Saturday, August 16, 2008

A night at the opera (parking lot)

This first is a view of the Sandias in ABQ from the Dillards east parking lot:

And this is a shot of the Sandias while waiting for a light to change on my way out of ABQ:

The following are from the Santa Fe Opera House parking lot:

--the BB

Mira, Abuelita, ¡es verde!

Which is, being interpreted, "Look, Grandmère, it's green!" This was shot from the parking lot of the Santa Fe Opera just after we arrived. The sun had set behind clouds in the west and this is looking roughly northeast.

Of course it is a desert green, not the lush greens of wetter climes. We mostly get dark green piñons and pale green sagebrush, with smatterings of very subdued gray-green prairie grasses.

I will post some more pics shortly. It's past my bedtime now (got back home at 1 a.m. = 2. a.m. New Orleans time, which my body currently runs on).
--the BB

Friday, August 15, 2008

Busy-genous Buddhapalian

Hi, folks.  Sorry about the lack of posts.  I flew home yesterday (hooray!).  Today I am dashing off for an eye exam for new glasses and head to Santa Fe this afternoon.  Catching the opera!  Tomorrow I have a major service done on the car in anticipation of the road trip to California in 2.5 weeks.  Tomorrow night is my daddy-in-law's birthday party and Sunday morning I preach before heading back to NOLA.  So posting will be catch-as-catch-can this weekend, but I will take the camera to Santa Fe.  Laterz!
--the BB

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mère d'Alors!

Or does he just assume we are?

John McCain:
"In the 21st century, nations don’t invade other nations."

Here's the video where that's the punch line. h/t to smintheus at DK.

What sort of colossal carelessness allows something so patently untrue to pass a politician's lips in public?

People actually want this empty suit for president? God, have mercy!
--the BB

The importance of wetlands

There is an extensive articleon Daily Kos right now about the South Louisiana wetlands, their importance, and threats to them.  The dramatic heading is "The Biggest Environmental Disaster in American History" and it is written by ArkDem14.  Just FYI.
--the BB

Monday, August 11, 2008

More of NOMA

An ornate lamp standard that seems, to me, very 19th century, though OCICBW.

Some nice framing of the entrance

Looking toward the second floor mezzanine

I frequently play with exposure, contrast, brightness, and saturation to make detail clearer. These are untretouched.

The Cities of the Dead - so very New Orleans!

The quantity and variety of wildlife in this painting are simply overwhelming. One can get quite lost in the details.

Now here's an homage to the swamps and bayous and their people.

Was this young man really all that pious? Opinions?

Whether the preceding chap was pious, I have no doubt this chap was wealthy.

And this Jesus, in a Coronation of the Virgin painting, looks like a young German hippie to me - rather charming, eccentric, and very unworldly.

Rather a grand old chap here.

I will look for more later.

Another party tomorrow. The work crew is being dined in the Vieux Carré by the agency. [Rolls eyes. Business and social lives are not to be confused according to Miss Manners, and she is quite right.]

Not much sunshine to be seen today - lowering clouds from early in the morning onward, some pelting rain midafternoon. The sun is supposed to peek in on us day after tomorrow.

And that's the news from Bienville's burg.
--the BB

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lest we forget

Latest Coalition Fatalities

MNF: MND-B Soldier, 4 Iraqi citizens killed in Tarmiyah explosions
A Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldier and four Iraqi citizens were killed, and others wounded during a complex attack in the Tarmiyah district, north of Baghdad at approximately 2 p.m. Aug. 10.

MNF: One U.S. Soldier killed, two wounded in IED attack in Baghdad
One U.S. Soldier was killed and two others wounded after an improvised explosive device struck their patrol in Baghdad at approximately 9:30 p.m. Aug. 8. The injured Soldiers were evacuated to a nearby combat hospital in Baghdad.

Reuters: Bomb wounds 3 outside Pakistan consulate in Afghanistan
A bicycle bomb outside the Pakistani consulate in the western Afghan city of Herat wounded a police guard and two civilians on Thursday, a Reuters witness said.

08/10/08 :
DoD Identifies Navy Casualty
Petty Officer Second Class Anthony M. Carbullido, 25, of Agat, Guam, died Aug. 8, in Sangatesh, Afghanistan, from injuries suffered when his convoy vehicle hit an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the Naval Hospital Corps...

