Tuesday, August 23, 2016

MOD Is What You Make It

This past weekend, Ed and I discovered MOD Pizza, a new restaurant in Oro Valley, AZ.  We watched it being built, anticipating its arrival after seeing the "Coming Soon" signs in the window. Turns out, it's a pretty good pizza.  Not your typical New York style - no one in this town has been able to figure out how to make a pie that really compares to those of New York - but individual, wood-fired discs of deliciousness.

Their concept is build-your-own.  Like Chipotle or Subway, you watch the staff put fresh ingredients of your choice, on your pizza.  Three minutes after it hits the oven, it's yours to enjoy.
Since we hadn't had breakfast on this particular day, we ordered the MOD size (they also have a mini and mega) with a salad.  We each had a Caesar salad with Gorgonzola crumbles.  In this photo you'll see our order being worked on.  They had a great selection of toppings, including some I didn't expect - roasted garlic cloves, sun-dried tomatoes, and brussels sprouts.
The menu board offers classic combinations, giving people ideas of what they can expect on each named pie.  You can add or subtract any ingredients you'd like - no extra charge for toppings - or create your own.

I had the Seasonal MOD, the "Sienna".  They start with a garlic rub on the crust (no sauce), then add rosemary, mozzarella, roasted brussels sprouts, red onions, mushrooms, and parmesan cheese.  In addition, I asked for a sprinkling of feta and a few sun-dried tomatoes.  Paired with my salad and icy Diet Coke, and I had a fantastic, filling lunch.

Ed decided to make his own.  He started with a red sauce, added pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, black olives, mushrooms, red onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and jalapeños. He downed his pizza and greens with a Dragoon IPA, which is locally brewed.
The atmosphere was industrial, with open ceilings, concrete floors, and wood and metal used in the furniture, accessories, and decor accents.  It wasn't busy at the time we went and the staff was super-friendly and efficient.

We were also engaged by an extremely personable, energetic employee who appeared to be off the clock, and who not only suggested his favorite combo - The "Caspian" with bacon - while we were in line ordering (he must have overheard us saying it was our first time and asking how the ordering process worked), but who also came over to our table to ask how everything was and if we were enjoying our meal.  As a veteran of the restaurant business, that made a 
very good impression.
This place is five minutes from our house and it's definitely a place I'll go back to.  Mama's has always been our go-to pizza place - it's the closest to NY style as we can get in our neighborhood - but MOD offers something different that's very appealing and pretty damn delicious.

One can never have enough pizza.

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2015: There's A Reason They Call Them Massholes
2014: Delicious Assembly Line
2013: The Greatest Invention Of Human Kind
2012: I Can Haul Yer Explosives And Stuff
2011: That Bitch Irene Is Trying To Ruin My Vacation
2010: Licking Our Chops
2009: I’ll Start Working On That Sarcasm Font Right Away
2008: False Security
2007: Protecting The Posies
2006: Asking Too Much
2005: Slotsa Money

Monday, August 22, 2016

Named By A Canadian, Mined By A Western Legend

Yesterday on our way to San Manuel, we stopped in Oracle, Arizona.

Oracle was named by Canadian Albert Weldon - who came to the western United States on a ship named Oracle, launched from Bath, Maine in 1876 - and invested in by Buffalo Bill Cody, an icon of the American West.

Oracle is most famously known for the Biosphere 2 - a place I visited years ago but have yet to take Ed to - but does have a teeny bit of its own history outside of that attraction. Supposedly, Buffalo Bill Cody played Santa for the local children back in 1911.

The photo above was taken at The Ranch Store Center on West American Avenue in Oracle.  The store is closed on Monday so we didn't have a chance to explore, but we'll definitely be going back.

This place is too interesting to pass up.

