Sunday, November 7, 2010

Adventure in Albuquerque

Adventure in Albuquerque

It is not everyday that kids from Pennsylvania travel to Albuquerque in the middle of the school fall semester.  Is there anything educational to do?

French Horn Lesson:   Marcey arranged for Mr. Heeter to provide a half-hour French Horn lesson for Maggie - and Mr. Heeter had even arranged for Maggie to borrow an instrument for the visit.  Maggie showed us a couple of things she had learned, like how to change from high notes to low notes, just with the way you blow into the mouthpiece. 

Auntie Beth and the Transport Unit:   It’s not every kid that has an Aunt working in the Police Department.   Beth’s office is great, however of more interest was a quick tour through the Prisoner Transport Unit.  (in a typical month, the PTU handles 1500 prisoners, most of which are soon transported to the Metro Detention Center - the Sgt explained, when the van fills up, it goes - no one stays over 2 hours here, as no eating/feeding facilities, medicine, etc.)  Prisoners were being brought in while we were there, and the kids saw the holding cells.  Since the stay time is expected to be less than two hours, these cells are minimal in their furnishings:  a wrap-around aluminum bench is about it.  The ICE people also share some of this facility.

BioPark:  Beautiful day for a walk in the park - and the aquarium.  The BioPark had a Creepy Crawly Critters special exhibit still set up, through Nov 7 - did you know that Madagascar roaches are good eating?  That the West African black scorpion is not that aggressive?  Did you want to know that?

PageOne:  This is perhaps the largest book store in New Mexico.  Everyone was allowed to pick out one book to take home.  Alan took an extra one for his Dad.

Animal Humane Society:  On Virginia SE, one can find clean facilities manned by caring volunteers for the Kittery and for the Doggie area.  This was a side trip requested by Maggie, who is thinking someday she may get into the Animal Rescue business.   Many of the cats seemed to like her, and one dog licked Alan.  All were requested to wash their hands after handling/petting the kitten in the separate "get acquainted" room.

Summary:  Yes, this was an educational trip, and one enjoyed by all. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Shipmates Stand Together

Shipmates Stand Together

As long-time readers of this column know, after a long and not-so-arduous courtship, Mike and Bonnie  were finally united in marriage.  To validate the event, an Open House was held at Bonnie's, and all were delighted that Lou and Jo Ann drove down for the event.

Although the Open House announcement specifically stated, "No Gifts," apparently jarheads have difficulty either reading or following instructions.  Thus it was that Lou and Jo Ann graciously invited Mike and Bonnie up for a glorious 3-day weekend in God's (or perhaps Air Force's) country.  Excitement started on Thursday evening in Trinidad with dinner at Rino's Restaurant, where the food is not only the best Italian cooking around (except perhaps for Jo Ann's), but also the waiters and waitresses all sing opera or better.  On Friday, the foursome headed up to the Simpleman's mountain "cabin" (see photo above with flag) outside Aguilar and nestled within the Spanish Peaks, where we were treated to a great meal by Jo Ann, plus a tour of the wildlife nearby - turkeys and deer specifically.

Saturday was off to the Air Force - Navy game at Colorado Springs.  Not one of Navy's best football showings, however it was not for lack of proper attire and cheering by our group.  That evening our lodging was at the Distinguished Visitors quarters at Ft Carson, which Lou had wangled through a close working relationship with the Base Commander.  We went out to Outback that evening (see photo), and the next day ended the festivities at Patti's Restaurant in Pueblo (next photo).

A great time was had by all - even though we never saw all the elk copulating which apparently entertained Harry and Doris after the Mini-Reunion back in October 2005.   Thanks, Jo Ann and Lou!  True friends, shipmates, and companymates.  Our marriage is well launched.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Guide for Forwarding Political E-mail

Recently, a friend of mine was berated for forwarding an email criticizing the President for his apparently lack of respect to the flag. The berater cited to delineate the falsehood.

My friend was chagrined. He stated:
"Sorry! I realize I'm often too gullible, and I'm not prone to check authenticity. Best I just stop forwarding anything derogatory about anyone, or even praising anyone, unless I know first hand it is true."

This a problem we all face: what to do with all the e-mail we receive, some of which resonates so strongly that we want to send it on RIGHT NOW!!!

Here's an easy guide that I try to follow re forwarding politically oriented e-mail:

If the message is about me, and it's laudatory, I forward it to everyone I know.

If it is about Joe Biden, and it seems ridiculous, I always forward to Sarah Palin so she will be cheered. E.g.: Did you hear that Iraq will be considered one of the great achievements of this Administration?

If it is about Nancy Pelosi, I forward it to Harry Reid and Joe Biden so they will feel better about themselves.

If it is about President Obama, I weep quietly for a few minutes, then check the calendar to gauge the time until the next national election cycle.

I find that I am beginning to understand the hard-over positions of the "Bush-haters" from just a year or two ago. Immediately following the election, I was hopeful for the country. Now when I hear Obama say, "I am not an Ideologue" it resonates in my head with Nixon saying "I am not a Crook."

Now I find myself grateful that the Democrats hold a strong majority in both Houses plus hold the Presidency to clarify the source of the actual achievements - i.e., the abject failures and deficits of this administration. I am so grateful that this President inherited Pelosi and Reid - I shudder to consider how much farther down this path we would be if Obama had competent leaders in the House and Senate, e.g., a Steny Hoyer and a Tom Daschle.

If not grateful for, I am at least amazed at the cold partisanship of Pelosi ("We won, we write the bill") and the divisiveness of someone elected to be President of all the people ("...waving their little teabags...").

Excuse me, I'm going to go check my calendar again. Every day it looks better.