Goodbye Hamilton – Hello Sedona

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I believe that my wandering is over for a while. What a relief! I have been very blessed that every place I have gone I have had friends who opened their homes to me. I have had to spend only one night in a motel when Hans and I were traveling from Illinois to Hamilton in Ontario. The life of a moocher is not as glamorous as it might seem, but it is much more affordable.

I’ll first force you to listen to my lame excuse for being off the air for five days. As you might gather from the image below, Eunie’s old Toshiba notebook which has been my traveling office since the middle of March finally threw in the towel. When I was in Canada the screen began to jump. My first thought was “Oh-oh, there goes the budget!”. I prayed and laid hands on it, but to no avail. It got the the point at which I could still use it, but I had to let the screen warm up for an hour. When I got to Sedona and turned it on I got nothing but a blank gray screen. I dithered about what to do:

I can’t see much point in trying to replace the screen on a relatively cheap Toshiba which is probably six years old. It would probably cost more than half the price of a new one. The problem was how to get at all the data on it, which, of course, has not been backed up since I left Madang. Grace hauled my old carcass over to Cottonwood, Arizona today so that I could check out some prices. I decided to get an inexpensive LCD screen that I could hook up to the Toshiba so that I can continue to use it while I’m deciding what to buy. I’ll also be backing up, you can be sure. The Samsung monitor cost only US$146 including tax. It’s a very nice piece of gear and a vast improvement over the old Toshiba screen. Editing photos on it is a joy instead of a frustration. It looks as if I’ll be buying a new notebook computer before long.

I have a few images left over from Hamilton to show to you. Nothing to brag about. I went with my son, Hans, and a couple of friends of his up on top of the Niagara Escarpment to have a look around and take some pictures. Sheila has a new Canon G12 which caused me to drool. It seems to me to be a significant improvement over the G11. This line of cameras keeps getting better and better. Here is a shot from one of the many overlooks:

Hamilton is at the bottom a a huge valley. I’m on one side and you can see the other side over on the far right of the picture. The gray stuff that you see filling the valley in to the tops of the building is smog from the steel mills. It’s interesting that you can’t see any visible smoke coming out of the mills as you drive past. What does come out looks like steam, but it obviously has some other nasty stuff in it.

At nearby Tew’s Falls I got some snaps that are decent, even considering the failing light:

That’s the standard waterfall shot.

What I like is the Silky Water Technique, which is child’s play to get, if you have a steady hand and a solid object on which to brace your camera. All you have to do is set your camera so that the shutter speed is 1/8 of a second or slower.

It looks like this:

Having arrived in Sedona, I have a much changed menu of scenery from which to choose. For instance, if I stand in front of Grace’s house and look down her street to the left, I’m dazzled by a sheer cliff of the ridiculously red rocks which surround Sedona:

On the way into Sedona from the Village of Oak Creek where Grace lives, one has to contend with outlandish scenery such as this:

Couple this in-your-face visual stimulation with temperatures which keep you toasty warm, but not hot in the daytime and pleasantly cool in the evenings and you have specifications for a very nice place to live.

You get all this plus the general crazyness of the place. It’s the New Age Capital of Planet Earth. I’ve heard it referred to as Spaceship Sedona, sort of like a woo-woo Enterprise which consists entirely of one giant holo-deck. One the way to the hardware store to get some wood glue I asked Grace if we could stop to grab a shot of this flying saucer which was obviously in need of some roadside repairs:

Note the sign on the van in the background – “Alien Recovery Team”. I’d say that they arrived just in time.

Don’t laugh. They are serious.

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16 Responses to “Goodbye Hamilton – Hello Sedona”

  1. DogsDontPurr Says:

    While you’re thinking on buying a new laptop, you should keep an eye on . They list daily finds of the best deals/sales on everything from toilet paper to power tools. Quite often they find great deals on laptops. I’ve often seen some great deals on laptops for as low as $400. And these are top of the line….not cheap knock offs or anything like that. I just recently got an Acer with all the bells and whistles for $440 that was listed elsewhere for around $675.

    Good luck….hope that helps!

  2. kristy Says:

    Good luck with the computer shopping! Try not to spend too much time indoors though, looks like a lovely area!
    Do the people who live there become immune to the beauty after awhile?
    Looks gorgeous!

  3. MadDog Says:

    I have some time, Kristy, before I have to make a decision. I can get a new screen for $100. I am thinking about that also.

    Sedona is an incredibly beautiful place, but it is out in the middle of a desert. I think it would take me some time to get used to living here. I never got bored by the scenery in Madang. However, I think that most residents don’t really think about day by day.

  4. MadDog Says:

    DogsDontPurr, I had a look at the site. You’re right. There are some bargains there. I’m going to take my time getting a new one. I found a place in Phoenix which claims to replace a laptop screen for US$100. I’m going to check it out.

  5. Ali Says:

    Have the Alien Recovery Team every been recovered?

  6. Jill Says:

    Hi Jan,

    I’m sorry about your computer. I was surprised when I went to Future Shop in December how inexpensive laptops were – of course the more bells and whistles, the more cost, not a surprise.

    But I can’t help but laugh at you ‘laying hands’ on the machine and remember a story we continue to tell in our family…and I will retell it here.

    David Pryor was having computer problems that ended up with you actually flying out to their village – during the entire time you were there his computer worked fine and when you got back to Madang, the problem returned. So the suggestion was made to make a cardboard full size picture of you, send it out to David Pryor to pull out each time the computer acted up. Of course we all (the Weatherheads) use the phrase “Is it pugged in?” since that was one question you asked once and while he said he had it plugged in (and you were just kidding)…he went and checked and while it looked plugged in, Sharran had switched something earlier when she did the laundry and forgot to switch it back…or at least that is my memory!

    So yes now when anything happens here and tension is a bit higher than we’d like it we do a Jan quote of “Is it pulgged in?”

    Enjoy being once again in the warmer climate after your sojourn to Canada!


  7. MadDog Says:

    Ali, I’ve heard that they got lost a few times and someone had to go out and search for them. Some kind soul should get them a GPS for their van. Maybe I’ll take up a collection. They are in a position to perform an important social function should aliens ever actually need to be recovered. They are probably the most appropriate humans on earth to greet unfortunate visitors from another planet. They themselves are used to living on another planet.

    Cheers, Ali. I miss you and Dave. I am happy here. I know that makes you happy for me.

  8. MadDog Says:

    Jill, it is amazing how cheap commodity-priced computers have become. There’s really no need to spend more than $400-500. It proves that mass production and competition work in favor of the buyer. They are throw-aways, sure, but they serve the purpose and nobody wants a computer more than three or four years old anyway.

    I remember, over the thirty years I’ve been there, many incidents such as you describe. They are taking on the status of fables. They will be my only legacy, I suppose. That’s okay. It’s time to pass the torch. Do you remember what I would say when completely stumped? I think my favorite was, “There’s your problem; cosmic rays.”

    Sedona suites me just fine.

  9. Ali Says:

    It does indeed my friend. I hope you have finally found somewhere soft and peaceful to land.

  10. ZydecoDoug Says:

    Sedona sure shows a stark contrast from the blah that is Indiana, huh?

  11. MadDog Says:

    Indeed I have, Ali. Read between the lines.

  12. Ali Says:

    Yes, I’ve read them and I’m humming a little song to those words between the lines.
    Stephen Stills, ( His first album- 1970 I believe?)
    I’ll let you figure that one out Jan and I know you will. Nice song.
    Happiness is a treasure, I hope you uncover a heartful out there in the desert.

  13. MadDog Says:

    Doug, Sedona contrasts with just about any place I can imagine. It’s a magic kingdom. I can see why it attracts people who are seeking. It is chock full of ideas. Very stimulating . . .

  14. MadDog Says:

    Ali, are you referring to Love the One You’re With from 4 Way Street – 1970? That album has a lot of great songs.

    If that’s not the one, please let me know. I’m intrigued.

    The desert if turning out to be a very lovely place. Thanks, Ali.

  15. Ali Says:

    That’s the one Jan, it’s a good song hey?
    I hadn’t realised that it is on the C,S &N album “4 Way Street” and yes that is a great album indeed! I was thinking of Stills 1st solo album released in late ’69 when I wrote that reply tho. The song was the 1st track and a number 1 hit off that album which is called “Stephen Stills”. The LP cover has him sitting on a log seat in the snow playing guitar beside a ceramic giraffe?
    Looking forward to seeing more photos of Sedona and surrounds. It will be interesting for you to get out and explore and get a different sort of sand in your shoes for a change.
    Have FUN!!! xx

  16. MadDog Says:

    Right, Ali. I have always enjoyed that song a great deal. It’s a wonderful sing-along song. The words don’t match up with the situation exactly, but it’s still a good sentiment. More to come . . .

    Different sand in my shoes . . . nice, Ali. Thanks.