Yard sale. Carrabba’s.

lefftovers
These are all the leftovers we brought home from Carrabba’s tonight.

“I feel like Italian tonight”. That was my answer to Elaine’s question about where I was taking her to supper tonight. The next question was “where”. Olive Garden is, of course, available. But I wanted to try something different so I remembered Carrabba’s; we have not been to that restaurant for a long time. We were in the pool at the time, and the discussion included others. Pete Petersen had never been to Carrabba’s, so that was our choice. And we invited him to come as well; others declined. We had a great meal and ordered two appetizers as well as our main course, so we had lots of leftovers to bring home (see the photo). Continue reading Yard sale. Carrabba’s.

Banners hung, signs out. Frantic yard sale prep.

banners
The yard sale banners are now on the front fence of the Park, readily visible from Dunlap Ave

We started the morning with Elaine painting some posters, one with “FRI SAT“, the other with “8-?“, which we attached to the ends of the YARD SALE banner we picked up yesterday. And we went out front and fastened both that banner and the SPECIAL EVENT banner to the front fence. This will let passersby know about the event that starts tomorrow. Then Elaine also painted two large sheets of butcher paper, one with YARD, the other with SALE, and we attached them to two large A-frame panels that Dale and Betty Stroh recently built and George Immerso painted white. We attached the paper signs to the boards and took them out front as well. Continue reading Banners hung, signs out. Frantic yard sale prep.

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.

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!

fajitas
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.

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

controller
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.

Bingo Cushion. Allergies lessened. O’Reilly Auto Parts. Web work.

Bingo cushion
The Bingo Cushion Raffle flyer I made this afternoon

Gail Brazell called this afternoon and after apologizing for the short notice asked if I could make a flyer for her. She and others who run the Bingo operation here at Royal Palm had done some shopping this afternoon and they found seat cushions for sale. The one that caught their attention had Bingo sheets imprinted on it. These cushions would be good for stadium seats but also for typical folding chairs such as are found in Bingo parlors. While the folding chairs in our Royal Palm clubhouse are much more comfortable than others, I am sure they can get tiring after a time. So the Bingo team will raffle off the first one they bought today and, if successful, may purchase more for raffling in the future. Ticket prices are shown in the flyer. The proceeds will go to the Social Club, which sponsors the Bingo operation here. Bingo runs every Thursday evening and Elaine is a regular. Continue reading Bingo Cushion. Allergies lessened. O’Reilly Auto Parts. Web work.

More allergies. Women’s Club elections. Working on new web features.

Still suffering from seasonal allergies today, but not as bad as yesterday. I took one loratadin early this morning, another in early afternoon, and another after supper. That has kept things in check, though I am still having trouble breathing and I tire very easily. This too shall pass!

Elaine went to the Women’s Club meeting this morning; it was the annual elections meeting. Chris Nugent is the new President, Valerie Grotefend the new Secretary. Elaine, Vice President, and Mary Espinoza, Treasurer, were not up for election. The terms of office are two years and they elect half the officers each year. Elayne Stettmeier is the outgoing President, Cheryl Ringer the outgoing Secretary. The women are busy getting ready for the Paramedics Raffle and Party coming this Friday.

After she came home from the meeting we headed out right away for grocery shopping at Fry’s. Then after lunch we headed to Walgreen’s to pick up some prescriptions and a couple of other items and then headed over to Jared’s in Paradise Valley Mall area to pick up some earrings Elaine had left for repairs. That got us back home around 2:45 and Elaine went to the pool. I was so tired by that time that I laid back in my recliner and slept for about an hour.

I have been working over the last three days studying how to incorporate member management into my web sites. The RoyalPalmSocialClub.com site as well as the VioletteFamily.org site both need some aspects of member management, though the need for the Violette Family Association is much  greater and more complex.

The previous Violette Family site had a Member Profile page where members could log in and update aspects of their member info and had a similar function in the admin area. This was a robust system that I had written over the years and had used in several different sites. But when I moved from my SitePower system to WordPress this feature did not come right away. As evidenced by a woman who commented on one of my recent stories, there is a need for Violettes to join online as well as to maintain their info.

I have researched several plugins that provide member management functions for WordPress sites and found aspects of a couple that might do some of the job we need. But the needs of the Violette Family Association go beyond what all of them offer, so I will need to do some additional custom programming. My decision at this point is which will provide me the best base from which to start. I will also be able to use whichever system as a learning opportunity to see how various operations are carried out in WordPress systems.

For the Social Club, I just need a function to store info about members who have signed up to receive alert messages by email and/or text message and to then send the alerts when needed.

Remote capture. Clearing my desk.

table basket
My new tableside basket helps to corral all the items I keep on the table beside my recliner

After months of cursing when I brush items off the table beside my recliner, and having to get up to retrieve them, I finally made what I hope will be a solution. I bought a 3″x12″ wire basket, painted it black, and attached it to the far side of my tabletop. In addition to my tablet and my drink glasses, I also have the Dish remote, the TV remote, the Roku remote, the remote for volume adjustment of our wireless speakers, the mouse for my tablet, and several eye medicines for Gizmo. The tabletop was very busy, and though I tried to keep things organized some were always dropping off the far side. The basket not only extends the area of my table space but will also capture anything that gets brushed to the back. Continue reading Remote capture. Clearing my desk.

Deck and a half Pinochle. Web work.

Elaine was invited to play the resurrected Pinochle game here in Royal Palm. Apparently there used to be a group that played the game regularly but it quit some time ago for some reason. Last week was the first time back, and she said there was an enthusiastic group of four. As anyone knows who has played Pinochle in more than one place, there are several Pinochle versions so one thing this group must do is to agree on what set of rules and standards of play they will use. I guess that brought some lively discussion last week! Continue reading Deck and a half Pinochle. Web work.

Perfume in the air. Tax meeting. Elaine hearing check.

citrus blossoms
Citrus blossoms and buds contribute a heady perfume to the air

It is that time of year when you immediately notice a distinct perfume in the air when you walk outside. That comes from the citrus fruit trees as they put out a new set of blossoms for the spring. We have orange, lemon, and grapefruit trees in Royal Palm so there are a mix of scents depending on where you are. The photo at right shows, if I remember correctly, lemon blossoms on a tree behind our neighbor’s house. Right next to it is a grapefruit tree. Continue reading Perfume in the air. Tax meeting. Elaine hearing check.