Friday, December 20, 2013

A New Toy Just in Time for Christmas



For many months now our old Samsung netbook computer has been acting up, probably something wrong with the graphic card which causes all kinds of psychedelic colored lines to jump around on the screen. The cursor has also been freezing frequently, so Jim had been researching a replacement.

Coincidentally a friend purchased a new iPad Air and made us an offer we couldn’t refuse on his old iPad 3. It’s only a year old and he threw in all kinds of cords and an ultra thin cover/keyboard.


Aside from some initial frustration over difficulty accessing Gmail (which turned out to be user error on Jim’s part), we really like it so far. We’ve put some free apps on it already such as Duolingo (I’m learning German, Jim is attempting Spanish), and Garage Band, which seems like it will be fun. If anyone has a favorite app you think we’d like, let us know. I think it will be a good replacement for the netbook, which we used for looking at email and surfing the internet. All our important information, photos, music, etc. will still reside on our 17” Toshiba.


One problem with staying at McDowell Mountain Park is the lack of a nearby laundromat. Apparently Fountain Hills is too upscale to have one, so the closest one is at an RV park at Fort McDowell, 11 miles away. We tried it once but it is expensive and there are not many washers and dryers. We also got the impression that the RV park residents weren’t too happy that outsiders were there taking up the few available machines.

So that means having to drive 20-30 miles to Mesa, Apache Junction or a not so desirable area of Scottsdale, which is what we opted for a couple days ago. I noticed that Phoenix Mountains Recreation Area was not far from the laundry, so we went there for a hike when we got finished. It was hard to believe the big city surrounded us on the rocky, rugged trails, and it was a nice change to be walking on trails rather than riding our bikes.

The afternoon was hazy and overcast, not good for photos.






This pair of Gila woodpeckers must really be thirsty, as one of them keeps coming to the hummingbird feeder, while the other works on trying to get water out of our spigot. We’ve had a good rain overnight so maybe they will find some easier access to water today. They are driving the cats crazy!




  1. So you get an IPad and we get a toilet. Humm. I've never been to that park. It's funny how Phoenix has theses mountains everywhere.

  2. App's I enjoy with Wifi connection: Pandora for music, Google Earth for maps, and sugar crush for a game. To bad there's not an App for laundry.

  3. Good luck with your new iPad.

    Boy I do enjoy looking at beautiful-weather photos. All I see out my window is snow.

  4. Yes, we will be at McDowell on December 30th through January 3rd, leaving on the 3rd. I think we are going to be in site 43. Will try and say hello while we are there, although we probably will be off visiting our friend a lot. --Dave (

  5. Welcome to the Light :) It won't be long till you have iPhones and iApple everything…
    I like John's comment, an App for laundry :))

  6. Wow those Gila Woodpeckers look like the flickers we had at our farm. I think your pictures look wonderful. I seem to do much better in hazy and overcast than in full sun. Congrats on the ipad. I think I might like something like that. Do you have any more friends who want to unload one. LOL! Although when I'm surfing the net I'm always finding things I want to make a note of in a file on my laptop. Not sure what I'd do about that if I had a netbook or ipad.

  7. How about these apps: WeatherBug; Ultimate Campgrounds; iHandy Level; GasBuddy; iBirdPro - those will keep you busy for a bit. I use them all the time.

  8. Will try this again…as I get deleted all the time here. Some of my favorite apps are: WeatherBug, iBird Pro; Ultimate Campground; iHandy Level; Gas Buddy; Weather Radio (be sure to change the location each time you move) and All-Stays (there's a variety of them) and Road Trip. Enjoy!

  9. Any photo of the beautiful desert is a great one for me!

    Love your new tablet...enjoy!

  10. I gotta disagree with you about overcast not being good for photography. Just don't shoot the sky, aim at the vegetation, you'll get great shots without the glare the sun can cause!

  11. A little drip from the faucet an' a pie pan to catch the drips......birds love it. And it don't cost nuttin.