Why aren’t there more Farmer’s Markets?

I didn’t grow up in the Southwest so comparing and contrasting the ways of life in the Southwest as compared to the Midwest is an obvious and inescapable thing for me to do.

Growing up with certain social norms and ways of life is what forms most people’s opinions on how life should be lived, especially when those ways of life make sense and are beneficial for communities and towns all across the country.

3578436615_c04615a1c4_o_d

Farmer’s markets are obviously inconceivable for certain cities and towns in America, but for communities that have a strong presence of local agriculture I think it’s a bit of a no-brainer.

My hometown now has 2 farmer’s markets a week in the same location on the same days of the week. When they first started a farmer’s market it was only once or twice a month and most people were unaware of it because the market organizers didn’t do much in the way of marketing it or advertising when they would be setting up and where.

In the last several years though, the organizers have gotten more organized and have put together a more concerted effort to market themselves and let people know when and where through advertising. It’s now and event that the entire town looks forward to and is always packed, rain or shine. It’s extremely beneficial to local farms and farmers and the money generated stays within the locale and stimulates more economic growth. Supporting local endeavors has been proven to boost local economies and holds back big box corporate food entities from overtaking and dominating local economies.

Having grown up accustomed to a large focus on supporting local farmers and local production, it seems rather strange to me that places like Phoenix don’t do the same considering the recent downturn in the local economy. Phoenix has mostly been monopolized by large corporate food industry and it is rare to see farmer’s markets with the same kind of presence as in other parts of the country.

Arizona’s climate is very conducive for growing many different types of fruits and vegetables. It is best known for its citrus production and is actually the highest producer of citrus fruit in the U.S., but it is not limited to just citrus fruits. Apples, peaches, pears, plums, figs, blackberries, blueberries are just some examples of other fruits that share in the growing season in Arizona, particularly in the desert regions like Phoenix.

With all of this local produce being grown, it makes me really wonder why there isn’t more of a push to have the majority of this produce sold locally first before shipping it elsewhere. It’s crazy to me when I go to the local grocery and see fruit and vegetables that are labeled “Grown in Mexico”. All that time and expenditure of resources wasted shipping locally grown food to other parts of the nation and the world when it could be allocated on a local level to stock local markets, particularly farmer’s markets. It makes no sense to me.

I’ve always been a firm believer in supporting local markets, and not just of the food industry variety. Support local in every way possible and then whatever surplus there is left over can be sold to other regions.

More Farmer’s Markets please!!!!

I tried Lyft, and it is AWESOME!

So, maybe I’m behind the times a little but I just tried Lyft for the first time a few weeks ago. I’m in love!

I’ve never had a huge need for any type of super awesome transportation service or any service like it really, at least not on a regular basis, but I have a social life and I’m a responsible person that refuses to drink and drive. So by default, there are occasions when I need a taxi. I just want to go on record as saying I HATE taxis.

Why you ask? Do I really need to state all the obvious reasons? Well, let’s see, they are rude most of the time, they are expensive, they have been known to take much longer routes than the quickest route available to make the fair price go up, so many reasons.

My experience with Lyft I can safely say was the antithesis of my previous experiences with taxis. Emphasis on “previous”! I have no intention of ever using traditional taxi services again. That is how great Lyft is. I have yet to try Uber, but I’ve heard bad things about them…so I’m not too keen on trying them yet.

Read More

The Art of the Dive Bar

Bars…

It may seem an obvious subject matter to discuss for someone that lives in the Southwest considering how we have a natural tendency to “cut loose”. I literally have not one friend or acquaintance I know that does not “partake” of grampy’s special apple juice on occasion. It is often not just an occasional thing but more a given at any sort of social gathering or event.

Hanging out by the pool? Drink. Going out to dinner? Drink. Going golfing? Drink. Going hiking, camping, or fishing? Drink. Going to a Sunday afternoon BBQ after our poor excuse for what we call church? Drink. It’s as though we found it our personal mission to ignore the context of Kendrick Lamar’s “Swimming Pools” and instead focus on the most obvious parts of his narrative, disregarding any other part of the message.

I’ve never seen as many bars in one city (ok, Vegas) as I have in Phoenix.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problems with drinking. Obviously there should be limits and it is up to all of us to determine where our limits are and keep our drinking habits in check. All part of that grown-up thing in life that we all hopefully get to soon after the age of 21.

I personally prefer dive bars over nightclubs or sports bars. Dives tend to have more of an eclectic crowd and you tend not to have preconceived notions about who you are going to have to spend the whole night doing your best to avoid, as opposed to nightclubs full of douche type guys with intense tans and wanna-be divas with 6 inch heels and barely there skirts that you can’t seem to escape.

index

The best part about dive bars is when it’s right, it’s perfect. The “right” dive bar has been around for a long time and has retained it’s “old-time” feel but with the essential modern “upgrades” to make it appealing to a host of different age groups. Thankfully the 21-25 range finds these types of bars “boring” because the music is bumping from the million dollar sound system and there is a noticeable lack of neon and black lights. And no DJ playing “their song!”.

Dives are so great….

There’s one in particular that is my favorite in Phoenix. It’s in Peoria and it’s called Cheers. No known connection to the show that I’m aware of, but does share a lot of the same elements of “regulars”. Pretty much any night of the week you can expect to see the same people, as well as a lot you don’t normally see, sitting in the same spots they always do at the bar top. You can tell by the cars in the parking lot (yes, that’s right…a dedicated parking lot! No towing service can find you here:) who is there on any given nights.

I love pool. They have 3 tables that are official size. I also love shuffleboard. They have an awesome table. Many a nights have been spent just on this table alone! I also love darts. They have about 6 boards. I’m not the type to JUST drink when I go out. I can just drink at home. When I go to the bar, I like to be active. Whether it be a rousing tournament of 2 on 2 pool, or 2 on 2 shuffleboard, or an intense game of Cricket or Around the Clock.

Read More

The Spirit of Sedona and How it Could Affect You for the Better!

Sunset_RedRocks_AZ

SEDONA!

 One of the most beautiful, if not THE most beautiful place to visit in all of Arizona! Yes, there is the Grand Canyon, yes there are amazing hikes like Camelback Mountain in Phoenix that are must have experiences.

None of those, however, comes close to capturing the majesty and beauty of Sedona. It is truly one of the grandest places in the world. I have been several times and have always come away with a feeling of serenity and calmness and self-reflection. There are the small conveniences of everyday life but it is a very tiny town, which lends to its quaintness. You don’t have to worry about shuffling around the “city”, which is more like a village, in a taxi and you don’t really have to worry about a towing service towing your car because parking is free everywhere.

It is considered by many a very spiritual place, which makes sense if you understand it’s history, that is once you have removed yourself from Starbucks.

Early human presence in Sedona dates all the way back to between 11,500 and 9000 B.C. and that human presence was comprised of early Paleo-Indians who were big-game hunters. In much more recent times there were tribes such as the Yavapai who migrated from western lands and joined already existing tribes in the Sedona valley around 1300 A.D. Sinagua tribes already lived there but soon after the Yavapai joined them, they left the Verde Valley around 1400 A.D. It is believed they moved to New Mexico and the Hopi mesas in Arizona.

The Yavapai and the Apache, who joined them in the Sedona Valley around 1450 A.D., remained there until they were forcibly removed in 1876.

What they left behind were symbols and relics of a spiritual people that lived off the land and were obviously very in tune with the natural world around them. They created such awesome sites like Montezuma’s Castle, cliff dwellings like Honanki and Polatki, and various other sites where their art and pueblos can be seen.

index

These sites are truly wondrous to behold given the time that has elapsed and the preservation of these amazing, sort of living artifacts!

Read More

It’s all about the delivery…

So, anyone who has tried to sell anyone on something on any level, whether in every day life or in the professional world has heard the saying “It’s all about the delivery…”. It’s such a common sense reflection on one of the most commonly used practices in every day life and professionally. It is a concept that we are exposed to constantly in magazines, on T.V., in movies, in newspapers. We cannot escape constantly being sold on something, or at least we cannot escape constantly having someone or some sort of media trying to sell us on something.

Whether or not we are sold on something has a lot to do with the presentation. Actually, the presentation is a very important part of the process for us as consumers. It has to be convincing, decisive, personable, and be presented in a way that makes it seem absolutely imperative that we go for it; that we will somehow be losing out on something very important and vital if we don’t go for it. I’ve never had a need to rent a limo, but recently I was chosen to be my brother’s best man, Ipso facto I am in the market searching for an awesome limo company. I waded through 3 different companies before one particular salesman completely sold me on a stretch Navigator with a hottub in the back 3rd of it…so ridiculous, but so awesome. He was on point in his sales pitch. Made me feel like the experience wouldn’t be as great unless there was a goddamn hottub in it. And it wasn’t without it. My brother was blown away!

There are countless wrong ways to deliver a sales pitch. Most of us who have been around long enough has had to endure these wrong sales pitches. They are awkward, most often they are so obviously contrived, and usually turns into a big yawn fest.

