Trends in Writing, The Arts, Regional Events, and High Desert Living

Posts by High Desert Greg

High Desert Accident and a Sunset

sunset 8-22-12

Well, things could be worse. Angie was in an auto accident yesterday. She was rear-ended by another car on the 15 S. She is doing fine just a few sore areas here and there, and the car is drivable. So instead of detailing every little thing that happened I think a few sunset pictures would be nice to see and get at lest my mind off of what happened. Enjoy.

High Desert Sun Sets

Friday after noon was a great experience. I was at work at Starbucks. Well I don’t work for Starbucks, but I spend a lot of time there blogging at Starbucks. Then around 4 pm here came the rain. It was a downpour, the kind you would see in Texas were everything would be dry, and then the next minute there’s a flood.  Some folks in Houston, Texas will push their cars into an underpass that is flooded to collect insurance money. The wind was blowing so hard the rain was horizontal beating on the glass windows at Starbucks. Clouds were deep gray and moving in a way as if to say, “I’m done here. Time to move on.”  The streets were flooded, and the sand flowing on the pavement looked like it was dancing.

Yucca in the sunset

Well I enjoy photography and what a great day to take pictures. Rain makes everything reflect. It brings out all the colors, and my favorite is the sunsets with the clouds. There are spots I have searched out in advance for times like these.

Yuccas / sunset

So I waited and around 7 pm or so grabbed my Nikon 52oo  point and shoot camera and took off. This is the same camera I used in Iraq. It’s small enough to keep in your pocket, takes great pictures, and it has seen 6 foreign countries. Got to my place, and sure enough here comes the High Desert sunset. To me there is no place to see a sunset than in the desert.



High Desert Cactus

Hello high desert cactus huggers. If the northern California tree huggers can hug their trees, then we high desert folks can hug our cactus. And we can also transplant cactus. In my backyard is a ( I looked online for the name of this cactus but can’t find it), cactus that has so much over growth it had to be trimmed back.

cactus over growth

The first thing I did was to get a piece of ply-board and next got out my razor-blade knife. If you look online at other sites they recommend wearing gloves. I did and don’t anymore because the thorns get stuck in the gloves, and it’s almost impossible to get them all out; so there goes another good pair of gloves. It’s easier to pull the thorns out of my hands with a pair if tweezers.

Find a new place of growth and cut the cactus there.

Cut cactus where new growth begins

To transport the cactus the other sites say to wrap the piece of cactus with news paper. I don’t. I use tongs. That is a for sure way not to get poked and easier to get to in hard places. Now lay the cactus on the ply-board for a week or two in the shade. The cactus after being cut needs time to heal before you plant it in the ground. It’s like if you cut your finger then put it in dirt, that will make things worse so the same with cactus.

Healing time for the cactus/put in the shade

After it heals (and you’ll be able to tell by looking at it) then plant it with no water because water will rot the new roots and remember it’s a cactus. They live in the desert where there is no water. Bingo! Go plant it in the yard, in pots, or coffee cups, and place it in a window seal to get lots of sun. Hope y’all enjoyed this blog as much as I enjoyed writing it and replanting cactus.

Cactus replanted in front yard

Cactus planted in pots

Cactus planted in a coffee cup

High Desert upcycling your old grader

How to upcycle a grader

Many of us always wondered how do you upcycle a grader.  I’m sure there are volumes of books written on this subject, but I in my most humble way will try to help. First you must have a grader. Make sure it’s clean by using soap or, what I use, is compound – the kind you use on cars.

old antique grader

Next you’ll need a base and any type of material will do. You can use iron,wood, cement, anything that you have that you think will do.I decided upon a wooden platform. Because the wood looked unantiquish, (that is a word because I just made it up), so I took a sledge hammer, hack saw, chisel, and small hammer and beat the tar out of it. Now it looks old!

old beat up wooden platform

At first I put wood stain on the platform but I really didn’t like it, so I painted it red. Then I took the grader and drilled two holes in the handle. I also cut a little piece of aged weather beaten wood to put in the bottom of the grader.

tools of destruction

piece of old wood in the bottom of grader

After the paint dries, take the grader and flip it upside down and screw it into the platform. Now you have a planter or a container to hold your kitchen utensils, grader piggy bank. I also drilled a hole in the back so if you want to hang it on the wall inside or outside then you can. And if you want to change the color to better match your decor just push the bottom wooden piece out, unscrew the wood screws, take the grader off and paint.

upcycled grader

I’m sure the real professionals can do a better job , but this is the best I can do today. Look around at what can you see that you can upcycle at home. Have fun!!

