Saturday, April 30, 2011

Phoenix, Neighborhood Cities and Roadside Memorials

We are still in Florence tonight. Yes, I did say the other day that we would be leaving today. We were supposed to go to Phoenix and get the warranty work completed on the trailer, then we were heading north to Flagstaff. But, when Dave called the dealer yesterday, they had JUST ordered the parts on Wednesday! We really wanted to say “Did you not hear us say last week that we were leaving April 29th and that was why we were coming back on that day?”!!

Anyway, we decided, that since I had already told our boss we would stop by the office today, we would go to Phoenix for the day. We had breakfast and then took off. Got this picture just for you Sheriff Joe fans.

Only stayed at the office about 30 minutes, then I wanted to find a Bed, Bath & Beyond so I could buy an apron. I also wanted to get some new sandles, so we looked for a mall. Ended up in Queens Creek which is Southeast of Phoenix, but on the way back to Florence (actually closer to Florence than it is to Phoenix).

And here is where the “neighborhood cities” come in. As we drive that way to come back to Florence there are these huge neighborhoods that have been built out in the middle of the desert with walls around them and because they are in the middle of the desert,

shopping centers are also built....and schools...and fire departments....and golf courses......and playgrounds....and parks....not necessarily in that order. I just got to what point do the neighborhoods become cities AND what a whopper of home owner association fees they must have to pay every year. The landscaping alone must take up most of it! I call them Neighborhood Cities because they aren't developed like we are used to cities springing up......some business or factory or natural wonder or something brings people to a particular area.

That is a waterfall and there is a matching one on the other side of the 4 lane street!

Now for the “Roadside Memorials”. We are all familiar with these. Some unfortunate soul gets in an accident or hit by a car and their family and/or friends put a cross or a bouquet of flowers on the side of the road.......In most states. In Arizona (probably others too, I'll let you know) the memorials are more prolific and more individually designed. Here are a few pictures of just 3 we see in and around the Florence area...the white one is just outside our RV park.

I just needed to add one thing about Florence that was not apparent when we were looking for an RV park to stay in.

There is a prison here

And Another one


And these are not dinky little places either...they are HUGE...they have their own farm fields..INSIDE the fences! They don't even have them spread drive down the main thouroughfare and they are one right after the other. First you see the Federal Detention Facility, then the State Penitentary, and last the Central Arizona Detention Facility. And then there are all the little mobile home communities outside the fences, which, we're sure, live the families that want to be close to all these felons............IN fact the 2nd day we were here they had that main street blocked off as there was an execution at one of those prisons.

Sooooo, having stayed one more day in Florence, we will bid it adieu tomorrow. We will head out and go to a place called Munds RV Park in Munds AZ. No, not Flagstaff, but almost. It is just south of there. We are planning on staying there until Wednesday or Thursday. Sunday will be Grand Canyon day, Tuesday will be Sedona Canyons ATV Tour day and not sure what Monday will be.

We will be outside Albuquerque Wednesday evening, then Amarillo TX Thursday evening...probably for a day or two. We need to be in Oklahoma City area by the 11th for some phone work we need to do for Elevate and since OKC is a 4g phone/data area we can work from there. We've been looking at Tinker AFB FamCamp, but have a 2nd choice in case we can't get in. They don't take reservations.

OK, that's enough for this evening...I'll try to get another entry in after we go to the Grand Canyon. No! We are NOT going to the Skywalk!

SHOUTOUT: to Eleanor and Dan, who I see have become followers....although I suspect it's Eleanor that's doing most of the following! Hi Eleanor and Dan!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Another Week

Well, another week gone by and here I am again...there really isn't anything very interesting going on....we work on the computer in the morning and just kinda hang around in the afternoon.

On Easter the RV park had a potluck in the rec bldg, so we took a dish and enjoyed our dinner. They provided ham and everyone brought something. We had only met two people at the park...the owners and another couple down from us who also have a mobile suites 5th wheel. A few couples introduced themselves to us and everyone was very nice. We are the "babies" of the group....everyone appeared to be 60 or older. Kind of strange being the "youngsters" again!!

It's been great weather here. No rain since the Saturday at Country Thunder. High 80's during the day and a little windy and 60's at night. Actually very comfortable in the shade with the breeze blowing.

We've been discussing where we are going next...pretty general right now. Friday we have to be up at the RV dealer to get our warranty work finished and from there we are going to a little campground at a National Guard Armory just west of Flagstaff. Pine View RV Park. We will stay there at least 3 or 4 days and will do some day trips. One up to the Grand Canyon and one down to Sedona for an ATV tour of the canyons.

