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

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Tuesday, November 19th, 2019
7:48 am
Fling
*sigh* It's with heavy heart that I am posting that I fear my beloved Fling is lost. She would make the fifth cat I have lost over the past 20 years. She disappeared last Wednesday, and it really pisses me off. We were leaving for the Blue Man Group and Yoink and Diva ran in when called. Fling ran to the door and played, what we call, "ha-ha." That's when the cat makes every indication that it wants to come in, but at the last second turns and runs away. You try to pick it up, and it goes just out of your reach. She pulled that shit with Kitty. I went out to grab her, but she ran around the side of the house. We decided to just leave her and get her in after the show. We never saw her again. The most logical explanation is that she ran into someone's garage and got locked in. She did that with the neighbor's shed last year. People have been checking when we ask. No luck. I had mentioned that there seemed to be more coyote activity as of late, so there's always that possibility. I don't know. I'm just giving up hope. Of course there was a story on the news the other day about a cat that was chipped and the owner was tracked to Portland OR. He said his cat had been missing for a few years. How it got to ABQ is anyone's guess. Fling was chipped and has been reported to a national database. So there is some hope. I'm also thinking about buying locator chips for Yoink and Diva. The GPS units on the market have a major flaw in that the battery life is terrible. The simpler ones are essentially range finders. But at least it will let us know if they're hiding or trapped somewhere.

We'll miss you, Big Sexy Kitty.
Fling.jpg
Monday, November 18th, 2019
1:17 pm
Doonesbury Cartoon
Whenever I'm talking with someone about modern race relations, I always bring up a Doonesbury comic I saw a long time ago. I could not remember when it was from, but thought it summed things up perfectly. The current Doonesbury comics online only have new strips on Sunday. Everything else was from the archive. Well...today I noticed the story arc that corresponded to my favorite strip. It was from September 12, 1993

doonsbury.jpg
Saturday, November 16th, 2019
10:26 am
The Portland Cello Project
Last night we took advantage of another bit of culture to come to ABQ. A few months ago I read that the Portland Cello Project would be coming to town. I had never heard of them before, but what caught my eye was that they would be performing Radiohead's groundbreaking album "OK Computer" in its entirety using cellos. This piqued my interest. I think that "OK Computer" was one of the best albums to have come out in the 90's. To hear it performed in an alternative manner sounded interesting. The event was happening at a small theater not all that far from my office. So I bought tickets. The review: A great night out! The ensemble consisted of 5 cellos, a trumpet, a bass, and a drummer. The singer was the keyboardist from the alt rock group The Shins. Man! She had a great voice! She was no Thom Yorke, but who cares. Once again I was grateful to have the opportunity to see such diverse acts come to town.

Oh, and a note to mondhasen. He recently posted about ELO. In a comment I mentioned The Alan Parson Project. I just found out that he will be coming to town next year. Oh yeah!
Friday, November 15th, 2019
9:19 am
The Scam
Here's a cautionary tale about never letting your guard down. It's also a tale that proves cynicism and rudeness also have a place. It starts with my getting a phone call at work. It had gone to voicemail. It was from Comcast saying there was a problem with my account. I also saw in a home phone alert email that they also tried to call me at home. First mistake: I called the number in the voicemail and not Comcast directly. I was told that there was a problem with my directory listing. I didn't even know that Comcast had an online phone directory! The person on the phone wanted me to provide information so she could look up the problem. Here's where the cynicism paid off. I refused, and kept pressing her to tell me what the problem was. She wouldn't say. I told her to just mail me the information. Oh no. They don't mail anything. *yellow light flashes* She tried to give me some other number to call, but I refused. It was then she told me to verify the information on the online directory. So I went to the website. As a warning, it's ecolisting.com. I saw in the disclaimer at the bottom that it was related to Comcast. So I entered my name, and my phone number and address popped up. OK. Nothing out of the ordinary. What got the yellow light flashing was that I saw "not a secure site" in my web browser. Hmmm. It's what happened later that night that makes me believe this was part of a larger scam.

