Friday, December 31, 2010

Let Us Not Forget

As the year ends let us not forget to give thanks for those that are serving our country and willing to give all. My father-in-law was a medic in WWII in the Philippines, I did not know much about his service until the last few years of his life. There is a special place in heaven for medics. Thank you Verdun, and all the others who have served so gallantly.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Arizona Family History Expo

Mesa web header updated

Don’t forget about the FH Expo. Early registration is still $65 for all the classes. If you can’t attend the classes make sure to carve some time out to check out the exhibit hall, no charge for access to the hall.

Check out for more information. You can also follow the expo on facebook and twitter.


Friday, December 24, 2010

City of Mesa Job Openings

New or revised this week:

Aquatics Maintenance Worker I  $35,131 - $47,424
Engineering Contracts/Grants Compliance Officer  $60,965 - $82,264

To apply for open positions, please visit:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pop a Top for Survival Gear Safety

This is reposted from the blog Survival Common Sense:
Posted on August 5th, 2010 in Survival Equipment
by Leon Pantenburg

Hanging on to your tools may be critical to your survival. But some small items, such as butane lighters, Chapstick or some survival knives, don’t have a way to attach a lanyard or safety snap. 
Here’s an easy way to fix that.

Prevent loss of small critical survival items by attaching a poptop, and securing them to a clip or lanyard.

Take an aluminum poptop and attach it to the small item with a piece of bright tape. Then, whenever you use that piece of gear, clip or attach it to a lanyard. Attach the lanyard to your belt, button hole or zipper fob.

Get into this habit and you’ll never drop or lose that critical piece of gear.  This is particularly important in areas with a lot of snow, like where I live in Central Oregon.

I frequently am out in areas with several feet of accumulation, and dropping a butane lighter in these areas of deep snow virtually guarantees you’ll lose it. Even if you can find the lighter again, chances are the cold will disable it for several minutes.

Either of these situations is a problem if you desperately need to build a warming fire and your hands are numb!

Avoid potential emergencies caused by losing gear by thinking ahead!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

City of Mesa Job Openings

There are no new or revised opportunities this week.

To apply for open positions, please visit:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

City of Mesa surplus sales offer lots of holiday bargains

From the City of Mesa:

If you missed Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you still have time to get tremendous holiday bargains.  The City of Mesa operates surplus sales every Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon at the City of Mesa Warehouse, 7041 E. Adobe.

Bicycle prices have been slashed by 50 percent until Christmas and all Dell desktop computers are $10 off.  Costume jewelry is 50 percent off and all fine jewelry is 10 percent off the marked price.

The surplus sales have a wide variety of merchandise, including clothing and office furniture.  The merchandise consists of surplus items from various City departments and unclaimed police evidence.  Payment can be made by cash, credit card or check/debit card with photo identification.  All sales are final without warranty or guarantee of any kind and there are no refunds.  City items are also available for sale on eBay.

Proceeds from the surplus sales and eBay sales benefit the City of Mesa General Fund.  During the 09/10 fiscal year, those sales generated $107,300 for that fund.

For more information, visit or call (480) 644-2663.

Friday, December 10, 2010

December Landscape Watering Reminder

From the City of Mesa:

While our typical first frost date is around Dec. 12, early frosts have
already nipped the tops of some cold-sensitive plants causing the tips to
wilt or turn black. Learn about frost and how to protect your plants in a
University of Arizona publication at

For frost warning advisories, visit the National Weather Service Phoenix Web site at

Recommendations below are for plants that are established in the landscape
(in the ground about 2 years).

Lawn watering:
     Summer grass (dormant Bermuda) - once every 30 days
     Overseeded cool season grass (rye) - once every 10-14 days.

If trees and shrubs are on the same valve:
     Desert Adapted - once every 35 days
     High Water Use - once every 18 days

Tree watering:
     Desert Adapted - once every 45 days
     High Water Use - once every 21 days

Shrub watering:
     Desert Adapted - once every 30 days
     High Water Use - once every 14 days

Groundcover and vine watering:
     Desert Adapted - once every 28 days
     High Water Use - once every 14 days

Cacti and succulent watering - if needed
Annuals watering - once every 7-10 days
Wildflower watering - once every 10-15 days

Note: These recommendations are a general guideline only and may need to
be modified for your specific site conditions.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

SAT/ACT Software Available to Scouts

If your high school student needs to take the SAT or ACT tests, the NFL and MLB players, with BSA, are offering free preparation software. Well, almost free, it does cost $13.84 for support and shipping.

NFL and MLB players support eKnowledge donation of free SAT/ACT software to Boy Scouts of America families

In alliance with the Boy Scouts of America, eKnowledge is offering SAT and ACT test prep programs valued at $200, free to Boy Scout families. The eKnowledge Sponsorship Alliance is made up of educationally focused foundations, as well as a group of professional athletes from the National Football League and Major League Baseball that includes Warrick Dunn and Chipper Jones. The eKnowledge Sponsorship Alliance has provided more than 120,000 SAT/ACT prep programs to families all over the United States.

“I believe in using my gifts and public image to help the community,” said Chipper Jones, six-time All-Star and future Hall of Fame baseball player.

Now in its fourth year, the eKnowledge Sponsorship Alliance has donated more than $26 million of SAT/ACT test preparation programs. In response to the donation, eKnowledge has received more than 40,000 thank-you letters from those who have benefited from the test preparation programs. The PowerPrep™ program helps prepare students to take the exams and increases student confidence, which can result in higher test scores and thousands of dollars in scholarships.

