Tucson’s Birthday

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Published on: August 21, 2016

Happy belated birthday, Tucson!

“If the world were searched over I suppose there could not be found so degraded a set of villains as then formed the principal society of Tucson. Every man went armed to the teeth, and streetfights and bloody affrays were of daily occurrences…Volunteer soldiers are stationed all over the town – at the mescal-shops, the monte-tables, and houses of ill fame.” – J. Ross Browne, 1864

Tucson_Browne

Fourth Avenue

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Published on: August 20, 2016

Made a crepuscular trip down Fourth Avenue last night. I caught a guy singing Nine Inch Nails’ “Head Like a Hole” a capella for change.

I tried to video him, but he stopped.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Depot Garage

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Published on: August 14, 2016

There is work being done on the lights in the Depot Garage downtown, or so the signs say. I had to turn on my headlights to make it down the driveway, and the lighting inside was a bit spotty, dim spots with over big shadows.

After I parked my car, I looked around to see if Hal Holbrook would emerge and tell me to follow the money.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Michael Ronstadt

Categories: Local Music
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Published on: August 10, 2016

I heard this morning that Michael Ronstadt passed away. I didn’t know him well, but I had friends who played with him and I know many members of his family. He was always up for a chat after the show. He loved talking politics with me. If you are familiar with the last name but not familiar with his singing, here is a sample:

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Ugh, or something

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Published on: August 2, 2016

I downloaded Pokémon Go purely for research purposes. I have only logged on to see what shows up at my regular haunts, but yes, I captured two creatures (Pidgey and Bulbasaur, if you must know). I checked it at work to find that there is a “gym” in our parking lot.

Pokemon Go

The guy at the water window says he’s spotted some folks wandering the parking lot with cell phones.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Just Chillin’

Categories: Random Miscelany
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Published on: August 2, 2016

It’s hard to tell from Speedway, but the building I work in is actually part of a sizeable complex of buildings. There’s us, a fire station, the recently vacated parks and recreation office plus an office and storage facility used by a variety of city departments.

The complex used to be bigger. The old solid waste transfer facility to the west of us is now a high school, which must make for fun taunts at basketball games. This is why I thought it was weird when I found out that the air conditioning for the whole darned place runs off of a single chiller, located on the far north end of our block. Apparently, this sort of thing is pretty common.

We have a maintenance guy that visits pretty often. He came in yesterday to ask if it was okay to shut the air conditioning off for a bit. Sure, but why?

He took out his phone and showed a picture of something furry stuck in a metal box.

“That’s in the chiller.”

“What is it?”

“I don’t know until I can shut everything off and take it out.”

He came back in a half hour later to tell us it was a “huge squirrel.” I don’t know what was so attractive about our air conditioning unit. We can’t really ask now.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Steven

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Published on: August 1, 2016

One of the frustrations with maintaining a blog these days is the amount of automated spam that comes your way. I’ve got Akismet, which means you never see most of it. However, I get dozens of phony posts advertising Viagra and, for some reason, Old Navy that are put into an “approval” cue where they wait for me to get approved. Sometimes, I don’t have time to go through what can be up to eighty of these ridiculous comments a day.

That means that once in a while there is a real comment from a reader that gets buried and doesn’t show up. I found this one that was posted in April to my “about” page.

Greetings my fellow Polish-Mexican friend! I thought my family was unique but it appears that there are others from Arizona that share a similar cultural blend. I enjoyed your historical accounts of AZ history as well. I wish you and your family health and happiness.

Sincerely,
Stephen Tylutki
Tucson, AZ

Gracias and dziękuję, Stephen.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Tammany Hall

Categories: Geek Games
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Published on: July 31, 2016

IMG_20160730_181116I’ve been looking at this copy of Tammany Hall on the shelf at Heroes and Villains for a while and I finally broke down and bought it. The rules are relatively simple, and the game ends after sixteen turns. And yes, this game uses Meeples because they all do these days. These Meeples have little hats because they are “ward bosses.” You will note by looking at the board that all but one of my brown “ward bosses” had been taken out. People came at me hard. I’m like, why? I BOUGHT THE DARNED GAME!

The rules are designed to encourage deal making. For example, one player is elected mayor and doles out other offices. We were still new enough to the rules that there wasn’t a lot of deal making, but plenty of backstabbing. Favorite part: you can “slander” a ward boss to take him out of the game.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Sunny Days

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Published on: July 18, 2016

I woke up in the middle of the night to hear the sort of good, loud storm that is always welcome for desert dwellers. As long as it doesn’t bring a micro-burst that rips off the roof (yes, it happened in my complex once), I’m okay with it. On with the deluge, Tlaloc.

But it happened again. I woke up in the morning and caught a cloudless sky. Yes, the ground was soaked. A glance up, however, showed no evidence of the night time storm. Plus, it was real hot. And no, not a dry heat.

It always disappoints me.

It’s a Tucson thing, you wouldn’t understand.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Belated Father’s Day post

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Published on: June 20, 2016

As many of you know, my dad was in the Air Force for long enough to retire as a Chief Master Sergeant. He worked in life support, which put him in charge of making sure that planes were properly equipped should a pilot have to eject, and he also trained pilots in survival techniques. He was also involved in accident investigations and, when he was stationed in Southeast Asia, rescue. His job was basically to make sure that our pilots survived.
I don’t hear him take offense at slights about his military career, and he doesn’t exhibit excess pride over it. For example, he casually gave me an A-10 model one day. It sits on my desk at work. He d35600_429465131788_5360695_nidn’t tell me for years how he got it. He packed the first life support kit in an A-10, and Fairchild Aviation presented him with it. No big deal, he acted like.

Sometimes, a bit of that pride he had in his former career comes through.

His movie watching, like many ex-military people I’m sure, is an exercise in finding mistakes. Odd combinations of insignia, improper protocol, bad terminology: he’ll see it all instantly and let everyone know. But, he was particularly incensed one day when I caught a bit of 2008’s Iron Man with him. There’s a scene when Shellhead collides with an F-22 and the pilot ejects. Sure enough, chute fails and the pilot has to be bailed out by Iron Man.

This sent him into a rant. Why does the chute seem to always fail in movies, he said. He never saw that happen. He’d never admit it, but he talked as though his own career and professionalism was called into question. It pissed him off.

It seems he had the right to be.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

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