Black Widow

Black Widow

My newest painting is titled, The Black Widow.  My goal was to create a painting showing a bunch of people at a funeral, and the sexy widow is already hitting on a guy at the funeral.  I was explaining this to Elizabethe and commenting how I want there to be some indication that she’s the black widow.

Elizabethe came up with a great idea.  She suggested I paint her wearing a black bolero with a red shell under it.  The bolero is buttoned in the front and the jacket forms two converging triangles creating a red hourglass shape.

Bingo!  She nailed it.

I started working on it while we were at Focus NY, and today I spent hours getting it to a point where I’m seeing it all come together.

Catching Up

I spent half the day catching up on work I couldn’t do while at Focus NY.  It’s funny, I’ve heard people comment how the conference is such a great deal.  Well, let’s see… There’s the drive there and back, the hotel, meals away from home, oh… and time away from your business.

I figure it cost about $12,000 to attend.  If I bring this up at the next meeting it might wake them up as to the actual cost.

Hmmm… workshop… Now we’re talking about $14,000-$15,000.

Continuing Education

Continuing education isn’t cheap.  Photography isn’t just owning a camera, it’s huge investment of time and money.

 

 

 

Focus and Priestcraft

Focus and Priestcraft

It may seem like an odd combination, Focus and priestcraft, but the one got me thinking about the other.  Focus NY is PPSNYS’ annual convention.  Priestcraft, as defined in the Book of Mormon is receiving money for preaching for the sole purpose of getting gain and popularity.

Outside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, priestcraft is seen as something entirely different.  The diction basically defines it as what priests do.  Well, by the Book of Mormon definition, priest in other churches engage in priestcraft — not all, but many.  They get paid, and the more popular they are, the more they get paid.

What Got Me Thinking

What got me thinking is this… if a professional photographer spends more time on the road speaking to other photographers, creates most of their images at the workshops they teach at, and are in the business of being popular by making people feel good… I guess that fits the definition.

Here’s how the Book of Mormon defines it, “He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.”

When I pointed this scripture out to my wife, she commented that Oprah Winfrey fits that definition.  I have to agree.  There are many others too.

Focus

It wasn’t all the speakers at Focus NY that gave me this impression — just one.  I intentionally didn’t go to one of their programs, but chose the alternative because I remember the last time I heard them speak I had an uneasy feeling.  I couldn’t remember why, I just remembered that I did.

Then, there came a point when there wasn’t a choice, and so I went, and now I remember why… it was more of a sermon than a photographic presentation, and a lot about that person.

I just went to their website to read about their workshops.  It uses words like “nourish”, “spirit”, “meditation”, etc.    The page confirms the impressions I got, and why I get a cold feeling around this person.

Learning

I attended Focus NY to learn about my trade, and not for a substitute for religion.  I’m a deeply religious and spiritual person (and the two go hand-in-hand because you cannot have one without the other.)  So, what did I learn?

From Michael Mowbray I learned more things I can do with my MoLights, and I can’t wait to try them out.

From Rick Friedman I learned that I should buy a roll of cinefoil.  I’m not sure why I haven’t yet, but after watching his presentation, I need to buy a roll.

From Marilyn Sholin I learned ideas to market my art.

From all the others rolled together, I picked up a few ideas here and there.  Rick Friedman’s presentation impressed me the most.  He’s a master of manipulating light.

Two Down

Two Down

Two down, and two paintings to go for International Print Competition.  The due date is in the end of May, but it’s never good to wait for the last minute on these things.

Last night I started on the third painting.  So far, the list includes:

  • Are You Coming to Bed, Dear? – a social commentary on game and Internet addiction. (done)
  • Don’t Stand So Close to Me – based on the song by Police – a male teacher with a female student who is coming on to him. (done)
  • I Shoot RAW – a humorous take on the question, “Do you shoot RAW?” (in progress)
  • undecided

PPSNYS Focus Convention

We’re going to the PPSNYS Focus Convention later this week.  I’m glad it is a little closer than New Jersey, and I hope it is a good convention.  I have my anxieties about it since they’ve been dwindling in numbers.

