Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Time flies when you're having fun

Hello out there, I finally decided to sit down and do a post.
The trip down to Santa Fe was interesting, lots of wet weather.
We left town Thursday morning about 600. An hour and a half later, going over Soldier Summit outside Price, Utah, we had to go through a snowstorm that had 3-4 inches and was still falling. Observe:

The top picture is taken by my wife as we were climbing up into the active part of the storm, you can see the storm up the road.
The next two pictures are taken in the storm; the picture is not blurred, that is how hard the snow was coming down. Luckily it was only in the higher elevations, and we eventually came down out of it into wind and rain, which was with us most of the way. Around Chama, New Mexico, we ran into more snow, and a hailstorm with marble-sized stones that slammed down pretty good for a while. When we finally got into Santa Fe that evening, it was only lightly raining there.
Santa Fe isn't quite the town it was years ago; commercialism is slowly showing on all of the western towns that attract tourists. We spent a lot of our time just looking at stuff, taking a few pictures of architecture here and there. Didn't get around quite as much as I'd hoped. A lot of the area you have to get out and see on mare's shanks, and I'm not in the condition I used to be. The elevation is 7000 feet, compared to about 4500 feet here where I live, so I was out of breath a lot. A few years ago the thinner air wasn't as noticeable, but since my heart went bad, I haven't had the stamina I used to have. (On a side note, Friday was the third year anniversary of my heart going sour and requiring a stent.) There also seems to be some strange laws of physics there; it seems that every where you walked, no matter what direction, was always uphill; hiking around that place really kicked my ass.

Some of the more interesting stuff around the area is the old Spanish architecture; some of it goes back to the early seventeenth century.
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is a good example of some old stuff there; it was originally built in 1610, destroyed during a revolt in 1680, and rebuilt in 1714. In the late 1800's, it was rebuilt, the only part of this church still existing is the Chapel of Our Lady, La Conquistadora.
This is a picture of the outside, which is undergoing some restoration at this time.

They allowed photographs to be taken inside, but flashes were forbidden, so the pictures are not quite up to the standards I usually prefer. These two are of the old part of the church, and the top statue of the Madonna is 380 years old. The lower picture shows her in a little more detail.

The Loretto Chapel and it's famous staircase is also interesting, and it is close to the previous church. You may want to look at the history and controversy surrounding it here. Here are some close up pictures of the famous stairs; if you know anything about carpentry, you will definitely appreciate the craftsmanship. I have taken it in two pictures; top and bottom, so that I could catch more detail.

There are quite a few museums and such in the area, but many of them don't allow photographs, so we couldn't get photographs of some of the stuff.

The food, as usual, was good, if you go to the right places. New Mexican cuisine is southwestern, but it is different from Mexican or Texan cooking. The spices are handled a little bit differently, and can be exceptional, if handled correctly.

We also stopped in on Taos over the weekend, but it isn't what it used to be; it has been changed over the same way that Boulder, Colorado got changed, everything being built around fleecing tourists.

The trip back was fairly uneventful; no snow, but a lot of rain and gusting wind. When we got home late Monday night, it was clearing up, but it had been cool and raining the whole time we were gone, so I have a jungle to clear up in my yard over the next few days.


Today's playlist has a fair mix of older rock with a few wild cards; the top ten here are a good representation of what I've been in the mood for since we got back. Everyone familiar with these:

"Hold on Loosely" by .38 Special
"Gloria" by Laura Branigan
"Kind of a Drag" by The Buckinghams
"Misery and the Blues" by Maria Muldaur
"Maggie May" by Rod Stewart
"I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" by Meatloaf
"Back to the Cave" by Lita Ford
"Prelude From Cello Suite No. 1, BWV 1007" by Andrés Segovia
"Who Knows Where the Time Goes?" by Judy Collins
"Legend of a Mind" by The Moody Blues

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Where does the time go?

Seems like I just posted a couple of days ago, but it was actually almost two weeks. Had a good time for a couple of days up in Idaho visiting some people; a friend of ours had her graduation from school to be a RN. After the graduation there was some munchies and a lot of beer and other alcoholic substances. I made sure to go light; the next morning I was up at 6:00, watching the squirrels outside the window and listening to a lot of birds heralding the day.
Seems like I've been busy since then; trying to get things in order around here. There is always something around the house or out in the yard that is clamoring for attention.
My wife and I are going to be out of town for a few days; Thursday morning we will be driving down to the Santa Fe area. We probably won't be back until Monday evening. If I get any good pictures, I'll post them. We haven't been down there for several years, so I don't know how much things may have changed.


Last weekend we drove out to visit with my mom on sort of a belated Mother's Day. Part of the day we looked over a lot of old pictures; made for and interesting afternoon.


The Presidential Primary Circus seems to be in full swing now; the three clowns running are starting to get down to the kicking, scratching, and eye=gouging stage; we should be seeing some major shits torms in the next few months.


Feeling a little nostalgic today; my playlist seems to be a lot of older stuff. Any favorites in the top ten?

"Ride My See-Saw" by The Moody Blues
"I Don't Know Where I Stand" by Joni Mitchell
"The River Is Wide" by The Grass Roots
"Leather and Lace" by Stevie Nicks
"Heaven Can Wait" by Meat Loaf
"Night Time Is the Right Time" by Ray Charles
"99 Luftballons" by Nena
"To Cry You a Song" by Jethro Tull
"Unforgettable" by Nat King Cole
"Walkin' After Midnight" by Patsy Cline

Thursday, May 08, 2008

"I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in"

A few months ago, Allison Kraus (bluegrass singer and fiddle player) got together with Robert Plant and worked on an album. They also did a concert on TV. This is one of my favorites they did on the concert, but sadly it wasn't recorded on the album. For those who like Kraus, Plant, and blues, this is their version of the Led Zeppelin hit Black Dog.


For some reason this cracks me up.


The presidential campaigns get goofier all the time; it's a three-ring circus, and all three rings are full of clowns.


Finally getting out of town for a bit; my wife and I will be leaving around noon Friday to go to Twin Falls, Idaho for a visit to a friend. We should be back sometime Saturday night. Been a few years since I've been up that way.


Anyone know where the post title came from? Hint: it was the first hit song of one of the artists below.

Who needs new music with old familiar ones like these?

"Sharp Dressed Man" by ZZ Top
"Africa" by Toto
"Brown Sugar" by The Rolling Stones
"Chicago" by Benny Goodman
"Bloody Mary Morning" by Willie Nelson
"Squeeze Box" by The Who
"The Story in Your Eyes" by The Moody Blues
"Career of Evil" by Blue Öyster Cult
"No More Words" by Berlin
"The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers