Wind and more wind. Annual physicals.

We have been experiencing wind speeds here in Phoenix the last couple of days that have made it uncomfortable at times to be out. While sustained speeds have been in the 20-30 mph range, we have had bursts much higher. And other parts of Arizona, notably further north and west, have had much higher wind speeds. We’ve had a couple of days, including today, where Elaine did not want to swim due to the wind. Continue reading Wind and more wind. Annual physicals.

Coyote update. Membership database update. Strong Pete.

More coyote sightings here in Royal Palm. One rumor has it that the two are making a “nest” in the back yards between B and C Street. That’s not good; we don’t want them raising a family here!

No one seems to know if anyone is taking any action regarding the coyotes, so this afternoon after the pool time I made some calls. First was to Arizona Game & Fish; they don’t handle these situations but gave me two references to companies that trap and relocate such animals. We had to hire one several years ago to remove a racoon family that had made a home in the attic of a home we were renting. Continue reading Coyote update. Membership database update. Strong Pete.

Las Glorias Grill. Coyotes. WordPress membership sites.

Alfredos Combo
I had the Alfredos Combo – jalapeno marinated steak and shrimp

We have heard from others here in Royal Palm about how good the food is at Las Glorias Grill on N 19th Ave, just south of Northern. I have seen that restaurant hundreds of times over the last 14 years driving by and have always thought we should try it. Well, tonight we did, and it won’t be the last time! We both had excellent, tasty meals. I had the Alfredos Combo – a combination of grilled marinated steak and succulent shrimp, sautéed in a jalapeño butter sauce, atop a bed of rice, and it was one of the best Mexican dishes I have EVER had!

Elaine had Fajitas Supremas – very good

Elaine had the Fajitas Supremo – grilled steak, tender shrimp, and marinated chicken breast served on a sizzling bed of sautéed vegetables. She exclaimed about the flavors of it as well.

The restaurant has an unpretentious interior, but very comfortable. There were plenty of servers so everything moved along very smoothly. I started with a Long Island Iced Tea – never had one before and when I saw it on the menu I thought I would try it. Good. Elaine had a house margarita; good but not as good as the ones I make.

We have had a pair of coyotes in the Park over the last day or so. At first people were seeing only one, but today there were two. I sent out an alert message early this morning after Bill Schuling stopped by the house and told me about them. We haven’t seen them yet, but several people have told us about seeing them. In fact, Bill said the two were in our backyard this morning. We are very careful to be sure the boys are not in a position to become food! It will be interesting to see if the several rabbits in the Park survive.

I spent several hours researching WordPress plugins for managing organization memberships. The first problem I had was in finding the proper search terms to use. “Membership” brought up plugins that handle paid membership, and especially where there are products for sale. I tried “association” and it brought up dues-paying groups. After reading about the various plugins that came up with those searches I decided what I want is to have a custom member profile, so I used “profile” in a search and came up with at least four candidates. One was very expensive, two were moderately expensive, and one was free.

I ended up selecting the free one, mostly because it seemed to offer better features. Then I installed in on my SitePower test site and did some exploring. My conclusion is that probably none of them will provide the specialized features I need for the Violette Family Association web system, so I will have to write my own.

Gizmo’s eyes improving! Wind and rain. Gathering ad bucks.

Gizmo went today to his eye doctor for a three-month checkup at Eye Care for Animals. His eyes have improved enough that Dr Ronald Sigler says he can go six months for his next checkup instead of three! Great news. He was diagnosed with pigmentosa keratitis a year or more ago and has been treated with various eye drops twice daily ever since. He gets two different drops in each eye twice a day and will have to the rest of his life. Dr Sigler says the keratitis is receding and the white “blobs” that appeared in the top and bottom of his left eye are getting thinner. Continue reading Gizmo’s eyes improving! Wind and rain. Gathering ad bucks.

Drip good, grip bad. Bridge over troubled… teeth? SpamFighter.

The irrigation controller. I had connected the common wire to the blue MSTR terminal instead of the white COMMON terminal. Duh!

Remember I said a week or so ago that I could not get the irrigation valves to operate? Today Pete Petersen came over with his multimeter to check out my system to see if we could figure out what was wrong. It didn’t take long – I had connected to common wire to something other than the common post! Once moved where it should be all valves worked fine. Continue reading Drip good, grip bad. Bridge over troubled… teeth? SpamFighter.

Dog love stickers. Swimming.

Puppy love paws stickers

I discovered this sticker on Amazon a few weeks ago and no question I had to order it. Especially since it comes in purple. Today Elaine scraped off the old stick figure stickers we have had on there for several years that had started to wear off. And she mounted these two puppy-love stickers in their place. Close to our hearts. I also have some for our golf cart windshield.

Elaine had a nail appointment this morning but they did not include her toenails so she will have to go back this week for that.

While at Walmart she did some grocery shopping as well, but was not happy with the produce there so only bought some things on the list. Later this afternoon we went to Fry’s to get the rest.

