Camera Odyssey Wednesday, May 13 2020 

I recently upgraded my camera to the Canon EOS Rebel T7i DSLR with an 18-55 lens and a 55-250 mm lens. It offers a 24-megapixel chip. This model was originally released in February 2017. When deciding to upgrade, I was attracted by its 45-point autofocus and that reviews talked about it being a great camera for beginners and intermediate users, especially for the price. Another factor was that it is a Canon. I entered the search open minded, but once I saw documentation that Canon and Nikon are photographic technology leaders, I realized that my history with Canon cameras would make it much easier for me to continue taking photographs with a Canon.

Somewhere in the 1970s I purchased a Canon AE-1, an extremely popular camera from its introduction in April 1976 through 1984. This single-lens reflex camera had a 50 mm lens which I used with Kodak ISO 100 film to take slides during vacations.

I purchased a Canon PowerShot S45 in June 2003 and immediately switched to digital photographs. This handy camera with a built-in flash offered a 3x optical zoom lens with autofocus and a 4-megapixel sensor. The lens was equivalent to a range of 35-105 mm.

In 2009 I upgraded to a Canon PowerShot SX200 IS with a 12x optical zoom and 12.1 megapixels.

In 2015 I upgraded to a Canon PowerShot SX710 HS with a 30x optical zoom and 20.3 megapixels. Its image stabilization is impressive. The Canon PowerShots are compact and easily carried yet offer excellent photographs.

As I continue to explore the world of photography, you might be interested in examining my body of work at

Phoenix Zoo: March 2020 Sunday, Mar 15 2020 

Galapagos Tortoises

Galapagos Tortoises

After MLB spring training was cancelled, visitors decided to visit the Phoenix Zoo wearing their baseball team’s logo shirts. It was the busiest Saturday morning we have ever encountered. The animals seemed to be enjoying our warm spring weather. A Komodo dragon sunned itself on a large rock. A giant anteater circled its exhibit searching for a snack. Two Galapagos tortoises greeted one another near their pond. A Grevy’s zebra poised while munching grass. A warthog also looked for food near our observation point. The white rhinoceros enclosure is still off limits and separated as our new resident acclimatizes. A mass of turtles dominated part of the riverbank in the cheetah exhibit. The three female Asian elephants now each have their own exhibit area, but each one was standing near the entrance rather than exploring their enhanced space. Another interesting day at the Phoenix Zoo.

Open Heart Surgery Revisited Monday, Nov 25 2019 

I am part of a select group that has experienced open heart surgery twice within three months. When it was discovered that at least one suture had failed after the initial mitral valve replacement, we scheduled an appointment for a procedure to plug the hole, expecting to spend a day in the hospital. The procedure was not successful because the hole was too big. Consequently, we scheduled a second open heart surgery using the surgeon who heads the James Family Heart Center at Yavapai Regional Medical Center. He was successful in suturing the mitral valve replacement and did some preventive work on the tricuspid valve. The nurses in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit carefully monitored my post-surgery recovery. Many nurses and nurse’s aides in the Progressive Care Unit remembered me from my earlier stay. One of my brothers visited. After ten days in the hospital, I returned home Saturday. With Thanksgiving later this week, I have much to be thankful for. I am alive!

Open Heart Surgery Monday, Sep 23 2019 

Heart Pillow

Heart Pillow

On the Sunday after we returned from three weeks exploring the western slopes of Colorado, I went to the emergency room of the local hospital with 8 of 12 heart attack symptoms outlined by the Mayo Clinic. During the next eight days I underwent cardiac catheterization and echocardiogram procedures to diagnose my heart valve disease. Five weeks ago, I had a Mitral valve replacement at the Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s James Family Heart Center. My surgeon attempted to repair the valve, but in the end replaced it. The longer surgery time required me to remain on a ventilator longer. Like other cardiac patients, I was awarded a heart shaped pillow which holds the incision firmly in place when coughing. After several days in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, a space opened in the Transitional Care Unit. From there, I was released for home care with services from a Home Health Care nurse, a physical therapist, and a speech therapist. My wife has been essential to my recovery by overseeing my pills and appointments and preparing tasty food. The first weeks at home were rough. We had an EMT home visit to check me out and a couple of days later I spent five hours in the emergency room for a more thorough review of my vitals. I was generally weak and needed help with everything. I learned how to sleep on my back. I had a setback with a nasal hemorrhage which required another emergency room visit and three days with a tube hanging out of my nose. Beginning the fifth week, I’m feeling stronger, mastered climbing the stairs and started showering myself. I’m told that I should expect to keep improving over the next couple of months, especially by using Cardiac Rehabilitation services. I appreciate the opportunity to continue living life fully.

Jay’s Bird Barn & Rock the Block Sunday, Oct 28 2018 

Step West Owl

Step West Owl

Yesterday we took advantage of the free lunch at Jay’s Bird Barn celebrating their 15 years serving Northern Arizona. After lunch, we looked at the live birds of prey on display including a cute step west owl, colorful American kestrel, stately Harris hawk and Swainson hawk. We admired the bird photo contest entries. We supported the “Save the Dells” registration effort that seeks to permanently protect the remaining undeveloped portions of the Granite Dells as public open space for people, wildlife, and community. We purchased a copy of Hannah’s Heart and had its author Melanie Ewbank autograph it. The play will be presented at the Ruth Street Theatre, Prescott High School on November 30, December 1st and 2nd with ticket proceeds supporting another good local cause, the Coalition for Compassion and Justice.

“Rock the Block” took place on the Crossings Drive cul de sac off Willow Creek. Some 20 vendors offered candy to children, many of whom were wearing their trick or treat costumes. The kid’s zone offered a bounce house and slide, balloon art, and chalk drawing. For the adults, the Funk FREQuency band performed from their 70s and 80s repertoire and Prescott Valley’s Lonesome Valley Brewery sold adult beverages. A percentage of proceeds from raffle, food and beverage sales went to the Yavapai Regional Medical Center BreastCare Center & the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arizona.

2016 Prescott Fireworks Tuesday, Jul 5 2016 

Prescott Fireworks

Prescott Fireworks

We watched the Prescott fireworks from our deck. Two trees have grown over the years so that there are no longer clear sight lines to downtown Prescott. This year the fireworks were launched from the top floor of the downtown parking lot. They were relocated from Pioneer Park where there was higher fire danger and an inability to control alcohol consumption. We learned from the Daily Courier that $20,000 was spent this year with only 90 days of planning whereas last year $80,000 was spent with a full year of planning. The resulting fireworks display was disappointing. In the distance we could see more interesting fireworks probably launched in Prescott Valley.

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