EKnowledge recently announced the arrival of the new v6x SAT/ACT PowerPrep™ software; v6x was in development for more than two years at a cost of $1.5 million. It includes more than 20 hours of video instruction, 3,000 files of supplemental test prep material, thousands of interactive diagnostic tools, sample questions, practice tests, and graphic teaching illustrations.

The new PowerPrep™ v6x software is Mac- and PC-compatible.

Families interested in obtaining the FREE $200 v6x SAT/ACT PowerPrep™ Programs may order online at or by calling 951-256-4076.

There is a fee of $13.84 (per standard program) which enables eKnowledge to provide technical and customer support, registration, licensure, processing, handling, and worldwide shipping. This nominal fee allows the sponsorship alliance to continue helping thousands of students each year.

For more information, please contact Lori Caputo, ESA Programs, at or 951-256-4076

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Kitchen Tip: Calibrate Your Candy Thermometer

This is very useful information for this time of year and I am reposting this from the “Our Best Bites” blog.

During December, we're going to be doing some extra posts to help you guys make it through the holiday season with your sanity in tact!

This is a really quick tip that will help you in all your candy-making endeavors (like Apple Cider Caramels and Peanut Brittle). When you're making candy, being able to accurately measure the temperature is absolutely essential, but how do you know if your candy thermometer is accurate or not?

First, you need a pot, any size, of water.

Clip the thermometer onto the side of the pan, making sure the knob on the bottom of the thermometer (anyone have a more accurate term for me? It's 1:43 in the afternoon and I'm still in my pajamas if that gives you any idea of where my brain is right now...) isn't touching the bottom of the pan.

Now, bring the pan of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Let it boil for 10 minutes (make sure you're using a big enough pan that you have enough water to last 10 minutes). The boiling point of water is different depending on where you live (thanks readers!) so check this calculator to find out.   So, say your thermometer says 202 degrees, and you know that the boiling point is 212. You'll know that you need to add 10 degrees to whatever your thermometer says. On the flip side, if the thermometer reads at 222 degrees, you need to subtract 10 degrees from whatever the thermometer is reading. 

To make sure you remember, you can either write "+ ____" or "-____" (whatever the difference is) directly onto the thermometer with a Sharpie or onto a piece of tape that you can wrap around the thermometer or its protective sheath.

And...just in case you get confused by things like this (because I do ALL the time!), here it is in a nutshell:

--If the temperature reads above 212 F (or whatever your boiling point is), you need to subtract 212 from the number your thermometer is displaying and then, when you're making candy, subtract that number from the reading you get on the thermometer.

--If the temperature reads below 212 F (or whatever your boiling point is), you need to subtract that number from 212. When you're making candy, add that number to the number you get from the thermometer reading.

--Be sure to record how much you need to add or subtract in a place that's easy to remember.

--Re-calibrate your thermometer at least once a year, or just buy a new one!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Remember Pearl Harbor

On December, 7, 1941 the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the US Forces at Pearl Harbor, HI. There were over 3,000 casualties and many ships were sank or damaged. The attacked united a divided America and committed the nation to war.

During the month of December is offering free access to the Pearl Harbor Muster Rolls, personnel assigned to ships based at Pearl Harbor. To research these records click here.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hallelujah Chorus–Like you have never seen it

Hallelujah Chorus

Isn’t this wonderful, so many people even some of the crowd joins in.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

City of Mesa Ongoing or Continuous Job Openings

Ongoing or Continuous job openings, see website for details.
  • Animal Control Officer
  • Aquatics and Parks Maintenance Supervisor
  • Assistant Employee Benefits Administrator
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Communications Systems Coordinator
  • Community Revitalization Specialist
  • Controls Engineering Specialist (2 vacancies)
  • Director - Mesa Counts on College Project - Grant-Funded
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Role and Workflow Process Analyst (2 Vacancies)
  • Information Technology Architect I (Network)
  • Information Technology Engineer II - (ERP Systems - Project Funded)
  • Information Technology Engineer II (ERP Systems)
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Technician I
  • Police Fiscal Administrator
  • Streetlight Technician I
  • Water Plant Maintenance Specialist I (Water Supply)
  • Water Plant Maintenance Specialist II (Brown Road Water Treatment Plant)
 To apply for open positions, please visit:


City of Mesa Job Openings

New or revised this week:

City Clerk Assistant  $40,830 - $55,162

To apply for open positions, please visit:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Trains in the Garden

Check out Trains in the Garden this year. This a great event celebrating the holidays, thirteen homes and one medical center with G-Scale garden railroads will be on display in Phoenix and the east valley for public viewing.

Donations will be accepted and given to support train layouts in the children's hospital and children's medical center in the Valley.

Dates are Saturday and Sunday, December 11-12 and December 18-19, 5:30-8:30pm. Check out the Arizona Big Train Operators website for maps. We were able to make it out to Dennis and Lizabeth Sirrine’s last year, it was great.

Here is a Roger Miller:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

For Rachael and all of her Missouri friends:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Use Bleach to Purify Water?

Do you use bleach to purify your water? Most of us do.

Did you know stored bottles of bleach lose their effectiveness? I didn’t.

Here is an interesting article from the Survival Topics Blog.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Save on CFL’s

CFLs save energy 

SRP customers can save on CFLs for every room in the house. Cozy up to CFL discounts at participating Home Depot, Walmart, Lowes, Costco and Sam's Club stores.

Check for more offers and advice.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Borrow a Free Kill A Watt Meter

Popular ‘SRP Energy Analyzer Program’ expands to Mesa Mesa Public Library Offers Card Holders Free Kill A Watt Devices to Check Out

Thanks to SRP’s Energy Analyzer Program, Mesa Library patrons can borrow a free Kill A Watt meter that will tell them how much energy their appliances use.

