non-fiction writing rocks and lapidary Uncategorized

Goldfield Gemfield Gem Claims Update

Sharon Artlip has been in touch. She and her sister Nadiah Beekum own the Gemfield Gem claims in Goldfield, Nevada. (internal link)

I’ve written quite a bit about the claims at this site and also in the May, 2016 issue of Rock&Gem Magazine. Another name for the claims now seems to be “The Rainbow Chalcedony Claims.”

Sharon writes that, “It has been a wonderful couple of years.  We are still having fun at Gemfield and always trying to improve it.  If you would like I will send you the current brochure.”

Here’s a link below to the current brochure in .pdf, archived at this site. (internal link).

2019-03-Gemfield Gem-Claims-History-pamphlet

This is a link to Sharon’s website supporting the claims:

And here’s a postcard photo of the claims. Click here (internal link) or on the image for a much bigger view:

Sharon holding chalcedony in Goldfield at Bryan Smalley’s Hidden Treasure Trading Company. Note her truck’s new personalized plates.

For fluorescent mineral fans, there is some potential here but only with long wave using at least a nine watt lamp, preferably an 18 watt unit. A Super Bright should do nicely.

The slab below is unusually colorless, used chiefly for knapping or perhaps for strikers for flintlock rifles. More colorful pieces should show more. Visible light, long wave, short wave.


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editing writing non-fiction writing organizing writing revising writing Thoughts on writing Uncategorized Writing by others Writing tips

Revising Work From Overseas

In today’s interconnected world, editors may be asked to edit and revise the work of people for whom English is not their first language. While I am revising these writer’s efforts, I am humbled knowing I could never write in another language as well as these authors. It is my job, however, to make their writing sound like a native speaker.

Here are my revisions of some such work.


After you got into an accident, the responsible party’s insurance company will send you a series of documents to sign. One of the forms you will likely sign is a Medical Authorization Release. This permits the insurance provider to check your personal medical history to determine the value of your personal injury case. If you’re concerned about whether you should sign it or not, then make sure you understand what each paperwork is about before signing any of them. If you don’t know what they could mean for you, then you should consult with an attorney.


The responsible party’s insurance company will send you a set of documents to sign after you have had an accident. One vital form stands out: a Medical Authorization Release. Signing this lets the insurance provider check your personal medical history to determine the value of your injury case. If you don’t understand how that release or any of their paperwork may impact your case, consult an attorney.


The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor recently announced that they have decided to issue an additional 30,000 I-2C visas until September 30 this year. This means that foreign nationals who hope to work a seasonal job in the US may have a better chance of entering the country.


The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor will issue 30,000 additional I-2C visas until September 30th of this year. Foreign nationals who hope to work a seasonal job in the US may have a better chance of entering the country.


It’s not surprising to find out the multitude of nursing homes in Kentucky as subjects of complaints. According to the Department of Public Health, its Department’s 24-hours a day Nursing Home Hotline processes as many as 19,000 calls annually. Throughout the years, nursing homes have been linked to several issues such as neglect, abuse and all sorts of misconducts. For those with loved ones inside nursing home facilities, this is both alarming and necessary reasons to always be on the lookout. If you suspect that someone you love or know may be having a negative experience in a nursing home, here’s what you need to know.


Kentucky nursing homes are frequent and continuing subjects of complaints. The State’s Department of Public Health runs a 24 hour-a-day Nursing Home Hotline. It gets nearly 19,000 calls each year. Over the years, nursing homes have been responsible for neglect, abuse, and all manner of misconduct. Anyone with a loved one inside a nursing home should be alarmed by these statistics. These numbers demand that friends and family must always look for warning signs. Here’s what to know if you suspect that someone you love or know may be getting poor or abusive treatment at a nursing home.


Ndot has taken a more significant step to keep Clark County roads safer by replacing 800 of the controversial guardrail X-Lite sections across the state. According to a statement from the state, it is taking a proactive step to address concerns about the guardrail’s parts not up to par with field performance expectations. The planned X-Lite product replacement will cost as much as $20 million although the federal highway regulations do not require it.


Ndot has taken a significant step to keep Clark County roads safer by replacing certain parts on guardrails in Clark County and across the state. Numbering 804 in all, these so-called X-Lite sections have generated controversy in several states for possibly causing fatalities. According to a statement from the department, it is replacing these parts to address concerns about the guardrail’s components not meeting performance expectations. Ndot will spend as much as $20 million on replacing the X-Lite sections although federal highway regulations do not mandate that they do so.


The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that motor vehicle crashes declined consistently throughout the years, although the same can’t be said for wrong-way driving incidents. Approximately 300 people die from wrong-way crashes every year. In Las Vegas alone, two accidents already occurred this year. One man died on Interstate 5 near Downtown Las Vegas last January, while another one did on Interstate 805 near Rocky Ridge last March.


The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motor vehicle crashes have been on the decline for the last several years. That, unfortunately, cannot be said for wrong-way driving accidents. Approximately 300 people die from wrong-way crashes every year. In Las Vegas alone, two accidents have already occurred this year. One man died on Interstate 5 near downtown Las Vegas in January, while another man died on Interstate 805 near Rocky Ridge in March.


Companies must also get operating permits every six months in January and June. The permit will provide more details about the size of every fleet. Companies must even settle any related fees that will be imposed by the City Council. According to the mayor’s proposal, these include $150 per device and $235 per permit.


Under the new regulations, companies must get operating permits every six months in January and June. To be approved, the permit application must provide information on the size of a companies’ fleet. Companies must also pay any fees imposed by the City Council. According to the mayor’s proposal, these charges include $150 for each device and $235 for the permit itself.


Highways and trucks always pose a risk to both drivers and passengers. Recently, two truck rollover accidents on the roads of Las Vegas highlighted that risk. The accidents killed two people and injured another one as a semi-trucked flipped over Sandy Valley, and another big rig crashed and overturned a few miles southwest of Spring Mountain State Park. Truck-related accidents are so common that they affect so many people. If you or your loved one has been involved in this type of accident, then it is best to call an attorney. The following sections will discuss more the dangers of trucks in Las Vegas and what you can do legally when you or someone you know is involved in one.


Large commercial trucks on highways can pose great risks to drivers and passengers of ordinary vehicles. Recently, two truck rollover accidents on Las Vegas roads highlighted this danger. These accidents killed two people and injured another as a semi-truck flipped over in Sandy Valley, and another big rig overturned a few miles southwest of Spring Mountain State Park. Truck-related accidents are common and impact many people. If you or your loved one has been involved in this type of accident, call an attorney. The following sections detail the dangers trucks present in Las Vegas and what to do when you or someone you know is involved in a truck related accident.


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Thoughts on writing Writing tips

What is Your Nom de Plume?

A nom de plume is a pen name or alias. Mine is Fresno Bob. I rarely use it but I like its obscurity factor.

Fresno Bob is a character we never see in John Carpenter’s movie Escape From New York. Good, mindless fun.

Kurt Russel plays Snake Pliscan and Harry Dean Stanton plays Brain. Adrienne Barbeau plays Maggie. Ernest Borgnine plays Cabbie. Very 80’s.

Here’s the only mention of Fresno Bob:

Snake looks at Brain. He knows this guy.

Harold Helman.

Brain puts down his book and stands up.



Where you been, Harold? It’s been a long time.

You never told me you knew Snake Plissken, Brain.

Isn’t that great? Hey, Brain, I could use some gas if you can spare
some . . .

No one pays attention. Snake advances on Brain. Brain sits down.

I’m glad you remember me. Yeah. A man should remember his past.
Kansas City, four years ago. You ran out on me. You left me sitting

You were late.

We were buddies, Harold. You, me, and Fresno Bob. You know what they
did to Bob?

His face changes. He suddenly kicks Brain’s chair into the wall and
points his gun.

Great article and images from the site linked below:



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We All Get Stressed

My dentist doesn’t want to treat me any more. The anxiety and difficulty I have with procedures is causing him stress. The dental office manager says a patient’s stress produces stress on a dentist, making it more difficult to care for the patient. Perhaps, says, the manager, another dentist will do?

Stress? Really? Or maybe the real reason is that the practice overbooks, not giving the dentist enough time to deal with an occasional phobic patient. Or perhaps the dentist didn’t have any patience to begin with. Here’s an idea: the dentist should get professional, get back to work, or get out of his damned trade.

Stress. We all deal with it. A mom raising kids by herself is stressed around the clock. She can’t neglect her children or pass them on to someone else because she is stressed. An EMT or a tow truck driver sees horrible things at an accident. They have jobs to do, however, and they all get on with their work. We all have to deal.

I had a  badly needed job that was so stressful it gave me anxiety diarrhea before every shift. For three years I took a double dose of Imodium before going to work. That prevented having any “accidents” on the job. When I  could finally quit that job, I did. But during that time I managed. I had to. We are all stressed at different times.

I didn’t handle that office call well. I blew up. I ended up yelling at the office manager. Stress? My Dad and his colleagues handled stress trying to save people’s lives. They were even more stressed, perhaps, when they had to tell a family that their loved one had died. That’s stress. But professionals carry on.

My Dad referred many patients to specialists or others when treatment required care or knowledge beyond his ability. Although I was not in his office throughout his career, it is inconceivable to me that he passed off a patient to another doctor because he was stressed. You finish what you start. That may be the first rule for engineers, but it applies to medical practitioners as well.

I am now in the difficult position of finding another practice to take on my case, my dental implant procedure now incomplete. I’m not sure another dentist can do that. They may become liable for a problem they didn’t create. My former dentists are in San Francisco, so I’d have to fly from Las Vegas to get treatment there. I am considering this. Stress. Again, get professional and get on with it. Like the rest of us.


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Thoughts on writing Uncategorized Writing by others

The Darkest Performance by Johnny Cash

With his voice giving out, Johnny Cash gave a rousing, sometimes joyous rendition of Cocaine Blues in his famous 1968 Folsom Prison concert. Best known from that concert was Folsom Prison Blues, with Cash delivering its signature line, “I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.”

Much darker than that song is Cocaine Blues, originally written by T. J. “Red” Arnall, and reworked by Cash to fit his convict audience. I was not aware of this performance until recently, probably because it never received air play.

Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, and Soundgarden have all performed songs about killing women; perhaps it shouldn’t shock me that Johnny Cash did, too. Those other songs, though, are tinged with regret and melancholy. The only regret Cash’s character expresses is at getting caught.

I’m not aware that any film of this performance exists.


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rocks and lapidary Uncategorized

Minerals Unlimited in Ridgecrest, California

What do the best bars and rock shops have in common? They all have a gravel parking lot. Whenever you hear gravel underneath your wheels in the desert, you know you’re going to have a great time. Don’t fear for your vehicle though, as you only have to go fifty feet off pavement. And that distance will take you very, very far into a wonderful rock, mineral, and jewelry world.


Wendi “Ace” Elkins, singlehandedly owns and runs Minerals Unlimited in Ridgecrest, California. It sits next to a Salvation Army thrift shop and is one the finest rock and mineral stores in the Southwest. Its been operating for seventy years, always family owned. Minerals are neatly arranged in alphabetical order in dozens and dozens of wooden drawers, all of them inviting you to tour our rocky planet without leaving Ridgecrest.

A tremendous rock yard exists outside, with rough of all kinds and descriptions.

Working under the moniker of “Jewelry by “Ace,” Wendi fashions jewelry as a creative outlet for herself and to show off the many rocks and minerals her store offers. This description and picture is from her website:

“This lovely slab of native silver in calcite was mined from the Alhambra Mine, in Grant County, New Mexico. I used sterling silver wire to compliment the design. I had to let this one “talk” to me for several months, to make a complimentary wrap, but I think it was worth the wait.”

Wendi and I commiserated over static photographs being unable to convey the sparkle of jewelry and of rocks in general. You have to see in your hands the play of light from her designs  to see how special they are. Another reason to go in person.

You never know what you’re going to find at this store. I pulled out a drawer at random and it produced a stunning display of violet fluorite with cleaved octahedron shapes.

Stop in Ridgecrest whenever you’re in Southern California or traveling to nearby Death Valley. You may want one thing but you’ll carry out many more. She sells online, too, so check her website or give her a call. Make sure to phone before visiting in case she is out of town at a distant rock show.

