Tuesday, February 28, 2006


My income taxes are finished!

Well, almost. I do have to go back onto the TurboTax site tomorrow and make sure the return was accepted. Then when I get home & have a printer I will have to connect this laptop to it and print the hard copies.

But it was a challenge to do. I got the darn thing finished (yes, I get a bit of a refund) but couldn't submit it from home. When I got going in the process it told me that I had to update to the newest forms, ten of them. It would start and get to 52% of the way through form #4, then the computer would just turn off! It didn't time out the connection and leave me hanging like that, it just shut it off. It would restart okay and didn't go to the screen that says Windows was incorrectly shut down & needed to "fix" itself - wierd. I called Verizon Wireless to ask about it today after this happened something like 8 times. They didn't know what was going on, said they hadn't heard of that problem before.

So, since I had not had a MOCHA yet today, I gathered up the PC and its gear & drove to one of the Internet cafes nearby. It connected fine on the WiFi card to their system and TurboTax connected to it's home site, after I remembered to re-set TurboTax to WiFi instead of dialup like it wanted to use on NationalAccess. It sped right on through that 52% spot and finished the download, they installed okay and now I am finished (well, almost) with them. The cost to file electronically has gone up this year, at least through the TurboTax/Intuit connection, but with me on the road and not having a printer it seemed like the best thing to do.

Son M said on the phone that the oranges arrived yesterday and they are still edible. The photos he sent me of grand daughter K arrived today so now I have each of the Grandkids on the RV bulletin board along with some Annie photos. Neighbors D & B T called yesterday from Quartzsite where they are now in their 5-th wheel trailer. I am going to drive up there tomorrow for a visit in my car. It will be fun to see them again and also to see how Q looks now, a month beyond the Main Event and most of the other things that go on up there that time of the year. I'll plan to take some photos on the trip.

This WiFi is nice. I kind of had forgotten what it is like to zip along on the web at high speed. My card on NationalAccess tops out at about 87kps. The indicator says this card is running at 54.0Mbps - a whole lot faster. Oh well, in another month I will be in California where BroadBand access is supposed to again be available. NationalAccess is better than nothing!

Sunday, February 26, 2006


The 2006 Yuma Air Show

I did manage to get up early yesterday and drove to the 2006 Yuma Air Show. This was the 44th show and is quite a crowd draw every year. Annie & I were here last year during this event but we were concerned that it might be too much "going" for Annie so we didn't attend. My cousin had told me to get there early if I wanted to get right up on the flight line with the aircraft as it fills up fast. It opened at 8 and I was there about 08:10. You can get a good view of the aerial events from the Yuma County Fairgrounds, across Business 8 from the airfield.

Here is a photo showing the general feeling of the place early in the day, shortly after 9:
Air show 1

The first of the main events was at 10 and featured the US Army Golden Knights precision parachute team. You will need to have the latest version of Macromedia's Flash Player installed to run this but it will give you an option to do that if you don't already have it. These people are awesome to watch! They jump out of a perfectly good airplane at an altitude of 12,500 feet, then free fall to 4,000 feet, reaching a terminal speed of 120 mph, before opening their chutes. The parachutes are a specially designed unit that can be flown, sort of like an airplane. They pull on the left control to turn left, the right one for right and both as they land to just drop. The first out was a single team member who arrived flying the US flag. This was the 675th jump for this team member but his first in an air show:
Air show 2

The group comes out of the plane, then joins up in a formation. They each have a smoke canister attached to an ankle so they can be seen while still too high to pick out them individually. A photographer goes along on each jump and he/she circles the group, without smoke, taking photos. As they approach the chute opening altitude the group "flies" apart and leaves some intricate smoke trails in the sky:
Air show 3

This tandem team is intentional. They have a way that one member can control both chutes. They will split apart just before their landing. This flag is the MIA flag in honor of those missing in action:
Air show 4

Here is a team member approaching a landing, right on the mark. The target is the small flag on the fiberglas pole, which also shows them the wind behavior at ground level. You can see the smoke device on the right ankle:
Air show 5

The photographer is the last to land and you can see the different helmet that contains the camera:
Air show 6

This group winters at the Army's Yuma Proving Ground, about 20 miles north of town. The public is welcome to stop and watch them during their practice sessions. I think the link to their web site has more on dates and time of day for these sessions.

