Saturday, February 28, 2009

Yard Sales, Widgets and Helicopters

Over on the Life With a Lazy Daze board, someone posted a link to a blog about couple traveling full time in a bus conversion.

As often happens on the internet, I clicked the link and was absorbed for way too long reading about their adventures. I like the writing so much I've bookmarked it and will be following it regularly. If you'd like to take a look at it, you can find it here.

Spend a bit of time there, it's a great read.

One thing that caught me eye was the mention of a new widget they had installed on their blog. It's called Link Within and it searches your past blog posts for content that may refer to your current post. Or not (after all it is a computer generated search, so we'll see . . .)

You'll find it at the bottom of the blog under the heading "You may also like these stories"

As a test, I'm including the word hummingbird here, and maybe, if the search engine is written correctly, we'll see a link to one of my old posts from Manzano during the summer of a million hummingbirds.

If not, it will still point to an old post that newer readers might enjoy.

Okay, enough blog talk.

Today we went yard saling. I love doing this in the various towns where we travel. We get the chance to talk with locals and find it's a great way to learn about the area you're visiting. The pickings were kind of slim today, but I did pick up a great pair of earrings. Here's a picture of my new earrings, they're based on the famous sculpture "the End of the Trail"

I also met a woman who I think will become a new friend. That's better than any goodies we might find, don't you agree?

We've also been busy cooking so expect more food and solar cooking blogs in the near future.

Just as I was finishing this entry, Terry called me outside. He said "I think there's a helicopter down at the lake getting water". OOOH, an adventure, so off we went.

Sure enough, there was this
most interesting helicopter
flying right above the lake.

And then it lowered,
like it was going to land, or maybe fill up with water.
The mist you see is all created from the rotors.

We watched for a while, but it just hovered,
about fifteen feet above the water.
Maybe the copter needed a bath?
Finally, it rose up in the air and flew away

And if you look really close
(a bit more than one third over from the left)
you'll see it leaving the lake.
You may have to click to enlarge to see the copter.

And just because I love the view,
here's a shot of the other end of the lake.
The tall pole on the left is the wind alarm.

As we headed back to home, we turned
and waved goodbye to the day.

I couldn't resist one picture
of the teensy little flowers
that grow all over the campground.

And finally,
another New Mexico sunset

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Philip Jose Farmer

Well, crapola, I just read that Philip Jose Farmer has passed away.

If you haven't read any of Farmer's work, you really should give it a try. It will certainly take you to places you've never dreamed of.

Try to imagine a world where everyone who has ever lived suddenly wakes up beside a seemingly endless river. Each person has been supplied with a type of kit, keyed just to them. Several times each day, you insert your kit into a giant structure (these are spaced along the river) and miraculously, you have food and an assortment of human vices (liquor, cigarettes, etc.). All of your immediate needs are met.

Everyone from time immemorial is scattered along this river, so you might have Cro-Magnons, 12th century warriors, Richard Burton and Mark Twain, all interacting. Or Genghis Khan, or Peter Sellers, or John the Baptist, you get the idea.

So what kind of mind comes up with this concept? Philip Jose Farmer, of course, in his amazing Riverworld series. A must read if you haven't, so many concepts, so many fresh ideas.

And this was originally conceived in the 1950s . . .

Then there is his World of Tiers series, another unique reality from his fertile imagination.

It should be noted that Farmer was the first author to introduce sex into Science Fiction, which had previously been some kind of sexually neutered genre. His very first published story, the Lovers (1953) changed Science Fiction forever and won him the coveted Hugo Award for Most Promising New Writer.

I have to admit that my very favorite work from Philip Jose Farmer is Venus on the Half Shell, where he wrote as Kilgore Trout. Farmer often wrote of fictional heroes as real people, but in this instance, he wrote as a fictional character (thanks to Kurt Vonnegut, another favorite of mine). If you are at all a fan of Vonnegut's work, you'll recognize the name of Kilgore Trout and if you are a fan of Farmer, you'll really appreciate this book. It's satire at it's finest and unlike any other book you will ever read.

His imagination stirred me, and somewhere in the back of my mind, I always thought I would get to meet him.

And now I never will. It makes my heart hurt.

Maybe some day we'll wake up next to each other along the banks of the great River.

Life is still Good, but just a tiny bit less so today.

RIP Philip Jose Farmer 1918-2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

ABC Wednesday F Plus

Once again it's time for ABC Wednesday (F) and once again I'm caught unprepared, imagine that!

So I've decided I'm going to fudge and call this entry the Friendly Roadrunner!

We see lots of roadrunners here in new Mexico, but they're usually off in the distance.

This fellow practically came into camp!

You Lookin' at Me??

It seemed as if he thought he was a fashion model
he just kept posing for my camera.

