Friday, March 16, 2007

Robert Ballard Coming To UCD

On April 11th:
Deep-sea explorer Robert Ballard, famous for his historic discovery of the wreckage of the Titanic more than 12,000 feet below the surface of the North Atlantic, will speak Wednesday, April 11, at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at UC Davis.

One of the world's foremost oceanographers and a veteran of more than 100 undersea expeditions, Ballard will present a lecture titled “Undersea Exploration and the Miracle of Human Achievement.”

Tickets are still available for his talk at 8 p.m., presented as part of the Distinguished Speakers series.
Threat To Pets?

I shop at Safeway, but I never buy the 'cuts and gravy' style, so maybe Sparky is safe (but not by much):
A major manufacturer of dog and cat food sold under Wal-Mart, Safeway, Kroger and other store brands recalled 60 million containers of wet pet food Friday after reports of kidney failure and deaths.

An unknown number of cats and dogs suffered kidney failure and about 10 died after eating the affected pet food, Menu Foods said in announcing the North American recall. Product testing has not revealed a link explaining the reported cases of illness and death, the company said.

"At this juncture, we're not 100 percent sure what's happened," said Paul Henderson, the company's president and chief executive officer.

The recall covers the company's "cuts and gravy" style food, which consists of chunks of meat in gravy, sold in cans and small foil pouches between Dec. 3 and March 6. The pet food was sold by stores operated by the Kroger Company, Safeway Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and PetSmart Inc., among others, Henderson said.

Menu Foods did not immediately provide a full list of brand names and lot numbers covered by the recall, saying they would be posted on its Web site -- -- early Saturday. Consumers with questions can call (866) 463-6738..

The company said it manufacturers for 17 of the top 20 North American retailers. It is also a contract manufacturer for the top branded pet food companies. Its three U.S. and one Canadian factory produce more than 1 billion containers of wet pet food a year. The recall covers pet food made at company plants in Emporia, Kan., and Pennsauken, N.J., Henderson said.

Henderson said the company received an undisclosed number of owner complaints of vomiting and kidney failure in dogs and cats after they had been fed its products. It has tested its products but not found a cause for the sickness.
Arson Tip Line

In the event anyone saw anything:
Fire investigators are labeling the massive fire that destroyed a train bridge Thursday night as "suspicious" and are asking for the public's help in determining whether it was arson.

An arson tip line has been set up -- 916-808-1361 -- and Fire Capt. Jim Doucette said the blaze "moved very, very fast," leading investigators to suspect it may have been set.

"Until we rule it out I would call it suspicious," Doucette said about noon Friday.
Speculation Regarding The Fire

It pains me, as a liberal, when fellow liberals get so caught up in the cycle of Washington scandal and recrimination that they are caught flat-footed when genuine threats emerge. That happened during 9/11, when some liberals mumbled tired cliches about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in response to the stark new domestic challenge posed by Al Qaeda. Denial and inertia among liberals gave the initiative to the neoconservatives. At least the neocons had a plan - invade Iraq. It was a stupid plan, but in an emergency, stupid plan wins out over no plan at all.

This Sacramento railroad trestle fire has me worried. Liberals need a plan. I suspect a form of domestic terrorism - whether for money, a grudge, or for ideology is unclear. Even accounting for the flammability of the creosote-soaked timbers, it is very odd that the fire spread so quickly along the length of the 600 foot trestle. Usually, it is very hard to get fires to spread out in a linear fashion, unless there were multiple ignition points. Initial speculation among the people at the scene suggested the same mindset:
Sacramento Metro Fire spokesman Christian Pebbles said the fire spread rapidly, stretching across the length of a football field within minutes. Fire officials said they have not determined how the fire started, but the creosote-soaked trestle fueled intense black smoke that could be seen from more than 50 miles away.

Coal tar creosote is a thick, oily liquid commonly used to preserve the peeled logs used to stabilize railroad trestles.

The fire brought rush-hour traffic to a halt on the Capital City Freeway bordering the state fairgrounds as commuters stopped to look at the blaze. Some even got out of their cars and began walking towards the flames, forcing officials to use megaphones to warn spectators away.

Portions of the structure began collapsing after 7 p.m. Doucette said nearly 100 area firefighters would continue to battle the fire throughout the night and hot spots could continue to burn over the next several days.

According to sources close to the investigation, the speed of the fire's spread had authorities looking into the possibility that an accelerant was involved in the blaze.

The heat and scope of the fire left even veteran firefighters in awe. "If this would've been a hot summer day, we would've had firefighters in the hospital right now," Doucette said.
Late last night, I thought I would play Paul Revere and head over to Eschaton to sound the alarm. The few people on-line were utterly dismissive of my concerns. In a way, it's hard to blame them, since the misdeeds of the Bush Administration are so many, and have yielded political dividends so great, that it's hard to get diverted. Bad news is always unwelcome. But bad news is good news for opportunists like the Bush Administration, so we must be ready. Here is a portion of that Eschaton dialogue:
Is the railroad trestle fire in Sacramento an act of terrorism? If so, by whom?
Marc Valdez Homepage 03.16.07 - 1:54 am #

Your Mama.
Rumpleforeskin 03.16.07 - 2:01 am #


Yo mama?
Rumpleforeskin 03.16.07 - 2:04 am #


'Rumpleforeskin', and others: I'm not posing the question as a joke. The railroad trestle fire in Sacramento may be the kind of terrorism against soft infrastructure targets that the Homeland Security folks have worried about for a long time, and especially since 9/11. So, it's time to get off our soft, complacent asses and at least consider the possibility. Because I'm sure the Bush Administration is already thinking about it. Much will depend on what the investigators discover about the fire's cause once they get the fire put out.
Marc Valdez Homepage 03.16.07 - 2:30 am #


Using it to deflect attention on nailing Turdblossoms ass.
Rumpleforeskin 03.16.07 - 2:34 am #


Read up on old railroads, trestles used to burn all the time, and it wasn't Indians / Native Americans doing it.

Good lord, trying to blame this on terrorism.

I'll blame the terriests for making my streets slick, so people keep slaming into my tree at the corner.

Barry from Alaska Homepage 03.16.07 - 2:34 am #


They're drooling over a potential distraction.

It ain't enough.
Steve French 03.16.07 - 2:36 am #


It's not the terrorists, its the trestle-ists.
spinoz-a-peeps Homepage 03.16.07 - 2:44 am #


Barry From Alaska: I'm not blaming the fire on terrorists...yet. It's quite odd that something like this happened, and what I'm saying is be prepared, because it will be a natural magnet for Republican politicians if foul play is discovered.
Marc Valdez Homepage 03.16.07 - 2:50 am #


Well hell, doesn't the parrot act define any crime as terrism?

Barry from Alaska Homepage 03.16.07 - 2:53 am #


Get the fuck out of here, concern troll.
Rumpleforeskin 03.16.07 - 2:56 am #


More liberal than you are, Rumpleforeskin!
Marc Valdez Homepage 03.16.07 - 2:57 am #


foul play

dancing chickens?
Tacitus Voltaire 03.16.07 - 2:58 am #
Sigh! Complacent as a Sunday afternoon! Well, we'll see!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Uh Oh! Big Fire

Left: First view, about 5:46 p.m. PDT, behind Sierra Research, at 18th and J Street, Sacramento.

About 5:48 p.m. PDT, at 19th and J Street, Sacramento.

About 5:52 p.m. PDT, off of 19th Street, between T and V Streets, Sacramento (The elongated white building is the Ron Cisneros Dance Studio).

It looks like the big fire did some major damage.

A dramatic evening fire Thursday along the American River Parkway near Cal Expo destroyed a Union Pacific mainline track, sending billowing black smoke thousands of feet into the blue skies, and disrupting train traffic through the Central Valley.

The hot-burning fire, first reported at 5:41 p.m., quickly consumed about 600 feet of heavy-duty trestle timber and tracks in a secluded section of the American River Parkway, just north of the American River.

Slowed by the lack of traditional access to water in the area, firefighters from the Sacramento City Fire Department and Sacramento Metro Fire District relied on relay-pumping from hydrants in developed areas on the north side of the parkway levee near Cal Expo.

As night fell and firefighting continued, the blaze was toppling burned sections of the 25-foot-high rail trestle and showed little sign of dying down.

Union Pacific officials confirmed Thursday night that the destroyed track was one of the company's main freight lines between Sacramento and points east, as well as a major passenger corridor for local commuter and long-distance trains.

The blaze forced Amtrak to halt a westbound train from Reno to Sacramento, George Elsmore, railroad operations and safety program manager for the California Public Utilities Commission, told the Associated Press. It threatened to cause further disruptions, he said.

...Thursday night at the scene, Sacramento Fire Department Capt. Jim Doucette said officials did not yet know the cause of the fire, although there were some early reports that a portion of the trestle had been pushed upward, as if there had been an explosion.

