Thursday, May 12, 2016

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day

This is the first year in my lifetime that Mom isn't here for Mother's Day.  This picture of us was taken outside our home in Taos  (It was also where she kept the beauty shop open while Dad was winning WWII.)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Hot Time in Fort McMurray

This Throwback Thursday Report has some current news attached to it.

In the northern part of the Canadian Province is a place called Fort McMurray.

Wildfire has taken over the town and upwards of 100,000 people are getting the hell out of town in advance of a gigantic fire that has overtaken the town, the forest, and most likely a lot of the industry there.

I’ve been there.  

Fort McMurray is an important place.  It is where oil filled sand is mined from the earth.  The oil is separated from the sand and sent along its way to our gas tanks and heating oil furnaces.

Here’s a picture of a momento that I brought back.  

You can see the tar sand, and the sand – the empty column once contained oil – but over the many years it seeped away in to the wooden trophy case.

My visit was during a trip of The New Mexico Amigos, sometime in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s.   Fort McMurray at that time had nowhere near 100,000 people...but I do recall a number of bars, a few hotels, and lots of portable housing.  And, giant holes in the ground as big oil was just developing the tar sands project.

The Amigos are New Mexico’s Official Goodwill Ambassadors, and each year the privately funded group takes off for a week, usually in May, to spread the word about the Land of Enchantment.
The first trip was in 1962 – as the group went to New York City and Washington,DC – I think – to tell the world that New Mexico had been a state for 50 years.

In 1973, and again in 1988 we visited the White House.  President Reagan dropped by on his way from the Oval Office to the residential quarters to say hi to our uniformed Amigos who patiently assembled in the rose garden on that hot and humid summer day.

Here’s that picture with Governor Carruthers and Senator Domenici. (I'm way over to the right - the only guy with a beard I think.)

I went on 10 or 12 Amigo trips – including Hawaii and to the Arctic Circle to the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay – the top side of the Trans-Alaska pipeline.

The New Mexico Amigos still take a trip every year, but I don’t think they’re as public about their trips as it was when I went along.   We always met with local officials, Governors, Mayors, hosted them for a social function, breakfast, dinner or lunch – and they had to sit through a presentation about New Mexico.  The Governor of our state would give the welcome – and more often than not the governor of the visiting state would be in attendance.
  I was told during one of the trips there was a server union strike and New Mexico native Conrad Hilton was helping tend bar at a New York City function.  

Two really famous luminaries we met along the way,  Ronald Reagan when he was California Governor, and Spencer Kimball, the head of the Mormon church.  Kimball asked if I knew United States Judge H. Vearle Payne of Silver City.  I said, "yes".

Governor Reagan didn’t attend our function in California, but he did receive a delegation headed by Governor Bruce King at the office in the Sacramento statehouse.  When Bruce walked in Reagan had a New Mexico Roadrunner on his lapel.   

That's good advance work!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Keep The Press Out!

Throwback Thursday

I reflect back to the days covering politics when all of the politicos wanted to see TV cameras in the forefront, and appreciated every mention of their political plans.

They liked the attention.

Come now, Sir Donald.

Usually liberal columnist Dana Milbank observes the following regarding Sir Donald's foreign policy address:

The campaign also selected its audience carefully, inviting luminaries such as Bob Woodward and Judy Woodruff but turning back others at the door. One pernicious practice of the Trump campaign is to screen journalists covering his events by requiring them to apply for credentials for each event and then deciding which to admit. (The event host, the Center for the National Interest, let me in after the Trump campaign ignored my credential request.)

Such actions are not good - and don't set a very good example of what to expect during this political campaign. If the reporters covering a campaign aren't allowed to "cover" the campaign, the press is muzzled and/or ignored and the public information necessary for an informed electorate is unavailable.

There are some countries who muzzle the press. It would appear that Sir Donald wants "America First" to join those countries.

As one of those who fought to get cameras in the courtrooms many years ago, I can only say this action by Sir Donald and his henchmen doesn't say much good.  As a matter of fact, it says a heckuva lot about what is bad.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Spaceport America

It took a while to get there, but it was easy.  Departing Truth or Consequences we headed east, driving by a depleted Elephant Butte Lake (need more El Nino to fill it up) and the entrance to Ted Turner’s Armendaris Ranch.

It was a nice paved road that led to the entrance.

A futuristic sculpture greeted us, along with a guard shack.

It was an open house, and those of us fascinated by space travel were treated to a personal inspection of Spaceport America.

Airplanes were arriving – these belonging to the Civil Air Patrol – as we wandered around, wondering, when, when, when, when will something be happening and what will it be.

Little birdies tell me there is a launch about every month of some kind of rocket…and perhaps more important – some secret research being done by a giant corporation.  My birdie wouldn’t confirm what was going on behind closed doors – but a Google Search comes up with an idea.  It could be Google (now called Alphabet) that’s experimenting with communications that reach far beyond my little ol’ desktop computer.   No sign of any of that – but who knows what goes on behind those walls.

Sometime in the next couple of years people, real people, are expected to be getting into some vehicle that looks like this mockup and head for a brief visit to space.  It’s an exciting time for New Mexico – and someday, someday this giant of a hangar will house 3 reusable space ships and astronauts wanting a few seconds in space.

Who knows who Richard Branson’s Virgin America will be taking there.

I wish, I only wish!

Fascinating, fascinating…Flash Gordon is right in our back yard.

Good for you, New Mexico – and the people of the adjoining counties who agreed to help foot the bill for what will, someday, will be the real deal!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

Everyone seems to think that Thursday is reserved for a throwback.

Not necessarily.

Perhaps Thursday is reserved for thinking.

Th- ursday

Th - inking.

Hmmm.  Maybe I'm on to someTHing here!

While interesting, what is happening on the political scene isn't worthy of additional comment - THere are enough talking heads around to do THat.

THen there is the weaTHer.

Haw haw - talk about it - but cain't do anyTHing about it!

So, let's just relax...loosen the cells in the noggin...and let'r rip.

SomeTHing good just might come about!

Have a nice day!