Saturday, September 30, 2006


Today's air show out at Love Field was equal parts barnstorming/aircraft display -- and carnie. Too tough to wrap my head around it all, so here's a look at the more serious, aircraft side.

The barnstorming pilots (one in a real biplane) brought back my early years! A modern addition: the smoke generator, to let onlookers get a better picture of what just happened. Missing -- nobody out on the wings. Probably not an FAA certified activity.

Actually, I'm really pleased (and amazed) that I caught a couple of pictures of the barnstormers! I missed the earlier fly-overs by assorted retired military fighters ...

... while the parachuting ladies barely show up (left center) in this photo of the intent crowd.

Part of the fun of the air show is climbing all over old Air Force and Navy fighter planes.

That includes this Grumman TBM-3 Avenger from 19-aught-42, which takes me back to my teen years in Jacksonville FL, a Navy flight training base. Our skies were full of Grummans and our dances were full of pilots. A lot of my girlfriends wore wings.

The machine belongs to the "Commemorative" Air Force. That's PC for what was the Confederate Air Force -- a much cheekier name for the crowd which put together a fleet of decommissioned military craft back when nobody wanted them. Today, such planes are collectibles for people who are willing to pay as much as a couple $ mil for a twin-tailed P-38.

This is a small piece of one of the CAF's planes; guess where it originated.

The Air Force was much in evidence at the show -- most of the ushering types wore USAF T-shirts. Probably students at ERAU. But the Navy was also recruiting, much more sedately.

Of several experimental and/or homebrew aircraft at the show, this little bug was the most intriguing. Where are the wings, asked my SIL (how did you think I got out there?) Oh, said the owner of this one-of-a-kind, "see that parachute bag? When I taxi to build up speed, the parachute opens, fills and I take off."

(Yes, that is my SIL and the granddaughter above -- they came down from Flag for the show.)

Note: I haven't forgotten the carnival scene -- it'll be up in a couple of days.

Link of the Day

I didn't promise that all my links were going to be Prescott-oriented. In fact, today, we're going halfway around the world to English Russia, an off-beat picture blog about things and events in Russia. One of my favorite items was the dragon bag -- when a friend saw it, she said "perfect for my oxygen cylinder."

Friday, September 29, 2006

Happy 10th Birthday To Las Fuentes

Some 300+ older folk make Las Fuentes their home currently. Today was the 10th anniversary of the facility, occasion for a big birthday bash.

Ready to greet guests -- the brass at the assisted living section.

More brass -- GM Linda Villa, together with my Mom, who's lived at Las Fuentes since the turn of this century. I think my amazing mother, nearly 103, is now officially the oldest resident. We still play Scrabble!

There were goodies galore, throughout the main floor of the facility. Which is to say, five different locations.

Piece de resistance -- a chocolate fountain for dipping one's strawberry or a pineapple chunk. First time I had ever seen such an indulgence.

Entertainment -- here a guitar, elsewhere a harp, two other elsewheres piano music, and in the 5th venue, a flute plus guitar.

And a lot of just plain old fashioned socializing -- always the best part of any party!

Link of the Day

I visit lots of places on the web, blogs and otherwise! So here's to sharing. Today, a growing clearing house of local events and entertainments (off- and on-beat) presented by Coyote Radio. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

So Green It Hurts!

Soon our colors will be yellows and oranges and an occasional red, followed by the dark greys and browns of late autumn and winter. So: for now celebrate greens so green that it hurts! The world is fast drying out.

This is a small seasonal creek that runs downhill next to Willow Street between Coronado and Gurley. In one spot it flattens out and there the grass greened luxuriously as the monsoon rains came to a grand climax.

Up my hill, there are pieces of granite that grow lush cushions of moss that is green only during the late summer rains.

At the wet beginning of September even the lichens greened up -- on the pinon trunk above and the mountain mahogany stems below.

And it was moist enough that fruiting bodies opened up to spread spores for new lichens.

As I recall, the human eye is at its most sensitive for the color green, perhaps because we are so completely dependent upon growing plants for our survival. Maybe that's the reason rich greens move us so.

Deja Vu All Over Again

When I got the email reporting that New Frontiers now stocks Real Whole Milk (you know, the kind with the cream on top as Nature intended), I was reminded of a recent sight in a local emporium: Cut-Rite wax paper!

To those of you who wonder how on earth Mom packaged PB&J or Spam sandwiches BZB (Before Ziplock Bags), let me explain. When my mother made those sandwiches (always with lettuce that wilted), back before you were born, she used wax paper. Sometimes it was boughten, on a roll, made by Cut-Rite. A real luxury. Often it was rescued wrapping from the last crust of bread. There was no such thing as Reynolds Wrap or Saran Wrap. (And still we survived!)

Funny that these boxes of Cut-Rite are now branded by the company (Reynolds) that caused the near-demise of wax paper!

What's next? Maybe real linoleum (made from linseed oil) and real checkered oil cloth for the kitchen table? Ain't retro great?

Later Note: It may or may not be grand -- but I just found out that it sure is green. Wife of an acquaintance recently discovered this and wanted some for her kitchen. Oops! From Home Depot on down, everybody said "no such thing for the past xxx years. These days the word 'linoleum' means 'vinyl.'" Guess she'll have to go to Calif. in her Prius to find such a "green" product.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Wild Pink Daisy

I've been gathering a bouquet of late summer wild flowers to post -- and I got caught up in, to me, the big surprise that the wild precursor to the flambouyant garden cosmos is a pink daisy found in the wetter spots
locally. I found the group above over on Willow Street just south of Gurley. They are right beside the pavement, where a depression catches and stores the run-off.

