A couple of weeks ago I met a guy who shares my love for landscape photography. We got talking and discovered we have much in common and a natural friendship began to form. It was not long before we started talking about joining up on outings. This is something I’ve been hoping would happen for five years, since we moved to this small mountain town.
With all that is going on in today’s world, you would think the Grand Old Game of Baseball would read the wind and do a sensible thing: resolve its labor dispute quickly and fairly. Doing so, of course, would mean putting the game and its fans first. Alas, when this much money, greed, avarice, and ego is at stake, the game and fans must come in last, and they have. Baseball is shut down, Spring Training is dark, and the start of the season delayed.
It turned out to be a strange reading year and as a result I read less than my norm. There are two main reasons for this. First, I read and listened to two books, Live Not By Lies and Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy multiple times each as part of research projects in preparation for presentations, so the work went much deeper than simply reading or listening. Each required hours upon hours of research, cross checking, and the like. As for the second reason my reading was reduced from previous years, I was simply burnt out from the research projects and needed a break. After nearly three months away from books, I returned in mid-October. Over the course of the year, I read twenty-six books, about half my norm. This tally counts the two books mentioned above as one apiece. As for what I read, the three top categories were Fiction (8), History (7), and Faith (5). The remainder are scattered between Non-Fiction, Science Fiction, and Biography.
I did not get out with the camera this year as much as I normally do. When I did, however, I had good results. My favorite image comes from the first few days of November and was taken close to home. I was looking for Fall colors and found them in an unexpected place, a small pasture hidden behind a group of large boulders. I saw a wee bit of red leaf peeking up over one of the rocks and thought, “I wonder what’s back there.” When I saw the entire scene, I was captivated.
One will be hard pressed to find three individuals of such prominence collaborating on a work of such importance, which is reason enough to give this book a turn. Henry Kissinger needs no introduction. Eric Schmidt is past CEO of Google, and Daniel Huttenlocher is Dean of the Schwarzman College of Computing at MIT. Their collaboration speaks to the breadth and depth of the topic’s importance.
Here in Arizona’s Mogollon Rim country, we had unseasonably warm weather in October and some incredible sunsets. Put those two together and getting out with the camera had to happen. I settled on a spot I have visited before on the Salt River just south of Sagauro Lake. The outing turned into and exercise in flexibility when things don’t go as planned, something all photographers are familiar with.
It took me a while to get through this book only because life interrupted. If not, I surely would have been bleary-eyed at the end of a binge listening weekend. It would have been my loss as this book is meant to be savored like a fine wine in perfect union with an equally fine meal and milieu. Mr. Towles is a master, it is that good.