AP: Afghan official - civilians may be among 11 killed
Airstrikes and clashes north of Kabul have killed 11 people, some of whom might be civilians, Afghan officials said Sunday. In the south, five civilians died when their vehicle hit a mine, police said.

military-world: Taliban attacks near Aussie troops rise
TALIBAN attacks in the Afghan province where Australian troops are serving have more than doubled in the past year, security data obtained by The Sunday Age shows.

KUNA: Roadside bomb kills five civilians
five civilians were killed when their car hit a landmine in Zherai district of the southern Kandahar province on Sunday morning. District police officer Bismillah Khan said the bomb was planted by Taliban to target the NATO...

Reuters: Afghan forces to take over security in Kabul
Afghan government forces are soon to take over responsibility for the security of the capital, Kabul, officials said, in a move that reflects the growing strength of the Afghan army and police

AFP: Australian military says key Taliban commander captured
Australian soldiers have captured a key Taliban commander in southern Afghanistan, the military said Sunday. The Defence Department said that elite Australian troops in Uruzgan had last week taken in Mullah Bari Ghul -- a man they believe...

Quqnoos: Foreigners fighting with Taliban on rise
THE NUMBER of foreign rebels fighting alongside Afghanistan?s homegrown militants is on the rise, the Ministry of Defence says.

AP: Karzai urges military action in Pakistan instead of Afghanistan
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Sunday that air trikes carried out in Afghan villages by US and NATO troops are only killing civilians, and that the international community should instead go after terror centers in Pakistan.

LATimes: Pakistan troops withdraw from Taliban stronghold
Pakistani security forces pulled out of a Taliban stronghold near the border with Afghanistan after three days of fierce fighting that left at least eight troops dead and dozens missing, local and military officials said Saturday.

AP: Archaeologists uncover ancient city in Afghanistan
Centuries-old shards of pottery mingle with spent ammunition rounds on a wind-swept mountainside in northern Afghanistan where French archaeologists believe they have found a vast ancient city.

08/09/08 :
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Master Sgt. Danny E. Maybin, 47, of Columbia, S.C, died Aug. 7 at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, as the result of a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Forces Command, Fort McPherson, Ga.

Reuters: Child killed in insurgent attack
A child was killed and two were wounded when insurgents attacked soldiers from the NATO-led force on Friday in the northeastern province of Kunar, the NATO force said in a statement on Saturday.

dpa: Four Dutch soldiers wounded in Afghan bomb blast
Four Dutch soldiers were wounded in the Afghan province of Uruzghan as their military vehicle hit a bomb planted in the road, the Dutch defence ministry told local media on Saturday.

NDCF: Canadian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan
A Canadian soldier died of his injuries following an engagement involving coalition forces, insurgents and security personnel from a civilian convoy in the Zharey District around 9 a.m. (Kandahar time) today.

08/09/08 f
ocus: U.S. troops kill four Afghan women, child and militants
U.S.-led coalition forces accidentally killed four Afghan women and a child along with several militants during an operation targeting a Taliban insurgent, a U.S. military statement said on Friday, Reuters reported.

Quqnoos: Three brothers die in gas-filled well
THREE brothers have died from asphyxiation after they climbed down a well to fix a water pump, police said. The three brothers entered the disused well on Friday and were soon knocked unconscious by gas that had built up in the shaft...

Reuters: 20 Taliban killed in western Afghanistan
Afghan soldiers backed by international air support killed around 20 Taliban insurgents and wounded 14 more in western Farah province on Friday, the provincial police chief said on Saturday.

AFP: Pentagon seeks to double size of Afghan army
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has endorsed a 17-billion dollar plan to double the size of the Afghan army over five years, the Pentagon said Friday.

IANS: Four women, child killed in Afghan anti-Taliban raid
Four women and one child were killed by US-led coalition forces during an operation in southern Afghanistan, in which several militants were also killed, the military said Friday.
08/08/08 CNN: Afghan children raped with 'impunity,' U.N. official says
The young Afghan girl sits in the center of the room, weeping. Using her hand and her blue scarf to hide her face, she recounts how she was brutally raped by five gunmen.

08/07/08 :
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Sgt. Errol M. James, 29, of St. Croix, Virgin Islands, died Aug. 4 at Forward Operating Base Torkham, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained in a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 527th Military Police Company...

Canwest: Taliban ambushes Canadian soldiers
An improvised explosive device strike about 15 kilometres outside of Canada's Zhari base was reported Thursday morning. Canadian soldiers have reportedly been injured. No details of the injuries have been released.

NATO: Unmanned aircraft crashes in Paktika
An ISAF unmanned aerial vehicle crashed earlier today in Paktika province. he aircraft, a Shadow reconnaissance vehicle, was unarmed and the wreckage has been located. t landed on open ground without making contact with people or property.

FOCUS: Afghan roadside bomb incidents hit four-year peak
Roadside bomb incidents involving U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan hit their highest level in at least four years between April and June, the Pentagon said on Wednesday Reuters.

Lord, in our grief we turn to you.
Are you not the God of love
who opens your ears to all?
Listen to our prayers for your servants
whom you have called out of this world:
lead them to your kingdom of light and peace
and count them among the saints in glory.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
--Order of Christian Funerals

OK, one more

Just because she's lovely.

Venus with no arms by Maillot Aristide Maillol

Update: Thanks to Jane R for reminding me how to spell the sculptor's name.
--the BB

Strolling in and around NOMA

Once inside I was told that no-flash photos of the permanent collection were permitted so no shots of Botero but I took a number of other works.

Here is a view looking from the museum steps back toward Carrollton.

And the grand escalier:

Why do popes always look so self-satisfied? (Rhetorical question, of course, but you may certainly add your own reasons.)

A pensive Madonna
An imperial helmet by the Fabergé atelier

A Fabergé hippo. This one goes out to Belle, to Claudine, to Celeste, and to Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love! (Who knew there were so many river horses in the larger family?)

Here is a Fabergé anteater for my Zotney. Love you, Zots!

(Yes, the family includes more than a dolphin and one hippo.)

Speaking of sisters one might be concerned about.... What are these two up to?

Here is a great triptych about the impact of Katrina on New Orleans. You really need to see the faces.

Bringing healing is Guanyin, goddess of compassion

Someone who seems to be meditating. (But did he notice that someone was lurking behind the sculpture at his back when I took this photo?)

Love at a distance

Love rather closer up. Yes, that's your host getting as close as he dares. And doesn't that speak volumes?

The future in a child

And that's the tour for today!

We close with a Sunday evening blessing from the Blessed Satchmo:

--the BB

Another Sunday romp

Maggie: Want to check out the museum, Sis?
Belle: And look at stuff by dead two-leggeds? Let's play in the park instead.
Maggie: City Park, here we come!

[Old Dad reports that after Miss Yvette and I finished our tour of all three floors of the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and the Sculpture Garden, the girls were back in the car playing canasta and wondering what took us so long. The smug grins on their faces assured me they wasted no time worrying about the old folks and had themselves a good time.]

The living two-leggeds opted for the museum.

This was following brunch at the Palace Cafe - blue cheese salad with arugula, peach slices, etc. and a crabmeat quiche for me, followed by white chocolate bread pudding - and a very short walk into the Vieux Carré.

We got your BBW - Big Beautiful Woman - waiting for ya, bud.

This was related to the current special exhibit: The Baroque World of Fernando Botero, a Colombian artist. His work draws on classical sources from the Italian Renaissance and Spanish masters to Picasso and other moderns, yet he has interesting proportions and postures that carry an element of threat to them. He also did many works depicting the horrors of Abu Ghraib, though I did not shell out the $35 for that catalogue. (Why the hell do spell check programs want to chop the "-ue" off dialogue and catalogue? Harrumph!)

Check out The Musicians or Man With Dog and an Abu Ghraib painting.

We also have your nude and nearly nude men for you. [Based less on these huge urns and more on the sculpture garden and the Gentlemen Callers rooms with the work of Paul Cadmus and others, I would conclude that NOLA likes her naked men.]

Whatever you want, it's the Big Easy. We got it.

More later.
--the BB

What an asshole!

Back during the Vietnam War I displayed an American flag upside down in my dorm room as a sign of distress for our nation but I have never taken our flag lightly. When I talk about it I usually become teary within moments. I love the US flag not for jingoistic reasons but because I love what it stands for - an ideal worth caring about, an ideal worth sacrifice, an ideal we still need to grow into.

I think laws against burning a flag (which is the correct and respectful way to dispose of one that has become tattered or soiled, btw) are both noxious and stupid, not to mention needless. Actual instances of protest flag burnings on US soil are extremely rare and really don't merit that much fuss.

Having said that, I love to fly the flag and I cherish the flag. And I think Bush is an asshole.
--the BB