Love Machine Squeeze the Handle

 

In the lobby of the County Line Barbecue, there is a special love machine for testing your love potentials.The machine is right inside the restaurant’s front door, and, as you wait for your table to open up, is hard to ignore.

This ” Love Machine ” costs a quarter for its diagnosis, and, for your quarter, you can see how you measure up on the love chart by putting your hand firmly around a special handle, squeezing firmly, and waiting for your diagnosis to shoot off like firecrackers, fireworks, or duds.

We humans like to measure. We hook up our cars to diagnostic apparatus, we use dip sticks to check oil and transmission fluids, we use IQ tests to measure intellectual ability, we use polls to decide who to elect to be our next President.

Whether this ‘Love” test is really accurate ,or scientific, is a different test.

Most of our science isn’t as true as we think it is, and, even when it is true, we often don’t believe what it tells us .Humans tend to be more superstitious than scientific. Wearing lucky socks when you watch your favorite team’s basketball game, for a championship, isn’t very rational.

Most of the stuff we should be measuring, we don’t have the instruments to measure anyway.

For those in love, people don’t need a machine to tell them how they feel.

A better sign of whether you are in love, or not, is to look at your credit card statement.

Be Happy – Stay Happy.

 

Lucky Chair Horseshoes for luck

Under the ” Home of the Big Rib ” rib, as you walk towards one of several back dining rooms at the County Line Barbecue, is a lucky chair.

We all have our favorite chairs. Yours might be an old recliner that you found on the sidewalk with a ‘ Take Me ” sign pinned to it like a donkey’s tail. It might be an ancient folding chair you drag out of your garage and open up on your front porch like folks did in the old days. Your favorite chair might have a hard back, torn cushions, scratched legs where your dog or cat wanted to get your attention.

My favorite “LUCKY’ chair, this evening, is made from horseshoes. I sit down in it to improve my luck as I listen to the ” Radiators ” slip into a blues tune in the bar.

Some artisan has collected these worn horseshoes and has welded them into a quirky,quite comfortable chair, and, as I sit ,and tap my right toe to the music, I feel my luck coming back in spades.

Barbecue, horseshoes, cattle, branding irons and the Old West go hand in hand and those old time cowboys sure didn’t live on just jerky, pitching horseshoes and playing poker.

You can’t tell me they didn’t fix themselves an occasional barbecue dinner in the middle of a long cattle drive across wild and hostile Indian country and blame Indians for the lost steer.

On reflection, if my new luck starts to weaken, me and this chair are going to have another therapy session.

When I come back next time, I’m going to try this chair again for a luck recharge, eat all the ribs I can, and ask for a sarsaparilla root beer.

Luck, these days, is hard to come by, and the Sandia Indian Pueblo Casino is just down the street.

 

Barbecue Blues County Line Barbecue

In the shadow of the Sandia Mountains, the County Line Barbecue is packed this Friday night. I am on the band’s e mail list, and got my invitation via e-mail. Judging from a plate of ribs on another patron’s plate, on the bar counter next to me, the barbeque doesn’t sound shabby either.

The music tonight comes from the  “Radiators”, and they sing and swing with an upright bass, mandolin, lead guitar and vocalist. They play blues, country, rock, and even do a bossa nova for folks in the audience still looking for the ” Girl From Ipanema.”

This restaurant is the home of ” The Big Rib” and a huge fake rib hangs on one restaurant wall with a big sign above it. The rib is way too big for anyone to eat, and, by itself, would feed a high school football team, if you could swallow the plastic.

I also like the real Texas longhorns on the walls, pictures of cowboys and horses, and acoustic guitars signed by musicians who have played here since it opened. In the men’s bathroom is a poster with pinups of the 50’s that is nostalgic for guys over seventy..There is an unusual horseshoe chair in a passageway to a back dining room, and, in the front entry of the restaurant, a  “Love Testing Machine” only costs a quarter to test the strength of your passion.

In the shadow of the Sandia’s, the County Line is the place to be on a Friday night,enjoying a Pabst Blue Ribbon, and listening to tight four part harmony and popular songs.

Live music is always a treat and good barbeque makes it sound even better.

Barbecue and blues go well together and even though their marriage has been tempestuous, they would take the ” Love Machine ” all the way to the Moon.

 

 

 

Albuquerque’s E scooters Albuquerque's newest transportation

Albuquerque has just introduced E-Scooters to the Downtown Civic Plaza, Nob Hill, Old Town, and, eventually, other well frequented locations in the city. These scooters are lined up across from the Albuquerque Museum of Art, chatting up a storm and telling scooter jokes.

Two ladies, I talk too, say the scooters are fun to ride but you need an App on your phone to use them. There are about 750 of them, to start, and a private company, Zagster, has exclusive rights to promote in our city.

The scooters are available from seven in the morning till seven in the evening, have tracking devices installed, go 15 miles per hour, and cost the operator fifty cents a minute, when riding. The rationale is to address climate change, provide other modes of transport the younger generation will like (18 and older), and encourage people to get out and eliminate traffic in high traffic areas.

One of the big concerns of the Albuquerque Police Department is people driving these scooters while intoxicated, something that has already happened.

One of my issues is grasping how large American bodies are going to balance on these small running boards while going fifteen miles per hour with hand brakes?

If the city was serious about climate change they would just make us walk in a transportation free zone.

