About Under Western Skies

Welcome. This blog is for travelers and would-be travelers, fans of reading, writing and literature, and anyone with a questing spirit.

From Los Angeles, I write about and photograph the American West: life, culture, history, architecture and travel in California, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, even Alaska. I also write about travel elsewhere in North America, Europe and Asia — anywhere I go.

I devote a lot of words to books, reading, writing and language. Libraries are a particular interest of mine, and you’ll find numerous articles here about libraries, including ones built with funds from the Carnegie foundation.

Sometimes I write about work and business, usually about video, multimedia and communications.

And music (but not just western music, even though Buck Owens really started something just up the road in Bakersfield).

The “Categories” menu in the right-hand navigation will give you an overview of the topics we’ve covered and let you pick your favorites.

Politics and religion are not favored subjects. I have strong political views, some of which appear here as inevitable reaction to the context of life, particularly concerning the use of natural resources, wild lands and freedom of expression.

I post new entries two to three times each week, typically on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Comments are welcome. Comments for this blog are moderated. A comment does not appear on the blog until it’s reviewed and approved. No profanity or offensive remarks or language will be tolerated. Period. I determine what meets those standards. Period.

The subjects vary widely, and I hope you’ll come back to see which sky we’re under on any given day. If you like what you find here, I hope you’ll subscribe in the right-hand column to receive email notifications that I’ve posted a new blog. I make no other use of your link for any marketing or other purposes. I’m always gratified when you pass the link on to someone else, too. At the bottom of the daily post, there are widgets that let you share the post to your Facebook or Twitter page.

WordPress may insert advertising on these pages. I do not control, select or earn money from these ads, and their presence indicates no endorsement of their products, services or claims.

Thanks for reading. Please come back. Give me a “like.” It’s how I know what clicks with you. If you enjoy what you find here, I’d be happy to have you follow Under Western Skies. I do my best to keep things interesting.

Why blaknissan?

hapax legomenon?

All opinions and observations in this publication are intended solely for the entertainment of this site’s readers. All writing, images and media are the copyrighted property of the site’s author or approved contributors, and no material may be reused without express permission.

All content on this site, including photos and video, © Brad Nixon 2018, except as noted. No copying, transferring, duplication or other use of any material is permitted without express permission. The presence of this material on the Web is not an implied grant of fair use.

This site contains links to external websites over which I have no control. The linked sites were checked at the time of linking for possible legal violations or other inappropriate contents. I do not accept any responsibility for their content. The provider or operator is always responsible for the content of linked pages. Upon notification of violations, I will make reasonable efforts to remove such links, but I cannot be responsible for archived instances of Under Western Skies that may persist with outdated links.


  1. OK Brad – from MU Hockey to Proust. I’m just 10% of the way into the whole shooting match (loitering at the Verdurin’s soirees), and just noticed your summaries from a few months ago.

    I, too, have put this off for several decades, and fortunately didn’t have to fabricate anything for my English BA.

    As prep, I read De Botton’s book, and some other essays online, and was struck by a few notes on the humor in Proust. Sure enough, there’s plenty of it in the introductory few hundred pages. Here’s hoping it continues.

    My initial reaction is that he combines Eliot’s psychological mastery with Dicken’s humor and Trollope’s landscapes. (That’s as faux intellectual snobby as I can get).

    I wonder if the sentences come off better in French than in translation? They’re certainly elegant and readable, but often rereadable and rerereadable.

    If I make it through this, I’ve still got Shakespeare and the Bible to completely conquer, and long ago a friend recommended Anthony Powell’s twelvesome – have you any words of wisdom on that, it’s Proustian in length.

    Liked by 1 person

    • On the sentences: I so deeply regret that I cannot read them in French. I would love to be able to do so. They are absolute masterpieces, one after another. Never read Powell, though I’ve thought about it. Yep, MP’s very Dickensian. And Proust had read Eliot and Trollope in translation, so I’ll bet you’re right there, too. I tackled “Search” without any pre-reading of any kind, and it’s been an amazing journey of discovery. Can’t believe I waited so long. Bon chance! It only gets better as you go on.


  2. Hi Brad! Thank you for stopping by my blog. I’m glad it led me back to yours and looking forward to more posts 🙂 – Faye

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Faye. You have some excellent photos on your blog. I especially enjoyed the Golden Pavillion and Ha Long Bay.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Brad, glad you enjoyed it 😀 – Faye


  3. […] his base in Los Angeles, an American blogger Brad Nixon who considers the endless adventure of living in the American West: life, culture, history, […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve done a lot of thinking before writing this page, one of the most well written about pages I’ve read. Your blog is interesting, especially since I love the western states that you write about dearly 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. Yep, an endless amount to see.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, indeed!


  5. wishing you & your great site a wonderful 2019 🙂


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