Tuesday, December 30, 2008

look out below!

today i took my first ride on the light rail.
it was great, i look forward to being a frequent 
rider. while waiting at the tempe transportation
station, several paragliders sailed high overhead. 
i believe they launched from nearby "A" mountain. 
they are no doubt practicing
landing in sun devil stadium (directly below
this glider), where the minnesota golden
gophers will go against the kansas jayhawks for
tomorrow afternoon's insight bowl.

Monday, December 29, 2008

little boys and trains

tempe's light rail celebration included a farmer's market 
(planned to be a permanent tempe fixture beginning in 
April), displays of hohokam pottery found along the
 rail site, chronology of light 
rail planning and construction, and miniature trains 
like this one, chugging around a fanciful carnival. 

Sunday, December 28, 2008

light rail celebrations

the cover band known as "the chris parker project"
played in the parking lot across from the new 
tempe transportation center yesterday while 
people drank hot chocolate, ate brats, and walked
to the light rail station at veterans way/college avenue.
they sounded great!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

big turnout

today was the official launch of light rail. judging by the
turnout at the 2 tempe stations 
i visited, our new transportation is going to be very 
popular. there were so many people waiting to board
i decided to wait until tomorrow or monday to take
my first ride. each train can hold 575 people and each 
train was completely full of riders all day. i'm 
not sure how many trains are in the fleet, but they come
by every 10 minutes (20 during off peak hours). it was
quite a festival-like feeling in downtown tempe where
music played and crowds of people walked down mill 
avenue and along the side streets. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

light rail art

several works of art adorn the dorsey/apache 
light rail station, including this saguaro 
skeleton. when a saguaro dies, the flesh
decays leaving a beautiful woody skeleton. 
this rendering looks just like the 
real thing.

Monday, December 22, 2008

countdown to light rail

in just 5 days light rail will begin to transport 
commuters from mesa through tempe to phoenix. as 
typically happens when a new change goes into effect, 
there are cynics and proponents. i am among the 
excited and am hopeful that the train will be so successful 
that north-south extensions will follow in the 
not-so-distant future. until then, i plan to ride from tempe
to downtown phoenix, try out new restaurants, 
go to the phoenix library, catch a suns game - all without 
a thought about where to park. and on the way, 
i'll read a book. 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

twas the weekend before christmas...

and all through the parking lot,
not a space was available, 
except in the very back - but that makes it easier to 
remember where you parked!
it was cars galore at arizona mills mall and everywhere 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

from Normal to ASU

Arizona State University first opened as the Tempe
Normal School in 1885. it was renamed to Arizona
State College in 1945, and then was given university 
status in 1958 (by ballot initiative and 2-1 voting majority), 
becoming the only higher education
institution to have achieved university status by 
popular mandate.

Friday, December 19, 2008

tall man

this metal sculpture stands tall (30
ft?) near city hall.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Philomathian Bench

the philomathian bench was given to ASU in 1929
by the literary philomathian society. it is located 
near the piper writers house at the main campus. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

house sparrow

female house sparrow sitting on an 
agave stalk near Tempe City Hall. 
house sparrows were introduced to 
New York in 1850 and spread to 
California by 1910, they are now
found all across the U.S., Canada,
and Mexico. in the nearly 100 years 
since their expansion, they have 
developed some geographic 
variation due to varying environmental
conditions across their range. northern
populations tend to be larger and 
our southwestern birds are a bit paler
than those in the eastern and Pacific parts
 of the U.S.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Manzanita Hall

with its signature triangular windows, ASU's 
Manzanita residence hall was once its largest.
Many new dorms have been constructed in recent years, 
but Manzanita is still one of the most 
recognizable. it's located just north of 
university drive, right across from the noble science
library. the word manzanita is from the spanish manzana
meaning apple. in the southwest, Manzanita
is known to refer to several species
of evergreen shrubs found in chaparral habitats of 
western United States and northern and central Mexico. 
Their stiff twisty branches are beautiful,
 smooth and usually red or orange. 

Monday, December 15, 2008

upside down

Tempe's city hall building, built in 1970, is award-winning 
and unusual. its unique architecture - an upside down
pyramid - was designed by Michael and Kemper Goodwin
to conserve energy by allowing less light into the building.
the Tempe architects received an award of 
excellence from the American Institute of Steel 
Construction and an award of merit from the 
Western Mountain Region of American Institute
of Architects. 

