she must be from New Mexico

Overheard in the Albertsons produce department last night:

young girl #1: "Those aren't real peppers, those are bell peppers. I know. I've had them before. They're sweet."

young girl #2: "I dunno... I think they might be related."


Andy's Visit

Andy arranged to pass through town, returning (via San Francisco) from a week in Sydney and Melbourne and on his way to Phoenix. His flights were a bit delayed, but managed to retrieve him from the airport on Friday afternoon without too much incident. In remarkably good shape for having been on a plane for more than 16 hours, we took him to Whole Hog Cafe for some healing.

It had cooled over the past few days, and Friday brought some bouts of rain and hail — but there was snow on the ground (and the Throckmorton gauge) when we awoke Saturday morning.

Actually, Throckmorton's head doesn't give the whole story. There was about an inch of wet snow (not the usual powdery stuff) on the Golf when I set out to get donuts.

The night didn't end too late, but Saturday morning started late enough that Monica went off on her own for her guest radio gig. The show has always been pre-recorded, so we stayed at home and listened to them performing live, without a net. The show's host, Stacy, at the studio:

It was clearing, but still not an awful lot of fun out, so we headed up to Museum Hill for some indoor activities at the Musuem of Indian Arts and Culture and the Museum of International Folk Art.

Back to the apartment around sunset, and it had gotten a bit nicer, so we went out into the open space behind the complex to get a view of the mountains and wander outside a bit.

After dinner, we were over at Jett, Serena, and Will's for Serena's birthday party. We hung out there for a while, then came back home. And stayed up way, way late, catching up — when you only do it once a year, it can take a while.

Sunday's weather was more conducive to a little outdoor activity — still a bit cool, but beautiful, clear skies. We started out down by the Plaza, where we discovered that Santa Fe got one of these guys:

We'd planned on stopping by the Palace Print Shop, but it was closed because there was no electricity. Even though their printing requires no electricity.

So we drove on up the mountain, to the overlook just shy of the ski basin (where they claimed to have received 14" of snow over the past few days). Then back down to Aspen Vista for a little hike. No snow on the roads, on the trail it was wet and packed and made for a slower going. We were out for about 45 minutes and had then had to get back home to get Andy packed and off to the airport.

There was time to take him by the house that — just today — we closed on. Our realtor met us there so we could show it off. That's going to be consuming our lives for the next few weeks, so there will be much, much more here about it.

Dinner at Gruet Grille, then to the airport to see Andy off.


happy birthday, Aunt Saralee

Please know that Bram and I send our love and best wishes, and that you are in our thoughts.

25 March


confidential to Sherry + Greg:

You are important, not self-important.


On The Radio

Monica's going to be a guest host on Mouth of Wonder on KSFR, Saturday morning at 11:30 MST. You can catch the streaming audio — and if you can figure out a way to record an MP3 of it, we'll post it here.

Andy's will be in Santa Fe this weekend, on the way from one business trip to another. We'll see if we can make it to the studio to catch the broadcast.

Update 3/24: Looks like they've recently started podcasting the show, so if you can't catch the streaming version (and M+D are reporting problems with that this morning), hopefully you can hear that. Also: Andy's safely here. And also: snow!


in case you haven't heard yet...

I'm now working full-time for the State of New Mexico, Department of Cultural Affairs, Museum Resources Division doing graphic design for museum exhibits: stuff on the walls at the exhibits themselves; supporting marketing material; gallery guides; ads; signage; etc.

Since I have just publicly announced my place of employment, and have no intention of being dooced, you will find only positive and/or non-specific references to my job here.

I started, uhm, sometime in February, my boss + coworkers are nice, and the window in my office gives me a great view of all the tourists who stop to take pictures of and/or climb on the big covered wagon sculpture group at the entrance to Museum Hill.

I've named my desk "the battleship" — it's 7 feet wide, clanky, grey-green metal with a "wood" formica top, and I picked it out myself from the New Mexico State Furniture Surplus Warehouse. I was ably assisted by an older gentleman who also showed me the surlpus Surplus Warehouse — an old Quonset hut (out behind the main warehouse) full of busted out windows, birds, critters, and other, even weirder surplus furniture.


Daylight Savings, And The Prairie Dogs Are In Bloom

I think I'm still recovering from the trip, so the mornings are rough, but that extra hour of light in the evening's making a world of difference. We've been hitting the high 70s here and, though one last cold snap isn't unlikely, it's feeling more springlike. Friday was my first prairie dog sighting of the year.

happy birthday, T!

14 March




So, here's a look at where I spent the last week.

It all begins Monday at the sheet-fed plant. As its name implies, the printing presses there take one sheet at a time (as opposed to web printing, on a continuous roll; more below), which is used for heavy stock and/or high-quality projects. The cover to our publication prints there, on a ten-unit press, which means it can print five colors on each side.


That takes only a couple hours to review and make any adjustments, then we travel to the main plant, about an hour away. The interior pages are printed there on a web press, which prints from one giant roll of paper after another. The economics of such a press mean that it functions best when it's continuously running — so, sometime Monday evening, the first of our pages is ready for review, and then again every 2 to 2 1/2 hours until it's done.

This is the view first walking into the plant. I can just smell the chemicals looking at this.

The press goes through a mile of paper every two minutes. It can print up to six colors on each side at a time. To begin each signature, the plates are hung on the press, and some time is spent getting the color right, then we're called in to review.


The paper goes through the ink rollers, a dryer, and then a whole binding operation at the end, which scores and folds the pages. Though it's a roll, each set of 16 pages (eight on each side) is referred to as a sheet — and the printer does about 35,000 of those in an hour.


We wrapped up, without any problems, in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The trip home, though not nearly as bad as the trip out, was not without incident.


Out and About on Saturday

The Golf Is (Kinda) Back, Better Than Ever

Picked up the car from the body shop on Friday; there's, apparently, still some stuff under the bumper that needs to be replaced. But I needed to get to the airport for press check this week. So it goes back for the finishing touches later.

Speaking of finishing touches, I figure that the new quarter-panel was so white and shiny that they kind of repainted some of the things around it. The door's pinstripes have been painted over and the molding replaced, and both it and the hood look awfully shiny. And those little plastic parts that cover the tow hooks that I lost long ago in the car wash are back. It's like having 1/3 of a new car!

And I'm Sure They Appreciate It

The Curtain Wall At The Post Office Makes For Nice Patterns


Off in North Carolina for the quarterly press check. Bumped from one leg of the flight yesterday, so got to Greensboro by way of La Guardia. About seven ours after I was supposed to. The less said about the whole day, the better.

I do, however, have the camera for this trip. So those of you who have never seen a 8 6-unit perfecting Heidelberg web press will get the chance. When I get back. I left the cable to connect to the computer at home.