Saturday, July 30, 2011


Happiness, indeed.
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Friday, July 29, 2011

Trail Tales

"With monsoons reducing fire danger and the Las Conchas fire 95 percent contained, the Forest Service will re-open parts of the Santa Fe Forest starting Saturday." -update on the trail status in northern New Mexico. Finally!
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Thursday, July 28, 2011


"The view is too vast and lovely for words. I think I am happy -- sad admission of scant intellectual equipment. I am getting housemaid's knee kneeling here at the table gulping beauty." -Amelia Earhart. Just finished watching Amelia last night; cute film, although I thought Richard Gere was a little too old to play George Putnam...
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High Desert

"It was still an enchanted land... from their vantage point at Los Alamos, raised high above the world, even something as simple as the sunset behind the Jemez peaks became terrifyingly beautiful in its great sweep of color and sky." -another line from 109 East Palace.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Style Watch

"You look like a Harvey Girl." -a lady at the bus stop comments on my dress.

Of course I had no idea what she was referring to, so I smiled politely and the Googled "Harvey Girl" as soon as I got to work. Judy Garland popped up, so I guess I'll take it as a compliment.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011


"... how this evening is,
Unpeopled, silent, and where we are alive
In a domestic love, seemingly alone
All other lives worn down to trees and sunlight
Looking forward to a visit from the cat."
-Douglass Dunn
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Monday, July 25, 2011

App Attack

"Fit to Roam: Seven fitness apps." Yes, I wrote this, despite the fact that I will never use any of them (some people are just not smartphone people).
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Perfect Together

"Don't you think I was made for you? I feel like you had me ordered -- and I was delivered to you -- to be worn -- I want you to wear me like a watch-chain or button-hole bouquet -- to the world." -Zelda Fitzgerald to F. Scott Fitzgerald; the two were married in 1920.
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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Life on the Hill

"So the altitude of 7,300 feet made some people woozy. So water boiled at 198 degrees Fahrenheit, foods took forever to cook, and a simple meal of meat and potatoes might take three hours to prepare. It wasn't the end of the world." -from 109 East Palace, the story of Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos. Some things haven't changed.

Might as well mention this one, too: "Los Alamositis, the result of so many people from different parts of the world coming together on the mesa and pooling their germs."

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Power Walk

"Are you rushing again?" -an old man who gets off the bus in Santa Fe with me. He asks me this question every day, and every day I tell him I'm going to work. Must be nice to be retired and not always be in a hurry to get somewhere.
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

No Worries

"It will be there when you get there." -an older woman's casual response to another lady's frantic realization that she was going to be late for work (overheard in the locker room).
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Free Willy

"On December 24, 2009, a 6,600-pound orca killed trainer Alexis Martinez at a marine park in the Canary Islands. Two months later, trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by an orca at SeaWorld Orlando. Should Martinez's death have served as a warning about the lethal potential of killer whales being trained for our entertainment? Tim Zimmermann investigates." -I received the first draft of this story on April 8. More than three months later, here's the final version.

Wow, that was a lot of fact checking (and lawyer meetings and e-mails and phone calls and sleepless nights thinking about orcas)!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Global Warming

"A change in our taking place very sensibly. Both heats and colds are become much more moderate within the memory of the middle-aged. Snows are less frequent and less deep...The elderly inform me the earth used to be covered with snow about three months in every year. The rivers, which then seldom failed to freeze over in the course of the winter, scarcely ever do so now." -Thomas Jefferson, who apparently recorded the temperature twice a day for 50 years. Read more at
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Dumb and Dumber

Dialogue with two teenage boys:

Me: It's illegal to ride your bike on the sidewalk.
Boy #1 (with attitude): Illegal according to who?
Me: Um, the law...
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Back Off

"It does't come in purse-size." -a very serious comment from Patty about bear spray.

Good thing the Outside crew didn't need it on our hike to Ruybald Lake yesterday.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011


"I always wrote my poems in the fields and when I was out of work I used to go out of the village to particular spots which I was fond of from the beauty or secrecy of the scenes or some association... I used to drop down under a bush and scribble the fresh thoughts on the crown of my hat." -John Clare

Enjoying a day outside in southern Colorado...
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Friday, July 15, 2011


"Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck." -Iris Murdoch.

I'm constantly amazed at my luck...
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

57 Feet & Rising

"The next boat that comes down at such high speed will need two pilots, as we intend to kill the first one. Our guards are armed with Winchesters and they have orders to shoot to kill." -an anonymous telegram sent to the Governor of Louisiana during the 1927 Mississippi Flood. Find out how that event compares to this year's flood in this Outside story that I fact checked.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011


"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." -Marcel Proust
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What I Know

"I discovered a long time ago that writing of the small things of the day, the trivial matters of the heart, the inconsequential but near things of this living, was the only kind of creative work which I could accomplish with any sincerity or grace ... sometimes in writing of myself -- which is the only subject anyone knows intimately -- I have occasionally had the exquisite thrill of putting my finger on a little capsule of truth, and heard it give the faint squeak of mortality under my pressure, an antic sound." -E.B. White
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Monday, July 11, 2011

My Next Car

"I'd never really noticed it before, but a lot of the bananas, instead of being that curvy boomerang shape that you think of, they actually curved at the back but then they ran fairly straight." -Steve Braithwaite, who is driving his banana car around the world. Read more on NPR.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Smoky Skies

"If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it." -Thomas Jefferson

Las Conchas is still going... (views from Los Alamos)

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

"Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear. Read in the backyard with the sun on your face. Learn to be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness because if you do you will live it with joy and passion, as it ought to be lived." -columnist and novelist Anna Quindlen
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Friday, July 8, 2011


"That's what happens to me when I yell at my husband too much." -a woman's reaction to my lack of a voice (at first she through I was just being rude by not saying good morning).
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Thursday, July 7, 2011


"You sound like a 13-year-old boy." -Matt's reaction to my cracking voice this morning. Now, it's all I can do to get out a whisper...
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011


"Have a nice day. Have a memorable day. Have a (however unlikely) a life-changing day." -Lou Lipsitz

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011


"This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body." -Walt Whitman
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Monday, July 4, 2011

Going Home

"Sunset at the end of a rough week. While we won't be coming back to the same place, we're definitely coming back to a stronger community." -caption on a photo of Los Alamos.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011


"Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others." -a letter from Amelia Earhart to her husband; her (unsuccessful) flight round the world was 74 years ago yesterday.
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Saturday, July 2, 2011


"For the time being, it seems unlikely that Las Conchas will burn LANL or Los Alamos. But the fire is only 3 percent contained. As of Friday, it had destroyed 103,842 acres." -get the details of New Mexico's biggest wildfire at
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Friday, July 1, 2011

Lost Kids

Sign at Gabriel's, a restaurant north of Santa Fe: Unattended Children will be given an espresso and a free puppy.
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