April showers (March edition)

March 28, 2017

‘Twas a fine soft day at El Rancho Pendejo.

Boy, can I pick a day for a birthday ride or what?

Yesterday, three hours of cycling in spring kit; today, 40 minutes of trail running in tights, long-sleeved polypro, rain jacket, tuque and woolen glove liners.

But hey, I’m not complaining. This is the upper Chihuahuan Desert and we’ll take all the aqua fria we can get and then some.

Plus I got to watch the neighbors’ 2-year-old splashing happily in the puddles, and heard the first hummingbird of 2017 while walking The Boo. It’s all good.

 

Threescore and three

March 27, 2017

The clouds were creeping in over the Sandias come afternoon.

Got the birthday ride in — did 63 kilometers, not miles, for anyone keeping score — and it looks like I picked the right day for it, because the weather seems to be taking a turn for the worse. I’ll be running tomorrow, if I get out at all.

A powerful tailwind added a couple miles per hour to the usual slog back from the Paseo del Bosque, and glad I was to have it, too. One of these days I need to acquire one of them comosellamas all the Kool Kidz have, whatchacall your e-lectronical whizbang that tells you how much vertical gain you’ve logged over the course of a day’s cycling. My educated guess for today’s little outing is “a right shitload.”

Anyway, pizza for dinner and a couple episodes of “Fargo” for dessert. It’s a weirdo, just like its daddy the Coen brothers movie of the same name. But you can’t go wrong with the likes of Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman and Bob Odenkirk, y’know. Yah, real good now.

 

Acid test

March 26, 2017

The back yard is flowering up at light speed.

As I fought my own losing battle with seasonal allergies on Friday it was a pleasant distraction to see Darth Cheeto and Paul “Lyin'” Ryan sound “Retreat” and skedaddle off into the swamp, their shit-stained tails tucked between their legs.

The weather here has abruptly become more seasonable, which is to say less awesome, but Herself and I got out for a 40-minute trail run yesterday. Her pink “Bernie” shirt accessorized nicely with the blooming foliage while my wheezing was just another instrument in the symphony of shortcomings that is the U.S. health-care system (albuterol inhalers just plain cost too fucking much, even without additional tax cuts for the rich).

For a guy whose stash box once made Walgreens look like Baskin-Robbins I have developed a surprising reluctance to take drugs, for anything, even asthma and allergies. Non-Drowsy Claritin-D 12 Hour (pseudoephedrine sulfate) reminds me of decent speed for the first couple of hours, but after that it’s all like, “Dude, where’s my cognitive functions?”

That said, when I saw I was down to my last two tabs I was all like, “Whoa!” and toddled off to the Walgreens for another box.

That shit don’t be cheap, neither. And you can’t just pull it off a shelf. No, you must negotiate with the pharmacist to get it (thanks, meth-heads). But once you show the whitecoats that (a) you have all your teefers; (2) aren’t furiously scratching any open sores; and (III) aren’t twitching like you just got tased by the John Laws, why, all you have to do is fork over the $23.99 for 20 tabs.

Shit, that’s about what I used to pay for acid in the good old days (dealer’s discount). It was loads more fun than Claritin-D, and I don’t recall my nose running, either.

‘This is ridiculous’

March 23, 2017

The pear tree in the back yard has been enjoying regular medical care and looks great.

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones is an actual wonk, unlike, say, Paul “Lyin'” Ryan, who only plays one on TV.

Kevin also suffers from multiple myeloma, and thus has made an extensive study of the U.S. health-care system, and the hard way, too. Happily, his employer provides excellent health care.

And so when Kevin writes about health care, I pay close attention. And here’s what he has to say about the House GOP’s latest scheme — surgically removing what the Affordable Care Act deemed “Essential Health Benefits” — to make its destruction of the ACA palatable to the Knuckledraggers Caucus.

This means that a health insurer could literally sell you a policy that didn’t cover doctor visits, hospital visits, ER visits, your children’s health care, or prescription drugs—and still be perfectly legal.

