Notions

One More Run for Staples

In our recent post where we discussed taking a run for staples down to the valley, we commented that we were going to have to make one more run down that way before the holidays (and the traffic congestion that goes with them). Well, today was the final run for the season until after the first of the year unless something urgent comes up.

In the clickable image above (courtesy Damsel), you can see the main drag of our sleepy little town with relatively light traffic even though the snowbirds, rodeo ropers and other seasonal visitors are already here. We were blessed with light traffic all the way until we got into the west valley proper today. Then, we were in the thick of the traffic although it was not as bad as we have seen in past excursions.

Damsel and I arrived at the “Big W,” parked and went into the store with a list of things to get and proceeded to perform what I call “surgical shopping,” which is to navigate to where items on the list are available, put them into the cart and when finished, get to the check-out stand. We did pretty well although we both were distracted from the strict “mission” when seeing something “shiny” or otherwise attractive. Once we had all that was on the list (and a few other items) we headed for the check-out and after a short wait, were headed back out to the truck.

The traffic heading home was not too bad and, as usually is the case, became progressively lighter the closer to home we were. We are glad that this trip, although during a busy season in the valley, was not as big a pain in the backside as it might have been.

Donner und Blitzen

Damsel and I were awakened this morning to the sound of thunderclaps rather nearby. Rain showers started shortly afterwards with some periods of heavy rain but not enough duration to make the little creek on the west side of the rock and cactus garden flow.

As I write this mid-day, the forecast is for more showers and possible embedded thunderstorms this afternoon and evening continuing into Monday. We’re under a flood watch and possibly a flood warning later. The electricity is on, we’re comfy inside and the rain lets up long enough for us to walk the dogs. Life is good.

Clickable image taken from the Windows 10 weather app.

Mid-Week Run for Staples

When we have to travel down to the west valley for supplies, one of the perks is that we pass through a scenic section of the Arizona Desert. The (clickable) image (courtesy Damsel) shows the desert between US 60 near Morristown, AZ and a craggy peak up in the mountains to the northeast that I call “Castle Hot Springs Peak,” so named (by me) for the nearby historic resort. I have no idea what the actual name of the peak might be, but then my moniker is suitable enough for our purposes here.

We embarked on the shopping venture today to stock up on certain staples needed for our fall and winter seasons. Note that trips to the valley involve more and more traffic the closer we get to the holiday season due to the influx of part-year residents (a.k.a. Snowbirds). So, before the big rush, we wanted to get some things that we can’t usually get in our little town’s stores.

We had a list of items to procure which we were mostly able to obtain at the large warehouse chain store (starts with W and ends with T). We also scored some bonus items including Keto Culture Hot Dog and Hamburger Buns. Since Damsel and I started our diets in late 2018, we haven’t been able to have a decent hot dog or hamburger on a bun until today. I can honestly say that after eating a couple of those beef franks with mustard and relish that I was not able to tell the difference between the 1 net carb buns and the old 20 plus carb buns.

We also found a nice 5 pound boneless Prime Rib Roast (at $12/lb) which is now in our freezer with the intention of having it for Christmas Dinner. It has been a long time since we’ve had prime rib and we’re eagerly anticipating enjoying it when the time arrives.

Damsel also picked up a few sundries and other items that we don’t usually see in town. We can order some of the stuff on-line, but there is the factor of holding items and inspecting them before buying that is satisfying.

So, we’re done with trips down to the west valley until after the new year unless something really urgent comes up. Meanwhile, we’re cozy in our little abode with the provisions we need for the season.

End of Red Bird Season

It’s that time of the fall when the Red Bird Of Paradise (a.k.a. Pride of Barbados) shrubs in the courtyard are about through with their annual production of gorgeous flowers (and pea pods). Within the next few days, we will be cutting them back to the ground for the winter. However, they will be back by next late May or early June for another colorful season.

This year, we’re going to remove the shrubs one per week; trying to cut back all three of them in one day is pretty labor intensive and fills our trash bin to capacity. So we’re going to attack the first one this week, perhaps in the morning.

We have an appointment with the hospital lab tomorrow morning for blood work — we visited our primary doctor today who ordered some routine tests for us, so the courtyard work will come after we get home and eat a late breakfast (the tests require that we be fasting).

