Archive for the ‘Fire’ Category

El mejor

October 14, 2017

The mayor-to-be Back in the Day®, with a much lighter ball in the air, and only one of them, too.

Back in the Seventies, after Chris Coursey and I had completed our majors in beer with minors in journalism and gone to work for an unremarkable Colorado daily, neither of us had the slightest inkling that he would one day be the mayor of Dresden.

If there’s any good news to be found here, it’s this: Chris has already been to hell and back, and more than once, too. Santa Rosa is in good hands.

Hell on earth

October 10, 2017

The peloton prepares for a training ride from Santa Rosa to Hopland back in 2006. The mayor-to-be is at left, and the retiree-to-be is in the middle. The unemployable at right you already know.

You never like to see your friends on the hot seat, and my old bro’ Chris Coursey is on a very warm squativoo indeed.

Chris is mayor of Santa Rosa, Calif., which abruptly went from a pretty close approximation of heaven on earth to something else entirely on Monday.

You can survey the damage courtesy of The Press Democrat, where Chris spent a couple decades as a reporter and columnist. He and I go way back, to the Seventies — roommates at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, we later worked for what then was called the Gazette Telegraph in Bibleburg before I left for Tucson and Chris split for Santa Rosa.

Chris spoke about the fire to his old paper, and to NPR, too; you can listen to that report here.

Another of our old Gazette pals, Merrill Oliver, recently retired from The New York Times and bought a place in (wait for it) Santa Rosa. He’s in transit — last I heard he was in Denver, which is too cold to burn at the moment — but clearly, this is not going to be the joyous change of venue he had been anticipating. I’m told Merrill’s new home was not among those destroyed, but it seems like early days yet, so keep your fingers crossed on his behalf.

We have other friends in the area — Gazette and Press Democrat alum Mike Geniella and his wife T, up Hopland way; Lo Esparza and Scot Nicol in Santa Rosa; Patrick Brady of Red Kite Prayer; and many, many more. Here’s hoping everyone comes out of this OK. Stuff you can always replace, but friends are always in short supply.

Fire and flood

September 12, 2017

Things are just peachy here.

We seem to be dialing it down from 11, natural-disaster-wise.

The Florida branch of Herself’s kin is back home after a stint in Pensacola, and the Adventurous Cyclists in Montana reported a break in the weather over the weekend, so yay, etc. Hope you and yours are on the right side of the lawn, and that said lawn is neither under water nor on fire.

Without cute pix of dogs carrying their own survival rations or video of knuckleheads getting blown off their feet while iPhoning an incoming wave it will be tough to keep our attention from drifting to the next shiny object. The cleanup is never as much fun as the party.

For example:

There are toxins in Houston’s floodwater. The U.S. Virgin Islands are for the moment no longer a paradise for vacationers (or the people who live there). The cleanup in Florida is liable to take the better part of quite some time.

Cooler, damper weather seems to be lending a hand to firefighters in Montana and Oregon, but nobody’s cracking the bubbly just yet.

Equifax doesn’t give a shit about me or thee.

And Ted Cruz apparently “likes” porn. If anything could finally croak the porn industry, this is it.

But hey, cheer up: The new iPhones are here! The new iPhones are here!

Back to work!

September 5, 2017

Up and at ’em!

The (Communist) party’s over, comrades. Assume the position! Nose to grindstone! Hup hup!

Last night we enjoyed breaded pork chops from “Dad’s Own Cookbook” by Bob Sloan, seared Brussels sprouts via Martha Rose Shulman, rice and a hefty salad laden with greens, fruit and all manner of good things.

Also, and too, there was ice cream. It was a holiday weekend. I rode lots. Sue me.

Now Herself is back in the loving embrace of the military-industrial complex while I contemplate the two-week run-up to Interbike. Frankly, I would rather not be going to Sin City, and various experts of my acquaintance anticipate a reduced turnout for the final show there, but business is business and schnapps is schnapps, as Middelstaedt reminded Territorial Kantorek in “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

At the moment business includes trying to dredge up a three-figure bike suitable for the Adventure Cyclist audience after one of our review models went walkabout, as can happen during the silly season marking the transition from one model year to the next. There seems to be a metric shit-ton of product floating around on container ships, but damn’ little on dry land, and deadlines wait for no man.

Speaking of things floating around in the ocean to no good purpose, Hurricane Irma is thrashing around just east of Antigua, drawing a bead on Florida. One of Herself’s sisters lives in the Sunshine State and I don’t imagine she has “Key Largo” queued up on Netflix. Like most of us, including the late Johnny Rocco, I expect she prefers that the ocean stay in the water.

Meanwhile, in Oregon, “it seems as if everything is on fire except the desert.” Ditto Montana. Stay safe out there, kids.

Hot town, summer in Duke City

June 16, 2016
It was a wee bit hazy with a scent of smoke in the air as Mister Boo enjoyed his promenade this morning.

It was a wee bit hazy with a scent of smoke in the air as Mister Boo enjoyed his promenade this morning.

Smokin’ hot in the Duke City this morning, and for the immediate future as well.

We have a nice little fire cooking away down southeast of here, and a couple others elsewhere. The smell of a forest burning revives a memory of our storied Bibleburg days and provides a preview of my anticipated afterlife.

