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JUNE 2015: 23rd-28th. The 28th. Today.

TODAY is a lazy Sunday. Now for my usual PBS evening. Old Doc Martin (since I’ve already binged on all of the back seasons), a new season of Last Tango in Halifax, and something about nurses in war. Eventually I’ll watch the Glen Campbell doc but maybe not tonight. Charlie Rose is reviewing a show at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg which I can go see in Auguest!

I’m only posting here until July 4th when work gets serious on Time and Place (mneset.me) about the rapidly approaching Big 2015 Trip and a few other important topics once in awhile. A few photos to sign off …

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The Second Day of Summer

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5:50AM. Walking along the ponds and bike path. Tingley Beach. First New Mexico walk in awhile. I thought I was green-satiated after Minnesota but how lovely it was to have my whole regular path greened-up as well. My friendly water-birds did not capture my picture-taking fancy this AM so here’s a bit of Albuquerque plant life instead.

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Day Five/Photo101: Solitude

Tingley Beach and the Bosque along the Rio Grande make up for Albuquerque’s many less desirable traits. Love this place. It is my place for outdoor solitude, thinking, liking where I live. It’s best at dawn in the summer but right now isn’t bad either! Used both my Nikon CoolPix and Galaxy 5 Smartphone. Not surprisingly Galaxy doesn’t really work as well for getting up close and personal from a distance. Did that make sense? No, after Photograph 101 with WordPress I’m hoping to be able to talk ‘photography.’

 

The Climates of Albuquerque

Time off between cheer and homework.

Time off between cheer and homework.

Albuquerque was born on the banks of the Rio Grande and grew up climbing the Sandia Mountains. Now in November it’s cool and sunny down by the river where I live (elevation 4900 feet or so) and cold and sunny up here in the beginning of the foothills where son Steven and family live (over 6000 feet high). So why aren’t we called the Mile High City? Because we are the Duke City, after the Duke of Alburquerque (spelling intentional) from Spain or Portugal. I think.

Up by Steven's mountains.

Up by Steven’s mountains.

Steven is spending the weekend in Portland, Oregon where Michele sometimes works so I’m hanging out with Sara the Cheerleader here at home…her home last night, then my home tonight, then her home before Monday morning school. We’ll journey back and forth through the climates of Albuquerque—from my Tingley Beach ducks to bear-spotting up here in the wilds of the Heights as this part of town with its mostly Anglo population, a bigger middle-class and more Republicans is called.

I am not so fond of the Heights. It lacks character; no flavor of a New Mexico almost equally divided between its Anglo and Hispanic citizenry, or the strong presence of the original Native American New Mexicans. Even the small but active African American population doesn’t seem present up here. It is, as I said, very white, very middle-class, very conservative. I’m happy to say my kids are among the Democratic minority up here. Still they like it and my granddaughters have had the benefit of some of the better public schools in Albuquerque—and better cheerleading squads!

I prefer the Valley. My granddaughter asks, “Why do you live in the ghetto, grandma?” Really, dear? Property values in my ‘ghetto’ are higher than most of the uptown blocks. But our downtown scruffiness is more obvious. And charming in its own way. We are seriously multi-cultural downtown/Old Town…more rich people (out along the Rio Grande a little farther), more poor people, more Latinos, Native Americans, gays, Democrats, artists, homeless people, more…us.

Watching ABC Family and “Holes.” It’s what one does with the granddaughter that’s still a mid-teen and lounging about between cheering for the game last night and going to practice this afternoon. Besides I quite like “Holes.” She was going to watch “Gray’s Anatomy” but fortunately could not get Netflix to work this morning. I’m not sure I could handle that…watched for a season years ago but it did not grow on me like “Orange is the New Black” for example.

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Now it’s evening. We’ve had a fine Whole Foods dinner. Pasta, a roasted happy chicken, Cranberry baguette and oatmeal raisin cookies. And back to TV. “The Hunger Games,” which I’ve missed until now. I do like Jennifer Lawrence finally but am not at all enamored of the film. Didn’t think I would be but with so much attention there was always the possibility. So that’s today.

 

The Obligatory Autumn Leaves Post

No self-respecting blogger would let fall slip away without at least one ‘leaf’ album. A lovely walk after work, warm, just a touch of chill in the air, all gold and mellow and perfect.

Why was I worried about Botswana spiders...they're way bigger here.

Why was I worried about Botswana spiders…they’re way bigger here.

When my dad said, "you look like the last rose of summer today, it wasn't a compliment. But this one doesn't look so bad.

