Newbie to the Desert

I moved into the Phoenix AZ basin back in July '18.
As a newbie I have formed opinions on several subjects, thus this page.

Carry water

This is the first place I have ever lived where you do NOT go out the door headed anyplace further than your mail box, without WATER. There are several brands of thermos type container that are worth their weight in gold, at least around here. . . . I like Hydro Cell.


With the exception of CA, AZ has the highest percentage of Snowflakes in this part of the US. I am of the opinion that part of it is the bunch of liberals to the East (NM), the all time Snowflake capital to the West (CA) and the continuing invasion of illegals from the South.

Speed Limit/Traffic

WHAT speed limit? You will most likely not be stopped by LE if you are less than ten over the limit, but that singles you out as being one of the people slowing traffic. - - - Even when there is a heavy push for LE to enforce the limits. - - - I'll note that, as I'm sure it is in most states, the idiot weaving in and out to get past "slow" traffic is the same one that is just ahead of you at the next stop light.

People here act like their anal orifice is made of paper and if they move quickly, they will tear it in half. Example: Four way stop sign(s); Anywhere else (presuming no one turning) once one person starts out, the other person on the same road going the opposite direction will also go. That means they cross at about mid intersection. Then the other set will go in a similar manner. - - - - NOT AROUND HERE! - - - - ONE person goes (after major hesitation) and once he/she has cleared the intersection, ONE other person will tentatively try to go. It takes at least three times as long to clear the intersection. Humm . . . . Could that be the CA effect?

(+ + +)Guns

Since I do not frequent those areas where the rich snobs frequent (Sedonia comes to mind), I can only speak to the areas of "average" people. - - - Guns in AZ seem to not be an issue. You see many people doing the OC thing, and if you look closely, there are BUNCHES of people doing the CC thing. The only thing seems to be if you are carrying a Glock, 1911 or a Sig (no offense to those that carry Springfields, etc.) and then only passing . . . mild . . . curiosity about what you carry.


I don't think I have ever seen so many people, bound and determined to waste water! In an area of less than ten inches of precipitation per year, the number of swimming pools, out door fountains, and very green grass is, at least to me, astounding! Yet the water that comes out of the tap is LOUSY! But then again, having spent 58 years in CO, where the majority of water is drinkable, I guess I have a warped perspective.

Water costs less here than CO, but only because CO has so many hidden taxes on your water bill (flood recovery, sewage cost, storm drainage fee, etc.). The same water usage here costs me 60% of what I paid in CO. . . . NICE. . . . But then again, you could drink the water from the tap . . . there.


Being in a more rural area (on a little more than three acres) we have a lot more wild life (NO, not the two legged drunks). I have a large (at least to me) number of quail that visit multiple times per day (nice). There are also rabbits that make a good indicator of the number of snakes that are around (more snakes = fewer rabbits).

Naturally, with that type of environment, there will be coyotes. In fact we have a large number of them and they LIKE to sing each night. The easiest way to get them to shut up and go away (at least for a while) is to turn on a very bright flashlight. Fortunately I have several more than adequate flashlights a.k.a. very bright and tightly focused. I can readily curtail the nightly serenade by shining the light at where the coyotes are. While that is a tad annoying (EVERY night), if that were the worst problem, this would be heaven!


I guess this is an effect of having so many Snowflakes, but it is more than difficult to find someone willing to work. Specific example: There is a nice Cafe near by (about three miles) that has good food, reasonable service and friendly owners. I was talking with one of the owners about her wait staff and she said she had NINE people coming to interview for a job. One of those was dropped from the initial list because she could not find a ride to the Cafe. Of the remaining eight, only . . one . . showed up for the interview; none were hired. The owner said that many wanted a job, as long as they got the check, but didn't have to show up, or do any work for it. . . . Humm . . . That seems to be a growing trend in the US. Sigh.

Street names/naming and addresses

Talk about STUPID!

You can go somewhere and be driving down the road, only to find that, without making a turn, you are on another street name. You go through an intersection and the name of the street changes. A classic example is a street light about a quarter mile from my place. Standard traffic light, but if you go West, it is Hunt, if you go East it is Empire, if you go North, it is Hays, and if you go South it is Wild Horse Drive. Worst part is that it is NOT the only one like that!

Addresses were assigned by someone from another planet. I changed my car insurance from one company to another (saved 20%) and decided to go see the agent in person. Looked at Google Earth image to see where I needed to turn, etc. and headed out. Got to where I thought it should be and no trace. Called them and found out I was headed in the correct direction, but MANY blocks away. Street address numbering that I am used to, I was 70 blocks away. Turns out it was more like three!

Shopping Centers

Center? Guess again. There are a plethora of mini-shopping centers, most with very little to tell you what stores you can find there. Once you come to know WHAT you are looking for (sign image etc.) it is not bad. The frustrating part is that the signage we normally think of has been reduced in size by way more than 70%. An example is a McDonalds store. We all know the huge McD sign that can be seen for blocks to miles. There are several here with a VERY small sign on the back of the store; they tend to back up to the street. With the traffic here, it is very difficult to find various stores. - - - If you are new to the area, you had better look it up on Google Earth, print it, and bring it with you.


Vehicle taxes are out of reason! I paid MORE here for taxes on a two year old vehicle, than I did for it NEW in CO. . . . STUPID! . . . Sales tax is a full percentage point higher than it was in CO. Property taxes seem virtually reasonable, especially if you compare them to Boulder County CO, or the East Coast.


The Electric here is totally out of reason. During the summer (A/C time) they add a surcharge that raises your bill by about one third. End of A/C season they remove the surcharge. My bill for last month was $300 less than August. The other thing I find annoying is the cost of reading the meter. Remote read, yet they charge $20 just to have the computer bill you for it. (Just another tax you are not told about).

Since I am all electric, it may be interesting what the cost of heating this place is going to be. I had to turn on the heater this morning for the second time this season. Fortunately not for long. (SUSH! Don't tell anyone about not needing to heat near as much as CO).

Made it to Spring. Heating bill was about a third of what I ran in CO. My total billing for ALL utilities, for the entire Winter was less than two months of utilities in CO. Makes up for the Summer A/C costs. - - I'm quite happy that the total utilities for a year, here, are less than CO. But then again, CO has so damned many "temporary" taxes (that NEVER go away) that it . . almost . . offsets the difference in vehicle taxes.


I believe that this is an extension of snowflakes but there are a huge number of ill-mannered people around here (believe it or not, that IS being polite in what I say).

What you see most often is the insistence on "right-of-way"(ROW). It can be on the roads, in a parking lot, or in a store. While there are many people that are friendly and polite, there are MANY times more that are belligerent about ROW. THEY always have the ROW, even if (in traffic specifically) the law does not agree. - - - I had one where, just outside a burger joint, a couple with two preschool kids had one of the kids RUN out in front of the car. The driver shook his head, made NO gesture, and was chastised by the father because the kid had the ROW. - - Can't you just envision where the kid gets hit by a car, is in the hospital bed whining about how much it hurts and the "father" tells him it doesn't hurt as much because he HAD the ROW? Or even worse, the kid is killed and the "father" then gets to have a headstone cut that says "BUT HE HAD THE RIGHT OF WAY!".

I think it is past time to have Child Protective Services involved in every child/car incident to see if it is the so called parent "teaching" the child about ROW rather than survival.

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