A Millionaire Shakedown Cruise

I took the old (new) bike out for its maiden voyage today just after dawn. Not a soul on the road, which was how I liked it. Other than the rear derailleur sounding like a reject from the snare-drummer corps, the thing ran smoothly. (Hmm, add in a front disk brake that rubbed slightly. And a tire-stem that needed a new plastic cap…)

I found myself riding through residential neighborhood after neighborhood standing tall at each intersection with my head on a swivel. It has been more than a decade since I worked as a bike messenger and a sleepy San Dog suburb is no Broadway Ave, but self-preservation dies hard.

I pulled up to the hippie coffee joint in my hood (we’ve three major ones, along with Starbucks and Panera) and grabbed an ice coffee. The coffee guy had a quote on his shirt that said: Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. I would have guessed Che, but it turns out (when I just looked it up) some naval officer named John F. Kennedy had said it. Hmpfff.

At the coffeehouse, as I sipped my iced nectar, I thought of millionaires. There was a banker type in the place with me, so perhaps that stirred my thoughts. And I had just discovered a friend from college makes two million dollars a year. He had incredible common sense, but was pretty quiet. If you’ve ever heard the term, work within yourself, that would describe him. He is now the general counsel for some San Fran internet corp which I’ve never heard of. I’m happy for him, but would not trade places for all the money in the world, which he apparently has. Being a lawyer sounds like onerous (boringly hellish) work. I was surprised his company publicized salaries, but for that matter, so does the military.

I also thought of my college roommate who bragged to me about some big LA deal he had closed in real estate a couple of years ago. He happened to catch me when I was driving home from some briefing I had given down in Norfolk at the Amphib Base (that involved SEALs and Marines.) So I shared that with him and despite him making ten fifteen times more money, I had the far more interesting story. I was not trying to trump him, but I did.

As for my bike ride, I road home, gasping for the last part of the uphill trip. No matter how hard I run, I can’t get my lungs to work hard. (My legs hurt before I even start breathing all that mightily.) But cycling’s ‘nother matter. And I paid the piper today. I may not be a millionaire, but I love life and being a Sailor in the world’s finest Navy could not be better.

Guevara the Sniper

Generally, you don’t want to publicize your snipers. Good ones are national treasures, fomenting chaos in enemies ranks. For example, SEAL Chris Kyle used to be called Al-Shaitan Ramad (The Devil of Ramadi) for his lethality. Another fact military folks should keep close to their vest (if they wear them) is the wives of their leaders. It opens the families up to all sorts of potentially dangerous exploitation when it becomes known who the head honcho’s wife is. This captioned picture breaks all those rules:

Guevara, a Syrian Palestinian woman married to an Al Wa'ad battalion commander, is pictured in Aleppo January 19, 2013. Guevara was the director of a secondary school before the revolution and is now one of the main snipers of the battalion on the front line in Aleppo.

Guevara, a Syrian Palestinian woman married to an Al Wa’ad battalion commander, is pictured in Aleppo January 19, 2013. Guevara was the director of a secondary school before the revolution and is now one of the main snipers of the battalion on the front line in Aleppo.

Love the Che-ness of her name. Like a guerilla, she is. More of her here. . .

Wake Up

Occupy Wall Street Oct 11, 2011

The New York Daily News has their yearly review of all the pictures that made 2011. The above shot encapsulated the OWS movement.

You have your mandatroy Che. And the bum sleeping, wrapped in the American flag. The Class War poster on the left. But it is covered up, so you can only partially read it. Oh and the 99%er playing guitar. I gave my love a cherry.

The one productive member of society: the businesswoman strolling to work in the foreground. . .

Anti-American Diego Maradona

The blog Bleacher Report has a slideshow of the 50 Fattest Soccer player of all time. Do not, whatever you do, click on this link. I winced through the intel and selected one colorful character to highlight. If you have watched soccer in the late 70s, 80s, or 90s, the name of the Argentinian superstar Diego Maradona is familiar to you.

Fat Diego Maradona

Diego had a serious drug problem:

He was banned for 15 months for taking cocaine while playing for the Napoli team in Italy in 1991.

He has shot at reporters with an air-rifle:

Former Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona has been given a suspended jail sentence of two years and 10 months for shooting journalists with an air rifle.

Even Fatter Diego Maradona

Maradona also likes his dictators. Like Fidel:

Maradona recovered after gastric bypass surgery in Cuba and befriended/worshipped Fidel Castro. Yes, that Fidel Castro.

Hugo:

Maradona is also chummy with Hugo Chavez, and has said he hates everything that comes out of the United States.

Mahmoud:

Awhile back, there was speculation that Maradona might coach Iran. Why? Because he’s pals with Iran Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

What’s a tattooed arm without a little Che?

Diego Maradona’s Tattoos

What are those two names, Dalma and Giannina, on the inside of his forearms?

“My legitimate kids are Dalma and Giannina. The rest are a product of my money and mistakes.”

Classy Diego. . .

Che Guevara Ice Cream?

Whisky Tango Foxtroting Foxtrot is going on? Che Guevara, that photogenic killer, is now an ice cream treat? I wonder which country created the Che-heads. Who else, but our good friends, the Russian bear:

Che Guevara Ice Cream, Stoyn Advertising Agency

Ice cream can be more interesting than the basic shapes on sticks and dollops on cones. Delmonte recently invented the ‘Hoffsicle’ in the image of David Hasselhoff to celebrate National Ice Cream Week, after His Hoffness was voted in Britain as the smoothest TV personality of 2011.

Now a Russian advertising agency Stoyn have created a range of ten ice cream busts in the shape of 20th century iconic characters, including Darth Vadar (blueberry with licorice), Marilyn Monroe (strawberry and cream), Donald Duck (banana chocolate), Che Guevara (mate with rum). . .

I don’t get the Che thing. I’ve seen stupid Berkeley kids, and suburban dummies too, running around with that ubiquitous red shirt with his dis-likeness on it. When even Slate magazine can’t stomach you, you know you are beyond the pale:

Che Guevara Commie Zombie

The cult of Ernesto Che Guevara is an episode in the moral callousness of our time. Che was a totalitarian. He achieved nothing but disaster. Many of the early leaders of the Cuban Revolution favored a democratic or democratic-socialist direction for the new Cuba. But Che was a mainstay of the hardline pro-Soviet faction, and his faction won. Che presided over the Cuban Revolution’s first firing squads.

The present-day cult of Che—the T-shirts, the bars, the posters—has succeeded in obscuring this dreadful reality.

And Walter Salles’ movie The Motorcycle Diaries will now take its place at the heart of this cult. It has already received a standing ovation at Robert Redford’s Sundance film festival and glowing admiration in the press. Che was an enemy of freedom, and yet he has been erected into a symbol of freedom.

Che ice cream, no thanks. . .