From there we will be heading east. Keeping an eye on the whats going on with the weather ahead us will most likely dictate how long it takes us to get that way. We plan on heading to Missouri eventually for a few days. We ordered some window awnings from Camping World and will be picking them up in Springfield. Then to Manhattan and Abilene KS to see the kids and friends.

So for now we are in the getting ready to move phase. Although that doesn't involve frantic activity. Today I'll go to the grocery store and stock up, tomorrow we'll do laundry and start getting stuff put away. The dogs will get baths...they've been doing a lot of rolling around in the dirt. We have to leave quite early on Friday morning, so we'll get everything but the hitching up done by thursday night.

Here are a few pictures we took over the last few days. Enjoy.

Those are just weird looking, so had to take the picture. Those are flower pods on the top of a barrel cactus just outside our trailer.

SHOUTOUT to all my kids and grandkids...we missed you this weekend for holiday dinner! And a special SHOUTOUT to our Caitiedid...Love you sweetie!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Internet and other things

Being places we have never been before presents problems we haven't had to deal with before. For instance, internet that works sporadically. When you are in your sticks and bricks house you usually are connected to your internet by a cable service or satelite or something that makes your internet work whenever you turn on your computer. And, it works rather quickly. Browsing the internet is a quick process.

But, out here on the road we rely on our Sprint service and the wifi hotspot on my phone. Doesn't work so good when there is only one tower and it is about 10 miles away. Soooo, to insure that we will mostly always have internet service we purchased a Verizon aircard to use whenever we are in a verizon area and the sprint area doesn't work so well. Now, we have a choice so that we can have internet, so that we can blog, surf and work.

Well, the problem we run into with verizon is that there is also only one tower in this area...albeit it is only TWO miles away...pretty close...but when traffic gets heavy we start getting s....l....o....w...e....r service and occasionly get kicked off.

Ok, with me so far? So now we have purchased a Wilson Antenna, an amplifier and a wireless router. Believe it or not it was relatively easy to set up and now we have our VERIZON signal boosted and surfing and working on the internet seems to be much easier. Of course that doesn't help the TRAFFIC problem, so we just try to stay off the internet (at least the working part) form about 8 until 830am, around lunch time and about 5pm to about 630.

Ok, sorry about the long internet explanation but that's my excuse for a WHOLE week of not posting........

So, what did we do this week? Well on Saturday we went to Oracle, AZ and visited the Biosphere 2.

The drive down there was south 40 miles through the desert. No towns, barely any houses, and those were mostly very far off the road. We did stop at a nice little rest area....

Here's the link to our Picasa Web album to see the rest of the pictures: Trip to Biosphere

It was a very interesting tour...walking for about 3 hours down into the heart of the biosphere...When we finished the tour and walked back to the parking lot, we decided that we weren't taking anymore tours (in desert heat) that were all downhill, because then the walk back was all uphill and under the sun!!

On our way home we just HAD to stop and take THIS picture:
Dave wants to know where the rest of the Arnold's are to help clean up this highway??!!

Nothing very interesting the rest of the week. On Tuesday dragged the 5er up to Phoenix to a DRV dealer to get some warranty work done. We will have to go back next Friday, as they needed to order more parts. We drove around Mesa and Gilbert and just kind of wasted the day away while we waited. Took the dogs to a park to run around, went to Camping World and Petco, had lunch and then went back to the dealer. We got back to Desert Gardens about 3:30, got set back up, had dinner and then watched TV.....see....not very exciting.

Today, Thursday, we will be working for a few hours, then Skittles has a vet appt to check her Thyroid levels, then shopping while we are near Walmart and then who knows!!

We have an Easter potluck here at the RV park on Sunday, but don't know what else we will be doing.

We will be taking the 5er back to the dealer next Friday and then head north from there. Planning on staying in the Flagstaff area a few days...see the Grand Canyon and whatever else there is up there....We might even take an ATV tour of the canyons around Sedona...we'll see.

OK, that's got you all caught up.

SHOUTOUT to our Daughter in Law Jennifer....she has quit smoking and is doing great! We are so proud of her! Also to our Granddaughter, Erica!! She just got elected to the 2nd grade Student Council! Future Politician in the family??

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A week of relaxing....

Well, mostly.....

We packed up the equipment, the guys trailer and our 5er and drove back to our spot at Desert Gardens.
Here's Dave and Todd going up to take the equipment off a telephone pole.

It was very bouncy and Dave was hanging on for dear life..:)

Had to do laundry....what a dusty muddy mess. Then Tuesday morning we headed up to Tempe to the Elevate office and answered phones all day. We needed to get some practice/training in and they needed help as most of the guys were in Florida at another festival.

