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.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Not Exactly "Woodland" Creatures

Ed went for a hike in Sweetwater Preserve and came across a group of deer.  I think he startled them as much as they startled him.  They pranced away, stopping briefly to look back at him with curiosity.  They are in this picture - you'll likely never find them as they blend with the landscape.  It's an extremely frustrating Where's Waldo? moment.

I'm glad it was something cute he happened upon and not a hungry mountain cougar or nest of rattlesnakes.  

One of the many reasons I don't hike.

2005: Sleeping Beauty

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

After The Storm

A flashback to when we used to use tarps on our flatbed.  This is a picture of Ed, at the end of the day, wearing rain gear, folding the tarps after we delivered a load in the rain.  I'm so glad he has the rolling tarp system now - one slide, and the tarp rolls to a close and covers the load.  Easy peasy.  

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2016: Doing One Thing Well

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Make Time For This Market

Last weekend Ed and I picked up my mother and went to visit my nephew at college.  It's his first year and he was going to give us a tour of his dorm before we took him out to eat.  Because you know, college kids need food.  All the time.

I decided on Time Market, a place I've been wanting to try for a long time.  I rarely venture downtown or to the university area because I don't like to spend more than one minute looking for a parking spot.  But it was Sunday, so parking was a breeze.

The market offers produce (I think only organic), cheeses, wine, beverages, specialty foods, and more.  I bought hand-dipped dark chocolate covered figs - juicy, sweet Pajarero figs from Extremadura, Spain, that are dried and then hand-dipped in rich, 68% Caro dark chocolate, a chocolate made from a recipe handed down 3 generations. They are to die for.  
Once I read the menu, I knew we'd be eating there.  I didn't get a picture of our sandwiches, but we all made great choices.  My nephew had the Classic Reuben sandwich, Ed had a wood-fired pizza, my mother had the Roasted Red sandwich, and I....I had what I think was probably the best sandwich on the menu, the Roasted Chicken & Tamal - a house-made green corn tamal, sliced wood-fired chicken breast, cheddar cheese, avocado and salsa on pain levain, a rustic, classic sourdough bread. 

A tamal on a sandwich!  Genius.  And AMAAAAZING. 

I loved the atmosphere and I'll definitely be going back.  It's a beautiful store.

Check out their gorgeous Instagram feed to see more of this great little market. 

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Capture The Flag

2015: Arizona Dinosauria
2014: Twilight In New York
2013: The Sun Also Sets
2012: Summoning The Mountains
2011: The Power Of Gold
2010: Where’s The Beef?
2009: If One Could Love A Convenience Store
2008: Eddie Home On The Alien Range Friday
2007: N Is For Nanny. Oh, And Negligent.
2006: The Answer Will Be Revealed In Nine Months
2005: Lipgloss And Cocoa Puffs

Monday, October 02, 2017

Maybe None Of Us Should Have Pizza

It's happening again.  Everyone in the country is having that same conversation again.  Everyone is going on about the most recent "deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history".  It's like these assholes keep trying to one-up each other by killing more people than the last guy did.  The conversation consists of the same 'ol same 'ol - "How do we make sense of what happened in Las Vegas?" and "How can we prevent something like this from happening again?"

Well, let's take a look at the reading material stationed at the door of one of the TA truck stops we recently stopped at:

Guns & Ammo

The Complete Book of Guns

Black Guns

American Survival Guide (ironic)

Concealed Carry


and, People Magazine.  I suppose that's for those lily-livered Hollywood liberal types who don't believe in The Constitution. 

Americans have an insane obsession with guns.  They look at owning one as some hallmark of freedom, of patriotism.  They claim they're needed for protection.  Protection from what?  Other nutjob gun owners, it seems.  They take the "right to bear arms" amendment psychotically far.  They refuse to believe an amendment written for muskets in 1791 should still be unilaterally applied to gun ownership today.  

Well, ICYMI (In Case You Missed It), yesterday 59 people were killed and over 500 more were injured in a mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

First, let me say - what the everloving fuck is going on in this country??  It makes me sick.  And pissed.

FIFTY-NINE people are dead.  People, who as Ed said, were "...innocent people doing what Americans do.  Pursuing happiness by going to a concert with their family and friends."

And why are they gone?  Gone.  Dead.  NEVER EVER COMING BACK.


Because some asshole was allowed to own a gun.  Well, several guns.  Lots of guns.  And then he transported them to a place where thousands of people congregate and hundreds more stream into the streets, twenty-four hours a day.  He used them to kill 59 innocent people and injure hundreds more.

After the shooting, like clockwork, the "thoughts and prayers" started coming.  As they always do.  They're useless.  Useless before.  Useless during.  Useless after.  The politicians sending out thoughts and prayers are the WORST.  Especially the Christian ones who espouse to be like Christ yet vote against families and children and those less fortunate.  Especially ones like Trump, who couldn't quote a scripture to save his own life, let alone anyone else's.  And especially the ones beholden to the NRA. 

The NRA spent more than $30 million dollars on last year's presidential campaign in an effort to help elect Trump.  They used $19.7 million to oppose Hillary Clinton and $10.6 million to support Donald Trump.

In fact, the NRA donates overwhelmingly to the Republican party. They have the balls of more politicians than one can count squeezed in their hot little gun-toting hands.  Last year alone, they spent $54.4 million, almost all of it going to Republicans.  People don't want to make any assumptions about what that means, but I'm pretty sure it means whoever is squeezing your balls, will be the one who gets what they want.  And in following the money, you'll discover that in the 2016 election, the NRA spent $52.6 million on the Republicans to get what they wanted.  The Democrats only got $265.  265 Dollars, not millions.  No, that's not a typo.  The NRA knows who their audience is.

