White Sands National Monument

Near Alamogordo, NM is the White Sands National Monument.  It is an “otherworldly” place that is perhaps this way because it’s only 120 miles/200Km from Roswell, NM.  🙂

It has the distinction of being the only place I’ve ever walked in the desert where walking barefoot was better than walking while wearing shoes.  I love going barefoot!!!


And now some pictures.

When I plotted the almost 2 mile (3k) long hike route on Google Maps’ satellite view, it looked like I was walking on a frosted cake.



And, here is a view of the dunes that was taken at about the “1” on the map in the above picture.


Each time the wind blows, the footprints are obliterated, so one just follows the orange (made by Carsonite) signs as if they were cairns.  It’s kind of a neat experience.

The park service does offer permits to camp overnight on the dunes.  My wife and I are planning to go back there and do this when there is a full moon.  I can’t wait to see what the place is like when there is a full moon!


And finally, just in case someone thinks there is no life on these dunes, there were plants, ants, lizards and lots of birds (probably hunting lizards).  The only moving things that moved slowly enough for me to get a picture were some ants.  I followed the line of ants to a plant and just stood there watching them.


The ants in the white sand brought back a memory from when I was 5 or 6 years old. My parents bought me an “Ant Farm”.  I don’t know if that was the actual name of it, or if that is just what I called it.  Anyway, it had a green plastic frame and two clear plastic windows spaced about an inch (2cm) apart.  A white sand was put into the “farm” and then ants were then added.  The ants would then dig their tunnels and the narrow gap between the windows guaranteed that the ants could be seen working in the tunnels.    Ants were fascinating to me when I was 5 years old and are still fascinating to me even now.



Earlier this week my daughter had all four of her wisdom teeth removed.  My wife and I could tell she was nervous, but she knew it had to be done.

The first few hours after the teeth were removed were a haze for her due the anesthetic and later, the hydrocodone-actaminophen tablets to control the pain.

After two days, except for eating soft foods, she’s pretty much back to normal.  It’s been 24 hours since she’s needed any of the prescription pain meds, so in a few hours she’ll probably drive back to her apartment.


June 30


Yesterday my wife and I drove to Yarnell and hiked the 3-3/4 mile (6km) trail leading to where 19 wildland firefighters of the Granite Mountain IHC (Interagency Hotshot Crew) died at 4:42pm June 30, 2013.



After paying our respects, we made the return 3-3/4 mile (6k) trip back out to the trailhead and went to the nearby church where, starting at 4:42pm, each of the 19 firefighters’ names were said aloud.  After each name was spoken, a brass bell was struck.


Ham Radio, 1962

NCX-3aIn my first post, I said I liked to restore old radios.  Well, here is a post about this part of my hobbies.

A friend gave me a non-working 1962 vintage National Radio Company NCX-3 radio transmitter-receiver (transceiver), along with the power supply unit for use at home and the power supply unit for use in a vehicle.

This radio was in good enough physical condition that I temporarily switched my attention to this unit.

It took a couple of days to make this one work.  Even though the radio is 55 years old, only eight components needed to be replaced and then I did what an auto mechanic would consider to be a “tune up”.  It now works as the manufacturer says it should work.   This means it is capable of world wide communications without any help from an internet provider or telephone company.

By today’s standards, for what the radio does, it is huge, heavy and consumes lots of power.   In other words, using this radio is like driving a 1962 car.

Now, back to the old Gonset “cold war” radio.



Corn Plant. Part 3.

I have been keeping the soil damp around the dog damaged corn plant and today I noticed a small green sprout sticking up through the soil.

I have moved the planter to a new location where the dog shouldn’t want to jump up into it to look outside and I’m hoping the plant will be able to grow tall again.


Outside Stove

One of the few problems with living in the USA desert southwest (not counting my opinion of the area’s water policy) is using the kitchen oven in the summertime.  When it’s 110F/43C degrees outside, like it is right now, it seems foolish to pay to heat the oven that ends up heating up the kitchen at the same time I’m paying to have the air conditioner keep the house cool.

The neighbor across the street mentioned that his kitchen range (combination stove and oven) wasn’t working.  I offered to fix it for him (these are easy to fix), but he had already purchased a new one.  He went on to say that he was going to put the old one out on the sidewalk with a “free–needs fixing” sign on it and if it was still there the next morning, he would pay to have it hauled to the recycling facility.

I saved him the need to pay to have it hauled away and brought it to my enclosed back porch.  The prior owners of our house had an electrically powered hot-tub and the electric outlet for it was still in place.  The stove needed an electric circuit with less capacity than was needed for the hot tub, so I simply changed the circuit breaker to a smaller one and changed the electrical outlet to the correct one.  The wires are slightly larger than needed, but that’s perfectly acceptable.

Every Thanksgiving holiday I’ve complained about not having enough stove and oven space and every summer I’ve complained about paying to heat the house that I’m also paying to keep cool.


I’ve fixed two of my complaints for less than $100 and 2 hours of time.  It turned out that the appliance parts store was only 1-1/2 miles (2.5k) from the house, so I walked there and even got some exercise in the process.


May 26, 2018

Each May 26 and October 31, I take “Book 1 of my life” off of the shelf for a moment and remember.  See  Book One — The Ending

This year, May 26 was a Saturday, just like it was in 1984.  I snapped this picture with my cell phone camera from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  It was my moment of “remembering book 1”.   It’s not the ocean, but that’s OK.  It will do.