3D Skyline Out of Scrap Wood

As kind of an interim little wood project, until I determine what the next larger one will be, I came across a pretty good sounding idea on the internet.  The project involved using pieces of otherwise scrap wood to create a wall hanging of a city skyline in 3D.

My projects are usually much more time consuming.  This one only took a few hours and I am very pleased with the results.  It is now hanging on the wall in my office.  It is fairly small – just about 24″ wide and about 8″ tall.  The picture below should give you a better idea of the relative size.

FYI.  For those interested, that is one of my mom’s oil paintings to the left of my project.

Whats Roger Up To - 3D Skyline - Perspective


I just posted on Facebook that we voted today.  So, if any Democrat in New Mexico wins their race by just one vote, I hereby claim credit for that win!

Fortunately, we can vote early here in New Mexico. The registration process was also quite painless and easy. It’s a disgrace that it is not this easy EVERYWHERE and for EVERYONE !

Do you think we will live long enough to ever see Election Day be made into a national holiday? At the very least, it could be moved to a weekend.

Of course, there is a VERY important and relevant reason that Federal Election Day is on the first Tuesday of November.  NOT !


Quick Quips - Election Day - farmerThis tradition dates back to 1845 when a Federal law was enacted.  It specified the month and day primarily because of farmers, who made up the majority of the voting population at that time.  Tuesday was a day when farmers would traditionally be able to make the sometimes long trek into the town where they could vote.  November was chosen because it was after the crops were in, but before most of the hardest winter had set in as well.

So, it now makes perfect sense why the first Tuesday in November is Federal Election Day.


VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! (An Editorial)

Perhaps you, or someone you know well, has complained how their vote does not mean anything anymore.  They believe that both sides are just as bad, so what’s the difference?

Uhhh.  Hello!  The 2016 election made a big friggin’ difference and we have paid a daily price for it for the last two years.

As a reminder, here are just a few reasons why there can be no excuses – you must vote.

The following is simply a list of the reasons that most quickly come to mind.  I am sure that you can add some which I have missed.  I have also not attempted to rank them in any particular order.  Any one would stand alone were it able to be attributed to any previous President.

  • Russian campaign interference in the 2016 Presidential election.
    • It was designed specifically to help elect Donald Trump, aided by members and agents for the Trump campaign, most likely including Trump himself.
  • The Supreme Court seat rightfully belonging to Merrick Garland was stolen by Mitch McConnell.
  • Neil Gorsuch.
    • Garland’s Supreme Court seat was then given to an ultra conservative who was known to Trump only because he was on a list given to him by the Federalist Society and whom he assured everyone who would listen (except for Susan Collins) would overturn Roe V. Wade and, if possible, overturn a host of rulings that have helped this country achieve real social change over the past 50 years.
  • Brett Kavanaugh.
    • The second Supreme Court seat was, like Gorsuch, given to another ultra conservative in order to accomplish the same things it is hoped that Gorsuch will.  But Trump could have named any other ultra conservative on the Federalist list, and they would have likely sailed through confirmation, just as Gorsuch did.
    • Instead Trump nominated the one man who has so clearly spoken and written about how the President should be immune to legal scrutiny of any kind while in office – INCLUDING EVEN BEING INVESTIGATED.
      • This from a man who advocated for almost the exact opposite when he fought for the impeachment of Bill Clinton.
    • During the course of his confirmation hearing, it became clear, even with the limited debate allowed, that the same things that caused a three year delay in Kavanaugh getting confirmed to the DC appellate court, continued to be an issue. In his testimony, he lied about statements he made during those first hearings.
    • When confronted by the extremely credible sexual assault allegation of Dr Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s reaction was to …
      • Rage, cry and blame, without any supporting evidence, a highly funded, left-wing conspiracy, fueled by rage a Trump’s election and revenge by the Clintons. Think Kavanaugh will be an unbiased juror on the Supreme Court?
      • Rage about how his career and family have been ruined by the confirmation process. Excuse me if I believe that Dr Ford’s more than 35 years of living with Kavanaugh’s credibly accused sexual assault dwarf the few weeks of pain suffered by Kavanaugh’s family.
  • Common sense gun laws and the interference of the NRA
    • The NRA influence targets specifically (but not solely) the Republican Party in general, but they also targeted Trump’s election campaign in 31 million very specific ways – $11+ million in NRA unidentified donations to the Trump campaign and another $19+ million in unidentified donations to groups opposing Hillary.
    • In the White House, Trump sat with the families of victims of the most recent shooting rampages. His response since then has been exactly the same as the Republican Party- to do absolutely nothing except to kiss the ring of the NRA.  Not even bump stocks have been banned even in light of the Las Vegas massacre.
    • Nothing will happen with any type of sensible gun legislation until the Republicans are replaced. It is quite simply … that simple.
  • The demonization of the U.S. intelligence community
  • The demonization of the American Free Press
  • Trump’s pathetic, unconscionable Cabinet appointments.
    • The appointment of people to the highest positions of responsibility in his Cabinet who are either totally unqualified, or diametrically opposed to the mission of the department they were appointed oversee … or both.
  • The total failure of the Republican Party to hold Trump responsible for his actions.
    • Not only have they not held Trump accountable, they have acted as his defenders and have actively sought to impede on going investigations.
  • Withdrawal from the Iran Agreement
  • Withdrawal from the Global Climate Accord
    • In addition, the dismantling of almost all meaningful legislation aimed at protecting our environment, led initially by the biggest incompetent of all of his appointees (which is saying something) – Scott Pruitt
  • Elevating Kim Jong Un on the world stage and getting absolutely nothing in return
  • Disparaging all of our traditional allies while praising authoritarian figures and their regimes
    • The disgraceful response to the recent murder of Jamal Khashoggi is just yet another example.
  • Complete disdain for any rule of law … that applies to him
  • Total daily degradation of women
    • Any minority woman in general and black women in particular
    • Any woman in a position of authority.
    • Any woman who has the courage to speak up about the sexual harassment and/or violence that they have experienced in their life.
  • Elevation of the Alt Right Nationalist movement and absolute failure to credibly condemn them.
  • Buying the silence of those who could jeopardize his election and now his Presidency.
    • Stormy and Karen are bad enough. But do you really think that Stormy and Karen are isolated instances?
  • Never calling out Putin for what he is – in either words or actions
  • Continuing obstruction of the Mueller investigation
    • The firing of James Comey was just the beginning. Think what you will of Comey’s actions prior to the election.  His firing was just the beginning of obstruction of justice in plain sight.
  • Championing the abhorrent tax cut for the wealthy at the expense of adding $1.5 trillion dollars to the deficit.
  • Doing his damnedest at every turn to either remove completely or severely cripple Obamacare.

In this election, THERE CAN BE NO THIRD ALTERNATIVE.  Electing Democrats, particularly women and minorities, is the only viable option available, at this point in time, to put the brakes on the Constitutional destruction that Trump is waging.




061- Kavanaugh - Blue Tsunami


I actually got paid for my latest woodworking project.  That’s a first.  It is also clear confirmation as to why I do not do this for a living.  It takes way too long for me to complete, to ever think about being able to make a consistent profit at doing it.

But I enjoyed having this project to work on and must admit that I am now a bit deflated that it has been completed.  However, Deborah has another few projects on her honey-do list, so I will remain occupied until my next woodworking project comes along.

This started when Jan, a friend of ours, visited our home and was impressed with the window shelf that I had built and installed in our kitchen window.  Here is a picture of our window shelf.  There is also a post on this blog about that project which can be found in the left sidebar on the blog Home Page under … What’s Roger Up To? .

Contracted Window Shelf - Inspriation.jpg

Jan has a sunroom with a number of large windows and she asked me to build a full length version similar to our window shelf.

Here are a few pictures as the project began to come together.  As usual, I first created a design in Powerpoint, and then saw it morph as I learned more.

Contracted Window Shelf - Step 1

Contracted Window Shelf - Step 2

Contracted Window Shelf - Step 3.jpg

I completed the project in early October and took the shelf over to Jan’s home.  She has quickly begun finding nick nacks to fill up the shelves.  Jan has a wonderful collection of blue glass.

Contracted Window Shelf - Step 4

Contracted Window Shelf - Finished pic.jpg


For those of you already familiar with us, you probably know that while not the main reason we decided to retire in the Albuquerque area of New Mexico, a decided benefit of living here is being able to experience the annual International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

I have another post in this blog about the Balloon Fiesta, which includes many of my favorite photos taken over the past few years.  With each new year, I now try to get at least a few pictures either of things I have not photographed previously, or from different perspectives.  If a picture turns out particularly well, it will get included in my master list of favorite balloon fiesta photos.  Here is one that I took this year which will likely be included in that master list.


This year marked a few new activities as well.  I decided to become involved in some volunteer work, this year for the International Hot Air Balloon Museum.  Next year, I plan to also do some volunteering for the Balloon Fiesta Organization which has more than 1000 volunteers each year participating in various activities during the nine days of Balloon Fiesta.

4D Theater PicOne of my volunteer activities this year included working as an usher at the 4D Theater inside the balloon museum.  We show two short films every 15 minutes throughout the day.

  • One film features an overview of the history of Balloon Fiesta, back from its beginning in 1972 when 13 balloons took off from the parking lot of a local mall. It is now in its current location in the massive Balloon Fiesta Park, which this year accommodated 665 registered balloons, and over 800,000 visitors from all around the world.
  • The second film shows the audience what it is like to participate in a hot air balloon ride. It also showcases the activity of the balloon pilot and his or her crew.  Not only do we have both male and female pilots, I believe our youngest pilot this year was a 16 year old girl.

I also had a chance this year to participate as a member of one of the balloon crews.  Karen, a fellow docent of mine at the Albuquerque Zoo, asked me to help with their crew at Balloon Fiesta this year.  Her husband Johnny is a pilot and their balloon is named the “Rising Star”.  Here are a few pictures taken when we went out to an elementary school to do a demonstration the day before Balloon Fiesta began.














My other volunteer activity this year with the balloon museum was to drive a courtesy golf cart back and forth between the museum and the Balloon Fiesta field.  I will definitely do that again next year, perhaps for the Balloon Fiesta Organization which will give me more access to taking visitors around the balloon fiesta field.

Balloons referred to as “Special Shapes” are always a highlight of the Balloon Fiesta.  Most people don’t realize that balloons do indeed come in many very unique and often recognizable shapes.  Many, if not most, of the special shape balloons, are made in Brazil.  Here are a few pics of some from this year, including one which is brand new – Vincent Van Gogh.  He is a pretty intimidating dude!



Working both at the 4D Theater, and as a courtesy cart driver, really allows interaction with visitors, whom not only come from all around the U.S., but from many other countries as well.  After Balloon Fiesta completes, I hope to soon begin training to become a docent at the Balloon Museum so that I might lead tours year round.

Between the Balloon Museum, the Albuquerque Zoo, the pet rescue and adoptions that Lucas and I help out, a local Episcopal Food Pantry, and now also the occasional balloon crewing I will do with “Rising Star”, that should keep me busy during retirement.