Wednesday, October 29, 2014




Reading MERIKAY'S post this morning I was reminded of the stress & strain side of driving an RV.  Under ideal weather conditions with little traffic on long wide open roads it can be a true pleasure indeed.  But throw in some nasty weather conditions, heavy city traffic, unfamiliar roads, dicey driving conditions whether construction zones or vehicle infested commercial parking lots & the stress & strain of travel can very quickly become a problematic nightmare.  And much of those stress & strain levels have to do with what you are accustomed to.



Years ago in a former job I spent a bunch of years & put on countless thousands of miles driving almost daily at times in some of the heaviest traffic in Canada.  Toronto!!  Many times I would have passengers ask me “how can you do this every day”??  Answer was simple, I had grown accustomed to driving in heavy traffic.  No problem & for the most part I actually enjoyed the challenge of transporting passengers to Pearson International Airport safely & on time for their flights day after day.  Some shifts I headed into the city during morning rush hour & for the last 3 years there I launched out of the airport right into the late afternoon rush heading back to Stratford Ontario & beyond.  I became very good at what I did simply because I did it over & over & over 5 & 6 days & nights a week in all kinds of weather & road conditions.  Now fast forward to today.  I left that job on August 25th 2000.  Enough was enough & it was time to get off the 200 mile round trip stock car track.  Guess you could say I just kinda quietly burnt out.   I went literally overnight from a consistently heavy congested traffic job to the quiet back country roads of sleepy rural living.  And by choice that’s where I have remained.  What was once a normal high pressure working/driving day for me soon became a part of my fast driving past.  What I had once been used to gradually became something I purposefully avoided.  And I still avoid it to this very day.  My learned driving skills from those years remain sharply intact but my patience & comfort zone with city driving are gone.  I’ve have just kept myself out of the crush & madness too long now to ever enjoyably do that kind of driving again.  My zest & enthusiasm are just not into it anymore.  A good example of ‘been there done that’ I guess.  I get a kick out of the ‘aw there’s nothing to it’ people.  I know where their heads are at.  They too may someday reach that ‘enough is enough’ point in their hurried city lives…………..


I always have 2 options with brush on our property.  I can collect it into a pile & burn small amounts of it any time or I can load it up in my utility trailer & take it to the Congress landfill.  Dumping right now & for the next few days is free & not wanting to have to phone the fire department to let them know I have a little pile of brush to burn I instituted my second option & piled all the brush into the utility trailer this morning.  Thursday morning I will haul it away.  Prickly & thorny stuff all those Mesquite & Palo Verde branches.  Always an ‘ouchy’ or two handling that stuff.


I can always tell when Pheebs is bored by the way she lays on the floor.  Head down with her chin flat on the floor & eyes looking up watching me.  It’s a sure sign she is laying there wishing & hoping I will make a gesture towards the door.  Back home in Bayfield readers know Pheebs & I are out 2 & 3 times a week for our most enjoyable back roads country drive photo tours.  We don’t have back roads here like at home & I’m hesitant to wander out into the desert in the heat of day with no cell phone.  But today with her laying on the living room floor giving me ‘that look’ I knew the only way I was going to cheer her up was grab the cameras & say to her “going in the Jeep’'.  She instantly transforms into the most excitable happy little dog I have ever seen.  Kelly was grabbing an afternoon nap in her bedroom so Pheebs & tip toed out the door, hopped into the Jeep & headed off down the road with both windows full down & the vent blowing air.  We didn’t nearly as far or for as long as we usually do back in southwestern Ontario but we did amble ourselves around Congress taking a few photos of houses here & there.  Despite Congress’s kind of tumble down & sparse late 1800’s look there are some nice homes & properties here.    


