Working

Working

It’s Saturday and I’m working.  I’m working on client images.  Yes, that’s right, the self-employed in my industry don’t get Saturday’s off.

At one point, I took some time and drove to the ATM to make a couple of deposits.  Other than that, it was retouching and painting all day.

While I like doing this work, since the accident I’ve been a bit anxious.  I’m not sure why.  I can’t put my finger on it.  It was like, a little freak-out when I realized I had to get this stuff done.  It wasn’t because I don’t want to do it; I love what I do.  It was more like, “Can I do this?”  I guess my abilities have fallen in to check.

“I can do this,” I keep reminding myself.  I’m not sure why I should have to remind myself.

I got a bunch of canned goods out for tomorrow’s dinner.  I decided it was going to be a make-your-own-Chinese-food night.  I’d have rice, various veggies and meat along with a variety of sauces and let people create their own.

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Totally different topic.

I’m reading this guys comments to a friend and this guy is all over my friend’s Facebook page telling him why he doesn’t need a gun.  My friend basically responds, “It’s my 2nd Amendment right to own a gun.”  The guy starts talking about burglar alarms and so forth.  Finally, I had to chime in.

I told the guy that the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with “home protection” and explained why the founding fathers placed it in the constitution.  He then writes back and asks if my friend liked Bush as a president.

Huh?

I wonder how people would respond when asked about each of the items in the Bill of Rights.  The questions would be to the effect, “Why did the founding fathers place the 1st Amendment in the Bill of Rights?”   “Why did the founding fathers place the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights?” and so forth.  It would be an interesting man-on-the-street interview.

Annual Physical

Annual Physical

It’s that time for an annual physical.  I did my annual visit to the doctor today and all went well.  We spent most of the time talking about my leg and what’s transpired since breaking it.

I find it pretty amazing that they can do an EKG right there in the examining room.  In fact, they unit is small enough they can take it anywhere.  That’s darn cool.  It probably won’t be long before there’s a smart phone app that does it.

Speaking of technology, I read that some toy manufactures are placing monitoring devices in their toys.  First it was in the Samsung TV, and now your kids toys.  When I read the book 1984 back in 1979 I thought this was all kind of far-fetched.  Well, not so much any more.

How many times have you heard about someone accidently dialing someone and sensitive information is given, unknowingly, across the phone.  I was at work one day, the camera light on my laptop came on.  You’ve got to be careful because you don’t know who could be listening.

I would like to contend that if you’re doing nothing wrong, you have no need to worry.  However, we live in an era where people who want to cause harm will find a way.  Hence, “Anything you say can and will be used against you.”

Now that you’re totally freaked out, you might want to place black electrical tape over that laptop and cell phone camera.

Thursday Beat Wednesday

Thursday Beat Wednesday

Thursday beat Wednesday when it came to business.  My first meeting was at 8am and by the time I got home it was past 2pm.

My morning meeting was the Tri County Networkers meeting at the Log Cabin Restaurant.  And, because of my busy schedule, I ate breakfast there.  Next, it was off to physical therapy.  Following a rigorous session it was back to the Log Cabin for a lunch time meeting.  Yes, I ate lunch there too. After the Canal Connection Chamber of Commerce luncheon, I took head-shots of the board members, and then it was off to home.

Once home it was time to download the images and retouch them.

The Canal Connection Chamber of Commerce meeting had 10 people in attendance.  It is interesting that I was the only man in attendance.  (Guys, missing networking opportunities like this can be harmful to your bottom-line.)

Some great ideas were discussed at the meeting.  It is nice to see business people passionate about building local commerce.  If you’ve followed my blog, you know I cringe when I hear people mention certain stores.  It is my experience you find better service and quality when you shop local.

Wednesday Routine

Wednesday Routine

The Wednesday routine is to update my blogs, check e-mail, and head to my Rochester networking meeting.  That’s the routine.

My Wednesday Rochester Referral Network meeting was kind of a State of the Group meeting instead of a speaker.  There was some good ideas discussed.  Both networking groups I belong to are good groups.

While today had some sunshine, it was very cold.  Most of the day it was in the single digits.  The radio said we are on track for having the coldest winter ever in recorded history.  That’s cold.

I wonder if that means we are going to have the hottest summer in recorded history?

I hope not.  That’s one of the things I like about Western New York, a hot summer day is 90.  I don’t like 3-digit summer days.  The time I was driving across Lake Havasue and my thermometer read 123 was too hot.  I thought the rubber was going to melt off my rims.

I cleaned up the studio.  I don’t know if it is the cold — bitter cold — or normal, but there were a LOT of dead bugs laying around in the studio.  I swept the floor and most of what was there were dead bugs.  Ladybugs, beetles, hornets, and spiders were in the pile of dirt I swept up.

 

Words

Words

Words are important.  In fact, the software I use for this blog is called WordPress.  Many of you use Microsoft Word.  We use words when we communicate.

There are a few words in the English language that are often mispronounced.  Okay… there are a lot of them, but here are a few of my pet-peeves.

irrevocable – it is not eer-ree-VOKE-abe-el.  It is EER-rev-ah-ke-bel.
preparatory – it is not PREP-ah-tory.  It is pre-PARE-ah-tory.
illustrative – it is not ill-ah-STRATE-eve.  It is ill-LUST-tra-tiv.

Then, there are words in the scriptures often mispronounced…

shew – pronounced SHOW…  rhymes with sew, not with sue.
draught – pronounced DRAFT.  Like a “draught horse”.

and my all time favorite …

patriarchal – pronounced pay-TREE-ark-all, not pay-TREE-art-i-call.

What does it matter?

Not a lot unless you’re sitting in a job interview and the person behind the desk is trying to determine your level of education and sophistication.

And, I will admit, some words don’t roll easily off the tongue.  We all get tongue-tied on various words.

There are also regional pronunciations.  Take “elementary”, for example.  It is said much differently around here than it is in west.  el-e-men-tree is how they say it in the west, but here it is el-e-men-tary, which sounds more like it is spelled.

D. Brent Walton is the author of 25 Things Business Owners Do to Undermine Their Business (and how to avoid and correct them) (http://amzn.com/1620390043 ) and a Photographic Craftsman (see www.dbwalton.com).  Brent and his wife, Elizabethe, own the Beckwith Mansion and Estate (www.beckwithmansion.com).

 

Kerosene

Kerosene

Kerosene is a calorie packed fuel that is a pretty good deal right now.  At $3.99/gallon it will heat a large space for very little when compared to propane, methane or electricity.

I went and re-filled a couple of my kerosene containers.  I have one of this big round kerosene heaters that I replaced the wick.  The thing really heats up quickly.  Of course, you have to make sure you have good ventilation.  But, in  a drafty old building, that isn’t a problem.

My dad had a kerosene wall heater in his cabin that vented to the outside.  That think heated the place up quickly and kept it pretty warm.  I wish I could find one of those.  I’d install it permanently in the studio.

I was out there cleaning and sweeping, so I need some warmth.  I fired that thing up and it warmed the room up very well.

Yes, they are a little stinky, but when adjusted correctly, they give off very little smoke.  (By the way, anyone who thinks they are smoke free, they should get an air filter and see how black they get even when your kerosene heater doesn’t look like it is giving off soot.)  Once they are hot, they burn pretty clean.  It’s that first few minutes and the smoke after you shut them off.

I don’t think I would ever use one in a home or room where people are sleeping.    And, I keep a CO detector in the room where I use it.  Even though it is an out-building that I’m just heating temporarily while I work, I would NEVER put it in a bedroom and then go to sleep.  I know there are people who do, but I’ve heard too many horror stories.

One vented to the outside, and made to provide clean air indoors would be another story. That’s why I would like to find one like the one my dad had at his cabin.  I went on-line looking for one and couldn’t find one.  Perhaps they weren’t as safe as they seemed?  Who knows.

I Want To Go

I Want To Go

I want to go to Israel.  I was talking to Matt and he said he dreamt we were in Israel and having breakfast.  I told him I’m really wanting to go to.  There is a lot I want to do in Jerusalem.

It is really cool when I see a photograph and I can say, “I know exactly where that was shot.”  Even though I only spent a couple of weeks in Israel, I recognize many locations.

