28 August 2013

Little puppy statue

                 My neighbors statue ... you are seeing all of it. Just too cute!

More of Arizona Caught My Eye

I thought that I would post a few more pictures, I am waiting to take Hilda to her doctors appointment
The Catalina Mountains viewed from Houghton Road

Mission hill viewed from San Xavier del Bac

The Grand Canyon

Sunlight fools our eye

25 August 2013

From Fred Reed down in Mexico (Feb 2013)

February 19, 2013 ~ Fred Reed 
    A staple of American self-esteem is that we Yanks are brave, free, independent, self-reliant, ruggedly individual, and disinclined to accept abuse from anyone. This was largely true in, say, 1930. People lived, a great many of them, on farms where they planted their own crops, built their own barns, repaired their own trucks, and protected their own property. They were literate but not educated, knew little of the world beyond the local, but in their homes and fields they were supreme. If they wanted to swim buck nekkid in the creek, they swam buck nekkid. If whistle pigs were eating the corn, the family teenager would get his rifle and solve the problem. Government left them alone.
   Even in the early Sixties, in rural King George County, Virginia, where I grew up, it was still mostly true. The country people built their own boats to crab in the Potomac, converted junked car engines to marine, made their own crab pots, planted corn and such, and hunted deer. There was very little contact with the government. One state trooper was the law, and he had precious little to do.
   I say the following not as an old codger painting his youth in roseate hues that never were, but as serious sociology: We kids could get up on a summer morning, grab the .22 or .410, put it over our shoulder and go into the country store for ammunition, and no one looked twice. We could go by night to the dump to snap-shoot rats, and no one cared. We could get our fishing poles—I preferred a spinning reel and bait-casting tackle—and fish anywhere we pleased on Machodoc Creek or the Potomac. We could drive unwisely but joyously on winding wooded roads late at night and nobody cared.
Call it “freedom.” We were free, and so were the country folk on their farms and with their crabbing rigs. Because we were free, we felt free.  It was a distinct psychology, though we didn’t know it.
  Things then changed. The country increasingly urbanized. So much for rugged.It became ever more a nation of employees. As Walmart and shopping centers and factories moved in, the farmers sold their land to real-estate developers at what they thought mind-boggling prices, and went to work as security guards and truck drivers. Employees are not free. They fear the boss, fear dismissal, and become prisoners of the retirement system. So much for Marlboro Man. Self-reliance went. Few any longer can fix a car or the plumbing, grow food, hunt, bait a hook or install a new roof. Or defend themselves. To overstate barely, everyone depends on someone else, often the government, for everything. Thus we became the Hive.
   Government came like a dust storm of fine choking powder, making its way into everything. You could no longer build a shed without a half-dozen permits and inspections. You couldn’t swim without a lifeguard, couldn’t use your canoe without Coast-Guard approved flotation devices and a card saying that you had taken an approved course in how to canoe. Cops proliferated with speed traps. The government began spying on email, requiring licenses and permits for everything, and deciding what could and could not be taught to one’s children, who one had to associate with, and what one could think about what or, more usually, whom.
   With this came feminization. The schools began to value feelings over learning anything. Dodge ball and freeze tag became violence and heartless competition, giving way to cooperative group activities led by a caring adult. The female preference for security over freedom set in like a hard frost. We became afraid of second-hand smoke and swimming pools with a deep end. As women got in touch with their inner totalitarian, we began to outlaw large soft drinks and any word or expression that might offend anyone. Thus much of the country morphed into helpless flowers, narcissistic, easily frightened, profoundly ignorant video-game twiddlers and Facebook Argonauts. As every known poll shows, even what purport to be college graduates do not know  who fought in World War One, or that there was a Mexican-American war, or where Indochina is.
Serving as little more than cubicle fodder, they could not survive a serious crisis like the first Depression. And they look to the collective, the hive, for protection. The notion of individual self-defense, whether with a fist or a Sig 9, is, you know, like scary, or, well, just wrong or macho or something. I mean, if you find an intruder in your house at night, shouldn’t you, like, call a caring adult?
   The echoes of the former America linger in commercials in commercials for pickup trucks with throaty bass voices and footage of Toyotas powering through rough unsettled country that almost no one ever even sees these days. Mostly it’s just marketing to suburban blossoms. The number of vehicles with four-wheel drive that have actually been off a paved road is not high. Many who grew up in the former America, and a good many today in the South and West, substantially adhere to the old values. They won’t last. We live in the day of the Hive, and in the long run there is no point fighting it. But for these relics, who like to wind the Harley to a hundred-and-climbing on the big empty roads out west, who throw the deer rifle in the gun rack on the first day of the season, who set out into the High Desert for sheer love of sun and barren rock and sprawling isolation—the terror of guns, of everything, makes no sense. They … we … grew up with guns. Since nobody ever shot anybody accidentally or otherwise, we accepted as obvious: that people, not guns, committed murder. Did shotguns leap into the air of their own volition, point themselves, and open fire? Or did someone pull the trigger? If a murderer shot his victim, did you put the gun in jail, or the murderer? If remote urban barbarians below the level of civilization shot people, what did that have to do with us?

   A different America, a different culture. We really were free. You could come out of the house on a summer morning and let the dogs run loose in the fields, nobody ever having heard of a dog license. You could change the oil in your car or rewire your basement without the county meddling. You could shoot varmints eating your garden and no one cared. The government left you alone. This is not an unimportant part of the dispute over guns … wanting to be left alone. Nobody in America, ever again, is going to be left alone. Not ever.

Arizona Caught my Eye

The title of this post is what I'm calling my book of photos (whenever I finish it).

The name of my blog ... Love From The Desert ... was/is the way that I sign all my e-mail letters to various friends and enemies around the globe. I have been using the phrase so long (about 15-16 years now) that most of the time I just end my correspondence with LFTD as most people know what it means. 

Thought you might like to know.

Anyway, I thought I'd start sharing a few of the photos that will be "Arizona Caught My Eye" (ACME for short),  hope you like them. More to come in the next few days.

The Hippie Gypsy on 4th Avenue

Angles #1 (above)
Angles #2 (below)

At the Amerind Foundation in Cochise County

One of my favorite rocks

Approaching storm ~ San Pedro Valley

24 August 2013

The Turn of a Phrase

I have always been intrigued by phrases / axioms / quips. The ability to turn a great phrase is an art form unto itself. Some of the greatest ever were Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce and Groucho Marx. There are some modern comedians who have that ability ... i.e.- Emo Phillips, Jack Handy. I was editing my collection on the computer this AM, and came across a few of my favorites: 

"I hope life isn't a joke, ... because I don't get it!" - Jack Handy 

"The metric system didn't catch on in America, ... unless you count the increasing popularity of nine-millimeters!" - Dave Barry

"I've never been a millionaire, ... but I know that I'd be good at it" - Dorothy Parker

"I was married by a judge, ... I should have asked for a jury !" - Groucho Marx

"My grandmother’s brain was dead, but her heart was still beating; it was the first time we ever had a Democrat in the family." - Emo Phillips

"My girlfriend thinks I'm a stalker ... well actually, she's not my girlfriend yet ! " - Emo Phillips

22 August 2013

A movie ... and the news !


    I was sort of intrigued by the movie "The Butler" because I REALLY LIKE Forrest Whitaker and IN SPITE OF the fact that I hate Oprah with a passion. Being the curious sort ... I researched the REAL butler, on whose life the movie/book was VERY LOOSELY based. His name was Eugene Allen and he was born in Virginia. He was a very articulate individual ... much like Mr. Whitaker ... and unlike the movie, he doesn't quit his job to become a protester with his activist son ... he retired and was always grateful and proud to have been the head butler / maitre d' at the White House. Such is Hollywood I guess.  

     In other "NEWS" ... I love how that word is used in today's society. I read the news at least once a day and the stuff you have to wade through to get to any real news is mind boggling. As I once heard someone say ... if we die out and centuries from now a race digs up our artifacts, they'll think that Lindsey Lohan and Kim Kardashian were our leaders ... or maybe our Gods.

    ... now, where was I? Oh yeah, News!!    Bradley Manning (who now wants to be known as Chelsea Manning, a woman) ... the soldier who leaked things that the government had no business hiding in the first place. Very good Op-Ed by Ben Wizner in POLITICO. Check it out!! A tragedy playing out on TV ... much too drastic a sentence for what actually occurred. 

Wars / conflicts raging around the globe: Islamabad ... everyone raging about who killed who/when, the eternal struggle between Pakistan and India. Lebanon and Israel trying to piss each other off with rocket fire. Civilians getting whacked in the Congo.  Australian baseball player killed by three teenagers for a thrill ... etc., ad infinitum.  And the NEWS is filled with ????: Prison Break star ... Wentworth Miller ... comes out as gay (to piss off Russians). Jennifer Lopez has a stalker living in her pool house. Singer Brandy performs for 40 people in a 9000 seat arena. Now ... ain't that thrilling ?

16 August 2013

Political Ranting

  I am not usually political on this blog, but I think that this needs printing, reading and remembering. For those of you opposed to this viewpoint, I will not apologize, for I feel that you have the right to your opinion ... as do I. Love from the desert!!!


    When the Catholic Church was founded, there were no hospitals. Today, one out of five people in this country receive their medical care at a Catholic hospital.
    When the Catholic Church was founded, there were no schools. Today, the Catholic Church teaches 3 million students a day, in its more than 250 Catholic Colleges and Universities, in its more than 1200 Catholic High Schools and its more than 5000 Catholic grade schools.
    Every day, the Catholic Church feeds, clothes, shelters and educates more people than any other organization in the world. The new Obama Health Mandate could end all this and the tax payers would have to make up the loss. Also, all Catholic adoption services would come to an end; a human disaster.
   There are more than 77 million Catholics in this country. It takes an estimated 50 million Catholic votes to elect a president. I am asking all of you to go to the polls in 2014 and be united in replacing all Senators and Reps with someone who will respect the Catholic Church, all Christians, and all Religions with the exception of Islam.
    Mr. President, you said, "The USA is not a Christian Nation". You are wrong! We are a Christian Nation founded on Judeo-Christian values allowing all religions in America to Worship & Practice Freely. Something Islam will never do.
    Oh, by the way, on MUSLIM HERITAGE in America ...

Have you ever been to a Muslim hospital?
Have you met any Muslims in your American Legion Post, your VFW Post, your D.A.V.
   Post? If you have they are an extreme rarity.
Have you heard a Muslim orchestra?
Have you seen a Muslim band march in a parade?
Have you witnessed a Muslim charity?
Have you seen Muslims shaking hands with a Muslim Girl Scout?
Have you seen a Muslim Nurse?
Have you ever seen a Muslim do anything that contributes positively to the American way 
   of life?

11 August 2013


I had mentioned a lyric in a song on the computer the other day that pretty well described Valdez (Dr Stanley McGowen) and me in the early days. "… Running full throttle / with a long necked bottle / and a black hearse following me … ". Looking back at the 70's, I sometimes wonder how he and I (and a lot of our cohorts) arrived at old age as fairly normal citizens … indeed, the fact that we survived at all is something akin to miraculous. The 70's was an especially raucous decade if you traveled in our group. We drank too much, partied too loud and much too often, and generally made life a real problem for those that we cared about. There were many (including a couple of wives on my part) but one name stands out for me and that was Kathy Comaduran. She was a huge pain in the a** at times, and always too needy, but always loving and I am blessed to have known her … Ad perpetuam rei memoriam. She is now older, a grandma and very happy down in Texas. Ah, la memoria del pasado los amantes. I am glad that she found happiness, as I have finally found. Indeed, there are a lot of people who lived life full throttle in Cochise County in those days. I wonder what happened to them all. Too soon old, too late wise I guess.

    I am re-entering my Blog world at  lovefromthedesert.blogspot.com. That way I can write, as is my wont, without clogging up your e-mail inbaskets. I feel, as they say in Latin furor scribindi … a rage to write. I know that you guys do not have "furor lectio" … a need to read. So-o-o-o, I am putting my useless observations, poems and thoughts on the blog and then I'll just write the rare 'update' letter so that you know what is up with the ever fetching Ms Hilda and me. Speaking of Ms Hilda, she had her second eye done (cataracts) and they had to put in a lens, still waiting to see how it turns out but looking promising.

  Hilda has to work SLINGO at VFW Post 549 today, I called the numbers yesterday. So, we have spent the entire weekend at the Post. We watched a movie or two last evening and I did some work on the BLOG and the Post website.

    A news item from our local (fairly liberal) daily paper notedBirths to unwed mothers in Pima County Arizona are not evenly distributed among racial and ethnic groups. Although Hispanics make up about one-third of the county's population, they accounted for more than half of the births to unwed mothers in 2011, Arizona Department of Health Services data show. By contrast, whites, who constitute just more than half of the population, accounted for less than a third of those births. The mothers of 9 percent of the children born to unwed mothers in 2011 were American Indian, 2 percent were Asian and 6 percent were black.

The first Hillary for President bumper sticker has been sighted. It said:
 Monica Lewinsky's Ex-Boyfriend's Wife for President

07 August 2013

I Don't Always Drink Beer

I heard a line in a song on the computer that other day that pretty much described me and Valdez back in the day: "... running full throttle, with a long-neck bottle, and a black hearse following me ...". I sometimes wonder how we became old men at all.

As Arnold said ... I'm Ba-a-a-ack!

      Here I am again ... I've been gone for a year and a month. A lot has changed in a year, nothing really important ... but a lot of daily things. I am still happily with the ever fetching Ms. Hilda, but our lifestyles have altered somewhat. I write "Sunday Letters" every week, but I hate clogging up people's in-boxes. I have to write ... 'furor scribindi ' as they say in Latin. Here ... I can write and if no one reads it, Oh Well!!. I don't write for others as much as because I have to.
     A year ago ... last July, when I last posted ... I was the immediate Past Commander of  American Legion Post 36, and now ... I haven't really been there in 8-10 months. Hilda's endocrinologist asked her to stay away from 2nd hand smoke and Post 36 is a "smoking" Post. In early December, we started going to VFW Post 549 (I am a Life Member of the VFW). Now, Ms. Hilda (who joined the Auxiliary in December) is the Auxiliary President and I am the Jr. Vice Commander of the VFW. We have met a lot of people that we are very close to and have good times with. Life is full I guess. Not too bad for poor folks. I really do not miss the 'cliques' at Post 36 or the constant politicking (sp). I am now working (part-time) for AMS Retail Services as the Tucson Account Representative. I have 29 stores and set my own schedule, which allows me time to take care of Hilda and get off for Doctor's appointments and the like. I work 12-14 hours a week and it's a good gig.
    Hilda and I had a portrait taken ... that is funny since I am a photographer. But ... she will not smile for me. I mean, she smiles at me/with me/for me a lot ... but not when a camera is in my hands. I don't understand it, but that's life with Hilda. I think it has to do with her weight. A couple of years ago, her doctor put her on Prednizone (sp) to try and control her blood sugars. She went from 138 to 215 in 90 days and, although she stopped taking the medication, has never been able to remove the weight. She is still beautiful to me (and always will be).
     Her hypoglycemia unawareness is still giving her (and me) fits. Blood sugars going crazy all times of the day and night.
    I am getting back to my photography, as time permits.

    I hope to post more soon ... again, as time permits.