July 26, 2008

Aah…the joys of wireless and a high-speed Internet connection (something I pray my parents are discovering for themselves!)….

Blogging backyard and live from the “High Surf Warning Tiki Bar” in Phoenix’s East Valley, it’s The Great White Shank. I just wish we had a camera so Tracey could take a picture. Hard to believe this is the first time I’ve blogged from the Tiki Bar. A cup of steaming joe next to me and mercifully protected by the shade of a thatched roof above, I could be blogging from the most remote part of deepest, darkest Micronesia…. well, except for the neighbors’ houses all around me, the whooshing of airliners on approach above, and the swimming pool vaccuum chattering away happily in the background… but you get the picture. I oughta try working from here one of these days.

It is hot this morning – H-O-T hot. Taking my weekly walk about the property, coffee in hand, I couldn’t believe just how searing the sun felt on the skin – and this was only a little after 9 AM. What little breeze there was stirring the leaves of the whatever-the-heck-you-call them trees (one of these days, I ought to find out the names of all the trees and bushes we have on our property) made no difference. There’s a bit of humidity in the air today, but unfortunately it it now looks as if the moisture from what-was-once Hurricane Dolly is going to stay to the east over New Mexico.

For a Saturday morning, it is really quiet around here. You would think with the houses around us in such close proximity – the house on the other side of the wall in front of me is no more than 80 feet away, and I can see the roofs of eight houses from my Tiki Bar perch – you’d think you’d hear something, anything to make you think you’re not the only human left in this subdivision, but there’s nothing. I’ve always said summer in the Valley of the Sun is just like the dead of winter back home in New England, and it’s true. Only loons go outside in this heat, only stupid loons go outside to blog.

The neighbors next to us who had their house up for sale either took their house of the market or sold it within two weeks’ time. I doubt it’s the latter, but you never know. What’s strange about them (and everyone who lives on our street, for that matter) is that you never see them, just signs of people activity from time to time. Take this week for example: next week is bulk trash week, so two days ago there was some broken white-painted shelving left on my neighbor’s curb. Yesterday, there was an old desk lying atop the shelving. This morning I see some more junk on top of the desk on top of the shelving. Tomorrow I have no doubt this faux monument to human refuse will be further adorned with additional contributions representing the broken, discarded, and unwanted.

This is time of year where the flora and fauna is making its greatest statement on the beauty of Southwestern desert landscape. Our Texas Sage is out big-time this week – their delicate purple and white flowers are covered with bees of all kinds. Most of them are kinda tiny and brown, but every once in a while this gigantic black bee only a tad smaller than a Hummer H2 sounding like a flying lawnmower comes noisily by. He’s big. He’s bad. But he seems to care little about the human presence nearby. Our lantana bushes are bright yellow and orange, but for some reason they never attract bees. There’s also this orange leafy kind of thing that just only a few weeks ago was tiny and scrawny – now it’s gotten four feet tall and so thick that you can no longer see the phony pink flamingos under the real palm trees.

I’ve only been out here for around twenty minutes, and that plane on approach above me is like the twelfth one thus far. And a helicoper just went overhead, followed by a prop plane. The skies are busy thus morning. …and here comes another plane. Aah the joys of living under a Sky Harbor Airport flight path!

I can’t watch the Red Sox when they play the Yankees – it’s just too frustrating for me, especially when the Sox lose like they did last night. But I will say this – that called third strike on Mike Lowell in the 9th inning last night was the worst strike call I have ever seen made by an umpire; whoever that was should really be called on the carpet for that. And J.D. Drew keeping the bat on his shoulder while the Fruitbat poured strike after strike across the plate really got me to swearing. (I had to include a confession of sin to my morning players because of this, but the blame should go squarely on J.D.’s shoulders – just where his bat probably still sits this morning.)

…And everyone knows Manny Ramirez sat out last night’s game not because of his knees but to make a statement to management over his contract. To me this was the last straw – I’m sick of Manny’s act and I can only hope Sox management feels the same. It’s no coincidence that Manny chose this latest aggravation just days before the July 31 trading deadline. I don’t see how the Sox can move him with that contract, but they ought to at least suspend and fine him. There’s simply no excuse him sitting out the biggest game of the year.

Well, I’m off to take a quick warm dip in the pool before errands. Today it’s 1) stop by the pool supply place to have my water checked and hear for the nth time that the pool needs chlorine; 2) a stop by Omaha Steaks to re-stock our freezer; and 3) a trip to Hi’s Silk Flowers to price some phony palms to replace the real flowers I planted in our patio pots back in May but get either too much sun and heat in the afternoon or not enough sun in the morning to thrive. Later on it’ll be Mass and, after supper, perhaps a dip or two in the pool once the day “cools” off. Perhaps by then we might see a thunderstorm – that would be nice.

Today is the Feast of the Parents of the Virgin Mary. Hard to believe July is just about over with – the year is flying by incredibly fast. Where does the time go?

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