Beowulf, Boethius & Beasts


Guildenstern was contemplating some of the books that were discussed in this year’s Medieval Spring Lecture series. Actually “1066 and all that” was not discussed, but it’s the closest thing we have to the Bayeux Tapestry; plus Laurie is going to suggest “1066…” for the next book to her book group on Sunday. All the lectures were fantastic, and I thank Timothy Graham, Director of the Institute of Medieval Studies at UNM, for all his hard work organizing the lecture series and bringing in such great speakers. If you didn’t make it to any of the lectures this year, pencil “Medieval Lecture Series” for the middle April onto your 2013 calendar.



Night Birds

The lectures on Beowulf and bestiaries were fantastic tonight. There is a medieval music concert at 5:15 pm tomorrow in Keller Hall, and the final lecture by Linda Seidel on “The Mysterious Maker of a Medieval Masterpiece: Gislebertus of Autun — Doer or Donor?” is at 7:30 pm in Woodward Hall.

Real and figurative night birds were out tonight as we made our way off campus. A young woman was writing messages on the sidewalk outside Woodward Hall. Another group of young people were fighting with light sabers on Johnson Field, and I got the photo of the little bird hopping around on the wall under the light of the physical plant building while I was waiting for Laurie to retrieve stuff from her office.



Both lectures at the Medieval Conference tonight were excellent. The problem is there was a bigger event being held at UNM this afternoon, so I had to park out by Central and Girard. It was a long walk both ways, but at least it offered nice photo ops on the walk back to the car tonight.



The Wall


Call me old fashioned, but I still call them steps.  I was photographing another set of steps by the parking garage when a couple of young men stepped into the picture and posed. They were great models. The Alumni Chapel is always beautiful, but it’s especially lovely at night.

We were at UNM because the Institute for Medieval Studies lecture series started tonight. This year’s series is entitled “Medieval Masterpieces”. Tonight’s lecture was by Christopher de Hamel from Corpus Christi, Cambridge on 12th century giant illuminated bibles. His lecture was outstanding. I encourage anyone in the Albuquerque area to attend the the rest of the lectures. Tomorrow evening the two lectures are Boethius’s “Consolation of Philosophy” by Philip Edwards, Middle Tennessee State University at 5:15, and The Bayeux Tapestry, by Martin F Foys, Drew University at 7:15. On Wednesday the lectures are on Beowulf and “Illuminated Animals and God in Medieval England.” On Thursday, there is a medieval music concert followed by a lecture on Gislebertus of Autun.  The lectures are in Woodward Hall 101 and the concert is in Keller Hall, both at UNM.



Frozen Tulip

I’ve been waiting for days for this red tulip to bloom. I think it would have bloomed today if it hadn’t gotten frozen last night. The white tulips are in a protected area so they are thriving.

Dixon Apples


A came across a couple of articles on google news about the Dixon Apple Farm’s lease issues with the State Land Office: and The first four photos are from our pilgrimage to Dixon’s with Susan and Lois in 2010. The fires and subsequent flooding wiped out the Mullane’s home and all the structures associated with the farm. Apparently 75% of the trees survived, but the farm was devastated. The last photo is of white daffodils.

The follow is a response I wrote to the articles about Dixon’s farm:

On the issue of the Dixon Apple Farm lease, there’s no arguing schools could use the $2.8 million the Mullane family is asking to help cover the damage to the farm from fire and floods last year. Yet public schools are bottomless pits when it comes to needing money, and considering the billions of dollars in deferred maintenance in New Mexico’s schools alone, $2.8 million becomes a piddling amount. To paraphrase Jesus — public schools will aways be with us. But the Dixon Apple Farm, which is such a unique part of New Mexico’s heritage, will not. Is it right to hasten the farm’s demise over $2.8 million and say “it’s for the children”?

Land Commissioner, Ray Powell, also does not believe the State should use tax payers’ money to subsidize the Dixon Apple Farm; but is it really a subsidy?  The Mullane family has made improvements to the land for decades, and the State should compensate them for those improvements. Yet if one insists on calling the $2.8 million the Mullanes are asking for “a subsidy”, subsidizing farms with tax payers’ money, if the tax payers approve or not, has been a passion of federal, state and local governments for as long as most people can remember. New Mexico’s farm subsidies have averaged $36.1 million a year over the past 15 years and totaled $38.4 million in 2009 and $20.5 million in 2010(1). In the tradition of farm subsidies, is $2.8 million really too much to help Dixon’s Apple Farm?

Since the apples that come from Dixon’s farm are unique to the area, maybe they should be considered endangered species. The State of New Mexico has no problem spending millions of dollars to protect silvery minnow and other threatened and endangered species, but from the way this lease issue is being reported, state officials don’t care to preserve one-of-a-kind endangered apple trees. Tying to preserve the Dixon Apple Farm, like protecting the silvery minnow, would be of great benefit to New Mexico.

Dixon’s apples are world famous. There is New Mexican history and heritage tied up in the Dixon Farm, and people will line up for miles to buy Dixon apples at harvest time. A trip to Dixon’s was a fun, social and entertaining event that became an annual tradition for many people in New Mexico and visitors from other states. Not only is Dixon apple orchard a farm, but it’s a destination and provides entertainment to thousands of people. New Mexico paid large sums of money to the film industry to make movies and TV series in New Mexico over the past several years. I believe one can argue that the film industry did not produce entertainment as wholesome as the Dixon Apple Farm or benefit New Mexico as much as Dixon’s.

The Dixon Apple Farm holds a unique place in New Mexico’s heritage, is endangered, historic, and not only offers world famous apples, but also tradition, entertainment and educational opportunities to anyone willing and able to travel to the farm. State officials should consider the Dixon Apple Farm a treasure that is worth trying to save.

(1) 2011 Farm Subsidy Database






Alameda Lady

As far as Friday the 13ths go, today lived up to it’s name. “Les choses sont contre nous” big time today. Construction issues forced the closure of Corrales Road this morning, which made us run late. But then most everyone was running late today. Then we kept forgetting things, among them my computer that I discovered I had left at the office when we got home. I could have left it at the office, written a bitchy blog with no photos, and passed the Friday the 13th vibes on; but the photos must go on, so I drove back into town and got my computer.



The lilacs are blooming. This one is named Sensation. When I applied a blue filter to the daffodils, they turned black. Puck was doing a major “roll in the dirt” performance for me tonight. Kitties don’t understand why we shower, get all wet and waste all that water when we could simply roll in the dirt like they do.



Moon Light

I had my monthly port flush this morning, and what I was expecting to be the usual flush, check to see if it returned blood and then inject Heparin to keep it clear for another month, became an ordeal. The inside port went as normal, but the nurse could not get blood return from the outside port. After eight syringes of saline, having me cough, raise my hands above my head, wiggle around, and dance the cha cha a few times she gave up and ordered “Cathflow” from the pharmacy. Cathflow is kind of like Drain-O for catheters. It took around 15 minutes for the pharmacy to prepare the Cathflow, and then I had to wait another 20 minutes for it to work on the clog before she could finishing flushing the port and “heparinize” it, so between the Cancer Center being busy this morning, and having to “roto-rooter” my port, the 20 minutes I was expecting to spend at the CC this morning turned out to be an hour and a half.