We discussed and decided while we were there that we would get a new wireless cradlepoint router....the one we had just was not working. Also needed to get new headsets so we could do the phone work from our little home. So off to the nearest Best Buy...Dave had already checked to see if they had the one we wanted.
We had kind of a funny conversation about there being TOO many choices in a big city as compared to little ol Manhattan. Not always a good thing when trying to decide where to go!!

After some dinner at Ruby Tuesdays (pretty darn good) we headed home. The poor dogs had been waiting to make sure we were coming back for 13 hours. They were very accidents! But SURE were happy to see us!!

Yesterday I spent 5 hours on the phone trying to get the router and the aircard to work together and for our laptops and printer to recognize one point we had it all working..."chat guy" suggested as the last thing I do to change the password and reboot..did it...lost everything! Chatted him back (for the 5th time) and we could not get it going....ARRGGHHH!!! You know me....PISSED me off...had to calm myself down the rest of the day and will give it another go today...will try by myself and then MAYBE will call Cradlepoint!!

Dave tried to get to our online phone system for work and it was a no go. He called Todd and he was going to work on it....he's pretty busy right now, so we'll probably hear from him sometime today.

I took a walk in the afternoon, by myself, and looked into all the buildings here...very large activity bldg with lots of tables, a large tv, a craft room and a kitchen. An exercise room, a room they call a "reading room" that has couches, chairs, poker tables, books of course and 2 pool tables and a foosball table. They also have a well equipped wood shop. So plenty to do I guess.

Today will be spent on the computer again for me as I have yet to finish our taxes AND still need to get the router going. I need to get this done as we need a more reliable internet to do our phone work on.

Anyway, I think Dave will be finding a way to stay away from me...I'll be in a piss poor mood while doing taxes and then working on the router! But first, I'll make us a nice Fritatta for breakfast.

I'm sorry I don't have more's an internet issue again...I'll explain it in another post.

I see we now have 7 followers! Welcome to the two newest...Frankie and Amanda!

And a ShoutOut to my buddy Jean! I miss you!

Bye for now!!

WIll you take part? ABCD

A Bloggers Centerline Day, or ABCD, will take place on Sunday 1st May 2011.

The plan is to inspire as many bloggers as possible to go outside and take a photograph of themselves on this day, wherever they are in the world. The photo can be creative, arty, contain more than one person, be in any type of location and can contain anything else you like. It must however contain the centerline of a road and at least part of you, the blogger.

There are 5 rules....

Rule 1 - the picture must be taken on 1st May 2011.

Rule 2 - the picture must be of yourself, and you must be a person that publishes a blog. You can include whatever else you like in the picture, including other people if you wish.

Rule 3 - the picture must include the centerline of a road.

Rule 4 – you should publish the picture on your blog on 1st May 2011, along with a few words about the picture and why you chose that location or pose.

Rule 5 - when you have posted the picture on your own blog, put a comment on
Gary France will then pick his favorite photos and publish these as being the winners. There will be a prize of $100 awarded to the overall single winner, as chosen by Gary.

In order to get this event known as widely as possible, please copy and paste this posting onto your own blog, including the title. Please do that today!

As a reminder to yourself to take the photo and post it, put an entry into your diary for 1st May 2011.

Let’s see if we can get as any people to join in as possible.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ok, where was I........

I know it's been a few days, but we have been pretty busy. We arrived in Florence AZ on Wednesday, got our bearings on Thursday and then spent all day Friday in Tempe AZ at our new boss's office training on the equipment and website.

We moved out to the festival site on Tuesday afternoon and have been busy ever since.

In case there is anyone who does not know what we are doing, we are working for a company that does the ticketing software, hardware and implementation of the equipment. We are responsible for making sure the equipment works, training the users and jumping in to help on our own equipment when necessary. We will be traveling to 7 festivals this year...Here in Florence, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Colorado and New Mexico this year.

The first day of the festival (Country Thunder) was very very busy, we were all out in the entrance car lanes working....they seemed never to end. We were very tired that night and the second day Dave worked in the car lines and I worked in the Will Call trailer.

Today....well today we are sitting in our trailer keeping warm and dry. It has been raining since early this morning and is supposed to continue raining through the afternoon. No acts at the festival have been canceled and cars continue to trickle in. Since our equipment is working we are holed up here and the rest of the guys are holed up in their trailer. Here's a shot of our little encampment.

Here's a few shots of the grounds...before the festival...

And here is campers lined up to get in on Wednesday morning when we got up.

Annndddd her is what it looks like out our window this morning.....


So now we are just sitting here watching the cars and trucks get stuck in the mud and throwing it around.

Oh, the little things when we live this lifestyle!

I also wanted to show you this weird shaped tree. It's the only one on this highway to Casa Grande and it has to be shaped weird.....

Well, I'm off for now. I'll try to come up with something a little more interesting next time. Here is a sunset at Country Thunder to end with.