Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Weather Post

For awhile, it looked like the cold snap we had a couple of months ago would be it for winter.  We were wrong.  First there was rain, and a fair amount of it.  The wipe seal on the front passenger slide needs to be replaced, it’s allowing water intrusions into the bus.  So that slide is closed for the time being.  Losing that 17 inches of space really makes the RV feel smaller.

Here is the preferred outfit for grilling in the rain, as modeled by Jim.  I think the headlamp with the hood is a nice touch.  The headlamp has been an excellent aid to cooking after dark.

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Friday we made the terrible choice to drive down Grant road from the freeway heading east.  If you’re in Tucson, do NOT do this.  They’re widening the road, and the entire thing is just nightmarish.  I think a lot of local businesses are going to go under because people are not willing to drive there.  We don’t know how far east it goes, but Grant is now off the let’s drive here list.  You can see where the new road bed will be on the other side of the road.

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Yesterday morning, the dew point equaled the temperature for a bit and we had fog.  We don’t see that very often.

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The slide will stay in until Tuesday.  Our storm from the south has moved on, but next we will be swept by the horrific weather in the GPNW.  They’re having high winds, sideways rain, snow and power outages.

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So that’s it – a nice soothing weather post with no mention of all the troubles in the world.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Florida

Of all the tweets and comments about Wednesday’s shooting in Florida, this struck me as the most poignant.  We now have groups of survivors to help those who come along later.

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

A New Species

Long time, no post!  There’s just not that much to write about since we are stationary.  We saw an interesting cairn at the top of Hidden Trail.  Somebody put some effort into building this.  I guess it’s not actually a cairn since it’s off the trail. 

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We rode out the Santa Cruz trail out to the Rillito trail this morning.  It was a really nice day.  The wind is so weird, it switches directions frequently.  It was good to be outside.  The flu levels are so high in this state we’re afraid to go into any retail.  We went to the grocery store yesterday and it seemed like everybody was coughing.  It was a very quick shopping.  Currently much time is spent outside.

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This is a marmokreb.  It’s a new species.  It does not need a male to reproduce.  Currently they’re taking over Europe, threatening the native crayfish.  German pet stores were selling them, but people were soon inundated with their offspring and started releasing them into the wild.  The original crayfish was born in Florida or Georgia.  A gene mutation allowed it to make daughters that are all genetically identical to the parent.  They produce hundreds of off spring frequently.  The article goes in to more detail about them.  They’re the ultimate in monoculture, it’ll be interesting to see if a virus or a disease wipes them all out.

Before about 25 years ago, the species simply did not exist. A single drastic mutation in a single crayfish produced the marbled crayfish in an instant.

The mutation made it possible for the creature to clone itself, and now it has spread across much of Europe and gained a toehold on other continents. In Madagascar, where it arrived about 2007, it now numbers in the millions and threatens native crayfish.

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So that’s it!  The crayfish are coming for us.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

As Seen in Tucson

Greetings and Salutations People of Earth.  There is, as has been usual, nothing very exciting going on in Ye Olde Pueblo.  Hike and some bike; read the newspapers, beat breast and rend the hair; the usual.  Today’s terrible news, other than the memo, was the fact that borrowing by the government will be double due to lack of revenue caused by the tax bill.  But enough of that.

The Tortolitas continue to be a favorite place to hike.  We’ve noticed a definite increase in the amount of gasoline consumed getting to the various and sundry trail heads.  Less gas was consumed when we were mainly biking from the RV park.

This is a dead Saguaro.  He was an old guy when he perished.  It’s always sad to see them dead, it took 100 years to grow arms, and now he is gone.

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Jim on a promontory (well technically not, since it doesn’t jut out over water) surveying all that he sees.

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Yesterday and today we rode on the bike path.  This is a new bike bridge the city built.  As I have posted in the past, Camino de la Tierra becomes a water course during heavy rains.  The road is effectively closed until the Rillito stops running.  The bridge was constructed to provide access during the rains, as well as to keep people from having to ride down a terrible road surface.  They don’t fix the road, because when it rains, it will just disintegrate again.

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It is quite the structure.  I’m always amazed at the amount of trail building that is done in Tucson.  Phoenix metro has better parks, but we win in the bike trail department.

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We think this is a gravel pit.  It was inactive for years.  Now there are large machines shoving dirt around, spraying water and burning diesel.

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For the life of us we can not figure out what they are doing.  A little signage would be a good thing.  One wonders if it will be a golf course, similar to one we saw up near Oro Valley.

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Maybe the pit will become this.

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Back at the ball fields we saw this little bird trying to get a drink.

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The water fountains are turned off.  He does not look pleased about this.

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We’ve been looking at these structures along the trail for years, as well.  We never saw any people around them until today.  There is a guy wearing a harness standing on a wire up high, and then there is someone in a harness being lowered to the ground.  It took awhile to pry him off the pole he’s hanging on to so they could lower him.

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Then there is the other side of the structure.  Eventually two people climbed up the poles on the far right.  One person walked across the cross member to the other person.  Then they stood there for awhile.  We were baking, standing in the sun, so we abandoned our observations.

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It has been hot, approaching 80.  The talking weather head is warning that it could be in the 100s by March.  That would be bad.