Archive for the ‘Good news’ Category

Loafer

January 7, 2022

Get it while it’s hot.

Behold the first loaf from our “new” $40 Toastmaster Bread Box, acquired on eBay. The Wirecutter boyos can keep their $300 Zojirushi Virtuoso Plus with my compliments. Banzai! Banzai! Banzai!

In other news, retirement is proceeding swimmingly. This morning I arose late, ground beans, brewed coffee, made tea, toast, and oatmeal, did the dishes, emptied the litter box, took out the trash, refilled the bird feeders, shooed Herself out the door to chauffeur Herself the Elder to a couple appointments, scratched Miss Mia’s back, and glanced over the news, about which the less said the better.

Soon, the healthful outdoor exercise. Herself and I went for an hourlong run yesterday and nothing hurt any more than it should, so I think my back may have finally realigned itself (knock on wood).

Joe Walsh was right.

Why the long shadow?

December 21, 2021

Gandalf the Grey? Nah. Gradaigh the Groady.

No, it’s not some dark twist on the old “a horse walks into a bar” joke.

It’s solstice! Short day, low sun, long shadows. Huzzah, etc.

Don’t forget your cap, squire.

I start carrying a cycling cap on rides this time of year. Generally I get a late start, because it’s not exactly toasty out there in the mornings, even in the Upper Chihuahuan Desert. And if I’m headed home into that low sun come midafternoon, I want some sort of eyeshade so I can see who’s trying to kill me.

Likewise on hikes I favor a broad-brimmed hat, either a Carhartt crushable boonie or a Broner fedora if I’m feeling stylish.

For runs I go back to the cycling cap — not the Rivendell, but a beat-up Campagnolo model that is so old I can’t recall where or how I acquired it, since I’ve never been a Campy man. I usually fetch a light Sugoi watch cap along too, and wear one while tucking the other into my waistband. Got to keep the brain-box warm since I don’t drink the antifreeze no mo’.

Here comes the sun, doo doo doo doo. …

Just remember to keep moving, like the Earth around the sun, and the Milky Way around the amazing and expanding universe. Don’t crouch indoors like a gargoyle, puzzling out that goddamn WordPress block editor or how long it’s been since your last shot and whether you dare have your great-aunt Fannie over for tea and biscuits. Get out there and chase yourself around.

I know, it’s dark out there. It’s dark when you get up, dark when you go to bed, and in between it’s just dark.

But keep a smile on your lips and a song in your heart. While you’re at it, you might pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space, ’cause there’s bugger-all down here on Earth. And keep one hand on your liver.

Good night, moon.

Born to run

November 13, 2021

Harrison Walter (center) signs a letter of intent to run for Colorado Mountain College. His dad and coach, Hal, is third from the right.
Photo: Joy Parrish

My man Hal Walter recently arranged a small signing ceremony for his son, Harrison, who will be running cross country and track for Colorado Mountain College next year.

Harrison is on the autism spectrum, and so making the leap from high school to college may involve more gymnastics than it did for thee or me. Writes Hal in his Substack newsletter:

It’s been a long run for Harrison, who began his scholastic running career in middle school cross-country and track at Custer County, and then continued into high school. Seven years in all. In the first few years we didn’t know what direction he’d run when the gun went off — or if he’d actually run or melt down. We’re still working out the transition to college. He may be splitting his time in Leadville between online and in-person classes, and doing some workouts next fall with his old team — and coach — here in Westcliffe.

A tip of the Mad Dog mortarboard to Harrison and Hal for a job well done.

And speaking of jobs well done, Hal recently announced that he would be stepping down from MetaFaceButt to spend more time with his Substack newsletter. You can subscribe to that here.

Happy Veterans Day?

November 11, 2021

Roll another one. …

Speaking as one of the “countercultural peaceniks of the 1960s and 1970s” who was fond of “illegal, mind-altering drugs,” I’d like to say, “Right on, man,” to the veterans who have been advocating their use in the treatment of post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression stemming from their military service.

Writes Andrew Jacobs of The New York Times:

Researchers are still trying to understand the mechanics of psychedelic-assisted therapies but they are widely thought to promote physiological changes in the brain, sometimes after just one session. On a psychological level, the drugs can provide a fresh perspective on seemingly intractable trauma, giving patients new tools to process pain and find inner peace.

Lord knows they put me through a few changes. And while I can’t claim to have achieved inner peace, I did manage to find my path.

Jose Martinez got a later start on a much harder road. After losing both legs and his right arm to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, and enduring 19 surgeries, ceaseless pain and an addiction to opioids, the former Army gunner became an evangelist for psychedelics.

“And now I understand what I’m actually here for in this world, which is to make people smile and to remind them that life can be beautiful even when it’s not so easy,” he said.

“Not so easy” doesn’t begin to describe it. They tell me Charlie don’t surf. But Jose does. That’s beautiful.

