Monthly Archives: October 2017

Halloween 2017

Halloween 2017

For Halloween 2017 we went to the temple.  I officiated the first session which had 47 people.  Most of them are site missionaries, plus there were people there for a couple who are being endowed and then sealed.

I goofed up after the session.  I have an assignment to go to sealings,  so I went to the sealing of the couple who were there to be sealed.  Unknown to me they had a proxy session going on in the other sealing room.  Oh, well.

Earlier in the Day

Earlier in the day I had hard drive problems.  As a result, I decided to re-format this hard drive.  It wouldn’t work.  It kept locking up the USB 3.0 port.

I think I’ve figured it out.  The drive pulls more power than the wall wart I am using.  I found a 3A wall wart.  I will try it tomorrow.  It is time to invest in bigger wall warts.  You can always use a higher amperage wall wart, but an under-powered one can/will cause problems.

Hmmm… I wonder if someone makes a multi-drive power supply for external USB drives.  Most of them use the same size coaxial plug.  As a result, there’s no reason someone can’t make a universal multi-tap supply.  It would save on power strip outlets too.



Nasty Weather

Nasty Weather

We are experiencing nasty weather today.  I got a call from two tenants with roof leaks.  Add to that a leaking pipe at another property.  Uhg.

The winds really blew last night.  The weather service warned about falling trees because of the high winds coupled with saturated ground.  We didn’t have any trees fall in our yard.

My hopes were to get leaves cleaned up today.  However, it’s too wet and nasty to attempt to suck up the leaves.  It will wait until things dry up a bit.


My allergies really bother me this fall.  I bought some Nasalcort and found it doesn’t work as well as Flonaise for me.  Fortunately I found a bottle of misplaced Flonaise and I’m back to feeling a little relief.

Route 66 Photos

I’ve been working on processing and retouching images all day.  My brain is yelling, “I need a break!”  While another part of me is yelling, “You need to finish this!”

The blog for Route 66 is here.  I managed to post 2 recaps today.  Both centered around Saint Louis.  (And, so will the next one be about Saint Louis.)

This was a fun picture.  I was watching shadows and reflections on the walls of the arch.  Both Paul and this lady were wearing purple shirts, so I grabbed the shot while I could.

copyright 2017 db walton

Paul at the Gateway Arch

There are times I wish I could just take pictures all day, and then process them at night.  Funny how responsibilities get in the way.  Frustrating how unplanned emergencies (like leaky roofs) get in the way too.  Nasty weather I can deal with.  The solution there is to work on processing images shot in fair weather.


AirBNB has been pretty good to the Beckwith Mansion.  Things have slowed.  (Tourist season runs from April 1st to October 31st.)   I suspect we might get a few calls around Thanksgiving and Christmas.



They released me as ward organist today. I was thinking it has been 10 years, but it has only been 8.  Eight years I’ve served as the Palmyra Ward Organist.  My calling started September 20th, 2009.  That’s 8 years and 1 month.

They called Sister Lynda Ingold as the organist.  She will do an excellent job.  I had a feeling she’d be called.

Squash x 3

Dinner is squash x 3 today.  We are having spaghetti squash in place of pasta.  On top of that we will have a butternut squash sauce.  For dessert I am making a mock pineapple (zucchini) upside down cake.

Sisters Cahoon and Searle came for dinner.  They got a kick out of all the squash use in the meal.  Sister Searle hadn’t seen the food storage, so we took them in to the basement to see it.

Rebecca and Steve

My daughter Rebecca met a young man online.  He’s visiting her.  She called and we talked.  It sounds like Steve’s a really nice guy.


I’ve been on this Mentos craving lately.  Did you know they make caramel Mentos?

They do.  I bought some, and I’m not impressed.  They are like an inside-out Milk Dud.. .but not as good.

Now, the spearmint Mentos are my favorite.  While I am not a huge fan of peppermint, of all the peppermint candies, I like Mentos.

I think it is the texture.

