D  e  s  e  r  t     E  x  p  o  s  u  r  e  January 2006


Grease is the Word
With biodiesel, restaurant grease can be made to go places.

Who Walks with
the Warriors?

A hike through the rugged ridges of the Florida Mountains.

Double Feature NMSU and DABCC train tomorrow's filmmakers.

Natural High
Bear Mountain Lodge
-pampering plus wilderness.

A Different 'Toon
The Bakshi School of Animation trains future cartoon creators.

Writer of the
Purple Sage

Confessions of a cowboy poet.

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Editor's Note
Desert Diary
Death Becomes Her
True West Town
Tumbleweeds in Brief
Top 10
Celestial Cycles
Into the Future
The Starry Dome
Ramblin' Outdoors
Away at Grad School
People's Law
40 Days & 40 Nights
Clubs Guide
Guides to Go
Continental Divide

Special Section
Arts Exposure:
Michelle Arterburn
Arts News
Gallery Guide

Body, Mind & Spirit
Little Feather: Yarrow
Foot Work

Red or Green?
Dining Guide


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Quarters Recalled, Pooches Mixed Up and Scandinavians Scandalized

Plus the stages of life, the future of sex and (belatedly) the meaning of Christmas.


You know you live in New Mexico when. . . We confess, Ned Ludd really had us going with this "news" story:

"WASHINGTON, DC—Hang on to any of the new State of New Mexico quarters. If you have them, they may be worth much more than 25 cents.

"The US Treasury announced today that it is recalling all of the New Mexico quarters that are part of its program featuring quarters from each state. 'We are recalling all the new New Mexico quarters that were recently issued,' Treasury Undersecretary Jack Shackleford said Monday.

"This action is being taken after numerous reports that new quarters will not work in parking meters, tollbooths, vending machines, pay phones or other coin-operated devices.

"The problem lies in the unique design of the New Mexico quarter, which was created by an Española native and NNMCC graduate, Shackleford said. 'Apparently, the duct tape holding the two dimes and the nickel together keeps jamming the coin-operated devices.'"

Your own uniquely New Mexican tales, true or otherwise, are welcome at Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email diary@desertexposure.com.


Our pets, ourselves. . . We welcome back Toni in the Vet's Office, who kindly updates us on the latest in dog hybrids (which perhaps we should have filed under "Capital Pun-ishment"):

"Collie + Malamute = Commute, a dog that travels to work.

"Collie + Lhasa Apso = Collapso, a dog that folds up for easy transport.

"Spitz + Chow Chow = Spitz-Chow, a dog that throws up a lot.

"Pointer + Setter = Poinsetter, a traditional Christmas pet.

"Pekingese + Lhasa Apso = Peekasso, an abstract dog.

"Irish Water Spaniel + English Springer Spaniel = Irish Springer, a dog fresh and clean as a whistle.

"Labrador Retriever + Curly Coated Retriever = Lab Coat Retriever, the choice of research scientists.

"Newfoundland + Basset Hound = Newfound Asset Hound, a dog for financial advisors.

"Terrier + Bulldog = Terribull, a dog that makes awful mistakes.

"Bloodhound + Labrador = Blabador, a dog that barks incessantly.

"Malamute + Pointer = Moot Point, owned by. . . oh, well, it doesn't matter anyway.

"Deerhound + Terrier = Derriere, a dog that's true to the end."


Life in a state of nature. . . Honest, the following was not forwarded to us by "Ramblin' Outdoors" columnist Larry Lightner. Rather, Kentucky Ed gets the credit/blame for sending along this amusing controversy-starter:

"A woman from Los Angeles, who was a tree hugger and an anti-hunter, purchased a piece of timberland. There was a large tree on one of the highest points in the tract. She wanted a good view of the natural splendor of her land, so she started to climb the big tree. As she neared the top, she encountered a spotted owl that attacked her. In her haste to escape, the woman slid down the tree to the ground and got many splinters in her crotch.

"In considerable pain, she hurried to the nearest doctor. She told him she was an environmentalist and an anti-hunter and how she came to get all the splinters. The doctor listened to her story with great patience and then told her to go into the examining room and he would see if he could help her.

"She sat and waited three hours before the doctor reappeared. The angry woman demanded, 'What took you so long?'

