Saturday, January 29, 2011

Boothill Graveyard

Boot Hill (or Boothill) is the name for any number of cemeteries, chiefly in the American West. During the 19th century it was a common name for the burial grounds of gunfighters, or those who "died with their boots on" (i.e., violently). Also, Boot Hill graves were made for people who died in a strange town without assets for a funeral, known more formally as paupers' graves. -Wiki

Boothill Graveyard

One of the most famous Boothill cemeteries is located in Tombstone, Arizona. It holds a lot of famous Wild West people. I don't really like to describe a cemetery as "entertaining", but this one certainly was. Check out the slide show. Read the grave stones!



Geocachers: There is a Mystery Cache there... which I must have screwed up the numbers on, cause I didn't find it. ;-)

Friday, January 28, 2011

My first Letter Box

I got my first Letterbox yesterday. For those of you new to geocaching, or are not all that familiar with it, here is the description via the Geocaching.com site.

Letterbox Hybrid

A letterbox is another form of treasure hunting using clues instead of coordinates. In some cases, however, the owner has made it both a letterbox and a geocache and posted its coordinates on Geocaching.com. If there is a stamp inside a letterbox hybrid, it is not an item intended for trade; the stamp is meant to remain in the box so that visitors can use it to record their visit.To read more about letterboxing, visit the Letterboxing North America web site.

Basically in the simplest terms you have a stamp that you use to "sign" the log with. The box that you find with gps coordinates and or other directions also has a unique stamp. You are to record that stamp in your personal log book. The Letterboxing website has a really good description in their FAQ section. The do a much better job of explaining tan I do!

Anyway, since this was my first letterbox I had to find a stamp. It's nothing I personally designed but if you know me outside this blog - the stamp will make sense.

Letterbox Stamp

It will be my stamp for future letterbox finds, so be on the lookout!

Letterbox

Have you ever found a Letterbox?

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book Review

I'm sorry to say, nothing too exciting has been going on in the world of Erika. So here it is, another book Review!

Title: Are You There Vodka? It's me, Chelsea
Author: Chelsea Handler
Pages: 264

Book Description: In My Horizontal Life, actress and stand-up comedian Chelsea Handler boldly recounted her one-night stands-the good, the bad, and the disastrous. In this wickedly honest new work, she casts the net wider with even funnier results, recalling the most noteworthy highs and lows of her life to date--including her efforts to diversify by dating red-haired men, her obsession with midgets, and the dog-sitting interlude in which her boyfriend became overly familiar with a Peekapoo.

Whether it's a vacation with her dad during which he tells airline staff they're a honeymoon couple in order to get an upgrade, or her elaborate attempts to convince her third-grade classmates that she's starring in a Private Benjamin sequel, Chelsea lets it rip in these relentlessly entertaining essays. Displaying the candor and irresistible turn of phrase that have earned her a recurring stint as a correspondent on The Tonight Show as well as her own E! series, Chelsea Lately, this deliciously skewed collection is a guilty pleasure.

My Thoughts: Meh. It was okay. Easy read. I love her show on E!, Chelsea Lately... but I just didn't find those book all that funny, which is what I was hoping for. Haven't read her other books and I wouldn't totally write them off - but they won't be at the top of my list of to read books anytime soon!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Missing TBs

In the game of Geocaching a Travel Bug(TB) is a Trackable that moves from place to place, picking up stories along the way. It is left in a cache for the next person to find. When they get home they log the TB with the special # and then place it in another cache.

Quite a few of my Travel bugs have gone missing since I released them into the wild. Some I still have hopes for - the ones that people should have, but won't respond to e-mails >;-( My hope is that the Geocaching bug bites these people again and they do eventually put them back out. (But seriously though - these people drive me fucking nuts. I even offer to send a self addressed and stamped envelope so they can send it back to me if they don't geocache anymore. Even if they told me they lost it, I would be OK with that. Then I could at least send out the copy with out the possibility of having to out there. UGhhh)

Then there are the other TB's, the ones I have no hope for. For example, the ones that were in a cache that is now missing and archived. I have decided to replace a few of those. Here is the first one I've done...

The TB used to be The Trumpeter Swan and had the mission of visiting Michigan Ohio Florida and Iraq.

Trumpeter Swan TB


Now the TB has been changed to Henrietta the Holy Cow.

Henrietta

Current GOAL: Henrietta the Holy Cow would like to do some traveling and at some point visit India, where all cows are Holy. Along the way she would love her picture taken in fields that would be good for grazing. She would be absolutely ecstatic to have her picture taken with a fellow cow if you happen to run into a one on your journey.

FYI: Henrietta has anxiety issues around crowds. Please do not take her to any social gatherings or events. We wouldn't want her to have a panic attack and get herself lost now would we?

Have you ever sent a "COPY" tag out?

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Wordless Wednesday

Rooster

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Hike

Today I hiked - just to hike. There was not a single geocache on today's agenda. Which was actually quite fine. I'm really starting to enjoy all the hiking! I just wish my right foot/ankle/arch would decide to agree!

