Monday, June 29, 2015

First monsoon photos of 2015

Tucson's most dramatic stretch of weather each year has begun: Monsoon.

The simplistic Ken explanation of monsoon: High pressure has to be over the four corners of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah during the summer. This creates a circulation that draws a tropical moisture pattern from Mexico. The resulting weather is called monsoon which has much higher than normal humidity during hot summer temperatures, thunderstorms (mostly afternoon and evening) which are sometimes severe, and interesting looking clouds in skies that are largely clear most of the year. The locals seem to look forward to it every summer.

Monsoon also creates an opportunity for some interesting pictures. If you've read my blog in past summers, I've shot photos of monsoon every summer when it gets stormy.

Monsoon started a little early this year (typical start is around July 4). I've already shot a few photos.

Storm clouds rolling into Tucson
as seen from the north side
of the KGUN 9 building

A light shower as seen
from my backyard

Wind, rain and clouds
looking north from my backyard

Wind pushing against this tree
as seen from my backyard

Rain hitting the ground
in my backyard

Interesting looking clouds
starting to building mid-morning
looking north next to
my house

Storm clouds on the horizon
looking south from the KGUN 9

1:00 a.m. photo looking
southwest from my backyard.
This has a retouched look
but it's unaltered right
out of my Sony RX100 camera

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Pizza, Kinky Moves, and Anthony's Parking Lot Model Walk

For some people, Sunday is fun day. For us, it's dinner and grocery shopping day.

Before we got to that, I had to go to work for a few hours today to put together a best-of show for this Friday July 3. It's the day the company is observing Independence Day so our staff will get a day off. But, like every holiday, it requires work ahead. At my job, a day off is really never a day off when it boils down to it.

After I got home, we headed out and ate at Pizza Studio on Grant Road, one of our favorite pizza places. The pies were delicious as always.

Grocery shopping was at Walmart Neighborhood Market at Broadway and Camino Seco. It was starting to look stormy when we left but it turned out all of the dramatic looking clouds didn't deliver anything exciting.... except Anthony doing a model walk after pushing our empty shopping cart to the cart corral. This is why I purchased a camera, to preserve this precious moments.

Anthony at Pizza Studio.
The family in the corner had a rather
loud child and this is the slightly
annoyed look Anthony had on
his face as a result.

I think he was meditating to try
and wish the screeching child
would go away.

My pie:
Ham, mushroom and baKEN

Anthony's pie:
Tomatoes, onions, artichoke hearts

Grocery shopping at Walmart Market
included a Big Hug

Frosted Flakes Energy Clusters
The sugar on the flakes doesn't
make your children hyper enough
so they added energy clusters

"Clusters and flakes of awesome"
The energy clusters cause your cereal
to throw tennis balls, soccer balls,
footballs, basketballs and baseballs

How do you make cereal that has
been around for years more exciting?
Add marshmallows!

SpongeBob Squarepants cereal.
It comes with a free frightening
picture on each box.

Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Bun cookies
Finally, a valid excuse to have
cookies for breakfast.

Not Your Mother's
Kinky Moves Shampoo
I'm glad it's not my mother's...
her kinky moves would
make me go blind.

Jeb Bush Was A Drug Dealer!
Unmasked as he runs for President.
I knew there was something
creepy with that guy...
besides having the name Jeb.

Leaving Walmart Market.
Dramatic clouds, a fireworks stand
in the white tent,
and Anthony doing a model
walk in the parking lot.
An epic photo, that's for sure.

Burritos and Jock Itch

Anthony took me out to dinner on Saturday night at Macayo's Mexican on Broadway.

I had a carne asada burro, he had a chimichanga, we both had a nice dinner.

On the way home, we stopped at Walgreen's so he could buy a couple of things and I had the awesome opportunity to grab a surprise photo of him with another pharmacy product he doesn't need.

It's these moments that keep me happy.

Anthony dives into the chips, salsa
and guacamole at Macayo's.
He always eats too many and
doesn't have enough room
in his tummy for dinner.

"Don't bother me!
I'm eating chips!"


My carne asada burro

Anthony couldn't eat all of his
chimichanga because
he ate too many chips.


Yo Anthony!
I found this for you
even though you don't need it.
You're welcome.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Plop plop fizz fizz

For the first time in a long long time, I have fought a head cold this week.

It started on Sunday and knocked me on my ass. I did go home early from work on Monday (about 2:30pm, so not that early) but have been working my normal schedule otherwise. I figure that it's a head cold, I'm not dying, so other than some suffering and totally stopped up nose it's not been enough to call in sick for a whole day.

It's important to save sick days for when I'm really sick. Like, for example, when I'm dead. Although I'll have to check the employee handbook. There may be a different allotment of days available for being dead.

I'll get back to you on that.

Alka Seltzer Cold Medicine
Plop plop fizz fizz
oh what a relief it is
(from a stuffed up nose)

Iron Chef Tucson Culinary Experience 2015

I ventured out in the 108 degree heat on Saturday to shoot some photos at the Iron Chef Tucson Culinary Experience. It was held at the Westin La Paloma Resort this year.

I wasn't able to stay due to a prior commitment for the competition portion of the event (that was John Hohn of Gringo Grill vs. Danny Perez of the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort. Danny was the winner, and this year's secret ingredient was.... bacon.

