Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tucson, Even Now

Another Safeway sunset

On my way home from the Kon Tiki last night, I noticed an extraordinary cloud formation that was part of the oncoming sunset. Even John, who gets bored with my frequent sunset photo shoots, urged me to take a picture of the view from our driveway. By then, I had already stopped at Safeway to take some pictures - and several more were to come after I left the house again for a trip to Subway. I boosted the saturation on a few of these (especially the one above), but they're a pretty accurate depiction of the real sky Tuesday night.

Sunset from my driveway

Blue isn't a color one usually associates with sunsets.

The last light of the day behind a quiet neighborhood

With all my griping lately about the 100+ degree days (me and the rest of the country), and my hot and humid office here at home, a couple of friends have said recently that they could never live in Tucson. On the other hand, at least one friend has expressed jealousy at all the great sunsets I get to photograph. Well, like pretty much everything in life, it's a tradeoff. Most people love Tucson weather in winter, early spring and late fall, and hate it from May through September. People who live here warn friends and relatives not to visit in July and August, but most folks know that anyway. Tucson's population swells in the winter with snowbirds and Gem Show attendees, and in March with the spring training crowd. In the summer, the hotels have special rates, which locals use to get away from the hot house and into a cool resort pool. Tucsonans go on vacation in summer to San Diego and Colorado. Some spend the whole season somewhere else.

Myself, I have to work, of course, and there are things I still enjoy here, even in July. Sunsets, for example. In theory, I should also be getting lots of monsoon pictures, of clouds and rain, rainbows and lightning. So far, though, the monsoon's been kind of a bust. It's rained, but mostly at night, or for ten minutes between 6 and 7 PM. "They say it never rains 'til after sundown...." With the weather we've been having, even a little humidity combines with the heat to make things muggy. And my camera doesn't seem to be capable of taking lightning photos, even if I knew exactly where and when to point the camera and press the shutter.

Still, this is Tucson, where my church is, where the saguaros and ocotillos are, within sight of mountains in every direction. It's an awfully pretty place, at least at the edges. And in a few months, the summer heat will be over. A month or two after that, at least some of you folks will be shoveling snow, and jealous of your friend in Tucson.

Speaking of summer in Tucson, I looked again today at the Wikipedia entry for Tucson's AAA baseball team, the Tucson Sidewinders. I keep going on about the Tucson Toros, which was the old name of the same team. They've been the Sidewinders since 1998, though. I should probably accept the name and move on.

Anyway, whoever worked on the Sidewinders article before I did seems to have done so mostly to slam the team for changing its name, and for changing pretty much everything else at about the same time. The Sidewinders and Toros articles were almost identical before I started messing around with them, each extolling the Toros and griping about the Sidewinders. I tried to tone down the criticism months ago, but when I looked at the Sidewinders entry today it was still far more emotional than factual.

So I spent the evening researching the team's history online, and cleaning up the entry. I was able to add a timeline, correct the mascot's name, and get rid of most of the words that appealed to emotion instead of presenting facts. It's not perfect, but it's better now.

One of the problems I had is that most of what I found online was from the Tucson Weekly. Their articles were usually about financial and political issues surrounding the team, not about whether they were playing well. In particular, the Weekly has reported many times about a deal between the team owner and the county that leaves taxpayers on the hook for some of the money the Sidewinders lose each year due to high costs and poor attendence. The daily papers are the ones that do the sports coverage, but I won't be paying a fee to download old articles for Wikipedia citations. I can get to the articles through the UoP online library subscriptions, but that doesn't give me citations that other people can use, unless they want to pay money or go to the physical library.

I haven't been to a baseball game in a few years now, so I'm not remotely an expert on the Sidewinders as a team - who's been playing for them, who is managing, who's been called up and so on. I'm hoping someone will stop by the article and add stuff that actually has to do wth the game of baseball. Despite my lingering resentment over my lost Toros, and my boredom with a team whose players aren't even names to me, the Sidewinders deserve a decent Wikipedia article. With a 2006 win-loss record of 67-36 to date, they may end up having the best season in the history of Tucson baseball. Their Wikipedia entry, which is reproduced on, and elsewhere, should be more than a pro-Toros gripefest.

Maybe before the summer's out, I'll even go to a game.


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Globetrotter said...

Wonderful sunset photos, Karen. I too feel that living in the snowbird capital of the world has its trade-offs. Our sunsets are dramatic as well, and can be viewed over the Gulf to add to the drama. But the humidity and heat are enough to sweat the scales off the gators, though.


Anonymous said...

super photos!!! netti

Chris said...

Incredible sunset photos! I love the one where it seems that the rays are beaming up into the sky like spot lights.

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