Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Purple haze

April 12, 2021

The lilacs exploded more or less overnight.

Our yard has suddenly decided that this is not a drill — it’s spring, for reals.

The daffodils and tulips are popping up. The lilacs and holly are flowering. The ornamental pear has already flowered.

Our backyard maple greets the morning.

The maple and wisteria are leafing out.

I even had to mow the damn lawn yesterday.

Perhaps best of all, it’s not too hot. Yet. This morning, when I rode home from downtown after dropping the Subaru at Reincarnation for its annual checkup, I needed arm warmers and knickers for comfort’s sake.

The ride was so pleasant I added a bit of extra credit/scenic detour mileage up Bear Canyon from Juan Tabo to the Embudito trailhead. What the hell, I was riding a cyclocross bike, and there were no pressing matters awaiting my attention.

The guys at Reincarnation weren’t taking five for any bike rides or flower-sniffing, though. That op’ was hoppin’. After a year of living cautiously it seems some Burqueños are ready for a drive that lets them get out of third gear.

Sprung

April 4, 2021

The ornamental plum lit up more or less overnight.

The Easter hare has delivered a basket of hard-boiled huevos.

Our weather widget reported 65 degrees by 9:30 this morning with the high expected to approach 80. Yesterday we topped out at 79, and it felt marvelous. It was the first day this year that I was able to start and finish a ride in shorts and short sleeves.

The foliage has exploded. You name it, it’s blooming, or trying to. Wisteria, ornamental plum and pear, maple, holly, lilac, and daffodils.

My snotlocker is paying the freight, but it’s tough to complain when you’re wandering around The Compound during the first week of April in shorts, sandals, and sunscreen.

 

Spring broke

March 28, 2021

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, you had a birthday. Big whup.
There better be a grand-do and foofaraw when my birthday
rolls around in August, is what.”

Miss Mia Sopaipilla wants to know if all this birthday bushwa is over and done with.

The only birthday that counts as far as she is concerned is her own, which falls sometime in August. Miss Mia joined us in late October 2007, almost immediately after the passing of Chairman Meow, and Herself recollects that she was 10 to 12 weeks old at the time.

Miss Mia, not Herself. Herself is younger than me, but not that much younger.

Meanwhile, now that spring break is over — sorry, kids! — it seems we’re in for some tasty weather, with highs in the 60s and 70s over the next 10 days. Thus cycling of the outdoor variety is strongly indicated. I may even collect a few long-overdue tan lines. We’ve been short on shorts weather in the high desert so far this year.

All in all, it seems a fine time to be childless, with education completely out of sight in the old rear-view mirror. Albuquerque Public Schools will reopen on April 5, for a full five days per week, but students have the option of continuing with remote learning until the school year ends on May 25.

This must be a fun choice for the parents. If you choose school learning, you’ll probably have to transport the kiddos to and fro yourself, because APS expects to be short of bus drivers. If you choose remote learning, you get to continue being an unpaid teacher’s assistant.

Unless your boss calls you back to work. And what if you’re not one of the lucky people who can work from home? How does a teacher handle a class that’s have actual, half virtual? Many questions, few answers.

It’s going to be educational, in more ways than one.

Spring broken

March 1, 2021

There’s the signpost up ahead … you’re about to enter the McDowell Zone.

Can you be both stuck and unstuck, at the same time?

Dern tootin’, podnah.

Case in point: Last year, I had planned a March trip to McDowell Mountain Regional Park, to (a) get the hell out of here, and (2) get the hell out of here.

Well sir, God, He got wind of those plans and had Himself a good old hee, and also a haw. And the next thing you know I had a broken ankle, a dead cat, and a strongly worded suggestion from the State that I (and everyone else) stay put while the Plague sorted itself out.

So I was what you call stuck.

Now, a year later, we have a vaccine. And by “we,” I mean … well, what I mean is that there is a vaccine, and some other people have gotten it. But I haven’t. And I don’t know when I will get it.

