Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Rainbow Within The Storm


While walking Eva in the late evening some rain clouds began to develop in the distance. The rainstorm was small and localized, surrounded by late-evening, clear sunshine, but it was slowly moving toward us. As the moisture-laden air approached, we saw a rainbow beginning to form.

A little farther along the road...

And then a few minutes later...

Just as I snapped the last shot, a long horizontal steak of lightning flashed through the width of the cloud cover terminating at the rainbow. I had been about a nanosecond too soon. That would have made an excellent photograph.

Mike told me that he had seen some weird colors among the rainclouds here in Tucson during last year's Monsoon Season, which reportedly begins around the fourth of July. So perhaps I will be able to capture some interesting weather-related snapshots in the upcoming weeks.

As often happens with the elderly, the sight of that stormlet brought to mind the memory of some published pictures of Arizona storms in a Photography magazine back in the 1950s (or 60s) that had been taken and contributed by the late Senator Barry Goldwater.

Goldwater lost his 1964 presidential campaign against incumbent Lyndon Baines Johnson by a landslide. The Johnson campaign capitalized on Goldwater's extreme anti-Communist views and his admission in a television interview that he would consider launching a nuclear attack on Vietnam.

I have often speculated on how different might be the present-day world if (AuH2O in 64) Mister Goldwater had indeed become president back then.

So much for rainbows and other assorted promises.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Could be . . .

Wouldn't it be funny if it turns out there really is an Omnipotent Entity that created the entire universe -- but the emergence of the human race on Earth was just the result of an accidental chemical reaction -- and biological life never was and never will be of any significance whatsoever in The Creator's master plan?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Just A Thought Or Two

I have been mildly scolded for not having written much lately. Sadly, that is true. But I have been reading a lot...

Some of the stuff I've been reading is, according to The Financial Post, Junk Science, and it occurs when science is politicized and facts and risks are exaggerated, distorted and misrepresented.

Peter Foster has written a Financial Post article regarding why scientists would allow themselves to be recruited to essentially political objectives.

Read more here...

Even more Junk Science can be found at...
"All the junk that's fit to debunk"

Not only have I been reading a lot, I have also been thinking a lot lately.

Putting one's deep and seemingly profound thoughts into meaningful and publishable words is not an easy thing to do; it's not easy for me, anyway.

Personal thoughts are narrow windows into an infinite wilderness

Perhaps I try too hard to be clear and direct, to be easily understood by all readers, and to present my conclusions to others as the glaringly and openly apparent truths that they seem to be, to me.

In the near future, I intend to publish some of those thoughts.

Yes... "try" --

Yes... in the near future.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nothing Today

Nothing today . . .

Monday, June 21, 2010

Just Another Short Note . . .

Yesterday, Father's Day 2010 CE, was a day of slothfully slouching in front of the TV and watching the Dr. House marathon. Eva slept through most of the episodes. I did not. It's a tossup as to which of us gained the most from our separate (non)activities.

Breakfast was green tea and a bowl of Kashi crunchy cereal with a banana sliced atop it and moistened with a cup of 1 percent milk.

For lunch I mixed and microwaved a small bowl of leftover home-made Stroganoff with a pasta/vegetable frozen dinner. Perhaps that appeals to none of the readers, but it was delicious.

Then later in the day, around four p.m. I had a snack consisting of Waverly Soda Crackers and wedges of mild cheddar cheese, washed down with a can of Hanson's caffeine-free diet creamy root bear.

Then an apple at 6.

Nothing more that day. No dinner.

Did you know that sand can sing? Sand... the stuff that covers the deserts of the Earth. Oh yes... There is a Singing Sand Website that explains all about Singing Sand and even has a video with the sound of the singing sand.

There is another website that provides an explanation, pictures, and other audio-videos of Singing Sand. In case you are interested.

Today (according to the TV news) is the first day of summer. The Tucson weather forecast calls for 101 degrees F. today, 102 tomorrow, and 107 degrees Wednesday.

It's a dry heat though.


. . .

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day, 2010 CE

This is the 100th anniversary of Father's Day and to celebrate it I am going to sit back, relax, and do nearly nothing. I'm going to skip my daily walk. That's my idea of a fine Father's Day celebration.

