Archive for the ‘Tucson’ 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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Snow in Tucson

February 23, 2013

Wednesday afternoon (2/20/13) , winter came to southern Arizona. Made everything gorgeous, like a Christmas card. Melted away by mid-morning the next day, which is fine by us. Don’t need to muck about in dirty slush.

Snowy Table Feb 2013Hardly mojito weather! And, hey!, where did the Catalina Mountains go?

Snowy Prickly Pear Feb 2013Snow even made the wicked prickly pear behind our back wall look beautifully harmless.

Snowy Desert Morning Feb 2013Sunrise the next morning.

Hope you are warm, wherever you are.

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Tucson Dog Show

February 19, 2013

For all you dog lovers out there — from last November 2012, some pics from the Dog Show held at the Pima County Fairgrounds.

schnauzersPretty pups all in a row. Getting ready for the show.

pharao houndAh, the regal pharaoh hound condescends to be scratched by a mere human. But it feels so good!

Big Dog Little CageI know dogs are supposed to like being crated, but I think this big, dignified, beautiful guy looks pretty forlorn.

Pair o MinPinsAnd lastly, a pair of MinPins –  wow, how their personalities come through in this pic! What sleek, feisty little dogs. They were both actually very friendly.

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The Tucson Comic-Con

November 13, 2012

About 5 or more years ago, we attended one of the first Tucson Comic-Cons — held in a local comic book store (Heroes and Villans). Met the artists, got some free comics. Fast-forward to a week ago yesterday, we again went to the Tucson Comic-Con — this time it was in the Tucson Convention Center. And it was fun, indeed. Lots of comics I’ve never heard of — no surprise there, as my comic tastes are pretty old school. Some of these artists (who were manning their own tables) are spectacularly talented, some others — not so much, but they have unique ideas for story lines, so there’s that. Lots of curios, gadgets and geegaws (as my grandmother would have said) for sale: light sabers, steam punk accoutrements (ray-guns, gas masks and goggles) original paintings and sketches, jewelry, lunch boxes, indie books, t-shirts (including a Darth Vader silhouette with Mickey Mouse ears).

Also, we enjoyed the sci-fi movies and tv shows in evidence: Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, Doctor  Who, etc. etc. etc. Speaking of Doctor Who, here’s a local Dalek rumbling around the Comic-Con:

The coolest part of the whole scene were the folks dressed up in their various cosplay attire. There were fairies and elves (not the slutty kind), lots o’ Star Wars denizens, a father-son zombie thing, and delightful steam punkers. Here’s my favorite couple:

Don’t know who they are — she reminded me a bit of Drusilla from BtVS — but he — don’t know who/what he is, but I loved it.

So glad to see the Tucson Comic-Con has grown up — hope it gets bigger every year.

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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.