Thus I am, you might say, unstuck. Which means I’m stuck.

Which in turn means that you get the needle. Because yes, yes, yes, it’s time for another medicinal episode of Radio Free Dogpatch.

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

• Technical notes: Once again we go to the Comedy Closet for this one, using a Shure MV7 mic and Zoom H5 Handy Recorder. Editing was in Apple’s GarageBand, with a sonic bump from Auphonic. Music and sound effects courtesy of Zapsplat with an Apple loop or two from iMovie and GarageBand. House call by kindly old Doc Firesign. Now just turn your head and cough.

The white-chinned mansplainers of spring

April 22, 2019

Angry old white men are so 15 minutes ago.

Must be spring. Herself has already spotted her first white-chinned mansplainer of 2019.

It was a busy weekend. One of Herself’s pals came to town on family business and on Friday they did an exercise class plus a trail run together. Then on Saturday she wanted to ride the bike for the first time this year, and so the two of us rolled around and about for a while.

Yesterday she joined a colleague and another woman for another, longer ride. And that’s when the white-chinned mansplainer flapped past, screeching its distinctive and decidedly off-key tune.

Like the black-chinned hummingbird, the white-chinned mansplainer is a sure sign of prime cycling weather. But while the hummers enjoy sipping nectar from flowers and feeders, the ’splainer prefers sticking his snotty little beak in your business.

Case in point: As Herself and a colleague were taking five on a Duke City bike path, waiting for the third member of their party to catch up, they spotted a white-chinned mansplainer rolling toward them.

This particular exemplar of the species was a geezer on a recumbent with a Chihuahua tucked into his vest, and Herself anticipated a prime opportunity to coo briefly over a cute little pocket pooch.

Alas, she lost interest after the geezer barked at them: “If you’re gonna stop you should get off the trail!”

Now, I’m told this bird had plenty of room to make a clean pass without threat to life, limb, or Chihuahua. Yet he felt compelled to sing his sour little song anyway, possibly because these were two women who seemed unlikely to slap his beak around to the other side of his head so he could squawk into his own ear and see how he liked it.

As a lifelong student of the bon mot and the righteous riposte I inquired whether they had replied that he should proceed elsewhere with all possible haste to consume excrement, enjoy carnal knowledge of himself, and perish. Herself said no, they hadn’t, but her buddy had flicked a soupçon of snark his way, “thanking” him for his unsolicited and oh-so-helpful advice.

Now, I don’t know much about other sports, but I’m certain ours has too many of these entitled old buzzards flapping around, shitting on everything and everyone in their path. I would not put it past them to drill chickens on the use of crosswalks. They certainly feel free to enlighten their fellow cyclists on a wide range of topics.

I encountered more than a few of these self-appointed bike cops during my Fred period. Happily, years of newspaper work had hardened my hide and I stuck it out instead of abandoning the sport for golf, bowling, or blackjack. By which I mean the use of an actual blackjack. One sap deserves another.

Not everyone is so tenacious. Some folks have a low threshold for gratuitous douchebaggery. Especially on Easter Sunday. I’ll wager Jesus wasn’t nearly so rude to the multitudes when he rode his dinosaur to Sunday school.

And yet we wonder why cycling fails to attract and retain new participants.

At least two of these women are in the market for new bicycles, and have cycling events penciled on their calendars. That’s good news for anyone who makes bikes, sells bikes, or writes about bikes. Just like this horizontal fart in a whirlwind is bad news for anyone condemned to those rackets.

Now, I know nobody in my crowd engages in this sort of appalling behavior. But if you know somebody who does, tell them in no uncertain terms to knock it the fuck off. Yapping at random strangers is the Chihuahua’s job.

Turning up the volume

March 10, 2018

The backyard maple is springing (har) to life.

With spring on the horizon seasonal allergies have me by the snotlocker with a downhill pull. So it’s probably not smart to spend a couple hours daily pedaling briskly among the junipers.

