Archive for March 2010

“Twelve Inches Of Paradise”

March 31, 2010

This article attempts to rank the best hot dogs in the country. I’ve never been to any of the places on the list. I don’t even know if there is a hot dog place in Shreveport. So when I have a good dog, it’s at the house.

Until about a week ago, my favorite was the Italian hot dog. It’s a regular dog with grilled onions, peppers and potatoes. Topped with mustard and ketchup, it’s delicious.

Like I said, that was my favorite until about a week ago. Then I saw something on T.V. about Mexican hot dogs. The one I made starts with a hot dog wrapped in bacon.

Why do I hear Homer Simpson's voice as these sizzle?

Don’t know that you need more, but when that’s done, put some mayo on the bun, insert the dog, top it with pinto beans and finish with diced jalapeno, onion and tomato. If Ignatius Reilly had sold these, he’d still be working for Paradise Hot Dog Vendors.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t eat to ride, I ride to eat.


Christofascists Shut Down Play

March 30, 2010

I am continually amazed at the power of the word gay. What other word has the power to cause ordinarily semi-rational people to do insane things like this:

The performance of a play that portrays Jesus as gay has been canceled at Tarleton State University amid what school officials say are “safety and security concerns.”

I get you don’t like someone insulting your beliefs. No one likes that. I also understand this occurred in Texas. Even so, in this country, we don’t use violence to enforce religious dogma. Barbarians do that. (Again, I understand this is Texas, but still). If you do use violence, or threats of violence, it doesn’t matter what religion you practice, you’re an ignorant piece of shit.

If You Live Here, You Know What Club They Mean

March 29, 2010

Shreveport police probe stabbings at downtown nightclub.”

Just like any time you hear the words “arrest,” “fourwheeler,” and “meth,” you know it occurred in Haughton, any time you hear about fights or guns or rapes at a nightclub, you know it occurred at Kokopellis.

How To Go From A Great Day To A Horrible Day In A Few Easy Steps

March 28, 2010

You begin with the great day. For me, that meant a perfect ride yesterday morning: Seventy miles in great weather over a favorite route with a fun and hard-working group. Next, a nice lunch. A book and a nap filled the afternoon hours. Post-nap, some March Madness before going to have dinner with some friends, where we spent the evening eating, drinking and relaxing outside while all the kids entertained themselves. Finally, we should have come back to the house to watch a late movie before crashing and enjoying an excellent night’s sleep. I say “should have” because when we arrived back at our house, we found this in the driveway:

The broken windshield was bad enough, but the cause made it worse. The sycamore tree I’d been getting estimates for cutting down? The one I was going to call a guy about on Monday? The one that probably would have been cut down by mid-week? Yeah, as if it knew and wanted to punish me before I killed it, it dropped a dead limb right on the rear glass of my car.

And you know what makes this even worse? My car is almost ten years old and thus not worth even two grand. Given those numbers, last fall I thought it made little sense to continue paying for full coverage, and decided to greatly reduce my insurance bill by just carrying liability. Yep, so now I’m out the fifteen hundred to cut down the tree and who in hell knows how much to replace the rear glass in my car. Fucking tree.

So that’s step one of going from a great day to a horrible day.

Here’s step two. Naturally, given the window, the karmic-like cause, and the expense of fixing it, I cussed a bit when seeing the damage. Who wouldn’t? Problem: The kids were in the car and the wife reprimanded me for swearing in front of the children. At this point, I should have guiltily apologized. I should have admitted I was wrong. I should have at least shut up. Instead, I said something along the lines of “Damnit, woman, I’m a grown man and I’ll cuss whenever the fuck I want to!”

You can guess how the rest of the night went. Thankfully, it didn’t involve the cops.

Now for the grand finale. This one actually occurred the next morning. After waking up from my solo sleeping quarters (in the house, at least), I fixed my breakfast, checked the news and started to get ready for today’s ride. With about ten minutes to spare before I had to leave to meet the group, I started looking for my shorts. Failing to find them in their drawer, or on the bathroom floor, or in the dirty laundry, I checked the dryer. Not there either. That left one place. Sure enough, I found all of my bike shorts soaking wet in the washing machine.

Now, I had to ride. After the previous night I needed the therapy. Besides, I had committed to being at the ride and would have endured endless ridicule had I chumped out because my shorts were wet. So I put them on and went. Let me tell you, sub fifty degree temps in wet spandex is not fun. My teeth chattered for the first ten miles. By itself, riding in wet shorts wasn’t the worst thing. But as a cherry to top the previous few hours? Perfect.

Anyway, I ought to finish by saying the rest of the day improved. My shorts dried and the ride went well. Fighting became apologies and forgiveness. The car has no rear glass, but I at least cleaned most of it up. I guess I’m at equilibrium. Compared to my day before seeing my car, that’s bad. But compared to my day after seeing it? Equilibrium is o.k.

Wayne Waddell: Naive Do Gooder Or Complete Jackass?

March 27, 2010

Waddell, a Republican who represents parts of southeast Shreveport in the Louisiana legislature, has filed a bill requiring bikes to have a flashing red light on the rear at all times.

The ostensible reason for the bill is rider safety. If that’s his intention, it’s a good one. Making it a law, though, is ridiculous. Fundamentally, I oppose this bill for the same reasons I oppose helmet laws and seatbelt laws: It’s none of the law’s damn business whether I injure myself through my own actions or inactions. Unfortunately, I realize my beliefs about personal freedom and limited government ain’t real popular (unless the subject is anything Obama wants to do). Still, the law remains a bad idea. Anyone with any sense already uses a light at night. No one I know uses one during the day. Why the difference? No matter the make or model of the light, you can’t see them during the day. This is pointless legislation.