There are some people who have seemingly innate confidence in themselves and in their ability to deliver a sales pitch. They have figured out the essentials of delivering a pitch. Some of those essential qualities includes self confidence, as I’ve already stated, but also complete 100% confidence in the product or concept they are trying to sell. It is very easy to decipher whether or not the salesman has confidence or believes in his product by the perceptive consumer. Anyone with clear intuition can tell where they stand on the product. It does not matter how confident the salesman is, what matters most is how confident he is in the product or idea.

Read More

Success Is Unlimited and Should Be Celebrated Everywhere

(Alright, I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. Sorry.)

We’re trying to establish our lives… trying to create and build, morph and mold the life we want to live. So far I’ve posted about a limousine and pool.

Success is a choice

Fun, sure. But not exactly useful on lifestyle design. So I took a break and really started breaking down what I wanted to do with this blog… because I do want to do it.

I wrote a lot in pen and pencil and think I may actually have a plan now. So let’s give it a whirl…

When you see someone else being successful, do you think “Why not me?”?

You should!

Because why not you? Get up on yourself. Lay off yourself.

Feeling envy for someone or jealousy is a limiting mindset. It’s a scarcity mindset. And that will get you NOWHERE.

The true fact is that success is unlimited and EVERYONE can have it ALL AT ONCE. It’s a fact.

Search your feelings Luke. You know it to be true. So get your mind around this. Really. This is super important stuff.

Why is that? Why is it that success is unlimited and available to everyone at once?

It’s because success is not a product. It’s not a commodity. It doesn’t run out. There’s not a finite amount of it. It exists in abundance within every single one of us. So when you see someone who’s successful and you feel anger or envy about that, you’re cutting yourself off from your own success.

In fact, if you simply change your mindset and feel happiness or thankfulness for them you’re activating your own success.

This is because the fact that that person has success means that YOU and everyone can have success to. His or her success shows the possibility of your success. It’s an indicator, not an inhibitor.

Success is a good thing for everyone. Instead of scoffing, try getting in touch with that person whose success you see and thanking/applauding him/her and then asking if you can learn from ’em.

And suddenly… Boom!… now you’re on the road to your own success.

Where did I learn all this? I learned it from Grant Cardone. Check out his book The 10X Rule. And Sell Or Be Sold. I also learned it from this guy who got me into an entrepreneur coaching program that has completely revolutionized my life.

This shift in your mindset is a way to design your life. It’s probably an overlooked one, at that. Because if you’re scoffing at someone who has success and yet you want it yourself, you’re sending mixed signals to yourself and out into the God-Universe-Spirit (GUS).

So if you change your mindset to celebrate success when you see it, in this way you’ll attract success to yourself. You’ll attract all good things to your life. You’ll begin to live as the natural producer of good energy that you were born to be.

What I Love About Pool and How I Got a “New” Pool Table

You know what I love about pool?

I love sinking shots.  I love getting my geometry down.  I love the trajectories.  I love the geometry.  I love the satisfaction of consistently sinking balls.

Pool Table Time Lapse

It’s just a satisfying game to play skill-wise.  Some people are drawn to it more than others, of course.

It’s not as complex as football, but it’s a game of precision.  Your hand-eye coordination has to be very good.  You eventually come to see shapes.

I just totally dig it.

Don’t call me no cheap shot!  :-) kidding.

I remember a time when I’d play some pool in smoky bars.  Remember when smoking indoors was legal?  It’s a good way to interact with some of the community, albeit all pool fans.

Pool, booze and smokes mix so well together for some.  I don’t know how they keep a straight shot after getting drunk…

Practice, I guess.

It’s a good sport to come together.  I like bowling too.  It’s good to go to the pool hall or the bowling alley and participate in activities outside of our homes and our televisions.  Make friends, have fun…

Some people take it pretty darn seriously of course.  Just like anybody takes anything seriously.  That’s OK.  It’s perfectly fine to take it seriously!  And then there are those who are just there for the recreation of it all.

Have you ever met the pool players who gamble?  There are some elite mo-fo’s out there… like pool’s their entire life.

Speaking of precision, did you know there’s such a thing as a pool table mover?  Yeah, they’re specifically skilled in taking apart, moving, putting back together perfectly, and balancing pool tables.

Crazy.  I had no idea, but it’s a niche that people need.

I bring this up because I recently had my pool table professionally moved to my new digs in Scottsdale.

They did a great job… no dings or dents, and they constructed it perfectly using heat and beeswax to seal the slates together again seamlessly.