Since I knew we had a long hike ahead I left the "good" camera behind and brought the one from the stone ages along. So please - don't judge my photos! Haha.

I shot a short video of the view up top. Though this isn't the highest elevation we reached, it was the best view! (sorry the sounds is a little too high!, I had my speakers turned down while making it so I didn't realize...)



I really need to invest in an HD video camera.... but anyway, We ended up climbing to 3,710ft above sea level. So in all, it was a 1,163ft climb for us!

Elevation

Oh yeah, and we ended up hiking a grand total of 6.2 miles! If you have Goolge Earth installed you can click this photo to view the KML if you wish! The hike was at Saguaro Ntional Park (west). We took Hohokam Road to Dobe Wash to the Sendero Esperansa Trail to Hugh Norris Trail.

Hike 1-23-11

It was a rather windy day and stayed nice and cool for most of our hike. We saw a herd of javelina quite a distance below us. I've never actually seen one in the "wild," so that was cool! For those of you don't know the javelinas are the only wild, native, pig-like animal found in the United States! They look like this.... and you say the name like this.

There were also quite a few steps on this hike. Lucky for us most of them were down! As we walked over them we could see that they were steps cut of of rock and we wondered if the CCC did them. Our suspicions were confirmed by the Ranger later. Pretty neat to neat to know your walking on a bit of history!

CCC Steps

One last thing about this hike... and old mine! Awesome.

Old Mine

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Together we Thrive

Many of you have heard about the Tragedy in Tucson... and if you've read this blog before, you know I live in Tucson. Its so sad/horrible/shocking that something like this could happen. I've been glued to the TV for Gabby and victim updates since the incident on the 8th. While the shock of the situation seems to be wearing off and the healing, hope and road to recovery is more in focus I decided to visit the makeshift memorial outside University Medical Center. It will be cleaned up shortly, as Giffords is now in Houston for rehabilitation.

The Note/Prayer Box

I wrote a little note of encouragement and thanks to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and strolled around snapping pictures.

University M Center
(click to view larger)

It's amazing how many people have come and gone here, sharing their thoughts and prayers.

Book Review

After getting a bit bored with the last book I read, I decided to seek out a book by an author that I've read before and that I liked... Thus, increasing my chances for a good read. I decided on Melissa Senate. In 2007 I read one of her books in 6 hours. A true "I couldn't put it down" book (that, and I was traveling). This is what I ended up reading....


Book Description:
Between the reality of being six weeks pregnant by a guy she's dated for two months and the fantasy of pushing a baby stroller down Columbus Avenue with a wedding ring on her finger were a lot of possibilities for twenty-nine-year old Manhattan publishing peon Sarah Solomon. Will the baby's father run screaming for the nearest subway . . . or pop the question?

"He's going to deny they ever had sex!" bets cynical sister Ally, an uptown lawyer who catches her "perfect" husband cheating . . . and happily retaliates on FindAMate.com.

"He might surprise everyone and propose," offers half sister Zoe, a celebrated relationship guru who critiques dates for a living but would have to rate her own love life a big fat zero.

"Huh?" asks their clueless father, too busy planning his society wedding to trophy wife #3 to notice what's up with his daughters. Until Sarah, Ally and Zoe find themselves suddenly sharing a bedroom in his Park Avenue penthouse . . . . "

And thanks to a little help from each other and some unexpected allies, the Solomon sisters are about to wise up in this heartwarming and hilarious novel by Melissa Senate, author of See Jane Date.

My Thoughts:
I really liked this one! A nice quick easy read (about 5 days). I found myself laughing and getting excited/nervous for the characters and cheering them on. This book is about 3 sisters who, as the title says, wise up. Its a great book about sisterhood, relationships, forgiving and moving on. The story is told by all three sisters- Sarah, Zoe, and Ally. There is something I just love about getting a different perspective, attitude and overall personality each chapter. It keeps things interesting I guess.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Citrus Report 2010/2011

It's 2011 and the oranges that grew all year in 2010 are READY. They are very very very very small this year though....

Orange/Quarter Comparison

No, your eyes are not fooling you... that is indeed a quarter. I told you they were small! Our orange tree is pretty big, I'm thinking it needs some pruning so the tree can focus its energy on making oranges and an not worry about keeping it's million branches alive.

We also have a lemon tree, and because the tree looks like death... I think this might be our last year for them ;-(

Lemon/Quarter Comparison

The lemon smelled sooooo good. I even took a bite or two out of this one! Mmmm (I love sour).

I'm not a big fan of grapefruit, but we have that too. It's got a pretty thick skin this year.

Grapefruit/Quarter Comparison

So there it is folks. While most of the country is in winter coats digging out their driveways, I'm in the back yard wearing short sleeves picking fruit! :-P

Citrus Report 2010/2011


Citrus Report 2009/2010
Citrus Report 2008/2009

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Book Review - Sort of

Title: Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories: And Other Disasters

By: Jean Shepherd

Pages: 352

Book Description:
A bestselling classic of humorous and nostalgic Americana, reissued in a strikingly designed trade paperback edition.

Before Garrison Keillor and Spalding Gray there was Jean Shepherd: a master monologist and writer who spun the materials of his all-American childhood into immensely resonant--and utterly hilarious--works of comic art.

Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories is a universal (and achingly funny) orchestration of Midwestern puberty rites, from the gut-wrenching playground antics of one Delbert Bumpus, to the supernal glow surrounding unapproachable high school beauty Daphne Bigelow, to the memorable disaster that was Shepherd's (and everyone else's) junior prom.

A comic genius who bridges the gap between James Thurber and David Sedaris, Shepherd may have accomplished for Holden, Indiana, what Mark Twain did for Hannibal, Missouri.

What I Thought:
I didn't not like this book, it was just too slow for me. The stories were good - I never wanted to read more. Watching Christmas Story over the holidays help me to "hear" the author and reading flowed a little easier - but... I was b o r e d. I even kept the book past its overdue date, becuase I did want to read it... but I give up. I just realized I'm not that interested, time to move on! (I finished 46% of this book)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

7+

I went geocaching for the first time this year!

KennyV and I headed to Catalina State Park again. I've had my eye on Cargodera Flat-Rocks for a while now, so that's where we headed.

On the way we grabbed Crested in Catalina State Park. The cache was near a Crested Saguaro, which is basically a deformed Giant Saguaro. These crested cacti are a result of a condition called fasciation. It's the first time I've ever seen one!

IMG_8305

That's me at the cache site below.
Crested

We continued on to Cargodera Flat-Rocks Oasis walking in the shade of the mountains the whole way - BBrrrr. We had to cross the wash (typically dry creek beds) 3 times each way that actually had water! The snow on the mountains must be melting!

Water Water Everywhere!

We eventually arrived to the flat rocks, found the cache, signed the log and then had a little snack. The sun came up over the mountain and I grabbed a few shots. The pictures of course, don't compare to the actually beauty. It was such a cool spot!

Cargodera Flat-Rock Oasis

Flat Rocks

Cargodera Flat-Rock Oasis

There was water there too! A "waterfall." ;-)

Arizona "Waterfall"

I've added Cargodera Flat-Rock Oasis as one of my favorite caches. Nothing beats a nice hike and unique location!

The way back was mostly down hill. When we got back, we dumped our stuff in the car and went for a newly placed cache. It was about a mile away on an unmarked trail. Since I didn't feel like lugging my stuff, I don't have any pictures. It was a pretty nice hike too though.

In total we hike 7.16 miles! The most hiking I've done in a day!

Sunday Hike

Did you get to do any caching this weekend?

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To learn more about geocaching watch this video!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Holy Bejeezus

Did you know "bajeezus" is an actual word with an actual definition? Yeah, I had to look it up. I wouldn't want to spell that one wrong (you can spell it b-e-j-e-s-u-s too but I really think it has more a a "zzz" to it myself).

Anyway, lets get to the bajeezeusness that has giving me something to brag blog about.

Flickr is one of those sights I check daily. Well, okay... several times a day. I started getting random people favoriting(not actually a word) one of my latest photos. I thought it was odd, but didn't think much of it. I went back again later on in the day and there were a few more random people that had made it their favorite. I knew something was up, but wasn't exactly sure what it was....

Then I noticed something on the right side of my Flickr homepage.

Flickr Y'all!

Do you see it?

Yep, that is my pattern photo thumbnail under the words "Flickr Blog." The one I just blogged about the other day. Now, if you're not on Flickr and not interested in photography... this might seem like no big deal, but for me it is.

I myself check out the Flickr Blog every day. Its great exposure for those who have a photo in it! It pretty much means lots of comments and favorites. Yippe! All the stuff I like. Not to mention my little ol' picture shows up on everyone's Flickr homepage for the day!!!

It was the first photo on the actual post.

Flickr Y'all!

My stats went up dramatically.

Flickr Y'all!
For some reason the time zone is messed up.

Anyway. I just had to post a little celebration post for myself. Wooo! I hope you don't mind.

This is almost as awesome as being listed as "Blog of Note."

And, let me take this moment to recommend Flickr. I've been using it for a few years now, and I love it. It's a great site for posting and even storing some of your photos. You can sign up for free, up to 200 photos, but if you want to do more and post more, it is a paid service (worth it in my opinion)!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Weekly Photo Challenge

My sister and I decided to start a little photo challenge for ourselves in 2011. Each week there is a theme, we alternate picking it. The first week (there were only a couple days that first week), I picked "cracks" for our theme.

This was one of my photos for the first week.

Mud Cracks

This week's theme is "patterns." I have until Sunday to post more photos, but this is what I have so far!
Pattern

If you're interested you can subscribe to the feed or visit the Flickr group.

Monday, January 3, 2011

King of the Hill

This is the kind of thing that happens when I'm bored. I haven't blogged in a few days... There just isn't much to say lately!

King of the Hill