Category Archives: Photography by db walton

PPSNYS Workshop 2018

PPSNYS Workshop 2018

Yesterday I completed my week at PPSNYS Photo Imaging Workshop 2018.  My instructor was Rick Friedman.  Excellent instructor and I learned a lot.

Our topic was speedlight (battery powered strobe lights) photography.  There were 8 of us in the class and everyone had a great time.

copyright 2018 db walton

Receiving my 2 PPA Educational Merits

Healthwise

Healthwise, I started off pretty well, but by the time Tuesday rolled around I was in bad shape.  I started having involuntary tremors in my left hand.  But, Wednesday was better, and then I proceeded to go downhill again from there.  Today, I’m guarding myself so I don’t end up feeling sick for church.

I’ve discovered steak seems to help.  Not hamburger, but rare beef.  (I have not noticed any real change after eating a burger.  However, I’ve been experimenting since making this discovery and lean steak seems to boost my energy level and reduce the other symptoms.

Texas Roadhouse

In keeping up with my red meat consumption, we used our gift certificates for Texas Roadhouse for dinner last night.  I ate half my steak there, and brought the other half home.  This morning, I ate 1/4 to keep my strength up in case it is red beef related.  So far my theory is holding up.

Another Scorcher

Another Scorcher

Today is another scorcher.  It’s one of those days when you wish you could take a walk, but one step outside and you feel like the heat is going to kill you.  The high humidity and 92 degrees outside feel more like 110.  It’s miserable.  This heatwave continues.

Idiotic

I received an update for some software today.  I installed the update, but the personalized data that goes along with the software was all deleted.  Talk about frustrating.

So, I figured out what’s going on, but it requires I re-download and install all of the “assets” associated with it.  This is so inconsistent with how they have done things in the past.

I opened a trouble ticket, and received a response that reads, “We do not operate as a 24 hour help center. Our hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm, Mountain Standard Time. Please note, it can take up to 1-2 business days for a response, and up to 5 business days for a resolution. There are rare cases that take longer to resolve, should we need to conduct additional testing or other departments to step in.”

They must not care that some people use their software in their business.  At AT&T I used to negotiate “service level agreements” with vendors.  Known as SLAs, depending on the product, an SLA might require anywhere from 1 hour to 24 hours for a call back.  And, if it was customer impacting, resolution time was set at 1 hour!!!

So, these guys have a 48-hour call back and a 5 day resolution time.  Yikes.  If I were in the motion picture industry, I wouldn’t be buying their software.

 

Pageant Rush

Pageant Rush

Pageant rush is upon us.  Elizabethe tells me a guy called in a frenzy asking if we had enough rooms for his group.  She says, he said, “I can’t believe practically every place is already booked.”

Yes, that’s what happens in Palmyra during Hill Cumorah Pageant season.  The Pageant rush hits and every one is frantically looking for lodging.

Why?

Because Palmyra is a tiny village near a very small city (Rochester).  That’s why I tell people to try to book 6 to 12 months in advance.  Expect to pay more.  It’s supply and demand.

Bond, James Bond

I’ve been learning how to do gobos (go betweens) in Poser and DAZ3d.  I created this James Bond inspired piece today as part of my studies.

copyright 2018 db walton

Bond, James Bond

I’ve finally got a handle on making and using gobos.  A gobo is a sheet that goes between your lighting and subject to create shadows.  In this case, a spiral pattern falls on the lady and the floor.

Taco Bell

We went for a cheap date today.  We drove to Victor and went to Taco Bell.  While I miss the good ol’ 5 item menu, their XXL grilled burrito is pretty good.  I gave it a try today and I’d give it a 5 out of 5.

A Month Away

A Month Away

It’s hard to believe pageant is only a month away.  They have trucks staged in the big parking lot at Hill Cumorah.  It looks like the stage construction will begin soon.

My workshop classes for photography are during pageant this year (again).  This means I’ll be in school from about 8am to 5pm daily.  I’ll miss much of the daytime stuff that accompanies pageant, but I’ll be able to watch the show one of those nights.

Social Media Fast

President Russell M. Nelson asked the youth to do a 7-day social media fast.  If the prophet asks the youth to do it, it must be good for others too.  But, like any fast, there are some things to consider.

