The Day After


Some of you are aware that we live in Las Vegas. Actually, North Las Vegas. That’s about a half hour north of Mandalay Bay where last night’s horrific event unfolded. I wanted to share with you the text messages I woke up to this morning, unaware that anything had happened. These are all between family members and I have used initials only.

October 1 11:18 pm TS
“Please tell me none of you are on the strip. This is insane.”

October 1 11:18 pm WJ

“I’m getting scared. We’re at our house.”

October 1 11:19 pm TS

“So scary. I heard Mandalay Bay but now seeing some people are saying there’s multiple ones at different hotels.”

October 1 11:19 pm WJ

“One of K’s (her 16 y.o. son) basketball friends was at the concert and he got shot in the arm. He’s apparently at hospital now.”

October 1 11:19 pm TS

“OMG! I can’t imagine that is horrible.”

October 1 11:20 pm WJ

“That’s what K is telling me that it’s at other hotels but news hasn’t said that yet.”

October 1 11:21 pm TS

“Someone said there’s bombs now.”

October 1 11:21 pm WJ

“K just told me that too.”

October 1 11:22 pm TS

Well I’m glad you guys aren’t there and imagine Mom (Lynn), E (me) and J (brother) wouldn’t be down there but just had to check. I hope K’s friend is ok.”

October 1 11:22 pm WJ

“K was just at a huge concert on the strip last weekend. S (her daughter) is scheduled for 2 in the next month. I want to move.”

October 1 11:23 pm TS

“[She was?] Omg thank god not tonight.”

October 1 11:23 pm WJ

“Omg ur right. Now [maybe she’ll] understand why I don’t want [her] going down there.”

October 1 11:24 pm TS

“Yeah it’s getting to be too dangerous maybe hold off on big events for a while.”

October 1 11:25 pm WJ

K (her son) has a friend who is hiding at Top Golf right now. Her boyfriend is the one who is at the hospital now.”

October 1 11:26 pm TS

“This is horrifying.”

October 1 11:26 pm WJ

“News just said maybe one suspect is dead in hotel room at Mandalay Bay.”

October 1 11:28 pm TS

“That’s some good news. But it sounds like from what I’m seeing there’s shootings at Tropicana and NYNY and maybe Aria.”

October 1 11:28 pm WJ


Today 6:37 am Lynn

“Just woke up this morning to the news. So sad.”

Today 6:48 am WJ

“Glad ur ok.”

Today 6:55 am Lynn

“Fortunately for this family none of us [were at the] country music festival. And E (me) was too sick to be doing night photos on the strip, as he likes to do. Not so lucky for others. But always knew Vegas would be a prime target and was just a matter of time. Figured it would be terrorists, though.”

Today 7:14 am WJ (oldest daughter)

“One of K’s basketball teammates was shot in the arm as he laid on top of his girlfriend (a good friend of K’s who lives in our old neighborhood). He punctured his lung and broke his rib and will be in hospital for a week. The girl hid out at Top Golf for hours. They are both ok now. We have several friends who had family members there too. S had a couple friends down there as well.”

Today 8:05 am Lynn

“Just never figured anything would be going on here on Sunday nights. Today is a good day to donate blood. On my way.”

We could not get near the blood services building. Traffic was being diverted due to the amount of people wanting to help the only way they knew how. I got into my office around 11:30 to find almost no one here. I just learned that my secretary was there last night with her husband and his sister, who were both wounded.


In Retrospect: Venice


Piazza San Marco Facade
January 30, 2014

Ah, Venice. Venezia. The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC. Venice has been known as “La Dominante,” “Serenissima,” “Queen of the Adriatic,” “City of Water,” “City of Masks,” “City of Bridges,” “The Floating City,” and “City of Canals.”

The Grand Canal
January 30, 2014

This is, of course, none of the above, but a mere reproduction in the desert of Las Vegas Nevada.

Piazza San Marco
January 30, 2014

OK, I’m sure this could have passed for the real Piazza San Marco if I had cropped it so that the Mirage Hotel in the background wasn’t so obvious. Or if my Photoshop skills were up to the challenge. So, if you’re like me and have yet to visit the real Venice, then The Venetian Hotel will have to do. For now.

In Retrospect is an ongoing series of older photos from my archives, newly processed. I hope you enjoy the series as much as I enjoy revisiting the memories.



Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter D

Prompts and Challenges

Dirt Diggers
Inspirada Community
Henderson NV
September 12, 2014


I had no idea, when I chose these photos, that they were all shot exactly 3 years ago today. These dirt machines were leveling the ground for building a new community in Henderson, just 15 minutes south of the Las Vegas Strip. The first machines are dirt diggers. Some people call them back hoes, I think. I just call them as I see them!

Dirt Aerator
Inspirada Community
Henderson NV
September 12, 2014

The dirt aerator is really called that. Or, you can call it a tiller.

Dirt Transporter
Inspirada Community
Henderson NV
September 12, 2014

I just love the way this dirt transporter is sort of peeking around the corner of that pile of rocks and dirt. As if he/she is shy. OK, OK, maybe I’ve seen too many Pixar cartoons where trucks have eyes and mouths and can talk. When I was a kid, and should have been watching cartoons (instead of now when I am an adult), we called them dump trucks.

And that’s it for my dirty photos. I have two more shots of big machines but I don’t know what they are. They must have something to do with dirt, though, because they were at the same work site. Just call them extras. My gift to you.

Extra Dirt Machines
Inspirada Community
Henderson NV
September 12, 2014


Extra Extra Dirt Machines
Inspirada Community
Henderson NV
September 12, 2014

Oh, by the way, did you know there are companies now that will let you drive these big machines for a fee? It’s a male’s fantasy. OK, maybe only one fantasy that we males have. But at least this one can come true. If you have enough money. Any of you women who share that fantasy can drive them, too. Money knows no sex – or something like that!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter D – 4 letter words that start with D

In Retrospect: Sloan NV


Corner of Sloan Rd and Decatur Blvd
Sloan NV
April 14, 2013

There’s not much going on in Sloan NV. Less than 20 miles from the Las Vegas Strip and light years away, this rural community hosts 105 hearty souls, mostly living in run down homes and trailers. There are some rusty ruins of old cars, trucks, and buses. But the surroundings are pretty nondescript. The main – scratch that – the only industry is mining, home to a Sierra Ready Mix plant and Aggregate Industries.

There are no stop lights and no town to speak of. No movie theaters or diners or stores. Just random homes set randomly on treeless acres of dirt, and dried brush. The Ready Mix office is the newest building in town.

Sierra Ready Mix South Plant
Sloan NV
April 14, 2013


In Retrospect is an ongoing series of older photos from my archives, newly processed. I hope you enjoy the series as much as I enjoy revisiting the memories.

Look… Up In The Sky…


Ferguson’s Spells Fun
Las Vegas NV
August 12, 2017

Yeah, I know. You were expecting images of the Perseids meteor shower from the past weekend. Well, so was I. I researched all day Saturday on what settings to use on my camera and even downloaded the app for the Fuji remote. Lynn had spent the day out at Lake Mead on a boat. At 8:30 pm she called me and said to pick her up around 10 and we’d head out to Mojave National Preserve- far enough away from Las Vegas that light pollution would not be a major concern. But by the time we got out there, the moon was already up and you couldn’t even see the Milky Way.

Draw Back Your Bow
Las Vegas NV
August 12, 2017

We parked along the Cima Kelso Road and sat for awhile. We saw nothing save for a lone rabbit and a few field mice. We drove over to the Kelso train station to see if I could get a nice night shot of it. But the building was not really lit up well. So we drove a bit on Kelbaker Road and parked again. And waited. Still nothing. I asked Lynn if she wanted to wait some more or head on home. She didn’t answer.

She had fallen asleep.

Elvis Sl pt Here
Las Vegas NV
August 12, 2017

I got out of the car and found a bush and, while standing there, saw two quick streaks of white light in the sky. When I got back in the car, Lynn was awake and I told her what I had seen. We both got out of the car and stood for about 5 minutes and…, nothing. She didn’t believe me.

Going Up
Las Vegas NV
August 12, 2017

We got home at 3:37 am and fell asleep probably even before falling into bed. Lynn woke up Sunday morning around 6:30 to let the dog out. She let me sleep in.

High Society
Las Vegas NV
August 12, 2017

All images were taken between 5:30 pm and 6:20 pm Saturday afternoon in the Fremont Street area on Las Vegas Blvd. The signs are on loan from the Neon Boneyard, except for the Ferguson’s and Travelers signs, which were found at 1028 and 1120 Fremont Street, respectively. 