The image above (click to enlarge) is of some of the last flowers on one of the shrubs. Camera: Canon EOS Rebel SL1, 1/200 sec, F28, ISO 1000, Aperture Priority, Lens EF-S55-250mm @ 135mm.

UPDATE 1 — 10/07/2022: One down, two to go. There are still viable flower pods to open on the remaining shrubs, so they will likely remain there for another week or two, to the delight of hummingbirds, bees, sphinx moths and butterflies – and, of course, the humans watching them.

UPDATE 2 — 10/16/2022: We took advantage of a break in the weather (we’ve been getting some rain) and removed shrub #2 and part of shrub #3 this morning. We don’t usually do chores on the Lord’s Day, but the whole operation took less than half an hour, so I guess we’re going to be OK with it.

UPDATE 3 — 10/17/2022: Damsel and I finished off the removal of the last Red Bird shrub today. The courtyard now has only the bottlebrush shrubs which are winter hearty in this climate. There was one last cluster of flowers still remaining on the last red bird.

So, with this last (clickable) image, we say good-bye until spring to these beautiful flowers.

Thirteenth Retirement Anniversary

Damn if these years don’t just keep speeding by! Thirteen years ago yesterday, I hung up my aerospace hat and jumped into the world of never-ending weekends. Today marks the thirteenth anniversary of my first full day of retirement.

The texture image in the numeral 13 above is from an old photo taken at the Grand Canyon National Park ten years ago.

Last year we posted about our twelfth anniversary and in that post we spoke of our intention to get in the big RV and go somewhere. Well, for various reasons, that trip has not yet happened. It has been over three years since we had the motorhome out and about, so this year we really intend to take a shakedown excursion to see how the RV does and how we do with it.

The most recent long trip was in 2019 when we went through Northern Arizona, Southern Utah, Western Colorado, Southern Wyoming, back into Colorado, down through New Mexico, back into Northern Arizona and then home again.

Our next excursion, as I mentioned, will be a shakedown cruise and as such, will be confined (mostly) to Arizona. We may cross over into Kalifornistan for a few miles, but it will be brief and (hopefully) won’t subject us to any of the insanity out there. Our proposed route will take us from home base up through very scenic US 93 to I-40 and east to Seligman, AZ. After that, we’re going to travel along Old Route 66 up through Peach Springs, AZ, Kingman, AZ and winding up at Bullhead City, AZ. Then we plan to head back home via Lake Havasu City, AZ, Parker, AZ, Salome, AZ and then on into Wickenburg.

Kingman Express — Engine 3759

I took several images of Engine 3759 in Locomotive Park, across US Route 66 from the Kingman (Arizona) Powerhouse in December of 2009. I later combined two of the images to produce the anaglyph image above (clickable).

From Locomotive Wiki:

Santa Fe No. 3759 is a 4-8-4 “Northern” type steam locomotive built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1928 for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF).

This locomotive hauled passenger trains on the AT&SF. It was retired in the late 1950s when diesels replaced steam.

In February 1955, 3759 was brought out of retirement at the request of the Railway Club of Southern California for a special excursion run, dubbed “Farewell to Steam.” This special ran on February 6th, a round trip between Los Angeles Union Station and Barstow, CA with stops in Pasadena and San Bernardino and was the last Santa Fe revenue steam train to leave Los Angeles and to traverse Cajon Pass.

Santa Fe donated the locomotive to the city of Kingman in 1957. As of today, 3759 remains on static display at Locomotive Park in Kingman, AZ.

New Blog Category

Introducing the new Anaglyph Imagery category. It has been a long time interest of mine to view and later, produce, anaglyphic stereo imagery that requires red/cyan color filtered glasses to view.

If you don’t have a pair of red/cyan or red/blue 3D glasses, you can view the 2D image of Engine 3759 here. If you need a pair of 3D glasses, I recommend Rainbow Symphony. They only sell paper glasses in quantities of 50 and up unless you buy plastic glasses which you can get in a 2-pack. I see 3D glasses available on Amazon, but I don’t recommend them since I could not find origin sellers other than from China.