Dining al fresco

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The Albuquerque Tribune has a feature called “Viewfinder” which has a picture and a bit of an essay or editorial around it.

I read this one today, just before lunch, so of course it resonated.

I also love dining outdoors. I mean LOVE it in a weird obsessive kind of way. Much like the article’s author, Steven St. John, I think eating a meal outdoors has a special feel to it, and one that we who live in nice climates tend to take for granted.

I had occasion to ponder this just last month while in Scottsdale, Arizona for baseball Spring Training. It was a particularly cold winter here in the Bay Area and I was very happy to embrace the mid 80 temperatures in balmy Arizona.

After the game one day, we sat out on the patio of Julio G’s visiting with a friends (one of whom is also a minor league player in the Giant’s organization). The sun was getting more towards low on the horizon at 5:30ish, the patio was warm but not hot, the guacamole was fresh made on site and the margs were on special. Oh yes, and there was much baseball talk…..

I had a moment, calmly sipping my on the rocks house marg and nibbling at crisp chips and avocado where it felt like everything in the universe was just….I don’t know…right. I tend to remember very well those few times in life where there is a convergence of all things good, and you just let your shoulders down, you deeply exhale and you, you know, relax.

Relax. That’s a nice thing. It’s a nice thing to ponder here on the eve of the weekend.

Maybe if I’m lucky I can convince that wonderful man I carpool with to find a place to eat outside. That sounds like a nice way to start the weekend….

Until then, I remain…nose to the grindstone. Bah!

Next on the list of people who are not like you and me…

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Travis Briscoe

Read up on him in the Albuquerque Tribune. I did.

It made me homesick. Real bad.

California, or at least the part of California where I live, the over populated part, isn’t real big on rodeo. I have to say, I miss it. I think about it on a warm summer day…or on Fourth of July. The sights, smells, sounds. I really miss it.

Oh sure, people will jump up and down about how it’s bad for the animals. I can’t say I can entirely disagree….I mean, spurring the sides of a horse and strapping sharp object to a bull’s huevos isn’t exactly dainty treatment. I do actually understand that.

But I was raised watching rodeo. It’s a sport I love. Very few events am I so totally engrossed in every moment of the action. It’s a blink and you’ll miss it kind of sport that inspires gasps and shouts from the crowd. Love it.

Travis is a local guy, from Edgewood, who has made it big on the circuit. And he is all of 19 years old. Nineteen.

In regards to the toughest bull he’s drawn: “‘You never know what he is going to do. I got on him twice, and he gave me a concussion both times.'”

I think about my bad days…the boss was stern, the food in the work cafeteria was bad, it rained puddles so big I can’t get my car out to go home. But my work doesn’t involve me getting concussed with regularity (just, you know, normal cussed), and then going back in to get concussed again.

Travis took some time off from work recently. “I tore two ligaments and chipped some bone off so there was some loose bone floating around in there,” he said.

Ow?

I also took some time off from work recently. I watched Giants Spring Traning Baseball and drank margaritas on the patio at Julio G’s in Scottsdale (the one by the ballpark). There were, you know, some loose brain cells floating around in there, but that’s the extent of the damage.

Travis is competing this weekend at the Ty Murray Invitational at Tingley. (is anyone else as tickled as I am that Tingley Coliseum has a Wiki entry? *giggle* I should file that away for a whole blog entry all to its own….)

Sure wish I could be there this weekend to watch this event and to watch Travis compete.

Here’s to a good ride, cowboy.