There were flights by many aircraft, both military and civilian. These four are three Chinese and one Russian prop driven planes, flying in formation over the field. FAA rules create a "box" in the air where they are allowed to perform. That box must keep them at least 500 feet from spectators for propeller driven aircraft and 1500 feet away for jet powered ones. Sights like this can easily be seen from over along the highway at the fairgrounds, where you can sit in your car if you want to. There were a lot of people over there, too:
Air show 7

This is a twin jet powered US Air Force plane that is used to support troops on the ground because of it's maneuverability and the type of weapons it carries. It is an A-10 but known as a Warthog or "Tank Buster" because of it's ability to destroy heavily armored equipment like tanks. It is impressive in how it can maneuver close to the ground:
Air show 8

There were representatives there from many different agencies. This small helicopter is from the US Border Patrol and was there along with a dune buggy and other vehicles that agency operates. I talked with the pilot, shown here talking with a prospective future pilot:
Air show 9

The B-52 is an old aircraft but is still one of the mainstays of the Air Force. Have you ever been inside one? You could here but notice the loooong line on the stairs waiting for their chance. It was also nice to stand in the shade under it!
Air show 10

Here is another more current military aircraft which you could climb up to and look in the cockpit:
Air show 11

The air show was very interesting. I didn't stay for all of it as I had left my chair & camera bag in the car, a good mile + away. Of course my camera battery ran out with the spare a 3 mile round trip away, and my feet/legs were close to it. The biggest problem was that of all the vendors there, NONE sold mochas! I did buy a bottle of water for $2.50. I left about 13:30 and drove straight to Starbucks to solve the mocha problem, then home to spend some time with Huggy. In the evening I went to dinner at Applebees, then home for the rest of the evening.

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Friday, February 24, 2006


Two quiet days

My Blogger Dashboard tells me this is my 80th post, but that is not really accurate since the first photos I posted were by using the "Blog This" option from Flickr and that makes a separate post for each photo. If I put up six photos in one day it counted as six posts. I have since learned how to move the HTML code that brings the photo from Flickr to Blogger and lets you put many of them in one post.

Yesterday I again met northwest friends, K & C K, for lunch. This time we went to Rob's Grill. Rob is from the NW but has relocated to Yuma & lives here fulltime. After lunch we spent some time at the Zodiak Internet Cafe for mochas and some browsing on the web. I came home for the rest of the evening and to finish my Mexican chef salad for dinner. I really need to learn how to cook something else!

Today I spent some time with the computers. I got into my author list and found that of the six Robert B Parker Spenser novels I bought on Wed. I already had half of them! I took them back this afternoon but she only had one other one that I didn't have so I got a couple of Sue Grafton novels that I don't think I have. My mocha today was from The Grocery Store and I did a little shopping there, too. Dinner tonight was from Stouffer's frozen selections. The microwave does a pretty good job on them. I plan to try to call my brother, L, in Spokane, WA and wish him a happy 60th birthday tonight. Today is his birthday.

Tomorrow there is a special event here in town that I think I will go to. I am not going to commit since cousin J says I will have to get there early if I want to go. When I worked I started at 05:00 but since retiring I have changed to stay up later at night and sleep in later in the morning. I will see how I do at "early."

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Links, oranges, mochas & statistics

This morning I went onto my BlogRolling program and tried the suggestion sent me by Daddy Detective to get my links to open in their own window. They now seem to work. Thanks, Daddy Detective! I also picked some oranges from the tree beside my RV to send son, M, as he requested and did some housekeeping things around here.

I went to lunch at a fish & chips place, then to a used bookstore near there to buy a replacement of the Sue Grafton "M" book that apparently fell out of the pickup in Algodones. She had a good selection of Robert B. Parker "Spenser" books so I bought six of them. Of course I don't have a list of those I already have so will probably find I bought at least one I already have.

Then it was off to the UPS Store to ship the oranges. That cost $12.80 plus the cost of the box! They would have been a lot cheaper in the store. I hadn't had a mocha yet so a stop at The Grocery Store solved that. I only have to buy two more and I'll get a free one. The one from Zodiak yesterday was also free. I can cook a Mexican chef salad & have not had one since before I started this trip, so I bought the things I needed and came home to fix one for dinner.

I have been looking at the statistics from my hit counter. I will try to post the list of how many hits came from which cities. This is not totally accurate as the city listed is where the blog reader connected to the Internet. I know mine shows up as being in New Jersey as that is where Verizon Wireless is, but I am sure that I really am in Yuma, AZ. Here is the chart:

12 Vancouver British Columbia Canada
10 - - - -
10 Melbourne Victoria Australia
6 Livingston New Jersey United States
6 San Francisco California United States
5 Germantown Maryland United States
4 Liberty Missouri United States
3 Calgary Alberta Canada
2 Gastonia North Carolina United States
2 Houston Texas United States
1 Kenmore Washington United States
1 Bellingham Washington United States
1 Great Falls Montana United States
1 San Carlos California United States
1 Oklahoma City Oklahoma United States
1 Los Angeles California United States
1 Tucson Arizona United States
1 Miami Florida United States
1 Everett Washington United States

Well, it does not have the neat formatting the original had but it looks like the data is there. I think the number shows how many connected in that town, then is the town, region and country. The one with the blanks apparently were some the software couldn't get the info from. This is data for hits today, 22 Feb.

