Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

Not so bad

February 1, 2022

I practically had the Elena Gallegos Open Space to myself.

“February is an awful fucking month just about everywhere.” — Kevin Barry, “Extremadura (Until Night Falls)”

Truer words, etc. I have spent many awful fucking Februaries in many awful fucking places, among them my own head.

But Feb. 1 in The Duck! City was not too fucking awful.

I logged 90 minutes of trail time on the Voodoo Nakisi; didn’t fall over or nothin’. Bought some groceries, baked a loaf of bread, picked up a paperback copy of “Station Eleven.” Anybody watched the HBO miniseries?  I’m looking forward to seeing whether Emily St. John Mandel’s vision suffered in translation from print to video. She told The New York Times that the show “deepened the story in a lot of really interesting ways.”

But then she’s Canadian, and you know how nice they are.

Meanwhile, the next few days of February here may meet Kevin Barry’s standard, which is frightening, because he haunts the west of Ireland, where they know from awful fucking Februaries. Herself, who has visited County Sligo, where Barry hangs his hat, recalls many a fine soft day so.

Maybe it’ll make a novelist of me. Nah. Canada didn’t get it done, and Albuquerque’s coming off the bench awfully fucking late in the game.

Here’s mud in your eye (or not)

January 30, 2022

My 1998 Steelman Eurocross didn’t get muddy today, either.
I’da wanted mud, I’da had to pee a damp spot into the dust.

The great thing about being a retired cycling scribe is that if there’s a race going on that you don’t care about, you don’t have to watch.

So instead of finding some way to catch cyclocross worlds over the Innertubes, I went out and rode my own damn cyclocross bike for 90 minutes.

Your Humble Narrator on the job during a rare soft day at the Bear Creek Cyclo-cross. As you can see, I am a veritable blur of activity.

I watched one lap of yesterday’s women’s race on YouTube earlier in the day, and that was enough. The Fayetteville course looks like a lot of fun, and I hope it hosts many years of exciting racing.

But I’m sorry. I gotta have filth.

No knock against the race organization — they couldn’t get a hammerlock on the Arkansas legislature, so you know they can’t control the weather — but I gots to have me some evil weather, mud and/or snow, equipment failures, spectacular crashes, pit strategy, and all the rest of the unpredictability sweepstakes that keeps a ’cross from turning into a dirt crit.

I promoted a few dirt crits in my day, but in my defense I will say that the Dogs at Large Velo races in Bibleburg were always intended to provide a gentle transition from road season to ’cross season. Occasionally we got a bit of weather to make the Bear Creek course interesting, but generally it was pretty predictable.

Me, I lived for the sloppy conditions we’d get at Chatfield, Fort Collins, or the horse park in Franktown. The kind of race where you spend so much time off the bike and running that your cyclocomputer goes to sleep. And you have to clean up in a nearby car wash afterward — bike, spare bike, and kit —  because the wife caught you doing it in the shower once and you’re lucky she still lets you into the house, much less your slime-soaked gear.

Of course, the course and conditions don’t seem to have much effect on the actual finishing order. I notice the strong people mostly win wherever and whenever.

So, congrats to all the freshly minted world champions in Fayetteville. I hope that shiny new kit gets dirty one of these days.

Dune buggy

October 23, 2021

Your Humble Narrator cultivates desert power.

I’m not casting a very long shadow around here lately.

Frankly, there’s not been much to report. That little tease La Niña is in town again and I’ve been chasing her around on the ol’ bikey bikes.

While all you Left Coast/PNW types deploy your parasols and Gore-Tex your loins against the Million-Pound Aquahammer, we here in the desert Southwest are enjoying a balmy period which makes us forget that before long we will be drinking our own sweat and tears, like Paul Atreides and his mom in “Dune.”

Yep, we watched Part I on HBO Max, and it was a’ight, pretty damn fine actually, not bad atall atall. Made the 1984 David Lynch flick look even worse than it actually was, which was pretty fucking bad.

Denis Villeneuve’s take on the Frank Herbert novel might’ve worked better as an HBO series; then he could’ve used a scalpel instead of a cleaver to move things along over the course of a season or two. But only a geek like myself, a science-fiction dweeb who’s read the book 1,207,275 times, is liable to grouse about the subtleties steamrollered to make the narrative march.

