Snow in Tucson

I couldn’t believe what I saw when I glanced out the window. Yup, it actually snowed, and the snow stayed on the ground.

It only lasted for an hour or so in our area of town, therefore no snowman or snowball fights.

Click here for more and larger photos.

Ginormous melons

My neighbor grows various fruits and vegetables in his garden. Last weekend he picked some water melons. Check out the size of this thing:

Ginormous water melon

Want to know how heavy it was?

Just under 70 pounds / 31 Kilograms.

And it was delicious.

Crazy thunderstorm

We had a pretty intense thunderstorm over our house this afternoon. Lots of lightning and thunder that rattled the walls.

It’s amazing how much water is coming down during those storms. Here is a video taken from our backyard where you can see first see one of the scuppers dumping water from the roof and then the normally dry wash behind our house turning into a small river.

Thunderstorm over our house in Tucson

A tour of the ASARCO mission copper mine

We went on a tour of the ASARCO mission copper mine in Sahuarita, AZ. It is the second largest copper mine in Arizona. Two thirds of the copper in the U.S. comes from Arizona. Here are a handful of photos taken on the tour of this open pit mine and part of the ore processing facilities.

It was very interesting and we learned a lot of mind boggling details. Definitely worth checking out.

Click here for many more photos and some crazy numbers.

Even more critters

Again, not for the squeamish. You’ve been warned. If you prefer cute fuzzy critters that make you go ‘awww’, then click here now instead.

In case you didn’t know, scorpions are nocturnal arachnids that like to hide in dark cool places during the day and come out to hunt at night in the dark. Their exoskeleton has an interesting characteristic: When exposed to UV light, they fluoresce, looking like somebody dipped them in bright fluorescent paint. This makes them easy to find in the dark by simply sweeping with a handheld UV light.

We did this last night and went out searching our back yard in the dark with a couple of UV lights. We found several scorpions:

Small scorpion in UV light

We also found an unexpected bonus…

Continue reading “Even more critters”


I found a few other Germans here in town that like to play Skat (a popular German card game that can take years to learn and get somewhat decent at). Details about Skat on Wikipedia. We get together every few weeks to play, speak German, and eat gummi bears. Good times!


Tech support letter of the decade

Many years ago, my first job in the computer industry was as tech support engineer for a genealogy program called Family Tree Maker. One of the many memories from that job is a hand-written letter we received from a customer. I kept a copy of it for all these years because it was so memorable. I dug it out again last night talking to friends and realized I really should post this online and share it for a good laugh because it is priceless.

Warning: It contains rather colorful language, so don’t click if you’re easily offended.

Click here for the funny.

The software was typically purchased by retired people with too much time and way too little computer knowledge. As a result, tech support was always a challenge. Back in those days, we still received support request via fax and snail mail.

That job was a great experience for me because it marked the beginning of my computer industry career, and I am glad I had that opportunity. That being said, I’m the first one to admit that I could never go back and do that job again. I have no idea how I survived over three years of explaining to grandmas how to locate and click the Start button on their screen. Shudder! Good times…