Six Years Down the Road


It’s hard to believe that I have been retired for six years. October 01, 2009 was the first full day of official retirement from big aerospace, although excess leave and personal time off hours allowed us to take most of the last three months off. But on this day, six years ago, the first pension check from the second stint at the same company I had retired from a decade before. Sorta weird, but I get a separate check (directly deposited, of course) for each term of service.

I say that retirement has been damn good because we have had ample opportunity to relocate, build a new home, travel and just enjoy the leisure time. There have been a few pitfalls, but the outcome of those (so far) have not had a very negative effect on our retirement.

As we go forward with our life of leisure, we will be able to travel a little more often than we have in the first six years which is important now that our families have presented us with a new grandson and a great grandson. We will be visiting them and going to visit our other extended family from time to time. We envision an upgrade in our RV status in the future and will be organizing a vacation get-together with some of the family who also have that capability.

We eagerly anticipate the next six years of retirement and even more, God willing.


Visit from the Local Javelina Herd

Local Javelina Herd

Damsel called me to the great room late this afternoon to show me the herd of Javelina (Collared Peccary) that had wandered onto the neighbor’s driveway across the road. As we looked through the window, I called the neighbor to advise him of the presence of the herd. He and the family were not at home at the time and he told me that his dogs were secure inside the house.

This herd has grown in size from when we first moved here, from about five to seven at that time to over a rough count of eleven today. Javelina herds stake out their own territory and seldom compete with other herds for the 5500 acres of desert where they claim domain and forage therein.

Residents in semi-rural areas just have to cope with the beasts, since they are considered a game animal here. Even so, a defensive gun use is not out of the question if they become aggressive, which they might, if startled or accompanied by offspring. Damsel and I both pack when not sleeping, just in case of trouble. either the four or two legged kind.

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California Cacti Acquisition

Cactus Number One Cactus Number Two Cactus Number Three

On our recent excursion to the California Desert, we were honored to meet up with long-time reader and commenter Crotalus, who was kind enough to present us with these three beautiful examples of cacti from his collection. We transported them to the Arizona desert where they seem to be doing quite well.

In our hasty meeting (we were packing up to head home) I was not able to record their proper binomial names, so I will (for the time being) just refer to them as our California Cacti number one, two and three. You can click on any one of the three images above to enlarge to full size.

We are already planning our next visit to the Palm Desert area to meet with our kids and the other set of Grandparents to the new little grandson. By then, we may be able to meet up with Crotalus again to properly identify the varieties of these cacti.

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Second Spring

While most of the northern hemisphere marks the beginning of fall, we, here in the Arizona Desert celebrate the beginning of “Second Spring.” The summer monsoons are gone and the flowers are opening again.

Here are three open flowers on my Devil’s Tongue Barrel Cactus with several more flower pods set to open:

Devil’s Tongue Flowers

This Star Cactus flower was open when we got home from California:

Star Cactus Flower

Finally, a lone flower blossomed atop one of the Buckhorn Cholla in the west cactus garden:

Cholla Flower

Click on any image to enlarge.


Tenth Blogiversary

ten.pngWell, it’s been a decade since we first hung out our banner and started this cyber-diary called a weblog. It’s been mostly fun for us and we have enjoyed coming into contact with like-minded readers and fellow bloggers.

The content subject matter of this blog has evolved over the years and all of the pro-second amendment posts are now posted on The Wandering Minstrel after starting that blog, now in its eighth year. Going forward. we always have and will continue to post items pointing out the farce known by many names which is now called by the absurd name “climate change.” By any other name, still one of the many lies promoted by progressives. We will keep an eye on their lies and point them out whenever we can.

Whatever technology changes might affect blogging in the future, we will try to adapt. Here’s to the next ten years!

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Sixth, Seventh and Eighth/Ninth Day Out Camping

Sixth day - Stockton, CA

Stockton, CA

Our excuse for not posting when we were in Stockton is that we were camped at Damsel’s sister’s place. Naturally, having not visited with family for several months demands that we sit and yack about whatever until after midnight. It was a good visit and the sister took good care of us, feeding us supper and breakfast the next morning.

Seventh Day - Bakersfield, CA

Bakersfield, CA

We were unable to post anything while staying at Bear Mountain RV south of Bakersfield. The WIFI connection was so piss-poor, that we were barely able to check mail. Trying uploads resulted in timeouts and extremely slow uploads, so we threw in the towel, set up the TV and watched some DVDs we brought along.

Eighth and Ninth Day- Palm Desert, CA

Palm Desert, CA

We are currently in Palm Desert this evening and will be here for a couple of days while visiting the other grandparents, the new baby grandson and his parents. Damsel set up the little charcoal grill and cooked up a delicious porterhouse steak, which we split and still had leftovers much to the puppies delight.

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Fifth Day Out Camping

Cloverdale Camping

This evening, we are camped at the Cloverdale (CA) KOA, about forty miles north of Santa Rosa, CA, about seven miles up in the hills east of US 101. It is a nice place once you get here, but the road is narrow and twisty, not exactly fun pulling a trailer behind the truck. Plus we get to leave the same way. Oh, well.

We crossed the Sierra Nevada Mountains and followed I-80 most of the way across the state. I swear, the next trip I plan will exclude traveling through major urban areas. The traffic and the road construction in Sacramento was terrible. Traffic in the North San Francisco Bay area had its level of suckage, too. We came through this same part of the Bay Area a year ago and the traffic hasn’t improved. Despite those drawbacks, camping in wine country is scenic, quiet and restful.

Tomorrow night, we will be in Stockton camping in Damsel’s sister’s driveway. But, before that, we’re stopping in Santa Rosa for our great grandson’s first birthday party. It should be an interesting day.

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