Friday, February 01, 2008

Ranch photos

Last week, the Foto Fun Club went on a photo shoot to La Rienda Ranch. Yesterday, the members shared their favorite photos -- about 100 in all -- at our meeting. What fun! Here are the photos that I chose to share:

An interesting sky
Catalina Mountains
Jack, the Horse Whisperer
Pretty Red Horse


I know that I have an odd sense of what's cool, perhaps, but I do have fun with my shot selection! These photos are unedited.

The deck is progressing and looking great. Jack (the same Jack as in the horse photo above) is a real craftsman -- very meticulous and accepts nothing but perfection. I'm expecting that we'll be done with the deck by Valentine's Day ... just a guess.

I'm working on getting to bed at a reasonable hour, and it's been a challenge. Last night I was in bed by 11, and tonight... it'll be after 11. :/ Anyway.. my goal is 10 pm to bed and 6 am to get up, particularly now that it's starting to get light earlier in the morning.

I'm feeling good, having lots of fun, and staying very busy. I'm going to be in the play with a small speaking role and singing in 4 different songs. I'm involved in the Computer Club, am Co-Chair of the Foto Fun Club, and I'm active in the Hiking Club. I'm going to be modeling in the Fashion Show this month. And, of course, I go to any party to which I'm invited. :D

On Sunday, I'm going to be meeting one of my MySpace friends -- Eric -- no.. not Eric Clapton! LOL! We're going to go to the Desert Museum, so if I come up missing, be sure that the CSI folks go after him! Seriously, he's a photographer and seems like a lot of fun. I'll let you know if my perceptions are accurate. ;)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hiking in Saguaro East

This blue matches the sky today. The hike was long -- 9.4 miles -- but it was good. There was too much desert-tromping for my tastes, but there were good views, water crossings, waterfalls, and a couple of small hills.

I've been busy as a paper hanger with hives. Yesterday, Jack and I worked alllllll day long on my deck, making some good progress. We now have the beams all done and most of the joists in. I still have some nailing to do on some of the joists. We have to do rerouting of a water and electric hookup, building of an openable countertop bar to cover the utility boxes, nailing on the decking, doing the benches, and building the two steps.

Jack taught me how to do the toenailing of the joists, which wasn't as easy as it looks. And he had me making cuts with the table saw. I hauled wood from the front, piece by piece, and helped with planning and measuring. Jack's really meticulous and perfectionist, and this deck is going to be really sweet!

I was too tired by the end of the day to even go to the dance class. Jack likes to work from dawn to dusk, without even taking breaks for lunch.

I didn't yet mention the Computer Club dinner. It went swimmingly and I think the club ended up making a bit of money. The important thing is that we did it.

I've been finding that the only time I have to get online these days is... 10pm! And by the time I get done with my email, it's after midnight. I'm wondering how I ever had time to do any work!

Jim, you asked about making a safe left turn on a bike, from the right side of a 5-lane road. You need to make the turn from the left lane, just as cars do. So you have to maneuver your way over there. The preferred way to do this, because it's more expedient, if it's safe, is to check your mirror, do an over-the-shoulder look, and, if you deem it an appropriate time, you signal your move. Move then to the right side of the passing lane.

You still have one more move to make, and you do that the same way, bringing yourself to the right side or center of the left turning lane. If it is a left-straight lane, you want to be in the center of the lane. If it's a left lane, you can either take the lane, or you can be on the right side of the lane, if it's wide enough.

If there is lots of fast-moving traffic, you may want to make what is called a "box-turn." You do this by riding across the road and stopping in front of the lane that will be crossing the road, and crossing with the light, or proceed all the way to the crosswalk and walk your bike across when it's time. There are pictures and comments on this at this link.

A third option (in Tucson) is to make a RIGHT turn. Then make your way to the left and make a U-turn. Then proceed across the intersection. This works in Tucson, because U-turns are an expected thing here. As a cyclist, you don't want to behave in an unpredictable fashion.

Ok... bedtime for Bonzo!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Safe Bicycling

The bicycling class was great! Part I was on Wednesday night, and it was classroom time. We learned basic rules of the road, parts of the bike, ... stuff like that.

Yesterday was Part II and we had to bring our bikes! For this part, we met in the parking lot at Udall Park. We began by helmeting up, and then riding over to another parking lot. Here we did various drills, riding in a straight line, looking over our left shoulder while holding a straight line, avoidance maneuvers, quick turns, and quick stops.

After some time there, we took to the road, riding in traffic! It was scary for me at first, because I've always been scared riding in traffic. But then, being part of the group, doing it right and seeing why it was right, I enjoyed it! We stopped now and then for debriefing and introduction to what we were going to do next. We did left turns from the far right on a 5-lane busy road, rode on a 2-lane narrow road with no shoulder, crossed a couple of very busy roads, all safely with no problems.

We rode to a sandwich place and ordered the lunch of our dreams, paid for by the City. Then we had a test, after which we went over and discussed the answers. (I missed 3 out of 30.)

When the class was over, we got a certificate suitable for framing AND a coupon for free stuff from the Ajo Bike Shop on the other side of Tucson. A group of us went there right away to claim our goodies! We got a $30 helmet (which I got before the class, and which I love!), a $40 bike lock, a $25 light set, an $11 water bottle, a nice air pump, a patch kit, and tire tools! Thank you, City of Tucson!