Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

Greetings from the desert where it is cold. Yes, yes, I know that you are colder. However, it's Arizona, it's supposed to be warm here. Expectations are not being met!
Wednesday I had an outpatient procedure that necessitated general anesthesia. So, the last couple of days have been pretty low key. Yesterday we drove out to the Pima County Fairgrounds for what was advertised as an RV show. It was pitiful. Apparently La Mesa RV felt the urge to haul most of their inventory out to a large, unheated building. We went through a few of the 5th wheels, but it was colder in the building than it was outside, so we left.
How cold was it? It was this cold!

The truck was trying to communicate our imminent peril with ice warnings.

So, to combat the cold and keep the cactus from being damaged, one is supposed to cover their tips with styrofoam cups. This keeps the part of the plant that grows from damage. I found this picture on the web.

Snow on the Catalina Mountains.

Now we will revisit my cuter than cute curio. Look - he's full. I gave Jim the horned toad on the bottom left, and he gave me the pair of badgers bottom right. Cute, cute, cute.

Jim also gave me this bracelet. This is part of the inventory Morningstar Traders bought from the old store in California. I like the turquoise a lot and the fact that it fits me.

Today was also quite cold, but the wind was down from yesterday. We stopped at Coyote Pause for a sandwich and headed out to hike in the Tucson Mountain park.

It was cold, but it was just beautiful out there. We saw very few people.

We went back over the west side of Gates Pass. There were two people climbing it and they were really moving. We were both impressed with the speed at which they were riding.

One of the two people we saw, working hard and climbing fast.

They were off the back! Poor two, they had been dropped by the main group. They're riding for the US Air Force Service academy. They're down for training camp and freezing their tooshies off. Here is their Facebook page. So far they've been up Mt Lemmon, Madera Canyon, Kitt Peak and Gates Pass.

We will do our usual New Year's Eve activity of not doing anything. It's a good tradition and one that we enjoy. We hope you enjoy your evening as well.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Finally! This week I have finally ridden the Slide. Here I am going down it. After being totally buffaloed by this hill for so long, I just rode it. It was not that scary.

So, with the exception of the top 3 feet of a steep climb out of the Evil Wash, I can clean Fire Loop. I am a happy camper.

Monday, December 27, 2010

After the Holidays

Greetings and post-holiday salutations. I hope you all had the Christmas you desired. Ours was excellent. Jim found a new lamb chop marinade on the web, and the little sheepies were just delightful.

We're engaged in yet another hunt for the perfect bicycle saddle. I rode the Terry Butterfly successfully for years, last summer something changed. It wasn't the saddle, so I can only assume something happened to the shape of my posterior. It's very frustrating. The first replacement, a Fizek Vitesse, held so much promise, but no, it was not to be. Then I ordered this little beauty from Terry thinking that its gel surface might make it the one.

Nope! Not the one. After 35 miles my fanny was on fire. That is going back! She has another one that looks promising. It's wider than the above, but narrower than the Butterfly. Hope springs eternal that something will work. Jim's dexterity with the 5mm allen wrench has returned since he has to change out all of these saddles. It's good to have a mechanic on site.

The Seattle Times has their Pictures of the Year article up. These are two that are really cool.

This is the 787 with Mt. Rainier as a backdrop. It was headed for the Farnborough air show. It is such a pretty airplane. One does wish it would enter revenue service.

The Blue Angels practicing over Lake Washington during Seafair weekend. Notice that the pilot in the background plane is looking at the foreground pilot. Foreground pilot is looking at the plane with the photographer. It's just amazing that people can do this kind of flying.

We are all well, and have very little to report from the desert.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Jim and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Web Site

This is from a web site of which I have just become aware. This one is funny and I get it. I don't get all of them. If you like it there's more at his site.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

25 Years!

Yesterday we had to get up early. This is a sunrise. I can't remember the last time we saw one. It was very lovely.

Today we dropped off the road bikes at Arizona Bike Experts for new chains. They're a really good shop, and of course they have a really good shop dog. That's Spenser. Is he cute or what?

We took the mountain bikes out to Fantasy Island. I rode very well. Today I did both sections of the Elbow Slammer and was able to ride all the way out of another wash that has been difficult for me. I did not run into the tree I usually hit and I did the creepy wash in both directions. All in all I only had one unplanned putting the foot down, which is very good.
This is what we saw at the end of the Bunny Trail just after you get to the western fence line. He would be a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. He wasn't moving very fast, he was probably cold. He was right where we needed to ride. Jim lobbed a few rocks in his direction, and eventually he moseyed off the trail.

This is a better picture from the web. They just creep me out.

So, in addition to having a nice ride with my beloved, we also celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. It's been a good quarter of a century with my best friend.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What we Saw Today

Today was a low key day, Jim was tired from going up and down the ladder a zillion times yesterday. So, we set out in search of Christmas shopping. First we went to Morning Star Traders. If you have any interest in Native American pots, baskets, fetishes or jewelry, you must go there. It is the best store of this sort in Arizona. They've been in business for 40 years. We were talking to the owners, they recently bought the inventory of a store from California that had closed quite some time ago. They have items from the 1930s and 1940s that have been wrapped and in storage, and they haven't aged. The lady owner was talking about how the baskets have not acquired any patina due to not being exposed to the world. It's a great shop, I can not speak highly enough of it.

We had planned to go up to REI at Tucson Mall, but discovered that every single parking space in the mall was full. So, good for the merchants. We decided to flee and try again next year.

After leaving the grocery store, we saw this. It's a 1935 Pierce-Arrow and it is fully and meticulously restored. The inside is just as nice as the outside.

Isn't that cool? They just got it and were picking up their dog at doggie daycare and were exercising the car a little.

