Southern Nevada Water Shortage

This is a repost. Because nothing is more important in the middle of the desert than water.

My friends ask about the water level in Lake Mead and the best explanation I can give them is to show them this.
(click on a photo for a larger image.)

The lake has dropped almost 140 feet in the last few years, making the bathtub ring approximately the same height as a 14 story building.

And in spite of this rather obvious evidence, the powers-that-be in the Las Vegas valley continue to give permits for water wasters like golf courses and fountains, and they insist that you must plant trees and shrubs around any new or expanding commercial project. — I guess being in the middle of a drought, in the middle of the desert, doesn’t matter to a bunch of bureaucratic buffoons.

The Water District doing something. They are building a new intake farther out in the lake because soon the current intakes will be deeper in the mud than bottom feeding catfish. They’re also making commercials telling us what a wonderful job we’re doing conserving water, but they aren’t pushing to change the rules for golf courses or hotels. Instead they are planning on building a pipeline that runs nearly the length of the state and pumping every drop of water out from under the farmland up north.

If this keeps up it won’t be long before we will only be allowed to flush our toilets every other Tuesday, every home will have to be retrofitted with navy showers and we’ll probably all die of thirst anyway. But the valley will look green and cool while it happens.

— Every politician in Southern Nevada should be named Nero and given violin lessons —


I’ve decided that it’s time to get rid of my aging Nikon D700. It’s a nice camera with less than 50,000 actuations but it’s old technology so I was thinking about replacing it with a D610 or even a D800e.

Then I started sorting through lenses, flashes and tripods, and decided I’m tired of shlepping twenty pounds of gear back and forth from the car every time I go out.

I drag all this stuff with me “just in case,” because you never know when you’re going to need a different lens or a tripod. –Like I’m really going to walk several blocks in the city or a couple of miles in the desert just to change lenses.

Not only am I tired of hauling all that stuff around, my interests have changed. Lately I’ve been dabbling in street photography which means my 2’long, 13lb, 300-800mm Sigmonster is not real practical.

And since I haven’t made a poster sized print in years, I’ve decided to change over to a mirrorless system. I can load a camera with three or four lenses in a bag that used to hold a single camera and lens. Not only that, in a town full of tourists people aren’t likely to pay any attention to a camera that small. But most importantly it won’t give me a stiff neck from carrying it all day.

Of coarse my first choice for a camera was the newest and greatest, an Olympus OMD E-M1, but with a price tag of $1399 for the body alone I settled for my second choice, a used Panasonic GX7 for less than half that much.


I already own a GF1 with a 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens, a 45-175mm zoom and a version_one 14-42mm. I have no complaints about my copy of the 20mm and the zoom performs well enough, but that pos 14-42mm kit lens has got to go.

I thought about replacing it with a Panasonic 25mm and an Olympus 45mm. Then I tried a friend’s GX7 with the 12-35mm and fell in love. It’s fast, sharp and allows me to carry just one lens instead of two or three. Then for really shallow depth of field I can always toss my 20mm in my pocket.

I also wanted something for macro so I ordered an Olympus 60mm. This is the finest MFT macro lens on the market. –Ok, so it’s the best in a field of two; the Oly 60mm and the Panny 45mm.

Now having gotten the basics out of the way, I’m jonesin’ for the Olympus 75mm f/1.8. It’s fast and purported to be the sharpest micro 4/3 lens out there. But with a 35mm equivalent length of 150mm it’s not short enough for most street photography and not long enough for wildlife. So I’m not sure how much I’ll use it. But, in spite of a price of $899 that I can’t afford, I’m still drooling over it. –I guess I’ll have to wait. 🙁

Aside from that minor glitch, if everything goes according to plan my entire collection of lenses and my camera will fit in the smallest hard case I own, weigh less than the combination my D700 and 28-300mm and leave me with cash in my pocket once I sell my Nikon kit.

Up and Coming Super Hero

According to page two of the super hero’s manual, whenever you see the press the first thing you should do is go into your signature pose and hold left for exactly 4 seconds, then pose and hold right for another 4 seconds. –You want to be sure they get your good side.

On page 42 of the super hero’s manual it clearly states that if you are out matched you should make like an armadillo and scrunch down in to a ball so the bad guys can’t hurt you.

Okay, knock it off. How many times do I have to tell you? You’re a “super hero” in training not a “super model” in training. Don’t do that!