October 29, 2016, Phoenix-  The fact is, I’ve already voted.  That’s all I’ll say about that topic.  My day kept me in this slowly cooling-off former place of ten years’ residence.  It did not go above 93, and my stops were in lovely venues, so the day lifted my spirits.

It helped that the morning was spent discussing spiritual matters.  We Baha’is are celebrating the birthdays of both Baha’u’llah and His immediate Predecessor, al-Bab (The Gate, in Arabic), in two contiguous days, this coming week.  There will be gatherings during the day, in my home community, while our friends here in Phoenix are planning a Monday evening of prayer and reflection, in lieu of Halloween- as al-Bab’s birthday falls on November 1, this year.  Baha’u’llah’s birthday is being commemorated the following day. More on these Holy Days later.

I also visited an old friend, whose wife, unbeknownst to me until today, had passed away in December, 2014.  She had been one of Penny’s closest friends, when they were students together, at Arizona State University-West, from 2006-09.  The poor soul had also suffered severe physical ailments, for nearly ten years.  Her husband is now retired, and is a freelance mechanic, restoring old vehicles, which he loves doing.  It did my heart good to spend a few hours catching up with him.

I see Halloween as an excuse to indulge in cosplay, just a bit- I had my wizard’s mask on for all of ten minutes.  Mostly, it is another social event, and the people whom I first went to visit, this evening, had canceled their party, preferring to go to a school fair, instead.

Thus, I found myself at a theatrical affair, with the hosts giving a nod to the upcoming election.  Their party is always a well-catered, elaborately decorated event, with a large, diverse and multi-generational crowd.  This one was especially YOOOGE!


Getting Around


October 27, 2016, Prescott-

A brief update:  My landlord is in town, for a few days of repairs to our quadplex and grounds-keeping. He is considering allowing me more responsibility in the quad.  I plan to keep our backyard looking better, with his blessing.  A terraced garden has been my dream, for many years, and I hope to finally get it done.

Our team at school is upgrading the day-to-day curriculum, finally.  I am building a word wall and will post multiplication and division tables, over the next several school days.  Halloween is a half day for the students, and a few hours of planning work for us.  So, I will hopefully get a lot done, in the above regards, on Monday afternoon.

I will head down to Phoenix on Saturday, attend a morning meeting, get in some hiking and attend a Halloween party at the home of some friends, in midtown.  Sunday will be another day for hiking in the Table Mesa area, this time starting earlier in the morning.

Next week, I will begin to collate my poems and short essays, for the book which I want to put forth, in January.

That’s it for tonight.


Softening the Rock


October 26, 2016, Prescott-

Swaggering is a cover for deep-seated fear.

So is fabulism.

Neither gets one the satisfaction

that is offered by trustworthiness.

I read travel tales

of men trying to sweep

attractive women off their feet.

I see people, with faux charm,

trying to fool all the masses,

and the individuals,

all the time.

I hear frightened miscreants

protest their innocence,

when caught in the act.

I witness two forlorn boys,

masking their sorrow

and sense of being abandoned,

by attacking one another.

My task is to flow,

again and again,

wearing down the hardness

of the rock.



October 25, 2016, Prescott-

I abhor barriers.

Walls between nations,

fences between yards,

fingers in ears,

eyes forced shut,

minds and hearts closed.

We are all created unique,

yet we are all created of value.

I am blessed with friends

who are conservative,

who are liberal,

who are Christian,








none of the above.

I cherish friends

who are Democrat,





Barriers choke

the life

out of those

on either side.

I value life.



Table Mesa- Part 1


October 23, 2016, New River-  I was on the northern fringes of this scenic community, at the northern edge of Maricopa County, for about two hours, this afternoon.  Two accidents, one involving two vehicles and the second involving twenty-two, framed my drive to and from here and Prescott.

The first accident shut the freeway for about forty minutes, until the vehicles and their occupants could be safely removed.  I got to the exit, curiously called Table Mesa (“mesa” being Spanish for table.), around 1:30.  The drive to the Table Mesa trailhead, of Black Canyon National Recreation Trail, was another ten minutes.  Although it was still a bit on the toasty side (93 F), there were several people at various sites along the way in.  There were a few target shooters, at the rifle range, about 1/4 mile west of the highway.  A few ATV drivers were on hand, as well.  Some hikers complain about All Terrain Vehicles, but I see them as good folks to have around, as long as they stick to the plentiful mine roads and don’t tear up the vegetated terrain.

My game plan is to hike this segment of the BCNRT, in three stages.  The first, and shortest, was a preliminary jaunt, from the Table Mesa Trailhead to the edge of Williams Mesa-Little Pan loop, about 3 miles, round trip.  This was definitely enough for today, as I had a service act to do in Prescott Valley, beforehand, and the afternoon temperature was,as I mentioned, quite warm.

This segment of  trail is easy- to -moderate, and has no outstanding features, other than the dry, grey limestone of the Agua Fria Riverbed, about 3/4 of the way to the loop.


Table Mesa itself lies about two miles west of the BCNRT, and is one of several such flat-topped promontories in this region.


There are a few smaller outcroppings nearby, such as the one below, which could easily have served as a hideaway or vantage point, during the conflicts between Apaches and white settlers, in the 1870’s.


Williams Mesa, to me, the most majestic of the area’s tablelands, lies another 3 miles northward.  It will be the focus of my second hike here, most likely in early November.


The route for the loop is marked by a single green flat pole, with Williams Mesa Trail as the west route and Little Pan Trail as the east route.  It will wait, patiently, until I can devote a full Saturday or Sunday.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The drive back was most sobering: The aftermath of the 24-vehicle pile-up, which resulted from a cattle hauler, whose brakes had apparently failed, losing control, was still very much in progress,at 3:40.  As several drivers made the wise choice to double back northward, and go around through Prescott or Camp Verde, to return to the Phoenix area, the northbound lanes of I-17 and the westbound Hwy. 69 were slow going, as well.

It was great for our area’s restaurants, though, including my dinner-time choice, Leff-T’s Steak House, always a laid-back and gracious place for a burger or fine steak. I’d been away from there too long, and crowds don’t bother me, so the Ranch Burger, salad and plenty of iced tea went down well, as several Phoenix-bound people took in several NFL “games of the week”, and the waitresses bantered with the regulars.



October 22, 2016, Prescott-

A number of things happened today, far and wide.  Here, I was part of a large group who celebrated faith in God, and the healing that often results from commitment, both spiritual and emotional.

There were testimonies galore, at the fifth annual Hope Fest, a fine blend of vendor booths, children’s play sites and sound stages.  There were a number of self-help groups present, a puppet theatre,  well-trained young singers who belted out show and movie tunes and inspiring musicians and performers.

There was Todd, an accomplished country and Christian singer, a living testimony to Celebrate Recovery.  There were Mia and Bill, who have weathered one emotional storm after another, to stand before a thoroughly-supportive crowd and bask in our admiration.  There was Vanessa, an immensely-gifted young lady, who painted two portraits of Jesus the Christ, to the accompaniment of the two fine acts mentioned above.  She painted Him from images in her mind.  One was Christ in the Passion and the second was the Shroud of Turin.

As with last year, my larger role was to provide moral support and physical assistance to the sound crew at the Main Stage.  This work started when Todd thanked everyone for attending and the audience began to head home, at 8:20 PM.   We finished with everything at 12:30 A.M.  That is almost two hours less than we took last year.  We certainly had  more people helping, than last year.

So, I helped good friends accomplish a  major public event- and continue to honour both Spirit and Body, in becoming far more unified.


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.