Thursday, February 28, 2013

History of a Fallen Lamp Post Part 5

I posted yesterday about the newly repaired lamp posts near my apartment that looked lovely and had been up a few days but were not working.

I came home tonight from a trip to Petsmart, and found the lamp posts lit and working.

Three cheers for Ridgepointe maintenance.  They're slow, but they do (eventually) get it done.

The lamp posts near my apartment are on!  They work!  Holy crap!

All of the lamp posts are lit and working from my apartment to the parking lot.
It's a Christmas miracle... in February.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Boom over Tucson

My @whatsuptucson Twitter account nearly exploded tonight (figuratively of course) when people around Tucson started asking "what were the loud booms I just heard"?  I didn't hear anything where I live.

The descriptions ranged from one loud boom to several loud booms, and seemed to be heard mostly on the southeast side, west, and northwest areas of Tucson.  The incident even got a hashtag going on Twitter:  #tucsonboom

The description of the booms ranged from a loud door slam to booms loud enough to activate nearby car alarms.

Based on what I've read in local news reports, it seems that aircraft, earthquakes, mine explosions, electrical transformer failures, and the Jolly Green Giant farting were eliminated as causes.

Zombies, aliens, and attacks from foreign countries also do not seem to be possibilities as well.

A few hours after it happened (around 7:30 p.m.-ish) no one seems to have an explanation.  The good news is that whatever caused the booms didn't cause any death, injury, or damage to anything.

I posted a joke on Twitter suggesting that it was two large breast implants crashing together at an unsafe speed.  That may be as likely of a cause as anything.

I'll let you know if the mystery is ever solved.

UPDATE 2/28/13:  The mystery is solved!  It turns out that an F-14 jet from Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona had gone to supersonic speed near Kitt Peak (in the Sells, AZ area) about 50 miles from Tucson and the resulting sonic boom was heard all the way into Tucson.

Dumpster graffiti update

I took a picture last month of a graffiti tagger's work behind a dumpster at Ridgepointe.

I noticed that the tagger's work had been painted over (probably was done a while ago but I didn't see it until today).  But, the maintenance crew was apparently out of sandy brown colored paint.  They used white.

One piece of art replaced by another.


The graffiti tagger's work back in January behind this dumpster at Ridgepointe
The cover up.

History of a Fallen Lamp Post Part 4

I detailed in the last episode of History of a Fallen Lamp Post how the previously repaired posts near my apartment at Ridgepointe had fallen down again and had been removed.

This story first started when a guy punched a lamp post that lights the sidewalk and surrounding area.  It was a post nearest to my apartment.  Then, the one about ten feet down the sidewalk fell down, laid there for quite a while, and then was removed.  After that the post near my apartment was repaired, and finally the second one was repaired and put back up.

Then, the second one failed again and was removed, then the first one was removed.

Now, they both have been repaired with new heads and lights inside.  But, this story isn't over...

Neither one of them work!  And, to top it off, none of the lamp posts from my apartment all the way to the parking lot don't work now either.  About half dozen of the lamp posts near the office stopped working as well (although I don't think it's a related problem).

At least the newly repaired light posts look nicer.  They're not functional, but they look lovely during the day.

This lamp post and the one past the next sidewalk are now repaired and upright but don't work.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Full moon over Tucson

A beautiful full moon tonight.

I took this with my new iPhone.  A bit grainy.

Now I know why cell phone cameras are still kind of lame.

This is a full moon... although it looks more like a UFO from a movie in this photo.

My first iPhone

It pains me to say this:  I switched from Blackberry to iPhone.

I had Blackberry for about five years and loved it.  It worked fine but when I got a notice from Sprint that I was eligible for an upgrade I did a bit of research online and decided that I needed to try something else.

The Blackberry, while sturdy, stable, and functional for things like texting, e-mail and as a phone, seems like old school technology.  The web browser is nearly worthless by today's standards and it didn't have the best transmitter / receiver in the world.  The Sprint wireless signal in my apartment is pretty weak and in about half of the apartment it dropped calls.  For example, I could never sit on the toilet and talk on the phone because it didn't work in there.  (Yes, I'm one of those people).

I got my iPhone last Wednesday (an iPhone 5) and Anthony got one yesterday.

A little review:  I like some parts of the device, and some I don't.

The good:  It works lightning fast (especially in comparison to the Blackberry), it functions sufficiently on a 3G network (Tucson isn't scheduled to become a 4G market for Sprint until late this year according to the customer service rep that helped me at the store last Wednesday), it works wonderfully on Wi-fi, and Twitter and Facebook are amazing on the iPhone.  Sprint offers unlimited data so my bill each month should be about the same as it was before.

The bad:  I can't make and send my own ringtones to myself easily like I did on the Blackberry (supposedly there are a couple of apps that do a workaround and I have yet to dive into that), the virtual keyboard sucks (although I'm getting better at using it, but it still sucks), it's bigger (not sure that I like that but it still fits into my front pocket), it's highway robbery to buy a case for it that will do an ounce of good (like being water or shock resistant... it was $80.00), and you have to manage any music, photos, or most any other content through the hideous iTunes store / app.  In fact, I downloaded the latest version of iTunes to my laptop when I brought the phone home and it's the worst software update they've ever done.

I understand that there are certain ways the phone works to make sure that Apple makes more money off of me now that I own the device.  But, the experience is kind of like going to a really fancy hotel.  They charge you ridiculous prices for everything when a Super 8 with free wi-fi and a continental breakfast functions just as well and doesn't cost very much.

I do have one way to combat that:  I don't listen to music on the phone.  So, since I rarely buy or download music online it won't get expensive to have it and it won't be time consuming to manage it.  As long as the internet works well, Twitter and Facebook are awesome, and texting and the phone are good, I'll consider it a good purchase.

The neatest thing I've found on the iPhone so far:  The ability to do video calls with Facetime and / or Skype.  That takes having a phone to a whole new level.  One other thing I've really liked about it is that it is easy to take photos and Tweet or Facebook them super fast.  The camera on the phone works pretty well, even if it is only 8 megapixels (in comparison, my point and shoot digital cameras are 16 and 18 megapixel so it is a much lower resolution).

So, I'm an iPhone owner.  I'll try not to be annoying.

Jorge at the Sprint store at Broadway and Craycroft in Tucson helps Anthony acquire his new iPhone.
The funniest moment of this transaction:  I was joking around with Jorge about water resistant cases for the phone
and he accidentally knocked over some water underneath the desk he's sitting at.
I'll bet I found it funnier than Jorge did.

Oscar Experience at the Fox Theatre

I attended the Oscar Experience at the Fox Theatre in downtown Tucson last night.

It's a fancy affair with everyone dressing up, fancy food, and the Oscars showing on the big screen in the theater.  They handed out goodie bags which included a $10 coupon towards the purchase of a tattoo.  I imagine the big names in Hollywood that went to the Oscars in Los Angeles got the same kind of thing in their goodie bags, too.

The weather was clear but the wind was howling downtown and it made the three block walk from where I parked near the Ronstadt Transit Center to the Fox pretty miserable.  I was wearing a suit and the wind cut right through.

A few photos of the occasion:

Outside of the Fox Theatre in downtown Tucson on Oscar Night

The line to get in

My co-worker Jennifer

My co-workers Frank, Andy, Mrs Grant, and Jennifer and a whole lot of other dressed up people

Inside of the Fox Theatre before the Oscars were underway

Mrs. Grant from MIX-fm and Greg Gurule from KGUN 9 on stage during an Oscar commercial break

This Oscar ice statue melted from the brain down

Cinnapoppers and Beanee Weenee

This week's trip to Walmart Neighborhood Market was a solo venture.

I always feel less inspired to take photos of stuff in the store when I'm alone.  I suppose it's because I have to concentrate on picking out what I'm buying 100% of the time.  It's a lot of pressure you know.

Here's what I found this week:

Cinnabon Cinnapoppers
Finally... Cinnabon cinnamon rolls for people with teeny tiny mouths.

Eggo Seasons
They now make Eggo waffles for different times of the year.
I hope the St. Patrick's Day waffles are green.

Van Camp's Beanee Weenee!
The last time I had this I was a kid.
My favorite part of Beanee Weenee is the Weenee.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A visit to Pima College for All Shook Up

I went to the Pima College of Performing Arts production of "All Shook Up" last night at the Proscenium Theatre.

