Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Wherein I Save Four Trail Betties From Unspeakable Peril, Pt I

I had only pondered the verticality of the Bulldog Road for a mere 19 minutes when I was stopped by an earnest young man heading down the mountain. His first query was in a dialect and demotic strange to me, but familiar. Upon a second request his plaint was made known to me, and was as follows:

"Where is Corral Canyon?"

Oh my young woodchuck, it is the better part of a league in the exact opposite direction you are heading.

He was revealed to be a sincere young man, an Indian native from New Delhi, and had ambitions to be a Sierra Club Group Leader. This was the preview to the provisional hike prior to ordination in the order. Inexplicably I thought of several recent openings in various chapters after outings on Mt Baldy. I held my counsel.

After guiding him safely back to Corral Canyon, I continued my gyre. It was a good day, a 21 mile trot "in the bag" so to speak, and my car awaited me 4.2 miles hence. The wind was at my back, and I was travelling at an average rate of .35Balto, in short, a stumpy-legged shuffle due in large part to my attenuated training regime. But, I was a legend in my own mind, which was a slow freight taking no passengers.

Less than a mile from the finish, I was making a descent before the last climb, and hit the Trail Betty Super Lotto. Not merely one, but four lithe and dewy young ladies out for a Sunday hike, daintily picking their way down the trail. Their sox were still sparkling white, their shorts were creased perfectly--a veritable schwing quartet of freshness. My cheery salutation effectively masked the sound of my eyeballs experiencing the latter stages of Avery-Jones Ocular Dislocation Syndrome [1951, 1952, 1954 et alia]. The final climb up to the patiently waiting car was defined by character-building high-knees and butt-kickers.

"But Mr Trail Safety...what did you do??? How did you save them???"

I gaze into the upturned expectant faces of my attentive audience. It breaks my heart to see such innocence, which Some Had Thought To Be Forever Lost. I have not forgotten you, nor will forsake the Horndog Story Line. So here goes...

...Once upon a time, when a tired and sweaty Mr Trail Safety finished a nice long run on 21 miles out in the Santa Monica Mountains, he had just finished showering at the car. He had just girded his loins with a bright and cheery towel, had put on a clean white shirt, the kind with buttons down the front, and no sponsor logos on the back. My people call it 'a dress shirt.
Mr Trail Safety had just started pulling on his trou, when four lithe and dewy young ladies stepped out of the bushes into the dusty parking lot. They were puzzled, and conferred amongst themselves. They were sorely troubled. They looked expectantly at Mr Trail Safety, who didnt tell them that his trousers only had 2 legs, and that there was an additional passenger.

Noting their perplexity, Mr TS asked them if they were lost.

"We are, we are!" was the soprano quartet in chorus. Oh, Lisa Loeb and Sheryl Crow could only wish to hear back up like this.

"And where did you start from?"

"We started from...a parking lot!" spoke the tall brunette, channelling her Inner Blonde.

"Uhm...that's nice, but can you tell me *where* this parking lot was located? It might help me answer the question.."

A chorus of sincere apologies, and it became clear that Corral Canyon had been their starting point also. Mr TS clarified matters by informing them that it was exactly 4.2 miles east of where they stood, and gave them precise directions on how to get back to their cars and so forth.

But you wonder--where was the peril?
Mr TS had not the heart to tell them that there was a libidinous and depraved White Rhino loose in the Santa Monicas, that was, in truth, a cross-species sexual predator. Reports have surfaced of hikers and pedestrians disappearing suddenly and without a trace. The last known disappearance was known only as "Dietrich".


Furthermore the White Rhino has a specific m/o, which includes shared Kool 100s, and enigmatic references to Pearl Necklaces. So yes, Mr TS saved these young ladies from certain peril, and we were later to hook up over organic Jello-shots [made with free-range artisanal vodka] down at Gladstones off Sunset. When they asked Mr TS what his name was, he replied in the affirmative.

Now that's cold chillin, and shizzle to the max.

--Bone Regards, Mr Trail Safety
"Tanned, rested and ready from his Secure, Undisclosed Location"


Listen up!

