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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
Sabot L'ours' LiveJournal:
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|Sunday, July 15th, 2018|
When I bought the honeycrisp apple tree last year I chose it because it actually already had fruit on it. To me that was a sign that it at least had the ability to produce fruit. The few apples on the tree didn't survive the trip from the nursery and the transplanting process. Oh well. Wait until next year. So I was happy when the tree produced 3 apples this year. Yay! At least we'll finally get something. Alas, it was not to be. We had some pretty severe winds yesterday from a nearby collapsing thunderstorm. The winds were violent enough to have blown the 3 baby apples off the tree. *sigh* Oh well. We'll try again next year.
The thunderstorms we got yesterday were good news/bad news. The bad news was that we hardly got any rain at the house. The good news was that I was on walkies when the storms rolled it. I got sprinkled on, but all around me were walls of black clouds. The far east end of town got almost 2". My sidewalks barely got wet. Such is the nature of the monsoon.
|Thursday, July 12th, 2018|
I didn't "get" the Grateful Dead until grad school in 1987. I was first exposed to The Dead my freshman year in college when I saw these skeleton stickers all over campus. WTF was this all about?!? Then someone told me about deadheads and their fanatical devotion to the band. I then saw the video for "US Blues"
on some video show (MTV? Night Flight? Night Tracks?) and really thought "WTF?!?" When I got to grad school, however, I kept hearing this song "Touch of Grey" on the radio. I really dug it. I found out it was The Dead. I bought "In the Dark" and liked it. It went on to become their biggest-selling album, almost producing a Top 40 hit. I bought their follow-up album "Built to Last" and liked it as well. I then started discovering their earlier works. I liked it. I loved the interview Jerry Garcia did for "The History of Rock-n-Roll." They were up in San Francisco doing their thing during the Summer of Love, just playing music and doing lots of drugs. The music execs in Los Angeles were looking for "the next big thing" and heard about the music scene up the coast. They wanted to sign The Dead to a contract. The Dead were turned off by the high-pressure, money-grubbing execs, so they decided to chill them out with some LSD. They put LSD in everything. Unfortunately the execs were warned about the San Francisco scene and refused to eat or drink anything offered to them.
So while I dug The Dead, I still could not understand the concept of The Deadhead. It's one thing to like a band, but to travel around the country to see EVERY show that the band does is a bit extreme. Of course they have a reputation as filthy hippies. How can you have a job and travel around the country seeing concerts all of the time?
So where does this all lead? Well, last night we went to see the Dead and Company, the remnants of The Grateful Dead including Mickey Hart, Bob Weir, and Bill Kreutzmann. What made me want to see them is because they also had John Mayer who replaced Jerry Garcia on guitar. And let me tell you that he did an admirable job! The start of the show was a bit of a clusterfuck. The concert was held at what was once The Journal Pavilion, our main "big name act" venue. I was there for the very first show back in 1999 to see Steely Dan. I went back a few years later to see B.B. King. And I hadn't been back since. I much prefer the smaller venues at the Indian casinos, the Zoo, or the city parks. Traffic sucked. And once we got to the gate, they initiated a weather warning so no one could go in. By the time we cleared security (which was a joke) we trudged to our seats. By the time we were seated the concert had already begun (and there were probably 1000 people in line behind us.) But the good news was that the band performed for about 3 hours! The thing about the Grateful Dead is that they are a jam band. This is one reason I liked them. They perform rock like jazz. Each member can do an improvisation for as long as he liked. And like I mentioned, John Mayer is an outstanding guitar player as is Bob Weir. So they would go off on these extended guitar riffs. It was well after 11 before they finished. It was then another clusterfuck to get out of the parking lot. I think we rolled into home just before 1. And here I am back at work on about 4 hours of sleep. Oh, and I'm finally coming down from my contact high from breathing in all of the ganja I was inhaling the whole evening. Oh, I should also mention that it was quite the trip sitting in a rock concert with lots of folks our age or older. Lots of old hippies still around!
