Project 2025.

I am generally avoiding news and posts and social media updates around political discourse during this Presidential election season. It’s not because I’m indifferent to the subject. I am very much aware of what can happen if Trump is elected to office again. No, I’m avoiding the subject online to maintain my personal sanity. My head is not in the sand; my mind is very much made up.

For those not aware, ultra conservative groups (I hesitate to call them “think tanks” and the like) have banded together to formulate a Day One plan should Trump be elected to the White House again. This plan is called “Project 2025” and it is horrifyingly alarming. Some high points:

  • Reclassify thousands of government jobs as political appointees, instead of designating them as a civil service positions. If they’re political appointees, Trump would insist they be loyal to him
  • Dismantling key governmental agencies, for example, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), because they’re “pushing the climate change agenda”
  • Other agencies on the dismantled list would include the Department of Education

I’m not a huge fan of John Oliver, but his recent coverage of “Project 2025” is enlightening. Take a few moments to watch this clip. I hope I don’t have to tell you that another Trump presidential administration would be a very bad idea.

Early Monsoon.

Mother Nature seems to be in a feisty mood again this week. After some impressive monsoon rains this past weekend, it looks like she’s going to continue her fun for the next few days.

Tucson is under the “Heavy Rain/Flash Flooding Possible” red zone in today’s forecast from the NOAA WPC or Weather Prediction Center. Maybe I’ll get some good lightning shots after work tonight.

Hiking Mount Lemmon: Aspen Draw-Aspen-Marshall Gulch Trails.

Here’s my latest hiking video! This weekend I hiked up from Summerhaven again. I hiked the Aspen Draw trail again, but then went down the other side of the ridge along the Aspen and Marshall Gulch Trails. This was a fun point-to-point hike as Earl was waiting for me at the Marshall Gulch Picnic Area.

I’m trying to get these videos out there simply because I like sharing my adventures and I hope viewers enjoy the experience as much as I do. If you know someone that may enjoy, please send them to my channel!


Truman has been very intent on keeping track of the visitors around the house. I know he’s itching to get outside, but that would be very dangerous for a guy like him in a desert like this.


I’ve never been a huge “Wheel of Fortune” fan, but I do hearken back to the days when Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford shared the stage, the winning contestants bought items on a shopping spree, and the remaining balance was either used “on account” or on toward a gift certificate.

Here’s an episode of the original “Wheel of Fortune” from 1980. Many of the episodes were taped over when they reused the video tapes; yay for the rich people that had VCRs back in 1980.


A couple of years ago we had a contracting company build what we can the “amphitheater” in our back yard. This area is about 10 feet below ground level and overlooks the wash that crosses our property in the back. The space has been quite enjoyable, though dusty because we had them install hard packed dirt and sand as the “floor”.

We decided to finish the space off and this week the contractors completed the work. The amphitheater now features paver stones in desert colors, making the area even more enjoyable.

Earl now has a relatively secluded place to relax on a beautiful day in the desert.


I’ve been trying a new application for iPhone. It’s called Endel, and it’s suppose to help me find peace, happiness, tranquility, and productivity. So far, so good. I’m impressed by the quality of their soundscapes. The UI isn’t too bad, though there are a few quirks I’m still figuring out. For example, if I need to dump out of a session early I’d like it to fade out instead of just coming to a jarring halt when I hit the pause button.

The UI is interesting as well, in its primarily black and while approach to art. I find this graphic a little creepy looking, though I suppose to intent is friendliness.

Overall I’m pleased with the experience. I’ll see how I feel after the trial period has come to an end.


When I’m out hiking on my weekend hike I often spend much of the experience in contemplation. My thoughts are usually tickling at Warp 10, going everywhere possible at once, but then I ramp it back a bit and I just think about an assortment of topics at any given moment. Out in nature is really a good place for me to get things back into perspective, and I usually feel the better for it when I get back home.

This is in addition to planning, filming, and producing (at least in my head) a video of the hiking experience of the moment.

One of my constant struggles is settling down on my approach to technology to something That Just Works, which is difficult, because we all know there’s very little in today’s world of technology That Just Works. Heck, we can’t even reliably count on a new dishwasher to do its thing for more than a year or two. I miss the days when a computer would just do what we wanted it to do without allegedly trying to think for me. I want my computer to be a reliable tool, not something that constantly requires engagement in fake conversation.

