Radiogurl a la Carte

Wednesday, Jun. 16, 2004

Remember the thing about Arizona being the wettest desert? I'm ready to retract that, at least with reference to recent years.

I've been working all day on a report that says a nearby lake is on the verge of going dry. It's not the first time it will have happened, but it's the first time that standing, stagnant lake water will potentially help to propogate the West Nile Virus. That's one of the concerns, though four million tons of dead fish and a whole lot of bad water wouldn't be healthy even if it weren't for the West Nile potential.

Best part is that we've been told to expect that the drought will probably stick around for a couple of decades, all told. So we're looking ahead to more of the same.

Trouble is, in the next decade, predictions also say that Phoenix will swell to a city of 20,000,000. That's twenty MILLION, y'all. And guess where the water comes from?

There are a series of lakes along Arizona's Salt River, one of the few more-or-less perennial waterways. Roosevelt Lake is the biggest lake on the system, held back by Roosevelt Dam. It's also the first lake in the series. So far it's escaped the fate of several lakes downstream, where fish are beginning to die. The low water levels are themselves bad enough, but the ash and debris from the Rodeo-Chedisky fire a couple of years ago has messed up chemical balances and generated a glut of not-so-nice algae that's further cutting into the lakes' oxygen mix.

Experts are quick to reassure that the algae poses no health risks. They say that just before they warn you not to swim in algae-infested water, wash with it, or drink or let your pets drink from it. Little stuff like nasty rashes and getting sick don't qualify as health risks, I guess.

Here's hoping that the monsoons move in early and linger long, and that we're fortunate enough to avoid the violent storms that often come with the territory. I can live with thunder and lightning - those are expected. But microbursts and tornadoes and such, I can do without. And no more 10" of rain in the course of a few hours, thank you very much. Our terrain can't begin to absorb it.

I was talking recently to Boss about the fact that given our topography, if we were to receive that kind of rainfall, we'd have a disaster of immense proportions. The downtown area of both local municipalities would be washed away, as would countless homes that border normally dry creek beds.

Yeah, I am a sick creature. We newspeople think in terms of 'what would happen if'. Keeps us from growing too complacent, revs up the stress levels and insures our place in Type-A hell. (Hey, you didn't think we'd be looking for a happy ending, did you??)

Other than working my fingers to the proverbial bone, and dreaming of gloom and doom, though, everything's going reasonably well today. I'm about to fall asleep at the keyboard thanks to youngest daughter, who thought I was a perfect beast for insisting that shut down the computer this morning at 3AM. I moved the computer to my bedroom a while back, and have no intention of moving it out just to suit a kid who will only be here for a few more days (please, God!) So at 3 this morning I'm listening to her IM with buddies. And while she was considerate enough to put the stereo headphones on, it didn't help much with her singing.

Ah, the joys of motherhood. Wonder I didn't feed the little rugrats strychnine for breakfast. But I didn't have the lovely inspiration back then that I do now from Dangerspouse.

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )