DT, phone home

We’re five days into another lap around the Sun, but we’re flying blind — that big yellow ball is proving hard to locate here in the Duke City.

Though we do have plenty of ice and snow left over from the old year, for anyone who likes that sort of thing.

Our unseasonably wintry weather is a mouse fart compared to the shit monsoon swamping the nation’s capital, though.

And with Darth Cheeto angrily dumping pretty much everyone except his storm troopers onto a dole he won’t pay, and the Chinese more interested in exploring the moon than the wowie-zowies of Apple’s latest and greatest black monolith, you have to wonder how much longer it’ll be before we’re all debating property rights with thigh bones around the ol’ water hole again. Ook ook ook.

That’s right, Star Child, it’s time for the first Radio Free Dogpatch of 2019. Put a glide in your stride and a dip in your hip, and come on up to the Mothership. Mind the yellow snow. …

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with an Audio-Technica AT2035 microphone, a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB audio interface, Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack, and a 2012 MacBook Air. Additional jabber via an Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic and a Behringer XENYX 1200USB mixer wired to a 2014 MacBook Pro with an external LG 24MP59HT-P monitor, which I used to edit the audio with Apple’s GarageBand. Doc Strangelove and his backup band, Monk and the Monoliths, appear courtesy of Stan “The Man” Kubrick, who has Gone Beyond and will never know. Tires on ice from Freesound.org. Snow-shoveling performed and recorded by Your Humble Narrator using a plastic grain hog and a Sony ICD-UX533, which also did a fine job of capturing the sounds of a blizzard from inside El Rancho Pendejo.

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23 Responses to “DT, phone home”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

  2. Libby Says:

    Great RFD! Your weather is another insult to your body after your fall. I winced at the icy driveway scene. I’ve just missed the tree at the edge of my driveway too many times to count. I cringed at the shoveling bit. We won’t talk about visceral reactions to the shutdown and the POSPOTUS.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hey, thanks, Libby. The snow removal was dicey there for a while. Our driveway starts shallow, gets steep, and then levels out just before the garage, and it doesn’t get much sun this time of year, especially when there isn’t any.

      With a chewed-up right hand and dodgy left knee, it was hard to find a comfortable, stable way to shovel, if there is such a thing.

      Sliding backward down the road at the Weirdcliffe place was scary, scary, scary. I could feel the traction starting to vanish as we skittered up that long icy stretch, and I could see a dry patch of dirt just ahead, but we didn’t get there, and back we slid.

      I got the truck stopped once and told Herself to bail out, and that’s when my next attempt at forward progress sent me scooting even further down the road and into the snowbank.

      That was a steep road — 430 vertical feet in 1.1 miles — and there were a couple places where if you intercoursed the penguin somehow and went over the edge, it was a long way down.

      Herself nearly took a tumble one winter trying to back out of our driveway in a Ford Exploder. She’d have rolled that sucker the short, fast way down the hill to where we got stuck in that snowbank in the Tacoma, and it would not have been pretty.

      I miss a few things about living in that house, but the road is not one of them.

      • Libby Says:

        The driveway in Weirdcliffe probably had 3 separate “biospheres” in addition to the length, vertical gain plus high altitude. And, as you well know, a very ordinary driveway can be impossible or tricky to navigate!

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      When I was younger, we used to think living up in one of the canyons would be our cup of tea. After the Monument Wildfire of 2011, the allure is completely gone. Plus the older I get, the colder I get. BTW, good morning!

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        G’day, mate. Living upside that rocky hill was fun until it wasn’t. Chain saws scared me (they should), proper groceries involved a 110-mile round trip, and I had to drive five hours to race bicycles for one.

        Plus we didn’t keep horses, own more than one house, or vote Republican, so we mostly didn’t fit in.

  3. Peter W. Polack Says:

    Why aren’t you writing a newspaper column? Your work deserves a larger audience-and a paycheck!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thanks, Peter. I did an occasional column when I was an actual newsdog, and it made a refreshing change from covering school boards or chasing commas around the copy desk.

      Regular columns are heavy lifting. My friend Chris Coursey, who just stepped down as mayor of Santa Rosa, was a newspaperman and columnist before he got into politics, and he had a much better work ethic and people skills than I do. So there are other people who want a column, too, and sometimes they’re better suited to the job.

      It doesn’t help that the local columnist and cartoonist fell victim early on to syndication. When the Bumpkin Falls Beacon could rent Pat Oliphant and Dave Barry for nickels, it made it tough for us ham-and-eggers to make a start.

      I did get a couple columns, eventually, banging out “Friday’s Foaming Rant” for VeloNews.com (h/t Charles Pelkey) and “Mad Dog Unleashed” for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. I’ve lost count of how many of those things I wrote over the years. Thousands? Maybe. Hundreds? Certainly.

      Anyway, it’s fun to do this as a hobby. Marc Maron has a good line about that in his Netflix standup “Too Real.” Talking about how he enjoys playing guitar, he says: “I’m just happy I never wanted to be a professional guitar player, because now my hobby isn’t haunted by failure, you know what I mean? Like, my guitar isn’t some sort of broken dream vessel, you know?”

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        I like what Mr. Maron said about playing his guitar. I never wanted more than to be a chord strummer having a little fun. But, like the bike, it is easy to get delusional. The only advice I would dare give about buying a guitar would be the same as that for buying a bike. Get the kind you want, and buy the best one you can afford.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Hobbies are good. And I think everybody should know how to make a little music. It’s fun, even if you’re only entertaining yourself.

        I still think about getting an inexpensive digital piano, but it would probably end up being a cat perch. Pretty much every other horizontal surface in this house is.

        • JD Dallager Says:

          PO’G: Go for it, man! I can hear your melodic digital caresses already on a podcast. And…..the felines wouldn’t be cats on a hot tin roof, but could be cats on “hot” ivories. Plus, they’d get some exercise too! OK…..maybe not, eh? 🙂

      • khal spencer Says:

        I miss those Foaming Rants (never followed BRAIN) but recognize how hard it is to keep whipping out original and humorous foam every Friday over years and years. Heck, my own blogs, which are a faint shadow of the quality of the old FFR, have been relatively dormant. The Mad Dog blog can be more freeform and without absolute deadlines, so I suppose that means you can type when the spirit moves you.

        On a different topic, I’ve been finding the occasional editorial slip up in Adventure Cycling when it comes to the gear inch tables. I wrote an email to Nick on one ‘cuz I was actually curious about retrofitting the technology to my fossil bicycles but never heard back. He probably thinks I’m some asshole, which is quite correct.

  4. David Rees Says:

    Great stuff man. Keep ’em coming.

    • larryatcycleitalia Says:

      +1 Geez, I’m so happy we left that frozen stuff behind, though I guess a few flakes fell on Napoli the other day, so I might be jinxing the whole deal. Our transportation there will be the feet or a couple of cheapo MTB’s we plan to take delivery of in a week or two.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thanks, David. I still don’t think “audio,” being a lifelong print guy, but I’m getting slightly more comfortable with the medium.

      If I’d had been thinking “audio” I’d have taken the Sony recorder out with me when Herself was sliding up and down the driveway in her rice rocket. Instead I had to go to Freesound for a bit of background sound I could’ve generated myself. Old dogs, etc. I will never be smart.

      Larry, that’s cool that you two will be pedestrians or cyclists. The one thing I don’t like about where we set up shop here in ’Burque is that it is the furthest possible thing you can imagine from a walkable neighborhood.

  5. Esteban O’ Says:

    Queued up for Monday. Wife’s birthday today, and apparently I’m expected to spend time doing family stuff today. Once a year, won’t kill me.

  6. BLester Says:

    2018 was a shitty year at the house of Lester. Glad to see it in the rear view. I lost a job of a few decades that had a three mile commute. Traded it for another with a considerably longer one. Happily, I’ve got more time to listen to these fine works. Keep feeding me.
    On a strange happy note, yesterday was sunny, light wind, and low fifties. Damn strange for Wisconsin. Me mates and I got twenty some miles. Very slow, since all previous miles have been in the basement, but whatever the..?.
    Off topic, but the internet comment of the day: “the problem isn’t calling this president a motherf**cker, it’s calling this motherf**cker a president.” Cheers!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Damn, B, I’m sorry to hear that. I’ve encountered a few potholes in the old career path myself, mostly when I was a vigorous young pup and could scoot around ’em by loading up the truck, handing the hovel keys back to the landlord, and roaring off to parts unknown to surf couches for a spell.

      How’s the new gig? Sounds like the riding’s fine, which is not the case here at the moment.

      And thanks for passing along the comment of the day. I am so stealing that.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Hi there B. When I called my brother in Kenosha during our last snow storm, he said we had more snow on the ground that he did. Now that just ain’t right.
      But, us folks living on the border are too busy dodging criminals, terrorists, mother stabbers, and father rapists, thanks Arlo, to worry about the weather.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Neighbors motored back to Michigan to visit kin over the holiday and said the worst weather they saw was right here in ’Burque, when they came home.

      We had a little rain yesterday afternoon, which was nice. Don’t gotta shovel rain.

    • BLester Says:

      The “New Year” always seems like an artificial holiday. I think we should celebrate it at the end of February or March, when we need a break. Raining felines and canines here yesterday. It’s always a problem to get rain when the ground is mostly frozen There’s no place for it to go.

      New job is different and less of a challenge (with commensurate pay cut), but no worries, as the retirement nest egg is quite healthy. I say that as someone a couple of years younger than y’all. I just want to retire in a few so that I can venture south in my free time for the annual Mad dog Tour d Albuquerque. Keep my place open, please.

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