31 March 2007


April 2nd, 1928 was the year my dad was born. Hometown, Winslow Arizona along Route 66. A road that would eventually lead him to the Army Air Corps at 17 [he lied and said he was 18]. Fortunately WW2 would end a few months after he joined. He found himself in Germany and even then new he would return one day.

After arriving home from the war he thought he would suprise his aunt upon returning home and sneak into her house...however what he didn't know was that the room he snuck into was the room my future mother was spending the night in. Startling my mom he apologized and quickly left the room. She eventually inquired about him and the rest as they say....

My dad worked for the famed La Posada hotel in Winslow designed by Mary Coulter for the Harvey House chain. The hotel is STILL operating in Winslow today. Eventually he started his own bar/restaurant called the Desert Winds. The building is still in town today only I think its an auto repair shop now.

After that my dad joined the Army which by then had split from the Army Air Corps, the second half becoming the Air Force.

He had two tour of duties in 'nam. Oh yeah..he has LOTS of stories to tell.

My dad recalls the time he was having a weekend bbq which he did alot. He had invited friends and their families from work, both higher ranking and lower ranking [from what I understand fraternizing among the ranks is frowned upon, my dad having always been an amicable fellow sort of...uh...didn't care..hahaha].

So as the bbq is going on a knock on the door is heard and my mom answers it and says, "Oh, hello Mr. Patton." To which General George Patton Jr says: "Thats GENERAL PATTON to you lady." General Patton Jr was commander of Ft Hood at the time and my dad did all the maintenance on his vehicles personally. After speaking with my dad they leave the bbq and my dad inspects a vehicle for him at which point my dad invites him back to the bbq.

All the soldiers that were there at the time were quite suprised to see their commander joining in to say the least. As my dad tells it General Patton told them all, "he would rather be there at the bbq with his troops then at some stuffy officers club."

General Patton Jr passed away in 2004.

In 1979 my dad retired from the military and we moved to Albuquerque. A a few yars later I left at 22 for Los Angeles. My mom passed away in 1990. In his later years my dad became ill to a point I moved back to Albuquerque from Los Angeles to take care of him, help him with his homebased business and basically spend some quality time with him for how many years he might have left.

Tonight we took him out for his 79th birthday. The whole family together. My brother the baker made this delicious white cake with strawberry and bavarian creme filling. I'm embarrassed to say I had three pieces!!!

It was a good evening.

THREE SLICES!!! What is a fella to do??!!

My neice Veronica and pops.

27 March 2007


I am a big time music fan. One of the things I dreaded most when I moved here was the music scene, both live and radio. My worst fears came true. Albuquerque radio S U C K S!!!! Stations here are STILL playing music from 20, 30 and 4o years ago!!!! One classic rock station is fine...but THREE???? Damn man...how many times can you listen to TOM SAWYER by Rush??!! It's nearly 30 years old!! And you would think that Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd had only put out three albums being that the SAME DAMN THREE SONGS are played here over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and o v e r by those bands. There is also our version of KROQ out of Los Angeles which I stopped listening to when they stopped playing new British bands and turned to grunge and TOOL and SUBLIME and 311 and SOUNDGARDEN etc etc. All started to sound the same to me. Even the 'news radio' here is sadly lacking [I was spoiled by KNX and KFWB - I gave them 22 minutes of my life and they gave me the world!!!] The news station here is a "conservative talk/news' station and I can only put up with so much of Rush, Hannity and Savage. You would never know that current college favorites The Shins were from here.

So what DO I listen too?? 610 The Sports Animal. My bedroom radio does not move from that dial. Sometimes I will listen to Mega the reggatone station. I don't understand a word they are saying but that is some good shite as is the 'banda' played on Radio Lobo. Great horn sections those 'banda' bands.

I was spoiled on LA Radio...specifically Indie 103.1 [I miss you Jonesy!!!] I can't even seem to find current copies of NME out here so I'm missing all the good new bands

I did however pick up a few cd's I can reccommend some tracks on.

SOUND OF SILVER by LCD SoundSystem is James Murphy's side project. The indie-dance guru out of Nueva York has made a great second album. The track SOMEONE GREAT is a hypnotic and rythmic groove that I've played over and over. I can also recommend you download ALL MY FRIENDS and NEW YORK I LOVE YOU BUT YOU'RE BRINGING ME DOWN. NORTH AMERICAN SCUM is pretty funny too.

I can recommend a track from LCD'S first cd effort called LOSING MY EDGE. If you are a new music history buff you will enjoy all the bands Murphy tries to squeeze in, in this oral history of what was 'new and hip' and how he's 'lost his edge' to the kids from europe.

I also picked up the new cd from Air called POCKET SYMPHONY. To some it might sound like elevator music [LEMON JELLY IS NOT ELEVATOR MUSIC!!!] . Ambient grooves ,some tunes even have vocals. [So what's wrong with elevator music?? GIRL FROM IMPENIMA is a GREAT song.... Travis!! LOL]. It's like saying something is wrong is Chili's. [The citris shrimp is awesome!!! take that Anthony Bourdain!! -- Mutt, stop snickering!!!! LOL]

Two tracks from this cd you should download are: SPACE MAKER an instrumental mellow groove and and SOMEWHERE BETWEEN WAKING AND SLEEPING.

And from the FYI Files:

I'm sure by now everyone has seen the GEICO caveman commercials. I love'em myself.

In the one where he is walking in an airport, the Royksopp song REMIND ME is on the loudspeakers. It's a pretty groovey tune from the cd MELODY A.M. It came out about two or three years ago and the song I picked it up for initially back then was POOR LENO which is also very cool.

Groove on that for awhile until next time. I'm out.


26 March 2007


As we cruised back into Albuquerque we hit the famed Route 66, the mother road. Like so many other towns along Route 66, Albuquerque has some unique hotels along its main drag. One of note is the Aztec Motel.

The Aztec is the oldest surviving Route 66 motel in New Mexico. Beginning as the Aztec Autocourt in 1931, it changed hands a number of times over the years. It had become a haven for prostitutes and drug dealers when the Mohamed Natha family bought it in 1991 and worked to restore the Aztec's family atmosphere, along with the physical plant. The Aztec's unique decor is courtesy of Phyllis Evans, a retired professor who lives there part-time. All along the exterior of the hotel are...uh.. things that have been collected through out the years and attached to the walls. My pictures do not do it justice. I wish I could post full size pictures so you could see the detail but sadly, my computer freezes up everytime I try to.

We did not go inside, I can only imagine what you might find at oldest Route 66 motel in the city.

[click on any picture to enlarge.]

Oh...and not to be outdone, the Town House Lodge down the street has its attraction too...a bovine on the roof. Nothing flashy about it. Old Bessie just keeps watch on the traffic as it goes by.

I still want to take a drive from the west end of town to the east end of town along Route 66 with camera in hand. There is so much more to see.
Until next time. I'm out.

25 March 2007


When I last left off, my buddy Rudy and I were headed north towards the back roads of New Mexico. On Highway 14 aka the Turquoise Trail we found the quiet yet quirky former mining town of Madrid [MADrid].

As you walk along the main drag you'll find alot of the houses have been turned into store fronts. Lots of cool artworks and handicrafts...pricey handicrafts...they may be artists but they are capitalists too!! The blanket hanging on the left side of this picture can be yours for $2,350 smackers.

As in Tinkertown, there are alot of humorous signs all around town.

Lots of pooches too. We saw a faded posting on a wall to 'get your dog pictures in' for the annual Madrid Dog Calendar. You can see pooches lying all over town in doorways or wandering the street...they were all friendly I'm glad to say.

This one was asleep in front of the local bar, The Mine Shaft [no relation to the one in LA lol].

