Posts Tagged ‘Radio Free Dogpatch’

Todos mañana

May 9, 2019

Harrison Walter inspects the family’s new Maytag top-loader.
Photo: Hal Walter

“Man plans, God laughs,” says the Yiddish proverb.

Hal Walter and I had planned an International Donkey Day podcast yesterday, but technical difficulties arose — FaceTime was not cooperating on my end, the mic/earbud setup was untested on his end, and the deliverymen fetching a new clothes washer from Pueblo to Weirdcliffe were at large and incommunicado.

So we said, as one so often does in the Great American West, “Mañana.” We stole that from the Mexicans, along with much of the country hereabouts.

Well, here it is mañana and the podcast remains at large, unlike the deliverymen, who eventually turned up, though they declined to let Hal shoot his defunct Samsung front-loader before dragging it away.

The rain arrived shortly thereafter, followed by the snow, and the mud. And this morning school was canceled, which means Hal has a rambunctious 15-year-old making his own unique contributions to to the sonic environment in a house that must feel about the size of a padded cell without the padding.

Which is the long way around to saying you shouldn’t expect a podcast from us today.

Maybe mañana. ¿Que no?

Stock options

May 4, 2019

“Stock” art. That’s a publishing joke, son!

What can society do with some well-heeled, ne’er-do-well swell like Mark Zuckerberg, who persists in skullduggery, but unlike your corner dime-store hood has a fine-proof wallet and thinks a cell is something the rubes use to check Facebook?

How about a stint in the stocks? If we can’t shame him, or slammer him, let’s slime him. Food for thought, que no?

Yes, yes, yes, it’s another exciting episode of Radio Free Dogpatch. Grab a basket of rotten eggs, warm up your pitching arm, and take your place in line.

Hur-ry, hur-ry, hur-ry, step right this way! It’s showtime!

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 ATR2100-USB microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder. I edited using Apple’s GarageBand on a 2014 MacBook Pro. The music is some medieval Viking ditty from Kyster at Freesound.org. It may have been performed by these dudes here. Other sounds liberated from Apple’s iMovie library. Tim Cook will probably have me put in the stocks for that, if Pøbel doesn’t beat him to it, but they’ll have to catch me first.

It’ll all come out in the wash

April 24, 2019

Well, I’d say that load is done.

The Wall Street Journal and Daring Fireball consider the clusterfuck that is the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

Ho, ho, etc.

Samsung didn’t give a rat’s ass about their top-loading clothes washers exploding like land mines in laundry rooms. What makes anyone think they’ll lose sleep over $2,000 smartphones that snap like Olive Garden bread sticks when the rubes try to fold them?

We owned a Samsung top-loader once and it became the subject of a Radio Free Dogpatch episode. After dogpaddling across that customer-service vale of tears I wouldn’t buy a life jacket from the sonsabitches if I were standing on the stern of a sinking ship in the North Atlantic, surrounded by sharks wearing bibs with my mugshot on them.

But I’m sure somebody would. And so is Samsung.

• Editor’s note: Speaking of washers, Kevin Drum explains that tariffs caused Americans to spend 12 percent more on these devices than they might have had Beelzebozo kept his big bazoo out of things he doesn’t understand, which is mostly everything. MAGA, etc.

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 Zapsplat.com. 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.”

The Element of surprise

February 27, 2019

’83 in stereo.

Keep on truckin’? Nope.

I had four of them once, up in Weirdcliffe, all Toyotas — two 1983 longbeds, a 1998 Tacoma and a 1978 Chinook pop-top camper.

But I gradually untrucked myself and now my only four-wheeler is the Fearsome Furster, a 2005 Subaru Forester XS with 134,000 miles on the odometer.

It’s a midget SUV, reliable, unremarkable, anonymous. Decent fuel economy. Easy to lose in a parking lot full of trucks. Hard to sleep in.

That’s why the Honda Element caught my eye, and kept it. It’s a car, it’s a truck, it’s an RV for people who don’t like RVs (even a 1978 Toyota Chinook pop-top).

And I almost bought one once. OK, twice.

