I must say that I really appreciate the bikeness of this town. By and large, the steel box crowd is quite friendly to the two-wheeled minority. For instance, I have not the felt the need to pull out my U-lock and threaten a motorist who has either almost clipped my 21-speed thundermuscle or forced me to use my precision braking system. While the pretentiousness of the fixed gear bike nerds doesn’t prevail as in other midwestern cities, this city sure does love it’s mopeds/scooters/two-wheeled motored vehicles. It makes sense. The oil industry and it’s compliant partners in congress seem content with slashing taxes for said vampires while passing on the “savings” to us in the order of $3.67 per gallon (cue the guy who will say it’s cheaper here than Europe. They have mass transit, we have mass pavement) There seems to be an inordinate amount of these bike gangs to my delight. I’ll take those any day over the fast & furious XTREME tools that weave in and out of traffic at alarmingly high speeds, shirtless no less. If they are wearing a shirt, it’s probably something like this. The other thing I’m finding quite unique here is the Lil’ Rascal contingent. Assertive, confident, and fully integrated into the traffic system, our differently-abled brothers and sisters bring a smile to my face every time I see them haulin’ ass in the bike lane. Ride to Live, Live to Ride as my dad the biker used to say.




When we met our heroes last entry, we mentioned the trouble with Doctors. As a newcomer to CoMo, we never thought that there would be a problem getting a doctor. With Health Care and Education as the foundation of the economy here, it seemed like it wouldn’t be much of a problem. A small member of THE TEAM has special needs. While this isn’t the forum to discuss the details of the dude’ condition, let’s just say for the record he’s a unique dude (and awesome). That said, I found it a bit odd finding a doctor who was even accepting new patients. One doctor’s office who shall remain anonymous( I mean, we can name names!) sounded confident that they could accommodate and get us an appointment and would confirm later that day. After the usual shenanigans, we got to the end of the conversation and was asked “does your have a any special medical conditions?” I answered yes, and explained in my best impersonation of a medical industrial-complex bureaucrat. After an awkward pause and a “well, we should have an answer later today”, we got a call back in less than two coffee breaks with the news of “he’s not accepting new patients”. Huh? Ok. Another doc had been recommended by friend that she was indeed taking in the newly arrived. I gave them a shot. The bored attendant on the phone (who could blame them? answering the phone of a doctor’s office is only slightly more exciting than being on the billing team) quickly dashed my attempt with an abrupt “we’re not accepting new patients”. Needless to say, the dude got a doc that the new insurance vampires deemed “compliant” and “in network”. The “in network” thing always reminds me of members of congress and the universal health care package they get. Do they pay premiums? What’s their co-pay? 500 for single, 1000 for family? 80/20? Was Gabriel Gifford’s extensive trauma treatment or Ted Kennedy’s brain surgery “in network”? Did they have trouble finding a doctor accepting new patients when they moved to Chocolate City? My money’s on no.



In my short tenure as a crafty veteran, I’ve come to really enjoy the shirts of grandpa’s circa 60-75: big collars, light hues, sometimes union made, sometimes you can see nipples, tailored fit, nice button pattern, always short sleeve, etc. Like the pictures of your drunk uncles watering the grass or throwing Jarts in 1969 with a can of Hudy Delight. They might also have on some loafer of sort with dark socks. Think Uncle Eddie from Christmas Vacation, but his summer line. What I didn’t realize upon arriving in CoMo is the number of vintage stores (VG=vintage gear) per capita. It seemed pretty good considering my previous locations. In particular, I was impressed with both the collection and prices of Absolute Vintage on Broadway and 10th. I got this sweet number that’s light pink that you’ve probably already seen me in if you’ve met me. Maude seemed to cater to the 1980’s since that’s what the kids are into. As an owner of real parachute pants in the 6th grade, it is highly recommended that you do not get paddled in said pants. A bit of disclosure, I like old stuff. In high school, I was into old cars and trucks. As I later was exposed to punk rock, I started reaching back into older music. I dig old-timey bluegrass rebel songs lately. With old shirts, old music, came radical politics of the 1960’s and later Marxism. Of course this list is a bit anachronistic, but I really like old music gear too. I like to look at and play old guitars but never seem to have to funds to pay for such things. Sometimes you can find steals but mostly it’s a career full of browsing. Still, it fills up a weekend when the time is right. Which leads me to the lack of decent music stores in town. It’s a disappointment given the quality of local bands this city has produced. Is it a “well go to STL or KC” sort of thing? Maybe, but it seems there’s a need for it here with the whole RNBNBBQ business. Blue Guitars off 70 has some decent stuff, Palen Music over by all that mall shit (no relation to the clown from Alaska) feels more like a big box store or one of those places where the guitar teachers charge too much and teach you Eagles riffs, is less than desirable. CRAZY music is really just crazy small and overpriced. Sure, it’s a college town and you get over on folks but geesh. Despite a small inventory, I felt comfortable with the dirtiness of Ben’s Guitar’s on 9th. It reminded me of the place I bought my first guitar and the folks there were quite friendly.


Stay tuned for the next installment. Happy Labor Day. Hope you didn’t have to work. Stay Hungry.

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