Happy Birthday To Someone Not Me

I got two emails to my gmail account wishing me a birthday. From people I don’t know. For a birthdate long passed.

Greg: Hope you are having a great bday. I am guessing the weather is a little warmer for you-it is freezing here with it only to get colder in the next 24 hours!!! We are leaving on Fri. for Breckenridge-all of us are going sking this year-we are going to try Anna in ski school and i am actually going to try to ski-it has been 15 years since i’ve skied so say many many prayers that i come home in one piece. your brother is so excited-i think he likes winter sports much more than i do!!!! the kids are doing well-sam is playing bball and so is emma-if you want a good laugh one of her games is the ticket. she is having fun trying!!! max and anna are keeping me company-as usual. would love to hear from you and hear how its going. we are thinking of you. Brian and Angie

And this one

Greg,

Just wanted you to know that we are thinking about you on your 30th birthday! Wow! Where have the years gone?
HAPPY, HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY!!!!! (a day early)

Love,
The Fickels

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Ugly Balloon Crash In Rio Rancho

balloon_fata5

Every year during the Balloon Fiesta there will no doubt be a balloon crashing into something, usually power-lines. This year there was a spectacular crash when the “Wings of Wind” basket caught fire after running into power lines. One of the two passengers died and the pilot was badly injured. The incident occurred about 3 miles from my house at the intersection of NM 528 and NM 550.

During 2007’s Balloon Fiesta, a woman fell out of a balloon and died later in the hospital.

It seems some years the Balloon Fiesta goes on without a hitch, other years it just kinda ugly. The balloons are always at the whim of the weather and in fall the only thing you can predict is it will be windy.

Pecos Hiking Trip

Last weekend I went on an overnight hike with two friends to the Pecos. Pecos is located east of Santa Fe, about 2 hours away from Albuquerque. Actually, the hike itself was to the Hamilton Mesa which is north of Pecos.

The original plan was to hike 7 miles in but when we were 2.5 miles in and found some good campsite, why keep hiking? During the day the weather was perfect and in the middle of the night it was piss-ass cold. A good sleeping bag helps with that.

This was an opportunity for me to get geotagging down with my SG-289 data logger and and to take some HDR photographs. The geotagging didn’t work out because the stupid SG-289 didn’t record more than a few dozen points. I swear I read 609 points on it at one time.

HDR photography was much more successfully. I took nearly every picture with auto bracketing on and about a quarter of the landscape photos made good HDR. The two problems with the pictures were moving objects such as wind blowing trees around and most of the photos were taken free hand without a tripod. Photomatix Pro did a pretty good job of aligning images but it can’t do much about the moving objects, at least in this case.

You can view all the pictures in my Flickr set: Sept 2008 Pecos Hike. Note that pictures of people have privacy set so you have to be a friend or family to view them.

Here’s an example of a non HDR and a HDR photo.

IMG_0716IMG_0716_7_8_HDR

Garden Hose Quick-Connect Connectors

Camco hose quick connectors

Back in October of 2007, Cool Tools recomended Melnor Quick Connects for garden hoses. The quick connects are similar to quick connects used on air tools. I am a big fan of these quick connectors and I use them on all my hoses. The only problem with the ones recommended by Cool Tools is that they are plastic.

There’s a number of problems with the plastic connectors for which I don’t recommend them. If you leave them outdoors all year round they get brittle and they don’t take a lot of abuse like when your dragging your hose across the cement. Instead I recommend the brass connectors such as the ones made by Camco.

Another issue with these things is they tend to get dirt in them and expand and contract with the weather. Sometimes you have to bang on them to get them to move again, try doing that with a plastic part.

April Snow Shower

What a better way to start spring in New Mexico than with a snow storm. It’s actually coming down pretty good right now. It’s not sticking though, and it’s barley making the ground wet.

Talk about bizarre weather.

Sprinkler Project Update

IMG_7495.JPGRemember that sprinkler project I took a while back, back in March as a matter of fact. I had planned to only take a few weeks to complete it. Here it is 4 months later and it’s still not done.

I did make some progress. I have the valve box installed, vaves installed and one of the two lines hooked up. All I need to do is install the 2nd line and leak test and I can burry everything.

OK, so I admit that general laziness has slowed the project. I’m also going to blame the weather. We’ve had so much rain that the 24 inch trench has filled up with water to the top. There hasn’t been that much time in between rains to let the ground dry up, and I don’t want be playing in the mud. Depending on how the weather cooperates I plan to make this a priority again.

First Snow Of The Winter!

First snow of 2006

After a entire winter of hardly any rain and no snow. We are getting a last minute reprieve with a major winter storm that has come through the state.

I’m suppose to drive up to Durango today, hopefully those plans are not ruined since the roads leading up to there are right in the middle of the storm.