Tuesday, October 27, 2020


Sunday we hiked - and were sprinkled upon.  It was really hard to tell what the weather was going to do so we cut it short.  It was not a great hiking weather day.  Later the skies cleared out some due to the winds that were blowing.  I got this picture of the moon.

There were atmospheric looking clouds.

It's always nice when the bottoms of the clouds light up.

Tuesday the winds were up all day as the ridge of high pressure collapsed.  We rode anyway, it was good that the hills were all with a tail wind and the downhills were into the wind. 

Last night it dropped to 38 degrees.  We have a completely new air mass that is cold.  We talked about hiking today, but it was windy with a high of 59.  After suffering through the hottest August and September on record, 59 feels cold.  This is supposed to be a La Nina winter so we're hoping it will be better than the last two.  2018-2019 was the worst winter ever, and 2019-2020 was a very close second worst winter ever.  We're due for a good one.

So, at present I am wearing long pants in the house and my nose is cold.  This is just sad.  OK!  That's the end of the weather whining.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Weather and the Tortoise

The cold front appears to be on its way.  It's been dark and cloudy most of the day, with high winds.  Just now the clouds have moved out and the skies are blue. The wind is now just howling.  There is actually a freeze warning for tomorrow night, I don't think I believe it.  However, we'll put a styrofoam cup over the top of the young cactus we have to protect the growth areas from the cold.

There was a sunset last night, the first half decent one in quite some time.

The tortoise has been returned to the desert.  Our neighbor is friends with a guy who is associated with Fish and Game.  They took him out to a part of Tucson Mountain Park where he can dig.  They need a sandy wash so they can shovel dirt.  Why did we pick him up in the first place?  He was heading for the wall in the front yard, there was no way out in that direction.  If he followed the wall around to its end, there were four foot drop offs on two sides of the yard, which could have been fatal.  Assuming he made it out the way he came in, he still had to cross the road without being run over by a car or speeding Amazon vehicle to get to the desert.  We decided it would be better to hand him off to someone who knows tortoises who could safely relocate him.

He has about two or three weeks to make a burrow and settle in for the winter.

Mark Meadows, the wombat's chief of staff, said out loud this morning that the fight against the pandemic would not be won.  The White House has capitulated. He's looking towards therapeutics and vaccines (none of which exist) to save the day.  In the mean time, five of Pence's aids have tested positive, much of the staff is isolating, and Pence continues to tour the US without wearing a mask.  El Paso is opening field hospitals with the help of the military because their hospitals are over run.  North Dakota is up to 109 cases per 100,000.  Utah is preparing to ration care, people who don't make progress in ICU will be moved to non-ICU beds, the young will take priority over the old.  But hey!  It will be like a miracle and it'll be gone soon.  I can't wait for two weeks after Thanksgiving to see what the numbers look like.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Cooler Weather, Voting, Idiocy and a Tortoise

Greetings Earthlings.  How are things in your neck of the woods?  We see that Montana has received a lot of snow.  This amuses me because I recently read an article about how people in California are flocking in droves to Montana.  They're driving up real estate prices and forcing the locals out.  Many rentals are no longer available for service workers because the owners are converting them to AirBnBs.  It's happening all over the state.  One wonders how many of those people from California, where the weather is generally good, have any conception of what winter in Montana will be like.  

Anyway, life during the pandemic continues.  I've been seeing articles on my Google news feed about what shortages will be manifesting as the virus worsens.  There will be a shortage of patio heaters, so if you want one of those, go buy it now.  There will be food shortages as well.  We did a little hoarding shopping yesterday at Costco; canned chicken, Aidelles smoked chicken sausage, pasta, canned corn.  Canned corn (which we never eat) is vanishing.  It's a particular strain of corn, grown specifically for canning.  It's grown, harvested, and canned.  That's it for the year.  So when it's gone, it's gone.  Costco is completely out of Kirkland canned green beans and corn.  We bought a case of Del Monte corn, I'm really hoping we don't have to eat it.  Maybe we'll hoard some more rice.  It's a weird mindset, never in my life have I been concerned about the availability of food.

It would appear that the stubborn ridge of high pressure that has made it so hot is breaking down.  The weather heads have not said if it will stay down. Look at Monday and Tuesday.  Looks like it will be time to break out a blanket.

We voted.  Monday we drove the ballots downtown and dropped them off at the county Registrar's office.  It was a drive through event with no waiting.  That was good.

Tucson has construction cranes everywhere.  The thought had been to drive around a little and take some blog-worthy photos.  However, given the number of closed streets, we bailed and went home.

This is our filing cabinet.  See how the top drawer is open?  It has refused to close for months.  Then the bottom drawer started doing the same thing.  Replacing the cabinet would be difficult because it holds up the end of the corner unit.  After unloading the bottom drawer and learning how it can be removed, we discovered that the screws holding the runners on to the drawer and the cabinet sides were backing out and preventing the drawer from closing.  So after months of leaving the drawer open, it was an easy fix and life is better.  The ironing board in the background is for making masks which I started and have not finished. 

Yesterday was good.  The morning was cool enough that we didn't have to get up at oh:dark:thirty to ride.  A slight cloud cover further improved conditions.

 A hawk visited the agave for awhile.  I wish he/she would eat all of the Gila woodpeckers. 

One has to wonder what the hell happened to the education system in this country that has removed critical thinking skills from a large section of the population.  QAnon is gaining ground within the Republican party.  They actually believe in lizard people running the government and that Hillary Clinton, TV actors and Democrats are running child trafficing rings.  This was on twitter today.

In other news, Jim was out blowing bougainvillea petals out of the back yard and discovered a desert tortoise peering into the sliding glass doors on the patio.  We made a box and put him in it along with a plate of lettuce and watermelon.  He/she is hungry.  Right now we're waiting for AZ Fish and Game to call us back, tortoises must be surrendered to them for proper care.  Mid November they dig a burrow and spend the winter in it, waiting out the cold.

So that's what's happening in Ye Olde Pueblo.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Birds, Negative Covid Tests and Yellow Journalism

Greetings Mellow Citizens - how are things in your neck of the woods?  Things are somewhat strange here.  We used to have many birds in the side yard.  Doves, quail, little birds, and birds with raucous voices were here looking for things to eat.  They're gone.  If we go outside, we don't even hear birds, except for the always annoying Gila Woodpecker.  I'm pretty sure doves and quail don't migrate, so we wonder where the birds have gone.

Here is yet another picture of one of my favorite churches.  We move about so little, it's difficult to find things to photograph.

Last Monday Jim started feeling bad.  Headache, body aches, temperature and some other Covid markers.  I personally did not think he was sick enough to have Covid, but it was concerning for him.  Wednesday, we made an appointment with the county for a test, only to discover that you have to park your car, and walk into a building with other people who think they might be sick.  No drive through is available, you must go share air with possibly sick people.  We cancelled and called our family physician.  They do covid testing!  They also check oxygen saturation, listen to your lungs and in Jim's case check out ears and nose.  The PA saw that the nares are slightly swollen and suspects allergies.  Anyway, she did not use the swab that goes up into your brain, they have shorter swabs that collect from the nasal passages.  Totally painless.  Jim got his negative result Thursday, and I got mine Friday.  So, as of that point in time, no Covid for us.  So, that was a good thing to have behind us.  She also said that if you're in a grocery store or Costco, where everyone is masked, odds are good that you won't get it.  That's pretty much our universe these days, along with Trader Joe's.

Have you been following the NY Post "article" about Hunter Biden?  As it turns out, the story is such garbage that no one in the ranks of the writers would allow their names to be attached as a by-line.  They finally used the name of a new employee who has never published anything.  There are more words at the NYT.  Rudy Giuliani should just be ashamed of himself.  He said, in public, that he had taken the story to the Post because any other paper would want to vet the facts.  Rupert Murdoch owns the paper, he doesn't fact check anything.  Hopefully this will not affect Joe's chances of winning, we just can't stand it if he doesn't.

Other than this, I have nothing intelligent to say.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Coyotes, Fruit, Voting and a Bug

I took this the other morning when we were out on the bikes.  Coyotes are not that spooked by people.

The people who live there had been leaning over their wall watching him.  He knew they were there, but he was not concerned.

We have lemons!  I was not expecting them this early, but we've gotten about six so far.  This year will not be a good as last, one wonders what we did wrong.  I'm hoping the next door neighbors have a good crop, last year we got all of them because they don't like them.  I juiced many and froze them in ice cube trays and grated zest and froze that.  They're not sprayed with anything so they're safe to use.  Our lemons are the size of limes, so no joy there.

Do you not love the cover of the voter guide.  Lucha is Spanish for fight.  The mask in the word vote is worn by the Luchadores, which are Mexico's answer to WWE.  They fight wearing masks that cover their heads.

This is Jim, searching for information on the Tucson School District candidates and the judges.  Given the amount of paper we got in the mail, there was not a ton of useful information.  Jim is the voter in chief for the house.

Here we have a dead bug in the hall bathroom.  Look at the antennae, they're so delicately curled at the ends.  Google image was not able to find a match, so who knows what it is.

Look at these charts.  It's staggering how much case loads have increased.  The Dakotas are particularly impressive.

That's it, that is all I have to say on this Friday afternoon.