Friday, April 24, 2009

My FOX News Channel segments

If you want to see my two segments from FOX News channel, check out these links. It was a blast getting to do this in support of my friend Eric, who donated a kidney to another guy in the 501st Legion. What a great guy. The cast and crew loved having us there and were very gracious toward us.

The After the Show Show. We get to interact a little more in this segment.

For the Empire,

Monday, April 20, 2009


I will be on the Fox News Channel on Tuesday, 4/21/09 at 8:40 am EST. Look for the Sandtrooper.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Mexico - Part 3: The FOOD

I had to save this for a post all by itself. The cuisine of New Mexico is worthy of an entry and cannot be denied full attention. While in New Mexico, I made it a point to photograph all of my meals at various restaurants. Without further adieu,

The Shed, Santa Fe, NM

Blue corn chicken enchiladas with red and green chile sauce. Pinto Beans and some corn creation. Served with garlic bread.

... and for dessert, mocha cake served chilled. Unbelievable.

Also at The Shed,

Marinated seasoned pork and cheese enchilada. Also with pinto beans and some corn creation. Served with garlic bread.

Michael's Kitchen, Taos, NM

Three egg omelette with green chile and cheese. Hash browns and pancakes.

Guadalajara Grill, Taos, NM

Chile Relleno and pork chimichanga. Served with rice and refried beans.

Tomasitas, Santa Fe, NM

I'm not even sure what was on this. I think there was one enchilada, one tamale, one chile relleno and a taco. Served with rice, beans and a sopapilla.

El Paragua, Espanola, NM

This was hands down the best food I ate in New Mexico. Simply wonderful.

Two chile rellenos served with rice, refried beans and another marinated pork side. Outstanding and well worth the trip to Espanola.

Courtesy of various rivers of New Mexico.

Three rainbow trout. The skin comes right off after a very short time of cooking.

Courtesy of the freezer, an 8 oz. bison burger with american and cheddar cheese and chipotle Tabasco sauce mixed into the meat.

I also ate a dozen of Pedro's pork tamales while staying at the cabin. The food alone in the southwest is worth the trip.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Mexico Trip - Part 2: Tres Ritos

After leaving Abiquie, I drove about 90 minutes into Tres Ritos, where the family cabin is located. It was surreal driving up the mountain toward the cabin as it had been over twenty years since I visited there. Places, bridges, and turns slowly came back to memory as I passed them and driving up the road to the cabin felt like coming home. The cabin is where I stayed for the next eight days of my vacation.

My parents were staying for the weekend, so it was good to see them as well as Uncle Mike and Aunt Donna. They all knew I wanted to spend most of my time alone, so they left on Sunday. Tres Ritos is so relaxing after running around for so long in NYC. The scenery is the opposite end of the spectrum entirely. Mountains, waterfalls and blue skies cannot be escaped.

We made our way into Taos, which is a normal pilgrimage when visiting the cabin. We had a great breakfast and walked around for a bit. Taos had changed quite a bit since my last visit. Instead of numberous galleries surrounding the square, most businesses had become gift shops with touristy trinkets made in China. That was somewhat disappointing, but the scenery was still beautiful.

Immediately after the family departed on Sunday, I bought a five day fishing license and hit the waters, fishing as much as seven hours a day. It was a tough time to fish because it was still fairly cold outside and the rivers had not been stocked since last summer. It was slim fishing, but I did catch five by the week's end. Two I released because of their size, but the rest I ate happily. I did have a stab at fishing in the Rio Grande River, but had no luck.

Of the time when I wasn't fishing, I usually spent it reading or walking around places I had been years before. The highlight of my trip to Tres Ritos was the walk up to what we call "The Meadow". "The Meadow" is about a mile up a trail behind our cabin. The first three hundreds yards or so is a tough climb. The altitude at the cabin is about 8,500 feet, so there isn't as much oxygen to be had. Needless to say, I was panting like a fifteen year old on prom night trying to get up that hill. The path evens out somewhat and gets easier as you hike. Much of the landscape had changed some, but the meadow was still every bit as lovely as I remembered.

I walked to the two broken down cabins and looked around. I drank from the stream when thirsty. I spent probably four hours up there just relaxing and reading my pocket Bible. I sat in one spot for awhile and when I got up to leave I startled about fifteen deer which were walking a couple of hundred feet away. We stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity then eventually went our own ways.

At the end of the week, I did have to unfortunately leave to catch the plane back to New York. There was a sadness about having to leave such a lovely place for a place of such filth and despair among its locals. When all you can see is the effects of man, hope seems gone. But in New Mexico, there is heightened sense of spiritualism by everyone when surrounded by such beauty. I can see myself living in New Mexico or at the least, visiting it at least twice a year.

For more pictures, visit:

New Mexico Trip - Part 1: Santa Fe

What a relief to leave NYC and visit another place with no agenda whatsoever. Even flying into Albuquerque is relaxing. The way the airplane soars over a huge mountain only to find the city just below. Thanks to my cousin Angie, I used the Expedition which is kept at the airport.

I arrived in Santa Fe on a Wednesday afternoon. I pulled up to my hotel and it started snowing. I was sort of bummed that my vacation started with snow and harsh wind, but I made the best of it. I layered up and hit the pavement to explore. I wandered through the downtown streets to the Plaza, where there was not a person in site. Very odd for the most touristy part of the city. Usually there are dozens of Indian families selling various hand crafted jewelry and such.

It eventually cleared up a bit and allowed for some beautiful weather. The city is breathtaking in it's beauty. It is so obvious that the people care about their city, unlike NYC. The streets are clean and there is a sense of pride about the land in which they live. Most buildings are made of adobe often trimmed in light blue or red. Absolutely gorgeous. You can't walk thirty seconds without seeing some sculpture somewhere as every block is immersed in art.

I also spent some time at a few museums. I especially enjoyed the Georgia O'Keefe museum. I absolutely fell in love with that artwork and decided to take a trip toward Abiquie when heading out of town. When Friday came, I took a detour out west a bit to Abiquie. I wanted to specifically see Pedernal mountain, which O'Keefe drew time and time again. I wasn't really sure how to get there or if I would find it. The landscape was absolutely gorgeous and as my aunt calls it, "God's Country". She couldn't be more correct.

As I drove I kept seeing mountains and wondering if that was Pedernal. However, when I did see the real thing, I knew it instantly. I pulled off and drove down a dirt road near Abiquie Lake for quite a few minutes, until I was fairly close. I parked the car near this ranch and just sat there in the breeze for probably an hour.

I have to say that there is a charm to northern New Mexico like no other place I have been to. I could easily see myself living here with a giant dog.

For more pictures, visit: