Coffee heat rising

Never an Effing Dull Moment

Lordie! I’m coming to hate this neighborhood.

Ten in the morning, give or take a bit. Cop copter has been circling over the ‘Hood for the better part of 45 minutes. He’s right over my old house: a block to the north and a block to the west of this one.


{Blogger wanders off}

{Blogger comes back}



Cops finally flew away. Shortly after I started this post, they roared down this way and took up a position over Josie’s house — SDXB’s former abode, one block to the north of the Funny Farm. They lurked around and lurked around and LURKED around, evidently searching for some perp. Or something.


NOT a nice person…

Nope. Nooo, I’m surely not a nice lady. Not if you judge by this afternoon’s antic.

Need to go to the credit union. Actually, this visit is overdue, and I really, really need to schlep way to Hell and gone across the west side to the CU’s office;

bang around bang around bang around bang around, collect all the junk to take over there, pile it in the car, lock up the dawg, back out of the garage, back out back out ba…waitaminit…

Whozzat guy?

Yeah. Some guy is out in front. He’s not a neighbor that I recognize. That doesn’t mean he’s not a neighbor. Only that I haven’t seen him before.

He walks eastward from the westerly corner toward our easterly end of the block. Turns around, walks back westerly again. He goes up to the front door of a house in that direction. But he doesn’t do anything: doesn’t knock on the door, doesn’t ring the doorbell, doesn’t pull out a key and stick it a lock. Huh uh.

He just stands there for a minute, then turns around and continues to walk up in our direction.

In the department of huh uh!, I don’t want this guy to see me pull out of the garage and cruise off down the road.

But DAMMIT, do I ever need to get to that credit union! Cruise toward the intersection with Conduit of Blight.


nope nope nope… 

Pull a U-ie, come on back to the Funny Farm. He makes a half-hearted sally toward another front door, then, as I cruise back to my house and back into my driveway, turns around and heads in the direction that he came from.

Park in the garage. Close the door. Stalk inside and pour half a glass of wine. Take up a position in the front courtyard, with the Killer Corgi at hand. Think ohhhh sheee-ut how paranoid CAN a city-dweller get? 

Ruby barks at the kids in Tony’s institution.

The kids across the other street take up a game of basketball-tossing, always a delight.

Ruby ambles indoors.

Tom — Mr. WonderAccountant — comes home and parks his truck in his driveway, across the street.

My wine-glass is still half-full.

Should I ask Mr. WA to keep an eye on the Funny Farm whilst I make a run on the credit union?

How can I count the ways…not?

It’s a gorgeous afternoon.

I decide to avail myself of a beautiful day and a grand kid with a basketball and a fierce little dog and — especially — a glass of wine and a few slices of fancy cheese.

Why does this make me feel like a sh!t?


Because… Zat guy is a black man. Yea verily, a handsome black man. Yea verily, a radically middle-class-looking black man. But nay verily, not a gent of any color or ethnic persuasion that I’ve seen anywhere near that neighbor’s house.

Yep. He’s prob’ly harmless.

Ayup;. He’s probably a brother-in-law of one of the residents.

But…{sigh} Nope: I absolutely positively do NOT want this guy to see me drive off down the street leaving the garage empty. Nope.


Would I have felt that way if he were white or Latino?

Possibly not. Surely not if he were white: I would have recognized him as not a neighbor. If he were Latino: I would have regarded him as possibly a neighbor but I don’t think so because I happen to enjoy Latinos and Latino culture and so I would have come to know him, at least to some degree, by now.

Friday: SO MUCH stuff I needed to get done while banging around this afternoon. Dayum!

At least half of it won’t get done. The other half — computer PITAs — can get done tomorrow, on top of a cruise toward the other side of town.

Next Monday: today’s PITA will remain to be addressed.

Life in the 21st century….

Where were we…about stopping the world?

Gawdalmighty, STOP THE WORLD” seems to be the byword of the day.

It’s after dark. The dawg and I are fed. It’s too crazy out there to go for an evening doggy-walk, so we’re hunkered down.

And hunkered in full stop the world mode.

A cop helicopter is buzzing the ‘Hood. Lemme tellya: these guys don’t burn pricey aviation fuel for nothin’. They’ve been overhead for a half-hour or 45 minutes: searching, searching, searching. Rattling the windowpanes. Disturbing the dawg. Disturbing the human.  Now they’re cruising above the streets just to the north of us.

Have I said how much I hate living here?




Is there anyplace better to live?

Truth to tell, what that cop said right after the Great Home Invasion Episode appears to be true: “It’s the same all over the Valley.” From the Richistans to the blue-collar slums to the ghettos, it really DOES appear to be “the same all over the Valley.”

Okay, wtf is going on now? Over to the neighborhood Facebook page, usually the fastest source of fact and gossip…

H. Acken

Was anyone else asked to stay inside?

Loren Rohrer

Helicopter is saying to surrender now….that can’t be good….

Morgan Hoaglin

I am betting on the K9 here
Sonja Marie Clarke Yurkiw
What’s happening with the helicopter?

Megan Tranter
          A truck was pulled over on Drey Drive. One of the occupants fled the scene. There’s where it stands just now. But…Ughhhhhhh am I ever tired of it.

You ‘n’ me both, sister!!!

North Central: Neighborhood from Hell

An entertaining discussion appeared this morning in the neighborhood Facebook page:
(I give up trying to format this thing! Sorry for the glitches…Facebook content just does NOT carry over into blog format with any consistency. Gaaaaah!)

Fernando M.
Top contributor
What’s going on with all of the cops and chopper?
Victoria H.
Top contributor
F’r cryin’ out loud. Fountain Hills looks better and better
Lily F.
Top Contributer
Listening in on the police scanner and it seems it was a break in/home invasion of some sort and they were trying to locate the suspect. He’s in custody now and we can all rest tonight ◡
Fernando M:

Top contributor They got him.

Beth M:
Fernando M. any details where they nabbed him?

Fernando M:
Beth M: at the third house in on 15th Ave and Harmont.

Fernando M.
Which house?!? We are on Harmont and 15th Drive!

Andrea R. A.:
Squad was parked at 17dr/Griswald. Squad car just flew past my house, heli is low. Squad car just down the street near neighbors house

Michelle B-I:
Andrea R.A. are they at the dead end near my moms?

Andrea R A
Michelle B-I yes they were now at Royal Palm

Aimey O B:
Andrea R. A.  there was one parked down here at 16th & Griswold also, for abiut 1/2 hr. Then we heard he was in the yard under a tree on royal palms, ‘3rd house west of 16dr red roof’ that’s when the helicopter left so assuming that’s where they apprehended him.

Andrea R.A:
Aimey Odom Bussing thanks for the update

Laura Rodriguez:
Thank you all for the updates! Woke up to the helicopters and knew I could count on our neighbors looking out for the neighborhood. Great to have neighbors with police scanners. Might need to get one.

Emily G.:
Laura R.  there’s an app, Scanner Radio

Fernando M:
They have a dog out now

Fernando M:
I’m listening to the police scanner and they are trying to surround someone. Preparing for “him” to jump the wall

Noël D:
Fernando M: did you hear them say it was from a break in/home invasion? I read from somewhere else it was someone running from a traffic stop

Emily W:
Top contributor
I hope everyone is ok. I’m glad they caught the person but it sounds like they did some harm first.

Emily W:
Top contributor
There’s a cop on the corner of 15th ave and royal palm. Not sure what’s going on though

Sonya V.
Been going on a VERY long time flying low, spotlights from helicopter in our yard, voices from helicopter but can’t understand what they are saying. 16th ave and las palmaritas. Any news yet on what’s going on?

Eric T:
I guess no sleep tonight going to be a long day tomorrow

Fernando M:
Royal palm and harmony alley

Fernando M:
I’m someone’s yard jumping to the alley

Fernando M:
He is in the church parking lot

Jessica L. G.:
Heard two loud bangs that woke us up about 30min ago, cops have surrounded the park since, husband saw someone across the street picking up something off the sidewalk on the park side, then ran north on 15th ave just before cops got here

Fernando M:
They just came over the speaker and said you are surrounded!

Aimey O.B.:
I was sitting at the kitchen table working (everyone else was asleep) & all of a sudden our entire backyard was lit up like daylight!! (16th dr & griswold) For several seconds! Freaked me out!! I woke up my fiancé & we watched as cops searched the alley rt behind our house w k-9 & followed them on the scanner!! Wont be falling off to sleep anytime soon after all that!!

