Saturday, June 30, 2007

Squirrel Wars - Episode Four - Revenge of the Wife

Princess Furry Tail - "What you mean that the Death Star is fully operational!"

Darth Wife - "Yes Princess. And we are going to test it out here in Albuquerque, New Mexico"

Princess Furry Tail - "Noooooooo"

(The sound of poison pellets being thrown in a yard)

- far away -

Obewan Rodent - "I feel a strong disturbance in the force as if a whole family of squirrels under a wooden deck are no more"


The rock squirrel family residing on White Cloud NE, Albuquerque, NM was found dead today. Rodent police suspect foul play as their living quarters were strewn with poison pellets.

Yes - I am a Technology Hypocrite

The truth is that my whole attitude toward technological change is seeped in hypocrisy. Typically I will resist any change in my life that technology offers. Not only is my attitude some thing like a Luddite, but I will viscerally condemn those who do take on the new technology. A case in point was cell phones. I was totally against them and had nothing but contempt for those who allowed themselves to be enslaved by this new tool to destroy the sanctity of one's personal time....

....until I got one...

Then the conversion couldn't have been quicker or more complete than Saul's on the way to Damascus. (For those of you with limited knowledge of New Testament analogies [like that Lakeview - New Testament analogies], I've provided the convenient link). I was now the convert and totally committed to the mobile communication life.

The latest conversion has been with the i pod. I should really say musical entertainment on the airplane. For years, I've watched people listening to music and watching movies (yes, yes, disdainfully). Last Christmas, Mrs de-I and I bought each other i pods. Of course Mrs. de-I got hers up and running in no time. Mine served The Podolny Group as a nice black paperweight on my desk. Finally Mrs. de-I around April ran out of patience at the waste of money and started loading my classical music CD's on the i pod and of course the i tunes section of my computer. She also went out and bought me a set of noise reducing headphones. (FYI this is a fairly typical tale of my adoption of technology - Me ignoring it - Wife bodily making it happen for me - I love Wife)

After just a couple of trial runs, I have been in heaven. It has taken the airplane ride and transformed it from a chore to my time to listen to music. Not only to I listen, I listen intently. I shut out everyone around me, my thoughts, my obsessing with the business and just listen to the details of the music. It is very soul reviving.

So remember this the next time I torment you on some technology that you enjoy and make use of - I could just as easily become its next apostle.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Chicago Musings

I’m on my way back on the plane from my trip to Atlanta and Chicago. I arrived just after the great flood that left the basements of both Lakeview and Motherrocker flooded. I got to experience a night of poor Miss Dukes (and poor Miss Dukes parents) fighting an illness and high temperature. But there were lots of good things too.

We have added a new associate in Chicago, Ricardo, a friend of long standing with Lakeview. This culminates almost 6 months of discussions and both Ricardo and I are very enthusiastic (though cautiously so as befits grizzled veterans). Lakeview is less so since this might lead to more actual work.

Speaking of Lakeview both our long-term clients in Chicago continue to seem quite pleased and we are working on financing placements for both.

On the eating front, we have been having a series of great breakfasts with another potential resource we have been meeting each time I visit. Since he, Mr. F, is a devout foodie, he always has interesting places to pick out. This time it was a place Ina's on West Randolph. I had an interesting dish that was called scrapple on the menu but was really a polenta baked with corn and black beans. It was served with a choice of meat and a couple of eggs. I chose Mexican Chorizo that was cooked very well (well done almost crispy rather than greasy/oily). The combination of eggy goodness with crispy/spicy pork product, and baked corny polenta was great.

Plate of Delicious Polenta, Spicy Pork Chorizo, and Eggy Goodness with Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice Chaser

In the early afternoon, we had another networking event at Just Grapes. Both AinA and Motherrocker have taken part in these in the past. With Ricardo (and his wife – Thanks J!) throwing their weight behind the event, we had the best turnout ever and we even got too leads – one particularly intriguing concerning a well known company in Albuquerque of all places.