Too, if a series proved successful, there would be the temptation to milk the rest of the “Dune” tales. (We may have to deal with this in any case.) Me, I lost interest after trudging through “Dune Messiah” and “Children of Dune,” which is a very short trek indeed through the vast Duniverse.

Anyway, Rebecca Ferguson is the best of the bunch as Lady Jessica, and Timothée Chalamet is a whole lot better than I expected as Paul. He brings a whiff of Nic Cage and maybe a soupçon of Christian Bale to the role. Meanwhile, Javier Bardem as Stilgar is definitely channeling Anthony Quinn’s Auda abu Tayi from “Lawrence of Arabia.”

And the Hans Zimmer score is a character all its own, though digging it through our obsolete surround-sound system was like listening to the London Philharmonic performing Metallica over a walkie-talkie.

Still, it beat squeezing into the old stillsuit, flagging down a passing sandworm, and crossing the Duke City desert to the Harkonnen IMAX. We got beverages around here ain’t even been drunk once yet.

Sore arms and sunshine

April 26, 2021

Sunny, warm, and windy. Don’t smoke ’em if you got ’em, please.

Well, here we are, enjoying our first Monday of total vaccination.

Not really. It’ll be a couple weeks before we’re deemed properly armed against The Bug® v1.0. But we’ve both had both shots, and so far the side effects seem mostly minimal.

Herself required a longish nap the day after she got stuck, and so did I. Sore arms for both of us, too. But the procedures went even more smoothly than before, zip and zip and zip. I’ve seen slower Golden Pride drive-thrus.

Before bagging some Z’s yesterday I went out for a short stroll to keep all the pivot points well oiled. It was shorts weather. The official high was 83 degrees, three short of the record and 11 above normal. Less than an inch of precip’ since Jan. 1. “No significant weather was observed,” adds the NWS. Ohhhhhh-kay.

Today we have more of the same, with single-digit humidity and winds from the southwest that could hit 50 mph. We’re already had a couple small fires in Torrance and San Miguel counties and it would be nice if we didn’t have any more, please and thank you.

In other weather news, freak cold snaps devastate vineyards in France. In The Washington Post, Rick Noack writes: “By the end of France’s big freeze, at least one third of this year’s wine harvest and many other crops were lost, in what by some estimates was the country’s worst agricultural disaster of the century. It may take years for some vineyards to recover.”

I guess we’ll all be smoking weed before much longer. That shit will grow anywhere, under any conditions. The roaches will be toking up long after Gaia has given us the shove.

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

February 12, 2021

Red sky at morning, Mad Dogs take warning.

So much for the days of knickers and short sleeves.

I’ve gotten out every day this week, including two short trail rides — the first on a Steelman cyclocross bike, the second on the DBR hardtail — and one short but luxurious hike on a day so warm I could roll up my sleeves and go bareheaded, get a little vitamin D into the old chrome-dome.

A fella has to make hay while the sun shines, don’t you know. The weather wizards predict a wintry one-two punch this weekend, with the Duke City getting the worst of it on Sunday.

In the meantime, we were treated to a colorful sunrise this morning. A warning if ever I saw one.

 

Fiddling while Rome burns

November 24, 2018

Nero didn’t get it either and cashed out the hard way.

OK, let’s see if I’ve got this right:

“A major scientific report issued by 13 federal agencies on Friday presents the starkest warnings to date of the consequences of climate change for the United States, predicting that if significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming, the damage will knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century’s end.”

In response, the courtiers attending His Most Pissant Majesty, King Donald the Short-fingered, Terror of Twitter, are focused like the proverbial laser beam on whether trans folk may serve in the Empire’s armed forces.

Got it. Makes perfect sense. See, if they’re not camping in camo’ down by The Wall*, or using the wrong latrines in Afghanistan, they’ll be available to fight fire and flood elsewhere, p’raps in more fashionable neighborhoods, in order that the gentry may be both protected and entertained.

* Wall not pictured. Or even built.

