Last Tenth Lunar Phase

Last Tenth

I took my camera up on the hill behind the house this morning after refilling the bird feeders to perhaps catch a few candid shots of the critters. I had the 75-300mm telephoto lens on the camera, figuring to get some remote close shots if they presented themselves. I did get some good critter shots, but I surprised myself that I was able to get a non-tripod, non-stabilized photo of the last crescent phase of the moon before it gets too close to the sun to see.

According to a lunar information website that I visit from time to time, the illuminated portion of the lunar disc amounts to ten percent of the surface visible from Earth. The actual new moon will not be until Monday, but, as I mentioned, the moon will be too close to the sun over the next couple of days to be able to make any amateur observations of the waning crescent.

We will be looking toward the west after sunset next Tuesday and Wednesday in hopes of seeing the first phases of the waxing crescent moon. Stay tuned.

Blazing Saddlebags


The animated widget above was inspired by a bumper sticker that The Better Half spotted in the grocery store parking lot today. The animation won’t start until you click the image. The title of this post is in reference to a burning pantsuit over those tremendous thighs and cankles of the leading Democratic liar.

2015 Tax Preparation Season

taxes.jpgI spent a little time yesterday and today putting numbers in the TurboTax® program for the 2015 tax year. With the first cut numbers in the program, it appears that we are on track to receive small amounts in refunds from both the Feds and Arizona.

By the way, that is NOT me in the image. It is some poor bastard who can’t get it together when it comes to tax season. Don’t be like that poor bastard.

Things have changed for us since the last tax year due to no longer having mortgage interest to deduct and a few other minor items. Realizing our tax situation would be quite different in 2015, we donated some of the money that would have been used to make mortgage payments to some of our favorite charities. We select charities that we know will piss off the IRS and the .gov in general because they support private Christian education, anti-global-warming research, veterans support, second amendment foundation, etc. We love getting deductions from the tax bill while rankling progressives at the same time.

Speaking of the .gov, I still have not received my SSA 1099 form from Social Security. Everything else is here, either by electronic or USPS means, but not the SSA. I know the exact amounts for payments and withholding, but it would make me feel more secure to have the paperwork to support the figures.

I will likely have the Fed filed by early next week and the state as well, although the former will be efiled and the latter by USPS because the $20 efile fee is a significant percentage of the refund amount. There is no fee for the Fed efile.

The Road from Surprise to Wickenburg and Other Good News

Castle Peak and Saguaros

Yesterday, I had an appointment down in Sun City West in which I thought I was to have a medical procedure involving an endoscopic inspection of my bladder as a follow-up to the cancer from which I am now in remission. When I got to the urologist, he advised me that the next procedure would not occur unless there would be reason to do so, and in any case, not until next summer. He did order a renal ultrasound to inspect the kidney and bladder waterworks which I will have next week. In the meantime, the Doc says everything seems to be in proper working order, thank The Lord.

On the way home from the busy traffic down in the valley, The Better Half and I were enjoying the lighter traffic going up US 60 and most of all, the gorgeous desert scenery along the way. TBH took this photo of Castle Peak above the Castle Hot Springs historical area and all the beautiful cacti and shrubbery along the way. Clickable image.

What’s For Dinner?

Tri Tip Steaks On The Grill

The answer to the title question is: grilled tri-tip cutlets with sides of roasted red potatoes, cut corn, baked beans and buttered broccoli florets. All of it was tasty. The image on the right is of the cutlets cooking on the ‘little’ propane grill. Both are clickable images.

With regard to the ‘little’ grill, the story on it is that before we knew we were going to upgrade to the big Roadrunner RV, we bought the grill to replace the little charcoal grill we used when camping in in the travel trailer. Unbeknownst to us, the big RV came with a larger propane grill, so we have the little grill as a backup or if more grill space is needed on the road. Other than checking the little grill out when we first got it, this is the first time we have used it.

Meanwhile, back to the dinner; the tri-tip cutlets were OK, but The Better Half and I are sort of spoiled. We more often than not, grill tenderloin or New York strip steaks. We sometimes grill a complete cut of tri-tip and slice it very thin across the grain which is also very good. The cutlets, on the other hand, were a bit tough and laced with fibrous gristle which turns TBH off. The dogs, however, had no complaints.

We are planning a trip out to the K-Stan desert in a couple of weeks to visit our newest grandson and we will be bringing beef tenderloin steaks and the trimmings to serve to the other set of grandparents and the baby’s mom and dad in the campground. We may have to use both grills to accommodate all six tenderloin steaks. I will post photos of the event after we have them.

La Bella Luna

La Bella Luna

Lately, blogging has been at a slow pace due to our lack of interest in engaging political things because of the cacophony of listening to current political morons and the douchebag media that covers for them. But that isn’t what this post is about.

The Better Half and I were out in the courtyard this evening, looking at the setting sun and the rising moon. There were a lot of contrails in the sky today since conditions were favorable for aircraft to paint them as they routinely cross above fly-over country. The setting sun illuminated the trails looking west.

Meanwhile, high above us, the waxing gibbous moon was very prominent. I took this photo using my Canon EOS Rebel SL1 and the 300mm lens. I didn’t use a tripod, but held the camera steady while leaning against the courtyard wall. I think the (clickable) image turned out pretty good.

We enjoy our time here at our retirement place in the desert, but we also look forward to our next excursion in the Roadrunner RV. The next ride will again take us to the Coachella Valley to visit with the six-month-old grandson. This should happen around the Valentine’s Day weekend.

Transitions

Transitions

The Better Half took this photo of the Colorado River just as we were passing over the bridge between Blythe, CA and Ehrenberg, AZ last week on our way home from Palm Desert. There are a couple of interesting things about this (clickable) image; first, when TBH takes pictures from the new motorhome. the vantage point is above the fence along the bridge which allows an unobstructed view of the river and, second, the blurry image to the right of the Arizona State Line signage that delineates the transition from Kalifornistan to Free America (namely Arizona and most places beyond).

Were we to have been carrying our defensive weapons a nano-second before TBH took this shot, we would have been in violation of the unconstitutional K-Stan “may-issue to residents only” provision for concealed carry. In Arizona, after the transit of the State Line, magically, we are Constitutionally empowered to carry such weapons with few restrictions. In this case, the next stop at the Ehrenberg Rest Area sees us getting out our defensive weapons and attaching them to our waistlines before moving on. Ironically, when we are in Arizona, whether or not we carry, we are far more safe than in “gun-free” California.

The silver lining to camping in K-Stan is that they still have a shaky, but on-the-books version of Castle Doctrine. That is, when we are camped in the motorhome, or anywhere within our camping space, we can carry, including in places where we walk the dogs or do laundry or whatever. That helps a little, but God forbid that we need to defend ourselves in their inverted, iconoclastic justice system out there.

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