Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fire Update

They didn't evacuate as the winds are blowing the fire away from them. Of course that means the winds are blowing the fire toward someone else. And winds shift. But for now, situation is better than it was.
Thanks to all who expressed concern.

Monday, June 27, 2011


My Aunt Marcie and Uncle Jerry live at Cochiti Lake outside Santa Fe. There is a large wildfire very near by, the same one threatening Los Alamos National Lab. They've named it the Las Conchas fire. It's burned 43,000 acres in 14 hours. Pretty serious fire. They are on notice for "voluntary evacuation" but are still at their home.

She's sent out an email saying that packing for evacuation and thinking about the potential losses is making her evaluate what is important to her. Right now her choice is her collection of original artwork. It is a pretty amazing collection. I hope she can get it packed and stored...or better yet, the fire goes away and everyone gets to stay home and be fine.

Natural disasters suck.

Below is a map of the fire area, the red hashed blobs, from a satellite image of heat sources at 3:55am today. You can see Chochiti Lake is pretty close. The yellow circled "Cerro Grande" fire happened in 2000 and is just there for reference. I got this from

I guess if people lose things in a natural disaster that is "involuntary simplicity."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

By Popular Demand...The Canjo

Ok, "popular" here is defined as 1 comment.
Here is a link to a very very very short article on the canjo (cheese-can banjo played in the Potlatch community band concert reviewed a couple of entries back)

and a video of the dude playing one of his canjos (he does indeed sell them)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Damn the Torpedoes...I mean pops

OK, so I don't drink much pop/soda anymore. But still, if I've got stress-gut I like some gingerale and have become quite the connoisseur of high end gingerales.

And now this:
and this:

SO not fair. I've suspected the flavor-shift for quite a while. When I was heavy into the diet cokes fruit and veg did not taste that great. I wasn't much of a fruit/veg cook at the time either and always hoped that was the problem. When I got off the pop, veggies tasted better.

I can only pray that they don't discover that peanut butter cups have the same effect.

OK...OBVIOUSLY they do have the same effect but you have to have SOME joy in life. I'm sure the tightness of my pants has NOTHING to do with increased peanut butter cup consumption. I must have accidentally washed everything I own in hot and put it in the dryer. Of course I have to manually turn on the water one spigot at a time when I do laundry and I don't own a dryer so I admit that the odds of my tight pants being some sort of laundry accident is pretty low.

Back to my honey-vinegar soft drinks and frozen fruit smoothie treats.
But first I better eat up the rest of those peanut butter cups...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

And the Band Played On...

So, last night I was invited to hear a friend's band play. Only this wasn't like a rock band or a garage band. It is the Potlatch Community Band. It was great! I had to force myself not to put on jammy-pants the minute I got home because if I do that, I don't leave the house again. I kept the real pants on...and the foundation garments.

The concert was in Potlatch, ID (just down the road from here) (don't bother asking which road. There aren't that many.). I got there early because I'm me. I got to listen to the last bits getting rehearsed. I must say, it's quite the mixed group. Trumpets, clarinets, flutes, baritone, french horn, saxophones, trombones, tuba, piano, vibes, drums and an electric guitar. Also featured during the concert was a very cool hand made cheese can banjo. It was constructed by a guy who tunes pianos and builds instruments and sings. He was a hoot. The cheese can is from "Cougar Cheese" made and sold by the WSU dairy. The lines are fishing line. I believe I heard him say that he wanted to make something sturdy enough that kids couldn't bust it, but then it sounded pretty cool. He also played clarinet in the main band, soussaphone in the brass quintet, and dulcimer. Sally (hi Sally!) was featured on vibraphone and piano which meant she had to cross the room several times since her instruments were at opposite ends of the altar (it was in a church). She was like both the angel and the devil sitting on the shoulders of the band.

They said they'd been practicing since after Christmas and this was their first concert. It sounded great and everyone had a lovely time. There was quite a good audience! No empty pews. The kids who were gathered in the basement came up for about 1/2 the concert. Snacks were available after the festivities, but I listened to Sally jam on the cheese-can banjo (chanjo? Cheecanjo? Chukulele?) instead.

I think it counts as frugal AND simple since the band is all volunteers, there was no charge, and some of the instruments were handmade (beautifully handmade).

Can't wait for the next concert. Maybe Plummer should have a band. Maybe the Potlatch community band could play the next Plummer Market Event. We'll see.