Archive for the ‘The House Back East™’ Category

Unreal estate (a continuing series)

October 9, 2015
Pikes Peak as seen from the temporary HQ of the Mad Dog Media Whirled Hindquarters.

Pikes Peak as seen from the temporary HQ of the Mad Dog Media Whirled Hindquarters.

BIBLEBURG, Colo. (MDM) — Oh, lawd, we’re just burning up that ol’ country road lately. First to Sin City, and now to to Galt’s Gulch, where they’ve got theirs and by God and Ayn Rand you’d better get yours.

Chez Dog, pictured shortly after the hailstorm that welcomed me back to the 'hood.

Chez Dog, pictured shortly after the hailstorm that welcomed me back to the ‘hood.

It being fall and all we decided it was time to check up on the Old Home Place©, in part because we like to have the storm windows in place and the furnace in working order when the snow flies, and in part because our helpers with Project Airbnb decided they were over it with a couple clients still queued up in the hopper.

So here I am, back in the libertarian laboratory, comfortably ensconced in a Hilton property on points after a couple days of fix-’em-up around Chez Dog™.

One of our summertime guests had decided to augment the airflow through the joint by removing several of the glass panels in the old aluminum storm windows. These are self-storing bits, mind you — slide ’em up to let a cooling breeze flow through the screen during the heat of the day, slide ’em down to preserve interior warmth come evening — but no, apparently they had to be removed entirely. Probably the same knucklehead who wondered why the air conditioning that we don’t have wasn’t working properly.

So those have been cleaned, lubed, repaired as necessary, and replaced. The thermostat has been reprogrammed (should’ve dusted it for knucklehead prints). And the joint has been otherwise spic’d, and also span’d, and our latest guest is in residence. I’ll tidy up after him in preparation for the next lot, which arrives middle of next week, spend a couple days committing cycling journalism, squeeze in a bike ride or two or three, meet with a painter about the back deck, and then fire up the rice rocket for re-entry to Planet Albuquerque.

With all this going on I haven’t had much time to pay attention to the news, which is probably just as well, because I already have grave doubts about the state of the Republic and shit like this and this and this is not exactly easing my mind.

Thank God for Elvis Costello.

 

Boyz in the ‘hood

August 22, 2015
Chez Dog is looking pretty sharp despite a little rough treatment from the recent wet weather.

Chez Dog is looking pretty sharp despite a little rough treatment from the recent wet weather.

I took a little road trip back to Bibleburg this week.

The main goal was to check up on Chez Dog, which we rent through Airbnb. The back sidewalk has taken a pounding from the weather — as has just about everything else in town — and needs replacing. Likewise the garage requires some minor repairs and paint.

Dennis the Menace and Dr. Schenkenstein take the long view atop Bear Creek East, a once-active cyclo-cross venue.

Dennis the Menace and Dr. Schenkenstein take the long view atop Bear Creek East, a once-active cyclo-cross venue.

Whilst in the ‘Burg I checked in with a bunch of friends and neighbors: Ted and Diane, who help us with the Airbnb thing; Steve and Doris, who like Herself are Librarians Gone Wrong; Alley Mike, a disgruntled Comcast subscriber who was irked at being unable to watch the USA Pro Challenge (Corner Mike was at large and unavailable for comment); Judy, who rents The House Back East®; John Crandall, owner of Old Town Bike Shop; John O’Neill, who ramrods The Colorado Running Company (and whose Hebrew name is Usuk, pronounced “You suck”); and of course Dr. Schenkenstein and Dennis the Menace, with whom I enjoyed an invigorating ‘cross-bike ride through Bear Creek Regional Park, where Team Mad Dog Media-Dogs At Large Velo once ran cyclo-crosses back in the day.

The old libertarian laboratory is in something of a state these days, with all the local John Galts pointing at each other and saying, “Hey, you don’t like it, you fix it, because freedom, Jeebus, and guns, etc.”

The latest wrinkle is a proposed increase in the sales tax, a typically regressive non-solution that will place the billion-dollar burden of repairing the local infrastructure squarely on the backs of Those People, the ones who already can’t afford bootstraps by which to hoist themselves up. Them, and the tourists, who of course are fair game everywhere. Slow elk, is what.

I always enjoy going back for a visit. Chez Dog is a nifty little place, and a guy who knows his way around can still have a pretty good time in Bibleburg. There’s The Blue Star, Tapateria, and of course Ivywild School, home to Bristol Brewing Co. And if someone manages to root up a billion smackeroos somewhere, why, the place may once again have roads and trails that can be navigated without the need to liberate a tracked vehicle from Fort Cartoon.