Lakeview Coffee with Just Grapes And Ricardo Legs

I finished that night having dinner at the Motherrocker household. Miss Dukes seemed to be getting better. MR made some baked chicken thighs to a lovely skin crispy doneness flavored subtly with rosemary that was accompanied by a nice sauté of snow peas and onions. I brought found a great buy on a 1999 1st Cru Gevry Chambertain for under $40 which MR and I just about finished. Just Grapes has started to carry beer so I was able to pick up a Belgian Ale that J the Armenian had not had before. The wine was such a good buy, I picked up another bottle to leave at MR’s for my next visit. However, with Wife making a visit to the MR household in a few more weeks somehow I have a feeling I’ll not be seeing any of the contents.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Squirrel Wars - Episode Three, Return of the Squirrels

Wife continues the slippery slope down towards the dark side. She hired our exterminator who suggested using mouse bait which is evidently some poison impregnated food item attractive to rodents.

Initially, after being told exactly how said poison works, Wife was expressing remorse. She told the exterminator to spare her the details - but spread the poison.

The next day there was little sign of squirrel activity.

Yesterday, I got the call. The squirrels were out in force, all five of them.

Wife - "They need to die!"

Stay tuned for more.

So Who's the Good Guys?

(thanks Tim de Buffalo)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Why AinA is in A

I'm in Chicago after a day in Atlanta. It rained like a mother in Chicago today causing all kinds of problems with flooding and transportation. When my flight arrived, Lakeview had called and said his basement had flooded and he arranged with daughter Motherrocker and John the Armenian to have me stay there. Actually they had flooding too but they don't use their basement as part of the living quarters like Lakeview does.

I got to see the kids pictures from their recent trip to Amsterdam. Daughter #1 made the following observation about daughter #3, that AinA seemed very happy and content in Amsterdam and that was to be expected since Alexis is:

  1. Frugal like the Dutch
  2. Likes riding bicycles like the Dutch
  3. Likes eating pickled foods like the Dutch

Hmmmmm. Deep thoughts.

Squirrel Wars - Episode Two, The Empire Strikes Back

If not the Empire, how about the petty barony strikes back?

Anyway, I am including the following email I received from Mrs. de-I today.

"Today was another day watching the squirrels run around the yard and in front of the house as if they owned it. The peanut butter sandwich I had had used to bait the catch and release trap was gone from where it had been placed at the back of the trap. They had to cross the trip plate twice and didn’t trip it. So I am sitting and eating my lunch at the kitchen counter when I hear this scrabbling noise like someone is trying to get into the house. I check the garage thinking the old refrigerator is finally dying. Nothing! I check outside to see if it’s something at the neighbors. No sounds outside! I check in the laundry room. Then I realize that some animal is in the dryer hose. That was it! I called the service that we use for bug control and they are going to come out today and put out poison under the deck and behind the dryer. Meanwhile, Michael, if you get a phone call in the middle of the night it will be me freaking out about the mouse or squirrel that has trapped me in the bedroom!"

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Squirrel Wars - Episode One, The Gray Tailed Menace

A gray, fuzzy tailed menace has thrown its terrifying shadow over the gentle confines of the Mrs. de-I garden. Where once lush plantlings of squash, eggplant and cucumber once flourished, now there are only thin green stalks. New flowers are gone the day they appear. Wife's garden has.....Squirrels.

Wife, being dedicated to the credo of her pioneer forefathers (and mothers), believes nature is to be controlled (garden does close order drill every morning). The onslaught of vegetation eating rodents is not to be tolerated. Hence we have seen a flurry of activity. Borrowing from the Norman conquerors of England, Wife has started a program of fortification.

Fortress Vegetable

The building program is currently being based upon a large outer wall with numerous individual turrets for the protection of plants outside the main compound and for extra protection within (like a keep).


Finally, Wife has decided that a program of forced resettlement is in order and has put out a trap to secure the offending mammals. De-I is suppose to carry this trap with rodent when he hikes and safely release the animals many miles up the mountain away from the garden.

The Trap

All this may be for naught. According to O-I, his friend LeRoy, an accomplished outdoor type, has been fighting the gray furry menace for years without success. LeRoy's and O-I's opinion is that each time a new anti-squirrel program is put into place, the squirrels choose one of their number. That one is trained to become a super squirrel capable of beating the new restraints. Then once that squirrel is successful, it is bred to create the new more highly evolved generation.

I see pellet gun shooting lessons in Wife's future.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Currant Events

It's time for the big currant harvest at the Mrs. de-I latifundia and that requires mustering all the resources of the estate to the task. On Friday Wife stated that the red currants, black currants, and gooseberries had all achieved the proper ripeness to be harvested.

