Archive for the ‘Unreal estate’ Category

The high-priced spreads

October 16, 2016
Going down. Down, down, down, down, down.

Going down. Down, down, down, down, down.

More cycling, still more!

Yesterday I was riding the Nobilette through the steeps of Richie Rich country in northeastern Albuquerque. The idea is to cleanse the palate, flushing my system of everyone else’s bikes before I do a cannonball back into the deep end of the review pool beginning Monday.

No pix of the houses. Just their trees. I mean, you've seen one 12,000-square-foot house, you've seen 'em all.

No pix of the houses. Just their trees. I mean, you’ve seen one 12,000-square-foot house, you’ve seen ’em all.

The Nobilette has a Sugino triple (46/34/24), an Ultegra rear derailleur, and a nine-speed, 11-28 cassette, so spinning up the hills is a breeze, especially if that breeze is a tailwind. Plus it weighs 23 pounds, at least five pounds less than the typical review model.

I favor my Richie Rich route because it has almost zero traffic and plenty of climbing. Plus you get to see how the other half lives (large). One casita for sale along the way is listed for a million-five. Booyah.

While we’re discussing the lifestyles of the rich and famous, Insane Clown Pussy is still screeching about how the election he hasn’t even lost yet is “rigged.” Check those Florsheim prints on your little weenie, dude. I bet you find an exact match in one of your closets.

 

Sunset in Bibleburg

December 8, 2015
The sun retreats down an alley near Chez Dog.

The sun retreats down an alley near Chez Dog.

BIBLEBURG, Colo. (MDM) — One of the reasons posts have been few and far between lately is that Chez Dog is changing hands on Friday, and someone had to make the journey north to prepare the place for its new owners.

Guess who?

So I rented a Chevy van last Friday and motored back to The Old Home Place®, and I’ve been peeling the joint like an onion ever since.

Happily, the bulk of our proud-ofs are already in the Duke City. We mostly relied on thrift-store items to furnish the joint for our Airbnb guests. But a couple bits of furniture are nice enough that I wanted to bring them back to Albuquerque, along with my professional archives — 26 years’ worth of VeloNews and 23 of Bicycle Retailer. I should’ve had the movers fetch them along last year, but as you know, I will never be smart.

So I’ve been delivering items like some disheveled Santa Claus to various thrift stores, the Springs Rescue Mission, and Bike Clinic Too. If I can’t find a taker for our La-Z-Boy love seat, which folds into a nice single bed, I’ll take that to Habitat for Humanity.

The garage is emptied and swept, the basement is likewise barren, and the kitchen is down to the few bits one person needs for food preparation and service. The second bedroom holds a dismantled queen bed awaiting its new home, and the master bedroom will be in a similar state right after I have my java tomorrow morning.

Then we play “What Fits Into the Van?” Everything that doesn’t will get piled in the middle of the street, soaked in gasoline, and set on fire, and I will strip down to some strategic and very minimalist blue paint and dance around it and then. …

Uh, did I say that or only think it?

Actually, what happens next is I give the joint a quick wash and brushup, then piss off to a motel in preparation for a heavily laden, slow-motion cruise to the Duke City on Thursday.

I’ll miss the place, and the people. Don’t make the mistake of judging Bibleburg by its fools, knaves, charlatans, false prophets, homicidal lunatics, small hat sizes, pint-size Elmer Gantrys and John Galt wanna-bes. Those people are everywhere; that their headquarters is here is an unfortunate accident of history.

There are some fine folks living in the shadow of Pikes Peak, and one of these days they may build a city here. It’s a fine place for one.

Temporary quarters

November 11, 2015

When people think of the sacrifices made by the men and women in our armed forces, they tend to think in terms of deployment, combat and the strong likelihood of getting one’s arse shot off.

But there’s another forfeit that goes unnoticed — home ownership. While the military defends the nation’s homes and hearths, the citizens in uniform often must put their own American dreams on hold.

The old man (back row, right) in one of his earliest temporary billets, in New Guinea during World War II.

The old man (back row, right) in one of his earliest temporary billets, in New Guinea during World War II.

I don’t recall knowing any homeowners as a kid. We lived in Maryland, Virginia, Canada and Texas when I was a punk, and the old man either rented or arranged for quarters on base.

