Ridin’ the rails in Phoenix

Riding the rails in Phoenix, AZ is not only encouraged, it is subsidized.  No, I’m not talking about the railroad, I am talking about the Light Rail.  It runs almost from my front doorstep to downtown Mesa, and there is a rumor that it will expand further into downtown Phoenix.

The cost of riding is minimal.  It cost us (senior citizens) only $4.00 for the trip downtown and back.  There are day passes and monthly passes available.  It beat the heck out of driving and paying buckos for parking.

I have to admit I was a little nervous, this was my first time since it first opened and the rides were free for a week.

The security, and the people working at the stations and on the train were courteous, and helpful.  We had to wait a few minutes for the cars to be cleaned.  I was surprised at how clean they were, and there was a rack to hang a bicycle up off the floor, although many people chose to keep them at their side.

We met and saw many interesting people.  The seats could have been a little wider, but that isn’t any ones fault that they were snug but my own.

We got on at Dunlap Ave and 25th Ave, which I said was almost at my front door.  We only had to walk to the front of our complex and cross the road and voila, we were there. When we got to our stop we exited and walked two blocks to our “Meet and Greet meeting” at a Hotel in downtown Phoenix, and then walked the two blocks back and in 20 minutes we were back where we got on.

All the stations are well lit and are populated with workers, we will do it again.  We discovered that it also goes right by Il Vineo where a friend, Michael Powers plays guitar, this will be much more convenient than the hassle of driving.

Try it, you will like it!

 

 

Advertisements

AI, YI YI OH!

It is really funny that after my long rant about turning 70 and getting stupid, more interesting  things happened that turned out to also be stupid.

Checking my replies to my post, I received five from people that wanted me to purchase their “fool-proof” program that will make me rich without even trying, just remit $$$$$ to their paypal account and the money will start rolling in to my bank account.

Today while I was trying to catch up on my writing, I received at least three phone calls, from Mr. or Ms. Nobody, because when I answered, they hung up.  I hope the couple of callers weren’t upset when I screamed, “F%&#k You!

Then the best one or two were from an AI, that informed me that “she was calling to help me find a job” and she inquired what type of position was I looking for?  When I asked if this was a recording, there was a long pause, before the reply was, “Please give me your address, date of birth, and your legal name, or something like that.  At this point I stopped listening and hung up with the same salutation.

When the AI called again, it had learned that I thought it was a recording, so when I asked it again if it was a recording, it paused, and then said, “I guess I have said this so many times that I must sound like a recording.”  I asked several more quick questions, and it made her pause again, before getting right back on script.  I said pleasantly “F#$%K You again and hung up.

AI has invaded our society so thoroughly that it is replacing us faster than we realized.  Another fun fact, now when you apply and receive an “invitation” to an online interview , don’t get too excited, because the last one I did was an AI asking me 4 silly questions. One I remembered was, “What is you favorite movie?”

I spent some time trying to unsubscribe from all the virtual personnel agencies today to discover that there at some that you cannot unsubscribe from.  So I did the next best thing, created a rule that they be re-routed to my “Junk File” so take that AI!

I turned 70 and got stupid!

Yup! Who would have thought that another couple years would make me ineligible for any kind of employment!

I retired after 30 years as a Real Estate Agent selling Commercial and Residential Real Estate, fighting to preserve and save my clients money and dignity, in the space of 8 years, I suddenly became unemployable for ANYTHING.

There are resumes and applications in almost every business in the valley from me   I have same number of “Kiss-off” letters from employers.  Well not really from employers, but from nameless personnel companies or personnel telemarketers.

Now I understand that the personnel agencies are going to employ AI to do their interviewing, PERFECT!

I don’t understand why I have not had ONE decent interview from ONE company that REALLY has a position for a reasonably intelligent female for a Sales Position.  I have had several “Cattle Call Interviews” but not with a real employer.

Just to re-iterate: I do not want an outside sales position!  I feel that with my sales experience, I am worth a decent salary with a commission to match my abilities.

Just for your information: every sales job that I have successfully accomplished top salesperson was ones that I had NO experience with that PRODUCT or business “On the job.”  Of course management tried to hide that a mere female could be the top salesperson.

One local company wanted me to “train” their salespeople and let the “trainer” take all the credit for it.

For all of you business’ that disqualified me because I am not young enough, since when does youth qualify over experience?  Did you think that my 30 plus years as a licensed Realtor made me unqualified to anything but telemarketing or outside sales???

Just in case you still think I got stupid, I have written and self-published eight books.  I will admit they may never be million sellers, but my blood,  sweat and tears are between the covers.  They are all on Amazon.com, just type my name, Brenda Colbath in the search area and they will pop up.

I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I am deleting all the “Help wanted” ads from all the fake personnel agencies and fading into the woodwork.

Thanks for noting!

 

 

Children’s Books or Adult Books?

Both are fun to write.  My first book that I wrote and published was a children’s book called “The Great Adventures of Ruby & Nolan in Space” and it was a written as a Christmas gift for two friends that were getting too old for Barbie and G.I. Joe toys.

The gist of it is that the whole family is offered an opportunity to travel to an uninhabited world in far off galaxy. The program was intended to not only settle the planet, but to discover valuable assets for Earth.

Ruby and Nolan were thrilled to have this great adventure as long as they could take their dog Pebbles and their Uncle Dawnzella, who the called Uncle Dawnzereli,  unfortunately she couldn’t go with them.

This is the story of how a family copes with a life changing decision, do they drift apart or become closer.

This is a fictional story that lets you peek inside the lives of this family of four that makes that decision. The family makes the journey together. However, this story is mainly about two pre-teens adventures in space.

The family is settled on the new world in their home, but kids will be kids.

Well, why don’t you just read a couple of chapters?

Chapter 1. The adventure begins.

“Come on Ruby, hurry up.”  Nolan cried.

Frowning, she quickly turned from the sink; the front of her wet apron covered with soap bubbles which were falling. “Keep your britches on, Nolan you know our chores have to be done before we can leave.”

Ruby was tall for her age, a little over 4 feet, with long wavy Brown hair that fell nearly to her waist, big Blue eyes.  Her slim figure showed that she was on her way to becoming a beautiful woman, way too soon for her parents, especially for her Daddy’s comfort.

 “Okay, okay, what do you want me to do to help?” He asked, sounding a little exasperated standing there trying not to look impatient, but, losing that battle. 

Nolan was not as tall as Ruby, but growing fast enough to overtake her in a year or less.  Standing with his hands on his hips; his blue eyes sparkling over an impish grin under a shock of curly light brown hair. 

“Why don’t you go and get our backpacks, swords, and sheaths?  I am nearly finished with the dishes and will pack a lunch for us, so we won’t have to come back until dinner time”. 

He hurried to get everything Ruby asked for, as she finished the Breakfast dishes and packed sandwiches, water, and treats.  Their parents Ty and Robin were away helping a neighbor, as they were the unofficial leaders of the New Seattle settlement. 

Chapter 2 is an introduction so I will just give you a little more.  

Chapter  3 Kids will be kids  

Ruby finished her chores and met Nolan out front with their lunch. Nolan handed her, her backpack, her scabbard, and sword, which she fastened at her back.  He had his sword belted at his waist.  Ruby’s sword is a little longer; also made of wood, and she keeps a sharp knife securely strapped to her ankle, hidden by her slacks and boots. 

Nolan had his sword at the ready and immediately tried to get through Ruby’s defenses. However her defensive moves are still a little faster than his, and she was able to disarm him in several minutes.

“You are getting better, every day Nolan, it won’t be long before we are evenly matched, then we can take on Dad and Mom, but right now, we’d better get going before the day is over,”  Ruby said a little out of breath. 

They started out around the hill, for the climb to the top, to check on the solar panels.  It would take them the better part an hour to do the climb.   Ty insisted that they are checked on every week, and most of the time Ruby and Nolan did the climb as part of their chores.  Off they went climbing up around large boulders and up the established trail to the top of the hill.  About half way up they paused and sat on a couple of boulders, sipping water, they talked about what they would do after this chore was done.

“I think that we should go check out our hide-out, to make sure some wild animals haven’t broken in and destroyed our stuff,” Nolan said.

“Okay, but I’d be surprised if it has been disturbed, and the large animals usually do not venture near our encampment.  The hunters have started to go further to hunt for meat.  “Let’s get started,” Ruby said pushing herself up and they started up the hill again. 

Chapter 4 Oh. Oh.  This is not good.  

When they crested the top of the hill, they stood stock still and stared at the wreckage in front of them.  They were shocked to see several of the Solar Panels bent nearly to the ground on the metal rods holding them, and at least two of them had big tears right through the Panels.

 Generally, when they did this climb, they would take the time to view the whole valley through their Binoculars.  It was kinda fun to see the changes their neighbors make to their homes.  Usually, they bring back news of a new barn or shed.  They always marveled at the amazing tableau before them, with cleared, planted land surrounded by huge trees that seemed to reach for the sky.  They didn’t as yet remember the names of all the trees, but they did know that they were perfect for climbing and had been campaigning for a tree house to be built in one near the River; one that they could fish from. 

