Posts Tagged ‘Herself’

Bench press

April 9, 2021

The rocky wash leading to the bench between Comanche and Candelaria.

The old red flag was flying again today, so instead of cycling Herself and I scrambled into the neighboring Sandia foothills, working our way along bits and pieces of the Candelaria Bench Loop.

Herself bouldering upward. There’s a bit of singletrack off to her left but it’s a slippery sonofabitch.

It’s only a four-mile hike, but there’s a fair amount of vertical at the beginning and the end, much of it on crumbly gravel switchbacks lined with sharp rocks and cacti.

After the first steep, loose climb east of Comanche we stuck to a stair-stepped, boulder-studded wash that was a whole lot more fun than the narrow singletrack I took a digger on last year, slamming my left thigh into a big round rock.

Oddly, the winding descent to Trail 365 near Candelaria seemed less challenging than I remembered.

Once I met another hiker on that stretch who said she simply sat and slid down some of the steeper sections (glissading, for the aficionados among you). I’ve done this a time or two myself, but never on purpose, or without consequences.

Didn’t happen today, to either of us, so yay, etc.

And we didn’t see another single solitary soul, either. Unless you count the three circling crows who seemed to be tracking our cautious movements downward and providing an appropriate soundtrack. Haw … haw … haw.

Herself inspects the Greater Duke City Metropolitan Area
from the Candelaria bench.

Nothing but blue skies

March 26, 2021

Puffy clouds to the north, above the garage.

Wednesday’s snow tamped down the pollen for a while, which is a pleasant respite for the snotlocker.

It’s still not warm — 39° at the moment, which would be 10 in the a.m. on a Friday morning — but as we’ve noted before, nobody who lives in the desert should complain when it’s cool and damp. Because it never lasts.

Sleepy Joe held his first presser yesterday, but I had to bail on it after just a few minutes because I kept hearing Dana Carvey’s spot-on impression of him in my head and couldn’t focus on what the real Joe was saying. I know, I know, bad citizen, bad bad citizen! 

But from what little I saw, and read afterward, I feel confident when I say that Sleepy José is unlikely to challenge his predecessor’s score on the Loon-O-Meter® anytime soon.

Meanwhile, Herself is slated to get her first jab today. She and a colleague will each get a dose of Moderna, and then if the weather permits they might find some nearby bistro for a socially distant bite of something and perhaps a celebratory shot that doesn’t go in the arm.

And I am scheduled for round two in late April, at the same place that stuck me on Wednesday. Round one left me with an achy arm and a touch of fatigue, though the latter could have been weather- or allergy-induced. As far as I know my DNA remains unchanged, I am not shedding mutant viruses, and I have not croaked. Yet.

Or is that just what “they” would have you believe?

Happy birthday to Herself

March 12, 2021

Dig those crazy puffballs.

The gods served up a cotton-ball sky for Herself’s mumble-mumble-th birthday this morning.

I immediately felt a kinship with this piece because she’s still cute
and he looks like shit.

They won’t be there for long — the forecast calls for gusty winds out of the SSW as Thor breaks out the old hammer for a little light touch-up work on Colorado.

As The Bug® still holds sway over the land, and we have not yet had our shots, the birthday festivities will be muted, as they were last year.

Herself and a colleague did manage to enjoy a socially distant cocktail and appetizers on some uptown bistro’s patio yesterday afternoon while I stayed home and cooked dinner (turkey tacos and arroz verde).

The other day we went shopping for a birdbath to keep the juncos hydrated and stumbled across the Dia de los Muertos talavera pictured above, a bride and groom sitting on a bench looking slightly stupified, probably from strong drink and/or unbridled lust.

Vato’s got a ticket to ride. Orrrrale.

As we both have March birthdays, it was a no-brainer — boom, two birthdays, one present, no waiting.

The couple matches the cyclist we have by the front door, so, bonus. You may remember El Señor from our Interbike coverage in days gone by.

Meanwhile, the phone rings off the hook it no longer has with calls from well-wishers. Later we will nosh on some delicious snacks and watch something silly on TV.

Par-tee, baybee. Not even The Bug® can stop us.

Scratch race

March 8, 2021

“Where’s everybody going?”

Calendar, schmalendar: Herself got out yesterday for her first bike ride of 2021, so it must be spring.

It wasn’t definitively springlike here in the Duke City — but still, arm warmers and knickers beat long sleeves and tights for the first week of March.

Miss Mia Sopaipilla did not join us. She prefers her indoor exercise apparatus.

‘Better Call Santa,’ or ‘Breaking Bethlehem’

December 26, 2020

No snow in them thar hills for Christmas.

Father Christmas has done his usual drive-by on us. A few donuts around the cul-de-sac and off he shot into the frosty Duke City suburbs. Couldn’t ID the plate on that rig, but it was probably stolen, so why bother?

Anyway, all the John Laws on this side of town were tied up with some act of misbehavior down on Copper (and no, the irony did not escape us). We saw their Mickey Mouse ears all aglow to the west like some SWAT-team Star of Bethlehem as we turned off Copper onto Tramway, homeward bound following a visit to Herself the Elder’s assisted-living residence.

Earlier, Herself distributed freshly baked molasses cookies to the neighbors in a brazen act of socialism as I contemplated the verities.

Father Christmas,
give us some money.

We walked off our breakfast pancakes with a brisk hike through the foothills — “Merry Christmas!” shouted a happy family from their backyard hot tub, and no, I am not making that up — after which we motored off for the aforementioned holiday chat through HtE’s bedroom window, like family members visiting a jailed relative.

“I know, I know, you didn’t do nothing, habeas corpus and all that, but they still won’t set bail, and that abogado pendejo Saul Goodman won’t return our calls — ‘Better Call Saul’ my ass — so you’re just gonna have to wait a while longer, OK? Next time we’ll bring cigarettes and commissary money, I promise.”

Back at the shack we rang up my sister and her husband in Fort Fun, after which it was my turn in the kitchen barrel. The main dish was a largish Alaskan salmon filet (h/t Matt Wiebe) drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled generously with salt and pepper, and baked at 425° for 10-12 minutes, after which it got a squeeze of fresh lemon. Sides were white asparagus, arroz verde, and a green salad. Fake beer for me, a nice Provençal rosé for Herself.

As we ate we finished our binge-watching of “Breaking Bad,” because nothing says Christmas like an apocalyptic settling of old scores among meth kingpins.

Speaking of holiday entertainment, at some point during the day I gave ear to “Desert Oracle Radio,” a podcast recommended by Adventure Journal magazine. I’ve only listened to two episodes so far, but I’m gonna give it a tentative thumbs-up based on the Christmas show alone, which touches on our beloved Land of Entrapment and a few of its holiday oddities.

Herself thinks Ken Layne sounds like the Motel 6 guy. (“We’ll leave the light on for you.”) I think he sounds like the Motel 6 guy (with a smack habit). Take him for a quick spin around the Mojave and tell us what you think he sounds like.

The Claus that refreshes

December 25, 2020

Off the back as usual, you grumpy old elf.

While Santa was nestled snug in his bed, with visions of sugarplums and various other acid flashbacks dancing through his head, Ms. Claus was up and taking care of bidness as per usual.

Herself the Elder enjoys an early holiday chat with Ms. Claus through her bedroom window.

In point of fact, she was out in the frosty air, delivering a big box of Dunkin deliciosity to the residents and staff at Herself the Elder’s assisted-living house.

The coffee was made in the kitchen with care, for she knew that eventually, against all odds, that grumpy old elf St. Grinch would haul his fleabitten carcass out of the sack and stumble blindly around the joint screeching for stimulants to jump-start the undersized and frequently offline Freon pump in his rib cage that he claims is a heart.

Now she’s home and banging around in the kitchen making pancakes and eggs over easy, with more coffee, still more! Molasses cookies are likewise on the program. Your basic Joyeux Noël, n’est-ce pas? Feliz Navidad? Nollaig shona dhuit?

Whatever you call it, have some on us. Her. Whatevs. I’ll have more coffee, please.

