Monthly Archives: October 2015

Into the weekend

3 peak pano

A short, very fun trip to Las Vegas and fun seeing so many members of the 7th TDS attending after this many years; supposedly this is going to be the last, but methinks there will be more. In and out of Vegas and never saw a slot machine or black jack table as we were at the Embassy Suites that doesn’t have a casino :+) Got a few shots I liked and also discovered a great use for the sunroof or whatever you call them … hold the camera up above the vehicle and take some shots while going down scenic roads.

I was going to drive straight home, but going east on I-40 I watched as rotor clouds formed at the peaks, enveloped about half the mountain and streamed down wind to the SW. So a trip to Snow Bowl was in order and made the drive up there. Going up the mountain pine needles were coming down like snow as the winds were fierce on the mountain … and cold. It was not possible to get good shots looking up to the mountain as it was pretty well greyed out, so I shot to the WSW. Didn’t figure I needed anything more than simplicity by way of camera gear with me on this trip so only brought the Canon 6D with the nifty fifty on it. So with an eye of getting a good view together for you I did a few multi shot series (handheld) of the view from the parking lot. This image is a five shot pano that gives you a beautiful wide angle view of the area. In the foreground (kinda) there are some people enjoying time in the snow, which included a snowball fight. The three peaks from right to left are Kendrick Peak (10.4M’), Sitgreaves Mountain (9.3+M’) and Bill Williams Mountain ( 9.2+M’).

Have a terrific weekend and I’ll be back Monday morning … other than getting up in the morning, no real plans, but the days will fill in fast, but not before I get at least eight shots of espresso down. Enjoy life … you only get one of them so might as well cherish the moment and those whom you love.



At nightfall,

Though I know I shall sometime no more open my eyes to the night or the day.

I am one who looks at the stars when unchained from the workbench at nightfall.

They are a sign I am not ephemeral, nor 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 Alamo


… Lake Alamo that is … and what a beautiful lake it is. As seen in this photo it is roughly a square mile in surface area and if there is a lot of water it gets a lot bigger. Lake Alamo can be accessed by taking the turn off in Wenden from Hwy 60 and it is about 40 miles back into the lake. I drove out there on the way back from California, mid-September and never saw another vehicle going out there or on the way back … it is remote. There is a NPS ranger station out there, campgrounds and all the good stuff. This was my first time out there on the ground, but have been there a few times when flying my sailplane out of Turf and also Aguila. Usually quite high, but a couple of times I flew out there with my soaring buddy Steve, I managed to get pretty low so paid little attention to the beauty of the area that day and focused on staying in the air … not exactly a user friendly place to land :+) It air did cycle, I did hook a pretty good thermal and got back up and out of there.

Lake Alamo was formed by an earthen dam on the Bill Williams River (never heard of it before) and was completed in 1968 … it drains 4770 square miles. The dam provides flood control and ultimately empties into Lake Havasu downstream. The lake is one of the best fishing lakes for Large Mouth Bass in Arizona and I can hardly wait to get out on the lake in a boat and so some wildlife shooting. I know I am going to have to get a Zodiac with a small motor to hunt for wildlife shots … got hooked on that when in Wisconsin last month and there are a lot of lakes and streams that a Zodiac would work well on.

This photo is a panoramic photo formed by merging two different shots taken seconds apart … the shots were hand held, but I did have a tripod in the car so that counts for something :+)

No photo tomorrow night as I will be in Las Vegas getting together with friends I have not seen in a very long time … we were the ones who took good care of our nukes … I was in nuclear weapons, fusing firing systems electronics and thoroughly enjoyed the work. Bunch of good guys and my buddy Charlie from Louisiana that I went through the nuke school with will be there too, we got the only two overseas slots in our class … we had a good time and I expect we will again this evening. Short trip and back Friday so if I get some good night shots of Vegas I’ll send one out Friday night.

Have a beautiful day … call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while … and share your joy and keep breathing :+)



For life holds cheers as well as tears,

Take this old toast from me:

This world a riddle hard you call …

A mess from which you fain would shrink?

Perhaps ‘tis wisdom, all in all.

To learn to laugh as well as think.


Max Ehrmann

Much fun


A couple of days ago I stopped by the ponds for a walk and to see if anything new was hanging out down there; the Widgeons and a few Ring Necks have started coming in, some Blue Herons were there for the plentiful supply of fish and I got some neat shots of a Kingfisher hovering looking for a fish dinner below him … then while walking between a couple of the drained ponds I was startled by an explosion of feathers as at least a hundred birds erupted from some bushes in the drained pond and began moving out as a swarm. This isn’t exactly the greatest shot in the world but I really like it because it captures the explosive moment and the way these  beautiful creatures fly as one … check out how all their bodies are in nearly a perfect parallel line; just the front few have a slight upward tilt and the ones behind followed the change of course. I’m sure most of you have seen the videos on YouTube of the starlings murmuration … it is as though they fly as one with a single shared mind. Ain’t life great? Methinks so.  

Another terrific day is winding down and some sleep is in order … Anthony is playing at the Hilton tonight and I think he starts around 6PM … check out the video trailer of ours at: . On the 14th of November you will be treated to about 90 straight minutes of this audio/visual experience and the best part is that Anthony will be there performing live … and there will be a musical treat in there somewhere such as you have never seen or heard from Anthony. Get those tickets ordered! 

That’s it … another day of breathing, smiling and giving thanks for the opportunity to experience life … mostly very good. Share your joy with others :+) 



The moon is passing in and out of the clouds,

making a shadow-checkered day of the night,

and breaking the sky with shafts of gold.

All silent, the universe is doing its work- beautiful

mysterious, religious!


Max Ehrmann


I tried


… one of my favorite photos is of a late day shot of the peaks pinked up by the setting sun. It was taken in February of this year and there was a nice frosting on the trees in the forest and snow on the peaks. Somehow I managed to delete the original image and only have some smaller crops left; this is the photo that is next to last in the Omnipotent video I just finished. So late afternoon today I made the flight, dropped down to about 750’ above tree level and took some shots that really were not that great (deleted), climbed up to about 2000’above the terrain and got a few I liked, but not replacements for the one I wanted. Oh well, there are more days and more flights to come.

In the lower left you have Rogers Lake filled mostly with shadows and on the right side of the image is Flagstaff … above Flagstaff is Mt. Elden and to the left of that are the San Francisco Peaks … I still like to visualize it as 6,000 feet higher before the eruption about a million years ago took it down. As it is the peaks rise about 5600 feet above Flagstaff … imagine twice that.

If you have not viewed the video yet it will be up for quite a while. The video is embedded in my blog on (thank you Steve and Suzan). They do a great job promoting all things Sedona so check their site out.

After being with Pandora since its inception I dropped my subscription this week and removed the app from my mobile devices. As an Amazon Prime member I get their music for free and it was just a matter of adjusting to a new format and I get many more options and a richer selection of music. Lots of small changes underway and enjoying them … been listening to Pink all evening … great sound!

Time to wrap the day and another busy one underway after a few hours of sleep … actually I think I will have a lazy morning and get five hours tonight :+)

Life is wonderful … beats the alternative too :+) Keep breathing and smiling.



I dissipate the thought in these scribblings, to save myself;

therefore I plunge into the sea of daily duty, to forget the

lure of the abyss of perfect knowledge, and to live and

laugh again.


Max Ehrmann

1 + 23 =


… an absolutely amazing audio and visual experience. I’m attaching the title image for a video that I produced promoting the concert that Anthony and I are doing at the Mary Fisher Theater, 7PM on November 14th 2015.

This “trailer” video is 7 minutes long and except for not having Anthony performing live in the video is the exact audio/visual experience you will have at the Concert, except it will be infinitely better because it is live theater. The song in this video is Omnipotent from Anthony’s “Heavenly Guitar” album and runs just over 7 minutes. You can view the video at: and if you like it, I’d appreciate it if you would leave a favorable comment about it. This is the first post I have made to YouTube and it is likely this will be the first of many. Please share the video with your friends.

Also have it uploaded on Vimeo at: and a smaller version is embedded in my website: .

If you would like to add it to your website you can get the embed code at either YouTube or Vimeo. If you would like to come see 90 minutes of this live, buy tickets at: : . Tickets are $18.00 which is a bargain for what you will be getting.

Back to normal content, whatever that is, tomorrow. Hoping to get some air time in the morning as the sun is supposed to be out.

Have a beautiful day … let a smile come over your face when you wake in the morning and realize you are still breathing … what a terrific way to start the day; doesn’t get any better.



At nightfall,

Though I know I shall sometime no more open my eyes to the night or the day.

I am one who looks at the stars when unchained from the workbench at nightfall.

They are a sign I am not ephemeral, nor 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 forest


… is obscured by the trees … life is obscured by the moment … time to kick back, listen to some Rod Stewart and look past the now, the obvious and see what lies before us … a vision of future tempered by the present, an inclusive view where humans are seen as the very small part of reality we really are, where in the vastness of the observable universe 4800 new stars are “born “every second and about a tenth of that number end every second … where there are an infinite number of universes and in this very small corner of our galaxy in our small solar system, circling one small star we learn that there is so much more than us and we are in awe of all that is …………… someday …………… I wonder how many bobcats are part of this tree? birds? other life forms?

A very good day and much accomplished.

Starting to put the visual part of an exciting upcoming event together. On Saturday, November 14th Anthony and I return to the Mary Fisher Theater in Sedona for another performance featuring the incredible musical talent that is Anthony Mazzella and an all new format for the visuals with my photography providing the backdrop for the music. Anthony will be having a musical surprise during the performance which will blow you away … we talked about it tonight and I think he will do it … you’ll have to be there to find out what it is :+) The imagery will be pretty amazing too and we have worked out some techniques that will provide a blend that better enhances the overall experience.

You can buy tickets for the performance online at: . The performance will begin at 7PM and will be a straight through performance with no intermission.

You should buy your tickets early! Our two previous performances this summer sold out way before the dates of the concerts. Indications are that this performance will sell out early too, so get your tickets now … more time to relish the performance you will be part of. No trees blocking the view here :+)

A new day is well underway … in Delaware on his farm outside Wilmington, my friend Dick is awaking and looking out over a beautiful pond and having a cup of coffee … in New Canaan, Connecticut my daughter Joleen and her girls are starting a new day too and so many other friends and family in all parts of the world … Tore in Norway … Hans in Germany … Mars’ in Switzerland … Mark in London … soon Ron will be looking out at the Pacific Ocean from his home near the top of the hills in Malibu, Susan and family waking to a new day in Half Moon Bay … fun to think of everyone and what a blessing all of you are in my life … thank you! Time to wrap my day … for a few hours at least.



For a few hours here in the still morning I wash myself clean of civilization,and purge myself of things and the accumulated rubbish of time.

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

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

Max Ehrmann




It’s me

Here I am

… or, here I am! … or, get a life! … or, get the heck out of here! … take your pick or add your own quip to what you think this guy is saying. I think he was just cooling himself as it was a warm day, but the pose and expression on his face just make for a lot of fun imaginary sayings you can attribute to him.

A very busy day going through some collections and getting them organized and late afternoon a run to the Post Office to mail all the calendars (still have five left), a stop at Basha’s for food and home for a less than healthy meal, bacon, eggs, salsa and cheese … Klondike bar for desert … it was all very good. The evening devoted to finishing the swap out of incandescent bulbs to LED and now putting a wrap on the day.

Have a great day today and keep breathing … that will make your entire day delightful!



Whoever thou art that entereth here,

Forget the struggling world

And every trembling fear.

Here all are kin of God above …

Thou too, dear heart; and here

The rule of life is love.

Max Ehrmann

the young


… this young Bobcat is likely facing his first months alone in a new territory having spent the first months of his life under the care and tutelage of his mother. Now it is make it on his/her own time … no safety net, just life as it is presented and lived each day. This little one is looking pretty healthy and well fed and for whatever reason I am beginning to see them again. I saw this one on the way home from the airport on Saturday and he let me spend a few minutes with him before he disappeared into the brush … love these creatures and their ability to not only survive, but to prosper and again it is up to each one to make it alone!

It was pretty dark when I got this shot; Canon 5Ds R with the 70/200 f2.8 lens. Shot at 182mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/500th of a second exposure, spot metering. This body continues to amaze me!

I had a lot of really great plans for today including a start reading tech stuff with a few shots of espresso (five in the first mug) before I do my exercises and get into the day. It really worked great until I read an article on overclocking computers … being something of a speed freak I got hooked and headed into the office to begin overclocking the new rig I just finished a month or so ago. Decided to be a little cautious so only bumped the CPU speed from 3.3 GHz to 4GHz and aside from the fact that it was insanely fast before and is now triple insanely fast (intel core i7 5th gen 6 core processor) I’m going to be back in a few days and begin pushing it to the limit. The idea is to push it to the point where it begins to fail and then back off ever so much to a stable point. So, calisthenics, weights and treadmill got postponed until early afternoon, the morning walk got pushed back to early evening, but what a heck of a fun learning experience and it ended up really good. Next comes work on the RAM and GPU, and they look a little more complicated … caution is recommended so more morning espresso is on tap. Nothing like ten shots of espresso to get a day rolling :+) If you want the best stuff you need to roast your own coffee beans and the place to get it is Burman Coffee Traders. I talked with Jon this morning and ordered more of the premium Columbian Coffees I love and some more of the Kona from Greenwell Farms on Hawaii (the big island). It will be about a month before the new crop is available, but worth waiting for. Check them out at: and if you like, give Jon a call.

The new routine will be attempted again later this morning … in the first mug, five shots of espresso and another Maximum PC (min BS) magazine …

Have a beautiful day … light up a smile on a nerd … talk overclocking :+)

Only five calendars left … all the others ship this morning. If you want one let me know because I will not be placing another order.



