Archive for October, 2005

Happy Halloween!

Did you get many trick-or-treaters? We got probably 60 or so over the last 2.5 hours, and I think we’re gonna turn out the porch light now and watch a movie since it’s slowed to a trickle.

I am an excellent coffee drinker.

I have to explain something. I spill a lot of coffee. Sometimes it is carelessness. Most of the time it is because the lid is not leak proof. On most cups, especially the ones from that ubiquitous green logoed place, there is a seam on the cup. Lids do not seal in the coffee at the seam, so if it is a full cup it leaks all over the place. You must have experienced it.

I bring this up because of all the looks I get as I go through what some call my coffee ritual. You see the green logoed ones waste a lot of paper. You get the cup the coffee was poured into. You get that cup in another cup. And you get a coffee sleeve. Each has a seam. So after adding my 1/2 and 1/2 and packet of yellow-thing, I line up the lid so that the drinking hole is opposite from the seam. This seems to be the best angle to minimize leaks. Then I line up the seams on the two cups and the sleeve. Mainly so that I can line up the drinking hole without looking. I feel the seam and know exactly where to sip from. Anyway, in case you forgot, it is rude to stare.

Phoenix Locals Hit the Big Time

For those who have been around for awhile, you may recall a local new anchor for Channel 3, Liz Habib. Liz was the Main Anchor for the station when they were trying to create a bold, new look for the stodgy, traditional, old school Local News Report. A very MTV-ish approach to the news. It was cool – but well…didn’t really work for the station and they are back to their traditional look and feel. Very Cookie Cutter, if you ask me.

ANYHOOS – after a little altercation here at a local establishment in Scottsdale, Ms Habib moved on to Greener Pastures in the News World and left us here in Phoenix with mere memories of her days on Channel 3, The Place With More Stuff.

As luck would have it, those Greener Pastures ended up as Los Angeles. As well as a new name for Ms. Habib. She’s known to the Los Angeles viewers as Liz Warren. Hmmmm….yeah. GOING ON! Now where does all this fit in with a Phoenix entry? Well, let me walk you thru this:

On a recent trip to Los Angeles, a couple of pals and I toodled over to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to check things out at Hollywood and Highland. You know, it’s where the Kodak Theatre is – as well as where the Famous Cement Prints of all those fabulous stars from yesterday and today are housed. Surprisingly, in addition to the cement blocks of history which are laying around, there are also a myriad of costumed characters who will pose with locals and tourists alike. You know, bringing that good ol’ Hollywood Experience to reality. However, if you don’t tip them or tip the WELL enough, some tend to get a little testy with you. I had such an experience. You can catch the whole story here.

Former local photographer, Emmy Award-winning Kevin Horton whose haunts have included KPHO and PNXV was interviewed by Liz about his experience with one of the characters: Elmo. His haunting recollections seem to have been echoed up and down Hollywood Boulevard and finanlly the HPD came onto the scene and took care of business. Mister Incredible, Scream, and Elmo were all taken down to the Graybar Hotel and booked on Illegal Vending of Services (aka Being a Big Prick to Tourists and smelling like Old Cheese).

During the story, my picture was used to help illustrate the typical scenario of what tourists were subjected to. I may need therapy to get over the whole ordeal. However, if my story will help others get thru the pain and suffering – then my life will have not been in vain.

The report was put on the Wire and shown all over the U.S. Liz, Kevin and I are all Super Stars.

So if you see me on the street, don’t hesitate to come up and ask for an autograph.

I won’t charge you for it…much.

On the off chance that anyone knows…

Where should I go if I want to learn to make furniture? Other than a community college? (which is an option, I’m just looking for someplace more flexible maybe.) Any suggestions?

DIMM Memory

I did not think it would be so hard to find PC133 memory for my niece’s purpley iMac but it was. And it made me realize two things, either I am a complete geek who hangs with complete geeks or we have a long way to go in bridging the digital divide.

Let me sum up my four hour adventure with this exchange. “Hi, I need some PC133 256MB memory or something backward compatible,” I ask. “Okay, do you want internal or external memory,” was the reply. “No, not storage, memory,” I sigh. “Oh, you mean like USB memory?” The exchange went on with me helping the clerk do a search on the store’s computer. There, I point to the screen, do you have that. “No, I don’t think so, but we could probably special order it for you.”

Is this a literacy thing? Or is it something more sinister? I half expected the comment, “Oh they do not make those parts anymore. It is obsolete, but we can sell you an entirely new computer system.” And what happened to all the neighborhood computer stores? I really should get out more.

