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Concerts this year

I got Covid, and it was nice this summer, so I was able to go see some shows in that short period of immunity without fear of long-term illness or sweating my ass off.

  • The National – First Two Pages of Frankenstein, The Greek. All the hits plus some tracks off their banger upcoming Laugh Tracks. Not the mind-blowing experience that my first exposure to The National was c. 2015 at the HB, but what is? We are all a decade older now, as my orthopedic surgeon keeps reminding me.
  • Soccer Mommy – Opened for TN
  • Haim – anniversary of first album at the Bellwether in front of a crowd of friends and family, it seemed. They had a good time, which made it pretty fun. Good venue
  • Son Volt – Trace anniversary, at the Lodge. Jay and company just played the album. Not a lot of talk
  • The Mountain Goats – Jenny from Thebes, at the Belasco. Fourth or fifth time seeing TMG in one incarnation or another. I don’t think the Belasco is such a great place to see the show.
  • 2001 at the Hollywood Bowl with The LA Phil and Gay Mens Chorus

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Enshittification comes to climbing

For some reason I’m getting spam emails from some new vulture-capital-funded bullshit company that I have no business relationship with, and who should therefore not be spamming me with their bullshit. Their spiel is that they’ve helped themselves to the Mountain Project database, generated by work contributed gratis from users, for other users, and are going to sell it for a monthly subscription fee.

I’m sure this will work out exactly as well as did Gracenote/CDDB, Discogs, DejaNews, Reddit, Slashdot, StackExchange, etc. for all the folks who contributed their time to building up a user-generated database which will now become privately-owned and controlled, siloed, marketed, corporatized, ad-driven, AI-ified, and merged with skiing, surfing, mountain-biking, BASE-jumping, and e-biking, then eventually sold after the IPO cash-out enriches the VCs and employee numbers 1-9 for pennies on the dollar to the suckers^W stockholders, and all the PII, password, and credit card information of the original contributors ends up on unencrypted disks sold to the lowest bidder for data-scraping before ending up unrecycled in landfills leaching toxic metals into the local water table after using enough energy on LLM to drive the chatGPT-driven UI (so they don’t have to hire an actual human) to power Nigeria for a year.

Not to mention that it will bring even more people with even fewer outdoor skills or ethics into already trampled-out areas to get them closed to climbing forever. They even brag in the email about giving you the beta on climbing on private lands.

I’m sure that will work out well. Especially in modern-day Texas.

Supertopo and MP did no favors to the climbing community in the long run. If you think I’m wrong, see the inevitable wilderness bolting ban that’s about to come down. Pads are going to be not far behind. Back to the days of bruised heels, when we tried Midnight Lightning like it was meant to be done [1].

I’m not going to link to these vultures. I am pretty sad to see the AAC and AF involved in this bullshit. Though not surprised, especially by the latter, given the inside scoop I’ve heard from disgruntled former AF workers (all of them, it seems, never met one who had anything good to say about working there, and plenty of tales of the bullshit unethical work practices), and my own experience dealing with the highly ineffectual AF (local climbing area is still closed, going on 20 years now, with little-to-no-work by the AF, especially at the beginning when they wouldn’t even return our calls).

[0] Get with the program Firefox, stop telling me that the literal word of the year is misspelled. Oh wait, Firefox is on that enshittification list too…
[1] I got up to the match and mantle a couple of times with A Well-Known-Climbers’ running beta stream before I chickened out because there was nothing below me but a hard hard deck and Good Intentions spotting, and I had already broken both heels once… definitely the high point (literally) of my bouldering career.

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And not a moment too soon…

Perhaps in 5-6 years after they’ve all wrapped themselves around a light post (with hopefully no other fatalities), the streets will be a bit quieter as these jerks aren’t street racing at 5 AM to get to their minimum wage job at the 7-11 in order to keep making the payments on their 84 month leases.

Now do the Mustang. And Camaro. And Raptor. Harley seems to be handling their own demise as the boomers age-out or die-out of shitty loud motorcycles with crappy Nazi-themed helmets.

Speaking of fresh

Here are the bandages Kaiser Permanente is using on patients today:

Amazon air-quote Fresh

Amazon “Fresh” is just a way for Whole Foods to get rid of things that have either already expired, or will expire tomorrow.

My next brilliant idea: adjustable length stem

I am an old man in lycra [1]. Back and shoulders do not allow me to stay aero for long periods, so I either have the bike set up for climbs or for aero. Since my rides usually have both, I’m always either wishing the bars were a bit closer or a bit farther away.

The mtb-ies have a solution for their version of this: the dropper post. Press a button, the bike seat goes up or down.

I want a slider stem, for lack of a better trademark. Press a button and the integrated stem slides out to 140mm to allow full aero. Press again and it retracts to 100mm for climbs. Sure, it’ll add a few grams. I can’t see that it will add any drag if done properly, and the trade is that it will reduce drag when extended. Cabling? Pshaw! Details.

Call my patent attorney, Silca. This will make tens if not dozens of dollars.

[1] Wish it were tiger-striped 80s climbing lycra [2], which is way better in the utilitarian sense than anything anyone is wearing today. Skin-tight means no wrinkles under your harness means less irritation means longer sessions. But it’s only cycling lycra which stands out not at all.
[2] Lycra is a blessing (if I’m wearing it) and a curse (if you are).

Airplane movie reviews September 2023

Wherein I review movies that I’ll watch on an international flight that I would be unlikely watch at home [1]:


  • Renfield: The perfect role for Nic Cage’s hammy overacting. Maybe this is all of his recent ones. Dunno, generally have a very low tolerance for NC, but a friend recommended. It was okay.
  • The Covenant: Guy Ritchie knows how to make a movie. Jake G is an eminently watchable actor. Did not realize that his colonel was Zero Cool, which I guess is a huge tribute to his acting skills. The movie belongs to the unknown guy though. He was great. What’s with the deal of hiring remarkably non-Afghan actors to play the wives in these? See also in The Old Man [2].
  • Joy Ride: Recommended to me, but nope, couldn’t watch The Hangover/Bridesmaids again. See also superhero movies.
  • Bullet Train: This was okay when I ran out of everything else. I like Brad Pitt and some of the rest of the cast. Maybe the one guy would make a good Bond, but honestly I’d rather watch the woman that they had in the last movie. I tried to watch it again at home and the stupidity killed me. So this needs about six hours of sitting on a plane and three glasses of wine and a champagne to make it work.
  • Operation Fortune: Bad Guy Ritchie, bad Jason Statham. Always fun to watch whasshername be crazy and try to figure out how much of that is real
  • Emily the Criminal: Speaking of whasshername, good here. Some good moments. A real Primer vibe at the end. But so many ‘who would be that stupid’ moments. I guess a stupid person, but it’s difficult to have sympathy for someone who literally asks for it.
  • Nightmare Alley: The original was so much better. The book was so much better.
  • Babylon: The nudity was all pixelated out, so I decided to watch at home, not that I need nudity but it was super-annoying. Couldn’t get through it at home.
  • After Sun: This is the winner this year. This was amazing. Both actors were amazing. I can’t do coming of age movies [3]. This is not that, except that it kinda is but not how you’d think. I need/would like to watch this again but I’m not sure that I can. I’ve been recommending this strongly because I want someone else to watch it so that I can talk to them about it.
  • Licorice Pizza: Nope. Just nope. Creepy.
  • The Northman: Way better than I expected, in fact, really good. Might have to watch again on a big screen. Great cast. I really like the Viking dude who wasn’t a Skarsgard who I always get mixed up with the guy who’s not the Clive Owen Treadstone operative in the Bourne movies. Maybe because I’ll watch a movie with either of those guys who should both have more lead roles. For some reason, Vikings have been coming up in my reading over the last couple of years. I had read about three Viking-related books, and just finished Children of Elm and Ash. So given that I’m practically a Viking expert now, this tracked and was believable. Vikings were weird, man. How are we are ever going to think we might understand a Neanderthal when Vikings who are 49000 years closer to us were basically aliens?
  • Dr. Strange: Nope. Just nope. No more superhero movies.
  • It Ain’t Over – The Yogi Berra story: I’m not a sportsball fan anymore. I’d rather go do than watch or mythologize. And now that I can’t do much, there’s nothing left there anymore. I’ll watch a Tik-Tok of the women’s pole vault or a summary of the Vuelta. But Yogi seemed like a straight-up nice guy and stealth superstar with a mugs face. You can’t argue that he should have been out on that field with Hank Aaron. Johnny Bench? Pshaw. Fuck that right wing nut job.
  • Don’t Worry Darling: Well done, utterly predictable.
  • Nope: Maybe I should have watched this on a big screen in a dark room. It had some stunning imagery. I always wondered about those 50s TV monkeys… But utterly predictable plot.
  • Tully: Great cast, couldn’t finish it.
  • Weird – The Weird Al Story: Many LOLs. Didn’t expect to like it, and wouldn’t watch it again, but it was perfect for the airplane.


[1] If I’m interested I’ll usually save it for watching on a big screen with good sound.
[2] Breaking my rule of not watching until it’s ended. Where’s Season 2? Need that before Jeff Bridges dies. The two actors they have playing the young versions are chef’s kiss. [4]
[3] Shrinks, start your engines.
[4] Not starting The Bear, wishing I hadn’t started the copaganda version of Justified.

The usual blather from the usual idiots

Not going to link to my favorite clueless-hate-read/podcast-listen, but here’s the typical demonstration of the path to right-wing nut-jobbery no-empathy-until-it-happens-to-me-or-mine:


“Some of the saddest shit I’ve ever seen are injured climbers who try to keep climbing through their injury. Top-roping warm-ups with only three working appendages has always struck me as a pathetic use of time, something only a Genuine Loser would do […]

“That’s what I used to think, anyway. But now that I’m five weeks out from shoulder surgery to repair some rather significant tears in my rotator cuff, I get why so many climbers are anxious to get back to their old ways. “


Wait til he finds out about medical bills and aging.


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