Sunday, January 31, 2016

Met Quail Hunter Todd on my Velo Venture Today.

So ...  I was pedaling around town today.

First stop: El Rancho restaurant where I planned to return take-out plastic "silverware" Pina and I had never used. Then a stop at Basha's (that's where the ATM machine is). Next, a treat from Bedoian's -- oatmeal raisin cookie and iced latte -- a reward for getting in my miles today.

As I cut through the parking lot short cut on the way home, I spied a couple of heavy-duty off-road rigs, and some guys clearly talking trucks. Of course I had to stop, check things out, make some new friends.

"Where you guys been," I asked. "Quail hunting out west of Aguila," was the reply. " We're on our way home now. "

I learned from Todd, pictured above, that he is part of a 40-year old tradition around these parts. Grandfathers, fathers and now sons, assemble in season to bag some birds, if they're lucky. Oh, yeah, there's camaraderie around the campfire, great chow, and even rituals for closure when a beloved member of the group passes on to that great hunting ground in the sky.

Also learned that Todd's rig includes a Desert Storm era trailer which he's built out to include a tent platform for sleeping, and plenty of storage space for ice chests, jerry cans of extra petrol, all his cooking and camping gear, plus 12-gauge shotgun Todd inherited from his late father.

Quail season's almost over. Resumes in October, I think.  Good luck, guys; nice meeting you today.

"Metal Mulisha" offroad rims -- humbling, intimidting, Super Badass.

Say I'm driving a Prius, KIA  or a Fiat Cinquecento.  Me and my puny little 14" tires, plain-Jane rims, 45+ mpg performance, interstate concrete restricted touring.  Then we park next to this Leviathan Tahoe with humongo wheels, tires and in your face lug nuts. And the logo on the axle cover! Can't you just feel the scorn and intimidation? 

Took this foto in a parking lot in Wickenburg.  Then went to the Metal Mulisha site, and on to wiki.  The company employs 450 workers in Houston, sponsors monster trick drivers, even has a licensed energy drink on the market.

My KIA Sportage comes up small I'll confess.  I'm wondering, though, whether Metal Mulisha has rims in my size?  And maybe I'd be uber-cool, a bit-o-badass myself if I were to get a set for the Sportage?

Friday, January 29, 2016

2,000,000-th and Final Land Rover Defender.

Solihull, UKThe last of the current Land Rover Defenders rolls off the production line. Jaguar Land Rover has discontinued the vehicle, which has been exported across the world. More than two million have been made since the original Land Rover Series began production in Solihull in 1948. Celebrating Land Rover - in pictures

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Thunderbird Artists Show - Surprise, AZ.

Pina and I were enthusiastic attendees at last week's annual Thunderbird Artists Show in Surprise. We had spare cash in our jeans, and were ready to buy something special -- for us and/or special friends.

We counted nearly 40 exhibitors at Thunderbird -- jewelry designers, oil and water color painters, furniture makers, stone craftspeople, sculptors, antique repurposers ("re imagined works of antiquity"). Not to mention craft brewers and reps from local wineries.

We really enjoyed meeting Susan Elliot and her husband Steve, seen in the foto above. Sue is a "Heartwood Artist" creating limited edition giclees from original mixed media work. We bought one of her prints -- "Sweet Goodbye to Winter," a forest of maple trees, with attendant sap collection buckets, ready for harvest. A special "syrup-er" friend of ours will get Sue's winter wonderland print.

Check out, or catch her at

We also met Mick Whitcomb, a Missouri-based designer who specializes in one-of-a-kind furniture and lighting made from architectural and industrial salvage.

Mick and wife Paige travel the world sourcing  unique materials -- for isntance, 19th century brass telescopes, 1920's Kodak folding roll film cameras, portable typewriters bearing the Corona name, microscopes, table fans -- and wire them as table lamps.  Very cool stuff.

We watched as the artist changed an incandescent bulb in the brass socket of one of the typewriter lamps available from Mick at 

Monday, January 25, 2016

VT Farm Life at "Bonnieview," with thanks to Kristin and Neil.

Nancy and I met Kristin and Neil Urie in Minnesota, just before Christmas 2015.  Through a string of connections and holiday events, we learned they and their 4 kids were visiting from Vermont, where they are sheep farmers and cheesers in the Northeast Kingdom. 

Bonnieview Farm has been in the Urie family for four generations.  Neil and Kristin are real sustainable organic farmers, and manage to do it all with assistance of their children and occasional interns.