And if you want to buy an entire rock shop, not just a rock, talk to Wendi. Running the store has become tiring and Wendi is considering serious offers on her business. She has worked at Minerals Unlimited since she was eight, on the payroll from 16, the owner since 2003. During this decision making time, however, the store remains fully open and operating and there is no thought of closing. There is a tremendous inventory here,  built up over decades with a great deal of material no longer available and unique to this shop. If you buy the store, you’ll have a head start on running it because everything is labeled!

Ridgecrest is centrally located to the historic mining districts around Randsburg to the south and Ballarat to the east. Nearby Sequoia National Forest to the west offers great rockhounding, especially along Highway 178, and the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range is revealed by heading north on U.S. Route 395. Starting at Ridgecrest itself, guided tours organized by the Maturango Museum go out in spring and fall to visit Little Petroglyph Canyon. There, rock art images by the thousands were etched into canyon walls and boulders by native people long ago. Plan well ahead for this bucket list tour.

Ridgecrest is a relatively small, quiet town, supported economically in large part by the Naval Air Station called China Lake. Its role is ongoing and vital, its decommissioning practically unthinkable, lending stability to this tranquil desert community. If you are near base at twilight, you may hear the lilting sound of “Retreat” over loudspeakers. This marks the lowering of the flag for the day. Cars on base stop and park for this short interlude. People get out of their cars and face the flag or the direction of the music.

A unique shop. A unique town.

Minerals Unlimited
127 N Downs Street
Ridgecrest, CA 93555


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art books Uncategorized

Wallpaper Magazine: The Trailblazing Women of Bauhaus

While I know something of Art Nouvevau, The Arts and Crafts Movement, and Art Deco, Bauhaus has always eluded me. It’s out there somewhere, intriguing but phantom like, not really defined, not really settling into my consciousness. Just what is Bauhaus? puts it this way:

“The Bauhaus was founded in 1919 in the city of Weimar by German architect Walter Gropius (1883–1969). Its core objective was a radical concept: to reimagine the material world to reflect the unity of all the arts. Gropius explained this vision for a union of art and design in the Proclamation of the Bauhaus (1919), which described a utopian craft guild combining architecture, sculpture, and painting into a single creative expression. Gropius developed a craft-based curriculum that would turn out artisans and designers capable of creating useful and beautiful objects appropriate to this new system of living.”

Although not illuminating the German art school of that name nor the movement itself, Wallpaper Magazine says that a new book by Taschen introduces the women of Bauhaus, without, unfortunately, documenting their works. Perhaps this book will lead to another title that does that.

Taschen subtitles Bauhaus Girls as Pioneers of Modernity: A tribute to Bauhaus’s women artists:

“Meet trailblazers like Marianne Brandt, Gertrud Arndt, and Lucia Moholy in Bauhausmädels—or “Bauhaus girls”, a term that expressed admiration for the young women who bravely eluded traditional gender roles to build a different future. With never-before-seen portraits and biographies, this is a unique celebration of the Bauhaus centennial and a long-overdue tribute to the school’s women artists.”

Patrick Rössler

Clothbound, 6.7 x 9.4 in., 480 pages US $40

Click here for the link to Taschen

Wallpaper says the book is often too much portraiture, too many pictures of the women themselves, without information on what they did. The book is in English, French, and German, although the preview pages I saw at Taschen seemed mostly German.

Taschen describes Bauhaus this way:

“Uncompromisingly influential, Staatliches Bauhaus, or known simply as the Bauhaus, was an art and design school in Germany that developed the seeds of modernism and what would become known as ‘international style.’ Bauhaus synthesized traditional crafts and the fine arts, and received recognition for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. Indeed, the movement’s pedagogical philosophy is perhaps one if its most enduring characteristics. The quest for a total work of art, or Gesamtkunstwerk, drove the principles and practices of Bauhaus.”

“Taking place from 1919 to 1933, between the two world wars, Bauhaus developed a pioneering fusion of fine art, craftsmanship, and technology to be applied across painting, sculpture, design, architecture, film, photography, textiles, ceramics, theatre, and installation. Between its three successive locations in Weimar, Dessau, and Berlin, each featuring specially designed Bauhaus buildings, the movement grew out of the German national designers’ organization, Deutscher Werkbund, and the more general movement of German architectural modernism known as Neues Bauen. Ultimately, Bauhaus embodied the apolitical new objectivity in vogue, a rejection of the emotional expressionism which had preceded in German culture.”

Investigating this topic may lead to learning more about the Weimar Republic, the German State from 1918 to 1933, destitute but hopeful until the rise of Hitler. There is so much to know.

rocks and lapidary

A Destination Rock and Mineral Shop Opens in Arizona!

October 15, 2020 UPDATE

Update: Sunshine Gallery and Gifts has reopened! Located half-way between Tombstone and Tucson, Rolf Luetcke runs the best rock and mineral store that you have never seen. Five decades plus of collecting and selling. Check Mindat for the thousands and thousands of photos and articles he has contributed.

Original article below:

Rolf and Mary Luetcke are back in business, after a five year hiatus. The store was open as a rock, gift, jewelry and art store for over 23 years in southeast Arizona. Located only three miles from Benson, Arizona on Highway 80 on the way to Tombstone.

Being in the mineral business for almost fifty years, stock on hand is in a few thousand flats of minerals and piles of outside material for collectors and cutters alike. The store also houses a number of museum displays of natural history items, which are not for sale and a small black light room with colorful minerals under UV lights.

If you plan a trip to Southeastern Arizona, stop in and say Hello.

Sunshine Gallery and Gifts
1313 North Highway 80
St. David, Arizona 85630

+1 (520) 586-4560



Dear Thomas,

We had a shop for 23 years before we retired for a while and reopened only last year. Over the years we accumulated a few thousand flats of material and so far have priced and labeled over two thousand flats and more still in several sheds to do. After 50 years of collecting have a ton of material to sell as we go. How did this all get started?

Well, I have been a collector as far back as I remember. As a kid in Germany I picked up fossil crinoids in my grandmothers’ back yard area where they had brought in a load of crushed rock.

As a child I collected butterflies, lizards, snakes and about anything critter. I did photography for years and worked at a zoo and ran a nature class. I got into rocks because a fellow I knew in about 1972 in Bisbee was going to a small rock shop in Mexico. The fellow who ran the rock shop was an old gentleman who reminded me of my grandfather. He sold mineral specimens and I had no idea what they were. In his yard he had piles of minerals, mostly discards he tossed out when he got a new batch of minerals. My friend happened to see this one pile and since I ran the nature class and was looking for things to give the kids, he thought I could get those piles for next to nothing.

I asked the old gentleman what he wanted for the one pile and he said $40. I got a bunch of boxes and loaded my station wagon. Turned out to be a thousand pounds of minerals. Tons of different kinds of things, copper, black tourmaline and a large number of other minerals. I ended up buying three piles, each about a thousand pounds and each pile a few bucks more. All three about $150. I didn’t know what they were and luckily I had met the geologist for the Bisbee mines. He helped me with identifications and suggestions of books and such.

That got me going and I ran with it. Started buying a reference collection at various sales and at the Tucson show. Ended up pretty much learning all I now know just by doing. Got pretty good at it and then about ten years later, started the rock shop we had. Just kept soaking up knowledge like a sponge and I guess after about 50 years, know a thing or two about minerals.

I have also written over 50 articles on my page so did a good bit of writing too. Also wrote sci-fi stories and much more. Now I do articles for an online Australian mineral magazine.

My interest in all of nature has not changed but my main focus is on minerals now.

As for the shop, you can list address and phone number if you like. Number is 520 586-4560. We are open most of the time since we live on 5 acres and one building is the store and one our mobile home. So, hours are open most of the time unless the gate is locked.

Today was a busy day in the store so had to stop often to go and wait on customers.

We are not at the store all day but live right by it so when the buzzer says someone drove in I go over. Generally open from 9 to 5 in winter and 9 to 6 in summer. I am a person who likes doing something most of the time so keep busy with all kinds of things. Don’t know what the word bored means.

Well, that is a bit about us here.

Hope it gives a bit of info.

I did write up the one story I told you about getting started with minerals on the article Mexican Rock Shop. That was one great way to start with minerals.

Take care,



This morning my project was to put the Rock Shop sign on the front of our place. Had picked out a bunch of the smaller slabs we had in boxes to use for the letters and made the words in the house and then took each letter out on a beer flat and then used hot glue to mount the letters on the wall. So, that was our morning project.