Leaves Blowing

Leaves Blowing

I love autumn, however I hat leaves blowing in to my studio (and house).  My shop vac in my studio has a small hose that doesn’t always get the big leaves.  It makes vacuuming the studio difficult.

One of the guests keeps tracking leaves in through the kitchen.  Oh, well.  Soon they will be gone (the leaves, that is).  If it is dry Monday I will suck them up with the lawn tractor.

Clean for Shoot

I got the studio clean for my shoot.  I even wet mopped the concrete floor in the camera room.  Spring comes and I plan to rotate the rug on my office.  It is worn where my chair rolls back and forth.  If I rotate it I can get another 7 or 8 years out of it.

My shoot went well.  Of course, anytime a client is on time, it’s a good shoot.  That’s one thing I can take pride in… studio sessions are always good.

Starting Tomorrow’s Dinner

I am starting tomorrows dinner.  I plan to make spaghetti squash with a butternut squash sauce to go over it.  The sauce will be like a stroganoff sauce with mushrooms, onions and meatballs.

Thinking about the squash theme I’ve decided to make a mock pineapple upside down cake too.

Rio Tomatlan

Rio Tomatlan

I wrestled with where I wanted to go to dinner tonight.  Remembering seeing this restaurant in Canandaigua, I suggested to Elizabethe we try Rio Tomatlan.

The service was great, the food tastes good, but I wasn’t wild about the decor.  Elizabethe had a chicken quesadilla.  I had chicken mole.  However, it wasn’t a $50 meal for two.  (Yeah, they are a little high-priced for Mexican food.)

We ordered guacamole and chips for a starter.  The guacamole was too hot for Elizabethe to enjoy.  (They should really offer a “mild” version – especially in this area where people aren’t used to Mexican food.)

Mission Presidents Seminar

In the afternoon I photographed the North America North East Mission Presidents, their wives and a few General Authorities.  Working quickly is important on a shoot like this.

Before their bus arrived, a couple of sister missionaries stopped to visit.  Sister Packard and Sister Murdock caught the golden light just right.  As a result I am able to test my lighting at the same time.

copyright 2017 db walton

Sister Missionaries Prepared to Give Tours

The mission presidents arrived.  I got the group shot, and then I packed everything back in to the car.

copyright 2017 db walton

North America North East Mission Presidents

Potato Dig

Potato Dig

Our little potato dig coughed up about 35 pounds of potatoes.  Sisters Cahoon and  Henrie  helped us.  We also dug up the horseradish.  I’ll be making lots of horseradish sauce.

There was a lawnmower in the back yard.  I have no idea where it came from.  Perhaps one of our renters knows.

Route 66 Page

I’ve redesigned the Route 66 page.  It is more blog-centric now.  Because it is, I hope more people will visit it, and re-visit it.

My goal is to do at least one recap per day, and at least 5 days a week.  The latest is on Day 4.  Day 4 probably has two more days worth of recaps.  I’m writing much more as I recap the days.


I’m looking at the leaves in the yard.  Tomorrow I have a shoot.  Saturday I have a shoot.  Sunday is church.  It looks like the leaves will wait until Monday.

I plan to use the lawn tractor with the catcher.  It is slow doing it that way, but very efficient.  Elizabethe wants the leaves on the potato hill.  I don’t know what will keep them there, but we’ll try it.

Since the missionaries are now to stay in their own areas, we cannot have all of them over to help.  I plan to just work on it next week a little at a time.

Counting Postcards

Counting Postcards

I’ve become very good at counting postcards.  While I’m tempted to weight them, and count them that way, I don’t think it would be much quicker.  When you sell thousands of postcards, you have to count efficiently.

While taking my walk I stopped to make an appointment for a haircut.  She said she could take me right then.  As a result, I don’t have to make an appointment or go back in a couple of day.

Investment Review

It is time for our annual investment review.  Since November the market has done well.  A businessman in the White House is always good for the market.  What’s good for the market is good for the economy.  (I wish Congress would get that.)