DSC_0001 DSC_0002DSC_0009

Here’s a little tip for you Picasa 3.9 users.  Some of you may know you can darken light skies & clouds by clicking on your ‘Graduated Tint’ button but did you also know you can use that same button to lighten either the left or right side of your photo plus the bottom.  I use this to keep the exposures in some of my photos consistent.  Might be something a little washed out on the side somewhere so I just flip the photo with that ‘washed out’ section to the top & click on Graduated Tint.  And how to flip it??  Look for 2 small blue arrows at the bottom & to the left.  One arrow curves to the right & one to the left.  This is how you can rotate your photo & gain more control over your photo.  Remember to click ‘APPLY’ after you click on Graduated Tint.  Using this on applicable pics will give you better looking overall results.  And remember, if you have a whole lot of nothing blue sky in your photo just crop the heck out of it & bring your foreground forward. I think you may like the results.  Just a suggestion for you to try:))


GROANER’S CORNER:(( A couple were being interviewed on their Golden Wedding Anniversary. "In all that time, did you ever consider a divorce?"  "Oh, no, not divorce, we're too old fashioned for that," one said. "Murder sometimes, but never divorce.


Everyone knows I'm a stickler for good spelling. So when an associate e-mailed technical documents asking me to "decifer" them, I had to set him straight.  "Decipher is spelled with a 'ph', not an 'f'," I wrote. "In case you've forgotten, spell checker comes free with your Microsoft program." A minute later his reply: "My Microsoft spell checker must be dephective."


  1. it is all what you are use to..well we want to be use to those roads with little traffic and no congestion!
    cute groaner, made me laugh!

  2. While I don't have the experience driving in traffic that you have had, I did drive to work for a few years from Northern Virginia into Washington, DC and back. If you haven't driven there I can assure you it is total insanity! Now I drive across country avoiding interstates and major roads, and try to never go out during the rush hours. I couldn't even think about driving an RV! That is how aging is affecting me!

  3. Loved the spelling story and thanks for the Picasa tip.

  4. This is probably my favorite TV ad of all time:

    It involves a yellow lab like two that we had. You may have seen it, but please enjoy it if not.

  5. Very nice 3 D effect on the cactus pic.

    I may fix my pics someday, just too lazy now for anything other than crop.

  6. I used to live and work in Toronto way back when and thought nothing of the traffic, Then after moving to Kitchener years later I commuted to Toronto everyday for over a year. Now a country bumpkin have no desire togo to or even drive in the cities.
    Love the peaceful country life and slower pace.
    Thanks for another helpful tip about Picasa.

  7. I never overly thrilled with heading out in the direction of Toronto.
    Had a job once upon a time that involved lots of driving. So much so that I put 100,000 km on a brand new company car in just ONE YEAR. Left that crazy job and started as a Caretaker. Always tried to be within a ten minute drive from home at any school I worked at. Such a difference.
    I still see folks doing the commute by car. Just boggles the mind.

  8. Glad you and Pheebs were able to get out for a quick neighborhood drive :-) So true about comfort with what you're accustomed to. After driving I CA in traffic and on two-land mountain and desert roads a lot, I had to take a 32' U-Haul with a tow dolly to Colorado in December. All that ice and snow was so unlike anything I had ever encountered!

  9. Not sure I have that 3.9 version but I will be sure to check ...Yep, Pheebs is very accustomed to those "road trips"..and dogs DO LOVE to ride with their head out the window!

  10. I noticed in your previous post you are headed in the opposite direction of Phoenix, I could not agree more. We make a quick run to San Diego and the got a $40.oo parking ticket on top of dealing with all that congestion of the city. Not going back soon.
    WEATHER, it is cooling off right nice here and I think we are at a similar altitude as the slabs (here at Agua Caliente CP) Well Scratch Phoebs on the head for us she does look like a real content pal.

  11. Very likely that the helicopters are the AZ Army National Guard. They are based at Pinal Airpark down in Marana. There is also a bombing range between Gila Bend and Yuma south of I-8.

    Hope Kelly gets better soon! Seen a doc yet?