Tuesday, December 05, 2006
The people at the hotel were very acommodating. The restaurant there is excellent with wonderful local wines. The vino tinto is world class.
The first picture shows the grounds in back of the hotel with the first door on the right (#3) being the entrance to my room.
I can not say enough nice things about everyone I met. My Spanish is almost non-existent and everyone was quite tolerant of my stumbling efforts. I think that I must do better with the language for my next trip.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Friday, October 06, 2006
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
We enlarged the Wanted Poster and put it below as these are fairly dangerous outlaws.
Note the mean look on the one on the left and the close set eyes of the other. Telltale signs of bad medicine. Believe it or not, the one on the left is a female that is known as Heartless Heidi. Her trademark is to shoot all her victims square in the heart leaving them heartless. The taller one on the right is pure mean and goes by the name of Crusty Colt. He is as mean as he is in need of a bath. Both should be avoided at all times as they are never in a pleasant mood.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Monday, June 26, 2006
My younger daughter has been bugging me to get a bow since her trip to one of the school outings where they had an opportunity to shoot. I have been shooting for many years, I even remember when we had to chip out our own arrowheads from the flint quarry before we could go dinosaur hunting....But I am getting off topic. Some of the new youth bows are quite nice as they have a draw length of 18-30". This will allow them to shoot the same bow for a few years. We went ahead a got one for her as an early birthday present. She is shooting some of my old arrows that are too heavy but bombproof out of a 20# bow. She loves it! This is really fine as I always like someone to shoot with. We shot Saturday & Sunday mornings at the Tucson Mountain Park Archery Range. This is nice facility as we consider anything that has running water and restrooms to be quite civilized. We shot at the field range as she had some concern about not doing well and having a bunch of people watching. She is doing well and constantly improving. We shot 4 dozen arrows on Saturday and she wasn't sore and was ready to go Sunday morning again. I was ready to go but sore. Sunday brought us the first bullseye! Congrats! Woohoo!
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
By Tom Harris
Monday, June 12, 2006
“Scientists respond to Gore's warnings of climate catastrophe”
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Friday, June 09, 2006
Article published Friday, June 9, 2006 - Toledo Blade
TEMPERANCE - Bedford Public Schools has been selected as one of three in the country to receive an award from a national community education group.
The district, along with counterparts in Lincoln, Neb., and Chicago, will receive a "Community Schools National Award for Excellence" from the Coalition for Community Schools, a branch of the Institute for International Leadership in Washington. The ceremeony will take place Wednesday in Baltimore, Bedford Superintendent Jon White said yesterday.
The award, which will be bestowed for the first time this year, honors districts that have strong partnerships with their communities, said Martin Blank, coalition staff director. Three communities are also receiving awards, he said. The coalition received 40 applications from communities and school districts.
"What stuck out about Bedford was the comprehensiveness of what they're doing," Mr. Blank said yesterday. They have "an array of programs and services centered around the schools. Bedford represents the deep and long-term connections that need to be built between school systems and community, and community organizations."
Mr. White was "elated" with the news, calling it "validation" for the district's approach to community education and inclusion.
Sharon Throm, director of community education at Bedford, lauded volunteers and staff.
"They play a vital role in the continued success of our programs," she said.
I will add my two cents:
For it's the best school under the sky!
Sing it's praises far and wide,
We honor, we love it, it's our pride!
On the road to victory,
we will pledge our loyalty,
Onward, always to the end,For dear ol' Bedford High!
Monday, June 05, 2006
Thursday, May 25, 2006
“Top Ten Reasons to Oppose the Senate Amnesty Bill”
I wish our Senator McCain was opposing instead of promoting this travesty.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Monday, May 15, 2006
Friday, May 12, 2006
It appears that we will bring one of these foreign cars home tomorrow. Amazingly enough, I can drive this. I am 6'7" tall and have difficulty with many vehicles. I could not find a US made version that would come close on mileage. I have owned a couple of foreign jobs on the past. One was an Audi S90 that was fun, comfortable, and was broken more in 5 years than all other cars combined. The other was a Buick/Opal that was not so comfortable but OK. I am disappointed in that I could not find a US equivalent. 269HP, 240 ft/lb, and 22/29 MPG. What is wrong with the big three to let themselves get completely outdone in this market?