Tonight I plan to read, watch the Olympics on TV, catch up my paper & pen journal and snuggle with Huggy.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006


I got BlogRolling going today

I tried a few things to resolve my spacing problem with entering links on my blog template but all I tried didn't put them up single spaced. A friend suggested I look into BlogRolling so I went to their web site, looked around & decided to try it.

I got it setup pretty easily and entered some favorite sites, both blogs and web sites. I wish they opened in a separate window but I suppose most users will figure out that they need to use their "Back" button to return. Now I have some more software to figure out how to use.

My mail came today from Escapees RV Club. They shipped it Thursday & I hoped it would arrive Saturday, especially since there was no mail delivery service yesterday due to it being a National holiday. I haven't read through all of it yet but I believe I now have what I need to finalize my income taxes. I will submit them electronically and it looks like I'll get back about as much this year as we had to pay last year. It has been a challenge to try to figure out how much money I should have withheld for taxes from Annie & my various sources of income. Just as I thought it was making sense, Annie died and that has thrown it into turmoil again. I will run an estimated return with the 2005 software to try to get an idea where I will be in a year. I like to get a small amount back but don't want to loan the government too much since it doesn't earn anything while they have it.

Finally a little after 16:00 I realized I had basically worked on the PC all day and forgotten to stop for lunch! I also needed a mocha, so drove to Zodiak for the mocha, then a Mexican restaurant I've never eaten in called Don Quiote and had dinner. Or would it be called lunner, combining lunch & dinner? Anyway it was good.

I am now watching TV (I remembered NCIS this week!) and am again playing on the PC. I still have mail to sort through and will try to get that done tonight. I have no plans yet for tomorrow but am sure something will happen. Later.

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Monday, February 20, 2006


My visit today to Los Algodones, Mexico

Cousin J & I drove to the border town of Los Algodones, Mexico. We had forgotten it was a holiday until we were about to exit the freeway in California to begin the 1 1/2 mile drive to the border. The traffic was backed up onto the freeway! Needless to say it took awhile to get to the crossing. I am putting these photos up in a slightly smaller size as there are eleven I am posting.

This first photo shows the border crossing from the US side as we approached it. You do NOT want to drive a vehicle in Mexico without having Mexican liability insurance. The law there is different from in the US and you are assumed guilty until proven innocent after an accident. If you have Mexican liability insurance you will be released after an accident. If you have no insurance, you will wait in jail until your trial and that can take quite a long time. Cousin J lives close enough that he is down there a lot so he just buys an annual policy.
Algodones 1

This is a typical street scene in the main business (label that "tourist") part of town. These guys on the corner use spray paint cans, like Krylon, to paint some really beautiful pictures. There is always a crowd around watching them, but this photo was taken from across the street and of the back side of their booth. You do get a feel for what the place looks like, though.
Algodones 2

You can see a partially constructed building in the background of this photo. That same building is in the background of the photo taken as we approached the border and we are not far into Mexico. Many of the buildings, inside and out, are painted in bright colors. The guy in the Indian costume is reportedly about the highest paid street vendor in town, just from his tip jar!
Algodones 3

There are some nice homes in town and this is one. Notice the concrete sidewalk and paved street:
Algodones 4
but, here is a street that is representative of the majority of residential neighborhoods. No sidewalks, dirt streets, smaller, not as nice homes.
Algodones 5

Los Algodones has come into the 21st century in the last year - they now have an espresso cafe where you (or I) can buy mochas! Here is the La Conquista Cafe,
Algodones 6
and the barista making a frozen drink for the people ahead of me.
Algodones 7
My large 20oz mocha cost only $3, tax included and it was good!

Cousin J bought some fresh asparagus from a street vender and her young son, for $2. He also bought a carton of American cigarettes for $17, less than half what they cost in Arizona.
Algodones 8

Snowbirds tend to go to Algodones for prescription drugs, eye glasses, general shopping and dental work. This is the office of Dr. Luis Escobar, a US trained dentist that Annie and I saw last year while we were here.
Algodones 9

This photo shows the ugly fence along the US/Mexican border from the Mexican side.
Algodones 10

There was a long line up waiting to cross the border back into the US and this is part of that line, both the vehicles and the pedestrians. It is slower getting back than it was entering Mexico. One thing to remember when you enter Mexico is make sure that you have NO firearms nor amunition. That seems to be what the Mexican border people are the most concerned about. Here is the photo of that line up and it shows a bit more of the town.
Algodones 11

I got back to the RV in the late afternoon. I'd say it was a successful trip. I got some Mexican coins for the grandkids, some pure vanilla (it is real cheap down there) and another crystal with an image laser burned inside to go on the lighted, rotating turntable we have at home. We also had mochas and lunch while there. I don't know if I'll go back in the two weeks I have left in Yuma, but possibly.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006


The parade & more

I installed a "hit counter" on my blog today. It is the little block with numbers (red on a purple background, Annie's Red Hatter colors) that is at the bottom of my sidebar. It will add one to itself whenever someone logs on who hasn't connected to my blog in the last hour. So it didn't look so lonesome I started it at 101.

