Archive for the ‘Rain’ Category

Sometimes I have a great notion

September 12, 2020

No, I’m not snorting a line. Not right at that moment, anyway. …
Photo 1981 by Tom Warren | Corvallis Gazette-Times

Somehow I never thought of Oregon as a place that would burn.

I never thought it could burn.

In my mind Oregon remains a damp, dreary place where I spent a lot of time indoors, either working, hammered, or both. The only place I never owned a bicycle. Occasionally I walked, but only if I was too drunk to drive.

All my people were back in Colorado or in California, where I spent some months trapped in a Simon and Garfunkel song:

Asking only workman’s wages I come looking for a job

But I get no offers

When an offer finally came the job was in Corvallis, in Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley. It was good to be working again instead of sponging off friends and family, but the baggage I brought with me held more than T-shirts and jeans.

I made some friends, most of them on the job, your typical newsdog. And we had some laughs, catching Andy Irvine and Paul Brady in concert at a tiny venue downtown, or motoring to Portland to hear Johnny and the Distractions.

Occasionally I’d meet my old buddy Merrill in Seattle, a change of scenery for us both. He was trapped at a newspaper in eastern Washington, which was another sort of hell altogether.

But I spent a lot more time slouched in Squirrel’s Tavern or in my tiny apartment, huddled with my dogs next to the wood stove, or taking aimless solo drives out to the coast, places like Newport or Depoe Bay.

Mostly I remember rain, damp, the kind of cold that a Colorado winter doesn’t prepare you for, the sort that settles right down into your bones and makes itself at home. I got fat in self-defense, trying to make my bones harder to find.

If you’d told me the place would burn I’d have laughed out loud and poured another one. But I don’t drink anymore, and I’m not laughing, either.

• From Oregon Public Broadcasting: How you can help.

’Round about midnight

September 9, 2020

The dread Crusty County Snow Spiral of Doom. Photo by Hal Walter

A wind-driven rain blew us right out of bed last night about three hours after lights out.

I say “last night” because it was still dark. But it was just after midnight. And it sounded as though Poseidon was power-washing the house, or maybe shot-peening it, which probably doesn’t do much to harden stucco against the elements.

As I will never be smart, this was about the time it occurred to me that I probably should’ve taken down the various bird feeders hanging around and about El Rancho Pendejo, maybe cinched down the cover over the gas grill, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

But this morning, all the feeders and the grill cover remained in place. The only damage was to the plastic footlocker we use to store the cushions for our patio furniture; that sucker got blown over and one of the gas struts FUBARed.

The cushions, as you might deduce, got wet.

I estimate that we got a foot or two of rain, but since it was coming in sideways at warp 5 it only amounted to a quarter inch or so. We can expect more of the same later today, it seems. And with the weather widget showing 43° at 8:48 in the ayem it’s about as warm as it’s going to get.

About 12,000 Burqueños lost power last night, and the problem persists this morning. Khal S. reports that he and a few thousand of his fellow Santa Feos were back to kerosene lanterns, wood heat, and carrier pigeons too. Up north my man Hal Walter was likewise back to a traditional mountain lifestyle (freezing to death in the dark), and woke up to snow; the icing on the cake, as it were.

All in all, it seems a good day to stay indoors and listen to Miles Davis. Even if it’s not ’round about midnight.

Wash and rinse

September 1, 2020

Arroyo, with a side of agua fria, coming up.

I had just turned into the cul-de-sac when it started raining.

My timing couldn’t have been better. I had left El Rancho Pendejo 90 minutes earlier for a brisk morning march along various foothills trails, because the weather wizards were predicting thundershowers. And when I turned around, up by Embudo Dam, I saw that they did not lie.

The Sandman cometh.

So I cranked up the pace a bit as the skies darkened, and then darkened some more. The wind sprang up, as it will, out of the north. Onward.

Finally, just past Candelaria on Trail 365, I broke into a run. Or what I call a run, anyway. A runner might disagree, or perhaps just laugh out loud.

And then, boom, just as I got home, the skies opened up and pissed rain … for a solid minute. Maybe two.

Oh, well. In the desert, two minutes of rain is better than none.

Fender amped

July 27, 2020

It was cloudy around the Crest, but the real action was behind me down below, as I found out when I headed for the barn.

The monsoons have draped themselves over us like a soggy cotton shirt.

It would be nice if the Universe would rearrange its watering schedule. A little bit here and a little bit there instead of all at once, like emptying a thundermug out of a second-story window onto a warbling drunkard.

But nobody in his right mind snivels about rain in the high desert. Not when rivers are drier than a popcorn fart and even the cacti are panting.

I’ve switched bikes — from the Soma Saga (canti) to the Soma Saga (disc) — because the latter still has fenders. I pulled the mudguards and racks off the rim-brake model to make it more of a daily driver than a touring machine.

But the daily driving is different now, so, yeah. I got rained on today. Fenders are your friend.

Channel-surfing

July 24, 2020

A wet brick can be a terrorist weapon in the wrong hands.
See something, say something!

The “monsoons” appear to be upon us. A bit late, but better that than never.

Look for the Homeless People’s Diversion Channel Surfing Championships live from Albuquerque on ESPN, as there are no other “sports” available to televise.*

Simultaneously, on CNN, watch the 101st Vanborne Division (“The Squealing Beagles”) take target practice on the hapless channel-surfers using “less-lethal munitions,” formerly dubbed “non-lethal munitions,” a.k.a. rubber bullets, beanbag rounds,  IRA recruitment tools, etc.

Survivors will be fished out, charged with domestic terrorism for occupying and/or polluting a waterway, and sentenced to take the “troops” water-skiing.

BUM, bum, BUM, bum. …

“Row, y’bastards!”

* Major League Baseball™ is not a sport. It is a business, like AT&T, Facebook, and the White House.

Water logged

June 2, 2020

The rain was bucketing down last night, and we have the bucket to prove it.

It rained like a mad bastard here last night, with lightning strikes aplenty and one thunderclap that sounded like the SWAT team triggering a flash-bang before hitting the door.

The cacti got a charge from the evening’s rain.

The weather probably kept the cops and citizens from doing it hand to hand again downtown, as they did on Sunday night. Call me simple, but I don’t see how setting Dumpster fires and trashing the KiMo Theatre advances the Revolution.

Nor do I believe one achieves peace through superior firepower. The Albuquerque Police Department apparently broke out the flash-bangs, tear gas, and rubber bullets in honor of the occasion, saying some miscreant fired on them.

But hey, this is Albuquerque. If you don’t hear gunfire when the sun goes down, that just means everyone’s busy reloading.

The journalism performed in honor of the hullabaloo was so comically inept that it’s hard to get any sense of what actually went down. Much noise, very little signal.

Why, it’s enough to make a fella open up one a’ them whatchamacallits? Social-media accounts! I hear they come with cute kitten videos and everything.

Not a fan

April 13, 2020

First, the rain. Then, the snow.

Well, it was pretty easy to do the ol’ social distancing today.

The fog crept down the foothills like something out of a Sherlock Holmes movie, followed by the rain, and finally, the snow.

A fan. I’m not a fan of this fan, either.

Well, it was “snow” only in the sense that it involved fat white flakes falling, but nothing stuck around long enough to be shoveled. It certainly wouldn’t have kept a Belgian off the bike. I don’t think anything can.

But it did the trick for me. I rode the trainer for 45 minutes, which I hate, and then did a little light resistance training, which also, too, and likewise.

Still, anything beats watching our national “leadership” act more like Al Capone than Al Schweitzer. These pendejos couldn’t organize a beer run for a frat house if the liquor store were downstairs.

Rain, rain, go away …

November 6, 2019

The Cannondale Topstone 105.

… little Paddy wants to play.

We have a new review bike at El Rancho Pendejo, a Cannondale Topstone 105, but the weather is proving uncooperative as regards its maiden cruise.

The birds were pissed that their feeders were empty, so I had to trot out in the rain to resupply the chirpy little commies. From each according to his abilities, etc.

What a good thing that I whipped up a vast tureen of posole before this wee November squall rumbled through town.

As the cool drizzle quietly flogs the last of the leaves off the backyard maple under leaden skies, it’s looking like your basic one-pot day, meal-wise.

Cook the oatmeal, have breakfast, wash the pot.

Hm. Still raining.

Reheat the posole, have lunch, wash the pot.

JFC. Still raining.

And dinner? I may outsource that one, if only because I’m out of posole, and who wants oatmeal for dinner?

Anyway, even a one-quart saucepan needs a break now and then.

Rumble thy bellyful

August 3, 2019

King Lear would be freestyling on this afternoon’s rain, yo.

There’s a whole bunch of the boom-boom-boom going on around here today.

But lucky for us, it’s only thunder. And the only thing raining on us is, well, rain.

Who was first to the “thoughts and prayers?” I had Ted Cruz in the office pool.

Morning report

May 10, 2019

We won’t need any sunscreen today.

No, you haven’t stroked out. All is well. What you’re seeing is the wind-driven rain smearing Miss Mia Sopaipilla’s upper-deck observation window.

Frankly, she finds this irksome. The Enemy is everywhere, and eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, as we discovered last night when a stray cat materialized outside the Southwestern Sally Port.

I was loading the dishwasher when a horrific yowling and clatter nearly gave me a stroke. I thought maybe the Dead had breached the Wall, but nope. It was Mia, scattering the vertical blinds as she marched to and fro alongside the sliding glass doors, challenging a feline interloper to personal combat, while Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) formulated strategy and tactics from his command post in the rear.

This morning I awakened to find that the commander and his staff duty officer had deployed various biological countermeasures overnight (the Geneva Convention notwithstanding), and terrorists had disabled the coffee grinder. But I was able to bring the base back to full readiness with various cleaning products, some elbow grease and much bad language.

Opening a few windows helped, too, until the rain started coming in sideways.

That is all.