Sunday, September 30, 2007

Zen Commuting

Redwing Black Birds swarming along the side of the road.
I like many commuters from Queen Creek spend at least three hours a day in my car. Like so many Americans I do many things in my car. I admit that many times I eat in my car. On my morning commute I listen to NPR and wait for the local traffic reports. I have been known to apply makeup when stopped in traffic. I undo my hot rollers in my car on the way to work. I talk on the phone.

My new car has bluetooth wireless. This is wonderful technology as I can drive and not hold a phone to my ear. When I get an incoming call, my radio shuts off and the dashboard rings. I can answer from my dash and speak to my steering wheel. I love this so much.

When I first got this feature I called my Mother in Ohio on my way home from work. Five p.m. is a good time to call the east coast. If I forget and call when I get home it is usually after bedtime for my relatives. My Mom used to always ask scoldingly if I was on my cell phone. "You know how dangerous it is to drive and talk on the phone". Needless to say she was thrilled when I went hands free. I'm now a snob. I get bothered when when I see some bad driver weaving or slowing down for no reason if I see them texting or juggling a phone to their ear. I wish everyone could get at least a handsfree earpiece for driving.

I'm all for multi-tasking as long as you are conscientious about it and are not endangering yourself or others. People, don't apply makeup at 60 mile per hour. Don't text while driving unless you are at a complete stop.

We live in a fast moving society. I'd like to suggest one of my favorite Queen Creek stopped on a rural road for no reason stress busters. I turn down the radio and roll down the window that faces the side of the road. There are a few fields that have wonderful flocks of singing birds in the morning. You can see them swooping low. Listen closely and you may hear a beautiful chorus of songbirds. We have some wonderful red winged blackbirds that sing beautifully right on the side of the road. Simply wonderful.

This week I broke my own rule. I took Ironwood North in the morning. Two days were decent. they have opened up the lanes but then as you approach Apache Junction it narrows down to one lane again and there is a bottleneck. One day last week I noticed that the traffic was being diverted and got off the grid just in time. I had to back track to Ocotillo and lost 15 minutes. Hmmmm, do you think I was late for work?

Ironwood looking North in the morning.
I took a few photos this week around the area. Most of these were taken from my car. As you can see the construction is never ending. Where are we getting all of our concrete? When I was having my house built we were told that our delays were because China was getting all of our concrete. Right.
New shopping center at Ironwood and Ocotillo. Nail Salon, Italian Deli, Karate Studio & Mexican Restaurant.

Unfinished road Ocotillo and Signal Butte
A truck demonstrating how to kick up dust. I wish I could keep my car clean.Queen CreekRoad
This just popped up. West side of Ellsworth at Pecos.
East side of Gantzel. Major construction in the distance.This structure is finally showing some progress at Gantzel and Combs
Gantzel and Combs
New curbing on Ocotillo. I feel more widening coming up soon. Note to self, don't take Ocotillo in the morning.See you in traffic Monday morning! Roll that window down and listen to the birds!

Friday, September 21, 2007

What is the sound of one blogger blogging?

Nice photo of clouds this week. The tail end of our Monsoon.

Greetings from Queen Creek. I saw a notice in Queen Creek newspaper the Queen Creek Independent. The title was ARE YOU A BLOGGER? GET A NEWSZAP LINK! They stated that they were looking into broadening their list of columnists and bloggers. They continued, If you are a local blogger please visit and add a link. The newspaper will consider publishing timely postings as news or commentaries on its pages.

Sounds great! I went to their site and checked it out. Only one other blogger from Queen Creek and this progressive individual is posting a blog regarding the local music scene. Pretty cool. Music is good.

So I signed up as a blogger. I have not shown up on the site yet. I know not everyone will like my views but I hope I don't get run out of blog town.

Well, enough about me.... This week I experienced some personal road rage. No one was harmed but my car was filled with curse words. I'm sure I am not alone, but since the Ironwood road project began I have searched for the quickest route to I-60 from Queen Creek. I have been so late for work so many times when I try to take Ironwood that I have sworn off it in the mornings as it is too unpredictable. Some days I just cannot make a quick escape to my high paying sexy job in greater Phoenix.

The line to Ellsworth or should I say Hellsworth.

Most days it takes me about 30 minutes to get out of Queen Creek and onto the freeway. Believe me, I've tried them all. Ocotillo to Power and North to the 60. Rittenhouse to Power, cut through Williams Gateway Airport to Power to the 60. The list goes on. Each time I find a new route and get into the groove some new road construction pops up and messes with my plan to hit the high road.

My new favorite route is Ocotillo to Signal Butte, to Queen Creek, to Ellsworth. Quick going if you can get to Ellsworth before the school buses hit the road. If you are there at about 7 am (which is late for me) you are more than likely going to be stuck in a long line of traffic at this intersection. This week I spent 20 minutes in line for a drive of 1.2 miles. This intersection even has a light. I have no idea why this is such a bottleneck. All I know is that it stinks and it has made me late for work on more than one occasion.

The Queen Creek Indepedent lists upcoming road improvements in the area and boy are they expensive. $77,000 for improvements at Ocotillo and Sossaman,. another $190,000 for installation of a traffic signal there. Another $197,800 for installation of another light at Ocotillo & Hawes. This is currently a four way stop. There is a plan for some construction and Rittenhouse, Combs and Riggs to improve the railroad right of way and an additional $789,000 allotted by the Town of Queen Creek for a sewer line at Queen Creek Rd from Crismon to east of Signal Butte. And that's just the roads! Something to look forward too. I JUST WANT TO GET TO THE 60 SO I CAN GET TO WORK and pay for my new house in Queen Creek!

A view of the home offerings from my car. Many options for future loan defaults.

QC's stylish industrial style telephone poles. - Fugly? You be the judge.

More and more zoning signs appearing on farm land. This one is for 113 lots on 73 acres. Sounds cozy. But will they have sidewalks?An interesting alternative to cell phone towers. I have seen a few of these around the Phoenix area and they fascinate me. Can you tell which one is the real palm?

Well enough blog rage for today. Please enjoy some recent photos of the area. Don't get me wrong, there are good things going on in Queen Creek. I guess I will have to blog about it sometime. Thanks for listening.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Queen Creek Today

Cotton - one of the main crops you will see located around the Queen Creek Area.

How the fields are irrigated.A quickly vanishing site. Note the large home in the background.Some street scenes around Queen Creek on a Saturday morning. Not a lot of walking going on. Trucks spraying to keep the dust down. Dust is a huge problem around here because of construction.
More road construction.
Keep that dust down boys.

A view from Ellsworth near Ocotillo.
Looking south to the corner of Ellsworth and Ocotillo. This used to be the main intersection for the town of Queen Creek. They only recently put in a stop light. The city is in the process of redirecting the main traffic routes through the town. This corner is the main spot for day laborers to congregate. Some mornings we have from 50-100 day laborers gathered looking for work.
Sossaman & Ocotillo
New church constructed on Ocotillo.

Nortons Lounge on Ocotillo. This bar has an interesting mix of patrons from bikers to ranchers to day laborers. Nice dark bar. It gets crowded on the weekends.
New shopping plaza on Ocotillo and Ellsworth. Keeping the local economy safe with Karate & Dance Studios. If we don't get a scrapbooking place soon I just don't know how I will live.
Cricket, now there's a store we can't do without in Queen Creek.
Rudy's a local institution. Great burritos.
More construction going on.
New Super Walmart under construction.
OMG, Staples is coming!
View of new shopping plaza looking west on Ocotillo. Before this was built it was an emply field where the day laborers hung out. While under construction they put a large chain link fence around the field. The day laborers used it to chain their bicycles up.
Queen Creek Village Center.

View looking east on Ocotillo towards the new Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse has been diverted several times in the past two years.

Looking east on Ocotillo.

That concludes our Saturday morning drive. See you in bumper to bumper traffic on Monday morning!