Riding at your own risk, these days, has to be in all of our plans of the day.

 

Playing the National Anthem- Video LifeQuest Fundraiser Golf Tournament, Tanoan C.C., Albuquerque, 2019

The National Anthem is one of the most played songs in America. If you have played in school bands, military bands, marching bands, or are a musician who has performed at any sporting or public event, you have played the familiar melody since you were very young.

In America, individualism is worshiped, but so is big Government.

Most of us fall someplace different on the line that stretches from pure individualism towards the right end of the line to pure communism towards the left, in relation to how much government control of your life you want. It is no wonder that we shake our heads at each other, erroneously thinking we all fall on the same place on this  political line that crosses itself so often you don’t always know left from right. The tug of war between these opposing dreams describes our American dilemma.

After the National Anthem, some of us singing, the color guard marches off the putting green and we golfers all go to our assigned golf carts and roll out for a shotgun start to the golf tournament.

This golf tournament is a fundraiser for Lifequest, a group that mentors juveniles locked up in jail, believing that the Bible and good role models will keep juveniles from going back to jail after they serve their time and are released, often back into the same negative situation they were before they were incarcerated.

Regardless of where we are on any line, we all know mistakes are made and not every child has a home to come from, or a home to go too.

Listening to the National Anthem, I know where my battle line in the sand is drawn.

If politicians sons and daughters had to go fight in wars, we wouldn’t have so many of them.

 

 

 

Morning Walk Albuquerque's Embudo Canyon

Indian School is an east- west Albuquerque boulevard that ends at the Embudo Canyon Open Space at the far east side of the city..

The parking lot, at the roads end, is the beginning of a city Open Space area that moves into the Cibola National Forest Wilderness. The nature walks and trails, at the cities edge, open at seven each morning and close at seven each evening. If you are bold, you can hike back as far as you want into the wilderness and camp out under the stars.

This morning there are vehicles in the parking lot early, which is unusual. Along our hike, there are numerous Apache Plumes, cactus, mesquite, and juniper trees, a huge city deep water well enclosed by a chain link fence and government signs stating statutes that warn bad things happen to those who trespass.Wildlife has hidden itself but you see signs they are close by if you are observant.We can see Mount Taylor, tallest mountain in New Mexico, sixty miles away. A few hot air balloons are aloft..

There are other hikers out this morning, and, as we pass each other on the trail, we all say our hellos cheerfully. Nature lovers are glad to be out even if seeing humans is not what we come out for.

By the time we return to the parking lot,more parking spaces have opened up and the lot is almost empty.

You would think there would be more people hiking with a city of almost a million right below us.

Nature isn’t part of everyone’s vocabulary,but am pleased it is in my dictionary.

It is a bit funny that we put Open and Close times on the Wilderness.

Wilderness doesn’t run by our clock.

 

Model A “Phaeton” In McDonalds parking lot - Thursday - June 13, 2019

According to Art, this is a Model A, a ” Phaeton.”

He spells p-h-a-e-t-o-n out for me, this morning, when the two of us are conversing at our usual McDonalds, down the street from the Candelaria street McDonalds where I saw this beauty yesterday afternoon.

It’s owner was an older man, a car nut, who drives his dream car to car shows and likes to meet with other gentlemen and talk shop about their pride and joy automobiles, and, of course, their pride and joy wives and/or girlfriends.

This convertible, with its white removable top, immaculate paint job, upholstery that smelled factory new, and sparkling details, stood out for me in the McDonalds parking lot, way too nice to be there. I took photos for my scrapbook and compared her to newer models that didn’t compare to her, half as well.

With all comparisons, there is some prejudice involved.

I tend to like old vehicles, old buildings, and, even some old people. They have character and miles on their odometers that proves they run and have lasting power.

Inside the McDonalds, I complimented the car’s owner and he smiled with pride and nodded his head as he sipped his black coffee with two sugars, now costing a dollar instead of a nickel when his ” Phaeton ” was brand new.

I thought, as I left, that getting compliments is one of the big reasons he drives her to McDonalds.

You don’t want to keep a show horse like this cooped up in the barn.

 

Heckle and Jeckle Talking over the watercooler

 

These two questionable birds remind me of cartoon characters us kids watched on black and white television in the 1950’s, most often perched on a tree limb talking about crazy humans. They were, as they appear here, angular, opinionated, and had New York voices that were like a piece of coarse sandpaper rubbed over my cheek, and not gently.

Perched on a tiny end table in front of the Madrid, New Mexico Mine Shaft Museum, they, for the moment, aren’t gossiping loud enough that I can hear who they are roasting.

The Madrid mining museum is full of old rusted mining implements piled into one large open room, under a tin roof. Through an open doorway, I see old corroded machines that kept town mines operating in the 1800’s when lots of young men and painted women came out west to make their fortunes moving lots of dirt.

The curator of the museum, a gray haired volunteer woman standing by a manual cash register, talks in a mellifluous voice and explains, to an equally old couple listening attentively, how the town prospered in its heyday.

Not interested in paying to go inside the museum, I peek through the door for free, and hear Heckle and Jeckle laughing again.

For some odd reason, I want to buy the fountain and the two metal birds and place them all on a little table on my back porch in Albuquerque.

These two could really tell me funny, but true, stories about mining in Madrid, Mew Mexico, before the hippies came.

Watching humans all day must be about as funny as it gets.

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