Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sunday Stills (10-31-10 Halloween)

This was Halloween last year.

This year, we dressed up for work and had a fun day. Five of us, in costume, went out for lunch at Olive Garden. You should have seen the heads turning! 
This Jack-o-Lantern looks mighty tasty!

Halloween sure brings out the wild side in some people. Rowl.

Can you believe the people I work with?
The purple twins.
I even got to see Aladdin Sane (David Bowie) with some wild Jareth of Labyrinth hair. ;)
Here's Marilyn Monroe puckering up

and another model for Aladdin Sane.
Then I got a wild hair or two...(practicing for tomorrow, I guess.)
Gosh, Halloween's not over yet and I've already dressed up twice!!

For more Sunday Stills, please check here.

Oh yeah, 


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Innocent and wild

Several weeks ago the 12,000+ acre Ortiz Mountain Ranch, AKA the Ball Ranch was to be purchased by the NM Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department for $2.9 million from Gov. Bill Richardson's discretionary portion of the federal stimulus funds. A portion of the ranch was to be set aside as a wild horse sanctuary. Both our gubernatorial candidates, Diane Denish and Susana Martinez oppose using the federal stimulus funds for the purchase. The purchase was scheduled to go before the eight member NM  Board of Finance in October but has been tabled until the next board meeting on November 16. Richardson is president and Denish is a member of the board.

There is both strong dissension against and support for the land purchase. Some claim it will boost the economy of the small villages along the "Turquoise Trail" as a tourist draw with the wild horses nearby. Others believe we should be spending the money where it's needed more, on schools, for example.

Many believe the wild horse sanctuary will bring long-term jobs, at least a half-dozen state jobs and possibly more tourism-related employment, which is what Congress wanted the Stimulus funds used for. An economic survey estimates the sanctuary will bring an additional 30,000 visitors to the area and $3.3 million in additional business each year.

Since 1971, the BLM has managed the wild horses and burros on national forest lands with a federal budget of about $64 million a year. However, there are problems. Ranchers don't like the Mustangs because they have to share the range with their cattle. Wild horse herds can grow quickly. As a result, the BLM removes about 10,000 horses a year from the open range. Many of these are adopted out but still more live in holding pens for the rest of their lives because they are older or not adoptable.

Continuing care for these horses has caused the BLM to solicit nonprofit groups and government agencies. New Mexico officials submitted the proposal for a sanctuary for a small herd of horses and a center where the Mustangs could be trained and adopted out. If this center could adopt out 100 horses a year it would be very helpful. This combination Sanctuary and Adoption center on state land would be the first of its kind. If the state does purchase the land, the BLM will assist with the adoption center and providing the horses, and a nonprofit organization would raise funds for operating the sanctuary.

This area is very close to my house. Just last weekend, I drove past the Ranch lands on my way to a horse clinic in Santa Fe. I would so love to see a herd of Mustangs living freely out there. Maybe some of the horses from Disappointment Valley can be relocated here. We can only hope this purchase happens as planned...

See full story here

Innocent and Wild - song: Move On, artist: David Bowie, album: Lodger

Bowie video day (The Elephant Man)

Born in 1862, Joseph Merrick was known as the Elephant Man. He said that when his mother was pregnant she was knocked over by an elephant at the circus, thus causing his condition. He willingly put himself on display as  a medical oddity and only lived to the age of 27, when he died of asphyxiation  in his sleep.

"He often said to me that he wished he could lie down to sleep 'like other people' ... he must, with some determination, have made the experiment ... Thus it came about that his death was due to the desire that had dominated his life—the pathetic but hopeless desire to be 'like other people'."Frederick Treves 

His tragic life has been much documented in plays and movies. David Bowie took up the role in 1980 and refused to wear make up or props when he played him in the show. Rather, he contorted his face and body to make it appear distorted, believing that he could better portray the sensitive man inside the grotesque form.

Here is what Joseph Merrick's skeleton looked like.

Here is an interview with footage from the Broadway play. I remember when he was playing in Denver. I really wanted to go but didn't. I've regretted it ever since.

'Tis true my form is something odd,
But blaming me is blaming God;
Could I create myself anew
I would not fail in pleasing you.