Kitty and I had just crawled into bed when the phone rang. I looked at the clock and saw that it was after 10. That late means it's some sort of important call or possibly a wrong number. If it was a telemarketer, the wrath of the bear would be unleashed. I got to the phone and saw on caller ID that it was from "US Gov't." Huh? Could it be something work related? So I answered. The person knew my name and said they were from the local FBI office. The number did have a 505 area code. I was informed that I was under investigation for child porn. Of course that sets you back on your heels immediately. Your next instinct is to think that it's some sort of hoax. Oh no! I was told that I could look up the number and see that it was the FBI office. So even though my mind was racing with all sorts thoughts about what this could all be about, the overwhelming feeling of "I have/had nothing to do with CP EVAR!" was first and foremost in my mind. That triggered my next response. I told the person to go suck a dick and hung up. Of course all night I was thinking about how I could somehow be implicated in CP. Was someone "SWATing" me? Was there some sort of guilt by association with other pedo-furs? Could someone be downloading CP at a furmeet if they had our password? Finally I settled on the most logical explanation that it was some sort of hoax/scam. There were a few phone calls I could make the next morning to confirm this.

The next morning I called Comcast to see about the first call. They checked their records and saw that no one from the company had called me. What about that website? They had nothing to do with it. While checking the phone number from the previous night, I accidentally hit redial. To my surprise, it actually dialed the FBI. So I called the office the next day. I asked if there had been incidents of spoofing of their number. "Yes. That has happened." OK. Case closed. I now kick myself for not engaging the person a little more before telling him to suck a dick. I'm sure it would have eventually led to a plea for me to get some gift cards to cover bail or a fine. Of course there is that minuscule chance that it WAS the FBI, but so far no one has broken down my door yet.

I should also mention that my uncle was also almost the victim of a scam. He was contacted and told that his grandson was in a terrible crash and he needed to send money to a hospital as soon as possible so that treatment could begin. He couldn't reach his grandson and started to panic. He called his son and asked for advice. My cousin had enough sense to tell his dad that it was probably a scam and to just wait a while. Sure enough, he eventually reached his grandson who was busy that whole day and away from his phone. But it showed the complexity of the scam because they knew some details about his grandson like name and address. Never let your guard down! But I'm also sure that most people would have their red light go off once things like sending gift cards or money orders are mentioned.

I guess the other lesson I learned was the old adage "those that sleep with dogs end up with fleas." Like I mentioned earlier, there are several people on my FL that have been busted for CP or have close relations with folks who have been so. I should just delete them from my FL and be free and clear. On the other paw I really dislike the whole "guilt by association" thing. As long as I have nothing to do with it, I will still be "friends" with whoever I choose to be. There is a whole list of things I may be into that would drop the jaws of most people, but none are illegal and nobody's business unless I'm talking with birds of a feather.
Thursday, November 14th, 2019
7:09 am
Blue Men Again
Last night Kitty and I went to see the Blue Man Group for the 3rd time in 13 years. How she found it, I don't know, but Kitty found the LJ post from the last time we saw them in '15. Like I posted that last time the act is the same yet different. They still do a lot of audience participation. They still do the marshmallow throw and catch. And they still have that wonderful, driving percussion. The stage setup was pretty elaborate with screens and lights everywhere. It's the performance version of Meow Wolf. Good times. I would definitely go see them again the next time they pass this way.
Sunday, November 10th, 2019
2:12 pm
Gettng Wood
I was going to make a comment about sounding like Beavis and Butthead, but I see I already used that schtick when I made a similar post back in February of 2016. That was when Scritch and I headed up to the Zuni Mountains to gather some firewood for the recently installed fire pit. During a recent C.U.N.T. meeting we discussed fire pits and firewood. We talked about heading back to the Zunis and getting another load of wood. I said, "How about next weekend?" And so it was set.

There is a question about the whole legality of doing what we did. You're supposed to get a permit to remove wood, but I always assume that it's for folks who sell it commercially or use it as their primary source of heating. When we go camping, we build campfires without needing a permit. We're just building campfires outside of the forest. Besides, we're mainly collecting small stuff that doesn't burn for long periods of time. We want large branches and not trunks.

