Tales from the field #11.

I’ve been locked out of a few places before – my house, my truck (multiple offenses) and my motel room.  Motel 6 are particularly good at having the key not work the next evening, but that’s always an easy fix.

This weekend I went to Flagstaff and fairly easily found my Airbnb location.  The owner I knew had taken the weekend off to go hiking out of town, and out of cell phone range.  There was another guest also, but when I arrived the place was empty.  And locked.

It had been a busy week and I’d skipped the part where I’d written the entry instructions down because I thought they were in a text on my phone.  They weren’t.  They were on my email which I couldn’t access until I got my laptop onto wifi.  I couldn’t get onto the wifi until I accessed my email and found my host’s wifi and password.  Catch 22.  I could always find a Starbucks, if only I could get onto the web to find where one was because I don’t know Flagstaff well…. Catch 23?

I wondered how friendly the locals were.  This is a fairly rural area – down a cinder gravel road.  I was in luck.  The second house I tried had a 4 furiously barking dogs and a friendly homeowner who stuffed them back into the house and sat on the steps with me and was willing to let me use his laptop as well as his wifi, though mine turned out to be faster.  Email accessed and problem solved!

Advertisements

Newer work #80

I realize it’s been awhile since I’ve specifically posted a ‘Newer work’ post.  This one is from a new batch, and a little different than many of my other refractured watercolor/acrylic/poetry pieces in that I put the poetry on the acrylic in places obvious to the viewer, rather than hidden in the clouds.  I’m looking forward to seeing the reaction on this one when I take it out for the first time this weekend.

mixed media painting

#1351 “Heaven’s Gate”. Mixed media on panel, 14×11″. Inscription reads: Hevean’s gates have bars. You can see in but you can’t go there yet.

 

Tales from the field #9

Well, well, well.  Seems like spelling is not a prerequisite for the City of Calabasas!  This trash can was at the back of my booth on the weekend.

Misspelled trash can sign

I guess someone will need to recycle themselves back to remedial spelling.

Tales from the field #8

Sometimes life happens to people.  I’ve not ever had to bail on a show at the last minute, thank goodness, but last weekend, my neighbor did.  I don’t know who it was and there was no message to the organizers, but by 9am on the Friday, it was clear that the space next to me was going to remain a space, and I had an extra wall.  Blissfully I’d bought a couple spare paintings, and spread things around, and made the best use of it.

Skyscapes for the Soul Booth at Tempe Art festival

If I’d known it, I would’ve set up differently, though.

The irony was that I had thought, based on the booth map, that I was getting a corner booth.  I was, but just not the way I thought.

Tales from the Field #7.

Sometimes the trip to or from the show is as eventful as the show itself.  The trip to the Phoenix area I particularly enjoy because there’s a short-cut from Mecca to the I10-eastbound up Box Canyon.  On the outbound trip, which is during the day, the geology is very scenic.  On the inbound trip, which is usually around 10pm, it’s one of those dark-sky zones where you can stop and enjoy stars without the interference of city lights.  The alternative is to go up to the I10 in Indio, but the Box Canyon cut-off is 25 miles shorter.

On the way to Carefree, I got to the top of Box Canyon, where it joins the freeway, only to find the on-ramp was coned off and blocked by several pieces of heavy machinery.  The next on-ramp to the east is at Chiriaco Summit, maybe 4 miles, and to the west, the Indio on-ramp.  Yes, a 50 mile round trip.  Aargh.

Just to complicate matters, I’d been having some slight thermostat problems with the truck.  Although it wasn’t overheating very much, from the last trip, it seemed that if I stopped to let it cool, it got hotter.  The plan had been to try to drive to Blythe to get a replacement thermostat, if necessary, doing the work in the parking lot.  I had not planned on stopping between home and Blythe – a 2 hour leg of the trip.  And it was starting to look like I was going to have to stop at Chiriaco anyway, that second cup of coffee was working overtime, and I didn’t think my bladder would make it another hour to Blythe.

