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A sumptuous repast of fashionable naught

Below is a link to a fine little ditty written by
Sam Negri while he was an editorial writer for the Star.


Regarding the Sons of Whores

From The Arizona Daily Star, August 8, 1977,  one of the best pieces we ever ran. As true today as it was then. Here is the link:


Of Time and the Smell

Notice the scent of the breeze wafting off the windward side of 1600 Pennsylvania? It’s not cherry blossoms, but the aroma of impeachment mixed with the unmistakeable stink of executive privilege. It’s like 1974. Here is an article from — appropriately enough — Bastille Day of that year: clipping_12108527

St. Clair’s argument stunk up the Supreme Court, and President Nixon was history a month later.


Sunrise today


Sometimes it’s hard to tell between sunrise and sunset. The blue gives this one away. I think.

Tucson’s streets

I am constantly astonished at the activity on Tucson roads. Barriers are everywhere, blocking lanes, creating detours, stopping traffic. It’s astonishing because the roads only get worse. One county supervisor who seeks reelection says she will fix the roads. If she does, it will be only because she is GOD. Only God can fix Tucson’s streets. They have been for caca for most of the 20th and all of the 21st centuries. The explanation you hear is that Tucson temperatures are extreme, really hot and then really cold. But why then is Phoenix able to maintain roads like glass? My friend Zoe theorizes that it’s a lot like Tucson’s TV news. There’s a rule that it has to be bad, and another one says the streets have to be so bad as to punish your kidneys. Zoe says it’s the price you pay for the sunrises and sunsets.

So soon, mon

We seem to have an early monsoon season. This is a very good thing, being In the Wet, (a novel by Nevil Shute). In any event, this is what you

find on the Rillito these days.


Badda bing

If you lie with camels, expect to get up with fleas. A lesson right here for Paul Ryan from the best editorial-page columnist in the country.


For those of you who don’t know, Zoe is our medium Golden Doodle. She is a quarter Golden Retriever and the rest Poodle. She like to hunt lizards. The fact that she does not catch any does not discourage her. Besides, she gets to run a lot. As you can see in this video.

Mind the clutter

Even in my dotage, I’m of two minds about clutter.

On the one hand, I tend to do my best work with layers of clutter piled on my desk. On the other hand, I feel better when things are tidy and organized and I can find what I am looking for. BTW, it was Harry Truman, I think, who got sick of ” on the one hand/on the other hand” explanations, and suggested the adviser cut off one of his hands.DSC00886

But I digress.

I spent my working life in newspaper newsrooms where desks were infested with clutter. I refer to major-league trash and stuff on desks: old newspapers, pizza boxes, dried pizza crust, Burger King shriveled fries, remnants of doughnuts, cookies, empty coke cans, coffee cups with 6-day old coffee pocked with floating mold, pica poles, copy paper, plastic glue pots, well-chewed spearmint gum, candy wrappers and used Kleenex and napkins. That was the first layer.

They were all the same, these newsrooms, some worse than others. There was one exception. It was a freak of nature — the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel back in the time of Reagan and just say “no.” The desks were clear, clean as a whistle, just a phone and NOTHING else. It looked like an insurance office or a banker’s desk. I asked the guide. He said the neat-freak publisher commanded that all desks be cleared at the end of the day. This was as strange and unnatural as the sun setting in East. To issue such an evil edict also was the equivalent of mortal sin. Thus, it was certain that this publisher, like the vast majority of his ilk, was bound for Hell and well-deserved eternal fire and damnation.

For the moment, as I write, my desks — I have two, being prone to excess — are clear, neat and ordered. This happens usually twice a month. To tell the truth, it’s a bit deceptive. To create the illusion of neatness, I simply gather the layers of clutter and put them in a piles and stow them. Out of sight, out of mind — until I happen to run into the pile, usually on a chair or tucked in a closet. I try to forget about it as soon as possible.

DSC00888There is one sort of clutter one can’t do much about and comes unbidden with dotage. It’s in the mind. It becomes difficult with age to remember the name of that particular actor, song, place or whatever. Siri is my crutch. But it’s depressing. I would prefer to remember.

Alas, there are no cleaners, sweepers or nostrums to tidy up the mind. At least not yet. But there’s always hope. Now that the boomers are cascading into old age, I expect he pharmaceutical industry will develop a tidy-the-mind drug as soon as it pencils out. When and if they do, it’s a safe bet it will cost the earth plus 10 percent.