Archive for the ‘allergies’ Category

The sneezin’ season

April 16, 2022

The maple is leafing out nicely.

I’ve seen it twice now, at the NPR website and in the AARP Bulletin, so it must be true: Allergy season is getting worse.

(I’ve also seen it in our Kleenex consumption, if you’re looking for empirical evidence.)

The gist of it is that warmer temperatures mean your sneezing starts earlier in the spring and lasts longer come fall. And the hotter the climate, the bigger the pollen output.

“This is another unintended consequence of climate change that hasn’t been explored that much,” says Allison Steiner, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Michigan and an author of the study. “It has a big impact on human health.”

Warmer and drier also means more fires, and we have several going on at the moment, the worst of them down at Ruidoso. The McBride Fire has taken more than 200 homes and at least two lives, and thousands are under evacuation orders. There was zero containment as of last night.

“But it’s not even fire season yet!” you exclaim. You’re looking at last year’s calendar, Hoss.

Particularly bad

April 6, 2022

The tumbleweeds are not exactly tumbling. More like launching
into low-Earth orbit.

My, but the airborne particulates is fierce around here.

The terra is not too firma lately. It gets up and flits around The Duck! City at 50 or 60 miles per hour, and the pollen goes along for the ride. Together they do drive-bys on everyone’s eyeballs and snotlockers. Snurk, hyyyunk, auuughhhh, honk, gaaack, ptui, etc. I may be compelled to take drugs.

No, not that drug, though I may be alone in that regard. I hear New Mexico’s mota dealers moved a few millions in product the first few days recreational weed was legal here. Makes my youthful adventures in retailing look like a lemonade stand on a dead-end street.

But I’ll stick to my fake beer and Claritin-D, thanks all the same. Get back to me when you legalize microdosing of psilocybin, mescaline, and the ol’ L-S-Dizzy. I don’t know that I want to throw open the doors of perception, as in days of yore, but I wouldn’t mind a little peek through the windows now and then.

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.

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.

Tramway to the moon

August 27, 2021

I got mooned on Thursday’s ride.

The Sandia Peak Tramway actually goes the other way, to (wait for it) the peak of the Sandias.

I usually go that way myself, from Tramway Boulevard to Tramway Road and up toward the tram’s lower terminal, before veering off on Juniper Hill Road for a bit of up and down along the foothills.

By Thursday I was sick of the same-ol’, same-ol’, so I continued down Tramway and under Interstate 25 onto Roy, 4th, Guadalupe Trail, and eventually Alameda, then spun onto the Paseo del Bosque Trail.

But I got sick of that, too, and fast.

A massive allergy attack reminded me of the bad old days on Randolph AFB outside San Antone, where there were plenty of allergens to clog the pipes. Here, too, it seems, thanks to a hot, moist summer. I was firing snot rockets right and left, from both nostrils, and trying to breathe through my ears.

So instead of enjoying a nice flat spin along the bosque, dogged by whatever it was that had me by the snotlocker with a downhill pull, I hung a left on the Paseo del Norte Trail and struggled home via the North Diversion Channel Trail, Osuna-Bear Canyon, and like that there. Felt like hammered shit all the way, too.

You can always feel worse, though. Depend on it. Some days there isn’t enough Kleenex in the world.

Equinoxious

March 20, 2021

We’re daffy for daffodils.

Happy first day of Spring.

Unless, of course, you are an (ah-choo!) allergy sufferer. Snurk.

The first flower I took note of this morning was a wad of Kleenex in my hand. Then I saw the other.

I’ll spare you the first.

Honnnnnnnnk. Snorf. Fwah.

Sprung

April 6, 2020

The pear tree in the back yard is a bee magnet.

Spring keeps on a-springin’ in these parts, and maybe where you are, too.

If it’s not, well … I probably shouldn’t tell you that today’s high in the Duke City is expected to hit 72 degrees, with abundant sunshine. And it might be a week before we see any precipitation.

The downside of all this explosive warmth and growth is, of course, pollen.

Mullberry, cottonwood, ash, juniper, maple … seems damn’ near everything is making whoopee. Except for those of us with (snork) allergies.

This is no time to have allergies and voices in your head, believe you me. Every tickle in the throat, every sneeze, every bout of fatigue sets ’em to yelling like talking heads on cable TV.

“Can you make a biohazard suit out of an old shower curtain, duct tape, and a goldfish bowl?”

“Where are my oven mitts and barbecue tongs? I want to fetch the mail, see if my Plague Check is here yet.”

“I don’t care if we are out of toilet paper, quit wiping your butt with my Kleenex!”

Stupor Tuesday

March 3, 2020

The air hereabouts is of a very low quality indeed today.

Jaysis. As if the banjaxed ankle weren’t annoying enough, now the trees are conducting biological warfare against my tender sinuses.

I’ve actually been compelled to take drugs, and not the interesting kind, either. Blaugh, etc.

Last night I slept mostly not at all, and between that and the drugs I’m having trouble staying focused on all the Super Tuesday doings, beyond noting that the Anybody But Bernie Caucus is forming up right smart.

Crucifixion? Good. Out of the door, line on the left, one cross each. Next?

Behind the 8-ball

May 26, 2019

Just say no, kids.

I have been behind the 8-ball, and I have been in front of the 8-ball — more than once, too. And after a few too many taps on the glass I usually wound up looking about like this fellow here.

Our preposterous and apparently endless allergy season has me feeling as though someone stepped a little too hard on my Peruvian marching powder — say, with Drano, kitty litter or aluminum oxide — and so instead of riding the bikey bike I have been riding the couch, which is not nearly as fun because it never goes anywhere.

Dr. Mark Schuyler, chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology for the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, said back in April that we could expect this season to run through mid- to late May, and he did not lie.

Or at least I hope he didn’t. If I watch much more TV, put on a few kilos, and shed a few I.Q. points, I’m liable to wind up president.

Another Saga in the books

April 5, 2019

Take it to the bridge.

The Ride Your Own Damn Bike Festival® continues. The Soma Saga (disc-brake model) has been added to the tally, which to date includes the Jones, Sam Hillborne, Voodoo Nakisi, Co-Motion Divide Rohloff, Nobilette, Bianchi Zurigo and Soma Double Cross.

Yesterday we rolled down to the bosque and back via the usual off-street paths — Paseo del Norte, North Diversion Channel, and Paseo de las Montañas, with a stretch of Indian School Road for the fear factor.

It was a gorgeous day, with little wind, and I was able to peel off the arm and knee warmers when I got down to the bosque (it’s about a thousand-foot drop from El Rancho Pendejo). Gotta get that geek-tan going, don’t you know.

For symmetry’s sake I should ride the Soma Saga canti’ bike next. But it has a squeal in the front pads that I need to address, and I feel like riding a bit of actual trail, so it’s Steelman Eurocross No. 1 today.

Meanwhile, props to the guv for vetoing HB 192, a safe-passing measure altered at the final hour by a poison-pill amendment that would have forced cyclists “to the extent practicable” to leave New Mexico’s roads when separate bike lanes/paths are available.

Sayeth the guv: “Although it is vital that we make our roads safer for cyclists, the ambiguous provision added to HB 192 does not give sufficiently clear guidance to cyclists and law enforcement with respect to what conduct by cyclists is or is not permitted.” She urges the Roundhouse to have another go at it. So do I.

Props to Khal for passing the word along.