But whatever. I used Google Earth to find a place that wasn't far from the main road, but far enough to not attract attention. It also had nice ponderosa pines. Unlike last time, the road was nice and dry and easily drivable. We found a spot with visible downed wood and got to work. Like last time we had the bed of Scritch's pickup loaded in about an hour. It was then time to head home and unload. Since the weather was so gorgeous we rewarded our effort with Polish beer on the upper patio where we could catch some warming rays. We hopefully have enough wood to last us another few years.
Wednesday, November 6th, 2019
9:45 am
Yotie Check
A couple of days ago I was on my usual walkies up on the mesa when a large German Shepherd crossed the street in front of me. Since I didn't see an owner I then defaulted to, "that was no dog." Sure enough, I got within 50' of it and saw that it was a yote. Of course I did my usual furry cry of "Yotie-o!" to which it gave me its typical look of, "Fucking furries." And off it trotted.

Last night we were having our usual C.U.N.T. get-together at Scritch's, and there was a very yappy yote not too far in back of his wall. It yipped at us for almost a half hour.

When I got home around 9:30 I was able to herd Diva and Fling into the house, but Yoink was nowhere to be found. That's OK. He always comes for Kitty. When she got home she called for him, but he was nowhere to be found. At 1:30 I had to pee, so I took the opportunity to call for him again. Nothing. At around 3:30 I was rudely awaken by a yotie chorus just up on the mesa. We both ran downstairs to call for Yoink with me at the back door and Kitty at the front. No kitty. Now it was time to get a little worried. He is usually a chicken shit and runs inside with any strange noise. He usually doesn't stay out all night. It has happened before, but very rarely.

When I finally headed down to breakfast I called for him again. No kitty. Once again, very worrisome, but then again he has pulled this shit before. Sure enough, he popped up at the patio door about 15 minutes later. Phew. What could he have been doing all night?!? I got my answer about 15 minutes later when I went to get Diva who was pouncing something outside. She had caught a field mouse. As I grabbed her to bring her inside I saw the dead (half-eaten) bunny on the lawn. Well, at least Yoink wasn't hungry while he was outside. And here we were blaming the yotes for the sudden disappearance of bunnies in the hood. Maybe he is an honorary yote for his bunny-killing skillz.
Tuesday, October 29th, 2019
7:40 am
More Oscar Addiction
I have documented here in LJ my quest to watch every Best Picture Oscar-winning film. Mission accomplished. I am now working my way through Best Picture nominees. As I mentioned in that post, that might take awhile just from the sheer number of movies to be watched (91 years x at least 5 nominees per year) plus the availability (or lack thereof) of all of those movies. I have now taken on a new task. Watch all of the Oscar-nominated animated shorts. This is only possible with the help of YouTube and other video services. I've only been through a few years in the 60's so far, but it has been quite interesting. It's hard to believe that Speedy Gonzales, Sylvester the Cat, and the Roadrunner have all been nominated for Oscars. Of course there are Disney nominees as well. I just watched "Goliath II" in which some scenes were later incorporated (in the storyline) of "The Jungle Book." There's also some wonderful cartoon vore in it. Even Goofy had a nominated film that I'm pretty sure I saw when watching "The Wonderful World of Disney" one Sunday night.

What I'm also finding interesting was something I had mentioned in one of my posts about seeing the animated shorts in the theater here, usually right before the Oscar telecast. I had mentioned that there seemed to be an anti-Disney/Pixar bias in the voting committee. That certainly hasn't been true over the past few years, but several years back I noticed that marginal movies were winning over the more highly-polished entrants from the major studios. That bias is certainly found in the shorts I have watched from the 60's. Some truly horrible movies have won when put up against the entries from Warner or Disney. I guess they were more artsy. I'll let you look up the movie "Moonbird" and rest my case.
Monday, October 28th, 2019
8:06 am
It's Monday. You Know What That Means.
Yup. It's time for another weekend update post. Seeing that last weekend was a travel weekend, I wanted this one to be relaxing. The big accomplishment was reclaiming the garage for my vehicle. Ever since we had the floors re-done a year ago, we have been storing boxes of stuff in the garage instead of putting things out and on shelves. There were also several big items that I wanted to give away to Goodwill. That was done a few weeks ago. Now it was just a matter of moving some boxes around to be able to get the vehicle in. Mission accomplished! We still have too much stuff, but now winter will soon be here when we can sort through stuff and do some culling.

