Monday, March 31, 2008


Spring is in the air, so why not put it down onto paper, eh? 8"x10"

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Desert Botanical Gardens

Wow! I had been over to the Desert Botanical Gardens a week or two ago and everything was so-so. Looks like they've peaked since then....


Prickly Pear

? Looks like a claret cup flower - probably some sort of hedgehog-type cactus.

They are both in the same family anyhow.


Evening Primrose

Looks like a large Zinnia

Some kind of Sunflower


This all must mean the heat is right around the corner!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Last Summer's Night Bloomer

I took this one after work one night last summer.

Here's a close up of a little daredevil I caught making a midnight run.

Spring Blooms

I love taking pictures of spring blooms. Even if I already have dozens of the same pictures already. Here are some decent ones from this week.

Agave Stalk

Apple Cactus (right out front at the house)

Hedgehog Cactus

Hedgehog Cactus

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Break

Randy Johnson hurling some pitches at the Tucson Electric Park against the Dodgers. My brother-in-law, Scott, from California - the one with the foam matress business listed to the side - took a rare day off and drove out to see a couple spring training games. He was kind enough to bring me along...By the way, he also says if you mention Ranger Dan when buying a matress from him, he'll throw in an extra travel pillow for free....As the Dodgers spring training facility is in Florida, their appearance could be considered rare as well. That is, unless you are aware of the fact that they are leaving Florida and coming to Arizona next year for spring training. Quite a good game with the Dodgers taking an early lead 3 - 0 and the D-Backs not really catching up completely until they go ahead in the 8th.
Our mascot - Baxter the Bobcat. A bobcat for the Diamondbacks? How can that possibly make any sense?! Well, our stadium was named Bank One Ballpark (BOB - BOBcat, get it?) for the first number of years. It is now Chase Field, but how can you cut loose a mascot after it has become established? Besides, you can't exactly have a snake running around.

A Little Snow

Well, after seeing all the Midwest snow pictures we couldn't hold out any longer. Took a trip up to Flagstaff after what we thought was a Sunday storm. Turns out the storm missed the city, but created white-out conditions on the freeway to the east and caused something on the order of a 100+ car pile up.

There wasn't much left at lower elevations. This was at a sled run operated by the park service. The conditions were packed, icy snow and fairly steep hills. Both boys hurt their backs on one of their first runs...

Karen lost her shoes, and if you look closely you can see one flying in the air in this shot. She ended up with a nice ice burn - kind of like a carpet burn - on one heel. I scraped two knuckles on my run and we decided that it was maybe too icy to continue, so we found some much smaller slopes. Turns out this was the last day they were going to be open for the year.

At least when we got tired of the snow and cold we could go back home to upper 70's and spring flowers. Now we're creeping into the 90's, so that means summer is around the corner for us!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Remembering Grampa

We took the boys & Gramma to see where Grampa's ashes were laid. We had missed the Grandfather part on the plaque, but Mom wasn't exactly in mindframe to make a whole lot of decisions when they asked what to put on there (four words). I thought we might have substituted 'Grandfather' for 'and' but I believe I hadn't caught it until just afterwards and just let it go.

The boys really felt we should have brought flowers for him, so when they saw some floating in the fountain they took one and we managed to place it by the plaque. It's been one year now since his passing, and they hadn't been here yet. They hadn't even been to a cemetary, so we walked around a bit and looked at gravestones. It is a relatively new place, so the oldest stones were 1999.

Gramma is doing remarkably well. She has a tremendous group of friends at the park and church, and is usually busy with something or many things every day. We were glad to be able to spend the day with her and take her out to lunch to celebrate her birthday a couple days late at Red Robin.

Who Knows How Far He'll Go?!?

Our little fisherman is also into riding his bike as much as we'll let him. I'm not sure if its the independence we allow him or the fact that he's finally riding without training wheels (or that he just got this cool, new bike). He has taken to riding like a fish to water. I don't think it will be terribly long before he starts beating Erik in terms of speed.
Erik's been riding more lately, too, so maybe he'll continue to improve as well. He's been itching to ride to school with Dad. I'm thinking it won't be very long before we do.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


While many are still looking out for the next snowfall, we're enjoying our (usually too short-lived) nice spring weather. Jakob insisted on going fishing this weekend. He did seem to pick it up pretty well. He even got the hang of casting - as long as we weren't under a tree or very close to anyone else.

He wanted to catch a fish that we could cook for dinner. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

Hmm, maybe its not too late to teach him the principles of 'catch & release.'

Old Friends

My old buddy Kev Corcoran who lived just down the street when I was young visited on Saturday. Probably my best friend from those days (Paul would have been a close second). We went to 1st & 2nd grades together, but I moved to Brookfield, Wisconsin before 3rd grade. Of course we lost contact after that. Funny how things work out - Paul VanderLei and Kev went to school together through elementary and Paul moved to Phoenix in highschool. They did keep in contact after that. Paul & I met back up at Calvin College when we happened to be in the same dorm. Kev visited Paul at college & Paul reintroduced us. Now we all keep in touch - well, pretty much.
Kev hasn't changed much over the years. He's an avid hiker and works at Northrop Grumman in California. He has a great sense of humor and loves to laugh. How could anyone not like that?

Tea and Old Lace

Another 'just for fun' drawing.