Archive for January, 2009

24 January 2009.

January 25, 2009

The day dawned partly sunny & cool. I walked down the street to a nice restaurant for a full breakfast. Mike was a little bit busy so I had time to finally get on line and go thru my email. I did manage to forget to post some of this stuff to my blog. It was early afternoon when he came by. We started off with lunch at a Mexican restaurant. From there we headed over to South Mt. Park for some beautiful views of the valley in which Phoenix sits as well as on the other side to look over Gila Valley. Really nice. Then a drive thru the Salt River Indian Reservation. After picking up & dropping off one of his pride of kittens which had been at the vets, we headed up to the northern suburbs. First for a some views in the opposite direction & then off to a touristy steakhouse. Casual wear required & enforced. If you wear a tie, they cut it off & nail it to the rafters. J I even got to speak German with the folk at the table next to us.

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23 January 2009.

January 25, 2009

Spent the morning puttering on the computer, discussing learning English with the maintenance person here at the motel, walking over for some coffee and a perhaps slightly stale sweet role & reading for a little while. I was picked up by Mike & Jean, & we headed out for lunch. From there we headed over to the Heard Museum. It was a little bit late, but I thoroughly enjoyed the walk around the archeological site. Mike had done this tour before and provided an excellent commentary. We spent our remaining time in the museum itself. Jean was more than content to stay in the car & read. We then headed back to Mesa for dinner. We met up with Mike & Sharon Ward. A couple of Rt. 66 Roadies I meet thru the web site & at the 2 Rt. 66 gatherings I’ve attended. There was good food, company & conversation. The weather continued to be fine from my perspective. The temps have been around 20c/68f. After Albany this is still T-shirt & shorts weather. The area has had the occasional sprinkle, but no serious rain. No complaints from here.

22 January 2009.

January 25, 2009

After my usual so-so sleep I awoke to clouds. It had sprinkled overnight. I traded in my shirt & jeans for T-shirt & shorts. J Mike picked me up around noon. I had spent the morning beginning my blog update & chatting with a snowbird from Duluth. He was in a wheelchair & had an ATV for getting around parks and backcountry. I referred him to the Rt. 66 e-group for info on driving The Road. I also touched base with Mike Ward, a Rt. 66 Roadie, who lives in Mesa. We are planning on getting together Friday evening for dinner. I’m hoping the other “Mike” & Jean will join us for dinner. After a light lunch ala Mexican we headed up country. I was in the mood for scenery. We headed up Apache Trail to Roosevelt Dam/Recreation area. The first stop was to get a photo of Superstition Mt. Next was a view of the scenery looking out to Needle Point. Then on to the Canyon Lake Vista. I was beginning to get a nice fill of scenery. We zipped thru Tortilla Flats. Heading downhill to Fishcreek Hill Vista. The road, for quite a while now dirt/gravel was narrow and twisty, obviously laid out by a drunken snake with hiccups. Wonderful! The passage over Fishcreek was a narrow canyon surrounded by high cliffs. We stopped for a look at Apache Lake. This was the end of my photo taking, but enjoyed the views as we drove along Theodore Roosevelt Lake. We turned onto SR 87 and headed back to Scottsdale. We spent some time with Jean at the vets as one of their cats was ill. Then Mike & I went out for Italian. It was a good day.

21 January 2009.

January 25, 2009

The trip begins. I was up early. It was clear & about -17c/2f with a good amount of snow cover. I finished packing, closed down the house & got a taxi to the airport. Passing thru security went quickly. The United flight left on time & arrived early! In Chicago I was able to switch to an earlier American flight. It also left on time & arrived early! I was able to coordinate with Mike Willmoth & Jean Goddin, who met me at the airport. It was about 25c/77f. A slight difference from when I left. After I checked in at the Motel 6 we went out for a nosh & a natter. It began to lightly shower on the way back to the motel. I watched some TV, read, stretched out & called it a good day. Well, mostly good as the lights over the bed didn’t work.

Cubs Report

January 25, 2009

     Back  in the late summer I was referred to the book, “Wrigleyville,” by an old friend, Toby Chapman.  It is all his fault!  It is an excellent history of the Cubs.  In the book was the story of Randy Hundley’s Fantasy Baseball Camp.  As the book was published in ’94, I was curious if the camp was still around.  The rest was, as they say, history.    I decided to attend.  They stated “no previous baseball experience need.”  That was me!    I did try and prepare a little bit by getting with a personal trainer I knew and increasing my time in the gym to 6 to 10 hours a week.  I have ended up looking a little bit less like the Michelin Man, but not all that much. L  Nevertheless I was going.  After all this is a “fantasy” camp.  I will have the opportunity to wear the Cubs’ Uniform.  It will be my Field of Dreams.  And dream I can.  I was there in 1945 at one of the games of the last World Series the Cubs played in.  Closure would be nice, but until then,  I will do it for them in my dream week!

One way to look at it.

January 15, 2009

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -John Kenneth Galbraith, economist (1908-2006)

Good Book & Film!

January 13, 2009

I just finished watching “We of the Never Never.” It is more of an Australian Epic than AUSTRALIA. It is quite well done and is in my American eyes a better portrayal of life in the Australian Bush on a cattle station than “Australia.” I highly recommend the film.

The book is an excellent read. It is considered an Australian classic.

We of the Never Never is an autobiographical novel by Jeannie Gunn. Although published as a novel, it is an account of the author’s experiences in 1902 at Elsey Station near Mataranka, Northern Territory in which she changed the names of people to obscure their identities. She published this book under the pen name Mrs Aeneas Gunn.

Mrs Gunn was the first white woman to settle in the area. Her husband was a partner in Elsey cattle station on the Roper River, some 300 miles (483 km) south of Darwin” [Lifted from the Wikipedia entry.]

Where’s the ladle?

January 7, 2009

Society is like a stew. If you don’t keep it stirred up you get a lot of scum on the top. -Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

An Unbiased Media

January 4, 2009

It is interesting to note that when a picture of the struggle between Israel and the Arab/Muslim countries appears, the pictures of the Arabs/Muslims are of weeping women & crying children. When pictures of Israelis appears, it is always of some hard faced soldier with a gun. Am I missing something?

A brilliant film

January 4, 2009

I recently saw “Slumdog Millionaire.”  It is a brilliant film.  It lived up to all the good reviews I had seen.  If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to run and do so.