This message is being sent by or on behalf of Mr Trail Safety. It is intended exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed, excluding non-specific incarnations and bardo-state entities. It contains concepts that may challenge you. You will adjust. This communication may contain information that is proprietary, privileged or confidential or otherwise legally exempt from disclosure, certain to cause cerebral flatulence and conceptual infarctions among the simple-minded and comedy-challenged. If you are not the named addressee, you are not authorized to read, print, retain, copy or disseminate this message or any part of it, including channelling the aforementioned to spirit-bodies, Taiwanese Dream-Catchers, Heritage Barbie Dolls or Dale Earnhardt Collector plates. But go ahead, live dangerously, drive left-of-center and give it your best shot. If you have received this message in error, you are SOL and deserve it--you'll have subsequent incarnations to work out the kinks.

Here, have some salt.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Arianna Huffington Examined

Recently Arianna Huffington was taken to task for having a colossal ego and character issues. Really! Compared to the bile and crap spewing out of whatever head Michelle Malkin or Sean Hannity are wearing these days, its nothing.

Then there was a blow-up regarding Clooney's post on HuffPo etc. Insert farting noises here. Yours, mine, it doesn't matter.

I've watched the Arianna from the safety of my kitchen table for several years now. So someone had to say something. And I did.

Hollywood is not my beat," Huffington said.


Hi Bob:

Dude! Do I hear the Outraged Voice of the Lover Spurned here? You mean to say that Arianna alone is the sole object of your fury because she's All About Me? And like who the fuck in DC and the 90210 isn't?

Did it occur to you that the ones you really have to watch out for are the Ones Who Claim To Serve Humanity Alone? they are the ones who seem to have a plan involving complicated one-way train schedules converging on a smoky furnace somewhere.

With that out of the way, let's look at some salient points in Arianna's career. Consider this a broad overview:

1] She came from bankrupted Greek somethings to Washington DC to troll for the best-looking available talent in the GOP Stud Book. On that day its Mike Huffington.

2] Mikey Huffington turns out to be gay, and that's after dumping $29m into one of the stupidest Senate campaigns in California history, which he lost by a slender margin. Not a landslide, but slender. He and Arianna divorce, afterwhich he announces he's a Democrat AND gay, to the befuddlement of both mentionees.

3] Arianna meanwhile has a Road to Damascus epiphany, wherein she realizes that Newt Gingrich is really a large, chubby, opportunistic termite at the head of a large column of similar parasites. Maybe that causes part of her fore-brain to wake up and say "what the fuck?!"

4] Bill Clinton gets a blow job, and we get to hear all about it. If it was me, I'd sooner walk into a woodchipper than fuck with Hillary if I was married to her, but to each their own.

5] Bush wins the 2000 election by five votes. Look for character in that one.

6] 2003: Meanwhile, back in Cali, Gray Davis has the GOoPers in fits because of his grasp of CA politics. He's grudgingly re-elected only because Bill Simon is so goddamned inept, following in the large footprints of Dan Lundgren. A recall campaign is launched by Daryll Issa, and hatched in the SUV'd echo-chambers of rightwing talk radio down in San Diego. Pissed off white guys are howling about Davis. Never mind that he was double-buttfucked by Enron and a car-registration time-bomb bequeathed to him by Pete Wilson.

7] Enter the Arnold--Goodbye Darryl, and sorry about that $2m you spent outta your own pocket.

8] The recall election is on. Where were the Democrats? Hiding in plain sight with their thumbs up their asses. Who was visible and had something to say? Arianna.

So, blow all you want. She's got more balls than 99% of the current Senate, and she should be bitch-slapping Nancy Pelosi into doing her job in the House. And if she's vain, self-centered, and all that, so-fucking-what!

In the face of a whole ungodly host of ethics & character-challenged ugly schemers like O'Reilly, Hannity, Coulter, Savage, and their lesser troglodytes, try to remember who is doing what. Maybe just a little.

Vintage Wheel Estate

"I can tell all of you we are really excited by this, and we'll all have to take our turn with this amazing item."
Bucky Kibble III, Llano CA

The Famed Eberhardt-Kranken Fabrikant Travel Trailer

The EKF is an honored name in luxury recreational vehicles. Originally designed in 1921 and built in Austria, the original EKF Model I was a 4-meter, 2-wheel-duraluminum trailer towed behind a 3-cylinder Opel Kadett. When the trailer was set up, it deployed oleo-strutted shock absorbers, which earned the undying affections of the thousands of honeymooning couples that took to the autobahn. The initials EKF quickly became known as "Eine Kleinischen Fuckshäcke", a moniker the company never fully disowned nor discouraged.

The Depression put a major crimp in sales, and the growing war-footing of the Nazi economy siphoned off all production to the recreational arm of the Wehrmacht. By 1944 Allied bombing nearly finished off the company. Immediately after war's end in 1945 saw a heroic relocation of the factory out of the Soviet Zone was finished by February 1946. Models built under British military supervision showed a noticable lack to finish detail, and leaked.

Due to poor quality control, lackluster advertising, and poor marketing, the EKF company went into receivership in late 1953. The EKF marque was bought out in 1954 by a Swiss consortium who sensed a pent-up longing for affordable creature comforts in the postwar recovery. A series of clever ad campaigns using Grundig radios as a marketing tie-in took the EKF company towards new heights. However, this was nothing compared to what was to come.

The picaresque 1958 road movie, Caliente Sur la Planche set in Franco's Costa del Sol, Spain provided the stratospheric marketing boost. "Caliente Sur la Planche" featured matinee-idols Reginald Debacle and Mimi Farrago as a star-crossed couple making their way down the sun-splashed Ibiza coast. But it was their EKF Model 8.5 that stole the show, with the whimsical deployment of the hydraulic struts that audiences knew as mere prelude to romance, romance, and more dance numbers. All that and the antics of Pepe, the Dancing Bichon Frise, packed movie houses across Europe for the better part of 1959.

In its day, various models of the EKF have been owned by Farouk of Egypt, the Shah of Iran, various Borneo potentates, Iranian mullahs and several by Leonid Brezhnev. Brezhnev's "Das Kapital" EKF was carefully modified to be towed behind a T-54 tank, had communications plug-ins and was nuclear-hardened.

Vintage EKFs now command top dollar at auctions, and are always in demand at concours d'elegance the world over. They have come back into favor with the high-flying members of the international glitterati, in addition to the "ziteratti" as typified by O-Town, A*Teens, Britney and so forth.

Today's EKF is a far cry from the its humble origins. Some models stretch over 30 meters from stem to stern, and come with an observation deck. The more lavish have skeet traps and driving ranges set on gimbals. Check local ordinances prior to use. With proper care and maintainence, your EKF will give you pleasure for years to come.

Eberhardt-Kranken Fabrikant Travel Trailer: 1979 EKF Model XXVII
  • Dual Axle 10-wheeler
  • Powered by twin Wright Patterson Anderson/Lee Radial engines
  • Gold shag carpet thru-out
  • Avocado appliances
  • 8-track stereo
  • rotary-dial intercom
  • Multiple doors and windows
  • Mansard roof with squirrel-proof drainspouts
  • Top speed 80 knots
  • Range: 350 miles
  • Pressurized to 1.1 atmospheres
  • LORAN enabled

***And much, much more


This article recently appeared in the "Vintage Travel-Trailer News" out of Sarasota, Florida.

I am and remain,
yr Humboldt Obliviant idiom Savant

Erasmus Binkster Rfp, SoQ, AMf
Chancellor Emeritii
Hellmouth Amalgamated PolySci
Hellmouth CA

Monday, March 20, 2006

Sierra Madre: The Insolvent Village That Could

Sierra Madre: The Insolvent Village That Could
Diamonds and Dust Redefine The Future

By Beville P. Flexworth

SIERRA MADRE, CA [AP] The unincorporated village of Sierra Madre, CA declared itself insolvent February 1, 2007. This was a chastening development for this seemingly prosperous enclave nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, immediately below the majestic bulk of Mt Wilson.

