now a wild windy holiday weekend in southeast AZ.
the Saturday Rant UPDATE
be no more untimely deliveries here from FedEx. The local FedEx authorized
delivery service got fired.
More below on all that in
the update... Below the Thursday post heading.
was all the fuss about anyway... It was so I could get a heavy duty 12
v power supply to power the RV water pump to circulate water from
the hot tub through a propane water heater and back to the hot tub.
earth shattering to be sure... But it should not take five days to go the
last mile. In this case 30 miles. We are spoiled with our expectations.
I know that. Think what people would have thought 100 years or so ago to
get a package or even mail this far across the county so fast. That was
then... this is now.
has to be the windiest day so far that we have been here. We were told
spring is the windy season here in SE AZ and we can now attest to that.
Local news sez this is way above what is normal. Like weather all
over... nothing is normal anymore. Red Flag (wind and fire warnings) are
up untill 8 PM tonight. Knock on wood... no wind wipped fires reported
in the area. People here are very careful as this is nothing new to them
at this time of year. We are just getting educated to our new surroundings.
Humidity is at about 10% and wind is steady at 34 mph with gusts to 50
mph with a temp of 90. (OK OK you know the drill by now ... It's a dry
heat.) I laughed at that just like you are doing but it is the truth....
Too understand... all you have to do is just visit the midwest in the summer.
We are at about 4200 ft. here so can expect about 8-10 degree temps below
what is reported in Tucson. Even Benson, AZ just to the east of us is at
about 3500 ft. is warmer. There is a 5% several mile downgrade on I-10
to get to the valley. Nice views though... We like to compare this to the
high up vista views found at Page, AZ. You can see forever from here and
that is what makes this area so special.
saying all this about the weather here... this is so preferred to the midwest
storms... any day. And to think soon we will be heading in that direction.
lookign around the rest of the country it has been a banner year for snow
in the higher west.. good news to be sure.. but now it is melting resulting
in flooding in Montana. Bet they would rather put up with more than less
snow pack. Even if it causes problems. And to our friends in the
northwest (as in Portland. John
and Derek) who are having an above normal wet spring. Send your
rain down here... Thank You. The southwest is still in a drought...
May the so called AZ
Monsoon Season bring rain to this area.
the hot tub was heating Saturday Terry was keeping busy on his crafts.
Doing necklace chain making.
This pattern is called Byzantine.
To see how it is made, see this YouTube
video. Terry looked at the video and said...
They are making it way too
complicated! He uses a speed weave technique. Now if you want
personal instruction you will just have to visit Terry's Arts and Craft
Studio. :) I swear before he is done there might just be a Mini Gem
and Mineral Club in our steel shop building. Along with special guest appearances
of our good friend Tad R. MFA with expertise in jewelry and lost wax casting.
I have to be vigilant to
make sure his craft area doesn't creep over into my spa, exercise area.
To be expanded on the left
later on with an above ground pool. I have plans...
Since it is a holiday weekend
Terry has been busy today cooking. Making his special baked beans with
bacon, and a batch of potato salad. Brats tonight and on Monday Baby Back
He would normally
like to do the beans in a dutch oven over coals. But too windy with the
fire risk and dry conditions to make that an option. We may be crazy, but
Memorial Day, originally
called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died
in our nation's service.
Ready for a Rant.
Sure you are...
Friday 8 PM UPDATE below...
Saturday UPDATE below...
Ya that is alogo
behind the NOT.
I didn't have to make the
NOT sign. Found it easily on the net. Who would know I'm not the only disgruntled
I have always been happy
with package deliveries from the big shippers UPS, FedEx and USPS Priority.
Well that only meant I was
lucky and lived right, or in the right location. Many deliveries when in
Quartzsite as I followed them on tracking would come into Lake Havasu and
then get driven the same day down to Q. Or delivered out ot Yuma
80 miles away.
Now in southeast AZ at Benson
I ordered the power supply (below). And FedEx was the delivery agent.
So I assumed it was out for
delivery (In transit) at 7 AM on Tuesday and I would get it that
day. You know wht they say about assumed... makes an ass out
out of u and me.
No show so I got to checking
what... Tendered to authorized agent for final delivery meant.
FedEx turned it over to a third party to deliver. Called FedEx and they
connected me to the end delivery service and I was told they only deliver
ONCE A WEEK. It would be out on Friday for delivery. I went what?
This is Tuedsay. FedEx had just told me it would be delivered the same
day the third party delivery agent received it and they also showed it
was out for delivery. I called FedEx customer support back and told them
UPS comes by here everyday and their service using a third party to deliver
was not acceptable. Got I'm SO Sorry. Took my phone number and would try
to speed up delivery as they said that this delivery schedule was unacceptable
to them also. Ya Sure....
All you have to do is Google
"I hate FedEx" and see what people have to say about this company.
And dealing with Amazon there
is no way you get to choose which service is used to deliver your package.
You understand a rant is
good for the soul from time to time. Especially when there is nothing you
can do to change things. When businesses don't care about customer service...
let's face it we are screwd.
You say well I'm not cost
effective to deliver to everyday due to being ruarl or something. Rural?
I can see the traffic on I-10 from here. 2 miles off I-10. 5 miles from
Benson, 30 miles from Sierra Vista, and 35miles from Tucson. When
in Quartzsite we were 80 miles from Yuma or Lake Hauasu and got same day
service when the end terminal got the package.
When back in Iowa about
the same distances out in the country things got delivered on time.
Me thinks here the Sierra Vista the tenderded delivery agent got a sweet
deal and just feels they don't have to preform. Larger bottom line... Screw
the end user. Why, because they can. To be sure FedEx got an
ear full. If that makes any difference. FedEx would only transfer me to
them and also not give me their phone number. They did give me thier address.
More like a coordinated scam to keep the customer in the dark.
The last (first) delivery for Terry a couple of weeks ago showed up way
late (I didn't know he had ordered anything). Just honked and Terry had
to go out to the driveway gate to retrive the package.
at 8 PM No delivery and after a call to FedEx at 6 PM... no
help. They tried to call the local agent and said I'm sorry they are closed
and we don't have an after hours contact. So the tendered agent blow us
off and what now... I have to wait another week for delivery. The
escalation person at FedEx said he would note and escalate the problem
to higher levels. I was nice and told him I was not upset with him
as he can only do or follow company policy. It doesn't do any good yelling
at a customer service agent as the more you yell the less they tend to
help. Talking in a pleasant voice just stating your case, will do wonders
at times. I will be calling and asking for help much higher up the
lader at FedEx on Tuesday to be sure. The FedEx peson checked my Zip Code
and said FedEx does use their own trucks for express or next day service
for here (only for FedEx ground do they hand off to this agent) so I will
request they go and get the package from the contract agent and deliver
it to me next week. Any Bets?
at 2 PM a van pulls up in the driveway and honks. Sure enough a delivery
on Saturday. The driver sez looks like you have been waiting since
Tuesday for this. And goes on to say starting next Tuesday they will
NOT be delivering to this area anymore. All deliveries will come out of
Tucson. Must not have been the only one complaining to FedEx... They
still will have other areas but not just here anymore. Bet this was brewing
for a long time. Case Closed.
powered up the propane heater and water pump and got the hot tub up to
temp and had a great soak listening to Prairie Home Companion.
Now time to get ready for
the Memorial Weekend... And to remember why we celebrate it.
We are planning a little
road day trip without the RV. Time to expore this southeast part of Arazona.
From Benson (lowere center)
north to Cascabel, Mammoth, and Haydon, HW 77 to Globe and back down US
70 to Safford, Willcox. Branching off to take side raods to explore. Should
be a fun drive... Checked it out with Googel Earth.
You all have a relaxing
Did it happen? And below the spa is coming together....
this day of days... I noticed Terry was gone... and this is what I saw...
I thought OMG...
Terry called home... Upon reflection... How stupid of me. Not possible.
I heard the shower turn on. He was being cleansed all right...
But only by the force of
that we knew we were spared.
started the remodel of the garage/shop. You do remember I said
I would claim an area for a hot tub, workout area, and later an inside
pool. We made a good first start. We had the blow up hot tub,
just had to retrieve it from the storage area in the RV.
I came up with the fence
idea... to make it look more like an outside back yard... only inside.
I'm so good... We found the fence sections at the local Benson Lumbar yard.
Competitive prices, right in town, and friendly. They gave us extra slats
to replace any in the fence that were bent etc. Very nice. Above Terry
replacing a couple of slats.
