March 09, 2021

Times Are Changing

Since our last post a lot of things are changing, here and nationwide. Obviously the blog theme or template has changed, the puppies are changing by getting bigger and possibly easier to live with. Henry is really giving me a run for my money ... funny funny basset hound and very mischievous. Walter has passed the 1 year mark and still considers himself the leader of the pack. Here are a few other things that have changed since I last posted -- gas prices, cost of groceries, warnings on where I can ride or hike, number of cars, different kind of cars, unbelievable decisions in DC, new residents, new houses, hot hot hot real estate market, and a lot of thinking.

I returned from hiking the San Pedro River area a few Sunday's ago to find that Henry had spent most of his time outside reading a book while I was gone. Luckily it was not really a book that I used but it came from the bottom of the bookcase in the hallway. He came close of also reading my beloved very heavy and very thick blue Volkswagen Shop Manual but it was too heavy for him to drag it to the backyard. Even though his teeth had dug deep into the binder, he couldn't move it from the bookcase.

One reason he may have had time to do his reading was because after hiking for a couple of hours or four miles, I couldn't get out of the parking lot. People are always curious about the 1957 VW bug that is a tribute to the WWII German 82E beetle. Of course their photos are allowed, inside and out. Always have enough questions to explain the build and no I did not do the great work. I was stopped two different times after pulling away from the curb to discuss what I was driving with one conversation so long I had to turn the engine off, right in the middle of the parking lot.  LOL

The huge tree at the San Pedro House still stands although it looked as if some trimming had taken place. To make sure I will have to go back and look at photos from the past two years and see if that is the case. It was perfect hiking weather with the temps in the high 60's and no wind.

I love walking out here because it is flat most of the way. I can walk as far as I want, the scenery is beautiful and the most important thing ... it is so quiet with only the sounds of nature.

Henry tried his best to apologize for eating and tearing my book apart while I was gone. He watched me pick up every piece of paper, some of them were damp wet spitballs, similar to the ones we may have thrown in elementary school. I also found some wet papers hid up inside his jowls. How can you be mad at a face like that??

Their days are busy, with sunbathing, running full speed from the yard into the living room and back outside again with Henry chasing Walter or vice versa. Of course there is always time mid afternoon after their lunch for a short siesta.

Stella only has to howl for assistance once per day as both puppies try to attack her. Henry always goes low for the back of her legs while Walter tries to jump up on her back to bring her down. She can still get in her daily nap outside under the warm sunshine without the puppies bothering her. They both know she is off limits if she is sleeping anywhere.

I am beginning to wonder if I have a very small english bulldog. His mom was on the small side but his dad was huge. At 13 months old I am not sure how much more he will grow in the next five months. I have never had an english bulldog before but I do remember it takes bloodhounds almost two full years and then some before they are fully grown. No matter what size he ends up, he is a great dog.

It is hard to sit and write a blog post early in the morning since they have me surrounded.

February 26th I pumped in some 89 octane seeing about a 78 cent increase per gallong from three weeks prior. I went back to fill up the VW bug just last Friday, the 5th and it was up to $3.19. I have no doubt that we will see 87 octane over $4 per gallon like it was years ago. Some of you may already be seeing those prices in California and other states. It is not a surprise since a barrel of crude oil was $32 back on November 20th ... just yesterday I saw the price was at $70 per barrel. That is what happens when a few key politicians have stock in foreign oil, the ones making the decions. No need to keep low prices being self suffient in supplying your own energy ... no let's start buying it again from foreing countries so we can pay more. Not only at the gas pump but everything energy related. Idiots.

I have been thinking about it for sometime. I love cars as if you couldn't tell but I wasn't driving them a lot and some I had not driven in over a month. Nothing out of the ordinary for a car collector which will not drive theirs for years, if ever. But I am not nor ever claimed I was a car collector. Another issue I was getting tired of, was playing "musical cars" whenever I wanted to drive one of the two in the garage. Insurance cost really wasn't that bad with USAA insuring my 'normal' cars/truck and Hagerty insuring these two collectibles.

So after a lot of thinking, spreedsheet analysis, and forecasting future events ... I decided to do what my friends calls "seasonal downsizing". I also added my plan this year to invest dollars into things that appreciate not depreciate. So the brain cells got busy and as usual opprotunities showed up just as they were needed. Bottom line, I sold a brand new 2021 Tacoma since I was using that VW single cab truck for any kind of hauling, which isn't much. I traded my 2014 FJ for a couple of reasons but an important one ... with Stella no longer able to stand on her back legs so I can lift her up in the back for vet trips or emergencies, I needed something with a lower cargo area. Even the VW single cab is too high for me to lift 90 pounds of dead weight with a hip that is a little more than a year old. No, she does not do ramps.

