Fifty years ago I walked into Melvin Newton's office at Merritt College in Oakland, CA with my cute blond girlfriend and we asked to join his new class on Black Studies. Melvin's claim to fame was his brother Huey Newton, the head of the Black Panthers, on trial for murder at the time.

He sat behind his desk and smiled with amazement. He said the class was going to be filled with black kids expressing their outrage and anger against the white society that was repressing them. Did we really want to subject ourselves to that?

We said yes, and finally he said no. He felt it would be disruptive and the students wouldn't be able to express themselves freely.

Do such classes exist today? I don't know, maybe...

All the pieces came together today for my new Pocket 2 rig. The mounting bracket secures the phone and the camera's USB C connection, and attaches to the tripod. The battery pack on the back provides an all day charge to both the phone and camera.

It's light as hell, feels balanced in my hand, and I can't wait to take it to Belize.

First walk around Shoal Creek with my new DJI Pocket 2. Shot at 4k/60, post down to 1920/60. Uploaded to YouTube as 60fps.

These are my handheld tripods. The one on the left mounts my Sony mirrorless and is what I took on that cruise and is my main rig. It's great, but lugging it around all day takes a toll.

The new guy on the right has these amazing bendy legs that you can shape into a really solid connection with the ground. They also bend straight down so they're out of the way when you want. The phone and camera will mount to this and I'll have a lightweight stabilized video system with a big high resolution screen.

I bought a new camera today! It's a handheld 3-axis gimbal stabilizer with a 4K camera called the DGI Pocket 2.

You can use it stand-alone or hook it up to your cellphone, which I plan to do.

It shoots amazing physically stabilized video, as opposed to computer stabilized, and I can control it completely on the phone.

I also picked up a great phone clamp to secure the whole thing to my tripods and handgrip.

Arriving tomorrow :-)

I love my knees, I kiss them every morning, if I can. Before I roll out of bed I lay on my back and pull my knees up to my chest, wrap my arms around my legs and rock back and forth to loosen up. Then I lift my head up and try to kiss my knees.

If I haven't let my gut get too out of shape, that's normally not a problem, but before I started my recent daily regime of 30 minute fast paced treadmill at the gym, diet and exercise, I couldn't do it.

This has been my litmus test for years now and when I'm really in shape I can bury my face between my knees. Kissing them is just a way of telling my body that I love and respect it, and promise to make it better each day.

Got stuck briefly this afternoon behind an Amish kid driving a wagon on a narrow road. It just goes with the territory around here...

Sure different then where I came from...

↑ Steph's coworkers from the Teton Valley News, at the Grand Targhee Ski Resort, Wyoming.

It seems I'm surrounded by anti-vaxers, bless their hearts. I understand, I used to be one, never had a flu vaccination in my life, but something clicked in my brain with this one.

Watching people my age dropping like flies around the world, I chose to double vax on the Moderna.

Side effects? Basically none, a sore arm for a week or two, second shot more so.

Benefits? Immense, I blow off mask requirements now when I enter a place with a mask sign. I carry my card in my wallet and I'm just waiting to flash it if confronted. My sense of well being has improved, I can travel freely, and I just feel great about it.

So to my hesitant friends, and family, here I am still alive and healthy with absolutely no regrets. Yea there are sporadictic reports of fully vaccinated people around the world still catching it, but if I have no side effects and it offers me freedom and peace of mind, why the hell not?

Is it some insidious government plot to take over our bodies? Man, if that's true, then we're all fucked, and you might as well just enjoy the societal benefits of the vaccine, until it's over.

My new neighbor across the creek built some steps down to it yesterday with his young son. We chatted from across the water and he told me the creek was the deal closer for him.

Here they are in relation to the tree.

Steph and I had what we called a creek, behind the Driggs property. In reality it was a farmers irrigation ditch. This is the real deal and I love it.