Posts Tagged ‘Birthdays’

‘Better weird than not at all’

May 16, 2020

I settled for a snap of the balloons because old guys taking snaps of children unrelated to them is mega-creepy.

One of the kids next door celebrated her sixth birthday yesterday.

There was a party of sorts in the cul-de-sac. Instead of hugs and kisses, she got social distancing and masks; in lieu of cake and the slicing thereof, we noshed on individual cupcakes in either chocolate or vanilla.

From the vantage point of someone who turned 6 in 1960, it seemed a strange way to mark the Great Leap Forward from kindergarten to first grade. Or it did until I recalled that when I reached this milestone Elvis was being discharged from the Army, a few thousand of his countrymen were heading off to Vietnam, and Francis Gary Powers was enjoying an unscheduled layover in the Soviet Union.

So, then, as now, there was lots of weirdness going on, and not just in your friendly neighborhood cul-de-sac, either.

“It may be weird, but better weird than not at all,” as a neighbor and I agreed.

A hummingbird had a bird’s-eye view of the party from her nest in a pine just off our driveway. According to Audubon New Mexico, the hummers lay two eggs a half inch long in nests the size of a walnut shell, and this one has done a fine job of camouflaging her tiny nursery. Herself and I saw the little nipper zip to the limb yesterday as we were leaving for a bike ride; I took a closer squint and spotted the nest.

It takes a bit of squinting to find this hummer guarding the kids.


March 27, 2020

“Please, don’t wake me, no, don’t shake me, leave me where I am,
I’m only sleeping. Asshole.”

I was awakened at 4:30 a.m. by Miss Mia Sopaipilla singing me “Happy Birthday.”

At least, I think it was “Happy Birthday.” It sounded a lot like “Mrow yowr rowr myowww erroww mrow yowr rowr meeeeeeeeeeeeeowwwwwwwww.” But I’m not much of a crooner myself and so who am I to be critical of another amateur’s warbling?

It goes without saying that when I woke her up a couple hours later, I was the bad guy.

Meanwhile, someone has promised me birthday pancakes. But she’s in her office yelling at NPR so I’m not holding my breath.

Still, I am on top of the earth and I don’t work for the government, as Thomas McGuane has said. So, later, the 66-minute birthday ride. Right after those hotcakes.

Bikes, trains and automobiles

March 27, 2019

I didn’t take a camera on today’s ride, so you’ll have to make do with a feeble iPhone shot of the bosque just starting to show some color.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in with birthday wishes on this, my induction into Official Geezerhood.

Is there a probationary period? If I fail to chase enough whippersnappers off my lawn will I be stripped of my galluses, wattles and trifocals, and demoted to Youth?

The birthday ride is done and dusted, and like last year I exceeded my expectations: 45 miles, or 72.4 kilometers. Thus I have some more kms banked for subsequent birthdays. One of these years I won’t have to ride at all.

Which will give me more time for podcasting. Yes, yes, yes, it’s another edition of Radio Free Dogpatch, Senior Moment Edition. You’re welcome. Now get the hell off my lawn.

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with an Audio-Technica AT2035 microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder. I edited using Apple’s GarageBand on a 2014 MacBook Pro. The music is “Matador’s Entry,” from I really wanted to work “The Coroner’s Footnote” from Half Man Half Biscuit in here somewhere, but couldn’t pull it off. You should listen to it anyway. While you’re at it give an ear to “Every Time a Bell Rings.”

Cake me, bitches

March 27, 2019

That’s Birthday No. 1, back in 1955. What a snappy dresser I was.
Happily, I got over it. From bowtied pups do mangy Mad Dogs grow.

‘I’m not dead yet. …’

March 27, 2018

Sixty-four, Bog help us all. The lyric “When I get older, losing my hair / Many years from now” no longer applies.

I’m not that handy mending a fuse, and Herself doesn’t knit sweaters by the fireside. Still, just last Saturday we were doing the garden, digging the weeds. Who could ask for more?

The 64km birthday ride is going to have to wait, though. The weather appears to be taking a turn for the worse. If I’m lucky I may be able to manage 64 minutes of running before the rain comes.

Piece of cake

March 27, 2016
See? Told you I was cute. Once.

See? Told you I was cute. Once.

I didn’t get a bicycle for that first birthday, either. I was robbed.

The next 60

March 28, 2014
The Soma Saga in its present configuration. I'm thinking about losing the rando' bars for some short-reach drops, beefing up the bar tape and fattening up the tires.

The Soma Saga in its present configuration. I’m thinking about losing the rando’ bars for some short-reach drops, beefing up the bar tape and fattening up the tires.

Thanks to all of you for the most excellent birthday wishes. No. 60 was a quiet day around Chez Dog — since Herself was road-tripping for business purposes, the party was an exclusive affair; just me, the menagerie, and all those voices in my head (happily, they don’t eat much, not even ice cream).

Today, a milestone behind me and various millstones ahead, I continued what I’m calling Ride the Neglected Bicycles Week. So far it’s seen the Voodoos Nakisi and Wazoo, the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff, and the Jones all get out of the garage for some vigorous thrashing, and there are still two days left. Tomorrow’s supposed to be 60-something and mostly sunny. You can’t stop me!

