Archive for the ‘Albuquerque’ Category

Onewheel to rule them all

January 27, 2019

I gotta get out more often.

After a couple enjoyable hours on the ol’ bikeroo I decided that what I needed was a plate of chicken enchiladas in green prepared by somebody who was not me, so off I went to Los Cuates.

“OK,” says Charlie at Two Wheel Drive, “I’m gonna start framing pictures then. See how you like it!”

On the way there I saw a guy riding one of the dinguses in the video up top. I dismissed it as another acid flashback, but here it is on the Innertubes, so it must be real.

On the way back I saw this frame shop, which is considering branching out into new services (hey, a frame is a frame, amirite?).

And on Central near San Mateo, where you never know what the hell you’re gonna see, I saw a couple folks waving signs for a charity car wash … to raise funds for a funeral.

There has to be a story behind that last one, and I hope to Christ I never hear it.

Degrees of difficulty

January 22, 2019

It wasn’t what I’d call warm on Saturday, but the Big Yellow Ball was out in a blue, blue sky, so I had that going for me, which was nice.

Hmph. After six consecutive days of healthful outdoor exercise I thought I’d award myself a day of rest yesterday.

Should’ve kept an eye on the weather wizards. ’Cause today, it’s snowing again. Bah, etc.

Happily, I wrapped and shipped the latest “Quick Spin” video to Adventure Cyclist on Sunday, so I won’t have to check the integrity of those Jamis fenders today. Instead, I can go for a short run in the snow, see if I can find a new place to fall down.

And it could be worse. It could not be snowing in January, and come June I would be bitching about being on fire.

Or I could be an unpaid federal employee standing in line near the Trump International Hotel in DeeCee, waiting for some free food.

Radha Muthiah, president of the Capital Area Food Bank, tells The New York Times that her organization has had to reassess its targets, which now include people “making upward of $60,000 a year.”

“What was more interesting than the number were the types of calls: individuals who had never had to request food,” she said of those contacting the food bank. “Many had donated, but had never expected to be on the receiving end.

“What this experience is showing them is that so many of us live paycheck to paycheck. Any time of emergency — whether a medical emergency or something else — how quickly one can become vulnerable.”

Some federales are hunting other work, whatever they can find — babysitting, driving for Uber, substitute teaching. This may or may not keep other Americans from landing those jobs.

Notes FDA employee David Arvelo: “Who’s going to hire me not knowing how long I’m going to stick around?”

One common thread running through all these stories involves infernal combustion: people who suddenly can’t afford gas, insurance, car payments, whatever. The humble bicycle looks awfully good by comparison. Unless, of course, it’s snowing.

Mirror, mirror

January 7, 2019

Mirror, mirror, on the bar; who’s the loony in that car?

I got back on the bike on Saturday for a short spin to blow the ol’ carbon out of the cylinders.

The roads were crusty and dusty, where they weren’t wet and/or icy, so I needed something with fenders (the Soma DC) plus winter tights and a truly ancient Pearl Izumi hi-viz jacket. Seriously, this Day-Glo duster must date to 1994 or thereabouts. It’s old enough to be living in our basement (if we had one) while we paid off its college loans. “B.A.” stands for “barista’s assistant?” Who knew?

There were lots of hi-viz jackets and tights traversing Tramway, so I guess everyone was as sick as I was of huddling indoors or shoveling snow. But boom, come Sunday, we were back in the icebox and I decided to go for a squishy run instead of a second ride.

This time we got rain, which was a nice change. Don’t gotta shovel no rain.

Speaking of shoveling, I see Wally O’Steele hopes to lie straight to our faces in prime time tomorrow, eliminating the middleman (the “fake news”).

I don’t believe that the networks’ news departments are obliged to broadcast fiction — that’s the purview of their entertainment divisions — so p’raps the usual filters will remain in place.

Or maybe Comedy Central could air this piece of performance art, with Garrett Morris on a split screen, riffing on an old “Weekend Update” bit from “Saturday Night Live.”

It’d be a two-fer — delivering news for the deaf from the dumb.

• Late update: The networks blew the call, from James Fallows.

Aw, fog it

December 26, 2018

A quick shot out the front door.

The weather went abruptly and lightly sideways this morning.

We’ve had a bit of everything today, from light snow to rain to sleet to fog, while up north travelers are intercoursing the penguin on a nasty stretch of Interstate 25 at La Bajada. Getting up that hill in evil weather is trouble enough. For getting down, what you want is skis. Or perhaps to stay home.

The various wounds are healing nicely, thanks for asking. Since the weather seems ill-suited to vigorous outdoor exercise I believe I shall award myself a rest day.

If the knee requires ice I have some in the refrigerator. No need to go out looking for it.

The last time I did that I wound up with my left communications digit in a bright blue splint.

Speaking of falls, Austin Murphy (you may remember his writings about HWSNBN Back in the Day®) has gone from working for Sports Illustrated to driving delivery for Amazon. He serves up a good read about how that package gets from Jeff Bezos’ magic kingdom to your doorstep. And yes, like HWSNBN, occasionally these guys have to pee in a bottle. Just not the way you think.

Santa Protection Factor

December 23, 2018

Oh, the weather outside is … frightful?

I hope jolly ol’ St. Nick remembers to slather on the SPF 50 when he brings all my toys to the Duke City. Unless he wants his snoot to get redder than Rudolph’s.

White Christmas?

December 20, 2018

It’s beginning to look a lot like … well, like summer, only colder.

I dunno, man. It looks more brown and blue from where I’m standing.

Thousands are sailing

December 8, 2018

Hm, we seem to be on something of an Irish-music kick here.

They’re sailing in the other direction these days, at least some of them. Zio Lorenzo and The Professor are settled in Italy and not missing Sioux City one iota, unless I miss my guess.

And now our friends Mike and Liz are bidding adieu and relocating to Lyon, France.

We had them over for green-chile stew last night and caught up. They’ve bought an apartment there, the house here is for sale, and come springtime they will be well positioned to observe Le Tour in its native habitat. Stage 8 will be right in their backyard, or arrière-cour, as we say in le français.

Novelist and poet Jim Harrison thought highly enough of Lyon to write, “If I were given the dreary six months to live, I’d head at once to Lyon and make my way from bistro to bistro in a big stroller pushed by a vegetarian.”

The place suffers from a dearth of New Mexican-style green-chile stew, however, and thus we were compelled to revive them after the house-hunting excursion. We couldn’t find a vegetarian with a two-seater stroller to push them home, though.

Badaboom, badabing

November 30, 2018

Maybe we need to get Mexico to build us a new Wall.
This American model isn’t getting the job done.

This isn’t exactly what I had in mind when I said I could use a couple of bucks to tide me over until the end of the month.

 

(F)ART in a skillet

November 13, 2018

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers never went electric, but they sure as shit knew their buses. Freak Bros. © forever by Gilbert Shelton

“Hit the road, Jack, and don’t you come back no more,” sez Albuquerque to BYD, the outfit behind the famous Little Electric Buses That Couldn’t.

Regulars here at the Duke City Chuckle Hut know the story of the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project, a.k.a. ART, which has become something of a nutty cluster of fks, as Charlie Pierce might say.

See, our city fathers once dreamt a grand dream of running electric buses down the middle of Central Avenue in order to something something something, possibly because they’d eaten too much posole right before bedtime, or maybe it was the worm in the mescal.

But the buses supplied by Build Your Dreams — which should rebrand to IYD (In Your Dreams), or perhaps BYOB (Bring Your Own Buses) — apparently make my 1996 F-150 look like a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud.

“You don’t need a mechanic, you need an exorcist,” a frustrated dealership mechanic said of that fiend-ridden Ford, which began rattling itself into bits and pieces about 30 seconds after I drove it off the lot.

I never test-drove an exorcist. Instead, I sprung for a ’98 Toyota. But I expect that not even Fathers Karras and Merrin, with an assist from Kiichiro Toyoda and Toshirô Mifune, could chase the boogeymen out of BYD’s buses, which are said to suffer from brake failures, problems with operable range and battery life, and electrical issues that multiplied upon inspection like flies on hot horseshit, the all-natural substance at the heart of BYD’s marketing strategery. Also, there remains the basic underlying issue of demonic possession.

And so the alleged buses are being returned, assuming they can make it past the city-limits sign without exploding like a penguin on a telly.

To replace them, the city has ordered up 10 new, non-electric buses from a “well-established American company that makes buses all the time,” says Mayor Tim Keller. Why nobody thought of this earlier remains a mystery, especially since it will be a year and a half before the replacement buses can be delivered.

“Obviously, we are very concerned about what we’ve been put through as a city by BYD,” Keller added. “I think down the road, we’re interested in being fairly compensated for [how] we have been misled on these buses.”

A BYD spokescreature, who declined to be identified because the Great Old Ones had not authorized it to speak with the media, said cryptically, “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.” This is R’lyehian for “In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu has many lawyers.”

Cat on a cold gravel roof

October 17, 2018

Last night, when I was up on the roof at dark-thirty in a howling gale, using a headlamp and a handsaw to edit a pine whose flailing branches were making Freddy Kruegeresque noises on our ductwork, I sez to myself, I sez, “What the world really needs right this minute is another cute cat video.”

You’re welcome.