More Power!

The heat pump is here and hooked up to the pool, but there is no power to run the unit. We called the electrician and have not received a response yet. Hope he can get here soon. I would really like to get warm water.


142 Days Without Rain

We finally got rain. After 142 days with nothing we got a good solid rain. I think it rain more than 24 hours. My yard is just starting to dry up after being 4" under water in spots.

This is not a monsoon rain, though. Monsoon rains flood the pool and the whole yard!


I don't have to face a Monday this week! Of course, it is a holiday without pay because I am a lowly consultant. Job hopping has downsides.

Time to get tons done around the house. Mostly hanging art. I have some X10 installs to do. The Nautica room is online, but the library is an outlet short of that goal. I am planning to get the front (porch) lights online and working with the Lounge light to welcome use home.


Note: This is only slightly political in that Arizona was “late” to adopt the holiday

Greg and Carol

Greg and Carol were here for dinner last night. We ate well and had a great time. We even managed to keep "worried mother" Carol out to almost midnight.

We started with martinis and appetizers. Olives, cheese plate, garlic mushrooms and an onion tart. The olives were a huge hit with Greg. We all loved the mushrooms. The onion tart was tasty, but definitely needs to be warm when served. The first few bite were very good, but it lost something as it cooled.

Dinner was Swordfish Siracusa and Prosciutto Asparagus with a Mark West Pinot Noir. Normally she make the Siracusa sauce with chicken for me. It was very good with the swordfish and the guests loved it.

Karen tried her hand at baking again. Blueberry Butter cake is somewhere between blueberry cobbler and cheesecake. It was great, I had two pieces. Well, off to clean up...

204 (How do you eat like that and lose weight?) (Damned beeper went off 3 times during dinner for stuff I could do nothing about!)

Master Bath Project Begins

We contacted Expo and made an appointment with their designer to update the master bath.


Electrician Is Here

Kevin the electrician is here working on powering the heat pump. He is nearly done so we should have warm water today.

It appears the neighbors are getting some work done on the pool. There are guys with jackhammers and a dust cloud from the pulverized concrete. It is very noisy. Hey! They just backed a truck up in their driveway. I guess to haul away the concrete chunks?


Record Heat, High Wind

Apparently after a record setting temperature day we are getting a super windy night.

Heat Pump

The installers from Leslie's should be here any moment to install the heat pump so we can use the pool again. The pool season is long here, but from October to April the pool is just chilly. The water is still under 60 Fahrenheit. It was 42 in January. Last July it was 80.

Growing up in Pennsylvania these numbers seem high, but the air temp differential is much higher. I have not considered why it feels so cold, but I am sure there is a good solid explanation.


Someone Else Understands Plasticville

I went to get take out from Flo's and met a guy from Danbury. Get this story...

He moved out here with his wife for her job. He is finding the salary range much lower than back east. I shared my HOA nightmares with him and he chuckled knowingly. He said the Snottsdale attitude has him moving to Surprise. They are leaving their second condo for a house out there. Nicer than this place, less than half the price!

His favorite encounter was on a golf course. He live near the FLW and Scottsdale road intersection. Some days he exercises the dog along the canal. The golf course is next to the canal. His usual time for this exercise is early afternoon on weekdays when the course is usually empty. He rides his bike and the dog runs with him. One day the dog got out in front a bit and a man in a golf cart drives full speed toward the dog and makes a sharp skid turn in front of the dog! The dog sits and stares at the golf cart driver, a bit confused. My Danbury friend catches up and the cart driver starts threatening him and the dog! "you oughtta leash that animal before someone gets hurt, I got my phone right here I call someone to get this animal off the course, blah blah, threat, empty words..."

So here we have a fine example of California Transplantation. The man nearly runs down a dog with a golf cart. The dog reacts by sitting at attention. The Transplant threatens the dog, the owner and civility because he is used to getting his way. I asked my friend from Danbury why he did not threaten to snap his scrawny neck before his finished dialing his phone for help just for threatening his dog. We laughed at the thought then went back to our beers knowing that is exactly what the cart creep wanted. He was trying to provoke a reaction that would be actionable. Push civility to the breaking point then sue to collect cash.