By simply plugging the device into an outlet, then plugging an appliance into the Kill A Watt meter, the LCD display will show energy use. Typical appliances and devices can be tested, including refrigerators/freezers, fans, computers/printers, video gaming systems, televisions, microwaves, clocks, stereos, lights, phone chargers, coffee makers and other devices that plug into 120-volt AC outlets. After using the device, SRP customers are encouraged to fill out an Energy Analyzer online survey and find additional energy-saving tips and money- saving offers at

Library card holders can check out a Kill A Watt meter at:

Main Library, 64 E. First St. (480) 644-2207
Dobson Ranch Library, 2425 S. Dobson Road. (480) 644-3441
Red Mountain Branch Library, 635 N. Power Road. (480) 644-3181

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November Landscape Watering Schedule

From the City of Mesa:

November is a great month to perform a thorough check of your irrigation system. Check for leaks by looking for soggy ground or eroded soil.

Replace broken sprinkler heads and check that those working are not blocked
by grass or other obstructions. Fix or replace clogged or missing emitters, and move emitters out to the dripline as trees grow.

Recommendations below are for plants that are established in the landscape (in the ground about 2 years).

Lawn watering:
Summer grass (Bermuda) - once every 14 days
Overseeded cool season grass (rye) - 4x per day for first 7-10 days to germinate, then once every 7-10 days

If trees and shrubs are on the same valve:
Desert Adapted - once every 24 days
High Water Use - once every 11 days

Tree watering:
Desert Adapted - once every 27 days
High Water Use - once every 12 days

Shrub watering:
Desert Adapted - once every 21 days
High Water Use - once every 10 days

Groundcover and vine watering:
Desert Adapted - once every 21 days
High Water Use - once every 10 days

Cacti and succulent watering - if needed

Annuals watering - once every 5 days

Wildflower watering - once every 1-2 days to germinate, then once every 7 days

Note: These recommendations are a general guideline only and may need to be modified for your specific site conditions.

Monday, November 8, 2010

VeggieTales Christmas


Get a Free VeggieTales Christmas album from Amazon. Just click here and download.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Free VIN Etching Event

The City of Mesa Police Department is sponsoring a Free VIN Etching event where you can have your vehicle's identification number etched on the windows of your vehicle.

NOVEMBER 9, 2010

No reservation necessary.Actual etching time takes approximately 10 minutes. Your wait will depend on how many vehicles are in line. Out-of-State vehicles are welcome.

Please be sure to have your vehicle registration and insurance information with you. Check with your insurance company after having your vehicle etched, as some will offer a small discount, as it is considered theft prevention.

When you have your vehicle etched, you can receive a free steering wheel lock (while supplies last).

In the event of high winds or rain, this event will be cancelled.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wild Western Festival


This weekend Oct. 15-17, 2010 is the Wild Western Festival being held at Saguaro Ranch Park at 59th Ave & Mountain View in Glendale, behind Glendale Community College. There will be all things western, such as gunfight reenactments, old time western music, some of your favorite childhood western movie stars, and even a couple Chuckwagons that will be offering a limited number of lunches cooked in Dutch Ovens the old western way. Mosey on by if'n you get a chance, even if its just to chat a spell and maybe take in some cowboy cook's poetry. Visit with the cooks & pot scrubbers from the Buzzard Circle 'N wagon, or the Brown Desert Cowboys.

For more info, visit the website

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chilean Miner: God Has Never Left Us

The rescue of all 33 miners, what a miracle and a blessing to both them and their families. However, it took a 19 year old miner to remind the world of whose hands they were really in:

“There are actually 34 of us,” Jimmy Sanchez, a nineteen-year-old miner, wrote in a letter sent up from the mine on Tuesday, "because God has never left us down here."

You can read more of this at the ChristianityToday Blog.

Our news has not mentioned their T-shirts. (Surprise!) and what they have printed on them.

The front says "“¡Gracias Señor!”  (Thank You, Lord!”).

The back says:
“En sus manos están las simas de la tierra, y suyas son las crestas de los montes” (Salmo 95,4)  (In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. –  Psalms 95:4)

While this rescue will be analyzed and praised as an engineering feat, and the result of endless effort by both the mining company and Chilean government, we know were the real miracle comes from…

As the bottom line of each shirt states

“To Him is all the honor and glory.”

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Landscape watering reminder for October

From the City of Mesa:

Tremendous storms and rainfall have hit most areas of the Valley. Whenever
you receive at least one-half inch of rain you can skip an irrigation
cycle. Use the 'off' 'stop' or 'rain' setting on your controller to stop
the watering cycle without disturbing your programs. Keep an eye on your
landscape to determine when you need to turn the controller back on. Use a
soil probe or long screwdriver, and when you cannot easily slide the probe
into the soil your plants need water again. With the amount of rain and
cooler temperatures, this may be a week or two.

Recommendations below are for plants that are established in the landscape
(in the ground about 2 years).

Lawn watering:
    Summer grass (Bermuda) - once every 6 days
    Overseeded cool season grass (rye) – 4x per day for 1st
        7-10 days to germinate,then once every 3 days

If trees and shrubs are on the same valve:
    Desert Adapted - once every 21 days
    High Water Use - once every 10 days

Tree watering:
    Desert Adapted - once every 24 days
    High Water Use - once every 12 days

Shrub watering:
    Desert Adapted - once every 18 days
    High Water Use - once every 9 days

Groundcover and vine watering:
    Desert Adapted - once every 18 days
    High Water Use - once every 8 days

Cacti and succulent watering - once every 28 days

Annuals watering - once every 4-5 days

Wildflower watering – once every 1-2 days to germinate, then once every 3-
5 days

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

For eternity and for all time

Most of us remember the caver in Utah last year who lost his life when he got stuck, upside down, in a crevice in the Nutty Putty cave.

John Jones was a medical student at the University of Virginia.  This article in The Roanoke Times describes his wife’s struggles with his death and her hopes for the future.

This is one of those stories that reminds us that there is so much more to life then the here and now. That there is a Love that supersedes all. That we are all so much more then today’s world would have us believe.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Story Telling

Beginning Saturday, Oct. 2 children ages three to five can experience the magic of storytelling at the Red Mountain Library. Volunteer storytellers will be on hand every Saturday at 11 a.m. to read to and engage children a wide array of educational and fictional books.

Please meet in the Open Book Lounge at the Red Mountain Library, 635 N. Power Road.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Career Expo

The Phoenix Job Corp is hosting a Career Expo on Thursday, Sept. 30, at their Phoenix Job Corps Gymnasium. It is located at 518 S. Third St., in Phoenix.

Parking is located on the southwest corner of Third and Lincoln.

For more information contact Che Collins at (602) 322-7078, or via email at

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Linked in Love: Celebrating Adoption Together

There is an adoption conference sponsored by LDS Family Services

When: Friday, October 8, 2010 @ 6 p.m.
Saturday, October 9, 2010 @ 8 a.m.

Where: ASU Institute Building
1000 S. McAllister, Tempe, AZ

Who: Anyone who is thinking about adoption, thinking about placing a child for adoption, adoptive applicants, birth families, adoptive parents, those who were adopted, and Stake Agency Representatives

What: Over 30 classes to choose from with topics such as Adoption Basics, Infertility, International Adoption and cultural identity, Adoption Advocacy, Adoption and Schools, Post Placement Expectations and Communication. Also hear some stories from panels of Adoptees, Birthmother, Birthgrandparents, and Adoptive Parents.

You will get to hear from and visit with amazing adoption advocates such as Lindsey Redfern of "theRhouse" blog, Kerstin Daynes author of "Infertility: Help, Hope and Healing", Heidi Naylor of the National FSA Board, Lewis Tenney, Charon Slater of Family Watch International and other amazing speakers and entertainers.

Cost: $22 per single and $40 per couple (to cover the cost of food, materials and a conference t-shirt) Free for Birthmother/Fathers and 1 guest $10 for Agency Representatives

Go to to register until September 30th cost goes up $5 starting October 1st

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Desert Guide

 For visitors to Mesa, there are so many unique and exciting ways to explore the surrounding Sonoran Desert - hiking, biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, kayaking, rafting – the list goes on! This playground for locals and tourists alike is home to three lakes and two rivers and Tonto National Forest, one of the most-visited "urban” forests in the country.  If you'd like to order the new brochure: Mesa Exploring the Desert Pocket Guide, click here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Household Hazardous Waste Collection event

Mesa residents looking for a way to get rid of old cans of paint, batteries, pesticides, electronics, tires and prescription drugs are invited to bring these and other household hazardous waste materials to City sponsored collection events.  The next event will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 2 at the East Mesa Service Center, 6935 E. Decatur St. (east of Power Road, north of University).  There is no cost to take advantage of this service.  Household hazardous waste will only be accepted during the event dates and times and residents are asked to remain in their vehicles and refrain from smoking at all times while at the collection site. 

Waste should be sealed in its original container if possible, and unmarked containers should be labeled if the contents are known.

Acceptable items:
  • Paint, polishes & varnishes
  • Fuel additives
  • Pool chemicals
  • Paint-related materials
  • Smoke detectors
  • Aerosol cans
  • Adhesives
  • Motor oil
  • Antifreeze
  • Appliances (limit 2)
  • Gasoline & propane tanks
  • Batteries
  • Mercury
  • Pesticides
  • Electronics – TVs, computers, etc.
  • Transmission fluid
  • Automotive tires (limit 5); rims are accepted if the tire has been removed
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • Prescription & non-prescription drugs
Industrial waste, radioactive material, explosives, large truck tires and trash will not be accepted.  Collected materials will either be recycled, reused or disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner. 

As an added convenience feature, Mesa residents may sign-up to receive automatic email reminders for future household hazardous waste collection events.  To subscribe to this list, residents should visit the City’s Web home page and follow the posted instructions.

For more information, call City of Mesa Customer Service at (480) 644-2221 or visit

Monday, September 20, 2010

Electronics and Appliance express drop-off recycling event

Mesa residents looking for an environmentally responsible way to get rid of old computers, televisions, PDA phones, audio/video equipment, printers, appliances, etc. are invited to bring these items to the City’s appliance, computer and electronics express drop-off recycling event (A.C.E. Express). 

Working in partnership with Westech Recyclers, A.C.E. Express will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010, at the East Mesa Service Center, 6935 E. Decatur St.  There is no cost to take advantage of this event and it’s a quick and easy way for residents to recycle their items with minimal wait time.  Staff will be available to help unload items.  Open to Mesa residents only.

For more information, call City of Mesa Customer Service at (480) 644-2221 or visit

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mesquite Pancake Breakfast

Support the Phoenix Permaculture Guild's mission of sustainable living by attending our Mesquite Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, September 25th from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM - a Special Community Event!

Enjoy a fabulous breakfast spread, including pancakes made from locally grown and milled mesquite and carob pods (gluten-free), prickly pear and agave syrup, juice, coffee, etc. Meet new like-minded friends and participate in our local permaculture community to share resources, connections and great company!

Cost $15 (children age 12 and younger eat free)  Purchase tickets on-line at

Event held at the University Club located at 425 E. University Drive in Tempe. Free parking is available on site.