Now for the fun part. Don't you love car shopping? There are two Toyota dealers in Tucson. Both seem to feel that the MSRP is the lowest price available to you and do not budge from it. The first place I went to test it out had one that was close to what I wanted. The salesman did not how the middle seat belt worked for the rear seat. Nor did the next salesman who 's help was requested. My wife asked if anyone thought it might be a good idea to look at the owner's manual. While salesman #1 is off looking for another more intelligent knowledge source, we look over the vehicle for the manual which was not to be found. This was finally solved after about 10 minutes. Now the salesman can proceed to educated on how to work an automatic transmission. D is for drive! I am serious. I did not know whether to laugh or get really insulted. This was a real zoo. The Primeval portion of my blog name is partially true. Most of my classmates are grandparents. This guy listened to absolutely nothing that was said to him. He was either deaf or the perfect salesman. Next he started with quoting payments instead of bottom line. Wrong tactic. He wanted to know what he could do to sell me this car. I was vaguely interested but did not want all the options on it so money talks. They did not budge and we left.
The following day I spoke with the competition (Dealer #2) who did not have what I was looking for either but had another shipment coming in, could do a five state search, and could order one if I wanted. This all sounded hopeful but was not. Two weeks went by and calls went unreturned. Yesterday, I called twice and upon leaving the second message told the operator that I would not be calling again. Hours went by. They must be sitting pretty to ignore people who are trying to buy something from them.
I know that some of the dealers in the Phoenix area have large inventories. I called one of the big boys. Two minutes on the phone and he is faxing me the sheet on the vehicle. I call back and give him a deposit. The price of a fully loaded Sport version was less than that of a Basic in Tucson. They mark up $500 from their invoice (not MSRP) and go from there. Their price was right in line with Edmunds. Hopefully all holds firm tomorrow.
A man I do not know from dealer #2 calls back towards the end of the day. Says the original guy is hungover, jk indisposed, and he is responding in his place. I told him that I had given up on them and went on to a Phoenix dealer. Now they want to earn my business. I told him it was simple, here is a description of the vehicle and the price, all you have to do is beat the price. He seemed to be choking on the price but said he would get back to me. I have yet to hear anything and am not holding my breath!
Being independent does means that I have no qualms about picking on rabid republicans or democrats. For example: When with a group of republicans, I say that Rush is nothing more than a radio entertainer and a shill for the party. When with a group of democrats, I announce that I always vote however the NRA tells me to and that the ACLU are a bunch of commies. The ensuing lectures to correct my way of thinking can be lengthy and spirited.
Regardless of your stance, contact your reps and always VOTE. Remember that the letter to the Gov that was being composed in the movie Blazing Saddles, by the good folk of Rockridge, is probably not beneficial.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
We stayed at an established campground this time where our norm is to go primitive. I did not have to dig a slit trench and set up my folding toilet seat. Don't laugh, it's a place to sit. I am getting to old and beat up to be perching over some rock and hoping I don't fall down.
My daughter and I had the tent and camp set up well before it starting SNOWING. Most of the it was melting as it hit as the ground had been dry with sun the last few days. This continued on until about 1 AM by which time we had about 2" accumulated. I was awaken several times to talk to my daughter who was concerned about little things like being cold, will the tent collapse, are there bears, will the lightening hit the tent, can we leave the heater running in the tent, and trudging over to the toilet. She was a real trooper. During our midnight trip to the toilet her only comment was that, "I wish I were home right about now". There are adults who would have already bailed out by now.
I arose about 5 AM. We had 2" or better of snow and the sky was clear. The weather prediction was partially correct! My daughter got up about 6 AM. It seemed colder than it actually was. Being the hardy outdoors family that we are, I started the Bronco and told her to get in. She warmed up in the truck while I brushed snow off the vehicle and boat cover. We decided that going on the water would be rather cold right now and that we would wait till later in the day. We sat in the nice warm truck and had hot oatmeal, coffee/hot chocolate.
The other in camp arose as it suited them. A friend with his two kids had brought their pop-up camper and seemed fairly comfortable. Another fellow and his dog had come up with a travel trailer. We were the only hardy souls in a tent although I must admit that it isn't that bad with the heater. That is just my opinion as my daughter was sure that it should be at least 40 or 50 degrees warmer in the tent.
The day continued to warm with clear sky's so we put the boat in before noon and went off for the rest of the day on the water. Fishing was poor, weather was good, company was good, and it was a great day! Time to plan the next trip.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
I will diverge for a moment here. Even though they use "Marina" in their name and the term "Blue Water", I will only call it a store. There is no harbor and the water, if any, flowing down the Santa Cruz River is definitely not blue water. It is what you would expect from a boat store in Tucson. My experience there has been poor to say the least. They had the boat I wanted but tried to show it to me on a trailer for a shorter boat, I installed the oar sockets when they finally came in, the fuel fitting was wrong, and.....See the previous post "Neighbors & Boats" for further little details on their level of competency. OK, I have that little piece out so that we may continue with the fun.
