Pussy Riot

With six kitties in the house all wanting out first thing when I get up every morning, I usually end up with a daily “pussy riot” because I won’t let them out  before sunrise. But far from our kitties rioting in Corrales, three members of the Russian punk rock group, “Pussy Riot” are on trial in Moscow on charges of “hooliganism”. In one of their protests in February against Putin running for President, they staged a “punk prayer protest” in the Moscow Cathedral asking the Mother Mary to deliver Russia from Putin.  The three women are facing up to 7 years in prison for their dissent, and Putin wants to make an example of them.  With all the serious crime and violent protests in Russia, it seems pretty pussy of Putin to pick on a group of girls whose public performance art is no more of a crime than driving a “Hello Kitty” car.

Now roll back the clock 163 years to 1849 in Tsarist Russia where Fyodor Dostoyevski found himself in front of a firing squad for his involvement with the progressive discussion group, the Petrashevsky Circle. At the last moment his death sentence was commuted to 4 years in prison in Syberia in what turned out to be a mock execution. It seems to me not much has changed from Tsarist Russia, then the Soviet Union, to modern Russia (with the exception that we would have never heard about “Pussy Riot” or their plight during the Soviet years), and there seems to be little difference in PR’s and Dostoyevsky’s cases. The girls haven’t faced a mock execution that we know of, and I doubt Dostoyevsky made a public scene praying for the Mother Mary to deliver Russia from the Tsar, but in both cases the penalties seem to be way out of proportion to the alleged crimes. Now I’m not going to argue that the US is any better as far as crime and punishment is concerned when possession of burglary equipment — a flashlight, for example — can get you charged with a felony and up to 5 years in prison. So I suppose a group staging a performance art protest against Obama in the Nation Cathedral might be brought up on similar charges, although I don’t think we could keep the group in jail for 6 months while awaiting trial for illegal performance art.

While Dostoyevsky went on to become one of the greatest writers of all time, publishing more than 30 novels, short stories and essays, which included his best known novels “Crime and Punishment”, “The Idiot” and “The Brothers Karamasov”, before his death in 1881.  I doubt “Pussy Riot” will ever produce great music (at least from what I’ve heard), but maybe their case will inspire more people to oppose tyranny.  Although, if the women are found guilty, and sentenced to 7 years in prison, which seems almost a given in Putin’s Russia, the message Putin is giving dissidents is that if they are planning creative and non-violent protests, forget it, they will be punished severely. Since most protestors seem to like violence, I believe the protests will escalate and become more violent if “Pussy Riot” is found guilty of “hooliganism”.

Classy Rose


Touch of Class always puts out nice blooms, and it was no exception this morning. They sky was quite dramatic on my drive home last night, and the day lily was glowing in this morning’s sunlight.




Dreamy Rose


Another long day, and late night by the time I got home from work. I got the photo of the rose as I left for work early this morning. The spider was hanging out on the wall when I got home tonight, and the last photo is what’s left of one of our ears of corn after the raccoons ravaged it.




Horseless Carriage

The NM license plate on the trunk of this 1953 Bentley A-Type reads “Horseless Carriage” under the number. It’s parked at the gas station in Corrales — I presume it’s waiting to have some work to be done in the garage.  Laurie got a photo of our first white dahlia, and I drove home on Coors tonight avoiding the deluge, and resulting traffic problems on I-25.

Stormy Monday

The only thing good about my drive home tonight, besides finally making it home, was that I did get some photos. The first photo was taken while the downpour had the traffic stopped on northbound I-25. The soft focus effect is from the heavy rain. When I got off on Alameda, traffic was backed up to Jefferson, so I turned north on Jefferson and drove out to the Balloon Fiesta Park and photographed the storm over the Jemez. I noticed the layers were accentuated by the storm while I was northbound on I-25. When I got back to Alameda the traffic hadn’t moved and a police car was blocking access to Jefferson south of Alameda. I turned left on Alameda, got on southbound I-25, and made a circular route home via I-40 and Coors Road (the traffic was light, so the drive was fast, thank goodness). I ended up driving almost three times the normal distance to get home tonight, but I might still be on Alameda, otherwise.

Burning Down the T-House

What a tragic weekend. Unfortunate families lost 12 of their loved ones in the Batman massacre Friday morning, a friend died from a stroke/heart attack last night, and we woke up to find the old Territorial House on fire.  The only comment I have on the Batman tragedy is that I find it ironic that the only people who noticed there was something wrong with the shooter are the owners of a gun club who rejected  his application to become a member.  The death of our friend was a complete surprise, and especially sad because he was getting ready to publish a book of poems. The book will be published, but he didn’t live to see it happen.  I grew up with the old Territorial House (most recently called Ranchos de Corrales Event Center), and I still drive by it every day. It had gone through various renovations and had many lives from when it was built as a hacienda around 1800 until it burned this morning. I started working for a woodworker who had a shop in a broken down adobe house on Corrales Road the summer of 1974. I was 15 years old, and one of my first projects was routing signs and painting them for the renovation of the Territorial House that summer. Shannon and I also built cabinets and all the interior doors for that renovation. When we came back from Spain during the summer of 1998, I played flamenco guitar at the T-House once a week until we returned to Spain that September. By that time, the T-House had been purchased by the owner of Ranchos de Taos Restaurant and renamed Ranchos de Corrales Restaurant. Mr. Sandoval had done minimal remodeling, so all the doors and signs I worked on in 1974 were still there, as they were the last time I was in the T-House about 10 years ago. As we were walking up to photograph the T-House burning, Laurie said “There goes all your work!”

Just after sunrise this morning, a fresh Two-Tailed Swallow Tail butterfly was making rounds around the blooms on the butterfly bush on the north side of the deck. I included several photos of it as it made its way around the tiny flowers that make up the blooms. The third photo in the series is particularly interesting because I caught it with its upper and lower wings separated. The overlap of the wings can be clearly seen in three of the five photos in the series.