Remember Yesterday?

Remember yesterday and how I said we had a good snow?

Well, today you would think it was early May or something.  All of that snow melted away.

Elizabethe and I got out of the temple around 9:30pm, and it was a balmy 51F outside.  (That may not seem warm, but when it snowed the day before, this felt tropical.)   And, when we got home, all of that snow was gone.  Melted.

A Good Snow

We got a real good snow last night.  It was about 4″ deep and that was a really good test for my ManPlow.  After moving all that snow off the driveway and village sidewalk, I decided I’d work from home rather than brave the drive to Rochester.  (Why tempt fate?)

The sun came out and the snow started to thin.  But, with 4″, it will stick around all day.

Sunrise After 4 Inches of Snow
After spending my 8 hours working, I had just got dinner served, and work called.  It was another one of those situations where it wasn’t in my jurisdiction to fix the problem.  But, that wasn’t decided until 2 hours in to the call.
 
Oh, April 5th please get here soon.

A Very Busy Sunday

It was a very busy Sunday today.  After church, Elizabethe and I stayed for choir practice.  We came home, I grabbed a quick lunch and then it was off to go home teaching.  Then, I came home from home teaching to start making dinner.

Our dinner guests tonight were Sisters Hess and Lee along with President and Sister Tanner.  The Tanners had never been to the house so Elizabethe gave them the grand tour of the place.  (I think the Tanners did not realize how big the place was until tonight.)

Elizabethe and I had decided I would prepare tonight’s dinner from what we had in the fridge and food storage items.  I made a chicken, rice and cheese casserole, green beans, and Elizabethe made a salad.  We manged to just use what we had on hand and most came from open containers of food storage items in the kitchen.  You would have never known.

With food storage, it is important to rotate your storage.  If you don’t use it, it will go bad and you’ll have wasted your investment.  We actually need to make meals like this more often.

An Entire Day

I spent the entire day working on preparing images for print competition.  They are due the first week of February, so I’m not waiting until the very last minute.  I’ll have them done about 1 week early this year.

It would really be nice to get 4 merits this time around.  A few years ago, I got 3 out of 4.  I’m hoping for a 4 out of 4 this time around.

Financial Planning and Temple

After spending the day getting images ready for print competition, we met with a financial planner to review all the figures for retirement.  Stressful to say the least.  But, glad we did.

Elizabethe and I then headed to the temple.  Our ward’s temple night was tonight.  It was a packed session.

Only 3 Merits Shy

I am only 3 merits shy of receiving my Craftsman degree from the Professional Photographers of America.  This requires 25 merits (units, credits… whatever you want to call them), and 13 of them are a result of speaking engagements.  The other 12 are from “merit prints”, educational classes, and/or service within PPA.  I need 3 more merits from speaking engagements, and I already have those three lined up.

I spent the evening going through prints for print competition.  PPA Print Competition is a rigorous event where you may submit 4 prints per category.  The prints are judged based on 12 points.  An 80 or above earns 1 merit.  Thus, there is a maximum of 4 merits per category.  There are two categories – Photographic and Electronic Imaging.  Earning an 80 is HUGE deal.  It is not easy creating a merit print.   The 12 elements they judge on are found here:  http://www.ppa.com/competitions/international/12elements.php

So, if I appear grumpy, rushed, irritated… it happens when I’m getting ready for print competition.  Oh, and I need 6 more merit prints and I’ll have my Master’s Degree.

Foam Pieces

A friend brought a bunch of expanded polystyrene foam pieces to work for me.   He mentioned he had a bunch he was throwing out.  I told him I build prop sets with the stuff.  So, now I have a backseat full of foam chunks.  Soon as the weather warms up, I’ll start building some props to use outdoors.

Wall Made of EPS Foam

 

This May Come as a Surprise

This may come as a surprise, but I’m not a conservative.  One of the universities’ political science department had a political analyzer on their website (this was a couple of years ago.)  I took the test.  It asked a series of questions.  The questions were things like, “Do you think the death penalty is justified for serious offences?”, and stuff like that.

