Archive for the ‘Bibleburg’ Category

Boyz in the ‘hood

August 22, 2015
Chez Dog is looking pretty sharp despite a little rough treatment from the recent wet weather.

Chez Dog is looking pretty sharp despite a little rough treatment from the recent wet weather.

I took a little road trip back to Bibleburg this week.

The main goal was to check up on Chez Dog, which we rent through Airbnb. The back sidewalk has taken a pounding from the weather — as has just about everything else in town — and needs replacing. Likewise the garage requires some minor repairs and paint.

Dennis the Menace and Dr. Schenkenstein take the long view atop Bear Creek East, a once-active cyclo-cross venue.

Dennis the Menace and Dr. Schenkenstein take the long view atop Bear Creek East, a once-active cyclo-cross venue.

Whilst in the ‘Burg I checked in with a bunch of friends and neighbors: Ted and Diane, who help us with the Airbnb thing; Steve and Doris, who like Herself are Librarians Gone Wrong; Alley Mike, a disgruntled Comcast subscriber who was irked at being unable to watch the USA Pro Challenge (Corner Mike was at large and unavailable for comment); Judy, who rents The House Back East®; John Crandall, owner of Old Town Bike Shop; John O’Neill, who ramrods The Colorado Running Company (and whose Hebrew name is Usuk, pronounced “You suck”); and of course Dr. Schenkenstein and Dennis the Menace, with whom I enjoyed an invigorating ‘cross-bike ride through Bear Creek Regional Park, where Team Mad Dog Media-Dogs At Large Velo once ran cyclo-crosses back in the day.

The old libertarian laboratory is in something of a state these days, with all the local John Galts pointing at each other and saying, “Hey, you don’t like it, you fix it, because freedom, Jeebus, and guns, etc.”

The latest wrinkle is a proposed increase in the sales tax, a typically regressive non-solution that will place the billion-dollar burden of repairing the local infrastructure squarely on the backs of Those People, the ones who already can’t afford bootstraps by which to hoist themselves up. Them, and the tourists, who of course are fair game everywhere. Slow elk, is what.

I always enjoy going back for a visit. Chez Dog is a nifty little place, and a guy who knows his way around can still have a pretty good time in Bibleburg. There’s The Blue Star, Tapateria, and of course Ivywild School, home to Bristol Brewing Co. And if someone manages to root up a billion smackeroos somewhere, why, the place may once again have roads and trails that can be navigated without the need to liberate a tracked vehicle from Fort Cartoon.

Until then, I’m content to remain an interested out-of-towner.

 

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.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch …

December 1, 2014
The previous owner of Rancho Pendejo called this time of day right around sunset "the golden hour" for its effect on the Sandias.

The previous owner of Rancho Pendejo called this time of day right around sunset “the golden hour” for its effect on the Sandias.

December? Sez who? The calendar? Well, all righty then.

Thanksgiving and Black Friday are in the rear-view mirror — and also in the toilet, holiday-sales-wise — and Cyber Monday is upon us, with Solstice dead ahead.

Herself the Elder has been shipped safely back to Tennessee, Herself the Younger is back at work at the Sandia National Libraratory, and I am overseeing various maintenance operations at The House Back East® from Rancho Pendejo.  (Handy Household Hint: Never own more than one house at a time, and make sure it has wheels, an engine and a parking spot down by the creek. And yes, this is strictly a First World problem.)

I won’t torture those of you in wintry climes with reports of our weather (52 and sunny) or my plans for the morning once I hear an electrician’s report (hourlong run through the desert). Neither should you expect me to threaten anyone on Facebook, not even the Supreme Court, which lord knows has it coming.

Finally, Little Chris Horner seems to have stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum in the form of a gig with the Continental team Airgas-Safeway. No word on whether they’ll have the 2013 Vuelta a España champ bagging at the register, working a wet cleanup in aisle nine, or delivering propane to my new home down by the creek.

High time to hit the road

October 30, 2014
Through a windshield, darkly.

Through a windshield, darkly.

It was 4:20 p.m. (smoke ’em if you got ’em) when I fired up the Forester for the latest six-hour drive from Bibleburg to Duke City.

Herself and I had been in the old hometown to prepare Chez Dog and The House Back East® for new tenants, a project I’d hoped would take only a couple of long, hard days, but I got there on Friday and didn’t get gone until Tuesday afternoon. Herself beat it on Monday, having one of them obnoxious “job” thingies that requires regular attendance.

