Sue at the tee blocks on hole number seven

Bike & golf & movie

Okay, by now you know the routine. Another perfect day in paradise. Morning: bike ride. Returned our movie rental and picked up a new one. Doodled around some new neighborhoods that we’d never been in before and saw some really amazing homes. Got home for lunch at 12:30. Sue read a bit. I sent a few emails and then started the latest Miriam Toews novel.

Rudy all set to tee off at hole number seven.Then at 3pm we were off to the golf course. Good times again. Had a slow foursome ahead of us and just barely finished 9 holes before darkness set in. Of course, the red hues of the setting sun lighting up Superstition Mountain made the scenery spectacular (again). With cooler weather forecast for the the next week today may be the last afternoon golf game for a few days.

Whoa! almost getting too dark to golf.Got back to the house and had warmed up Chinese leftovers for supper — and they were better than they were yesterday! Skyped with Jim a bit. Watched yesterday’s Daily Show before watching tonight’s Redbox feature: Beginners.


Working hard

I spent the morning working on the MIT website, trying to make the banner work. Then I got a logo job from Tim — and spent at least an hour looking for the font I needed to convert the jpg to a vector, without luck. Finally, thoroughly frustrated, Sue and I went for a morning walk. We walked through the MountainBrook golf course on our way to Walgreen’s. There we picked up a movie and some chocolate. We walked back the same way. Had lunch at home at around 12:30.

After lunch Sue read and I continued working on computer jobs. At 4:30 we went to the driving range and scattered a bucket of balls. We stopped at Chen’s Bistro, the Chinese restaurant here at our corner, and ordered a couple of dishes for take-out.

Supper was pretty good, although perhaps not as tasty as the Chinese take-out we had a week or two ago from the other Chinese restaurant. We watched a bit of local news and then I put in the DVD and we watched “Crazy, Stupid, Love”. We liked it — it reminded me of the movie “Sideways”. After the movie (and after having a bit of chocolate for a snack) we watched some TV and then went to bed early. Tired. Can’t keep my eyes open any longer. Good-night.

Cycling (and hiking) to the Hieroglyphics

Whew! What a busy day we had today.

Rudy and Sue hiking at Superstition MountainWe got our cycling shorts on and wore our regular shorts over them. We put on our hiking boots and strapped Sue’s hiking pole to the bike carrier. Then we cycled the 8 or 9 kms to the parking lot from where you can hike the trail up to the hieroglyphics up on Superstition Mountain. The last time we did this was last March when Tim and Carmen joined us for the hike. The day was lovely — about 75 degrees with a slight breeze. We met a couple of other hikers along the way but mostly we just enjoyed the quiet and the beauty on our own. The hike up to the hieroglyphics took us about 45 minutes. We took a few photos. Then half an hour to hike back. The complete trip, including biking there and back, took us 2.5 hours.

Rudy and Sue at the hieroglyphics up on Superstition MountainAfter lunch Sue sat outside and visited on the phone while I worked on the MIT website a bit more — making a few new banners which rotated on a sort of slideshow. Because of our late lunch we didn’t have that much time before our 3 o’clock tee time at Mountain Brook. Again, the afternoon was just ideal for us. No pressure from golfers behind us, great temperature, great scenery. And we both made some pretty good shots and felt like however slow, we are making progress. We’ll probably go again!

Stopped at Bashas’ to pick up a few groceries before heading home for supper (baked spaghetti) and then Monday Night Football. Unfortunately my New York Giants look like they’ve cooked their season by losing (yet again!) — Drew Brees and the Saints posted 577 yards of offense and beat the Giants 49-24.

After the game I undid most of my banner work on the MIT site — when Sue showed me how ugly it looked on the iPad. Nothing like ‘user-testing’ when you’re doing web work!

Grey Cup Sunday

Watched our regular Sunday morning TV shows this morning. Then Sue went for a bike ride (and returned our movie rental) and I repaired the tap for the front yard garden hose with parts we bought at the hardware store yesterday. Then it was time to watch some NFL. Sue sat outside in the sun and read while I watched a couple of football games.
At around 4:30 I started watching the big Grey Cup game. It was showing on ESPN3, streaming on the internet. We watched the BC Lions win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on my computer, and kept an eye on the Denver – San Diego game on the Sony.
Watching the Grey Cup on my computerAfter watching 60 Minutes Sue got busy in the kitchen and whipped up (another!) delicious meal — shrimp and rice and a salad. Then we watched the Sunday Night Football game. Evening ended with a bit of ice cream for night snack, some more TV, and to bed. Tomorrow we’ll probably go hiking up to the hieroglyphics in Superstition Mountain.