Another gaudy Arizona sunset was on tap for tonight.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Paradise Re-established

Thursday Jim washed and treated the roof. He worked like an animal. Right after he finished it, it started raining. His timing was excellent. It rained all night.

Today was cool, but just amazingly bright. The air was clean and everything just sparkled. Your eye adjusts to the increasing haze and dust here when it doesn't rain. Then, when it does, everything is brighter.

We went out towards Gates Pass and the Marriott and rode all the hills out of the saddle. It was a short ride, but tiring. Then we came home and Jim washed (and dried) the entire RV. He's a tired puppy tonight. Tomorrow Marco comes and waxes the RV. Then we'll be sparkly, too.

This is from the Tucson Bicycle Lawyer.

Ajo Bikes lost a case yesterday in Pima County Superior Court in which they were alleged to have failed to properly tighten a rear axle nut on a BMX bike. The rider suffered a concussion and a fractured arm. I am not aware of the full extent of his injuries, but those appear to be the big ones.
After a four-day jury trial, the rider was awarded over $500,000.00.

There weren't any additional details provided. It's hard to know how to feel about this.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Paradise Interrupted

Yesterday we drove out to to the Mo Udall park and then rode the bikes out to Saguaro East. I love that place. It's just beautiful. It was a gorgeous day for a ride.

When we got home I decided to check Zappos and see if they had the flip flops we wear daily in stock. They did! I ordered up 2 pairs for me and 2 pairs for Jim. I'm not sure if we're reaching hoarder status yet (because there are a few pairs in the bedroom closet), but it's good to have backup. Anyway, they arrived today. Free shipping, free returns. I love that site. They must have a warehouse next to an airport.

Today we went out to Fantasy Island. I did not ride so well, had sort of a nut bag kind of a day. Some days I'm Queen of the Trail, and some days not. We had things to do, places to go, so we bailed a little early to go run errands.

While we were riding, a front started pushing in. Clouds came in, giving us a great sunset. Tonight and tomorrow it's supposed to become much cooler and rain. Feh.

We hope you are all well and are ready for Christmas. We're done, no presents can come in unless something goes out. I think the bedroom closet is now well and truly full.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Horse Water Tank

The hike we do goes by the horse tank, where there is much vegetation. It was just lovely.

Friday, December 10, 2010

4th Avenue Street Fair

This weekend is the winter 4th Avenue Street Fair. It's a big crafts fair. Some of the vendors have pretty good stuff; others, not so much. Direct TV was also there, I was not aware that satellite TV is a craft, but what do I know. They'll have good weather for it, unlike last year.

This is a performance artist. One gives her money and she dances a little on her platform, she also has a squeaky toy that she would "talk" with. She had to be really hot in all of those clothes.

T shirt we saw on the street. It says "Wifey".

Meat! And fried things. There was a booth dipping zucchini, onion rings and potatoes in batter and deep fat frying it. They were selling all of it like hot cakes.

Nothing says holidays like matching Christmas scrubs.

Jim and I often remark that it has to be difficult selling things you've made. We always feel bad for the vendors who don't have people in their booths. It has to be difficult putting your work out for the universe and no one comes in to look. This young man was playing a steel drum, badly, and singing reggae (really badly), but he was putting it out there. He'll need to keep his day job.

This band was really good. They had six instruments and sang close harmony. We should have bought their CD.

Another fair treat can be seen on the tall skewer. That would be a Tornado Fry. They do a spiral cut on a potato, skewer it, and then boil it in oil. They were pretty popular.

Click on this to enlarge it. Look at the ink. It seems like the ones on the elbow would really have to hurt.

So that was today.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The past week in Tucson

Greetings Earthlings! Have you missed me? I have not deliberately excluded you from the minutia of daily life; nay, my computer has been at the virus remover. It was just terrible, at one point Don (virus remover) was contemplating a total flatten and reload because it had damaged Windows. He did not have to do that, so that was good. I have since loaded a new anti-virus package and copied mass quantities of pictures, music and documents to external storage. We also have a new Norton system disk and backups. People who write viruses need to be tortured.

And now, back to the minutia.

This was taken at Williams Sonoma, a high zoot kitchen store. It's pie crust mix, just add butter and water. So basically this is a $10 box of flour. But it is nicely packaged....

This is Jim's front tire out on the desert. The True Goo in the tubes kept him from flatting. Our new favorite tool, a pocket comb, removed them nicely.

This is Jim's thumb. Last Wednesday he had a momentary lapse of knowing where his thumb was, reference the hinge on the screen door. I've caught my thumb in it before and it's just unbelievably painful, and I've never broken the skin. So, this was pretty awful. There's a blunt dissection along the edge of the nail.

We did get the tree up - this year we bought some ornaments for it. Cuuuuuuuuute.

Sunday we rode out the Aviation Parkway bike trail. These are C130s that are surplus. There are a lot of them.

Behold the major cuteness of the new curio. It's hard to get a decent picture of it, so ignore the blurriness. The two little carved guys standing on flat rocks are Zuni fetishes. And look - there's room for more.

After a few cold nights, the weather has rebounded to being phenomenal. Highs are in the upper 70's. It was, however, cold last night, particularly since the propane tank emptied itself in the middle of the night. My nose was cold. We had to get up and turn on the electric heater and add blankets.

This is what's happening at the end of Q street. They are redoing the drainage for water. Today was day two of jack hammering the old concrete out. Hopefully that part is done.

The Tucson police department is facing budget shortfalls. Therefore, they are taking officers off of traffic detail. So, if you are in a traffic accident that does not result in bodily damage (yours, not the car) they will not respond. If you are in a traffic accident, make sure you get sufficient pictures to make the case that it was not your fault, unless it was. After the accident, you will have to go and file an accident report yourself.
So, other than Jim coming close to amputating the tip of his thumb, it's been a slow news week.