In Quartzsite, Arizona

Having a wonderful time, wish you were here. I resist, Having a wonderful time, wish you were beautiful.

Happiness is where you and your dog are welcome. The dog is Holly.

I’m reporting some day to day happenings for Rock and Gem on social media. Find them on Facebook or at their website.

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Southwestern Art Deco

Art Deco had many regional variants. Hoover Dam is the Southwest’s greatest Deco structure but other styles exist like Pueblo Deco. It’s fun to see Deco survive around the region.

The first two photos are bridge abutments near Burro Creek Campground which is outside of Wikieup, Arizona along Route 93.

The next three are details of a Union Pacific Railroad overcrossing on South Las Vegas Boulevard near Jean, Nevada.

The next is a completely new ornament south of Henderson, Nevada on a recently constructed section of Highway 11. Right by The Railroad Casino. Hoover Dam is close and the highway designers did a fine job of replicating the Deco style of that grand project.

The last is a pylon like structure adorned with green slate and neon. It is one of two that marked the first iteration of McCarran Field near downtown Las Vegas.

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“You Better Drive. I Think There is Something Wrong With Me”

I’ve railed before against the self-righteous, self-help community of profiteers who assert that we alone control how we feel, that we can be happy if we only want to. (internal link) And if we subscribe to their teachings. Ilk like Werner Erhard and Tony Robbins, along with groups like Scientology, place blame on people when they feel poorly, depressed, or lost.

Nobody wants to feel down or depressed or anxious or scared. These are all emotions deeply felt, not intellectual choices. To bring about a change using the intellect is at once at odds with how these problems arose. We don’t choose to lose our parents or suffer from nightmares or get bullied at school. Responding to these deeply anguishing moments by thinking them away is a completely nonsensical idea.

Friends often offer well-intentioned advice that misses the mark. Snap out of it or don’t think about it or try to relax are straightforward suggestions that don’t go to the heart of the matter. If we could only snap out of it. If we could only not think about it. If we could only relax. Lord, if we could only relax.

Let me go seemingly off-tangent here to comment on a problem with Zen Buddhism and the road to satori or enlightenment. The key tenet is to give up all desires. But that is a desire by itself. At some point, after study and contemplation and years, satori may happen, as a meteorite flashes across the night sky. Or, the sky may remain dark.

We get better over time or we don’t. If a situation continues, we might try talk therapy or medication or we might change our circumstances. Perhaps a new town with new friends if we are lucky to find any. Some situations are chronic like poor eyesight or diabetes. We cope without a cure and sometimes we get depressed about it. If it is true mental illness, no medicine is going to cure.

I’ve tried distraction, living mostly now for my hobbies and interests. I’ve done quite a bit of volunteer work and I try helping answer questions on the internet. I write quite a bit on rocks and minerals and hope some people can learn from what I know. This though, in the end, is really a minor dam against the flood that swept over me when my parents died.

I’m still drowning, still trying to keep my head above water. Still cursed with my nightmares and anxiety, I go about as every other sufferer of every other ailment, living the best we can under the circumstances. But don’t ever think our condition is something we can climb out of with your lesson plan or an appeal to intellect for a triumph over gravely felt emotion. Sell that crap to somebody else.

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Art Deco Design from Singapore

Vario in Singapore has designed what they call their Empire Art Deco Mechanical Watch. They say they got their inspiration from New York’s Empire State building which is late Deco. They put an etching of the building on the back which seems superfluous but whatever. All is forgiven with their font. Check out that crazy eight!

This is an amazing modern take on an old art movement. If I wanted a Deco watch I’m sure I would buy one from the period. This watch, though, would be far more dependable than used, scratch resistant, and keep better time than any old time piece from a hundred years ago. Fascinating.

The above is a non-sponsored external link. No ads, payment, or gifting on my site.

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New Book Coming Along Well

Ran off a copy of what I have written so far. A good two to three more months of work. Coming along.

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Reporting Will Change You

I never talked to strangers until five years ago when I did some newspaper reporting.(internal link) That changed me. I was forced to ask questions, the best I could think of.

Turns out that nearly everybody is interesting if you find out what they are interested in. Most people want to talk, they just aren’t asked. The more I asked about them, the less I talked about me, the better the answers got.

Reporting was a license to inquire and I could never have anticipated such results. Now, I can engage almost anyone. And I learn from everyone.

Most local weekly papers will take someone on if you come up with original ideas. (internal link) The pay might be only $25 an article so consider it resume building if the money matters. Mostly, though, it’s about you learning to ask enough questions to build a story.

Get a professional microphone. I see too many reporters holding up a cell phone to someone’s face and I don’t like that. You’re intruding on someone’s space. Someone being interviewed expects a professional approach.

My newspaper didn’t have press badges so I made one myself. People expect you to identify yourself. That’s common courtesy.

Notice Sponge Bob on the lanyard. That might not seem professional. I once interviewed a school superintendent. His school district was so concerned about our meeting that a district representative sat in on our interview. I don’t know if he was a lawyer or if he was recording what we said.

As all three of us sat down, the representative commented on Sponge Bob. The superintendent smiled knowingly. “That’s the icebreaker.” Exactly. Very good. This potentially difficult interview hadn’t started yet and already both of them were talking.

I hope you get people talking, too.


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Quartzsite Coverage Coming Soon!

Along with finding things on my wish list and getting new information for my new book, I’ll be doing some reporting for Rock&Gem. The PowWow (internal link) starts Wednesday.

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