Monday, April 7, 2014

Tucson to Denver and Some Snow!

Thursday 3/27

Last class at Tucson Yoga this morning and our regular stop at Food Conspiracy. Back home I did some work on the brown bag presentation. Received an e-mail this afternoon asking me to postpone the presentation until May 2015. We had run into a scheduling conflict. It was originally scheduled for May 13th, but we signed up and paid for the Escapee’s Escapade in Elkhart that week without realizing we already had a commitment. The History Center tried to reschedule, but it did not work out.

Blackhawks got shut out by Boston tonight, the slump continues and there are only eight games left in the season. They are pretty well guaranteed to make the playoffs, but at this point their chances do not look very good. Once again they started really strong, dominated the first ten minutes and just could not get the puck in the net in spite of numerous chances. Don’t know what it is, but something needs to change soon!

Friday 3/28

Usually our morning walks in the desert are between 1-1/2 and 2 miles (we do 2 miles a day at home on pavement). We did not get in a long hike or a climb this year, mainly due to us both fighting colds in January and February - prime hiking time - so today we decided to go a little longer. We ended up only doing 4 miles as it was getting a bit hot. We went out through Tucson Mountain Park (if you look at the map on this link Desert Trails is right there at the "D" in San Joaquin Rd., so you can see how easy it is to hike into the park) to the Ironwood Picnic area and then circled back to the trail out of the park.

We found another flowering cactus in the BLM land less than 200 yards from our door
and then we saw that the Saguaro right behind us here in the park has bloomed.

This one is in the BLM land:

This saguaro is about 40 feet behind our trailer:

As you can see it has quite a few buds as well.

On the way into town we saw that the one on Kinney Rd. now has three blooms and four or five more about to burst:


Lunch for the last time at Beyond Bread, we only needed one more visit on the frequent customer program to qualify for an award, which turned out to be a free loaf of bread that had to be redeemed before the end of May. Good thing we got the last one in before we leave town.

Blackhawks continued their slide tonight, losing 5-3 to Ottawa! In the last week they have lost three out of four games, two of them to two of the worst teams in the league. They are self-destructing. 

Saturday 3/29

More cactus blooming in the desert, too bad we are leaving as it looks like a good year for cactus blooms.

Watched F1 qualifying this morning and then we started getting things put away and packed up. spent a couple of hours doing that, then we went to BK Tacos one last time for lunch.

Today was Karen’s birthday, they invited us to join them along with her brother and sister-in-law at Silver Saddle Steakhouse. We had a nice evening and a really good steak dinner.

Sunday 3/30

Morning walk and then we watched the F1 race, which was certainly more entertaining than the hockey game later in the afternoon! The Hawks continue their slide, played on of the worst games in recent memory, lost Jonathan Toews to what could be a significant injury on an apparently legal but seriously cheap hit. This team is crumbling before our eyes. Some commentators are saying it is exhaustion - between playing late into the summer last season and then sending 10 players to the Olympics. Of course the guys that got a rest during the Olympics have done very little to pick up the slack.

Packing up day. Our neighbors next door left this morning so I was able to load the car without having to move the truck. Did it in the morning as there was a bit of cloud cover. Then I spent the better part of an hour trying to get corroded water hose couplings apart. Had not run into that before, must be something to do with the new hoses I bought in Denver last Nov. I broke the Y fitting I use on the spigot trying to get the hose off, still have the broken part in the hose fitting. Then the coupling between the two hoses under the trailer needed Lime Away to get them apart. Had to soak the ends on CLR to get them cleaned up. Serious PIA. Glad I looked at them today instead of tomorrow morning when we wanted to get going.

Nancy did a laundry and then after it was dry I disassembled the clothes rack and loaded the bikes on the back of the trailer. While I was packing up outside Nancy spent the time packing cupboards and dishes.

We have everything except last minute items pretty well packed up, so we can get on the road early tomorrow morning. We lose and hour right away since we are still on Mountain Standard Time here and Denver is an hour ahead of us. Hoping to make Albuquerque tomorrow evening.

Monday 3/31

Got off to a good start this morning. Gary came by with Margo to wave goodbye. We were on the road shortly after 8 AM and the weather was good all the way, even had a slight tail wind most of the way.

Had lunch at a MacDonald’s in Deming before taking a state highway to cut across to I-25 at Hatch.

Stopped in a rest area along I-25 and there was a gentleman under the back of his motorhome. I walked over and asked if he had the tools he needed, as I carry a pretty comprehensive assortment. Turns out he had a good set of tools, but nothing SMALL enough to get to the bolts on his pressure relief valve, which was stuck open. Got out my set of 1/4” drive sockets and got him one that would work and he got his system fixed, at least temporarily. In the process of moving to park behind him I managed to tangle with a post along the edge of the rest area and put some paint from the post on the end of the bumper we replaced last winter! Bummer, looks like I will be able to clean it up pretty well except for a few scratches.
  
Made Albuquerque right at 6 PM, tuning onto I-40 and stopping on the access bridge! Took us 25 minutes of stop and go traffic to go 9 miles west to the RV park, Enchanted Trails. Nice little park, not as fancy as American RV Park right across the highway where we stayed in the fall, but half the price since it is a Passport America park. A little bit of highway noise, but not bad.

After setting up we ran over to Cracker Barrel for dinner, had not been to one since we were on the road in November, used the gift card that Emily and Gregg gave us last fall. Warm enough tonight to keep the vent fan running in the bedroom as we have been doing for a month or so in Tucson and about 4 AM we both started sneezing! Worse for Nancy than me, but something obviously started pumping out pollen during the night!

Tuesday 4/1

Easier day planned today, 250 miles to Trinidad, CO so no hurry to get going this morning. Stopped at the Cracker Barrel North of Albuquerque for breakfast and Nancy was very disappointed to find that they have discontinued regular oatmeal throughout the chain!!

Uneventful trip over Raton Pass, fairly windy all day, but from the Southwest so we had a bit of a tailwind again.

Sure love this truck, no stress at all over Raton Pass, 7,835 feet above sea level. Maintained an easy 50-55 MPH in 9th gear going up and easy descent in 9th with the engine brake.

Arrived at Trinidad Lake State Park campground at 3 PM and settled in. Decided not to unhitch since we were nice and level and no real need to fully set up. Pretty windy this afternoon so we were doing a bit of rocking, but no big deal. We are sitting at 6,835 feet in the campground.

Weather is supposed to be good into Denver tomorrow, but the forecast is for snow Wednesday afternoon and evening!

Found out a few days later from a post on one of theRV forums that we were fortunate to stop in Trinidad. Another RV'er, who had spent the night before just North of Santa Fe reported that the winds on the Colorado side of the pass were really fierce, causing problems for some RVs, and then they hit a massive traffic jam going through Colorado Springs caused by a tappers block for a North bound accident!

Wednesday 4/2

Uneventful trip on into Denver, weather was good, but a bit windy - no issue for us. Arrived at Cherry Creek State Park about 1:30. Our purchase of an annual Colorado Parks Pass last spring has paid off well. It cost $70 and saves us $9 a day while we are here! Because we bought it in early April 2013 we got 13 months use out of it. Between April 2013, last fall and this month we will have spent 45+ days!

No reservations, so we needed to do the two days at a time renewal dance. After we were situated Nancy went on line and found that there were no reservations for our site and that we could book it starting Saturday. So I went on-line and booked it for 10 days starting the 5th. Good thing since I had to stand on line for 20 minutes Friday morning to renew for the one night - not the most efficient process! Of course there were two park rangers standing there whistling Dixie while the volunteer on the desk worked her butt off!

Stopped by Connie’s house and then the three of us walked over to Emily’s, she was out at the park with the kids so we walked over there to join them. Wow! The babies have really grown, double the size they were when we were here last fall. Miles had turned into a little boy. After a few minutes he turned to me and said “Where’s your truck?”. Dinner with Connie and Laurie.

Thursday 4/3

Woke up to 8” + of heavy wet snow! It was raining as we came home last night and the forecasts proved to be right. Finally got to use the nice collapsable shovel I have been carrying around for years!

Family had things going on today, so we hunkered down and relaxed. Went over to Connie’s house late in the day and shared a pizza with Connie & Laurie. I am coming down with a cold, so I need to avoid the babies for a couple of days.

Watched the Hawks win in Minnesota tonight, they put out a better effort tonight.

Friday 4/4

Took Nancy over to Connie’s office this morning as they had some work and shopping to do. I came back home to rest and see if I can throw off this cold.

Miles is spending the night at Connie’s and Nancy is staying there as well. I am staying home to watch the hockey game and keep my cold away from there. Hawks put together a pretty good effort tonight and won. Things are looking up a bit.

 Saturday 4/5

Over to Connie and Laurie’s for a home made French toast breakfast (Laurie is a great cook!)

Ran some errands and then spent some time with the family, looking after the babies while Emily and Greg ran some errands.

Later we went to Tag Burger Bar with Connie and Laurie for dinner.

Sunday 4/6

Stayed home to watch the F1 race, which turned out to be the best and most exciting race we have seen in a couple of years. The new cars have really upset the status quo in F1 and some of the back marker teams are running up front. We recorded the Hawks game to watch later.

Went over to Connie’s and then to Emily and Greg’s where they made a really nice dinner for all of us, they really out-did themselves! Then Laurie supplied delicious home-made ice cream for desert.

Back home late we watched the Blackhawks beat St Louis, they really seem to have found their legs again in the last three games - three games left to the playoffs, fingers crossed!

Monday 4/7

Stopped at Costco for Nancy to get a prescription filled, then we drove up to the North side of the city to make a quick stop at Hammond’s Candies. Did not take the tour, which we have done before, but we did stock up on candy and candy canes. Stopped at Whole Foods, a Car Quest and large bicycle shop that we had seen on the way, Bicycle Village. I have been looking for new biking gloves. Could not find any I liked, but asked if they had any string-back gloves like my old, old ones. Not in stock, but they could order them! And they were cheaper than anything else I have looked at her or in Tucson.
Back to Connie’s for dinner, Nancy made a delicious chicken and peanut salad.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cactus Flowers and Bees!

Thursday 3/20

Tucson Yoga first thing this morning and then a stop at Food Conspiracy. Puttered around in the afternoon and then over to Nimbus Brewery for dinner. One reason for going there was to pick up a six pack of Monkey Shine beer and they were out!

Friday 3/21

After our morning walk we went into town for the Spring Fourth Avenue Fair. They had great weather all weekend and huge crowds. Pulling into the parking garage we ran into Karen and Gary and shopped with them for a while. We always park in the garage on the NE corner of Fourth and Congress, easy access and only a two block walk to the street fair. We spent a couple of hours browsing the stalls and Nancy picked up a number of things including a new hat.

Stopped at BK Tacos for lunch (we've been in a bit of a rut for eating out this year, found a few favorite places), then back home I gave Reid a hand removing the rails for a fifth wheel hitch from one of our neighbor’s trucks. We had to remove the camper shell, then he crawled around underneath undoing the bolts while I laid in the bed and pulled out the occasional bolt - my kind of work!

Then I checked on our batteries, which seemed to have been failing - although they should have been good, the are AGMs and only three years old. It turned out the connections between the two batteries had loosened over time. I cleaned and tightened all the connections the connections and I think they will be OK. We ran on batteries with exhaust fans running and some lights for several hours and they seemed to stand up fine.

Blackhawks played tonight and won again, things are starting to look up.

Saturday 3/22

Slept a bit late and then took our regular walk in the desert. Nancy did some laundry, I reinstalled the battery covers and closed the battery/spare tire slide.

I received an e-mail from Verizon saying that I was eligible to upgrade to an iPhone 5c for free. Nancy wanted to upgrade her iPhone 4 to a 5 so it could be used in Europe this summer. Her phone is not eligible for an upgrade until late November, but in the past we had found that we could swap my upgrade date with hers.

So we went to the Verizon store on Speedway to get set up. We wanted to do it here as we have had very good service at this particular Verizon store and this time was no exception. However, it turns out on this offer we could not switch between accounts, it is to get non-smart phones out of service. So ... I ended up getting the 5c, along with a Mophie battery pack as part of the bundle. We will be able to use my phone in Europe next summer and Nancy can upgrade in the fall. We also changed to a better data plan shared between both phones (this is my first "smart" phone) for only about $8 more than we were paying before. We dropped our land line last summer as it was not being used for anything other than someone trying to sell something.

Lunch at Beyond Bread (yes, we are in a rut), then we stopped at Trader Joe’s and headed home.

Sunday 2/23

After our morning walk we went with Karen and Gary to Cushing Street Bar & Grille for brunch, they had a 20% off coupon to share. Had a really nice time and a great meal. Gary & I had B. L. T. O. E. - an open face BLT with caramelized onions with two eggs over easy on top and cole slaw! It was delicious. Nancy and Karen had omelets.

After breakfast Nancy & Karen headed out for an afternoon of successful shoe shopping. I spent several hours trying to download rings tones for my iPhone, then discovered instructions for creating ringtones from songs already in iTunes. Now I can create a snippet for a ringtone from ANY song in my iTunes library! Now we both have unique ring tones on our phones.

Blackhawks played tonight and played a really strong game ... except once again they could not score! They outplayed and outshot the Predators and lost 2 zip. This is getting to be a serious slump! They are still the highest scoring team in the league, but not since the first of the year. Getting scary.


Monday 2/23

Our last Monday morning meeting for the year. After the meeting we went with the bike group for the last ride of the year. Went to “The Loop” along the Rialto river. Most of the group went East again as we did last time, but Karen, Gary, Nancy & I went West as far as La Cholla Blvd. It was a nice ride and we got to see some different areas, a little over 8 miles round trip. Then we all went to Sweet Tomato’s on North Stone for lunch. 

