Hump Month


If I were to find work in this neighborhood, would I be justified in calling it a Nob job? No, don’t answer that.

I know, I know, the term is “Hump Day.” But it’s gonna be Hump Month around here, and maybe even Hump Quarter, because Herself has gone and landed a new job — in Albuquerque.

Ay, Chihuahua.

It will be a homecoming of sorts. We met and married in Santa Fe, but left New Mexico for Bibleburg in 1991 to take care of my mom, who was developing Alzheimer’s and had begun acting nearly as outlandishly as me. We’ve lived in Colorado ever since, either here (twice) or in Weirdcliffe (once).

We’ve been in residence at the ultra-chic Chez Dog in the upscale Patty Jewett Yacht & Gun Club Neighborhood for going on 12 years now — 12 years! — and I figured we were all done moving, that my years of rocketing pointlessly around North America like a turpentined ferret had finally come to an end.

I’ve lived in two countries, 11 states and 18 towns that I can remember, and in several of those towns more than once. Hell, I’ve lived in five different houses right here in Bibleburg. And the appalling state of three of them is none of my doing, no matter what you may hear from the few neighbors who survived.

Well, looks like we can toss No. 19 up there on the Big Board. Some people around here insist on having actual jobs, my shining example to the contrary notwithstanding, and next month Herself starts work as a technical librarian in electronic resources and document services at Sandia National Laboratories.

And me? Well, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise — which it appears to be doing as we speak — I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing since 1989, to wit, annoying the readers, staff, advertisers and ownership of various bicycle publications. My primary residence will always be a Mad Dog state of mind.


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48 Responses to “Hump Month”

  1. Russ Says:

    What? Moving just when we are getting ready to buy jerseys? Oh well… Colorado’s loss… N.M.’s gain. Have a safe move.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    My wife left her previous job, as a full professor of Language Arts at a prominent Honolulu college, to follow me to the Mainland and find work while I toil away on the Dark Side at another prominent national laboratory in New Mexico. Like Herself, Meena figured the new digs were significantly better than the old ones and that has generally been the case, at least for her. She is a technical editor in Environmental Programs, aka damage control. The standard joke around the house is that me and my colleagues have wrecked the place and she and hers try to fix it up again. Go figure.

    So it goes….to quote a very good writer, since deceased.

    I’m still convinced that Patrick is avoiding me because I work for the Evil Empire and directly contribute to the destruction of the world as we know it. Well, now, he is compromised too…..heh-heh….the real reason we have yet to meet is probably because I am such an asshole.

    Well, O’G, welcome back to the Land of Entrapment….bring lawyers, guns, and money.

  3. Libby Says:

    Congratulations to Herself on her position! Good luck with the move. That is a lot of work ahead of you. Tell us how Albuquerque v Bibleburg match up.

  4. Chris Says:

    Wait – you mean she wants you to come with her???

  5. Jack Says:

    Good Luck Mad Dog

  6. Steve O Says:

    I knew I should have made that left toin at Albukoykee!

    One thing to count on: no matter where you go, the cats are always at home.

  7. Steve O Says:

    Just make sure zee papers are in order when you cross zee border.

    • khal spencer Says:

      New Mexico is fine with immigrants from up north. Its Arizona you gotta worry about. I’m afraid to cross THAT border with my South Asian wife unless we bring passports, for fear we might both end up in some seedy, south AZ slammer. OTOH, if we go carrying enough guns to start the next world war, they would probably welcome us as kindred spirits.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Naw, Khal, all you need is one gun, a Single Action Army Colt, preferably in .45 Long Colt. After all, that is the state gun as decided by our august legislature last year. But then Ruger, a big business in Prescott, whispered in their collective ears, and I think a Vaquero will also get you through the checkpoint.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Bummer. If I were to actually get another hand cannon, my first choice is still a Colt 1911 Gold Cup but the price tag is astounding. Wanted my old man’s, but he sold it while I was living in the People’s Republic of Hawai’i.

      • hurben Says:

        I inherited my Dad’s Ruger Blackhawk when he died, my mother said that she’d send it over to me in NZ from South Africa, I told her to sell it & keep the money.

