Archive for the ‘Fall’ Category

Shocktober

October 25, 2017

I’m getting hungry — peel me a grape.

I hate to do this to anyone who’s already “enjoying” more seasonal weather, but it’s either this or politics.

Yes, that is me, riding a Marin Nicasio locked and loaded with racks and sacks. In late October. Wearing shorts, a short-sleeved jersey, and sunscreen. Ice in the water bottles. Blue in the sky.

The world is a cold, cruel place.

Well, not here. Here it’s just cruel.*

* OK, if it helps dull the pain, I was actually working, just like you.** This is a still from some video to support my review of the Marin Nicasio, coming to a copy of Adventure Cyclist near you in February 2018.

** Well, if you can call riding around like a bum during business hours “working,” anyway.

Gasbag

October 8, 2017

No snow here yet, but the trees know it’s fall.

No, not that one.

Last night Herself and I were walking The Boo around sunset when I noticed an object in the northwestern sky.

“If that’s a balloon,” I observed, “it’s not tethered. That sucker is on the move.”

And so it was. The gasbag sailed right over El Rancho Pendejo at dark-thirty, bound for the East Mountains and points east, as part of the 22nd America’s Challenge. I hope the pilot got over the Sandias without incident. There’s more than gold in them thar hills. Yogi and Boo-Boo would dearly love a pic-a-nic basket, especially if it’s delivered.

Meanwhile, as you can see from the photo up top, the trees are turning with all possible haste. And there’s a winter-storm watch in effect for the Front Strange.

Lucky for us we’re residents of the Duke City, where we’re looking at a sunny stretch of 60s and 70s.

 

The days grow short

September 27, 2017

Leaves are turning, and so is the sky.

Some evildoer swiped my beautiful desert climate while I was on the road. A fella can’t leave nothin’ unlocked and unguarded in these parts.

I should be out and about, logging miles on the Marin Nicasio. But instead here I am, in the office, catching up on correspondence and expense reports, brokering real-estate deals, and drinking green tea.

Why, I may even put on pants. That’s how dire the situation has become.

Damp, gray weather like this is why the Mid-Willamette Valley and I proved such a poor fit back in the early Eighties. It makes me want to eat everything, with a side of everything else, and wash it all down with buckets of brain-eraser. Cost me my girlish laughter it did, along with a few buttons on the old 501s.

And now Twitter is testing a 280-character tweet, doubling the previous limit we’ve all come to know and love. Good Gawd Awmighty. Has the world gone mad? Zombie Russian novelists must be running that op’ these days. Tolstoy needed more than 140 characters just to clear his throat.

What Twitter really needs is an editing function. But if we had that, I expect more of us might come to realize that we only have 140 characters’ worth of wisdom in us on a good day.

Fat Tuesday

November 22, 2016
As you can see, Il Fattini is already contemplating his holiday shopping.

As you can see, Il Fattini is already contemplating his holiday shopping.

Hm, seems to have gotten a bit Novemberish out there all of a sudden. Forty. Seventy percent humidity. Gasp, etc.

So much for the bad news. The good news is that you can finally order your Old Guy Who Gets Fat In Winter kit in a long-sleeved version.

Think of it as that extra layer for a fella who doesn’t really need one.

And the better news is that Voler is doing a 20 percent off sale this week and the discount is extended to the gravity-impaired members of the Old Guys community. Customers using the promo code SAVEGUYS will receive 20 percent off all Voler Store items, including the OGWGFIW collection.

Finally, and perhaps best of all — for those of you living outside the newly declared People’s Republic of Kakistostan, Voler has begun shipping to Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Irish Republic, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

So, remember, buy early, buy often. We’d like to have the bunker finished by Inauguration Day and all the contractors want cash up front for any Trump-related construction projects.

Two wheels good, four wheels bad

October 17, 2016
Some people call this "morning." They are misinformed.

Some people call this “morning.” They are misinformed.

It was four wheels this morning. Bad.

Herself is off to Tennessee for a combo business/pleasure trip (a lab-librarians’ powwow in tandem with a visit to Herself the Elder), and then she’s zigzagging home via Colorado and Utah (running a half-marathon and maybe camping with a gal pal).

The leaves may be falling, but the roses are hanging on.

The leaves may be falling, but the roses are hanging on.

Thus Your Humble Narrator was required to rise at dark-thirty to chauffeur ‘Er Ladyship to the Duke City airport.

I dislike driving anymore. I particularly dislike driving before the second cup of coffee, in the dark, surrounded by deranged ‘Burqueños who thought “the “Fast & Furious” flicks were drivers’ ed.