Beer tasting is a good thing!

Beer tasting area

Cooking demonstration

Joe and Colin

Crowd watching cooking demonstration

Morning Blend show host Tina
helps the chef with the demo

Chef with a wad of green
while Tina laugh and laughs and laughs

Finished product

Spectators line up to get a sample

Vendor booths offering
food samples

Outside behind the Westin La Paloma...
these folks enjoy the 108 degree weather

Iron Chef Tucson competition
was held in this room later
in the evening

I leave the resort to head home
while attempting to not burn
my hands on the steering
wheel in the hot weather

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Mattress Firm Mattress Firm

It's Sunday, the weekly dining and grocery shopping excursion day for Anthony and I.

I started getting symptoms for a head cold late this morning, and I'm freakin' miserable tonight. I have more stuff to post from earlier this week but it's going to have to wait. I'm feeling too crummy to deal with it at the moment. I knew you'd want to know that... which is why I added it to this post.

This evening's dinner was at Jimmy John's, the sandwich shop at Grant and Swan. It was a pretty uneventful dinner except for the music being stupidly loud in there to chat with Anthony (plus, since I now have a cold, my hearing is a bit plugged up in addition to my nose) and one of the employees randomly asking us if we played video games. He was busy mopping when he asked, and it was hard to hear him because he had kind of a soft voice and the music was loud. Fortunately, we didn't end up looking like asses for not participating much in the conversation because he had to stop mopping and go make a sandwich for another customer.... freaky fast.

When we were leaving Jimmy John's, we noticed that contained in the strip mall where Jimmy John's is located there is also a Mattress Firm store. The odd thing: There is another Mattress Firm across the street to the east. Tucson has been drowning in an over abundance of mattress and bed stores in the last couple of years but this is ridiculous. Either the residents of this city sleep more than I think or current beds are being worn out due to people getting a lot of sex.

For the grocery portion of our excursion, we visited Walmart Market up the street at Grant and Alvernon, and then headed home so I could take some cold medicine and drown in snot.

It should be a miserable day tomorrow. Being at work and under the weather at the same time is no fun.

My number two sandwich and chips
at Jimmy John's

Anthony's sandwich at Jimmy John's.
He likes sprouts on his but
I think of them as weeds.
That's him on the right
holding his pickle in his hand.

Mattress Firm at Grant and Swan
near the Jimmy John's on the
west side of Swan

Mattress Firm at Grant and Swan
on the east side of Swan
across the street.
Tucsonans must wear out
their mattresses at
an impressive pace.

New Cheez-It Crunch'd snacks
(Anthony referred to them as chips)
Cheddar Cheese variety

Cheez-It Crunch'd Hot and Spicy
Hey look! There's my soon to be
purchased toilet paper in the cart.

Garden of Eating Chia Seed
Corn Tortilla Chips
If you put these in your mouth
and pour water on your head
plants will start growing
out of your scalp.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

First visit to Popeye's Chicken

It's Sunday, the day that Anthony and I have dinner and go grocery shopping.

Today we decided to try Popeye's for the first time. We've both seen the multitude of commercials on TV and thought we should give it a shot. He's been in a mood for chicken lately and that's the focus of what they serve there.

There is only one Popeye's location in Tucson. It's in the southeast part of the city on 22nd Street near Kolb Road.

It reached about 103 degrees in the Tucson area today and it was apparent to us moments after we walked in the door at Popeye's that their air conditioning had failed. It was almost as warm inside the restaurant as it was outside. To the credit of the employees there, they were stuck with working in those miserable conditions and yet they managed to be very pleasant.

We both had chicken strips and Cajun fries, and I also got a biscuit. The only thing that turned out to be a positive about eating in a restaurant that warm inside is that the food never got cold through the entire eating process. I'd eat there again, the food was pretty good. Anthony said the same thing. One amazing part of the meal was watching Anthony eat because he literally inhaled his dinner. He revealed near the end that the reason he was eating so fast was that he was beyond warm and wanted to get out of there. If I knew that's what it takes to get him to eat faster, I'd bribe every restaurant we visit to turn up the furnace.

I hope they are able to get the air conditioning fixed quickly there. Working in those conditions over hot fryers and hot food has to be the most miserable thing imaginable for the crew that is employed at that restaurant. It's not fun to eat in the dining room when it's that warm either.

We grabbed our groceries at the nearby Walmart Market at Golf Links and Kolb. It's similar in it's layout to the location at Broadway and Camino Seco, except some items are at the opposite ends of the aisles... but the aisle layout in the store is the same. At least the air conditioning was working in that store.

Popeye's in Tucson on 22nd Street
103 degrees outside, 95 degrees inside

A few other brave souls were in
the incredibly warm dining room
eating their dinner

Our chicken strips, fries, biscuit

Anthony had to eat with a spork.
We both hate sporks and wish
the person who invented these
indigestion the rest
of their lives.

Cheerios + Ancient grains
at Walmart Market on
Golf Links Road at Kolb Road.
I prefer my grains fresh
thank you very much.

Oscar Mayer Bun Length Wieners
If a wiener is shorter than
bun length it won't be
as satisfying.

I'm running out of stupid products
to try to give Anthony while
taking a photo.
Oh well... yoooooo Anthony.
I found something to relieve
your mucus.