Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bike Riding Along the Canal

A few years ago I bought a comfort bike and I just love it. It's been to Burning Man three times and I love to take rides along the canal paths.

I'm closest to the Consolidated Canal so I usually pick that up between Baseline/Guadalupe and ride south. I tried riding north into Mesa once and it was disappointing. The trail was just a rocky, rutted path and there were no improvements at all. It was really rough.

Yesterday, though, I gave riding north another try and wow! Mesa/SRP have been busy! I rode the trail down to Southern last night and again today down to Broadway and it's great! Nice smooth paths, lighting and even seating and rest areas. Past Broadway it's paved but lighting has not been added so this is still a work in progress (also evidenced by the "Canal closed to recreational use until April 2014" signs that I and all the other bikers/walkers were clearly ignoring).

This is taken where the canal intersects Southern.

One of the rest areas. This is pretty swank - not only does it have seating but also a water fountain and a place to lock your bike should you choose to head down to the park.

Lots of horse properties back up against the canal. Here we have some hardworking horses who have decided that it is siesta time.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Literary Doldrums

I love to read. I will read anything that doesn't get out of the way quick enough but my preferences are mysteries and SF/F. I'm a quick reader and it's possible for me to finish a book in one day, given the time and interest. Lately, though, nothing seems to satisfy me. I just had a reading run of several very good books so to suddenly hit a wall is especially irritating.  I've got several books going on my Kindle:

A History of the World in 6 Glasses - Tom Standage

This is just the kind of quirky book that I usually quite enjoy - a history of 6 particular beverages (beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and cola) and the part they have played in human history. So far, I haven't made it past spirits.

Cat in an Alien X-ray: A Midnight Louie Mystery - Carole Nelson Douglas

I've been reading the Midnight Louie mysteries for years and have eagerly awaited each one that comes out. Except ... this last one is very  hard for me to get into. I'm not sure why - it's not a bad book. It should be a very light, quick read. But I feel like I'm slogging through the story.

Snow Raven - Patricia McAllister
Knight's Caress - Lynette Vinet

My secret literary shame is that I do occasionally enjoy historical romance novels, complete with heaving bosoms and throbbing manhoods. I've been trying to take advantage of the Kindle Owner's Lending Library but so far I've been very disappointed with all the romance. I've got to have a good story in between the sweaty body parts but what I've been finding is really crap writing and story telling. Worse than that, these books are getting consistently good reviews. Maybe it's just me ... maybe it's that in a world where Fifty Shades reigns supreme, the literary bar has dropped to a very low point.

The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II - Denise Kiernan

I just finished this one although it took me quite a while to do so. I think I was expecting more of a straightforward history. This book indulged in a lot of recreated conversations and moments so it ended up being more story-like than I had anticipated. I think that's part of the reason it took me a while to finish it.

I do follow several series but unfortunately I'm caught up on all of them.

My recent run of good reads included:

The Golem and the Jinni - Helene Wecker
Magic Rises - Ilona Andrews
Kitty in the Underworld - Carrie Vaughn
The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
The Flavia de Luce series (currently at 5 books) - Alan Bradley

My quest for a good read continues...

Monday, October 14, 2013

RIP Schick Personal Touch

I've been using a Schick Personal Touch razor for years - I'm in my mid-40s and I'm thinking I was probably using this when I was a teen. This is the best razor - it's sturdy, shaves well, is easy to hold. I don't know why I'm always late to the party when it comes to finding out things but apparently Schick discontinued this razor years ago. I knew it was hard to find refills, but it never occured to me that they would stop producing this awesome razor. A couple years ago the local Fry's grocery store was having a closeout on the refill packs and I bought all they had, since I always had such trouble finding them. Had I known I was never going to see another refill again, I would have gone on a massive, valley-wide hunt for all remaining refill packs.

