Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mogs R Us

Seeing as how the Sson will be visiting next week. And. Seeing as how he plans to retrieve his Pinzgauer from T Lo, who has had the vehicle in the shop several months for a general tweaking and check-up, it seemed time to pull out those photos shot last summer when I visited mogsRus with the Sson and his wife.

Located over on Iron Springs Road near Watter's, T Lo specializes in Mercedes Unimogs and Steyr Pinzgauers and Halfingers. Definitely vehicles for the rugged outback. Owner Thilo Kass is a German mechanical engineer with over 26 years experience. And the trucks he deals in are very, very German. Four square and engineered to the nth degree.

The Unimog, with its big box at the back, reminds me of WW2 movies showing the invasion of, say, a French town with mean looking trucks with loudspeakers atop making pronouncements. In reality, the Mog was originally designed as an agricultural workhorse shortly after the war ended.

T Lo's web site explains that the Unimog is not a "slow truck" but a "fast tractor". Period. Keep that always in mind when considering a Unimog. It is extremely capable of doing things no other vehicle, including the Pinzgauer, can do. It can go over severe rocks and pull incredible loads. It is relatively small and heavy. It's pulling capacity is amazing (how about a 365 ton Boeing 747). But it's not meant for I-17 or any other high speed roadway. And you can guess about gas consumption.

This Mog (above) served as an ambulance at one time. The machine below is an open truck...

...and this modern Unimog comes complete with a working blade. Great for clearing snow in one of our bad winters.

There were also motor bikes on display, though I didn't learn much about them. This visit was definitely all about 4x4s.

Moving inside, here is T Lo's own Pinzgauer, very workmanlike...

...compared to these handsomely (and expensively) outfitted excursion models (above, below). Both were for sale when we visited last June. Wonder if a buyer has shown up for either.

Machine tools -- just a small sample of equiment in the big shop. (I could have spent several hours just photographing tools, tooling and machinery. Great subjects!)

Sson and DIL inspect the undercarriage of the yellow Pinz.

T Lo and my kids spent some long while talking vehicles while I wandered the shop, looking for pictures. A great way to spend an afternoon -- thoroughly different from the more usual Prescott event (though the car and 4x4 culture is indeed alive and well up here in the mountains.) BTW, among other things, this Wikipedia article explains why almost all Pinzgauers in the USA are 25 years old or older. All 400 to 600 of them.

Linkage: Remember Cmdr. Data on Star Trek--the Next Generation, played by Brent Spiner? Well, I was advised by my daughter that he's using Twitter to write a science fiction story, 140 or less characters at a time; of course, you have to scroll down to start the story and read each post in ascending order. After you've read what he's written thus far, wander in a different direction to see the birth and babyhood of a pair of hummingbirds. Last, great photos from the mesas and canyons of southern Utah by Rich; be sure to take a look.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Leapin' lizards not

No, I don't often blog about local lizards. There are reasons.

Not only do lizards definitely not leap -- but they are very cautious little guys who are unlikely to hold still for a proper photographic composition. Which is why I was most pleased to receive the upper picture, labeled skink, from my neighbor today. He's definitely bigger than that pine cone above, if such a comparison can be made. Quite unlike the little guy below, one of many babes I see skittering about; he may have been all of 1-1/2 inches long, nose to the end of his tail. I was very lucky to get the photo; lizards don't even do their push-ups when I'm around with my camera, much less wait around while I get a tape measure or US quarter for a proper size comparison!

Note: Probably won't be here tomorrow night -- I've got an outpatient procedure in the morning and don't plan on staying up late. BTW, don't you hate the medical use of the word procedure? It makes even the most onerous surgery sound trivial.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I should have taken a picture of this picture when I related the saga of the Apple Pan too. The lady in the teal blue shirt is Marilyn, who for many years presided over the popular restaurant. I dropped by on Friday to score a couple of oatmeal cookies before heading on to an appointment. Sue Ann, the present prop. of the cafe, was good enough to get the photo down and hold it while I took its picture. She said she had not heard word of Marilyn recently. Anyone out there have word?

Linkage: First, interesting posts from recently initiated local blogs: Sam in Az explored the old smelter area down in Humboldt, while Doin' Time blogs about forensics and local law enforcement. A third newcomer, A Bumpy Ride In My Own Mind, does a steady business in book reviews, as well as wondering what the big bacon meme is all about. Other posts that caught my attention: the Mad Bioneer on geeky gardening and my dotter, who met some sandhill cranes up in Alaska.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Centennial Celebration

Prescott is a sentimental little city, celebrating all kinds of anniversaries. For example, just yesterday as I went walking, I discovered that it was The Day for the big 100th year centennial of Lincoln School over on Park Avenue.

Attendees were arriving at every entrance, many well along in years. One lady I chatted with said she was a student at the school in the aught-30s (the same years that I attended several different elementary schools scattered across California, Arizona and Florida.) The oldest one-time student present was 98!