The Phoenix Permaculture Guild is also hosting a Mesquite Cooking Class at 8:00 AM (prior to the Pancake Breakfast) at the same venue, to teach those interested in how to use native plants in cooking.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Your September Landscape Watering Reminder

From the City of Mesa:

Days are getting shorter and plant water needs have already begun to decrease. How did your plants fare the months of June, July and August?

The monsoon rains have been a little above average so far (Sept. 30 is the official end of the season), but we also had one of our warmest summer periods on record. The record-breaker was due to high nighttime temperatures likely caused from the urban heat island. This can be stressful for plants as they need more water and/or just a break from the heat. Learn more about the likely causes of the urban heat island at

These recommendations are for plants that are established in the landscape (in the ground about 2 years).

Lawn watering:
     Summer grass (Bermuda) - once every 4 or 5 days
     Overseeded cool season grass (rye) – 4x per day for
                               1st 7 to 10 days to germinate

If trees and shrubs are on the same valve:
     Desert Adapted - once every 18 days
     High Water Use - once every 9 days

Tree watering:
     Desert Adapted - once every 21 days
     High Water Use - once every 10 days

Shrub watering:
     Desert Adapted - once every 16 days
     High Water Use - once every 7 days

Groundcover and vine watering:
     Desert Adapted - once every 16 days
     High Water Use - once every 5-6 days

Cacti and succulent watering - once every 28 days

Annuals watering - once every 3-4 days

Note: These recommendations are a general guideline only and may need to be modified for your specific site conditions.

Friday, September 17, 2010

City of Mesa Job Openings

New or revised this week:

Parks Maintenance Assistant  $28,745 - $38,854
Wastewater Collection System Worker  $31,762 - $42,973

To apply for open positions, please visit:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bye-Bye Buzzards


In case you don’t have anything else to do on Saturday, Sept. 18, you may want to head over to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum to see the annual departure of the Turkey Vultures.

They will be opening at 7am for viewing. We did this last year and just got down to the trail where they nest when they took off. It was an awesome sight.

Read more about it at the Arboretum’s webpage.

The Miracle of America, Birth Of A Nation

book cover

If you are not busy tomorrow night this is a great event. We attended it at the City of Mesa Freedom Celebration and it was outstanding. It is at Mesquite High School on Friday.

More information at their website.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Star Spangled Banner

Today, September 14th, is the birthday of our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. It was on this day, September 14, 1814. Written by Francis Scott Key while he witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland.

A more unconventional version was by Jimi Hendrix, but nonetheless, it is our national anthem.  In 1969, I was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base.  We hosted a music night at the base club each Friday night. One Friday a young airman came in to play. He played Jimi’s version, all the customers immediately came to their feet except one, a career sergeant.  A Colonel on his feet, standing at attention with the rest of us noticed this one person still sitting. With a loud commanding voice he ordered him to attention.  The humbled sergeant snapped to attention. A great reminder that we all honor our anthem.


Help Elevate Life for Pets

H.E.L.P. is a non-profit, no kill, no cage animal shelter. They are located at 12000 W. Northern Ave., in Glendale, 623-934-5406. Their web site is available to answer common questions that the public may have regarding pet adoption, their facilities and mission.

There are a number of alternatives available for spaying, neutering, vaccinations, and in the adoption of dogs and cats. Check out the Spay/Neuter Hotline here.

For feral cats, check or for help with capturing and having them spayed and neutered.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Storytime at the Library

Join in an engaging storytime with music and fun for children ages three to five at each branch of the Mesa Library beginning this month.

Storytime is held on Tuesday at the Main Library, 64 E. First St., Wednesday at Dobson Ranch Library, 2425 S. Dobson Road, and Thursday at the Red Mountain Library, 635 N. Power Road. Times at each location are from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Each Library cannot accommodate non-family groups of five or more children. For questions please contact the Main Library at (480) 644- 2207, Dobson Ranch Library at (480) 644-3441, and the Red Mountain Library at (480) 644-3184.

Friday, September 10, 2010

City of Mesa to host free Financial Planning Day

From the City of Mesa:

We’ve all heard that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but in these challenging economic times, Mesa-area residents will be able to get free financial planning advice and guidance from professional financial planners at Mesa Financial Planning Day.  The event will be held on October 23 at the Mesa Convention Center and will feature experts from the Financial Planning Association® and highly qualified Certified Financial Planner™ professionals, all volunteering their time and expertise to work with local residents one-on-one to address important financial issues. 

In order to tailor the program to meet the needs of the community, we need residents to complete a simple four-question survey about the financial topics they are most interested in learning about such as budgeting, investing, credit repair, tax planning and home ownership.  This data will help us select the topics that are most important to Mesa residents and choose financial planners for the one-on-one sessions.  

“What better way to meet the needs of our community than to ask them exactly what they need,” Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said. “This innovative program is designed to get directly to the issues of most concern to residents and provide free advice to those struggling to find answers. The Financial Planning Association and the US Conference of Mayors have hit the nail on the head in developing this program and I am happy to welcome Financial Planning Day to Mesa.”

To fill out the survey go to This page also has more information about Mesa Financial Planning Day and free online registration.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Season Kick-Off Party


Mesa Arts Center is having a free Season Kick-Off party, Friday, Sept 10, 6 to 10pm.
There will be a special appearance by R. Carlos Nakai, William Eaton & Will Clipman: The R. Carlos Nakai Trio.

