Saturday, November 7, 2015

RV fire

An amazing true story.  We met David and Brenda here in Fountain Hills last year.  This is an extreme example, but characteristic of the relationship that RVers automatically have with each other, even before they know each others' names.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Department of Redundancy Department

Heard at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship:  "I'm going to hit a provisional ... just in case."

*For the non-golfers, a provisional ball is a second ball that is hit ... just in case ... the first one turns out to be lost or out of bounds.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Charles Schwab Cup

I kept score for Michael Allen today.  He’s a nice guy, lives in Paradise Valley.  Shot even par, 1 bogey 1 birdie, on 15.  One of the amateurs had two birdies before that, and ended up with three, all on par 3’s.  Michael is chatty, and mentioned his failure to contribute several times along the way.

He’s not a long hitter, by tour standards.  He was trying a new driver, Taylor Made M1, 12 degrees.  It worked good, he liked it.  He got it to hit the ball higher, so he could go over the bunker on the 3rd hole.  He hit it 12 times, and every single one went as straight as a laser, not a foot of draw or fade.  It was amazing.  It has two adjusting weights, set at right angles.  He had both of them all the way in one direction, for higher ball flight.

Mike and his caddy Steve have been together two years.  Steve has been caddying on Tour for 44 years.  He’s worked for Nicklaus, Norman, and some other big names.  They get along well, lots of joking together.  On 17, a downhill, downwind par 4, Mike told his teammates how last year he had completely missed his drive, into the bushes in front of the tee.  Steve was across the tee and didn’t hear, and as Mike addressed the ball Steve reminded him “248 to clear the junk” – an outcropping of rocks in the middle of the fairway.  Mike said “What junk?”.  After the shot, which flew maybe 249, he gave Steve a little razzing, and I said “At least he didn’t say ‘75 to clear the bushes’”.   

This is the only gallery we saw all day.

The weather was awful, cloudy and cold and windy, with passing episodes of precipitation.  Flagstaff got record snow today.  The only thunder and lightning was off to the East, and moving away from us.  When the hail started, we took out our umbrellas.  I didn’t bring my golf umbrella, because with the radio and the headset and the handheld computer, fanny pack, pencils, and scorecard, I was out of hands and pockets to carry stuff, so I brought the little one that folds up to the size of a “big unit” hot dog, and it has a loop on the handle that I could thread the fanny pack belt through, and hang it behind me.  So as Mike opened his gigantic Nike golf umbrella, he said to me “Nice umbrella ... sweetheart.”

I got a better picture of my favorite cactus, a magnificent specimen of the rare crested saguaro.

And after we waited out a rain squall on 18, there was a huge double rainbow.


The sun will come out tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Best of ... pictures

We've been a lot of places in three years, and have a few pretty good pictures that I use as wallpaper on the PC, in slideshow mode.  And here they are.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The train set you wish you had

They have an unbelievable outdoor model train setup at Valle Del Oro RV park in Mesa, AZ.

Look at all the tracks!  Even a roundhouse!

And the buildings

And people, animals, vehicles!

It's HUGE!  More pictures.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Discovery Bay

The first 9 holes of Discovery Bay GC were built in 1925.  The course is owned today by Mike Asmundson, who designed the back 9 in 1996, and has done some changes to the front.  He also did a redesign of Las Colinas, and lives in Scottsdale, says the Internet.  But, he also seems to have been a local here.  As you can see in this story, the course has had some financial troubles.  The 2007 plans for a residential development never came to fruition.  

I played the front 9 with two of the members.  He had been playing there since 1947, and she was chair of the Rules committee.  He complained about a poor lie one time, and she commented on the recent rains.  I said he didn't want to hear about the rain, he wanted her to say "Don't worry, honey just move it."  That's when she told me she was the Rules Chairperson.

I see this guy on Facebook all the time, he must have played here once

There was an interesting tree

I expected more scenic vistas of the bay, but there were only a couple

And the obligatory (it's starting to seem like) tree in the middle of the fairway.  Most of them are just a nuisance, but this one is so tall and wide that it blocks the whole fairway, so the only strategy is to hit your drive past it, which I was able to do, and made par.

More pictures.

Troll Haven

They said a rich guy had more money than things to do with it, so he started this place.

There's also a castle where you can stay overnight.

And a farm, with goats and chickens.

And lots of trolls

More pictures.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Rusty Tractor

is a restaurant in Elma, Wa, which has, of course, the eponymous outdoor decorations ...

and excellent comfort food, with an exotic twist.  Vicki had salmon fish 'n' chips, I had the yak hamburger steak.

On the way, we caught the first glimpse of Mount Rainier from the rest stop on I-90, about 81 miles away.  The smoke is from all the wildfires burning in Washington this year.

More pictures.

Seen on the road

A few signs we saw.

You thought the pet rock was good, look what they're selling now

Apparently Penny has returned to Nebraska, and is teaching physics there ...

Fans on the farm in Washington ...

And some sage advice from the Oregon DOT

Phoenix Zoo

March 2014

It took a while, but we did finally go to the Phoenix Zoo.  It was a warm day, so the animals were sluggish, but there were a lot of animals, a good variety.

More pictures.

Friday, August 21, 2015


Vicki's brother Steve lives in Chicago, in one of these buildings
with this view from his deck
When we went to visit, he took us on a boat ride on Lake Michigan, with Joy and Steve's kids and their kids.  It was a fine, sunny day and the kids went swimming in the lake.

More pictures of the boat ride.

The next day, we went to Lincoln Park Zoo.

More zoo pictures.

And a farmers' market, on Division Street, just around the corner from their apartment.  I remember Division Street from my IBM days.  They didn't have a farmers' market there at night, back then.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Catalina State Park

is our favorite place to stay near Tucson.  It's in the desert foothills of the Catalina mountains, with wonderful desert and mountain scenery.

including some very large or unusual cacti

or in bloom

There is a trail that goes through some pre-Columbian ruins

and a riparian area

A nice park.  More pictures.