Until then, I’m content to remain an interested out-of-towner.

 

Property rights (and wrongs)

April 24, 2015
The weather wasn't all that welcoming, despite the sign.

The weather wasn’t all that welcoming, despite the sign.

Rather than chance being mistaken for Helen Collins and Doug Bruce, Herself and I decided we (meaning Your Humble Narrator) should dash up to Colorado to check on our vast real-estate holdings, make sure they hadn’t been turned into meth labs, crack houses or empty, boarded-up, Collins-Bruce-style blights on the community.

The back deck needed a few new boards.

The back deck needed a few new boards.

This I did, earlier this week, and I’m happy to report that the only boards involved were the three replaced in Chez Dog’s winter-ravaged back deck by Senior Executive Dude With Tools and Skills Dennis “Heavy D” Collard, who had a few uncommitted moments in his busy schedule that I was happy to fill for him, knowing from experience that idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

The weather did a number on the back sidewalk, too, so I asked a local concrete merchant to estimate the cost of repairs. I checked in with our friend and tenant Judy, comfortably ensconced in The House Back East®, and chatted up a couple other members in good standing of the Patty Jewett Yacht & Cricket Club.

And finally, I did a quick inspection tour of the interior of Chez Dog, the operative word being “quick,” as a certain somebody had rented the joint out from under me and the paying customers would be checking in the next day.

Chez Dog is still standing ... and, thanks to Herself, still earning.

Chez Dog is still standing … and, thanks to Herself, still earning.

I had planned a rather leisurely stay in The Old Home Place®, catching up with friends and neighbors while performing my slumlordly duties, then fetching a few more bikes home to Duke City.

But when money comes a-knockin’, Herself is always right there at the door to greet it. So instead of chillaxin’ in the ‘hood for a spell, I blew 40,000 Hilton points on two days at the Homewood Suites.

The Hilton it ain’t. Shit, it ain’t even Chez Dog. Feeble coffee, punk grub, and I was reminded once again why we don’t pay for television. The bed was comfy, though.

After two days of that I was burning up the road back to Rancho Pendejo, with a short stop in Taos to take on sustenance at Orlando’s New Mexican Cafe. Their Los Colores platter is a marvelous restorative.

 

Lord, I'm southbound.

Lord, I’m southbound.

The Salon Back East

November 26, 2013
PBR

Pabst Blue Ribbon, the choice of international filmmakers everywhere.

Herself and I were briefly patrons of the arts this week.

We had rented the House Back East™ to a gent name of Colm Ó Ciosóig, who was coming to town for an international film festival. Herself wondered how his name was pronounced — and so did I, being fluent only in American, Filth and Drunkard — so I looked it up.

Turns out Colm — a very pleasant fellow indeed — is the drummer for and one of the founding members of the band My Bloody Valentine, which recently concluded a yearlong world tour in support of its latest album, m b v.

• My Bloody Valentine’s YouTube page

Colm is also a film aficionado who shoots many of the backgrounds for the band’s shows, and he wangled a freebie to attend the TIE-Alternative Measures festival by agreeing to DJ at the closing soirée.

But it seems the festival endured a few hiccups and finally ended badly — some class of a dispute pitted the artists against the organizer — and come Sunday evening Colm popped round to inquire whether he might host a gathering of filmmakers next door. We were invited to join them.

We said sure, and before long there were a couple dozen artists, musicians and filmmakers from around the globe crowding the tiny house, merrily chattering away over barley pops. They were all quite delightful, and included us in their conversations, asking about the States and Bibleburg and complimenting the House Back East®. Marv’, the old saloon musician, would have had a wonderful time.

It was amusing to note that a thirst for Pabst Blue Ribbon is apparently not just a proletarian pose adopted by Yankee hipsters, because nearly everyone in attendance brought a suitcase of the stuff (we contributed a bottle of Bushmills). But perhaps the altitude affected consumption, because there was more than quite a bit left over after the party ended — about three and a half suitcases worth. A gaggle of journalists would have gargled the lot and eaten the cans.

So Monday afternoon, after Colm and the others had departed, I decided to support another class of artist — I hauled two suitcases down to Old Town Bike Shop as a gift to its long-suffering mechanics, who are always giving me freebies on annoying bits of work when by rights they should be charging me double.