Archive - 2006

January 8th

Feeling Puny on Sunday

Called Aunt Olla back at the Fertile Hilton this afternoon. She's feeling "puny." That means not particularly well. Her blood pressure had gone up to the point where the doctor decided they had better do something about it, so she's on blood pressure medication and that can knock a person out for a while.

But she perked up as the phone conversation went along. I think she was in the middle of a nap when I called, but she wouldn't admit it.

Thermostat wars

Can you imagine how many times this sad story is repeated each year across the Midwest? The picture says it all.

January 7th

Neti pot

The night before leaving for Tucson, a bunch of friends came over to the house--high school friends who were home for the holidays. We are now getting to the age where the discussion starts to tend towards bowels and such. In the course of the conversation, one friend brought up how he is now hooked on the Neti Pot.

Tucson sunset

Okay, I could get along without the two electric wires in the middle of the picture, but I was in a hurry to catch this sunset before it faded, which it did in about two minutes. I wasn't the only one out on the hotel balcony taking pictures.

January 6th

Gate's Pass

Tucson is surrounded by four mountain ranges. On the west are the purplish-brown Tucson mountains. If you go west on Tucson's main drag, Speedway Avenue, you end up at the top of the range at Gate's Pass. From there, I got out and took some pictures looking northwest. I love the velvety desert vegetation which gives the mountains the look of being draped in an old velour towel.

Undomestic disturbances

Thanks to the scourge of cell phones, a person out in public will inevitably be privy to one end of a domestic argument every now and then. Just now, while outside walking, I couldn't help but hear a man who was loading things in the back of his pickup say, "Just let me talk! I know you don't believe me, but...will you just shut up for a second so I can talk?"


When I was four years old, Mom and Dad frequently read to us out of a small storybook about the New Testament. One of the pictures from that book which sticks in my head is of a starry sky over Lake Galilee. The stars in the picture, contrary to my experience at the time, were multi-colored--like a sky full of Fruit Loops. Although that would have been my preferred experience of the sky, I knew it was false, and I probably asked Mom and Dad endless questions about why the stars over Galilee were colored while ours were a bland white.

January 5th

Franciscan courtyard

We went snooping around the back of the mission and found the entrance to the monastery, which was locked up. But I got a glimpse of their cloister courtyard through the gate.

Tile Madonna

Weblog reader Irene asked if I had a close-up of the tile Madonna by the water fountain. Here it is.

Stress in Paradise

In the big city, you get far more chance to overhear people's unguarded conversations. I am struck by how many restaurant conversations are spent discussing the ridiculousness of somebody who is not present.