Archive for the ‘Albuquerque’ Category

Hey, baby … live around here?

October 18, 2017

A little color off the front patio this morning.

Don’t just look up there — look down, too.

You might just see a migrating tarantula.

Well, he’s probably not a migrant. He’s on a paseo, looking for love.

News to me, as they say. I exchanged greetings with another cyclist yesterday and she said she’d seen a tarantula, and so had another trail user, so being of a curious nature I went home and asked Kindly Old Doc Google “WTF?”

Now I have one more thing to watch out for when I’m shredding the gnar. As if sharp rocks, cacti and buzzworms aren’t enough.

One Marin, hold the fire, please

October 15, 2017

Going down. …

There are days — approximately seven per week — when I’m delighted that I no longer work for a daily newspaper.

… and going up.

Instead of following fires, terrorism and ruthless, blithering idiocy for fun and profit, I get to ride my bikey bike.

Or, in this case, someone else’s bikey bike.

The Marin Nicasio is next in the review pipeline, and while product manager Chris Holmes watches copters chatter in and out of the Petaluma airport I get to pedal one of his products up hill and down dale here in the Duke City.

There will be more of this sort of thing today. I may not work for a newspaper anymore, but I still have deadlines.

The Bravo Foxtrot Hotel

October 12, 2017

Every day a little less green and a little more gold.

Thursday has its roots in the Old Norse for “Thor’s Day” (thōrsdagr), and it was definitely hammer time round El Rancho Pendejo today.

I burned a bunch of daylight polishing the penultimate “Mad Dog Unleashed” screed of 2017 for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, then scribbled a “Shop Talk” cartoon for the same outfit. No work, no eating, as the Zen master Hyakujo has taught us.

This shot makes the Elena Gallegos Open Space look a lot less active than it was.

Then it was 90 minutes on the Voodoo Nakisi, chasing myself around the dusty trails of the Elena Gallegos Open Space. Next to nobody in there yesterday and today it looked like the Big Eye at rush hour. Go figure. Are there no prisons? No workhouses?

The Boo requires a variety of medications and we were short one, so off to the vet I did go, flushing still more dinero down the medical loo that is our smelly little one-eyed pee-weasel.

And I checked in with friends in Santa Rosa to gauge the state of affairs out there. Not good, as you probably already know. Nearly 3,000 homes destroyed, 29 people dead, and both numbers expected to rise.

Among the houses incinerated was one belonging to the late Charles M. Schulz, creator of the fabled “Peanuts” strip.

My man Merrill is planning another cross-country run before settling into his new life on the Left Coast and hopes to pass through the Duke City this time around, so I’ll get a full report sometime next week from a former New York Times man. Right now he’s couch-surfing at the mayor’s digs and resting up for the final push.

And my old buddy Miz Lo is hiding from the smoke down Petaluma way but hopes to return to the Pink Palace soon. She knows many people who won’t be so fortunate.

Air Subaru flies again

October 4, 2017

Bibleburg, as seen from the overlook at Palmer Park.

Another week, another flight aboard Air Subaru. This time it was back to Bibleburg to clear some stuff out of the garage at The House Back East™, which is to have a new proprietor by close of business Friday.

We’re talking your basic high-speed up-and-back, so apologies to the many Bibleburghers I missed during my whirlwind tour.

I was able to visit our old friend and former tenant Judy, who’s now living in a senior center off Lower Gold Camp, and looking fit despite a bad fall that required surgery, some aftermarket parts, and a whole lot of rehab.

Looking stormy this morning off the side patio.

Too, I caught up with John Crandall and the rest of the gang at Old Town Bike Shop, where we spoke of Tim Watkins, another recent victim of gun violence.

Then I beat it back to the Duke City in time to vote in Tuesday’s election, sign closing documents for THBE™, and score a half-bushel of freshly roasted green chile, some of which went almost instantly into vegetarian quesadillas for Herself and Your Humble Narrator. A green chile stew is to follow directly, as the weather is said to be turning damp and chilly for a couple of days.

And now, after piling a couple thousand miles onto the odometer in two weeks, it’s time to give the old hunk of junk a break. The Subaru could use one, too. So it’s back to human-powered transportation for a spell. Look for me on two feet and two wheels for the foreseeable future.

The days grow short

September 27, 2017

Leaves are turning, and so is the sky.

Some evildoer swiped my beautiful desert climate while I was on the road. A fella can’t leave nothin’ unlocked and unguarded in these parts.

I should be out and about, logging miles on the Marin Nicasio. But instead here I am, in the office, catching up on correspondence and expense reports, brokering real-estate deals, and drinking green tea.

Why, I may even put on pants. That’s how dire the situation has become.

Damp, gray weather like this is why the Mid-Willamette Valley and I proved such a poor fit back in the early Eighties. It makes me want to eat everything, with a side of everything else, and wash it all down with buckets of brain-eraser. Cost me my girlish laughter it did, along with a few buttons on the old 501s.

And now Twitter is testing a 280-character tweet, doubling the previous limit we’ve all come to know and love. Good Gawd Awmighty. Has the world gone mad? Zombie Russian novelists must be running that op’ these days. Tolstoy needed more than 140 characters just to clear his throat.

