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The schedule on the Bisti trip was crazy...Day 1, we had class from 10 - 2...then we met at 4PM to go out all night, arriving back around 5AM...only to have another class start Noon!

I've done these workshops before, so I knew to go to the grocery story and buy stuff to store in the fridge in my hotel room. That way, I could make a quick sandwich in the room and have a few extra minutes of sleep!

But one morning, I had some free time to go to breakfast, and while I was eating I told the waitress what I was in Farmington for -- a photo workshop in Bisti.

She asked if we had seen any "Skin-walkers"...I had no idea what she meant, lol!

Evidently, this is a Navajo legend about people who can transform into animals...and there's a lot of negative talk about them, and it seems that the Navajos just keep quiet about them...but it seems there's not much to fear...just people who can transform -- humans who bring their good or bad with them, but just humans who can transform into animals.

So, I got a piece of information from having breakfast!

Which brings me to another memory....the very last night we were in Bisti, we were on our 'march' back to the parking lot, when the instructor spotted a tent near our path. To be polite, he diverted us pretty far around the tent, so as not to disturb the person.

I tend to 'bring up the rear', whether biking or hiking.

That night after we went around the tent, I had a lot of 'creepiness' -- I kept turning my head behind us, so my headlamp would show what was behind us....I kept having the sensation someone was following!

It went away after about a 1/2 mile, but I was uncomfortable for a while!

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I had a couple hours before I had to drive from Albuquerque to Farmington, so I stopped at one of the trails that are part of the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque.

I went to the 'main' office, but I had already picked out this particular trail based on the time I had available. They told me how to get there (I got lost, until I stopped and turned on the maps...)...it is sandwiched between residential and commercial strips, but it has its own (free) parking area.

Petroglyphs at the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque

Petroglyphs at the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque

Petroglyphs at the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque

More Bisti

Jun. 19th, 2017 04:57 pm
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Alien Eggs --
Alien Eggs

One friend said it looked like a Dali. A sister said it looked like a set from the original Star Trek series...

Milky Way --
Bisti Milky Way

The workshop instructor is in the background --

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These are just a jumble of some of my thoughts and memory vignettes form the trip.

Flash of Light

We were out all night at Bisti 3 times. When you're out at night, there are distinct phases which happen during the night. How the night unfolds depends on time of year, weather of course, and the moon cycle. For us, the phases were: Sunset, Nautical Twilight, the dark time when the Milky Way is very visible, and then moonrise and finally the glow that indicates sunrise is approaching.

Moonrise always lit up the landscape to the point where we did not need our headlamps to navigate the hoodoos. You could just walk around in the dark, with no problem at all.

During the dark time one night, I was talking to the instructor, and there was suddenly a flash of light! The flash lit up the landscape the way moonlight does! My back was towards the flash, but the instructor said it appeared to come from one star in the sky.

He thought it was light from a supernova or something, with the light finally reaching us. The rest of the group (who were set up in a different place from me) also saw the flash, but their backs were to it as well.

I have not been able to find info on that anywhere online about it, and I have not reviewed my pics to see if my shutter was open during the flash.

Learned about Mongolia

One of the students was originally from Mongolia. She speaks Mongolian, of course, and I think Russian. She also is fluent-ish in German and English. I got to speak to her about where she grew up, and how Mongolian is written, etc.

A Little Cuddle

One of the folks at the workshop and I hug deeply whenever we see each other. This time there was more than a hug. We got some cuddling -- cheek to cheek (or beard to beard really). He was close to me, and leaned in to whisper something in my ear, so I put my arm around his waist and pulled him in for a cheek cuddle. It was nice.


One of the students provided WAY TOO MUCH information about his bodily habits. Do I really need to know that he gets sweaty balls? Or that he has hemorrhoids? Yea, so there's that.

Chaco Ancestors

Chaco Canyon came up in our conversations. One of the students had gone to Chaco (paid the permit, etc. etc.) for nighttime photography. While he was there, he and the ranger heard voices. He said it distinctly sounded like voices, and the temperature got cold. The ranger experienced the same thing.

I reminded me of when I was at Chaco (during the day), when I distinctly heard a child's laughter behind me. But there was nobody there. Here is is what I wrote about that experience back in 2015:
It is hard to put into words what I felt at Chaco. I certainly did not see it as just a set of ruins -- I sort of felt like I was intruding on the everyday lives of the people living there. But, of course, there were no actual people...but maybe impressions of people...or somehow I was intersecting from my time into the time when people were actually living at Chaco.

Not ghosts (which has a negative connotation anyway)...and not exactly spirits...just like I was there at the same time they were. It was an odd feeling, for sure!

