Sunday, January 28, 2018

Return to the Tortolitas Again

We went back out to the Tortolitas today.  It was a gorgeous day, not too windy and not too hot.  Jim wanted to to Upper Javelina, and so we did.  This is the first time I’ve ever been able to photograph a road runner.  Generally they run away too fast.


Look at that sky!  Just spectacular.


The desert in the Tortolitas looks so much better than it does in Tucson Mountain Park.  They have gotten more rain than the southern end of town.  The desert north of Tucson is a lot greener.  The ocotillos are leafing out nicely


We departed the Upper Javelina trail and hiked the Wild Mustang trail up to the intersection with the Cochie Springs trail.  We haven’t been up that far on the trail before.  It is just stunning up there.


This is looking north-ish.


Looking a little right, with cropping.  That’s Picacho Peak in the far distance.




Jim surveys all that he sees.  For those of you have noticed he is wearing a grey shirt again (see last post), he has several of them.


Other than blue skies and rocks there is nothing much to report.

Friday, January 26, 2018

More of Same

Jim surveys all that he sees.  We were back at the top of the Ammunition Box trail.  I like that hike, it’s hard but there is stuff to look at.




I have linked to an article written by Sally Jenkins.  She’s the daughter of Dan Jenkins, who wrote the book Semi-Tough.  Ms. Jenkins is a sports reporter for the Washington Post.   Her article about Larry Nasser is just damning.  The Olympic Gymnastics organization has a lot to answer far.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Return to Warmer Weather

Greetings Earthlings!  Here in the desert we are recovering from three days of cold weather.  It actually went below freezing three nights in a row.  The first two were predicted, so we trickled the water over night, the third was not.  It went down to 28, and we’re pretty happy about not freezing any pipes or the water filter canister.

Today was much better, although the wind is gusting to 30-35 mph.  We hiked out of the Sarasota trail head and did the clock wise loop with an additional 40 minute jaunt out into the bowl.  We’re moving faster now than we were, so distance has to be added to keep us on our feet longer.

The horse riders were out in droves today.  There were two other trailers out of frame.  We did not see them riding, but we did see their by products on the trail.

 It was a glorious day.

When we got back to the trail head, the wagons were being loaded.  Horse back riding is a device intensive hobby.  There must be trailers, saddles, horse care and etc. It does look pleasant, however, to be ambling across the desert with your trusty steed.

I learned a new fact recently, reading about hummingbirds.  When they go in to torpor, they frequently hang upside down.  They slow their metabolism to get through the cold night until it’s time for breakfast.

Online Live Writer has quit on me!  I'm getting the dreaded 500 internal server error.  The internet is remarkably uninformative about what to do.  It will upload a text only post, but will not load photos.

This is just totally aggravating.  After months of using it, I've finally gotten used to Live Writer, and the blogger editor just seems cumbersome.  Plus pictures look better when loaded with Live Writer.  Does anyone know how to fix this?

Sunday, January 21, 2018

El Guero Canelo Won a James Beard Award

El Guero has won a James Beard award!  An article on the subject can be found hereThe Sonoran dog is a wonderful thing.  One or two hotdogs are wrapped in bacon and grilled.  Then they are stuffed into a soft sweet roll and covered in beans, jalepenos if you dare and other condiments.  If you’re in Tucson, you should go.  They also make a really good torta.
Below is what the James Beard Foundation had to say about El Guero Canelo and the Sonoran Dog.
The Sonoran hot dog evinces the flow of culinary and cultural influences from the U.S. to Mexico and back.
Decades ago, elaborately dressed hot dogs began to appear as novelty imports on the streets of Hermosillo, the Sonoran capital.
Today, Tucson is the American epicenter, and Daniel Contreras is the leading hotdoguero.
A Sonoran native, Contreras was 33 in 1993 when he opened El Guero Canelo.
The original stand is now a destination restaurant, outfitted with picnic tables and serviced by a walk-up order window. Fans converge for bacon-wrapped franks, stuffed into stubby bollilos, smothered with beans, onion, mustard, jalapeno sauce, and a squiggle of mayonnaise.
Contreras operates three branches in Tucson, one in Phoenix, and a bakery to supply the split-top buns.

