Marching forward, looking backward

Calm down, ye amadáin, I’ve not a drop taken: That’s a Guinness 0 so.

Birthdays. Some of us get overserved, others get 86’d with the cork barely out of the bottle.

Whoever’s in charge of this party seems a bit random. Can’t tell the top shelf from the well, the class from the dross. Proper ladies and gents given the shove while the most appalling tossers have the run o’ the place.

Take me, if you can bear to. Here I sit, roaring up on an age at which I had fully expected to have been stone dead for at least 39 years. Upended many an office pool I did.

“Who picked 69? 69? Well, doesn’t matter, because the bugger is still alive!

Turn your radio on.

Meanwhile, there’s many an empty stool in this shabby shebeen. Where’d everybody go? They were all here just a minute ago. …

Herself is back east with family and friends to raise a belated parting glass to a lifelong friend carried off by COVID last fall.

I’m right here, having charge of the cat. But recently I spoke with one of my old pals, the former Live Update Guy Charles Pelkey, who has taken a few sucker punches since a cancer diagnosis a dozen years ago but is still on his feet in Laramie, all bouncers be damned.

It may be my birthday that’s on tap come Monday, but I’d buy Charles a round to celebrate his most recent lap around the sun, may it not be his last. Lucky for me and my 401(k) I don’t drink anymore; I don’t think he does, either. ’Tis unknown the amount of money our younger selves could piss away in a proper pub.

At the publisher’s expense, of course.

But that’s neither here nor there.

And anyway, it’s the thought that counts.

So belly up to the bar — unbeknownst to the landlord, who is manhandling another tray of industrial lager to the hoops-watching gobshites glued to the TV in the back of the pub, we’re uncorking an 18-year-old, double-cask, single-malt episode of — yes, yes, yes —  Radio Free Dogpatch. And sláinte to yis.

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

• Technical notes: There was an inordinate amount of racket in and around El Rancho Pendejo this week, but after a series of false starts I was finally able to nail something down using my trusty Shure SM58 mic and the Zoom H5 Handy Recorder. Editing was in Apple’s GarageBand, with a sonic bump from Auphonic. Music and sound effects are courtesy of Zapsplat, Freesound, and Your Humble Narrator.

Tags: , , , , , ,

21 Responses to “Marching forward, looking backward”

  1. JD Says:

    PO’G Me Boyo: Lá breithe shona duit!
    I’ll tip a wee dram of Redbreast in your honor this eve and extend my thanks for your continued wit, humor, sarcasm, insights, and prodigious journalistic talents. Slainte!! 🙂

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thanks, JD. I’ll still be givin’ out as they nail the lid down.

      “Lads, did I e’er tell ye about the time. …”

      “Yes, ye did so, and now ye’er dead, so batten yeer gob.”

      Meanwhile, ’tis fine weather for the uisce beatha down here … more wind and snow to no particular purpose. Alas, I’m having to make do with strong black Irish tea.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Happy B’day in advance my fellow geezer. At the risk of violating your family values policy on this blog, I recall a few months or so ago that you said you had a friend who “would prefer doing 69 than being 69” but I guess waking up and not reading one’s own obituary in the paper is perhaps a good thing.

    I’m glad CP is doing well. I had a serious shock a couple days ago, finding out a good friend of mine back in Honolulu went off the far shore. Tony Gill, or “TG” as he often signed off, had been battling an aggressive cancer for the last year or so and it finally got the better of him. I had emailed back and forth with him in mid January and to my surprise, since he sounded upbeat, he checked out a few weeks later.

    Tony was our union lawyer. He did some fine work and as a mutual friend emailed me, “…Tony Gill is best remembered as a man for whom “ethical lawyer” is not an oxymoron. We were lucky he was on our team, especially Ramdas…” referring to a Federal lawsuit that my better half and I actually spent some time as unpaid legal assistants on. He also was famous for winning faculty union cases against the State of Hawaii, infuriating our former governor, Ben Cayetano. Ben never held a grudge though. I was on the union BoD in those days and once we got beyond growling at each other, Ben and I became friends.