This morning I washed clothes again and finally tried that modern "clothes line" thing. I guess it is working okay although I fear my towels may feel more like sandpaper than nice soft towels. But, it is here and the price is right!

Here are those promised photos from yesterday's parade. The first is the white 1962 Triumph TR4 that is so much like the one I used to have. Does anyone know if these were related to Triumph motorcycles? They were both British but the motorcycles are still being made as my son, M, just got one for Christmas from his wife. Here is the car on Foothills Blvd. in Yuma:
Parade 1

This next photo is kind of a two-fer, a hot rod pickup and, painted in matching colors, a tear drop trailer. There is an RV for you, M! You would have to drive out west to pick it up and I don't know if the owners would sell it or not. I think most of these trailers were kits so the interiors were probably all different.
Parade 2

The final one is for all you Red Hatters out there. This was the group on the trailer but there were at least 8 or 10 golf cart type things running around, each with two or more Red Hatters in full regalia riding on them.
Parade 3

The next photo is a more accurate representation of what the view east along my street in front of the lot looks like. The other one I posted was looking at an angle while this looks straight down the sidewalk. It shows probably better how the Mexican brick is used to construct the fences. We usually don't turn the lanterns on top on - electricity is expensive here and they really don't add any useful light.
My street in Yuma

Here is a closer "artsy" type shot of the fence and lanterns. It might be a waste of cyberspace but with digital cameras, film is cheap!
My lanterns

I now need to go see if the clothes are dry. I don't think I can just wait for the buzzer to tell me when they are done. Then it is time to go for a mocha and a little shopping. I didn't make it to church this morning but still need my Sunday mocha. I can drop the CD with photos from the car show & parade off for cousin, J, and see if he and S would like to go, too. It will be interesting to watch that new hit counter. I wish I had put it in sooner. It was real easy to do.

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Saturday, February 18, 2006


A car show and a parade

Yesterday the Nostalgia Car Club from the Yuma Foothills held their annual car show at the Fry grocery store parking. My cousin, J, is active in the group & he recruited me to help setup. Cars started showing up about 15:00 and there ended up being a lot more than at last years show when rain was a possibility.

J's car is kind of unique. It started as a 1958 Fiat 600, a small car with four seats and a 22 hp engine in the rear trunk area. It now has a 4-clyinder 140 hp Audi engine & 5-speed transmission, with the engine mounted behind the front seats where the back seat used to be. It is quite a different car now with a lot more performance. Here is an external view of the car:
Car show 1
and a view showing the engine hatch open behind the seats:Car show 2

When I got out of high school I installed an Oldsmobile V8 engine in my 1938 Chevrolet sedan. This 1938 Chevy pickup brought back a lot of memories of my college era car that I built myself, with help from friends:
Car show 3

This next car is a kit car but a very well done one. It is a replica of a Shelby AC Cobra. This one is powered by a 428 cu in V8:
Car show 4

After college when I started my first job, I bought a Triumph TR4 sports car. Mine was a white 1963 model with disk rather than wire wheels. This one is almost identical, except it is a 1962 model. I have an exterior view of this in the parade that was held on Saturday but this is a view of the interior:
Car show 5

This post is getting kind of long so I'll hold off on the parade photos and a couple of others I took around my lot here, but I do have a couple of others I want to add today. Here is a closeup of one of the oranges on the tree next to my RV. I have a 90mm micro lens for my digital Nikon SLR camera and these two photos were taken with it. Here is a fairly close view of the orange:
Orange closeup

Here is another photo of my traveling companion, Huggy. She was sitting on the bottom step of the RV looking out into the sunshine so the pupils of her eyes are really closed down to a small size:
Huggy 2

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Thursday, February 16, 2006


My Valentine Day lunch & mocha

After finding and posting that wonderful poem, "Within You", on Valentine's Day, I left Huggy at home in the RV & drove to Da Boyz Pizza & Pasta restaurant to meet the Great-grandparents of my Grand daughter, K, for lunch. K & C K come to Yuma in November to spend the winter. Annie & I have enjoyed spending time with them and we met last year while here on our last Snowbird trip together at this same restaurant. I had recently had pizza so had spaghetti this time. After lunch and a lot of talking we wandered on down the strip mall to Zodiak Internet Cafe for mochas and I showed them my blog using the Zodiak's computers. Here is a photo of K & C at Da Boyz, especially for our grandkids, J, K & J:
Ken & Cleo Knight
I came home to the RV for the rest of the day and read, watched TV and surfed the Internet. It was quite a different Valentine Day from last year but then every day is different now.

