A glorious weekend, gloriousness mitigated only somewhat by having to spend 50 percent of it at workish activity, but oh well. I’ll just have to finish my taxes during the week sometime. But I got in the first bike ride of the season, which was preceded by a humiliating fall.

I pumped up the tires in both bikes and took them for around-the-block spins, just to see if there was anything that required immediate attention. Both were fine, but as I brought the road bike in for a landing, I realized too late that I’d clipped in, which meant my feet were attached to the pedals and I couldn’t twist them free in time to get one down. When this happens you basically fall over on your side, which is not as scary or disaster-tempting as going over the handlebars, but still hurts, especially when you fall onto your garage floor. I’m going to have at least one bruise tomorrow, maybe a few.

No one was there to witness my humiliation except Wendy. And she can’t talk.

Let’s hope that’s the worst the season has to offer me. I went down to the river on my usual one-hour circuit and checked out the creeping gentrification in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood. A co-working space opened over the winter, a sure sign that the hipsters are coming. But there’s still a great bar I discovered only recently, so fingers crossed all is not lost yet, even if they now have a coffee shop and bike lanes.

And on the drive to Lansing, I started the S-town podcast, about which I will surely have more to say, eventually.

But not before I say something about Bill O’Reilly, serial sexual harasser, whose sordid history with female underlings was covered rather comprehensively in the NYT over the weekend. I will say what I’ve been saying a lot lately: These are repulsive people, and seeing O’Reilly’s smug face on the same page with Roger Ailes’ jowls only serves to remind me what these guys’ world is: Powerful, rich, awful men and their cocktail-dress brigade of sweet young things, mostly mistresses and side pieces. Reading it made me mad at everybody — O’Reilly, Ailes, every lawyer involved, the women who walk willingly into these jobs for whatever reason. May they all fall into the abyss.

Things aren’t going so well for the young and used-up down in Trump country, but they have their fingers crossed they can get on disability. A sad story.

With that, our day begins…with rain. Fine. At least we got two days of sun, going into it.

Have a good one, all.

Posted at 8:56 pm in Current events |

65 responses to “Pratfall.”

  1. David C. said on April 2, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    I’ve gone down twice once with clips and straps, the other with clipless. They’re both embarrassing, but a rite of passage. The embarrassment is compounded by the seeming, at least to me, slow-motion nature of that kind of fall. In some falls, it’s over before you know it. In others you have plenty of time to think “oh shit, I’m going to fall”.

  2. coozledad said on April 2, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Billo is a lifestyle a couple of commenters out here live every fucking day. You need to be dreadfully careful how you schedule any meetups.

  3. Sherri said on April 2, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Disability has become a de facto universal basic income in some areas, but try to suggest UBI as a policy, and the same people depending on disability would be completely opposed.

    I’m most of the way through S-town, but I’m waiting until I finish to say anything about it.

  4. coozledad said on April 2, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Michael Flynn is our country’s most disappointing manwhore.

    Another cunting Republican traitor. Do we need any more evidence before we publicly burn the cocksuckers?

  5. beb said on April 2, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    Josh Marshall mentioned this… that what we’re learning from the Russian conspiracy is that Trump is hip deep in Russian mobsters and money laundering. He may not be a traitor but he is certainly really, really dirty.

    O’reilly, Alies and the rest must have been the people Frank Zappa was thinking about when he wrote “I’m the Slime oozing out of your TV set…”

  6. coozledad said on April 2, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    What it comes down to is the whole notion of treason. For my lifetime in the South, it’s come down to how far are you willing to accommodate blacks?

    Disregarding the above question, in all its racist absurdity, how much Russian dick will Republicans suck?

  7. Sherri said on April 3, 2017 at 12:32 am

    ICE and the immigration system are cruel by design. It’s unconscionable.

  8. coozledad said on April 3, 2017 at 12:46 am

    ICE is Trump’s SS. We voted him in. Whether we can vote him out depends on the available moral courage of whites. I’m not seeing it.

  9. adrianne said on April 3, 2017 at 5:52 am

    That NYT story on Bill O’Reilly was revealing. What a nest of sexual harassers at Fox News.

  10. Randy said on April 3, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Every time I fall off my bike, I fall to the right. It’s like toast landing butter-side-down.

  11. Mark P said on April 3, 2017 at 9:23 am

    It’s amazing how much good panic can do to unclip your bike shoes from the pedal. That’s all that saved me once at a traffic light.

