Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tovrea Castle

 Tovrea Castle dressed up for the holidays. 

And the basement with the unusual plaster
Carrera's brother thought the depressions looked like nests, so Carrera made six little nests in the basement.   

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Zoolights in the Rain

The rainy entrance to the Phoenix Zoo was a bit deserted on an evening when it is normally jam-packed.  Wed is 1/2 off with a coupon from SRP.
Didn't bring my tripod, so many of the shots were blurry.
 The big ball of lights over the water changes color
one column at a time.
 The 'new' dancing trees section had a nice display for the in-between times rather than leave it dark until the next showing.
 The rain went from a light drizzle to a bit more regular rain.
Here's Jake & Karen, Sue inbetween them, Dave behind them and the rest of the kids and Gramma somehwere behind them yet. At least it was warm enough.  The rain isn't as unpleasant as the bitter cold nights. IT did come down heavy for a short spell.  We are glad the Feenstras come from Michigan and can handle a little rain.

Erik thought it pretty funny to have a dragon setting 'fires' in the rain.
Bunches of animals in this one. 

I spun the camera for this shot of a tree
And I zoomed in on the shot in this one.

Uncle Dave's Birthday

The Feenstras are in town!! We had apple pie for Uncle Dave's birthday 'cake'
 He managed to find enough breath to blow out all the candles.
Happy birthday, Dave!!

Foggy Morning

Last week Friday morning there was fog. Not bad, but still enough to cause accidents. Some pockets were a bit thicker, but by us it wasn't too much at all.
Here's looking up & down the street

Make that down and up the street.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Erik's 14th Birthday!!

Kind of a low-key birthday for Erik, yet we celebrated on three different days.
 I don't know if you can tell on this shot, but he has red and green braces for Christmas.
 I think Jake was more excited to have presents opened than Erik, but Thursday night was the only night we could have just the family together.
 A very happy face for the one thing he really wanted - a DSI XL

Instead of a big party, he wanted a few buddies from school over for games.

His choice of cake was cheesecake.

Blowing out the candles...

After cake they retired to separate computers (thanks to Uncle Scott for giving us these!! No more fighting over computers)

And Saturday, Karen and the boys went to Gramma's and she took them out to Red Robbin for lunch.  Right next door is Krispy Kreme Donuts, and they give a free dozen to anyone on their birthday, so they had to stop there.


THE Copper Chopper

Arizona's Centennial is aproaching, and one custom bike builder made a one-of-a-kind bike he gave to the State.  The State is raffling off the bike for $5 a ticket.  Of course, that means it has to make the rounds at major events and such. Puebloe Grande Indian Market was last weekend and I not only took pictures of the bike....
 Nice looking bike.
State flag imagery etched into the gas tank.
Side plates are 15 pounds of solid copper!!
Oil reserve has 8 pounds of copper.
Most of the rest of the copper is annodized, but still a sharp looking chopper.

I got to help get it off the platform and into the trailer!  Had to wear gloves, even.
 Leather seat looks like wood.

The bike is valued at $100 thousand and someone may win on a $5 ticket.  Of course someone may win having bought a thousand tickets, too.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Lights

We made our annual trek over to a nearby street, Natal Circle, where they always do it up big.

It is always a big draw, but not nearly so busy just yet.

There's usually a Santa peaking in the window at this house.

Houses, trees and inflatables make for a full yard.

Some get very creative with accessories.

Some fill every space with lights.

Sometimes simple is very nice as well.

Very, very creative

And religious, of course!

Pinacate Beetle

Saw this pinacate beetle when closing a park the other day.
 They mimic the bombardier beetles which spray a smelly fluid when threatened.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Farewell to Our Islands

Karen and the boys have made Islands their place of choice to eat for many Tuesdays and it is closing its doors today.  They decided to make one last trek there to say goodbye to their waitress, the manager and everyone else they've met over there.
 Erik outside by the sign. 
Erik and Jake with their waitress, Selena.  She almost looks like one of the family, doesn't she?

Thanks for all the good food and wonderful people, Islands! Too bad that this profitable restaurant wasn't profitable enough for Corporate to keep open.  Now the nearest Islands is something like 15 miles away.  Looks like Karen and the boys will be looking for a new Tuesday spot.  I know they will miss Selena, Devin, Chrissy, Brittany, Amber, and, of course, Fred.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

State Capitol Field Trip

I went with Jake's class to the AZ State Capitol building which was built before Arizona became a state. 
 If we had waited until after the tour, we would have had full sunlight instead of mixed shadows.  Obviously, the sun was bright, maybe too bright.  Behind the kids is the House building, and behind me was the Senate building.  Behind the original capitol is the current capitol.

 Atop the capitol building is not only a statue, it is a large weather vane.  A wind of about 7 mph or more will move it.  The dome is made of copper, I think our guide said something along the line of 1 million plus pennies would be needed to cover it.

 Jake and two of his best friends, Cameron and Rachel.

Petrified wood logs are placed outside. 

The State Seal in tile.  Well, very nearly so.  There are some small mistakes.

 We learned about the USS Arizona, which was built starting in 1912, and sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Longer than two football fields, it took 9 minutes to sink (with nearly or just over 1000 men aboard) and 4 or 5 days to burn.  900+ died

A piece of the ship.  Much of it remains as a memorial where it was sunk.  The larger pieces sticking out of the water, the guns and anything else worth salvaging were removed shortly after it was sunk.

The impressive silver service from the ship had been removed prior to it heading to Hawaii.

We went into the Senate buidling, but weren't allowed to have cameras on in there.