Arizona

Wickenburg Town Founder in 3D

We posted about our Town’s Namesake, Henry Wickenburg, back in June of 2014. At some later date, I made a 3D image of the Henry Wickenburg Bust at the civic center and just am now getting around to posting it. Click on the image to enlarge.

More about Henry Wickenburg from Wikipedia:

In 1862 a gold strike on the Colorado River near present-day Yuma brought American prospectors, who searched for minerals throughout central Arizona. Many of the geographic landmarks now bear the names of these pioneers, including the Weaver Mountains, named after mountain man Pauline Weaver, and Peeples Valley, named after a settler.

An Austrian named Henry Wickenburg was one of the first prospectors. His efforts were rewarded with the discovery of the Vulture Mine, from which more than $30 million worth of gold has been dug.

If you don’t yet have your pair of red/cyan 3D glasses, you can see the 2D image here.

Water Heater Pooped Out!

Wouldn’t you just know it that the hot water heater had to poop out on a weekend. Verna noticed she wasn’t getting any hot water when she started to wash the dishes this afternoon. We have a tankless water heater and I went out to the garage and checked to see what was going on with it.

The heater, when working normally, will sound like a water pump is running only when someone has opened a hot water tap. Well, today, that sound is not happening. I looked on-line and at the owner’s manual and they both indicate that an error code should appear on the readout on the front of the heater. No error code shows up — just the temperature at which the heater is set, in this case 110°.

I will call our plumber on Monday morning. I don’t have any idea how long we will be without hot water since parts for repair may be hard to find. Meanwhile, we don’t have hot water unless we heat it up on the stove. I will report in updates to this post the steps it takes to restore our hot water.

Steps to restore Hot Water

The New Tankless Water Heater

  1. Call the plumber
  2. 10/17/2022 — Our reliable plumber “Pete” that we have used in the past says that he is semi-retired and doesn’t work on tankless water heaters. I called the plumber Pete recommended, “George,” who is very busy this week. He will “try” and stop by to evaluate the problem and will recommend work to be done.

  3. Troubleshoot
  4. 10/18/2022 — George came by today and inspected the unit. He recommended replacing it even though it suddenly started working again yesterday. We agreed to replace the water heater with a new and improved unit. George will get the new unit on Friday and likely schedule an installation next week.

  5. Removal and Replacement
  6. 11/03/2022 — After about two weeks, the number of emergencies subsided enough that George and crew were able to install the new tankless water heater. It took them from 0630 until 0900 to complete the removal of the old one and installation of the new one.

Conclusion

The new water heater (pictured above) looks roughly the same as the old one and works the same, but will be more reliable providing we do the annual flushing that we somehow overlooked the last ten or eleven years with the old one.

Photo Update


I thought that I posted these last April when these photos were taken, but I couldn’t find them when I looked for them earlier today. Anyhow, these were posed to send to our friend Patty who is retired and living in North Carolina. We have been friends for a very long time and now that Patty is living alone, we try to correspond with her on a regular basis. Verna sent these in a letter to her just a week or so ago.

Top photo: Verna and Tucker. Bottom photo: Bob and Cabela.

Click on either photo to enlarge.

Red Bird Season Almost Over

It’s that time of the fall when the Red Bird Of Paradise (Pride of Barbados) shrubs in the courtyard are about through with their production of gorgeous flowers (and pea pods). Within the next few days, we will be cutting them back to the ground for the winter. However, they will be back by next late May or early June for another colorful season.

The image above (click to enlarge) is of some of the last flowers on one of the shrubs. Canon EOS Rebel T6i, 1/1024 sec, F5.6, ISO 250, EF-S18-135mm lens @89mm.

More about these flowering shrubs from Wikipedia:

Caesalpinia pulcherrima is a species of flowering plant in the pea family.

It is a shrub growing to 3 m tall. In climates with few to no frosts, this plant will grow larger and is semievergreen. Grown in climates with light to moderate freezing, plant will die back to the ground depending on cold, but will rebound in mid- to late spring. This species is more sensitive to cold than others. The leaves are bipinnate, 20–40 cm long, bearing three to 10 pairs of pinnae, each with six to 10 pairs of leaflets 15–25 mm long and 10–15 mm broad. The flowers are borne in racemes up to 20 cm long, each flower with five yellow, orange, or red petals. The fruit is a pod 6–12 cm long.

UPDATE 10/07/2022: One down, two to go. There are still viable flower pods opening on the remaining two shrubs, so they will be there for another week or two.

UPDATE 10/16/2022: We took advantage of a break in the weather (we’ve been getting some rain) and removed shrub #2 and part of shrub #3 this morning. We don’t usually do chores on the Lord’s Day, but the whole operation took less than half an hour, so I guess we’re going to be OK with it.

UPDATE 10/17/2022: Verna and I finished off the removal of the last Red Bird shrub today. The courtyard now has only the bottlebrush shrubs which are winter hearty in this climate. There was one last cluster of flowers still remaining on the last red bird.

So, with this last (clickable) image, we say good-bye until spring to these beautiful flowers.

Delivery Instructions Signage

Because our courtyard gate latch is a bit wonky, we prefer that packages be delivered to the rear of the house by the patio. Now, most carriers allow you to specify delivery instructions, but some of the drivers don’t get the message and try to open the courtyard gate which is a bit difficult. A lot of the time, they just dump the package out front outside of the courtyard. We saw this as a minor security risk, so today we installed the sign in a location that can be seen from the driveway and courtyard walkway.

Image: Verna recording the sign installation for posterity. Click to enlarge.

The sign is installed on the electrical box where the house’s circuit breakers are located. The box is made of steel, so I needed a good drill bit for drilling four holes to accommodate #6 sheet metal screws. I also needed a center punch to locate the holes. We gave away most of my old tool collection to family when we left our old home, so I had to buy the tools again. Although this is not my first time to do “handyman” chores around the Arizona house, this was the first time that I had to get special tools.

So I went to the hardware store and bought some #6 sheet metal screws, a couple of 7/64 drill bits (they did not have a number 36 drill unless I bought a set) and a center punch to indent the locations for the drills. I previously got the sign from Amazon, so we were now ready to do the installation. It all went as planned and you can see the resulting installation in the image above.

Pod Casting

That was our morning courtyard chore today, casting the poisonous seed pods of our Red Bird of Paradise shrubs. When we say “casting,” we mean into a trash receptacle. We remove the pods, as seen growing on the raceme flower stalk in the image to the right (click to enlarge), and dispose of them. If we don’t remove the pods, they could fall to the ground in the courtyard and, while we generally don’t allow the dogs access to the courtyard, one of them might take a notion to eating a pod that has fallen, God forbid.

The Red Bird Flowers themselves, on the other hand, continue to be as beautiful as ever this year. The showy flowers dazzle our senses every spring through late fall. See for yourself in the image below.