Mike and JoAnn gave me a Father's Day gift... a set of four rechargeable AA-size batteries and a 15-minute Battery Charger. Now I will not have a good excuse for missing an important shot.

Thanks Mike and JoAnn.

My most recent walk (yesterday) was down Calle Del Valle then left onto Calle de Coronado then down Soldier Trail to East on Fort Lowell Road for about a half-mile and then back along the desert path alongside Fort Lowell Road to Calle de Ricnon to Calle Del Valle and home. About three miles. I took some pictures, mostly intriguing trees and mountain views. Saw no new animals on this trek though.

There was a building with a rustic fence surrounding it. The sign identified the building as the Hermosa Montessori School, but it was fairly well hidden behind the fence and trees and scrub.

Hermosa Montessori School

While walking that walk, I mused upon the recent blog posts contributed by Anthony V. Toscano. That gentleman is a true poet (in my opinion) but he seems to be hung up on his lack of perfection as a writer. He seems unable to grasp the fact that the random reader views his words and absorbs their meanings, but those meanings are shaded by the reader's own background and experiences in life. What might seem mediocre to AVT can be breathtaking beauty to a reader who is necessarily disconnected from the poet's own inner-self and sees meanings not at all apparent to the author of the words.

Or so it seems to me.

I am fascinated by the variety of trees I encounter while walking along the roads and over the trails trodden out through the desert. These trees occasionally present, without words, a quiet tale or a silent poem, soundless insights unclouded by loud and intrusive noises that twist the natural plots, stories (thankfully) not fraught with human errors in interpretation -- reportage without an audible language -- but they can bring to the thoughtful observer a myriad of peaceful pleasures in that plethora of intimate stories.

Such as --

An Unpretentious Silent Declaration

Naked And Unadorned I Stand

Ah, yes . . .

Later that afternoon, as I sat out near the pool listening to Talk Radio and penning some notes regarding the characters in my novel, I sipped a tall frosted glass of icy...

Pepsi-Cola Throwback

"Throwback" is a refreshing and delicious beverage manufactured by the Pepsi-Cola company with sugar as its major sweetener instead of the Johnny-come-lately corn syrup used in the modern iteration. If you have not tried it, I suggest you do so as soon as possible. Throwback is much better.

Much, much better.

I've often been told that, "Life Is What You Make It" and that our attitudes and outlooks can be strengthened, weakened, nullified, or even completely reversed by consciously selected actions.

As in the following:

"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off -- then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can."

--Herman Melville
Moby Dick


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Juneteenth Day To Us All

Today is Juneteenth Day -- the date of June 19 is an official holiday in some states celebrating the day in 1865 when ALL slaves in ALL States in the United States were finally freed.

Then The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed on June 19, 1964.

The wheels of Justice do turn exceeding slow. but Thanks Goodness, they DO turn.

I read a piece in Slate titled:

The article, subtitled: A very silly man gives a very sinister speech, was written by Christopher Hitchens.

In the words of Laugh-In's Arte Johnson --

"Veddy interesting... but schtupid."

More to come later . . . maybe.

Friday, June 18, 2010

June In Tucson, AZ

Yesterday afternoon it was 102 degrees F. and a few strong gusts of wind had carried a load of leaves, pods, twigs, and other assorted detritus into the swimming pool. By the time I had skimmed most of it up my body was drenched with sweat. I suppose that I should have shed my clothes and dived into the cooler water... but I didn't.

More about that later . . .

But then today even though the temperature rose to over one hundred degrees it still felt comfortable to me in the early morning (in the 90s) when I went for my daily 3.4 mile walk. It's a "dry" heat, you know. I bought another bottle of Starbucks cappuccino, but this time I opted for the Dark Chocolate Mocha flavor. It was delicious.

Got a Father's Day card from my daughter in Jacksonville, FL yesterday, via the U.S. Mail. Thanks Sandi Jo.

Today is my eldest grandson's birthday. He and Michelle are coming over for a celebratory dinner this evening.