The event will also feature:
  • Founding Resident Companies' performances
  • Live outdoor entertainment
  • Live artist demonstrations
  • Native American Marketplace
  • Book signing by Jana Mashonee

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Apple MacIntosh and NFS

It is finally here, received this notification today from SLC:

“A Certified Record Manager for the Apple MacIntosh is ready. After over 18 months of development and coordination with FamilySearch Developer Support, MacFamilyTree version 6 is fully integrated with Get the details about their public beta test at

Sunday, September 5, 2010

US Immigration Collection searchable free

Subscription genealogy site is making its entire US Immigration Collection searchable free through Labor Day, Sept. 6. (You’ll need to register for a free account to access full search results.)

The immigration collection has virtually every available passenger list for U.S. ports, as well as the Passenger and Immigration Lists Index. It also includes nearly 2 million new U.S. naturalization record indexes dating from 1791 to 1992, part of the World Archives Project. The indexes cover the states of Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington. The Boston Passenger and Crew Lists, 1820-1943, database has been enhanced with nearly 2 million records documenting crew members on ships who arrived in Boston.
Ancestry's announcement includes the following details:
The voyage to America was an experience filled with hope, fear, disappointment and promise. And nothing can capture these emotions like hearing the stories of those who lived it, in their own words. Our unique collection of Ellis Island Oral Histories practically puts you on the ship with these brave immigrants.
Our U.S. Naturalization Records Indexes, 1791-1992, offer invaluable details about your immigrant ancestors, like their birth date, arrival date, occupation and address. We’ve just expanded this informative collection, adding 1.8 million new records indexed by World Archives Project contributors.
Our complete New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 collection is a great place to start your search. Immigrants also came through ports like Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans and San Francisco, so be sure to explore passenger lists from those cities, as well as our Boston collection which includes 2.4 million new crew records.

Il Divo – Amazing Grace

I once was lost, but now am  found, was blind, but now I see….

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Portable Scanner

If you have pictures you would like to scan but don't want to remove them from their scrapbooks or fragile frames take a look at the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner. I just went through a demo on this and it is just the thing for those old photo albums we cannot take apart without destroying them and the ones your Aunt will not let you take home to scan.

Available in October, can be pre-ordered now. Check out

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Green Pail Retained Heat Cooker

A design for a cooker from LannyPlans. This retained heat cooker will hold 7 liters of pintos hot long enough to cook them well done and keep them above 170 deg F for 5 hours.

You can find more of his plans on Youtube by searching for LannyPlans.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Solar Cooking

Professor Steven E. Jones at BYU has designed a Solar Funnel for cooking food and sterilizing water using the free energy of the sun.  A hybrid of the parabola and box cookers. 


The Solar Funnel Cooker is safe and easy to make, and effective in capturing the sun’s energy.  Per his article the  BYU Funnel Cooker/Cooler can:
  • Cook food without the need for electricity or wood or petroleum or other fuels.
  • Pasteurize water for safe drinking, preventing many diseases.
  • Save trees and other resources.
  • Avoid air pollution and breathing smoke while cooking.
  • Use the sun's free energy. A renewable energy source.
  • Cook food with little or no stirring, without burning.
  • Kill insects in grains.
  • Dehydrate fruits, etc.
  • Serve as a refrigerator at night, to cool even freeze water.
Read the details at There are also plans at

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Preparedness Pantry

Preparedness Pantry Blog

An excellent source of Preparedness information. If you are not following this blog, you probably should. Check it out by clicking on the above button.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Coca Cola Swelter Stopper Tour

Coca-Cola is making ONE stop in Arizona as part of its nationwide Swelter Stopper tour and Superstition Springs Center will play the host of this COOL event. This Friday, 3-8 p.m., Superstition Springs Center's outdoor amphitheater.

Gather all your friends and party at Superstition Springs Center after your first week back to school! You'll all be able to beat the heat in our Outdoor Amphitheater by stepping into the life-size sn...ow globe, complete with frosty blasts of air and swirling snow; it's a cool 50 degrees inside! Once inside, challenge your friends to interactive gaming activites, dance to the music spun by live a DJ, take some goofy pics at the photo capture station and enjoy some samples at the "Perfect Serve" tasting area.

For more info:
(480) 396-2570

Mesa residents invited to take advantage of Paint Reuse Program

From the City of Mesa:

The City of Mesa Solid Waste Management Department’s Paint Reuse Program is a convenient and environmentally friendly way to redistribute unused latex paint.  The paint is collected through the City’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection events and reused to beautify Mesa's neighborhoods.  Prior to redistribution, the latex paint is sorted, mixed by shade (light, medium and dark) and stored in five-gallon containers, which are then made available to Mesa residents and non-profit organizations free of charge.
Paint Reuse Program guidelines: The request for paint must come from a Mesa resident or non-profit specifically for "non-commercial exterior painting."
  • All appropriate documentation must be completed prior to obtaining paint.
  • The City of Mesa does not warrantee or in any way guarantee the purity, quality, consistency, etc. of the paint distributed.
  • Paint can only be used on exteriors.  A label will be placed on all containers outlining the proper use and disposal of the paint.  A quality color and durability disclaimer will also be on the label.
  • Paint will not be delivered.  The person requesting the paint must coordinate pick-up.
Distribution of the paint is done on a first come, first serve basis, subject to availability.  For more information, visit or call (480) 644-2690.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why Food & Water Shouldn’t be Your #1 Priority

The Ready Store has a great article on being prepared.  Most of the article is below, make sure to check their site to see all of it and the comments about it.

Most people when they try to make a go at getting ready on their own are initially inclined to start by stocking food.  Once they start to get a nice little supply of food they then transition to a supply of water and then additional tools and supplies.  There’s nothing wrong with this if your preparation is well ahead of the disaster and you get everything ready before you need to use it.

So if Food & Water aren’t the first priority, what is?

