Archive for the ‘Albuquerque’ Category

Flower, child

March 26, 2022

A little bit of sunshine against the back wall.

Wowsah. One minute it’s icicles on the wisteria, the next it’s SPF 70 on the arms and legs.

Yesterday was my first outing sans arm and knee warmers this spring. Didn’t even bother to bring ’em along. As a consequence this morning I am a slightly darker shade of pale. In selected PG locations, anyway.

Chihuahua.

Elsewhere, the weather remains unsettled. Finding Ukraine unwilling to roll over and play dead, Voldemort Poutaine, the old commie spook whose military education apparently began and ended with World War II, may be inclined to declare victory and settle for trying to choke down a smaller bite of the country that he’s been chewing on for a while now.

Then again, his purse dogs keep yapping about Dropping the Big One to See What Happens. So, let’s not start dancing the Hopak just yet.

Meanwhile, the less said about the Ketanji Brown Jackson job interview, the better. Jesus H., etc. How Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and Josh Hawley can take three steps in public without getting kicked in the nuts remains a mystery to me.

No wonder everyone wants legal weed these days. The whiskey isn’t doing the job.

Oh, well. Today we’re looking at a high of 76° (!), so I can apply another layer of color to my carcass. But if Pat O’B ventures out today he’s gonna need a space suit. Tucson hit 90° about five days early this year and it’s only gonna get hotter.

Run!

March 19, 2022

The wind smears clouds like a finger over pastel pencil.

Running was the order of the day yesterday. Not from the Russians, or even from the cops. Just ’cause.

Mostly just ’cause it was all we had time for.

Another round of visitors was en route and I had been instructed to deploy my mad posole skillz. The cooking is not difficult but does burn a bit of daylight, even with Herself handling the salad, cornbread, and ice cream. So instead of a refreshing bike ride we did a half hour of the old hep hoop hreep horp along the foothills trails.

I was not at the top of my game, with seasonal allergies using my snotlocker for a speed bag and the Worm Moon wiggling into my REM sleep the night before. I don’t like taking drugs that don’t make you see things that aren’t there, or vertical blinds that make you see things that are there.

Next time we need window treatments I’ll stay in the kitchen where I’m useful, maybe whip up a batch of posole for the installers. Either that or go for a run or ride, come home just in time to sign the check.

The luck of the Irish

March 17, 2022

A wee bit monochromatic for the wearin’ of the green.

O, ’tis a fine soft day we have here so.

The rain awakened Herself, but not me. I thought she was selling me a bill of goods when she said it rained during the night, until I glanced outside this morning.

There’s a dusting of snow just up the hill, and the cul-de-sac is dampish. This wee sprinkle will do a fine job of tamping down the sand in the arroyo I’ve been riding lately. I’ve only seen one other cyclist in there and he was riding a mountain bike; also, down, not up.

It will save me from the raking of the lawn as well. No point in busting my hump corraling all those soggy pine needles now. Wait until they dry out and lighten up.

Ditto for the trails. Never ride ’em wet. After a rain the knuckleheads in Bibleburg would slash the gooey singletrack into something that looked like Rodan the Flying Monster’s landing strip. The ruts would set up harder than times in 1929, and riding them on a cyclocross bike meant taking a hot lap on Satan’s Slot Car Track.

The ground here in The Duck! City is mighty thirsty, though. Getting it wet enough to damage with bicycle tires might require the sort of deluge that made a sailor of Noah.

The firing line

March 14, 2022

A bear in the air just north of El Rancho Pendejo.

The clattering of helicopters overhead had become irksome, so I stepped out to see what the hell.

Hm. City cops, sheriff, KOAT-TV. … Goddamn it, has someone posted my résumé on NextDoor again?

Nope. Seems there was body count up the street around Larchmont and Montgomery. Just a short while earlier I had bicycled through that very area twice, at the start of a fine bike ride and again at its conclusion.

The media called it an “active shooter situation,” and indeed it was. Two people dead — one of them the suspect — and four wounded, two of them police officers. Happily, it seems neither sustained life-threatening injuries.

There were few details in a short presser I caught on Twitter, and nobody asked the question uppermost in my mind: How fucking stupid batshit insane do you have to be to start shooting citizens and throw down on the cops when there’s a police substation within earshot?

Snow? No

March 11, 2022

It ain’t easy getting green.

We was robbed.

Just as well. The ladies have plans, and though they are Marylanders and used to snow, only Herself has enjoyed winter motoring in The Duck! City, whose drivers can’t keep the shiny side up on a sunny day.

Yesterday it was a Tesla and a pick-’em-up truck that ate shit at Comanche and Tramway, where the debris from old crashes piles up like the fast-food wrappers, liquor bottles, and dirty diapers drivers toss from their vehicles between texts as they breeze through the red five seconds late and 20 over the limit.

You want to keep your head on a swivel when your light turns green. Left, right, left again — count one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, etc. — then proceed as though you believe in an afterlife.

Never mind the asshole leaning on his horn behind you. Hell ain’t half full, as s/he will learn after finally honking at the wrong person, who then climbs out of the vehicle with something more authoritative than a middle digit extending from one white-knuckled fist.

The honkers are usually tailgaters too. Some of these yahoos will crowd you so closely you can smell the beer on their breath.

Doc Sarvis, the brains and bucks behind “The Monkey Wrench Gang,” had a solution to that sort of harassment. The Ukrainians are giving these ancient anticavalry weapons a go, and why not? I bet they work against horses and horses’ asses.

Weather, or not

March 10, 2022

Looks like weather. Whether we get weather remains to be seen.

The best thing about riding trails on a cool, gloomy Thursday is that you will not have much company.

Herself’s elder sis and one of their longtime pals flew into town yesterday for a weeklong visit. I whipped up too much grub — turkey enchiladas in red chile, turkey tacos with homemade salsa fresca, and Mexican rice — and this morning I felt the need to balance my caloric budget. So I kitted up, grabbed the Voodoo Nakisi, and rolled out.

Water you doing up there?

The forecast called for wind and snow, which is why I decided to log a little dirt time on the Elena Gallegos trails, just in case they turn into ice rinks, mudslides, and/or drainage channels. The NWS did not sound particularly confident in its prediction, but hey, even a blind dog finds a Milk-Bone now and then.

I exchanged compliments with a couple cheerful hikers early on as we took different routes around the same rockpile. A third reluctantly stepped aside for me as I cranked cautiously up a sketchy bit of Trail 341 that most double-boinger types ride as a descent.

Putting a foot down and waving her through, I explained that I hadn’t ridden this section in a while and was likely to intercourse the penguin right about where she was standing. She complied and trudged on down the trail, mumbling something about having been denied “a little entertainment.”

She didn’t miss much. I cleaned that sumbitch right up to the rock garden just below where 341 intersects with the Pino Trail. That obstacle has me completely buffaloed. I nearly rolled the dice but figured that I’d been lucky so far and didn’t need to break any bones with the womenfolk off raiding The Duck! City’s thrift stores for their eBay empires.

Made it home without incident, tossed a light lunch down the gullet, and started a pot of posole for the evening meal, when Herself the Elder joined the throng.

I am seriously outnumbered here. Why, I can hardly hear the voices in my head.

Pumped

March 8, 2022

I found a bargain at my neighborhood station.

The gas is mostly $4.19 in these parts, up from $3.59 a week or so ago.

Still not nearly enough. But it’s a start.

Based on what I could glean from a brief, unscientific survey this morning, the rising prices haven’t stopped Burqueños from speeding, running red lights, or idling away a few minutes (and gallons) in various fast-food drive-through lines.

This last is why I restrict my motor trips to grocery-shopping. Once you bring home the bacon, you don’t gotta go nowhere else, watching your fuel and patience needles march toward “E” as you endure some faux redneck’s loudly farting diesel. You cook it up and eat it.

