The Big Studio Clean-Up Day

Elizabethe suggested I put my cow’s head above the door. It actually looked kind of cool, so no apologies to Georgia O’Keefe for this picture of it…

We took our time getting started today, but came about 9 a.m. we were out in the studio organizing and cleaning.  With limited space, you some times have to be creative where you put things.  A lot of time was spent saying, “Move this here… on second thought, let’s put this over here.”

Elizabethe and Stephanie were both huge helps.  We got back drops up on the tracks, props moved to where they are out of the way, hardware on the walls for hanging things, etc.  And, when it came to hanging things, we had lots of beads.

and More Beads.

And there were backdrops too…

Backdrop Track in Studio

The hard part was figuring out where to put this stuff…

Props and Studio Gear

Elizabethe suggested I put my cow’s head above the door.  It actually looked kind of cool, so no apologies to Georgia O’Keefe for this picture of it…

With No Apologies

When we got to the point where I couldn’t take any more, Elizabethe and I headed to Jo Ann’s Fabric to get some fabric for when I want to block the window light.  Holy Cow!  It was nearly $100 for the fabric and that was at 50% off.

Studio Clean-up and Morning Walk

The results were… shall we say… interesting. I’m not sure I’ll do any more soft-focus HDR, but it was worth the experiment.

This morning on my morning walk I took my LensBaby Soft focus f2 lens.  I thought I would try it out and do some soft focus HDR.  (Those who know what HDR is are asking if soft focus HDR is an oxymoron.  It might be.)

Soft-focus HDR

The results were… shall we say… interesting.  I’m not sure I’ll do any more soft-focus HDR, but it was worth the experiment.

After work, Elizabethe and Stephanie help me do some cleaning in the studio.  We’re getting it ready so I can actually start using it.  We got a big pizza from Nima’s and then after dinner, started removing the tools and putting them away. 

Tomorrow, we plan on getting things organized in the studio.   It’s going to be a long day tomorrow.

What is it About Illegal . . .

It does amaze me that it went staight to the 9th District Court of Appeals without going through the proper channels. But since November, 2008, nothing surprises me any more.

If I lived in Arizona, I would be wearing a t-shirt that says, “Judge Brewer, what is about illegal that you do not understand?”

Now, before I go on, remember, Judge Brewer is part of the 9th District Court of Appeals which is the most overturned district court in the country.  They are the ones who ruled, without foundation, that ‘gay marriage’ was okay, as well as many other activist decisions.

That said, portions of the law are going into effect, and the news reports many illegals are fleeing the state.

Is that supposed to be a bad thing?

I applaud Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  This man has guts and integrity.  He understands a state’s sovereign rights and is standing up to the judge telling the judge she does not have jurisdiction over this law.  (It does amaze me that it went straight to the 9th District Court of Appeals without going through the proper channels.  But since November, 2008, nothing surprises me any more.)

The country is really in a bad state, and I don’t just blame politicians.

Mark Twain commented that if you removed all the “And it came to pass” phrases from the Book of Mormon you would only be left with a tract.  He missed a major recurring phrase:  If ye keep the commandments ye shall prosper in the land.  The converse warning is issued:  If ye do not keep the commandments, ye shall not prosper.

It doesn’t get much clearer than that.  Look at the prosperity we enjoyed shortly after 9/11/2001.  Unfortunately, it didn’t last long before people stopped calling upon God and returned to evil ways.

I really think, in spite of all our best efforts to improve the economy, the only real way for it to improve is for people to start keeping the commandments.   It IS the Book of Mormon promise to our nation – Keep the commandments and prosper.

It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

20 Years and a Watch

One thing I couldn’t locate in the catalog, which really ought to be there, is a 3 month vacation at a resort of your choice. I guess they figure they wouldn’t see you again.

It used to be you put 20 years in with a company and you’d get a watch.  Now days they hand you a catalog and ask you to take your pick.    Hmmm… a BBQ grill… a crystal vase…. a gold chain (no Elizabethe doesn’t wear them)…. a pair of crystal earings  (huh?)…  a BBQ tool set ….

So, I picked a compact stereo worth about $150.  Do you know the difference between a $150 compact stereo and a $39.99 one at Walmart?  No?  Good.  Neither do I.

It really beats the luggage set.

Sooooo…. should I go for the watch when I retire?

I remember my grandfather’s retirement watch from “The Railroad”… Union Pacific.  Now, that was a watch.  It was a pocket watch.   Ivory face, gold case and chain.  They just don’t make retirement watches like that any more.

One thing I couldn’t locate in the catalog, which really ought to  be there, is a 3 month vacation at a resort of your choice.  I guess they figure they wouldn’t see you again.  They are afraid you’d take a job as a pool-boy or waiting tables.

