Heat: 1 Cold: Zero

I don’t FB but if I did I know the  first Like I’d give would be for Heat. Just Heat.  I hate being cold–not so much that I hate it as that it doesn’t agree with my body. Never has. When we were kids we camped all the time along rivers–even if they were not swimmable we still swam. Many of them we hooked up ropes on trees so we could swing and jump in. Great fun.

Bring the Heat
Full sun, zero wind, not yet noon: Bring the heat.

Middle of Summer we’d be camping and swimming and the water would sometimes only be warmish. I clearly recall several times feeling freezing in the water and everyone around me telling me my lips and ears were purple–I had no idea because I was too cold to feel them. And it was summer.

Numb when we went sledding out back or on the golf courses—add in the speed generated from snowmobiling and I often couldn’t convince my mouth to form words. One winter in Ames while helping a friend jumpstart a car I actually suffered frost-bite on both ears. As I recall no one around me felt impacted–yet I suffered frostbite. To this day my ears flake, peel and numb up whenever the temps drop below the freezing point.

Waking up every day and simply knowing it’ll be sunny with maybe a wisp of a cloud, warm-to-hot and dry is the single best memory I’ll take with me from Southern AZ. Walking the dog in the middle of winter with only a light jacket, gloves and cap—perfect. Never wearing tights for a middle of winter run–indescribable. Yeah, adjusting schedules and alarm clocks to get in a dog-walk or workout before 8:00a.m. is a hassle…..but nothing like the probability of bundling up beyond recognition and dodging ice patches two-three months every year.  Like: Heat. Yum.


45: Number of the Day

Forty-five years ago we witnessed the first moon landing, moon walk(s) and moon launch back to Earth. I don’t recall hearing much about it when I grew up. I was aware of it but science discussions to this degree were not part of our dinner table lexicon. Which was ok. We talked at length about each others’ day and all sorts of small-town Americana themes.

As we catch the daily headlines now and hear about economic difficulties, international consternation and the prevailing cluster in DC I find it amazing to believe  we were able to focus resources of all manner to accomplish such a stretch goal. It’s worth taking a few minutes for some of us who were too young to remember the time period as it happened.

A second 45 hits a little closer to home. Today marked the 45th day in 2014 of triple digits in The Old Pueblo. That’s about 22% of the entire year at 100+. Crazy. And ouch.  After a few years scorching in the desert I think I’ve earned the right to say it’s not just a dry heat. It’s frigging hot. Up to the mid-upper 90’s I’d offer it’s tolerable–even pleasant with a bit of a breeze. Slip into a little shade yet still allow the breeze to flow and it’s nice. Once it bumps up past 98-100 I see my heat rate spike, all my exposed skin redden and my ability to intake enough fluid to forgo feelings of dizziness and complete exhaustion are compromised.

I like the heat–I detest being cold. Actually it’s not how I feel about cold as much as how it makes me feel—purple extremities contrasted against my sweat soaked core make for a miserable contrast 3-4-5 months of the year.  I’m ok with being part of a potential run on the local Triple Digit Temps record. If that’s the worst of my feelings about town as I get ready to pack up and move I’ll take it.

Beware the Monsoon

I’ll miss The Monsoon. The Haboobs. The torrential winds and rains that have you convinced your entire house will either be swept off its concrete slab foundation or be drowned in the years-worth-of-rain-in-a-day downpours or be stranded for days because the washes to your home have become active and authorities have closed the one and only road home. I’ll miss The Monsoon.

I won’t miss the combination of my stupidity, the meteorologist’s expanded margin of error or the almost complete unpredictability of some of the storms. Check the During and After from one of my final bike rides on one of the local trails. While protecting the camera with one hand in a torrential rain I wasn’t able to get the flood sign during the flood…only grabbed it the next day.

Exact locations during and after Monsoon storm
Exact locations during and after Monsoon storm (about 25 feet closer (west) to the dip here)
Looking West (toward home) day after Monsoon Storms
From Dove Mountain looking homeward (west)
Along the Santa Cruz day after Monsoon Storms
Bike trail along the ‘river’ day after Monsoon storm. Missed the sign during the storm.
Caught in the Monsoon on the trails. Monsoon blooms @ home
Amazing…water flowing in the Santa Cruz!
From Dove Mt. looking toward home (west) during Monsoon storm
From Dove Mt. looking toward home (west) during Monsoon storm

FoTo FriDay 04/11/2014

Welcome back to the Desert SW_2014-04-10_IMG_6326_©AMPS+_2014

Smarter than the local drivers



Moving from a place with intellectual capital oozing from every turn…..to a place where the local pack rats appear to be smarter than the local drivers. Hats off to the rats.



Compare-Contrast DC to Tucson. Really

Stranded in Sweetwater

Compare-Contrast DC to Tucson. Really

AZ Stupid Driver’s Law

Arizona has an aptly named —Stupid Driver Law— (actually stupid motorists).  Essentially it means if you drive in a wash, get stuck and are pulled out by first responders you will be fined and billed for their services.  It should be self explanatory……since don’t drive in washes is posted on signs and broadcast repeatedly on multi-media it seems little excuse exists to claim –I didn’t know–
Stupid Driver; see below:

From The Loop Overlooking the Santa Cruz….

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid
We’re scheduled for a late Winter storm this weekend—very exciting as told by the local weather-guys(and gals). If it sticks as predicted we’ll have the major washes fill (CDO, Tanque Verde, La Canada, Pantano, Sabino, others) which means another round of senseless public servant waste as Stupid Drivers insist on rushing through as if this had never happened before. 
I saw this fella on a recent (last day pre-op) bike ride. I was so amused I stopped to take the shot—no, I didn’t even think to help as his motor echoed through the basin floor and smoke trickled out of the engine compartment. If he was lucky he had a friend chain him up and pull him out for a six-pack. He looked to be buried pretty good–I’d suspect he had to call a pro or emergency folks. Not an ounce of pity here as I clipped back in and finished my ride. 

Winter Fat Camp ’13 – The End

Mileage was not the focus/target, simply time in the saddle spinning for muscle memory to proactively aid in knee-scope rehab/recovery. Plus social for much of it. That said I’m more than pleased, even delighted! with 10 event (spanning 15 calendar days) totals of…………

  • Miles:             547
  • Calories:         24,600
  • Saddle Time:  30 1/3 Hrs
  • Climb Up:      14,600′
  • AveSpeed:     18(I think)
  • Kills:              1 Coyote, 1 Javelina, a few bunnies, a few tumbleweeds
  • Mechanicals:  Four flats
  • Social:            Tons, but never enough!! 

Miscellaneous and sundry….

Two Ernie sightings—random on the bike path and again randomly heading north on Oracle Road (he was with his Rancho Vistoso club)
Record snowfall, record cold temps yet still a helluva start on a bike tan
Piper witnessed one of the only Y pool closings due to weather—ever
Three flats, one new tire thanks to Piper
Two Firsts: Men’s UofA basketball game and tour of Air Force Boneyard (think Top Gun and retired Air Force 1 planes)
Good sushi, great beer, moderate Mexican, 
A collection of memories……..
Awww…Shucks….. I Can Ride Faster Than This Bird!!
Piper Rating Our Honeymoon Hotel

Top Gun:  BenGee
First UofA Game!! (11th Ranked)

Tucson Mts! (Front Yard, Facing West)
Record Snow on Jose!!! (Front Yard)

Precious Moments With The Old Boy Walter

…..and plenty of fitness build-up to draw upon for my upcoming knee scope and post-op gluteus-on-couch time(belch). Well timed by all!