Archive for the ‘Illness’ Category

A nose for noise

November 27, 2016
Life is but a dream, sh-boom, sh-boom.

Life is but a dream, sh-boom, sh-boom.

I’ve been dossing down in the guest bedroom for the past few nights while I try to shake this bug (hack, cough, ptui, repeat) and last night I was dreaming that I was in some concrete condo/apartment house shithole, the prototypical American multifamily dwelling pioneered by the East Germans, a cheerless vertical warehouse with all the charm of a Stasi penitentiary for political offenders.

In the dream, as in “real life,” I couldn’t quite drift off to a proper sleep. I kept hearing this repetitive sound that was driving me batshit: Pok. Pok. Pok. Sounded like someone bouncing a tennis ball off a concrete wall or floor, over and over again.

Pok. Pok. Pok. Etc.

In both planes of consciousness it had been days since I last enjoyed a solid night’s sleep. And in the dream I was starting to get seriously pissed off because for the first time in a good long while I wasn’t enduring any coughing fits and thus nothing should have been keeping me awake.

Pok. Pok. Pok. Etc.

I couldn’t localize the sound — inside my apartment, upstairs, downstairs, in the hallway — and I was on the edge of bounding out of bed to get medieval on someone’s ass, as soon as I got a fix on where the fuck was it that they were.

Pok. Pok. Pok. Etc.

And then I woke up to find that the sound — Pok. Pok. Pok. Etc. — was my own nasal exhalations bouncing off the sheet and blankets, which I had tugged over my head.

Black Lung Friday

November 25, 2016
Welcome to Piedra Lisa, which is Spanish for "Smooth Stone."

Welcome to Piedra Lisa, which is Spanish for “Smooth Stone.”

Gah. I seem to have collected a bug from some’eres. Woke up way too early this morning making sounds like an emphysema ward getting tear-gassed and had to relocate to the guest bedroom unless I wanted to have a heart attack (there was a strong chance that Herself, who enjoys her Zs, might attack it with a nail file).

The guest room was chilly and the bed under-covered, but I figured that if I got back out of it to go hunting a better blankie, I’d either wake all the way up or have a cat sneak in for a nap on my head. So I curled up and endured.

Cycling thus seemed like a real bad idea today so I consulted with my man Hal Walter on his latest book project and went for an hourlong walk instead.

Pretty much everybody in Albuquerque had had the same idea, so I didn’t lack for companionship. I was the only one who sounded like the ghost of Leonard Cohen impersonating Tom Waits from inside an alligator crawling through a culvert, though.

 

Bluesday

January 26, 2016
There's a slight chance of snow this morning. Doesn't matter, I'll be inside cooking chicken soup as a deterrent.

There’s a slight chance of snow this morning. Doesn’t matter, I’ll be inside cooking chicken soup as a deterrent.

The Crud is undefeated and still champeen. It finally got Herself, the last holdout in the Maryland Four, and as I understand it the past couple of days have been as unpleasant as a close working relationship with Ted Cruz.

She’s on her way home as we speak, and I hope she (a) left The Crud back in Maryland, and (2) in her weakened condition doesn’t collect another bug from the pressurized aluminum test tube busy folks use as transportation in these modern times (que viva Air Subaru, baby).

Freelance rumormongers don’t get sick days. We don’t work, we don’t eat. Especially if we’re too busy barfing to cook.

Wild, wild life

September 29, 2015
That's what I call an ex-dove.

That’s what I call an ex-dove.

Between episodes of “Attack of the Booger Monster” it’s been National Fuckin’ Geographical lately around El Rancho Pendejo.

Yesterday afternoon I was slouched in the office, trying feebly to generate some paying copy with a skull full of Claritin-D 12 Hour, when I heard a bass thump! in the living room and assumed another dipshit dove had augured into the picture window by the cat tower.

It was a marvelous night for a moondance.

It was a marvelous night for a moondance.

Well, close. A falcon had chased a dove into the window and was sitting on the lawn, plucking the dumb sonofabitch like a harp, while the cats watched with professional curiosity. No photo of the raptor at work, alas; I went for a camera but he took off with his dinner before I could make a Kodak moment of it.

Then last evening I took a few snaps of the post-eclipse supermoon, having intercoursed the penguin the night before (check those ISO/f-stop settings, kids). We had a few shooting stars to keep Luna company when it was all red in the face, too. Quite the night.

