Monthly Archives: June 2013

Ten days ago, Ethel and I were playing at The Legend At Arrowhead, and this is what we saw at the lake on the 18th hole:

rowofcootsThose are “coots”. One of the guys we were playing with said that they line up there looking for fish. If so, it doesn’t look like they’d seen any in a while.

The title of this post is a shout-out to Brooks and Dunn, the 90’s country music duo. Today, I’m listening to Clint Black Radio on Pandora, which is going to generate a bunch of nice traditional honkey-tonk type music. Much to my surprise, I learned that Brooks and Dunn were the biggest selling musical duo of all time – beating even Simon and Garfunkel. I’d also sort of thought of them as the Country Hall and Oates, and I’m still not sure that they aren’t the same guys – you never see ’em at the same parties.

Right now, I’m hearing Randy Travis sing “I’m Gonna Love You Forever, Forever And Ever Amen”. Good stuff.

This morning was another 10 miles, plus some core and resistance work. Time was when I would eat some raisins and honey before a workout like this, and drink GatorAde during the run, and then eat a protein bar or shake afterwards. But now that I’m on the Atkins diet (because Ethel is on the Atkins diet) I do this workout with nothing before, PowerAde Zero during, and my post-workout meal is a Tupperware bowl with two cans of tuna, two spoonsful of mayo, a handful of shredded mozzarella, and some pickles. Yum, yum!

So far, I’m not having the effects that other folks get from Atkins. Maybe it’s too much cheese.

Okay, enough of this. Time to get back to work after lunch.

This just showed up in my Pandora window:


I have to admit, it looks like this guy needs a LOT of testosterone. I don’t think that he has any at all.

And I think his pants are about to fall off. And, if the man doesn’t have any testosterone, he probably would be pretty embarrassed if his pants fell off.

I’m glad that I don’t have this problem. They say that baldness can be caused by excess testosterone, which would make me a Man’s Man’s Man.

…who, me? I have been busy, busy, busy!

In my Rosetta Stone (which is one of the ways in which I have been busy, busy, busy) there was a lesson in which people discussed their work and their hobby. “Mi trabajo es enseñar, pero mi pasatiempo es tocar la guitarra”  (My profession is teaching but my passtime is playing the guitar). “Mi trabajo es cocinar, pero mi pasatiempo es estudiar español” (My job is cooking, but my hobby is studying Spanish).

One of the things that I noticed was that none of the examples said “Mi trabajo es ingeiero de software, pero mis pasatiempos son tocar el guitarra y el banjo y el ukulele, y correr, y levantar los pesos, y la escalada de roca, y esquiar, y el pareasaidismo, y jugar al golf, y tirar al arco, y el snokel y el buceo  y  el surf, y estudiar español”. (My job is software engineer, but my hobbies are playing the guitar and banjo and ukulele, and running, and lifting weights, and rock climbing, and skiing, and skydiving, and playing golf, and archery, and snorkeling and scuba and surfing, and studying Spanish). I didn’t see any examples like that.

That doesn’t even mention meetings, or taking care of a house and two condos and an acre of desert landscaping.

So, yeah, I’ve been busy.

Here lately, I’m not doing all of those things. The banjo and uke are gathering dust – I am picking up the guitar when I’m in the greatroom and Ethel is cooking. Skydiving is set aside while we take PADI lessons to get certified for SCUBA before our trip to Isla Mujeres this year. Each week we’re going to go climbing up in Jack’s Canyon, and each week it gets put off for another week. And golf is if-and-when.

But Ethel wants to get certified, so that’s where the effort is now.  I’m still doing (almost) daily study in my Rosetta Stone and corresponding with my amiga de correspondencia, but if Ethel sees me studying anything other than the PADI book she gets antsy.

I’m still running (well, I’m jogging, but that’s a step up from the waddling that I was doing for a few months) right at forty miles per week, and doing my light lifting and core.

And taking ZMA so that I will have plenty of free testosterone, so that I won’t look like that poor fellow in the picture.

Today’s Phoenix NWS page:

HotI always find it amusing that the Phoenix forecast doesn’t say “Hot” until the forecast high is 110 F or above. The next two days, at 109 and 108 F respectively, are “Sunny”.

This morning, I was out in the yard before 5 AM, and it was glorious In fact, it’s still pretty nice out there, in the 80s (writing this at 7:49 AM). And last night, after the sun went down, even though it was still above 100 F, it was pleasant enough – not having that sun beat down on one’s skin helps, and there was a nice breeze.

Evenings and mornings can still be very nice here in unutterably gorgeous New River, but the days are bleached-out and oppressive. And they will be until at least September. Might as well get used to it. Can’t dance.

The weekend’s activities are filling in – tomorrow morning will be my long waddle, at the gym. Just too dang hot to do a long run on the roads – haven’t acclimated to the heat yet, and I won’t acclimate as long as it’s that hot.

Then Ethel drives to Scottsdale to show her car – somebody is looking to buy it – and I’ll drive down to Arrowhead to go to their Dick’s Sporting Goods archery shop – that’s where the best one is, they say.

Then a regular Saturday – work in the yard, jump in the pool, repeat until it’s too hot – and then we have a Founder’s Day get together at our home group.

Sunday morning, we have a 5:45 tee time at Legend at Arrowhead, then a regular Sunday until the grandson comes to spend the night.

So, by Monday, I should be burned and dehydrated. A regular June weekend in Arizona.


There, just outside of my office door, is our pool.


It looks inviting.

But in order to get to that pool, I will have to walk through…The Inferno.It’s after 6 PM, up here at elevation, and it is 107 F out there as we speak

If I do get into the pool, then when I get out of the pool – since it’s about 5% humidity – I will be FREEZING (due to evaporative cooling) until the water is off off me, at which time I will again be bursting into flame.

Here in the house, it’s 78 F and air conditioned.

So I reckon I’m not going to do it. I’m going to stay in here. and complain about having to pay for the pool : )

It’s just plumb nuts to live in a place where it is this hot. And certainly to live in a place where it is still this hot, at 6:10 PM, in early June.

But Ethel wants to live in a place that is this hot, so this is where we live.

And Ethel wants a pool, so we have a pool.

But I’ll be danged if’n I’m a-gonna get in it. I can be less uncomfortable with less trouble sitting here.

But I’m feeling sort of sluggish, so I reckon that I’ll walk around the house.


Remember when we had the Thailand Tsunami, and for weeks they were posting pictures of amazing never-before seen undersea creatures that had been washed up out of the dark depths of the Pacific onto the Phuket shoreline?

Behold my lunch:


Okay, no, that ISN’T a new species of crustacean – that’s Tuna Salad w/shredded cheddar as a cabbage wrap.

Ethel has gone Atkins, which means that I have, too. When Ethel quit smoking, I did too. I have been married way too many times to try to buck trends; if Ethel rubs blue mud in her navel, then watch me rub blue mud in mine, too.

Atkins means “low-carb”, which for the first few weeks means “cabbage”. Oh, you can eat all of the steaks and eggs and cheese that you want – sometimes, I have steak and egg and cheese sandwiches, with no bread.  Sometimes I mix it up a bit – I’ll have steak and steak and egg, or cheese and cheese and steak, or egg and egg and egg (but then I always add some steak and cheese).

Ethel’s been out of town since this started, which means that I’ve been operating with my own limited imagination (well, *I* can imagine a steak and steak and steak sandwich, with a side order of fried cheese). It never occurred to me to make some tuna salad with shredded cheese and wrap it up in cabbage, because, frankly, who WOULD think of eating something that looks like The Wrap From The Black Lagoon?

It’s actually tasty, and it’s crunchy (which is something that is definitely missing from this whole low-carb thing) but it’s just the sort of thing that I would never have thought of (although right now I‘m wondering – why AREN’T we frying the cheese?) And it’s probably still not the kind of thing that I will think of. That’s why God made Ethel.

Her omelets are better than mine, as well. I tend to leave omelets on the stove at low heat, and then go back to work until I can smell them. My omelets are nothing if not firm. But hers taste better.

So far, several days of Atkins have not turned me into a hardbodied hunkling. I’ve lost a few pounds, but not so’s you could tell.

But it has given me a whole new appreciation for cabbage.

Yesterday, for the first time, I shot a compound bow.


This was Floyd’s old bow, which he gave he when he bought a new one. it’s got all kinds of fancy thises and thats, pulleys and wheels and sights and whatnot. Many of the things have functions that are far beyond me, but if I keep playing with it, I’ll probably figure them out.

The bow pulls at 60 lbs. Now, I tend to think of myself as being in pretty good shape, but after a couple of hours, it got to be pretty difficult to tug that dang wire back. Today, my shoulders feel like I had a whole lot of tetanus shots, and I have a spot on my left thumb knuckle that doesn’t have any skin on it.

After pulling on the dang thing for a couple of hours in the range area, we then walked a course – a nice trail through the desert, where we would come to a stopping place with a target at the end of the stretch – a target with pictures of critters. If you shot inside the kill zone of the critters, then the critters were dead.

A lot of fun. And I can imagine spending a lot of money in Dick’s Sporting Goods’ archery department. I did manage to break something on the bow the first day. So sue me.

You’ll note the floppy hat. And the camo cargo pants, and hiking boots. I definitely had my New River on.