Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fun in Madera Canyon

A group of kids from Rio Rico enjoy sliding down rocks into the stream.

Arizona Buddy enjoys a swim in the cold stream consisting of lots of mountain snow melt.

A group of retired hikers enjoy a picnic with KFC
chicken and Chardonnay.
From left to right & Their hiking miles.
Lillian - 5,500
Mary Ruth - 2,500
Jill - 50
Anna Marie - 1,050
Mag -4,500

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Movie Review -You Don't Know Jack

The HBO movie You Don't Know Jack is a superb film about Jack Kevorkian's mission in life to ease the pain of the terminally ill by physician assisted suicide. Based on the book Between the Dying and the Dead, written by his friend and accomplice Neal Nicol, covers the period of time between the beginning of his first case to when he went to jail in 1999 for second degree murder.

There is a lot we didn't know about Jack.
He was an accomplished artist and jazz musician.
Many of his paintings are show in the movie. They are both macabre and fascinating. He was a self taught flutist.

A retired pathologist, he was still licensed as a MD in the state of Michigan when he did his first case of physician assisted suicide. This was performed in the back of a Volkswagen Van in a park using a unique contraption that allowed the patient of "pull the plug" on him or herself.

Al Pacino does a superb job of portraying this very complex man.
On Friday night I watched a current interview with Jack K. on the Bill Mayer show. It was uncanny how much Pacino took on the features of Dr. K. The supporting cast are also excellent.
John Goodman play Neal Nicol, his friend and supporter. Brenda Viccaro plays his obese older sister Margo who shares his desire to prevent in others the horrific death of their mother. Susan Sarandon plays Janet Good, a leader in the Hemlock Society who tries to help the odd Jack from completely turning off the public. She eventually becomes one of his patients when she has pancreatic cancer. Rounding out the cast is Danny Houston as Geoffery Fieger, the
"ambulance chasing" attorney who took on Kervorkian's case to get publicity for his own political ambitions more than to promote Jack's mission.

This is a story of a man with a purpose, who took on physician assisted suicide as a civil rights issue. He had great rapport and empathy with his cautiously selected patients.
His careful documentation, both in video and in written record, becomes the basis for this
remarkable movie.

5*****. No matter where you stand on this very difficult question, this movie is bound to touch your emotions.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mariachi festival

Every April Tucson celebrates the International Mariachi Conference. This consists of students of Mariachi music getting together with more experienced performers. The culmination of the conference is a huge evening performance by well know Mariachi bands and singers. I have seen Vicki Carr. Although popular in the US for several years she has continued a successful singing career in Mexico. I have also seen Linda Rhonstad and other members of the Tucson Rhonstad family. For Mariachi fans this is the best. Look for it next AprilAdd Image

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Second City does Arizona

OR Close But No Saguaro. Chicago's Second City Comedy writers made a visit to Arizona in January to collect material for this comedy spoofing Arizona. Not that they really needed to since much of our embarrassing politics has made national news and has been food for fodder by all the national comedians. Friday nights Bill Maher, Jon Stewart and Colbert were all a buzz about our latest fiasco on immigration. Add to that are the "no permit necessary for concealed public places including bars", Sheriff Arapio and the Minute Men on the border and Arizona offers much for comedians to howl about. This provided a humorous but somewhat sad afternoon when one thinks of the ridiculous position our legislature puts us in.

By the way why are the Monuments of Monument Valley (note scenery backdrop) always used to identify Arizona when they are in UTAH?

Friday, April 23, 2010

My dog Buddy

My dog Buddy says that to enjoy life, one needs to get up close and personal!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

What better day than Earth Day to rant about the destruction of the mountain islands in the southwest by copper mining.

The first photo was taken of the destruction of the Red River area of northern New Mexico

The second photo was taken just southwest of Globe, New Mexico. A new copper mine just adjacent to this one is being proposed.

The final two photos were taken standing in one spot out at the Green Valley Water Treatment plant.

First I looked east at the beautiful Santa Rita mountains.

Then I looked west at what remains of the Sierrita Mountains. I noted the mileage from I-19 exit 63, Continental, north to the end of the mine. 20 miles of mine. Add that to what is south and we have one very long valley with mines to our west.

How many years would it take to have this same situation on the eastern Santa Rita mountains.

I have read that there is sufficient mines already to supply copper to the US. Further copper mining would supply copper to China. Let them supply there own copper.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sad Sad Nogales, Sonora

It's sadness in In Nogales, Sonora these days.

Dentists and pharmacies remain fairly busy. Especially Dentists. As the economy in the US suffers, people willingly go to Mexico for dental care.

Lines are long at the border. Going from Mexico to the US. If you are an elderly person, you can go to the head of the line and the nice young Mexican people gladly let you cut in from of them.

Streets and walkways are empty, merchanise sparse with no one buying.
Many curio shops closed. Rugs hung out with no one selling or buying. Favorite restaurants closed.

Young men on the street selling vanilla and on the other corner, puppies for sale.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Painted desert floor

In the order in which they appear in the spring.

1. desert daisy

2. desert poppy

3. sand verbena

4. Not certain about this one. Best bet from the Audubon wild flower book is Hounds tongue.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Turkey Dance and Taxes

I watched this turkey dance.
What is his problem?
No female in sight.
Caught on the road in Madera Canyon.
In the middle of the road.

So what does he think of April 15, Tax day?

Americans pay less taxes than any other western country.
NPR "47 % Americans do not pay income taxes".
Americans pay less taxes this year than they did the last 8 years.

So why are taxes the "F" word of Americans?

We have a failing education system, a deteriorating infrastructure, a health care system that still doesn't meet the needs of all Americans, parks and environmental concerns are not being met. Az closes most freeway rest stops and state parks.

IMO this is NOT the time to decrease taxes.
Quality of life costs us all.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tombstone Roses

April Rose Garden

Separated by only a short wall. My neighbor's roses provide all the beauty for me with none of the work. Click on photo for full beauty.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cactus blossoms

Same kind of cactus - 3 different colors

Monday, April 12, 2010

Movie Review

I know. I have nagged you enough about not seeing "Animation". My spouse always says "You want me to see a cartoon?". Just try it, folks. A good one to start with is "How to Train Your Dragon".
AND see it in 3D. No, you won't look weird in the glasses and even if you did, everyone is wearing them. I took my friend's daughter, age 40. It was her first 3D movie and she loved it.

This movie is visually amazing with great animation of the Vikings and the dragons. And a good story. Hiccup, a young Viking not keen on fighting dragons, finds that by being sympathetic to them he can turn them into helpful companions.
IMO 4****

Saturday, April 10, 2010

One of my favorite things

I always get a kick out of seeing generations side my side. I encountered these three at an event at Casa de Esperanza Community Center. Here are Marguerite, Marcia and Michael. If you click on the photo you will see how they look remarkably alike. Michael reports that he is a grandfather and therefore there are 5 generations.

Az State Legislature

Arizona Daily Star April 9, 2010

Page 1 "Concealed Guns with no permits nearly OK...Await Gov's likely signature."

Page 2 "Shooting victim found dead in Foothill neighborhood."

This is my opinion of our Arizona Legislature.