Cellpic Sunday – 24 February 2019

Buckeye, Arizona.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hiking the Quartz Mine Trail in Skyline Park, just a couple of miles from our winter home. Though I took some photos with my cell phone, after reviewing my collection of images, I preferred this image from one of the high points along the trail that was captured on my Samsung S7 in 2017. The large mountain peaks on the left are the Estrella Mountains and the smaller ones in the distance on the right are the Gila Mountains. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 10 February 2019

Seattle, Washington.

It’s been half a decade since we went cruising on the inside passage to Alaska’s port cities. It was August 24, 2013 when the Norwegian Pearl left the dock at Seattle and headed north for our Alaskan adventure. In less than 60 days, we will again be on an NCL ship, this time headed south from Los Angeles toward the Panama Canal. Continue reading

Pyrotechnics Guild International – Annual Fireworks Convention

West Fargo, North Dakota.

In 1999, I was introduced to what is the largest pyrotechnics displays I’ve ever seen. The story goes all the way back to 1969, however, when a group of fireworks aficionados founded Pyrotechnics Guild International, commonly known as PGI. In 1973, the group held their first convention in Grand Haven, Michigan. The convention is open to members where they can attend classes, participate in a trade show, learn the latest in fireworks safety, or have their creations in visual and physical arts exhibited and judged. The highlight of the convention for the general public, though, is the display that is open to non-members several nights during the week or so of the convention which was held this year in Mason City, Iowa in August. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 2 September 2018

Anaheim, California.

Last week, the Civil Air Patrol National Conference took us to Anaheim, California. Though our hotel was a short walk from Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom, I didn’t have any time to visit. Our hotel was located next to the Anaheim Convention Center. The classic steel and glass architecture was built in 1967 and over the years, it went through six major expansions. This entrance is flanked by a Marriott Hotel on one side and a Hilton Hotel on the other. The other entrance on Katella Avenue is directly across from the Disneyland Resort. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Colorful

This week, Tina Schell asks us to put a colorful foot forward in our challenge responses. She writes simply, “So go ahead – find some colorful captures to make us smile. ” You can read her entire challenge post here. Well, I don’t know that my challenge posts are worth smiling about, but I believe they meet the challenge of being colorful. In the opening photo, Mother Nature demonstrates how colorful she can be every autumn. The shot above was captured at Maplewood State Park in Minnesota. Continue reading

Washington DC – March 2018

Washington D.C.

As a Wing Commander in Civil Air Patrol (CAP), two of the travel duties assigned are attend the National Summer Conference and attend the Winter Command Council meeting, usually in late February or early March. The Command Council is composed of each state’s Wing Commander and Region Commanders. In addition to briefings of importance that must be shared with the membership, each wing delegation meets with every senator and representative from their respective state to brief them on activities performed by CAP in their state. As North Dakota is a small state, our visitation list is quite small, like all states, we have two senators, but we only have a single representative. Minnesota, our neighbor wing to the immediate east has eight representatives to visit. Larger states have to bring a large delegation of CAP members, For example, California Wing must visit their 53 representatives and two senators in the time allocated for our meetings. Long before I reach Washington DC, my Director of Administration has already scheduled my appointments and I know when I need to be in the Senate and House office buildings and where each person I must visit is located in the collection of buildings. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 26 August 2018

Hawk’s Nest, North Dakota.

A few days ago, one of our communications experts in Civil Air Patrol (CAP), traveled to the northeastern part of the state to determine why one of our remote repeaters appeared to be inoperable. After finding a tripped breaker, possibly due to a recent lightning storm, and some cleanup, the machine was returned to operation. His report on the repair reminded me of a similar trip I made to another of our remote repeater sites a couple of years ago. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Everyday Moments

This week, Amy suggests that we share everyday moments. Those moments around home aren’t often considered photo-worthy, so Amy allowed us to share the everyday moments of those we encounter while travelling, if we so choose. You can read Amy’s entire challenge post here. Since my son and his wife got married in Mexico over a decade ago, we’ve made several trips south of the border, mostly to Mazatlan, but also to other places. In that time, I managed to capture some everyday moments of the people who’s communities we visited. In the opening photo, a ceramics vendor is concentrating on something off to her left. Continue reading

Erie Canal Museum – Life on the Erie Canal

Syracuse, New York.

Last week, the purpose of my first visit to New York state was revealed. It was to be four days of flying behind an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). As it turned out, we arrived in town on Sunday afternoon, flew on Monday, but at the end of the day, the prognosis for flying on Tuesday didn’t look so great, weatherwise. A couple of days of bad weather, snow, and low clouds grounded us on Wednesday as well. We flew again on Thursday and headed home on Friday. To fill some of the empty hours in Syracuse, one of my CAP colleagues and I decided to visit the Erie Canal Museum in downtown Syracuse. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 19 August 2018

White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Waddell, Arizona.

This week, I was reminded of our hiking club in Arizona in a couple of ways. Yesterday (Saturday, 18 August), I got an email from the folks at MapMyWalk. It was my 5th anniversary of downloading and using the app to help map our hikes. Though I don’t use MapMyWalk for hiking exclusively, the vast majority of miles tracked with the app are in Arizona deserts on hikes, mostly with the Verrado Hiking Club. Among other details, the email pointed out that it’s tracked 1362 miles (2192 km) since I started using the app. Continue reading