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 »


Oh Noooooo!Help me make $25.00 – at no cost to you!

I participate in several survey sites that pay $$$. There are a lot of survey sites out there, and most are of dubious reputation.

I only participate in surveys that have an option of a cash payout. I presently make $20 a month from two survey sites, and have recently added to the other two. Signing up is easy, and free – and I get $25 if you sign up using this link!

To sign up, you have to complete a profile, for which they pay cash. So far I have not received any surveys, per say, but have gotten emails for more personal profile info (which is confidential and not shared with any other party – this survey was highly rated by for which you get more money added to your account.  So far the account balance is a few bucks for not to many minutes of my time – I guess I will find out how easy it is to qualify for the surveys and how well they pay for the amount of time the surveys take.

MySurvey and I-Say Survey pay out okay, but it could be better. And MySurvey too often gives you surveys that ask twenty questions and then inform you that you have not qualified, with nothing in exchange for your time OR the info that you provided. I still have made as much as $30 in a month from them, so I am not complaining too much.

My dad would be proud

97 degreesI spent time in the studio today. You can’t sell artwork unless you have some to sell.  I guess that goes for anything.

I cranked the AC to 80° – which to northerners might seem rather high. It is 106° outside, so 80° feels good. It really feels good if the studio ever reaches that temp. I was able to get it down to 96°…

I bought this Chevy thermometer at auction for $5, I was hoping it had some value. It was worth the $5 I paid for it, and it now hangs proudly in the studio.

I think I get my obsession for knowing the temperature from my dad – he always had a thermometer hanging on the front porch and checked it maybe ten times a day, almost as frequently as he checked his wristwatch.

My dad would really like this thermometer as it was a Chevy thermometer, and he was a GMC man through and through. Me – ever since GMC played welfare recipient with our tax dollars and demanded that taxpayers bail them out for their piss-poor management I vowed to never buy a GM product. Chrysler did it twice – and Ford managed to bail themselves out of the last fiscal recession without whining like spoiled brats that think they deserve money stolen from the working class that can barely even afford to buy one of their new cars. But, I digress…

Anyway, I finished (for now) my painting of Filly’s Roadhouse. I worked on eight saw blades – sanding down paintings and going over with fresh paint and new detail. If they actually work out, I will post pictures of them. Filly’s will be posted soon…


You are now leaving the PineCone Research website. Thank you for your interest in our panel.

Scorpion Gulch

Scorpion GulchAs I go through the image files on my hard drive, the immensity and volume of the posts on the old iteration of this blog astounds me.

For me, writing, like painting, is a process. I rarely paint the same scene twice, and I would be hard pressed to replicate older posts.

Recently we made a trip to South Mountain in Phoenix. On the road to South Mountain the remains of old buildings catch the eye. The one is a one room store front (pictured) and the other is the walled remains of a house.

“Scorpion Gulch” was built in 1936 by William Lundsford as a trading post, and was operated as a small store until the late 1960’s. The store served as a bar in the 1970’s, and soon after the property was deserted and allowed to fall into disrepair.

Listed on the Historic Register in the 1990’s, and currently the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department has stabilized the walls, and it is open to the public.

Fourth of July Barbeque

barbequeIn Arizona, there are not a lot of outdoor activities during the summer months, the smart people stay inside in the air-conditioning.

We are not that bright.

We decided to have a barbeque, and sat outside on the patio with the mister going full blast. I installed a mister system a few weeks ago under the eaves of the patio, and even though it has six heads spraying water, the water never hits the ground. The temperatures hovered around 105°.

chicken wingsLiz made her famous potato salad, and we provided ribs. Liz made a batch of guacamole dip, and she picked up a dozen peppers for ten cents each at the produce market which we grilled. Mike and Tami brought the chicken and beer and soft drinks.

Mike has the best recipe for chicken wings on the grill. We purchased a real charcoal grill when we got out to Arizona – mostly because it was cheaper than laying our a couple hundred for a propane grill. I don’t think I will buy a propane grill again – the flavor is so much better with real charcoal briquettes. Continue reading »

A New Beginning

Superstition Skies Bar

“Skies”, oil on canvas, 8″x10″ – $100
Free shipping in continental USA.

It is apparent that the good folks (/sarcasm) at Mochahost have absolutely no intention of helping me fix the travesty that has caused the decimation and loss of ten years worth of entries to this blog.

But there is little use crying over spilt milk. The site gets a total makeover, and I get to start fresh.

I will be revamping the gallery section, and I have a lot of paintings and images to post in the weeks to come as I flesh out the site.

To start, I offer my latest Bar Series painting – Superstition Skies, a local honky-tonk.

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