"Way too early to figure that out," Doucette said. "We're shuttling water back and forth, and we're making some headway."

However, he said, "The whole bridge will be a loss. I fully expect it to collapse."

UP spokesman James Barnes said there were no initial reports of injuries and there was no train on the tracks at the fire site.

"It certainly is one of our main lines," Barnes said. "We are anticipating that the trestle will not survive. The important thing now is to get that fire under control and out, and then we can better assess the situation. We won't know for several hours what that means in terms of rerouting (frieght trains)."

The fire on the trestle, several hundred yards west of the Capitol City Freeway, caused backups for several miles during the late evening rush hour. The smoke plume was reportedly seen from 50 miles away.
The question I'm sure everyone will have is why did the railway trestle catch on fire in such a spectacular way? On Channel 10 (or was it Channel 3?) they said the trestle was built in 1910. Apparently the trestle carried fiber optics lines, and (I heard somewhere) a propane line. In addition, a natural gas pipeline passes beneath the American River in the immediate vicinity.

Presumably there was an explosion in the propane gas line that quickly spread fire along the trestle. But why? Natural metal fatigue from aging? Some subtle mechanical stress? Sabotage?

If the explosion resulted from terrorism it would have been as easy as pie for the malefactors to study this sensitive urban site, since the area is heavily wooded and sees lots of traffic, from the bike path running along the American River, and under the trestle, as well as numerous other foot paths and roads.

We'll see what the investigators dig up, once they get the fire under control!

Me: Tell me, why are these folks sleeping in the car in the driveway?

Him: I've made lots of money in my lifetime. It came; it went. I just wanted to get away, so I disappeared. I known some people who can cause serious damage. I've known people who throw Hells Angels against the wall. I could see them cleaning their guns, and I knew what was going on, but they cared for me and shielded me from all that. Myself, I'm a peaceful man. The vatos around here, I don't know them. Even the old people will hold you up around here. Love just hurts too much - better to stay single. No matter what, stay honest, because, in the end, that's all you have. That, and your family. Friends come and friends go.

Me: Tell me again, why are these folks sleeping in the car in the driveway?
Behold The Future

I can hardly wait!:
They say fiber from processed and sterilized cow manure could take the place of sawdust in fiberboard, which is used to make furniture, flooring and store shelves. It could help dispose of up to 2 trillion pounds of manure a year.
Losing Patience With The Southern Hemisphere Rain Gods

So, El Nino is over and the climatologists say the picture is increasingly bright, so why doesn't it freakin' rain in the Brisbane area? Lake Wivenhoe is down to 19% - it'll drain completely by year's end at this rate - and the summer rainy season is ending, so, come on, DO something!
Civic Pride, Solidarity, and, yes, Limited Education

Make a lasting mark:
Jack Siemers offered his Bridgeport shop Sunday as a spot for customers to get free CHI-TONW tattoos from Hacker, who usually works at Rising Phoenix tattoo in Addison. Siemers also inked some customers with CHI-TONW.

In total, about 20 people have gotten CHI-TONW tattoos, several of them friends of Hacker's.

"I feel really good about my friends standing up, and the family of tattoo artists," said Hacker, who also has a new CHI-TONW tattoo on his leg.
Looking Askance At The New Mexico State Legislature

Jerry casts a gimlet eye towards Santa Fe:
Looks like some of the folks in the New Mexico legislature may have too
much time on their hands
Why, what could possibly be up in the Land of Enchantment?:
Last fall, Pluto suffered a blow when 2,500 scientists in the International Astronomical Union voted that the little guy was something of a slacker and didn't dominate his orbit the way the other planets do. Thus, the downgrade to a dwarf planet.

"We really took it as an affront," Gutierrez said.

So she introduced a measure to recognize Pluto as a full-fledged planet when it passes over New Mexico.

The House on Tuesday passed the measure; it's pending in the Senate.
Excellent idea! As a New Mexican, all I can say is that this is the best law ever proposed, and it should be passed immediately! I feel oddly bereft without Pluto as a planet: the New Mexico of the Solar System. Like it's really lonely out there in space!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Strict Dad

Don't leave:
A 6-year-old boy stayed in an apartment with the body of his father for two days after the man died on their sofa, obeying instructions to never leave without permission, firefighters said.

The boy, whose name was not released, didn't want to leave even after firefighters arrived, fearing punishment if he left, fire department Maj. Noble Lee said.

