Quarantine Fun

Bureaucrats in Washington DC dictated that national parks be closed. I can’t take my kayak into the lakes that are part of the Tonto National Forest.

I can’t hike the trails of the Superstition Wilderness that is part of Tonto. But somehow, Walmart is okay. Continue reading “Quarantine Fun”

Second Water Hike

Covid-19 closed our favorite bars and restaurants. All public venues are closed. Liz and I decided to try our luck in Tonto National Forest hiking Second Water.

I have never seen so many vehicles on the stretch of road leading back to the Second Water trailhead.  While the trail had more hikers than we are used to meeting, it was not very congested. Continue reading “Second Water Hike”

Home Brew

Back in the 1980’s – I am giving my age away – I used to home brew beer. In the day, craft brewing was not yet a thing. The swill I learned to brew was undrinkable by today’s standards.

I began with recipes for pilsners and lagers. My most successful beers were stouts.

My projects yielded at most a case at a time. One memorable failure involved two cases of a pilsner I was brewing. Two o’clock one morning I was rudely awakened by explosions that sounded as if they were emanating from my basement. Continue reading “Home Brew”

Roadside Arizona

Along a stretch of Pima Road past Happy Valley Road in Snottsdale, er, Scottsdale, Arizona is an unexpected art display.

In Scottsdale, the rich eat each other.  Back in the 90’s before much of the area was built up, Henry Becker bought  parcel of land for upwards of two and a half million.  The land is zoned for low density residential use. Becker wanted to develop the land commercially, but was rejected by the city council. Continue reading “Roadside Arizona”

Getting my drink on

For Christmas, Liz bought us a family gift. It was a tour of a local distillery in Tempe, AZ. Arizona Distillery is a small batch distilling company. They distill whiskey, gin and vodka.

We were shown the distilling process from beginning to end. It begins much like brewing beer… with whiskey it is called mash, with beer it is called wort (pronounced wert).

Unlike beer, the grain, whether wheat or corn or rye is crushed into a powder. The grain is mixed with water and cooked for up to eight hours at around 160°F , which brings out the sugars. The mash is then cooled, and then pumped to another container where yeast is added and it ferments until the proper alcohol content is reached. Continue reading “Getting my drink on”

Lost Dutchman Days Rodeo

We attended the Lost Dutchman Days rodeo yesterday at the BLM Rodeo Grounds in Apache Junction.

The rodeo is the main attraction on the grounds. There is live music all day. There are food vendors, and tents featuring fine crafts, tee shirts, leather goods, equestrian supplies, and of course beer tents. At four dollars a can, they are not price gouging. Continue reading “Lost Dutchman Days Rodeo”

Inferno – burning the bridges behind us

inferno newspaperFrom 2003 until 2009, Inferno Newspaper had no boundaries.  Based in southern NJ, the rag was widely available in Philadelphia, and saw limited distribution in New York City and Washington DC.

Inferno was a work of love, with none of our staff seeing any sort of compensation other than accolades and hate mail. As with life, all good things must come to an end. Inferno died due to a mortal injury caused by a crumbing economy. Ad revenue diminished to the point of no returns… Continue reading “Inferno – burning the bridges behind us”

Dr. Ph. Martin’s Dyes

Dr. Ph. Martin's DyesI first learned about Dr. Martin’s Dyes in high school, back in the Dark Ages.

I was one of the select students in Mr. Gaynor’s art class that was permitted to never complete any class assignment. Dan Gaynor allowed me and Chris Duke and a few others to do whatever we pleased in his class.

In my senior year of high school, I had only English and Corporate Accounting classes as required courses to graduate. I filled the empty slots with three art classes. Mr. Gaynor gave me free reign to create whatever I wanted. He had Dr. Martin’s Dyes, a vibrant concentrated watercolor ink, tucked away in a closet. In those days I did a lot of illustrative art. Continue reading “Dr. Ph. Martin’s Dyes”

Mosaic Wall

Mosaic WallA while ago I started a mosaic on our wall around our back yard. Circumstances put that project on hold. Circumstances have changed.

This week Liz and I decided to bring this project to completion. Last Sunday we completed installing the tesserae and yesterday we began grouting the finished mosaic. We have about a third of the wall left to grout – it has been raining all day so that will have to wait for a dry day. It is so gray today one would think we were in Seattle and not in the middle of the Sonoran desert!

When the grouting is complete, I will post more pics including close-up shots of some of the interesting features.