Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Spinns Burgers

Halloween Geezerz lunch was at Spinns Burgers.  I have eaten here a couple previous times. When I was riding my bike on the Bosque trail, I would park at Montano  and Coors.  Spinns was the closest for a post ride brew and burger.

Another thing I like of Spinns Burger - you have the option for a 1.4 pound, half-pound, or a large double burger,  I found that as we get older, we don't need that much food - so generally prefer a 4oz or 6 oz burger.  The 8 oz is mostly time, too much food.

I opted for the BBQ bacon-cheeseburger with fries.  Burger was good, the fries were a little cool and soft.  For brew, I started with a pint of Bosque Brewery Amber Ale.  My secong pint was Bosque's Scottish Style "Scotia" brew.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Relections on the Wall

You may ask "what wall" or ask what I an talking about.  To Vietnam Veterans, there is no confusion.  the "Wall" is the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. I wrote the following after a visit to the Memorial in 1988.


On December 13, 1969, a scared young man got off of a plane at Bien Hoa Air Force Base in Vietnam. Thirteen and a half months later on February 1, 1971, that same young man – older and wiser – returned home to McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. In those months, a lot happened that took years to accept. The real acceptance of that experience started on July 28, 1988, over 17 years later. That’s when I visited the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial (“The Wall”) for the first time.

My experience in ‘Nam was different than most, I wasn’t out in the boonies carrying a rifle, nor was I totally a “REMF” at a rear base camp. I was a “71M20” Chaplain Assistant. That meant I was the Chaplain’s bodyguard, driver, secretary, chapel organist, and chapel builder. In addition, I visited our wounded at the evacuation hospitals and assisted in memorial services.

That may not sound like much to you. I didn’t see actual combat – instead, I saw the aftermath. I haven’t talked much about it except to other Vietnam veterans – we’ve had a propensity to keep our feelings to ourselves. At the most, we’ll discuss it with other Vietnam veterans. Recently, with the building of “The Wall” and some of the programs on TV we’ve started to let our feelings come to the surface. They call it “Delayed Stress Syndrome” or something like that.

In the meantime, we’ve kept to ourselves. I have a very close friend in Des Moines who saw a lot of combat. We’ve spent several nights just talking. Occasionally he will have a flashback. Our mutual friends know that’S the time to leave us alone. I know I’m one of the few men who understand what he's going through.

When I visited “The Wall”, my first thoughts were that I wished he could have been there with me to share our feelings and, yes, cry on each other's shoulders. The memorial invokes those feelings, It is truly a moving experience.

As you approach the memorial, it's almost like entering the sacred ground. Signs request “No Smoking”, “No Food”, “No Running”. 

A brochure published by the Parks and History Association fittingly describes the memorial “Like a roll call of time, the memorial lists casualties by date of loss, starting at the vertex. The first name, Dale R. Buis is inscribed under the date 1959 on panel 1E. Names continue eastward to panel 70E, reaching May 1968 at the end of the east wing. The sequence continues at the walls opposite end on panel W70 as if the memorial has circled underground and surfaced again At the vertex, the toll ends with Richard Vande Geer at the bottom of panel W1 above the date 1975. End meets beginning; the circle is complete.”

On my visit to the memorial, I noted an envelope sitting against one of the panels. A soldier’s name had been copied from the memorial. Written on the envelope was “Dear Dad, I’m sorry I never got to know you. Love, …

It is a memorial not only to those who lost their lives but all who served. This is best described by the inscription at the base of the memorial’s flagpole “The flag affirms the principles of freedom for which they fought and their pride in having served under difficult circumstances…”

Anyone visiting Washington DC, whatever their political stance during the Vietnam war, should visit the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. Take in the wall with the veteran standing beside you, tears in his eyes and try to understand the necessary healing of the nation that is taking place. We the Vietnam Veterans, do not expect the general public will ever fully understand what we went through. We only ask that you accept that we served our country as have other veterans.

Friday, October 19, 2018

More Boots?

My new cowboy boots arrived from Boot Barn - a day early!  Usually, I do not order online things like boots.  But Boot Barn has a great return policy where I can return them if I do not want them.  There is a store just a few miles from me at Cottonwood Mall.

Anyway, these beautiful bootsa were on sale (close-out) and in my size.  When I slipped them on my feet, they fit like a glove.  I have learned that my feet fit either 12EE or 13D boots.  These are 13D.

The wife on one of my radio friends suggests I should were the boots tucked into (bloused) jeans.  It is a shame to hide the beautiful boots under jeans.  So - that's what you see, here.

Nothing special of the two shirts that also arrived.  One, each, short and long sleeve western shirts.

With my new boots, again it was time to line up my boots for a "family photo".  Gathered all of my boots on the living room floor. and took a couple photos.  While I was at it, took the time to photography each pair of my boots individually.  Here's the skinny on the collection - 1 pair of hiking boots, 2 pait of military boots (black leather, and jungle boots)  Work boots (new-buck 8" and 16" black loggers), and 14 pair of cowboy boots from several manufacturers. Most were purchased from the Boot Barn.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Club Coffee and ARISS

Headed out for Ham Radio coffee/breakfast.  Most of those that attended were there on ther way to Valley High School to participate in the radio contact with the International Space Station.  There was on other member beside me not work the contact, I had nothing to talk with him after his stints working at Balloon Fiesta. 

Settle into my office chair at the computer to watch the YouTube broadcast of the contact.

The contact came off as planned.  I was very proud of the club's ARISS crew.  They and the school produced an awesome show.

NOTE - the QSL card was from the previous ARISS contact in April 2016.  I hope to be able to post the new card once it is received.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Laguna Burger

This week's "Geezer" lunch was a The Laguna Burger on 12th st near I-40.  I was not impressed.

I was a little early, as usual.  Another of our group arrived aand we got in line to order our food.  This was about 12:30, the normal time we arrive for our luncheons.  The place was a zoo.

I ordered my food and looked for a pint of /Amber Ale.  The server said they did not have any Amber Ales and did not make any suggestion.  So, I settled for water.

The test of our group started arriving and we were able to move to a larger table. One ordered what looked like a amber ale, which was actually Sam Adam's Oktoberfest.  Not a local "craft" beer, but I have had it and works as a substitute in a pinch.  I went and got a pint about the time my food was arriving. 

Not excited about the food.  The french fries were limp and "soggy".  My 1/3 pound chile-cheeseburger was acceptable.  By the time we were all served out food, the place was almost empty.  Maybe if arriving about 1pm for lunch would be better.  As it was, I was not impressed with the food nor service.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Birthday "Dinner"

I finally started feeling "normal" from all of the shifts at Balloon Fiesta.  Headed out to Costco when they opened to pick up some supplies.  Basically recovered and rested most of the day. 

Decided to head over to The Local Brewhouse for my birthday dinner.  Knew they would have the football game on the TV - and it was the Packers vs the 49ers.  Donned my leather Packer jacket and headed out.

Looks like business is bad here, now.  They no longer are open for lunch during the week (open at 3pm).  I wanted a brat for dinner with my beer, but thy no longer have the brat on the menu.  I saw on their facebook that they were advertising for help, including a cook. 

Anyway, I had their Southern BBQ bacon-cheeseburger with fries and two pints of their amber ale.  Got a glass of water, too, to wash down the food.  I had enough of my burger and paid my bill.  Was a early evening - was back home about as the 2nd quarter started.  Looks like I missed a good game.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

A Wash-out

The weather forecast was not good, but the rain was supposed to hold off until late in the day.  It was not to be - there was a little rain spitting as I drove to Balloon Fiesta Park.  Once there, the bottom dropped out several times.  It was obvious this was going to be a "no-launch" day.

The club manned the booth for a while as some folks wandered through the Discovery Tent.  In short time, all of the displays in the Discovery Tent started being dismantled and packed up.  So was our radio display.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Long Morning at Balloon Fiesta

Another "O-Dark-30" arrival at Balloon Fiesta Park for my shift in the Discovery Tent.  Calm winds this morning, so dawn patrol and mass ascension took off as scheduled.  I was able to get a couple more photos of the balloons illuminated in the dark, before they took off.

New Mexico sky photos can be very
'uninteresting" - so many of our days are wall-2-wall sunshine.  Saturday, with the remnants of a tropical storm coming in, there were some clouds to add some interest into the sky.

We were busy after the balloon launch, fielding questions about amateur radio.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Late Balloon Launch

Today was a busy day on the air.  There were 2 local 2M nets that were run from the Amateur Radio booth in the Discovery tent - the Caravan Club SCAT (Senior Citizen & Travelers) and Rusty's Raiders nets. As such.we have 7 ham volunteers this morning.

Surface winds delayed balloon launching.  Dawn Patrol was scrubbed.  It was almost 9 am before a smaller "mass ascension" launched.  I still was able to get some good photos. Got good views of the Van Gogh and fractal balloons.

Thanks to fellow members of High Desert ARC and the Caravan Club for manning the booth and net control stations.

After my shift was over, I was at Toltec Brewing for the Geezerz lunch.  Chile cheeseburger and pint of Altbeir.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

High Winds Aloft

After the poor service yesterday morning at IHOP (Unser just South of Southern), I skipped breakfast this morning.  Grabbed a donut and coffee after at the tent.

