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3180 WILLOW CREEK • 777-1067

5enses In which:

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Peregrine Book Co.

delves into 19th century modernity, 20th century postmodernism, fantasy, and monarch butterflies, and kills Bill.

Peter Pierson

stops, looks, then listens for a bird whose telltale song has come to define the place you call home.

James Dungeon

discusses gurus, the great outdoors, and Prescott with Prescott’s great outdoors guru Cody Lundin.

Kathleen Yetman

schools the masses about a national education movement that’s more than a flavor of the month.

Jacy Lee

clears up the bric-à-brac and polishes off some gallophilic designs from centuries past.

5/6 8 20 26

16 19 21 22 22 24 25

sees seasonal changes and sea changes and notes notable notables amidst October occasions.

Left Brain/Right Brain

closes the books on a pair of comic primers sure to appease the ficklest fare of panels.

Find out what’s going on in Greater Prescott

Robert Blood

discusses sex, drugs, and talk radio, plus tarantulas and Catholic saints with journalist Patrick Whitehurst.

Helen Stephenson

Gene Twaronite

Comics by Russell Miller

Prescott’s premier happenings and happenstances

enumerates some of the lesser-sung virtues of the Highlands Center on the eve of its tin anniversary.

Jacques Laliberté

Oddly Enough

Spot-on Spotlights

follows a hunch-backed lead to a striking silent film that knows full well for whom the bell tolls.

Dave Irvine

Flip Photo

A visual puzzle by the Highlands Center for Natural History

Jacques Laliberté

Paolo Chlebecek

discusses comics and art with Bret Blevins, Brian Lemcke, Ryan Liebe, Russell Miller, and the late Dick Sprang.


Ty Fitzmorris

Alan Dean Foster

takes to the trenches and engages in a brave new war to win hearts, minds, and page views.

October 2014 • Volume 2, Issue 10

Copyright © 2014 5enses Inc. unless otherwise noted. Publisher & Editor: Nicholas DeMarino Copy Editor: Susan Smart Read a new 5enses the first weekend of every month. Visit 5ensesMag.Com, Facebook, & Twitter for more. Contact us at 5ensesMag@Gmail.Com & 928-613-2076.

wires in a technological solution that’ll have your toaster chatting up your TV in no time.

rats out a horde-er-ous foe and sends the cute-but-insidious pack-a-wallops packing, naturally.


Doodles by Jacques Laliberté

COVER: A page from “New Mutants,” S.F.S., by Bret Blevins. Courtesy image. RIGHT: “Drawn to Life,” by Bret Blevins. Courtesy image. See Jacques Laliberté’s story on Page 13 for the full story.


Peregrine Book Co.

Staff picks By Peregrine Book Company staff “The Flowers of Evil & Paris Spleen: Selected Poems” By Charles Pierre Baudelaire, translated by Wallace Fowlie A sensitive translation by Wallace Fowlie renders these works into English. Voluptuous, burning, and heavy, at times foreshadowing Neruda, Baudelaire’s poems shudder as if with fever and sing of beauty and horror in the same breath. I can’t open this little volume without being arrested. –Reva

golden” whenever they take flight. It is a world where Appalachian culture itself shines so brightly it makes putting down the book to get back to “the real world” nearly impossible. –Susan

“White Noise” By Don DeLillo Prose from a contemporary master who is timeless in his delivery. Dialogue that transcends mere literature. Walk into the world where white noise is encased in postmodernism and spun like a dervish into your brain. –Jon

Highlands Centerforfor Natural History Highlands Center Natural History

Nestled in the Lynx Lake Recreation Area, two minutes from Costco, The Highlands Center for Natural History invites you to experience the wonder of the Central Arizona Highlands.

You’re invited to a Garden Party! Join us at the Highlands Center

Saturday, OctOber 18th from 10:00 aM to 1:00 PM to celebrate 10 years at the Lynx Lake site

– and some BIG news.

Lots of free, fun family activities and refreshments.

Announcement and cake at 11:00!

928-776-9550 •

Wonder • explore • discover 4 • FEATURE • OCTOBER 2014 • 5ENSESMAG.COM

“The Enchanted” By Rene Denfeld With the rhythmic music of her language, Denfeld weaves her spell of enchantment, shining love into the darkest, most brutal of places. This novel surprises, terrifies, and enlightens, and is a spellbinding and rapturous read. –Michaela “Flight Behavior” By Barbara Kingsolver “Flight Behavior,” Barbara Kingsolver’s latest novel, delivers readers into a world where orange-black flakes of monarch butterflies cover every tree with “trembling flame,” and where the air itself “glows

“Kill Shakespeare, Volume 1: A Sea of Troubles” By Conor McCreery, Anthony Del Col, & Andy Belanger Imagine a universe where all of Shakespeare’s most beloved and hated characters mingle, make merry, and constantly plot against each other as they fight to stay on the trail of one man, myth, and legend, Mr. Bill Shakespeare. ―Seth

***** Visit Peregrine Book Company at PeregrineBookCompany.Com and 219A N. Cortez St., Prescott, 928-445-9000.

Bird of the Month

Canyon Wren illustration from “The Crossley ID Guide.” Photo by Richard Crossley, Creative Commons 3.0.

Canyon Wren By Peter Pierson


could be on a predawn start down the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Or you could be weaving through most any rock labyrinth in the Southwest. Regardless, you can’t see beyond the beam of your headlamp, but you can hear the first Canyon Wren’s cascading, whirring whistle tumble down from above. The song paints a precise picture of the stratified sedimentary cliffs and calls your attention to every detail cast in rising sun. Indeed, there are places that seem to be defined by the song or call of a particular bird. Or perhaps it’s the bird whose song comes to define the place. … To many, the song of the Canyon Wren is more familiar than the bird itself. At home in rocky cliffs and canyon lands of the arid West, you might catch a glimpse of it hunting for insects among rock crevices. Although the Canyon Wren can be distinguished from the similar Rock Wren by its white throat and reddish-barred tail, the best way to identify the Canyon Wren from any distance may be to simply close your eyes and listen for

its distinct song. In Prescott, Canyon Wrens can be found in drier rock formations and mountainsides including the high desert edge of the Sonoran ecosystem to the south and west, and occasionally among the Granite Dells. For the more ambitious, a hike up the Granite Mountain Trail often yields the Canyon Wren’s song along the base of the towering white cliffs visible from town on the southwest side of the Granite Mountain formation. Even late in the fall, long after the need to claim and defend a nesting territory has passed, you can hear the Canyon Wren, its song echoing across those cliffs, singing for no other apparent reason than singing itself, painting another picture of how the passing clouds and setting sun change the colors of the rock cliffs of its place. ***** Peter Pierson is a freelance writer and communications adviser who has found home from Northern Minnesota to Regina, Saskatchewan, Nome and Fairbanks, Alaska, and western Colorado. His essay work has been published in print media and produced and broadcast on KAXE-Northern (Minnesota) Com-

munity Radio and CBC Radio One across Canada. A Prescott College graduate fellow and Hulmes Legacy Scholar, he now lives in Prescott while focusing on graduate studies.

Visit Prescott Audubon Society at PrescottAudubon.Org. Contact them at Contact@PrescottAudubon.Org or 928-778-6502.

Highlands Center for Natural History’s

pilF Photo

Magnificence is magnified ... 5ENSESMAG.COM • OCTOBER 2014 • FEATURES • 5

Barefoot & fancy free

Survival guru Cody Lundin enjoys Prescott’s great outdoors By James Dungeon [Editor’s note: The following excerpts are from conversations with Cody Lundin, founder of Aboriginal Living Skills School, LLC, and of TV’s “Dual Survival.” Lundin is participating in the Prescott’s Great Outdoors Outdoor Recreation Festival & Expo on Saturday, Oct. 11. at Watson Lake Park with free presentations at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. He is signing books at 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. His two-hour small group, hands-on workshop, “Modern Firemaking,” is at 1 p.m. and costs $75. Space is limited. Sign up at CityOfPrescott.Net.] What do you think about the Prescott’s Great Outdoors event and why did you get involved? It’s a great thing for our community. Yavapai County and Prescott is an awesome place to be outdoors. We’ve got thousands of square miles

of space from fir and spruce trees to high desert. I know the event is focused on Prescott , but you’ve got to remember this state is amenable to Sonoran desert and alpine tundra within an hour-and-a-half drive from here. For someone who enjoys the outdoors, it’s a real gem. And Arizona is mostly available for public use because of all the public lands, such as the Prescott National Forest, which surrounds Prescott. I’m super excited to be a part of this event. It helps us actively promote what all of us have known for a long time. I’m excited to see the city take the bull by the horns and actively promote the cool things people in town are doing outdoors. What’s your involvement, specifically? I’m doing two things for free. I’ve prepped two courses for an hour or an hour-and-a-half. One is about hypothermia and hyperthermia. Those

Highlands Center for Natural History’s

Flip otohP

... through different lenses. Arizona Grapes are a native riparian plant in the Central Arizona Highlands. In the fall juicy grapes ripen for our local wildlife. Use a magnifying glass next time you hike to open new lenses into the forest and see what you can discover.


are the two most common ways to die outdoors, and you can do both equally well in Prescott with the seasonality we have here. The other one I’m still working on. There’s a paid course, too, and all the funds go to the city of Prescott. It’ll involve firemaking, essentially — modern firemaking, but there will also be some primitive elements in it. I’ll also be signing my books. I’ve sold them to the city at my cost and all proceeds will go to the city of Prescott, too. You cut your teeth in Laramie, Wyoming, and, since then, have traveled around the world. How did you end up in Prescott? I came here to go to college. My mom lived here before I came here, so she knew about it before me. When I came here, I fell in love with the area. So I attended one of the colleges here (Prescott College) and the rest is history. Wyoming’s a gorgeous place. Laramie’s beautiful, but here we have more geographic diversity. All across the country, you don’t get as much diversity as you get here in the shortest drive time. Maybe California has more, overall, but remember I said shortest drive time. I just worked with a program for Dateline NBC about the high mountains and turned around and worked with CBS on one about the desert. For someone like me, you really don’t get that experience anywhere else in North America. That’s how amazing our state is. That’s why I’m really excited to be promoting more outdoors activities in our community. We live in a kickass state. Arizona really is something special. You’ve worked with national and international media outlets. Why pitch for a city-based event? Because I live here. This is my community. I have people come from out of town to my school from places all over the world because I’m here and this is what I do. I’m a teacher and I want to give back to the community.

