Archive for the ‘Rain’ Category

Possibilities

August 10, 2022

Possibly rain.

Partly to mostly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible.The Weather Underground forecast for The Duck! City

The gods are pulling my chain again.

Actually, they may be peeing on it.

We just got more than a half inch of possibility in about 15 minutes and Your Humble Narrator beat the deluge home by the chromoplastic skin of his mudguards.

I hadn’t intended to go for a ride. The original idea was to drive to Dick Missile’s Galaxy O’ Grub for a couple hundy worth of disco vittles.

But about halfway there I realized I was short one wallet (mine). So I pulled a U and in a cloud of blasphemy motored home, where I swapped the Subie for a Soma.

Some explanation is in order. I like to buy my groceries early, when most people are working, schooling, or riding their own damn’ bikes. This has the effect of broadening product availability, widening aisles, and shortening lines at checkout.

By forgetting my wallet I had squandered my chronological advantage over the Little People, so I thought I might as well go for a ride instead. Which I did. And it was very pleasant, thanks for asking.

About an hour in I noticed the clouds bunching up and darkening. As I looped around High Desert en route to El Rancho Pendejo things looked positively moist down by Four Hills.

“No worries,” I thought. “It never rains before noon, when it rains at all. Plenty of time.”

Uh huh. I felt the first few drops just off Tramway at Manitoba, and on Glenwood Hills Drive they were bucketing down in quantity. I had fenders on — all the Somas have fenders — but I had to mind my manners in the corners as I slalomed home at a quarter ’til noon, just in time for lunch, if I had any food.

“If only we had some ham we could have ham and eggs, if we only had some eggs.” You said a mouthful, brother.

Optimism

June 26, 2022

Hm. Looks like rain.

It’s a gloomy day here, and not just because we have an Ivy League theocracy legislating from the bench.

The monsoon has settled in like a jurist with a lifetime gig, and while the moisture is more than welcome, it is something of a wet blanket as regards the old training program.

Exactly what I’m training for remains a mystery. But still.

Yesterday, with the forests having reopened, I took a quick ride between rains to La Cueva Picnic Site. It’s a nice, steady, milelong climb that reminds me of the road to our old hillside hacienda outside Weirdcliffe, only the La Cueva road is paved, kinda, sorta.

It’s a great road for hill repeats, though the coarse chip-seal makes for some bumpy going, especially on the descent.

But yesterday was a one-and-done, because I wanted to get back to El Rancho Pendejo before Thor started limbering up his pitching arm. Fenders are nice, but they won’t keep the lightning off your Lycra.

Anyway, I’m stopped at a red light with the clouds circling round and this motorcycle dude thunders to a stop next to me. He looks like Dennis Hopper from “Easy Rider,” only without the hat, astraddle this low-slung hog.

I give him the old head-wave, and he does likewise, then says with a grin, “We ain’t got rained on yet.”

It’s June, and soon the monsoon

June 21, 2022

You can’t spell “monsoon” without “soon.”

It’s the summer solstice, and when I arose at stupid-thirty to make breakfast for Herself it sounded like a Tarzan movie outside.

No rain overnight, unless you count the deluge of evil tidings from far and near. Chama is out of water. “The Sedition Show” continues in DeeCee. And the less said about Texas the better. (There’s actually very little that’s new in the outrage du jour, as Texas Monthly reminds us. Molly Ivins could I.D. this crowd with her eyes closed, which they are, more’s the pity.)

But the North American Monsoon is expected to resume here directly, which, yay. It may not be ideal for cycling, but I have bikes with fenders. And the trees drink that stuff up like my people hitting a pint of the black. Even the federales have a hard time setting you on fire when you’re soaked to the core.

Gata gallivant

June 19, 2022

The patio gets power-washed.

What a difference a rain makes.

At 9:15 a.m. the temp was just 60 degrees. A few days back the overnight low was higher.

The official precip’ tally for the past two days is 0.58 inch, or about half again what we had received all year long before the monsoons kicked in. Our widget shows 0.71 inch.

And it was still raining when we got up. Might keep raining for a while, too, if you believe the Wizards, who have greatly improved their batting average lately.

I rode a bike with fenders yesterday, and yes, I needed them. Not often, but still, glad I had ’em. Cyclists in the desert look askance at a bike with fenders until they’re sporting the chilly Brown Stripe up the backside of their bibs. Then they’re all like, “Hm, good idee,” as they’re doing the laundry and hosing the grit off their drivetrains.

Miss Mia Sopaipilla celebrated the change in the weather with a fine gallivant this morning, launching off the furniture, rocketing around the house, and diving in and out of a paper bag in my office, before finally tunneling under our bedspread and curling up for an extended snooze.

A nap sounds like an even better idea than fenders. But I haven’t had my gallivant yet.

Aqua fina

June 18, 2022

We might get another water delivery from this lot.

Yesterday’s clouds moved beyond the decorative for a change.

The official tally was a quarter-inch of precip’, but out here in The Duck! City Foothills our widget recorded 0.36 inch. We’ll take it.

One of the little girls from next door came bounding over as we stood in the driveway, soaking up a welcome bit of drizzle, and announced that she had “prayed to God” to lay a little rain on us. We thanked her for her service and wondered why we hadn’t thought of that. Probably better to send the kid on that errand, I thought. Cuter, with a shorter rap sheet.

Up north, Fanta Se moved quickly to reopen some trails shuttered by fear of fire, according to The New Mexican. Down to here, the press pivoted to other concerns: the potential for flooding at burn scars and/or homeless people surfing the arroyos down to the Rio, that sort of thing. Every silver lining must have a dark cloud.

We threw open doors and windows and let the cool morning breeze wash over us. Took a few deep, cleansing breaths. We’ll be sweating things again soon enough.

‘Virga’ mi verga

June 13, 2022

Wet dream.

The NWS calls it “virga,” which means “rain that evaporates before it reaches the ground due to very dry air above the surface and below cloud base.”

But they should really call it “verga,” which means “dick,” which is what you get. And a dry hump it is, too.

Rain? Sheeyit. We got better odds of seeing a sensible gun-control measure clearing the Senate and Beelzebozo doing the perp walk.

We was robbed

June 3, 2022

Good morning, sunshine.

The weather wizards were talking a double-digit possibility of a sprinkle yesterday. But talk don’t water the cacti, son! What we got was nada, and plenty of it.

Our Acu-Rite widget claims we last got precip’ on March 30, a whopping 0.14 inch, but I don’t remember that. My training log mentions rain on March 22, and after that, bupkis.

“We are having a very bad year,” observes John Fleck.

Riding my bike to a meeting with folks trying to figure out how to cope with climate change seemed appropriate signaling, but mainly bikes are fun, as my friend Charlie likes to say, and I pretty much ride mine everywhere I can.

After the meeting, I took the long way home, which involved a dirt trail through the riverside woods along Albuquerque’s reach of the Rio Grande. It was shady and cool on a hot afternoon, but the glimpses of the river were painful. Sometime around midday flow dropped below 300 cubic feet per second, which probably means nothing to most everyone, so I’ll put it this way – it’s just a hair above one tenth of the normal flow for this time of year.

Yow.

Southern California is restricting water use for 6 million people, and I would not be surprised to see our local water coppers taking measures before much longer. I’ve spotted a flotilla of Albuquerque-Bernalillo Water Utiility Authority vehicles cruising the Foothills lately, and they can’t all be meter readers.

Even Arizona is contemplating a “new normal,” though the last I looked the thinking was running very far afield indeed, from desalinization projects in Mexico to pumping water from the Mississippi Basin rather than restricting use of a diminishing supply.

Meanwhile, as the wind blows and the temperature rises, while the swamp coolers begin to bubble and air conditioners to whir, the power grid seems to be a few watts shy of the load.