  12. David C. said on April 3, 2017 at 9:42 am

    I feel much more secure unclipping after I went to multi-directional cleats and turned the tension on the pedals way down. Now, just a moderate pull in any direction does the job. I won’t be able to bunny hop, bit I never felt the need to before, so I can live with that.

  13. Dorothy said on April 3, 2017 at 9:53 am

    We’re driving to Norfolk for a family wedding over Easter weekend so I’m thinking we need to listen to S-town on the way. Thanks for the tip.

  14. coozledad said on April 3, 2017 at 10:14 am

    If England goes to war with Spain, it will be England vs. Europe, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Cumbria.

    They’ll be utterly hosed.

  15. Jolene said on April 3, 2017 at 10:44 am

    As sickening as O’Reilly’s treatment of his colleagues is, his self-pity is worse. His statement about needing a crisis manager to deal with assaults on his reputation that might damage his family is nauseating. I wonder if it ever occurs to him that, so far as we know, nobody is suing Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, Brit Hume, or even the repugnant Sean Hannity. He alone, the magnetic O’Reilly, is the target of these malicious attacks by conniving women.

  16. Jeff Borden said on April 3, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Maybe the saddest thing about the Bill O’Reilly story is Fox clearly sees these settlements as just the cost of doing business. Doling out $13 million or so to the women he harassed and abused is pocket change when the loudmouth is bringing in hundreds of millions in profits for the company. Since Fox viewers live in an alternate universe –a couple of studies a few years ago found Fox fans were the least informed of any media consumer– they can probably shrug off Billo’s smug sexism as “fake news.”

  17. brian stouder said on April 3, 2017 at 11:03 am

    I must say, with regard to decscriptions of ICE as SS, or Trump as Hitler (or Trump as Mussolini) – AGREED! From the mid-late ‘90’s on, an internet rule-of-the-road was – ‘no comparisons to Hitler/nazism’, because otherwise anytime anyone ever disagreed with anything, that would become the card to play; and this would dull the true (and unique?) horrors of nazism, etc etc.

    But the thing is, those horrors were real, and all-too-repeated by other human beings, before and since (think Pol Pot, or HuTus and Tutsis, or Stalin, or American slavery, or Andy Jackson and the Trail of Tears, for that matter) .

    When a political party or candidate – anywhere on earth, including the United States – comes to power by appealing to our fears and worst inclinations, we all are free (and right) to point right at our common human history, and say “LOOK!” (and “STOP!”_

  18. Sherri said on April 3, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff goes to Iraq and takes a member of the trump administration along for the first visit. The SoS? Defense Secretary? NSA? Nope, none of those are trump people. He sends Jared, who appears to be the de facto SoS (without that messy confirmation process) as well as the reinventing government guy, and who knows, tomorrow will probably take of EPA and the Treasury, too.

  19. Bitter Scribe said on April 3, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I have this persistent fantasy where I go on O’Reilly’s show and taunt him about Andrea Mackris until he explodes and tries to strangle me. Then I sue him for every dollar he has and live happily ever after.

  20. David C. said on April 3, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    I’m sure they have a three-second delay built in for just those occasions, Bitter Scribe. “I’m so sorry Fox News viewers, but the dirty hippy I was interviewing said a bad word”.

  21. coozledad said on April 3, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Trump Nazi trash going after the cops:

    This line of attack ought to excite the filth.

  22. Sherri said on April 3, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Relevant to the post Cooz linked to, Cohen-Watnick was one of the people current NSA McMaster wanted to get rid of, but he went running to daddy trump and trump overruled McMaster.

    The question remains, how far down the tar pit will the Republicans go with trump to get the tax cuts they so desperately desire? Do they even know why they want the tax cuts so badly, or is it just an article of faith at this point? You’d think the the obvious failures of Republican tax cut economic policy in Louisiana and Kansas might give normal people pause.

  23. Deborah said on April 3, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    I really resent paying taxes this year. I usually don’t give it much thought, it’s what you do as an American citizen. I realize that the taxes are for 2016 which was when Obama was the president (bless him). But now we can speculate that Trimp doesn’t pay his fair share and that rankles me, and all of his billionaire friends and cabinet members don’t either. Grrrrr.

