Textures

Prompts and Challenges

On one of our spontaneous day trips when neither of us have a clue where we are going or where we might end up, Lynn and I came upon this rock house named, coincidentally, Rock House, out in the middle of the Mojave National Preserve in California.

Rock House
Mojave National Preserve
July 2, 2017

 

Maybe too easy for The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Textures.

But, whatever works!

 

Rock House
Mojave National Preserve
July 2, 2017

 

If you were wondering how anyone could-or would want to-live in the remote desert that is now Mojave National Preserve, take a walk along the Rock Spring Loop to find some answers.

The Rock House was constructed by Bert Smith in 1929. He came to this area to recover from poison gas exposure suffered during World War I. Doctors told him he didn’t have long to live, but the dry desert air proved so beneficial to Smith’s health that he lived here for 25 more years! The second long-term resident was artist Carl Faber, who lived and worked at the rock house in the 1980s, selling his artwork to passing travelers.

Christina Mills
Park Ranger 

nps.gov

 

Share Your World – July 17, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

Mojave National Preserve
July 2, 2017

This week, Cee Neuner asks:

What is your favorite cheese? My favorite cheese? I’m Italian! OK, maybe only half. And the other half is vegetarian so there’s a constant battle going on with my taste buds over cheese. I probably shouldn’t eat dairy and call myself vegetarian, but then I shouldn’t eat fish, either. And yet, guilty. Favorite cheese? You name it, I love it. And if you happen to name one I haven’t yet tried, I will search it out. I have heard that limburger cheese smells like feet. Maybe that’s why some people have a foot fetish? I would prefer the limburger!

Are you left or right handed? My left hand is basically useless. It does nothing. I envy people who are ambidextrous as they can do twice as much as the rest of us. I have two left feet. Why can’t I have two right hands?

Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either? I was always tall and lanky and used to take for granted that I would always remain the same. So I exercised my mind. And now that my belly has finally caught up to my lazy lifestyle, I have begun to exercise three times a week for the last two years. Unfortunately, the belly is still there. But I enjoy going to the gym.

Complete this sentence: Hot days are … all relative. We here in the desert love to talk about the weather. But seriously, once you hit 110, every other degree is superfluous. Hot is hot. Except when it’s not. Yesterday was 109 in Las Vegas so we went north to Caliente (“hot” in Spanish) which was almost frio (“cold”) at only 95 degrees.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Last weekend we were more than an hour north of our home when the air conditioner in my car died. I’m just glad we made it back without the dog dying. Or my wife. Or me. The repair cost me $500. I’m just grateful we weren’t further away and were able to make it home. This week I am painting and moving my desktop computer into the den. I am looking forward to completing the task by next week.

In Retrospect: Cima CA

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Just off Cima Road, where it intersects with the Cima Kelso Road, we found this railroad spur line. Littered around the area were old creosote railroad ties and spikes. Across the way is the shell of an old country store. Out in front is this ancient relic:

It no longer works. There is no coin slot, no dial tone. Behind the store is an area that resembles a graveyard for old cars and trucks:

But the photo is deceptive as the property behind the store is not quite as neat, more of a dumping ground:

And it seems like the old store has been boarded up by whatever random wood could be found lying around.

 

All photos were taken in Cima CA, part of the Mojave National Preserve , on February 28, 2015 and processed on July 12, 2017

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: COLLAGE

Prompts and Challenges
Collage: An assortment, a collection, a hodgepodge. This week, share one — whether found in the wild or assembled yourself.

Jazz
San Francisco CA
August 16, 2007

Bill Weber’s 1987 piece, known as the “Jazz Mural,” can be found above New Sun Hong Kong Restaurant at the corner of Broadway and Columbus Ave in San Francisco CA. Weber’s murals can be found throughout North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Haight and the Castro.

This was shot with a Fujifilm FinePix A330. A pretty simple point and shoot camera that wasn’t even mine. I didn’t own a camera in those days. Had to borrow one. I was on vacation, just walking around the city, when I spotted this. It’s been sitting in my archives until I just recently added the sky and the sort of sepia edges and posted it for your viewing pleasure.

At least, I hope you enjoy it!

 

 

 

Cee’s Share Your World – July 3, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

Ivanpah Road
Mojave National Preserve
July 2, 2017

For your main meal do you prefer sweet and sour, hot and spicy, spicy and sweet, bitter, salty, bland or other? For me, every meal is a main meal. In the morning I’m thinking about what we will have for dinner. At night, before going to bed, I wonder what I should have for breakfast. I used to love spicy, but now, at such an advanced age, I also enjoy subtle flavors. I must say, though, that salt is my downfall. Lynn introduced me to salt on watermelon and I just had that this morning after my coffee. That might be the only thing I don’t salt; my coffee!

Where do you hide junk when people come over? Hide my junk? Unthinkable. I revel in my junk. That is why I have a den, to have all my junk on display. The only junk we would have to hide when people come over is the dog paraphernalia. And if we hide that, beware the dog!

What daily habit would you like to introduce to your life? That’s a difficult one. I could probably go out and take photos every day if Las Vegas had anything interesting to shoot. And I’m pretty sure I can guess what you’re thinking. But since the strip started charging for parking, I don’t go down there anymore. And as I’ve complained since June, the weather prevents me from going out lately.

If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?  Well, I liked Cee’s answer that she would work at the concession stand. But since I don’t like people- or kids- I’m not sure I would last very long. Maybe work as the company photographer, taking shots of the performers and animals and people in the stands, and then maintain the circus website!

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Well, like Cee with a pulled groin muscle, I’ve had a bad back all week. It even prevented me from sleeping well at night. But yesterday, we did finally get out and the back seems to be back to normal which, for me, is merely a constant low grade ache. I can live with that. The photo above is from our trip yesterday to Mojave National Preserve which was 5 to 10 degrees cooler than Las Vegas, believe it or not.

Cee’s Share Your World – June 3, 2017

Share Your World – June 19, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

Mission San Juan Capistrano
June 3, 2017

What is something that people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of? Well, I’m glad you asked. Women seem to all be obsessed with me. It’s true! I don’t encourage such behavior. And I really don’t get the point of this obsession. I’m just a regular guy. I put my pants on one leg at a time. (Of course, those pants do tend to look better on me than on other people.) My wife doesn’t understand this obsession either, but then she is, of course, my wife!

What quirky things do people do where you are from? I’m not originally from Las Vegas but it seems to have been my home for much longer than I ever anticipated. Did you ever hear that quote, “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it”? Well, forget about all the backward steps that this administration is taking, I’m talking about the weather, a topic that seems to consume anyone from around here who has yet to embrace the heat. Yesterday, the high was 109 and this morning, when we awoke at 4:30 am because the dog needed to go outside, the temperature was 91. It did go down to 88 by 6:30, though, before starting its climb back up to 111 today, 115 tomorrow. Everybody talks about the weather!

What are some things you wish you could unlearn? I wish I could unlearn the false historical narrative that we were taught in school and from the movies, though I am sure all countries indoctrinate society to justify their abuse of native cultures.

Who is someone that you miss having in your life? I would love to say I miss my mother, father, and sister- and I do- but the first name that came to mind was that of my first love, whom I had lost touch with, then reconnected with some years later when I moved to Las Vegas and she lived in Los Angeles. We saw each other several times until she died quite suddenly in 2000.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? It is way too hot to get out with my camera so I’m not at all grateful that I won’t be able to get outside until autumn. Or whenever we travel out of state. But I’m alive and able to complain, so I’m happy.

Please check out Cee’s Share Your World to read more or join in!

In Retrospect: Balboa Park CA

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Balboa Park
San Diego CA
January 31, 2015

This may be sacrilegious of me- after all, I was a contributor to Monochromia for several years- but I do not like black and white photos as a rule, just as I dislike images of flowers and pets. I find black and white very difficult to do well. The world is seen in color. End of discussion. And yet, when done well, black and white can heighten detail and mood. Now, I’m not saying the above is done well, but I do like it. And isn’t that what art is all about?

“I don’t know if it’s art, but I know that I like it!

