Birthday Coupon

Birthday Coupon

I used my birthday coupon at Golden Corral today.  It’s not my favorite place to eat, but the price was right. Once you know what they do well and what you like, you can have a tasty meal.  However, there are times the clientele leaves something to be desired.

We then hit Harbor Freight Tools.  I had 2 25% off coupons burning holes in my pocket.  Hmmm… I could say the same things about HFT as I did GC.  It must be those coupons.

Action Figures

My brain has been turning with ideas about photographic action figures.  They have their pros and cons when using them as models.  The pros are:  They are never late for appointments.  They hold their pose very well.  You don’t have to pay them.  The cons are:  They only have one expression.  You have to change their clothes for them.

Before I closed shop for the night, I set up a counter-high table.  Tomorrow I will photograph the Book of Mormon figures one at a time to create knock-outs for composite images.  I plan to build a toolbox of figures in various positions so I can drag-and-drop as I create a story.

My first project – 2,000 stripling warriors.

 

Making History

Making History

Making history today, President Donald Trump announced the United States will officially acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and begin construction on a U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.  Without demeaning previous administrations, he explained the reason behind not doing this sooner was hopes it would further peace between Palestinians and Israel.  That hasn’t happened, so we aren’t going to wait any further.

This is big.  This is courageous.  It is the right thing to do.

copyright 2015 db walton
View from the Dedication Spot

This, of course, has brought out the trolls on social media and the Internet.  So far, most of the media news coverage has been about how terrible this is, and how the president doesn’t have this authority, etc., etc., etc.    He was given the authority to do this two decades ago.  It’s just that his predecessors chose to ignore it in hopes doing so would soften the hearts of the terrorists.

Newsflash – Terrorists aren’t negotiators.

The bottom line is this…

Palestinians will stop at nothing short of destroying the Jews (i.e. Israel).  The Israeli Government can turn over the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Bethlehem, Jericho, and more, and as long as a Jewish state exists, they won’t be happy.  While I’m sure there are Palestinians who wish this unwillingness to cooperate would stop, as long as groups like Hamas exist there will be contention.

 

 

Horse Sense

Horse Sense

Grandpa Knowles called it “horse sense”.  If anyone knew horses, he did.  He spent a portion of his young adulthood catching and breaking wild horses, and then donating them to the Rough Riders.  (His mom forbad him to go off with Teddy to fight in the Spanish American War, so this was his service to his country.)  To do that, you come to know what horse sense means.

Horse Sense
Grandpa Knowles as I Remember Him

I spent my first 10 years close to my grandfather’s side.  We’d go on walks together.  He’d tell me stories and sing me songs while bouncing me on his knee.  And, when I would do something unwise he’d say, “Brent, use your horse sense.”  Over time I came to know that expression as another way to follow your conscience and listen to those warning voices.

He was a wise man, and not someone to be trifled with.  He was well versed in politics (a stanch Republican), the scriptures (many of which were memorized), gardening and butchering (not to forget his career with the railroad too.)

Skipping Ahead 50 Years

If Grandpa were alive today he’d be disgusted with politics in general.  Uncategorically, I think I am safe to say, he’d be disgusted with the politics of every president since Ike (with the exception of Reagan, perhaps)… until now.  The same can be said about many of the presidential candidates over the past 50 years.  Grandpa, undoubtedly, would not support them.

I wasn’t for Donald Trump.  I didn’t vote for him, and in fact, tried to persuade friends to vote for someone else.  While I am impressed with Trump’s business prowess, too many people I trusted and believed led me down a path where I began to distrust Donald Trump.

Acceptance

I accept the election results.  Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect.  I am glad we didn’t end up with Bernie Sanders, Gary Johnson, John Kasich, or heaven forbid, Hillary Clinton.  Like with Barack Obama, I said, ‘Let’s see what he does.’

Tweets vs Speeches

Donald Trump’s Tweets have brought much controversy.  I told my dad it is as though President Trump has a mild case of Turrett’s Syndrom when it comes to his Tweets.  It is also difficult to tell the tone of a Tweet.  Face to face, one can read someone’s expressions.  You cannot do that with a Tweet.  For that reason, I take Tweets with a large grain of salt.

Making it a habit to listen to presidential speeches, I see the Donald Trump I studied years ago.  The man is brilliant.  Anyone who says he isn’t, is either being ignorant or malicious.  His speeches I’ve listened to have proven his brilliance, as well as his courage.

Example of Courage and Brilliance

Today our president is in Utah.  He gave a speech announcing the return of Federal land to the State of Utah.  His justification – Federal Overreach.  Horse sense.  Absolute horse sense.

He then has the courage to declare that we will recognize Jerusalem the capital of Jerusalem.   “This is nothing less than a recognition of reality,” he said.  Horse sense.  Absolute horse sense.

I don’t recall hearing any of his presidential speeches where he hasn’t been talking horse sense.

The Trolls

Bring out the trolls.  I’m watching the Internet as he’s giving his speech.  Inflammatory remarks like, “Thanks for starting World War III,” were being posted.  But, the one I got the biggest chuckle out of was, “What gives him the right to move Israel’s capital?”

If he said the sky was blue, there would be trolls to counteract his statement.

Myself

For myself, Trump has impressed me every step of his presidency.  Putting aside the subjectiveness of the Tweets, he obviously loves God, our country and family.

Dinner

Because my wife is having surgery on my birthday, we celebrated today by going to Longhorn.  Our favorite waitress was there.  As she saw us she said, “HI!  I was just thinking the other day it is about time I see you.”

That made us feel very welcomed.  She treated us very well and it was a wonderful birthday dinner.

Best Argument

Best Argument

The best argument I’ve heard against the Affordable Care Act was simply this…  When people don’t pay for services they take advantage of those services.  They show up at the emergency room with a common cold and expect immediate treatment.  The result is people who do pay end up paying more.

I am so disappointed in Republicans who won’t overturn this poorly written law.  My own Congressman says he won’t vote against it until there is a replacement.  We don’t want a replacement.  In general, people want affordable health care without pre-existing conditions.

The second item is easily solved.  Simply pass a law that says, “No one can be denied treatment or insurance coverage based on pre-existing conditions.”

Of course, people argue they will charge higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions.  I have mixed feelings on this one.  Pre-existing conditions based on lifestyle choices should result in higher premiums.  Pre-existing conditions based on genetics, they shouldn’t pay more.

Other Political Disappointments

I’m disappointed that Congress isn’t taking action towards term limits, retirement for elected officials and salary and benefits for elected officials.   It’s a Good Ol’ Boys Club.  If the question were on the ballot to limit terms of Congress to 2 terms, it would pass by a landslide.  If we took a popular vote removing retirement payments to former representatives, I’m betting it would win too.

The list continues with taxation, and other burdens placed upon us.  Yet, Congress continues to waste our tax dollars.

Why doesn’t it happen?

Call it a secret combination, a Good Ol’ Boys Club, a secret society… they’ve sold their soul and it wasn’t to their electorate.

The E-mail

Here’s the coup de gras.  I get an email from John Katko claiming he’s running out of campaign funds.   Wait!   The election was in November… why is he still raising campaign funds?

Strange indeed.

 

Presidents

Presidents

Today is President’s Day, and with that comes filler stories in the news.  One such filler was that Obama is among the top 12 presidents of all times.  (I nearly vomited.)  Of course, people, both Democrats and Republicans, sang praises for JFK too.  Now we know better.

There is one thing nearly everyone agrees on.  Warren G. Harding was the worst president.  And, on the bright side, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington are up there at the top.

My mom was pretty good at spotting scoundrels.  I recall when JFK was shot my mom’s attitude was “good riddance”.  That shocked me as a kid.  While people were sobbing and saying he was such a good man, my mom was shaking her head and saying the nation was better off without him.  It’s recently we’ve discovered how corrupt the Kennedy administration was and what a pervert JFK was.  (Watch REELZ’s The Kennedy File series.)

I think time will eventually uncover what type of person Barack Obama really is.  It’s a sign of the times.  There is so much corruption in politics and it will all come to a boil soon.  It was only in death that we discovered how corrupt Harding, Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and others were.

Enough of that… Today is a day we honor past presidents.  At the top of my list are greats like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Truman.

Painting

Speaking of presidents, John Singer Sargent painted an iconic painting of Teddy Roosevelt.  As a result I want to do a self-portrait painting in the same style.    Hmmm… someday I’ll do it.

You Need

You Need

My wife tells me, “You need to blog this.”

So, I’m blogging it.

Facebook Moronic Behavior

There is some moronic behavior on Facebook, and what concerns me the most is that it is sucking in some good people.  Smart, intelligent people are falling for it every day.  It’s to the point where I ignore most of what I see on Facebook.

Here’s how it works…

Someone sees a headline.

This is when the lunacy begins.  Without going to the  applicable source of the news, they start sharing the article. Next is a feeding frenzy.   People commenting about how stupid it is and get all irate.  The truth of the matter doesn’t even resemble the headline, yet lots of people get their undies in a bunch without checking things out.

Here’s a good example

A politician (you can google it if you want) says the Democratic Party brought us the KKK.

Well?

They did.  You can read a summary of the Klan’s history on Wikipedia.  Why is this so scandalous?  It’s a simple statement of history.