One of the hosts of the Morning Blend (Amanda) made a VIP guest appearance during the production and I went to shoot some video for the show and take a few photos.

I think that they did an excellent job with the production.  It has lots of humor and the music, which includes a bunch of Elvis Presley songs reinterpreted, is infused in a really cool way.

If you have a chance to go see it, it runs through this weekend.  And if you can't, here are a couple of photos.  You'll just have to imagine that they're singing and saying funny things.

"All Shook Up" at the Pima College of Performing Arts

"All Shook Up" at the Pima College of Performing Arts

Snow storm in Tucson - the next day

The snow was still around after the unusual event we had on Wednesday.  I went out to my car to head to work yesterday morning and it was not only on my car (still), it also made a spectacular view of the mountains north of Tucson.

While snow is pretty to look at, it really really makes me want summer to return.

The Ken Carr car shivers under the snow

The mountains north of Tucson as seen from the parking lot of Ridgepointe Apartments.
Another view of the snowy mountains.
On the left, a light with it's askew... which allowed it to fill with snow during the night.

Here's a photo I took 2 days later with the snow completely melted.
It doesn't take long around here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Snow storm in Tucson Part 2

The snow storm in Tucson today was quite unusual.

I posted some photos that I took earlier today outside of work in my last post, and when I got home from work there was even more snow.  We got a third round of snow this evening that left an inch of snow on my front patio and all over Ridgepointe where I live.

I took Lucky out when I got home, and he experienced his first snow.  He's been in a strange semi-depressed mood all night and I imagine it's due to all of the dripping and odd noises outside that come with a snow event like this.

The snow will melt quickly tomorrow, but it was quite a sight today.

Snow on the Ken Carr car when I was leaving work at 6 p.m. tonight

Snow on the windshield

Snow on the side window of the Ken Carr car

It was snowing really hard on my drive home from work
This was at the stoplight at Speedway and Kolb

Snow on the building roofs at Ridgepointe

Snow on a bush at Ridgepointe

Random snow covered cars in the parking lot at Ridgepointe

Snow on the chairs, awnings, roof, and palm tree next to the pool at Ridgepointe.
You couldn't pay me to get into that pool right now!

Snow on the vegetation next to the fountain by the office at Ridgepointe

Snow covered grass at Ridgepointe

More snow on the grass

Lucky's toilet is covered in the white stuff

More snow near my apartment

The light post near my apartment has been fixed!
It's covered with snow.
And, it... along with the other lights down this sidewalk, now don't work.

View from my east balcony with snow on the grass and shrubs

Here's Lucky... experiencing his first snow!

Lucky doesn't quite know what to make of the white stuff.

Lucky is wondering where the grass went that he normally pees on.

Nature calls... even when there's snow.

Snow storm in Tucson

I blog often about unusual weather in Tucson.

Today an unusual weather day because it snowed.  And, it was a pretty spectacular event for this area.  It does snow every few years here but it's usually a dusting and lasts a few minutes.  This snow event actually caused snow to stick to grass and dirt areas and lasted in some areas for an hour or more.

I took this photo outside of the back door of the KGUN building and you can really see the snow flakes falling.

Snow and wind at around noon today on Tucson's east side.

Outside of the east door of the KGUN building.
The snow was coming down harder.

Snowy view from the front doors of the KGUN building.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fire alarm sounds, I take photos

I always tell myself I'd be awesome in a real crisis situation.  Truth be told, I'd probably be too busy taking photos and posting the crisis on Twitter to do anything really helpful (except record the destruction and mayhem for posterity).

But, until that day comes, I'll pretend I'm awesome.

The fire alarm went off today in the KGUN building and we all headed to the exits.  It turned out to be something related to the water pressure to the building and that's what set it off.  (The new types of fire alarm systems will set off the alarm if there is a big drop in pressure, so in case there is a real fire there is enough water pressure to make the sprinkler systems effective).

I snapped a few photos of my co-workers outside waiting for the all clear to get back to work.

Guy climbs on the back of this truck... which is no help whatsoever.

The gathering of co-workers in the parking lot after the fire alarm went off.

Same gathering, side view.

In a rather bizarre totally coincidental moment, the Tucson Fire Dept was conducting ladder truck hose training
half a block away to the south.
If there had been an actual fire, they could have just turned that spray 45 degrees
to the north and knocked it right down.