Palmyra Needs

Palmyra Needs

What Palmyra needs is a couple of fast food franchises.  Oh, before you start groaning about how fast food isn’t good for you, thank about what it does for the economy.  Fast food provides jobs, convenience for shoppers and low price meals for people in a hurry.

Have you ever noticed you find fast food places clustered around major shopping areas?

One doesn’t need a PhD in economics to realize that when people go shopping, they get hungry and they want to eat and move on to the next store.  As business owners in Palmyra, we should be happy to welcome a Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, or some other fast food joint that is open all year.

Wendy’s for Lunch

Speaking of fast food, we had to run to the bank to make a deposit.  It was close to lunch time and Elizabethe suggested we try Wendy’s because I had commented that their new Gouda Bacon Cheese Burger sounded good.  We went all the way to Perinton Plaza just to try it out.  (Hint:  Palmyra is missing out on the tax revenues by not having fast food joins.)  The Gouda Bacon Cheese Burger is fantastic!

Nita’s for Dinner

A friend in the ward invited us to have dinner and watch a movie.  Both were great.  We watched the 100-foot Walk.  Excellent movie with a message of forgiveness.

Fuddy-Duddy

Call me a fuddy-duddy, but I have no desire to stay up past midnight.  2015 will pass; 2016 will be here in the morning.

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New Camera Class

I’ve scheduled a spring-time New Camera Class.  You can sign up for it by clicking here.

 

Taco Bell

Taco Bell

Back in 1974 a good friend and I were working in the restaurant industry.  Taco Bell was a huge success in California, and I thought it would be great if we could bring Taco Bell to eastern United States.  I mentioned this to my friend who was from Wilkes Barre, PA, and he said, “They wouldn’t even know how to eat a taco.”  (Implying it was a bad idea.)

The closest Taco Bell to our house was about 10 miles away near the intersection of Auburn and Madison in North Sacramento.  My dad who had come to California before we moved there from Idaho, raved about this place where you could get anything on the menu for 19 cents and drinks for 25 cents.  The menu was simple:

  • Taco
  • Burrito (with hot (red) or mild (green) sauce)
  • Tostada
  • Frejolies
  • Bell Burger (a bun with taco meat on it)

That was it.  $1 would get you change and 3 tacos and a drink.  You could feed a family of four for under $5.  That was 1968.

So, by the time 1974 rolled around, this 18 year old was thinking about what to do with his future and I thought it would be great to save up some money with my buddy and buy a franchise or two in Pennsylvania, New York or somewhere in the northeastern USA.  But, my friend didn’t think it would take off.

Now I live in that area and Taco Bells are few and far apart.  The nearest ones to us are 12 miles away.  There are probably 6 McDonald’s for every Taco Bell in the area.  While I’ve been to a packed McDonald’s, there is seldom a line at Taco Bell.

This afternoon Elizabethe had an appointment down in Canandaigua and I went with her.  After her appointment, since we were close to a Taco Bell, we stopped there for dinner.

There were as many employees as there were people eating there.  I ordered a crunchy taco and some nachos.  The crunchy tacos haven’t changed much since the time when they cost 19 cents.  Now they are a $1 more.  The menu has expanded greatly.  You can get a crunchy taco, a crunchy taco supreme, a crunchy taco with steak or chicken, a soft taco, and so on.  It is ADHD overload just looking at the menu.

I’m not sure how well Taco Bell franchises are doing in this area, but I will say the food at Taco Bell is better than most so-called Mexican Restaurants I’ve tried here.  (There is a good one up in Sodus that serves authentic Mexican food, but many of the others… not so good.)

I’m actually glad I didn’t go in to the restaurant business, but it is fun to reminisce about the days when I wanted to bring Taco Bell to the Northeastern United States.

Big America

In the meantime, I’m lobbying

to bring the Big America Burger to USA McDonalds.  200 grams of ground top sirloin on a sesame seed bun.  It’s a two-fisted burger that makes the Burger King Whopper look small.  Yeah… so it cost $13-17 (US) for a Big America, fries and a drink.  It beats any fast-food burger we serve here.

copyright 2015 db walton
Eating a Big America Burger at McD’s in Tiberias, Israel

 

Year’s End

It’s hard to believe tomorrow is the year’s end. 2016 will be interesting given the political climate in this country.  I’m ready to close the door on 2015.  Life goes on.

