Tuesday, February 26, 2008

a well rounded immigrant

Is it big? Is it small? This cactus is actually about 18-20 inches in diameter.

I'm pretty sure its not native to the sonoran desert -- I found it in a landscaped business setting in southeast Tucson.

#7 submitted a one sentence story

I submitted my one sentence story to http://www.onesentence.org/ tonight. This is a web site that lets people submit a story with the only criteria being that it has to be a single sentence. Some of the submissions are pretty interesting. Here's my attempt:

"We made the wish upon the star, on different nights, and each alone. "

I'll update if it actually gets posted on their site...

I've been trying to decide what direction, if any, my blog should take, and I think I'll try the counting "new things" approach. I've enjoyed reading other blogs which are tracking their new thing accomplishments and it seems like a great way to stay motivated to try, well, new things...

Today's new thing starts at #7 since by my count I've got 6 already done earlier in my blog. Do I have a goal for the number of new things to try for the rest of the year? How about 100?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

U of A reflections

Today was a really nice day with temps headed into the upper 70's. I was out running errands and decided to walk around the University of Arizona campus. Many cool buildings, plants, art, and past memories on this campus... The picture above is a reflection off the Optical Science Building.

This is a neat sculpture at the Henry Koffler Science Building representing many different fields of science.

Sundial at Flandrau Science Center. Using the correction table, the time was sun spot-on with my watch.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Glowing minerals at the gem show

These are some naturally fluorescent minerals illuminated by ultraviolet light at the Tucson Gem & Mineral show this weekend.

They somehow remind me of tropical fish...

Its about time... its about carrots?

I ran into this guy passing time over the weekend.

He seemed like a good representation of Coyote, the trickster.

Coyote appears to be selling watches with incorrect time in an effort to fool us into believing we have more time, or less, than we actually do.

It seems to me that too many of us rabbits have lost the ability to comprehend time in the big picture. We have also started buying our carrots from coyotes -- which can lead to nothing but trouble...

Well, that's my story for this picture. Anyone else have a story for this guy that they would like to post?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

colorful wall art at Javalinas

I stopped by Javalinas for coffee this morning and saw this really colorful collection of art from students of Desert Willow Elementary.

Javalinas is a really nice example of what a neighborhood coffee shop should be. Owner Bonnie Vining has done a great job of making the shop part of the community: free WiFi, the art wall with a rotating selection of art from young and old, supporting local musicians by providing a venue for live music performances most weekend nights. And of course, great coffee.

My one complaint? Its located at the work end of my commute instead of in my neighborhood.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

some cd behavior...

Our Tucson Native American Flute circle sponsored a concert by California NAF artist Scott August today down at the Madera clubhouse in Quail Creek. We had a great turnout with 197 people buying concert tickets.

I volunteered to help Scott sell his CDs and DVDs.

An interesting "new thing" for me...

Scott gave an outstanding concert. After the concert a large number of fans gathered around the table wanting to buy music, ask which CD had "Heart of the Sky" or "Mockingbird Canyon" or "Raven Dance", etc.

Between answering questions, helping people find the CD with the song they loved, making change, handling credit cards, tracking what was being sold, restocking the table, and Scott autographing CDs, it was a veeerry busy table.

I gained a new appreciation of the amount of effort that professional solo musicians like Scott go through: getting their equipment set up for a gig, handling their CD sales, having to be fresh on stage for a two hour performance, tearing down equipment, etc. It's pretty much full-on from arrival to departure for them, no lounging around in a green room before going on stage...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Windshield Pictures (Tucson to Prescott)

I drove up to Prescott today and decided to try something "new to me" along the way, taking some blind windshield shots along the way. I turned off the LCD viewfinder and occasionally would just pick up the camera and kind of point it at something of interest and press the shutter (no framing, viewfinder, or anything else that would distract from driving -- I pretty much just treated the camera like it was a coffee cup with a shutter button).

Out of a bunch of pictures, here are a few possibly worth sharing...

This is a coal train parked beside the coal processing unit at the Tucson Irvington Power Plant as seen from I-10. In the background you can see the Santa Catalina mountains north of Tucson with some snow showing on top. The top of the Catalinas, at 9100 feet elevation, is an hour drive from Tucson. Looks barren from here but actually has pine trees and a ski area. Nice place to escape to in summer!

This is Picacho Peak on the way up to Phoenix from Tucson. It is now a state park. There is actually a trail to the highest peak (looks like it would be a technical climb, its not). I hiked up it years ago during a full moon and we sat on top watching the headlights and taillights of cars down on I-10 below.

At the northbound I-10 / I-17 fork in Phoenix, looking toward the taller buildings in central Phoenix.

Finally out of Phoenix, headed north on I-17, gaining a little elevation and starting to see saguaros again along the road. It is always nice to get to this stretch -- much of the drive from Tucson to Phoenix is pretty barren and boring, not much in the way of saguaros, etc.

Another nice viewscape in the general vicinity of Black Canyon city on I-17 northbound.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


My backyard has always been popular with my neighbor's cats, but none more than Simba. Simba has pretty much established dominion over my yard, graciously allowing me to swim from time to time in what he considers his naturally occuring lake.

Simba likes to curl up for a nap on the top of my neighbor's shed where he can look out over a large part of my yard, watch birds, squirrels, rabbits and catch a few z's. When I see Simba up on a roof, I'm reminded of a wild cat taking a position of peace, security, solitude, and looking out over its little piece of the world -- seeing others more than being seen itself.

I think it is interesting to try to picture the world the way our cats, dogs, and other animals might see it. A yard becomes a world. Things we take for granted, walk right past and perhaps have never seen come into focus. Sometimes its nice to curl up with a view of our small piece of the world, slow down, and reflect on our place in the cycle of life.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Henry Beston's book The Outermost House:

"We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth." -- Henry Beston from The Outermost House