Monday, June 29, 2009

Things done in San Diego

- Went to Mission Beach

- Jogged with Chris, now he’s a hurting puppy

- Got knocked around by waves, and had lots of salt water in my sinus

- Played Frisbee

- got a mild sunburn

- Ate at the Bare Back Grill

- tried a Mimosa, it wasn’t very tasty

- ate a Tandoori chicken sandwich; very tasty

- played Jenga with the gang

- Ate at the Sushi Deli 2

- Quail shooter

- hot sake

- Uni that wasn’t awesome

- scallops that WERE awesome

- enough sushi to fill me up for only $20!

- an hour-long wait to get in the door

- Matt got complimented on his manners by our waitress

- Stayed at Layfayette Suites

- got upgraded to a Presidential suite because they gave our room away

- swam in hotel pool, which was a seriously nice pool

- dragged chris into the pool in a most un-safe manner

- watched Chris’ dreams of having a nice continental breakfast evaporate

- totally slept in until 8:30 one day

- Chris lost his car keys in Matt’s backseat, making us stay longer than expected at the hotel, and made it so we had to walk to breakfast.

- Ate breakfast at The Mission

- Had to wait in line, but it moved SUPER fast

- Good iced coffee

- Rockin’ yellow cornmeal pancakes with blueberries. And I don’t even really like pancakes very much!

- Unbelievable rosemary crispy potatoes

- Saw some nice cars

- A Qvale Mangusta, one of only 258 produced for the USA

- A Ferrari 360 Modena Spider

- A Ferrari F430 Spider

- What I’m pretty sure was a Lamborghini Urraco

- Went to Balboa Park

- Saw the Ansel Adams exhibit in the Museum of Photographic Arts

- Went to the Timken Museum of Art, saw awesome Russian religious paintings

- Went through the Body Worlds exhibit at the Natural History Museum. A little freaky, but pretty neat.

- Watched a guy play the didgeridoo

- Watched a kid with those roller shoes hit a bump while going to fast. He totally biffed it. It was funny and sad all at the same time.


So yeah, that sums up San Diego. Good times were had, it was good to see Matt and Jen, good to hang out with Chris and Shayla. Now I just have to start hitting the gym again to make up for all the food I ate! :)

That summer heat

We drive through El Centro. The car has one of those fancy thermometers, which tells us that we are well into triple digits outside. One hundred eleven degrees, one twelve, one thirteen. It’s the summer that has yet to make it to Prescott.


I roll the window down and stick my head out into the inferno. At seventy five miles per hour the hot air hits me like a brick. Sweat instantly begins to seep out of my pores. It dries as soon as it forms.


We speed past plots of farm land for miles. Some green with crops, some brown and barren. Each with a distinct smell. Some have tractors working the fields, others have sprinklers. Most are devoid of humanity during this hour. Who wants to work in the heat?


I smile at the cars that we pass, and their occupants look at me as they would a crazy person. My friends also look at me like I’m crazy for wanting to soak in this heat. It’s okay though, they know me well enough to not ask questions. They’re used to my eccentricities.


After ten or fifteen minutes I finally drag myself back into the climate-controlled interior. Chris laughs as he tells me my face is bright red, and my hair is all blown over to one side. A quick look in the mirror confirms this fact.


All I can do is smile. Hello summer.

Pic of the day

Back from San Diego. Had a blast. Didn’t take a camera, so the pic is an oldie.


From the banks of the Santa Maria River, near Bagdad:

Friday, June 26, 2009

A little friday fun

World’s worst alarm clock, but guaranteed to wake you up:


Weekend away

Heading to San Diego this weekend to see Matt, and hopefully go to the beach. Haven’t decided if I’m taking a camera or not yet, but I’m looking forward to the trip regardless.

Pic of the day

Galloping into the future. It’s all an illusion. I delude myself into thoughts of movement.

A decorative fence at a ranch.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Almost two months after Uncle Paul died and I finally broke down. Mom asked me to make a few copies of his memorial DVD. Just a picture slideshow with musical background. Something I’ve watched plenty of times already with mom, and at the funeral.


After making a copy I tested to make sure that it would play correctly, and as I sat there watching my uncle’s smiling face in every photo I lost my shit.  I sat and replayed that DVD for an hour and cried like a school girl. I’ll never get to see that smile again, never get to hear his laugh. His guitar sits silently awaiting somebody else’s hands to make the music now.


I miss you Uncle Paul.

Pic of the day

Home is where the heart is, but where do we store our hearts? Do we keep them in houses and apartments? In a certain city or a certain country? Where is home?


Well, apparently everybody keeps their heart in Prescott. Whew, glad that was an easy answer. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

If you like savant piano players

check out this post on Boing Boing, with links to 5 video segments about Derek Paravicini.

And we lamented the price of the beer.

While at the Elks Saturday evening I had the opportunity to meet somebody I’ve been following for a while. Not following in that creepy-stalker kind of way, so much as in that ‘Hi, My name is Tom and I’m an internet junkie’ kind of way.


I saw her setting up a small rack full of artsy-looking cards. She looked familiar, the art looked familiar.


“Hi, are you Melanie?” I asked. It was at this point that I got a look that said I seemed kind of creepy, so I quickly introduced myself. Surely enough it was Melanie Banayat a.k.a. MiliGirl. We chatted it up while waiting for the concert to start and I had a blast getting to know the gal behind all that great paint.


We talked about the economy, about the lifestyle of an artist, about the gouging we both received when purchasing a beer from the theatre’s bar (srsly? $6 for one can of beer?!). We compared notes on which bands we liked, the importance of a man’s hat to his identity, and Prescott’s eclectic population.


At the end of the night I walked away with a cool card, and a new friend. A pleasure to meet you Melanie! And yeah, that random $3 in your box? Wonder no more. :)

Rock the Arts!

Saturday night I attended the ‘Rock the Arts!’ concert, which was held in the historic Elks Opera House downtown. Sooo glad that I did!


The show was supposed to start at 7:00PM, but due to some technical difficulties with the sound setup it didn’t get up and running until eightish. They started off with Chloe Stuff, a local piano player with a voice that reminded me of Jewel only lower and louder. Quite enjoyable.


Following her was a band called ‘Good with Grenades’, a threesome of young guys who tried very hard to get the crowd going, but didn’t quite seem to manage it. I’m not sure if it was the music or just the bad sound setup, but I couldn’t get into this band. I don’t think they were thrilled with the setup, and had to keep asking for changes from the sound guy… mid-song.


Next up was Angie Raess, and a band made up of local talent and craigslist respondees. WOW! After the first couple songs these guys really hit their stride and totally rocked the place! I was super impressed.


Unfortunately I had to leave after Angie was done playing. Sis was in town and I wanted to hang out, so I missed Telescope. Total bummer.


Thankfully this concert was competing with Tsunami on the Square a block away, and so there wasn’t a ton of people there. I like a little space. :)


Also, the not-quite-done renovation of the Elks theatre really added to the ambiance. The spots of missing sound-baffling, the grungy look to some of the walls, and the old creaky seats provided a perfect environment for this concert.


All-in-all it was a great time!


Childish geeky humor.


Me Gusta:


Pic of the day

It’s that time of the year again. Prescott Frontier Days:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ambivalent bumper stickers

Yeah, these are my style.



Pic of the day

Sending off signals to outer space. Unsure whether I hope for a response or not.

Satellite dish with dramatic skies this morning.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The moment I said it


The Moment I Said It - Imogen Heap

Let the geekiness flow forth

On this fine Thursday morning:

Finally, that ‘moved in’ feeling

Well I finally feel moved in.

What was the missing link that finally changed? Art. I wanted some art hanging on the walls, but I wanted it to be MY art.


Which means that I had to save up for a month to be able to afford art. But at last I have prints. I sent Rich eight photos to get printed, and last week he busted them out for me.