Back home Nancy did some Spanish and I did some getting ready for the trip North next week and a couple repairs. The furnace in our bedroom has developed a strange vibrating noise on chilly mornings, so I opened up the panel next to it and hopefully found the problem - a piece of plastic sleeve that protected a sharp edge on a panel had dangled  off and was lying partially on top of the furnace, I think creating the vibration. We will see next chilly morning. I also found a couple of items - including a long missing electric toothbrush case! - that had dropped out of the vanity drawers that are right above the furnace compartment!

Tuesday 3/25

Instead of our desert walk we went over to the Desert Museum and did a brisk walk around the desert loop. On the way Nancy spotted a saguaro with a blossom, the first we have ever seen, right along Kinney Rd. We quickly pulled into the Old Tucson parking lot and walked back along the road about 200 feet so we could get a good look and take a picture. The cactus is on the right side of the road on the Northbound side, 400 feet before the entrance to Old Tucson. 

We have seen saguaros with buds on them, but they usually do not bloom until May. This one is right by the road, so it apparently gets extra water from run-off and the buds are on the south facing side of the cactus. Seeing one this early, and for the first time was a real treat.




There were lots of flowers at the Desert Museum as well, here is one on a teddy bear cholla:




and one on a regular cholla:


We also learned a bit about bees. Seems that this area of the Sonoran desert has the largest variety of bees in the world - over 700 species! Bees from the size of hummingbirds to ones as small as mites. We get bees on our hummingbird feeder here occasionally, and they have bee traps around the park, but we don't really see many. According to the docent at the museum a lot of them are solitary bees who nest in wood or in the ground. 

After a short stop at home we headed into town and stopped at Beyond Bread for lunch (yeah, I know). Nancy had a short appointment on the east side and then we came back home. Nancy went to her Spanish study group and I worked on our windmill presentation at the History Center in May.

Blackhawks played tonight and finally looked like themselves and won a good game. Back-to-back games coming up Thursday and Friday in Boston and Ottawa, so we will see. One really bright spot was the debut of Teuvo Teravainen, our 19 year-old prospect from Finland. He looked really good and won seven of seven face-offs!

Wednesday 3/26

Nancy had her last Spanish class this morning. Karen and Gary dropped Margo off for the day and I spent most of the morning working on the History Center presentation. After Nancy returned from her class I went over to the pool hall to get on-line without the WiFi and pay the months bills. Nancy did some laundry - it was quite breezy today and the laundry on our clothes rack dried in about 40 minutes!

I spent most of the afternoon on the windmill presentation and have it pretty well finished, now I just have to check the timing to see if I have enough material.


We are targeting Monday the 31st as our departure date, weather is looking good through New Mexico and over Raton Pass into Denver. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Getting Close to the End of Our Winter Sojourn

Monday 3/10

Regular Monday morning meeting, we were debating about going with the bike group, but they are riding from here to Ryan Field which is all on local roads rather than trails - not our idea of a fun ride so we did not go.

A couple stopped by asking if we could dog sit for them. They came in last night and Andrea in the office told them we were willing. People always expect to pay, but we tell them we do it because we like dogs and to just make a donation to a pet shelter.

They had two cute little dogs, both very sweet. We took them out twice, but they were not big walkers so they were short trips.

Last of the lecture series on the Evolving Brain this evening at the University. We stopped at Beyond Bread and then went over to Centennial Hall. Headed for the Tyndall Ave parking garage we usually use and found one of the streets closed. There has been construction around there all winter. We decided that would make it a real mess getting out after the lecture so we went South to the Main Gate garage. Turns out this garage is closer to the hall AND it was much quicker getting out after the lecture! Able to turn South and get to 6th St which has less traffic than Speedway heading West towards the mountains.

Tuesday 3/11

Nice hike this morning, then a relaxing day. Nancy did some Spanish studying and went to he Spanish study group.

Otherwise, not much to talk about today other than the beautiful weather here and the 4 to 8 inches of snow forecast at home tonight! We have been starting to look at plans for heading North, probably heading to Denver around the first of the month if the weather looks doable. Thinking of targeting arriving home the week before Easter.

Wednesday 3/12

Dog sitting day, we took the two little ones for two walks today and then Margo came over at 2 PM so we could watch her while Karen and Gary went to a show.

Nancy had her Spanish class this AM, I did some cleaning. Had a new book pop up on Distributed Proofreading today about crossbows, been waiting for it to get to the P2 round so I could work on it, so I spent a fair amount of time proofreading today. Interesting books have been few and far between this winter. Most of what I have tried has been doggerel.

