Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sugar Bowl Lanes Burns Down!

No! This is a substantial part of Belen's film heritage!:
Fire officials are still trying to determine what caused a historic building in Belen to burn down Sunday morning.

The abandoned building was once home to Sugar Bowl Lanes.

"My husband could smell smoke, and he came in the bedroom and said, 'Frances, the bowling alley is on fire,'" said Sugar Bowl Lanes owner Frances Romero. "I looked out the window and it was orange from the front to the back. "

Romero's parents were the original owners of the bowling alley.

"We just came out. I can't believe it. I cannot....I cannot believe it," she said.

Navajos Getting The Upper Hand

By imposing the most stringent rules in the country, the Navajos are succeeding in taming the Covid beast. The trick now will be to somehow limit contact with all the other infectious people in Arizona:
The state of Arizona reports nearly 120,000 coronavirus cases with a positivity rate around 27%. This comes as the Navajo Nation, which occupies northeastern parts of the state, flattened its curve through regular weekend lockdowns and nightly curfews. CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro spoke with President Jonathan Nez about their successful rebound.

A Few Personal Notes

I should take a trip too.  Getting a little claustrophobic around here.  Basically marking time this Covid summer.

I'm well - still haven't got Covid yet.  My sisters Michelle and Marra, and nephew Aaron are OK too, as far as I know. Aaron lost his job as a fitness instructor due to Covid, and so has decided to join the Air Force.  He's a bit on the older side at age 29, but he had long been leaning to join the military at some point anyway.

I've signed up to be a Census Enumerator.  The long-delayed Training Class is supposed to start July 27th.  I've been doing bits of Air Quality Modeling work as an Independent Contractor.  The work pays well, but it's sparse and highly-irregular.  I also do occasional dog-sitting for friends.

I've been doing a lot of clearing furniture and moving a longtime housemate out of my house.  Maybe thinking of selling the house fairly soon - it's nice to get some floor space.

I stopped going to the gym (where I take Zumba and Jamaican Dancehall) and stopped taking ballet back in March due to Covid, and instantly gained 5 pounds.  As of mid-June I've started taking ballet again due to the small class sizes, but have hesitated going back to the gym with its larger classes.  So, I'm beginning to increase ballet class frequency to 3 times a week.  It's a little aggressive, but it helps with the dancing.  The more you do it, the better you do.

I'm continuing to write my book updates for the TV series "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul."  I had an argument with the theater folks, so I'm not doing anything with them right now, but they aren't doing much anyway due to Covid. Theater is seen as a high-risk activity.

Follow Me To The Lab

Early 70s Memories

Quiet Fourth of July This Year

Watched these people set off fireworks. Confederate flag; no masks. You get the idea.

5150 Mall Cop - Ending and Credits

I thought "5150 Mall Cop," a punkish 2005 movie, was among the very best of the Albuquerque-based movies I've been watching over the last two years.

The End Scene here is so romantic! In an inarticulate act of fidelity, she (Kathleen Robertson) kept his (Derek Cecil) severed arm on ice.

This scene is filmed in the lobby of Bank of the West (the tall building at San Mateo and Central in Albuquerque).

Friend Gabe notes that The Simpsons LOVE Albuquerque!

'Back to School' Section at Target

Mystified Why the Dalai Lama is on the Back of This Truck

A Bold Jumping Spider Has Started Hanging Around

A Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax) has started living around my dog's pooper scooper. It's a logical place to find them - poop attracts flies, which attract jumping spiders. It's the biggest jumping spider I've ever seen - about 15 mm long. Apparently they are pretty intelligent, despite having an 'exploding brain'. My spider seems to recognize me. I hope we become friends.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Two Visits to the Sacramento Zoo (June 16th and July 2nd)

The "Darth Maul" Koi.

Thick-Billed Parrot.


An African Spurred Tortoise.





A bench in honor of Bobbi Bader! I did not know this was here! I took ballet from Bobbi for at least six years. We all miss her - she passed away in 2006 at age 54.



Flying duck obscures view of flamingo.