Sure, it’s possible to own a home while in the service, and we didn’t move around nearly as much as some folks did, but renting is still easier, even for officers. If you suddenly find yourself transferred from Ottawa to, say, Randolph AFB outside San Antonio, well, you have a house to sell. And in another country, too.

This shit rolls downhill to the dependents. When we lived in Ottawa I wanted a tree house. Nope, said the old man. That’s not our tree.

Between rental houses we got to experience the joys of Visiting Officers Quarters (VOQ), which were the early prototypes for what would become the Motel 6 chain. At least one unhappy customer said in 2008 that it was an open question whether the VOQ at Fort Drum were “preferable to field conditions.” I recall a few that were more KOA than VOQ, for sure.

But all things come to he who waits, and in 1967, when we were transferred from Randolph to Bibleburg, Col. Harold Joseph O’Grady finally got to buy his house (after 25 years of service and one final, astoundingly long run of stays in VOQ, BOQ and actual shitbox motels on Knob Hill, which was seedy even then).

He got to enjoy it for all of 13 years, and after that he took up permanent quarters at Fort Logan National Cemetery.

So here’s to all the troops waiting patiently for their slice of American pie. Try to save ’em some.

 

 

Step right up

October 24, 2015
You too can be the proud owner of the quality goes in before the name goes on.

You too can be the proud owner of the quality goes in before the name goes on.

DUKE CITY, New Mexico (MDM) — Well, we’ve done it. The ancestral manse in Bibleburg, legendary seat of the fabled O’Grady family, is on the market.

Everything checked out during this last visit: furnace, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, the works. I needed a functional furnace, too, as Thursday set another wet-weather record and the temps never got out of the 40s. The uniform of the day was strictly blue collar, jeans and long-sleeved denim shirt.

Diamonds on my windshield and rainbows in the rear view.

Diamonds on my windshield and rainbows in the rear view.

Having checked the forecast before leaving Duke City, I didn’t bother to bring a bike, and even did without running, deciding that splashing through chilly puddles is best kept shelved as a fading memory of my cyclo-cross career.

Instead I rearranged the living-room furniture; cleaned house and did laundry; tried and failed to get a spare key made for the front door (an old Wards key for a Corbin latch is surprisingly difficult to duplicate); and met with our real-estate agent and his son, who serves as his photographer.

I should’ve cleaned out the garage, too, but I didn’t have a flamethrower concealed somewhere about my person. Instead I settled for hanging a new shop light and loading all the skis and snowshoes into the Subaru. Then I got the hell out of Dodge.

Naturally, since I was driving instead of cycling or jogging, the weather was excellent, if a bit windy. There was a little rain outside Santa Fe, but nothing serious, just enough to generate a quality rainbow.

And now I’m back in El Rancho Pendejo, waiting on word of a buyer. All it takes is American money. Step right up. Step right up. Everyone’s a winner, bargains galore. … You can live in it, laugh in it, love in it.

 

Son of Unreal Estate (a continuing series)

October 21, 2015
Yeah, yeah, right, welcome, thanks, whatever.

Yeah, yeah, right, welcome, thanks, whatever.

BIBLEBURG, Colo. (MDM) — Heeeeeeee’s baaaaaaack. …

After an Airbnb guest raised doubts about how well the Chez Dog furnace was working, and a maid service said the clothes dryer was mostly a clothes tumbler, it was back to Bibleburg for Your Humble Narrator.

Heading for Taos.

Heading for Taos.

Our most recent guest checks out this morning, after which I’ll dash on over and cast a bloodshot eye on the situation. I suspect that the furnace issue has something to do with folks who insist on trying to operate a programmable Honeywell thermostat that they understand about as well as I understand the GOP, but the dryer could be an actual, you know, like, thing, and stuff.

This trip saves us the cost of the maid service this time around (just call me Hazel) and gives me a shot at resolving any other issues our real-estate agent thinks may need attention.

Plus the trip let me have lunch at Orlando’s New Mexican Cafe in Taos and dinner at The Margarita at Pine Creek in Bibleburg. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

Tell you what, though. As I was leaving the Duke City yesterday, motoring past all those colorfully clad cyclists scarfing up the endorphines on Tramway, I felt distinctly like Tom Sawyer sentenced to whitewashing while the other kids played. Even more so now that it’s raining. …