October 2021


There are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on this blue marble we call Earth. I choose to never forget this fact. It keeps me humble. Our moment in this life is fleeting, nothing more than a flash. After the last breath, my only hope is I am remembered with a smile.

Photos taken tonight at 7:00 PM MST from four miles up Mount Lemmon with my iPhone 13 Pro laying on a steady spot. No flash, no zoom, no special equipment. Keep it simple.

Back At It.

We haven’t been to an Apple store since pre-pandemic times. When we lived in Chicago I always enjoyed stopping by the area Apple stores, especially the flagship store on Michigan Avenue. The vibe is always good, and the Michigan Avenue store had a nice “stadium” area where you could partake in “Today at Apple” and the like.

I’m in the mood for an upgrade to my Apple Watch Series 3 (from the original release), so we went to the Apple Store here in Tucson to take a look and see what they had in stock. Short version: I’m ordering my new watch online.

The Apple Store in Tucson is located in the La Encantada shopping “mall” in the foothills. I love outdoor shopping areas like this, something that would never work up north because of winter. Now that I think about it, there is an outdoor mall with an Apple store outside of Chicago, but I always went there in the summer.

La Encantada is where the luxury brands are located for the local populace and the facility is very nice. It was fairly busy when we were there; the Apple store was by far the busiest of the retailers.

Mask use was encouraged but not mandatory in the majority of retail outlets. In our travels, the only place where masks were absolutely required (with two security guards making sure everyone complied) was the Apple store itself. It was crowded, and it certainly made sense to control the number of folks in the store and to require masks. We waited less than five minutes to get in.

We took our first Apple store selfie in over 18 months.

After chatting with a couple of helpful Apple people about the new MacBook Pros and the Apple Watch Series 7 that was not in stock for the configuration I was looking for, we made our way down to the North Italia restaurant at the end of the way for a leisurely lunch. We both had salads and I had a glass of wine. Our server’s name was Karen and she was very pleasant and efficient. I’m still getting used to the fact that we can dine outdoors at a restaurant in late October here in the desert. We did the same in Chicago, but it was usually quite chilly.

It was a lovely afternoon and I very much enjoyed the experience.


I took this photo by plopping my iPad against the bathroom window and hitting the shutter button. That was it.

I will never get tired of these sunsets.


Truman has been pretty chilled out. Today we bought a new harness so he could safely explore around the property with supervision. Even though the harness is a different color, it’s the exact same model we had in Chicago, and he was purring like a maniac as soon as I put it on him. When it was time to come in and I took it off, he attacked it like he always does.

He was still purring.

I snapped a photo while in his meditative state on Friday.

Night Sky.

I love the desert sky at night, especially when it’s moonless night. And the iPhone 13 Pro continues to amaze me with its night shot capabilities. These two photos were taken with me holding the camera as still as possible and a 10 second delay on the shutter. The first one was taken around 9:00 PM Mountain Standard Time, the second at 10:50 PM Mountain Standard Time. Check out the detail of the Pleiades.

I need to get the tripod out.

RIP JoAnna Cameron.

In 1975 one of my favorite shows was the latter half of “The Shazam/Isis Hour”. Hyped up on Honeycomb cereal with two extra tablespoons of sugar, all smothered with raw milk from the dairy farm down the street, my sister and I watched “The Secrets of Isis”. JoAnna Cameron was the lead as Andrea Thomas who could pull out an Egyptian amulet, face the sky, and proclaim “Oh Mighty Isis!” and turn into a superhero to save the day. Many Gen-Xers can incant, “Oh Zephyr Winds which blow on high, lift me now so I can fly.”

Ms. Cameron passed away earlier this week at age 70, after suffering from a stroke. She had retired from acting in 1980, though at one point she held the Guinness Book of World Records for having appeared in the most commercials.

RIP JoAnna Cameron. Thank you for bringing many smiles and warm memories to my life.


I am so happy to be flying again. This afternoon I flew this 1975 Piper Warrior, my first time flying a Piper Warrior. It’s basically what I’m used to but a little different. Every airplane has its own personality.

The instructor and I did 10 landings and after the first couple I was starting to “feel” the airplane. It was a lot of fun. I’m really happy to be in the air again.

The Expanse.

So last night we finished the latest season of “The Expanse”. We are now caught up with the rest of the family and we can all watch together when season six comes out at the end of the year. I’m looking forward to the next season; rumor has it this will be the last season. I hope they do the series justice.

I have to admit, season five was a little tough for us to get through. Not because of the content, but more because of the lack of content. It really felt like they were dragging out the storyline just to say 10 episodes had been produced for season five. There has been a slight degradation in the quality of the show since Amazon saved the series from cancellation at the end of season three, and I’m quite gratefully that Amazon carried on the mantel of the show. It’s just that season five took a really odd turn, and instead of being a kick-ass space opera, the storylines tended to favor “Dynasty In Space”, albeit without the shoulder pads.

There were several strong character moments in the series and I have to say that Shohreh Aghdashloo is still my favorite with her portrayal of Chrisjen Avasarala.

I realize this season might have suffered because it was filmed during the pandemic, so they had to separate as many folks as possible to avoid the whole COVID thing, but I feel like there were a few unfortunate choices made with the storyline. Someday I’m going to read the books the see how faithful the television production is to the original material.

Overall, I still enjoyed the experience and am looking forward to season six. I hope the writers are able to do it justice.

Update: so I just read on screen rant that the filming for season five completed right before lockdowns began in 2020. So, I don’t have an explanation now as to why they made creative decisions to split up the cast the way they did. Hmmm.


I can’t believe it’s been 39 years. I can easily remember my sister playing this song on the GE Wildcat record player that had made its way to her bedroom from the family room. I’d dance to this song in my room and then end up dancing with my sister in her room.

When I was a club DJ, late in the night I’d start playing “lost” tracks when the crowd was half drunk. They’d love hearing songs they hadn’t heard in years.

But in 2021 it’s been a LOT of years. From 1982, here’s Grammy award winning Melissa Manchester with “You Should Hear How She Talks About You”. (I still think music from the 80s is much better than what we have in commercial pop music today).

Summer Breeze.

Folks back east ask why we moved to the Desert Southwest. There are many reasons for our move. We are quite happy with living in Tucson and desert living is all that we thought it would be.

Being able to drive on Interstate 10 with the windows down, Yacht Rock Radio cranked, after sunset while it’s 85ºF in late October is one of the reasons we live here.

I worry I’m going to find 70ºF chilly this winter.