Notice how his comb is fully erect in this picture.
He must have sensed something in the area.

Now he's calming down,
In this photo
you can also see the
roadrunner's remarkable camouflage.

And finally, he's totally relaxed.

Now that my ABC Wednesday duties are done,
I'll show you how our day went.

Even though the sunrise was a bit gray,
I liked the look of the sun
rising up into the clouds.

In just a few moments, it darkened noticeably,
but the sun appeared to double,
Very Sci Fi

Finally the blue skies won out
so we decided to take a drive
and look around the lake.
This is a long view of Elephant Butte,
taken from the south end of the lake.

Then we drove up to the north end of the lake.
I love these cliffs
and we could see them beautifully from there.

A closer view

And a REALLY close view.
The rocks here in New Mexico
show such character and diversity.

After we got back to the rig,
the sun was setting in the western sky.
Remember to click on any picture
for a larger image.
This one looks much better when viewed larger.

As the day ends,
the sky turns the most remarkable colors.
I love this country.

Monday, February 23, 2009

OOPS!-A Tour of Socorro

In looking through my blog posts, I realized that I had started this entry but never posted it. Even though this was meant for a month ago, I decided to post it anyway!

While Socorro, New Mexico may seem just a sleepy little no-where town to many, I find it charming. Full of history (I had a huge crush on Elfego Baca when I was about ten years old), with a real sense of community, both Terry and I like it a lot.

For one thing, Socorro boasts a great little Library. Located in a lovely donated home which has grown over the years, it has a true small town feel with a fine selection.

I love the trees in the courtyard.

Isn't this a beautiful place to welcome you?
And you can sit out here and read.

This photo shows the original ceilings.
We see these throughout New Mexico,
but I always take more pictures.
I love this architecture.

Here's the Library Cat,
enjoying the sun on the courtyard

This stone house is right next door to the Library.
We find lots of stone houses in New Mexico.

And this beauty is right next door
to the stone house
that is right next door to the Library.

you can click on any image
for a larger, clearer version.

This house is for sale,
and has been for the last couple of years.

Maybe folks just don't want this much house anymore?

This is the local coffee shop.
I included it because I like the mural.
Very au courant.

Remember several posts ago
when we wrote about Lupita's Barbecue?
The Pizza here at the Socorro Brewing Company
is as good as Lupita's ribs.

And if you want Mexican Food in Socorro
go to Frank and Lupe's.
Remember to ask for their Pasilla Chili Sauce
(Bobbly Flay loved it).

The interior of Frank and Lupe's is eclectic,


and colorful.

The food is excellent
and I love their big neon sombrero
(the restaurant is also called El Sombrero).

When we finished eating lunch, I started taking pictures.
A woman came up to me
and said how happy she was
to see someone paying attention
to their surroundings.
We had a pleasant talk and I felt right at home.
Once again, I was made aware
of the friendliness of small towns.

There are some funky shops in Socorro,
especially in the old downtown section.

We haven't seen another store
with such an original facade.

I really like the panthers.

Across the street,
they've managed to save an original Bull Durham sign
painted on the brick building

This is a wide shot of the old district
(and more New Mexico skies).

This is a closeup of the other side
of the building with the Bull Durham sign.
I like the Owl even better than the Bull

If you get the chance, visit Socorro. It's about seventy miles south of Albuquerque, with Bosque del Apache just a hop skip and a jump down the road.

A true American small town, it's worth a visit.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

On the Water

What a wonderful day we had today.

A friend of a friend offered us a ride and we got to go see Elephant Butte Reservoir from the water. Neither Terry nor I can remember the last time we were on any kind of a boat, so this was a special treat for both of us.

We started out
and finally got a close look
at the cliffs immediately across from our campsite.

I love the striations in the rocks.

As we headed south, the clouds came out.
It made the sun
look like diamonds in the water.

And as we got closer,we saw the sailboats.

Here's a closeup of one of the sailboats

This is the island that gives this area its' name.
From this angle,
it just appears to be a small piece of land.
The elephant is hidden.

We discovered that there are goats living on the island!

I know that neither 0f these shots is great,
but give me a break,
we were on a moving boat!
I just wanted to include the goats.

And finally, here is Elephant Butte.
If you look at the upper left profile
(and use a lot of imagination)
you can see the profile of an elephant's head,
his ear and his eye.
(It helps if you click and enlarge the picture)

This shot was taken after we had turned around
and headed back to the campground

It was such a lovely ride . . .

One of the beautiful flat mesas

Now, we're heading for home

Can you spot Cholula Red?

Here's the same shot,
with the rig circled in red.
Do we have a great site, or what?

And finally,
we got close enough to get a better shot of the rig.

A perfect day and a reminder of how very lucky we are.