Accommodations

Accommodations

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of accommodations.  Not of accommodating sins, but the sinner.  Not one of accommodating changes to the teaching of Christ, but accommodating the changes an individual makes when they strive to live Christ’s teachings.

I thought about this after going to the temple to night.  Our shift coordinator made changes to the schedule to accommodate my needs.  I was made to feel comfortable and needed.

The world would have the Gospel conform to their standards.  That’s not accommodation – that’s subjugating.  Likewise, the Gospel doesn’t subjugate, but preaches patience, love, kindness, and most of all moral agency.

I had an interesting discussion with one of the temple missionaries. It turns out they went to the movies yesterday too and saw the same previews.  His comment was along the lines of mine… it was all about what is wrong with this world.

It is too bad people don’t understand the ultimate outcome.  I like what Elder Holland said…

“The FUTURE of this world has long been DECLARED; the final outcome between GOOD and evil is already KNOWN. There is absolutely no question as to who WINS because the VICTORY has already been posted on the SCOREBOARD. The only really strange thing is all of this is that we are still down here on the FIELD trying to decide which TEAM’S JERSEY we want to wear!”

Speaking of the temple, the 2016 schedule features one of my photographs…

copyright 2015 db walton
Featured Photo on 2016 Palmyra Temple Schedule

Leftovers

We’re still dealing with leftovers.  I think I need to learn how to scale my cooking quantity down so we don’t end up with so many leftovers.  I think that will start by dividing the meats before we freeze them.  One pound of ground beef is going to have to become two half-pound packages.  However, that’s hard to do with canned or bottled items.

All That Is Wrong

All That Is Wrong

Elizabethe and I went to catch an early morning movie today.  The $5 seats are what we go for these days.  A couple of the previews demonstrated all that is wrong with the world today.  It is saddening that Hollywood produces such filth and even sadder that people pay to see it.

Watching the one preview I couldn’t stop asking myself, “Who would watch this?”  It was beyond vulgar and anything but funny, but they were trying to sell it to the audience as being funny.

What’s worse is there were children in the audience watching these previews.  In hindsight, I wish I would have gone to the office and said, “These previews you are showing are not appropriate for ANY audience, let alone children.”

Having seen a few previews with a certain actress in them, I looked her up on IMDb because I just appalled that every time I have seen her in a preview, it has been vulgar with crude references to sexual activities.  I turned to Elizabethe and commented about this.  Elizabethe commented back saying, “Maybe that’s the only type of work she can get?”

I’m Going to Say It

I’m going to say it.  The biggest threat to our society is indecency.  Let me take that a step farther, the biggest threat to our society is sexual sin.  Wait… that wasn’t far enough… the biggest threat to society is the disintegration of the family, and it all starts with thinking it is funny to watch movies that promote behaviours that destroy families.

Sure, someone can argue that violence in movies leads to violence.  I won’t disagree.  Senseless violence should also be avoided.

On the other hand, seldom do you see violence in movies where it is glorified, joked about and made to look cool and trendy.  Yet, you see glorification and joking about sexual sins in movies.

Now, if you could only pick the previews you WANT to see when you go to the movies.

Backpack on Wheels

Every couple of years Elizabethe changes her tote bag.  This year, she wanted something taller but more narrow.  We finally found a roller backpack at Staples.

Stake Business

Stake Business

When you come to church and see two members of the stake presidency on the stand, you immediately think stake business.  Are they going to release the bishopric?  Are there other reorganizations going on in the stake?  What will happen?  You think of all the possible stake business as the meeting starts.

In a moment of jest after the bishop took care of some youth recognition he announced he wasn’t being released.  His counselor then commented, “That was the bishop’s Christmas wish that didn’t come true.”

It all turns out there was no stake business and the stake clerk and stake president were our speakers.  The stake president went on to say that he’s been in office for nine years and the bishop has another thing coming to him if he thinks he is getting released before the stake president gets released.  (Both our bishop and stake president have great senses of humor.)

It was a good meeting.  President Clark and Brother Bowman talked.  There was no stake business, just a couple of our leaders sharing their thoughts and testimonies.

President Clark gave an excellent talk about forgiveness.  In a day and age where there are so many social injustices it is was a good talk.  He tied it in to a shooting that took place a while back and how at the sentencing, a family member of one of the victims could only say, “I forgive you.”