But, no.  Unwitted people have to start posting and sharing it like as though by doing so it will change history.  They think they can argue and history will change.

Then there are those who think they are so clever by jumping in to the fray and arguing that the Republicans back in the 1800s were Democrats, and the Democrats today are actually Republicans.

Huh?

Again, moronic behavior.  This soon degrades in to insults.  Oh, they won’t admit it is an insult, but when you bring it down to a personal level, it’s an insult.

Dude, it’s history.  Live with it. Stop making excuses for it.

Other Examples

Other examples include impossible feats.  I’ve shared some of these in the past.  My favorite example is the guy who claims he heats his place with a single candle covered by a clay flowerpot.

Seriously?

Have you ever sat in a cold room with a candle burning?  Did that candle heat the entire room?

Gee whiz… think people.  A single candle doesn’t heat a room, epsom salt and vinegar doesn’t work as an herbicide, onions don’t cause food poisoning and zero calorie drinks can’t make you fat.

Burned Once or Twice

I’ve even been burned once or twice.  One was a video clip of Obama saying something.  It really made him sound stupid.  I bought in to the frenzy and shared the video.

It wasn’t until someone else shared the ENTIRE speech that I realized I’d been duped.  When listing to the entire speech you realized the short version left off a negation before the comment, thus making it sould 180 degrees out of context.

My Favorite Peeve

My favorite peeve is the person that shares a story where the headline reads to the effect, “Congress Passes Law… ”

Do you know how easy it is too look up what Congress does?  You go to congress.gov and you LOOK.

One such posted listed the H.R. Bill.  H.R. Bills are assigned a number.  You go to congress.gov and you search for HR followed by the number.  It will take you right to the bill.  You then read it.

I remember one from years ago that said Congress voted to make it illegal to store food at home.  It gave the bill number.  I went to congress.gov and read the bill.  There wasn’t a single mention of storing food.  None.  In fact, it wasn’t even remotely connected.

A Call To Action

I’m issuing a call to action.  You need to go to the source before sharing anything on social media.  Of course, if it is your own personal information (which is what I’d like to see… I enjoy seeing pictures of your family and notes about what you’re doing), then you’re the source.  But if it is about Trump, Pelosi, Brad Pitt, the local school district, or any other gossip, go find the source’s statement.  If you can’t find it, don’t repeat it.  This guy is sick of it.

I’m going back to my photography.

True Hero

True Hero

When I was a kid there were true heros.  John Glenn was a true hero, and today at age 95 he passed away.  Glued to the TV, in February of 1962 I watched with excitement as John Glenn became the first man to orbit the earth in the Friendship 7.

Sometime later the Friendship 7 was on display at the local Albertson’s in Pocatello.   My parents took me to see the capsule, and I was amazed that a grown man could spend 5 hours in the tiny craft.  It reminded me of a trashcan.  Disappointed in the size, I questioned whether it was the real thing or a sub-sized scale model.

While I didn’t agree with his politics, I was disappointed when he was named one of the Keating 5.  However, I was greatly relieved that my childhood hero was cleared of any wrong doings.  I wish we had more men like John Glenn.

 

Jim Metz

I also learned my friend and fellow photographer Jim Metz passed away last week.  Jim was 68.  When I first moved to New York and became involved with PPSNYS, Jim was one of the first people to befriend me.  Jim would always invite me to come sit by him at meetings.  He will be missed.

Leaves

The sisters and elders came over to help rake the rest of the leaves.  They were amazed at the volume of leaves.  Of course, with nearly 2 acres, there are a LOT of leaves.

copyright 2016 db walton
Sisters Crofts and Barrett Raking Leaves

We started on December 1st to live off our food storage.  I made a soup with what we had canned, what we had in the fridge and freezer.

copyright 2016 db walton
Hot Soup for Lunch

Beat

Of course, after driving the tractor around and emptying the bins, I’m beat.

Non-injury Injury

Non-injury Injury

Is there a such thing as a non-injury injury?

I don’t know what else to call this.  It isn’t your run-of-the-mill injury, and it isn’t a virus or illness. For this reason I will call it a non-injury injury.

Okay, perhaps it a repetitive stress injury.  But, when people ask what I did to my foot, all I can say is, “Nothing!”  I didn’t do anything to it (in the usual sense) that has caused this.  So, perhaps it is just a result of a lot of walking over the last 59 years.

I was thinking while taking my shower about high school P.E. and jumping hurdles.  I managed to master jumping with either foot leading – left or right, I could jump the hurdles.   That is the only thing I could think of out-of-the-norm to do with my heel.  Everything else has consisted of mostly walking — I love to walk.

My conclusion is it must be like carpel tunnel syndrome.  All of that repetitive pounding of the pavement and dirt has come back to roost.

Motivation

A pain like this robs me of my motivation.  Funny how that works.  All of a sudden, everything you enjoy doing is no longer on your mind.  I’ve struggled with this feeling a lot in the last 2 years.  I very seldom get sick and I’ve had few injuries in life, but this … this is getting to be ridiculous.

My goal today is to simply convalesce today so tomorrow it won’t hurt as much.

 

Didn’t See That Coming

Didn’t See That Coming

I didn’t see that coming.  I tracked the election results via my Kindle Fire last night.  Whenever I’d wake for a moment, I’d grab my tablet, do a refresh, and look at the results, and then go back to sleep.  What I didn’t see coming was how quickly Trump too the lead and held on to it.

At one point, around 1am, Trump had a strong lead and with the projected states, had more than enough to win.  The stupid MSNBC site was showing that, yet they were predicting Hillary would win with a near 90% certainty.  Some of the major websites weren’t making predictions, but were way off on their electoral totals.

While I hate watching TV news for this sort of stuff, at an early point I turned on the TV.  The channel was already set to some major network (I can’t remember which one), and they were saying that the Trump camp started off cheering, but they weren’t cheering any more and it was an air of doom and gloom.    I changed the TV over the my Amazon Prime account.

Concession

I was greatly impressed with both Donald Trump’s acceptance and thank you speech as well as Hillary’s concession speech..  While I didn’t vote for either one of them, I found both speeches refreshing.  I watched them both, live streaming, so I wouldn’t have the media’s spin and editing.

Some right-wing pundits were predicting Hillary would not concede.  Some left-wing pundits were demanding Hillary not concede.  Thank goodness she conceded.


Other Results

While I didn’t vote for either, I do see the overall results hopeful.  I said it before, I don’t trust Trump, however, I do trust Mike Pence.  Trump has surrounded himself with some very good people and perhaps they will keep him on the straight and narrow.  Time will tell.

GOP

Trump surprised the GOP in general.  While Trump doesn’t embody the GOP as we used to know it, at least he isn’t a career politician.  Perhaps we can bring the GOP back to it’s roots.  It would be nice to see the party restored to moral, family oriented traditions.  I think the GOP needed a shake up.

RINOs

I hope the R.I.N.O.s are shaking in their boots this morning.  I don’t think Trump is going to go for purchasing expensive equipment for foreign governments and other forms of foreign aid.  While Congress controls spending, the president wields a veto pen.


Calcaneus

Calcaneus is the heel bone and mine hurt so much last night that I went to see the doctor today.  He said I have this tiny bit of calcification at the base of my Achilles tendon.  That tiny little hard spot is causing a LOT of pain and inflammation.

They fitted me with a boot (which feels very comfortable, but it is HUGE), gave me a prescription for the inflammation and sent me home for rest and relaxation.   (Darn, I forgot to ask for a DVD of the x-rays.  It would be cool to see my foot bones.)

I was thinking it might be Haglund’s bump.  The doctor drew a picture showing this is on the back side of the tendon, and not between the tendon and bone.  He said it is kind of like a tiny little bone spur where the tendon ends.

Well, if it is as tiny as he describes, it sure hurts.

Voted Early

Voted Early

Elizabethe and I voted early.  She has her eye shots, so we left 15 minutes early to vote.  The poll had no lines.  We got in and out quickly.

I will be happy comes tomorrow morning… regardless of the outcome.  This election has been divisive… kind of like the last 8 years.  At least tomorrow we’ll know who our next president will be.

After Elizabethe’s eye shots we came home and I got ready for my CSM phone call.  My team is having their team meeting today so I got my computer ready to present.

Team Meeting

About 30 minutes in to my team meeting, my computer locked up.  I finally rebooted.  I had errors from Net Meeting attempting to access services it does not have permission to access.

I guess I need to run NetMeeting in Administrator mode?

How I hate doing that.  I hate giving applications Admin rights.  Photoshop, Lightroom, Painter, etc., all require Admin rights to fully function.  I guess that’s the nature of the beast.

Temple

I had to leave the temple early tonight because my foot hurt so much.  Elizabethe wins on this one.  I will see a doctor tomorrow.

Results

Election results are rolling in.  I went to MSNBC (because Bing brings it up first) and it clearly shows Trump in the lead.  The site claims the results are real time.

I turned on the TV to find something NON-election related.  The channel that came up (I think it was CBS) showed Clinton in the lead.  The numbers were VERY different than those on MSNBC.  The commentator on the TV said it was a feeling of doom and gloom at Trump HQ.

I looked at my tablet and thought, wow, I wonder which one has it wrong.