Wandrin Archives

Wandrin 2002

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by Lloyd Treichel



Dateline:  February 2, 2002 -- Tucson, Arizona

Leaving San Diego ... After two months in residence at Chula Vista RV Park in San Diego, it was hard to leave all those new acquaintances behind.  However, there were more places to learn about and explore.  So with Wandrin Wagon hitched to Silver Slug I traveled east to Arizona.

The Computer Museum of America is located downtown San Diego and is affiliated with a technical school. The museum contained items such as this 024 card punch machine. There were other card processing hardware such as the tabulating machine, card sorters and card duplicators. There were other examples of mainframe computing equipment beginning in the 1950s and continuing to the present.

A separate exhibit demonstrated the data storage on disk and the evolution of the technology to the present. For the IBM 3380 technology from 1980 a disk drive manufactured by my former employer, StorageTek, was the exhibited hardware.

Additionally, there was a very good historical perspective with examples of the personal computer from its inception in the late 70s.

Rose Bowl Parade continued the day after when I I joined a tour to Pasadena to see the floats up close. It is a most impressive view to be able to see these creations to see the work that goes into the construction of them. Every surface of these floats is covered with an organic material -- flowers, seeds, leaves, and plants etc. The white is most frequently made with grains of rice. Each grain of rice is glued on individually. Consider the amount of time that it would take to cover large areas of white using this process.

Taliesen West is Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural school in Scottsdale, AZ. The site is part of the Foundation and represents a later period of his career, but still incorporates his goal of designing his building as part of the environment.

I have always been fascinated with the use of natural stone in the construction of building. Frank Lloyd Wright uses natural stone in the construction of the walls through out Taliesen West. The difference in the construction of these walls is the use of forms and poured concrete rather than usual placement of rocks and the use of mortar to create the wall. The result is very effective and quite beautiful

Yuma ... My first stop in Arizona was Yuma.  Yuma is full of RV parks and the snow birds of the northern states and Canadians which more than doubles the population of the area.  I explored very little while in Yuma, but it was quite obvious that it is an agricultural area producing lots of vegetables.  It appears that the last few drops of water in the Colorado River are used here to green the desert.  Next time I am in the area more exploration and a detailed look is in order. 

Organ Pipe ... The next stop was Organ Pipe National Monument where I stayed for a few days.  The beauty of this park is the beauty in its simplicity. It reminds me of Akebono -- the Japanese style of flower arrangement. Another comparison is that a single rose is a rose and to me that is beauty. A dozen roses is merely a bunch of roses. The individual beauty of the rose is lost.

Mesa ... Then it was off to Phoenix and the suburb of Mesa.  Once again there are lots of snow birds from the north.  This stop was at Val Vista Village for two weeks where I met numerous snow birds from Wisconsin.  Most of the RV parks in the Phoenix area are huge with 500 to 1000  spaces.  About 75% of the spaces have park models (no wheels) where the snow birds roost during the winter months.

Parking in these large "cities" may seem out of character for me.  Even though I relish my solo life, I do enjoy people interaction once in a while.  The park's organized activities allow me the opportunity to meet new people and get ideas for areas to explore.

Work again? ... On my last full day in Mesa, there happened to be a job fair for people who supplement their living on the road with seasonal employment.  The job fair is sponsored by Workamper News and potential employers from across the US include state parks, National Parks, resorts and other seasonal positions.  

Roaming the aisles and the booths of the possible opportunities, some of the possible positions actually appealed to me.  Of most interest were the interpretive and tour guides.  A job still has to be fun. I have no great desire to do something purely for the money.  That may change if the market doesn't recover in a couple of years.

Cold snow bird ... And then it snowed in the mountains outside of Phoenix and the temperature dropped to 32 degrees.  Near Organ Pipe they had snow for the first time in 34 years.  Unusual weather across the country.  During the winter of 2000-2001 I was still living in Colorado and they had one of the colder winters on record.  Now that I am in the Southwest, they are having a cold spell as well.  Is there a black cloud hovering over my head?

Tucson ... Finally on the last day of January, I moved to Tucson at the Rincon Valley East RV Park.  It's cold here, too.  I will here stay till some time in March.  By then it will start warming -- I hope! 

Hiking ... included walks along city streets, but I did hike in Yuma, Organ Pipe National Monument and in the Phoenix/Mesa area.  There was no concern for lions and bears on these hikes.  But a sign at one trailhead warned me to be careful of "Dangerous insects and reptiles".  Can I ever relax on a hike?  The only wild life that I saw was a variety of hare.

However, there were no warnings about vicious cactus.  I avoided the large thorny varieties. But I was not so fortunate with the little ones.  Going off trail to take pictures, I managed to get almost invisible thorns on my pants and legs.  After that I decided that every desert plant has some sort of thorn on it.  Rule of the desert: watch where you step.

Cinnamon Roll Search ... When I come to a new town, the start for a cinnamon roll search begins with the Yellow Pages.  That is a good start.  When I was in Mesa, I checked out a few of those listed.  Out of the half dozen that I checked, only one qualified to be eaten.  It was in downtown Mesa.  

Another bakery that did not qualify had sticky buns with nuts all over.  Another had a deep fried version.  Needless to say, I do not purchase one of those.  They do not even warrant an honorable mention for my cinnamon roll "standard". 

Sticky buns don't qualify as cinnamon rolls.  And nuts?  Why nuts?  Never did like nuts in my sweets.  Part of the reason is that I am allergic to walnuts and pecans and nuts of that sort.  

Cinnamon rolls with raisins are okay, but nuts are taboo.  In fact, I like the rolls with raisins.  Safeway does a pretty good cinnamon roll with raisins.  It has a flaky texture (Filo-like) compared to their baked rolls that are gooped up with a cream cheese frosting.  

The search is fun and so ... onward I proceed.

Living in Wandrin Wagon ... I did wash and wax the outside of Wandrin Wagon when I was in San Diego.  So it was not time to do it again, but when driving down the road, the insects manage to paste their dead little bodies to the front of Wandrin Wagon.  So it was time to get the ladder set up and wash the little buggers off so I can get a new load.  But I put it off ... 

Actually, as I write this the job remains to be done.  The job of washing Wandrin Wagon is very similar to doing windows on a house.  It is something I would rather not do and it takes a lot of will power to get started and get it done.

New Horizons owners ... that I met were Floyd and Helene Muck who share their full time between Wisconsin and Arizona.  They were parked in the space right behind me at the Shangri-La RV park in Yuma.  This is their second New Horizons home.  

While in Yuma, I also visited New Horizons owners Tina and Ron Lorenz.  I had met them earlier in 2001 near San Francisco.  They have a "temporary" permanent base in Yuma.  

Just wondering ... Gas prices ... How come fast food places do not post the price of their hamburgers on large signs in front of their stores?  ...The gas stations post the price of gas and that makes for a lot of news time on TV and radio when the prices go up and down.  If the fast food stores to post their prices on street side signs, there would be hamburger wars for news media to talk about.  

This actually might be a good thing.  Since no one hears a farm report outside of rural America, perhaps the posting of the price of a hamburger would be one way for people to hear about the wholesale costs of beef.  Which makes me wonder if we import beef? And how much?

Just wondering ... Computers ... why do you go to the "Start" icon to turn off your personal computer?

Just wondering ... Athlete salaries ... How come "pay for performance" does not apply to professional athletes?  How come some athletes can make millions regardless whether their team has a winning or losing season?  ... And when there is such a wide disparity in the pay scale for members of a team, how can it be called a team? ... My concern is that soon the tickets will be too expensive and the taxpayer built stadium seats will be empty.

Just wondering ... Telemarketers ... How come we have to call to get ourselves on a list so the telemarketers do not call us? ... It looks to me like our legislative bodies represent lobbyists -- not voters.  I can not imagine a single voter who may have a positive thing to say about telemarketers.

Relating a telemarketer incident ...  Normally, as soon as I realize that I have been called by telemarketer, I respond that "I do not support telephone solicitations".  That stops the call.  

I do not remember what happened on this particular call, but the lady was describing what it was going to be like when I had the product.  She then asked if I would like to use the product.  I responded in a very cynical questioning voice, "Why would I want to do that?"  She responded, "F--- you!" and then hung up.  

After that response, I could envision her picking up her personal thing and heading for the door and swearing that she was through being a telemarketer.

Note:  That response of "I do not support telephone solicitations" applies to all.  It does not matter if they are PAL or Salvation Army.  I made no exceptions.  In the past I had contributed to the Salvation Army via mail solicitations, but when they called, I told them they would never get another dime if they ever called again.  They never did.  

People of interest ... are all over.  An 84 year old lady joined us on our morning one hour walk in Chula Vista and kept up the pace for the 3.5 mile tour?  ... Then there is the 82 year old man who had married for the first time when he was 77. ... There was the solo guy in his RV coach who was wheel chair bound.  

Latest Read ... "Passage to Juneau" by Jonathan Raban.  He writes a good travel book.  Not only does he write about his particular journey, but he researches previous travelers of the same journey. In this travel from Seattle to Juneau on a less than forty foot sailboat, he uses logs and books of Vancouver's exploration of the coast as background material for this book.  Raban shares his research, learning and observations of the land from his water tour as well as sharing his personal loss.

Vanity Plate ...   
 "WADALYF" -- On a late model Corvette with a very bright shade of yellow.

Bumper sticker ... on a car with Minnesota plates: "My Governor Can Beat Up Your Governor".

Quotable quote ... 
"Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson