Orchard Update

Newbie Lemons

The lemon tree in our “orchard” (consisting of this tree and a sapling orange tree) is showing signs of another bumper crop of lemons this fall. About six weeks ago, I posted about this tree after pruning it back. At that time, the lemons were only green bulges on the blossom stems, but today, they are inchlings getting fatter every day. Clickable image.

The tree next to the lemon tree is a small, but growing, navel orange tree, not yet three feet tall, but showing new growth this spring. We thought we had lost it in the winter frosts, but the little guy rebounded and is showing us its determination to become our second fruit-producing tree. It had no orange blossoms this spring, but we have hopes that it will next season.

The Better Half would like to plant an avocado tree in the orchard, but we have had little success in getting pits from store-bought avocados to grow much larger than a few inches. We will keep trying, bit I have a notion that we will wind up having the professional landscape guys put one in and hook up the irrigation for it.

Mystery Items Found Out Back

Blow Darts and .22 Shells

In the course of walking around in the native desert portion of our yard, I have found several .22 caliber shell casings laying on the ground. I know we didn’t shoot those here (we don’t have a gun in that caliber) and we haven’t seen or heard others who might have left he casings.

My guess is that they were left here a long time ago before there was much in the way of development. Both of the two shells in the (clickable) image are marked “HI SPEED” and have a stamped image of a horseshoe in the middle. We have found more than these two, but recycled the brass at the target range collection can.

The blow darts tell two stories: one is only a notion but the other is about a first-hand experience. We found the smaller dart up in the wash; I noticed the red-orange tip sticking out of a bush. The dart appears to have been used since there were traces of fur or something still stuck to the shaft.

The larger dart is one that I discovered after finding a dead rabbit under our trailer a while back. It wasn’t obvious at first, but while I was disposing of the carcass, I saw the pointed tip of the dart barely sticking out of the neck. I went and got a pair of pliers and pulled the dart out. Apparently, someone (kids or idiots?) shot this rabbit and it ran off to die under the trailer. It was a stupid and dangerous game to be playing within town limits.

I consulted with one of our neighbors about our findings. He said that there was and still is a lot of illegal small game poaching going on, even inside town limits. We have not seen any of it, but will be careful of and watchful for any such activity.

Memorial Day 2015

Memorial Day

Change is Inevitable - Hopefully

Visual quote of the day - Mark Twain.


This is not the “HOPE AND CHANGE” the Obaminators were seeking to bring.

Time to flush McCain, McConnell, Boehner, Graham and many others . . .

This Day in History - The PAC-MAN Video Game

Amazon is having a sale on all things PAC-MAN today, in honor of the iconic video game’s 35th anniversary. The sale continues through midnight tonight.

The graphic above is a Flash™ animation that I threw together this afternoon to commemorate the anniversary. Clickable animation with audio.

Looking at the video graphics and state of the technology back then, it is somewhat amazing how far the state of the video game art has advanced in three and a half decades. No more 2D pixelized graphics, but 3D action scenes that rival the graphics seen in motion pictures these days.

Still, it is fun to reminisce about all things technical and computer we had back in 1980. Commodore, TRS 80, Apple and others were a lot of fun. You were lucky to have a floppy disc drive back then.

Getting back to the PAC-MAN phenomenon, the Wikipedia article on the subject is quite extensive. PAC-MAN cultural icons and events are still quite common even to this day.

The Plan

Travel Trailer

Now that the RV drive is essentially complete, with concrete mostly cured and walls painted, it is finally time to tow the trailer up behind the house to its usual position. This time, however, it will not be necessary to run the power cord across the driveway to the outlet by the garage because the 30 amp service is now on the back of the driveway.

We don’t plan to hook up the water or sewer connections unless the trailer is going to be occupied by visitors. Both of those connections are now functional and located by the electric box at the rear of the driveway.

Yesterday, I took the generator across the road and charged the batteries in the trailer for a while. That served a dual purpose in that the generator oil needed to be changed and after the charging run and a suitable cooling period, I was able to drain out the warm engine oil and replace it with fresh oil.

I am hoping that we will be able go on a reasonably long vacation before too long, so I won’t install the triple-layer RV cover we bought for the trailer to protect it from further UV damage. It has had a bit of deterioration in the three years we have had it and we really don’t want to expose it to the Arizona elements any more than necessary.

I took this (clickable) photo of the trailer where it currently sits on the lot across the road. I may not tow the trailer up until next Tuesday as we will be celebrating the memorial day weekend.

Creosote Cleanup in Progress

Several weeks ago, we commissioned a young man to cut down about five or six creosote bushes in The Better Half’s rock and cactus garden on the west side of the lot. We instructed him to pile the trimmings on the corner of the lot by the road to be picked up by him at a later time and disposed at the green waste facility in town. I guess he flaked out on it since we have not seen him since the initial work.

TBH and I decided to chop up the branches in small pieces such as to fit in the refuse bin. Today, we filled up the bin with the second of many loads that it will take to clean up the pile. Although we have to do the job in increments because the bin has limited space, we are hoping to be done with the complete job while we are still having mild (i.e. <100°) temperatures.

The image above is a slideshow with three images: the before pile, the after pile and the full refuse bin. Click on the image to advance to the next picture.

Visit to the Big City Airport

Camel Back Mountain

Sorry about the rather long time between posting. We had a major distraction from blogging by virtue of a visit from our granddaughter and her son, our first great grandson, over the past few days.

The visit required The Better Half and I to drive down to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to pick up the visitors and take them back after their very enjoyable stay here in our little corner of the desert. The airport is a good hour and fifteen minutes from here, the travel being mostly on fast, light traffic thoroughfares, but the last fifteen miles (or so) involved driving on Interstate 10 between Litchfield Park (AZ) and the airport. Ugh!

Regardless, the visit was well worth the unconventional (for us) foray into the metroplex for us. Everyone had a great time and we met our eight-month old little guy who seemed to enjoy the visit and extra attention from his doting great grandparents. We would do it again anytime they find time to visit.

TBH took the (clickable) photo above while we were in the parking structure between the runways at the airport. The famous Camelback Mountain in Phoenix can bee seen across the north runway complex.

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