Mesquite Tree and Other Maintenance

Mesquite Maintenance

Last weekend, The Better Half noticed that some of the foliage on our little mesquite tree next to the RV driveway was turning brown. After I investigated it on Tuesday, I could see that a small branch had snapped away from the major branch, probably due to the wind. The sagging branch was dead or dying.

Without further hesitation, I got the pole saw out of the garage and went to work to remove the fallen branch. The saw got through the branch rather quickly, but when the cut was complete, the branch fell into other healthy foliage and quickly became entangled. TBH took this (clickable) image of me struggling to get the dead branch free. It finally did come free and we both took it to the dumpster and cut it up into disposal sized pieces.

After the tree job was done, it was now time to spray for weeds growing in the courtyard and elsewhere. I went through a 16 oz. ready to spray bottle of the Ace Hardware house brand in no time at all and managed to only get “most” of the weeds sprayed. As of today, Thursday, I can see little effect on our desert weeds which are still growing in the courtyard laughing at me. I bought some “ground clearance” concentrate and a 2 gallon sprayer for the next try. I have been afraid to use the more potent chemicals for fear of hurting the shrubs in the courtyard, I will just have to be very careful when I do the job on Monday.

Classic Car Restoration

Classic Muscle Chevrolet

When we lived in Southern K-Stan, we would occasionally see restored classic cars parked in the lot of Tip’s Cadillac on Van Ness Avenue in old town Torrance. Now that we are relocated to Wickenburg, we have a similar sighting on occasion of a classic restoration parked near DeVries Custom Coachworks on Washington St. across the tracks from the old train station. DeVries does regular auto maintenance in addition to restoration work.

The Better Half took this photo of a classic 1970 Chevy Malibu parked across from the Coachworks Yesterday. It looks to be pretty complete but I assume it’s still in work because of the unlatched hood. Clickable image.

75 Orbits - Check


75 Earth orbits or approximately 928 lunar orbits. That’s my accrued tenure here on Earth, excluding the nearly 10 lunar orbits in Mother’s womb before birth, which is also life, but without much personal perception of external events.

I was born during the big war and have some recollection of events associated with it. Mother had us two boys, my older brother and I, huddle in the hallway of our home in Long Beach, CA. and read stories to us with blankets stuffed under the doors so light wouldn’t escape during a “blackout” when Japanese naval vessels had been observed near the southern California coastline.

I remember lots of events growing up and during life; the launch of Sputnik and watching it streak across the sky in October of 1957, listening to signals (Morse code “HI”) from OSCAR I, the first amateur radio satellite in 1962. I closely followed the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space exploration programs. I recall watching Aldrin and Armstrong walking on the Moon on this day in 1969.

I have been fortunate and blessed to be where we are today in retirement. However, I’m not going to list all of the prominent events I recall in my brief history on Earth, but I will look forward to witnessing more good things in the orbits remaining to me.

Image courtesy of NASA.

Going Viral

microbes.jpgFor the past week, I have been nursing a sore throat. Yesterday, it finally got uncomfortable enough for me to seek medical help at the local hospital in the urgent care wing. I saw a doctor who examined me and concluded that I had either a bacterial or viral infection in the left pharynx area where my tonsils used to be.

The diagnosis settled on bacterial pharyngitis (possibly strep) and the doctor prescribed an antibiotic. After thirty-six hours, however, the soreness is still with me. I can eat and drink OK, but it is still a bit painful to swallow. Perhaps I have a virus infection which will simply have to run its course since the antibiotics won’t have any effect other than to wreak havoc with my digestive system since it kills the helpful digestive bacteria.

I guess that I will stay on the prescribed meds for tomorrow, but if I don’t see any significant improvement, then my discharge paperwork tells me to go back to the doctor. I will make that call tomorrow.

Animated Color Satellite Images from GOES East


When monsoon season is upon us here in the desert, it’s a good idea (and is our practice) to keep an eye on the weather. From the internet, we use both radar and satellite imagery to assess the probability and intensity of thunderstorms in our area.

We recently made the discovery that the GOES East weather satellite imagery is available in animated sequences of several regions at the GOES East Imagery website. We downloaded the image above from the Southern Rockies region in color.The GIF animation above was captured early this afternoon and shows two hours of imagery taken at five minute intervals.

As you can see, at the time, Arizona is mostly under cloud cover. You can watch as cumulus clouds form over the Rockies and other mountains. You can also see the general circulation of air masses during the sampling period.

All the information we glean from the several weather sites on-line help us to adjust the timing of our routine activities (shopping, dog-walking, etc.).

What’s for Independence Day Dinner?

Holiday Dinner

The Better Half and I enjoyed Beef Tenderloin Steaks (hers medium, mine medium rare) with Potato Salad and BBQ Beans for our Independence Day dinner this afternoon. I grilled the steaks outdoors today and didn’t mind the 103° temperature and a slight warmish breeze as I cooked them to order. I had a patriotic and ice cold bottle of Samuel Adams Summer Ale to help me cope with the desert heat.

TBH made the potato salad yesterday and had it marinating for 24 hours in the fridge. The beans, nothing extraordinary, were from a can, but quite tasty as were all the items seen in the (clickable) image above. The dogs (Scratch ‘n’ Sniff) were the happy and eager beneficiaries when we found that neither of us could eat all of our steak.

The town will be shooting off fireworks down at Sunset Park (5 miles west of us) this evening. TBH and I will watch from the courtyard and should be able to observe some of the higher rockets exploding as we have done for previous holidays.

We wish you a safe and happy Independence Day.

Renewing the Utah Carry Permits

utah-ccw-photo.pngThe letters came in the mail this week from the Utah Department of Public Safety announcing the pending expiration of our Utah CCW permits. It’s hard to believe that another five years has passed since we last renewed. It’s equally hard to believe that ten years ago (while still in K-Stan) we applied for our original Utah permits.

So, after taking a couple of mug shots of ourselves and making photos of our current Arizona permits, we went on-line and applied for renewals. Before that, we ran the mug shots through the Photo Tool on the State Department’s Passport Photo site in order to comply with the Utah photo ID requirement.

The entire on-line session took less than a half hour for both of us. We paid a $15 renewal fee plus a $0.75 “convenience” fee for each renewed permit. We did this now, rather than in August when the permits expire to avoid the $10 increase in renewal fees as of July 1, 2018. Non-Residents will pay $25 after that while Utah residents will increase from $10 to $20.

Of course, it’s patently ridiculous to pay for a permit to exercise a God-given and Constitutionally protected right, but it is what it is. By the way, our Arizona permits give us “permission” to carry in 38 states and we only apply for Utah to be covered if, and when, we visit Washington State which is not reciprocal with Arizona. Is it worth an extra $50 for us to have Washington? Probably not next time. Hopefully, National Reciprocity will preclude that.

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