Arizona International Film Festival

Featured

When:The festival continues through Wednesday, April 20,  2011

Where: Grand Cinema Crossroads 6 (4811 E. Grant Road, No. 150) and The Screening Room (127 E. Congress St.)

Details:

with 110 films representing 20 countries shown in two venues.

$100 all-access pass;
$20 pass for five screenings; $
5 to $10 single-admission tickets

Visit filmfestivalarizona.com for tickets or more information.

Q and A: Before You Call a Plumber

Whether you are looking at renovating your kitchen or bathroom, or dealing with a stubborn leak, or waking up to a flooded basement, make sure that the last thing you do is pick up the phone and call a plumber – but still do it quickly. You may not have much time to assess the decision you are about to make, but there are still several things to consider before calling in the professionals (and, more important, which ones to bring in).

Know With the Flow

Knowledge is power. The first thing to know is that, for sure, the longer you delay in addressing the problem, the more damage it will cause – and the more it will cost in the long run. Still, don’t be pressured into doing anything until you understand the nature of the plumbing problem itself. Hiring any kind of professional without knowing what it is they will be doing is a great way to get handed an over-inflated bill for something that another plumber might have done for less money.

Essential Questions to Ask – Beforehand

This is not to disparage the plumbing industry, because without it, our society would be a much worse place. But, as with auto mechanics, a naive customer can be ripe for the picking by an unscrupulous plumber. Just as ownership of a car is somewhat predicated on knowing what makes it run, ownership of a house puts the onus on the customer to have some basic knowledge of the infrastructure. In the Information Age, there are few excuses for getting caught off-guard.

Ask yourself these important questions: What exactly is the problem? What are the parameters of my budget? Is this something that is covered by my insurance? Is the plumber I’m calling recommended by anyone I trust? Does his estimate jibe with the other one I’m getting? Is the plumber insured, bonded or otherwise backed by a company in good standing? And always be prepared to cut bait if you feel your plumber is running up the meter without getting much done. In the long run, you might be better off writing him a check and a farewell note, and starting over with someone else.

Tucson: The Wild West

Unlike its big brother to the north, Phoenix, Tucson still has a real old western charm to it. Tucson takes pride in its past and this is reflected in the people, the architecture and the great blending of cultures that give this desert gem its genuine appeal. And it wouldn’t be a complete trip to the Old Pueblo unless you stopped by Old Tucson Studios, where the old west comes to life.

Watch Your Back

Located at the base of the Tucson Mountains sits one of the more unique experiences available. Frozen in time, this Old West town makes you feel like some rustler coming into town after a long, hard ride. Be careful or some horse thief might draw on you, or Cappy the trail cook might pick your pocket. Or better yet, a showgirl might give you a peck on the cheek. Yes, a lot is going on at Old Tucson Studios. With staged gunfights and stunt shows complete with explosions and saloon girls dancing the can-can, you just might want to ride off on a horse when your ready to leave.

For the Kids

The kids won’t be disappointed either. There are numerous rides and games for them to not only enjoy, but feel like they’re a part of the Old West too. There’s the miniature antique car and the C.P. Huntington train. The train roams through the studio and part of the beautiful desert. Of course always keep an eye out and your six shooter ready for any banditos or train robbers. There’s Dead-Eye Dan’s shooting gallery to test your aim, you can pan for gold and mount up for a trail ride on a real horse.

After your day in the Old West, hunker up to Big Jake’s and grab yourself some grub, the John Wayne Platter should do the trick.

Family Friendly Festivals in Tucson

Tucson, Arizona is a popular place for families to take their vacations because of the climate, scenery and multitude of activities available year around. Outdoor festivals are a favorite with the locals and many people visit Tucson at certain times of the year just to attend these festivals. Below is a list of family friendly festivals in Tucson that your family will be sure to enjoy.

January

Mid-January sees the Arizona Square and Round Dance Festival occurring in downtown Tucson which emphasizes square, clogging and round dancing.

February

The La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo takes place from mid to late February and is an 8 day festival taking place at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds. It features Hispanic folk dancing, marching bands, floats and rodeos.

March

Early March sees the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival, a 7 day event of music and composers playing their special brand of music.

May

May 5 begins the famous Cinco de Mayo Festival which is held in Kennedy Park Fiesta Area.
This is a grand festival with lots of music, food, crafts, dancing and other entertainment.

June

At the Santa Cruz River on June 24, the Dia de San Juan Fiesta is held which celebrates the “Season of the Monsoon Rains”.There are real cowboys, trick horseback riders and other entertainers performing all sorts of entertaining shows.

July

Tucson hosts the 4th of July Tour for Tucson’s Children with biking and walking events to promote kids’ safety. It is held at the Convention Center and features a variety of entertaining activities for children, including a 3 mile walk and 27 mile bike ride for charity.

