Archive for the ‘Snow’ Category

Snow? No

March 11, 2022

It ain’t easy getting green.

We was robbed.

Just as well. The ladies have plans, and though they are Marylanders and used to snow, only Herself has enjoyed winter motoring in The Duck! City, whose drivers can’t keep the shiny side up on a sunny day.

Yesterday it was a Tesla and a pick-’em-up truck that ate shit at Comanche and Tramway, where the debris from old crashes piles up like the fast-food wrappers, liquor bottles, and dirty diapers drivers toss from their vehicles between texts as they breeze through the red five seconds late and 20 over the limit.

You want to keep your head on a swivel when your light turns green. Left, right, left again — count one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, etc. — then proceed as though you believe in an afterlife.

Never mind the asshole leaning on his horn behind you. Hell ain’t half full, as s/he will learn after finally honking at the wrong person, who then climbs out of the vehicle with something more authoritative than a middle digit extending from one white-knuckled fist.

The honkers are usually tailgaters too. Some of these yahoos will crowd you so closely you can smell the beer on their breath.

Doc Sarvis, the brains and bucks behind “The Monkey Wrench Gang,” had a solution to that sort of harassment. The Ukrainians are giving these ancient anticavalry weapons a go, and why not? I bet they work against horses and horses’ asses.

Staying ready

February 6, 2022

Fire on the mountain? Not today.

Call me crazy, but I’m thinking the wildfire risk is a little lower than usual today.

After our little snow event the other day I put fenders on the Soma Double Cross just in case the running got boring, which it did. This meant the 42mm Soma Cazadero tires had to come off, and I spazzed around a bit trying to come up with something in a 38mm.

The DC with fenders makes an excellent snow repellent.

Kenda Kwicker? Nope, 32mm. Michelin Transworld Sprint? 35mm and I never liked ’em anyway.

Finally I grabbed an old set of 37mm WTB All Terrain wire-beads and slapped those on, in the process being reminded why they were in a corner of the garage instead of on rims. Mother dog, were them sumbitches ever a bear to mount.

But it was worth it to get fenders on the DC. Whenever it snows The Duck! City scatters this reddish sand all over every horizontal surface. Could be pulverized granite; could be chile powder. I have no idea. But it gets onto and into everything, and if you get any on your kit, it will be there for the better part of quite some time.

So, yeah, fenders. Worked like a charm. So much so that the forecast for the next week is sunny, with temps in the 40s and 50s.

The Cailleach has a long arm

February 3, 2022

Finally, a wee dusting of actual snow.

It was right about the time I started prepping the green chile stew that the Cailleach dropped her knitting atop Hag’s Head in County Clare and muttered, “Right, time that Ó Grádaigh gobshite in Albuquerque got the back of me hand so.”

Just a love tap, mind you. We are cousins, after all. I make it about four inches atop the wall. Still, it will require me to drag this old bag of bone splinters and bad ideas back and forth across the driveway for a spell, muttering about Gaelic deities and the length of their hairy auld arms.

It’s a refreshing 8° at the moment, a lovely temperature for a bit of upper-body work. I’ll happily take it over the -8° my man Hal is enjoying up to Weirdcliffe, where his Innertubes have quit but the woodstove remains on the job.

I remember those Crusty County temperatures, and not fondly, either. Tunnel out from under the covers at stupid-thirty, squeal like a little bitch, dash downstairs to the woodstove and feed it a few chunks, leap outside for more wood (and more squealing), then sprint back inside to melt the ice in the terlet with a good auld Guinness-and-Jameson’s wee.

It was all downhill after that, and I do mean downhill. We lived on a rocky outcropping 10 miles from town, one mile and 430 vertical feet from the county road, and once you got down to the bottom you mostly wanted to go right back up again, to where the whiskey and Guinness and woodstove were.

If I burrowed deeply enough into the covers the Cailleach couldn’t find me. That was the idea, anyway. I have lots of ideas.

London calling

February 2, 2022

“He lay down on the snow and attempted to sleep,
but the frost soon drove him shivering to his feet.”

Buck and John Thornton must be shitting themselves.

Winter is coming?

December 29, 2021

I’ve put more white powder than that up me snout on a weeknight.

I know, I know — don’t tempt the Fates, never let your blog write a check that your ass can’t cash, and so on and so forth.

But sheeeeeyit: You call this “snow?”

The Bread Box is baked.

The appalling lack of precipitation aside, it was not so warm outside today, and not so hot inside, either.

Our $20 garage-sale bread machine seems to have toasted itself after a year of medium-heavy use, churning out a bleak pan of something one might expect to find in the toilet at a dive bar on St. Paddy’s Day if the menu featured a questionable shepherd’s pie and some heavily stepped-on blow.

Thing is, y’see, I have about 20 pounds of Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat flour on hand. So I may be forced to learn how to bake bread the way me forefathers did, only without the dubious advantage of being knee-walking drunk.

Or I could just buy another Toastmaster on eBay.

Sea Notter

October 9, 2021

We have a sea, but it’s grass. No otters in sight.

I’m not at Sea Otter. Can you tell from the pic?

Being parked at home and mildly bored, I’ve been awarding various neglected bikes some outside time. The DBR Prevail TT, Soma Double Cross, Voodoo Nakisi, and Jones all have been granted furloughs from their hooks this month, while the New Albion Privateer takes a well-deserved break.

Today’s clouds: Not that ominous.

