The convos @bryanalexander started over in that blue bird place made me open up this account after a while. Howdy.

Not even a story as much a joy of being able to relax in the home of @katebowles w/o an agenda for 4 days, wander a fairly empty beach 16000 km from home, and have have a host slightly worried when the 45 minute walk tool 2 hours.

Just to shatter an illusions of Arizona as being only desert, here's a view from underneath those red maples, plus being dwarfed by the aspen in Flagstaff

Today's walk, second very unusual grey cloudy day in northern Arizona.

Then something weird happened.

Water started falling from the sky. One burst for a minute a second for about five.

And then...

A bright flash.

Followed by a huge boom of thunder that sustained continuous rumbling overhead for at least 25 seconds.

This pic was pink sunset glow over Strawberry Mtn last night, boosted w/ HDR. That tiny red dot is a patch of red canyon maple, I stood there Sunday.

In addition there are a lot of _____ Tommy people in town.

Barkeep Tommy, well you know what she does. Bicycle Tommy? doesn't seem to work, he just circles his bike around the parking lot til Barkeep Tommy opens the door.

When I moved in I hired Cowboy Tommy to cut down some dead trees. He was the real deal, a trail rider.

Give me 10 more years here and I will be Web Guy Tommy?

I've decided to rename Louthian Drive to be "Steve Street" a street in my neighborhood with 17 homes on it, 3 of them I know for sure are inhabited by men named Steve.

I only know maybe half the residents, so I bet there are more Steves lurking in those houses.


Watch out for them.

I miss Wayne.

An ideal neighbor, age and health kept him down in the valley in winter. He had tons of stories of this place, rendered opinions on everything with a straight out of "Fargo" North Dakota accent, plus a contagious self-laugh.

The people who bought his house did a lot of reno. They drive tinted window SUVs and wave only some of the time. They are here weekends, often different vehicles. Shades are always drawn tight and few lights are on.

I think they are devil worshippers.

Since adopting my dog Felix, walking several times a day, I've easily tripled the neighbors I know by name and chat with.

Something about a [friendly] dog makes it much easier. I respect you cat lovers, but I don't see many people out there walking their cats, nor any cats eager to jump up and kiss you or go madly chasing a ball.

As screwed up as the world seems, having the right dog puts it all in place,

Two nights ago my dog walk was a bit late. With minimal disk left, we were perched on crossing a wild, overgrown ditch (with a path) that connects to my street.

We listened the local fire department siren going off.

This was then echoed by mimicking coyotes, a normal sound, but usually coming from the hills outside of town.

These yips were coming from just up the ditch we had to cross, maybe 200 yards away.

We crossed, making loud "WE ARE LARGE: stomping sound.

Home safe.

Sorry Mastodon, we forgot about you. Then got bored and wondered, what are they all tooting about? Then a squirrel ran past.

@katebowles @Tdorey that won't happen in this or any other social media stream. A 6 year old blog post about the stories of my cousin's life growing up as part of a high dive act in the 1940 is found for 3rd time by someone who knew cousin Lorrie. And I am able to connect.

This is what blogs do, as old and creaky and antiquated as people make them out to be

Cacti in the forest are strange enough, but then again not, as in this part of northern Arizona all are adaptations to varying seasons of limited water. Strike your visions of desert as sand dune piles. They are lush.

But behold the surprise when a cactus is not just a prickly fella, but one bearing, for a short while, bouquets.

All still part of the life cycle, draw bees, pass on pollen, germinate, reseed.

The Innocuous ones emerge from terrible red sandy soil,flowing down a washed out jeep trail. A lupine carpet explodes; no one notices. I wait for pods to open, collect seeds for next year.

And like clockwork I forget to plant in the fall. I can't convince them to grow in my yard. Oh well.

FWIW I met Dave Lane a tech guru from New Zealand who is ready to release soon an "easy" guide for installing Mastodon instances.

He said he has done a handful already

From it's creator on closing of the story community

"And yet, since 2012, many things have changed. We’ve come to realize how addictive digital technologies can be — how, by attempting to connect us, they often end up creating further isolation, trapping us in so-called filter bubbles, hypnotized by glowing rectangles, and disconnected from life"

I'm haunted by that description

But I did want to share that seeing @Tdorey set up her site got me inspired to create my own SPLOT driven activist site-- just out of the easy bake oven is intended to collect stories of people who's lives might be upturned with repeal of the ACA

If you know anyone in the situation, please arm twist them to add a story

Warming up my Tooter in case I pop in for the party. I have some crusty old notifications.

If you don't TOOT! much, well no one toots back.

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