Slim Pickins shouting, “Somebody’s gotta go back and get a shitload of dimes” at a tollbooth in the middle of the open desert may be my favorite line and scene from Mel Brooks’ 1974 slapstick comedy, “Blazing Saddles.” Two things I didn’t remember from the film are the liberal use of the n-word and that some of the Western scenes were filmed at Old Tucson in, uh, Tucson. The latter fact hit me just before the credits began rolling. I thought the scene looked familiar so I looked it up and my recollection was correct. In fact, I’d been on that perch (1) many times in college (when I absolutely should not have been) and last in 2016 when I snapped this pic from atop it looking down at the old film location. I will say it was much easier navigating that hill as a drunk 20 year-old even if it was in the dark.

This morning, as I looked at the picture I took last night, the markers of time in it intrigued me. Time is a trip.

  1. The peak overlooking Old Tucson and just above Gates Pass behind it is part of the Tucson Mountains, formed from volcanic eruptions during the Triassic-Jurassic period -190-200 million years ago. Most of my time spent there was more recently.
  2. The leaded glass cabinet and fireplace in my home were built with it in 1930.
  3. The Yamaha HTR-5640 home theater receiver was purchased in 2003 and before I kept track of all spending in Quicken. I’m guessing it was in the $299 range, but now I see it on Amazon for $19,999.00 so… Inflation. It still works and I’ve been able to add Roku to it, so yeah…
  4. After spending the first 17 years of my career with NEC, I displayed some brand loyalty by laying out $3,175.00 for a 42″ plasma HDTV on January 14, 2006. Today, one can pick up a similar-sized unit for under $200.
  5. I’m not sure when the low coffee table that holds the TV was made. I’m thinking the 60’s, but I picked it up at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $58,36 on December 26, 2012.
  6. 1 of 3 (Google) Nest wi-fi points purchased August 19, 2020 for $299. Highly recommended. One is in the basement where the Fios signal comes into the house. One is above the TV to aid my cable-free streaming, and one is in my home-office listening to me type right now…
  7. Monochrome photo with my daughter, Megan on her wedding day, August 24, 2020. I’m not going to mention what that cost, but having your daughter say, “it was the best day of my life?” Priceless.

“My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of
thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.”
– Hedley Lamarr, played by Harvey Korman in “Blazing Saddles”