Friday, July 03, 2020

The Short History of the Long Road (2019)

Link to map

Last updated: July 3, 2020

Link to Top-Level Menu
Link to Top-Level Map

Notes on Individual Scenes
Pool/Foreclosed Home

Bobby Foster Rd., at bend

Cottonwood Grove


Shower/Parking Lot/Store/ Home


Car Wash

Starlight Cinema, 2226 Sun Ranch Village Rd, Los Lunas, NM 87031

Bridge over Rio Grande - where? - Bernalillo?


Near mesas - Unloading - Maybe (35.376311°, -106.503456°)

Near Mike's death place? - Campsite (35.379317°, -106.511624°)

Bobby Foster Rd., straightaway & bend


Bobby Foster/ Los Picaros, just in sight of square arch, W-bound

Roadside - Sandia Park?

MM Gas Station

Foreclosed House again

Hardware Store


House again

Driving - Manzanos?

Church meeting hall



Nighttime view of Paseo, or EB I-40?

Welcome to NM sign

At overflow from Jemez dam (35.383139°, -106.548244°)

Hitchhiking (35.382242°, -106.541292°)

Carrizozo? 1106 East Ave., in Carrizozo

Danny Trejo's Auto Shop - Ray's Automotive, 1124 Broadway Blvd SE

View of 4th & Central, looking NW

She walks into Anodyne Bar

Mercury Bar - El Modelo

Corrales Library

Calabacillas Culvert

Driving - Mountains

Bobby Foster at bend, EB, then WB

Cafe 66



Bill Stevens Auto Sales Inc.
4227 4th St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107

Address 309

Bobby Foster Rd. again


Carrizozo - Highway 54 bend - Emporium, Roy's

Ray's Auto repair again

Driving with Blue - View of Cabezon from Jemez Dam overlook

Jemez Dam road (35.384750°, -106.538933°)

ABQ Volcanoes

Saying goodbye to Blue (35.355877°, -106.566155°)

Post Office

Gas Station - I-25?

Big Van Gathering at White Sands

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Guess The Identity of New Mexico Municipalities

John got 62% right, I got 53%, and Walt got 50%. It's freaking hard!
With the help of a map, how many of the 106 municipalities found in New Mexico can you name?

The Inexplicable Parking Lot Paving Project Looks Complete

It took about a month, but the repaving project looks complete. The State of California took a fully-functional parking lot, and transformed it into a fully-functional parking lot. There's now a curb on the north side next to the cemetery, and there are now more parking barriers, so it's harder to simply drive into the parking lot from the alley.

I've already marred the beautiful white finish on one of the newly-painted parking barriers. Clumsy parking. Pity.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Audrey's "Girl's Rock" Summer Camp (By Zoom)

Scariest Thing I Saw Today

Covid-19 Looming More in Sacramento

Sacramento is getting a warning on hospital capacity:
A county is considered to meet the increasing hospitalization criteria if:

1) >10% increase in the average number of confirmed COVID-19 patients hospitalized

Percent change in confirmed COVID-19 patients hospitalized: Calculated by comparing the average number of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 patients hospitalized over the past 3 days to the 3 days prior.

...A county is considered to meet the limited hospital capacity if:

1) <20% of staffed ICU beds are available OR 2) <25% of ventilators are available

Apparently we are running into limitations:

Avg # tests per day (per 100,000 population) (7 day average with a 7 day lag)
% Change in 3-day avg COVID+ hospitalized patients
% ICU beds currently available

​Sacramento 141.5 28.8 13.9

The map looks interesting too. Oak Park looks much better now than two months ago. Even Rancho Cordova is beginning to clear - fewer new cases. I guess the people who were sick two months ago in those hot spots either died or got better. South Sacramento, Elk Grove, and north of Del Paso look like the hot spots now.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Sac in the News!

We get our 15 minutes! (At the link.) Reminds me of a couple of encounters I’ve witnessed over at KFC. The problem there is too close to the hospital. People off their meds:
A woman in California learned the hard way that it doesn’t pay to use racial slurs against Black people in public – after she got punched in the face for hurling the N-word at a Black woman.

According to TMZ, the racially charged encounter took place Monday at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Sacramento.