  1. Do it in private.  Christ warned not to be as the publicans who disfigure their faces and dress in sackcloth and ashes.  In modern terms, I would take it to mean, don’t post stuff on social media like, “Okay, I’m going on a 7-day Facebook fast.  I don’t know how I’m going to manage, but I’m doing it okay.  Starting right now.”
  2. Social media is more than just Facebook.  It’s Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, chat rooms, message boards, etc.  A 7-day social media fast must include all of them.
  3. A fast isn’t complete without an offering.  What will be your offering at the end of your 7-day media fast?  I’ve been thinking a lot about this.  I think it would be appropriate for 7 days worth of internet or phone charges donated to the fast offering fund.
  4. It should start and end with a prayer.  You should have in mind what Heavenly Father wants you to learn from the experience, and you should pray for understanding and strength.

I guess one learning might end up being that people can do with out so much social media.

Zoe Baptized

Zoe Baptized

Zoe was baptized today.  She was so excited.  Her grin went from ear to ear.

Rebecca and Steve commented the attendance was more than they expected.  The little room was packed to capacity.  Zoe asked me and her Grandpa Martin to talk.  Russ Martin talked about baptism, and I talked about the gift of the Holy Ghost.

copyright 2018 db walton

Their Happy Family

Lunch

Before the baptism we met them for lunch at a diner named Kirby G.  I had a brisket burger.  It was a lean beef patty topped with slices of brisket.  Best burger ever.  As a result, I’ll want to return when we visit Atlanta.

copyright 2018 db walton

Zoe and Avery at Kirby G’s

Open House

They had an open house for Zoe after the baptism.  Some of Steve’s family showed up, as well as some friends.  The full-time missionaries were also there.

I enjoyed talking to the elders about missions and stuff.  The elders were telling me they are going away from tablets and just using smartphones now.  (Just wait for the next technology and they’ll be carrying something different.  Technology changes too quickly.)

Chick-Fil-A

We stopped and picked up a snack at Chick-Fil-A.  I wish we had one here in Palmyra.  Elizabethe was reading they are #1 where ever they have a location.  That’s impressive.

The Trip There

We arrived her yesterday afternoon.  We had dinner at Rebecca’s with the Sister Missionaries.

copyright 2018 db walton

The Gang Friday Night After Dinner

Extreme Fatigue

Extreme Fatigue

I have never felt extreme fatigue like I have today.  I woke up sleepy, and spent the entire day feeling like I was about to fall asleep.  This is the strangest feeling I’ve ever experienced.

Taking a walk didn’t help.  In fact, it made me feel more sleepy.  Dinner didn’t help either; it didn’t have an impact either way.

Let’s hope tomorrow I don’t feel like this.

More History

The house on Teal was my parent’s first home.  Prior to buying the house, we lived in rentals.  My little brother never knew what it was like living in a rented house.  In a few cases, they were houses with tenants upstairs and downstairs.

Trouble on Teal

I’ve mentioned a couple of times I got in to trouble when we lived on Teal.  There was the flooding of the farmer’s fields.  Setting the shed on fire (even though that happened near Grandma’s house, it was during the time period we lived on Teal.)

While they were building the homes nearby, I decided to play Superman and dive through the insulation.  I didn’t know how stupid that was, but I must have torn out the insulation of at least 5 or 6 framed homes.

Another time I had Karen and Lisa sit in the front scoop of a tractor with a payloader scoop.  Back then, they left the keys in these things.  I managed to get them off the ground.  I was probably 5 or 6.

I’d also wire up “electric” fences and connect the wires to the fuse box and then throw the switch.  Sparks were all I got.

The Tree House

I found some boys playing in the barley field the last summer we lived in Pocatello.  They were building a treehouse and invited me to join them.  It was at the far end of the field near the Yellowstone Highway.  (Later, that would have been the entrance to a K-Mart parking lot.)

They were a few years older, but I learned how to get a 4×8 sheet of plywood  25 feet off the ground and secured as a floor in a tree house.  It was awesome.  To this day, I can’t believe we pulled it off.  We were 3 stories off the ground and looking across the highway into the 3rd story windows of the Naval Weapons Plant.

They also taught me how to drive a nail without bending it.  It took a lot of practice, but they were patient with me… as long as I brought them lots of nails… which I would scrounge (actually steal come to think of it) from the local housing construction.

The Big Move

When Mom and Dad announced we were moving to Moscow, I was quite excited.  To me it meant friends.  I really didn’t have many in Pocatello.  Many of the kids (boys) near us had farm chores and weren’t outside playing.  I fantasized about meeting new friends.

