A visit from my son

My son stops in for a couple of days…

My son Curt is traveling from California to Texas and stopped in to see me for a couple of days.  We went out to dinner at Gordon Biersch Brewery in downtown Tempe.  It is a great restaurant overlooking Mill Street.

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We also walked around the Mill Street?University Drive area.  It was a great place and lots of people out.

Off to see the MIM again…

He hadn’t seen The MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) so I suggested we go there on Tuesday.  We spent most of the day walking around this fabulous museum.  They have an “Experience Gallery” where you can experience playing the many instruments they have on display.  Or should I say trying to play them.  HA!!  It was a lot of fun.  Here are several pics from the Experience Gallery.

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While there I found several things that I had not noticed in my prior visit.The first was instruments made out of cans.

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Bamboo

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and even a brake cylinder.  It is amazing the different instruments that people use to make music.

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I can’t imagine paying $27.45 for this organ, but back in 1902 that was probably a fortune.

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Gourmet meals in the MIM cafeteria…

After touring the museum we were hungry so stopped in their cafeteria for lunch.  What a pleasant surprise.  The lunch was all gourmet meals.  I couldn’t believe it.  Someone had commented on my previous post about the delicious meals so I just had to see for myself.  What a pleasant surprise.  Of course I had to have a Monkey Shine ale to wash it down!

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Here is a pic taken in the courtyard of The MIM.  This statue moved ever so slightly that you could not even tell if you were looking at it.

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Chica pic

Curt also had a good time with Chica and she enjoyed his company.

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Rangers game and then off to Texas

Curt is a Texas Ranger fan and went to the game on Wednesday.  Then it was off to Texas.  It was fun getting together and I really enjoyed seeing him.

Workamping at Spring Training

What a gang!

I have been working at the LAA Angels home Spring Training games at the Tempe Diablo Stadium since 2/23.  I was assigned to work with Phil who I met while workamping at Amazon last winter.  Here is a pic of our group lined up in front of our booth the Triple Play Grill.

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We are located on the third base side of the field and every now and then a foul ball happens to come our way.

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Watching batting practice…

We come in 2 1/2 hours prior to each game and get the stand ready for all the food and drink sales.  Sometimes when we are all set up we can watch batting practice.  Today I got to see the Angels hitting.

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I was really lucky to get this shot of Albert Pujols at bat.  How great is that!

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Busy, busy, busy…

But once the game starts it is very busy.  The orders are flying left and right and sometimes it is hard to keep up, but we all have a very good system of staying on top of the orders and getting the food and drink to the fans as quickly as possible so they can enjoy the game.

Her are a few pics of our group in action and our work area.

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We have a great group and everyone gets along really well.  We are always laughing and everyone enjoys each others antics at times when there is a lull in customers.  We are all kept very busy but still have a good time together.

Last game coming up…

Our last game will be on 3/27 against the Angels arch rival, Texas.  It should be an exciting game.  Then the Angels are off to Anaheim and we workampers are off to points unknown.  It has been a great experience working with this group and we sure have had a lot of laughs.

A great day in Apache Junction

Meeting up with Shannon and Sheba

On Saturday I drove out to Apache Junction to go hiking with Shannon and her dog Sheba.  I had originally planned this for last Thursday but had to cancel in order to get my car checked out and serviced.

Shannon is camped at the base of the Superstitious Mountains with many hiking trails nearby.  Here are a couple of pics taken just a few feet from her campsite.

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A few miles up the road we stopped at a lookout.  Great desert views.

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Further up the road was Canyon Lake.  It is a huge lake with a nice beach and marina.  It looks like a great place to kayak.

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Then it was on to Tortilla Flats where we enjoyed a couple of cool beers and listened to a great country western band.

We walked around the campground at Tortilla Flats, but it was already closed for the season.

Fantastic view from Fish Creek Overlook

Driving further you run out of paved road.  We drove on a washboard road for a few miles until we got to the Fish Creek Overlook.  What magnificent views and colors.

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This is a pic of Shannon and Sheba looking over the canyon.

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More pics of Fish Creek.

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I also liked the many plant and cactus varieties.

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Then we headed back to Shannon’s campsite where she made us a snack before heading out and a late afternoon hike at the base of the Superstitious Mountains.  I managed to get a couple of pics of the sunrise and the beautiful colors of the mountain.

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We just managed to get back as it was getting dark.

Pizza and another country western band…

We then drove a few miles down the road and stopped at the Hitchin Post pizza joint.  Shannon insisted on buying me dinner and we had a great pizza and beer.  They also had a great country western band that played some fantastic music.  It was really a fun day.

Only 5 games left in Spring Training

There are only 5 games left and I am planning on leaving Mesa on the 28th.  I have the itch and want to get out of the city atmosphere I am presently in.  After seeing Apache Junction I would like to return there and stay a few days.  Then it is off to New Mexico.