|Sunday, July 8th, 2018|
|Art in the Park
I was reading the local alternative paper last week and saw that there was an art show on our Civic Plaza. It was an exhibition of paintings from the Prado in Madrid. I thought it was odd that there would be actual art on display and for free no less! Well, they were digital reproductions of the museum's works. Still...it was free. So Kitty and I drove downtown to check it out. Overall it was "meh" since we had seen REAL masterworks last year at the National Gallery and the Louvre. But we thought it was a nice exposure to art to people who would have no other access to such masterpieces. I was happy to see a reproduction of one of my most favorite paintings which I might have mentioned here on LJ sometime in the past. It was Hieronymus Bosch's "In the Garden of Earthly Delights." It is one of the most wonderfully erotic paintings that I have ever seen. Lots of weird shit going on including some marginally furry stuff. I could definitely get lost in this work.
The art exhibit was outside in the Plaza and there was a fairly large group of people watching a big screen TV. We thought it was a promotion for our new professional soccer team, but then I realized it was a live broadcast from the World Cup. Both Kitty and I were such furfags since both of our ears perked up when there was an announcement that the mascot would be making an appearance. We had no idea what the mascot even was, but we got excited. We never found out. It could have been a mariachi singer or a burrito. *shrugs* We'll find out eventually.
After that we headed over to our aquarium to see the new river otter exhibit. Chaos and Mayhem were so cute! They were imported from Louisiana where they were deemed pests (hence their names). After that it was off to do some shopping and then chillin' on the patio.
|Friday, July 6th, 2018|
I just thought I would drop a quick recommendation for the cute kids movie. Kitty and I watched it last night and we both thought it was adorable. It was done in the same vane as "Hop" with animation mixed in with live-action. While the bunnies were extremely cute, I found the minor characters to be equally entertaining especially the sparrows that would introduce a scene with song and then have something horrible happen to them. There were also the streaking fox and the deer mesmerized by headlights. The badger was also funny but I kept wanting him to talk like Bill Murray. So definitely put it on your radar if you're a furry. It was much better than "Ferdinand" which we saw a couple of weeks ago. Furry points, but very juvenile.
|Thursday, July 5th, 2018|
|Mellow 4th / What the Bear is Watching
I thought I would combine entries since we spent a mostly chill Fourth with some binge watching. Kitty and I had been fans of the Amazon show "Goliath" starring Billy Bob Thornton. John Oliver once made fun of the show saying that nobody had ever seen it. Well, we did and enjoyed season 1. Now season 2 is available. The story takes place in L.A. and in one scene the actors are sitting in a small restaurant. A light when on in my head and I paused the show. I asked Kitty if she recognized the joint and in a few seconds she laughed and said she did. They filmed a scene at the famous El Tepeyac Mexican restaurant in East L.A. We have been going there for over 15 years thanks to albear
who introduced us to their famous 6-lb burrito. From what Kitty read online, Billy Bob was a fan of their burrito as well. The other show I have been binging is "Peaky Blinders" on Netflix. It kept coming up on my "recommended" list. It sounded like some weird British comedy. Well...it is British, but it's a story about a small crime family in post-WWI Birmingham England. I had read a favorable comment about the show in the WSJ and decided to give it a try. It passed the "one episode hook" test, so now I have 2 more seasons (short ones) to go.
So after staying cool watching the telly all afternoon, I cooked up some steaks and corn on the grill. We enjoyed dinner outside and then sat on our front patio watching everyone else spending lots of money on fireworks. It was just a very relaxing evening. I think it was the first time in many years when we didn't host a party. People asked, but coming right on the heels of AlbuFURque and it being a Wednesday night, we were in no mood for partying.