When my dad said, “you look like the last rose of summer today, it wasn’t a compliment. But this one doesn’t look so bad.

Fall at Tingley Beach.

Fall at Tingley Beach.

Where are they going? South? West?

Where are they going? South? West?

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Our watermelon mountains at their rosiest.

Our watermelon mountains at their rosiest.

Getting dark as I near home. Flash pops up as I take a last 'golden leaves' shot.

Getting dark as I near home. Flash pops up as I take a last ‘golden leaves’ shot.

A Morning Slog

I love New Mexico and my job and myself in general when I go for that dawn walk along Tingley Beach. Now and then however it’s not so invigorating, in fact it’s just trudging along because walking is good for me. Today was just such a morning–but made tolerable–no, more than tolerable–actually pleasurable by searching for photo ops. With a challenge. No duck/goose photos allowed. Here’s the morning:

I didn't say no birds, just no ducks or geese.

I didn’t say no birds, just no ducks or geese.

Starting a trend, like the Pont des Arts.

Starting a trend, like the Pont des Arts.

After all the American, Latin America history classes I've take that included references to the Rio Grande, I love that it is so near where I live. Like my own personal river.

After all the American, Latin America history classes I’ve take that included references to the Rio Grande, I love that it is so near where I live. Like my own personal river.

Wonder if this went with yesterday's shoe? Different street corner though.

Wonder if this went with yesterday’s shoe? Different street corner though.

Little lost shoes.

Little lost shoes.

As I was taking this pic an employee (I suppose) drove by, slowed way down, stopped, stared at me for awhile and then drove in the lot. And yes, if you read this, I do work for the KGB.

As I was taking this pic an employee (I suppose) drove by, slowed way down, stopped, stared at me for awhile and then drove in the lot. And yes, if you read this, I do work for the KGB.

More wildlife.

More wildlife.

 

 

Back at the Beach

The great great grandchildren of 2012's duck (not geese right?) photos.

The great great grandchildren of 2012’s duck (not geese right?) photos.

Tingley is just the kind of beach you want when you’re over a certain age, whatever age that is for each of us. No swimming, sunbathing, beer drinking, beach volleyball or making out allowed. Just walkers and cyclists and ducks and me.

Late May and the daytime temperature already in the upper 80s but at 6am one can believe that life is fresh and green…somewhere to the east perhaps. It was a little chilly this morning but the drought is so extreme that even at dawn there is not the slightest hint of damp in the air. I don’t ever remember dew in this part of the world, but sometimes, very early in the day the memory of moisture might tantalize. Not anymore.

Never mind. It was beautiful in its own New Mexico way.

Friends are good.

Friends are good.

Happiness

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Happiness is an elusive state of being but we never give up trying to define it. The country of Bhutan has gone a step further than the rest of us and defined “Gross National Happiness” and is building national policies around the concept. Which certainly makes as much sense as our fixation on how high our Gross National Product can/should be considering that its numbers give equal weight to the revenue earned through car sales AND through the medical, disability and death costs associated with car crashes.

Tingley Beach: 6:30am. I’m feeling good. Walking semi-briskly, just the slightest bit of chill in the air, it is calm with only people about who like to be up early, walk dogs, move their sleepy bodies and ride bikes. Feeling good.

Half hour goes by; I’m trying to think about what photos I can take that will indicate fall is almost here. Dying flowers…that works. And the ducks and geese are out in full force this morning. Their kids are all teens now, mostly ignoring parents while simultaneously mimicking their grown-up actions. I love these guys. Teenagers in the water fowl world are a sign of fall I’m thinking.

All of a sudden I realize I am happy. Happy is not the same as feeling good. Happy is…well, you know it when you feel it. One-part satisfaction about where you are in the moment; one-part calm; one-part anticipation; one-part rested; one-part invigorated and on and on it goes. That is happiness.

Here is the weekly Tingley Beach photo album:

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Tingley Beach and my new camera

So tired this morning. Restless sleep. But today I need to be hospitable and animated—a little at least—for our North Fourth State Department visitors from Egypt. Other cultures frequently seem to be much more gracious than us when it comes to welcoming international guests. We want to prove that Americans can be just as kind and courteous so we have informative little in-house tours and treats planned.

Back to the morning walk though. With my new Panasonic Point and Shoot. Not sure I like it as well as my old Canon. But trying it out did give me the impetus to keep moving my lethargic body down the path through the ducks and geese by the flowers passed by bikes smiled at by dogs.

Are these photos better than the recent fuzzyish ones? I can’t tell.

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