Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Wednesday, Nov 14

Still a little chilly in Apache Junction, but it seemed a bit warmer than yesterday.  The nights are definitely jacket weather lately.  It got to about 18C today, so not too bad for us northerners.
  This morning we did a few errands around the park.  While Marg went to the hall to pick up a bunting bag she ordered from one of the ladies in the quilting group, I went to the office to make arrangements for transport to and from the airport next month.  The park manager offers the service, but he is getting lots of requests before and after Christmas.  Marg also checked the Thanksgiving dinner schedule and two groups have us booked in their table.  How did this happen, well apparently she agreed to help carve turkey for the dinner, how come I never knew this until now?  She has it sorted out now, but there is quite a lengthy story about this.
  That done we had lunch, it was French Toast, one of my all time favourites.  I brought a bottle of the maple flavoured syrup from home and she bought a nice French loaf.  Made for a very nice lunch as it is one of my fav's.  I always tell her you don't even have to ask if I would like French Toast, the answer will always be yes.
  After lunch I went to play pool for a bit.  There were a couple guys looking for a victim, so I joined them.  They were both normally very good, but may have been having an off-day.  Anyway I never played on a loosing team, so it was fun.  Marg has decided that small laundry loads are better than having a large batch, so did a couple loads.
   Then we went out to fine a stone to put our address numbers on.  We have a site number on a rock out front, but it is very faded form the sun so we want to do something better.  First stop was an rv salvage yard where we bought a concrete block that looks a bit like a pyramid.  She didn't like the easy to get ones, so I had to push back a thorny bush to get the perfect one.  The junk yard guy charged me $3 for it.  After thinking about it, we stopped in at Home Depot.  They had some that were nicer for $2, so that gave her a story she could hardly wait to share.
  When we got back happy hour had already started, so we went to join in.  Of course she told the story about my good deal on the block of concrete.   It got lots of laughs.  Supper tonight was burgers.  It was Gary's burgers and they are always good.  I don't believe we have ever missed having them.  Very tasty and very filling at a very good price.
  After supper I went to play poker.  We had a full table and the money seemed to change from person to person.  in the end there did not seem to be a large winner, but Lynette seemed to make out fine,  Me, well the crown bag was a little heavier and we had lots of laughs.  Well most of us, you know winners tell jokes - losers just say shut up and deal.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Tuesday, Nov 13th

Another chilly day in the sunny south.  I believe the daytime high was 64 or 65F, for my metric followers, that would be something like 15 or 16 C.  I still had shorts on for that part of the day, but had to go to the long pants in the evening.
  We hung around the house the first part of the morning, after yesterday I had to set the brakes up a bit on the cart, but it is running great.  About mid-morning Marg went down to the hall and a couple of them cleaned up the bingo machine including washing all the balls.  While she was doing that I went down to see Jim.  They had a real bad water leak in their 5th wheel in the night and he had a fall hurting his arm, so I went to see if he needed any help. 
  A couple of the guys rented a driveway/patio washer.  They were doing some driveways in the park, its kind of like a very large floor washer.  It has a large gas ending to provide pressure water to feed a rotary pressure wand that is operating like a floor finisher.  It worked pretty well and left the driveways very nice, the road way not so much.  We never had ours done as we washed it when we first arrived and it was too much work to empty it now.
  When I got back I went with Marg for a few groceries.  First I stopped to take the puller back to OReilly's and I was surprised to learn they were prepared to refund the entire amount, it was a FREE loaner.  I wanted one for myself to do the cart at home, so they gave exchanged it for a brand new one.  What a great service.  Then it was over to Walmart for some groceries.  Very busy in there today. 
  We got back just at lunch time and right after we unpacked, Marg got a few visitors.  Time was wasting, so I skipped lunch and went to play pool.  The guy I was playing was really giving me a lesson for the first few games, but I did manage to win 3, so not too bad.
  Happy hour was at Kenny & Doris' and theirs was one of the very clean driveways.  There were about 20 or so today. It was a good opportunity to solve all the major world problems over a beer, as usual.
  Supper tonight was chicken in the slow cooker.  Marg puts the potatoes and vegetables in with it and it comes out sort of a cross between a stew and swiss steak.  It was very good anyway.  Dessert was apple pie and ice cream, it just doesn't get any better than that.  It was a bit of a rushed affair as it was bingo night.  We always sit with the same two couples and one of the gamblin gals.  Marg was the only winner at our table tonight.  A successful evening.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Monday, Nov 12

  The weather took a turn for the cooler today, I think the daytime high only got to about 68F, mainly a result of the cool wind.  I got out early in the day, so wore long pants and a jacket. I saw on the TV weather that they are opening the ski hill up at Show Low this weekend.
  Well it must have been a long weekend here as it seemed there were a lot of people with the day off.  For some reason they were having Veterans day parades in the Phoenix area today.  I guess that is fine, but I can't help but think if they did that at home I'm not sure what the reaction would be.  I think Kenny said it best when he asked what is next - having Christmas on the 24th?
    The battery doctor showed up at our door right around 8:30 this morning.  He did a great job of removing the old batteries and cleaning up all the battery acid residue.  To keep the mess to a minimum he put down a tarp and collected everything that fell off.  He installed 6 new batteries including new cables, even the nut & washer on the terminals.  In the end the cost was $800 USD, but it was nice he came right to our place and took away the old ones.  After he went down to Kenny's and did the same thing for him.  We both got the US 2200 6 volt that have more amp hours than any others on the market, the supplier said they should last 5 or more years.  After the guy left I had to mess with the connections a bit to get the horn and lights working again.
  Marg went with the gamblin gals up to the Fort, but they left a bit later this morning.  There were only 3 of them this morning.  I guess the place was packed, so they have decided that Monday is not a good choice and will be changing in the future.  The Casino part of the day was not too kind to the gals, but Marg did win at bingo.  It would have been a nice win, except for the 5 others that also shared in the prize.  Oh well, a win is a win!
  For the balance of the morning I wiped out the under floor heating duct.  There has been quite a bit of dust from the supper dust storms this year.  I tied rags on a garden hose to use and it seemed to work pretty good.  I had quite a mess when all was said and done.  Then I put filters on the floor grates, so hope this helps with dust levels in our place.
  Lunch was not up to the usual good standard, but I did manage to feed myself with a pastrami & chees on whole wheat and a bowl of fruit salad.  I thought I did pretty good for as I didn't have to resort to peanut butter and jam.  LOL
  After lunch I spent almost 2 hours with Tracfone getting our new phone set up and renewing Marg's phone.  Fortunately I was able to do that on the land line as the quality of the speaker is that much better.  When you are dealing with English is a second language people you cannot over-estimate the value of voice clarity.  It was a good thing I got Marg's set up as the new flip phone is still not operating.
  The balance of the afternoon I spent on the golf cart going over the brakes.  Jim had made me a bar to get the remaining wheel drum off, but it never did the trick.  I had enough, so went to O'Reilly auto parts and bought a puller.  They offered to rent it to me for $26, but I opted to buy it for $27.  Didn't make sense to me, but the young clerk seemed to think it did.   Back a the park, the wheel drum popped right off with the new puller.  Could have saved myself a lot of frustration if I had bought it last year.  The brakes are about 98% better since I beveled the leading/trailing edge and lightly sanded the glaze form the surface of the shoe. 
  By the time I got everything put away it was time to meet Marg at the front gate.  Picked the ladies up and this was her first time driving with the new batteries.  She seemed impressed with the zip in the old buggy, so it might be worth the first born we had to pay for the new batteries.
  We did a quick turnaround and caught the last bit of happy hour.  The new owners of Nancy's park model were our hosts tonight, so it was a bit like old times even though Marg's friend was not there.  It was nice that she had a lot of things that were surplus to them that she just put out for anyone who could use them.  Marg took and ice maker and some bbq tools, both of which will be handy.
  For supper we went out to Denny's.  Kenny & Doris were kind of at loose ends, so when Marg said well I'm not cooking, they asked our plans.  As Doris had put her beans on late, they opted to join us.  It was nice that Kenny treated us, said he wanted to repay us for the times Marg had fed them. 
  From the weather when we got back, it is going to be a cool one tonight, something like 48 F, so about 8C.  This is close to what would be considered brutally cold here.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembrance Day 2018

