A hard rain

May 22, 2018

The clouds over the Sandias look to be answering the bell for round two.

It rained and hailed like a mad bastard for a spell yesterday, the first moisture to make landfall here in the better part of quite some time. Fifty-four days, to be precise.

The trees lost a few leaves, and the Duke City lost at least one resident, who got swept to the next world via the North Diversion Channel. Firefighters rescued five other folks from various places they shouldn’t have oughta been. Water don’t play, yo.

We might get some more today, and we might not. Regardless, don’t expect to see me loading up the woody with my board inside, heading out and singing my song. I have other, drier diversions in mind.

Electric bus(t)

May 20, 2018

OK, so I’m just spitballing here, but what if we got these really long extension cords. …

Huh. “Problems plague push for electric buses.” Imagine my surprise. The phrase “One hand washes the other” was coined by some poor sap who discovered the hard way that giving a handjob with one mitt while grabbing a sheaf of greenbacks with the other can be a very messy business indeed.

Maybe some enterprising sort can just airdrop a shit-ton of Bird scooters on LA and Albuquerque. Save a bunch of money, create jobs for chargers, and give the locals a new reason to be shooting each other all the time.

Back to work

May 19, 2018

The Bianchi Orso 105, intended for everything from “commuting to centuries, long distance touring to backroad bikepacking,” according to the company website.

Just as I was getting used to the idea of not having much to do, being a geezer whose increasingly feeble revenue stream depends on the depleted wells of bicycling and journalism, suddenly I have two bikes to review for Adventure Cyclist, and one of them posthaste, if you please, as another reviewer’s bike seems to have gone someplace without him.

REI’s Co-op ADV 1.1, a classic triple-ring tourer tarted up with hydraulic disc brakes.

The new arrivals are a Co-op Cycles ADV 1.1, a $1,299 tourer from REI, and a Bianchi Orso 105, a $2,100 “all-road” bike with its roots in the venerable Volpe line.

Some people snicker at the idea of buying a bike from REI, but I’ve reviewed a couple of Co-op’s Novara predecessors and felt they delivered solid value at a reasonable price. “The Novara Verita,” I wrote, “will take you everywhere but to the cleaners.” The Mazama adventure bike was likewise “light on the wallet” and fun to ride.

I have some time on Bianchis, too. When she was affiliated with the organization Sky Yaeger loaned me a Castro Valley for a spell, and I liked the Zurigo Disc enough to add it to the fleet, though it suffers from an alloy frame, carbon fork and disc brakes, a.k.a. the Three Horsepersons of the Apocalypse.

The Co-op will be first out of the chute, and boy, am I glad I have some kilometers under my bibs, because it weighed in at 34.7 pounds before I installed the pedals. Expect to see me paying frequent visits to that 26-tooth granny ring. I guess that’s why they call it “work.”

Speaking of adventure, T.E. Lawrence died on this day in 1935. Keep an eye peeled for all them derned kids on bicycles, hogging the road.

Off to (not) see the Wizard

May 15, 2018

This picture won’t prove it, but the bosque trail seemed pretty busy for a Tuesday.

Seasonal temps, blue skies, a tailwind for most of the homebound leg … what’s not to like?

It being the birthday of L. Frank Baum, himself a scribe of some small renown, I decided this morning to embark on a journey.

Didn’t make it to the Emerald City (that derned yellow brick road doesn’t appear anywhere on my map), but I did reach the bosque, which has greened up nicely. Standing in for tin men, scarecrows and cowardly lions were cyclists, skaters and joggers.

Temps were seasonal, which is to say in the 80s, and the wind was favorable, pushing me back uphill toward home. No tornado, no balloon, no ruby slippers — just the breeze, the bike and those old black Sidis.

And neither wicked witch nor flying monkeys impeded my progress. I guess they’re all busy in DeeCee.

 

 

Happy Mothers Day

May 13, 2018

Faces only a Mother could love.

This one goes out to all you mothers.

 

Holy macaroni!

May 12, 2018

Good God, what a motley crew. No wonder I drank. I bet this photo wound up on bulletin boards in newspaper HR offices nationwide, bearing a red stamp reading “DO NOT HIRE.”

Herself and I celebrated 28 years of unholy matrimony this morning with the traditional “Happy Anniversary” dance in the kitchen.

And what a long, strange tripping of the light fantastic it’s been, too. When we got shackled up at Jekyll & Hyde State Park outside Fanta Se in 1990 Herself was managing the DeVargas Center location of B. Dalton Bookseller (anyone remember bookstores?) and I was an editor at The New Mexican (anyone remember newspapers?).

“Is there a bus ticket and some fake I.D. in here somewhere? Goddamnit!”

Just shy of three decades further on down the road, she is a skilled, respected information-services professional burrowed like a tick into the leathery hide of the Military-Industrial Complex, while I … I … ai yi yi. The less said about that, the better. For every up, there must be a down. That’s Scripture. Ballistics. The Scripture of Ballistics? One a them there.

Anyway, that we have nearly made it to the Big Three-Oh is not my fault. She had Lasik. She can work an Excel spreadsheet. She knows where the guns and the airport are.

But Herself is in the habit of collecting stray animals and is reluctant to concede defeat, even in the face of tattered furniture, soiled carpets, and a dwindling income stream that one might blame on an aged prostate if a work ethic had one.

Fortunately one of us remains viable. We started small, in that teensy rental roach motel on Romero Street, and now we have this fauxdobe hacienda with a great big yard. Sometimes she lets me off the leash to chase rabbits.

That’s what she’ll tell the cops and neighbors when they wonder why they haven’t seen me wobbling around on the bike lately, anyway.

“I took my eyes off him for one second and he was over the wall and gone! Beg pardon? What’s with the shovel and the mound? Oh, just turning over an old flower bed. Why do you ask? ’Scuse me, I have a flight to catch.”

Bloomin’ marvelous

May 11, 2018

The daffodils and tulips have come and gone, and now it’s the irises’ turn.

The plant life hereabouts doesn’t seem to have gotten the word about our record heat and drought.

The roses on the back patio are doing as well as ever, and maybe better.

Roses are exploding on their trellis, the irises are going full tilt, and the lawn — well, it actually looks kind of like a lawn.

And those little green apples that God didn’t make? Well, somebody did. We’re gonna have a metric shit-ton of those inedible sonsabitches to contend with here directly.

Good thing we don’t have a Triffid. Judging by the way everything else is coming along, our little cinder-block wall sure wouldn’t restrict its movements any.

Nossir, that sucker would be striding around and about the Greater Comanche Foothills Yacht & Cricket Club, snatching up the neighbors and their pets, lowering property values, and making Republicans of the survivors.

Danger, Will Robinson

May 10, 2018

“Call Uber, see if they’ve got those flying cars up and running yet.
I’d like to get the hell out of here.”

Remember when Google’s motto used to be “Don’t be evil?”

Those were good times, hey? ’Scuse me, I need to take this call. Hi, Dr. Smith!

Asked for comment, Skynet-Palantír-Magic 8-Ball CEO Sauron DeGreate said, “Eye have no idea what you’re so excited about. That’s a joke, I say, that’s a joke, son! Say hello to Siri for me.”

Be Worst

May 8, 2018

Remember, kids, cutting and pasting other people’s work
is for bloggers only.

From Steve Benen at the Maddow Blog:

• Melania Trump’s “Be Best” blather was apparently another cut-and-paste job, liberating the content of a document released by the previous administration’s Federal Trade Commission in 2014. The writing, it is hard. I know, believe me, I know.

• While Ms. Trump was Being Best, her husband and his pals were being the other thing. Jeffy Bob Jimmie Joe Sessions plans to separate immigrant parents and children because, you know, “the best people,” etc., et al., and so on and so forth. The Big Orange Cheese, meanwhile, wants to slash more than $15 billion in previously approved spending, more than half of it to come from the Children’s Health Insurance Program, because children can’t vote, buy real estate, or suck a golf ball through a garden hose.

• And finally, according to The New Yorker, Eric T. Schneiderman has resigned as New York attorney general to spend more time with his family and work on a memoir entitled, “Shut the Fuck Up And Get Me Another Drink, You Whore (Before I Slap You Again).”

‘The Post has been totally gutted. …’

May 7, 2018

“We need more budget cuts. Call it 10-15 percent. And a couple of bibs.”

When Lean Dean says you’ve gone too far, you’ve gone too far.

Dean Singleton, who once mused about consolidating, outsourcing and perhaps off-shoring the various MediaNews copy desks, says the owners of The Denver Post have “cut the heart out” of the once-mighty newspaper.

Undeterred by bad press, senior staff departures, and even the resignation of Lean Dean, the hyenas at Alden Global Capital continue gnawing away, taking comfort in the knowledge that there are plenty of toothsome tidbits left on the stinking carcass.

I know, I know — it’s a new world, information wants to be free, adapt or die, etc., et al., and so on and so forth. Doesn’t mean it’s pretty to watch.