With as big an agricultural operation as Mrs. de-I has here, this called for assembling and organizing the appropriate staff. The head of berry and fruit (Wife) was given the marching orders. The field supervisor (Wife) and day laborers (Wife) were set to work picking the fruit from the field. The fruit is then quickly transferred to the Production area where the production supervisor (Wife) assembled the production staff (Wife) and production of the estates private label jams was begun. Getting the produce from fruit to jam in the shortest amount of time possible is essential for top flavor and sweetness. When all is done the kitchen cleaning staff (de-I) makes sure all is ready for the next production operations.

A Review of This Year's Production

All of the jams this year have a wonderful combination of intense fruit flavor, acidity and sweetness. The intensity of the fruit is far superior to just about anything I've had on the open market. The black currants only are starting to really produce. Therefore, the total amount of production was pretty small. The red currants are much further along and produced much more. The gooseberries were the revelation of the harvest with a totally wonderful flavor.

I took a red currant jam and peanut butter sandwich on my hike today and it was totally yummy.

May need to invest into packaging next year.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Special Late Night Foodie Edition - Grazing at the USAir Club

It's 8:30 PM and your connecting plane is going to be an hour late going home (heading east with another hour of time lost for time zone...yes feel sorry for me -sob, sob). The oasis of choice is the the USAir Club. Being inspired by by nieces Black Coffee and a Donut lobster extravaganza post, I have decided to give you a full blown, culinary description of dinner tonight.

First course, 5 PM - Cheeseburger in concourse of Burbank Airport - There is a pretty darn good little hole in the wall cheeseburger joint next to gate 5 where USAir is located. Burgers are made to order and they have lettuce and lots of tomato.

Second course, 7:15 PM - Double Beefeater Gin, straight with a club soda chaser on flight from LA to Phoenix. The clear gin sets off the clear plastic glass nicely along with the Brazilian music on the IPod

Third Course, 8:45 PM - Cheese and crackers with Sam Adams Beer at USAir Club - A wonderful selection fo 3/4 ounce cheese pieces (cheddar, hard cheddar and monterey jack) in very hard plastic without refridgeration (yum preservatives) along with a selection of micro-crackers from Pepperidge Farms crackers. The crackers were obviously rejects since this brand usually has good flavor and these were designed to match the non-existent flavor of the cheese cum preservatives.

Fourth Course, 9:00 PM - Cape Cod Chips, 1/2 OZ Personal Bag, 70 calories - I love Cape Cod chips. Nice crunch, not too much salt.

Fifth Course, 9:05 PM - Cheetos, Crunchy, 2 OZ Mega Bag - Biggest bag of snack food in the club. I've always had a weakness for Cheetos though I prefer the softer ones.

Oops, plane just arrived, have to go to gate. Should be home before 1 AM. Bon Appetit

LA Super Marathon

I'm coming up for air! It has been one long week. One of my compatriots in Albuquerque, Craig, made a decision that he wanted to include financing placement into our business service offerings. Because of all my work promoting our LA office, I have developed a wide base of contacts of non-bank financing sources that are not found at all in New Mexico. The purpose of this trip was to meet as many of these sources as possible. Therefore, I organized an ambitious schedule of meetings.

Flying in on Monday night, Craig was already there having spent the week in LA and he picked me up at the airport. We got started on Tuesday with my networking group which started at 7 AM and finished 7 meetings later followed by dinner at my partner Frank's house. Scheduling meetings in LA is always a challenge because of the distances and the travel times. I was particularly proud of myself because I had 5 of the 7 meetings in a radius of the 3 miles, a masterpiece of geographic time management.

Wednesday set a new all time record for most meetings ever accomplished in one day, 8. Actually we were only going to have 7 but Craig had agreed to a follow up meeting from the networking group on Tue at 7 AM. We already had an 8 AM breakfast scheduled but the distance was such that we were able to at least make an appearance at the first meeting before getting to the second. I was really dragging by the time we were getting to meetings 6 and 7. The last meeting was a dinner with a couple of investment bankers that lasted two hours with a couple of bottles of wine (I had a very nice baccaloa dish (Italian Salt Cod) braised with milk and onions on polenta that was very yummy). Our investment bankers brought the wine which was two bottles of Syrah, one from Santa Barbara (the better) and one from Monterey. We were done by about 8:30 so we managed to make it less than a 14 hour day.

On Thursday we cut back to a half day, only 4 meetings but the first was another networking group in Pasadena which requires getting on the road no latter than 5:45 to be there by 7 AM. By this time I was really dragging. Fortunately our last meeting at 2 PM was with someone I know well so the fact that I was almost falling asleep didn't offend him too much.

