Conquering the Catalinas

From our home in Marana, near Tucson, we have a view of Mt. Lemmon, the highest point in the Catalina Mountains – over 9,000 feet. Since we moved here nearly three years ago, we have talked of driving up to Summerhaven, a small town near the summit. Andrea and I started the assent once a couple of years ago, but part way up we both became a little shaky about the curving roads with seemingly steep drop offs. We didn’tRead more

Two Troublesome Times

During the first three and a half months of 2010, I never lifted a snow shovel, scraped a windshield or tossed salt on the driveway. I spent the first 106 days of the year in the University of Wisconsin Hospitals Transplant Clinic. I had been in desperate need of a new liver. I got a good one, followed by an extended period of physical therapy. Now, nearly six years later I’m doing fine. In a number of ways, having a transplantRead more

Contest Winner’s Secret Revealed

Cabbage Patch dolls and Compact Discs were introduced in 1983, the year Magic 98 in Madison, Wisconsin debuted with morning man, Pat O’Neill. He’s still on the air at Magic and during that more than thirty year span he has said an estimated 12,600 times, “Be the ninth caller.” Contests are an important part of any successful station’s format, and Pat has run a lot of them. What triggers listeners to dive for their phone and call? It could be a triviaRead more

First Name Only, Please

Mononymous people are those known by just one name, such as Sting. Pink, Adele, Donovan, Beyonce, and Bono. If they have a last name, they never use it. And there are people who are widely recognized by just their first name. For example, when you hear Hillary, you know they mean Hillary Clinton. Unless you are in a class on mountain climbing history, in which case they may be referring to Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to reach the peak ofRead more

Lunch for a ’53 Buick

In the late ’50s, all the American cars were big. They were long and heavy. Some were starting to grow fins. The Buick had enough chrome in its grill to build a ferris wheel. The Oldsmobile, if it were properly fitted with a howitzer and some camouflage, could go into battle. Every year the American cars got longer, heavier, and more bizarre in design. We all waited each year to see what the new monsters would look like. When the oceanRead more

How Gorillas Remember Passwords

Writing down passwords in a secret place is fine, if you can remember where you wrote them. But, I think it’s good to have at least a few of your most often used passwords memorized. Here’s a trick I use for some websites. I learned it from a gorilla I met in a little known zoo bar. Not really, but I made that up so I could have a grabber headline. First, pick a four or five digit number you canRead more

Cinco de Mayo – only in America?

If you didn’t already know, Cinco de Mayo is a bigger deal in the United States than it is in Mexico. Here, this unofficial holiday is almost as popular as St. Patrick’s Day — which means it’s unfortunately become pretty much a drinking holiday. So much so that it’s been nicknamed, Cinco de Drinko and even Gringo de Mayo. Actually, it commemorates Mexico’s victory against the French during the Battle of Puebla in 1862, and according to research at UCLA, itRead more