Had a problem with the ensuite toilet this morning — for a while now the water has kept on running a bit long after a flush. So I took the tank apart, looked up a couple of youtube videos on how to fix it.
We decided to go on a bit of a road trip after lunch. So I put my Steve Jobs book aside and we got in the van after 1pm. Sue had a shopping list for Walmart. And we wanted to see the Maricopa area, about an hour southwest of Gold Canyon.
cotton-picking-sueWe had a nice drive down to Maricopa. Once we got there we drove around in a few of the neighborhoods there — and both of us were pleasantly surprised! Instead of a dilapidated dying community we found nice homes, nice yards, not very many ‘for sale’ signs, and lots of families. Children playing outside. Parks. Malls. Nothing like the long barren stretch of (litter-filled) desert we drove through to get there.
We visited the Walmart in Maricopa. Not too crowded with Saturday shoppers. Sue got most of the things she had on her list. Next we went to the ACE hardware store. Again, a nice surprise. Incredibly helpful salespeople, friendly, knowledgable. So I asked all my questions about how to fix the sprinkler system, the outside tap, the toilet. Got the right parts.
On our way home we stopped in Chandler at a couple of discount clothing stores. I looked for sandals (and didn’t buy any). We got home just before sunset. Enough time for me to replace the filler valve on the toilet. All fixed, works great. Then we had our gin and tonics and barbecued a couple of steaks. Sue made some great rice and snow peas and tomato and avocado salad. A very fine supper.
After supper I finished my book. Then we watched the (Redbox) movie “Lincoln Lawyer”. I felt like I might have seen it before, but we both enjoyed it. After the movie a bit of late night TV, iPad Scrabble for Sue, journal for me. Tomorrow? NFL on TV all day. Yes!

A Satisfied Mind

A Satisfied MindJust listening to Bob Dylan’s “Satisfied Mind” (from the underrated “Saved” album) as I write this. Reading about how Steve Jobs loved Dylan’s music and met with him on several occasions in the Steve Jobs biography made me put together a Dylan playlist on iTunes and that’s what I’ve been listening to for the past couple of days.
Today is “Black Friday”, the biggest shopping day in the U.S. It’s called ‘black’ because retailers are ‘in the black’ after big sales today (as compared to ‘in the red’). We did NOT go shopping today. We went for a long walk (to Walgreen’s to return a movie rental and to rent another) in the morning. It had rained yesterday so we walked on the shoulder of the highway. The sun was shining. The temperature was comfortable (shorts and t-shirt).
After lunch I continued tweaking the new MIT website — got a little into WordPress. Then, before we knew it, and long before I got into my book and Sue got to finish her’s, it was 3pm and time to go golfing.
We tried to start on the back nine but there was a foursome teeing off (slowly) and soon another cart came roaring up and complained that we were ‘butting in’. So we went back to hole number one and did our usual round. A bit better today than last time — I shot 16 over (on nine) and Sue was 25 over. No waits, no one behind us. Great scenery. Great shadows on Superstition Mountain as we finished the last hole. Still, none too early — it was pretty much dark by the time we got home and sat down for supper. Sue made pizza.
After supper we watched our movie, “A Better Life“, about a Mexican illegal immigrant father in Los Angeles. No big-name actors, but a good story.
After that we watched some CBC shows (live-streaming and podcasts): Lang and O’Leary Exchange, the At Issue Panel, Rex Murphey, and even a short TED talk. It’s cool that we can do this — got the computer hooked up to the big Sony TV and sound coming through the Bose sound system — so it’s just like at home. After TV I wrote my journal, Sue played some iPad scrabble. It was the end of another perfect day in paradise — and I went to bed with ‘A Satisfied Mind’.

Thanksgiving: American-style

The biggest holiday of the year here started out looking kind of gloomy. And it was cloudy all day — but still nice and warm. We spent the day inside, sitting in front of the TV, watching football. Two NFL games, one on CBS, the other on FOX. Then it was time for supper. Everything was closed today — BSue just barely got to Bashas before the 3pm closing time to buy a loaf of bread. We were going to go for pizza to the Firehouse Bar & Grill. But we got there just after 7pm (to watch the Thursday Night NFL game) and the waitress told us the cook had gone home — all we could get with our drinks was a plate of nachos. Beggars can’t be choosers. After the game we came home and had dessert. I worked on a new theme for the MIT cycling website, and before I went to bed I had uploaded it and made sure all the links were working. I went to bed listening to the (loud) dishwasher, rain pounding on our barbecue outside (that’s something we certainly are not used to here!), and the little TV in the bedroom.

Cycling, golf, movie — that’s the routine

After breakfast we got on our bikes and headed out around our loop. Today the temperature was 80 degrees, quite a bit warmer than it has been lately. At Walgreens I picked up my Redbox movie. Then after lunch I cut down the 2 dead trees in our backyard. I found a nice saw in the garage and I managed to fit all the cut up branches in our big garbage bin. I skyped Werner for a bit of an update. Then at 3pm we went golfing. We had to wait quite a bit for a couple of ladies ahead of us (they were even poorer golfers than we are!) and eventually skipped a hole and passed them. Not that we are so good — no, today we shot crappy! We finished off the golf by putting around on the practice green for a few minutes before heading back home. Spaghetti for supper. Then time to watch the DVD: “Bridesmaids”. It was even worse than our golfing today! Way worse.
The local news had lots of video of the flames up on Superstition Mountain where a small plane with 6 people on board had crashed just before sunset today. Not that far away from us. Sounds like a guy came down here to pick up his 3 kids to take them back to his town for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving. Sad story.
A bit of late night TV before calling it a day.

Watching the Camino de Santiago

A bit of reading this morning while Sue was on the phone. Then we went for a long hike around Silly Mountain — the Jackrabbit Trail — before coming home for lunch. We showered and then hopped into the van and headed down to San Tan Village in Gilbert. We visited the Apple Store, Macy’s, walked up down some of the shopping streets, picked up some cheap wine at the Wine Store. We were nearly late for the movie. Well, actually we WERE late — couldn’t find the theatre for a while. By the time we were there we were about 15 minutes late for the 3:25pm start time. But… when we found our seats we were the only ones in the theatre and the movie and the previews hadn’t started. So I guess they don’t run the movie if there are no paying customers. Sure enough, as soon as we sat down the lights dimmed and the previews began.
The movie was so-so. It was called “The Way” and it was about Martin Sheen doing the 800km Camino de Santiago walk in Spain. Sue liked it. By the time we got out of there it was 5:45 and pretty much dark. We got caught in a bit of traffic on the #60 (accident). We made a stop at the fruit and vegetable market that Sue likes in Apache Junction. They were ready to close too, so Sue had to hurry her shopping.
Supper at home — leftovers from yesterday. Caught the tail-end of the Republican Presidential candidates debate on CNN. Ho-hum. Bla bla bla. At nine o’clock we watched Frontline. A bit of late night TV and then to bed.

Blue Monday? Not quite.

Began the morning looking like we would be couped up inside all day — the sky was cloudy, a shroud hung over Superstition Mountain, the air was cold, the ground was wet. And the forecast wasn’t great. Sue tried a few times to go sit outside and read and always ended back up inside a few minutes later. I read my Steve Jobs book — pretty much all day. Then in the afternoon it looked like it might clear up, although it was still cool. Why don’t we go for nine holes of golf?
The guy in the clubhouse misunderstood Sue’s request and she came back to the van announcing that the course was closed ‘for repairs every Monday after 1’. What?? Go back and check that again. No, the DRIVING RANGE is closed every Monday afternoon. Of course you can golf!
And golf we did. Sue’s game was getting better. My game showed flourishes of greatness — with some serious disasters mixed in. But the weather? Outstanding. Took of my sweatshirt on the first hole. T-shirt and shorts. Sun shining. No wind. Stunning views. Even some great drives and putts — a par, even!
After golf we came home, took the garbage to the street, had leftover Thai food from yesterday a delicious fresh new homemade mexican enchilada dish that Sue made especially for us today, and watched the first 3 quarters of Monday Night Football. Patriots hammered the Chiefs. Boring. Switched to a PBS special about Woody Allen — much more entertaining. Someday we’ll get the complete box set of Woody Allen movies and watch or re-watch them all.