Sunday, June 30, 2019

Going Old School: Skoolies and Converting School Buses

Whether it's VW buses or school buses, these vehicles are a symbol of our youth. And many who are looking for affordable retirement or simply to bust free from what the Man says we should do, are considering the mobile life on the road. Converted school buses, or "skoolies" are the new rage!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

1960s and 1970s-Themed Businesses

There is no better way to get attention from the massive baby boomer crowd (half the country is now over 38 years of age), than to take us back to a time when we were full of dreams, excitement, new freedoms, and carefree summers than to have a 1960s or 1970s groovy business. 

Friday, June 28, 2019

Ahwatukee Board of Management Violations Debate: Why HOAs Plague Baby Boomers in a Retirement Community

I've been living in the retirement area of Ahwatukee, a community in the Southeastern Phoenix area. It has plenty of amenities (none that I actually use, I'm not a joiner). 

There is a hidden and highly expensive element of living here in this retiree community, having to be a member of both a retirement HOA and the community's HOA as well as harassment for pruning of plants in the common area. 

The community was built (like photo above) along a circle where the walls that were erected by the builder when the community was set down (not by the homeowners) where there is a niche in the wall and a planting (not planted by the homeowner) not planted by the homeowner in the common area. 

The common area along the street is maintained by the Board of Management from the enormous fees they collect. 

But, for some reason, if there is a palm tree in that niche, the nearby house is considered to be the owner of that piece of land that was cut out of the property upon creation of the lot. 

The homeowner has no water drip system to that plant. That plant is outside their privacy wall. This home has never watered that tree, yet it still stands. The plants around it, such as aloe vera and desert bushes are pruned and watered by the community collective under the auspices of Ahwatukee Board of Management. It is from that wellspring the palm remains alive.

The owner of the house I'm staying in got a notice to prune the palm tree in the niche. He has never watered it. He did not even know it was considered his as it's obviously in a niche set aside for the common community area. Upon talking with the last people to handle the property, they had the tree pruned 7 months ago. 

Neighbors are evaluating their notices and one is going to great and dangerous lengths to cut down three 40-foot tall palms in his backyard because they can be seen above the wall. 

It seems to me that the only solution is to cut down the palm tree and never have to groom it again and get notices. Now, the management has created a situation where one of the palm trees along its parkway will be missing. And then others will take theirs down too. The very palm trees they put in to make the community look nice, they aren't willing to groom themselves. So, shame on them. 

If they insist the tree is the homeowner's tree, then he can remove it. He could put in a veggie garden if he wanted, an ugly climbing vine, as this is his property, correct? 

HOAs have become the bane of baby boomer's existence.  If my neighbor wants to do something hideous to his yard, like grow big weeds, the city can be called up. 

The purpose of owning a home is owning a property and rights to aesthetics. If one lives in a condo and pays for common areas to be cleaned up or someone to do their front yard, good for them. But someone who owns a home outright should be allowed to maintain his own property, not common property. 

I'm sorry Ahwatukee Board of Management, but you are very wrong on this "niche is homeowner's" policy. The homeowner did not erect a wall around a tree they planted. That tree was part of the common area and it was taken from that property to showcase. That means it's the community's property. 

Your logic doesn't work here

Here's to every baby boomer who is escaping HOA's holds on their life. By the time you've paid off your house, it should be your house. 

Below is the tree in question, set back in a niche in the common area, watered by the board of management, on property set aside to be viewed and be part of the common area, not the homeowner's. 

The battle isn't over for baby boomers. My dream of living in a small home on a big lot with no HOA remains. That is what I am working toward and I am sorry it won't be in Ahwatukee where I have lived for 24 years of my life. 

One Hit Wonders - Where Are They Now? Singers and Bands from the 60s and 70s

The bands of our youth. We can put their songs on today and be thrown back in an instantaneous time machine to our past. We can recall who we had a crush on, where we were going to school, the awkward and exciting feelings of our hormone-drenched adolescence.... If you ever wondered where your flagship favorite singers and bands are today, well, let's take a look at some -

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Repurposing: Taking Old Stuff and Giving It New Purpose

I have spent a lifetime taking what's around me and making something new out of it. This is a metaphor for what this blog is about. I will spend a lot of time encouraging y'all to take the parts of your life, the components you have around you now - resources, finances, connections, support system, talents, experience, etc and repurposing it. 

Arti-Culture: Doll Island!

When I was growing up in Fairfax, Virginia, our estate had a designated growing garden where the old horse stables were (great location). My father and I competed for growing the best veggies. We also had black walnuts, persimmons, apples, grapes, peaches, sour cherry, raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries, pears, and other yummies growing up on the property. Mother kept a tea garden for "healing" teas next to the library window. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Urban Exploration - Your New Hobby?

It doesn't cost much of anything to take up the hobby of urban exploration or URBEX as many call it. It's the hobby of exploring and photographing and videotaping abandoned locations.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Perspective Photography - Have Fun This Summer!

I highly recommend you have fun with photography this summer. There are simple ways to be childlike and have fun, be creative, and amaze your family and friends. All it involves is a cell phone or camera and some creative thinking. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Route 66: Driving Through Mid Century History

My best friend Julie and I took a road trip through time on Route 66 (in Arizona it's called I-40 now). 

Route 66 is perhaps the single greatest road trip for baby boomers. At a time when the cross-country interstate was in its heyday, families in the 50s and 60s were road tripping in their big cars with kids on board, staying at motels with quaint swimming pools and quarter machines for vibrating beds. 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Childhood Summers Reboot!

We had it great as kids. There was time to play for three months in the hot season. We got to splash, have sleepovers, lie back in the grass and study the clouds and wax philosophical about life. We had big dreams, big adventures, big crushes at the public pool.

Greetings From a Baby Boomer!

Welcome on board my baby boomer friends.

This is a blog that will inspire us to go back to our origins, our talents, our obsessions, our dreams and rejuvenate each day knowing exactly who we are and claiming it proudly.

Movies Based on Abandoned Towns and Real Abandoned Towns

Abandoned towns - a delicious subject for curiosity and fear. There were lots of movies based on abandoned towns and scenarios, as well as...