Monday, May 28, 2007

Death Upon Death

We went on one of our excursions today. Actually, this was a "do over" of a previous excursion, because we really screwed up the first time around. We were looking for the ruins of Sasco, and despite internet resources aplenty we missed it by a good 20 miles or so the first time around. The "roads" we were driving the first time were more like ideas of general direction which didn't have quite so many plants as the other bits of the desert. (I don't care what the "Ironwood Forest National Monument" signs said. That's a friggin' desert. It's a "forest" like I've got hair on my head. Sparse, short, and depressed in its singular loneliness.)

Today was different, in that we looked at one of them there newfangled things called a "map". Perhaps you've heard of it? It's a cartographic dream! Thanks to the map, we found Sasco with no difficulty whatsoever. The ruins are in relatively good shape. The cemetery had a headstone with a date as recent as 2006, which took some of the mystique out of the whole thing. A cemetery for a ghost town shouldn't have anything more recent than the early 1900s to be chill-worthy. Most of the markers had no names or dates. They were apparently somewhat mass-produced, in a homemade sense. Concrete crosses formed in a mold, and placed at the heads of the graves. Some were original, though, so that made up for the recently departed. This particular image is of a nameless tomb that had a nameless cactus take hold and grow in the concrete. The fishhook barrel cactus, though small, was still strong enough to crack open the concrete in search of nutrients and moisture. It found enough of both for a while, but eventually it died as well. Now, an unmarked grave in the desert in a ghost town has only a sun-blackened cactus to distinguish it from the other graves.

Death doesn't fool around in Arizona.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Smite, Smote, Smottled

7:05. A.M. That was the time I heard the sound of the gas-powered leaf blower. The earliest time to date. When you've been having trouble sleeping for a few days and finally drift off a little after 3, the last thing you want to hear is the grinding whine of a two-stroke engine right outside your window. Well, maybe in the top ten, in the general vicinity of Mariah Carey in a yodelling competition.

In other news, I've been dabbling in alchemy. No, not because I've got gold fever, or even Saturday Night Fever. (Though I did wear the suit once.) It's because some of our plants have a bit of an infestation. They're impatiens. So I had to hurry. (Ba-bing!) It turns out that the infestees, spider mites, don't like garlic or hot pepper. Since we live in Arizona, it's a state law to have both on hand. Not literally, of course, but in the kitchen. So the little buggers have been subjected to "Wontar's Mist O' Delicious Death" for two days now. I think it's working, but it's still too early to tell. All I can say for sure is that the balcony smells fantastic.

If it works, I may fill a few water balloons with the stuff and chuck them at the maintenance monkey the next time he wakes me up with that damnable leaf blower.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Graphic Graphic

This looks rather graphic, doesn't it? I guess it's a carryover from watching murder-type shows on TV. I guess it'll have to be banned, because I'm so darned impressionable. Nothing but interior decorating shows for me from here on out. That way, all the images I make will be people killed by swatches and uncomfortably-placed paint rollers.

Actually, the background is the result of some random filters in Photoshop and is completely artificial. I just changed the accent color to red because green that originally came up was too... otherworldly. In an X-Files kind of way. I know she looks a bit decomposed and all, but don't worry. She isn't. (She's not real.) The texture on her skin is actually from a rock next to a little shack in Saguaro Mountain Park. So the background is artificial, and her skin is somewhat natural.

I know that wasn't exactly riveting. I'll blame it on the insomnia. We've been getting our sleep in two or three hour intervals lately. Very annoying, to say the least. Luckily (I guess), we're experienced insomniacs.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


101 degrees yesterday, 104 degrees in the forecast today... Hooray for air conditioning and less than 10% humidity!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Umbra Aurum

Lamont Cranston, fallen on hard times, digs in the dirt looking for precious metals and loose change. Or interesting rocks, at the very least.

We went prospecting. (Yes, really.) Somewhere in Arizona. (Maybe.) I will say with unrestrained certainty that we found neat looking rocks. And since the title of this post isn't "WOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!" you can pretty much guess we didn't find our weight in gold. Or even loose change. Still, it was fun, and we're going to do it again. I guess that's the official definition of "gold fever".

In other news, thanks to Sam's sleeplessness I get to pitch Contactify as well. I tried it, it works, it's linked on this very page. Not that people were clamoring to contact me or anything, but I like nifty little things like that. Thanks Sam!

In other, other news, today marks the anniversary of the date we arrived in Arizona. Goodbye year two, hello year three. Tempus fugit and all that.

Finally, I have learned something annoying from our recent gold-hunting excursion. See, it was very, very quiet at night. Quiet enough to hunt wabbits. That means that the only thing I could hear late at night were the noises in my own head. Since I normally fall asleep with the TV on, I did not know that the noise count is up to two distinct frequencies: one high, one low. They do not harmonize well at all. All that means is that it's nearly impossible for me to fall asleep in silence without drugs or extreme exhaustion. Sucks for me. (Yeah, I know. Boo hoo.)