On the edge of the desert

Cup No. 3.

It’s not often that I go for that third cup of coffee. But dammit, when it’s 30°-something as a fella struggles out from under the covers, he just might need a triple hit of Arabica. Ether for the carburetor, don’t you know.

I’m better now. Of course, it’s warmer now. Both inside and out.

“Haven’t you ever heard that no news is good news?”

We start our mornings with a 50-50 blend of French Roast and Black Lightning from Aroma Coffee in Santa Fe. It’ll set your gherkin to perkin’, especially after Cup No. 3.  Bzzt bzzt bzzt.

Still, it’s pretty lightweight as drug habits go. There was a time when mornings required something with a little more authority — some coffee, a couple of red beers, and a bump or two or three — but the nights were longer back then. We didn’t hit the sack at 9 p.m. Sometimes we didn’t hit it at all.

Now we have mornings where burrowing back under the covers seems the only sensible course of action. Coffee will not repel the daily assault on your senses by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and your hometown rumor mill. It’s like sending a hamster to croak a Kodiak bear.

Still, as you know, you read the news with the drugs you have, not the drugs you might want or wish you had at a later time. If those don’t work, try the covers.

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30 Responses to “On the edge of the desert”

  1. John Loesch Says:

    Hi Patrick
    Your post is a full screen wide. It is no fun to try and read across a 32 inch monitor. Is this a bit of insane wordpress fuckery? IS there a way to put it back to a more readable format?

    John L
    Villa Park Il

    • SAO' Says:

      Unembiggen the window?

      I can’t reproduce that in Safari or Firefox. And as Firefox goes, so does Chrome, usually.

      I’m looking at a 460 px page width for the content, regardless of how wide the browser window is, so I think we’re in close-and-reopen-and-hope-for-the-best territory.

    • SAO' Says:


      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Thanks, Hoss. Since I switched over from self-hosted to WordPress.com I just drive the sumbitch. Whatever’s under the hood I file with The Mysteries.

        Although now that I think of it, I have been getting occasional sass from WP that my elderly version of Safari is no longer supported. Yo, WP can support my you-know-what, right here. …

        • SAO' Says:

          The whole damn thing is held together with duct tape and baling wire, and when something gets gummed up they spray some WD-40 in there.

          Every page view of a social media site generates around 150 error messages. If you had a smoke detector that had 150 false alarms for every whiff of smoke that it accurately picked up, you wouldn’t bother changing the batteries.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hey, John … looks fine here on the old warhorse (macOS High Sierra, Safari 13.1.2). Nothing unusual about the post — strictly WP Classic Editor, main art at 450, side art at 242. Looks OK on the MacBook Air, iPad Pro, and iPhone too.

      Our two non-Apple machines are shut down for the night.

      What are you using for technology? Have you tried turning it off and then turning it back on again? Sorry, just had to say it.

  2. Libby Says:

    Mia’s got the right idea. And she is a darn sight cuter than most humans in the AM. Coffee/caffeine never agreed with me. Unfortunately.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Miss Mia is nobody’s fool. After breakfast at o-dark-thirty she goes straight back to the sack, usually in my office, occasionally on the back of the couch. There she waits for the sun to peek over the Sandias and give her a nice sunny spot at the foot of our bed.

      Hard to believe she’s 14. She’s still cute as the dickens, very active and very vocal. Likes to be chased around the house while talking shit at you: “Rrr err rawr eere arr err rrr.” Then when you catch her and start scratching her back she makes like a motorboat, purring away.

      • Libby Says:

        It is hard to believe Mia is 14! I remember when you got her. Long may she prevail!

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Miss Mia in the tub, awaiting antertainment

        She was just an itty-bitty kitty when we added her to the menagerie back in 2007. The bathtub was her playpen.

        • Dale E. Brigham Says:

          I just can’t get enough pix of your titanium-grey beauty, Mia. Please keep ’em coming! (I would drop that last “g” on “coming,” but I simply can’t seem to channel my inner Sarah Palin at this moment. Michael Palin? — No problem!)

  3. SAO' Says:

    “You read the news with the drugs you have …”
    I’m sure made Hunter S smile and Rummsy turn over once or twice.

  4. SAO' Says:

    One cup of joe before I open my eyes.

    Second cup with the family over breakfast.

    Third cup mid-morning, depending on what’s going on.

    But I’ve pretty much cut the afternoon cup out of the line-up.

    Still looking for an every day, go-to coffee blend. I normally grab a pound of whatever sounds good in the bulk aisle at Sprouts. I try to send a few Tubmans (wait, what? They still have Jackson on the $20?? What’s wrong with us??) to my old buddies in Athens at Jittery Joe’s, even though i feel kinda stupid sending anything cross-country that doesn’t need to go that far.
    Up until last year, I had been drinking coffee roasted the day before and just a mile down the road, delivered by bike, because Fort Collins. Another COVID business casualty.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I pour the first one into my eyes to get them open. Second one goes down the piehole to start the heart beating. The third is usually a cup of tea to keep from idling too fast (blum blum blum blum blum).

      Bummer about the local roaster going down. Talk about a public service. We have a few here in Burque, and I’ve been meaning to sample their wares, but y’know, habit, an’ stuff.

      • SAO' Says:

        It was a one-dude operation, working out of a closet in this warehouse complex. Cool part was, his daughter and her husband are bike racers on some version of one of the Clif Bar teams. So they’d deliver the beans as part of their training rides. And the whole family started the FOCO Fondo, a gravel-centric ride with a peewee shortie kids leg and then up to 100 mile option. Always starts and ends at New Belgium, catered by a local Mexican plane, live music, tons of shwag and raffled stuff, and proceeds benefiting my favorite public service, Safe Routes to School.

        Plus, the coffee was outstanding. But the roaster was a bit of an introvert, preferred selling to restaurants and never really wanted to open a retail operation. So when the restaurant traffic stopped, he was screened, opted not to renew his lease and sold his equipment to a full-service coffee shop.

        Another unnecessary casualty of The Bug.

  5. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Andy and Liz are here for Thanksgiving, I have my first cup in hand, and life is good! Andy brought his trombone, so he, Alan and I are going to jam this afternoon. They have been living in Seattle long enough that on the way home from Tucson Andy commented how dark and quiet it was here.

    • Herb from Michigan Says:

      Sorry POB but I’m finding it humorous to imagine two guys gently guitar picking and then a guy blurts in with a viscous trombone run. Does he march in place while playing. Hee hee!

      • Herb from Michigan Says:

        Hell POB, I’m not waiting for your reply. I’ve known a few trombone players in my time. You boys will get to picking a ragtime riff and then all sorts of mayhem will break out. I’ve already got Amazon delivery headed to your place with suture kits, gauze and antiseptic creams. Sure it’ll start off well enough but once you boys get a few barley pops down, that trombone player will pick a fight for sure. Later, none of you will remember how it all started and maybe you will mend fences but damn Pat can’t you get him to just add a little tasteful flute to your mix?

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Hey, when you’re in the mood for some trombone, you’re in the mood. And a-one, and a-two.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        Relax buddy, it’s all good. Alan has been practicing two songs, One Note Samba and Song of My Father, for him and Andy to play together. Alan played in a jazz band in Bolivia for years, and Andy is trying to lean some jazz tunes. So, I will sit out those two songs. After that, quien sabe?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hey, nice, sounds like fun. Give Liz and Andy our regards.

      It’s been a while since I last visited Seattle — U.S. cyclocross nationals in 1996 — but yeah, I expect Sierra Vista seems a little darker, quieter, and drier. Run ’em over to Bisbee, show ’em how the other half lives.

      I’ve started futzing around with the guitar again, mostly the Art & Lutherie Roadhouse (O, Can-a-duh). But what I really crave is a new flute. Holy hell, do they ever cost a ton.

  6. khal spencer Says:

    Blog post looks fine here. Did you fix it?