Gonna go to the Supermarket later this afternoon and stock up the refrigerator and the pantry. The kids are going away on business so I'll be alone in the house (with Eva, of course) for the entire upcoming week. A guy's gotta eat...

More about that later.

For now, please... please click the link below and read the message.

That's all for now...


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Where Do The Weeks Go?

First, just for my own amusement, please allow me to present a picture of this morning's breakfast.

Nutritious And Delicious

I read in a learned paper that delusional psychiatric patients who believe themselves to be God, or Jesus, or some other Divine Being cannot be simply "talked out of" their delusions. Their certainties are considered to be pathological beliefs, reflecting a warped or broken understanding that is not, by definition, amenable to being reshaped by reality.

Does this then also include, I wonder, the great number of obviously delusional religious fanatics of the world?

Speaking of 'delusional' -- it occurred to me that talking to dogs can be rewarding if not overly-revealing... especially regarding the effective description of a character in your novel. Eva is an excellent audience for my explanations. She is a quiet and seemingly-contemplative listener. And she rarely offers an opinion.

Yes, I am still working on that book...been at it for around fifty years. So? It's not being stubborn; it's called persistence. I will fail only when I quit trying. Or so I've been told.

Today's purchases at Circle K were two small packages of Planter's peanuts (2 for $1) -- four bananas (20 cents each) -- two bottles of Yoohoo ($1.00 apiece) -- and five Powerball tickets ($1 each) and then I carried them (walking, of course) back home.

Last night Mike pointed out a well-camouflaged horned-lizard on the rocky path outside the swimming pool fence, and I managed to get a picture of it.

It sure blends into the background, doesn't it?

Nature is a curious phenomenon. It always fascinates me. Makes me think. Makes me realize how insignificant I am. And I wonder if others feel the same way.

And this is a picture of today's lunch.

A gourmet I am not.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just A Short Note Today

According to The Daily Telegraph, "Senior space agency scientists believe the Earth will be hit with unprecedented levels of magnetic energy from solar flares after the Sun wakes “from a deep slumber” sometime around 2013."

And . . .

"National power grids could overheat and air travel severely disrupted while electronic items, navigation devices and major satellites could stop working after the Sun reaches its maximum power in a few years."


Read more HERE

While perusing the Circle K shelves this morning I noticed that the 13.7 FL OZ. bottles of Starbucks Mocha frappuccino were on sale, and since I had never tasted even one Starbucks product, I purchased two of the refrigerated containers and carried them home for later sampling.

At 11:37 A.M. Tucson, AZ time I drank (over a tall glass of ice) the aforementioned concoction.

My opinion? It had a pleasant flavor and texture, and I enjoyed it. But I must admit that if I had been blindfolded and did not know what I was drinking, I would have sworn it was a glass of...

Yoohoo Chocolate Soda

Of course, I am not a great fan of chocolate (or Mocha) and so am not the best judge of flavor.

Recently I encountered the lyrics to an old song and stopped to muse (for the very first time) upon the meaning of the words:

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky
How many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry
How many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

--Bob Dylan

I have no reason (no context) for posting those lines; I just felt like it.

As the title forewarned: this short note is all I have to offer today.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This, That, And The Other

Here is a comment I received after my earlier blog entry regarding Sicilians I have known, wherein I expressed doubts that ALL Sicilians are fastidious and are mellow-voiced crooners -- "Siamo tutti i peccatori. Lo perdono per la vostra eresia. Non sin non di più. Canterò voi quando siamo nel cielo."

Since I neither speak nor read Sicilian (Italian?) I resorted to an online translation -- the result was: "We are all the sinners. The forgiveness for your heresy. Not sin not more. I will sing you when we are in the sky."

How sweet . . .

Luckily, yesterday morning my camera was close to hand when I looked out the front entrance window and caught a wily culprit in the act of committing mayhem. A pesky Ground Squirrel was nibbling on JoAnn's lovingly tended plant.

Cameras are everywhere these days . . .
careless miscreants don't have a chance.

Yesterday when I bought a 3-lb. stalk of bananas at Circle K, I decided to purchase another chance on the Powerball drawing. I had won seven dollars on each of the two previous purchases of same, so I thought, what the heck, why not?

But unbelievavbly, the new clerk, a young bespectacled boy (appearing to be about the age of fifteen) actually asked me if I was twenty-one. Me... a wrinkled old codger of 71. At first I thought he was joking but then I realized that he was serious. He was doing exactly as he had been taught to do.

Good Lord! It's a wonder that he didn't demand to see a picute ID.

On my walks I have been snapping pictures of all the trees that catch my attention. Below is one that I beleive is a Eucalyptus Tree, but I'm not sure.

I'll ask an expert if it is or not.
And I know just the guy to ask.

Recently I had occasion to look up the word 'egotism' and found that it is a noun defined as 'self-importance' -- some synonyms are: arrogance, boastfulness, bragging, conceit, immodesty, narcissism,pride, self-absorption, self-admiration, self-aggrandizement, selv-centeredness, self-praise, selfishness, vainglory, vainness, and vanity.

Note: egoism is an attempt to get excessive personal recognition for yourself while egotism is an exaggerated opinion of your own importance

So it goes . . .


Monday, June 14, 2010

Those Times When I Smell Creosote

A combination of the AVT mentions of how the creosote odor remind him of his father's stories of working on the railroad, my own memories of the odor of creosote (which until recently I mistakenly ascribed to being the smell of kerosene) rising up from the ties beneath the the rails of the old Monon Railroad (which played a major part in the mush-brained mentality of my early juvenile years) -- and my most recent introduction to the desert creosote bush sparked my curiosity.

A Creosote Bush outside the house in Tucson

According to Wikipedia --

Wood creosote is a colorless to yellowish greasy liquid with a smoky odor and burned taste. Other than looks and taste, the chemical makeup is totally different than coal tar creosote. It is made of guaiacol, creosol, o-cresol, and 4-ethylguaiacol, plant phenolics, rather than petrochemicals. Wood creosote has been used as a disinfectant, a laxative, and a cough treatment, but these have mostly been replaced by newer medicines.

And also from Wikipedia:

Another form of creosote is coal tar creosote. Coal tar creosote is the most widely used wood preservative in the world. It is a thick, oily liquid typically amber to black in colour. The American Wood Preservers' Association states that creosote "shall be a distillate derived entirely from tars produced from the carbonization of bituminous coal." Coal tar used for certain applications may be a mixture of coal tar distillate and coal tar The prevailing use of creosote to preserve wooden utilities/telephone poles, railroad cross ties, switch ties and bridge timbers from decay. Coal tar products are also used in medicines to treat diseases such as psoriasis, and as animal and bird repellents, insecticides, animal dips, and fungicides. Some over the counter anti-dandruff shampoos contain coal tar solutions. Due to its carcinogenic character, the European Union has regulated the quality of creosote for the EU market and requires that the sale of creosote be limited to professional users

...End of Wiki entry

As I said -- I, too, harbor memories of the odor of creosote (which until recently I mistakenly ascribed to being the smell of kerosene) emanating up from the ties beneath the the rails of the old Monon Railroad which played a formative role in the mush-brained mentality of my early juvenile years. The time when I decided to run away from home and live a life of my own...

But that, of course, is another story.

And I don't feel like writing today.

. . .

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Hodge-Podge, Of Sorts

Well... I've been living here in Tucson for more than two months now, and I must admit that I am being affected by the hot, dry, sunshiny atmosphere. Living so close to the border of Mexico is causing me to change some of my attitudes toward life in general. Or is it? I'm not sure if I have adopted the Manana Is Good Enough For Me lifestyle or if perhaps I have always believed and acted in that way.

Peggy Lee says it well on Youtube . . .

On a completely different note...

Is this not an excellent statement of scientific thought?

I am NOT an Atheist. But neither am I a Deist. Nor a creationist. I am not a believer in a 'personal Savior'. I do not feel that being a member of The Human Race is anything special, anything to brag about, anything beyond natural happenstance.

I'm more of an I Don't Know And I Really Don't Care type of guy.

But I don't feel like delving deeply into any of that right now.

Recently. Eva was sniffing and snuffling, nose to the trodden surface of the swimming pool deck, as she is often wont to do, when all at once she jerked her head erect, shook it from side to side and then explosively sneezed... twice. Without wasting an instant for thought, I looked down at her and said, "You are SO good-lookin'!"

And if you don't understand that... if you don't see the humor in it... well, then. you are evidently not a Seinfeld afficiancado.

Whoa Nelly . . .

The Onion has an article titled: The Massive Flow of Bullshit Continues to Gush From BP Headquarters. I found it to be quite entertaining. Check it out... HERE.
(nyuk, nyuk, nyuk)

And . . .

I read the following yesterday in The Independent:

Naughty By Nature: Why Has Britain Become So Rude? Below is an excerpt:

God we're rude, aren't we? The British are so rude. We're obsessed with bums, tits, willies, lavatory humour, vicars, knickers, smells, foreigners, fat tummies, fat slags, Fat Les, fat wrestlers, Benny Hill, Carry On Up The Khyber, Viz, Private Eye, men dressed as laydeez, women dressed as anarchic schoolgirls, sitcoms that offer howling tsunamis of verbal abuse, from The Young Ones to The Thick Of It. We love to see an irate, fictional British hotelier smacking his Spanish waiter around the head. We admire the host of BBC2's Newsnight when he roasts politicians with scarcely believable belligerence. We quiver when a middle-aged, redheaded quiz-show hostess tells her guests how thick, ugly and badly dressed they are. We lap up radio shows in which grouchily opinionated men insult members of the public who hold views contrary to their own. We celebrate Christmas by buying our loved ones "lavatory books" with titles like Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Complete Shit In Pants?

Wow! The Brits do seem to be inordinately rude.

Finally... AVT has been waxing nostalgic lately regarding Sicilians and how ALL of them can sweetly croon and how ALL of them are fastidious about small details such as personal appearance and other things of a similar magnitude of importance

I have met a few Sicilian-Americans in my time -- Bruschetti, Correo, and others... and not only were they not crooners, they were not particularly fastidious; in fact, Bruschetti was a fat and slovenly gravel-voiced slob of the first order. And Correo, possessing horribly neglected crooked brown-stained teeth, had the disgusting habit of scarfing down odoriferous home-cooked Italian Food his Mama sent him from NYC (via the USPS) with his perpetually-dirty fingers, loudly smacking his lips wetly and eating (always) with his mouth wide open.

Don't tell me about ALL Sicilians, please.

A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule.
--Michael Pollan

Friday, June 11, 2010

No Title Comes To Mind

I am sitting here this morning in a whimsical mood, sipping my first cup of steaming green tea and wondering what I should write about.

Now, let me see...

Identify this babe...
A Lovely Lady... right?

Enough whimsy . . .

An emailed question provoked me to consider the relative values of a human life in a situational sense. The question was: "Which is more important? Living through a catastrophe, or the possible psychological trauma along the way?"

And my emailed answer was:

At first thought, it seems to me that living through the event is the primary goal, for a dead person has no possibility of experiencing and overcoming a potential future psychological trauma.

But, then again, after much musing over the question, I remembered that there are those among us who in anguish sometimes wail, "Oh, I wish I had never been born!" And oftentimes they mean this lamentation sincerely.

So perhaps a quick death could sometimes be preferable to a long life filled with unremitting mental and emotional suffering.

Yes, that was my answer to the question. And now, a full day later, I still feel the same way about it.

No, that's too serious for so early in the morning..

So, again... on to something completely different.

In several previous blog entries I have mentioned the Circle K convenience store on Tanque Verde Road just west of Conestoga Avenue to which I sometimes walk. On the way, I usually take some pictures, and I find that I have three of these photos that I have not had occasion to post here on Jots and Tittles. So, here they are:

Power lines feeding the East Tucson area

Now that is a really BIG steel power line pole

On Conestoga Avenue, alongside an ancient hacienda there is a fence with a curious set of old (Conestoga?) wagon wheels adorning it.

Rustic, I believe, is the word to best describe it.

And here is another shot of some flower bushes that conceal that hacienda from the road. This is a case wherein the reality is much more contemplative than the picture.

