Archive for the ‘Friends’ 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.

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.

The ‘Boogie’ man gonna getcha

October 23, 2014
"Full Tilt Boogie," by Hal Walter

“Full Tilt Boogie,” by Hal Walter

My man Hal Walter of Hardscrabble Times has a new book out. “Full Tilt Boogie” covers a lot of ground, but then so has Hal.

A journalist, runner, world-champion burro racer, ranch hand and foodie who lives in the Upper Boondocks of Crusty County, Colorado, Hal is also the father of an autistic child, Harrison, and the book gives us a glimpse into how he manages all of this without winding up in a Nudie jacket with wraparound arms, playing lonesome country tunes that only he can hear for an audience that only he can see.

“Full Tilt Boogie” can be had in a variety of ways. You can await an old-school dead-tree edition or a digital version from Vook, or contact Hal directly via email or Facebutt and get a special-edition PDF that has more pix than these others.

Perhaps best of all, you can pay what you please, a la the Live Update Guy/NPR revenue model. I think you’ll find his story a worthwhile investment.

• Extra Special Boogie Treat: Here’s a little something to get your feet moving on over to PayPal: Catfish Hodge’s legendary 1973 album, “Boogieman Gonna Get Ya.”

The next 60

March 28, 2014
The Soma Saga in its present configuration. I'm thinking about losing the rando' bars for some short-reach drops, beefing up the bar tape and fattening up the tires.

The Soma Saga in its present configuration. I’m thinking about losing the rando’ bars for some short-reach drops, beefing up the bar tape and fattening up the tires.

Thanks to all of you for the most excellent birthday wishes. No. 60 was a quiet day around Chez Dog — since Herself was road-tripping for business purposes, the party was an exclusive affair; just me, the menagerie, and all those voices in my head (happily, they don’t eat much, not even ice cream).

Today, a milestone behind me and various millstones ahead, I continued what I’m calling Ride the Neglected Bicycles Week. So far it’s seen the Voodoos Nakisi and Wazoo, the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff, and the Jones all get out of the garage for some vigorous thrashing, and there are still two days left. Tomorrow’s supposed to be 60-something and mostly sunny. You can’t stop me!

When not riding, I’ve been reading about riding. “Life Is a Wheel” is Bruce Weber’s account of his second cross-country cycling trip, undertaken at age 57. I had been aware of his ride — a writer for The New York Times, Weber blogged about it for the paper — but the book had somehow slipped my mind. I saw the review, downloaded the book, and so far Weber and I have spent an enjoyable few evenings together.

Like other road books — “Travels With Charley,” “Blue Highways,” and of course, “On the Road,” “Life Is a Wheel” is giving me notions. Nothing so elaborate as a cross-country ride, mind you, certainly not in springtime. But taking a few days away, under my own steam, sounds like a wonderful departure from business as usual.

 

Happy happy joy joy

January 24, 2014

ren-n-stimpyDogs and Doggettes everywhere, raise a leg to our comrade Khalil Spencer, who hit the big six-oh today.

And now, please join me in singing our national anthem.