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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Sabot L'ours' LiveJournal:

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Saturday, August 24th, 2019
11:48 am
If You Beleive They Put A Man On The Moon
I had the great priviledge of hearing a lecture last night by Harrison Schmitt, a geologist on Apollo 17. That also makes him one of the last if not THE last man to walk on the Moon. He is a NM native and was asked to speak at our local sci-fi con. It was great to hear stories about his mission and especially to hear about the rocks he (and the other Apollo astronauts) collected. This fit in nicely with the other talk I heard a few weeks ago from a UNM geologist who will be analyzing some of the samples. I got to ask him how it felt to be so far from the lander as they ventured over 5 miles away. In hindsight it was a stupid question because of course NASA had lots of back-up-plans, but I did gain some insight because with the low gravity of the Moon, had the lander gotten stuck in deep dust, the 2 astronauts could have easily just picked the whole thing up.

Here's a pic of him now and then.
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Wednesday, August 21st, 2019
7:46 am
Candygram For Mongo
Yesterday was Tuesday. That normally would mean that scritchwuff and I would be enjoying bourbon on the patio. Last night, however, our local brewtheater was having a retro night, and the film was "Blazing Saddles." Since it is a favorite movie of both of us, we headed off to the cinema instead of the patio. Kitty didn't have her choir practice, so she came along. So we enjoyed brewskis and a movie. It was great to see it on the big screen again. I think the last time I saw it in a theater was when I went with my dad for the 10th or 20th anniversary. It was one of his favorites as well. It took most of my will power to not recite the dialogue, and many times I failed. It was hard to get a feeling for the audience. Had they seen it before? How big of fans were they? I know I heard dialogue being recited elsewhere in the theater. Even though its 45 years old, it's still funny as hell.

Having seen it so many times, I tend to now concentrate on minute details. During the fight scene at the end, I see what each extra is doing. Of course no one is really beating the heck out of each other, so what are they doing? It's fun to watch all of the pushing and shoving or perhaps being hit with a foam rubber board. My favorite scene like that is from "Animal House." If you watch the very last scene as the riot is taking place, you see the street in utter chaos with smoke and debris everywhere. But there is one little old lady carrying a football banner running halfway across the street, turning, and running back. While she should be fleeing chaos, she's just happily running around.

I also have another bit of trivia from the movie. As the fight spills out of the Warner Brothers lot, there is a big poster for a movie on the studio wall. What movie was it? All I could see was that it starred Gene Hackman and Al Pacino. A quick check of IMDB reveals that the movie was "Scarecrow." I had never heard of this movie before, so now I want to add it to my queue. Unfortunately even Netflix doesn't have it.
Monday, August 19th, 2019
10:28 am
Weekend Update
Another relatively calm weekend. The peach count is now around 110. I harvest them by lightly shaking the tree and then collecting the ones that fall. Sometimes I will lightly touch the fruit to see if it falls off into my hand. It's hard to guess how many are left. 20? 30? 50? I have 10 cups frozen plus I processed another 20 which I turned into a cobbler. Yum! The only other big happening was another fur held a meet on Saturday night. It was nice to get out and be social. The next few weekends should be exciting! Stay tuned!
Sunday, August 18th, 2019
3:37 pm
The Nominees
Last year I posted about having seen every Academy Award Best Picture winner. I then said that perhaps I should tackle the nominees as well. I was bored at work on Friday afternoon, so I compiled a list of all of the nominees that I had never seen from the 60's, 70's and 80's. There were some pretty obscure titles! I then went through Netflix to fill up my queue. Some were so obscure that they weren't even available there. It shouldn't be a total surprise. I even found a winner, "Tom Jones," that wasn't available. Thanks to a keen eye by mondhasen I was able to find it broadcast on TCM. I could also tell that I was bit by the Oscar bug in 1987. It was around that time that I made an effort to see all of the nominees in the theaters. By chance I found one of the more obscure nominees available on demand today. It was "Lenny" which was nominated in 1974 (beaten by "The Godfather II"). That's one of my favorite eras in Hollywood because the movies were really gritty. This was a biography of comedian Lenny Bruce performed by Dustin Hoffman. It got 6 nominations. I can't believe I had never heard of this move before. I'm hoping that the other movies on my list will be this surprisingly good.
Saturday, August 17th, 2019
1:32 pm
Peaches!
I made a post about my first peach harvest last year on the 10th. This year I decided to wait until the fruit was totally ripe before I attempted a harvest. I tasted one a couple of weeks ago and it was just not quite there. I was in no hurry to pick. The tree was safe behind bird netting. I now know I have a self-harvesting tree. We had a minor wind storm from a dying thunderstorm and it knocked a bunch of fruit off of the tree. I was able to get out there before the ants discovered them. I ended up with about 50 little peaches. Over the next couple of days I got another 10. What to do with all of that fruit? Freeze it! I blanched them which made their skins fall right off. I then cut them up and threw them in plastic bags. Since the fruits are small, I'm getting about 8 peaches per cup. So now I have enough for a cobbler and a pie. And there STILL a few dozen still on the tree!
Friday, August 16th, 2019
8:19 am
2 To Go
Here we are again; my gubbmint anniversary date. Hopefully I'll only have to make this post 2 more times. I've survived 28 years working for 3 different agencies over the years. 2 were short temporary stints. I've been with this agency for over 26 years. Yup. I'm ready to call it quits. Life is too short to just keep working if you don't really have to. I've become a simple bear. Just give me food and whiskey (preferably in new exotic locations) and I'll be happy. The age of materialism is over for me. Time-in-service is an important number, but age is the bigger factor. I should hit my minimum retirement age at about the same time I hit 30 years of service. I may take a 1% pay cut if I don't have my full 30 in, but I will forgo less than $100/month for the piece of mind of being responsible to no one.
Wednesday, August 14th, 2019
7:19 am
Dead Bum
I pulled into work this morning and saw flashing lights on the street at the far end of our parking lot. I drove over and saw that they had the street closed off. I figured someone was going to get a ride for vagrancy, public intoxication, etc. I went into the office and into someone's cube that had a window facing the street. A fellow employees said, "Dead guy on the sidewalk." Sure enough. There he was sprawled out like he was sleeping. It's a sight seen every day around here only they ARE just sleeping. *shrugs*
Tuesday, August 13th, 2019
7:29 am
Calm Weekend
For the first time in a few weeks there were no big plans for the weekend. It was chill time! It was a nice feeling to not have any pressing concerns and just sit on the patio reading the paper. The fruit harvest was the only thing on Saturday. On Sunday I wanted to go to the zoo to renew our memberships. So after a breakfast at a nearby Mexican restaurant, we headed over. Even though we were there fairly early, the place was already getting packed. With new membership cards in paw, we headed in to check out the new penguin exhibit. It was a very nice facility with several species living side by side. There is a huge pool for them to swim in, and boy it seemed like they loved it. I almost freaked out as I was walking and thought I was going to fall into the pool. They installed glass panels in the floor so you can see the penguins zooming right below your feet. The exhibit is a very nice addition to the zoo. After a quick check of the polar bears and big cats, we headed on home.
Saturday, August 10th, 2019
11:20 am
Fruit!
Remember this pic of my nectarine tree back in March?

20190327_160338.jpg

Here's what all of those flowers produced!

20190810_103331.jpg

That's about 80 nectarines there. Of course the 12 plums came from a different tree (duh!). This was the first year that the nectarine tree produced. And boy did it! My only regret was that I didn't cover it with bird netting. The little bastards got a couple dozen. I hope Diva delivers swift justice. She has been hanging out around the tree for the past week. The plum tree was covered so losses were minimal. The peach tree is loaded with fruit (and covered) but I tasted one this morning and they're not quite there despite being nice and red (or should I say peachy?) That's the thing I hate about store-bought fruit. I bought some lovely apricots a few weeks ago, and they looked perfectly ripe. When I tasted one, it was sour. The same thing goes for peaches, plums, and nectarines. They look perfect, but they are sour/bitter. Not these babies right off of the tree. Perfection!
Thursday, August 8th, 2019
7:28 am
Cumbres & Toltec
Here are a couple of videos I shot on last weekend's train trip. The first is Tanglefoot Curve which has the sharpest curvature on the line. There are several places on the route that completely double-back on itself to gain/lose elevation. The second video is the longest tunnel on the route which pops you out on a cliff several hundred feet above the Los Pinos (Toltec) Gorge. I stole a line from "Zootopia" as people started howling in the tunnel. You can hear me say "Don't start a howl!"



Tuesday, August 6th, 2019
11:18 am
The Deep Breath
The news has been filled with so many "America is going to hell!" stories over the past year that I wish someone would just ask everyone to step back and take a deep breath. Something else that has been happening are retrospectives of what was happening in America 50 years ago. Look at all of the milestones! 1st man on the Moon! Stonewall! Woodstock! And something for allaboutweather...Hurricane Camille. Oh no! Our climate is getting worse! Sure, but 50 years ago we had a Cat 5 slam into the Gulf Coast killing hundreds. Race relations are terrible today! Yes, but whole cities are not in flames like back then. Gun violence is terrible now! And next year will be the anniversary of soldiers killing unarmed students. Do us guys fear that we're going to be drafted and sent halfway around the world to fight in a meaningless war? I know folks have a limited interest in history, but perhaps we should put today's situation in the context of how things were. We have always been an evolving nation. We go through bad periods and good. Stop running around like Chicken Little proclaiming the sky is falling. There will always be growing pains. We all need to come together and fight fear and hate. Knowledge is power. Common sense is strength. It might seem that there's not a lot of that out there, but it exists. Maybe it's time to stop blaming Russia for all of our problems. Maybe Pogo said it best, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
Monday, August 5th, 2019
10:24 am
Another Busy Weekend
For the longest time Kitty had been asking me if we could take the Cumbres & Toltec steam train up in Chama. It seemed that something always got in the way. It's also a bit awkward in planning since it's about a 3 1/2 hour drive up there, so it's not really an easy day trip. We could stay in either Chama, Alamosa, or Pagosa Springs, but I was always afraid of the hassle (and cost) of booking a room for a summer weekend. Finally I just said, "screw it!" and got on Hotels.com and found a nice place up in Pagosa for 2 nights. We would make it a nice relaxing weekend and I would continue in my quest to be non-Jewish and "splurge" for some memorable experiences.

We left ABQ on Friday night as soon as Kitty got home from work. Thunderstorms were threatening, but we threaded the needle and had a relatively dry drive. One plan was to stop in Cuba for dinner, but by the time we got there, neither of us were hungry. We pressed on. I chose a less-popular route up through the Jicarilla Apache Rez. It's a much less hectic route than going up through Espanola. My only worry was it was getting dusk, and I warned Kitty to be on the lookout for deer since that's when they get active and wander out onto the road. A few minutes later a spotted a young buck grazing off the side of the road. Several miles later I spotted a doe. Just outside of Dulce I spotted another doe crossing the highway. I stopped right by her, rolled down the window, and shouted at her, "Get the fuck off of the highway!!!" It scrambled away. Kitty was upset with me that I cursed out a deer.

Our motel was a funky little place. It was an old skool affair that was now run by hippies. There was no TV or air conditioning, but we really didn't need either. They closed the lobby at 9PM but we were due in at 9:30. They called us and told us that our room would be open for us with the key inside. No worries, man. There was breakfast in the morning, but we would be gone before then to catch our train.

Chama was about an hour drive from Pagosa, so we were out the door by 6. We hadn't eaten the night before, so a nice hearty breakfast in Chama was in order. It was then off to the station to hop on a bus to Antonito, CO. They have trains starting from both ends of the line with a bus link either at the beginning or the end. We chose the bus at the beginning since the other way was sold out. The only difference is that the engine really has to work going eastbound since the uphill grade is extremely steep. Like I mentioned, I splurged for the premium class where everyone has there own window seat and the windows can be opened almost entirely. You also have access to the platform at the back of the train. Plus there was some swag and refreshments. Lunch was included at a stop about 3/4 of the way between the 2 stations. The mountain scenery was gorgeous. The streams were all still flowing from our excellent winter snowpack. Everything was nice and green. Well, except for all of the dead pines. The forest has been completely decimated by pine bark beetles. It was even worse on the drive home the next day over Wolf Creek Pass. I told Kitty that when the forest eventually does catch fire, and I know it will, it's going to be an inferno. So I better mark this post for future reference when the next drought hits and southern Colorado becomes a mass of flames.

