Three days ago, I wrote that Arizona is burning [link updated in 2012].

I had no idea how prophetic those words would become.

The "monster" ... now at 299,000 acres and an active burning fireline that is over 50 miles long ... 467 square miles (the city of Los Angeles is 465 square miles) ...

... is destroying all that is in its path.

I watch the news in fear for the people, for the loss, for Mother Nature ... gripped by sadness, with tears running down my face.

I have a lump in my throat. I am choking ... not from smoke, but from the overwhelming sense of helplessness.

30,000+ people have evacuated their homes to sleep, eat and live in high school gymnasiums and middle school cafeterias, not knowing when they will be allowed to go home ...

... not knowing if they will have a home to go back to. I weep for them.

Under the night sky, eerie in the red glow of flames, over 185 homes were burned.

Last night, I saw footage of an elk trapped by the fire ... panicked and disoriented. I weep for the immeasurable loss of wildlife.

I wept as a Native American leader spoke about the financial and ecological devastation that the fires are causing to the Apache and Navajo Nations.

Yes, I am still angry. But now ... I am heartbroken.

View From Mogollon Rim

I was born and raised in Arizona and spent many summers amongst the tall ponderosa pine that is now gone.

I have played in the crystal clear creeks and slept under the canopy of stars that play hide-n-seek beyond the piñon and pine.

I have sought refuge in the remarkable green beauty of The White Mountains when the dry, desert heat became just too intolerable.

I have left my angels in the crisp, virgin snow.

I know I am not the only one who sheds tears.

Thousands of folks in Arizona and Colorado ... and those worldwide that love the forests, meadows, and canyons ... weep.

If tears could only drown the flames and restore life to all that is gone.


"A monster". "Out of control". "Horrifying". "Devastating".

The most experienced ... the ones who travel and see it all ... say that it is the most dangerous, most uncontrollable wildfire they have ever witnessed.

Arizona is burning ... again [link updated in 2012].

Just a few weeks ago, Arizonans watched as very pricey luxury homes, built in the pines of Prescott, burned to their foundations at the merciless hands of wildfire.

Then we watched as the beautiful Catalina Mountains north of Tucson were devastated by wildfires.

Tonight I sit here, safe in my air conditioned home ... watching nonstop newscasts for updates:

125 miles northeast of Phoenix ... in the breathtakingly beautiful area we call "Rim Country" ... in the ponderosa pine filled White Mountains ...

... a "monster" rages.

This time homes ... you know, the regular John Q. Public homes ... average folks ... are gone. Precious memories are up in smoke. Horses and cattle are being set loose to fend for themselves.

Firefighters and fire fighting equipment sit by ... waiting.

This uncontrollable, uncontained fire is too dangerous to fight.

Plumes of smoke, containing ashes, flame and embers ... rise 35,000 feet into the sky. Temperatures inside the smoke and at the "crowning" surface of the fire are up to 2000º.

Tonight I sit here, safe in my air conditioned home ... watching a Native American leader expressing his distress at the devastation of the land that will take 300 years to recover.

Tomorrow the winds are forecasted to be up to 35mph. Winds that may push the fire into other cities.

I am sad. I am scared. I am angry.

Yes, angry.

I am angry at the careless, mean spirited and heartless people who allowed these fires to start.

I am angry at the global warming that has changed the weather patterns so dramatically that we are in a devastating drought in the West.

Tonight I sit here, safe in my air conditioned home ... and I am angry that I am so helpless.

Yes, a "monster" rages.


Okay, so if something looks too good to be true ... believe it.

But Mom asked for it. Yep, it was by her request. I complied.


The amazing Roll-A-Hose ... aka "the flat hose".


Being the quality minded daughter that I am ... I convince Mom to join me in the scorching afternoon heat to hook that puppy up and see its amazing "hoseness".

Lesson One: You must uncoil all 50 ft. of that sucker from its "amazing" reel or you simply cannot turn the hose on.

Pain in the arse.

Lesson Two: A woven, cloth type hose filled with running water is not firm in your hand. No, I think the correct word is "limp". Mom and I laughed out loud at the analogies I was making: somewhat x-rated and contained words like "... this must have been developed by a man with low self esteem ..."

Lacks function.

Lesson Three: You must unhook the hose from the water spigot/faucet every time you plan to roll it up. Why? The water must be squeezed out of that "amazing" piece of equipment for it to once again be rollable. And for it to roll-a correctly, you must unhook the hose.


Later, now inside in cool air conditioned comfort ... I read the "Instructions and Warnings".

Uh oh.

"Do not expose your hose to hot summer sun". Um, am I missing something here?

"Your Roll-A-Hose MUST be stored at room temperature in a dry location". It is a hose for criminey sake! Dry? Room temperature?

"Do not spray water into an electrical outlet. Severe shock could occur." Alrighty.

One Roll-A-Hose = $19.99

Shipping & Handling = $7.00

Hose Function & Value = $0.00

The Resulting Laughter = Priceless.



Oh, I know ... many of you calendar dominant type folks (namely YOU, Jeff) will correct me and tell me that summer has not started yet.

Okay ... so according to the calendar, Summer Solstice is 1:24pm (GMT) on June 21st ... one week away.

Today we are expecting 112º here in metro Phoenix ... and west of us, along the Colorado River, they are expecting 115º.

I guess that is not summer? It sure feels like summer.

You step outdoors and the air takes your breath away. The heat encompasses you. Everything you touch burns from heat that has not dissipated in the darkness of night.

It smells like summer too: the air is acrid with dust and dryness. Freshly mowed lawns, clipped hedges and pruned gardens do not emit that sweet smell of harvest. No, the air simply smells hot.

You can, however, smell the black, tarry asphalt heating up and releasing its petroleum vapors to assault your olfactory senses. But of course, that competes with the smell of automobile exhaust and pollution that falls into the Valley of the Sun because the heat inversion stomps it into the Valley floor.

And you can see summer ... sadly. While many states in the Eastern part of the country have landscapes that are greening up ... the land out here in the West is turning brown, dry and dead. Drought and heat. Hell for Mother Nature's bounty.

The treasured emerald forests are kindling and tinder ... one spark = catastrophe.

Animals of the wild (mountain lions, bears, deer, etc.) ... are coming into the cities looking for water.

Yes, I see summer.

I watch as more "illegals" ... trying to escape poverty in their country ... die in the Arizona desert due to heat exposure.

So, you know that old saying, "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck ..." and so on. Well, regardless what is printed on the calendar ...

... summer in the Valley of the Sun has indeed arrived.

[links updated in 2012]


I often wish I was trained in psychology.

Why? Well, I find myself always trying to understand the motive behind certain behaviors.

You know ... what makes people tick.

There is an interesting phenomena that I have observed (and experienced myself) that I now call "The DLAC Syndrome".

{It has nothing whatsoever to do with all of the acronyms you might find on a Google search}

What is "The DLAC Syndrome"?

Discovering Life After Computers.

You can pronounce it "dee-lack". I do.

So, what is DLAC?

I have found that many of the individuals who have used the computer for years as a method of creating (digital art and synthesized music), writing (manuscripts, poetry, journals, blogs) and electronic communicating (email, message boards, newsgroups, instant messaging) ...

... who have taken an extended hiatus from "the box" (whether self imposed or a matter of circumstance) ...

Well, they come back with a less "addicted" ... with a "less compelled to be in front of the monitor all the time" attitude.

No, really. It is true.

99% of my online friends have done it. They have DLAC'd.

People I do not even know, but happen upon, have DLAC'd.

Regardless the reason ... many folks DLAC.

I have ... and it is DLIGHTFUL.

I guess being trained in psychology would not help me "shrink" the motive behind DLAC.

Just one time ... stopping to smell cool rain on hot asphalt on a warm summer night ...

... that alone DMYSTIFIES DLAC.



Please sign the Stand for Children Early Education Investments Petition at http://www.stand.org today! Given the importance of this issue, and the time-sensitive opportunity we have to make a significant impact, I hope that you will take this critical action and encourage others to do so also.

The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to discuss renewing the Child Care and Development Block Grant in mid-June ... just two weeks from now. The decisions they make will set child care policy for the next 5 years! The petition encourages our Senators to add an additional $20 billion in new child care funds over 5 years to serve an additional 2 million children and improve the quality of care they receive.

The Early Education Investments Petitions will be delivered to your Senators during the second week of June. There is still time for your friends, family and colleagues to sign the petition and have an impact on these crucial decisions in the Senate.

Encourage people to visit http://www.stand.org to sign the Stand for Children Early Education Investments Petition.

Together we can ensure that our Senators know that early education is a priority!

- Content of the above post from Stand Members email
and © Stand for Children

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