I’ve rather over-scheduled myself this semester.  As usual, am teaching math part-time at Pima College, exercising at the Y five days a week (Silver Sneakers and qi gong), and am taking a class for fun to exercise those brain muscles.

After have been burned out on the U of A Humanities courses by Utilitarianism, I cast about for a different class.  One of the women in TMA’s CAS (Contemporary Art Society), who teaches art at Pima, suggested I take an art class there.  Normally an instructor can take classes for a pittance, but because I’m on a grant, that largesse does not include me, and I had to pay full tuition for Lost Wax Sculpture Casting.

Introduction to metal casting of sculpture with emphasis on the ceramic shell method of moldmaking, historical and contemporary issues in cast sculpture, and individual artistic expression. Includes major techniques, health and safety issues, verbalization of visual perceptions, project variations, and content.

Making a wax sculpture is hard!  I’ve tried making a clay mold and pouring liquid wax into it, making a ring by heating wax just by body heat, and carving a netsuke (a Japanese small carving of wood or ivory) out of a harder wax.  All look terrible, and I have to have one very small sculpture by next week to cast in bronze for our first project.

Plus I signed up for a one-day class with the Desert Museum, Sandhill Cranes Raptors and Waterfowl, for this Friday. 

Southeastern Arizona’s desert grasslands and agricultural areas are dotted with artificial lakes, ponds and mudflats providing habitat for winter birds, including are least twelve species of raptors and numerous waterfowl (ducks and geese).  Thousands of sandhill cranes migrate from as far away as Alaska to spend the winter near Willcox.  Join us for a spectacular day of discovery as we explore the Willcox area–one of the region’s birding hot spots.

I ordered an inexpensive pair of binocs, shipped in one day, but then got the email that they were being shipped from China!  So won’t have them.  Must practice burst photography, which I’ve never tried with my camera, on flying birds.

Burst or continuous high speed shooting mode allows several photographs to be captured in quick succession. This is used when the subject is in successive motion.

Next month off to the Palm Springs Art Fair and Modernism Show with CAS, and in March volunteering for the Tucson Festival of Books and Music in the Canyon.  But more about those later.


I donated blood last week, as I usually do at the local hospital, but this time got an email thank you:

donationMadison is a first-grader who has suffered from a debilitating disease, anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, a disease which causes antibodies to attack the part of the brain which controls speech and behavior and can result in personality changes, seizures and other symptoms. She receives blood products to treat her condition.
Madison is nearly fully recovered thanks to the help of blood donors, and she is very grateful. She attended a recent blood drive and provided this note of thanks for donors like you.

I would encourage more of you to donate blood.  Doesn’t hurt much, but helps many people.  The Foothills Mall has a donation center open most days.  Check it out online.


I had an older student in one of my classes last semester, bald, kinda out of shape, out for a few days for cataract surgery.  When I was helping him with a math problem I mentioned something about when I had taught high school.  He asked what school I had taught at, then what years, and I had to fess up.  He then asked what my name had been then, and I knew something was up.  He had been in one of my English classes!  Boy, did I feel ancient.


Finally finished Gore Vidal’s Empire, fourth in the series of seven empirehistorical novels, preceded by Burr, Lincoln, and 1876, all of which I had read.  (They’re all long; this one 486 pages in the paperback.)  I’m obviously not rushing through them – this one was first published in 1987.

Published between 1967 and 2000, they chronicle the history of Vidal’s “American Empire”, from dawn to decay, by interweaving the private stories of two fictional American families with the public stories of historical personages.

Empire, its timeline from 1898 to 1907, weaves the lives of many historical figures (including President McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryan, William and Henry James, William Randolph Hearst, the Astors, the Vanderbilts, and the Whitneys), with fictional characters.  Vidal has researched his characters so well, you’d swear you could hear them talking.  With yellow journalism and the buying of politicians, it shows that not much has changed in that respect.


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One Response to “Over-scheduled”

  1. laserlady Says:

    Thanks for the interesting tour guide of my area. Inspires me to visit some of the places such as Legion of Honor that I have not yet been to. Wonderful raptor pics.

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