We had visited Moscow once before.  We stayed in a strip motel next to the railroad tracks and the freight trains kept us awake most of the night.  Dad said our new apartment was on the bluff above where the motel used to be.  He said they tore it down that winter and built a Chevrolet dealership there.  Gubb Mix Chevrolet.

Mom and dad were also going to be the apartment managers in this 40-unit, 2 building complex.  To a 10 year old, that sounded pretty cool.  “Apartment Manager”, just had a sound of prestige.

This also meant we were going to live very close to Jeff and John – our cousins from Mom’s sister Shirley.  They lived in Pullman where Uncle Dick was a professor and audiologist.    Jeff was a couple years younger than me, and John was a little younger than Mark.  They would become our best friends during the year we lived in Moscow.

Oral Histories

Oral Histories

Oral histories can often be incorrect.  I recall my dad saying we were descendants from George Walton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  Wrong.  Genealogy research has proven that one not only false, but impossible.

A cousin called last night, and during our conversation I asked if he knew how his grandparents met.  I was very curious because of the oral histories I’ve been told and I was trying to fit the pieces together.

It turns out some of the stuff I had been told was not true.

If you’re an empty nester, one of the best things you can do for your posterity is to write your history.  Oral histories will change over time and get distorted, so write it down.

My Blog

My blog is one of the ways I hope my posterity will learn about me.  I’m sure there will be things I miss along the way, but at least there will be no disputations about things I am clear about in my blog.

That Got Me Thinking

That got me thinking about what I want my posterity to know.  So, why procrastinate?

Early History

My earliest memories were of living near the university in Pocatello, Idaho.  Our neighbors were the Bowsers and they had a son named Ricky.  While I thought of Ricky as my best friend, he was pretty mean to me.  At least on two occasions, Ricky bloodied my nose.  He said it was part of being in Kinder Guarding (as he called it).

Ricky had a baby brother named Mark.  I wanted a baby brother named Mark.  Ricky was really good at throwing a ball.  I worked hard to learn how to throw a ball.  It seemed it was all about keeping up with Ricky.

During that time, it seemed I only saw my dad on occasions.  I knew he worked for Consolidated Freightways, he had been in the Air Force, and went to college.  Aside from that, it seems I’d see him infrequently.  My mom worked, and so I spent most of my days at my grandparents’ house on South Johnson.

At Grandma’s

At grandma’s I had a friend a few doors down.  I can’t remember his name, but I remember he looked like a child version of Oliver Hardy.  Across the street were the “twins”.  Grandma watched them too.  One of them played trumpet and that’s what got me interested in playing trumpet.

Grandma and Grandpa gave me lots of freedom.  I explored the hills near their home, visited the parks in the area, the river and the corner store we called “Del Monte’s”.  (We called it that because of a large Del Monte logo painted on the side of the building.)  I was free to roam wherever I wanted as long as I told Grandma where I was going.

My favorite thing was to go looking for loose changes on the sidewalks.  A penny would actually buy some candy at Del Monte’s.

Back Home

When we lived in town, I didn’t have much freedom back home.  It was the Bowser’s house our our house.  I wasn’t allowed to wonder any further.

A beatnik lived downstairs.  His name was something like Hodge Podge.  I would visit him when he was home and he’d let me pound on his bongo drums.

When dad was home, they’d have other grown-ups over to play board games.  I’d have to stay in my room.  I learned that ‘children were to be seen, and not heard.’  In the case of game night, it was ‘children were to be invisible.’

The Move

Mom got pregnant and we moved in to a new house around the same time.  There was a lot of change going on.  They sold the MG, bought a 1953 Chevy DeLux and an old station wagon, and mom was sick all of the time.

In the new house the two upstairs bedrooms were my parent’s and the baby’s.  My basement was in the basement under the baby’s nursery.  In some ways, I liked having a room in the basement.  It was an escape.  In other ways, I hated it.  It was lonely.

The Fall

It was just me and mom at home.  She was taking the laundry to the basement when she stumbled and fell the full flight of stairs.  She was about 7 or 8 months pregnant.  I was never so scared in my life.  Mom was crying because she was afraid she was going to lose the baby, and I was crying afraid I was going to lose my mom.

Home More

My brother was born, and in spite of my parent’s hopes for a girl, whom they planned to name Stephanie, it was a boy.  And, my lobbying paid off.  They named him Mark, just like Ricky’s little brother.

