Sunday, October 29, 2006

Blue Dragon Coffee House Hosts Motorcycle Rally

The "Slow Ride" is just that. Here Doug Shaw, the eventual winner, on his Honda CRF 100F and Mario Sedillo on his orange Harley 1200 try to go as slow as they can. Eventually Mario puts his foot down and Doug does a celebratory wheelie.

The motorcycle rally benefitted the UNM Children's Hospital and the New Day Adolescent Shelter.

Johnny_Mango's Sunday Wallpaper: Yellow Ash

NOB HILL--Our tree in the front yard is such a source of pleasure...from the shade in the summer to the gorgeous leaves in the fall. It makes the rest of the world tasty as candy.

The Sunday Poem: Vietnam Vet Dale Ritterbusch Drinks a Cup of Green Tea

American Life in Poetry: Column 083


Poems of simple pleasure, poems of quiet celebration, well, they aren't anything like those poems we were asked to wrestle with in high school, our teachers insisting that we get a headlock on THE MEANING. This one by Dale Ritterbusch of Wisconsin is more my cup of tea.

Green Tea

There is this tea
I have sometimes,
Pan Long Ying Hao,
so tightly curled
it looks like tiny roots
gnarled, a greenish-gray.
When it steeps, it opens
the way you woke this morning,
stretching, your hands behind
your head, back arched,
toes pointing, a smile steeped
in ceremony, a celebration,
the reaching of your arms.

Reprinted from "Far From the Temple of Heaven," Black Moss Press, April 2006, by permission of the author. Copyright © 2005 by Dale Ritterbusch. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

"Blood and Thunder" by Hampton Sides...Don't Buy This Book Until Ken Gets His Copy

EUBANK & SOUTHERN SE--The Artist Ken Saville and I were out buying socks and hamburger at the Costco when Ken ran across the book "Blood and Thunder" by Hampton Sides. Ken had already read Sides' "Ghost Soldiers" and was eager to buy it. He should have. Nothing lasts in those stores forever.

Now I see that N. Scott Momaday has reviewed it in today's New York Times. Not only that, today's NewMexiKen quotes Momaday and adds a few comments of his own. Believe me, this will be considered a "must have" book for anybody interested in the history of New Mexico...especially the Long Walk and the role of Kit Carson.

Kit Carson was not a simple character. Yet he is listed in the cutline below his picture in the NYT simply as "Kit Carson, Indian Killer." Yes. The Navajos called him Red Sleeves. And an Arapaho woman called him Husband. It was his first marriage. He was at least tri-lingual and as authentic a frontiersman as the west has to offer. His home in Taos still stands.

But for some reason that I cannot begin to understand, he commenced rounding up the Navajos and marching them clear across New Mexico to Bosque Redondo near present-day Fort Sumner. The result was 4 years of starvation and disease. During the Long Walk itself many Navajo were shot where they fell from exhaustion or left to die. 2000 were dead before the end of the 450 mile mid-winter journey. In addition, at the camp at Bosque Redondo 3000 more died before they were allowed to walk home again.

Maybe the book would help me understand that nightmare.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Good-Bye Heather...Don't Forget to Write!

NOB HILL--It looks like Heather Wilson is leading the way right across the border. Now that certainly is showing us New Mexicans an independent streak.

Hey Heather...Don't look back!
Just keep going...and don't get stuck on those saguaros!

This mailer from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce states that "Wilson is committed to harnessing New Mexico's Natural Resources." I wonder if that means they are going to ship the power to Phoenix...or are they just lost. Actually this shot looks like it might have been taken right outside of Tucson.

Wherever it was taken, it was a long, long way from New Mexico's 1st Congressional District.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

ABQ Artist R.K. Sloane Dead & Celebrated

NOB HILL--The Artist Ken Saville pulled out a piece of paper. It was from the Oct. 26th Alibi. Ken put the neatly clipped out ad on the kitchen table. R. K. Sloane had died October 20th, and his family had bought an advertisement to commemorate his passing. It was called "Rest 'n' Pieces." I could not find his obituary in the ABQ Journal.

