Saddle up, buckaroos

April 6, 2021

Longtime Friend of the Blog Hal Walter got a little teevee time on the Tube of You recently when Nancy Hobbs, executive director of the American Trail Running Association, popped round to his place with a videographer in tow.

Nancy wanted to chat about burro racing, which Hal has been doing for more than 40 years, winning seven world championships along the way. So naturally he had a few thoughts on the topic.

The video is a three-parter. The first is up top, and you can catch the others here and here.

Nesting

April 6, 2021

Through my office window I’ve seen this dove refurbing an old nest.
Now she’s in residence.

I knew I heard a hummingbird. We saw the little buzzbomb yesterday having a long drink at the feeder out back as we sat down to dinner.

Well, sir. Now it’s spring.

Out front, a dove has refurbished a wind-battered nest atop the wisteria. Same dove as last year? Beats me. I asked, she didn’t answer.

The rest of the world’s ills notwithstanding, I am very much enjoying getting up, making coffee, and checking the news to find out that nobody I know has bothered to collect and distribute the wit and wisdom of the previous occupant of the Oval Office.

That’s one bird whose song we can do without. Until the judge says, “Will the defendant please rise?”

Sprung

April 4, 2021

The ornamental plum lit up more or less overnight.

The Easter hare has delivered a basket of hard-boiled huevos.

Our weather widget reported 65 degrees by 9:30 this morning with the high expected to approach 80. Yesterday we topped out at 79, and it felt marvelous. It was the first day this year that I was able to start and finish a ride in shorts and short sleeves.

The foliage has exploded. You name it, it’s blooming, or trying to. Wisteria, ornamental plum and pear, maple, holly, lilac, and daffodils.

My snotlocker is paying the freight, but it’s tough to complain when you’re wandering around The Compound during the first week of April in shorts, sandals, and sunscreen.

 

April Fool’s Day is for the birds

April 2, 2021

Miss Mia is on the lookout for April fools.
Either that or birds building a nest on our roof.

April Fool’s Day has been consigned to the rear-view mirror, so it’s safe to navigate the Innertubes again.

Like St. Patrick’s Day, April Fool’s Day is for amateurs. Pros do their drinking and fooling year-round without regard for the calendar. Some of the marketing ploys soiling my in-box yesterday were weaker than watery green beer filtered through the kidneys.

I had no time for foolery yesterday. There were menus to devise, groceries to be purchased, bread to bake. Also, Herself’s CR-V required some attention from the Honda grease monkeys down on Lomas; this required me to engage with Albuquerque traffic, which is thick with fools year-round.

Why anyone would buy a new car in this burg remains a mystery to me. You might as well haul a sledgehammer down to the dealership and give your new ride a couple stout whacks before you roll off the lot, get used to the idea of driving a dentmobile like everyone else.

While parked at the curb in my own ratty beater I took a squint at this blog and saw that — in the mobile version, anyway — it remained buggered by WordPress and its filthy Gutenberg block editor, foisted upon the unsuspecting customer base by knaves, cutpurses, and coders who cannot be adjusted by sledgehammer, more’s the pity. So once I got back to El Rancho Pendejo I had to dive into the Classic editor and replace the text and image in the “Playing with blocks” post.

And all of this on a beautiful spring day, too. High in the 60s. Instead of a long bike ride I had to content myself with a 45-minute hike-slash-jog, which come to think of it was not half bad.

And that’s no foolin’.

The Salon Back East (Part II)

March 31, 2021

The album My Bloody Valentine released prior to Colm Ó Cíosóig’s visit to our little chateau in B-burg.

Back in 2013, when Herself and I were still Airbnb tycoons in the scenic Patty Jewett Yacht & Gun Club, we rented the House Back East to a young Mick name of Colm Ó Cíosóig, who was coming to Bibleburg for an international film festival.

Well, sir, Colm turned out to be the drummer for My Bloody Valentine, a group that pioneered a dreamy style of music dubbed “shoegaze.” And sociable fellow that he was, when the festival went all pear-shaped he popped round to ask if he could invite a few attendees back to the HBE for a bit of a bash.

We said sure, got invited to the do, and had a high old time.

Which brings me to my point: According to The New York Times, My Bloody Valentine will be making the majority of its catalog available for streaming, and reissuing it on vinyl. The group also has a new label and plans to release two new records, says Mother Times, in an interview with bandmate and co-founder Kevin Shields.

Look for the first to be “warm and melodic,” with the second more experimental. The time frame is uncertain, but Shields sounds like he’s ready to rock.

“Time is a bit more precious,” he told the NYT. “I don’t want to be 70-something wanting to make the next record after ‘m b v.’ I think it’d be cooler to make one now.”

Playing with blocks

March 31, 2021

I came back from a 7-mile hike to find a buggered WordPress interface.

Here’s something I don’t like: Unasked-for, unannounced and unwanted changes to a product I use daily.

WordPress pulled one of these switcheroos on me yesterday, reconfiguring its “navigation experience” to make managing its sites “more intuitive.”

“For many of you, there will be little to no change in how you use WordPress.com,” wrote Austin Lao on the WordPress blog yesterday. The many did not include the one, which is to say this one. Me.

