Attitude to live by

In our youth most of us tend to take life for granted. We’re young and we feel invincible so we don’t give a thought about what’s around us even care much about tomorrow. We figure tomorrow will be the same as today, it will take care of itself. Then again many of us are always thinking about tomorrow and planning accordingly.

As we go through life too many of us don’t take time to take in the beauty of nature all around us. By that I mean the simple things like catching a sunrise or beautiful sunset, beautiful blooming flowers and animals in all their splendor.

Ah yes there are those of you photographers out there that are well aware of all these things and have the proof to show for it. I wish I would have been more aware when I was younger because life was simpler then. Things were straight forward then things were no where close to as complicated as they are today.

I mentioned this in a blog a few years ago that we need to stop and smell the roses, a song from back in those days that’s more appropriate today than ever. In addition, remember to enjoy life, have fun, take time to do the things that you love.

One foggy night before Christmas

Fog is extremely rare in Arizona because of the arid, dry climate. But the couple storms that came through this month had an effect. Phoenix had a snow equivalent hailstorm in December and November was much colder than normal.

Most of you see fog and or rain regularly but rain is a welcome relief here because we’ve been in a 30-year-drought. You know how driving in the snow is a slippery experience well during the summer monsoons the heat makes the asphalt slick when combined with rain it’s like winter advisory driving. Northern Arizona is much cooler than metropolitan Phoenix and Prescott got 10 inches of snow over Thanksgiving- a real advisory. Winter is here.

Christmas is only a week away, the stores are busy and Christmas spirit and lights are everywhere you go. But if you experience all the seasons you are well aware of that. Soon it will be Christmas Day and judging from what we’ve seen so far it may be another year for Santa to let Rudolph lead the way.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

There’s a lot to be thankful for

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day and many of us congratulated those in or have been in service for preserving our freedom. I guarantee you that you had ancestors that fought in wars for our freedom, we all have.

The general attitude by Americans today isn’t thankful. If it was there wouldn’t be protests all over the country, there wouldn’t fighting, bickering and hate being displayed. This isn’t a new development but it has escalated over the past ten years.

No doubt you have seen the Thanksgiving merchandise and of course Christmas is already on display. It is sad to see the “Golden Rule” of treating others as you would like to be treated is all too often ignored. This Thanksgiving be truly thankful for the food on the table roof over your head and more. If you do Christmas will have a deeper meaning than before.

Oktoberfest

I wish I could attend the Oktoberfest in Germany. I’m sure it would be as wonderful as I ever thought it would be. German beers are unlike others because beer is part of the German culture.

Their beer is brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot, which permits only water, hops, and malt as ingredients and stipulates that beers not exclusively using barley-malt such as wheat beer must be top-fermented. For most of us that might as well be in Greek.

Anyway October brings cooler temperatures in Arizona and of course Halloween. If you are flying during Halloween it’s a wonder to see all the decorations from the air. Whats even more amazing is how many more lights you see during Christmas season.

Blast from the past

Last week I was in New Mexico and once again I had lunch at the 66 Diner on Central Avenue. Here I had a Malted milk shake, in other words a chocolate malt not a shake and it came with the steel container they make it in. It amazes me how the ice cream stays frozen in the metal mixing canister.

The “50’s” restaurant is on the historic route 66 that was constructed in the 1920’s and connected Chicago to Los Angeles. Everything in the restaurant is authentic from the 1950’s and possibly earlier.

Anybody looking for a blast from the past (the movie starring Brendan Fraser) should check out a “50’s” diner or malt shop as they were called. Most places do a great job at capturing the place in time.

Turn the page

Turn the page has been acclaimed as one of Bob Seger’s best songs. It’s about life on the road. Here I want to talk about the road of life and how today contrasts to the past.

The picture above was taken of a stagecoach in the vestibule of bank in Las Cruses, New Mexico. The stagecoach back in the 1800’s was comparable to a bus, cab or Uber today. But not everyone could afford to ride in a stagecoach so it maybe better compared to a limousine of course the stagecoach didn’t have air, shocks and bandits raided more than less of the time.