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


if you live here

if you live here

… the odds are pretty good your home is included in this photo I took this morning. This is one of the most all-inclusive photos I have taken of the area. Working from the lower right we’ll follow SR 179 as it travels north through the Village of Oak Creek where I live. On the right side of the road you have the Village of Oak Creek and going all the way out to Pine Valley. You can also see the executive golf course on the right. (Cork routinely cleaned my clock on that course). On the left also the Village of Oak Creek. The first golf course on the left is the Sedona Golf Resort and near the road just above the course is the Hilton Hotel, the Outlets on the right and then the next golf course on the left is where I live, Oak Creek Country Club.

Continuing to the left beyond our golf course is Highland Estates and several other upscale developments. Back to the road … as you pass north of the village you have three notable rocks you go by; on the left Castle Rock, on the right Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte and Lee Mountain out by Pine Valley.

Traveling north past these rocks you go through a national forest with scenic pullouts and after a few miles you enter the Chapel area which is the first populated area you can see past Bell Rock. Four active places of worship plus the Chapel of the Holy Cross which is a must see … you won’t see Natasha doing a handstand on one of the rock retaining walls with about a fifty foot drop though … still have that one Natasha :+) Maybe I can use it? Just below the airport is Cathedral Rock. On the other side on up a bit is Snoopy Rock and a lot of the other named rocks. Beyond the chapel area you enter the Hillside area with numerous galleries and restaurants where I encourage you to spend some time and money. Check out Gallery of the Modern Masters in the Hillside area … Zach has done a great job with the gallery and used to be an F4 driver. Keep traveling N on SR179, you will cross the bridge just before Tlaquepaque and very soon Reagan Word’s sculpture of a Blue Heron based on one of my photos will be put in place at the roundabout.

At the Y you can go right to Uptown area with all the shops, galleries and restaurants and looking straight ahead you will see Wilson Mountain, on the left Thunder Mountain and more …

Go straight up to the Hyatt complex with more of the same (if you do stop in the Wildflower Bakery and if Brittany is on ask her to make you a sugar free vanilla latte – excellent) and if you go left you will be heading into West Sedona which is on the other side of the airport and has the major shopping stores for locals plus a lot of gallery type stuff. The gallery of “Not just any John” Soderberg is on the right side of 89A as you travel S towards Cottonwood and just before Dry Creek Road.

On the other side of Thunder Mountain you have Long Canyon and Seven Canyons Golf Course, some residential areas and Enchantment Resort is also out there in Boynton Canyon which opens into Long Canyon.

I’ve omitted a lot, but this gives you an overview from above. Above Wilson Mountain (left of center at horizon) you can see the base of the San Francisco Peaks which were obscured by a rain storm. Mt Elden is to the right of them and right horizon you have Mormon Mountain (loaf shape) and the lake is the other side of it.

I took this shot with the Canon 5Ds R 50+MP camera using the new 24/70 F2.8 lens. The native size of the image is just under 20” x 30”at 300 ppi so the detail in the image is absolutely amazing. If you would like a print of this let me know. Think I will offer it as a 18”x 30”on 20 x 30 paper and an 20” x 36” on 24” x 36” paper (luster) for $79 and $99 respectively. Prices are delivered to your door! This image is only 1800 x 900 pixels or 6” x 3”

For the first portion of the flight I was putting Mariah through the paces making sure that everything was working the way it should including the iEFIS from MGL Avionics and it was. I also had the NavWorx ADS-B installed which tracks all traffic in my area and their proximity to me and also transmits all my info to them … very cool feature and it works great! So a couple of very minor issues remain, but how sweet it was to be back in the air and feeling good about everything.

The rest of the day was nice, visits with friends, work on projects around home and enjoying the rain that started just as I pulled into the garage.

Have a wonderful day … smile and share your joy.


And as the mellow years come on, will you

Remember still that love is young

And fresh as morning dew

For me and you?

Max Ehrmann

the truth please


… a perfect set of eyes to due interrogation and on a larger scale the query would be the truth or be my next meal. I love the faces and eyes of owls, and they had a couple at the train station today for fundraising purposes for a shelter. He was actually a pretty diminutive little guy, but the eyes are captivating and makes him seem like a giant!!!

A nice ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad and the cloud cover formed as we approached Perkinsville so the ride back was much cooler. A beautiful ride and think it will be much nicer in a couple of weeks when the leaves turn color … just starting.

Tired day with all the fresh air … no profound thoughts … just remember this is the only life you have … live it and make it a nicer place … otherwise you may open your eyes some morning and be looking at these :+)



May I not forget that poverty and riches are of the spirit,

Though the world know me not,

May my thoughts and actions be such as shall keep me friendly with myself.

Max Ehrmann

from “A Prayer”