Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Weather Advisories

 Greetings People of the Weird Winter.  Given that January and February were so disappointing, we decided to give March in Tucson a chance.  Early reviews of the forecast looked promising, but now we have this.

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM WEDNESDAY TO 5 AM MST THURSDAY... * WHAT...Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches. Winds gusting as high as 55 mph. * WHERE...Tucson Metro Area and South Central Pinal County. * WHEN...From 5 PM Wednesday to 5 AM MST Thursday. * IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the evening commute. Strong winds could cause tree damage.

What the hell?    

We spent today in the car.  We had to be out of the previous AirBnB by 10:00 am today.  We can't check in to the next AirBnB until tomorrow at 3:00.  We're in a totally crap airport hotel for the night, I think I'm going to up the sleeping pill dose to get through the night.  

This is what we saw today in the grocery store parking lot.  I swear to the gods I do not know who these people are or how they got this way.

 That's it!  That's all I have to say about things.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

More Biking and Snow

Friday was a decent riding day.  It was warm and the winds were not howling.  We had a cross wind in both directions. Saturday was warmer, but with a ferocious wind out of the south.  Jim was wearing a jersey from a Tour de France tour we'd done, and a fast rider pulled up to talk to him about it.  He ended up riding all the way south with us and then back when we decided to turn around.  The wind was just brutal because a storm front was coming in.  

This is what we saw this morning.  That would be snow on the Catalinas.  It was pretty steenking cold.  Between the persistent rain, cold and wind, I believe I will be nominating this winter season as the worst winter ever.  The previous worst winter ever, and second worst winter ever will be pushed down on the stack by this winter.

The javelinas are huddling together for warmth.  I think they had just arrived at the wallow since they were still on their feet.  We saw them later sacked out.

There is a really nice looking house in the neighborhood.

This is his take on desert landscaping.  He's creative with the rake, and there is not one single plant in the yard that he did not personally approve.

This has been eventful week in the US for school shootings and police killing Black people because they can with no consequences.  Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip, went on an uber-racist rant on his Youtube channel, and as a result he's been dropped from many more newspapers.  At this rate, he won't be carried anywhere.  He's whining about being cancelled, it's actually him exercising his first amendment rights, and the papers doing the same.  Hope he saved his money.

I thought this was a well formed opinion on the part of this young woman.

Finally, a screen scrape from twitter that I thought was pretty.  It's the Milky Way over White Sands.  It's processed a bunch, but it's still pretty.

That's it!  That's all I've got.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023


The weather is not great here, either. I remind myself that it's not snowing.  Look carefully and you can see a blotch of rain moving sideways.

That's it for today's reporting. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Hike, Clouds, Rain

Greetings Fellow Earthlings.  Here in the SW desert it is raining pigs and chickens.  Looking out the window I observe that it is raining sideways.  Apparently this coming week will be one of extreme temperatures with snow, wind and the south east is looking like burnt toast once again.  More on this can be found on the WAPO which unfortunately is pay-walled if you've reached your maximum on articles.  The map looks like this.

The pink means they're going to be 33F below normal temperatures. I think Tucson is about 7F below normal.  The dip in the jet stream is going to reach us here.  I would truly like my snow bird rebate now.

During the previous weekend, over three days, there were 10 mass shootings, leaving 50 people injured. It's an amazing statistic.  It's clear that the republicans are never going to care about this.  A summary article on Newsbreak is here.  Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson is trying to portray the train derailment in Ohio as an attack on white people.  Never mind the fact that the orange ectoplasm undid the regulations on electronic braking systems for trains, or the fact the Ohio governor DeWine would not call in FEMA or the EPA for help, possibly due to the fact that Norfolk Southern had just given $10M for DeWine's inauguration festivities.  Oh and let us not forget that instead of doing track maintenance with their billions of dollars of revenue, Norfolk Southern chose to do stock buy-backs. Speaker of the House and Spineless Reptile Kevin McCarthy has given Tucker 41,000 hours of video of the January 6 insurrection, which includes camera locations and locations of safe rooms.  What could go wrong?  Murica!

Two days ago we had an amazing display of the sun going down and lighting up the Catalina mountains. 

Since yesterday was the last good day for awhile, we decided to go back to the Dove Mountain resort and hike the other arm of the Lower Javelina trail.  It's nice, it's more pleasant than the one on the other side of the wash.  Photos were few and not so great due to the cloud cover, which persisted until five minutes after we left for home.