Sunday, December 14, 2008

festival of lights entertainment

musicians and dancers were part of the 
entertainment at the festival of lights boat parade.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

snow on a 70 degree day...

it snows in some areas of arizona - it's 2 hours to the
ski slopes of flagstaff - but it's a certainty that there 
will not be snow in tempe, except on special occasions
when the someone gets the snow machine out. 
this afternoon, amidst sunny
skies and short sleeves, there was a big pile of the 
cold stuff for the kids to play in. it was part of the
festivities at tempe lake leading up to the 
fantasy of lights boat parade.

Friday, December 12, 2008

where we live

tempe homes are practical, functional, and if you like 
spanish style - beautiful. flat-roofed haciendas, cozy 
ranch style, flagstone, saltillo tile, arched entryways, 
rounded windows, smooth stucco, iron trim, terra
cotta tans and burnt umber browns. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

holiday displays

on tempe butte ("A" mountain), wise men
make their way east by camel. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


in the same little mill avenue courtyard next to Carlyn's 
barbershop (featured Monday) is a little
import shop - Yucatecan Imports. a great little store
that's been around for a while. if you're looking 
for a unique gift or a shirt unlike the mass produced
tees available from a chain, then this may be up 
your alley. specializing in hand-woven wallets and
clothing, bags, and necklaces from Mexico, Central
and South America as well as Thailand, Turkey, India, 
and Tibet.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

easy rider

*mill avenue*
some days i think it would be so nice to be pulled 
around in a small suitcase. 

Monday, December 8, 2008

Carlyn's Barber Shop

tucked away in a quiet courtyard on mill avenue,
Caryn's Barber Shop has just enough room for 
customer waiting and one in the barber seat. 

Sunday, December 7, 2008

sneak peak

*mill avenue*
sneaking a peak over the shoulder of an artist
at the art festival. the colors in 
his painting are true to the colors of Arizona 
sunsets - vibrant.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

festival of the arts

*Fall Festival of the Arts, Mill Ave*
for 40 years, tempe has hosted a festival
of the arts, usually the first weekend 
in december on mill avenue. so many unique 
arts and crafts, jewelry, photos, curios, 
paintings, tchotchkes, trinkets for the 
wall and garden. it was a gorgeous day 
and thousands came to shop and look around. 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

beauty in the details

*mill avenue*
i love artistic details. why have plain tile when 
a few tiles like these can add such flair?
that's what i enjoy about photography - finding details
through a lens.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

stately bird

arizona's state bird, the cactus wren, is one of my
favorites. they're bold and inquisitive and even 
though their song is not really musical, i love 
the familiar chugging sound, which was described
to me once as the sound of a car not starting:
krrr krrr krrr....krrr krrr krrr
hard to spell what i mean, but when you hear it, 
you'll know.

notable: cactus wrens never cock their tails 
like other wrens do and form permanent pair bonds 
(like many birds) - i wonder if that's a civil union, a
marriage, or if they just decide to stay together?

Monday, December 1, 2008

will it go round in circles...

the chihuly exhibit at
the desert botanical garden
 provided an excellent opportunity
for December's circles and spheres theme: a rowboat
full of beautifully colored globes.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

blue light

a blue piece from the chihuly exhibit
at the desert botanical garden. 

Saturday, November 29, 2008

fantasy of lights opening night parade

*mill avenue*
from tonight through the end of december, mill 
avenue will be lined with christmas lights. tonight's 
festivities included a parade complete with santa
claus, tree lighting, a concert, and fireworks over
"A" mountain. thousands of people lined
 mill avenue to enjoy the festivities. 

Friday, November 28, 2008

the nature of glass

*desert botanical garden*
chihuly: the nature of glass exhibit just opened this
week. the exhibit includes 15 fantastic compilations 
of blown glass. each piece is a magnificent creation 
of color and light. this piece is getting a wash to 
clear away mesquite leaflets.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

a different sort of bird

*iron bird sculpture at Priest & Warner*
another on and off shower day with
clouds all around - arizonans cherish days like
this. happy thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

a day in the mid 70s

it was a gray day and very 
sprinkly, off and on.
and then there was a rainbow!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


*tempe sports complex, warner & hardy*
another photo from the dog show last weekend;
so many dogs intently focused on their handlers
willing to do whatever they're asked for a 
piece of cheese!

Monday, November 24, 2008

speed racer

*elliot road & hardy*
fiddlesticks is a fun park offering miniature golf,
an arcade, bumper boats, batting cage, driving range, and
go-karts. the kids, dads and moms who were 
racing around the go kart track seemed to be
having a great time, in the zone. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

show of support

*rooftop near kyrene & southern*
this cardinals fan was no doubt disappointed today.
the cardinals gave it a valiant effort, but were 
outmatched by the 10-1 new york giants. 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

agility dance

*tempe sports complex, warner & hardy*

a slow walk among tunnels, jumps, and weave poles;
arm extended to a pointing finger
that's what they are doing. they are memorizing the 
route they will take with their dog when their turn
comes. a route that will allow them to be quick,
and hopefully clean. that's what they're hoping for, 
a clean run.

usdaa good dog agility club event 
united states dog agility association

i've missed several postings this week, but
am back on track. just got a new puppy and have 
been occupied!

Monday, November 17, 2008


*tempe lake*
this little dinosaur was on display last weekend
at the arizona herpetological society exhibit
at the dog walk event

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

walk to save animals

today was the annual 2k and 5k pet walk to raise
money for two pet charities: the arizona animal 
welfare league and the society for the prevention of
cruelty to animals. strays were available for adoption.
it was a gorgeous day and there were hundreds of 
dogs out with their people, walking and smiling. 

Friday, November 14, 2008

the old Laird and Dines drug store

historically, the building on fifth street
and mill avenue was a dry goods store
called Laird and Dines drug store. the
building consisted of two stories and
a basement, which served as a bookstore
for the high school. Laird and Dines was
a drugstore for 63 years. When the
downtown Tempe area was revitalized
the old Laird and Dines store was razed
and rebuilt to resemble its original 
appearance...except now the second
floor is a Hooters restaurant.  

Thursday, November 13, 2008

egrets in a row

so many egrets were lined up 
along the dam. made me wonder if the
lake was recently stocked, maybe
they were waiting for fish to spill

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

neighborhood trees

*10th street and ash avenue*
the newest piece of irrigation
standpipe art celebrates the
diversity of trees in the
maple ash neighborhood. 
purple orchid, 
cork oak, chinese pistache, 
shamel ash, aleppo pine and 
arizona sycamore and a northern 
flicker (bird) are featured.
this standpipe art is one of 8 
works decorated with ceramic tile 
to beautify old concrete irrigation
cylinders. nina solomon 
is the artist. 

 i previously featured "the windows of maple ash" standpipe here:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Semper fidelis Veterans!

my father, Allen D. McIntire, served in vietnam in 
the early 1960s,with the United States Marine Corps, 
to this day he is a proud marine; 
and of course, behind every man or woman in service, 
is the loved one who gives them strength,
my mother, Carolyn A. McIntire

thank you veterans and veteran families for your service!

Monday, November 10, 2008

garage door feature

*hardy & university*
in the blue recycle bin shadow 
chosen graffiti stenciled on a garage door 
let's hope that a new tone will pervade
that we will not question every last motive
that we will have optimism
that everyone will feel included
and responsible for what happens next

Sunday, November 9, 2008

bridge over troubled water

*railway bridge, tempe lake*
sorry for the cheesy title, it was quite blustery 
this evening. the water was choppy, the wind was

Saturday, November 8, 2008

love bug captain

*parking lot of tempe marketplace*
no worries about overheating on this beautiful day
in the upper 70s. even if you're a black dog in a yellow
bug, it was a nice day to just sit back and enjoy the

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

i voted today

no matter your choice, no one can deny
there's a buzz in the air in tempe and across the
country. people proudly wearing red, white and blue 
flag stickers to show they voted today. free starbucks
coffee, krispy kreme donuts, and ben and jerry's 
ice cream. long lines and patient people. 
history being made.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

cynosport world games

*west world, scottsdale; tempe's sister to the north*
late october, early november in AZ is a coin toss.
temperatures are supposed to 
dip in the upcoming week, but the last few days 
have been warm ones. on one hand, AZ is a great
place to hold a big event like the cynosport world games
since we can almost guarantee that it won't rain. on the 
other hand, a warm weekend like this one can make for
a pretty uncomfortable event. nevertheless, handlers and
dogs from around the world have come to compete in
agility - the USDAA Grand Prix of Dog Agility 
World Championships, Steeplechase, and World 
Flyball Championships. In addition, there are frisbee
demonstrations, lure coursing, herding instinct tests,
and K9 Unit exhibitions.