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Odd Pueblo: Snappy or crappy?

This fun Odd Pueblo feature asks the audience to rate a trend, topic or sighting of something around town: is it snappy or crappy?

The last snappy or crappy, the mysterious MoonDance Saloon which is rumored to be somewhere near Arivaca, was the snappiest of all thus far.

But this latest one may just rival it.
Kooky porch décor. I find it fully snappy.

Is kooky porch decor snappy or crappy?/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Is kooky porch decor snappy or crappy?/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

I see this little doll daily on our midtown dog walks. She sometimes has a chewed straw in her mouth and was once even knocked over on her side. It’s cool to wonder what she’ll be up to next. Moving beyond the doll, this snappy or crappy addresses all strange porch décor.

Snappy or crappy? Please respond:
a. It’s snappy and fun. It makes me giggle to see kooky things on people’s porches.
b. How crappy. I bet it brings down neighborhood house values worse than 10-inch weeds.
c. I like kooky décor but this doll creeps me out.
d. I have no sense of humor and nothing should be on the porch, not even a welcome mat. People could trip on the mat and break open their skulls.

Do you have a snappy or crappy sighting around town? Please e-mail


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Artist’s sketchbook: a motorcycle party

My latest art haul was inspired by cool Tucson native Gus Nitsche and his equally cool wife Stephanie, who are opening a new motorcycle repair and refurbishing shop on Grant Road.

I’ve known Stephanie since our good ole days in New York’s Alphabet City where we raised hell, kicked butt and did all kinds of things we’re never going to tell you about.

But now Stephanie and I are quite respectable, no? And she and Gus, who is also an artist, wanted art for Friday’s grand opening party for their shop, Ironwood Cycle at 329 E. Grant Road. I happily obliged.


They got cycle-inspired wacky yard art and a biker series of Lucky Voodoo Dolls.

The party, which runs from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 3, will feature free hotdogs, hamburgers, iced tea and “soda pop,” as Gus likes to call it.

I’ll be on hand taking photos, especially scouting for a cycle that rivals Nitsche’s own 1950 fully restored and glorious Harley Davidson.



Got a cycle that’s just as cool? Come on down and I’ll take photos to post on a future blog. Also come clad in your best biker gear for more fabulous photo ops.

What: Ironwood Cycle grand opening party
Where: 329 E. Grant Road (between First and Stone avenues)
When: 5 to 9 p.m. Friday
Why: Because Gus and Stephanie are cool people and would love to introduce you to their new venture

I’m glad to support the shop opening of a friendly, personable motorcycle man. Wish Gus also fixed cars and not just cycles. He already helped me out with massively long jumper cables when my car’s battery went dead while the car was nestled in my tiny garage.

I’ve also just poured roughly $1,000 into my car in the past two weeks to replace the battery, two tires and an electronic window motor. My mechanic of choice is a large chain that just happened to be the closest one to my house. The folks there seem to be doing OK, unlike others who have diagnosed 352 things wrong with my car when I take it in for a simple oil change.

I’ll give Gus the thumbs up as a guy you can trust. How can you not trust a dude who has a pug named Monkey Butt that follows him around all day and cries at the door when Gus merely steps outside?

Hope to see you at the party. I plan to arrive around 6:30ish for photo ops.

All photos and art herein by Ryn Gargulinski. Refurbished cycle by Gus.

Do you have a scary mechanic story?

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The glory of mud

Mud gets a bad rap. It’s dirty. It’s messy. And it’s historically been the reason behind many matted shag carpets or smeary footprints on white linoleum.

But there’s another side of mud, the marvelous and miraculous side, that cannot go unnoted.

Oregon marsh mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Oregon marsh mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

A bee sting made my finger swollen, stiff and itchy. It hit its intolerable peak while I was in Moon Smoke Shop and I began rubbing it like a mad woman.

I mentioned it to the guy behind the counter because I had this strange feeling that the guys at Moon Smoke Shop, specifically the one on the corner of Grant Road and Alvernon Way, would know what to do for a bee sting. They did.

“Pack it in mud,” the manager/owner said. He explained this folk remedy supposedly sucked the stinger out as the mud dried.

While it may seem somewhat stupid to pack germy, wet dirt around a swollen bee sting sore, which was now ripped open after I tried to gouge out the invisible stinger with tweezers, I gave it a whirl.

More marsh mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
More marsh mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

The instant I packed the mud around the sore, the soothing began. The pulsing went down. It stopped itching. My finger felt like it was encased in a soft, cozy cocoon.

By the time the mud dried and flaked off, the swelling was gone and my finger could bend.

Mud not only sucks out bee stingers, but it is known to be equally effective for sucking other toxins from the body. Mud masks and mud wraps are in high demand, especially for the gads of tourists who flock to the ultra-healing black mud by the Dead Sea.

People are digging it (excuse the pun).

Even if you don’t care to heal yourself with mud, you can always wrestle in it, name your band Primus and write a song about it, or use it in the title of a poem:

Catapault/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
Catapault/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Soap Would be the Opposite of Mud
The Antonym Poem by Ryn Gargulinski

insects are
the opposite of frogs
(if we had to pick opposites)
cats would be the opposite
of dogs and fish would be
the opposite of birds and
hats would be the opposite
of shoes and the Charleston
would be
as opposed to
an epileptic seizure


Since arid Tucson is not usually known for its mud, I’ll share the recipe I used to make my own.
Mud recipe:
2 parts dirt
1 part water
Stir well with stick

Mud, o glorious, mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Mud, oh glorious mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Of course, mud still has its dangers. We already discussed the havoc it can wreck on shag rugs and white linoleum, but it can also pose a number of other hazards.
• Mudslides kill thousands when they slickly shimmy down a mountain and consume entire villages
• Mud can suffocate you if you fall face down in a gushy pool of it and try to inhale
• Heavy mud can suck off your shoes and render them useless
• Mud clumps, when thrown at anyone who scores on you as goalie in a soccer game, get you a red card (not that I’d know from experience).

Share your own mud recipe below!

How has mud enhanced or ruined your life?


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Odd Pueblo: Snappy or crappy?

This fun Odd Pueblo feature asks the audience to rate a trend, topic or sighting of something around town: is it snappy or crappy?

I was gladded when the last snappy or crappy, a bugged-out VW bug, got at least one non-crappy (although it may have been sarcastic).

The latest snappy or crappy should be something you all adore:

The MoonDance Saloon (aka The C Dance Saloon)

The MoonDance Saloon/Submitted photo
The MoonDance Saloon/Submitted photo

This chipper yet cozy venue is actually someone’s home sweet home where the chickens and ducks get harassed by the skunk unless the big dogs chase the skunk away.

While it’s not technically in Tucson – it’s down the road a bit in Arivaca – the MoonDance Saloon is cool enough to make an Odd Pueblo exception.

The snappy saloon’s most recent claim to fame is also fascinating: the place is neighbors with the North Trico Road property where a couple went missing and charred human remains were found in a fire pit.

So, what do you think? Please respond:
a. Snappy. That place looks more fun than a barrel of drunk monkeys.
b. Crappy. That place looks less fun than a barrel of cow pies.
c. I’m scared the couple who went missing may be haunting the place.
d. I’m too snobbish and close-minded to appreciate anything other than a cookie-cutter condo.

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A Dad’s Day duck and mom’s dead chicken

Dear dad got a duck for Father’s Day. Not because he hunts, but because I wanted to go with a traditional Father’s Day image, which leaves us with a mere three choices: ducks, neckties or a pipe (the smoking kind, not the type that you use to bash in a skull).

Dad's Day duck/Photo and artwork Ryn Gargulinski
Dad's Day duck/Photo and artwork Ryn Gargulinski

Dad was fascinated with his duck, even though he admitted at first glance he thought it a pelican. He also promised not to let the darling duck befall the same fate as the chicken I made my mom for Mother’s Day.

WARNING: The following sequence of photos contains disturbing images.

Some of you may have seen this horrific montage which I posted around Mother’s Day, but I post it again in the hopes of saving chickens who cross the road in the future.

Mom claims she was trying to help the chicken cross the road, but these photos disclose otherwise.

Chicken minding its own business/Ryn Gargulinski
Chicken minding its own business
Chicken being coaxed to death/Ryn Gargulinski
Chicken being coaxed to doom
Chicken making the fatal decision/Ryn Gargulinski
Chicken making the fatal decision
Alas!/Ryn Gargulinski

What did you get your dad for Father’s Day? A duck? A necktie? A pipe?

Did your mom ever kill a chicken?