Daily Archives: June 8, 2013

Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac

Been feeling the urge most of the day to read Cyrano de Bergerac again.  Dug around in piles and boxes of books trying to find it and eventually gave up the ghost.  Searched gutenberg.org and found they have a free download of it.


Heck, everything else being equal I wouldn’t mind seeing the movie again.  Jose Ferrer did a great job of capturing the spirit of the book.  I still recall his ‘nose speech’ from seeing the movie as a kid.  The movie was black and white in those days.  Somewhere color slipped in on some of the YouTube versions.

Forgotten Lost Victories – Glorietta Pass

glorietta from the ridge pidgeons2

That roof you see down there covers the remains of Pidgeon’s ranch house.  Center point for most of the fighting during the battle of Glorietta Pass.  At the beginning of the battle Regular Union troops held the ridge where I was standing to take the picture and everything you can see beyond.  The rock face below me and to the right is dimpled by fire coming from below because the Union snipers were operating there.

The Texas artillery positions were outside camera range to the upper right.  The hottest fighting was along this ridge and below focused on the low wall between here and Pidgeon’s.

Texans flanked the Union position beyond the ranch house and overran the wall forcing the Federals into a hasty retreat beyond the far left of the picture, where they attempted to establish a new defense line, but the valley widened and doomed it to failure.

At that point the Texans had a straight shot all the way to Fort Union, their goal, with nothing to stop them besides a straggling of Federal troops in disorganized retreat.

But during the night the Colorado Volunteers trekked through the mountains to Coyote Canyon and attacked the Confederate supply train, burned and captured it.  Which completely reversed the fortunes of the Texas Mounted Volunteers. 

Suddenly they found themselves without supplies and a long road back down the Rio Grande occupied by New Mexico Volunteers and Federal troops from Fort Craig which they’d bypassed during the hurry northward.

They buried a lot of their dead just below and to the right of the ridge above Pidgeon’s.  They were found during the 1980s by someone digging a foundation to a house down there, and taken to Santa Fe, beginning a decade-long fight over them between Texas and New Mexico.  But under New Mexico law those bodies belonged to the person who owned the property and found them.

Around 1992 they were buried with a lot of ceremony at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe.

I might be forced to find me a woman

Don Giovanni

At least for a while.  I’ve been kicking it around in my head a lot lately.  If I’m going to do any serious trekking into the high mountains for more than a few days I’m going to have to have someone looking after the felines.  And if I want to spend a season work camping somewhere they almost always require couples, as opposed to singles.

Fact is, I run across a lot of men who might be a lot easier to get along with than a woman, but most of them have their own ideas about what they’d prefer to do with themselves as opposed to doing what I might wish them to do.  And women tend to be a lot easier to come by in my experience.  The problem is keeping things clean and well lighted, the parties of the first and second parts each knowing where the other’s coming from, and where they’re going.

That can get complicated.  Mainly because one of the two parties is working on more than one agenda without coming out and saying so, figuring the agenda of the other can be modified after the hook is set better.

But a lot of the things I want to do before I die are going to require someone to lift the other end of something.  Finding someone willing to lift the other end and take joy in doing it is no easy matter.  Whatever the object needs lifting, whatever the agenda.

Afterthought:  A woman who owns a couple of mules or a string of pack goats and a few acres of land up near the continental divide might work out well.  Also a stock trailer and something to pull it.  Probably can find something on Craigslist.

Afterthought #2:  I can’t, in good conscience, recommend me to any woman.  In fact, I’d counsel strongly against me as a consideration.  Fact is, I’m a nice guy.  Got an honest streak in me and enough of a century behind to know this whole thing was a lousy idea.  Though fun, in an oblique sort of way.

Escape Route Version 2.5

Ford RV

1970s Ford

If the guy isn’t disinformationing me about the shape it’s in, this might be the next step in the long road home.  He says it’s got all new tires, spent the last 20 years under a carport, says everything works and is willing to provide the means for me to test everything before we finalize a deal.

Says it’s never had any leaks of any kind, roof, plumbing, and the structure, panelling of the coach is solid.  Says it has 60,000 actual miles on the gasoline engine.

If he hasn’t sold it by the time I can get to see it I’ll have a careful look at it first chance I can manage.

Tough year here for cats


Something snagged the Invadercat here a while back, tore him up badly and took out one eye.  He hung around here a week-or-so for food, didn’t appear to be getting worse.  But then he vanished, as he’s always been prone to do.  I know he was getting food at one of the ranches around here, probably several.

But once he left he hasn’t been back.  Might be one of the other folks who’ve been feeding him took him to a vet and had him doctored, or maybe something got him in the woods.  Life’s dangerous enough in the real world for a cat with two good eyes and no serious injuries.

Meanwhile, Ms Tabby’s having worse than her usual battle with spring and summer leg and skin troubles.  Getting welts from either cactus, or fire ants on her legs, belly and tail.  I see her crouched in the meadow stalking things in places where I know there are fire ant beds, so that might be the problem.  But she’s looking worse now than anytime since she’s been with me.

Ms Niaid and Mr Hydrox are doing generally okay, though Niaid’s looking skinnier than I’d like.  She’s bringing in several mice per day to show off before she eats them, but still wants the catfood and is the eagerest eater of them all.  After I used the sheep shears on her she hasn’t picked up burrs and gotten matted hair so badly, seems a lot more pleased with herself.  Gets around well for a senior citizen.

Mr Hydrox only has half of himself sheep sheared, avoided being caught to have it finished after we had a difference of opinion during the operation regarding how much more to take off.  But last night he wanted to sleep with me, so I’m thinking he’s going to have less hair soon.

All in all central Texas probably just ain’t the exact right place for these felines and this 70 year old man and the Coincidence Coordinators are raising the ante for staying any longer than I have to.