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Life Is A Carnival

Another Saturday Night

You can always tell when it’s summer by my blog. Unlike some adventurous and hearty souls (I’m talking about you, Chris) I tend to stay indoors as much as I can and avoid the desert heat and sun. That’s why you will see so many posts from my archives or recent trips to the coast. I am wallowing deep in the Dog Days mentality now, but only a few short months and it will be Fall, and then I will have absolutely no excuse for not getting up off my arse and getting out. (But I’m sure I’ll come up with something! Isn’t that sad?)

Saturday night, the husband and I had a “date night”. This is a big deal for us. We both had grown tired sitting around the house watching the Michael Phelps show on TV, and I heard that one of my favorite local businesses, Ground Control, was having a party. They are moving to a bigger location in Litchfield Park and were closing the Goodyear doors for good (not just a good year ha!).

Ground Control is so cute. It can’t decide if it’s a coffee joint or a pub, but it is precisely that combination that makes it so eclectic. You can get a good cup of coffee, a nice red zin or a hoity toity 30 year old scotch if that is your poison. It’s also nice to have a place the West Valley can call its own. We have mostly chain restaurants from which to choose. Yuck. And boring.

Even better – we got to hear some live jazz. Booyeah! (They came all the way from NEW YORK CITY.)

Thanks, Sean, for bringing some class to the SW Valley. We’re looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks when the new place opens.

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Cabazon Dinosaurs

Along Interstate 10 about 13 miles west of Palm Springs in Cabazon, CA are “The World’s Biggest Dinosaurs”. I’ve stopped here 2 or 3 times, but I am usually in such a hurry to get to my destination that I never really take the time to fully explore this place. Also, I will mention that it is usually hotter than &@$$ and the wind blows so that you feel like a molten piece of steel in a blast furnace. Had this climate existed back when dinosaurs roamed I am reasonably certain that the huge lizards, I mean birds, would have been no match for the scorching desert sun – based on what little I know about dinos anyway.

The creation of the Cabazon dinosaurs began in the 1960s by Knott’s Berry Farm sculptor and portrait artist Claude K. Bell (1897–1988) to attract customers to his Wheel Inn Cafe, which opened in 1958. The first of the Cabazon dinosaurs, a giant apatosaurus named Dinny, was started in 1964 and created over a span of eleven years. Bell created Dinny out of spare material salvaged from the construction of nearby Interstate 10.

A second dinosaur, Mr. Rex, was constructed near Dinny in 1981. Originally, a giant slide was installed in Rex’s tail; it was later filled in with concrete making the slide unusable. A third woolly mammoth sculpture and a prehistoric garden were drafted but never completed due to Bell’s death in 1988.

Since 2005, new owner Gary Kanter, an Orange County developer, has been using the dinosaurs of Cabazon as a platform for a Creationist viewpoint. Currently located inside Dinny is a gift store and museum promoting creationism with some of the toy dinosaurs in the shop sold under the label “Don’t swallow it! The fossil record does not support evolution.” The current ownership has expressed a Young Earth creationist belief that most dinosaurs were created on Earth about 6,000 years ago – the same day as Adam and Eve. In stark contrast to that belief are Bell’s painted frescoes and sculptures inside Dinny, depicting a naturalist and evolutionary viewpoint. (Yes, folks, truth IS stranger than fiction and in this case we aren’t sure which is which!)

The Cabazon Dinosaurs attraction also features an open-air museum with fiberglass and robotic dinosaurs. Other activities at the site include a sand pit where visitors can experience a “dino dig” as well as a gemstone and fossil-panning sluice. These are the parts I never take the time to see. I think I’m going to have to change that.

Dino foot.

I intentionally left my camera at home this time since our visit was mainly centered around seeing old friends so all of my photos from the trip were taken with my camera phone. I have become a real Instagram addict. There are some amazing photographers doing groovy things on Instagram. I think I am so enamored with the imperfection of iPhoneography because my camera skills are so imperfect!


To The Bat Cave!

I definitely had the guys who follow the blog on my mind when I saw in the paper that the Warner Brothers Tumbler Tour was hitting town. Here’s a little secret: I love the Dark Knight movies and can’t wait for the last installment of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy to open on July 20th. I also loved The Avengers and made one of my few theater trips to see it a few weeks ago. I guess you can call Super Heroes one of my guilty pleasures. (I think I may have divulged too much about myself the past couple of weeks!)

Although I do not think that I am nearly as obsessed as the guy on the left obviously is about it (or the scary Dude behind Batman). Magpie offered to take my picture with the Caped Crusader but I politely declined. Wasn’t that sweet of Magpie? 🙂 Poor Batman. It was over 100 degrees. I bet he is dreading moving East where I hear it’s just as hot or hotter!

Not only was the Tumbler (aka the Batmobile back in the days when I was growing up) on display, but we also saw the Batcycle (now known as the Batpod). What the heck is wrong with “Batmobile” and “Batcycle“? Why does everything have to change? I am not getting old. I am not getting old. And who let in that kid with the Spiderman shirt?


Don’t It Make My Gray Skies Blue

Yesterday Magpie and I spent the afternoon at a chili cook off in the Estrella foothills. It was a quintessential Arizona winter day. It started off cool, gray and cloudy. We even dared to think it might rain (silly girls)! Not long after we arrived the clouds gave way to the brilliant blue Arizona sky, and by the time we left about 3 1/2 hours later you could barely hear the Bluegrass band over the wind blowing through their mics.

On a day like that, there were no losers – but there was definitely one BIG winner…


Turkey Drive

On Thursday Magpie and I stopped by the Annual Big Guy Turkey Drive to drop off a turkey (don’t worry – Magpie is safe) and some canned goods.  By the time we got there all the big festivities – like Turkey Bowling – had wound up, but it looks like the Salvation Army was well on their way to helping making sure that almost everyone could be thankful for Thanksgiving dinner.

Big Guy Turkey Drive

Turkey Talley


Farmer’s Market

Chubby Bubby

BBQ Rubs

Here today. Gone tamale.

Tamales, by golly.

Ring my Bell Pepper

Bell Peppers

Cha Cha Cha!

More Peppers

Yum-O! Kettle Korn!

Don't forget the Kettle Korn! (We didn't.)