FLPP 2017 Christmas Party

FLPP 2017 Christmas Party

Elizabethe and I attended the FLPP 2017 Christmas Party.  It was quite fun and well attended.  It’s nice to have such a good group of professional photographers in the area.

We played a fun game called the Saran Wrap Game.  The game is played with a ball of plastic food wrap (about the size of a basket ball). The ball contains a goody every 3 feet or so.  The object of the game is to unwrap the ball to get to the goodies before the next person in line can roll doubles on a pair of dice.

copyright 2017 db walton - FLPP 2017 Christmas Party
Elizabethe was the first to go while I rolled the dice.
copyright 2017 db walton - FLPP 2017 Christmas Party
Paul went after I did.
copyright 2017 db walton - FLPP 2017 Christmas Party
… and it went around the table…
copyright 2017 db walton - FLPP 2017 Christmas Party
You can see by the expressions it is a fun game.

I also received a $250 scholarship for the 2018 PPSNYS Workshop.  I guess it is someone else’s turn for the full-ride scholarship.  It went to my 1st VP, Al, and it is well deserved.

The gift exchange, as always, was fun.  Elizabethe came home with a cheese and summer sausage box, and I got a couple of silicon grill mats and battery powered can opener.

copyright 2017 db walton - FLPP 2017 Christmas Party
Gift Exchange Table

More Games

We played charades.  The subjects were easy, but fun.

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First Word… You’ve got it…
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Making Gestures
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Come on…


We have been getting snow today.  Time to update my Season Watch page.

Almost Snow

Almost Snow

It’s almost snowing.  We’ve had so many light dustings, we finally got something that looks a little like snow.  I’ll call it “almost snow”.

They say we’re supposed to get dumped on tonight.  I have to take Elizabethe to Geneva in the morning so I better get up at 6 a.m. to shovel snow… just in case it is a dumping.

During Elizabethe’s eye appointment I updated both my tablet and laptop software.  (Free WiFi in the waiting room is sure nice.  You can actually get work done.)

Good Idea

It was a good idea to get a high-end tablet (i7 processor) for Painter, and a high-end laptop (also an i7 processor) for everything else.  On my tablet I don’t go to the Internet except to install software updates.  It is strictly a painting machine.  The laptop, however, is my office-away-from-home machine.  It’s actually a little more powerful than my desktop, but my desktop is 5 years old.  (That desktop has turned out to be a good decision.)

Funny Email

I got what I consider to be a funny email from Adobe.  The email claimed, “The all-new Lightroom CC just got better”.

There are only two ways it could get better.  1) Go back to a perpetual license, and 2) go back to LR version 4 speeds.

I hit the delete button.




Recalcitrant – it’s the best word I can come up with to describe it. I’m talking about the Fast and Testimony Meeting participant who ignores all previous pleas from the bishopric to keep it short and restrict comments to brief statements of beliefs.    I’m ultra sensitive to this, I know.

And, perhaps recalcitrant is a little harsh.  However, we don’t really have a word in the English language (that I know of) that describes someone who ignores instructions.

I once heard a talk that said valid words during a testimony are, “I know… “, “I believe…”, and “I hope…”.  They went on to mention a few phrases that should never be used, such as, “I exhort you… “, “You/We should… “, as well as telling jokes or long stories.

During one of these dissertations I admit my mind drifted someplace else.   Just before I did, Elizabethe leaned over and said, “We’re three for three,” in reference to some ramblings from the podium.


I imagined myself in a Fast and Testimony Meeting where a bishop asked that person who would come to the pulpit, because of the great number of people, would give one statement about what they know or believe.  He wanted them to keep things VERY short.

I sat there thinking, “Hmmm… I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  Or, I know Heavenly Father loves all of us.  I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God….  Which one do I say?”

In my little daydream  it hit me.  Just get up and say the one you feel the strongest about.  The others will probably be said by someone else.

Just thinking about it helped me feel better about how the meeting was going.  As a result, I may just do that one of these Fast Sundays.  I may just stand up and give one sentence.


In honor of the U.S.A. recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel I made shawarma for the missionaries.  My hummus turned out very well and Elizabethe even liked it!

Improving but Sore

Improving but Sore

Elizabethe is improving but sore.  She is resting most of the day.  I have errands to run, but she’s chosen to stay put in bed.

I’m absolutely shocked at the negative press regarding President Trump’s announcement to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  I like what their prime minister said, “It’s been Israel’s capital for over 3,000 years.”

People can be so stupid.  Yes, I said it.  They can be stupid.

One woman in an asian country was on the news yelling, “This is wrong.  Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine.”   Has someone told her that Palestine doesn’t exist as a country?

People need to understand.  The people who call themselves Palestinian will not be happy as long as Israel exists.  It’s been an all-or-nothing for them ever since I can remember.  I thought it would all die when Yasser Arafat died, but I was wrong about that.

