Commentary, comics, and puzzles.  You know -- the important stuff.

Vote for Me ~ Part 7
read part 6 first, pilgrim)
Friday June 15th, 2012

Vote for Me ~ Part 6
read part 5 first, pilgrim)
Thursday June 14th, 2012

Vote for Me ~ Part 5
read part 4 first, pilgrim)
Wednesday June 13th, 2012

Vote for Me ~ Part 4
read part 3 first, pilgrim)
Tuesday June 12th, 2012

Vote for Me ~ Part 3
read part 2 first, pilgrim)
Monday June 11th, 2012

Vote for Me ~ Part 2
read part 1 first, pilgrim)
Sunday June 10th, 2012

Vote for Me ~ Part 1 Friday June 8th, 2012

Buffalo Dog Monday June 4th, 2012

Breed: Buffalo Dog
Genus: (Bufalosaurus Carnivorous)

Average height: 6 to 7 inches at the shoulder
Average weight: 11.7 pounds (soaking wet)



Folsom Village's mascot,  Chiggers, belongs to the rare Buffalo Dog breed.  This nearly extinct breed once roamed the great plains in teeming droves, following their primary food source the buffalo as they migrated across the vast prairies.  Today, it is difficult to imagine the ferocious power exhibited by these tiny dogs as they swarmed upon the buffalo herds in great hoards of seething teeth and paws.

Reports abound from early settlers of this desolate land regarding the buffalo dogs.  Many stories are recorded of groups as large as 50,000 dogs.  Images of swarming, darting, vicious packs of these creatures descending upon helpless herds of buffalo earned the little buffalo dog an undeserved reputation for savagery.  Today, the little dog has been successfully domesticated, and exhibits few reminders of its past behavior (except for eating the occasional cat or two).


Chigger's List of Pet Peeves

When you run away in the middle of a perfectly good leg humping.

Blaming your farts on me...not funny.

Yelling at me for barking...I'M A FRIGGIN' DOG YOU IDIOT!!

How you naively believe that the stupid cat isn't all over everything while you're gone. Have you noticed that your toothbrush tastes a little like cat butt?

Taking me for a walk, then not letting me check stuff out. Exactly who's walk is this anyway?

Any trick that involves balancing food on my nose...stop it.

Yelling at me for rubbing my "rear" on your carpet. Why'd you buy carpet?

Getting upset when I sniff the crotches of your guests. Sorry but I haven't quite mastered that handshake thing yet...idiot.

How you act disgusted when I lick myself. Look, we both know the truth - you're just jealous.

Dog sweaters. Have you noticed the fur? Imbecile.

Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons. Now you know why we chew up your stuff when you're not home.

When you pick up the poop piles in the yard. Do you realize how far behind schedule that puts me?

Taking me to the vet for "the big snip", then acting surprised when I freak out everytime we go back.

The sleight of hand, fake fetch throw. You fooled a dog! What a proud moment for the top of the food chain, you nitwit.

Author Unknown - thanks be to Traci and her awesome powers of forwarding.

It's Quite Puzzling Wednesday April 25th, 2012

So, you think you know all about Northeastern New Mexico?  Maybe even a little about the 47th state?

Prove it!

Tackle this crossword puzzle -- it's a doozy.  Okay, so the layout is a little strange (in this land, we call that "enchanted") but the clues are all New Mexico.  Well, except for that one.

This is definitely a "coffee klatch puzzle" -- gather your friends and put your heads together!

>>click here to view and print...

Tree of Love Saturday March 17th, 2012

Tree of Love

Yep, there are two trees.  It's the Tree of Love, you know, not the Tree of Loneliness!

Leaves of Love.  Perhaps they are a metaphor for peanut butter, or lamp shades, or the little wheelbarrow in Monopoly.  Or maybe I'm really bad at metaphors.

The same old path always leads to the same old place.  If you take a new route, you may still end up in the same place, but at least the scenery will be different.  Today, for some unknown reason, I turned right instead of left.  I find that nowadays most of my reasons are unknown but it does make for a more interesting ride.  On this particular day, this particular right turn took me past a very unexpected discovery -- the Tree of Love.

Wow!  Who knew that it was hiding out in plain sight on an insignificant back road in Houston, Texas?  It's not a particularly special tree, and the furniture selection seems a bit on the odd side.  A couple of pieces did match, though, so I am quite sure that a female was involved.  I noticed that one chair was better than anything in my house, but I think that stealing from the Tree of Love would be spectacularly bad karma -- something that even my mastery of The Force might not be able to overcome.

As luck would have it, the Tree of Love was alone with its secret thoughts, whispering its message only to the wind.  Would you have it any other way?  I didn't think the Tree would mind if I parked the old truck and plucked a few leaves.  Neither the Tree nor the truck raised much of a fuss at the idea. 

From the road, the shaded patch looked like a peaceful place for lonely folk to sit and contemplate the plight of the forlorn.  Up close, it looked quite a bit more like a dumping spot for things no longer wanted.  Perhaps there isn't much difference between the two perspectives.  Regardless, the Tree offers no advice as to its true purpose -- it is left to the visitor to choose between one or the other.  If you have thoughts to think, then the chairs are sure to be comfortable.  If you have an old couch and no place to put it, well...

There is probably a Tree of Love in every town, hiding on some path which few will ever travel.  We know where the old trails lead.  New routes lead to new thoughts, ideas, and people.  If they lead to wilderness, so be it.  If they lead to darkness, we can usually turn back.  Yet, with all the promise which comes with taking a new path, we invariably retrace our steps until our prints are etched into the earth.

Today, for the thousandth time, I resolve to take the new paths -- all of them.  (see what I did there?)  Now that I have found the Tree of Love, my quest for new things has been resumed with vigor.

I am quite certainly positive that the next right turn will lead me to the Tree of Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I'm pretty sure that the leaves will be a bit more tasty.

Mike Schoonover, March 17, 2012

Nothing to Do Monday February 13th, 2012

Speeding Through
New Mexico
Friday February 10th, 2012



The first time I received a speeding ticket in New Mexico was on downtown Main Street in Springer, NM. The officer handed me the ticket and told me that I could appear in magistrate court or I could sign to concede guilt and mail in the money later. I thought it odd that he seemed to emphasize the court option. I chose to 'fess up and just pay. I'm stupid like that sometimes.

Apparently, this isn't the most common choice. The officer sighed and walked back to the patrol car and searched his glove box and trunk for about fifteen minutes. Eventually he walked up and thrust an old, dirty, crumpled envelope at me. I think he was even madder that he was going to have to restock his supply -- I think they must have had a contest going back at the station to see who could nurse a single envelope the longest. I hope he lost a chunk of change.

Like everyone else who has endured the years of construction between Clayton and Raton, my adherence to the lowered speed limit has waxed and waned. Recently, with no crews in sight for months, my enthusiasm for the slow lane has reached an all time low. As I was speeding into town early one morning, I thought to myself, "Self, you have not gotten a single ticket during all this construction and you've driven it nearly every single day. Obviously, you are going to speed until you get one."

The next day, I got one.

The officer couldn't have been more than fourteen years old, but he was a very polite fourteen, considering the state of youth today. I have no idea what "the state of youth today" actually means, but everyone seems to be commenting on it. I was driving my old '78 Chevy pickup. My two boys were seated beside me with their heads buried into some kind of portable game playing thingamajoos. I'm pretty sure that they don't even realize to this day that we were pulled over and given a ticket.

The officer brought me the ticket and explained the now familiar options. I barely managed to suppress a laugh when he had to trek back to the patrol car for the envelope now required by my cheeky and unabashed admittance of guilt. I learned long ago at the age of about twenty-three in Lubbock, TX that laughing while accepting a traffic ticket is not an acceptable response. Most definitely not. I cannot emphasize that enough.

The boys looked up long enough to see me patting the old truck on the dashboard as we returned to the road. The old girl don't start so well, idles rough, lacks air conditioning, and seems to have an increasing reluctance to leave neutral, but she still managed to earn herself a speeding ticket. Now I understand why people let some of their old vehicles rust away in their backyards -- some of them just earn that right.

Later, my Folsom friends were enjoying a laugh at my expense over dinner at the Sierra Grande. One did have an enlightening comment about the court versus payment option. He had chosen court. He still had to pay the ticket, but was also dinged for additional court costs.

Perhaps it's a brilliant ploy on the part of New Mexico to increase revenue and save on envelopes at the same time. Perhaps an even more brilliant ploy on my part would be to slow down. Before I do that though, I think I'm going to have to choose that court option just once so I can make sure I'm not missing out on all the fun down at the courthouse in Springer.

Mike Schoonover, February 10, 2012