Cody Lundin. Photo by Christopher Marchetti.

You’ve got a very … specific image: The hippie survival guy. How much of that is real versus what you see on “Dual Survival”? I’ve never seen “Dual Survival,” and as I’m sure you know I was fired (earlier this year). So I don’t know how they portray me. I get feedback from people, though. And, judging from the way I look, I knew how they’d play me — that’s par for the course. When you go into a corporate venture like that, that’s a really vulnerable spot to be in. I knew what the potential was, but not the fallout (this year) of defaming me. There’s got to be a certain level of trust, and you’ve got to protect your character. … I’m a teacher. Most of the people you see on survival shows aren’t survival instructors. Maybe they made a mistake by hiring me. I am what I do. They have their standards

A lot of those sort of things seem geared toward doomsday and disaster scenarios. Any comment on that and its prevalence in our culture right now? Well, it’s a mistake. I don’t get into the hype. The people who teach fear-based skills don’t understand

***** Visit CityOfPrescott.Net to find out more about Prescott’s Great Outdoors Outdoor Recreation Festival & Expo. Visit Cody Lundin at CodyLundin.Com. James Dungeon is a figment of his own imagination. And he likes cats. Contact him at JamesDungeonCats@Gmail.Com.

4 Prescott’s 4th Friday




I read somewhere you started your business and school in Prescott on $10. There’s gotta be a story there. I had an ex-girlfriend who had a girlfriend who was in graphic design in San Francisco. So I bought this stuff called colored paper and went to an office supplies store over by where Hugo’s used to be, I think. So I printed out photocopies of this brochure and that’s how it started. I hit up every summer camp in Prescott. This was a really long time ago, mind you. The brochure said, “I’m Cody. Here’s what I do,” and I didn’t get one response from the, what, 25 summer camps. Ironically, now these places have “Become an Outdoorswoman” and “Survivalist Training” classes. Things have changed a lot.

How often do the skills you honed in Prescott help you elsewhere? I use skills I developed in Prescott every damn day. They’re the foundation of everything I do. Whether I’m in Laos, in Thailand, in Fiji, in Nicaragua, or Peru, I’m able to do what I do because I was able to do it because of the skills I built here in Yavapai County. The plants and animals are different, but the tribal cultures have the same ideas: Eat this, drink that, poop over there, use this for fire. I’ve taken the skills I’ve learned all over the world to jungles, to volcanoes, to glaciers — skills I honed right here in our little hometown.

survival skills. The whole task as an instructor is to mitigate fear and risk. You’re going to be scared when something happens in real life, and you need to mitigate that fear and reduce risk. As for the culture of zombies and vampires, I think people romanticize death because they’re not exposed to it. When I travel the world, I don’t see 8-year-olds with Tshirts with skulls and crossbones on them. They’re wearing the Donald Duck T-shirts they found in a Dumpster. When you travel internationally, you don’t see the romanticized doom and gloom. … I refuse to buy into the, “Let’s scare the shit out of people” approach. I saw that big time with Y2K, then it dropped off, but now it’s here again. There’s a lot of fear, a lot of bullshit and fear, in the profession I’m involved in, and one of my goals is to eradicate that. If an instructor tries to scare you, they’re not a real instructor because that’s the antithesis of what an instructor does.


Your persona in your books and on the TV series “Dual Survival” is quite boisterous and engaging. What role does entertainment play in education? Any good educator is also an entertainer. You’ve had that shitty teacher — you know, the one where you wake up with your head in a pile of drool on your desk — and you’ve had that teacher who inspired you to get off your ass and do something. I want to be the latter. I keep people alive, and I’m passionate about that. And I love the outdoors. For a teacher, I think passion is mandatory. I’m taking that to a different level.

and I have mine. I did what I do: I taught quality skills I’ve seen work for decades that could help people out in real situations. That’s how I tried to keep myself clean. I tried to provide a service for a TV community that’s spoon-fed shit from reality shows, from drinking your own pee to X, Y, and Z — I hate seeing that. I’d rejected several TV shows before, and I’ve rejected six of them in the last four months. There’s a lot more crap coming down the line, I’m afraid to say. … But getting back to the outdoors event in Prescott, I’m excited to share real skills with real people. If I can use my media clout to get people to come to the event, to come hear me talk about ways they can keep themselves and their loved ones alive, then that’s great.


This is one of the ways I do that. One of the main ways has been the courses I teach through Yavapai College. Training with me is dirt cheap that way — a fraction of what I charge through my own business. That’s a way to make it more affordable. Prescott has been very good to me, so it’s a win-win situation.



2014 January 24 February 28 March 28 April 25 Beginning at 5 PM May 23 June 27 July 25 August 22 September 26 October 24 November 28 December 26

See Special Events


Left Brain: October’s mind-full events Events

“Framing Your Fine Art & Collectables”

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“Stellafane Convention”

• 1 p.m. Saturday: Ida Kendell, owner of The Frame & I, discusses the framing and preservation of all kinds of art and objects. A Phippen Museum Art Conversation. (Phippen Museum, 4701 Arizona 89, 928-778-1385)

• 6:30 p.m. Wednesday: Jack Szelka discusses the birthplace of amateur telescope making at monthly Prescott Astronomy Club meeting. (Prescott Public Library, Founders Suite, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500).

“Your Brain & Music”

Betty Webb • 3 p.m. Saturday: Author Betty Webb discusses her newest Lena Jones mystery, “Desert Rage.” (Prescott Public Library, Founders Suite, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-443-1638)

• 5 p.m. Wednesday: Janice Jarrett discusses if and how music can make you smarter, happier, and healthier. (Prescott Public Library, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500).

LAN party

“Starry Nights” • 7:30 p.m. Saturday: Star party via Prescott Astronomy Club. (Pronghorn Park, 7931 Rusty Spur Trail, 928-778-6502)

11 & 12

• Noon Saturday: Play multiplayer computer games like Quake, Counterstrike, and Tribes at monthly Local Area Network party. Via Western Sky PC. (Game On, 1957 Commerce Center Circle Suite C, PPCGG.Com)

“Dreaming Bears” • 2 p.m. Saturday: Author Michael Holloway discusses his tale set in the Alaskan wilds. (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000)

“The Celestial Zoo” • 6:30 p.m. Saturday: Dr. David Viscio, past president of Prescott Astronomy Club, discusses the many, varied objects in the sky. (Highlands Center for Natural History, 1375 S. Walker Road, 928-776-9550)


Undergraduate Research Symposium

• 12:10 p.m. Tuesday: Sixth annual showcase featuring presentations describing supervised physics research. A 2014 Science Speaker Series talk. (ERAU, AC1-107, 3700 Willow Creek Road, 928-777-6600)

“Paleoproterozoic Tectonic Evolution of the Chino Valley Area” • 6:30 p.m. Tuesday: John Spencer, of the Arizona Geology Survey, discusses insights gleaned from new geologic mapping. (Prescott Public Library, Founders Suite, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500)

“The Truth About Global Hawk”

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• 7 p.m. Wednesday: Col. Geoffrey Parker, U.S. Air Force (retired), discusses the controversial drone system that evolved from the first Gulf War to present. (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Davis Learning Center, 3700 Willow Creek Road, 928-777-6985)

“Desert Pollinators”

Third annual Prescott’s Great Outdoors • 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 11 & 12: Outdoor Recreation Festival & Expo featuring presentations by Cody Lundin; Arizona Game & Fish Dept.; Adobe Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation Center animals; live music; a 300-foot zip line and four-person rock climbing tower; fishing in a netted cove; a Prescott Astronomy Club night-sky program; and more. Full schedule is online. (Granite Dells, 928-777-1590, CityOfPrescott.Net) PHOTO: Cody Lundin, Aboriginal Living Skills School founder and “Dual Survival” TV star, gives presentations and signs books on Oct. 11. Photo by Amanda Fenton. “Spirit Walk”

“15 Short Stories”

• 2 p.m. Saturday: Creative writing professor Jay Treiber discusses his debut novel. (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000)

• 2 p.m. Saturday: Playwright J.S. Kierland discusses his new book divided per the folksong “Goodnight, Irene.” (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000)

“Levis & Lace”

“Theodore Roosevelt”

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• 6:30 a.m. Thursday: Bob Beltz, Friends of the Forest volunteer, discusses desert pollinators. (Highlands Center for Natural History, 1375 S. Walker Road, 928-776-9550)

• 2 p.m. Saturday: Author Jan Cleere discusses her new book about Arizona’s women who made history. (Prescott Public Library, Founders Suite, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-443-1638)

“Talk Jock Twits”


• 5:30 p.m. Thursday: Journalist Patrick Whitehurst discusses his novella about the strange world of talk radio. (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000)

• 5:30 p.m. Tuesday: Documentary screening via Slow Food Prescott. (Prescott College, Crossroads Center, 220 Grove Ave., PrescottAZ@SlowFoodUsa.Org, $10-$15)


“Prescott Fire Department”

• 7 p.m. Thursday: Documentary about America’s sea change in thinking about big dams. (Prescott College Crossroads Center, 220 Grove Ave.)

