Photos from the Last Weekend in October

Yesterday, went to visit Jim at the Santa Fe Design Week Expo, part of the Santa Fe Design Week goings-on. We chatted for a bit, walked through trade show, and continued on through the exhibits at at El Museo Cultural, Santa Fe Clay, and Warehouse 21. We continued to kick around Guadalupe Street for the afternoon. Photos from the day (click for larger):






Walked back to Borders today to pick up Reckless Kelly Was Here* and a few more pictures came out of that trip.


* Subsequently updated the "Enjoying" section over to the left. Promise to try and be more timely about that.


Famous for Washington — But Ready for Santa Fe?

Paul sent me the following, found on The Drudge Report (apparently, one of those "blog" things I've been hearing about) and originally reported in Roll Call, which seems to be some sort of Washington, DC-based news publication:
Tue Oct 24 2006 08:51:47 ET

Having soaked up just about every last bit of limelight from the CIA leak scandal, former GOP-appointed Ambassador Joe Wilson is burning up the campaign trail on behalf of Democrats while apparently planning a full-time move away from Washington, D.C., ROLL CALL reports.

Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame Wilson — who was famously outed as a CIA operative by columnist Robert Novak — have told friends that they are ready to quit Washington. One source tell ROLL'S Mary Ann Akers, the Wilsons, the parents of 6-year-old twins, have “settled on” Santa Fe, N.M.

"We have entertained for a while now moving out of Washington, D.C... My wife no longer has a job in Washington, so we're no longer bound to the city," Wilson explains.


Saturday Around Santa Fe

Started off at the Farmers Market, some burritos and checking out the fall produce. Got a few of the (probably) last roasted chiles, some red to go with the green this time, and a few other things.

Stopped by to visit our friend Caleb at his last day of employment at my former workplace. Continued on downtown to check out the Zebulon Pike celebration at the Palace of the Governors; there was just a small group of reenactors there, so we spent most of the time talking with James at the Press.

Ducked over to the library to see the show of work from the Book Arts Group. Beautiful, varied mix of handmade books; my favorite: a batwing shaped book of drawings of bats with its accompanying batwing shaped box.

Then, because I was remembering my museums and opening exhibits incorrectly, we headed up to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture at Museum Hill. Used our new memberships to get it and check out the exhibits, including a stunning collection of Diné weaving. Also discovered a little trail that leads around the arroyo in the back.

That wrapped up our outing for the day, but we headed back out this evening to check out the new barbecue place in town, Whole Hog Cafe, opened recently by an Arkansas transplant. Ribs (wet) with the collection of sauces on the table and some sweet tea. It wasn't Memphis, but it will do just fine. I went there sporting my new Minnesota State Fair tshirt that arrived from P+T today (thanks!).


Albuquerque! Bob + Shannon! Balloons! The Girls! Roller Derby!

Friday night, we headed down to Albuquerque to spend the night at Bob + Shannon's — and all go to the The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta on Saturday morning. They made us dinner, we watched Montana's governor on The Colbert Report, and went to bed early.

We were awakened for a little bit in the middle of the night by the yips of coyotes, and then were up for real at 5:00, which got us on the road a little after 5:30. It had been a bit overcast at night, so it was it the mid–high 50s when we stepped outside. A smooth ten-minute drive, then we ran into traffic by the exit for Fiesta Park. More than an hour later, we were parked and heading in; there was some reflection of the sunrise on the clouds over the Sandias, but by the time we were entering the park, it was gray and overcast and close to 10º cooler than when we left Bob + Shannon's (apparently, it's generally cooler lower and by the river; go figure).

We were waved in without having to pay admission, something which we didn't think twice about until it occurred to us that it meant that they didn't think the balloons would be launching. We walked quickly through the "midway" and out onto the field, where we watched a live TV broadcast confirming that, though the wind at ground level was mild, up around 400' it got gusty. The organizers were going to put up a weather balloon at 7:30 to assess the situations and either cancel, further delay, or approve the launch. We walked around, cold and despairing that the Mass Ascension would occur.

We were at the far end of the field, watching one of the balloon teams that kept firing its "candle" and listening to them explain how they hadn't been given a go-ahead to prepare for launch. And then we looked further up the field, and saw balloons starting to inflate. [All small photos below, click to enlarge.]


We dashed off to where there were a bunch of balloons inflating, and lingered to watch them take to the air.

We were a good position to watch one of the teams from the beginning. They started by unpacking the balloon, in a bundle about the size of an easy chair, and laying it out. The gondola is attached and tipped onto its side, and a big industrial fan is used to inflate the balloon. Once the balloon is pretty well filled, the candle is lit and the whole thing is tipped upright. The pilot and passengers climb in, and once the "zebras" (organizers named for their referee shirts) clear the area, the balloon takes to the air.


It was so much fun — a flurry of activity, brilliant colors, and the excitement at liftoff. I thought that we would be off to the side watching, but spectators were right there among the balloons.


It was amazing how quickly it all went. It took maybe 10–15 minutes for a team to get a balloon airborne, and within an hour most of them were in the air. I guess that the conditions turned, because balloons that hadn't made it up by then had to pack back up. That included the Nelly B., which we stopped to watch come together.


Less than two hours after arriving, we were back in the car and on our way out for some breakfast. After which, we headed back home to Stella (Laborador) and Chelsea (Retriever), who were waiting for their walk.

Bob + Shannon's place adjoins some Albuquerque Open Space. A walk back there is their usual daily routine, so we joined Bob and the girls for a hike around the Sandia foothills.

We were out for about an hour-and-a-quarter, a chunk of that time spent in a more enclosed, secluded area where the dogs could run off-leash — and Monica and I could walk at something closer to the pace to which we're more accustomed.

Back at the house, we looked at the photos from Bob and Shannon's travels this past summer to French Polynesia. We got to see some of the places they talked about when we last met up with them. Lush, green mountaintops in the middle of little islands, clouds and rainbows dancing around the peaks, all surrounded by brilliant blue waters. Apparently, it really looks just like the photos.

We headed out mid-afternoon, and off to the Duke City Derby roller derby championships. We met up with Jett at the gigantic club where the season's bouts have taken place for the competition between the Doomsdames and D.I.A.. We were there to root for the Doomsdames, being fans of Reese Lightning's alter ego. It soon became evident that they didn't need our help, heading off to an early lead and never letting go, so we were happy to cheer for whoever was passing by at the time. The Doomsdames' secret weapon was Kamikaze Kim, below right, who would just weave through the pack like they weren't even there. I don't even know what the final score was, though it wasn't pretty — but it was a terrific way to round out a full day.



24 Hour Comics Day

Back from my business trip — and into 24 Hour Comics Day. It's an international event where creators attempt to make a 24-page comic in 24 straight hours (much more difficult than it sounds, I'm told). True Believers is hosting the only one in New Mexico along with help from 7000 BC; started at noon on Saturday and will run until noon on Sunday.

Here's Monica hard at work at hour five.

I'm here, not actually making a comic — still recovering from the big trip, but helping out with logistics and supplies and hopefully working on some of my things that have been put off too long.


Update: Sunday afternoon, and it's over; Monica got about 14 pages done. We actually went home for a few hours of sleep last night, returning in the cold, gray, rainy morning to bring bagels to the group. I was liveblogging for a while there (as it turns out, on the wrong blog) on a fussy, slow dialup connection, but you can follow our progress — and that of participants from around the world — at the 24 Hour Comics Blog. Or you can skip straight to our last three posts here, here, and here (our first one got lost in the transfer from the private blog to the public blog). For the truly curious, the full set of photos at Flickr.


happy birthday, Mando!

2 October 1974


A Walk in the Aspens with Jett

The turning of the aspens was well underway, it was a clear, 80º day, and everything was bathed in a beautiful golden autumn light. It became clear that nothing productive was going to happen, certainly not indoors.