What Twitter really needs is an editing function. But if we had that, I expect more of us might come to realize that we only have 140 characters’ worth of wisdom in us on a good day.

Fire and flood

September 12, 2017

Things are just peachy here.

We seem to be dialing it down from 11, natural-disaster-wise.

The Florida branch of Herself’s kin is back home after a stint in Pensacola, and the Adventurous Cyclists in Montana reported a break in the weather over the weekend, so yay, etc. Hope you and yours are on the right side of the lawn, and that said lawn is neither under water nor on fire.

Without cute pix of dogs carrying their own survival rations or video of knuckleheads getting blown off their feet while iPhoning an incoming wave it will be tough to keep our attention from drifting to the next shiny object. The cleanup is never as much fun as the party.

For example:

There are toxins in Houston’s floodwater. The U.S. Virgin Islands are for the moment no longer a paradise for vacationers (or the people who live there). The cleanup in Florida is liable to take the better part of quite some time.

Cooler, damper weather seems to be lending a hand to firefighters in Montana and Oregon, but nobody’s cracking the bubbly just yet.

Equifax doesn’t give a shit about me or thee.

And Ted Cruz apparently “likes” porn. If anything could finally croak the porn industry, this is it.

But hey, cheer up: The new iPhones are here! The new iPhones are here!

Everything’s rosy

September 3, 2017

Winter may be coming, but it ain’t here yet.

We’re getting a burst of late roses here at El Rancho Pendejo. Red, pink, yellow. The works.

The four-day (!) Labor Day weekend has been a rousing success so far. Herself and I went for a short trail run on Friday. On Saturday she performed yoga while I did 90 minutes of hills on the Bianchi Zurigo. Afterward I burned a couple slabs of defunct bovine and served ’em up alongside some spinach fettuccine topped with smoked salmon and asparagus in a shallot cream sauce. Herself provided a refreshing green salad. Teevee was watched, and chocolate eaten.

Today there was more yoga and cycling (the latter on the Sam Hillborne, just rolling around eyeballing some of the top-shelf real estate over by the tram). Afterward the neighbors popped round with baskets full of homegrown goodness — tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers — that went nicely in a salad alongside the leftover moocow from yesterday, plus some mashed spuds. Also, and too, ice cream.

We are neither on fire nor under water, are unlikely to be deported, and there are no inbound missiles of which I am aware.

Is this the winning we’ve heard so much about? If not, why, then, it will have to do.

It’s all a blur

July 2, 2017

Eastbound on I-40, way too early in the morning.

This is how I feel when I get up at stupid-thirty on a Sunday morning: cloudy, out of focus, poorly composed.

This is why I rarely get up at stupid-thirty on a Sunday morning. Alas, this particular Sunday morning Herself needed a lift to the Greater Duke City Cosmological Airport; she and a sis are paying a call on Herself the Elder in Tennessee, which is a right smart drive for anyone who isn’t marginally employed, like her chauffeur.

My rule of thumb regarding travel beyond the city limits is simple: If the trip is under 2,000 miles and doesn’t cross any oceans, it’s Air Subaru for me. Oak Ridge is a piddling 1,400 miles from here, and damme if I’ll submit to the tender mercies of Benighted Airlines for a short hop like that.

Now I’m back at El Rancho Pendejo, and The Boo and I are both out of sorts, our routines having been upended. Not quite as badly as Alejandro Valverde’s, though. I guess he ate shit in yesterday’s Tour opener and needed a bit of time on the surgeon’s workbench afterward.

Ice, ice, baby

June 29, 2017

I’ve shot this road before. It drops from near the Michial Emery trailhead to the Tramway bike path.

I’ve been preparing for this year’s (Not the) Tour de France with a series of short rides.

Trail 366, which leads to the Elena Gallegos picnic area.

This is a refreshing change of pace from the usual mad dash to figure out who’s who, and what’s what, and how in bloody ‘ell can I help Charles Pelkey make three weeks in July funny just one more time, please, God and Baby Jesus!

Whoof. ‘Scuse me, got carried away there.

Anyway, short rides, as I said. On road and off. Nine-speed drop-bar bikes and bar-end shifters, because that’s how I roll.

Work reared its ugly head today, but I punched it right between the horns and went for a damn’ ride.

This is probably why our refrigerator committed suicide. It thought I had lost my work ethic and it couldn’t face a world in which it was not filled to the gunwales with lean pork products, fresh vegetables and ice cream.

I went straight down to Home Depot and ordered up a replacement. And tomorrow I’m going on another damn’ ride.

• Late update: I forgot to mention that yesterday was Wild Kingdom Day. In just under two hours on the bike I saw one deer, one coyote and a metric shit-ton of quail. What’s with the quail this year? And nary a buzzworm so far this summer. ‘Course, now that I’ve said that, I’ll probably have to bunny-hop one today.

Well done, Yahweh*

June 26, 2017

A snapshot from the cul-de-sac last evening, at the conclusion of The Boo’s walk.

Albuquerque has its problems, to be sure. Joblessness, crime, drivers who should not be permitted to operate grocery-store scooters … but it flat brings the sunset.

* The headline is from Ed Abbey’s “The Monkey Wrench Gang,” which featured another elderly, bearded weirdo from Albuquerque.