Monday, July 13, 2020

Clouds and Coyotes

After it quit raining last night we had some pretty clouds.  It was also unbelievably hot.  Usually when it rains like that the temperature drops, but not yesterday.  I guess it's global climate change.

This is looking west, you can see lower puffy clouds with the sun on them, darker rain clouds foreground and virga to the right.

I like this photo because you can see the demarcation of where rain is falling and where it is not.

Eventually there was some color in the sky.

The camera on my cell phone is really terrible, my camera is very old.  How old is it?  It can't run GPS anymore because the operating system has not been updated in five years.  How sad is that?  It gives you an idea of how much I hate buying cell phones.  Anyway, these are terrible pictures, but I didn't want the coyote to bolt and run before I could get Jim's phone.  We were out on the bikes veeeerryy early.

The coyote is digging, the ground is damp and cool from last night.

Now he's rolling.  He ended up on his back with his feet in the air, but my phone mangled that shot.

Today the orange man had another one of those meetings where they go around the table and everyone says why they are so happy to be in the presence of such majesty.  Afterwards, orange addressed the press in his normal, jovial demeanor.  And then he said this about testing.  If you want to listen to the footage, to make sure I'm not making this up, go here.  I think this has to be one of the most deranged things he has said.  Although later in his speaking, he did say that he had created the oil industry.  That was interesting.

Jim and I went to the grocery store this afternoon.  Two people in the store were not masked, the rest were.  We're noticing that people will wait for other people to clear the area they want to be in.  No one was hovering by my elbow in the produce department.

Sunday, July 12, 2020


It's HOT!  It was 108 before noon.  We were out briefly cleaning up debris from last night's attempt at monsoon.  Yesterday was interesting, and hot.  Around 2:45 there was a power hit, and the air conditioning stopped working.  Yep, second hottest day of the year and the a/c was off.  It was showing an error code for a mechanical fault in the blower motor.  After 30 minutes, it started working again.  I guess the power excursion caused it to show a bad error code, mechanical stuff doesn't generally fix itself.  About 7 pm we had two more drops in the power.  If that happens when the TV is on, then the TV starts yelling at us during the reboot cycle.  It's weird, it's a computer generated voice, and all of the spaces between words are taken out, making her difficult to understand.  Fortunately, the reboot almost always finishes without human intervention.  Then about 8 pm we got a really strong straight line wind from the east, 15 minutes of a torrential downpour, followed by about half a hour of lightning and then it quit.  

We were lucky, this morning 12,000 people were out of power.  Trees were down and there was some localized flooding.  We're at the tip of the arrow, and were not in the areas affected by power outages.

The vegetable matter in the entry way is always amusing.  The wind comes from the east, hits the wall that goes around the yard, and makes a sharp left under the gate and in to the entry way.  That is a mix of bougainvillea petals, leaves from next door, and palm tree bits.

A dove on the agave.  They really like that flower spike.

Last night I was staring out of the front window when movement caught my eye.  It was a coyote sniffing the front gate.  He sniffed and then left.

The orange man took himself to Walter Reed yesterday for a photo op.  Ostensibly he was visiting wounded soldiers.  These would be the same soldiers that Putin is paying the Taliban to kill.  Anyway, he wore a mask.  However, he just could not do it correctly.  It's just sad.

Today I have a sore throat, and my temperature is 98.6, normally I'm 97.6, so of course I am flipping out wondering if I have the plague.  I still have my sense of smell, so that's good.  There will be no going to the hospital for us, they're full.  Recent Covid-19 patients are being kept in the hallways and the ER so there is zero point in it.  I did order more batteries for the thermometer, just in case.  I read somewhere that you can't buy roller skates anymore, people looking for exercise during the pandemic have sucked them all up.  So, no bicycles, hand weights, home gyms, thermometers, flour, sugar or wheeled shoes.  Now we'll know what to hoard when the latest swine flu gets here from China.

Welp, all of our cleanup was for naught.  There's thunder in the distance, the wind is up, and leaves are flying through the air.

There was rain.  This is the water coming off the shed roof that covers the patio.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Pandemic and Clouds

There is nothing much of note here, other than an out of control pandemic, spiraling numbers of people going into the hospitals and nowhere to put the dead.  Tucson had been shipping patients to Phoenix due to a lack of beds here.  I don't know where that stands now.