Morning winds seemed light and there were hopes for balloon launch.  I started to become concerned when they were not launching balloons for Dawn Patrol.  Seemed balloons were being inflated but not launched.  One of our radio clug crew was able to tune into the balloon frequency.  It seems that winds aloft were too high.

We spent most of the shift making contacts using digital JT8, basically filling up 2 log pages.  Paying closer attention, I  noticed that the computer was set up to make contacts as the club's call, not the Special Event call "W5B".  Sent a message this evening wondering why this was.

During the shift, winds started picking up at ground level.   Weather forcast for the next 2 days are not for balloon launch.  As a committee member, I will monitor the next couple days until I again have a shift at the Balloon Fiesta Park on Wednesday morning.  At this time, forecast for Wednesday is clear skies, and, hopefully, light winds.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta - Day 1

Early depart from the house this morning.  Stopped by IHOP in Rio Rancho (Unser just South of Southern).  I thought perhaps they got their shit together over the last year,  WRONG!  Even with apparent new manager, the service sucked.  It took me half and hour to get an senior order of french toast w/ sausage. And, it was delivered with bacon instead of sausage.

After the disappointed breakfast, I headed to Balloon Fiesta Park.  At 4:00, traffic was already backed up turning off the frontage road, and slow going the street into the park.  It was about 4:15 when I got parked. 

When allowed to the Discovery Tent, I settled into doing final adjustments to the club's display. 

It was a beautiful morning for the start of Balloon Fiesta 2018.  Very light winds, clear sky.  I was a little late getting over to the field for Dawn Patrol.  Was there to catch the Air Force (?) fly-over.  The Canon balloon carried the US Flag aloft with the strains of the National Anthem.  

The field was still in the shadows from the Sandia Mountains when the mass ascension commenced.  Eventually, the sun started illuminated the balloons.  Wave after wave of balloons launched from the field. 

As the mass ascension was tapering off, the crowds started entering the Balloon Discovery Tent.  While testing the radios before the mass ascension, we were able to make a few digital contacts.  Then we had some software glitch.  The other station was able to make a couple SSB contacts.

This year we were set up in the same part of the tent where the astronaut and other speakers held their presentations. They had a strong PA system, which caused it difficult for us to hear folks that may want to discuss ham radio.  We did have some conversations.

A sample of the photos (over 80) I took during the mass ascension are on my facebook page and the club's ( facebook page.

Back tomorrow for the same morning shift.  Hope the weather continues to cooperate.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Balloon Fiests Set-up

After the Thursday coffee/breakfast at Flying Star, nost of the attendees headed over to Balloon Fiesta Park to set up High Desert Amateur Radio Club display for Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta..  In addition to setting up the informational booth shown here, the group erected 3 antennas for HF, VHF, and UHF (high frequency, very-high  frequency, and ultra-high frequency) contacts.

The club will be operating  SSTV (slow-scan TV), voice, digital modes, and "Morse" code.  Two popular Albuquerque area nets will be run fron this station during the fiesta.

At the Balloon Fiesta you will find us in the Balloon Discovery Tent at the North end of the field.  On the air, listen to call-sign W5B.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Duke City HamFest - Friday

Today was the opening day of the Duke City HamFest.  The function is being held at the Isleta Resort & Casino about 10 miles South of downtown Albuquerque.  It's a big show this year because it is also the Rocky Mountain Division convention of the ARRL.

It was the first time I had ever been to Isleta.  And, being a Friday morning, I planned extra time to make the 30 miles from Rio Rancho (North of ABQ) to the Resort (South of ABQ).  Figured I would kils some time befoire my work shift (registration).

When I got to the resort, I asked at the front desk - where and when I can have breakfast.  The clerk told me at the restaurant close to the convention center entrance.  It was almostt 6am, he said it would open in just a couple minutes.  Alas, he was wrong - it did not open until 7am.  There had a coffee shop, but I was hungry for a full breakfast.  I killed time until the restaurant opened and had my full breakfast.

Food was "OK".  Sausage was a bit bland and the toast was cold (not even melting the butter) but it was much less expensive than Flying Star.

At 8am, I started my 2 hour shift at the registration area.  I heard there were over 400 early registrations. 

My other job is an official photographer for the convention.  After my registration shift was iver, I grabbed my Canon 60D to shoot some photos of the convention.  It was pretty "dark" in the vendor hall.  Had to jack up the ISO and slow down the shutter.  Of course, that causeed to blurry photos. 

When the show is over, I will process more of the photos, but for now, I posted the photo here of the High Desert ARC display (the club I belong to).