Property rites

September 7, 2017

The fabled House Back East®, soon to be under new management. Or so we hope, anyway. …

Hoo, nuts around here lately.

The House Back East™ in Bibleburg is under contract (for the second time in a week). Down here in the Duke City, meanwhile, the tree dude is popping round tomorrow to (what else?) have a squint at El Rancho Pendejo’s trees. The Furster, a.k.a. Air Subaru, gets a cautionary peek under the hood on Monday. ERP’s HVAC gets likewise on Tuesday.

And I finally found an affordable bike to review for the Adventurous Cyclists.

Whew.

Also, I got released from jury duty this afternoon. Hauled into court twice in three weeks, but never got to hear a case. Always a bridesmaid, etc., et al., and so on and so forth. Good for about $60 if the robes actually pay a guy for sitting on his ass … which, come to think of it, is what I do for a living, albeit at a slightly higher pay scale and in sloppier garb.

Most definitely not sitting on her ass is my sister-in-law Beth, who with her husband are beating it out of the bullseye Hurricane Irma has sketched on the east coast of Florida.

Herself thought they were bound for Pensacola, just a hop, skip and jump from the ancestral moonshining grounds of the O’Gradys in Perry. May the road rise up to meet them, but in a nice way.

 

This blows

January 22, 2015

Ah, jaysis, the banshees were howlin’ last night at Rancho Pendejo.

The winds commenced just past bedtime and have yet to abate. ‘Twas like trying to sleep in a 1972 Ford Econoline van with four bald retreads, a vacuum leak and a couple cardboard windows bouncing down a dirt road with a payload of galvanized duct, empty Coors cans and snare drums.

The cats were yowling like devils and the fireplace screen was flapping like Lindsey Graham’s gob and the wind chimes sounded like each and every one of the sonsabitches was being played by an itty bitty Quasimodo who’d gotten into the blue meth.

The Boo, naturally, slept right through it all. He’s asleep right now, the one-eyed little slacker, in his donut next to my iMac.

I may just curl up next to him. Right after I drive a letter opener into both eardrums and shoot a little smack.

Hail, hail, the hail’s all here

May 21, 2014
Hands down the worst hailstorm I've ever seen.

Hands down the worst hailstorm I’ve ever seen.

Well, that was a spot of fun. A massive hailstorm just roared through and beat the mortal shit out of every tree in the ‘hood.

Check out the size of those hailstones. Mind you, this is after they've melted a bit.

Check out the size of those hailstones. Mind you, this is after they’ve melted a bit.

Our house looks like Odin was displeased with dinner and threw his salad at it. The House Back East™, likewise.

I’m no arborist, so I have no idea how well, or if, our silver maple will recover from the pounding it took. Damn, I love that tree, too.

True to form, the sun is now out and it’s sandals-and-shorts weather.

 

On the sunny side of the … alley

May 14, 2014
The Bianchi Zurigo Disc, coming soon to a Pikes Peak Greenway Trail near you.

The Bianchi Zurigo Disc, coming soon to a Pikes Peak Greenway Trail near you.

Colorado being Colorado, we’re cycling through a wide range of weather possibilities this week — cloudy, sunny, chance of thunderstorms, plague of toads; you get the idea.

Speaking of cycling, there’s a new bike in the garage. It’s a Bianchi Zurigo Disc, and it’s slotted in right behind the Salsa Vaya for review in Adventure Cyclist.

This is not your granddaddy’s touring bike. In fact, if you were to mistake it for a cyclo-cross bike, you’d be forgiven, in part because it’s named in honor of the 1967 ‘cross worlds in Zurich (won by Renato Longo of Italy) and in part because, well … because it’s a bloody cyclo-cross bike.

The $1,799 Zurigo has an aluminum frame and carbon fork, knobby Kenda Kwicker 700×32 tires, and a SRAM Apex 10-speed drivetrain (48/34 up front, 11-32 in back). But it also has eyelets for mounting fenders and a rear rack, so a quick-and-dirty, lightly loaded tour is not out of the question.

I hope to get one of those in here directly, if weather and work permit. We have something of a full plate here in Dog Country from May through July, and a little road trip would do wonders to flush out the headgear.