The only big event for the weekend was a Halloween party at another local fur's house. He did a good job as usual. It was just another good reason to get together and drink with scritchwuff. We're also the grand old patriarchs of the group spewing out sage advice and political incorrectness.

The only other news was that I decided to shave off my beard completely. I kinda liked the 19th century geologist look, but it was time for a change. The next thing will be to get a mane cut. Once again I kinda like it, but it gets to be a pain to maintain. Maybe I'll post a pic once the deed is done.
Monday, October 21st, 2019
7:37 am
Sabot L'Ours Superbear
I'm back in ABQ after a 2-day drive from Chicago. It's 1300 miles and I split it roughly 700/600. Ideally that should be about 750/550. In practical terms that means stopping around Topeka KS on the way out and Wichita KS on the way back. If I ever go back to the freeway route, that translates to Joplin on the way out and Tulsa on the way back. There was no vehicle drama on the drive back. The weather mostly cooperated except for a little rain in MO. I stayed at a very basic Days Inn on the way back with its only saving grace being that there was a delicious BBQ joint just down the street. The final leg of the trip was marred by stiff headwinds which sent my gas mileage plummeting.

I made it home just around 3 as planned. That allowed me to unpack and quickly get some chores done. The 2019-2020 theater season just started, and we had tickets to "Jesus Christ Superstar." We actually had tickets for Saturday, but I knew I wouldn't be home. We exchanged them for Sunday so off we went. I had never seen the show. Even when it was on TV earlier in the year I only caught a few minutes of it. It was very interesting and I enjoyed it. I had told Mom that I was going to see it and she told me that she and Dad went to see it when it first came out 50 years ago. Dad liked it. She not so much. I guess I still take after my father.
Friday, October 18th, 2019
7:38 pm
The Week Recap
When we last left the traveling bear, he was contemplating car repair. The Furmobile was ready on Tuesday. Mom and I drove to her brother's place a mile or so away from the dealer and had a visit. Afterwards Mom dropped me off at the dealer while she proceeded home on her own. I was nervous about that, but she made it home just fine, and, in fact, boosted her self-confidence greatly that she was able to make it home safely on her own with no drama. Me, on the other paw, had to deal with the car shop forgetting to do an oil change for me which cost me a wasted half hour. The good news was that they threw in the change for free. Oy! Kosher oil! Later in the afternoon my other uncle called up and said he had talked with his brother. Perhaps we could all get together for lunch the next day. Sweet!

On Wednesday Mom and I drove to the 2nd uncle's house and we had a nice visit. My other uncle and aunt showed up with my cousin, and we all had a nice lunch together. During my previous visit I discovered Pete's Market. They had a great selection of Polish food. Just by chance there was another Pete's right across the street from the restaurant. Mom and I headed over there after lunch and did some shopping. Their selection was not as good as the store we visited earlier. Oh well. I still managed to pick up some stuff.

On Thursday I picked up some stuff at Costco and hit up Binny's liquor store looking for Buffalo Trace whiskey. I was shut up again, but I did find a bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillers that is specially made for Binny's. It will be sampled on an upcoming Tuesday. I also hit up another Pete's that was close to Mom's. There are a lot of Pollaks in the area, but their ethnic food selection was non-existent. *shrugs* Live and learn. Later in the afternoon I took Mom to Lassak's Polish Deli where I bought 10 lbs of sausage, lots of pierogi, pickles, and several types of Polish beer. I dropped almost $200 on Polish goodies.

