Saturday evening went to the Tucson Chamber Artists Christmas Around the World at St Phils of the Hills.  (The last concert was Jewish Music Comes Alive at Temple Emanu-El.)  A third of the carols were sing-along, and as my dreadful singing voice was diluted by a few hundred in the audience and the professionals scattered down the aisles, I could sing.

Reminded me of my trip down the Grand Canyon on a raft.  Colorado means “red” in Spanish, and the river is colored from the red dirt of the area.  A thick red, so that if you stuck your arm in the frigid water, you couldn’t see your hand.  Anyway, that is the water we drank.  We also brushed our teeth in it, bathed in it (more like a sponge bath as the water out of Glen Canyon Dam is cold year round, about 52° – yes, Fahrenheit), and peed in it.  I asked how it was that we could then drink the water.  Our boatman said that the volume of water is so huge (normal water levels on the Canyon range from 10,000 to 40,000 cfs – that’s cubic feet per second) that the water is diluted.  Like my singing among hundreds of others.

A true desert

Sitting here at my desk about 15 javelinas walked across my driveway from the drainage ditch.  One baby and two other little ones.  Lost track of the count when I dashed for my camera, but missed them.  Then a roadrunner emerged from the hedge.  Not a good day for photos however, as it is still overcast.    Seems we got a lot of rain yesterday, but NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) says only 1/8” yesterday and ¼” today.  According to our weatherman, we have gotten 12.18″ for the year to date.  According to Wikipedia,

True deserts receive less than 10 in. of average annual precipitation, and semideserts or steppes receive between 10 in and 16 to 20 in… [But] measurement of rainfall alone cannot provide an accurate definition of what a desert is because being arid also depends on evaporation, which depends in part on temperature. For example, Phoenix receives less than 10 in. of precipitation per year, and is immediately recognized as being located in a desert due to its arid adapted plants.  Tucson receives about 12 in of rain per year, however about 100 in. of water could evaporate over the course of a year! 

To contrast, when I was in the Peace Corps in Jamaica on the north coast we got almost six feet a year!

5 Best Toys

My daughter sent me this web site:
http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/01/the-5-best-toys-of-all-time/all/1 which says that the 5 Best Toys of All Time are a Stick, a Box, String, a Cardboard Tube, and Dirt.  Click on the site, it’s hilarious, and is illustrated.
So I answered, “Can you imagine the look on Finn’s face when he unwraps a stick?  Or on Brie’s when she unwraps an empty box?”
And she replied, “I think you should totally wrap a good stick for Finley.  And maybe some paper towel rolls for Brie.”
So I have (along with other presents).  Will see how Christmas morning goes…

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4 Responses to “Diluted”

  1. N Says:

    Delightful! And thanks again for the cookie delivery….yum! XO

  2. Jim Says:

    How delightful it is to be surrounded by such “habituated” wildlife. Konrad Lorentz, the founder of the science of ethology, would be in heaven living there.

    My only memory of our conversation about your charity work in Jamaica is that you were robbed.

    My only memory of our conversation on a raft trip down the river is that you came very close to drowning.

    Last Christmas, we put out gifts for all of the wildlife. Our 6 gray foxes got the goose carcass, with plenty to stuff all of their bellies. After finishing the feast, they all sat around licking each other faces clean. I imagine how St. Francis would have smiled to see such a wildlife celebration of Christmas.

    • notesfromthewest Says:

      Not robbed in Jamaica that I can recall. Burglarized twice in Tucson and robbed in Vancouver (wallet taken from my purse on a crowded bus). And I came very close to drowning on a inner tube float down the Salt River. The boatsmen took good care of us going down the Grand Canyon. If you were in Tucson you’d get fined for feeding the wildlife!

  3. Jim Says:

    In Tucson, while living in that miserable ghetto, we kept a radio and light on whenever we left the house – and never had anything stolen from us, unlike our neighbor who did. I do not recall what you said had been stolen from you in Jamaica. It is the only thing I can recall about your charity work there.
    Feeding wildlife in Tucson should be outlawed – but it done anyway by some – out of kindness; and because the law is not strictly enforced. I would not do it in Tucson, except in ways where it could not possibly cause harm to the wildlife or neighbors. Feeding wildlife causes similar problems to those when feeding humans.

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