A neighborly fellow on down the road was out trimming his roadside tree when I walked by and I asked him what they call those cute little creatures that look like chipmunks. He told me that they are Arizona Ground Squirrels and that they are the most troublesome and destructive critters that ever existed on God's Green Earth. He said that the pesky vermin dig holes all over the lawn and they eat every kind of plant that grows.

Here is a stock photo of a ground squirrel

Well . . . my tea cup is now empty, and real life is calling.

Tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

All The News Worth Mentioning

On the TV news at noon a few days ago I was informed that on the Today Show President Obama said he is talking to the folks so that he will know whose ass to kick. Good Golly Miss Molly, what's this world coming to? That's not 'news' it's political entertainment. Now I'm going to have to break myself of the bad habit of watching the local TV news.

First I stopped reading newspapers and now... no more TV news.

Why do I no longer read printed newspapers?

Here's what a professional science writer in a leading newspaper wrote:

Children can learn better at school by taking omega-3 fish oil supplements which boost their concentration, scientists say. Boys aged eight to 11 who were given doses once or twice a day of docosahexaenoic acid, an essential fatty acid known as DHA, showed big improvements in their performance during tasks involving attention.

Here's what the scientific study under discussion actually said:

At baseline, there were no significant group differences for percentage correct, commission errors, discriminability, or reaction time. At 8 wk, there were no significant group differences in percentage correct, commission errors, discriminability, or reaction time. The time x dose interaction was not significant for percentage correct, commission errors, discriminability, or reaction time.

The above example of outrageous reportage appeared on Language Log June 8, 2010.

It is not surprising (to me) that newspaper readership is going down, down, and down. I suppose that more and more people have come to realize that they are being lied to constantly, by the press and by the government, and they can thank the talk-radio hosts and the plethora of blogs written by individuals who thrive on spreading what they see as being 'the truth'.

And TV news is even worse.

Ahhhhh! I don't even want to think about that stuff anymore.

So . . .

Now for something completely different --

I intend to take a walk through the unpopulated (by humans) stretch of desert out behind the house, all the way to the wash. Maybe tomorrow, or perhaps on the weekend. Whenever I decide to do so, I must remember to watch my step (literally) as some venomous creatures dwell therein, such as Rattlesnakes, Gila Monsters, Tarantulas, and Scorpions. Also must remember to load my camera with fresh batteries and my largest size memory card.

This is what the stretch of desert scrub looks like from the back patio -- this is the area I intend to explore with my camera as soon as I get up the nerve...

It looks a bit forbidding, doesn't it?

But looks (as goes the old proverb,) can be deceiving.

For example: I saw what I thought was a peculiar looking spider web. It was large, dense, and dangerous appearing. And I wondered if a Tarantula spins webs --

But upon closer examination I discovered that the web was not a spider's web but was instead, securely wedged between the arms of a cactus, nothing more than a weather-faded plastic shopping bag.

My upcoming expedition into the desert will likely prove uneventful, and perhaps even disappointing and unproductive.

Or not . . .

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Hot Sunshiny Day In Tucson

Yesterday, since I did not start until the sun was high in the sky, I limited my walk to two miles. It was just a bit too toasty out there for my usual 3.4 miles.

From home, I walked all the way to the end of Calle Del Valle, then cut onto Coronado and then right onto Soldier Trail up to Fort Lowell Road where I took the adjacent desert path back to Calle Del Valle.

Here are some of the photos I took along the way.

A Nicely Landscaped Lawn on Calle Del Valle

Closeup photograph of the lawn's yellow and red flowers

A fire hydrant... lone sentinel against possible disaster

Stalwart Signals of Freedom, Liberty, and Independence

The view of my trek along Soldier Trail

The Junction of Soldier Trail and Fort Lowell Road

At about 3 o'clock in the afternoon I went in the pool for a swim. Actually, I did not swim as much as merely lounge in the cool water, floating around most of the time. It was quite refreshing, as was the chlorine-eliminating shower afterward.

Mesquite trees are known to create a mess on the surface of Arizona's swimming pools at this season of the year.