Over the week I got a Facebook message from my old college roommate who heard from his wife, who was a Facebook friend, that I was in town. He invited me up to his place in the far northern suburbs. I had visited him several years ago and would love to see him again. I wasn't crazy about the drive, however, so I did a little research about taking the train. It turns out he only lives a few blocks from the station. So I tried something new and took the train up there. It was great! I wondered why I had never thought about that before! I then realized that it was all possible thanks to the Internet. How would one get a schedule for a train 20 years ago? Call up Metra? Go to Union Station and get a paper schedule? Now all the information is a click away. It was fast and easy.

My friend met me at the station and we went out for coffee. We chatted for over an hour and then went to lunch where we chatted some more. We caught up on all of life's events over the past 20 years as well as reminiscing about the 3 wild years we spent together. Soon it was time for me to get back on the train to head home. And now I'm typing all of this up on LJ while getting ready to hit the road for home tomorrow.
Monday, October 14th, 2019
3:22 pm
Another Trip to Chicago
As I hinted in an earlier post, I made another road trip to Chicago. It was a nice drive. I averaged 66 MPH over 11 hours. I made it to Topeka KS just as the sun was setting. Perfect timing. I also got to witness the lovely full moon rising in the east. There was a On the Border restaurant across the street, so I just went there for dinner. It really is the Applebees of Mexican food, but the margaritas were good. I even got a shot of Patron Anejo for a buck.

Yesterday was mostly uneventful. The highway across the Missouri River that I mentioned in my post for my last road trip was once again closed. I hope they are raising it so it won't be subject to flooding like it was earlier this year. Everything was going great until I hit Springfield IL. I was in traffic when all of a sudden the vehicle started vibrating and I started losing power. The dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree. I managed to pull off the interstate and shut things down. There was something definitely wrong and I hoped I would be able to get to Chicago. I started back up and only the "check engine light" was on. I did a search on my symptoms, and it appeared it was probably something related to an O2 sensor. I started back up and gradually built up speed on the shoulder. 50...OK. 60...OK. 70...OK. Hey! I'm doing the speed limit! And that's how it went all the way home. *phew* I took it to a local dealer today and am waiting for the diagnosis. I didn't want Mom to drive, so I ended up walking 2 miles to a train station and catching a train most of the way home. At least I got a good walkie after sitting on my ass for 2 days.

EDIT: Ugh. Just got a call from the dealer. The code came back as a misfire at a spark plug. It could be a symptom of a piston ring problem. Maybe. Maybe not. The "cure" would be an engine overhaul with new rings. With the age of the vehicle, he didn't recommend that unless I wanted to. The engine might last months or perhaps a few more years. Well...we had been thinking about a new vehicle. Maybe this is the thing to motivate us. *shrugs* At least I can get home and think about things in a more relaxed situation.
Friday, October 11th, 2019
7:41 am
The Big Chill
They have been predicting a major winter blast, and it arrived last night. Kitty and I covered the tomatoes last night just in case. The temp at 6am was 33. Hopefully everything survived unscathed. We did a sweep of the remaining green bean plants and easily found another dinner's worth. I'm also hoping that this cold snap was what typically happens. It WAS very early compared to other years, but not unheard of. Usually we get a freeze around Halloween, and then temps warm back up for a few weeks. I'm hoping this is like that. I'll be off to Mom's tomorrow and will leave the tomatoes uncovered. I see nothing in the forecast to make me worry about another (near) freeze.
Monday, October 7th, 2019
7:41 am
Another Not-so-lost Weekend
With the upcoming trip to visit Mom looming in the near future, I just wanted another chill weekend. And I got it. We had a good rain on Friday which caused thick fog on Saturday. It was weird being in completely sunny skies at home and then descending into gloom a few miles away as we got closer to the river. It caused the first day of Balloon Fiesta to be a bust. We did our shopping and returned home. I spent the rest of the day just tidying up.

That evening there was a furmeet for one of Kitty's friends but more importantly scritchwuff who crossed the magic 5-0 mark. Of course we celebrated with bourbon. We had a nice turnout. Rather than bother with grilling something we just ordered out for pizza. We got a fire going in the fire pit despite the damp wood. It was just a nice relaxed get-together.