From cold to hot…

Cold and raining

The weather last week was very strange for this area.  It got very cold and the the torrential rains and hail began.  I was working at the ballpark when it started.  The rain started on and off and it delayed the start of the game.  Then a torrential rain started with very high winds and even hail.  The stands emptied in a hurry.  This is a pic taken from inside my work tent looking out to the field.  The fans had scurried off to a protected area to get out of the rain.  This was the only guy left.  The stands were full about 5 minutes prior to this.

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The umpires called the game and everyone went home.  All the street lights were knocked out on my way home and it took quite a while to get through the traffic.

Met fellow bloggers and other friends

I drove home and changed into some dry clothes and then headed over to Cracker Barrel where I met some friends for dinner.  It was a great time.  I met Jim and Sandie from Where are the Dixons, Ray and Cindy from Ray and Cindy’s RV Travels.  I also saw Kyra and Key who I had met the night before at Casino Arizona.

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Key writes the The Ramblin Rivercat blog.  Then there was Jan, Dianna and Bobbie.  I copied this photo from Jim and Sandie’s blog.

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Everyone had a great time and lots of conversation about places we had been and where we were headed.

Caught up with a lot of good friends yesterday.

Yesterday morning I got a call from Shannon who was my neighbor at Amazon last winter.  She was also the friend I drove with to and from Amazon.  It seems as though she just landed in Apache Junction last week and was headed my way to pick up some items at Camping World and Trader Joe’s.  We got together at Cracker Barrel for lunch and rehashed old times and made some plans to do some hiking around Apache Junction.  I am really looking forward to it.  Didn’t get any pics but will be taking my camera with me when we go hiking.

Get together at Phil and Sindy’s

In the late afternoon I was invited to Phil and Sindy’s rig, which is only a couple of spaces from mine, for hamburgers and hot dogs.  Our mutual friends, Steve and Marti and grandson Ryan, where coming by to see them from California.  It was really fun getting together with everyone.  Steve, Marti and Ryan will be going to a couple of Spring Training games while in town.

Chica update

Chica is doing quite well adjusting to her new home.  She is now almost housebroken and I have here on some new dog food that the vet recommended.  That pipsqueak is so lovable.  She has to get on Daddy’s lap every night.  She doesn’t like when I leave her alone, but that will end shortly and she won’t have to worry about that any more for a while.

I took her to a park and went for a long walk.  Her whole 3.5 pounds was actually pulling me.  I have included a few pics of her doing her thing.  The first is with her ducky which she loves so much.  She also has a zombie and a chew bone, which I will show later.

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It has been a really fun week.  I mentioned the weather was very cold and rainy.  Well that is changing big time.  The past couple of days it has been in the 80’s and the next couple of days it will reach 90.  What a change.  Almost time for the A/C.

Finally meet my soul mate!!!

Working the Angels Spring Training Games

I am still working the Angels Spring Training games in Tempe.  It has been fun and I am meeting a lot of fun people.  I usually work 3-4 games per week.  I am not making a lot of money, but it pays the expenses.

Weather has been beautiful…

You really can’t beat the beautiful Arizona weather.  The days have been in the high 70’s with a slight breeze at times.  However it will be changing shortly as they expect the temps to dip into the low 60’s tomorrow with a possibility of rain.  There is a game scheduled and hope we don’t get rained out.  After a couple days in the 60’s it is predicted to go back into the 70’s with more great weather.

Found my soul mate!

After many years of searching I finally found my soul mate.  I wasn’t even looking for her.  She just happened to run into me.  I was talking to my sister on the phone and just happened to look out and see her.  I went outside to meet her and we both knew we were made for each other.  Here is a neat pic of her.

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She was very hungry and had crusty eyes.  She came into my rig and made herself at home.  I have been looking for anyone that may have lost here, but without any success.  I checked with the office and they did not know who her owner was.  However she did say that there have been many little Chihuahuas running wild in the area.

I checked Craig’s List and the SPCA here in Mesa without any luck.  I have had her over 2 weeks so decided if nobody claimed her that she and I would make a nice pair. HA!!

Potty training

Although I don’t think she is a puppy I have still had to housebreak her.  It was not very easy at first and there were a lot of accidents.  It was probably mostly my fault as I didn’t let her out often enough.

We have finally gotten into the swing of things as far as potty breaks go and she is much improved.  She still doesn’t bark to let me know when to take her out or even go to the door.  But when I see her sniffing around I know it is time.

Vet day…

Since I haven’t heard from anyone who may have been her owner, I decided to take her to the vet and have her scanned to see if she had a microchip implanted that would tell me who owned her.  They scanned her and came up with nothing.  I decided at this time that she and I would be soul mates for life so I had her checked out by the vet who gave her two shots (which she did not like at all).  They also implanted a microchip and trimmed her nails (which she also hated).  A couple of her nails where almost ingrown and it looked like they hadn’t been trimmed in a long time.  Here is a pic of her at the vet.

