The future of Bicycle Advocacy. #bikecity

Don’t be confused by the language, as this isn’t actually in Lowell.  The tell is the pristinely painted bicycle lane and the vehicle itself isn’t a massive Tahoe with a “Re-elect Mayor Elliott sticker” on it.  But that’s neither here nor there, because what we’re watching here is the future of bicycle advocacy.  Brute force.  This gentleman will not only single handedly improve the cycling experience for his community, but no longer will the stereo type of cyclists be one of ill-fitting outfits, and a build that requires all altercations be settled through tersely worded, anonymous notes left on peoples cars.  Wherever this guy is, we need to hunt him down and make him an offer he can’t refuse.


This guy HATES the Back Page


Boston Globe

What recourse does a musician have if he feels he’s been mistreated by a club owner? Social media, of course. Singer-songwriter Matt Stubbs was so upset about the treatment of his band at The Backpage in Lowell the other night that he vented on Facebook, calling owner Bob Ramirez’s behavior rude, insulting, and condescending. “In 17 years of performing music I have never had to stop a gig half way thru the night,” wrote the roots rocker, who also plays guitar in the Charlie Musselwhite Band. “The treatment my band received from the owner of the Backpage last night finally forced me to do so.” The lengthy post was “liked” by over 225 people and shared over 150 times. Stubbs was particularly angry about Ramirez’s alleged demand that the band play a two-hour and 15-minute set — without a break. Ramirez didn’t respond to a phone call or e-mail Monday. “Some words were exchanged and I decided that out of respect for myself and the guys in my band I was done,” Stubbs wrote. “I paid my band out of pocket costing me hundreds of dollars and a wasted night for all of us.” Reached on the phone Monday, Stubbs said he posted on Facebook because he wasn’t allowed to tell the crowd why he stopped playing. “Nobody knew why it ended. I went to make an announcement, but [Ramirez] unplugged the mike and turned the house music up to 10 so no one could hear.”

Ahhh…the ole’ talent vs. club owner fued…a story as old as time itself. It’s hard to take sides in these matters, but thanks to Facebook and the Boston Globe, that’s exactly what we’re asked to do.
On one side, you’ve got the undoubtedly thin skinned guitarist who’s being a total baby about his contractual break time. How do I know he’s being a baby?…because he’s a professional musician. The whole point of all those hours of practice is to become rich and famous. And when that doesn’t work out, you’re still afforded the opportunity to spend weekends in small clubs, earning some pocket change, drinking for free, and melting faces of dudes that are high on Flomax.


make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif

No bosses.

The other big tell here would be the 1,000 word facebook post. Like come’on bro, this isn’t the New York Times OpEd. It’s facebook…give us a paragraph at most about how much the BackPage sucks and add a picture that captures the essence so I don’t actually have to read your nonsense. Also not helping his case are: Continue reading

Back Off in #Haiku. 1/12-1/17/15.


Backtalk: 1/12/2015

Electric increase.
Hundred bucks at Christmas time.
I’m not using much.

Chelmsford don’t plow.
Lowell does a better job.
That’s saying something.

Bills in magazines.
While does the mailman do that?
I don’t read those mags.

Varnum Avenue.
I don’t care if it’s winter.
I want that paved now.

Peter Lucas fan.
Read that column ev’ry day.
Chain him to his desk.

Rita O’Brien.
Going for nomination.
Hoping she gets it.

Sound Off Jan 12

NIMBY’s cry too much.
Layover station will help you.
Leave Plaistow faster.

Bomb the terrorists.
Paris needs to find homelands.
Kill their families.

Unions can brake bones.
That’s a legal right I think.
They can just hurt you.

Romney lied again.
He said no more Prez campaigns.
Need better pennies.

Backtalk: 1/13/2015

The Prez skipped Paris.
Doesn’t care ’bout terrorists.
Stay off my golf course.

Politicians game.
All just scratching the right back.
No spines in the way.

Open Meeting laws.
Fresh off a violation.
Kind of transparent.

Sound Off Jan 13

Public Access shows.
Just the same ones getting looped.
Haverhill needs drama.

Buy American.
Plenty of goods made local.
Stop being selfish.

Cost of food went up.
That’s just how inflation works.
Don’t blame Artie T.

Lottery tickets.
Buy them at the liquor store.
Sometimes they screw up.

Actual backyard.
This isn’t a NIMBY thing.
Way too literal.

Backtalk: 1/14/2015

Paris needs more guns.
That shit never happens here.
Give or take monthly.

No free diplomas.
Just remove the high interest.
We need that money.

Westford Manager.
Helped me out personally.
Thank-you Jodi Ross.