Let me quote the text of the ad:
R.K. Sloane was the most punk rock, keen witted, cigarette smoking, pen & inkin', acrylic & canvas, Teri lovin', Josh teaching, Ben raising, Tom Waits listening, never compromising, living life on his terms, dream pursuing, vodka drinking, Dinty Moore beef stew eating, bad ass mother fuckin' artist...ever.

We love you, we miss you, we'll see ya.

As Tom would say, "nothing sweeter than ridin' the rails." Thanks for sharing your gift with us and leaving us with all the pretty paintings. For everyone who ever thought ugly could be the most beautiful thing.

Teri, Ben & Josh (your loving family)

Sloane's edgy paintings plunge the viewer into a twisted serial drama of deadly clowns and haunting metaphoric images. That is what the family meant by "who ever thought ugly could be the most beautiful thing."

Ken Saville, pushed the piece of paper in front of me. "He loved his family very much," he said. "They were everything to him."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Wilson - Madrid Debate: Impressions from Inside the Auditorium

UNM CONTINUING ED. AUDITORIUM, UNIVERSITY NE--I managed to get a ticket and was inside the auditorium trying to get a little different perspective on this, the last best chance for Heather Wilson to turn the Madrid momentum around. An outstanding performance here might change the dynamics of the election--at least concerning the 9% of likely voters still undecided at this late date.

But the big question here has to be, "How could anybody still be undecided when the differences between the two candidates are so stark?" I think the answer is that they don't really like either one of them. And this debate did little to change that.

Madrid Scored Early, Needed a Closer
It seemed to me that Madrid tired towards the end of the hour. Her pauses were longer and sometimes awkward. Her answers didn't have that ring of certitude and confidence that she had earlier. She misspoke on the final question, leaving the impression that lobbyists paid for access to her. Wilson jumped on this rhetorical blunder and tried to turn it into something major. And I have to say it did give Heather Wilson a big final punch at the end.

Where Madrid scored her points was on a discussion of the issues. More and more of them were strong points for Madrid (Iraq, tax breaks for the rich, the national debt, social security, etc.). Wilson's strongest showing on a substantive issue was in a discussion of a possible base closing. She just seemed to have a better handle on it.

I thought it was interesting that GW Bush seemed to have left Wilson standing out there on her own in terms of defending "staying the course." His retreat on this point has left Wilson with little to say except, "Let's leave it to the commanders in the field" to decide when we should withdraw from Iraq. Madrid's response was devastating: "It is up to the President and Congress" to make those kind of decisions. Indeed it is.

Saddam's Drones of Weaponized Small Pox
Madrid attacked Wilson for backing Bush on going into Iraq with such flimsy evidence concerning WMD. Wilson countered with an amazing statement. She said what really tipped the scales for her was that George Tenet told her there was a 50-50 chance that Saddam had weaponized small pox sitting inside pilotless drone aircraft...and that Iraq was searching for a "route mapping system" to bomb the United States.

She introduced the subject saying that she was unable to tell anyone about this until now. Well, this is certainly the first time I've heard about it. In any case, it appeared to be a desperation move in a game where her accountablitiy is being questioned. As far as the drones are concerned, it seemed like she had literally pulled them out of thin air just for the debate. But in any case, it would not have "tipped the scales" for any kind of thinking person. This nation doesn't need a 4-year war to get rid of those kind of weapons.

The Creepiness Factor
Going beyond the personalities of the candidates, there is something that sticks out and bothers me. I'm not sure I can put my finger on it exactly, but it concerns Heather Wilson.

She seems to vacillate between almost automatic responses and extreme, barely controlled emotions at the oddest moments. She almost cried talking about the Air Force Academy. Yet, most of the time, her tone is somewhat stilted and impersonal, even when attacking Madrid. It is as if everything was rehearsed, but she would just get overcome with emotion on occasion.

Remember she actually did cry on the floor of the House of Representatives concerning Janet Jackson's exposed breast. Also, in many of her TV commercials her voice really does quaver with emotion in an unexpected way. Odd.

What Do I Call Patricia Madrid?
Wilson is still experimenting with how to talk about her opponent. In the first debate she constantly referred to her as "Patsy." Now she mostly calls her "Mrs. Madrid." Once she said Attorney General Madrid. She could have just said, "Patricia Madrid." Madrid refers to Wilson as "Heather Wilson." I wonder where the "Mrs. Madrid" came from. Someone must have thought it was the equivalent of "Mr. Madrid." It is not. But like many things, language eccentricities sometimes call more attention to the speaker's intentions that they might wish.

