Archive for the ‘Albuquerque’ Category

Possibilities

August 10, 2022

Possibly rain.

Partly to mostly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible.The Weather Underground forecast for The Duck! City

The gods are pulling my chain again.

Actually, they may be peeing on it.

We just got more than a half inch of possibility in about 15 minutes and Your Humble Narrator beat the deluge home by the chromoplastic skin of his mudguards.

I hadn’t intended to go for a ride. The original idea was to drive to Dick Missile’s Galaxy O’ Grub for a couple hundy worth of disco vittles.

But about halfway there I realized I was short one wallet (mine). So I pulled a U and in a cloud of blasphemy motored home, where I swapped the Subie for a Soma.

Some explanation is in order. I like to buy my groceries early, when most people are working, schooling, or riding their own damn’ bikes. This has the effect of broadening product availability, widening aisles, and shortening lines at checkout.

By forgetting my wallet I had squandered my chronological advantage over the Little People, so I thought I might as well go for a ride instead. Which I did. And it was very pleasant, thanks for asking.

About an hour in I noticed the clouds bunching up and darkening. As I looped around High Desert en route to El Rancho Pendejo things looked positively moist down by Four Hills.

“No worries,” I thought. “It never rains before noon, when it rains at all. Plenty of time.”

Uh huh. I felt the first few drops just off Tramway at Manitoba, and on Glenwood Hills Drive they were bucketing down in quantity. I had fenders on — all the Somas have fenders — but I had to mind my manners in the corners as I slalomed home at a quarter ’til noon, just in time for lunch, if I had any food.

“If only we had some ham we could have ham and eggs, if we only had some eggs.” You said a mouthful, brother.

Stormy weather

July 30, 2022

The AcuRite is wrong.

Yesterday’s power outage apparently electroshocked our weather widget into insensibility, so now come morning I have to step outside for a quick assay of the meteorological situation.

How tedious. A fella could get sunburnt, windburnt, soaked, frostbitten, lightning-struck, run over, or shot like that.

When Herself joined that long line for AcuRite’s online support chat yesterday their people proved less than supportive, shrugging their virtual shoulders and mumbling, “Hey, what could I tell you?”

However, I see from their website that AcuRite will happily give us 10 percent off purchases and keep us abreast of “exclusive offers, new products, and other useful content” if only we will sign up for their email list.

Nope. Let ’em step outside and holler if they have something to say to us. We are currently experiencing a heavy call volume. Please continue to hold (me bollocks).

Toasted

July 29, 2022

Skeeters drove Herself indoors to sit in the dark and play with her iPhone.

A power outage woke us at 5 a.m., and the usual comedy ensued.

I keep a largish Mag-Lite under the nightstand for the illumination/bludgeoning of evildoers, so I grabbed that and wandered around El Rancho Pendejo trying to remember where all the other battery-powered lights were hiding as Miss Mia Sopaipilla followed me ahead of me yowling, “WTF, dude?”

With the Petzl headlamps and BioLite lantern located I stepped outside for a quick assay of the situation. It was the usual weirdo, with half the cul-de-sac dark, and an iPhone peek at the PNM website disclosed a 40-something-user outage, no cause determined, restoration of power guesstimated at a couple hours.

Some dope fiend probably liberated a transformer, I thought as I made coffee on the gas range by Petzl-light. Afterward, Herself went outside to feed the mosquitos on the patio while I dug out my little JBL Bluetooth speaker, dialed up R.E.M. on YouTube, and cranked “It’s the End of the World (As We Know It)” at maximum volume for the amusement of the neighborhood. Or not.

“Shut that shit off,” Herself advised. But I played it right to the end and then danced around the house singing, “It’s the end of the toast as we know it,” because our toaster is not gas-operated. Oatmeal would have to do.

Let’s go get stoned

July 25, 2022

I don’t remember Jesus mentioning all the lovely lawns he saw
during his sojourn in the desert, where the Devil does his gardening.

John Fleck tells us that the Rio is not so Grande these days in The Duck! City.