“This is not good.” they both said in unison. 

“Geez, Dad will be angry, when he sees this” Nolan cried.

“I wonder if we can we straighten them again?” Ruby said as she started straining to push up the panel; even when Nolan helped, they only managed to get winded in the effort. 

“Okay, guess we will have to report it to Dad; good thing they all weren’t damaged.  We are still getting plenty of power with only two panels down”.  Nolan said.

“Let’s look around to see if we can find tracks of what did this damage,” Ruby said.

So they started walking kinda bent over looking for tracks, hoping that it wasn’t a large animal, and if it was, hoping it was not still in the area, especially with them armed with only wood swords.  Ruby didn’t think that her small knife would be very helpful.  After several minutes of looking, Nolan suddenly stood up and shouted: “Hey Ruby, come look at this.”  Ruby hurried over to see what he was hollering about, thinking that maybe he found a rabbit or deer tracks. 

As she looked at the tracks, she sucked in her breath in shock, “Nolan, those looks like claws.  This can’t be; we’ve never seen any birds large enough to make these.  We need to take pictures, and measurements, so we can prove to everyone that we didn’t imagine this.  Dad will want to know what did this damage.” Ruby said while fishing her camera out of her backpack, and snapping several quick pictures of the damage to the panels and the claw marks in the soft ground.  She also dug out her tape measure and carefully wrote down measurements on her notepad.

While she was doing this, Nolan continued to search the area; suddenly he excitedly dropped to his knees and started wiping mud off a large oval shaped rock wedged under a thick bush.  He cleared a small area about the size of a baseball, took off his glove, and was marveling at the colorful pattern on the smooth surface that actually felt and looked like glass.  As he was marveling at the colors and running his finger over them, he realized it was quite warm, and he felt a slight vibration. 

Want to read more of Ruby and Nolan’s adventures? Go to amazon.com and type in the title in the search area. The adventure continues in Book 2,3 and 4 and book 5 is on the way.  R and N cover Book 1

 

 

 

 

 

Writing about writing

That title sounds silly, but everyone does it in one way or another. There are experts that tell “how to” do every part of writing.  It all seems so intimidating to us novices that only want to tell stories.  We need to get them out of our heads or we will explode.

That sounds easy, just sit down at the computer, or at your desk with a pen and paper.  Come on, you have all those great novels just swimming around in your head, and all you have to do is pick up the pen or start typing.  You don’t even have to be particularly fast or accurate, after all there is spell check, Grammarly, and many other aids available to give you a little push.

Your friends and relatives may encourage you with words of praise for your bravery to put yourself out there, while laughing to themselves at some of the mistakes in grammar or spelling you make.  But think about this: how many times have you scratched your head when reading a best seller book at the blatant mistakes.  No one is perfect.  You won’t be either.

So enjoy writing your stories, don’t worry if no one ever reads them, because you have to tell those stories that are running around in your head. If you don’t they will eventually crash into each other and you will have a mess.

When I wrote my first book “Murder on Lake Haverly” I wanted to poke a little fun at the Real Estate profession, and reveal its under belly to the world.  I felt confident, after all, I was in the trenches for nearly 30 years.  To be honest much of what I wrote about Real Estate is true even though it is fiction.  I patterned much of the business from real experiences with real people.  I never have revealed any names and never will, but many of the people exist  and probably are still doing their thing.  If they recognize themselves, not my fault they were so strange.  My book had a little some business realism (but not boring, hopefully) and a little sexy love, a little murder, and description of fun places in Arizona, you might want to mosey on over to Amazon.com and type in Brenda Colbath and read the FREE chapters of my book. You could order it at the very small price of $.99 in ebook, if you are one of those people that have to have a book in your hands and turn pages it is available in paperback at $11.99.  I will be forever grateful if you leave me a review, they mean more to authors than you will ever know.

Thanks, have a good day.

Do Great Loves Ever Die?

This little fluff piece is just to make you think.  You are supposed to wonder if the man is dreaming, awake, or dead.  There might be a religious theme in your mind, or not.  Let me know what you think, what did it mean to you.   Thanks for reading.

He was startled awake from his happy dream by something pushing on his foot. He was lying by a sparkling mountain stream; arms folded behind his head, and they were sound asleep. The mist started to clear from his brain, and he realized that the Y branch sticking in the bank with the long freshly cut pole was desperately trying to alert him that he had a trout on the line. Setting up as quickly as he could, he saw his pole was rapidly bobbing up and down, the end nearly smacking the water. Now fully awake he grabbed the make-shift pole, his hands weren’t as nimble as they used to be, but he excitedly began to work for his breakfast.