I hopped out of the truck and talked to one of the workers who pointed me in the direction of the foreman.  He said that at the last bend in Box Canyon was a side-road, marked by two cones, which went up to Chiriaco Summit.  Perfect.

detourtochiriaco1

Desert definition of ‘road’.

However, when the foreman used the word ‘road’, he didn’t quite say how ‘roady’ this was.  At first there was a dirt stretch, followed by gravel and more dirt, and eventually panning out into ancient blacktop for a while, then changing between the three options before it joined I10 at Chiriaco Summit.   I had the ‘road’ to myself.  It passed little bridges where washes ran down, and these were inevitably full of trees and bushes.  Ah, if ever there was a road I could leave the truck running at the side of it and run behind a bush!

Road between Box Canyon and Chriaco Summit

Ah, relief is in sight!

No need to stop at Chiriacco!  When I got to Blythe and bought the thermostat, I think the truck realized I was serious about doing this open-hood surgery myself in a parking lot without a mechanic in attendance. I’ve not had a problem with it since.

Tales from the Field #6

I do love staying in Airbnbs.  The price is right and you get to meet some nice people.  I have a few favorites and have made some friends.  There is one particular couple I’ve stayed with about four times, I know where everything is in the house.  They have three airbnb rooms.  The last time I stayed there, they were away for the weekend and kinda left me in charge of the two young guys staying in the other rooms;  I got to be the house Mom.  They also mentioned that one guy had left a suitcase for later pickup in the garage.

The first night, I hadn’t been in long when the doorbell rang.  It was Fedex.  I signed for the package, put it on the hall stand and texted them that the package had arrived.

The second night, I hadn’t been in long when the doorbell rang.   It was the former room guest returning for his suitcase.  We found the suitcase in the garage and I texted them that it had been retrieved.

On the third night, I was microwaving my dinner and decided it needed to go in for another minute.  HummmmmmmmFFFZZZZTTTT.  Oh ****. I tried resetting the GFCI on a nearby socket, but no go.  The microwave had been plugged into a socket apparently on a different circuit.  A few sockets behind the stove were off, but the stove was on still and the microwave could be plugged into the GFCI socket and I could continue dinner.  I texted them what had happened and said that it wasn’t a big deal, they could wait til Monday to fix it.

After dinner I went to put water in the freezer for the following day. Oh no, the fridge is off – plugged into the same circuit as the rest of the dead sockets!  So now we’re on phone calls.  Grabbing the flash light from my truck I followed their instructions to the breaker box, but wasn’t getting any joy from resetting the marked circuit breakers.  There was one of the other guys in the house, and after we ascertained that he wasn’t going to lose anything when the internet went down, we rebooted the house electrics.  Still no joy.

By now the couple are planning to abort their trip and drive home.  However, the young strong man (they’re really handy sometimes) easily pulled the fridge out of its alcove and now we had access to the plug.  Back to the garage and rummaging for their extension cords, we ran a line to another area that was working, and we were back in business except for…. the tripping hazard across the kitchen floor.  So, warnings to both other guests that the kitchen light needs to be left on so we don’t trip on the wire, my hosts unpacked their suitcases and went back to their trip.

Tale from the field #4.

Setting up for Tempe on Thursday was a hoot.  The trucks had to stand in line to be allowed into the area which  had been blocked of by the Tempe Police, and the organizers chalked up the space.  I was patiently parked in line behind only one other truck.  Just before the load-in time, another vehicle pulled in past us and proceeded past the wait point down to the police line.  What?  The truck in front of me decided he wasn’t having any of this line-cutting thing, and pulled up.  I followed.  So did everyone behind me.  Turned out the guy who cut in had an anytime pass for a neighboring zone.

In traffic

The view to the front

The security person in charge of the entrance asked us to back up.  We were pretty much blocking the entry to another parking garage and a drop-off for a condo block.  Yeah, try backing up a dozen trucks back onto the street…..

in traffic

In the rear view mirror.

Perhaps not out gunned, but definitely out-trucked.