Well, if the Blackhawks end up facing Colorado anytime in the playoffs they are dead meat! The Avalanche have their number, won four out of five this season and last night was not as close as the score indicates. As has been the case since the beginning of the year, the Hawks just cannot seem to get the puck in the net with any consistency in spite of great scoring chances. 

Thursday 3/13

Tucson Yoga first thing in the morning and our regular stop at Food Conspiracy. Back home we relaxed, took a short bike ride around the park and next door at Justin’s in the afternoon.

Quick trip to BK Tacos for dinner.

Formula One is back for a new season that promises to be pretty eventful with all new cars, unproven technology and a lot of drivers shuffling between teams. Watch a season preview and the Practice One from Australia.

Friday 3/14

Headed off to the Desert Museum first thing this morning and had a nice walk around. Stopped at hardware store and then Rodriguez Seafood to pick up some fish for dinner.

Back home we watched F1 Practice 2. Early afternoon it suddenly cooled off and clouded over a bit, then it rained! Had a couple of  light showers and then it rained hard for about five minutes. Very unusual! It had been warm in the morning, well into the 70’s, but dropped back into the 60’s in the afternoon and actually felt chilly - we will be freezing when we head for Denver in a couple of weeks!

Saturday 3/15

Nice long hike in the desert this morning, actually just a bit longer than our normal walk. Nancy spent some time studying her Spanish and I putter around a bit. Time to start getting things ready for hitting the road in a couple of weeks. 

Sat down to listen to Prairie Home Companion - which is now on at 3 PM here since we are still on Mountain Standard time - then Karen and Gary stopped by for a visit, with Margo of course - it’s her fourth birthday. One of the nice features of having the Sirius radio is that it can be paused and picked up later, so I paused it and we listened to the show later after they left.

Nancy made fish tacos for dinner using the leftovers from the fish we had grilled last night. Our little Weber Q grille has worked out real well this winter, a big improvement over the little one we have used for about ten years.

Off to bed fairly early as we have to get going early tomorrow. 

Sunday 3/16

Up early as we had to be at the University by 8:30 to sign in for our volunteer assignments at the Tucson Festival of Books. We were assigned to a room together, just the two of us plus our “line wrangler” who took care of controlling the line for people waiting to enter.

We had two sessions and the job was really easy, just get the room ready, check microphones, authors chairs and water. After we got the audience in we were able to sit and enjoy the presentations. The first one was “Chillers and Thrillers” with three authors who wrote “thrillers”, although they did not quite all agree with the definition. A very interesting presentation. We only had about 40 people in the audience.

The half hour break between presentations went quickly and when we opened the door for the next one the room filled up quickly, we had about 140 in a room set up for a 150. This one was a historic non-fiction with three authors who were all former journalists, one a Pulitzer prize winner. Once again a very interesting presentation.

We were finished at 12:30 and then we took a short stroll around the festival - answering questions along the way since we still had out “volunteer” tee-shirts on!

We then headed up to Beyond Bread for lunch, stopped at the hardware store and grocery store on the way home.

Back at the park we made a quick stop over at Karen and Gary’s as they were having a new trailer open house/happy hour/yard sale. We did not stay too long as we were a bit tired and had a lot of TV to catch up on! Yeah, that sounds bad, but first we had the first Formula One race of the season on the DVR from last night; by the time we finished that the Blackhawks game was well underway and we chased that on the DVR; followed by a quick look at the NASCAR race from Bristol - rain delay there, so we skipped that. We have pretty much lost interest in NASCAR in the last two years.

THEN ... we had or regular Sunday morning viewing to catch up on: CBS Sunday Morning an Fareed Zakaria.

So that prety much killed the evening - second half of our Beyond Bread sandwiches for dinner while we were watching the hockey game. Blackhawks looked a lot better tonight, although they still are not getting the breaks their work deserves when it comes to actually scoring goals. At least the won tonight, hopefully regaining their work ethic will result in regaining their scoring touch as the season winds down.

Monday 3/17

Wow, the weather guys on the TV have been talking about the high pollen counts for weeks and I have been just fine (I do take Claritin daily year round), but last evening something that has obviously just started blooming set me to sneezing. Nothing as bad as my hay fever was years ago before effective drugs, but worse than I have been in a long time.

I skipped the meeting this AM, but Nancy went. Then we went off with the bicycle group to a part of the Santa Cruz river trail we had not been on before. Rode about 12 miles and then had lunch with the group at Peter Piper Pizza.

Back home in mid-afternoon and relaxed.


Tuesday 3/18

Morning walk in the desert and then Nancy studied her Spanish while I did some prep work for hitting the road in a couple of weeks. Checked tire pressures on the west side of the trailer while there was shade in the morning, did east side in the afternoon. Then I went and had a propane tank filled.

