Desert National Wildlife Refuge

The DNR is a half hour north from Las Vegas, a vast, sprawling country with rough roads that limit exploring. The trails around the visitor center, however, are easily walked and allow a look at Corn Creek, year round water in the desert.

I was there to photograph the mesquite bosque, a grove of honey mesquite trees. It is a woodland of sorts, special to the desert, what might be called a riparian forest elsewhere.

I was using a new point and shoot which has proven great at zooming in on distant objects and framing shots but its sharpness is too poor for publication. Good for web work.
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Get It!

I always liked this story. Here, I have revised my previous writing. Yes, I used to write about telecom. Enough that the History Channel interviewed me once about Bell, my only television appearance.

As Wesson and Grosvenor tell it, in the spring of 1875, Alexander Graham Bell’s experimenting picked up quickly with the help of a talented young machinist named Thomas A. Watson.

Bell feverishly pursued the harmonic telegraph his backers wanted and the telephone which was now his real interest. Trained only in speech, and lacking any formal electrical education, Bell went to Washington D.C. Bell could visualize the telephone, a device to send a voice over a wire using electricity, but how could he make it happen?

On March 1, 1875, Bell met with Joseph Henry, the great scientist and inventor, then Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. It was Henry who pioneered electromagnetism and helped Morse with the telegraph. He was one of the four or five most important scientists of the 19th century, ranking with Faraday, Pasteur, Curie, and Darwin.

Bell ran by him a number of problems, including ones he had with the telegraph. At the time, any telegraph improvement represented great opportunity and wealth, as that was how the country was wired together in the 1870s.

Henry wasn’t interested in Bell’s telegraph work but he did say Bell’s ideas on transmitting speech electrically represented “the germ of a great invention.” He urged Bell to drop all other work and get on with developing the telephone. Bell said he feared he lacked the necessary electrical knowledge, to which the old man replied simply, “Get it!” Bell quit pursuing his harmonic telegraph, at least in spirit, and began working full time on the telephone.

You can read more of my telephone writing at my old site, now a dusty archive:
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Peace In The Valley

I’ve mentioned this song before and I included a YouTube video of Elvis Presley and his group performing it. (internal link)

The song still pulls me, with a promise of hope beyond, freedom from my relentless anxiety, nightmares, and physical ailments. In some wonderful valley I hope to meet up with my parents and old friends again. Right now I am living for my hobbies and interests and I am lucky to be doing so. Still, the valley calls.

One aside, I’m finding that I am resting my head in my hands when I am concentrating on something, in exactly the same way Dad did. It is very disturbing. For a second I flash back to when he was alive, then I realize he is gone. It is very disturbing.

This reaction video is by the vocal teacher Linor Oren who is Dutch. Presley’s star power is unmistakeable and overwhelming.

I think there was a refugee crisis in Europe at the time of this performance, he was raising money to help and singing here in the hope of their comfort.

Peace in the Valley

by Thomas A. Dorsey (not to be confused with Tommy Dorsey of Big Band fame)

Oh well, I’m tired and so weary
But I must go alone
Till the lord comes and calls, calls me away, oh yes
Well the morning’s so bright
And the lamp is alight
And the night, night is as black as the sea, oh yes

There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow
No trouble, trouble I see
There will be peace in the valley for me, for me

Well the bear will be gentle
And the wolves will be tame
And the lion shall lay down by the lamb, oh yes
And the beasts from the wild
Shall be lit by a child
And I’ll be changed, changed from this creature that I am, oh yes

There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow
No trouble, trouble I see
There will be peace in the valley for me, for me
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Sit Rep

Hope you are well or well enough.

Just got back from Utah. People and families are on the move for the summer, with my hotel completely booked for the weekend and surrounding hotels looking equally crowded.

Good days of exploring Washington County, Utah, its southwestern most corner.

Found agates, a rare granite, and the northernmost stand of Joshua Trees in the United States.

I’m not interested in personal writing much these days, paid writing and editing continues as normal. Or as normal as These Times permit.

I’m active on Instagram as it is easier than writing blog posts.

My interest now is in exploring for my own enjoyment and to document places little covered, media wise, for Wikimedia Commons. I’m putting everything I do into the public domain.

This page has many images and information of one area I stopped in:

And here are links to some videos, without context or explanation. For that, see Wikimedia Commons under my name:

Vimeo only for now, agate hunting at Holt Canyon, Utah:
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The Desert Dwarfs Man and Machine

A look at the vastness of just one part of the Mojave Desert, here in Clark County, Nevada.

Driving_North_on_Southern_Nevada_Liteweight_Road from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.
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Above And Far Beyond The Call of Duty
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New Videos for Wikimedia Commons

Chasing an unseen ATV rider across the dry bed of Jean Lake

ATV riders coming back from Jean Lake, their dust clouds making a dead lake live

This one isn’t going to make it into Wikipedia. Fun with swirls
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Is That All There Is?
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The Sweet Cheat Gone

by Albert Proust:

Book Six of Six in the series Remembrances of Things Past. Alternatively, In Quest of Lost Time.

“Mademoiselle Albertine has gone!” How much farther does anguish penetrate in psychology than psychology itself! A moment ago, as I lay analysing my feelings, I had supposed that this separation without a final meeting was precisely what I wished, and, as I compared the mediocrity of the pleasures that Albertine afforded me with the richness of the desires which she prevented me from realising, had felt that I was being subtle, had concluded that I did not wish to see her again, that I no longer loved her. But now these words: “Mademoiselle Albertine has gone!” had expressed themselves in my heart in the form of an anguish so keen that I would not be able to endure it for any length of time. And so what I had supposed to mean nothing to me was the only thing in my whole life. How ignorant we are of ourselves.

— translator unknown

An entire book series based on thinking about thinking. Proust was very sickly and spent way too much time at home. Like many of us today.
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Getting The Lucky Shot

How do you get that great shot when you are only shooting some of the time?

Sometimes it’s just luck. I’ve always liked this clip of my brother bowling. I was only snapping pictures with my iPhone now and then. This time I was filming.

For every great shot I’ve captured, I’ve missed a huge amount by not having the camera in my hands. And I can’t tell you how much of my life I have wasted in trying to document a scene when I should have been simply enjoying the moment.

My steam locomotive video from 2015 is up for consideration as a Wikimedia Commons Featured Video. That’s a neat honor to be nominated. Only 153 videos have been selected as a Featured Video. That really good since this first page states there are 61,306,647 videos on Commons. The next page says, however, that only 135,000 videos exist. Whatever. (external link) (external link))

How did I get that shot? Handheld and with an iPhone? I let the steam engine come to me. No walking to it or away. I stood still, letting it roll up and on.

I’m glad I didn’t have a zoom or I would have been fooling around with that. And I am glad the iPhone had enough pixels five years ago to present something worthwhile today. Here’s the candidates page along with some other fine videos: (external link)

And here’s Dave making that shot.
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