The insolvency was first announced at the City Council meeting January 15, 2007. Rumors had been swirling like Santa Anas through the famed wisteria vines for many weeks prior, and fiercely competing lawn signs had been cropping up like Algerian ivy in the bucolic tree-shaded neighborhoods. Residents were bitterly divided as to how this unfortunate turn came to pass.

Municipal debts totaled $18m against available assets of $4m. Immediate cuts were made in fire services, the police department was virtually shuttered as all law enforcement duties were assumed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. All of this would have gone unnoticed in larger picture of life in the San Gabriel Valley were it not for surprising subsequent developments.

The first move towards fiscal equilibrium was taken by the City Council in a closed-door meeting on February 17, 2007. By a contentious vote of 4-3 the Council agreed to sell all building rights to the Sierra Madre Spreading Facility, adjacent to Dapper Field for $20m. The rights were sold to the Verga Larga Band of Gabrieleno Indians, a previously obscure and hitherto Federally unrecognized band. The mood in the Council was of guarded optimism, given that the Spreading Facility was generally regarded as being unable to support any structure larger than a pup-tent without sagging. In a word, they thought they’d sold the Brooklyn Bridge to a rube.

When the sale details became public there was a considerable outcry from an unusual coalition of radical vegans and heavily-armed nativist militia groups who protested the sale with displays of large animated zucchini puppets and tractor-pulled floats featuring home-built Pershing II missiles, with Lee Greenwood accompanied by 9’ PVC didgeridoos.

Excavations began at the spreading facility on April 1, 2007 as the Verga Largas brought in contractors to begin work on the gargantuan We-Attax-Um Kasino Resort which included a 3000 room hotel and Konvention Center. Work was progressing at a brisk pace as the Verga Largas kept to a 24/7 work schedule. Neither public or the village was prepared for the shock when at 200’ below grade, backhoe operator Manuel Pupusa brought up eighteen perfect diamonds in his steel bucket, ranging in size from a melon down to a golfball. His backhoe had struck the upper cap of the largest undiscovered diamond reef in North America. All work stopped as geologists came in and confirmed that the pipe extended more than 3 miles northwesterly and 4000’ down into the depths of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Work resumed on the diamond mine, and now on the casino. The Sierra Madre City Council realized that they had been gamed, and scrambled to curry favor with Chief Ho-Hum and the Verga Largas. Delegations made the humbling journey from Kersting Court to the Yee-Haw Travel-Trailer Court on the banks of the Santa Ana River where Chief Ho-Hum held court.

Village life that had been completely disrupted by the non-stop rumble of triple-bobtail trucks hauling supplies up to the construction site, and dirt fill away continued anew. The excavations had also disrupted groundwater supplies to the famed mega-Wisteria Vine that was the centerpiece of Sierra Madre’s identity. The Vine expired on June 22, 2007. This loss was mourned by a solemn service at the garden, accompanied by an interpretive dance by the St Rita’s Catholic Parish Nude Tai-Chi Dancers.

The disruption and upset was not confined to Sierra Madre. The neighboring cities of Arcadia, Monrovia, Pasadena, and South Pasadena joined in the Grand Coalition against Sierra Madre. Altadena initially chose to remain neutral, but was brought to heel by stern-faced, portly polyester-coated enforcers dispatched from The Hat in Pasadena.

The Grand Coalition had been protesting the long and winding parades of trucks, dust, air-pollution, and general disturbances caused by swarms of unruly Caucasians seeking work in the telemarketing boilerrooms. Getting no satisfaction, the Coalition struck back by sending work crews to erect cinderblock walls topped with concertina wire blocking all the offramps from the 210 Freeway into Sierra Madre. Governator-For-Life Schwartzenegger was notified while he was in Mexico negotiating the California ‘Mi Casa No Es Su Casa’ Free Trade Agreement. Vice President Bush was notified only on June 15 after his nap at the Bernard Kerik Mountainbike Resort in New Jersey.

Sierra Madre doggedly stayed the course to fiscal certitude. The now-renamed Mariah Carey Diamond Pipe Mine was put into full production bringing forth 400,000 carats a year. The output was enough to draw protests from DeBeers, the Russians and the Congolese diamond interests as it blew a hole in their profits.

