Showing posts from 2009

Omani Mountain Barbecue

Abdullah is opening the charcoal bag, while Mr Trail Safety watches, photo by Richard Gassan.

“I forgot the cooking pot”

We silently considered our situation. Camped out overlooking the epic Jebel Shams Gorge in the Omani Hajar al Ghalb, we were up a very long dirt road from the last village. We pondered the options. Pasta was out, now we were looking at a rapidly fermenting bread, dates, some hard cheese, and maybe some other goodies.

The loaf was sliced, I had some of the hard cheese, while Richard smeared honey on his slice. We’d make it. The wind was cool and steady, and deathly cold by Omani standards.

Looking around, there was a family camped several hundred yard away, a merry fire blazing in the draw. Behind us was a dome tent, and a RAV-4.

We began to hear male voices joking in Arabic. We both began to wonder if they were going to spend the night drinking and breaking shit, but it was too early to tell.

“May I ask you men a favor?”

We looked up to see one of our Omani neighbors.


Boy Scouts Retroactively Issue New Merit Badge

August 18, 2009.

The Boy Scouts Of America National Council voted this week to retroactively issue 50,000,000 Onanism Merit Badges to all surviving Boy Scouts who had been members from 1910 through 2008. The vote passed 69-12, as the council members squinted through thick glasses and raised hirsute hands.

Reaction at the announcement was swift. Social conservatives were enraged, with Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity decrying the move as "weakening the moral fabric", and "a stain on the nation's honor". Ann Coulter flippantly suggested that the Boy Scouts were "Taliban Butt-boys", while Sarah Palin suggested that the Boy Scouts had "given in to terrorists". Lou Dobbs intoned that his sources definitively pinpointed the origins to southern Mexico, in any era. Rush Limbaugh was conspicuously silent, having never been in the Boy Scouts.

Liberals took a different tack, suggesting in large part "get over it", according to Bill Maher. Rach…

Team Land-O-Lard Sponsored Runner!

I am now a sponsored runner for Team Land-O-Lard. I'll be making mall appearances here in Southern California, ready to ignore your questions and giving enigmatic training suggestions. Have your credit cards at the ready, or at least your PINs.

Mahalo for being you, have a nice day!

Trail Porn: The Secret Of My Success

Trail Porn®™ Can Label. Courtesy of D&L Industries 1995

People have asked me "how did you train back in the day, and keep your strength up?" The secret ingredient: Trail Porn. And now, for the first time, the ingredients are visible for all.

Load Up Like A Peasant, Light Up Like A King™

TrailPorn®™ has been America's Number One Favorite free-range pre-race loading and unloading dietary supplement for as long as we've been making it. Now the same great taste and chewy mouth-feel is here in the new, modern TrailPorn Lite®™.

This nutritionious, savory, and versatile product is a virtual-reality accompaniment to every part of your culinary experience, from pickled cabbage to vanilla ice cream. Look for the single-serving tetra-packs!

Preparation: Serve either hot or cold, as a first course or canape supplement or appetizer. Stove top, micro-wave or tail-pipe friendly.Some settling may occur as this product was packed at full-volume
while you wait. Hey now!

92% …

Rings Of Fire: Post WS100 Training Questions

This post deals with training issues, gear issues, and comes from a guy who doesn't run that much anymore. So, now's a really good time to delete, because I'm going to ask some pointed questions about a lot of things.

There has been a lot of soul-searching and what-ifs, along with 'whistling past the graveyard' post-Western States 100 on the business of near-fatalities caused by dehydration, and spectacular blister pyrotechnics.

I did WS in 93, and spent a good 90min plus at Michigan Bluff. On the way up, I had a pounding in my kidneys, my ears were ringing, my quads had locked up, and people were passing me as fast as they could, completely ignoring my doubled-over ass. I was dehydrating, in deep shit. I got past it, but it added a good 3hrs to my race...


Why? Because that day I rolled out with a rehydration scenario I hadn't trained with. I didn't know it cold.


I remember a Facebook post made, or at least answered to,…

AC100 Training Stories, Pt I

Jim O'Brien setting the course record in 1989.This iconic photo was taken by Stan Wagon, then editor of UltraRunning Magazine.

We once asked Jim O'Brien if he'd ever bonked on an Angeles Crest training run. He said "on every section".


The current gear-item to have right now is a bladder-pack. Originally designed by and for guys-n-gals who were running long distances in very hot places like Arizona, Utah and so on, where there was no water for big miles.

Look at what Jim is carrying. Nothing except for 2 small bottles. Doesn't that tell you something? He's a racer, not a freight-hauler.

[Just a thought for all the racers out there humping along in their multi-pounded vests with the petri-dish bladders...]

Training is one thing. Race day is another. People get used to carrying all that stuff. I remember Jimmy saying on each stage "carry only what you need". I know that on my first AC, my fannypack was 20lb of junk—and I wasn't carrying…

My Favorite Gun-Show Things

Beef jerky and do-rags, and dorks all in camo,
Reloads, factory and off-caliber ammo,
AKs and Mausers all tied up with strings,
These are a few of my favorite things!

Marpat and feldgrau and ebay’d Nazi doodles,
T-shirts shriek slogans from famed right-wing poodles,
Conspiracy theories that fly on brown wings,
These are a few of my favorite things!

Hot babes in heels are not often seen here,
Mainly paunchy white guys who are mostly has-beens peer,
Musing sour reflections on a trigger spring,
These are a few of my favorite things!

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

Grab A Cadaver: 2009 Update

Parts Is Parts!

Selling body parts is an evergreen scandal. There's always a need, and supplies are limited. More or less.

We here at Hellmouth Amalgamated PolySci always believe that recycling is good for everybody. So if you missed this original commentary from March 2004, you're in for a treat. Its still fresh and tasty.

Human behaviour has a long shelf-life. Dig in!

I am and remain,
yr Humboldt Obliviant Idiom Savant

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

Update: May 15 '09!

Businessman found guilty in UCLA's willed body-parts program scandal

Body broker Ernest V. Nelson, top, with defense attorney Sean McDonald, listens as he is convicted of selling cadaver parts for $1.5 million to private medical research companies.

The body broker collected $1.5 million by selling cadaver parts to private medical research companies. A juror also faults the university for 'allowing something like this.'

Read more on this at the In…

Kent State / Jackson State

May 4, 1971
I was fourteen, living in Athens Ohio, home of Ohio University; when we got news of the shootings at Kent State.
The Kent State shootings convulsed the campus, leading to riots, the closing of the University, and then a 14-day occupation by the Ohio National Guard. The iconic Carl Fleischhauer photo shows a Guardsman standing guard on Court Street under the Varsity Theatre marquee, which was showing "Z" the night the riots erupted. The picture shown above is here.
The leadup to the shootings had been preceded by monumental demonstrations against Nixon's Cambodia Invasion, which widened the war.
The events at Kent State were posted teletypes on the window of Koon's Records, a local record store owned by a guy who liked his news fresh, hence the teletype. As each update came in the mood got worse. The two-day teach-ins that had accompanied the invasion were overtaken by the news of the shootings.

That night the rioting started. Pitched battles between "hea…

"Don't You Want Me, Baby?" Revisited

a duet, as reinterpreted by a drunken, jobless fund manager…

You were working as a stripper in a Christian Bar
That much is true
I picked you out, I pumped you up, and turned you out
Spun you into someone new
Now five years later on you've got your bitchaz on your tweet
Success has been so easy for you
But don't forget its me who put you where you are now
And I can outsource you back down too

Don't, don't you want me?
You know I cant believe it when I hear that you wont see me
Don't, don't you want me?
You know I don't believe you when you say that I'm drunk and needy
Its much too late to find
You think you've changed your mind
You'd better change it back or we will both be sorry

Can't I beat you baby? don't you want me — oh
Don't you want my teabag baby? don't you want me —oh

and his soon-to-be ex-trophy wife…

I was working as a stripper in a Christian Bar
But so were you
But even then I'd be sitting on a better face
Either with or without you

VeloMania: I Build A Front Bike Rack

I wanted a front rack on my urban MTB, but did not have a lot of money to spend on either a really good or really bad rack. This is how I built it.
There are several DIY sites out there on how to build a bike rack.

Materials used:

[3] 36 x 1 x 1/8" aluminum bar stock

1 length of bar stock will be the horizontal box, overlapped and pop-riveted together.
1 length of bar stock will be both down-struts.
1 length of bar stock will be the deck w/ backstop.

[2] 1" hose clamps

[2] 3" double-stick foam tape, for each fork

Pop rivets or stove bolts, as necessary for assembly

I used a pop-rivet gun to secure the struts to the rack, and the deck to the assembled rack. You could easily use stove-bolts, I just had the pop-rivet gun handy.


This is all DIY improvised, based on available materials, and trying to get as much out it as possible. Your measurements will vary.


Here is Mr Hose-Clamp/Strut Support. Take care when drilling the hole for the bolt--it …

The Question Posed

"...the road to Genovia leads through Gevalia".
I delayed putting in a fresh sheet in as I pondered this hard fact. My espresso got cold. The phone, an enigmatic onyx sphinx, remained silent.

“Zastava Smackdown”, p 241.
by Giovanni Nessuno
Rome, 1991

Hurricane Island: H37, Aug 1971

I was admitted to Outward Bound as a probationary candidate. I was seriously underage. The normal minimum was 16-1/2, but my 16th birthday was 3 days before the end of the course. My dad was not enjoying watching me smoke lots of dope and becoming another white social parasite. I knew I needed it, and agreed. The weeks in New York before leaving for Maine were a swirl of overcast humidity and Lebanese Blonde.

The ferry left Rockland in the fog. I was standing on the deck in a pea coat, dress pants, and leather street shoes, slippery on the steel plate. Pulling into Hurricane, we were met with our first surprise of many surprises. The instructors counted us off into our respective watches, and told us to find our tents. For the duration of the course, you had a number. Mine was 13. This was a device to make sure everybody was accounted for at all times, especially if the boat capsized and so on.

PT in 45 minutes. Fetch!

Thus began 26 days of basic training. Every day was an uncomforta…

Jobs Still Elude Some Bush Ex-Officials: Text Analysis

Original article appeared in the Feb 21, 2008 WSJ

Text Analysis by Erasmus Binkster Rfp, SoQ, AMf, and Bucky Kibble III, Esq

The jobless rate is hanging high -- for many of the roughly 3,000 political appointees who served President George W. Bush. Finding work has proved a far tougher task than those appointees expected.

No shit. You got appointed, and didn't have to apply online with

"This is not a great time for anyone to be job hunting, including numerous former political appointees," said Carlos M. Gutierrez, Mr. Bush's commerce secretary. Previously chief executive of cereal maker Kellogg Co., he hopes to run a company again because "I have a lot of energy."

read: "home life sucks, my kids hate me, and my girlfriend wants money"

Only 25% to 30% of ex-Bush officials seeking full-time jobs have succeeded, estimated Eric Vautour, a Washington recruiter at Russell Reynolds Associates Inc. That "is much, much worse" than when Rona…

Further Inquiries Into The Matter Of The Great White Fur-Bearing Freshwater Shark

(notes from the Estate of Dr Quadde, all rights reserved)

Further Inquiries Into The Matter Of The Great White Fur-Bearing Freshwater Shark
By Roccardo “Dick” Quadde, Rfp, SoQ, AmF.

The waiting stack of arcana was irresistible. I began reading at the beginning.

This Shark features prominently in the folklore of the indigenous Maeomo-Lipkat peoples: an enigmatic tribe who were regarded as peculiar by their Paiute and Shoshonean neighbors. Consequently little mixing occurred outside of trade. They were linguistic isolates, and spoke a language utterly unlike any other. They left little more than curious petroglyphs in isolated canyons.

The first verifiable sighting of the Great White Fur-Bearing Freshwater Shark by a European came on August 25, 1787. Antonio Fuego de Culo y Ruidoso was lost in the High Dorkoliths while looking for a mountain pass that was the most direct route between Mojave and Tulare. His royal charter required him to note
"all and divers Fishes, Fowles, Beastes, Bir…

Fur-Bearing Freshwater Sharks Rumored In Mtn Lakes

(LA Times, July 22, 1990)



The discovery of Giant Fur-Bearing Freshwater Sharks was announced today by State Fish & Game naturalists in conjunction with Dr Roccardo “Dick” Quadde, Prof. Emeritus of Hellmouth Amalgamated PolySci, Hellmouth California.

State Fish & Game naturalists did not confirm or deny informed questions as to the exact location of these enigmatic creatures.

Giant Fur-Bearing Fresh-water Sharks had been well documented on the Upper Agua Mojado further to the eastern edges of the Coprolyte National Monument, where the Agua Mojado drainage meets the confluence of the Chorizo Altiplano as it descends through the porous rugosities of the Stoeff-Topp strata.

Freshwater sharks (s. aquafrescum) had been rumored but not seen in at least a generation, and the fur-bearing sub genus (s. hirsuticum) had not been adequately documented. Prior specimens had been exceedingly rare due t…

Alone With the Fur-Bearing Great Whites of Big Quimfire Lake

(notes from the Estate of Dr Quadde, all rights reserved)

Alone With the Fur-Bearing Great Whites of Big Quimfire Lake
By Roccardo “Dick” Quadde, Rfp, SoQ, AmF.

Early in the summer of 1969 I was taking a summer sabbatical trip through the Rhümpe-Wrangeling foothills. The slopes were a verdant riot of majestic trees, which extended from their roots through their wooden trunks all the way to the tops. As we wound up the scenic George Murphy Highway, I was listening to the resonate static of the Hellmouth (Amalgamated) PolySci radio station KGFY. Between sibilant hisses of static one could enjoy the melodic strains of Thomas Schnabel’s Divertimento in D Minus For Brazilian Nose Flutes, opus 9 1/2, which I had seen performed live when I was an undergraduate back in my sunny tropical years at the H. Wallace Beddoes Institute.

Today however, I was on a different ichthyological errand. Reports had come filtering out of the chop-sleeved, snuff-dipping, chain-sawed uplands that had caused …

Spring Fever In the Dorkoliths

(one of an occasional series from the archives of the "Journal for Crypto-Ethnology" Spring 1991)

by Dr. Roccardo F. "Dick" Quadde; RfP, SoQ, AmF.

The long winter passed uneventfully, a slowly leaking bladder full of inert gas. I was occupied greatly by the continuing investigations into the previous summer’s disastrous expeditions to the lofty and distant Dorkolithic spires. But as the days lengthened and the snows began to retreat from the the alpinid meadows, I became anxious and eager seek a remarkable vanished remnant of Hellmouth’s glory-hole days during the fabled Kaopectatum Boom.

The object of this quest was to locate the remains of a startling aeronautical prototype that had literally gone in a blaze of glory from the small mining hamlet of Hellmouth back in the summer of 1909.

Wherefore the shift from coprolytica to aeronautica?

One typically blustery and cold November afternoon I had been doing research in the Archival Manuscript Section of the Hellmo…