Archive for Personal Shit

Made in the USA

texas jeans

Mom, Apple Pie, and Chevrolet – USA! That used to be a fact. I can still count on Mom, but not so much the others.

Apple pie contains GMO’s and High Fructose Corn Syrup. You might as well use Ethylene Glycol as a sweetener! Chevrolet has become the mother of welfare queens, expecting taxpayers to bail out corporate malfeasance and managerial neglect. For a while, we owned a portion of General Motors, but then sold back the shares at a phenomenal loss. No wonder our 401k’s took a hit! Read more

Craftsman ratchet woes

Craftsman 43771 43772 ratchetsI have always bought Craftsman tools whenever I could afford them. They were well crafted, and the mechanics tools came with a lifetime warranty. No questions asked, easy replacement – just walk into any Sears and they swapped the tool with a brand new one.

How times change. Read more

Two out of three is bad…

Two out of three at Churchill DownsI am not generally a betting man – I work too hard for the little I earn. But sometimes you just have to cut loose – and Saturday being the Kentucky Derby, I laid some money down on Race 11.

A drunk Irishman from Canada taught me how to read the racing forms and how to bet. He had a little more experience with the ponies that I do, but I learned a few rules of thumb. Read more

Phoenix Cajun Festival

Yesterday was a perfect Arizona day, not a cloud in the sky, a constant breeze, and not so hot that you fried your brains.

Zach DeputyLiz and I went to the Phoenix Cajun Festival to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Boasting the original line-up that has not changed since 1989, they had the arena swinging.

Sponsored by Abita Beer, Abita had a full line of brews on tap. Cajun food in the food courts, even a cigar vendor. The day started off with the Bad Cactus Brass Band controlling the stage for three hours. Zach Deputy followed with a two-hour set with no break.

After his gig, Zach hung around the arena and freely chatted with the audience. He mingled around the arena and did not hole up in the VIP section, to his credit.

Today I made a large batch of salsa.  We are having a pot luck at work tonight, and I was volunteered to bring my home-made salsa and chips. Now I will relax for the remainder of the afternoon, before an evening nap, and then off to work for another week of the grind.

Nothing new here

ringneck turtle doveThere is not a lot new here in Arizona. I work, sleep, and work again.

I have updated a couple of websites – and will post particulars soon.

My friend visits daily, and she persists on being a nuisance until I feed her. Her mate still will not eat from my hand, but she will tolerate me rubbing her feathers with a finger for a few seconds in exchange for a kibble.

Saguaro bloomThe Saguaros are beginning to blossom, a little early this year. The white flowers bloom at night, and generally do not last more than a couple of days.

Last month we had a week with record high temperatures, after a rare winter snow on New Year’s Day and a higher than normal amount of precipitation. Read more

Prickly Pear in blossom

prickly pear blossomThe Purple Prickly Pear cactus in front of our studio is in full blossom this week. The flowers last a couple of days, providing a very brief splash of color in the desert.

The petals make a very interesting addition to a salad, as almost all of the prickly pear cactus is edible in one form or another.

The flowers will soon disappear, giving way to fruit. By summer, the fruit will be bright red and ready for the picking. The pads can be harvested any time of year for nopalitas. They are delicious in a cold salad, or cooked in an omelette. Read more


BougainvilleaTwo years ago we planted a Bougainvillea by the studio. I am maintainign the position that Liz’s brown thumb killed it.

We are trying again, and she promises to keep her hands – and watering pot – off of it.

This test will determine whether her overzealous watering killed it, and whether my plan of neglect will be successful.

No flowers for Algernon

desert poppiesAs is all too often the case, my timing was off.

Today, Liz and I drove out to Globe and Miami, AZ – two old mining towns that are due east of Apache Junction. Miami’s major attraction is a Walmart Supercenter and a grocery store. Globe has a hanging tree in their downtown.

the hanging treeMy main purpose of the drive was to hopefully catch some of the desert spring flowers. The fields leading up to the mountains are blanketed with desert poppies, carpeted in bright yellows and oranges. Clusters of lupines add purple to the landscape; but we arrived too late.

We explored the downtown business districts of both Globe and Miami. They are quaint little downtowns with tons of potential. The buildings have unique architecture, and the towns are doing their best to evoke a sense of civic pride and to offer attractions for tourists.  There are art galleries (none were open) and antique shops in both towns. And if you are a local, there are plenty of watering holes. Unfortunately, since this was a day trip, we had no chance to pay a visit to any.

Globe’s main attraction was a lynching treGlobee in the middle of their down town. I have to imagine the guest of honor was very short, or they used another tree. The lynching is described as very orderly – which is good.  I prefer orderly lynchings.

We stopped at Guayo’s El Rey cafe, a Mexican resaurant that is considered one of the best around the Valley.  I did have a Dos Equis with my enchiladas. For a small town, the place was packed for lunch, and most of the patrons were locals.  Lunch definitely made up for my disappointment at missing the spring bloom this year. There is a one week window of opportunity – hopefully next year my timing will be better.

All is not lost – the century plants (agave cactus) are getting ready to bloom, and I will be in the desert every weekend to hopefully get some good shots.  And of course, in June and July the saguaro and prickly pear will be in full blossom.

Eating out of my hand

eating from my handThe ringneck turtle doves are not community oriented. Monogamous, ringneck doves mate for life, and can live for up to thirty years.

The pair of doves that seems to have adopted me is very territorial, driving all other ringneck doves off of the property.

The male and female spend an equal amount of time haunting me when I am relaxing on the patio. They keep their distance when Liz is out and about.

These birds have been domesticated for thousands of years, and this feral pair has become more and more familiar with me. If I am on the laptop and ignoring them, the female will grow impatient and perch on the top of the screen staring at me.

I knew it would be a matter of time before I had them eating out of my hands, and yesterday it happened. She is still a tad shy, and I imagine it will be some time before I have them perching on my finger.

While they are extremely aggressive towards other ringneck doves, they will totally ignore ground doves, and don’t pay much attention to the mourning doves.

Not native to the area, these families of doves have most likely originated as descendants of domesticated escapees from California. The arid climate of the Sonoran desert seems to particularly suit them.

Renaissance Festival

Tartanic chic We did the Renaissance Festival today. It is one of the high points of our year, an annual excursion. As always, we grabbed a cold beer before heading to the Falconer’s Field to enjoy Tartanic – otherwise known as “Men Without Pants”.

After that we relaxed at Pan’s Oasis – the show was a lot less creepy than it has been in previous years.  The Washing Wenches followed with an extremely bawdy and NSFW show. Read more