Friday, October 23, 2009

Welcome to the brave new world of social media

Originally posted in July of 2009 Many of us have been drawn into the new world of social media. It’s been a very organic process. For most of us the first step was email in the early 1990s. With email it became easy to communicate written messages electronically, instantly, and for free--or at least with zero incremental cost. Never before was such a thing possible. People quickly got an email address and changed how they communicated with others. 

When the World Wide Web took off in the mid 1990s additional avenues of communications proliferated. Today, many of us use various forms of social media as part of our daily routine. Let’s consider the term itself. After all, what is “social media?” It is a very broad term that encompasses many different things. The best definition I've seen: "Social media is online content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies." How did you find this posting? Email, Twitter, Facebook? Are you a regular visitor to this web page? All of these are different types of social media. It's very important to emphasize that if you use email, if you're even reading this page, you are a user of social media. You need not join the Facebook masses or the Twitterers--those are just two new, and potent, applications in this new world of communications. 

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, is social media. Wikipedia is not just an encyclopedia, it is also an online community of volunteer editors that created the largest encyclopedia in human history. Today, Wikipedia contains 13,000,000 articles in more than 260 languages. It didn’t exist ten years ago. There are advantages and disadvantages to social media. It's currenlty getting a lot of buzz because it describes a whole new mosaic of possibilities in the realm of communications. Take some time to better understand it. 

Read the Wikipedia article on social media to get a  comprehensive overview of the term. This article is the result of many Wikipedia editors collaborating from around the world. I don't present it as the ultimate definition of this new term, though I do offer it as an excellent start--one of the best I've seen. This is part of the genius of Wikipedia, it is ever changing. Wikipedia is criticized because anybody, literally anybody, can edit it, but the end result is often articles that are extremely well written.  

"Social media is online content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Richland County, Ohio

The next few posts are from my recent visit to my hometown in Ohio.

Fresh hay at Sandstone Farm.

Posing on the tractor at Sandstone Farm

Amish country

The area includes many Amish and Mennonites. Both are rooted in 19th century ways (some more so than others). The two groups don't mix.

Western saddle, restored by an Ohio Amish craftsman

Meanwhile, back at Sandstone Farm . . .

My friend Francis has been working hard since I last wrote about her cool Ohio farm. While she has not yet made it back in to the main farm house she is inching closer. For nearly two years now she has been living in her cabin while plotting, planning, and working to finance her move in to the old farm house on her property.

This is a monumental project and it has been her dream for many years. It is a labor of love.

This month some additional restoration work is scheduled to begin on the main house and she hopes to move in this fall--an ambitious goal. She wants to have running water in the house along with other bathroom facilities. There is no running water on the farm. She showers daily, but it involves a drive of more than ten miles.

Other than an aborted attempt to dwell in the neglected house nine years ago, it has not had people living in it for decades. It was originally built in 1849. The stone construction is unusual for a farm house in this part of Ohio. Her top priorities, in addition to running water, are to seal the house up again with windows, and rebuild a collapsed wall.

The roof was replaced a few years ago.

The main house.

The cabin. A.k.a. the cottage or yard barn.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Photographed at the White House, 1984. From the National Archives.

Consider this photo--here is Michael Jackson at age 26. Look at his outfit. It's both ridiculous and spectacular. He is at the White House with the President of the United States. It is arguably the power center of the world. Reagan understood how to communicate with the masses, just as Jackson did. There is a natural symbiosis between Reagan, the politician in an election year, and Jackson, the pop star. Jackson's confidence and sheer gall are something to behold. While still a young man, Jackson was already a seasoned veteran with two decades of experience in show business at the time of this photo. Both of these men knew what they were doing. What unique men they were--icons of their time.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Update from San Diego

November update: Our time in SD was limited to about three months. It was a good sojourn and our last stop as Airstreamers.

Jake and I have been in San Diego for 15 days now. It's been an adjustment.

Dog Beach at San Diego’s Ocean Beach is one of our favorite spots. We're living 27 miles east of the Pacific, and have found some spectacular hiking in the mountains nearby our new homestead as well.

Work is going well. I am here on a writing assignment, one that will hopefully last for a while.

Writing and living in an Airstream is a whole different experience compared to traversing the continent selling meteorites and connecting with friends and family. It's a MUCH more solitary existence.

Work, yoga, and getting Jake out sums up my current routine. It's not super exciting, but not bad either. Of course there is the excitement and strangeness of being in a new town.

San Diego is gorgeous. Jake and I are both psyched to be missing a Sonoran summer. Last summer about did us in.

I've also discovered Facebook--where I've wasted a lot of my spare time lately. The good part of it is that it provides a way to stay in contact with close friends who are geographically dispersed. The bad part? My new found Facebook Scrabble addiction is one example. Luckily it's an addiction that's already ebbed considerably.

Doing many more updates on Facebook these days than updates here. My most recent Facebook post is recreated below--on D-Day.

Cheers from San Diego County,

Jim and Jake

Saturday, June 06, 2009

D-Day +65

Members of an American landing party lend helping hands to other members of their organization whose landing craft was sunk by enemy action off the coast of France. These survivors reached Omaha Beach by using a life raft.
-Photo by Weintraub, 6 June 1944

"What we must not forget is that D-Day was a time and a place where the bravery and selflessness of a few was able to change the course of an entire century."
-Barack Obama, 6 June 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Windmills: The sentries of San Diego County

These 21st century sentries stand guard in the mountains above San Diego greeting travelers from the East. Our culture demands energy--driving the economy, and delivering the comforts of contemporary living. Clean energy from wind, solar, and other non-traditional sources is an important alternative to carbon generating coal-powered electricity plants. Coal power is currently the number one source of electricity in the U.S.

