Monday, December 24, 2012

Yes, a Christmas Tradition. Plus One.

I say Robert Earl Keen's Merry Christmas from the Family is the greatest holiday song. Ever. Other people swear by the Pogues' Fairytale of New York.

Who cares? Let's listen to them both! Decide..  or not.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Bucket List: Cooke's Peak. Check.

Cooke's Peak
Cooke's Peak is hard to miss.  It peers over the mountains that line Interstate 25, 50 miles away.  When you're driving north on Columbus Highway in Deming it appears much closer than it really is.. as if it's squatting right on the road in front of you.  At 8408 feet, it's the highest point in Luna County.. more than a thousand feet higher than the Florida Mountains.  Part of the attraction is the peak itself, which appears (and mostly is) a solid mass of exposed rock.

I've wanted to stand on Cooke's Peak before we even lived here.  We began hunting in it's massive shadow when we were just February visitors in an RV.  The more I read about the hike up, the more I knew I wasn't going to attempt it alone.  It took years to meet the right "guide".

Enter Dave Shephard.  Originally from somewhere in New England, and a fellow former full time RVer, he now lives in Deming, and is an avid hiker, climber, and explorer.  He's also a fellow member of the Deming Photography Club.  We shared a beer after a reception at the Deming Arts Council where the club had an exhibit in January.  We hatched the plan at Mimbres Brew.   At first we were going in February, then early March.  Finally, Thursday, March 22 was firm.

We met up outside of town, drove to the parking area, and did it.  I should mention that, unlike other recent years, I hadn't done any kind of climbing this Winter.  Most of my exercise involved walking the flats while hunting with the dogs.  Make no mistake, this 9 hour adventure hurt me.  I lagged behind going up and coming down, but by golly, I did it.  the proof's in the slide show..

Bring on the next mountain!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

April Fools

Asmall gallery of some of the more unusual vehicles seen at Deming's annual "Smokin' Oldies" car show, because I suddenly ran out of time to write a clever April 1 post....

Easily the most unusual vehicle at the show.. and it wasn't even in the show!
 Honda GoldWing  powered trike.
Gotta love the coolant overflow receptacle!

Waiting for the intrusive wand ultrasound.

"Girl I'm just a Jeepster for your love"

Several visitors were fatally impaled on the fins.

Insert toilet seat joke here.

Friday, March 30, 2012


As promised, (though not as expeditiously as previously implied..) a story about the completely new direction our lives are about to take.

First let's back up to some time last Spring.. or maybe it was Summer.  At Margaret's usual monthly trip to the auction, she met a lady from Madison, WI who happened to live near us.  As they became better aquainted, Sam (Samantha, I presume) told Margaret about a conversation she'd had with the owners of the little, used bookstore in town.  She was interested in buying the store, and wondered if we would be interested in going in on it with her.  We were intrigued, did some digging around and some research and decided that yes, we would be interested.

As our interest increased, Sam's seemed to wane.  So much so, that she left town last Summer to return to Madison, but is now residing also in Florida.  That did nothing to dampen our (Margaret's) resolve.  Roping in a family member to be a "silent partner", we set the wheels in motion to become book store owners.

The first thing we needed to do was buy the building from the person who was leasing it to the book store business owners.  We didn't want to be at the mercy of a stranger who didn't even live in New Mexico.  That was accomplished a week ago, Tuesday, when we closed the deal on the building and property.

The business owners' lease expires at the end of May.  At that time, we'll purchase the inventory, and take over the business, while the current owners retire to the house they're building in the wilderness of Datil, NM. (Look it up).

While we won't change the name of the store, we'll be doing business as Dog-Eared Enterprises, LLC.  We'll also be creating some gallery space in the store for my local landscape and nature images, so Shot On Site Photography will also be folded into Dog-Eared Enterprises.

The store features extensive titles on southwest history, New Mexico, the borderlands, plus all the other topics you'd expect to find in a bookseller's.  We expect to have an increased internet presence over what they're currently doing, including a Facebook page, which I expect everybody to "Like".

