Saturday, March 26, 2005

you just never know...

whom or what you are going to run into at your favorite Albuquerque grocery store.

Friday, March 18, 2005

pregloating 101

Okay, so it only took three and one-fifth days after I declared spring a week ago until we got dumped on. Here's hoping that was the last of winter!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

is this heaven?

Why yes it is!

Trust me... baseball and Krispy Kreme doughnuts are a fantastic combination.

when it rains, it snows

A view of the St George Greek Orthodox Church at 308 High Street SE (between Lead and Silver) during a lull in the snowstorm that buried Albuquerque on March 14, 2005.

Unfortunately, they weren't serving gyros at that time.

Monday, March 14, 2005

revenge of the adobe brick

I was sitting here in my office this past Thursday afternoon quietly editing some graphics and trying to think of a clever name for my fantasy baseball team. Without warning, I was subjected to a LOUD thud-like noise similar to what the munchkins must have heard when the fictional tornado dropped Dorothy Gale’s house on the Wicked Witch of the East some 66 years ago. (I don’t believe that a house dropped in the book version of the story would have made a sound.) I assumed that the sound I heard was the result of our government testing some new device to better guard the nation’s borders, and that it was none of my concern.

Just moments later however, the doorbell rang. Figuring my work could be put on hold long enough to chat with some Jehovah’s Witnesses, I pressed the save button on my computer and went to the door. Instead of having the latest edition of the Watchtower thrust in my face when I opened the door, I was greeted by our new next-door neighbor and his son. They recently purchased the run-down house immediately to the south as an investment and are in the process of remodeling in order to resell it on the HOT Huning Highlands housing market. Earlier that morning, I had observed them in the process of tearing down the dilapidated garage that abuts our property. They were pretty much all smiles and jokes. Now they didn’t seem to be having any fun.

As it turns out, they accidentally dropped the garage on the wooden fence that defines our property line. I do believe they were afraid that I was going to be pissed at them and threaten to sue and all that. I mean, isn’t that the American way? I was just glad that neither of them had been hurt, especially since the dad had been inside the garage when it began falling. As it turns out, the garage walls had been constructed of true adobe blocks, so it was quite substantial. I have no doubt that anyone caught inside when it collapsed would have been crushed to death. Certainly it was heavy enough to splinter a 30-foot segment of our fence and knock a 24-foot-tall pine tree akimbo.

The top portion of the wall only missed hitting the side of our house by a few feet. The owners assured me that they will replace the fence and that they felt awful for the inconvenience. Instead of getting angry, I offered to help clean up the mess in exchange for them letting me have the adobe bricks that they were going to have to haul to the nearest landfill. You see, these bricks are the perfect solution for materials to construct raised garden beds in the back and side yards. Certainly they are better than using wood that would quickly rot, and in this case, the price can’t be beat. If I had purchased these blocks new from a local source, it would have cost several hundred dollars. That money can now be invested in a load of rich topsoil that our plants will absolutely love.

The moral of this entry then is this… you never know when disaster or fortune can strike. So when an opportunity arises for you to act neighborly, do it. Everyone benefits!

Friday, March 11, 2005

the Nicole DeHuff phenomenon

This post is about the oddity of web traffic stats and how they affect me personally. I would say that I'm a casual observer of stats when it comes to baseball and traffic that checks out any of my web sites.

Lately I've been noticing a marked increase of unique, first time visitors to my siteby people who are looking for photos and information about Nicole DeHuff. For about the past month, I would say that I've had about 50 to 75 people per day hitting my site for that reason. A portion of my site includes a small write-up about Suspect Zero with lots of photos from when Tom Cruise's production company rented our place in the Washington Apartments to film the sex scene (which was not included in the final cut) between Nicole and Aaron Eckhart.

At any rate, I got real curious yesterday when the number of unique visitors topped out at 811, and shattered my record for a single day of web traffic. Why are some many people suddenly interested in Nicole? Well, she's dead. Apparently she died of pneumonia on or about February 16th and was soon after cremated. That sucks. I suppose her claim to fame will be that she was the girl who got her nose busted playing volleyball in the swimming pool in the movie "Meet the Parents."

At any rate, already today, my website has logged 9,868 unique visitors... and it isn't even noon! Interestingly, I'm also noticing some spill over of people checking out my other web sites. I wonder if any of those people will navigate all the way over to my blog.

Well, I have things to do, so I should get doing them. I will update the stats later... perhaps as comments to this post. Plus, I also have an exciting story to tell. One that ended up being a good thing for several people while narrowly escaping being a tragedy for one or a few.

Spring is in the air!

I suspect that is the reason for the sneezin.'

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Led Zeppelin paint disclosure

I admit that one of the main attractions of home ownership is being able to do ANYTHING to your residence without having to obtain prior written permission from your landlord. Of course, if the structure you own is located within a documented historic district such as Albuquerque's Huning Highland Historic District, you may still have to jump through one or more hoops before you make any modifications to the exterior of your home.

That typed, can you guess what I’ve been doing lately?

Part of my recent Valentine’s Day present to my wife was all the paint, materials, and (promise of) labor needed to repaint our bedroom. Less than a month later, the paint is dry and all but one piece of artwork has been hung. I’d say that’s pretty darned good for a well-known procrastinator.

It wasn’t so much that we disliked the previous look of the room, but we wanted to make the room feel warmer and more conducive for sleeping in till noon or beyond. As it was with the peach walls and white ceiling, the room was so bright that only the cats could sleep in past 11:00 AM on a regular basis.

Overall, the work was about as difficult as it was fun. Certainly it was harder than kicking back in the Laz-E-boy and watching a bunch of home improvement shows on tv, but possibly also less painful. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like loud rock and roll music and paint fumes make for a wonderful combination.

The cats and I agree that the “tool” that provides the most fun is a large roll of painter’s tape. To be sure, we all hate it when that rolls under the sofa. I also arrived at the conclusion that instead of “torturing” detainees at home and abroad, our government should make them paint 10-foot high ceilings until they are ready to talk. I don’t think it would take very long before they began offering useful information.

I only really freaked out after the first coat of paint failed to cover the primer like I had envisioned. I calmed down after subsequent coats dried and evened things out. In the end, I think the room looks much better than it did before. It definitely is darker and better for sleeping. Now if you’ll excuse me…


Monday, March 07, 2005

kitty rescue in bronze

If you haven't noticed, Albuquerque is home to some pretty amazing public art.

This attempted kitty "rescue" is the creation of Glenna Goodacre, and lives inside the Albuquerque Biological Park just outside the main entrance to the Rio Grande Botanical Garden.

If you look closely, you can make out the Clyde and Carrie Tingley statues (also bronze) in the distance directly beneath the kitten. Although less whimsical and "fun," the Tingley bronzes were well executed by Betty Sabo in 2000 and are worth stopping and gazing at for a bit.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

beauty and the bottlebush

Bored and can't think of anything interesting to do?

I recommend a visit to your local botanical garden to check out the many interesting species of plants on display. I shot this photo of a bottlebush flower during a recent fieldtrip to the Rio Grande Botanic Garden. It was one of only a few photos I managed to take inside the greenhouse before my camera lens fogged over.

Flower lovers should make sure to click on the image to view a full size copy.