the Sourdough starter lives. The bubbles in that mix are from wild yeast and lactobacilli captured in the deepest, darkest recesses of mysterious Crofton. (Lactobacillus Croftonensis, anyone?) Because we cultured the medium by running around outside the house, it will have a flavor that is unique to this area. The yeast and lactobacilli in, say, Columbia, are different from the ones in Crofton due to unique local conditions. Travel just a few miles and the yeast changes a little bit.
I asked my friend Trevor to see if his brother, who is a pretty accomplished brewer, would be interested in trying to isolate the yeast strains and brewing some beer from it. Given that lactobacillus is present - which produces lactic acid - the resulting beer might be a little bitter. This could necessitate flavoring with fruit syrup. Who knows - maybe there's a Crofton Lambic in my future. Maybe not.
I'm looking forward to baking the first batch of this bread. I'll feed the starter for another day or two, then will be able to remove some and make a sourdough loaf with it.
I'm very happy about this, just in case you didn't know that already.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I hit up the Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE) trail work day at Patapsco State Park this morning. It was good seeing some people I've ridden with elsewhere and helping them work on some of the trails I get so much joy from. We benched a rise in the trail on Vineyard where descending MTB'ers were apparently scaring the holy hell out of upward-bound hikers, adding a little off-camber right hand turn into the trail, and if you slide off the turn a little you'll now hit a sapling. If you slide off a lot you'll hit a 36" diameter elm tree. This is supposedly safer. The Family Bike Shop crew was representing with about six people in attendance. The Single Speed Outlaw Factory Team probably sent as many.
I've been mountain biking a lot to keep my mind fresh and to try to build up some volume / general bike fitness. If I have a 2-3 hour base ride scheduled and don't feel up to the road grind, pedaling along in the grit and the wind, I hit Rosaryville for a couple laps, soft-pedaling the hills and keeping it in zone 2. It doesn't have the scientific precision that training with power does, but then it doesn't place the mentally and spiritually demanding yoke on you that the power meter does either. It's working okay; in addition to really improving my handling, I'm picking up a different kind of diesel-like fitness from shoving the single speed up and down hills. Last Sunday's three hour journey, with several trips into and out of the Patapsco Valley, culminating with a final climb up Vineyard (that I cleaned for the first time) convinced me of the progress underway. The 'crossing isn't going to badly either, though the placings aren't stellar, mostly top of the bottom third to mid-pack, with a top half finish or two being the highlights for the year. Still, it's almost December and I'm actually looking forward to roadracing season; I couldn't have said that with a straight face last year. The fixie and the MTB are good training tools, as much for the strengths they teach as for the way they keep you mentally fresh, and growing.
What do you do if you're a dude, on your own, and looking for the kind of girl who is genuinely honest about herself, who will appreciate you for who you are, and will be utterly grateful for your attention? You check out Women Behind Bars, a dating, er, pen pal site for incarcerated women. Caveat emptor applies here though. I notice a few of them are looking for men with "class." Here's two things to know about "class." 1) If you use "class" as a noun, it means you probably don't have any, not in the normal sense of the adjective, meaning "nice" or "well-mannered" or "kind." 2) It's biker slang denoting that you're the kind of guy who will shank any SOB what looks at your woman crossways, you're more than willing to kill undercover cops trying to infiltrate your biker gang, er, I mean motorcycle club, and you're the guy who will step up and volunteer when somebody in your crew needs some crystal meth hauled to Montreal.
I suspect that, unlike all those films about women in prison I've watched, life in the women's hoosegow probably isn't about a bunch of nubile babes looking to hook up with hot prison guard hunks in various combinations of multiple guards/prisoners. That stuff is hot in a sort of embarassed to talk about it even when you're drunk and bragging kind of way. No, I'm thinking the reality of the thing, maybe, that it's probably a tough gig, especially because society expects women to be nice. (Versus men, who, like dogs, if they don't pee on the floor are considered to be sufficiently socialized). It's probably a really Hobbesian existence for most of the women there, or at least it would be for those who know that Hobbes is the guy who described life as solitary, nasty, brutish and short, versus the tiger in the comic strip, who did have a short run of maybe 10 years but it wasn't solitary (what with Calvin always hanging around), brutish or nasty, since Hobbes was the guy inflicting that stuff on others rather than the victim. Anyhow...