• 5:30 p.m. Thursday: Veteran firefighter Eric Jackson discusses his new book about Prescott’s fire department. (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000)

Moonlit Naturalist Walk

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• 7:30 p.m. Friday: Experience the wonder of nature at night. (Highlands Center for Natural History, 1375 S. Walker Road, 928-776-9550)

Prescott Audubon Society Bird Walk

• 7:30 a.m. Saturday: Monthly Audubon bird walk. (Highlands Center for Natural History, 1375 S. Walker Road, 928-776-9550)

“My Life at Navajo”

• 2 p.m. Saturday: James Thomas discusses living and working as a physician in the Navajo Nation. A Smoki Museum Second Saturday Lecture. (Smoki Museum, 147 N. Arizona Ave., 928-445-1230)

“Astronomy Skits for Secondary Science Education”

• 6:30 p.m. Thursday: Anthropologist Margaret Rappaport and astronomer Fr. Chris Corbally, of the Human Sentience Project, discuss their upcoming book. A Prescott Astronomy Club Third Thursday Star Talk. (Prescott Public Library, Founders Suite, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500)


Highlands Center open house

• 10 a.m. Saturday: 10th anniversary celebration at the Highlands Center for Natural History including raffle, entertainment, and a surprise announcement about the future of the Highlands Center. (Highlands Center for Natural History, 1375 S. Walker Road, 928-776-9550)


• 7:30 p.m. Saturday: Learn about Teddy Roosevelt’s early life, military career, organization of the Rough Riders, friendship with former Prescott Mayor Buckey O’Neil, and presidency. (Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St., 928-776-2000, $26-$36)



“Conversation with a Tlingit Elder”

• 1 p.m. Sunday: Grandfather Bernard A. DeAsis, of the Raven/Moidty and Beaver/Dersjeetaan Tlingit Clans in Southeast Alaska discusses the Tlingit Tribe, its culture, and its spiritual aspects. (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000)

Prescott Orchid Society • 1 p.m. Sunday: Monthly meeting. (Prescott Public Library, Founders Suite, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500)

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Harry Potter Costume Contest & Reading • 5 p.m. Wednesday: Harry Potter readings and costume contest with prizes for adults and children. (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000)

“Repairing the Planet One Neighborhood at a Time”

• 5:30 p.m. Thursday: Author Mark Lakeman discusses his book, “City Repair’s Placemaking Guidebook.” In collaboration with ECOSA. (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000)

Multi-day Bird walks • 8 a.m. Oct. 3, 8, 17, 24, & 30: Bird walks at Willow Lake South, Watson Woods South, Community Nature Center, White Spar Campground, and Granite Basin. (Jay’s Bird Barn, No. 113, 1046 Willow Creek Road, 928-443-5900, RSVP)

Modern-day meditation • 6:50 p.m. Oct. 1 & 15: An active, four-part practice for today’s demanding lifestyle: Open. Calm. Think. Act. (Deva Healing Center, 520 W. Sheldon St., 619-917-1337, first time free, $10)

Prescott Area Boardgamers • 5 p.m. Oct. 1, 15, & 29: Play board games. (Prescott Public Library, Founders Suite, Bump and Elsea conference rooms, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500)

“Celebration of National Mole Day”

Community Yoga

• 12:10 p.m. Thursday: Dr. Brian Nordstrom, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, discusses the role of the mole. A 2014 Science Speaker Series talk. (ERAU, AC1-107, 3700 Willow Creek Road, 928-777-6600)

• 5:15 p.m. Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10 a.m. Saturdays: Free community all-levels yoga class for people from all walks of life. Come heal your whole self. No experience necessary. (Deva Healing Center, 520 Sheldon St., DevaHealingCenter.Org)

“Fires, Floods, & Birds”

Mindfulness meditation

• 7 p.m. Thursday: Dr. Kathleen G. Blair, ecologist for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, discusses “Dynamics of a Desert Riparian Bird Community on the Bill Williams River of Arizona,” at monthly Prescott Audubon Society meeting. (Trinity Presbyterian Church, 630 Park Ave., 928-778-6502)

• 6:30 p.m. informal sit, 7 p.m. formal sit Tuesdays: Meditation group open to people of all faiths and non-faiths followed by optional discussion. (601 Miller Valley Road, park in back, PrescottVipassana.Org)

“Promoting Pollinators From the Schoolyard to Your Backyard”

• 10 a.m. Wednesdays & Saturdays: Learn about local birds, geology, plants, and more. (HighlandsCenter.Org., 928-776-9550)


• 8:30 a.m. Saturday: A discussion about promoting pollinators and a trip to two new habitat schools. (Highlands Center for Natural History, 1375 S. Walker Road, 928-776-9550)

Halloween ComicFest • Noon: Free comic book day with costume contests and prizes. (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000)

Naturalist City & Field Walks

Scrabble group • 1 p.m. Thursdays: Play Scrabble and Upwords. (Prescott Public Library, Bump and Elsea conference rooms, 928-777-1500)

October’s art-full events :niarB thgiR Events


Poetry discussion group • 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dr. Janet Preston’s monthly poetry discussion group. (Prescott Public Library, Elsea Conference Room, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500)

“Traditions & Visions” • From Oct. 1: Themed art show. (Mountain Artists Guild & Gallery, 228 Alarcon St., 928-445-2510)

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Poets’ Cooperative • 6 p.m. Thursday: Share your work with other poets in a supportive atmosphere. (Prescott Public Library, Elsea Conference Room, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-777-1500)

Contra Dance • 7 p.m. Saturday: Contra dance lesson and dance at special Folk Happens event. (Grace Sparkes Activity Center, 824 E. Gurley St., 928-925-5210, $4-$8) Yavapai College Creative Writing faculty reading • 7 p.m. Friday: Michaela Carter, Laraine Herring, Kristen Kauffman, and Susan Lang read from their recent works. (Yavapai College, 1100 E. Sheldon St.)

Open mic poetry • 5:30 p.m. Wednesday: Poet Dan Seaman emcees monthly open mic poetry. (Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000) 4th Friday Art Walk • 5 p.m. Friday: Monthly art walk including more than 18 galleries, artist receptions, openings, and demonstrations. (ArtThe4th.Com) Contra Dance • 7 p.m. Saturday: Contra dance lesson and dance at monthly Folk Happens event. (First Congregational Church Annex, 216 E. Gurley St., 928-925-5210, $4-$8)

Saturday Night Talks • 7 p.m. Saturdays: Weekly talk series including “Not Reaching: The Art of Learning How to Wait,” “The Path Does Not Get Tired,” “Maturing in Wisdom, Age, and Grace,” and “Once in Love, You Must Pursue It to the End.” (The Courtyard Building, 115 E. Goodwin St., 928-771-0205, $5)

Theater & film “Seatbelts Required (or) The Play I Wrote to Piss off My Sisters” • 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2-4, 2 p.m. Oct. 5: Following their mother’s funeral, three sisters gather at their childhood home and try to come to terms with the destruction their mother brought to their lives. Directed by Frank Malle. Featuring Amber Bosworth, Allie Elliott, and Julie Harrington. (Stage Too, North Cortez Street alley between Willis and Sheldon streets, 928-445-3286, $15)

“Working With Our Hands” • From Oct. 3: Ironwood sculptures, torote baskets, jewelry, and more from 32 artists from the Comcaac Nation, Sonora, Mexico. (The Natural History Institute at Prescott College, 312 Grove Ave. 928-350-2280)


“Day of the Dead” • From Oct. 6: Second annual exhibit celebrating El Dia de los Muertos. (Prescott Center for the Arts, 208 N. Marina St., 928-445-3286) “Oriona’s Treasures” • Through Oct. 14: Art with wire, wood, and other roadside attractions by Oriona Meadows. (’Tis Art Center & Gallery, 105 S. Cortez St., 928-775-0223)

Seventh annual Prescott Area Artists’ Studio Tour • 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, Oct. 3-5: Annual area artists tour featuring 55 juried artists in 35 locations. All artwork is for sale. Via Mountain Artists Guild. Full tour map is online. (PrescottStudioTour.Com, MountainArtistsGuild.Org) IMAGE: Prescott landscape painting by Russell Johnson, whose work is on display via the Prescott Area Artists’ Studio Tour at Cathy Gibbons Studio. Visit RussellJohnsonArt.Com for more. Courtesy photo, manipulated. (Cathy Gibbons Studio, 7300 E. Knobby Lane, Prescott Valley, 928-420-2525) “Macbeth” • 9:55 a.m. Oct. 11: Via satellite, The Metropolitan Opera’s presentation of Verdi’s masterpiece. (Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St., 928-776-2000, $12-$30) “Le Nozze di Figaro” • 9:55 a.m. Oct. 18: Via satellite, The Metropolitan Opera’s presentation of Mozart’s masterpiece. (Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St., 928-776-2000, $12-$30) The Improvitionians • 8:30 p.m. Oct. 18: Improv comedy at 5,000 feet. (Stage Too, North Cortez Street alley between Willis and Sheldon streets, 928-445-3286, $5) “Lady Susan” • 7 p.m. Oct. 23: Staged reading of Sedonabased playwright Michelle Lambeau’s script based on an unpublished novel by a teenage Jane Austen. Via Tomorrow’s Theatre Tonight. (Prescott Public Library, Founders Suite, 215 E. Goodwin St., 928-443-1638)

“Ghost Talk” • 6 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 & 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. & 9 p.m. Oct. 25: See the legends and myths of Arizona as 13 famous and infamous ghosts, ghouls, and goblins retell their haunting tales. Proceeds benefit Prescott Center for the Arts and West Yavapai Guidance Center. (Prescott Center for the Arts, 208 N. Marina St., 928-445-3286, $12) “Fright Night IV” • 7 p.m. Oct. 30: “White Zombie,” “Bloody Pit of Horror,” featuring wise-crackin’ commentary from Prescott’s Mile High Comedy Theater, and “Diary of a Mad Scientist’s Assistant,” a Prescott-born comedy web series. (Elks Theatre, 117 E. Gurley St., $10) It’s Alive! Horror Movie Night • 6 p.m. Oct. 30: Double feature. (The Natural History Institute at Prescott College, 312 Grove Ave. 928-350-2280, $3 for insects, furry animals, birds, and plants, $5 for humans) “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” • 6:30 p.m. Oct. 31: The 1923 classic film starring Lon Chaney featuring live musical accompaniment by the venerable Jonathan Best. (Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St., 928-776-2000, $12)

“Chang it Up: An Artisan’s Closet” • From Oct. 16: Creative up-cycling additions to your clothing and accessories by Joan Knight, Carol Hunter Geboy, and Linda Scott. (’Tis Art Center & Gallery, 105 S. Cortez St., 928-775-0223) Finchum & Gunther • From Oct. 16: Art by Connie Finchum and Alice Gunther. (Mountain Artists Guild & Gallery, 228 Alarcon St., 928-445-2510) Digital Artists Group • Through Oct. 18: Digital art drawing. (Yavapai College Art Gallery, 1100 E. Sheldon St., 928-776-2031) “SHIFT” • Through Oct. 18: A 10-year retrospective of agriculture-inspired art by fourthgeneration farmer Matthew Moore. (Prescott College Art Gallery at Sam Hill Warehouse, 232 N. Granite St., 928-350-2341) Eclectic Work in Various Media • Through Oct. 21: Annual art show. (’Tis Art Center & Gallery, 105 S. Cortez St., 928-775-0223) SWAA show • From Oct. 24: A vivid, colorful, and creative show featuring work from Arizona’s finest artists of the Southwestern Artist Association. (’Tis Art Center & Gallery, 105 S. Cortez St., 928-775-0223) “Other Lives” • From Oct. 24: Photography by Dan Farnum and Robert Gerhardt Jr. (Prescott College Art Gallery at Sam Hill Warehouse, 232 N. Granite St., 928-350-2341) Sacco • Through Nov. 1: Mixed media art by Victoria Morgan Sacco. (Method Coffee, 3180 Willow Creek Road, 928-777-1067)


Cultivating foodies

How (and why) to celebrate National Farm to School Month By Kathleen Yetman


the saying goes, you must taste some foods 20 times before you’ll likes them. And kids are no different. They need opportunities to expand their palates and repeated menus featuring new foods in order to grow into healthy adults. October is National Farm to School Month and organizations, school districts, and school food directors all across the country are celebrating local agriculture with students. The farm to school movement is a nationwide movement that’s more than just bringing fresh local produce into school lunches; it requires a host of educational activities to encourage kids to learn about the foods they eat, where those foods come from, how they grow, and how they affect their bodies.


does farm to school matter? Every day, more than 31 million children eat lunch at school. Many of these children depend on schools to provide them breakfast as well. Data from 2012 shows that in Prescott Unified School District 35 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. It’s 43 percent in Chino Valley and 60 percent in Humboldt. This means that a large percentage of our children receive 2/3 of their meals at school. Some schools are forced to serve what’s cheapest while still meeting nutritional standards set by the government. Often this means canned vegetables, highly processed chicken nuggets and foods that contain high fructose corn syrup. Farm to school programs aim to place fresh fruits and vegetables, and unprocessed meats onto the trays of all students, ensuring that what they eat at school

nourishes them and helps them grow.


does farm to school look like in our community? The farm to school ideology has three core elements: education, school gardens, and procurement. We have an inspiring team of community partners working on all of these elements in the Quad Cities. Yavapai County Community Health Services uses Snap Nutritional Assistance Program Ed funding to teach nutrition in local Title 1 school classrooms. The Prescott Farmers Market’s FoodCorps service member supplements these nutrition lessons with hands-on gardening activities in three public schools. Many public and charter schools have thriving gardens where children can make the connection between the seeds they plant and the vegetables they eat. This past year, Paradigm Permaculture partnered with Prescott Unified School District and other organizations to implement a USDA Farm to School Planning Grant to determine the best ways to increase students’ access to local fruits and vegetables in school meals. Some strategies engage school food directors and kitchen staff in sourcing from local farmers, trying new recipes, and offering taste tests and education about new menu items. On the other side, districts and schools have to ensure that farmers have the quantity they need and receive a good price for their produce.


designated National Farm to School Month in 2010 to bring attention to the growing importance of farm to school programs that improve child nutrition, bolster local economies and teach children about the origins of food. Each Saturday this month the Prescott Farmers Market education booth is providing children a taste test, educational hand-out, recipe and craft about one of the featured fruits or vegetables: pomegranate, kale, spaghetti squash and pumpkin. Bring your kids down to the market to learn about these delicious fruits and vegetables and enjoy a taste yourself. ***** Visit FarmToSchool.Org to learn more about the farm to school movement. Visit FNS.USDA.Gov/nslp/ national-school-lunch-programnslp to learn more about the National School Lunch Program. Visit the Prescott Farmers Market at PrescottFarmersMarket.Org or Yavapai College Parking Lot D, 1100 E. Sheldon St. Send questions to Info@ Prescott Farmers Market.Org. Kathleen Yetman is the managing director of the Prescott Farmers Market. She was born and raised in Prescott and spent the past three years living on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

Silverware from undated catalog circa late 1800s, early 1900s. Via TheGraphicsFairy.Com, public domain.


Why are oui here?

How French style infiltrated American furniture culture

By Jacy Lee


to many sources, Mission Furniture is the only furniture style said to be invented in the U.S.A. Does that means that every other style of furniture was created elsewhere and then brought to the country? Pretty much. In other parts of the world, conquering people left their marks on both architecture and furnishings. The Iberian Peninsula and North Africa still bear witness to the extensive Ottoman Empire. But the United States was never conquered and, prior to our independence, we were British. But the British, too, were heavily influenced by outside sources — namely the French, rulers of Western Fashion for hundreds of years. From the 1650s to the early 1800s, French rulers laid the groundwork for future designs of the day. These same designs have resurfaced over and over again, and are still popping up in contemporary furniture today.


Louis XIV period, from the late 1600s to the early 1700s was decidedly Baroque. Straight lineations and symmetry

were enhanced by carvings depicting nature and mythology. The use of ornamental woods other than sturdy oak and walnut became quite popular. Inlays and marquetry work from tortoise shell, known as boulle, became quite elaborate; gilding, painting, and bronze mounting were also used extensively. The “VernisMartin” varnishing of cabinets gave way to artwork on furniture. In the early 1900s, in the U.S., re-creations of this were all the rage. Louis XV was almost as opulent as his predecessor, but introduced curvature and took away symmetry. The curved arms, legs, and chair backs were the signature of this period. Also the cartouche, or carved wave, on the top of chairs and armoires broke the symmetry by cascading to one side. In the early days of his life, before he was old enough to be king, the term “rococo” was coined. Rococo was the contraction of the French words for “rock” and “shell,” two common motifs during the period. Rococo was the style during the early Victorian period in America. And just think how many tables and chairs have used curved arms and legs in this country during the past 250 years.


before Louis XV’s reign ended, stylish people tired of the curves and returned to straight lines and right angles. Pieces from the subsequent Louis XVI period are earmarked by a straight-leg, slightly tapered and reeded look. Inspired by the columns of Greek and Roman architecture, this look went on to inspire Thomas Sheraton of England and the early

Examples of Frenchinspired furniture styles. Photos by Jacy Lee.

Federal furniture makers of America. The next era of furniture to sweep the Western world was Empire. Empire was just about created by Napoleon. Early Empire furniture relied on columns, claw feet, animal motifs, and bronze mountings. Unfortunately, in 1815 Napoleon met his Waterloo, but Empire furniture persisted for another 20-or-so years. Empire furniture influenced one of America’s most famous furniture makers, Duncan Phyfe. Phyfe style had a strong resurgence in America in the 1930s and 1940s. Contemporary furniture makers are still stealing his ideas.

role that the French played in our furniture heritage. They didn’t just kiss funny and cut potatoes thin. Anyway, pardon my English, but that’s why oui is here. ***** Longtime Prescott resident Jacy Lee has been in the auction business for 37 years and is directly responsible for a fraction of a million pounds of minimally processed recycling each year.


into account all of this information, and the fact that early America was hemmed between Quebec and New Orleans, it’s hard to ignore the

PRESCOO FARMERS MARKET Saturdays, May 10th - October 25th 7:30 a.m. - Noon Yavapai College “parking lot D” 1100 E. Sheldon St.


CHINO VALLEY THURSDAYS June 6- October 17 3:00 - 6:00 P.M. Walgreens, corner of Highway 89 and Rd. 2 North

Fresh, quality produce, from local farmers, plus salsa, honey, local meat, farmers cheese, tamales, baked goods, hand-made soup, live plants, fresh herbs, cut owers, and more.

Come meet the folks who grow your food in a lively community atmosphere that’s fun for the whole family!

The Prescott Farmers Market accepts FMNP coupons (WIC), Food Stamps (EBT), credit and debit cards.

Seeking local growers, musicians, and volunteers. Contact us at 713.1227 or



Jihadi MTV

Alan Dean Foster’s


By Alan Dean Foster Social media used to report war, not drive it. Modern technology has not only changed how war is reported; it has changed how it is conducted. Fighters today need two sights. One to look down the barrel of their weapon to bring their target closer and a second so they can locate TV reporters, internet tweeters, and the 12-year-old down the bombed-out street holding up a cameraequipped cell phone. We’ve gone from waiting weeks and then days for war news to seeing it on the internet as soon as it can be posted. What not every media-enthused battlefield participant seems to understand is that this instant reportage can cut both ways. “Hi folks! Here we are today on Normandy Beach, where as you can see the allies have established a secure beachhead. Even now, members of U.S., British, Canadian, and Free French forces are pushing hard inland, driving the enemy before them. We’ll be uploading pictures from the liberation of Paris any day now!”


all well and good when events go that way. On the other hand, you might get … “Good day from the Balaclava Heights. As we survey the magnificent panorama set out before us, the morning sun gleaming from the hundreds of helmets of the light brigade as they prepare for their triumphant charge up the North V, we expect shortly to be able to show you scenes of the Russians abandoning their positions in the face of the indomitable British Cavalry.” Note: Here we are, two hundred years later, back in Crimea again (does nothing change?). Only this time, war reporting is not conducted via telegraph wire and newspaper reports. It occurs nearly in real time, and knowing how to manipulate that media is as important if not more important than knowing how to manipulate lines of troops and artillery.