The new house kept dad home more.  When he was home, he was mostly working on the house.  Otherwise, he’d head off to the school where he taught.  (He was a teacher at Highlands High School when it first opened, and worked the year prior to its opening on helping get it ready.)

In the mornings, dad would be gone before I got up.  Mom would kiss me and Mark goodbye and leave us in the hands of Mrs. Hansen.  She was an old lady who smelled of coffee and cigarettes.  While she never did anything to me, she always scared me.  She wasn’t a pleasant lady.  She’d feed me breakfast, and send me out the door to school.

Because my mom taught at my school, I wouldn’t see her at school.  She got home before I did, and so I’d walk home from school where she was always there after school tending to Mark.

Summers

Summers would come, and dad would take off to Moscow, Idaho, where he was working on his PhD in entomology.   During the sumers Mark and I spent about 80% of our time at Grandma’s.  Actually, I probably spent more like 90-95% of the time there.  I recall many times when mom would take Mark and go home, and I’d stay with Grandma and Grandpa.

And, prior to my starting school, I spent about 90-95% of my time at my grandparents’ house.  To me, it was a safe place where I loved to be.

Once summer, before Mark was born, I was sneaking matches out of the house and trying to lite them.  My dad’s dad, my Grandpa Walton, came to Pocatello once.  My dad took me to meet him, and they got in an argument.  While they argued, my grandpa’s gambling buddy taught me how to lite a paper match.  This led to me “practicing” and catching a shed on fire.

I thought I was going to jail for sure.  The police gave me a good talking, but my biggest fear was when dad came home from Moscow, Idaho, that I was going to get beat to a bloody pulp.

Church in Pocatello

Weekends at Grandma’s house meant going to church with her in the Pocatello 1st Ward.  It was full of people with white (and blue) hair.  They all knew my grandparents.  There weren’t many children in their ward.

When we lived near the university, we attended church in the new Institute Building.  I only remember going to church a couple of times there.  It was always stake conference.  I don’t ever remember attending primary there, or at grandma’s.

Living on Teal Avenue, we attended church down the road on the corner of Hawthorne Road and Quinn Road.  I remember going to Primary there.  Mom was called as the Primary chorister.  The things I remember about that time were these three incidents…

  • Trying to figure out with the rest of the boys how to get up to the widows walk around the top of the steeple.   It was a place I wanted to go.  As a result, we would open doors and look for passageways that might lead us to the top.
  • Getting caught in the middle of a snowball fight and getting hit by a rock packed in a snowball.  I went running in to the primary room crying.  My mom about passed out when she saw me heading towards her with a bloody face.
  • Deciding to fake being sick and having one of the girls at church bring me homemade chocolate chip cookies because she heard I was sick.  Wow, did I feel guilty.  I never faked sick after that, and I have always cherished the thought of this girl’s act of kindness and concern.

Visits to Highlands

I think mom was overwhelmed working and taking care of two boys.  So, on weekends, she started to insist dad take me to school with him.  (While there wasn’t school on weekends, my dad spent most of his weekends at the school “prepping” for the upcoming week.)

While there I’d play with the big bull snake, the lab rats, look through microscopes, and books.  Dad was usually down the hall talking to a particular home ec teacher, or in the teacher’s lounge talking to a fellow teacher.

I recall one day wrapping the bull snake around my neck, and going off to search for my dad.  When I found him in the home ec room, the lady teacher about screamed when she saw the snake around my neck.

Learning to Ride

Dad bought me an oversized girl’s bike.  His thinking was it would be easier for me to learn and I could grow in to it because it didn’t have a top-tube.

I hated that bike.

I learned to ride it, but not after a serious accident where I seriously injured myself.

After that, I was very insistent I get a new BOYS bike.  I was told if I could buy it, I could have it.  I started saving my money.

The bike was $42.  I remember that.  About the time I had earned $21 my dad broke down and took me to get the bike.  I was in tears.  I cried that I didn’t have the money and I wasn’t in the mood to look at the bike of my dreams when I got there because I knew I didn’t have the full amount.  It was a Schwinn Typhoon in Flamboyant Red with 26″ wheels.

It wasn’t until after going through all that agony my dad told me he was going to pay half the amount.  I was so happy I told my parent I was going to ride my bike home.  My mom wasn’t having anything to do with my riding my bike home along US Highway 30.  Finally, they agreed but they were going to follow me in the car.

