Monthly Archives: June 2016

I have found

The greatest character in web comic history!

Seriously folks, meet Detective Block, first name Writer.

PSA, Opus

Brexit and Witch on a Bicycle

Yes Brexit does have an effect on us here at Casa de El Poeta. One of our spawn is living in Edinburgh, and has naturalized. Now she gets to vote in the next Scottish Independence election. Hopefully this time they won’t allow the rest of the UK to decide if Scotland wants to leave.

But seriously, the pound had the worst single-day decline in value since Germany post-WWI, and I’m just guessing that the mark was worse during hyperinflation… Nope, this was even worse than that according to Wikipedia. The mark never lost as much in a single day as the pound did yesterday.

The money that the right was “promising” would go to the NHS? If it ever existed, the loss of value in the pound wiped all that and more. I’m more inclined to think it was a “political” promise, worth exactly as much as unicorn farts and fairy dust, only less real. After all unicorns did exist at one time (European rhinoceroses with single long horns existed at the end of the ice age) and their intestinal gas is now long dispersed, the £350 million per week to the NHS was pure fantasy. I’m not sure if my daughter still works for the NHS or not, but this will seriously effect her even if she’s no longer working for them. After all NHS is pretty much the only game in town, or not in town if you live in the countryside.

I suppose the takeaway from this is to beware the power of stupid people in large numbers, because they can hurt you.

PSA Opus


My Father’s day was a week early, the rest of you have a great day.

My kids took me out for seafood at Pappadeaux last Saturday and I did pretty good in the presents department. I was going to brag last Sunday but Some Asshole decided to shoot up a gay club in Orlando and I really wasn’t in the mood any more.

That’s a 24-oz capacity insulated cup, that will keep warm coffee drinkable for at least 6 hours, and iced drinks iced for more than 8 hours (I can’t say exactly how much more, but there was ice left in the cup when my drink was done after 8 hours). The background is a limited edition ST:TOS T-shirt commemorating the Mirror, Mirror episode. The present I treasure the most is the 4-star Dragonball plushie. My son tells me the package said it was a keychain, but none of the pants pockets I have will hold it by itself, much less with keys on it.

This makes the third Father’s Day since my father died in 2012. I finally managed to process he’s not here and I’m starting to miss him. Dad and I were never close, but we would talk every so often. One of those times was when tragedies like Orlando would happen and we would try to make some sense of it together. Now I have to try to make sense out of the senseless on my own.

And there is racing on the idiot box (all night long) so I’m cutting this one short now. Y’all have a good time Sunday.

PSA, Opus

We’re 10-ish

Sometime this month back in 2006 I started this blog on another blog provider who has gone out of business. This year I stopped the daily updates and the bike wrecks, which after a while to decompress has done wonders for my mental health.

So, I have been doing this for a decade now and barely managed to hang on to a few shreds of sanity. I don’t even read bike wreck stories any more except by accident when I’m looking for infrastructure stories for personal reading. I have even stopped reading certain web sites known to have extensive coverage of bike wrecks. But I still enjoy writing blog posts without bike wrecks, I just wish I had more to write about.

I have been planning the Mini Sprint-T construction for a while now. I have raw stock that I can use to build the front axle up to a point, but not completely. I need the hubs, and rod ends for the tie rod and control links to mount the axle to the frame. When I build the axle, and the rest of the car, I will document it here in this blog with lots of pictures. Because that will give me something interesting (to me and I hope to you) to write about.

And because I have written all that I have to say for today, this post is ended.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Goddamn that Asshole

I had a cute little blog post getting ready to be written yesterday about my kids taking me out early for Father’s Day because most of them had to work next Sunday, complete with a picture of my presents. Then I started getting Twitter notifications that something had blow up in the Twitterverse and there were lots of people I follow making lots of posts. Then I started reading…

What I think I know at the moment about the shooter in Orlando (who I will refer to as Asshole) is Asshole was a lapsed Muslim, who saw two men kissing and went out to buy an AR-15 and a large-caliber handgun, both of which he was licensed to carry in his job as an armed security guard. From what I understand from people in the business having personal weapons is not that unusual, so it did not attract attention when he also bought several large capacity magazines for both weapons as well as a large amount of ammunition for both. Again this is not unusual for someone in Asshole’s line of work. At some point between buying the guns and shooting up Pulse Orlando Asshole also got some range time in on both weapons to sight them in. Again, standard practices, nothing to draw attention. Then Saturday night he went to the club and shot between 103 and 110 people, depending on the report you’re reading. Then the police showed up and shot Asshole.

His church leader (because this is not an Islamic issue, Asshole was an asshole) said he was not a very good Muslim and was extremely homophobic. The rest of the reports I see on the imam are contradictory about Asshole. Some said he was quiet and gentle, others not so much (but how one can be a “quiet and gentle” homophobic I dunno). I’m not going to blame this on his religion, I’m going to blame this on the media with the right wing drumbeat of “homos taking over and raping your kids in the bathroom” meme that has been going on for what, 3 years or more now? The transgender thing was something added recently, literally making a mountain out of not a molehill but a grain of sand.

Now I’m gonna do that post I was going to do yesterday before Asshole so rudely interrupted me.

PSA, Opus

About that K’zoo wreck

The wreck in Kalamazoo has been dominating my social media, so I will make a comment on it myself.

It sucks.

But wait there’s more. The driver should be tried on 5 counts of murder, and 5 more counts of attempted murder for the 4 surviving cyclists and the pedestrian who was grazed just before the cyclists were hit. I’m serious about this. This was just as much a mass murder as the Santa Barbara shooter last year, with the added caveat the “shooter” in this case was only stopped by the failure of his weapon, which he then abandoned in an attempt to escape.

Seriously, this asshole needs to be looking at multiple consecutive life sentences without parole, along with seizure of assets to pay back victims’ medical bills and confiscation of any proceeds he gets from prison industries beyond one bar of soap a month and a new toothbrush every Christmas. I’m serious on this one, the survivors (aside from the one pedestrian who was only grazed) are looking at medical bills that will run into the millions of dollars between them. I speak from experience on this one. My bills from 15 years ago were $250K for the initial stay, with another $45K to $50K for each of the subsequent operations required to fix the things that were either missed in the initial carnage or had to wait for some healing to take place before they could be done, like removing my hardware after it was no longer needed to hold my leg together. Add 15 years of medical inflation on to that…

Billed @€0.02, Opus

I don’t know if it’s just allergies or something worse

As it says in the headline, I’m having a medical problem I can’t define. Sometimes allergies will affect my speach and make certain consonants difficult to pronounce, but lately I’m having more and more troubles with just getting the words out above and beyond the brain damage induced aphasia. I mean with the aphasia I know the concept I’m trying to convey, but not the word or words that mean that concept. This case I know the word or words but I have difficulty pronouncing the words correctly, there are slurred syllables and missing consonants or entire syllables. It’s like I forgot how to talk. This scares me.

Seriously, words have been my life for almost 20 years now starting as a spoken word poet back in the late 1990s, and progressing to bicycle activism 2004-present. I could fight through the aphasia because I knew the right word was inside my head somewhere, all I had to do was find it. This is something different, something worse. This is my body not doing what I tell it to do, stuff that I have been doing all my life. This is literally on a par with forgetting how to ride a bike, or how to walk. I had to learn how to walk again after the wreck, but that was mostly due to the massive nerve damage rewiring where I felt things in response to walking, and my brain “fixing” that by learning where things were connected now (although I still get itches on the front of my ankle when I need to scratch the back of my foot). This is worse, this is literally having to think about how my mouth moves when I talk when I should be thinking about the words I’m trying to string together into a coherent sentence, paragraph, statement.

Fortunately I can still type normally even if I sound like I have a mouth full of marbles when I talk. Or maybe not and I catch it in editing, but still, the words that get published are done right.

Billed @€0.02, Opus