Monday, January 31, 2011

Weather in Tucson

Today we had wind and rain. This photo would have been better if I'd stood on the truck, but I didn't.

Then the sun went down.

The plague is better, but not over just yet.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 2.5 of the Plague

Good grief. Today it hit 72 degrees. Did I get to enjoy it? No. I have a cold. For the first time since I can remember, I have a snot slinging sore throated itchy eyed rhinovirus. It's unbelievable how bad I feel. Blowing the nose with a perforated ear drum is interesting, too much vigor and I can feel air rushing through it. Yes I know, too much information, but it is interesting in a gruesome sort of way.
Have you ever found yourself watching something so terrible, so awful, so unbelievably bad, that although you know you should look away, you're transfixed? It's like watching a basket of snakes. That would pretty much describe my afternoon on the couch watching TV. I was bouncing back and forth between Bridezillas and the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Would someone please explain to me why people are willing to be filmed while behaving so badly?
Next week we're having winter. Starting tomorrow, there's a big cool down with gusty winds and the possibility of rain. One day of rain would be ok, it would pack the sand down out at Fantasy Island.
So, that is my report from the Old Pueblo.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Plague and the Tucson Gem Show

Since the Beaudry RV resort went belly-up, all of their traffic had to go somewhere. RCW has been saying that come February 1 they expect 100% occupancy. They are actually making people currently in residence leave if they don't have a February reservation. Having said all that, the park looks pretty danged empty to me. If they're going to be 100% full in the next two days, we may be seeing traffic jams. This was the view from the front door last night. Gridlock!

I have a mild case of the plague, so we did not ride today. Instead we went down to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show at TEP. It hasn't changed much from last year.
Here we have petrified wood that has been cut into sections - they can be little stools or table bases.

Little penguins carved out of onyx. I think it's onyx.

Kitties and meercats.

There are tables covered in strings of beads everywhere. We keep wondering who makes all of this stuff.


And there are the tents with tie-dye and other '60s memorabilia.

There are lots of Buddhas.


The fossils are cool, we liked looking at them.

And here we have our ever popular bison skulls. They make a mean pair of earrings.

I'm watching Mega-Python vs Gatoroid, starring Tiffany and Debbie Gibson (pop singers from the 80s). It's as terrible a SyFy movie as I have seen yet. Terrible acting, terrible special effects and a stump stupid plot. SyFy is positioning itself as the purveyor of Saturday night B movies. Cool! The bad poachers are being eaten by a giant snake.
Hopefully I will be over the plague by tomorrow. Otherwise Jim will have to continue with the current level of care, which is extensive.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Vivian Maier Discovered

For those of you interested in street photography, I have a new name for you, Vivian Maier. One of my favorite blogs, A Day that is Dessert, linked to a PBS piece on her life and work. It's 9 minutes, and is well worth the time. There is also a blog with some of her photos on it. Check it out, it's quite the view into Chicago beginning in the 1950's.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Good Day in Tucson

Today was a great day. Jamie from Manitoba and I rode up the west side of Gates Pass. For those of you who are local, you know that's the difficult side. We rode well and were happy to be there. When we were at the top, there were people bringing their goats out of the desert. Unfortunately I could not get my camera out in time when they were close to us. Look at the two big ones, they have huge horns, and I think they're wearing saddles.

Jim is back from Seattle, he's very happy to be here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hairy Cactus

I walked in the RV park today for awhile. These are very interesting cactus.


They look like mohawk haircuts.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

An Ankle Whack and a Ride to Arivaca

Monday we went out on the mountain bikes. I had the weirdest incident on the bike. We were riding down a benign section of trail, on the side of which was a barrel cactus. Apparently I hit it with my left foot, which shoved my foot off the pedal, and then the outside edge of my pedal smacked the side of my ankle. I thought my ankle was broken it hurt so bad. It was a fluke thing, but in the future I will be way more aware of the location of the barrels.
Note the swelling.

This afternoon it colored out pretty well.

Today was a good ride. A bunch of us rode from Amado to Arivaca. It's a pleasant ride across the desert.


We went to the Gadsden Coffee Company and sat out in the sun and had a nosh. It was just perfect. My poor beloved was unable to go, since he's in Seattle in the gray, the cold and the wet. The group wanted to wave and say hi from the sunny patio.

The return was nice since the head wind was not as bad as usual.

When we got back there was a new RV in the park. It's an amazing bus conversion. It's very shiny.

So, Jim's in Seattle and I am here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rant Number TWO for 2011

Are you all checking your credit card statements? I was out looking at the Master Card online statement and noticed that the Dish Network bill was $46. It's supposed to be $39. So I called and asked them what's up with that? Insurance. Insurance for what? When did I ask you for insurance. Oh - it was free for 9 months but now we're charging you for it. Not only did I not authorize it, I would not have known about it if I didn't check the Master Card bill. Again, it's open season on your wallet. Insurance seems to be the scam du jour.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Memorial at U of AZ Medical Center

Today we rode over to UMC. The memorial for those who were shot is still growing.



Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bo's Loop

Today we left our (my!) comfort zone at Fantasy Island and rode a loop that is new to us. I wouldn't call it fun yet. The section of trail that leads down to the loop was full of loose round rocks, which is a surface that still gives me the willies.
This is the license plate tree on the way to Bo's Loop.

An art installation on Bo's Loop. That's a Super Tramp album cover tied to the stake.

This is a wash on Lone Cactus. Jim can ride all of it now, I still flake out climbing out of this one. There's a section of loose round rocks (and we know how I feel about those) that just stops me in my tracks.

The sign as you exit to the picnic table at Irvington. It's good to see the sign, it means the hard part is over.

We're watching the news while I type this. The devastation caused by the flood waters in Brazil and Australia is just gut wrenching to see. I think we'll send the Red Cross money, it's about all a person can do.
Today was Christina Green's funeral. More sadness. At least those people from that fundamentalist church did not picket. Apparently hundreds of people lined the road to stop them if they did come. That was good.
The F16s are out tonight en masse - those planes are noisy.
So, that's everything I have to report.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where's Waldo

This was taken out at Fantasy Island, which is full of mountain bike riders. What do you see in this picture? Cows. There are three of them. Jim and I are such city people, we rode away from them. They probably aren't dangerous, but why take a chance?

I saw this bird sitting on a cholla. If I were to touch it, thorns would leap into my flesh, imbedding themselves for all time. Yet, there he sits, untroubled by the cholla stickers.

Here is Jim, repositioning the cow bones along side of the trail. They had been moved, and their symmetry disturbed.

Today was a day of aggravation. We came home yesterday to find the internet down. We called it in, Qwest told us the tech would be out between 10 and 2. So, no riding for us! The tech came out and fixed the problem. There is a panel in the main building that has wiring for telephone and internet service. The last phone guy that was out apparently didn't recognize the function of the internet wire, so he unplugged it and took it away. The internet guy came out today and put the wire back, and labeled it with a note that says not to unplug it. Somebody needs a process improvement.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Interesting Cactus

This is a saguaro in the RV park. Look at how interesting the rows of spines are becoming. He has split into 2 major sections at the top. The right side is bifurcating.

It's a pretty cool specimen.

Look - my sous chef is chopping! His knife skills are improving. He's making a rosemary infused marinade for the chicken. I love my sous chef.

As you can tell, we have nothing of import to report. On a happy note, our neighbor returned from the hospital and appears to be doing very well.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Shooting in Tucson

Yesterday our neighbor had to be transported to St. Mary's hospital. His wife could not go in the hospital because it was in lock-down. It was locked down because a deranged individual shot Congresswoman Giffords in the head and killed 6 other people. They were on high alert until details of the shooting were available.
Congresswoman Giffords was having a meet and greet in a Safeway in the affluent end of Tucson. The gun man walked up to her with a semi-automatic and started firing.
One of the justifications for Arizona's very liberal policy on who can own and carry guns is that if everyone is armed, things like this won't happen, because all of the good people carrying guns will stop it. In this case, two brave unarmed citizens tackled the gun man and sat on him. I've fired a handgun, it's really hard to hit anything, I'm grateful that he was subdued with a tackle and not another gun.
It's just hard to fathom how this can happen. We are profoundly sad for everyone touched by this incident.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Heart Attacks in Women

What does it feel like to have a heart attack if you're a woman? It's different than if you're a man. This is an amazing article describing what it feels like for a woman. Read and remember.
Live long and prosper.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Year's Rant and Ride

Welcome to my first rant of the new year. In November we signed up for Qwest DSL. They said there would be a one time charge of $9.99 for something called the Support Squad; they were there to help with the install. I didn't need to talk to them, but ok. Today I was looking at the Visa bill online and there is a second $9.99 charge from the Support Squad. I called, asked them what it was, and they said I should have been told I was signed up to pay them $9.99 per month forever. I was good, I did not yell. Told the guy I didn't want it, and to credit me the money for December. He tried to tell me I was insuring all the electronics in the house (I don't own a house), then he tried to tell me they'd give me PC speedup software worth $79.99. I kept repeating I don't want it. So, he canceled the "membership" and then tried to get off the phone without giving me back the December charge to my account. Since WHEN did it become open season on people's credit cards? This is like the scam ProFlowers used to run. How many people don't notice this charge and how much money is being stolen from the public? Grrrrrrrr.

Later we drove out to the Sarasota trail head into the Tucson Mountain Park. It's next to a 55 plus mobile home community. They like to golf cart down to the trail head with their dogs.

This is an area heavily used by equestrians, bicyclists and hikers. Does it seem like a good idea to throw people with bows and arrows shooting at wildlife in to the mix? I don't think so. I'll be glad when the season ends.

Tucson Mountain Park riding is different than Fantasy Island. It's rockier and there's a lot of up and down. We rode a major up to the intersection of Rock Wren Trail and the Yetman trail. I was very surprised that we were there, since that's one of the trails we didn't think we would ever ride. There was hike-a-bike but we rode the majority of it. Going down was way more fun.

The camera is sitting on a platform whose purpose is unknown - but it's a good place to put it for taking our picture. That's the brown band across the bottom of the photo. If you're looking at Jim's legs and wondering, no those are not thigh high stockings. Those are his knee pads.

I really want to see someone ride through this. It won't be me anytime soon.

It's harder riding out there, but there's skill building to be had. I think we'll add it to the repertoire of rides, with the exception of the trail out to the 36th Street Trail head, we still hate that section.

So - that's what we've been doing.