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Keeping it Real

Arizona Riffs, click to see the full website  Keeping it Real It’s time to assert our independence again. Variety is the spice of life and diversity in nature means a healthy ecosystem. Its that way in social systems as well. I have found most tourist towns become stagnant parodies of their former claim to fame. Feeding off their pasts till what once was is just a kitchie post card. The one exception around here is Jerome. It has moved on from being a mining town and a ghost town to being a hippie “Art Colony” to being an incubator for counter...

Requiem for a Lion in the Flowers

Requiem for a Lion in the Flowers We have it sooo good here in the USA. Ya Ya I know it was better back in the days of blissful ignorance ie the 50′s and 60′s but even so it’s so much better than most of the alternatives. If you don’t believe me just ask a Central American. After decades of record population growth these catholic agricultural countries are literally throwing their surplus children at the wall hoping some will get through. Urged on by preachers and rumors of a new amnesty, and the drug cartels charging $5-8,000 a head, their own countries say please...

How To Kill the Sport You Love

Arizona Riffs, click to see the full website  How To Kill the Sport You Love Politics and sports have gone together since chariot races in the circus and and gladiators in the Coliseum. And anytime you add high stakes to a game someone is gonna want to win “at all costs”. So is anybody really surprised when we hear about Singaporean mafia buying Finnish World Cup judges or cost over-runs in Brazil? When hasn’t an Olympics not been surrounded by scandal, including Salt Lake? Having seen Salt Lake before and after the games I can say its a much...

Quality Living in a Land of Limits

QUALITY LIVING IN A LAND OF LIMITS Arizona is a land of plenty. Plenty of open space, plenty of picture postcard views, and especially this time of year plenty of sun and plenty of things to do. So why do we have all this “plenty”? The answer is in the name Ari(d) + Zona and always has been. It’s why we don’t have the population density of our neighbors like California and shouldn’t try. “Water is life” and where there is a lot of water you have lots of “life” and where you don’t, you have “plenty” …of...

Living With Fire

Arizona Riffs, click to see the full website  Living With Fire It was inevitable and we all knew it was going to happen. Even when similar fires took out communities in Colorado and California or even Greer people looked at you like a dooms day prophet if you mentioned it happening here. Negative vibes and all that. Considering how important “The Canyon” has been to the local economy it’s a real oversight that more attention was not paid to fire health. Not fire prevention, no matter what you do or say a fire was going to happen either through...

Nobodies Mother’s Son

Arizona Riffs, click to see the full website  Nobodies Mother’s Son “I’m shocked, shocked I say!” Just like the Vichy French policeman in Casablanca that the Russians would invade the Crimea and Ukraine. I mean it’s not like the Russians are paranoid about being land locked without anyplace to park their warm water fleet. I seem to remember the Brits fought the Czar over the same piece of ground and just like Afghanistan it didn’t end well for the Brits. So before we go charging off like the “Light Brigade” we...

Here’s a tip, spend it well

Here’s a tip, spend it well I never thought I would hear myself say “Thank God we have a tourist based economy here in the Verde Valley”. But it’s true. Much of what we enjoy here, the restaurants and entertainment, are due to the extra dollars brought into our economy by tourists. It’s understandable, we live in a nice place. It’s exceptional, not only in its beauty but in its economy. Most other communities our size would not have these amenities, not just because they don’t have tourism but because the community doesn’t have the disposible...

Do Birds Sing The Blues?

Do Birds Sing The Blues?   “Let’s all gather by the river” and listen to the birds sing and give thanks that we have such a great wildlife sanctuary like the river. It’s the 14th annual Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival at Dead Horse Ranch State Park this week which I like to include in the “live” entertainment department because wildlife seems to be more visible in a bar than out in nature these days. People find it strange when I tell them that I see more wildlife, especially mammals, in the US than I did living in Brazil. We had lots of birds, parrots, and...

Some Like it Cold or Not

Some Like it Cold or Not It was so nice waking up to a cloudy day. After a week of full on summer down south I went down to the cafe this morning and had to put a jacket on probably for the last time. Now if it would only rain it would be perfect. Sound crazy to you? That’s because you are probably a Snowbird, a refuge from the “Frozen Wasteland”, snow shovels, chains, ice scrapers and heating bills. As much as you hate the cold most true Arizonans hate the heat, whacking weeds, oven hot cars, dermatologists, and our own version of cabin fever that involves the hum of the...

Arizona Riffs, click to see the full website  Summer is Coming I’ve been to the wall, not the wall to the north like in Game of Thrones, but to that war zone to the south on the “Frontera” and I can tell ya “Summer is Coming”. Get ready a horde of Snow Birds in those slow moving Winapigos are starting to move along with the migration of vagrants and the weekly refugees from the Valley of the Sun Baked. I nearly get stuck there every week as I run the gauntlet searching for the best way to extricate myself from the belly of the beast....

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