Sunday, October 27, 2013

An Unexpected Journey

Whew,  it's been a while since my last post.  I could give several reasons, all of which would be true,  but none would change the fact that there hasn't been a post (from me) in almost 2 months.  I have been busy,  however, so I guess I need to report on this stuff before I forget about it.

We left our young (okay,  maybe not-so-young) hero,  having just had a moderately disappointing trip to Versaille, continuing his vigilance for protecting the world from the invasion of the extra terrestrial cgi insectoids.   Fear not,  the 8-bit activision aliens have not abducted this not-so-young invader watcher… but the Frogs did catch up with him.

The original plan was to spend almost 5 months here in Paris working at two different institutes.  Since an American cannot spend more than 3 months each year in France,  this plan required a VISA.  Despite planning this for about 1 year,  that requirement was not fulfilled.  I don't like to point fingers as to who was at fault,  but I will say that the problem was not from the US side,  and I'll leave it at that.  Lacking this crucial piece of paper,  I was forced to leave France for a few weeks.

While back state-side I was supposed to be making a trip to the French consulate in LA,  though still lacking necessary paperwork was told by the consulate to not bother wasting my time (or theirs,  which is what they were really saying).  I did manage to get a different set of papers that would allow me to return to Paris for under 3 months.  Because of this I had to spend 3 weeks back in NM.

Truth be told,  this was actually a blessing.  After spending 6 weeks in Paris, without the family, I was getting pretty lonely.  I had even all but abandoned any desire to continue trying to speak French.  I was pretty bad at it, and it was all just becoming exhausting.  And,  though French food is great, there are no burritos in Paris.  I needed my chili!  As a result this was my first meal.

 After getting my chili fix I boarded the little NM Air plane to take the quick flight back to Los Alamos.  Fortunately for me I arrived in the biggest rainstorm in recorded history for the Jemez Mountains.  This meant that I got to fly up to Los Alamos twice in one day.  The first time we flew all the way up,  only to be rebuffed by the weather.  Three hours later we tried again and were able to land on the mesa top.  Exciting rides!  I had a great time.  A few hours later I was headed upto Taos,  oh how I missed out little Taos Haos.

Knowing that I was head back to the US,  I had made plans to install some new handles on the kitchen cabinets.  Long story short,  new handles led me to refinishing all of the cabinets in the house.  The first weekend I took everything apart.  Spent the next week sanding all the doors everyday after work and then started treating everything.  Here are a few photos showing the progress

During this time the rain continued to fall.  After having spent 3 weeks refinishing cabinets I noticed some interesting things had started to appear outside.  This won't look like much to all of my Seattle friends, but this is the biggest mushroom I've ever seen out here on the sage covered planes of Taos,  NM…  namely because I've just never seen a single mushroom out here before.  I guess it's a testament to the "biblical" torrents that we had been witnessing.  Perhaps it's a sign of the end of the world, fire & brimstone, locusts and now mushrooms in NM.

 Well if it is the end,  at least I got to spend some time in our little bit of heaven.  I never get sick of this view.

A month later and I'm missing NM again,  especially considering they're skiing at Wolfcreek in Oct. again and I'm missing it. 

Well, I've finally got this post wrapped up.  Stay tuned for reports on trips to Chantilly,  Vaux le Vicomte,  Zürich, and Saint Germain-en-Laye.