The tradition in the group of ” eight “, or the group of ” twelve, ” is that if any team gets a birdie on a hole, everyone takes a sip of ” Fireball “, a cinnamon flavored liquor. If birdies are flocking to your team you win the match, get a free beer from the opposing team at the end of eighteen, and get a little tipsy in the bargain. If you or your partner don’t make any birdies you each get to take home a special ” birdie ” trophy, and keep it till the next time the group plays.
Created by Miles, an airline pilot, this birdie is what I got over a month ago, and still have, because we haven’t played golf in a month. Some people in the world get the virus, some die from the virus, some lose their job or business, some can’t pay their bills, others can’t go to school, some people go crazy, and then there are us golfers who can’t play golf. What doesn’t make sense is that in neighboring states guys can still play golf? There isn’t much consistency in this virus whirlwind about the number of rules you have, the way you implement the rules, and how long a Governor, or country, keeps their rules in place.
This ” Birdie Boobie Prize ” will hopefully find anther dugout to hang out soon.
Brought down by a Titleist 4 golf ball some idiot hit wrong, he isn’t much of a conversationalist. I expect he is as tired of me as I am as tired of him.
Next time on the course, I’m going to make sure I shoot a birdie, or make sure I have a better partner.
Some days, birdies are really hard to come by.
At the Casa Grande trading post and museum in Cerrillos, New Mexico, there is also a small petting zoo for the kids. There were, this morning, some fowl and goats in the locked pens, and, oddly, a solitary camel. The last Scotttreks camel experience was in a Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic airport smoking room, and that camel was ceramic and painted with smoking advertisements.
Camels, it appears, were big in the Southwest United States in the mid 1800’s when the United States Army created a Camel Corp and experimented with the animals, using them to pack goods as Army soldiers patrolled and kept order in the western territories before they became states. The camels were well suited to their task, and the landscape, but the experiment was shelved and the camels were sold off.
You can buy a camel today for a little more than $5000.00 but you need to know a few things about them before taking one home. Camels need space, exercise, lots of hay, and they are not always friendly. From people who own camels come reports that the large animals can show love, hate, be jealous, be warm and caring, fierce and dangerous. They can drink up to 20 gallons of water at a time and eat grass, hay, wheat and oats, seeds or dried twigs in the wild. Water is stored in their bloodstream, not their hump, and the hump, one or two, is stored fat the animal uses as a food supply when food is scarce. Camels can sleep standing up, spit when aggravated, and pee on their legs to keep themselves cool. There are claims that their milk will cure diabetes, TB, autism and AIDS, and, in the desert, they are used for transportation and even food by the Bedouins who depend on them in their nomadic lifestyle.
I’m wondering, this morning, if kids are really allowed to approach this camel, hoping that it is one of the sweet, gentle, lovable cartoon kind of camels that children love to get close too. I can imagine it’s caretakers and owners climbing aboard and taking a midnight ride down one of the arroyos that run through Cerrillos, scaring the devil out of the coyotes howling a mournful song on a moonlit night.
When Scotttreks goes on the road, there is never a moment when something quirky doesn’t pop up and bite you on the behind.
While I’m standing here, the camel doesn’t drop what it is doing and come over to see who I am, and what I want.
That, I’m feeling, gives me a pretty good idea that he’s not as interested in me, as I am in him.
Highway 14 is a small ribbon of a road, two undulating lanes that roll and twist, that take traffic to Madrid and Cerrillos, New Mexico, and on to Santa Fe, or Albuquerque, depending on what direction you are pointing your car.
New Mexico has always been a mining and ranching state. It is one of the largest U.S. states with a population over two million and most of those two million living in cities like Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces. The state is as hard as this countryside and was one of the last territories to become a U.S. state in 1912. Highway 14 takes you through undulating rugged hills dotted with junipers, arroyos, and canyons, under blue blue skies with a few white puffs of clouds. The people who live out here are tough, practical, artistic, and don’t take a cotton to ” city life. ”
Two things to see on the drive to Madrid from Cerrillos, enough to warrant a stop and a photo, are a Trojan Horse and a crazy looking bird that is out of someone’s imagination..
