No Wind, Thank Goodness

Today was another very cold day, however, we had no wind — thank goodness.  Yesterday, was really windy and down to the teens.  Today was in the 20s, sunny, with no breeze whatsoever.  (I could tell because the flag down the street wasn’t moving.)

By the way, here at the Beckwith Mansion, we have the suite open for rent.  We prefer a longer-term renter (say, like 6 months or more), but we’re also willing to consider other terms.  Although it is month-to-month, we do charge a cleaning fee for long-term stays that are shorter than 6-months.  We do also offer night-by-night for this room.

The room’s monthly rate is $650/month, with a $600 cleaning/damage deposit.  The night-by-night rate is $160 per night.  Renters have access to the laundry (use of washer and dryer included in rent – you provide your own laundry detergent), as well as the kitchen.  The suite consist of a sitting area, sleeping area, private bathroom (tub & shower), walking closet, microwave and small refrigerator.  We provide linens and bedding (they will be clean when you move in, and washing them will be your responsibility during your stay.)

Elizabethe will be displaying her quilling at Books, ETC., in Macedon.  The display starts tomorrow and runs through the month of March, and in to April.  (This is her first “show”.)

If you don’t know what quilling is, it is a Victorian art form comprised of twisted strips of paper.

copyright 2014 Elizabethe Walton
Quilling by Elizabethe

Tractor Supply had an open house tonight.  Elizabethe and I went.  It is nice to see them opening a store so close.  It will give Lowe’s a run for its money.  There is some overlap, but Tractor Supply has more yard and garden related hardware and tools.  Heck, you can even buy a driveshaft for your tractor there.  They’ve got them on the shelf, as well as tractor seats and stuff like that.  But, they also had a wide selection of small hardware (like nuts and bolts).  They gave us a nice gift bag with some swag.  There was one item in that bag that I’m still trying to figure out what it is supposed to be.  It’s a neoprene “vest” that is too small to fit a soda can or water bottle.  Perhaps a smart phone protector?  I don’t know.  Next time I’m at their store I’ll have to ask them what it is supposed to be.

Tri-County Open House

My day started with Tri-County Networkers Open House.  We had a great attendance.  It was nice to see so many people showing interest.  I handed out all but 3 of the Israel flyers at the open house.

Upon returning to my studio, I promptly ordered 250 more flyers.  As I had to go to Perinton to pick them up, I dropped a few off at the mission office, and a few more at Hill Cumorah, and a few at the Palmyra Pharmacy.  The word is traveling fast, and I think this means we’ll have a good attendance.

As I headed to Hill Cumorah, the weather became drastically different the further I drove south.  Now, Hill Cumorah, for those who don’t know, is only 5 miles from my house.  Yet, in that 5 miles it went from windy, to windy and a LOT of snow falling.  It was near blizzard conditions.  I spent some time talking to the missionaries there, and then braved the weather to head back home.

The rest of the afternoon was spent working on photos for the Israel presentation.  Trying to decide which ones would be included, and which ones would not was difficult.

copyright 2014 db walton
Israel Sunset

It was Elizabethe’s and my turn to clean the church tonight.  We arrived during the window and were met by Brother Green who directed us as to what needed to be done.  I’m sure the weather made for a less-used building, which meant the cleaning was lighter than normal, but this was good as we were the only ones who were there besides Bro. Green.  A little later, some of the full-time missionary sisters arrived, and they helped out.

Israel Presentation

I had a few flyers printed for Matt’s and my presentation on Israel and they went like hotcakes.  I hope that enthusiasm is directly related to the number of people who attend.

Here’s the flyer for those who wish to be “green” and save some photographic paper:

copyright 2014 db walton
Flyer for Israel Presentation

I must have handed out over a dozen at my networking meeting, and then a few here and there.

Matt and I met and reviewed our outline for the presentation.  We have a lot to pack in to 90-minutes.  Matt had some great ideas on how to proceed, so I have to prepare the images, and Matt’s going to do a presentation on his Mac.  Most of my evening was spent color correcting images and exporting them to jpegs.

We’ve broke the presentation in to 4 sections – an overview, the Old Testament, the New Testament and Latter-days and the Millennium.  (That latter two being a single section.)  Granted, we did not see everything, we will show images and talk about what we did see, what took place there, and the significance.

This is going to be fun and educational.

Lots of Uploads

I’ve been uploading photos all day to vineyard.lds.org.  Lots of uploads.  The uploading part isn’t the tedious work; giving them search words and titles is the tedious part.

We also had our district meeting today.  One of the church photographers addressed us about getting various angles.  It was good validation.

Check out this wood carving by Omar in Jerusalem.  The front is the Savior, and the back is the Tree of Life. I think I’ll just leave it with this for today’s post. Here’s your 2000 words worth…

copyright 2014 db walton
Front – The Savior – Jesus Christ
copyright 2014 db walton
Back – the Tree of Life

Internet Scams

They say that identity theft is the fastest growing form of crime because of the Internet.  Yet, when you have a suspected Internet scam going on, did you know there is no where to report it?

