A Day of Music

Sunday: I woke up early. Watched CBS Sunday Morning. Then Fareed. Then Reliable Sources. Had French toast with fruit and peanut butter somewhere in there. Then I talked to Alex about trying to burn an iTunes movie to DVD — ended up downloading the movie from torrents and sharing with her via Dropbox.

After lunch I started watching golf (Woods vs Mickelson at Pebble Beach). I was thinking it would be a good day to go golfing — sun shining but a bit windy and cool — probably not too many golfers out today. But Sue decided we would rather go to the big Methodist church on King’s Ranch Road to hear some classical guitar concert. So, of course, that’s what we did. We walked through the golf course to get there. Very nice church (we’d never been inside before). The guitarist was a professional — played some highbrow music very well. Concert ended after about 90 minutes and we went to Walgreen’s to return last night’s DVD. Then back through the golf course.

Golf was over by the time we got home. Watched 60 Minutes and barbecued big fat pork sausages to go with the beans and salad Sue made. Sue liked supper even less than I did.

Then it was time to get comfy in front of the telly and watch 5 hours of Grammy Awards. We didn’t think we’d know any of the performers, but actually the show was quite entertaining and we knew lots of the artists. They’re all getting older with us. Bruce Springsteen, Tony Bennett, Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Diana Krall, and a whole lot of Adelle, who won 6 grammies. And many references and tributes to Whitney Houston who died yesterday. And just like that, the day was done!

Bike, golf, movie

Monday: Cooler today. Sue did laundry. Sue went grocery shopping. We went for a bike ride to Walgreen’s, picked up a DVD, noodled around in Mountain Brook then came home for lunch. After lunch I took the van to the car wash for an oil change and a car wash while Sue finished doing the laundry. I had booked a tee time for 3:30 so we really had no time to sit around. Shorts but a sweater for some of the holes, although the sun came out and it got nice after a couple of holes. We both had some good shots, but too many bad shots in between. But we had fun. After golf we came home and Sue got busy in the kitchen. What’s totally crazy is the most people wouldn’t believe that we eat fantastic meals EVERY SINGLE DAY! Not just when we have company, although we eat well then too. Even though it’s just the two of us, Sue makes a beautiful meal every day. Here’s a look at our dinner today:

Better than Mom's cooking!Roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and ‘shmoant fat’ (cream gravy), an avocado and tomato salad, asparagus, and broccoli, and a glass of red wine to wash it down. Crazy, eh?

After dinner Sue cleaned up the dishes and I took out the garbage and started my blog post. Only crap on TV so we’re going to sit down and watch my Redbox DVD rental, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, which is nominated for “Best Visual Effects”. After that, if we don’t find anything good on TV, we’ll watch another of my downloaded Oscar-nominated films.

A Day in Scottsdale

Tuesday: We went to Scottsdale soon after breakfast. The drive was less than an hour and seemed even shorter. We’d forgotten what an attractive city it really was! We’d left our house in the pouring rain (yes, POURING RAIN!) with the temperature only 8 degrees and by the time we got to our destination it was sunny and 12 degrees.

big fiddle

I didn't know David Crosby was Ukrainian!

Our first stop was the Museum of Musical Instruments. It had been recommended to us by Dave and MaryLou who were going to meet us there for lunch. But first we had a couple of hours to view the exhibits. The museum is excellent. The building is new, the displays are very attractive, and the audio tour is at your own pace. We probably spent too much time in the Africa and Asia rooms and rushed through the North America room because it was getting close to lunch time and we had arranged to meet the Dave and MaryLou in the museum cafe at 12:30.

After lunch we did a quick walk through the musical ‘artist’ gallery and the ‘experience’ gallery. We were hoping to make the 2pm tour at our next museum, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. tour guide at taliesin west

The weather was cool again when we got the famous winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright. And tours were getting booked up quickly. We missed the 2 o’clock but our 2:30 tour left early because it was all booked up. Our tour guide walked us around the grounds and told stories about the architect. Again, the visit was excellent, a great way to learn about this famous artist in 90 minutes. Because it was so cold our guide saved his longer talks for when we visited some of the rooms inside the house. the pool at taliesin west

We were invited to have supper with Dave and MaryLou at their Scottsdale apartment. We stopped at a Trader Joe’s before following Dave to their condo. We sat around and visited before supper. Supper included a variety of delicious pastas and a nice salad. Just as we were about to sit down to eat Dave’s brother and sister-in-law returned from their evening out (Valentine’s Day) and so we enjoyed another visit with Paul and Shirley. Dave and MaryLou thought they might be heading back to Manitoba soon. We hope we’ll still get in at least one more round of golf with them here at Mountain Brook before they leave.

We said goodbye at around 9:30 and got home an hour later. We watched a bit of late night TV, even stayed up to watch Jon Stewart and Colbert until 1:00am! Whew! We are turning into party animals!

Wayne and Justina

Wednesday: Did a bit of emailing and stuff after breakfast. Weather was cool. We went for a hike up Silly Mountain before lunch. After lunch Sue sat outside and read until around 2pm, when Wayne and Justina arrived. They’re staying at Justina’s brother’s place in Maricopa. We sat and visited for a bit and then all got into our van and went for a short ride around our loop. We ended up at Mountain Brook Golf Course where Wayne and I had a 3:30 tee time. Sue and Justina walked home from the clubhouse. Wayne and I had a pretty good time — no one behind us and never waiting for the golfers ahead of us. And although the temperature was cool, when the sun came out we actually took our jackets off and had a nice leisurely round. Back home after our game, we had drinks and appetizers and visited a bit more. I barbecued steak and the four of us sat around the table for the rest of the night. A great time, talking about France (the Peters are old pros at touring France). We said goodbye at around 10pm and watched a bit of Letterman before going to bed.

The Iron Lady

Thursday: Went cycling (for a change) this morning. Cool, had to wear our jackets. After lunch we headed out to Superstition Springs, to the Harkins 25, to see the Meryl Streep movie, “The Iron Lady”. Best actress shoe-in (according to the critics). After the movie we went for a ride around Mesa, checking out the big trailer parks. We ended up at the Superstition Springs Mall, at Macy’s. Sue bought some golfing shirts, I bought a pair of golfing pants. All ready for tomorrow, when Dave and MaryLou are coming back here for a final round of golf at Mountain Brook. We took a quick walk through the (empty) mall and then headed home, watching as the sun set behind the clouds and did its best to tint Superstition Mountain in pink. Once home, Sue made (another) great supper — spicy shrimp with pasta and a salad. After supper we called Angie and discussed options for celebrating my mom’s 80th birthday in June. Settled nothing. Sue sat and played iPad Scrabble while I watched the last period of Jets hockey on TV. Then we watched the first part of a Clinton documentary on PBS online and another of my Oscar downloads, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (Best Animated Short Film). We ended the evening by watching the 2 hour documentary “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” about the West Memphis 3. Went to bed just before midnight.

Friday Night Pizza

Friday: After breakfast Sue went grocery shopping. When she got home and we’d put the groceries away we hopped onto our bikes and went for a ride — today we headed out on highway #60 east down to where the Renaissance Festival is held. We also pedalled around Peralta Trails and once we got back to Gold Canyon we came back home along our regular route. Lunch. Sue got the pizzas ready while I watched a bit of golf on TV. Dave called to say he’d had tire trouble and wouldn’t be here before 3:30. And that’s when Dave and MaryLou arrived.

Dave tees off on hole #2   MaryLou and Dave at Mountain Brook Golf Course  Rudy and Sue at Mountain Brook Golf Course

We loaded up the van and headed out to Mountain Brook. We walked 9 holes; had to wait for the golfers ahead of us every once in a while, and only finished our last hole at around 6:15 — and it was getting dark. Went back home and Sue put the pizzas in. Had supper. After supper we watched a Whitney Houston special on TV (not that good) and some David Letterman. Everyone was tired and so we went to bed just before midnight. All day if felt like it was Saturday, but it wasn’t. But tomorrow it will be.

A Quiet Saturday at Home

Saturday: Today we said goodbye to our friends Dave and MaryLou. After our usual bacon and eggs breakfast they loaded up their car and headed north back to Manitoba. Their plan was to spend a bit of time at the Hopi mission in northern Arizona along the way.

Sue was out of commission today. She got a pinched nerve or something like that in her back yesterday during our golf game (or maybe it started on our morning cycling trip) and this morning it was worse rather than better. So we stayed home all day, hoping that a bit of rest (and some pain killers) would help her mend.

I’d gone to Bashas in the morning for some fresh bread and saw the ‘market’ tents on the parking lot. I headed back there for lunch, picking up a couple of hot dogs for my lunch. I also bought some more pills for Sue. On the cycle there I checked out the low-flying helicopter that ultimately landed in the parking lot behind Bashas — I guess there was an emergency on the Mountain Brook golf course right on hole number 11, and emergency vehicles and the helicopter were taking someone to the hospital.

I washed all our golf clubs and used golf balls in the garage. We skyped for a long time with Alex. We watched golf on TV. Then at around 5pm I went to the golf course and hit a bucket of balls on the driving range — which felt really good. The highway was crawling with Renaissance Festival visitors. I stopped by Walgreens to pick up a DVD rental and then joined the parade to get back home.

Sue spent most of the day sitting and lying on the couch with a hot pack (thanks, MaryLou) on her back. We had our leftover pizza for supper. Then we watched a couple of movies. The first film was my download of “Rundskop” (Bullhead), a Belgian film nominated for Best Foreign Film. It was pretty good — a drama about a cattle farmer who was brutalized as a child. We’ve seen four of the five nominated films in this category and I predict that the Iranian film “A Separation” will win. The second movie we watched (well, actually only I watched it; Sue fell asleep on the couch) was the DVD I rented earlier, “Hanna”. Interesting, but a bit too ‘stylized’. When it was over we had a bit of trail mix for a night snack and watched Saturday Night Live before going to bed.

Couch golf

Sunday: Woke up early and got settled in front of that TV for the Sunday morning talk shows. Sue woke up with her back feeling even worse than it did yesterday. No activities today. We read a bit. French toast for breakfast. Read some more. Waited for golf on TV to begin at 1pm. Final day of the Nationwide Open. Mickelson in the lead. Lots of drama. Show dragged on a bit when the leaders began to miss their putts. Then, just as it looked like the tournament was done, Mickelson and Bradley made birdie putts on 18 to force a 3-way play-off with Bill Haas. Haas eventually made a 45-foot putt to win it. Too late for me to go hit another bucket of balls at the golf course, although after watching golf all afternoon I felt quite inspired. It was already after 5pm. That left less than an hour for us to drive to Apache Junction to pick up my Redbox DVD rental, pick up supper from Jack-in-the-Box, and go for a short walk. We managed to do all three things, although the walk was cut a bit short! Still, we made it home with a movie and burgers in time to see the beginning of 60 Minutes. After the show we watched our movie rental, “Of Gods and Men”. The movie was number one on both of the Thiessen’s best of 2011 list as found on their website Vic & Walter Thiessen – On Movies. Well, 2 hours later, Sue and I looked at each other and wondered if we’d missed something! Ended the day with a bit of shlockey TV (what else is new?) and listened to the dishwasher as we tried to go to sleep.

It’s a Record

Monday: Sue’s back was a bit better today — I think the ibuprofen is working for her. She’s still very tentative when she moves around but there is less wincing and grunts of pain when she turns the wrong way.

So, although it’s Presidents’ Day (2 for 1 entry fee at the Renaissance Festival today!) and the weather is great, there’ll be no exercise activity today. Actually, just because Sue has a back issue doesn’t preclude me from having a bit of exercise. Ironic then that Sue went for a walk around the block today while I sat inside and read my book.

After an early lunch we headed into Scottsdale for the afternoon. Went to the Harkins theatre at Camelview 5 to see the 12:45pm showing of “Albert Nobbs” (nominated for Best Actress, Supporting Actress, and Makeup). It was better than we expected.

Then we headed up on Scottsdale Road to the Harkins at Shea Blvd for the 4:10pm showing of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” (nominated for Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Original Score). We had almost an hour to kill first so we went to a great coffee shop in the strip mall there and had coffee and watched people around us. After the movie (plot was too complex; we’ll need to either read the book or watch this movie again — or maybe watch an earlier version of the movie — to catch on to what actually happened here) we hightailed it home. Stopped at a Carl’s Jr along the way to try to drop of our Redbox DVD rental but the machine was out of order.

Got home at around 7:15. Sue got going on making supper (spaghetti and meat sauce) while I called Paul and Kathy to talk about their visit here, arriving Friday night. After supper we sat down at our respective stations in front of the TV and enjoyed part one of two 2-hour specials on PBS about Bill Clinton (Sue’s hero). Pretty good. And after that it was beddy-bye time.

And a final note of explanation to my two readers (Sue and MaryLou): Why am I writing this drivel? Is this really a ‘blog’ for anyone else to read? Why is the most interesting detail I write about every day what my snacks and meals consist of? No, this is not a general interest blog. It is a record of the ordinary mundane events of my life. In Roy Loewen’s research about the pioneers of Blumenort he reads the journals of long-dead farmers who recorded the daily weather and how much they sold their grain for — boring stuff. Okay, the weather today was sunny and about 68 degrees. The same as always. And the movies cost $6.50 for a senior ticket. That’s it for today’s important news. See you tomorrow.

A Lion in Gold Canyon

Tuesday: Hanover School Division cancelled classes today because of a big snow storm. Lucky Alex. Weather here was just fine. After reading for a couple of hours we went for a bike ride. Went to return the movie at Walgreens. Then we stopped in at the Mountain Brook clubhouse and asked whether anyone had turned in a Titliest 7-iron (Wayne Peters thought he left his club lying on the front nine here last week Wednesday). Yep, we got the club back. I tried to tie it to my bike for the ride back home. So finding the missing club was the first really good thing that happened today. But there were better things to come.

Riding back along our loop, just as we were passing some of the great holes on the Dinosaur course, I spotted a big dog running across the road just ahead of me. That’s weird! I never see loose dogs running around here. Hey, that’s not a dog. It stops on the road to look at me as I approach. It’s a mountain lion! Right here in town! It turns away from  me and saunters into the ditch and onto the golf course. I’m waving my hands like crazy, hoping Sue will see it too. Nope. She thinks I’m pointing out some features on the houses in the distance.

