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These Are the People I Deal With

I don’t expect anyone to read this except for search. And I don’t expect anyone to sympathize with my complaints, either, because this is the way the world is arranged. I’ve was raised to be a nice person but there are too many mean people to overcome. This is not something I can win. And, given my constant nightmares since 1988, not something I can cope with.


This weekend at a community picnic, I was introduced to an old cowboy who asked me what I did for work. I told him that I work part time online, at which point the conversation quickly drifted south because of him. He told me that the greatest computer was between our two ears, the human brain. And I said, I agree with that.

He then went on with a whole series of statements and questions that were aggressively going after. I think I think when I start talking about computers and what I do online, it’s so far out of reach of most people that they think that I’m trying to be smarter than them, or somehow they feel inferior. I think that’s a great deal of it. They have an inferiority complex to anybody that’s working with computers. They act as if I’m trying to prove that I’m smarter than them, when in fact, I usually don’t start the conversation at all because I’m so far out of reach with what I’m doing, with what most other people do that it’s not even worth bothering to talk about.

Like all of the work that I’m doing with AI and Chat right now. And it’s very discouraging because I had a friend say to me recently that it was possibly economic, because not everybody can afford a computer or the resources that I have, and that’s not really the case at all. I should probably stop at this point and refresh everyone’s memory that early on, before the Internet went commercial, back in about 94, 95, with the advent of Mosaic. Mosaic was the first graphical based Internet browser that you could see images with that became relatable to people. Images provided a boost to advertising, but librarians had been on computerizing, their catalog, card catalogs, for years before.

And so when personal computers came out, they started populating libraries with them. Especially, really around 84, when IBM came out with its own personal computer for the masses. There was this Charlie Chaplin advertising campaign that was hugely successful. But years before, Apple had been trying really, really hard to place computers in the school to get these lucrative contracts, and they did a good job. They started about 1980 with the Apple II.

So by the end of the 80s, computers were basically in every library and school. And so everyone’s had an opportunity since then to use computers in one way or another. Night school classes, adult education classes since really the late 80s, early ninety s. And I’ve actually been on computers since 1978. Over 40 years.

Everybody’s had a chance. But an idiot like this that I was talking to, he doesn’t want to go to the library. I’m sure he hasn’t been to the library in decades. He probably can’t remember when he checked out a library book last. I have many computers.

I think I have two desktops, two laptops, two tablets. I also have a library card from Pahrump. A library card from Goldfield and a library card from Tonopah. And I am in those libraries, actively. I’m checking out books.

All of those libraries have a computer. I think it’s just laziness on most people’s part and not having an interest. It’s easier to put down somebody for what they do than to ask about it or just say simply nothing at all. These are the people that drive me crazy. There’s so much amazing stuff going on and I don’t mind if they’re not interested, but it’s the librarians that I’m infuriated with.

They’re the gatekeepers in education and they don’t want to know about Chat or AI. So it’s not really economic. It is a deliberate decision on many people’s part not to engage, not to learn, to let the things go by. And people that are actually interested, that are burning to create, that are trying new things, that are experimenting with new things, those are people that are something to be put down on because I think it might remind them of how little they want to know, how content they are with their own little world. And that’s fine as long as you don’t go out and bully people or put people down.

This is the way I can make some money. I can make this money part time. I’m doing a good service and yet I have people people commenting who don’t even know the basics of writing and business writing.

Self-sustaining freelance writers are maybe four or 5% of the population. That’s it. Everybody else is doing a second 3rd, 4th job to enable their hobby or their passion the and as far as nonfiction writing goes, nobody understands that. As far as business SEO, there’s nobody that I know, haven’t known for a couple of decades that has any idea of what I’m doing. But if they ask, if I try to explain, it’s just an immediate putting down of what I do.

It’s just this prejudice against the unknown, which is really the root cause. If you don’t know something, if somebody knows something you don’t, you don’t want to hear it. Instead of asking questions about it or letting it go, they want to put it down because they’re bullies. That’s all they can do. They’re trolls.

And maybe it reminds them of the fact that they’re dead to the world, that they have no interest in inquiry.