August

The Sonoita Vineyards is host to the Festival at Sonoita Vineyards which features grape testing, live music, a wild grape-stomping contests and all the food and wine you can drink and eat.

September

A Greek theme pervades the annual Tucson Greek Festival, with homemade Greek food available for your dining pleasure, along with Greek dancing and music.

October

For a delightfully chilling Halloween, spend it at the Halloween Howl Festival held at the La Posta Quemada Ranch and featuring haunted hay rides, spooky games and a variety of southwestern food.

This is just a handful of the many family friendly festival happening in Tucson, Arizona. Check a local guide to see if there are any more festival occurring which you and your family might be interested in attending.

Remember to bring need items depending on the season. Sunblock and hat in the summer, jacket and a winnie the pooh quilt cover set in the winter.

Tucson: A Hiker’s Paradise

Tucson, Arizona, located 120 miles south of Phoenix and 60 miles north of Mexico manages to combine the sophistication of a large city and the casual, hipper atmosphere of a college town. The University of Arizona is located in Tucson. It is also a great jumping off point for those who want to explore the beauty and ruggedness of the Sonoran Desert.

Where to Go?

Surrounded by five mountain ranges, hundreds of miles of trails are located within these public areas. Whether your looking for a gentle easy hike, or a more challenging trek in hidden canyons. There are bird-watching trails, summit trails, steep climbs and easy flat trails. The one thing they all have in common is beautiful vistas and stunning flora and fauna. Some of the more popular hikes are; Saguaro National Park West, especially the Sendero Esperanza Trail which goes up to the top of Wasson Peak. The Finger Rock Trail, is a very steep hike in the Santa Catalina Mountains, Finger Rock reaches the height of 7,000 feet. This ten mile round trip is for expert hikers. In the Tortolita Mountains, which is the smallest of Tucson’s ranges, you’ll find the Honeybee Canyon Trail, a short easy hike and the Wild Burro Trail, which wanders out of a dry riverbed into a little more salty test, the hike is roughly 7 miles round trip. Hiking the Tucson Mountains is a treat because this area is located within Saguaro National Park West. You’ll probably recognize some of the terrain from the numerous films that have been shot here.

In the City

There are two urban trails; the Rillito River Park Trail, which is an eleven mile trail that weaves through the city and the Santa Cruz River Park Trail which is located along the Santa Cruz riverbed, west of downtown Tucson.
You’ll find no shortage of excellent information and knowledgeable hikers willing share tips and favorite trails.

Tucson Jewelry

From handmade gemstone jewelry, to the stereo typical sterling silver with turquoise, Tucson’s gems, minerals and fossils have served them well. Tucson just finished a jewelry show of epic proportion. The stunning beauty of all the jewelry displayed there was plentiful and beyond compare.

Tucson’s Jewelry Show

People travel thousands of miles just to take in Tucson, Arizona’s jewelry show. With more than just one exhibit in one location, Tucson’s jewelry show exhibits are spread out over anywhere from 43-50 different exhibit locations; and brings in an estimated 50,000 attendees from almost 35 countries. It has been billed as the world’s largest jewelry exhibit. That’s a lot of glass beads, gems, fossils, granite, gold, diamonds, turquoise and sterling silver! The show itself is known to attract researchers, experts in the field, retailers, novice collectors, dealers, and museum employees. In fact, the Smithsonian Institute has even displayed various artifacts at the Tucson jewelry show. September 8th, 2011 marks their fall show; so if you didn’t catch this last one, don’t miss the next one.

It All Started With the Gold Rush

You’ve all heard the story of Wyatt Earp and the gunfight at the OK corral. Do you remember why Wyatt Earp even came to Tombstone? The gold. The same reason everyone else was coming to Tombstone. So even as far back as 1877, when the town of Tombstone was founded, Arizona has been a hot spot for precious metals. And in order to make really nice jewelry, you’re going to need some precious metals.

It’s really no wonder why Tucson has been bestowed the honor of being chosen as the hot spot for the gem show. There are more jewelers or jewelry associated shops in Tucson than you can shake a cactus at. If you do however intend to shake a cactus, I’d be really careful.

Barefoot on Bumblebees @ Plush Lounge

Title: Barefoot on Bumblebees
Location: Plush Lounge: 340 E. 6th St., Tucson, AZ, 85705
Description: Barefoot on Bumblebees is the Chicago-originated two-piece indie-folk band. As a traveling duo, they move around the country settling in a city for only a short amount of time before moving on – a kind-of extensive tour. They should resonate with fans of quirky indie-folk and lo-fi.

Tickets/Cover: No Cover!

Start Time: 9:30PM
Date: 2011-04-11