The weather was so nice on Sunday that I brought the T.V. outside and watched football for most of the day. It's so nice to have that fall chill in the air. I have to watch the forecast carefully as we might even get freezing temps by the end of the week. That means hauling all of my plants to their winter home in the loft. Ugh.
Monday, September 30th, 2019
8:00 am
Another Weekend
After the excitement of the tour, there was nothing I wanted more for the weekend than to do nothing. I think I succeeded. Outside of a few chores I just sat around outside and enjoyed the lovely weather. I did harvest all of the apples. I probably got a few dozen from both the honeycrisp and the Fuji. Unfortunately, there was a lot of fruit drop, so there were probably as many on the ground as I harvested. I think I have to deal with coddling moths, the most common pest to apples. Almost every apple had a small hole in it. As I cut open the apple there was a tunnel of rot leading to the core. The whole core was rotten, but the rest of the apple seemed fine. I cut out the rot and they were tasty. What also confused me was that I never found any seeds. Either they are very tiny, or the moth/worm ate the seed. *shrugs* All I know is that I can probably get a decent crop, but I have to me more proactive in terms of pest management.

I should also mention something I didn't post about in my last entry. After I came home from the field trip, you would think I would just want to crash. Nope. The Zoo was hosting its "Members' Night" so we went. They had free food which was tasty jerked chicken with beans and rice. Last year we sat in on the members' meeting, but we decided to skip it this year. We thought it was boring hearing about upcoming plans for the Zoo as well as everyone patting each other on the back for a job well done last year. Instead we decided to wander around the park without throngs of screaming kids. It was so nice to have some of the critters to ourselves. I even got a giraffe all yiffy. It hearkened back to the famous "LOL incident" at the LA Zoo when I started talking to a giraffe not knowing that Albear was filming the whole thing. I was saying something about "LOL Furries" and ended up singing "LOL" to the giraffe. This time I just stood there while the male giraffe walked over and started a courting ritual with me. He tried his darndest to extend his neck to me, but he was about 6' short. Then the air was filled with musk. I walked over to another small opening, and he followed me over and kept up his routine. I wished him a good night and went on my way. *sigh* The only other critter encounter was with a hyena. It was almost dark as we made our way through the Africa section, and I looked over at the hyena exhibit. There was a young hyena who spotted us and trotted over to the window. We stopped to say hello and he flopped on his back right in front of us as if to say "Belly rubs!!!" Unfortunately we couldn't oblige, but its sibling came over and started grooming him. It was so cute.

I think they must put most of the animals away for the night. We didn't see any of the great apes as we made our way to the exit. I must say that being alone in a zoo at night is quite an interesting feeling. I was surprised that we didn't see more people, but it definitely felt like we were the only ones there. A very unique perspective!
Friday, September 27th, 2019
7:57 am
The Three Day Tour
Awhile back my supervisor was planning a big field trip for mostly people in the southern part of the Rio Grande Project. I was asked if I wanted to go, but I declined. I had already seen most of the sites. I would just be taking up space. But a few weeks later I was asked again since there were slots available. So I said, "Sure!" It would be like a 3-day vacation. Of course I would be called upon to share my expertise at certain sites.

So we left on Tuesday on a large chartered bus. We stopped at Cochiti Dam which is an Army Corps of Engineers facility, but one of the only dams actually on the Rio Grande. We then stopped at a few key measuring points which have been recording data for over 100 years. We ended up going over the Taos Gorge Bridge which is one of my favorite places in the state.

RioGrandeGorge.jpg

TaosBridge.jpg

We spent the night in Alamosa. In the morning we headed to the headwaters of the Rio Grande. There is a reservoir up there owned by the local irrigation district. It certainly was a beautiful place. The aspens were already starting to change colors up at 9000'.

RioGrandeReservoir.jpg

We toured a few more important measuring sites in Colorado, and ended up at a snow measuring station that is one one I use the data from to predict inflow into our reservoir. It was great to finally get to the site since I had never been there before. We spent the night in Chama.

