Concours du Soleil – Albuquerque’s Favorite Car Show

Concours du Soleil Car Show

Concours du Soleil 2017 Automobile Expo

Admittedly, I have never been what you would considered a “car guy”.  A love for automobiles is often passed down through family and close friends, a passion that was not passed down to me.  However, I have always had a great appreciation for artistic beauty, finely tuned design, and excellent craftsmanship.  The wonderful vehicles on display at the 2017 Concours du Soleil embodied all three of these characteristics and more.  If you have little interest in fine art for example, I would challenge you to visit the historic Georgia O’Keefe museum in downtown Santa Fe, and would expect that you would walk out with a great deal of respect for her work.  That is how I felt as I left the Concours du Soleil.  It is a wonderful car show for seasoned enthusiasts as well as fresh newbies like myself.  A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon with family and friends.

1932 Buick Model 97 4-Door Sedan

Back in 1997, Concours du Soleil began as a small, informal get together of the New Mexico Viper Club.  Held at a local resident’s house, it was little more than a group of car lovers joining each other for an afternoon of engine revving and test drives.  Very quickly, this humble gathering grew in notoriety, attracting a larger audience every year.  In 2005, organized with the support of the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation, the first official Concours du Soleil was held at a beautiful location in Los Ranchos.  It was a two day event with a Saturday evening Gala, followed by the public show the following afternoon.  All proceeds went towards various charities promoting growth in the local economy.  The event is still held at the same location to this day.

1953 Crestline Convertible

The 2017 show featured a plethora of exquisite vehicles; an American classic, the 1957 Ford Thunderbird, the exotic 2015 Ferrari 458 Spider, and an eye-catching one-of-a-kind 1965 Lotus Elan Convertible.  These are just of a few of the cars I had a tough time walking away from.  Classics like these are to be expected at a show such as this, but one thing particularly enticing at this years Concours du Soleil were the brand new hybrid and electric vehicles on display.  Once the butt of many jokes, notably the Toyota Prius, these eco-friendly vehicles prove that helping the environment does not mean sacrificing style.  One vehicle in particular seemed to attract the largest crowd of the show, a 2016 Tesla Model X, owned by show supporter Kevin Cooper.  Completely electric, the Model X somehow goes from 0-60 in 3.2 seconds.  Without a doubt the greenest car of the show, and to my surprise also one of the fastest!

2016 Tesla Model X
2016 Tesla Model X

In what was perhaps the most talked about exhibit at the show, the City of Albuquerque Transit Department unveiled one of its brand new A.R.T. buses.  Short for Albuquerque Rapid Transit, the A.R.T. bus is completely electric, and one member of a fleet of 20 the city purchased for the hefty price of $22.9 million.  The A.R.T. project, a three year long construction endeavor along miles of Central Avenue, has been highly controversial here in Albuquerque.  Residents near the area have been greatly inconvenienced by an endlessly changing slew of construction cones and torn up roads.  Local businesses in the surrounding area, particularly the Nob Hill district, have seen serious declines in business during construction.  However, the city encourages those opposed to the project to have patience, as they assure them that upon completion the project will bring new life and increased business to Albuquerque’s famed Route 66.  No matter what side you’re on, seeing the bus first hand was informative.  Another excellent aspect of the Concours du Soleil.

     2017 A.R.T. Bus

Since its inception, Concours du Soleil has always been an event for the better of the local community.  Proceeds have gone to various local non-profit organizations throughout the years, with over $750K awarded in the last 10 years alone.  Visit their website at for more details, as well as information on how to get involved in supporting the local economy.  To all the car enthusiasts, start polishing up your prized automobile now.  2018’s show is sure to be even better, and only the finest of vehicles will do.  I can’t wait to see what the show has in store for us next year.

Written by Byrd

Photos by The Girl

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Goodbye to “Mike & Mike”

After 19 years, the best morning radio show of all time is coming to an end.  This is a natural progression of life, nothing lasts forever.  Non-sports fans could care less about “Mike & Mike” being over.  However, popular radio talk shows of all varieties today would not exist without Greeny and Golic going after each other on a daily basis.

Greeny and Golic were always an odd pair.  Mike Golic was a former football player, a journeyman defensive lineman most remembered for his days playing with The Philadelphia Eagles.  Golic is a towering man who has gone up and down in weight throughout the years.  He is a man that loves football almost as much as he loves doughnuts.  Mike Greenberg was a jewish kid who loved sports and graduated from Northwestern in 1989.  He went on to cover sports in Chicago and New York, never having the god-given skills to play himself.  Greeny never leaves home without a bottle of hand sanitizer close by.  A jock and a geek combo.

