Sunday, November 26, 2006

More Photos

Been busy cleaning up all the digital photos that have accumulated in the last few years. I have all of 2006 on Flickr except our photos of Arcosanti and our trip to the Grand Canyon last week for my birthday. I'll get those sorted out and uploaded tomorrow. There is only around 400 images to sift through, so it should be no problem to get them squared away.

Still busy down here in America's Southwest. Thanksgiving was an all-day thing starting with food at 2:30pm and ending with soccer under the vaults around midnight. Yesterday, we spent most of the day after Thanksgiving doing administrivia. We stopped at the Mayer post office to mail off a couple things, got an oil change and an Arizona license plate for the Durango, Arizona driver's licenses for both of us, car insurance quotes, and opened a bank account. That pretty much ate up the entire day.

Other than that, we've both been working hard here at Arcosanti, both at our regular workshop jobs and some other odd jobs which we don't get paid for, and doing shifts in the cafe, which we do get paid for. I could start making pretty decent money if I would get off my lazy butt and read through the tour guide information and started giving tours, but I can't seem to get motivated to do it. I'll probably push on it next week and get that in place.

We've also been looking into housing options at Arcosanti, and I'll probably get more serious about that tomorrow. At this point, we have yet to get a straight answer as to just where we will be staying, so I'm going to set up a contingency plan down in the area called The Camp. Its a little run-down, so there will be work that I'll need to do before the end of our five-week workshop on December 8th.

That's pretty much all I have for now.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Photos At Last!!

It took several months, but I finally got some new photos on our Flickr account. Just click on Flickr in the Quick Links section over on the right side of this page to see our stuff. The new photos are in the groups "Disney World 2006", "Carnival Elation Cruise 2006", and "USS Alabama". In addition, I finally got more pictures into the "Wiklanksi Reunion 2006" group (thanks Aunt Mary!!).

Anyway, it's past my bedtime, but I just wanted to leave a quick note that I'm starting to make some progress. Or maybe not. We spent Saturday at the Grand Canyon, so now I have another 300 or so pictures on the digital cameras to sort through....

Friday, November 17, 2006

I got to play with cement today!

Today the landscaping department (all 3 of us!) got to help the construction crew do a cement pour today of two wall forms. I was down on the bottom (where the form is) and got to help get the cement into all the little places in the forms. Had one plastic glove to work with -- stick my hand in the cement to push down and around the rebar and wall plates and into the corners. Once when the guys were shoveling the cement in -- they got a little too enthusiastic about throwing it and covered my ungloved hand/arm with cement. Hmmmm....trying to make me part of the new Arcosanti visitor wall?! Learned today that vinegar water is helpful to get cement off you. After helping with both sections of the wall this morning -- I had cement spatters up/down my arms and on my face. I think I got most of it off me. My hands/nails are a disaster now. Mega lotion time.

Today the high is suppose to be 74 and tomorrow 78! Still cool in the mornings when we start work. They moved most departments starting time from 7a to 730a this week. Makes most sense in landscaping because the first thing the manager does is begin watering everything.

Tomorrow we are taking a short road trip -- maybe to the Grand Canyon -- for Ric's birthday. Sounds like it will be a great day to be outside.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Oh, my achey back and feet

I know it has been awhile since either of us has posted. Will kept you all up later, this will be a quick post.

Monday we started our new "workshop jobs" here at Arcosanti. Ric is in maintanence and got to start with painting the gallery. I got into landscaping. (Not my choice, I told coordinator to put me where they needed me, I didn't care) Monday, got to sweep/pick up leaves and dig rocks/stones/gravel/dirt to sift. First sore back and feet. Today got to rake/sweep/bag leaves and walk to compost bins, dig up mint and transplant and then start to clean out/organize landscaping shed. What a mess! And another sore back and feet. I lost track of counting the stairs I had to do while dealing with the mint transplanting. Hopefully all this manual labor helps to take off the weight. I have to watch how much I eat here -- buffet style for all meals -- easy to overeat.

