Travelling The 50 States – Arizona

Over my 47 years, I’ve done my fair share of travelling across these United States.  I thought it would be an interesting experiment go look back at those trips to each of the 31 states I have visited (62% isn’t bad, is it?) and see if, and when, I may be returning.  Working in alphabetical order, we start today with the 48th state to be added to the Union: Arizona.

State: Arizona
Joined the Union: 1912
Visits: 2

Both of my trips to Arizona have occurred within the past seven years, first in 2015 and then again in 2018.  Both visits can also be connected to my job, either directly or indirectly.

In 2015, my first trip to Arizona was for a work recognition trip in March.  Staying at The Phoenician resort for three nights, we enjoyed the facilities (especially the pool), took a rafting trip down the Lower Salt River, and travelled to an offsite ranch for a farewell dinner.  Outside of the work-related activities, I also managed to sneak in a Friday afternoon trip to Sloan Park to see the Cubs battle the White Sox in exciting Cactus League action.   Rather than heading home, I extended my stay for a couple of days.

Saturday, after a trip to the airport to pick up a rental car, we headed to Camelback Ranch in Glendale to watch the White Sox take on the visiting A’s in another installment of the Cactus League.  Looking for some non-baseball activities, Sunday consisted of a lake cruise along Lake Pleasant while Monday started at Heard Museum, which claims to be one of the premier Native American museums in the United States.  When that turned into kind of a bust, we headed to nearby Chase Field for a tour of the home of the Diamondbacks.

I returned to the Phoenix area in 2018, following another work trip.  A conference in Las Vegas led to me stopping in Arizona for the weekend before heading home.  I again took in some Cactus League action, this time at Camelback Ranch and Peoria Sports Complex, seeing the White Sox, Cubs, and Mariners (twice!).  I also enjoyed a trip to the slot canyons and Horseshoe Bend in Page, followed by a quick trip to the Grand Canyon.  I also managed to see my dad for the first time in years (and, to date, the last time I’ve seen him).  He had recently moved to the Tuscon area and drove up for a quick bite to eat before going back home.

Will I return?  I have to assume that yes, I will return to Arizona someday.  Leaving aside any future spring training action, I do need to take in an actual game at Chase Field at some point.  I will also likely need to deal with something related to my dad.  So I’d say the odds are much better than 50/50.

FB8 – Week 25

A very bad week, saved only somewhat by an outlier day on Saturday.  Things got off to an ok start on Sunday, as I finished with 4100 steps.  A week of all day vendor sessions started on Monday, where I struggled to get 3500 steps.  Things got worse on Tuesday, which saw a big drop-off as I fell down to 2300 steps, by far the worst day of the week.  Wednesday saw a slight improvement, but still came in at a pathetic 2600 steps.  Thursday improved again, but still only managed to come within 35 steps of 2900.  Friday managed to climb back over the 3100-step plateau.  A trip to Wrigley Field on Saturday helped to end the week on a high note, as I broke my daily goal for the first time in nearly a month, finishing just over 7500 steps.

Total steps: 26,129

Daily average: 3732.7

FB8 – Week 24

A nice bounce-back with a pretty solid week, as I posted my highest weekly total since Hawaii in February.  Things got off to a decent start on Sunday, as a late afternoon White Sox game on the television helped me finish just 13 steps shy of 5600.  A trip to Guaranteed Rate Field on Monday for Independence Day put me over 6300 steps and was the high point of the week.  Tuesday saw a big drop-off, down to 4700 steps, as I used a day off work to visit my old friends at Superdawg for lunch.  Another day off on Wednesday and another White Sox game helped me jump back up to 6200 steps.  Going back to work on Thursday saw a slight drop-off, coming a single step short of 5700.  Friday saw another decline, falling down to 4700 steps.  A third trip to the ballpark on Saturday helped to end the week on a high note, finishing with 6100 steps.

Total steps: 39,456

Daily average: 5636.6

FB8 – Week 23

A disappointing week, as I found myself falling below 30,000 steps for the first time in a month.  Things got off to a bad start on Sunday, finishing with just over 2850 steps.  A day of work left me a single step shy of 3500 on Monday.  Tuesday was slightly better, as I managed to increase my total to just over 3600 steps.  Wednesday was in the same general ballpark, falling down to 3400 steps.  Thursday was even worse, as i barely managed to eclipse 3300 steps.  An early finish on Friday in preparation for the holiday weekend turned things around a bit, finishing 9 steps shy of 4800.  Saturday was even better, as I finished the week on a high note, coming 27 steps away from 5900.