I made it home without any problems.  From then on, it was me and my bike.

Enough for Today

Well, that’s enough for today.

Additional Photos

Additional Photos

I received orders for additional photos to restore.  This is one area where most photographers don’t venture because it is a lot more than just clicking the shutter. Restoration takes advantage of my painting skills.

This client left a 2″ stack of photos.  Most of them will simply be digital copies of the photos.  The ones that he really has an emotional attachment to he wants hand colored.  So, I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Screens

One of my rentals needs a couple of screens replaced.  I tried to find metal grids instead of woven screens.  You’d think that would be something you would find at any hardware store.  Screen material is ridiculous.  It is fragile  and has been around longer than I have.

There’s a market for non-woven, sheet metal grids to replace woven screen material.

I went online and found some.  Unfortunately, it only comes in black.  I could probably paint it, but I’d worry about the holes filling in.

Woven screen it is going to be.

Screen Frames

Then there are the screen frames.  Those stupid plastic splines that have to be pressed in are a pain to deal with too.  Consumers arise and revolt against cheap aluminum screen frames and woven screen material.

Hijacked

Hijacked

I hope none of you experienced the results of this site having been hijacked.  The other day they managed to crash the site.  I thought I had it resolved, but then that night I discovered they had gone back in and hijacked the site.  (Hijacking is where they direct your site to a different site.  In this case, they had directed it to what might have been a porn site.)

There is literally nothing in it for them.  It is a form of cyber vandalism.  The profile of such a hacker is an impotent young man, usually late teens to late 30s, still living at home with mom and/or dad, no job, no girlfriend, few friends (and mostly online “friends”), addicted to caffeine and in general – socially inept.

Why?

Someone asked me why they would do it.  Why do people vandalize?

My guess is pent up anger, frustration with an inability to express oneself and a degree of thrill-seeking.  They get a rush by being able to do it.  It’s a more destructive version thrill seeking.  It’s like the kid who throws a rock at a window just to hear it break, and then runs off laughing.

Speaking of Inept

Speaking of inept, Congress is inept in its ability to pass laws that actually work when it comes to cyber crimes.  Law enforcement is inept in its ability to catch perpetrators and enforce such laws.  Congress because they don’t really understand what’s involved, and law enforcement because they can’t afford the training and equipment necessary.

We spend lots of money to prevent hacking, and little to prosecute it once it happens.  The hackers know it.  They know if they can hack their way in to millions of dollars that there is very little chance of them (1) getting caught, (2) being tried for their crime, and (3) being convicted of a crime.

Comparison

Let’s compare it to burglary.  If you come home and find your front door has been forced open, your house ransacked, and all of your jewelry gone, you’d call the police.  The police would come over, take pictures, statements, fingerprints, etc.  An officer would be assigned to investigate the crime.

But, my website gets broken in to, important information tossed, the site turned in to a porn site, I can’t call the police.  What would they do or say?  Someone has committed a felony, however I doubt there is a police department in the country that would take the complaint.

Why?

They wouldn’t know where to start and what to do.

An people wonder why I say BitCoin is a terrible investment.

 

 

More Site Photos

More Site Photos

I shot more site photos today.  First thing in the morning I went to the Peter Whitmer Farm, Fayette Township, New York, and photographed a few items.   I ran in to the crew from the Church History Department again.  (The same people I’m taking these pictures for.)

On my way there I stopped at Wegman’s to buy some “rustic” looking bread.  The idea is to make it look like the first sacrament meeting in 1830.

copyright 2018 db walton

First Sacrament Concept

Sauder’s – Best Sandwich

When I finished there, I was off to Sauder’s for some shopping.  I bought some healthy snack alternatives.  Then, I had lunch there.

It was, by far, the best sandwich I ever had.  The girl behind the counter really piled it on.  It was a feast.

copyright 2018 db walton

Sauder’s Mega Roast Beef

Part of the secret to its goodness was I had her put onions on BEFORE she toasted it.  The onions melted in to the cheese were delicious.  Part II of the secret is horseradish AND italian dressing.

Veggie Snacks

Sauder’s has these veggie snacks.  I’m not sure if they are freeze dried, or how they get them like this, but they are almost like potato chips (only thicker).  My favorites are carrots and string beans.  I’m switching out salty snacks for these.