So there I was, once again piloting a heavily laden Japanese automobile solo through the starry American night. It reminded me of the good old days, when all I needed for a cross-country jaunt was a bridge burned at one newspaper, a job offer at another, and a battered old rice-grinder that was nearly as full of shit as I was.

“What kind of sordid business are you on now? I mean, man, whither goest thou? Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?” — Jack Kerouac, “On the Road”

I used to love those long nights behind the wheel, in part because I generally enjoyed some sort of illicit chemical assist, having studied at the feet of Jack Kerouac, Ed Abbey and the redoubtable Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Once a friend and I even took a page from the Good Doktor’s book — to be specific, a page from “Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas” — and ate some acid before stalking into the old MGM Grand to see what we could see, which proved to be much more than was actually there.

In short, it was a bad idea, like so many of the Good Doktor’s, and we quickly jumped back into our auto and drove straight through the inky darkness of the Intermountain West to Alamosa, Colorado, for a steaming plate of enchiladas and beans served up by my companion’s mom, who either didn’t notice or didn’t care that we were horribly twisted on LSD and Budweiser.

After a few hundred thousand miles of that sort of thing, coupled with deteriorating night vision, a bad back and a considerably diminished drug intake (I’m pretty much down to a cup and a half of coffee in the morning these days), I lost interest in snorting that long white line through the windshield and sleeping it off under the camper shell in some rest area or unpatrolled parking lot. When the sunlight started fading, so did I. A motel bed sounded a lot better than drumming on the steering wheel with ZZ Top, Bob Seger or the Allman Brothers cranked up to 11.

But I got a little of the old love back Tuesday night. As I motored southwest with the cruise control set at a safe and sane 75 mph a banana moon hung brightly in the sky dead ahead, the highway stripes rising up as if to meet it on the hills. Where to go? Mexico? San Francisco? Albuquerque, as it turned out. I left the stereo off and listened to the music in my head.

 

One, two, tree

October 18, 2014
The big maple in Bibleburg is doing its annual thing, carpeting the block with fallen leaves.

The big maple in Bibleburg is doing its annual thing, carpeting the block with fallen leaves.

The big silver maple back in Bibleburg is quite a sight come fall. Also quite a bit of work. It’s a rare year in which we don’t get more than a dozen 32-gallon bags of leaves off the auld fella.

The maple in the backyard in Duke City is a smaller edition, but further along in its seasonal disrobing.

The maple in the backyard in Duke City is a smaller edition, but further along in its seasonal disrobing.

But it’s worth it, because that tree sits on the south side of The Old Home Place®, and keeps the afternoon sun from cooking us like a pair of rotisserie chickens.

We have some class of a maple here in Duke City, too, but a much smaller model, on the east side of Rancho Pendejo™. It’s further along in the leaf-shedding process, but tidying up its droppings should be a damn’ sight easier on the lower back.

This also suits me right down to the ground, because frankly I’d rather be riding a bike than raking leaves. I’ve been discovering the wanderings of Trail 365 north of here, and it makes for some fun riding on the old Voodoo Nakisi. I surprised a couple of mountain bikers in a blind corner the other day and one exclaimed, “Nicely done,” clearly thinking I was on an actual cyclo-cross bike instead of a MonsterCrosser® with a triple crankset and 700×45 Panaracer Fire Cross tires.

Actually, check that, I’ve dialed the front tire down to a 700×42 Continental CrossRide. So I guess I am a manly man after all.

 

Bloody hell

October 17, 2014
Sure, it's a little blurry. So was I.

Sure, it’s a little blurry. So was I.

This is either my impression of Ebola sweeping the nation or a quick iPhone shot through the windshield while zooming past Santa Fe on the latest 12-hour U-turn from Duke City to Bibleburg and back.

The maple in the front yard has commenced the annual leaf dump.

The maple in the front yard has commenced the annual leaf dump.

The Old Home Place® still stands, and I had a chance to chat with several of our former neighbors while trying to see how much stuff I could cram into a Subaru Forester without actually causing its rims to bottom out on the driveway.

This took my mind off what blithering eejits we’ve become over this Ebola business. Seems you don’t actually have to have the disease to shit yourself over it.

Tell you what, though. I get sick in Texas, I’d rather see a barber than a Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital sawbones.

Homes, homes on the range

September 16, 2014
The view from the back yard at Rancho Pendejo.

The view from the back yard at Rancho Pendejo.

The move to Duke City is going two ways, gradually and then suddenly, like Mike’s bankruptcy in “The Sun Also Rises.”