Oh, I’ve tried in the past.  The FBI said call the local authorities, the local authorities said call the bank, the bank said they can’t do anything.

Our country has outlawed spam as well as phone soliciting.  Yet, people still do it and get away with it.  What happens when you report it?  Nothing.

So, why do we have such laws if nothing can be, or is being done about it?

After the fact, they’ll do something about it (at your own expense).  By then, the damage is done.

This leaves it up to use as individuals to be wise and cautious.  Never give your social security number to anyone where you don’t know what is going to be done with it.  Never respond to a too-good-to-be-true offer over the Internet or e-mail.  Finally, be diligent in check your accounts and credit reports.

What brings this up?

Oh, I got an e-mail from someone claiming to need a wedding photographer.  When I asked for a phone number, I got this long TMI (too-much-information) response, but no phone number.  It’s always fishy when they (1) don’t give a phone number, (2) don’t tell you where the wedding is going to take place, and (3) go in to all this information about why they are going to hire you sight-unseen and how they will mail you a check (even though you haven’t given them an amount).

Yeah… scam written all over it.

copyright 2014 db walton
Main Street Palmyra

Few Visitors and Many Attending

Palmyra Ward gets a lot of visitors, but today, there were few, yet there were many people attending.  As the bishop pointed out, they were mostly members.   That was good to see.

I got tapped to come play piano for part of the time during the block.  I always enjoy doing that, but came priesthood time, it for a moment appeared that I was the only one in the High Priest Group Leadership that was there.  It turned out, Bob was there, I just didn’t see him until later.

Sisters Killen and Boseman came for dinner.  I had made a chuck roast with vegetables and mashed potatoes.  After dinner, I attempted to do some photos for my mission assignment, but the lighting in the kitchen is poor.  So, from now on, I need to have the studio set up for that sort of stuff.

Music Night in Marion

The full-time missionaries organized a little music night in Marion at the S&L Café.  Elizabethe and I went to be supportive.  It was a nice evening with singing, guitar and keyboard music.

copyright 2014 db walton
On the Frets
copyright 2014 db walton
Mike and John

Hopefully they will do this again.  It was a nice way to spend a Saturday evening.

Monuments Men

I recently visited Israel, and every time it came up about visiting the Holocaust Museum, I just didn’t want to do it.  Why?  I’ve seen photos and read about the Holocaust and emotionally, it is really hard for me to take.  It is hard to take that a group of people could become so vile they would target a religion and seek to annihilate them — that they would actually kill 6 million people.  I just couldn’t bring myself to go there and be reminded of such atrocities.  I love my Jewish brothers and sisters, and the Holocaust is an important part of history; some amazing positive things happened during that time, but I just don’t like to be brought down to the depths of sorrow thinking about the death and destruction of so many.

Today I went with Elizabethe to see Monuments Men.  I figured since it was about the rescue of stolen art, it wouldn’t be so depressing.  That said, there is a scene in the movie where they uncover a large oak barrel full of gold nuggets.  It turns out the “gold nuggets” are the teeth and fillings of people.  I bring this up because as depressing as that scene was, it was evident that the movie needed to remind us of how evil and oppressive the Nazi regime was.  The rest of the movie dealt with the theft aspects, but this little scene was important and has burned another image in my mind about how horrific the Holocaust was.

The movie also reminded me of what happened to the Nephites in the Book of Mormon.  Critiques of the Book of Mormon complain that there is no evidence in this area of New York of Nephite cities and civilizations.  So, I want to compare that to what happened in World War II, and how the Book of Mormon is a warning about how a civilization can be utterly destroyed, and the Holocaust can help us understand how it can happen.

Around 200 AD, the Nephites and Lamanites both began to fall in to depravity.  In Mormon, chapter 6, Mormon writes of the destruction of a quarter million of his soldiers.  This doesn’t count the number of women, children and elderly who were killed.   Later, he writes,

And now I write somewhat concerning the sufferings of this people. For according to the knowledge which I have received from Amoron, behold, the Lamanites have many prisoners, which they took from the tower of Sherrizah; and there were men, women, and children.  And the husbands and fathers of those women and children they have slain; and they feed the women upon the flesh of their husbands, and the children upon the flesh of their fathers; and no water, save a little, do they give unto them.  And notwithstanding this great abomination of the Lamanites, it doth not exceed that of our people in Moriantum. For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners; and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue—  And after they had done this thing, they did murder them in a most cruel manner, torturing their bodies even unto death; and after they have done this, they devour their flesh like unto wild beasts, because of the hardness of their hearts; and they do it for a token of bravery.

O my beloved son, how can a people like this, that are without civilization—  (And only a few years have passed away, and they were a civil and a delightsome people)  But O my son, how can a people like this, whose delight is in so much abomination—

. . .

O the depravity of my people! They are without order and without mercy. Behold, I am but a man, and I have but the strength of a man, and I cannot any longer enforce my commands.  And they have become strong in their perversion; and they are alike brutal, sparing none, neither old nor young; and they delight in everything save that which is good; and the suffering of our women and our children upon all the face of this land doth exceed everything; yea, tongue cannot tell, neither can it be written.  And now, my son, I dwell no longer upon this horrible scene. Behold, thou knowest the wickedness of this people; thou knowest that they are without principle, and past feeling; and their wickedness doth exceed that of the Lamanites.  Behold, my son, I cannot recommend them unto God lest he should smite me.

