Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Getting Hot, Heading North in Two Weeks!

Monday 3/2

Early morning walk and then the Monday morning meeting. As I expected Pericles was the there in full song, just his arm in a sling. He was also trying to sell a slightly used bike, just broken handle bars and a broken frame!

We skipped the bike ride this week as they were going to Ryan field for lunch which means riding on the shoulder of the highway - not our cup of tea! Plus it was quite windy.

Rain came in during the early afternoon. We headed into town a little after four, had dinner at Saigon Pho - quite interesting and actually pretty good.

Good Life in the Universe lecture at Centennial Hall, not quite as crowded as past weeks. The host thanked everyone for coming out in “this terrible winter weather.” It was in the 50’s with light rain, I had the wipers on intermittent all the way in!

Back home and watched the Blackhawks game on the DVR. Much better game than they have played in weeks! Maybe the addition of the new guys will give them a little more zip and get them living up to their billing as Stanley Cup favorites.

Tuesday 3/3

Pretty morning out in  the desert, with ground fog along the base of the Tucson Mountains. We slept a bit late and had a late breakfast after our walk. Early in the afternoon we went into town and had lunch (and take-home for dinner) at Beyond Bread. They are dropping the loyalty program that they have been testing. The terminals were pretty buggy, not working half the time. As compensation to those of us that had been using it regularly they sent us a text offering a half price sandwich. So we not only got lunch and dinner today, we got it for half price!

It was a beautiful clear day after yesterday’s rain cleaned all the dust and smog out of the atmosphere in the Tucson valley. Our yoga instructor’s husband calls it “smust.” Coming over Gate’s Pass the Rincons really stood out and we could see clearly all the way to the north of the valley, really pretty. A lot of people here avoid going over Gates Pass, preferring to use Ajo Highway, I guess because they do not like the twisty roads through Tucson Mountain Park and narrow road over the pass. We find it to be a convenient way to get into the city and a pretty drive.

After lunch we stopped at Royal Car Wash to get the car spiffed up; Trader Joe’s for groceries and then back home as Nancy had her Spanish study group late in the afternoon.

When we arrived home the electricity was off. This is not an unusual problem in RV Parks in general, but it turned out to be a widespread outage involving app. 7,500 customers on the Southwest side of the city. According to the radio the expectation was about 3 hours, but they had it back up in 45 minutes.

Quiet evening watching a couple of mysteries on TV.

Wednesday 3/4

Up early and out in the desert. Days are getting longer and it is a lot lighter at 6:30 AM. Nancy had her Spanish class this morning, I did my weekly house cleaning.

After Nancy’s class we went down to the Green Valley Farmer’s Market. Nancy wanted to pick up some more skin cream just in case the lady who makes it did not get to the 4th Ave spring fair in a couple of weeks.

Then a stop at Fry’s in Sahurita to stock up since it is “first Wednesday” when they give a 10% discount to seniors - geezers are us!

Stopped at BK Tacos for lunch on the way home, then a stop at Copper Crest to look for rentals for next year for Joan. Not much luck there either. Still have not tapped into the right info source to find what is for rent.

Late in the afternoon the RV Doctor came by to replace the seal in our toilet. I did it a number of years ago and the hardest part was getting my aging body twisted around enough to work in that tiny space! There was no way I wanted to do that again and when he said forty bucks plus the cost of the seal I said go for it!

Hamburgers on the grille tonight 

Thursday 3/5

Tucson Yoga first thing in the AM, then a stop at Food Conspiracy.  When we arrived here last fall I commented about how many parking spaces on 4th Ave had been lost to the streetcar stops and wondered about the impact that would have on the retail stors along there. Well now, to add insult to injury, the city has installed parking meters all along the shopping and dining stretch of 4th Ave AND the side streets in the area! One dollar an hour parking meters!

So, we put a quarter in the meter for 15 minutes, and instead of walking through Food Conspiracy to see what we found interesting, we just grabbed what we came for and left. No more stopping in to Antigone Books to browse either. Sure seems anti business to me. 

Relaxed in the afternoon and did some restaurant searches, looking for a new place to try.

Called Gary and Karen and they went to dinner with us at Gulliermo’s in South Tucson. We go by there on the way to yoga and it looked interesting so we thought we would try it. Turned out to be pretty good, service was excellent, drinks so-so (although they did have Negro Modelo on tap) and the food pretty normal. Nancy thought her seafood was excellent, Gary and Karen like their fajitas, but I though the carne asada left a lot to be desired.

Friday 3/6

Beautiful morning in the desert, but the wind came up during the day, quite windy all day. We puttered around an took it easy, both of us are anticipating a busy week next week, there will be a lot going on.

Blackhawks play tonight after a few days off, this could be the game that forecasts what the rest of the season is going to look like. And they played another mediocre game! Managed to tie late in the third and win in the shoot-out, but still disappointing.

Saturday 3/7

Up early and off to the University for Tucson Festival of Books volunteer training. THat took a couple of hours, then we made a stop at C. F. Coors for 1st Saturday. Lunch at BK Tacos and then back home. 

Sunday 3/8

The rest of the country sprung on ahead of us last night, while we remained on Mountain Standard time. Morning walk in the desert, then watched Sun Morning on CBS. Blackhawks played late this afternoon, played the Rangers to a scoreless tie then lost in OT. Another pretty mediocre game, this team just cannot put the puck in the net this season - very frustrating.

A busy week coming up: bike ride on Monday; science lecture Monday evening; visiting Escapade for one day on Tuesday and then dinner with friends; another book festival meeting one evening yet to be determined; then volunteering at the festival on Saturday and Sunday!

