Daryl and Vivi have a 30th Anniversary Party

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Ok, to be strictly accurate, it was not a party, it was a gathering. We met in Scottsdale and rose from the ashes of our weekday lives to eat, shoot the bull, shoot some clays, eat some more, shop, drop, rise, shop some more, and visit museums. 

That's pretty much what we did. The photos will tell the story.

(As usual, click on the little picture to see the big picture.)

The Cast of Characters
No weekend would be complete without a cast of characters and this is no exception. Ours is Daryl, Vivi, Herm, Goldie, Diana, Nowell and Sandra.
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Still crazy about you after all these years.
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Our celebratory dinner photo. We were treated with a total eclipse of the moon as a pre-dinner treat.

(Herm looks happy, doesn't he? One of the problems with this group is that it takes seven shots to get seven smiling faces. Viva la Photoshop!) 

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Plotting and Planning at the Hampton Inn.
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Vivi just doesn't believe that self timers work on modern cameras. 

I'm not sure why. Perhaps she is just an old fashioned girl.

Time and technology march on, regardless.

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Sandra and Vivi check out the accommodations at the Hempton Inn. 

(We stayed at the Hampton Inn so this is a pathetic play on words.)

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Our outdoor group shot at the Phoenix Botanical Garden. 

The Gourd Festival was in bloom and we had the best of all worlds. We got to sightsee, wander, visit, and, of course, shop!

 

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For a guy who doesn't smile on cue, Herm can be coaxed from time to time. 

 

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I've been on a quest to take the perfect portrait of my friends since I got the one of Daryl and Vivi at the top of the page. 

It is my duty and I take my duty seriously.

We're almost there with Herm and Goldie. A few more tries and... 

Guys with Guns
No weekend would be complete without guns. This weekend, Daryl arranged a Trap Shoot so we could get some registered targets. Herm attended and took most of these pictures. He acquitted himself well with the camera. This is proof that my  intensive training pays off. 
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The boys.

All three of us salute you.

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Daryl gives Herm the runaround... I mean rundown of what happens at a shooting center.
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Further discussion determines that Herm does not own a shooting center t-shirt.

 This will be rectified soon.

Herm doesn't, however, have the guts to wear purple. That honor falls to me.

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Herm watches the kids shoot on Field 1.
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Daryl mentally prepares for the event. I think that this is his secret. 

I don't prepare. I shoot pictures.

(I shoot better pictures than I shoot trap.)

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Herm does a very good job on these shots. You can see the target in the upper right corner.
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Daryl shows the form necessary to shoot more than 80. He won a trophy here last year. This year, he's protecting his Class D standing. 
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Herm even gets the pieces of the target. This is a very unusual shot and difficult one to capture. 

Not because it is so technical, but because I hit so few targets.

Phoenix Botanical Garden
A very, very cool place. Hot, too. If you like cactus, and even if you don't, this is such a visually interesting attraction that you will be delighted to be here.
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Something big is going on here but I was a telephoto's distance away and couldn't hear.
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The animals start to wake up late in the day. This stand of big cactus drew a flock of birds. I watched them for about seventy-five shots and these three are my favorites.
My artistic treatments of cactus. Viva la Digital GEM.

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Heard Museum
http://www.heard.org

When we got there, Sandra could not find the museum from the parking lot. I told her that this is a museum that can be heard, but not seen.

I should wax poetic about this place but it's just another depressing museum. It deals with American Indian culture and the more you learn about Indians, the more you hate Europeans. It has some very interesting things but it also has some very disturbing exhibits. Go there and be sad.

I did get some of my favorite images there.

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Vivi in repose at the Heard Museum. 

She had been there the previous night and had seen it and done it and took this time to wait in the garden and sip coffee, or something.

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I just like cactus. Always have.

Vivi and Daryl gave us lots of great cactus when they moved. They gave Marilyn the famous penis cactus.

 

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This is in the Sculpture courtyard.
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No comment. Just enjoy the work. 
Shopping
We chose this weekend to go to Scottsdale because there was a street fair and we could spend money. Have no fear, the economy in Scottsdale is doing just fine thanks to us.

Of all the things we bought, (flutes, plates, menorahs, shirts, hats, books, earrings, bracelets, etc... nothing was more beautiful than the ensemble that Goldie traded a couple of mortgage payments for.

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Opal, gold and silver. She looks magnificent in it. 
(Herm, it's worth the part time job you're taking at a liquor store to pay for it!)
 

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