So, what happened to the Nephite civilization?

The people, their homes, their art, their writings were all destroyed.  Their gold and precious things were buried in the earth and not to be recovered.  (This was part of a curse God put upon their riches – that if they did not keep the commandments of God, their riches would be buried in the earth and no one could obtain them for gain. Helaman 13:19)  Thus, the Lamanites made sure there was no record or evidence of the Nephites.  It was not only a fulfillment or prophecy, but a result of disobedience to God.

Had Hitler and his regime been successful, we would have forgotten about the Jews in a few generations.  Monuments Men made it clear that he was out to annihilate the Jews by not only killing them, but pillaging their art and literature and if he couldn’t have it, nobody could.  For this reason, I am glad there is a Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem – even if I cannot bring myself to visit it.

Both the Holocaust and the fate of the Nephites have lessons for us.  As George Santayana said, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed.”  (He is often misquoted by people who add, “… to repeat it.”  He simply stopped with the word “doomed”.)  I think we can all learn a lot by watching Monuments Men, and pondering the implications, and also reading the Book of Mormon, and pondering the implications there too.

copyright 2014 db walton
Hill Cumorah – the Last Big Nephite Battle

The Heat Wave of February

Wow, has it warmed up today.  This morning everything was frozen solid, and then as the day progressed, it all started to melt.  Then, it started to rain, and things melted even more.  Then, around dinner time, it started to snow like crazy, but the snow soon turned to rain.

Can you say, “Slushy?”

I gave a presentation at the Tri-County Networkers about destination vacation photography.  Here’s the concept…

When you go on a very important vacation, rather than be absent from the photos (or having a loved one absent from most of them), and rather than missing out on all too precious candid photos, hire ME!  A destination vacation photographer.

What does it cost?

Well, that all depends on the duration of your trip and my expenses.  As to my expenses, get me there, pay for any travel, taxes and fees associated with getting me there, as well as transportation to and from the airport and parking while there, provide me with lodging and meals, and pay a modest fee for my services.

What do you get?

You get all of the digital files sized as 600×400 pixels and sized at 4×6 inches x 300 dpi.  The former you can use on social media and send in e-mails, the latter you can print up to 4×6 inches.  This includes any landscape or scenic images I shoot.  You also get a letter from me stating you have a limited use license to print 4×6 prints and display the images in the Internet.  (Note, the limited parts are these:  You cannot sell or use the images for commercial purposes – i.e. if you had your own business, the license doesn’t allow you to use the images in advertising.  Any prints larger than 4×6 I ask you purchase the prints directly from me so I can guarantee the quality.)

What do I do?

I try to be as unobtrusive as I can so I don’t interfere with your vacation.  I follow you around and get pleasing candid photos of you and your family.  At your request, I am always close by so you can say, “Hey, Brent, get a picture of use with Mickey Mouse”, or “Make sure that mountain is in the background,” or whatever the case may be.  I’m basically at your beckoned command.

My typical goal is 300 images a day.  I average about 400.  There have been days I’ve shot as many as 1000.  But, for a week vacation, you might easily expect around 2500 to 3000 images.  I typically deliver the images on media you provide.  (i.e. a USB drive of some sort).

What if we want some private time?

If you want private time, you simply tell me and tell me when and where to meet you for more photos.  You can invite me to eat with you, or you can send me off to eat by myself.  You can engage me in conversation or you can ask me to site quietly and only speak when addressed.  It’s all up to you.

Here are some sample photos…

copyright 2014 db walton
Sample Candid Picture While on a Tour
copyright 2014 db walton
Sample Candid Photo

 

And, here is a “posed” photo…

copyright 2014 db walton
Posed Photo

And, here is a photo of one of the scenic sights of the trip…

copyright 2014 db walton
Scenic Photo (Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem)

As to the nitty gritty…

I don’t smoke, drink, do drugs, or other disruptive activities.  I have a passport and I’m ready to travel. I’m not real picky about foods and I’m adventurous.

So, whether you’re going to be going on a local day-trip, or an extended vacation abroad, I’m the photographer for the job.

D. Brent Walton is a Certified Professional Photographer and Photographic Craftsman with the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), and an active member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP).  He is fully insured for both liability and indemnity.  You can see his work at www.dbwalton.com and www.FineArtbyDB.com

 

Monroe Presents

A good friend and fellow photographer, Monroe Payne, presented at FLPP today.

copyright 2014 db walton
Monroe Payne

 

Monroe gave a great presentation on how he works with charity auctions.

I also had a meeting with the Rochester Referral Network.  That group is really growing and the place we meet can barely hold us.

Our friend Louise came over tonight as she asked if I’d take her to the airport to get her daughter who is visiting from California.  So, I managed to stay up late and make the drive.  It was nice to see and talk to Teri.