Mind you inside we don't
have to abide by any property code requirements for fences. See we have
the fence face toward us. Most codes say the fence ribs need to
be on the inside and the nice side face out. Another advantage of
outside is inside...
Now time to sow the grass...
Reused from boondocking in the BLM in Quartziste.
Very green so to speak,
when you can rip up your lawn and take it with you.
A little double sided carpet
tape to hold it in place. No watering needed... Gophers have a hard time
digging under this turf.
We have a couple those pesky
critters outside here and they are not long for this world. Chemicals are
good for some things. Have to check if they might have been beamed up today.
Being they live underground and never see the light of day.
Now to make good use of the
treadmill we got from craigslist. A top of the line Reebok unit for
The sellers were getting
ready to bug out for Germany on a transfer from the military base here
in Sierra Vista.
room for expansion for a pool don't Ya Think. Just add more fencing and
grow more lawn.
task is on Sunday... it's time to fill this sucker with water...
and a have a hot soak.
first fill will be with using our home water system... (Not like back in
Quartzsite hauling water to fill it) Here just run water from the house
through the propane on demand water heater to the tub.
to reheat the water later on we will need to recirculate the water from
the tub back through the water heater... To do that we use a 12 volt
RV water pump to push water through the water heater. Now in this situation
to power the pump I found a Pyramid
120 volt to 12 volt converter on Amazon so we don't have to power it
from the RV 12 v feed. Clean regulated 13.8 VDC output. Ham rig people
rated this a good unit for low noise.
will bring it all together to make our littlle inside hot tub very workable
inside our garage/shop.
so you can understand why all the fuss. The hot tub comes with an internal
electric water heater...
me thinks that could get expansive to heat the hot tub and it would take
a long time to do it unless you left the electric
on all the time making the main electric meter spin out of control.
using a propane heater just makes sence don't you think. So if we
only want to heat the tub on demand it only takes a hour or less to get
it up to temp using the propane heater.
if a blow up hot tub like this looks like fun. You can use this while
traveling fulltime. Get your own blow up hot tub.
did travel in our 5er basement alter all. Folds up to a very small package
with its own storage bag.
found ours at where else... Walmart.com MSPA
USA Bubble Spa B-130 with free shipping.
Goofing off in
prime time weather...
to fess up we goofed off most of last week. We did go to Costco for Michelin
LTX M/S2 truck tires on Wednesday but that was about it. Just enjoying
our winter home. That's enough me thinks for right now. We will have to
get busy and clean the 5er inside and out as it's dirty from the winter
boondocking in Quartzsite. Two guys in a 5er not exactly ready to start
a "Merry Maids" franchise. Men and cleaning are not words that go together.
Guess the above picture sort
of sums up the attitude of some people in the Tucson area in Pima county.
A liberal bastion in southern AZ that has a different mind set than the
typical right wingers in the rest of AZ. Isn't that how the rest of the
country thinks of Arizona anymore... and for us to see a little liberal
thinking in this desert mecca is a welcome thought. Little did we know.
We see a Facebook page is up and running called Start
Our property is on the very
east edge of Pima county. You can throw a stone from our land and have
it land in Cochise county to the east where Benson is located. Not
sure what it's political climate is yet. Assume more like Pima as so close
and southern. This whole area was a part of Mexico many moons ago and just
tends to have a little more respect for diversity and culture. We are meeting
our neighbors and they are very friendly and have welcomed us. It's not
like we are on a close in city neighborhood as we are on the dead end of
a dirt/gravel lane. Each property has an entrance gate. No
Our property gate.
Each 4 acre property is fully
fenched as there are range cattle out here after all. And a good fence
does restrain the dogs... not that any of them are a problem. Any visit
is announced... so to speak or bark as the case may be. We feel secure
with neighbors looking out for each other. We are all located on dead end
private roads and are here because we like it that way... off the beaten
path. High up with vast vista views. But still not that far out of it all.
Just a few miles to Benson and under 40 miles to Sierra Vista or Tucson.
Now we may get more active
this week as we found a top end treadmill on craigslist and will be going
down to Sierra Vista to look and buy it. That means a stop at Lowes of
course for more stuff (2x4)s etc. so Terry can finish the back shed that
the orig owner never finished.
There is extra siding for
it... just needs some proper framing done as Terry sez. It has a cement
floor (poured at the same time as the garage/shop) and it has quality windows
and door... just needs to be closed in. Sort of an eye sore... that we
want to take care of.