I talk about this and other things on this week’s edition of Radio Free Dogpatch. A tip of the Mad Dog trucker’s cap goes out to Ursa Minor Vehicles and Ralph Spoilsport Motors, the world’s largest new used and used new automobile dealership, Ralph Spoilsport Motors, here in the City of Emphysema. I can’t wait to get away from it all.

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, adding audio acquired via Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack (no profit was taken in a casual approach to copyright). Speaking of which, that’s the late Chris Farley as motivational speaker Matt Foley saving some kids from winding up 35 years old, thrice divorced, and streaming “Saturday Night Live” in a van down by the river. The barking dog, speeding auto and background music were liberated from Apple’s iMovie audio library. The atomic wedgie is courtesy of cognitu perceptu at Freesound.org. That car starting is the Fearsome Furster its own bad self; the radio is tuned to KUNM-FM and “Performance Today,” specifically “The Lark Ascending,” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, as performed by Nurit Bar-Josef. And finally, “Ka-Ching” is performed by the one and only Herself.

White-line fever

February 20, 2019

Base camp at the overflow area in McDowell Mountain Regional Park, circa 2004.

It’s been a chilly, damp winter in Albuquerque, which isn’t saying much.

Still, it grates after a while, and never more so than during February, a month that is simultaneously too short and too long.

Herself has been to Costa Rica, the neighbors just fled to Mexico, and some other friends beat feet all the way to France.

And yet here I sit (no, this is not a poem, and it is specifically not that poem), rattling the bars on my window of opportunity and losing arguments with the voices in my head.

I’ve written often and at length about my irrational hatred for February, and I was getting set to do it again when I realized, “Hey, I’ve written often and at length about my irrational hatred for February. Why don’t I turn it into a podcast?”

Which I did. This is it. You’re welcome. Now hand me the snow shovel on your way out, would you? I want to smack myself in the head with it.

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

• Editorial notes: The “Mad Dog Unleashed” column headlined “On the Road Again: Frown Lines Search for a Few Tan Lines,” which is my onion at the bottom of this bitter pot of bitch stew, first appeared in the February 2004 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. My line about February having roots in the French “febrile” is, as you may already know, complete and utter bullshit. The Cactus Cup has returned to McDowell Mountain Regional Park since that 2004 column — this year’s edition is slated for March 8-10. And finally, did you know that Peter “Sneaky Pete” Kleinow, pedal steel player for The Flying Burrito Brothers, was also a visual-effects artist and stop-motion animator who worked on “Gumby?” Neither did I.

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with an Audio-Technica AT2035 microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder. I edited in Apple’s GarageBand on a 2014 MacBook Pro, adding audio acquired through fair means and foul via Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack (no profit was taken in an admittedly casual approach to various copyrights). Speaking of which, the pedal steel riff that closes the episode is from Merle Haggard’s “White Line Fever,” as performed by The Flying Burrito Brothers on their eponymous 1971 album. The background music is “Trapped” from Zapsplat.com. And the rewind sound is courtesy of TasmanianPower at Freesound.org.

Can’t find my way home

February 11, 2019

Good thing it doesn’t matter when a virtual press runs, because someone has been intercoursing the penguin as regards his self-imposed deadlines.

Radio Free Dogpatch is intended to be a weekly affair, scheduled for Fridays, but just ask the penguin how well that’s worked out for him (whoops, too late, he’s exploded). To date the thing has reared its ugly head weekly, semimonthly, and on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays.

After three or four goes at this most recent episode, which came this close to becoming a plain-vanilla blog post, I’m starting to think Wednesdays are the ticket. Showtime. Whatever.

In any case, and without further ado, here’s episode 19 of Radio Free Dogpatch. Too bad I couldn’t get it finished in time to win a Grammy to go along with all my Pulitzers, Reubens, Emmys and MacArthur Fellowships.

Oh, well, there’s always next year.

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

• Editorial notes: Shannon Hall wrote about the meanderings of magnetic north for The New York Times. Steve Frothingham has been following the trials and tribulations of ASE and the various media-consolidation stories for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. John McNulty wrote about super-salesman Elmer “Sell the Sizzle” Wheeler for The New Yorker way back in 1938. And Sam Dean of the Los Angeles Times gave us a peek at Zwift’s e-sports ambitions.

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with an Audio-Technica AT2035 microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder. I edited in Apple’s GarageBand on a 2014 MacBook Pro, adding audio acquired through fair means and foul via Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack (no profit was taken in an admittedly casual approach to various copyrights). Speaking of which, Buck appears courtesy of the 1935 William Wellman film “Call of the Wild,” while Nick Danger took a break from his Further Adventures to ask directions to The Firesign Theatre’s Old Same Place. The background music is “Crusin” from Zapsplat.com. And Blind Faith wrapped it all up with “Can’t Find My Way Home.”

No groundhogs here

February 2, 2019

You’d think these dudes had engines, the way they stay aloft forever. But they’re just riding the thermals like big ol’ hawks.

Well, there was me. These daredevils may have been tooling around above the Sandias like Icarus and Daedalus, but yours truly kept his landing gear on the deck. I saw my shadow, too, and you know what that means. Bundle up.

But for today, temps hit the mid-50s, and basically anyone who wasn’t chained to a concrete bunk in the Graybar Hotel was out and about, doing something.

“I’m trying to get my bike legs on!” wailed one rider as I yielded a narrow section of trail.

“I feel your pain,” I replied. I’ve been running the trails, but riding the road; this was my first trail ride of 2019.

Ordinarily I shun the trails on sunny weekends, reasoning that I get to play pretty much whenever I please while the cube farmers have a limited window of opportunity. But it’s been a long week and I felt I needed a change of pace.

Speaking of which, there will be no Radio Free Dogpatch this week, for a number of perfectly defensible reasons. I had a notion, but it ran off with one of the voices in my head. I hope they didn’t get married. We don’t need any children from that quarter.

Let them eat loans

January 25, 2019

Wilbur Ross, The Man in the $600 Embroidered Slippers, doesn’t understand why federal workers idled and/or unpaid by Darth Cheeto might choose to visit food banks instead of the other sort.

Well, for an appetizer, even idled and/or unpaid federal workers like to eat at least once a day.

For the main course, unlike regular banks, food banks don’t require collateral, charge interest or repo your lunchbox.

And finally, for dessert, idled and/or unpaid federal workers know they won’t have to look at some bogus billionaire wearing $600 embroidered slippers while doing business with the food bank.

Yes, yes, yes, it’s another low-fat, low-interest episode from Radio Free Dogpatch. Bon appétit.

And remember, Wilbur, the Big Dog always eats last.

PLAY RADIO FREE DOGPATCH

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with a Shure SM58 mic and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder and edited in Apple’s Garageband on a 2014 MacBook Pro. The background music is “Stay Away,” from www.zapsplat.com. That dog enjoying a meal comes from peridactyloptrix at www.freesound.org. And “Ahoy, polloi,” lifted from “Caddyshack” using Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack.

Hard reign in Swamptown

January 12, 2019

What a blockhead.

The pestilence of the Benighted States, Wally O’Steele, a.k.a. Artie Deal, wants a Big, Beautiful Wall® at the nation’s southern boundary to keep brown people* from crossing the border to work anywhere other than at his hotels or golf courses.

Unable to procure funding for same, he has instead walled off the feddle gummint from its own tax-paying citizens, idling more than a few of them in the process and forcing others to work without pay while selling their Christmas presents on eBay to keep from freezing to death in the dark.

It’s a hard reign, and the water — if that’s what it is — just keeps rising.

Man the lifeboats and rig for heavy seas, matey — it’s the latest episode of Radio Free Dogpatch.

* Russian oligarchs and Saudi princelings get a pass, of course, along with a coupon for a complimentary fluff and fold at Artie Deal’s Motor Inn & Money Laundry.

 

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 a Shure SM58 microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder. Additional bad noise via an Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic and a Sony ICD-UX533. I edited this hot mess using a Behringer XENYX 1200USB mixer wired to a 2014 MacBook Pro with an external LG 24MP59HT-P monitor and Apple’s GarageBand. Obligatory Cultural References From Bygone Days© courtesy the Bard of Hibbing.