Archive for January, 2006

Busted!

I just started driving an 87 Subaru wagon, mainly for the gas mileage but also cheap insurance and registration costs. This vehicle can barely get out of its own way so I never figured on getting pulled over in it. Well I did, but before going into detail I now firmly believe that DPS officers discriminate against old ugly vehicles perhaps making conclusions that drivers of such vehicles are more lkely to be a danger to society than say, someone driving a BMW or Land Rover (my previous ride).

It had hardly passed dusk when a DPS officer lights em up behind me. Now you always see people stopping on the freeway when they get pulled over by cops, this is a BAD IDEA. Just drive the speed limit, take the first exit, and pull into the first available parking lot. Believe me, the cops appreciate it. The wet behind the ears officer that pulled me over thanked me for exiting the freeway before stopping. As to why I was pulled over? Apparently I missed the last click on the headlight switch and was only driving with my parking lights on. Once the officer tells me this, my first thought is “Right, I’m sure you pulled me over for my own safety rather than the fact that you wanted a peek into what was in the back of my busted up Subaru.” Sorry Officer, not quite the bust you were hoping for, the only thing you’ll find in the back of my ride is a couple bottles of oil, and a croquet set. Besides, I’d hope a crook would be smarter than to haul anything illegal in a wagon without tinted windows. That would be like carrying a gun in a fishbowl to rob a bank.

Five minutes later I’m off with a written warning, which the officer tells me is really just a formality, aka waste of time.

Let Them Eat Cake

I love cake. Cake is very personal. Everyone likes something different. I don’t care for fruit in my cake. Fruit ON my cake is ok, but not my favorite, but I definitely don’t like fruit IN my cake.

There are some great bakeries here in town. My favorite is Tammie Coe Cakes. Her cakes are available for sale at La Grande Orange at Campbell and 40th Street. She also has her own shop in that same strip mall. She does special orders with 48 hours notice.

My favorite is the Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse. It’s an “almost” flourless chocolate cake with layers of a thick mousse. Delish.

I highly recommend you try her out the next time you have a need for a fancy cake. Heck, even if you’re just having a little birthday party or the girls are getting together. You know how girls love cake — Especially chocolate cake.

Bon appetit!

“It must be a basketball game or something…”

Nope, it wasn’t a basketball game. It was the first day of the bridal show at the Phoenix Civic Plaza. I had to laugh when I overheard some guy make the basketball comment about all the people walking down the street, because in my exhausted state I immediately pictured hundreds of brides-to-be playing basketball in white dresses. Anyway the show is going on today too, so stop by and say hi if you go. (Yes, I am a vendor.)

Feeling parched?

We’ve officially tied the record for the longest dry spell in the Phoenix area at 101 days. What a stark contrast to last winter when Phoenix almost felt like Seattle and it seemed like the rain was never going to end! For my garden’s sake, I hope the dry spell comes to an end soon before it warms up…

Demolition Derby

There’s been a morning crash on the loop 202 three out of five days this week. Are we becoming worse drivers, or is this just a fluke? It seems to be an ongoing trend. I see freeway accidents with increasing regularity. I end up sounding like a moron when I get to work late and am always blaming it on traffic. Unfortunately I’m the only employee @ my company that comes in on the 202 westbound in the morning so I have nobody to corroborate my story. That brings me to another point, drivers education in this country is a complete joke. Seriously, American drivers are very ill prepared for 75mph freeway speed limits as opposed to western European drivers. We really should institute mandatory road tests every 5 years for drivers that have had more than 1 accident. In the end when I leave Phoenix I think it will mostly be because of the effects that overpopulation has on traffic.

Cabs at the airport

The ground transportation structure at Sky Harbor has recently changed. Now, you catch cabs on the North Curb, Limos on the South Curb. In the past, you could catch either on either curb.

Last night when I arrived home from a 2 hour delayed flight, I head to the very long taxi queue. Seriously, about 40 people long. I finally get to the front and explain to the lady managing this situation that I need a cab that will accept a credit card. You see, I expense my cabs and it’s just easier not to co-mingle funds. She says, “you are in the wrong line, this is the line for credit cards.” And HOW would I know that? There’s no sign, nothing. No biggie.

Anyway, the North Curb is the long way out of the airport when you’re headed to just about anywhere except Scottsdale. The cab picks me up and has to loop the airport to get onto the 10 N to get to the 51 N to take me home to 16th Street and Glendale. The fare is $8.10 by the time we get out of the airport. What the heck?

