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How The Hen House Turns: Fire, Dog Crates and Straw

on March 8, 2013 - 10:02am
How The Hen House Turns
Fire, Dog Crates and Straw

Spring. The first crocus makes me remember to organize for possible evacuation.

During the Cerro Grande Fire in the year 2000, all we had to evacuate was a turtle, a plecostomas and two swordtail fish.

They didn't like being evacuated, but at last I convinced them to stay in the largest salad bowl I could find - all but the male swordtail. I couldn't catch him, and time was ticking away. A huge plume of black, orange and white smoke rose overhead.

It broke my heart to leave the male swordtail behind.


Money IQ: Tax Season

on March 6, 2013 - 9:45am
Money IQ

Tax Season

Another tax season is upon us and the countdown has started to April 15. 

You should have received your W-2, 1099 and 1098 forms by now.

If you have not received these forms, you need to track them down because they should have been mailed by Jan. 31, 2013. You might have these documents electronically if you are signed up for electronic or online banking with your bank.

Many taxpayers wait until the last minute to collect and organize tax forms, tax -deductible donations and any other tax related forms.

Pajarito Reads: 'Blaize Castle' a Fun Read in the Style of Jane Austen

on March 4, 2013 - 11:53am
Los Alamso Daily Post

“This hat sells books,” said local author Inez Ross when I admired her bright red fedora.

Ross, who has a life-long love affair with trains and rides often, finds her hat is a great conversation starter onboard the train.

“People ask me if I’m in the Red Hat Society and I say I belong to the Black Feather Authors’ Society,” Ross said. This often leads directly to a sale.

The other secret of Ross’ success in selling her books on the train is the size.

Thoughts From the Big Chair: The Dramatic Renaissance of TV Drama

on March 4, 2013 - 11:44am
Thoughts From the Big Chair
Comments on Television and Associated Media From a Lifelong Addict
Column by RALPH E. CHAPMAN (Twitter @RalphEChapman)
©2013, Ralph E. Chapman
The Dramatic Renaissance of TV Drama

Hey gang! Let me first mention that today is the first anniversary of the entrance into our (My Lovely Bride and I) lives of Lola, our beautiful brindle Chihuahua, that we adopted from the Los Alamos shelter.

Adding her to family - along with our cats Ray and Lena  (from the Española shelter) - has completed our family.

Column: Great Skis, Great Skiing, to Great Organizations Part II

on March 4, 2013 - 11:28am

Great Skis, Great Skiing, to Great Organizations – From Personal Development to Organizational Development Part II

Column by ELENA YANG

From “hedgehog” of last week to “flywheel” of this week; these are some of the principles in Jim Collins’ “Good To Great.”

The “flywheel” is about steady improvement over time; with momentum gradually building up, the wheel/organization eventually transforms and takes off. 

There is no flashy launching of some product/program or momentous announcement.

Column: Are You a Closet Contest Enterer?

on March 3, 2013 - 7:20am
Are You a Closet Contest Enterer?

Are you one of those? You know, a person who partakes in that guilty pleasure—a contest enterer?

Will you admit it in polite society? Probably not. When the topic raises its ugly head at a cocktail party, you are the one to steer the conversation to something safe, something like the latest Kardashian sighting.

Anything to divert attention from your hidden pleasure.

Ashamed of this aspect of your behavior? Don’t be.

Column: Long-Term Care Insurance ... One Size Doesn’t Fit All

on March 3, 2013 - 7:06am
Long-Term Care Insurance: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

One thing we can all agree on is that no two people are exactly the same.

That includes your plans for retirement, which are most likely much different than those of your friends or family’s plans. 

One similarity many of us will share however is the need for long-term care.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ booklet, Medicare & You, 2011; about 70 percent of people over age 65 will need long-term care services at some point.

With the explosion of long term care services


How the Hen House Turns: 40 Years with Dogs and Domestic Birds

on March 1, 2013 - 7:29am

40 Years with Dogs and Domestic Birds

Los Alamos

Have you ever seen a duck shiver? Mrs. Ritz and Mr. Kiebler (my nine-year-old miniature mallard quackers) shiver when the temperature drops to 14 degrees F.

It's very scary--especially when they are part of the family--especially when the weather news predicts another nighttime low below twenty degrees F.

For another night Bobbi goose will have to put up with Mrs.


Column: We Should Colonize Mars!

on March 1, 2013 - 7:13am

Courtesy photo

We Should Colonize Mars!

Los Alamos

We should colonize Mars.

It is a simple statement, but the imperative to colonize another planet may have escaped many people, even those who stayed up late and watched as the rover Curiosity landed safely on the surface of Mars.

