Monthly Archives: May 2017

Steakhouse King

Steakhouse King

I took Tom to Burger King for lunch. Noticing they have a new burger, the Steakhouse King,  I asked what was on it.  When the lady behind the counter said, “Onion rings”, Tom yelled out in a moaning voice, “Oh, no… Not onions.  No onions.  Please, no onions.”

She was taken by surprise.  I simply smiled and said, “No onions on Tom’s burger.  He doesn’t like onions.”

She smiled and told Tom he could have the Bacon King because it doesn’t have onions.

Onions aren’t a problem for me, so I ordered the Steakhouse King.  Because Tom doesn’t like onions, I ordered him a Bacon King.  As always, he loved it.

I really wish Burger King would sponsor my Route 66 tour.  Burger King?  Are you listening?

Studio Lights

Last year, I converted my studio to LED lighting.  In the process I’ve discovered little items to make things more efficient.    One of those little things are the speed-rings on my strip boxes.  Because I’m selling my Alien Bee lights, I’m replacing these with Bowens mount speed rings.

As luck would have it… or bad luck, I should say… the darn screws are so tight they are nearly impossible to get out.  I had to take the softbox down to the basement shop to remove the screws.



Busloads of people come to Palmyra, New York, each year.  It’s not just during Hill Cumorah Pageant, but all year long.  The busiest time, of course, is during Hill Cumorah Pageant, but next to that April through October is also an extended busy time.  Of course, the best Palmyra NY lodging is here – at the Beckwith Mansion… but then, I’m biased.

I’ll admit that it is an old house, and with old houses comes some caveats like no air conditioning, elevators, and modern comforts like that.  On the other hand, it has history, character and charm.

copyright 2017 db walton - busloads

The Beckwith Mansion


Busloads at the Temple

We had a busy night at the temple.  Someone commented it must have been the largest sessions I’ve officiated over.  Well, not quite, but close.  I believe I counted 30 guests.

We also had a couple of groups in the baptistry.  One was a group of about a dozen people from Pleasant Grove, Utah.  The other was a couple from Syracuse.  The first group came on a big bus.

Studio Cleaning

In cleaning my studio today I discovered all sorts of dead ants.  These are those big black ones.  They are dead because I bug-bombed the studio a few days ago.  (I do this each spring because if I don’t, the bugs overrun the place.)  It’s nothing the vacuum cleaner can’t take care off, but it is still disgusting.  I hate ants, hornets, wasps and squirrels.


Memorial Day 2017

Memorial Day 2017

It’s Memorial Day 2017 and I have work to do.  My work around this place is never done.  In fact, there’s more work than I have time.

Today’s task, seal up those holes where the squirrels are coming in to the studio attic.  I bought spray foam that says it is “pest proof”.  This will be the test.

I sprayed the foam in the openings where it appears they are entering.  They also made quite a mess in the sill of the attic window.  I swept that out and it covered the stoop with a good 1″ of crap.  If I had the money, I’d rip out every window and get this place (and the house) fitted with good, sealing windows.


We have one room open for Hill Cumorah Pageant.  When it comes to Palmyra NY lodging, there aren’t many options, but we’re one of them.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) has their annual Hill Cumorah Pageant about 5 miles from our house.  We keep our rooms affordable, but they go quickly.  Currently, one room has vacancies and not for the entire stretch.

Make your reservations SOON!!!  You can find us also on Facebook.

Forgetting How

Forgetting How

Forgetting how to play the organ isn’t what a ward organist should do.  After a few weeks absence I thought about what it would be like to forget how.  Needless to say, I remember how to play.

A break is often good.  I’ve noticed this several times in my life.  When you work too long at something, you seem to ingrain bad habits.  Taking a break allows you to clear those bad habits.

The Crowds

The crowds are gathering at church.  Memorial Day weekend and we got a lot of visitors.  It is also the weekend of Gathering in the Grove for the Young Adults.  With both of them this weekend we had a big congregation.

They must have a lot of food left over from the Gathering.  They invited the entire congregation to come to Zion’s Camp for BBQ.  That’s a bold move since if everyone showed up that would be close to 1,000 people!

Taco Salad

I decided taco salad makes a good dinner.  The sister missionaries and one of our guests, Stephen, joined us for dinner.  Who doesn’t like taco salad.

