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Wanderings in the Southwest and Beyond

I’m turning my Southwest Travel list (external link) into an ebook and a print on demand hardcopy book through Amazon. Release date to be determined, at least another month away.

The California chapter will include meanderings in The State of Jefferson, The Lost Coast, and the Redwood Empire. Not geological provinces but real areas none-the-less.

More collecting sites, rock shops, and museums in northern California, southern Oregon, southern Utah and Colorado.

Here is John Charles Fremont the Explorer sitting in a tray of sand from the beach at Patrick’s Point State Park. I meant to look at this material under my microscope but that will have to wait.

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books Uncategorized Writing by others

James A. Murray: Butte’s Radical Irish Millionaire

My brother’s book on James Murray (internal link) is now available for pre-order for $14 from Amazon. (Prime) Congratulations, Bill!

James A. Murray: Butte’s Radical Irish Millionaire

Paperback – February 20, 2018

by Bill Farley (Author),‎ David M. Emmons (Foreword)

Jim Murray’’s rise to great wealth began high in the Rocky Mountains in the small town of Pioneer, Montana. There he hit his first big strike, hired others to work his claims, and earned a reputation as someone who “couldn’t be bluffed, wouldn’t be cheated, and didn’’t scare at anything.” He parlayed his mining wealth into banks, theatres, resorts, waterworks, and commercial properties from Seattle to San Diego. In western business circles, it was believed his ready cash was second only to W. A. Clark. Where Murray shared no peers, however, was in his decidedly radical politics.

From the Irish Land League protests of the 1880s through the Easter Rising of 1916, he supported the violent overthrow of Britain’s rule in his homeland. Hoping for the Crown’’s defeat in World War I, Murray’s extremism reached its peak when future World War II General Omar Bradley was dispatched to Butte, Montana, to stop Murray’’s network of Sinn Féiners from impeding the supply of copper to Britain’’s war machine.

Told for the first time, this is the unvarnished story of Murray’’s rise to great wealth and power, and the flamboyant cast of friends and family who endured his violent mood swings and his eccentric generosities. Farley relates the entirety of Murray’s audacious life: ruling over mining camps in Montana, dining with Diamond Jim Brady and Lillian Russell in New York, showering the Monterey art colony with philanthropy, and propelling a loyal nephew— future U.S. Senator, James E. Murray —to the top of a radical Irish-American organization with 60,000 members.

The elder Murray’’s story concludes with the bitter fight over his massive estate, involving twenty-six relatives, nine years of court battles, and headline coverage by newspapers throughout the West. This is the tale of a western iconoclast, a pioneering and dominating spirit, more comfortable in saloons than board rooms, who fought for wealth and mother country to his last breath.

Pre-order price: $14.00 from Amazon. (Prime) Link to book below:


First Look At Amazon’s Fire 7 With Alexa

Available almost everywhere for fifty dollars, Amazon’s Fire 7 is a great buy. It’s a definite upgrade if you use a small screen phone to access the web, and a book reader that is on par with much more expensive tablets like the iPad. Really, there’s not much to dislike when you are spending only fifty dollars.

Although I don’t own an iPad Mini, casual users thinking Apple may want to try the Fire before they spend hundreds of dollars on the Mini. Base model storage is only eight gigs to begin with, but you can boost it with a memory card to get what you need. The Fire 7 is WiFi only and it connects easily to your home network. Video playback is good.

Setup is amazingly easy and quick. In a creepy way, it knows if you are an Amazon user and suggests quietly that it has your purchase account information ready to go. I didn’t even have to enter my Amazon password. To help you along, you can hold down on the home button for a second or two and it will call up Alexa to answer your questions. It also accesses any Kindle e-books that you’ve bought from Amazon. They appear on the Fire with little to do on your part.

Text resolution is excellent. A good book reader as long as your book does not require a great deal of pan and scan. Photos are bright and cheery although the built in camera is not on par with the Apple. What is? Sound is poor. I’ll continue to experiment with the Fire and let you know what I find.

Below: the Fire and my old iPad2. Screen resolution on the Fire is comparable, although probably not as good as Apple’s new “Retina Display” on current iPads.