Our new dining room chairs came, joining the dining table (which has been here a couple of months).img_0295.jpgWe’re going with an “organic contemporary” style which uses pieces with clean lines that are constructed from natural materials like wood, stone and leather. So far, we have a dining table and chairs, bar stools, sofa, entertainment center, bar cabinet, one sofa table and two end tables in the great room. We are waiting on a coffee table and second sofa table to arrive in a few weeks. They discontinued the living room rug we picked out, so we still need to find a rug and two comfy chairs for the living room. And we want to add a low table/wooden bench to fit under the window in the dining room.We aren’t even thinking about decorative touches until we have all of the big pieces. Besides, we want to keep the house uncluttered and we figure we’ll buy art as we find it rather than just buying something to fill spaces. Hopefully you’ll think the pieces are a good fit for the house. Feel free to voice your opinion either way….

We miss you, Mojo

This is Mojo:




I adopted him from the local shelter where I volunteer, fulfilling my life-long dream of having a pet. Mojo is an adult Pit Bull that was owner-surrendered. Unfortunately, as we discovered quickly, he was not house-broken, had no training whatsoever, and as a result turned out to be a lot more work than expected.

He is smart, sweet, wants nothing but love and attention, and to be part of the family. He bonded really quickly with me, and reacted well to training. However, due to his complete lack of training, he has all the habits of a dog: peeing and pooping in the house, chewing, scratching, pulling, counter-surfing – you name it. I also found out by accident that he was apparently beaten by the previous owner.

I spent a lot of time with him every day, walking, training, feeding, socializing, etc. and eventually realized that I did not have the bandwidth to spend 6-7 hours a day with him every day for the next several months to get him to a point where we could trust him around the house. In addition, we realized there was so much potential to him wreaking havoc on our new house in the meantime.

In the end we realized that there was too much of a conflict between his and our personalities, and we had to give him up again. It was a tough and heartbreaking decision to make.

I found out that he is going to a foster home of a local Pit Bull rescue organization that will help him find a good permanent home.

Good luck, Mojo. We hope you will find a happy home. We miss you and will always remember you.

Squeeeee puppays!

My company gives me five paid days off each year to volunteer. I decided to use this time to help walk and socialize dogs at the local animal shelter.

This is Howie, a rambunctious and fun little Pit Bull mix.

This is Peanut, supposedly a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix.

I have to confess, though – I have an ulterior motive. I want to adopt one of the puppies here at the shelter and give it a good home. Walking and socializing them is a great opportunity to get to know them a little better first and find the right one.

Maybe someone like this guy?

Click here for larger photos.

To be continued…

More critters

Time for a couple more critter photos.

We found this desert turtle in the middle of the road near a friend’s house. It was pretty lively, full of energy, scootin’ around all over the place. The discolored face is probably from eating cactus fruit.

On weekend mornings we’re in our backyard working out. Apparently a family of javelinas have a established path they travel across our property about a hundred feet behind our house. Sometimes we see them moseying down the hill like in this photo.

Click here for more and larger critter pictures.

Back from our trip to the South

We took a trip to the South for some R&R.

Among other things, we visited friends that moved from California a few years ago and now have a nice house on a lake in North Carolina.

We spent some time near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where they have a KISS coffeehouse.

We saw some alligators at Huntington Beach State Park.

We found out that all liquor stores in South Carolina close at 7pm as this sign made very clear.

Click here for many more photos from our trip.

My new backyard CrossFit jungle gym is ready!

Check it out! Now I can do CrossFit workouts at home. I designed the setup and somebody fabricated it in my backyard. It’s got:

  • Pull-up bars 8 and 6.5 feet high
  • Ring mounts 10 feet high
  • Wall ball targets 8 and 10 feet high
  • Climbing rope mount 12 feet high
  • 15×10 concrete weight platform

We used it this morning for the first time. Sandy enjoyed the view from the rower while I did this morning’s CrossFit workout.

Click here for larger and more pictures.

Tubac, AZ

One Sunday afternoon we drove down to Tubac, a little town close to the Mexican border.

It’s mainly for tourists and weekend shoppers. There are many artists that create pottery, iron sculptures, wood furniture, etc. and sell it to the visitors. The art work ranges from traditional over kitschy to cool and just crazy.

Even though it’s a modern town, it still has an old West feel to it, including some of the buildings.

Click here for many more photos.

Ever been ostrich fishin’?

Turns out there’s an ostrich farm about half an hour from our house. There’s lots of fun stuff to do. You can feed various critters, including ostriches, deer, goats, donkeys, and lorikeets.

You can also go on a tour of the farm and surrounding desert in a tour bus turned monster truck driven by a crazy redneck chick, with a stop to do some ostrich fishin’.

Fun way to spend an afternoon.

Click here for many more larger photos.

You womenfolk might want to skip this post…

Here are a few more photos of critters encountered in Tucson, and some of them are not for the squeamish.

A millipede I found casing our garage.

A tarantula we found on the side of our house one evening when we got home. I held a ruler next to it so you can get an idea of the size of this thing.

Its leg span was at least 6 inches/15 centimeters.

My buddy Thom, a home inspector, encountered this scorpion during an inspection and sent me this photo.

His hand in the photo for scale helps demonstrate the size of this creature.

Click here to see larger versions of the photos.

Btw, if you’re wondering about the seemingly different wall colors of the first photos, they’re actually the same. One photo was taken in extremely bright daylight with an iPhone 3G, the other one was taken with a Canon SD800IS with flash while it was completely dark.