"He wasn't as distraught as one might think," Lee said. "I don't think he understands the gravity of the past few days. He wasn't as upset at the situation as he was about being outside the residence without permission."
Increasingly Baroque Jurisprudence

What constitutes 'religious freedom' has many aspects, including land use:
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday overturned a January 2006 lower-court decision and said the use of recycled sewage water to make artificial snow at the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort violates the religious freedom of Navajos, Hopis and several other Southwestern Indian tribes, the Gallup Independent reported.

... The 9th Circuit found that the Forest Service's approval of the sewage-for-snowmaking violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and that the final environmental impact statement does not comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, according to Appellate Judge William A. Fletcher's written opinion.
Attorney Howard Shanker, who represented the plaintiffs/appellants, said the ruling was especially important for Indian tribes, because an earlier federal decision -- Lyng vs. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Assn. -- held that Native Americans did not have First Amendment rights when it came to federal land-use decisions, the Independent said.

"Essentially, Native Americans have had no recourse challenging government land-use decisions which often times impact sacred sites and culturally significant sites," Shanker said.

...The San Francisco Peaks, located in the Coconino National Forest in northern Arizona, have had a longstanding religious significance to Southwest Indian tribes, according to the Independent.

The Snowbowl is located on Humphreys Peak, the highest mountain in the range and one of the most spiritually significant to the tribes, the Independent reported.

The electric utilities hate 'em:
Every year, Neil Engelman carefully collects his data, stands before his company's board of directors and is asked the same question: What caused more outages? The lightning or the squirrels?

Four of the past five years, the answer has been the squirrels, says Engelman, vice president of operations for the Lincoln Electric System in Nebraska. Nebraska is not alone. Many states are grappling with a big increase in the number of power outages caused by squirrel electrocutions.

... Some states have seen a massive jump in recent years in the number of such outages. In Georgia, squirrel-related outages more than tripled from 5,273 in 2005 to 16,750 in 2006.

... Acorns from oak trees are a squirrel's main diet, says Peter Smallwood, a squirrel expert and biology professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia. When oaks produce more acorns, you get more squirrels — and more outages.

... Squirrels are not electrocuted when they run across power lines. It's when their body makes contact with both the wire and either the ground or a transformer that they become a conduit for electricity to flow through.

"That completes the circuit and bammo!" said Ed Bettinger of the Public Service Company of Oklahoma.

Among recent outages:

• A squirrel caused a power outage in October that shut down Merced College, southeast of San Francisco, for half the day.

• In January, a squirrel cut power to 4,500 customers in Amarillo, Tex.

• Hundreds of gallons of raw sewage poured into Mobile Bay in Alabama after a squirrel cut power to a sewage lift station there.
Pop Tart

Rabbits do a retrospective on the career of Britney Spears.
Australian Nostalgia

Not for the weak of stomach:
KRAFT is closer to identifying the original Happy Little Vegemites after a national call for the children who appeared in the iconic 1950s advertisement to come forward.

Some 13 people contacted the food producer today claiming they starred in the original Happy Little Vegemites commercial, although only eight children appeared in the ad.
Elk Grove Fine Arts Festival

I notice the folks at Pepper Von's are beginning to work up for this event, on Saturday, March 31st. It looks like a big hodge-podge of interesting stuff!
The Trouble With Blogs - Episode MMVLIV

I write about local musical theater player, in passing mentioning a minor injury to hand incurred during show.

Months later, local musical theater player gets involved in on-line activities with strangers (e.g., gaming, etc.)

I notice lots of hits on blog regarding past shows.

Stranger E-Mails local musical theater player and asks, "So, how's your hand?"
Failing To Understand People - Episode CCLVIII

Severely winded in exercise class, I gasped to a neighbor "How are you?" She said, "This is the best possible time to talk, because you can just let go of those inhibitions you might have about talking with me." "Really," I managed to croak, at a loss for both words and breath, and somehow feeling more inhibited than ever....

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Top-Down Crash

Significant decline of the stock market today. I always thought the day of reckoning for the real estate boom would be a bottom-up affair, with the rapid spread of foreclosures, but instead it looks like a top-down kind of business:
Last month, the company said it lost track of how frequently borrowers missed payments on their mortgages. Because New Century's books didn't reflect how often borrowers defaulted and how likely borrowers were to default in the future, the value of the company's loan portfolio was overstated.

Last week, it stopped accepting all new loan applications because it hasn't been able to raise enough capital or renegotiate its existing financial agreements. It has since disclosed that all of its lenders have slashed funding or announced their intent to cut it off altogether. The lenders have alleged the company failed to make payments.