Yes, “A.I.” is cool, but it doesn’t need to be in everything.

As I struggle with however I want to be productive, namely around using software to track all the things that are floating around in my head, I end up switching between methods way too often. I’ve talked about this a lot on this blog. You should see how much the topic comes up in my personal journal!

The only way I’ve been able to keep this under control is by reviewing my personal goals every morning. What do I need to do to reach my personal goals, or at the very least, inch in the proper direction toward those goals.

Anyone reading this entry probably sees this as common sense and something they don’t even think about on a daily basis. Me? It’s just one of the many items floating around my head at any given moment.

No wonder my ears pop so much.


SpaceX launched a payload of Startlink satellites on a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Station tonight. Even though we live 650 miles away, we get a fantastic view of this sort of thing.

I think it’s awesome.

I’m not really a fan of polluting Low Earth Orbit with a bunch of satellites, but I appreciate the technology behind the effort. I wish we could use this tech to do some growing as a species and move away from the commercialism of it all.

The sight is still quite impressive.

Influencing Truth.

Dave over at Blogography recently featured a YouTube video by an astute observer who points out the fibs, deceptions, and lies found in many YouTube Influencer videos. If you have 38 minutes and feel invested in the topic, here’s the video:

The video highlights all sorts of things, like illogical positions of the sun in the sky relative to the supposed time the video is being recorded, inflated rankings in marathons, and inattention to details like digital clocks showing the real time, etc. This woman has the receipts. You’ll see those too.

Influencer culture is rather gross. It’s an extension of the Reality TV generation conflated with rampant consumerism where you should buy what these influencers are saying you should buy. Their lifestyles are amazing because their videos show just amazing they are. But they’re not.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to get more people to notice my little videos about hiking, storm chasing, and aviation. Honestly, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of interest. Maybe I should just admit that I’m a boring middle aged man. I’m going to keep making my videos because I enjoy the creative outlet, but I’m realizing I’m doing one thing very wrong.

I’m being truthful. The truth does not begat engagement.

During the storm chasing trip I featured a segment in one of my videos where I show myself in the shower, getting ready for the day, checking out weather websites, etc. Being the “Bewitched” nut that I am, there are a couple of little “witchcraft” segments where I pop on my shoes and magically change my shirt. I’m here to admit right now: those two little scenes were staged. But me getting out of the shower? I put the camera up before I got in the shower, took my whole shower, and then the camera captured me getting out of the shower. Same with the shaving, and the brushing of the teeth, and the packing up my belongings to vacate the hotel room.

Note that at no time did I show a shot of me getting out of bed. Because I was traveling solo, there was no one there to film me getting out of bed and I wasn’t about to set up the camera, set the alarm clock back, get back in bed, wait for the alarm, then get out of bed, and fake waking up. I’ve told many tall tales in my life, but that poor habit was solidly in my youth and something I quickly grew out of. I can’t bring myself to “Survivor” or “Big Brother” my way through the day, taking multiple cuts of the same shot to pick the perfect shot. Maybe it comes from my days of radio, but I tend to grab things live.

Yes, there are times when I’ll say the same phrase multiple times because I stumbled over my words while talking to the camera. Yes, I will hike up a trail, put up the camera, go back down the hill, hike up the hill again, and then grab the camera after I passed by, so I have a shot of me hiking up the hill. I’m actually doing twice the hike for those shots. But I’m not going to be claiming it’s before dawn with the sun beating down on me, or bound out of bed with a sure shot of energy when I’ve already gotten out of bed, set up everything, gone back to bed, and done it for real.

I do my best to represent who I am, where I am, and what I’m doing. And apparently that does not please the YouTube algorithms. OK, fine. Then it’s no engagement numbers for me.

We all know Influencer Culture, and those embroiled in that scene, are tacky. I like to think that some of them are doing it for the creative outlet, much like I do with my videos, but for the most part, they’re there to make money off residuals from you buying what they’re selling.

I guess there’s not enough money in selling the truth.