A friend of mine up in New Mexico also has CLL. I got an e-mail from her today, and she is not doing as well as I am. So I'm going to go visit her this weekend.
Also, one of the more popular people in our CLL support group has passed away. A gentleman by the name of Kurt Grayson. This is what one lady had to say about it, and I think her observation is really accurate. Click on it and it should enlarge big enough to be readable:
Friday, August 31, 2007
Princess Diana died 10 years ago in a late night car crash in Paris in an underpass or tunnel under the Seine river called Place de l'Alma. Her driver was drunk as a skunk, and she was not wearing a seat belt.
A few days later I had to go to London on business, so I was there when she was lying in state.
I’ve been to where she was killed in Paris several times. I've driven my Prius through there and I've ridden through it in a Paris taxi. It always made me feel a little emotional to be there. It is very close to the Paris Hilton and the Eiffel tower.
That loser the Prince of Wales wasn’t man enough to keep her. So the jerk broke her heart by taking on a girl friend who looks like a horse. If this creep ever becomes the King of England they really should just cancel the monarchy. But their son William could sure fill the job though. -
... H Paul Garland at 2:08 PM
Thursday, August 30, 2007
The federal government in America is amazingly incompetent. They are not bright enough to come up with a computer system to keep track of all the foreigners legally visiting America.
Yet yesterday I ordered a new point and shoot digital camera from Amazon, and today I can see the exact status of the order, and estimate when it will be delivered. So we must assume from this that Amazon and UPS are both staffed by people who are much more motivated and intelligent than the staffers in our government. No big surprise there.
... H Paul Garland at 11:44 AM
In Europe labor unions are very routine. Probably most workers belong to a union. And this is partly responsible for workers being treated more humanely than in those countries where labor unions are suppressed. Four to six weeks of vacation each year is quite normal, and three day weekends are common. In America it has been fashionable since the 1940's and 1950's to be anti-union. Even among working class, blue collar people. The rich are getting richer, the gap betweeen them and the poor is widening, but membership in labor unions is continuing to decrease. Go figure. I guess native raw intelligence must be in short supply among the working class in America.
In the news yesterday it was noted that the percentage of people in America who do not have health insurance has increased again. I've got to tell you, after a lifetime of being insured for major health or accident problems, it sure is interesting and different to be 58, out of work, have a form of malignant cancer that affects the bone marrow and the body's ability to fight off disease (one's immune system), and not have health insurance or access to the health care system.
I have almost finished the last of the high blood pressure medication I brought with me when I moved back to America 8 months ago. So in the next few months I either have to find a cheap doctor who will provide me with a prescription that can be used in the Wal-Mart $4- per month program, or I will be buying my medicine in Mexico.
Just like lots of other old folks. People who led hard working lives with dignity, and who now that they are getting older are being shunted aside and ignored by society. Please don't bother us with your problems you smelly old folks. In fact maybe we ought to take another look at legalizing doctor assisted suicide/euthanasia.
What started out the above rant was the fact that the LABOR DAY celebration is this weekend. So it will be a 3 day weekend in America. Except for the very most reactionary and right wing of companies. And there are tons of different events taking place all over America.
Siliver City, N.M. Mineral Show: http://www.silvercity.org/dest_gem_and_mineral_show.php
Hillsboro, N.M. Apple Festival: http://www.scsun-news.com/opinion/ci_6651603
Hatch, N.M. Chile Festival: http://nmtourism.org/event/loc/calendar/page/DB-event/event/18796.html
... H Paul Garland at 8:24 AM
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
"In harmony with one's environment; at peace with one's circumstances."
"Everything is connected. All is part of totality."
... H Paul Garland at 7:26 PM
Driving on I-25 from El Paso, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico USA just south of the Bosque del Apache wildlife refuge and Socorro, you pass a really imposing and dramatic volcanic mesa made of black rock off to the east. Nowdays it is named Contadero Mesa, but over time has gone by various names including Ciénega de Mesilla de Guinea, El Contadero, Senecú, and Black Mesa.
There have been people traveling past here since well before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.
In May 1598 the Oñate expedition passed by here. And there are other historical references to the place in 1680, 1766, 1773, and 1819.
Link re Contadero Mesa:
Just south of this dramatic geologic feature is one of the largest forts ever constructed by the U.S. Army in the middle to late 1800's while the American Government was fighting the wars with the native inhabitants, the aboriginal Indians, which eventually resulted in their virtual elimination. It is located at N 33.63446, W-107.01293 and can be easily driven to over roughly a 5 mile very good dirt road.
Fort Craig was held in private ownership for many years, and because it was protected as private property rather than being a part of the federal bureaucracy it is also one of the most well preserved 19th century western desert forts.
Link to Fort Craig: http://www.over-land.com/fortcraig.html
Another link to Fort Craig: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Craig
Built in 1854 Fort Craig was never breached or defeated. It was constructed with high earthen ramparts and a dry moat in a design such that whatever direction it was attacked from the defenders inside the fort could flank the attacker. It was built to protect the nearby settlements along the Rio Grande river and also to protect travelers from raids by the Indians.
I have no problem with the mental concepts of the vastness of the universe, distances measured in light years, pottery that is 2,000 years old or even shards from the first European farmers about 5,500 B.C. But it is hard for me to visualize that only about 90 years before I was born there were native wild Indians living off the land right here in my dry desert homeland. And the soldiers were out there with their modern weaponry doing their best to exterminate them.
In February of 1862 soldiers from Ft. Craig took part in one of the few civil war battles fought on New Mexico Territory. About five miles northeast of Ft. Craig several thousand soldiers with the Union Army and about 2,500 soldiers of the Confederate States of America fought a battle. The rebels were victorious in this battle. There were about 450 casualties in this battle.
Link to The Civil War in New Mexico: http://www.nmculturenet.org/heritage/civil_war/essays/6.html
... H Paul Garland at 12:50 PM
Sunday, August 26, 2007
... H Paul Garland at 3:07 PM
Saturday, August 25, 2007
... H Paul Garland at 5:32 PM
... H Paul Garland at 1:26 PM
Thursday, August 23, 2007
The raw images are in Flickr at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_garland/sets/72157601619372247/
... H Paul Garland at 12:36 PM
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Florence Mae Barnwell, my grandmother, was at Columbus, New Mexico USA when Pancho Villa attacked. She had a small baby in arms, and she and several other women ran out into the desert and spent the rest of the night there to avoid the drunken Mexican attackers.
When the railroad tracks reached El Paso in 1881 it was just a sleepy little Mexican village at the pass through the Rocky Mountains. The total population was under 1,000 people. The Southern Pacific arrived on May 19, 1881. On June 11, 1882 the route to St. Louis was completed. Also in 1881 the Santa Fe arrived giving access to the north, and in 1882 a railroad bridge was built over the Rio Grande river and the Mexican Central connected to Juarez, Mexico.
The arrival of the railroads transformed El Paso. Practically overnight it became a boom town. By 1886 it had a gas company, an electric company, a water company, telegraph and telephone facilities. Less than ten years after the railroads arrived the official population of the town exceeded 10,000.
In the 21st century the railroads play much less of a prominent role than they did at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. And even though the metropolitan area has close to 2,000,000 people, in many ways it is still just a sleepy little Mexcian town.
There is an interesting little railroad museum in downtown El Paso at the corner of West San Antonio Avenue and South Durango Street. There is covered parking at approximately 452 W. San Antonio. This nice museum is walking distance to the Art Museum, the History Museum, and the Holocaust Museum. They have the old No. 1 steam engine which was built in 1857 on display there. This is one of the oldest steam engines still remaining in America. During its lifetime it served many different locations, but when it retired it was bringing ore from the mines in Southern Arizona to the smelter in El Paso.
This is a link to the museum’s web site: http://www.elpasorails.org/
I have been doing a little volunteer work at the museum. Helping give tours to school groups, etc. I play the part of the fireman. This was the guy who fixed the engine, lubricated it, shoveled the coal, etc. A hard working practical sort of fellow.
... H Paul Garland at 11:24 AM
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
... H Paul Garland at 1:48 PM
According to a close friend of mine, Germaine Greer Ph.D supposedly once said, “Most women have no idea how much most men hate them.”
I told my friend how funny Dr. Greer is. In England she is one of the central players in a satirical comedy TV show on the BBC. She has a brilliant intellect, and a very charming personality.
Listening to the conversation of middle aged men when there are no women around, I would think that her observation is absolutely accurate.
She and Jane Goodall are among the few beautiful older women that I can think of. I’ve never met Germaine Greer, but I have watched her so much on TV that I kind of feel like I know her. I did meet and talk with Jane Goodall a couple of years ago. Both ladies have beautiful minds, personalities, and are not displeasing to look at either.
... H Paul Garland at 8:18 AM
Saturday, August 11, 2007
I live out in the high desert now. Around 4,000 ft msl (1.333 meters) and my house is out on the eastern edge of the city. Raw, virgin desert is less than 1 km to the east. I am about 10 miles (16 km) from the center of town.
MAYBE it is dark enough right here at my house to see the Perseid meteor shower.
A little past midnight, but before the sky begins getting daylight is the best time to look. Towards the northeast.
If you know the constellation Cassiopeia it will be near there. Cassiopeia is shaped like a big W and is pretty obvious.
... H Paul Garland at 4:29 PM
In 1888, about 7 years after the railroads arrived, Hiram Hadley was the founder and first president of Las Cruces College, which became the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, and later New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico USA. In Las Cruces there is Hadley Hall and a Hadley Street.
His obituatry states:
The funeral of Honorable Hiram Hadley, founder of the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, was held at Hadley Hall, Thursday afternoon, at two o'clock, the Rev. Ira H. McClymonds presiding. The funeral opened with a hymn, "Nearer My God to Thee," by a community quartette. Reverend McClymonds pronounced the scriptures, followed by a short talk by Mr. H. A. Sutherland on the life of Hiram Hadley. Prayer by Rev. HcClymonds, followed by the Hymn, "Jesus Lover of My Soul," concluded the services at Hadley Hall. The funeral procession to the grave was a mile in length. The body of President Hadley was placed to rest in the Masonic Cemetery at Las Cruces.
Hiram Hadley was born March 17, 1833, in Clinton County, Ohio, and died December 3, 1922, in Kansas City, Mo., at the Christian Church Hospital where he underwent an operation for cancer. He came to New Mexico in 1887. He was the father of education in the state. In the fall of 1888 he opened the Las Cruces College in the old building at the northwest corner of Amador and South Alameda Streets. This later became a State institution under the name of the Agricultural College of New Mexico, and later, the New Mexico College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts. The Administration Building carries his name to this day. Besides being the founder and first president of the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Hiram Hadley was one time Acting President of the University of New Mexico, at Albuquerque.
Mr. Hadley also started the first public school in this part of the state. There were three principal items Mr. Hadley wished to see accomplished during his life, namely: National Prohibition, Woman Suffrage, and International Peace. During his life he had seen two of these accomplished, and wonderful progress toward the third. Mr. Hadley is survived by his widow and two daughters, Miss Anna Hadley of Mesilla Park, and Mrs. Allen of Chicago. The death of Hiram Hadley is a great blow to the College and to the people of the Mesilla Valley.
Yesterday at the city museum in Silver City, New Mexico I saw this large mining map of suthern New Mexico painted on the wall. Just north of Deming a small mining community named Hadley is shown.
On the eastern slopes of the Cooke's range there is a geographic feature called Hadley Draw.
My father was born in 1914, Paris, Texas. This is only 10 miles south of Oklahoma. Paris is almost 700 miles to the east of Las Cruces, New Mexico. It is just pure supposition, but perhaps my father was named Benjamin Hadley Garland in honor of someone related to Hiram Hadley.
On the other hand when you look in any decent world atlas for places named Hadley, you see that there are at least 20 places called that. And if you Google the phrase BIOGRAPHY HADLEY you get page after page of people named Hadley. The same when you look up HADLEY PARIS TEXAS, so probably there is no connection between my father and Hiram Hadley.
... H Paul Garland at 6:33 AM
Thursday, August 09, 2007
When I walk my little black doggie out in the desert sometimes I sing to him. I used to sing “You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound dog.” But now that he has caught and killed a little cottontail bunny rabbit, I don’t sing that song to him anymore.
Elvis Aaron Presley died 30 years ago. On August 16, 1977. There isn’t much I can add to all the others who will eulogize him, but I do have a little story. Elvis was born on January 8. I was born one day earlier, on January 7. Elvis was a Capricorn, just like the carpenter from Nazareth. Me too.
Elvis had the voice, he had the moves, and he had an enormous amount of charisma.
Back in the bad old days pretty much everyone served in the military if you were called upon to do so. Not just poor folks like it is today. And when his time came, Elvis did indeed serve in the U.S. Army. He didn’t like it, but he didn’t run away and hide either. He certainly had enough money that he could have found a way to get out of serving his country, but he was from that generation which believed that your word was as good as gold, and that it was important to serve one’s country when called upon to do so.
Elvis was stationed with the 3d Armored Division in West Germany. Of course now days there is no longer an East Germany and a West Germany, but there sure was back then. And everyone took it all very seriously. People died trying to get out of East Germany and into West Germany.
Bad analogy, but people are dying of thirst in the desert right now trying to get from Old Mexico into New Mexico.
After I graduated from university the war in Vietnam was still going on, and I also served with the U.S. Army’s 3d Armored Division in Frankfurt, West Germany. Elvis was older than me, so by the time I was with the Army in West Germany it was about 10 years since Elvis had been there. But there were still people who remembered him, and they still told stories about him.