I find it very ironic they are only pressuring Israel, and not Jordan, Syria, or other Arab nations from which they are from to form a geographic Palestinian state.  But, it’s all about Israel and the Jews.

They are a feuding people.  My entire life I’ve read about wars and contentions in the middle east.  They are mostly religious in nature, and it’s not worth getting in to which religion(s), because in many cases, they are feuds between different factions of one of those religions.

We know from prophecies in the Bible the middle east will be the background for a big war before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  Part of me wants to cheer, “Bring it on,” in hopes it means the Second Coming is sooner that we think.  Yet, the other part of me says nobody likes people dying because of war.


Elizabethe and I have been watching Smallville for entertainment.  There sure are a lot of references comparing Clark Kent to Jesus Christ.  At first I thought it was just me.  Then, they became so blatant I realize it’s been done on purpose.

I’m not sure what I think about that.


Husbandly Duties

Husbandly Duties

I take my husbandly duties seriously.  My wife’s request for me today was to stay by her side as she recovers from surgery.  That’s just what I did.

It makes for a great excuse to do nothing else – just be at her beckon call.  For the most part, she’s sleeping and making very little, if any demands.  Oh, I think she asked for Jello water at one point.

Heaven knows how many times she’s had to wait on my the last few years.  After the accident I wasn’t able to do much, but she was always there.  She never complained and gave me emotional support as well as physical support.


I was quite grieved years ago when a co-worker announced she was leaving her husband and getting a divorce because he was too sick to care for himself.  Who knows, it could have been all financial for all we know.  It just goes against the worldly marriage vow of “in sickness and health”.

I have great admiration for my friends who stayed by their spouses as their spouse was dying.  There is something beautiful about a commitment like that.  On the other hand, there is something very sad about those who leave because they can’t handle the burden – whether emotionally, financially, or physical.




Forgetting is part of growing old.  However, forgetting your own birthday seems ridiculous.  I’m listening to the radio and the announcer reads a list of celebrity birthdays.  It didn’t hit me.  I still didn’t remember.

Perhaps the excitement of our president acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of Israel still wows my mind.  On the other hand, it could be my wife is heading to surgery to have her gallbladder removed.  I think it is the latter.


Surgery went well.  Elizabethe slept most of the day.  She woke long enough to down a yogurt, and then went back to sleep.

With the exception of the bruising where they removed the gallbladder and the stone, she isn’t experiencing any pain to speak of.

When we got home from the hospital, there was a box from UPS.  Addressed to Elizabethe, she asked me to open it for her (she’s pretty groggy).  It is my birthday present.  She got me Book of Mormon Action Figures!

I set up Lehi, Laman and Lemuel and took a quick picture with my cell phone.  This is going to be fun.

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Lehi, Laman and Lemuel


Okay, it’s been a strange birthday.  I didn’t remember (neither did my wife).  My present consists of plastic action figure toys, and dinner… well, it was leftover cake from our dinner at the restaurant the other day.

I’m either getting old, senile or both.

Making History

Making History

Making history today, President Donald Trump announced the United States will officially acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and begin construction on a U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.  Without demeaning previous administrations, he explained the reason behind not doing this sooner was hopes it would further peace between Palestinians and Israel.  That hasn’t happened, so we aren’t going to wait any further.

This is big.  This is courageous.  It is the right thing to do.

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View from the Dedication Spot

This, of course, has brought out the trolls on social media and the Internet.  So far, most of the media news coverage has been about how terrible this is, and how the president doesn’t have this authority, etc., etc., etc.    He was given the authority to do this two decades ago.  It’s just that his predecessors chose to ignore it in hopes doing so would soften the hearts of the terrorists.

Newsflash – Terrorists aren’t negotiators.

The bottom line is this…

Palestinians will stop at nothing short of destroying the Jews (i.e. Israel).  The Israeli Government can turn over the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Bethlehem, Jericho, and more, and as long as a Jewish state exists, they won’t be happy.  While I’m sure there are Palestinians who wish this unwillingness to cooperate would stop, as long as groups like Hamas exist there will be contention.



Horse Sense

Horse Sense

Grandpa Knowles called it “horse sense”.  If anyone knew horses, he did.  He spent a portion of his young adulthood catching and breaking wild horses, and then donating them to the Rough Riders.  (His mom forbad him to go off with Teddy to fight in the Spanish American War, so this was his service to his country.)  To do that, you come to know what horse sense means.

Horse Sense
Grandpa Knowles as I Remember Him

I spent my first 10 years close to my grandfather’s side.  We’d go on walks together.  He’d tell me stories and sing me songs while bouncing me on his knee.  And, when I would do something unwise he’d say, “Brent, use your horse sense.”  Over time I came to know that expression as another way to follow your conscience and listen to those warning voices.

He was a wise man, and not someone to be trifled with.  He was well versed in politics (a stanch Republican), the scriptures (many of which were memorized), gardening and butchering (not to forget his career with the railroad too.)