|Monday, July 2nd, 2018|
We held the latest installment of New Mexico's oldest furmeet on Saturday at FurCentral. I didn't post about the event last year because there was some drama at the very end of the meet that I wasn't particularly proud of and pretty much just wanted to forget about. This was after the major drama the year before, so the event itself was in danger of going away because I'm getting too old for this shit. After a loy of deliberation we decided to go ahead and try one more time to bring the event back to at least some of its past glory. I must say that on that front the party was an resounding success. We ended up with about 40 folks and everyone had a great time. I cooked up some carne adovada and pork carnitas. scritchwuff
went above and beyond and cooked up a beef brisket. Other chefs brought smoked chicken, pork, and ribs. Of course there was also a ton of booze, but everyone stayed on their best behavior. There was quite a bit of fursuiting after the sun went down. I was even inspired to don Sabot for a little while. So good food, good friends, good booze, and lots of furry goodness. One of the more memorable things that happened was that an older lady (but probably still younger than me *lol*) showed up with 2 teenagers. One was a budding furry and really wanted to try on his new partial fursuit. He didn't interact a whole bunch, but I think he was just happy to be around fellow freaks. His younger sister commented that she really wanted to get a unicorn fursuit. I would have liked to have talked with the mom more. She seemed like an interesting character. I'm pretty sure she was discreetly drinking a 40. Perhaps my faith has been restored.
|Friday, June 29th, 2018|
Last night Kitty and I were enjoying the orchard after the sun had dipped below the mesa. Temps have been around 100 so I have delayed all outdoor activities until the sun has disappeared. We were checking out the peach tree since we figured it should be getting ready to harvest. Nope. Everything is still green. Kitty decided to check out the plum tree and let out a nice *squee* While most of the plums were still green, there was one deep purple one. We didn't want to pick it right then and there so we decided to just protect it until the weekend. Fortunately I had bought 2 tree nets so now it is safe from the birds.
|Monday, June 25th, 2018|
|The Kitty and I
It was time for another date night at the theater for Kitty and I on Saturday. It started with dinner at a downtown BBQ joint that we had been meaning to try. It was mighty tasty but Kitty couldn't finish hers. We couldn't take leftovers because they would end up sitting in the car for a few hours in near-100 degree temps. Fortunately the place was only a few blocks from my office, so I was able to put them in my office mini-fridge. It was then off to the theater to see "The King and I." I hadn't seen the musical in over 30 years and was ashamed to admit that I hadn't seen the movie starring Yul Brenner. It's now in the Netflix queue. This was also the first time we were allowed into the patrons' lounge. I had assumed our membership privileges would kick in at the start of the next season, but we were called and told we now had access. Woo hoo! So there was free beer and wine along with hors d'oeuvres. *pinkies raised* We also noticed that our names now appear in the programs as a patron of the arts. Like I told Kitty, it's nice feeling like a big fish in a little pond. Had this been Chicago or New York, a "patron" would probably be someone who donated $50,000-100,000. Here we can get recognition for a fraction of that (and still see great shows!) Which, yes, the show was very nice. Some performers were a lot better than others, and Rogers and Hammerstein couldn't find an ending to the story, but they did come up with some darn catchy tunes.
|Tuesday, June 19th, 2018|
No. Not a post about the seminal album by Neil Young. I have now picked all of the apricots from the tree. The haul was about 12 fruits. The birds got about 4. Not bad for its first year! The fruits really ripened quickly, and once they got fully ripe, they became very delicate. Once the last bit of green was gone from the skin, they were so sweet and tasty. The bird net has how been moved to the peach tree which has a bunch of fruit slowly ripening. After that the net will be moved to the plum tree which is also producing.
|Friday, June 15th, 2018|
I stopped off at Lowes yesterday to pick up some bird netting to put over my fruit trees. So far the birds have claimed 4 of my apricots (about 20% of this year's crop). I had no idea how they were attacking the tree until this morning. I was a little late going to work so I was just chilling watching TV with the front door open. Suddenly about a dozen birds swooped in and tried to land on the tree. They were extremely puzzled by this new barrier to their breakfast. I had no idea there were so many little bastards involved! I had thought perhaps 1 or 2 hungry birds, but not a dozen all at once! I also released Yoink who quickly dissipated the flock. So hopefully the net will work for another week. The fruit is just about ready to pick!
|Thursday, June 14th, 2018|
Ya know, I can easily admit to being a bi- furry. But I think it's time I come out with some deep inner secret that I have been battling for some time now. I think....I think....I think I might be turning....Republican. This may sound like a shocking revelation especially with the "thing" we currently have in the White House, but I keep hearing more and more voices on the Right who also oppose the Orangutan in Chief and they make a lot of sense. They certainly are making more sense than the current group of "progressive" Democrats who are rising up in opposition to Heir Dump. The far Left now scares me as much as the far Right. I'm not sure who is worse; Nazis or Social Justice Warriors.