Beth M:
I don’t know, I heard voices that sounded like it was from the copter and my backyard keeps getting lit up.

Gail G.O.:
Doesn’t sound like they had them surrounded.

Patti C:
There’s a police car on 17th drive and Harmont. Copter had been circling over my house with lights. I assumed it was something with the apartments or light rail but must be more than that

Andre W:
Top contributor
That glass of wine, didn’t realize anything strange was happening last night.

Jeanne D:
Wow that’s crazy

Ahhh yes. Business as usual here in our beautiful home…

Every time I think about moving to Fountain Hills (or the South of France), I’m reminded of the cop who chatted with me after the Great Home Invasion episode. I remarked to him that maybe I should move to Scottsdale or some such. He said — these are his words, indeed — “Don’t do that! We go to these things all over the Valley. It doesn’t matter where you live. This stuff happens all the time.”

And yea verily, even in stodgy, muffled Sun City, a year or two ago a couple of thugs invaded a home out there. They herded the homeowner’s male house guest into a bedroom and shot him in the head.

Unlikely they could have known the guy. The house guests would have been from out of town. He probably mouthed off to them.

What a place!

A Balmy Evening…

…for the balmy, that is…  At 7:10 p.m. the thermometer on the back porch reads 109 degrees.

Hey! Ya can’t shovel heat!

Nary a sign of the summer rainstorms known in these parts as “monsoons.”

But it’s still a bit early for them. I think of monsoon as an August phenomenon. F’rhevvinsake, it’s only July 17.

These are the times that make the humans think 12 months of swimming-pool expenses are soooooo worth it! 😀 Into the drink this afternoon. Hop out. Shampoo hair in the hose. Return to the shack’s interior, where the AC system labors to hold the temp (in the coolest part of the house: the hallway) down to 80.

What a day!

Started with Ruby flushing Ratty out of the marjoram bed. Dayum! She almost caught the poor critter!

Later on: the Great Termite Project.

Exterminator came by. He didn’t think the infestation was too bad…yet. He sprayed the little gals where they were evident, and then laid down one helluva barrier all around the house’s foundation. I decided we should have him come back at regular intervals to harass the critters. Whenever the weather cools some, I’ll try to get him up into the attic (you’d have to be suicidal to go up there in this heat!). He didn’t think the girls have invaded there yet…he did show me where he believes them to be, and provided a pretty convincing argument to that effect.

We didn’t see the much-beloved Pool Dude this morning — Monday is his day to come around. We probably missed him while we were indulging in the dawn doggy-walk. The pool is positively pristine this evening, which it assuredly would NOT be, in this heat, had he not surfaced at some point today.

Wait, I know how to tell: did he retrieve the new pump pot filter basket I bought?


Whoa!!! He did NOT!

Holee mackerel! That means His Cuteness never surfaced here today!

He must have had car trouble. Or the world collapsed on his head.

Fortunately, he’s done such a killer job on maintenance over the past few months that the damn thing looks clear and clean. So from a selfish point of view, that’s good. But..gosh…  I hope he’s OK…

Back to the subject of infestation: The roof rats are back.

One of them was actually brave enough this morning to shoot right across in front of me.

Cute little fellas. Too bad they carry such nasty diseases. Too bad they do rather more damage than one would like to cope with.

So I set out the traps. When last checked, they were no more successful than they’ve been in the past. But…that was checking their daytime performance. We shall see, come morning, how they worked during our little tenants’ night-time maneuvers.

Awwwww crapola: Cop copters buzzing around overhead.

Check that all the doors are locked. And…hooleee shee-ut! The front screen was NOT locked.

Ohhh well. Now we’re barricaded in: two deadbolts engaged on every exterior door.

Four-legged rats. Two-legged rats. Six-legged rats. What a place we live in!

Covid-Smacked and Delinquent-Zapped

Wow! This covid bug is SOME germ!

Supposedly the version I’ve got is not very severe. But I’ll tellya…it’s got me knocked into the middle of next week!  Uhm…I think… It’s hard to tell what week we’re in.

It zaps your memory. Especially short-term memory. I can. not. remember. things that I did just a few hours ago, or things that I’m supposed to do now and in the near term.

Case in point: the pool motor busted. (Wouldncha know, eh?) So now I’ve gotta get some guy out to work on that.

Pool Dude gave me a guy’s name. I know I called the guy…but…

I can…not…remember…what…we…said!

Is he going to come by? If so, when? What day? What time?

Seriously: the conversation we had is a blank. A total blank: I cannot remember one thing we said.

So now I’ve got to call that guy up and fess up to that little lapse…what an embarrassment!!!


Yes. Yes I did talk to him. He said he would come by whenever he can — has a pretty full plate, apparently.


Also weird is the apparent variability of this virus’s effects. Some people, as we’re widely told, are brought to Death’s door.

I, on the other hand, have a cough. That’s it. Well, that and so-called “brain fog.”

  • No fever — to the contrary: my temp is in the negative numbers.
  • No headache.
  • No sore throat.
  • No stuffy nose.
  • No compulsive pounding on Death’s Door.

I suspect the “brain fog” is a real thing. Even though I’m getting damn senile, I’m not THAT senile! Normally I can remember who I talked with this morning and what we said.

So I’m left worrying whether it’s safe for me to drive the car…even though I feel fine, if some marbles are missing, am I a menace to navigation?


The day stumbles on. Now we learn I must not have been THAT sick last night. Because….quite a commotion took place a half-block from the Funny Farm, and I slept right through it.


Neighbor 1:
What is happening on Butler right now? Cops and helicopters everywhere

Neighbor 2
Suspicious person hiding near a car on NNth Ave & Funny Farm Road

Neighbor 3
Pass-Through Street is completely blocked with first responders

Neighbor 4
The Hood…never boring

Neighbor 3
unfortunately not these days

Neighbor 5…/two-teens-injured-after-stolen…
Found this article!

Two teens injured after stolen vehicle crashes into wall, fencing

Neighbor 4
3 teenagers stole a car, there was a police chase , they lost control on PassThrough and FunnyFarm Ave, one was ejected, the other they caught in my neighbors yard then the other one apparently was a few blocks north

Neighbor 6
How did you figure this out? They took out my fence and damaged property.

Neighbor 4
oh my goodness ! I’m 2 or 3 houses down i believe, the neighbor across the street spoke with the police last night and he told my husband .

Neighbor 7
If anyone has video- please let us know asap! From what I understand he took off his jacket and had a white shirt on. It was between 12-1am Saturday night. Detectives are knocking on doors looking for video.

Ring #AlwaysHome

Neighbor 7
They were hiding under our neighbors car but got away before the cops arrived on foot… :/


So it goes: Life in the Big City. I personally am getting bloody tired of it, and if my son weren’t dead-set against my moving, I would be soooo gone by now.

SDXB moved to Sun City because of exactly this kind of sh!t. I’ve lived in Sun City and don’t want to do that again. But there are plenty of other venues that are significantly less active than ours.

Fountain Hills is one. It’s halfway to Payson…but on the other hand, it’s close to the Mayo Clinic’s doctors’ offices, which could be convenient on occasion. On the other side of town, there’s Cave Creek and it’s affluent sister suburb, Carefree. Very pretty area, though expensive. The Arcadia district, over on the easterly side of town, has houses very similar to the ones in the ‘Hood but is a significantly better area.

Most of the neighborhoods in town, though, have this kinda sh!t going on all the time, unless they’re gated communities like the Country Club district. The nearest comparable area is probably Moon Valley, but because it’s solidly middle-class and has no adjacent slums, the cost of real estate there is way outside my budget. By and large comparable houses there cost almost twice what I could get for the Funny Farm. Most have no gas service, so you’re stuck with an electric hot plate instead of a real stove. And — not so obvious in the real estate photos — the houses are VERY cheaply built. Many or most of them have essentially zero insulation in their exterior walls. Many have flat roofs, so you can’t insulate the attic (such as it is) either. So they’re hot all summer despite astronomical power bills.

It’s Life in the Big City…i guess…

**** AND no, I do NOT know why WordPress refuses to double-space between paragraphs here! Yes, I HAVE tried to fix it, every which way from Sunday. No, NOTHING that I do makes it work. And so…screw it. Imagine paragraph breaks where ye please.