Not feeling so chipper today, so called it a day about noon and headed back home.  The afternoon activities included a outside fleamarket and an evening mixer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Blue Grasshopper - South

Wednesday's Geezerz lunch was at Blue Grassgopper near Coors & Montano.  I have been gaining some weight recently, so decided on not having their pizza for a big burger. Instead I had their beer brat with fries.

The brat was "OK" but did not have the "zing" of the brat at "The Local Brewhouse".  Fries were good, but nothing to write home about (like the ones we had in Antonito, CO).

For beer, I tried the "TR" (tractoor Brewing?) red ale.  It was "OK" but a little sharp to my taste.  My second pint was "BB" amber (which I think was the Bosque Bear "Ambear").

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

BJ's Brewhouse

This week's "Geezerz" lunch was at BJ's Brewhouse at Cottonwood.  BJ's is a regional chain.  The frist time I have lunch at a BJ's was in Las Vegas.

Anyway - Wednesday's special was one of their burgers and a pint of one of their beers.  I had the bacon-Cheeseburger with fries and a pint of their Jamison Red Ale.  The burger was great and fries were cooked pretty good.  BJ's had 2 amber ale, the Jamison Red is a little darker in color and a very pleasant tasting.

None of BJ's beers are brewed in New Mexico.  I understand that the chain has one of their locations would brew just one of it's beers and transport them to other locations. That way the brewery can concentrate on doing a good job on that one beer.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Filling the Gaps

We were hungry for a full breakfast this morning.  The only place in Antonito for breakfast is the Dutch Mill.  I decided on their breakfast quesadilla with sausage and coffee.  It was just the right amount of food for the morning.

Spent some time around the depot.  The folks there were very friendly and accommodating.  Don spent some time touring the maintenance shop.

We were able to watch the train (same one we rode yesterday) return to Chama.  Don shot video of the departure on my point & shoot camera.  I shot the departure with my Canon 60D.

After the train departure, we got on the road towards Chama.  On the way, we stopped at the scenic view along Route 17 the bus driver pointed out.  I took some photos, including shooting a panoramic series of frames.

As we approach Cumbres Pass, we saw the Eastbound train was just ready to depart after taking on water.  We shot video and stills of the departure from Cumbres.

From there, on to Chama to check out the railroad facilities there.  Much different that the shop in Antonito, the shop in Chama was "off limits" for visitors.  There was a box-car museum at the Chama station.  Did some shopping in the gift shop there.

By this time, the sun was over the yardarm, and I suggested we tip a pint of New Mexico beer.  Had pints of Santa Fe Brewing's "Nut Brown" ale.  Visited with a local farmer at the bar (Foster's).  Still too early to head back to Antonito, so we did a driving tour up as far as Pagosa Springs.

Driving back through Chama, we were thinking we might catch the train along the railroad.  At one time even heard what we thought as a locomotive whistle.  But, driving back to Antonito, we were following the motor coach transporting train riders from Chama to Antonito.

We stopped by the room to use the facilities before heading out from dinner.  Returned to "Dos Hermanas" steakhouse.  Both Don and I had their enchilada  plate.  After dinner, processed some photos, wrote  facebook postings, and packed the bags for the return trip.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

Early start for a long day on the train.  Cousin Don and I had coffee and sweet roll before the trip.  Not hungry for a big breakfast, specially we were getting a big lunch as part of the ticket price.

Had to wait until this morning to pick up our tickets.  We boarded a motorcoach for the drive over to Chama.  Had a nice conversation during the hour-long ride.  Gal across the aisle was from Mankato, MN.  Interesting chat up here on the front of the bus.  When we arrived in Chama, we quickly board the train, finding our seats.

Once the train was underway, it didn't take much time for the conductor to run thro9ugh the train punching our tickets.  At that time, we were allowed to get out of our seats and move around thee train.  For information, the train consisted the following:  Locomotive and tender, three coach cars, a concession car, open gondola, Tourist car, and finally Parlor car.  The open gondola was equipped with a sound system.  The docent onboard spend most of the ride describing the railroad and the scenery on the sound system on the gondola.

As soon as we head out of Chama, the train started climbing.  It took about 1 1/2 hour to climb up to the summit of Cumbres Pass.  There, the train stopped to take on water.  The docent passed out pamphlets including a railroad map with note-worthy locations on the route.

About half way through the trip, we arrived Osier where we were served lunch.  There were 2 hot lunches we could select - meatloaf or turkey.  I had the meatload dinner, which consisted of a slice of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, green beans, roll or corn bread, and a selection of deserts.  For drinks, there was water, coffee, iced tea (sweetened and unsweetened), pink lemonade, and lemonade.

There was time to stretch legs and look at some of the older building at Osier.  Cousin Don scoped out while there, I relaxed back on our train car - needed the time off my legs/knees.