We’re getting close to the new fire hall they’re building on Don Donnelly. Sue thinks this may be enough cycling for her still-sore back and heads homeward, but I take a little diversion through a big open gate and cycle through the exclusive gated community of Superstition Mountain. Very nice. Nice golf courses, very nice roads, nice houses. Luckily a couple of cars were just leaving through the gates as I was cycling up to the guarded entrance and the I ‘escaped’ through the gates just as they were closing. So that was cool, too.

Lunch. More reading. Sat outside in the warm sun. Then at 3:30 we left for the golf course. Four o’clock tee time. Had to wait for a slow foursome ahead of us. But we still finished just as the sun was setting and the mountain looked great. Sue’s game was pretty good — and that was with a bad back! No excuse for me. I’ll be hitting the driving range tomorrow.

Back home for some leftover spaghetti. Then at 7 we watched part 2 of the two-part Clinton special on PBS (excellent) followed by a 2-hour Frontline about gang violence in Chicago. Sue was tired and went to bed. I wrote my blog entry and watched late night TV.

Ash Wednesday

Fire truck and ambulance in Gold CanyonWednesday: Woke up from a great sleep — I guess it helps when you go to bed after 1am (watching Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report). Breakfast was interrupted when what sounded like a school bus or big truck running on the street in front of our house turned out to be a big fire truck and an EMT van — and then I saw our neighbor lady being taken from our home in a gurney with an IV attached — YIKES! At around 11 Sue and I went for a walk — went to Walgreen’s to pick up the movie “Take Shelter”. Stopped at Bashas on the way home to pick up some fish (and imitation crab!) for our supper tonight. I also printed out the Cactus League schedule at UPS — looking forward to the start of spring training. After lunch Sue did a bit of laundry and I read.

Tonight the Republican Presidential debate takes place in nearby Mesa. The public will not be permitted into the venue although big outdoor screens will be set up in the area. Sue wanted to go see it. Maybe a chance to see Anderson Cooper close up. Or maybe Rick Santorum.

At around 4pm I went to the driving range. Sue stayed home. Worked on hitting my 5 iron. When I got home I talked to neighbor Mike for a bit — found out that his wife had fainted at breakfast and he called 911. They’re keeping her in the hospital for observation tonight, but she should be home tomorrow. Probably a lack of electrolytes he thought.

We had fish and chips for supper. Then we watched the Republican debate from 6 to 8pm. And another 60 minute news show after that. And finally at 9 we put in our movie, “Take Shelter”. It was okay. I had trouble staying awake for all of it. Then off to bed.


Golf and a couple of movies

Thursday: I wasted most of the morning on the internet while Sue went out after breakfast to shop for groceries. Her back is still not very good and so today was a ‘no exercise’ day. Actually I also watched the last 45 minutes of last night’s movie, “Take Shelter”, since I’d slept through it yesterday. I skyped with Jill a bit — talked about our neighbour’s trip to the hospital and possibilities for us to stay past the end of March. After lunch Sue spent the afternoon on the lounger in the back yard, reading. I finally finished my book (Mark Whitaker’s autobiography). Then it was time to head out to the golf course for our final golf game before Paul and Kathy come for a week. It was 80 degrees today — a beautiful day — and I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised it was a busy day at the golf course. So we ended up golfing with that same couple who were ahead of us (and golfing rather slowly) on Tuesday. But it was okay. We learned that they were leaving to go back to Ohio tomorrow — they have a house here in Peralta Trails. The golf didn’t seem to bother Sue’s back too much. And we had fun. When we got home I barbecued cheeseburgers and traced a logo on the computer for Tim. After supper we watched Jon Steward and Colbert before sitting through 90 minutes of dancing — which is the Oscar-nominated “Pina” (Best Documentary Feature). What a waste of time. But the second film (also one of my downloads) was quite a bit better: “My Week with Marilyn”, nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. I think we’ve now caught up with all the movies we need to watch before the Oscars show on Sunday. We’ve not seen “W.E.” (1 nomination), and I have not rented “Transformers” and “Harry Potter”, two movies with 3 nominations each. But in all the major categories we are good to make our own Oscar picks. We ended the night with a bit of ice cream and cookies and watched the last part of Letterman followed by Jimmy Fallon.

Saturday Cleaning — on Friday!

Friday: Another warm day in Arizona. Maybe the warmest this year. After breakfast I downloaded some new music and listened to it. Then we hopped into the van and went to the fruit and vegetable market to buy some fresh fruits. We also stopped at Fry’s, a big grocery store, and bought a few more groceries there. Then we went home and had lunch. After lunch I vacuumed the house and Sue did some laundry and cleaned the bathrooms. The she went and sat outside and read. I went to wash the car and then hit a small bucket of balls at the driving range. Then I went home and we had a little afternoon snack to tide us over until our late supper.

We drove down to the airport and Sue headed into Terminal 3 to pick up Paul and Kathy. We waited in the ‘cell phone waiting’ parking lot for about 30 minutes and then picked them up at the terminal. We drove back home along the 60, and got home at around 7pm. Sat around the table and visited.

Sue made a big Mexican tortilla for supper. Good — but we’ll need to be a bit careful not toe serve food that is too spicy for Paul. Then we sat around the table and visited until 11pm, which is 1 am for our Ontario guests. Pretty impressive. We went to bed after that.

A lazy Saturday

Saturday: Bacon and eggs with Paul and Kathy. Decided to go for a walk up Silly Mountain before lunch. The walk was an hour, not too fast, with quite a bit of visiting along the way. Paul wanted to have a bit of an itinerary for the next week so we sketched that out. Then we had lunch. Paul went for a nap, Kathy read, Sue went outside an read, I watched a bit of golf on TV until I too fell asleep. We all got into the van and went on a little tour of Gold Canyon and watched the sunset. Then we came home for happy hour. We barbecued salmon for supper and sat around the rest of the evening, visiting. We watched a couple of TED talks on TV and discussed the future of ‘the church’. Went to bed after midnight.

Academy Awards

Sunday: Are you kidding? it’s 2:16am and I’m supposed to still write my entry for the day? 

No French toast for breakfast. Fareed had a great show today. Didn’t get to watch Reliable  Sources because we had breakfast (well actually toast) at that time. Then Sue and Kathy went to Santan Village to do some shopping. I tried to read a bit. Paul sat outside and read. I made myself a sandwich at around 1. Then I watched golf — Match Tournament in Tucson. Rory McIllroy lost. The girls came home at around 4 and so I hopped into the van and went to the driving range. Blasted a bucket of balls. Came home and showered. Went back to the Firehouse Bar to pick up a couple of pizzas for supper. We ate them and watched the Academy Awards, which started at 6:30. Show was kind of boring. Hugo won a bunch, The Artist a bunch more. Billy Crystal was playing it a bit too safe as host. We all marked down our scores but didn’t really compare. Then we sat down around the dining room table and played ‘Speed Scrabble’. And then we sat around and visited. For hours. And hours. And now I’m going to bed.

Wind and dust in Gold Canyon

Monday: We slept in until nearly 9 this morning. We had breakfast and sat at the table long enough to have our first meal run into our second. A piece of leftover pizza for lunch. Then I got on my bike and went for a ride — while Sue sat on the lounger in the back yard and tried to get the warmth from the sun help her overcome her back ache. Paul and Kathy went for a walk too. I stopped at Walgreens to pick up a couple of DVDs for tonight. I also went by the golf course to see if anyone was golfing on such a windy day. Yep, they were. But not me. After a shower and happy hour we enjoyed a delicious chicken barbecue prepared for us by Paul and Kathy. We again sat around the table while I went on and on about our trip to China and Mongolia. Then we moved to the living room and we watched the first half of the James Taylor concert DVD. Discussed plans for tomorrow (shopping) and then went to bed.

Romney Wins Arizona

Tuesday: It’s a slow news day when the biggest event of the day is that Mitt Romney wins another state. After breakfast this morning we sat and talked until lunch. Leftover pizza and then the girls went off to the Chandler Fashion Mall for an afternoon of shopping while Paul and I stayed home. I gave a bit of a demo/tutorial on Photoshop to Paul. Then Paul sat in the backyard and read his book while I cycled out to Walgreens to return my 2 (unwatched) DVDs. I watched a few TED talks. It sure was taking those girls a long time to find their way home! Wonder what we’re going to do for supper. Finally the girls show up and I was surprised at how few bags they carried in. Sue had taken my broken AC adapter for my Macbook in to the Apple store and they gave her a new one. That was good. We barbecued cheeseburgers for supper. The news was reporting a Romney win in Michigan and Arizona. After supper we watched a 2-hour PBS documentary about the Amish, followed by a rerun of 60 Minutes. Tired, we went to bed at around 11:30.

Rattling around Superstition

Wednesday: We went for a bike ride after breakfast — just to Walgreen’s and back — and I had my best (to date) speed on the downhill — 65.5 kph. After a shower and lunch we set off for our day trip. Stopped for gas in Apache Junction. Stopped at the old gold mine for a look and a couple of photos. Did not stop at Tortilla Flats for ice cream. Were a bit surprised at how bad the 22 miles of winding gravel roads were to the Roosevelt Dam. Washboard. Big time. Made me glad that I have an old beater of a van for this. Not good for Sue’s bad back.

Got to Tonto National Park just before the 4:00 cut-off time for access to the cave dwelling a half mile walk up the hill. But we got in. And we all walked up. Visited with the park ranger up there — he showed me his photos of flowers and wildlife. Paul was quite afraid of heights and had to have Kathy assist him on the way down. We were doing the drive clockwise for the first time, so after the park we were looking for a cup of coffee. Stopped at a small pub (Boston diner) and got a pepsi. Drove through Superior on our way home.

Stopped at Basha’s to pick up imitation crab and a baguette. Went home and had happy hour and crab appetizers. Then we changed into long pants and walked out to the Mexican restaurant near our place for supper. Paul and Kathy were taking us out for supper. Sat outside under a big heater and next to the fireplace. It was very nice. Had a great Mexican meal. And fried ice cream for dessert. Walked back home — the evening was quite cool by now. Once home, we watched a bit of The Godfather on TV. Everyone was tired and went to bed at around 11. I stayed up and worked on a couple of projects: a logo for Tim, name tags for Len Loeppky’s tour. Then I wrote my journal. It was after 1am by the time I went to sleep.


Thursday: No internet today. Modem only had 1 light flickering so I unplugged the power and replugged — in order to reset the modem. Now no light was on. Dead. So after breakfast I headed into Apache Junction to see if I could get the modem replaced. Big sign on the MediaCom door: Internet is down in CA and AZ. Oh. Okay. But now what? When internet is restored I will have a dead modem. They can’t replace my modem because their systems are down and they need to record the serial number, etc. How will I know when they’re back up? I go back home with my broken modem.

I worked on the MJ’s logo for Tim until lunch time. Paul and Kathy took the van to Santan to shop for the afternoon. After lunch I read a bit. Sat outside a bit. Sue went to the store to get some shrimp for supper tonight. She stopped in at the cafe and found out that MediaCom is back up. So when Paul and Kathy returned I jumped into the van and went back to their office to get my modem replaced. A busy place! Had to wait my turn. Finally they replaced it. Got back home and had to fiddle with it for a while to get it to work. Now all is good. But it was 4:30, too late for Sue and I to go golfing. Oh well, maybe tomorrow.

Sue made a great supper again. Not sure that shrimp will become a regular feature of Paul and Kathy’s weekly menu, though. After supper we sat around the table and visited. Then we moved to the living room and turned on the TV. Watched a bunch of crappy TV and had ice cream with chocolate sauce for dessert. To bed by 11:30 for everyone but me.


Friday: Paul and Kathy were out for one last hike this morning by the time I got out of bed. When they returned they were excited to report that they had been surrounded by coyotes on their walk. No pictures though.

After a final breakfast with Paul and Kathy they spent the morning packing and cleaning up. Sue also did a bit of laundry. The sink was leaking again and the vacuum cleaner wand was too broken to be usable so I decided we’d try shopping for repairs and parts on the way home from the airport.  We checked the flight status of Paul and Kathy’s flight to Detroit — everything was okay. Kathy hoped that the plane would avoid the tornadoes that are causing so much destruction up in the midwest.

After lunch we left for the airport. We arrived at the airport at 1:30 and said our goodbyes. It had been another great week.

On the way home we stopped at a Trader Joe’s for more Two-buck Chuck and cheese. A couple of stops at various vacuum repair shops. Finally in Apache Junction we found a repair shop with an old guy who repaired the vacuum cleaner with 3 rivets — for 10 bucks. A great deal. And a stop at the Superstition Fruit Market.

Hurried home and got to the golf course just in time for our 4pm tee time. A couple of golfers got in ahead of us so they could finish their ‘shambo’ game, but after that we never had anyone ahead or behind us. Cool wind, but sunshine. Game was the shits. But it was fun. My feet were very sore. Sue’s back is still not 100%, but golf didn’t seem to hurt it.

We got home a little after 6. I tried to fix the drain on the kitchen sink. I tried out the vacuum cleaner repair. Sue warmed up the leftover pasta and shrimp from yesterday and made a great tomato and avocado salad. And when supper was done we sat down for our comedy channel reruns. More ‘investigative’ journalism after that — 20/20 and 48 Hours.

At home there’s a big snowstorm — highways are closed. Hope our kids are home safe and enjoying their weekend. Tomorrow we’re expecting Jim and Bonny.

Visitors from Palm Springs

Saturday: After bacon and eggs we spent a bit of time this morning cleaning up the joint. I vacuumed with my newly repaired vacuum cleaner. Sue did a couple of roads of laundry. I worked on the sink a bit more — don’t know if I fixed the leaky drain. Sue cleaned the barbecue. We had lunch. Sue went to Basha’s for groceries while I washed the van. Put more salt in the softener. Then I went to the golf course and hit a bucket of balls. Worked on my iron shots — 5, 7, and P. Sue sat out in the backyard and read. We waited for Jim and Bonny’s arrival. The were here at 5:30 — a 4.5 hour drive from their place in La Quinta (Palm Springs). We had drinks and snacks. Sat and visited. Then Sue got supper going and I barbecued chicken. Had supper. Sat around the table. Moved to the living room. Jim gave me over 100 books for the iPad. Went to bed at midnight.

Sunday Golf

Sunday: We got up at 7 and watched a bit of CBS Sunday Morning before Jim and Bonny got up and joined us. We all watched Fareed and then Sue made toast — no, not French toast; just the same old normal toast. After breakfast we all went for a walk around the block. Jim and Bonny needed to be at Ric and Helen’s house by 11, so they left as soon as we returned from our walk. Sue and I read a bit. We had lunch. Then we watched a bit of the Honda Open golf tournament on TV. Sue was feeling a bit like she was suffering from a cold. She tried to nap a bit. Then, at 3:15 we headed off to the golf course. Not too busy there. We teed off right away and played okay for the first half of the game. It was very hot today. By the time we were back at the van it was even hotter, and our golfing was more of a good walk than it was about the game. After the game we putted for a bit before riding back home. We watched 60 Minutes and then had leftover spaghetti. We were sitting in front of the TV watching the Amazing Race when Jim and Bonny returned. They’d gone to visit Harv and Barb Lane and Ric and Helen at their mobile home park. We visited a bit and then Sue got the remote control in her hands. We visited and watched a bit more TV before a night snack of cookies and tea.

Finally at around 10:30 everyone was yawning and tired and Sue announced that she was going to bed. So we all did.

Hike and a movie

Monday: Jim and Bonny were up already when we got up. Bonny hadn’t really slept well at night. Not feeling well. She opted out of the hieroglyphic hike this morning — so it was just Jim and Sue and I.

A few other folks thought it would be a great day to hike the Hieroglyphic trail.It was supposed to be quite hot today, but a bit of cloud cover seemed to keep the temperatures from reaching their projected highs. We got back from the hike and had lunch. Then the Peters had a nap while I had a shower and did a bit of computer work. We headed out to Superstition Springs Mall for a 3:00pm cheap movie: We Bought a Zoo. It was an entertaining, if somewhat artificial, movie. After the movie we came back to Gold Canyon. We stopped at Walgreens for some sinus medication for Sue, who was feeling miserable with a sinus cold. We had planned to go to the Mexican restaurant for supper but with Sue feeling poorly and me thinking perhaps our restaurant was actually not even open on Monday nights, we decided to order in pizza instead. Jim and I went to pick it up from The Hitching Post. Not bad. Sue added a salad. We skyped with Werner a bit too. Sounds like things at the SR are about as bad as ever. Karen and Sarah are planning a spring trip to Greece. We were watching the Winnipeg Jets beat the Sabres on our computer/TV. Then we watched 2 episodes of “The Mentalist” in a row. Sue went to bed early. By midnight the men we were all in bed. Hope Sue is feeling a lot better tomorrow.

Adieu, JP

Tuesday: Sue had a bad night. Severe headache. A full-blown cold. But this morning she was feeling a bit better. Jim was up since 5 in the morning, listening to music and reading on his iPad in the living room. After breakfast the Peters left on a bit of a drive: up to Tortilla Flats, maybe even to the Roosevelt Dam. Then they planned to slowly make their way back to La Quinta in California. It seemed that between Bonny’s and Sue’s less than 100% health we really hadn’t done very much. But it was nice to see them and to have them see where we’ve been hanging out.

After Jim and Bonny left Sue sent Jill an email asking about the possibility of us staying here an extra week or two. Then we sat around all afternoon. Sue did some laundry. I played on the computer. We ordered our favourite chinese food from the restaurant at the Walgreen’s corner and I also booked a Redbox DVD online. I went to pick up both at around 6 o’clock while Sue watched the Lang and O’leary Report, live streamed on CBC.

We had honey-walnut shrimp and lo mein with chicken and then sat down to watch our regular Comedy Central shows at 7pm. After that we watched our movie, a sweet little romance called “Like Crazy”. It was okay. We also watched a little bit of news, since today was ‘Super Tuesday’, where 10 states had Republican primary votes. Mitt Romney won, but it was probably closer than it should have been, so the other candidates will stay in the race. That means we’ll have this gong show for probably another month.

Went to bed before midnight. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be cool — a high of 60. Another lazy day at home, I guess.

Walk to Walgreens

Wednesday: Don’t think we did anything today except we walked to Walgreens and returned our movie and picked up a new one. Then, after a supper of leftover Chinese and a Skype with Tim and Alex, we watched the DVD, “London Boulevard”. It was so-so — a bit hard to understand the dialogue and accents, and the plot was forgettable. It was cold today. We barely made it back from Walgreens before the 11am iPod 3 announcement which I watched a live blog of on the computer. Sue read a bit in the afternoon. That’s about it. Oh yeah, Sue called Irmy who is home from Chile. And we got word back from Jill that it’s okay for us to stay here an extra 2 weeks, until mid-April. So that’s a relief.

Golfing again!

Thursday: I spent all morning and a good part of the afternoon going through a bunch of books that I downloaded using Vuze — and I worked on converting them to ePub and to Kindle versions — which works! So I uploaded them to iBooks on Sue’s iPad and a couple as Kindle versions too. We went for a bike ride to Walgreens after watching Charlie Rose until 2pm. We returned the DVD from yesterday. Tried to buy a new watch battery for Sue but they didn’t have one. We got home just in time to get ourselves ready for our 4:15 tee time. It is a perfect day for golf today. And we hit a small bucket of balls on the driving range before our game. And we had a great time — no one behind us.

For supper Sue made another great fish dish with potatoes and a salad. Then, after we watched our Comedy Central reruns, we watched the movie “We Need to Talk About Kevin”, which I had downloaded and burned to a DVD. It was pretty bleak. Then Sue watched a bit of Piers Morgan and played Scrabble before going to bed.

Our first 2012 Cactus League game

Friday: Spent the morning working on my kindle and ibook files — the kindle I ordered is supposed to arrive here on Monday. Sue read and talked on the phone. We had an early lunch. Then we headed out in the van — filled up gas (it’s getting close to $4.00 per gallon again!), and went to Talking Stick up in Scottsdale to the Salt River Field baseball park. Watched the ‘home team’ Colorado Rockies lose to the Oakland A’s. The weather was great — about 74 degrees. We sat on the lawn and watched kids running around, guys sitting around drinking beer and talking sports, and girls in skimpy sun dresses looking great. Good times. After the game we had ice cream cones at McDonalds. Then we went to a nearby Walmart to buy tea towels for Sue and soap refills. Then to Macy’s on Power Road where Sue did NOT get the lipstick she went in for — after almost an hour of sampling and ‘negotiations’. Next time. We only got home at around 7, after sunset. Barbecued 2 sausages, Sue made beans and ‘cheesy’ rice to go with it. Watched our Comedy Central shows followed by our DVD rental “J Edgar”. A bit slow-moving. Letterman. Then off to bed.

Hike, Golf, TV

Saturday: Bacon and eggs. Hiked on Silly Mountain — not too strenuous because Sue’s back is still “iffy” and my feet are still sore. After lunch Sue went outside to read and I played on my computer, downloading and organizing a bunch of Yo-Yo Ma music in iTunes. We left early for our 4:00 tee time and hit a bucket of balls — I was trying out Tim’s driver and had a bit of success. It didn’t really improve our golf scores — Sue had 55, I had 57 — but we had fun. The weather was perfect, no pressure from other golfers. When we got home Sue started making supper (stir fry) and Charlotte from next door came over to deliver the junk mail — and my new Kindle! After supper we watched a bunch of “48 Hours” reruns on TV, then the movie “The Hangover” (on TV), then SNL. Went to bed before midnight.

Sue hates golf

Sunday: Morning TV shows were off a bit — because of Daylight Savings Time, which Arizona does not observe, we missed Fareed the first time around. Good thing CNN repeats it a couple of hours later. No French toast today because we don’t have French bread to go with our French pork sausages and French icing sugar and French syrup, so we had regular toast. Read a bit, I on my new Kindle, Sue one of Jill’s “Paula Dean” books. After lunch Sue made a few phone calls: brother Al, Karen Pries (tips for her upcoming visit to Greece). I watched golf on TV. Inspiring. Then at 3:30 we went golfing — first to the driving range, then our regular nine holes. Conditions: excellent. Performance: Sue almost quit before finishing the first hole, Rudy had poor luck using Tim’s driver, but scored low 50s and was happy with his game. Sue has decreed that we will not be golfing Mountain Brook again for a while — that course is cursed. She will find us a better course where we will be able to once and for all conquer that game.

Supper was leftover stir-fry for Rudy, porridge for Sue. Then “60 Minutes”. Then a movie on TV (we returned “The Rum Diaries” to Walgreens today without having watched it). We cried our way through “My Sister’s Keeper”. Then a bit of “Fox Sunday” rerun, with guest Newt Gingrich. Ended the day watching Holmes rip apart an old house and rebuild it according to code — what a great show!

Doin’ Nothin’

Monday: We were going to go to a baseball game today, but never got around to it. The weather was perfect. Sat outside and read. Sue did laundry. At 11 we hopped on our bikes for a ride to Walgreens and back, with little side trips to ‘Deerfield’ and around Ed and Val’s loop. After lunch we read some more. Looked up tickets to ball games on Stubhub.com — maybe we’ll check that out a bit more later in the week. I ordered a keypad deadbolt for our front door at home from Amazon. I finished reading the story of Mellissa Fung, a CBC journalist kidnapped in Afghanistan, on my new Kindle. Love the Kindle. Book was okay. Barbecued bacon-wrapped steak for supper. Sue made potato salad. Then we watched our movie, “The Skin I Live In”, a Spanish movie with subtitles. Weird but interesting. A bit of CBC news from home and Sue went to bed early. I started reading my next book, “Ten Degrees of Reckoning”.