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.

Friday, November 5, 2010

To Do List

And you think YOU have a busy day planned!
This is what Jake has in mind for Saturday:
Karen thought #14 was interesting.  Good thing she can be prepared (like he hasn't started bugging her for one already - daily)! #15 is not a misspelled attempt to go to burger king but rather, 'bug erik.'  And the boxes are for checking off as the day progresses and each item is accomplished.