The plan today is to reheat the leftovers from yesterday’s day after Christmas dinner.  This was a good plan because I could sure use the nap.  The sisters came for dinner, and we served up the leftovers and it was every bit as good as it was when we had them yesterday.

About the only thing that wasn’t leftover was dessert.  So, I opened a bottle of home canned peaches, and served them with some baklava and yogurt.

Remember…. rooms for Hill Cumorah Pageant go quickly.  So, visit our main page at http://www.beckwithmansion.com to reserve rooms during pageant.

Class Cancelled

Class Cancelled

Class cancelled this morning.  Nobody registered.  I thought it might work out that way, but such is life.  The day after Christmas (note to self) is a bad day to schedule a new camera class.  I think in the future I’ll schedule it for the first Saturday after New Year’s Day.  No more “class cancelled”.

Because class was cancelled I had the morning free.  My daughter and her husband want me to photograph their family, so it all works out.  Spencer (my son-in-law) came out to the studio and got things set up for me.  All I had to do is hold the tiny remote and push the button thanks to his help.

We had Christmas dinner today because nobody was hungry enough for dinner yesterday.  We baked the ham, made scalloped potatoes, baked some butternut squash and made a salad.  It was a nice Christmas-day-after dinner.

Jennifer’s family packed up to head back to Pennsylvania because they have church assignments tomorrow morning.  It was sure fun having them here for Christmas.

I warned my grandson that if I find any Nerf bullets I was going to put them in my Nerf gun.

“You don’t have a Nerf gun Grandpa,” he said in disbelief.

I went out to my studio and grabbed my Nerf gun.  I returned, picked up all of their stray Nerf bullets, and demonstrated that I not only have a Nerf gun, it also works.

He laughed.  I’m not sure if he was laughing because Grandpa has a Nerf gun, or if I’m a good shot.  Either way, knows I’m serious about keeping any stray foam bullets.  (He probably didn’t recognize it because I had painted mine to look like it was made of gold, bronze and silver with a Steampunk theme.)

copyright 2015 db walton - class canceled
The Nelsons

With the house all quiet again, Elizabethe and I settled down for the night.  Class cancelled for the night.

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

You know you’re getting old when you have to set an alarm clock for getting up on Christmas morning.  This Christmas 2015 I told everyone breakfast is at 9am.  So, I set an alarm so I could get up and be dressed and cleaned up in time for breakfast.

We invited the full-time and service missionaries for breakfast.  We had to do two shifts – one for the elders and one for the sisters.

To keep things simple, I had decided we would have Chinese Dim Sum for breakfast.  This is all prepared items at just needed re-heating, so preparations were simple.

The missionaries had never had dim sum before except for pot stickers.  One raved about the Hunan chili paste.  I think he ate half the bottle.  (I should have sent him home with the rest.)

After their breakfast, we presented them with stockings full of items missionaries can use: combs, toothbrushes, colored pencils (which seemed to be the most appreciated item), and little things like that.  This is a tradition Elizabethe and I started a few years back and one of my highlights of Christmas day.

After the missionaries left, we moved in to the living room to open our gifts.  The grandchildren had already been down (very early in the morning) and saw their gifts from Santa.  Now was the time for them to open their wrapped gifts.

I gave Elizabethe a small cordless drill/screw-driver that was not only small, but had a screw-holder.  She has been complaining about all of our drills being to big for her hand, so when I saw this a few months back, I thought, “Perfect!”

She gave me a nice solar-battery pack that I can clip to a backpack or camera bag so it can dangle in the sun.  The thing is well made and weather sealed.  No more worry about being without power when away from power.  This thing will definitely accompany me on any long adventures.

Everyone snacked all day and we opted to not have dinner as everyone was full on sweets and other snacks.  We will save the ham for tomorrow’s dinner.

Christmas Eve 2015

Christmas Eve 2015

Here it is, Christmas Eve 2015, and one of my daughters, her husband and two children are with us.  It is nice having them here to celebrate this wonderful holiday.

Jennifer helped me with a church assignment today.  I knew I couldn’t do it by myself, and Elizabethe asked if I was going to cancel.  I told her I was not because they were depending on my, while inside I was praying for help.  Help came in the form of one of my beautiful daughters being here to help.  This Christmas Eve 2015 this has been a wonderful gift.  When you trust in God, he provides.