I think I’ll just kick back tonight and listen to some of my CDs… A little Joyce Cooling … take my shoes off… close my eyes…..    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……

Blacktop Sealing – Done

They came and sealed the back driveway today.  I asked the guy how often it should be done and he said every 2 years.   I was thinking 3, but he might have a point.  It was starting to look ragged.

Today was conference call day.  I could not believe it.   I was probably on the phone 4.5 hours out of the 8 hour work day. 

Being my temple night, and being tourist season, I was hoping for a very busy night at the temple.  I was disappointed to see it was very slow.  Folks, even if you don’t have an appointment, it is okay to call at the last-minute or just drop-in.  Really!

Tomorrow I plan to repaint my surf board.  It is going to be periwinkle blue with a white strip.  (You’re wondering about this, eh?  Yes, I have a surfboard.  I paid $25 for it.  Bought it from a guy in S.F.  It was kind of fun walking down the street in my business casual clothes carrying a surf board… oh, I digress…. Anyway, I’ve never surfed on it and the idea is to use it as a prop in the studio.)  It was day-glo orange and white, and the white had yellowed.  I figure blue would go better with most outfits, and easier to change colors in Photoshop.


Now, about those blog-spammers…

So, this spammer posts a comment, and the comment could apply to any blog, any subject.  In the blog, he means to say, “heard of”, but instead writes, “heared off”.

Is “heared” even a word?

If I were that on-line gaming company, I’d be firing spammers who are sending stuff like that.

How Does That Happen?

Well, our calls must have helped. Charges have been dropped against Daniel Van Plew. Thank goodness.

How does it happen that you wake up angry because of some dreams you had?

I had some really stupid dreams last night.  One that I remember, I was at some farm and pig poop fell all over me. (I think they had pigs in the hayloft of their barn.)  I was steamed in the dream.  I had some others that also got me a little ticked off in the dream too.  So, when I woke up, I was ready to rip someone’s head off. 

It was a good thing I went out and got some exercise.  Although, in hindsight, it is a good thing I didn’t go in a bike ride.  I might have terrorized some motorist driving in the bike lane.  Anyway, the exercise helped.

So, how does that happen? 

Sleep is supposed to be pleasant, relaxing, renewing… not angering.


Remember the guy last week charged with harassment and child endangerment for holding the teenager who ding-dong-ditched his back door?

Well, our calls must have helped.  Charges have been dropped against Daniel Van Plew.  Thank goodness.


I had 3 spammers recently.  All the same name in the email, followed by 2-digits, and then a Denmark e-mail service.  I thought people in Denmark had better things to do with their time than to spam services where their messages will never been seen.  All three messages were trying to get people to go to an on-line gaming site. 

I doubt the guy reads my blog, but wouldn’t that be funny if he did?  (Okay… I’m not sure why that seems funny to me, but it does.  Okay?  It just seems funny he’d read about his moronic behaviour and then still do it.  Denial?)


Finally, did you know in the State of New York you must yield to goats being herded by a person?

Does that mean, if the goats are just out walking themselves you do not need to yield to them?

Pleasant Sunday

After the heavy rain that hit yesterday evening, it was nice to enjoy a somewhat cooler day today.  It was a pleasant Sunday in all respects.

It was my week as organist.  All went well there.  The last hymn was a little tough on the organ, but I managed to squeak through it.

Boy, the kids in Primary were hyped up today.  I was playing prelude music and could barely hear myself.  Sister Collie suggested we sing Reverently, Quietly.  That helped a little, but they were still chattering like crazy.  I don’t think I have ever seen them this wound-up.

Our home teacher came.  He shared with us a book he found at the BYU library about his 3rd great-grandfather.  Pretty interesting.  The man testified on the Smoot Commission.  That in itself would be worth a read.

3rd Annual World-wide Photo Walk (Palmyra, NY)

After the walk, I went to the Pioneer Day Picnic. For those who don’t know, Pioneer Day is July 24th. It celebrates the day Brigham Young led a group of Pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley.

Today was the 3rd Annual World-wide Photo Walk.  I lead the Palmyra walk.  We had 5 people (myself included).  It was fun.  We got some good shots.  I will post a link and update this page as photos become available.

We headed west on Main Street down to the Aqueduct park, along the wetlands trail, up Market Street, and back west on Main Street again.  Unlike last year, every person on this year’s walk was from Palmyra.  To me, that was quite fun.  (Not that last year’s wasn’t fun, but it was fun hearing stories from people who grew up here.  Heck, I was the neophyte of the bunch having only lived here one year.)

