Archive for the ‘Life In AZ’ Category

This Christmas Eve it’s snowing in Gilbert!


December is here and so is the snow!

Yes, snow in the desert valley!  Well not yet… but on Christmas Eve there will be. Guaranteed!

On December 24th, Superstition Springs Community Church (SSCC) would like to celebrate Christmas Eve with you and that celebration will include snow, SLEDDING, hot cocoa, wagon train rides, LIVE MUSIC,  Bethlehem Village, and a petting zoo. I’m thinking this Christmas Eve service is going to be a BLAST. So, mark your calendar and get more details about it here. See you there!

That’s still 23 days away though.. the reason I’m bringing this up so early is because it’s also December which makes it officially time to enjoy some new Christmas music right?  I also wanted to point you to the FREE downloadable Christmas album recorded by the SSCC Worship Band. Good stuff, these guys and gals are really good. I can honestly say that I look forward to hearing them every Sunday.

Whether you are near to Gilbert or far, SSCC offers a lot. The prior two things I mention are the tip of the iceberg. SSCC’s community and WORLD involvement is admirable, I’m 5 weeks new to SSCC, and let me tell you I’m excited about the impact this church is making in the world. Check out what SSCC is doing on their “All In” blog.

(Gilbert covered in snow…Cows? Yeah…our infamous, stinky dairy)

I know this post isn’t QA oriented, I’d like to remind you that you can refine you RSS feed to QA posts only by subscribing to the “Quality Assurance” category. Anything that has to do with SQA will always have that category assigned to it.

I’m Thankful For… CHEAP GAS


The last few months we’ve heard sooo much about the declining economy… On the flip side, I’m really liking the plummeting gas prices! Aren’t you? I paid $1.88 a gallon today! It’s been years since I’ve seen prices like this.

When gas was over $3.00 the complaints were loud and often. Between the people that surround me (don’t get me wrong, me too) and the media, it was obvious that we were not happy. Now that gas prices are down, the complaints stop but we don’t seem to be talking too much about how happy we are about it. Even worse on NPR, yesterday, they were talking about the negative impact of it.

That’s sad.

Join me in the positive celebration of cheap gas!

This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for cheap gas (and a WHOLE LOT more, but I won’t get into that here).



Daisy "the diving dog" Strange


Our yellow lab Daisy loves to swim.  But really, what lab doesn’t right?

So the move from Oregon to Arizona, where there is a pool in the backyard, is a dream come true for ol’ Daisy. I honestly think that she thinks she’s in paradise sometimes.

For example, last year (at the end of August, when it’s like 85 degrees at 7:00 AM) I let Daisy out in the morning to go to the bathroom and feed her. When her morning “chores” were done I spied her walking slowly down the steps of the pool with a doggy smile on her face, as she eased in over her head with a slight groan of satisfaction…

Paradise I tell you. A dogs life… Boy, I wish.

Anyway, on to the point of this post. Daisy is a “diving dog”. As in, she fetches things from the bottom of the pool. It took her about 2 days to figure it out and gain confidence. We started in the shallow end and worked her to the deepest part. Now there is no challenge for her. Anything goes. She’ll get the object at the bottom at all costs. Amazingly, she stays under sometimes for long periods (greater than 20 seconds). This tends to happen only when you throw the object in the shade making it hard for her to see, thus making her dive a little less strategic or mathematical. 

Yes, mathematical.

She doesn’t rush into the dive. She is extremely efficient with her dives by choosing the best possible location to make the dive from. It’s very funny to watch when you throw the object into a shallow area (like the 2nd step) where a dive is not the best solution. It frustrates her, she wants to dive but she can’t…You can just see her mind going crazy as she races around trying to determine the best dive position. With no good solution available she’ll do more of a belly flop and then duck her head in to get the object. Funny stuff.