I relaxed this morning, reading on my tablet, and this afternoon I did some work at my computer. I prepared an analysis of publishing costs and ad revenues for the Royal Palm newsletter to use for planning for ad sales. I will also present this to the Board for a decision on newsletter size. Currently ad revenues fall a little short of printing costs, and smaller newsletters will obviously cost less to print. Right now it usually costs anywhere from 75¢ a book for a 16-page newsletter to 95¢ for a 24-page one; inserts add to those costs.

It has warmed up again, but only into the low 80s. Normal for this time of year is around 78°. We did go swimming this afternoon even though there was some wind. Elaine said she felt the difference having laid off for a couple of days; she got tired sooner while swimming.

Lazy day. Ancestors.

Having had a very hectic week we more or less took it easy today. It wasn’t something that we discussed and planned to do, it just happened. We went out for breakfast and neither of us felt like doing much after. I did some stuff at my desk in late morning and this afternoon I went over to the motorhome to run the engine and the generator, to recharge the batteries. It was quite windy and Elaine did not want to go swimming, so I fell into the same attitude as well. Later this afternoon I got interested in reviewing some family history, having got interested in the Soucie family history yesterday with my meeting with cousin Conrad Soucie. Continue reading Lazy day. Ancestors.

A visit with Conrad Soucie

group at Abuelo's
Shirley Carpenter, Conrad Soucie, Jean, Elaine, Dave, Milt Carpenter at Abuelo’s

The last time we were with my cousin Conrad Soucie was in either 2006 or 2007, during one of our visits to Connecticut. He is actually my first cousin once removed, since he is my late father’s cousin. Dad’s mother and Conrad’s father were siblings. Both the Violette family and the Soucie family hail from the Upper St John River Valley in northern Maine/northwestern New Brunswick, and members of both families eventually migrated down to Connecticut. Conrad stayed there for many years, but Dad and Mom moved back to Warner NH in 1943 where they lived the rest of their lives. As with so many from New England, Conrad eventually moved to Florida, where he lives now. Continue reading A visit with Conrad Soucie

Off to the printer. Dogs to grooming.

Finally, the newsletter went to the printer – UPS on E Dunlap Ave – this morning. I felt sorry for the manager, though, because he was alone in the shop today and my newsletter project was complex. In addition to the normal routine (inside and outside covers in color, all else inside in black and white), I also had a two sided insert (one side color, the other black and white), another two sided insert (both sides black and white), and a one sided insert in black and white. It started out OK, but then his main computer locked up and would not handle the project. He switched to his secondary computer and got one copy of everything printed OK. I left at that point. Continue reading Off to the printer. Dogs to grooming.

Coup des Tartes for lunch.

gang at restaurant
Pete Petersen, Sharlene Froberg, Elaine, Dave at Coup des Tartes restaurant

When Sharlene Froberg invited us to try a new (to us) restaurant we said “yes” without hesitation, even though we had never been to this one before. I had seen recently that Nancy and Bill Schuling had been to Coup des Tartes and seemed to like it, so that made it even more attractive. Sharlene made the reservations and today was the day.

Coup des Tartes is a French-inspired restaurant at 1725 E Osborn here in Phoenix. It is housed in an old 1920s era home converted for restaurant use; the rooms have been preserved and turned into several attractive separated eating areas that will each hold 6-8 people. There is also a much larger banquet area. They also have an outside eating area that would be very nice evenings this time of year; we would have eaten out there today had there been some shade.

My Proscuiutto Sandwich

The menu offers items that are unique to Coup des Tartes. Each item seems to have their own flair. I had the Proscuiutto (sic) Sandwich (House Made Fig Jam, Pesto, Mozzarella and Arugula, baguette) accompanied by a Taleggio Salad (Mixed greens, fresh raspberries, apples, red onion, sugared pecans and Prickly Pear Vinaigrette topped with melted Taleggio cheese on toasts). Both were delicious. I used their spelling of Proscuiutto above, though I know it is not the customary one. I was especially intrigued by the Fig Jam addition to the sandwich and the Prickly Pear Vinaigrette dressing for the salad. Those are examples of the unique touch Coup des Tartes adds to their dishes. I also had a Four Berry Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert. All was great!

Elaine ordered coffee at the start of the meal and after she commented on how good it was (unusual for her – she seldom likes restaurant coffee) I ordered a cup myself. I quickly agreed with her and ordered a bag of their custom blend coffee to take home, as did Sharlene.

We each had something different: Elaine had Lobster Salad Croissant (Tomato, Avocado, Tarragon Citrus Aioli) and pronounced it okay but light on lobster. Pete had the Moroccan Lamb Sandwich (Braised lamb, mix greens, gruyere, Mango chutney) and Sharlene had the Roasted Chicken Sandwich (Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions, Gruyere, Spicy Mayo, Baguette). I believe they both liked their choices. Pete and Sharlene each had a different tarte for dessert.

This was proofreading day for the newsletter so there was not much for me to do on that.

I did some additions and cleanup to the Royal Palm Alert List. Until I am able to get back to programming for the upgraded utility I am forced to maintain two parallel lists. One will be used for the new system, the other is a simple email group list in Thunderbird. I had several to add and a few to delete because the last alert showed their address to be undeliverable. Then I sent out an alert to a water outage in a section of the Park tomorrow using the group list method.