Archive for July, 2006

MVD is fun!

Arizona MINI I am sure most car owners have a horror story or two about getting a drivers licenses or a car tag.. I am no different than the rest and my experiences today have proven it.

I stopped in at the MVD in Tempe (Larkspur & N. McClintock) at about 12:30pm and quickly realized that my adventure was only just begining. Not only did I show up during the noon hour (bad idea, everyone else is doing the same) but I also went in on the last day of the month (old tags expire today) and it’s Monday. Everyone is in a great mood on Monday, right?

After standing in line for about 10 minutes I finally made my way up to the Information desk where the nice lady told me that as I am registering my car for the first time in Arizona I need to have the car inspected – basically they just match the VIN on your car with the VIN on the title. So I hop back into my car and pull around to the inspection bay. After another wait the gentleman starts his inspection and informs me that my VIN plate “looks funny” and that he cannot inspect my car. I’ll have to go to another location to be inspected. The closest inspection location that was open today is at 48th and Broadway.

Wet Pavement

The sidewalk is already wet from the rain when the lifeblood of the serial killer’s twenty-two year old female moistens it still, and only a few people stop and wait breathless for the unthinkable to settle in, as the rest of the Valley residents continue on in this daily life not thankful nor appreciative of their own sparring or even appalled at the atrocities committed now for over a year. This has gone on far too long. A friend of mine today, a coworker in my office building, collapsed in my arms at the news of her friend’s late night murder at Gilbert & Brown, and thirty minutes later we sat alone in an empty university conference room as she reminisced about their days together in high school, sitting in the same math classes waiting for the glory of graduation and better days ahead. Now my friend’s eyes are wet and the blood vessels pronounced, and the better days only lasted a short few years, and our Valley swallows with not so much as a lump. We are residents of a city who spare our government and police from the accountability necessary when a job is not performed. We are the same at the macro level. When a local serial killer with over a year of murderous history and 38 shootings proves just as hard to find as a Muslim terrorist in the Middle East, and our military and police pass over third-grade pardons for each, we are the ones who should be appalled at the allowance of such time and excuses. May we be angry, or all be damned.

A city without emotion is no better, and just as monstrous, as a gun-laden criminal with an innocent in sight.

A question about our water

Even though the humidity is in the 60 percentile, I really enjoy the clouds especially during sunsets and sunrises. If I had a choice to move to Florida, I would definitely stay here because the heat is dry and not sticky like in Florida, so I’ve heard. The only time I’ve experienced that kind of wet heat was during a visit to Hong Kong in the summer. Once you stepped out of your air conditioned hotel room, subway or taxi, you would be sweating like a dog already. Just craziness.

One question, still unanswered for me about desert living is how come the water is always warm or scalding hot during the summer months? I usually shut off all my hot water lines during this time because the cold water is always hot. I don’t recall who told me once that the water pipes running throughout the city are only 2 feet deep and aren’t insulated to keep the heat out. I am not complaining, I’m just trying to understand if this is true and if it is, why?


We escaped with our lives and our packed bags in tow, and headed north away from the deadly heat of Phoenix, just as the humidity climbed to a higher level and induced sweat that soaked through to my second shirt, and even on my tie, I think. An American bulldog in the back, two friends in a car ahead five minutes and three friends in a car behind four hours, my friend and I spoke of the things of life as the Valley settled comfortably into the horizon of the rearview mirror. Cactus gave way to overgrown dried grass and trees engulfed by flames ten years ago now, and life turned green as our wheels hugged the curves and the mountain tops became engrossed by clouds.

We spoke of things not yet seen and Israel Be Strong as The Decembrist accompanied us on the drive.

We arrived and arranged the Payson cabin to the likings of youth such as us, and spent half an hour chasing a gray field mouse through the stone floors and wooden walls. With the sharp breeze of the cold night air we sat on the patio and ate our meals together, and caught up on friendships and plans and travels and loves. We lit our cloves and inhaled the warm smoke deeply and blew it out towards the pine trees that towered over us and waited on the coming rain.

The day following we sat and we hiked, and climbed rocks and looked out on vistas as the place we were seemed so foreign to the place we came from briefly a day ago. We took photographs and wrote, writing down and arranging words and phrases for the world to soon behold and gaze upon, as the people exclaim their wonderment for us as they discover what they should not even reach for; simply because we are the best at what we do. We stood still and watched an elk walk slowly towards us, close enough to be caught in the crossfire of a spit wad war; I’ll be the north and you be the south and the innocent animal will be our citizens.

We spoke of things not yet seen and Israel Be Strong as The Format accompanied us on the drive.

New Dog Park


You just finish building a new freeway. So, what do you do with the freeway’s water retention basin? If you are the Town of Gilbert, you build a dog park there. We went to the opening of the dog park last night and it was just about the coolest water retention basin I have ever seen.


I loved the dog beach. As did the hundreds of dogs who came out. Gilbert’s park has a tot lot (most cities ban children from dog parks – Chandler) as well as the usual cool doggie features. My favorite was the dog fountain hydrant thing. Which is your favorite dog park?


FYI: Weather Warnings

We are currently under a Flash Flood Watch and Severe Thunderstorm Watch. The following bulletins have also been issued: Severe Thunderstorm Warning; Hazardous Weather Outlook. The storm’s they are a’comin! Here’s the NOAA/NWS landing page for the Phoenix area.

Storm slideshow from

AZ Central has quite an impressive reader submitted photo slideshow of the storm and storm damage. The power of nature never ceases to amaze me. AZCentral Storm Slideshow. And while on the topic of weather, I just received my daily text message weather forecast. We’re supposed to be at 99 degrees for Friday and Saturday. Hooray double digits!

Big Mac

Here at the University warehouse building on Broadway & 32nd, the rain seems to be breaking up. I frown upon this, wishing against hope that it would rain forever, or at least for 40 days and 40 nights. I left my apartment this morning and became throughouhly soaked in the 20 feet from the staircase landing to my car, and again in the 15 feet from my car to the back door of my building.

I love the rain and the atmosphere it brings, and people at work seem to be calmer. It has been a stressful week and the rain brings a cleansing nature (a cliche statement, but so true — thank you M. Night), but now the rain has stopped and only the humidity remains, and the outside is lazy. It is so lazy out that not even the vagrents that surround our building have walked the extra five meet to ask me for money.

So, in turn for not being harassed, I buy one a Big Mac — not to be charitable mind you, but to remind them that being less pestering might get you places. Or, it might just leave you on the street corner for the rest of the Phoenix summer.

No conclusion.

Take a Hike – Arizona

Question: What do you do if you are a hiker or an outdoor enthusiast in the Phoenix area? I mean, apart from the monthly pilgrimage to Camelback, South Mountain, Superstitions and the annual one to the Grand Canyon?

Answer: You join the Take a Hike – Arizona Yahoo mailing list / club and put your outdoor activities on the power track.

Wonderful show

I loved watching the lightning show last night. It was like something you would see in the movies, similar to ending of “Deathtrap” with Christopher Reeves.

I was fortunate not to have a power outage from it, though my tower fan mysteriously conked out on me. Even my daughter woke up to see and hear the show. As I took this picture, I just hoped I didn’t get struck. :D


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