Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

Radio Free Friday

January 19, 2018

Mister Boo still looks pretty chipper for an auld fella, unlike the other one cluttering up the joint.

When a dog yelps at 1 a.m. in the Sandia foothills it can mean someone is climbing in a window with a $2 pistol and a $200-a-day habit, or the deer are in the backyard, eating the trees.

Or, if the pooch is of a certain age, it can be the canine equivalent of the old LifeCall bit (“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”).

Mister Boo is of a certain age, and when he began yelping at 1 a.m. Thursday I was pretty sure it was neither dope fiends nor deer. He wouldn’t be able to ID either one of those, since he’s blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other.

And if it were a dope fiend, and the dope fiend brought treats, well, The Boo would have a new bestie and the rest of us would soon be chatting with the insurance company, or St. Peter.

You may recall that Herself has an actual job of work, while I do not, so as our furry air-raid siren wailed I stumbled over to the other end of the house to gauge the extent of the damage.

The Boo had peed all over his kennel’s absorbent pads, which was fine, and then toppled over into the pee, which was not.

I carried him outdoors, went back inside, replaced the soiled pads with fresh ones, filled a basin with warm soapy water, and set about freshening up our soggy doggy.

The Boo didn’t like this one little bit, being wet and cold and outdoors, and I didn’t like it either, being shirtless and shoeless, and did I mention it was cold out there?

Afterward he had the shakes and required a cuddle to warm up. I tucked him back into bed as a drowsy Herself wandered in, wondering if it was dope fiends or deer this time. Then we tucked ourselves back into bed and one of us drifted off to sleep.

Come morning I was foggy and irritable for some reason and it was a good thing I didn’t have any paying work on the docket. The Boo, of course, was just dandy. He enjoyed a delicious breakfast — ground beef, minced pasta and green beans in a sauce of apple cider and low-sodium chicken broth — and managed to pee and poop outdoors before joining the cats in morning zazen. Their posture is all wrong and their eyes are closed, but they seem to derive great benefit from these sessions nonetheless.

My mind was not at rest and it was a good thing that my friend Hal messaged me about his latest project. He has a nighttime noisemaker of his own and thought it would be a pleasant diversion to read one of his essays from “Endurance” into some device and pop it up on the Innertubes. So he had some questions about audio recording and distribution.

I am hardly an expert, but the distraction was welcome, so off we went, diving down the rabbit holes of iPads and MacBooks, microphones and headphones, QuickTime and GarageBand, Audacity and Sound Studio, Libsyn and SoundCloud.

The detour proved so absorbing that I drifted off into a side project, reviving my old Radio Free Dogpatch podcast. Well, “reviving” may be a little grandiloquent — as I said, I’m no expert, and audio is more complicated and time-consuming than writing, or even video — but I did rework a 2017 Bicycle Retailer column about The Boo into a sonic short.

And here it is:

Chile in here

December 22, 2017

I was a Sabo-Cat walking a dog this morning.

Twenty-something when we walked The Boo this brisk winter morn. Yow, wow, ow, zow, etc.

Naturally, I wore my Wobbly watch cap to keep ice off my dome. Later I plan to brew a batch of my famous green chile stew to repel any sniffles, flus, and pneumonias trolling the neighborhood for the unprepared and ill-fortified. Even Che found smashing the State a formidable task when his pipes were clogged.

Zomby Woof

December 9, 2017

“Never check your Twitter feed before breakfast,” advises the Zomby Woof.

Mister Boo IS the “Zomby Woof.” Especially before that first cup of coffee.

Barbarians at the gates

November 26, 2017

Semper felinus.

An old friend and colleague, Steve Frothingham of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, popped round for a short visit yesterday, bringing his special lady Diane and their two largish dogs.

The chair recognizes the Minister for Photography.

Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) immediately declared a red alert, and he and aide-de-camp Miss Mia Sopaipilla stationed themselves at the sliding glass door leading to the back patio, both of them puffed up to Death Star size.

Mister Boo, a 4-F, conscientious objector and suspected canine sympathizer, was interned in the kitchen, where he sang “Kumbaya” softly to himself before nodding off to dream of lunch, snacks and dinner.

Once the invaders had retreated the all-clear was sounded and the commander and his staff assumed a more relaxed defense posture. That is all.

Abyss in ya

November 21, 2017

The high point of today’s outing, just below the Sandia Tram.

“And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.”—Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, “Beyond Good and Evil”

Screw the abyss, I said, and went for a ride. And what a fine idea it was, too.

It was sunny and warmish out there, away from the Mac, and grew more so. I’m still reviewing the Fuji Touring Disc for Adventure Cyclist, and thus it’s the go-to machine for any bike rides out of El Rancho Pendejo, unless I absolutely, positively must have some dirt time.

I can’t stay gone for long. The Boo has been showing signs of the Dogzheimer’s and frequently forgets the difference between indoors and outdoors, with deleterious consequences for the brick floors and carpets. I kennel him when I leave, but that’s no guarantee that I won’t come home to a mess. And confining him to quarters means he can march around in any messes that he makes. I should get him some little Wellingtons to wear in the slammer.

So, yeah. Short rides, two hours or less. But still, it beats watching everybody in America be revealed as a perv’, fascist, false prophet, lickspittle, tinpot dictator, coward, fool or some combination thereof.

His August Majesty

August 28, 2017

The Boo is all sleek and shiny and very interested in whatever it is that Herself is holding in her hand while that other person clicks the shutter.

Mister Boo has had his monthly wash and brush-up and feels much better about himself, though he was less than amused to be all dressed up with nowhere to go for the first half of today (one of his varlets got hauled into court again).

Yes, once again they called my name, and once again I was marched upstairs to a courtroom. But this time we actually enjoyed a spot of voir dire as both defense and prosecution sought to pick a crew that wouldn’t give them a pain in the pinstripes.

Nearly 350 people got rounded up today, and 46 of us were in the pool for this trial, a criminal matter that actually sounded interesting until a couple potential jurors began expounding on their knowledge of the Law According to Too Much Television.

Then I began praying for mercy and lo! My prayers were answered.

“Go thou forth, yet check thee back at 4:30 every afternoon,” they said. “Thou still owest us eight days.”

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.

Hot dog!

June 20, 2017

The Boo keeps his tongue handy because you never know when something edible might wander by.

As the outdoor temperature crept slowly toward the century mark, Mister Boo, sleeping off a medium-heavy solstice snack, gave quiet thanks to Willis Carrier, inventor of the modern air conditioner.

• Late update: Boom. Made it. The century mark. Good times. Maybe not.

Old 97s

June 19, 2017

Somebody has parked a laser cannon overhead.

Hm. ‘Bout time to crank up the ol’ solstice ritual, looks like.

The weatherman says it’s 97 out there at 4:44 p.m. Duke City time, and I believe him, just having taken a lap of the ‘hood on the Vespa to keep the battery topped off.

And it only gets worser as the week drags on. Ninety-seven, 101, 102 … you get the idea.

Nothing like what Pat and Sandy are enduring down in Arizony, I imagine. Shucks, those folks have to get up before they go to bed if they want to get a coolish ride in.

The Boo doesn’t even bother to get out of bed on days like this. He dosses down right next to an air-conditioning vent in the floor and pretty much stays there.

Watermelon at sunset

May 14, 2017

Looking south from Trail 365.

As the weather warms up, picking a time to walk Mister Boo becomes something of a crapshoot (haw).

The auld fella doesn’t like the heat, so mornings would be ideal, if he didn’t enjoy sleeping in after a medium-heavy breakfast. Evenings would be second best, but with only the one headlight he doesn’t see the road any too well.

Yesterday we walked him pretty much right at sunset, and it being nearly 80 (!) outside he was something of a sluggard on the way up the road to the foothills, but on the way back he let ‘er rip, running a full block back to El Rancho Pendejo.

Maybe he was inspired by the view? Looks like the boonies, but it’s all of two blocks from the house.