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2004

October

  • If you’re given lemons

    It’s going to be a bit quiet round here for the next week or so - I’m working hard building a new site for myself.

    The site is to support my new venture - web consultant. Tired of applying for jobs and not hearing anything (or, more accurately, hearing that there’s been no decision yet), I decided to formalise what’s been happening informally already.

    I’m doing some web content writing for my old friends at iQ Content, and some other web projects for people. So now I’m admitting that that’s what’s happening, and I’m going after some other business.

    When I’ve built my own site.

  • Balloon fiesta

    The balloon fiesta in Albuquerque is an annual week-long treat for the locals, and the balloonists.

    We went down on Saturday morning early, to see more balloons than I could image heading up into the blue blue sky.

    Even for amateurish photographers like me, it was like shooting fish in a barrel - colourful shapes, sharp light from a low angle, clear skies. A great day out (except for the people in the balloon that ended up caught on the top of a 500’ radio mast).

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  • St Patrick’s Battalion

    Talking to Roque today, while getting one of his great carnitas in the plaza, and he is amazed I haven’t heard of Los San Patricios - the Irish who fought for Mexico in the Mexican-American War of 1846-48.

    Seems a bunch of Irish soldiers deserted from the US army amid widespread atrocities by the Americans and intolerance of Catholics among the officers. Many fell in with the Mexicans, and recognized an attack by a larger more powerful neighbour when they saw one.

    The Irish formed St Patrick’s Battalion, and fought bravely against the Americans in several encounters. When the US army eventually won, many of them were hanged as deserters and traitors, with ‘D’ for deserter branded on their faces. Lovely.

    Others survived and stayed in Mexico - Roque tells me the current president Vicente Fox is descended from one of the San Patricios, although my quick internet search didn’t confirm that.

  • Soft day, thank God

    It started raining here last night around midnight. And stopped around 5pm.

    And when I say rain, I mean hard thundery, tornado-warnings-in-force kind of rain. Some bouncy hail too.

    New Mexico houses don’t have guttering, they have little ramps that launch the water off the almost-flat roof and send it crashing to the ground, to soak into the sand, or to form little rivulets that run downhill the best way they can.

    Large buckets to collect this water (for redistribution to the dryer parts of the yard) were overflowing when we woke up, and full again after I’d emptied them at lunchtime.

    Between the loud rain, the overcast day felt suitably Irish, but when the sun came out around 6:30pm and we went for a quick stroll, we saw there was snow on top of the mountains. You’d be waiting a long time for that in Dublin. And it’s only the first week in October.