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Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, NM

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 09-10-2019

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Our balloon festival kicked off last weekend and of course it is time to stay pretty close to home. It will last all week. I’m glad that so many folks come to visit during this period, however, after having company and taking them to see all the balloons several years, I now try to stay home. I mean it’s fun being down there, you enjoy being close to the balloons being filled up with air, mingling with all he people, sampling all the food and taking hundreds of pictures and watching as the referees keep the take offs orderly, while all the time trying to keep from stumbling, falling and bumping into folks while looking up and walking. And it all works. They refs do a good job and if you are a first time visitor I almost guarantee that you will enjoy it and probably will not stumble and fall….And you will probably enjoy it the second time….And you are excited for your third time visitors…..but after that you wish them well, tell them you will try and serve lunch at a certain time and visit the stores away from the balloon fiesta field to gathering food stuff for you visitors meal….But that may be just me. There probably are those people who go year after year and enjoy every minute of it. I’m happy for them….One note…this year, even with over five hundred balloons flying daily, only one or two has flown over our house this year…See my earlier posting on the birds not coming around any more…..Maybe it’s the wind currents….Reckon?

Comments (10)

It still could be Global Warming. The wind currents are effected by the degree of heat: the more heat, the more wind currents. In this modern age, we can’t get away from Global Warming. The more the warming; the more the heat. The more the heat; the fewer the birds. At least, the more the warming; the better the balloons fly. The more heat; the better the flying. It is an interconnected world. Longing for the old world is the thing to do. There was a time when people endeavored to use only the science beneficial to mankind. They didn’t try to characterize science as a detriment to man’s existence on earth. Where did we go so wrong?

I remember back in the Fifties it was warm too. I couldn’t imagine any more warming than existed in Dad’s cotton field on a hot August day, especially when one had a hoe in one’s hand and the refreshing coolness from the water jug. I wonder why there was no mention of global warming then. Again people only used that science from which they benefited. They didn’t care for the science from which they received no benefit. The benefits of nuclear fusion and nuclear fission are cases in point. When our government stopped receiving benefits from those two scientific processes, all interest in them ceased.

Our balloon pilots prefer the cooler days to fly as it gives greater lift from the hot air in the balloon bag.

There is nothing like the cool, dry Albuquerque morning air to give an exhilarating experience whether one is on board a bicycle or a lifting hot air balloon. A bicycle has just always seemed safer to me. On a hot air balloon, one is just too much at the mercy of the unpredictable elements to suit me. I think the only reason hot IR ballooning has become so popular in the area is that people don’t have to worry about making a living in a bare, desolate desert any more the way they use to. Instead, they now have the freedom to follow their own passions no matter where they might lead whether it is following a jumping sheep excited with a new coatlessness and with all the excitement that brings or riding a wandering balloon rising on lifting hot air no matter where it might lead. One is about as unpredictable as the other. An excited sheep is probably more so as the God-made elements are more prone to follow scientific law than excitable sheep.

All those mornings when I peered eastward towards Tijeras Canyon approximately towards Alabama and my home territory knowing that somewhere through that canyon was a place I called home, I never dreamed that out of that canyon would come strange hot air balloons that would be the subject of so many people’s imagination. There has never been a place where so much conspired to work together to excite a young kid’s imagination as the “goat farm”, its experiment of using irradiation to simulate atomic warfare, and using sheep as guinea pigs to allow all of those tiny electrons to reek their havoc on sheep-supported life while allowing human life to run its merrily course. The theory had its shortcomings, and the analogy was never always completely satisfying all the time, but it did indicate that someone, somewhere had an active imagination, especially for the Air Force. I was happy to have been a small part of it

The idea of using radiation to simulate atomic warfare had its beginning with the idea that radiation was somehow tied to the origin of life itself. If radiation and life were so neatly tied together, then it only followed that an understanding of each might explain the other, thus the imaginations began to soar. What’s more basic to life than a sheep giving birth. Even the Bible makes use of the image in describing the way that God chose to introduce His Son to human life. It causes the mind of the Preacher to really soar to new levels and gives him the tools to describe in a new way that which is indescribable in any other way. What’s so neat is it all started on a plain, simple “goat farm” where there was only plain, simple sheep fighting for life in common, simple circumstances. The predecessors of the sheep in the Air Force experiment were beagle dogs. Beagle dogs are fine animals, but they could not maintain the life symbolism of the sheep without the biblical origin that the sheep possessed.

Marina and I are hoping you all had fun at the Balloon Fiesta this year. We tried to do a couple of years ago but were unable to make reservations. We opted instead to go to Santa Fe in December and saw Santa Fe at Christmas time. I’m glad we did. During the entire four years I was stationed at KAFB, I never managed to get up to Santa Fe at Christmas time. It is a beautiful town at Christmas, especially when one is lucky enough to avoid the snow, as we were. Marina enjoyed the Christmastime Santa Fe shopping. I just enjoyed seeing the place again. New Mexico has always been somewhat like a time capsule to me. The state never really changes. Even after 60 years of neglect and defunding, the Goat Farm is still much the same in appearance. There are no sheep, only wild animals, there is still plenty of tumbleweed blowing around. The main buildings are still there, only run down a bit. Even the ugly hole in the ground where our neutron-gamma ray facility sat is still showing off its waste of millions of good ole taxpayer dollars. The animal shelters were largely gone. I guess they were sold off. The laboratory building was gone, but I could make our the outline of its foundation. The building in which my office was located still exist. The site probably had nothing to do with our winning WWII, but it may well have had something to do with our winning some future nuclear war had it occurred during the late 20th century. In that respect, the money wasted was worth every penny.

We tried to stay as far away as possible. Helen is on a walker full time and is susceptible to falls, so we try
and stay away from crowds. Seldom does she go shopping any more. So we stayed home and let the younger crowd have the streets.
When I was working for one of the trucking companies I worked for several years ago, I handled the state regulatory stuff in Santa Fe and spend a lot of time up there. I was never there during Christmas, so I don’t know about, “Christmas in Santa Fe”. I think most of the time they do have a white Christmas. It’s pretty iffy with us here in Albuquerque.

I think in most years one has to go up in the mountains to experience a White Christmas in Santa Fe since most of the snowfall in the city comes in January. When we were there in 2018, we saw flurries, and we were there for a week at Christmas. Of course, it has been said that New Mexico is now in a state of Global Warming. It may have been colder in earlier years. When I was at Kirtland AFB, I noticed that snow appeared in Santa Fe city about the time that it first appeared on Sandia Crest in mid to late December. For four winters at KAFB, I never saw snow at the Goat Farm in December. What snow there was always came in January.

Perhaps your birds do as you all now doing. When they see the big, fat balloons coming, they clear our for greener pastures. After all, to a bird, those balloons must look very formidable. Now we have solved your bird dilemma, we can go on to other things.

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