If I could reach from pole to pole
Or grasp the ocean with a span,
I would be measured by the soul;
The mind's the standard of the man.
—poem used by Joseph Merrick to end his letters

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

going round and round

I moved the round pen panels closer to the house so that the horses could eat a big patch of weeds and I put all the horses in there together. I decided Yalla! needed some "alone" time so I just put her in there alone this time. 

Normally, she is a very vocal horse, neighing at me and the other horses all the time, so I expected her to go wild, screaming her head off. She never said a word! She would run a lap or two, bucking, and then settle down to graze. Then a few minutes later, she'd do it again. But she never called out to the others who were loudly voicing their dismay at being separated. The round pen is very near our driveway now and the boys were working on cars and other garage stuff so they had air compressors and all kinds of things making sudden loud noises. I thought it was great conditioning for her. She took it all in stride. There was a bucket of water in there so I left her for a few hours while I drove to the store. When I came back she seemed even more settled. She was so good natured about the whole separation that I decided to take her for a walk before I took her back to the barn. We walked all around the neighborhood. She had a high head and was slightly nervous but very well behaved over all. I have the long walks to the pasture this past summer to be thankful for. Then I put her back with the others who were VERY glad to see her. Funny, when she and Annie were in the stall together waiting for me to feed them, Annie gave a real deep nicker to Yalla! and lifted her hind leg at her, threatening to kick her, kind of like, "don't you ever go and leave us like that!" Poor Yalla!, as if she had a choice!

Next day, I rode Annie with only the bareback pad and a bridle around the neighborhood and the back forty. I have a nice area behind my neighborhood with a large field and trees and two side roads so I can figure 8 the roads and reride the area without really backtracking. Annie was very nervous. Sandy came along and darted in and out of the bushes, having great fun. After one loop, I decided to ride in the round pen with her for a while, trotting some of the nervousness out. Then I had my son bring Sandy into the house because I could tell she was getting bored watching us go around and round. After a half an hour or so if walking and trotting with no reins (I played airplane) I decided to walk her out back again. She did 100% better. She dropped her head and really enjoyed the ride, looking around with interest instead of fear. I put her away and then I took Yalla! for another walk, all the way to the back this time. I wondered how nervous she would be so far away from home. Nothing. We got to the far back field where the horses sometimes get nervous and she just wanted to drop her head and graze on the luscious grass. Meanwhile, the horses are calling to her from the barn. On Annie's ride, Yalla! and Scout were calling out and Annie was neighing back once in a while. I scolded her each time but it didn't seem to make any difference.

Then, on Tuesday night, I had a meeting to go to. Afterwards, driving home around 9:00, the sky was so bright from the moon that I decided to ride. (I think that my having two cups of coffee at the meeting contributed to my restless mood too.) I hurried out to the barn and bridled up Scout. I climbed on his back using the pipe rail fence and we rode around the neighborhood bareback. He was amazingly calm! I rode around the round pen with him for a while too, walking and trotting, and then we rode back out. All the way out, to the side roads. The night was so bright I could have read a book. I love riding at night! In spite of the others calling to him from the barn he stayed calm and relaxed during our whole ride, never making a sound. There is a long strip of grass near the big pasture and the side road that we cantered down. It was heaven. I think we rode around for a good hour or more.

Going round and round - song: Always Crashing in the Same Car, artist: David Bowie, album: Low

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Disappointment Valley

I've been catching a couple of films a night at the Duke City Documentary Festival.

Wednesday night I saw Genetic Chile about genetically modified seeds and the related issues. With the exception of the United States, almost all countries worldwide do not allow GMOs (genetically modified organisms) We don't even know what harmful side effects can happen. Monsanto is the primary supplier, actually the sole, think monopoly, provider of these seeds. New Mexico State University has a huge program researching the production of GM seeds. Foods are not required to be labelled so unless we specifically buy organic we don't know what we are eating. There are issues of seed drift and cross pollination contaminating the organic crops so it is predicted that in the not-to-distant future we will only have GM plants. SCARY!!!

I also watched Lost Angels about LA's homeless people on Skid Row. Many people are there for all different reasons: mental illness, drug abuse, loss of jobs, preference. Yes, some people choose to live there. They don't want a roof over their heads. There was a huge "clean up" where the police arrested thousands but they really need more support services.  If you take them off the streets where do they go? Many mental institutions closed down in the eighties. It can cost $60,000 to imprison someone but only $6000 to feed and shelter them. The problem is that the low cost housing is being eaten up by high dollar condominiums.