The dusty backyard visible in the pictures, will have a chain link fence installed to complete the enclosure, and will become 1) a dog yard for the daily "store dogs", and 2) a space to rent out for "events" such as weddings or receptions and such.

So with that, we are truly, once and for all, completely retired from the "traveling to dog events" business.  It was fun, but we're moving on.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Progress Reports. (2 in 1)

A few weeks ago I wrote about the emergence of the poppies, and also about the beginnings of Sandia's thyroid supplement treatments.  Here, in a single image, is evidence that not only are the poppies on an accelerated growth spurt, but also that the supplements are beginning to have, however slight, a noticeable effect on Sandia's appearance.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sooner Than Expected..

Spring poppies in the yard
When we moved in in the Winter of 2009, we heard stories about the poppy blooms that would cover the foothills with blankets of gold.  We were told we'd be lucky to see them once or twice in our lifetimes here... they were "7 year blooms".

Well guess what.  We had a spectacular poppy (and other wildflowers) season in 2010.  And it looks like it's going to happen again this Spring after yet another fairly wet Winter.

Our yard is beginning to fill already.. the above image was just at the end of the driveway between the house and the Hare-Brained Express.  I'm also starting to see bands of gold in the small gullies of the Little Florida mountain foothills.  More to come...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sad Sack..

"Sandia" (TSH WatermelonMan @ Shotonsite)

Having fathered what may turn out to be one of the happiest accidental breedings we never plan on repeating, we decided it was time to have Sandia neutered.  That "happy" event took place a week ago Tuesday.  He's taking it well, all things considered.

In addition to the surgery, we also requested that blood for a full Thyroid panel be drawn and sent to Michigan State. (They're good for something!)

Since last Summer, he's seemed depressed, and had gained more than ten pounds.  From above he looked like a sausage.  All the ripped muscles he had during the coursing season a year ago were gone.  We tried cutting back on his meals, and took him out to the field to run jackrabbits.  That was sad, as he had none of the explosive speed coupled with deep bottom endurance from last year.  It hurt to see him laboring behind all the other dogs when he had always pushed himself to be in front to fight for the hare.

I was pretty sure he was hypothyroid, a fact born out by the lab results from MSU.  We can now begin treatment with a relatively inexpensive supplement.  It's too late for this coursing season, but I'm optimistic we'll have our awesome Galgo back to his old self in time for next year's batch of jackrabbits.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Winners Winners Winners

L-R Mike McLaughlin, Dutch Salmon, Paul Domski, Tavo Cruz
2010 was the first year in the history of Dutch Salmon's Pack Hunt that 3 packs caught jackrabbits, and ended up tied at the top.  Our pack was included in that triumvirate.  Now, just 2 years later, it's happened again.

This means one of two things: Either the dogs are getting better.. or the hares are getting worse.

Dutch Salmon's "Phoxy", and the hare that got away

Friday, February 17, 2012


I've been shamed.

I have this "Donate" button, over there towards the top of the right sidebar.  I figured, what the hell, maybe someone's getting enough enjoyment, or useful information out of this blog that they'd maybe pay fifty cents for it.  It's been there for nearly the entire eight years this blog's been in existence.  In all that time, there has not been a single donation made.  Not even when we were roaring hither and yon around the country in the Hare-Brained Express, and I was posting up a storm.

I had pretty much given up on getting rich off this blog.  I had thought maybe I could get beer money, between the Donate button and the Google Ads, but no such luck.

But something changed today.  I opened my emails and discovered that a donation of more than fifty cents had been made into the PayPal account!  Significantly more!  By someone I don't even know.  And this, during a period when I've been posting at a rate of 4 times a year.  Obviously, this is a call to do much better.

Thank you, person from Farmington, NM.  I will try to do better.  It's not like there hasn't been a whole lot going on around here.  And if we get the water pipes replaced, and Margaret's yarn supply organized, you can most certainly sleep in the "Lincoln Bedroom" if you're ever down here.

Here's a picture from my recent trip to Kilbourne Hole.

180° view inside Kilbourne Hole