Weather issues arise in Arizona

It seems like every time we go some place the weather is a problem. I just returned from the Association of Free Com?munity Papers annual convention and trade show in Tucson, Ariz.

The weather turned cold about 30 minutes after we arrived and didn?t straighten out until the last full day we were there. In fact, Thursday set the record-low high temperature since 1932 at 59 degrees. Also, it only rains 8 inches per year and it rained two of the days I was there. Plus, it was windy. I guess it takes wind to bring in the bad weather and wind to send it on its way.

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Our good friend Will Johnson passed away last week at age 95. He always had a project or two going and over the years had printed several family and other history books with us. His jovial demeanor was appreciated, and we liked the good-natured teasing back and forth when he stopped by many, many times to check on his projects.

It?s hard to imagine him not coming back in again. We will miss him a great deal.

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On the way to Tucson, we ran into former Hillsboro High School principal Glen Suppes at the Wichita airport. He is doing well and was on his way to an Apple convention in Dallas, where he was going to be a presenter on how the Smoky Valley school district is on the front edge of using Apple computers in their schools.

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The keynote speaker in Tucson was Dan Clark, one of the primary contributors to the ?Chicken Soup for the Soul? books.

He is an internationally recognized speaker, songwriter/ recording artist and New York Times best-selling author. It was a real treat to hear this man speak.

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When we heard we could go eat at the Kingfisher, we jumped at the chance. Our restaurant choices were always obtained from the locals?they always know where all of the good spots are in town.

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The purpose of going on this trip wasn?t to get thin. When I looked at the scale this morning and couldn?t find the needle, I looked way to the right of where I usually look?and there it was.

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I?m not sure if this is exactly true, but someone told us the saguaro cactus?the tall ones with the arms that stick out and dot the landscape down there?is at least 40 years old when flowers begin to bloom, up to 70 when it gets the arms and lives to be 200 years old.

I didn?t golf, but those who did said these cacti along the courses are full of embedded golf balls after being struck by errant shots.

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The budget problems of Arizona read just like ours. The state legislature is considering a three-year 1-cent sales tax to minimize budget shortfalls and to help cover the cost of funding schools. Sound familiar?

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We like to travel with carry-on luggage as much as possible. Nancy has a Baggallini bag that is actually designed by flight attendants and is manufactured to the standard size (22 by 14 by 9 inches) allowed on airplanes.

As we were boarding for the last of four legs home, the gal at the gate said I needed to put the bag, which we had filled to the max, in the luggage template. So I jammed it in there, and by my standards it fit. When I pulled it out of there, the whole apparatus came with it.

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