Posts Tagged ‘Fall’

Gasbag

October 8, 2017

No snow here yet, but the trees know it’s fall.

No, not that one.

Last night Herself and I were walking The Boo around sunset when I noticed an object in the northwestern sky.

“If that’s a balloon,” I observed, “it’s not tethered. That sucker is on the move.”

And so it was. The gasbag sailed right over El Rancho Pendejo at dark-thirty, bound for the East Mountains and points east, as part of the 22nd America’s Challenge. I hope the pilot got over the Sandias without incident. There’s more than gold in them thar hills. Yogi and Boo-Boo would dearly love a pic-a-nic basket, especially if it’s delivered.

Meanwhile, as you can see from the photo up top, the trees are turning with all possible haste. And there’s a winter-storm watch in effect for the Front Strange.

Lucky for us we’re residents of the Duke City, where we’re looking at a sunny stretch of 60s and 70s.

 

The days grow short

September 27, 2017

Leaves are turning, and so is the sky.

Some evildoer swiped my beautiful desert climate while I was on the road. A fella can’t leave nothin’ unlocked and unguarded in these parts.

I should be out and about, logging miles on the Marin Nicasio. But instead here I am, in the office, catching up on correspondence and expense reports, brokering real-estate deals, and drinking green tea.

Why, I may even put on pants. That’s how dire the situation has become.

Damp, gray weather like this is why the Mid-Willamette Valley and I proved such a poor fit back in the early Eighties. It makes me want to eat everything, with a side of everything else, and wash it all down with buckets of brain-eraser. Cost me my girlish laughter it did, along with a few buttons on the old 501s.

And now Twitter is testing a 280-character tweet, doubling the previous limit we’ve all come to know and love. Good Gawd Awmighty. Has the world gone mad? Zombie Russian novelists must be running that op’ these days. Tolstoy needed more than 140 characters just to clear his throat.

What Twitter really needs is an editing function. But if we had that, I expect more of us might come to realize that we only have 140 characters’ worth of wisdom in us on a good day.

My (Euro)cross to bear

October 15, 2016
Blazing saddles: Not Mongo, but mango.

Blazing saddles: Not Mongo, but mango.

More cycling yesterday. I think I’ve finally broken my annual post-Interbike slump.

For some reason, probably that we’re suddenly in the middle of October, I decided to pull my favorite Steelman Eurocross off its hook, give it a bit of a wash and brush-up (plus two new Michelin Jets), and go chase myself around the Elena Gallegos Open Space for an hour or so.

I like to enjoy this sort of foolishness on a weekday, during business hours, the trails come weekends being thick with body-armored double-boingers, texting dog-walkers, the iPlod People and other impediments to forward motion. No need to have an audience while one struggles up a rocky pitch in the 36×26, with 700×30 tires.

One of these days I need to give the old beast more than some fresh rubber. Nine-speed Ultegra, maybe? That eight-speed STI is the velo-equivalent of stone knives and bearskins these days, though it seemed just the ticket back when I still had a song on my lips and a spring in my steps.

Welcome Matt

October 7, 2016
Definitely a hint of fall in the air, and in the trees as well.

Definitely a hint of fall in the air, and in the trees as well.

One of my brothers-in-law recently took a job in Florida — the east coast, naturally — and looks like the welcome wagon has finally rolled up.

No worries. As Hurricane Matthew came a-calling he evacuated westward to a town just outside Chez Mouse, and with any luck at all, he’s just getting his windows washed for free. My bro’-in-law, not Mickey. The sis-in-law is still up north, wrapping up their affairs there.

Here in the Duke City the mornings and evenings have grown brisk, but the days themselves remain stellar. I went for a nice hike in the foothills yesterday so I could get a little October sunshine on my head. And today I plan a mountain-bike ride while everyone else in town is milling around at the balloon festival.

If I want any gasbag action, I’ll check the news when I get home. Whoops, there it is. 

Footloose

September 13, 2016
You'd never know it from this pic, but there's a suburban neighborhood just a few feet to the left of that tree.

You’d never know it from this pic, but there’s a suburban neighborhood just a few feet to the left of that tree.

I should’ve ridden the bike today, but for some reason I felt like hoofing it, so I did.

Not running — I took a break from that nonsense back in mid-May — just walking. Walking is a nice change from cycling, the same way that cycling is a nice change from driving.

Lots of color out there. None of it neon.

Lots of color out there. None of it neon.

You … just … plain … slow … down.