The company is now under pressure from several lenders to pay back what it owes them. One of its backers, UBS Real Estate Securities Inc., is demanding New Century's subsidiaries pay immediately some $1.5 billion in repurchase obligations for outstanding mortgage loans, according to documents filed Tuesday with the SEC
Fox News And The Democrats

The Wall Street Journal is worried about the decision of Democratic presidential candidates not to appear at a Nevada primary debate hosted by Fox News, and seems to think that the candidates are knuckling under to the demands of some fanatical left-wing horde. WSJ points out that many Democrats watch Fox News and that they will be under-served by a Democratic boycott.

I wish the types had that much power! No, what is happening is that Fox News has no credibility among Democrats in general, and the candidates in particular. Memo to WSJ: does anyone think any Democrat relies on Fox News for unbiased information about Democrats? The only tricks Fox News doesn't do is play scary music and intense wide-angle close-ups when featuring a Democrat. After all, it was Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News himself, who was pushing that idiotic Obama-Osama meme, supposedly as a 'joke'. And then you wonder why Senator Obama doesn't want to have anything to do with Fox News? Or Senator Edwards? Or any Democrat?

Journalism is a delicate dance between the newsmakers and those who cover the news. It's time for Fox News to learn something beyond the Foot-Stomping Fascist Clodhop.
'Rocky Mountain High'

Colorado adopts John Denver's 1972 song as its second state anthem.

Monday, March 12, 2007

"The Emperor's New Clothes" - DMTC's Young Performer's Theater

Left: The cast at final bows. I apologize if I get the name order not quite right:

Left to right: Cassidy Patterson, Ashlyn Barbieri, Sally Li, Lindsay Mitchell, Kelsey Garrett (Herald), Kat Holder (Sinister The Prime Minister), Chris Petersen (Emperor Maximilian The Most), Nora Unkel (Empress Carlotta The Least), Matthew Fyhrie (Stitch), Alice Moylan (Sew), Alex Chen (Chester), Sabrina Schloss (Verity), Kiyo Nishiyama (Lady Winifred), Juliana Wynkoop (Lady Lynn), Kelly Ragsdale, Petra Favorite, Soomi Yoo.

I can still recall the 2003 "Emperor's New Clothes", and indeed, one person was in both shows (Nora Unkel: 'Sew' in 2003, 'Emperess Carlotta' in 2007). I saw at least two people in the audience who were in the 2003 show (Mary Ellen Price and Rebecca Rudy). The sumptuous costumes, designed by Anna Johnson in both 2003 and 2007, were sometimes used for both shows. And Jan Isaacson directed both shows. The ties to the immediate past are strong!

Chris Petersen is a fine actor and Nora Unkel is honing her stage skills (she did a brief tap solo that looked great). Sabrina Schloss played a winning Verity. Later, it occurred to me Schloss looks rather similar to Emily Jo Seminoff, her predecessor in that role: it was almost like deja vu! Kat Holder's makeup and costume served her well as Sinister the Prime Minister. As Stitch and Sew, the Fyhrie/Moylan team worked well: it seemed to me younger than the Spangler/Unkel team had been in 2003, but maybe better-spoken. In the ensemble, two people seemed to stand out - Kelly Ragsdale (I believe) and Soomi Yoo.

Two more performances left! - Saturday morning and afternoon, on St. Patrick's Day, March 17th. Go see it!

Here's another picture of bows:

"Camelot" Gallery

(I'll put recent "Camelot" photos here)

Left: Guenevere (Marguerite Morris) and Lancelot (Tae Kim).

Nimue Singer (Bridget Maguire), seen from behind and below.

Guenevere (Marguerite Morris).

The entrapment of Arthur: Pellinor (Paul Fearn) and King Arthur (Gil Sebastian), foreground; Morgan La Fey (Anne Marie Trout), background.

Mordred (Jon Jackson) finally meets his aunt, Morgan La Fey (Anne Marie Trout).

Nimue Dancer (Meg King, foreground), Merlin (Paul Fearn, middle), and Nimue Singer (Bridget Maguire, background).

King Arthur (Gil Sebastian) and Guenevere (Marguerite Morris).

King Arthur (Gil Sebastian).
"Camelot" Weekend

Left: Bridget Maguire, and Kaya, the Red-Tailed Hawk, wearing her fashionable hood.

On Friday, a sandbag broke, and scattered sand stage left. Sitting on the floor, stage left, in 'Lusty Month Of May' was apparently more akin to sitting on a beach than sitting on a meadow.