But it was a very, very productive trip. Craig is pumped about prospects and we have a number of funding prospects for a few difficult deals that we brought with us as test. On top of that, we are starting to get very close to the first draft of my new book. I met with the ghost writer and we were able to get some breakthroughs on the marketing hooks and title (Thanks JB!).

I'm in the Burbank Airport waiting to catch the flight home. The weather looks fine so I hope everything goes well because this is the last flight of the day and if we miss our connection it's being stranded in Phoenix for the night.

Next week is a combination trip to Atlanta/Chicago which means I get to see Motherrocker, John the Armenian, and the Dukes not to mentioned get abused by partner Lakeview, a combination always to be looked forward to.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

THE Must See Tourist Spot in Western Pennsylvania

If you're in Western Pennsylvania and looking for a hot tourist spot would you...

  1. Go to the Andy Warhol Museum?
  2. Go to Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright house over a waterfall?
  3. Or would you go to Pymatuning State Park?
According to the Wall Street Journal, #3 should be your answer by a count of 2.9 to 1 compared to #2 and by a whopping 4.6 to one over #1. Why so? Why a state park instead of these cultural icons? Is it because of some fantastic natural beauty? No. Is there an amusement park there? No.

The answer is carp. To be specific feed stale bread to carp. The attraction is evidently feeding stale or otherwise inedible bread products to a teeming mass of carp. This activity attracts something like 400,000 people a year with virtually no promotion. The carp have become so numerous that when they are being fed there are enough of the fish that the local ducks and geese can walk on their backs to try to get their share of the goodies.

I'm sure that if we were to contemplate and study this there would be some significant lesson concerning human nature. Or maybe we'd find that people are fairly simple and just like to see a frenzy of feeding fish.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Moderate - My Foot!

Today's hike is the Pino Trail, a very popular trail that starts on the West side of the mountain and goes up and intersects with the Crest Tail that transverses the whole mountain from North to South. The Pino trail is popular because it has very easy access to the city, it is a very well manicured and maintained trail, and it has a lot of shade compared to other trails on the West side of the mountain.

Michael Coltrin's, "Sandia Mountain Hiking Guide", rates this a moderate hike. I quote, "the Pino Trail is a scenic hike and a good workout." It is also 4.5 miles in length and climbs from 6,460 feet to 9,230 feet over that distance, 2,770 feet or just about a half a mile of climbing. And the first two miles only accounts for 700 feet of the climb. This is a round about way of telling you that this is a very steep trail. In all fairness it is also a very beautiful trail.

This is not the first time I've hiked this trail. I usually hike it at least once a year. What happens is over a years time memory of the difficulty fades and the memory of the beauty and the shade are retained. So if I'm tired of the trails I've been doing and have a hankering for something else, I will reminisce and think how nice it would be to do the Pino Trail. This last through the first two miles . At which point I will suddenly remember, "oh yeah this is a pretty steep tough climb." That thought usually disappears after another mile because it's all I can do to just keep pushing myself on.

I actually mentioned this to Mr. Coltrin as I happen to pass him coming down the trail. He did concede that it was probably on the difficult end of moderate.

Now the pictures.

Today's Destination
Sorry for the washed out look, it's my PDA for crying out loud! This is the entrance to the pathway (you have to go about a half a mile to get there. Our destination is the notch in the mountain sky line.

The View North
This is the view North about a quarter of the way up the trail. The peaks to the left are Sandia Peak, the highest point on the mountain

View North from Destination

Now we're looking north except we're at our destination at 9,200 feet

Still Life of Tired Feet with Hiking Gear

After 2 hours of climbing my feet, snack, pack and water

Wild Flowers

Because of all the moisture this year, we've had an unusually wonderful profusion of wild flowers of every color.

A Dead Forest - The Effects of Five Years of Drought
In spite of our current rainy weather, we previously had five years of severe drought. One result was a devastation of the pinion forests that make up much of the mountain foliage. The Pino Trial goes right thru one of the worst hit sections. This is just a small piece.

One Old Tree
Mr. Coltrin told me about this medallion that I had passed on my way up. There is a program of doing tree core samples and dating them. This particular tree's germination (starting from seed) was 1642, the date of Galileo's death, hence the name, Galileo's Death Tree.