Preparations are made for the Maypole dance that at one time, before the modern culture wars, was a traditional school event. I'm happy to say that I haven't seen any complaints about pagan celebrations. Yet. Because I had an appointment, I was not present for the event; however, there are a couple of quick pictures at the video posted by The Courier.

A modern innovation for the dance -- an outdoor sound system.

The oldest building opened in 1909 when Washington School became overcrowded. Among the architectural features are the wonderful arches.

The south building was constructed in 1930, according to the Sharlot Hall archives, with more classrooms added between 1956 and 1959.

The multi-purpose building dates from 1990. There is yer another smaller building just recently added that sits behind the south building, next to the multi-purpose structure. Yes, I have a picture. No, I couldn't find it. BTW, take note of the great green grassy play area below; this was a project of the school's PTA.

The latest addition took away from playground space, which is now concentrated on the Park Avenue side. Big kids play basket ball and similar games in front of the original building, while little kids use equipment on the south end. Then there's my absolute favorite of the entire playground -- the original granites for climbing and scrambling about.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Big time trash

Everybody agrees that Americans are not only too fond of Stuff, they are also overwhelmed with their Stuff. And so the annual (or semi-annual) city trash pickup day produces such throw away displays as two, not one, barbecue units by the roadside. Plus a dead ironing board, as well as a perfecly good chandelier (below) and who knows what else is in that heap.

Today, my haul included a overly cheerful sofa plus a toilet bowl and tank. The latter appears to have been the object of somebody's temper. And, like a period at the end of a sentence, there's the inevitable computer CRT topping the heap.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rocky Raccoon

There is this small culvert along side my little street. It's half-full of soil and heads downhill at a pretty good angle. Imagine my surprise when this fellow (below) popped its head out to stare at me as I walked up the road at dusk. Sorry about the focus -- but I doubt that I'll have this opportunity again. Ever. So I'm going with what I have, being happy in the process. Fie on the camera which was capable of catching the culvert quite nicely, but let me down with the critter.

We have both regular, everyday raccoons and their cousins, ringtailed cats, in the greater Prescott area. I was well aware that we had a coon in my immediate area because of reports from neighbors (and my dotter who spotted one on the back porch). On the other hand, I've only seen a ringtail along the Agua Fria River near the Bloody Basin Crossing. One time only. At a great distance, I might add. Old time miners were said to have made pets of ringtails.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bloggery 101

The Yavapai College campus is much prettier than the last time I visited. Much greener, with big beautiful trees and new landscaping, not to mention that a huge central staircase and solid expanse of cement between buildings was gone, to be replaced by curved ramps and plantings.

A fellow blogger, Susan of As Your World Changes, had organized a series of class discussions of social networking sites for newbies and asked me to talk with the group about blogging. They had already been introduced to Twitter and Facebook; it was time for them to meet up with Blogger and Wordpress.

The course was part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, an unusual participant-directed program at the college. As the OLLI website explains, our "learning groups" are discussion groups conceived, created and facilitated by our own members, who volunteer their time. There are no tests, grades, or college credits associated with our groups. Topics have included regional and international history, current social and political issues, the worlds' religions, fairy tales and writing your life story. Want to talk about dreams, or study the opera, movies, art or ballet? This is your chance. If American Indian art and culture interest you, stop by. And don't forget current economic issues, astronomy, our founding fathers, the Middle Ages, and Prescott's beginnings.

And so here I am, trying to compete with the strange light emitted by a computer projection system. I learned a lot prepping for the meeing. F'rinstance, Technorati has counted some 133 million different blogs since 2aughtaught2, adding that 1.5 million blog articles were posted in the past seven days and 900,000 in 24 hours. This presumably does NOT count the 72 million Chinese blogs. Wikipedia has a reasonably good entry about blogs, their history and pedigree, but I discovered that old, nearly forgotten About was the best reference I could find covering the blogging phenomenon.

Here's the student volunteer who manned the computer projection keyboard.

And some of the students, several of whom are quite interested in starting a blog. They are all on their own. I had it easy when I started out. After all, the dotter (OmegaMom) already published her own blog, was an IT person quite comfy with the Internet and she set me up, complete to a blog reader (Bloglines) and traffic counter (Sitemeter).

Susan Gerhart (far right), who organized the class series, here talks with other students at the end of the session.

Note: The Old Fat Man was mighty pleased to read about this type of learning opportunity. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute programs are found nationwide; check here to learn more.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ultimate artmobile

Surely everyone in Prescott has seen this artmobile at sometime during recent years. Likely during the Tsunami on the Square, for example. I first viewed an earlier incarnation of the same vehicle over at the Cosmic Steel works on Granite Street.

Pink flamingos highlight the hood of the car. Below, the right hand side. Be sure to note the supersized tail fins, a reminder of an earlier era in automotive design.

The orb sits atop the machine.

At the rear, a staircase that leads up to the comfy his-n-hers chairs topside. A great way to see the countryside when cruising to Burning Man. There's a neat video of this car plus a lot more of Cosmic Steel sculpture at their web site.

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