My plan is to offer a limited edition painting to help raise money to go to Israel, and donate a portion to the building of the temple there.  There is a group of Jews in Jerusalem that are raising money to construct the temple.  I’d like to do my part.

 

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

I’m thinking one of the paintings will be of the Garden Tomb, and another one of the Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock.  (The latter I’ve already painted.  No, it is not the above image).

I wonder how many I should produce.  50, 100, 500 ???  Of course, the fewer I produce the more they will cost.  If I go with 50, I’ll probably ask for $500 to $1000.  If I produce 500 we’re probably talking $250 to $500 depending on the size.

Decisions.

Selecting Images

Selecting Images

Selecting Images for International Print Competition (IPC) is quite the chore.  Every year, PPA (Professional Photographers of America) hosts a huge print competition.

I anguish over the selection process.  And, for some crazy reason, time slips away from me and all of a sudden I only have a few weeks to come up with suitable images.

It would really be nice to have someone with a Master Artist eye could sit with me and say, “Yeah, that one… no, not that one… Okay, there’s a good one… oh, and that one there.”

Anyone qualified for the role?

A few years ago, I tried getting friends to help in the process.  (If you are one of them, please don’t take offense at what I’m about to say.)  The problem was they were all “yes-men”.  Everything was good.  Plus, one has to understand the process of Print Competition.

The ideal screener would understand the 12 elements of style and be able to say, “That needs this done and that done.”

Elizabethe suggested I not worry about print comp, but having a goal to shoot for gives me motivation.  Without that motivation I don’t get anything done.  I guess I’m just a goal-oriented type of person.

The weather is still cold.  I think this is the February Don McClean wrote about when he said, “February made me shiver.”

Yeah.  It’s cold.

Dinner Gift Cards

Dinner Gift Cards

Dinner gift cards are great.  It’s nice to go on a data and know it isn’t going to impact the monthly budget.

We had another card for Olive Garden so we went there again.  This time, we hit it before the dinner rush.  I had the same thing as last time.

We have a credit card that offers rewards.  If you take the cash, it is the value of the reward.  But, if you buy a gift card, you typically get about twice the value.  For example, if you’ve earned $25, you can typically get a $50 gift card.  That seems like a no-brainer to me.

Road conditions around here are quite bad.  It has been so cold that there are ice patches all over.  Then, where there are chuck-holes, they knock off the chunks of snow and ice from the cars and trucks making it hazardous too.

Other than dinner, my day has been spent working on Print Comp images.  I’ve got to find 4 photos and 4 paintings before March 5th.   Every year I swear I will not let this happen, but it does.  Ugh.  Perhaps 2015 will be a year that I work on it all year.

You’d think picking 8 images would be easy.

Wrong.

And, you don’t want to go posting them on Facebook because a jury might see them and have to disqualify themselves.

Why is it a big deal?  Because I’m only a few merits away from getting my Master’s Degree and I need those merits.  They are the only thing holding me back from receiving my degree.  I have all of the education credits I just need the print merits.  I’m also about 1/2 from getting my Master Artist Degree too.

Heat Pump

Heat Pump

The concept of a heat pump is just the opposite of an air conditioner.  If you’ve ever stood outside opposite an air conditioner condenser unit you’ll know that it spits out very hot air.

We discovered our heat pump can only pull in heat from the out side as long as the temperatures are above -14F.  Of course, that’s when you need the heat the most.

There has to be a better way to heat a home.

Once the outside temperatures started warming up, the heat pump started heating the bedroom again.

I think if I were building a brand new home, and money were no object, the construction and insulation would be such that it would be designed to trap heat.  180 years ago they did not understand the concepts of insulation.  Some of their ideas were way off base from what we understand today.

Wouldn’t it be nice to store heat I the summer, and cold in the winter and use the heat in the winter and the cold in the summer.  Someday we’ll figure it out.

It was so cold outside I decided to day was a good day for hibernation.  Yes, that’s what mammals do when it is too cold outside.  They go to sleep.  It felt good to be under the warm covers and to just sleep.

I may not have got a lot accomplished today but I sure feel better after my short hibernation.  Now, if I could just do that until April.