I see from this week’s Weekly that Tucson has a new Irish Pub coming, right down the street from campus. If the construction photos are any indication, the place has its requisite fifteen pieces of flare and then some. The interior was apparently build in Ireland, then shipped to Tucson (as was Kieran. Maybe he can weigh in). Olde-world authenticity aside, I’m not sure the owners know exactly what they mean when they write that the friendly atmosphere inside will “echo the pathos of rural Ireland to a tee.” Is pathos really a selling point? (The site is flash-full and not linkable; from here click on “about” for the pathos-ridden spiel.)
Also from the Weekly comes news that Tucson’s Krispy Kreeme locations have closed. I can’t count the number of times I bought various swamp cooler parts and then swung through the Krispy Kreeme for some extra sugar. The donuts weren’t ever particularly good, but they were sweet, and I loved to watch them plod along on the conveyor.
- ( )
- This article is dated 2006-08-16 17:22 and is posted to misc, tucson
, with tags donuts
Made a quick trip south at the end of last week, to reconnect with the department a bit. I got in some good meetings with faculty members and had a chance to see a few friends. Having left the dogs at a friend’s house for the day, I also learned a lesson in Things My Dog Will Eat if Given the Chance:
- One half bag cornmeal
- One bag oatmeal
- One box (36 count) See’s lollypops
- All the dog food for two days
- Various herbs and spices
Let’s just say that it was not a happy couple of days, digestively speaking, for Rainy.
With a tiny sprinkling of rain coming in, Thursday afternoon in Tucson was nice and blustery. Although Flagstaff’s climate is much more my speed than is Tucson’s, Tucson has a kind of openness to the landscape that’s striking, especially coming from the close-in pines where we live now.
I also learned that my cell phone can mostly survive (mostly, meaning the battery indicator seems a little off-kilter, and I can no longer use the “down” button on the keypad) one trip through the spin cycle in my pants. I’m not going to try for two trips.
- ( )
- This article is dated 2006-02-14 10:53 and is posted to tucson, sociology
A large portion of the human body is composed of water (which is why the water microwaver in Batman Begins was so totally unrealistic, but that’s neither here nor there), and a significant chunk of the water of which I am constituted is sopping the back of my shirt. So, I must in in Tucson.
This trip is a surgical strike trip with no unnecessary stops: Two meetings, an overnight stay, a trip to Trader Joe’s (where I stock up on nonperishable goods available at premium prices in Flagstaff; have you seen how much Cheerios cost, lately?), another meeting, and a haircut. In a couple more hours I’ll be headed back out of town.
As of this writing, the freeway back north to home is open, but the giant Cave Creek Complex fire jumped the fireline last night and made its way to I-17, torching the now-dry landscape of early-season grass that covered this part of the state thanks to heavy winter rains. I hope that the road stays open; otherwise I’ll have a long detour to, well, somewhere, before I can get home again.
- This article is dated 2005-06-28 14:04 and is posted to tucson
Seen today on the National Weather Service Tucson forecast:
I take it as a given that it doesn’t snow in Tucson; up in the nearby Catalinas, sure, but not in the valley. Yet every once in a while I get in a conversation with an old-time desert-dweller who insists that Tucson “sometimes” gets snow, who justifies that argument by invoking the fact that, six years ago, it snowed here on Easter Sunday. Indeed, that’s true, but that snow is so rare that everybody in town remembers the very day that it last fell, I think makes the case pretty strongly that, really, it just doesn’t snow here.
Anyway, somehow I doubt we’ll see the snow that graphic promises. But it would be cool, wouldn’t it?
- ( )
- This article is dated 2005-04-22 11:54 and is posted to tucson
Apology to the owner of the indie coffee shop who watched me hurry past with a Starbucks cup in my hand
I feel just terribly guilty about the whole episode. My parents gave me a gift card for Valentine’s Day, and who am I to turn down free cappuccino on principle? But when my $15 runs out, be certain that I’ll be back in your cozy shop, without which I would never have completed my successful grant proposal—for which I’m very thankful for your hospitality, thanks very much, although I wish you didn’t charge an extra fee for using a debit card.
Okay, that’s all.
- ( )
- This article is dated 2005-02-09 11:07 and is posted to tucson, with tags coffee
When it’s cold out, as it has been in Tucson the past handful of days, the shift levers on my bicycle don’t catch; I end up unable to shift down a gear on my rear chain ring and unable to shift to higher gears on the front chain ring.
So, lazy web bicycle mechanic, Is this something I can fix myself after buying a specialized tool that I’ll never need again? Or, should I just go and get the bike that tune-up that it desperately needs, anyway?
- This article is dated 2004-11-30 08:43 and is posted to misc, tucson
I do my level best not to be too critical of my institution of higher learning. Take the soon-open Alumni Plaza, the construction of which has bottled up the middle of campus for the past year: I applaud the planners for deciding after much contention to save the Krutch Garden, a small oasis of desert vegetation in the middle of acres of grass, in the middle of the desert. The view through the fences suggests that the historic garden (home to a few boojum trees) has come through construction just fine, and I’ll even admit that pieces of the plaza look sort of cool (though there are some long stripes of concrete that look a little odd).
But, do we really need another goddamn sculpture of wildcats in this place? Look, I’m sure that the artist is very talented; on my ride past the site this morning, I got to see a crane placing the center of the bronze piece—a great big papa bobcat, who will be flanked by his bobcat, er, Wildcat, family. It looks nice, it’s a fine sculpture, and working with bronze is cool.
But it’s another statue of cats. It joins the bronze of wildcats playing on a log that lies one block to the east, the giant “Wildcat” banners on the light posts, and the snarling cat logo stamped into the bricks at various locations around campus. Look, we all get it by now: The Wildcat is the mascot here. Isn’t there a point at which all this poignant symbolism gets a little hackneyed? Something like a “lawn gnome threshhold” at which point the cliche catches up with us?
It’s possible, and a reasonable response to this rant, that I just have mascot envy. After all, I came here from a place where the founder and mascot of the college was killed, along with his family, by the Native Americans who didn’t take kindly to being colonized. Deep down it’s hard to be proud of that history. But before you level that charge, let me remind you of our glorious game-time chant:
Missionaries, missionaries, we’re on top!
You can imagine the variations on the theme there.
Ultimately, another wildcat statue will fit in just fine around here. Still, it would be nice to have public art in this place that’s more than superficially symbolic.
- ( )
- This article is dated 2004-10-27 03:44 and is posted to tucson, school-work
Back in college I took a poetry class, and it was about this time of year when the professor sat us all down and said, “Okay everybody, your work this week is fine, but, goddamn, you’re all writing about fall! Crunchy leaves this, chilly air that, wooly sweaters blah blah. Loosen up!”
He was right. Everything we turned in that week just reeked of autumn, like the fall cover of the college’s magazine that always features serious, sweatered students walking through piles of brilliant oak leaves, passing a brick facaded building with golden-turning ivy crawling up its drainpipe. He told us to do something—anything—to get autumn off our minds for the following week’s writing: Get really drunk, spend all day in bed, watch surf movies until our eyes hurt. We could do anything, as long as it didn’t involve driving out to the wheatfields, god forbid, to look at the colors, or sipping coffe under an alder.
Here in Tucson, we don’t have Joseph’s Canada Geese or wodburning stove to mark the season. If we can be forgiven some seasonal indulgence in a place that actually has seasons, then surely we can’t let the final onset of cooler weather in Tucson pass without notice. John notes that Hurricane Javier, down in the Gulf of California, might have been the force we needed to push some cooler air our way. Since the storms that Javier brought our way, the nights have, finally, been quiet: For the first time in months, I have woken up in the middle of the night to silence, startled by the lack of noise from my cooler.
I have cleaned out and opened up the study again, the neat red room at the back of the house. During the summer, it’s too hot to use, so the room fills up with unfiled piles of paper, the old phone book, stacks of CDs, an old television still waiting for somebody to claim it. With cooler temperatures I can at last open the blinds, letting a little sunshine inside. Light filters back into the room, scattered by the lemon tree outside, and the days feel just a bit shorter than they did in the hot, muggy monsoon.
- ( )
- This article is dated 2004-09-29 11:39 and is posted to tucson
A couple of quick notes, for those of you who are into that sort of thing.
- This past Sunday the yard sale completed its fifth week of uninterrupted trashiness. Carnies have set up camp in the street, having completed their pilgrimage to this holy place of unusable junk.
- I appreciate the new designs that Blogger is offering to its users, but do so many users have to use the white-on-black template? Yow, that hurts to read.
- This article is dated 2004-09-14 10:30 and is posted to tucson, misc
On this cloudy Saturday morning, the yard sale entered its fourth straight weekend. Between the week’s wind and the natural forces of general entropy that converge on piles of one’s old, unsellable junk, it looks less like a yard sale than the morning after a carnival, or the RNC.
- This article is dated 2004-09-04 04:39 and is posted to house, tucson
Is there any kind of city statute dictating the maximum length of a yard sale? I wonder because my neighbor is going on three weeks now. When Sunday evening rolls around, he (mostly) covers several large piles of junk with plastic and takes down the clothes hanging on the fence. He puts up a “CLOSED” sign until next Saturday morning. In the meantime, it looks like a festival of white trash. Does he really think that next week the stack of blown out speakers is going to go?
Also, in the spirit of selling things, I have earned my way to five more gmail invitations. Anybody still need one of these damn things? It seems that the market is a little saturated, such that one can’t make fifty bucks for ‘em on eBay anymore. So I’m just giving them away!
- ( )
- This article is dated 2004-08-25 13:26 and is posted to tucson, technology
According to Proctor and Gamble’s annual sweat study, Tucson only ranks 24th when it comes to sweat output in American cities. It takes 77 minutes in the Tucson heat to sweat a gallon, versus just 55 minutes for the nation’s top sweat city, El Paso, Texas.
By Long’s calculations, in just four hours, El Paso’s residents produce enough sweat to fill an Olympic swimming pool, with individuals shedding more than 36 fluid ounces of perspiration an hour.
To which I say: Eeeew. No swimming without goggles in that pool.
- This article is dated 2004-06-17 08:01 and is posted to tucson
It seems I angered whatever spirits oversee the machinations of evaporative cooling here on this planet. In the days since I proclaimed triumph over the Mastercool, the thing has sprung leaks in no fewer than three places, broken a valve, and had its cover torn off and flung about the roof by a 50-mph gust of wind. As if I had nothing better to do this weekend (grant proposal due Monday) than climb back up on the roof, sunburn my toes, and get grease all over my arms.
Someone told me once that some people pay other people to do all this for them. That sounds like an interesting idea; perhaps one could undertake a study of how to obtain goods and services without having any actual money of one’s own.
- This article is dated 2004-04-30 04:47 and is posted to house, tucson
Summer in Tucson means one thing for me, and it’s not the NBA playoffs. (Frankly, since Malone quit the Jazz and Stockton retired, I just can’t get excited for the playoffs any longer. I can’t help it. I was born and raised in Utah, and it was all we had.)
Rather, summer means ongoing combat with the steel roof-mounted beast that is the Mastercool. I don my roof sandals and my floppy hat, equip myself with wrenches, pliers, and a bucket of spare parts, and climb the ladder to the roof. There the Mastercool awaits, beckoning me to crawl underneath for battle. Last summer was epic; I spent days there, camped on the roof, fighting with the Mastercool as Galdalf fought the Balrog until I finally smote its waste upon the mountain, er, rooftop. All in the name of evaporative cooling.
But today was different. It took only a modicum of standard and non-innovative profanity, one hour, and a single minor mishap with the wet patch roof cement (seals cracks even underwater!, and sticks like mad to the hair on the back of my arm) to start up the cooler. There will of course be adjustments: The drain needs cleaning and the copper joint at the valve is just a bit leaky. But tonight, at least, all is calm, and our little house is cool and comfortable.
- ( )
- This article is dated 2004-04-26 17:15 and is posted to house, tucson
One: Wicked head-wind on the way home this afternoon. I was pedaling in gears I had never even seen before.
Two: The grating dust in my eyes is made less acute by the fact that it’s Girl Scout Cookie Season. Mmmm, Thin Mints.
- This article is dated 2004-03-11 11:24 and is posted to tucson, misc
About, the short version
I’m a sociologist-errant. This site is powered by Textpattern, TextDrive and the sociological imagination. For more about me and this site, see the long version.
Copyright and so forth: Commenters own their own posts, and linked or excerpted material is subject to whatever copyright covers the original. Everything else here is mine, rights reserved.