BTW, The food was good.



Kevin is done and the heat pump is raising the pool temperature.

Well, it excited me!

Religious Intolerance, Do Not Read!

So, one of Plasticville's other perks is religious freedom, but not freedom from religion.

Upon meeting our new next door neighbors we were invited to "join them Sunday" and for Bible Study Thursday. I didn't even know their religion and I was invited. The "man of the house" quickly "shushed" her realizing it was probably too soon in the relationship to bring up the subject.

Can't blame her really. The other new neighbor moved in to be closer to their fellow congregants. We were really just "moving in with the flock" in her eyes. It would be rude not to extend the offer. Maybe she gets a free week off offerings?

We can't even discuss the depth of disdain from my neighbors when I did not decorate for the religious holidays in December. They were not sure whether to be more confused or concerned. "Are you Jewish?" Our friendly parishioner asked. The newest owners of one of our close cluster of homes proudly displays a Buddha on the entry column. I can't imagine the confusion and unknowing abuse they are getting.

Today, a slightly terrified, skinny, little kid stopped by to hand deliver an invitation. It was to a gathering at the Glendale Arena. He handed it over face down so I would not reject it immediately. His hand shook as he passed it to me.

I happily took his page and said something like, "Oh!" "Great!" "The Glendale Arena" Then closed the door before his speech began. Kid might have a career in sales after this round of rejection.

Well, in case you read this without heading my warning (bad bLog reader!) and wanted to join the Witnesses at their global, arena-sized, weekend-long recruitment drive the information is a below. If you can read it, you could just go the Watch Tower.

Oh, by the way, welcome to Scottsdale. Bible Study is tomorrow night. Topic is "Wives Gone Wild: What would Isaac do?"

Short Days

The short days are really getting me down. I am driving to work in the dark and I get home to less than 30 minutes of daylight. I just can't get anything done during the week! I have been working with my landscape lighting. I replaced the old wires that were wrapped up in the roots of the plants and trees. I needed to move the lights because the plants they were originally placed to light have grown over them.

I got some Home Depot Gift Cards this year so I am having a ball spending them.



We had a "just us" Turkey Day this year. I think this officially make Sharon Drive home. Karen's family is addicted to food events and has the need to share photographs of the big meals. This is not any weirder than my need to show off Wet Dry Vacs, but it just as weird.

Photo Album: Thanksgiving

Independence Day

Independence Day Weekend is a big deal for the Melchers. Dad’s birthday on the 5th, Mom’s history interest, fascination with fireworks and summer’s irresistible call to be outside for any reason.

As previously mentioned my mother is a history buff with a particular interest in this nation. They were here July Fourth so we needed to take in some fireworks. We took them to the Rawhide 1860's Western Town for a day of storytelling and re-enactments with a side of Chuck Wagon cookouts and fireworks.

Photo Album: Rawhide Western Town, Wild Horse Pass, Ak Chin Reservation
Photo Album: Fireworks over Chandler, AZ

Monsoon Strikes Again

Wind, rain, flying umbrella, overturned chair, that is Arizona in July. Nice!

January Flowers

I was fascinated by the flowers in the desert. I had the Saharan ideal in my mind and was floored to see plants and flowers everywhere. The long growing season here makes monsters out of species I used to consider house plants.

We added more photos from our yard at Sharon Drive. I even have some sarcastic shots of my flowers in January!

Photo Album: January

Walsh Canyon

The Walsh women were out to AZ and we included a Canyon trip in the itinerary. This was the second trip to the canyon. It is a very popular attraction for the family.

Photo Album: Grand Canyon

Pat's Run

Jill flew out here with her girls Pam and Theresa. It was springtime and warm so the trip was primarily a pool play and relaxation event. It was not ALL about rest. They all participated in Pat's Run.

Photo Album: Pat’s Run

Pat Tillman played football. He played for ASU, the Arizona Cardinals and then instead of the NFL he enlisted with the Army. He was Killed in Action. This memorial run and fund raising event was a perfect day.


Here is a thought for February