One of the options for riding the train is to turn back at Osier, riding back the train to your departure location.  It seemed to me that we lost over half of our follow travelers took the train back to Chama rather than continuing on to Antonito, CO.

The weather forecast was for about 60% chance of rain.  We had periods of rain, mostly light showers.  Most of the ride it was overcast. 

The scenery on the East end of the railroad is both the more scenic (and dramatic) section of the railroad and the most boring part of the train ride.  The train runs through 2 tunnels on this half of the line.  There were scenic highlights of "Calico Cut" and the Toltec Gorge.  The last 1 1/2 of the trip was pretty boring, nothing much to look at except for sage brush.  And, actually, this was fine as we were tired from the long day on the train.

We were a little late arriving Antonito.  Don and I looked for a good. cold beer when we got back to town.  The one bar in Antonito did not open 7pm.  We settled for a bottle of Dos Equis and the restaurant where we ate last night.  By 8pm, both of us were sound asleep.

I have processed my photos from the train ride.  Eventually I will sort and select photos to post on my website.

On the Road to Antonito

Cousin Don and I are on the road to the New Mexico/Colorado area to ride the Cumbres & Toltec Narrow Gauge Railroad.  Stopped along the road a couple time to look at the roadside wild flowers.  Had a little rain up in Northern New Mexico.

Checked into the motel, dropped off some luggage into the room, and headed for a late lunch.  The motel suggested the "Dos Hermana's Steakhouse" downtown.  I had the 6oz bacon-cheeseburger with fries.  About 3 strips if bacon, good burger, full slice of red onion, with pepper jack cheese.  The fries were also great, battered and crispy.  Washed down the meal with 2 bottle of Dos Equies Amber.

Checked out the train station and the train's anticipated arrival in Antonito.  Had time to look at the wear at the gift shop and visited with the folks there.  Watch the train arrive and got a few good photos.

Rain is forecast for tomorrow and Thursday.  They should be the typical New Mexico "pop-up1' showers.  Surely nothing like the rain the Midwest has been getting

Thursday, August 30, 2018

1933 Brewing Company

Wednesday's "Geezerz" lunch was at 1933 Brewing Company on Southern in Rio Rancho.  The location opened last week.  Alas, they do not have their brewery running yet, and of course, no of their beers were available to sample.  We were told it will be 3 to 6 months until they are producing beer.

An aside, here, we were planning to sample beers at Lava Rocks Brewing.  When I contacted the brewery, they are between batches of their beer.  Sounds like they were only brewing small batches, no constant brewing process (likely low on equipment). 

Back to 1933 Brewing - one of our groups asked where the name comes.  We were told it was 1933 the prohibition ended. 

Since the locations does not have their own beers, yet, we were shown a list of other "local" beers they had on tap.  The selection was what I would call "yuppy", somebody called it a "millennium" selection - several IPA's, no Amber.  Closest they had was the Quarter Deck Irish Crimson ale.  It was drinkable, but I sure did ni=ot was a second pint.

For food, I selected the bacon-cheeseburger.  The sandwich was "OK".  The Medium-Well was a litle over cooked (another of out group had the same review - his medium-rare was a bit over-cooked).  The bacon on sandwich was cooked perfect - not too crispy and not under-cooked.  Fries were mixed -  some where over-cooked and some where a little under-cooked.

Understanding that the place has only opened for a week, but the service was not good.  There were about 10 of us.  Two of the group of napling & silver.  When the food was served, we had to ask for more place-setting -  and were give 4 more.  So, we had to asked for more - finally they gave us 2 more setting than we needed.  (Could the server not count?).  There was a bottle of ketchup placed on the table, but nno salt ot pepper.  Had to ask for then - and typically, the server brought 3 sets (over supplied).

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Billy's with Don

Another Saturday evening dinner with cousin Don.  Don filled in with his trip to Columbus (OH) and the pipe show. 

Made tentative plans to ride the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad. 

Opted for N\Billy's Philly Steak sandwich with fries.  LOTS of beef on this sandwich.  Washed down the sandwich with 3 pints of "Kilt Lifter" Scotch style ale.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Bosque North Brewey and Taproom

This weeks "old  geezers" lunch was at the Bosque North location in Bernalillio. This is the new headquarters of the brewery. It was a good turn-out (9 of us).

It was a pain to get to the brewery, with all of the construction along US 550.  From Rio Rancho, had to head East into Bernalillo, (across the river), make a "U"-turn and back West on US550, across the river, to the brewery.

The taproom has a limited menu.  To order food, walk over to the back of the room to order a pay for your food,  Different servers take your beer orders.  Kind of a crazy system - ending up with separate bills for beer and food.