After it was built, I challenged them to a game.  Unfortunately, they couldn’t play because they had another table to go move.  Good for them!  They keep busy.

I asked how long they’d been doing this because the were so good.  Dan, the owner, said he’d been doing it for about 11 years.  They opened in 2002.  They being Billiards 2U.

So, since they couldn’t play, I invited some folks over to my new pad to play some pool and drink some beers.  I gotta say, the table played great!  They really did a bang-up job (in a good way) of putting the thing back together.

In fact, I don’t know, it might be playing better now!

They also replaced the felt with some top of the line worsted wool which changed the color from blue to green.  I definitely prefer the green.

I also got some new pockets from them.  Mine were plastic but now they’re leather.  Awesome!  This has certainly been an upgrade to my pool table.

I don’t know why I’m writing so much about my billiards set up.  I guess I’m just happy to be in this wonderfully designed, very comfortable new home and to have a great “new” table upon which to play one of my favorite games.

So there!

How do you like playing pool, dear Arizonan reader?  Want to play sometime?

Keep it coming, keep it flowing, keep the balls a rollin’ rollin’!

Talk with you soon.

Here are some neat tricks I’m working on learning:

The Bright Side of Towing

Doesn’t needing to get towed… suck?

I mean, what situation are you in where you need to get towed? You are illegally parked. Or you’re broken down on the side of the road.

Or you’re maybe you’re moving houses and you need your vehicle towed since you’re driving the moving truck. Well, maybe that doesn’t suck so bad, but…

There are so many reasons.

But there’s a bright side to it.  There’s gotta be.

Well, let me tell you about my freaking towing experience the other day. My truck broke down in the middle of the road in Mesa, at the edge of  Scottsdale.

My Mesa Towing experience

Right then, I called roadside assistance but they told me it would be better to call the police because they could get there faster.

So when the cops showed up to protect my poor truck from being rammed, they called their tow truck in Mesa.

Amazingly, they got there FAST! Like, in ten minutes. Normally, waiting for a tow truck is a pain. That’s one reason it’s always good to have a book with you, so you’re not left twiddling your thumbs.

Of course, you could meditate, but not many people are into that. And we all have our phones nowadays, which can provide endless entertainment… or endless information. Or you can get stuff done.

But that’s why it sucks waiting to get towed. Your normal routine is interrupted. Your life seems to be put on hold while time continues to tick on by.

So, for the purposes of this post, I decided to find a cool video. One that brightens my day, and I hope, brightens yours too.

Because my day wasn’t ruined. I just stayed positive and tried to go with the flow.

Pretty funny, right?  I was a little bit on edge during that video.  You wonder what’s going to happen to all these tow trucks?

There are loads of “fail” videos like that on YouTube.

Anyway, I was impressed the guys pulled up within ten minutes of being called (must’ve been luck) and brought a flatbed tow truck with them.

I prefer flatbeds to others because, well, my truck is nice. It’s a custom built, black 1989 GMC pickup. A nice engine, sleek, big tires, great shiny rims… and I didn’t want anything to happen to it.

If something happened to my baby I don’t know what I’d do!

I was talking to the guys as they were driving me home, telling them how much I liked their website because it has funny videos you can watch while you wait, and because it had a brief history of tow trucks on the front page. I was impressed!

As we continued talking they revealed their knowledge… I learned that a flatbed tow truck is also called a rollback or a slide, and that these are becoming more and more common.

So, what is the bright side?

It’s that shit happens. And the best design of your life is how you handle each situation that arises. Will you keep calm and handle it with poise? Or will you freak out and panic?

Listen to that inner voice that tells you when you’re making things more difficult for yourself than they need to be. It’s there.

Just observe yourself and you’ll gradually gain power and control over your behavior.

It’s your life, design it how you want to! Even if you’re being towed and have to wait in the hot Arizona sun (be sure to drink plenty of water), always look at the bright side.

No, not the sun, silly!

The bright side is how you bring more positive energy into this world, rather than negative.

So, until next time, thanks for listening to my towing story and how I handled it. See you soon!

Welcome to Arizona Designs!

Welcome!

Thanks for making it to my site.  Here, I’ll be talking about spirituality; how each of us humans is a creator; how we create our own lives.

But also, I’ll be integrating those sorts of joyous and empowering thoughts with actual, real things to do in AZ… because what fun is it to sit around in a cave thinking and meditating all day, every day?

Amiright?

So…

That being said, let’s get this site a-rollin’ and start creating our lives the way we want them!

Thanks again,

Patrick