is an easy to use, index web page listing links to hundreds of my original photos. Clicking the link
will send you to a page of photos decorated by unique captioning that has been capturing the attention
of the entire WWW .
The MW Review of Books is where I issue eloquent and frank book reviews the everyday reader can comprehend and use as a factor as to whether to purchase the book or not. Go figure, a book reviewer you can believe.
Oops, I misspelled d-e-s-e-r-t . But 'burnt dessert' sounded much more intriguing. In any case, this is how the desert appears after it has been burned. In this instance, I would have to guess an unthinking smoker, who cares no more for the desert than he does for his already toasted lungs, flicked out a still smouldering cigarette butt. (When it is 110F degrees does anything not smoulder?) This photo was taken looking east from the I-17 between the 101 and the Carefree Highway.
Here's a good reason to always, always keep a light bulb in your outdoor fixtures. In the 1950s,
Mr.Wonderful's oldest brother was stung on the head by a dozen or so of these yellow bastards; he was never the same.
Finally. My very own sighting of a U.F.O. flying over north Scottsdale. They must have a photo-cloaking-mode
because, with the naked eye this flying device was quite clear. Maybe this explains the AH-64 Apache helicopter
flying in the same area the other day.
In a transparent attempt at 'revenue enhancement,' City of Scottsdale employees drag around a portable traffic signal, setting it up where there was never before a 'stop-light'. Citizen's, running on automatic pilot, a Starbucks in one hand, cell phone to the ear, and an Einstein Brothers steaming bagel slathered with salmon flavored cream cheese resting on their lap, run the red light. A waiting squad of motorcycle police ticket each offender for $250, collecting up to $25,000 before moving on. Reminds me of medieval days, when less-than-honorable-knights would guard bridge entries, not allowing the unarmed peasants a crossing before paying a bridge tax.
Here we have a chance photo of an experimental turbine truck on Scottsdale Road, north of Shea Boulevard. You can easily see the twin turbines and not so easily the pair of three jet fuel self-gyrating-blow-back balance tubes below the bumper. This vehicle is an attempt to greatly extend gas mileage, as a brief blip of the throttle will cause the truck to leap to over 100 MPH in less than one hundred feet. The turbine truck will not be suitable for cities with high traffic congestion.
Okay, fine. Since as anyone knows who lives in The Valley of the Sun (not to be confused with "The Sunshine State" which today is under hurricane watch . . . har!) it already seems like it hasn't rained here for what seems like decades. That's why the desert simply explodes into flames with the slightest provocation. Climbed into my car last night at 11:30PM to visit Blockbuster and the dash read 94F degrees outside temperature; with the "F", in this instance, not standing for Fahrenheit, but Friggin'. This is a poor photo, taken with my pre-Cannon elph credit-card-camera, of the new $95,000 2005 Maserati Quattroporte (four door) sedan waiting for a light change at Pima Road in Scottsdale. Taken on a rainy January afternoon of 2005 it makes this July seem even hotter.
I had to go back into the 2005 photo archives from January to fetch this one. In the midst of a sleep deprived ninety-three hour work week, I'm sure I was hallucinating when this mirage on the southwest corner of Scottsdale and Dynamite Roads came into view.
So this wasn't exactly taken on July 10th, but then again, you aren't exactly paying for this content either, are you? So quit your bellyaching! For my millions of foreign readers, note that this is unleaded premium gasoline, includes all city, county, state, federal sales taxes, federal excise taxes and who knows what other government mandated surcharges, fees and levies (which, unlike every single other purchase we American's make: from cars, to homes, to candy bars, to cell phone bills, to storage room rents - are never, ever, revealed on the printed receipt, or posted on the pump itself.) After all the government skim is surreptitiously larded on, one thin dime (10¢, 10 cents, 1/10th of $1.00) is added by the retailer, above his wholesale purchase cost, per gallon, so he can stay in business. And, while our elected officials sit on the top of the grey masonry fence erected by illegal aliens, rocking back and forth, lazily gazing up at the blue Arizona sky, guess who is being blamed for high gasoline prices? The evil, capitalist retailer.
I'm sure drivers of dump trucks feel pretty invulnerable and maybe that causes them to take chances they shouldn't. Since your Mr.Wonderful has been accosted by gendarmes while taking photos of accident scenes in the past, I kept my distance, hence the indistinct photo. This yellow dump truck got turned on its side with the load of gravel burying another vehicle involved in the mishap.
Fine, this wasn't taken in 2005. But it was taken, with one hand obviously, in July of 2003. This is what happens when you imagine you can outwit the partially opened lid on a tin of kippers. In this instance, I almost cut my thumb, one of my favorite digits, all the way to the bone.
Here is a nest of the never seen, and very rare, Golfasaurus Parfiveus. This extremely fast evolving reptile lives only by golf courses and squirts out eggs that appear identical to golf balls. Since hawks, large lizards and roadrunners know golf balls are not edible, the baby Golfasaurus Parfiveus are never eaten before birth and the mother can leave the nest for long periods to hunt for its favorite food, wooden golf tees.
Obviously this is not Scottsdale in July. This is a rare photo of a roach insertion sewer truck from February of this year. Those Tootsie-Roll sized red roaches that scatter when the light comes on? Well, they are not insects but actually small robots equipped with night-vision cameras that wander around our homes and apartments, while we sleep, recording all our secrets. I turned around from snapping this photo and found myself confronted with the huge operators of this huge truck wanting to know what I was doing. Slipping between the slow moving behemoths, I sprinted to my car and sped off. Scary.
A year 2004 poor-quality photo taken with my free credit card-sized digital camera. In north Scottsdale
I barely had time to hear the fearsome noise, whip my camera out and snap a photo of these five, or was
it six, Apaches or Cobras flying in formation.
** Personal Commentary Follows **
I'd rather see six of these killing machines, paid for with our tax
dollars, manned by young, brave, and sacrificial American soldiers, than the (more often than not) scum on welfare and illegal aliens, who use their EBT Quest debit card
(also funded with our tax dollars) in front of me at my local Albertson's. Through tax dollars withheld from our paychecks, we are paying for their food, gallons of whole milk, tampons, salsa, ChapStick® and diapers. Which, in turn, leaves them cash to pay for liquor, lottery tickets, brand name soda pop, tubs of 100% beef fat, cases of Sudafed, and tobacco products. Personally what grinds on me is that most the time I witness this, I'm either on my way home at 10:30PM, after being at work since 5:00AM, or I'm in-between shifts on a double shift. And they can't find work? Come on. Think about it folks: who deserves all the money you earn more than you and your family: Some person who "Lost at life's lottery", some Illegal Alien, a traitorous employer of Illegal Aliens; or you?
Okay, so I jumped the gun by taking this picture forty-seven minutes before July the Seventeenth. But I wanted photographic proof of how hot it stays twenty-four hours a day in the truthfully named Valley of the Sun. 103F degrees at 11:13PM, that's cooking. Around sunrise time at 5:30AM it will have cooled down nine degrees to a balmy 94F degrees.
In north Scottsdale, Arizona, a huge heron lifts off from a 100F degree plus afternoon perch,
but not before adding to the white vertical chalk marks on the newly painted fireplace chimney. While
I may refer to them as a "chalk marks", that ain't the brand of chalk you'd pickup at OfficeMax folks. This aviator
clearly needs more bulk in his diet.
On Shea Boulevard traveling west, this 1950s Cadillac convertible went flying by me. When I glanced over to see who would get the next City of Scottsdale, process-server-delivered photo radar ticket, there, behind the hard plastic pencil thin, ocean-liner-sized steering wheel, sat The King. Elvis hisself.
In north Scottsdale, Arizona, a huge tarantula threatened to venture down from the Pinnacle Peak landmark and begin devouring the pale beings from Wisconsin and Chicago who inhabit the nearby Four Seasons Resort. Your Mr. Wonderful, well aware of the danger to his fellow homo sapiens, but at same time ignoring the terror wrenching at his own gut, immediately slaughtered a Hyundai-trunk-full of cute, helpless, adorable, cotton tail bunnies and then dumped their carcasses in an adjacent vacant lot. Leaping on top of this eight foot tall monster arachnid, and holding on to the brown hoop (directly below the 'mrwonderful.org' in the photo) I rode, guided and cajoled the eight-legged hairy beast over to where I had deposited the warm, bleeding bodies of the four dozen big-eared mammals. I let her feast. Her hunger satiated, she retired to her Circle K sized cave in the side of the mountain. I had to quickly leave the scene because I didn't want to be late for work.
Most Jack-in-the-Box restaurant customers don't realize that the 'Jack' Styrofoam antenna balls earned for purchasing certain targeted products contain a thumbtack-sized fusion reactor. These were given to mankind, well, actually President Eisenhower (like you'd pour out a bag of M&Ms into the cupped hands of an eager child) during the late 1940s, by the highly advance Cohiba extra terrestrial race of space travelers. This was in appreciation for us returning their crashed vehicle and dead pilots found at Roswell, New Mexico. However, since turning on the reactor requires more than flipping a tiny black switch on the underside, virtually all Earthling's, other than your Mr.Wonderful, ride around with this miraculous device inactivated. Here you see the one on my vehicle emitting a spout of steam when I am told by the employee at Discount Tire, that since I drove my original equipment tire, three hundred feet at eight miles an hour, before I realized it was rapidly losing air, stopped and put on the donut spare, it evidenced a terminal 'heat ring', and due to liability concerns expressed by the marketing/legal department of Discount Tire, it could not be repaired for $8.25 but must be replaced with a new, $75, Discount Tire tire. I was mad, mad.
These swarming 'tarantula hawks' are an unusual sight for me, because usually they seem to be solitary visitors. I imagine between sucking the fluids out of tarantula and other large soft-bodied insects, like many other flying bugs, these gruesome creatures must feed on sweet pollen. To keep this orange-robed, blue-black species around, the female tarantula hawk, locates a harmless (except for the Hyundai-sized ones) hairy tarantula, permanently anaesthetizes him with a quick injection of her powerful poison, drags him down an unoccupied burrow, and then lays a single egg inside his abdomen. This soon results in a mortal heartburn even Prevacid won't cure.
Our Valley of the Sun summer is so hot and humid, this monochromatic colored squirrel, seeking cool, risked becoming a squirrel-on-a-stick, by reclining directly outside the less than airtight door of my 72F degree refrigerated office.
Early on the last Sunday morning in July, looking south towards the fifteen-mile distant Phoenix, a hot air balloon, like a turgid nipple on a breast excited by your Mr.Wonderful's warm and amazing tongue, rises above a gray-black hill. (The poor focus is due to the distance involved and the fact that this is a 10X digital zoom, not the preferred optical zoom.)