Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Grand Canyon - Aug 23/24

Just returned from the GC trip, and an enjoyable time was had by all I believe. Except for the brief shower Saturday evening while heating up dinner. And the annoying French kids in the campsite next door who spent their time in camp staking out the bathrooms, waiting for their iPods, Crackberries and cellphones to recharge on the only outlet available. A guy and a girl ended up getting into some kind of shouting match about 10 PM last night. I heard "merde" several times, so I can only guess she was pissed off about something that was entirely his fault.

Here's some photos, click on them to see full size.

See ya Sunday the 31st. There is also a ride on Monday (Labor Day), but I don't know the destination yet.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

For Sale - Custom Skylights, Open Floor Plan...

So my Sunday maintenance at work went well, although it took 13 and a half hours to complete, and I damn near froze to death in the server room in the process. We replaced ten disk controller cache batteries, and swapped out 45 17GB drives for 35GB drives. Only two people who read this have any idea what this means (Hi Pat! Hi Chris!).

I hate missing the Sunday club ride, and I also missed out on the pool party the wife had Sunday afternoon, with all of her family over.

I also missed out on even more neighborhood mayhem- this house about two blocks from us caught on fire Sunday afternoon and is pretty much destroyed. Click on the picture to see what real estate agent you can call to pick up this beauty real cheap.

I am not looking forward to opening up my next home insurance statement in April, once Amica's actuaries get a look at what's going on in North Phoenix...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Life in the Big City - Vol. 6

At 5:30 this morning, I was up and outside already, cleaning the pool in preparation for the niece and nephew weekend invasion. It was somewhat cloudy, with some rain showers going on to the south, but I figured it was safe enough to give the pool a good brushdown (waving a big aluminum telepole around with lightening in the area is not a good idea, as you can imagine).

So there I am, sleepily pushing some dirt down towards the main drain when I hear a loud explosion just to the southwest of the house. Thinking it was a lightening strike, I quickly dropped the pole (yeah, like THAT'S gonna save me now) and looked up to see a large cylindrical object sailing into the air, straight up, at least a hundred feet up.

Now 5:30 AM is a little bit early for someone to be mixing the four ingredients for neighborhood mayhem (that would be rednecks, propane, a garbage can and 18-pack of Bud Light), and before long, the entire fleet of news helicopters were circling over the area.

I turned on the TV to learn that the UFO I witnessed was actually a water heater which blew through the roof of a house about one block from our place, and came down about one block away from the newly ventilated home on the other side of Thunderbird Road, without hitting anyone or anything.

Here's a photo I snapped on the way to work, and here's a link to the Channel 3 news coverage.

The interesting thing is that this house (and the home next to it) partially burned down about two years ago, when the occupants were reportedly home-brewing beer on a stove in the storage area behind the garage.

BONUS VIDEO! Here's a YouTube video showing exactly what I witnessed this morning. Dang, that's some missile!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

Shaw Butte

All summer long, we've had the nieces and nephews over to our house for the weekend, and all summer long I've been trying to pry them away from the TV and get some exercise. Finally, Amber (visiting from Washington) agreed to take a hike up Shaw Butte this past weekend. She scrambled all the way to the top with me, only stopping to watch a roadrunner jump around trying to pick up a lizard. Here she is near the top, to show her family back in Washington she really made it to the top.

By the way, I won't be available to lead the Sunday rides on Aug 17 (another work project) and Aug 24 as well (going on the ABC Grand Canyon trip). See ya Sunday...