I thought this issue was one where Wilson could have scored big time and helped to woo back some of her lost support with the hispanic population. She didn't. Instead it was Madrid who took Congress to task for spending a good part of the summer debating the issue and then only coming up with an unfunded 700 mile fence along a 2000 mile border.

The real problem here is what to do with all the Mexicans living here illegally. You can't just say, "No amnesty." That won't solve the problem. They aren't going back. I was suprised when that was all Wilson had to offer. Madrid's position isn't much clearer...but at least she knew that we have a problem that is more complicated than that and offered a way to citizenship for those Mexicans living here.

Something has to be done. And this is not a time when slogans are helpful. We are talking about real families, and some members may be citizens and other members not. And new generations give this issue even more complexity. Why can't the Republicans and Democrats compromise on this? It is not liberal or conservative. It is just the Real World.

How Important Is This Debate?
I bet a lot of people were watching the World Series. Or at least flipping between channels trying to catch some action. MaryAnn said that the debate just gave you reasons to NOT vote for someone. And it is certainly true that the debate was just about as negative as the ads on TV. Also, it didn't define each candidate's issues in any new way: Wilson is still attacking Madrid's character...Madrid is still attacking Wilson's actions in support of the President.

So, although I would have to say the Wilson did indeed finish the night strong, her victory was on more of a "debater's error" rather than anything substantive. And in the final analysis, I think it will be those substantive issues that decide this contest.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Johnny_Mango's Sunday Wallpaper: Jemez Stream

JEMEZ MOUNTAINS--We drove up to the San Antonio Hot Springs on a very rough road. But the time we spent walking along the stream almost made up for it. At least the dog thought so...she was so wet by the end of the hike I thought about putting newspapers in the back of the 4Runner.

This time of year between seasons is my favorite. Just changing locations and altitude brings on fall, winter, or summer. Here MaryAnn and our dog Baby follow a streamside trail near the hot springs.

The Sunday Poem: Tess Gallagher..."Under Stars"

American Life in Poetry: Column 081


Readers of this column during the past year have by now learned how enthusiastic I am about poems describing everyday life. I've tried to show how the ordinary can be made extraordinary through close and transforming observation. Here Tess Gallagher goes to the mailbox to post a letter. We've all done that, haven't we? But notice how closely she pays attention to this simple experience, and how she fits this one moment into the meaning of her life.

Under Stars

The sleep of this night deepens
because I have walked coatless from the house
carrying the white envelope.
All night it will say one name
in its little tin house by the roadside.

I have raised the metal flag
so its shadow under the roadlamp
leaves an imprint on the rain-heavy bushes.
Now I will walk back
thinking of the few lights still on
in the town a mile away.

In the yellowed light of a kitchen
the millworker has finished his coffee,
his wife has laid out the white slices of bread
on the counter. Now while the bed they have left
is still warm, I will think of you, you
who are so far away
you have caused me to look up at the stars.

Tonight they have not moved
from childhood, those games played after dark.
Again I walk into the wet grass
toward the starry voices. Again, I
am the found one, intimate, returned
by all I touch on the way.

"Under Stars" copyright © 1987 by Tess Gallagher. Reprinted from "Amplitude: New & Selected Poems" with the permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Gallagher's most recent book of poetry is "Dear Ghosts: Poems," Graywolf Press, 2006. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Lighten Up! Let's Play "Getting Busy With Heather Wilson"

NOB HILL--Feeling a little stressed out by all this political nastiness? Relax a while! Let's play "Getting Busy With Heather Wilson." Thanks NMSitonacactus.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Lost" Police Incident Report...Is This What Heather Wilson "Lost" 13 Years Ago?

NOB HILL--I do not like this role. But I feel like I am your representative...and you deserve to know what is out there.

I have obtained what appears to be a copy of the Albuquerque Police Incident Report concerning Heather Wilson's husband, attorney Jay Hone. It was sent to me anonymously. This report went missing from the files of both APD and NM HSD soon after Wilson was appointed to head the Human Services Dept. I put up a YouTube video of Wilson being interviewed by Larry Barker about the situation. This video also "went missing" a few days ago and to quote from YouTube, "This video is no longer available."