The stream was so clear he could see to the bottom, and his trout looked huge pulling hard on the line. His mouth watered as he daydreamed of it roasting over an open flame. He shook the dream away and concentrated on landing this beauty. He remembered little else, but he knew how to play a fish and land it.

Concentrating on landing his breakfast, he knew trout have a soft mouth and could slip the hook if he wasn’t careful. Hand over hand up the pole his hands moved to grasp the line for better control. He spent several minutes letting his beauty have a little line and then gently reeling it back by winding it around his fist. Finally, the prize was within his grasp, reaching down he slid two fingers into the gills and lifted his magnificent breakfast out of the water. He pulled his knife from his jeans pocket and neatly cleaned his prize fish, okay, not as huge as he looked in the water, but surely enough to fill his and Sabine’s belly as soon as he remembered the way to his camp.

He plopped the fish in the creel beside him, and whistling walked to his camp. It appeared that his feet knew the way and they took him to a clearing, fifty careful steps from his fishing hole.

One could tell he loved camping by the neatness of his camp. His tent was erected properly, taunt with correctly placed guidelines, campfire pit lined with small stones and large ones circling them, a solid iron grille set with a big wrought iron frying pan waiting for his meal. Stoking the embers into flame, adding more wood, tossing a generous pat of butter in the pan, he was gratified his prize filled the pan. What a feast this would be, eggs wouldn’t be necessary.

The smell of the fish cooking made his mouth water, his mind clearing, focusing on the love of his life Sabine. “Where was she? Surely she could smell their breakfast cooking.” He couldn’t allow her to be a sleepyhead when such a wonderful feast was waiting. Leaving his cooking after carefully turning his prize fish in the pan, he boosted his aching body up and walked stiffly to the tent, opening the flap to let in some light and laughing he called to her, “Get up you sleepyhead, come out and join me for breakfast.”

Not only did she not answer, but there was also no Sabine. Where could she be? He recalled cuddling in their two-man sleeping bag last night, just like they used to in their youth. Of course, she must have gone exploring or needed an early morning private break. As soon as the smell of his prize breakfast

He was startled awake from his happy dream by something pushing on his foot. He was lying by a sparkling mountain stream; arms folded behind his head, and they were sound asleep. The mist started to clear from his brain, and he realized that the Y branch sticking in the bank with the long freshly cut pole was desperately trying to alert him that he had a trout on the line. Setting up as quickly as he could, he saw his pole was rapidly bobbing up and down, the end nearly smacking the water. Now fully awake he grabbed the make-shift pole, his hands weren’t as nimble as they used to be, but he excitedly began to work for his breakfast.

The stream was so clear he could see to the bottom, and his trout looked huge pulling hard on the line. His mouth watered as he daydreamed of it roasting over an open flame. He shook the dream away and concentrated on landing this beauty. He remembered little else, but he knew how to play a fish and land it.

Concentrating on landing his breakfast, he knew trout have a soft mouth and could slip the hook if he wasn’t careful. Hand over hand up the pole his hands moved to grasp the line for better control. He spent several minutes letting his beauty have a little line and then gently reeling it back by winding it around his fist. Finally, the prize was within his grasp, reaching down he slid two fingers into the gills and lifted his magnificent breakfast out of the water. He pulled his knife from his jeans pocket and neatly cleaned his prize fish, okay, not as huge as he looked in the water, but surely enough to fill his and Sabine’s belly as soon as he remembered the way to his camp.

He plopped the fish in the creel beside him, and whistling walked to his camp. It appeared that his feet knew the way and they took him to a clearing, fifty careful steps from his fishing hole.

One could tell he loved camping by the neatness of his camp. His tent was erected properly, taunt with correctly placed guidelines, campfire pit lined with small stones and large ones circling them, a solid iron grille set with a big wrought iron frying pan waiting for his meal. Stoking the embers into flame, adding more wood, tossing a generous pat of butter in the pan, he was gratified his prize filled the pan. What a feast this would be, eggs wouldn’t be necessary.

The smell of the fish cooking made his mouth water, his mind clearing, focusing on the love of his life Sabine. “Where was she? Surely she could smell their breakfast cooking.” He couldn’t allow her to be a sleepyhead when such a wonderful feast was waiting. Leaving his cooking after carefully turning his prize fish in the pan, he boosted his aching body up and walked stiffly to the tent, opening the flap to let in some light and laughing he called to her, “Get up you sleepyhead, come out and join me for breakfast.”