Many treats, no tricks

November 1, 2021

Behold the Red Punkin.

Man, am I ever glad I doubled up on the sugar stash. We had a veritable thundering herd of trick-or-treaters last night.

We had been thinking that turnout would be on a par with 2020 — basically, the kids in the cul-de-sac and their minders. But some Voice from the Other World suggested I snatch up a couple more bags of goodies when I was in the store the other day. And as soon as I locate a Ouija board I’ll thank him/her/it for the tip, because the little goblins started hitting the doorbell at dusk and didn’t quit until we croaked the lights at 9 p.m.

Maybe it was the light show. Ordinarily we just plug in the Not-So-Great Pumpkin, set it in my office window, and call it good. But this year I gave it some bush-league mad-scientist backup, planting six bicycle taillights around it to add an eerie red glow: three big Busch-Müller jobs that cast a steady light, and three smaller Cygolites set to “Zoom” mode. Muah haah haaaaaah.

More likely it was just some cabin-feverish parents deciding to air out their munchkins for a couple hours. “No, we’re not watching ‘Frozen II’ again. Now put on this Wonder Woman costume and let’s go make your dentist crazy.”

Whatever. It fairly made my shrunken black knuckle of a heart go all pitter-pat. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. You get to be somebody else for a day, or at least part of a night, and who doesn’t want to climb out of his or her boring ol’ skin for a spell at least once a year?

With all the evil news-droppings poisoning our spiritual wells day in and day out, it was comforting to see that we can still trust each other a little bit, share a moment now and again.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. … oh, wow, Mom, Snickers!”

Masks and margaritas

May 17, 2021

I didn’t have a mask to keep bugs out of my teefers
on the descent of Tramway Road.

Firsts:

Hey, Spike, you missed a few flowers.

• Riding the bike without a mask. That was fun. I’ve been half-stepping it, draping a Buff around my neck, but yesterday I left it at home. I’m still all buffed up; I’m just not Buffed up. Ho, ho.

• Having people over for drinks. Yup. Couple friends from the ’hood who are likewise all shot up came by for strawberry margaritas and a bit of guacamole. We hung out on the patio, shooting the breeze and enjoying what little foliage Spike the Terrorist Deer found unpalatable.

Two little things, to be sure. But satisfying nonetheless after a very long year indeed. Next up: Dancing on Sundays!

College, boy

December 14, 2020

And just like that, as word came that California’s electors
had put Sleepy Joe over the top, the sun came out.

Tweety gets K-popped, TikTok’d

June 21, 2020

“We are not amused.”

Adolf Twitler was light on adoring brownshirts last night in Tulsa, and some tech-savvy K-pop fans and TikTok users say they’re at least part of the reason why.

The New York Times got the story, which has since been picked up by other outlets, including The Verge.

Seems the social-media sappers blew up The Big Comeback by acquiring a shitload of tickets with no intention of using them for any purpose beyond creating an ocean of empty blue seats. And thus a stadium that seats 19,000 had just 6,200 nutters, not counting staff, media, box seats, or additional voices squabbling inside pointy heads behind beady, close-set eyes.

In an interview with Bloomberg, campaign spokescreature Tim Murtaugh sneered: “Leftists always fool themselves into thinking they’re being clever. Registering for a rally only means you’ve RSVPed with a cell phone number. Every rally is general admission and entry is first come, first served. But we thank them for their contact information.”

Well, don’t start sucking each other’s dicks quite yet, Tim old scout. Mary Jo Laupp, who posted her own anti-Twitler video on TikTok, told the NYT that many of the people who shared it encouraged people to get tickets using fake names and phone numbers using Google Voice or some other internet-connected phone line.

“We all know the Trump campaign feeds on data, they are constantly mining these rallies for data,” said Ms. Laupp, who worked on several rallies for Pete Buttigieg’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. “Feeding them false data was a bonus. The data they think they have, the data they are collecting from this rally, isn’t accurate.”

A pearl of great price

May 12, 2020

Thirty years ago today.

Himself: “And to think they said it would never last.”

Herself: “That was us.”

• THIS JUST IN: Hey, whaddaya know: Three decades later, the clothes still fit!

And 50 percent of us is still hot!

Eight weeks

April 17, 2020

No brace. No boot. Just a shoe, a sock, and me.

TGIF .. WTGAB!

That’s short for “Thank God it’s Friday … without that goddamn ankle brace!”

Eight weeks to the day after I broke my right ankle running the Foothills Trails, I was noodling along under sunny skies on a bicycle, in cycling shoes, on clipless pedals, with said ankle blessedly free of all wraps, braces, boots, and other encumbrances.

On Wednesday I went for a 2.4-mile walk without the brace, but that was an accident. I just forgot to put the damn’ thing on and didn’t notice I wasn’t wearing it until about 20 minutes into the outing.

“Oh, well,” I sez to myself I sez. “A man must carry on.”

See? It is possible to forget, just like Doctor Mike says.