Basically, the video showed that Heather Wilson had the file containing the police report sent to her Santa Fe office where it disappeared. This was 13 years ago. Today a copy of the report has seemingly resurfaced. I am presenting it here with the caveat that this document was sent to me anonymously and cannot be verified (because the copies on file have disappeared). The officers and therapist, however, could easily be contacted. Also, the items in the report are only allegations. I am publishing the report because of the mystery surrounding its disappearance. I had asked for information and somebody responded. I have blacked out the "victim's" name because he was a minor at the time.

The issue here is her "losing" this report, and then telling Barker that it was "none of your business" where it went. It is her endless character attacks on her opponent that makes this especially relevent. It makes her statement in the last debate that she lives by the code of the Air Force Academy seem like a lie. There are more important issues in this election. But the character of Heather Wilson is also an issue.

I am transcribing the narrative portion of the document as it may be hard to read even after enlarging it.
Upon my arrival I spoke to both Mr. **** and Mr. P. Linderman. I was advised by Mr. Linderman that he is a therapist for Hogares. He was conducting an interview with ****. During the session, **** advised him, last Thursday Jay Hone had taken him to Jay's house. While at the house Jay Hone did touch **** in a way **** thought was sexual.
I spoke to ****. He told me Jay Hone is his lawyer. He has him because he has no parent or guardian. He now lives at a group home. And "Jay looks after my best interests in court," **** said. That night Jay asked him up and went to his house. They had a pizza and a "movie" to watch. There was nobody else in the house. Jay's wife was out of town and his son wasn't home. While they were watching the movie **** said he had to go to the bathroom. Returning back to the livingroom, as he was sitting back down, **** said, Jay "grabbed" or "touched" his butt. He yelled, "Hey", at Jay, "What are you doing?" Jay told him he was just reaching for another slice of Pizza. Afterwards nothing else happened. Jay took him back to the group home.
Mr. **** advised me that Jay Hone does take him to places to eat on a regular basis. Mr. Hone does it to ask how he is doing, as far as getting along with people, Mr. **** said. He also told me since that night there has been no difference in how Jay treats him. "He's still the same." He told me he does not want Mr. Hone arrested and that he just wanted to talk to somebody about it.

I am a little uneasy publishing this. I figure if they have the power to make a YouTube video disappear, they will try to do something to me and this site. I would suggest to anyone interested, enlarge and print the documents above while you have the chance. Truth is important. Public records belong to all of us. Nobody's police report should "go missing" just because it embarrasses somebody important.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Freddy Fender: Dead at 69...Video of "Who Were You Thinkin' Of..." Right Here.

Texas Tornados & Freddy Fender - Who Were You Thinkin' Of

Freddy died today. Although this song is not their most famous, well...never mind.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Johnny_Mango's Sunday Wallpaper: Broke Open Log

SAN ANTONIO HOT SPRINGS, JEMEZ MTS.--Does a tree ever die? Does new life count? Do we and trees share the same mortal fate? And is there beauty in that?

The Sunday Poem: "Elegy for an Old Boxer" by James

American Life in Poetry: Column 080

One of poetry's traditional public services is the presentation of elegies in honor of the dead. Here James McKean remembers a colorful friend and neighbor.

Elegy for an Old Boxer

From my window
I watch the roots of a willow
push your house crooked,
women rummage through boxes,
your sons cart away the TV, its cord
trailing like your useless arms.
Only weeks ago we watched the heavyweights,
and between rounds you pummeled the air,
drank whiskey, admonished "Know your competition!"
You did, Kansas, the '20s
when you measured the town champ
as he danced the same dance over and over:
left foot, right lead, head down,
the move you'd dreamt about for days.
Then right on cue your hay-bale uppercut
compressed his spine. You know. That was that.
Now your mail piles up, RESIDENT circled
"not here." Your lawn goes to seed. Dandelions
burst in the wind. From my window
I see you flat on your back on some canvas,
above you a wrinkled face, its clippy bow tie
bobbing toward ten. There's someone behind you,
resting easy against the ropes,
a last minute substitute on the card you knew
so well, vaguely familiar, taken for granted,
with a sucker punch you don't remember
ever having seen.