I was reading some of the reviews of the venue.  It’s funny, Yelp has only bad reviews about the place.  (I guess they haven’t paid Yelp their extortion fees.  Yes, Yelp extorts business owners.  You can’t trust their reviews – especially the bad ones.)  Google on the other hand, has a mix of good and bad.  I guess we’ll find out later this week.

Cold Month

March has been a cold month.  It’s been about a week since it last snowed, but the freezing temperatures have kept the snow from melting.  Spring starts on Thursday, hopefully that will start turning things around and it will start warming up.

I was noticing the garden.  I’m thinking it is going to be off to a late start this year.  Last year we didn’t get a lot of tomatillos.  I’m going to suggest to Elizabethe we move them back to where we had them two years ago, and to plant more.  We can always use more green sauce.

Prove

Prove

Prove it.  Show your proof.  As a mathemetician, I heard this frequently.  The most astonishing proof of all times was when a professor demonstrated, through a mathematical proof, that something divided by zero is NOT infinity, but undefined.

I thought for a while, and my rationalization was that x/y, as y becomes infinitesimally small,  the result approaches infinity.  I watched carefully as he began to write the proof on the chalkboard.  Soon he had shown in some cases where the result could equal Pi (which today is Pi day), 1 or several other values.  Thus, if it doesn’t ALWAYS equal the same number, then it is “undefined”.

Steven Hawking

Steven Hawking passed away today.  He outlived most people with ALS, and in some ways he was a genius.  While his genius was spent on theoretical physics and theoretical cosmology, he proclaimed to believe there is no God, and when we die, that’s it.  We are no more.  I think he said something to the effect that our brains are nothing more than a computer, and when we die, that computer shuts off.

He now knows different.  I say this because he was an example of ever learning, but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

His death brought out a lot of comments from believers.  People were commenting saying, “I guess he is finding out that God does exist”, and “Looks like he’ll discover there’s more after this life after all”, etc.

Then, you have the atheist commented, mostly trolling, saying, “Prove there’s a God. Hawking has published papers, where are your papers proving there’s a God.”

Newsflash

Prove any of Hawking’s theories.

The tip should be Hawking was a “theoretical” physicist.  That means, nothing he taught had any physical proof, only rationalizations of what “might be”.

Wow

How is that any different than most people who believe in God?

Well, the short answer is… God is real.  Theoretical physics may… or may not be real.  In either case, nobody can prove either one to you — especially if you are unwilling to do what is required to find your evidence.

When it comes to Hawking’s theories, I could care less if they are true or false.  It makes no difference in the scheme of things.  However, when it comes to knowing God, it makes all the difference in the world… and the life hereafter.

Realization

Realization

There’s a realization that the flu did more to me than I initially thought.  3 weeks in bed, followed by weakness, and then the bacterial infection in my leg.  The doctor prescribed antibiotics and guess what… other ailments are clearing up too.

The realization is this… it is a good thing I saw the doctor when I did because now I realize might might have been on the verge of going septic.  I won’t go through all the symptoms that have disappeared after a week of being on the antibiotics, but it’s proof to me that had I not seen the doctor about my leg, things may have got worse.

3D Stuff

I dove head first in to this 3D stuff.  I’ve not invested about six weeks and probably close to $1,000 in digital assets.  The work is fun, but it is also frustrating since the software has some bugs.

I think I’ve got most of the issues ironed out, and now I’m itching to create stuff.  Last night I was thinking I of paintings I want to do.  While I know in my mind what I want, this software will help me visualize it so I can paint it.  (I’m lousy at painting from memory.  Some people can… I have a hard time doing it.)

Starting to Heal

Starting to Heal

My body is starting to heal from the infection.  I’m still amazed that the flu had such and impact on my body.  From totally wiping me out, to disabling my leg, that flu was a doozie.

Goodbye Canon

I spent Saturday saying goodbye to my Canon camera equipment.  I’m selling it all.  It’s all packed and ready to ship to a new home.

Why?

