Saturday, August 29, 2009


Well, today has pretty much been a giant waste. I have a ton of things I really want to get done, now that I'm back from my brief travels and still have some time off. But, gah... I feel well enough that I want to be up and doing things, but unwell enough that I don't want to get up and do things. A subtle distinction, but a crucial one.

Sigh. Well, at least I'm getting some reading done. That counts as an accomplishment, right? Considering that the To-Read Pile is currently sitting at 430 volumes...

What I Did On My Vacation (Part 2: Pictures)

As promised, some pictures of My Colorado (and a Bit of New Mexico) Vacation.

Here's the Gila cliff dwellings. Or at least, the cliff. Though if you look closely -- try clicking on the picture for a bigger version -- you can see the structures inside the cave. My apologies for not getting any close-up pics.

Here are a couple of cool rock formations in the Garden of the Gods park:

And several pictures from Pike's Peak. Here's the train at the top of the mountain:

A couple of views from the summit (which is less impressive in photographs than it is in person):

And, oh, look, it's me:

Friday, August 28, 2009

In Other News...

I think someone in Colorado gave me a cold. The nose is a bit snotty, and the throat is distinctly sore.

Stupid Coloradans.

What I Did On My Vacation (Part 1: Text)

I am now back from my travels, although still very tired and a bit behind on things, and Mom has been dispatched on her way home. (She wasn't sure whether she was going to be leaving today or tomorrow, but decided she really wanted to start back so she'd have time to rest up and take care of some things before having to go back to work.)

We basically did two trips. The first was a day trip to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Mom picked this out as a spot she wanted to visit because it was a part of New Mexico she hadn't been to yet and she thought it looked interesting. Poor Mom; she got a bit of a shock when she realized just how mountainous and remote it was and just how many miles of very, very twisty mountain roads she was going to have to drive on. (Sorry, Mom! I thought you knew! Oops.) Harrowing as it may have been, though, it was still a gorgeous drive. We saw quite a few mule deer, both on the way out and the way back.

The cliff dwellings are well worth a visit, too. (I'd spent some time in the area back in college, camping and hiking, but never had gotten around to visiting the ruins, so was kind of glad to correct the oversight.) It's the remains of a fairly elaborate structure that was built into a high mountain cave about 700 years ago by a group of a few dozen Mogollon people. They were only there about thirty years, though, before a major drought forced them to relocate. Poor bastards. That must have been a lot of work for a home that turned out not to be permanent after all.

Anyway, that was Monday. Tuesday, we headed off on the second and main part of our trip. Originally this was going to be a much longer and more ambitious vacation. My sister was intending to join us, and we were going to take a full week or a bit longer and drive around Colorado and Utah, and I'm not sure where else. But my sister ended up having less vacation time than she'd expected and bowed out, Mom realized she needed to go somewhere else with someone else the week we'd originally planned on taking, and with one thing and another our road tour of the Southwest's national parks turned into a plan that, basically, consisted of "Well, let's just drive north!"

Now, a comfortable day's drive north from here takes you to Colorado Springs, which features a number of interesting attractions, so that's where we went. (For the fannish types in the audience: I kept my eyes open for off-duty Stargate personnel and/or aliens while we were there, but if there were any about, they were well disguised.) We got into Colorado Springs Tuesday evening, despite the best attempts of a truly apocalyptic rainstorm to kill us just before we got there. (Between that and the Winding Roads of Doom, I'm sure my mother is so glad she volunteered to drive. Heh.) We then found a restaurant featuring what I can quite confidently state must be the most transcendently delicious cornbread in the entire known universe. In fact, it was so good we had to go back the next day and have more of it. Mmmmmm.

Wednesday, we visited The Cave of the Winds. This is a smallish cave system, at least by Carlsbad Caverns standards, but it was interesting and the tour was fun. I never get tired of caves. I just find something wonderfully pleasant about the kind of cool, damp, dark atmosphere you get in caves. (So naturally, I live in the desert.) We then went to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, which were a bit disappointing in their tourist trappiness after the Gila, but kind of fun to crawl around in. Then we drove around the Garden of the Gods park, which features some amazing rock formations, and had a nice little picnic. After which, unfortunately, Mom was feeling pretty tired, so we called it an early day.

Thursday, we took a ride on a cog train up Pike's Peak, which is a trip well worth making. It's about a three hour round trip, counting an hour's stop at the top of the mountain. Very pleasant ride, with some interesting commentary on the way up about the scenery and the history of the area and of the railroad. We were lucky enough to be sitting in the front row, too, so we got a great view out the front window. And, needless to say, the views from the 14,000-foot summit were spectacular.

And then, since it was still early enough to make the drive and get back here at a semi-reasonable hour, we got on the road again and were back in Socorro by about 10 PM.

I'm not sure whether that quite qualifies as a road trip or not, but it was a nice little mini-vacation. And since I took this weekend off, I'm not actually scheduled to go back into work until next Thursday, which is awesome.