Anyway, I present to you “Daisy the diving dog”:

Just when I thought my dog was special… You’ll notice on YouTube that there are two other “Daisy the diving dog”s? WTF...It’s a small world I guess. For the record: This is Daisy Strange the diving dog from Gilbert Arizona! I’ll have to step up her YouTube rank by teaching her to save drowning children or baby-dolls on command. Stay tuned for the “Daisy the baby-doll saver” video at summer end.

Father-Son Christmas Pictures (in Halo 3)


My oldest son Jake and I often spend our weekend nights playing Halo 3 online. We have a great time playing together and truly enjoy laying down some whoop-ass on others as a father son team. This weekend we spent a little time playing with the video and screen-shot features that are available in Halo 3 and came up with the following Father-Son Xmas Pictures. I tried to talk the wife into putting one of these bonding moments as the front of this year’s Christmas card but it was a no go.










[Say cheese! (Jake is red, I’m blue)]









[Jake and I lighting Xmas candles with the rocket launcher and flame thrower!]









[Red and blue are our favorite Xmas colors!]









[Jake and I enjoying a casual cruise through the Xmas snow on our Ghosts]








[Sometimes we have little disagreements which end up in a sword battle. This disagreement was about if Santa is real]










[You win some, you lose some. Santa is real.]









[Jake and I flying like Xmas angels. Aren’t we cute?]

If you play Halo 3 online look us up, we’d like to punish you. Jake’s gamer tag is iSpartan710 and mine is Major Strange. Oh, and Merry Christmas from iSpartan710 and Major Strange!

Sports For Fun and The Lil’ Dribblers Program



Our youngest son Jace, recently completed his first basketball program. The Lil Dribblers program by Sports For Fun here in Gilbert was a great start for him to learn the fundamentals of any sport, fundamentals that are summed up well in the Sports For Fun mission statement:

“The Mission of Sports for Fun is to promote and maintain a wholesome, healthy and educational coed sports program design for kids.

Sports for Fun will accomplish these enduring principles by building upon the foundations of honesty, character, teamwork and sportsmanship.”

Jace and I had a blast. Not only did Jace learn the values put forth in the mission statement, he learned how to dribble, shoot, and pass, made new friends, and got to bond with his Dad (which is priceless for me).

Being as little as he is (turning 3 next month) the program had gear for his tiny skill level (e.g. short hoop, small basketballs) as well as gear for the older kids (the program is for 3-5 years old). If you have a 3-5 year old, put your kid in the Lil Dribblers program it’s on Saturday mornings, is six weeks, and is an experience that you definitely want to share with your child.

Running the dog at Cosmo Dog Park


Jake and Daisy

Last Sunday we made our way to Cosmo Dog Park to let our dog Daisy strut her doggy skills. I’m not talking about sniffing other dog butts or leave steaming piles of… uh, hehe. No, I’m talking about her swimming and fetching skills. Labradors are born fetchers and swimmers and she definitely is a Lab.

Cosmo Dog Park is super nice, and it’s hard  to believe it was created for dogs since it’s so big and beautiful. I was surprised to see three concrete, well constructed dog course items/obstacles. My dog was able to do them all the 1st try! I was really impressed and proud of her. I knew she was good but not that good. One obstacle was a large concrete wall with a 3 foot high window/hole in it to jump through. She jumped through on command like a natural (she didn’t even see any other dogs do it before hand either).

If you’re around Gilbert and have your dog with you make sure to check it out. It’s fun for both pooch and owner.

Cosmo Dog Park is located at the northeast corner of Ray Road and the Santan Loop 202 in Gilbert. The hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Cosmo Park is named for Gilbert’s first police dog: Cosmo van Blitsaerd of Holland. The park features a lighted fenced dog park. Timid dogs are directed to use the northern part of the park. There is a lake where dogs may swim and two dog wash stations. Call for information 480-503-6200.

Photo is compliment of Graham Ware at 5 Dog Photography. Thanks Graham.

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