Courting disaster

June 24, 2022

Wet enough for ya?

The authorities have found a big, fat snake in Florida.

And they’ve captured an 18-foot, 215-pound Burmese python too.

(Rimshot.)

The big news here in New Mexico is that the Forest Circus has decided we’ve had enough monsoon to reopen the forests for fun and frolic. So if your idea of a good time is pitching a tent in a puddle of West Nile Starter Kit, cultivating moss on your north side, and shredding some soggy gnar-gnar, why, knock yourself out.

Mind you, this edict comes from the same geniuses who lit ’em up in the first place, so please refrain from celebrating with fireworks.

And pack a fire extinguisher. Just in case.

Finally, to absolutely no one’s surprise, the Supremes have croaked Roe v. Wade. This is your regularly scheduled reminder that elections matter.

Saturation

June 22, 2022

Splish, splash, etc.

They said it would rain, and they did not lie.

We’ve gotten 0.38 inch since o-dark-thirty this morning, and while the Big Spigot seems to have been turned off for the moment, it’s due to open right back up this afternoon. Meanwhile, the wind is working overtime, trying to dry everything up again.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, wisdom remains elusive. I thought I was on the ball yesterday, slipping out for a short trail run in the late morning before the weather turned. But the afternoon proved dry and delightfully cool, ideal for cycling. And today is as you see, perfect for … for … well, for staying indoors, is what.

A smart fella would’ve ridden yesterday and run today. But as we all know, I will never be smart.

For instance, I fail to appreciate the brilliance of a gas-tax “holiday,” though Prez Joe clearly thinks it’s a swell idea.

Blast from the past.

First, there’s no guarantee that Big Oil won’t snatch up any newfound savings for itself as demand increases but supply does not. Second, it would mean less money in the Highway Trust Fund for Infrastructure Week, whenever that comes around. And third — it’s chump change.

As business economist Garrett Golding at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas told The New York Times: “It sounds like something is being done to lower gas prices, but there’s not a whole lot of there there.”

Mind you, I drive almost not at all, filling up the old rice rocket more or less quarterly. I don’t have a job to go to, or kids to ferry around and about. Your mileage may vary.

But as anyone who rides a bicycle knows, no matter how much the go-juice costs, there is an awful lot of automobile traffic on the roads at all hours of the day and night. These trips can’t all be mandatory; there’s plenty of elective driving going on there too.

Maybe instead of rifling the federal couch cushions for loose change and pretending it’s buried treasure, we should be reducing demand, which is the only real way to cut prices. Is your trip necessary?

It’s June, and soon the monsoon

June 21, 2022

You can’t spell “monsoon” without “soon.”

It’s the summer solstice, and when I arose at stupid-thirty to make breakfast for Herself it sounded like a Tarzan movie outside.

No rain overnight, unless you count the deluge of evil tidings from far and near. Chama is out of water. “The Sedition Show” continues in DeeCee. And the less said about Texas the better. (There’s actually very little that’s new in the outrage du jour, as Texas Monthly reminds us. Molly Ivins could I.D. this crowd with her eyes closed, which they are, more’s the pity.)

But the North American Monsoon is expected to resume here directly, which, yay. It may not be ideal for cycling, but I have bikes with fenders. And the trees drink that stuff up like my people hitting a pint of the black. Even the federales have a hard time setting you on fire when you’re soaked to the core.

Gata gallivant

June 19, 2022

The patio gets power-washed.

What a difference a rain makes.

At 9:15 a.m. the temp was just 60 degrees. A few days back the overnight low was higher.

The official precip’ tally for the past two days is 0.58 inch, or about half again what we had received all year long before the monsoons kicked in. Our widget shows 0.71 inch.

And it was still raining when we got up. Might keep raining for a while, too, if you believe the Wizards, who have greatly improved their batting average lately.

I rode a bike with fenders yesterday, and yes, I needed them. Not often, but still, glad I had ’em. Cyclists in the desert look askance at a bike with fenders until they’re sporting the chilly Brown Stripe up the backside of their bibs. Then they’re all like, “Hm, good idee,” as they’re doing the laundry and hosing the grit off their drivetrains.