Why colonize Mars?

Courtesy photo

Well, we could cite the romantic reason given by the Russian mathematician Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the first human to propose launching rockets into orbit, the building of space habitats, the building of Moon bases, the exploitation of the asteroid


Help With The Hard Stuff: Lawyers are Human, Too

on February 28, 2013 - 7:49am

Help With The Hard Stuff

Part 2 (of 10) - Lawyers are Human, Too


I said in my last column, “You’re going to the lawyer to help you with solving a complex problem in an increasingly interconnected, unstable, and hopelessly complicated world – something lawyers can be very good at.” 

Notice I said lawyers can be very good at it, not that they always are good at it. It’s also true that lawyers can be not very good at helping you solve complex problems.

That’s because lawyers are human, just like everyone else.


Hannemann's Music Corner: Baiting the Hook

on February 28, 2013 - 6:43am
Baiting the Hook
Los Alamos
There is an old gag: on a piece of paper write, "how do you drive someone bonkers all day (over)." On the other side you write, "how do you drive someone bonkers all day (over)."
There are wonderfully fun variations on this, e.g. "Pete and repete went fishing. Pete fell out of the boat. Who was left?"
When you get the answer, "repeat" you say, "Pete and repete went fishing ..." You get the drift. Shaggy dog stories are of similar nature.
People like to have finality. Closure. An ending. A sense of doneness.

Column: Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life

on February 28, 2013 - 6:17am

Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life
Column by ANN SHAFER
Los Alamos

You’ve just hit 50 and you are now aware that you are in the second half of your life. What are you going to do with the rest of your life? 

You know what you don’t want to do. You don’t want to spend your life sitting in front of your TV watching show after show or spending hours playing computer games.

Sage-ing International is an organization that honors living the second half of your life in a joyful, fulfilling, and beneficial manner. It is also known as conscious aging. 

We now live longer and spend more


Money IQ: Too Good to be True (Continued)

on February 27, 2013 - 12:16pm
Money IQ

Too Good to be True (Continued)

Last week we discussed how criminals are always looking for unsuspecting victims to help them steal and launder funds.

“Money mules” are individuals who are usually tricked into helping transfer stolen funds from one country to another.

The fraudster uses social websites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter to locate their victims. Below is another example of “Too good to be true.” 

Mr. Right – You receive a notification on Facebook that someone is asking to be your friend.

Column: Fiscal Disaster Zone

on February 26, 2013 - 8:52am

Fiscal Disaster Zone
Los Alamos
Amidst the current talk of sequestering of already budgeted federal monies, federal budget cuts and “Do This Or Else” threats from politicians, we taxpayers should know one simple truth—our federal and state budget problems come from the problem of greed.

The major contributor to our national crisis is large corporate greed, as in the 200 plus large corporations that pay no federal income tax on their earnings.

Some of these corporations were bailed out by Washington D.C.


Food on the Hill: Greek Style Chicken

on February 26, 2013 - 6:16am

"Food on the Hill" by Sue York

This Week's Recipe:

Greek Style Chicken

Photo by Sue York/


2 pounds chicken- breast and thighs, skinned
1 small can black olives, drained
1 head of garlic, crush with side of knife
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt and pepper
capers, do not drain
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pitted dried prunes, quartered
3/4 cup Spanish olives with juice
4-6 bay leaves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white wine


Photo by Sue York/
Photo by Sue

Pajarito Reads: Robert Fuselier Explores How Survival Strategies Rooted Deep in the Brain Control our Behavior

on February 25, 2013 - 11:13am
Los Alamos Daily Post

Robert (Bob) Fuselier may be the ideal person to tackle the subject of his new book, “From Violence to Freedom.”

Fuselier is a veterinarian, which of course gives him a lot of insight into animal behavior and a background in medicine and biology.

Bob Fuselier

He’s also a world traveler, having done volunteer work in Honduras and more recently, in Afghanistan, where he saw how different cultures cope with human behavior.

Column: Great Skis, Great Skiing, to Great Organizations... Part 1

on February 25, 2013 - 7:18am

Great Skis, Great Skiing, to Great Organizations – From Personal Development to Organizational Development Part I

Column by ELENA YANG

I have been working on four books for the past few weeks; two are about personal development and the other two are about organizations (see listing below.)

The overlapping messages are generally about living with passion, learning to release creative energy, staying disciplined and having fun.

On a recent skiing trip, they began to meld together for me. So, this entry is both personal and organizational.