        In my lifetime, I’ve fired, amongst others, a Browning ISU 22, a Ruger Blackhawk, a FN 7.62 LMG, a 9mm Uzzi, a R1 SLR, a R4, a Bren LMG rechambered to 7.62mm, a Vickers HMG rechambered to 7.62mm, a Browning 50mm, a Star 9mm.

        Most of which in anger & I hope that I never touch a firearm ever again.

      • hurben Says:

        Sorry, forgot the G3 & AK47

      • Ira Says:

        FN 7.62? Did you serve in Canada?

      • hurben Says:

        No, South African border war in Namibia

      • khal spencer Says:

        From the variety of arms, I had a feeling it was something like that. Can understand your feelings about it. Myself? Nothing other than paper targets, and barely that these days.

  8. Pat O'Brien Says:

    We went sniffing around Albuquerque a few years ago. We were thinking it might be a neat place to live. Although we decided it was a little too big and cold, relatively to SE Arizona, the botanical garden, aquarium, and zoo were a very pleasant surprise. And the riding down by the river was nice. We stopped at a few wineries in that area, and we tasted and bought a few nice bottles. But, the highlight was that aquarium. In the mean time, stay dry if possible. That fire and flood shit must be getting old.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Apparently Albuquerque broke its one day rainfall record either yesterday or Tuesday. Somethin like 0.9 inches in one day. That might actually put some water back into the Rio Sande.

  9. John Dallager Says:

    POG and Herself and the Menagerie: Safe travels and Congrats!

  10. LunaGroper Says:

    Whoa, slow down there maestro. There’s a NEW Mexico?

  11. Larry T. Says:

    Good luck PO’G with your move to Breaking Bad Country. We’ll be moving to Rome (NOT Georgia!) in September for more-or-less a year. Maybe in a few years we can make living in Italy permanent – but just like you, it all depends on my better half and her job prospects since I’m pretty much unemployable these days. Just finished our Legendary Climbs tour and will be back in the US of A next week to take care of some bureaucratic issues and such.

  12. bromasi Says:

    I feel sad

    • David R Says:

      Isn’t that strange… I felt the same way, and I don’t know why. On the other hand Patrick, there’s some mighty fine eatin’ to be had in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Me too. I’ve been meaning to get up to Bibleburg, but life keeps getting in the way.

  13. Sharon Says:

    Hmmm…so many thoughts go through one’s head on this move. On one hand – Breaking Bad country, Hot Air Balloons and really arid land. On the other – huge mountains, Red Rocks, clear gurgling streams and legal bakeries. Tough choice. And what about the Down East home? I have been trying to convince my friends that we should rent the place for a week and pay you to lead some 40 – 50 mile rides each day. Can’t do that now. All kidding aside, congrats on the new opportunity. Besides NW New Mexico is a stunning place and there’s a delicious little French Bakery in Santa Fe.

  14. Pat O'Brien Says:

    We tasted and bought wine here.

  15. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    Thanks to everyone for your thoughts. It’s gonna be real different, for sure.

    Herself comes from DOE stock. Her dad was a nuke puke, her mom still works on a civilian contract at Oak Ridge, and one sister is likewise attached to the military-industrial complex. Other sis is a librarian. So she’s just combining the family businesses, don’t you know.

    Myself, I’m looking forward to the change of cuisine. Bibleburg has but a handful of eateries worth leaving home for; Albuquerque and Santa Fe are much better endowed.

    And the cycling should be improved in some respects, though I’ll miss my spider web of interlocking on- and off-road weirdo rides, so carefully cobbled together over the years. I’ll also have to break in a new bike shop, so if anyone has a recommendation, don’t be shy about passing it along.

    At the moment we’re planning to hold onto The Compound here, both Chez Dog and The House Back East™. The former will make a nice occasional getaway, and the latter more than pays its own way through Airbnb, so it will remain available for rent — though if circumstances dictate that we unload one of the two, it mos def will be the HBE. I like Chez Dog too much to kiss it adios.

    • John Dallager Says:

      POG: Please keep us updated on the move plans/execution and…..look on the bright side….you’re closer to South Mountain et al in the Phoenix area… and the cuisine there in ABQ has got to be more in line with your chilies/spices/vinos palate than Bibleburg.

      My only concern is whether an El Paso County, CO right-winger like you will fit in there!! 🙂 Cheers….safe travels…..ENJOY!!

