The pool

Had dinner the other night at a friend’s, and, before we took a dip in her saltwater pool, I fished two round-tailed ground squirrels out who had been treading water.  Guess it was too tempting for them in this hot hot hot weather.  One squeaked a thank-you.  Both were quite bedraggled.  (Photo from this web site:

The pool is lovely.

Salt water chlorination is a process that uses dissolved salt as a store for the chlorination system. The chlorinator uses electrolysis to break down the salt. The resulting chemical reaction eventually produces the sanitizing agents already commonly used in swimming pools. As such, a saltwater pool is not actually chlorine-free; it simply utilizes a chlorine generator instead of direct addition of chlorine.

One pair of quail at her house had three little acorn babies.  Alas, I hadn’t taken my camera.  A number of collared lizards were doing their territorial push-ups.  Her daughter, who lives in Sierra Vista, where one of the Arizona wildfires rages (Do wildfires do anything but rage?) called and said that she was ok; the evacuation of three hundred households hadn’t affected her.

Firefighters have gained the upper hand on the Monument Fire near Sierra Vista.  At last check the fire covered just over 28,000 acres with 59% containment reported.  More than 1300 firefighters on the lines backed by eight helicopters and four air tankers.  Still the flames have destroyed 57 homes, a five-unit apartment building and five businesses.  More than 300 homes are still in harm’s way.

And more about the wildfires

On a related note, environmentalists are attempting to sequester two pairs of endangered red squirrels, just in case a wildfire hits their mountain before the rains come.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials will attempt to collect four endangered Mount Graham red squirrels as an insurance against the chance of their habitat and entire species being lost to a potential wildfire.

Yesterday morning I noticed a family of eight quail in my yard.  Were some of them teenagers and I had missed their baby phase?  “My” three deer were in the drainage wash from the cul-de-sac between my house and the Bridge House, one “trimming” a palo verde.  Wish they’d eat all of the grasses there.  I used to pull the weeds out religiously, but I guess that was when I had nothing else to do.  They are probably the dreaded buffelgrass that eradication teams dig out of washes, and is thought to help fuel the lower elevation wildfires (raging).

“Because buffelgrass resprouts vigorously after fire, it is capable of causing more frequent and larger wildfires, decreasing water infiltration to the soil and changing the way essential plant nutrients cycle in the desert.”


My refi didn’t go through yet again.  The Catch-22.  I pay my monthly mortgage but I don’t have enough income to pay less.  (It’ll be no prob if I get a job.)

A Catch-22, coined by Joseph Heller in his novel Catch-22, is a logical paradox arising from a situation in which an individual needs something that can only be acquired by not being in that very situation; therefore, the acquisition of this thing becomes logically impossible.

What a difference a day makes

Left for Vancouver early this morning from Phoenix.  Gee, it’s been half a year since I’ve flown and I forgot how aggravating the lines were.  Almost as bad as Disneyland.  Then you not only have to remove your shoes, belt, watch, jacket, and put liquids in a clear bag, but stand, hands above your head, to have an intimate photo taken.  (Luckily, at the last minute, I remembered to leave my Swiss Army knife in my car.  Have had three of them confiscated by airport security over the years.)  Plus you need a passport to get into Canada (even though you need none to go from one European country to another).  Maybe, twenty years from now, we’ll be telling this story to bemused grandchildren or great-grandchildren.

I have seen how the rich do it.  (Those with incomes above $1M who can’t afford to pay more taxes.)  When I was working in SC, one of our vendors, Rite-Hite (world leader in the manufacture and sale of loading dock equipment) flew a couple of us to their headquarters in Milwaukee by private plane.  We drove to the private airport, checked in (no lines, no need to remove clothes, no X-rays, no security check) and walked straight to the tiny plane where the copilot took our bags.  Then we took off.  Elapsed time – 10 minutes.  After we were airborne the copilot served us wine and hors d’oeuvres.  Yes, I have flown business class (whenever my company sent me overseas) and the seat size and the fact that the seats go back all of the way was great for sleeping on a long flight, but a private plane is miles above that for short jaunts.

15°C (59°F) here in Vancouver.  It rained this morning, and the humidity is 77%.  No wildfires here.

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2 Responses to “The pool”

  1. Jim Says:

    Flying to Lima, non-stop on LAN Chile was great improvement over American. We were served excellent meals and wine.
    I suspect, that in these times of economic hardship, most Americans would enthusiatically support capital punishment for the tax fraudsters and economically ruinous bansters.
    When we moved from Tucson to San Luis Obispo, where salt water swims became habitual, there was a large improvement in my skin.

  2. Watching Seasons Says:

    I bet the squirrels were really glad to see you!

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