Technology changes tactics, and not just because satellites can see what opposite sides wish to keep secret. The battle these days is as much for hearts and minds as for acres of ground. The Russians didn’t remove all identifying insignia from their vehicles and soldiers’ uniforms in the eastern Ukraine because they planned on updating the units involved. They did so because to maintain a battlefield fiction these days you must be aware that there are cameras everywhere, and curious eyes abounding. Yet, it’s impossible to do. Modern technology reveals all, as in the hastily grabbed shots of invading armored vehicles making surreal sprints down backcountry roads, or the quick shot of a local Ukrainian “volunteer” with his watch set to Moscow time.


contrast to those fighters who try to conceal their identities and activities, we have those who strive to do the opposite: to utilize the availability of instant visibility to promote instead of disguise their particular agenda. Not only al-Qaeda but al-Shabab and now ISIS seem to compete as much with online video as with guns. One can almost envision their respective leaders surfing the net to compare, not material victories, but visuals. “See how they shoot — I mean record — their advancing column from behind? It gives the immediate impression of pushing forward, of pushing the enemy back. Look at that guy running and firing his machine gun! He’s not firing at anything in particular, of course, but the muzzle flash is a great image! We need more of that. And music — we need better music in our videos!” Of course, to some extremist elements, music is something of the devil. That’s been an ongoing argument in certain quarters for hundreds of years. But apparently it’s wholly acceptable when it accompanies visuals of folks blowing other people up, because it makes for a better recruitment video. How do you score a beheading?

sian “I’m here on vacation,” is leading contender in this category right now), Most Knowledgeable About War Movies, Most Skilled IED Placement, and so on. Whichever side wins the most prizes wins the war. For a year, anyway, until the next awards show, exclusive to the Atrocity Channel. If there’s one truism about technology, it’s that it invariably ends up being used for purposes that its inventors never intended. (See: Nobel, Alfred.) Sometimes, in war, these even overlap, as with the Russian minister who insisted that U.S. satellite photos of Russian armor on Ukrainian soil were actually drawn from a video game. Now there’s an idea. Let’s have all sides resort to a video game set in the theater of combat and have the outcome determined by who wins the game. Nobody would get hurt. Combatants wouldn’t even have to be present. They could compete safely from the confines of their own respective headquarters without ever risking actual physical contact with one another. The war could even be recorded for viewing later, preferably during prime time when it would sell lots of pickup truck commercials. One possible drawback is that such combat might drone on and on. … And yes, that pun was intended. ***** Alan Dean Foster is author of more than 120 books, visitor to more than 100 countries, and still frustrated by the human species. Follow him at AlanDeanFoster.Com.


it be nice if, instead of all these groups obliterating innocent civilians, they just cut to the chase and had a video competition? They could call it an “a-war-show”. Winners receive a statue of the god Mars. (No, wait … no representations of human figures allowed.) A gold-plated AK-47 would work. Awards would be given for Best Infiltration, Most Effective Demolition, Most Skilled Armed Toyota Pickup Driver, Best Excuse for Invading (the Rus-



Images via All-Free-Download.Com. Illustration by 5enses.

BELL, (COMIC) BOOK, & CANDLE The fun fraternity of Prescott’s comic artists By Jacques Laliberté


would agree Prescott is a town of fabulous artists of all genres, talents and personalities. What may not be evident is that we’re also fortunate to be in the company — hidden though it is — of some of the best and quirkiest cartoonists, too. Though comic book art has generally been considered a “trashy” art form, the reality is that now, more than ever, artists with real talent and rare gifts gravitate to the form because of its immediacy and unique expressive potential. The line blurs between fine art and

commercial illustration as comic artists make the leap to moving images, conceiving of and drawing gorgeous animations for studios like DreamWorks, Disney, and Pixar. Prescott-based cartoon artist Ryan Liebe says the distinction is moot: “Cartoonists and illustrators have had to expand their skill sets to fit in to today’s mass consuming state of affairs. You can find a drawing or animated character or anthropomorphic character to represent and sell just about everything from U-Haul boxes to dog food.” It’s a small community of cartoonists, and a few of our locals and their idiosyncratic styles are represented

here. Don’t be surprised to find new delight in one of your old pastimes: reading comics. The workman-if-the-workmanwere-like-Da-Vinci In the thick of the industry around 1981, at the time the field was expanding with broader subject matter and more opportunity, was Bret Blevins. Working with Marvel Comics during a golden age, Blevins says, “Was creative, it was a lot of fun.” The names he can drop are legion: Spiderman, Wolverine, The X-Men, The Hulk, Captain America, Thor,

Daredevil, Dr. Strange, The Fantastic Four, The New Mutants, Sheena, Ghost Rider, Conan, Solomon Kane, The Inhumans, and The Punisher. Blevins drew and story-boarded these titles, and many more. Georgia-born, with a stint on the East Coast, Blevins followed a love of the Southwest to Prescott in 1990. It was a solid place to raise his kids and still work from home for the studios on the coasts.


IMAGES: “Epoch” cover sketch and final version, by Prescott-based comic book artist Bret Blevins. Courtesy images.


... FROM PAGE 13 As the industry and its technology became ever-more digitized, animation for television dominated most of Bret’s work, as he created and penciled elaborate storyboards for shows. The friend who roped him into that frontier was none other than Bruce Timm, of “Batman: The Animated series” fame. With a technique that is Old World, classic, and grounded in traditional fine art studies of materials, anatomy, and perspective, Blevins laments the current state of the business. “The classic drawing discipline is gone, because of an art education that has been eroded for decades,” he says. “The (tools for) visual clarity required to tell the story aren’t there. … Plus there are now cultural disparities, when the studio is in China or France.” The workers, no longer artists, can’t decipher Blevins’ instructional notes written in English, sometimes leading to unintentionally goofy results. Working on a Cintiq tablet, Blevins drawings get immediately digitized for transmission to clients. A great tool, but for a painted look, Blevins still goes for the brush and oils. He’s content to scan the piece later. An animation project is intense work.

It takes “weeks and weeks of drawing for it all to flow seamlessly,” Blevins explains. He’d rather be painting from a figure model, a process he says “even being hard work, is involving — even relaxing — because it is an exchange.” “I am more inspired the longer I go,” he adds. In fact, Blevins could often be spotted sketching alongside Brian Lemcke and Ryan Liebe in local artist Fred Poore’s weekly modeling class. How do harried artists unwind on the weekend? By drawing even more, of course. Cartoonist for the ages A Midwestern boy who became a professional illustrator at an early age, Dick Sprang painted signs and handbills for local advertisers. From there, he graduated to illustrations for newspaper advertisements, plus editorial cartoons, and eventually illustrated for the pulp magazines — the Western, detective, and adventure magazines in the era of the late 1930s. In 1941, he got tapped to work with DC Comics and, according to “Who’s Who in American Comics”: “Sprang worked almost entirely on Batman comics and covers and on the Batman newspaper strip, becoming one of the primary Batman artists in the character’s first 20 years.”


It would make Will Eisner proud to learn, “He used to study the way children read comics in order to experiment with page layouts and panel to panel transitions, hoping to create the most suspense and the most fluidity to keep the pages turning.” (Les Daniels in “Batman: The Complete History.”) Fellow Prescott artist Russell Miller knew Sprang. “When I met Dick Sprang, he was retired from comics, but was still doing artwork,” Miller says. At the time, Sprang was involved with historical illustrations for things like Civil War and Western pictures. “I was impressed by the fidelity of his line work. It was still impeccable, absolutely fine and crisp,” Miller says. “His work was always startlingly clean and seemed to lose nothing with his

aging.” His mental faculties and character strength endured, as well. “He was very generous with his advice,” Miller says. “He wasn’t crazy about the accolades. He seemed quite humble for someone with a career like his.” Regarding the Batmobile, Sprang penned the first to grace a comic book cover, in 1944, though it was not the premier version. Many more iterations of the iconic-cool vehicle were to follow, and spawn a whole industry of

licensed toys based on comic book — and later, film — characters. Sprang moved to Sedona in 1946; in 1956 he moved to Wayne County, Utah; in 1963, Sprang retired from full-time comics illustrating. In 1972, he relocated to Prescott, where he lived until his death, in 2000. The piper about Prescott “The culprit was DC comics,” says artist-turned cartoonist Russell Miler. “You weren’t supposed to read those. And the anthologies, they had such punch, and real parables.” With fine art degrees, it took time before Miller began drawing and sending off stuff to publishers. Once he did, the story changed. It was illustration — then comics — that got Miller jazzed. A writer and draftsman, Russ has the “Retro ’50s Comix” and “Razorbax” to his credit, among many others. Penned in a looser, artier style than stalwart Blevins’, Miller’s comics nonetheless tell the story asked of them, and with real punch and play. Miller argues with the idea that comics are a lesser art. “The best artists work at cartooning,” Miller says. “The reason I say that is they’re asked a lot. The (comic book format) has very close param-

eters requiring different talents, and you’ve got to be fast. Those guys are monsters!” Miller alludes to the publishing biz and the strictures of serialized stories, with their established characters and narrative arcs, the specialized skills of story-boarding, penciling, inking, lettering and coloring — and, oh yeah, the killer deadlines. Often, different artists take on each of these tasks, but most can do it all.

Well-known to Prescott locals as the library’s reference librarian, he also writes book reviews, schedules displays in the library viewerie and lines up musical guests. He added acclaim to his rep by illustrating Cody Lundin’s books on survival. His tableaux-style images aptly embody the perils of endof-world scenarios. Plus scads of students learned a bit about the way to see and draw in Miller’s Prescott- and Yavapai College courses over the last two decades. His dream project is a graphic novel that tells the real story of the fabled and yet suspect Pied Piper. We can hardly wait for that.

COUNTERCLOCKWISE, FROM BOTTOM LEFT: “Tarzan on Mars” No. 4 cover, by Bret Blevins; Dick Sprang signs an issue of “Batman”; Russell Miller plays the bagpipes; a page from “Uncle Scrooge,” drawn by Russell Miller; Dick Sprang’s Batcave; and Bret Blevins self-portrait;


Courtesy photos and images and/or fair use.