The first priority in an emergency situation is The Ability to Think Clearly.  First and foremost you must have the right mindset.  Everything else takes a back seat.

Case in point, when me and my wife are going to take the family somewhere, what’s the first thing we do when we get the kids in the car?  That’s right, we make sure every one of them is safely secured in a car seat, booster and seatbelt.  Why do we do this?  Because we’ve seen and observed from other’s experience that should an accident occur while we’re driving, the greatest likelihood for our children to survive is if their secured.

Knock on wood, I’ve never been in a car accident with my children, and we’ve driven thousands of miles.  Is it then safe to assume that since I’ve never been in an accident over the last 10 years there’s really no reason to buckle in the kids?

Of course not.  We do this because despite a solid past driving record, there’s still a risk that comes with driving and the trade off of the time it takes to putting my kids in a seat belt is worth the extra safety and security it provides.

This type of mindset is crucial to insuring you and your family’s safety in a disaster.  Despite the fact that you may have never faced a true emergency situation in the past, you’re not justified in not taking the time to “put the kids in a seat belt”.  I guarantee that getting ready will be worth the trade off.

Keys to getting a ‘Disaster Ready‘ Mindset
  1. Identify the potential disasters that could happen in your area.

    1. A list might include, earthquake, hurricane, car accident, contaminated water, house fire, etc…

  2. Prioritize the list of potential disasters.

    1. Prioritize the list in the order of not just likelihood, but in the order of what you’re going to actually commit to prepare for.

  3. Make A Plan.
Plans can be tricky because more often than not, things don’t go exactly as planned.  However, a plan serves the purpose of developing the right mindset.  Through out the planning process, you become educated and gain a better grasp of both the options you have available and the supplies you’ll need to carry out your plan.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Myths of Self-Reliance

From an article in Meridian Magazine by Carolyn Nicolaysen. Read the article in its entirety at this link, it is well worth the time.
"We are confronted today with a great variety of serious economic and social conditions. But facing periods of economic stress, even deprivation, is not new to us as a Church. Throughout their history, the Saints have more than once faced such trials. As a result, the Lord from the early days of the Church has guided his leaders to see clearly certain correct principles. We feel compelled to reaffirm these basic principles of temporal salvation.

“It has also been my intention to encourage all Latter-day Saints to review again their personal and family preparedness and to implement immediately the principles and practices that will ensure their self-sufficiency. If we will discuss these truths in our family councils and make a plan to do all in our power to live these principles, we shall all enjoy the promise of the Lord, ‘If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.’ (D&C 38:30.)

”More importantly, if we will live providentially and righteously, we will qualify for the greater promise: ’And whoso is found a faithful, a just, and a wise steward shall enter into the joy of his Lord, and shall inherit eternal life.’” (D&C 51:19.) Marion G. Romney, “Principles of Temporal Salvation,” Tambuli, Oct 1981, 1.

Today we are again facing perilous times. Church leaders have asked us to refocus our priorities and become self-reliant in our temporal affairs. Over the years our approach to self-reliance may have changed, but the counsel has remained the same. From the time of Joseph in Egypt, to the warnings of Brigham Young and others in this generation, the Lord has always warned when a day of famine and tribulation was imminent.

"If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls who live under tyranny." - Thomas Jefferson

Yet despite the clarity of warnings to prepare, myths and misunderstandings abound whenever Food Storage is mentioned as the object of our focus in preparing for troubled times and events. So, to minimize some potential misunderstandings, I have ventured to identify some common Myths associated with this subject:

Myth Number One: The Church will take care of us. They will not let us go hungry.

Myth Number Two: The Church has told us what we should be storing and it is wheat, beans, powdered milk and honey.

Myth Number Three: The Church tells us we should store a three month supply of the foods we eat. A year’s supply is no longer taught.

Myth Number Four: When you get hungry enough you will eat anything.

Myth Number Five: Now that the Church has starter kits I have all I need.

Myth Number Six: I ordered a year's supply of dehydrated or freeze dried foods so I am set.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Amazing Grace

Born 15 Sept 2002, Rhema lost her mother to cancer on 8 Nov 2008. She dedicated this performance to her mother.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


There are a lot of really good sales on back-to-school supplies right now. A lot of these are the same items we use for our Family History research. Now is a good time to stock up on pens, pencils, binders, folders, etc.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Free Bowling – National Bowling Week


Click here for a free coupon for a game of bowling

August Watering Schedule

From the City of Mesa:

While monsoons can be very ‘hit or miss,’ they’ve finally ‘hit’ the majority of the Valley. If you don’t have your own rain gauge, you can check to see what local weather watchers have recorded in your neighborhood. Anytime you receive at least one-half inch of rain, use the 'off' 'stop' or 'rain' setting on your controller to stop the watering cycle without disturbing your programs. While the higher humidity makes us feel more uncomfortable, it does decrease the water needs of plants a little.

These recommendations are for plants that are established in the landscape (in the ground about 2 years).

Lawn watering:
    Summer grass (Bermuda) - once every 3-4 days
    Overseeded cool season grass (rye) - grass dies out

If trees and shrubs are on the same valve:
    Desert Adapted - once every 15 days
    High Water Use - once every 8 days

Tree watering:
    Desert Adapted - once every 17 days
    High Water Use - once every 9 days

Shrub watering:
    Desert Adapted - once every 13 days
    High Water Use - once every 6 days

Groundcover and vine watering:
    Desert Adapted - once every 12 days
    High Water Use - once every 5 days

Cacti and succulent watering - once every 22 days

Annuals watering - once every 2-3 days

Note: These recommendations are a general guideline only and may need to be modified for your specific site conditions.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Grand Opening of POOL public market

Tomorrow is the Grand Opening of POOL public market (northeast corner of Stapley Road and Main St). Bring the family for food, fun & entertainment from 10am-8pm!!