Phrases like “rolling outages” and “worst-case scenarios” are getting tossed around as neighboring grids find they have no spare power to share and the aforementioned shortage of our old pal water threatens hydroelectric generation. And the buck stops … uh, where, exactly?

“The problem is there is nobody in charge,” said M. Granger Morgan, a professor of engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. The national power grid, he said, is a patchwork of regional systems designed to be guided by market demand in each area. Federal regulators have limited authority over it, and many states have constrained their own power to manage energy resources as part of a deregulation push that took hold in the 1990s.

“We don’t have the national regulatory arrangements and incentives in place to implement this energy transition in a coherent and rapid-enough manner,” Morgan said.

Oh, good. For a second there I thought we might be in trouble.

The luck of the Irish

March 17, 2022

A wee bit monochromatic for the wearin’ of the green.

O, ’tis a fine soft day we have here so.

The rain awakened Herself, but not me. I thought she was selling me a bill of goods when she said it rained during the night, until I glanced outside this morning.

There’s a dusting of snow just up the hill, and the cul-de-sac is dampish. This wee sprinkle will do a fine job of tamping down the sand in the arroyo I’ve been riding lately. I’ve only seen one other cyclist in there and he was riding a mountain bike; also, down, not up.

It will save me from the raking of the lawn as well. No point in busting my hump corraling all those soggy pine needles now. Wait until they dry out and lighten up.

Ditto for the trails. Never ride ’em wet. After a rain the knuckleheads in Bibleburg would slash the gooey singletrack into something that looked like Rodan the Flying Monster’s landing strip. The ruts would set up harder than times in 1929, and riding them on a cyclocross bike meant taking a hot lap on Satan’s Slot Car Track.

The ground here in The Duck! City is mighty thirsty, though. Getting it wet enough to damage with bicycle tires might require the sort of deluge that made a sailor of Noah.

And just like that. …

December 10, 2021

Surf’s up. Maybe not.

We got a drive-by from Thor this morning. A whopping 0.01 inch of rain.

Happily, we were spared from drowning by the hurricane-force winds that accompanied this biblical deluge. Good thing I got my run in yesterday. It’s tough to jog the trails in swim fins.

I suppose I could ride my Peloton “bike” today, but (a) I don’t have one, and (2) while I expect I could get a deep discount on one right about now, just like that, I’ll pass.

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!

October 12, 2021

A big ol’ storm gives us a love-tap en route to punching someone else out.

O, ’tis of a class of a wind out there this morning would peel the decals off your down tube.

Yesterday was the first truly chilly ride of this fall. With our weather widget spitting out a wealth of contradictory data I dithered for a while — “What will the style-conscious velo-fellow be wearing this season?” — before finally settling on tuque, short-sleeve jersey over long-sleeve jersey (augmented by arm warmers), long-fingered gloves, bib shorts, some lightweight tights, and wool socks.

Naturally, I was overdressed.

Bell lap.

The arm warmers came off first, followed by the tuque. Knee warmers would have been just the thing — tights were overkill — but the wool socks were spot on.

Still, fashion failures aside, the thing is to get out the fuggin’ door, amirite? Don’t just sit there at the desk, letting the stink-tide of the Innertubes wash over you like a sewer backup, glancing out the window now and again to see if summer plans an encore. Get out there and take your beating.

That being said, I am not a fan of cycling in the wind. I’ve been blown off highway shoulders and rock gardens, spun around like a weathervane while running a cyclocross course, and shot-peened smoother than a baby’s butt while grinding squint-eyed into various gales.

But as you know, I will never be smart, so I went right back out in it again today. Kerchief, long-sleeve jersey over sleeveless undershirt, long-fingered gloves, knickers, and cotton socks.

Naturally, I was underdressed.

The wind gave me a welcome assist on the climbs, but when the rain auditioned for a part in my little passion play I said to hell with it and turned around. All the world’s a stage, but we needn’t be overly dramatic.