Unless, of course, the point is more nefarious. Waddell represents an area with plenty of cyclists. Not coincidentally, it’s also home to plenty of people who hate cyclists. Perhaps the intent of the bill is to make cycling more of a hassle and thus less popular? I’m not just talking about the expense of the lights. What do think a cop is more likely to write a ticket for, a driver who breaks the three-foot law, or a cyclist without a light? There’s another possibility, too. In a civil suit following a bike-car crash, it would make a great defense for the driver to say the biker had broken the law by not having a rear light.

No doubt, I cannot read Waddell’s mind. If he’s really interested in rider safety, however, then he ought to re-think this bill when confronted with its uselessness. He should do something more productive like requiring that driver license tests include information on sharing the road, or fund more education about the three-foot law, or create stiffer penalties for drivers who hit cyclists. At the least, he ought to limit this bill to night time hours. If he does none of this and leaves the bill as is, though, it’s perfectly reasonable to speculate about his real motives.

A Delayed F-You To Tony Kornheiser

March 25, 2010

If you don’t know, Kornheiser – a deuchbag announcer for ESPNĀ  – recently urged his fans to “run down” cyclists who dared use HIS roads. I didn’t blog anything about it at the time, figuring Lance said it all:

Listening to Tony Kornheiser’s comments/rant on ESPN radio re: cyclists. Disgusting, ignorant, foolish. What a complete f-ing idiot.

Yes, he is. So what more is there to say? (Other than pointing out that his ESPN bosses suspended him for mocking a woman’s clothes but did nothing when he urges listeners to physically injure other people. Nice priorities, ESPN!)

Then yesterday on the local MTB forums, someone posted news of a local biker injured by a car. One minute the guy – a med student here in town – is enjoying a ride on a beautiful day. The next thing he knows he wakes up in a hospital with “a broken neck, concussion, fractured rib, road rash galore, and a tube in his chest so that his lung can reinflate.” Meanwhile all his friends and family go from having normal days to the horror of not knowing if a loved one will live or die.

That’s what happens when people in cars follow Tony Kornheiser’s advice. So don’t be a complete fucking idiot like Tony Kornheiser. Pay attention and don’t risk someone else’s life just to save five minutes of your time.

Pot Smoking Hippies In The NFL!

March 25, 2010

Here’s an interesting article claiming – based on interviews with NFL personnel decision makers – that as much as a third of this year’s draft class has some kind of pot smoking history.

That’s interesting by itself, the most remarkable part, though, is that the vast majority of the article discusses whether or not the teams will draft those players. No attention is given to why a team might not draft an otherwise top prospect who admits to having smoked pot. It isn’t an easily answered question. I mean, if the dude is a likely top pick, clearly the pot smoking has not impacted his game. And if it hasn’t, I don’t know why anyone should care.

The only reason anyone mentions for not drafting these guys is that it violates the rules. After mentioning Percy Harvin and Desean Jackson, two all-pro quality receivers who fell in recent drafts because of marijuana rumors, one executive said:

“If you passed on Jackson and you passed on Harvin the past two years, maybe you can’t afford to just completely write off that kind of prospect every time, or you won’t have a job at some point because you won’t win any games,” one team front office executive said. “But you don’t want to take guys and see them be in the [league’s drug] program the whole time, because they may never get out of it. You want to determine if it’s in their environment and if they’re bringing that environment with them [to the NFL]?”

One of the first things you learn as a teacher (and as a parent) is that rules for the sake of rules don’t get much respect. The article says marijuana use among top prospects has been on the rise. My guess is that players realize – contra drug warrior propaganda – pot is not inherently harmful. As all these prospects have proven, there’s no reason you can’t smoke pot AND be a top notch football player (or anything else). Sure, using it can hurt your draft prospects, but only because it’s a violation of the rules. That’s the real problem.

Why I Didn’t Buy My Dream TV

March 24, 2010

Like I said here, I came thisclose to buying a Samsung LCD LED television. Never did. Primarily because the marginal benefit was not worth the cost. Though awesome, the new one just isn’t fourteen hundred bucks better than our current cathode ray tube clunker.

The other reason is Murphy’s law for homeowners: If you run into unexpected cash, something of an equal value will break. I knew the minute I spent the money on the television, the fridge would crap out, or the air conditioner would die, or the transmission would fall out of my car. Sure enough, today the breakage occurred.

Well, nothing broke, but if we don’t fix the problem something will. We have a large sycamore tree near the northwest corner of the house. It has a few dead limbs. Yesterday I found a guy who would climb the tree and cut the limbs. Problem: When he did, he discovered rot, rot and more rot. Some kind of fungus is eating the tree up top while beatles devour it from below. So, a hundred and fifty dollar trim became a fifteen hundred dollar removal of the whole tree. (Don’t worry, we had several independent confirmations of the problem and quotes on removal). It’s either that or leave it and let it fall into the house. At least our insurance would cover that.

I’m not going to miss the tree. Sycamores are lousy trees anyway; all those things do is drop s**t in the yard without providing any pretty flowers or foliage. I’m also glad I made the decision to be responsible. Still, if anyone ever wonders why I am such a pessimistic, cynical, curmudgeon, this kind of stuff is it.

Was He Choking The Chicken Or Just Flipping The Bird?

March 23, 2010

Because the answer determines whether this is a story about a perv who deserves jail time, or else a story about an oversensitive cop who deserves to be fired for ridiculously overreacting and abusing her power:

A 27-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly making an obscene gesture to a female detective with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Not to be too critical, but in an attempt to avoid offending anyone – by using words like “obscene” and “lewd” rather than the actual facts – the Times made that story meaningless.

Now This Is A Sign Of Tyranny

March 23, 2010

America, if the government can prohibit you from keeping two twelve foot pythons in your home, then no one is truly free.