Taking a few hot laps around the Elena Gallegos Open Space on the Jones 29er.

Taking a few hot laps around the Elena Gallegos Open Space on the Jones 29er.

The heat is tough on the turf, which is slightly scorched due to someone not noticing that a sprinkler head had gone sideways. (Thanks, Obama!)

And it’s no party for the pets, all three of whom have whiled away the day sleeping. Mister Boo is barely interested in his meals, which ordinarily would be a sign of the Apocalypse but in this case indicates that it’s just too bloody hot to eat.

Or cook, for that matter. Last night Herself and I dined on a hunk of smoked salmon, sharp cheddar, crackers and a big-ass salad (note the crucial hyphen there; a big ass salad would be something else entirely).

Tonight I think it’s gonna be some hot Italian sausage, onions and peppers, a tomatoey, garlicky thing, perhaps over orecchiette, a pasta I’m really starting to appreciate.

Elsewhere The Stupid is swelling like a boil on the buttocks of the body politic. Sen. John McInsane (R-Off My Lawn) is spastically trying to walk back a brain-dead crack he made about Obama’s responsibility for the massacre in Orlando (time for your meds, some soup and a nice nap, Johnny me boyo). And Rumor Control hints that Cheeto Jesus may be less interested in the presidency than in his own cable network.

Seriously? We’ve all watched the GOP sawing feebly away at its skinny wrists with a butter knife for eight long years. Suddenly Ronald McDonald McTrump accelerates the process with a “Game of Thrones” flourish that leaves 16 heads rolling in the aisles, and all he wants for his trouble is a fucking job in TV?

Well, son, that’s one hell of an opening act. But what d’ye do for an encore?

Shoes for industry

August 29, 2015
The view to the west from atop Trail 365A.

The view to the west from atop Trail 365A.

Definitely on a down cycle as regards the bicycle. Running is the thing lately.

It’s so bloody simple: Pull on some shorts and a raggedy T, add shoes, and leave. Return when suitably sweaty and enfeebled. What’s not to like? Besides the pain and suffering, that is.

I did break out the old Voodoo Nakisi the other day for a short jaunt along Trail 365 and its various offshoots. I got a long-distance look at the haze from the Washington-state fires. It wasn’t my first — during my trip back to the Duke City from Bibleburg I couldn’t even see the damn’ mountains.

I’ll probably go for another short ride today, because not even I am dim enough to run two days in a row unless something really big and ornery is chasing me. Like, say, Peter Sagan, who got knocked off his bike by a race vehicle today and decided to punch a couple of them. Hulk smash!

 

 

Black Friday or Blue Christmas?

November 29, 2013

rfd-logo-2-xsYes, it’s another edition of Radio Free Dogpatch!

Chaos theory

August 14, 2013

“Out of order, chaos.”

That phrase rumbling through my skull woke me up way too early this morning. Naturally, I thought it a bit of profundity, the Universe addressing me while I slept.

“Remember this,” I instructed myself, and went back to sleep.

I remembered. And this morning the first thing I did (after getting coffee, of course) was to give a good hard twist on Mr. Google’s decoder ring, hoping to find out what the hell the Universe was talking about.

Well, it appears that the Universe was having me on, as usual. Seems my snoozing cerebrum had managed to flip a quote from an NPR story I heard yesterday about one of two female Type 1 incident wildfire commanders, the first to attain that lofty rank.

“Think of us as 911,” Jeanne Pincha-Tulley said. “We’re really good at taking chaos and making order out of it. We’re used to taking complicated and making it work.”

Leave it to a so-called journalist to (a) get the quote wrong, and (2) come down squarely on the side of chaos over order.

• Editor’s note: This is my 1,200th post on this free WordPress blog, which in a dreamscape ruled by chaos means absolutely nothing.

Fire and flood

August 10, 2013

Manitou Springs got the mortal shit pounded out of it last night. The Colorado Springs Independent has pix and a short report; The Gazette has the same plus video.

It’s just the latest in a series of beatings the town has had to take over the past couple of years, beginning with the Waldo Canyon fire, which scoured the surrounding area of vegetation, turned Williams Canyon and Highway 24 into a freeway for water and ash-laden mud, and made an open sewer of Manitou, particularly Canon Avenue.

The storm was bad enough here, with 25-mph winds lashing heavy rain at us sidearm style. The good news is, I caught a trout in the front yard. Didn’t even need to unlimber the old rod and reel. I threw him a Bible, and when he turned to Genesis to see when Noah was due, I shot him with the Mini-Thirty.

Stumble To Work Day

June 26, 2013
Java stop

The point of getting out of bed in the morning.

It’s Bike To Work Day here in Colorado, but it seemed silly to go out to the garage to fetch a bike for the 27-step slog from bed to coffeemaker to iMac. So I walked instead. Sorry ’bout that.

I don’t see a word about BTWD on either of the websites attached to the newspapers that grace our fair community, surprise, surprise. In fairness, there are other stories to be covered, like the Supremes wiping their black-robed asses with the Voting Rights Act, Fort Cartoon losing a brigade and our summer-tourism piggy bank roasting on a very big spit.

Still, if more of us were encouraged to cycle to work instead of firing up the family battlewagon, maybe we would be less inclined to build our homes 30 miles from the cube farm, up in Yahweh’s kindling pile.