"He smiled and then told her, 'Well, I had to get permits from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management before I could remove old-growth timber from a recreational area. I'm sorry, but they turned me down.'"

Send your take on environmental protection—as long as it's funny!—to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email diary@desertexposure.com.


Uff-dah! It could be Norse. . . While Desert Diary ordinarily shuns ethnic humor, lest we offend someone of the ethnicity on the receiving end of the joke, we can confidently pass along the following giant-sized collection of "Scandahoovian" humor—being, er, Scandinavian ourselves. "Ole and Lena" are well-known humorous characters in the upper Midwest; if you're not familiar with them, well, serve yourself up some lefse and lutefisk and get ready to chuckle/groan. It helps if you read these with the accent heard in the movie Fargo:

"Ole and Lena were out walking and Lena clutched her heart and fell to the sidewalk. Ole got out his cell phone and called 9-1-1. The operator said, 'Where are you?' Ole said, 'We were walking and Lena is on the sidewalk on Eucalyptus Street.' The operator said, 'How do you spell that?' and the phone seemed to go dead. The operator kept shouting for Ole. She could hear him panting. Then he came back on and said, 'I dragged her over to Oak Street, that's O-A-K.'

"Two Norwegian hunters from Minnesota got a pilot to fly them to Canada to hunt moose. They bagged six. As they started loading the plane for the return trip, the pilot said the plane could take only four moose. The two lads objected strongly: 'Last year we shot six and the pilot let us put them all on board and he had the same plane as yours.' Reluctantly, the pilot gave in and all six were loaded. But, even on full power, the little plane couldn't handle the load and went down a few moments after take-off. Climbing out of the wreck, one Norski asked the other, 'Any idea where we are?' 'Yaaah,' came the reply, 'I tink we's pretty close to where we crashed last year.'

"Lena called the airline's information desk and inquired, 'How long does it take to fly from Minneapolis to Fargo?' 'Yust a minute,' said the busy clerk. 'Vell,' said Lena, 'if it has to go dat fast, I tink I'll yust take da bus.'

"The judge had just awarded a divorce to Lena, who had charged non-support. He said to Ole, 'I have decided to give your wife $400 a month for support.' 'Vell, dat's fine, Judge,' said Ole. 'And vunce in a while I'll try to chip in a few bucks, myself.'

"Lars the bartender asked Ole, 'Do ya know da difference between a Norvegian and a canoe?' 'No, I don't,' said Ole. 'A canoe will sometimes tip,' explained Lars.

"Ole is so cheap that after his airplane landed safely, he grumbled, 'Vell, dere gose five dollars down da drain for dat flight insurance!'

"Lars: 'Ole, stant in front of my car and tell me if da turn signals are working.' Ole: 'Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes, No. . .'

"Ole and Lena got married. On their honeymoon trip they were nearing Minneapolis when Ole put his hand on Lena's knee. Giggling, Lena said, 'Ole, you can go a little farther now if ya vant to.' So Ole drove to Duluth.

"'Hey, Sven,' said Ole. 'How many Swedes does it take to grease a combine?' After Sven replied, 'I don't know,' Ole said, 'Only two, if you run them through real slow.'

"Ole and Lars were on their very first train ride. They had brought along bananas for lunch. Just as they began to peel them, the train entered a long, dark tunnel. 'Have you eaten your banana yet?' Ole asked excitedly. 'No,' replied Lars. 'Vell, don't touch it den,' Ole exclaimed. 'I yust took vun bite and vent blind!'

"Ole bought Lena a piano for her birthday. A few weeks later, Lars inquired how she was doing with it. 'Oh,' said Ole, 'I persuaded her to svitch to a clarinet.' 'How come?' asked Lars. 'Vell,' Ole answered, 'because vith a clarinet she can't sing.'

"Ole and Lena went to the Olympics. While they were sitting on a bench a lady turned to Ole and said, 'Are you a pole vaulter?' Ole said, 'No, I'm Norvegian and my name isn't Valter.'

"Ole died. So Lena went to the local paper to put a notice in the obituaries. The gentleman at the counter, after offering his condolences, asked Lena what she would like to say about Ole. Lena replied, 'You yust put "Ole died."' The gentleman, somewhat perplexed, said, 'That's it? Just "Ole died."? Surely, there must be something more you'd like to say about Ole. If it's money you're concerned about, the first five words are free. We must say something more.' So Lena pondered for a few minutes and finally said, 'OK. You put, "Ole died. Boat for sale."'