When I was at Chetro Ketl, I swear I heard a child's laughter...I was taking pictures, and I looked up from the camera, expecting to see a child with his parents. But there was nothing but the sun and wind -- no child.

It was interesting to hear someone else having a similar experience!

Pack Weight

I was pleased with the weight I carried. Although I certainly love to hike, I'm usually only out for a few hours, so the water I carry is maybe a couple of biking bottles. I also never carry a tripod.

And I usually am hiking in a green area, so I carry a small water filter in case I need it. In the case of Bisti, there is no water...you have to carry it all, and we were outside about 11 hours, starting hot (85F) and then getting pretty cold (43F) at night. It's an arid area with no amenities, so you get dehydrated fast!

For the workshop, I carried 2.5 liters of water, a tripod, camera and 2 lenses, extra batteries, gadgets I need for shooting, food for dinner, and several layers of clothes -- for the big layers like my coat, I rolled them all together into a tube and tied them up, so that I just carried those with 1 hand - not on my backpack.

I estimate my pack was about 20 lbs, not counting the rolled up tube of clothes. And I did fine. I kept my knee wrapped, so it didn't cause problems. I did get a pretty bad blister, but kept that bandaged for the remaining hikes.

I was pleased with my own performance in carrying 20 lbs plus other stuff for 5+ miles!

MacBook Air

The little Air still worked very well! It's a 2013 model, so not new at all, but it performed better than some of the MacBooks and Windows machines there. I believe its performance is related to the flash memory -- there's no spinning hard drive on the Air -- just flash memory. I think that is why it is fast. I'm still really pleased with this little, light laptop!


When I got back home, the flowers out front had exploded! I have a guy painting the trim on the house, and he said that it was like overnight! I also noticed I had 4" of rain in the rain gauge, so I suspect the rain is what caused the sudden bloom!

Time to go back to work...go back to reality! I am not prepared for that just yet!

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I had a great time in New Mexico...

And I'm completely off schedule now! The week was spent in a nighttime photo workshop -- I've taken 2 previous workshops with this same guy -- where we stayed up all night taking night pictures. There were 6 in the workshop, in addition to the instructor.

Bisti was great! I miss it -- other worldly. I didn't take as many photos as I could have, because I tended to spend time lying on my back looking at the stars! I just couldn't help it! Where there is artificial light, you CANNOT see stars...not like this.

I'll be editing pics over the next few days...Here is the 1st post from the trip --
Bisti Badlands in New Mexico (Explored)
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Some of my friends know that I have a house rule about drinking -- if it's 5 o'clock in Paris, then it's okay for me to start my wine :)

Well, I have added a few more rules.

Rule #1: If it's 5pm in Paris, okay to pour a glass.
Rule #2: If #1 is not applicable, then if it's brunch, alcohol is totally acceptable!

And I added #3 today:
Rule #3: If you have a 6AM flight, and your intent is to wake up at 3:15 to have a leisurely breakfast before driving to the airport....but instead you oversleep and wake up at 4:30...and you rush to get a shower and then drive to the airport and barely make the flight...only to have to deplane an hour later because of mechanical issues..and the mechanical issues last 4 hours, causing you to miss your connection....and the only other option is to stay at the airport for 9 fricken' hours waiting for the next connection...then alcohol is totally acceptable!

Siri, Siri, Siri...I told her to "Acorde-me às três" (Wake me up at 3), and she answered "Configurando o alarme pra às três" (Configuring the alarm for 3).

But I remember seeing the screen say "15:00" -- as in 3 PM, when I needed 3 AM! I just didn't think it through that 15:00 was not what I wanted!

Also, I set a backup alarm on my alarm clock...but I FORGOT TO TURN THE SWITCH ON!

So, I woke up at 4:30AM on my own without any alarm...blinking disbelievingly at the time shown on the clock!

But I felt great about showering and making it to the airport in under an hour & 1/2...only to have the mechanical issue with the plane!

So here I sit, applying rule #3 at Dallas Fort Worth airport.


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I had a really nice night the other night with friends. We attended an event at a local bar to celebrate 'Negroni Week', where you bought a ticket which entitled you to 4 Negronis. They were not small -- maybe not full size, but definitely good sized drinks!

It was a fun night!

Taking pics of the moon the other night -
O sol nasce pra todos, a lua pra quem merece.

I just subscribed to Photoshop's free trial...but they only gave me 7 days when I used to be 30...I do not ever plan to subscribe long term to their software -- I only needed it for a class...it makes me think I should transition away from my old standalone version of Lightroom, so I'm not using Adobe products. Plenty of options for what I need -- Pixelmator, Gimp...and what did I see the other day 'Affinity'?
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I don't even have words for Jabba...I see the end game (#Russia)...but it's being executed in such a stupid way...

And these people are completely insane....

It was a fricken typo, and Jabba was careless and let the tweet stay up for hours....but when I listened to the audio -- Spicer seems to be saying it was perfectly fine because a small group of people knew what he meant.

I mean damn -- EVERYONE KNEW WHAT HE MEANT -- from the context. The point is that this yokel typed a completely bad tweet...and didn't check behind himself...and doesn't have aides who would double check for him.

And if Spicer had just said it was a late night typo, it would have been odd...but not completely INSANE sounding! https://t.co/w998vxHd3J

One nice thing about having my language prefs set to Portuguese is that apps present a lot of Brazilian search results, etc. to me. When I clicked to see Tweets tagged with #covfefe, these were in my first page or 2 of results.

These Tweets made me laugh...

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No travel for me this holiday weekend...staying in town doing stuff...Yesterday, I took a walk downtown on Belle Isle..

I took the picture below on the island but did not post it at first because I couldn't decide if it was creepy or not. I see other folks online posting pictures of random people on the street -- I mean not 'street art', but photos of specific people they see around, and doing that always seemed a bit creepy to me.

So I sent the pic to a couple of friends, asking if it was creepy. And they both said it seemed pretty anonymous, so it was not creepy. I mentioned to one that the sunbather was center of attention in the photo, and that I was pretty close to him. That friend said the picture would not be as good further away.

Since they both thought it was fine, I went ahead an posted it!
Sunbather at the river

I met up with my sister today. She is changing careers and wants to open her own electrolysis business. She is going to school for it, including both classwork as well as practice. She needs 100 hours of practice, so I have been going nearly every weekend to her school so she can practice on me, lol!

And LORD KNOWS, I could use a bit of electrolysis on my back! I told my Brazilian friend about it after one session, and he asked if I was 'bald' -- careca -- but I misunderstood the word (I thought he asked if I was 'hairy'), so I answered como um macaco -- 'like a monkey!', lol...

Glad to get a bike ride in this morning. Still very short rides under 16 miles, but it feels great to be out on the bike!

I have just started talking to a guy in Brazil online. We have traded a few Whatsapp messages, text and voice. Now, he wants to talk directly on the phone, which is a bit nerve-wracking for me! He's cute...and has a nice voice. And really, if you can't flirt with a guy 6000 miles away, who on Earth can you flirt with, lol?

But it's so so hard to converse on the phone in a different language! We'll see. I told him maybe this holiday weekend. We shall see...

I bought a book for a friend for her birthday. Actually, I bought one for me and one for her, lol! Our gifts tend to have a theme, and that theme would be alcohol! It's a cute book! I like it -- it's about which plants are used to make cocktails and why, and it also includes recipes for the ingredients!

I have lavender growing outside, so I cut some, dried it and hung it in the kitchen --

Anyway, I think a friend is coming over for wine tonight...so far the weekend has been nice!


May. 24th, 2017 09:27 pm
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Interesting evening tonight with my Brazilian friend...tonight was 'English only', but we sometimes have to improvise when we are communicating.

We met at the sorveteria -- the ice cream parlor that we often meet at...we always attract attention from the staff, as we switch back and forth between English and Portuguese!

His English is great (and my Portuguese kinda sucks)...but tonight he was trying to describe the type of Brazilian music NOT to listen to, and he was talking about a type of movement...he used the word 'rebolando', which Google Translate gave as 'rolling'...#NotHelpful

So he found some videos to explain -- 'rebolando' is 'twerking' in English.

Not my favorite move. Not my favorite type of music. No worries that I will try to learn Portuguese with this type of music!

Next time will be Portuguese only!


May. 21st, 2017 05:06 pm
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Brunch with friends this morning...and then I went to the Botanical Garden to walk around; I hadn't been there in an age!




My niece and her girlfriend just became engaged...They have been together for years, and I'm happy for her and forward to being invited to the wedding!

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The other day a video made the rounds on Twitter of a very angry, intolerant, prejudiced, wheelchair-bound xenophobe yelling at someone. Why? Evidently, just for speaking Spanish!

At first, I didn't listen to the video because I knew it would upset me, especially after I saw it autoplay (without sound) on Twitter. From the body language and facial language, I know I would not want to watch the video.

In a way, I still wish I had not watched it. So be warned!

The guy in the wheelchair evidently went ballistic because someone near him was speaking Spanish. The Spanish speaker was a Puerto Rican man near him was sitting in his chair speaking Spanish to his mom.

Other than the actual confrontation itself upsetting me...the other upsetting feelings I had was how sorry I felt for the xenophobe's ignorance!