Both Elvis and I had cushy jobs while we were in the Army. Even though we both got over to Germany as lowly Privates, we both worked for Colonels, and we both had been promoted up to Spec 5 when we got out. Elvis was a driver for his Colonel; and I since I had an honors degree from a University and I could type, even though my formal training in the Army was as a tank driver (the ultimate off road vehicle) I was immediately reclassified as a clerk typist. So I was basically the secretary/receptionist to my Colonel.
Supposedly one time Elvis' Colonel thought that Elvis had not washed the jeep well enough, so the next day Elvis took it into town and had it repainted. I don’t know if this really happened, but the old guy who told me the story presented it as the truth.
Yesterday waiting in the check out line I saw Angelina Jolie’s picture on a tabloid magazine. Skin and bones. Apparently she also is going into a program for substance abuse.
One thing that can be learned from Elvis and his short life. Substance abuse kills rich and famous people just as easily as it kills poor people.
... H Paul Garland at 2:51 PM
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I think it was Mark Twain who said, “Whiskey is for drinking, and water is for fighting.” Certainly here in the arid southwestern part of the United States who gets the water and who doesn’t is a critical issue. The poor Mexicans who die of thirst in the middle of the desert really understand how vital water is. Without water entire civilizations just vanish, practically overnight.
El Paso, Texas may be a sleepy, extremely poor and backward border town in many ways. But in the area of water conservation El Paso sets the standard that other cities try to live up to. Currently on a per capita basis residents use the same amount of water that they did in the 1950s. The people of El Paso have really done a fine job of changing over to desert landscaping and other areas of water conservation. The farming community and industry has also done its part.
Today the local water utility had a grand opening of a desalination plant which takes the city to the next bar. Large groups of people were being given tours. I was very fortunate indeed to get a one-on-one tour by the number two man in the facility.
Traditionally El Paso has used a great deal of filtered river water during the irrigation season and also has pumped out vastly more ground water than is recharged. When the dam at Elephant Butte is closed down and during times of drought the small amount of water that runs in the Rio Grande is largely sewage effluent from cities upstream of El Paso. So at these times the city relies 100% on well water.
When you drill down about 400 or 600 feet one reaches the top of the Hueco Bolson water table. This is essentially geologic water that came from rain many thousands of years ago. It resides in sand and fractured rock, not in some kind of a big underground cavern. This water has sat here placidly for so long that the heavier salty (brackish) water has sunk to the bottom, and floating on the very tippy top of the aquifer there is (or was) nice clean drinking water.
Since the 1950s El Paso has pretty much used up almost all of this fresh water that was floating on the top.
The new desalination plant takes the salty water (of which there is a vast quantity) and removes the salt using the reverse osmosis process. The effluent of extremely salty water is pumped 22 miles to the northeast, then injected into very deep wells about 2,500 feet below the surface. Out near the Texas/New Mexico line, McGregor Range, and right next to the Hot Wells archaeological site.
This new facility in El Paso, Texas is the largest inland desalination plant in the world. Of course there are larger desalination facilities right on the ocean. But nothing close to this inland. This new plant puts out 30,000,000 gallons per day of beautiful tasting fresh drinking water.
Most reverse osmosis (RO) systems require that the input water be brought up to a very high pressure, say 400 pounds per square inch. The pumps to do this require a lot of kilowatts of electricity so they are expensive to run. Since the El Paso desalination plant is not starting with sea water, but much less salty water coming from the Hueco Bolson, in the RO plant in El Paso the water only has to be brought up to about 90 psi. Your normal tap water may be 60 psi or much more in some cases.
I have maintained for some time that anyone who maintains a large lush lawn of grass at the home in the middle of the desert is being socially irresponsible. It is nice that there are intelligent people working for the government who also are looking towards the future.
... H Paul Garland at 5:11 PM
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
... H Paul Garland at 1:12 PM
Sunday, August 05, 2007
More than 20 years earlier in 1598 the Spaniard Don Juan de Onate crossed the Rio Grande river and passed through what is now called El Paso, Texas. Since this location was at a natural pass through the Rocky Mountains, he called it El Paso.
Like many places on the earth, this particular little piece of ground has been ruled by various countries and cultures over mankind’s history. There were aboriginal people here 8,000 - 10,000 years ago. Spain owned it, so did Mexico, and for a while Texas was an independant country.
Like so many locations all over the planet, when ownership did change hands it was often the result of greed, warfare, and death. And religion was used as an excuse to make it socially acceptable.
After the Mexican-American war, in February 1848 El Paso became part of the United States of America.
There are various historical plaques around town commemorating all of this. One interesting bit of trivia: The gunman and lawyer John Wesley Hardin killed more men than Billy The Kid and Jessie James put together.
To get to boundary marker number one between Mexico and the USA you have to go over a very old bridge over the Rio Grande river.
... H Paul Garland at 1:15 PM