Upcycle in the High Desert

Hi everybody! Do you know what time it is ? It’s upcycle time. Today you’re going to learn how to upcycle with me, High Desert Greg. Are you ready? OK, let’s get started.

First, you need a picture frame. You can buy one at the store or a yard sale or take one off your wall. Now take off the wire clips and the cardboard and glass and save them for upcycling on something else.

wood frame


Next, you will need paint, brush type or spray. Take the frame and sand it a little so the paint will stick. Paint outside where it is well ventilated because painting on your couch is not a good idea. While you’re waiting for the paint to dry, get a sifter. New is nice, but old is better.

nice old sifter

We need to clean the sifter, and I use rubbing compound, the type you use on cars. Then you need an old toothbrush. I always save my old toothbrushes because you never know when you might need one. If you don’t have an old toothbrush, then use your spouese’s. Wet the toothbrush, put some rubbing compound on it, and clean off the dirt that’s on the sifter. Use water to rinse off the sifter and your spouese’s tooth brush.

spouses tooth brush

The paint should be dry now so go pick a spot where you want to put this on the wall. Drill holes in the frame and with two wood screws, screw the frame on to the wall. Next, drill two holes in the sifter. Take two more wood screws and screw the sifter within the picture frame.  Now you are an upcycler.

Mounted on the wall.

Public Speaking Illustration Sources

High Desert Public Speaking Illustration Levels

In my opinion, this is the third level of illustrations which is you heard a story from another source like T.V., radio, newspaper, a book, Internet, or maybe from a friend. As long as you give credit where credit is due, tell anything that works in your speech because you must relate to your audience or it will be the last time they will come to hear you. In Texas a pastor’s wife told me this story:

There are five friends of hers and they decided to take a girl vacation overseas. Three of them were married, one divorced, and one a widow. At their destination and checking in the hotel, a man approached one of the ladies who happened to be the widow and struck up a conversation with her. He was handsome, charming, and looked rich. After a couple of dating days, she jumped in the sack with this guy. They were talking marriage and when it was time to leave and go back to state side at the airport, Mr. Handsome gave the new love a little box and told her not to open it ’til they were airborne. She promised. They kissed goodbye and off she went. Once airborne all her girlfriends gathered around to see what was in the box. It was surely a ring. She opened the little box and inside was a little black toy coffin. Shocked, she opened the little black coffin, and there was a note inside which read, “Welcome to the world of AIDS.”

I used this story across the country and had other public speakers doubting the truth in this story. So the next time I went through this Texas town, I asked the pastor’s wife again about this story, and she confirmed that it was true. It really did happen, and she personally knew these women. Whenever I told this story, I always mentioned I heard it from a friend.

How Fasting Can Help the Public Speaker

High Desert and public speaking is like cactus and hot weather.

If you missed my last post I’m talking about fasting as part of public speaking so let’s continue.

Imagine with me if there were a golden public speaker god sitting on his throne. The public speaker god looks down at you and says, “Fast and be successful or flop.”

Please bear in mind I’m writing what works for me and if you have another way, good for you. Fasting is more mental than physical. When your subject is more important to you than eating, your audience will sense it and perk up and pay more attention, and that’s what you want. In the long run it will pay off.

If you fast more than  three days, break it easy with soft foods like soup or a small bowl of cream of wheat. Go easy on yourself, not like my friend in Houston, Texas who broke a week’s fast with pizza, and end up in the hospital. After breaking a fast, you will feel more energy, your mind will be sharper, and you’ll be ready to conquer the world.