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2015: 34-Hour Restart
2014: Founded By A Millionaire Fur Trader
2013: Woke Up This Morning
2012: Trust Me, I’m A Truck Driver
2011: Doesn’t A Gastropod Always Have A Helmet On?
2010: This Is How We Do It
2009: Storage In The Storm
2008: Devil Horse In The Louisiana Wetlands
2007: Not Sloppy. No Joe. Just Bob And His Loosemeats Residing In The Ice Cream Capital Of The World
2006: Playing With Your Money But Not Really SPENDING It
2005: Glamour Puss

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Mid-Century Copper Town

Today Ed and I went out for a little drive after we ran our errands.  We decided to take a trip up to San Manuel, Arizona, it's not far from where we live and I hadn't been there in over 20 years.  I just thought there might be something to see, something different after all these years.

Nope.  Nothing to see, nothing different.

It was a little prettier than I remembered, a lot greener than where I live.  It's also higher in elevation than where we are, with more hills which provides a pretty vista since the town sits a little higher than the approach highway.  It's about 1,000 feet higher in elevation than the city of Tucson so they even get a a little snow when it gets really cold in the winter.
The town was built in 1953 as a company town to serve the San Manuel Copper Mine.  Arizona was rich in copper and in the early and mid-20th century, there were high production copper mines everywhere.  Unfortunately, the mine and smelter was closed in 1999 and 2,500 people lost their jobs.  
The houses for sale here are cheap, most between $30,000 and $50,000.  From what I could tell through the real estate listings, most are small, two-bedroom, one-bath mid-century modern style homes.  A lot of them are actually really cute, but also very run down.  It would be a great place for a revitalization, especially now that there's civilization nearby.  Over 20 years ago when I first visited the town, the closest major shopping was at least 40 miles away, now it's closer to 20.
Next stop, Oracle.

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Signs Of Summer

2014: State-Of-The-Art Movement
2013: Not My Kind Of Gold Mine
2012: Fat Lou Captured In Rare Photo
2011: Oceanfront Property At Lot 61003/94
2010: Monkey Pod Treasure
2009: Eddie Embraces The Rules Friday
2008: They Have A MAGAZINE???
2007: Planting The Sun
2006: Training Day
2005: Cannonball Run

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Crest At Sunset

A few weeks ago Ed and I joined a Meetup group for a day at Mt. Lemmon.  We all gathered around 7:30 in the morning and drove up the mountain together for a day of hiking, eating, and meeting new people.

Our first stop was breakfast at the Iron Door.  We mingled and chatted with people around our table.  After breakfast, we took the ski lift up to the top where we wandered around for a while taking in the view and fresh air.

After coming down from the top, lunch was held at the Sawmill Run restaurant.  We had a table of six and got to know a few more people in the group - two ladies who were friends on a day outing, and a couple who had just moved to Tucson from Oregon.

After lunch, there was another hike planned.  Now if you know anything at all about me, you know that anything remotely related to a hike is a monumental event for me, so two hikes in a matter of hours was just not going to happen, so Ed went with the group and I took the pickup and explored a little while he was gone.  When he returned he said it was a good thing I didn't go as it was a difficult hike which involved "scaling" a rock.  WTF?

After that hike, the group gathered again at the end of the evening for music and pizza at The Cookie Cabin.  The music was nice, the pizzas were insanely overpriced, and the giant cookies were actually pretty delicious.

All in all, it was a pleasant experience.  Rain was in the forecast but the clouds didn't roll in until the end of the day.  The picture above was taken just as we left the top of the mountain.  Not long after, it started pouring.

And as you can see from the tiny outline of the person in the photo, arms raised Rocky style, someone was very happy to make it to the top.

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2015: Over 80 Feet Of Traveling Comfort
2014: Insta-Coastal
2013: Traffic
2012: Fire Hazard
2011: Smiling High
2010: Time Travel
2009: One More Reason I Love The Highway Hags
2008: Boathouse On The Gulf
2007: Canada Is Bubblicious
2006: You Know You’re In A Hotel That Doesn’t Have A Star Rating…
2005: It’s A Dry Heat

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Beauty Fuels The Drive

Yesterday was a surprisingly beautiful day in Texas.  It was overcast the entire day, gray clouds lying low in the horizon, a coolness in the air.

