Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday 6/8/2011


I've pretty much caught a break this week: the temps are staying down, less than 100 degrees. Driving around in a semi with no AC in 98 degree heat isn't exactly fun, but it's nothing like what it would be if it were 110 out there. That truck is going into the shop no later than Friday afternoon and that's the end of the story, at least if I have anything to do with it. Next week, they have Friday slated with a high of 112.

Speaking of semi's, we're smack dab in the middle of a nationwide effort to stop commercial vehicles and do inspections. They set up 1,000's of stations all over the country. I have been avoiding the roads and areas where they are known to set up such stations, but that doesn't mean I won't hit one today, unfortunately, as I am heading south to the Indian reservation and one of the areas I have no choice but to drive through goes right by an area where they love to pull over trucks.

On the theme of heat, we are getting it lucky, apparently lots of the rest of the country is not. The bad part about that is, is that when high heat hits areas where people are neither used to it nor are prepared for it, you often read about heat-related deaths in the news. We used to get that at the beginning of the high heat here, every summer as well: construction workers who have just moved here thinking they can just go all day long as they would in some other region and not hydrating or cooling off properly. Heat stroke, baaam, goodbye. Used to, because construction work around these parts is almost non-existent compared to what it used to be before the housing bubble.

I haven't heard from Caleb since I dropped him off, but then again, I wasn't expecting to. I will call him on Saturday or Sunday and see how things are going. I'm sure the leader of that camp uses this training week to figure out who is going to do what in levels of importance and yes, stature. I fully expect that Caleb will excel and thrive in whatever role he is placed in.

As for me, I have stepped up my search for a churchy. I MUST get back into church, I feel almost as if I have isolated myself from the world in not going, not making new friends and basically giving up on the whole thing. It was easy to do during the divorce - quit that is - now it's not so easy to start all this up again.

I am not the most trusting soul after that ordeal and the idea of having to start from the beginning in yet another church isn't very palatable. That is mostly why I haven't really gone, I won't know anyone and I will be starting from scratch. I will have to put forth more energy than I want to to get involved and start building new relationships.

But I am still looking at a couple of places, anyway.

Umm, Rey had a cousin over last night. This was obvious in what was attempting to be done here: hook me up. Problem? This girl is like 20 years old, lol, and has a 4 year old kid! I was polite and visited with them, but clearly made no "advances".

Anyway, that's enough. The fire up north(east) is still out of control, though they seem to be getting it controlled enough to not burn down entire small towns. Hundreds of thousands of acres are already burned. Gag. Our forests are turning into blackened wastelands. I mean, great that they are saving the communities, bad that everything around those communities is going to look like a scene from one of those movies where earth has become a nuclear wasteland.

I'm done. Preparing myself for the day's work ahead.




  1. Thursday

    Week is flying by, which is a good thing.

    Well look, the biggest news around here is still the fire, actually more than one fire is burning in this state. But the Wallow fire is the biggest news, considering it's enormity and apparently grasping the attention of the nation.

    I was surprised to learn that the 747 super tanker was just now scheduled to be brought in. I mean, they don't make 'em bigger than that. I have seen the 747 Evergreen plane parked at the Mesa/Phoenix Gateway airport on numerous occasions.
    Take a look at THAT thing spewing out fire retardant! Who'da thought they would ever be able to use an aircraft that large in that capacity? Not me!

    Fire officials are still fearing the possibility of any one of a number of small, mountain towns possibly being burned up and several of them have been completely evacuated. This is crazy stuff going on up there - and it just happens that this is definitely not the rainy season. If it was, this fire would not be an issue, the forests would be soaked and fire control would be easy.

    It makes the point to ban camp fires completely. There are too many idiots going up there that don't give a hootinanny's holler about whether they trash the natural beauty of our forests or not. Go up there and find trash and beer cans laying all over the place. It's not surprising that some moron left a campfire unattended and burning, a BIG no-no, something I learned as a little kid in the cub scouts, much less going on frequent camping trips with my family.

    I imagine a push to ban open fires is going to come at this point. It's ridiculous. Go buy a camp stove and cook on that thing, you want to sit around a campfire and sing songs, tough, it only takes a few instances like this to figure out that there are too many know-nothings going up there that don't have a clue.

    I mean, really. I learned at a very young age that you smother fires with dirt if you don't have water and you stick around and keep smothering it until you are absolutely sure the fire is out. Not just the fire, the hot coals that feed it from underneath. Smother it or drench it, but get it all the way out.

    I used to think everyone knew this, but experience over the last several decades proved otherwise. Coming upon smoldering camp fires with no one around and obviously not coming back. It really ticked me off, though, when I started seeing dozens of beer bottles and cans in otherwise pristine forest laying all over the ground.

    Well, whatever. The work day is almost here and I must be offa here.


  2. 98 and super dry must be weird. 98 with 90% humidity is a ball buster but doesn't dry us out as quickly.

    I have never been hot and dry like one would in the desert.

    I have no idea truthfully. I need to check out what desert heat is like once before I kick the bucket. I have never even seen a swamp cooler before...

  3. Well, I grew up in humidity, I know what that is like. I'm rather tired of living in Arizona Sonoran desert during the summer. Once it gets over 110, it's just ridiculous. Get into your car that's been sitting out in the heat all day and it must 140 degrees inside thing, 130 anyway. Burn your fingers on the steering wheel. Anyway, you aren't missing anything, lol, but not experiencing it!

  4. Oh, and swamp coolers work great - during certain times of the year. But once it gets too hot, they can't bring the temp down in your house enough to be anything even remotely considered as comfortable. Lots of poor folk are stuck with them, better than nothing, but I remember it being 90 degrees in the house with one of those things. The flip side is it was 115 outside.

