Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

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Steampunk in Old Tucson

March 13, 2014

Last Saturday (3/8/14) Tucson hosted the Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention at Old Tucson Studios. Three days of absolute alternate universe awesomeness! So many people in detailed costume, armed with the most imaginative, beautiful weaponry, too.  It seems each year has a different theme, and 2014’s was “Land vs Sea” — so also lots of folks sporting octopi and squid accessories. Loved, loved, LOVED it! And everyone (I mean every single person) we met and talked with was so friendly. Made for a most excellent Saturday.

Wild Wild West SteamPunk Program 2014If you’re a fan of Firefly, then you’d appreciate the heavily Westernized location — many Hollywood Westerns (like Three Amigos, Tombstone, The Outlaw Josey Wales, among a bazillion others) were filmed at Old Tucson Studios.  The whole place is like an Old West Town. Not just painted plywood fronts, but actual buildings, with great interiors. Like the  saloon, where we watched a Steampunk fashion show, and later a string quartet (Deus Ex Vapore Machina) playing wildly original material, along with gorgeous covers of familiar songs. Double plus, the saloon served absinthe (of course!). Pics of the fashion show & band coming in next post.

SteamPunk Pirates Tucson 2014In the large vendors’ area, we encountered Steampunk Pirates (I believe they were brothers), obviously members of the Sea contingency. Here we also encountered foot soldiers for the Land faction.

SteamPunk Foot Soldiers Tucson 2014

Then there was Mr.  Cthulhu and his Lady (as we thought of them):

Mr Cthulhu and his Lady Tucson 2014One of the vendors (from whom we purchased a delicate  owl cameo brooch), was friendly and pretty whether she was wearing her mustache or not:

Book Lady SteamPunk Tucson 2014So many pretty gals in their costumed finery! Plus this lass had the cutest little Steampunk doggie! It’s wearing GOGGLES!

Pretty Gals and SteamPunk Puppy Tucson 2014Now a closer look:

SteamPunk Puppy Tucson 2014Awwwww!

And the mighty Steampunk universe is obviously not afraid to cross genres, as evidenced by the presence of STEAMPUNK BOBA FETT.

Steam Punk Boba Fett Tucson 2014We will definitely be going again next year.

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Dillinger Days in Tucson

February 15, 2014

Recently, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of the capture of John Dillinger and his gang here in Tucson, in January of 1934. The Hotel Congress is at the center of this extravaganza (since that’s where his gang was recognized), with a re-enactment and a mini-museum. The weather was absolutely gorgeous that weekend (January 25th) — I’m not trying to brag, but  —  yeah, as a matter of fact, I am.

John Dillinger's Tommy Gun

John Dillinger’s Tommy Gun

The piece in the forefront was Dillinger’s actual tommy gun — yowza! There was an armed policeman guarding this exhibit.

Antique cars (from Dillinger’s era) lined the street in front and along side of the Hotel Congress — the majority in an awesome state of restoration.

Cars Along Congress Street

Cars Along Congress Street

Another view of the Hotel Congress — this from the rooftop patio of the bar Playground. Note the scrumptious bloody Marys.

My sweetie.

My sweetie.

Local characters dressed up in 1930’s drag, too, just for the fun of it.

A Man and His Gun

A Man and His Gun

The Purple Mobster

The Purple Mobster

The re-enactment was outside, behind the hotel (where they have patio seating for the Cup Cafe). It was funny and noisy and crowded — all ingredients for fun.  We met visitors from other states (like Wisconsin and Michigan), and sat next to a couple from British Columbia.

Two DillingersTwo Dillingers

Everybody's Packin' Heat in Tucson

Everybody’s Packin’ Heat in Tucson

Scenes from the Show

Scenes from the Show

Another Scene from the Show

Another Scene from the Show

Another cool thing about Dillinger Days — so many restaurants, bars, stores and galleries open up for all the event-goers. We wandered into the Sacred Machine (gallery for the artworks of Daniel Martin Diaz) and fell into a world of Gothic wonder. We conversed with the artist and his partner, and bought their CD, “Music for Unmade Movies.” As recording artists, they are known as Blind Divine. We also stopped in Elliott’s for a snack, and later on at Proper for a light dinner.

So glad downtown Tucson is in the midst of a renaissance. It’s no mystery why I dig this town.

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All Those Empty Chairs

September 3, 2012

Amusing that today has been dubbed “Empty Chair Day” — usurping Labor Day. Appropriate, I suppose, considering the mess we’re in now — but when I think of an empty chair this is what comes to mind:


The National Memorial for the Oklahoma City bombing. One empty chair for each lost soul. More chairs than than you would want to count; too, too many chairs. And small chairs, for the children. The most moving memorial I’ve been to yet. Everyone one of us should see it. I’ll step off my soap box now.

Another symbolic empty seat:

Vacated lifeguard stand, Honolulu, Hawaii. Rather nicely represents the end of summer, don’t you think?

And totally off topic, here’s a recent visitor to our backyard — a baby king snake. We left him alone, because he’ll eat rats, mice, rattlers and other critters that wander over our wall.


Hope your Fall is off to a great start — and speaking of babies, my baby is a young man now, off to college and all that that entails.

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And Now Our Hearts Are Broken

April 6, 2012

Earlier this week we lost Samurai Jack, our crazy little 13 lb. rat terrier. Feisty and smart and funny, we’d had him as an integral part of our family/pack since we brought him home as a pup in 2001 — a month after 9-11. My son was then six; he and Jack have grown up together.

One of the hardest lessons we learn as pet owners is this: There comes a balance due from the love, loyalty, companionship, protection and absolute joy the furriest members of our family bring to us. And that balance is a broken heart when we lose them.

Welcome to the pack, puppy!

Road trippin’ with the pack.

Having a blast in White Sands, New Mexico.

Exploring the woods with Mho in Flagstaff, AZ

Best way to keep warm in Hannigan Meadow, AZ.

Napping with the Big Dog.

Momma gets all the best kisses.

Samurai Jack.

Jack was also the star of several Youtube shorts:

Now something less scripted:

In Doggy Heaven, Jack, we hope you are wrestling with your brother-dog Mho, doing lots of tricks for lots of treats, going on beautiful Spring day walkies, chasing down rats, dashing after balls, and going on road trips with God (with the windows down) — who will then warmly snuggle you all night long. We will miss you so much, Prince Tiny Feet. R.I.P.

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Tucson International Wildlife Museum

March 4, 2012

What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon — this place is delightful. Started out as an exhibit of a big game hunter’s trophies, but long ago morphed into a “charitable organization that funds and manages worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian services.” The Tuscon International Wildlife Museum — is fascinating, and sometimes a bit creepy (which I love!), especially the Sonoran Desert at Night walk-through exhibit, and the Great Room (wall-to-wall with all manner of stuffed heads).

What a regal way to welcome visitors.

Just like looking in the mirror, isn’t it, Mr. Ram-Bo?

Mmmm, ostrich egg! This thieving pup looks more sleepy than hungry.

Don’t recall what these creatures are called, but they look like something right out of the Star Wars Tatooine Cantina scene.

We’ve been going since our son was just a little sprout. Soon he’ll be off to college! Check it some blistering hot summer day. You won’t be sorry.

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Tucson Gem & Mineral Show

February 27, 2012

Always makes for a great day, visiting the Gem & Mineral show. And what do you know? It happens to coincide with Valentine’s Day (heh). Lots of beautiful beads, semi-precious (and precious) stones, lots of exotic imports besides. Lots of fossils too. And I mean “lots” as in so much stuff you end up with sensory overload after a few hours. Still, the weather was gorgeous (it’s Tucson, after all) and the people were friendly and amusing. The show finished a couple a of weeks ago.


There were acres of bright, colorful sparklies like this.


Just a sampling of the curios you can find there.


Spotted on the way home from the show. Oh, wacky Tucson. I love you so.

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Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane

February 22, 2012

Found some old comics from when I was a kid, and quelle surprise!, Lois Lane was a big favorite. Probably because all the women in my family are brunettes. And strong willed. And smart (heh). Girls, don’t judge — she was all we had before Buffy.


Clark Kent’s Super Brat. No. 192. January 1967. Dig that hair-do. She’s more upset over the cake than the corporal punishment.

Love how she got her own line of comics, but with the introduction of “Superman’s Girlfriend” (as if we needed to be told who she was . . .) — because otherwise, she’s not worthy of her own series.


The Demon in the Bottle. No. 76. August 1967. Seven months later, and much better hair. In the world she inhabits, how is she so puzzled by a little genie-man in a bottle? Her boyfriend flies and has x-ray vision! Gotta love the yellow paw-print bikini, though.


Lois Lane, Queen and Superman, Commoner. No. 67. August 1966. Something about her reminds me of myself . . . hmmm. Methinks it’s her expression. I’m a happy monarch, though — got my own superman to marry me years ago. And I didn’t even have to threaten to cut off his, uh, head.