    Boy this sciatica is beating me up. I’ve got the kind that doesn’t feel good when you’re trying to sleep, it fires up at around 3am and then I can’t go back to sleep. Some people have it where it doesn’t feel good when they’re walking around and doing stuff. I can walk just fine, the only thing that’s really hard to do is put on socks and shoes, especially if they’re shoes that you have to lace up. The combo of lifting your foot and stooping over is excruciating. I’ll be happy when this is over, hopefully soon.

    I finished Lab Girl (thanks Candlepick) and am now reading Oak by William Bryant Logan, there’s some overlap between the two books which is why I’m reading this one now. Who knew you could eat acorns?

  24. Scout said on April 3, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Deborah, I’m not sure if it will help or not, but it won’t hurt. See if you can get some topical MMJ lotion. I use Dixie 100 mg Muscle Relief Lotion and it’s helped my sciatica.

  25. Kim said on April 3, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    So shocking (except it’s not) – the WaPo is reporting Betsy DeVos’ brother, Blackwater founder Erik Prince, secretly met in January with a Putin confidante in the Seychelles to set up a back channel between Putin and The Clown. What. The. Fuck.

  26. Deborah said on April 3, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Scout, I’ll try anything about now. Is it over the counter?

  27. Deborah said on April 3, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Oh, I googled it, it’s THC based. You must need a prescription of some sort?

  28. Jolene said on April 3, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Erik Wemple, WaPo media reporter, has a few things to say about Bill O’Reilly. Suffice it to say, I don’t think they’ll be meeting at happy hour any time soon.

  29. Jolene said on April 3, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    jc, are you affected by the post-fire freeway crash? I don’t know much about Atlanta, but I have heard repeatedly that traffic is terrible under ordinary circumstances. Seems like it must be terrible with the freeway out of commission.

  30. Scout said on April 3, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Deborah – yes, it is limited to where Medical MJ (or recreational) is available. I’m not sure what the laws are in NM and IL. Medical is legal in AZ. Maybe stock up if you happen to visit CO? That’s what some friends of mine do.

  31. candlepick said on April 3, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Nothing’s more flattering than a book recommendation taken, Deborah and Sherri. Deborah, hope you’re mo’ better very soon. I live in California, where the Pomo thrived on acorns. When history museums taught me how much work goes when into making them edible, I envied the Miami and the Shawnee.

  32. Sherri said on April 3, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    The WSJ is paywalled, but you can google the headline. Pittsburgh’s mayor says Uber needs to give back more to Pittsburgh, time for a new social contract.

  33. Sherri said on April 3, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Ta-nahesi Coates wants people to read the article, not just the quote from the article.

  34. Deborah said on April 3, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Kim, I had to look up the Seychelles on a map online to see where they are. It’s amazing how much of geography I do not know or have forgotten.

  35. coozledad said on April 3, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Nazis should be shot. Period.

  36. Sherri said on April 3, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Rick Perlstein introduces us to the various new members of Sean Spicer’s press corps.

  37. alex said on April 3, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Seychelles, Seychelles by the sey chore.

    Deborah, I think you’re in luck as far as medical in both Illinois and New Mexico.

  38. Deborah said on April 3, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    I watched the MSNBC tonight, Matthews, Hayes and Maddow, a little bit of O’Donnell, and wow the plot does thicken. Every day there’s another Russian connection. It really feels like the lid is going to blow for Trimp sometime soon. Fingers crossed.

  39. Sherri said on April 3, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    Dahlia’s just pissed.

  40. coozledad said on April 4, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Not even trying to hide it anymore. Treason, straight up:

    It’s in their filthy Republican blood.

  41. brian stouder said on April 4, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Here’s something, oddly common-place, right up until it’s not:

    the lead:

    PERU, Ind. – Authorities say three people have died following a head-on crash involving two vehicles in northern Indiana.

    Indiana State Police say in a statement that a preliminary investigation found 86-year-old William Thorn of the Indiana community of Peru was driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of U.S. highway 24 on Monday night in Miami County when his vehicle collided with a car.

    Stories like that one are as common as dandelions.

    Pam and our almost-teenaged daughter (13 in June) were homeward bound, from Logansport last night, around 9 pm. US-24 is a divided highway (two lanes going each way – big grassy median in the middle) – and Pam noticed an oncoming semi blinking his (or her) headlights, rather insistently. She was in the passing lane on her side of the road, and was just clearing a slower car; but that oddly blinking semi got her attention… and then, over the next rise – HERE COMES A CAR – right at her.

    Somehow, between steering and braking and swerving, she missed everything.

