Bag pipe and boots

Where the wisdom at? That’s what we’re out here for, right? Say, anybody hungry besides me? This fasting business sure gives a fella an appetite.

And yea, they did wander in the desert for 40 days and nights, or until lunchtime, whichever came first.

The weather was nice enough for cycling yesterday, but we decided to take a hike instead, and that was pretty a’ight too. Lots of maskless eejits about, which was not so nice, and goes a long way toward explaining why New Mexico hospitals are not lacking for customers.

Back at El Rancho Pendejo, we found our westward next-door neighbor had devised a COVID-compliant candy-delivery system in case any trick-or-treaters decided to roll the viral dice come nightfall. It was basically a long section of PVC, wrapped in colored lights and angled downward toward a bucket; he dropped the goodies in the upper end, the kiddos bagged them from the bucket. Pure genius. I should’ve taken a photo.

We kept our lights out and restricted candy distribution to his grandkids and the two squirts belonging to the eastern next-door neighbors. Our clientele included two cats, one cow, a fairy, a princess, and Wonder Woman. Everyone got the same treats, sealed in individual Ziploc bags with some cartoon decorations by Your Humble Narrator. Small-s socialism at its finest in the ol’ cul-de-sac.

Later we enjoyed a fine blue moon with red Mars for company. The moon was more impressive, which I considered a good omen, until the local pendejos started in with the gunshots and fireworks. Mars won’t give up without a fight.

Keep your hiking boots where you can find them in the dark. We won’t always have a full moon to light our path through the wilderness.

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12 Responses to “Bag pipe and boots”

  1. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Hike, huh? Thanks for the prompt! Dirt time, that’s the ticket. Movie on Tuesday night will be “Dave” then the tv, computers, and radio go dark. Starting reading, for the second time, Sandy’s cousin author and through hiker’s book, “Walking On The Happy Side Of Misery.”
    That will get me to bedtime with my sanity intact.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’ve just started on a new one, “The Cold Millions,” by Jess Walter. It’s getting good reviews, p’raps in part because its setting is another turbulent time in American history.

      I have a couple more coming — “In Patagonia,” by Bruce Chatwin, and “Last Bus to Wisdom,” by Ivan Doig. Call these two wandering by proxy.

      • Shawn Says:

        I’m back to reading the Heart of Darkness again. I thought a trip up a black river might be apropos for our Tueday night thing. Perhaps the symbolism is that I’ve voted (stuck the knife in) and the nut case gets his in the end.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Whoo, I haven’t been down Conrad’s river in a while. I’ve been pooting around in a bunch of old Thomas McGuane, Jim Harrison, Roddy Doyle, Wallace Stegner, and the like. Almost went all the way back to the old Trotskyite James T. Farrell’s “Studs Lonigan,” but hit the binders there and decided I needed some new material.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        Once into “The Heart Of Darkness” and “Apocalypse Now” was enough for me. The dumpster IS the horror.

  2. Pat O’Brien Says:

  3. khal spencer Says:

    People up this way are better about masks, for what its worth. I have been taking routine easy toolings about on our urban trails just to see what is up on them now that I got press ganged into being vice chair of the Mayor’s Bicycling Committee or whatever it is called. I’ll avoid trails today as it is Busy Sunday and point the front wheel onto isolated roads north and west of town.

    Mind you, I think homemade masks or the stuff we can get over the counter are not anywhere near 100% but its the IDEA that one is being careful that counts. To me, if we really wanted to filter out The Bug, we would all have a big stash of N95’s at our front doors and be trained how to fit them, like I had to be trained how to wear a HEPA filter mask when working in contaminated areas of the Plutonium Building at a certain lab near you. And that opinion comes from my fifteen years of servicing three layers of air filters on my geochemical clean lab at the U of Hawaii and seeing how much stuff got through the first two banks of filters and was trapped on the last, N-95 like bank. The final bank was not fully HEPA because we couldn’t quite get enough air flow, but it was close. The filters were Class 1000 rather than Class 100.