The lone peak out there in the middle of the photo and the remainder of what was Twin Peaks.  The other peak was ground up to make concrete.  I'm not sure what will happen to the surviving peak.

A brief sunbeam illuminated the Palo Verde.

Jim and I have bad feet.  Mine have been bad for decades.  So shoes are just a trial to obtain.  We've been wearing Hoka Bondi 6's for a few years.  Now Hoka is up to Bondi 8's.  After realizing that our shoes were worn out, we went to REI and bought new shoes.  Shouldn't be that difficult, right?  Nope, they've changed the shoe last and we can't wear them anymore.  For some reason they decided it would be a good idea to make them more narrow through the mid-sole.  For people like me who pronate to the point where I barely have an arch, this is a show stopper.  I am extremely despondent over this.  Zappos (free shipping, free returns) had a few pair of men's Bondi 7's in stock, so I ordered those for Jim.  Nothing for me, however.  I have one pair of the 6's left in my shoe hoard, and then I guess I'll just have to get a wheel chair.  Those of you with cursed feet understand how bad this is.  Those of you who don't should count your blessings.  It's always a crap shoot between mass hoarding of shoes and then having your feet decide they don't like them anymore (four pairs of La Sportiva trail runners went to Goodwill, unworn) vs. the manufacturer making changes that make the shoe unwearable.  So, I am very unhappy about this.  Both pairs of new shoes are going back.  REI will take anything back for a year, for any reason, used or not.  Good place to buy shoes for those with the accursed feet.

I mean, really, does this look like it should hurt?

Here is the local javelina squadron napping yesterday.  They're so amusing to look at.  There are five or six of them sleeping.  The male had been around, licking them, or what ever he does, but they did not acknowledge his presence.

I was asked which I like more, the desert or eastern Washington.  That's a tough question.  The desert provides a lot of entertainment because there are many places to hike or ride the bike.  Tucson has an extensive trail system which protects one from the bat shit crazy drivers here.  Spokane has nice summers and fall.  Winter and spring are not so great.  Winter is cold and it snows, spring is aggravating because we're sick of winter, but spring can be foggy.  Spokane does have the Centennial trail to ride, but parts of it are on the road, so not as good as Tucson.  Both are visually pleasing for the most part.  I can't really speak to restaurants, social events, museums, any form of culture, because we don't do those things because we're still masking and largely isolating.  Based on what I am reading about the long term affects of Covid, even after a mild case, movies and restaurants are just not worth it to me. Overall it would be a tough choice, I need two houses.

That's it!  I have nothing else to say.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Hiking and Riding Some More

Well hell.  Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States, and all around good actual Christian man, has decided to enter hospice care after a series of short hospitalizations.  He wants to spend his remaining time at home with people who love him, rather than the hospital.  I don't blame him one bit, I just hate to see him go.

Yesterday there was a mass shooting in Mississippi, six people, including the shooter's ex-wife died.  Today nine children were shot outside a gas station in Georgia, they're all still alive in the hospital.  Just another two days in the US.

There has been a hike at Dove Mountain, and javelinas out back.  The polar vortex is on its way to Spokane, so despite the fact that the weather here has not been great, it's still better than the coming highs in the 20s.  I will attempt not to complain about how steenking windy it's been.

Here we are at Dove Mountain, on the Lower Javelina trail.

This is the stair master section of the trail.

Yesterday we were coming back from some where and the javelinas were out.  They smell so bad!  The entire length of the sidewalk was perfumed with their scent.  Perfumed being said with sarcasm.  Anyway, are they not lovely?  The male is nuzzling what I believe to be a female.  Fun fact: a family unit of javelinas is called a squadron.  There is a good wikipedia on why they smell so bad which you can read here.

Here maybe is a video if it will upload.  Success! 

We had been at Safeway when we saw the smelly javelinas.  This is what we saw at Safeway.  Check out the egg prices - still.

Those shoes make my feet hurt just looking at them.  Admittedly, the platform mitigates the heel height, but still....

That's it!  That's all I've got.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

More Scenery and a Few Politics

It's cold!  The low forecast for tonight is 25F which is sort of brutal for this time of year.  It's been known to snow in February, so I guess this is not too far from the norm.  Yesterday we drove down to the Genser trail head and discovered a new trail has been built in our absence.  It was very windy, which made our clothing choices pretty good.  Once out of the wind, we were too warm.  We both had long pants, 3/4 zip capilenes and a shirt over that.  The car was telling us it was 63F, but the wind chill was significant.

This was not here the last time we were hiking out here.  It connects to the Starr Pass Trail.  We were out the other day and did not see any signs of the other end of this trail.  I am always skeptical of these maps.