  • "The Art of Possibility" by Rosamund Stone Zander

Thoughts From the Big Chair: 'Ziggy and Brubeck and Crocs, Oh My!'

on February 24, 2013 - 7:24am
Thoughts From the Big Chair
Comments on Television and Associated Media From a Lifelong Addict

“Ziggy and Brubeck and Crocs, Oh My!”

Hey gang! This week, I think I’m going to stick to a couple shorter topics on different ends of the Reality Show continuum…

The Grammys

The Grammys were on last week and I managed to watch a good deal of the telecast over a few days using the old DVR.

It’s tough to watch the whole program at one time because, as with most Hollywood awards shows, it overflows with lots of ego, over-hyped records and performances, and, of course,

Column: Trinity Drive and the Entrance to Town ... What are Your Thoughts?

on February 23, 2013 - 11:59am
Los Alamos County Councilor

Trinity Drive and the entrance to town ... what are your thoughts?

This process has been going on for years - but is coming to a conclusion now and your input is needed.

The short (ish) of it is, Trinity Drive is really, as we know, N.M. 502 - a state highway. We are on the schedule to get funding for the stretch just before the pool into town to Knecht Street - just past where all the dirt is torn up for Trinity Site.

Funding is available essentially now and the road could be re-done in the next year.

Because it would be federal funds

Real Estate & Neighborhood History: Western Area

on February 22, 2013 - 12:17pm

Western Area in Los Alamos. Courtesy/Google Earth


Real Estate & Neighborhood History

Western Area

 Any discussion of the real estate and the history of our neighborhoods in Los Alamos must begin with the first neighborhood developed in our mountain community – “the Western Area.”

The Western Area derived its name from the location in which it resides. At the time it was being developed, it was thought that Los Alamos would remain on only one mesa.

Therefore it was believed that a distinction between East and West would be all that is necessary.

Money IQ: Too Good to be True

on February 20, 2013 - 11:23am
Money IQ

Too Good to be True

We’ve all heard the phrase, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Well, unfortunately, this phrase applies largely to many incentive deals, job offers, and even relationships that we may find on the Internet today.

Criminals are always looking for new ways to steal someone else's money and they're looking for unsuspecting victims, like you, to help them. Job websites and social media websites (like Facebook and Twitter) are the new tool of choice to find money mules.

The term “money mules” is defined as individuals that are

Hannemann's Music Corner: Instrument Malfunctions - Avoiding the Gremlins

on February 20, 2013 - 9:43am
Hannemann's Music Corner

Instrument Malfunctions: Avoiding the Gremlins

There you are on stage. You have a solo part. Murphy is rubbing his hands in evil glee. Waiting. Do you know how many things can go wrong with your instrument at this magic moment?

Strings, reeds, pads, corks, felts, springs do not last forever. Tolerances in thousandths of an inch do not tolerate wear.
Adjustments re-adjust. Delicate parts get bumped, bent, dinged, dented altering the air flow of a wind instrument thereby altering the tonal quality and intonation.
Glues unstick and suddenly

Pajarito Reads: Visit the Worlds of T. Jackson King

on February 19, 2013 - 7:15am
Los Alamos Daily Post

This column will explore books that have something to do with Los Alamos and its surroundings, whether because the book is by someone who lives here, or lived here, or worked here or because of the subject matter.

Author T. Jackson "Tom" King

The sci-fi novels of T. Jackson King are a great place to start, because I met him signing books in, of all places, Smith’s Food and Drug Center in White Rock.

It doesn’t get much more local than that. It also just goes to show that interesting writers can turn up anywhere.

How did King end up in

Food on the Hill: Rice Pudding

on February 19, 2013 - 6:55am

This Week's Recipe:

Rice Pudding
Photo by Sue York/


3  1/3 cups whole milk
1 large orange- zested (use zest only)
1 1/2 lemon -zested (use zest only)
7 Tablespoons long grain rice
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup heavy cream


Photo by Sue York/
Photo by Sue York/

Put everything but the vanilla in a 2 quart non-stick pan and cook on stove top on very low until rice is tender, stir every few minutes, watch the rice carefully so it does not burn.


The Pain Free Athlete: Straighten Then Strengthen Your Body

on February 18, 2013 - 9:12am

Jessica Kisiel
The Pain Free Athlete
Column by Jessica Kisiel

Straighten Then Strengthen Your Body

Lifting weights is a great way to increase strength. Unfortunately, it can also engrain postural disparities and movement compensations.

This reality has spawned the term, dysfunctional fitness,  whereby we are doing our bodies more harm than good in the weight room.

Real strength comes from a stable and aligned posture. Joints that are out of alignment are weak. The position of the joints is dictated by the muscles that are attached to them.

When our skeleton is in a symmetrical