Have you seen Ray Charles’ new piano?*

Mister Boo recuperating with his old pal Stinky Piggy.

Mister Boo recuperating with his old pal Stinky Piggy.

Mister Boo is slowly getting his mojo back following eye surgery.

Yesterday he unearthed his old pal Stinky Piggy for a bit of gentle playtime, and the squeaky ball eventually got a light workout too.

He’s down to five medicines per diem now, four eyedrops and a gel, and doesn’t have another checkup until Dec. 3. The ophthalmologist says he’s coming along quite nicely, which is good news, as the little fella is already shy one headlight and doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life driving in the dark.

Happily, The Boo doesn’t do much news-reading with that one rebuilt eye. Hijo, madre. It’s enough to make a man pray for total sensory deprivation.

*Neither has he. That was cruel, but he’ll never know. (Don’t blame me, that headline and the subsequent punchline are lifted straight from an old National Lampoon letter to the editor, signed “Stevie Wonder.”)

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22 Responses to “Have you seen Ray Charles’ new piano?*”

  1. Steve O Says:

    It’s funny the things that one thinks are funny that a large percentage of the world thinks to be offensive. There are some obvious “do not cross” lines, but a whole Lotta great area the completely depends on one’s perspective.

    The Alzheimer’s jokes from a couple of weeks ago immediately spring to mind. Semi ironically, because once I get Alzheimer’s, springing to mind is exactly what won’t happen.

    Anyway, back in the good old days of basic training, the kids who couldn’t hit the standard 50m zeroing target were sent to the 25m range, where they shot at something we called the Ray Charles target, something about halfway between the size of your standard barn door and rush Limbaugh’s ass (The barn door being the smaller of the two).

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Go Mr. Boo Man! I assume no more tramadol. By the way, love the Timbuktu bag embroidery. Not wanting to pick nits, but thought I would point it out before Khal did. Have you taken a good look at Mr. Stinky Piggy in the photo? Boo says, “Is that your tail or are you just happy to see me.”
      Well, off to watch the last episode of “Sherlock.” I think season 4 is in production.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Yep, Pat, he’s off the painkillers and soon will be done with antibiotics as well. The Dorzolamide, I think, will be a more or less permanent medication, and perhaps the Latanoprost as well. But boy, has he ever perked up. It’s good to see him getting back to his old self.

        The Timbuk2 bag was a special edition done for the Bicycle Retailer and Industry News crew back in the day. I have another around here somewhere with the old VeloNews logo on it.

        “Sherlock” is some must-see TV, for sure. That Frumious Bandersnatch fella is quite the thespian.

      • khal spencer Says:

        You got me on that one, Pat. Missed the embroidery entirely.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Perspective is the thing, to be sure. I remember being stunned when a friend’s dad — a San Luis Valley Chicano and former police chief — told me a raunchy joke about a Mexican sheepherder. If a gabacho tells it, it’s a whole other story.

  2. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Reminds me of the old Peugeot car commercial they ran in France back-in-the-day where he drives the convertible around on the salt flats and says at the end, “Can I drive ya somewhere?” I think you can still find it on Youtube. Hope Mr. Boo is all fixed up before your vet bills approach the Pentagon budget!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Oy. The bills. Don’t ask. Our go-to joke about impulse purchases gone wrong has for several years centered on a 1978 Toyota Chinook pop-top camper bought by somebody (ahem) who apparently had his head up his ass. That’s since been pushed off the top of the podium, though it still looks like a pretty solid second. I was able to sell the Chinook, but I don’t see much of a market for third-hand Boos.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      It has been one of those months. Between the vet, eye doctor, and dentist our disposable income was quickly disposed of. Two crowns made me look to see if the dentist had a new pickup or RV in the parking lot. Anyway, glad the Boo is on the mend, and it would take a real effort to resist a Toyota Chinook. I almost fell for one a few times, but went with a 1993 Westfalia Eurovan instead. Wish I had kept it. We did manage to send a few bucks to Voler for some replacement tights and long sleeve jerseys.

  3. Dale Says:


    We had a Springer who developed epilepsy at 3 months. 12 years of emergency runs to our (very good) vet at all hours of the day and night. One trip to the University of Pennsylvania vet clinic for an MRI. Special diets – whatever is required. It’s just what you do.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Wow, Dale … epilepsy in a pup? That’s a new one on me. But yeah, you’re right. You suck it up and do what you can. I’ve been incredibly lucky with critters over the years; most have required only the most basic veterinary care. The Boo has been the exception, but he’s such a funny little guy it seems a pretty piddling expense.

  4. Libby Says:

    Glad Boo is doing better. You had mentioned he might need more surgery and it sounds like that is off the table for now. As Dale said above, “whatever is required. It’s just what you do.” I’m grateful my aging cat is able to benefit from great vets, including an internist and newer diagnostic tools and treatments. Cheers, Boo.

