Category Archives: Doings


I hate to drive long distances (over four hours away), so after I got to Santa Fe, there was the question of how to get back.   I could take a plane ($$$) to Denver, and then take the shuttle home.   Or I could take the train and see if I still liked it as a way to travel.   I hadn’t taken a train in America in years (at least 35), but I had taken trains in Europe, so I decided to give it a go.

The first issue:  the train doesn’t actually go to Santa Fe (because of the grade), so it was off to Lamy, NM.

The train creeps along a similar, but slightly different path than the interstate (motorway).   I wondered who had lived in these adobe ruins, and how long ago that was.

This ruin was the Casteneda Hotel, built by Fred Harvey to draw tourists to the southwest.  It hasn’t been in use for years, but someone with deep pockets is renovating the place in the hope of attracting rich tourists  (who like to ride the train) again.

The train does feature this lovely observation car so that one can watch the scenery as it goes by.   No photos, but I did see wild turkeys, buffalo, deer, antelope and elk as we rolled along.

This is M’s uncle’s place, and I know that I have posted pictures from the house looking towards the tracks.  That’s Santa Clara mesa in the background.

And I know I have posted lots of pictures of the mound, too bad that it was an overcast day this time.   And you can see that it is dry as a bone there.

The beautiful high plains of New Mexico, with Capulin in the distance.  I never get tired of this view, although I am usually looking at it from the other direction as I come over Raton Pass.   Yes it was definitely a great idea to ride the train this time.

Still more art

There is a certain pleasure in unchanging exhibits at art museums.   It is quite lovely to visit with one’s favorite pieces of art.  When I was a youngster I loved to visit Hosukai’s Great Wave  in it’s hidden corner of the big art museum.  And I thought it was was both beautiful and enigmatic (and a lovely shade of blue).

But there is also something to be said for changing exhibits, especially in a smaller museum, like our local museum.  One never knows what sort of things might be on display:  like these bits of art from Haiti.

I have no idea what this means and all the artistic blather that inspired this piece, I thought it looked interesting (and it was covered in glitter, which is always a good thing).

I do love surrealist art as well.

I had wondered what to do with my collection of tiny plastic figures, here was the answer staring me in the face.

Why not?

Sometimes one has to just surrender to the art.


Halloween only comes once a year, October 31st (although people do sneak in extra parties around this date), so what is a person who likes to dress up to do?   Cosplay offers the opportunity for one to dress up as a myriad of sci-fi and popular culture icons.  Young women favor sexy characters, like Harley Quinn, etc.  but there really wasn’t a way for old people to play too.  Until now.

Star Wars created the opportunity for some great cosplay, this was a temporary booth where one could rent fancy dress, be an empress for a day.

But for some costumes one has to have the build to wear them.   If you’re tall, and wish to be anonymous, how about Chewbacca?  And you don’t have to say anything.

Then there is dressing up as an old Luke Skywalker and princess Admiral Leia?   (And save the rather chilly slavegirl Leia outfit for the very young women).


He seemed a little tall for a Han Solo, but obviously was having fun with it, and I suppose that is the main point of doing this.

New Year

And a Happy New Year to everyone from Godzilla, Pteri and Topsy.

Also Rosa sends her best wishes to all for a splendid 2018.   She is looking forward to another year of destroying people’s expensive landscaping and she hopes the same for you.  (She also hopes that they don’t allow hunting in town of these tame herds of deer).


Besides festivals I also like car shows.  And not with just any sort of cars, I love the steel and chrome of vintage cars.   Because back when these cars were manufactured, styling was everything.   And no detail was unimportant, even a detail like hood ornaments (note for young people: almost every car had a bit of chrome on the front of the hood that proclaimed it’s identity).

This one on a vintage Cadillac features a flying person, just to let one know that riding along in this car was almost like flying. (sort of).

For the more literal minded, this one has a stylized bird.

How about one featuring a greyhound, they are known to be quite fast.

But not as fast as a wheeled rocket (a wheeled rocket??).   I’m sure this mash-up of two ideas symbolizes great speed.

This hood ornament was on the oldest car at the show.   I love the way the chrome is an integral part of the hood (bonnet to you Brits).  The hood ornament is not a stylized anything really, just a bit of bling, to help speed you down the road.


I love local festivals and I try to attend as many as I can.   They are pretty much all the same, (stuff for sale, food on a stick, music and beer) perhaps that is why I like them.  So I was at a Celtic Festival on a fine Father’s Day afternoon, and I noticed that even among the ‘Celts’ there seemed to be a number of different tribes (and not just a difference in the tartans!).

