Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

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.

No turkey, but a trot

November 24, 2017

Black Friday me arse. Here in the Duke City we’re expecting blue skies, a high near 70, and no bloody shopping.

Another Thanksgiving done and dusted. A thousand thank-yous to everyone who continues to pop round to the rumormongery, if only to see whether I’ve croaked and left them a slightly used bicycle or two or three.

Posole verde on the fire.

We kept it light this year. Neither family nor friends were in attendance (we phoned Herself the Elder, my sister, and our former Bibleburg tenant Judy) and thus the kitchen drudgery was nothing out of the ordinary.

I cooked a simple posole verde based on a recipe by Rodrigo Bueno, Herself whipped up a raspberry cobbler, and that was that. No leftover turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy and whatnot for snacking purposes, but the post-feast cleanup was greatly expedited.

Before sitting down to eat we went out for a short and leisurely run, neither of us having legged it around and about for a while. It was a gorgeous November day, with temps in the 60s and nothing but blue sky overhead.

Indeed, it was so pleasant we gave the cats a good airing, too, and they spent the rest of the day snoozing in their respective towers by a window.

Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment), keeps an eye peeled for Rooski ratfuckers.

Ordinarily we watch “Home for the Holidays” on Thanksgiving, but this year we opted for a few episodes from season two of “Baskets,” a weird little series starring Zach Galifianakis. It’s not for everyone — especially now, since disgraced weirdo Louis C.K. is one of the co-creators and producers — but it’s definitely … different.

Elsewhere, there’s nothing different about the way special counsel Robert Mueller is pressing his inquiry into the Rooski ratfucking of the 2016 elections.

Miss Mia Sopaipilla favors a sunny spot underneath the yard art.

The Old Wise Heads speculate that Mike Flynn has rolled over and begun chirping canarylike arias, which is generally what happens when the laws have you by the short and curlies and wish to grab hold of someone a little higher up the criminal chain of command.

It’s probably a tad early to give thanks. But may we please have a few indictments neatly wrapped and under the tree by Christmas, Santa baby?

California dreamin’

October 21, 2017

The mornings are a little cloudier and a little cooler in October.

Green chile stew for dinner. Oatmeal for breakfast.

Oh, yeah: It’s definitely fall in New Mexico.

Reheating the leftovers for Friday-night dinner.

My old newsie pal Merrill stopped by Thursday on the final leg of his move from Noo Yawk City to Santa Rosa. Thus the green chile stew. Merrill was in the mood for Mexican food, but the best beaneries are way over on the north side, and I figured he’d had enough driving for one day (central Oklahoma to the Duke City). So I got out in that kitchen and rattled those pots and pans.

There was some brief discussion of a bike ride. Merrill had a two-wheeler in his rig, but it was a road bike and his shoes were for the mountain variety, and while even I can handle a quick pedal swap, he had the itch to move a little faster and a little farther.

So off he went, bright and early on Friday, ticking off the 830 miles between here and his brother’s house in Simi Valley, California.

Incidentally, if anyone’s in the market for a new ride, Merrill is piloting an AWD Mazda CX-5, which seems to be getting solid reviews from all and sundry (including Merrill). The important thing: You can stuff a bike in the back without removing the front wheel.

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.

Rain, rain, go away. …

May 10, 2017

We drove out of that to ride the Paseo del Bosque and whaddaya know? I didn’t even need knickers, much less the rain jacket.

Yesterday I laid down my hammer and sickle and took time out for a refreshing spin with Friend of the Blog™ Pat O’Brien, who with his lovely bride Sandy popped round to see what’s what in the Duke City.

I didn’t document this major tourism event with photography, because frankly I didn’t think we’d get ‘er done. It was raining when Pat arrived in his manly Toyota Tacoma to pick me up for the drive to the Paseo del Bosque’s Alameda trailhead, and the forecast was grim indeed.

But my iPhone photo above depicts the worst of it. Down by the Rio the weather was warm and windy, and we did the full lollipop, riding south, then curving in a northeasterly direction to Rio Bravo before returning to the bosque trail for a (mostly) tailwind-supported return.

We were both aboard Somas, naturally. Pat rode his Saga whilst I piloted the old Double Cross, freshly equipped with SKS fenders just in case. This, and the fact that we both carried rain jackets, is almost certainly why the clouds didn’t open up during the ride.

Back at El Rancho Pendejo I learned that a deluge had struck DeeCee, washing away the stain on democracy that was Jim Comey. King Donald the Short-fingered, alas, remains perched atop his golden throne, his personal roll of Constitution toilet paper close at hand. Here’s hoping it’s a harder rain gonna fall on his crooked highway before much longer.

De la lluvia a la nieve

April 29, 2017

Stucco, wisteria, evergreens and snow.

Well, we went from rain to snow overnight — not much of it, it’s true, but still.

I was glad to not be Herself’s librarian pal from Colorado, who popped round for a visit en route to Arizona only to find her auto’s heater had crapped out as the weather worsened outside of Santa Fe. Also, and too, her windshield scraper seemed to have vanished mysteriously.

Good times. Maybe not. Anyway, she probably won’t need the heater or the scraper in Sedona.

We may not need them here much longer, either. Tomorrow’s high is expected to be in the low 60s, with 70s on tap for a few days afterward.

The ‘Scoop’ on burros and autism

January 14, 2017
The latest book from Hal Walter on fatherhood, autism and the outdoors.

The latest book from Hal Walter on fatherhood, autism and the outdoors.

My man Hal Walter is on something of a virtual whirlwind tour of the digital media landscape.

Hal recently discussed burros, autism and “Nature Deficiency Syndrome” with the folks at the “Stable Scoop” podcast. He comes in around 21 minutes into the show to talk about how he has tried to share his love of burro racing specifically and the outdoors in general with his son, Harrison.

You can also catch Hal on “The Outspoken Cyclist,” from longtime friend of the DogS(h)ite Diane Jenks. Hal’s segment begins at 26:44.

Give him a listen in both places.

Hello, sweetheart, gimme rewrite

January 15, 2015
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, so he subscribes to our digital product. So what? You have any idea where he's making me ride?"

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, so he subscribes to our digital product. So what? You have any idea where he’s making me ride?”

Merrill Oliver of The New York Times digs into the day’s big story: “Why the hell am I riding a bicycle in freezing temperatures, on icy, sandy roads and trails lined with cacti, at altitude, with some bald-headed asshole in Albuquerque?”

 

Giving thanks

November 27, 2014
Mister Boo is thankful for monocular vision, but says the Cone of Shame can get lost pretty much any old time now. Turkish and Mia are thankful that nobody has tried to put Cones of Shame on them lately, and so are we.

Mister Boo is thankful for monocular vision, but says the Cone of Shame can get lost pretty much any old time now. Turkish and Mia are thankful that nobody has tried to put Cones of Shame on them lately, and so are we.

That time of year again, is it?

Mister Boo is thankful for monocular vision following successful surgeries to remove one bad eye and repair one not-so-bad eye. Also for the delicious bits of chicken breast that accompany his four-times-daily rounds of post-op medication.

Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) and Chief of Staff Miss Mia Sopaipilla are thankful for full bowls of top-shelf cat chow that for some reason are on my kitchen counter.

Their staff is thankful for paying work, a flat roof over their freshly New Mexican heads, and the sod firmly underfoot where it belongs. Here’s hoping Thanksgiving 2014 finds you likewise.

And a special thanks to everyone who keeps popping round to check on us, despite the irregular posting of late. We’ll be back on track before you can say “Happy holidays.”

Meanwhile, you still can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant, kid. Don’t forget to pick up the garbage.