Yesterday I spent most of the day at the RV, primarily on the Internet. I have sure gotten spoiled by my broadband connections, the DSL at home and on the road with my card, when it will connect to a broadband site. I went onto the Verizon Wireless site and found a place where I can enter a zip code or town name and it will tell me if I can connect and of so, what type of a connection I will get. It looks like Verizon isn't prominent in Arizona. Around Phoenix broadband is available but that is all, even down in Tucson. I got it at Bullhead City but that was really from across the river in Nevada. I won't have another broadband connection until the first of April when I get to the Indio, CA area! I guess I am retired so just need to keep in mind that if it takes a little longer, it won't matter. I will sure appreciate those faster speeds when they are available, though.

In the late afternoon I went to my cousins, J & S home, which is on the street right behind where I am. J & I looked over his latest hobby car, a 50s era Fiat 600 but with an Audi engine in the back seat. His car club has a car show this Friday so he's been cleaning & polishing the car. We then took his two dogs for a walk & I was invited to stay for dinner when we got back. During dinner the forecast winds arrived so after eating I came home to put up my small awning so it doesn't get damaged. I also brought in the flags from on the front of the RV. Then back to their house for popcorn and a movie.

When I got home to stay for the night I realized I'd missed my mocha for the day! As soon as I finish this posting I'll eat lunch, then head out for one today to make sure I don't miss it two days in a row. I should have more photos this weekend, what with the car show and then on Saturday the Hank Day Parade happens. I guess Hank is the guy who started developing the Yuma Foothills area where we are. The weather forecast isn't real good, with them calling for a high temp of only 64 on Sunday, but no rain (or snow, either.) All the local folks have had to visit their storage lockers to look for winter coats. We Snowbirds will still be in our shorts and T-shirts.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006


A special poem for Valentine's Day

The following is a poem by S. Hancock that emob left on Susan's blog this morning. Susan's family just yesterday lost a special member of their family. I kind of feel this poem could have been written by my Annie for me, and in fact it is possible that Annie has led me to it on this special day for Lovers. We were lovers for over 38 years until her death last summer but as this so eloquently brings out, we really are still together. I will post more about today, tomorrow. Enjoy:

Within You

If I be the first of us to die,
Let grief not blacken long your sky.
Be bold yet modest in your grieving.
There is a change but not a leaving.
For just as death is part of life,
The dead live on forever in the living.
And all the gathered riches of our journey,
The moments shared, the mysteries explored,
The steady layering of intimacy stored,
The things that made us laugh or weep or sing,
The joy of sunlit snow or first unfurling of the spring,
The wordless language of look and touch,
The knowing,
Each giving and each taking,
These are not flowers that fade,
Nor trees that fall and crumble,
Nor are they stone,
For even stone cannot the wind and rain withstand
And mighty mountain peaks in time reduce to sand.
What we were, we are.
What we had, we have.
A conjoined past imperishably present.
So when you walk the wood where once we walked together
And scan in vain the dappled bank beside you for my shadow,
Or pause where we always did upon the hill to gaze across the land,
And spotting something, reach by habit for my hand,
And finding none, feel sorrow start to steal upon you,
Be still.
Close your eyes.
Listen for my footfall in your heart.
I am not gone but merely walk within you.

S. Hancock


Sunday, February 12, 2006


Sunday in Yuma

I'll start with a photo I should have posted over a week ago as it was taken on Friday the 3rd at the Tyson Wells sales area in Quartzsite. It is the Big Red Bus, where I finally found mochas available in town. This was a welcome find - I only wish I had "found" it a week or so earlier! Here it is:
Big Red Bus

Today I got up about as the sun hit the RV. The first necessity was to feed Huggy her special canned food. Once that is done, she will be happy & let me eat my breakfast. I have not been using any heat in the mornings but I was up a little earlier today than usual and it was only 55 inside so I turned on the propane furnace to make one run & bring the temp up to 64. I hadn't checked the starting time the service started at St. Paul's Episcopal Church on 16th in Yuma, but thought it was 9:30 or 10. I got there a few minutes late for the 9:30 start, to learn actual times were 8 and 10:30, so I was plenty early for the 10:30 service. I did remember to take my small camera along so had time to take some photos & I'll upload some now. Here is the main front entrance from the parking lot:
St Pauls Yuma #1

Here is the sanctuary after the service, as people were leaving. Notice the stained glass windows along the top of the wall. I have a closeup photo of one next:
St Pauls Yuma #2

The stained glass windows along the top of the wall in the photo depict the Stations of the Cross. Here is a close-up photo of one of those windows:
St Pauls Yuma #3

After the service I stayed for coffee hour but I was pretty much left alone as everyone talked with their friends. I left and drove to Starbucks which is nearby and continued my usual after church mocha, although today I ordered Annie's favorite, a mocha light Frappchino. It was pretty hot outside by then so this cold drink tasted good. On my way home I stopped at Walmart for a few things on my list.

At home I re-heated some of my pizza I had for dinner last night at Da Boyz Pizza & Pasta, then got started working with the photos taken today, and those from Tyson Wells last week that I had forgotten, to get them ready for Flickr & my blog. I will spend the rest of the evening reading. on the Internet, making some phone calls and watching TV. Perhaps tomorrow I'll load Turbotax and start doing my 2005 income taxes. One nice thing about being a resident of Washington State is that there are no state income taxes!

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Saturday, February 11, 2006


Some views of my digs here in Yuma

Yesterday was a quiet day that I spent around the RV, reading & relaxing. I did get in a bike ride & went to dinner at Dairy Queen where I learned we seniors get a 10% discount and Blizzards are their special desert for Mondays. I will need to check that out on Monday. Last night I watched the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics on TV.

Today my cousin, J, & I went to The Grocery Store internet cafe for a mocha. But I took some of these photos first as I wanted to get them while the sun was low and from that side of the rig. After our mochas I took Huggy outside and talked with my neighbors for awhile, then took a few more photos & read while soaking up some sun (Cheryl Crowe is singing about soaking up the sun right now on the radio, too!) After that it was time to spend on the desktop PC with Photoshop to get the new pics in the album, decide which ones I wanted on the blog, then reduce their size & move those files to a thumb drive to take to the laptop, upload to Flickr & write this blog post with them included.

The first photo shows my half of the lot with my RV, the Saturn toad (towed car, get it?), bike, etc. The brick walls are built of Mexican brick, which can not be used in my home area of the northwest because it has too much rain. These bricks would just sort of melt up there but work well here and are fairly cheap as well as being colorful.
RV parked in Yuma

This second photo shows the front of the RV. Notice Huggy's basket on the passenger side of the dashboard. The round antennae is the satellite TV one, the funny looking one on the driver side is for broadcast TV. The new Wilson Trucker antennae is not visible in this view. It is just above and behind the entry door, near the side of the coach.
RV parked in Yuma #2

The lot next door on the west side has a mobile home but due to the death of the owner, it is vacant. It has three citrus trees with ripe fruit that is starting to fall off the trees. This first one is something like a satsuma, a kind of small orange that is very good. The next one is a grapefruit tree and the third one is more of a standard orange tree. If you look carefully you will see a grapefruit on the ground on my side of the brick wall.
Yuma orange tree

I took a photo looking east across my lot & the one next door and kind of down the street. The lens used was a mild telephoto (like a 105mm on a 35mm film camera) so distances are compressed a bit as a telephoto lens does optically. Everything looks a little closer than it really is. Notice all the antennaes on the mountain tops in the background. I think that is why I get good cell phone & TV reception here.
Yuma neighborhood

This is a fun photo. No, it isn't the sun, but that grapefruit that was on the ground in the citrus tree photo, set on the trunk of my blue toad.
The sun

I took a break between the Photoshop work and uploading to Flickr to go to Da Boyz restaurant for a pizza for dinner. I got a large one so have half of it left for lunch tomorrow. The full moon is sure beautiful tonight. I used my new binoculars to look at it and they do bring out quite a lot more detail. Tomorrow is Sunday and I think I will go to church.

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Thursday, February 09, 2006


A link to the Zodiak Internet Cafe

Late this afternoon I drove to the Zodiak Internet Cafe and got their URL. While drinking my mocha I checked the site on one of their computers. It is interesting, especially if you want to learn something about astrology. Go ahead and check it out.


Olympic Snowbirds rally in Yuma

I belong to the Olympic Snowbirds, a northwest based chapter of the Family Motor Coach Assoc (FMCA.) Most members truly are Snowbirds. A few years ago they started holding a rally in February in Yuma, AZ at the winter home of one of our members. Annie & I made it to our first one last year while in Yuma. The 2006 rally was yesterday and I attended. I didn't take as many photos as I'd have liked to but will post four of those I did take here. The others can be seen by clicking on one of these and going to my photostream on the Flickr site, where my photos are hosted. The photo of D & B's house is from the side rather than the front as they had about six visiting motorhomes parked on their lot, so there was no clear view of the front of the house. This shows enough to give you a feel for what it looks like.
OSB rally #1

The event started at 13:00 and everyone had a lot of talking to do, learning about each other's winter travels. The weather cooperated well, but this is Yuma, after all!
OSB rally #2

It was a potluck so everyone brought something for the feast. Last year our alphabet group drew salads but it is rotated each year. This year my group was to bring a hot dish! Everyone who knows me knows my cooking abilities are pretty much limited to heating canned soup or cooking a Papa Murphy's pizza, so I wasn't sure what to bring. I made a visit yesterday to the deli counter at the local grocery store & settled on cooked chicken. But, I had to wait awhile for it to cook as they had run out. While waiting I discovered they had a new Internet cafe that served Seattle's Best Coffee. Mochas are available and it is much closer than either the Zodiak or Starbucks! Anyway, back to the rally. Other than my forgetting to take a paper plate & silverware and my name tag, it went well.

This photo is the "meeting" part of the rally. The couple in the foreground with their backs to the camera are the home owners, D & B M. Some of those facing the camera include this year's president, last year's president, and other misc. people of importance, but not enough that I remember what office they hold.
OSB rally #3

This photo actually was taken before the others but I sort of like it, although I guess the composition isn't so great, with everything pretty well centered. But it shows some of the people, blue sky, cactus and the flags. What more could you want in one photo?
OSB rally #4

Anyway it was a fun day. I found that most of the current members have joined after Annie & I slowed down on attending rallies, so I don't know most of them. I did meet some new folks and had a chance to say "Hi" to some we have known since joining the group in Sep 1998. I got back home about 18:00 and spent the rest of the evening at home, even for dinner. Did you know there are now frozen pizzas that you can cook in a microwave? Yep.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006


A cold day in Yuma

Well, the weather forcast was wrong - it didn't get to 79. In fact it was kind of cold at only 76! If the clouds stay overnight tonight they will keep the overnight temp ten degrees or so warmer than if it clears up. But tomorrow should be clear with a high of 80. There is a beautiful sunset right now. They really are better with clouds.

I got my clothes washed this morning but we don't have a dryer here, only a clothes line thingy. I don't know how to use it nor did I have any of those wood things that hold the clothes on the ropes, so I loaded my clean but wet clothes into the car and set out to find a laundromat. The closest one had a long wait & they didn't really seem to want me as I wouldn't be using their washers. I drove over to the campground where we stayed the last two years but HALF of their dryers were not working so there was a wait there, too. I then drove into town as I had some rebate checks that came in my mail from Escapees to deposit at the bank & there was a laundromat nearby. I got a dryer there right away, a quarter bought ten minutes and one hour was enough to dry them all.

My next stop was the Starbucks on 16th at the new shopping center that Annie & I found last year, for a mocha, followed by a shopping trip to Wallyworld. When we came out of this store on one trip last year, the hard rain that occured while we were inside had converted the parking lot to a lake. I had to wade through the edge of it to get the car! No problems like that today. The TV news just said today was the 112th consecutive dry day in Yuma. Yuma is known as the sunniest city in the country but I think the locals really want some rain.

Back home I got things put away, checked email & the blogs I read and am now writing this while watching the news. I may go someplace for dinner or I may just stay home. I am not a cook so if I stay home it will be something pretty simple and in some ways that sounds good. I have some DVD movies I haven't yet watched so that, along with reading my current book, is probably what I will do, after NCIS.


Monday, February 06, 2006


From Yuma, but still no broadband speed

I think I will just forget yesterday's Superbowl. At least the Seahawks did get there for their first ever appearence. As M said in a comment, "Maybe next year" (that was for me as she is a Steeler fan.)

I got the rest of the rig ready this morning to leave & got away from Boomerville at 10:22. It was 84 miles from there to my parking place for the next month. I stopped on the way into the Yuma Foothills area at a truck stop to fill the RV gas tank since I think it will cost more in a month when I leave the area. It took 32.8 gal at $2.439/gal. That included quite a few hours of running the generator while boondocking at Quartzsite, using something like 3/4 gal per hour of gas. I then put in 30 gal of reverse osmosis water at 10 cents per gal. Most tap water down here is high in salts & other minerals so doesn't taste good. This reverse osmosis water is almost too soft but it is at least pretty neutral in taste. I won't use much of it while here as I will buy drinking water in gallon jugs and use tap water for washing, toilet flushing, etc. This will be mainly used while boondocking next month while at Life on Wheels in Tucson.

My place here has full hookups - 30 amp electric, water & sewer. I get local TV channels from the antennae and the satellite antennae sees the satellite so all of those channels are available, too. There is a shed with a full bathroom and a clothes washer for the use of myself and the other RV here on the lot. It is just over two miles to the Zodiak Internet Cafe (mochas) & Fry's supermarket, so most important things are pretty close. My cousins, J & S L, live right behind me on the next street over. I have hooked up my laptop and find that a broadband connection apparently is not available here, as it again hooked up on National Access. The faster connection might be available in town. I am actually out in the Yuma Foothills and the main part of Yuma is ten miles or so to the west.

The local news is on & the weather report says the daily high temperatures over the next week will range from 79 to 84 with overnight lows in the upper 40s. That sounds about ideal! My mail was here waiting for me and I think I now have all that I will need to do my income taxes. Ugh, but it has to be done. This is really a tough life style but someone has to do it!

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Sunday, February 05, 2006


Boomerville 2005 from the air

Friday while I was shopping at Rice Ranch in Quartzsite I purchased a DVD with images of the Quartzsite area taken last year, when there had been rain here and the desert was green. It is titled, "Quartzsite 2005 - The year of the green desert." There are about 160 images on the disk and I am posting one here of the Boomer area we call Boomerville. The photos were taken by Bob Lankford of DL Digital Photography, Quartzsite, AZ. If you wish to purchase copies, call Bob at 208-484-7960 or via email at blphoto2002@yahoo.com.

This view is looking east and shows the campfire circle, with people, and the layout of how the RVs are parked. Annie & I were just above the campfire area on the left side, but this photo was taken Jan 17th and we didn't arrive until the 22nd. The entrance is in the upper part of the photo, after a 2 mile drive from the blacktopped frontage road that runs along I-10 east of Q. The difference this year because of the lack of rain is striking - everything is brown with very little green. The creosote bushes have green but that is about all.

New DVD 018 edited
Photo by: Bob Lankford; BL Digital Photography, Quartzsite AZ copyrite 2005 Used with permission.

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Superbowl today, with the Seahawks?

Today is the big game day and, for the first time the Seattle Seahawks will be there. We are having a Superbowl party at one of the 5th wheel rigs this afternoon. I learned yesterday at Happy Hour that there are a lot of people here from Ohio so I think my rooting will be in the minority. I should have ordered a cake decorated with some Seahawk logos to take!

I am a couple of days behind here. Our shopping trip Friday to the Tyson Wells display area was productive for me. I found a red British double decker bus that is selling food, and they make MOCHAS! You can get them either hot or cold and they are good, for $3.50, tax included. L had bought a Bushnell binocular set at a booth there the day before & I found them easy to use. A good pair of binoculars is something I have been thinking of buying, so I did. They were $150 plus tax and I later found them a little cheaper on the Internet, but I have these now. I can't pass up an opportunity to buy a good flashlight & another booth had lots of them, so I bought a couple more 9-LED units. Sons, guess what you may get for your birthdays!

We did go to Dairy Queen for lunch, then back to Paul's bookstore so our gals could see him & buy bookmarks for friends and family. What a gift those will be! After a couple more stops (Darlene's Bakery, this time for a coconut cream pie for that night) we got home just in time for the Happy Hour at 16:00. Right after that we headed out for the Grubsteak where they have a feast of all you can eat fish & chips on Friday night. It was good and there was plenty to eat. When back we went to the big bonfire to visit awhile, then to J's motorhome for the pie followed by a visit to J & K's Bluebird to see the inside of it. J is a private jet pilot and the driver's compartment of the Bluebird looks a lot like a cockpit of an aircraft, with all it's dials & controls.

On Sat J & K, along with L, left for home in Santa Barbara about 07:20. J and then B & K were away for Parker by noon. I puttered around the RV until mid-afternoon when I went back to Tyson Wells for another mocha from The Big Red Bus and some shopping at the Roadrunner Market, then home for Happy Hour at 16:00. For anyone heading this way the selling at Tyson Wells continues to the 12th. I spent the rest of the evening at the rig and I finally did get much of my vacuuming done. I think I could have built another cat with all the fur Huggy has shed!

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Friday, February 03, 2006


Boomers, pizza, bonfires, good friends....

Wednesday night a small group of seven of us went to Silly Al's Pizza for dinner. We found at least three times as many other Boomers had done the same so there were many of us there. Here is a photo of our group of seven:
Pizza night out

Yesterday I have already covered the morning propane run Huggy & I made, so we were warm last night. Our little group has gathered together in a part of Boomerville and last night we had a barbeque of steaks, salad, wine, bonfire, etc. Here is a photo of the three ladies in the group, with another beautiful desert sunset over the mountains to the west behind them:
Quartzsite sunset with friends

We sat around the fire talking until about 21:00 and here is a photo of that:
The bonfire after BBQed steaks

Today we hope to find out what is the problem with Jerry & Erica's batteries. There was talk about a run to Dairy Queen for lunch and perhaps fish & chips for dinner. I will see what develops but for now I want to get this posted and go join the others.

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