The next day we toured an important system that brings water from the Colorado River Basin into the Rio Grande Basin. Unfortunately all of the snow that fed the system has been gone for over a month now. We ended up at one of our reservoirs where I got to flex my muscles. I have been releasing water from the dam for over a month. The water I needed to move was all gone. So I had the manager shut down the release. When asked why he was doing it, he pointed at me and jokingly said, "Because he told me to do it." It reminded me of that Spiderman quote; "With great power comes great responsibility!"
Monday, September 23rd, 2019
8:05 am
Movies: Old and New
This weekend we went to go see "Ad Astra" because I heard it was an intellectual sci-fi on par with "Gravity" or "Interstellar." Some went as far to call it a new "2001." There was also Oscar buzz that Brad Pitt could get 2 nominations this year; one for this film and one for "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood." He was great in both. I enjoyed the film. I see how sci-fi is presented in this film and then I see a commercial for "The Last Skywalker" and definitely prefer the former. We saw "Captain Marvel" last week and, even though it was fairly well done, I'm really getting to the saturation point on super hero movies.

I'm also continuing my quest to see Oscar-nominated movies. This week it was "Love Story" from 1970. Sure, I knew the theme music (it won Best Score) but I had never actually sat down and watched the whole movie. It seemed so cliche'. Then I realized that it WAS the cliche'. 50 years of romance movies got their start with this one. It was the biggest box office draw in 1970. It probably got the nomination because it was so popular. Like I said, overall it was pretty "meh" but it was a part of movie history.

Of note was an actor who had a very small part. He looked so familiar to me. I went to IMDB and discovered that he was a very young Tommy Lee Jones in his first movie. So now the circle was complete. I then saw him in "Ad Astra" in his latest movie.

I should also add a note about "They Shall Not Grow Old" which was a documentary that came out to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. It was done by Peter Jackson who digitally restored battlefield footage and colorized some. The dialogue was recordings made by veterans as part of a documentation of the war. What you end up with is a documentary that looks like a movie as they go from the start of war, to training, to fighting, to counting the dead. That's why I liked the show "Peaky Blinders" because it takes place in the years just after the war as men deal with the trauma they endured during the war.
Monday, September 16th, 2019
7:31 am
Another Weekend Update
After last weekend's adventure it was nice to not have any plans. On Saturday we took a quick trip to the aquarium and botanical gardens to just get in some time together. We lingered in the aquarium because it was so early that we had many of the tanks to ourselves. Ah! No screaming kids! I mentioned this to Kitty. "Isn't it nice to just watch the fish without some 3-year old screaming 'FISHY!!" Right on cue a 3-year old ran up to the tank and screamed "Fishy!"

The weather was very cooperative as well. For the first time in about 3 months the temperature was below average. We were also blessed with some nice monsoon rains. There were 2 events where I even had some flow down the mesa. Gotta get out there and do some maintenance on my channel. There was one *flash boom* on Saturday that was so close and loud that it set off Kitty's car alarm.

Not having any plans allowed us to do some cooking. We got a big salmon fillet on sale which was dinner on Saturday. On Sunday I made green chile stew for this week's c.u.n.t. party. Kitty made a green chile chicken casserole for this week and I made a chicken pot pie for Sunday dinner. It was nice to spend all that time in the kitchen with the house wide open to let in the cool air. Hopefully autumn is right around the corner!
Tuesday, September 10th, 2019
1:16 pm
Airfare Fun
I have already posted about the joys of trying to figure out airfares. At one point Southwest wanted to charge me $1000 for us to fly to KC. Our trip to FL in Nov was just slightly more. How is flying to FL almost the same as flying to MO? We had to do a little creative scheduling with our FL trip since we would be flying home on the busiest travel day of the year. That also meant the most ass-rapiest day in terms of fares. So we decided to spend a couple more days on the beach where the cost of the hotel was more than offset by the savings of flying home 2 days later. I just checked the difference in fares and the difference in waiting 2 days is now $800!!! Crazy!

