Friday, October 20, 2017

Living In A Boy's World

Here's a photo of my nephew sailing over the Imperial Sand Dunes in California. 

Just west of Yuma, Arizona, in the state of California, lies one of the nation's largest mass of inland sand dunes.  The erg is approximately 45 miles long by 6 miles wide.  We've driven through this area on our way to California, but have never done any exploring.

Granted, there's not much to explore but sand, and there's no way to do it other than on a motorcycle or in an all-terrain vehicle.  And it's hot.  So as you'd imagine, I'm not doing any kind of exploring in this place. 

My brother has been to the dunes many times over the years with his best friend from high school.  He's also taken my nephews out there a few times to ride.  They love it.  And now that Ed has a motorcycle, I suspect he'll be going on one of the future trips.  I'm already concerned.

The boys like to show off, jump from dangerous heights (some of the dunes rise 300 feet), and drive faster than they would anywhere else they've ridden.  There have been several injuries over the years, including a few this past week.  Nothing serious in the minds of men as you might imagine, and so far they've all come back with operational limbs so it constitutes a good time.  

A natural draw for off-road enthusiasts, The Imperial Sand Dunes see more than a million visitors each year.  That's a whole lotta people coming out to see what's essentially a giant sandbox. 

And the boys playing in it have graduated from shovels and toy trucks to helmets and toys with wheels. 

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Ten Outstanding Years

2015: Mangiare All'aperto, Trucker Style
2014: Released To The Press
2013: In A Time When Gentlemen And Ladies Actually Existed
2012: The Great Affair 
2011: The Gaping Void Says It All
2010: Under The Tuscan Sun Within 3,000 Year Old Walls
2009: Dragged Back, Kicking And Screaming
2008: Seniors Maintain Law And Order By Way Of A Fluke Discovery
2007: Lisa Lavie Is The Angel Here
2006: Fight The Moth
2005: Abandoned But Not Forgotten

Monday, October 16, 2017

Growing Season

This is our second attempt at plants near our back entryway.  The first batch we planted were beautiful - lush green, with purple flowers - but the animals ate every last leaf and flower on them.  They never grew back. 

So today we bought two large Cape Honeysuckle plants and three small Rosemary bushes.  I read that rosemary repels animals, so maybe the smell that's glorious to humans will keep away the rabbits and whatever else is munching on my plants.  Ed put some chicken wire around the honeysuckle, for now, hoping to protect the lower leaves. 

I'm looking forward to seeing how they grow and I look forward to seeing them when they flower.  We need a little color up in here.

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The General Landscape Of Southern Arizona

2015:  A Bright Spot In The District
2014:  The Way The River Went
2013:  If You're Looking To Flip A House For Money....Don't
2012:  A Sad Day For The Piggies
A Warrior Waging A Noble Fight, Fueled By Chocolate Ice Cream

2010:  Ragazzo dell’Ombrello
2009:  Eddie It’s Not Even Halloween Yet Friday
2008:  Not So Different, Are We?
2007:  Quite Uneducated, If You Ask Me
2006:  Sometimes Identity Theft Can SAVE You Money
2005:  Mina In Fifty Years

Friday, October 13, 2017

Millions Of Miles Of Memories

Today is Friday the 13th.  Rather than succumbing to superstition, we're going to celebrate a trucking milestone.

Today our 2007 Freightliner Coronado - which we bought brand new in January 2009, with just 600 miles on it - hit the one million mile mark.

We have driven our chariot ONE MILLION MILES across these great United States!

From the northern to southern border, west coast to east, our truck has taken us through it all.  We've braved all kinds of weather, visited national parks and monuments, eaten tons of regional food and dined with friends along the way, traveled traffic-packed highways and the loneliest road in America.  It's been a blast!

Due to Ed's meticulous maintenance and multiple upgrades, we haven't had even one major issue. 

We're expecting to get at least another 500,000 miles out of the old girl.  That'll be four or five years from now, so we'll see what happens at that point.  I'm hoping to be retired, but Ed may have other plans. 


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2016:  The Early Bird Gets The Cacti

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

It Might Take A Minute

Ed and I were cleaning up the cab one day after we had takeout for lunch.

"Hand me your cup and garbage," Ed said.

"What about all your wrappers?" I said.

"You can't reach those?" he said.  "Seriously??"  I was strapped in my seat and could only move so far without unbuckling.

"No, I can't reach them," I said.  "Whadya think, I have snake arms??"

"No one has snake arms." he deadpanned.

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2016: Couple In Selfies
2015: From The Top
2014: If Your Name Is Tinsley, You Probably Use A Fountain Pen
2013: British Invasion
2012: Splendid Fantasy Road Trip
2011: Hard To Get Close To
2010: Lunch In Fossombrone
2009: Taking Carving To A Whole New Level
2008: Is There Enough Yellow In THIS One For Ya?
2007: I Didn’t Realize Railway Workers Were So Frisky
2006: Individuality
2005: Text Me

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fall, Falling, Fallen

Fall is my favorite season.  The weather hasn't gotten any cooler in Tucson, and we don't have any changing leaves, but someone, somewhere, is enjoying this glorious season.  I envy them. 

Edward Hirsch, 1950

Fall, falling, fallen. That’s the way the season 
Changes its tense in the long-haired maples 
That dot the road; the veiny hand-shaped leaves 
Redden on their branches (in a fiery competition 
With the final remaining cardinals) and then 
Begin to sidle and float through the air, at last 
Settling into colorful layers carpeting the ground. 
At twilight the light, too, is layered in the trees 
In a season of odd, dusky congruences—a scarlet tanager
And the odor of burning leaves, a golden retriever 
Loping down the center of a wide street and the sun 
Setting behind smoke-filled trees in the distance, 
A gap opening up in the treetops and a bruised cloud 
Blamelessly filling the space with purples. Everything 
Changes and moves in the split second between summer’s 
Sprawling past and winter’s hard revision, one moment 
Pulling out of the station according to schedule, 
Another moment arriving on the next platform. It 
Happens almost like clockwork: the leaves drift away 
From their branches and gather slowly at our feet, 
Sliding over our ankles, and the season begins moving 
Around us even as its colorful weather moves us, 
Even as it pulls us into its dusty, twilit pockets. 
And every year there is a brief, startling moment 
When we pause in the middle of a long walk home and 
Suddenly feel something invisible and weightless 
Touching our shoulders, sweeping down from the air: 
It is the autumn wind pressing against our bodies; 
It is the changing light of fall falling on us. 

Here are some other poems to read as the leaves change and the weather gets colder.  

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2016: Twisted Monday
2015: The Bitchy Beast Of Strijen
2014: Montana Moments
2013: Scanning Comes To A Mouth Near You
2012: Go Ahead, Judge Me
Con Los Años Que Me Quedan

2010: Ten. Ten. Ten. A Perfect Score!
2009: Lighting The Testosterone Torch
2008: Eddie Helps The Economy Friday
2007: Talk About A Thorn In Your Side
2006: My Sentiments Exactly
2005: Mason? Dixon? Line? BELOW It.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Flashback To A Flashdance Summer

Me, at 17, and my brother, 16, at Jones Beach in Wantagh, New York in August of 1984. 

The movie Flashdance came out in 1983, and to my mother's chagrin I cut up every sweatshirt I had, to slide off the shoulder, emulating the look of Jennifer Beals. 

What?  Everyone did it.

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Make Your Reservation Now

2015: Every Year Is A Good Year For A Hero
2014: Peace Through Understanding
2013: Goodwill Hunting
2012: Approaching Talladega
2011: Music Sets The Stage
2010: Tacky Prevails
2009: Not As Hot As It Looks
2008: Burst
2007: Stockholm Syndrome
2006: Playing In A Dream Near You
2005: The Greatest Story Ever Told

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Tall, Foxy, And Toxic

This photo was taken in Washington state.  The Pacific Northwest is so lush and colorful compared to our area of the Southwest, and I love the flowers and all the vibrant green that surrounds me when I'm there.  

The flowers, although beautiful, are poisonous to people, pets, and livestock.

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Magic Shoes

2015: Finally Fall
2014: Fruit On Main
2013: Circling The Shark
2012: Unlimited
2011: Autumn Leaves Begin To Fall
2010: I Wonder What Color The Ancient Estruscans Wore?
2009: You Ask, I’ll Answer
2008: You Can’t Hide From The Eyes Of A Truck Driver
2007: Flurry Of Ruffles
2006: A Bag Full Of Dicks
2005: Go West Young Man!! Uh, I Mean East. East.