Tuesday, July 26, 2011


street in Bisbee
I did go to Bisbee last weekend.  It was fun.  I did the underground tour of the Copper Queen Mine, looked through the museum, walked up and down the streets, and had lunch at a mexican place.  I enjoyed going to Tombstone, but I think I prefered Bisbee.  There's lots of shopping there too - mostly expensive turquoise.  Too much for my budget but still fun to look at.  I've discovered I prefer spiderweb turquoise.  I'll have to see if I can find a good picture.  It's really pretty.

On the day before I left, I went to the historic old fort on Fort Huachuca.  They still have many of the old original buildings, the parade ground, and a small museum, built in the late 1800's.  Reminded me a lot of the buildings on Fort Harrison in Indy.  Similar architecture.  But such a different climate!

The Copper Queen mine entrance
The internet support for the hotel finally fixed my internet connection last Monday, so I was able to work normally the last week.  Flew home on Friday, and even my suitcase made back on the same day!

Saturday, after I worked in the garden a bit, cleaned house, did laundry and unpacked, we went to see Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers at Eagle River Pavilion.  Basically one of those huge outdoor trailer stages set on a lawn.  There was a section of chairs near the stage, then an open area of grass for the cheaper seats.  Unfortunately for the band, the organizers had angled the trailer-stage badly, so the setting sun shone on them from their left.  It was hot and it meant the instruments were hard to keep in tune.  Unfortunately for us, the lawn seating area actually angled slightly backwards.  So not only was it hard to see over all the people in chairs, we were actually lower than we should have been.  The band was great, and I was thrilled to see Steve Martin live, but I do NOT recommend the venue.

down in the mine
On Sunday we went to see the new Harry Potter movie.  It was fun. I thought they did a good job ending the series.  I'd even see it again.  Then on Monday I did some shopping.  I have work clothes that need replacing and there were some great end-of-season sales.  It was nice to have three days of free time to get used to being at home again and catch up on my sleep.
old Fort Huachuca

the fort museum
This coming weekend we're going white-water rafting.  It's the trip I bought at the IRU silent auction in November.  I'm pretty sure it's a different part of the Payette than we've been on before, but we'll see.  It'll be nice just to get outside and enjoy.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekend at Last

Thursday and Friday were two incredibly frustrating days.  The hotel's internet has been trouble free for three weeks.  But on Thursday it started slowing waaaaay down.  My work computer is required to be hard-wired to the internet with a cable.  I can't use wi-fi.  Usually this is a more secure connection.  But suddenly I couldn't do anything.  I wasn't able to send or receive email and I couldn't log into any of the admin programs, like my timesheet.

Finally on Friday I called the hotel's internet help desk.  The first guy I talked to checked things and found there was a faulty switch on the machines for the wired internet.  The wi-fi was fine.  He wasn't able to immediately fix it, but he said he would.  I had to leave, so I took off, hoping that when I got back things would be back to normal...

Five phone calls and six hours later, things were still not working.  I finally gave up waiting and went to dinner.  I am hoping today that I can at least do my timesheet for the week, but I just haven't had the will to try yet.  After so much stress for the last two days, I'm just going to relax this morning and figure out the internet connection later.

I don't really like living in a hotel, but there is something to be said for watching cable tv from bed w/ my coffee and computer near to hand.  Tomorrow I'm thinking of driving to Bisbee.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Two Weeks to Go

Still here in Sierra Vista for another two weeks.  The past week was in the low or mid 90s.  Still hot, but not unbearable.  I try to do my fieldwork early so I can get home by early afternoon and avoid the worst of the heat.  That also tends to avoid the thunderstorms that have been blowing in nearly every afternoon.  We don't always get rain, but when it does rain it really pours.  There's nothing like driving around town running in and out of places through what feels solid walls of water, or jumping four-foot wide gutters.

Not much going on besides work, so I don't have much to say.  I've been renting DVDs from Hastings on the weekends, just to have something to do that isn't shopping.  The mall here is pretty small, but there's a Dillards, so it's still dangerous.  This weekend I watched the new Star Trek movie, and the new Liam Neeson one, Unknown.  It was good, had a nice twist at the end, but I'm just as glad I rented it rather than going to a movie theater. There are other movies I'd rather spend that money on.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Settling In for the Month

Here I am in Sierra Vista, AZ, until July 22.  One week down, 21 days to go.

It's hot here.  It's averaged about 100F every day.  Sometimes there'll be a thunderstorm to cool things down into the high 70's, but not always.  They're pretty fun to watch though - lots of lightning.  Who knew this part of Arizona has a monsoon season.  The average rainfall here is highest in July and August, about 3".  Weird.

I've been working lots of overtime, but tomorrow I hope to drive out to Tombstone for a little sightseeing.  Today I went to the local farmers market, then did some grocery shopping.  I found a little cafetiere (coffee press) that makes one nice big mug of coffee.  So now I can make it as strong as I want and I don't have to keep going to Starbucks for a caffeine fix.  I may not drink as much as most coffee addicts, but I do get headaches if I go without for more than a day.  It's nice to have some real food after basically living on cereal and microwave dinners for most of the week.

I did find a few Korea restaurants in town though.  On Thursday evening I bought stir-fried squid and vegetables in chili sauce. I forget the Korean name for it.  It was one of my favorite lunches in South Korea.  They also make gim-bap.

I've driven up to Tucson and back at least twice this week.  When I first got here the landscape just looked dried up and barren.  But as I get used to it I see more and more.  Palo Verde trees, barrel cactus, prickly pear, saguaro, and lots of century plants.  There's other things as well but I haven't figured out what they are yet.  I've noticed that after I turn off I-10 and head south towards Sierra Vista, the cactus tends to peter out.  I'm guessing it's the increasing altitude, as SV is over 4600 feet.  The photo is the mountains to the west of town, as seen from Hwy 90.

I had to go to the western edge of south Tucson for one interview, on Mission Rd.  It's very near the Saguaro National monument.  Those were the first saguaro I'd seen outside of the landscaping at Tucson airport.  They're pretty impressive.  I'm hoping to see some up close before I go home.