Terry did got on his "Merry
Maid" outfit and cleaned the shop/gar some so he could put down our green
grass (indoor/outdoor carpet) on the back side near the rear door.
Next the inflatable hot tub goes in. He needs me to help carry it. May
not put water in it right now but it needs to get out of the basement of
the 5er before we travel. Want to at least blow it up to see if it still
is secure for air pressure. Bet there will be water water in it by
later this week... Don't Ya Think. Open the back (above picture) shop/gar
roll up door and watch the moon while soaking in the spa. A little patio
out the back garage door would be nice and is in the plans. After all...
Got to start to get the spa... health center (treadmill)...
and later pool area in the steel building ready. Remember I always
said I get half for spa, pool... and Terry gets the rest of the
building for his shop. Get out the tape measure to see who gets what.
Are we having fun yet.. Yes Indeedy...
I love my new
a Datastorm satellite service is needed when out in the boonies BUT in
this winter sticks and bricks fast is better. No more waiting for web pages
to download, they just blink and appear, and how should I say, with video,
no more buffering pauses. Just click and watch. My... that is nice, I'm
going to get used to it in short order, me thinks. Not to mention all the
stuff I can do now that the HD TV has Wi Fi and even the DirecTV box is
hooked to the internet. 6 thousand more movie options along with TV Apps.
watch DVD recorded stuff on the computer and send pictues from the computer
to the big HD TV screen. HBO has a service, I can watch HBO shows on the
computer. Like most of these extras, probably wont use most of it, but
cool to know it's there. Technology designed to be used only by the nerds
who come up with this stuff. Most people just want to turn these things
on and use a simple interface. Who reads the manual. If they do, do they
remember any of it. Like a fancy Digital SLR camera, most are set to auto
Our portal to the world...
The small dish is the Wi-Power (WiMax) system. All the electronics is in
the LNB right on the dish. The power is fed to it by two unused leads in
the Cat5 Lan network cable. The white little box is just a grounding protection
device. The big dish is of course our DirecTV. Notice only one LNB
head. New design as it will pick up all satellites for HD. No more
multi head LNBs needed. It still has four coax connectors multi feeds.
It's strange being retired
Bell telco not having DSL but that's not available this far out... not
even cable, so Microwave is the answer.
did make it to CostCo the other day and ordered 6 new truck tires. Michelin
LTX M/S2. 10 ply, 70,000 miles, nitrogen inflated. $190 each. Same
price as GoodYear Silent Armor tires. We got in ahead of the tire
price increases. They will call when they are in. Just in time as after
we were home noticed the left front was going down. Had a cut on the inside
wall. Now running without a spare but not to worry with a dully, just move
tires around if one goes bad. Only need four tires in a pinch and have
missed the guy with the two kitchen island chairs. He works nights so only
at home till 10 AM. Talked to him and we will stop when we go back for
the tires. See last post for a look at them.
we were in Tucson we took a little time to drive through the Saguaro
National Park in (east) Tucson. They have a 8 mile one way drive
and now that it is spring some blooms were out. Free with Senior pass so
A fun day was had by all...
Oh almost forgot Terry is loving his new kitchen. When in Tucson we stopped
at the 17
St. Market for some Chinese and Thai cooking ingredients. Here
he is cooking Pad Thai on his new stove.
Just think I had to eat it...
First night it was with chicken... second night with pork. I'm Pad
DAMN THIS INTERNET IS FAST.
Now reflecting the years
ago being an early adopter with 24 and 48 kbs dialup. And I thought
it was beyond belief what we could do connecting to the outside world so
to speak or type as the case may be. No graphical interface back
then. You do remember CompuServe
and later Prodigy
(online service) don't you. Not you kids of course... but I dought
if any of those are reading this blog. Listening to the modem chirp
on connect was high tech. All this was a natural as I worked back then
in a telco in a big central office with circuits connecting cities and
business to each other. That's we were the only game in town and we were
busy trying to stay ahead of it all. A rewarding career learning the latest
advances as they were introduced. It was changeling keeping up with technology
advances. We had to prove we were up to the task along the way. Like
many professions continuing education was a must. My original advanced
training was at DeVry Tech where we used slide rules and most electronic
equiptment still had vacume tube. To say the least, later on we learned
as we worked.
Now back to here... with
all the wind (La
Nina brings flood risks and drought to West) we can keep the DataStorm
dish on top of the RV down, so it doesn't blow away, since we have two
new dishes to replace it on the side of the house.
Today is that special day
we remember our mothers with even more intensity, than what we do everyday.
If yours is still with you in this life... OMG feel blessed, and let her
know how much she is loved.
Now I think my Mom should
at least have her picture flow around the world on the internet, on and
on as they say. Winding up on some server in a cloud forever.
My favorite picture... Taken
with a Polaroid Instant camera way back when. I had to run out to the RV
to find the picture. I got in a panic and worried I had lost it.
This was taken by me, in my first home which she helped with a loan for
a down payment. That's when home loan interest rates were over 14%. I assumed
a loan to get this house. Years later when time to sell... finding out
even that deal was not so hot as the house was over priced due to being
able to get it with an assumed loan at a much lower rate. First house,
live and learn. Did better on later home deals. But it was my first,
and my mom was happy to see her son in a home. Proud is the word I guess.
It is with a lump in my throat
that I honor my mom today. I was born the youngest of three boys, a preemie
at 7 1/2 months (I'll show you my long birth certificate if you want) and
was never expected to live. That was back in 1947 mind you. I don't
remember, but it's reported they carried me around in a womans shoe box.
Tiny and sickly to be sure. Look at me know, or as I say... no pictures
please. My mother gave me life and I did her proud by serviving.
She later got Polio, in
the early 1950's and was never expected to walk again. (I was too young
to remember). She like me was a fighter and came back to have a full but
hard life untill later it came back to haunt her when she got Post-polio
syndrome. (Disabling effects that appear decades after the initial
polio illness). What a kick in the pants, you are one of the few who servive
polio and it cames back to hit you again much later in life. She died at
83 after also dealing with Alzheimer's. A strong woman who gave me life...
and worked hard on her own life... Now there goes that lump in my throat
again. I like to think we both were fighters and survivors. Thanks Mom.
What more can
hanging out in our new winter home getting it set up to our liking.
roses are doing fine as you can see. Remember when they promised
are off to Tucson on Wednesday to buy 10 ga wire so Terry can wire up the
RV outlet. He has installed the box on the north side of the garage/shop.
A 70 foot run so needs 10 ga. Another graigslist deal for the wire as the
big box home stores want 51 cents a foot and the guy on graigslist wants
19 cents. Save enough to drive to Tucson for it.
since we want to go a brand new Costco store right on I-10 and price/order
tires for our truck. Michelin LTX MS2 tires at $190 each... but we want/need
six... $1335 Och. but since we have the Executive Card we get cash back
at the end of the year.
that Terry wants to explore the 17th St. Market for Asian cooking stuff
and a Silver Supply store for his chain making hobby.
done yet we want to look at some kitchen island chairs that we also found
It's hard finding items
that fit in but these may do as our appliances are all white. The cabinets
are maple so just finding oak stuff won't work. Still looking for a kitchen
That's for Wednesday but
what I'm looking forward to is our appointment with Wi-Power an
internet access company associated with the local electric company to show
up Thursday morning to install our internet microwave WiMax service. Anyway
it think it is WiMax if I did my research correctly. I'm tired of
the slow buffering on new (Youtube) videos etc. with our DataStorm satellite
system. Sure it's great when on the road to get the internet anywhere
and most of the time it works to our satisfaction... but now in this winter
base I want a faster service. I want to WiFi my Droid phone to stream
the NPR station out of Tucson and our favorite NPR station back in IA on
the new service since I have a wireless router to hook up to it.
Our new Sony 55" HD TV even has has WiFi built in.
So me thinks 5 Meg unlimited
download and 512K upload bandwidth service for $70 might do the trick.
(same price as our DataStorm) When traveling we can put it on vacation
mode for six months as we can also do with our DataStorm service when here.
So we can use one or the other. If both of those fail still have my Droid
phone using PdaNet
3.0 (check ou the new 3.0 improved version) for unlimited internet
assess. Don't want to abuse that as cell companies are trying more and
more to limit high usage. Don't want to show up on their radar screen if
I can help it.
Happy in the high desert....
wish you were here Tad... Ok if it hs to be next October so be it.
where we are at right now. DataStormUsers
map ID 98
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