Archive for the ‘All property is theft’ Category

55? Do I hear 60? 65?

November 7, 2015
The road goes ever on and on, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

The road goes ever on and on, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

I’d like to run away from home. But which home?

There’s the one in Bibleburg, which is under contract. The prospective buyers would like a couple electrical and plumbing issues corrected before the deal goes down, and while they seem to be minor items at casual glance, our plumber has a second home in Hawaii.

Then there’s the one in the Duke City, which has a slight in-law infestation that can’t be eradicated by the usual pest-control outfits. People would talk, especially the ones being eradicated. (Editor’s note to in-laws: I keed, I keed.)

Soup of the evening, beautiful soup.

Soup of the evening, beautiful soup.

Alas, furthermore, moreover, and too, deadlines loom, with words, cartoons and video all very much in demand and yet proving elusive for some reason(s).

Add a soupçon of inhospitable weather — my God, I’ve actually taken to wearing pants, and indoors, too! — and it’s no wonder a paranoid misanthrope might get the feeling that some stealth contractor is adjusting the walls inward during the night, while Realtors®, repairpersons and relatives harry me through my dreams like the coyotes Herself and I heard singing last night as we walked The Boo.

The only possible solution is — yes, you guessed it — a great big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup. It cures everything. I even got a cartoon done while it was cooking.

Step right up

October 24, 2015
You too can be the proud owner of the quality goes in before the name goes on.

You too can be the proud owner of the quality goes in before the name goes on.

DUKE CITY, New Mexico (MDM) — Well, we’ve done it. The ancestral manse in Bibleburg, legendary seat of the fabled O’Grady family, is on the market.

Everything checked out during this last visit: furnace, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, the works. I needed a functional furnace, too, as Thursday set another wet-weather record and the temps never got out of the 40s. The uniform of the day was strictly blue collar, jeans and long-sleeved denim shirt.

Diamonds on my windshield and rainbows in the rear view.

Diamonds on my windshield and rainbows in the rear view.

Having checked the forecast before leaving Duke City, I didn’t bother to bring a bike, and even did without running, deciding that splashing through chilly puddles is best kept shelved as a fading memory of my cyclo-cross career.

Instead I rearranged the living-room furniture; cleaned house and did laundry; tried and failed to get a spare key made for the front door (an old Wards key for a Corbin latch is surprisingly difficult to duplicate); and met with our real-estate agent and his son, who serves as his photographer.

I should’ve cleaned out the garage, too, but I didn’t have a flamethrower concealed somewhere about my person. Instead I settled for hanging a new shop light and loading all the skis and snowshoes into the Subaru. Then I got the hell out of Dodge.

Naturally, since I was driving instead of cycling or jogging, the weather was excellent, if a bit windy. There was a little rain outside Santa Fe, but nothing serious, just enough to generate a quality rainbow.

And now I’m back in El Rancho Pendejo, waiting on word of a buyer. All it takes is American money. Step right up. Step right up. Everyone’s a winner, bargains galore. … You can live in it, laugh in it, love in it.

 

Son of Unreal Estate (a continuing series)

October 21, 2015
Yeah, yeah, right, welcome, thanks, whatever.

Yeah, yeah, right, welcome, thanks, whatever.

BIBLEBURG, Colo. (MDM) — Heeeeeeee’s baaaaaaack. …

After an Airbnb guest raised doubts about how well the Chez Dog furnace was working, and a maid service said the clothes dryer was mostly a clothes tumbler, it was back to Bibleburg for Your Humble Narrator.

Heading for Taos.

Heading for Taos.

Our most recent guest checks out this morning, after which I’ll dash on over and cast a bloodshot eye on the situation. I suspect that the furnace issue has something to do with folks who insist on trying to operate a programmable Honeywell thermostat that they understand about as well as I understand the GOP, but the dryer could be an actual, you know, like, thing, and stuff.

This trip saves us the cost of the maid service this time around (just call me Hazel) and gives me a shot at resolving any other issues our real-estate agent thinks may need attention.

Plus the trip let me have lunch at Orlando’s New Mexican Cafe in Taos and dinner at The Margarita at Pine Creek in Bibleburg. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

Tell you what, though. As I was leaving the Duke City yesterday, motoring past all those colorfully clad cyclists scarfing up the endorphines on Tramway, I felt distinctly like Tom Sawyer sentenced to whitewashing while the other kids played. Even more so now that it’s raining. …

Just monkeying around

October 15, 2015
We have a maple in Bibleburg and another in Duke City. Didn't plan it that way; it just happened. This one's in DC.

We have a maple in Bibleburg and another in Duke City. Didn’t plan it that way; it just happened. This one’s in DC.

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and call it fall.

(Rimshot.)

Got back from Bibleburg last night after a week of what you call your basic flurry of activity:

• Meetings with our lawn guy, a painter, and a real-estate agent about Chez Dog.

• Relocating from the old home place to a north-side hotel and back again.

• Cleaning the joint three times (once after an Airbnb guest, and twice after me).

• Reglazing one broken lower panel in a self-storing aluminum storm window.