But as you know, I will never be smart.

The start of the descent from the wilderness boundary at Pino Trail.

The bikes of choice lately have been a pair of fat-tired 29ers, the Jones Steel Diamond and Co-Motion Divide Rohloff. And I’ll concede it’s been a pleasant change to have smaller gears and bigger rubber — 2.4 and 2.1, respectively — on the dry, sandy trails.

That said, both bikes also weigh around 30 pounds with pedals, seven more elbees than either a Steelman or Voodoo, and thus there is something of a trade-off involved here. Bigger cushion, harder pushin’.

And it’s not as though these more trail-friendly setups give me mad skillz. I still can’t clean the rock garden on Trail 341, just below the wilderness boundary at the Pino Trail. And if you think I’m gonna shoulder either of these beasts to run the sucker you’re not any smarter than I am.

Still, fat tires or thin, it’s all good fun. Especially if you don’t get skunked, as an off-leash dog did the other day a little further down the trail. Would’ve been nice if the owner had mentioned it before I reached down to scratch the little stinkbomb’s ears.

Spring has sprung?

March 20, 2015
Not even Super Vivid mode helps this morning.

Not even Super Vivid mode helps this morning.

The daffodils are enjoying this damp weather, which arrived a little late for this ex-tree.

The daffodils are enjoying this damp weather, which arrived a little late for this ex-tree.

This is the first day of spring? So where’s the sun?

Frankly, I’m stumped.

(Rimshot.)

And yes, I know, nobody in his right mind living in a desert climate complains about rain. But right mind and I have not shared the same ZIP code for the better part of quite some time. And I have bicycles that are badly in need of riding.

The good news is, after today and tonight we’re looking at a stretch of sunny and 70s. The better news? We don’t live in New York City.

 

Unsprung

March 20, 2013
The first day of ... spring?

The first day of … spring?

If this is the first day of spring, well, you can have it, with my blessings.

The weatherpersons have predicted a high of 53, but I think they’re into the MMJ. It’s 1 p.m. and I can still see my breath out there (and no, this is not because I drank my breakfast).

We’re enjoying the usual good news/bad news combo plate this morning. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed into law a package of gun reform legislation, and some person or persons unknown shot and killed the executive director of the state prison system at his home.

I expect a lot of folks are reaching for the old equalizer before answering the doorbell today. If I were a Jehovah’s Witness I think I might take the day off.

S-brrrrrr-ing!

March 20, 2012
Spring flower

It's a tough row to hoe, being a flower in March.

The first day of spring and whadda we get? Thirty-friggin’-four with wind from the north at 26 mph, gusting to 41.

As usual, this is my fault. Last week, when we were enjoying an unseasonable stretch of 60- and 70-something temps, I connected hoses to faucets, watered the lawn and — worst of all — put a new battery in the Vespa. Imagine my embarrassment.

Best of all, the wind is peppering us with tree pollen, and allergies have me by the snotlocker with a downhill pull. Snork. Gluck. Hawk. Ptui. Repeat as necessary.

This means that instead of riding my bike in shorts and short sleeves, as I did all last week, I will be slouching here at the computer, searching for things that piss me off to elevate the old heart rate.

Like this item about House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Ayn Rand), who claims his “budget” will strengthen the safety net for the poor, disabled and elderly. Uh huh. The “net” to which he refers concerns the fishnet stockings Granny will have to wear while pole-dancing to pay for her blood-pressure meds.

Or this one about employers demanding that prospective employees give them their Facebook user names and passwords so they can go snooping around to see if you enjoy calling their favorite Randite nutsack a zombie-eyed granny-starver. Yo, Mister Human Resources, I got your job right fuckin’ here.

And finally this one, about a self-appointed vigilante who guns down a 17-year-old kid armed with a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona iced tea … and isn’t charged with shit, not even littering. Now and then I think about selling the family arsenal. And then I think again, because guys like this are roaming around, packing. Jesus wept.