I’ve taken to making my own dressing.  Because 1,000 Island has that sweet pickle taste, I make a base similar to 1,000 Island, but I add diced green chilis, chili powder, and lime juice.  I’d add some hot sauce, but Elizabethe wouldn’t like that.


It’s hard to believe tomorrow is Memorial Day.  I’m not ready for summer yet.  Time is passing quickly… too quickly.  Perhaps it is because I’m getting older, but it seems to just fly by.  Days don’t have enough hours, weeks don’t have enough days and months aren’t long enough.

The good news is Christmas will be here before we know it.

Damp Cut

Damp Cut

Damp cut grass clogs the catcher shoot.  Because the grass was very damp, I mowed without the catcher today.  It only took 3 hours vs. 5 hours.  It was the right choice.

When not using the shoot, three paths work best.  Two will cause the gas to pile up.  Three provides a nice pattern of down, up, down, then across and up, down, up.  By alternating like this, the clippings are spread more evenly across the lawn.

That’s Mowing 101.

One Light Down

I sold one of the studio lights.  That’s one light down.  I have 4 to go.

If you know someone who wants studio monolights, I have 4 for sale.  Two Alien Bees and two Excalibur monolights are waiting for a new home.  Because I have gone to LED indoors, and speedlights outdoors, I no longer have a use for these.

Other studio stuff includes backdrops (ones I never use), a few camera bodies and a couple of lenses. This is a great deal and well maintained equipment.

Full House

We’re getting close to a full house.  We have one tenant moving out, with another one moving in.  That’s comforting to know.  Vacancies aren’t fun.


I get an alert that someone wrote a review.  What is interesting is they’ve never stayed here.  I like how Amazon does their reviews.  If you did not buy it from Amazon, then you cannot leave a review.  I wish other companies had a way of verifying reviews.

Then there is the other side of the coin.  There are companies who hold your good reviews hostage and only release them when you subscribe to their website.  It’s a crazy world.

UPS Bureaucracy

UPS Bureaucracy

When a company becomes so large that bureaucracy takes the place of common sense, they need to fire their upper management and start anew.  The UPS bureaucracy rose above common sense today.  They need to take a step back and reevaluate their policies and processes.

We drove to the nearest UPS store.  The signage was removed, the store empty and no sign telling where they’ve moved to.  I’m ready to return home, but my wife says these boxes must ship today.

I pulled UPS up on Google maps.  It turns out, the moved to the other side of the building.

Hey, how about a sign that says, “We’ve moved to the other side of the building.”

Nah, that’s common sense.

We haul the boxes in and we’re told, “You can’t ship and bill to a 3rd party from here.  You need to go to the store in Henrietta.”

The plan was to see a movie, but that got nixed.  We’re off to Henrietta.

In Henrietta

We arrive at the store there to find a line of people returning textbooks.  I guess they buy used textbooks.  We get to the front of the line and are told we want the main distribution center.  As a result, we’re off to find it.

We arrive there and discover they don’t open until noon.  I guess we’re going to lunch in Henrietta because it is 11 am.

Returning at noon, there is already a line.   We make it to the front of the line, we’re handed a stack of forms and told each box needs one filled out.  You can’t do it on the computer and print a bunch of labels.  You have to manually complete each form.

Ah, the UPS bureaucracy.  This is not fun.

Several minutes later and we’re hefting the boxes on to the counter.  One box, being shipped at our expense had the form completed in vain.  That one needs to be done on the computer.

One Guy

One guy working the counter, a line to the door, and he’s as nice as can be.  He deserves better.  I wonder what job satisfaction is like at UPS.  I cannot imagine it is good.

Hauling Gear

Hauling Gear

My quest today – find something for hauling gear.  Photography bags are just so expensive.  Suitcases aren’t built for heavy stuff.  I’m going to Lowe’s and Home Depot to see what they have.


Lowe’s has a Stanley stacking toolbox for $80.  It’s all strapped together so I can’t look at it, so I’m off to Home Depot.

Home Depot

Under their brand of Husky, they had the same tool box set for $80.  Both stores only had one in stock, so I’m taking this one.  They also had an add-on unit, so I got it too.   As a result, I have a 4-box unit that should hold lots of photography equipment.

Organizing It

When I got home Elizabethe said she would help me organize it.  I’m glad because I would have made a mess of things.  As a result, I let her do it and she had fun doing it.