And, yes, there will be pictures, after I bother getting them off my camera.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


So, my mother is coming into town sometime tonight, and we're going to spend a few days, I dunno, driving places and doing stuff. Meaning I'll probably mostly be offline for a while. Given my posting frequency of late, I doubt anyone will notice a difference, but if you send me any e-mail, say, in the next week or so and don't get a reply, it doesn't mean I'm ignoring you. Of course, for all you know I may be, but you shouldn't assume anything.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


On the way home from Rifftrax in Albuquerque the other night, we passed what looked like every cop car in Belen clustered along I-25, but we couldn't see anything going on. One of the people in the car with me said it looked like a train was stopped, though. (Being as supremely unobservant as I am, I never saw it.)

Well, I just thought to check up on on it. Turns out it was the aftermath of this bizarre, but luckily non-fatal accident.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Even Though Albuquerque Is a 9 PM Town

Just got back from seeing Plan Nine from Outer Space with live snarktastic commentary from Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett, formerly of Mystery Science Theater 3000, now of the eerily similar but more internetty RiffTrax. (They were broadcasting from somewhere in Tennessee to theaters across the US, including, amazingly, Albuquerque.)

And it was hi-larious. Actually, I'd forgotten just how hilarious Plan 9 is all by itself; when they start "explaining" the mysterious nature of light rays I cannot help cracking up. And when these guys are on top of their game, they really bring the funny, transforming the merely absurd into the comically sublime. Or something like that... Anyway, it was immense fun.

I also ate a bunch of ribs, and accompanied some friends on geeky shopping trips instead of staying home for a few extra hours and cleaning my house. So, pretty much a good day all around.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

See, I'm Still Not Dead. At Least, Not Until The Zombie Apocalypse. But While We Wait For That, Have Some More Random Links.

The "Doctor Who" Theme: Various versions of the Who theme, as found on YouTube. What's really scary is how many of these I have sitting on my iPod. Not to mention how many versions I have on my iPod that aren't here.

Futurama cast members ink new deal with Fox: First it was announced that Futurama would be back on television, and there was much rejoicing. Then it was put about that the voices would probably be recast, and there was much lamentation. Well, good news, everyone! Looks like the original cast is in after all! Whew. That's gonna save me a lot of time in the angry dome.

Inspired by Trek: Cool little blog post about NASA’s first African-American flight director honoring his Trekkish role model, Captain Ben Sisko.

When Zombies Attack!: Mathematical Modeling of an Outbreak of Zombie Infection (PDF): Mathematical predictions of the possible outcomes of a full-scale zombie apocalypse. Alas, the equations are not comforting...

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Yes, It's This Again.

Current clothes: Gray sweatpants. A t-shirt from White Sands National Monument, which I'm sure I've described here in the past. White socks. Black sneakers.

Current mood: Not bad. Relaxed and lazy. Kind of hungry.

Current music: I think the last thing I listened to might have been part of The Who: The Ultimate Collection.

Current annoyance: Oh, all the usual things. Various minor physical complaints. The fact that my cats are capable of some very creative destructiveness. Not being able to spend 24 hours a day reading, meaning that I will never, ever catch up.

Current thing: Too lazy to have one right now.

Current desktop picture: This extremely cool picture of an erupting volcano.

Current book: Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark by Andrew Hunt. It's one of the Doctor Who New Adventures, although perhaps we ought to be calling them the Not-So-New Adventures now, as this particular book is from seventeen years and three Doctors ago. It's also very boring, which is a sad thing for a Doctor Who story.

Current song in head: It appears to be the theme song to The Banana Splits, which wormed its way into my brain while I was very young, and now pops up every so often at random just to confuse me.

Current DVD in player: One of the discs from The Avengers complete Emma Peel megaset. I'm currently on the last few episodes of the '66 season, which was the last to be filmed in black & white. And I am enjoying it immensely. Ah, Steed and Peel! Sexy, stylish, playful. Not to mention capable of taking the most brain-breaking weirdnesses in stride and of kicking large quantities of ass while armed only with Steed's umbrella and Emma's lethal bod. Coolest. Crime fighters. Ever.

Current refreshment: Nothing, but I'm really going to need some lunch soon.

Current worry: I refuse to worry about anything today. It's my weekend, and I'm going to spend it being blissfully worry-free.

Current thought: Foooooood. Must have fooooooood.

Monday, August 03, 2009

My Life According to Farscape

This is an entertaining meme, and I was encouraged to post my answers to it here, so...

Using only EPISODE names from ONE SCI FI TV SHOW, cleverly answer these questions.

Are you a male or a female?
PK Tech Girl

Describe yourself:
I, E.T.

How do you feel:
Mental as Anything

Describe where you currently live:
Terra Firma

If you could go anywhere where would you go?
...Different Destinations

Your favorite form of transportation:
Through the Looking Glass

Your best friend is:
Out of Their Minds

What’s the weather like:

Favorite time of day:
Bad Timing

If your life was a TV show, it would be called:
The Way We Weren't

What is life to you:
A Constellation of Doubt

Your fear:
Season of Death

What is the best advice you have to give:
Dream a Little Dream

Thought for the Day:
Crackers Don't Matter

How I would like to die:
What Was Lost: Resurrection

My soul’s present condition:
Losing Time

My motto:
Thank God It's Friday... Again

There. I don't know how clever it was, but it's quite fun to do with Farscape, which has some of the most entertaining titles ever. (I didn't even get to use some of the best ones.) As usual with these things, I refuse to tag anyone. Do it if it amuses you. And, heck, feel free to use non-SF shows if you like.