Thursday, July 19, 2018

Big Tempe Surf With Sister Jackie & Brother Jake

With the Valley of the Sun  outer world heated to well over 100 degrees it seemed like a good time to do some desert surfing.

So, Sister Jackie drove me to Tempe to meet up with Brother Jake where we were able to do some of that desert surfing at the Big Surf Waterpark.

It was hard leaving Miss Daisy behind in Sun Lakes.

We arrived at Big Surf soon after the ocean opened for the day.

I soon found myself in a simulated tropical paradise, luxuriating in a big ocean I almost seemed to have to myself.

While waiting for the surf to rise, Brother Jake, Sister Jackie and my feet lounged in the water, enjoying the almost empty of people pseudo ocean.

And then surfers began to arrive. Many with flotation devices of the air mattress sort.

A cacophony of screams blocked out the rock and roll background music when a Big Kahuna wave suddenly appeared.

I had not surfed since sometime in the last century, in the Pacific Ocean in California, at San Clemente Beach, if my memory is serving me correctly. Negotiating a big wave quickly came back to me, like riding a bike. After an hour, or so, I asked Sister Jackie if there was anyway I could get her to try and photo document me in surf boy mode. Above is the best of Sister Jackie's surfing photo documentation.

Scroll to the end for up close video documentation of me getting tossed by the wild waves of Big Surf.

After an hour or two of surfing it was time for a break under shade. But still in a pool. That would be Brother Jake looking at you, with Sister Jackie looking away. Soon after taking this photo I left my camera behind to take a ride on one of the waterslides. I did not realize I would slide at such a high speed. This excess speed had me shoot out of the tube underwater, wreaking havoc with my sunglasses.

That is not Sister Jackie, above, pretending to be a lifeguard. That is a real lifeguard, who guarded my life by telling me I was too close to the wall you see here with rope fenced posts sticking out of the wall. After getting scolded I waded over to the lifeguard to take the photo you see above.

Soon after I got in trouble with the lifeguard we decided to leave Big Surf to head west to Scottsdale to the Fiesta Burrito Mexican Restaurant.

Above is a lunch look of my chili relleno enchilada in the foreground. Brother Jake's mixed enchilada is viewed to the upper left. Sister Jackie had the same chile relleno enchilada I had, so you do not need to see photo documentation of that.

Whilst we were surfing Sister Jackie mentioned something new in Tempe. A car vending machine. That's right, a car vending machine.

CARVANA. You build your car online, then make your way to the CARVANA tower in Tempe, and somehow, apparently, your new car is rotated to ground level, where you can drive away, with a freeway conveniently nearby.

A redlight stopped us right before entering that aforementioned freeway, rendering easy photo taking of CARVANA.

It's gonna be an adjustment leaving modern America and going back to Texas on Saturday.

And below is a short video of surfing today at Big Surf Waterpark...

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Driving Miss Daisy's Bank Tank Kini Dillards Fashion Mall Chariot Excursion

It is only an hour or two past noon and I have already had myself yet one more mighty fine busy day driving Miss Daisy around to various Arizona locations.

This morning began with Miss Daisy joining me for pool time where once again she was asked why she was not in a swimming suit, with the most pointed asking coming from my favorite nonagenarian, Philamina, whom we call Miss Phil.

After swimming, prior to being allowed to return to where my regular clothes are located, Miss Daisy directed me to drive to her bank, and then McDonald's, where we could find Sausage McMuffins with Egg.

Miss Daisy's directions to her bank soon went awry. Eventually it was realized, after passing McDonald's, that we had somehow missed the bank. So, we turned around and eventually found the bank on the opposite side of the street Miss Daisy had said it was on.

Miss Daisy directed me to one of the bank's ATMs. I parked. Miss Daisy gave me her bank card and told me the secret four digit code by which one was allowed to conduct Miss Daisy's bank business.

I stuck the card in the appropriate ATM slot, then, when asked to, I entered that four digit secret code, after which the ATM told me the four digit secret code was incorrect and that the transaction was being cancelled for security reasons.

Back in Miss Daisy's mechanized chariot I gave her the rejected card and proceeded east on Riggs to that aforementioned McDonald's and its Sausage McMuffins with Egg.