This is one of my favorite over looks along the way.

The end of the hike.  A new trail, Rock Wren, comes in here, as well.  It's long, and better suited to mountain bikes, so I doubt if we'll hike it again.  The trails that are not on these maps are better suited to feet.

There has been additional weather recently with interesting clouds.

There has also been rain.

Other than posting pretty pictures, I am not inclined to delve into the train derailment in Ohio which is doing untold damage to the citizens and the environment, the most recent school shooting in Michigan, the DOJ's decision not to charge Matt Gaetz with sex trafficking under age girls, or Janet Yellen's (Secretary of the Treasury) recent pronouncement that if the House doesn't get off their collective butts and raise the debt ceiling, seniors will see cuts to their Social Security checks.  Oh yes and bills are in work in Wyoming to allow child labor and under age marriages with no restrictions on the age of the girl.  This country has lost its mind.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Scenery in Tucson

February remains uncharacteristically windy.  That usually happens in April and May.  Then in June the winds die off and it becomes unbearably hot.  February and March are generally calmer.  We need a weather machine, turn the wind on and off.  

Wednesday we drove down to the Sarasota Trailhead and did a loop around Little Cat Mountain.  It's a pleasant walk, except for the pointy rocks one must walk on.  It is, however, a lovely part of the Sonoran Desert.  Here are photos.

Look at that sky.  That's the winter sky in Tucson.  When it gets hot, it becomes lighter and a less intense blue.

It has always astonished me that people can ride these trails.  There are many big rocks in the trail which must be ridden over.

Golden Gate on the left, farther away. The ridge on the right is Bobcat Ridge, or as some people call it, First Ridge.

A cholla, these have wicked spines that bury themselves in your skin.

This is a trail.  It just looks like a water course.

One takes the trail up the hill, and turns left at the top.  Then one continues on up.

There is a trail that traverses the ridge line (the aforementioned Bobcat Ridge).  It's a beautiful hike, but it's six miles which is more than we're up to doing just yet.

My favorite rock formation.  They sort of look like potatoes.

Yesterday we rode in the howling wind.  We had a cross wind in both directions that was really noisy.  Then we rode up Via Entrada, which is a nice climb.  It makes you work, but doesn't hurt too much.  It's been paved recently which was very nice.

Today they were forecasting 28 to 42 mile an hour gusts.  It's not fun riding in that much wind, so we went out to the Iris Dewhirst trail.  There were a lot of people there.  February is high season for the snowbirds, we're everywhere.

Look at the size of that rock.  The big chunk is on the right, but there is more of it on the left.  I would like to know how it got there.

There are more rocks up stream.

Downstream view.   There is still some water, but not as much as before.

The republican party continues to embarrass themselves with cat calling in the State of the Union Address, yelling during sub-committee meetings, and generally being pathetic.  It's going to be a long two years of performative bullshit.  So, buckle up.

Monday, February 6, 2023

A Ride to the Distribution Center

After a really warm day yesterday, with the wind out of the north, it was a cold day today with increased wind out of the north.  The weather said it was 20 mph.  It was a good day for Jim to see his favorite dermatologist who sprayed him with liquid nitrogen, especially on the top of his head.  As is always the case, Jim looks like he's been attacked by a cheese grater.  

Yesterday we made it to the new Amazon distribution center on our bikes.  Amazon in Tucson has amazing delivery times.  They have a big distribution center south and east of the city, and now there is a new built north and west of the city.  There is some public art on site.  These are birds of some sort.

See the long, shed roof attached to the side of the building?  There are doors under it that are of a height to be used for loading Sprinter vans.  The loading bay doors for tractor trailers, which are much bigger, are around to the side.  In Tucson, Amazon pretty much does most, if not all, of its delivering in Amazon vans.  In Spokane they use USPS and UPS, and delivery times, even with Prime, are considerably slower.  It's an amazingly large building.

Tucson reclaims water.  I posted about it previously here.  No golf courses or parks are watered with drinking water, it's all reclaimed.  Yay Tucson for water management.  When we left the distribution center, we went down to look at the water.  It's reclaimed, hasn't been through the wetlands, and smells like laundry.  The water in the wetlands is clean enough to grow fish.  I don't know about this water.  Anyway, if you look carefully, you can see there are two men fishing down there.

This is the pipe from the treatment plant releasing water.  It was making a fearsome noise.

Other than this, I have nothing important to say about anything.

Update:  Here is a panorama shot that Google sent me.