Not only did she not answer, but there was also no Sabine. Where could she be? He recalled cuddling in their two-man sleeping bag last night, just like they used to in their youth. Of course, she must have gone exploring or needed an early morning private break. As soon as the smell of his prize breakfast reached her nose, she would be over the moon excited and come running back to help him devour the fish. She loved to camp as much as he did and loved eating freshly caught fish, as long as she didn’t have to touch their slimy bodies. He smiled remembering the time she actually caught one, but couldn’t bear to touch it until it came out of the frying pan.

We went back to the fire and made sure that the fish had not burned, but was golden brown and thoroughly cooked. He let his eyes wander over the magnificent view. In the distance, he marveled at the white-capped mountains sparkling in the rising sun. High Pines towered in the distance, but around his clearing, their home away from home much smaller trees made an excellent windbreak, which was exactly why he picked this perfect spot.

Damn, the fish was cooked just right. He called several times and scouted around the camp for several minutes. Sabine must have gone looking for mushrooms or exploring. She was as capable as woods-man as he was, so he was not worried about her getting lost. It wasn’t like Sabine to wander so far away that she would not hear him call. He kept calling, but she was nowhere to be found and didn’t answer his calls.

He wasn’t going to let this breakfast go to waste, so he sat down and dug in. When he filled his belly sufficiently, he still had over half of the fish left. As soon as the fish was wrapped and stored in the cooler, he decided it was time to make a concerted effort to find Sabine. He would have a serious talk with her about not scaring him like this again.

He gathered up his backpack with enough water for both of them, slinging it over his back, taking his hiking pole to steady his old legs, not looking forward to this upcoming trek.

He started walking in the direction that he assumed Sabine had taken when the scenery started to fade. His memory of last night and this morning was receding into a dream-like fugue.

“I’m not ready,” he yelled to no one, “I have to find Sabine.” The voice never told him when it was time. It was never clear what was happening or what he was supposed to do. Voices were booming around him and inside his head. He could hear people talking about pushing, and suddenly he knew that he had no choice in where he was going or when, and it seemed to be NOW. Everything faded out, and he was gone.

On the third page of the daily news the next day, was a small article. “The Bodies of an older couple were found by hikers. Authorities believe they fell and were unable to summon help. They suffered broken bones from the fall and died in each other’s arms”.

“Push again, Mary, she’s almost here. I can see the crown of her head, one more push and we will see Sally’s beautiful face. You can hold her first, but I get to hold her second. Rest and catch your breath.” Mary lay her head back on the pillow and with a sigh, said, “Thanks, coach, we couldn’t have done it without you.”

“Janie is next door giving birth to her best friend,” Jaimie said holding her hand.

Next door Janie gave her last big push bringing her new baby boy into the world. Frank was delayed at work and would be heartbroken to miss his son’s birth. Janie waited as long as she could, but the labor progressed a lot faster than they anticipated. Finally, Janie held her baby in her arms, unwrapping his blanket to marvel at his beautiful eyes, his tiny hands, and feet. Once she was sure he was all there, she wrapped him up again. She anxiously watched the door, waiting for Justin to meet his father.

And it begins again

 

Life is strange, just when you think you have closed the door on one chapter of your life, a new door opens.  The trick is to have enough guts to step through the door and embrace what is waiting to challenge your courage.

I have discovered that I hate being the new kid on the block.  It might be understandable if you knew my history.  I grew up on a farm and learned hard work was followed by simple fun.  There wasn’t much social life living 8 miles from any town.

After graduation, life continued with working and learning about life, sometimes the hard way, sometimes learning was delightful.

After meeting and marrying the love of my life, I settled down to being a Mother, which was the best job I ever had.  When the Children were in Junior High I realized that my job skills were a little rusty, actually they were rusted solid.

My husband suggested Real Estate, and after looking at the qualifications I decided I had just enough to sneak in the door.  That started a 30 year career as a Residential and Commercial Realtor.

So now you are up to date on my entire life in a nut-shell, which sometime described many of the characters and episodes of that business.  I loved the business and amazingly I was a very good Realtor.  I again learned everything the hard way, but I learned it well.

When I retired and we started traveling I had some time on my hands and started writing about my experiences.  I couldn’t name names so I decided to make it a fictional account, changing the names and events to sometimes protect the innocent and sometimes to protect the guilty.

As I started writing I realized I could make it more interesting by adding murders, jail breaks, love stories with a little sex, and draw from my traits for the main strong female character.  By the way, the sexy boyfriend was just for fun, I have been married to the love of my life for 55 years.  I also never have gone skinny dipping with a client.

The name of the first story I wrote is “Murder on Lake Haverly”, A Maye West Mystery book 1.  I self published it on Amazon and it sells for $.99.

mwmysteries-book-1-cover-9

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: