31 March 2008


My nephew Dom is in the Navy and stationed aboard the USS Princeton, a support ship for the Nimitz. He sent me these cool pictures. His ship mainly patrols the mid-east, currently they are off the coast of Japan. Talk about adventures!!!

I told him to tell me all the good stuff that he does not tell his mom...hahaha.

He's the one on the right...I don't think I'll be showing his mom this one...hehehe.

He's the one in the middle.

I'm out.

29 March 2008


The recent full moon was our last real cold night. The days have been awesome -- in the upper 60s to 70s.

Trees, grass and flowers are springing to life. Once gray branches burst with color. People are glad to be in shorts again. The outside cafes are filling up in the early evening.

Just as life renews I say farwell to a family friend. My brother-in-law's mother passed away Easter Sunday. A nice woman.

The Mass was routine, the priest venting about 'folks not going to church enough' etc.

When he spread the incense around the coffin: silence.

That sign of finality. The end of our time in one world, the beginning of another.

Into the grandest adventure she goes first.

I'm out.

24 March 2008


So did you hear what James Carville, a Clintonista, said today about Billy Richardson???

Oh man this is better then As The World Turns:

By Patrick Healy

BLUE BELL, Pa. – James Carville, a political adviser to the Clintons, said this afternoon that he stood by his comment last Friday – Good Friday, to Christians – comparing Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico to Judas, even though a Clinton campaign aide said today that, if he were Mr. Carville, he would apologize for the remark.

“I was quoted accurately and in context, and I was glad to give the quote and I was glad I gave it,” Mr. Carville said. “I’m not apologizing, I’m not resigning, I’m not doing anything.”

Over the past Easter weekend, television news programs and other media outlets have heavily covered a remark that Mr. Carville made to the Times about Mr. Richardson's endorsement of Senator Barack Obama. Given that Mr. Richardson held positions in the Clinton administration, and is a friend to Mrs. Clinton, the endorsement constituted an “act of betrayal,” Mr. Carville said.

Then he added this coup de grace:“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Mr. Carville said, referring to Holy Week.

Mr. Richardson shot back saying that comment was the sort that some people around the Clintons tended to make.

Given the media play and replay, a reporter this afternoon repeatedly asked Howard Wolfson, Mrs. Clinton’s communications director, if Mr. Carville should apologize and if the Clinton campaign tolerated that sort of rhetoric.

At first Mr. Wolfson answered generally, saying that sort of language was not welcome, but in the end gave a fairly pointed answer.

“You’ll have to ask James if he wants to apologize,” he said. “If I had said it, I would apologize.”

So I called Mr. Carville again and asked if he wanted to revise his remarks or actually apologize. For several seconds he laughed – cackled might be more accurate – and then said he stood by his quote fully.

He says what he means and he means what he says. I personally have always liked Jim Carville. I am sure that by Friday all this will be old news, although I'm sure Sean Hannity will have a field day with this for some time.

When Governor Richardson announced his run for the presidency [it wasn't even here in New Mexico it was announced in California!!!!] He repeatedly said "I'm not interested in being vice president, I want to be the president!" What a croc. He can't wait to get back into main stream politics and Obama-rama handed him that ticket...not necessarily a vp slot but I'm sure its a great seat in his adminstration.

I'm out.

22 March 2008


Should you find yourself visiting ruins on a Native American reservation here are a few tips to remember:

Keep in mind they are sovereign, self-governing nation with their own laws. Almost all pueblos welcome visitors, visitors are expected to observe local rules and etiquette.

Photography should always respect people and place. Most pueblos allow photography only by permit and that usually means you will have to pay for a permit. At Acoma Sky City the fee was $10; however, at the national monuments like the Salt Missions there was no fee.

NEVER photograph dances or ceremonies. These events are traditional and often religious ceremonies rather then entertainment. Applause is not appropriate. Never photograph a person or group without asking first. If permission is given you may be asked to pay a small fee for the privilege.

NEVER take alcohol on to native lands.

At Acoma Sky City, cam-corders and digital cameras are not allowed. Fortunately I had my old digital camera with me and it looks like a bulky film camera. Shhhhh...don't tell anyone.

Also, this is mainly for peublos ON Indian lands....because at the New Mexico State Fair there were people photographing dances and applauding. If you are ever unsure, ask your guide.

I'm out.