    She immediately grabbed her cell and dialed 911 (there’s an Indiana state police outpost at Peru); apparently the crash that ultimately occurred was within minutes after her call.

    When Chloe and Pam got home, they were both shaken, and when she saw the news this morning, it was all the more distressing

  42. nancy said on April 4, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Good for the semi driver.

  43. Dorothy said on April 4, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Oh Brian that is just amazing that Pam and Chloe are all right. I’m so glad – but sad for the ones who did die. The local news had reports of a guy getting run over multiple times on Route 35, just a few miles from our house in Dayton on Sunday morning, 6:30 AM. Can’t imagine why he was on foot but I’m guessing alcohol might have been a factor.

  44. Julie Robinson said on April 4, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Lord have mercy. So glad your family is okay, Brian, but I’m so sad for the others.

    I’ll never forget following a drunk driver on a busy two-lane highway many years ago. He was weaving all over, trying to pass cars without clearance, forcing other vehicles off the road. I was a kid, so way before cell phones. Dad followed him closely, flashing the lights and blowing the horn, and finally got him to pull over. Then he GOT IN THE CAR WITH HIM and proceeded to drive to the police station in the next town. I’d never been so frightened, or so proud. Pretty sure he saved some lives that day.

  45. Dave said on April 4, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Twice, I’ve personally observed a driver going the wrong way on a four lane highway. The first time was sometime in the mid-seventies in Ontario, Canada, on 401, the highway that runs east out of Windsor toward Toronto and beyond. The second time, again in the mid-70’s, was on U. S. 20 east of Bellevue, OH, in the middle of the night, and traffic was light. No, didn’t report it, different times, and they were in the opposite lane both times.

    Brian, I’ve traveled that highway between Fort Wayne and Peru a good number of times over past years, I imagine that truck driver also called it in. He certainly did what he could for other drivers he encountered.

    My biggest fear is still someone coming across the median, it happens frequently and so fast that people really have a hard time avoiding the suddenly oncoming car. Oh, that and people not paying attention when traffic, especially on a freeway, starts a sudden slowdown or stop, resulting in deadly rear end collisions.

  46. brian stouder said on April 4, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Dave, way back when Pam and I were a new thing, that road was 2-lane mostly all the way to Logansport. When she first told me this story, my bet was it was an old, confused person.

    When Pam arrived home, she was quite shaken up. She had called me after the encounter, and (presumeably) still had the adrenaline; and Chloe was off her pins.

    When we saw the news this morning, it was all the more terrible, for having almost literally shouldered our way past a cataclysmic event

    Pammy is an excellent driver, and a smart cookie; we had our A-team in that situation.

  47. Jolene said on April 4, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    An awful story, Brian. So glad Pam and Chloe are OK.

  48. alex said on April 4, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Back in the ’80s, driving with multiple passengers, I reached the top of a hill on a two-lane road and came face to face with another car playing chicken. It didn’t even flinch. To this day I’m not sure if it was someone on an acid trip or hell bent on committing suicide, but that car continued on in the wrong lane for miles. I turned around to follow it but eventually gave up and pulled up to a phone booth and called 911. They wanted to know if I could identify the driver, and what the hell did I expect them to do about it.

  49. Scout said on April 4, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    So scary, Brian. I am thankful your loved ones are safe.

    It really pisses me off when I see a driver in the lane next to me looking down at their phone while driving with the flow of heavy traffic.

  50. Dave said on April 4, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Brian, when I first starting going to Peru on a regular basis, which was in the summer of 1972, that road was the two lane road all the way from Logansport to Huntington. It was, as you know, windy, curvy, a lot of potential blind spots, people taking chances passing, yes, I remember what it was like.

    When my wife was nearly hit head-on on Coldwater Road just a bit north of Dupont, she was so shaken up, and she still shudders when she thinks of it. Things that happen where you narrowly escape calamities of one sort or another tend to stick with you, at least, they’ve stuck with me. They recede but they’re always back there in your mind and something makes them surface occasionally.