We got back to Chama in the late afternoon and we drove back to Pagosa. Our motel had a bar, so we popped in for a drink. It was just as quirky as the rest of the motel with a mixture of locals and guests. Kitty had a mojito and I had a microbrew before getting a whiskey on the rocks. One of the locals sprang for a round of shots, so I had more whiskey. Another local recommended a brewpub in town for nachos, so that's where we headed out for dinner. It was a nice little place with a 2-piece band playing tunes. I had another brew and we just chilled out. Of course Kitty had to pull out her phone and check Facebook. It was then we heard about the latest mass shooting. I yelled at her to put the damned thing away and just live in the moment of happiness. Those problems were a long ways away and had nothing to do with us. Right now it was all about beer, nachos, music, a wonderful setting, and love. I'm starting to like this type of vacationing. In a tradition I started when I visited whitetail several years ago, whenever there is live music in a bar/restaurant and they are pretty good, I always slip a 20 into the tip jar. I appreciate the effort.

On Sunday we slept in a bit and were able to partake in the motel's breakfast. It was just coffee, bread, and fruit, but it was some mighty fine gourmet coffee. We then took a leisurely drive home using the long way through Taos. Traffic through Taos is always a shitshow, but we were in no hurry. It just made us to not want to stop since parking is also a zoo. We had wanted to stop for lunch, but we pushed on to Espanola where things were much more chill. We had a nice New Mexican lunch. Kitty read that it was hard to get bad Mexican/New Mexican food in Espanola because if it was bad food, it wouldn't be in business for very long. They take their chile very seriously!

We got home at a very reasonable time. There was plenty of time to get things ready for the week ahead. Of course we had very needy kitties. The neighbor had let them out and back in as well as fed them while we were gone. Obviously the cats thought we had abandoned them and they would have to fend for themselves. I found a headless squirrel on the patio.
Monday, July 29th, 2019
7:54 am
Busy Weekend
The fun started on Friday when czar_wolfhound showed up to spend the night with us. He had been doing some research in the state and needed a place to crash before heading home. scritchwuff also showed up as well as Kitty's friend. I grilled up a bunch of steaks for everyone. Dinner was slightly delayed because we finally had a good true monsoon storm blow through with pounding rain, thunder and lightning (including a few *flash**booms*), and pea-sized hail. The added benefit was that it lowered the temps about 20 degrees, so what was hot and muggy turned into perfect weather to sit out on the patio, yerf, and drink bourbon.

We said our goodbyes to Czar on Saturday after a nice breakfast. Then it was time to just do a little shopping and relax. I had to get yet another windshield put on my car since a crack had spread across the entire thing. I think that's my second one in 2 years. We were treated to another good monsoon storm that evening although it was a little less intense.

I had mentioned to Kitty that "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" was getting some really good reviews. She took that to mean that I really wanted to see it, so she bought us tickets for Sunday. I must say that it was a very good film. I can easily see Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Brad Pitt and Leonardo Dicaprio for Actor, Quentin Tarantino for Director, and whoever did Cinematography. It's very much like "Inglorious Basterds" where history gets turned on its head. Hollywood loves movies about itself, so that's why I'm thinking it'll be a front runner for Best Picture. We shall see.