It's only in the last couple months that I've come to the realization that this razor and its refills are gone forever. If you Google you can find lots of reviews, lots of women who loved their Schick as much as I love mine, and lots of wailing at the fact that this item is gone. You can also find ebay auctions for refill packs for truly unbelievable prices. I loved my Schick, but I'm not so in love with the idea of shaved legs to part with the kind of money the sellers are asking.

I've tried some of the "feminine" foo-foo razors with pretty names and fancy colors but they either broke (damn swivel heads!) or just didn't give as good a shave as the Schick. I've tried some men's razors, too, but I'm just not happy with what I've found.

I'm not a fan of waxing, I don't have the funds for laser - it's seriously tempting to just go au naturel and let the leg hair grow. I'm getting to a point in my life where I just don't care what others think. If I'm comfortable and have no issues with hairy legs, then no one else should be either!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Thundershirt for Cats

I was at the pet store today, getting a great deal on Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Litter and obsessing way too long over whether the cats would prefer Mixed Grill or Original Flavor crunchy cat treats.

I happened across this on the clearance aisle and my mind just boggled: Thundershirt for cats. According to the box it is the “best solution for cat anxiety.” According to my 40+ years of cat ownership, I would think that this magical device would not only increase cat anxiety but also induce a fair amount of anxiety (and quite possibly pain and suffering) to the cat owner/foolish putter-on of said Thundershirt. It also professes to be “safe” and “effective” - two other claims I highly doubt. Other experienced cat owners may have had the same doubts, hence the Thundershirt's place on the clearance aisle.

Amazingly it gets fairly decent reviews on Amazon ... although the picture of the orange tabby rocking a Thundershirt shows a cat who is clearly not completely down with the idea of wearing it. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Long Time, No See

eclectic (adj) Selecting or employing individual elements from a variety of sources, systems, or styles

pastiche (noun) an incongruous combination of materials, forms, motifs, etc., taken from different sources; hodgepodge

Originally I created this blog thinking that I would focus on my x-ray career and throw in some, well, eclectic pastiche as the subtitle of the blog states. Well, I've never been good at keeping up journals and I am apparently equally bad at keeping up with blogs. But I'd like to try again so I'm resurrecting this blog. I was debating on whether or not to delete the previous posts and have a complete do-over but since they're a road map of where I've been for now, at least, I'll keep them up. 

So, other than a slacker blogger, who am I?

Currently I'm working as an MRI technologist in a hospital. Getting to know my patients is what I enjoy most about my job. A lot of people are freaked out about getting an MRI. I don't blame them - I happen to be claustrophobic so I really understand when people are nervous about getting in the scanner. My exams are long and noisy and for the most part people are very not excited about being there. What really fulfills me is if I can make a patient's time with me go a little easier. I live for those times when after the exam a patient tells me that I made the experience less stressful for them.

I am a crazy cat lady but this is not a new development. I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't have a cat (or several) in my life. Currently I am owned by 4 felines, all girls: Rental (15), Sienna (10), Celine (7) and Maya (4).

I love pinball and arcade games. One of my favorite things to do when I visit Las Vegas is to hit up The Pinball Museum. My favorite pinball game there is Cleopatra, a Gottlieb machine from 1977. The old arcade games I enjoy most are Dig Dug, Ms. Pac-Man and Tempest. Not too long ago I found that the local game place (Golfland in Mesa, AZ) had Tapper - what fun!

 A couple years ago I got my motorcycle endorsement and for about a year I rode a 2005 Ninja 250.  Then I stopped riding for a little over a year. I now have a Honda CBR250 and I'm waiting for the Arizona summer heat and monsoons to cool down so I can get back to riding. I loved taking day trips and finding cool places to go. 
I'm not terribly crafty but I do enjoy cross-stitching. I'm really good at starting projects. Finishing them is another story! I'd love to learn crochet (because when you have a houseful of cats you can never have too many string/thread/yarn based projects).

SF/Fantasy - I love to read it, love to watch it at the movies and on TV.  

So that's a little bit about me.  Thanks for reading and please come back!