But let's get back to the thoughts and prayers.  Surprisingly, the strategy of praying to God is not stopping the mass shootings.  Does anyone really believe it does?

If the killing of 20 children under the age of seven didn't change anything about the gun laws in this country, nothing will.  I guess some people in this country - politicians and others - are just okay with kids dying.  Being gunned down in their classroom ten days before Christmas.  Presents already bought, Christmas outfits ready for church or a trip to grandma's house, joy wafting through the December air.  They're okay with dead kids who missed all of that.  If that didn't change anything, this won't either.  And don't even get me started on how all the news anchors get all misty-eyed and put on their caring voices to interview survivors at the scene.  They have to fill airtime, you know.

I'm so disgusted by all of this.  Honestly, I believe all guns need to be banned.  You don't need a gun. Plenty of countries have productive, prosperous, happy citizens living mass-murder-free existences.  Because they don't allow citizens to own guns.  This article states, "In a typical year, over 13,000 Americans will be killed by guns. To put that into perspective, that is six times more than the total number of American troops killed in Afghanistan over the last 16 years. America’s gun homicide rate is 25 times the average of other developed countries. There is now, typically, one mass shooting per day in the United States. Over the course of the year, 45 of those will be school shootings."  A mass shooting is defined as a shooting where "four or more people are killed".

Dave King, a guy on Twitter, said,

It's that old school adage about how one kid ruins it for the whole class.  Well these fuckers killing people have ruined it for the whole class.  And I'm okay with giving up pizza.

Congress, and specifically the Republicans, need to take those balls out of the NRA's grip and ACT like they've actually got a pair.  Instead of signing bills into law that make it easier for people with mental illness to get guns, they should be signing bills into law that make it impossible for people to possess guns.  Of any kind.  Sorry, gun enthusiasts.  Your asshole friends ruined it for you.  Take your obsession to a gun range.  Play violent video games.  Rent The Deer Hunter if watching a stag die a violent death gives you a woodie.  You've really got to take one for the team on this.

This just cannot keep happening.  We cannot be worried about going to outdoor concerts, and movies, and grocery stores.  How is that freedom?

I long for the days when I could flip off the guy who cut me off in traffic without worrying about being shot for it.

That would make America great again.

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Ed Talks Meat With Elvis

2015: Slickrocks, Domes, Bowls, Fins, And Things
2014: Have Another Piece Of Cake
2013: I Was Searching For Leather Goods And Found Something To Dream About
2012: Tomatoes Under Glass
2011: The Best Seat In The House
2010: Countdown To Pisa
2009: Eddie Goes Waaaay South Friday
2008: Port Of Long Beach
2007: Layers Of History
2006: Would I Be Cheesy If I Said I Wanted To Drive THIS Rig??
2005: Paper Glow

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Texas Really Does Have A Thing For Big Stuff

These people are a big deal.  Literally.

Glen Goode's "Big People", as they've been dubbed, located in Gainesville, Texas, are the best kind of roadside attraction one can stumble across.  It's the kind of thing you just can't miss.

Here's a picture of Ed with "the guys".  

We've been passing the turnoff to the Big People for 18 months now, but haven't been able to stop.  Last month we finally had the time and opportunity to stop and take pictures.  I was concerned we'd miss out - another Flickertail, as Ed and I now call it - because I read that they were only going to be up for a limited amount of time after the founder's death.

And of course, boys will be boys.  Here's Ed taking a peek under her skirt.  Funny little fact - she's wearing pink panties! 
This Roadside America post has a great write-up about the Big People.  You can also read this, which talks about the Muffler Men, cousins of the Big People. 

Here's a backside view.  I think all the guys look like a young Ronald Reagan.  Even their asses have that 1940s trousers look.  
I love this job!  I've gotten to see so many interesting things in my travels.

And there's so much more out there left to conquer!  

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Two-Wheeling In The Desert

2015: Moab Is The Place For Premium Baked Goods
2014: A Precursor To The Real Deal
2013: Only In The Summertime
2012: Craving Italy
2011: A Perfect Way To Start A Month
2010: Old School
2009: Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
2008: The Clubhouse Girls
2007: Morning On The Air Train
2006: The Other Side Of The Tracks
2005: Vicki Bin Laden   

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Ideas Blooming

I've been wedding accessory shopping.  Who the hell knew - even for a small ceremony - that there's so much to do?  So many details?!  If it weren't for my friend Marlaina, I'd have forgotten half the stuff I need.  Like flowers. 

After drowning in Pinterest for days, I finally went to the florist.  Wedding bouquets are $150 to $200.  For basic bouquets, nothing fancy.  The type I wanted is $150.  Just roses, hydrangea, and some green sprigs of something or other.  I've gotten pretty practical over the years and right now I'm thinking, "Do I really need $200 worth of flowers to carry around for an hour?" 

Then I got all DIY-minded and went to look at silk flowers.  Much more affordable, and I can probably put them in a vase to use somewhere in the house later on.  Will anyone be able to tell the difference in photos?  I can pretend to be smelling them.  Maybe that'll fake people out.

There's still time.  If I want real ones - and they are beautiful - I can order as late as three weeks before the wedding. 

Just a smidge more research needed...

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Blushing Rain Clouds

2015: Last Night Was Super!
2014: Sloths Are The New Kittens
2013: In The Shadow Of Mount Olympus
2012: Toni And Her Sisters
2011: Paper Boy…And Girl
2010: Breakfast Of Champions (And Truck Drivers)
2009: Vegetarianism Brings On Extinction
2008: It’s Beauty Is Just The Beginning
2007: Eddie Relaxes In Style Friday
2006: How To Tell Your Parents You Don’t Have A Roommate
2005: Mangia! and You Just Know When You’ve Met “The One”