I'm all for a national mask mandate. Look, I hate wearing the things as much as anyone, but wearing them (along with a proven vaccine that reaches 90% of the population) is the only way we're going to make it through this.

So do your part. And remember…masks can be very sexy.

Road Trip!

I didn't get a single thing accomplished that I had intended to this past weekend.

The house is a disaster. The floors need to be mopped, the rugs vacuumed, the refrigerator needs hazmat containment, you can write your name in the dust that's accumulated on every horizontal surface… and don't even ask about the bathroom. I used to keep my abode looking like a model home, but that ship sailed years ago.

So what did I do? Well, Saturday morning I started importing all my personal photos into Photos. (Yeah, yeah, I know.) I never found the app particularly useful or intuitive, even after realizing it's nothing more than a big database much like iTunes that doesn't care where the originals live or how they're organized. It wasn't until I saw this video that its usefulness became more apparent (although I still rely on Adobe Bridge for my basic cataloging and organizing).

That being said, I soon realized that (a) I had hundreds of photos that I've never shared with anyone, and (b) I really needed to get out and start making new ones. Soon the bug to do just that was aflame, and I seriously thought about just getting in the car and heading northeast. One little project I wanted to do was to recreate with Rabbit some of the glamour shots I'd made of Anderson the first year of owning him as well as some other then/now comparisons from my various trips to "the rim" and back. Ben was out for the afternoon, and I really needed some non-work-related Mark alone time, but I soon realized that actually getting to those locations was going to take far longer than just a couple hours, and disappointment set in when I realized the lighting would be all wrong and I wouldn't get back home until well after dark.

I mentioned this to Ben after he got home and he suggested we make the road trip on Sunday, leaving early and making a day of it.

So that's what we did.

Road Trip!

I stupidly did not bring copies of the photos I wanted to recreate, but I still managed a reasonably good job of remembering where they were shot

Beeline Highway, 2004
Beeline Highway, 2020

Close enough, considering the increasing "Glitch in the Matrix" memory moments I've been having.

Remember, black is slimming.

We stopped in Payson and visited the local Walmart. (It's a personal inside joke that it wouldn't be a road trip if we didn't hit a Walmart.) But there was a reason: toilet paper. Yes, there's apparently another shortage going on and we were down to our last two rolls with all the local stores sold out. We had good luck finding paper towels in Payson during the last shortage, so we thought it wouldn't hurt to give it another shot since we were there anyway. We hit pay dirt.

After traveling east and then having lunch in Show Low, we headed south toward our next photographic destination: Corduroy Creek Canyon (34°2.519'N, 110°13.66066'W):

Anderson, 2007
Rabbit, 2020

Again, the angle's a little off, and I think I was further down the incline when I shot the photo back in 2007, but still not bad considering it was all from memory.

I will say that particular spot (it's classified as a brake check area) has gone to hell. I don't know if the ADOT just hasn't been through to pick up trash or if they've just given up on it, but the place is now littered the garbage.

The canyon, however, remains spectacular:

I worry when he gets so close to the edge…

Our final stop was the Seneca Lake Ghost Town (33°45.7785'N, 110°30.71133'W), a curious little place I stumbled across back in 2007 on one of my initial adventures with Anderson.

Anderson, 2007
Rabbit, 2020

It would've been nice to wander a bit and take additional photos, but we encountered a recently posted "KEEP OUT" sign indicating that access has been rescinded to everyone, including permit holders. We noticed someone else wandering the ruins, but not wanting to run afoul of Tribal authorities, we decided to call it a day and head home.

If I undertake this little adventure again—and I'm sure I will because I want the shots to be identical—I'll be sure and bring the original photos with me and do it on the same day of the year (or at least close to it). Because I'm anal that way.

And use my DSLR, not my iPhone to take the photos.

As good as iPhone cameras have gotten over the years, it's obvious to me after looking through my old photos taken with my DSLR that Apple still has a long way to go. Obviously pixel count isn't everything, and the photos I took with my DSLR, while being only 10.2MP, are far and away still better quality than what I'm getting with my iPhone12's 12MP…at least for the "serious" photography I'm itching to do. (It's the size of the sensor that counts.)

Now all I have to do is (find and) pull my DSLR out of storage…

Flashback Friday

El Torero Restaurant, Tucson AZ, June 2007

I've been going here since I was in college, and even though I haven't lived in Tucson since 1985, it's always a must-stop location for dining whenever I'm in town.

Now I want some patty tacos.

Liberating Arrakis

Let's hope it works out better for House Biden in the long run than it did for the  Atreides…

But seriously, do you remember the scene where Thufir Hawat was in a panic because they kept discovering hidden listening devices? That came to mind last night as I was mulling the Bidens moving into the White House. But you've got to figure that the place will be swept for Russian listening devices after Trump is dragged out…right?

And Trump, being the man-baby narcissist he is, will undoubtedly trash as much as he can on his way out the door. "If I can't have it, NO ONE will!" It's already been confirmed by multiple sources that he's doing as much to fuck up  international relations as possible in hopes of confounding Biden.

Trouble is, Trump has no idea who he's messing with. Biden's team is playing four-dimensional chess, while Trump is simply taking sitting on a checkerboard taking a shit.

I also recommend that the Secret Service pat down Lady Be Best for the house silver, because you know that crime family is going to attempt to steal anything that isn't nailed down.

And lastly, please replace ALL the mattresses in the White House before anyone from Biden's team sleeps there. You know they're urine soaked…

Fuck This Guy

I couldn't have said it better myself.

From Greg Fallis:

This guy, I declare. This whiny, small-minded, pissy-pants guy. This privileged, lying, unworthy, lazy, ignorant guy. This vindictive, self-pitying, arrogant, despicable guy. This conceited, fuck-witted, always complaining, cowardly guy. This sour-souled, slack-eyed, gorbellied, muddle-headed guy. The fucking guy is still insisting he won the election.

I am SO sick of this guy. I’m sick of hearing his voice — his griping, carping, sneering voice. I’m sick of hearing his name and seeing it on everything from buildings to flags to signs. I’m sick of his hideous presence on television, which he haunts like some gross and malevolent spectre. I’m sick of his ridiculous hair. I’m sick of seeing his face — his slack-eyed, flaccid, pouty-mouthed, jaundiced face. I’m sick of knowing he even fucking exists. I’m SO goddamned sick of him.

I’m sick of his appallingly ignorant and loathsome adult children. I’m sick of his wife. I’m sick of ALL of his wives. I’m sick of his democracy-hating sycophants in the Senate. I’m sick of his ass-licking toadies in the House of Representatives. I’m sick of all his groveling and cringing ‘news personalities’ on television and in the newspapers. I’m sick of his apologists and enablers. I’m completely sick of his fawning, eyelash-batting, lickspittle Press Secretary. I’m sick of every single goddamned person in his easily-replaced, unprofessional, ill-equipped, odious, merry-go-round of a Cabinet.

Fuck this guy. Fuck everybody in his orbit. Fuck everybody who volunteered to work for him. Fuck everybody who campaigned for him. Fuck everybody who planted one of his yard signs in their yard. Fuck everybody who bought and flew one of his godawful flags. Fuck the people who made and sold the flags. Fuck everybody who voted for him. Seriously, just fuck this guy.

There. I needed that. I feel better now. Normally I read the news in the morning, then think about it for a while, calmly and objectively, before I say or write anything. But this morning that I WON THE ELECTION tweet just flat out pissed me off. It’s a bright sunny day and I didn’t want to let this fucking guy ruin it. So I decided to vent. Get the ugly shit out of my system. Now I can get on with my day and be happy and have fun.