    Since this is still at frequent times a bike blog rather than a general purpose blog, I’ll note in closing that TG was my bike racing team captain in Honolulu when I first got off the boat in Paradise and pinned on a number (Oahu Cycling Team, sponsored by The Bike Way bike shop owned by the Cheevers), so I knew him long before I was on the U of H faculty or faculty union board. Tony was a fierce competitor both in the courtroom and in the peloton. And at a lanky six foot three, a big guy in person. He will be missed.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’m sorry to hear about TG, K. These aggressive cancers are merciless. One friend is still living with prostate cancer years after diagnosis, but another died of a more aggro’ version in short order. And then there’s The Bug, which did for Mons, Herself the Elder, and Herself’s friend Sue, but is no more than a bad cold for other folks.

      As usual it seems to be all the wrong folks who get carried off before their time. Maybe someone should start vetting The Big Guy’s to-do list before any more buttons get punched prematurely. I hate to be critical, but some days I think He’s phoning it in.

  3. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Ah, the best to you Paddy me lad on your birthday. Live long and prosper. And, I hope we all thaw out by June! Charles may not completely defrost until August.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      A t’ousan’ t’ank-yous, mate. The weather is bad enough here … I don’t even want to think about what it’s like up Laramie way.

      • Shawn Says:

        A quick check of the downtown Laramie webcam displays a rather nice sunny, albeit cool day. Sunny enough that a bike ride might be in order. The wrath of Liz and freezing hell over hasn’t yet been unleashed upon the misguided state of Wyoming.

        If my confusion is clear enough, isn’t your celebratory ejection day on the 27th? Specific date semantics aside, it is that time of year when it is pleasant to wish you a fine and prosperous day. May a loving furry creature find your companionship worthy of a purr or two.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Gracias, Shawn. It seems we’re a hair warmer than Laramie, but they’ve got more sunshine.

        And yep, tomorrow is my actual birthday. My buddy Hal’s was yesterday, and Herself’s is the 12th. Lots of March hares among my people.

        if the Gods of Weather and Aviation smile upon me Herself will be back in The Duck! City by late afternoon or early evening. Then we can warm up a little leftover turkey chili for a birthday bash and hit the hay. She’s back at her desk at stupid-thirty Tuesday morning.

  4. Chris Says:

    Good one, Shady!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hey, thanks, homeboy. I kinda like doing these little audio screeds now and then, though I usually feel like the hominid in “2001,” a clueless monkey picking up femurs and pounding on things with them. It’s like learning how to write all over again, only with more time between deadlines.

      Happily, nobody is paying me to do them.

      The comic and podcaster Marc Maron feels the same way about playing guitar. In his 2017 Netflix special “Too Real,” he said:

      I play guitar. That’s nice. 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?

  5. Shawn Says:

    Although I stuck my head in earlier and belched, I hadn’t had time to sit back and listen to the DogPatch audio. It’s late now, a little after the midnight hour in the dark woods of Albuquerque, and my life’s savings has been put down to rest and I just had time to let my eyes relax and open the ears.

    I’m not much of a person to think much of a god but may I say “God bless you”? You have done well to honor and respect your friends and family in your “cast”. Thank you. I can only imagine that your other half knows how fine a choice she made long ago and that she will soon be back home for that important time….. To rub Miss Mia’s belly. Oh yeah, and to celebrate another fine B-Day with you. Happy Birthday again O’Grady !

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thanks, Hoss. I had the easy part … all I had to do was sit here and talk to people and microphones and write stuff down and whatnot. Herself had to jet clear across the country to pay her respects.

      She’s headed to the airport as we speak. Miss Mia will be delighted to have her back. She dislikes being understaffed and sent me a rather noisy memo at about 2:30 this morning.

  6. khal spencer Says:

    Welcome to lap #69!

  7. Herb from Michigan Says:

    I prefer to ignore my birthday and just let time mosey along in a straight line, thereby not inviting angst at what will come. It mostly works as I have to be reminded sometimes how “old” I actually am. I use that word reluctantly. One bet I’d take POG is that you could out ride and run the average 30 year old – at least here in the Mitten State. Well Herself isn’t due in for a few more hours so you’ve time to root the lint out of your navel and sing bawdy tavern songs at the top of your lungs.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Y’dern tootin’, Herb. I’m still 19 until I happen to glance into some reflective surface. Then I screech like a little girl facing off with one of the fungus fiends from “The Last of Us.”

      Air travel. Jaysis. I’d rather look in a mirror. Herself is flying from Baltimore to Las Vegas to ’Burque. Since when did Harry Reid International become a hub?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: