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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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Bowling czar honors may go to former Citizen staffer Dave Petruska

Most folks who bowl have a keen sense of humor – I think it comes with the shoes. Avid and knowledgeable bowler Dave Petruska is no exception.

In fact, this former Tucson Citizen copy editor, zealous bowler and very humorous man just nabbed first place – and $500 – in the 2008 United States Bowling Congress national writing competition in the editorial division. His award-winning editorial asked outgoing President George Bush to name a national bowling czar before he hit the road.

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Petruska would make a grand bowling czar.

When I asked him a couple of questions about bowling for a column I was writing, he responded with several lengthy e-mails, links, historical facts and basically enough to write not only a column on bowling but an entire book.

This guy is good. Obviously the United States Bowling Congress thinks so, too. This is Petruska’s 16th national award from the organization.

His latest winning entry appears below. Way to go, Dave!


National bowling commission
Petruska: Do right thing, Dubya – put bowling on a roll

Published: 06.12.2008

To: George W. Bush
From: Dave Petruska
Re: National bowling czar

Dear “W,”

Hey, since you’ll be leaving D.C. and heading back to Texas – soon to be the new home of the United States Bowling Congress – I thought you might want to do something special while you are still in power.

What we really need is a National Commission on Bowling, and I’m your man to head it.
Can’t you imagine the headlines in the New York tabloids? The Daily News: The Czar of David: Bush Backs Bowling Brahman; The Post: Kaiser Roll: Prez Picks Pepper Pot Petruska Pingod.

My credentials? Well, I’m a very true friend of bowling. Have one of your aides do a Google search for AVTFOB on that thing Al Gore created and you’ll get the point.
I’m simply calling in a personal favor because, after all, the Petruska family has made some sacrifices for the Bush family over the years.

Remember your 2001 Notre Dame University commencement speech? My niece, Liz, was graduating, and the ceremony ran more than two hours over because of all the security measures.

And when your daughter, Barbara, graduated from Yale in 2004? You might recall that the Secret Service took over Sage Hall, the headquarters of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies? Well, Liz received a master’s degree that year from the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and all that extra hoopla didn’t make her final days in college very enjoyable.

Just because it’s a national commission, doesn’t mean we have to be in D.C. I’ll set up shop in Arlington, Texas, right near what will be the USBC’s new offices, which is near the offices of the Bowling Proprietors Association of America (BPAA). You used to work a few miles away at Arlington Stadium when you were one of the owners of the Texas Rangers, so you already know your way around.

We’ll keep in close contact, too, with the PBA Tour, maybe convince them to move from Seattle. We’ll make Texas the Republic of Bowling!

It will be a difficult move for me, a New York Giants fan, to live in Dallas Cowboys
country, but I’m willing to make the sacrifice.

I’ll even put you on an advisory panel with two ex-presidents I greatly admire – Rothschild and Roberson. That’s Tucsonans Lowell Rothschild and Walt Roberson, former presidents of the USBC. They can help make those bucks stretch. Lowell, an attorney, has handled many bankruptcy cases, and Walt – a fellow Texan! – was the University of Arizona’s director of purchasing from 1975-85.

I don’t think my budget request is too out of whack: $733 million. That’s what Boeing is getting to build border security infrastructure (Virtual fence! That’s a good one, huh!), so I think that’s fair. We gotta think big, like most Texans do. Hey, Congress got $17 billion in earmarks last year, so this is doable.

And since we’re going to lobby the International Olympic Committee to get bowling in the Olympics, well, that’s going to be costly.

There won’t be any political turmoil. We’re not talking immigration reform here. Left-wingers and right-wingers bowl, as do middle-of-the-road left-handers and right-handers. We’ll even help out the candlepin and duckpin bowling industries. Yes, this bowling czar will be a kind and benevolent despot.

I’ll have only one rule: No business will be carried out on a golf course. My first thought when I hear BPAA members talk about meetings away from their place of business: What, are you ashamed of where you work?

My platform:
• We’ll help expand junior bowling programs in every state, providing equipment for those who need it free or at reduced costs.
• We’ll add, where space allows, a pair of lanes to any youth center in America.
• We’ll help get bowling recognized as a varsity sport in those states that don’t have programs and grow the sport in states that already sanction it.
• We’ll push more colleges to add bowling teams.
• We’ll help bring bowling centers back to the inner cities and create bowling academies similar to the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif.
Think of all the jobs we’ll create in construction, for bowling equipment makers, for the technicians to service the lanes and help set up the computers for the scoring systems, for coaching and the travel industry, etc.

I’ll use my bully pulpit for a serious lobbying effort to get bowling in the Olympics, to buttonhole sponsors to jack up the prize fund for the PBA Tour and hopefully help revive a full women’s tour. We’re not talking PGA Tour money here, but we can do much better. American automobile, oil and beer companies should be ashamed that they are not major sponsors of the PBA Tour.

Lobbying the International Olympic Committee isn’t cheap, you know, but c’mon, table tennis and synchronized swimming are Olympic sports, and so is skeleton – better known as riding a sled downhill face first – as opposed to the luge, also an Olympic sport, in which you ride a sled downhill feet first. (I admit, too, I had to look up what skeleton was). And I almost forgot curling, which is basically bowling on ice with the help of a broom, although you can play defense in curling.

Money talks in America, and the coverage will come. Perhaps The Associated Press will even deign to start carrying PBA stories, instead of just sending out the results. And, maybe, at least, run weekly result updates, and a story or two, from the men’s and women’s national tourneys, which will combine to draw about 100,000 competitors this year.

Nothing wrong with dreaming big.

