Monday, December 31, 2018

4,219, 500, 56


As 2018 year draws to a close; thinking ahead.


2019 is the year we finally make the Alaska trip.  I was a teenager when I realized I needed to go to Alaska, the great northern frontier.  Now it’s time.  I imagined doing it as a homesteader and having a dog sled team.  Maybe a bush pilot.  We can make it simpler than that!


We didn’t make a big birding effort in 2018.  Our normal annual count is around 400 species.  We’re finishing this year with 380.  Next year, however, with the Alaska trip, we’ve set our sights on 500 birds!  That will be our biggest year yet.


And this year I’m not going to forget about continuing education hours until the last minute.  No sir; fully cognizant.  No way I’m waiting until the last moment to finish my hours.



Still traveling; now we’re in Junction.


2018 Arizona Trip Map


Greeted by a bald eagle.


4,219 miles to go to get to Fairbanks.


500 species remaining to be seen for the year.


And 56 hours of continuing education to go.


Thursday, December 27, 2018



Austin got the world’s coolest Christmas present as far as I’m concerned.  A Hoover Board.


Austin.  Hoover board video


It’s like a skateboard that goes sideways, or a Segway with no handlebars.  Does that seem like a good idea?  I guess it is, because it works!


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Phoenix Christmas Crew



We got to Skype with Becky, Brian and family too.


Merry Christmas everybody!


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Three things I love


Eating children and not using commas.


I didn’t write that.  I read it and repeated it here.  That’s what came to mind though when I read this description of desert tarantulas.


“Brown and hairy with 8 eyes, 8 legs and fangs.”


“…8 legs and fangs”.  OMG, this thing has 8 fangs!


Friday, December 21, 2018



Boondocking.  Battery management.


We’ve got a meter on the dash that tells us what voltage is being supplied by shore power and how many amps we’re using.  But that should be amps at 120 volts.  What when we’re not plugged in?  The amps are then 12 volt amps?  AC amps.  DC amps.  Is an amp an amp regardless?


As I recall, volts x amps = wattage.  If we’re running a 1,200 watt appliance off shore power, that’s 120 volts x 10 amps = 1,200 watts.  If we use the inverter and draw from the 12 volt batteries are we then 12 volts x 100 amps = 1,200 watts?  That’s a lot of amps!



Tuesday, December 18, 2018

I love this heart rebuild!


I used to run, play tennis, bicycle, or play racquetball, every day.  As I’ve aged, those more strenuous activities have faded away until these last few years I’m just making sure I walk a few miles every day.  Walking still works.


But something happened.  Since my heart surgery I’ve felt a little more energetic.  Having resumed my habit of walking several miles a day, I noticed that sometimes I even feel a little bit like running.  So I did.  I ran.  A little.  Running felt good, but I hit the wall at the limit of my endurance; that endurance limit being three minutes.  After that, I’d find myself walking again.


I was running, slowly, though and it felt good, so I’ve been doing it more.  Over time, I’ve broken through the three-minute, two-tenths of a mile barrier.  Recently I ran a full fifteen minutes and covered a full mile.  It’s not quite like the old days, the mind doesn’t wander and miles don’t melt away like they used to on a good day, but I’m loving it and I’ll take what I can get!


I need a new word to describe what I’m doing though.  Cruising along, I’m thinking this is not a run, it’s not that fast, but it’s not a walk either.  There has to be a name for something in-between.  Maybe it’s a jog, but that word doesn’t sound quite right either.  This doesn’t feel quite that energetic.  I wonder if someone watching me go by thinks: “Wow.  Look how slow he’s going” or do they think “Good for him.  Look how old he is and he’s still running.”  OMG.  My mind just wandered!  The rhythm of this really is coming back!


It’s all about pace.  If I run at what used to be my normal speed, I run out of wind and wind up walking.  If I can hold myself consciously slow, slower than I want to go, the run continues.  If I just walk, I’ll never get any faster.  If I run slowly, maybe in time I’ll respond to the conditioning and the pace will pick up.  Wait a minute.  I’ve wandered off again!

My heart is fine.  All it needed was some new plumbing.  We love this heart rebuild!


Friday, December 14, 2018

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

We don’t normally boondock


But this time it seemed like the best choice.


We're in Parker, AZ. 


Parker Map


We're going to visit with Judy's sister Sue and her husband John, and maybe sister-in-law Barbara if she comes too.  Sue and John have a house on the river.  It's a cool place to be.


Susie's house


Me, I have an all-day continuing education class on the computer tomorrow.  For that I'll need the best internet I can get.  If we drop down to an RV Park in the canyon by the river, we'll lose our signal, so here we are, on the high ground.  Everything should work!


I'll report back.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Rosy faced lovebird


I should have included a range map of where populations have established in North America.



Monday, December 10, 2018

The best of intentions?


You want to do something nice.


You’re feeling charitable.


What to do?


I know, A fundraiser to help a children’s home!  We’ll raffle off an assault rifle!


After all, what could say “help the children” better than distributing military grade weapons?


Friday, December 7, 2018

Judy and me


We’ve been accused of being joined at the hip.


This is us in cactus.



Thursday, December 6, 2018

Back to Chandler


We’ve been staying within a two-hour radius of Lindsay, waiting for our new grandbaby to arrive.


2018 December Arizona Trip


Now we’re going to stay within a 20 minute radius for the rest of our time here.


C’mon next Baby Taylor.  Let’s do this thing!


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A cool cloudy day


The next sunny morning reveals a dusting on the desert hilltops.


The telephoto look also reveals that there has been a forest fire up there, and there are a couple observatory domes.


  (Perhaps Mt. Lemmon Sky Center Observatory.),-110.7900205,712m/data=!3m1!1e3