Big spending problem.
Baker said about the state.
Chelmsford follows suit.

Lowell jaywalkers.
Getting hit like they deserve.
Not the driver’s fault.

Chelmsford history.
Being destroyed ev’ry day.
Shame cries in silence.

Sound Off Jan 14

It’s ‘terrorism.’
Prez called it ‘workplace violence.’
He’d let them go free.

You’re not all heroes.
Bunch of keyboard patriots.
Get over yourselves.

New police station.
Stop whining about taxes.
Get modern safety.

Obama Kool Aid.
Romney refused his paycheck.
That makes him a saint.

Vote no confidence.
Lawrence councilors should grow up.
Old mayor is gone.

Backtalk: 1/15/2015

Trees at Saint Anne’s Church.
Removed for safety concerns.
New saplings in spring.

Parking spaces gone.
Baseball field made in its place.
Don’t have balls to walk.

Double solid lines.
Routinely getting ignored.
Laws need enforcement.

Ain’t no free schoolin’
Barrack Hussein Obama.
Screwin’ us again.

What about people?
You think we want Olympics?
Real Folks don’t want that.

Lot of DINO’s here.
Charlie Baker hired a few.
Deval predicted.

Sound Off Jan 15

Qualified workers.
That’s why the state wants unions.
Good workers earn more.

Three to Mike Brown’s wake.
Nobody went to Paris.
Mixed priorities.

Pipelines have grown old.
Rust wrapped in old asbestos.
Change loosens time’s grip.

Cable rates increase.
Comcast mistakes wealth levels.
Blaming the City.

Romney’s still a dick.
47 percent know.
Prob’ly more than that.

Mitt’s unqualified.
Need more than empty gestures.
Glad he didn’t win.

Blindly voting ‘D’?
Liz Warren scares me to tears.
Hiding ‘neath blankets.

Backtalk: 1/16/2015

Olympic logo.
I want the pretty sailboat.
Boring is ugly.

The Prez skipped Paris.
Had to watch football playoffs.
He’s American.

Lowell High concert.
Kids did a helluva job.
Great talent displayed.

Scooter on Green Street.
It should take up a full spot.
Not a real spot there.

Backtalk: 1/17/2015

Don’t go to Paris.
You’re only gonna get killed.
Don’t blame Obama.

Traffic jam was dumb.
Commuters lives matter too.
Lost my respect there.

No free MCC.
But Cowan’s right if need be:
3.0 required.

Tiano’s statement:
“All things should be transparent.”
Clearly he should go.

Back Off in #Haiku. 1/5-1/10/15


[Please note: let the Olympics come to Boston/Lowell. Let them threaten to tear down some old dugout in Chelmsford. Allow them to entertain the notion of housing the athletes in Plaistow. Please? It’ll be nine solid years of material and they might even fix the Rourke Bridge for us ].

Backtalk: 1/5/2015

Protesters should read.
Starting with those signs they hold.
Enough is enough.

Lowell tax increase.
Can’t afford that on social.
Thanks so fucking much.

Beer on a Sunday.
All the bars can be open.
Let the stores sell some.

Loved the article.
Alexandra Coppola.
Really good story.

Open Meeting Law.
Bastards ignored it again.
Too much arrogance.

Suppprt the workers.
They earned ev’ry penny.
Their risk rewarded.

Sound Off Jan 5

News means it’s recent.
Obama/Ayers is old.
Scalise/Klan just broke.

Gates is generous.
Stop hating all billionaires.
They’re all like Bill Gates.

I envy the rich.
I’m sure all smart people do.
Let’s play some baseball.

Raise the drinking age.
Put it up around thirty.
Young people are dumb.

Backtalk: 1/6/2015

Tewksbury Center.
It needs to be prettier.
What investors want.

Beautiful baby.
First Lowell child born this year.
Aging already.

Had fun at Lo Kai.
Only 25 a head.
Favors included.

Sound Off Jan 6

Jeb Bush shouldn’t run.
I want a Republican.
But that name is cursed.

Gates followed Turner.
Most billionaires aren’t that nice.
Ball flew past your head.

Prices all went up.
Artie T. lied to us all.
Up by 4 percent.

Unions aren’t choices.
Employees forced to pay in.
Funds go to campaigns.

Smoking age went up.
What about the drinking age?
Kids suck at drinking.

Backtalk: 1/7/2015

Lowell’s “Sister City.”
Visitors sent to Phnom Penh.
That took forty years?

Make-A-Wish bowling.
Crew De Lowell fundraiser.
Donations helpful.

Gas prices came down.
What about ev’rything else?
Gas blamed for raises.