• Washing the other 15 windows and replacing those lower panels removed by asshats who failed to grasp the concept of the self-storing aluminum storm window.

• Replacing the screen doors with the storm doors.

• Chatting up a half-dozen or so friends and neighbors (and catching an escaped dog for one who suffers from reduced mobility).

• Two rides and two runs.

• The watching of a series of astoundingly shitty movies, which reminds me of why we jerked the cable out of the wall all those years ago.

• And finally, exactly zero cycling journalism.

This last caught up with me today, when I had to crank out a column and cartoon at high speed for Bicycle Retailer. But I think the downtime doing other chores helped free the mind after a disturbingly long stretch of creative constipation.

The sight of me with a tool in hand, for anyone who knows my mad home-repair skillz, conjures up the image of the hominid from “2001: A Space Odyssey” flailing around him with a thighbone. Nevertheless I managed to dismantle, clean and restore all those goddamn storm windows with nothing more than a putty knife, a hammer (my favorite tool), a quart of Windex and a great deal of profanity, especially when I was up to my hips in a shrubbery using hammer and knife to liberate an upper window panel from its prison of paint.

But sparkling windows and a fresh coat of weather-be-gone on the decks should help Chez Dog show a little leg when the suckers come strolling by. It’s been a great little house to us, but as an Airbnb rental it’s proven a little tough to manage from six hours away, and it’s time it was a great little house to somebody else.

Property rights (and wrongs)

April 24, 2015
The weather wasn't all that welcoming, despite the sign.

The weather wasn’t all that welcoming, despite the sign.

Rather than chance being mistaken for Helen Collins and Doug Bruce, Herself and I decided we (meaning Your Humble Narrator) should dash up to Colorado to check on our vast real-estate holdings, make sure they hadn’t been turned into meth labs, crack houses or empty, boarded-up, Collins-Bruce-style blights on the community.

The back deck needed a few new boards.

The back deck needed a few new boards.

This I did, earlier this week, and I’m happy to report that the only boards involved were the three replaced in Chez Dog’s winter-ravaged back deck by Senior Executive Dude With Tools and Skills Dennis “Heavy D” Collard, who had a few uncommitted moments in his busy schedule that I was happy to fill for him, knowing from experience that idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

The weather did a number on the back sidewalk, too, so I asked a local concrete merchant to estimate the cost of repairs. I checked in with our friend and tenant Judy, comfortably ensconced in The House Back East®, and chatted up a couple other members in good standing of the Patty Jewett Yacht & Cricket Club.

And finally, I did a quick inspection tour of the interior of Chez Dog, the operative word being “quick,” as a certain somebody had rented the joint out from under me and the paying customers would be checking in the next day.

Chez Dog is still standing ... and, thanks to Herself, still earning.

Chez Dog is still standing … and, thanks to Herself, still earning.

I had planned a rather leisurely stay in The Old Home Place®, catching up with friends and neighbors while performing my slumlordly duties, then fetching a few more bikes home to Duke City.

But when money comes a-knockin’, Herself is always right there at the door to greet it. So instead of chillaxin’ in the ‘hood for a spell, I blew 40,000 Hilton points on two days at the Homewood Suites.

The Hilton it ain’t. Shit, it ain’t even Chez Dog. Feeble coffee, punk grub, and I was reminded once again why we don’t pay for television. The bed was comfy, though.

After two days of that I was burning up the road back to Rancho Pendejo, with a short stop in Taos to take on sustenance at Orlando’s New Mexican Cafe. Their Los Colores platter is a marvelous restorative.

 

Lord, I'm southbound.

Lord, I’m southbound.

Interbike 2014: Home Acquisition Edition

September 9, 2014
The Mad Dog Media nerve center at the Homewood Suites in Duke City.

The Mad Dog Media nerve center at the Homewood Suites in Duke City.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (MDM) — It is done. Money has changed hands, and Quicken Loans has graciously allowed us to add a third property to our collection.

The Detroit-based outfit is said to be the third biggest mortgage lender in the country. How they got there by granting 30-year fixed-rate home loans to 60-year-old freelancers remains a mystery.

Yet grant it they have, and we’re good to go pending bankruptcy or death, whichever comes first. In the meantime, they let us live in the place for a small monthly consideration. We get to pay the taxes, handle the upkeep, and whatnot, too. It’s a lot like house-sitting, only more expensive.

But do I get to live there right now? I do not. What I get to do is drive at high speed to Las Vegas for Interbike. Torrential rains are forecast along the route. Good times. Do Subaru Foresters float like VW Beetles? We’re about to find out. Stay tuned.

 

Going round and round

August 22, 2014
The boyos round the corner leading to the final kilometer.

The boyos round the corner leading to the final kilometer.

The Race of Many Silly Names (Not the Tour of Colorado) came to Bibleburg yesterday, and though I thought it was by far the best course of the three we’ve had, the spectator turnout was about what one might expect for a one-car funeral, a Hillary Clinton pole dance, or a goat fuck on the lawn at Focus on the Family.