But I’ll be flexible. We can come down a couple of hundred million or so. But there is no caving on the following items:
• $10,000 for bowling lessons for Barack Obama. Anyone who rolls a 37 needs a lot of help, and we can’t have the possible leader of the free world looking bad on the lanes.
• And $1,000 to retrofit the gutters at the White House lanes with bumpers until Obama improves his game.

Citizen copy editor Dave Petruska says if he ever does a compilation of his bowling stories, it will be titled “Ham and Wry on a Roll.” RYNnote: He also offered to blog bowling for, but only if he gets the same $500 per post he got for winning this writing contest.

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Affirmative Action: White folks need not apply

If you’re white, don’t bother applying.

That’s the message implied for years at the bottom of applications for colleges, scholarships, grants, government and other positions thanks to Affirmative Action.

But Affirmative Action in Arizona may be finally going where it belongs: down the toilet.

Position held open for bright yellow folks without noses and coffee stains running down their head ONLY/Ryn Gargulinski
Position held open for bright yellow folks without noses and coffee stains running down their head ONLY/Ryn Gargulinski

An initiative slated for the state’s 2010 general election ballot will get rid of “discrimination against – or preferential treatment for – any individual on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.” Both the state Senate and House of Representatives passed legislation to make this initiative a reality.

It’s about time.

“We are giving Arizonans an opportunity to tell our government to end this form of legalized discrimination once and for all,” said Chair of the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative Rachel Alexander in a June 22 news release announcing the Senate’s passage of the legislation.

While Affirmative Action may have started with good intentions, as did paving the road to hell, it ended up as simple discrimination against anyone who was not in the targeted groups needed to fill the quota.

Those “anyones” were usually white males, followed closely by white females and then all others in a group that numbered more than five.

“We’d let you into the program, but we first have to fill our quota for Aboriginal Polish Mexican women who were descended from Irish roots and have lived in Cambodia for at least two years.”

Not once has the fine print stated that preferential treatment should be given to weird female artists with short red hair.

So to heck with the whole concept.

If everyone is truly created equal, then let them compete equally and the best man – or woman – win, regardless of race, gender, religion, height, shoe size and yes, even haircut and color.

What do you think?
Have you been discriminated against thanks to “Affirmative Action”?
What happened? Did it make you beat someone up?

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Artist’s Sketchbook: RYNchimes

Part of the beauty of creating art is not knowing what the heck you’ll come up with. Such was the case when I got a request for windchimes.

After trial and error with the welder, some wire, metal hunks and wood, I threw all the error in a heap and came up with the following creation:

RYNchimes/Ryn Gargulinski
RYNchimes/Ryn Gargulinski

These RYNchimes may not sound like a symphony, but they are guaranteed not to rust, crust or bleed (although they could probably kill a small child if they fell on his head).

The biggest lesson I learned during this experiment was how incredibly awesome the Dremel rotary tool is. While I’ve used this lethal, spinning machine for sanding and grinding edges, this is the first time I’ve used it to cut through metal.

Sparks are quite pretty as long as they are not flying at your eyes.

Alternate RYNchime views.

Proof they can hang in a tree/Ryn Gargulinski
Proof they can hang in a tree/Ryn Gargulinski
Back view showing plug spring thing, long hollow thing and twisted metal thing next to the three sawed-off fence post pieces/Ryn Gargulinski
Back view showing plug spring thing, long hollow thing and twisted metal thing next to the three sawed-off fence post pieces/Ryn Gargulinski

I don’t know yet if the person likes them. If not, I have plenty of saw blades and old fence posts to cut through for the next set.

Have you ever had the joy of using a Dremel rotary tool?

For what? The instructions say not to use it for dentistry.

Did you get sparks in your eyes and go blind?

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Boycott Tucson's evil weed

Hemlock may kill you, a giant saguaro could crush your skull and poinsettias will poison your cat. But nothing is as evil as Bermuda grass.

This fast-growing and invasive turf grass should instead be classified as a weed. It’s just as ugly and unwanted.

My experience with Bermuda grass began when I bought a house with a small lawn area infused with the stuff. While at first the Bermuda grass pretended to be user-friendly and green, it soon showed its true colors: brown.

Neighbor's Bermuda lawn/Ryn Gargulinski
Neighbor's Bermuda lawn/Ryn Gargulinski

It also exhibited a number of other annoying idiosyncrasies. Like looking like regurgitated hay.

Although Bermuda grass is supposed to die off in the winter and come back in the spring, mine only seemed to get the first half right.

Yes, I watered it. Tended to it. Treated it with loving care. Then I tried to violently rip it out and re-seed with some “as-seen-on-TV” miracle grass.

Nearly two years later, I’m still ripping.

Bermuda grass has the uncanny ability to snake its roots to depths unknown. One chunk I eventually pulled up may have had some molten rock attached from the earth’s core.

Just as the grass snakes to the deep depths of the earth, roping through palm tree roots and choking anything that dares exist beneath your house, its top layer goes wild on the surface.

Most of the lawn may remain dead, especially where you want it to be lush and green. But long tendrils of the stuff will thrive around the edges, pushing through gravel, onto patios and disrupting ornamental stepping stones and lawn borders.

Bermuda tendrils on lawn borders/Ryn Gargulinski
Bermuda tendrils on lawn borders/Ryn Gargulinski

I think one tendril strangled a pack rat.

After several reseedings and weekly patch-ups, my lawn still has large areas of brown and crispy Bermuda grass. When even Sawyer, Mr. Dig-Dug Dog can’t unearth the stuff, you know it’s bad.

My lawn with remaining Bermuda patches/Ryn Gargulinski
My lawn with remaining Bermuda patches/Ryn Gargulinski

Bermuda grass rating (1-10): Negative 1,056
I bet even bufflegrass is more fun than this stuff.