With trails just two blocks in either direction, I can enjoy what feels like country life in fairly short order. The rains have sprinkled flowers all over the place, and it’s relaxing to spend a little time wandering around among them after a few days of watching the Hilldebeast try to lose this campaign while assembling journalism kit for medium-heavy duty at Interbike.

The idea (as usual) is to strive for some sort of multimedia extravaganza, an electronic bouillabaisse of words, pix, audio and video documenting The Experience. As long-suffering readers are all too aware, the reality, once I hit Sin City, is likely to be entirely different.

So, too, with the walking. Instead of sand, sun and flowers I will be navigating concrete, smoke and bad noise.

Thus I’m gathering my rosebuds while I may.

(Almost) last leaf

November 12, 2015
Hang on there, fellas, it's only 38 outside.

Hang on there, fellas, it’s only 38 outside.

It’s not quite the last leaf on the tree … but it’s close.

One, two, tree

October 18, 2014
The big maple in Bibleburg is doing its annual thing, carpeting the block with fallen leaves.

The big maple in Bibleburg is doing its annual thing, carpeting the block with fallen leaves.

The big silver maple back in Bibleburg is quite a sight come fall. Also quite a bit of work. It’s a rare year in which we don’t get more than a dozen 32-gallon bags of leaves off the auld fella.

The maple in the backyard in Duke City is a smaller edition, but further along in its seasonal disrobing.

The maple in the backyard in Duke City is a smaller edition, but further along in its seasonal disrobing.

But it’s worth it, because that tree sits on the south side of The Old Home Place®, and keeps the afternoon sun from cooking us like a pair of rotisserie chickens.

We have some class of a maple here in Duke City, too, but a much smaller model, on the east side of Rancho Pendejo™. It’s further along in the leaf-shedding process, but tidying up its droppings should be a damn’ sight easier on the lower back.

This also suits me right down to the ground, because frankly I’d rather be riding a bike than raking leaves. I’ve been discovering the wanderings of Trail 365 north of here, and it makes for some fun riding on the old Voodoo Nakisi. I surprised a couple of mountain bikers in a blind corner the other day and one exclaimed, “Nicely done,” clearly thinking I was on an actual cyclo-cross bike instead of a MonsterCrosser® with a triple crankset and 700×45 Panaracer Fire Cross tires.

Actually, check that, I’ve dialed the front tire down to a 700×42 Continental CrossRide. So I guess I am a manly man after all.

 

Leaf me be

November 8, 2013
There's Voodoo in them thar leaves.

There’s Voodoo in them thar leaves.

Hm, sure is a bunch of leaves on the lawn there.

Say, there’s a bicycle smack dab in the middle of ’em, too.

Now, what d’you suppose would be more fun — raking those leaves or riding that bike?

What’s the temperature? Sixty-five, you say?

Well, I think that answers our question du jour, n’est-ce pas?

Shocktober!

October 1, 2012

How the hell did it get to be October already? Herself and I were just enjoying some adult beverages on the back deck, watching the critters gambol on the lawn, and had to beat it indoors before the sun had truly set because we were freezing our whatsises off (of course, anyone wearing shorts and sandals on Oct. 1 deserves to freeze his or her whatsis off).

We had to fortify ourselves with largish glasses of Domaine Vindemio, a powerful red from Ventoux. Then I put the last of the green chile stew on the range. The low tonight could dip into the 30s and for that one needs green chile and red wine.

Come Wednesday, of course, we will need distilled sustenance — tequila, single-malt Scotch or a solid hit of uisce beatha from the auld sod. El Prezbo and the RomneyBot v2.012 square off that evening for their first debate, in Denver, and there is no way I can possibly watch that sucker stone cold sober. (See Charles P. Pierce for a guide on how to watch a presidential debate.)

The RomneyBot is in full kernel panic, crashing and rebooting and giving off a strong whiff of ozone, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him in mid-flail offer Obama a couple of billion to move out of the White House and set himself and the family up in style elsewhere.

Chilly means chile

September 30, 2012
Green-chile stew, Sept. 29, 2012

A pot of leftovers simmers on the stove.

The first pot of green chile stew is in the books for fall 2012.

I bought four bags of the green goodness — two medium, two mild — and got busy in the kitchen last night. There were plenty of leftovers, so you can imagine what we had for lunch on this cool, breezy Sunday.

And it’s a good thing I went with mild at the top end. Hot summers mean hot chile, and these “medium” New Mexico chiles were plenty hot enough, even though I altered my normal recipe to use two cups of mild to one of medium instead of a 50-50 split.

Seriously, I could feel the medium green dissolving my flesh as I peeled and chopped it. A word to the wise.