This flower was blooming on a moist hillside in the Mountain Club area. Other locations where I've seen them: the White Spar Road at the Ponderosa Park turnoff and the south end of Lynx Lake next to the blacktop. The wild cosmos are a pale pink; the size of the flower seems to vary with the amount of moisture.

When I first ran into the wild cosmos, I just naturally assumed that they were descended from the garden variety planted by pioneer women. Apparently they are natives. They don't make the splash that their tame cousins do. Still I think it's neat to come across them unexpectedly as I did Monday.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Auto Activism: Water

Back when I first started this blogging business, I thought it would be mighty clever to take pictures of bumper stickers at, say, Prescott College -- vs. a shooting range. Nice contrast of causes, I imagined. Perhaps a bumper sticker war, hey?

Having looked into the reality of local bumper stickers, I find that there is too much variety. My original thinking was stupendously simplistic.

So here are bumper stickers on just one subject: water. And no war, either. At least not in the open. Not a single "use lots of water today," for example. Or "Relax! Big Chino Has Lots of Water".

On the other hand, what doesn't get stated on bumper stickers is why I should let my flowers wilt in order to save water for some developer out in the Dells. Or why the guy I talked to the other day, who has a well plus city water, should be required to shut down the well (which he uses for exclusively for landscaping) and substitute what will be expensively de-arsenicked city water for his trees.

And in the meantime, the city has nearly TWENTY YEARS to get its act together and achieve "safe yield." That's mighty kind of a long past state legislature! By me, the whole water situation is as tangled up as spaghetti.

If you have strong feelings about the local water situation or merely want to learn more, you might visit the web pages of the state water resources department or the Citizens Water Advocacy Group. One link at the CWAGAZ site I found especially pertinent was an article about the Salt River Project and its interests in the Verde River system (of which every creek running through Prescott is a part.)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Jurassic Park 2

Little did we know as we set out yesterday -- me with my daughter and granddaughter, down for the day from Flagstaff -- that we had a proper adventure in store. Seemed exciting enough just to have a package of kiddie magic from Denny's that colored the milk pink!

But. Perhaps you recall the scene from your childhood, your nose pressed against the glass of the candy store or the Christmas toy display, wishing and wishing. Like that, there we were, at the fence of the estate with the dragons and dinosaurs because "you've got to see these," I had told the kids.

As we stood there wisting, the lady of the house spotted us and hiked over. She explained that often people stop with their children to look and she invites them in to have their pictures taken. And so we entered the magic realm.

Just to give you a real idea of the size of the T. Rex!

And the brontosaurus.

It's not often a little girl gets to ride a dragon unless she's in a novel by Anne McCaffrey or one of its imitators.

The iron donkey was of a more suitable size for one going on five...

... tho the smaller brontosaurus might have made a good ride in its time.

For some reason the rusty rhino was scary -- the granddaughter didn't last long atop the beast.

The cobra's coil is a fine place to do a final "Whee!"


We learned that most of the critters are made in Mexico and shipped to an importer down in Anthem. Next additions to the zoo include a gargoyle and a unicorn; most recent was a spiky stegasaurus.

Aside from a goof in setting my camera for zoom shots, my only regret looking back is that Sunday was one of those gloriously brilliant fall days in the mountains; photography would have been easier had we had a gloomy overcast!

The splendid lady on Iron Springs Road not only enjoys her wonderful menagerie but enjoys sharing it with strangers. What a great way to live.

Sorry -- I Panicked Instead of Posting!

Since it's still Sunday night by me (actually 1:30 a.m.) though Blogger is a very rigid taskmaster and declares that this is my Monday post, I'm offering apologies. I thought I had some great pictures from an outing today (Sunday) and then I thought that my computer had eaten them and panicked and then I finally combed through the files on the hard drive and rediscovered them.

Something along the lines of the newby thinking her computer is broken, calling in the repair man, who suggests that she plug the machine in.

Trouble is that all this took up the time I had reserved for producing a new post. Sorry. See you tomorrow/tonight!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Dead Things

When you wander around town, you're bound to see a lot of dead things. Fortunately, few of them are from the animal kingdom -- that would make me very sad, as opposed to merely philosophical. Today's dead things are all the product of man's hand.

Like the rubble heap above -- I think it was once a cottage. It's going to leave less of a footprint in time than many of those much cruder Indian dwellings that local archeologists unearth periodically.

These bones of a bicycle might survive time. At least the metal parts.

A dead mattress. Good thing to get rid of -- I'll bet everyone has experienced a dead mattress at least once in their lives.

And a sofa long past its prime. There's nothing stranger to me than seeing an overstuffed piece of furniture in the out-of-doors, exposed to the elements.

The dead muffler is not an unusual object; the site of this example is -- right between the Miller Valley post office and the sidewalk. One wonders how it got there! Dead mufflers are most often found out in the boonies on one of those backroads that shakes off assorted car parts.

And, in conclusion, a pair of dead signs I saw just the other day. Each had an ephemeral purpose -- one, a business rental availability, and the other, of course, the recent primary election.

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