Since August we’ve managed to shift Herself, her toiletries and a subset of her wardrobe, and Mister Boo to Rancho Pendejo. Then, a week from today, boom! The movers show up and in two days Chez Dog will be stripped bare, its innards exported to New Mexico.

Mister Boo supervises my cycling coverage from the other side of the couch.

Mister Boo supervises my cycling coverage from the other side of the couch.

I spent Saturday night at the new place. Herself had scored a queen-sized bed for one of the guest rooms, which meant we could dispense with the inflatable mattress in the master bedroom, and come morning I did a few hours’ worth of paying work in the living room before stuffing the mobile office back into the Subaru and motoring north.

I’m out of practice at working on the go, and it shows. I tapped away at the MacBook in a crouch from the couch until I remembered the previous owner had left a cheapo desk and chair in a back room. Duh. That took a few of the kinks out of my process.

But I missed having the Turk sprawled out on my drawing board, and Mia peevishly demanding someone’s attention (“Meow? Meow? Meeeyow!”) So it was good to come home, even if “home” is something of a fluid concept at the moment — here today, there tomorrow.

And I even managed a ride, the first in a good long while. And just in time, too. Last night I dreamed that I had shed so much muscle mass since this two-speed exodus commenced that my bib shorts had become baggies.

 

Interbike 2014: A rogue’s gallery

September 15, 2014

BIBLEBURG, Colo. (MDM) — I have a wealth of bad habits, and one of them is taking pix while I drive. It’s probably at least as wrong-headed as texting, but nobody has outlawed it yet (as far as I know), so I keep on doing it out of mileage-induced boredom. And thus we have this small pile from my just-completed 2,138-mile round trip from Bibleburg to Sin City and back via Albuquerque. I redeemed myself somewhat by getting out of the car to snap the shot of the linear park. What the hell, The Boo had to pee.

Interbike 2014: Homeward bound (part one)

September 13, 2014
A room with a view.

A room with a view.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (MDM) — Another Tour de Interbike is nearly in the books. The penultimate stage is today (Flagstaff to Albuquerque) with the finale tomorrow (Albuquerque to Colorado Springs).

The Mad Dog Media nerve center at the Luxor.

The Mad Dog Media nerve center at the Luxor.

It was the usual nutty cluster of fuck on the show floor, and thus my best-laid plans for bloggery gang aft agley. My cell at the Luxor was as far away from the action at Mandalay Bay as one could be and still be in Las Vegas, so my dogs were barking so loudly by the time I got “home” that I just tumbled into bed. Mornings were spent over at LiveUpdateGuy.com helping Sir Charles wrangle the Vuelta.

I did another round of that this morning from my sunny suite at the Hampton Inn in Flag’ — a mighty improvement from the Luxor it was, too — and now I’m fixin’ to head east at high speed for Duke City. Mister Boo is not the only critter in the house with a bed now, thanks to Herself. ‘Oorah, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

Tomorrow I’ll be taking that left turn at Albuquerque that Bugs was always missing. I wonder what the cats have in store for me? Best not to think about it, the way Bugs never worried much about Elmer.

 

It never rains, but it pours

August 30, 2014
The Templeton Gap Trail has a fine new concrete surface east of Goose Gossage Park.

The Templeton Gap Trail has a fine new concrete surface east of Goose Gossage Park.

One of the downsides of bidding adieu to scenic theocratic Bibleburg is that I won’t be able to enjoy the new bits of bikey infrastructure the city has been laying down.

I managed to slip out for a short ride today and found that the stretch of Templeton Gap Trail that takes cyclists from the Pikes Peak Greenway to Palmer Park has a new layer of concrete (it used to be beat-to-shit asphalt and dirt).

Shiny new blacktop adorns Templeton Gap Road.

Shiny new blacktop adorns Templeton Gap Road.

Also, Templeton Gap Road has a fresh coating of shiny blacktop and a nifty new bike lane. It has yet to be stenciled as such, but hey, it’s a holiday weekend, right?

Well, for some people, anyway. What with the Vuelta a España and live blogging thereof, the pending move to Duke City, guests in and out of The House Back East™, visiting newsie pals, goggle-eyed dogs requiring doctoring, chats with roofers, landscapers, gutter guys, real-estate types, bankers and mortgage-loan officers, Herself in the first month of a new job six hours to the south, and rain rain rain every god damn day, downtime has been a rare bird around these parts, buckaroo.

That said, I have not been shot dead by the laws and left to lie in the street for hours. Nor am I beheaded by ISIS, invaded by Russians, or infected with the Ebola virus.

I do have to go to Interbike, though. I’m not certain which horseman of the apocalypse that is.