Out out out!

October 17, 2020

No disrespect intended to the men and women of the U.S. Postal Service, but this absentee ballot is being hand-delivered.

We have voted the rascals out. You’re welcome.

Yesterday we voted ourselves out, for a quick five-mile march through the foothills.

Walking the Dog. Photo: Herself

It was a brisk morning, and we didn’t get out until noonish, because the sun doesn’t clear the Sandias at Rancho Pendejo until sometime after 9 and we’re rarely in a rush unless Herself has a long list of chores to be accomplished, which come to think of it is almost always.

The Merrell Moab 2 Mid Ventilator boots have broken in nicely after about 20 miles of light hoofing, and this morning I planted one of them in Adolf Twitler’s oversized fundament, metaphorically speaking.

It’s my second try at kicking his fat butt; let’s hope this time it helps do the job.

If the boots get ’er done, I’ll buy a second pair, because it seems that every time I find footwear that suits my dogs, that model is instantaneously discontinued and replaced with some Nazi bondage gear.

There’s always the stick, of course. But I don’t think the SS boyos will let me anywhere near Adolf if I’m waving Ol’ Hickory around and screeching about going all Andy Jackson on his ass.

 

Above it all

October 15, 2020

Now that’s what I call getting some big air.

The view from the Candelaria Bench Trail is pretty spectacular. I can only imagine what it’s like a few hundred feet above it.

Herself and I were slouched on the back patio at El Rancho Pendejo, airing the cat, birdwatching, and enjoying our respective tasty beverages when I spotted a rara avis over the Sandias.

We haven’t seen many aeronauts this year, not since The Bug® came to town. This one was definitely not making a maiden voyage — he or she stayed aloft for the better part of quite some time, cutting didos above the Candelaria Bench Trail.

Apologies for the poor image quality. I sold my Canon DSLR a while back and the point-and-shoot I grabbed just can’t bring ’em back alive from a distance.

 

Cast off, matey

September 20, 2020

The New Albion Privateer, in matte black.

There’s a new ship in the harbor: a New Albion Privateer.

The temptation is to load it down, saddle up, and sail away. But to where?

Lacking a passport, I’m restricted to the lower 48 states, Alaska and Hawaii being something of a long bunny-hop by bike. I don’t think Hans Rey could make either in one go, even if he started with a bean feast, a lit fart, and a tailwind.

Unfortunately, several of my preferred bolt holes are either hot as blazes or actually on fire. And if I leave New Mexico, I face a 14-day quarantine when I return.

Plus, Herself would have to rassle up her own grub in my absence, in addition to working for our living, catering to Miss Mia Sopaipilla, and assisting the assisted-living place with Herself the Elder, who recently took another digger, this time breaking her right wrist.

HtE is issued a fresh 14-day quarantine every time she leaves assisted living to see a sawbones, which is not nearly as much fun as seeing the road unfold before you from the saddle of a brand-new bicycle.

This is a review bike, of course. Merry Sales provided frame, fork, and a big box of bits, but the Great Parts Shortage of 2020 being more or less ongoing, I had to contribute a few items from my personal collection, among them a wheelset, inner tubes, saddle, and brakes.

Between us it made for a pretty tasty build, and I can’t say much more than that until the paying customers get theirs. In the meantime, I’m getting mine.

Still sticking pretty close to home, though. I’m not getting too far away from the mailbox until our ballots show up. That’s a review I can’t wait to write.

The fire next time

July 29, 2020

That may be Cthulhu’s eye up there in the clouds.
Or it could be the moon.

This is what the eastern sky looked like around 7:30 last night.

“No more monsoons! The end is nigh! Prepare ye for mostly sunny and warmish!”

Which it was. Eighties as I pedaled off nine-ish this morning, and it only got hotter.

Later in the afternoon Herself popped round to the Dark Tower for a window chat with her mom, but couldn’t stick it out more than a few minutes.

Don’t expect her to have a window chat of any duration with Louie Gohmert, though. Not even if the dumb sonofabitch wears a diving helmet and a diaper over his Bug-hole.