Saturday, July 28, 2007


Judy got chatted up at the grocery store today. Standing in line, they talked about groceries, about kids, about where to spend the winter. They had a lot in common. He even introduced himself. Then Judy clarified that the kids of similar ages they were talking about….. .. Judy’s were grandchildren, not children.

He didn’t even say goodbye.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The dinner date

We had a Friday night dinner date in Basalt with some friends. They decided to go to Port Aransas instead. Tough decisions in life. Dinner with the Taylors or go to the beach. We’ll look forward to a weather report from the beach. We’ll want a report on the flood damage at Gulf Waters from the Texas downpours too. The beauty of owning an RV site instead of a vacation home (besides the fact we can’t afford a vacation home), it’s just a slab and some landscaping. It can go underwater and come back up again with minimal damage. I think they just had to hose it off.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Wednesday; the first Friday of the week for me. Finished up the job. Well, almost finished, just a little clean-up left. Kick back. Relax….

Better do it quickly. Tomorrow starts another job; my second Monday of the week.

Monday, July 23, 2007


This week, I drive from basalt to glenwood springs. Imagine my surprise when I have to bring the car from 65 mph to a complete stop on the highway, so I won’t interfere with the flock of Canada geese walking across the highway.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Wine weenie

It happened again. Another favor, another bottle of wine; the universal token of appreciation; this time a nice Chablis. Had a glass with dinner. It tasted great. I faded right out of sight. I am such a sissy.

That’s it. I’m not doing favors for anyone anymore. They might give me another bottle of wine.


There are more property adventures afoot than one. We’ve reported recently on the lot we are selling (eventually) in Louisville, but last week we closed on an RV Lot in Texas. We already have that RV site on the beach at Port Aransas we bought a couple years ago. We like it so much, and it seems like such a good investment that we bought another; one at a new resort under construction outside a nearby town, Aransas Pass. This one is different, it’s not on the beach, it’s an RV-oriented golf course community.

Last January they had the central road cut in and the lots staked out, but nothing more than that. We tramped through the sand, oak scrub, and brush, and picked out a lot. We signed the papers in January, but no-one could close until the construction got a little farther along. They needed things like roads and utilities in place before they could get titles. It all came together last week and we closed long-distance. They emailed the papers to us, we signed them in front of a notary, and overnighted them back. We worked out the landscaping plans while we were there, so now that part of it can move on too. Lots of palm trees for effect (washingtonia fan, queen, pygmy date), and flowering shrubs (crossandra, night blooming jasmine, hibiscus, holly, firecracker plant, butterfly button) to attract butterflies and birds. The lot is shaped like a giant pie-piece; five thousand square feet. We’ll drive in at the narrow end, 25 feet wide, and up the flowering hedge against the left side. We’ll look out across our yard with grass, flower beds, fountain, paver walks, and a gazebo. To the right front, a patch of the native oak forest. Across the 75 foot front of the lot, there is a lake hazard with an island, then the fourth fairway, then an oak forest on the other side of that.

We won’t get to see the lot again before winter, but we’ll get to stay on it then. We’ll split our time between there and the beach. Either lot will rent out when we’re not on it.

We may have to take up golf.

Judy gets her golf cart, regardless.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Hey, check this out. I saw one go by on the top of a car (but just barely).

Monday, July 16, 2007


Judy found a house she likes. Nice view; sits on two acres. It’s not expensive for Aspen: two million dollars per bedroom. Problem is; it has twelve bedrooms.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


From: Steve Taylor []
Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2007 11:15 PM
To: Bill Taylor (Bill Taylor); David Taylor (David Taylor); Tom Taylor (Tom Taylor)
Subject: basalt

Camp Hale. A getaway from the summer heat. High seventies yesterday. Not much atmosphere to hold the heat. A forty degree swing overnight. Got to sleep with the windows open and the fan on. Woke to the calls of vesper sparrows. Got to turn the furnaces on to take the chill off while the people in tents over on the other side of the meadow walked out to the sunny side until the sun rose enough to hit their camp site.

Dry camped. This coach is such an electron-hog through the inverter; it appears to be drawing twenty or thirty amps at rest. I wondered if it would make it through the night on the batteries without turning the inverter off so I could run a fan. It did. Maybe I have more battery storage that I thought. Maybe it is not really drawing twenty or thirty amps when it says it is. Don’t know. I needed a new mystery. I do know that when I turned the coffee maker on this morning everything shut off. Not enough electrons left to run an electric coffeemaker. No-one around. A few minutes with the generator running took care of the power problem.

Took Annie along on my exercise walk. Wide open spaces. Didn’t need a leash. She struggled to keep up the first mile through the grassy meadow. Poor little dog. The pace was too much for her. I didn’t think she was going to make it the whole way. Then, we popped out of the north end of the meadow onto an old road and followed that back. Everything changed. Annie was suddenly young again. She would stop to investigate, then roar effortlessly past. She was a monster. I guess it all comes down to whether you think you might get a sticker in your little princess paw or not.

