Like some other times when there have been gaps in my blog posts, although I have not been a daily blogger for some time ... things are either happening or brewing in the background. In this case both have been pretty active and some no fault of mine. So A WARNING here, for me to tell all the stories this will be or could be a pretty long blog post. Not sure where I will start?? How about with the shortest story first??
Some have asked me where the Aerostat is. The white inflatable blimp that use to fly on good weather days, over 300 days per year, right over by the mountains. It patrolled the whole Arizona / Mexican border from Douglas to Yuma. It stopped surveillance a couple of months ago or about the same time the prez stopped all new construction of the wall. At first when asked, they claimed it had been damaged in high winds and was being repaired. Strange that the last time that happened sometime 2011 it was in the news but not this time. Information this past week said it has been discontinued and will not return.
Remember that last statement for later parts of my story.
Some time last week I reassigned the one foot pavers out front along the driveway to the back to extend my patio a little. I bought all of these pavers one weekend in 2019 when I had the brain fart of making a "parking pad" for my Mini Cooper in the side yard next to the driveway. At that time I had two cars in the garage and two in the driveway. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
After I downsized the number of cars to four, I moved those pavers along the side of the driveway so I could roll my trash can on a smooth surface every Monday morning instead of over the rocks and making tracks in the yard. So with cool breezes and bright sunshine I pulled my small dolly out of the garage and moved eight pavers at a time to those stacks on the patio. As you can see my supervisors were on top of things from the get go.
I did a half assed job instead of a profession job, more as a test to see if I really liked it before making it professional. I pulled out my flat edge shovel to grade some of the dirt to make it flat as possible but the dirt was hard as concrete. How could that be ???? Henry digs through that dirt a few times per day to pull out wood tree roots from past years with no problem. As you can see they sat fairly flat so with the okay from the hounds and the dog I continued the job.
I had to make some design changes to finish the job. I took a picture of it clean because I knew with the hounds and a dog in the yard while I am gone sometimes, it wouldn't stay clean for long. By the time I took this picture I wasn't sure I liked it. The colors don't match and that is just the way I am wired. It is not big enough either. I probably need to have the professionals come in and do the job correctly and make it larger. In the end, it may not make a difference anyway. You'll see why later.
Have you seen the Cochise County Sheriff on the one hour Fox News specials the past six to seven weeks? Well he has been on with different interviewers three times about the border crisis that the main media and current administration refuses to acknowledge. Border Patrol, ranchers and some citizens in these border towns are asking for help, some pleading for help, with no answer. I'll get into that later.
The black table you see was put there so it would be out of the way during the project. My neighbor offered me that table one day thinking I needed more tables after having a bbq at the house one night. I am not a real fan of high tables with chairs with high legs but this month seems to be a "I'll try it" theme.
The hounds and the dog spent so much energy supervising the patio project, it didn't take them long to try out the new arrangement for their afternoon siesta. Even from this view I am still not sure if I like the new arrangement. I sure am glad I did not buy a truckload of bagged sand to unload and open so the pavers could be laid on top. What a waste of money that would have been, plus a sore back later.
Stella approved the extension almost immediately. That is one of her favorite spots now to sleep during the day. Maybe those pavers warm feel better than rocks that are warm.
Some of the things that have been brewing in the background started last August. Some of you may remember that I had signed two contracts then, to buy a different house and to sell my house. Costing me some cash a few weeks later, almost a month later when I backed out and was able to cancel both contracts to stay where I was. So upcoming changes are not an impulse thing as it has been analyzed for the past seven months and that also included research I did years prior to moving here. Things change and some of them were not expected. Those changes are happening really fast.
Of course with a view like this many have asked how can I even think of selling and moving. My neighbor with the doberman use to talk about the same thing at his bbq's yet their house went on the market yesterday. An hour later they had 9 showings scheduled for yesterday. They will decide who has the highest bidder is by Sunday night and will accept someone's offer. Based on the newspaper article, my friend that is a real estate agent and the neighbor selling the house ... the majority of those showings are people moving from CA, NY and even NJ.
In 30 some years I have lived in nice small towns and have witnessed what changes took place soon after this same kind of population shift or growth took place. From the beach in Southern California, to a small town on Whidbey Island WA and even the great college town in Bloomington IN I saw changes for the worse and things I did not want to put up with, so I moved. All places that I loved when I moved there and thought I would never leave. So where do you go???
My iMac computer crashed Wednesday around 1:15pm just after signing some electronic documents, with many more signatures needed. I did not have time right then to work all the steps to get it revived so I drove over to Best Buy and bought their last 27" iMac in stock. In fact they had to go in the back to see if their computer inventory matched what their stockroom had. Basically close to the same price I spent in May 2017 so I didn't check the specs real close. I was in a hurry to get it set up and operating so there would be no disruptions in the electronic documents from two different directions.
One problem ... back in May 2017 I bought a new iMac with a 2Tb Fusion hard drive with 250Gb SSD for boot up. I HAD read about the changes to the new iMacs in the last few years but forgot about them as I loaded the new computer on the desk. I plugged in my external hard drive to migrate all my files from the Time Machine backup to the new hard drive .... hours later it stopped and told me it wouldn't work.
