Friday, March 28, 2014

A Little Further Down The Trail--Sunny California Part I

   **Yet another great read first published in MY newest blog series   
       Check it out at : **

       Hello readers!   This blog page is usually all about Exploring amazing Arizona through pictures and travels.  But a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit a good friend in California and of course have some pictures and thoughts on it all.   For more Exploring and amazing pictures of mine Please also check out MY second blog series  all about the amazing views Washington state has to offer at:
And of course MY first blog series   full of travels, coffee love, and random rambling  at:
   And feel free to share anything you find on any of these sights!  Especially this one. 

   So about two years ago a good friend of ours came to visit April and I while we were living in Bellingham, Washington.  We had just gotten married, and had hit a really bad spot in our relationship.  One that was mostly a lot of arguing and throwing things.  Our friend decided it was best to not stay with us, and got a motel room during the visit.  For almost two years, I had not heard anything from him.  Last I knew he was living in San Diego and working at Home Depot.  But that town has a lot of Home Depot stores!   I had never been to San Diego and was going to use some of our tax refund to pop down that way and attempt to find my friend.  Just before we booked a ticket, I found he was living near Palm Spring.  Amazingly close to us, but getting ready to move back to the rainy state of Washington.  I quickly planned a visit.  Originally we were going to take a mini road trip to San Diego but his plans changed and we drove eight long hours to Oroville for a friend emergency. 
I had never been on Amtrak before and found an amazing price for a round trip ticket.
Through it all it is MUCH better than the dreaded Greyhound bus and much more
relaxing than driving.  But the hours are strange.  We left Benson, Arizona at around 6 PM, not allowing for much sight seeing.  Unfortunately the train sits almost an hour in nearby Tucson.
The Benson, Arizona stop is very small.  Just a speck stop in the desert with some signs and a few covered benches.
The family full of Wendy's Frosties waiting for me to board the train.
It was kind of hard to navigate around the train.  But you were more than free to roam around.
The above entire section was full of huge windows for watching the passing desert.  I got in more than enough people watching the first night.  I was attempting to use my laptop while a whole group of drunk-gay riders had an ever increasingly soap opera like night.  Since I could not access any WI-FI, I have to say the drama filled night was kind of entertaining. 
At one point I thought I could stay up the whole night, we were supposed to get to Palm Springs around two AM.  But when we crossed the time change boarder-I realized I really should attempt to get some sleep.
I also must add that both directions I witnessed problems with seating. 
People do not have assigned seating --but the conductors tend to place others in your seats if you are roaming around during boarding.  It happened to me on the way to California and to someone else on the way home. 
Last I must quickly note how expensive the adult beverages were.  I have been on a few
touristy train rides, but no long journey.  And wanted to be able to say that I have had a beer on a train.  If you are planning on drinking or being tipsy by your location--bring cash or hope they do not check your luggage!   The mini bottles of wine were $12 I believe and each bottle of beer was defiantly not cheap.
But I had my one and can say that I have had a brew on a train!
My friends humble home.
The next day we Explored Palm Springs.
At one point we passed Bob Hopes huge, mushroom shaped home.
It is for sale for $40 million if you happen to have any spare cash lying around your home.
We  soon ended up climbing nearly 9000 feet on this very scenic adventure.  Well worth the money for sure!
My worse complaint was that the new camera we had bought, was not working, and all of these pictures are from my cell phone. 
Just out of the parking lot.
Ticket buying time.
Going up!
The lift rotates as it climbs giving an always amazing view.
We really were at the top of the World.
But with my crummy camera you could not even see the large city, far below.
Hundreds of miles of hikes await. 
Than we took some time to Explore and eat around Palm Springs.
Found a few casinos along the way. 
Several even offered free gambling cash to sign up with one of there cards.
I actually left one casino $50 ahead off of there free game play.
We had a late lunch downtown in a 50's style joint.
Good food but I must say for such a touristy trap area the service was lousy.  It didn't seem like the servers were even trying for customer service or a tip.  I don't believe either was accomplished.  Than as it was starting to cool down, at least in desert terms we roamed through the stores. 
Just before giving up on Exploring we found this huge complex.
Part church, part living area, part motel it seems this was very cool and empty.
It looked like a fire had touched many of the buildings.
This area took up a full city block and had six swimming pools.
Along with multiple buildings.
Next post I keep on my Exploring shirt and shoes
As we continue to roam California.
And the rains hit. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wake Up, Yo!

     **"Whenever I start to feel spontaneous and adventurous, my bank account tells me to calm the heck down!"**

       Wake up, yo!    I am still deciding if I am yelling this to myself or to you the faithful reader.   After my random rambling drivel has put you to sleep.  Speaking of waking up, we just bought a new coffee maker at the house.  With a timer, so we can set it at night and actually wake up to brewed coffee again.  I know it doesn't sound like much to most of you in reader land, but many daze it is amazingly hard to make a pot of coffee before one is actually awake.   And if you skip any of the few steps involved, BAD results happen.  Like for instance if one were to forget to add the actual coffee grounds, and after waiting forever and a day for coffee- you only have darkish lumps of water in the pot.  Or you are out of filters and fold the piece of paper towel wrong -in the filter holder and the water does not drip through it right.  Today since I got up with the kiddos--I patiently yet jittery waited for the kids to go off to school and than zoomed off to the local Mc Grease Pit for some already brewed coffee.  Of course I made sure a hot pot was boiling at home for my wife also.  As I was ordering my coffee, I happily noticed that they are once again going to be giving away free coffee for a week, starting in just 5 daze!  Proving once again that I really should be payed to promote this "event" each time it happens.   Although I am not sure how paying me to push a free product, would be the best marketing ploy for the Arched company-- they are making billions as I type just off breakfast sales, so I am sure we could swing a deal. 

It is!!

      I tweaked my back a few days back --and had forgot how little one can do, pain free, when your back is throbbing.  I found if I sat perfectly still, it felt fine.  Than I woke up!  And went on my wife's pain disappearing routine.  And I have to say, this morning it pains me a little, but not very much at all.  Our daughter and I spent a good part of the afternoon in near by Sierra Vista.   After a quick spell of "work"  we had some time to roam around the town and spend the cash we had just made.  I had planned on spending some time Exploring, but jumping in and out of our truck was not good for my back -plus our daughter had seen the "Ghetto Mall" and wished to Explore there.  I have been slacking on Exploring and new pictures lately.  Maybe I will get some new ones up this afternoon.   Please don't forget to look up my other two blog sights---full of Exploring and pictures I have shot in the past.  The next local Exploring page will finally be about my trip to California.  I realize I keep threatening.  This mornings post was going to be at least part one of the journey, but once I sat down -my thoughts said other wise. 

      So we have this new ring tone on our cell phone-- and it is entertaining enough--I find myself getting lost in the ring tone, and ignoring the actual phone call.  I tend to ignore/screen most calls anyway, so find this very easy to do.  That is why there is voicemail right?  So one can listen to the full ring tone.  My newest cell phone has two numbers in it.  Those are also the only two people that know my number.  So I don't have to worry about it ringing often at all.  And with all the in law complications and or stupidity, most of them do not call us anymore.  Just that fact has cut our phone call volume in more than half!  For those lost or slower relatives that still attempt to call--I usually answer the cell phone.  Few people actually enjoy talking to me and the conversation is very short.  :)   

Please help to share my posts!

No soup for you!   Either!!

        I must stop here to vent really quickly.  A few days ago I was filling out my final paper work for my new job.  And it came up that I graduated high school way back in "97."  The worker said that I might have to prove this to HR -because I graduated so far back.   Really!?  Just because I hurt my back while reaching for coffee grounds on the top shelf--does not mean I am old.  It means I am "vertically challenged."  When did 35 become the new 60 in job interviews?  I have wet dreams about owning a vehicle from any date in the 90's!  I realize he was just doing his job, but if I had had my Miracle Ear up all the way-and if my sprayed on hair would have stopped dripping into my face, I would have gave him a piece of my mind! 

Way back when, (last year)  we used to
put all our bills in a hat and 2-3 lucky ones drawn
were the ones that got paid that month!

                      And now for today's picture of the day!   This is Mr Max checking out the bay.  Probably just before he jumped in the bay.  Max does not look like it, but he is an old dog!  And he is not doing very well.  But for a Husky 13 is very old.   He gets spoiled by us for sure, but he is a rescue dog, and we hate to admit that his old owners should of never had a pet.  He has done a lot of Exploring with us!   And still has some good trips in him.  I try to get as many pictures of him as possible.   So that we can enjoy them now and after his passing.  As well as of the kiddos of course and my amazing wife.  Although it sounds silly, I try to picture all of our vehicles in pictures also.  You don't know how many past cars, especially my very first car, I wish I had shots of. 


Have you seen this?
Proposed/ in the works new highway that will be a straight shot from Phoenix, AZ to
Vegas-baby!  Almost gives me a reason to travel to Phoenix soon.   I hate Phoenix and anything close to that area!   Although they do have an Ikea store there.
Although after watching them attempt to detour around the Hoover dam for what seemed like 20 dam years, I can't imagine how long this project will actually take.
I have to say I think they built the Hoover Dam faster than the detour around it!
Think about the marvels of the past---before monetary breaks and work codes and unions.  Sure they worked hard, and people died--but dam they could build a dam dam quick!
No spotting one worker in his backhoe while 6 workers crowded around him -held up by there dam shovels--in the past.
Mostly because they didn't have vehicles back than   or labor boards. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Say No To Negativity!

              Good morning to all!   I am not sure how, beyond the fact that I am getting old---getting is the key word.   But yesterday I hurt my back, and now it is in full out pain.  But only when I move.  At all--an muscle.  Because it seems that every muscle is connected to ones back.  This is putting a big cramp in my plans for today.  But I am hoping that alternating between icing and heating my back, that I will be up and doing somersaults by afternoon.   Wait, I can not do somersaults with a perfect back.  Plans or no plans I do find it very hard to just sit when it is so nice outside.  Here in Arizona I believe we just skipped right over spring and went right to full on summer.   This makes me very glad that I found a job in a place with lots of air conditioning!  This is also a huge change from living in Washington.  There the sun is so rare, it is celebrated and photographed.  It comes out so little, that people actually forget what that bright ball of light is up in the sky.  And have to search all day for a pair of sunglasses.   Here we do the same celebration when it rains, because that means it will cool off!

     For those of you keeping track--I have not done an Exploring blog post in awhile.   The next one will be part one --of my trip to California.  It took all that distance to find a great rain storm.  And than the storm followed me home.   Check out the past local Exploring on my newest blog page, you know you want to...    At:

    Right now I am in that huge limbo between jobs.  I can't get paid out for my last job, and I am waiting for all the paper work to go through on my new job.  I want to Explore and such as much as possible, before I am working full time again, but on the same note --it's hot outside!  Luckily we actually have a nice reserve of cash in the bank at the moment.  At least until that point were all the banks across the globe fail!   At least we also collect things, and can go with the barter system for months to come if need be.  How many candles equal a foot long ham sandwich again?   This has been a long stretch of officially not working.  I have been doing lots of jobs- but nothing that requires tax forms.  So I am very eager to start work again.  Although the almost hour drive is not high on my list of perks.  I am even more eager--with the extra warm temperatures right around the corner here and with summer break very near for the kiddos.   The schools are nice here, and let the kids on break during the hottest months. 


                          Stop doing everything.  This post brought to you by the government!

I am a frequent winner of 0!
If we ever hit the big one--we are going to go poof!
And very few people will know were we live.
Or only were one of our summer houses is located. 
Anyone else feeling blah and a little un imaginative today, also?
Good times!
I really am working on taking more pictures. 
This one was in the heart of down town Bellingham.
You can just make out the rocket for rocket donuts. 
I have also noticed that pictures of me look much betterer -if my face is mostly covered.
Please note, I have a much better camera now--but am not using it. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Coffee Should Make!

      Good morning all!   If you have ever read this blog page before or dropped by MY Facebook page to visit and or complain   Exploring with Wyoming Jack/Bobble Head
you might have noticed that I mention coffee a little bit.  OK maybe a lot!   But with three kiddos bounding around the house, the coffee almost allows me to keep up with them.  We are once again in the market for a new coffee maker for our home.  The local coffee joints stink -and I am increasingly realizing how hard it is to make that first pot of coffee, when you are not even close to awake.  Automatic pots are grand, you can set everything before bed, when you are mostly still awake.  But the pot we are using right now is not automatic anything, except maybe emptying--once I roll out of bed and figure out how to turn it on of course.  It is an 1812 model for sure.  Not the serial or product numbers, but the year it rolled down the production line in some factory followed closely by a brand spankin' new Model T Ford!  It has to be somewhat old because it does not have an automatic timer to turn off the power during the day when it's owners forget.  That said I am sipping coffee in Tucson this bright morning.  Watching the news about how bad the traffic out there is today.  But what do I care?  By the time I am done with coffee and typing this blog the main rush of traffic will be at work. 

     My blog pages have lots of coffee love   for more---check out the above link to MY Facebook page.  There is an entire album on the page of coffee pictures.   Plus this is the best sight to comment or vent about anything I post, and the first sight I update each day.   Check it out!

**"The police never think you are as funny as you do."**
Wait!   That's not what is stands for??
I believe the above is in the visitor guide for all of Washington and Oregon!
Here in Arizona rain is a welcome event and rare .  Here we also went straight from "winter" to full on summer. 
Not the case in lots of the country  sadly still stuck in winter.  
                                                         Don't do it  NOT even Once! 

If I had a yard, I would want this sign!
                                                                    Or this one!  ;)