Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

I’ve always loved science and astronomy … from the time I was a kid saving my quarters to buy a mail order telescope.  Admittedly it wasn’t much … a couple of sliding cardboard tubes and simple glass lenses.  I remember, even then, reading about the 1911 Halley’s Comet hoping to be alive for the 1986 return.  Well, I was alive and just like the telescope, even though I saw it, it wasn’t nearly as impressive as I had envisioned.

Since then, I’ve seen partial solar eclipses, one total solar eclipse,  several total and partial lunar eclipses, many meteor showers … including one Leonid when I got the kids up at 2:00 AM and it was the wrong night for the peak.  Needless to say … I do love this stuff.

Last Saturday night was another celestial highlight … Comet NEOWISE.  My wife, my baby sister … who eats this stuff up too … and my brother in law set out to see the comet starting at one of the highest points in Little Rock.  Unfortunately, the sky was hazy and the city lights were too much.  However, I did get a couple of respectable evening sky shots of the horizon with Pinnacle Mountain in the foreground.DSC02947

Around 8:45 we made the decision to get in the car and drive out West beyond the city lights.  When we pulled over and got out of the car, I glanced to the NW and … yes, there it was … even with the naked eye.  We were all mesmerized … my sister, almost giddy.  Well, I am certainly no night sky photographer but here are a couple of shots  I took with a 200mm lens mounted on a tripod.



NEOWISE VS. 2017 TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE.  No doubt …. NEOWISE was one of most awesome celestial  events I have ever seen but I must still give the nod to my favorite …  The August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse.  To make that even more special, it was our 51st wedding anniversary.  How can anything top that?   The eclipse is featured in a 2017 blog but I simply had to include a couple of my photos from that day.



I will wrap up by saying to everyone … get away from the city lights, look up and Be Awestruck … It’s a spiritual experience. What a magnificent Cathedral.

Here’s a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Think me not unkind or rude … that I walk alone in grove and glen … I go to the God of the wood … to fetch his word to men.


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Spring Close Up…

One cannot help enjoying the beauty of Spring … the azaleas, the roses, the red buds, the dogwoods, fruit trees, etc. etc.etc.  Like most everyone else, I love this time of year when fresh new green emerges providing an artist’s palette for a kleidoscope of colorful Spring Flowers.  Even more than the awesome panorama, I particularly enjoy the details as seen thru the eye of a macro lens.  Below are a few of my recent shots … the rose being my favorite.  Enjoy!!








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Yesterday was my birthday

It was even more unique … maybe even special because there was in fact a Blue Moon. For those who do not know, a blue moon is not actually blue. It looks like any other beautiful full moon. However,the so designated Blue Moon is special because it is the second full moon within one calendar month.

Blue Moon

Blue Moon

Needless to say, there were many reasons to feel special on my birthday … my wife, my family, my friends, my co-workers, my health … yes, many reasons. I guess the Blue Moon just made me stop and think for a minute about how very blessed I truly am.

Oh, one other mention: I love the music of folksinger, Nancy Griffith . Her song “Once in a Very Blue Moon” is a favorite of mine. In fact,so much a favorite that I presented her a Key to the City when she performed in Little Rock. That evening she did not sing the song on stage but did sing it for me backstage … A cappella.

As Paul Harvey would say at the end of his broadcast: “Now You Know the Rest of the Story”

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Centuries of Inscriptions Protected by National Monument Designation

This is without a doubt one of the most fascinating, interesting and beautiful places I have visited.
Beautiful because of the towering sheer rock sandstone promontory with an ever present water pool at its base. Interesting because of the blending of centuries of travelers who have left their inscriptions carved on the walls of the flat rock surfaces. Fascinating because one can see the remains of a mesa top pueblo that once housed roughly 1500 people in 875 rooms … circa 1275 – 1350.

As beautiful as the hike was, I was most captivated by picturing in my mind the residents and travelers who came to this spot for refreshing water and needed rest. I could hardly look at the inscriptions or the pueblo without wondering what life was like then and what they hoped they might share with us hundreds of years in the future.











Just a couple of closing comments:

First, I am so thankful for the Antiquities Act which gives Presidents the power by executive authority to create National Monuments like El Morro

Second, I failed to mention that the steps seen in one of the pictures at the top of El Morro were hand carved as part of a work program during the depression. Another piece of our history … maybe for another blog.

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Possibly the best Hiking, Backpacking, Camping season in Years !!!