Their show began in 1998, in the backyard of one of their houses.  The numbers are debatable, but I’m guessing they had around five thousand listeners a day at most.  One of my favorite stories is that when they started doing radio at ESPN, the internet was around but people were not constantly plugged in with smart phones the way they are today.  In order to do their show, they needed the morning newspaper.  ESPN executives cared little for their show, and refused to provide them with the paper.  So Golic would have to stop at a gas station every morning to buy a couple morning papers so they could do their show.  Slowly but surely, “Mike & Mike” became a staple, and was put on television in 2007.  Since then, “Mike & Mike” has become the most respected show on their flagship network.  They reported from the World Series, Super Bowl, National Championship Game, The Finals, and off a U.S. Navel boat.  Always doing so with class.

Mike & Mike Navy Boat

Coaches, players, celebrities, and even former presidents started their day with “Mike & Mike”.  For the younger readers, this radio show came into existence before LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Clayton Kershaw, or even Drew Brees were even drafted into their respective leagues.  Tiger Woods had only won two Major championship before these guys went on air.  Bill Bellichik had not yet become the coach of The New England Patriots.  Greeny loves to tell the story that when Drew Bledsoe was injured and some no name quarterback, Tom Brady, came in to replace him, Greeny declared on air that the Patriots were going to be awful and Bellichik would be fired by the end of the season.  I never said they were always right, but they were certainly  always entertaining.  This radio show has been the best place to start your day for every sports fan across America for longer than I can remember.

“Mike & Mike” is coming to an end.  Greeny is going off to do his own show, for what I’m sure is a huge contract.  Golic will continue the morning show with Trey Wingo, a long time football analyst for ESPN.  They will never capture the magic they had together again.  They are comparable to “Siskel & Ebert”.  I will miss driving to work and listening to “Mike & Mike”.  I humbly wish these legends of radio a fond farewell.  As Stuart Scott would say, you guys were “Cooler than the other side of the pillow”.

Written by Byrd

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Curt Arnett – A Trainer’s Life

Curt Arnett Strength Coach

There are people that affect our lives in obvious ways, such as our parents, siblings, husbands/wives, and children.  Then there are those people you never intended to meet that can change your life in ways you never expected.  For me, Curt Arnett is one of those people.  You could label him as a trainer, but I prefer to call him a life coach.

When I first met Curt, it was back in 2011.  I was incredibly overweight at 270 pounds and on my way to a life of diabetes and high cholesterol.  I would tell myself that by going to the gym every day for an hour I was doing everything I could to lose weight.  I hadn’t lost a pound, so obviously I was kidding myself.  I would see Curt training his clients and shake my head, thinking why would anybody pay somebody else to work out?  One day, Curt walked up and asked me “How many hours of cardio do you do a week?”.  I told him about 4 to 5 hours.  Curt laughed and said “You know you’re doing it wrong?”  I was taken aback.  I’ve had a gym membership for years, and who the hell does this old guy think he is?  I brushed it off at first, but what he said continued to bother me.  So two days later I signed up for his program, 3 one-hour sessions a week for three months.  More importantly, I agreed to his diet.  At first I was skeptical.  I was certain this wasn’t going to help and I was just meant to be fat my whole life.  Then a few weeks went by, and every time I weighed in the scale went down.  Cut to a year later, and I had lost 97 pounds!  Curt Arnett helped add at least 15 years to my life.  Here’s a picture the girl took of me deadlifting 275 pounds.  I look ridiculous of course, but I’m also doing something healthy and positive with every rep.

Greg Byrd Deadlifts

To question the results of Curt’s program would be ridiculous.  Now in his 60’s, Curt is still winning bodybuilding competitions every year against guys more than half his age!  He is not on drugs or steroids as he competes at a lean 145 pounds.  He is simply driven and dedicated, more so than anyone I have ever met.  When a new client approaches him for a diet plan he always tells them “This isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle change”.  A former baseball player for the Texas Rangers organization, Curt started his training career as a hitting coach for up and coming young baseball players.  He transitioned into weight training in the mid-90’s, at first only training with the high school kids who hit with him.  Eventually, the parents got on his case and asked “What about us Coach, we could use some training ourselves”.  From that point on, Curt has been training people of all ages, encouraging each client to become a better version of themselves.

Curt Arnett training a client

His approach to training is different from most.  Instead of one-on-one sessions that will cost you an arm and a leg, Curt signs you up for a three month period where you train with him for three one hour sessions per week.  The program is very affordable.  Trust me, I’ve never made a lot of money and I found a way to afford it.  He has various periods of time he’s at the gym from Monday to Saturday, about 50+ hours a week, and you go whenever it fits best for your schedule.  Instead of one on ones, it’s a mini-class type atmosphere where he is training anywhere from two to five people at a time.  I thought I would be turned off by this training style, but for me it’s better to train with other people every week, as you encourage each other to work harder.  Plus, Curt’s clients are all some of the nicest people you could imagine.  I can have vastly different political or religious views from some of these people, but when we’re working out with Curt we’re all the same.  Several of his clients have become more than workout partners, they have become friends.