Given the reality that women's prison life is Hobbesian, and not Rousseauian, it's entirely possible that you will get a battle hardened 350 pound multiple murderer showing up to meet you when she bluffs her way past the parole board - or the budget crunch dictates it - and she gets out. (I'm assuming the same picture match ratio as all other online dating services, so that little hottie may be neither little, nor hot... Caveat Emptor, friends.) Then again, maybe she is the lovely girl in the picture, a year or two older and wiser, a felony rap in the records, maybe rehabilitated and just trying to get her life together. So the website could be an honest attempt by a lot of incarcerated ladies to meet a guy who will do right by them, instead of abuse them like a lot of the men in their lives have probably done. Yes, it's a tough life for them. No, women in prison really don't need to be kicked while they're down, and I'm just the guy to do it.
So maybe Women Behind Bars isn't the dating site for everybody, but if you're lonely and you have a lot of class, you may want to check it out.
Apropo of nothing... okay apropo of Bill Gros maybe... here's a little George Clinton, Atomic Dog.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Long zone 2 rides, that make you much quicker.
Dirt trail descents that make my heart sing,
These are a few of my favorite things...
When the hills rise, when my knees ache,
When I'm feeling low,
I get out on my ride and I pedal away,
It's oh so much cheaper,
Yes I like riding my bike. I like nights like tonight as well. It lightly raining, almost like we're in a huge terrestrial mister. There's a heavy fog hanging over Crofton. It reminds me of a few hundred great nights I had back in the day, living in Europe. On nights like this I was generally curled up in an comfy chair in Manfred's cellar wine bar, in Wuerzburg, sucking down Bacchusbeutels of Franken Wine with some friends, snacking on a cheese plate, and basically just hooting and hollering and enjoying a great time. After that it would be a walk home across the pedestrian zone to my apartment. Or similar nights in Munich or in the cities in Northern Germany where I worked. The next day would always break a little chilly, a little overcast, but sunny, as if the sky had cried itself out overnight. Then it would be time for a run, to get to work, and to look forward to doing it all over again. I probably didn't like foggy nights before living there.
I like making bread, to the point where the whole wheat oat bread doesn't seem all that challenging. So what's a boy to do? Make sourdough, naturally. You can get bread dough to rise using bread yeast, or bicarbonate of soda. But a really old fashioned way is to pull some local yeast out of the air by letting the air flow over a medium that is friendly to yeast, but hostile to the worst of the local bacteria. Then you let the medium sit for a few days until it bubbles up. This bubbly mixture contains naturally occurring yeast and bacteria, and if you're lucky and mixed it up with the right stuff, it will yield a tasty, slightly sour loaf of bread - sourdough. I got a sourdough starter underway this afternoon. I ran around the house, inside and out, with a small open container of medium, in this instance pineapple juice and flour. Now I'll let it sit for a few days, stirring occasionally, and adding flour and pineapple juice in a couple days. With a bit of luck, in about 4 or 5 days, I'll have some qood quality, locally grown sourdough starter with which to make bread for myself, and maybe some sourdough loaves for my friends for Christmas. If they're good and all. Otherwise it's coal and maybe some old tires.
Don't look at the sky. It's the Red Eye of Sauron.
It isn't really. It's evidence of a far-off planet. One thing I really like is the high quality pictures of space that we're getting from orbital platforms. When I was a kid, there were a few nice photos of space, like Earthscape, but most of the stuff was obscure, black and white stuff, and if you didn't like that there was all this plastic-fantastic pencil drawing stuff from the kid's encyclopedias of the day -drawings of space and planets and asteroids and whatnot that I now know to be utterly misbegotten and inaccurate. We've advanced a long way in 35 years, and I really like that. It's funny being Racing Age 42 but still being able to have a child-like sense of wonder about something. The one thing I don't like is people don't seem to give a crap about exploring space, and the bias a lot of people seem to have against colonization. I hate to break the news folks but this lump of rock has a habit of getting hit by other lumps of rock with disastrous results. We'd better be looking for a little place in that nice neighborhood over on the other side of the Milky Way if we're serious about long term survival of the species. But in the mean time, we can look at the pretty pictures. Really, seriously pretty pictures.
Just a reminder - The Superior Cross is going to be in Manassas next Saturday, November 22, and the Tacchino is going to be at Leesburg on November 23. I've never done Superior but hear it's pretty good. The Tacchino, I can tell you with total confidence, always rocks. I hope you can make one or both; either is suitable for beginners. The Tacchino has the added bonus of Belgian Beer Primes in the masters, and if it all works out Sausage Primes for some of the other races.
Well guess what... it was an intentional hoax that the newspapers and networks ran with. It turns out that the hoaxers fed a bunch of other stuff into the news cycle, like stuff about Joe the Plumber having ties to a disgraced and convicted Wall Street Financier. The NY Times outed the hoaxers today, which is kind of ironic.
You should probably ask yourself what other little bits of insanity were hoaxes, and whether you lapped them up because they sounded too good not to be true.
It's called "confirmation bias." Most people suffer from it, causing various degrees of intellectual debilitation.
It's fine to question authority but it's probably useful to question yourself first. At least I try to. If I'm going to be attempting to throw some intellectual high heat, it helps if I'm not standing way out in left field when I throw. Detracts from the accuracy, you know?
Update: Just so's your clear, it's a bipartisan illness.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
In totally unrelated news, the Opinionated Cyclist - that guy who posts rambling videos of... well, the Opinionated Cyclist - has taken umbrage with a comment I made ages ago at BikeSnob's place. The comment was pretty innocently intended, I thought, just my usual facetious bunkum, posted about a guy who posts videos about random cycling topics, along with some fairly bizzare things like, "I need a d1ldo for my mom."
Stop me if this is getting too weird for you, okay?
I had forgotten about the comment but the Opinionated Cyclist - we call him The OC at fan club meetings - apparently wanted to dredge it up and make a big issue about it. I wish he hadn't disabled embedding, but oh well. Feel free to click through and check it out. It's up to the normal production and scripting standards.
I now feel really bad about this, as The OC is using my comment as a brickbat to hurl repeatedly at BikeSnob. I told the Snob he can zap any of my comments whenever he wants, talk bad about me, take my mom out for a seafood dinner and not call her the next day, whatever he wants to do. It's his site, his relationship with The OC, who is is entertaining, um, number one fan, I'm cool with that and I don't want to mess up the Snob's good thing. Seriously - he's a fantastic writer, has a good blog, and a lot of interesting characters comment there. Good stuff. But I digress.
The comment at issue came in the wake of Snob's discovery of the OC and posting an embedded video marvelling at the weirdness. I had recently discovered the OC's video series on purchasing sex toys for his mom, and reached a conclusion that the OC was kind of a little bit deviant. Okay, a lot deviant. So I cracked a joke that maybe crossed the line. Where the line is, exactly, isn't entirely clear to a first amendment absolutist like me. I'm a guy who jokes that his own hobby, after crashing his mountain bike once weekly, is killing hobos... you guys do realize that is a joke, right?
The upshot is that I didn't realize at the time that the Opinionated Cyclist would take such offense to the joke. One might think a guy whose schtick is based on substantial part on posting pretty graphic monologues about getting adult toys for his mom would kind of be in on a joke like that and get it immediately. One would be wrong.
I've since concluded the chap is probably a little fragile, and I shouldn't do things that might hurt his feelings or get him stirred up. He's really getting up in BikeSnob's grill a bit and I don't want to be pouring gas on that fire. Yeah, I had about fifty funny, nasty little bits responding to that video drafted up at the drop of a hat. Being a combination of funny, sarcastic, and downright mean is not hard for me. But then I thought about it, and decided I really don't need the hits a good blog flame war brings. A lot of bloggers have gotten big by being jerks. I'm not interested in that. I blog so my friends can get some chuckles and also to express my fanboy gushing over our local racing scene, not to be That Guy who makes himself big by picking on a guy who is a little fragile, but also trying to contribute in his own very special way to the same project I believe in. So it's a bit of compassion, rather than antagonism.
So I officially apologize, OC, you got that? I won't make any more jokes about you and sex workers and station wagons and chloroform, okay? But you gotta promise me you'll ease up on the talk about buying sex toys for your mom. That stuff is creepy. I only watch your videos to get your whacked out take on the cycling world, not to cringe, 'kay? 'Cuz there's enough stuff in the big bad world to make us all cringe as it is.
To show there's no hard feelings, I hereby grant you permission to joke about me killing hobos for upper body strength training in between 'cross races, and I won't get upset. I promise.