Because I’ve found something better (as many of you know).  I’m 100% Fujifilm X-Trans cameras.  I’ve found the image quality so much better I am not regretting doing this.

Dormer Floor

Carpet Spectrum came to rip out the carpet that was damaged by the last tenant and install the new floor.  After the carpet and pad were removed, a beautiful red fir floor was under it.  The guys advised we don’t install a new floor, but have the wood floor refinished.  We all agreed and they recommended a man to refinish the floor.

Carpet Spectrum (on Route 21 between Palmyra and Marion) will get our repeat business.

Other Things

Other that that, the only other things going on is I’ve been working on Poser.  It’s pretty amazing software… when it works.  Others have been grumbling about the version 11 bugs, but being new to the game I’m none the wiser.

 

If it’s Not One Thing, It’s Another

If it’s Not One Thing, It’s Another

The old saying, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another”, certainly applies this year.  After returning from Israel (where I had to deal with Achilles tendon problems), Elizabethe and I came down with that terrible flu.  I start getting better, and was doing great when we went to Utah for Rebecca’s wedding, and then my right leg acts up after we get home.

This is the same leg I broke when the car hit me about 4 years ago.  I don’t know what’s going on, and the doctor can’t see me until Thursday, but it hurts worse than when the car hit me.

I did some research and it sounds like tibial tuberosity.  That’s a fancy name for an inflamed ligament that connects to the top of the tibia.  Whatever it is, IT HURTS.

Getting Elected to Congress Turns One into a Moron

I’m not going to  hold back on this one.  Congress, as a whole, has done some stupid things.  Back when they banned fluorocarbons, the unexpected consequence was asthma and COPD sufferers how have to pay an outrageous amount for rescue inhalers.

As I’m laying there with pain ranging from 9.5 to 10, I was thinking… “I’d welcome some pain killers right now.”  I don’t like taking pills.  I only do it if I absolutely have to.  And when it comes to pain killers, 99% of the time I’d rather put up with the pain.

The latest move to crack down on doctors who write too many scripts for opiods, only hurts those who 1) could really use the pain pills, and 2) don’t abuse or get hooked on the stuff.

Prognosis

I went to the doctor this morning and it turns out my leg doesn’t have anything to do with my accident, it has to do with that nasty flu I had back in January.  The flu weakened my immune system and I got a bad infection in my bursis just under the kneecap and down into the top of my shin.

Who would have thought?

March is Here

March is Here

March is here and it’s a nice day outside.  The weather reports warn tomorrow won’t be so nice, so I’m enjoying it today.

We went to a late lunch/early dinner with our friends Ron and Mary Harris.  Elizabethe had a coupon for a free meal, so that governed our choice.  It wasn’t bad.  They had prime rib!

We stopped at the Indian store after dinner.  Elizabethe noticed she didn’t have her purse (credit cards, phone, ID, etc.)  Back we went.  Thanks to the alert people at Golden Corral, the purse was recovered with everything in tact.

Good and the Bad

That’s the good.  The bad is I noticed a charge on my business credit card for about $200.  So, I had to cancel my card.  It’s ironic.  The charge occurred immediately after I purchased an update to my WinZip software.

More Good

I wanted to stop at Best Buy on our way home.  I saw a very nice hp 32q monitor.  It was on sale.  Elizabethe came in the store to use the bathroom, and when she saw me looking at it, she said, “THAT’S WHAT YOU CAN GET ME FOR MY BIRTHDAY.”

I’m jealous.  It’s a very nice, better than 4K, monitor.  Easy on the eyes and BIG.

I took her old monitor, a 27″ 720p, and put it on my office computer.  It looks like crap next to my LaCie monitor. (But, then, most monitors do.)  I’m getting a new monitor.  That’s all there is to it.

PCs

I then got looking at PCs.  Hmmm… 6 cores, 16 threads, 16GB, … well, if it had 32GB, I probably would have bought it.

Hill Cumorah Pageant 2018

Can you believe it will be Hill Cumorah Pageant time soon.  We already have people inquiring, however, with fewer rooms to rent, we’re limited to small groups (couples and individuals mostly.)