I watched a few westerns this weekend and saw stagecoaches among other things. If you ever get to Arizona you can see a piece of history right out of the 3:10 to Yuma movie. The Yuma Territorial Prison is now a museum and you can see the rooms were very small, no facilities, windows, fans, and of course no air conditioning. Prisons today are luxury suites by comparison.

When you were a kid

Do you remember as far back as kindergarten? I’m sure you remember the movie Kindergarten cop starring Arnold Schwarzenegger do think those kids typify kids that age then, now or when you were a kid?

I taught Sunday School kindergarten about the time the movie was filmed and I can say I had some kids that were spot on to the ones in the movie. In particular we had a princess like one in the film. And I learned early on not to leave the room unattended.

I recall my kindergarten days as my first close encounter with kids I didn’t know, my first group environment, nap-time and I loved the chocolate milk. It was a good preparation for grade school.

The film was shot in Astoria, Oregon where a number of other films were done on location over the years. We were there this year for vacation, Astoria has great architecture, an old town close community feeling and of course the ships coming in for loading products like tuna etc. If you ever make it up to the great northwest look it up.

Design is Everything

The very profound statement above is on the outside of the building of an Architect I know. It’s true all you have to do is look at history and architecture tells the story of the time. The architecture reflects the heart and soul of the people not just through shelter, peace but reveals their spirit.

Architectural design isn’t the only kind of design. I also work with interior designers and their design often not only makes a statement sometimes it screams their point. Design is in nearly everything. Cars, clothes, homes, basic things in nature like a snowflake for example. No two snowflakes are exactly alike in design. Speaking of snow did you see Colorado got snow again just the other day?

Mother nature is amazing. I mean why is it that we find our world in its raw unaltered state is so beautiful and amazing? Take the wonders of the world for example, true some of them are man-made but the Grand Canyon is just that a grand thing to behold. Here we are on planet earth so why is it that we find all we know about other planets to be so undesirable?

I’m just saying take time out of your busy schedule to stop and smell the roses. Take in all the beauty you can if you don’t someday it may be too late.

Independence

All too many Americans take our freedom and independence for granted. This holiday people will perhaps give a thought to what it really means to be free. Yesterday I met with an architect that told me about his recent trip to Havana, Cuba. He said it was a real eye opener for him.

Yes, about 80% of the cars are from the 1950’s but that’s because the country is stuck in that time period. Of course you know its a Socialist country and many of the people work in the government. It was shocking to hear that the average take home pay per week regardless of your vocation was $25. How would you make ends meet with $25?

When you change your currency over to the “tourist” cash which has buildings pictured on it you lose 15%. Now the locals are paid with their own currency with pictures of their leaders and it’s worth less than the tourist money.

I’ve been doing some research on my ancestors and I’m glad to say I’ve found many of my great grandfathers fought in the Revolutionary War. I also have grandfathers that fought in the World Wars and grandmothers that pitched in at home. I’m also thankful for my relatives and uncles that were in the armed forces at other times.

When I saw this plane right here in town I had to snap a picture for it reminded me of one uncle that was in the Air force in the Black Forest in Germany and lives on the west coast as was another that was stationed in Guam. Thank all you veterans that have and are serving our country.

Retro look part 2

Who hasn’t visited a “50” diner? I am amazed that these are still flourishing. The tables, booths and accessories reflect the era where America started to travel coast to coast. Along Route 66 you will find even more as the famous cross-country highway boasts it’s past. Blast from the past music.

I was a representative for Formica for years and Formica still has the “boomerang” pattern that graced those diners in the 1950’s. This pattern was revolutionary at the time and Formica paid a famous Industrial Engineer a $1 million retainer to develop this design. At the time it was available in a dozen colors but these days it’s only a couple of offerings.

The flooring was tile and often featured a black and white pattern while the tables had a metal edge. Today the edge is strictly for looks but back in the day the edge was functional for the Formica adhesives were not as advanced as today and would let go allowing the edges to curl up.

More history to come.