Archive for the ‘Fire’ Category

Fire on the mountain

June 26, 2020

As we left a line of firefighters began working their way up that hill from the left. Must’ve been fun doing it in the dark last night. Maybe not.

Somebody, man, god, or devil, got careless with combustibles here in the ’hood last night.

Details are elusive, but somehow a hillside about a mile from us got lit up at stupid-thirty last night, while we were abed.

The smoke-eaters must’ve gotten right on top of the thing because the evacuees were all back in their homes in a matter of hours. And this morning things seemed to be in the mopping-up stage.

Not what you like to see as the weather heats up ahead of a Fourth of July weekend. In fact, not what you like to see, period.

Smoky, no jokey

June 18, 2020

I’d like air that’s just a little less chewy, please. And thank you.

It’s a bad day to be an air-breathing organism.

InciWeb shows four fires in New Mexico, two in southwestern Colorado, and an even dozen in Arizona.

The Bush Fire northeast of Mesa is the biggie at 115,000 acres. That’s pretty country out there. Or it was, anyway.

As a consequence, we in the Duke City have been awarded an “Air Quality Alert” by the National Weather Service, and I will testify that the air is of very poor quality indeed. I’d send it back, but UPS says they won’t pick it up.

And there’s no telling when we might get a suitable replacement anyway, with the Bush Fire only 5 percent contained.

Smoke gets in your eyes

June 8, 2020

How many horsemen does the apocalypse have these days, anyway?

Most mornings I get a fine clear look at the Sandias as I shamble around El Rancho Pendejo, opening windows to air out the joint.

Today? Not so much.

New Mexico Fire Information and InciWeb both report a handful of fires in our fair, dry, and windblown state. One of them, Los Charcos, is just down the road a bit, on Isleta Pueblo. There are three more down in the Gila National Forest, plus some more in Arizona, and the Duke City has issued a health alert for this morning. Our gentle 45-mph zephyrs should send the forest exhaust elsewhere by this afternoon.

Los Charcos was human-caused. Happily, it — unlike the humans and their megadrought — is nearly under control.

And the windows? They’re closed.

Powerless

October 9, 2019

“Who turned out the lights? Strike a match, Betty Lou, I can’t see shit.”

Remember the good ol’ days, when you could make magic just by flipping a switch? Communication, refrigeration, information, even transportation, all delivered with a wave of one hand. One finger, actually. No, not that one.

And without burning down half the county, too.

As is often the case, our brethren and sisthren in California are getting a sneak peek at the future this week as PG&E returns them to the Dark Ages, that they may not be barbecued by their desires for communication, refrigeration, information, even transportation.

I wonder how much safer everyone will be with a few million generators busily chugging along next to the woodpiles.

“Crank up the Honda, hon’, ‘Dancing With the Stars’ is coming on!”

• Extra Bonus Snark: Good timing, awarding the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to three scientists behind the lithium-ion battery. We’re gonna need a bigger one, dudes.

Happy solstice?

June 21, 2019

This is what the Foothills air looks like when it’s not full of imported particulates.

The air is definitely a tad chewy around here today on the first day of summer.

The Woodbury Fire in Arizona is sharing its smoke, a little treat we asthmatics can do without. I took a couple peeks out various windows, and cracked the front door for a nanosecond, and that was that. None of the old bikey ridey for Your Humble Narrator, not today.

Yesterday I shipped the latest “Quick Spin” video to Adventure Cyclist. It features the Masi Speciale Randonneur (pictured above). Masi is deep into the bike-travel thing and has been for a while now. I think I first saw their Giramondo at Interbike 2015, and as touring bikes go, it still seems like a hell of a bargain to me — chromoly frame and fork, 10-speed Deore drivetrain (with a low end of 24×36), TRP Spyre brakes, and Tubus racks (Tara front, Cargo rear), all for the low low price of $1,399.

Masi offers a 650b version of the Giramondo, too. No racks, but more adventurous.

The Speciale, as you might guess from its name, has roots in randonneuring, so it’s more of a road bike, happiest with a front load and maybe some other light bits scattered around and about in frame and saddle bags.

It will be staying indoors this morning, however. As will I. So don’t go looking for me at Stonehenge.

Meanwhile, when you see a flat-footed statement this thick — “Road bikes average 10-15 pounds.” — you have to question the rest of the story.

Some like it hot(ter)

June 20, 2019

No follow-up from the local media, but the fire near the Elena Gallegos area was reported to have covered more than 50 acres before it was contained.

Some douche(s) burned up one of my trails last week. You can’t take your eyes off these people for a minute.

Meanwhile, it’s 91 at 4:15 p.m., we’re enjoying a hazardous-weather outlook, a fire-weather watch, and an air-quality alert, and it’s not even summer yet.

The good news? Fireworks sales started today.

Officials with the Bernalillo County Fire Department recommend designating “a sober person” to be in charge of lighting fireworks, and keeping a bucket of water nearby. A word to the wise.

Hard reign in Swamptown

January 12, 2019

What a blockhead.

The pestilence of the Benighted States, Wally O’Steele, a.k.a. Artie Deal, wants a Big, Beautiful Wall® at the nation’s southern boundary to keep brown people* from crossing the border to work anywhere other than at his hotels or golf courses.

Unable to procure funding for same, he has instead walled off the feddle gummint from its own tax-paying citizens, idling more than a few of them in the process and forcing others to work without pay while selling their Christmas presents on eBay to keep from freezing to death in the dark.

It’s a hard reign, and the water — if that’s what it is — just keeps rising.

Man the lifeboats and rig for heavy seas, matey — it’s the latest episode of Radio Free Dogpatch.

* Russian oligarchs and Saudi princelings get a pass, of course, along with a coupon for a complimentary fluff and fold at Artie Deal’s Motor Inn & Money Laundry.

 

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with a Shure SM58 microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder. Additional bad noise via an Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic and a Sony ICD-UX533. I edited this hot mess using a Behringer XENYX 1200USB mixer wired to a 2014 MacBook Pro with an external LG 24MP59HT-P monitor and Apple’s GarageBand. Obligatory Cultural References From Bygone Days© courtesy the Bard of Hibbing.

Fiddling while Rome burns

November 24, 2018

Nero didn’t get it either and cashed out the hard way.

OK, let’s see if I’ve got this right:

“A major scientific report issued by 13 federal agencies on Friday presents the starkest warnings to date of the consequences of climate change for the United States, predicting that if significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming, the damage will knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century’s end.”

In response, the courtiers attending His Most Pissant Majesty, King Donald the Short-fingered, Terror of Twitter, are focused like the proverbial laser beam on whether trans folk may serve in the Empire’s armed forces.

Got it. Makes perfect sense. See, if they’re not camping in camo’ down by The Wall*, or using the wrong latrines in Afghanistan, they’ll be available to fight fire and flood elsewhere, p’raps in more fashionable neighborhoods, in order that the gentry may be both protected and entertained.

* Wall not pictured. Or even built.

A sign of the tines

November 19, 2018

MARA the Tempter is always on the job. Though not necessarily with a rake.

Or “A Rake’s Progress.”

• A tip of the bracero’s sombrero for the news nugget goes out to Merrill “M-Dogg” Oliver, a Noo Yawkah turned Californicator who is something of a rake in his own right.

Yeah, but it’s a dry Hell

July 27, 2018

And you thought it was hot where you are. On June 28, the temperature in Quriyat, Oman, hit 109 — and that was the low, “the hottest low temperature ever recorded on Earth,” according to The Washington Post.

As a buddy noted, you gotta give the Chinese credit for going the extra mile to make their climate-change hoax look like the real deal. Why, they went so far as to make it rain here in ’Burque. I thought that was a little over the top, but what isn’t these days?

The hardboiled eggheads of climate science, as usual, predict the worst — roads melting, airplanes unable to take off, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.

The good news is, there’s water on Mars, which is really close to Earth this weekend. Cowabunga! Come on and safari with me!