Sunday, February 19, 2017

So This Happened Today

Today was a nice, overcast day.  Cool, cloudy.  One of my favorite kinds of days in Tucson. On average, we have about 290 days of sun a year.  That's a lot of sun, way too much for me.  I relish the days where it decides to stay behind the clouds.  

We even had a little rain today, probably from the storm that's hitting California.  Among the cool air and the spurts of rain, we were treated to a rainbow.  Actually, it was a double rainbow.  I first saw it out my living room window, one end of the rainbow cutting through the roof of the house across the way.

It was enough of a sight for me to get my ass off the couch and walk outside to see the entire thing.  Spectacular!

A nice way to end a weekend.

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Cat Nemesis

2015: Bon Voyage!
2014: All This Entertainment For Less Than The Cost Of A Restaurant Entree
2013: Ten Things I Hate About Flying
2012: Teeth Or Another European Vacation? Ooooh, It’s A Real Toss Up.
2011: Not So Wacky After All
2010: Spreading The Word
2009: He Had A Dream. Tomorrow We See It Come True.
2008: Who Do You Know?
2007: South Beach Blue
2006: Jawl Spake Anglesh??
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!  

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Demo Day

So....we started a mini-renovation on our kitchen counters.

We are planning a complete renovation sometime in the future, gutting the existing interior and rebuilding it to resemble the architect's drawing, but I hated this kitchen and wanted to do something until that takes place.  These tile countertops were old, some of the tiles were cracked, the grout was horrible, and I hated the unevenness of the surface. 

It all started with me chipping a few tiles off the small counter surface near the fridge.  It was so easy.  Because they practically peeled away effortlessly, we decided to do the whole thing, thinking a few small, simple changes could make the whole kitchen look different.

Well.  It turns out they only came off easily IN THAT ONE SPOT!  The rest of the counter was like mining rock with a child-sized pickaxe.  Me, Ed, and my friend Kim spent hours chipping the tile off of the counter.  
In the photo above, Ed is using an air hammer to get the tile off.  And that still wasn't easy.  We started by hammering the individual tiles - which surprisingly didn't break as easily as I thought they would, then we used the butt end of an axe which broke part of the wood underneath, and then Ed finally decided to use the air hammer.  That worked, but took quite a bit of time and caused Ed's hands to ache from the constant vibration.
I was really surprised the tiles didn't come off in big chunks.  Little pieces flew everywhere - we all were wearing safety goggles to protect our eyes and ear plugs to block out the noise from the banging Kim and I were doing and the air hammer Ed was using. 
Once we got all of the tile off, it wasn't as smooth as we thought it was going to be.  We had all these ideas - tile over it, put wood over it, pour concrete - but we weren't sure which would be the best plan, so my brother came over to give us some advice.

That brainstorming session turned into him and Ed taking the entire countertop completely off.  Had we known that' was going to happen, we wouldn't have spent all that time chipping away all the tile!

This is what it looked like at the end of the first day, halfway through:   

In the course of our demolition, we discovered that my brother tiled this counter in 1992, which we found out because once they got the countertop off, there was a notation my brother left on the wood underneath that said "Rebuilt by American Tile West 5/92".  My brother has this thing about signing his jobs, you just never know where you'll find a little love note from him.

Twenty-five years this tile was on there.  And it probably would have lasted another 25 years based on how well it was secured.  My brother wasn't messing around when he put this together.

After much deliberation, we decided to have a laminate countertop installed.  It's inexpensive, it will be a solid surface, easy to keep clean, and will look nice until we do the complete house renovation.  Ed and I are going to attempt to tile the backsplash ourselves.

We'll keep you posted on how that turns out.

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2015: The Nuts And Bolts Of It
2014: Gorgeous, Rich, And Rugged. And That's Just The Bag.
2013: Back To Basics
2012: I Can Think Of Better Ways To Spend Hump Day
2011: Can I Appoint Myself The Baroness Of Cattle?
2010: This Time Losing The Wallet Really Means Losing The Wallet
2009: Marley & Me
2008: Eddie Gets Handy Friday
2007: The Perfect Neapolitan Slice
2006: The King Of The Flying Salmon
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Fanciest Digs In Town

The Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee, Arizona was built between 1898 and 1902 by the Phelps Dodge mining company.  It was used as a place to entertain and lodge investors and dignitaries that came to town to visit the Queen Mine, the only reason people came to Bisbee.

For nearly a hundred years, the mine produced "8 billion pounds of copper, 102 million ounces of silver and 2.8 million ounces of gold along with millions of pounds of zinc, lead, and manganese."  Phelps Dodge made a lot of money in what was the most productive copper mine in Arizona in the early 1900s.

The hotel is a four-story Victorian-era structure, built in the style of an Italian villa. Construction of the hotel was not easy as it was built into the side of a mountain which had to be blasted away to make room for the structure. The walls of the hotel are nearly two feet thick to keep it cool during the summer.

It is considered to be the longest continuously operated hotel in the state of Arizona.

The mosaic tile, seen above in the entry hall and below in the lobby, is an original feature and was imported from Italy.  
The front desk is made from Tiger Oak and back in the day was encased in a wrought-iron security cage.  The safe behind the desk came from the copper mine across the street.  It was used to house the payroll for the miners but eventually became too small for the amount of money it needed to hold.

Phelps Dodge liked to pay their workers in cash, knowing it would come back to them when the employees bought goods and drinks.

The hotel is said to be haunted and has been featured on TV shows that focus on the paranormal.

According to Wikipedia, "The most famous ghost is that of a woman in her thirties by the name of Julia Lowell. It is said that she was a prostitute and she used the hotel for her and her clients. She fell madly in love with one of her clients and when she told him this he no longer wanted to see her. She took her own life at the hotel. Guests and staff at the hotel say that they feel her presence on the second and third floors of the west side of the building. Male staff and guests have reported hearing a female voice whispering in their ear. Others have also reported seeing her dancing provocatively at the foot of the stairs."

This nude, which hangs in the hotel saloon, is said to be Julia Lowell.

The hotel has 45 rooms and "modern" conveniences like air conditioning, color TV, and wifi.

We did not stay at the hotel as we were only there for the day, but my brother and his wife got engaged there and they've been married now for 24 years.

So the Copper Queen isn't only haunted, it's also a good luck charm.

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2016: Moon Rising
2015: Almost There
2014: Winter Water Running Through Watertown
2013: The Pretty Pink Sailor
2012: Many Thanks To Those Of You Who Come To Peer Through My Window
2011: And I Thought My Feet Were Big!
2010: ABC. Easy As 123. As Simple As Do Re Mi, ABC, 123, Baby You And Me
2009: Under The Black Palm Tree
2008: The Zoo In Stateroom 7377
2007: Pillars
2006: Fiori Di Como
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Queen Of Copper's King

Here's Ed getting ready to take the Queen Mine Tour in Bisbee, Arizona.

I sat in this very spot just a mere 21 years ago, the last time I visited the mine.

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2016: Working The Land
2015: Pre-Columbian Toothlace
2014: Who Needs Sochi? We've Got Watertown.
2013: Pit Stop At Home
2012: Adding A Few More Wheels To The Big Rig
2011: Again And Again And Again
2010: Hood Ornament
2009: Eddie Out Of Control Friday
2008: My Boyfriend Simon Is Back In Town
2007: A Little Taste Of Miami Beach
2006: Ooooohhhhhh, Jabra!
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

More Like A Submarine Sandwich

Ed just started watching "Trainwreck", the movie written by Amy Schumer.  I'm not a big Amy Schumer fan but I just overheard a line her character uttered that I liked:

"I'm sorry, I just... I don't know why we treat these athletes like heroes just because they can skate fast or kick a ball in a net. I just think it's weird. No offense. I just think that sports are stupid, and anyone who likes them is just, like, a lesser person. And has a small intellect."

That made me want to watch the rest of this cinematic train wreck.

PS:  Tilda Swinton is unrecognizable in this movie.

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Good Stuff, Maynard!

2015: Spiky On The Outside, Sinfully Delicious Inside
2014: The Most Awkward Descent Down A Snow Covered Hill. Ever.
2013: At The Top Of My Favorite Cities List
2012: Not Looking Anymore
2011: There Is Hope
2010: Where The Bunnies Of The Desert Hang Out
2009: The Marion County Shirt Factory Incident
2008: Eddie Roams The Mayan Ruins Friday
2007: Self Service Antiques
2006: Begin At Once
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

This Is Everything

It should have never happened, but it did.

WTF is happening?  It's twenty-fucking-seventeen, people.

You're not going to shut us down.  

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2016: Shocking

2015: Waiting For Turistas
2014: The Still Before The Storm
2013: Sizzle, Drizzle, And Pour
2012: Dreams Explored Over Dinner
2011: I’m In Love And It’s Not Even Valentine’s Day Yet
2010: Eddie As Fisherman Friday
2009: Birds And Barbells On Muscle Beach
2008: A Girl On The Shores Of Cozumel
2007: I’m Not Exactly Sure What You’re Proposing Here
2006: The Blizzard Of 2006
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Living Snapshot Of Another America

Lowell, Arizona was a small mining town settled in the late 1800s.  This is a picture of Erie Street, its main drag.  Read more about the town here.  

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2016: C'mere, Give Me A Hug

2015: La Bufadora And Almejas Gratinadas
2014: In The Nick Of Time
2013: This Business Means Business
2012: A Nodding Donkey On The Hill
2011: What A Croc
2010: Flash Of Pole
2009: They Hire ‘Em Young These Days
2008: Setting Sail At Sunset
2007: Happy Bee
2006: It’s Not Unusual
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Queen Of The Copper Camps

A view of Bisbee as you come down the hill, approaching from the west.  You can see the Copper Queen Hotel (beige building, red roof) to the right of the church steeple.

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He Ran By And Told Me To Share Links

2015: Heading To Shore
2014: Chocolate And Gnocchi - The Best Of Any World
2013: Looking And Smelling Good Behind The Wheel Of A Big Rig
2012: Necessary Evil
2011: Getting Drunk On Summer Fun
2010: How Is It The Fish Don’t Freeze???
2009: A Meal Even 300 Year Old Monks Would Love
2008: Not A Knock Knock Joke
2007: Eddie Shades Friday
2006: The Idiot And The Box
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

A Creator's Paradise

Bisbee, Arizona is a very artsy town - "artsy-fartsy" as my mother would say.  If you're looking for eclectic, you've found it.  Lots of galleries in town, but mostly it's the art on the residences, buildings, front yards, and even cars.

I saw these cars and was so busy taking the picture, I said to Ed, "Did you see that one?  It had owls all over it."

"Yeah, I saw it." he said.

"It's an owl car." I said.

"An owl car?" he said.


"How do you know?" he said.

"It's got owls all over it.  Like, everywhere.  Even on the sides." I said.

"It says owl car on the license plate." he said.

"Really?  Oh." I said.

"Yeah, you didn't see it?  I thought that's why you called it an owl car." he said.

"No, it has owls on it.  That's why I called it an owl car.  I didn't even see the plate."


"Seriously, I didn't see it." I laughed.

Really, I didn't even see it.  But damn, if anyone is going to have OWL CAR on their license plate, that's the car to put it on.  And this is the place for it to be.

Bisbee.  A paradise for creative people.

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2016: The Naked Truth

2015: True Civilization
2014: Late Afternoon In South Dakota
2013: Farm To Market
2012: Providence Silhouette
2011: We Got Fatter But We Lost Weight
2010: Stripping, Vitamins, And Cheesecake
2009: Ocean Front Crowd
2008: He Wouldn’t Recommend His Wife To Anyone He Knows
2007: Spring Has Sprung In My Hotel Room
2006: High School Hottie
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, February 06, 2017

Established 1975

Today is Ed's birthday and we are celebrating by spending the day in Bisbee, Arizona. In addition to doing a brief exploration of this tiny historic mining town, we'll be visiting the famous Copper Queen Hotel and taking a tour of the Queen Mine.  Check back for more photos. 

Happy Birthday to my very significant other!

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Happy Birthday, My Sweet Prince!

2015: Celebration At Sea
2014: Winter Baby
2013: Let Me Count The Ways
2012: He’s Been Waiting For This Day For Thirty-Seven Years
2011: Twisted Raoul
2010: The Spring Chicken Celebrates His Big Day
2009: Eddie It’s My Birthday! It’s My Birthday! Friday
2008: As Pisghetti Gains Another Year, I Lose Eight
2007: Happy Birthday My Sweet Eddie!!!
2006: The Many Faces Of Ed
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Ghost Town Patrol

Lowell, Arizona is located a smidge southeast of Bisbee, Arizona.  I've been told they often get bikers, but this car clearly isn't going to be in hot pursuit of anything.

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2016: Steakhouse Din
2015: Water Is Precious
2014: Who's That Behind Those Foster Grants?
2013: Where Are The Cushy Couches And Fat Laps?
2012: The Stealth Trucker
2011: Aisles Filled With Q-Tips
2010: Lights, Camera, Action!
2009: Desktop Material
2008: C’mon In
2007: Eddie Hits The Bricks Friday
2006: Built With The Organization Gene
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!