On Thursday I was riding the Nakisi, and not well. The trails are deep sand in some spots and gullied in others, the 700×43 Bruce Gordons were probably pumped up a tad too hard, and my mad skillz — well, the less said about them the better. I was dabbing everywhere.

So yesterday I took the Jones out for a spin on the same trails, and it was mucho bettero, as we say south of the border. Still rolling a wee bit overinflated, but since the tires were big ol’ 29×2.4 muthas at least I wasn’t embarrassing myself. Not much, anyway.

And there’s still quite an audience out there enjoying this fine fall weather instead of putting nose to grindstone for The Man. Hikers, joggers, dog-walkers, and cyclists, most of the latter astride your consarned dadblasted newfangled whizbangs with the 1x drivetrains, boingy bits front and rear, hydraulic discs, dropper posts, and what have you.

Cain’t even fit a proper water bottle in there anywheres. Gotta wear a backpack with a sack in it, suck on a hose like a deadbeat siphoning gas from a workin’ feller’s car.

Speaking of the ol’ suckee-suckee, the WaPo warns that fall might be turning a tad winterish for some of yis. Get the chimbley swept and keep your snow shovel and long johns where you can find ’em in the dark. Don’t want to be caught with your drawers down and your arse in the wind when Thor starts swinging his hammer.

And now, here’s Patrick with the weather

April 17, 2021

The maple shares the eastern horizon with blue sky
and a few clouds … for now.

The furnace was chugging away when I woke up this morning. This, after some days of riding around and about in knickers and arm warmers. (Not the furnace. Me.)

Our weather widget in the kitchen told me the temp outside was smack dab at freezing — 32° Fahrenheit. No wonder I was wearing pants, socks, and a long-sleeved shirt, I mused.

Miss Mia Sopaipilla says she would like her meals delivered.

In my office Miss Mia Sopaipilla was tucked away in the Situation Room, monitoring developments, largely through closed eyelids.

The forecast calls for snow, which some of you are already enjoying. Any inclination I might have to bitch about it is tempered by the ongoing grim news about the state of the Rio Grande, which is likely to be drier than the proverbial popcorn fart this summer. Pinning our hopes on a stout monsoon season seems about like asking Santa Claus to lay a few bazillion gallons on us. We have not been good girls and boys.

Speaking of water, if you are fortunate enough to find yourself restricted to the great indoors by inclement weather you might have a sip from this week’s episode of Desert Oracle Radio. Ken Layne discusses the “accidental miracles” that spared so much of the American Southwest’s mountains and deserts from growth for growth’s sake, which Ed Abbey dubbed “the ideology of the cancer cell.”

Then change channels to KLZR-FM in Weirdcliffe, where my man Hal Walter — who seems to be Mister Multimedia these days — chats with Gary Taylor about the joys of running and other things.

Hal is enjoying a bit of snow himself up to Weirdcliffe rather than running his ass off at the Desert Donkey Dash in Tombstone, Ariz., where the forecast is for a high in the 70s. If he has any regrets about this as he feeds the woodstove he is keeping them to himself.

Paddy melt

March 18, 2021

The ground drank that snow like a college kid hitting a beer
during spring break in Florida.

Our St. Paddy’s snow lasted about as long as bipartisanship in Congress.

Herself went out for a short run yesterday afternoon and reported that the trails were barely tacky. And this morning is as you see.

When the weather gets goofy like this I miss running. It’s such a convenient workout when God is pitching changeups at you. Efficient. Minimal gear. No coasting.

A 45-minute trail run isn’t long enough to be boring, and it doesn’t gnaw off a sizable chunk of your day the way cycling does. You can get started early, and finish early, too. Nobody honks at you, unless you’re running past a goose with attitude.

Running and swimming are probably our purest forms of exercise, although an indoor pool is an expensive accessory. You can always acquire property on some placid sandy beach in a tropical paradise, but that’s even pricier than a Y membership.

And the ocean likes to go for a run every now and then too. Sometimes it takes you with it.

Oh, Lord, I can feel myself getting talked into it. Running, not swimming; we got sand, but this ain’t no tropical paradise. My feets have already failed me once. Spring can’t come soon enough.

Mardi Gras on the rocks

February 16, 2021

Save your beads, boys. Ain’t nobody pulling off their tops today.

February almost always looks better somewhere else.

In February 2014 I fled Bibleburg for Albuquerque. In 2016, I traded Albuquerque for Fountain Hills.

And this year?

Well, shit. I appear to be sheltering in place, like everybody else.

Well, maybe not everybody else.

At stupid-thirty I looked outside and noted that our neighbor to the west had laid down some tire tracks in the snow that fell overnight. It kept falling, and after sunrise, the neighbor to the east laid down a matching set on the other side of the cul-de-sac.

They both have jobs and munchkins to manage. Me, not so much. I don’t have to be anywhere, and so I’m not going there.

• Lone Star Update: In Texas Monthly Mimi Swartz feels her hurricane reflexes kick in as the power grid is pushed to the limit.

Blather warning

February 14, 2021

Cold? Yah. Blizzard? Nah.

The weather wizards are proclaiming a blizzard warning for the Duke City and its environs, but Boreas seems to have pissed off somewhere. Maybe he’s stalking Cupid.

Anyway, we have maybe an inch of snow on the deck, and some flurries continue, but the wind speed is far short of double digits.

It is colder than relations between Mitt Romney and Ron Johnson, but they’re both as rich as Croesus so I’m sure they’ll get over it.