Sunday, March 27, 2011

Earth Hour at Home

Short post here.  My family observed Earth Hour last night sitting around our patio table set with candles and we talked and laughed together as the rest of Phoenix continued as normal.  There were no Earth Hour events here - something that makes me feel sad.  The best I could find was a mention of it on a tourist calendar.  Ah well. 

I was pleased to see the rest of the world participate.  In particular, the Girl Scouts held several events across the United States and Scotland became the first country to get 100% support across all municipal councils across the nation.  Way cool.

The best statement I saw while surfing the 'net last week was found on a picture of a young lady holding a sign that said, "There is no Planet B."  'Nuf said in my book.

Anyway, I'm taking it easy today.  What I thought was an allergy-induced cough has become bronchitis.  (A  work acquaintance in Tucson said it is running rampant down there.  Great.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Join Me!

On Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 8:30 p.m. for

We CAN make a difference!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature, also known as World Wildlife Fund) and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. Earth Hour was conceived by WWF and The Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, when 2.2 million residents of Sydney participated by turning off all non-essential lights. Following Sydney's lead, many other cities around the world adopted the event in 2008. Earth Hour 2011 will take place on March 26, 2011 from 8:30p.m. to 9:30p.m., at participants' respective local time.
For more information Click Here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Day of Spring

The Northern Hemisphere begins the Vernal Equinox today, March 20, 2011, at 7:21 pm EDT and that makes it 4:21 pm in Phoenix – Mountain Standard Time as we (hem, hem) don’t do Daylight Savings Time. This means that at the start of spring (spring equinox) day and night are approximately 12 hours long (at the equatorial plane) and the Sun is at the midpoint of the sky.

For me personally, it means that the oven has been turned on and we are preheating for a long scorching summer. I really wish I could move to the cooler high country but life has chained me here to the concrete and asphalt of the city.

Interestingly enough however, there was an article in the Arizona Republic on March 10th that encourages me to hang in there.

“Tree experts envision the return of Phoenix's oasis of green”

In the early 1900s, the Valley was an oasis of green with lush trees sprouting tall along wide canal banks that crisscrossed Phoenix and its suburbs.

Cottonwoods, among the more common of the area's trees, dug in, drinking water that seeped from the dirt-lined canals.

By the 1950s, as families flocked to the Valley in post-World War II bliss to create a modern community, the oasis withered.
It seems that the people in charge finally figured out the heat island effect and are going to work on planting some shade trees. I’ve got my fingers crossed that they are real shade trees and aren’t like the thin wimpy sticks that get planted in parking lot makeovers only to be broken off in the first high wind that blows through. There is no shade under those puppies, let me assure you and most of the broken ones are never replaced.

Yes, this will be a conflict with the water usage sensitive among us. But eliminating or at least greatly reducing the heat island effect will allow more rain to fall on us. Plus, the temperatures, while high at mid-day, won’t STAY high as long. Natural landscaping sheds the heat faster. All in all, we will be better off having more trees in this concrete jungle.

And this writer will be a much happier person.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In my thoughts...

And in my heart.  I send my good vibes out to those hurting from this horrible tragedy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

But some nights I want to close the drapes

They say dreams are the windows of the soul--take a peek and you can see the inner workings, the nuts and bolts.

-- Henry Bromel, Northern Exposure, The Big Kiss, 1991

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Busy Weekend - Satisfying Weekend

It's been a wonderful weekend here at Daydreamers Welcome Headquarters and it isn't over yet.

Friday, being the first Friday of the month, was First Friday in Phoenix when the arts are featured for free.  Hubby and I took the Light Rail train down to the Phoenix Art Museum.  The feature exhibit was one on fashion with a particular emphasis on Ann Taylor.  Meh.  I'm not into clothes, so we covered that one pretty darn quick.

An impulse led us up to the Norton Photograph Gallery.  There is a special exhibit of two photographers: Brett Weston and Sonya Noskowiak.  One photograph blew me away.  I found a very small copy of it online but it had a security block on it to prevent copying it.  It was entitled "Natural Gas Tanks" 1939. 

The black and white photo was of two massive shiny tanks rising up in a small neighborhood, their size dwarfing the old buildings in the foreground.  The old brick apartments with the turn of the century "gingerbread" trim, led to older brick buildings, then down to wooden houses with laundry strung out behind, and in the foreground were old wooden shacks that were collapsing under the weight of time.  This description doesn't do justice to photograph.  It was almost as if Sonya Noskowiak saw how big oil would grow and shove aside anyone in their way. 

This morning.  VERY early this morning.  3:30 A.M. in fact.  My alarm goes off.  My daughter and I hit the road at 4 A.M. to get in line at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control to have the latest member of the household neutered.  Poor Zuko, a black long haired tomcat wanted to be a house kitty but since he sprayed everything he could outside, he had to be "fixed" first.
We missed the lineup for the "Neuter Scooter" mobile unit a few weeks ago at a mall because we weren't there early enough.  Taking no chances this time, we set out 3 hours early to take advantage of their SNAP (Spay/Neuter Assistance Program) clinic for cats.  First come, first served, and they were only taking 15 cats today.

We arrived at 4:30am only to find about 5 people already there.  They had actually camped overnight to get in line.  Long story short, a lovely gentleman who befriended us in line, made sure that some line budgers did not benefit from their boorish behavior and we were the last cat accepted today.

Zuko is home and sleeping it off in an undisclosed location.  He is a very good kitty and will be a welcome addition to our family. 

Kudos to the wonderful staff at Maricopa County Animal Care & Control!  These are people who love animals and took great care of their charges.  Thank you!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One of my favorites

What if nothing exists and we're all in somebody's dream? Or what's worse, what if only that fat guy in the third row exists?

-- Woody Allen (1935 - ), "Without Feathers"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Meetings and Star Stuff

"The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff." 
               — Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996)

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, folks. Our “Meeting Season” has begun. While these events are labor intensive to pull together and to clean up afterwards, they are way cool fun to watch unfold. I’m always blown away by the quality of our speakers and the distance that some people travel.

President’s Day weekend was our largest conference. It was there that I met two wonderful ladies from Toronto. (Just ignore all those SCTV scenes that are flashing through your head right now. Okay?) One lady came to the conference to learn and her friend came along because she had never seen oranges or grapefruit still on the tree before. I choked up a bit at that one.

Now it is just a steady stream of board meetings, dinner meetings, and a weekend conference here and there. We slow down in mid-summer, crank it up again in the fall and then we inch along through the winter holidays only to begin earnestly again in February.

What does all this have to do with “star stuff”? Not a thing - except that for some weird reason, I woke up this morning with that quote on my lips. All day I’ve been thinking about it. Any ideas out there?

Well, time to hit the old haystack.  Good night, sweet dreams, and may the blessings of the Cosmos be yours.