Monthly Archives: March 2013

20130327 – Hummingbirds Galore

Wednesday – hot and sunny.

DSCF9056

Out for 09:00 for a drive down to Patagonia Lake. Visit the famous – well at least amongst birders – Patons Hummingbird site. It’s in Patons back garden; Chair under and awning; loads of bird feeders, especially Hummingbirds; full of Birders with giant phallic extensions to their cameras so big they need a tripod and crane to lift them – and then they think IT people are nerdy! Great site and loads of birds seen and amazing that it’s free.

Visit Sonita Creek Nature preserve – $5 a head – lovely walk but not a bird in site, only Javelina’s.

Meanwhile some Americanise – “Man that just up my alley”. Roughly translated “I really like it.”

Drive over to Sierra Vista and a great Hotel.

DSCF9112

Meanwhile in case we wander into New mexico here’s some of their silly slaws:

 

Women may walk in public topless provided they have their nipples covered.

It’s forbidden for a female to appear unshaven in public.

Persons may not spit on the steps of the opera house.

Hunting is prohibited in Mountain View Cemetery.

You may not carry a lunchbox down Main Street.

 

DSCF9116

Only been in the job a few days. Did he know what he was letting himself in for:

While popes have for centuries washed the feet of the faithful on the day before Good Friday, never before had a pontiff washed the feet of a woman. That one of the female inmates at the prison in Rome was also a Serbian Muslim was also a break with tradition.
“There is no better way to show his service for the smallest, for the least fortunate,” said Gaetano Greco, a local chaplain.
Pope Francis kissing the feet of a young offender
Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 inmates aged 14 to 21, among them the two women, the second of whom was an Italian Catholic. Mr Greco said he hoped the ritual would be “a positive sign in their lives”.
Catholic traditionalists are likely to be riled by the inclusion of women in the ceremony because of the belief that all of Jesus’ disciples were male.

Good for him, let’s stir it up and head for change.

Thursday – hot and sunny.

Up early for a great breakfast – waffles. Meet some Americans who have have obviously lost the plot as they think Wendy speaks the Queens English.

DSCF9148

Off down to Ramsey Canyon, another famous birding and beauty spot. Bump into a birding walk up the Canyon. So a 1 hour birding trip turns into a 3 hour tour. Great walk; lovely canyon; informative and entertaining guide; FOC – my favourite; but alas few birds. However we do get to see the American Woodpecker – a rare sighting apparently. Add 3 new birds to our sighting collection.

DSCF9181

Manage to make a politically incorrect howler by describing a “controlled burn”. Apparently this is no longer PC as a local “controlled burn” got out of hand and burnt down a whole town. They’re now called “prescribed burns” so that if one ever gets out of hand there is no way it will burn down a whole town!

After Ramsey Canyon we drive down to Bisbee. Everyone says it’s a must see! Worse than Jerome and that’s saying something. Best thing was seeing convict shuffling out of court in chains in bright orange and white horizontal striped uniforms. Why don’t we treat our convicts like this or send them somewhere else!

Then after the intrepid travellers have been fed and watered we set off to Tombstone.

DSCF9221

Anne and Kevin do the shoot out at one of the 5 original OK Corals in Tombstone – well comedy shootout. Just as boring apparently as all the others. Wendy  and I have a mossy around and then break one of the sacred laws of retirement and have a beer in a saloon – forgive me for I have sinned! Nearly fall off one of the swivel chairs at the bar as a gunfight ensues, they sure wake you up even though they’re firing blanks. All the waitress’s are properly attired in basques, short belts and back fishnet tights – very tasty. One of them has a platform bra / basque with two “giant St Bernard puppies” try to escape. This time I and 2 other guys fall off their perches. Sadly none of the pictures turn out.

More laws in Tombstone:

 

It is illegal for men and women over the age of 18 to have less than one missing tooth visible when smiling.

Women may not wear pants.

Nudity is allow, provided that male genitals are covered.