I rode the townie down to Colorado College for a bit of casual observation with friends and neighbors and the “crowd” was mostly not. Checking out the final lap online via Tour Tracker it seemed that most of what few spectators there were had decided to congregate in Bibleburg’s fabled Drinkin’ & Fightin’ District, a three-block stretch of South Tejon that includes a string of grog shops, alehouses and taverns, one U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters, and a bunch of small shops selling shit nobody needs*, including the “local” newspaper, The Anschutz Gazette.

Ah, well. School is already back in session, it was a workday, and the homeless, while numerous, just aren’t that interested in cycling as entertainment; to them, it’s transportation.

And anyway, I had a good time watching the circus come to town, especially because I wasn’t one of the poor saps who had to clean up after the elephants. It made for a nice break from negotiating with lenders, renters, Realtors®, roofers, landscapers and inspectors.

* The exceptions being Savory Spice Shop, Bingo Burger and Sparrow Hawk Gourmet Cookware.

Unreal estate

August 3, 2014
Apologies to Chuck Jones. No bull.

Apologies to Chuck Jones. No bull.

Oh, the Universe is a funny old place.

Once upon a time I hardly thought of Albuquerque at all, other than as a place to drive through en route to somewhere else. Then, sometime in the past few years, Duke City became an occasional cycling getaway; closer than Fountain Hills, cheaper than Santa Fe.

And now the sonofabitch is in my thoughts more or less constantly, like one of those work-related cocktail parties your spouse drags you to without having the common human decency to slip you a mickey first.

“You’ll have a wonderful time.”

“No, I won’t.”

“Well, that’s too bad, because you’re going and you might as well try to enjoy yourself.”

Herself has been in residence in Albuquerque since Friday, the thin edge of our family wedge, house-hunting with a vengeance and filing detailed, illustrated reports with Your Humble Narrator. As a consequence I have peeked in more strangers’ windows this weekend than a CIA drone, but the only thing I’ve learned is that some people should not be allowed in a Lowe’s with an idea and a credit card.

No, that’s not true. I also know that the rozzes are apparently shooting everyone except the bratchnies tolchocking homeless vecks to death, and that if it keeps raining Albuquerque is in line to be home port for the New Mexican Navy (no jokes about adobe submarines, por favor).

So I’ve instructed Herself to focus on properties above the high water line, and I’m shopping for razor wire, machine guns and a Nadsat-English phrasebook.

Take that, Graham Watson

July 21, 2014
Sorry, but I couldn't find a peloton to drop behind this lot.

Sorry, but I couldn’t find a peloton to drop behind this lot.

Missing the Tour de France on this second rest day? Me neither. But here are some sunflowers just in case.

Oh, yeah, I'm gonna get her for this.

Oh, yeah, I’m gonna get her for this.

Herself is road-tripping again, leaving me in charge of quarters, a change of management that Mister Boo finds repellent. The bug-eyed little weirdo is accustomed to constant attention from Herself, a.k.a. That Lady Who Gives Me Things, and when I’m down in the weeds doing a job of work he occasionally feels deprived.

I feel his pain, particularly when someone sends me photos of a delicious Aspen breakfast after I’ve just inhaled a dollop of yogurt, an English muffin and a cup of Joe.

We’re not in Albuquerque yet, but we’re inching ever closer. We’ve opened negotiations to turn The House Back East™ into a full-time rental, which would solve some logistical issues with running an Airbnb op’ from six and a half hours south. And in about 10 days Herself will relocate to temporary quarters in Duke City and take up her new gig with a bit of house-hunting on the side.

So Mister Boo has some more tough rows to hoe. And I anticipate further dispatches from The Breakfast Club.

Creative class warfare

June 21, 2014
The Turk' enjoyed some backyard time while I cleaned a bike in honor of the summer solstice.

The Turk’ enjoyed some backyard time while I cleaned a bike in honor of the summer solstice.

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Just ask the Turk’, who enjoyed a little outside time in the Mad Dog Media Botanical Gardens, a.k.a. “Weedpatch,” as I washed a bike in honor of the solstice.

Shortly thereafter it began raining off and on, with thunder for flavor, and the feline outings, bicycle riding and Old North End Garage Sale took back seats to working and earning.

Speaking of which, I can see I’ve been going about the latter activities all wrong. Clarity is so 15 minutes ago. If a guy could only learn to deploy with a straight face semantically null phrases such as “further leverage,” “cultural and creative assets,” “place of choice,” “launching new ideas” and “preserving our rich cultural heritage,” why, People of Money would write us fat checks for doing absolutely nothing beyond talking authoritatively and incomprehensibly out of our asses.

Toward that end I’m pleased to announce the formation of the Caramillo Street Collective for Creative Obfuscation, whose sole purpose it shall be to talk shit for money. I know, that sounds an awful lot like what I already do, but trust me, this is a radical departure from business as usual at Chez Dog. It’s a means of further leveraging my cultural and creative assets from my place of choice to launch new ideas that preserve my rich cultural heritage.

Somebody owes me $20K now.

• Speaking of talking shit: Here’s Timothy Noah on the ethics of dog-crap disposal.