It's probably because I have been reading the WSJ that I have started leaning more to the Right. I have always been a fiscal conservative and they speak to me. Even they think many of Dumps policies are ridiculous. Of course their editorial board is made up largely of conservative voices, but even they are starting to make sense. I started to panic when I found myself agreeing with columns by Peggy Noonan. And then she writes some crap about how our society is so violent because abortion is legal and I feel better that I may not be too far gone. I guess what is a little scary is that the policies I am agreeing with are essentially those of Reagan. OMG! Perhaps it's just a sign of getting old. I have heard that you tend to drift to the Right when you get older. It's just that now I don't know who to vote for in the November elections. I voted for a moderate Democrat in the primaries, but he was defeated by an Indian woman who is a self proclaimed Social Justice Warrior who is playing up identity politics. I don't know who the Republican candidate is, but I know he'll probably come out and say how much he supports Schrumpf and that he loves guns and Jesus. Aghhhh! Can we just have people who make sense and put country above politics?!?
|Tuesday, June 12th, 2018|
I was checking on my fruit trees last night and noticed that someone (or should I say something) has beaten me to the tasting of my first fruits. The apricots are just about ripe, and the 2 that were the furthest along have been pecked by birds. There was a 3rd that was just turning ripe that only had a small bit taken out of it. So I washed it off, cut off the pecked section, and tasted the fruits of my labors. It was just a little tart and could have used a few more days, but at least I finally got to taste really fresh fruit. Now I need to find the bird netting I had bought many years ago and try to protect the 15-20 apricots still ripening on the tree.
|Monday, June 11th, 2018|
|Squirrel Nut Zippers
It was a fun and busy weekend. Once again our city has impressed us by scheduling a great free summer concert. Last year it was the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. This year it was the Squirrel Nut Zippers. They rode the wave of the swing/big band revival in the mid-90's with the likes of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and the Cherry Poppin Daddies. I was going to say that they were part of the "Soundtrack of my Life," the set of 15 cassette mix tapes I had made during this time of the alternative hits of the day, but looking at the list, they weren't on it. I know I heard many songs from their big album "Hot" which produced the hit "Hell" which still gets airplay. And I know my friend Henry bought the cd because we listened to it a lot on our forays out into the desert. We set up our lawn chairs about 50' from the stage, but as soon as the music began, I was dancing at the front of the stage. They are such a fun group! They closed out their pre-encore set with "Hell" and went right into "The Ghost of Stephen Foster" which is one of my favorite songs since it had one of the best videos of the 90's.
To finish out the show they marched out into the crowd and did something like a New Orleans funeral. It was a great way to end the show.
The other fun thing we did this weekend was that a furiend was performing in the musical version of "The Full Monty" at our local community theater. While not on the caliber of the shows we have seen from professional touring companies, it was a darn good show.
To top everything off we are hosting SK1 for the night as he takes a roadtrip across most of the country. It's good to have the good old days back again as we used to frequently open up our place for furs heading down I-40.
|Friday, June 8th, 2018|
|Putting Things in Perspective
Last night Kitty and I watched the Oscar-nominated movie "The Post" about the Washington Post publishing the Pentagon Papers back in 1971. Additionally there have been numerous stories about the 50th anniversary of 1968 which was one of the most turbulent times in our country's history. My takeaway of all of this is that all of the people who are wringing their paws about how awful Donald Trump is and that our country is going down the toilet need to take a step back and a deep breath and realize that we have survived much worse in the past and we will survive this. I believe the pillars of the Constitution will stand. We NEED to support free speech, freedom of the press, and freedom to assemble. There are threats from both the Left and Right, but if we support our fundamental principles, we will carry on. We are going through a very rough spot right now but what won't kill us will make us stronger. I'm sure that if tyranny, REAL tyranny, reared its ugly head, the People would rise up against it. I have faith in our system. Someday a true patriot will rise up and put America first ahead of politics.
