Saturday, April 30, 2011

Reflections and Spring Cleaning

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

OK, so I know I take tooooooo many photos.  17,000 in one year, that is a lot of photos!  SIGHH

And, now, I must do some spring cleaning.  The Baby HP is way over loaded, and I am afraid to even try to down load more photos from the Sony.

I have been having so much fun blogging that I have not done enough cleaning, and now the Photo Piper must be paid.

Man and I have been playing tourist pretty hard for about 3 weeks, oh, we have seen some fabulous stuff, beauty that is beyond description.  Truthfully, I am on sensory overload, and Sony is too!  Man and I are also tired from running hard and sightseeing long.  We have gone on a few hikes too, and I must say, we both are really sleeping well at night!  LOL

But, I have to address this storage issue and I have to address it NOW.  I am not quite sure how or what steps I will take.  I am not sure how long it will take me since I have no idea what method or strategy I am going to use.  (Suggestions gladly accepted and considered. LOL)

Plus, Man and I are within a few weeks of Salt Lake City, that family history mecca.  And, sadly, I am not prepared for the visit.  See, we have tried to take this trip for 5 years, it was cancelled each year for one reason or another.  I became rather depressed about the whole thing and adopted an attitude that it was probably never going to happen for me.  So I stopped working on a to do list.  Well, it looks like it really might happen, and oooops, no to do list!  Well, that is not the real truth, I have one, but it pathetic, only 30 items.  I have a few tricks up my sleeves tho, and it will all work out, I have faith.

So, I am going to slow down on the blogging and work diligently on the photo issue and then I am going to spend a bit of time on that to do list.

I have several posts in the can and scheduled to go.  How soon I can finish more posts will depend on my energy levels, the amount of sightseeing and hiking we do in the next several weeks, and how fast the spring house cleaning goes.  And, off to work I go:

* And, just you wait, the stuff we have been seeing since we left the Gold Canyon Arizona, well, I running out of words, awesome, out of this world, overwhelming, beautiful, spiritual.

** Clip art of CD courtesy of Daily Clip Art.  Clip art of lady and computer courtesy of Clipartheaven.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Technology I Love (And, Sometimes Hate!), the 105th Carnival of Genealogy

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

I have an ongoing love/hate relationship with my technology.  Some of my current toys include, in no particular order:

1.)  The SONY!!! Cybershot DSC-HX1.  Purchased just a little over a year ago, I have taken (GULP) over 17,000 photos since then.  Blame it on THE Trip!  Blame it on my love affair with the challenge and thrill of the capture of the photo, the capture of history, flora, fauna, parts of my life and parts of lives of others.  Blame it on the creative outlet when I review, and send the photos to Adobe Photoshop to play with.  It is my form of digital scrap booking.  Blame it on addiction.  I use it to record large documents that are difficult to scan with my current equipment, to photograph heirlooms.  I have used it to photograph pages out of genie books.  I have told this story on myself a few times, I will leave home without my purse, but rarely with out Sony.  The few times that I have, yes, I have regretted it.

2.)  iPod Touch.  I was totally enamored with the touch when I got it about 16 months ago.  I found a genie program to upload my data base too, GedView, it was affordable, pretty easy to use and I still grab the iPod now and then to have a look at it when we are away from the computers, usually out with friends and family.  I don't use the touch as much as I did, Man uses it more.  Once the iPad hit the market I wanted the larger format, the small screen of the iPod Touch became disappointing for me.  That said, there is this grocery shopping list app that is so wonderful, the Touch is the best size possible for this. (Hey, we all have to eat, right??)

3.)  Computer:  HP Pavilion tx2510us Entertainment Notebook PC.  The Baby HP.  The Baby is a tablet, which has a touch screen that rotates, and folds down.  It holds my photos, my research, I surf with it, I carry it to libraries and research facilities.  I can use it easily in Big Butt when we travel, it has the ability to do GPS type programs, I use Microsoft Streets and Trips, and off we go.  I use it with a wireless mouse, an external keyboard and a LG telie/monitor while sitting at my desk at home or in Tana.

4.)  Cannon scanner, CanoScan LiDE30. Portable, have had it for years, have toted it to many libraries to scan books (ASK at your repository before you scan!)  Lightweight, but can hold very large books.  There is nothing like a scanned photo out of a book over the quality you will get when you use a photocopier.  No comparison.  Have scanned any number of documents and photos with it for my data base.

5.)  Cannon portable printer, just replaced, my old one died.  NOT cheap to replace!  New model iP100, virtually the same machine as I had prior.  Small, lightweight, portable, prints photo paper of all sizes, standard size and legal size paper, envelopes, it will do it all.  When my old one died last month Man and I looked at  LOT of other printers, even purchased two others, which went back to the store.  We finally located this model, and ordered online.  I really love my little printer.

Kitchen office at the stick built, photo taken in July 2010.
On far left, the scanner, then working our way to the right,
Baby HP, monitor, and the old printer, the new one looks
almost the same.  Note that for some reason I was not

 using my external keyboard, hmmmm??  
6.)  Cell phone, the Smart one, the one that is smarter than I!  HTC connected via Sprint.  Very talented phone, it can take a black photo and email it and post it to Facebook, even tho I have yet to figure out how to post a photo to Facebook when I want to!  LOL  Has a camera and ability to keep me online when I am away from the computer.  I can grab email and web sites while at the grocery store or on top of Silly Mountain while hiking!  If I have a cell tower nearby, I am online!

7.)  Air card, ok, I don't know the specifics on this, our current service comes from a company called Millinicom, the card is just a bit larger than a USB or thumb drive. (We had used a Sprint card until we got to Las Cruces New Mexico when Sprint just could not keep up.)  We use it with a router and we can have computers, iPods, and more online with it.  Course, we have to be within a decent distance of cell towers, and when we travel, well, sometimes connectivity IS an issue. But, air card = untethered = perfect for our RVing lifestyle.  Many campgrounds do offer Wifi these days, and most are notorious for even worse connectivity issues than we have.  We will use campground Wifi if we must, but remember that by doing so we are at a greater risk for hackers and all that nasty trouble.  We cannot do, for example, banking on an unsecured network at a campground.  Man has the router and air card secured.

8.)  Motorola Xoom.  Recently purchased, Man determined that it was a better machine for us (me) than the iPad or iPad2.  Purchased the Wifi version, it picks up hot spots and the air card flawlessly, and flips between the two easily as well.  I can use it in Big Butt with the air card in Tana (on and running all the time we travel).  Email, web pages, and Google Maps, and basically they can all be open at the same time, just like my computer.  It is Google strong, Google books download and function wonderfully, and connecting to the computer is not required for the download process to work.  With a Kindle app I can also access Kindle books, with the note that the screen does not look like a Kindle, much harsher, but, I am getting used to it and have no trouble reading, 'cept in bright light (that said it is so small and lightweight I can easy move it OUT of the bright light, eh?).  Again, the Kindle books download via the Wifi connection, no tethers to the Baby HP required.

It is a bit smaller than the Baby HP, but, much thinner and easier to cart around.  The cover/case we purchased is all you need to keep it safe and sound, no bags, no briefcases, just pick it up and off ya go.  The battery life is much longer than the Baby HP, with normal use, probably a couple of days. While traveling, when I am accessing Google Maps constantly, it will last a 6 hour drive day and have battery left to spare.  It is GPS enabled, so, I don't have to be connected to the 'net' to have Google Maps to show me where we are.  If I am connected to the Internet, I can even find Man and Big Butt a gas station.

Because of it's size and the fact that it is not tethered to a power cord it is quickly becoming my unit of choice when in Big Butt.  (I can balance it on my knee and shoot photos with Sony all day long!)  It is an Android based machine, and I have not yet found a genie program that will work with it, but, honestly have been a bit busy to do a lot of snooping around either.

There is one little issue, it will freeze up now and then, seems to get it's brains overloaded.  Cold boot time, and soon you are back and running.  We hope this issue will be addressed in future updates from Motorola.   That one issue aside, I am totally in love with the size, portability and functionality of the Xoom.

9.)  External hard drives for back ups.  One very small one, easily kept on the smallest desk, and a MyBook.

That is the hardware I am currently using and/or playing with.  Yes, I love my techy toys, when they work.  But, those who know me well, will agree, that when the techy toys ain't a working, Carol ain't a happy!  Sorta like when, "when Momma ain't happy, no one is happy".  SIGHH.  Even I don't like to be around me when my techy toys malfunction or misbehave.  ICK!

But, when they work, goodness, I do L-O-V-E them!

Written for the 105th Carnival of Genealogy, Favorite Current Technology, over at Jasia's Creative Gene.  The lovely poster is thanks to footnoteMaven.

*Disclaimer, all those copyrighted names, like iPod, etc, they belong to someone else, I have no stock, no financial interest. I do not have ads on my blog so I don't make any $$ off these plugs or mentions of these products.  They make the $$, I buy when I can, I use if I can afford to buy. Bottom line: THEY own the copyrights!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

THE Trip, Gold Canyon to Camp Verde Arizona

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Sadly we leave Gold Canyon today, but are ready to see what is down the road, the wheels are a rolling. We have a short ride, just about 138 miles, about half of that to just get to the north side of Phoenix.  Also remarkable in the change in foliage as we climbed in altitude and gave Big Butt the opportunity to show his towing stuff.

