Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

Here's hoping your day was what you hoped for.  Ours was a little flat since I still have the plague, and it's worse than yesterday.  Soon it will be time to break out the antibiotics, even though the doctors tell us not to.

This is my official Thanksgiving Day photo.  Those are baby Hooded Orioles demanding to be fed.

We found a nest in one of the palm trees.  It was completed, but never used.

We made something new this year, it's a slow cooker crustless pumpkin pie.  It's actually good.  If we made it again, I would cut back on the sugar by at least an eighth of a cup.  I used a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, no cloves and the called upon quarter teaspoon of cardamon.  Like I said, it's a little too sweet.  However, it could not be any easier to make than this.  Easier than cooking a frozen pie which will be full of high fructose corn sweetener.

My new method for stock making is to cut up a Cornish Game Hen.  Place it in a cast iron skillet with a cut up onion and four stalks of cut up celery.  Put it in the grill, cook at fairly high heat for 40 minutes or so.  Try not to burn the onions.  Dump contents of skillet into a stock pot with water and boil for awhile.  It made really good stock with virtually no fat and no scum rising to the top.  We did not have access to turkey parts, so that's we we used in the making of stuffing.

It was supposed to rain all day today, but so far all that has happened are high winds and thick clouds.  It's odd weather.  Last year was picture perfect.  I would like that weather pattern back now, thank you.

Later on, there was this.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


Is this not lovely?  This was taken about four in the afternoon.  I am sick as a dog (again) so Jim hiked up to the saddle by himself.  Yet again I have succumbed to a sore throat and non-productive hacking cough.  I'm better today than I was yesterday, so there's hope of my continued survival.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Being Outside and a New Grocery Store

Greetings People of Earth!  How are things where you are?  Things are better here.  Jim is a pale northwesterner who has spent a lot of time in the sun.  This, in turn, gave him a face full of actinic keratoses.  They're a harbinger of things that will be worse.  For years the dermatologist has been zapping them individually with liquid nitrogen, but as of a year ago there were too many.  Different treatment was required.  Late October Jim started putting Efudix on the affected areas.  It's a chemotherapy drug and it's quite unpleasant.  It's painful, to put it mildly.  Anyway, while treating this (21 days, plus 7 more recovery) one must stay out of the sun.  So, we've been like vampires, living in the shadows.  I didn't take any pictures.  If you're curious, there is a six minute youtube that's pretty good at showing the process.  Today Jim was able to go outside, after applying a significant amount of spf 110 on his face.  He's still a little red, but it's much improved.  I'm not sure when we know how successful the treatment was.

There was hiking!  Yay!  It felt really good to be outside.  We elected to do a non-hilly route and enjoy the day.  It was a success.

Later we went to a new grocery store, Cardenas.  They're from California, and cater to the Hispanic demographic.  They're pretty close to a Food City who also has the same demographic.  I think Cardenas has better produce and more stuff over all.

From the produce area, I don't know what these are.

Cactus leaves.  They're not part of my food culture, so I have not tried them.  Here is what you can do with them.


There are a lot of tortillas being produced here.

One can buy masa already prepared.

There's a lot going on in the photo.  Foreground we have some pretty good sized spatchcocked chickens on the grill.  Look further back in the middle at the lady next to the pile of green.  She's peeling roasted green chiles.  You can buy them by the bag.  This is a very good thing, peeling them is kind of a pain.  Update to post:  Actually she's peeling avocados.  Someone else, someplace else is peeling the roasted chiles.

These are Jackfruit.  They're interesting, and large. Update to post 2/14/24:  Cardenas only lasted 6 months.  I found an article that they'd pulled the plug.  The store has reverted to being a Fry's.

Now that Jim is once again a free-range human we can get the bikes out and hike and be outside.  Happy we are about that.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Politics and Amazon

This has been making the rounds on twitter today.  It's a Russian produced video of them taking over a US facility in Syria.  It's another dark day for American Exceptionalism.

You can link to the tweet and play the video here.

On a brighter note, here is a very interesting article about Roundup, MT.  Apparently people buy stuff from Target, Walmart and other stores, ship it to their homes or businesses and then repackage and sell it to Amazon.  Amazon then directs the merchandise to their various fulfillment centers.  I had no idea this was going on.  It's interesting how far items move.  I think there's a lot of carbon being expended in the process.

Other than this, I have not too much to report.  We spent some time watching clips of the impeachment hearings.  Gym Jordan and Nunez were their usual annoying selves.  Ambassador Yovanovitch's testimony was calm and collected.  She received an unusual round of applause when her time was over.  She's quite the professional.

Sunday, November 10, 2019


At 5:25 pm I leapt from my chair hollering "holy crap look at that."  It was a spectacular sunset.

A Post About Not Too Much

We're so boring!  Going to the gym is about the only news worthy item I have.  We started using the rowing machines, they're pretty cool.  There is a water tank providing resistance, the noise it makes is sort of mesmerizing.  Maybe when we're not so out of shape we can enjoy its soothing benefits longer than we currently do.

After owning the Jeep for a week, we got a rock in the windshield which made a star in the glass.  Getting that fixed is time critical because it looks like it could run.  They'll be here Tuesday, sometime within their five hour time window.  Didn't I see a commercial about customers knowing exactly when they would be arriving?  Maybe not.

The neighborhood is currently experiencing moderate sturm un drang over some owners' failure to keep their weeds under control, kill the mistletoe in the trees, or remove the dead trees which are dropping branches.  The office staff at the HOA assures us that efforts are being made, but will not provide details on just what this entails.  We will stand by to be amazed.

Sunset the other night.

The always lovely bougainvillea.

This morning we had three Gambel's Quail on the wall.  They're fun to watch, the troop leader will call to them when they're relocating, so no one is left behind.  The man across the street has put out another seed block for them.

That's it, that's all I've got.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Local Real Estate

Today's post is real estate oriented.  As I have no doubt complained about the diminutive size of our garage (in the land of giant pick up trucks) a time or two, I will share our ongoing efforts to wedge everything in there without having to walk side ways between the vehicles.

We had those shelves installed before we left for the summer.  Jim used to have to park the pick up truck under the shelves so we could close the garage door.  Now the Lexus parks over there and he is much shorter.  So that wall space was freed up and we can hang the road bikes there.

This is good.

Here we are looking at the people door into the house from the garage.  Looking in the lower right hand corner we see the giant bike rack we would really like to get off the floor and let it live on a car.  That will free up space for the recycle bins.

Those are the recycle bins on the floor next to the mountain bikes.  We've since reversed their orientation, which makes it easier to walk by them when exiting the car.

 Ta-da!  Two vehicles in the garage and the ability to walk in a straight line.

This is a giant house being built about a mile from us.  Look at the height of that garage.  It's a really tall and wide structure.

This is the house next door.  Someone has made a mistake on where the property line is.  We don't know if it's the new house, or the old house.  The builders of the new house have knocked their wall down.  This is looking towards the front of the wall.

This is looking in the opposite direction.  Look how close the base of the destroyed wall is to the house under construction.

They had tile on the wall.  We don't know whose error this is, nor do we know if the owners of the existing house are aware of what happened.  Can you imagine coming back from your summer elsewhere and finding this?

This is a different house that's being built.  Look at the size of the garage.  A person could back a 45 foot RV into it and park the towed vehicle in front of it.  It's enormous.

This is an amazing big bay.  We always wonder how difficult this makes it to sell the house.  Not that many people own 45 foot long RVs.

We had a sunset!

Saturday, November 2, 2019


We're usually not up this early.  Today there were some clouds to make color.

Friday, November 1, 2019

The Day After Halloween

We had zero trick or treaters last night.  Jim went out and bought M&Ms just in case, but there were none.  I don't think there were any last year, either.  Our neighborhood trends old, so it's not surprising.  Anyway..... please make a note of this for next year.

It's been a very long week.  Yesterday I kept thinking it was Saturday because it seemed like it had been the week for a very long time.  We sold the pickup truck.  That was sort of like selling the RV, the whole end of an era, change of identity, leaving a community sort of thing.  It was sort of shocking, a dealer gave us a decent price so we didn't have to deal with people.  After reading about a rash of murders linked to using Craigslist to sell things, I really don't like being exposed to the masses with something for sale.

We bought not one, but two cars.  One is a Lexus GX460.  It's a nice car, it'll be good for road trips.  If the spirit moves us, we can take it down lumpy dirt roads.  We will not be rock crawling, however.

 We also got a Jeep Renegade.  It's an entry level car, but it's fun to drive.

When we finally venture out from address changing, house maintenance and the like, it may be good to have two cars.  In their relentless drive to save money, most call centers have been off-shored.  While I recognize that the people in the other countries speak better English than I will ever speak their language, it's difficult to understand them.  A simple billing address change for Xfinity took 10 minutes.  We have 24 things to change.  It's going to be a long process.

This is the Jeep.  The color is called Sting-Gray.  I like it.  We ended up with a black interior, which I didn't want, but that was one of the cars with the alleged rebates from Jeep.  It's a fun car to drive, it will haul the bikes once we get a hitch receiver installed and the hiking stuff.  This would not be the car for road trips, it's sort of a noisy engine due to its small size.  However, it will fit in the garage.  For some reason, in the land of huge pickup trucks, garages in Tucson are tiny.  Ours is made tinier by the fact that the air conditioning and furnace take up space on the right side.  The Jeep is 166 inches long, and thus he fits.

Here is the bougainvillea again in the afternoon sun.

This is a picture I took in Bellevue.  It's one of the blue buildings.  I used Picasa's cross process filter on it and it's kind of moody.  I like it.

So, buying cars and changing addresses is pretty much what we've been up to.