Monday, May 26, 2008

First days of summer, Flagstaff style.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


My work is rarely dull. It can get quiet and slow at times but thats exception than the rule.
Last week we were to spend one day in Tuba City then two days in Kayenta doing the low cost dog and cat wrassling.
They are both on the Navajo Nation and Kayenta is near Monument Valley. If you have ever seen a John Wayne western you will know where I mean.
The day in Tuba City started out less than optimal. The Navajo Nation does daylight savings but the rest of Arizona doesn't, so they are one hour ahead. Which means we had to leave Flagstaff at 5:30am to get there by 8am, and its only only one and a half hours away.
Least the sunrises over the desertlands are pretty.
Not one of the appointments showed up which caused a bit of kerfuffle. Do we stay, do we go...yada yada yada.
As it was, we got a lot of walkups which is generally the case in Tuba and ended up doing alright out of the day. While we were waiting for the last dog pickup, two of the techs took the jeep and headed for Kayenta, to get the key to the apartment where we where to be staying for two nights and meet us there.

This dog was all black with the most amazing ice blue eyes. Had to wait till she was zonked out to get a photo.

Its a 70 mile drive. I was driving the Mobile and 19 miles out of Kayenta it started to feel and bit odd. Its the Mobile so it always feels odd but this was a bit odder than usual in the handling of the beast. Flat tire did flash through my mind but it didn't seem that dramatic. About 5 seconds later it got a bit more dramatic with a BANG, and a BIFF and a lurch. Ok now we have a flat tire. Lucky we were on a straight flat road and the Mobile is so heavy that it just sat on the road and didn't go careening off, flip over and explode which I always thought it may if this ever happened.

Unmobile Mobile is sad.

I slowed it down and got it half off the road to a nice easy stop. Looking out the mirror I saw oily stuff pumping out of somewhere and suggested we get out and move away.

Once were tires

I grew up on American TV, everyone knows that even a fender bender is enough to cause vehicles to become firey balls of fire.

I brought my camera, thinking of the mighty vistas we may see. The fubared axle was kinda mighty in the right light.
It has 2 tires on each side at the back, and they were both gone. I went to see if I could find them. Couldn't spot them but did see the mark of their passing. Which is pretty impressive I think.

Tire marks

We called just about everyone in the known world and waited for the tow truck, while getting out the important stuff, computer, money, case of firey explosion. It was getting dark and cold and we were informed that Skinwalkers roamed. I've read Tony Hillerman, I knew their caper.
The first tow truck was too small...even in my non tow truck professional eyes, it seemed obvious, but he did get it off the road into some dirt for us. We waited for a bigger one, and when he came he couldn't do it then and would come back in the morning. By now its past 9pm, so we strip it taking what would fit and what was expensive to replace, and left it to the wind.
Next morning it was unmolested and got loaded up and sent back to Flagstaff.

Loading her up

I have no idea of the cost involved in fixing it, so we are grounded for a while.
Which is sad, I really like working on the Mobile despite the long days and long drives. I getting to know the dirt parking lots of Northern Arizona very well, and would hate to forget them.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


The house is getting closer to completion. Last Monday night we went over to test out the new shiny kitchen stuff that had just been installed. Bought frozen Safeway Pizzas...tasted like all frozen pizzas...blaggh with hint of cardboard but served the purpose, beer and a quite nummy berry pie with ice cream.

The seating consisted of a ladder along two supports and a dodgy old lounge. The kitchen is looking great. The microwave/rangehood which comes as one unit will go over the oven. Blue tile splashback, stainless appliances and underset sink, so there is no lip to catch water and crap.
Very much looking forward to moving in.

I will have the best teatowel and placemat collection in the West thanks to Mum and Kate.

To continue the theme we have a NSW number plate on the front of our car. In AZ you don't need a front plate so some people get vanity plates of various types, favourite sport teams, causes etc,
I was talking a a guy at Festival who was mainly there to write an story for Defence magazine about what hobbies and interests their members get up to when not hooning about in tanks.
We were talking about cars ( as i do once every 375785 years) I mentioned that I wanted a Aussie number plate (copycatting Mike who has one on his ute) so he sent me one....woot.

Since Darwin has traveled a bit with us, California, Utah and Mexico so far. I thought it may be sensible to get her tested for Heartworm, and get some supplies for when next to head into mossie territory. Flagstaff is pretty safe and no one worries about it cause of the altitude and the cold, but it is a problem in other areas of the country.
The mobile was out for the morning at a local pet shop doing vaccines and microchips. It was my day off but I can't stay away from the place. I went to the wrong pet shop and found no one there, so rang around and went home. Monet rings me with the correct location so Darwin and I hightail it down Route 66.
She doesn't have heartworm but she tested positive for Lymes Disease. The vector is Ticks, and when we were at the family cabin in CA last year we were picking ticks off the dogs every day.
The research says it that healthy dogs are fine and rarely show any problems, except in Darwin's case when it manifests itself in a unnatural urge to wake me up at 6am with a green stuffed crocodile in her mouth, wanting to chased around the backyard.

Kate and Co, she loves The Great Aussie Bite. Its less intact now. Cape York and Arnhem Land have been blighted and the less said about Geelong the better. Who knew that such a small country could hold so much stuffing.
I was just playing tug o war and throwing it around the backyard with her 20 minutes ago, so its still got plently of life.

Next week I go to Kayenta for work. Very close to Monument Valley. Hope to go and see some awesome Buttes.

Friday, May 02, 2008

National Day Of Prey
Today was some day that people needed to pray more than often. Whatever...there has to be more useful things to do with your time....
I prefer sleeping in, sleeping in and tug of war with the dog while sleeping in.
I never would have knew it existed except that Flagstaff had a 24hr bible reading on the steps of the City Hall - full reading no commentary--- so i guess you couldn't chant "What a load of rubbish..", "gag me with a spoon' and "anyone wearing cloth made from more than 2 types is hell bound' and' disobeying children should be killed"
Flagstaff, I love you and your long as the homophobic, misogynistic bigots don't gain hold.
Pharynglra. has some good stuff about it.

Rob and I were stopped by a lady last Saturday evening. We were walking down to the bus stop to get into town. Waiting at a light a woman was asking us whether we were going to church? It took us a second or to to register what she was asking. She wanted to know the direction to the Catholic Church in the area.
"Ummm...well "
"there are about 5 churchs on 4th st but i don't know what they are"
"umm sorry maybe that way"
" ahh ask somebody else"
We were very polite but i have no idea, there are alot of churchs next to each other on our street, what they are I don't know, but they are very close together....i'd be throwing eggs or at least snowballs at the other shootoffs across the carpark, if I believed, (come on.... need to have ya fun)
Pick the two well dressed biggest atheists in town to ask.

I wonder if less people ended up dead, abused, raped and fucked up....

No i don't wonder.
I know not.