Still, we got there, and I got back, and there was this lovely rose waiting for me just outside the kitchen window.

It ain’t all bad, this early-morning stuff.

 

My (Euro)cross to bear

October 15, 2016
Blazing saddles: Not Mongo, but mango.

Blazing saddles: Not Mongo, but mango.

More cycling yesterday. I think I’ve finally broken my annual post-Interbike slump.

For some reason, probably that we’re suddenly in the middle of October, I decided to pull my favorite Steelman Eurocross off its hook, give it a bit of a wash and brush-up (plus two new Michelin Jets), and go chase myself around the Elena Gallegos Open Space for an hour or so.

I like to enjoy this sort of foolishness on a weekday, during business hours, the trails come weekends being thick with body-armored double-boingers, texting dog-walkers, the iPlod People and other impediments to forward motion. No need to have an audience while one struggles up a rocky pitch in the 36×26, with 700×30 tires.

One of these days I need to give the old beast more than some fresh rubber. Nine-speed Ultegra, maybe? That eight-speed STI is the velo-equivalent of stone knives and bearskins these days, though it seemed just the ticket back when I still had a song on my lips and a spring in my steps.

The sky is crying

October 8, 2016
Can you see the tears roll down the street?

Can you see the tears roll down the street?

This is what we have today. Heaven must be weeping over the stumbles of the Chosen One, who spake loudly and profanely of his desire to be fruitful and multiply with ladies of the female persuasion to whom he was not bound by holy matrimony.

Some of the lesser rats are leaping over the side of this leaky, gold-plated yacht, but it’s too early to tell whether they’ll swim to safety or sink like furry little stones.

The fattest rodents remain on deck, however, with dampened pinkies and flared nostrils testing the wind. Is that water down there or just more of the shit we’re already in, only deeper?

Paul “Lyin'” Ryan is stuck in a Shylockian crisis of his own making (“O, my daughter! O, my ducats!”). He wants it bad in 2020, but does he look principled or premeditated if he rescinds his support now, despite all the other crimes against the Republic committed by Agent Orange?

It’s enough to give a man the blues, for sure.

Welcome Matt

October 7, 2016
Definitely a hint of fall in the air, and in the trees as well.

Definitely a hint of fall in the air, and in the trees as well.

One of my brothers-in-law recently took a job in Florida — the east coast, naturally — and looks like the welcome wagon has finally rolled up.

No worries. As Hurricane Matthew came a-calling he evacuated westward to a town just outside Chez Mouse, and with any luck at all, he’s just getting his windows washed for free. My bro’-in-law, not Mickey. The sis-in-law is still up north, wrapping up their affairs there.

Here in the Duke City the mornings and evenings have grown brisk, but the days themselves remain stellar. I went for a nice hike in the foothills yesterday so I could get a little October sunshine on my head. And today I plan a mountain-bike ride while everyone else in town is milling around at the balloon festival.

If I want any gasbag action, I’ll check the news when I get home. Whoops, there it is. 

Footloose

September 13, 2016
You'd never know it from this pic, but there's a suburban neighborhood just a few feet to the left of that tree.

You’d never know it from this pic, but there’s a suburban neighborhood just a few feet to the left of that tree.

I should’ve ridden the bike today, but for some reason I felt like hoofing it, so I did.

Not running — I took a break from that nonsense back in mid-May — just walking. Walking is a nice change from cycling, the same way that cycling is a nice change from driving.

Lots of color out there. None of it neon.

Lots of color out there. None of it neon.

You … just … plain … slow … down.

With trails just two blocks in either direction, I can enjoy what feels like country life in fairly short order. The rains have sprinkled flowers all over the place, and it’s relaxing to spend a little time wandering around among them after a few days of watching the Hilldebeast try to lose this campaign while assembling journalism kit for medium-heavy duty at Interbike.

The idea (as usual) is to strive for some sort of multimedia extravaganza, an electronic bouillabaisse of words, pix, audio and video documenting The Experience. As long-suffering readers are all too aware, the reality, once I hit Sin City, is likely to be entirely different.

So, too, with the walking. Instead of sand, sun and flowers I will be navigating concrete, smoke and bad noise.

Thus I’m gathering my rosebuds while I may.

Yesterday and today

November 15, 2015
Yesterday. ...

Yesterday. …

... and today.

… and today.

Sheesh. Just got the morning’s chores wrapped and now the weather has done gone all Belgian on my ass. You’d think it was the middle of friggin’ November or sumpin’.