Posts Tagged ‘Herself’

Black, white and red

October 29, 2015
Sure, the thermometer shows a temp in the upper 50s. You gonna believe me or your lyin' eyes?

Sure, the thermometer shows a temp in the upper 50s. You gonna believe me or your lyin’ eyes?

As the dark days of winter loom I’ve been tormenting people on Facebook and Twitter with photos of a sunny, warm Albuquerque, so it’s only fair that last night Herself and I both felt a tad chilly under just a sheet and lightweight bedspread, and this morning it was sprinkling as I backed the Forester out of the garage for its date with the Subaru wizards at Reincarnation.

Cycling home from the shop in a chilly breeze I had to stop to beef up my kit, pulling on a light jacket, long-fingered gloves and tuque. Happily, the rain cut me some slack and I got home without a soaking. Also without photos. I’m not good enough with Photoshop to turn today’s gray skies blue.

There’s a bit of red in the old fiscal picture, though. Subie wants a new driveshaft. Owie. I guess I’m lucky to have avoided a long walk home from this last trip to Bibleburg, the only one in recent memory in which a bicycle didn’t come along for the ride.

Meanwhile, how refreshing to find out that a Bush really doesn’t want the job before we give it to him: “Contributors detected little urgency in his voice, and some were taken aback when Mr. Bush announced that he had an hour free on his schedule and was going to go work out.”

Remember, this is the smart one.

Dire woof

September 12, 2015
Winter is coming! Also, Interbike.

Winter is coming! Also, Interbike.

I dreamed the other night that I was racing cyclo-cross, and doing pretty well at it, too, which was how I could tell it was a dream.

Sleep has been in short supply lately, with Herself off visiting friends in England. The menagerie is used to her schedule, not mine, and if you can sleep through reveille as sounded by Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment), I regret to inform you that you died during the night.

Thus, instead of dozing until 6 a.m. I’ve been up and at ’em around 4:30, not least because Mister Boo has been suffering the usual separation anxiety, which manifests itself in peeing in the house and bouts of diarrhea alternating with constipation.

Also, and too, sniveling. Nobody snivels like The Boo. He wants that lady who gives him things, and I’m sure he suspects that I have finally driven her away for good, perhaps to some other, younger Chin with two good eyes and no incontinence issues.

Once everyone’s gotten fed and watered, I’ve been logging in at Live Update Guy with about half the voices in my head still clearing their respective throats. This annoys my colleague Charles Pelkey, who like me enjoys a quiet hour to himself in the morning and has come to expect me and my diagnoses to arrive 7-ish.

After a few hours of Vuelta bloggery I’ve lost interest in other blood sports, like politics, though it’s impossible not to notice that Hillary seems hellbent on topping Fritz Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore and John Kerry in the Worst Democratic Candidate for President In My Lifetime Sweepstakes. I’ve rarely seen a coronation go so horribly sideways, and I’ve watched all five seasons of “Game of Thrones.”

Speaking of the White Walkers, Interbike starts next week, which probably explains why I woke up no fewer than three times last night, the final time with the Son House version of “John the Revelator” playing in my head, which, surprisingly, remained attached to my neck.

I should be in tip-top shape by the time I hit the show floor in King’s Landing with the Adventure Cyclist mob. Hey, those aren’t bags under my eyes, pal. Those are panniers.

Happy solstice

June 21, 2015
What this sucker needs is a sprinkler system that comes on when you cycle through.

What this sucker needs is a sprinkler system that comes on when you cycle through.

It’s the longest day of the year, and is it ever a scorcher. Ninety-nine in the Duke City at the moment. A tip of the sweatband to Willis Haviland Carrier, who gave us air conditioning.

Got a couple nice rides in recently as part of a concentrated effort to (a) not read every word written online about the Charleston massacre, and (2) not apply for emigration to Mars.

On Friday, Adventure Cyclist contributor Merrill Callaway and I rode down to Two Wheel Drive on Central to chat a while with owner Charlie Ervin. If you’re ever in Albuquerque make sure you pop into Charlie’s shop. Lovely people, a friendly dog, and bike stuff, too. If TWD had a taqueria, bar and swimming pool the place would be perfect. But then pretty much anyplace would be, que no?

On Saturday Herself and I rode out to Tijeras and back. She claimed afterward that she would have ridden faster without me. I proposed that she get in line with all the other people who are faster than me.  That would be quite the paceline.

The underpass above is about the only shade between here and there and back again, so it seems that I must become an early riser if I’m to be cycling up to Madrid, Santa Fe and points north in this brand-new summer.

But I’d have to get up very early in the morning to even come close to thinking about maybe, possibly, approaching the marker that our most recent guest at Chez Dog has laid down.

First, he cycled from Las Vegas to Bibleburg for a nephew’s wedding. Then he rode up Pikes Peak.


Voodoo child

May 14, 2015
The old Voodoo Wazoo will be my daily driver for the foreseeable future. Toward that end it got a couple upgrades, including slimed tubes, Jandd Grocery Panniers and Egg Beater pedals.

