Monthly Archives: March 2015

Senior care

I am

… I knew it might happen someday, but you’re never quite ready for it … the gentleman who serviced the van today recommended senior care lubricants for my ’95 van … he called it high mileage oil (code word for “old”, “over the hill” “one foot in the grave”). Twenty five years just doesn’t seem that old, but there is a possibility that the senior care oil may help prevent a minor loss of essential lubricants … it is good.

The curved Dell monitors were replaced with three NEC 24” 10 bit color monitors; a 24” 4K monitor 3840 x 2160 pixels is flanked by two 1920 x 1200 pixel monitors. A Quadro K2200 10 bit graphics card with 4GB of DDR5 graphics card memory was required too as the GeForce cards only output 8 bit color – the difference between being able to display 1.07 billion colors and 16.7 million colors so it is significant. Lost a hard drive on the computer in the living room so replaced that and moved the GeForce 760 GTX graphics card from the office computer to the living room. What I have is two awesome machines … the 60” Vizio flat screen in the living room which has been serving as the monitor in the living room leaves in about six hours and sometime in the afternoon it is being replaced by a 55” 4K curved screen Samsung … think I will be going dormant on new electronics for a while … maybe :+) … nah, can’t do that.

Got the rest of the fascia on the house painted today, bought a ten foot step ladder so I can get to the high places I have left to paint … I come up a little short using the 8 foot step ladder; have an extension type ladder, but feel more comfortable on a step ladder. After this it was off to get the van serviced and then a Wal-Mart run. Finally gave in to One … she only likes the Fancy feast wild salmon primavera so she now has a two month supply and no more experimentation with other things.

The image tonight is the result of playing around with some photos and the things that go through my mind when flying, kind of funky, but I like the feel of it … engine quiet, prop feathered and I am up there … alone with the vastness of space and time; however temporal my existence I can love everything I experience and relish it … and I do!

Have a terrific day and if your car doc tells you that your vehicle is getting old, ask him to prescribe senior care oil :+)

Life is fun … smile



At nightfall…though I know I shall sometime no more

Open my eyes to the light or day, I am one who looks at stars when

Unchained from the work-bench at Nightfall.

They are a sign that I am not ephemeral,

Not you, nor you, whoever you are.

The dawn comes and the dark and the sign sparkling in the brooding night,

Forever and forever.


Max Ehrmann

the familiar

Familiar a

… depends on your perspective, but sometimes the familiar seems not so familiar. Not sure why, but coming over the north end of the village late Friday afternoon, I cranked and banked and took some shots looking down on a road I have traveled thousands of times. Following the road north bound or south bound I can visualize what I am seeing from every place on the highway ( SR 179) … the towering rocks, the craggy washes , the trees and how the light hits the rocks at different times during the day. The crimson colors when it has rained and the light is low … low clouds wreathed in and amongst the peaks closing you in as though there is nothing beyond and you are safe … the universe blocked from view by daylight and low clouds … but it is there … about 8,000 miles straight down the universe is visible in all its glory and beauty as our little planet continues its journey to wherever it is going and we are along for a very small part of the journey.

What a privilege to be here and experience it all. For some though, the ride is an opportunity to control others … to destroy and kill those who do not believe as they do whether political, religious, cultural, or pick a topic … perhaps weather? You are looking down on a planet that has been here for billions of years before we arrived on the scene and will be here for billions of years after our species goes extinct too. So, for me, I’ll enjoy the ride with my friends and family and leave such important things to others whose sense of purpose is focused on such matters … the earth really doesn’t mind us being here, we are a part of it and all that is … time to lighten up and enjoy the gift of life and all that which we have learned to extract from earth that makes our lives so good.

Orientation: Up is north, down is south … more or less. On the left you have Castle Rock and above it at the top a portion of Cathedral Rock … wending its way south in the left lane and north in the right lane is SR 179 and in the lower center is Bell Rock which looks not at all like a dinner bell from this vantage point and to the right of Bell Rock is Courthouse Rock … a scenic area and parking is just above Bell Rock and the airport mesa is above this photo on the left side … did you know that all the gold we have taken from the ground throughout history would cover that parking lot to a height of only about twenty feet?

Enjoy the day … Monday is well underway and time for a little rest before I continue my journey … perhaps some airtime … photos … or just sit on the deck for a while and enjoy the birds and critters that wander through the neighborhood. Life is good and so are most people.