I declare October thru April as my time to enjoy the wilderness experience of Arkansas, The Natural State. There are no ticks, no chiggers, no snakes and few people.  There’s always plenty of firewood, plenty of campfire stories and plenty of scenic views.  Early season we have kaleidoscopic colors, mid season with leaf-off we have views unavailable the rest of the year and late season we have  wildflowers, waterfalls and the fresh new green of Spring. This past weekend I just finished my last outing of the season …  what an exceptional season.

Water was great and waterfalls were spectacular …






Wild flowers were aplenty … 



Dogwoods were the fireworks of the forest …

Never have I experienced anything like it … the new spring green was aglow with sparkles of white, splatterings of bright white, an otherwise beautiful but monochromatic forest was transformed with thousands of what could just as easily be random trees lit with white Christmas lights … unbelievable, unexpected, stunning … what a once in a lifetime experience.


Waxing Philosophical …

If you have read any of the books by authors such as Colin Fletcher, who backpacked the Grand Canyon or Everett Reuss, the young man in his twenties who disappeared while writing, painting and hiking in the Utah Canyonlands, then you understand how the wilderness can refresh your soul. More than likely you know it from personal experience.

If you have climbed a mountain in Colorado … maybe one of the fourteeners … or read books by Bill Bryson describing his hike of the Appalachian Trail or Cheryl Strayed’s book detailing her solo hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, then you have probably already picked up your pack and trekking poles.   You know what it means to leave behind the noise of the city in exchange for a pack on your back and the mind/body refreshment of hiking to a place most people will never see.

Maybe, you too will share the wonder of a season in the Arkansas wilderness.






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Holiday Nostalgia …

Waxing Holidays Past

Bear with me … today is one of those days … one of those days filled with a bit more verbosity and a lot more sensitivity as I reflect on Holidays Past …  holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.  Up this morning about 6 AM, armed with sturdy walking shoes, warm jacket, gloves and hat I vigorously attacked  one of the neighborhood hills. The air was a crisp thirty something, the sun was just beginning to warm the tips of still colorful trees and for the most part the world was mine.

Returning home, I declared this day the day to open my iTunes Playlist  … simply entitled Christmas, set it to shuffle, grab a cup of rich coffee and begin the annual immersion into Holiday anticipation. Little did I expect my mind to wander the path of Holidays Past.

When I was growing up and when our kids were growing up, the Christmas tree was always a big … err … big event.  With a 22 foot ceiling height in the entry, a huge pine tree cut from family property was an adventure to harvest, tie on the car top, raise and decorate hopefully with no loss of limb … human or evergreen.  In addition to the tree, we always had Santa stop by for a visit … on one occasion Santa even sat in the lap of our own Family Santa, Dalton Dailey.

This is a post in which I could expend hours and pages but WordPress and your generous patience dictate otherwise.  Guess you’ll need to read the book someday.  However to wrap up I’ll list a few other memories of Holidays Past:

Midnight Mass at the Cathedral with my parents, Open House on Sunday at Dailey’s Gift Center kicking off the shopping season (this was during the era of Blue Laws and my dad just let people shop and buy later), putting up a Christmas tree at home then taking it down and strapping it to the van top as we headed for Colorado (the kids made decorations during the trip), Thanksgiving meals at Mom’s, Christmas meals at Mom’s, New Year meals at Mom’s, as a child coming down on Christmas morning and seeing the tree and presents, finding a place to celebrate New Years Eve while traveling, Ski trips with our family and the Goodin family during the holidays (ten of us in a van that JC called the “Van Trapped Family“), making Gingerbread houses, snow in Arkansas on Christmas, New Years Day Swearing In Ceremonies, disguising gifts to Patti, last minute shopping Christmas Eve at Dailey’s and doing art work on brown wrapping paper … I think you’ve got the idea.  This is a very special time of year… a time to be thankful, to remember family and friends, to be grateful for this nation and those who fight to protect our freedom … Thank God I am an American  and if you’ve read this far, thank you too.

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I remember the first time i sat down to a computer … actually the first and second times.  The first was a small Apple i had won in a drawing at the National Office Products Convention.  Frankly, i thought i was pretty “with it”because i could actually push the on button and the screen came to life.  Well, that’s about as far as i got with this little bit of technology.  The second time was in the mid 1990’s when the City of Little Rock IT Department decided the Mayor should become computer literate.  This attempt was a bit more successful and ultimately served as the gateway for my interest in computers and their practical applications in my business and personal world.  Thank goodness for the patience of our IT staff as i stumbled thru simple tasks such as left and right click, menus, control /alt / delete, and escape.
Today, as i post my first blog entry, i feel somewhat like that very first visit with a computer except i now am less intimidated and more excited as i travel down this new trail and adventure

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