Strange wet weather for October – received over an inch of precipitation here on the west side of Tucson. At one point it hailed so hard it turned the ground white. Thankfully the ice chunks were small, about the size of peas so no real harm done. Unlike the hailstorm on June 30th that did quite a bit of damage – my co-worker’s skylight was busted by a ping-pong ball sized chunk.
Greg’s Behind the Scenes Tour
My Aunt Coralie gets invited to the coolest events and often I’m fortunate to be her guest. The tour this week was led by the University of Arizona’s amazing Athletic Director, Greg Byrne (technically Vice President for Athletics but I think AD sounds better). Greg joined the UA in mid-2010 and we welcomed him with out of date facilities for fans and student athletes, aging buildings, luke-warm support for sports other than football and men’s basketball, and roughly a billion dollars in needed upgrades.
Boy, did he hit the ground running! No one expected Greg to improve the programs by this much this soon. He’s raised hundreds of millions in donations, overseen $72 million in improvements to Arizona Stadium, $30 million in upgrades at McKale, hired exciting, dedicated coaches, solidified UA branding, and increased awareness of UA throughout the state. He’s a dynamo and he’s all-in. During our tour he greeted every single athlete and coach by name (there’s well over 500 athletes alone).
There was a twinkle in his eye when he talked about future projects. He couldn’t share the details but based on what we’ve seen so far it is going to be great. And yes, I’m an alumnus but trust me his enthusiasm would’ve rubbed off on you too!
Inside the men’s basketball lounge with Greg, Trey Mason, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, and Gabe York. Great guys!
View from the $10,000-season box. It does seat 4 people and comes with a buffet, access to an air-conditioned lounge that sells beer and wine, and the newest bathrooms in the stadium. And, nope, I didn’t buy one, they’re sold out!
Updated Baseball Classic
It’s playoff time and the UA Wildcats started full practice yesterday so I’ve been thinking about baseball. Came across this hilarious video reprising Abbott & Costello’s Who’s On First routine. In my humble opinion, I think it’s better than the original. Take away thought – just how short is Billy Crystal?
At least that seems to be the main thrust of most advertising these days. I’m interested to know when Jolly Rancher put out this promo piece that I unearthed in a box of old family photos (1950s?). It obviously resonated with someone in my family since they kept it.
Promoting a product by encouraging folks to be better people? We could use some more of that!
Roughhousing Leads to Trouble…
Neat video of year old Nandi and her 4 year old brother Sundzu playing in the wallow. Boy, does Mom Semba get mad when her baby starts to cry. Amazing how fast elephants can move!
Smile if What?!
Came across this calling card while sorting through a box of old photos with my sister and aunt. I suppose it was a part of an advertising campaign but there isn’t a logo or product name. I guess we’ll just have to use our imaginations…
Name Our Jaguar
Once native in the United States jaguars were extirpated by hunters encouraged by federal predator policies. In 1997 the jaguar was added to the Endangered Species Act but it wasn’t until 2014 that 764,207-acres were designated protected jaguar habitat (most of that here in southern Arizona).
The handsome male jaguar pictured below, weighing in at roughly 200 pounds, was first spotted in southern Arizona in 2011. Since then he’s been caught on film over 100 times by remote trail cameras in the Santa Rita Mountains, 30 miles south of Tucson. How do they know it’s the same animal? Just like snowflakes, the pattern of each jaguar is unique.
He is one of several jaguars that have been documented over the past 20 years in Arizona. So far all of them have been males. The last known female jaguar in the U.S. was killed by a hunter in the White Mountains of northern Arizona in 1963. Which means we may never have a breeding population here in the States.
It pleases me that they still roam free. Jaguars are magnificent; powerful and intelligent creatures. And as an apex predator their survival in an area means that the ecosystem is in decent shape.
The Center for Biological Diversity is running a contest to name this jaguar as part of a campaign to raise awareness of North America’s biggest cat. Head on over and cast your vote (plus you can look through his photo album).
Shooting Stars Made of Poop!
Yep, you read that right. According to this infographic from NASA, compacted astronaut poop is ejected from the International Space Station. It heats up as it enters Earth’s atmosphere, turning into a flaming pile that streaks across the sky before disintegrating.
While some people might find that gross, I think it gives me another chance to wish upon a shooting star. On second thought, perhaps that’s why my wishes haven’t come true…
I recently completed a free Rape Aggression Defense class taught by the Oro Valley Police Department. I am already careful to survey my surroundings and I try to avoid sketchy situations but I was interested to learn some defensive hands-on techniques.
There were 20 of us in attendance ranging in age from 15 to 65. I gained some powerful skills that I hope I never have to use. I really admired how some of the shy ladies came out swinging during our practice scenarios on the second day of class. It would be great to teach this to all women – especially during the high school or college years.
Thank you to the Oro Valley Police officers that taught our class and especially to the male officers that suited up to take our beatings!