182nd Annual General Conference

Today was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 182nd Annual General Conference.  We watched the first two sessions on BYU TV, and then I went to the church building to watch the Priesthood Session.

The plan was for me to cook a pot of chili to take for the Priesthood Chili Dinner before the priesthood session.  Well, I did cook a crock pot full, but on the way to the church, after turning the corner, the pot tipped over spilling its contents all over the floor of my car.  Fortunately, the chili mostly landed on the floor mat.  I was sooooo upset.

We still had plenty of chili sans my pot.  I think we filled about 8 quart containers with the leftover chili.  So, we were okay.


Artisan Works and Hunger Games

After getting some work done this morning, and showing the downtown apartment, I convinced Elizabethe to go with me to Artisan Works.  It had been a while since I had been there and I was due for some artistic inspiration.

Globe with Hourglass

I wandered around the museum taking pictures of textures and getting ideas for some paint brushes for Painter and DAP.  I found this really cool relief painting of mermaids swimming through waves.  What a great use of texture.


From there we went to T.G.I. Friday for dinner.  We had a gift card so it was “free”.

After dinner we went to see The Hunger Games.   It was a good movie, but a bit dark and disturbing.  It ended well, but the idea behind the game was pretty dark.  12 years ago I would have seen this movie as pure fiction.  But, with the world having become so depraved, I found it all too plausible and that was enough that if the make a sequel, I have no desire to see it.

We got out of the movie and it was snowing.  Yes.  42F outside and snowing.  It continued to snow for a few hours.  It never stuck, but it kept coming down.  It was only about a week ago that it was nearly 80F.

Catch Up After PNE

I spent the day playing catch up after Photo North East.  I had lots of emails to sift through and some studio projects to get done.

We had a guest arrive who is planning to spend the weekend here touring Palmyra.  Tourist season has started.

The front lawn really looks nice after mowing it and getting some rain today.

Beckwith Mansion, Early Spring 2012

The Latest Addition

The latest addition here at the Beckwith Estate is a new lawn tractor.  We got a Cub Cadet, 46″, Kawasaki V-Twin, mower.  In the past, we’ve paid to have the lawn cut.  But, from now on I’ll be doing the mowing.  Orange Oaks Lawn Service lives again.  (That’s a reference to the mid-70s and Jack’s and my lawn care business.)

Until today I never cut a lawn with anything other than a push mower (manual and gas).  It is amazing how close you can get to edges, and how tightly this thing turns.   It has a grass catcher that was emptied about 20 times during the course of mowing the lawn.  When all was done, it took me about 3 hours to cut the grass.  I figure had I been doing it with a push mower, it would have been about 8 hours.  (That’s not an option.)

The New Mower

If you ever wondered why tractor seats have those huge springs underneath, well, take a ride on one and you’ll see that without those springs, you’d be jarred to death.  Even with the padded seat, it was a bumpy ride mowing the lawn.  I wish they would make the seating on these more like snowmobiles.  At least on a snowmobile you can lift yourself off the seat when things get bumpy.  Sitting in a tractor seat, you really can’t put your weight on your feet like that.

It was a fun first experience.  In ten days I’ll be doing it again.

P.S.  You should see the lawn.  It looks great.

PNE 2012 Day 4

Today was the last day for Photo North East.  Two of the Munoz brothers from Boca Raton, FL, gave a presentation.  This is a 4-generation photography studio that started in 1909 in Cuba.  These young men know how to run a family business.  It was quite refreshing to hear them speak.  They have more knowledge about selling than most of the great photographers of our time.  They know how to photograph and they know how to  bring in clients.

When they went to demonstrate how they shoot an engagement session, I decided to get a jump on the trip and hit the road.

We got home about 6pm.  What a long drive.

It’s nice to be home.

PNE 2012 Day 3

You can always learn something from someone.  Even if the topic seems to be something you are very familiar with, you can still learn something if you pay attention and listen.

There have been a couple of presentations when I have felt anxious hoping to hear something new.  And, waiting and listening to what the instructor has to say, eventually, something comes out that I jot down in my notes because I don’t want to forget it.

There have been a couple of times when I’ve re-learned something.  My internal reaction was, “I know that.  Why haven’t I been doing that?”

So, never think you know-it-all, because at some point you will hear something you didn’t know, or something you needed to be reminded about.

That said, I find it more beneficial when the instructor has me soaking everything in like a sponge.  I would rather have my brain in over-load mode than having to deal with the boredom factor.

The best class of the day was Joe Brady.  It was some of the review stuff, but Joe presented it in a way that was entertaining, but also interjected with important stuff.  When an instructor talks of basics, but provides technical theory behind it, it keeps both the beginner and expert listening.  Joe’s a good teacher.

PNE 2012 Day 2

It’s day 2 of Photo North East and the first day of the trade show.  The trade show was a sell-out, but I hear the attendance is down about 20% over last year.  I fear if they do not better vet some of the speakers, they will lose more people in the future.  Thus far, I have not seen anyone handing out evaluations after the presentations.  Heck, when I taught college, every semester they would take part of my classroom time, send me out of the room, and someone would hand out evaluations while the students would complete them.  Then, after all the grades were turned in, I would get a report summarizing all the evaluations, plus all of the written comments.  When this is all over, if there isn’t some sort of evaluation, I guess I better volunteer to do that part next time.

Tomorrow’s another day.

Photo North East 2012

I hit the road this morning at 6am heading toward Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.  Why they chose to have the convention all the way over there is beyond me.  Geographically, it seems a little lopsided to have it there.

6 hours later, we got there.  Tired, beat and ready to take a nap.

Jinxing Things

I’m really not superstitious, but sometimes, things happen that make me wonder.  Last night Elizabethe commented that I had not got many calls for being on-call.

Well, today, that changed.  My last time being on call.  My last day being on call.  What happens?  I get a bunch of calls, including a down router in Littlerock, Arkansas.  Worse yet, the call comes in 30 minutes before I was due to leave work.


Thank goodness tomorrow I leave for Photo North East.

Another Really Nice Spring Day

Today was another near 80-degree day in Palmyra.  My mower gets delivered next Wednesday, but I’m wondering with these temperatures if my lawn is going to get too thick to cut.

The Front Lawn

Right now, it is at an okay height.  But, another week of this and it’s going to be a jungle.

I do love the flowers in my yard.

Purple Crocus and Gold

Also, this morning on my drive to Rochester, all the trees were still brown.  On my way back home, many of the trees were starting to look green.  Last year, that didn’t happen until mid-April.

It is an early spring!!!