Southwest almost screwed us over in the schedule as well. I got an email that said that the flights had been changed. It appeared to me that the only difference was that we had a stop in Tampa instead of Houston. Fortunately Scritch dug a little deeper and found out that the true itinerary was, in fact, Ft Lauderdale to Tampa to Chicago to Houston to Austin to Albuquerque! WTF?!? I immediately called to complain, but they took care of me right away. We were back to one stop in Houston with a flight that left at a reasonable time in the morning. Originally we were scheduled to leave at an ungodly early hour, but now we could even enjoy the kosher (free!) hotel breakfast. On top of that the flight was actually $100 cheaper! Oy! The $100 would be in the form of a credit, however, so we had to book another flight. Would we fly somewhere else soon?

Just for fun I checked flights to San Jose for FC. They were really cheap! One reason Kitty has not gone to the con for several years was because she was working and couldn't take a lot of time off. I liked to take a week and go visit Al and Dex before the con. With the cheap flight, Kitty (and myself) would only have to take off 3 days (actually 2 for me since one day is MLK Day). The other good news is that there is a non-stop flight between ABQ and SJC. So instead of a 14-hour drive, it will be a 3-hour flight. When the $100 credit is applied to the cost of the flight, the cost of the trip will essentially be the cost of gas to drive from ABQ to SJC (probably less since gas is probably expensive in CA). So I might not be able to bring a fursuit to the con, but that's a small price to pay when we're paying such a small price.
Monday, September 9th, 2019
8:19 am
A KC Weekend
Our string of busy weekends continues! This time we were off to Kansas City for a financial convention. We went last year and had a really good time. We said we would definitely come back, and we did! The problem with Kansas City, however, is that it is right at the limit of a one-day drive. I've done it a few times, but it really is exhausting. It's about the same distance to LA, only not all interstate. So this year we decided to fly. I have already written here months ago about the cluster it was to get cheap seats. Southwest flies direct, but they wanted almost $1000 RT for the both of us. We ended up on American for half that price, and it was just fine.

We arrived in KC after midnight on Thursday. Fortunately I had booked a hotel right outside of the airport. On Friday we we out in the morning to visit the zoo. They are a reciprocal zoo with our own, so we got 50% off. We were both very impressed with the place! Everything was nicely spaced, and the enclosures were very animal-friendly. The polar bear had twice as much room as the ABQ zoo. The Australia section had free-roaming kangaroos. The best feature was that there were lots of trees. It was very pleasant walking around in the heat and humidity. One bad feature about the park is that it is so big! The African section is quite a ways away from the rest of the park. It's a nice walk, but it really took a lot out of us. We opted to take their sky ride which goes over a massive enclosure with oryx, giraffe, ostrich, kudu, etc. Normally I don't go for stuff like that, but it was extremely relaxing and it let our feet rest. We also opted for the tram ride back to the entrance which saved us a half mile hike in the sun.

It was then off to lunch. Of course you have to have BBQ when you're in KC. I found a place on the way to our next hotel. The place looked like a dive bar when we pulled up. I saw signs that they have live blues shows. OK. We found the real deal. The food was delicious. That's all that mattered. We checked into the convention hotel and then went to a reception where there was free food and wine. Later we hit the hotel's patio bar where we enjoyed a few drinks and the lovely evening. Last year it had rained pretty much the entire time.

The convention itself was not as good as last year. The keynote speaker then was Colin Powell. This year it was some motivational speaker who was born without arms and legs. It said he is an evangelical Christian which made his message that much more full of shit. I found him to be a pretentious asshole. The financial speakers were good, but there needed to be more of them. The best speaker was an old economist who studied the entire history of the stock market. The overall message was that even through wars, booms, busts, etc, the Market has produced annual returns of 6-7%. So there has always been and there should always be consistent growth. Another speaker poked holes in a theory that automation/AI will reduce employment by 47%. It's not that jobs will go away, but they will shift to something new. Perhaps somebody wastes a lot of time doing some repetitive task. Automation could free him up to now concentrate on something more vital that will spur more growth. Interesting stuff.

Finally we had dinner at the steak house we found last year. It was just as good this year as last. After a quick breakfast on Sunday, we headed back to the airport. I slightly misjudged the distance since the hotel was on the far south end of the city while the airport is at the far north end of the city. Normally I arrive 90 minutes before the flight. This time it was closer to 30 minutes. No worries. TSA was a breeze and we were soon on our way home.
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