I orders the Bosque Burger - "Kobe-style beef patty cooked to order, oatmeal stout and red chile bbq sauce, fried onions, bacon, and white cheddar on a kaiser roll,"  The side was french fries,  The burger is not-remarkable.

Had two pits of beer with lunch.  I started with a pint of Brewer's Boot Amber Ale.  A decent amber with usual alcohol content.  For the second pint, I tried their "Scotia Scotch Ale".  This beer is a little higher alcohol content, of 8%.  Both are pleasant tasting ales.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Another Lunch at Toltec Brewing

This was the 3rd visit to Toltec Brewing in Albuquerque's Cottonwood Mall area. Toltec has a special that is not on the menu - Chile-cheezeburger with a pint of beer for $9.  The special is offered Mon-Fri between noon and 2pm.

With such a deal, I opted for the special.  I just scraped most of the chile if the sandwich,  Those left just added enough "heat" in my burger.  Fries were good and crispy.

Washed down the burger with two pints if Toltec's Altbier, amber ale.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Billy's with Cousin Don

Last evening was another dinner and a couple pints of beer with my cousin Don.  Both of us tried a meal we had not had before at Billy's.  Don had the Indian Taco which I have liked.  I had the Shredded beef burrito plate.  The Burrita was ok, but still prefer their enchilada plate.

I wash down my meal with 3 pints of "Kilt Lifter" Scotish Ale frpm Four Peaks Brewing.  Don and I had a good conversation.  I was able to show him the projects I have worked with for my ham radio club.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Blue Grasshopper - Rio Rancho

August 1 Old Geezer lunch was back at the Blue Grasshopper in Rio Rancho.  All of us ordered pizza and beer.  The establishment did not have an amber ale on tap today.  I sampled 2 other beers and settled on the "Bone Chiller Brown" from Sierra Blanca.  This brown was an acceptable beer as a substitute of an Amber.

The Blue Grasshopper has a great meat lover's pizza.  I ordered the large (13") pizza.  That leaves me some leftover's tomorrow for lunch.  Ended up eating 5 of the 8 pieces at lunch.

Wednesday's are great days to have lunch at the Blue Grasshopper.   My pizza was $1 off because of "Happy Hour Wednesday".  Two pints of craft beer were $6 total!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Corrales Bistro Brewery

Today's Geezer's luncheon was at the Corrales Bistro.  As usual, I ordered the bacon-cheeseburger with fries.

The 1/2 pound burger was cooked as I like then (medium-well).  Friese were a little overdone.  I washed the food down with 2 pints of their amber ale.

Good sized group (6) for lunch.  Next Wednesday's lunch is planned for Blue Grasshopper in Rio Rancho.

Balloon Fiesta Committee Meeting

High Desert Amaturt Radio Club's Balloon Fiesta committee met this morning.   Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will be taking place at Balloon Fiesta Park beginning Saturday, October 6, 2018, and running through Sunday, October 14th. Information of available shifts will be posted on the club website ( under "Field Operations".

The committee established sub-committees for Antenna, Public Relations, Equipment, and Staffing.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Billy's with Cousin

Another dinner and a couple pints with Cousin Don at Billy's Long Bar.  I have their 4 sloppy joe sliders, washed down with 3 pints of Kilt Lifter Scottish Ale.

Billy's makes their sloppy joe sliders with the same meat they use for their tacos.  Nice taste.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Canteen Brewhouse

Today's Old Geezer lunch was at the Canteen Brewhouse on Aztec in Albuquerque.  I had checked the online menu, decided I wanted the Dougie-Style Amber Ale and the pulled pork sandwich with chese and BBQ sauce,  The sandwich was served with a bag of kettle chips.

The amber ale was pleasant, one of the best I have tasted in the area.  The BBQ sauce was a little bland.

Forgot to take a outside photo for this blog.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Quarter Celtic Brewpub

Today's Geezer lunch was at the Quarter Celtic Brewpub in Albuquerque.  The brewpub is at the corner of Lomas and San Mateo, lower level, access from Lomas.

Between the brewery machinery, the soccer game on the big screens, and the acoustics, the night noise level was giving me a headache.

I had the 1/3 pound burger with cheddar and bacon.  The burger in on a pretzel bun. Had the side of fries.  The menu says that they cook burgers to Medium-Well.  Mine was closer to "well" as there was no pink in the center of the patty.  Their portion of french fries were much more than most locations.  The good thing was that they were fried perfect to my taste - golden brown, crispy with soft center.

I washed down my food with 2 pints of their "Crimson Lass" red (Irish) ale.  While not remarkable, it was a decent tasting ale.

For record purposes, I will start attempting to add a photo of the brewery/brewpub in the blog posting.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Sigma Chi Alumni July Luncheon

Today was the July fraternity alumni luncheon at the Cooperage in Albuquerque.  This was the second time I have attended this luncheon. This month's luncheon attendance was much smaller.

