Archive for the ‘Snow’ Category

Bombcyclonesnowpacalypticarmageddonado*

March 14, 2019

We’re burning the furniture and roasting the slower neighbors while we wait for the Red Cross to airdrop emergency supplies.

* a.k.a. “bum cyclone.” Everybody sing! (To the tune of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!” from “Mary Poppins.)

Bombcyclonesnowpacalypticarmageddonado
Winter’s piling record-breaking drifts on Colorad-o
If you have some snowshoes to the pub you all may wade-o
Bombcyclonesnowpacalypticarmageddonado!

Fiddler on the roof

February 24, 2019

Who’s dumber, the guy who built the house with the flat roof
or the guy who bought it?

When I write my doctoral dissertation on snow removal it will be titled “Flat Roofs Are Stupid.”

White-line fever

February 20, 2019

Base camp at the overflow area in McDowell Mountain Regional Park, circa 2004.

It’s been a chilly, damp winter in Albuquerque, which isn’t saying much.

Still, it grates after a while, and never more so than during February, a month that is simultaneously too short and too long.

Herself has been to Costa Rica, the neighbors just fled to Mexico, and some other friends beat feet all the way to France.

And yet here I sit (no, this is not a poem, and it is specifically not that poem), rattling the bars on my window of opportunity and losing arguments with the voices in my head.

I’ve written often and at length about my irrational hatred for February, and I was getting set to do it again when I realized, “Hey, I’ve written often and at length about my irrational hatred for February. Why don’t I turn it into a podcast?”

Which I did. This is it. You’re welcome. Now hand me the snow shovel on your way out, would you? I want to smack myself in the head with it.

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Editorial notes: The “Mad Dog Unleashed” column headlined “On the Road Again: Frown Lines Search for a Few Tan Lines,” which is my onion at the bottom of this bitter pot of bitch stew, first appeared in the February 2004 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. My line about February having roots in the French “febrile” is, as you may already know, complete and utter bullshit. The Cactus Cup has returned to McDowell Mountain Regional Park since that 2004 column — this year’s edition is slated for March 8-10. And finally, did you know that Peter “Sneaky Pete” Kleinow, pedal steel player for The Flying Burrito Brothers, was also a visual-effects artist and stop-motion animator who worked on “Gumby?” Neither did I.

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with an Audio-Technica AT2035 microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder. I edited in Apple’s GarageBand on a 2014 MacBook Pro, adding audio acquired through fair means and foul via Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack (no profit was taken in an admittedly casual approach to various copyrights). Speaking of which, the pedal steel riff that closes the episode is from Merle Haggard’s “White Line Fever,” as performed by The Flying Burrito Brothers on their eponymous 1971 album. The background music is “Trapped” from Zapsplat.com. And the rewind sound is courtesy of TasmanianPower at Freesound.org.

Degrees of difficulty

January 22, 2019

It wasn’t what I’d call warm on Saturday, but the Big Yellow Ball was out in a blue, blue sky, so I had that going for me, which was nice.

Hmph. After six consecutive days of healthful outdoor exercise I thought I’d award myself a day of rest yesterday.

Should’ve kept an eye on the weather wizards. ’Cause today, it’s snowing again. Bah, etc.

Happily, I wrapped and shipped the latest “Quick Spin” video to Adventure Cyclist on Sunday, so I won’t have to check the integrity of those Jamis fenders today. Instead, I can go for a short run in the snow, see if I can find a new place to fall down.

And it could be worse. It could not be snowing in January, and come June I would be bitching about being on fire.

Or I could be an unpaid federal employee standing in line near the Trump International Hotel in DeeCee, waiting for some free food.

Radha Muthiah, president of the Capital Area Food Bank, tells The New York Times that her organization has had to reassess its targets, which now include people “making upward of $60,000 a year.”

“What was more interesting than the number were the types of calls: individuals who had never had to request food,” she said of those contacting the food bank. “Many had donated, but had never expected to be on the receiving end.

“What this experience is showing them is that so many of us live paycheck to paycheck. Any time of emergency — whether a medical emergency or something else — how quickly one can become vulnerable.”

Some federales are hunting other work, whatever they can find — babysitting, driving for Uber, substitute teaching. This may or may not keep other Americans from landing those jobs.

Notes FDA employee David Arvelo: “Who’s going to hire me not knowing how long I’m going to stick around?”

One common thread running through all these stories involves infernal combustion: people who suddenly can’t afford gas, insurance, car payments, whatever. The humble bicycle looks awfully good by comparison. Unless, of course, it’s snowing.

Limping into the new year

December 31, 2018

Tonight’s the last night for holiday lights.

The finish line is just around the corner. If we can just stay on our feet — never a sure thing — we’ll make it to 2019.

It’s been a week since I took my little tumble on the trail, and in that time I’d neither run nor ridden, reasoning that my crumbling temple of the soul needed a little quiet renovation.

Besides, it was cold out there. Snowy, too, and windy, with ice in the shady spots and everything. One of yis up north must have sent your miserable climate down here for a change of scenery.

Thus the cycling was right out. I’d managed a couple short, limpy walks, favoring that dodgy left knee, but skipped the resistance training ’cause my right mitt looked like a couple bucks’ worth of ground round. With a good thick bandage and heavy gloves I could shovel snow, and that was fine. Lifting weight with an actual purpose, don’t you know.

FInally, today everything seemed more or less in order, and as it started to snow again I tottered out for a short run. It felt weird at first; if you’ve ever tweaked a knee you know the feeling, the reluctance to put any serious weight on it, your stride having strayed, your mojo gone missing.

But gradually I loosened up and settled back into something like a rhythm, and while I pussyfooted around the icy patches I was able to shake off a few flakes of rust. When I got back to the ranch I even treated myself to a little quality time with the dumbbells.

No, not those dumbbells. I’m talking weights here. I’m still hoping to see the other dumbbells in the dock here directly. It’s gotta be Mueller Time one of these days.

As for the rest of yis, I hope to see you slouching around El Rancho Pendejo come the new year. Keep your heads in the clouds and your feet on the trail, and we’ll all join up on the flip side for another lap around old Sol.

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.

Voodoo economics

December 3, 2018

The first “real” snow of this not-quite-winter.

We got what I’d call our first real snow yesterday, probably because I had to drive Herself to the airport (the Universe is always on the lookout for ways to snatch a knot in my ass).

As real snows go it was fairly unreal, and the New Mexican sun was already dealing with it as I dropped her off and headed for home.

Elsewhere, Charles P. Pierce was occupied bringing light, heat and a metric shit-ton of knot-snatching to the legacy of George H.W. Bush.

I’d been trying to decide whether I had anything worthwhile to say about Poppy’s passing. There was no shortage of hagiography from the usual suspects, who seemed relieved to yap about something other than Il Douche shitting the national bed.

But all I could think of was “voodoo economics,” the one-two punch Bush v1.0 laid on Dutch Reagan’s fiscal acumen, such as it was.

When he transitioned smoothly from delivering that pop in the chops to joining the Gipper’s team as veep, I thought, “Fuck this guy.” And it seems ol’ Chazbo was thinking along similar lines. He summed up Bush v1.0’s political career as an extended exercise in “cheap theatrics … the pragmatic insincerity, the subcontracting of the hatchet job to a hired hand, the willingness to play a role, no matter how clumsily, in order to keep and maintain power.”

Quoth Charlie:

You will recall that, in 1980, he’d said the last sensible thing any Republican has said about the snake-oil that is supply-side economics. He called them “voodoo economics,” and he was dead-right. But he signed on as Reagan’s vice president anyway and, by 1988, he was getting up at the Republican National Convention and butching himself up by borrowing an idiotic line from an Arnold Schwarzenegger film. Read my lips. No new taxes!

As an authentic American patriot who did his bit during The Big One, Bush v1.0 didn’t need to descend to this sort of back-alley play-acting. Furthermore, as an authentic American patriot who did his bit during The Big One, he had a duty to call his party out on its descent into theocracy, willful ignorance, and fascism, but he never even cleared his throat, much less spoke up. Perhaps staff was unable to dredge up a suitable bon mot from the popular cinema, or he was all worn out from signing pardons for anyone who could rack him up like a second-hand suit over the Iran-contra scandal.

If you think that’s unkind, you should revisit Hunter S. Thompson’s thoughts on Bush v1.0, as I’ve been doing the past couple of days. In “The Scum of the Earth,” from his book “Generation of Swine,” HST wrote:

He has the instincts of a dung beetle. No living politician can match his talent for soiling himself in public. Bush will seek out filth wherever it lives — going without sleep for days at a time, if necessary — and when he finds a new heap he will fall down and wallow crazily in it, making snorting sounds out of his nose and rolling over on his back and kicking his legs up in the air like a wild hog come to water.

That the current occupant of the Oval Office makes Poppy look like a combination of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Pliny the Elder is no excuse for the ongoing failure of national memory. Props to Charlie Pierce for continuing to serve the Republic as that voice crying in the wilderness.

’Tis the last rose of summer

November 12, 2018

It’s not a poppy, but it will have to do.

This is a very confused rose.

It popped up a few days ago on the southwest side of El Rancho Pendejo, which proved fortunate, because the northeast sector is getting flogged by a light snow driven by a heavy wind. The thermometer tells me it’s 26F outdoors, feels like 16.

If I felt like 16 I might go out for my usual Monday-morning run. But I don’t, so I won’t. It seems a fine day to stay indoors and practice the guitar, script the next podcast, or fiddle with technology.

Over the weekend I hopscotched the 2009 iMac from Yosemite to High Sierra, and while the patient briefly took a turn for the worse yesterday, this morning I am cautiously optimistic.

For some time the auld fella has suffered from a bad case of thermal mismanagement that for no good reason cues the fans to crank up to swamp-boat ferocity.

Neither the Apple Geniuses nor I have been able to find the root cause, so I figured what the hell, give it a Dr. Gumbyesque brain transplant, and if it croaks on the table, well, off to the boneyard with it. Cupertino won’t even take this bucket of bytes as a trade-in; Apple’s GiveBack program deems both it and our 2010 Mini suitable only for recycling.

But ’ee’s not dead yet, and while ’ee may not be foolin’ anyone, it seems ’ee still doesn’t want to go on the cart.

How dry it am

January 21, 2018

The Bloo Voodoo Wazoo on Friday, before Old Man Winter laid his icy breath on the ’hood.

Break out the sled, hon’, the dog’s rarin’ to go.

One minute you’re tooling around in the Duke City dust, peeling off layers under sunny skies, and the next it’s 10-percenting all over the lawn.

Snowpocalypse it isn’t, but we’ll take every milliliter of moisture we can get.

In a few days we’ll be back at the New Normal — 50s and sunny — and the chains will return to singing “How Dry I Am.”

I may go for a run in this winter wonderland, and then again I may not. I feel like Herself is trying to share her cold with me, the trails may be treacherous, and you know how it is with the elderly, pneumonia and broken hips.

Looks like snow

April 30, 2017

Hal Walter demonstrates the capabilities of the Suzuki SX4 Snowplow Car.

And now, here’s Hal Walter with the weather! (Not brought to you by the Greater Crusty County-Weirdcliffe Association of Realtors®).