In other movie news, we watched "Arctic" over the weekend as well. I had read a review about the movie, and it sounded interesting. A bush pilot crashes in the middle of nowhere and has to survive until rescued. There are only 3 people in the entire movie and one dies right away. Another is in a coma for most of the movie. So if you like a lot of dialogue, forget it. On the good side there is a murry purry polar bear. "I'm not here for booty. I'm here to eat ya!" Mads Mikkelsen deserves an Oscar nomination for his acting. I thought I never heard of him before, but he played the title role in the TV show "Hannibal." He was also a Bond villain in "Casino Royale." The movie is kinda in the vane of "All is Lost," the 2013 movie with Robert Redford where he's lost at sea by himself. That was a good movie. We also saw the recent stinker by him, "The Old Man and the Gun." If that's what we wants to end his career with, it's a whimper not a bang.
Monday, July 22nd, 2019
7:48 am
Date Weekend
We have not been immune to the heat that has been affecting the country, so it was another lazy weekend. On Friday we went to the Explora science museum for their "adults only' night. This allows you to play with all of the exhibits without dealing with rugrats. There were a couple of food trucks parked out front which allowed us to have a tasty dinner. The evening was OK. At least we got out of the house. The best part for me was hearing a lecture from a UNM astronomy professor who is a team lead in opening a sealed lunar sample that will be tested for volatile gases. I asked him why it took NASA 50 years to open the samples and he told me that they were thinking ahead and decided to wait a long time to see how science developed to do better analysis. I guess they thought now was a good time. I'm looking forward to our annual sci-fi convention next month since one of the guest speakers will be an Apollo astronaut (and geologist) who collected samples during one of the missions. He also just happens to be an ABQ resident.

On Saturday Kitty treated me to dinner at a place we haven't been to in years. It was the Melting Pot. Go ahead, albear, say it. "Fondue!" It's gotten a lot pricier, but it was a nice date night. We also left stuffed to the gills and couldn't even eat our chocolate course. We took it to go, and I'll have to fire up our old fondue pot.

We also watched "Mirai" which was the last nominee in the "Best Animated Feature" category last year. It was typical weird Japanese stuff with the mixing of spirits from the present and past as a little boy learns about his family. It got furry points when his dog becomes a human but he still has a tail. The little boy steals the tail, attaches it to his behind, and gets transformed into a dog. Good stuff, but only one small scene. We also started binging "Stranger Things 3" and have one episode to go.
Wednesday, July 17th, 2019
9:55 am
Tuesdays With Scritch
It was either at AlbuFURque or the 4th of July party where I was talking with scritchwuff, and he mentioned that he had discovered the joys of sitting on his patio in the evening with a bourbon in his paw. I laughed because I had discovered that wonderful pastime a long time ago. We then decided that it should become a regular thing for the both of us. Kitty has choir practice on Tuesday evenings, so that would be the perfect time to get together and just chill out. We've done it a couple of times now and it is a truly great thing. We alternate houses so there is no undue burden on either of us. We make a simple dinner and then retreat to the outside. Yesterday it was roasting hot, but a quick thunderstorm brought the temp down to ideal. It's truly a joy of life to just disconnect from news and social media and have a real conversation with a good friend. I would encourage everyone to do it!
Friday, July 12th, 2019
10:55 am
Mr Green Beans
I must admit that I have been derelict in my gardening duties. I have let the weeds run wild and have only just begun making a dent in them. I harvested my first tomato yesterday which was something of a surprise. As in previous years some of my tomato plants have suddenly just up and died. The same can be said for many of my peppers. Perhaps they're not getting enough water. I have also been lax in watering, hoping the sprinklers would do an adequate job.

I have let the remainder of the lettuce go to seed. All of the lettuce I have harvested this year is from the seeds of last year's crop. Let's see if it will produce in 2020! Some of my radishes have also gone to flower. Some of the radishes are really tasty while some have gone past their prime and have gone woody. It's a catch 22 that if I leave them in the ground until I need them, they get tough. If I harvest them all and put them in the fridge, they get rubbery.

And finally there are the green beans. The weeds/grass have overwhelmed them. The plants are probably less than a foot tall, and I had very low expectations for them. While I was weeding them last night, however, I saw that they were dripping with beans! I was expecting plants to be about 2 feet tall before they produced. Nope. The little spindly plants were just loaded with ripe beans. So I got a nice harvest without even trying. I'll make another foray tonight and pick while I weed.

On the tree front, plums are getting ripe and peaches should follow. Lots and lots of apples!
Friday, July 5th, 2019
7:28 am
Furry Fourth
Even though AlbuFURque was only a couple of weeks ago, we decided to throw another party at Fur Central. It would be a low-key event which basically was an excuse to get rid of the burgers and dogs we had bough for AF. There was also a fridge full of beer which was a collection of beverages from furmeets past. In all about 15 people showed up. I grilled up what we had which turned out to be just about right. scritchwuff brought mint and bourbon, so we had juleps all night long. It's amazing how many folks become bourbon drinkers. At sunset it was time to blow shit up. Someone had brought the big legal assortment pack, so we had a nice little display for about an hour. Like always there were folks all around us who purchased the illegal mortars, so we enjoyed their show as well. Surprisingly I made it in to work today. I was going to take the day off but figured it would almost be a vacation with no one in the office. Good call! So far it's like a tomb around here.
Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019
7:35 am
The Lone Apricot
When I got home yesterday I noticed something yellowish below the apricot tree. It looked like a dead leaf from a distance. When I got to the tree I was dismayed to see that it was a very ripe (and bruised) apricot being enjoyed by a bunch of ants. So it looks like not every baby apricot had died in the frost back in March. Kitty and I never really seriously checked the tree after April when we assumed all the fruit had been killed. I guess one survived. It must have been extremely well hidden because we never noticed anything yellow on the tree and even the birds didn't know it was there. Last year as soon as the fruit turned yellow, there would be peck marks (or they would just eat the whole damn thing and leave the seed/pit on the branch). So now it's time to guard the plum tree which might produce a few. Peaches and nectarine to follow!
Monday, July 1st, 2019
7:50 am
Movie Time
As I get older I'm finding it harder and harder to get motivated on the weekends. If I can accomplish a couple of small tasks, I'm happy. I love summer, but when the temps get above 90, I just don't feel like doing anything. So it's nice to just chill for awhile and watch the boob tube for a bit.

We finally saw the last of the Best Picture Oscar-nominated movies this weekend when "A Star is Born" was on HBO. Both Kitty and I came to the conclusion that it was the meat thrown out to the white audience just like "Black Panther" was thrown out for the black. They really have no place being nominated except to please the general viewing audience. But as has been pointed out to me here on LJ, a lot of previous winners also had no place being nominated. I guess that's the general state of cinema. All the movie was was a vehicle to have Lady Gaga sing. If that's your thing, great! If you could care less about Lady Gaga (me!) then the movie was a complete waste of time.

Last week we had watched the Best Picture winner "Green Book" and both liked it. Once again, it wasn't great, but of the other nominees, it was probably the best. Perhaps "Roma" or "The Favourite" had better storytelling, but "Green Book" was a nice safe choice.

Speaking of storytelling, we also saw a nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, "Shoplifters." It's a Japanese movie about a family living on the bottom rungs of society, but they seem to have togetherness. One reason I like foreign films is because they usually tell the story slowly. Sometimes they're just overly-pretentious and have nothing but story with no resolution, but here we have a story that slowly builds until the critical point when there's the "big reveal" and everything comes to a head. Of course Kitty liked it because it was about her peeps and she got to try her skill translating the Japanese dialogue. I like seeing the day-to-day lives of ordinary people in foreign countries with stories so different from what we're constantly fed.
Friday, June 28th, 2019
3:25 pm
M-O-O-N, That Spells Moon
We're approaching the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing next month and I've been getting my fill of the event with 2 recent movies. Lats week we watched "First Man" which was the Neil Armstrong biopic that came out last year. I had mentioned the movie briefly here back in February when I was amazed that it beat out all of the blockbuster sci-fi movies to win the "Best Visual Effects" Oscar. It was really good although they seemed to make Neil Armstrong very emo after the death of his daughter. Perhaps he was. But the movie did a very good job telling the story of the Apollo program and the Mercury and Gemini mission that preceded it.

Then we watched "Apollo 11" which was on CNN. I had heard it was visually gorgeous, and they were right! I thought they just restored old footage, but they actually restored old 70mm footage that had never been seen. The end product is nothing short of spectacular. It looks as if it were filmed yesterday. It's not a documentary, per se, in that there's no narration. This is simply a collection of all the old film exactly as it was shot 50 years ago. They also restored the sound, so it's best if you crank the subwoofer for the launch scene. It's a movie like this that makes you happy you have a 65" 4K screen.
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