Dinner With Bob and Shannon

Finally managed to catch up with Bob and Shannon again, last night at Gruet Grille. Bob took some time this past summer and crewed on a catamaran with some friends who were sailing from the Galapagos to some other South Pacific islands. They were out at sea for 19 days for one stretch, ending up in the Marquesas, where Shannon flew in to meet up with them. We heard the stories, and it sounded like a pretty amazing time.

Bob came back long-haired (relatively speaking), bearded, and tattooed. Click for larger.



new patterns and a Canadian

I have a three color variants of this new design up for scoring now at N+A. After selling nothing but your choice of five one-hundred-dollar-ties, they've finally got some new stuff for sale: wallpaper. Yes, wallpaper is back, my friends. Do any of you out there have traumatic childhood memories of wallpaper? iridescent metallic? floral patterns bigger than your head? "accent" walls? flocked? [shudder]

My current design hero over at N+A is a Canadian! named Ray Fenwick. His work is f-ing awesome. His stuff is really quirky, and hand-drawn, and usually typographic. He's a letterpress printer and designer and type geek from Winnipeg. They picked one of his patterns for the new wallpaper, and while I think he totally deserved it, check out his original color scheme, compared with the wallpaper for sale.



Anniversary Dinner at El Farol

Last year, after we moved, Scott and Megan generously sent along a gift certificate to El Farol. We're huge tapas fans, and we were grateful. But we weren't sure we had anything to celebrate right after moving, and then our anniversary got busy, and it sat awaiting a special occasion.

Last night, we finally used it for an anniversary dinner. Outside, in the courtyard, with a pitcher of sangria and a bunch of their little plates (including their legendary fried avocado). It was a beautiful, cool night, good for a walk along Canyon Road.

Thanks again, Scott and Megan.


weird and wonderful

Jett and Shriek hipped us to the DeVotchKa show (with Thriftsore Cowboys) at Santa Fe Brewing Company last night. Great music, outside at sunset and then under the stars. DeVotchKa bills themseves as "Eastern Bloc Indie Rock," but that's kind of selling themselves short. With accordion, upright bass, guitar, drums, trumpet, violin, theremin, and sousaphone, they made a wall of sound that just sweeps you off. The lead singer sounded at times like Jim Morrison, Brendan Perry, Bryan Ferry, and Bono.

When they finally tie the knot, Jett and Shriek have declared that DeVotchKa will play at their wedding.



Weekend in Review


I had Friday off, using up some vacation time, and got it into my head that I wanted to head up to Bandelier for an anniversary hike and to see what changes the recent rains have brought. July was the wettest in recent history, and August is well on the way to being record setting, with something like 1.75" so far this month. Overall, the rain is welcome—it's not been enough to affect our reservoir levels, but it's certainly making the plants happy.

We headed to the Falls Trail (which D recently wrote about), 5 miles (out and back), following El Rito de los Frijoles (Frijoles [Bean] Creek) down two falls and 706' feet to the Rio Grande. Last time we were out there, vacationing before the move, the road into the park was being paved, and we were alerted to a time limit because the road was due to be shut down for several hours. We sort of rushed through the trail (as much as such a thing is possible) to make sure we got out.

This time we took our time on the trail. It is an especially odd hike, following a spring through the desert; even in the driest circumstances, by the time you're traveling alongside the creek, it's humid and the plants are riparian. The whole drive up and the hike down, I swear it wasn't my imagination, it was all just greener.

[all of the small ones, click for larger]

This is one of the first things we ran across. This skink was so happy with the fly he caught, we were able to get right up on him.


By the Rio Grande, there are all these skeletons of trees—not burned, but flooded in the 80s when Cochiti Dam overflowed.

We took about a 20-minute lunch break once we reached the RIo Grande. For just about the whole time, this woodpecker was in the tree in front of us, hopping up and down and peering at the branch, never once laying into it.



7000 BC secured some table space at Bubonicon 38. It's really a conference for writers and artists, and the dealer area is pretty small. A couple of our group members staffed the table on Friday, and we headed there with a few others for the day on Saturday.

Not a lot of traffic, not a lot of sales, but we had a good time hanging out with the group, visiting the vendors around us, and meeting the people who did take the time to talk. And Ben Bova stopped by our table...to ask directions to the art exhibit.

The whole day was gray and overcast in Albuquerque, and when we headed out in the evening it was starting to rain. As we got closer to Santa Fe, the sky got really spectacular and the rainbows appeared. Luckily, by then, we were right near the rest stop.



The rain started sometime in the middle of the night—a light, steady rain—and continued through to the morning. A cool, gray day, perfect to make use of the tickets to Haciendas—A Parade of Homes that J+J had left for us. By the time we got to our second stop, the sun had come out, and it was getting positively muggy. We had an enjoyable afternoon, made it to seven or so of the places, only falling in love with a couple.


for years

Well, since we posted one last year, and since there are a couple up over at the View from Mars this year, I thought we should post up a different (non-wedding) photo. More to the point, I decided that I needed to take a new photo. Just for this post. Right now, dangit!

I'm so lucky that Bram puts up with my looniness. And that I can still make him laugh:

And here — because it's what Bram wanted to do instead of taking wacky a self-portrait — are some prairie dogs:


Fencing Club, Finished (Enough)

Stopped by the club yesterday to see how it all came together in the weeks since we were there. There are still improvements we'd like to make, but will get to them when time (and money) permits.


I'll be out there Monday night.

it's that time again...

We didn't know it at first, but our late sumer 2003 Santa Fe vacation was during the annual green chile harvest. Driving along, we caught a whiff of a smokey, spicy... something. "What the heck is that?" It was one of the best things I'd ever smelled — roasting green chiles.

August is harvest time for New Mexico green chiles, which are shipped all over the state (and beyond). Something like 30,000 people descend on Hatch, NM (population: 1000) at peak harvest for the Hatch Chile Festival on Labor Day weekend.

And with the chiles, come the roasters; rotating metal cages, with propane-fired burners at the bottom. They're everywhere: in strip-mall parking lots, at the farmers' market, along the side of the road, even our local big-chain grocery store has one. And when you buy a bushel or a 30 lb. bag or whatever, they'll roast 'em for you, usually for free. Smaller quantities are pretty easy to roast at home, or for the really lazy (or grill-deficient) the grocery stores will often also sell small packages of pre-roasted chile. Then most people skin + freeze them for use all year long.

As soon as someone invents scratch-n-sniff for the internet, I'll post a sample. Is it weird that this smell is one of my favorite things about New Mexico?


Happy Birthday, Maddy

11 August

(Yeah, I know. But that photo cracks me up for so many reasons. Current photos here if you got a Kodak Gallery or Ofoto account.)


visitors from DC

Our friends Matt and Carol (and their son Adam) — from the DC Conspiracy — are in town through Wednesday (Matt for a conference, Carol and Adam for fun). Yesterday was mostly walking around downtown — their hotel is just a couple blocks from the Plaza. Lunch at Cowgirl, dinner at The Shed, a visit to True Believers in between.

Today, we had lunch with Matt at Zia Diner while Carol and Adam napped, then spent the afternoon up on Museum Hill, enjoying the Folk Art Museum and the gardens. Back to our place for a bit, then dropped Adam and Carol off at the hotel, and Matt joined us for this month's 7000 BC meeting. Monday and Tuesday I'll tourguide Carol and Adam, while Matt has his conference work, and we'll hopefully hook up for a few more dinners before they go.

[click for larger]




[click for larger]



How We Spent Our Summer Vacation

Photos from the trip are up at Flickr. I was also shooting film, believe it or not; those photos (other than the ones lost when the camera fell and broke open) will be posted once they get developed.

The San Diego Comic-Con photos are in one set. A lot of the photos are of people in costume, not because there were that many, it's just it's easier than trying to take photos that capture the size of the show.

The other set has the rest of the Southern California photos: around Hollywood, The Getty Villa, The Hammer, The Getty Center, Joshua Tree and Palm Springs, Coronado, and along the bay with Chris. He's got his own Flickr page with his various pinhole and Holga photos, including a couple (here and here) from our outing.