Miss Mia Sopaipilla celebrated the change in the weather with a fine gallivant this morning, launching off the furniture, rocketing around the house, and diving in and out of a paper bag in my office, before finally tunneling under our bedspread and curling up for an extended snooze.

A nap sounds like an even better idea than fenders. But I haven’t had my gallivant yet.

Aqua fina

June 18, 2022

We might get another water delivery from this lot.

Yesterday’s clouds moved beyond the decorative for a change.

The official tally was a quarter-inch of precip’, but out here in The Duck! City Foothills our widget recorded 0.36 inch. We’ll take it.

One of the little girls from next door came bounding over as we stood in the driveway, soaking up a welcome bit of drizzle, and announced that she had “prayed to God” to lay a little rain on us. We thanked her for her service and wondered why we hadn’t thought of that. Probably better to send the kid on that errand, I thought. Cuter, with a shorter rap sheet.

Up north, Fanta Se moved quickly to reopen some trails shuttered by fear of fire, according to The New Mexican. Down to here, the press pivoted to other concerns: the potential for flooding at burn scars and/or homeless people surfing the arroyos down to the Rio, that sort of thing. Every silver lining must have a dark cloud.

We threw open doors and windows and let the cool morning breeze wash over us. Took a few deep, cleansing breaths. We’ll be sweating things again soon enough.

Pissing and moaning

June 17, 2022

This started out smelling like rain, but what did we get?
Nothing but heartache.

They promise rain, but all we get is fire.

The North American Monsoon is a couple of days late. And I expect a few long-haul truckers may be running behind schedule too, with a 30-acre brush fire closing eight miles of Interstate 40 westbound, from Zuzax to Carnuel, and the eastbound lane of NM 333 from Tramway to Tijeras.

The thing lit up 5-ish yesterday evening with a real stiff wind from the east, and here at El Rancho Pendejo we could see aircraft trying to piss it out, so as the crow and/or smoking ember flies it was a good deal closer to home than we like. Many local roadies, among them Your Humble Narrator, get their kicks on NM 333, a.k.a. Old Route 66.

We had gotten a whole bunch of not much in the way of journalism about the fire by bedtime last night — a paywall from the Journal and a couple drive-bys from the TV people — so, after checking New Mexico Fire Info a few times we decided to roll the dice and hit the rack.

Today we awakened to another warm, dry morning and very little in the way of news about our neighborhood scorcher. There’s some confusion about whether I-40 is open again, but it seems certain that 333 is a no-go this morning as a bridge and power lines get a look-see.

The good news is that the monsoon is back on the menu today. It goes without saying that we will believe this when we see the blessed water falling from the skies. Who knows? The local journos might even give it a writeup.

‘Virga’ mi verga

June 13, 2022

Wet dream.

The NWS calls it “virga,” which means “rain that evaporates before it reaches the ground due to very dry air above the surface and below cloud base.”

But they should really call it “verga,” which means “dick,” which is what you get. And a dry hump it is, too.

Rain? Sheeyit. We got better odds of seeing a sensible gun-control measure clearing the Senate and Beelzebozo doing the perp walk.

Lemons and lemonade

June 12, 2022

Looks like another scorcher out there today.

El Presidente made it to Fanta Se OK, so I guess nobody stole his car during his brief sojourn in The Duck! City.

It must ease the mind to have a coterie of swole dudes with earpieces riding shotgun on your road trips. Oh, they’re not as heavily armed as our typical teenage tosspot swerving a stolen Honda Civic through The Big I, one hand on the horn and the other out the window, its extended middle digit expressing his fervent desire that all who see it enjoy a ride of a different sort altogether.

But these are trying times. One must make do. When life delivers lemons, one asks one’s SS compañero in the back seat, “Fuck I want with these lemons? Pass me that rocket launcher, Slick, I want to clear a lane.”

I bet José was rocking the A/C all the way, too. Sure, it kills the gas mileage, which must drop that big black presidential pimpmobile down to meters per gallon from miles. But hey, it’s not like he’s whipping out his Visa card between gunfights at the Maverik station.

“This tank’s on my boy the Mad Dog. Sure, he’s on the dole, but his old lady makes fat stacks helping Strangelove find the owner’s manual for the Doomsday Machine and whatnot. Trust me, they can afford it.”

There are a lot of federal paws in the old Dog’s pocket these days as José tries to piss out actual and metaphorical fires from Canoncito to Kyiv. And for his troubles people from right and lift smirk that he’s a senile old fool who should be wetting himself in a Home somewhere, his greatest ambition to cop a feel of a plump caregiver.

Lemonade from lemons, folks. José’s finest quality may be that he is not Adolf Twitler. Just think about that pendejo, completely off the leash in a second term, doing whatever struck his fancy between inhaling Happy Meals and cheating at golf.

Herself and I were talking about José, Adolf, and the Hilldebeast just last night, and my old Pueblo Chipseal colleague Milan Simonich must’ve been reading our minds when he wrote this “Ringside Seat” column for The New Mexican:

To date, Biden’s greatest accomplishment is saving a nation from another four years of Trump, who somehow maintained a political base after kowtowing to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

That sad part for America and for Biden is that he didn’t run for president in 2016. He would have trounced Trump in that election. In turn, Trump’s corruption would have been restricted to his business deals.

The Democrats, bound to blind faith and political dynasties, nominated Hillary Clinton in 2016. She had just as many negatives as Trump.

Clinton was the wrong choice for the Democratic Party but the right matchup for Trump.

Clinton became the first Democratic presidential nominee to lose Michigan and Pennsylvania since 1988. Those two states were key in providing Trump with his victory in the Electoral College. Clinton won the popular vote, which became a meaningless statistic.

Biden probably became president four years too late to do his best work. He’s not as quick or convincing as he once was.

He’s also not Trump. That’s reason for hope in a fiery season of discontent.

Sure, we can do better. We can always do better, and should. But we’re gonna have to work at it.

“Grab an oar, Skeeter, and put your back into it. We cain’t all of us be philosopher-kings, and this Ship of State don’t row itself.”

Paging the White House gardener

June 10, 2022

Adolf Twitler couldn’t even get his own veep hanged. Sad!

OK, just for the hell of it, let’s say Adolf Twitler’s putsch was successful. Kept his fat ass blistering the Oval Office furniture with angry Mickey D’s farts, on the rare occasion when he was actually in town instead of slinging divots and bullshit at one of his comic-opera palaces.

Let’s also say that a group of angry socialists, Blacks, women, gays, gun-controllers and pro-choicers unhappy with this outcome marched upon the U.S. Capitol and started a “dustup,” as a DeeCee feetsball knuckle-dragger recently described the Jan. 6 insurrection.

And while we’re at it, let’s envision the GOP response to a House committee investigating the second “dustup.” Would its work be dismissed by Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and other pustules on the American body politic as “illegitimate” and “a sham?”

Hee, and also haw. There would be no such committee. The Proud Boys hired to replace the Capitol Police would have machine-gunned every one of those terrorists while Mike Pence’s dead eyes gazed blindly down upon them from his gibbet. Congress would be too busy wondering who’s next to look into anything more substantial than airfare to Costa Rica.

Only white fascists get to water the Tree of Liberty in this country.

Rolling boil

June 6, 2022

Getting steamy out there.

It’s warming up right smart here in The Duck! City, and will stay that way for the foreseeable future, with nothin’ but 90s in the 10-day forecast.

Could be worse, though. Here’s Pat O’B with the Southern Arizona weather!

They are predicting record heat down here later this week. Friday’s high predicted to be 101 here and 107 for Tucson. Saturday and Sunday will be 109 in the Old Pueblo. Night temps above normal too, entire period. The grid will be tested Thursday through Sunday.

Chillin’ like a villain.

We’ve resisted the temptation to deploy the refrigerated air, instead strategically adjusting blinds, curtains, and fans, and so when Miss Mia Sopaipilla feels a nap coming on she seeks out the cool spot of that particular moment, flattening out like a Russian-blue rug.

On today’s geezer ride one of my fellow graybeards interrupted the traditional jawboning at a High Desert trailhead to suggest we generate a little wind chill lest we melt into colorful puddles of fossil-fuel garb, sunscreen, and boner pills. And so we did.

You could call it a “rolling boil,” if only for headline purposes.