We were packed up, ready to go, and it wasn't even dark! This is a new record for us but it is most likely because we were staying in a motel instead of camping this time. Sunday morning we hitched up the boat trailer and we were off. The trip to Springerville was uneventful and therefore perfect. We hadn't planned to go to the lake that day so the motel was the first stop to check in and get settled. That night while watching the weather report it was discovered that there would be high wind advisories for all the next day. We had watched weather forecasts prior to leaving so this was a surprise. This area is always breezy but 35-40 mph is a bit much.
I got up Monday morning and was windy but not severe (yet). We all got ready and went to the lake. There was no one at the lake except a Forest Service employee in his truck. I went over to speak with him to inquire about road conditions to other lakes, how the fishing been, and other pleasantries. He was very pleasant and we spoke for about a half hour. During this time period the wind was steadily picking up. He said he wouldn't go out on a boat today and echoed the sentiment. By now you could stand 20 yards from the lake and get rained on by the spray from the white caps. The original wind speed estimates were considerably low. I would estimate gust ranging from 50-60 mph at times. We returned to the motel and parked the trailer. It was time to visit the local gift shops, book stores, and other inside activities. We decided that if it was the same tomorrow that we would leave a day early and take the boat to another little lake by Tucson for the morning. You must realize that I am anxious to try out the new boat.
The next morning was perfect. We launched the boat and trolled around the lake. At times the lake was a mirror. I had my limit of trout in two hours being the master fisherman. Those were the only fish caught that day. The girls took turns rowing the boat and did well. Both motors ran quite well so I got some decent breakin time on the gas. The eldest got to pilot the boat using the electric motor. My wife got to hone here launching and anchoring skills and performed admirally, as usual. It was a nice day.
We noticed that the wind was kicking up again and decided that everyone was satisfied. The boat was much more difficult to get on the trailer as the wind started to shift and pick up velocity. Both my wife and I ended up wading to trailer the boat. She performed with great bravery and forethought when she walked down the ramp into the cold water to make sure that the nasty old van didn't get any scratches on the nice new boat. It was a great time as finally the boat got wet and so did we!
Friday, March 31, 2006
I was camping across the states when I first came to Tucson twentyfive years ago. My fine little Jansport dome tent was set up in Gilbert Ray Campground. I had the tent area to myself as not too many are out camping in the winter. Having left a truly cold climate this seemed pretty enjoyable. I watched a beautiful January sunset while having some freeze dried something or other for dinner and then snuggled into my sleeping bag. My slumber was disturbed a couple of hours later by the sounds of a vehicle that seemed close. This was followed by a loud thump. This sounds close! Now the racing of the engine is accompanied by the sounds of spinning tires and the smell of burning rubber. It must be time to get up. I get out of the bag to get dressed and all the while the person is spinning back and forth. Now that I am outside, I can see that this clown had driven off the regular path and has the front end on a rock about 16" in diameter. He's stuck and gunning it like mad. I have just got to get rid of this guy so that I can go back to bed.
Upon my offer of assistance, he gets out of the vehicle and can barely stand. "Whanna rink", he says offering me a sip from his open fifth of whiskey. This I will pass on. I can likely get you unstuck if you get back in the car, put it in reverse, give it just a little gas and at the same time I will pick up on the front end while pushing. Now let me see you put it in reverse as I do not want to get run over. "NO! Don't floor it!", I shout as the tire squeals and the rubber burns. This goes on for a few times but he is finally unstuck. I am going to go to the restroom now to wash my hands etc before re-retiring. He decides that this is a good idea as he has to take a leak. I point out the way to the restroom but he decides to drive as it is quite a ways (50 yards). This guy is really loaded. About now I am wondering if it was a good idea to get him unstuck - oh well it's too late anyways.
"Whanna go forra ride?", he asks. I politely decline having great difficulty repressing the urge to laugh. You have got to be kidding. Off he goes on his trip to/from oblivion and I return to my sleeping bag. Thank goodness, now I can get back to sleep. A chuckle arises as I lay in my bag and mull over the recent events.
I am again awakened to the sound of a vehicle approaching the tent and then parking with headlights on the tent. It can't be! It isn't as I notice the strobing lights of the police rollers. I hear this voice, "Sir, I am a Pima County Deputy and I need to speak with you." I say OK but it will take me a few moments to get dressed. It is now 2 AM in the desert and full dress is required. Remember I said this was January. As I stand up from the opening of the tent, the officer says, "Yup, you're the right guy". I am now concerned. Thoughts race through your mind. Did something happen to Mom or Dad?
Me - What's wrong officer?
Deputy - Sir, I am sorry to disturb you but I need to ask you a few questions.
Me - OK - what is going on?
Now I am really awake but still clueless as to what is going on. This officer is all business so my level of apprehension is climbing.
Deputy - Did you help get someone unstuck this evening?
Me - Yes.
Deputy - Did he pick up a passenger.
Me - No, not in this area.
Deputy - Are you sure?
Me - I got him unstuck, we both went to the restroom, he asked if I wanted to go for a ride, I said no, and he left this area alone. What is going on?
Deputy - One second please, I need to report in.
He goes back to the vehicle and radios to dispatch that no passenger had been seen in the vehicle at the campground. The Deputy returns and now he is actually starting to laugh.
Deputy - I am sorry to disturb you but now that we have that business cleared I can chat for a moment. We picked this guy up on the roadside after he had been running through the desert. He was very scared and very very drunk. He said that he got stuck here and a giant came out of a green igloo and lifted his car off the rock and set it off to the side.
I'm am 6'7" tall and my tent is a green dome tent. So I am the giant in a green igloo! Now I start to understand the officer's first statement about me being the right guy. I would like to claim the strength to lift a full size vehicle but there is a slight difference between rocking a vehicle and dead lifting it. A few of us were known to make off with VWs and MGs but full size is difficult.
Deputy - This guys says that he picked up a rider here and went cruising. They stopped to take a leak and while standing outside he heard a gunshot and the other fellow fell down. He was scared and took off running. We found his vehicle but no body or blood or anything else but we have to double check something this serious.
Me - I understand.
Deputy - Now you have got to see this guy to believe it. He took off through the darkness bouncing off rocks, cactus and the ground. He is all cut up from falling in the rocks and has prickly pear and cholla stuck on him from head to toe. You really would have to see this guy to believe it. Boy is he gonna be in bad shape when he sobers up.
As the officer and I chatted for a while, we noticed that a few other campers were trying to figure out why we are just standing around talking, laughing and generally distrubing them. None came out to ask us to be quiet though since the rollers were still going. I knew that there would be some interesting conversation in the meeting room tomorrow. As we said our goodbye the officer asked, "Been camping here long?" To which I replied, "Nope, 1st night in Tucson." The officer laughed as he walked to his patrol car and said, "Welcome to Tucson." I thought to myself that this town could be interesting as I crawled back into my tent and the warmth of the sleeping bag.
Golly, I thought everyone was leaving there for better opportunities here and to become US citizens. My bad. If you are here for the money only then the sooner you leave the better as the welcome mat is not out. If you want to be a citizen then the mat is back out.
One of the neighbors has a Mexican flag on display. There is no disrespectful display of the American flag. I find it mildly irritating but it's his house. I would hesitate to display a foreign flag in another country anywhere but in the good old USA.
My stance on the policy is that we should:
1 - Build that wall, NOW. We must end the uncontrolled invasion that is taking place.
2 - Get the people working here a path to citizenship if they are not criminals. That is aside from being here illegally.
3 - Get the people who are criminals deported or prosecuted.
4 - Set a viable guest worker program and enforce it.
5 - Make it a federal offense in the future.
Don't like my opinions? I have the same answer to you as to those who don't like my neighbors flag. That's too bad as this is the USA.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
I have picked out a small 16' utility boat that will suit my need for fishing nicely. It is difficult to determine the exact fees that I will charge for people to get in my boat. I would expect that various rates should be used depending upon their being family or not. Different categories could easily involve the capabilites to row, bait hooks, net fish, designated operator, launching, and other activities as defined by me. I am open to suggestions for line items as we all know that the more items you can list, the more you can charge. I have learned this from some of my doctor/hospital visits.
Boat shopping has been fun and very similar to auto shopping. Hold tightly to your wallet and watch your back. I would start off saying that I wanted a package deal with boat, trailer, motor, etc. I would then receive quotes back that had to be carefully examined as they would typically be missing a trailer, motor, or other significant item.
Salesman: Oh, did you want a gas tank with that motor?