While there appears to be some discrepancy about what started the confrontation, the white woman insisted she’d only said “Excuse me.” However, the Back woman said she heard something different, and then, as if to confirm that, the white woman dropped the N-word.

Gohmert Hits A New Low

Black Men of Concert Dance Don't Rush Challenge

Great video!

Plus these too!

Every State's Least Favorite State

No Thanks, I Get My Masks Mail Order From Tucson

The Creep Out - The Dandy Warhols

Mood music this evening.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Rachel's Play "Shooting Stars" Published

Brandon: This is bigger than that! We can create our own artistic colony! A kind of commune...

Deborah: But…

Brandon: We can create group works when everybody else can just do solo work! We can put Shooting Stars on the map. Everyone will be talking about us.

Deborah: Audiences can’t gather -- they won’ t be able to for months, maybe years--

Brandon: There are still audiences, baby! Just on computer screens. And if we move in together, when everybody else is stuck in their little six footbubbles, we can come together and create! Collaborate! Make something big!

A Review of the Darell Richards' Slaying?

Interesting podcast here, concerning a Black man killed by cops in my neighborhood in September, 2018:
But Tim Foster, in whose backyard Richards died, questions whether the story adds up. He says police told him an inconsistent story about what had happened. For example, they said they’d recovered a suicide note in Richards’ backpack, but it later turned out to be a homework assignment. With protests against police violence sweeping the nation in the wake of George Floyd’s death, Foster is coming forward to tell his story.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Playbook Fail

And this is why Biden is the nominee:
For the past few months, Trump and the conservative propaganda apparatus have struggled to make the old race-and-gender-baiting rhetoric stick to Biden. But voters don’t appear to believe that Biden is an avatar of the “radical left.” They don’t think Biden is going to lock up your manhood in a “testicle lockbox.” They don’t buy that Biden’s platform, which is well to the left of the ticket he joined in 2008, represents a quiet adherence to “Kenyan anti-colonialism.” Part of this is that Biden has embraced popular liberal positions while avoiding the incentive to adopt more controversial or unpopular positions during the primary. But it’s also becoming clear that after 12 years of feasting on white identity politics with a black man and a woman as its preeminent villains, the Republican Party is struggling to run its Obama-era culture-war playbook against an old, moderate white guy.

An Oral History Of Phoenix's Hottest Day

June 26, 1990:
Rob Birmingham, bartender: I lived in Tempe at this wild apartment complex known as Desert Palms. Some asshole parked in my reserved parking spot, so I baked some Toll House cookies on his car hood right around noon. By 4 p.m., the bottoms were pretty cooked. I was kinda hoping that the owner would come out to see me eating one off of his ride.

The Travails of a Theater Company on the Outskirts of Phoenix

I can sympathize:
Luna says Hale has a longstanding reputation among local theater professionals for what Luna calls “certain casting practices.”

...The outrage over Hale’s blackface routine has resurfaced, according to Luna and others, because of the troupe’s recent response to the issue on social media. After Hale principals were called out on Facebook about the blackface routine and its alleged discriminatory practices, the playhouse posted an apology on PHX Stages, a website that promotes local theater.

“The apology was wishy-washy,” Luna says. “It didn’t say ‘Black lives matter,’ and it didn’t address the situation of discrimination at Hale. And they never posted it on their webpage, I guess so their audience won’t see them apologize for racism. They don’t want to offend the audience, and I guess they think the audience won’t see them apologizing on social media.”

The Alamo Community Suffers A Loss

This Covid is terrible:
Now, the residents of the Alamo Navajo community in central New Mexico have been left to grieve the coronavirus-related deaths of Pino and two other members of her immediate family in isolation as they continue precautions aimed at slowing spread of the illness.

Marie Pino, 67, taught elementary school for decades and, interested in a new challenge, had started teaching middle school science last year. She died May 13, weeks after burying one of her three sons, Marcus Pino, 42, who coached the school’s basketball team and was determined to engage teen boys in the sport he loved growing up. He died April 16.

Marie’s husband, Ira Pino Sr., 65, was an emergency medical coordinator who went on to pastor a church during the last decade of his life. He died May 31.

“They’ve left a hole in our school community,” said Barbara Gordon, a school counselor and athletic director at the 300-student tribal school. “We haven’t been able to see each other since this all happened.”

Their deaths, three of the five coronavirus fatalities in the remote outpost of the Navajo reservation, are an example of how the pandemic has devastated many Native communities.

The Navajo Nation, which spreads across several states, has a higher per capita infection rate than any single state, its health department has reported. That may be because of factors like higher rates of poverty, lack of access to running water in some areas, and the rural nature of some communities. Alamo families may travel several hours to see a doctor.

Trump Needs Vote-By-Mail, And He's Torpedoing It

What an idiot:
Democrats have opened up a 302,000-voter advantage over Republicans in vote-by-mail enrollment, an edge that could pay big dividends in President Donald Trump’s newly adopted must-win state.

Five months before Election Day, more than 1.46 million Democrats have signed up to vote by mail compared to 1.16 million Republicans, according to state Division of Election data released Friday. By comparison, in 2016, Democrats held an advantage of about 8,800 in vote-by-mail enrollment.
As noted above, ultimately the GOP got 27,554 more of their registered voters to use mail ballots in 2016. They accomplished this despite being slightly behind in applications at this point in the campaign. But an 8,800 voter disadvantage in June is quite different from a 302,000 voter disadvantage. It will take a herculean effort by Trump’s ground team to make up this deficit, and it’s probably not possible unless the president quickly and emphatically changes his opposition to vote-by-mail.

Zebra Club Closes Again

I watched the folks go into this reopened place, and worried:
After weeks of operation with little social distancing, midtown Sacramento bar and grill the Zebra Club has temporarily closed following a customer‘s positive coronavirus test.

A handwritten sign on the door at 1900 P St. Tuesday informed customers that the Zebra Club would be shut for at least a few days.

“It has come to our attention that a customer has tested positive for coronavirus,” the sign reads. “We are taking a few days as precautions to disinfect our bar and have our staff tested for the safety of our customers.”

My Little Pony Has Put Up With The Nazis For Too Long

A bigger problem than they realized:
Derpibooru hosts millions of My Little Pony artworks, plenty of which are simple tributes to magic, friendship, and magical friendship. But a substantial number of them are extremely, jarringly violent. An image that I recently viewed on the site depicts a My Little Pony character presiding over three lynchings and one beheading of cartoons drawn to represent various marginalized groups. Derpibooru even lists “racist” as a searchable category, and more than 900 pieces of art are tagged as such.

For years, this has been the status quo in the world of My Little Pony. In supposed deference to principles of free speech and openness on the internet, the presence of self-described Nazis within a fandom that idolizes compassion-oriented cartoon characters has become a coolly accepted fact. The community has sorted itself largely into two camps: those who think anything goes as long as someone finds it funny, and those who would rather ignore toxic elements than admit that not everything is perfect.

Until now.

Siberia Is Baking

A small Siberian town north of the Arctic Circle reached 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday, a figure that — if verified — would be the highest temperature reading in the region since record-keeping began in 1885.

“This scares me, I have to say,” environmentalist and co-founder Bill McKibben tweeted in response to news of the record-breaking reading in Verkhoyansk, where the average high temperature in June is 68°F.

Washington Post climate reporter Andrew Freedman noted Sunday that if the reading is confirmed, it “would be the northernmost 100-degree reading ever observed, and the highest temperature on record in the Arctic, a region that is warming at more than twice the rate of the rest of the globe.”

Now Everyone Is Jumping On Brad Parscale

The judgements are too hasty. Parscale's Facebook campaigns for Trump have been very effective, because they aren't sophisticated. Blunt force and repetitiveness are exactly what you need in politics. So, too many blue seats in Tulsa means goodbye to Brad. Maybe the campaign will now be outsourced to overly-sophisticated Russian bots:
As Last notes, the realization that Parscale is running a disastrous campaign that is headed for a loss in November seems to have finally hit Trump on Saturday night if the video of a dispirited president walking back to the White House after the disastrous Tulsa rally is any indication.

Using the line, “Look at the big brain on Brad” from the film “Pulp Fiction” Last suggested that Parscale — who has never before run a political campaign, much less a presidential campaign — is not the “genius” that he purports to be, and the columnist wondered why the campaign manager has yet to be fired.

Keeping The Plants Happy

A serenade:
It's not uncommon for performances at Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house to be sold out, but musicians played to an unusual audience on Monday to mark Spain's lifting of lockdown -- as thousands of plants filled its seats.

The event was the work of conceptual artist Eugenio Ampudia and included a performance from the UceLi Quartet string quartet.

A total of 2,292 plants were packed into the theater, while the string quartet performed Puccini's "Crisantemi," according to a statement from the Liceu.

Although humans were not present in the audience, spectators could watch the "Concierto para el bioceno" via livestream.

Covid Is Going To Be Around Awhile

The doctors are worried about family gatherings and graduation parties. While walking dogs, I've seen several large family gatherings in progress, but these were held outdoors, which are presumably safer than those held indoors. It's extended, intimate contact that seems to exacerbate everything:
A week-long surge in coronavirus cases culminated with 267 new cases Friday through Sunday, the biggest three-day increase by far since COVID-19 hit the region three months ago.

But to the surprise of health officials, most of the spread is not happening at newly reopened nail salons, restaurants and barbers, or at previously hard-hit nursing and assisted care living centers. The surge also does not appear to be related to police brutality protests held in the earlier this month.

Instead, virus trackers are finding the recent surge is happening inside homes, often among extended families and friends during events such as graduation parties. While much of the infection spread in Sacramento is among whites, recent data show an increase among Latinos as well.

The Other Six Deadly Sins

Friday, June 19, 2020

Losing Control in Phoenix

This graph caught my attention. Not sure who generated it, but seems confirmed by the less-compelling graphs at ADHS.

In most parts of the country, people retreat indoors to the fireplace in the winter, and suffer colds. In Phoenix, people retreat indoors to the A/C in the summer.

Touching Article About the Romanian Orphans

The U.S. has created similar trauma along our southern border with Mexico, and it will lead to similar problems:
Like all the boys and girls who lived in the hospital for “irrecoverables,” Izidor was served nearly inedible, watered-down food at long tables where naked children on benches banged their tin bowls. He grew up in overcrowded rooms where his fellow orphans endlessly rocked, or punched themselves in the face, or shrieked. Out-of-control children were dosed with adult tranquilizers, administered through unsterilized needles, while many who fell ill received transfusions of unscreened blood. Hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS ravaged the Romanian orphanages.

Izidor was destined to spend the rest of his childhood in this building, to exit the gates only at 18, at which time, if he were thoroughly incapacitated, he’d be transferred to a home for old men; if he turned out to be minimally functional, he’d be evicted to make his way on the streets. Odds were high that he wouldn’t survive that long, that the boy with the shriveled leg would die in childhood, malnourished, shivering, unloved.

No Mandates in Oklahoma

I wonder why that's the case?:

The Oklahoma State Supreme Court refused to regulate President Donald Trump’s Tulsa, Oklahoma rally in a ruling posted Friday.

According to the decision, Justices said that there is a lack of any mandates outlined in the language in the state’s reopening plan. Basically, because of Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-OK) and the Republican legislature’s inability to provide mandates, there is no reason that they could enforce a mandate that doesn’t exist, the Court claimed.

The court document says, “petitioners cannot establish the necessary elements for a writ of mandamus, specifically that petitioners possess a clear legal right to the relief they seek.”

And this:

“In the Tulsa County Courthouse, we have suspended all jury trials for criminal cases and civil cases, that’s the constitutional right to a jury trial for a civil case and a criminal case, a very important right — we have suspended that two blocks away from the BOK Center because we’ve decided that that 12 people are not safe to sit shoulder-to-shoulder in a jury box. And yet, on Saturday we’re going to have 19,000 people sitting in a box chanting and screaming without any social distancing measures. How do you square those two realities? I feel like I’m living in a zombie apocalypse movie just before society crashes. And again this is not about politics. The only winner here is the virus. Period,” Demuro closed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

John Sutter Statue Removed

Yes! They just removed that! And it was right next to Sutter's Fort!:
Workers begin the removal of a statue of John Sutter, the European settler who built Sutter's Fort in the 1840s, outside Sutter hospital in midtown Sacramento on Monday, June 15, 2020.

Nothing Like a Juan de Oñate Statue To Get People Agitated

Trouble at 20th & Mountain, in Albuquerque this evening. People chopped the foot off another statue in northern New Mexico a few years back. I like this statue in Old Town due to its historical references to the Conquistador past, and Hispanics in general see it as a positive, but Native Americans hate it, with good cause. Not quite in the same category with Confederate statues, but close enough:
Dramatic video posted to social media on Monday evening documents the aftermath of a shooting at a protest in Albuquerque.

“A man was shot during a protest at Tiguex Park Monday evening. The protest was for the removal of a Juan de Oñate statue, ‘La Jornada’, outside the Albuquerque Museum,” KOB-4 reports. “Moments before protesters were about to remove the statue with a chain, shots were fired into the crowd.”

...Militia gathering at Oñate statue in Albuquerque ahead of protest. Incredibly menacing & intimidating. They say they’re with a group called “New Mexico Civil Guard”

Monday, June 15, 2020

Hippie Jugglers and Panicked FOX News Watchers

According to the Flow Art jugglers all these claims are bogus. On Facebook Digati said: “The ‘weapons’ that were found are tools. Axes for my wood stove, knives for cooking, etc. … The ‘riot gear’ was literally a child’s shoulder pads, elbow, and knee pads for sports.” Another member of the troupe chimed in: “Yeah, there’s a hatchet on the bus — with a bunch of wood sitting next to a wood-burning stove. Well, duh. The rocks were crystals and fossils. They emptied out a knife block [from the kitchen area] and said they found a meat cleaver.”

But the damage had been done. The Columbus police department post made the rounds as confirmation of the Antifa invasion rumors swirling around the country – seemingly first concocted by a faux “antifa” site run by white supremacists and possibly amplified by Russia bots.

The Weight | Feat. Ringo Starr and Robbie Robertson | Song Around The World

Sygne of the Redd Lyon

Pretty cool stuff!:
A team of archaeologists may have discovered the oldest purpose-built theater in London beneath a construction site in Whitechapel.

The Elizabethan playhouse, known as the Red Lion, is believed to date from around 1567, Archaeology South-East, part of University College London's Institute of Archaeology, said in a press release.

No physical evidence of the theater had been found before and its exact location has never been confirmed, but a combination of evidence means dig director Stephen White is "97% sure" it's the Red Lion, he told CNN.

Forrest Fenn Says The Treasure Is Found!

Had fun that day, two years ago, looking for the treasure within the Santa Fe city limits:
Forrest Fenn, an 89-year-old Santa Fe author and artifacts dealer, said his treasure chest hidden in the Rocky Mountains in 2010 was found last week.

“It’s true,” Fenn told The New Mexican in a phone call Sunday, adding that the finder of his chest located the valuable goods “a few days ago.”

Fenn wouldn’t say where the treasure was found or who found it.

“The guy who found it does not want his name mentioned. He’s from back East,” he said, adding that it was confirmed from a photograph the man sent him.

Fenn declined to produce the photograph Sunday.

An estimated 350,000 people have hunted for Fenn’s treasure. Some quit their jobs to do so. But it’s had deadly consequences. At least five people have died while searching for the chest.

Princess, On Adversity

Yes, adversity can be hard:
WSU is not canceling the virtual graduation ceremony, they are removing Ivanka’s presence. Thus, Ivanka being a Trump – released her speech anyway. Just like Donald is not going to be denied his convention, Ivanka is not going to be denied her talk and her message.

And Ivanka is not happy about the cancellation. She posted the recording of the speech she intended to give on Twitter and railed against “cancel culture.”

“Our nation’s campuses should be bastions of free speech. Cancel culture and viewpoint discrimination are antithetical to academia. Listening to one another is important now more than ever!” she tweeted.