The luncheon menu is fairly limited.  About the only item that sould like appetizing is the bacon-cheeseburger,  Ordered that (same as lasst month) with steak fries.  The sandwich is a 1/2 pound burger - a bit more than I really want, but consumed the meal.  Washed down food with water, waiting for brews with food tomorrow.

With the smaller attendance, the service was much better than the June luncheon.  Different server, too. 

Speaker for the luncheon was Significant Sig John Salazar, an alum of Beta Xi (University of New Mexico).  Brother Salazar was in the 2018 "class" of Significant Sigs.

I need to contrast the Omaha Alumni Chapter and the Albuquerque chapter.  Omaha luncheon attendances have been much smaller.  The closest active chapter from Omaha is University of Nebraska - Lincoln.  There are much more alums from other schools than /nebraska at the Omaha  luncheons.  Contast then and the Albuquerque, where most luncheon attendees are from UNM (Beta Xi)  it some Zeta Xi (NM State).  just a couple of us from schools out of the State of New Mexico.

The Albuquerque chapter luncheons have a agenda and formal meeting.  Brothers start arriving early (ahead of the noon advertised time), but the meeting (luncheon) is over and members disburse at 1pm.  I miss the relaxed atmosphere of the Omaha chapter.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Enchanted Circle Brewing Company

After a frustrating time finding food along the Enchanted Circle - crowds in Red Rived and Eagles Nest), my passenger say a sign for food in Angel Fire.  The Enchanteed Circle Brewing Company was about a block of the main highway in Angel Fire.

The microbrewery had a good menu of beers, including an Amber Ale - my favorite style of beer.  The Angel Fire Amber was a pleasant tasting beer.  ABV was a little below what most (think it was % 4.1.

Another think I liked about the food at this brewery, the burgers and portion of fries was smaller than the usual 1/2 pound burgers.  The portion at the Enchanted Circle was just right for my elder hunger.  Ended up having a second pint of the beer.

Enchanted Circle for the 4th

When am I going to learn - no not go out playing "tourist" on a holiday.  A friend and I headed out to the "Enchanted Circle".  Drove from the Albuquerque area to Taos via the Low Road. Drove the circle, returning via the high road.

Stopped along the road to take photos along the Rio Grande.  There were some ranters riding the river.  Shot some photos of them.

Was planning to have lunch in Red River.  The town was a zoo.  Wait for a table at the brewery was over an hour.  Looked like the parade had over, but there was a festivals in the park.  Decided to check out food in Eagle Nest.  Arrived there as folks were gathering for their parade.  Scrub that idea.

Found a nice, not packed brewery in Angel Fire.  After lunch, went to the New Mexico Vietnam  Veteran's Memorial and park.  Took a couple photos for a future calendar.  

It was a great day, all-in-all.  Just a bit too much for me in one day - ended up very tired and a head ache.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Field Day - Haynes Park

June 23-24 was Field Day, a day for amateur radio operators to practice and demonstrate their emergency communication skills.  The High Desert Amateur Radio Club had 2 Field Day locations.  At Haynes Park in Rio Rancho, we used W5YZ, Taylor Ranch Branch Library in Albuquerque the group used the club call NM5HD.  I was the designated photographer for the Haynes Park location.

When I arrived at Haynes Park about 10:30, set-up was well underway.  I looked around the site and started shooting photos for documentation purposes.  Our classification was A2NM One transmitter was powered by batteries and solar arrays.  The other transmitter was powered my a portable generator. 

The CW operator was on 20 Meters and seemed to make a constant stream of contacts.  The operators on 40 Meters and other bands did not make as many contacts. 

About 2 PM, my brain had had enough.  The temperature was climbing, too.  I packed it up and was home about 2:30.  Relaxed, re-hydrated, and took a nap.  Had dinner with  my cousin at Billy's Long Bar.  On the drive from the house to the bar, the thermometer in my car peaked at 104 degrees.

Sunday, I processed my photos and e-mails them to our Field Day Chairman, Webmaster, and President (Newsletter Editor).

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Albuquerque Sigma Chi Luncheon

Today, I was able to attend the Albuquerque Sigma Chi Alumni luncheon.  Their monthly meeting and luncheon was held at the Cooperage on Lomas near Louisiana. I counted 33 mothers in attendance.  While most are from Beta Xi Chapter at UNM, there were a few of us "foreigners".

While it was my first time attending this luncheon, I think they get much larger attendance than we did in Omaha.  Today's lunch was a special lunch tribute to the classes of the 60s and 70s.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Lunch at Local Brewhouse

There were only 3 of us today for the Old Geezers lunch.  Met at The Local Brewhouse on Unser in Rio Rancho.  This establishment is just a moile from my house.  When I first moved here, I stopped a couple toi\imes, but their sevice was "iffy".

