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Not since being a teller have I had validation of my greatness. That was 1981. It was called “Being in Balance.” Ahhhhh. My brain was aligned. I would lock up my cash drawer, place it in the vault, hand my perfect paper to my boss and head home. Not a care in the world.

Being in management you rarely have tangible evidence that you’ve completed something. Anything. It’s the nature of the beast. We are paid to think, and meet and strategize. Don’t get me wrong – I love what I do. But now and again I need a sense of completion. I need to stand back and look at evidence of my accomplishment.

This week-end I achieved just that. I built a steel pergula in my backyard. It took me about 10 hours but I did it. The stupid directions said you could put it together in 30 minutes. Some dude on said he did it in 3 hours. Whatever. They probably didn’t live in the high desert where they had to dig 18 inch holes in rock in 103 degree weather. I”m just sayin’….

It’s square, and sturdy and gorgeous and I can’t wait to finish laying my flagstone so Dexter and I can enjoy the stars.

Now I can get back to thinking.

Yesterday I got my email from Netflix alerting me of their fee increase. At first I was a little annoyed but then realized what they are doing is not unlike the following:

Your cable company hiking up your rate because they can. Did I cancel? Hell no. I pay $75.00 a month for 600 channels – most of which are crap.

The gas station doubling the cost of a gallon in one year. Did I stop driving? Hell no. I’m an American, I drive a V6 sedan that only takes premium fuel.

My cell phone bill……it hasn’t gone up recently but let’s just say, I’m with AT&T. They don’t have to care.

So thank you Netflix for making me realize that you are a joy and a bargain. I will gladly accept my new monthly fee of $16.00. I am in season four of Dexter (only on DVD) and love to live stream stuff on my iPad.

Play on.

Had a great debate today at lunch.

The question: Will checks (the annoying act of writing one or receiving one) go away in our lifetime?

My answer: The paper check will die with the Baby Boomer generation.


Thank you to Tulliver’s in Albuquerque for making Dexter’s first haircut a wonderful experience. He’s a new boy.

It’s been awhile since I made an entry under “Dog Blog.”

For those of you who are dog parents, you can appreciate that this is a big month for our boy. He’s getting his first haircut on Saturday and later this month – something else is getting snipped. Our little puppy is becoming a doggy. Awwww…..

Here’s the latest photo of Dexter. The world’s cutest dog in his sandbox. Yes, I bought him a child’s sandbox complete with lid (so the neighbor cat doesn’t use it as his toilet – bad kitty). Don’t judge! I got free shipping from

Let’s all go wash our cars today (the white man’s rain dance) so we can keep this beast at bay. Here’s the map of the fire line  – the arrow points to my house.

I just discovered this great community of bloggers/photographers called The Daily Post. It’s challenging me to write every day. Sister Rose Delores would be proud of this site. She always said, You want to be a writer, write. Every day. You want to be an artist? Draw. Every day. You want to be a slacker? Slack. Every day. Okay, I made up that last one. But you get her point. Practice, practice, practice.

So here goes. The challenge was simply one word. Sky.

People often ask me why I left the beauty of the Pacific Northwest for the high desert of New Mexico. It’s simple. I need sky. Lots of head room so I can think.

In Portland, Oregon there is very little sky. Mostly trees and drizzle. It doesn’t rain as much as people think in Portland, it’s chronically cloudy. A weird layer of grey that will hang around for days, not even giving you a peak at the sky. It’s mean. But don’t I miss the green? That’s always the second question. If you want that much green you have to have that much gloom. No, I do not miss the green. I’m quite fond of desert brown.

There are 300 days of sunshine a year in New Mexico (according to the brochure). But this year that sun has been shining with a vengeance and over delivering and has partnered with the Las Conchas Fire to give me more sky.

Be careful what you wish for.

It’s day five of the Las Conchas fire and this morning the beast earned the distinction of the largest forest fire in New Mexico history. And it’s in my backyard.

Every day it’s hot. Usually gets to a high of 95 degrees and about 11% humidity. Some might call it a “dry heat.” Argh! Late afternoon the wind kicks up and so does the fire. We all collectively hold our breath that the direction is blowing AWAY from our town, and then by about midnight the wind dies down completely. So by morning it looks like this:

This is my new normal. I can’t really see very far. I have no idea when this is going to end. There will be all kinds of damage still visible when the fire crews go home. It’s going to take decades for the forests to recover.

Kind of like our economic situation.

There are two camps in a crisis. The let’s wait and see if this fixes itself and hope it ends soon. And then there are the people that take action so that they can move on. Things will never be like they were. The landscape is entirely different. My horizon has changed.

Do I sit back and mope and bitch and blame? Or do I look at the bright side? I still have a lovely home, and got to know a bunch of my neighbors and their dogs. I still live in the Land of Enchantment. I also have a wonderful job, in this economy.

So the lesson learned. This is the New Normal folks. Accept it. The smoke is not going to clear anytime soon and give you back your easy breezy days of big fat margins and bucket loads of credit worthy members. We have to figure out how to make a profit in THIS environment. Charred trees and all.


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July 2011