Reprinted from "Headlong," University of Utah Press, 1987, by permission of the author. First published in "Prairie Schooner," Vol. 53, No. 3, (Fall 1979). Copyright © 1979 by James McKean, whose latest book is nonfiction, "Home Stand: Growing up in Sports", Michigan State University Press, 2005. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Heather Wilson Lies During Investigation

NOB HILL--Wilson's ads attacking the character of Patricia Madrid lead me to post this video of an old newscast. This must be 8 or 10 years ago.

The relevant issue is "coverup." Not only are there problems with her covering up for GWB, look at her cover for her husband whose file on a child abuse police call disappeared.

This is not the Heather who lives by the Air Force Academy code of honor. This is the Heather that does lie and steal.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

"The World Can't Wait" Demonstration in Albuquerque

About 200 people marched from the corner of University and Central to the Federal Building this morning in a protest over the war in Iraq and the general direction of the Bush regime. Demonstrations are scheduled all over the country. This is what a part of it looked like in Albuquerque. For more info go to:

Through the Darkness and into the Light

We went under the railroad viaduct and into downtown. It was beginning to feel like we were all in this together...whatever the future held.

The Demonstration Winds Its Way Through Downtown

Everyone came dressed for whatever they thought was going to happen. The police came in bullet-proof vests. Simone and I came in tee-shirts. Others came prepared to sound off.

The Horse Police Move into Position

The mounted police arrived to assume their position directly across from the demonstrators and in front of the OLD Federal Building. It did provide a focus for us...and a little exercise for the horses.

This is what democracy looks like...

Finally the end of the march at the Federal Building in downtown Albuquerque. This is what democracy looks like today...we hope our votes will be louder than all the shouting in a month.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Foley - Wilson Connection...I Need Your Help!

NOB HILL--I think we all need to ask a couple of questions in regard to Heather Wilson and Mark Foley. I know it's shoddy, shoddy business to even ask questions. But it is shoddier to not do it.

Foley contributed $100,000 to the Republican Congressional Campaign. Some pundits on TV are asking if that was a payment to keep everything quiet during the election. Heather Wilson got $8,000 from Foley. She was on the committee charged with oversite of the House page program until a couple of years ago. are the questions:
  1. Did Mark Foley give money to other members or former members of the committee?
  2. Why, exactly, did Mark Foley of Florida give money to Heather Wilson?
  3. Why does Heather Wilson get to play Santa Claus to All Faiths, a church, and a couple of other deserving groups with this guy's money. A commentor on the NYT blog said she contributed to Foley's campaign and wanted her money back...not spent by a Congresswoman in New Mexico on her favorite charities.
I don't believe in conspiracies, but these are important questions. If anybody can help with some research or information I'll give them space to publish any legitimate findings. Please help. Thanks.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Johnny_Mango's Sunday Wallpaper: The Last Harvey Girl in New Mexico

BELEN, NM--She moves with the swish of a nurse. Her porcelain face betrays something of a distance from her surroundings. A secular nun, she serves only coffee.

The Sunday Poem: "To be poor and raise skinny children..." Work Shy by Alex Phillips

American Life in Poetry: Column 079


The news coverage of Hurricane Katrina gave America a vivid look at our poor and powerless neighbors. Here Alex Phillips of Massachusetts condenses his observations of our country's underclass into a wise, tough little poem.

Work Shy

To be poor and raise skinny children.
To own nothing but skinny clothing.
Skinny food falls in between cracks.
Friends cannot visit your skinny home.
They cannot fit through the door.
Your skinny thoughts evaporate into
the day or the night that you cannot
see with your tiny eyes.

God sticks you with the smallest pins
and your blood, the red is diluted.
Imagine a tiny hole, the other side
of which is a fat world and how
lost you would feel. Of course,
I'm speaking to myself.
How lost I would feel, and how dangerous.

Reprinted from "Open City," Winter 2005-2006, No. 21, by permission of the poet. Copyright © 2005 by Alex Phillips, whose chapbook "Under a Paper Trellis" is forthcoming from Factory Hollow Press. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.