At some point, in the short distance to McDonald's, Miss Daisy somehow lost the bank card I had just handed her. I told her not to worry, we would find it, it had to be in the vehicle.

Parking at McDonald's I went inside to get those McMuffins. Miss Daisy continued to search for the missing card.

When I returned with the McMuffins Miss Daisy directed me to head to her home base, which I did, whilst we consumed those McMuffins.

Back at home we forensically deconstructed Miss Daisy's purse and the billfold device inside the purse, in which she was sure she had stuck the bank card.

I made a pile of the 1's, 5's and 20's. And the various cards. There were a lot of cards. At one point I removed a small bright red zippered purse-like thing. Miss Daisy said that was of no import.

I continued to look, to no avail. At one point apparently I got into a forbidden zone in the larger purse, when I discovered some folded large bills of the 100 dollar sort.

Just as I was beginning to be just a bit frustrated Miss Daisy unzipped that aforementioned small red purse and to her wondering eyes what appeared?

Yes. The missing bank card. Which was also red. Bright red.

Miss Daisy then remembered this was where she kept the bank card, so she could remember where it was amongst all her other cards.

With that crisis over Miss Daisy directed me to drive to the Chandler Fashion Center Mall. I soon found myself pushing Miss Daisy's manually operated chariot over all levels of that HUGE mall.

At one point I was more than a little shocked when Miss Daisy indicated she wanted to go into Dillards.

To shop for a swimming suit.

I soon found myself in situations I never envisioned being in. Asking Dillard's people where the women's swimming suits were located. The location was on another floor, so we were directed to the special elevator for those who are transported via wheeled chariots.

Upon finding the swimming suits I found myself telling the Dillard's swimming suit section lady that we where shopping for a swimming suit for my mom. We were quite excited because the swimming suits were 40% off. The saleslady advised that something called a tank-kini (no idea how to spell this) was likely the best choice.

Unless Miss Daisy would prefer a one piece or a two piece bikini type.

We went with the tank-kini option after learning these were much easier to put on, compared to a one piece. We quickly ruled out the bikini option.

The swimming suit Miss Daisy picked out cost $71, after that 40% discount. What a bargain. And it looked and fit so nice.

We shall see if I am able to get a photo of Miss Daisy at the pool in her new swimming suit before I head back to Texas on Saturday.

At the top that is Miss Daisy in the Chandler Fashion Center, heading towards a giant mural of what looked like a Grand Canyon image.

Tomorrow Sister Jackie is taking me and Spencer Jack's grandpa surfing in Scottsdale. I do not know if I will be able to photo document this desert experience. The waves are reportedly Pacific ocean worthy....

Monday, July 16, 2018

Jeremy Driving Miss Daisy To Arizona Arby's Atom Bomb

Monday night my favorite nephew Jeremy showed up for his regularly scheduled date with grandma, also known as Miss Daisy.

I go along for the weekly drive to the drive through through one of the neighborhoods many fast food joints for some counter balance to the healthy stuff we consume during the rest of the week.

For tonight's fast food Jeremy drove Miss Daisy and me north on Alma School Road to the fast food joint known as Arby's.

Ever since I have been in Arizona I have been seeing an Arby's TV ad touting two Arby's Beef Bacon Cheddar concoctions. On TV the ad man has Donald Trump hands, making the Beef Bacon Cheddar concoctions look enormous.

In reality the Arby's Beef Bacon Cheddar concoctions turned out to be a fraction of the gargantuan concoctions shown on TV. With hard chunks of bacon instead of strips. And the melted orange stuff may have been cheese. With a few slices of what appeared to be a beef-like product.

Did that aforementioned Donald Trump sign one of those executive orders he is so fond of signing, reversing yet one more American regulation?

Like truth in advertising?

Anyway, Jeremy is an excellent Miss Daisy chauffeur. Unlike when Jeremy's mother is Miss Daisy's chauffeur, when Jeremy is the driver I am able to relax and enjoy the scenery without feeling the need to keep a close eye on the driver.

Heading back home with our bagful of Arby's, clouds appeared to the east. Monsoon clouds. One of which looked like what I imagine an atom bomb looks like if one were to see such a thing actually explode.

I am fairly certain tonight is the last time I will ever be having myself anything from Arby's. Don't get me started on the curly fries...