In point of actual fact, it is dry. As in no longer flowing. Just enough mud for a smallish election; p’raps a school-board contest.

Notes John in a subsequent post:

Between the levees, the river in 2022 has begun drying in the Albuquerque reach for the first time in four decades, as we grind through the summer of our third consecutive terrible spring runoff. By one measure I’ve been using, this is the worst three-year stretch here since the drought of the 1950s.*

*When Your Humble Narrator was hatched.—Editor

Now, some of that green in our lawn pictured above is courtesy of the 2022 monsoons, which are supposed to resume this week. But a lot of it came spritz-spritz-spritzing out of our sprinkler system earlier in the year, when the sun was doing its Death Star thing on our back yard.

I guess even a dumb dog can see a Milk-Bone by daylight. Because Herself and I have agreed it was long past time we engaged a landscaper, and today she picked up the phone.

We’re gonna rock out, is what. If we absolutely have to have grass we can get it from the cannabis shops like everybody else.

Black and white

July 7, 2022

White Nobilette, black Privateer.

I was compelled to go to the Dark Side today.

The plan was to roll down toward the Rio and climb back up again, but I got no further than Tramway and Montgomery when the rear tire on the Nobilette went pssssshhhhhhht.

No biggie. In fact, it was my first flat since January. So briskly I relocated from the highway shoulder to the nearby bike path and effected repairs.

But this left me with just one spare tube for a 25-mile loop through goat-head country on a sunny July day in The Duck! City.

Well. Shit. Back to the ranch. Not to stay, mind you, but to grab another bike.

The New Albion Privateer was off its hook and leaning against the Subaru in the garage. Bingo. There were two tubes and tools in the saddlebag and a frame pump slung under the top tube. Moved the headlight and taillight over and off we went.

It’s not so bad, the Dark Side. Just a horse of a different color. Who’s your daddy, Luke?

A bang-up job

July 4, 2022

The morning clouds have been something to celebrate.

The only firecracker I personally set off today was a itty-bitty kiddie snap-pop left over from the previous night’s celebration in the cul-de-sac, a neighbor’s lightly explosive summertime labor of love. I hit it with a tire as I rolled out for an Independence Day bike ride.

Snap!

That felt about right, considering.

Albuquerque seemed unusually quiet for a Fourth of July, and I wondered once again whether The Duck! City is a place that people leave for a holiday, not one they visit.

Or maybe we’re all just wondering whether there’s anything left of America to celebrate.

We had a good group at last night’s fireworks show. Not exactly a representative sample of the U.S. population — hey, this is the ’burbs, and the foothills to boot — but if we were heavy on white-collar types from the university, the lab, and the government, we also had people of color and a sizable crop of kids, the most I’ve ever seen at one of these shindigs.

There were snacks and beverages and folding chairs. Squeals of delight from the young, and oohs and ahhs from the rest of us, with the occasional round of applause for a particularly percussive fountain.

The show didn’t start until 8:30 and so we were up a little later than we like, and I may have been a little grumpier than usual as I toured the foothills this morning on my old road-racing bike. Frowned as some oblivious tool blew right through a stop sign. Got mildly irked at an American flag protruding from a New Mexican zia with a security camera built in. (One nation, under surveillance.) And I actually flipped the bird to a banner reading, “Don’t Blame Us, We Voted for Trump!”

Finally, motorists eastbound on Paseo del Norte still haven’t figured out the new right-turn configuration at Tramway. Jesus wept, etc. You want to watch your ass cycling southbound if you ever want to see another fireworks show.

All this being said, there are bright spots. One of them is out there in the cul-de-sac right now with a leaf blower, clearing away any detritus he might have overlooked last night as the rest of us headed for bed.

He doesn’t have to do it. It’s a free country, amirite? But he’s doing it anyway, and not just for show, either. He does it because it’s a nice thing to do.

Sallying Fourth: It’s a gas

June 30, 2022

Get thee behind me.

Behold! The Fourth of July Holiday Travel Extravaganza is upon us, and gas prices are … falling?

Hee, and also haw.

You know what this means, right? If the prices had stayed high, why, you’d stay home, roast your weenies in the back yard. But they’ve dipped a few pennies, so fill ’er up, pard’, we’re gonna go visit grandma back at The Old Home Place, burn some of this discount dinosaur wine.

’Course, soon as you get there, boom! Up shoots the price at the pump. And son, you got to pay it to get home. A whole bunch of you.

Notes AAA:

Car travel volume … will break previous records as 42 million opt to drive this Independence Day. Recent issues with air travel and ongoing concerns of cancellations and delays may be driving this increase.

I hope to leave old Sue Baroo the Fearsome Furster in the garage through Monday. My idea of a real good time on a holiday weekend is not driving anywhere, even in The Duck! City.

Especially in The Duck! City. Herself recently told me a tale of some poor commuter who had a dope fiend jump on her car and beat in the windshield. Apparently some passing hardhats had to sedate him with a shovel. I’d rather hitch a ride on a flaming garbage truck.

Optimism

June 26, 2022

Hm. Looks like rain.

It’s a gloomy day here, and not just because we have an Ivy League theocracy legislating from the bench.

The monsoon has settled in like a jurist with a lifetime gig, and while the moisture is more than welcome, it is something of a wet blanket as regards the old training program.

Exactly what I’m training for remains a mystery. But still.

Yesterday, with the forests having reopened, I took a quick ride between rains to La Cueva Picnic Site. It’s a nice, steady, milelong climb that reminds me of the road to our old hillside hacienda outside Weirdcliffe, only the La Cueva road is paved, kinda, sorta.

It’s a great road for hill repeats, though the coarse chip-seal makes for some bumpy going, especially on the descent.

But yesterday was a one-and-done, because I wanted to get back to El Rancho Pendejo before Thor started limbering up his pitching arm. Fenders are nice, but they won’t keep the lightning off your Lycra.

Anyway, I’m stopped at a red light with the clouds circling round and this motorcycle dude thunders to a stop next to me. He looks like Dennis Hopper from “Easy Rider,” only without the hat, astraddle this low-slung hog.

I give him the old head-wave, and he does likewise, then says with a grin, “We ain’t got rained on yet.”

It’s June, and soon the monsoon

June 21, 2022

You can’t spell “monsoon” without “soon.”

It’s the summer solstice, and when I arose at stupid-thirty to make breakfast for Herself it sounded like a Tarzan movie outside.

No rain overnight, unless you count the deluge of evil tidings from far and near. Chama is out of water. “The Sedition Show” continues in DeeCee. And the less said about Texas the better. (There’s actually very little that’s new in the outrage du jour, as Texas Monthly reminds us. Molly Ivins could I.D. this crowd with her eyes closed, which they are, more’s the pity.)

But the North American Monsoon is expected to resume here directly, which, yay. It may not be ideal for cycling, but I have bikes with fenders. And the trees drink that stuff up like my people hitting a pint of the black. Even the federales have a hard time setting you on fire when you’re soaked to the core.

Gata gallivant

June 19, 2022

The patio gets power-washed.

What a difference a rain makes.

At 9:15 a.m. the temp was just 60 degrees. A few days back the overnight low was higher.

The official precip’ tally for the past two days is 0.58 inch, or about half again what we had received all year long before the monsoons kicked in. Our widget shows 0.71 inch.

And it was still raining when we got up. Might keep raining for a while, too, if you believe the Wizards, who have greatly improved their batting average lately.

I rode a bike with fenders yesterday, and yes, I needed them. Not often, but still, glad I had ’em. Cyclists in the desert look askance at a bike with fenders until they’re sporting the chilly Brown Stripe up the backside of their bibs. Then they’re all like, “Hm, good idee,” as they’re doing the laundry and hosing the grit off their drivetrains.

Miss Mia Sopaipilla celebrated the change in the weather with a fine gallivant this morning, launching off the furniture, rocketing around the house, and diving in and out of a paper bag in my office, before finally tunneling under our bedspread and curling up for an extended snooze.

A nap sounds like an even better idea than fenders. But I haven’t had my gallivant yet.