Saturday, July 31, 2021

Whining and Moaning

Greetings Earthlings.  How are you?  My feet are screaming from me spending the day on them. 

We rode yesterday morning, the light was tender due to broken cloud cover.  It was really pretty out there.

Here is a cloud trying to be a thunder storm.  We had tremendous lightning and thunder last night.  It was very impressive.

The real estate process is back on track.  Apparently the buyers' real estate agent has been unwell.  Our agent sent them a "cure" notice telling them they were behind schedule, which got the attention of the junior broker who got things moving again.  Anyway, they're paying cash now, and closing has been moved up to August 17, which is the day we drive out of Tucson.  I'm hoping we can sign our papers electronically so we don't have to waste time signing papers manually.  The Spokane house was entirely electronic, which was helpful.  So, we are feeling much better about things.  Now all I have to fret about is getting everything in boxes, and all the moving help shows up when they are supposed to, and that it all fits in the truck.

On July 21, I ordered a Patagonia Shelled Synchilla jacket from ebay.  To date, I haven't actually received a notice that it shipped.  Two messages sent to the seller have been ignored.  So, hopefully PayPal or Ebay will reimburse if this thing never shows up.  Allegedly it was shipped USPS Priority mail, so there should be tracking.  I don't have a tracking number.  It's aggravating.  Ebay may be dead to me after this.  

Other than my moaning and complaining, I have absolutely nothing of interest on offer.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

More on the Landslide

This morning we awoke to a very thick cloud layer.  We also had running water!  Yay! One of the local news outlets had an article up about how important it was not to go anywhere near the recent slide area because the ground is unstable.  We waffled a little about whether or not we wanted to hike up there, but in the end decided the cloud cover would probably make the hike less hot than if the sun was out, and really - you just have to go.  So we did. 

The most startling thing about the debris field is the fact that the giant boulders were bouncing as the slope of the hill leveled off.  There is a lot of destruction of vegetation.  If you look uphill from where the boulder landed, you can see another crater it dug on its way down.

The boulder - Jim is there for size comparison.

That was a good size palo verde trunk that was snapped off.

Other boulders that came down.

This is where the landslide stopped. There is more devastation uphill, but it was hot, it was uphill so we went home.  There was packing to be done.

Today just sucked!  We have an out door table with a piece of glass in it that's about 39.5 x 28 inches.  We bought a mirror box for it that come in four pieces that you assemble and tape together.  The box is 3.5 inches deep.  The styrofoam corners we bought for the glass were 4 inches deep.  So, we took the styrofoam outside with serrated knives and whittled them down to 3.5 inches.  The strap that was supposed to tighten up the corners didn't work, so we ended up taping them on.  Box assembly was painful and tedious.  However, it's over now.  Then we emptied drawers which made five medium boxes that are very heavy.  Hopefully we have left enough clothing out to make it through.

This most recent Monday we were supposed to get loan status for the buyers.  We have heard exactly nothing on the subject.  It may be that they are converting their offer to cash since their buyers sold their house and have given them money.  If this house sale falls through I think my head will explode. 

As it stands now, we pick up the moving truck and car transporter on 8/15.  The guys that load the truck will be here the morning of 8/16.  We decided not to plan on leaving town on the 16th because we didn't know how long it would take to load the truck, get the jeep on the transporter, get the transporter attached to the truck and etc.  Plus, we'll need to clean some on the way out of the house.  We should make it to Spokane early enough on the 20th that we can go in and figure out where furniture goes.  

The new house will be interesting.  When we lived in RVs, we were basically in a rectangular box.  The house we're currently in is pretty much the same.  Kitchen flows into eating area which flows into living area.  Bedrooms are off to the side, but most of our time is in the box.  The new house has rooms.  Rooms will be weird.  It was weird when we moved here because Jim would be out of my line of sight which he wasn't in an RV.  Now in Spokane he could even be on a different floor.  Maybe we'll use walkie-talkies to communicate.

So, that was today.  A short hike and packing.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Cranky in Tucson

I am cranky.  Why? you ask.  Because we have no running water.  Apparently a contractor (they always blame the contractors) broke a 6 inch water main.  That happened around 2:30, it's 5:30 now.  The Tucson Water Department can't locate the proper valve with which to turn off the water that is currently running out of the break.  Fortunately, it's going into a conveniently located storm drain.  However, we rode this morning, packed all day and I would really like to take a shower!  First world problems, don't you know.  We're currently discussing how to best prepare dinner with no running water.  Since I was a pandemic hoarder, I have enough hand sanitizer for 40 people, so we don't have to worry about touching raw meat and giving ourselves food poisoning.

The bougainvillea sulked all during June.  I watered it a lot, but apparently it wasn't that water it wanted.  Since we've had rain, it has grown like crazy and bloomed a lot.

We all continue to be amazed by the slide.  We see people stopping to take photos, or just standing in their drive ways looking at it.  These are taken from different angles.

This is our neighbor's rig.  He really loves driving the tractor and towing the 5th wheel.  It's a big 5th wheel, and it's elderly so I suspect it's heavy.  His tow vehicle is more than up to the task.

For tooling about town, there is this vehicle.  One drives it off on ramps.  They are heading out fairly soon.

So, that's all I've got.  No water and no ecd for when it will be fixed.

Update to post at 6:56 pm.  "Crew on site turning multiple valves to isolate main to start repairs."  That's from the water department's outage page.  That translates as "we have no clue" where the valve to shut off the water is."

Update to post at 9:07 pm.  Still turning valves.

Update to post the next morning.  Around 9:30 pm they started repairs, water was back on at 1:00 am this morning.  At present the water department is calling Jim to see if everything is ok.


Monday, July 26, 2021

Landslides in Ye Olde Pueblo

Yesterday morning was pretty weird.  It had been raining, hard at times.  Then it let up.  Then we heard rumbling.  I asked Jim if he thought it was thunder, then we decided not.  I looked out the front window at Golden Gate and this is what I saw.  See the lower cloud-ish looking area, below the actual clouds on the top of the mountain?  That's dust, it's from a land slide.  At the top of the mountain, something fairly large let go and headed down hill.

The arrows are pointing at two of the boulders that came down.  It was surreal how much noise it made. 

A lot of dirt came down, and many saguaros lost their lives today.  It's very sad, some of them are over 100 years old, and now they are dead.

So, this was before.

And this is after.  It's a subtle change.  The next photo is better.

Look at where the white arrow is pointing.  The arrow is difficult to see because picassa would not let me bold it for some reason.  It's at the top of the photo.  Anyway, see the flat shiny surface?  That used to be a good sized rock jutting out.  Now it's gone.

Remember I mentioned that in the past Tucson had used major thoroughfares to carry water, instead of putting in storm drains?  I guess the thinking was that the major dry rivers would handle the rainfall in a bad year.  That was true until fall of 1983.  I was in school here then.  The previous winter had been wet, monsoon 1983 was very wet, so the ground was saturated.  Then tropical depression Octave came and rained from September 28 until October 3.  The airport got 6.7 inches of water in that period.  There was massive flooding and bank erosion in the river beds.  Houses fell in to the water, and I think 10 people were killed.  In today's dollars, damage was about a billion.  After that, Tucson got serious about water management.

Here you can see bridges have been removed by severe bank cutting.

This is the Santa Cruz River, which normally is dry.

More washed out bridge.

There are a couple of old articles about 1983 that are interesting.  There is one here and here.

Blogger is getting weirder on me, so I think I will publish this while I can.  Some days the software will just not cooperate, no way - no how.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Packing and Rain

Holy crapoli do my feet hurt as well as my back.  Packing is hard work.  The question still remains, after two major down sizings, and living in an RV for eleven years, how the heck do we have this much STUFF? 

It's been raining.  Today it started at 2:45 am with a lot of thunder and rain.  A fair amount of debris has washed up onto the rocks that line the front yard and go up to the street.  This is the miracle of rain in the desert.  The wash had been looking black, literally.  There were few leaves, it just looked like it had been burned.  After a few days of rain we have this.

If you look mid photo you can see where one of the agave plant spikes has fallen down.  There was a lot of wind, and it's gone over.  The birds will miss sitting there.

We've had some pretty good clouds lately.  This was a pink sunset, pink every where.

This one sort of looked like the end of days.

Other than putting things in boxes, we don't have much to say for ourselves. I haven't left the house in two days.  I need to get out some!

Sunday, July 18, 2021


Holy crapoli do my feet hurt.  I have been standing on them for five hours packing up the server.  The server is chock full of pre-WWII Noritake.  Back when we lived in West Seattle, I got a wild hair that I needed more stuff.  E-bay delivered the stuff.  I jettisoned a lot of it when we moved to Bellevue, and then when we departed North Carolina, there were many listings on Craigslist for free come get it.  After Craigslist turned into a site for getting murdered, we switched to Nextdoor.  It's a smaller geographic area, but free stuff generally goes in an hour or so.

This is what left today.  It left full of half inch drive sockets and socket wrenches, and crescent wrenches.  The main reason it left is because it is so heavy.  When we didn't move around much it just lived on the work bench in the basement, but it was time.  Since we left North Carolina, Jim bought a plastic version of this that is much lighter.

Here is some of my china.  The pictures are not so good, I'm not sure if it's the overhead lighting, or if my camera is aging out.  This is a covered sugar bowl.

People in olden days had very specific china.  This is a pancake platter.  The dome has two holes in it to allow the steam to escape so they stay warm but not soggy.  Who doesn't need a pancake platter in their life?

This is some sort of sauce bowl.

In addition to these, there are berry bowls, consomme bowls, bowls for soup with stuff in it, celery dishes and etc.  There are dinner plates, dessert plates, and bread plates.  I guess if you had staff to wash all of these things it was nice to have them.  When we left NC, I kept settings for six, and the rest hit Craigslist.

So, while packing these things today, I wondered, not for the first time, why do we hang on to things that we don't use, but that we find pretty?  I guess they're little pieces of art.  That would be art that can't go through the dishwasher.

July 4 we had a pretty good sunset for summer.

Last night was ok.

The local lizard was hanging out on the sliding glass door screen.

The annoying little black bugs have reappeared, so I am hoping he will eat them all.

So far, nothing bad has happened with the buyers, so I'm moving ahead with the presumption that we'll close on time and all will be well.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Moving On

The lemon tree is blooming.  It's a wet little lemon tree.

Yesterday we went down to the Cat Mountain Station to look for an oil cloth tablecloth that would go with our newly reupholstered chairs.  There was no joy there, they're all extremely cheerful with vibrant patterns.  This is a prickly pear foreground with fruit.  This looks like a very happy cactus.

This is what it looks like when a thunderstorm is trying to form.  It reminds me of a mushroom cloud in the distance.

We received an offer on the house - we accepted it.  It looks pretty good, they're pre-qualified for a loan, and they've waived the appraisal contingency.  I feel fairly confident about it; I think it's unlikely that the inspection will turn up anything insurmountable, so hopefully this will proceed without drama.  So, there you go.  We're going north.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Smoke and Rain

Greetings Earthlings! How are things in your neck of the woods?  Our neck is full of smoke.  It's aggravating my throat somewhat. When we're out in the yard we can smell it.

So we had the exciting weather evening.  One of the local papers has put up an article with photos and a couple of gifs.  I doubt if much of the country gets this excited about rain, but here, we certainly do.  This is a haboob.  They're a wall of sand coming at you.  Tucson doesn't get them so much, mainly Phoenix.  Anyway, click on the link, there are some good pictures.

Today we had one agent come by to make a video for a client, and another came by to preview it for a client.  So, we had to leave the house.  We violated the cardinal rule of never leave the house and drive the car on an empty stomach, so we ended up at McDonald's.  I hate when that happens.  They're next door to an old strip mall that has been evicting tenants for several years.  I'm not clear on whether they're tearing it down or doing a big remodel.  The south end of Tucson has had a huge growth spurt as of late.  More retail, but no new roads.

This will make a remodel more difficult.

 The strip mall looks really bad.

I also have random photos.  This plant belongs to our next door neighbor.  He had it brutally pruned two years ago, and it's just now recovering.  The rain we've had has been enough to make it bloom. It's some sort of sage.

The next two are liberated from the internet.  This is a roseate spoonbill in flight.  The person who posted it says it looks like the bird is wearing a ball gown.

THIS is why you should not put gold fish in rivers, lakes or ponds.  Goldfish size is governed by how much space is available to them.  They're bad fish, they nibble at plant roots and muddy the water with dirt they stir up.  They are reaching crisis proportions in Minnesota.  WAPO has an article here.

Finally, here is history you probably were not taught.  It's about Wilmington, NC.  For awhile they were an example of how the races could live and work together harmoniously.  Unfortunately, a bunch of white guys rode in to town in 1898 to "take their state back."  Black owned businesses were torched, people were killed.  Apparently politics in the last 30 years of the 19th century were brutal.  Gunshots were reported on every election day, there were riots, there were deaths.  Poll workers would stab voters in the hand with an awl if they reached for the wrong color ballot.  One wonders if that's what we will return to.  The article is by Dan Danehy, and you can find it here.

This is San Xavier del Bac, we also drove out there this morning while killing time.

So, that has been our scintillating day, along with a trip to the grocery store.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

The Weather

Last night was exciting.  We had weather alerts on the cell phones for a dust storm, massive thunderstorms, high winds, hail and a possible tornado.  We got the dust storm and the thunderstorm.  I took this out the front door, it was dark at that time, and the lightning illuminated everything.  So, that was pretty cool.

We had two showings today, so we had to be out of the house.  We drove up to La Encantada, which is a very high zoot shopping area for the high zoot people who live up in the foot hills.  You can't read the top line, which is unfortunate.  They are selling Biotechnology Infused Plant Stem Cells.  I mean, really.
I don't even want to know what microneedling is, it sounds painful.  Well actually, so does dermaplaning.  It was a good way to kill some time.  We went to West Elm, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel and etc.  We didn't buy anything - we would have to pack it

So, this is our new existence - wandering the shopping areas while people look at the house.  Someone who came today got one of the doors to the laundry closet off its track, which was annoying.  Fortunately Jim is expert at putting it back. 

Other than this, I have zippity doo-dah all to say.