Krtistin is an accompliahed artist in her spare time. She often includes watercolors like the one below in the Bonnieview newsletter.  For additional info I've included the web link and urge you to pay it a visit :

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Women's Temperance Movement, class portrait.

My old magazine publishing colleague and buddy Rob has a comment.  When he was growing up in Evanston, IL (home of the WCTU -- Women's Christian Temperance Union) the WCTU ladies were still denying lip locks to guys who enjoyed a brew or two at Northwestern football games!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Outdoor Furniture finds Loving New Home. Price is Right.

We said goodbye this afternoon to 30-year old wrought iron chairs and a table we’ve had on the porch of Villa #10.  

As I was about unload at Habitat Re-Store in Wickenburg a shopper from Peeples Valley took a look, bought the entire suite on the spot, even before it could be checked in by the Habitat volunteer.  

When I got back home, mission accomplished, I told Poppina that we’d “sold” the items for the grand sum of $16.00 — and despite the low price fetched — the Hoyts were pleased not to be leaving perfectly good furniture at the dump.  

The new owner, who posed with grace and gratitude for the iPhoto shot, seems delighted with her treasure.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

150,023 Page Views To-Date

I'm pretty excited to report that the Poppy Blog has now generated some 

150,023 Page Views To-Date

For all my viewers, readers and friends:  thanks for continuing to check in.  Keep me posted on how I can make the blog experience even more fun.  

Monday, January 11, 2016

Rolf + Silke Charge their Tesla 'S' in Wickenburg on way from Victoria, BC to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Family pet "Kye" loves being along for the Ride.

Nancy and I made wonderful new friends from Canada today as they -- Rolf, Silke and Golden-Lab mix "Kye" -- charged up Silke's Tesla Model 'S' at dedicated facilities out front of the Wickenburg Municipal Building.

Rolf + Silke are enthusiastic, activist Tesla owners from Victoria, BC.  They are on leg one of a trans-national journey -- with "Kye" riding in the capacious back seat area. They hope to spread the word about electric cars, solar power, and renewable energy.  The Tesla version of Apple's "Siri" directs Rolf and Silke to Tesla corporate charging stations all over North America, including here in downtown Wickenburg.

Here's what Silke told us: "A year after my husband Rolf got his Tesla Model S, he asked if I wanted a Tesla of my own. I almost said no. I loved my Orion-blue Mercedes C230.  But I did say 'yes.' It was one of the best decisions of my life!"

Silke has since named her car -- it’s called “True North” in homage to Canada’s National Anthem. "What used to be drives that were too long are now too short. Coming home is always too early. I’m so looking forward to driving 6500+km in January 2016."

From Wickenburg our Canadian friends plan to detour to Sedona, then on to Florida, where they moor a solar-paneled sailboat, and will cruise the Bahamian waters until the weather warms in British Columbia.

Later this summer the Tesla "S" and its crew hit the road again, this time from Victoria to Halifax, Nova Scotia where Rolf and Silke have a summer cabin.

Why did they buy a Tesla, I asked Rolf.  "Because I believe in Elon Musk and his vision for the future." is the website set up by Rolf and Silke. is their address.  The Tesla Travelers have started a blog to chronicle their journey and share their commitment to e-vehicles and solar energy.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

New Java Joint and Bakery in Wickenburg: Pie Cabinet Pleases the Palate, Captures Old West Vibe.

Pie Cabinet just opened on W. Wickenburg, already doing serious business. Their cold press pleases the palate, while Cherry Apple Crisp and Kentucky pie (take-out) were big hits at home last night. More news on this places after my next visit.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Mystery Woman Seeks Life's Answers as Sunset to Remember bathes Bradshaw Mountains, Wickenburg, AZ.

Mystery woman peers over deck in search of answers to life's major questions. Sun sets on the horizon in the meantime. Answers did come, slowly: stay tuned more more details. You'll be surprised I believe.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Brother Joe + Posse, Madrid, Spain, ca '69

Brother Joe you've begun to know through earlier posts on the Poppy Blog.  He was a wanderer in the day, in the best sense of the word.  Joe traveled far and wide, learning, growing, sharing his experience, point of view, generous spirit and (when he had a few pesetas to rub together) his resources with those less fortunate than he. 

Hard to recall exactly where this pic was snapped, and when, by whom and why.  But the film was Kodachrome, 35mm, and think the year was 1969.  Joe is in the white t-shirt, his friend Bill, in black.  And the youngsters look like campers -- perhaps Joe was their counselor as well as spiritual leader?