Safe Holiday travels

Once again the holiday season is upon us. The stores have been decked out in some cases for months already and this year it seems many homes are already set aglow. When you speak of the holidays you are reminded that it’s a time for friends and family with an emphasis on family.

Thanksgiving, actually the day before is the most traveled day of the year but others like Christmas are still on the horizon. As we plot out our trips to see relatives often times around the country we schedule one-way trips to get it done. Depending on the number of relatives and locations we can have a couple or a few one-way flights and/or car rentals.

Round trips are easy in comparison to one-way trips. Airlines typically charge more for one-way flights and car companies always jump at the chance to make more money. In scheduling one-way flights be sure to plan for extra time going through security as the TSA gives out the most pre-checks on round-trips.

Safety is key in your travels and in your journeys be sure to check for your personal possessions as you exit the plane or car as it will be nearly a miracle to find lost phones, wallets and the like later. Have a blessed holiday season and a very Happy New Year!

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Setting a scene

Television and movies directors spend a great deal of time in the setting of a scene.  Of course, scenes vary from the tame and docile to the exciting and frantic spectrums. It’s not uncommon for the opening scene in a television show or a movie to start out peaceful and quiet. But particularly today’s action movies start out with fast-paced conflict and struggles. Box office numbers revealed that high-speed action captures the audience early on and holds their attention.

The same principles apply to posting on the internet. Sure most everybody likes the classic piano playing cat video but thrilling action catches the viewers attention. Does your story need fast-action appeal for a kickstart? That is up to you and whether the action fits in with your storyline.

As the writer only you know how and where the scenes play out in your production. Is a rock-n-roll beginning the best way to begin your story? Then again perhaps your storyline is more of a waltz or something that builds a crescendo into a fever pitch. Whatever your theme is, be sure to use the appropriate direction as the director.

Pictures are priceless

We’ve all seen the different Mastercard commercials over the years listing several different items and their corresponding prices with the last one being “priceless“. Since pictures speak a thousand words some are often viewed as priceless.

I grew up in the midwest so when someone mentioned the desert and the Arizona territory I thought of sand and yes I also pictured the Saguaro cactus as pictured in the photo. The Saguaro pronounced [suh-gwahr-oh] is the one that we all grew up seeing in the cowboy movies.

The interesting thing about this cactus is it sprouts the arms sometime after it’s 200th birthday! So all the really tall ones are hundreds of years old. Arizona is really the only place where you will find this special cactus. Why? because it only survives in this particular climate. For years people were coming and stealing these magnificent creations in the middle of the night many times bringing them to California where they died.

Now there are federal laws against taking saguaros and each has been tagged by the BLM so they’re trackable. One last thing the Arizona state bird the cactus wren typically lives inside saguaros. Many of the holes in the cacti are from the birds then again many others were from those Cowboys back in the 1800’s with their 44’s.

Gateway to America

It’s widely accepted that the huge arch in St. Louis, Missouri is the gateway to the west. That being a fact and said, I just returned from a quick trip to the Utah mountains. The Wasatch Range of which we spent a majority of our time is the western edge of the Rockies. Mount Nebo at 11,928 feet is over two miles high and is the highest peak of the Wasatch that stretches into Idaho. This is a high, daunting, beautiful gateway to the greater northwest territory. I felt I was on the Top of the world looking down on creation.

After you cross this range you drop into Salt Lake City which is a huge valley much like Phoenix. It’s also the second most arid state after Nevada. Amazingly all 29 of Utah’s counties have mountains. That’s rough country.

There are almost countless canyons across the state that offer breathtaking views and can actually take your breath away because of the thin air. That doesn’t stop the hard-core bicyclists that climb these ascents constantly during the summer months.

Park City is in the Wasatch mountain range featured the 2002 winter Olympics and you can see the Olympic park from highway 224 which is maybe 10 minutes from town. The town is a huge ski destination but originally in the 1800’s was then known as the silver mining town.

Overview, observe, associate, friend, and family

Degrees of involvement. Whew! We have plenty of degrees adding up in Phoenix this year. Yesterday and today it’s been a record-setting, scorching 119 degrees. Times like this we recall all the beautiful 70 degrees outdoor Christmas parties. At the same time, friends and relatives in the Midwest were enduring a 15 below zero stretch with frigid wind chill factors. Thoughts like that are typically an overview or an observation at least on Facebook.

More personal involvements are the associates you work with and friends whom you really empathize with. Deeper still are family and close immediate family. They are the ones that you have known all of your life. They have been through the thick and thin of life, they’re your loved ones.