Powerflex Gym Sign

Curt trains at Powerflex Gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  It’s a great local fitness club where every time you walk in there’s a familiar face with a warm “good morning” waiting for you.  It’s not a meat-head gym full of lubed up guys staring at their abs in the mirror, and it’s also not a frivolous gym with signs about “Lunk Alarms” like Planet Fitness.  Powerflex is a neighborhood staple, open to all shapes and sizes.  When “The Avengers” was filming in New Mexico back in 2011, both Chris Evans (Captain America) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) trained at Powerflex!  There are three locations around Albuquerque, all of which are 24 hour facilities.  They have everything you need and don’t distract you with machines and equipment that require a 10 page instruction manual before using them.

Curt Arnett Training Skull Crushers

There’s no frills to the way Curt trains either.  Often times, other trainers will create elaborate routines or give you dissertations about perfect form.  As Curt likes to say, “This ain’t rocket science.  Now throw some weight on there and get in the hole!”  The other big thing Curt swears by is changing your diet.  He believes that losing weight is 20% training and 80% diet.  Trust me, as a person with first hand experience, he’s 100% right.  When you start with him he will give you a diet plan and, just like his training style, it’s not complicated.  High protein, high fiber, low fat, only complexed carbs (brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato), and almost no sugars.  Simple things like making an omelette out of egg whites instead of whole eggs, eating extra lean hamburger patties with no bun,  getting a side of vegetables instead of french fries, having your favorite Chinese food with brown rice instead of fried, replacing your bag of chips with an Isopure Zero Carb Protein drink, are just some of the little changes you can make to drastically improve the way you feel every time you wake up in the morning.

Curt Arnett and Greg Byrd

I left training with Curt for about 4 years while I was working in the film business as I simply did not have the time anymore.  I felt way worse when I woke up in the morning than I did when I was training with Curt.  Earlier this year, I had made my way back up to 210 pounds.  Needless to say, I went back to Curt.  I have since lost 35 pounds in just over five months, simply by following his program.  Curt often likes to use me as an example to his other clients of how well his program can work, always insisting that I deserve all the credit.  That is not true, the bulk of the credit belongs to him.  He planted a seed in my head of the person I wanted to be, and encourages me to be that person every time I train with him.  Anybody looking to lose weight or simply improve their overall health should go see Curt Arnett at Powerflex Gym.  Sometimes the smallest conversation can change your life, and I will never forget the first time I talked to Curt.

Written by Byrd

Photos by the Girl

Feel free to comment here or send us a message to tell us what inspires you!  & Don’t forget to sign up for updates in the sidebar to the right so you never miss a post.

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Just Another Lifestyle Blog – An Intro

couples, portraits, bloggers, profile picture

This is Byrd Meets Girl – a lifestyle blog based out of Albuquerque, NM. Let’s get to know each other – I’m Jenny, and my day job is freelancing in film and sometimes I’m a photographer.  Byrd is the other half of this blog, my best friend, and partner in crime. Byrd is a film lover and encyclopedia of movie knowledge.  He used to work in the film industry, but recently gave that up to begin searching for his purpose in life.  I’m glad I met him before he started soul searching – more on our first encounter in a later post!

So a lifestyle blog?

We came up with the idea of a sort of “catch-all” blog, where we write about the yummy restaurants we visit, share reviews of the movies we see (and boy, do we see a lot of movies), give tips to designing a comfortable home, and share stuff about our 3 adorable dogs – all rescues. This will be our place to share books, music, coffee spots, and more.  We believe a lifestyle blog should feel relatable and not preachy – the point is to engage with people around the world who are interested in how we have come to find relative happiness, even with typical obstacles that get in the way.  We are not perfect by any means, and I hope that our quirks will be something that give this site character.  This is what I mean by “just another lifestyle blog” – bear with us as we find our way through the internet!

What do you want to read about in a lifestyle blog?

We want to know what you want to read about.  Do you really want to know what accounting is like in the film business? I can tell you about that.  Do you want to hear about Byrd’s quest for a new career, and perhaps his opinions on new and classic films? Or do you want to know how we take our coffee and why Dunkin’ Donuts is the best?  What we do when we have a lazy Saturday? (Or Sunday? – or a whole lazy 3 day weekend?)  Do you want to hear about how Byrd lost 30+ pounds in the past few months? Looking for some photography tips? We will get to all of it! This is just the beginning.  Leave a comment and tell us what you want to read about! Don’t forget – we’re new at this 🙂  And don’t forget to subscribe for updates at the bottom of this post, or contact us if you have any questions!


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