Anyway, I just wanted to put down what I have to deal with almost every day in my effort to be creative. I really have to keep it hidden. Can’t discuss it because it’s like we’re going back to the Dark Ages. One idiot, in fact, who’s in charge of something historical, he was talking about computer literacy, computer literacy in such a way that I asked him this:

You’re not holding out computer illiteracy as a point of pride, are you? And this guy’s a former engineer and he thought about it and said, that’s a good question, actually. I am. This is a living, breathing, talking luddite. He doesn’t want to learn.

He wants to put down people for learning. We’re going to go back 300 years into the Dark Ages when people were prosecuted and killed for trying to learn things, for trying to advance science. We’re going to try to discredit them. Or Mao’s Cultural Revolution, in which anybody with higher learning or higher ambition was killed. That’s what we’re going to get.

We’re going to go back to the Dark Ages and then we’re going to take 300 years to come back again. At the end of the Dark Ages, they had to reinvent all the math that the Greeks had done, what, 1500 or  2000 years before, because people were criticized and killed for trying to learn new things. And now we have people writing about chat and AI who don’t actually use it, haven’t experimented with it, but don’t want to learn. They just want to put it down. So it’s frustrating, but that’s the world we live in.


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Experimenting Continues

I just got an old hardbound book of clipart, this monotone image among them. The second image has been quickly colorized to a small extent with Photoshop and then the saturation turned up as you see in the second. The third image is a cyanotype generated by a filter in Photoshop Camera.

My Etsy store is here:

And here we have the ADD riddled Max Headroom in his original form, and then the same clip after it has been given a filter by Instagram, something like a moving gas cloud over his face.

The Gram is killing itself with its experimenting, as it now strongly prefers video over stills, and, preferably, that video under 30 seconds. Catering to an entire generation of action addicts, people never at peace. (internal link)

And this is going to lead to . . .? (Thanks to Linda Dodge for supplying the original colorless line art image.)

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Pushing Pixels Into Video

I’m working on my first video private commission. I’m also accepting comments on same. Two possible openings. The music is slow and deliberately chosen. It’s the music from the opening of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; I think many people may remember it somewhat subconsciously which is what I want. It now needs the chattering film projector sound that you hear in the movie. Or does it.

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Goldfield Lays Town Father Bryan Smalley to Rest

August 31, 2022 UPDATE

A ten minute video about Bryan can be viewed here. It’s a short film the family asked me to do.

Original Article Follows:

Bryan Smalley died in Goldfield on October 30, 2021. He was 61 years old. The family does not wish to disclose the cause of death. His Pahrump Valley Times written obituary is here: –> Obituary of Bryan Smalley (external link)

Goldfield Lays a Town Father to Rest

By: Thomas Farley /

More than a hundred people attended Bryan Smalley’s funeral on Saturday (11/06/2021) in Goldfield’s historic cemetery. Those included town folk, family, close friends, and members of Bryan’s church.

Notable was law enforcement from Esmeralda and Nye County as well as fire and ambulance services. They all remembered and honored Bryan’s twenty years as a deputy sheriff of Esmeralda County. Deputies helped lower the casket into his grave while a strong wind whipped the cemetery and the sage covered hills. An officer designated as an honor guard made sure a carefully folded United States flag was placed on Bryan’s coffin with quiet ceremony and solemnity.

Family friend Randy Wilson conducted the service, observing that Bryan had carved many of the cemeteries’ crosses and headstones surrounding the mourners. A close friend of Bryan’s, Sharon Artlip, later said that he never charged for that work and that, “Bryan would have preferred to build his own coffin and to carve his own headstone.”

Folding the flag before presenting. / Click image to enlarge

Artlip owns Goldfield Art and Business in Goldfield at the center of town and collaborated with Bryan on many projects. She said, “Bryan was my friend. He owned Hidden Treasure in town which is a rock shop. He was a partner with my sister Nadia and I with the Gemfield Gem claims that we own outside of town. He helped me do my porch on my building. He helped people with their businesses. And he always promoted Goldfield and had the best in mind for everybody in Goldfield. But most importantly, he was my friend.”

Lowering Bryan’s coffin into the grave. / Click image to enlarge.

Stacey Smalley is a younger brother. He talked about how Bryan got Hidden Treasure going even before he retired from the sheriff’s department. It was a love of rocks and the land. “He was always, always into rocks and minerals. And he just loved this area. He loved Nevada and he loved Goldfield.”

Some of the mourners. / Click image to enlarge.