Skipping Ahead 50 Years

If Grandpa were alive today he’d be disgusted with politics in general.  Uncategorically, I think I am safe to say, he’d be disgusted with the politics of every president since Ike (with the exception of Reagan, perhaps)… until now.  The same can be said about many of the presidential candidates over the past 50 years.  Grandpa, undoubtedly, would not support them.

I wasn’t for Donald Trump.  I didn’t vote for him, and in fact, tried to persuade friends to vote for someone else.  While I am impressed with Trump’s business prowess, too many people I trusted and believed led me down a path where I began to distrust Donald Trump.


I accept the election results.  Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect.  I am glad we didn’t end up with Bernie Sanders, Gary Johnson, John Kasich, or heaven forbid, Hillary Clinton.  Like with Barack Obama, I said, ‘Let’s see what he does.’

Tweets vs Speeches

Donald Trump’s Tweets have brought much controversy.  I told my dad it is as though President Trump has a mild case of Turrett’s Syndrom when it comes to his Tweets.  It is also difficult to tell the tone of a Tweet.  Face to face, one can read someone’s expressions.  You cannot do that with a Tweet.  For that reason, I take Tweets with a large grain of salt.

Making it a habit to listen to presidential speeches, I see the Donald Trump I studied years ago.  The man is brilliant.  Anyone who says he isn’t, is either being ignorant or malicious.  His speeches I’ve listened to have proven his brilliance, as well as his courage.

Example of Courage and Brilliance

Today our president is in Utah.  He gave a speech announcing the return of Federal land to the State of Utah.  His justification – Federal Overreach.  Horse sense.  Absolute horse sense.

He then has the courage to declare that we will recognize Jerusalem the capital of Jerusalem.   “This is nothing less than a recognition of reality,” he said.  Horse sense.  Absolute horse sense.

I don’t recall hearing any of his presidential speeches where he hasn’t been talking horse sense.

The Trolls

Bring out the trolls.  I’m watching the Internet as he’s giving his speech.  Inflammatory remarks like, “Thanks for starting World War III,” were being posted.  But, the one I got the biggest chuckle out of was, “What gives him the right to move Israel’s capital?”

If he said the sky was blue, there would be trolls to counteract his statement.


For myself, Trump has impressed me every step of his presidency.  Putting aside the subjectiveness of the Tweets, he obviously loves God, our country and family.


Because my wife is having surgery on my birthday, we celebrated today by going to Longhorn.  Our favorite waitress was there.  As she saw us she said, “HI!  I was just thinking the other day it is about time I see you.”

That made us feel very welcomed.  She treated us very well and it was a wonderful birthday dinner.



The First Monday Event has the subject of composition.  There were only two of us – me and Gary Morse.  But, we learned a lot about composition.  I know Gary and I aim to make my photographs better.

We watched a couple of real good videos.  It amazes me, almost to the point of disgust, that photographic instructors don’t teach this concept.  Perhaps it is too difficult for the average person to grasp, so they over simplify things down to the Rule of Thirds (in most cases.)

My 2018 crusade is to educate my fellow photographers on composition!


I had a flu shot this year, but I’m feeling like I am coming down with the flu.  And, it can’t be because of the flu shot because that was a couple of months ago.  When I went to bed last night I felt like crap.  My muscles all ached and I felt feverish.   It could very well be an infection too.

Let’s see if I feel better tomorrow.


Elizabethe called to get her surgery time and was told she wasn’t on the hospital schedule, however, the surgeon had it on his schedule.  Oops!  Some dropped the ball.

So, we waited and waited for them to call back.  She finally called them and got a time.

Dinner Cancellation

Dinner Cancellation

We had a dinner cancellation for tonight.  Usually we feed the missionaries, but a conflict came up in their schedule.  It’s okay, because neither Elizabethe or I are feeling up to par.

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality has been with us for 7 years now.  Someone was trying to tell me we need it because it will open the door to more ISP options being available and at a cheaper price.


I don’t see there being any more ISP options for my area than there was 7 years ago.  But, that’s besides the point, the guy hadn’t a clue what it is about.  There is nothing about Net Neutrality that will give us more ISPs or cheaper prices.

When I pointed out there are over 2,500 ISPs he grumbled that doesn’t help him where he only has 1 option.  (Oh, and I looked up his zip code.  He has a minimum of 7 options.  He just hasn’t researched it.)

Basically, Net Neutrality says ISPs cannot block or throttle IP addresses based on content being sent.  (The porn industry loves this because ISPs can’t block or throttle their data.)  As a result, the oponents argue it will do away with free speech on the Internet.

That’s odd.  It wasn’t a problem before 2010, and now we need a law governing it?

I really hope the FCC drops the regulation.  If it is an attempt to protect free speech it is a lousy one full of loopholes.