Neon Boneyard Visitor’s Center
770 Las Vegas Blvd North
August 12, 2017

The Neon Boneyard Visitor’s Center

My Wife, Lynn


My wife hates to have her picture taken. No photo ever looks like what she believes she looks like. I have that same problem. I always think I look better than my photo. The only picture that ever did me justice was taken for my high school senior yearbook when I was a graduating. But this post is not about me. It’s about my wife. So, since I can’t show you a photo of her, imagine my surprise when I came across some street art- some might call it graffiti- of a woman who looks just like my wife.


OK, maybe Lynn’s hair is longer, and actually brown instead of black. And her lips are a little wider, maybe. The nose is not quite right, either. And her eyes are brown, not blue. Maybe the face is a little narrower, too.

But otherwise, the spitting image.

On a side note, this guy is so talented. I was just amazed when I saw this. How do these guys- and gals- do this? And when? Late at night when no one’s around? But this is Las Vegas. Someone’s always around.

Just wow!

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 42

Prompts and Challenges
What Stays In Vegas

What Stays In Vegas


Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge (COB) is all about those great photos that you take which really don’t seem to fit into a common category.  We’ve all taken them and like them, because we just can’t hit delete and get rid of them.

There is never a theme to this challenge, so what is an odd ball is all up for you to discover and photograph.

Cardinal Guzman’s Changing Seasons – September 2016

Prompts and Challenges


Each month I take one photo at Calico Basin for Cardinal Guzman’s Changing Seasons. Actually, I take several photos but choose only one to post. Since Tuesday, September 20, it has been overcast in Las Vegas. Shortly after I took this photo, at 3:43 in the afternoon, it started to drizzle. Just enough to make my car look dirtier than it actually was. The next day, September 21, it rained for about 5 minutes and we had an actual rainbow off in the southeast. This year the Fall Equinox was yesterday, September 22. Meaning summer was officially over. We are currently blessed with daytime temperatures in the 80’s and nighttime lows in the 50’s.


And now for your viewing pleasure, a retrospective of the year to date from Calico Basin.

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What’s this “Changing Seasons” blogging challenge?

«The Changing Seasons 2016» is a blogging challenge with two versions: the original (V1) which is purely photographic and the new version (V2) where you can allow yourself to be more artistic and post a painting, a recipe, a digital manipulation, or simply just one photo that you think represents the month. Anyone with a blog can join this challenge and it’ll run throughout 2016. It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t join the first month(s), late-comers are welcomed. These are the rules, but they’re not written in stone – you can always improvise, mix & match to suit your own liking:

These are the rules for Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

These are the rules for Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!


Prompts and Challenges
Graffiti on a wall near the Fremont Street Experience Las vegas NV

Graffiti on a wall near the Fremont Street Experience
Las Vegas NV

(The above image has nothing to do with this post. In fact, it has nothing to do with anything. I have no idea whether or not it means anything but I  do admire the artist’s skill.)

Would you travel into outer space? Are you crazy? I’m not even fond of inner space. I hate to fly and have admitted several times previously to ordering a drink as soon as it is offered on any flight I have ever taken. Even when I was a kid, I would just tell the stewardess it was for the person next to me- who was usually my mother or father. My mother and father were usually so nervous about flying that they never noticed I was getting inebriated right under their noses. So when do they start serving cocktails on a moon or Mars flight?

Which country/city in the world (that you have never been to) would you most like to visit and why? Well, right now my wife and I are in the early planning stages of a trip to Fontanarosa, the town in Italy where my family comes from. I am told we might still have a relative there who became a priest. Imagine that? Someone from my family ending up a priest.

What could you do to breathe more deeply today? Get a bottle of oxygen and a straw!

Complete this sentence:  This creamy peanut butter sandwich could really use some …chunks of peanuts and a banana! The only real peanut butter has chunks. And the only real peanut butter sandwich needs a banana!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Last week I ended up pretty sick and had to remain housebound for two and a half days. I was so whiny that I think my wife divorced me, I’m not sure. I haven’t seen much of her lately. But by Sunday afternoon, I felt much better and we went for a five hour drive. Next weekend we are going to explore more thoroughly, the area we discovered.

OK, so there you have it, my answers to Cee’s Share Your World for this week. Please visit her website to read what others have to say about peanut butter sandwiches. Maybe you’ll find a great new combination.