News From the Wilds Prescott weather Average high temperature: 72.1 F, +/-3.8 Average low temperature: 37.2 F, +/-3.4 Record high temperature: 92 F, 1980 Record low temperature: 13 F, 1935 Average precipitation: 1.06”, +/-1.23” Record high precipitation: 7.82”, 1972 Record low precipitation: 0”, 10.6 percent of years on record Max daily precipitation: 2.4”, Oct. 6, 1916

By Ty Fitzmorris


is a bittersweet month, bearing hints of the coming cold season alongside exuberant summer-like bursts of activity. The evening air carries a sliver of ice and bears smells of woodsmoke and high mountains, while the days are filled with dried grasses and the last of the year’s butterflies and flowers. The monsoon showers have finally passed, leaving an explosion of activity in their wake — insects lay eggs, plants set seed, birds migrate, and mammals prepare winter stores and put on fat for the time of scarcity. And this year, which has proven to be one of the wettest on record, will provide most creatures with abundant food and water to make it through. According to the Western Regional Climate Center, both July and September were the 20th wettest of their respective months on record, while this August was the fifth wettest August. With all three months combined, though, 2014 had the second wettest monsoon season in the entire 117-year record. Discussions of rainfall in the region often devolve into discussions of drought and how relatively unbroken it is. But in the fairly small amount of precipitation data available for this region, there

Orange-crowned Warblers migrate through the Mogollon Highlands to Central America. Photo by Ty Fitzmorris. is no statistically significant downward trend — this area is characterized by variability, not by decreasing precipitation. There is, however, one somewhat more meaningful climatic trend in Yavapai County — during the last 117 years the local average temperature has, on average, increased by between 2 to 4 degrees, and the nine warmest years on record have all taken place in the last 16 years. And yet, while Yavapai County is apparently increasing in overall average temperature, precipitation does not appear to be decreasing.


reliably brings the first frosts, and temperatures become increasingly intolerable for many insects and spiders, who either create dens for their overwintering hibernations, as the tarantulas do, gather provisions into large storerooms, as the ants do, migrate south to warmer climes, as with the


Monarch Butterflies, or conclude their egg laying and die, as is the case with most species. And as the insects begin to diminish, so do the creatures that rely on them as food. Many of the birds, most notably warblers and swallows, migrate south to areas with more prey, as do some bat species. Hawks migrate through the region now in increasing numbers, mostly following broad valleys and grasslands, looking for rodents, who are busy now gathering seeds and catching the last insects.


many animal species, this is the time when nearly grown offspring are leaving their parents to establish new territories. Young Bobcats, Badgers, River Otters, Gray Foxes, Abert’s Squirrels, Porcupines, and several species of skunk are looking for territories now, and finding food for the first time by themselves. Among the birds, young Great Horned Owls, Roadrunners, Lesser Nighthawks,

and Mountain Chickadees are all dispersing into new ranges. Encounters between humans and these species are more common during this time, since young are relatively unpracticed at avoiding humans. Of course, as with virtually all of the wild species in the Central Highlands of the Southwest, the only risk to humans in these encounters results from animals being harassed or aggravated. Generally a quiet and respectful approach is rewarded by some degree of trust and can lead to extraordinary observations. ***** Ty Fitzmorris is an itinerant and often distractible naturalist who lives in Prescott and runs Peregrine Book Company and Raven Café as a sideline to his natural history pursuits. Contact him at Ty@PeregrineBookCompany. Com with questions or comments.

News From the Wilds, too A very brief survey of what’s happening in the wilds ... By Ty Fitzmorris High mountains • Elk continue their rut and the bugling of males can sometimes be heard in more remote areas such as Woodchute Wilderness. • Porcupines, which stay near to Aspen trees in the area, continue mating, while their adolescent young establish their own territories. • Pregnant female Black Bears search out winter dens, which are often in old mine shafts. Here, only pregnant females hibernate, during which time they give birth, usually in January. • Gambel Oak and Aspen leaves change color and begin to fall. Visit: Spruce Mountain Loop, No. 307. Ponderosa Pine forests • Young Abert’s Squirrels leave their parents and establish their own territories. These squirrels have a fascinating relationship with Ponderosas, eating the tips of the growing branches, but also eating, and thereby distributing, the truffles and mushrooms that grow on their roots. These fungi help their host pines to gain nutrients that they otherwise could not extract from soil. • Ponderosas continue to shed needles as they do every year around this time, losing 40 percent of their needles. • The leaves of New Mexico Locust (Robinia neomexicana), an understory tree, change to a beautiful yellow, as do those of Arizona Walnut (Juglans major). Visit: Schoolhouse Gulch, No. 67. Pine-Oak woodlands • Young tarantulas disperse into new areas and can sometimes be seen in large numbers. These large spiders are harmless unless harassed, in which case they release mildly irritating hairs, which can cause slight stinging, from their abdomen. Their bite is non-venomous and not painful. • Acorn Woodpeckers, one of the very few social woodpecker species, gather acorns with alacrity, storing them in characteristic granaries — trees (and sometimes telephone poles) into which the woodpeckers have carved holes for acorn storage. Most Acorn

now in their nuptial mating flight, and shortly afterward will look for overwintering refuges where they will remained buried singly through the freezes of the winter. Bumblebees can produce propylene glycol, a natural antifreeze, within their blood, which prevents them from being killed by freezing. In the spring, these queen bumblebees will emerge and begin new colonies. Visit: Agua Fria National Monument.

Young Short-horned Lizards disperse and establish new territories. Photo by Ty Fitzmorris. Woodpecker colonies have two granary trees, and the primary one may store as many as 50,000 acorns. Visit: Little Granite Mountain, No. 37.

as Turkey Vultures, with several species sometimes in the same thermal. Visit: Mint Wash Trail, No. 345.

Pinyon-Juniper woodlands • Four-O-Clocks (genus Mirabilis), the most conspicuous local post-monsoon plants, continue to flower on rocky slopes. • Feathered Fingergrass (Chloris virgata), a distinctive, hand-like native grass, appears in many habitats, bearing seeds, though many have been eaten by finches. • Junipers still bear some of their blue-white seed-cones, which are increasingly important in the diets of birds, rodents, and sometimes Coyotes as the weather turns colder. • Goldfinches, House Finches, and many species of sparrows forage in mixedspecies flocks, grazing grass seeds. Visit: Tin Trough Trail, No. 308.

Riparian areas • During fall evenings, river drainages are often colder than surrounding uplands, as cold air from higher ground flows down them. For this reason, some rivers that drain off of high mountains will be the first areas to freeze, and leaves might change here first, as well. • Young Great Blue Herons disperse into new areas, and some migrate south through local rivers. These gangly fishing birds will sometimes migrate in large groups, occasionally up to 50 or 100 individuals, and are thought to travel as far as Venezuela. • Golden Columbines (Aquilegia chrysantha) bear their seeds. Visit: Lower Wolf Creek Falls, No. 384.

Grasslands • Young Short-horned Lizards (Phrynosoma hernandezi) leave their parents and disperse toward the beginning of the month. This is the best time for encountering the small young of this ant-eating species, though they should be handled with care, as they are capable of spraying a defensive toxin from their eyes. • Several species of hawks migrate through grasslands, riding thermals during the afternoons. Look for Rough-legged, Ferruginous, Swainson’s and Red-tailed Hawks, as well

Deserts/Chaparral • Paloverdes, Velvet Mesquites (Prosopis velutina) and Wright’s Silktassel (Garrya wrightii) all bear their seeds now, as do Southwestern Coral Beans (Erythrina flabelliformis), the poisonous seeds of which are sometimes used for jewelry. • Ocotillo leaves change color and fall for the second time this year. These strange plants have photosynthetic bark, however, so they will continue to photosynthesize through the winter. • The queens of the single local species of bumblebee, Bombus sonorus, fly

Skyward • Oct. 8: Full Moon at 3:51 a.m. • Oct. 8: Total lunar eclipse Is visible starting at 1:15 a.m. and ending at 6:33 a.m., though it will be at its darkest (i.e. in the full shadow of the Earth) from 3:25 a.m. To 4:23 a.m. • Oct. 6-10: Draconid Meteor Shower. The best viewing is after midnight with meteors appearing to radiate from the constellation Draco, to the north. Look for the most meteors on the night of Oct. 8, though the Full Moon blocks out all but the brightest. • Oct. 21: Orionid Meteor Shower peak. This is one of the year’s brighter meteor showers, with up to 20 bright meteors per hour (including some bright fireballs), made even better by the dark skies of the nearly New Moon. This peak is not, however, on only one night, but is a broad period during which the Earth passes through the tail of the Comet Halley, which was last in our solar system in 1986 and will pass through again in 2061. The meteors are at their best after midnight as the Earth rotates into its path of orbit around the Sun. • Oct. 23: New Moon at 2:57 p.m. • Oct. 23: Partial Solar Eclipse visible from 2:17 p.m. through 4:44 p.m. with the maximum eclipse 38 minutes after the Moon is new, at 3:35 p.m. It is extremely important that you only view solar eclipses with pinhole cameras or solar-viewing filters, which are much darker than standard sunglasses and even some welding helmets. All times are MST, Prescott time.


... FROM PAGE 15 The culture-savvy cartoonist Considering the current cartooning culture, Prescott’s Ryan Liebe looks to real-life heroes. “As someone (who) is trying to break into a field separate from the 40-hour-a-week job that pays my

rent, I focus on the artists that are doing exactly what I (want to) do in the future,” Liebe says. That means, “Conceptual design and visual development — art that is used visually to interpret the author’s script, character sheet, comic book, and even the characters and environments that makeup today’s cinema experiences.” Social media is now the norm and for those working the biz like Liebe. It’s an essential part of his day. “For the most part, artists that are able to stay on top in the field of design are constantly posting to an array of social media platforms on a daily basis,” Liebe says. “I have experienced personal success during a sketch-a-day challenge, posting the drawings daily as I finished them.” It’s even landed him freelance work. Still, cartooning remains a slog. “There are many hardships that every artist working to support their habit can agree on,” Liebe says, “There isn’t enough time in the day to get to all the projects we are aspiring to.” The support of a tribe or mentor can make a big difference, though, and lo and behold, Prescott is home to a number of gurus.


