Happy 199th Birthday to the Bicycle

Okay, the idea for the bicycle might date back to the 1500s, but the actual patent was issued today in 1818 by German inventor Karl von Drais. 

My childhood wouldn’t be the same without a bicycle. Well, I wouldn’t have fallen off my tricycle at age 5 and broken my arm. Nor would I have left my brand new bicycle in the driveway for my dad to run over, killing the training wheels, and making me learn about gravity the fun if this doesn’t kill me kind of way. I also wouldn’t have learned the joys of skateboarding while being pulled by my friends on their bikes. It was great fun until the skateboard and I parted company, but I didn’t release the rope. Ruined my favorites shirt which being the 70s had rhinestones on it. That took a while to heal from.

Hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t be celebrating the bicycle:D

I still have a bike. It’s locked in the storage shed in our backyard. The tires are flat, the rim is bent, and I’m sure there’s a family of black widows spinning an addition for their growing family. 

I keep thinking I’ll break it out of prison, then I remember I still have the brand from the seatbelt buckle on my thigh and might want to wait until fall. Sure, I could do it now and take it to the high country where it’s cooler and the roads don’t have guardrails.

And you know the saying you never forget learning to ride a bike.   I remember learning to ride a bike. I don’t want to die on some cool mountain trail where my carcass will be eaten by bears or zombie elk. No thanks.

But one day, I’ll repair my bike for more than it’s worth because it has an extra cushiony, extra wide seat and this bike never tried to kill me. Yet.
Until next time

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Desperately Seeking…

Okay, desperate might be a bit of an overstatement. But I’m interested in recommendations for drawing apps on an iPad air. There are a lot of them out there, pages of them on my search, and I don’t really trust the ratings that much.

I want to take up doodling again but I’m not always near a pencil and paper.

And that’s not to mention that I tend to lose the paper before I’m finished with the sketch.

So, anyone have an app they like. I would like to add/remove color, but also sketch in black and white. Ideally it would be enough resolution to blow up the image about 1.5 times while not looking grainy.

As for the price, I’d prefer around $20. This is, after all, a hobby not a career.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Until next time!

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I Live in Darkness

For the third day in a row, temperatures in Phoenix are expected to be 119 degrees Fahrenheit. Not exactly cool temperatures for any Humans. The rest of the week, we have an excessive heat warning of 110 plus temps (usually 115).

Many like me, don’t have much of a problem with 110 degrees. I’ve lived here nearly all my life and, yes, the dry heat helps. I do in fact keep my windows down for the 20-25 minute ride home from work, including yesterday when the temperature was at its highest. Yes, I am the kind of person who wears a long sleeves at 80 degrees and has a blanket on the couch because a fan and 83 degrees with the AC on is cold.

Sadly the monsoon is moving in, raising the humidity, and making everything uncomfortable. And irritable.

What’s worse is those cranky people are horning in on my alone time. Apparently, when it’s 90 degrees by 6AM, those people rise early to walk in the park and beat the heat. The nerve of some folks :D.

Other tasks also get shifted to the wee hours of the morning (usually at midnight it’s still over 100). I water the plants before the sun turns those water droplets into burning magnifying glasses of leaf-death. I sweep the pool by pool light.

And all the blinds and curtains remain firmly shut against the light. This is why I glow in the dark and yet am not a vampire.

Thankfully, there’s only another 5 months to go. Enjoy your summer everyone!

Until next time.

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Can someone please explain?

If you’ve followed my blog, then you know I love music.

Recently, I purchased 4 albums. They were Zachary Brown Band’s Welcome Home, Chris Stapleton self-titled release, Maggie Rose’s Dreams > Dollars, and Miranda Lambert’s  The Weight of these wings. 

I did download a few other singles, using iTunes instead of the great ‘Zon, so there were pop and oldies in the mix all designed to stimulate the little grey cells when writing.

But I digress.

What I found weird was the number of songs on an album. Yes, I am from the age of the giant black CDs (i.e., real records-which usually have 6-7 tracks per side). For this last weekend’s purchases the number of songs on each album was (in order) 10, 9, 24 (Miranda’s was 2 CDs), and 5 songs.

I’m not complaining about the prices. I love the artists and I am really enjoying many of the songs.

But 5 songs on Maggie Rose’s album. It as 3.99 on iTunes, 4.99 on amazon so the price is cheaper than the 1.39 I paid for the singles, but why 5 songs?

This is the second album of hers I’ve bought of Maggie’s with only 5 songs. I’ve loved all the songs on both albums, but I would love someone to explain why the number of tracks is so low? Are musicians like writers pressured to produce new content with greater frequency, so shorter makes sense. Or is something else at work. 

Anyone have any ideas?

Until next time. 

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Going Green

Every summer my pool betrays me by going green.

I feed it chlorine, I pour muriatic acid in, and I sprinkle stabilizer regularly. And still it goes green.

I know the reason: the water is old. Yes, you are supposed to drain your pool every 3 years to keep the water fresh. But I work in water, and the thought of 30 thousand gallons going down the drain makes me queasy.

Besides, I’m older than the darn water and I’m still going.

My pool water will keep going too. Part of the problem is the chemistry of the water. Thanks to evaporation, those salts, minerals, and metals start concentrating. First the blue water gets a little cloudy then it turns green.

No, shocking it doesn’t help. Especially if your shock has a bluing agent (Copper makes the water blue). I have enough copper in my water.

So the gentlemen at the pool store recommended Alum to clean up the water. Doh! Seriously, at the water treatment plant where I work, Alum is used regularly to clump stuff up and make it fall out (Yes, those are the fancy chemistry terms). That I didn’t think about it means that I have a work half of my brain and a home half of my brain, and rarely do the two overlap. I’ve noticed it before—at work it’s Celsius and grams, and at home it’s Fahrenheit and ounces.

I can easily translate the two, but rarely do so or do I find the need. Such is life.

But my green pool will soon be blue again. And just in time. The temperature will be 119 and 120 Fahrenheit on Monday and Tuesday. yes, it’s a dry heat. Which is why I plan to spend a lot of time in the water:D

For those of you who live in humid climates, I don’t know how you do it.

Until next time.

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We’re not there yet

I am so over this cold. The long 4 day ramp up to 4 miserable fever-filled days. And now the eternal recovery.

I’m still stuffed up and my ears are clogged, but the coughing is down to a minimum, for which I’m grateful.

So, I’m definitely getting better.

And I feel better, so I decided to reintroduce my morning stretches.

Everything was fine as long as I was upright. But bend over to touch your toes and Whoa cowboy! I could feel the blood vessels in my head pounding. All of them.

Not fun. I had to use the couch to straighten and pull myself upright.

Apparently there’s a fine line between getting better and being better, and I’m betting it’s about hip height.

Next week, I’ll be well next week so my toes better be prepared.

Until next time.

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Moping about the Mop

And so it came to pass, that another spin mop was killed. This one courtesy of my son. I guess he though the blue disc came off with the mop head.


Which left me with this:


This is the third mop in 2 years. So I decided to make a switch to an O-cedar mop. The mop head screw in. I took the time to show my son how to do it.

There are some noticeable differences other than the way the heads attach. O-cedar’s head is triangular, to allow you to mop in corners. Yeah, not the best.

It does spin amazingly dry, so the tile can be walked on before I can yell at my kids to stay off it. The dog rolls across the tile as it dries because it’s cooler that way.

The one draw back to my new mop is that the handle spins along with the head. That will take a while to get used to.

Well, wish me luck. I hope this one lasts more than a year.

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