In the movie WILD HOGS, Marissa Tomei runs the local diner, called Maggies. The diner was built by the movie company [Touchstone]. It does not have a foundation, heat, electricity or running water [in fact a sign we saw posted on one store front read that there IS no running water in Madrid. Port-a-potties are all over town...yet the bar had a mens/ladies room and there are a few bed and breakfasts so not sure whats up with that]. Rather then knock the set down, the town purchased it from Disney and hopes to make it operational as a tourist draw. The climactic scene/showdown takes place at the diner as the bikers led by Ray Liotta confront the four 'yuppy bikers' from Cincinnatti. Guess who wins....hahahaha....

...poor Rudy...something fierce was in the air that day...allergies are bad here.

All in all it was a cool way to spend the afternoon. The spring weather was awesome and it was Monday so there were hardly any tourists...just folks wandering quietly down the dusty main street of a town in the middle of nowhere.

...next up we get our kicks on Route 66 and find the Aztec Motel...not to mention a 'cow on the roof'!!!

I'm out.

24 March 2007


In September of '06 I wrote about a town called Tinkertown [see link at right] on highway 14 in the east mountains. My friend Jon had come out from CA for a rodeo and I had heard about this place so decided to make the trip there. Amazing to say the least.

My friend Rudy came out later that year for the New Mexico State Fair and I made my second trip there and discovered that the Turquoise Trail [highway 14 ] continued on past Tinkertown. When my buddy Rudy came out this past week I thought now was a good time to...


The reason for returning was to find the town of Madrid...err...not Madrid as in Madrid, Spain but as the locals pronounce it MADrid. A new movie had opened the weekend before called WILD HOGS with Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H Macy which takes place in MADrid.

The movie finds the four middle age buddies taking to the road on their motorcycles and trying to re-capture their youth 'on the road' only to end up offending a real biker gang that has been terrorizing the town of MADrid New Mexico. The film is basically a remake of City Slickers and pretty much contains every cliche in the book...but there are enough good jokes spread through out to make it interesting. Not to mention its local flavor. With that knowledge in hand, we took to the road ourselves.

I decided rather then take the long way around the Sandia Mountains to Hghway 14 I would drive up Interstate 25 and cut off at Route 22 just north of Albuquerque and cross over to 14. To my suprise once you take the exit off the freeway 22 becomes a dirt/gravel/broken asphalt shortcut ...'gulp'. The map I had did not note that and soon you are on 11 miles of rough road. So if you are plannng on going to MADrid from Albuquerque I would recommend taking I-40 east to Highway 14, unless you have a four wheeler then rough road is not a problem, especially in inclement weather.

Right off the bat MADrid reminded of a place I once visited called Jerome, CA. Both are abandoned mining towns that have now become mecca's for artists/crafts people and is the local point for biker gatherings. Jerome however is much more touristy. Not that MADrid isn't but the town has not been polished and cleaned up as much as Jerome. Jerome is pretty much a collection of buildings along one main road. MADrid has that but it also has original buildings down surrounding streets and up on hills. Where as Jerome feels like a movie set, MADrid feels like a LARRRRRGE movie set...hahaha...

...to be continued....


Albuquerque is pretty damn lucky to be located on the west side of the Sandia Mountains.

Yesterday 13 tornado's touched down in eastern New Mexico causing a helluvalot of damage. The tail end of tornado country ends on the eastern slope of the 10,678 feet high Sandia's.
It is not odd to see dark black clouds enveloping the Sandia Mountains yet across the river on the west side all sunshine and fair weather. Thanks to those mountains, tornado's rarely jump over and hit our city.

I remember back in the latter half of the 20th century...oh... circa 1985/6, I was in line at a drive up bank window when one formed over the city. Everyone in their cars got out [duh!!!] just to stare at the funnel cloud that was swirling in the sky. It eventually touched down at the state fair grounds and Winrock Shoppig Centre blowing in the skylights and then moving north to damage a church.

Usually the city will get hit with tornado like effects: high winds, hail, rain and amazing thunderstorms but we are usually spared funnel clouds. My prayers go out to all those folks in Logan, Lovington, Clovis and the rest of eastern NM.