It's Wednesday! Everybody Back Into Bed!

I don't necessarily believe in mindlessly adhering to rules, but there are a few that should be obeyed at all times.  Never date a musician.  Don't eat yellow snow.  And, of course, never ever get a pro cycling-themed tattoo:

I wonder if it was actually supposed to look like an undead zombie Armstrong, or if that's just the way it turned out.

Oh, one more rule you should always follow, and it's so obvious that it hardly warrants mentioning:

Still, I'll mention it anyway:

Never join a team owned by Michael Ball.

Gotcha!  See, I bet you thought I was going to say "Never get a tattoo on your face."  Actually, getting a tattoo on your face isn't really a big deal, since it will be mostly gone by the time you're arrested:

American pro cycling makes the mafia look like a bookclub.  It's stunning to think that actual companies put actual sponsorship money into it--or maybe it isn't, since those companies are criminals too:

Amgen’s strong influence prevailed even though it had pleaded guilty just weeks ago to marketing an anti-anemia drug illegally and agreed to pay criminal and civil penalties of $762 million, a record settlement for a biotechnology company.

This dreadful episode is a classic example of the power of special interests to shape legislation and shows how hard it may be to carry out the reforms needed to cut health care costs.

Whatever.  I'm sooo psyched for the Amgen Tour of California!  Let's take a look at that list of past winners:


Meanwhile, pro cyclists are now doing all they can to prove how "clean" they are, and Thor Hushovd recently tweeted about his Tour Down Under post-stage meal:

Yes, what could be cleaner than a plate of plain white rice that's bigger than your face?

(Mmmm!  Binding!)

Apparently Hushovd's goal is to not have a single bowel movement for the duration of the weeklong race.

There are some riders who are confessing though:

Dekker said at the weekend that doping had been a “way of life” at Rabobank, with whom he raced from 2005 to 2008. He had previously ridden for Rabobank’s under-23 and junior teams.

The Dutch bank withdrew from sponsorship at the end of the 2012 season due to the repeated revelations of the team’s doping past. In May of last year, former manager Theo De Rooy admitted that doping was tolerated on the team until the aftermath of the Michael Rasmussen affair in 2007, while at the weekend, NRC Handelsblad reported that the team had first initiated an organised doping programme during the 1996 Tour de France.

But wait!  I thought US Postal's doping program was the most sophisticated and comprehensive in history!  Now you're telling me Rabobank had one too?  Those Dutch are better at everything!

Speaking of injustice, there's a chance David Byrne's whimsically inconvenient bike racks at the Brooklyn Academy of Music may not be approved by the Public Design Commission:

FORT GREENE —Alphabet-shaped bike racks designed by Talking Heads singer David Byrne may be on "the road to nowhere" unless they get approval from the city’s Public Design Commission.
The racks, unveiled outside the Brooklyn Academy of Music in August 2012, can be altered to spell out words and phrases. The current words, chosen by Byrne, spell "Pink Crown" and "Micro Lip."

Apparently, Byrne accepts criticism about as readily as he accepts the keys to a brand new car, which is to say that he doesn't:

In 2008 they rejected two of Byrne's bike rack designs. One design, created in the shape of a liquor bottle, was “deemed to be in bad taste,” according to Byrne's online journal.

In an online rant, the "Burning Down The House" singer called the Design Commission "gatekeepers," writing "I wonder how many emerging artists would have the patience for the form-filling, waiting, and political stupidity that is involved in going via the gatekeepers—not many, I would think."

How dare they!  It would be a tremendous blow to the creative culture of the New Brooklyn if these awkward racks were replaced with actual functional bike parking.  Sure, it's a pain in the ass to have to lock your bike to the words "Micro Lip," but you have to understand that people are now paying over a million dollars to live in Brooklyn apartments, so it's absolutely crucial that everything they touch is special in some way.  Plus, who doesn't enjoy it when design is incorporated into practical objects, even if it makes them vastly more difficult to use?  In fact, I think David Byrne should move on from bike racks to urinals:

The David Byrne urinals look like inverted and repurposed hand dryers, because that's exactly what they are.  Is it inconvenient to direct your urine stream into such a small opening?  Yes.  Is it frustrating to hit the "flush" button, only to have your urine blown right back onto you with a mighty burst of air?  Also yes.  But isn't it worth it to be a part of the artistic process?

No.  No it is not.

Meanwhile, in other artisan news, I've mentioned before that "artisanal fathering" is the hot new trend in the survival of our species, and here's a Wall Street Journal article that proves it in your face even harder:

At-home dads aren't trying to be perfect moms, says a recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research. Instead, they take pride in letting their children take more risks on the playground, compared with their spouses. They tend to jettison daily routines in favor of spontaneous adventures with the kids. And many use technology or DIY skills to squeeze household budgets, or find shortcuts through projects and chores, says the study, based on interviews, observation of father-child outings and an analysis of thousands of pages of at-home dads' blogs and online commentary.

You're damn right we do.  For example, I'll often add a little excitement to our supermarket trips by stopping at an overpass on the way home so we can drop frozen chickens onto the windshields of passing cars.  I also like to "use find shortcuts through projects and chores," which is another way of saying I don't do them and look at Internet pornography instead.  Still, a lot of the stuff in this article is old hat to the seasoned artisanal father.  Take this for example:

He takes pride in pushing the kids to solve problems for themselves. Recently, Mr. Grossbauer stood back and encouraged Finn to figure out how to fetch a ball he had tossed into a milk crate nailed to a tree, just out of reach. After 20 minutes of frustration, and begging his dad to get it, Finn found a stool and retrieved the ball—a lesson in self-control and perseverance, Mr. Grossbauer says.

This is called "distracting the kid so you can drink," and it's the oldest trick in the book.  Plus, clearly Mr. Grossbauer is an amateur, because I find that if you hide a favorite toy in the wall behind some sheetrock you can get through at least a six pack and half a season of "Breaking Bad" on Netflix.  Not only that, but it also teaches the child important hammering and crying skills, which they'll use later when they're pursuing that poetry degree at Bard.  As for the hole in the wall, mommy fixes that when she gets home--or at least I assume she does, because I'm passed out on the couch by then and when I wake up everything's all tidy again, and I'm even in a fresh diaper.

Lastly, here's an iPhone hand-up:

Nicely done.

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