~~Walt Disney~~

Share Your World – May 22, 2017

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Ruins of the original
Mission San Juan Capistrano CA
May 20, 2017

What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? No one in my family was much of a traveler and, therefore, neither was I. Lynn traveled all over Europe and wants to show me some of the places she has been. But when I discovered original documents from when my grandparents and Uncle landed at Ellis Island, and read that they emigrated from Fontanarosa in Italy, I decided that would be the first place we visit! Lynn agreed.

How often do you get a haircut?  Once a month. There’s not much there but it grows quickly. OK, a little secret. No one knows except for Lynn. I am bald but have worn a hairpiece since about 1985 or 6. I can’t wait to finally shave my head and be done with it all. But while I still work I’d feel funny doing it and coming into work the next day totally bald.

In regards to puzzle what’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, word search or numeric puzzles? I used to love doing the New York Times crossword puzzle every Sunday when I lived in New York. I would continue it throughout the week during my commute. I don’t know that I ever finished one!

How many cities have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities. OK, lets see. There’s Brooklyn NY where I was born. Then after that, different areas of the San Fernando Valley in Southern California. I went to college in San Francisco and lived there for 7 years, then Hollywood for about two years, then Long Beach NY and now Las Vegas.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? We went to Mission Viejo for a piano recital this weekend and I’m grateful that there were only about 35 students who played. Kids who ranged in age from about 7 to about 15. Mercifully, it was only 2 hours long. Next weekend I have all to myself. Lynn’s driving out to visit some people in California for the day and I plan to stay home and relax. Let’s see if that actually happens!

Thanks, as always, Cee!

Homeward Bound

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Union Station Information
Los Angeles CA

I tell you, I’ve got a serious travel bug right about now. I always hated the traffic in L. A. whenever we’ve ventured out that way, but we spent a week there house sitting and had the best time ever. So much to see and do. So we’re going out locally today for one of our “spont” trips. Meanwhile, Lynn is researching some places for us to go to with her sister and her husband the first week of May. Right now it looks like Zion and possibly Antelope Canyon. Then I have a trip to Minnesota the end of May to visit more family. Anyway…

I’ve always had a fascination with train travel. I’ve gone cross country- back and forth- twice in the past and really enjoy it, though It’s longer and costs a lot more money than flying. So it was a natural choice for me to visit LA’s Union Station when we were there two weeks ago. I couldn’t get an angle from the outside that I liked so concentrated on the inside.

Waiting Room
Union Station

The place is considerably smaller than New York’s Penn Station or Chicago’s Union Station. But no less interesting.

More Information at
Union Station

And did you know LA has a subway system? I thought that would have been impossible, what with all the faults and earthquakes running through there. But somebody must have been a good salesperson and sold them on the idea.

Los Angeles Metro Rail
Under Union Station

OK, I might as well give you one exterior shot. But this is not the Station itself. It is an office building across from the Union Station Plaza.

Office Building
Union Station Plaza

And yes, the title of his post is borrowed from Paul Simon’s song of the same name. I can’t help but hum that song to myself whenever I’m in a railway station.

Homeward bound,
I wish I was homeward bound,
Home where my thought’s escaping,
Home where my music’s playing,
Home where my love lies waiting silently for me.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

A Common Sea

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I feel we are all islands – in a common sea.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Sunset at The Salton Sea

On our last day of vacation in Los Angeles, we decided to head south and drive through the Anza Borrego desert on our way home. We ended up just before sunset at Bombay Beach, on the eastern shore of the Salton Sea.

The Ruins at Bombay Beach

The Salton Sea had some success as a resort area, however, many of the settlements have been abandoned, mostly due to the increasing salinity and pollution of the lake over the years from agricultural runoff and other sources.

Dead Fish Along The Shoreline

Many of the species of fish that lived in the sea have been killed off by the combination of pollutants, salt levels, and algal blooms. Dead fish have been known to wash up in mass quantities on the beaches. The smell of the lake, combined with the stench of the decaying fish, also contributed to the decline of the tourist industry around the Salton Sea.

Remains of an Abandoned Structure on the Shoreline

Many people now visit the Salton Sea and the surrounding settlements to explore the abandoned structures.The US Geological Survey describes the smell as “objectionable”, “noxious”, “unique”, and “pervasive”.

Noah’s Original Ark (?) at Bombay Beach