The old Voodoo Wazoo will be my daily driver for the foreseeable future. Toward that end it got a couple upgrades, including slimed tubes, Jandd Grocery Panniers and Egg Beater pedals.

Damn, what a week. Another Bicycle Retailer deadline, the Giro every morning, and an abrupt and unwelcome thinning of the vehicular herd in the garage.

No, we didn’t lose any bicycles. That would be unbearable. But we did say sayonara to Herself’s 2002 Subaru Outback, which has been donated to KUNM-FM after the wizards at Reincarnation said that just about everything between the bumpers was completely fucked.

What began as a timing-belt replacement quickly blossomed into your basic nightmare, in which one repair leads to another: head gasket, clutch, tranny, front rotors, struts front and rear, wheel bearings, tires all around aaaaaaahhhh Jesus make it stop!

When the discussion starts with, “How much does your wife love this car?” you know it’s going to end badly. So, yeah. Off it went. Some cars you’re only gonna get 205,000 miles out of. We was robbed.

Happily, as Master Yoda said, “There is another.” My ’05 Forester. Guess who’s driving that now?

Right you are.

And my vehicle? That’s pictured up top.

• Editor’s note: What are you mutts using for motor vehicles these days? Subarus and Toyotas have been pretty good to us over the years, but we’re always willing to entertain other possibilities. Please to keep in mind that we’re (a) cheap, and (2) have nothing to use as a trade-in.

Friday the 13th

March 13, 2015
The skies are rarely boring above Duke City. Looks like we're getting a visit from an alien spacecraft that overshot Roswell.

The skies are rarely boring above Duke City. Looks like we’re getting a visit from an alien spacecraft that overshot Roswell.

Eek eek eek eek eek, etc.

I’d hide under the bed with Turkish if I didn’t have so much to do. Plus it looks like a nice day to ride the old bikey bike, if you’re not allergic to cedar, juniper and/or elm. Snurk. Honk. Ptui.

Herself and I popped round to Scalo last night to celebrate her (mumble-mumble)th birthday and it was a pleasure as always. Tasty food, excellent service, reasonable prices, and someone else does the cooking and cleaning up afterward; if you’re ever passing through town, feel free to take us out to dinner there. I had the penne con salciccia, and she had grilled sea bass over polenta. We split a plate of insalata di cavolo.

In other news, the MacWizards are still waving their iWands over my sickly computer down to the Apple Store, and this being a Friday the 13th I’m anticipating evil tidings and contemplating strategies.

I have the MacBook Pro, but I can’t say I’m a big fan of extended work on laptops. It’s hard on the neck, and the screen real estate is extremely limited for a guy who’s used to running side-by-side 22-inch monitors. There are workarounds, obviously— add an external monitor and a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse combo — but it’s kind of a clunky setup, and my office already looks like the den of a crackhead who’s great at stealing technology but poor at selling it. Plus one must leave room atop the desk for passing cats. That’s Scripture.

Then, this morning, I happened across a news item I’d overlooked while sneering at Apple’s new MacBook and Watch. Seems Cupertino also dropped the price of its Apple TV to just 69 smackers, which is less than we spent on a birthday dinner last night. We’ve been using a 2010 Mac Mini to stream our TV, but it’s total overkill, about like driving a tack with a barrel bomb. What if I were to buy an Apple TV for streaming video and repurpose the Mini as my main work computer? Other Pat is using one and early reports are encouraging. Eureka!

It’ll take me down to one 22-inch monitor, but that means more room on the desk for cats. Another First World Problem solved. Winning!


Apple, Samsung and Hanes

February 2, 2015
What director Quentin Ferrentino sees just before the iMac hiccups, stutters and croaks.

What director Quentin Ferrentino sees just before the iMac hiccups, stutters and croaks.

Is the Super Bowl finally over? No, I see we’re still second-guessing coaches, lip-syncing sharks and that crucial, botched call — Nationwide’s decision to run that dead-kid ad instead of throwing it into the trash.

We didn’t watch any of it here at Rancho Pendejo, not even the ads. Herself was on a mission from God to clean up the joint, and I was doing a job of work, hammering away at a video review of the Novara Mazama for Adventure Cyclist and trying to troubleshoot ongoing technical glitches with the old iMac.

At 6 years of age, this ‘puter may be nearing the end of its useful existence, though a 15-year-old G3 “Pismo” PowerBook is still ticking right along with all its original equipment. Not so the iMac. Its optical drive croaked a while back, and ever since I “upgraded” to Mavericks I’ve been enjoying occasional and inexplicable freezes that force me into an irksome hard reset that occasionally costs me a bit of work. Kindly old Doc Google tells me I’m not alone in my suffering, and this is one of the reasons I’m dragging my feet on the Yosemite and iOS 8 upgrades.

Last night after a weirdo crash that left both monitors black, but with a moveable cursor, I booted into Safe Mode, which runs a few diagnostics, then said fuck it and booted again, this time into the Recovery HD, and ran Disk Utility.

The hard drive “appears to be OK,” says DU, so I repaired permissions and called it good. This morning nothing was on fire or defunct, which is better.