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I have named her Chica (which means little girl).  It was a great name that my sister suggested.  We are both happy with each other and she hates when I leave to go to the ball park for the games.  She is very excited when I get home.  She is really a lot of fun and a very happy girl!

Take me out to the ball game….

Spring Training has started

Well after all the training and orientation the games have finally started.  Saturday was my first day on the other side of a cash register at a baseball game.  I was willing to do anything they wanted of me and was made a cashier.

HELP!!!!

I thought that being a cashier would be somewhat easy. NOT!!!!   For one thing there is no register to add up or even keep track of all the customers purchases.  You had to write everything down in order to remember what they ordered.  Also there were so many different prices that it was impossible for this fool to remember without checking on my price sheet.

Next, if the customer bought beer you had to remember to check their ID, not sell more then 40 oz. per sale and open the can and bottled beer before you gave it to the customer.  Too much for this old brain to remember, especially when customers are ten deep waiting to get there food and drinks.

Plus this was only my first game.  The crowds buying food and drink slowed down after the seventh inning so they cut me lose for the day.  I punched out and then I was able to see the remainder of the game.  Cubs 11 – Angels 2.  Angels lost big time!  Bummer!  They also lost a split roster game. Giants 4 – Angels 1.  Angels won 0 lost 2.

This is a pic I took with my IPhone at the game.

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Sunday was my second day at the ball park…

I was going to go into the park and talk to my lead person Sindy that I would prefer another position if at all possible.  She had already made plans with her husband Phil, who worked a booth next to hers, that I would do food preparation instead.  That sounded great to me!

So now I am building cheeseburgers, Brats, Portabella mushroom burgers and hot dogs.  During the beginning of the game it gets really busy with everyone trying to get their food and drinks from the concession stands.  The cheeseburgers are flying out of there.  Two of us work together to fill all of the orders for two cashiers.  There is not a whole lot of thought process required, which is fine with me.

Still very cold

Yesterday it was 50 degrees with the wind blowing like crazy.  We had to keep weight on everything to prevent it from blowing away.  It was a real challenge working today.  I didn’t bring another tee shirt so there were times when it got fairly chilly.  At least we had the steam ovens for a little warmth.

They asked for volunteers to leave, during the third inning, as the weather was very cold and the crowd was rather small.  My helper who was very experienced as he had been doing this for the past 3 years volunteered, so I was by myself to handle the orders of two cashiers.  It gets busy in streaks and there were times I was really hopping, but I was able to keep up with the flow.  As it turned out the game lasted 4 hours (compared to 2 1/2 hours for a normal game).

I didn’t get a chance to see the game.  I cannot see the field where I am working, but I can see the scoreboard.  By the time we finished cleaning up, the game had already ended. A’s 7 – Angels 5.  Angels won 0 lost 3.  Go Angels!!!

Day off

Today is a day off for me.  The next game is Tuesday when the Angels play the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Hopefully they will start winning a few of these games.

Back from a California visit

To California and Back

It has been a while since I last posted and I apologize for that.  I spent the last 11 days visiting family in Southern California.  I hadn’t even planned on driving there but I had to sign in at the Elks Lodge in Oceanside where I transfered my membership.  The Elks that I originally joined was in Benson, AZ but they were closing that lodge due to lack of new members.

I was also able to visit my mom several times and went out to lunch with my sisters on Valentines Day.  I even got in a round of golf on the last day I was there.  It will probably be a while before I get back there again so it was really a great visit.

By the way I drove my new (to me) Sammy (Suzuki Samurai) over there and back.  It was almost 400 miles one way.  Although I don’t intend to drive it that far again it handled beautiful.

Dish Network up and running

Yesterday my friend Phil came over to see where I had been.  Hopefully I will be working for either he or Sindy at the ballpark when the Spring Training games start on Saturday.  He helped me lift my Satellite dish on the roof where I was able to attach it to the bracket.  I tried doing this myself, but it was just too awkward.

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I hooked everything up and it found the satellite very quickly and I had TV.

Employee Orientation and then first ballgame

I have an employee orientation tomorrow where I find out all the details about my job such as where I will be working and what I will be doing.  Then the first game is Saturday with the Angels playing the Cubs.  I am really looking forward to it.

Dropped by the stadium where I will be working

I decided after lunch to drop by the Tempe Diablo Stadium and see if I could get some pics.  I was hoping they would be practicing at the stadium but the players had closed practices in the other fields in the area of the stadium.  I managed to get a few pics of the stadium as well as a couple players.

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There were a lot of photographers taking many pics of Mike Trout.

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While CJ Wilson was busy signing autographs.

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This was a banner on the road to the stadium.

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I was hoping to see some batting practice but will have to wait until a later time.