Today I felt capable of a short bike ride for professional purposes — the reviews don’t slow down just ’cause I do — and afterward I treated myself to a second dose of green chile stew. I’m hoping it succeeds where the Irish penicillin failed. It’s a rare bug indeed that can withstand the one-two punch of chicken noodle soup and green chile stew.

 

Sermon on the mountebanks

September 24, 2015
The foothills by the Piedra Lisa parking lot.

The foothills by the Piedra Lisa parking lot.

Swear to God: I’d turn Roman Catholic in a hot Noo Yawk minute if Pope Frankie could get Dorothy Day to roust this capitalist cold the hell out of my atheist carcass.

The bug has been having a high old time with me, plugging my nose-holes with colorful sludge, like a box of Crayolas left in the sun. Too, there is a cough that must have the neighbors wondering if a pride of lions has begun hunting deer in the ‘hood. Sleep is measured in minutes rather than hours, and snark, bark and spark all are at perilously low levels.

Come midmorning, after watching the pope squander his Jesuitical subtlety on our elected representatives, I dragged what remains of Your Humble Narrator out for a Frankensteinian walk along the trails I should be running or riding, this being the second day of fall, and a beauty, too. Just check out the blue in that sky. It’s one of the few colors that hasn’t come out of my nose.

 

Snot rag

March 6, 2014
Kleenex and Mucinex and tea, oh my.

Kleenex and Mucinex and tea, oh my.

Gah. I was congratulating myself for having avoided the cold that felled Herself — dodged a boogery bullet, evaded a snot rocket, as it were — and then, boom!

Attack of the clones: Cloning the MacBook's hard drive to a new OWC SSD using SuperDuper and a USB Universal Drive Adapter.

Attack of the clones: Cloning the MacBook’s hard drive to a new OWC SSD using SuperDuper and a USB Universal Drive Adapter.

Got me.

Thus, while it is a springlike 64 degrees outdoors, here I sit, full of drugs, hot tea and bad ideas. Like installing a new SSD in my old black MacBook to give it a taste of the 21st century.

This is not unlike putting spinners on a Nash Metropolitan, but what the hell — at just under a C note from the fine folks at Other World Computing, a bigger, faster drive is a whole lot cheaper than a new laptop for road trips requiring a bit more screen real estate and software than the 11-inch MacBook Air provides.

Plus, being slightly crazed on caffeine, pseudoephedrine and guaifenesin, I need something to keep my hands busy. It’s either this or follow the news, and that seems futile since I no longer have any hair to pull out.

• Late update: The surgery was successful, and now I have a zippy little 120GB SSD in my 8-year-old MacBook. Probably should’ve gone bigger, but SSDs are pricey, and I have a 120GB external drive I can use to store image files.

Poultry slam

February 23, 2014
When a cold comes into the house, you've got to give it the bird.

When a cold comes into the house, you’ve got to give it the bird.

There is catarrh in the house, curse its name.

A terrorist assault on the snotlocker has laid Herself low, and with the Horse of Pestilence thus having escaped her boogered-up beezer barn I am belatedly barring the door to my own by preparing a massive tureen of chicken noodle soup.

Oh, she gets a bowl, too. Just in case you were wondering.

The recipe can be found in “Dad’s Own Cookbook,” by Bob Sloan, and it is the foundation of any number of other meals, among them chicken quesadillas, chicken chilaquiles, and chicken eaten with the fingers straight out of the pot before you make anything other than a big-ass pot of simmered chicken.

And when I say “big-ass,” I do not lie. This sucker starts with a 4.5-pound bird, plus four extra drumsticks, and adds four quarts of water, four carrots, two turnips, a large onion, a leek, a dollop of honey, salt, dill, egg noodles, peas and parsley.

As chicken soups go, this is the equivalent of Rolling Thunder, a culinary carpet-bombing, a real poultry slam. I just hope it’s not too late. Some doughty little bug in green pajamas could be out there right now, pushing his Ah Choo Minh bicycle loaded with deadly bacteria through the triple-canopy jungle of my nose hairs.

Hi-def’, where is thy sting?

October 8, 2013
I had a little fun shooting the video of the Jones bike. There's plenty of room for gadgetry on that 66cm H-bar; I was going to add a flower vase, but ran out of hose clamps.

I had a little fun shooting the video of the Jones bike. There’s plenty of room for gadgetry on that 66cm H-bar; I was going to add a flower vase, but ran out of hose clamps.