Check it out at

Monday, July 12, 2010


Sorry for the dearth in postings, I have been very busy getting my daughter and her family to Missouri. Postings will resume soon.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Nation of Miracles

We are a nation of miracles, our very existence is proof that God lives and that our founding fathers were divinely led. I love the Battle Cry of Captured Miracles

"...My brothers and sisters in freedom, it is time that WE come together as ONE and unite our numbers. It’s time to focus on our commonalities and work for miracles achieved through the grace and will of God in order to win the battle. Leaving a heritage of freedom that will go on for generations and generations as our founding fathers have done for us..."

You do not have to look deep into our history to see the hand of God. You can read about several Heavenly interventions at the National Center for Constitutional Studies. A very moving and great example is the destruction of the French Armada off of our shores in 1746. Brian Trotter did a great job of retelling this miracle and I quote here from his letter to Captured Miracles

"It was 1746, during what came to be known as the French and Indian War, the famous Old South Church, or the Old South Meeting House, at that time considered the main meeting house for the patriots of Massachusetts. The Church, once the tallest building in Boston. Now sits nestled in the midst of the towering office buildings of modern urban life. Now, unassuming, this building holds a secret, an amazing story of Faith and intervention.

During October of 1746, France sent a fleet of nearly 100 ships — the largest armada to ever approach the shores of this great land – They were here to recapture Louisburg and burn every American harbor from Boston to Charleston sparing no life along the way. We alone held no hope in matching the massive Canon, Gun and manpower of this great fleet. We needed a miracle! The Governor assembled what men and resources he could and called for a universal day of fasting and prayer. Thronging to the churches, people everywhere pleaded with the almighty asking for that miracle.

Time was short as the fleet was quickly approaching our shores The Reverend Thomas Prince from the high pulpit of the Old South Church, prayed before hundreds. He offered up these words:

“Deliver us from our enemy!” He implored. “Send Thy tempest, Lord, upon the waters to the eastward! Raise Thy right hand. Scatter the ships of our tormentors and drive them hence. Sink their proud frigates beneath the power of Thy winds!”

He had scarcely pronounced the words when the sun was consumed by darkness and there arose a great tempest in the sea. All the Church in a shadow the great wind shrieking around its walls., sudden, violent hammering, the shutters slamming at the windows, as if the very hand of God shook the earth. The bell tower atop the old church ringing so fiercely they feared it would break lose pummeling anyone in its path

“We hear Thy voice, O Lord!” he thundered triumphantly. “We hear it! Thy breath is upon the waters to the eastward, even upon the deep. Thy bell tolls for the death of our enemies!” He bowed his head in reverence; then looked up, tears streaming down his face. “Thine be the glory, Lord. Amen and amen!”

It was a miracle, the miracle they prayed for. The whole fleet, nearly lost, The remaining men some sick with scurvy, some pestilential fever was observed a week later limping off to the southwest. 

God was called upon and God answered. Or country was saved; Boston wasn’t burned! Charleston wasn’t burned! New York wasn’t burned! God had once again preserved the colonists from utter destruction.

-Brian Trotter"

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Storm Driving Tips

With the monsoon rains coming soon (hopefully), the City of Mesa has sent this reminder out:

With the monsoon starting last month it is important to remember that blowing dust and sudden rain storms can occur while you are on the road. These storms can strike quickly and fast thinking can help keep you and other drivers safe during a storm.

If you find yourself driving during a dust or monsoon storm, keep these safety tips in mind:

First and foremost SLOW DOWN. The posted speed limit may not be a safe speed to travel in bad weather. On wet roads your vehicle will have less traction than on a dry road. Slower travel speeds allow for safer braking and stopping distances.

Remember that the beginning of a rain storm is the most dangerous time because oils and other automotive fluids are being washed off the roads causing unusually slick conditions.

Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you and be aware of the vehicles around you in other travel lanes. Braking and stopping distances will be affected by wet roads and slippery roadway surfaces.

Watch carefully for water pooling on the roadway surface as this could cause your vehicle to slide or hydroplane.

Pay attention to hazard signs and roadblocks. If you see a sign that says "Do Not Cross When Flooded," take it seriously and find another way.

Do not enter an area where the roadway has been closed by barricades due to flooding. You don’t know how deep the water is or how fast it is running. Besides, it is against the law and very dangerous to drive into a flooded area.

Drive with your headlights on. This increases your visibility to other vehicles.

At night, slow down and pay close attention to changing road and weather conditions.

Strong winds can be associated with a monsoon storm. Watch for blowing dust and if possible avoid driving into a dust storm.

If you cannot avoid the dust storm drive with your headlights on and slow down.

If you choose to stop in a dust storm, do not stop on the roadway or on the emergency shoulder area. Pull completely off the roadway surface, stop, and turn off all vehicle lights.

Make sure your vehicle is in good condition. Replace worn out tires for better traction and maintain proper tire air pressure, replace worn out windshield wiper blades, and make sure the brakes are in good condition.

Be prepared for unforeseen delays, such as flooded roads, construction or other traffic delays.

If you suffer a mechanical breakdown or tire failure, remain calm, slow down, keep the steering straight and drive the vehicle to a safe area as far from traffic as possible.

ALWAYS wear your seat belt.

Be patient and courteous. Remember other motorists are facing the same weather conditions as you. 

If you need sandbags to protect your home or business from rising water, the City of Mesa provides free sand and bags at locations throughout the City. For a list of sandbag sites and maps go to