Share your joy … we are blessed



And in this journey over a thousand hills and valleys called life, he is wisest who

is patient where the way is hard, has faith when he does not understand, and carries

into the dark places the light of a cheerful heart.


Max Ehrmann

Whoops x 2


… so at about 1:30AM my head was drooping and I did not get the missive out last night … head is dropping again, but will get one out. I like the agility of the Pelican in flight , cranking and banking preparing for a rapid descent to the water far below him and the gull quietly cruising overhead, perhaps waiting to see what the pelican gets … or not … the constant search for food to sustain life … and some fun cruising when basic needs fulfilled. Life is a joy to observe whatever the species …

A very full day today with friends from Tennessee over this morning and then friends from Minnesota this afternoon and evening; Brian and I got a nice flight in this afternoon and turning final to R3 we looked a lot like the pelican in the photo as we dropped in for full stop landing ahead of a Skyhawk and a King Air … greased the landing and rolled off the runway and into the north tie down area. Thence to Basha’s to pick up mess of chicken breasts to marinate and prepare for the ISO 100 group tonight. Another fun gathering of the group tonight and some truly masterful shots by everyone.

Time for a wrap before I crash on the keyboard. Another wonderful day underway … enjoy the day you are given today … like why not? You are breathing and you are alive … make the moment count before there are no more!



Give me to glady go

My way and say

No word of mine own woe;

But let me smile each day


Max Ehrmann

the shores

earth and sea 1jpg

On a flight north to the volcanic fields last August the lighting was beautiful and the air crystal clear and the light shadows defined the work of the elemental forces of nature as painted and carved over millions of years. Not sure what causes the changes in colors between the two fields … most likely some mineral that did not cross boundaries and demonstrated respect for the others borders and just agreed to meet along these lines. The area is north of Sunset Crater and east of O’Leary.

A good if somewhat tired day … a lot of work accomplished and even more contemplated … smiles! Sleep has been at the forefront for some time now and it is time for me to listen to this muse.

Have a beautiful day … dinner at the Hilton 6:30 and I’ll renew the reservation in the morning.

Coming back from getting my dinner tonight ( sausage and mushroom pizza) a gentleman was walking down the street and had the most stressful unhappy face I have ever seen … I smiled at him and he returned it with a ferocious scowl … I smiled again and his scowl intensified and then I was by him. I hope his face relaxed a bit tonight, but his muscles seemed so tight as though they had frozen years ago … some people cannot be helped, many pass these sacred lands oblivious to the beauty that dwells in them,




If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember.

You are braver than you believe,

Stronger than you seem, and

Smarter than you think.

But the important thing is, even if we’re apart … I’ll always be with you.


A good start

leap some quick exercises, a latte on the run and a banana for breakfast on the way to the airport … then a launch into a beautiful morning sky and got rid of all but two issues with the EFIS both of which are very minor … a firmware issue dealing with UTC and local time synching and the other an erroneous rpm reading on run up. Love that glass panel and ready to take some trips in it. Climbed to 12,500’ behind Mingus in the Prescott Valley and had a beautiful 25 mile sled ride back. A few more flights with the new gear and I think I’ll have it pretty well down.

After I landed, visits with friends in town and some who drove up … a paint run to Sherwin Williams in Cottonwood, stop to see a lawyer friend and a shoot at the ponds and then the drive home. A BLT sandwich for dinner and a couple of episodes of The Blacklist … good start, good finish :+)

Talked very late with a friend about color spaces, 30 bit color workflow and the hardware needed to achieve it. A very complex topic and fun to go through the learning curve … I think.

I love squirrels and the way they cross the ground in a series of bounding leaps … this little one was on the tee box in back of our home and it appears he was on a mission … look at that concentration.

Another busy one tomorrow, and think it will mostly be around here answering emails, cutting stone and working photos

Have a beautiful day … wow!!! We may get another;

Cheers and share a smile


I go out into the night and stretch forth my arms, as

if to embrace one I love

…the solace of the stars is sweet, and the stillness has a voice I understand


Max Ehrmann

Pay off

Enchanted evening

… have been investing some money into various items for Mariah the past month or so including the installation of navigation lights which allow me to fly after sunset, otherwise it was wheels on the ground at sunset preventing me from getting some of the beautiful last light shots that occur at or slightly before sunset because I would have to be in the pattern before I could get shots like this one. Friday late afternoon I headed up north over the plateau and got some nice shots, The AWOS said there was a thunderstorm in the area so I cranked in a bank and saw the beautiful thunderstorm east of Sedona being lit up by the last light. I was engine off anyhow so decided to take the sled ride back to Sedona and watch as the scene developed in front of me. The sun was beginning to slip behind Mingus mountain out of the image on the right and shadow was enveloping the entire city and the tops of the rocks took on a wonderful and muted color. I was still around 9,000’ when I took this shot and just a quiet sound of the air as I flew through the space at 65 kts … the airport is right of center mid image and already in shadow … headlights of cars leaving the lookout area on the top of the mesa were flowing downhill when I got there and I landed about ten minutes after I took this shot. So, the “investment” (never say money spent) is paying off with photographs . Wilson Mountain is in the lower left quadrant Courthouse and others still have a little light as does Thunder Mountain in the lower right quadrant. What fun!

Back up early tomorrow morning to check out a few issues I’m trying to resolve with the electronic flight insrtument system. Still on a steep learning curve with it and until I get a good handle on it I’ll be flying solo … need to focus on it until it is second nature. The good thing is that Mariah doesn’t really care about the instrumentation … she just flies … I don’t really need it either, but nice to know what the instruments can do and how to do it. The gliders I learned to fly in had an altimeter, air speed indicator, a Variometer (sensitive Vertical Speed Indicator) and a compass and did my first cross country flights with that and a sectional map … I like electronics :+)

The weekend was wonderfully relaxed although I did keep on the go. A shoot at the pond today after church and then home and a bunch of stuff … made the mistake of looking at some new computer monitors; called my cousin Eric for some counsel on such stuff and whilst we were talking on the phone I took a look at the Dell 34” curved monitor … they showed two of them butted together and the image on the monitors was an airscape with the planes instrument panel at the center … I was powerless … I bought them and in about two weeks they arrive – Smiles! Besides they are great monitors taking ten bit color input and having a lookup table of more than a billion colors. Thank you Eric … Eric has done major video 3D and 2D work for Panasonic, Sony and many others. He likes these monitors and so do I.

A new day, a new week is underway … methinks it shall be very good … the key to it is to keep breathing … and smiling knowing that at least for this moment you are here, you are alive and have the opportunity in this moment to be happy and to help others enjoy their lives too.



To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends;

to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;

to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Into the weekend


… it was a terrific week and it is good to be home. Last weekend one of the highlights was a visit to the Midway now on permanent display in San Diego harbor. If you have not seen it, it is very much worth the time and an opportunity to revisit or learn for the first time an important segment of our history and the sacrifices so many made to retain our liberty. The world is not a safe place and everywhere there are those who take from others and impose their will on others … over the course of our history millions have served and have died fighting for a way of life that is unique in the world. It amazes me how so many of us take freedom for granted and how quickly so many forget the lessons of history … So check the Midway out and also the various air museums around the country … it is awesome to see what we have achieved and sacrificed so that we can have the life we do. Your freedom to text the person sitting next to you or around the world was secured by those who have donned the uniform and fought, millions were wounded and died for this tiny freedom.


I took this shot on the flight deck of a fully armed F-4 waiting to be shot down the deck. A steam driven piston moves this jet down the deck accelerating from 0 mph to about 160mph in 2 seconds. That is the easy part … then it is landing back on the deck. You can learn more about the Midway at: . The volunteers who lead tours or talk on various aspects of the ship are very knowledgeable and many have served on the ship and/or flown off of it.

A quiet day of photo shoots and some gem cutting on tap later this morning … today was a fun day filled by visits with friends, a daytime party and quiet evening.

Have fun this weekend and enjoy your time with friends and family … life is truly good … keep breathing :+)

Back Monday morning



Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am;

and keep ever burning before my vagrant steps the kindly light of hope.

And though age and infirmity overtake me,  and I come not within

sight of the castle of my dreams, teach me still to be thankful for life;

and for time’s olden memories that are good and sweet; and may

the evenings twilight find me gentle still.



… it were colder … it were sunny … this could be the view from the north end of the airport tomorrow … but it is not, so I shall make believe that it is cold and it was snow and not rain that we are receiving for the next few days.