Well the new computers by Apple have a much smaller hard drive 250Gb with SSD drives, no moving parts and suckers like me can put all of their photo library of over 800Gb of photos or over 75,000 photos for those of you that don't understand Gb or Tb, ON A EXTERNAL hard drive the same size or bigger than the hard drive in my iMac built in 2015!!!!
Yet I wasn't going to let a four year old computer go into the trash with at least trying to get it up and running again, which was a possibility and then return the new iMac for a full $2,000 refund. But to be able to click the 'arrows' and the 'continue' you need a mouse and keyboard that plugs into the back of your computer with a USB connection like the old days. Luckily Walmart has them at a really cheap price.
So with my new computer up and running yet not having all of my 1.4Tb of files from my own computer, I headed to Walmart to pick up $17 worth a wired mouse and a wired keyboard. I had just pulled into the parking lot where there was more excitement than normal. Seeing the dusty Border Patrol truck I new exactly what was going on. It is something happening more and more on a daily basis in this town. Strange that this kind of activity has drastically increased since January 20th.
When you go to the city website and look at the daily logs of police calls or activity, most are labeled "traffic violation" but in those traffic violation stops, they end up with drug busts and illegal immigrants bust. Sure they are not going to or wanting to stay in town, they are trying to get to Tucson, Phoenix or beyond as fast as they can. That is why trucks carrying more than 10 people crash and roll over many times hitting a roundabout outside of Bisbee a few months ago, going over 100mph. Or the high speed chase the other day outside of Tombstone where 40 !!! were inside one van.
You don't see this on the news, even on the Tucson TV stations. I don't live on tv but I check from time to time after seeing the news break from different groups I follow on Twitter and Facebook.
So how does this affect me if they are not planning on staying in town??? Well in the past two months I have been told by a border patrol neighbor these things.
- Stop my drives over Montezuma Pass to Parker Canyon Lake for a while, or until he tells me it's good to do that again. Yet the visitor center at the based of the mountain does not agree. No NP or NF are closed to hikers or bikers or travelers.
- Don't travel the off roads south of Hereford like you have traveled in the past until I let you know things are good again.
- A few Saturdays ago when I am taking a short walk up in Miller Canyon, I am told by the border patrol I need to leave. By the time I got back to the highway just a few miles from the top, I counted six border patrol trucks or SUVs and one towing a horse trailer for their "horse teams" to scout the area of Miller Canyon on the road and in the lower parking lot of Miller Canyon.
- A month or so ago a daily bike rider posted on the cycling group on Facebook, that he was told by border patrol to stop his cycling in the area of the new border wall and road up to the monument of the Coronado NP sign ... a long brick signage. They had just chased down at high speed a car with 10 illegals inside.
- Told by a fellow bike rider, state policeman, that lives around the corner from me, to watch where I ride when I am south of town or my normal routes.
So months ago I start thinking ... if I cannot do the things I like without being on patrol and sometimes armed, what is the sense in living here when things are only going to get worse. More illegal crossings mean more high speed cars and trucks, some under the influence and some armed or both. This case in the parking lot were only two couples plus the driver, a DUI arrest, illegal arrest and possession of Meth. Drivers on the US side tell local sheriffs they are getting paid $600 per persons to drive them from the border north to different towns or cities. It is easier for those high speed runs since they have or will dismantle border checkpoints on Hwy 82 and Hwy 90.
The meth scene doesn't bother me that much. They have more of those arrests in this town because the "Tucson Sector" of the border is noted more for drug traffic than illegals crossing the border. Illegal crossing have jumped major numbers since January. I had the second most meth labs in the state of Indiana, of any county in the state, when I lived back in "the tropics" of southern Indiana ... which this blog originated from. I no longer go out much after 7pm though.
Yes ... I did check out the border issues before I moved here. I called and spoke to the city police, county sheriff and border patrol. I read newspaper articles, the city police reports and spoke to people that lived near border towns of those that I knew. Unless you live here, you will not hear or know about the fast increase in illegal activity that has double every month since September and is predicted to get worse. Even border patrol rescues have doubled every month since September.
As far as population growth here in the town of 44,000 or a few less ... how do all those new houses they are building or the land they are developing for new houses play into the severe water drought that this county has had for years. I have asked around and cannot get the same answer from those born and raised here, those that moved here over 20 years ago or my internet searches. Many lawsuits are tied up in court over water rights. Threats of putting meters on personal water wells along with questions of where the aquifers are located ... everyone has a different answer or different opinion. I have never been one to do things because they have always been done that way nor do I acknowledge answers that it's always been that way and will never change ... really??? Geologists disagree. Land surveys and water studies disagree.
I told myself before I moved "what if" they were to build houses right up to the back of your fence like the newer subdivisions do ... would you stay here. My answer was a loud "yes". They cannot do that legally because I have a natural wash 50 feet or so away from me. But all the vacant land they have spent the past two years installing sewer systems, unground cable etc ... are now being filled with blocks and blocks of new houses. Some are already sold others are for sale.
A friend asked me one day "well where would you move to"?????? .... Somewhere that people don't want to.
For those that are not long time blog readers, I use to spend every freezing my ass off winter in "the tropics" looking for towns to move to that had great weather, good bicycling, no tornadoes, hurricanes or forest fires. Winters could not be freezing and summer could not have humidity. I checked places I use to live from the beaches of Carlsbad to the PNW and those towns were worse than when I left them. By 2018 my research had only two states I was interested in ... New Mexico and Arizona. I came close to moving to New Mexico in 2018, even hired a realtor before deciding I didn't want to live there.
Last August I bought a house in a different neighborhood two miles south but I knew that HOA and Stella would not get along or at least I could not take that chance and I canceled the contract to buy the house. In November I made an offer on another house in a different state and was beat out by a higher bidder. Low housing inventory and high bidders seem to be common throughout the country. Even in small towns.
In January I made another official offer on a house in a different state, only to cancel that offer weeks later when I had concerns about water damage in the basement and the cost it would take to repair it. So as you see I have had some hesitancy in pulling up stakes but timing is everything. I have asked my small group of friends that I knew before the internet, the million dollar question ... all of them have said "sell now".
That question that has kept me up at night either in bed or standing in the middle of my backyard looking at the stars for answers ... Do I sell now while the market is hot and I can make a substantial profit ... or ... do I stay and wait to see if it gets as bad in the next 3-5 years as I think it will and as some have predicted??? Then I would have to try and sell a house in a real estate market that has dried up or even to the point of water rationing like some towns have or are going to???
It is always hard to predict the future. So far everything I predicted to a couple of friends have come true these past few months. I have learned one thing over the years, things turn out the best ... when I follow my own intuition.
Sure, I will always ask close friends for their opinion or ask those that know more about a subject than I do. I will take their answers in consideration but in the end it is me talking out loud to the hounds and a dog where my answers normally come from ... my intuition.
So my house is on contract to sell. I have bought a house and a contract has been signed. Home inspection and appraisal has been paid for. Old file notes on my computer have been moved back out to where I can see them. Car transport, moving companies and estimates, lists of pro's and cons's of different places compared to where I live now. Areavibes and Citydata websites looked at again over the past six to seven months. Yet there was one place I always liked when passing through. A quiet neighborhood I have actually walked in, driven in and have seen other cyclists riding.
I will tell you the town and you can do your own research if you are interested but don't ask me why ... those that need to know already know.
The "tides" changed the morning I heard gunshots on an early Sunday morning right after Walter had woke me up. It was disappointing to hear they came from the house across the street, in a neighborhood that was or is known to be a good one to live in. Which direction was the gun pointed and why were cops looking in neighbor's landscape houses further away than mine. THAT moved my thought process a little faster than I ever thought it would about moving. Sure it has happened just one time but that is something I won't put up with anywhere I live.
Increase in drug, and illegal immigrant arrests, more guns more meth news in the paper, makes me wonder why ... why live somewhere where you catch yourself, like your neighbors, buying as much ammo they can sell you??? Why live somewhere it is suggested we have a neighborhood meeting to set up our plan for defense IF anything drastic happens??? Why live there? They predict it will only get worse before it gets better. I don't want to be around to find out if that is true or not. If it's not I can always move back, it is not a big deal. Or I can do what I thought of doing in the winter of 2019 ... buy a winter home here.
Before you read the name of the town and/or do your own research ... I will say my handwritten list of pros and cons shows there are just a few more pros and a few less cons on the new town compared to this town. In fact the pros of the new location is more than a few more.
It's March Madness again today and tomorrow. A trip to Big Kate's saloon in Tombstone for some food is on the schedule this weekend too and possible a trip to The Diner by Monday morning for breakfast.
Oh the old iMac ... I got it up and running but everything was running off the external drive because the hard drive was so corrupted and broken that even Disk Utilities could not recognize it enough to repair it. When I tried loading the macOS it needed to run the computer, it would freeze before it even finished loading. It would stop with a huge icon on the screen asking me to turn on my bluetooth mouse and keyboard. Since the computer didn't have an OS, it would not recognize when I turned on the bluetooth devices. Basically the Fusion hard drive, 2Tb large had officially been pronounced dead.
Since that time I have been able to recover my documents via Apple's Finder, or My Docs for the PC users. I have also set up the Photos program to pull my 75,000 plus photos from the library which is now on an external hard drive. As I have done for years all of those photos are also backed up on their own external drive but only in a sequence of the date they were added.
I am sure this post will have some comments and those are fine but I am publicly going to call out one person (Yankee Flyer), any comment you make will be deleted just like I have deleted them in the past. I don't care what you think. If I could block you I would. He only shows up when there is a chance that I post something political because it is a huge anti-trumper. Should I show the readers the town and state where your server is located or what kind of computer you are using when you come to my blog or tell them how long you were here and what size your monitor is. You will determine if I do that in my next blog post.
The "Wild West" might be a little more than I bargained for.