La vida Vuelta

August 23, 2014

LUG-grabOye, vatos, primos y cuates, Charles Pelkey is cranking up the Live Update Guy machinery once again for the final grand tour of 2014, the Vuelta a España, and some loudmouth Irish-American will be hanging around the shop, making inappropriate comments, getting in the way, and generally lowering property values. Stop on by and say ¿Que pasa?

Going round and round

August 22, 2014
The boyos round the corner leading to the final kilometer.

The boyos round the corner leading to the final kilometer.

The Race of Many Silly Names (Not the Tour of Colorado) came to Bibleburg yesterday, and though I thought it was by far the best course of the three we’ve had, the spectator turnout was about what one might expect for a one-car funeral, a Hillary Clinton pole dance, or a goat fuck on the lawn at Focus on the Family.

I rode the townie down to Colorado College for a bit of casual observation with friends and neighbors and the “crowd” was mostly not. Checking out the final lap online via Tour Tracker it seemed that most of what few spectators there were had decided to congregate in Bibleburg’s fabled Drinkin’ & Fightin’ District, a three-block stretch of South Tejon that includes a string of grog shops, alehouses and taverns, one U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters, and a bunch of small shops selling shit nobody needs*, including the “local” newspaper, The Anschutz Gazette.

Ah, well. School is already back in session, it was a workday, and the homeless, while numerous, just aren’t that interested in cycling as entertainment; to them, it’s transportation.

And anyway, I had a good time watching the circus come to town, especially because I wasn’t one of the poor saps who had to clean up after the elephants. It made for a nice break from negotiating with lenders, renters, Realtors®, roofers, landscapers and inspectors.

* The exceptions being Savory Spice Shop, Bingo Burger and Sparrow Hawk Gourmet Cookware.


August 17, 2014
The Boo and Herself

Mister Boo and Herself enjoy a tender moment.

Oh, happy day. Mister Boo loves himself an auto trip, and if it takes him anywhere near Herself, well, so much the better.

The vet has given the Boo the all clear, though the one-eyed little stinkbug still has some meds to finish up. I passed the doctoring off to Herself and got back to paying work between forays into the Realty Jungle.

It helps to remember to fetch a mouse and SD-card reader along on these little junkets, which of course I did not, and if I have to keep working a trackpad and uploading photos via telepathy for much longer I will require a trip to the vet myself.

The good news — well, besides the Boo’s eye injury being healed and his reunion with Herself — is that we have finally made an offer on a place after examining eleventy-seven of the sonsabitches and are awaiting further reports from the front. More as we learn it.


R.I.P., Robin Williams

August 11, 2014

There should be a law against really funny people doing themselves in.

I’m talking the harshest possible punishment here: Bring them back to life and make them be funny some more.

That’ll teach ‘em.

Vision quest

August 8, 2014
Mister Boo has the vision of a GOP congresscritter but more brains and a decidedly sweeter temperament.

Mister Boo has the vision of a GOP congresscritter but more brains and a decidedly sweeter temperament.

One of the drawbacks to having eyes that bug out like VW headlights is that one gets cracked from time to time.

Mister Boo, who suffers from a lens luxation in the right eye, from time to time manages to exacerbate the problem by bumping into something. Author-poet Jim Harrison, who is likewise blind on one side, has mentioned having similar navigational issues.

Anyway, the poor little guy (Boo, not Jim) did it again on Wednesday, and his eye specialist has prescribed a fresh round of medications. So until next Wednesday at least he gets:

One drop of dorzolamide in both eyes twice daily.

One capsule of minocycline daily.

A half tab of carprofen twice daily.

One drop of ofloxacin in the right eye thrice daily.

And one drop of NaCl solution in the right eye thrice daily.

Mind you, this is in addition to the walks (administered twice daily); meals (twice daily); and treats (as needed, which is to say every 15 minutes until he’s full, and then every 30 minutes thereafter). Plus, I anticipate that on his next visit to the eyeball doc the Boo will be prescribed a patch, a peg leg and a parrot. Then we’ll have to call him Cap’n Boo. Arrr.

There has to be some way to blame Obama for this.


Duke City blues

August 5, 2014

Looks like Justin St. Germain’s NYT essay has found an audience back in Albuquerque, where the president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce opines that violence is bad for the bottom line.

The perception that the local coppers are trigger-happy goons has punched a few holes in business development, chamber boss Terri Cole told The Albuquerque Journal.

“People who wanted to visit Albuquerque or start a business here didn’t do either,” she said. “Clearly that creates challenges for making Albuquerque the type of place where people want to start a business or raise a family.”

Indeed. You may recall that Hemingway wrote of “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” rather than “A Bullet-Riddled Shithole.”

The FBI crime stats make for an interesting read, too.

• Late update: In related news, Herself is off on another house-hunting expedition, this time after pulling a full shift at the new job. She’s starting to remind me of Ruby “The Ant” Archuleta from John Nichols’ “The Milagro Beanfield War.” I might have to come up with a new sobriquet for the little woman. The Herminator?


Unreal estate

August 3, 2014
Apologies to Chuck Jones. No bull.

Apologies to Chuck Jones. No bull.

Oh, the Universe is a funny old place.

Once upon a time I hardly thought of Albuquerque at all, other than as a place to drive through en route to somewhere else. Then, sometime in the past few years, Duke City became an occasional cycling getaway; closer than Fountain Hills, cheaper than Santa Fe.

And now the sonofabitch is in my thoughts more or less constantly, like one of those work-related cocktail parties your spouse drags you to without having the common human decency to slip you a mickey first.

“You’ll have a wonderful time.”

“No, I won’t.”

“Well, that’s too bad, because you’re going and you might as well try to enjoy yourself.”

Herself has been in residence in Albuquerque since Friday, the thin edge of our family wedge, house-hunting with a vengeance and filing detailed, illustrated reports with Your Humble Narrator. As a consequence I have peeked in more strangers’ windows this weekend than a CIA drone, but the only thing I’ve learned is that some people should not be allowed in a Lowe’s with an idea and a credit card.

No, that’s not true. I also know that the rozzes are apparently shooting everyone except the bratchnies tolchocking homeless vecks to death, and that if it keeps raining Albuquerque is in line to be home port for the New Mexican Navy (no jokes about adobe submarines, por favor).

So I’ve instructed Herself to focus on properties above the high water line, and I’m shopping for razor wire, machine guns and a Nadsat-English phrasebook.

Print window

August 1, 2014
A study in black and white.

A study in black and white.

Got myself a new multifunction printer. Came with a cat and everything.

When shopping for electronica one must consider whether the device can bear the weight of a largish feline on cool days. Miss Mia Sopaipilla, for example, likes to toast her po-po on our DSL modem. And Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment), pretty much sits wherever he wants, because he can. Paws that look like tennis balls studded with X-Acto knives lend one a certain air of authority.

So while I was stalking the aisles of Best Buy I was thinking: “Will that feed tray snap off if the Turk uses it as a springboard? Is the top uncomfortable enough to send Mia elsewhere for a nap?” That sort of thing.

Thus I went with the Epson XP-810. It’s a cute little dickens, $129.99, accessible via wifi whether you’re using a desktop, laptop, phone or tablet, and the only thing that makes me nervous cat-wise is the tray that catches completed print jobs, which sticks itself out like a big black tongue the first time you use it.*

Herself has already blasted plenty paperwork through it, and so far the cats have largely ignored it, though the Turk is slightly annoyed that it takes up some of his prime napping space. Thanks to everyone for the recommendations.

* Turns out you can push that rascal right back in, and it’ll pop out again — brazzzzzzz! — next time you print something.

Soggy Dog

July 31, 2014

One of the many puddles surrounding Chez Dog. If I can just figure out a way to link them up, we’ll have a moat.

Nobody who lives in an alpine desert should ever complain about rain.

That said, fuck this noise. Seriously. I left Oregon for a reason, and this is it. Rain alla goddamn time. I thought I’d spilled some salad in my lap the other day, but it turned out to be moss growing on my … well, the less said about that, the better.

The tipoff? No olive oil. And the cucumber wasn’t peeled and sliced.

In unrelated news, the exodus proceeds, albeit at a snail’s pace. Herself bid farewell to her old job yesterday and leaves for Duke City tomorrow. She will be our LURP whilst I remain (as per usual) a REMF, puttering around behind the lines, telling bullshit war stories everyone’s already heard a thousand times, and mostly getting in the way.

We haven’t found new quarters yet, but we’re talking loan with a banker recommended by longtime Friend of the DogS(h)ite Khal Spencer (a thousand thank-yous, K). What with loan applications and new-job paperwork to process it’s a hell of a time to have had to surrender “our” multifunction printer to Herself’s former employer, and so I’m hunting a new one in my spare time, of which there is none.

Anyone have a recommendation for a reasonably priced, compact, all-in-one, print/fax/scan combo device? I haven’t had to buy one in years and am completely off the back, tech-wise. Sound off in comments, please. And thank you.

Shark. Fin.

July 28, 2014

Laptop-OverWhew. Another Tour is in the bin, and just in time, too.

Vinnie “The Shark” Nibbles arrived in Paris with his lead and skin intact, two Frenchies made the podium for the first time since the lads raced with wooden rims, smoking cigarettes, and Charles Pelkey and I called the sumbitch from start to finish at Live Update Guy. Thanks to any and all of yis who popped round to watch us flail. If you enjoy that sort of thing, we’re gonna be doing it again for the Vuelta a España.

Now I can finally relax a bit, if your idea of downtime is immediately banging out a column and cartoon for Bicycle Retailer, shooting and editing a video for Adventure Cyclist, and wrangling a herd of tradespeople — movers, plumbers, arborists, painters, bankers, and Realtors™ — in preparation for our impending move to Albuquerque. Fuck me running, if you’ll pardon my French.

Herself will be southbound directly, taking up temporary quarters in Duke City as she starts the new gig, while I remain behind at Chez Dog, dealing with deadlines, managing the menagerie and assisting the house-hunting process from afar with my usual wit and wisdom.

“Nope. Nope. Nope. Hate it. Ug-ly. Sucks. Nope. Nope. Nope.”

It doesn’t help that we’re out of practice, having stayed put for 12 years. Too, we’ve been extraordinarily lucky as regards house purchases, having dealt exclusively with friends and relatives thus far. Still, eventually we’ll find a place we like, accumulate some soul-crushing debt, and that will be that. We’ll be New Mexicans again.

¡Que triste es la vida loca!


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