More Non News On The Village At Rio Rancho

Village at Rio Rancho

I’m still waiting for The Village at Rio Rancho to open. According to the Albuquerque Journal “Unser corridor attracting more business, development“, the area is growing with business. But its not clear what is going on with The Village.

The Village at Rio Rancho, proposed for 65 acres across the street from Rust, remains preliminary, according to Geisel.

“We are excited that the developer is starting to make plans for the next steps in the project,” he added.

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Chicken McNuggets Is Still Not Pink Goo

//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/Ua5PaSqKD6k

Back in 2010 the internet freaked out about a picture of pink goo that was claimed to be mechanically separated chicken. I wrote “Fake Picture Of Mechanically Separated Chicken” where I try to explain how it’s not possible.

McDonalds Canada has released a video “Pink goop in Chicken McNuggets? McDonald’s Canada answers (Super Bowl XLVIII)” (apparently it was a Canadian Superbowl ad) that shows how mechanically separated chicken is used to make Chicken McNuggets.

The offical ingredients list of Chicken McNuggets from the McDonald’s website

Ingredients: White Boneless Chicken, Water, Food Starch-Modified, Salt, Seasoning (Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Salt, Wheat Starch, Natural Flavoring [Botanical Source], Safflower Oil, Dextrose, Citric Acid), Sodium Phosphates, Natural Flavor (Botanical Source). Battered and Breaded with: Water, Enriched Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Yellow Corn Flour, Bleached Wheat Flour, Food Starch-Modified, Salt, Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Lactate), Spices, Wheat Starch, Dextrose, Corn Starch.

What surprises me is the source of the original pink goo picture still has not been identified.

Report From The River Of Lights At The Albuquerque Botanical Gardens

I went to the “River of Lights” at the Albuquerque Botanical Gardens for this first time this year on opening day, Nov 30th 2013. My Mom was in town otherwise I would not have gone.

I still get confused between the Botanical Gardens/Aquarium and the Zoo. I drove to the Zoo (aka BioPark) thinking thats where the event was held and instead found the park and ride to the Botanical Gardens. I then drove to the Botanical Gardens, saw the crazy traffic getting into the park and drove back to the park and ride at the zoo. We then rode a school bus from the zoo to the event.

Body fluid clean up kit by Greg Smith, on Flickr
Body fluid clean up kit by Greg Smith, on Flickr

We arrived at the Botanical Garends near opening and there was a long line to get in but it moved fast.

Long but fast moving line to get into the River of Lights by Greg Smith, on Flickr
Long but fast moving line to get into the River of Lights by Greg Smith, on Flickr

Even with all the displays being (I assume) LED rope lights, I have to wonder how much power the displays consume.

Extension cords to power the lighting displays. by Greg Smith, on Flickr
Extension cords to power the lighting displays. by Greg Smith, on Flickr

In the center of the park there were some carolers singing in a covered area surrounded a large open area. It was dark and leaves covering the ground everywhere. There was some sort of short metal garden barrier near the carolers that my Mom and I tripped over. I informed an “official” with the park that someone is going to trip and break their leg on it.

Carolers singing in the center of the park by Greg Smith, on Flickr
Carolers singing in the center of the park by Greg Smith, on Flickr

Overall there were lots of people, there were lots of we made light display, it was cold. There were expensive alcoholic beverages to be had. My mom compared it favorably to the Phoenix Zoo ZooLights although she thought Albuquerque’s attempt was smaller and more expensive.

Lights all over the River of Lights by Greg Smith, on Flickr
Lights all over the River of Lights by Greg Smith, on Flickr

The Last Pack Trip Into The Pecos Wilderness

On Friday 7 September 2012 4 friends and I rode horses into the Pecos along with 2 pack horses and 1 one guide. We rode about 8 miles up to East Pecos Baldy. The horses were provided by Tererro General Store and Riding Stables at a cost of approximately $1250 (not including tip). The pack horses carried each of our back packs at about 30-40lbs each and 70lbs of food (with an undermined but significant amount of that weight in alcohol). Since the Pecos Wilderness is a Wilderness, no motorized vehicles are allowed.

Tererro General Store Riding Stables
Tererro General Store Riding Stables

The Tererro General Store typically takes hunting parties into the Pecos but we not interested in hunting, just a way to get into the mountain without having to carry 40lbs plus packs 8 miles in. However we were hiking out, all downhill and theoretically with less pack weight. What could go wrong?

Which brings me to the title of the article. Apparently there has been an overall reduction of horse packing business for the Tererro General store and insurance is not only becoming more expensive but harder to get as insurance companies don’t want to cover horse packing. Therefore this will be their last year of providing these trips and they plan to sell off the stables and horses. We weren’t the last trip up for the horses as they had a few more hunting parties going up but we were near to being the last trip.