And once the weather settles down, who knows? I may leave ol’ Sue Baroo in the garage even more than I already do, invest a portion of my beans and rice in getting more beans and rice. There seems to be a lot of bicycles around here for some reason.

Red vs. white

March 6, 2022

March keeps pitching its meteorological curveballs.

It just snowed for a solid 10 seconds, so I guess the drought is over.

Whoops — on its thin white heels comes the red-flag warning. Winds of 25-25 mph, with gusts to 55? Ixnay on the inklerspray, hon’; we’d only be steaming the neighbors’ raggedy-ass cottonwood.

What a fine day to not be towing a rented travel trailer, as the neighbors will be doing directly. Even a bicycle will be too high-profile a vehicle for Your Humble Narrator.

Here in a bit I hope to squeeze in a short run. Got to keep the muscle memory alive in case Voldemort Poutaine decides he’d like to add The Duck! City to his collection.

Of course, the old spook might be having second thoughts about property acquisition given his struggles in Ukraine. And if he isn’t, he should be. To paraphrase Rick from “Casablanca,” “There are certain sections of New Mexico that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.”

“Boris, is this not where we parked the tank?”

“Da, Mikhail, it was right here. Central and Pennsylvania. Remember the friendly lady behind the In & Out who beckoned to us as we passed? She offered to take us around the world and you said, ‘But we just got here!'”

The dust storm we had on Friday would have reminded their fathers of the good old days in Afghanistan. It looked like one of the haboobs that periodically buggers traffic between Tucson and Phoenix. Blotted out the valley to the west and a slice of the Sandias to the east, redistributing portions of the Upper Chihuahuan Desert without need for tanks, aircraft, or artillery.

I didn’t ride or run Friday. But I got out yesterday for a 90-minute ride, and found myself dealing with another sort of Eurasian invasion — trails clogged with tumbleweeds, also known as (wait for it) the Russian thistle.

Deer me

February 16, 2022

“Three for the buffet, please.”

They’re baaaaaaaaaaack. …

They’ve always been here, of course. They leave evidence all over the yard. But it’s rare to catch them eating our foliage in broad daylight.

With aridification at a level not seen since mule deer and Native A’s had the run of the ranch around here, plus a mountain lion said to be working the Elena Gallegos Open Space, it’s no surprise a deer or two or three decides to take five here in the Compound, munch a bit of lawn with a side of birdseed.

I was exploring a bit myself yesterday. There’s an arroyo slicing through Bobcat Boulevard NE that I’ve been meaning to check out, and since I was aboard the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff with its 50mm tires and 19-inch low I dove into it on a whim.

A brief diversion.

It started out as your typical sandy wash, then quickly narrowed to some nice twisty hardpack. A friend had told me it was possible to ride it to Foothills Trail 365, but with fauxdobe haciendas on either side I was wondering if I might wind up on someone’s patio, having a pointed property-rights debate with their Rottweiler.

Nope. My friend was right. After negotiating a few rocky bits and some old snow and ice, I found myself on 365, near Trail 230, an part of EG’s open space that I know well. So I cut over to the ranger station, dove down Simms, and retraced my route to the arroyo to ride it in the other direction, toward Tramway.

This section of the wash stays broad and loose until reaching a concrete apron that leads past Little Cloud Park and under Tramway. Hang a right just before the dropoff and you can ride another diversion channel back under Tramway and pick up the north-south bike path near Paseo del Norte.

It goes without saying that if you like riding diversion channels you want to indulge your whim in dry weather, unless you also enjoy flume rides to the Rio Grande. It seems we have plenty of dry in the long-range forecast.

‘Welcome to Albuquerque’

February 14, 2022

The Sandias as seen from Juniper Hill Road NE.
Not pictured: reckless motorist or knife-wielding maniac.

Boy, the folks at Visit Albuquerque must hate seeing Simon Romero’s byline in The New York Times.

Unless they all got shanked by the Psycho on the Bike-o.

Just another weekend on the mean streets of The Duck! City.