    • Craig Says:

      Welcome back! In addition to the great food, of which you’re well acquainted, we’ve got lots of great beer in the ABQ area. Seems like a new brew pub opens every few months around here now.

    • khal spencer Says:

      PO’G, you might want to join the BikeABQ e-list. Good place to pick up ideas and bits of information. I have not idea who runs it these days, but can find out easily enough.

    • rodney Says:

      Bummer, dude. I just moved here and now you’re leaving before I even ran into you. Maybe before you leave we’ll cross paths on the bike path.

    • Steve O Says:

      Speaking of Airbnb …

    • Sharon Says:

      You know we are just ribbing you a bit Patrick. I’ve moved my share when my dad was in the military and then again with my own family for work promotions. I was always sad to leave, but new places brought new friends and new experiences I would never have had otherwise. And don’t forget the French Bakery/Restaurant in Santa Fe – – Clafoutis.

  16. sherkat Says:

    Awesome! Now you just have to figure out the next digs. Where is that spook ass joint? I’ve been to Khal’s haunts because my father in law was an associate at Los Alamos, and the iin-laws now live in Santa Fe.

  17. md anderson Says:

    Well there goes the neighborhood!
    A Khal Spencer, MD Anderson and POG meet up is a must-do. Heck. I’d even be willing to risk the vicissitudes of the Bosque Bike Path and Stroller Jogging trail.
    Good luck. As a DOE-spouse myself (I do my best to balance the work of my other half) I say keep the faith..

  18. hurbenrben Says:

    What the hell!

    You’re leaving to live in a place called Albert’s Turkey before I get a chance to come over & trash The House Back East™ as only a beer powered Kiwi can?

    Well, okay, all the best to you & yours in this move.

    Y’all take care out there.

  19. Debby, south of Longtucky Says:

    Good luck with the move! From what I’ve seen on Ask This Old House the landscaping material of choice seems to be gravel. No need to waste time watering and mowing your lawn – more time to ride! 🙂

    But beware the ABQ popo – they seem to have a fondness for shooting people.

  20. john Says:

    In a recent New Yorker, Jack Handley had a great humor column (their “Shouts and Murmers” section) called “Tales of Old Santa Fe”. The non-paywalled teaser on their site begins:


    Seems there was a local fella who owned a Mexican restaurant. Served good red chile. One day, he decided he was going to sell a fifteen-dollar margarita. People all said he was crazy. But he explained he was going to make the margaritas with real Cointreau and fine añejo tequila. And he did. Sure enough, the fifteen-dollar margaritas sold faster ’n hotcakes. . . .”

    It gets funnier from there on. You can probably find it among the recent dead-tree editions at your local library.

    • khal spencer Says:

      We’ve been pretty happy with the margaritas at The Shed. Food ain’t bad, either. Parking can be a chore.

  21. Jon Paulos Says:

    Ah moving. The wife and I have moved twice. Once for me to take a job and then again for the same reason. The first time we had a cat and no house to sell. The second time we had two children, two birds and a house to sell. The first time was an adventure. The second time was no fun. It has worked out so far but we now have the deal that if she comes home one day and tells me that we’re moving, all I say is “Where to?”

    Here’s hoping this one’s an adventure, in a good way.

  22. Pat O'Brien Says:

    A little cycling news on this TdF rest day. I assume this problem exists on many shared use paths. First time I have have seen an official warning about restricting bikes on portions of a path if cyclists don’t slow down.

  23. khal spencer Says:

    Hits just keep on coming down in Albuqurque

  24. Wideload Says:

    Cycle Cave is a family owned and operated shop where you can find three generations on most days. Head mechanic has been there for years. Sponsors a local club that has at least one really old, fat guy. Me.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hey, Wideload, I was in Cycle Cave last time I visited Albuquerque. Really nice folks, laid a trails map on me and everything.

      Glad to hear that they cater to the gravitationally challenged. My people, don’t you know.

  25. JoeyDurango Says:

    Ah, so now you’ll have to vacation in Durango, like the rest of New Texico. Don’t forget to stop in and say hi! Good luck with the move.

  26. Joh Levy Says:

    Whoa get into your own life and the tour and the world changes. Congrats on the new job and new look at life,Never spent much time in ALB. just in Santa FE and Taos with odd trips to Chaco canyon. Never get that Book signed. Hope all goes well

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