Thursday night I watched Erasing David. This was a great film about a guy in England who wanted to see if he could disappear off the radar of today's society for 30 days. There are hundreds of databases and cameras recording everything about a person all the time. He asked for Amazon's file on him and received a 1/2 inch thick stack of papers telling him lists of all kinds of things, like everybody he's ever sent presents to. By the second week he was extremely paranoid, realizing that the only way to disappear is to hide in the woods. There is no way to function in society without revealing personal information. Every site visited on the internet, every transaction performed anywhere is recorded, hopefully for legitimate use. Identity theft is a huge problem nowadays.

Then I watched Flamenco School. The University of New Mexico has a huge program on flamenco dancing,     The National Institute of Flamenco. It was very interesting to learn all about this beautiful dance form and to find out that this film was made locally was a big plus.

On Friday I managed to go see Disappointment Valley. This documentary film documents the struggle of the West's legendary wild horses. The film focuses on the stallion named ‘Traveler’ and the activism to release him to the wild after the roundup. Wild horses have long symbolized freedom, individualism and the free spirit of America. The documentary delves into the reasons behind the roundups and current impacts on western public lands by oil, gas, mining and corporate cattle grazing. From the website: TheAmericanWildHorse.comDisappointment Valley Poster

It was an emotional film including footage from helicopter roundups, holding pens, and slaughter houses. I signed a letter to our Congressmen which will be hand delivered next week by Pony Express. They will be riding their Mustangs with a bag of letters to show the public's interest in preserving America's heritage, the Mustang.

I was surprised to see how healthy the Mustangs are in the wild, fat and alert, with glossy coats and healthy hooves. It's when they are put in the BLM holding pens that they get scarred up and skinny. Once they did a round up of 39 horses and then forgot about them. All the horses died of dehydration.

It's our tax dollars, hundreds of thousands, that are being spent to decimate the wild herds in favor of mining and cattle grazing on preserved lands. We, the American people, need to stop it.

From the American Wild Horse website:

Fight for the rights of the wild horse in America:
The American people need to call:
The Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar (202-208-3100)
Director of the Bureau of Land Management Bob Abbey (202-208-3801)
Please phone President Obama and demand a moritorium be placed on all round up and removals of America's Wild Horses and Burros. (202) 456-1111

Thank you very much for your time and concern

Sunday Stills (10-17-10 Cars)

This week's Sunday Stills challenge is cars.
Sometimes my house looks more like a parking lot than a driveway. It's called having 5 drivers in the house.
This is what can happen if you're not careful while driving.
And this is when you can't drive, engine problems.
Here's my Lola, my FX45, my baby.
I just love this photo from my archives!!!
For more Sunday Stills, please check here.

Sunday - song: Sunday, artist: David Bowie, album: Heathen

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Arabian Silk: Horses of Endurance

Yesterday, I found out that this week is the 1st annual Duke City Documentary Film Festival. From last Sunday through this Friday, there will be films all day long at four theaters downtown. I managed to go to my first film on Tuesday night, Arabian Silk: Horses of Endurance. 

The film was showing at 5:30 at a coffee shop called Village Roaster. I googled it and proceeded to the address listed, directly from work. Alas, there was no coffee shop at that address! I called my son and he went on the internet but couldn't find any alternate address so I decided to go to the KiMo Theater where some of the films were being shown. After driving around the block twice looking for a parking space, I finally managed to find a parallel parking space on the street across from the theater. As I turned off the engine, I noticed that the building I was parked in front of was the Village Roaster! I went in to a tiny little coffee shop and then down the hallway into a large meeting room with a big screen TV set up playing the movie. It was very dark as I tried to find an empty seat and it was too bad that I had come in late because as I sat down, they were talking about a horse and rider falling off the trail during the Tevis Cup ride??

The movie was primarily about Roger DeSoi (De-swa), an Arabian horse, and his owner, Jerry Zebrak as they competed in the Virginia City 100 mile endurance race. The film said that this is the only race where the riders begin at a saloon and at a cemetery. Jerry had bred several endurance Arabians and they all carried the surname of DeSoi which means silk, Armanda DeSoi, Atina DeSoi, etc., since he acquired his first mare by that name. With all his official rides, Jerry has covered something like 30,000 miles~and much, much more if you consider the practice miles! 

Endurance riding is the fastest growing equestrian sport in the world and is currently held in 53 countries. The film also concentrated on a Japanese race that Atina raced in. It must have been very hard to set out a 100 mile course on 60+ acres of land. The competitors wore GPS units to track their paths because they had to backtrack and zigzag so much. They went up and down the one mountain four different times! It was amazing for me to think about Endurance Riding in Japan!

The film talked about the Arabian horse as the predominant breed of choice for endurance riding. It is said that Allah created the horse from the four winds: spirit from the north, strength from the south, speed from the east, and intelligence from the west. Allah gave horses flight without wings. The film covered the beginnings of endurance racing in the 60s and even discussed the Pony Express riders of the old west. Also, did you know that one of the requirements of calvary horses was to cover 60 miles a day for 6 days in a row? I didn't, until last night.

There were humorous parts, painful parts, failures, and accomplishments. The motto of the endurance rider is "To Finish is to Win". An interesting part was where they talk about how they continue to ride far into the night to finish the 100 miles within 24 hours. One of the riders mentioned how hard it is to ride in total darkness, dependent solely on the horse. She mentioned that riders sometimes get vertigo and should practice. I can relate. I have ridden in the dark and I do get vertigo. It's a very strange sensation to experience forward motion beyond your control and, at the same time, not be able to see where you are going.

I met Christine Lazzarini, director, after the movie and complemented her on her fantastic documentary about endurance riding. I was amazed when she said that she knew nothing about horses before this film because she made a great film. It is both educational and entertaining and I could tell it was well received by both horsey and non-horsey folks. 

She said that the DVD is available for purchase at her website and I promised her I would do my best to spread the word. Here are some trailers of the film.

Bowie video day (The Lord's Prayer)

This is for Lytha and her Man in Germany
(ok my man just showed me the live taping of annie lennox and david bowie performing together...
now my man is telling me that bowie did the lord's prayer on that tribute concert...!!!
what a night of learning for me.

thanks for your post!) 

Her comment is in response to my Under Pressure post.
A landmark event in rock and roll history, Bowie was slammed by critics for being too sensational. I, however, don't see it as a publicity stunt, he is, after all, a very spontaneous and, although not religious, spiritual person. He studied for years to become a Buddhist monk before he ever went into music.

The Lord's Prayer recited by David Bowie during the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Anky goes western!

I didn't realize that the 3 time Olympic Gold medal winner and top of the world FEI  Dressage Freestyle champion picked up a "hobby" of reining. Here she is performing at the 2010 FEI games.

Here she is at the 2006 WEG finals performing her winning ride.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm crazy, really lazy, a rollin', funky strolling, all playing

My camera has been acting strange the last few days. When I turn it on it goes to a black screen. Then it won't turn off. I can't do anything with it. Sometimes it says it needs formatting. I stopped by a camera shop after work but the shop had already closed. I planned on stopping by in the morning to see what they said about it. However, I noticed that when I put the SDHC card into my work computer to load a screen saver picture it seemed to scrape and then I noticed marks in the copper strips so I began wondering if maybe the card was bad. SO I stopped by Best Buy to purchase a new one. Along the way over to the accessories, I looked at the cameras. Wow, a Fujifilm camera with 14 megapixels and 18x optical zoom for $199.99! A Nikon 10 megapixels and 26x optical zoom for $379.00. Amazing!  And way more money than the $16.99 4GB memory disk I went in to buy. So I bought the new card and tried it in my camera. Voila! it is working again!! When I got home, I decided to run the horses and try out my "new" camera. Here's the results.

First, a roll!

Here's Scout

Nadia is finished rolling and getting up. 

Scout takes off

while Yalla! watches.
Nadia runs over to Annie
Annie takes off running

 and the others say, "what?"

Here's mother and daughter. It looks like Yalla! is growing up.

I'm crazy, really lazy, a rollin', funky strolling, all playing - song: Chilly Down, artist: David Bowie, album: Labyrinth