Monday, November 9, 2009

Riding and Air Conditioning

Ken Cameron of Cameron's Reliable RV service came Wednesday with the second air conditioner. He does nice work. He lined the opening with a heavy foil, weather proofed it and made it look nice. The people at the factory do not clean the ducts, so we'll be fishing chunks of debris out of the vents for awhile.

While waiting for the A/C to be done I observed the ants. There are many ants here. This is an ant visiting an ant trap. He will not be back.

This is how the A/C gets to the roof. Rachel pushes and Ken pulls. It's heavy.

Why. I just have to ask why. Why would a couple drive a Freightliner (which is clearly marked not for hire) to tow a 5th wheel. The one ton we drive is bad enough for being truck-like, but what must it be like to take the Freightliner to the laundry, or the library? Is this a status symbol or what?

Saturday we decided to ride up through the University to go see if the construction on Mountain was done. I missed the best shot of the day, which was one of the local bars at the Main Gate full to the gills with college students in red T shirts drinking beer at 11:00 am. Mea Culpa. I'll do better next year, I promise. It was homecoming weekend. Apparently this has devolved into an excuse to drink really early in the day. The mall had a bunch of tents up. People were heading there carrying cases of beer, but there were signs up saying no external beverages allowed, so I suspect they were going to be turned away. There was a football game later, UofA vs the Wazzu Cougars. As one would predict, the Cougars lost, they're not that good this year. The local newscasters referred to them as the HUSKIES. They apologized later.

So, this is what you get at Ft. Lowell and Mountain. I swear it doesn't look any different than the last time we were here.

Going back to the RV we went through one of the old hippie neighborhoods and found a pancake breakfast and this going on. That is a hammer mill for mesquite beans. They were making and selling mesquite flour. The lady that told me what it was said that you had to check it for bugs before using it, but that it's very good for you. I personally would not know what to do with it. It was interesting to watch the process, who knew?

Then it was up A mountain. The rectangle is at the base of A mountain, and IMHO represents the craziness that is the Tucson city council. Bonds were sold for the Rio Nuevo project. There are many sub-projects in the package; one of which was improving the Convention Center, which was not started until the Gem Show threatened to pull out. This project was started sooner. They've built a brick wall to enclose the area. The plan had been to build LEED certified re-creations of historical buildings such as a church, a granary, and something else. This is a part of town that is seriously socio-economically challenged. Even if this were to pull tourists here, there's nowhere else for them to spend money. Tumacacori already has an old mission church and granary, San Xavier del Bac is 4 miles down the road, and they are authentic. Why would you spend $1.5M on fake old buildings when the roads look like they've been bombed, schools are underfunded, and etc.? The state has stepped in and confiscated Tucson's bond money, and this project is now on hold.

It's been a frustrating week. After 3 years of zero flats or mechanicals, I've had a flat on Mission, then a blow out flat going toward Gates Pass that required a dollar bill to cover the hole in the tire casing, and yesterday my back derailleur decided to place itself into my spokes. Fortunately I was going about 10 mph, wasn't actually pedaling, and no one was on my wheel. It just went into my spokes, hooked on to a spoke, bent the spoke and immediately arrested forward progress. If that had happened going down A mountain I probably would have been launched. I'm trying not to spend much time thinking about this, because then I'll become a nut bag about this as well (we're still working on the wind phobia). So today we're taking the bike to the doctor for new spokes, a wheel truing and work on the derailleur. NOW I understand why people have those big plastic plates on their back hubs.

So, that's what's happening on the home and fitness fronts.

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