Reducing my carbon footprint

My restored 1973 Airstream--home for over two years now. Living in a space with less than 200 square feet requires far less energy to heat and cool. The tiny space requires less cleaning materials and demands the accumulation of less stuff. The Airstream also took less materials to build than a traditional home. Re-using an older trailer cut down on the demand for new materials. My Dodge diesel truck gets about the same mileage as my previous car, a Subaru, and I drive about the same number of miles as I did when living a more traditional life--though my goal is to drive even less.

Ascent into the mountains on Interstate 8

California arrival

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Friday, April 03, 2009

Arizona's Meteor Crater--at Canyon Diablo

One of Arizona's great wonders is Meteor Crater between Flagstaff and Winslow. This is a 1941 illustration of the first confirmed meteorite impact site on the planet. This hole in the ground is a powerful testament to what happens when a rock from space collides with the earth.

We will be offering a limited supply of Arizona's Canyon Diablo meteorites at the Dusty Boots Benefit. As well as other gems from space--rocks that are as old and older than the earth itself!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Milton Series

Photos of Jake and friends in Phoenix last month, by Kim Milton.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

32.3 pound Campo del Cielo meteorite

Weighing in at 32.3 pounds (14.655 kilograms) this is the largest meteorite to date offered by Utahredrock. This meteorite originated in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and was recovered from northern Argentina where it collided with our planet about 5,000 years ago. Campo del Cielo translates as field of the skies. Campo meteorites are the most affordable of the iron-nickel meteorites on the market today purely due to supply and demand--many Campos have been recovered from the field in the past five to ten years making them more readily available than any other iron-nickel meteorite. Other iron-nickel meteorites with similar total known weight include Arizona's Canyon Diablo and Russia's Sikhote-alin. The Arizona and Russian meteorites, which are of similar composition as the Campos, regularly sell for $1 to $2 per gram. Unique pieces can go for much more. The supply of fresh Campos, however, is drying up and high quality Campos like this one will be appreciating in value in the near future--even in a tough economy there is just so much of this material and it is likely to hold its value.

Utahredrock guarantees the authenticity of all meteorites sold.

Campo view two

32.3 pound Campo del Cielo meteorite.

Campo view three

32.3 pound Campo del Cielo meteorite.

Natural American Turquoise--Nevada

Beautiful turquoise pendant by Lebe Loola, SOLD--however, we have many other beautiful pieces by Lebe Loola. Support Dusty Boots, as well as Amy of Lebe Loola, a modern American woman with amazing talent who is currenlty supporting herself through nursing school.

The Buddhist Collection at Utahredrock

Large wooden Buddha SOLD, gold Buddhist monk $125, Buddha heads carved from stone $35.

Happy Buddhas

Ceramic Buddha SOLD, gold Buddha, SOLD.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Esquel meteorite pendant

Designed by Michigan's Amy Sorensen of Lebe Loola, this unique pendant is from out of this world. The pendant contains a thin slice of the highly sought after Esquel pallasite meteorite. Pallasites are very rare and contain olivine crystals--actual gems from outer space.

Spring 2009 Update:

This pendant SOLD, however, if you would like something similar, please call me at 801.971.5240.

Photos by Geoffrey Notkin of Aerolite Meteorites.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

With one of my big meteorites

Here I am with a 27 pound meteorite I sold at the 2009 Tucson Gem Show. Photo by Rich Luhr of Airstream Life.

Geoffrey Notkin of Aerolite Meteorites

World famous meteorite hunter Geoffrey Notkin, and one half of the infamous Meteorite Men duo, at his shop at the Tucson Gem Show, February 2009, Room 230, The Inn Suites. Be sure to visit Geoffrey's web site--Aerolite Meteorites. Link is on the right side of this page.

The Portraits of Arizona Series, by Utahredrock, 2009.


Spirit Davis, one of the world's greatest women, at Tucson's Electric Park.

The Portraits of Arizona Series, by Utahredrock, 2009.

A Tucson legend

Working a deal, Tucson Gem Show legend Zee Haag at the 2009 show--Tucson's Electric Park.

The Portraits of Arizona Series, by Utahredrock, 2009.

Blue Rocketeers Jim and Bettie

They live in the Blue Rocket--a school bus converted in to a home. They are musicians, artists, fellow travelers, and friends from Tucson's 2009 gem show.

The Portraits of Arizona Series, by Utahredrock, 2009.

Colorado Jim

My neighbor at the Tucson show.

The Portraits of Arizona Series, by Utahredrock, 2009.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jim Range

I was lucky to be able to attend the funeral service for my friend and mentor Jim Range this week. The service was held at Fletcher's Boat House along the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., just upriver from Georgetown. About three hundred of us gathered to honor Jim. I saw many old friends and many who I consider family. Jim's spirit was alive and well and his life mission to save wild places is a mission all of us there agreed needs to be kept alive. The pain was palpable from the quick and unexpected loss of this man that so many of us felt so close to. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Jim Range, a man with amazing grace

Tonight I got news that my friend Jim Range--a man who took me in to his life nearly 22 years ago--died yesterday.

I am so very sad. I am also so incredibly grateful that Jim is such an integral part of my experience on this earth.

I love you Jim, and I miss you terribly.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

1840s Fur Trader Arrives in Q

Meet Pinky Williams, an 1840s American Fur Trader--found in Quartzsite, AZ in 2009. Each summer this Texas native can be found at Royal Gorge Bridge in Canyon City, Colorado. He is a professional re-enactor and is here selling antlers.

The Portraits of Arizona Series, by Utahredrock, 2009.

Jacob Kanab Powell in Quartzsite

The most beloved dog in Quartzsite.

The Portraits of Arizona Series, by Utahredrock, 2009.

Utahredrock's Jewelry Table, Quartzsite

Jewelry at Tyson Wells H-19.