Besides, it's not like you'll be able to prove anything.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Second, I've been on a bit of radio silence this week. Sorry, I'm a bit worn out and I'm facing 'cross ennui. It always happens after about two months of steady racing each weekend, and making the routine of rest rest rest RACE rest rest PRACTICE rest rest rest RACE etc. I've been keeping it a bit fresh by mountain biking with Jon and the Family Bikes crew, but almost all of my rides have been short and slow easy commutes, or going fairly hard (even on "80% pace" cross practice days) with nothing really in between. There were some interval days early on, though they've been replaced by even more mundane "10 minutes at tempo, 5 minutes off for an hour" type of grinds. Bleh! Too much focuse! Right now I have a couple weekends off from racing since I'm not down with bigtime travel (Charlottesville, or a weekend in Jersey) this year, and this break falls just prior to the final push of the season, Tacchino Cross, MABRA Champs, and the MAC Finale at Lake Reston. so I'm concentrating on getting in some base training right now. The thing about base training is it's what I truly love about road riding - it can be touring riding with friends, or just quiet solo rides by yourself away from it all, or a spin to go visit a good coffee shop, 90 minutes away. A couple long rides are planned for the weekend, and I got out this week on my fixie for a 2.5 hour base ride, just using an Hr monitor to make sure I stayed more or less in zone 2, and just spun out. (I rock about 65 gear inches, which is 17-19 MPH on flats, and this keeps me just inside the bottom ledge of zone 2. Hills are a little tougher - sometimes it's a slow cadence standing effort in an attempt to keep the Hr and the exertion level down, or ridiculous 160 RPM spins on the downhills, but 44:18 is a good all-around training gear. I like the fixer on a really emotional level because it has a refreshing simplicity. The Zen appeal people talk about stems, I think, from the layer of conscious thought in your mind that just doesn't have to occur on one of these dinosaurs - "upshift to keep your effort level steady, downshift on this steep hill... what, there's no more gears?" In place of this cluttered internal monologue and doubts about your ability to climb or descend at a certain pace is an emptiness, a stillness. There's no derailer click and no chain rub, just a barely audible drivetrain hum, and the hiss of the tires is much louder than that. With many fewer sensory inputs coming from the bike, and less to consider, the physical and psychological stillness within the bicycle/rider system leaves a lot of room for contemplating the scenery, or for mulling over other stuff going on in my life or for just mentally resting, shutting down the brain and just riding on mental autopilot. There are days on the fixed gear where I will just keep spinning and somewhere mid-ride forget where I am. I will cover 20 or 30 miles, on my appointed course, but not remember where I've been or what I've seen, just totally zoned out. Sure, I seem to react appropriately to traffic and road signs, and I don't crash when I'm in this zone, but there's just no conscious thought going on. Those are the best rides. Yet even on the days where I'm mentally busy during the ride, I come back mentally refreshed, even though my legs are probably 50% more tired than they would be had I done the same distance on a geared bike. Thursday's off-training-plan-spin was no exception. My takeaway from Thursday's ride is that if you're getting stale but don't want to walk away from the bike entirely, just plain ride and have fun. Perhaps try to keep it in recovery or an easy zone 2 basebuilding pace so you don't destroy your ability to go hard in the next race or scheduled interval session, but compliment it - but remember to just go have fun. On the MTB, maybe hit Rosaryville for a couple easy laps. Whatever. Just try to remember why it is that you ride, and go enjoy yourself, and you may find yourself refreshed. It may not make you faster at your next race, but you'll probably find it easier to ride up to your potential if you aren't looking at your 'cross bike on Friday evening with a certain level of dread.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
You heard me right.
I'm going to look for a bumper sticker that says, in big print, "[Fill in the blank] is my president," and in little tiny letters, "even though I don't agree with him about much." You may not have guessed it but I'm not real enthusiastic about either choice that was presented. One guy promised to tax the bejeezus out of us to pay for all sorts of new programs - at least arguably a feasible plan, though the specifics were never made clear and his pals look sketchy. The other guy promised all sorts of new programs, along with tax cuts - one or the other of those definitely wouldn't make the starting lineup - and while his associates look fine, on things other than basic courtesy and defense policy, his instinct seems to be (a) don't worry about it; or, (b) do whatever people urge you not to do.
