Coffee heat rising

High as a Kite? Or Crazy as a Loon?

In central Arizona’s lovely August heat, Ruby and I have to get out for the daily doggy-walk right at or even shortly before dawn. This stroll takes us around Upper Richistan, about a mile of shaded walking…two if we elect to walk up toward our friend Marge’s house, visit the cow pasture in those parts, and stroll back to the Funny Farm.

This morning was icky hot and humid, so we limited the day’s hike to the Upper Richistan loop. It’s around 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. by the time we get to those parts.

So we’re strolling along the road when along comes this couple, a youngish man and what appears to be his wife or girlfriend. And the woman…well…she’s clearly stoned out of her mind. She’s already kinda raving on, and when she sees Ruby, she goes BONKERS.

She starts carrying on with ohhhh corgi!!! it’s a CORGI. look at her cute little butt! And then on and on and on about the cute little butt.

We’re not going to get away from this nut case, so I end up deciding to make an about-face and take another route, back into our low-rent precincts of the ‘Hood .


This is Business as Usual in the ‘Hood. The pair probably came from the slum apartments that stand on the far side of Conduit of Blight Blvd. That place, which once meandered pleasantly through a rambling golf course — now a gigantic weed patch — started out as a compound of upper-middle-class rentals. But over the years they’ve gone steadily downhill, and now the golf greens are dead and the apartments are run-down dumps. A resident once shot a cop through the front door of one of those fine dwellings.

Oh well…. Derailed from our usual route through the sylvan glens of Upper Richistan, we head back into our section of the ‘Hood. Up a cross-street to the north of us…hmmmmm….  Some of the houses there are being rebuilt and upgraded. Evidently somebody thinks that, given the central location and the widespread hallucination that there’s something kewl about the lightrail, they can fancify a house and sell it for quite a bit more than it’s worth.

Oh well, indeed.

We circle back into our part of the ‘Hood, over to where the cop lives with his young family, past the home of our eccentric pal who escaped here from the Darkest West Side. And as we walk, we pass by the Old Lady’s House.

Oh, dear.

This woman, a long-time resident of the ‘Hood — quite possibly an original owner! — was widowed and apparently left with exactly nothing. She simply didn’t have the funds to maintain a house, whether or not she owned it free and clear. And one of the things she skimped on to get by was…oh, yes: homeowner’s insurance.

Sooo… When the wild, hurricane-like storms we had a few years ago came through and tore a hole in her roof, she couldn’t afford to get the roof fixed!

This apparently didn’t much matter most of the time: she couldn’t afford air conditioning, either, so it was gonna be hotter than the hubs in there all summer and colder than a bygod all winter. But the big problem was, whenever it rains, water pours into the house like a cascade.

That’s what the wretched woman was having to live in.

Finally, the house was removed from her possession… Unclear whether she died, whether she moved in with someone and just abandoned the place, or whether it was taken for taxes. Most of us think the latter, but who knows? She was moved out of there, and the place stood vacant for awhile.

Now apparently someone has bought it. Whether as an investment or to live in it is unclear. WhatEVER: they just finished installing a whole new roof! And now they’re over there fixing up the walls and presumably repairing and spiffing up throughout.

It’ll be interesting to see whether the present owners move into it, or whether they’ll sell it for a handsome profit.

A place around the corner that was basically rebuilt from a few surviving walls recently sold for something over a million bucks. To give you an idea: my first house in the ‘Hood was a block up the street: I paid $125,000 for it and felt that was too much….  Zillow thinks my present house — same builder, same model, a block & a half further from Conduit of Blight’s noise and crime — is worth $535,000 and change.

Can you imagine?

I sure can’t!!