Headed off to BK Tacos for lunch, then planned on stopping at the bank and grocery store when Nancy suddenly remembered that I had an appointment with Angel for a massage at 1:30 - it was now 1:34! So while she called Angel I head back to the park at a rather high rate of speed. Got back there in about ten minutes.

Later Nancy had her Spanish study group and THEN we went to the bank and the grocery store.

Had pizza at home for dinner while watching the Blackhawks lose in overtime. They started out good, but let a sloppy, lucky goal by Philadelphia take the wind out of their sails. They played a pretty sloppy game again and were lucky to come away with a tie.

Wednesday 3/19

Nancy had her Spanish class this morning and I practiced our Brown Bag presentation on the Fabyan Windmill - too short, I need to add more material.

Then we went with Karen and Gary to the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at the university for a very interesting tour. They make large (8 meter) parabolic mirrors for telescopes and the processes they use were very interesting. One unique aspect is that the "mirrors" do not actually have any reflective characteristics when they leave here! They are actually glass structures with a highly polished surface. Once the mirror structure is installed in the telescope a very thin aluminum coating is applied which creates the actual reflective surface, one which can be periodically renewed.

The four of us stopped at Beyond Bread for a late lunch and then back home.

Blackhawks looked like their old selves tonight, beating St. Louis four to zip! BAd news was they lost Patrick Kane to what looked like a knee injury, early word was at least two weeks - bummer. Hopefully the rest of the team will use his absence as an incentive to pick up their game.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Wow! Two Weeks Without a Post

Right up front I need to say that I have tremendous respect for folks who manage to blog every day! I won't be there anytime soon!

Friday 2/21

Nancy is still feeling punk. We watched the US vs. Canada game, then took a quick run through the Sweden vs. Finland game. With Canada and Sweden in the gold medal game on Sunday we will have three Blackhawks on each team.

I made a quick run into town to pick up some meds and that was about it for the day.

In the evening I ran into Tucson and picked up dinner to go from BK Tacos.

Saturday 2/22

Watched the US lose the bronze medal game in the morning. Highest scoring team in the Olympics and then they get shut out two games in a row! Go figure!

We took care of Margo today as Karen and Gary were going to the rodeo. They are still parked at Lazy Days transferring stuff from their old trailer to the new one and did not want to leave her there all day.

Went in to town to the Fox Theatre to see Paula Poundstone tonight, an excellent show. Great thing is we walked out of the theatre in downtown Tucson at 10 PM and were back home at 10:30. It is always amazing - one minute you are in heavy downtown traffic and as soon as you get west of I-10 headed for Gates Pass there is virtually no traffic.

Sunday 2/23

Watched the Olympic Gold Medal hockey game in the morning. Made a needed run to the grocery store in the afternoon and otherwise took things easy.

Monday 2/24

Nancy is feeling better, but still not up to a morning hike. We skipped the Monday meeting again and puttered around home.

Went to Beyond Bread for lunch, than a stop at Trader Joe’s, JoAnn Fabrics, Nordstrom Rack and Total Wine and More to stock up on scotch and whiskey. That pretty much filled up the afternoon.

Tuesday 2/25

Nancy spent the morning studying her Spanish, I went to the oasis to get on-line without using the WiFi so I could pay bills. Then I applied Dri Wash and Guard to the upper front and upper left side of the trailer since it is an overcast day. Still warm and we are hoping for some rain - maybe by the weekend.


Wednesday 2/26

Nancy had her Spanish class this morning. I took the truck over to the east side of town and topped off the tanks, diesel being cheaper here than anywhere along the way heading back north. I also stopped at had the truck lubricated. Not due for an oil change yet.

Sunday there was a 1955 Willys CJ5 listed in the paper. After thinking about it for a couple of days I called Tuesday evening and made an appointment to look at it this afternoon. We got there a little after four only to find find that he had sold it an hour earlier! Oh well, wasn’t meant to be. Looked like one that would do the trick for us but it just wasn’t to be I guess.



Thursday 2/27

Off to Tucson Yoga in the morning. Had a really good class today. Stopped at Food Conspiracy and then Albertson’s. it was allmost noon by the time we got home.

All the weather folks on TV are excited here as they are forecasting a “major rain event” for Saturday - which means “all valley areas may get some rain, some up to 1/2 inch! Mountain snow above 7,000 feet.” In August they get serious rain, but this time of year even a sprinkle is an event. I think it was Nick Russell who said “1 to 2 inches of rain means the drops are that far apart!”

 Nancy is just about over her cold and I am trying to fight one off. Nancy did a lot of work on income taxes and I did not do much.

Blackhawks back from their Olympic break and pick right up where they left off, outshooting but losing to the Rangers and coming with 15 seconds of being shut out in two consecutive games. They just cannot get the puck in the net lately.

Friday 2/28

Well I’m pretty wiped with the cold now, Nancy is feeling much better. Other than going for a haircut at Pedro’s in Tucson Estates I did not do much. Did get caught up on my New Yorker magazine reading, cranked through two of them this afternoon.

Saturday 3/1

I’m still sick with a cold. Nancy is much better and she went off with Karen and a friend to the monthly sale at H. F. Coors, then they stopped at BK Tacos on the way home.

We planed on watching the Winter Classic game from Chicago - Blackhawks against the Penguins - and just as they got to puck drop our local NBC station went blank!

We did some scrambling trying to get WGN radio via the WiFi, then we were able to get the live feed from NBC.com. Got to watch most of the game that way, in spite of constant delays “buffering”. We also violated the rules here at Desert Trails about hogging bandwidth. At least the Hawks won. The local station never did come back on the air!

Sunday 3/2

Still feeling punk. Watched some Sunday Am TV and Nancy made a run to the store for meds and a stop at the grocery. Otherwise we just rested. Weather report tonight - this was officially the warmest winter on record, with only two mornings that dropped below 32

Monday 3/3

Nancy was up fairly early, but I slept in. Finally starting to feel human today. Nancy took a hike in the desert on her own and then she worked on our income taxes. I took it easy all say as I wanted to be able to got to the lecture at the University this evening.

We went to Beyond Bread for dinner and then to Centennial Hall for another fascinating lecture in the series on the brain. Tonight was a really interesting one about the ancestors in our brains by a professor of neuroscience, who was very impressive in her own right.

Tuesday 3/4

Another quiet day at home. Nancy took a hike this AM while I slept in. She spent most of the day studying her Spanish. I did a run through on our windmill presentation and what I thought would be too long now seems way short. I need to actually rehearse it to get the timing established.

Blackhawks tossed away a game to Colorado tonight, handing them the inside track on home ice advantage during the playoffs. It is already looking like winning the division is not going to happen. 


Wednesday 3/5

Turned out to be a busy day. Nancy had her Spanish class in the morning. I did a little housecleaning and then went over to pool hall and got on line to check CC and checking account activity. Found an anomaly on the debit card we use for cash in the winter. Not much satisfaction when I contacted the bank. I cancelled the card, but they would only send a new one to our home address! Finally determined that there was a Chase Bank location in Tucson that could issue new debit card on the spot. Turns out though that it is waaay over on the far east side of town!

When Nancy finished her class we went to the farmers market in Green Valley, then stopped at the Fry’s in Sarhurita to stock up on groceries - geezer discount on first Wednesdays!

Stopped at BK Tacos for a late lunch then trekked all the way over the bank branch and picked up new debit cards.

Finally back home about 4:30 and just relaxed.

 Thursday 3/6

Regular class at Tucson Yoga this morning and for some reason it was really crowded, 26 people instead of the regular 12 to 15, which pretty much filled up the studio. No idea why so many folks were inspired this morning.

Stopped at Food Conspiracy on the way home. Nancy spent a good part of the afternoon finishing the income tax return, I provided moral support.

Blackhawks play tonight - fingers crossed! And the real team showed up tonight - 5-1 win over Columbus.


Friday 3/7

Finally got out for our morning walk in the desert today, first one I’ve managed since Febraury 17! Not much else to report today other than a trip into town to return library books and pick up some groceries that we forgot on Wednesday.

Mariachi band in the rec hall tonight, but we skipped it as we have already seen them twice this year.

Saturday 3/7

Up early this morning as we have volunteered to work at the Tucson Festival of Books next weekend and needed to go to an orientation and training session this morning at 8:30 AM on the University campus. Interesting season and we learned a bit more about the campus. Book festival seems to be amazingly well organized. We will be room monitors for author presentations next Sunday morning.

After the session it was too early for lunch, so we went east and stopped at Trader Joe’s and Bookman’s to kill some time. Ended up purchasing a couple of books that I really don’t need.

Then lunch at Beyond Bread and back home. Nancy studied some Spanish while I dove into one of my new books.

Sunday 3/9

Out for our morning hike, warm this morning but pretty breezy. Turned out to be fairly windy today, as it was yesterday afternoon.

Relaxing day, Nancy had a message this afternoon. Daylight savings time for everyone else means we are still on Mountain Standard time, which is the same as Pacific Daylight time. That means we are now an hour behind Denver and two hours behind home.

Blackhawks played late this afternoon and won in Buffalo. Tougher game than it should have been, the Hawks are still snake bit as far getting pucks in the net. Great chances but not enought goals.




Friday, February 21, 2014

Really Heating Up in the Desert!

Friday 2/14

Happy Valentines Day! Mother nature cooked up a hot one today, 89 degrees on our thermometer, which is not in the sun at any time of the day!

Olympic hockey has started. I have been recording all the games, but we have only watched a couple. Watched all of the first US game and Canada’s first and second games. US plays Russia tomorrow morning for their second game. Both teams looking good.

Before it got too warm this morning, and while I still had some shade, I put Dri Wash N’ Guard on the rest of the lower half of the trailer and washed the back windows. Now we just have to wait for some rain to see if our new rain gutter works out.

Nancy did a bunch of housework while I was outside and then she studied Spanish for a while. Ended the afternoon sitting outside in the shade with a nice light breeze.

Off to Wilbur’s Bar & Grille for the Valentines Day dinner with the Ellington Band - a fund raiser for their upcoming European tour.

And it was an excellent evening, a fund raiser for the Tucson Jazz Institute. Before and during the buffet dinner there was a five piece group from the Ellington Band playing; then the Basie Band, which is middle school students played a set and they were excellent; they were followed by the Kenton/Rich Band which is fifth, sixth, and seventh graders. That group was excellent as well, although they did not have the power of the other two bands.

Finally the full Ellington Band closed out the evening with a set of standard big band arrangements. So the music went from 6:30 to close to 10 PM.

Saturday 2/15

Watched the US - Russia hockey game this AM and then went in to the Pima Library on Mission Rd to see what they had in the way of travel books - turns out not much.

Lunch at Taco Grio and a stop at the grocery store, then home to relax. Hit 90 degrees here on out thermometer!

 Sunday 2/16

Planned on watching the US hockey game this morning, but for some unknown reason the DVR decided to skip it on it’s own! Good thing it was not an important game!

Watched CBS Sunday Morning as usual and then ran over to Costco to do some quick shopping. Then lunch at Beyond Bread and a stop at the main public library to see what they had available, which was not much. Turns out the books float throughout their system and stay in the branch where they were returned, so the main location downtown is a bit thin on the shelves.

Nancy registered for a library card and we took one book on SW England and ordered another. They will deliver it to the branch of our choice, so it will come to the Mission  location. Seems like a pretty good system for a library with multiple far-flung locations.

Nancy and Joan had picked up a really nice cool-max type shirt for me at an outlet store on Ajo for $14. I tried it yesterday and it was really comfortable on a very hot day. So we stopped today and there were two left on the rack! Bought both of them. Not bad, two polo shirts for $28.

Back home we watched the Canadians play Finland, than our regular Sunday evening fare on PBS.

Monday 2/17

Up early and out for a short hike before the Monday morning meeting. We passed on the bike ride due to the heat. Did some putzing around the trailer. I emptied out two of our storage bins to loan to Gary and Karen. They have bought a new fifth wheel - a REALLY nice one! - and are packing up to move their stuff. Gave me a chance to clean out the bins as well.

In the afternoon Nancy did her Spanish homework while I worked on our upcoming windmill presentation for the May Brown Bag Lunch at the Geneva History Center

We went to Beyond Bread for dinner and then over to Centennial Hall at the U of A for one of the lectures in the Evolving Brain series. We missed the first three for various reasons. They had a huge crowd, packed house, and it was an interesting lecture. The next one is the first Monday in March.

Tuesday 2/18

Skipped our morning walk as Nancy is fighting a bit of a cold. Today we were supposed to use our truck to move the tables from the rec hall to the picnic area for tomorrow’s picnic. Ran into a conflict with the sewing group who needs the table for their meeting today, so we will have to move them later. Decided to wait until 6 PM after it cools off a bit.

Spent most of the day watching Olympic hockey. Finally broke down and turned the AC on this afternoon. It was hot and I thought it would be a good idea to exercise it a bit, cannot remember the last time it was on.

Wednesday 2/19

Well, I watched four hockey games today! Nancy had her Spanish class this morning so she only got to watch about three and a half.

Park recycling picnic today. Turned out to be perfect weather, not as hot and sunny as it had been, high 70’s with light cloud cover, quite comfortable. We had a really big turnout and our table got called in a reasonable time this year. Last year we were the absolute last table called up and the year before we very close to last.

That about covers the day - four hockey games take a big chunk of time.

Thursday 2/20

Quiet day. Nancy is a bit under the weather so she slept late. I spent the morning working on our History Center brown bag project on the Fabyan Windmill. Finally finished the outline, now I have to work on editing it. We only have an hour and I’m betting I have two hours worth of material.


Nancy went and had a pedicure this afternoon and I turned on the TV to see what was on the Olympics and the women’s gold medal game was just starting (the replay) so I watched that. More men’s hockey tomorrow.