After the funeral, the day’s event moved to the high school auditorium in downtown Goldfield for a community get-together and a pot-luck lunch. An appropriate venue since Bryan did a great deal for the local school district. Stores were shuttered throughout town with perhaps half of Goldfield’s residents in attendance. Everyone was exchanging their favorite stories about Bryan. Erma Greegh said she met Bryan in 1993 and that he didn’t like wearing shoes in restaurants. “Always had to kick them off.” And if you needed a sign made for any cause, Bryan would carve or paint one for you.

The grave awaiting a headstone. / Click image to enlarge.

Some people traveled hours to get to the funeral since Bryan’s help extended far beyond Goldfield. Many rocks in the Mineral County Museum, for example, were donated by Bryan years ago. Further north of Hawthorne by Walker lake is Schruz, Nevada, home to the RockChuck Gem and Mineral Gallery, owned by Chelsea and John Keady. Bryan affectionately referred to the couple as the “kids.” I talked to John Keady who was there with his wife and young son after a two and a half hour trip.

Overall picture of the Goldfield Cemetery. / Click image to enlarge.

”Bryan was really helpful to Chelsea and I. When I was learning to flint knap, Bryan would stop in every time he passed by to show me a few new tricks. He taught me how to complete the edge of my knives so that the blade would be centered. He would just grab the obsidian from me that I was working on and start chipping. And pretty soon his hand would be bleeding all over the place, and he would just keep on going, never skipping a beat. He told his customers to check out our store on their way to Reno. Just a great guy. When my wife was pregnant, he brought us a dozen donuts on every visit. When he heard I needed help with my saw blade, he gave me new blades. We’ll never forget him.”

Bryan in 2019 at the counter of one of three shop buildings he built himself.. These formed the  best rock shop in Nevada. / Click on image to enlarge.

Bryan’s love of people, place, and helping shone through most vividly with what twenty-three year Esmeralda County Sheriff Kenneth Elgan told me at the cemetery. He said, “To be successful you have to have good people behind you. Bryan would do anything at any time to help. He was with every search and rescue operation we conducted and he knew every road in the county. With the large area that we serve, everyone in my department especially relies on each other. Bryan typified that. Bryan was also a pillar of the community and he will be missed.”

While Goldfield may now be missing some gold in human form, Bryan Smalley certainly left golden memories for friends, family, law enforcement, and town folk to cherish forever.

–end of article–

Bryan shown here in June, 2020 cutting some of this writer’s copper in quartzite from the Striped Hills of Nye County near Lathrop Wells, Nevada.

The jewelry room with Bryan at the end of the video along with a guest appearance by Fred the Dog.  Bryan told me that  a few customers once saw Fred on my Instagram post and knew him by name when they visited.


More Bryan Smalley links here

Extra 1 (internal link)

Extra 2 (internal link)

Extra 3 (internal link)

Extra 4 (internal link)

Extra 5 (internal link)


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Dah Rock Shop in Tucson, Arizona

Dah Rock Shop

I missed these people on my Travel List, apologies. (external link) It’s easy to get distracted when you are in Tucson for the Big Show.

I have heard of this shop but I think I got it scrambled with Dials Rock shop, which I’ve covered, and a man named Dahl, who came up with the Pet Rock. In any case, I am looking forward to visiting this rock shop which also sells crystals and beads.

Dah Rock Shop
3401 N Dodge Blvd
Tucson, Arizona 85716
520 323-0781

N 32°16.16333′ -110°54.87833′ W

No website but a Facebook page:

I normally take my own photos but I can’t do that now. I have taken two off the net, one from Gordon G and another from Steve S.
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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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More Examples of Wikipedia Entries


I’ve now decided to continue to post pictures to Wikimedia Commons but I will not be adding them to any relevant page on Wikipedia as a rule. Wikipedia does not want to be a photo gallery and I understand that. My work of posting these images to Wikipedia Commons remains solid and useful.

Original article:

Since I finished what I could of my travel book series, I am now turning to other things. My back has to heal up better and I probably should spend more time indoors to help that along.

I’m now spending quite a bit of time contributing by better photos to Wikimedia, the photo repository for Wikimedia (internal link).

I wasn’t impressed with Wikipedia when it first started. In the last five years it has become much, much better. You still can’t use it as a primary source, since an encyclopedia never can, but you can follow all of its links and references to primary materials. The photos are also great when needed, in that stock photography websites charge insane amounts of money for each image.

One must register with Wikimedia first, upload and describe a photo according to their requirements, and then place a link to it at an appropriate Wikipedia page. I thought the dashboards and the interface the two groups used were too intimidating but it’s not that difficult once you go through it. Just takes time.

I saw there were no photos at Wikipedia on the Nopah Range in Inyo County. At least, none taken while on the ground. Just two photos from the valley floor. I therefore added a photo gallery to this page. Two of these shots are among the best I have ever taken:

Update: I am informed by a polite editor that Wikipedia is not meant to be an image gallery, so pictures will often be removed from a Wikipedia entry. If, however, an article is very short, a large amount of photos will be tolerated. It all depends. I am learning.

Original article returns:

Seeing no photos of a wild Red Rock Canyon desert tortoise, I added my four tortoise photos to this page:

It took most of this morning to get my Nopah photos up but they are now up permanently posted where they await somebody 12 years from now to do a report. Many photos I am going to post have been seen here but not organized, not full sized, and not with a copyright release.

Here’s what I did for the Darwin, California entry. You might remember that a friend and I were recently there for a nighttime fluorescent mineral hunt:,_California

Update: My photo gallery has been largely removed by an editor, again, because Wikipedia does not desire to be a photo gallery. Understood. My images remain at Wikipedia Commons to be searched for and placed by others (or myself) into appropriate articles.

Original article returns:

If you are sitting on a hard drive of travel photos or something about your hobby, I’d encourage you to check out how photos can be added to these two resources. Document history with old photos you might have sitting in paper envelopes. The photo below shows Nevada’s Rye Patch Recreation Area signboard in 1995 when the reservoir was dry and before the area got popular for nugget shooting. I added that to the Rye Patch Wikipedia entry. Many of us have these little history gems just waiting to be posted.

In adding what we have, we build up what’s called the inverted pyramid of knowledge. With Wikipedia and Wikimedia, everyone can help.

I wish you good health until my next report.
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Places to Visit and Collect in The Southwest

When I accepted my now-failed rockhound book contract (internal link), a chapter was to be on places to visit and collect in the Southwest. Since the end of that contract, I have been working on enlarging that chapter. I thought of self-publishing the result but I have decided that that is too much work and hassle. I’ve put all of that writing online for free instead.

At (external link) I have put up each state file in .pdf as well as all of the state files together. The result is 310 pages in total, if one decides to download the entire book. Although nearly all of the places I mention are closed, much BLM and USFS land remains open. And the files are good to plan for the future, which we all hope will be brighter than today.

Quartzsite, Arizona. At the PowWow. Described in the Arizona chapter.
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Back To Railroad Pass, Clark County, Nevada

Railroad Pass, Clark County, Nevada (first RR Pass page here)

More info on RR Pass at my rockhounding site linked below:

March 31, 2020

Yesterday I returned to Railroad Pass (internal link) to further investigate the area. I went before to look for andesite and to simply look the ground over. I was very disappointed not to find any quartz and I wasn’t planning a quick return. It turns out, however, that there is a mad history of failed gold mining on that hill. As a Gold Guy first and foremost, I knew I was going back as soon as possible.

To get to the good stuff first, I did find one rock with quartz. The quartz has the slightest blue tinge which shows poorly here. Never-the-less, I have my quartz. Gold is hosted in dozens of kinds of rocks without quartz, still, it’s the mineral I look for first. Yet it wasn’t what the most prominent prospector and geologist was looking for.

A well respected geologist named Robert T. Hill (1858-1941) became obsessed with the association of a mineral called alunite and gold. This rock building mineral was present with gold at the big Goldfield strike around the turn of the century. Hill developed this idea that if he could find a geologically similar location to Goldfield that also contained alunite, well, he’d be rich. You see where this is going.

Gold fever infects the best of minds, leading common sense astray even in people who should know better. For years he researched the hills of Nevada until he found Railroad Pass. Which went under a variety of names originally, most especially Camp Alunite, or just Alunite. This potash mineral had value by itself and was eventually mined in the area for the mineral alone.

Hill maintained that he found gold here and some other prospectors said they did as well. Yet I can find no records of production. Ordinarily, this would be the stuff of a mining company selling shares on hope and chicanery, promoting the view of a well-known geologist stating that gold was present. Yet Hill did not sell shares. Instead, apparently, he lost most of his personal fortune in this endeavor, along with that of his family, something over $200,000 before he admitted failure. That is really bad gold fever.