Judy left Erie, two hundred miles to go. I left Camp Hale, a hundred miles to go. Our routes converged on Interstate 70, seventy five miles from Basalt. Wouldn’t you know…. we each arrived at that spot within a few minutes of each other. Met up at the next rest stop and caravanned in the rest of the way.

Home sweet summer home. Basalt. Caught some brown trout in the Roaring Fork.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Camp hale

Judy’s work in Louisville is done. My work in Alamosa is done. Time to get back together. I had the exit conference with the client this morning. That took a while. Lots of issues. It may be a few weeks before this one is completed. Left Alamosa after lunch, north through the San Luis Valley, over Poncha Pass and down into the Arkansas River Valley. Followed the Arkansas up to Leadville. It’s funny. The town of Leadville is at 10,200 feet elevation. The nearest pass, Tennessee Pass is only 10,400 feet. They pretty much built that town at the top of the world.

Stopped in Buena Vista for fuel. It was awful, getting fuel by myself. Judy wasn’t there, so I had to go inside and pay for it myself. Oh well. That won’t happen often.

Over the top of Tennessee Pass, and slightly down the other side is Camp Hale, our stop for the night. Camp Hale is where the 10th Mountain Division trained during WWII. A large flat mountain valley. High altitude. Plenty of snow all winter. There is a forest service campground at the edge. I drove in that direction, towing the jeep, but the road got narrow enough that I decided to pull over and unhook the jeep before I got any deeper. The campground is a nice size for the jeep, but it’s small for the motorhome, so I explored the disbursed camping in the valley. Got a nice spot next to a stream. It turns out this little stream, that I could practically jump across except where the beavers have dammed it, is the Eagle River, which is a substantial river farther downhill, that eventually runs into the Colorado. Saw some little fish leaping about in the ponds, but I didn’t get to them before dark. Maybe tomorrow morning. Hundreds of ground squirrels for Annie to chase. Maybe she'll get on tomorrow morning too.

Drove the jeep back to the motorhome. Made a nice seventeen point turnaround with the coach and brought it back to the camp spot. Rather than spend time hooking and unhooking the jeep, I just left it there, a nice destination for the first mile of my evening’s walk after dinner.

Alamosa is hot, flat, and dry; desolate, but there were birds around. The campground was good for sparrows, finches, warblers, and vireos. I got good at the brewer’s sparrow call. The city park has a trail along the Rio Grande. The Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge had ruddy ducks, swainson’s hawks and great horned owls. The Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge had avocets, sora, western and clark’s grebes. I took a walk in different habitats each day and ended up with fifty birds.

Matt brought Alex and Austin up to Becky’s house tonight so everyone could visit. He’ll take Austin home with him and leave Alex there at Becky’s house for a few days. Judy will leave tomorrow for Basalt. So will Annie and I.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


The neighbor’s last communication to the city was an email pledging he was going to show up at the public hearing after all, to protest, and apologized for the offensive remarks he had made about city officials in an earlier email. He wanted to take his remarks back, for now, until he had a chance to see how the hearing went.

The neighbor was a no-show; no surprise. The city staff spoke for five minutes and presented their recommendation. The engineering company presenting the survey work spoke for five minutes. Doug Stewart, a long-time friend and neighbor spoke. Daughter Becky spoke. The Planning Commission voted unanimously to pass the subdivision.

I’m sure we’re not through dealing with the neighbor, but we’re through dealing with the city (although if I had my choice, I’d keep dealing with the city and be done with the neighbor). We can now sell the trailer lot.

We decided to sell the lot last November. We had an offer on it in January before the neighbor crashed the deal with his protests. Now, six months and twenty thousand dollars in costs later (including survey work that discovered the neighbor and his "no trespassing" signs were actually encroaching on our property), our lot is five feet wider, the neighbor's lot is five feet narrower (now they’re both the same size), and the lot is going up for sale again.

Thanks to all who showed up at the hearing, and all who sent their good wishes to support Judy, who had to bear the brunt of all this while I'm safely working in Alamosa.

The world continues to churn.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Well, here we are in Alamosa… Annie and me. Judy is in Erie staying with the kids. The neighbor who crashed the sale of the trailer lot six months ago, which required us to go through a formal subdivision process with the city, is protesting the subdivision. One of us has to be there for the public hearing on Thursday. Judy will do her best to defend our honor. I’ll do the job in Alamosa.

This is one unhappy neighbor. Public notice of the subdivision was mailed out a couple weeks ago, inviting any interested parties to respond by phone, fax, or email. If you’re interested in seeing the tone of the neighbor’s complaints, follow the link, find us on the agenda (we’re resolution #19), and click the link for letters of interest. He was so interested, he sent two. Nothing unusual about these comments; they match the tone of everything we’ve heard from him (and we’ve heard a lot) for years.