Ultimately it doesn't really matter to me. We're all on the same life raft, and we'll sink or swim together. I'm not going to have a four year temper tantrum, as was the style for many people in '96, '00, and '04. Whatever the result, it's done, let's live with it and get on with our lives. Write letters, vote, protest, you name it. Let's just leave the apocalyptic talk and the overwrought arguments at home though, 'kay? If you take politics a little less seriously and lower your expectations of what it can do for you, I think you'll find a better class of people will be drawn to politics. On the other hand, if every issue is a life-or-death struggle, you'll basically be putting up recruiting posters for people who can turn an argument over marginal tax rates into a fight comparable in scope and moral impact to Martin Luther v. The Pope.
So good night, see ya in the morning, and if your side won, congrats. If not, my condolences. You're all still my countrymen, and I'd rather be stuck on this life raft with y'all, than with anybody else.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
We pre-rode, stuck wheels in the pits, and I got registered, then back to the truck for some trainer time and to down a Clif bar. I had some hesitation to run tubulars since they were slipping all over the place – stupid Vittoria Evo tubulars, they have a crummy compound and just don’t stick well and today’s pre-ride was no exception. So I put on the Michelin Mud clinchers and put the tubies in the pit for spares.
The race started with a short run up the pavement into a hard right turn up a hill. We had 80+ starters, so this was nearly disastrous. A bunch of guys were rubbing tires and bouncing off each other and braking hard, so it was total mayhem, but the hill thinned us down to three wide. I still went into the first grass turn rubbing shoulders with people. Eventually we got into some twisty grass stuff.
The course followed around some berms then down the hill, curving around the mildly off-camber hill in a U-shape – down the outside of the U, then quickly up over the left end of the U, then down the inside of the U and back up the right side. Since this was the first lap, and it the hill was off-camber, and there was a huge pack of riders spanning pretty much the entire U, it was ripe for disaster, and since it was ripe some guy decided to eat it. A guy on the uphill (coming back) side of the off-camber wiped out, taking a few guys on the upper path with him. They slid into the lower oncoming off-camber, causing the front half of the mid-pack to stack it. There was a lot of carnage. I leaned into the tape on the very bottom of the course and just pedaled through, coming by in awesome position.
So I was golden, except my frickin’ front tire started slipping out almost immediately. I don’t know if I got a little tear in the tube and burped some air, or if I had the wrong air pressure (42 seemed firm enough…) or the rubber compound on the two year-old tires is shot, or what, but the handling was vile and the front end was the culprit. It was slipping on the grass off cambers, on the dirst, in the gravel and on the tarmac. There wasn’t a single place on the course it was holding. So I struggled through the prologue lap and got down into the dirt trail, screaming to Jean on the way through, “Jean, pit for me… front tire!” Along the way I thought about this guy in jump school who had a bad premonition about his chute not opening, so he asked somebody to switch chutes with him. He switched with another guy, and the moment his chute opened, it ripped into shreds. He got down safe on his reserve, but over beers later confessed to us that his takeaway is that you can’t avoid your fate sometimes. Maybe I should have stuck to the tubies. The tire problem screwing up my race, apparently, was my fate today, and it was not to be avoided. Still, it’s racing, so you make the best of it and hammer where you can. One guy passed me between the road and the dirt but otherwise I held my position in the string despite the front end sliding like bacon in a Teflon pan. Then I pitted and fumbled with the front tire… forever. Nystrom was there and helped me out with my bumbling but a lot of guys flew by. I don’t know if I was DFL by the time I got out of the pit, but you could see DFL from my neighborhood.
I was prepped right though. The advantage of getting to the race early is you have a lot of time to focus on the task ahead, not just the technical bit about lines, but the part about getting your mind right. So I buckled down. I immediately hauled a few guys back with some really desperate riding. The longer you wait to start passing guys in cross, the worse your life will be. The race gets strung out and the guys in front of you will only get further away as you lag behind some other back marker. So you gotta kill yourself and try to get back into contention.
By the time I got through the sweepers, I knew my race was screwed. I’d lost the long string. I thought about quitting for a couple seconds but decided I had to stick, to see what I could do. So I worked and worked, the inner voice reminding me to at least soft pedal on the downhills even if I was dead, upshifting into a hard gear on the uphills and doing a standing effort to force myself to go harder, as if on a single speed MTB on a steep hill. It worked, and I stayed in the game metally. After another half lap there was no question that I’d be okay and could keep fighting my way up. I passed a few guys on each of the first two or three laps, passing maybe 7 or 10 guys as I fought forward for the rest of the race. One at a time, painfully, the hard way. There was no slacking out there, every pass was a fight. And, mirabile dictu – the combination of Mud rear and Vittoria Evo front tracked like nobody’s business. I may use that combination from now on.