    Yes, its the idea that you make yourself scarce and realize that people are breathing out The Bug that counts. Sure, stop all the big drops with everyday masks but still, these masks are not a replacement for common sense practices of socially making one’s self scarce and, to quote my dearly departed mom, “use your brain for something besides holding your ears apart”.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      “To me, if we really wanted to filter out The Bug, we would all have a big stash of N95’s at our front doors and be trained how to fit them. …”

      This implies a degree of involvement from Uncle Sammy that he to date has been disinclined to provide. The Invisible Hand of the Free Market is flipping us the bird while its opposite number rifles the till.

      Still, as you note, it’s the thought that counts (or the lack thereof). If the knuckleheads in DeeCee can muster the strength to don their flag lapel pins and other signifiers of their weak-kneed stances on this and that, the rest of us should be able to stretch a nose-nappie across our pans before taking the air.

      We have a couple nifty washable ones with replaceable filter inserts from Outdoor Research. The ones from Bilio are pretty slick too.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Really. The problem is, though, that for the MAGA-hat crowd, wearing a mask is the polar opposite of the Flag Decal. But these days, the flag decal will get you into heaven, or wherever, because of the anti-correlation between being careful and that flag decal. With apologies, of course, to John Prine.

        I have a small stash of semi-counterfeit, Made in China N95’s I bought when the shit hit the fan and use them in high contact situations, such as going shopping where one has little control over the guy reaching over you to get the last bottle of sale-price Country Dago Red. Otherwise, our principle strategy is to simply make ourselves scarce.

        Nasty article in the NY Times this weekend that The Bug is spreading so fast that it makes contact tracing virtually impossible. That’s what worries me. When the guy putting out the fresh avocados at Whole Paycheck or Trader Joe’s comes down with The Bug, its probably after we have eaten our guacamole.

        My youngest brother, the conspiracy theory one, takes everything home and washes it down with bleach solution. I just can’t go that far.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Ayuh, bleaching everything is a bridge too far for me. The Turk loved the smell of the stuff — it would always set him off on a binge of ecstatic rolling about. Me, not so much.

        Like you, we minimize our contact with other hominids. The grocery, the grog shop, the pet-food store. Socially distanced chats with the neighbors in the cul-de-sac.

        The long-term effects of this limited circle of retail movement will be nuclear. I thought the ratio of retail to rooftops seemed a little askew when we moved here, but now, shit, every strip mall you pass seems like it’s down to one or two tenants just hanging on by the skin of their teeth.

    • Shawn Says:

      I’m on the border between the blue zone and the red zone in my region and fortunately the logic of mask attire is prevailing. Although about two months back some of the more participatory red heads were petitioning to recall our Governor because of her mask mandate and other stuff that they don’t like.

      Does anybody else feel like Pacman when they visit a store? It’s a rather fun and yet humorous (tragic?) occurance as I zig-zag through a store maintaining a lot more than 6 feet when I visit. I get anxious when I’m caught in an aisle between two approaching shoppers. I give them the evil-eye-over-the-face-mask look and normally have no problem getting one of the shoppers to realize they are going the wrong way. The careless kids? Well I get bonus points when an anklebiter gets a bit too close and I growl at them.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I feel like Randy Bragg in Pat Frank’s “Alas, Babylon,” when I hit the grocery these days. I zip through the Sprouts like Dale Earnhardt, nerfing the dummies into the sustainably raised all-organic hemp chips and GMO-free prefab guacamole.

        The other day, for a change of pace, I tried out the Albertson’s, which has a confusing layout, wider aisles, and a whole bunch of shit I don’t need, and I felt like someone’s grandma driving my cart through there. You could fit their organic-produce section into the back of a Subaru Forester and still have room for a couple cases of beer and a dead hitchiker.

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