The entire cab ride TO the airport on Monday cost me $18. The return home last night was $24.30. With a maniac cab driver by the way. 80 MPH on the on ramp to the 10. 45 MPH on my residential street which is posted as 20 MPH. That’s a whole other topic.

I think the move of all the cabs to the North Curb is a conspiracy to increase the cab fares. Maybe?

Western Skies

Phoenix has some of the best sunsets in the world. And I’m not one to take them for granted – whenever possible, I try to spend a few minutes outside at sunset enjoying the show in the sky. I sometimes also like to plan an evening out with friends around the time of sunset in order to be at locations that have an ideal view. One of my favorite places to sunset watch is at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain. The outdoor patio at the restaurant is great if you’re dining there. But if you just want to grab a cocktail, the outdoor patio at Jade Bar also has a fantastic view of Paradise Valley. This is one of my favorite places to go year round, but particularly this time of year when the temperature is ideal. And when the temperature drops after sunset, they warm the patio with a cozy fire that makes for an enjoyable evening under the stars.

The Superbowl Flush

I have always wondered if this was an urban myth. So when you have the chance to meet with the supervisor for wasterwater treatment, you ask the question. Super Bowl halftime – fact or fiction?

Well dear friends it is true and has its own name. In the watewater industry, it is known as the Super Bowl Flush. And it is the time of year when treatment plants get, uhm, busiest. Actually, he says it is about two hours later (the time it takes to travel through the lines).

Now you know…

I Wielded a Machete and All I Got Was This Stupid Take-Out Container.

Okay, to the guy who was trying to rob those poor ASU kids and people in the Denny’s parking lot with a freaking MACHETE, what is that all about? Was a gun not imposing enough for you? Was your self esteem really out of whack and swinging a machete around made you feel more like a man? Did you sit around planning all of this out, making a checklist of possible threatening weapons? A machete is fairly creative. It’s extremely VIOLENT for merely trying to catch people unaware in parking lots, but fairly creative. Or were you just really lazy and grabbed the first thing you saw in your garden shed?

If there are two things I despise, they are thievery and violence. And if I’m allowed to add two more things to the list they are laziness and a lack of creativity. I also despise Andie MacDowell.

If I had low self esteem and was down on my luck and decided to take to attempting to rob people in parking lots, I’d probably try these much more creative and less violent contraptions:

Cheese grater attached to the end of a rope (I would swing the cheese grater menacingly over my head until the mere thought of a cheese grater slapping upside someone’s face would force the intended victim to drop their wallet and run.)

Darts with rubber tips (I would threaten to toss these directly at someone’s face, and even though the tips would be rubber, everyone knows it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. This would also be done in hopes that the intended victim would drop their wallet and run.)

Cats but real mean cats (I would pen 8 or 9 cats up together all day in a small carrier and then release them all at once upon the intended victim. Nothing is scarier than a bunch of mean cats that are real cranky and running straight at you. Hopefully, I would have trained the cats to pick up the wallet and bring it back to me after the intended victim dropped it.)

And how about the machete robber only being successful enough to get $30 and some Denny’s take-out after all that machete wielding? Moron.

Fore!

The temperature is perfect and the sky is sunny which means it is event season in the Valley! The FBR Open starts next week at the TPC in North Scottsdale (NoSco).

Regardless of whether or not you golf (I don’t), this is a fun event to attend. There are a few ways you can experience it. One of my favorite things to do is play hookie from work and catch a day session when the crowds aren’t as big. Or you can join thousands of people at the 18th hole on Sunday for the grand finale. Or you can hit the Bird’s Nest for live music.

But my all time favorite is the infamous 16th Hole where golf ettiquete doesn’t exist. The hole is surrounded by corporate tents full of people partying loudly. Last time I went, I had so many cocktails by 3 PM that I don’t really remember much about the golf, but it is one of the best times I’ve ever had at a golf tournament! Unfortunately the party isn’t easy to access though…unless you have several grand to toss around or have a friend whose company is sponsoring a tent and has a ticket to spare. I’m out of luck this year myself…unless there is someone out there who wants to take pity on me! ;).

Regardless of how you go, everyone should experience this Phoenix classic at least once in their lifetime. Click here for ticket info.

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