No doubt this award will result in longer lines at the window to order.
The Sonoran hot dog stand is ubiquitous in south Tucson.  Before we started wintering here, I had no idea that it had become a thing.  I don’t remember there being any when I lived here from the mid-70s to the mid-80s.  Of course, at the time, I didn’t venture very far south from the university.  Now, in south Tucson, they are on almost every street corner.  Some are totally mobile, others deploy tents covering tables and chairs.  I frequently wonder how any of the smaller stands make enough money to cover expenses.  You will not find them in Marana or Oro Valley, you must come south of St. Mary’s.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Circus Came to Town

The run of glorious weather ended today.  It was cold, it was windy and then it rained.  The hummingbird living on the feeder is totally and completely out of sorts.  Tomorrow is forecast to be fairly cool, but not wet.

This morning we set out to find a giant tent we saw the other day.  Due to the lack of sun, I could not get a decent picture of it.  Here is one I have liberated from the internet.

zoppe tent

It’s the Zoppe Family Circus.  They’ve been doing this since 1842.  We walked around to the front of the tent and I got a couple of photos by holding the camera over my head.  The kid in the front has just launched a blue spinning thing into the air.  It comes back down and is caught on the string.  The child in the background has a yellow one that she was practicing with.


The was music and clapping.  Notice the makeup and hat of the person behind the woman with the headscarf.


I would really like to see them put that tent up.  This is one of the many stakes pulling the structure taut.


After wandering around a little, we admitted to each other that we were dressing for the climate we wanted, rather than the one we had.  So we went home and put on long pants and got our fleece vests out.  After lunch we went to Costco to pick up contact lenses.  By the time we left, it was really cold.  The rest of the day was spent indoors.  Jim is currently watching a youtube tour of the USS Iowa’s gun turrets.  It’s fairly interesting, and it’s not politics.

When we got the two new laptops, I did an incomplete job of moving photos, so today I moved several old folders that were not backed up.  It was good to get them on the new laptop, it’s sort of like reconnecting with old friends.


This was the first hummingbird feeder we had.  It was on the forward driver’s side slide and got the setting sun. 


And here we have the disgruntled resident of the current feeder.  Soon he will have to find somewhere to sleep and go into torpor.


This was posted on Twitter today.  Could some one please explain to me what happened to the notion of politicians being public servants?  I thought this was such an extraordinary communication to come from the office of a senator.

tom cotton

Other than this, I have nothing interesting to report.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

More Hiking and Demographics

Greetings Earthlings – and happy 364th day of the regime of chaos.  It’s looking likely that the government will shut down tomorrow at midnight.  It’s just unbelievable to me that we are here.  Interior Secretary Zinke is proposing to leave the national parks open with no rangers on the job.  I can’t imagine how that will work out.

Unlike the eastern side of the country, we are having decent weather.  Saturday we went to Tubac for something to do.  It’s an artsy fartsy community south of Tucson.  Some of their products are very nice, some not so much.  This is the Elephant Head rock formation we see from the freeway.  It was a beautiful day.


Yesterday we hiked the Ammunition Box trail.  The view from the top is just stunning.


If you look at the hill top center photo, that’s where Jim is standing in the above picture.


Today we headed out to the Tortolitas and hiked the Lower Javelinas.  It was a glorious day.




The gnarly cactus.


In the GPNW, they experienced 35 foot waves at the coast.  This was taken at Cape Disappointment.  It’s pretty impressive water.

cape disappoinment 2

The administration continues in its desire to cut off immigration, unless the immigrants are from Norway.  This is so bad.  It’s just amazing to me that the politicians can not read and understand the population projections that are being published.  White people are not reproducing in sufficient numbers to support the coming bulge of retiring boomers.  We need immigrants to enter the workforce.

A growing workforce would ease the fiscal pressure that the expanding senior population will impose on Social Security and Medicare. But Trump's efforts to reduce legal immigration would consign the U.S. to virtually no growth in the workforce, Pew projects. Trump has endorsed legislation from Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia, two attendees at last Thursday's explosive White House meeting, that would cut the total level of legal immigration in half. Pew projects that under that level of future legal immigration, the size of the workforce will remain virtually stagnant over the next half century.

If the workforce remains essentially unchanged while the senior population grows by 40 million, each worker will be required to fund 80% more seniors than they do now. That demographic imbalance represents a political tourniquet that will inexorably increase pressure for cuts in Social Security and Medicare -- a prospect that polls show is anathema to the older and working-class whites Trump relies on.

So there you go.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Martin Luther King Day

The artist is Watson Mere.  I can’t think of anything more appropriate to the day.

mlk painting

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hike, Phone, Cold, and Seattle

Yesterday was really annoying.  My phone would not turn on.  I put it on the charger, no lights lit up.  It was dead.  Really dead.  Most of the pictures on the phone are not important to me, but there was one video that I really wanted.  We did not go to Verizon because Ken was coming to fix the Hydro Hot in the afternoon and we needed to be home for that. 

We did do the Ammunition Box trail earlier in the day.  It was just lovely.


We stopped at the first over look.  It was enough.


Today I got up and put the phone back on the charger, and the red light came on.  The battery was down to 1%.  Why did it choose to be dead yesterday and ok today?  I have only had this phone since June 2016, it’s a little early for it to be dying.  Anyway, I did manage to get the video uploaded to my laptop via a USB cable.  It’s not intuitive.  The phone wants to send each and every photo as a separate file folder.  I think I’ll stick to emailing photos to me.

The weather tanked last night.  There was a lot of wind and some rain.  Today was dark, windy and cold.  The humming bird has once again taken up residence on the feeder.  He does not leave.


He also yells at us if we venture out of the RV.


Here is a link to a four minute video on you-tube.  It’s a time lapse of three years of growth in Seattle.  If you have the bandwidth it’s really fascinating to watch the buildings go up.  There is a camera on top of the Space Needle and it takes a picture every ten minutes.  It’s very cool.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Sunrise, Hike and Two Articles

Greetings from the desert!  We were up early today and saw the sun rise.  This is very unusual for us, so it was nice to see a good one.


I swiped this off of instagram and twitter.  If I could find the tweet I would give photo credit, but it has moved on down the twitter stream.  This is the most recent SpaceX launch.  It’s a long exposure showing the take off and eventual landing of the first stage of the rocket.  There has been some speculation on the internet that the top secret pay load was lost, but since it’s top secret, no one is commenting.  I thought it was a really cool photo.


Saturday we did a new to us hike up Brown Mountain.  It starts at the Brown Mountain picnic area across from the Gilbert Ray Campground.  It starts off as a ramble through the saguaros and then gets pretty steep.  We’re heading for the top of Brown Mountain, which is center photo.


People actually mountain bike here.  I understand this not.


They also mountain bike here, some of those steps are two feet tall.  It looks bad to me in either direction.


Eventually we were at the top and we walked along a ridge line for awhile.  We could see the trail up ahead making yet another ascent up another hill and we bailed.  The route back was visible in the valley below us, so we walked to a low point between hills and turned right towards the path home.


The return trail is not interesting.  It’s a mainly flat meander at the base of the hills, with nothing much to look at.  If you want to do the flat part first turn right at this sign.  That will put you on the loop counter clockwise.  I think the way we went was better, given the amount of loose rock, I’d rather be going up it than down it.  I would rate this loop a solid “meh”.  I don’t know that we would do it again.


The girl hummingbird has been by to see us some.  The males seem to have moved on.


Politics warning!  Click away if you can’t stand anymore links to articles.

I have really really tried to keep the politics off the blog, but I find I can not.  These are two of the most terrible things I have read lately, and I don’t want to lose the links.  The first was published just before New Years, when no one was really paying attention.  One of the worst things the administration did in that week was reinstating copper mining next to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota.  Ok, well maybe suspending inspections of deep water drilling rigs was bad, or maybe cancelling regulations about what to do with waste water from fracking was the worst.

If you need some serious outrage about the whole of 2017, Politico listed 138 policy changes made by the administration.  It’s a very long read.  None of them are good.

Other than this, I have nothing really interesting to report.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

More of Same Outside

Happy day three of the New Year!  Our weather continues to be stellar.  Today was really windy, it started up in the middle of the night.  I always wonder what weather system is responsible for high winds out of the blue.  Local meteorologists never talk about the why.

So there has been hiking.


There have been wild life sightings.  Look center photo, there are two muley deer looking at us.  I’d be happier if they were more skittish around people. If we were bow hunters, they would have been easy to hit from the trail.


Today we walked out to the Stone Hut on the Bowen Trail.  There were more people hiking than usual.  I guess not everyone has gone back to work yet.


Did you see this article?  Here is the gist of it.

Security researchers on Wednesday disclosed a set of security flaws that they said could let hackers steal sensitive information from nearly every modern computing device containing chips from Intel Corp, Advanced Micro Devices Inc and ARM Holdings.