Gen Z Charades


October 20, 2016, Prescott-

A little boy and his sister greeted me, when I sat down behind their table, this evening, in a local pizza shop.

As time went on, and their father continued to talk with their uncle, the kids and their two cousins engaged in a game of charades.  There was no whining about when they were about to leave, just four children enjoying one another’s company.  The girl was the most inventive of the group, portraying everything from a softball pitcher to Nemo, the cartoon fish.

This is a bit of irony, compared with what I see lying ahead for the generation that will both follow the Millennials and will need to work, hand in glove with their immediate elders, in cleaning up so many of the messes that are being left them.  There will be no pretending for Generation Z, when they come of age.

Ways of solving problems will be found, the likes of which will seem as exotic, to any Baby Boomers who live into our eighties and nineties, as the i-Pad, solar energy and electronic music did, to those of the GI Generation.  Humanity will prevail, for many reasons, not the least of which is the hard-wired internal technology of the two rising generations.

Charades will be seen for what they are:  A parlour game, not a ruse for ignoring pressing issues.

Slippery Slope


October 19, 2016, Prescott-

“Rigged” is a slippery slope.

Success depends, entirely,

on saying what one believes,

and doing what one says.

“Rigged” is a slippery slope.

Blame games can be ubiquitous,

and consistent.

They bring no success,

unless one has sym-PATHETIC

judge and jury, at one’s back.

“Rigged” is a slippery slope.

Tell me, whose fault is it,

when one slides back down

to the bottom?

Prominence, Entitlement, Insecurity


October 18, 2016, Prescott-

In the past week, every prominent male political figure, it seems, has had to endure a fine-toothed comb scrutiny of his record, vis-a-vis behaviour towards women.  It’s only fair, I suppose, for the spotlight to shine across the spectrum.

I can’t say my thinking, over the years, has met the gold standard set by former President Jimmy Carter- but I have indeed long since gotten past lusting in my heart.  It would not have ended well, with all that Penny meant, and means, to me. I could never operate as certain men in the public eye are said to move. The difference is, I am not a man of prominence or entitlement.  I am also secure in my own skin.

Truth be known, having women as friends is, as I have said several times, far more satisfying, in and of itself, than a trail of “conquests” could ever be.  Placing shackles on another being requires endless vigilance.  Helping to liberate and elevate another, frees oneself, in ways that no Lothario could even begin to imagine.

I see a far brighter future for both men and women, as the dust settles on the crash of SS Misogyny.

Sacrificed Pants


October 17, 2016, Prescott- The small boy wasn’t supposed to show today at school.  He is being disciplined, for an infraction, committed before Fall Break.  As that wasn’t clear to him, he came anyway, ready to make amends for what he’d done.

When the truth was made clear, he asked to work off his frustration and anger with a walk up among the rocks on our campus.  Being his designated minder, in this anomalous situation, off the two of us went.  I have wanted to go up among these granite boulders for some time, so the pretext was perfect.

I kept pace with his small frame, clambering among the rocks, and going around one bend or another.  Then, in the last little slide down a long granite slab, I followed my inclinations since boyhood, and tore the bottom of my back pocket, on the rough surface.  No harm came to me, or to my young charge, but I will have to get one pair of work pants to a tailor shop, in a few days’ time.

The little man will, hopefully, serve his days away, and we’ll see how things go, when he returns in earnest, next week.  Meanwhile, the rocks stand guard, and serve this overgrown kid a warning.

Castle in the Canyon


October 16, 2016, Prescott Valley- After a Saturday morning of service, via the Red Cross, in the incomparable town of Sedona, a fine lunch and conversation with a friend who works near our service site, and a couple of social gatherings with Baha’i friends, my knees asked for a bit of consideration.  Unlike many my age, I cannot sit for too long, without getting up and giving my frame a good workout.

So this afternoon, as our biweekly Sunday lunch gathering was drawing to a close, I headed for the one peak in the Prescott area which I had not yet hiked:  Glassford Hill.  This extinct volcano had been State Trust Land, and largely restricted in use, until this past May.  A trail was completed, and was dedicated then, and is now a welcome addition to this grassland community’s recreational portfolio.

It is a 2.25 mile hike, each way, from the trailhead to the summit.  The difficulty level, to me, is moderate, with four short switchbacks of moderate incline, each connected by road-width, relatively level longer switchbacks.  It took about 1 1/2 hours to go up and back.

The centerpiece of the trail is a pair of basalt outcroppings, called The Castle in the Canyon, for their imposing appearance.


Basalt formations, Summit Trail, Glassford Hill


Basalt formation, Summit Trail, Glassford Hill

The “Castle” lies just shy of the one-mile point, of the trail.

The rest of the mountain is largely tall grass prairie.  Pronghorns and deer are seen quite often on the wider slopes, though none were visible when I was there. A few mountain lions are said to live on the peak, as well.


Communications towers, northwest peak of Glassford Hill.

At the summit, the peak’s namesake, Colonel William Glassford, erected a heliograph terminal, by which he was able to communicate, via  Morse Code, with U.S. Army officers at Fort Union, NM.  The process is described on the placard below.


Information placard, on summit of Glassford Hill


Heliograph plate, summit of Glassford Hill


Commemorative flag, honouring Colonel Glassford, summit of Glassford Hill

As far as we know,there was little use of this peak by the Apache or Yavapai peoples, who pre-dated the ranchers in this area.  The first name bestowed on the mountain was “Baldy Peak”, owing to its being a grassland with a  few bristlecone pine trees.

Its uniqueness among the mountains of Yavapai County, nevertheless, makes Glassford Hill a  trail worthy of a good afternoon’s workout.



October 13, 2016, Prescott- After a worthwhile five days, assisting my son in getting his recovery from a foot injury into routine mode, I drove back here yesterday.  The whole mess surrounding how one Presidential candidate treats women and girls, followed by how filthy his main opponent’s language is, was kept at bay, during my time in Chula Vista.

These issues, however, do need to be addressed by anyone with a conscience.  So, here goes:  Objectifying anyone, based on one’s own lusts and proclivities, is understandable, in seeing human behaviour from the standpoint of the animal.  Yet, we are, primarily, much more than animals, are we not?  The most sensuous, loveliest of women is entitled to the same respect and consideration a man gives to himself.  Her dreams and hopes for her life are not to be overlooked, or minimized. That makes her the same as a person of average countenance, or a homely individual. This is a basic human right, and has nothing to do with a person’s attributes- physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.

It goes without saying that my friends are of all ages, shapes, sizes, levels of mental acuity, and any other category one can name.  They have one thing in common:  Humanity.  Many could not be in the same room together, but oh, well.  They each have at least one attribute to which I am attracted.

Initially, I have to say that the first thing I notice about a person, physically, is her/his eyes.  They tell me much of what I need to know.  Then, the person’s  facial cast, and the level of relaxation/tension in the body as a whole, come into view.  Are the person’s hands tense or relaxed (fisted up or open)? Is he/she tight and tense, from top to bottom, or laid back and engaged with the world?  Is she/he talkative, shy, or a mix of the two?

Regarding language, I am, as a rule, put off by an excess of profanity.  It is not so much a sense of prudery on my part, as it is that profanity is a filler, for those whose vocabulary is self-limited.  It is also insulting to those at whom it is directed.  I would prefer a leader, as I prefer friends, whose speech is respectful and elevated.  Profanity as a regular part of speech is degrading, both to the speaker and to all hearers.


How to Survive a Case of The Travellers Blues — TRAVELLING THE WORLD SOLO


October 12, 2016, Darwin, AU-  Hah! I’m not halfway across the world.  This post is by a young friend who has been on far more extended journeys than I.  She offered it for sharing, and I think it of value for anyone who travels.  Getting out and about should never have to feel like a chore-bound job.

Has this ever happened to you? You dream about a trip for days, weeks, months, possibly even years. One day, something happens and you finally get to take the plunge and book flights. You pack days (or weeks) before you need to leave, just because you are so excited. You count down the days. You […]

via How to Survive a Case of The Travellers Blues — TRAVELLING THE WORLD SOLO



October 11, 2016, San Ysidro-This afternoon, I made a rare drive down to California’s border with Baja California Norte.  Aram got a call from one of his buddies from Phoenix, who is now a truck driver, on the north-south California circuit.  Bill was in this San Diego neighbourhood, that abuts Tijuana, and wanted to meet up for dinner.

So, without much ado, we met Bill at the San Ysidro Pilot truck stop and drove the five miles westward, to the border.  500 yards from the line, Achiote Mexican Restuarant awaits the true connoisseur.  The three of us enjoyed stellar home made salsa, serrano sauce and habanero sauce, with freshly made tortilla chips.  It’s been years since I’ve had salsa that is not from a jar, or a can.

The entrees were equally awesome, including the biggest torta I’ve ever seen.  True to my policy of saving half of my dinner, whenever possible, the demi-torta will serve as lunch, or supper, tomorrow.  Below, are my son and his friend, halfway through the meal.14721447_10209639648680988_2878974380905049912_n

I, on the other hand, was photographed prior to the gourmandment.


There were all manner of northern Mexican standards, done the best that anyone could want- true enchiladas, and punos, for example- as well as the burritos, tacos and sopa de albondigas that are so common, across the U.S.  I would go back to Achiote, in a heartbeat, and just might, even after Aram heads for Korea. San Diego will long continue to have a tug on my heart.

There is much with which to concern oneself, regarding international borders.  For me, this evening, the concern was a mundane one:  A high volume of traffic, on some narrow and confusing streets.  Fortunately, there was enough wiggle room for me to scoot around the long line of traffic that was bound for Tijuana, and continue back to the Pilot, after our meal.  It would have been awkward asking the Federales for permission to make a u-turn.

It has always paid to take good care of my son, in more ways than I can ever recount.


Harvest Day


October 10, 2016, Chula Vista-

All Canada offers thanks,

for a successful harvest.

Canadian Thanksgiving

is a true celebration

of the farmers’ fruition.

It has ever been a rejoinder

to the Columbus Day tradition.

First Nations people, across the nation

would gather to honour the Holy People

and the Creator,

for all that was given them

to stave off deprivation.

The Europeans across the north,

tried to snuff out many traditions,

in the name of “civilization”.

What they meant by “civilized’ were things like

private property, walls, fences and speaking

one of two European languages.

Harvest, and sharing, made the cut, though.

Love is one thing, no one can long disparage.

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!


Double Tenth


October 10, 2016, Chula Vista-   Today is the National Day of Taiwan, established by Chiang Kai-shek, when he set up the Republic of China, on the island where he and his forces found refuge, in 1949.  “Double Tenth” is viewed as an auspicious day, good for the fortunes of the Chinese people.  Certainly, the industry and fastidiousness that the Chinese, individually and collectively, demonstrate- wherever they may be in this world, have made both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland models of commercial success, while remaining true to a deeper spiritual sense- even as the “gods” of commercialism and ideology have taken their toll.

Here in North America, some, primarily those in government and the financial sector, observe Columbus Day.  I have come to see this as ludicrous.  Other than a nice day to honour those of Italian descent, with parades and some fine cuisine, celebrating the arrival of three shiploads of people, who were bent on exploiting the resources of India, and instead found themselves on one of the minor isles of the Bahamian Archipelago, is little more than a ruse.

Nevertheless, I am feeling good today,  in this town that is one of the outgrowths of the Spanish colonization, that itself transpired from the Colombian Expeditions.  I am glad, in a sense, that Europeans and indigenous North Americans figure in my ancestry, although the way in which many of the former treated the latter was, to say the least, despicable.

This leads me to a remark made by a Native friend from Texas, on the occasion of my arrival here, a few days ago.  She expressed the wish that I would go to Standing Rock, North Dakota, and be there with our Lakota brothers and sisters.  My heart is there, certainly, as it is with all who suffer, as it is with those in the southeast, the Caribbean, and anywhere in the world, where people are going through the savagery inflicted by Man and Nature.

My soul compels me to stand by my offspring, and be here for him, in the few days available.  Soon enough, I will be back in Prescott, attending planning meetings, a drum circle, a Home Fire Safety event, and hiking another section of Black Canyon National Recreation Trail, before returning to work, a week from today.  Soon enough, my son will back on his own two feet and at his post on the USS Wayne E.Meyer.   Soon enough, the people of Standing Rock will be vindicated, and will realize the return of peace to their land- as will we all.

Stay firm, in the face of whatever tests and difficulties come your way.  You are all loved and cherished.