COUNTER CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT: Ryan Liebe; rocketpack character sketch by Ryan Liebe; “Jalapevelinoa,” by Brian Lemcke; Brian Lemcke. Courtesy photos and images. Liebe has hooked up with noneother-than Bret Blevins. “Bret is by far the most-talented artist I have ever had the pleasure of befriending,” Liebe says. “I used to bring my artwork to his house for a critique, a cup of tea, and miles of inspiration.” The energy and attention flow both ways. “I have had drawing and painting session with Bret, not instructed but, sort of a jam — we would get together and either draw/paint from a model or studies,” Liebe says. “I learned more from the time spent with Bret than my entire four years of art college studying illustration and animation.” To be sure, Prescott is home to many a resource and many a talent — and in the now-more-venerated art form of cartooning, no less. The thinking man’s cartoonist A dual-minded guy with an analytical and philosophical slant on the art form, Brian Lemcke blends thinking and drawing. A few years back, Lemcke had some new ideas to express and saw drawing as the way in, so taught himself to cartoon by assigning himself creative milestones and getting down to it. One such challenge was to draw 1,000 portraits in one week by strolling the downtown streets, dropping into bars and cafés and spontaneously doodling instant

portraits of the folks he ran into. His subjects loved the attention — and the free portrait Brian left with them. He noted the time, place, and number of each. “I like my cartoons to reveal a moment of impact, or a moment of realization, or a play on words,” Lemcke says. Often those moments are absurd and playful. And they’re only figments of Lemcke’s fervid inner vision. After a year of diligent pencil sketching by day and furiously focused inking by night, he began sending them out to magazines in hopes of being published. Meanwhile, he conceived his first annual “Loose Leaves” — as he

signed his doodles — Art Rake. (He was a landscaper at the time. See? More word play.) He took his oeuvre to the streets on folding panels and offered them for sale, though in reality, he largely gave them away to the folks who saw themselves in a sketch, forgetting they, too, had indeed been captured one afternoon by that affable guy who had sat down beside them. As to the word play Lemcke mentions, his newest creative brainstorm, dubbed “Word Herd,” are pairs of words that share a few

letters yet, when combined, mangle and mingle both words into a fulsome third word. Illustrated in a tasty colorful block, Lemcke’s words are reinvented flash cards of skool daze with an adult’s sophistication and adept manipulation of language. “Illuminstrate” perfectly defines his system of drawn language, while the color of “Suprapradise” adds punch to the game. “To draw from life, you must first stop and recognize it, perceive it,” Lemcke says. “Be a person of the world fascinated by the world.”

“The Gift of Marbles,” a comic about comics by Brian Lemcke. Courtesy image.

***** See more of Bret Blevins’ artwork at BretBlevins.Com; see more of Dick Sprang’s artwork via the Richard Sprang Collection at Northern Arizona University; see more of Russell Miller’s “Oddly Enough” artwork every month in 5enses; see more of Ryan Liebe’s artwork at LiebeDesigns.Tumblr. Com; and contact Brian Lemcke at LooseLeaves@Yahoo.Com. A 20-year Prescott resident, Jacques Laliberté has written for and designed several publications, as well as his own Art-rag. See his fine art work at Society6.Com/DazzlDolls.

Books about comic books A pair of primers

By Jacques Laliberté Cartoonists can be a brainy lot, curious about the “why” behind how their drawings work. At least two artists have done the research and penned a pair of witty primers.


resource is “Understanding Comics, the Invisible Art,” by Scott McCloud. This master thesis-style tour de force — itself a comic book, no less — is a fascinating deconstruction of drawn communication through history that seeks to explain the medium. The author’s operating definition of comics is revealing: juxtaposed pictorial pieces and other images in deliberate sequence. That just about says it all, though the book threatens to betray the magic of comics in the way learning a magician trick’s mechanics spoils the mystery. For magic cartoons are. Your earliest memories surely include the after-church Sunday funnies, stocking-stuffer coloring books, or perhaps

brightly-printed bed sheets and pajamas. We all recognized images before understanding graphic language in the form of words, to be sure. The secret to cartoons, says McCloud, — their hook — is that we see ourselves in these drawn worlds; we identify with the characters. The simpler he or she is delineated, the more we identify. As a character becomes more detailed and specific, the less we imagine being them. After all, how many of us are eager to see ourselves as a 6-foottall buff white male newspaper reporter, who, incidentally, can fly, see through walls and lift freight trains? (Well, the see-through-things part, sure.)


his book “Comics & Sequential Art,” Will Eisner states, “Comics are a representational art form devoted to the emulation of real experience.” Eisner laments that in the business of packaging and selling comic books, the art can outshine — and therefore compromise — the story-telling. He hopes the writer and artist can find a happy compromise or, better yet, be the same person. The artist and writer must craft, edit, and present discrete slices of time culled from the ongoing stream of events, knowing the reader will be filling in between scenes from his own experiences. Eisner reiterates what a demanding form

cartooning is, with its own immutable rules of structure and its visual conventions held within the limitation of the paper it’s printed on. His explanations of comic elements like timing and panel breaks are accompanied by whole chapters from his portfolio, so the book acts as a compilation. Between “Understanding Comics, the Invisible Art” and “Comics & Sequential Art,” you’ll gain a new appreciation for the literary form of cartooning that is, indeed, art. ***** A 20-year resident of Prescott, Jacques Laliberté has written for and designed several publications, as well as his own Art-rag. See his fine art work at Society6.Com/DazzlDolls.


Referred to as Taningia Danae, this hefty squid has no common name. It can reach lengths of 7 feet and weigh nearly 150 pounds. They are, apparently, a favorite food of Sperm Wales. Unlike most squids, this animal has only eight arms instead of 10. Strangely, and disturbingly, the suckers on these arms contain retractable claws. ODDLY ENOUGH ... This squid has the largest light organs of any known animal. They’re located on its long, paddle-shaped tentacles and are covered with black eyelid-like structures that allow them to flash spectacularly, akin to a strobe light. *****

This remarkable little mole can tunnel as much as 300 feet in one night. ODDLY ENOUGH ... If deprived of food for as little as 10 hours, it will die of starvation. ***** Russell Miller is an illustrator, cartoonist, writer, bagpiper, motorcycle enthusiast, and reference librarian. Currently, he illustrates books for Cody Lundin and Bart King.

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Two legs, eight legs

Journo Patrick Whitehurst pens talk radio, tarantula tales By Robert Blood

explore themes of depression and addiction. I also wanted to explore how people cope with loss. There’s also a lot of Catholic elements that tie in, as well. I collect the Catholic Saints comic books and I was always amazed that they were real people — not made up deities that may or may not have existed — and some of them aren’t very likeable.

[Editor’s note: The following excerpts are from conversations with Prescott Daily Courier and Kudos reporter Patrick Whitehurst, who has a book signing for his selfpublished novella, “Talk Jock Twits,” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9 at Peregrine Book Co., 219A N. Cortez St., Prescott, 928-445-9000.] Your new book, “Talk Jock Twits” — where did the story come from? I worked maybe five years in Williams, Arizona in talk radio. Basically, it was the one of the weirdest jobs I’ve ever had, and I would never do it again. I had a three-hour talk block every weekend when I hosted a weekend show for arts and entertainment. I’d interview authors and psychics, and people like that. I took extensive notes during this period because it was just so weird. I was in my mid- to late-20s, and it just blew mind that there was so much sex and drugs at a largely conservative radio station in a largely conservative town. Anyway, after that, I went to college for a journalism degree at NAU up in Flagstaff. Between classes, I’d find a coffee shop and, to kill time, I’d write out my talk radio notes. Then I decided to write it into a book. ... I’ve written two nonfiction books and two novellas (as e-books), but I’ve been thinking a lot about self-publishing and wanted to learn how the process works. After having experience with traditional and electronic publishers what’s your opinion about self-publishing? It’s a lot of fun, especially if you’re a person who likes having complete control over things. I did the painting that I used for the cover, and I had complete control over how the back jacket flap looked. With a traditional publisher, you’re stuck with a form or template, even if you

have final creative say. One of the good things about working with a traditional publisher, though, is that you’ve got extra sets of eyes on your product, which makes for better editing in terms of typos and those sorts of things. Then again, in self-publishing, you can even change the layout page to page, add art, whatever. It’s more than likely that if you’re self publishing, you’re doing it for yourself, and maybe for your family and some friends. As a worstcase scenario, you’ve got a Christmas present for a lot of people who don’t really want it. Speaking of non-traditional routes, you’re writing a serialized web story, “Mantula.” How did that materialize? I got the idea for the story while walking from work to a gas station to get coffee. I saw this tarantula and took a picture and showed it to people at the office. I didn’t realize the tarantula was dead at the time, though now it’s the picture you see on the website. Of course, through the story, I brought it back to life. That picture was the catalyst, though, of a story of a man who wakes up in the body of a tarantula and the subsequent adventures he has. It inspired this story idea of reincarnated souls in birds, bugs, reptiles, and rodents — all of which is a huge back story I’m building as I go. Through the story, I wanted to

Serialized fiction locks you into story arcs you might’ve otherwise revised. It does lock you in. At the same time, the Internet is fluid, so I can still go back and steer the course. As an example, I went back and changed the date in a prior installment to make more sense with the current installment. … I’ve tracked close to 40 hits a day, which is not bad for a blog. I’m also trying to make a story that’s multi-media, which is new for me. I’m drawing comic books that happen concurrently with the story. I’m also adding in fake news stories. As a journalist, I can fake a news story. … Maybe I shouldn’t say it that way: I know how to write a news story. I’m also making images. Some of them are those faraway shots where someone Photoshops a red circle so you know what you’re looking at. I hate those. And some of them are memes from one of the characters, ManQuail, a meth

LEFT TO RIGHT: “Talk Jolk Twits,” cover by Patrick Whitehurst. Patrick Whitehurst; Courtesy images. addict turned into a quail, whose specialty is over-used quotes like, “It is what it is.” Personally, I’m not a big fan of memes, so that was fun, and I used what I thought were the most over-used, frustrating sayings. … There’s a snarky, creepy flavor to the series. I also made a video that’s on a Youtube channel for the series too, and I’ll be adding installments. ***** See more of Patrick Whitehurst’s work at PatrickWhitehurst.Com. Visit Peregrine Book Co. at Peregrine BookCompany.Com or 219A N. Cortez St., 928-445-9000. Robert Blood is a Mayer-ish-based freelance writer and ne’er-do-well who’s working on his last book, which, incidentally, will be his first. Contact him at BloodyBobby5@Gmail.Com.

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Prescott Film Festival’s SCRIPT NOTES

Silence is golden

A quasi-modal Halloween treat By Helen Stephenson


that time again. When scary creatures rule the night … on Mt. Vernon Street. When ghosts and ghouls abound … at the Prescott Center for the Art’s “Ghost Talk.” When bad horror movies are lampooned … during “Friday Night” at The Elks Theatre. It’s also the time when the Prescott Film Festival holds its most popular event of its entire monthly series: its annual, Halloween vent with a silent film and live piano accompaniment by Jonathan Best. It’s 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31 at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $12. This year’s flick is Wallace Wors-

ley’s 1923 silent classic “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” starring Lon Chaney. Before this film, Chaney had been relegated to the roles of a character actor. His performance in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” elevated him to star status, and, in total, he made 163 films. In “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” Chaney plays the hunchbacked bell ringer, Quasimodo. His makeup included a mouth device that made his cheeks jut out and contact lenses that blanked out one of his eyes. For the hump, he wore a rubber creation covered with animal hair that may’ve weighed as much as 50 pounds.


film is based on Victor Hugo’s novel of the same name, and is the second film adaptation thereof. (The first came from Theda Bara à la “The Darling of Paris.”) In the book, Quasimodo is just one of many characters. In the 1923 from Universal, he’s transformed (transmogrified?) into a primary protagonist. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” is also known for its amazing sets. The film takes place in the walled city of 16th century Paris. Pre-CGI, obviously, the sets were enormous and spectacular. With an estimated budget of more than $1 million, the film was shot in seven months.