After fasting, everything you say will resonate with  your audience, bingo! It will be a sweet small victory going without food for three, seven, twenty days or more but well worth it. You will be surprised how much our culture surrounds itself around food. Stepping out of it for a week is an eye opener, and your viewpoint will change.

Remember, when your mind is made up, nothing will stop you from completing a fast. Now go for it, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

High Desert Pawn Shop News

To pawn or not to pawn – that is the question. Well you can pawn your guns, tools, cat. Our economy is so tight. Pawning seems to be the right thing to do.

Express Super Pawn



Here in the High Desert Express Super Pawn Shop is the largest pawn shop in the Victor Valley. The owner, Steve McHugh, and his lovely wife Cindy moved up to the High Desert from Fontana eight years ago. Down the hill Steve was working building houses, and as he worked hard on building a good house for his customers he brought his hard-working skills to his pawn shop.




When I first walked in Express Super Pawn, I liked the wide open area, not like the small cramped cluttered pawn shops with dust everywhere. Express Super Pawn was loaded with everything like a very large selection of CD’s, guitars, tools ( nice stuff ), fishing rods, boom boxes, speakers, lap tops, drums, and the list goes on.

Steve also buys gold. They will give you a free quotes and 20% for referrals. Express Super Pawn has the largest gun shop called Express Gun Locker (760-947-7200), and if you want a deal you can go on E-Bay and find Express Super Pawn there too. Their web site is first class. Go to it and you’ll learn about the VIP Card, deals of the day, layaways, and much more; it’s If you don’t have a watch, they sell them there and you’re going to need one soon because Steve will be on TV. Barter Kings Series Premiere will be showing on Tuesday, June 12th,9/8c.


Steve McHugh, Antonio Palazzola


So get your watch and check it out on the 12th at 9pm. The store is easy to find, just south from Bear Valley Road on Hesperia Road or on the corner of Hesperia and Donert St., 11873 Hesperia Rd, Hesperia, Ca 92345 (760-947-5555). Open Monday – Friday 10 am-6 pm, Saturday 10 am-4 pm, closed on Sundays.

I’m glad to have met you, Steve. You guys rock.

How to Attract Votes and Clicks to a Blog

Funny Cats and Dogs

America’s Funniest Video has been on TV for over twenty years, and they are just as popular today as they were then. What is it about us Americans that we love to watch others get nailed? The videos show some a dumb nerd running into a tree, table, glass sliding door, a person, lake, car, or pole, and we’re busting up over it. READ MORE »

Never Give Up Hope Golf Tournament for Kayla in High Desert

“Never give up hope.”

Those are the words coming from a young sixteen-year-old girl whose name is Kayla Norris. She attends Silverwood High School, and Kayla enjoys classic rock, hard rock, punk and loves the Beatles. Kayla wants to attend UCLA for Photography, Journalism, and Art. Her dream is to work for Rolling Stone Magazine.

The bad news came on September 28, 2010 when the doctor told her she had a mass on her brain and she later found out it’s Grade 3 Brainstem Glioma. Kayla, even with this devastating news, did something most of us would not. She said, ” Even though the odds are against me, I choose to prove them wrong. I have plans for my future and the biggest support system of family and friends that anyone with cancer could ask for.”

Kayla, Never Give Up Hope

There will be a Never give up hope golf tournament on Sunday, April 15,2012, 8 am- sign in, 9 am- shotgun start. There will be lunch, prizes and a silent auction. Where: Green Tree Golf Course, 14144 Gree Tree Blvd, Victorville, Ca 92395. The entry fee is $60.00 per player (Includes 18 holes of golf, cart, and lunch). Make checks payable to: Never give up hope, Contact Pam Alcaraz (951) 212-2017. Send checks to: 16054 Oak Creek Ct. Victorville, Ca 92395.

Here is a young lady in the High Desert who needs help. Let’s all pitch in and do something. After all, she is a part of the future. Our prayers are with you, Kayla.

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