Archive for Personal Shit

Winter is just a week away…

clouds 2Winter in the Sonoran Desert… this will be my third.

The first winter offered up lots of precipitation – it even snowed once. That was the first snow in thirty years.

Last year we barely had to turn the heat on, it was so mild. We have had the heat on a couple of times this year – and I owe most of that to our blood being thinner and unable to take the cold. I used to work outside in short sleeves in this weather!  I now consider 65° chilly.

The cloud formations this week have been nothing short of exceptional, bordering on apocalyptic. Last night Liz and I hopped in the car to get some photographs, as the mountain was changing color minute by minute. As we turned the corner onto the Apache Trail – the sky turned gray and the mountain black – that quickly!

I did all of my chores yesterday – so today I just relax before going into work at 9PM. Tomorrow we tow the new (really old) trailer home – I am sure that I will have news to post on that escapade, once we get the trailer secured in the back yard.


cloud capped Superstitions

Cloud-capped Superstitions

It’s the weekend! Well, it is the middle of my weekend – working hoot-owl has its drawbacks such as having to be on the job at 9PM on a Sunday evening.

It is December, and we are entering the rainy season in the desert. Yes, we do get rain other than Monsoon. The winter rains are generally more gentle, and more drenching.

This front ushered in from California, which is now getting much-needed rain.

As the clouds push eastward, they are halted by the mountains. As I sit on the patio writing, there is blue sky overhead with sporadic cumulus balls of cotton overhead, with intermittent sprinkles.

Liz is working this weekend; the museum has a big event on Sunday. I did some repair work on her car this morning. I checked out the trailer to see how it fared under the rain. There are a couple damp spots, which I expected, but no severe leaks. Monday we are buying two tires, and will tow it to our yard. Then the fun stuff will begin.


catsThe two mortal enemies are finally accepting that they have to share space.

Natasha is still not too happy that she has to share her house with Samantha. Sam just wants to be friends, but being a kitten she likes to play. Tasha simply likes to sleep in peace.

They hang out together outdoors, and Tasha has taught Sam bad tricks, such as jumping onto the roof of the house, thus gaining access outside the walled-in back yard.

And now, more and more often, the two will sleep together. Natasha, however, always makes sure her back is to the kitten.


I must be out of my head

1960's Vintage Field and Stream Trailer

1960’s Vintage Field and Stream Trailer

I must be crazy! We picked up this vintage Field and Stream trailer this morning. It is in fairly rough condition.

Liz told me about it, and she was told it was a 10-foot camper. And she was told it had good tires on it.

The owner was using it as a potting shed. The pack rats had a heyday with the inside. Both tires were flat. But the skin is good, and the chassis is solid.

We spent the morning cleaning it out, and inflated the tires. It took some maneurvering to get it out of her driveway – we made it down her street and onto McKellips when I noticed the one side seems to be riding a bit low. The driver’s side tire blew out from dry rot. Luckily it had a new spare. Read more

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Due to our busy schedules, we had to put the tree up a week early this year. We like live trees, and usually wait until two weeks before Christmas to buy one, since we want it to still be green on New Year’s Eve.

So yesterday we picked out a fresh tree and decorated.

It has been a busy week already – I am in the middle of two big projects, and last night was the AJ Christmas parade. It was warmer than last year, and it seemed there twice as many people to watch, and the parade was much shorter. Read more

Christmas Music

october-christmas-musicA wise former employer told me, when I was fifteen years old, “Be smart, NEVER work in retail”.

He was my first boss, owned a Montgomery Ward franchise, and he was right.

It is not that I hate my job – I work nights, and my job entails constructing displays, merchandising, reconfiguring bays… lots of physical labor and lots of using my head. The pay is standard retail-grade (read: not livable) but the job is challenging.

What is not fun is listening to the piped in music all night long. And beginning on Black Friday and torturing employees through December 24 is a constant barrage of “holiday” tunes. Read more

A taste of the Keys

Making a tiki barThe 1970’s atrocity of a bar is part-way through its conversion to a Key West original!

I am happy to have a creative outlet, as I cannot walk into the studio without going into a panic attack.  My side of the studio has become a clusterfuck of debris and junk and piles of household items and tools that have no other home.

It has become such a quagmire that it is impossible for me to even clean up a small workspace. There is simply no empty space to move anything to. I walk in, look around, try to figure out a game plan, and my head begins to explode.

The bar is a nice project, and inexpensive to boot.  I like that! Liz picked up the 70’s bar set for $40 at auction. It is heavy and solid, and a good base. We agreed on a Key West theme, and so the bar was destined to become a tiki bar. Read more

Beginning of a bar

auction findLiz found this vintage bar at the local auction, and placed a proxy bid on it for $40. We see bars go for much more all the time, so didn’t have high hopes. She was pleasantly surprised when the auction house called her today and informed her that she won.

The bar is cool in a sort of retro 1970’s “Three’s Company” sort of way, but not exactly our style; but it is quite solid and will serve as the base for a major makeover. The stools will get a paint job – a nice turquoise – and new fabric, something that resonates Key West.

The bar will be wrapped in bamboo, and the top will be covered with bar coasters and chips from my collection, and coated with a thick resin. The effect will be a tiki bar ala the Florida Keys.

Until I get the energy to begin this project, at least the bar is not so ugly we cannot live with it.

The Massacre Grounds

The Massacre GroundsLiz and I finally got around to hiking the Massacre Grounds this morning. It is a good hike from the parking area to the trailhead.

As legend has it, in 1847 a band of Apache ambushed Mexican mine workers transporting gold from a fabled mine owned by the Peralta family. They slaughtered all of the workers, only a few Peralta family members escaped. The Apache took the ponies, and scattered the gold and covered the mine. Read more

Glutton for punishment

Fosti 150cc ScooterMy latest acquisition – a basket-case scooter. I must be a glutton for punishment.

A buddy at work is relocating, and he asked me if I wanted his scooter. It is a 2012 Fosti 150cc scooter, he bought it new. Like an idiot, I said “Sure, I don’t have enough on my plate.”

He had taken the engine apart to replace the head gasket; unfortunately he did this during Monsoon and all the innards were under water, and it is doubtful that the engine can be salvaged. New ones run around $250.

Doing research on the Eagle 150 – that is the model – I discovered that it is billed as the fastest scooter.  It will top out at 70 mph. But that is sort of like bragging about your 4-inch penis…

I didn’t know people raced these things, but then again, they race lawnmowers.

I figure this would be a good way to teach Liz how to ride. At the very least it gives me Apache Junction Cred to have a vehicle in pieces in my yard…