"And dot's enough!"


Losing the gender wars. . . Two submissions this month on the battle of the sexes, both from correspondents of the male persuasion. But don't worry—the women still come out ahead in this yarn from Rudy:

"A man and his wife were sitting in the living room and he said to her, 'Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug.'

"His wife got up, unplugged the TV and threw out all of his beer."


Next, repeat diarist Ned Ludd shares this tale of "Divorcing After 45 Years":

"An old man in Phoenix calls his son in New York and says, 'I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; 45 years of misery is enough.'

"'Pop, what are you talking about?' the son screams.

"'We can't stand the sight of each other any longer,' the old man replies. 'We're sick and tired of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your brother in Chicago and tell him.'

"And then he hangs up. Frantic, the son calls his brother, who explodes on the phone, 'Like heck they're getting a divorce!' he shouts. 'I'll take care of this.'

"So the second son calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at the old man, 'You are NOT getting divorced! Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?' And then he immediately hangs up.

"The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. 'It's taken care of, honey,' he says. 'They're coming for the holidays—and paying their own way!'"


You're only as old as you feel. . . Aging baby boomer (hey, we're there ourselves!) Doctor Diane takes a moment from the busy practice of medicine to share these bits of wisdom on getting older:

"The Four Stages of Life:

"1. You believe in Santa Claus.

"2. You don't believe in Santa Claus.

"3. You are Santa Claus.

"4. You look like Santa Claus.



"At age 4 success is . . . not piddling in your pants.

"At age 12 success is . . . having friends.

"At age 17 success is . . having a driver's license.

"At age 35 success is . . having money.

"At age 50 success is . . . having money.

"At age 70 success is . .. . having a driver's licence.

"At age 75 success is . . . having friends.

"At age 80 success is . . not piddling in your pants.


And comparative youngster Tigger of Oz unblushingly passes along this tale of the wisdom of the aged:

"Sunday's sermon was 'Forgive Your Enemies.' Toward the end of the service, the minister asked, 'How many of you have forgiven your enemies?" Eighty percent of the congregation held up their hands.

"The minister then repeated his question. All responded this time, except one small elderly lady.

"'Mrs. Jones? Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?'

"'I don't have any,' she replied, smiling sweetly.

"'Mrs. Jones, that is very unusual. How old are you?'

"'Ninety-eight,' the old woman replied.

"'Mrs. Jones, would you please come down in front and tell us how a person can live 98 years and not have an enemy in the world?'

"The little sweetheart of a lady tottered down the aisle, faced the congregation and said: 'I outlived the bitches!'"


The future isn't what it used to be. . . We suppose it won't be long before this anonymous story is more truth than fiction:

"One day, a boy, raised in a computer-professional information technology family, asks his Dad, 'Daddy, how was I born?'

"His Dad thinks for a while, sighs and replies, 'Ah, my son, I guess one day you would have to find out anyway!

"'Well, you see son,' the Dad explains, 'your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on MSN. Then I set up a date via e-mail with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe. We entered into a secure folder, where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had a firewall, but it was too late to hit the Delete button. Six weeks later, your Mom sent me an instant message saying that her operating system was showing signs of unauthorized program activity from a self-extracting file that had implanted itself in her operating system.

"'Then, nine months later, a little Pop-Up appeared and said, 'You've Got Male!'"


Happy holi-daze. . . For all those of you who haven't quite recuperated from the holiday hustle and bustle, we belatedly offer this little bit of perspective on the celebration just past, courtesy of Writer Bill:

"The Meaning of Christmas

"There was a woman out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable and hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, this woman finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.

"She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year: Overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, get that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, make sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sends us a card.

"Finally the elevator doors opened; there was already a crowd in the car. This woman pushed her way into the elevator car and dragged her two kids in with her along with all her bags of stuff. When the doors closed, she couldn't take it anymore and said out loud, 'Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be arrested and strung up!'

"From the back of the elevator, a quiet, calm voice responded, 'Don't worry, ma'am, I believe they crucified Him.'"


Send your seasonal (or otherwise) ponderings, jokes, anecdotes and other fodder for us to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email diary@desertexposure.com. Remember, the best submission each month gets a piece of spiffy Desert Exposure gear!


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