Our route was 60 NW to the 101 (loop).  Took the 101 north and then east till we hit I 17 North.  I 17 North to Camp Verde.

We did stop along the way at the Sunny Point Rest Area at Exit 252 on the I 17.   Scenic view opportunity and stretch the legs (and, ya, potty stops).  Looking down into a small valley of sorts I spied this.  If you google Hourrelzy you will probably find, as I did, 6 hits.  (I even tried a Bing search, one hit.)  No clues will be found tho as to what this means, if anything.

Back in Big Butt, we made our way into Verde Valley, 6% grades, downhill of course.

Above, you know you are gonna go down and quickly
when you see that tell tale Runaway Truck Ramp sign.
And, true to their words, there is the ramp.
We are happy to report, we did not need to use it!
Note the elevation, 4,000 feet.  By weeks end

we will have seen 7,000 and some wet sleet stuff, 
but, ONLY while driving Big Butt.  Tana's turn at 
7,000 feet will come in 2 weeks!
Above, one of our first glimpses of Verde Valley,
and, way back, miles away, the red rock area that surrounds
 Sedona Arizona, looking a bit pink so many miles away.
Our original intention was to stay here for one week, we ended up staying 2 weeks and 1 day (the 1 day was to wait out a wind event that we did not care to tow in.)  Our MOC (Montana Owners Club) RVing friends are starting to feed us ideas of what to see, where to go, good places to eat.  It seems as the closer we get to Utah the more ideas they have!  We are more than happy to listen to them, and thanks to friend Steve R. we had some great BBQ while in Camp Verde, thanks Steve for the name!  See, we went:

And, it was good!
We settled into our campsite at Distant Drums RV Resort and started mapping our sightseeing trips.  And, what sights they are!  Sony is on overload!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

THE Trip, The Last Gold Canyon Sunset

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Soon we would be heading north, our time here in Gold Canyon was ending. We enjoyed our month here tremendously, we visited with my nephew, with my high school bestest gal friend, with MOC friends, with blogger friends, saw some incredible sights, made two trips to Tortilla Flat, two trips to Roosevelt Lake and two hikes, err, walks on Silly Mountain, rode around in the desert on our first desert rat tour, and so much more.  We did not even begin to scratch the surface of what the area has to offer.  I have quite the bucket list if we are ever lucky enough to return.

It was a great month, with lots of great fun, friendship, and kick butt sunsets. This sunset (above and below) was 2 nights before we left, nothing like going out with fire and style!

And, what wonders we have in store, wonders yet to come.  THE Trip just keeps getting better and better.  Unbelievable, and so so awesome!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Trip, Superstition Mountains, Faces and Moods

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

During our month in Gold Canyon, Arizona, we found our attention drawn time and again to Superstition Mountains.  I found my self taking photos from many different vantage points, from places we had stopped to visit, from Big Butt, while we were hiking.  Here are the faces and moods of Superstition Mountain, and yes, this is a graphics heavy post, hope you will stick around to view the magical and mysterious Superstitions.

Panoramic, please click to open to a larger view,
click your browser back button to return to Reflections.

And, last, but not least, as they say, the Superstitions late in the evening, as the sun is dropping low on the western horizon, casting the Superstitions in a golden hue.  (This photo was taken from Big Butt on the way back to our campground, at 55 MPH.)

* The Superstitions are steeped in history and legends, including but not limited to the Lost Dutchman gold.  The Pima and the Apaches both have a story of flooding that includes the Superstitions, the Pima's calling it the Slanted Mountain.   A few moments spent with your favorite search engine will find a number of web pages with stories and information to entertain you.

Monday, April 25, 2011

THE Trip, San Tan Flat, Queen Creek, Arizona

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Just a few nights before we were leaving Gold Canyon we got together with MOC (Montana Owners Club) friends Ray and Coleen and drove over to Queen Creek to San Tan Flat, which came well recommended by mutual MOC friends Bob and Mina.

I'm a sucker for any old wagon to photograph, that said, that white painted seat looks a little out of place in the weather beaten wagon,

And, you just know there has to be a saguaro somewhere:

Now, look closer, this saguaro is made out of horseshoes!  Ahhh, you gotta love southwest art:

San Tan Flat is known for it's barbecue, ribs!  (As well as their burgers!)  But, you need to get there quite early to enjoy them and, well, we did not get there early.  No problem, we ordered off the menu, mmmm, good!  It is also known for it's patio eating, partying, entertainment, FUN!  However, we chose to dine inside, which we totally enjoyed.

When we were finished with dinner we wandered back out to the patio area to find they had started the campfires in large fire pits.  These young men were waiting for a friend to come back with marshmallows, they were gonna burn em, errr, warm em up over the fire.