Eight 16x12 canvas reproductions, which honestly? Turned out unbelievably! I don’t know what kind of fancy magic Rich’s printer is making, but I think the prints look better than the digital files. I can’t say enough about Rich’s services. Not only is he great to deal with, but the results speak for themselves. I also got a color print (not shown) done on some new fancy paper of his, which looks awesome as well. No one trick pony here. Thanks a million Rich!


I don’t know why having things hanging on the wall makes it feel more like home, but sure enough it now feels like my space. I’m lovin it!


The prints:

Balboa Park Tree

Downtown Walkway

A feather falls


The Road Less Traveled

Oldschool Tow Truck


Little Flowers


and the one color print I got was Soft Water.

Pic of the day

A friend. You can stand next to them, uttering not a word and still know what is going through their mind. A conversation without language.

My four-legged friend, stopping for a breather on our way up a hillside.

Jay Z’s anti auto-tune song, remixed using auto-tune.

Jay-Z apparently doesn’t like auto-tune.


So of course, somebody remixed his song, using auto-tune




Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Awesome T’s

Because some t-shirts are just awesome.




Pic of the day

Something unexpected. You look away, you look back. It is still there. It is real. Your mind tries to shift into a state that can accept the new information.

A buffalo outside of Seligman.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


A nice one by Claire.


Often I have wondered if Scrappy-Doo would cut it as a cattle dog. If, at some level, he knows that those animals which tower over him are at his command should he ever be loosed upon them.


I have to wonder no more.  This weekend we went for a drive. I stopped to take some pictures of a herd of cattle that were about 100 yards away. I figured scrappy would hang with me.


I was wrong.


This guy:


Took off like a shot after those cows. What was once a calm and peaceful progression of bovines quickly became a dust cloud of running beef products.


Thankfully he listens pretty well, and was soon trotting happily back towards the truck. A sense of accomplishment seemed to be radiating out of him… or maybe that was just my imagination.


I guess he did get the heeler instincts after all. :)

Nerdy College Kids

Make nerdy light shows:


Pic of the day

We see youth and assume a lack of knowledge. We fail to see the beauty of an open mind. The ability to change the world.

A young horse plays with friends along the fence line of a ranch. Snapped during a weekend drive to Seligman along the backroads.

Life Update

So how have I been spending my time since all the changes in my life? Reading and exercising seem to be filling my hours of late. But not my late hours, I fill those with sleep. :)


I joined a gym close to home (Snap Fitness) that is open 24/7, and have been going three times a week for about an hour at a time. The facilities are nice, but are lacking in the free-weight department which has been a downer. Too many machines, but no proper bench press, or squat rack… c’est la vie. The owners are SUPER nice though, and it is a month to month membership, which is a rarity in this area. So if I do decide to change establishments I shouldn’t have any problems.


Also on the exercise front – I’ve been jogging three times a week. I’ve been hitting up the Peavine trail before dawn and doing four mile treks. Something about starting a jog in the dark and finishing at sunrise is absolutely awesome! I haven’t gotten sick of the morning colors on the lake yet, which is usually a problem with me.

The shoes? Yeah, they freakin’ rock still!


After my morning exercise I clean up and head into town to one of the few coffee shops that open up at 6:00AM, and sit down to read. I did finally finish the Dancing Wu Li Masters, and was very impressed with it. I had to take a few breaks from the book just due to the sheer amount of information and thought in the book, but I loved it.


I read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and enjoyed it as well. Another dystopian novel from a man who was one of George Orwell’s instructors. It was more upbeat that 1984, but didn’t develop the characters nearly as much. For a book written in 1931 though it painted a fairly accurate (albeit symbolic) picture of our current society. Worth the read? You bet!


I followed up these with a very quick (two days) read through Fight Club. The book was better, and mildly more disturbing, than the movie version. What really surprised me is how much the movie folks pulled right out of the book; It stayed mostly true to form. I’ll be checking out more Chuck Palahniuk books in the future.


Today I officially started what will be the longest single book I’ve ever picked up. I am currently about 30 pages into War and Peace, a 1,200 page monster. I had intended on buying a different Tolstoy, but Hastings didn’t have that one so I figured ‘Why not?’. We’ll see if I finish it or not…



The things I’m not doing lately are: cooking and photography. I’ve been averaging one or two meals a week, and a photo outing once every few weeks. I’m definitely going to have to work on that. And who knows? Maybe I’ll eventually even get a social life. It seems like there should be WAY more hours in the day for all the things I want to do. :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pic of the day

I shoot for the moon, but I miss my mark. I head into an unknown oblivion.

Not sure why this happened to catch my eye when it did. Was out driving, and had stopped to let the dog run off some energy. Looked up and the combination of contrail, cloud, and moon made me dash for the cam.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pic of the day

The distance is murkey, the foreground obscured.

An agave, against the sky

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I don’t know why

But I LOVE this song:

Big Iron - Marty Robbins

The nature of reality

as defined by a Science Fiction author.


Warning: have time and an open mind when sitting down to read this.



Not sure if this in inspirational or sad. The boy has drive, but did he lose his childhood?

11 year old boy graduates from college with honors.


At least bullies aren’t a problem for him, since he’s also won many national martial arts competitions…

What a catch

Florida fisherman catches U.S. Sidewinder missle while fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.


The military totally did not let him keep it.


Not dead

Just sick, hence my not being around for the past couple days. Some odd combination of the flu and a sinus infection (hello river water!) has had me laid up in bed in a NyQuil induced coma. My fever is gone, so I decided to come to work today. Not sure how wise that was. Everything is still spinning a bit… Like a theme-park ride I cant get off of. I guess I should just enjoy it… :-)

Pic of the day

Full frontal Fordity:

Monday, June 8, 2009

Because sometimes…

The internet is too stupid not to laugh.


The Bloodninja Saga. Cybersex, gone wrong. Awesomely, comically wrong.



Very pretty

Video about life. Too bad the credits are as long as the video.

Last Day Dream [HD] from Chris Milk on Vimeo.


What an adventure

Saturday me and some friends went Salt River Tubing. Good times were had, even though the sun never came out from behind the clouds and we were shivering for a good portion of the trip. We spent a little over five hours floating downstream, and and it positively flew by. Talk about a wild bunch of folks out there. There were marshmallow wars, people with water guns, floating barbecue shacks, and a whole lot of drunk people.


Personally I was probably in the water as often as I was on my tube. Something about being around water just makes me want to swim. So I played Mr. Tugboat for our group, trying to keep us away from trees and away from the shallows. It didn’t always work out, and I’ve got a few nice bruises to show for it. Talk about some good exercise though! I haven’t been this sore in a long time.


We are hoping to make the trip again later in the summer, when it might be a little warmer.



^ Like a retarded fish to water ^

Pic of the day

Sometimes all we see are shadows. The world seems a darker place at such times, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful.

Sunset in the pines.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pic of the day

The world is bigger than we are able to perceive. No matter how much we compress it down our minds are still incapable of encompassing the entirety of it.

The view from near Mt. Tritle, looking southish of Prescott. One of those photos you probably want to click on to see bigger.


*Side Note*: This pano totally locked my laptop up for 20 minutes while photoshop chugged away. Lesson learned: always do panoramic shots on desktop computer.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Photoshop WB fix

A quick and easy WB fix for photoshop users. Assuming you have a true 50% gray tone somewhere in the image to go off of…

I gave it a whirl, It works pretty well. I still just eyeball my shots though, as I generally like my shots to have imperfect white balance.

Wolfram Alpha answers Kōan


According to the new fancy knowledge engine:

A tree falling in a forest with nobody around to hear it does not make a sound.

The sound of one hand clapping is silence.

Me thinks that the folks behind Wolfram have a great sense of humor.

What is a Koan?


(via Bits & Pieces )

Trophies a man can be proud of

continuing the coverage of the Hot Rod Fever show.


Every car show has winners and losers. Those owners whose cars stand out in a crowd of awesomeness are rewarded. Sometimes with cash, sometimes with prizes, and sometimes with a trophy.


Well at the CTEC show the trophies were outstanding. Not your average run of the mill things bought from the party store. No, these were hand-crafted and painted right on campus.

The joys of constantly disassembling vehicles is that you come up with spare parts. Like a whole bunch of pistons, brake rotors, ring gears, camshafts, etc.

Seriously, who wouldn’t want one of these manly concoctions sitting on their mantel? Creative thinking mixed with a whole lot of candied paint:

And there was a whole table full of these things! I sat and drooled for a while:


And what I have to imagine was the first place trophy. A ginormis golden and purple camshaft with three rings of excellence atop it. Absolutely gorgeous:

Congrats to all the winners, and to whoever had the awesome idea of making these things. Job well done!



That is some funny stuff!

Pic of the day

A 1949 Mercury that Chris fell madly in love with:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pic of the day

We fail. At some point every one of us will fail at something. Some of those failures will seem insurmountable, as though the very weight of the societal machine presses down to keep us from our goals.


It is what you do under these forces that define who you are.

A big tractor with a flat tire at the CTEC campus. How do you even change a flat like that?

3 exposure handheld HDR with stormy skies. :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pic of the day

Familiarity. The shape has been seen before. The mind registers an associated mental view of the entire object from just the barest glimpse. It is only after this view is created that we begin to see details. We compare the object of our mind to the object before our eyes to determine its level of appeal to us.

A 60’s Ford Mustang. I saw a light red fender in the crowd and immediately knew the car.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dinner with Nikki

My sister and I don’t get together nearly as often as we should. This is one of the things that I plan on changing. And so last Thursday I headed over the mountain to Jerome and began that change.


The plan? Making dinner at her house. The ingredients? Whatever happened to be available in her cupboards. She gave me a basic rundown over the phone, I stopped by the store for $1.50 worth of groceries, grabbed my chef knife and a couple spices, and rolled out with dog in-town.


Nikki’s days are filled with hard labor at the Page Springs vineyards. Scrappy and I arrived a bit early and waited for sis. I started to get things organized for dinner. She finally made it home covered from head to toe in dirt. We chatted for a bit, as siblings are wont to do, then she headed off to take a shower while I got dinner rolling.


What we had:

- 1 can black beans

- 1 small piece of a bell pepper

- 2.5 old corn tortillas

- 1 zucchini

- 1 weird small pepper thingy whose name is lost on me

- 1 head of garlic

- the trailing ends of a jar of salsa

- some mildly old, yet deliciously awesome sour cream

- a cob of corn

- 3 mexican green onions

- 1 avocado


More than enough for two enterprising Check kids to make a meal! We popped the beans into a pot, heated, then mashed and continued to cook until done, adding minced bell pepper and small pepper thing along the way.


The corn came off the cob and went into a fry pan with a little oil and some spices.

Zucchini was heated in a separate pan as the mexican onions roasted away in the oven.


The whole shebang went on the tortillas and was topped with the last of the salsa, sour cream, and slices of avocado. SOOOO tasty:


We ate dinner outside on her porch, enjoying a cold beer and grand conversation. It was a seriously enjoyable evening with my sis and a great opportunity to catch up with her busy life.


Hopefully this will become a regular type of visit. :)

While my guitar gently weeps

Oh yes.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps (LP Version) - Paul McCartney & Eric Clapton

One Fast S.O.B.

This weekend saw me at another car show. This time it was the Yavapai College Hot Rod Fever, accompanied by Chris and Mom.

This was a pretty big deal for mom, as she has spent the last six months helping to organize many aspects of the show. It was time to see it all pay off.

Slowly but surely I’m paring down the 300 photos I took, so for now I will highlight only one vehicle.


A 1971 Dodge R/T Challenger, which proudly proclaimed that it was a quick car:


The owner was demonstrating some car wax products on the hood, but when he saw my camera he happily opened up the hood and happily removed the display products so I could get a decent shot. Wasn’t that nice of him?:


The rear end was the pure definition of 70’s muscle. Wide stance, tires showing, thin brake lights. The plastic sun shades over the rear windshield that went out of style so long ago for some reason. My favorite view:


This owner even had a nice sign laying out all the information about the vehicle, for those gear heads who were interested:


It was one of many cars that stole my attention at the show.