Archive - 2005

January 10th

Return to the cold

The trip from Tucson home occupied the better part of a day. The flight from Minneapolis to Fargo was delayed a couple of hours by an emergency exit light which burnt out. As I left the plane, I said to the pilot--all that wait for an exit light, and we didn't even use it! He wasn't amused.

The woodpile I left behind to heat the new partially insulated house was down to about a half-a-dozen cobs of wood. I came home just in time. Between interruptions, my day was spent getting some wood together. I will saw again tomorrow, as we have quite a cold spell coming on.

January 8th

Visiting expatriates

The weather the past couple of days in Tucson has been cool, but at the same time, when compared to Minnesota weather, it has been beautiful. There have been more clouds than usual, but that has made for some spectacular sunsets. I will share pictures of a couple of them when I get to a faster connection.

January 6th

More pics

At the Desert Museum, the zoo animals were contained in cave and canyon-like structures which looked quite real. When we got off the well-beaten path a bit, we found out that the rocks weren't exactly natural.

Below, a view from Gate's Pass, west of Tucson city, but still within the city limits. To the west is a less-populated valley.

Pictures of Tucson

Today, the weather got a little colder. I am at a Barnes and Noble where, for a ridiculous price, you can log on to wireless internet, which is ridiculously fast.

Here is a closeup of a saguaro cactus at the Desert Museum. Because of the recent ample moisture in Arizona, the cacti are all quite swollen. The corrugations of this saguaro are stretched to the maximum.

January 5th

Desert Museum, Sushi

Despite the storms which are pummeling most of the country, including Arizona, today was a typical Tucson day. Sunny. Mid-sixties. Only gentle breezes, at least where we traveled.

We went first to Gate’s Pass, west of the city, a favorite place for locals to see the sunset. Tucson’s main drag, Speedway Drive, runs fifteen miles through the city and ends up climbing a small mountain range at the west end of town. At the stop is a viewing area with a parking lot and a place for climbing. The vista over the top of the range to the west is stunning.

January 4th

54 degrees in Tucson

Brrr. People in fur coats with collars up. The temperature is 54 degrees, plus there is a windchill resulting from the 35 mph winds.

Several storms are passing through. Rainstorms, though, nothing too serious. It still is better to be in Tucson than in Minnesota, where I heard it was 18 degrees below zero this morning.

Lance and I met with Ron, an astronomer at the University of Arizona and a regular reader of this weblog, as well as his wife and baby girl last night for supper. Today, he showed us around his lab at the U of A.

January 3rd


Greetings from Tucson. Our plane was delayed from 6 pm to 6 am, and we got into Tucson an hour late, but who cares. It is beautiful here. Tucson is as ever, and it is a relief--almost a guilty pleasure--to arrive here after only a few hours of travel, instead of the usual three days of driving.

It rained in Tucson this afternoon. It looks like possible rain for much of the week. However, that isn't a big deal. It is in the sixties. People are wearing scarves, and we sat next to a lady at the restaurant this afternoon who was wearing a fur coat.

January 1st


Well, the radar looks sobering. Supposed to be many inches of snow today and tonight. The flight to Minneapolis is scheduled to leave at 6:40 tonight. I am putting our chances of getting out of Fargo at less than 50%! Oh, well. I have no reason to be in a hurry. I was going to write up this week's column ahead of time, but something tells me that the struggle to get to Tucson might provide some material. I can write about packed airports, or something.

December 31st

New Year's Eve party

Brother Joe and I sang at the Fair Meadow nursing home New Year's Eve party today. It was nice to have the benefit of Joe's sound system; everybody seemed to hear better. We did a couple of Patsy Cline numbers, three Willie Nelson tunes, and Joe did Amazing Grace on the guitar. It ended up being about a half-an-hour.

Two more locals turned up in the home who don't seem old enough. One who is old enough is Alma, the last of the old neighbors. Alma is 92. She worked for the nursery for 40 years or so. She managed the greenhouse for Mom and Dad for several years.