When not riding, I’ve been reading about riding. “Life Is a Wheel” is Bruce Weber’s account of his second cross-country cycling trip, undertaken at age 57. I had been aware of his ride — a writer for The New York Times, Weber blogged about it for the paper — but the book had somehow slipped my mind. I saw the review, downloaded the book, and so far Weber and I have spent an enjoyable few evenings together.

Like other road books — “Travels With Charley,” “Blue Highways,” and of course, “On the Road,” “Life Is a Wheel” is giving me notions. Nothing so elaborate as a cross-country ride, mind you, certainly not in springtime. But taking a few days away, under my own steam, sounds like a wonderful departure from business as usual.


The big six-oh (no)

March 27, 2014
Pikes Peak as seen from the Yucca Flats dog-walking ghetto at Palmer Park.

Pikes Peak as seen from the Yucca Flats dog-walking ghetto at Palmer Park.

I awakened with a start this morning to someone singing “Happy Birthday” and a giant furry creature sitting on my chest.

“Well, that’s that,” I thought. “The devil has finally come to collect. At least things will be warm from now on.”

But no, it was just Herself (singing) and Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (sitting). The former was off to work and the latter was interested primarily in my bedside glass of water. Miss Mia Sopaipilla and Mister Boo, being junior staff, were on perimeter duty.

I got up, grabbed a cup of joe (first things first) and checked the mirror. I didn’t look any younger, but I didn’t look any older, either. We must take these little gifts as they are offered.

This being March in Colorado, I jumped the gun and rode my age-to-be yesterday, in kilometers, when it was shorts-and-short-sleeves weather. Today looks a little iffier, with a high in the mid-50s, a chance of rain and plenty of wind.

It was the sort of ride I’ve come to relish in my declining years — a blend of city streets, gravel paths and single-track, taken on a weirdomobile, the Voodoo Nakisi with its triple crankset and 700×43 tires. It’s spring break, but I managed to avoid breaking anything, despite a ragged parade of homeless zombies on the southern end of the Pikes Peak Greenway and rush-hour traffic on the trails in Palmer Park.

Afterward I cycled over to Ranch Foods Direct and picked up a steak to grill for birthday dinner, which included mashed Yukon Golds, steamed asparagus and a big bowl of ice cream. We watched Stewart and Colbert, walked the Boo in a light rain and that was that. A fine time was had by all.

I’m still waiting for wisdom to arrive, but I haven’t seen the UPS truck yet. Let’s hope it beats the devil here.

The worm turns (59)

March 28, 2013
"I'm HOW old?"

“I’m HOW old?”

“You’re 57, right?” my friend inquired.

“Hell no,” I replied. “Try 59. March 27, 1954.”

He didn’t believe me. Neither did I.

But it’s true — I turned 59 on Wednesday, the night of the Worm Moon, the first full moon of spring.

We didn’t make a big deal of it. Herself and I had already enjoyed our group birthday dinner out with friends. And anyway, 59 is kind of a bullshit birthday, don’t you think? I mean, it’s good to be on the right side of the lawn and all, but The Big One is a year off, and for that bad boy I want something special: a freshly cloned body to house my exquisitely twisted brain. Say, something in the mid-20s chronologically, as that’s about when I began to start showing the hard mileage.

That’s not to say I disliked my 30s, what I can remember of them. And hitting the “big” three-oh didn’t bug me at all. I got off work at The Pueblo Chieftain, had a quiet beer or two at the Irish Pub, and went home. I’ve gotten crazier than that on the job.

Forty I did not like for some unknown reason. There was a party. I was the pooper. That shit put a stop to the parties, I can tell you.

Fifty? Meh. The AARP gets you by the plums with a downhill pull and that’s that.

But 60? That’s gonna be the shiznit. You lot better start saving your pennies for my birthday body, as I expect the cloning procedure to be expensive, even with Obamacare. I’d like to have some hair in places other than my nostrils, ears and shoulders, maybe do without the vision correction, and be hung a little better, and ain’t none of that shit covered, not even for Democrats.

Post-birthday nose meets same old grindstone

March 29, 2012

A thousand thank-yous to all who proffered happy-birthday wishes instead of death threats.

The festivities began with a pleasant two-hour bike ride — headwind out, tailwind back — and concluded with a high-speed burst of cookery after Herself invited the neighbors over.

We’ve been to their house for eats a couple of times, but had yet to reciprocate, so never having cooked for them I stuck with my basic skill set — a simple pico de gallo with blue corn chips followed by a pot of pintos in chipotle, which I turned into burritos smothered in hot Pueblo green chile with a side of roasted potatoes in red Chimayo chile.

Herself contributed a salad and a delicious raspberry cobbler. Beer and wine were consumed, along with a dollop of uisce beatha. Laughter ensued, and a fine time was had by all, except for the Turk’, who despises company, especially if it includes an aggro’ Chihuahua named Cujo.

Now it’s deadline time at the DogHaus, and somebody around here needs to get real funny real fast. We didn’t spend much on my birthday, but the White Tornado has a new fuel pump and the upstairs toilet has new guts, and Toyota mechanics and plumbers don’t work for free.