It is funny how the Greeks are still reminding us that they were here too. This Trojan Horse, by the side of the Highway 14, overlooks the valley below and doesn’t look like he is going to take ” No ” for an answer.
A little further down the road, almost to Madrid, is a crazy bird, by the side of the Highway 14. He looks like he is from another world too. He advertises one of the many galleries in this area, and even though this gallery is closed, it shows the spirit of this entire area. Even tough old ” homesteaders ” have an artistic side and prefer the country to the city, any day.
Pulling into Madrid, finding a place to park isn’t hard today. The town is closed because of a virus, and one suspects that most residents in these parts are happy to see their streets empty.
New Mexico has lots of little back roads, like Highway 14, and along most of them are glimpses like these into a state that holds to it’s western heritage with one hand and the space age with the other.
Food is always popular, with people; talking about it, selling it, growing and raising it, trading recipes, criticizing it’s taste and preparation, perfecting its creation, enjoying it with a fancy wine or domestic beer. With lots of restaurants and eating establishments closed in our community, those of us who don’t have cooking interests, or skills, fend for ourselves.
In honor of our current American lock down, due to a mysterious virus from the East, tonight’s meal is a chicken pot pie, prepared and sold by Marie Callender, in a local Smith’s grocery, for $2.79 plus tax. Slipping it into the microwave for ten minutes, with two minutes to cool down, it makes a dinner, not too much to give me nightmares, but enough to make me feel full and sleep when I turn in.
” Why do you have to write about a chicken pot pie, ” some might laugh?
I can only say that Scotttreks writes out of the moment, and this moment belongs to Marie’s pot pie. This pie has a crust many bakers would kill for, is chock full of meat and veggies, and is so much cheaper and better than I could cook on my own if I had too buy all the ingredients. We had these when we were growing up, but they were cooked by our mother, who was a master chef without the title.
Taking a few photos of the pie, and looking at it, as I eat, convinces me, that, even after this lock down becomes history, my eating habits have changed, forever.
Eating light, and eating at home, is a money saver.
Because I live in a city, far away from where people raise and grow food, I get a little jumpy in times like these.
What do us city folks do when we can’t buy a pot pie, or chicken, or pasta, or fruit, in our stores?
When that happens, revolution is just around our corner.
All this national drama, twisting around me like a tornado, makes this pot pie, this evening, much more important than it should be.
Food gets more important as it becomes harder to get.
Golf is the kind of sport that doesn’t appeal to everyone.
First, the idea of hitting a little round ball, on a tee, with a stick, seems silly. I mean, the ball just sits there. It isn’t coming at you like a football pass, or a baseball pitch. The only times you touch the ball are when you tee it up for a drive, mark your ball on the green so someone else won’t hit your ball when they putt, or pull it out of the cup on the green, after you putt out.
Second, there are all kinds of rules, depending on who you are playing with. Don’t tee the ball up in the rough. Don’t improve your lie. Your club can’t touch the ground in the traps. If you hit out of bounds, or in the water, there are penalty shots. Rake the trap when you are done with your shot. Don’t talk when someone else is swinging. Don’t hit into the group ahead of you, even if they are old and crippled and disastrously slow. Don’t throw sunflower seeds on the green. The list of rules is extensive.
Third, the equipment is sometimes expensive. Wood shafted clubs are not used any more and there is a lot of technology in designing clubs that make it easier for non professionals to ht the ball straighter and further without having to go to the range and work on their game.
Fourth, you have to look like a golfer to play like a golfer, with a pair of golf shoes, a golf cap, glove, a clean pair of shorts or slacks, and a nice cotton or cotton polyester shirt that gives you free movement of your upper body.
Fifth, golf is played in all kinds of weather, and wind is a weather condition that sends most golfer birds into the clubhouse.
Sixth, golf is a social sport and is usually played in groups of four, with lots of time to socialize between shots. In point of fact, getting out of the house and joking with the boys saves more marriages and relationships than it destroys.
This Official PGA Birdhouse is another Charlie creation, and I can see it hanging in a tree just by the eighth tee, swinging gently in a pine tree with the occupant watching us chili dip an iron on this par three into the front bunker.
There are enough downsides to golf, that I can see why more people don’t take up the sport, or stick with it.
This, us addicted golfers, always say, is great.
There is nothing worse than not being able to get a starting time.
Inside Meow Wolf, there is a house, a mysterious house whose owners are no where to be found. They have their left artifacts; an old desk, an old saggy comfortable couch, a bathroom with toothbrushes still in the cup, closets with clothes hanging, a washer and dryer with clothes to be cleaned. As you roam through the house you find rooms just like you would find in a normal home, but, here, the rooms don’t look like our houses and it has secret passageways, and tunnels and challenges.
In a performance area of the installation, these two young men juggle and do acrobatics for their modern audiences, much like they might have done for ancient kings when the castle was dreary and the king threw a party for some of his political allies.
When this performance is done, we wander through the rest of the house, getting lost, finding rooms we have already been in. Finally, sensory overloaded, we leave the house and its ghosts and go find a green chili burrito and cup of coffee.
Getting lost in someone else’s house is okay, but you never want to be at a point, in your house, that you can’t find the bathroom.
Meow Wolf is an immersive, interactive, art installation in an old bowling alley in Santa Fe, N, M. It has become a tourist destination and once you enter you will be challenged. It was started in 2008 as an art collective. This is what the creators, with over 400 employees, and installations in Denver, Las Vegas, Santa Fe, and eventually Phoenix, say about their effort.
” Meow Wolf creates immersive and interactive experiences that transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration, This includes art installations, video and music production, and extended reality content….. Inside, guests discover a multidimensional mystery house with secret passages, portals to magical worlds, and an expansive narrative amidst surreal ,maximalist, and mesmerizing art exhibits….. Meow Wolf champions otherness, weirdness, challenging norms, radical inclusion, and the power of creativity to change the world…… ”
When I came out of the installation, I was glad to be back to my pedestrian reality.
This, I’m certain, is just preparing the way for the dystopian, not so distant, world, of artificial intelligence and technology.
I’m missing days when you sat in a rocking chair on the front porch and watched storm clouds rolling in over the freshly plowed and planted fields.
We can’t stop technology, and as easy as it makes our lives, it comes with costs.
At the Albuquerque Zoo, there are plenty of animals; birds, monkeys, a tiger or two, penguins, giraffes, jackals,zebras. They are well cared for in their little enclosures and we can stand at a rail and admire their coloration, adaptations, behaviors. There will come a time when the only animals we will see will be in zoos, but there are still places in the world where animals spend their days and don’t ever see a human.
Pushing the ball just ahead of its huge mouth, this playful hippo walks in his pool because these river horses don’t really swim, but walk along the bottom of rivers or pools, as they hold their breath under the water. They are speedy and quite dangerous in the wild.
Until Scotttreks does its next safari, these zoo animals will have to do.
If I were to organize a parade, this star of the show would have to be in front.
While turtles are cool, hippos, looking ungainly and mis-proportioned, steal this show with quite surprising grace, and playfulness.
Halloween creeps closer as leaves start to fall, pumpkins appear in windows, hot air balloons arrive for the annual Balloon fest in Albuquerque, creepy spiders turn up in school cafeterias and jackets become more than optional.
It is a sparkling day and these three skeletons, in an Albuquerque North Valley front yard, don’t dress up, worry about hair style or designer clothes. They look content in their birthday suits without the excess weight, blemishes and imperfections that the rest of us have to carry wherever we go.
Next holiday season, I will set up my front yard like this too, but give my skeleton family a television to watch Netflix, game shows, soaps, or Dr. Phil.
In a few weeks this congregation will put on their Pilgrim outfits and be chasing turkeys around the yard with hatchets. A few weeks after that, they will be hanging Christmas lights in these front yard evergreens and singing carols by a manger,surrounded by animals and angels, Mary and Joseph, welcoming Baby Jesus to the planet nuthouse.
Bones keep popping up in Scotttreks, and, to be honest, we all need one day a year when creepy stuff camps in our front yard and ghosts and goblins have their say.
The last thought that hits me, between my ears,as I speed away in my car, is that if we had to wash each of our bones, our showers would take all day and family members would rightfully want to kill us.
R.I.P. is not bad advice, whether we are skeletons, or not.