  5. We have seen on our nightly news the devastation the fires are causing in your State. Terrible thing to have to go through and our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved.

    Quick question .. what is a swamp cooler??


    Western Australia

  6. Hiya Lynne:
    There are 5 fires eating up Arizona right now. Just that the Wallow fire is a mammoth - it's consuming a large portion of the beautiful forests, started by an abandoned camp fire.

    Swamp coolers are "technically" called evaporative coolers. A box like piece of machinery that usually sits on the roof. It has panels in the side of it with slots in the panels. On the inside of the panel is a pad. The pad has water flowing from the top of it via a pump and a large squirrel cage type of fan draws air through the panels. If the air is dry, the water evaporates and "cools" the air as it's being drawn through. It's much cheaper than AC, but, it is only really usable in these parts for maybe 4 months or so.

  7. Friday

    Well, the Army Reservist tenant is certainly going through it. She apparently "took" a sandwich from work yesterday - she works at Subway - and they fired her for it. She didn't bother to tell me about it, of course, she told someone else in the house.

    When I worked in restaurants, they used to give out a free meal every shift. I am hearing now that many restaurants don't do this anymore? I think she gave most of her money to me for rent - she was a month behind and I had issued her a 5-day pay or quit/eviction notice as I was prepared to take her to court and get her out of my house. Umm, but she should be able to collect unemployment and there's always emergency food stamps in such situations.

    I am wondering how long it is going to take her to find another job and more importantly: how long before I see another dime from her. Currently, she is 10 days past due on this month's rent. Will I just up and throw her out? No, but she does have a very viable option, one that she should be seriously considering: school. She should just go back to school. She will start receiving almost $1,400 a month from the military for doing such and she NEEDS an education, anyway. The schooling is also paid for by the military, the only expense she has is to go and learn.

    Now, if I were in her situation, which I'm not, but if I were, I would drop all ideas of finding another job immediately and just go re-start the schooling up. Then I would go find another part-time job. But that's just me.

    On the other tenant front, the "family" is desperately trying to find their own apartment. Bad credit, apparently, is holding them back. Honestly? I can't wait til' they leave. I have heard enough complaints about their levels of cleanliness - or lack thereof - including having sex in the bathroom - that they are prime candidates for the fence action: don't let it hit you in the @$$ on the way out. Nice people, yes, but seriously.

    The OTHER tenant - the one I got into it with about computer use the other day - is not speaking to me. I don't wonder if this entire lot of tenants are on their way out now. Which wouldn't bother me in the least, start over fresh and new. But, I am definitely going to have the big room available again, wonder what kind of person I will end up with in there this time?

    So, that's that. The reason I am not concerned about any of this is because I have all that tax money sitting in the bank. I don't have to worry about whether I can pay the mortgage or not. Not that I am going to leave those rooms empty, but, I am not going to be robbing Peter to pay Paul type of thing here, either.

    Umm, what else? Like, what am I doing this weekend? I dunno, but I have been working out like crazy of lates. I have been sitting on that diet, too, meaning I have been watching the calories closely. Yesterday was a total of 1,200 calories on low fat, low calorie meals. I'm finding it easier to just buy the Weight Watchers frozen meals or similar type to keep track of calories than trying to do it myself. I am only feeding myself now, so no big deal, plus I always find one of those brands of frozen meals on sale, so I am not paying a fortune for them, either.

  8. Yesterday, I finally was able to take the semi in to get the AC fixed. It will probably be in the shop until Monday. Meanwhile, we also got a brand new pickup with a rack on it - meaning I can do deliveries in a pickup truck more often than in the semi. We didn't have a rack on the old pickup, it was only a half ton truck and it was pretty worthless for deliveries. Meaning, anyway, that I am not going to have to spend next week in a very hot semi truck. It is going to start getting hot next week, at least according to the weather reports, I was making quite a fuss about getting in. It's the only way to get something like that done - otherwise, they "need" for the use of the truck out weighs the need for the comfort of the driver.

    Yes, well I am at an age - or mindset - now that I don't WANT to sit in a hot truck, burning up. I guess my constant prodding about it - whether that is advisable or not I didn't care - finally got the situation taken care of.

    The Wallow fire finally is at 5% containment. Considering it has been at 0% containment for all this time, that's at least a foot in the door. When this thing is done and over with, I want to go up there and look at what it looks like now. I have seen it - 50 times at least on camping trips - in the beautiful, pristine state it WAS in, then to see what it looks like after an idiot or idiots left a camp fire burning, unattended.

    I will be calling my son tomorrow to see how things are going. But I am guessing the real excitement doesn't start until Sunday or Monday, when actual campers/kids show up. It isn't some regimented thing, it's a fun camp with all kinds of fun things to do. Which is cool. Caleb hasn't called for a ride back, which I wouldn't give to him anyway, lol, he made a commitment and I would try to talk him into keeping that commitment regardless of how "hard" it may be. I didn't think he would, though.

    I remember my first year on the mission field, conditions were pretty bad and I could only think about quitting. The ONLY reason I stayed is because of a thing my dad planted in my head: I suggest you commit to staying there for at least a year. I also suggest that no matter how hard or bad things get - unless beyond reasonable - you stay and tough it out.

    Those words have really stuck with me my entire adult life. Usually, you get to the other side of something difficult and you are a better person for having had gone through it. You also feel good that you didn't quit and there is relief - whatever it is - that made the struggle worth it.

    Anyway, the final work day of this week is upon me, must be offa here.



In Brownsville, at the America's Best Value Inn.  I really like this place for the price.  Granite top tables and counters, tile floorin...