January 27, 2005: Meteorology to match my mood

While I prepped for today's ride in the cynical glow of the TV, I made the mistake of flipping through the various "news" channels.

The new bridge
EG Lion's Heads
The Hoo-E at night

I see Big Media is once again shilling again without conscience for the Administration in the run-up to the Iraqi elections and the upcoming Social Security police action just exactly as they did in the run-up to the war. Nobody pushed the WMD button harder than Big Media, all Bush and Rove had to do was introduce the idea, which was exactly their plan from the beginning.

On CNN, erstwhile favorite Lou Dobbs was "taking to the bank" some retired general's (Grange on Point) prediction that things are and will continue to get better in Iraq, something this same shill has said over and over again for the last 18 months. During the last year, Dobbsie has been dubious about Bush's war strategy, but suddenly, with the Iraqi elections only a couple of days away -- a critical tipping point in Bush's second term -- Dobbs is 100 percent pro-Bush once again. I love Bill Maher's line about the network news "experts" who provided commentary and insight during the run-up to war in Spring 2003: they got people to cover all sides of the debate, generals AND retired generals.

Later, CNN trundled out their self-anointed youth connection, Anderson "I really had to earn my stripes as a journalist slumming it on 'personal' assignments around the globe on a Vanderbilt trust fund" Cooper, who was happily chirping about telephone hot-line numbers that Iraqis could call on Election Day to report insurgents to the authorities.

Telegram for Mongo: you see, trust-fund boy, it's Iraq, they're fighting a freakin' WAR there. They're not just facing a non-violent opponent like the Republican party who just pulls dirty tricks to make minority voters stand in line for eight hours to vote (a topic that CNN and most networks gave short shrift to on our Election Day). It's not like these people are just going to call in to Iraq's Most Wanted and a SWAT team will roll out and get the bad guys, problem solved. Every person that uses that hot line is putting their life and their families' lives in jeopardy. But what the hell, let's present the illusion of order to the American people, they're barely paying attention anyway.

This on top of yesterday, when the lead story on all these stupid "news" channels should have been the downed chopper (which of course we're being told was due to weather conditions because heaven forbid the Administration acknowledge the insurgency [or the truth for that matter] in any way), but instead, I was bombarded with stories about the thousands of tons of discovered munitions. It's funny how this munitions thing popped up just days before the elections. Distract and misinform with the intent of winning the war of perception. Providing perfect confirmation of this theory, while correspondents and retired generals babbled on with rosy-scenario hyperbole concerning the importance of these munitions discoveries, I only learned about the downed chopper from the quickly scrolling headline snippets at the bottom of the screen.

So, to recap, if they are not willingly and knowingly schilling for the Administration (like, say, Fox News), then the "news" networks are certainly guilty of laziness and fealty to the point of obsequity. Nobody is asking why all of the sudden the military is announcing this weapons cache find now? Nobody thinks it worthwhile to mention how this happy coincidence might make people think that things are getting better over there?

I had to get out the door before I blew a gasket and put my foot through the TV screen and right into John King's smarmy, ass-kissing mug. Thanks for asking the tough questions Johnny Boy. You and your ilk should be the ones testifying before the Congressional committees.

My mind cluttered from the bullshit of modern American society -- yeah, I'm talking to you Red States, what the fuck are you thinking out there? -- I ended up dicking around for at least thirty minutes before finally launching myself out the door.

I set out south on the coastal bikepath towards Half Moon Bay because I wanted to check out a new section of bikepath I saw whilst I was getting some BK earlier in the day on the way home from work. The new additions include a sturdy steel and wood bridge and a nice section of bikepath that runs underneath the Cabrillo. This underpass is a little sketchy after dark. It's completely plastered with vibrant graffiti, which I was not really able to fully scope out due to the presence of some sketchy characters. I bet this place sees some kind of late-night action every night.

After my cruise of discovery down to HMB, I put my back to the wind and bombed back up the bikepath toward EG. On the way, I reminded myself to remind myself to be sure to do some road rides in the next couple of weeks. Riding the Hoo-E all winter has been a nice way to save wear and tear on Blue Sugar, but I need some work pushing bigger gears and I need to get some extra mileage in the legs. Night rides help a little bit with the conditioning because I have to carry the considerable extra weight of two batteries and two lights. Not enough to make up for the Hoo-E's standard gearing though -- I need 46T baby!

Back in the EG, I headed up EG Boulevard for some strenuous hill work. I was able to make the entire climb to the Lion's Heads sitting down, but my left hammy was quivering and throbbing and threatening to blow pretty much the whole way up. At the heads, I felt a little sprinkle. I was going to forgo the rain shell, but took an extra second to check the weather. Sure enough, the wind seemed to be blowing in from the northwest, meaning that I was on the leading edge of the storm, meaning that there was more rain to come. I donned the shell and started down. Sure enough, rain came, and came heavily. By the time I got to the bottom of EG, it was pouring, and it continued to dump on me the entire rest of the ride.

No worries though. I was completely protected by my cheap Nashbar rain shell, which is literally held together by duct tape, and by my trusty rear fender (thanks Romulus!). Bring on the rain Muthah Nature, I got ya' hypothermia right here.

In the pouring rain, less than a half mile from home, what does Cannonball do? Go home and get out the rain? No. I decided to build some character by tacking on another five miles. I headed out to Maverick's then reversed course and headed back south to La Mirada before looping home.

Back in the warmth and light of my lair, I wiped down the Hoo-E and lubed her up for the next ride. There's been a curious dearth of animals on my rides lately. Tonight, the only critters of note were some frogs that jumped across the road in front of me near the Maverick's parking lot.


Mileage: 21.45 Time: 1:50:28 Avg: 11.6 Max: 28.3 Weight: 172.5

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