The We-Attax-Umm Kasino was opened to blazing media coverage, complete with the red-carpet and Joan Rivers providing needling commentary. Astonished visitors to the Kasino were treated to an staggering animated sculpture court of 13 animatronic Indians, each over 14’ high, that were seated in a circle, mechanically spooning “cereal” from colorful bowls, each over 4’ in diameter. The ‘cereal’ was really nickels piped in from the slots. Everytime there was a winner in the slots, one or more of the “Indians” would stand up (depending on the jackpot), his feather would light up, and pasty-faced minimum-wage white kids would charge out of a hidden door waving rubber tomahawks and do a congratulatory war-dance.

All of the previous big-money players in Sierra Madre’s political life were upended in the mad scramble for the diamond and casino money. Even after-dark visits by the village solons with their nubile daughters in tow to the Verga Largas did little to alter the placement and disposition of overburden from the diamond mine. Some of the previously omnipotent village policemen found employment as parking lot vacuum operators.

Eventually the Grand Coalition acknowledged defeat, and sued for peace at the Historic Peace Council in the Grand Richard Simmons Ballroom at the Kasino. They were to send their Rose Bowl Queen candidates to Sierra Madre, and pay tribute for fifty years.

Meanwhile the Vergas Largas El Supremo, Chief Ho-Hum, speaking through his SpokesBetty at his singlewide trailer on the banks of the Santa Ana River, made a series of colorful and not-safe-for-family-newspaper announcements regarding the future of the diamond reef, the We-Attax-Umm Kasino and remote controls everywhere.

“I’ll fish for minnows in the river, eat Costco cereal, buy Walmart 24pak tighty-whiteys, peer up at the stars on a hot summer night, and generally tell all of you palefaces to go fuck yourselves!”

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Gyrl, Youe Knowe Yts Trewe

Greetings, Gentle Reader:

I have before me a poem that was recently discovered hidden in a wall, behind a broom closet, on the 4th floor attic of the Bilious Refectory of St Pythos The Charred, 2 Close Way, Bangers-On-Mash, Wankershire, England.

All internal evidence points as with one eye that it was intended as work d'art, a carta de introduccione if you will, for the author to gain favor with an unspecified, but literate woman. Other works of this era refer to such-said women as "stackedde". The author is evidently familiar with more-than-basic Principia de Pharmacopia, and was competent with the use of the astrolabe and perhaps the Astroglydde.

Gyrl, Youe Knowe Yts Trewe

In thyss letterre, unadorned bye circumflexxe,
Moated by serfe, andde imperis rex,
By guttering light I penne thyss screed,
Cribbyng fromm the werkes of Venerable Bede.

Your profyle immaculata [verso/recto]—to boote,
At the shore, I'm seated, imitating Kanutte,
Attempting to conjure with Saynte Johnn Rootte,
Cracke'd jokes to make yewe hoote.

My Travelles notte so grande as Prester John,
Nor lyke the Moore—Ibn-Batuta,
But byy many leagues to the farre horizonne,
And never once to the Isle of Hooters.

Oh! shytte howdie, my daye is donne,
Beowulf, Grendel—no home runne.
Bases loadded, Valkyries ande Ring.
The heavennes partte: Fatt Ladye Singges!

Not mountebank or jackdaw lesse,
In versifying I do confesse,
That these words are trewe--noe more, noe lesse,
My prose profile limns, the True Mr TS.
In a word, the references and cadences it is couched in are, well, prescient. Some say that this document may join the hallowed inner circle with the likes of the Nostradamus, and the Shroud of Turin [as modelled by the Piltdown Man].

I am and remain,
yr Humboldt Obliviant idiom Savant

Erasmus Binkster Rfp, SoQ, AMf
Chancellor Emeritii
Hellmouth Amalgamated PolySci
Hellmouth CA
Tue, 07 Mar 2006 09:26:29 -0800

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Marathon Advice to a Newbie

Photo taken back when I was fab, just before my very first marathon—I knew nothing.


  • Avoid the pre-race carbo load. It'll put a wad of gummy sludge in yr gut that will buy you nothing. And you'll be thinking of how to take a dump before race start. A better plan is to have no solid food [finished & done] after 5pm the day before the race. Relax wherever you are staying--home or maybe in that hotel you mentioned. Stay off your feet. Plenty of time for that later.


  • Thurs: 64 oz of mango nectar mixed w/ Carboplex-interspersed w/64 oz water
  • Fri: 64 oz of cranberry juice mixed w/ Carboplex-interspersed w/64 oz water
  • Sat: 32 oz of Gatorade mixed w/ Carboplex-interspersed w/32 oz water

You can find the Carboplex at General Nutrition or a similar bodybuilding emporia. At the end of this load you'll feel like a cross between Godzilla and a drag-racer jumping the blocks on a 1/4 mile straightaway.

  • Get there at least 2 hrs before the start. Park on the outside of the lot if possible. You'll want to escape when its all over, and so will 20,000 of your best friends.
  • It may/will be chilly when you get out of the car. Ignore it if it's sunny, but don't lose track of the weather. Take whatever crap you are going to need before you get to tthe start area. I'll guarantee there will be lines longer than anything you've seen. If you have to take a leak in the parking lot behind a car--do it.
  • Roll your sox on, then tie your shoes. This is a good first step to prevent blisters. I only wished I'd known about it before I ran my first marathon in 86.

  • barring thunderstorms etc it will probably be sunny and breezy. This is good. Remember that the majority of the course runs east/west, and is south-facing. You will be warmer than you might think in the pack, so sun protection and shoulder pro is a good idea.
  • Wear a light cap of some kind. If need be you can rotate the cap to protect the back of your neck, which will keep yr core temp down.
  • Don't worry about what the elite runners are wearing doing. They're many pay-grades above you
  • If you don't have a single-bottle waist belt, get one. Do not count on the aid-stations being completely stocked when you get there. Remember your 20,000 friends?
  • Have an extra car-key, a $10 bill and maybe your cell with you. If you got it, you won't need it.
  • Gatorade/electrolytes are your friend. A blunt first-aid item is a small container of salt that you carry in the prev-mentioned waist belt--like you are doing tequila shooters. Lick the thumb, salt the thumb, swallow, and drink the water.
  • You may hurt more than anything you've ever done before. Barring a broken leg or a gunshot wound, dropping at 18 miles will not buy you relief. You'll just hurt while you're figuring out how the fuck to get back to the finish line.
More to think about:
  1. Your quads will hurt because that's where you store glycogen, and you will probably blow thru all that. That's why I've been talking about Carboplex [powdered maltodextrin] mixed w/ Gatorade as a race-drink supplement. With the carboload schedule I mentioned earlier, it'll provide you with a caloric cushion to get you thru most of the race.
    It is not an act of Gawd, fate, or misfortune. It simply signals the uncomfortable transition point between burning glycogen and fat. And the body is not designed to give up fat easily.
  3. NSAIDs [ie aspirin, tylenol etc] are not candy. They mask pain, but are not cures. If you are gobbling them, then you have a serious problem that has its origins well before the race, and its time to quit.

Finally--the aid stations are run by volunteers who mean well but probably will outweigh you by at least 1.5x. As fucked up as you might feel, do not rely on them for in-depth medical advice. The discomfort you are feeling is minor [trust me on this one, barring flu, the shits or the previous ailments]. Drink up and get out!

OK. Congratulations!

Your recovery starts at Minute 1.
Now, get to the car, and open that cooler I mentioned earlier. In that cooler there will be a 20oz bottle w/ cranberry juice mixed w/ protein powder. Drink up, you earned it. Jump-start your recovery.

Also, a jug of water {to quick-rinse), a towel and a change of clothes will be really nice for the trip out of there. Plastic bags for all of your skank wear. Nobody is going to pay any attention—they'll be dealing with their own fucked-up runners

Go home. Put your feet up, take a load off. As much as you'd like to hit the beer/champagne/whiskey-vodka coolers, I don't recommend it. Save that for when the recovery process is more fully realized.