- From Chuck and Kate's mom (our hosts in New Mexico), I got the new history of Area 51, by Annie Jacobsen. I started reading it today - it's good so far. It's funny how people react to Area 51, and how much it's been conflated with Roswell (we're visiting Roswell tomorrow). My parents confused the two when I had dinner with them shortly before leaving, and I've seen a lot of people do this. Roswell may or may not have been any number of things. Something happened, but who knows what. The ambiguity makes it fun. But there's no ambiguity whatsoever about Area 51. It's a 100% real, top secret military base. You can speculate about what goes on there, but I find it interesting that some people treat it like a sci fi thing. Anyway - I'm psyched about Roswell tomorrow. There's some discussion in this book about the Roswell incident too.
- Kate got me tickets to the opera this February. To people that go to the opera, that might not sound exciting - and to people who don't go to the opera that might sound odd. But I've been mentioning for a while that I wish we did more cultural outings. We're kind of homebodies, and I've never been to an opera or a ballet, and I've only been to a few plays. We do go to a lot of historical sites (which I drag her to), and our wine trips are "cultural" I suppose, but it's always something I've been interested in trying out. We're going to see Cosi fan tutte, by Mozart, at the Kennedy Center. A friend of ours that is much more knowledgeable about this stuff says it's very good, and funny as well.
- I got myself this Zuni fetish yesterday in Santa Fe. I didn't go in planning to get anything (we were going around to a lot of Chuck's favorite art and carving stores), and when we went in the store owner told us that "the Zunis say that people don't chose their fetishes - the fetishes choose them". Good line - good marketing - I thought. Then I saw this one and it just jumped out at me from all the rest... after that I figured maybe I shouldn't be such a smartass about it :)
The abalone that the fish is made out of has completely different coloring on each side - it's the same piece.
By the way - the fetish carver that we spent Christmas eve with has some work displayed here.
Specifying a transition matrix
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