Engineers gotta engineer, I guess. But still, damn.

Tucked into the “enhancements” to the “navigation experience” appears to be a forced shift from the old “Classic” CMS to the Gutenberg block editor, which I have been resisting because I don’t like anything about it.Â

For starters, “intuitive?” Me bollocks. The old “New Post” tool was intuitive. The new one is riddled with perplexing popups and hidden widgets. I’ll find them eventually, I imagine. But it’s gonna be like digging in the back yard for buried treasure. Might be there; might not be.

It’s a small thing to complain about. I mean, out in the real world people are still catching The Bug®, drinking poison water, or getting boned by Matt Gaetz (eeeeeeeyeeewwwwwww).

But still, damn.

I’ve posed the traditional “WTF?” to WordPress. While I await a reply, I’m back in kindergarten, playing with blocks.

Update: One of WP’s “happiness engineers” showed me how to unplug The Great and Powerful Oz. Fuck that guy. Not the happiness engineer, the Wizard. Anyway, with any luck atall atall we’re back on track here.

WordPress-ganged

March 30, 2021

Don’t touch that dial.

Well. It seems WordPress has inflicted some more “improvements” upon its users. So, ’ray for us, right?

Eh, not so much.

I’m not certain but it seems that the sonsabitches have used their latest enhancement to the “navigation experience” to pry us out of the old-school CMS and into the Gutenberg block editor. I’ll have to root around under the hood a bit before I know for certain.

In the meantime, we may suffer from bloggus interruptus for a spell while I bang on a few things with this here ball-peen hammer.

Demonic

March 29, 2021

The Mud Stud will have to settle for getting sick air on his own bike.

As plague restrictions loosen their grip in some jurisdictions, some of us may be eagerly anticipating the rubbing of elbows with kindred spirits at bike festivals.

But if any of these Gatherings of the Tribes actually occur, they’re liable to be strictly BYOB (Bring Your Own Bike). Because there aren’t any demo models to be had.

As Niner Bikes’ Zach Vestal told Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, demos are designed to drive consumer demand, which is already off the charts. Why hang a giant pair of carbon-fiber tits on a bull market?

“It hasn’t made any sense for us to maintain a fleet of bikes for people to ride when people are buying bikes at a pace we’ve never seen before,” Vestal said.

Added Yeti’s Kyle Rajaniemi: “We’re really focused on making sure our dealers can maintain their sales momentum and deliver bikes to customers.”

The good news is, with the Ever Clear finally pried free of its impromptu anchorage, container ships won’t have to sail round the Horn to your friendly neighborhood IBD.

Spring broke

March 28, 2021

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, you had a birthday. Big whup.
There better be a grand-do and foofaraw when my birthday
rolls around in August, is what.”

Miss Mia Sopaipilla wants to know if all this birthday bushwa is over and done with.

The only birthday that counts as far as she is concerned is her own, which falls sometime in August. Miss Mia joined us in late October 2007, almost immediately after the passing of Chairman Meow, and Herself recollects that she was 10 to 12 weeks old at the time.

Miss Mia, not Herself. Herself is younger than me, but not that much younger.

Meanwhile, now that spring break is over — sorry, kids! — it seems we’re in for some tasty weather, with highs in the 60s and 70s over the next 10 days. Thus cycling of the outdoor variety is strongly indicated. I may even collect a few long-overdue tan lines. We’ve been short on shorts weather in the high desert so far this year.

All in all, it seems a fine time to be childless, with education completely out of sight in the old rear-view mirror. Albuquerque Public Schools will reopen on April 5, for a full five days per week, but students have the option of continuing with remote learning until the school year ends on May 25.

This must be a fun choice for the parents. If you choose school learning, you’ll probably have to transport the kiddos to and fro yourself, because APS expects to be short of bus drivers. If you choose remote learning, you get to continue being an unpaid teacher’s assistant.

Unless your boss calls you back to work. And what if you’re not one of the lucky people who can work from home? How does a teacher handle a class that’s have actual, half virtual? Many questions, few answers.

It’s going to be educational, in more ways than one.

Viejo pendejo

March 27, 2021

Not dead yet, but not fooling anyone, either.

Happy birthday to me

I am old, as you see

Bald, wrinkled, and smelly

Plus it hurts when I pee.

 

Ho hum. Another year, another decidedly muted celebration.

Last year I rode 66 minutes on the stationary trainer, being slightly stove up. This year … to be honest, I’m not feeling it. The whole birthday-ride thing.

Sixty-seven miles? Not gonna happen. Sixty-seven kilometers? Nuh uh. Sixty-seven minutes? Maybe, but not on a trainer. That much I know for certain.

It’s not a “Duane’s Depressed” kind of situation. I don’t have a pickup to park, or a shack to walk to. Anyway, I’m waiting on our yard guy to come around and tell me how much money he needs for his next trip to Vegas.

But afterward maybe I’ll take a page from ol’ Duane’s story and go for a 6.7-mile walk. I do have these feet at the ends of my legs, and I don’t have to air ’em up or grease ’em or nothin’.