    My better half doesn’t go for the super dark roasts so I have been mixing a Nicaraguan bean and a Mexican bean from La Montanita that is roasted somewhere between City Roast and Dark Roast with a Mexican from Iconik ( https://iconikcoffee.com/ ) that is a lighter roast.

    I hear the lighter roasts have more octane, so to speak, anyway. And now I’m off for my second cup.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Nope, didn’t do anything to it. It’s WordPress on autopilot, except that I insist on using the Classic editor because I dislike the Gutenberg “block” editor.

      If I wanted to play with blocks I’d go back to kindergarten, try to get a passing grade this time.

    • Shawn Says:

      I like my coffee peat bog dark. Something that would make an Irish pub patron proud. I want to know that when I burp, I’ll catch a satisfying “odour” of grass fed organic cow crap. “Honey buns, there’s no way I’m going to kiss you when you’ve been drinking that stuff.”

  7. John Loesch Says:

    Its back to normal size. I didn’t change a thing. It stayed at full spread over the weekend and is back to regular size today. Too much caffeine? Or is that growth hormone? Either way, its good again.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ghosts in the machine. You should see what Herself has to deal with on a daily basis involving her Dell laptop, Surface tablet, and various arcane VPNs, whatchamacallits, and comosellamas. The language rivals a New Jersey construction site.

      When I still toiled for that Boulder-based journal of competitive whatever, navigating their custom WordPress build used to have me pounding my head on the keyboard. That’s how I went bald. Flat knocked all the hair loose of its moorings.

      The off-the-rack build you get from WordPress.com has generally been reliable. Yours is the first complaint I’ve heard in many a moon. I use the Classic Editor and a really old theme (Kubrick) and try not to ask a great deal of either of them. Now and then I think about trying a new theme … and then I think again. I have an alternate setup at Blogger, but that’s for the occasional emergency; belt and suspenders. They’ve gone to some sort of block editor, too, and I haven’t bothered to figure it out.

      Here’s a pointless tidbit for yis: The blog is an Apple production, through and through. Since my Sony RX100 III blew up I use the iPhone SE to take photos, and a 2014 MacBook Pro (AirDrop, Preview, Safari) for writing and editing. Simplicity itself (he said while knocking on wood).

      • B Lester Says:

        And soon Apple will let you get inside their products again. Maybe….

        On a completely unrelated note, I saw that there will be an animated version of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers on some streaming service called Tubi. Can’t imagine it will do justice to the original. They haven’t the guts.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Sheeyit, I’ve been into almost all of my Macs, since the first SE right through these 2014 MacBook Pros. It was way easy Back in the Day®; a little less so with the newer models, but still doable with an assist from how-to videos at Other World Computing and iFixit.

        I hotrodded the shit out of the 1999 G4 Power Mac tower I picked up for the price of shipping it to B-burg when BRAIN went Intel in the office. That beast was a breeze to work on. Undo the latch and drop the entire right side for easy access to the guts. It’s still running.

        That being said, I wouldn’t crack an iPhone or iPad. That looks like the express lane to the crazyhouse. And John Gruber at Daring Fireball notes that the integration of memory and storage into chips has pulled the plug on simple chores like expanding memory or storage.

        Still, some people will have a go. Me, I’m sticking with the old shit I can still work on for as long as humanly possible.

        Speaking of the old shit, I wonder what Gilbert Shelton thinks about the Freak Brothers finally going animated, a project that’s been about 50 years in the making. Or if he’s even involved. He buggered off to France like R. Crumb and I only see an occasional mention of him in the news.

        • Shawn Says:

          I just didn’t get those Mac things. They were just too… simple. They didn’t let you mess things up like the old DOS PC’s. My first encounter with them was in about ’89 when I’d take a break from studying (drinking) and wander down to the Wood Center computer lab and play Risk on them – The old black and white version of the game which I still think is cool. Now that laptops, phones, etc. make everything safe, friendly and controlled, it seems as though computer tech evolved toward the Mac design. No more getting in there and messing up those root files.

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