Taking the New Truck Plunge

Ford F-150 Pickup Truck

We didn’t plan to drive a new truck home today, but that’s what happened. We had been toying with the prospect of upgrading to a new vehicle for a while now and contacted a friend who is a salesman at the local dealer. We gave him some specifications about what we wanted and he came up with a list of possible matches a few days later. At first, we had trouble getting on the same wavelength with our “druthers,” but we met with him today at the dealership and found a truck that we could flex our initial wishlist to come to an agreement. Both Damsel and I test drove the truck and we liked it a lot.

Our buddy made us a really good offer for a trade in of our SUV, so we decided to go forward with the deal. We still have the SUV for tonight, but tomorrow morning we will be cleaning it out and taking it to the dealer.

A couple of years ago, this dealer posted a billboard that convinced us that we would come here for a new truck deal. It was the famous (to us) “Thanks, Ford, for NOT taking the bail out from the government.” Click on the image to enlarge.

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Lame Dodo

Ramirez’ cartoon amused me today when he compared the lame one to an extinct species.

Lame Dodo

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Debris on the Road

Debris on the Road

Country Club Drive crosses Casandro Wash about a quarter of a mile upstream from the dam. The dam is about eight hundred feet south of our house. Damsel took this photo of some debris still on the road as we passed by driving on Wickenburg Way (US 60). It has been over two weeks since the last major thunderstorm and this debris remains, although the road is passable.

Right after the storm, this road was closed due to debris and obstructions. It reopened a couple of days later. I guess the mindset is that the road is open and we still have another month or more of possible monsoon activity. Clean up can take place after that, I guess. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Ocotillo

OcotilloA few weeks ago, I spoke with the landscaping folks about our ocotillo out front. The one they installed a couple of years ago had completely died and was being consumed by termites or some other wood eating vermin. The landscape crew came out shortly after and removed the dead plant.

Today, the crew showed up with this beautiful living replacement for the old ocotillo. Luckily for us, the landscaper has a policy of replacement of anything they planted for up to five years. When the saguaro they planted failed, they promptly removed the fallen cactus and eventually replaced it with the one seen behind the new ocotillo in the background of the image to the right.

Hopefully, the new ocotillo will prosper in the new location and produce the beautiful little arrays of red flowers on the tips of the canes. This is a young ocotillo and has the potential to grow in height and have more canes (branches). Click on the image to enlarge.

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Hot Pink and Light Pink Mini Carnations

Mini Carnations

When we went shopping yesterday, I picked out two bunches of mini carnations and a spray of baby’s breath for accent. I like the two shades of pink against the green and white of the stems and little flowers. Click on the image to enlarge.

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No Fishing From Bridge

No Fishing From Bridge

We went down to the West Valley area today to shop for some things. Shopping in the summertime in the Phoenix Metro area is better in the summer because the stores are not as crowded due to snowbirds gone for the season.

We shopped at Walmart for several sundries not always available in our little town. We also shopped at Lowe’s where Gas Grills were on sale this week. We need a replacement for ours that we junked yesterday.

As we passed the Pedestrian Bridge over the Hassayampa leaving town this morning, I took a picture of the NO FISHING sign. The sign has been there for a long time, dating back to pre-2009 when Highway 60 still used the old bridge. It strikes us funny that such a sign would be on a bridge over an underground river that flows less than one percent of the time during monsoon season. Click on the image to enlarge.

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The Scrap Heap

The Scrap HeapI posted about a minor disaster a couple of weeks ago on the other blog. I had some foil-wrapped vegetables roasting on the grill with the lid closed. As I usually do, I set up the umbrella behind the grill to provide shade for me and to keep the sun off of the external shelves. The umbrella was mounted to a very heavy base which is supposed to weigh the lighter part of the rig down. Unfortunately, when I went into the house to get the meat we were going to grill, a wind gust lifted the umbrella into the grill and the whole business did a plant onto the concrete driveway. We heard the noise and ran outside to discover the mess.

That was then - today, Damsel and I disassembled the remains of the grill to the point where we could get it into the truck and drove it down to the salvage yard near the airport. The scrap man had us put the grill parts in a dumpster. He then used a fork lift to move the dumpster to a scale inside the hangar bay in their building. The grill and a couple of other scraps we had weighed in at eighty-four pounds. The rate for mixed scrap was $0.05 per pound, so he had me sign a receipt and handed me $4.20. It was hardly worth the effort to disassemble and transport, but it’s out of the garage now where a brand-new grill will be sitting by the weekend.

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Saguaro and Moon

Saguaro and Moon

I had to go to the community hospital today to be tested for lipids (whatever that is) in my blood. The doctor will modify my cholesterol medication prescription according to the results.

On the way out of the hospital, I noticed a rugged old saguaro cactus just outside. I turned my camera on the cactus to get a photo and noticed that the half moon was positioned for me to get both it and the cactus in the same frame. This is the result. The cactus is in focus and the moon slightly out of focus, giving both aerial and linear perspective to the photo. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Making the Rounds

Patriotic Perspective

We’re in California tonight after making the rounds to decorate the grave sites of some of our fallen loved ones. There are two memorial parks that we visit when we’re in town (actually three, but one is way over in Orange County that we get to once a year or so). This array of American Flags decorates the entrance to the park where my Grandparents, an Uncle and my Daughter were laid to rest. The flags are flown on five staffs of graduating heights and graduating flag sizes. It’s a very pretty array of Patriotic Perspective.

We were earlier at the other park on this side of town where my Dad, a brother-in-law and a sister are in repose. I put decorations on all of the sites at both parks. This makes us feel respectful and lets have some closure about our losses. Click on the image to enlarge.

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No Hat Rack

No Hat Rack

When we come to California, we find several cultural differences from those in Arizona. One example is that when we go to a restaurant or even to the dentist, they have a rack for us cowboy types to hang our hats. Not so much in California, where sun worship and skin cancer reign.

The only hotel in this area where we can take our dogs is an antiquated property which, by all rights, should have a hat rack in the rooms, has none. Thus, I have to improvise with where I hang my hat when not in use. Click on the image to enlarge.

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