One of three large Mesquite trees in vicinity of the pool

Those mess-making seeds are better seen in this closeup

These seeds in clusters (blown by the wind) do contaminate some phases of human enjoyment -- while they go about their business, which is the basic continuation of (Beauty? Truth?) aesthetic botanical life.

Ah well . . .

Went out with the family for dinner at zona78, a crowded, noisy and popular Italian Restaurant. The Chicken Parmesano was really good.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sights Along The Way

As I left the house yesterday to begin my daily fitness walk, I spied a skittish jackrabbit under the tree in the center of the front lawn, and I deduced that it is probably the critter responsible for eating JoAnn's carefully tended non-desert plant near the front entrance.

Pesky vegetarian

The following are photos of a few of the familiar things I see each day on my 3.4 mile walk.

The view walking South on Conestoga Avenue
The Rincon Mountains

And then, on the way back . . .

The view walking North on Conestoga Avenue
The Santa Catalina Mountains

The next few photos are some of the street signs that I see along the way.

and . . .

and . . .

and . . .

As I neared the halfway mark on Tanque Verde, I saw another Roadrunner but once again it was too far away for a picture and it was long gone as soon as I approached it. This occurred about a city-block's length before I reached the Circle K convenience store where I occasionally buy junk food and sometimes a chance to win the weekly Powerball drawing.

I don't know the current price of vehicle fuel in your neighborhood, but...

This was the Tucson, AZ gas price on June 7, 2010
Nearly $2.63 per gallon

The outdoor temperature when I returned from my walk, at 12:30 P.M. was 98 degrees F. which is 36.67 C. (I think) -- Later in the day it went above 100 degrees F.

Comfy . . .

Oh yes. By the way... I had three winning numbers on the Powerball ticket that I bought at that Circle K store last week.

I Won $7.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Incident In The Early Morning

While out by the pool this morning I was treated to the sight of a large Roadrunner outside the fence, in the vicinity of the chimenea

Backyard patio with Chimenea

but while I was fumbling around in attempts to hurriedly get my little camera out of my pocket, the bird disappeared into the surrounding scrub.

Just my luck.

Here is a stock photo of a Roadrunner.

The one I saw was bigger (fatter?) than the one pictured.

Wile E. Coyote

Now I know how he feels.

Maybe I'll have better luck the next time I spy a roadrunner.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Day Today... So Far

Since Mike and Tim flew to Ashely's H.S. graduation open-house in Indiana for the weekend, and since JoAnn is at her mom's home in Maine for a few days, and since Michelle has gone to Phoenix, I am the volunteer dog-sitter for three days. Along with Eva (who lives here of course) I also have Bailey, the rescued Greyhound my grandson and his wife are fostering until an owner can be found.

Eva is not trouble at all.

. . .

But Bailey (in my admittedly inexpert
opinion)is another story altogether.

I suspect that Bailey is not the most gifted example of the top spot of doggie intelligence. He is a gentle, unassuming canine... but he does not respond to voice and hand signal commands as does Eva, who recognizes and obeys, "SIT" and "STAY" and "COME". Bailey does not. He must be 'led' by his collar when I want him to do something, such as to eat, or to drink, or to go outside.

Oh well . . .

Today I repeated my 1.7 mile walk up Conestoga Avenue to the Circle-K convenience store on Tanque Verdee and then back again, a total of 3.4 miles.

Just as I started out, I met two people on
horseback and snapped a shot of them. . .

Farther along the way I encountered a yard sale and stopped in to browse. I bought three 10-cent paperback books, Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut, Danse Macabre by Stephen King, and The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert Heinlein.

At Circle-K I bought a small bag of pretzels and a...

pineapple-flavored soda.

. . .

When I got back home and let Eva and Bailey out of their respective latched 'crates' (security dens) one of them leaped into the air and cavorted about and wanted to play while the other one lay down on a dog-cushion on the floor and went to sleep. It's no chore to guess which did which of those things... Eva was being puppy-eager and Bailey was being -- well, Baily was being a Greyhound -- conserving energy.

. . .

Donna called me on the phone today from Pennsylvania and we talked for quite a little while. She sometimes has four dogs to care for...

" Oh...MY...God!"

More another day...