***** Helen Stephenson is the founder and executive director of the Prescott Film Festival and the director of the Sedona Film School at Yavapai College.

A perfect 10

Highlands Center Lynx Lake site celebrates tin anniversary By Dave Irvine


By the numbers:

years ago, the Highlands Center for Natural History set up shop at Lynx Lake. Since then, the Highlands Center has grown considerably, but the best has yet to come. Join us for our 10th anniversary party, 10 a.m.-1p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18. There’ll be cake and we’ll announce our new project at 11 a.m.




The number of taxpayer dollars received by the Highlands Center, which is fully member and donor supported.


The number of people who enjoy the Highlands Center each year.

The number of miles of free trails at the Highlands Center.



— as in Oct. 18 — the date everyone is invited to celebrate the Highlands Center’s 10-year anniversary at the Lynx Lake site. Festivities are 10 a.m. -1 p.m. Saturday. Cake will be cut and an exciting new project unveiled at 11 a.m.


The number of children who enjoy nature programs at the Highlands Center each year, many through donation-funded field trips and scholarship programs.

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Diagnosis: Technology

Critical mass CEDIA

The right way to be left to your own devices

By Paolo Chlebecek


missed an awesome party last month, but don’t worry — you weren’t invited. The meeting was for members of CEDIA — Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association. So, you’re probably asking yourself, why should I care about something I couldn’t take part in? Because the people who were there can make your smart home a whole lot smarter. Basically, any and all home electronics are fair game at the CEDIA expo. This includes security, audio, video, shades, home theater, heating, cooling, lighting, smart home, and much more. The integrators and installers make each piece of technology talk to each other securely and easily for you. Here’s the pitch from the CEDIA website, Cedia. Org: “Whether you are building a new home, remodeling, updating your electronics, or just need some help from a specialist, CEDIA members are your trusted home technology partners. If you’re like most these days, technology in the home is a significant investment. By hiring a qualified home technology professional to properly design, install and maintain your home electronic system, you can take comfort in knowing that you’ll be in good hands now and in the future.”


year’s event was in beautiful Denver. Despite 80-degree weather one day and snow the next, it wasn’t just successful — it was enjoyable. (Editor’s note: And tax deductible.) While only industry insiders are in attendance, it yields benefits for anyone who takes advantage of

home technologies like home theaters or security systems. Let’s say, for example, you want to integrate your security system with your current home lighting so that when an alarm is triggered, the lights turn on for safety. Or perhaps you want all but 1 or 2 lights on when you leave the house. No problem for CEDIA professionals. They can integrate and automate the systems however you’d like. And let’s not forget that superb home theater you’ve put together with the latest innovations from all over the world. CEDIA professionals can integrate those components, too, without necessarily having to replace much of anything. Too many remotes? No problem. Raccoons in the rubbish? Believe it or not, they can even deploy automated systems to scare them away, or at least record their mischievous behavior for Animal Control later.


might be thinking, “I don’t have the money for all that fancy stuff!” While quality work, equipment, and materials aren’t cheap, they’re not needlessly expensive, either. In many cases, the money spent is returned upon sale of the home. Or, at the very least, you’ve bought peace of mind that when you press the “Watch TV” button on the remote that it actually turns on all the appropriate components and you can enjoy yourself quickly and without frustration. Better yet, when you want your home secured, you can be sure that “Armed” means armed. Even, if by chance, it doesn’t work right, you have a resource who’s just a phone call away.

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There are so many “smart” products available today that, without research and professional help, it’s often hard to use and merge them into your existing equipment rig and design. What about hidden or wireless speakers, automated shades when the sun is blazing, whole-house music, and video surveillance? The list of possibilities is almost endless. Whatever you can think of, it can be designed and installed into your home or business by a CEDIA professional. Check out CEDIA.Org to find a technician in your area. ***** Paolo Chlebecek is founder and owner of PaoloTek, which he started in 2003. He loves dogs of all sorts and oddly finds himself driving around town between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. every weekday. Wave hi when you see him or contact him at Paolo@ PaoloTek. Com. Nerdology CEDIA has their own awards ceremony. M oreover, there's an accompanying coffee table book that's got pictures of award-winning Residential Custom Installation projects. Check it out at CEDIAAwards.Org.

Gene Twaronite’s

The Absurd Naturalist

By Gene Twaronite How did it come to this? I never intended for it go this far. And now, with the war turning badly, I fear the worst. When we first moved into our little cabin in the hills, there was no hint of the troubles ahead. Yes, there were a few skirmishes with the local javelina and rabbit tribes, but it was nothing we couldn’t handle. Then we started noticing stuff: mysterious droppings and urine spots on the patio; piles of twigs and cones under every shrub and boulder; and inexplicable chew marks on the siding of our cabin. As I recall, it was when I discovered that one of our car’s front headlamps was out that things turned ominous. When I brought the car in for repair, I was in for a double shock. The mechanic informed me that the wires to the headlamp had been neatly severed, most likely by a packrat, which was apparently in the process of building a nest there. Then he handed me a bill for $200.


tried my best to take this philosophically, but when it happened again I knew the tiny gauntlet had been thrown down. When later I discovered a zigguratsized packrat nest behind our cabin, I knew there was no turning back. I must stand and fight. You wouldn’t think a creature with such a cute name — we even apply it to certain humans who can’t throw anything away — could be so much trouble. OK, so technically they’re rats — wood rats, to be exact — but unlike those nasty Norway rats which live in sewers, subways, and other dark places, these guys just live out in the woods and deserts. They have long hairy tails and big ears, and the way they look at you with those dark liquid eyes, you’d swear they belong in a Disney

The war on packrats movie. Hard working little critters, they build huge nests that can be occupied for a thousand years or more by generations of rats. Scientists just love these nests, by the way, because in addition to their tasteful furnishings of cans, glass, cartridge cases, jewelry and assorted objets d’art, they also contain gobs of plant debris and pollen that can provide clues of past changes in plant communities. Nature writers wax eloquently about how packrats have adapted to survival in the harsh desert environment, investing them with a certain charm and cachet. But don’t be fooled. They are ruthless and will stop at nothing. They will invade your castle. They will construct nests within your car and rip out your wiring and upholstery. They will chew up your siding and steal anything not nailed down. And they will leave behind them a trail of urine, feces, Hantavirus, and kissing bugs. Normally I’m a peaceful guy, but this was war. It was either them or me.


the next few years, as I experimented with various lethal devices, I became expert at trapping them. Considering the number of hours I now devote to this task, it has grown from a mere hobby to a sacred mission. I am fully convinced that, were it not for my efforts, this seething rodent swarm would quickly overrun my neighborhood and the world. I have lost track of the number of rats I have killed. I started notching them on the wall in the kitchen until my wife put a stop to it. Having destroyed every hint of a nest on our five acres, I diligently patrol our property each week on search and destroy missions. At the first hint of telltale droppings or nest building, I set out new traps. Like fur trappers of old, every morning I go out and inspect my trap lines. I must be ever vigilant, for I know they are out there planning their next attack.


there have been some new developments. Despite my best efforts, I have been discovering nests such as I have never seen before. Unlike the previous ones, these are more sturdy structures, complete with tile or asphalt roofs, little wooden doors, and reinforced walls. Whenever I manage to demolish one, I find paneling, insulation, and other undeniable signs of remodeling, as well as scraps of diagrams, metal and plastic scattered about, as if they were constructing some device. Then, one day, as I performed my usual patrol, I saw it. It was right next to my favorite rock outcrop — a place where I often go to sit. About 5 feet long, it seems to be made of some sort of hard black plastic, with a little tray in the middle. Call me mad, but I swear it looked just like a huge trap ... baited with brie cheese and a bottle of chardonnay. Column & logo ©Gene Twaronite 2014 ***** Gene Twaronite’s writing has appeared in numerous literary journals and magazines. He is the author of “The Family That Wasn’t,” “My Vacation in Hell,” and “Dragon Daily News.” Follow Gene at TheTwaroniteZone.Com.


Highlands Center anniversary party What: Tin anniversary open house at the Highlands Center for Natural History’s Lynx Lake site celebrating a decade of full-time nature-based programs When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18 with entertainment and family events including a puppet show, crafts, and naturalist-lead walks starting at 10 a.m., and a special project unveiling, cake, and refreshments at 11 a.m. Where: Highlands Center for Natural History 1375 S. Walker Road Prescott, AZ 86303 928-776-9550 Worth: Free Why: 10 years ago, trails were completed, buildings were built, and the Lynx ABOVE: The Lynx Lake site 10 years ago. Lake site was officially dedicated — and now it’s time to celebrate; plus, learn about what’s next for the Highlands Center for Natural History RIGHT: The Lynx Lake site today. Web: HighlandsCenter.Org

Ghost Talk 2014 What: See the legends and myths of Arizona as 13 famous and infamous ghosts, ghouls, and goblins of Prescott retell their haunting tales When: 6 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Friday Oct. 24 & 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m., & 9 p.m. Saturday Oct. 25 Where: Prescott Center for the Arts 208 N. Marina St. Prescott, AZ 86301 928-445-3286 Worth: $12, all proceeds benefit Prescott Center for the Arts & West Yavapai Guidance Center Why: The show includes three never-seen-before tales: “Legend of the Red Ghost,” “The Spirit of Arizona’s Wilderness Capital,” and “The Courthouse Square Creepers’ Killer,” plus 10 old favorites Web: PCA-AZ.Net 133 N. Cortez St., Historic Downtown Prescott, 928-776-8695


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