Dr. Fauci has not spoken to the orange man for two months.  Orange recently disparaged him by saying he had made many mistakes.  CDC has refused to change their guidance on opening schools, despite the VP saying that he didn't want draconian rules discouraging schools from opening.  It will be interesting to see if Dr. Fauci or Dr. Redfield get fired.

HHS seems to be taking on the role of the punisher when CDC is saying something the administration doesn't like.

Last night the orange man called in to the Hannity program to bleat with joy about how he had aced a cognitive test.  We've seen that test, you have to identify a camel and an elephant, draw a clock and remember a string of words and numbers.  This is really not something to celebrate.

The rally in New Hampshire was cancelled, due to a lack of interest.  People were not signing up, so they pulled the plug.  More time for golf!

It tried to rain last night - and failed.  We could smell the rain but it was not falling on us.  There were some nice clouds.

I'm pretty sure that's virga out in the distance.  It's rain that doesn't make it to the ground because it evaporates.

We have another flower spike going up, which is good for the birds.  The one on the left has been there for quite awhile, and I expect it to fall over any day. The doves will miss it, they congregate on the branches.  Usually they can get along.  The Oriole has been known to drive everybody off and hog the whole thing.  The light had a really weird yellowish cast.

I finally quit procrastinating and finished the taxes today.  We took them to the post office to get them on their way and out of my sight.  Everyone was masked, one woman had her nose exposed and wasn't distancing, but over all people were behaving well.

Depending on whose weather forecast you believe, Tucson will be 111 or as high as 114 on Sunday.  Phoenix, which is about 1,000 feet lower, will be hotter.  I saw 117 somewhere, I'm hoping that is not true.  It's humid-ish, but nothing like Texas of Florida, for which I am very grateful.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Heat Dome Arrives

First there was a pandemic that was coming under control.  Then there was a push to get "back to normal" despite the fact that cases were increasing.  So much for adhering to the guidance of opening after two consecutive weeks of declining cases.  Our Governor Ducey just could not wait, and now we have this.  The number in yesterday's paper was 50, now it's 55.  Way to go gov.  Maricopa county is by far the worst in the state, Pima county is second.

There's an interesting piece on the WAPO about the administration's handling of the virus.  Basically they're not handling anything.  They don't want to discuss it.  "“They’re of the belief that people will get over it or if we stop highlighting it, the base will move on and the public will learn to accept 50,000 to 100,000 new cases a day,” said a former administration official in touch with the campaign."  I don't know about you, but I do not think I'm ever going to think that many cases are OK, and I'm never going to go entertainment shopping again until there is a vaccine.

So there's the plague.  Now there is the heat.  From the WAPO we learn, "The heat is originating from a sprawling ridge of high pressure, called a “heat dome,” deflecting storm systems north as much of the nation bakes. The event looks impressive both in coverage and duration, lasting in some areas up to a month."  "In addition to bringing temperatures in the 110s to Phoenix, the heat will help ward off moisture needed to jump-start the already-delayed Southwest Monsoon. The seasonal influx of thunderstorm activity is relied upon each July to bring an end to Arizona’s wildfire season."  So, it looks like monsoon is not going to be good this year.  It's literally too hot to rain.

Since it's too hot to wander hither and yon in the desert, there has been much usage of twitter and youtube for entertainment.  Jim has worked his way through several years of the Volvo Ocean Races and has concluded that you really gotta want to do that.  Talk about deprivation.  You're always tired, wet and they feed you freeze dried food. 

I saw this the other day.  Who remembers Airwolf?  It was on TV 1984 to 1987.  It was a really terrible awful series, but it did have Jan-Michael Vincent starring in it, so that was a point in its favor.  What it did have was a great musical score.  There is a young woman who has mastered the art of playing all of the parts of the music, and then timing the videos of her playing all of those parts so that they're perfectly synched up.  I'm not sure what impresses me more; her cello playing or her adeptness with video.  Anyway,  it's only a minute.  Click here and go watch and listen.  She also has a youtube channel which includes her playing the Imperial March from Star Wars.

Other than this, I have nothing much to say.