Sunday, February 27, 2011

Snow, More PA, and a Contest

All the other bloggers currently in southern Arizona have pictures of snow on their blogs today, so here's a picture of what I woke up to this morning. No snow here in Apache Junction, but the Superstition Mountains were really pretty.

I thought I was through with snow when I left my father's house in Pennsylvania. We got 6" one evening. My sister and I uncovered the rental car after Steve, the World's Best Neighbor, plowed the driveway.

And speaking of Steve, and wife Nancy, they had a little get-together to celebrate my father's 90th with a birthday pie. Again, it had 10 candles.

Steve also made homemade ice cream with his little motorized ice cream maker. He does this every time it snows, because he can use the snow instead of buying ice.

Someone sent my father this button, and he wore it everywhere.

My father used to be an avid stamp collector, but when he found out that he couldn't even sell them for face value, he started using them for postage. He gave my sister and I a bunch of old 22-cent stamps to double up. This is my take, but I may have to keep the CPA ones on top.

Nancy's niece did a lot of genealogy research for my father. I thought this was hysterical - my great-great-grandmother objecting to telephone pole placement in 1911, at the age of 70.

And now for the contest! I got an email from the company that does Microsoft's promotions, offering me 5 copies of the brand new 2011 Streets and Trips to give away on my blog. So I need to come up with a contest. Anyone have any ideas? Rick drew names out of a hat, and I'll do that too unless I get a better idea. The contest will be in the next post!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Very Special Day

Last week my sister and I flew to Pennsylvania to help celebrate my father's 90th birthday! Our one-and-only cousin, Linda, and her daughter, Rebecca, were putting on a party at the local fire hall. This must be the place!

My father's usually on the other end of the camera, but he adjusted well.

Inside, the room was decorated with lots of old photos. Not only is my father a photographer, but his father was too.

Every table had a scrapbook page decorated with photos in a filmstrip.

Every attendee received a film canister filled with blue and yellow M&Ms.

Rebecca had the kitchen under control -

And they put on quite a spread.

My father never once sat down, not even to eat! He was having a great time "working the room."

The cake had 10 candles on it. It was just easier to count down from 100.

It was wonderful to visit with all his friends and neighbors. Some I had not seen since I was a child.

Gigi, my father's friend from camera club, was my classmate in high school.

I managed to get a picture of my sister and I with my father and my sister's kids, who flew in from Florida. It was a terrific day!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dance Rally and More

The Saturday night dance was Hawaiian Dress-Up night at the WIN Dance Rally.

There was a contest for the Best Costume. I did my best to work the crowd, but didn't win.

Before the dance, we had a Hawaiian Luau, complete with Kalua Pork. Unfortunately, I was too busy eating, and didn't get a picture of the food.

But I did get a picture of Phyllis and Jackie, who brought in the ice cream. Wow, that Phyllis is really hot!

Thanks to Max who got this video. I was too busy picking my jaw up off the floor...

On another topic, I've made another improvement to my rig. I had a fairly old non-digital LCD TV that took up my biggest cabinet, in the corner over the all-purpose table. It was also difficult to watch TV from the chair.

I bought a new thin LED TV -

And mounted it on the wall with a full-motion wall mount. I was a little nervous that it wouldn't mount securely enough, but it's in a stud, and seems very tight. The arms on the mount are also very tight, and do not swing around when I'm travelling. So I gained a huge cabinet, which I didn't have any trouble filling.

One more unrelated item - Why do all the ads on my internet pages tell me how to get rid of my wrinkles? Is someone on the other side looking through the internet at me??? That seems so wrong!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dancing My Feet Off

This week was the annual WIN Dance Rally. We had a blast! Dancing Judy provided dance instruction every day. This year there was a Hawaiian theme.

The rally is held at the fairgrounds in Casa Grande, AZ. It's kind of interesting, because all the workers are prisoners. The state prison is nearby.

Each year we have a "Talent/No Talent Show." The No Talent Band entertained us as we came into the hall. No practicing was encouraged or even allowed.

Various funny acts followed, but I thought the highlight was Mimi, the final act. Every one was rolling on the floor.

Every night we had a DJ play music at our dance, but one night we had a live band.

During one of their breaks, Bagpipe Bob entertained us. Did you ever wonder what is under that kilt?

Well, my friend Pat was determined to find out, and wanted me to document it. What did we find? I'll never tell...

Bob always has to get his picture taken with all his female fans. More on the Dance Rally later - I have to go dance!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Naked Bookseller and More

There's a lot to see in this tiny town, including the (nearly) Naked Bookseller, Paul Winer. He's very photo-friendly, and has a great bookstore too. Of course, a lot of bloggers (including yours truly) come here to get blog-fodder....

Every year, the WINs have their annual Desert Golf Tournament while in Quartzsite. Each participant is given a golf club and a tennis ball, and the best hit of the team is used.

Another annual event we have is to go to "Somewhere" in Bouse. Yes, that's the name of the bar. They open it up one night just for us, and have a live band and burn-your-own steaks. Lots of fun!

When the WIN gathering ended, I moved over to where the Escapee Boomers were parked. I had never done anything with them before, so I thought I'd check them out. They were located up on a hill east of town and had a nice view of Quartzsite in the background.

There were a lot of rigs there. I'm on the far right, near the bottom.

Tom Doerr, one of the Boomers, took the last picture from his powered parachute. He went up every morning, and took off right next to my rig.

Farther out the road we were on are a couple old cabins.

People have gone to a lot of work to fix this one up, although no one really lives here.

The different kinds of rocks used in the construction were very colorful.

Nice signage -

And an interesting interior. There was even a big screen TV!

And a Victoria's Secret underwear tree!

The roof needed some work.

But there was a satellite dish for that big screen TV. I wonder how well that beer can works?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Swansea Ghost Town

About 40 miles northeast of Quartzsite, WAY out in the desert, lies the ghost town of Swansea. The buildings there are about 100 years old. This was the general store.

Swansea was first a silver mine, but when the silver ran out, it became a copper mine. That's when this power plant was built.

This Dust Chamber was part of the smelting process, used to extract the copper. By 1909, the town grew to 500 people, and included saloons, a post office, and even a moving picture house.

There are still many deep mine shafts in the area.

The first train arrived at this adobe depot on the new Swansea Railroad in 1910. By May of that year the furnaces began producing the first copper at a rate of 50 tons a day.

I think I found a little piece.

Of course, the main reason I came was to find "rusty stuff." There was a lot of it - both big -

And small.

My sister, Barbara, looks very comfortable on these rusty springs.

But how did they get water to the town? Through this pipeline, about 4 miles long. We set out to find the pumping plant on the river.

The guys gather to confer....

Here's the source of the water - the Bill Williams River. There are supposed to be wild burros around here. Others saw them, but all I saw was -