Thursday, November 27, 2008

Water bed

I used to like waterbeds. Not so much now. It seems that between all of the jostling on the road and the temperature and weather changes, the seal on the window in the cab over portion of the coach failed. I found out last night during one of the rain showers. This morning was spent tossing out the mattress, washing the sheets and blankets, drying out the interior and resealing the window.

I wanted a new mattress anyway.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TV News and the Weather

I don't get it (among so many things that I just don't get). Why do local newscasters go overboard on changes to the weather? In Washington they would go stand on the beach at Ocean Shores when the 50 mph winds were on the way, or head to the passes to watch the snow fall and take pictures of the cars that are always going in the ditch.
As I mentioned before, there is an "extreme weather" forecast for the valley and greater Phoenix area. It may rain on Thanksgiving. They are expecting between 1/4 and 3/4 inch of rain to fall. Less than an inch and it's the lead story. There may be a much as 2" in the hills and snow showers above 9,000 feet.
When they started warning about rain this week, I assumed it would be enough for flash floods and such, so I put away all of my stuff that I want to keep dry. Like the 8 inches that fell in Bremerton the winter before I sold the house and turned my basement in to a swimming pool.
One quarter to three quarters of an inch.
Today was overcast and 76 degrees - you'd think it was winter. They own heavy coats down here just for these days. What do they do if it gets really cold?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Casa Grande

Dave and I rode south to Coolidge,AZ, and visited the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument where the remains of an ancient Hohokam (meaning "all gone" or "all used up") farming village and great house are preserved. The Hohokam flourished from the 1100s to the early 1400s. When the Spanish missionaries arrived and "discovered" the ruins (and named them), all that was left was the empty shell of the village. The site was declared the nation's first archaeological reserve. It was first covered in 1903 and the current metal roof was built in 1932. Signs of vandalism (early taggers) are still visible. Dave tried to take a picture of a 1st Cavalry Sargent's name. I think it was dated 1872.

An open apology to sports fans in the northwest...

Since I've left the area the Sonics moved, the Mariners lost 100 games, the Seahawks have been plagued with injuries, and the Apple Cup will involve two teams that are going nowhere - fast!

I didn't realize that my search for warmer climes would cause these catastrophes.

These events are not reason enough to not enjoy the long, cold, wet winter that awaits you.

We have a "Severe Weather Alert" down here - it appears there is a 30% chance of rain on Thanksgiving. Don't fret too much about me, I brought my rain gear with me, I know it's here somewhere, it's been so long since I've used it...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Good Guys Southwest Nationals

Dave and I set out this morning to look at a Husky dirt bike for Forrest (he can't find one in Washington) then continued to the Good Guys Southwest Nationals hot rod show being held at Westworld in Scottsdale. The ride to look at the bike and to Westworld were unremarkable - all freeway - but we got there quickly.

We wandered through the 18,000 or so hot rods, classic cars, trucks, rat rods and mild to wild customs for three or four hours, under a beautiful sunny sky with the temperature near 85. As with so many car shows, with so many beautiful cars, they all become a blur of shiny paint and chrome. Here are a few that stood out in my mind.

Our ride home was much more pleasant, following Hiway 87 through the Tonto Recreation Area.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What a nice day

There aren't many activities here in the park for which I am going to sign up. Water exercise, card games, jam sessions (yeah, right), and most of you know how I feel about bible study - I'm just not going to spend much time hanging out with the group in the clubhouse.

I am going to spend Thursdays playing golf with the group. What a perfect day for nine holes of golf yesterday. Sunny, about 80 degrees, green fairways and pleasant banter. I enjoyed hearing all of the same old golf jokes and I missed all of those four letter golf words that I heard. I have to say that I didn't hear nearly as many of those four letter golf words yesterday as I used to hear in the shipyard league. It may have had something to do with the fact that one of the guys in my foursome is a preacher...

Yes, I'm rubbing the perfect weather in the collective faces of friends and family in the great northwest that are recovering from 5 inches of rain in one day. I hear the weather was nice yesterday, hope your basements are dry.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day

November 11, 1919: President Wilson proclaims the first Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…" The original concept for the celebration was for the suspension of business for a two minute period beginning at 11 A.M., with the day also marked by parades and public meetings.
On June 1, 1954: President Eisenhower signs legislation changing the name of the legal holiday from Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day to include those who served during World War II and the Korean Conflict.
Just as Memorial Day offers us the opportunity to celebrate the lives of those that made the ultimate sacrifice in support of their country, Veterans Day allows us to thank all who have served in the armed services during times of war and the all too rare times of peace.
To all of my brothers and sisters in arms, thank you. My appreciation grows with time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cold Front

A cold front moved through Phoenix yesterday, the high temperature for the day was 78 degrees. The low for tonight is predicted at 55 degrees. Sweatshirts and long pants are the uniform of the day - for most. It's another beautiful day!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Long day

Have I ever mentioned that I dislike riding on Interstates? I really dislike riding on Interstates, but that's what we did today.

Dave and I went to buy some Harley stuff that we found on craigslist. The seller lives on a private airport in Carefree, AZ - the other side of the world from Apache Junction - or at least on the other side of Phoenix which seems like the same thing. Fred is a real nice guy that used to own the Tucson Harley dealership. In his hanger he has a Beechcraft, three 'vettes, a couple Vipers, a Cobra and a Porsche along with other cool stuff. I bought some brand new HD rain gear, some T bags, a seat and some of Fred's other cool stuff. Dave escaped with only some saddlebag liners.

From there we rode the Interstate to University of Phoenix Stadium (where the Superbowl was played) to check out the International Motorcycle Show. We were hoping that Pete and Jill would be there selling Gerbing heated clothing. Pete and Jill retired from the shipyard, too, so it would have been good to see them, but they chose to skip this show and go to the one in Dallas.

Another craigslist score was a set of cyclevision brackets that allowed me to mount hard bags on my bike instead of the sloppy leather bags. Dave is a bit put out with me as I was able to get all of this ready made when he took a year to fabricate the brackets to accomplish the same thing on his first bike, a Fat Boy now owned by Forrest.

Speaking of Forrest, I may have some painting for him to do next summer...