Category Archives: Town

Cowtown

To be called a “cowtown” implies one of two things: either the town is located in a cattle raising area, or the town is small, isolated or unsophisticated. I choose to think that this city is a cowtown because we have the annual strolling of the cows through the downtown area (what could be more sophisticated?).

The event starts with a small herd of longhorn cattle, including the adorable babies.

The TV news babe was there to cover the event (this is the sort of assignment that they delegate to the interns) along with her cameraman. How was she to know that the news part of the story would be at the other end of the stroll?

Police were ready to escort the herd and stop traffic (the sirens were on low to avoid startling the cattle).

And they’re off! Strolling along a busy street (well it’s a busy street a few blocks from here).

At the end of the trail, near the final destination of cattle pens were these ancient activists, with their handmade bedsheet signs (how quaint, this reminds me of the 60’s).

Here the herd is approaching the end and are quite tightly bunched up. Because…

This cow had had enough, so she ran into the crowd (people can move quite quickly when they need to) and then she ran into the open door of a bank, closely pursued by a couple of cowboys on horseback. They got a lasso on her and she was led back to the trailers. Meanwhile, the person who took the video on her cellphone capturing this cow’s adventure made the news, both local and national (too bad for you, TV newsgirl). All in all it was excellent publicity for a amateur rodeo and the cows went home until next year.

Goats

Baby goats are adorable. It’s fun to watch them capering about, and it’s hard not to smile at their antics. And then there is yoga, which is not adorable. I find yoga to be a stern practice, there are a lot of postures to memorize, and an instructor who is there to correct your form. But if one puts these two things together, which are not intuitive things to combine, why you get Goat Yoga. Which is really a thing.

Goats are not much interested in doing exercise just to get in shape, so a little bribery is in order. This handsome young man is placing goat treats on the backs of the ladies in this particular yoga class. And the goats are climbing aboard to sample these delicious nuggets.

So the goats aren’t doing yoga at all, they are just scrounging for treats.

Here is the yoga pose downward dog (a very typical sort of movement) combined with upward goat.

Why was this event going on? Well the name of the local brewpub that sponsored this says it all.

On Tap

I do like to go to a pub occasionally, and I do like to pay attention to the odd bits of life. So here is where these two streams intersect today, in those things that the bartender moves to dispense beer (or cider). Yes I am talking about beer taps. Now when I was just a youngster, these were ordinary, plain sorts of things. Perhaps it might have the name of the sort of beer being served (where I am from this would be Budweiser, Busch, Stag or Falstaff). But times have changed and perhaps the gullible drinking public can be persuaded to try a brew based on the tap handle. At least that is my explanation. 😉

Why not try the beer preferred by elephants?

This is quite a popular local (ish) beer. M always said he knew why the Lab was laughing.

At this fine establishment the choice is between some anonymous taps or the tentacled one. I would always vote for trying the tentacle!

And then there is this choice. It appears to be a wheat beer, and it appears to be the sort of things favored by sombrero wearing zombies or other undead sorts. Perhaps not the best selling point for one’s beer, but, there is obviously a market for this. So goodbye to the old major brands (I do not miss you Budweiser), hello to the interesting taps of the craft crowd.

Clouds

A little gale will soon disperse that cloud.

For every cloud engenders not a storm.

Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short.

Many thanks to our old friend Bill Shakespeare for once again writing a guest column on this blog.

Still more snow

The usual guidelines for setting out plants in this area is anytime after Mother’s Day or May 15th, whichever comes first. It’s usually safe from freezing, but this year has been a little different. When I first heard that it was supposed to snow on Monday, I really wasn’t worried as it had been so warm. And the TV weather persons didn’t think the storm would amount to much (they were uniformly wrong).

It started off with a bit of snowy rain. As Mr. Dog did not like this, we took our walk inside the giant hardware store and then went out to dinner (he is a Labrador, so of course he loves to eat).

But after the sun went down, the snow kept falling.

And it didn’t stop until all the trees were bent over under the weight of snow. It was about eight inches of snow here, a friend measured the snow at her house and it was twelve and a half inches!

Then after a bit one could see a patch of blue sky. And those big clumps of snow on the branches started crashing down as it warmed up.

So as the snow melted away I could see the mess left behind by the storm. I got out my trusty bow saw and quickly cleared up these branches so that I could get my car out of the garage. Unfortunately, the plum tree in front of the house looked to be a total loss, the main trunk had snapped. As I looked closer, I noticed that one branch was spared. I had thought about trimming this off, but had been too lazy to do this. I tied up the branch in the hopes that it would grow straight, and now I just have to wait for Mother Nature to quit playing tricks on me (for a little while at least).

The petunias in the barrel would have been a total loss, except that the deer had already come by and eaten them. 😉

Art or?

I’m not sure why having Art on the street has become so popular and necessary. It supposedly draws in tourists with their all important tourist dollars. Maybe it is for the locals to admire, or just something to spruce the place up. Well for whatever the real reason might be, there is a lot of art on the streets in my town, at least in certain parts of town.

Wow, is this the latest from a pop artist, like J. Koons? It’s certainly looks to be done in his style. No, it’s merely a prop for a tourist shop and one doesn’t have to make a special trip to a museum to see this. It’s on display every day. (Note the lovely reflections in the window behind this fowl).

How about this interesting hand? Is it part of a gallery display costing big bucks in Santa Fe? No, it’s another bit of street art for a shop.

Surely this is a bit of art? I mean it is reminiscent of the works of both Pop and Surrealist artists. Sorry to disappoint art lovers, it is yet another example of tourist art, designed to draw one into a shop for souvenirs. (You don’t want to forget seeing a Sasquatch on the street and the stop sign surely compels one).

But not to despair, there is actual Art for the intrepid tourist to discover. This artwork has a tiny solar panel at the top so it actually lights up at night (in a sort of Pop meets Surrealist way). And as one can see there were tourists strolling along, so I guess all of this art drew them in.

Spring snow

Spring snows are much different from Winter snows because they are usually quite ephemeral. The overall temperature has started to warm up, and snow doesn’t stick to the roadways as much. But, there was a rather severe blizzard on March 13th this year, which is sort of unusual. There was not a lot of snow, but there was tremendous wind speed, and it was dubbed by meteorologists as a “bomb cyclone”. Which is a fancy way of saying that the atmospheric pressure dropped more than 24 millibars (whatever these are, but apparently it is quite a bad thing), and this intensified the wind. Of course people did not take the warning about the storm seriously and bad things did happen: about a thousand people were stranded in snow drifts along the roads, a friend was in a 44 car pileup, etc.

I could just about see the house across the street, so I was staying home. And I had to dig through a bit of a snowdrift to be able to leave two days later.

Because this was such a huge storm, when the next one approached, people tended to get a bit hysterical about it.

Here’s the morning of the next storm, it was warm and clear, looking to be a beautiful day.

Right on schedule these lovely big snowflakes started to fall. But the blizzard bit failed to materialize here in town, it stayed up north, then moved to the east. This storm was only a “baby bomb”, which really sounds sort of cute and cuddly.

This was the only aftermath to the storm at my house, I had to scrape off the windshield before I could go anywhere, so it was not too bad (much to the disappointment of the local tv newspersons).

Bees

I know by now that you are wondering why I bother to stop in at the pub. It’s across town, it’s expensive and it is hard to find a parking place there. But there is an attraction to the place, it is called “The Golden Bee” and every time one stops in the bartender will throw an embroidered bee at one. Now most of the time it is just a regular bee, but they do feature a number of special bees throughout the year. And I try to show up for a pint on those special days.

So this is the very newest bee. In fact I got the first ones that they handed out. They have a big space symposium every year, all sorts of government types and defense contractors show up, so they make this special bee to commemorate the event. I had to get these before the conference started because the place is packed while all these free-spenders show up.

These bees are from: a big conference (they will make a special bee if your event is big enough), St. Patrick’s Day (no green beer is served here), Christmas and the Senior golf tournament from last summer (it was on TV).

This is what I usually do with the bees, I put them on the dashboards of my cars (the rocket bees are from previous Space Symposiums).

They do end up all over the house, these ones are in my sewing room.

And this is the lamp in my bedroom.

And these bees are hanging out in the dining room. There are so many bees in my collection that you might be thinking that I go there an awful lot (really, I don’t). But, these bees represent years and years of stopping in (also it’s a lovely place to take out-of-town guests). So I won’t actually have to go there again until July 4th, Halloween and Christmas. Hopefully by then they will have a new delicious cider on tap. 😉

Pub

My faithful dictionary defines pub as an informal British term for a public house; inn; tavern. And there is one actual pub in town, imported from London some years ago. Of course this means that London has been short a pub for many years now. But with the commercialization of real estate in London they lose pubs constantly, so I suppose it is a good thing that this pub landed here where it is appreciated.

These pub fittings were originally shipped off to someplace in New York City, and about 58 years ago they came to rest here in town as part of the fancy hotel. The original pub was rather small, and a few years ago the new owners expanded the place so that they could get more tourists in. Apparently they have evening sing-alongs with a piano player, but in all my years of stopping in I have never been to this (also I have a terrible singing voice).

Here’s a bit of the lovely main bar. There is not an infinity of bars, but there are a lot of mirrors about the place to bring in some light (it is properly dark for some serious drinking).

The antique and the modern sit side by side, the television at the top is almost always turned to a sports channel (yawn). Quite often it is tuned to golf, as the pub is part of the hotel, which also has a golf course nearby.

They have lots of period details to evoke that Olde England experience.

Are these the sort of things one might find in a pub in situ? I doubt it. One might expect to see beer advertising and photos of the patrons perhaps. But this sort of thing does add a certain quaintness to the place, and we are paying extra for this experience.

The Fuller’s tap had this lovely griffon on top, so I asked the barmaid to take a picture of it for me. It perhaps best symbolizes the very nature of this pub, a mishmash of various bits and pieces put together to make a new sort of animal.

Truckin’

Food trucks have become a popular choice for dining out. It’s a phenomenon that started in big cities and it is a trend that has even become popular here. I was driving down the street on the way to the dentist (driving very slowly) when I saw this group of food trucks in a parking lot. And as I was hungry after the dentist visit, I decided to stop in and see what’s cooking.

Well this guy is my favorite and I have often patronized his truck. He makes a delicious lobster roll (lobster meat held together with a little mayonnaise on a special grilled bun) and other things I have never tried, but I wasn’t quite in the mood for lobster today.

There was a wide variety of vehicles serving food. This is obviously a converted school bus. (It would be more fun to ride to school if they also served hot dogs on the way). 😉

I liked this truck because it was brightly colored, but this truck doesn’t serve any food, just treats.

One doesn’t need to have a truck at this food rendezvous. These folks were unconventional in their vehicle and unconventional in their menu, a vegan po-boy indeed! (No such thing exists).

I liked this trailer, a miniaturized version of a food truck. I assume it had the essential bits for serving food, it didn’t take up any excess space, and was just a cute little thing.

So what did I choose to eat on this occasion? I got a grilled Cuban sandwich (roasted pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickle and mustard) from “Lucy, I’m home” and I was so busy eating that I forgot to take a picture. There were so many other delicious looking choices I shall have to go back and try them all (except the vegan po-boy).