At the end of the day, driving west on Interstate 20, we were treated to quite a spectacular sunset.  I took this photo when we stopped for fuel at the Pilot in Weatherford.

It looked much better in person.

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2015:  Making A Killing By Killing People
2014: The Best Damn Piece Of Driftwood I've Ever Seen
2013: Junk Still Exists In The Snail Mail World
2012: Where The Chisled Form Of David Accompanies You In The Restroom
2011: Settling In And Planning Our Day
2010: Por And Parking Served Up With Southern Charm
2009: They Should Put This Scent In A Candle. I’d Have One Lit In My House Every Night!
2008: After All
2007: I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
2006: Who My Baby Daddy?
2005: South Siiiide Education

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Circa 1980

Flashback to the early eighties!

I'm the one smack in the middle, with the winged hair and the floral shirt.

A childhood friend of mine - the girl on the left end of the second row, blond hair, head tilted toward the person next to them - posted this on Facebook and I thought I'd share it here.

I don't remember this day AT ALL.  Apparently, it was her birthday party, but I don't remember the house, the group of people, or the picture being taken.

And most of all, I don't remember that shirt I'm wearing.  What the heck??

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2015: A Tornado Dreams Of Wide Open Space Like This
2014: The End Of Day
2013: Until I'm One With You
2012: I Didn’t Even Have To Slip Him My Room Key
2011: Rest Comes For Robo-Ed
2010: Better Than A Leg Press Machine. Or How To Get A Good Looking Left Gam.
2009: How Can I Tread On You When I Can’t Even Turn Around?
2008: Popping Good Time
2007: Touching Down For A Quick Rest Break
2006: Follow Your Heart
2005: All About The Benjamins

Monday, August 15, 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Little Birthday Pomp

This is a picture of my father from Junior High School.  Check out that pompadour!

I am not sure what age he was in this photo, but today he would have been 75.

He's been gone 10 years now.  It's amazing how the time has flown.  I think about him often and miss him when I do.

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Lone House On The Prairie

2014: Squeezing Through The Backroads
2013: Waves Of Steel

2012: Forever In Bloom
2011: Ed Visits His First Warehouse Store
2010: HBD 143
2009: Eddie Hauls Laundry The White Trash Way Friday
2008: Sun Setting Over Lake Pontchartrain
2007: Sanchez. Pedro Sanchez.
2006: Remembering Those In Heaven
2005: The Line Of Gold Thread

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Get Lost In The Links

My cloud photo with graphics from the OVER app.
Have you ever thought spinning clay could soothe? No?  Watch this ceramics master do his thing. More soothing and satisfying videos here.    

10 Healthiest Ways to Eat a Sandwich.

Seven sisters and 37 feet of hair.

Do you know how much freakin' cardio you have to do to make it worthwhile??  Holy moly.

I'm a big fan of pocket doors and telephone nooks.

I'd consider moving to Waco if these two could design my house.

Who doesn't love a spinning top?  These are some of the most beautiful I've seen.

Chile-Lime Melon Salad.  Refreshing.

"Wings" without the guilt. 

DIY ideas just in case you've been thinking of tying the knot, country style.

Health facts that are just plain 'ol wrong.

Skinny houses - sometimes known as Spite Houses - can be found around the world.

Don't throw it away...put it to use.  DIY projects for things that usually wind up in the trash.    

The bus that straddles traffic actually works.  

Zucchini....in tart form.  

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Up In The Bakken 

2014: I See A Molasses Sorghum Cookie In My Future
2013: Save Fifty Cents By Staying Away From The Card Tables - Go To A Concert Instead
2012: Zero Tolerance Zone
2011: Flicker Of Hope…GONE
2010: Knee Deep In Training
2009: She Sells Seashells By The Seashore
2008: Shopping At Walmart Is The Closest Some Of Us WilL Ever Get To China
2007: Giving Indians A Bad Name
2006: Six Flags Of Horror Fly Over Texas
2005: Snake River

Tuesday, August 09, 2016