Friday, December 9, 2016

More Biking and Tattooing

Greetings Earthlings.  Long time, no real posting. Lately I've had to resort to reading things like "the best 50 tweets from women in 2016" to keep my equanimity.  That was the source of the previous post.  Anyway, there has been much riding.

Monday we rode south to the Julian Wash Greenway to see if a) the route through South Tucson improved and b) if it would be something to add to the roster of rides we do.  The answers would be no and no.  In South Tucson the trail is a sidewalk that the city painted a stripe on.  It crosses the access points to several large retail parking lots.  Drivers are not expecting to see bikes there and pull out into the lane to exit.  It made us feel like prey items.  Doesn't "Julian Wash" and "Greenway" sound pleasant?  The wash is actually an enormous concrete water control system.  One rides on a shelf on the side of the concrete ditch, or sometimes in the bottom of it.  This is important to know in case it has been raining.  Water and debris are not your friend.  Greenway actually refers to painted sections of road that indicate an on street bike lane.  Until you reach the Lazy Days KOA sign, the trail is not terribly pleasant.  Even then, there is much of this.


Wednesday we rode north on the trail, over to the Rillito trail and then back through the University.  It was very pleasant.  This is a train going over the trail.  There are signs telling you to stop for the trains because large chunks of ballast can be dislodged and fall on one's head.  We stopped.


There was the obligatory stop at Starbuck's for coffee and a scone.  It's 32 miles, which was good for us.


Yesterday we again rode north on the trail, but for fewer miles. 
Last night Jim's laptop was invaded by a virus.  It took control of the cursor and started opening things.  This morning the laptop had to be taken to the far east side of Tucson to have the virus removed.  I hate the people who do stuff like this.
On the way home we decided to divert to the 4th Avenue Street Fair.  We haven't been for a couple of years.  It hasn't changed much.
There is art.


There is bad food.


There is the King of BBQ.  That is one good looking suit.


Turkey legs being smoked.


There is political commentary.


We found ourselves in a tattoo parlor, of all places.  Jim's tattoo has been looking scabrous for some time now, so we inquired as to whether or not they could make it look better.  Why of course they could.  Jim is suffering here.  The black outlining hurts the most.


This is John at Sacred Art Tattoo.  He really enjoys his work.  He's a very pleasant man and a pleasure to talk to.


The tattoo looks much better than it did.  After the inflammation and oozing goes down I will post a picture of it.
Other than this, there is not much on offer.  Although we find ourselves somewhat bored with Tucson, we also see what the weather is doing elsewhere and then we tell ourselves to quit whining!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Today's Thought From the Internet

Today's thought from the internet.  I personally find this amusing.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Pima Air Museum Revisit

It's cold!  Yesterday was overcast, so it felt really cold.  We wimped out on riding or hiking.  Jim still has the virus which will not leave him, so we decided to take a day off.  We went to the Pima Air Museum.  We were last there in March of 2015 at which time we were very surprised at how much new stuff they had.  This year they had a new hanger, but not so many new planes.  

This is a P-51.  It was the most successful fighter in WWII. It was built by North American Aviation in response to British requests for prototypes within a 120 day window.  The original version was under powered, but with the addition of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine it became an excellent plane.


We walked through the hangars and then outside.  This is a B52A.  He was used at Edwards AFB in some of the test programs.  This is the oldest B52 in existence. 


This is the second 787 Boeing produced.  It never went in to commercial service, and was only used for flight test.


It is just a lovely airplane.  I love the curve of the wings.


Note the size of the engines. 


The development of the 787 was a radical departure for the Boeing Company.  Prior to the Dreamliner, all design was kept in house.  In order to get the board of directors to approve the new plane, about 60% was outsourced to risk sharing partners.  Here is one article on the subject.
So the Dreamliner’s advocates came up with a development strategy that was supposed to be cheaper and quicker than the traditional approach: outsourcing. And Boeing didn’t outsource just the manufacturing of parts; it turned over the design, the engineering, and the manufacture of entire sections of the plane to some fifty “strategic partners.” Boeing itself ended up building less than forty per cent of the plane.
It did not go well.  The collaborative design software chosen for use by all of the partners was not a total success.  The parts of the airplane from other vendors were supposed to arrive "stuffed" with all of their wiring and tubes and etc. and line up perfectly in final assembly and snap together in three days.  Boeing ended up buying several vendors so they could enforce standards and hope to have a shot of making it work.  Eventually it did work and it's in service.  You can read more here.

Here we have a Convair B36.  Look at the engines.  There are six giant piston driven engines on it.  It was in service 1947 to 1959 as a long range strategic bomber in Strategic Air Command.  Given the number of moving parts in the engines, it's a miracle it ever flew.


This is a Fairey Gannet, a British airborne early warning radar airplane for fleet defense.  It looks like a hedge hog with all of those propellers.


This is such a cool looking little plane.  It's a McDonnell Banshee photo reconnaissance airplane.


If you have any interest at all in planes, go to this museum.  Get the two day pass so you can read all the exhibits and look at all of the planes without having your head explode.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Biking, Birds, Drug Prices

On Tuesday it was, once again, very windy.  We thought about riding, but since Jim was still suffering from the virus that will not leave his body, we decided we'd hike.  We drove up to Pima Canyon, which is a hike I reviewed in 2013.  It's a really pretty hike, but I would not call it fun.  It's arduous.


This is a bouldery section of the trail.  None of it is flat, and none of it is without rocks of some size or shape.  On the way back, you'll be walking down the sides of giant rocks.  None of it is not doable, but it's arduous.


A view of one canyon wall.


An attractive dead tree.


There are a lot of chollas with much fruit attached to them.


Wednesday dawned with calm winds and cold temperatures. One key learning for the day was to believe the temperature provided by the phone, and not to believe what our outdoor air temperature probe was telling us.  It gets heat from the sun and the bus and was too enthusiastic about the climate.  Here is Jim at the ball fields wearing arm and knee warmers and a vest.  I had glove liners, as well.


The other key learning is to be cautious around the park just north of Speedway.  Some idiot came zooming on to the bike trail on a motorized bicycle towing a bugger.  Instead of slowing and looking in both directions before entering the trail, he came out very fast and dove between Jim and me.  I was able to move left in a hurry and not be hit.  If he had hit me, it would have been bad given his speed and the weight of the bike and trailer.  I am still pissed about the level of stupidity involved with that move.  This is the second time we've been menaced there by someone with bad trail manners.

This morning was again calm, and cold.  We sat outside for a bit waiting for it to warm up  before riding, and so that I would quit reading Huffington Post.  Jim has entered a news blackout and I am trying not to tell him about the most recent affronts to the nation.  We were visited by hummingbirds.  Who's tired of hummingbirds?  I do want you all to know that I ruthlessly pared down the number of pictures.

This is the male, gleaming in the morning sun.


I believe both of these are females.  The one on the feeder is a girl for sure.


The second hummer came up and had a seat, and they eyed each other for a bit.


There was detente and a spirit of cooperation.


Then the newcomer menaced the girl.


The girl stood her ground.


And that was the end of peace at the feeder.


Have you found yourself wondering as to why prescription drugs cost so much?  This is an interesting article about who is driving up drug prices.  Honestly, I do not know why this is legal.  It is just infuriating.