The airport is reporting almost an inch and a half of rain (so far!) this afternoon. And I have a goddamn leak in my office here at Weekly World Central. Garrett at the Southcentral Bureau reports flooded streets and general messiness in the Reid Park area.
Any monsoon stories or observations you'd like to share?
UPDATE: I am now informed (as of 4:30 p.m.) that the Southcentral Bureau (22nd/Country Club) is without power. I went to the Tucson Electric Power Web site to get some information, and it seems to be down. I take this to be a bad sign.
UPDATE NO. 2: We're getting word that people were found dead in a vehicle in the Rodeo Wash, and there's lots of chaos out there. Please ... be safe, everyone.
Mmm, this pizza looks like it's made out of Play-Doh. According to the geek-worship site where I found it, the entire pie is a mere 5,164 calories, with 10,752 mg of sodium (the National Institutes of Health recommend that adults take in no more than 2,400 mg a day). I think the little maple leaf means that the crust comes with maple syrup.
Wasn't it nice of them to add the peas and carrots as an afterthought?
The Associated Press reports that the Pentagon has released more documents regarding the investigation into the death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman in Afghanistan. Tillman, who gave up playing for the Arizona Cardinals to sign up with the military after Sept. 11, was killed by his own troops in 2004, but Army officials cooked up a bullshit a story about how he died charging enemy insurgents.
This is what we call propaganda. And it's disgraceful.
The story notes:
The documents also shed new light on Tillman's last moments.
It has been widely reported by the AP and others that Spc. Bryan O'Neal, who was at Tillman's side as he was killed, told investigators that Tillman was waving his arms shouting "Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat (expletive) Tillman, damn it!" again and again.
But the latest documents give a different account from a chaplain who debriefed the entire unit days after Tillman was killed.
The chaplain said that O'Neal told him he was hugging the ground at Tillman's side, "crying out to God, help us. And Tillman says to him, 'Would you shut your (expletive) mouth? God's not going to help you; you need to do something for yourself, you sniveling ..."
A reminder from The Humane Society of Southern Arizona:
Summer rains bring out Colorado River toads (also known as Sonoran Desert toads). The toads are large with a flat, broad head and leathery skin sparsely covered with pale orange warts. They vary in color from dark brown to olive or grayish green. They also have round white warts at the corners of the mouth and large, granular glands covering the neck and limbs. Colorado River toads secrete a sticky, milky-white, neurotoxin and cardiotoxin from their skin that can be lethal. Signs that your pet may have had contact with these toads include:
- severe irritation to eyes and nose, dilated pupils
- extremely dark pink or red gums
- foaming at the mouth or excessive drooling
- staggering or a "sawhorse" type stance
- paralysis, seizures and even death
Heart irregularities often develop and can result in death in less than 30 minutes after contact. If your pet has had contact with these toads and exhibit any of these symptoms, carefully flush their mouth with water in an outward direction so they do not swallow the toxin and seek immediate veterinary care.
Additional tips include:
- Keep cats indoors; keep dogs on leashes and closely supervised during walks
- Ensure that pets have the protection of walls or fences in their yard, access to a safe structure such as a doghouse or pet door, and plentiful shade and fresh water
- Keep pet water bowls up off the ground to prevent toads from getting in
- Enroll your dog in toad avoidance training
For more information on these and other animal care issues, call 327-6088; visit the Humane Society of Southern Arizona at 3450 North Kelvin Boulevard, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week; or visit the HSSA Web site at http://www.hssaz.org.
Where were we, before all the dive bars sucked up my blogging time?
Oh, yeah, San Francisco. Joined our ol' pal Elinor Mills for dinner in the Mission on Monday night. I met Elinor when she was working for The Associated Press in Phoenix--oh, it wasn't really that long ago. Since then, she's been around the world reporting for Reuters and reported on the tech rise and fall from San Francisco. These days, she's working for that CNET outfit. She stirred the pot a couple years back when she was writing about privacy and Google. She looked up Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, and reported on what she could find in a half-hour: His estimated net worth, the amount of money he made selling shares of Google, his home address, his adventures at Burning Man.
Schmidt was so pissed that he said nobody in the company would speak to CNET for one year.
Nobody shows off the city quite like Elinor does. I owe her enormous thanks for recommending, over the years, all the places I tried to hit in my last 36 hours in San Francisco, starting with walk through Chinatown into North Beach. I got to browse at City Lights Books, read The New York Times at Vesuvio's and the San Francisco Brewing Company, and chow down a lunch of mind-blowing--not to mention diet-blowing--sesame chicken.at House of Nanking. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to duck into Spec's for a drink.
For Tuesday's lunch, we got to the new Vietnamese sensation down in the Ferry Building, the Slanted Door. (We would have had to wait months, evidently, for a dinner reservation.) We had an awesome Vietnamese crepe, spring rolls, grilled five-spice chicken and rice noodle stir fry. Not to knock our local joints, but this is why people rave about Vietnamese food. And the sophisticated space, with a view of the Bay, was spectacular.
Before we left, we also squeezed in an afternoon excursion to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Particularly impressive: Martin Munkacsi: Think While You Shoot!, an exhibit of photographs that ranged from shots of Nazis in Germany to William Randolph Hearst in Northern California. Stunning B&W stuff, especially given the time the photos were shot.
Finally, dinner at the Fly Trap before heading back to the Powell Hotel one last time. As twilight set in, we picked up our bags and walked across the street to catch the bus that would take us across the bridge to Emoryville and the start of the awesome train ride to Portland.
Next: All aboard the Coast Starlight!
The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) is hosting a benefit shred-a-thon for the Community Food Bank and Tucson Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Bring one small box of papers to be shredded for $5 or $10 for three boxes.
The ASBA is located at 4811 E. Grant Road; 327-0222.
Shredding hours are between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Yay! Almost 30 percent of the country sucks worse than we do when it comes to kids staying in school ...
The best album to listen to in the rain is Elliott Smith’s second posthumous album: a two-disc compilation of B-sides and early versions written and recorded from 1994-1998. Titled New Moon, this album is perfectly melancholy for the rainy monsoons. Yet, it's blissfully reminiscent of a time when Smith had his shit together, and before his untimely death in 2003, it reminds us that this may be the last of his brilliant work we might ever hear.
There really isn’t much more to say. It deserves a listen.
Here are a few events that were received too late for inclusion in our print issue.
Tucson Association of Realtors
2445 N. Tucson Blvd.
Community Homeownership Fair. The fair includes recources for first-time homebuyers, sellers, investors, owners looking to refinance and Spanish-speaking members of the community. Interactive workships, free food and door prizes will be offered. Free. Call 440-7126 for info.
Concempt MOCA Space
174 E. Toole Ave.
Open House. In celebration of the Museum of Contemporary Art's selection as a participant in The Warhol Initiative, MOCA will host an open house. Includes music by DJ Corbin Dooley, refreshments, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Truck" by Ruben Moreno, discounts on MOCA memberships and more. Free. Visit www.moca-tucson.org for info.
La Indita Restaurant
622 N. Fourth Ave.
A Cultural Evening. A benefit dinner and musical evening for DEPIIN, an indigenous development organization in Sonora, Mexico. Features music by Bwiya Toli, and a meal of vichyssoise, chicken with mushrooms, salad, peach cobbler, horchata or Jamaican beverages. Tickets are available at the restaurant or by calling 903-1606. $20 per person. RSVP. Seating is limited.
Tucson Convention Center
260 S. Church St.
Job Fair. A job fair will be held with representatives from AT&T, Cox Communications, SCF Arizona, Spherion, Sargent and other companies. Free workshops will be held. Visit www.jobing.com for info.
Longtime readers of this blog know that in the blog's early days--like, say, this time last year--I often had a field day mocking the Star editorial page's "Thorns and Flowers" feature.
Well, I haven't mocked "Thorns and Flowers" much lately, because after a while, making fun of something so pathetic starts to seem, well, pathetic in and of itself.
But I can't help but note that "Thorns and Flowers" has completely freaking lost it: The Star has gone out on a limb the size of a thimble to give a thorn to the Easy Bake Oven—twice in the last four days, on the paper's Web site Saturday and again today.
Oh. My. God. Let's read, shall we?
A thorn to the Easy Bake oven and its parent company, Hasbro Inc., for needing to recall the beloved toy for the second time in less than a year.
The Associated Press reported in Friday's Star that Hasbro recalled 985,000 of the toys in February and offered a free repair kit.
However, the company has received an additional 249 reports of children's injuries since the first recall. The company wants all owners to exchange the ovens for a Hasbro product voucher.
While the company seems to be trying to address safety concerns, the oven has been around for 40 years. A rational person would think the safety kinks would have been worked out.
For more information, oven owners can call 1-800-601-8418 or go online to www.easybake.com or www.cpsc.gov.
The Star may make the argument that they ran this--twice!--in an effort to get the word out about the recall, lest children get hurt. But, lord, the Opinion page is not the place for this.
Real opinion pages take principled stands, run engaging columnists and try to shape a community. They don't stutter about Easy Bake Ovens.
Learn the basics of birdwatching and how to identify the backyard birds commonly seen in the Tucson… More