Follow-up on hydration strategy

Well, the results are in. The medical perspective is: camels can store extra water, humans can’t. There is a remote danger of hyponatremia (water intoxication) if you overdo water and exercise all at once. You can throw off your sodium balance. If the remote danger of water intoxication does strike, the effects can be severe, including death.

The winning logic perspective is: you’ve got to carry it one way or the other; may as well leave it in the bottle until you need it.

From: Steve Taylor []
Sent: Saturday, July 07, 2007 4:30 PM
To: Bill Taylor (Bill Taylor); David Taylor (David Taylor); Tom Taylor (Tom Taylor)
Subject: what do you think?

What do you think about hydration?

A couple years ago we were at the rim of the Grand Canyon, getting ready to start down. It was early, we had water to carry and a little bit of food, we were ready. Met a young guy also getting ready. He was guzzling a gallon jug of water; said he was hypersaturating so he wouldn’t have to carry water; said he learned to do this in survival school in the military.

I suppose this could be a legitimate strategy, but it just doesn’t sound right. Can you really super-saturate your body tissues? Wouldn’t you just absorb what you could and pee out the rest within the first couple hours? (Not even considering the recent reports about throwing your electrolytes out of balance by over-hydrating for exercise.)

What do you think?

Sunday, July 8, 2007


But sometimes we get lucky and Judy gets us that big spot in the back in the corner.


The campground in Basalt is not very big. Not much room between sites, but we don't get to be picky. It's the only game in town.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Rain. We got rain. Not very much rain; just a few drops; but they were REALLY BIG DROPS.

That’s in Basalt (Colorado). In Texas, on the coast, Port Aransas, where our RV lot is, they got eighteen inches in two days. The ponds filled up. Then they overfilled. We hear our lower patio was under water. They’ve been pumping the excess water out into the drainage system for the highway that runs past.

What do you think?

What do you think about hydration?

A couple years ago we were at the rim of the Grand Canyon, getting ready to start down. It was early, we had water to carry and a little bit of food, we were ready. Met a young guy also getting ready. He was guzzling a gallon jug of water; said he was hypersaturating so he wouldn’t have to carry water; said he learned to do this in survival school in the military.

I suppose this could be a legitimate strategy, but it just doesn’t sound right. Can you really super-saturate your body tissues? Wouldn’t you just absorb what you could and pee out the rest within the first couple hours? (Not even considering the recent reports about throwing your electrolytes out of balance by over-hydrating for exercise.)

What do you think?

Friday, July 6, 2007

I'll drive

I’ll drive a few miles per hour over the speed limit, but I have my limit. My limit is as fast as I can feel comfortable driving past a police car without hitting my brakes. Which makes for a strange commute to Aspen.

The road between Basalt and Aspen is busy. It’s busy all the way from Glenwood Springs and points west, to Aspen. The little fifties style house on the small lot across the street from the Physics Center in the West End just sold for 2.5 million dollars. They knocked the little house down and they’re building a spec house on the lot. It will sell for 7 million dollars. People that work in Aspen don’t live in Aspen. The road between Aspen and everywhere else is busy.

The old two lane highway has been expanded to four lanes. One lane in each direction is designated as a carpool lane during rush hours. The interesting thing about their carpool lanes is that they made the right lane the carpool lane, so single drivers like me are required to drive in the left lane. That results in me, driving four miles per hour over the speed limit, in the left lane, pulling a train of single-driver cars in a hurry. The hurried drivers behind me are forced to choose whether or not to break the carpool rules and pass me on the right so they can proceed comfortably above the speed limit again in the left lane. Most choose to go around.

I’m okay with puttering along at the speed limit in the right lane and having faster drivers pass me on the left. It’s hard to drive in the left lane, holding up traffic. It’s a strange commute to Aspen.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


A week at the Physics Center. The lunchtime walk through the meadow, down Castle Creek to the Rio Grande Trail along the Roaring Fork.

Got a Swainson's Thrush.

Along the way

How Taylor spends her Saturdays.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


Sometimes we leave a small footprint. Last time we tanked up was crossing the New Mexico border into Colorado. We stayed a week in Cortez, did a job. We did another job in Cortez the next week, moved to Durango, did another job, moved to Ridgway, did a job in Montrose, moved to Montrose and did a job in Telluride. Left Montrose this morning and stopped for fuel on the way out. Took half a tank.

Haven’t done the math, but we’ve left behind a lot of resource consumption (water for a house and big yard, gas, electricity, city commute…) in exchange for some diesel fuel. Seems like a fair exchange.

Drove north to Grand Junction, west to Glenwood, southeast on Highway 82 to Basalt. Centrally located for a series of jobs mostly here in the Roaring Fork Valley: Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, and Aspen. Nice weather; a little hot. The Roaring Fork and some really nice walking trails are just a few coach-lengths behind us.

Americas cup update

Dramatic pre-starts, lead changes, equipment failures. The Swiss boat leads the New Zealand boat 4 races to 2 in the best of 9 series in Valencia. It could all be over today, except today's race is in postponement for low inconsistent wind.