Last saturday my girlfriend and I had our 2nd annual Pumpkin Carving Party. What an awesome time. We filled a crockpot with soup, bought some supplies to make grilled cheeses, and invited folks over to carve some cucurbita (aka the common pumpkin). About 15 folks showed up this year and some excellent pumkins were carved. Unfortunately I am between digital cameras right now, so a photo from last year will have to suffice. Post carving, we fired up the fire pit for it’s inaugural burning and made some s’mores. Mmmmm. I’m so happy that fall is coming to the valley.

Have a Happy and safe Halloween everyone!

Indian School

I spent some time over the weekend at Steele Indian School Park. I’ve driven through the park before to check it out, and it looked nice but I was never in the mood to actually lay about. (Plus it was 100+° on all those days, I believe.) Equipped with my new telephoto lens, I decided this time to take a slow walk around the main areas and see what I could see.


And I saw that I love my new lens! Not only can I frame shots more easily, I can capture photos of unwitting victims citizens from afar. On top of getting a few shots I really like, I discovered the rather obvious fact that the historical buildings within Steele Indian School Park are the original Indian School. If you live in Arizona and didn’t grow up here, you probably thought the street name, “Indian School,” was a bit odd. And then it promptly blended in with the likes of Hohokam Expressway and Squaw Peak Highway.

If you walk around the paved areas of the park, the lamp posts all have small marquees on them with various descriptive texts of the history of the school. I didn’t realize this until I was almost ready to leave, so I didn’t really get the full idea… but basically they talk about how the school was built, what sort of local social issues they faced, ceremonies the school practiced, etc. You can read a pretty short description on the Phoenix government’s website here, and I hope to go back to the park and record some of the writings on those placards since they don’t seem to be available online anywhere.

Until then, if you want to check out some of the other pictures I captured in the park, you can find them here.

Steele Indian School Park
300 East Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix Links

Valley Related Links:

Valley News
Arizona Republic
East Valley Tribune
Phoenix New Times

Phoenix Community Links
Phoenix Backpage

Just a start. What other categories? Gov, sports, art, music?

(Didn’t have (make) time for a real post.)


I can’t believe these things were consumed by me within a 4 hour period:

1 fried eggroll (on a stick). 1 deep fried Twinkie (on a stick). 1 polish sausage (slathered in grilled onions but not on a stick). 1 mountain of cherry flavored shave ice. 1 fresh squeezed strawberry lemonade. 1 bbq pork sandwich. 1 $5.50 beer in a small plastic cup. 3 pieces of free Eclipse gum. I feel like I consumed even more than the above listed items due to the hour I spent milling about investigating the homemade cookies, fudge, bundt cakes, cheesecakes, fresh fruit pies, canned preserves and marzipanish items behind glass cases. Phew, what a Saturday. I can’t believe I didn’t develop diabetes. Let’s just say I drank about a gallon of water yesterday and that was about all my poor stomach could handle.

Fairs and festivals and rodeos and carnivals are amazing to me because they’ve managed to maintain the same cast of characters, varieties of foods, crafts, exhibits, lighting, and rides over many decades with minimal changes. They’re the few places I’ve been able to go to since childhood where I know the sights, smells and noises will be familiar and consistent. They haven’t become clean or sleek or silver with rounded edges or technologically advanced. They smell like sawdust and sweat and grilled chaos. They’re covered in red, white and blue bunting and exude Americana. They’re some of the most beautiful sights you can see at night. They make me feel as if time has stopped. Rooms full of old fashioned hobbies exhibited under dingy glass cases, fruit pies with colored ribbons hanging from them, goats bleating and roosters crowing, Tilt-A-Whirls and Ferris Wheels, it’s all so comforting to me somehow.

Check out these classic photos from Life magazine of state fairs in the 1950’s if you’re in the mood to be sappy about it all like I am.

A rose by any other name…

We went to Jamba Juice at Whole Foods Market in Tempe this afternoon (yum!) and I ordered my usual: a small Strawberry Tsunami. Now I’d noticed that this was taken off their menu many months ago, but I just kept on ordering it, and they kept on giving it to me. I’m never one to let the removal of an item from a menu stop me. But today I noticed that they had a new (to me) menu item: a Strawberry Surf Rider. So I went ahead and sounded clueless, asking “Is the Strawberry Tsunami called something else now?” Yup, it’s the Surf Rider now. The whole thing made me wonder, are they still serving Hurricanes in New Orleans? I hope so.

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