21 March 2008


New Mexico governor and former presidential candidate Bill Richardson has endorsed Obama-rama for president. Let me just say that Richardson [the hailed 'first' Latino to run for the presidency] is 'hispanic' when he needs to be and 'caucasian' when he needs to be. Man he is milking it. My guess is he was rebuffed by Bill Clinton when they watched the SuperBowl...errr I mean the 'big game' together so when Obama-rama came to visit and offered him a way out of New Mexico he jumped at it.

Now folks, I made a decision from the beginning of this blog not to get political or religious but I guess those two subjects will always creep into everything.

I was a Mike Huckabee supporter from the get go. I feel he is an intelligent and fair man despite my not agreeing with him on everything and the fact that he went super-conservative when he was going neck and neck with McCain.

Who doesn't try and appeal to their base in the final hours. [Bush trashed McCain when they were running against each other in the the 2000 election].

I have made the decision to support Hilary despite her husband. [Just as I now throw my support for Jim Webb when he makes the decision to run for president and I assure you he will one day. JIM WEBB IN 2012!!!]

Obama-rama is a GREAT orator [as is Mike Huckabee]. Man can Obie make promises or what. It bothers me though that his campaign speaks of 'change' yet he brings on Ted Kennedy, one of the longest in the tooth politicos in US pollitics. How is that change???

Despite the flak that Jeremiah Wright has caused the Obama-rama campaign, I do believe Obama is an intelligent man and has risen above such rhetoric.

It's a tough decision. Obama-rama or Clinton 2. Both are historic but are either one of them really ready to answer that phone at 3am? I dunno.

I'm out.

The Walk to Chimayo

Unfortunately, I am not writing this post from first hand experience.

Today is a special day in New Mexico. Good Friday signals for many 'believers'* the annual 'walk to Chimayo', a pilgrimage for many to the small 300 year old spritual town of Chimayo, New Mexico, north of Santa Fe.

Every year on Good Friday tens of thousands of people walk to a church in Chimayo in observance of the Easter Holiday.

Sheltered in a little valley in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Chimayo hisotrically has been known for its fruit and chile production as well as cattle grazing.

The Santuario de Chimayo was built around 1815 to house a crucifix that, according to legend, was founnd in the dirt at the site. Long before the arrival of the Spaniards and Christianity it was considered by Native Americans to be a sacred spot.

During Holy Week, peaking on Good Friday, pilgrims walk miles to the santuario, a few toting large wooden crosses. They trek 10 miles from neighboring towns, 30 miles from Santa Fe and 90*** miles from Albuquerque!!!!!!

At the church they scoop up handfuls of dirt locally dug and blessed by a priest that many believe has healing properties.** The dirt is rubbed on your body or it is taken home. It is a very devout and spiritual exercise for those involved.

Although it would be an interesting experience...I don't really think the people on the walk would like me taking photographs of them and bascially playing a dumb tourist. I would; however, like to take a trip to the church on my own. I'll keep you posted.

*I am a lapsed Catholic.

** How about this on a t-shirt: "My brother made the walk to Chimayo and all I got was this dirt". I'm bad...I know I'm real bad. [K-Mo, put in a good word for me if you go first, ok..thanks buddy.]

*** No way in hel...uhm..heck am I gonna walk 90 miles for dirt!!!

I'm out.

18 March 2008

Now You Know.

The Simpsons episode Hungry Hungry Homer has the Springfiled Isotopes baseball team relocating to Albuquerque. The Isotopes were the name chosen by fan poll for the real Albuquerque Minor League team in 2002

In another episode of The Simpsons titled E Pluribus Wiggum, Krusty states that the presidential candidates have more hot air than the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

In Bugs Bunny shorts where Bugs is traveling underground and does not end up where he thought he was going, while consulting a map, he would often say, "I knew I should've taken a left turn at Albuquerque."

"Weird Al" Yankovic wrote a song for his Running with Scissors album called Albuquerque.

The Hit Disney Channel Original Movies High School Music and High School Musical 2 are both set in Albuquerque. The teenagers attend the fictitious East High School. Neither of the films were shot in Albuquerque.

In Little Miss Sunshine the family travel from Albuquerque to the pageant.

Neil Young wrote a song called "Albuquerque" for his album Tonights the Night from 1975.

The Partridge Family had a song called "Point Me In the Direction of Albuquerque" that was played in one of the episodes of the show.

Ethel Mertz, a fictional character played by Vivian Vance in the 1950s sitcom I Love Luch, is from Albuquerque, which is featured in the episode "Ethel's Hometown." Vance, like her character, hails from Albuquerque.

Prefab Sprout mention Alburquerque in the chorus of their song The King of Rolck n' Roll.

Albuquerque has an active live music scene.

Avant-Garde musician Frank Zapa in his song "The Jazz Discharge Party Hats" tells a story set in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The show Breaking Bad (2008) on AMC was filmed and takes place in and around Albuquerque.

The city of Albuquerque started REAAAAAL late when it comes to preserving historical buildings. I recently purchased a book called ALBUQUERQUE: THEN AND NOW

The book has some awesome photographs of architecture from Albuquerque's past -- all demolished to make way for new plazas and parking lots. What a pisser.

My favorite is of the Hotel Franciscan:

What a waste.

15 March 2008


FYI -- There have been a few comments posted on my blog from hackers trying to get you to 'click here and here' DO NOT DO IT. I DID NOT POST THAT.

12 March 2008


I had lunch downtown today at the 4th St Corridor. There are lots of shops and restaurants along that stretch of 4th St.

That is where by chance I found the Telephone Museum of New Mexico. It's been around for 11 years and is now housed on three floors...who knew??

Of course I just happened to have my camera ready.

The museum houses phones that were in service in New Mexico from it's introduction up to 1984. This was the year the government disbanded AT&T for having a monoply.

This was the actual phone used by the local telephone operator to warn of the attack of Pancho Villa on Columbus, New Mexico, March 9th, 1916
I'm out.


Just a note to wish my friend Travis the happiest of birthdays!!! Woo-hoo!!!! 29 AGAIN!! How DO you DO it buddy!!! We'll celebrate next month -- first beer is one me!!!

09 March 2008

Sunday Lite

All work and no play....

07 March 2008



06 March 2008


Some music videos go beyond just being a commercial for a band. This is one of my favorites.

[Note to my friend Craig: this video epitomizes what I meant when I quoted Wayne Coyne; "All we really have is now."]

04 March 2008


I was posting my Salinas Mission videos to YOUTUBE when I came across this. This was filmed inside the Quarai Mission Ruins.


01 March 2008


I was suprised how many people had never been to or even heard of The Salt Missions. I asked a couple of friends and co-workers if they had ever been there and they were like...'huh'? What's that. They obviously don't get out of their environment much he he he.

It was amazing to me how relatively close these monuments are to Albuquerque...yet growing up here as a kid I had never heard of them either. They are relatively easy to get to and make a great day trip!! Basically take I-40 east to 337 south to the 55. Go south on the 55 to Punta de Agua at which point you will come to Quarai. Quarai has the largest church of the three missions. From there continue south to Mountainair. I highly recommend you have lunch at the historic Shaffer Hotel Dining Room.

It's very casual and reasonably priced. I had the carne adovada with fresh beans [not refried!] and rice.

What's that....ooohhhhh, that....you noticed the swastika's on the facade of the building eh.

No no no, this was not Heinrich Himmler's favorite eatery.....far from it.

The swastika has been in use by many cultures for about 3,000 years. Here in the southwest it has many meanings.

To the Hopi it represented the wandering Hopi clan. To the Navajo it was one symbol for whirling winds, a sacred image that was used in healing rituals. After learning of the Nazi mimic the Navajo rejected the symbol; however it is still visible on buildings built before the Nazi's used it.

[Navajo basketball team from 1909]

After lunch and a brief tour of 'main street' continue south to Gran Quivira.

Gran Quivira is the largest of the missions and sits on a high plain overlooking the valley. It is amazing. Sort of like Machu Picchu lite but impressive none the less.

After you visit Gran Quivira you head back up 55 north to 60 west. Keep in mind, Gran Quivira and Quarai are both well marked National Monuments. Abo however is not. I missed it the first time as the entrance is a road between two houses and the sign is a small simple one that says 'Abo'.

After Abo continue west on 60 to either Interstate 25 [at which point you'd head north back to Albuquerque] or you can take a diagonal route to Belen, saving you time but you end up on 47 north which takes you into Albuquerque's South Valley.

All three national monuments are free admission. Quarai and Gran Quivira have a modern bathroom and small gift shop/soda machine. The gates lock at 5pm sharp. Abo does not have a gate and only has port-a-potty's. The best time to take pics is probably when the sun is low in the sky and you get long shadows. I was there early morning and mid afternoon and still got some great shots.

I do recommend a full tank of petro and some snacks/drinks. I went now during late winter/early spring and the weather was great. Not to mention the tourists have not arrived yet.

All in all this is a GREAT day trip.

Here is some video from Abo.

I'm out.