A 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.
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.
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.
I 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.
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.
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.
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.
Last night, we had the first of three so-called supermoons this summer. It is the phenomenon where the moon appears to subtend a larger angle in the sky due to it’s close proximity to the Earth. We’re due to have another, even larger supermoon on August 10th.
A supermoon is the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth. The technical name is the perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. The term “supermoon” is not astronomical, but originated in modern astrology. The association of the Moon with both oceanic and crustal tides has led to claims that the supermoon phenomenon may be associated with increased risk of events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, but the evidence of such a link is widely held to be unconvincing.
The most recent occurrence was on July 12, 2014. The next and closest supermoon of 2014 will be on August 10.
The opposite phenomenon, an apogee-syzygy, has been called a micromoon, though this term is not as widespread as supermoon.
Although the reference to supermoons causing earthquakes is “held to be unconvincing,” I still remember the 1971 Sylmar quake which occurred the morning after a supermoon. I remain completely unconvinced that anything other than terrestrial tectonic plate movement had anything to do with that event.
I have never seen this many open flowers on our Bishop’s Cap cactus. My first thought was that the array of flowers resembled a bridal bouquet.
I think that this cactus is very happy in the courtyard of our Arizona home. Originally, we bought it in Arizona before we were married in the late 1990’s. It was in California for most of that time until we brought it here in 2011. Now, it produces flowers (lots of ‘em) all summer long, many more than ever seen in California. Click on the image to enlarge.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been getting bombarded with a bunch of “Undeliverable Mail” messages on one of my private email accounts. Sometimes, I would receive hundreds of them a day.
At first, it seemed to be a nuisance that could be eliminated by setting up a rule for received messages in my email client. The rule would detect one of several senders and/or subjects that were common to the messages and would summarily delete the message on the server - I would never see them again in my inbox. But, as it turned out, that was not the end of it. My mail server then started rejecting my outbound emails with a message indicating that I had exceeded my daily limit of 500 emails.
So. it was not as simple as I originally thought. The returned emails were a product of some phishing spammers spoofing my email address to send their crap through my server. I was only seeing the rejected emails that did not make it to the intended address.
I did some research on-line and found that I needed to change the password for the hacked email address. I also ran anti-virus scans on my computer to see if malware here was originating the spam. Norton AV advised me that it found nothing.
Since there was no malware, I assumed that my address book had not been compromised. The spams had to be originating from a source that knew my email password. How was that compromised? I have to assume that at some time during our recent trips to PRK (Kalifornistan), someone monitoring the unsecured wifi at the hotel where we were staying picked up on the username/password transactions for the email address. I do have a private wifi device which is secure, but the 3G service it provides is pretty slow, hence the use of the hotel wifi.
Since I changed the password for that email address, the problem has gone away. From now forward, I will not be using the hotel house wifi on future visits for anything other than browsing - no shopping, no banking, no emailing - period.