I need some Led in my pencil

January 12, 2016
ledzeppelin1

Boy, did I ever play the mortal shit out of this one on my parents’ Telefunken, which until the Sixties had been accustomed to a steady diet of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and the like.

Well, Ziggy Stardust may have left the building, but Led Zeppelin beat him to the door. The band broke up in December 1980 after the death of drummer John Bonham, but it was on this day in 1969 that they released their first album.

So with that in mind, here’s a little fiery Zep to hot you up on a cold January morning.

R.I.P., Ziggy Stardust

January 11, 2016

ziggy

Put on your red shoes and dance the blues.

Road work redux

January 8, 2016
The High Desert neighborhood makes a fine proving ground for touring machinery, with rolling terrain, light traffic and bike lanes.

The High Desert neighborhood makes a fine proving ground for touring machinery, with rolling terrain, light traffic and bike lanes.

Yesterday was one of those insanely busy days that should never afflict the underemployed. We’re not equipped for it.

The Marrakesh Express (c'mon, you knew it was coming sooner or later, right?).

The Marrakesh Express (c’mon, you knew it was coming sooner or later, right?).

With deadlines flitting around my scalp like Hunter S. Thompson’s Barstow bats I committed a few crimes against cycling, emailing back and forth with product managers, marketing wizards and editors; swapping bits of this and that from one bike to another; and bending fender stays around disc calipers, cutting all corners that looked even remotely cuttable, and beating on anything that wouldn’t cut with my favorite tool, the Bravo Foxtrot Hotel (look it up).

Then, before blasting off to the Whole Paycheck for supplies and liberating the Turk from the Nazi war dentist, I managed a brisk, 45-minute ride on the Salsa Marrakesh with full panniers.

It wasn’t actually snowing, which was nice —the temps were in the lower 40s, and I will even go so far as to say that this did not suck, not for January. You may quote me if you like.

This morning it was precipitating again, and Your Humble Narrator was all about writing bikes rather than riding them. Also, furthermore, moreover and too, there was the doctoring of the Turk, the roasting of the poblanos outdoors in a light snowfall, and the cooking of a medium-sized pot of lamb and white bean chili.

Speaking of cooking, now I seem to be slightly baked for some reason.

Bearing up

January 8, 2016
Gonna be the biggest, baddest bear ever. And then you'll be sorry.

Gonna be the biggest, baddest bear ever. And then you’ll be sorry.

Editor’s note: The following is a guest post from Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment).

We have been to the dentist. We are not amused. We wish we were a bear like the one on the Apple TV screensaver. Then when someone thought we needed to go to the dentist we could slap all the ass off of them and eat a salmon with our funky teefers.

Carpet bomb

January 6, 2016
I'd have installed a headlight but I'm afraid of the dark.

I’d have installed a headlight but I’m afraid of the dark.

Since the weather outside is frightful, and likely to remain that way for some time, I’ve decided to launch a new touring magazine for the fainthearted: Dricycling.

It should work for agoraphobes, too. But I’m not going out looking for any.

 

 

Forget about the guns …

January 6, 2016
The Sandias are out there somewhere.

The Sandias are out there somewhere.

I'm pretty sure that this is unconstitutional.

I’m pretty sure that this is unconstitutional.

… some remorseless tyrant has snatched up our gorgeous Southwestern colors!

I should grab up the ol’ smokepole and go looking for them. Will y’all promise to send snacks? A federal disability check? The media?

Thanks, Obama!

 

Road work

January 4, 2016
I wanted to get a decent ride in today, as this is supposed to be the calm before the storm.

I wanted to get a decent ride in today, as this is supposed to be the calm before the storm.

Lord, it was a beautiful day to ride the bike.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. (Pay no attention to the leash on the field marshal.)

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. (Pay no attention to the leash on the field marshal.)

I was actually overdressed for a change — three long-sleeved jerseys, a light Pearl Izumi jacket with winter gloves, heavy Descente winter bib tights, wool socks, Sidis with Castelli booties, tuque under the helmet — and while I was glad for all that during my descent of Tramway, when I turned around and started climbing I began wishing that I’d clipped some panniers full of lighter-weight kit to the Salsa Marrakesh’s rear rack.

Instead, I stuffed the jacket into a jersey pocket and enjoyed the unexpected warmth.

The temps had risen to the low 40s by the time I returned to my heavily fortified compound, which I had left in the capable paws of Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment).

The Turk’ reports that the most immediate threat to the security of El Rancho Pendejo comes not from Y’all-Qaeda, but rather from the skies. The weather wizards are calling for light snow through Friday.

Maybe we should ask the Weather Underground to occupy the Weather Underground.

 

Mutiny from stern to bow

January 3, 2016

Huh. If memory serves, when a bunch of smelly hippies, Injuns and uppity colored people tried pulling this seditious shit they got shut down right fast, shot all to be damn, jailed, and vilified for decades afterward.

Even candidates for office were derided for having “palled around” with them.

Ah, but I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now.

 

Tights stretch

January 2, 2016
¡Cuidado, señores y señoritas, hot plate!

¡Cuidado, señores y señoritas, hot plate!

“I’d like to ride more in 2016,” he said. Yes, and the residents of Hell would enjoy a cold beverage.

No cold beverages for me, thanks. We’re still mired in the 20s here, though “they” say we should see 40-something later today.

But you know how “they” lie.

With the temps pegged well below freezing I skipped my plans for a New Year’s Day ride and instead cooked up a mess of beans and rice to go with the leftovers from our tinga poblana orgy. Now I won’t have to cook for three days. Though I do have some leftover chorizo, and some tomatillos and an avocado, so with a couple of spuds I could crank out some tacos de papas con chorizo y salsa de aguacate. …

Um, no. I make another unholy mess in the kitchen and I’m guaranteed not to make it to Valentine’s Day, much less summer.

Chile today

January 1, 2016
Pax capsicum.

Pax capsicum.

2016 has begun as 2015 ended, with a bit of fresh snow on the deck and temps in the mid-20s. And they call this a “new year.” Harumph, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

Last year was the wettest in a decade for Albuquerque and New Mexico, according to the Albuquerque Journal. A quarter of the state remains abnormally dry, but the National Weather Service says there is no drought for the first time in five years.

As to 2016, quien sabe?

“It’s hard to say what short-term drought will be like next summer,” says Chuck Jones, a meteorologist with the Albuquerque office of the NWS. “But we are getting off to a good start for 2016.”

Of course, opinions vary wildly as regards what constitutes “a good start for 2016.” All the four-legged O’Gradys are curled up in their various beds trying to stay warm, while the two-legged types are pouring cups of hot tea over last night’s tinga poblana, which proved a stunning success. If you’re feeling the January chill, I urge you to make it at once, if not sooner.


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