The Tree Itself

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Some Numbers for Thought

Just what is suppose to be the effect of Global Warming anyway? Prior to the last 12 months, we have had a terrible drought here in New Mexico over the last 5 years. Many have attributed this to a climate change associated with the global warming phenomena. Then last summer we were deluged with rain. We had the worst snow storms in 25 years in December. And this spring we are having the wettest spring since they started measuring in 1893. We've had over 8 inches of precipitation through the end of May (compared to an average of 10 annually) and we've had another.66 inches in June. What's going on here!

The Wall Street Journal reported from their poll with NBC News that the President's approval rating fell to 29 % while 66% disapproved. However, approval for Congress was even lower at 23%. Just 41% of pool respondents say their representative in Congress deserves re-election. This is even lower than the figures before the last election when the Republicans were thrown out. Hmmmm, is there a space on the ballot for Anarchy?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Summer Reading List

I really like to read. Contrary to what one would believe reading the comments from AinA, I am not a monolithic workaholic. In fact Wife would tell you, it's about time I devoted this kind of time to work. Be that as it may, I made a major commitment that I was going to feed my reading habit this year. I got off to a good start in the winter but kind of hit a lull over the last few months. So now I've reloaded and am ready for some good readin'.

1. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene - an Xmas gift from MotherRocker, it took me a while to get into this. Initially it kind of put me off as a faux nouveau Machiavelli. But the more I read it the more I get out of it and I love all the historical references and quotes.

2. The Richard Bolitho Series by Alexander Kent - This is a long series of historical novels that follows the career of and English naval officer starting just before the American Revolution and going until the end of the Napoleonic Wars. I've just bought books 14-17 which pick up in 1801. This is my light reading. I've also read the entire Patrick O'Brien, Captain Jack Aubrey books twice. I'm not quite sure why I'm so enamored with this genre since I avoid the ocean like a plague.

3. Last but not least the first two books by N.A.M. Rodger of the official Naval History of Britain - Book 1 covers the years 660-1649. Book 2 goes from 1649 to 1815. Book 1 is 434 pages not including appendices, charts and lists. Book 2 is 583 pages. The appendices, charts and lists add another 183 pages. Trust me on this one - They're real page turners.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Home Alone

Mrs de-I is doing yeoman duty being the dutiful Grandma to Pulisha with heir to to the Podolny mispronunciation fortune Alex along with C the terror and J the terror in training (I'm being unfair but fair doesn't make for very humorous writing). And what am I doing? I am spending the only week I will spend at home this month alone. I'd like to bitch more but in fact we have such a good life that I really can't.

On a slightly different note, I think I have subverted another previously innocent person to begin blogging. Our good friend Louise of Fred and Louise fame (family members know them) saw the de-I blog because she wanted to see pictures of Alex. After hearing about my praises of what the blogosphere has done for family communication, she has started setting one up. Chalk up another ancient convert to the new technology.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Need to Get Away

Even thought it's Sunday, I've been working all day because I had three proposals to get out and miscellaneous small stuff (most of which didn't get done). So I'm going to pull a Motherrocker and fall back on some writings of others.

My Dad, O-I (original intimidator for the uninitiated) has always been a professed hermit and has expressed for years an alleged desire to go to Tierra del Fuego. A friend of his pulled this information out on a vehicle called a Unicat which is the ultimate in off-road, get away vehicles. This is reprinted from the Hartford Courant. So for any of you wanting to truly get away, I offer this.

Directed recently to UnicatAmerica's website and photos of the Amerigo International 7400, a spokesman for a national recreational vehicle organization was taken aback.
"Whoa," Gary LaBella of Go RVing said when pictures of the vehicle popped onto his screen. "These aren't too common. It's a little unorthodox. This is not what I would call mainstream."
No, sir. The brawny Unicat looks like a cross between a freight hauler and a Humvee. This thing would look about as out of place in the average RV park as a moon explorer in a commuter parking lot.
The fat, all-terrain tires are four-wheel-drive powered by a 300-horsepower diesel engine with a six-speed automatic transmission. Photos on the company's website - - show the vehicle fording streams, rolling across sand dunes and powering over rubble-strewn roads.
"The body and everything in it is designed and built to withstand the most extreme terrain," says the company's website. "They are built to withstand the rigors of safaris, be it in the desert, jungle or cold climates. Their purpose is similar to that of a yacht designed to cross oceans without failure. Other RVs would break apart if they tried to follow a UNICAT."
The Germany-based company, with a U.S. division in California, specializes in expedition and touring vehicles. Established in 1990, the company began marketing vehicles in the United States only about six months ago, UnicatAmerica spokesman Avi Meyer wrote in an e-mail.
While the International 7400 is built for rugged travel, the interior has all the necessities of home, including a queen-size bed, seating for four, two refrigerators, an oven and three-burner stove, toilet, indoor and outdoor showers and a stereo system with CD player.
The starting price for the International 7400 and another U.S. street-legal vehicle, the Unimog U500, is about $500,000. So far, the company has delivered three vehicles designed for U.S. specifications, Meyer wrote.
The company's target market, he wrote, includes "adventurer types who like safaris or expeditions at their own pace, RVers who would like to go into remote global wilderness areas, naturalists, photographers, eco-tourists, off-road aficionados who would like to have their home away from home in otherwise inaccessible areas."

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Another Weekend - Another Hike

I trundled on home from LA on Friday morning. Going from the Pulisha household to Burbank airport requires going through the absolute heart of the LA metro area. It would never be the way that one would choose normally but I had made my reservations long before the coming of the Alexander J-F event. But my good (?) fortune was that I was taking a 6:45 AM flight so I had to get going really, really early. In fact at 4:45 in the morning one can absolutely wiz through the LA Freeway system, even going through the darkest heart of it.

I was totally beat Friday night. My bud, Wild Bill popped by and we shared a bit of wine but I was in bed and sleeping by 9:45. Early and significant sleep was necessary because I had another big hike planned. Today I was doing the Three Gun Spring Trail. I think I've written before about the first part of this trail before (but I couldn't find the post) so to fresh memories, this is a 4 mile trek with a climb from (according to my guide) 6,320 feet to 8,460 feet. It starts from the south side of the mountain and heads due north. The trail makes an 1,800 foot gain over the first two miles. This is very open, desert like terrain so I like to do it early in the morning before it gets too hot. The second two miles are much different with both descents and climbs through a much more moist and treed area until you come to Oso Pass which is the confluence of three trails and offers excellent views.

Now scenes from the hike

Interesting Rock Formation
The End Goal
After the big climb, getting to the top of the rock formation in the center of the picture is the goal. The trail actually goes around the base of that formation to the left before starting to climb from behind it.

The Scary Rock
You may not be able to tell from this picture but the trail goes right under that big rock which seemingly is being held in place by the smaller rock. I always hope that we don't have some sort of earth movement every time I go by it.

Great Looking Tree
This tree is actually on the other side of the scary rock. I love the way it has grown up and around the rock.

View to the East from Oso Pass
Sitting and resting after hiking to the pass this is the view to the East to the higher section of the mountain. It's hard to remember sometimes but the outskirts of the city where I live are only five miles to the west (and 2,400 feet lower) from where this picture was taken.

A View of Last Weeks Destination
This is a shot taken looking Southeast from the trail as I was going back. At the bottom of what looks like two stairs is where I took the shots last week.

Cactus Flowers
The prickly pear cacti are in full bloom so I decided to take a shot of them as well

Hope everyone else has had a great weekend.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

First Time Every On The Internet

Yes here are the shots that you all have been waiting for (if you're one of the 10 people who actually read this blog on a regular basis)...the pictures of Alexander John-Francis Podolny. That is a difference in the name that I originally posted because parents Pu and JdeB decided that it wasn't complicated enough and there might be a slight possibility that the poor child wouldn't have a complete psychosis about his name.

Proud Pulisha with Alex

Alex obviously not all that happy about life outside the womb.

Wife/Grandma doing her grandmotherly thing

Father Tim de Buffalo starting his indoctrination early. Tim - "Son by the time you have grandchildren we'll be back into the Super Bowl. Go Bills"

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Very Fast Update

I'm in LA on business. This means the usual 13-14 hour days and also means not a lot of time for perusing my favorite blogs or posting. For some reason I talked myself into taking a 6 AM flight out of ABQ to LA on Tue morning. That means I need to get up at 3:50 AM. Did I mention that I really hate taking the 6 AM flight.

Anyway, one side benefit of all this is that I'm taking the afternoon off tomorrow and going to Redondo Beach to commune with the Pulisha-Tim de Buffalo clan and newest edition Alexander John-Francis (somehow I missed the John part of the John-Francis). With my new technical prowess with PDA camera, I'm hoping to scoop Pu and get the first pictures of grandson on the blogosphere.

Monday, June 4, 2007

de-Intimidator Line Expands - Many More Years of Misspellings and Mispronunciations

I'm happy to say that this morning at around 9 AM Pacific time (I think because I've not gotten all the details yet) Pulisha, honorable daughter #2, Bleached Sheep of his most exaulted de-Intimidator gave birth to a healthy baby boy, 6 pounds two ounces. According to Tim de Buffalo, father and martyr of all sports Buffalonian, they have named the little one Alexander Francis Podolny.

Prior to this birth, all of my generation and through three more children of the next generation produced nothing but girls. In my opinion this was verification that God believed that all of the ordeal that goes along with hearing people try to pronounce and the name Podolny was to be terminated. Evidently God just was teasing.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Channeling Mrs. de-I - The Garden Update

If Mrs. de-I was the blogging type, among the many things she would keep us all informed of would be the state of her garden. Therefore, it is incumbent upon his intimdatorness to go into a darkened room, to gather the hoard of peyote and other ritual hallucinogens found here (it is the Southwest you know), burn incense and try to reach out for the spirit of Mrs. de-I.

Looking...looking...looking...WHACK! OUCH! Guess she was taking a shower.

Anyway, the garden is coming into fine shape. As I've written previously, we are already harvesting things and enjoying its bounty. And now through my mastery of my PDA camera and IPhoto (well maybe not mastery, how about acquaintance), I will give you a pictorial view of the current events of the food production parts of the garden.

Wow this looks like broccoli just like they have in the store!
With a few more leaves. And these look like artichokes; pygmy one from the African Bush
The tomato plants are coming along great (which is more than can be said about the cucumbers which are being attached by something (evidently not squirrels but insectoid or other arthropod) or the cantalope which is just plain dead.

Pictures of nicely developing tomato plants
Finally let's take a walk down Berry Lane. Inspired by the Beatles this is our row of various types of berry plants including two types of raspberries, blackberries, red currants, gooseberries, and couple more that I can't remember.
They are all going to town. I don't remember what these are but if you can see the detail, we'll have a ton.
Finally, here's a picture of one of my favorite sections of the garden, the herb garden. For any sixties types yes there is parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme in there along with Greek oregano, Mexican oregano (two different plants entirely), sweet basil, Thai basil, marjoram, garlic chives, onion chives, and cilantro. There's rarely a day that I don't use something from the herb garden in my cooking. What a treat!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

In Great Shape and Alive

Saturday and it's time for hiking. I've been building my conditioning and speed and I took on the longest hike thus far this season. Once again I went on the South Crest Trail but I went much further - 11 miles total up and back and a climb of around a 2000 foot climb. This takes me to one of my favorite places where you come out of the trees and are looking at the face of the south peak of the mountain. You also look over the entire city to the west. On top of this there is a fantastic place for resting your weary bones, kind of like the perfect lounge chair, just made out of rock. It fits me perfectly giving me back support and a leg rest...not the easiest thing to find out of a natural rock formation.

View of the South Peak Face

View to the West overlooking Albuquerque

View to the South coming back down the trail

I also made the trek up in record time, 2 hours and 5 minutes. I am in surprisingly good physical condition considering all the traveling I've been doing. I think it is the treadmill workout ideas that Wild Bill gave me. I think they are definitely improving both my speed and endurance. The way up was relatively painless (operative word is relatively) and it was most definitely not particularly taxing on my cardiovascular system. I would have to say that this is the best condition that I've been in since I started having all my physical woes around 10 years ago.

Going down was interesting because I fell. I am always paranoid about falling because there are so many ways to slip or lose ones footing. Virtually every hike there are moments. Up until now I've never hit the ground. Today I was only about 20 minutes on my way down when I don't know what happened but I was falling forward and couldn't catch myself. It wasn't even a particularly difficult stretch! Down I go face first. As I hit the ground I'm seeing myself stranded on the mountain with who knows what broken. Just as I hit my left calf started hurting like hell. I flipped over and stretched it out and it turned out just to be a cramp. I had scratched up one knee pretty bad but other than that I was in one piece. Pretty lucky.

Just before I got back to the parking lot, I saw this incredibly bright yellow, black and red bird. I had seen the same bird last week in almost the same place but it didn't stick around long enough for me to really see it. Today it was more obliging. A little research finds that this was a Western Tanager.

I happy to say that as of this evening there were no ill effects from the fall and I recuperated wonderfully from the hike. Now if only Wild Bill wasn't injured so I could some really more challenging hikes.