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday Morning Worrying Arizona Monsoon Swim

You are looking at my slightly cock-eyed morning Monsoon view, post swimming, this third Arizona Sunday of the 2018 version of July.

Miss Daisy did not accompany me to the pool this morning. I think the threatening sky worried her.

Last night, early in the evening, my phone went off with multiple dust storm warnings. Miss Daisy and I had returned to cover shortly before the warnings arrived. We saw the incoming wall of dust on our way back to Sun Lakes.

I am a bit worried my return to Texas may be more adventurous than I like. Both ways, this trip, my DFW connection was less than an hour. No big deal when the plane departs, or arrives, on time. The flight out of DFW was delayed almost an hour. Which really caused no problem, except for the extra wait time for the pickup crew in Phoenix.

The return to DFW is where I may have a problem.

Saturday the Arizona temperature at my location is scheduled to reach around 115. We have this ongoing Monsoon madness. With that, and a high temperature, flights may be delayed out of Sky Harbor Airport.

If there is a significant delay I will not be able to make the connection to the flight to Wichita Falls. Thus rendering a wait til the first flight out the following morning.

I am sure if such a calamity happens someone like Miss Puerto Rico or Elsie Hotpepper will come to my rescue.

Or not.

The photo of me you see here was taken post-pooling this morning, drying out on a lounge chair under a gray sky with cooling drops dripping slowing the drying process.

Keeping Cool In Tacoma With David, Theo & Ruby

No, what you are looking at here is not me cooling off at one of Arizona's many refreshing beaches.

Last night my favorite Ruby niece text messaged me what you are looking at here.

That being her favorite brothers, Theo and David, rescuing some driftwood at Owens Beach which had floated in from some where on the Puget Sound.

Owens Beach is located in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park, near the ferry landing which takes one from the mainland to Vashon Island.

To those reading this in Fort Worth, and its environs,Vashon Island is a real island, not an imaginary make believe pretend island surrounded by a man made ditch..

That is just a piece of Vashon Island you see in the distance to the right of David's red head.

The gap between the mainland and Vashon Island is too far to close the gap with a bridge, hence a ferry boat being the means of island access.

No local Tacoma congresswoman's incompetent son, exhibiting classic Dunning-Kruger Effect syndrome, was put in charge of building the boat to float from Tacoma to Vashon Island, hence that boat has been floating for decades.

Meanwhile, in Fort Worth, has anyone been seeing any real progress with those pitiful little bridges which have been stuck in slow motion make believe construction for around four years. Longer than it took to build the Golden Gate Bridge, which was an actual feat of engineering, built over actual water?

Yesterday around the time Ruby sent me the above cool looking photo Miss Daisy and I were getting hit with yet one more dust storm and monsoon. With the temperature over 100.

Owens Beach, Tacoma, the Pacific Northwest, and a naturally air conditioned outer world sounds appealing at this point in time.

I don't know if I can successfully trick Miss Daisy into directing me on a roadtrip north to Washington.

It is now Sunday, the day after the above pithy paragraphs were written. A week from today I should be back in Texas.

This Sunday morning Miss Daisy directed me to her usual Sunday morning McDonald's Sausage McMuffin with Egg. Followed by a long drive to Santan Mountain.

After not doing some mountain climbing Miss Daisy directed me to a Costco where we free sampled and hunted for some sort of frozen cone confection.

The frozen cone confection search was futile. We left Costco with nothing but those aforementioned free samples.

The drive from Costco back to Sun Lakes passed through some falling raindrops, but not enough, it seemed to me, to qualify as legitimate precipitation.

However, this morning, post swim whilst lounging poolside, whilst talking on the phone, some legitimate precipitation precipitated, but not in full downpour mode. It was refreshing.

I took a photo of this morning's poolside monsoon. It is one my phone. Maybe I will get that photo off my phone later...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Arizona Swim Between Incoming Monsoons

This morning I took my feet to the pool for a swim between incoming Monsoon storms.

Yesterday, in the late afternoon, Miss Daisy and I made it back to interior cover a few minutes before that day's Monsoon hit.

Today we are heading north to Scottsdale, being adventurous and risky, what with today's predicted Monsoon scheduled to be a wild one.