Women may walk in public topless provided they have their nipples covered.Full text of the law.

DSCF9187

Idiots may not vote.

State officials ordered 400 words of “sexually explicit material” to be cut from Romeo and Juliet.

 

They can’t even spell:

The website of topless feminist group Femen has been hacked and replaced with a page declaring the women dirty pigs. The message, in broken English, is spelt out in red and black capitals and reads:

Dirty pigs!
No fuck for you, even for your men! DSCF9207Come here Tunisa!
We will cut your breasts and give food our dogs!
Die sluts, prostitutes from Israel!

Femen posted on their Facebook page Dear friends, our website femen.org was hacked. Don’t trust the information that will be posted there till the moment we inform you that the website was fixed.

The women’s rights group has received international news coverage in recent weeks amid fears for Tunisian topless protester Amina Tyler after threats to stone her to death were posted online.

An international Free Amina movement began on April 4 with the news that Amina has been imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital.

Friday – very hot and very sunny.

IMG 1254

Idle’itiss seems to have set in. Everyones either lounging around or shopping this morning after our two day excursion.

I go down to Catalina SP for a morning route march. Up to the Romero Canyon to the Montrose pools – sadly not that spectacular. Then do the Canyon Loop trail. An energetic 3.5 mile march in the gruelling sun, and it’s only 09:00. Lovely at this time of the morning.

As a reward call in Starbucks for coffee and wifi. Our cable modem’s gone the way of the Dodo, there’s a technical term for it – knackered.

Lengthy chat with Comcast who finally diagnose it as dead. Classic help desk. Can go and pick up an FOC replacement but what they forget to mention is that it’s not Comcast’s, so not FOC. Drive across Town to the service depot to find this out – typical Help desk numpty. Bestbuy next. Set it all up ok and then final step it screws up with screen that locks out. IMG 1256Now there’s a surprise, an IT solution that doesn’t work. Never experienced that :7). So internet not working yet I can Skype Comcast -interesting! Am I surprised? Comcast techies – note the plural – final fix it with a TOTO.

Anne and Wendy get their weekly treat with a trip to the supermarket. I have to make do with a Jacuzzi and lazy afternoon.

Tucson’s a great place but the traffic lights and lack of roundabouts does your head in. Best solution is to take a book with you to read at traffic lights!

Meanwhile Colorado has it’s fair share of stupid laws:

 

One may not mutilate a rock in a state park.

Car dealers may not show cars on a Sunday.

It is illegal for liquor stores to sell food or grocery storesto sell any alcohol except beer that is at most 3.

It is illegal to ride a horse while under the influence.

DSCF9185

Tags may be ripped off of pillows andmattresses.

Throwing missles at cars is illegal.

Keeping a house where unmarried persons are allowed to have sex is prohibited.

Establishments which sell alcohol must have enough lighting to read text inside them.

Catapults may not be fired at buildings.

It is legal to challenge a police officer, but only until he or she asks you to stop.

IMG 1253

It is illegal to permit ones llama to graze on city property.

\Boulders may not be rolled on city property.

Couches may not be placed on outside porches.

 

 

UK websites hacked over religious extremism:

Two of the leading British blogs taking issue with religious extremism have been taken offline for an entire week by a large-scale cyber attack. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, but by the very nature of their targeting, the sources are thought to be religious extremists.

Both Harry’s Place and Student Rights suffered massive denial of service (DDOS) attacks over the past week – a cyber attack which blasts servers with traffic in order to overload them and effectively knock the websites out.

DSCF9175

A statement posted on the Harry’s Place website said:

We were taken down by another very nasty DDOS attack. The ferocity of this one was actually quite staggering, so clearly we’re doing something that is getting under someone’s skin, someone with a very a fair amount of resources behind them. That a humble blog like ours — written by a few amateur pundits in their spare time, and relying entirely on donations from readers for its expenses — seems to threaten forces with this sort of virtual fire-power at their disposal is as flattering as it is baffling.

