Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

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.

Hot plate, señores!

December 3, 2013
Pikes Peak

It was 50-something down here on Nov. 30, but slightly chillier up there.

December? December? Whose idea was this? Wasn’t it July just a couple of days ago? Why do I suddenly have to wear socks all the time? And pants? Who’s in charge around here, anyway?

Thanksgiving went nicely around Chez Dog, thanks for asking. We had the sis and bro-in-law in for the afternoon, neighbors in for the day after, and an old friend in for a quick visit on Saturday. And by the time we’d finally eaten the last of the leftovers on Sunday I was ready for a bit of peace and quiet, some casual cycling, and something to eat other than norteño New Mexican food.

For some reason I had been off New Mexican cookery for a while. And then the cooler weather hit, and before you could say “¡Hijo, madre!” it was chile and beans and posole and what have you.

For Thanksgiving I prepared some pico de gallo salsa and guacamole; posole; roasted potatoes in red chile; pintos in chipotle; and chicken enchiladas smothered in green chile. Herself kicked in a pitcher of sangria and a piñon pie, two recipes we’d never tackled before (they were excellent).

I should’ve taken some pix, but dammit, everything was just too good to let cool while I fiddled with the Canon. Sorry ’bout that. Here’s hoping your holiday was as enjoyable as ours.

Burning daylight

March 21, 2013

Today started and ended well, lightly toasted slices of metaphorical bread comprising an actual shit sandwich.

On arising I recalled that we had a huge slab of meaty Ranch Foods Direct bacon in the fridge, so breakfast included coffee, eggs over easy, American fried potatoes, buttery English muffins and great thick rashers of pigmeat. Your basic heart-attack special, but I like it.

My plans for the workday hinged on breaking a piece of new technology to harness, but despite a hearty breakfast I couldn’t even get my rope on it, much less my brand.

Being something of a persistent cuss — you may call it “obsessive-compulsive,” I call it “persistent” — I kept working at it, trying first this and then that and finally the other, all the while taking copious notes on each fresh dysfunction with an eye toward eventually tattooing same on someone using an icepick and ball-peen hammer, with a sack of wormy dogshit for ink.

Thus the hours passed and the daylight faded, and the technology breezily countered my every move. By late afternoon, which saw the mailperson deliver an overdue check for services rendered that was redeemable for slightly less than half the expected quantity of Dead President Trading Cards, I was at a rolling boil, hissing like a teakettle full of vipers, blistering steam boiling out of both ears.

Herself and I had earlier scheduled a joint birthday dinner with friends, so I stuck my head in the freezer, counted to a thousand in Irish, and off we went to The Blue Star, where the four of us ate all manner of good things while discussing music, metaphysics and literature. Also, we solved every last one of the world’s problems save mine (you’re welcome).

Now I’m hardly pissed off at all. But tomorrow is another day.