So, I took it and I was surprised at the results. It had two axis:  liberal/conservative and authoritarian/libertarian.  I landed a little right of center on the liberal/conservative axis, and a little above the line on the authoritarian/libertarian scale.  So, I guess you could say I’m a moderate conservative/moderate libertarian.

What does that mean?

I think Joseph Smith, Jr., summed it up well when he told a visitor to Nauvoo, “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.”

My children are probably laughing now.  I will admit, I was a bit more authoritarian as a parent.  But, I’ve mellowed with age, and especially when it comes to politics.  I’ve seen what authoritarian laws do to a country.  It isn’t good.  (By the way, the extreme of authoritarian rule has existed in modern times; Hitler was a good example.)

A country that passes a law that is over 2000 pages long, and mandates people subscribe to certain types of medial insurance is authoritarian.  No doubt about it.  It is extreme, liberal, authoritarianism.  (Just to use a more recent example.)

Open capitalism isn’t a conservative concept.  It is as libertarian as you can get.  (To share an example of libertarianism.)

Tonight, the president gives his State of the Union address.  And, now that you know where I fall politically, let me just state this…

Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that read, “The Buck Stops Here”.  And, although the president signs or vetoes bills, the president does not pass them.  It is the president’s job to enforce the law – that’s what the executive branch does.  So, to place all of the countries woes on any president (past, president or future) shows a lack of understanding about how we got where we are.  Sorry, Mr. Truman… the buck may stop there, but had its start else where.

That said, I do think our current president shares in the sad state of affairs we face today.  After all, he was in the Senate before being elected president.    As were 99 other people.  Add to that the 435 in Congress, and you have 536 men and women (the +1 is the president) who got us to this point.

But, are those 536 completely to blame?

No, now take the majority of the voters in this country who placed them in power.  That’s right.  We have each other to blame.

I really hope that comes November this year, people have the guts to vote for someone who is not an incumbent.  Every one of them has voted for a moronic law since being in power.  Every one of them.  (You can check www.thomas.gov to see how your representatives have voted.)  That really concerns me.  And, the president has signed most of the laws I call moronic.  (Example:  Extending the tax cuts only 2 months instead of 12 months.  100% of those voting in Congress and the Senate voted for it and the president signed it.  To me, that is moronic, gang-mentality behavior.)

One final comment… When the president says we have come this far, and why stop now, I really wonder what the heck he is talking about.  Most of the economic indicators say things have got worse since January 2009.  So, if we’re rolling down hill, is he suggesting we keep going until we can’t get any lower?

Think about his comments.

—–

Elizabethe and I had a wonderful evening in the temple.  Enrico and Louise were called as ordinance workers.  It was such a thrill to see them in the temple as workers.  Life doesn’t get better than that.

What Empty Nesters Can Do for F.H.E.

Elizabethe and I have been having the sister missionaries bring a recent convert to the house on Monday evenings for Family Home Evening.  (Missionaries come and go, while most church members stay around longer.  This allows the new convert to get more connected.  So, if you are an empty nester, invite a recently baptized convert over for Family Home Evening.)

Bro. Copp, Elizabethe, Sister Hess and Sister Lee (iPhone)

Tonight we watched a short video about the Mormon Battalion.  The sisters brought lemon bars for dessert.    It was a nice evening.

It’s been raining most of the day.  All the snow has melted and the ground is no longer frozen.  That’s what keeps this area so green and lush.

A Great Day at Church

We had a great day at church today.  First, our sacrament meeting speakers were Sister and President Christensen (president of the New York Rochester Mission), and then President Strassburg (counselor in the temple presidency) taught our priesthood meeting.

Elder Tiechiert and Elder Gudgell were our dinner guests.  I made roasted chicken with potatoes, mushrooms and candied carrots.  Elizabethe made a salad.

It is back to work tomorrow.  It has been nice having the better part of the week off.