December 7, 2007

Phoenix Friday | December 7th, 2007

So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.

Phoenix Friday, here we come...

We start off on a somber note, but with a possible silver lining. As many of you know, sixty-six (66) years ago today, one thousand, one hundred seventeen (1,117) soldiers lost their lives aboard the U.S.S. Arizona. Take a moment today for remembrance. In response to this, yesterday Congressman Harry Mitchell wrote a letter to Donald Winter, Secretary of the Navy. In it (full text here), Mitchell asked Winter to name a new Aircraft Carrier the U.S.S. Arizona. I like the move, would be interested to know your thoughts. Here are a couple of other news articles for a little more background. And maybe, my friend Garrett can help us understand the differences in sizes. The new ship has the call letters, CVN-79, whereas the the ship that was in Pearl Harbor had the call letters, BB-39. Not sure what that means, hoping my Navy friend can come through with an explanation...

Speaking of Garrett, he is one of many of you that do not read this blog from Phoenix. I know this because I have begun to use Google Analytics. I have had readers from Egypt, Germany, Korea, China, Japan, and ten (10) states. If you have a blog, the software is free and really fun to use. That is, if you're a dork. Anyway, I know Fridays won't be the most exciting thing for those of you who live outside of the Valley. Hang with me anyway. My self-esteem depends on it. I digress...

Tonight, a local nonprofit organization (and one that I used to call 'employer') celebrates twenty-five (25) years of dedicated service to our city's youth. Neighborhood Ministries is faith-based, nonsectarian organization committed to inner, at-risk youth and their familes. Currently, they are in the midst of $14 million campaign to finish building on the eight (8) acre campus on 19th Avenue and Van Buren Street. To celebrate the quarter-century milestone, Kit Danley and crew are throwing a party at the Phoenix Convention Center.

I worked in the Development Office there for a year and saw incredible things happen. If you are able to support them financially, or with a gift of time or service, I would highly suggest the experience. One of the most reciprocal volunteer opportunities I have ever had. You can change the world there, I promise.

And if you need any sustenance on the way to changing the world (Although, Gandhi did it on an empty stomach), here is a cool site. This blog is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Even though the LRT (Light Rail Transit) is still a year from being operable, it's good to know where to get some good grub on the line. And it warms my heart even more to know that people here in our city have the foresight, anticipation, and energy to put something like this together. Simply Amazing. The site is definitely worth checking out, and their reviews are more than fair.

On the subject of alternative transportation, is anybody else frustrated with the lack of bike lanes on most of Phoenix's streets? Since I have been riding more, my awareness of this startling fact has risen dramatically. Truly appalling. I think I would be less taken off guard if Phoenix drivers knew how to share a lane. If I needed to clear out my bowels, I would have had a cup of coffee and a bran muffin. Seriously, Mr. Ford Excursion, don't (drive) so close to me.

And now for the much talked about calendar. Feedback would be appreciated. I recently changed the settings, so now you don't have to have a Blogger account to comment. Anyway here we go:

Cesar Chavez Plaza
1st AVE and Washington ST

Saturday, December 8th, 10AM - 6PM
Tamale Festival (Rain or Shine)

No admission fee because vendors are selling tamales. Darn. On both counts. I love a good tamale and this is like a chili cook off, but for tamales. Yum.

Downtown Phoenix Public Market
721 N Central AVE

Every Saturday 8AM - 1PM (Rain or Shine)
Every Wednesday 4PM - 8PM (Rain or Shine)

This place is awesome. Only local farmers and businesses are on display and selling some goods. If you have ever been to Matt's Big Breakfast, this is where Matt gets all his food. Seriously. Worth the trip now, and even more so when they transfer into a 4,000 square foot building early next year.

Arizona Science Center
600 E Washington ST

Wednesday, December 12th, 7PM
Global Climate Change Lecture Series
"Could Geoengineering Reverse It?"
Speaker: Roger Angel

Admission is free because the rest of the museum is closed by that time. I know it sounds super geeky to attend a lecture on geoengineering, but it's free.

Phoenix Art Museum
1625 N Central AVE

Sunday, December 30th, 1PM
Movies At The Museum
"The Name of the Rose"

The movie is free with regular museum admission ($10 Adult/$8 Student). Currently at the museum, there is a really cool graffiti fashion exhibit, and the Group f/64 exhibit that I talked about before to view after the flick. I mainly want to see this because the movie stars Sean Connery and Christian Slater. Christian Slater, seriously?! Amazing.


Obviously, this list is not exhaustive. I'm trying to pick out the most interesting things that don't necessarily get all the press. You already know about First Fridays, the Suns games on Monday (I'll be there!) and Tuesday, etc. However, if there are things you would like to see that aren't on here, I'm open to change. Suggestions are always welcome.

Be glorious this weekend. Have some fun, and stay safe.

"A brilliant man will find a way to not fight a war."
Admiral Yamamoto
(In the 2001 film, Pearl Harbor)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words about my site. I greatly appreciate the support. By the way, I just recently registered the domain name, so the easiest way to get there is now

-- David at PHX Rail Food

Garrett said...

Hey Sam,

I'm glad you mentioned the USS Arizona proposal; I actually hadn't heard about that until I read it on your blog.

The call letters you're looking at are referred to as a "hull number." It basically states the type of ship it is followed by a designation number used for identification on the high seas.

CVN for example is Carrier Fixed-wing Nuclear. Yes, fixed starts with F, but V is typically used in the Navy/Marine Corps to indicate fixed wing as opposed to helicopters, which are "rotary wing." V is also used for air squadron numbers, e.g. VMA-223.

The number is used extensively when contacting civilian ships over radio. Instead of saying "This is USS ARIZONA," you would instead day "This is warship three-nine." Because the same number can appear on multiple ships (e.g. CV-63, CG-63, and DDG-63 are all different ships currently in service), this helps prevent the enemy from putting pieces together when trying to track which ships are going where.

If Secretary Winter agrees with Rep. Mitchell's request, Arizona will be the second Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier. Classes of ships are always named after the lead ship. In this case, CVN-78 is the USS Gerald R. Ford, with the number increasing thereafter.

I like the idea. Ever since the decommissioning of the USS Phoenix (SSN-702) in 1998, the only commissioned warship Arizona has had is the USS Tucson (SSN-770).

New York was honored similarly with the USS New York (LPD-21), which is partially made from steel from the World Trade Center wreckage, and the Navy's intending on doing the same for Somerset, Pennsylvania and Arlington, Virginia in remembrance of 9/11.

I hope that's not too long-winded. Let me know if you're confused. Wikipedia is a good source for this kind of thing; there's an article for every ship in the Navy.

Thanks for all that you do.


Adam W said...

I checked out the market downtown this morning and had breakfast at was awesome. I did all of my christmas shopping down there and found some great stuff for my family that they won't expect. I was happy to spend money there vs. the soul-sucking feeling i usually feel at the mall.

Glad you mentioned it.

Samuel I. Richard said...

David - I'll update the links right away, thanks for stopping by!

Garrett - That's some really cool back information. Thanks.