Spectacular sunset on a busy week

Arizona SunsetArizona sunsets are unequaled in their spectacular variety of palette and intensity. I have seen wonderful sunsets in Key West, and in New Jersey’s Bay Shore that left one in awe; but while I have seen the colors of Arizona’s sunsets in other places, I have never seen all of the colors, all at one time.

Five minutes after I shot this pic, the horizon turned blood red, as intense a red as I have never seen in nature. Our sunrises are just as spectacular – I usually miss them because I am already in work. Continue reading »

Campfire

CampfireThe annual ban on open fires has been lifted in Apache Junction, and Liz and I went into the desert with Mike and Tami to enjoy a campfire, enjoy cold beers and roast marshmallows this past Friday night.

I brought the Mossberg 500 pump shotgun – Mike had never fired a shotgun before.  Nor had Liz. That’s the nice thing about the Arizona desert, there are plenty of secluded areas not twenty minutes from our home where we can recreate without disturbing others. Continue reading »

The Wall

bottle wallNow that the weather is cooling down, and some sort of a steady income dribbling in, work on my pet projects has re-commenced.

The bottle wall has doubled in size since my last post – thanks to three bags of mortar and time off from work.

The finished wall should be twice as long as it is currently, and a lot higher. It will mimic the silhouette of the Superstition Mountains, with areas level enough to use for seating under the Palo Verde tree. Continue reading »

Another year older, another year deeper in debt…

Supersttion SkiesI guess I am officially over the hill – 52 years old as of last Wednesday. I celebrated by falling asleep in my armchair watching Sons of Anarchy.

We are not big on birthday celebrations – Liz treated me last week to the Buena Vista Social Club concert at the Mesa Performing Arts Center. She bought me a lawnmower for my birthday; that’s okay, I told her I was going to buy her a vacuum cleaner for hers… Continue reading »

Another thing you can’t do in Jersey…

WineIt has officially been one year (as of September 15) that I left New Jersey for Arizona. There is really not a whole lot that I miss about NJ, and quite a bit that I am happy to distance myself from.

New Jersey is, as is much of the northeast coast, an intrusive state. Bureaucrats and politicians get way too involved in the intimate details of daily life and miss the big picture, such as quality of life. Continue reading »

This and That

On the Easel - Ghosttown International TruckAUGUST 25 UPDATE:

For those that regularly read my blog, you will have noticed that it has been incommunicado for the past three days. This is due to the total incompetence on the end of the web hosting company, MochaHost.

The site is still not fully functional – I cannot add new posts, for instance. The technical support crew from MochaHost has been less than forthcoming, refusing to respond to most of my inquiries or to offer any status updates.

Anyway – at least my email is functional, and the site looks like it is working to most observers.

In some personal news, it has been quite an exciting week. I have been stumping for the better part of the year looking for gainful employment. Continue reading »

Perseids

Big Dipper over the Sonoran DesertThe big Dipper on the horizon of the Sonoran Desert. You will have to click on the image to enlarge it enough to see the detail. I have never seen the Big Dipper as large as I have in the southwest skies.

I had to nudge the contrast of the photo a bit in Photoshop, but you can clearly see the subject.

Liz, Mike and I drove out to First Water tonight to watch the Perseid meteor showers. The biggest benefit of living in Apache Junction is that we are less than fifteen minutes drive into the desert wilderness, with little light pollution.

We drove to First Water, and parked, set up our folding chairs, and cracked open our 16 ounce aluminum bottles of Miller Lite. I wasn’t able to capture any of the streaks – did you know the largest of the particles from the comet Swift-Tuttle, the source of the Perseid meteor showers, are the size of peas when they hit the Earth’s atmosphere, bursting into fiery contrails as they obliterate themselves in a matter of milliseconds?

Anyway, we had a great time. The weather was perfect, a cool breeze was constant. We saw a coyote on our way back home, slinking across the road, ducking our headlights. This was my first coyote sighting. I have spotted several roadrunners – beep beep. I suppose these coyotes are really wiley…

 

 

Happy Birthday, Dad

Korean VetMy father was born this day in 1931, he would have been 82 years old, today.

My dad was right about everything, even when he was wrong. I suppose I inherited that from him.

He told to to get a career in accounting because there is no money in being an artist – he was correct on that one. I didn’t listen to him, I rarely did until it was too late.

Since he passed, the family has scattered even further than we were before. My mom is in Texas, and I am in Arizona. My cousins, the ones that are still alive, cover the four corners of this country – I wouldn’t know them if I ran into them. We never were a close family. But one thing we did, we took care of each other. I suppose that is what counts.

Life in the East Valley

desert sunsetIt is approaching the ten month mark that I have been in Arizona. The mountains still fill me with awe, the heat hasn’t beaten me yet, and I am amazed at how congenial most people are.

We moved here in the fall, when the temperatures were in the high 90’s with negligible humidity. The temperatures dipped into the high 40’s on the coldest of winter days, there were days I actually had to wear a long sleeve shirt. This past winter was wetter than normal, which while providing needed water for the aquifer, also caused excessive growth of the desert vegetation which died and dried out come spring, adding fuel to the wild fires that are a constant threat. Continue reading »

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