Archive for the ‘Pissing and moaning’ Category

Phoning it in

December 27, 2018

Is this the weirdest message you’ve ever seen from a telecommunications company or what? Maybe the ghost of my mom is haunting the joint.

With CenturyLink on the fritz throughout the Great American West today — man, someone somewhere must’ve tripped over The Main Cable — I was compelled to rely on my 6-year-old, one-fuggin’-bar, AT&T iPhone 5 for intel.

I had to recharge the sonofabitch about every 45 minutes during the 14-hour outage, and couldn’t get much accomplished even with a full battery, but hey, them’s the breaks. Here’s your laptop, there’s the door, where’s your Starbucks? Verizon was sideways for a while too, which sidelined Herself’s newer iPhone 7 during a grocery run that came up light on a few staples as a consequence.

You might not have heard about CenturyLink shitting the bed, since it mostly affected Flyover Country, and the company sure as hell wasn’t going out of its way to let anyone in on the story, especially its paying customers.

But take it from me, as communications technology goes, a 16 GB iPhone 5 in 2018 is right up there with the smoke signal, semaphore flags, and log drum.

The good news? Blizzard warning.

Shoveling

January 7, 2017
Behold the Driveway of Doom.

Behold the Driveway of Doom.

Jaysis. Some days, the writing, it goes smooth like butta.

And some days, it goes more like shitting broken bottles into a flaming toilet. Something of a pain in the keister, is what.

This is the grotesquely scenic route toward explaining the recent dearth of bloggery in these environs. With mots of the bon variety proving elusive I felt compelled to corral the few I was able to catch, hoping eventually to assemble them into a remuda of paying copy.

Nix.

Notions kept arising with malicious intent, like Martin Sheen surfacing in the lagoon en route to snuffing Marlon Brando in “Apocalpyse Now.” False paths with bad endings. Curiously shaped bricks that, while fascinating in their own right, didn’t quite fit in the wall.

Gah.

Also, it snowed. One of those obnoxious, featherweight snows that, coupled with a stiff north wind, basically glazes a steep, north-facing driveway like a cop’s donut if the homeowner is distracted by journalism and forgets to clear it first thing.

Sheeeeeeeeeeeeyit.

While all this was going on I was striving mightily to avoid the actual news, which, wow, talk about your false paths and bad endings. The road goes ever on and on. Here be dragons. This way to the Dark Side. Thus I shunned The New York Times and NPR in order to remain blissfully ignorant and focused on the task at hand, viz., to wit, earning the meager handful of coppers I require to purchase my common groats and lentils.

And now I believe I need a break from all that. It’s the weekend, f’chrissakes. The toilet will still be on fire come Monday morning.

 

Site gag

October 2, 2015
The Embudo Trail parking lot at the top of Indian School Road.

The Embudo Trail parking lot at the top of Indian School Road.

OK, so last night I actually slept through the night without coughing myself awake a couple dozen times. Our long national nightmare is over, I thought.

And then the Samsung clothes washer croaked in the middle of a load for the fourth time in a year. Naturally, the Samsung warranty expired last week, after one drain pump and two circuit boards. Now we’re at the mercy of the Best Buy Geek Squad, which may be able to see us (wait for it) Tuesday.

So what I wanna know is: Which one of you wisenheimers has a Patrick O’Grady voodoo doll stuck full of pins?*

* Yes, I know, at least it’s not stuck full of bullets, as are many of the residents of Roseburg, Oregon. Don’t expect to see any action on gun control until some sicko shoots a brand new baby iPhone, much less by Tuesday. Until then, if anyone offers to sell you a Samsung clothes washer, you have my permission to shoot them.

Runnin’ down this dusty road

August 15, 2015
Wheels in the sky keep on turning; I don't know where I'll be tomorrow.

Wheels in the sky keep on turning; I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow.

Every year, at some point, I develop an allergy to the bicycle.

Maybe it’s more of an overuse injury. After months of writing, blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, cartooning, photographing and making videos of bicycles, I pull a mental muscle. I don’t even want to ride the sonsabitches. Game over. Move along, move along, nothing to see, nothing to see.

So I spent much of the past few weeks easing back into running, and it was a pleasant diversion indeed.

Cycling is preferable to motoring in large part because it slows you down, lets you take a closer look at the world as you pass through. Running — OK, in my case, jogging — takes you deeper into slo-mo, gives you a fresh appreciation of the trails you ride.

First step: Lower the expectations. The trails I ordinarily negotiate with verve, grace and panache on two wheels feel entirely different on two feet. I become a stumblebum. Herself punks me on the hills. It’s not one little bit like “Chariots of Fire.”

Since I no longer run year round for cyclo-cross, I have to ease back into the discipline, tentatively, like a Republican faced with a substantive policy question on the campaign trail. First I jog the uphills and walk the flats and downhills; then I start jogging the flats, too; and finally I add the descents.

After a few outings I reach a point at which I can perform an act that looks slightly like running, only much, much slower. To pass the time I imagine myself to be in a Bizarro World “Godzilla” movie in which I am the monster and the lizards scurrying out of my path are the terrified residents of Tokyo.

Eventually, of course, I go back to the bikes. That’s where the money is, and I have to pay attention. Also, bills.

Still, it’s refreshing to drop the pro act and go full-bore amateur for a while. Oh, no — there goes Tokyo! Go go Godzilla!

Voodoo child

May 14, 2015
The old Voodoo Wazoo will be my daily driver for the foreseeable future. Toward that end it got a couple upgrades, including slimed tubes, Jandd Grocery Panniers and Egg Beater pedals.

The old Voodoo Wazoo will be my daily driver for the foreseeable future. Toward that end it got a couple upgrades, including slimed tubes, Jandd Grocery Panniers and Egg Beater pedals.

Damn, what a week. Another Bicycle Retailer deadline, the Giro every morning, and an abrupt and unwelcome thinning of the vehicular herd in the garage.

No, we didn’t lose any bicycles. That would be unbearable. But we did say sayonara to Herself’s 2002 Subaru Outback, which has been donated to KUNM-FM after the wizards at Reincarnation said that just about everything between the bumpers was completely fucked.

What began as a timing-belt replacement quickly blossomed into your basic nightmare, in which one repair leads to another: head gasket, clutch, tranny, front rotors, struts front and rear, wheel bearings, tires all around aaaaaaahhhh Jesus make it stop!

When the discussion starts with, “How much does your wife love this car?” you know it’s going to end badly. So, yeah. Off it went. Some cars you’re only gonna get 205,000 miles out of. We was robbed.

Happily, as Master Yoda said, “There is another.” My ’05 Forester. Guess who’s driving that now?

Right you are.

And my vehicle? That’s pictured up top.

• Editor’s note: What are you mutts using for motor vehicles these days? Subarus and Toyotas have been pretty good to us over the years, but we’re always willing to entertain other possibilities. Please to keep in mind that we’re (a) cheap, and (2) have nothing to use as a trade-in.

It never rains, but it pours

August 30, 2014
The Templeton Gap Trail has a fine new concrete surface east of Goose Gossage Park.

The Templeton Gap Trail has a fine new concrete surface east of Goose Gossage Park.

One of the downsides of bidding adieu to scenic theocratic Bibleburg is that I won’t be able to enjoy the new bits of bikey infrastructure the city has been laying down.

I managed to slip out for a short ride today and found that the stretch of Templeton Gap Trail that takes cyclists from the Pikes Peak Greenway to Palmer Park has a new layer of concrete (it used to be beat-to-shit asphalt and dirt).

Shiny new blacktop adorns Templeton Gap Road.

Shiny new blacktop adorns Templeton Gap Road.

Also, Templeton Gap Road has a fresh coating of shiny blacktop and a nifty new bike lane. It has yet to be stenciled as such, but hey, it’s a holiday weekend, right?

Well, for some people, anyway. What with the Vuelta a España and live blogging thereof, the pending move to Duke City, guests in and out of The House Back East™, visiting newsie pals, goggle-eyed dogs requiring doctoring, chats with roofers, landscapers, gutter guys, real-estate types, bankers and mortgage-loan officers, Herself in the first month of a new job six hours to the south, and rain rain rain every god damn day, downtime has been a rare bird around these parts, buckaroo.

That said, I have not been shot dead by the laws and left to lie in the street for hours. Nor am I beheaded by ISIS, invaded by Russians, or infected with the Ebola virus.

I do have to go to Interbike, though. I’m not certain which horseman of the apocalypse that is.

Unreal estate

August 3, 2014
Apologies to Chuck Jones. No bull.

Apologies to Chuck Jones. No bull.

Oh, the Universe is a funny old place.

Once upon a time I hardly thought of Albuquerque at all, other than as a place to drive through en route to somewhere else. Then, sometime in the past few years, Duke City became an occasional cycling getaway; closer than Fountain Hills, cheaper than Santa Fe.

And now the sonofabitch is in my thoughts more or less constantly, like one of those work-related cocktail parties your spouse drags you to without having the common human decency to slip you a mickey first.

“You’ll have a wonderful time.”

“No, I won’t.”

“Well, that’s too bad, because you’re going and you might as well try to enjoy yourself.”

Herself has been in residence in Albuquerque since Friday, the thin edge of our family wedge, house-hunting with a vengeance and filing detailed, illustrated reports with Your Humble Narrator. As a consequence I have peeked in more strangers’ windows this weekend than a CIA drone, but the only thing I’ve learned is that some people should not be allowed in a Lowe’s with an idea and a credit card.

No, that’s not true. I also know that the rozzes are apparently shooting everyone except the bratchnies tolchocking homeless vecks to death, and that if it keeps raining Albuquerque is in line to be home port for the New Mexican Navy (no jokes about adobe submarines, por favor).

So I’ve instructed Herself to focus on properties above the high water line, and I’m shopping for razor wire, machine guns and a Nadsat-English phrasebook.

Soggy Dog

July 31, 2014
wet-stones

One of the many puddles surrounding Chez Dog. If I can just figure out a way to link them up, we’ll have a moat.

Nobody who lives in an alpine desert should ever complain about rain.

That said, fuck this noise. Seriously. I left Oregon for a reason, and this is it. Rain alla goddamn time. I thought I’d spilled some salad in my lap the other day, but it turned out to be moss growing on my … well, the less said about that, the better.

The tipoff? No olive oil. And the cucumber wasn’t peeled and sliced.

In unrelated news, the exodus proceeds, albeit at a snail’s pace. Herself bid farewell to her old job yesterday and leaves for Duke City tomorrow. She will be our LURP whilst I remain (as per usual) a REMF, puttering around behind the lines, telling bullshit war stories everyone’s already heard a thousand times, and mostly getting in the way.

We haven’t found new quarters yet, but we’re talking loan with a banker recommended by longtime Friend of the DogS(h)ite Khal Spencer (a thousand thank-yous, K). What with loan applications and new-job paperwork to process it’s a hell of a time to have had to surrender “our” multifunction printer to Herself’s former employer, and so I’m hunting a new one in my spare time, of which there is none.

Anyone have a recommendation for a reasonably priced, compact, all-in-one, print/fax/scan combo device? I haven’t had to buy one in years and am completely off the back, tech-wise. Sound off in comments, please. And thank you.

I hear the trainer comin’ …

November 23, 2013
trainer-11222013

… to drive me round the bend,
and I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when. …

The path of most resistance

October 26, 2013
The streets are safer, even with a light coating of leaves.

The streets are safer, even with a light coating of leaves.

If you ever wonder why so many Americans have so much trouble making their government function, just watch them making a shambles of another shared space — the infinitely simpler bike path.

I nearly got crashed twice yesterday — first by a pair of knucklehead roadies in team kit who cut across my bow in Goose Gossage Park, exiting the bike path for the street without bothering to check for oncoming traffic, and a few minutes later by some helmetless dipshit on a beater road bike careening down the wrong side of a sketchy slope coated with sand and pea gravel.

Mind you, these incidents constituted the cherries atop a turd-cake that included the usual ingredients — oblivious strollers three abreast, untrained dogs sans leash, and fleawits wandering across the path without checking to see whether they might be about to violate the laws of physics by trying to occupy the same space at the same time as a 180-pound Irish-American on a 30-pound touring bike traveling at 15 mph.

The offenders invariably wear the blank, bovine gaze of a feedlot cow doomed to wear a soggy bun, a slice of pickle and some processed cheese “food” in the afterlife. And yet some of us we marvel at the popularity of Rupert Murdoch’s various entertainment outlets, which shove a similarly toxic product at the feeble-minded through the flat-panel windows in their living rooms.

How hard can it be to walk, run and ride to the right, pass left, and keep your fucking eyes open?