Posts Tagged ‘Herself’

The next 60

March 28, 2014
The Soma Saga in its present configuration. I'm thinking about losing the rando' bars for some short-reach drops, beefing up the bar tape and fattening up the tires.

The Soma Saga in its present configuration. I’m thinking about losing the rando’ bars for some short-reach drops, beefing up the bar tape and fattening up the tires.

Thanks to all of you for the most excellent birthday wishes. No. 60 was a quiet day around Chez Dog — since Herself was road-tripping for business purposes, the party was an exclusive affair; just me, the menagerie, and all those voices in my head (happily, they don’t eat much, not even ice cream).

Today, a milestone behind me and various millstones ahead, I continued what I’m calling Ride the Neglected Bicycles Week. So far it’s seen the Voodoos Nakisi and Wazoo, the Co-Motion Divide Rohloff, and the Jones all get out of the garage for some vigorous thrashing, and there are still two days left. Tomorrow’s supposed to be 60-something and mostly sunny. You can’t stop me!

When not riding, I’ve been reading about riding. “Life Is a Wheel” is Bruce Weber’s account of his second cross-country cycling trip, undertaken at age 57. I had been aware of his ride — a writer for The New York Times, Weber blogged about it for the paper — but the book had somehow slipped my mind. I saw the review, downloaded the book, and so far Weber and I have spent an enjoyable few evenings together.

Like other road books — “Travels With Charley,” “Blue Highways,” and of course, “On the Road,” “Life Is a Wheel” is giving me notions. Nothing so elaborate as a cross-country ride, mind you, certainly not in springtime. But taking a few days away, under my own steam, sounds like a wonderful departure from business as usual.


The big six-oh (no)

March 27, 2014
Pikes Peak as seen from the Yucca Flats dog-walking ghetto at Palmer Park.

Pikes Peak as seen from the Yucca Flats dog-walking ghetto at Palmer Park.

I awakened with a start this morning to someone singing “Happy Birthday” and a giant furry creature sitting on my chest.

“Well, that’s that,” I thought. “The devil has finally come to collect. At least things will be warm from now on.”

But no, it was just Herself (singing) and Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (sitting). The former was off to work and the latter was interested primarily in my bedside glass of water. Miss Mia Sopaipilla and Mister Boo, being junior staff, were on perimeter duty.

I got up, grabbed a cup of joe (first things first) and checked the mirror. I didn’t look any younger, but I didn’t look any older, either. We must take these little gifts as they are offered.

This being March in Colorado, I jumped the gun and rode my age-to-be yesterday, in kilometers, when it was shorts-and-short-sleeves weather. Today looks a little iffier, with a high in the mid-50s, a chance of rain and plenty of wind.

It was the sort of ride I’ve come to relish in my declining years — a blend of city streets, gravel paths and single-track, taken on a weirdomobile, the Voodoo Nakisi with its triple crankset and 700×43 tires. It’s spring break, but I managed to avoid breaking anything, despite a ragged parade of homeless zombies on the southern end of the Pikes Peak Greenway and rush-hour traffic on the trails in Palmer Park.

Afterward I cycled over to Ranch Foods Direct and picked up a steak to grill for birthday dinner, which included mashed Yukon Golds, steamed asparagus and a big bowl of ice cream. We watched Stewart and Colbert, walked the Boo in a light rain and that was that. A fine time was had by all.

I’m still waiting for wisdom to arrive, but I haven’t seen the UPS truck yet. Let’s hope it beats the devil here.

Snot rag

March 6, 2014
Kleenex and Mucinex and tea, oh my.

Kleenex and Mucinex and tea, oh my.

Gah. I was congratulating myself for having avoided the cold that felled Herself — dodged a boogery bullet, evaded a snot rocket, as it were — and then, boom!

Attack of the clones: Cloning the MacBook's hard drive to a new OWC SSD using SuperDuper and a USB Universal Drive Adapter.

Attack of the clones: Cloning the MacBook’s hard drive to a new OWC SSD using SuperDuper and a USB Universal Drive Adapter.

Got me.

Thus, while it is a springlike 64 degrees outdoors, here I sit, full of drugs, hot tea and bad ideas. Like installing a new SSD in my old black MacBook to give it a taste of the 21st century.

This is not unlike putting spinners on a Nash Metropolitan, but what the hell — at just under a C note from the fine folks at Other World Computing, a bigger, faster drive is a whole lot cheaper than a new laptop for road trips requiring a bit more screen real estate and software than the 11-inch MacBook Air provides.

Plus, being slightly crazed on caffeine, pseudoephedrine and guaifenesin, I need something to keep my hands busy. It’s either this or follow the news, and that seems futile since I no longer have any hair to pull out.

• Late update: The surgery was successful, and now I have a zippy little 120GB SSD in my 8-year-old MacBook. Probably should’ve gone bigger, but SSDs are pricey, and I have a 120GB external drive I can use to store image files.

Poultry slam

February 23, 2014
When a cold comes into the house, you've got to give it the bird.

When a cold comes into the house, you’ve got to give it the bird.

There is catarrh in the house, curse its name.

A terrorist assault on the snotlocker has laid Herself low, and with the Horse of Pestilence thus having escaped her boogered-up beezer barn I am belatedly barring the door to my own by preparing a massive tureen of chicken noodle soup.

Oh, she gets a bowl, too. Just in case you were wondering.

The recipe can be found in “Dad’s Own Cookbook,” by Bob Sloan, and it is the foundation of any number of other meals, among them chicken quesadillas, chicken chilaquiles, and chicken eaten with the fingers straight out of the pot before you make anything other than a big-ass pot of simmered chicken.

And when I say “big-ass,” I do not lie. This sucker starts with a 4.5-pound bird, plus four extra drumsticks, and adds four quarts of water, four carrots, two turnips, a large onion, a leek, a dollop of honey, salt, dill, egg noodles, peas and parsley.

As chicken soups go, this is the equivalent of Rolling Thunder, a culinary carpet-bombing, a real poultry slam. I just hope it’s not too late. Some doughty little bug in green pajamas could be out there right now, pushing his Ah Choo Minh bicycle loaded with deadly bacteria through the triple-canopy jungle of my nose hairs.

Nothing out of the ORDinary

January 27, 2014

united-flightYou know you’re fucked when United gives you an estimated date for your flight home.

Herself is wheels up, jetting from Philly to Bibleburg via Chicago’s O’Hell International Campground, and on a whim I checked her flight status on the United website. The result of my inquiry is posted above. Seems the Soviet-surplus Aeroflot PS-84 inbound from Duluth ran out of bathtub vodka (for either the windshield washers or the flight crew) and is at least 90 minutes behind schedule.

A charging station in O'Hell. Has USB and everything. Hi, Uncle Sammy, it's your trusty taxpayer Herself, just keeping the iPad full of electrons.

A charging station in O’Hell. Has USB and everything. Hi, Uncle Sammy, it’s your trusty taxpayer Herself, just keeping the iPad full of electrons.

Happily, knowing through bitter experience that O’Hell is the aviation equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle (or perhaps the Hotel California), Herself has all her must-have items in her carry-on bag in case she has to kip in a plastic chair at Mickey D’s.

When reached for comment, Herself replied succinctly, “Shit.”

On the bright side, O’Hell apparently has these nifty little charging stations to keep one’s personal electronics ticking along like Chinese watches. All the better for the NSA to keep its files up to date, don’t you know.

• Late update: Well, she got onto that delayed flight, but now the Bibleburg airport is closed due to inclement weather and the sucker was rerouted to DIA. And after such a fun drive too. Funny, everything seemed to be on schedule right before I left Rancho del Perro Loco. The guy with the shovel must’ve knocked off early.

• Extremely late update: After dithering a bit, and herding people off and on and off the plane, United finally canceled Herself’s flight from DIA to Bibleburg, leaving her stuck at DIA around midnight, and from the sound of it their minions were none too helpful in (a) booking a Tuesday flight or (2) helping her find a place to lay her head for the evening. I may have to shout at some folks.


December 18, 2013
Herself said, "The sunrise is pretty damn' awesome this morning," and she did not lie.

Herself said, “The sunrise is pretty damn’ awesome this morning,” and she did not lie.

A tomb with a view

October 18, 2013
True, it's only a dusting, but still, it's a hint of bigger things to come.

True, it’s only a dusting, but still, it’s a hint of bigger things to come.

There was a thin coat of snow on the Tomb of Chairman Meow when I arose this morning. I blame Obama.

It’s a bit early for this sort of thing, frankly. For starters, the leaves are still on the trees. And a casual check of the Innertoobz indicates that the first snow in these parts generally holds off until a week before Halloween.

Naturally, Herself is out of town on business, so I had to make my own coffee, police up the litter box, and dab the dew from Mister Boo’s delicate little feetsies after his morning constitutional. Oh, the humanity.

The weatherperson says we’re supposed to be back up into the 50s and 60s over the next few days. But what has s/he done for me lately?

It just ain’t my ’cross to bear

October 12, 2013
The colors are changing, fast and furious, as fall descends on Bibleburg.

The colors are changing, fast and furious, as fall descends on Bibleburg.

Cyclo-cross weather here in Bibleburg today. And yesterday, too; it was the first day I wished I’d fetched arm and knee warmers along on what proved to be an abbreviated ride.

It rained a little — naturally, since Herself had just bathed and groomed Mister Boo — and this morning with temps in the 40s the uniform of the day is pants, socks and a long-sleeved Ten Thousand Waves T-shirt. I wish I were wearing it there.

The ’cross this weekend is up north, in the People’s Republic. I will not be in attendance, alas, but one of my bikes should be there, under the narrow booty of Dr. Schenkenstein, who has been taking the thing for an extended test ride and promises to buy it from me sometime.

Another purchase stolen out from under the noses of the local bicycle shops, which are less accommodating as regards pre-sale product evaluation. But then their stock is a little fresher than mine and probably moves a little faster, even in this economy.

Whether it might move faster under Dr. Schenkenstein will remain a mystery, as the man does dearly love a bargain on a used bike. If he eventually writes a check for this one, he will have three of my castoffs in his garage.

And I will have an unoccupied hook in mine. Oboy, oboy, oboy. …

How long can you tread water?

September 12, 2013

It’s been a while since I last cracked my Bible, but I seem to recall the Big Fella promising He wouldn’t destroy the Earth by water again. Got the impression it was sort of a “been there, done that” kind of deal.

Well, He may not be destroying the entire joint this time around, but He’s certainly lowering the property values hereabouts. Boulder now has a moat, and I just saw Noah go arking by the DogHaus with an AR-15 slung over one shoulder. Said he was taking two of everything except homos and Democrats, then added with a genial chuckle, “But I repeat myself.”

Herself just stepped into the deluge to walk Mister Boo, who refuses to shit indoors like everyone else around here. I declined to enable this charade, citing the potential for rust on the steel plate, cranial leakage and the shorting out of wires crucial to the composition of lame gags for fun and profit.

Then I scuttled downstairs to shit in a box. I figure that if the cats and I do it often enough, Mister Boo will eventually get the idea.

Road tripping

June 13, 2013
Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

It was chores, chores, chores today — a full shift’s worth of my usual stock in trade, which is to say bicycles and bullshit — and I didn’t pay much attention to the Black Forest fire until it was about time for Herself to motor on home from her gig in Denver.

And then, holy shit! The friggin’ thing is spreading like a head cold at Interbike and more evacuations are ordered, this time in Bibleburg proper.

“Traffic nightmare in northern Colorado Springs,” quoth the Gazette.

“I-25 is completely congested. Avoid traveling if not necessary,” added the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

El clusterfucko, bucko, as we say south of the border (Monument Hill). I’m thinking she’s gonna be idling at Baptist Road for the better part of quite some time. And you know how those Baptists are.

So I propose going long — E-470 to Interstate 70 to Highway 24 and home. Or maybe C-470 to Highway 285, then jink down through Pine and Deckers to Woodland Park and thence back to the ranch.

Nope. She blazes right on down the Big I to home and hearth — and with hardly a bobble, too. Go figure.

Ride the Rockies is not so fortunate. Thanks to the Royal Gorge fire, they’re getting rerouted through our old stomping grounds of Weirdcliffe, which adds some 33 miles to their ride from Salida to Cañon City, many of them uphill.

I know all of them well, having ridden them as a Crusty County resident and as an entrant in several editions of the late, lamented Hardscrabble Century, which tackled Weirdcliffe from the other direction, from Florence through Wetmore and up Hardscrabble Cañon.

The riding is easier the way the Rockies types are doing it, once they’re past Bear Basin Ranch. From there, it’s mostly downhill to Graybar City. Whip a power salute on H. Rap Brown as you roll past Supermax Florence, kiddos.


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