So I won't bore you with the details of why exactly a went to Tucson. It was a work thing, so it involved lots of panels and presentations (some of which I introduced or moderated). I did get a chance to spend a little time in the city of Tucson, though. More importantly, I got to spend some time out of the city of Tucson. The conference was at a resort outside of Tucson in the foothills of the Santa Catalina mountains.

The last day of programming, I packed up a group of beautifully multi-national dudes and took a trip up to the summit of Mt. Lemmon. One of the highest peaks around Tucson, it also has a road that goes all the way up to its peak. The drive is only 15 or 20 miles from the edge of town, but climbs several thousand feet and takes you from this:... to this:

(The second one was taken through the windshield, but it's enough to get the staggering difference in flora.)

We made the drive right around sunset, and got some great shots. I didn't take most of these, but that's because I was at the wheel and many of these were stop-and-clicks as we tried to race the sunset up the mountain.

Here are some of the pretty ones.

From the car:

The moon (which was full, though this doesn't capture the color):

Looking down at dusk:

Tucson below:

I spent my last night in Tucson proper near the University of Arizona. I went to a bar by my hotel and drank beers, played photo hunt, did a crossword puzzle, and wondered if all dudes in Arizona were that obnoxious and wore that much hair gel.

I know that they probably aren't. And don't.


Random Acts of Random. Volume II, Issue I

Hey guys. Remember that time I posted a bunch of random stuff on my blog? Here's another one!

I have really lost my sense of narrative. Time to insert a throughline. From now on, posts like this aren't random brain puke, but rather a segment we're calling:

"Random Acts of Random".

(Like that? It beat out "Brain Beat" and "A Visit to the Hodgepodge Lodge".)

- Well, those who know me know that I've been using "App State" as a verb since basically the day after their defeat of U of M. It's catching on, people. Here's the coach of the Kaneland High School soccer team (from the Chicago burbs) on their upcoming game against nationally ranked New Trier High:

“It’s a great opportunity for us,” Kaneland coach Scott Parillo said. “We’re gonna try to Appalachian State them.”


-A few other current events nouns-as-verbs: "Larry Craig". As in, "I think some dude was totally trying to Larry Craig me in the bathroom." Also, "Britneyed". As in, "I shouldn't have gotten so drunk last night. I try not to get so Britneyed on the weekend."

- My roommate, who shall remain nameless, came home today and explained to me that she didn't realize yogurt was dairy. Wonderful. Explanation?

Nameless Roommate: "I guess I knew it was dairy, but when I think dairy I think milk and cheese."
Me: "Milk! Cheese! Yogurt! Butter!"
Nameless Roommate: "Oh yeah.... butter..."

I laughed harder than I have in a while.

- The weather in Chicago is so nice right now. I went to the beach on Tuesday and had one of the nicest beach days I've had all year. I'm going to miss you, summer.


This is Bailey.
This is Bailey wearing a hat.

This is Bailey after a nap.

This is Bailey being a daredevil.

Bailey is my niece. She is two today. Three cheers for THAT kid, huh?



Some randomness:

-I have a toothache.

- Fun Hogwash (kid's improv) show today at the Bailiwick. I played a car with two HEMIs. And a male model. With a sparkly hat.

-The only downside about the extra App State coverage is that people keep calling it "Appy State". No one at App called it that. Just like no one in Chicago says "Chi-Town".

- I just listened to a couple in my building argue for ten or fifteen minutes while trying to move a couch into the building through narrow doorways. Well, they weren't arguing. She was just yelling at him. Favorite quote? Her: "I DON'T underSTAND why you don't have LOGICAL THOUGHT!"

- I am craving White Caste like a fiend.

- Fall is coming. Despite my best efforts.


New Chapter

I know it's been a couple of days, but this win is still making my days a little brighter.

In addition to a beautiful win, which may be among the greatest upsets in the history of the NCAA, it also marked the first get-together of the brand new Chicago chapter of the Appalachian Alumni Association. This is a great bunch of guys and gals. The only thing that can make me prouder to be a Mountaineer than our performance on the field is being around a talented and impressive group of people who are just as proud to be ASU alumni as I am.

Living in Chicago, far from the sphere of influence of ASU, you meet a lot of people who have no idea where App is or why it's so special. After this weekend, people are learning. That means a lot to all of us.

I promise I'll move on to other subjects soon. For now?



I can't even begin to tell you how exciting it was to be this deep in Big Ten territory and watch App State beat Michigan 34-32.

The best.

More details tomorrow. For now, time to pass out.


GO APP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Alright, App State. Season opener vs. U of Michigan. Let's do this thing.
I'm going to be waist-deep in Beg Ten fans. Wonderful.
Good news is this is the first get-together for the new Chicago App State Alumni Chapter.