Student Rights, the leading pressure group in the UK for tackling extremism on university campuses said in a statement:

Our website has been the target of a malicious and illegal attack for a prolonged period of time. Our work, as many know, is to challenge extremism including Islamist activity and the far-right. We can only imagine that the attack must have emanated from one of these two groups.

Authorities are currently investigating the attacks. I bet!

20130323 – Desert Walks

Saturday – hot and sunny. 

IMG 1218Stop off at the local cafe for coffee and scones, at least for some who seem to have hollow legs. They do green eggs and ham, sounds revolting but when we find what’s in it (scrambled eggs with Pesto and cheese) I’m sure it would be great – on the menu for next week.After lazy breakfast drive up to Oracle State Park. Key word there is up to. It’s very hot on our patio but Oracle SP is higher up and there’s a nice cooling breeze. Get a free tour around the ranch house, compete with samples of native foods collected in the desert such as acorns and Lemonade berries – like sherbets. Then do a short nature trail.

After lunch I take the car down to the local garage used by Jerry (car owner), to have a slow puncture looked at. Done while I wait. 10 minutes of a job. How much? Oh there’s no IMG 1219charge for repairs like that, “have a nice day”. Should I have tipped them? Amazing!

Meanwhile the rest of the crew have gone off to buy Kindles and buttons – don’t ask – so it’s a restful afternoon on the patio and 17:00 is approaching so it’s a choice between a good German beer and a jacuzzi or a Pinot Noire. Or better still start off with the beer and then move onto the wine.

Perfect end to another perfect day.

Sunday – hot and sunny.

P1060053

Up at the crack of sparrows to go on the 08:00 bird walk at Catalina State Park.  Spotted 35 new birds. Only a 3 mile walk but it took 3.5 hours. Several experts leading the walk all very knowledgable.

Back home for lunch and a relaxing afternoon. Anne and Kevin playing with their new toys. Anne with an iPad and Kevin with a Kindle. Now Annne’s on Facebook thanks to Wendy. Wendy’s knitting and I’m doing my photos and blog.

P1050749

Monday – hot and sunny for a change.

Wendy and I went down to Tohono Chul Park. A lovely park in the middle of Tucson. A bit like a botanical garden, sad to say we quite enjoyed it. Must have seen about 8 different birds even though we arrived quite late. Took about 90 minutes to explore it. Some lovely relaxing areas and Wendy got quite excited about some of the water features, she has visions of one in my Zen garden – dream on. Went to try and get a table for lunch but there was a 40 minute wait and yet there were plenty of empty tables. Typically Americans were patiently waiting. I find this a bizarre feature of the American way of life in that they’ll gladly wait 40 minutes plus for a table rather than voting with their feet and going elsewhere.

Drove down to the University. Had lunch at Starbucks. Really into this now with auto top up on my iPass app and a list of favourite IMG 1235coffees being built up. Carry on at this rate I’ll be able to speak Satrbuck’ese and order a coffee with gusto.

Visited the Pottery exhibition at the University. May well have the largest collection of Southwest Indian pottery in the World but sadly only a small percentage on display.

Visited the Indian life exhibition. Interesting how they made a good living from the land and then along came the settlers, who rapidly turned the areas into deserts with their greed and water wastage.

Tuesday – hot and sunny yet again.

DSCF9020

Catch up on some work and phone calls first thing. Then by the time we’ve all rolled out of bed and got into gear we drive down to Sabino Canyon. Catch the tram up to the top and then make the 3.7 mile walk back down. Takes just under 2 hours. Thank a deity we didn’t attempt to walk up and back down. By lunch time I think we all feel like Taliban’s without a turban and ready for a break.

Then on the way back we all get the excitement of a trip to the supermarket.

DSCF9039

Lazy afternoon. I manage to get a bit more work done and overcome an SSRS screw up. By way of a treat I have a jacuzzi and Spaten. This is the life. Jacuzzi has a bed area with jets all over the back and feet. Ideal after a hard day.