It was an eleven hour drive back from Malibu yesterday and I arrived home around 2:45 this morning (actually yesterday) … put stuff away and crashed around 4A. Up at 7:30, a quick five shots of espresso and the day was rolling again. Mostly it was a day for cleaning, three loads of wash, washed both vans; one tucked in the garage (it is sold) and the other I finished in a light rain, but it is a clean wet now. Starting to set up for a shoot on some gem carvings and gemstones and will likely have them done tomorrow. Relaxed this evening and now doing a wrap/

The trip was absolutely wonderful and hopefully the next one will be for a bit longer so I can see more friends and family as well as do some wetlands shooting. If around 6:30 my mind starts thinking about espresso, I roll over and open an eye, discover that I can see … I’m here … breathing … well, I am assured it will be a terrific day. Try it sometime, eyes closed, visualize your home and first cup of coffee/espresso, discover you are breathing and then open your eyes and let the beauty pour into your soul and fill you with joy … OMG, what a terrific start to the day!



So each one to his wish, and as for me,

I sit tonight and wait

To find the answers to my soul in me,

And in the beauty of the sky and sea.

Max Ehrmann

Travel day


A little later this morning it is back on the road with stops to see a friend in Torrance, Malibu, Banning and hopefully La Quinta and then the drive home. Unlikely I will get home before 1 or 2AM on Wednesday so no missive and photo tomorrow, but will resume Wednesday night. Cannot think of a trip as fun as this has been in quite a while (except for last Thanksgiving). Spent the day visiting with friends I have not seen in quite a while … dinner at Dukes by the pier with a bevy of cousins … we do not distinguish by degrees … all family … all cousins … all enjoying the life granted us. 

This is a shot of a Mandarin duck taken at San Diego Wildlife park … love that place. Very little time devoted to photography on this trip and very much time devoted to seeing friends and doing things. Next trip will be longer so I can do more of both, but with only 36 hours in Orange County not nearly enough time to see the friends I want to see or spend time with my camera in places where I can get wildlife and other subjects I enjoy shooting. So more trips in the offing.


Have a FANTASTIC day … thank you Bill :+) Life is so beautiful and so are most people … stick with them and let the others go … you will not change them. 

Cheers … smiles … share them




A bird flies through the sky, and I fly with it. I am each pearl of moisture sparkling in the sun.

I lie lazy on the clouds. And I acknowledge my kinship with each winged thing. 

I see all as one, and nothing repels me, as this new day climbs noiselessly out of the valley of the night. 

Peace lies over the world and over the world of my soul. 

Max Ehrmann





There is

in time

… life and beauty and love … there is thought and reflection … there is a time and then there are memories and reflection on all that was … and always there is one moment … it is the now… the present … until the moment when there are no more … always and forever there is love … and forever after that.


It was a relatively quiet day today … breakfast and church … coffee and back on the road after a delightful interlude with my friend in Encinitas. About half way through Camp Pendleton, I-5 became a slow and go parking lot. Visits with friends along the coast and a check in at the Fountain Valley Residence Inn at six pm. Some exercise, popcorn for dinner, a nap and now a diet pepsi and a wrap of the day.


Visiting friends and family in the Huntington Beach area tomorrow, hoping to get a beautiful sunset near the pier as the off shore winds push the air pollution out to sea … all those lovely chemicals make for colorful sunsets. It was good to see Santa Catalina island as I came up the coast … many fun days over there swinging off an anchor or buoy. Drove by our old home on Compass Lane and It was different today than previous visits. Usually there has been a sense of history and connection, but today it was different and I felt that there was nothing there for me anymore. Life has moved on … and as I thought about other homes we had it was the same, do not know why … it just is and life is good. Tuesday it is on to Torrance and Malibu and then the drive home.


I took this shot of the Pelican when we were at the San Diego Wild Animal Park on Friday  … I like the sense of peace … a moment in time … a time to reflect …


Have a beautiful day and share a smile with someone … anyone …





O Passer-by, O passer-by!

Have you good words of me

Upon your lips as I draw nigh

To you each day?

If so, I ask

That you’d them say,

For soon I’m gone and cannot hear,

So speak the kindly word

I beg, and smile while I’m yet near …


Max Ehrmann