Monday 3/9

Early walk and then the Monday morning meeting. Went off with bike group to the Riallito River bike trail and had lunch at Sweet Tomatoes.

Back home for the afternoon and the back into town for the last of the science lecture series. Had dinner at Gentle Ben’s and then took in the best lecture of the series. An excellent presenter and fascinating subject. Worth watching the on-line podcast if you are at all interested.

Tuesday 3/10

We had planned on going to Escapade today, but after we looked over the list of seminars we did not find any “must see” ones. We had picked out a couple for this morning, but decided it was not worth the $30 daily fee (for members) for just two seminars. Decided to take it easy today and go to Escaped tomorrow just to browse through the marketplace.

Met some friend's for dinner at Cafe Poco Cosa quite an interesting place with a constantly changing menu. Nice service and excellent food, plus good conversation.

Wednesday 3/21

We made it through the day! Morning walk in the desert, then Nancy had her Spanish class and I did my weekly house cleaning - sure love that new built-in vacuum! 

After Nancy’s class we went over to Ajo Cafe for lunch, stopped at Camping World to return some cabinet supports that did not work for what I wanted, then on to Escapade.

Walked through the marketplace, said hello to Miss Terry at the Gypsy Journal booth and picked up a few things. Did not spend anywhere near as much as we did last year!

By now it’s about 2:30, so we went up to Bookman’s to browse around. In spite of our Kindles we still bought half a dozen books, but a lot less than we used to. Then we headed up to Oro Valley where we had to go to a Festival of Books training meeting for “key” volunteers.

Had dinner at the Beyond Bread on Ina, then to the meeting, which was very interesting training on how to scan the new tickets with the QR Scanner on our iPhones. This year they have decided to try free ticketing for the largest and most popular venues. We are working Saturday and Sunday morning and then we have tickets to two off the major venues Saturday afternoon.

Got back home a little after 7 PM and a couple stopped by who had been looking for us all afternoon! (we left at noon.) They were looking for info on the Book Festival and Pericles had told them we were volunteering there. Chatted with them for a while and then called it a day.

Thursday 3/12

Off to Tucson Yoga this morning for another good Gentle and Restorative class with Johanna, sure will miss these once we head back North. Quick stop at Food Conspiracy and back home. Nancy spent a lot of time studying this afternoon and the Blackhawks play tonight!

Blackhawks played a fair game, but still seem unable to score with any regularity. They did manage to beat Arizona 2-1, but it should have been a much more lopsided score!

Friday 3/13

Our busy week continues. At least we did not have to be up before dawn this morning. Took our regular walk, Nancy did some laundry and Spanish and I did some planning for our trip home. Hard to believe we will be back on the road in less than three weeks!

After lunch we headed into town to the Tucson Red Cross headquarters for a training session. Very nice facility, better than we expected.

After the three hour session was completed we stopped at Walmart to pick up some brats for dinner and a toy for Margo - Sunday is here birthday. Back home and relaxed.

Saturday 3/14

Up at 6 AM and headed into the city at 7:30 for the Tucson Festival of Books. Reported in and were assigned to the big room in the modern languages building. I worked as inside room monitor, Nancy unfortunately ended up line wrangling and did not get to hear both of the presentations. With big crowds and popular programs we were kept running all morning. Nancy did get to hear the first one which featured Deborah Harkness, Sue  Miller, and Joyce Carol Oates. The second one featured three authors we did not know, Ace Atkins, C. J. Box, and William Kent Krueger talking about family dynamics in their novels.

After our shift we went to a session in the main ballroom featuring Jean Kwok, Lisa See, and Amy Tan. Massive crowd and we got drafted into helping with seating, but since we had tickets we were able to sit down and enjoy the presentation. After that we went to a presentation on dark skies by Paul Bogard. His book is The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in a World of Artificial Light.

Stopped at Beyond Bread for a late lunch/dinner and got home about 4 PM and sat down to watch the Blackhawks game we recorded earlier in the afternoon. They finally broke out of their slump in the third period, hopefully for good! Then we watched F1 qualifying from last night and hit the sack, early morning again tomorrow.

Sunday 3/15

Back off to the Book Festival again early this morning. We had to split up as they needed people with the extra scanner training in a number of venues. Nancy ended up line wrangling at the main ball room with huge crowds - one of her presentations was Craig Johnson, the author of the Longmire series, along with the actors Lou Diamond Phillips and Rob Taylor.

I was in the Gallagher Theatre where I had inside duties as well as doing some of the ticket scanning in the lines. We also had CSpan broadcasting all the presentations live. Filled the whole room for the first session, but managed to cram in everyone standing in line. It was a fascinating presentation on the Obama Years with Ian Haney Lopez, Mark Leibovich, and David Maraniss. Second presentation was not full, so not a much of a hassle. Dan Fagin and Alexandra Witze on Reporting Disasters, Natural and Manmade.

After our shift we had some lunch in the Student Union and the strolled around the rest of the fair. As it was last year walking around with “Volunteer” shirts we were often approached with questions about where something was.

Back home by 2 PM today so we relaxed, watched last night’s F1 race from Australia and CBS Sunday Morning - sure love that DVR.

Monday 2/16

Supposed to get hot today so we took our morning walk and then headed out on our own bike ride rather than waiting for the bike group. They do not meet until 10:30, after the morning meeting, so they don’t get to the ride location until 11 or 11:30.

We just went over to the Santa Cruz path off Irvington. Rode North, but the new section is still closed - what the heck is taking them so long, it was fully paved over a month ago! - so we just rode the 5 mile loop and headed home.

Cranked up the AC for the first time this year as the temp hit 88 late in the afternoon!

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