Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Riding the CDO Loop

Look at the reflections in the water.  It was a calm day in the Old Pueblo.  It's just amazing after last year.

We did the reverse CDO loop again today.  It's a hard-ish ride for me still.  However, the glory of the day smoothed over my weakness on the hills.

That's it!  That's all I have for the day.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Cutest Dog

On the way back from riding today, we rode across a piece of desert to get to Mission Road.  There was a small dog wandering around.  No collar, no tags, no nothing.  His ribs were prominent, he was lost.  If we'd gone straight down the trail, we never would have seen him, but we did.  As we headed towards the really busy road, we saw him following us in our mirrors.  Is there anything worse than a lost dog?  No.  No there is not.
Jim went for the truck, and I stayed with the dog, trying to get him to come to me.  Feeding him an Odwalla Bar gained some trust. I sat on a big rock, scooped up the dog in my lap, and eventually he went to sleep. 
He's a Chihuahua mix.  Instead of carrying his tail over his back, it's a flat carry with a twist at the end.  Also, his neck is really long.

Look at that face.  Is he not adorable?

I wish we could have a dog now, but it's just not doable for us.  We took him to the pound.  At least he will not be run over by a car, eaten by a coyote, or die from any number of other deaths that befall a stray dog.

I feel bad about this.  After being lost, he had a nice nap in someone's lap, two Odwalla Bars and  a ride in the truck, which he enjoyed.  Then he was at the pound with lots of scared barking dogs. Dogs really pay the price for their association with people.
The pound was sad.  There's a waiting line to drop off dogs. With the terrible economy, people can't afford to keep their pets.

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Trip to the Dentist and Out to Lunch

Saturday we did the CDO route in reverse.  Normally it's a fast ride with some excellent downhill bits.  Going the other direction is not nearly as much fun, but it's a better workout.  We went through the Christopher Columbus park, the tethered airplane guys were out with their really noisy little planes.  In this photo, look in the upper right hand corner, and you can see a plane doing slow flight.  It was interesting to see it doing that.

This is just a gratuitous picture of the sky and palm trees.  The weather continues to be excellent this winter.

Today we were up and out to go to the dentist.  It was a beautiful morning.

Afterwards we met friends for lunch at Roma Imports.  These are frozen cannolis.  The pointy tube is full of frozen cannoli filling.  I'm thinking we could defrost that and just suck the piping tube dry.

Roma carries the good San Marzano tomatoes.  They also have olive oil that looks like it might be unadulterated.  I am still scandalized by recent articles about what goes in to many brands of "Virgin Olive Oil."

Lunch was fun, good food with good people.  Neither of us had any cavities, so it was a total win for the day.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lunch at Roma Imports

The Friday lunch ride went to Roma Imports.  The wind was up, so we wussed out and drove there.  It was a farther ride for the northern contingent, and they rode their bikes.  I'm glad we took the truck, the amount of dust that was in the air just kills my contact lenses.  It was really good.  In addition to a very good lunch, they have frozen take out; lots of frozen take out. 

Check out the takeout;  lasagna and sauces of all sorts.


Mmmmm, anchovy stuffed olives.

All the pasta you could ever want.

This is a great find.  If you're in Tucson, check it out.   There are meat and non-meat entrees ready to take home for your dining pleasure.

Friday, January 24, 2014

As Seen in Tucson

Tucson has a problem with red light running.  Red lights seem to be treated as merely a suggestion, with predictable results.  We saw this yesterday at the intersection of Mission and Silverlake.  One involved car is off to the left.

The other car really took it in the head.  That's kitty litter on the ground, soaking up the vehicle's precious bodily fluids.  Anyway, the point of this is to offer the advice that while driving here, don't automatically move forward on a green light, look both ways first.

This is one of the coaches in the RV park.  They are getting a new windshield.  The install has been taking quite awhile.   

This morning, they had the glass out again, put it back in and spent several hours pounding on it with heavy rubber mittens.  We were wondering what happens if they can't get the glass in properly.  What happens then?

I took this at the intersection of Mission and Ajo.  It's a busy part of town and there are high traffic volumes.  Why on earth would you bring your horse to a McDonald's parking lot?  We've seen him multiple times, but this is the first photo I've gotten.  The horse's rider is wearing a huge gun, similar to the Buntline Colt that Wyatt Earp allegedly used.  It's very odd.

These are a few things we've seen in the Old Pueblo.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Driving and hiking

What up with all y'all?  Winter in Tucson continues to be extraordinary.  Last season was really cold and windy, this season has been warm and calm so far.  It's odd because both years are La Nada weather patterns.  I think the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is helping by keeping us under a ridge of high pressure.  Whatever, we are enjoying it.
The RV park has new food trucks this year.  I'm posting a picture of this one for our Canadian friends. I just checked their menu on Facebook, and see that they have regular poutine, poutine with bacon, hotdog poutine and pulled pork poutine.  So, all of your poutine needs can be met here.

Yesterday we had to take the bus for a drive.  First we went out to Tucson Truck Terminal.  It's a good truck stop.  They put the diesel in for you.  Our fuel tank tends to spit if one tries to fuel too quickly, and the attendant was very careful with it.  They also have 4 homemade soups every day.

There is a gift shop.

Then it was out to drive up and down the roads in the Tucson Mountain Park.  The entrance road has a bunch of rollers.  When you drive that in an RV with air bags, it's almost like being weightless at the top of the hill.  As was the case on New Years day 2013, the black tank was not clearing itself.  Bad, very bad.  One wonders if it's a function of being in one place for so long. 