Now if Samsung will get around to installing a new drain pump in our 5-month-old washing machine, we’ll really have it going on. The goddamn thing has been on the sidelines for a week and I need to upgrade my undies to something a little, um, fresher.


Hallelujah, everybody say cheese

December 24, 2014
Merry Christmas from the family.

Merry Christmas from the family.

Herself wished to take a family portrait on Christmas Eve, and as you know, her every wish is my command.

It took some doing — the specter of blood loss kept rearing its ugly head, personified by Turkish, who loathes the paparazzi — but we finally managed to get one shot in which the primates looked vaguely human, at the expense of the menagerie.

The cooperation, as per usual, was at U.N. Security Council levels. The Turk was wondering whether giving me a quick right cross would be worth the consequences (no lap time come evening); Mia was egging him on (“C’mon, do it, y’big pussy!”); and The Boo turned a blind eye (ho ho ho) to the entire endeavor.

Herself, whose idea this was, remained serene as always. Someone has to be the rock around here, and while I have certain millstone-ish properties, these are rarely helpful in moments of crisis like this.

I did manage to trip the shutter, though. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Merry Christmas from the family.


Meanwhile, back at the ranch …

December 1, 2014
The previous owner of Rancho Pendejo called this time of day right around sunset "the golden hour" for its effect on the Sandias.

The previous owner of Rancho Pendejo called this time of day right around sunset “the golden hour” for its effect on the Sandias.

December? Sez who? The calendar? Well, all righty then.

Thanksgiving and Black Friday are in the rear-view mirror — and also in the toilet, holiday-sales-wise — and Cyber Monday is upon us, with Solstice dead ahead.

Herself the Elder has been shipped safely back to Tennessee, Herself the Younger is back at work at the Sandia National Libraratory, and I am overseeing various maintenance operations at The House Back East® from Rancho Pendejo.  (Handy Household Hint: Never own more than one house at a time, and make sure it has wheels, an engine and a parking spot down by the creek. And yes, this is strictly a First World problem.)

I won’t torture those of you in wintry climes with reports of our weather (52 and sunny) or my plans for the morning once I hear an electrician’s report (hourlong run through the desert). Neither should you expect me to threaten anyone on Facebook, not even the Supreme Court, which lord knows has it coming.

Finally, Little Chris Horner seems to have stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum in the form of a gig with the Continental team Airgas-Safeway. No word on whether they’ll have the 2013 Vuelta a España champ bagging at the register, working a wet cleanup in aisle nine, or delivering propane to my new home down by the creek.

Paging Dr. Moreau

November 9, 2014
He'll be back. Actually, he's already here.

He’ll be back. Actually, he’s already here.

All is well on the Island, for those of you who expressed curiosity. Herself is sounding less like Tom Waits and more like (wait for it) Herself, and Mister Boo is adjusting nicely to monocular vision.

The former has been subsisting on a diet of health-restoring soups (chicken noodle, posole), cough drops, and various over-the-counter nostrums, including a nightly hot toddy made with Jameson, local honey and lemon.

The latter is taking more prescription drugs than a right-wing radio personality, shamelessly using his disability to extort treats from anyone in his vicinity, and sleeping in the bed with Your Humble Narrator, who as a consequence has grown slightly red of eye himself.

He has his first follow-up appointment with the eyeball doc on Wednesday — the Boo, not YHN — but our uninformed opinion is that the little guy is doing quite well. And Herself has only missed one day of work, which is fortunate, because someone has to pay for all of this, and I don’t think it’s gonna be Obama.

Homes, homes on the range

September 16, 2014
The view from the back yard at Rancho Pendejo.

The view from the back yard at Rancho Pendejo.

The move to Duke City is going two ways, gradually and then suddenly, like Mike’s bankruptcy in “The Sun Also Rises.”

Since August we’ve managed to shift Herself, her toiletries and a subset of her wardrobe, and Mister Boo to Rancho Pendejo. Then, a week from today, boom! The movers show up and in two days Chez Dog will be stripped bare, its innards exported to New Mexico.

Mister Boo supervises my cycling coverage from the other side of the couch.

Mister Boo supervises my cycling coverage from the other side of the couch.

I spent Saturday night at the new place. Herself had scored a queen-sized bed for one of the guest rooms, which meant we could dispense with the inflatable mattress in the master bedroom, and come morning I did a few hours’ worth of paying work in the living room before stuffing the mobile office back into the Subaru and motoring north.

I’m out of practice at working on the go, and it shows. I tapped away at the MacBook in a crouch from the couch until I remembered the previous owner had left a cheapo desk and chair in a back room. Duh. That took a few of the kinks out of my process.

But I missed having the Turk sprawled out on my drawing board, and Mia peevishly demanding someone’s attention (“Meow? Meow? Meeeyow!”) So it was good to come home, even if “home” is something of a fluid concept at the moment — here today, there tomorrow.

And I even managed a ride, the first in a good long while. And just in time, too. Last night I dreamed that I had shed so much muscle mass since this two-speed exodus commenced that my bib shorts had become baggies.



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