His workers sunk at least five shafts into that insanely hard rock. These shafts have since been backfilled to keep equally crazy people from falling to their deaths.

To be fair, other prospectors were working Railroad Pass before Hill arrived but they were few and, again, no results of production. Just assay results thrown about. Gold in “small isolated veins.” And Hill did have the germ of an idea, as alunite is regarded as an indicator of hydrothermal gold deposits, gold which is precipitated from water heated by magma. But Hill went way overboard comparing this ground to that of Goldfield, thinking that if he just mined deep enough he would find his El Dorado.

In any case, this kind of doomed, gold based behavior is very attractive to me. As a prospector I am interested in finding out whether any gold actually exists on that hill. There are also other things going on there, the area is so complex geologically that I could use it as a teaching hill. Who knows what I will find? Yesterday, though, my left leg gave out after only two hours. With my wrenched back I can still hike but I can’t carry much weight. Photos below.

In my previous post (internal link), I showed photographs of this multi-colored hill with little vegetation. Yesterday I took some samples from two of the colors. Today, I got out my hand rock crusher, my mortar and pestle, and am preparing to grind down the material. Then the pan out. For these odd looking rocks and soil I think a chemical test would be best. But I don’t know how to do those and I don’t know what I would be looking for. As a Gold Guy, when in doubt, pan it out. That’s a finishing pan, by the way, about ten inches across.

Update: That tan material might be decomposed granite or what we in the landscape trade used to call d.g. It’s commonly used for footpaths and small outdoor seating areas. It compacts well and doesn’t get muddy if put down correctly. It feels just like the d.g. I used to use. Mining granite for aggregate goes on across the highway, this entire Railroad Pass area described as a “granite pluton.”

Clark County image from the:

Index of Granitic Rock Masses in the State of Nevada By FLORIAN MALDONADO, RICHARD W. SPENGLER, W.F. HANNA, and G.L. DIXON
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy
A compilation of data on 205 areas of exposed granitic rock masses in Nevada

All sorts of rocks here, including what I think is porphyritic rhyolite. Nothing lights up under my lamps and no “U”.

What appears to be a backfilled shaft. Frustratingly, I didn’t see what I would consider waste or tailings from the shaft. Unless that quartz I found came from down below. That lone hunk of quartz was immediately below this small pit.

Another look.

More craziness. Remember how I was trying to source some andesite for a friend? The railroad ballast at the bottom of the hill may be miles and miles of andesite! The two top rocks are railroad ballast. The two rocks below are reference andesite pieces I brought along. While color isn’t always diagnostic, these rocks share texture and hardness and they don’t fizz. Yes, I carry a field bottle with acid. I’m not gettin fooled by limestone, thank you very much. I’ll be mailing off these suspect rocks to my friend.

I found two thin sheets of mica as well, sometimes called muscovite or potash mica. The latter name makes sense here since alunite is a potassium related mineral, hence, one might expect to find related minerals in the same location. Some mica sheets are so large and semi-transparent they were once used as window panes. says, “The ability of muscovite to split into thin transparent sheets – sometimes up to several feet across – gave it an early use as window panes. In the 1700s it was mined for this use from pegmatites in the area around Moscow, Russia. These panes were called “muscovy glass” and that term is thought to have inspired the mineral name “muscovite.”

How would I proceed in looking for traces of gold? I stress traces, since this is only a curiosity hunt. Given the history of this hill and no production records, I can’t expect to find much if anything. I would, though, start at the bottom of the hill. See the railroad track? There are culverts to channel water underneath the tracks. If there are values on the hill I would expect to find some colors at these low points. Sample, sample, sample.

I’d also walk around quite a bit more looking for more quartz and simply looking. The more intensely you look at an area, the more you find. That sounds simple but it isn’t. People tend to walk away from ground way too quickly before really examining it.

Wendi at Minerals Unlimited (external link to my rockhounding site) says she has samples of alunite and that some weakly fluoresce. I’ve ordered a few and she’s putting a small box together for me which she will soon put into the mail. If alunite does fluoresce at all, that will greatly help with identifying it in the field. And I really have to have a reference sample in my hand to research any rock or mineral.
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