This is the far end of McCain loop.  I find making the left onto this road from Kinney to be hair raising.  Jim says it's fine.  Anyway, driving through the park, up and down, left and right, clears any problems a black tank might have.

Today we hiked.  We went up Bowen, down the other side out to the stone hut and then back up the big hill and down.  It's a hilly and rocky route.

Looking back towards Tucson.

It was about 5 miles.  It was enough hike for my soft non-calloused feet.  It'll be good when the callouses return.

The brittle bush are blooming.

Other than riding and hiking, there is not too much to report. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lunch at Char's Thai

We had a group ride to a Thai restaurant today.   It was a beautiful day with a good turn out.

There was a large picture in the restaurant that I just glanced at.  It registered as a south west landscape.  Someone at the table really looked at it, however, and noticed that there were people in the landscape; people that did not look like they were from Arizona or Utah.

I love this.

After lunch the group dispersed.  We ended up running into two of our friends on the Rillito bike trail.  We saw a bobcat crossing the trail.  I was not fast enough to get a picture of him.  He walked across the pavement, and down into the wash.  We all went over to look at him, and he gazed back at us.  And then he was gone.  So I have swiped two pictures of bobcats off the internet.

They are just lovely animals.

Jim and I ended up with 40 miles today.  They were flat miles, but they count as time on the bike.  My posterior and I are still negotiating on how much time we want to spend sitting on the bike.  So far, the posterior has the final vote.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A New Camera in the House

Do you not love Costco?  Do you not love the phenomenon of going in for ONE THING and coming out with stuff you didn't know existed?  Surely I'm not the only one who has experienced this.  Anyway, we went in for the one thing, walked by the camera display, and this jumped into my hand.  Before I knew it, I was filling out the slip to buy it at the check out counter.  It's pretty cool.  It's very small and light.  It uses the same CMOS sensor that the Canon Elph 310 and the S100 use.  Low light performance is maybe not as good as the Elph, but it does have 30X zoom.

Today I took it out to the Mission Xavier del Bac to see how it would do.  This has a fair amount of zoom on it.

Inside, using the Program mode and 800 ISO.

Same settings.

Back outside.


This was taken at home, with a lot of zoom.  Notice the plane upper right.  The palm fronds are a little fuzzy due to the wind blowing them.

Sunsets are good, but not great.  But good enough, I think.

The strap that came with it is just awful.  Something better will have to be procured.
We're going to Europe again this year, bicycling will be involved.  I'm thinking I will take this and an Elph.  The Panasonic is a great camera, but it's not something that I would take on a bicycle.
So there you go, that's what we're up to.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Lunch at Cafe Desta

Today was a lunch ride.  Cafe Desta was the destination.  I was raised in the American south on a fairly typical rural Alabama diet.  My family relocated often, but my mother cooked what she knew.  It's not terrible food, but it's bland.  Hence, I have the palate of a three year old.  Cafe Desta is Ethiopian. I am happy to report, it's really good.  I had Kik, Fosolia, and Injera.  The first two were very good, the Injera - not so much.  It's like a crepe, but it's sour dough and it was not working for me.  Jim had the Alicha Doro over house salad and it was excellent.  I'm having that next time.  They cook with a lot of tumeric.  If you're in the area, give it a try. 


After lunch we rode back to the park.  We took a new route to see where it went.  This was taken from a pedestrian bridge over a flood control channel.   Unfortunately the route debouches onto Ajo, west of I19 where there are no bike lanes and much traffic.

It was a glorious day.  There was no wind and it got into the low 70s.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

An Egret and Picasa's New Auto Backup Feature

We saw this water bird today at Christopher Columbus Park.  As we started to sneak up on him to get a better picture, he flew away.  Wretched bird!  It's an egret, which is a type of heron.  I know this because I just googled it.  All things are knowable on the web.

Are you a Picasa user?  Apparently the brain trust at Google has implemented a new auto-backup feature for photos.  If you have a ton of photos and they start auto backing up, AND you're on a limited data plan, that backup could exceed your data limits.  A blogger brought it to my attention, and he'll be talking about it again tomorrow.  This truly sounds like the work of the devil.  I haven't seen the popup window yet, but this feature must die
Other than this maties, I have zippity doo-dah all to report.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Pima Canyon Trail Revisited

Greetings Earthlings!  How is your new year progressing?  Here, so far, so good.  We've had a brunch ride with friends.  The next day we had a ride up Gates Pass with the guys who are way faster than me; thought I might have an aneurysm on that one.  Yesterday was a recovery day from the aneurysm inducing ride with the faster guys.
Today we hiked.  Neither one of us seemed to be in the mood for the bicycle, so we headed out to the Pima Canyon trail head.  The Sierra Club site calls it an easy trail.   I would have to disagree, I think trails with two foot high rocks which must be scaled repeatedly merit more than than an "easy" rating.
Here is a crested Saguaro along the way.

Happy cactus are in the canyon.

We got farther today than we have before.  After slogging through the rocks, the trail goes into an area with many cottonwood trees, and less arduous terrain.  It's pretty there, there's a lot more green and there are trees.  It took us an hour to get to that section.

This is a canyon wall.  The moon was still up.

So, we still have not made it to the dam.  The trail head to the dam is 3.2 miles. I'm still somewhat reluctant to go more than an hour out with the foot.  Although the hike towards the dam is mostly uphill, it's actually easier than the returning leg.  The repeated stepping down off the big rocks gets tiring.
It was a good day. After the hike we went to a Whataburger.  Jim has never been to one.  They're still pretty good.