Challenger: In memoriam

I was in my office that cold morning in 1986, puzzling out a way to print a dictionary using the UNIX Troff program, when my Dutch colleague, Gertjan, entered my office and said, "I think something bad has happened." For the rest of the morning we listened to the radio in horrified disbelief as ... Continue reading

Nagging questions: MacArthur Park

Someone left the cake out in the rain. I don't think that I can take it, 'cause it took so long to bake it, and I'll never have that recipe again. Oh, no! — from the 1968 hit song MacArthur Park There are many questions in life, some big, some not so big. Big questions: Does God exist and does ... Continue reading

Puppy breath

Happiness is a warm puppy. — Charles M Schulz We have puppies. Taffy and Jesse are 12-week-old golden retrievers, a sister and brother from a litter of 9. We brought them home 6 weeks ago and they have turned our lives upside-down — in a very good way. I observe in people of my age a certain ... Continue reading

Bobcat pays a visit

A bobcat stopped to rest in my back yard the other morning, giving me a rare opportunity to take some photos. Bobcats hunt at dusk and dawn, spending the night and day hiding and resting. They are solitary animals. Whenever I've seen one, it has been on the move, walking or trotting stealthily, eyes ... Continue reading

Goldfinches chow down

The Lesser Goldfinch is a year-round resident here in southern Arizona, and on these warm summer days my palo verde tree is alive with flashes of gold as the finches compete for a place at my thistle feeders. These are very small birds with a very particular appetite for Niger thistle seed, which I ... Continue reading

For want of a nail…

For want of a nail the shoe was lost; For want of a shoe the horse was lost; For want of a horse the battle was lost; For the failure of battle the kingdom was lost; — All for the want of a horseshoe nail. — 14th century proverb, author unknown My electricity was out for 6 hours ... Continue reading

Good bye sunshine

I need to laugh and when the sun is out I've got something I can laugh about I feel good in a special way I'm in love and it's a sunny day Good day sunshine... — Good day sunshine, The Beatles As if it isn't enough that oil is flooding the Gulf of Mexico and volcanoes are erupting in Iceland, ... Continue reading

Arizona in the Sweet Sixteen

Tucson's University of Arizona Wildcats have danced to the Sweet Sixteen, a sweet result for a talented and hard-working group of student-athletes. Interim Coach Russ Pennell stepped into leadership in the fall and restored confidence and stability to the program after Coach Lute Olson's very public ... Continue reading