The Adventures of Me & My Shadow # 83 in AZ 2/18/2003
0 miles this trip Odometer now 726 miles this year

From Phoenix, AZ, Hi Everyone!
After sending letter #82 it was not delivered to several address because of the Pictures. I hate attachments so I sent them as part of the document and that made the document too large for some Hosts like hotmail.com, webtv.net, and go.com, I re-sent the letter again to them with the pictures as attachments.

When I left Tucson I headed south to Sonoita, AZ to check in with my niece Mary Lou and her singing cowboy husband on the Melody Ranch. They are at about 5,000 feet and when I woke in the morning the outside temp was down to 29 degrees. One night of that was enough so I headed to Phoenix & higher temps and checked in with Mary Lou's brother Mike. I parked & plugged in at Mike's and called his sister Connie & Ron both Doctors. Ron & Connie invited us over for dinner on Sunday after the races. My sister Norma & Bob were there also. Ron gave me a flu shot and they are getting me set up with appointments to get some things checked while I am here.

On the first Sunday in Phoenix I went to the Go Cart Races to see Mike have some fun. It was not a good day for Mike. On one of the heat races another driver hit Mike's right rear wheel when he tried to pass him on a sharp curve. The chain drive is on the right side. The rear axle was slightly bent from the collision and on the big race the chain came off on the first lap. A beautiful blond gal won the race. Mike had to buy a new rear axle for $110.00, so I see it as an expensive way to have fun. On a straight stretch, the carts can go over 70 MPH.

Besides the grown men and women they have a class for 5 to 7 year-olds and other classes for older kids. The kids use smaller carts but it looks to me like they are going almost as fast as their Dads and Moms. Now I know where these aggressive young drivers got their training.

I'll attach some pictures; one of Mike at work at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station where he is the Sr. Radiation Protection Technical Advisor. Now a desk job, he will be very busy when they install the new steam generators.

The picture is from his younger days. He was among the first employees at the plant before they started it up eighteen years ago. I have a picture of him with his toy and one of him "having fun".

This power plant produces more power than any other plant in the U.S.A, it was one of the last Nuclear power plants built in the U.S.A. and because of the fear of Nuclear power in the U.S.A. When they needed new steam generators for the plant there was no place in the U.S.A. capable of making them. They had to order two of them from Italy, it is now four years since construction of them began. They just lately arrived and will be installed next fall upgrading the plant to produce even more power. I plan to give you more information about these steam generators in my next letter. I'll have some pictures of the steam generators being transported.

My hearing is getting worse so I got my hearing aids out and one of them did not work. I found the conductor from the positive side of the battery had broken loose. I thought I could solder it back in place. The conductor is insulated and is about the size of a blond hair. Even with a magnifying glass I could not find a way to remove the insulation from the conductor so I could solder it back in place. I'll let Jeff try it when I get back to MD next summer, he has better eyes than mine. I have also been working on my genealogy files, I corrected some errors and I now have over 14,800 names in it all of them connected in some way.

There are restrictions on how long a motorhome can be parked in a residential neighborhood so to comply with the rules, I drove over to Sun City to visit a couple Jensen cousins. We all lived in NE Nebraska in our younger days. Now they have joined the thousands of retirees from the cold country who come to Sun City to enjoy their retirement. I checked in with Ollie & Nelda to spend three days. We had a good time the only problem I had was; they want to feed me to well. That is why I have to limit my stay. While there, my other cousin Weldon & Trudy came over, I can't remember when the last time I saw them was. We all enjoyed a nice visit reminiscing about the old times when we were kids up in Nebraska, and now soaking up the 80 degree temps here in AZ in the middle of winter. We plan to not wait so long before getting together again.

My appointment to get my defibrillator checked is on 2/24, and Mike will have to be my driver when I go in for my colonoscopy on 2/27. If everything checks out OK I'll be heading west after that. With the price of fuel getting uncivilized I will be parking more and driving less. It sure won't be as much fun but I do want to keep working on my genealogy files. I plan to give all of the younger generation a copy of their family trees before I cash in my chips. I wish I could get the older generation to write up a little family history and send it to me so that the generations to come will know what it was like. As I look into the future it don't look good.

Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits.

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