Trees at Saint Anne’s Church.
All of them were taken down.
Reason not disclosed.

Sound Off Jan 7

Prices stayed the same.
We just lost a good discount.
Art was being nice.

Don’t have to like the Mayor.
But just work with him.

Methuen tax rate.
They think my home’s worth more now.
Insult to maiming.

Stop blaming the rich.
They don’t create poverty.
Bad life choices do.

Unions gave us rights.
40 hour week and much more.
Read Sinclair’s ‘Jungle.’

Backtalk: 1/8/2015

Chelmsford government.
More corrupt than federal.
Incompetent too.

Chelmsford Manager.
Destroying our history.
Go back to Harvard!

Ev’ry life matters.
Just learn to obey the cops.
Have you seen “They Live”?

Dracut tax increase.
Adding to our homelessness.
No bridge to live ‘neath.

Tea Party “scandals.”
Benghazi VA healthcare.
Not really scandals

Lowell tax increase.
Pensions were managed poorly.
Shouldn’t have happened.

Sound Off Jan 8

Layover protest.
Good size turnout on cold day.
Make it in their state.

The Cardillo Post.
Great org for Italian kids.
We’re all older now.

Two types of homeless:
Those who choose and those who don’t.
Both types need some help.

Don’t whine about Art.
The discount was generous.
Crybabies bug me.

Leave Artie alone.
Don’t know where you’re buying stuff.
But MB’s still cheapest.

Backtalk: 1/9/2015

Delay would have worked.
Didn’t have to cancel school.
Weather heated up.

12 percent pay raise.
To people who never worked.
Social went up squat.

Put up blue candles.
Show support for the police.
‘specially Roxanne.

Sound Off Jan 9

Bring the layover.
Plaistow is the perfect place.
Nothing to ruin.

Plaistow needs Mass trains.
Northern plates in Haverhill lots.
Save yourselves the trip.

Support the pipeline.
Already have tons of it.
What’s a little more?

Protesting commies.
Saw ‘Revcom’ sign at rally.
That’s who’s against pipes.

Rich cause poverty.
Other factors are minor.
Greed isn’t healthy.

Backtalk: 1/10/2015

Chelmsford school board.
Tiano and McWilliams.
They both need to go.

Roadrunner service.
Drivers are nice and helpful.
Forgot about that.

Sending diplomats.
Lowell to Cambodia.
Just a vacation.

Chelmsford history.
Demolished without a care.
Shame of the present.

People whine too much.
Artie could give food away.
They’d ask ’bout gluten.

Back Off in #Haiku. 12/22-12/27/14.


Backtalk: 12/22/2014

Taxes increasing.
Can’t blame Lynch for it this time.
Wagon train heads north.

Love Cuban cigars.
Obama’s the greatest Prez.
His Care cures cancer.

Kmart bird killer.
We knew he was evil back then.
We were placing bets.

No crime in Dracut?
Or are cops just too lazy?
Too much paperwork.

Chelmsford should learn math.
School Committee overdrawn.
Serve them refreshments.

I’m 87.
I still say “Merry Christmas.”
And read newspapers.

Nick DeSilvio.
Focus on the school budget.
Not nepotism.

Sound Off Dec 22

Activists clueless.
War is sometimes the answer.
Remember Nazis.

Reagan fought unions.
Airport workers made too much.
He did it for us.

Unions save workers.
We’d have nothing without them.
Depression was real.

We need power plants.
Industrial park was first.
Know where you move to.

It isn’t torture.
And who cares if it might be?
Patriots kick ass.

Backtalk 12/23/14

Watch ‘Wonderful Life.’
That movie is magical.
Watch it ev’ry year.

Pot farm a huge win?
Manager has glaucoma.
We need a vision.

Cupples Square hookers.
Same two girls night after night.
No reason for that.

Packages stolen?
UPS isn’t concerned.
I once worked for them.

Warren not running?
I hope she keeps that promise.
Or I’ll leave the States.

State doesn’t rob us.
Just prints more lotto tickets.
Riding the addicts.

Tewksbury center.
Fill the empty windows first.
Flowers won’t draw much.

Backtalk 12/24/14

They’re not all addicts.
Homelessness is common now.
People have to eat.

Young man paid my bill.
Market Basket on Wood Street.
Merry Christmas sir.

Backtalkers sound old.
Entitled 90-year-olds.
Get over yourselves.

Lowell ain’t Chelmsford.
Smaller increase is still high.
Seniors can’t pay it.

Backtalk: 12/26/2014

Utilities increase.
Pipeline needed to save money.
Tree huggers choke us.

Don’t pay for sex change.
Not where I want taxes spent.
Children are dieing.