On Sunday, Kaya, the Red-Tailed Hawk, began muttering to herself in her cage, back stage. Her calls were familiar, yet eerie - the calls of a living raptor. Bridget had to take Kaya into the costume shop until she calmed down.

It's bad enough to spend week after week with stealthy humans, prowling around the same dull, dark building and always doing the same things, but at least usually it's after sunset. But when it's a glorious March afternoon, with the fields full of mice and gopher snakes, and there you are, trapped in the dark, it's almost more than a hawk can bear.
"Wild Hogs"

Left: William Macy experiences a New Mexico hello.

With the news that Stephanie Skewes was cast in "Wild Hogs" (see previous post), together with the New Mexico locale (where I'm from), there was finally enough incentive to see what promised to be a pretty predictable film.

Sadly, Stephanie Skewes gets only one line, plus several scenes where she's in the background. Nevertheless, she's broken into the big time, and her next film, "Growing Out", promises much more time on camera.

"Wild Hogs" was fairly amusing, but a bit lame: Martin Lawrence and William Macy made the experience enjoyable.

Of course, what really got me was the New Mexico locale. I used to go up to Madrid in the 70's with friend Steve Martin for New Mexico Jazz festivals, held at the old ball park. My dad remembers going up there with his dad in the 30's for exciting boxing matches in the coal camps.

By the early 60's, with the coal mines closed, the town nearly died, but it was reinvigorated in the late 60's with counterculture folks. That was probably the time when the accent on the town's name changed, from Ma - DRID (Spanish), to MA - drid (English): lots of English speakers had moved in. The town's location, more or less in between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, but off the main highway, is a help, especially since they can tap into the boom in Santa Fe-related interests. After all, Shirley MacClaine and her crystal crowd is based at her ranch near Galisteo, not that far away from Madrid....

The last time I visited Madrid was in 1995. I picked up some Casas Grandes pottery in a Madrid shop. The pottery came from northern Mexico, in Chihuahua: close enough culturally to be similar to New Mexico pottery (I think the Casas Grandes Indians are related to the ancient Mimbres culture of SW NM), but nevertheless different - much thinner pottery; more elegant. The folks who ran the shop knew their pottery well.

Hollywood is shockingly cavalier with places and locales in movies - they've always been that way. An example from this movie are some of the road scenes, supposedly filmed in Missouri, but which were obviously filmed in the lush, piney, high-elevation Jemez Caldera, west of Los Alamos. They also used the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, just west of Taos, in the same careless spirit.

Nevertheless, these filmmakers were very, very careful with Madrid. Madrid is a real place, after all. They didn't try to change the name of the town, and they repeated the town's name's pronunciation, for the benefit of the slow. I wonder why they were so careful? It's quite striking, really, when Hollywood couldn't care less, usually. They must like the place!

I loved the immediate surroundings of Madrid - the San Pedro and Ortiz Mountains, looking bright, fresh, and glorious. Interestingly, in the 60's and 70's, bikers used to gather at a bar in Golden, NM, not far from Madrid (but not directly featured in the movie). Bikers are part of the folklore of the area. Maybe that's why they picked Madrid for the movie???

The main street of Madrid looked more-or-less familiar, with that sharp bend in the main street, but I didn't see the old ball park (unless that's where the 'chili festival' was filmed) and I didn't see any pottery or any crystals or any jazz musicians. Oh well - can't have everything!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Homeless People Watch

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, as the remaining cast members of "Camelot" dwindled away into the dark from Applebee's, a young man in his early 20's approached and asked if I knew whether Davis had a homeless shelter. The question took me aback: Davis is a comfortable community with little obvious need for a homeless shelter. On the other hand, people can drop into town anytime from anywhere from Interstate Highway 80. In addition, there are lots of young people in Davis, and you never know what happens even in comfortable communities.

There is a portion of my brain, about the size of a walnut, where I make decisions about whether to aid the distressed. The walnut is schizophrenic and irrational. Given any two homeless people, I might aid one and not the other, neither, or both, depending on whim. In this case, even though it wasn't that cold, he was visibly trembling. I asked if he was cold, and he said yes.

So, apropos enough, I gave him a well-worn "Oliver!" sweatshirt, which I've had for more than six years. Time for the sweatshirt to get more wear in other hands! So, if you see a forlorn but unfamiliar DMTC aficionado wandering near the Richards Blvd. exit off of I-80, that is how he came to have his sweatshirt.
Fortune Cookie Watch

Following the usual practice of adding the phrase 'in bed' to any fortune you receive:
The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well - in bed.