Total steps: 27,422

Daily average: 3917.4

FB8 – Week 22

Another pretty solid week, as I found myself staying on the right side of 30,000 steps and even going over my daily goal for the first time in a month.  Things got off to a decent enough start on Sunday, finishing just over 4000.  A day off work combined with a trip to Guaranteed Rate Field on Monday put me close to 8200 steps, the high point of the week.  Tuesday saw a drop-off, as returning to work left me with only 4300 steps.  Wednesday bounced back a bit, jumping up to 5400 steps.  Thursday was even better, ending with over 5500 steps.  Friday turned that around and saw the lowest total of the week, with only 3700 steps.  A bobblehead day on Saturday followed by a night out with friends ended the week on a high note, finishing with 5400 steps.

Total steps: 36,671

Daily average: 5238.7

Star Wars Day

My interest level in Star Wars has been pretty low lately.  I’ve yet to watch a complete season of any of their Disney+ shows.  There’s no particular reason, I just haven’t been feeling it.  But nothing will kill your interest in something you once loved like having a Town Hall meeting at work on May the 4th where you get to see your boss and their boss dive head-first into the cheesiest parts of fandom.  Ugh.

FB8 – Week 13

A pretty bad week, thanks to numerous work “emergencies”, but saved somewhat by another day over goal to end the week.  Things got off to a decent enough start on Sunday, as I managed to score 4600 steps thanks to some mid-inning pacing while watching the White Sox.  Monday saw a slight decline, as I finished 27 steps shy of 4000.  Tuesday was even worse, as I fell down to 3400 steps.  Wednesday saw a slight increase, as I finished with 3500 steps.  Thursday was the low point of the week, ending with a mere 2800 steps.  Friday saw a meager increase, jumping back up to 3600 steps.  A trip down to Purdue to see Danny’s band concert combined with 80-degree weather put me over 8200 steps, the second week in a row I’ve managed to have a single day above goal.

Total steps: 30,331

Daily average: 4333

FB8 – Week 12

A pretty successful week, as the return of baseball gave me my highest weekly total completed in the state of Illinois since last July.  Things got off to a decent enough start on Sunday, as I managed to score 5500 steps thanks to mid-inning pacing while watching the White Sox.  Monday saw a slight decline, as I finished a single step shy of 4500.  My long-awaited return to Guaranteed Rate Field on Tuesday, minus parking, left me four steps away from 8100, the first time I’ve surpassed my daily goal at home since September.  A 3-hour meeting on Wednesday dropped me down to 3900 steps.  Another day game on Thursday caused a jump back up to 5600 steps.  Friday was the worst day of the week, finishing with only 3600 steps.  Another game on Saturday, with a hunt to get multiple bobbleheads, put me up over 5500 steps.

Total steps: 36,973

Daily average: 5281.9

FB8 – Week 11

A busy week of work that was almost saved from being a complete disappointment by a big push on Saturday.  Things got off to a decent enough start on Sunday, as I managed to score 4600 steps.  Monday saw a slight decline, as I finished with 4400 steps.  Thanks to a 3-hour meeting on Tuesday, I fell down to 2900 steps.  Wednesday jumped back up to 4000 steps.  Thursday increased again, falling just short of 5000 steps.  Another 3-hour meeting on Friday, combined with an early trip to bed, led to a measly 2100 step output.  Saturday turned in to the high point of the week, thanks to my getting up during the commercial breaks of the White Sox game which led to 6700 steps.

Total steps: 29,932

Daily average: 4276

Top 200 Albums: #81 – 88

We last counted down the Top 200 albums in my iTunes library four years ago. Since that time, the world has literally changed, and my commute has decreased from 1+ hours each way to 25 steps. So, despite the decrease in potential listening time, I figured it was time to take another look, based on number of plays from late 2007 through the morning of January 1, 2022.

The countdown marches on today with the next batch of ten albums that I have listened to the most over the last 15 years, breaking the triple digit total play plateau with three compilations, and music from the 60s, 80s, 90s, and beyond.

#88: Stone Temple Pilots – Purple
iTunes stats: 123 plays
Previous Ranking: 79

A 52% increase in plays for the five of the eleven tracks from this 1994 album, the band’s second.

#88: The Beatles – Abbey Road
iTunes stats: 123 plays
Previous Ranking: 109

Released in 1969, the band’s eleventh studio album, the last completed prior to their breakup, saw an increase of 58 listens to jump 21 spots in the rankings.

#88: Nirvana – MTV Unplugged in New York
iTunes stats: 123 plays
Previous Ranking: 101

A 73% increase in plays over the past four years for seven of the songs from the group’s 1993 MTV Unplugged performance, their first album released following the death of Kurt Cobain.

#87: Patton Oswalt – My Weakness is Strong
iTunes stats: 124 plays
Previous Ranking: 179

A very impressive 92 spot jump for the funnyman’s third comedy album, thanks to an additional 79 plays over the past four years.

#86: Various Artists – The First 1000 Years – Rock
iTunes stats: 126 plays
Previous Ranking: 77

Seven songs, from alternative artists like The Breeders, Everclear, and Jane’s Addiction, added 43 new listens for this MTV sponsored compilation.

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