April Showers

Spent the early part of the week in Hickory, North Carolina (about an hour north of Charlotte) — more on that later, but briefly, it's going to take the place of the quarterly trip to Milwaukee. During our one day there, there were at least three small thunderstorms, which made the locals happy because they've been having a drought.

I awoke Friday morning to low, dark gray clouds that, anywhere else, would indicate a heckuva storm brewing. But, what with this being the desert and all, it really just meant a few scattered showers throughout the day. They continued into the evening and through the night — and Saturday morning the ground was wet, there was some humidity in the air, and a bit of snow still on the ground.

Clouds obscured the mountains pretty much until the afternoon, revealing snow up there when they cleared.



A Walking Tour of Public Fruit

Friday morning's Santa Fe Radio Café featured the artists of Fallen Fruit, visiting from Los Angeles. They're working a project where they're mapping "public fruit" in Silver Lake — fruit trees that are either on public land, or on private land but where the fruit is accessible from a public space (ie: overhanging a sidewalk). Fallen Fruit (Dave, Matias, and Austin) had been invited by the College of Santa Fe to give a presentation, and also to lead a project mapping public fruit in Santa Fe. They're working with a local artist in the Second Street area who already collects public fruit in the neighborhood. We couldn't make their talk on Friday, but planned on heading out Sunday morning for the mapping project.

The gathering place was Cloud Cliff. We got there a bit before the 11:00 meeting time for some breakfast, then found the group and visited outside.

When all was said and done, there were about a dozen of us (+ 1 dog), artists, naturalists, and interested folks. Our local guide took us along the rail path, just to show us what a great place it would be for fruit trees; as we headed into the neighborhoods, we passed The Lost Toilet Graveyard:

Pretty quickly, we happened upon a whole bunch of trees that stuck out into the sidewalks — mostly apple, crabapple, and apricot, but a few assorted berry bushes. We strolled the neighborhoods, identified plants by committee, photographed them, and recorded their locations.

(Click for larger versions)

Austin and Dave; Matias and one of the locals (click for larger versions):

Smelling a dried apple: [It smelled like bread! —Monica]

We were out for about an hour-and-a-half, in beautiful weather. We covered 7 or so blocks, and logged 42 trees — not quite the density found in Los Angeles, but a pretty amazing number, I thought, especially considering the arid climate. Fallen Fruit is going to be compiling the maps and eventually posting it on their Web site.

happy birthday, Audrey Claire!

23 April 2003


pimping myself

Well, there's this site called Threadless, to which people submit designs for t-shirts. If a submitted design proves popular enough, it gets printed, and offered for sale. I bought Bram this one a couple of months ago.

Decided to submit a design myself, and it's been accepted for voting... so, click on the little spiraly graphic thingus. Voting lasts a week; if you like it, vote for it! I'll let you know how it goes.

UPDATE: All the teenage girls hated on it so much, voting was closed after 24 hours! Guess I don't have the same taste as 15-year-old trolls. Thank god.


too short visit

Well, P+T and Audrey got here last Tuesday afternoon, and left last Friday. Hardly even 3 days in town. It was great seeing them, as always, but it was not long enough. We didn't get to hang out with them much during the day, it being weekdays: had dinner with them Tuesday (takeout from Blue Corn Cafe), Wednesday (at Zia Diner), and breakfast at Santa Fe Baking Company on Friday morning:

Thursday day they made it up to Bandelier, and had a work dinner with local St. Mary's alumni, back at Blue Corn that night.

Paul called us from the road Saturday, around 5:00 pm, to tell us that they were about 20 miles from home and that it was raining. Come back soon! We miss you!


Coyotes in the Arroyo Suburb

From an article yesterday's Washington Post Magazine on the movement of coyotes into the metro area: " 'It's crazy! These are the most expensive homes in Rockville, and we're like hostages!' "

Personally, I've only had a couple sightings (or even hearings) here, but from my limted experience, it seems that Santa Fe residents somehow manage to avoid coyote hostage situations.


fictional character accepted to our alma mater

From the folks who send me alumni emails:

Alex Doonesbury gets into RIT
Tech whiz ponders what's next: RIT, Cal Tech, RPI...maybe Harvard

RIT has made national news again...Today's Doonesbury features Alex Doonesbury getting accepted into RIT, RPI, Cal Tech and Harvard. Alex is a technology whiz and daughter of the comic strip's title character.