==> Sorry for him that he had such hate weighing him down.
==> Sorry for him that he felt so self centered (and privileged) that he would even think of intruding on someone else's life like that.

I mean, how could another human language possibly upset him? Why in the world would you initiate a confrontation with someone over their language?? I love learning other languages, and the idea boggles my mind!

Why & how did the xenophobe allow himself to get to such a foul state of existence? Why is he so afraid of others?

Maybe I should feel sorry for the Spanish speaking guy for having his 'pursuit of happiness' so harshly intruded upon by such a hateful person...but really, all I could keep thinking was how sorry I was that the xenophobe was living with all that hate!

Now, I am certainly aware that a xenophobe is dangerous -- I mean, no matter how 'sorry' you might feel for a bomb, you certainly don't want to be around one...and that's how I feel about the xenophobe -- I don't want him around!

If the man had not been in a wheelchair, had not been in an airport, had not been being video taped, he would most likely have tried to hurt the Spanish speaking man -- after all, he bumped his wheelchair against them as it was. So, yea, a bomb.

In a perfect world, the xenophobe should have been arrested for public disorderly conduct. I think the Spanish speaking man handled himself very properly, although I think it would have been better to have stopped talking after a while because it was like adding gasoline to the fire.

In the post so far, I have avoided using the words 'white nationalist' or 'racist'. The man probably does hold those beliefs, but I really wanted to emphasize the hate and fear the guy seemed to have of another language and culture.

It just is crazy!
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I'm back to my Portuguese lessons...is my Portuguese better? Yep! Is it great? Nope! LOL!

It's hard to 'really' learn a language without being immersed. Having a Brazilian friend helps a lot. And the lessons I take online help also...I like doing this, and I'll keep at it, but it's very slow going!

Música da licão hoje à noite --
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I noticed my photos have taken on a blurry, dark note lately!

Rainy Night

Playing around with the camera tonight!

Rainy Night

But notes of hope as well! I like finding 'urban wildflowers' -- flowers growing in harsh conditions.
City Flowers / Flores da Cidade

City Flowers / Flores da Cidade

And rain --

And not blurred, but focused --
Playing around with the camera tonight!
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This morning, I decided to try a recipe for a pancake made in the oven. Here is a recipe from online -- the one I used called for 3 eggs and 4 Tbs of butter (but I couldn't find the site for that recipe).

Easy and tasty with maple syrup!

I've still been playing with an app called 'Darkr', which is supposed to mimic old small, medium, and large format cameras, as well as mimicking how film was developed in an old-style darkroom. It's interesting to me, mostly because I never worked with a darkroom.

Here's a picture of a Coreopsis bloom from my front garden.
Coreopsis flower

Bike ride today and some yardwork. Otherwise, a pretty quiet weekend. The family did not get together for Mother's Day, but we should get together in a couple weeks for my Dad's birthday.

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Robert Lentz icon

I've had some Robert Lentz icons on my wall for 20 years! I just noticed how much more faded they are than when I first hung them!



May. 6th, 2017 10:45 pm
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Rosa 'Tahitian Sunset'
Rosa "Tahitian Sunset"

An edit of a photo from 2008 --
"Postcard" from the Golden Gate in 2008

Rosa 'Zephrine Drouhin' which I planted years ago between my neighbor and me --
Rosa 'Zerphrine Drouhin'


May. 2nd, 2017 06:01 pm
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Morson's Row on Governor Street (1853)

Working downtown is hard. Parking. Traffic. Bad sidewalks. Hard on your shoes.

But working downtown has perks. Food carts. More exercise walking around. People-watching. And interesting places to eat lunch, like the buildings above!

Foi Mal!

Apr. 30th, 2017 05:03 pm
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I thought I had already posted this, but I couldn't find it. A few weeks ago, I was mowing the grass, and I saw this cute little baby bunny under the tulips! So cute, so I stopped and took pics with my phone!

Mind you, I was NOT mowing the tulips -- only the grass! But when I came up the other side and got close, I saw the baby bunny run away. And I then I saw baby bunny #2 run a different direction. And I thought, awwww, how cute!

And then...and then...I heard and felt WOMP-WOMP-WOMP under the lawnmower! Baby bunny #3 had run under my lawnmower!!! It was bad...completely by accident...but I didn't even like looking at the pile of bloody baby bunny in the grass!

Anyways, my area of town is overrun with rabbits, and the remaining 2 bunnies have matured a lot in a few weeks! I've noticed a couple of hawks flying and perching here lately, so they also have noticed our abundance of rabbits!
A lazy Sunday evening...

Do you think the rabbits know that I'm a vegetarian?