Speaking of Congress, it is budget time in Washington, D.C.  It is unfortunate that Congress, collectively, doesn’t have a clue on how to cut taxes. I won’t be re-electing my congressman, and I hope others feel the same.

Monitor Blues

I’m still fretting over my studio computer monitor.  My old 19″ LaCie has great color, but at some point my computer will be obsolete and it will be time to upgrade.  As a result, I’m thinking it might work well to upgrade the monitor, then later get a new computer.


Temple Trainee

Temple Trainee

Things are going well with my temple trainee.  He’s a fast learner and we had fun working together tonight.  We had a very full session and he did an excellent job.


The earlier part of my day was researching rental management companies — how much they charge, what that includes, etc.

You know, I didn’t realize there is insurance a renter can get that covers damage they do to the property.   Many of these companies require their renters to carry a $100,000 policy.  I like that.  Next round of lease renewals, I may include that as a requirement.

Doing this will make people more careful.  This is because insurance claims go on people’s insurance record.


I need to do better on inspections.  If a tenant knows you are inspecting their rental, they are going to try to repair damage.  It also provides the landlord with insight as to how the place is being maintained.  As a result, you can nip things in the bud early.

What Type of Damage

What type of damage do tenants do?

Well, one tenant punched holes in every door.  While another tenant busted up the refrigerator and left a fist sized dent on the fridge.  Carpeting has been damaged to the point it can’t be cleaned, and left reeking of urine.

My dad’s idea is to put ceramic tile throughout the rental.  (I plan to do that on one of mine.)

Being a landlord is stressful.

Route 66 FHE

Route 66 FHE

We had a Route 66 FHE (Family Home Evening) tonight with the Taylors.  The invited the Amsdens, Harris, and a new couple in the ward – the Myers.  Paul and his wife also came.  We had fun.

Instead of doing a traditional slide show, I prepared short videos.  Each was set to music.  Each had a theme.  For example, one was about cars, another service stations, and so forth.

Jodi asked everyone to bring a dish to share.  I made stuffed mushrooms.  Jodi made pulled pork sliders.  There was plenty of food, and it was all good.

Senior Portrait Session

Earlier in the day I had a senior portrait session with this young lady…

copyright 2017 db walton

Senior Portrait Session

As you can see, she has beautiful long hair.  We had fun working together.

She is the first client to ask for senior portraits on the temple grounds.  She wore a lovely dress and we took pictures around the temple.

As a result of this client calling, I know my Google placement is working.   I won’t go in to details, bus her grandmother told me about one photographer who saw this as an opportunity to pad her portfolio.  That knowledge gives me something to talk about the next time I address a group of photographers.

It would be like this…

Suppose you took your car in for an oil change, and the mechanic said, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to put a high performance exhaust on one of these.  Would you mind if I did that?”

There are too many hacks out there giving the photography industry a bad name.

Temple Worker Fireside

Temple Worker Fireside

Elizabethe and I attended a temple worker fireside tonight.  Elder Stevens of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Christensen of the Seven Presidents of Seventy were there and addressed us.  President and Sister Black spoke too.

At the end of the fireside, they shook everyone’s hand.  It took a while, but as a result, everyone had the opportunity to shake the hand of an Apostle of Jesus Christ. Because they went back to front, we were among the last.

Lunch Instead of Dinner

We fed the sister missionaries lunch instead of dinner.  The fireside starts at 4:30 pm, therefore, we fed the sisters early.  I made grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches with homemade cranberry sauce and homemade mustard.

I got lazy for desert and we just had ice cream.

Speakers Today

Our speakers today at church were Bishop and Sister Francis.  They both shared their conversion stories.  I had heard bits and pieces before, but it was nice to hear a more comprehensive version.

They lived in Antioch Stake for a while.  I remember seeing Bishop Francis at Scouting meetings and such, but we never really met each other.  Either way, it is fun to be in the same ward.