There were the organized groups.   They were neatly dressed in well pressed kilts, a very formal group.  (Don’t know if the bagpipes had to match.)

There were the re-enactors, striving for authenticity, or what passes for authenticity.  I expect they have battles and such as they seemed to possess rather a lot of arms.

Then there were the Celtic dandies.  Not content with just wearing the kilt, they added a jacket or vest and a swag of tartan draped over their bodies.  It is a rather fetching outfit.

I saw a lot of young men going for a ‘Braveheart’ sort of vibe.  One has to have a lot of tattoos and to wear one’s kilt with a certain swagger.  (In answer to the question “what does one wear under a kilt?”  I did see a pair of bicycle shorts).  😉

Perhaps the most unique of the clans was ‘Clan Santa Claus’.   They were definitely going for a different take on the whole Scots thing.  I suppose we all belong to one clan or another, but on this day folks were openly proclaiming their allegiance to a country and an ideal that the ancestors left far behind.

Big D

The graduation took place in Dallas, Texas, a frighteningly sprawling city made possible by oil and air conditioning.   It was quite a change from life in the slow lane.

Downtown features the concrete canyons popular in major metropolitan areas.  Full of business persons, doing business things.

Just outside of the downtown proper, is the new hipster hangout formerly known as skid row.   Now instead of winos, one encounters the young and hip.   I wasn’t sure if we old people would be allowed in this enclave, but we had money so it was okay.

We ended up at a very trendy (as seen on TV) barbeque place.   We even stood in line to get in, which is something I seldom do.  They keep serving food until they run out, and we got there before this happened, but just barely.

And this is how it is served.  We had smaller trays covered in brown paper to eat off of, which we carried to our table.  Pictured is a pile of pulled pork, not pictured was the sliced brisket, hot links (sausages), and fried chicken.  Side dishes were served in carry out containers.  I will admit that the food was exceptional.  A singer was plying his trade out on the patio, but I thought it was still rather warm ( and somewhat smoky) to be eating outside.

Also outside was the area where all of the food magic happens.   The picture looks blurry because this shed was full of smoke (pecan wood only).   You can see the burning embers that had fallen out of the fire boxes laying on the ground.  It was incredibly smoky and hot, just like a vision of hell, but this job is a calling and a religion to those who work here.


5th on the 6th

Today we were celebrating Cinco (5th) de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexicans winning a battle, if not the war.  This is apparently another moveable holiday, so it was being celebrated today, the 6th.   And what better way to celebrate this holiday than with a car show.

I took this photo because it reminded me of the car M’s grandmother drove.   This is a restored  former police car, a 1964 model.  Grandma drove a police special with a big block engine and heavy duty suspension, and let’s just say that it did not take her all that long to get to the grocery store. 😉

It’s a big deal in this car culture to have a very low car.   This truck is in the process of transformation, it has a hydraulic system that lets the body sit just above the ground when parked, it raises up higher when you drive it.  The cab has been chopped and dropped, it hasn’t been run through a crusher, although it does look like it.

What would a car show be without a couple of bounce houses for the kids?  The sign in the background was from a place that offered naughty massages.

This dashboard is on a 1947 Chrysler.   The car has only had three owners since it rolled off the assembly line and is in the process of being restored.   The back seat was spacious and comfortable, unlike what one might find in a modern car.

I thought this car was absolutely gorgeous!   The color looked striking, the chrome had been carefully polished, and it has hydraulics.

This guy is giving the chrome a final polish before the judging.  Our cars are inanimate objects, just designed to get one from place to place, but it was impossible not to feel the love these guys have for their machines.

Local telly

Among the many things I get roped in to things I volunteer to help with is a fund-raiser for a children’s cancer charity.   So I was down at the local TV station to help with answering phones to do my bit.   The cameraman asked if we liked being on the telly, and I said “I was horrified” (I had forgotten that I am, in fact, that old).  We are there during the entire time when they do the news broadcast, and they spliced us in at random points as filler.  (Sorry there are no pictures of this as I was either busy, or pretending to look busy).   After it was all over I ran an eyeball over the news room.

This is where the newsreader sits while delivering the news.   The news team is a man (so to speak) short because one of the team just had her baby and is on maternity leave.

The cameraman is a robot that runs along this circular track, I presume a human tells it what to do (for now).

This is the weather guy.  Everyone else had buggered off, but he was sitting there still working.  Looks like he was picking weather pictures for the station’s Facebook page.   He is pretty decent at his job, he was the only forecaster who called it correctly.

And this was the weather that morning.   But because it’s spring, it was mostly gone by noon.