Dracut does plenty.
Buy a scanner and listen.
Arrests ev’ry day.

Goodwill towards men?
Let’s throw in women and kids.
Peace on Earth to all.

Ungrateful shoppers.
4 percent discount all year.
Hats off to Art T.

Backtalk: 12/27/2014

National Grid hike.
Rate went up 60 percent.
That hurts old people.

Electric rates went up.
Seventy bucks more this month.
And it’s Christmas time.

Menorahs are up.
Lowell’s a real melting pot.
City Hall looks nice.

Interview movie.
Killing an active leader?
That did cross the line.

I don’t like Coakley.
Chicks shouldn’t have confidence.
Go find a new job.

Back Off in #Haiku 12/15-20/2014


Backtalk: 12/15/2014

Student protesters.
Never learned time management.
Ripped off by Harvard.

Cemetery leaves.
Be nice if they picked those up.
Winter is coming.

Supporting torture.
Our enemies can be cruel.
Let your anger judge.

It isn’t torture.
They crashed planes into buildings.
All things justified..

Sound Off: 12/15/2014

Cheap gas stims spending?
Not when electric goes up.
And all other bills.

Methuen tax rate.
Annual increase again.
They love doing that.

Fishing industry.
Low-pay jobs with too high risks.
Boats facing sunset.

Lawrence City Council.
Talking about their dress code.
Ties fix broke windows.

Athletes suspended.
Players don’t respect their schools.
Prodigal returns.

Chamber of Commerce.
Cowards denying Christmas.
While it surrounds them.

Terrorists don’t reason.
We need to be just like them.
Reasoning is bad.

Sound Off: 12/17/2014

War is about pain.
We can’t afford to be nice.
No hugs for bombers.

Professors union.
College is just a business.
Students should do same.

Heroin problem.
Don’t let addicts run programs.
Just tell them to stop.

Not out to win hearts.
We’re trying to win a war.
Innocents will die.

Backtalk: 12/17/2014

All is beautiful.
Good job there ev’rybody.
Watch Megyn Kelly.

Chelmsford’s light display.
Nothing compared to neighbors.
Where do taxes go?

I just love torture.
Justified for thirteen years.
Pass me the lotion.

Industrial Ave.
New pavement starting to crack.
Check contract safeguards.

Don’t fix Ferguson.
Let the protesters rebuild.
Bed of cold ashes.

Backtalk: 12/18/2014

Sex change for inmate?
Not a medical problem.
Life’s not always nice.

Drug addicts begging.
Halfway up the Connector.
Manners would be nice.

Dracut hubcap thief.
Your needs are sadly present.
Prayers for your health.

Packages stolen.
FedEx leaves a trail of notes.
Small scavenger hunt.

Flint’s Corner traffic.
Improvements are beautiful.
Common sense prevails.

Sound Off: 12/18/2014

Power plants too close.
Don’t trust the politicians.
They’ve lied about worse.

Do unto others
Before they do it to you.
Cut their damn heads off.

Turn off your high beams.
Get glasses if you can’t see.
Magoo is texting.

Sure no laws were passed.
That don’t mean the Right is bad.
Not all laws are good.

Backtalk: 12/19/2014

Fire Frank Tiano.
Keep the pressure till he flees.
Remember to vote.

Zoning scared buyer.
Wrecking ball kills history.
Out of town and mind.

Love Luna Theatre.
We’ve needed it for decades.
Classic heartwarmers.

Media coverage.
All fights and nothing useful.
Seniors need raises.

Christmas lights are off.
Electric bills have doubled.
National Grinch sucks.

Sound Off Dec 19, 2014

Prison’s expensive.
Cheaper to get rapists fixed.
Street living takes balls.

Haverhill apartments.
Don’t need to build any more.
Schools are too crowded.

“Interview” cancelled.
I just want better movies.
Protest Grown Ups 3.

We don’t need more laws.
Blocking bad laws is crucial.
Nothing needs to change.

I want my free speech!
I’m saying “Merry Christmas!”

Schools don’t need unions.
Instructors receive tenure.
Unions guard the weak.

Backtalk: 12/20/2014

CHRISTmas greeting cards.
Easy to find if you look.
CVS has them.

Mark Wahlberg’s record.
He must think it’s Hollywood.
Real world don’t forgive.

Marathon bomber.
Demonstrators support him.
We have a jury.

Cuppples Square clean-up.
Store owners got together.
Bridge Street should do same.

Chelmsford fire station.
Old place all closed and boarded.
History condemned.

Cops need more training.
We can agree on that point.
But they’re still human.

MB employees.
They all got their bonuses.
I want something too.