The meaning of life

We enjoyed quite the early morning rainstorm today, with thunder and lightning. Makes for one hell of an alarm clock.

Busy, busy, busy. Even a slacker has to take hold now and then.

We have a dispersed conga line of kinfolk snaking through El Rancho Pendejo, all of them from Herself’s side of the family, come to visit Herself the Elder between plagues.

The first of four visitations occurred yesterday; some very nice folks out of Texas, who took time away from a visit to Pagosa Springs to pop down and say howdy. A bit of tidying up was mandated, because somebody around here is remarkably untroubled by clutter (not Herself).

Round two commences Sunday with more visitors from the Lone Star State (Herself the Elder was born in Nacogdoches back in 1933). Then Herself’s eldest sis pops in from Maryland for a week starting Wednesday. Finally, yet another Texican niece drops by sometime in August.

Meanwhile, The Work goes on, as it must. I banged out a cartoon for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News yesterday, learning in the process that the Outside+ Global AdventureStuff Conglomerate had snatched up a couple more properties, Pinkbike and CyclingTips.

This, as Monty Python has taught us, “brings us once again to the urgent realization of just how much there is still left to own.”

Me, I’m still a rental. And something of a fixer-upper, too. Still, I’m open to offers. …

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25 Responses to “The meaning of life”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    I thought you had retired from writing and cartooning for both BRAIN and Adventure. No?

  2. Pat O’Brien Says:

    We also had rain, only 0.2”, this morning. How are you holding up as chief cook and bottle washer? Have you prepared any interesting dishes? Or, like me, will you stick with the old faves for a new audience? You know, no recipe required, I could make this with my eyes closed, dishes?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      These first two rounds of guests don’t require feeding — by me, anyway. We went out to dinner last night at The Range Cafe over on Wyoming.

      The sis will be staying with us, so I’ll have to get busy in the kitchen. I’ve tried a few new recipes lately, but none of them has stuck, so I think I’ll be hewing to the tried and true for a while. It certainly simplies both shopping and cookery.

  3. Herb Case Says:

    How many of these titles are going to disappear in the next few months?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Y’gotta wonder. The dread Economy of Scale is always out there, like the Trickle-Down Theory. There must be some small efficiencies to be realized by combining mag staffs covering similar topics, I suppose, but it’s not like you can get some money back by selling a bunch of choice property or anything.

      You snatch up a bunch of newspapers, you can move their people into some strip-mall shithole, combine the ad/business/circulation staffs, outsource the printing, and sell off the buildings for condos, lofts, office space, whatever. But I’d be surprised if a bike mag/website owns much other than IP and a scattering of beat-to-shit office equipment.

  4. Shawn Says:

    Pinkbike sucked into the conglomerate. Hmm. I wonder why I never get an offer to be sucked into the abyss. I mean,I am unique and I don’t eat much.

    Nacadoches. I wrote that without checking. Oops. Apparently I’m wrong. It should be Nacogdoches. I once lived down in that area in the trees of east Texas. An interesting place at that time. I hope that the Texas spirit of hospitality has continued down there and it only has gotten better.

    Rain. That’s nice. Do you have rain barrels so that you can use the collected water for general landscape watering? Although I suppose your area municipality may not like folks collecting water themselves and depriving the municipality of precious groundwater replenishment. But then maybe it is a moot point because any rain water you would collect evaporates into the parched air like a spritz of Chanel No. 5 in a manure factory.

    We made up a batch of green chili stew last evening. Tasty. We of course made enough for two or three meals and it only gets better with time.

    • carl duellman Says:

      i’ve got a cousin in nacogdoches and another in lufkin. my mom lives in colmesneil, just north of woodville. lots of nice country out there. i try to take my gravel bike whenever i go.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Shawn, we don’t have rain barrels, but I should get a couple. I could use one at the front entryway to focus on the wisteria and a few smallish flowering plants. Rooftop canales water an ornamental pear tree, ivy and roses on the SE side — when it rains, anyway.

      I haven’t made any green chile stew in a while. We should have some fresh coming in here before much longer. Lately I’ve been doing a couple different takes on posole, rojo y verde. I have a recipe for jambalaya that I’ve come to like quite a bit, and that’s nearly as good as chile.

      • khal spencer Says:

        We have a slew of rain barrels. Use them to water the trees during the dry spells.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        We had 800 gallons of rain water tanks at the old house. One 200 gallon out front and 3 of them in the back linked together. We watered our stock tank garden with them during the dry seasons.

        • Pat O’Brien Says:

          Kinda like this. We had8 tanks of various sizes. No weeds and the rabbits can’t get to the plants. All were for vegetables. Work real well in your back yard Patrick.

          • JD Says:

            Ha! DISCLAIMER: This won’t be precise; but you’ll get the essence (drift would be a poor choice of words)..
            Here in the Bibleburg environs, we had a storm-water fee imposed based on the square footage of impermeable surface your residence has (rooftop, driveway, etc.). The idea was that the rainwater couldn’t penetrate the ground and thus created a storm-water issue. BUT, you weren’t allowed to collect the runoff from the roof in cisterns!
            Which meant to me, the uninformed idiot that I am, that the pro-growth, developer-driven “economic benefit” of growth was actually driving a secondary income stream (bad choice of words) to the city from Mother Nature’s runoff.
            Fortunately, we’re now allowed 2 x 55-gallon drums of runoff collection. (That may be imprecise due to my ever-fading recollection).
            Regardless of the detail, maybe AZ’s and NM’s government policy wonks are missing an income “stream” opportunity?

          • Shawn Says:

            Pat: Those are really nice raised plant beds. We should all commit to the effort that such gardens bring.

            JD: I think a buddy of mine in Portland had to file a permit for his rain collection barrels that he placed at the corners of his newly constructed garage. You’d think with all the normally expected rain, that a permit for a rain barrel in PDX would be ridiculous. But then I realized, it’s Portland, they’re weird and their greedy.

          • Pat O’Brien Says:

            Rainwater collection is a big deal here because we have long periods between rainfall, sometimes 90 days or more. We depend almost solely on a single aquifer in our little town, so it’s not like we are taking water from anywhere downstream. Even though I don’t rain barrels now, there will be two stock tank planters in our yard next spring. I just got to have some real tomatoes next year.

          • khal spencer Says:

            No one is interfering with rain barrels in New Mexico yet but don’t give them any ideas. The whole water ownership issue in the West is weird. Sending the Water Police out after people with rain barrels seems absolutely stupid but what do I know? When government allows unfettered growth and then penalizes people for actually conserving rain, we seem to be working at cross purposes.

            They can pry my rain barrels from my cold, dead….

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