|Wednesday, June 6th, 2018|
This is the perfect opportunity for a geology lesson! We have 2 very different volcanoes blowing their tops at the same time. Why did the one in Guatemala blow its top killing 60+ people while one in Hawaii only destroys homes? The answer is silica. The more silica found in magma means the more viscous it is. The volcanoes in Guatemala are formed due to the Cocos Plate sliding under the North American and Caribbean Plates. The magma produced is high in silica so it forms very steep-sided volcanoes due to its viscosity. The viscosity also means that its easier to build up pressure which leads to catastrophic explosions as was witnessed a few days ago (and with Mt St Helens). What I found amazing was that (according to Google Maps) there was a major highway only 4 miles away from the summit! So ash and lava only had that distance down a slope that was probably several thousand feet high. Talk about a recipe for disaster! And you wonder how a dense cloud of this debris could reach speeds of hundreds of miles per hour? The lava in Hawaii, however, comes from much deeper in the earth, and has a low silica content. That's why it's able to flow so freely down to the ocean. It has gas explosions, but nowhere near the ferocity as a stratovocano. I have been totally fascinated by the series of events that have happened there over the past few months. First the main crater overflowed the inner crater like it did when we visited a few years ago. Then there was a massive earthquake which happened just about the same time that a side volcano completely collapsed. This was the volcano that had been sending lava into the sea. Soon after that the entire east rift zone sprang to life while the summit lava pool fell several hundred feet. Unfortunately people have short attention spans and the lure of "cheap" land in paradise was too much of a draw. Any geologist would say that buying land in an active rift zone would be very risky. Hundreds of people did and are now paying the price. Just in my lifetime I have heard of several communities in this area being consumed by lava. And now it continues. I just use these opportunities to wonder and marvel at the power of nature. It's the coolness factor of knowing geology.
|Monday, June 4th, 2018|
After my traveling last weekend it was nice to spend a weekend doing almost nothing. I never left the house except to go for walkies. And on my walkies on Saturday I just had the most wonderful feeling of well-being. I was just content with life in general. It was a beautiful day and it seemed as if I had no worries. Perhaps I was still happy from an impromptu meeting with a furiend who we hadn't seen in some time who happened to be in town. We went out to dinner Friday night and just talked about all kinds of stuff. What I found interesting was that he is a young fur who joined the fandom not too long after I did. And even though we have a large age difference between us, he too is getting burned out by all of the drama that seems to be swirling around. So it may not be a grumpy old bear thing after all. The other good news from the weekend was that we got another good dose of rain. There have been hints of an early onset to monsoon season and maybe there is something to it. The radar suggested we might get some violent storms, but that seemed to pass more to our south. It was still a nice shower. I went to check on the garden and it seems to be doing OK. I harvested my first crop! I picked a radish which was mighty tasty. It had a wonderful spicy aftertaste. I have also noticed a few small tomatoes already starting to form. Yay! The only other thing we did this weekend is watch "Coco." It deservedly won Best Animated Feature this year. The animation was unbelievable and the story was extremely touching. Pepita,
the flying jaguar spirit animal painted like a Oaxacan figurine was murrilicious. Now I wanna see a fursuit!
|Thursday, May 31st, 2018|
I have been on a never-ending quest to eat healthy. I used to take frozen dinners to work for lunch. I started worrying about eating prepared foods, so I switched to sandwiches. I tried to make them healthy with a few slices of lean meat, a piece of cheese, and then lots of veggies; lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion, green chile. I then did a conscious look at the calories and found that the worst ingredient was bread. So what if I ditched the bread? I'd essentially have a chef's salad. Now that we have a Sprout's grocery store near the house and, more importantly, on the way home from work, it's a lot easier to get cheap fresh produce. So now my salads have exploded in size with my "little bit of this, little bit of that" method. A typical salad includes; handful of lettuce, 1 mushroom, 1 carrot, 1/4 cucumber, 4 olives, 1T garbanzo beans, 1/8 pepper, 1/4 cup jicama, 1 radish, 1/2 green onion, handful of sunflower seeds, 1 hard-boiled egg, 2 slices lean turkey, 1/2 avocado, 2T dressing. I figure the Giant Monster Salad has fewer than 500 calories (maybe close to 300?). You know you're probably doing OK when the most "unhealthy" ingredient is the avocado. The dressing is probably pretty close as well, but I am careful to measure out the right amount and not just get a big *blort* of it. We'll see if it pays off. I'm also modifying my drinking habits because they probably account for a lot of empty calories in my day. I'm not giving it up, just being more careful.
|Tuesday, May 29th, 2018|
|Back to the Routine
I made it back to ABQ on Sunday. I left Chicago on Saturday and wanted to follow the Chicago-Kansas City Expressway. Normally I take I-55 to Springfield and then head west on I-72. I then pick up the C-KC across MO where I can either follow it all the way to KC or head straight west to St Joseph. This time I wanted to see what the IL portion of the C-KC was like. The answer was bliss. I despise I-55 because it's a lot of high-speed traffic between Chicago and St Louis which I refer to as "The Zimbabwe 500." I wanted a more relaxed drive. I certainly got that with the C-KC from I-80 to Quincy. I had the road to myself for much of the route. Driving through Macomb was a bit of a pain in the ass, but the bypass is just about finished. It was smooth sailing to KC and beyond. I ended up spending the night in Wichita which was just over a 700-mile drive. That made the 600-mile drive to ABQ the next day a breeze. I rolled into the garage just after 4. The Memorial Day holiday gave me a well-needed break. It gave me a chance to work in the garden, get caught up on some TV shows, and enjoy sitting outside without mariachi music.
|Friday, May 25th, 2018|
|Chillin' in Cicero
I have had a pretty nice week here visiting Mom. I did my usual "Chicago things" like having lunch at White Castle and Henry's Hot Dogs. I did a little trainspotting and hit up a Polish grocery store where I loaded up with 3 cases of Polish beer, a boatload of pirogis, and 11 pounds of Polish sausage. The rest of the time I have just been hanging out at home keeping Mom company. It was a gorgeous evening last night so I sat on the front stoop. I was surprised to have Mom come out and join me. She told me she really hated to do it because sitting on the front porch seemed so "ghetto." Hey. If more people sat outside and got to know their neighbors, maybe the crime rate would go down.
One thing I have been doing is watching a lot of bad TV. I almost never watch commercial TV at home, but here that's all I have. I did watch a documentary on Netflix which dealt with the political debates between William F Buckley and Gore Vidal during the 1968 conventions. That was pretty interesting. I now want to see the movie "Myra Breckinridge" which Vidal did in the late 60's. It's supposed to be sort of up there with "Caligula" and "Barbarella." What I found amusing was that I have also been watching reruns of "Laugh In" where lo and behold their guest was William F Buckley. They even asked him if he had seen "Myra Breckinridge." I was discussing the "Laugh In" reruns with albear
last night and he put me onto a video of John Wayne's guest appearance. In fursuit!
So I'll be hitting the road back to ABQ tomorrow. I hope to be out of here bright and early before the holiday crowd. That'll put me in ABQ on Sunday and I can chill out at home on Memorial Day.
|Monday, May 21st, 2018|
|Quick Travel Update
Arrived in Chicago just after 4p yesterday. Total miles driven...1296. Breakdown...ABQ to Junction City...674. Junction City to Chicago...622. Total time around 22 hours. 2nd day was nice and drama=free although there was quite a bit of rain. Good thing I avoided I-44 since Joplin MO was under a severe thunderstorm warning when I left JC. Chicago had some thunderstorms this morning. I can't wait for monsoon season when I get back!