  5. khal spencer Says:

    Don’t ask me about bad jokes. I came home after doing some work on Casa Solana Estates and a meeting in Fanta Se of the BCNM Engineering Committee. On the way home I stopped at The Outdoorsman (on the north side of Fanta Se) and picked up a manly pile of 5.56×45 ammo to take over to the range with the Mini-14; its one of my off season pastimes when its too damn cold to ride. Meena looks at me, the stack of ammo, and asks “you really that mad at me about buying that house?”.

    • john Says:

      Khal — The fact she can make a joke like that actually says good things about your character.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Have you seen any rimfire ammo for sale up there?

      • khal spencer Says:

        Thanks for the vote of confidence, John. Somehow I’ve managed to go almost 61 years without misusing a firearm. You have no idea how tough that is. Sometimes those dang inanimate objects are just screaming at me to misuse them…

        No idea on rimfire, Pat, but I have not looked, either. Last year 22LR was as rare as hen’s teeth up this way. Maybe O’G can check at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Albuquerque, which is up by REI and Costco but I suspect they would be cleaned out first. The gun club said it thought some of the youth shooting events were going to be cancelled unless someone came up with some rimfire rounds.

        If I see some, I’ll buy them. Then I’d have to pry my old High Standard match pistol out of my brother in law’s cold, dead hands (I gave it to him when I moved to Hawaii and he took a shine to it).

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Cabela’s has .22LR for sale, but it’s one box per customer per day. I hadn’t heard about the shortage. What’s up with that?

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Thanks Khal. The Sportsmen’s Warehouse in Tucson is always out of rimfire. I lost interest in shooting in the last 2 years for a variety of reasons, so all I have now is single action rimfire revolvers and a single shot .410 for camping. No rimfire ammo available around here, except at gun shows at scalper’s prices, so we just don’t shoot at all.

        Patrick, from what I have read the scarcity comes from more demand from more shooters, the manufacturer’s reluctance to invest in expensive new rimfire machinery for what they see as a short term demand, hoarders, and scalpers.

        It is harder to find a place around here to just plink at responsible targets. If you go to the city range, 16 miles away, the environment is no fun. Either Rambo wannabees, or the Rush Limbaugh fan club. Nobody is just busting animal crackers taped to a target for grins and giggles. In fact, nobody is smiling.

      • khal spencer Says:

        The Los Alamos Sportsman’s Club is still a fun place to spend a few hours shooting holes in paper. The folks there still tend to talk about reloading recipes and specialized rifles, and generally don’t talk politics or wear it on their sleeves. I don’t even get frowns when I pay an extra fifteen bucks annual dues rather than join the NRA. Its also got the best archery ranges around (standard target and a hunting range where you walk down a trail and shoot at different distances and sizes of target), which is why I joined, tell you the truth.

        One of the first people I ran into down in that sinful lair of gun nuts was one of my bike riding buddies, and we both did a double take at seeing each other in such odd circumstances. I do miss my stepdad’s place, which is still five miles the other side of nowhere East of Buffalo, where we can still go out to the back of the property with an armload of empty soup cans and amuse ourselves shooting holes in them with light reloads and home made cast bullets.

        So I look at the gun debate with more distance than the usual subject. What worries me is not nutcases with ARs but road ragers, reckless drivers, drunks, drugged, or text-messaging idiots, and assorted clueless bozos behind the wheel of a 5,000 lb assault weapon, and closing on my from behind, fast. Somehow I doubt I could get away with shooting someone and then say “honest, officer, I never saw him”.

  6. Jon Paulos Says:

    I think I have a new nickname to propose for the Boominator. “We have the technology, we can rebuild him.” Anyone remember that line? Yep, The Six Million Dollar Dog.

  7. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all Mad Dog Media aficionados. Ride yesterday, turkey today, ride tomorrow, and Sunday. Then going out with big motor Reggie on Monday to see how long I can keep his wheel before he fades into the distance. Then he tells the guys at the Border Patrol checkpoint to slow me down so I don’t see him till the turn around point. Life is good.

  8. khal spencer Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all from Bombtown Estates as well. I hope this finds everyone in good spirits and Mr. Boo well along the mend.

    We are making the usual fake turkey from a couple blocks of extra firm grade tofu that I bagged on Opening Day (300 H&H Magnum, 165 gr PSPBT, 45 grains H4530, 24 inch barrel), some veggie dressing made with a fake chicken vegetable broth and Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage sausage, the usual bean and potato accompaniments, gravy made with garbanzo flour and soy sauce, and washed down before, during and after with a chardonnay and a pinot. Burp in advance,


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