Thursday, September 11, 2014

I took the longest vacation I've taken since 1998. Eleven days off exploring North Carolina and George with Forrest and Travis. As usual, flying is a nightmare of stupid people and it seems that planes really hit the ground hard when they land.

I got to the Charlotte Airport and waited four hours for Forrest to arrive. We then drove to the River's Edge campground in Georgia and set up tent. It was hot and humid. We rarely wore shirts.

We are both tired.

Forrest is smart and has a cushy blow-up mattress for his tent and I slept really well that first night.


On Friday, friends started to appear- Casey and Justin, John and Brandon, Steve and Michael. It was nice seeing the guys I met last year and meeting new folks.

We waited for Travis to arrive, which he did at about 11:00 that night.

Lights outside John and Brandon's trailer.

Saturday was spent playing in the pool. 

Lots of drinks.

Later that night, Travis, Brandon, and I went to listen to Tom Goss perform. It was so nice to see him and we were impressed by some new techniques he is using.


That night it rained like crazy. My tent partly filled with water. It was unpleasant.

The next night we went to a theme party.

The trio.

I hung out with young Michael. I liked his beard.

Michael and Homer.

I admired the last summer flowers blooming.


On Monday, we returned to North Carolina to the estate where Forrest, Travis, and Colin sojourn. They demanded that I go out hiking late at night.

Late at night.

Eventually it started to rain and I became soaked.

Homer and Forrest.

In the morning the fog hung over the valley. Often I lay in bed lazing about. I read two and a third books.

Foggy morning.

On Tuesday, Travis and I journeyed about, stopping in Boone for Pizza.

Kissing bears.

He took me to the original Mast Store. It is good that I had no space in my carry-on because there were many things I admired.

Mast store.

I was good at telling Travis "No!" when he wanted to buy things.


Outside, a garden had many beautiful flowers.


I demanded that Travis pose with me.

Travis wears his new hat.

We stopped briefly at the Cone estate and I admired the architectural flourishes.

Corinthian column.

On Saturday we went to a restaurant and I enjoyed the eggplant sandwich and onion rings.

Uncle Joe's.

We traveled to visit Paul and Whitney and I got to see Duker, who gave me a big smooch.


We took a hike and visited a waterfall.


It was nice to visit with Paul. 

Forrest, Whitney, Paul, Duker, and Travis.

That night another night hike.


We wandered about. I would have gotten lost.

The explorers.

On Monday, Travis and I went to Waynesville to visit with Charles. It was nice to see him again.

Charles, me, and Travis.

Colin took me to the airport and we stopped at Miguel's nearby. The food is delicious there.


Now I am back in Tucson and I think I have a cold.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

We are having a real monsoon this year. We haven't had one in years. It thunderstorms, there is a lot of rain, it has been unusually cool.

Buddy still gets in his wading pool to cool off. He likes the patch of grass Doug planted in the backyard.


Last week because of the rain I only rode the bike once. This week, twice. On Monday as I went up Mountain Avenue I saw an antique chair poking out of the bulky trash pile. I got to work and told Val, who has an antique stall, and we went and picked it up.It turned out to be a rocking chair.

Rocking chair.

I don't know much about furniture styles. So I posted a picture on Facebook and several people identified it as Eastlake Style, circa 1870-1890. Factory made, mid-range price.

It is missing two pieces, one on the side that can be duplicated in reverse and one along the bottom front. There is also some dog chewing along the front side. But otherwise it is in pretty good shape. Doug is going to make the side missing piece for Val.

Then yesterday it rained real hard at work. I heard this strange noise outside and looked over the fence and discovered the nearby wash was overflowing into the neighbor's yard. There was about six inches by  the time I left work.


I left work at 4:20 and the Rillito was flowing pretty vigorously. Storm drains were discharging a lot of water into it. As I biked up to the Campbell Avenue underpass, water was flowing across the path. I decided to go up and over instead.


The streetcar was just starting running again. A lightning strike had set a palm tree on fire on campus, and the firetrucks had blocked the tracks. And then water washed a lot of gravel onto the tracks and they had to clean that off because they did not want the streetcar to derail.

The Fare Enforcement officer told me that 5,000 people rode the streetcar on Monday, the first day of University of Arizona classes. I hope the ridership continues to be high so we can extend the lines.

And tomorrow I am off to visit with Forrest and Travis. So excited to get away and escape Tucson. I never recline my airplane seat, in case you are wondering, and hate it when the person in front of me does.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

An Irish man selected the location of a new fort on 20 August 1775. Yesterday was the 239th anniversary of this event. I wore my new bowler. My attempts to tie my bow tie failed, but luckily I had a regular tie in my vest pocket.

A mariachi band was playing. I want a pair of mariachi pants.


The quince is almost ripe. 


A big crowd arrived for the birthday ceremony.

Flag ceremony.

I wandered into the 1860s-1870s house that contains the gift shop and museum and acted as tour guide for a handful of people. One young woman thanked me profusely, "This is so interesting!"

Saturday, August 16, 2014

I forgot to take photos last weekend but here is a delicious Indian food lunch.

I streetcarred-biked (bike=48 miles) to work four days this week. Also hiked Tumamoc Hill with Steve on Thursday morning (3.1 miles). I was so exhausted I fell asleep at 7 PM last night.

It has been rainy, on Thursday especially. But I have not gotten soaked yet.

Rillito full of water.

Also on Thursday I bought a new helmet and a smaller tire pump.

New helmet.

The monsoons finally seem to be here for real. The clouds get very dramatic in the afternoon. It rains in various places, although only once at my house in the last couple of weeks.

Catalina Mountains.

It takes me about 25 extra minutes to commute to work via the streetcar-bike. I don't really mind. I have run into people I know on the streetcar. Biking goes by fast, although the ride back up Mountain Avenue is uphill and my legs get tired.

4th Avenue Streetcar stop mosaic.

Last night the sky was very dramatic. 

To the northeast.

This morning (Saturday) I got up early and went hiking up Tumamoc with Steve. I struggled towards the top, breathing hard. I came back and developed a mean headache. It finally went away and I went over to the streetcar and down to 4th Avenue. Stopped at IBTS for a gin and tonic, then to a vintage store and bought a black bow tie (a real one, not a clip on), and then to the Bookstop, where I purchased some books with a gift certificate that I got at a charity auction. Stopped at the bakery at the Mercado and got a piece of Tres Leches Cake (caramel). YUMMM.

Now at home and what to do?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Some random things.

I rescued this little fish-hook cactus from being bull-dozed and it surprised me by blooming.

Fish hook cactus.

When I was probably 12 I got the Big Jim Camper for a Christmas present. I wonder what happened to it?


A pair of hawks hang outside my window at work. Today one chased a squirrel around until the squirrel decided to chase it around.


I rode the streetcar four times last week, biking about 42 or 43 miles to and from work. 

Commuting. Notice the red beard behind me.

I buzzed the hair off a couple of weeks ago and then decided to trim the beard. As more of it goes gray, it becomes a curly, unmanageable mess.


Went up and hung out with Craig and Jesse on Saturday, we had excellent Indian food and that night we went to Brian's 45th birthday party. Very expensive drinks with very little alcohol in them. That was a surprise.

17 days until I board the aluminum tube of death and go see Forrest and Travis in North Carolina. Can't wait to see them.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Let's play pool volleyball.

A nice cloudy day, a few beers, a buttermilk yellow cake with chocolate fudge frosting (that got eaten up really quickly).

Lots of jumping.

I use my long arms.

Patrick plays really well.

No swimming suits were hurt.

We had a good time. Thanks Richard and Roger!

Hello Mark!


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