No. 1 on his top-three list of problems with Ryan’s little scheme: “Oh come on. This is ridiculous.” I might have used the word “psychotic,” but you know how I am.

Anyway, if you haven’t been in touch with your congresscritter on this issue, best get busy. This dog is likely to limp to the House floor sometime today.

Spring fever

March 20, 2017

The pear tree woke up over the weekend.

Hoo boy. Allergies. Good times. Maybe not.

But at least it’s spring, amirite? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaachoo!

 

Rock ‘n’ rage

March 19, 2017

Jaysis. What a weekend. First we lose Chuck Berry and then Jimmy Breslin.

Berry remains on tour extraterrestrially — “Johnny B. Goode” is on golden records aboard the Voyager I and II spacecraft, launched in 1977.

One of my favorite Breslin books is “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.”  What could I tell you? There are so many keepers in there, like this graf:

The Baccala Family runs all organized crime in Brooklyn. The gang has been in Brooklyn longer than the Ferris Wheel at Coney Island. It was formed in 1890 under the leadership of Raymond the Wolf. He ate babies. Raymond the Wolf passed away one night from natural causes: his heart stopped beating when three men who slipped into his bedroom stuck knives in it. Joe the Wop, who had sent the three men, took over the mob. Joe the Wop shot nuns. A year later he dropped dead while being strangled.

I didn’t know this quote until I read it in his obit, but it works for me, too:

“Rage is the only quality which has kept me, or anybody I have ever studied, writing columns for newspapers.”

I’ve never raged as well as Breslin or Berry, but I keep on trying. If only they hadn’t set the bar so damn’ high.

Reel scored for pennywhistle and putty knife

March 17, 2017

It’s not as boondocky as it looks: The Trek 520 shoot took place just west of Albuquerque.

There was a time when I might have begun St. Patrick’s Day with a dollop of Irish in the coffee and ended it with a few pints of the black, playing Clannad, The Chieftains and The Pogues in between.

Not this year.

We’d been contemplating the renovation of Herself’s office, and as it happens the dude who does that sort of thing for us was available this very week, the same week during which Herself was scheduled to take a business trip to Florida.

Bejaysis.

So instead of getting my Irish on I arose early to feed and water the menagerie, swallow a bit of (unenhanced) java, and record the voiceover on my Trek 520 video (see screenshot, above) before the hooley resumed. The cats took up their positions under the bed and Mister Boo — well, nothing fazes The Boo save a late meal, so he was fine.

And I broke out the old iPod Nano, the better to hear The Chieftains by. May yis all be in heaven a half hour before the divvil hears you’re dead.

 

The music a’Waits

March 14, 2017

OK, apropos of nothing in particular, check out this interview with Tom Waits at The New York Times Style Magazine.

Beck and Kendrick Lamar are in there, too, if that’s how you roll.

The money quote for me — from Waits, of course — is about inspiration and how it strikes:

If you want to catch songs you gotta start thinking like one, and making yourself an interesting place for them to land like birds or insects.

 

The cat’s meow

March 14, 2017

Flower child.

Miss Mia Sopaipilla reports from the field that spring has sprung, no matter what your calendar may say.

Also, she adds, you needn’t worry yourself sick about health care. Whenever Mia gets the vapors, a sick headache, or the jim-jams, some two-legged type takes her to the vet and picks up the tab.

Apparently this good Samaritan also provides nutrition and sanitation, likewise free of charge.

Mia recommends we all get ourselves one of them there.

 

Breaking news

March 12, 2017

It was an under-the-covers operation.

He is a Boo of action, to be sure.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (MDM) — Hidden-camera footage released Sunday afternoon appears to show Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) meeting in secret with Mia, a known Russian Blue.

Asked whether he would sack his household-security adviser, President Boo replied, “Zzzzzzzzzzz … slurp, smack … Russian? As in Russian dressing? Yummmmmm. … zzzzzzzzzzzzz.”