Monday, July 31, 2006

Wet Desert

No, not when someone leaves his or her cake out in the rain. I mean what three or four days of rain means in the southwest. It turns something that looks normally like this:

Into something that looks like this:

To provide even more perspective, the bottom photo was taken after the water level had dropped about four feet, perhaps more. One of the photos Deb took shows a woman standing at the opposite bank. You can see the striations of the water level behind her, the highest being over her head. I'm assuming she's at least five feet tall, so there's your observational science in a nutshell. The news had photos of people kayaking and rafting in this gigantic mudpuddle with rapids. Why people in the desert even have water craft is beyond me.

More rain expected over the next two days at least. We've already had double last year's rainfall amount in the past week. Roads are closed, some roads are gone. For those who may remember our trip up Mt. Lemmon, the entire road is closed from top to bottom. I can say with certainty that I'm glad we weren't on Mt. Lemmon when the road started to flood. It's exhilirating when it's dry, but I'd rather not be stranded up there. I definitely would not be going "whee!" as several feet of water sent me hurtling 9,000 feet down. No matter how nice the view may be on the way.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Don't Call Me Luka

Our apartment is on the second floor. This is significant, because we're in day two of flash flood warnings. Yes, I said flood warnings. In the desert. Happens every summer, and it's amazing to see. Riverbeds that are bone dry for 355 days a year are suddenly home to huge, flowing, and overflowing raging rivers. When water goes to the lowest point, and does so in a hurry, there's very little that can stop it. Really, really cool. Once in a while we hear news reports of someone who had the bright idea to park their RV down in the riverbed. Why they do this is beyond me. Perhaps they like to go RV surfing when the rains come, because that's what happens. Doesn't matter that an RV doesn't necessarily float. The water will still move it. Well, move it and tear it to bits. It rained for several hours last night and into the morning, and the weather today was gorgeous. We had the windows open, nice cool breeze, mid-70s. In fact, Tucson was the second-coolest city in the US! Not bad for a place that was 115 last week. More of that coolness on tap for the next few days. Rain at night, cool all day. Of course, the downstairs neighbors will need gills and I'm going to have to put pontoons on the car and tie it to a tree, but it's an exchange I'm willing to make for temperatures under 110 as we head into August.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

P.O.ed at the P.O.

My site got a visit from the U.S. Post Office today. Someone there was surfing websites, and hit mine. Granted, it was only for ten seconds, but it's the principle of the thing. Doesn't anybody work at work anymore? Ever?? I read news boards, and people are reading and posting to them while at work. Hits on my website come from within grade schools, businesses, and of course governmental agencies. Why in the hell aren't any of them working? I guess I really was wrong in my work outlook. I worked at work. I worked through breaks. I worked through lunches. I worked at home. I should've kicked back and surfed websites with one hand on the mouse and the other shoved firmly up my ass. I'd have been Employee of the Epoch.

Meet The New Neighbor

Our new apartment has patio access off of the second bedroom (or "office", as we like to call it) as well as the living room. Since today was about 40 degrees colder than last week at a bone-chilling 74, we got to open the windows and doors and let some of that mythical "fresh air" stuff in. This picture is of one of the feathered denizens of the trees outside our patio. The other two are yellow finches of some sort, I believe. All I know is that they've got bird food out there, and water, so they've got it easy. Freeloaders.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Whatever You Do, Stay Inside

No, it's not the mantra for my life. We learned some interesting things while watching one of our local weathermen. We learned that he has access to words that no other weather-wizard does, such as "monsoonal" and "stormyness". These things were "forecasted" for us, too, so you can imagine my growing concern. We also learned of a rather alarming weather phenomena which I sincerely hope is exceedingly rare. We were more than a little alarmed that this type of storm was "forecasted" for our area. We hoped that he had merely made a mistake in his prognostication, but there it was. Looming on the darkening horizon of our weather future were "Scat. storms"! Scat storms?!? Unless Cab Calloway came back from the dead, that can only mean there's a whole new meaning to the following weather-related exchange:
"How's the weather outside?"

No singing in the rain, either. Just full-out sprinting for cover. It's not easy to sprint while holding one's breath, either. Small children will not be jumping in puddles or trying to catch anything on their tongues. Windshield wipers would be woefully ineffective, so traffic would come to a halt. April showers would still bring May flowers, and they'd be more healthy and vibrant. But very few would look outside their windows in a moody and introspective manner as the streaks form on the glass and puddles mirror the sky. Instead they'd sit in a darkened corner and cry softly, rocking back and forth in an attempt to shut their senses to the nightmare from above.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


We went out to lunch for our anniversary, and afterwards saw The DaVinci Code. (Yes, we're two of the most exciting people you'll ever meet.) In between those events, we saw something interesting on the road. Specifically, we saw a guy get hit by a car. It happened about three cars in front of us, and two lanes over. The group of traffic (is it a group? a pod? gaggle?) was only going about 40 or so, and in typical Tucson fashion the far left lane was going slower than the rest. That's probably why the guy was still moving when we passed. (Yes, I was in the rightmost lane.) We heard the screech of brakes, cars swerved, the left and center lanes stopped. Our lane? Right on moving, albeit at a slower pace. I saw the guy, lying on his back in the middle of the road. He was holding his head and trying to sit up. The driver who hit him had just gotten out of the car. There wasn't any blood, or any bones at any odd angles, so he didn't look too bad off. However, it did make me wonder. I mean... there were three lanes of traffic going in one direction, and three going in the other. It was 2 PM, bright and sunny (and friggin' hot). The pedestrian crossed three lanes of traffic, stopped on the wide median with ample view of the oncoming traffic, and stepped off into the path of a moving car. He could have walked the 200 feet or so to the intersection and actually crossed in a crosswalk when the light was in his favor, but I guess that lacks the adrenaline rush of a mad dash across six lanes of speeding cars. He was lying on his back in the road, head towards the median. So he didn't have heat stroke and fall over forward. He was crossing and in the process of backpedaling for his life when he got hit. Try as I might, I haven't been able to find anything in the local news about it, so I guess he's OK. And I have to add that the ambulance came in record time, so kudos to the Tucson EMTs! If I ever get hit while lane-hopping, I know that they'll be on the scene all quick-like!

Oh yeah... the movie was pretty good. It's a good story, though I can't see what all the fuss is about. I read the book, I've seen the movie. The story is fiction. The Bible is fiction. If I'm going to base my life on fiction, it's going to be something by H.P. Lovecraft. More fun that way, and it'll have a better ending.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Today marks the day of something special. The day Deb and I got married. Three years and a few thousand miles of distance travelled later, and I could not be any happier. I thank her for every second, and I eagerly look forward to several more decades with her.

I don't know what the traditional gift is for three years of marriage. Probably balsa wood or something. For us, it'll be a day like the others: we'll spend it together doing things we enjoy. No better gift than that, I tell ya!