Will RIT be her final choice? Stay tuned.

RIT would be an excellent choice for Alex, who received a perfect score on her SAT exams, holds five patents and is planning a career in engineering. Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau has said he is using RIT in the comic strip "because it's one of the premier institutes of technology."

Oy. I wonder if he says that to all the tech schools? I guess the RIT flacks don't remember Trudeau calling RIT "a bit geek-heavy" last October.


Another Sunday Afternoon in Santa Fe

Bike weather!

Headed out around noon to downtown and the Plaza. First errand: the library. Which doesn't open until 1 on Sundays. So, to the mailbox outside the Post Office, then to the comic shop to pick up the Lulu Eightball that we'd loaned to Sam.

Biking down Grant Avenue, kind of a side residential/business street, I catch something in my peripheral vision — an honest-to-goodness gray squirrel darting across the street. In a move that may explain why we don't see many of them here, it spots me when it's halfway across the road, and then proceeds to head straight for my bike. I kind of weave, and it was a near miss (or it might've even bounced off my back tire). I know I wasn't imagining this, as a pedestrian said something about it as I went by.

Continuing on the way, across from the Department of Labor, next to the skate park, right by where they're storing the heavy equipment for the road construction, ran across a dance. I won't put my ignorance on display by even trying to guess what culture; it was pounding drums, gourd ankle "bells," and some amazing clothing and headresses. Maybe 20 or so people were around watching.


As it turns out, they may have been affiliated with the March for Justice and Equality protesting the recent immigration legislation (or maybe not, as they were back right after leading the march), which started at a nearby church and worked its way to the Cathedral for a rally.

After a few hours biking around downtown — convincing me even more that it's the only way to get around there — headed back. And faced The Hill. The bike machine helped me keep in shape, but still, there's no preparing for that.

happy birthday, Paul!

9 April 1967


Weekend With Andy In Review

Andy arrived, a bit later than planned, but none the worse for wear Thursday afternoon. And ready to eat everywhere we've written about in the blog.

Started at The Shed, with the briefing on "red or green". Quickly walked the surrounding couple blocks and through the Plaza, then headed home, where we proceeded to stay up way, way too late.

Friday morning came early, but started slowly. We eventually worked our way to Santa Fe Baking Company for breakfast burritos. And then hit the road for Tent Rocks (we'd last been with Paul, Tess, Trish, and Audrey, but Monica didn't have the chance to make it up to the top of the mesa).

It was busy on the trails. It's not a big park, so busy's a relative term. But odd on a Friday in March.

Back home for some relaxation, then out to Cowgirl. Though I was the only one that went with the barbeque. That night, again, ended too late.

In the morning, we were up early to beat the crowds at Café Pasquale's. Which it seems we needn't have worried about — even got our own table, not seats at the communal one. Kinda sad about that, actually; the communal table's a fun experience. Kicked around downtown Santa Fe for a while, the favorite shops. And ducked into St. Francis Cathedral. Hit the comic shop, and then we were off to Los Alamos.

A short hike at Tsankawi, which, based on our last trip there, we thought would be a nice, low-effort, high-reward trip. And it really was, with storms off in the distance all around us.

Then I dragged everone off to the Los Alamos Historical Society. I love this. It's like a small town historical society, except in this case it's following the history of the atomic age.

Coming down off "The Hill," those distant storms were making a rainbow or two (click for larger image):

For dinner, we headed to Bert's La Taqueria, on, as it turns out, their last night in that location. Some friends were throwing a party, so we spent some time there. We pulled ourselves out of bed early on Sunday, to make sure we had time to get breakfast at The Pantry and then get Andy back to Albuquerque in time for his noon flight. Which was all going well, with plenty of time to sit back with another cup of coffee...then I looked at the clock and wondered why the one on the wall said 9:55 — and mine said 8:55. A consultation with the woman behind the register cofirmed that, yes, indeed, Daylight Savings was last night.

It was a quick dash to the airport, but he made it out without a problem.


happy birthday, Bob!

1 April 1964

Andy inna house!

Well, Señor Feltus has tacked on a couple extra days after a conference in Phoenix to grace us with his presence. Bram wanted me to take a photo to prove to Liz that he is actually here. Here he is, Thursday night, waiting for a table at the Shed:

More photos + stories to follow.