While Jennifer was helping me, Elizabethe and the grandchildren were decorating the tree.  Elizabethe was worried about the decorations and I suggested to procrastinate until the grandchildren were here because it would be fun to decorate with grandma.  I was right.  We came in and they were having a blast picking out ornaments to place on the tree.

Our evening ended with Jennifer and Spencer preparing a nice dinner and then our reading of Luke Chapter 2.  Everyone opened one gift, and then we retired to wait for Santa to visit.

Good Burgers

Good Burgers

There are hamburgers, and then there are good burgers.  Good burgers are seldom found at drive through windows.  You either make them yourself or you find a restaurant that serves up a good burger.

While my day was kind of lack-luster, Elizabethe suggested we go grab something to eat for dinner.  I was in no condition to cook so I caved to the temptation.

We started to go to the new Patty Shack, but I didn’t relish the idea of sitting in a fast food joint so we continued down the road to Empire Grill.  I’m told both places are owned by the same people, but I would rather be comfortable tonight.

I ordered the bacon and blue cheese stuffed burger.  Talk about a tasty burger.  It is quite the treat having the bacon and blue cheese inside the patty.  Now, that’s a good burger.

My only complaint about the place is all of the TVs tuned to sports channels.  I realize the place is one of those “sports bars”, but in the dining room?  Come on… save the sports TVs for the bar area and let people in the dining room have a quiet atmosphere.

We enjoyed our meal and then took a detour on the way home to check out Christmas lights.  One street in Farmington has quite the set up with music being broadcast on FM.  You can tune in to Christmas music on your car radio and watch the lights synchronized to the music.

We returned home, settled in for the night, and got a text telling us that our children and grandchildren will be arriving around midnight.  We are both looking forward to their being here for Christmas.  I texted back and asked them to knock on the bedroom door to wake us so we could welcome them and get hugs from the children.

Grandpa Again

Grandpa Again

Last night my daughter Natalie informed me I’m a grandpa again.  Michael James was born yesterday mid-day.  Mom and baby are doing fine.

In world where a selfish society dictates that families should be small, and that adult relationships have little to do with procreation and more about self-gratification, I feel sorry for those who choose that path.  The promise of finding joy in one’s posterity is only beginning to be realized when one is a grandparent.

It is said that in order for a human couple to achieve a continuance of their posterity they need to create 2.7 offspring.  (Now, that’s an average, but what it means is that couples with 1 or 2 children have a higher risk of their posterity discontinuing within a few generations.  Whereas, couples with 3 or more offspring will most likely have their posterity continue.)  While there may be biological reasons that force a limitation on family size, there have been many studies about nations where the birthrate is below the 2.7 offspring per couple.  The fear is that nations that have a sustainable rate (>2.7) today are the third-world nations, and the nations that have an unsustainable rate (<2.7) are the more educated nations.  Draw what conclusions you may about that, happiness does not come from economic or educational success.

My children continue to bring me joy.  Social media allows me to peek into their lives and for us to mutually share day to day events.  However, that joy is multiplied when they share what their children are doing.

One of the scriptures’ most touching stories is that of Abraham and Sarah and how Abraham would become a father of many nations.  Today, we see that prophecy fulfilled.  I cannot begin to imagine the joy Abraham feels in his eternal abode.

I wonder what happened in our society that caused people to see children as a burden.  There was a time when men wanted the family name to be carried on.  There was a time when family was the basis for education and work-ethic.  Today, especially in entertainment, biological families are portrayed as dysfunctional, and replaced with a pseudo-family of co-workers.

My children bring me joy.  Their children multiply my joy, and if I live to be a great-grandpa, I’m sure they too will exponentially increase my joy.

Don’t let anyone fool you if you’re about to venture out in adulthood.  There is NOTHING that will make your life more joyful than finding a mate whom you love and trust, partnering with God to create life, and watching those new lives grow, mature and repeating the pattern.

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Saturday, the day after Christmas, is my So You Got A New Camera for Christmas, Now What? class.  (click here to register)  This $50 class is well worth it to get the most out of your camera.    This class is often small which means you get individualized attention.  This “Grandpa” knows cameras and knows what makes or breaks a photograph, so register SOON.

copyright 2015 db walton
Your Instructor – db walton