Elizabethe managed to get everything I wanted in it, and there’s still some empty space.  It’s a beast.  It stands over 3′ tall, but now there is a place for everything.

Labeling It

The next step is to label everything.  We put tape labels on each section.  Now, if something is missing, I know what is missing.  And, if I’m putting stuff away, I know where to put it.

Let’s see how long this lasts.


My concerns are it is so big (and now heavy) that it will be difficult transporting it places.  In the studio, it should work just fine.



I wonder how many more lunches my friend Tom has in him.  His dementia is worsening, and so is his vision.  The next step will be to bring lunch to him and just sit and talk while we eat lunch.

Subway had a new worker – Rachael.  She was really sweet with Tom.  She leaned over the counter and said, “I understand.  I do home care.”

The wonderful thing is, Tom always likes his sandwich.  No matter what is on it, it is a new experience for him… and always a good experience.  I always come away feeling good because Tom had a good time.


My 8TB hard drive arrived and I started a backup.  Let me put 8TBs in to perspective.

  • One terabyte is 1,024 gigabytes which is 1,048,576 megabytes which is 1,073,741,824 kilobytes which is 1,099,511,627,776 bytes.
  • The first floppy disk I ever bought cost me $10 back in 1980, was 8 inches in diameter and only held 128KB.  That means this drive can hold 67,108,864 of those floppy disks.  Dude!  That’s almost a $1 billion worth of 8″ floppies!
  • My first hard drive was 5MBs and cost $500.  The contents of 1,677,721 could fit on this drive.  That’s $8 worth of data by those costs.
  • The IBM 350 was a 350MB disk pack.  That’s 2,996 IBM 350 drives.  Now, this one isn’t a fair comparison.  The 350 only stored 6-bit words, but hey… what’s 2 extra bits.  The 350 cost $34,500 back then.  That means, my 8TB drive would be worth $103,359,634.

So, by these standards, I should be a millionaire… at the minimum.

Eylea Injections

Eylea Injections

Elizabethe goes for Eylea Injections every 5-6 weeks.  These are to hold off wet macular degeneration.  It is a disease where a blister-like sore cause the macula to separate causing partial to total blindness.  As a result, we take regular trips to Geneva for these shots.

Eylea is a miracle treatment, but expensive.  (Average cost is $1,850/shot.  That’s about $18,000/year!)  Thankfully, it’s maker, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals offers a price reduction as we qualify for it.  It would be financially devastating if it weren’t for their discount program.

I drove Elizabethe to her appointment this morning.  It isn’t advisable for her to drive herself to and from these appointments because her eyesight is impaired after getting the shot.  Until they find a cure for macular degeneration, this will be our monthly routine.

Reading Time

While waiting for her, I use this as reading time.  Except for the scriptures, most of my reading is that of manuals or how-to books and magazines.  I have a hard time getting in to books, and because of that I read instructional materials.

Today while Elizabethe got her injection I read my AD200 manual and the transmitter manual.  I brought the transmitter with me and I tested all the settings.  I’m now ready for my next shoot.


After being away for a couple of weeks it was nice to get back to the temple.  The evening passed quickly as my schedule kept me busy.

I told Joe Riggs I said, “Hi”, to Sister Westover when I was in California.  It really made her day.  Joe said my doing so made his day.  Wow, it’s a good feeling to know that you made two people’s day with a single act.  That in turn has made my day.



You’re wondering, “What in the word does AD200s mean?”  AD200s are my new lights.  I’ve invested in battery powered studio lights that are small enough to go anywhere.  You can read about them on my photography blog (click here).

They arrived on Saturday in time for me to use them in a photo shoot today.  I should have read the manual, but I thought it would be simple enough to just go and shoot.  Wrong.  They are simple, but not that simple.  Like setting the date and time on a digital watch, you’ve got to know what buttons to push, which ones to hold down, and in what order to do things.

A Fun Shoot

It was a fun shoot.  A model friend named Cas brought her boy friend and another model.  I invited 3 other photographers to participate.  The shoot was fun for all.

copyright 2017 db walton

Models: John and Angela

It is time to set aside time to study the manual for the AD200 lights and the transmitter.  They are wireless and use a radio transmitter to trigger and configure them.  What got me in trouble today is the transmitter.  The lights are straightforward.  The transmitter… not so much.

My next shoot I will be better prepared.