In comments, Patrick O’B. asks whether I’m having trouble deciding which bike to ride since adding a nifty Jones rigid-specific 29er to the Mad Dog fleet.

Nope.

I haven’t been on a bike of any type for a week — a terrorist wasp nailed me in my left ankle during a hike last Wednesday, the sonofabitch swelled up to the size and shade of a ruby-red Texas grapefruit (the ankle, not the terrorist wasp), and I have whiled away the hours since full of Benadryl and bad ideas, trying to get a metric shit-ton of work done with my shoeless left leg propped up on a box.

And the weather has been picture-postcard, Chamber of Commerce, fall-in-Colorado perfect, too.

Gah.

The Co-Motion Divide Rohloff got its closeup today.

The Co-Motion Divide Rohloff got its closeup today.

I did get out for a short while today. The ankle looks more or less like an ankle again, rather than a botulistic bratwurst, and I needed to shoot a bit of HD video for an online review of the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff, having just wrapped production on a Jones video. So I spazzed around in Palmer Park for an hour, playing Quentin Ferrentino with a couple of dusty old Hero 3 Black Editions.

The Adventure Cyclist gang and I met with the GoPro people at Interbike, but only editor Mike Deme walked away with one of the new Hero 3+ dinguses, though I thought I batted my eyelashes most fetchingly at the product guy. Bitch.

So I had to make do with obsolete technology in my latest projects, and as usual it is the little people — you, the viewing public — who must suffer.

Still, that makes two videos in two days. Stick that in your hobbit-pipe and smoke it, Peter Jackson.

In like a lion

March 8, 2013
Novara Verita

The Novara Verita from REI.

March, is it? Whose idea was it to make February so short and start Daylight Saving Time on Sunday? Jesus, I take some time away from the blog to do a spot of work from my deathbed and the whole place goes to hell.

I brought some heavyweight class of an upper-respiratory bug home from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show and mostly have been sleeping at The House Back East® to keep from catapulting Herself out of bed and into the madhouse with my coughs, which sound remarkably like an M777 howitzer in action, if M777 howitzers fired 155mm olive-drab snot rockets.

Between booger barrages I have had to crank out the word count for Adventure Cyclist and Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, the latter now back to twice-a-month publication. Doubling up on the funny is heavy lifting when your brain is braising in bacterial tapioca.

The past couple of days have brought some mild improvement, happily, and I’ve even been out and about on the latest review bike, a Novara Verita, one of the steeds in REI’s velo-stable. I’ve tried not to dribble on it, because the green would clash horribly with the nifty blue-and-white color scheme and might even dissolve the tubeset.

I shan’t have access to that refreshing little pasatiempo this weekend, however. The wizards predict rain, snow and wind — to wit, March weather.

Just as well. Another round of deadlines is upon me like some fresh plague, and I might as well stick to embarrassing myself in print instead of upon the bicycle until the sun comes back sometime next week.

Ten days that shook the ribs

January 14, 2013
Baby, it's cold outside.

Baby, it’s cold outside.

Ten days after the flu sank its meathooks into my respiratory system I’m finally starting to feel like a primate instead of a paramecium.

And there’s no danger of being tempted to imperil my fragile recovery by throwing myself headlong into a futile attempt to recover all those miles unridden because it’s 8 degrees and snowing.

It would be just like me to rocket out the door in search of a nasty case of bronchitis and perhaps a broken bone or two, so I think I’ll surprise the universe and stay indoors, maybe ride the trainer gently for a half hour or so.

Speaking of disease, beyond my little cocoon the speculation as regards impending revelations by the One Ball To Rule Them All has reached a fever pitch, and don’t I wish I could give a shit. Watching him summon the Reverend Mutha Gaius Helen Winfrey and her rubber gom jabbar to Pelotaville for a televised confessional in hopes of getting his personal gravy train back on the rails looks very little like a penitente journeying to the Sanctuario de Chimayó on his knees.

I can’t decide which cultural reference to deploy here. Is it an unrepentant Alex insisting that the Int Inf Min spoon-feed him in his hospital bed? Or is it Lucy at the chocolate factory, only with the chocolate being money and Lucy a great white shark and the assembly line running not too fast, but rather not fast enough?

“What’s it going to be then, eh?” I’m going to go with Alex here, because no matter what we may hear on Thursday, I suspect that a “cure” forced is no cure at all, and we will have our malevolent little droogie on our hands for quite a while yet.