The outdoor patio and the fire pits were something different for us, lots of fun was being had.  Thanks Bob and Mina for the suggestion, and so glad that Ray and Coleen could join us.


THE Trip, Organ Stop Pizza, Mesa Arizona

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

At an impromptu MOC (Montana Owners Club) gathering of 4 couples who happened to be in the area at the same time, one couple mentioned Organ Stop Pizza and the organ.  They said the pizza was good (it was! more than good, fantastic) and the entertainment (no additional charge, come on in, sit down for a spell and enjoy) was outstanding (and it was!  more than outstanding!)

A few days later, Man and I found ourselves close enough (as in, we were only a few miles away) and it was getting to be dinner time, and yes, we were hungry.  We hoped to meet up with MOC friends Ray and Coleen, but somehow we messed that up, the meet was missed.  RATS.  But, Man and I went on in, had our pizza and a beer and took in the entertainment.


First, this guy really could play. Second, the sound was outta this world!  No words suffice.  If you read their web page describing the Wurlitzer Organ you start to get an idea, but the reality is far better than the web page!  LOL

Here it comes, lifting up outta the basement or where ever,
playing and the organ turning as it rises.  Neat!  Carol liked it!
Look at all those pipes and baffles and tambourine and  - -
A closer look at some of the other instruments the organ can play,
how does he remember what stop to pull??
And, a bit of whimsy, kitty puppets that dance to certain songs.
Fun for the kid in us all.
Hard to take it all in, pipes, cymbals, drums, more pipes,
and this beautiful Wurlitzer organ.
We would have loved to go back to Organ Stop Pizza another time or two, but, we learned of it at the end of our visit, maybe, next time - -

Thanks to our MOC friends for sharing this with us, it was fab!  Oh, yea, the musician in Carol loved it!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter from Reflections

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

To all of our friends and family, Man and I send our very best wishes for a blessed and happy Easter.

*Graphic courtesy of Anne's Place.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

THE Trip, Roosevelt Lake And Beyond

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Our visit with Man's kissing cousin and her husband was a delightful day.  They remembered stories and family from their youth.  She cooked us a delish meal, they shared their home, and their view.  Now, let me tell you, they have a kick butt view from their back deck, see:

I mean, how hard is this to take??  I would never get
anything done with this view out my back door.
Towards evening, we took a ride down to Roosevelt Dam and points beyond.  Man's cousin hubby drove, being familiar with the roads, the conditions and having a smaller car.  From Roosevelt Dam driving towards Tortilla Flats is said to be some of the wildest, most beautiful road in all of Arizona.  Sheer drop offs, sheer rock walls rising above you, curvy roads, and in spots very narrow roads, toss in a gravel surface that is rather rough, and you have a 22 mile, several hour ride.  Some say they would never do it again after doing it once.  Others say they cannot wait to do that ride once again, any time!

We only drove a few miles, the scenery was breathtaking (boy I sure find myself using that term a lot!).  Here are a couple of examples, taken from different vantage points along the way.  The reality in this case was much better than the photos show, sometimes the Sony just cannot grab it all.

After our short trip down the road, it was time to turn around and head back.  We said our goodbyes, lots of hugs, loaded up the fur kids and headed back from Roosevelt Lake to Gold Canyon.  The sun was setting, but the photo ops were not quite finished for this day, the setting sun gave us one more light show:

What a totally wonderful day!  WOW!


THE Trip, Roosevelt Lake, Worth Two Trips

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

We returned to Roosevelt Lake area a second time.  We wanted to see the area again, and we had a really great excuse, Man's cousin, his kissing cousin, now lives there.  So, early one morning, we packed up all the fur kids so we could stay as long as we wanted, HOURS and HOURS, and off we went.

We stopped in Superior Arizona for breakfast.  Thought it would be easy, we knew right where a restaurant was on 60, came highly approved.  Well, mmmm, think it was a Monday, they were closed.  So, we sorta drove around a bit, ended up in downtown, off of the 60 and found the Uptown Cafe.  Perfect, quirky history, interesting staff, good food.  WIN!

My fascination with rock formations continues, OK, my awe with rock formations continues:

Look at that road, curves, hills, more curves,
mixed in with some more rocks.  Ya, gorgeous.
And, look close, those rocks on the top, balanced just so. Awesome!

The different colors, textures, shapes, and how the are arranged
never fails to amaze or take my breath away.
Yep, I think I could ride along while Man drives this a few more times before I get bored.  But, sadly, for this year, this is our last trip to Roosevelt Lake, but not before Man's cousin and her hubby gave us a taste of the road between Roosevelt Dam and Tortilla Flat.  I'll post those photos next.