Horses packed and waiting for riders
Horses packed and waiting for riders

This is the first time I have rode a horse since I went to the Philmont Scout Ranch over 20 years ago. I was a little nervous that the horse I was going to be riding would take one look at me and decide to ignore all my commands. There was nothing to be nervous about. The horses, mine was name Sampson, has been on this trip many time and knew the way better than I did and was used to newbies trying to drive. There was very little for me to do except keep him from running into the other horses when they suddenly stopped and from taking any shortcuts that we might get stuck in (they aren’t all that smart sometimes).

My horse was named Sampson
My horse was named Sampson

We start the trip about 10am New Mexico time and arrived at our destination 8 miles up the mountain about 12:30pm. The 8 mile ride took us through some forest, then to a large clearing with some grazing cattle.

The riding party
The riding party
Cattle with pointy things along the trail
Cattle with pointy things along the trail

We were back in forest when getting to our final destination.

Some fallen trees along the trail
Some fallen trees along the trail
The horses will be happy to get rid of us
The horses will be happy to get rid of us

It mostly rained the whole time so we had to come up with covered communal area where we could sit around the fire and not get soaked. There also wasn’t a lot of firewood, the area had been picked pretty clean. What little firewood we found was wet.

Campsite in the Pecos
Campsite in the Pecos

We spent time exploring the area near East Pecos Baldy. There are supposed to be big horned sheep in the area but all we came across was cattle and a few bow hunters on horseback also looking for sheep.

Pecos Baldy Lake
Pecos Baldy Lake

We were lucky to have a day of no rain where we were able to hike to the top of Ease Pecos Baldy.

Near East Pecos Baldy
Near East Pecos Baldy
The group (except the photographer) on top of Ease Pecos Baldy
The group (except the photographer) on top of Ease Pecos Baldy
People on a nearby peak
People on a nearby peak

Finally, we hiked out on 10 September 2012. While we ate and drank our way through most of our supplies we still managed to have quite a bit of weight on us on our way out. Making us wonder why we didn’t rent horse to take us out.

Hiking out
Hiking out

The enitire photoset can be viewed on the Flickr set “2012-09-07 Pecos Pack Trip“.

Apparently Scorpions Can Get People High

First scorpion of 2013

A Suburra.com article titled “Getting High on Scorpions: The Afghan Drug War” notes from David Macdonald, Drugs in Afghanistan, book:

As an example, Macdonald notes that in Afghanistan even the ubiquitous scorpions can be used for intoxication. Tartars in Bamiyan province prepare scorpions by smashing them between stones and letting them dry. The main part of the tail, with the sting, is then crushed into a powder and smoked with tobacco and/or hashish (marijuana).

A friend of Macdonald’s who witnessed a man smoke scorpion in the Afghan town of Peshawar described the reaction:

The effect was instantaneous with the man’s face and eyes becoming very red, “much more than a hashish smoker” …. He also seemed very intoxicated but awake and alert, although he stumbled and fell over when he tried to rise from a sitting position …. the smoke tasted “sweeter” than that of hashish, although … it smelled foul, and the intoxicating effect lasted much longer. (1, p. 247)

As with most drugs, anecdotal reports of scorpion’s effects vary widely. It is likely that the numerous Afghan scorpion species have divergent psychoactive properties. Scorpion has been reported to keep one awake, cause severe headaches, and rival the effects of a “strong mescaline trip.” (1, p. 248) One Kabul man who had smoked between 20 and 30 times reported the effects to last three days. During these periods he had difficulty opening his eyes, his head spun, and he had constant visual hallucinations.

Two New Mexican's Lost, 1 Killed Between Chandler And Albuquerque

I first read the article on December 6th from azcentral.com “New Mexico couple missing after leaving Chandler” where Dana and Elizabeth Davis went missing driving from Chandler, AZ to Albuquerque, NM along US60. It’s something that caught my attention because I have driven that path many times.

On December 9th the news was not good as azcentral.com com followed up “New Mexico man recounts mountain ordeal that took life of wife“. On their way back they took a side trip to a “wildlife refuge near Socorro, N.M” which I assume is the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and in the process got lost and ended up on a forest road in a snow storm and got stuck. They were trapped for 5 days and eventually decided to walk out but Elizabeth didn’t survive the walk out.

Master Bedroom Remodel: It's Almost Complete

Its hard to belive that I can call a project complete, but I’m getting so close to the Master Bedroom project being complete.

Last month I hired someone to finish the drywall in both the bedroom and bathroom (along with a hallway issue). They taped and cleaned up the parts where the new and old dry comes together then textured them.

Master bedroom needs a closet door

Since then I have painted, put in a new door and installed the closet hardware. The only thing left is to put in trim, all the outlet covers and a closet door. Those will be completed once I decide exactly what I want.