Monday, May 11, 2020

Dining In

Today is the first day in Arizona that restaurants can resume dine-in services with certain limitations. The restaurant where I ate seated customers at least six feet apart, the waitstaff wore masks, the table was freshly sanitized and everything was served in disposal containers. All in all, a very reasonable approach to opening backup as safely as possible. In as much as they were still serving breakfast, I had the eggs, bacon, home fries and toast special...

If you had ever tasted my cooking, you would know how big a treat this was. Initially, the military was going to use my cooking for "enhanced interrogation" of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, but it was determined that would be considered "cruel & unusual punishment", so they went with waterboarding instead.

Sunday, May 10, 2020


Took a power-nap after lunch... never know when I might be invited to one of those wild parties where people stay up to 10 or 11 p.m.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Political Elites

I cannot help but notice that the politicians and bureaucrats, who want businesses to remain closed, are still receiving paychecks funded by taxpayers. I wonder what their position would be if they had no source of income, could not pay their bills and had to stand in long lines at food banks in order to feed their family. Just wondering.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Cutting Edge Fashion

It's not easy keeping up with the latest trends in fashionable hairstyles...

Hopefully, this photo will convince the government that barbershops should be considered "essential" services!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

English Language Homographs

Imagine how difficult it must be for a non-English speaking person to learn English given the double meaning of words like these:
  1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
  2. The farm was used to produce produce.
  3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  4. We must polish the Polish Furniture.
  5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
  6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
  8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  10. I did not object to the object.
  11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  13. They were too close to the door to close it.
  14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
  16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  18. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
  19. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  20. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
Click here to see a list of additional homographs.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Rock Crawling Vicariously

The next best thing to taking my Jeep off-road is to watch other people take their Jeep off-road. There is a young couple that I have been following on YouTube that has been tackling some of the most notorious trails in the country in a highly modified Jeep Wrangler. Lately, they have been at Sand Hollow State Park which is known for its extremely gnarly obstacles. Here are their latest videos...

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Government Overreach

John Stossel has published a cautionary video of what can happen when big government chooses to take away your civil liberties...

In case you think this type of tech tyranny could never happen in America, consider Utah's current approach to visitors entering the state...
"A statewide effort will begin on Friday, April 10th to survey all out of state visitors who enter Utah. In our area, this will occur near the Utah/Colorado state line via the wireless alerting system. When a traveler enters the region, the nearby cell phone tower will automatically send a message to their cell phones instructing them to pull over and fill out a survey for information and tracking purposes. It should be noted there will be no physical “checkpoints” or roadblocks."
Yes, we want to keep people safe, but this is a little too close to Orwell's "Big Brother" for me. As Benjamin Franklin once said: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety".

Update (4/16/2020): Utah's text alerts to road travelers to collect coronavirus data has been canceled due to unintended consequences. Click here to read full story.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Desert Humor

I am beginning to feel like I am in the movie Groundhog Day living the same day over and over. One of the ways I try to breakup the monotony as well as getting some much needed exercise is to walk around the park. Long term residents tend to decorate the outside of their residences. Here is one of my favorites...

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Use Your PC To Fight COVID-19

Folding@home uses distributed computing to do disease research. It has been around for years, but has recently turned its attention to the COVID-19 virus. You can help in the fight by downloading their program to your personal computer and letting it run in the background. You can choose to run it full time or just when the computer is idle. You can also choose how much power you wish to use. For more information, click here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Empty Shelves

I was hoping that as more snowbirders returned home, the shelves at the local grocery stores would be restocked. That was not the case at Bashas' this morning...

I was able to get everything I needed, but not everything I wanted. This is the closest I have ever come to what my parent's generation experienced during WWII rationing.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Campground Closures

I have been seeing an increasing number of both private and public campground closures including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS) and National Forest Service (NFS). The best place I have found for the latest news on closures is Campendium's State by State Campground Closures & Responses to COVID-19. You will definitely want to call ahead before moving to your next site.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Pandemic Panic

The snowbirds here in the park are returning to their home states early this year due to the coronavirus. The ones that I have talked to indicated that they were concerned that more states will go on lockdown and that they might not be able to get home for the summer. Although this seems unlikely to me, all I have to do is look at what has happened across the country in just the last week and I can see their point. Here's what my row looks like today...

That RV at the end is leaving tomorrow

Update (3/21/2020): Click here to read about Canadians returning home early due to the coronavirus.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Personal Update Re: Coronavirus

I have been sitting here in the RV attempting to self-quarantine, social-distance and shelter-in-place from the coronavirus. I have even started to work-from-home (some people call it "napping"). There is enough food, water and toilet paper to last up to a month, so I will probably die of boredom before the virus gets me.

In my 73 trips around the sun, I have never experienced anything like this. Although the virus is bad, it is its effect on our economy and way of life that is truly frightening. In my opinion, the coronavirus will probably go the way of other viruses such Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), but it may take a lot longer for life to return to normal as we have known it. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Sunny and I toured the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum just west of Tucson, Arizona. Taking photos here is like eating potato chips in that you cannot take just one. If you have the opportunity to visit the museum, be sure to see the Raptor Free Flight Show where they have birds of prey fly within inches of your head...

The coronavirus did not deter large crowds from attending the museum

Other interesting animals at the museum...

If you would like to see photos taken from previous visits to the museum, click here.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Klondyke Trail

Yesterday, I drove down to Benson, Arizona to visit friends in the area. Today, Sunny and I followed Lehman and Jane on the scenic Klondyke Trail...

Sunny and her highly customized, rock-crawling machine

One of many river crossings

Lunch at the end of the trail

Turkey Creek Cliff Dwelling

Another beautiful landscape

Saturday, February 22, 2020

CB Antenna Quick Disconnect

Back in 2016, I mounted a Firestik CB Antenna behind the spare tire on my Jeep. Although it has worked well, I have been reluctant to run the Jeep through an automated car wash for fear of damaging it. After exchanging emails with Right Chanel Radios, I learned they have a quick disconnect that should solve my dilemma. I ordered it on Thursday and it was delivered today. Now, I just have to wait until it quits raining to install it.

If you are in the market for a CB radio or accessories, I highly recommend Right Chanel Radios. This was the third time I have done business with them and their products and service have been outstanding. 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Desert Flowers

When you think of deserts, you probably don't think of colorful flowers. Here is a field of wildflowers (I believe they are posies) near the RV park...

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Quartz Ridge

I joined the group from the park to ride Quartz Ridge west of Highway 87 northeast of Phoenix. This trail is known for its quartz rock outcroppings which apparently are fairly rare in Arizona...

Bird of prey sitting on a thorny cactus

The ridge is a narrow trail surrounded by Saguaro cactus

Lunch at the end of the trail

I do have two caveats:
  1. There are bushes sticking out onto the trail that cannot be avoided. You will definitely have "Arizona pinstripes" on your vehicle by the end of the day.
  2. Sections of the trail are off-camber with deep ruts. Wheel placement is critical to staying upright.
Lastly, here's a video showcasing some the beauty and challenges of the trail...

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Devil's Canyon

One of the reasons I chose the Santa Fe RV Park is they generally have Jeep rides out of the park once a week. Today, I joined the group on a ride to Devil's Canyon east of Superior, AZ...

It's a scenic trail that can be done in any high clearance vehicle...

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Digital Trail Camera

I purchased a CamPark T80 trail cam capable of taking photos &/or videos of anything that moves day or night thinking it might be fun to set it up in the desert to see what critters might be lurking out there. In order to learn how to use it, I started with a couple of videos taken in the park. Here's a short compilation of some shifty looking characters passing by while I was out for lunch...

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

SxS Ride

John was kind enough to invite me to join him and his rowdy friends at the Arizonian on a side-by-side ride to the coke ovens (I believe they are actually charcoal kilns, but everyone refers to them as the coke ovens). If you are not familiar with the trail from Martinez to the ovens, it is a long and rocky ride with a number of obstacles that could be described as not for the faint of heart. I told John I would ride with him if he promised to keep at least two wheels on the ground at all times. Much to everyone's surprise, he kept his promise.

Professional rock crawlers

The camera does not capture how steep this hill is
Click on photo to see the smile on Becky's face

Beautiful scenery along the way

Ron making it look easy

Distant view of the ovens

Unfortunately, the top of one of the ovens has collapsed since I was last here

I hope it was caused by mother nature and not by man

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Jeep Ride

Jayne, Steve and I explored some trails north of Saguaro Lake near Four Peaks. On the way up, we went through an area known for its wild horses. As fate would have it, I was able to photograph the legendary "horse whisperer" at work...

The trails were fun, not difficult and could be done in a high clearance vehicle. There were a couple of creek crossings which always makes it interesting...

All in all, a nice day to be outside with friends. 

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Wyze Plug

Back in November of 2018, I wrote an article on Wemo Mini Smart Plugs. As I mentioned in the update to that post, they were great when they worked but occasionally they would fail. And as I discovered again with my recent move, they are not particularly easy to setup.

In May of 2019, I bought an inexpensive Wyze Cam that was easy to setup and has worked flawlessly since then. Now that Wyze has their own smart plugs, I ordered a pair which at $14.95 plus tax and shipping is cheaper than one Wemo plug.

They arrived today and just like the camera were very easy to setup including linking to Google Assistant which allows me to control the on/off switch with just voice commands. If I have a problem in the future, I will update this post to reflect my experience.

Today's Sunrise

I woke up hungry this morning, so I decided to have breakfast at Mickey D's. When I walked out of the restaurant, I was greeted with this...

I had almost forgotten how beautiful the sunrises & sunsets can be in Arizona
Unfortunately, photos never quite capture the experience as well as the eye does

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Visiting Friends

Greg & Merry invited me to a cookout and to see their new park model with Arizona room. Never one to turn down a home cooked meal, I immediately said "yes" and joined them and friends that I met the first four winters I stayed at the Arizonian RV Resort. The food was delicious and the company was even better.