Everyone goes through thinning of the ranks of loved ones. But really, regardless of your disposition, it draws you closer to the remaining members. My sister who lived in the frozen tundra for most of her life moved to Arizona during the holidays in 2015. Because I had moved out of state or because she resided hours away -I’ve only seen her for a small fraction of my life.

This has been the biggest regret for me because aside from my wife she is the kindest most benevolent soul I have to ever know. Should she have a problem, would I meddle in her life? Not exactly, but I would aid and support her to rise above it. The Hollies said it best in “He ain’t heavy he’s my brother.” In this case, she’s my sister. It’s a long, long road, while we’re on the way to there we should share some time.

Can it always get better?

What can be better than just that for the Daily Post word? The term brings to mind for me the film As good as it gets, starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear and an all-star cast. That poses the question how often are things as good as it gets? How often can they be better?

Generally speaking when we’re trying to improve on something we’re working to get better at it. Let’s look back at Hollywood for a moment. When we see a movie the audience is typically moved by the performances but when it comes to the critics that may not be the story.  We sometimes think, did they see the same picture that we did? We loved it yet they gave it a very poor review sometimes with only one star. The critics thought the movie could have been better.

As ratings go there’s poor, good, better and best. As movies go opinions vary upon who you ask. The same is with people. Some think that someone is better than another or anyone else in some cases. For those that believe in God or a Supreme Being the deity sees all are the same in their eyes, it’s up to them to judge. The same God has provided values for us to go by. The evil perpetrators are just that. But those of us who think we’re better than the other should look at themselves first.  I’m impressed with Values.com.

Take this picture for example. It’s of the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff, Arizona. The picture could be much better if it were zoomed in on the mountains. The picture was taken about six weeks ago and not only did the Peaks have snow but the Arizona snow bowl was still open for skiing. The Navajo nation’s term for these peaks means “peak that never thaws”. Yesterday we had our hottest day this year of 108 degrees. I know some of that snow is gone but it remains 30 to 50 degrees cooler than Phoenix year round. Flagstaff is over 7,000 feet in elevation, the peaks are the highest point in the state at over 12,600 feet. Surprised?

 

Arid desert alive and well

Years ago I used to listen to my favorite sports team live from Arizona. I heard all the fans cheering on their team and I thought I can’t image that many people down there j the desert. I thought how and why would they live there. It had to be hot, dry and awful in that arid climate without water.

Now after living here for over 20 years, I’ve learned to appreciate the desert. We may be in the middle of a 20-year drought but lately, we’ve been blessed with an unusual amount of rainfall. The desert has plenty of greenery, the only downside being we‘re going to have a bumper crop of tumbleweeds this summer. It’s amazing how those sagebrush grow every year and uproot travel with the wind coming to rest in a fence and sometimes the grille of your vehicle.

Every year people migrate to the southwest, some for vacation, like the snowbirds that are everywhere now. Others are told to move here in the arid climate for health reasons. Subsequently, the growth has presented new problems with not enough water to support the population. The primary source of water is the mighty Colorado river, its blessings of rainfall that renews our hope for tomorrow.

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Winter weather abounds including Washington

On the Inauguration Day of the 45th President of the United States, a winter storm gripped most of the country. The storm spread from coast to coast and was present from the north to the south borders with travelers advisories in effect. Depending on what part of the country you live in exposure to the weather can be a little uncomfortable to extremely dangerous being exposed to the elements, snow and cold temperatures.

The national weather service has also said there are three storms sweeping across the nation back to back. Looking back at Washington D.C. the rain affected those attending the Inauguration but the depressing scene was all the violent demonstrators that smashed shops and cars only a mile away. At least 95 were arrested. By contrast, when the 44th president was sworn in there wasn’t a single infraction. Apparently, that’s the disposition of the haters as they did the same thing when their candidate of choice lost last November.

Adverse weather can affect one’s temperament. In this case, the demonstrators’ temperature of their temperament was already angry based on their actions. The new President took time out of his schedule to visit the Arlington Cemetary to lay a wreath on the “tomb of the unknown soldier”. Patriotism has been slipping away in America. Acts like this are not only admirable to US citizens and the military but other countries see a renewed Patriotic interest on display by our new President.

Eight years ago, those that voted for a new hope may not be the ones believing their hope is at hand but most of Americans do as evidenced by this past election. Before he was even close to taking office the President-Elect did a number of things to save American jobs and bolster the economy. That’s hope you can get behind, someone that takes an initiative to get it done. We need a leader, one that stands up to the corruption that has taken over Washington. So far, it looks like we have someone that America can get behind and earn the respect back on the world stage.

Keep warm and warm wishes to you from Arizona.

Daily Post