After the walk, I went to the Pioneer Day Picnic.  For those who don’t know, Pioneer Day is July 24th.  It celebrates the day Brigham Young led a group of Pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley.  (A few years after, my great-great-grandparents came into the valley after sailing from England to New York City.  While crossing Nebraska, my great-grandfather was born on the banks of the North Platte River.  Thus, Pioneer Day is meaningful to me.)

Brigham Young
Parley P. Pratt
I don't think Max was buying the story.

It was fun.  I had fun taking pictures of people and meeting new people.


I think the Russell’s baby was the newest of the bunch.

I’m exhausted.  But, it was a fun day.  Thank goodness tomorrow is Sunday.

No Word

No word from the Albany assistant D.A. handling they guy’s case in Bethlehem, N.Y.  Honestly, I don’t expect a call back.

I did read where someone has suggested setting up a defense fund for the man.  I’d pitch a few dollars in to the fund.


This morning it was a light drizzle when I got up.  It was enough to keep me from going on my walk.  That was good.  Had I gone on my walk, I would have been caught in a heavy down-pour.  It was actually flooding in areas on my way in to Rochester.


Tomorrow is the 3rd Annual World-Wide Photo Walk.  This is really a cool idea that Scott Kelby put together.  I’m glad Scott had the media whereby to get the word out.  Right now, there are nearly 32,000 photographers, world-wide, signed up to go on the walk.  Over 1,100 locations.  That is a LOT of photos.


Today’s Friday… I’ve got a lot of little things on my mind.


So, I see a judge in Arizona is going to be hearing the case about the Feds suing AZ over their immigration law.  The article I read from Associated Press said that already illegal aliens have been fleeing back to Mexico.  It was worded as though it was terrible this is happening.

Why was that worded by the AP writer as if that’s a bad thing? 

Criminals fleeing the country to avoid getting caught.  Is that supposed to make me angry?

Let me think… if doing something illegal makes one a criminal, then those here illegally are criminals.    And, if we arrest and detain them here, that costs tax payers money.  But, if they run away and go back to another country, they save the tax payers money.  I like the latter.


But, I think the real perp here is the district attorney for Bethlehem, New York (Albany County D.A. Office).

I got a little ticked-off today when I read in the news about a man who has been charged with child endangerment for capturing a 14-year-old who was doorbell ditching.  The boy, with 3 of his friends, pounded on the man’s door and took off running when he came to the door.

Now, I doorbell ditched when I was a kid.    And, once, on Halloween, I got the cops called on me.  (The irony here is, we weren’t doorbell ditching, but ringing the doorbell because we were hoping to get some candy.  The lady was drunk and probably didn’t realize it was HALLOWEEN.)

Anyway, back to these kids…

So, the guy is getting charged with child endangerment and harassment. 


Wait, the guy was in his underwear about to go to bed when he hears this loud pounding on his door.  Having been there as a homeowner, when someone pounds on the door, your heart starts pounding and your adrenaline starts pumping.  As you go to the door, you’re wondering what might be going on.  You are scared and the fright-or-flight reflexes kick in.  And, when it turns out to be a prank, you’re somewhat relieved, but you’re also angry for having been scared like that.

Oh, I should add that they were pounding on his BACK, not the front, door.

So, who was harassing whom?

No charges have been brought against the teenagers.  But, I think the real perp here is the district attorney for Bethlehem, New York (Albany County D.A. Office).  Mr. P. David Soares, in my mind, shouldn’t be in office.  I know I don’t have all the details of the case, but the fact that charges are being filed at all boggles the mind.  In my day, the cops called to the scene might have said something like, “Mr.  Brown (don’t know the kid’s real name), if you don’t give your boy a good spanking, I will.  Make sure your kid knows he’s lucky Mr. Van Plew didn’t pull out a gun and shoot him.  How was he to know it wasn’t a mugger or robber at the door?  Now, take your kid home and I hope I don’t get called out here again.”

Here’s his phone number if you want to call Mr. Soares:  (518) 487-5460

I called and left a message.  It will be interesting to see what their response is, if any.

I just hope the judge over the case throws it out.  A more recent story says that the father of the child agreed to press charges after having been asked by the police if he would like to press charges.  Shame on that police officer and that father.  What type of message does this send to the ding-dong-ditching son?

That brings me to this…

There should be a law that says, anything that happens to you while committing a crime is your own darn fault and you have no recourses financially or otherwise.

I’m sick of hearing about criminals who get hurt while committing a crime and then sue for whatever reason.  Granted, this kids offense was minor, it was still wrong.  WRONG.  WRONG. WRONG.  And, what Mr. Van Plew did was normal and not excessive.