I am happy to say they have been gotten their stuff together...I had their Southern BBQ Burger.  Burger with an onion ring, cheese, and bacon. As a side, I had creamy cole slaw.  Beverage was 2 pints of The Local Brewhouse Amber Ale.

It was a pleasent lunch with just Bill, Larry, and I, though I was hoping a larger attendance.  The group desided we would come back again.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

HDARC Field trip

Ed (KC2LM), Larry ((NY5L), Larry (NM5LS) and Tom (WA9LKD) headed out to Volcanoes area of Petroglyphs National Monument for field operations after club breakfast.  Opperations were set up under the shelter.

Antenna was a dipole (inverted "V").  Rig was one of the club's traveling set-ups.  Power was from a battery pack (had a second pack to extend operations). Contacts were made using digital mode FT8. I headed home a little after noon (digital noice was about to give me a headache).

I have mountain biked in this area.  With the shelter and vault toilet facilities, it was a good place for field operations   The club is planning to make more of these excursion.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Geezerers Lunch

Today's "Old Geerer's Lunch" had us back at Starr Brothers on San Antonio just East of I-25 in Albuquerque.  Today, I opted for a couple pints of their Scottish Ale and their Cubano sandwich.  With all the craft beer I have consumed the last week, I could have salad as the side (much lighter with the vinaigrette dressing). Was a decent change from burgers.

Next Wednesday's lunch will be a mile from my house at The Local Brewhouse on Unser.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Quiet House Again

I got one of my friends to check out one of my kilts.  He had sad he was sure mine were to big for him.  LOL - my size 42 kilts are perfect for him.  Lets see if he ever ordered one.

My guests got packed up and on the road about noon.  I was tired, so most of the afternoon, I napped. Tomorrow I will strip the bed and do that laundry.

Later in the afternoon, I grabbed a couple craft beers from the fridge.  They were there for over a year,  Still tasted good.  The beer was the Tap Room Amber Ale brewed in Rochester, NY.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Trip to the Jemez Mountains

My friends from Hobbs are visiting. Saturday evening we met cousin Don and ha dinner at Billy's Long Bar. I devoured my service of the Enchilada Plate washed down with 3 pints of Kilt Lifter.

Sunday, I decided to take Pete and Jim on a tour of the Jemez Mountains.  A little late start but on the road about 11:30.  Traffic was bad at some places.  There was  Arts & Crafts show.  Cars all parked along the road at the Soda Dam. By the time we got to Rts 4 and 126, we were looking to get of the road for a little and have some lunch.

Note to self - do not play tour guide in the mountains on a holiday weekend.

The store there did not have much, but next door was the Nomad Mountain Pizza establishment.  The pizza was "OK".  But something like $3 for a bottle of soda bottled in Durango was a bit steep.  To add to our negative recommendation was the service,  They said they had call-in orders that had them backed up.  The place was not that busy (it was about 1:15 in the afternoon) but it took about an hour before our pizza was delivered to the table.

When I got dressed in the morning, I decided I was going to wear my black "Free Yourself from Pants Prison" T-shirt from Damn Near Kilt 'Em and my black & McLeod plaid kilt. That took me out in public more than the last outing when I was just driving.  And it is a more dressy kilt for a Sunday Drive compared to my camo kilt that last day I wore one while traveling.It was a beautiful day and I did not feel embarrassed wearing my kilt.

I wanted to get a photo of me in my kilt and Jim to send to a couple of our online friends.  Where we were getting to get the photo, another customer came out of the door, and complimenting my for my kilt and wearing it.  His Dad wore a kilt for his wedding.  Gave me a push to wear my kilts more often.

We continued to Valles Caldera, past Los Alamos and Bandalier National Monument.  I noticed a new. large visitor's center for the Monument in White Rock.  The other new change is that private vehicles were not allowed - you board a shuttle bus from White Rock.

From there, it was time to head back to Rio Rancho.  Still had over an hour drive yet to get back.  Took the bypass around Santa Fe.  Pulled into the driveway about 5pm.

The dogs were very happy to see us, but a bit upset that we had left them in the sun porch!  After a bit of a rest and review of the trip, it was time for dinner.  Since we had a late lunch, we were not looking for a big dinner.  We opted for the "Local Brewhouse" just a mile from my house.  Had an enjoyable burger on the deck watching the sun sets on the Sandias.  Jim and I had local beer and Peter had a margarita.

Visited and did some online chatting until I was exhausted and headed to bed.  Very relaxing, interesting day for my second full-day outing in one of my kilts.