Both 4x4 vehicles were gone ... but I had one back in October 2019 that was going to be my all purpose vehicle, all wheel drive, 8.6" ground clearance and great gas mileage. You might remember this short Sunday drive I did right after I bought it, click here for photos and description. The local dealer downtown called me telling me they had what I had been looking for because a different deal fell through. Same color, same specs with an added TRD skid plate that my 2020 model did not come with.

I also sold my 2016 Camaro, the race car, one that could get me in trouble if I was ever caught. It was hard to keep that 455hp engine at the speed limit. The fact was I wasn't driving it. In fact when I drove my new RAV4 TRD OR home with the sales rep so we could pick up the Camaro ... I had to jump start it because the battery had gone dead from sitting for over a month.

With a "net" two vehicles gone, I had room to park the VW 82E in the garage where it should have been. I feel a little more comfortable with it under lock at key while I sleep at night. I then put some cash in the bank for emergencies and bought some appreciable assets for the comming years.

News got out from a caller to 790am radio the other morning by someone in the know, saying that Banner Hospital's "covid ward" was filled with illegal immigrants, not Tucson residents with the virus. The decrease in positive cases had decreased over 81% since January and the "covid ward" was empty before the mad rush to the border. I was able to confirm this from a friend of mine, whos sister is a nurse at Banner Hospital.

Not only me, but also another bike rider that rides every day of the year, were told to stay away from the area of Coronado NF by a border patrol agent. He rides on the new road that is next to the new border wall south of town. My neighbor let me know that my drives over Montezuma Pass on 22 miles of gravel dirt roads to Parker Canyon Lake should be postponed until futher notice. There have always been warning signs along the way up there in the mountains about illegal traffic but I never had any problems. He did not know how long the warning would last, but it's not good.

Based on the Chochise County Sheriff that was interviewed on Fox News the other night, illegal immigrants are coming through the areas south of Huachuca Mountains where they stopped building the new all at the direction of the Prez. They are also finding open space right next to the new wall in the Douglas AZ area. They will be transported to Wilcox I hear from that interview, where they can buy a bus ticket and then wait for it to show up. The mayor of Wilcox was told 40-50 people per day. There is a bench seat to wait for the bus about 6' long ... he then added that bus does not show up every day, maybe every 3-4 days. That small town also does not have any facilities to house them or feed them. Tested for Covid-19???? Not a chance.

What he did not say was Greyhound Bus policy, if you have not been tested for Covid you are not getting on their bus, illegal or citizen. I feel sorry for the small town of Wilcox as a mess from DC is dumped right in their neighborhood. They could do what Tucson is doing as of this morning ... they plan to spend $100,000 PER WEEK to house, feed, cloth whatever, the illegal immigrants that make it to Tucson.  Yet, they have downsized their police department. Those left are told when to go out on a call and when to stay back as they watch their crime rate increase.

Locally I have seen no changes around my town, although there were a couple of major captures last summer in town. I've been told they want to get to Tucson and Phoenix as fast as possible with no desire to stay in Sierra Vista. Maybe they do but not people from Alaska, New York, New Jersey and California. Why those states???? They were listed in a newspaper article just last Sunday about the blazing hot real estate market here in town and down in the Hereford area south of here. This story backed up what my real estate agent told me weeks prior. People from those states are buying houses and land to build on as fast as it is listed for sale.

There are three areas within the city limits that have started building brand new houses on land that had been set up with water, electricity and streets in the past year. The difference is, foundations for houses are going in as fast as they can dig the ditches and have the truck full of concrete arrive. Empty land down where I ride my bike is now being sold in 4 acre lots with new dirt streets graded out showing where the new subdivisions will be. At what point will the area saturate and how big can Sierra Vista get in population with their current city structure. Based on what I saw in Bloomington Indiana when living in that area, I think this town could double the size of 43,000 instead of their annual 1.2% decrease in population. Times are changing.

At least with the natural wash behind my fence, by state law they cannot build houses within 50' either side of that wash. That keeps the land vacant for a while I guess. Traffic would become a mess, shopping might turn into 100% delivery for me since I don't like crowds and while riding a bike on the roads I normally ride on, I would have to keep my eyes peeled a little more to keep from becoming road kill.

What about water supplies with all these new people and houses???? I can't get the same answer twice when I talk to those that have either lived here for over ten years or were born and raised here.

I now wonder at times if I should move to where people don't want to live??? That would only be back in "the tropics" of Southern Indiana.

A lot going on everywhere I guess as I doubt that I am the only one wondering what the hell is going on right now in this country. I heard it best from a friend yesterday when discussing the border problem. She doesn't mind immigration as long as they come to the front door and knock, so to speak. When they are breaking into the back door or windows and then demanding what they feel they have rights to, then she has a problem with that. She thinking they should leave and try again the right way by going to the "front door". I agree.

All of this might not affect you and I, but it will your grandkids or even kids if they are in their 20s and 30s. You cannot keep printing money just to give everyone free benefits and last as a country, not possible. I have said more than I had planned on today and I could write a book right now that would be full of ranting but I am not wasting my time for that. I don't watch tv news, that Fox News interview was sent to me by a friend on Facebook. I try to stay out of online news too but I like to be aware of what's going on ... especially if I am about to be screwed.

That's it for now ... back to realtor dot com to look at houses and wonder if it is time to uproot the dog and the hounds into greener pastures. That is a hard thing to decide. Based on the local market my house here would probably sell in less than 24 hours after all last September it sold in 6 minutes after the buyer did a walk through.

Life is moving swiftly here in the "Wild West" and I don't see it slowing down anytime soon.


  1. Glad Henry didn't get your big blue book!! Good luck on your decisions. Lots of things to think about for sure. New vehicles, old vehicles.....who would of ever thunk it!!!! LOL Take care, enjoy the weather. Sunshine is good. This week here in Eugene, OR we may see it peeking through the clouds. It's been showing up most days lately. Spring is here, for sure.

    1. Glad to hear things are going good up in your area of the PNW. Sunshine is always good and it happens a lot here as you know. 99% chance I don't move an inch because I love living here in this area. I think I will wait to see what happens.

  2. Just topped my gas tank locally this morning as a Spring snow storm is coming - $3.95.9.

    My area has had real estate take off like no tomorrow since last summer. So many people from the city decided our quiet little area was a good place to move full time. Many part time residents moved up to full time. Local real estate agent that I have known for years said it was a seller's market as the inventory is not meeting the demand.

    That little Henry continues to be a real character. Take care.

    1. That seems to be a real estate problem where I look and where I live, not enough inventory. How has the increase in permanent residents affected you, if at all? Henry furnishes a laugh per day and many of those days has more than one. He loves to play with Walter, loves food and loves to ignore what I tell him. LOL

    2. The increase in permanent residents shows up in the lines at the grocery store, post office etc. When summer comes it will be a real zoo up here with the increase in residents along with all the summer residents.

      With Covid, I generally go to the post office once a week and the grocery store every two weeks. I choose not to shop at the main "chain" grocery store and instead shop at a family owned store. While more expensive, it is not crowd like the other one and no long lines. With my compromised immune system I have been very careful and even now having had both of my vaccinations I am not throwing caution to the wind. Take care.

  3. It's a Seller's Market for sure. It was a sellers market before the invasion of the White House. Have ya heard about all the ballots found in a warehouse in Tucson yet? Oddly enough, the real estate market is not only experiencing growth here in the USA but it is as well in other Countries too. If we sit tight, we will come out ahead in the long run. The problem I see, if we have about 3.5 years more of watching some not so nice things happen here. The idea of delivery is a pretty realistic one. As long as Amazon don't close down anything soon, I will be ok. The Butcher Box meats are fantastic, its the fresh veggies that I need. I've actually been planning a BIG PRIVACY plan for my camp. The mile a minute vines on 6' chain link fence with the ever fast growing and poisonous Oleander's are on the landscape map to my compound. I've already purchased 6 more additional cameras and am looking into the security roll down shades for the windows. I've had enough of the law enforcement people claiming they are not permitted to arrest trespassers or homeless from invading our space. I am thinking of hiring some Doberman's for security patrol, at least they will show up and work without protest! You're right, times are changing, our world is changing, and our lives are changing... we have 3.5 more years of this crap to survive and hopefully, Reagan will send us someone who will help us become a nation of excellence again.

  4. Just another day at Steve's house. Remember, don't sell your house until you are double might end up homeless. Put your Sherlock hat on and go see if there is any truth to the ballots being found in a garage in Tucson.

    1. After more thinking after this post, I am not moving anywhere. I like it here too much. I don't have to sear h for ballots, there are others that have proved that. I would rather go hiking back out the San Pedro again or some local cruising like I did yesterday in the VW single cab truck. Plenty of houses to choose from if you know where to look.

  5. Most of what the hell is going on ain't good. I hope the inflation isn't terribly rapid. Great to see the dog and hounds☺️ -Mary

    1. For people that voted for him shouldn't be surprised. Even some of us that did not vote for him are not surprised because they are doing everything they said they would.