The most unusual, to me, thing about these Monsoon storms, is they can include big balls of hail. A temperature over 100 degrees would seem to HOT to not melt incoming ice....

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Survived First 2018 Arizona Monsoon Haboob

Last night my favorite Jeremy nephew managed to make it to grandma's slightly ahead of the Haboob Dust Storm.

Soon after Jeremy arrived so did the Haboob.

The blowing dust was quickly replaced by rain, followed by lightning strikes.

Jeremy's uncle Jake called from Scottsdale to let us know he had lost power and was taking refuge in his vehicle in order to keep cool.

After Jake called we located emergency lighting in the form of four flashlights.

We did not lose power, but it was a good thing to be prepared.

Last night's storm did not last too long at our location, Elsewhere, according to the morning news. the Valley of the Sun took quite a Monsoon Haboob hit last night.

Below is video taken a couple minutes after the Monsoon arrived....

Monday, July 9, 2018

Stuck In My First Arizona Haboob Dust Storm With Miss Daisy & Jeremy

Miss Daisy and I were about to head north to Mesa to go to the Superstition Ranch Farmers Market when the phone went into Emergency Alert Warning mode, warning us of an impending dust storm, from which we were advised to seek shelter.

And get off the road if driving.

Incoming Haboob.

Last night, around ten, the phone made the same warning, multiple times. We noticed nothing, til this morning when the morning sun revealed an outer world covered with a coating of dust.

And this morning when I went pooling I learned some emergency warning went off at 3 in the morning which had the pool maintenance people busy dealing with clogging filters.

Now this most recent Emergency Alert Warning has been extended another 25 minutes.

I stepped outside a few minutes ago to photo document the incoming wall of dust, which is what you are seeing.

Nephew Jeremy just arrived, chased by the dust storm, says lots of lightning is on the way. It's getting real dark. Brother Jake just texted that power is out in Scottsdale.

The dust has arrived. Must hit the publish button and batten the hatches...

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Arizona Day One HOT As Expected With No Additional Turbulence

In the view you are looking at here you are looking east from my mama's living room, with a sun-blocking screen causing the pattern of squares between you and the pair of cactus.

The ride to Arizona was the wildest yet. Extreme turbulence on the leg from Wichita Falls to DFW. The flight to Phoenix from DFW was postponed a couple times, ending up with about an hour delay.

As we descended into the Valley of the Sun a blockade of dark clouds appeared, shooting lightning. The turbulence hit quick and hard, banging my fragile head against the window.

The turbulence soon abated.

Nearing Phoenix I looked out the window on what looked like those palm islands in Dubai. I quickly realized I was looking directly down at mom's Sun Lakes location and the clubhouse swimming pool I pooled in this morning.

A few minutes later I was on the ground. A few minutes after that after traveling on three sections of moving sidewalks my little brother came into view in the distance. Then I saw mom and sister Jackie. Spencer Jack's grandpa was rolling mom in her chariot. I took over that duty whilst SJ's grandpa took over wheeling my rolling bag.

Upon exiting the Sky Harbor interior I was a bit surprised at how HOT the blast of 115 degrees felt. I mean, this really was not all that much HOTTER than the Texas temperature I had just left. But it felt like I was at the Gateway to Hell.

This Sunday morning mom took me on a shopping expedition to Food City, Costco and WinCo. We got all the fixin's for tonight's steak grilling.

Almost one day down, and only 13 to go. Not that I am counting...

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Sikes Lake Ducking Before Leaving Wichita Falls For Arizona

With a few hours to go before I fly out of here I decided I had time for one more bike ride before hitting HOT Arizona.

I was not long rolling before it was evident a lot of people decided this relatively cool Saturday made for a good day to be outside.

Rain is slightly in the forecast for today. Sikes Lake is in need of some rain. Islands are beginning to form.

And the geese and duck flocks stand in the remaining water as much as they float in it.

Today I stopped under the Sikes Lake Pavilion, which is the location you see my bike resting at above. As I rolled to a stop at a bench I rolled past a small flock of snoozing ducks. They woke up upon my passing, and then when I got off the bike to sit down and do some drinking, the ducks rose as one and began waddling towards me, quacking loudly.

I think the ducks were expecting something to eat from me. I suspect such happens throughout the day, which is why they camp out at this location near the museum parking lot.