Saturday, July 21, 2018

Acquisition, Hiking and Ground Water

When we sold the house and went full time, we ejected most of our stuff.  There were many “free come get it, owner will not help you” ads placed on Craig’s List.  These are the dishes we’d had since forever.  My Mom gave them to me because she was sick of them.  They were Corning Centura; heavy as lead and they would blow up in the microwave.  Over the side they went!


Now we will need dishes.  There was a 50% off sale at the Northbend outlet mall in the Corning store.  We bought a bunch of Corelle.  This is the Mystic Gray pattern.  We got a eight of the dinner plates, some small plates, bowls and a big melamine bowl that looks like wood.  Half off!  I like Corelle, when I empty the dishwasher I can grab four plates at a time, mash their edges together and not chip them.  Now we have plates, plates are good.  There is a nice article about Corelle in the WAPO which was pleasant reading.


My bike shoes have been torturing the middle toe on my left foot.  It’s a mystery to me how it can hurt that bad since the sensory nerves on both sides of the toe were removed in 2013.  The old shoes did have a smaller toe box, with a pointier toe.  They were cute shoes.  These are the new shoes, they sort of look like hot dog buns.  However, they have enough room in the toe box that I can freely wiggle my toes, and the pain is diminished considerably.  They’re mountain shoes, but we ride them with the road bikes.  My feet will not tolerate a road cleat.


There has been hiking.  This is a fungus growing on the end of a log.


This is the top of a tree.  We have not had any strong winds lately, and yet the top of the tree is now on the ground.  It wasn’t there a week ago.  One wonders if there is a beetle problem locally.


NYT put an interesting and sad article up in the magazine about ground water usage in Arizona.  It deals with industrial farming, lack of regulations governing pumping water from aquifers, and the fact that peoples’ wells are going dry.  Apparently Saudi Arabia sucked their aquifers dry and are now in Sulphur Springs Valley planting alfalfa which they ship home to feed their cows.  One of the worst land use decisions was to plant nut trees.  They require a lot of water. As the aquifer retreats, there is ground subsidence and large fissures in the roads.  Meetings have been held, tempers are frayed, but there is no coherent management strategy for the remaining water.

In the midst of the tensions in Willcox, the governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, announced the creation of a water-conservation committee, aimed at groundwater security and reform. Even so, this year only two rural groundwater bills have been introduced in the State House. Each proposed, among other things, to lift regulations, in order to make way for a 7,000-home and a 28,000-home development, respectively, just outside the Sulphur Springs Valley. In a promotional video for one, which boasts vineyards and at least one golf course, the developer calls southeastern Arizona “the best kept secret in the country.”

This is just crazy to me.  Southeast Arizona is dependent on ground water.  Tucson gets CAP water which is from the Colorado river.  Why on earth would there be development of giant housing developments, golf courses and vineyards in an area where the aquifer is about done?  It’s a lot of words, but it’s interesting reading.

We’re watching the Alpe d’huez stage of TdF.  Chris Froome is being booed and heckled on the climb.  We can hear them on the television.


  1. The same water issues where we stay in the winter near Vicksburg, AZ. Amazing that the state of Arizona hasn't protected the groundwater.

    1. I do not understand why there is no active management of groundwater in the rural areas. It's a finite resource!

  2. Froomey has taken a lot of abuse , spat at and being hit on this tour. Why did the cycling authorities wait to give him the clearance 4 days before the Tour. They were in a position to do this months ago, so they have a lot to answer for. Wasn't G fantanstic on the Alp......a local Cardiff boy....Sometimes you see him out on a ride and he always acknowledges cyclists.

    1. G was amazing. We're wondering how Sky will engineer putting Froome in the yellow jersey.

  3. Have you ever tried Keen Commuter sandals? I use Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedals on all my bikes now and have been using these sandals for the past several years. I no longer own a pair of traditional bike shoes, which probably makes me look like a less serious cyclist to the style-conscious masses, but I love my sandals and find them super comfy. In the winter (admittedly Florida winter!) I wear black Smartwool socks with them. They have a large toe box and are great in hot weather since you can wear them without socks. You do end up with a bit of a tiger-stripe tan, but I like that better than the sock-line tan I used to get, with ghostly white feet. Looks rather strange at the pool! They are nice to walk around in if you stop for a snack or meal on the way since they look like regular sandals.

    I like your new plates -- simple and practical.

    1. We've tried them on, but my feet said a resounding no to them. The feet want what the feet want.

    2. I hear ya! I spent an hour in a DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) in NC trying on sandals of all makes and models. Ended up with three lovely pairs that my feet enjoy greatly, but rejected maybe 97 other pairs to get to those three. For reals. A success rate of 3% is not that great, but feets have their preferences! ;-)