  51. Deborah said on April 4, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Brian, ditto to what everyone has been saying. I can’t even imagine how terrifying that must have been for your wife and daughter. When I was with Little Bird the first time she tried to get a state ID for NM, at the DMV or whatever they call it (this was not the state run place but the outsourced place we later found out, that’s another whole story which I’m sure I’ve told here before) there was an elderly, I mean very elderly woman trying to get her license renewed. I felt really bad for her because she probably really needed to be able to have transportation but she was so, so old, shaky and frail it really scared me to think about people like that out on the roads, she seemed to be at least in her late 90s. She was with a really old guy who must have driven her there. I hope that I can continue to be able to drive as long as possible and I hope that I’m able to know when it’s time to stop for good. My mother in law is going to be 98 this month and she stopped driving when she was in her early 80s because she didn’t think her eyes were good enough. Luckily she has always had people available to take her where she she needs to go.

  52. Sherri said on April 4, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Brian, glad your family is safe. So much can happen in a blink of an eye at highway speeds.

    On a different note, a week or so ago, I posted an article from UW professor Kate Starbird on her research in disinformation on the web, particularly Twitter. That work is garnering more attention from the media. Here’s an article from the WaPo about her work:

  53. David C. said on April 4, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    This article from David Roberts of Vox meshes pretty well with your’s Sherri.

  54. Jeff Borden said on April 4, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Fallout from O’Reilly’s sexism is ramping up. . .

    Anything that would drain some of the power away from the Republican Pravda is all right by me. Fox News has as much to do with our current state of dismal political discourse as any other entity including Rush Limbaugh, who also has seen the desertion of scores of advertisers, by the way.

  55. Judybusy said on April 4, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Brian, so glad Pam had the good reflexes. I can imagine their fear, and am relieved they are safe.

  56. brian stouder said on April 4, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    judybusy – indeed!

    Honestly and truly, I cannot imagine the aftermath – of what could all have happened in 1 or 2 seconds.

  57. candlepick said on April 4, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Sherri, I’ve appreciated your links to Kate Starbird’s research, and I’m delighted to see it cropping up elsewhere.

  58. Sherri said on April 4, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    This Twitter conversation, with a NYTimes reporter and a couple of Security researchers, is hilarious and perfectly captures what Watergate would look like today.

  59. Sherri said on April 4, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Sir Tim Berners-Lee has won the Turing Award, computer science’s highest award, for his creation of the World Wide Web:

    I just found out last week that I’ll be attending the conference and banquet where the Turing award will be presented. I’m excited about it.

  60. jcburns said on April 4, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    If you see Sir Tim, congratulate him on becoming Turing complete. Ha ha, computer-programmer humor, I can’t get enough of it (nor I suspect can he.)

  61. Sherri said on April 4, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    I might get a chance to meet Sir Tim, but I do know a few other Turing Award winners, so maybe I’ll try that out on one of them.

  62. Rana said on April 4, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Brian, that is terrifying. I’m so glad she had the reflexes to evade that loon!

    I think one of the scariest moments I had on a highway was encountering a bunch of metal beams that had clearly slid off the back of a truck and landed across several lanes of traffic. I had to stop and back up in order to clear them, and I was so scared that another car would hit me during that maneuver.

    The other was when two minivans in the lanes adjacent to me attempted to merge into the same space directly in front of me, noticed each other just inches shy of collision, then darted back into their respective spaces. There was no time to react; if they’d collided, I’d have been right in the middle of it, almost instantly.

  63. Sherri said on April 5, 2017 at 2:49 am

    Gorsuch is a plagiarist, and the best his defenders can come up with is that the standards are different in the field of legal philosophy?

    Not that it matters. He’s an illegitimate nominee by an illegitimate president, and the Republicans will put him on the court and blame the Democrats for being rude.

  64. ROGirl said on April 5, 2017 at 5:51 am

    I’ve been in 2 car accidents caused by other drivers. Be careful out there. People with one hand on the wheel and the other holding their phones and talking are accidents waiting to happen.

  65. coozledad said on April 5, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Trump’s not simply a lying sack of shit, you just know he’s got a Dr. Feelgood shooting him up with a cocktail of cocaine and oxycodone tailored to his delusions of competence. Louis C.K. and Colbert deserve props for this, but the truth is, the Republicans finally got their end-stage Hitler and they’ll eat his blubbery jaundiced ass like a cheeto/feces pie.

    I just read Norman Ohler’s Blitzed yesterday, and the parallels with our current situation are alarming- a nation of white separatists sucking down unprecedented amounts of methamphetamine and opioids led by a walking corpse on the same junk, who is himself surrounded by a crab bucket of natural sycophants.

    They’ll stay with the fucker even as the world comes apart around them. It’s the science of being a mangy little suckup of a man, i.e. Republicanism.

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