Along the way, the short 150 yard road section was a gift. It seems I’m a roadie at heart; it was easy to do a crit-type acceleration and pass a guy or two on the road. The dirt path was also a gift. I’ve been riding so much MTB at Patapsco, that hitting this familiar stretch of path (which abuts Patapsco not far from Landing Road) put me in the happy place mentally – suffering bad but in the same woods where I spend so much time with my friends.
And so it went. On the last (for me) lap, I couldn’t see anybody behind me except for the leaders, and nobody was in passing distance to the front, so I soft pedaled and focused on staying out of the way. About 5 or six guys lapped me but nobody near me in finishing order was even close.
The final verdict, I think, was about 60th. Not the greatest placing, but all things considered I wasn’t unhappy, for having fought back from DFL +/-5.
After the race I spent the rest of the day cheering for some friends, and enjoying the day with my family, John’s Trevor’s, James’ and Chris’s families. Will knocked out third place in his heavily parent-assisted division of the Li’l Belgians, and got a medal and a $10 gift certificates to Dick’s Sporting Goods (way to go, Dicks!) like all the other kids. It was a great day, and I hope this race keeps growing. Many thanks to promoter Mark, pit guy Chris Nystrom, the officials, and all my racing buddies.
CLP - Ain't Nobody Cooler (Video edit) - BNR27 from CLP - Chris de Luca vs Phon.o on Vimeo.
Great video of some track racing there. Dude kinda looks a little like RickyD, but I hesitate to say that because, (1) All insanely skilled fixed gear riders of any sort tend to look like RickyD to me; and, (2) I've never been fast enough to see RickyD at speed, so I wouldn't know if his cheeks fill with air like that.
Some random thoughts:
- Girls, if you are blessed by mother nature, for goodness sake, don't wear a tight political T-shirt with lots of messages on it in friggin' 12 pitch print then expect people not to look. Listen, if people take your message seriously, they'll be staring at your chest reading the damn thing. VOTE OBAMA the Candidate of Change and Hope don't worry the tax hike won't hurt McCain is really old, ever notice that? I have and it's weird, you know? Seriously, if we're supposed to read the message without offending you, please be concise, and stick to short, clear statements in an easily read text, such as Times New Roman or Courier. Serif fonts are more easily read quickly.
- If you're a curvy 45 year old woman shopper at Trader Joe's in the cofee aisle on Saturday, wearing a red sweatshirt with a detailed message regarding Obama's hope for change, or changed hope, or whatever it said in the small print on your chest, please don't be offended. I was trying to read your shirt. No, really I was. Thank you for not hitting me with that 10 pound sack of new potatoes you were brandishing at me.
Speaking of change you can believe in, I do believe my tax situation is going to change, for the worse. Believe it! Last week, rich, for scumsucking idle wealthy buggers deserving of a tax hike, went from $250k per year to $150k per year and I bitched about it in a post about how there's no free lunches; never have I gotten so rich, so quick, with so little to show for it. Well, as it turns out now, I'm not rich, I'm probably way beyond rich, and we're going to have to divvy that tab for the big free lunch a little more broadly than we had at first plan, way back in the foggy depths of the primordial electoral slime, eons ago last Wednesday.
Yep, rich is now $120k per year, and like the rest of the economy, the forecast for rich is slipping pretty hard. Dagnabbit. With the wife between jobs and me trying to slack off as much as possible, I was hoping to avoid the tax hike, but it looks like it's coming for me no matter what I do. And the other guy is talking about taxing welfare and burning orphans in the furnace, or something like that if I heard the ads correctly.
Yeah, you can talk about going John Galt and all, but what if Wesley Mouch is willing to settle for table scraps?
I hope we have the election soon, otherwise homeless people will be getting classified as rich, and will come in for a tax hike.
On the upside, I can tell my wife I'm going to retire young now, as I had hoped. We'd always said that if we got rich, we'd quit our jobs and open a bed and breakfast in Camden, New Jersey. Tpk exit 4 here we come!
Seriously though, I don't care who you vote for and I don't endorse anybody; I just pick fun. I do encourage you to read up on the issues, think about what is important to you and whether the candidates' statements measure up to your own critical inquiry, then exercise your right to vote. The election is Tuesday, BTW.