Me:Gee, what do you think? Do I really need one? Will it run on methane?
Salesman: Did you want a spare tire for the trailer?
Me:Gee, I figured that I would just carry the whole thing on my back.
Salesman: Do you want oars?
Me:Yes! Darn it, what do you think "package" means?
Me:Don't you need lights at night?
Salesman: If the boat is under 20', you only need the white transom light.
Me: Are you sure?
He was sure and he is very wrong. The regs say that if the boat is powered it will have the red/green bow and a white transom light. I wanted to be current in boating regulations and brush up on navigation rules so I took an eight hour boating safety class at the AZ Game & Fish Department. I may be the "old guy" to some but I am not always stupid. Rules and regulations do change over the years and sure enough, a couple had involving PFDs and age restrictions.
This was a very good course to take, it was free, and reduces the cost of your insurance. There were only a couple of people that didn't enjoy the course but they had bad attitudes after being ordered to attend by the court.
Friday, March 10, 2006
Bottom line is that the fence looks good! I now have a double gate that will allow me a place to park a boat. It's shopping time!
Thursday, February 23, 2006
I would like to offer some of the better hole digging techniques. The best diggers are children so it only makes sense to let them dig while you pretend to work at other tasks. Offer them money when they become disillusioned with the task but do remember that offering and paying are different topics. As the payer, always remember to negotiate the price for these services after the task is complete. Use your wife as a reason to not immediately know how much the task is worth. "I'll have to ask your mother what she thinks it is worth." Praise any digging efforts even though the hole may be five times the diameter necessary as it is much easier to fill un-needed space back in. Try to remember if there is anything that they already owe you for so that you may get at least twice its value. It may even be a good idea to buy them something so that you can proceed to overcharge for it.
Did I mention that I hate caliche?
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Not to be tied down to one event at a time, I also changed jobs. Woohoo! I really like the new company.
Since I am almost allowed to do manual labor, we ordered fence material to redo the old one that is propped up by a variety of devices. It is a good thing that this portion of the fence is not visible from the front as I am sure that the HOA would not appreciate our creative fence support efforts. My daughters say that they will help. Digging holes for fence posts is very good for building upper body strength. Hint, hint.
The tub surround to replace the old tile for the upstairs bathroom should arrive tomorrow. I think that removing old ceramic tile is also good for building upper body strength. Someone mentioned that they wanted to build more upper body strength if you haven't already figured that out yet.
Enough fun, back to work.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Thursday, January 12, 2006
I had it when I was about ten and my mother says I really had it. Guess I even had a little facial scar that disappeared with time. It is hard to remember which itch was which and when it happened between having chicken pox, measles, mumps, and a zillion cases of poison ivy. I do not specifically remember the pox but one case of the ivy was spectacular. The rash was head to toe and all spots in between. All spots. White cotton gloves and calamine lotion were my friends for a while. I became much better at identifying the plant from an adequate distance.
I hope you feel better soon.
Friday, January 06, 2006
I tried to stay out of the way as this is really my friends' event and I was just along for the ride. I shot one bird that I could have let go as it was heading to the other hunters but sometimes reflex gets the best of you.
I had some visions of this really being a simple slaughter as the birds put out are farmed but this was not the case. The birds were active and hiding well. It was quite a lot of fun and I may go again if invited.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
A group (fraternity) of men who enjoy sharing the virtues of honesty, morality, integrity and tolerance.
What do Masons do?
Masons contribute, not necessarily monetarily, but by living their lives in such a manner that the world is better just because they live in it.
What do you get out of Masonry?
Most men get the realization that it is not necessary to receive something tangible for every good act or deed performed.
Is Masonry a religion?
NO! To become a Mason, a man must profess a belief in God; however, Masonry is not a religion, a substitute for, or a rival of any doctrine. Masonry does not perform functions of a church, has no sacraments, and makes no claim to save souls or reform sinners.
How do you join?
You must ask a Master Mason and he in turn will be happy to guide you, and more pertinent information will be provided.
A Mason is a man who professes a faith in God. As a man of faith, he uses the tools of moral and ethical truths to serve mankind.
A Mason binds himself to like-minded men in a brotherhood that transcends all religious, ethnic, social, cultural, and educational differences.
In fellowship with his brothers, a Mason finds ways in which to serve his God, his family, his fellow man, and his country.
A Mason is dedicated. He recognizes his responsibility justice, truth, charity, honesty and integrity in all aspects of human endeavor.
A Mason is all this and more.