It was chilly last night, the day warmed up a little slower than yesterday, but still got to be very pleasant. 
  I went to the Veterans day parade here in AJ.  It was a pretty good parade with lots of entries, someone said 60, so it took a while.  I was alone, so took a lawn chair and sat in the first opening I found.  I had an old guy, well older than me on each side.  One was only 4 years older, he had served in the navy.  The other was 87 and he had served in Korea and had a Korean War Veteran hat.  He got a lot of attention from marchers in the parade.  They weren't able to arrange a fly over with the airforce, but someone in an old bi-place did one trailing smoke and made 3 loops, then waggled his wings as he flew along the route.  They don't wear poppies in advance here, rather the legion members hand them out at the parade.  I had been wearing one I brought from home and the lady who gave me one complimented nice Canadian poppy.
  Marg did some laundry today, two loads I believe.  The weather was good for drying with a bit of wind all day.  The temp got up in the high 70's but the wind was cooler.  She has a steamer that stays here as well as the folding clothes rack to hang things on when steaming, so she doesn't need to bring one from home.  She wanted to get things caught up today because tomorrow the gamblin gals are headed to the Fort to do their thing.
  She also had quite a few visitors today. I overheard her playing videos of Sophie performing karaoke to a few of them. 
  When I got back to the park I worked on the golf cart.  There is a problem with the brake shoes making too much noise when stopping, so much its embarrassing.  I got the driver side hub off and beveled the leading & trailing edge of the shoes and buffed the shoe face where it was showing signs of glazing.  I made a puller that worked on that side, but it wasn't strong enough for the other, so I will tackle it tomorrow.  I wasted a bunch of time running around to get some steel to make the puller, so a bit frustrating when it folded like a tent on the second wheel.
  Supper tonight was the leftover swiss steak and it was just as good as yesterday.  Something like stew I guess, in that regard.  Marg made biscuits to go with it.  I love biscuits, so that was a real treat.  In fact dessert was a bit of peanut butter or honey on them.
  After supper a neat thing happened.  The fellow who helped when I took the wheels off last year stopped by after supper to see how I made out.  At this moment he is probably fabricating a piece of hard steel to make a puller strong enough to get the other wheel off, we will see but I am pretty certain Jim will come up with something that works.  The battery doctor is coming to put new ones in the cart, so will probably take another look at it after he leaves.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Saturday, Nov 10th

It was another nice day in the Valley.  It is noticeably cooler at night, but the daytime highs are still in the high 70's, low 80's.
  I went out for breakfast to the hall, first time this year.  Earlier I thought they wanted me to take cash for the crew, but the assoc. treasurer stepped in.  The crew that were to do breakfast fell apart when the leader had a stroke and his partner was at the hospital with him.  The people that stepped in and did a commendable job.  I sat at a table of guys, there seem to be quite a few couples where only one goes for breakfast, much like us.  Kind of like animals in the wild who form bachelor herds.
  When I got back Mediacom had called and the tech showed up shortly after.  He was quite good at his job and got us connected much quicker than in previous years.  The wifi was the easy part for him, then the television.  For the land line he had to contact the office as there was a problem with the way they had set up our service order.  He was impressed that we still had our documents from last year as it made things go much smoother.  He used the same identity and password so all we had to do was turn on the laptop and ipad and they were operating.    Our phone number on the landline is 480-935-1493.
  After the guy left we went out to a few park wide sales.  It was getting close to noon, so it was getting too late for that as many vendors had packed up and the rest were getting pretty picked over.  Marg never bought anything, I found a craftsman 1/2 inch combination wrench.  I only had a box end one in my tool shed, so I spent the dollar.  LOL  We gave up on this pretty quickly and went to Big 5 sporting goods.  I am looking for a bike rack that fits on the hitch at the back.  They had a couple different ones, but not what I was looking for.  That was about it this morning.
  Back at our place we had lunch and then I went to play pool.  There were no players, so I went and got Bob from Ohio.  He started out with a couple of quick wins, but then I got lucky on him.  They were all close games and we had a few laughs in the process.
  Marg made a swiss steak in the slow cooker and let it do it's magic all afternoon.  She had a few visitors this afternoon, one was the fellow who was in the hospital last night [after having an artery opened] and his wife.  I guess he is doing just fine and came to thank us for our concern.  Later she went to check the mail box and we had some, even though we have not forwarded our mail from home.  Mainly it was junk, but Mediacom was already sending stuff.
  Happy hour was at Kenny & Doris' place.  As usual they had a large gathering.  There was a couple who just pulled in to the park that came.  They are from Ontario and this is their 2nd or 3rd year travelling to AZ for the winter.  They have the right idea, if you put yourself out a bit, you get to meet people and get more out of a place.  Supper tonight was the delicious swiss steak. 

Friday, 9 November 2018

Friday, Nov 9th

It was a bit cooler today, but was still in the high 70's, although the wind blew hard all day. 
  We got up and were out checking out garage sales early in the morning.  There were a lot of them in our area and Marg did manage to find a few things.  I bought 8 pocket books, all westerns.  It was funny I walked up to one sale and the guy said - Where do I know you from?  It turns out they were in Carefree a few years back, but now have a house in an area having a community wide sale.  It turns out they were almost right behind us one year.  We saw one that was huge on a rural like property as a fund raiser for abandoned animals.  That was where I bought the books.
  After lunch we went to Walmart in Mesa to deal with our cell phones down here.  We have been having trouble with voice clarity on the our flip phone and our other phone contract expired and needs a new SIM card.  We picked up a new flip phone, yes Charlene a new flip phone and a time card to renew the expired one.  By the way the flip phone was $19.98, what a deal.  I wanted to try my new VISA and fortunately it worked just fine. 
  On the way back I stopped for fuel at a Circle K.  The points we earn at Fry's grocery store can also be redeemed at Circle K and as luck would have it we have already earned 10 cents a gallon discount, so that made it $2.73 per gallon, that would be about 61 cents a litre.  Almost all places are pay at the pump now, but you have to enter your ZIP code which is 5 numbers.  I have tried our AZ code, but it doesn't work.  We Canadians don't have a ZIP, so that means a trip in to the store to prepay where you try to estimate how much your tank will hold.  Usually that means picking a number like $50 or $100 and if you want a proper receipt, a second trip where they print it out.  A real pain.  I found out in Montana on the way down that we can use our postal code numbers, even though there are 3 letters & 3 numbers.  We just use the 3 numbers followed by 2 zeros.  I've only been doing this for 10 years, I wonder how long this has been an available.
  When we got back, Kenny & Doris stopped in for a bit.  He went to the Mesa Market and ordered batteries from the same Dr. Battery that I did.  He even ordered the same ones that are supposed to be the best available and the guy said he would do Kenny's when he finishes ours on Monday.  His prices are pretty competitive and include installation right here in the park, all new cables, cleaning up the battery brackets and spray painting them.  It's about $100 more than doing them yourself, but it eliminates the mess, the problem of taking the 6 battery cores back plus they clean up the brackets and put a coating on the terminals.  An error in connecting them can be very costly.  For example one of the problems can be not keeping the cables tightly twisted in a 36 volt system.  One of the ladies in our park had someone install hers.  In the process they must have turned the cable causing it to loose some of the twist.  That caused a minor explosion that broke the terminal right off the battery.
  We went to happy today and there was a pretty good sized group there.  It's a good news/bad news thing.  It's nice seeing the camaraderie, but pretty had to carry on much of a conversation at times.  Supper tonight was BBQ burgers, we got some nice ones from Costco.  We have started having them with chips, which is very common here instead of fries.  A common mistake many tourists make is ordering chips when they mean fries down here. 

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Thursday, Nov 6th

  An early start to the day today, I had to be out the door by 7 AM.  Pat picked me up for golf, he got a deal at the Links at Queen Creek.  It was $20 for 9 holes with a cart and it included a breakfast sandwich [just like a bacon & egger at A&W].  The course had a group playing off the front 9, we started on #10. The course was very wet and seemed like a very heavy dew, but they either watered or flooded it over the night.  By the second hole we had our jackets off and it was drying up quickly.  It played quick with a twosome and we were under 2 hours.  The funny part was we ended with the same score which for me was quite respectable and I never lost a ball.
  When I got home, Marg had gone out for a little retail therapy.  There is a new Ross store in the area vacated by Frys, so she went there and Bells.  It turned out pretty successful.  The main win was a purse, which for her is no small thing as she has been looking for a long time.  I believe there is a fairly long list of needs to be met and this one must have hit on every one of them to rate a purchase.  There were a few other really good deals she managed to find while there.  The latest purchases had an exchange rate of $1.34, so that really puts a damper on anything that is not good value.
  After lunch we went to check on the UPS outlet as the note on our door said the credit card we were expecting would be there after 1:00, but it wasn't.  He thought it should be shortly, so we went over the strip mall across the road.  I went to Harbour Freight, Marg to Big Lots.  She came out with about 3 bags of good deals on stuff for the house and I got a parts holder for screws and what not.  Then we went over to Bashas where we picked up some stuff she was having difficulty finding.  There was some slow cooker sauces and she got a great deal on some sirloin steaks to use in making a stew in the slow cooker later this week.  She also got some coolers [4 for $2.99], a bottle of Baileys and a couple bottles of wine at a very good price.  We found the Swedish  vodka Bill likes on sale, it was $6.29 for a 750 ml bottle, but as we don't drink it never brought any home.  Checked back for the UPS, but the drive had still been there not there to drop it off.
  Back at our place I had some stuff to scan and post for the tenants association here on its facebook page.  The combination of pictures and information are what drive traffic to the site and contribute to increased participation.  We have been so successful that the tenants site eclipses the parks site by several times.  While I was doing this we got a call that the UPS parcel had arrived, so Marg went and picked it up.
  Supper was a beef dip, using one of the sauces we picked up early this afternoon, accompanied with a salad.  After supper we went for a walk around the park.  There were not as many people out at that time, so we only had to stop and visit about 3 times.  I took a flashlight and my scorpion black light along.  We checked several likely spots, but never saw any scorpions tonight.  I was careful poking around as there are still some active snakes although they are usually inactive when it gets chilly at night.  They will be hibernating soon until it warms up again in February or March.  One of our neighbours scared one up on Friday when he was cleaning around his shed.