Check out Arcosanti's website and look at Friday, Nov 10th for our group's mug shot.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Packing Again

We will be moving into our "permanent" room this afternoon, so we are packing up everything and loading it into the car. The guest rooms are only a hundred feet away from the room we are staying in, but it's also about 70 feet of vertical cliff. The only way to get our stuff down there is to carry it armload at a time down a switch-back goat path that goes down the face of the cliff, or to load it into the car and work our way down the service road. Being fat, lazy, and not a goat, I chose the second option.

We wandered into town yesterday. Mayer ain't much and most of the other towns along 69 are even less. But we knew we would be OK when we got to Prescott Valley and Prescott: Walmart Superstore, Olive Garden, Chilies, Taco Bell, Burger King, and last but certainly not least, Dairy Queen. We're saved!!!! There isn't an Applebees or a Ruby Tuesday's, so we may not be completely out of the woods yet.

We've spent the last couple days mostly eating, sleeping, and wandering around the grounds. The place is a real maze and we are still trying to figure out how to get to a couple places. By building up the face of the cliff and continuing on up vertically from there, they have managed to cram a lot of usable square footage into a very small space. The disadvantage is that there isn't always a clear path from one place to another. The ongoing construction makes it worse by blocking the obvious path, forcing you to detour around through the complex.

We continue to be surprised by some of the general clutter and carelessness of at least some of the residents. Some of it is because everything is in temporary space and constantly being shuffled around. For example, the library is mostly a pile of cement dust-covered books because it just got kicked out of its previous temporary home into a new temporary home. But some of it there is just no excuse. Litter is hardly as bad as a normal city, but there is still enough of it around to be annoying to anal retentives. It wouldn't be quite so annoying except all the lecturing in printed materials about respecting the environment, then we have to drive through a literal junk yard of abandoned vehicles and equipment to get to our room. Whatever. I have a feeling we will be ruffling some feathers during Seminar Week. That seems to be my job in life.

Anyway, today we will kick off the actual work shop, so we'll probably have more interesting things to blog about soon. And pictures. I swear I'm working on it. Honest.

Friday, November 03, 2006

We're Here! We're Here! We're Here!

(I just hope no one is trying to boil our dust speck.)

Anyway, we are at Arcosanti. They stuck us in a spare room until our regular room is ready sometime Sunday. We really pushed the driving the last couple days so we could just get out of the car for at least a day or two. At some point, we will have to drive into town to buy some stuff to have in our room for the workshop, but it isn't anything urgent.

First impressions of Arcosanti:

It's a lot smaller place than it looks on the website. When we drove up, we both had the same thought: where is the rest of it?

Don't bother coming here if you have a problem with stairs. Everything is up or down a set of stairs. Having everything on different levels is how they cram so much stuff in so small of a space, but wheelchair-friendly it ain't.

A lot of clutter. Some of that is because it is a construction site. A lot of it is just people not paying attention to where they drop and/or throw things. It seems odd that a group of people that are so environmentally conscious think nothing of leaving stuff where ever it happens to drop.

Very quiet. All the construction at this point is focused on finishing the interior of the East crescent apartments, so during the day, the place looks like it is uninhabited.

The climate here allows Arco to "get away" with things that would never fly in Michigan. For example, the windows are single pane. Other areas just open out to the outside with no discernible way to close it off. Very disconcerting to someone that lives in a climate that tries to kill you for nine months out of the year.

The desert is just how I remember it. I love it out here.

We are taking lots of pictures that I will put up on Flickr at some point. We have taken almost 3 gig of pictures and videos since we left Michigan, so it will take me some time to sort through all of them.

More later.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Getting Close

We made it as far as Flagstaff, Arizona today. Obviously, that means we survived four days at Mickey's house and our cruise. We were roasted at Disney. Orlando set two temperature records while we were there. We were both exhausted from all the walking in the heat and humidity for four days straight. But that just made it easier to stick to our plan for the cruise: sit in the sun, read books, and eat. It was glorious. We even managed to get a little tan and only a few pink spots.

We expect to be at Arcosanti tomorrow morning or early afternoon. Once we are there and get settled in, expect normal blogging to resume. I will also start working on the 3 gigs of pictures we've taken over the last couple weeks and getting them up on Flickr.

Well, it's late and I need to sleep.