It’s Friday the thirteenth of October.  How funny is that.  For a day when superstitious people are supposed to stay in bed, there are a lot of people on the road.

We went to Longhorn for lunch with our friends Ron and Mary Harris.  The traffic to and from there was horrible.  Horrible for this area, that is.  NY SR 96 near the mall, as a result, was a parking lot.


For the first time I had a dish at Longhorn that I was disappointed with it.  Their brisket nachos is nothing to write home about.  As a result I won’t be ordering that again.  (It also reminded me around midnight with a bad case of reflux.)

What was wrong with it, you ask.  Bland, and too much fats and oils.  It was also sparse on the meat and pico de gallo.    The meat, which takes first billing in the name, was like a garnish.  The same with the pico de gallo.

From now on I order beef.


I’m torn.  I wonder if I should get the Wacom Clintiq monitor.  And, if I do, should I upgrade my desktop.

I’ve got to get rid of old technology too.  It’s starting to pile up.  However, what does someone do with a 100GB disk drive?  Does anyone even use such a dinosaur?

That reminds me!

I should measure my desk to see what fits.  No use getting a monitor you can’t use because you don’t have the space for it.

20 Wonderful Years

20 Wonderful Years

Elizabethe and I have been married 20 wonderful years.  She is the love of my life and supports me in my crazy pursuits.  (Like driving Route 66 for 5 weeks.)

We celebrated with lunch at our favorite restaurant with our favorite waitress.   Stephanie at Longhorn in Victor always treats us well.

Elizabethe ordered her usual.  I had a coupon for a burger, fries and a drink for $10, so I went for the Kobe burger.  (It was GOOD.)  Because it was our anniversary, they brought us dessert (on the house).

Evening at the Temple

We are spending the evening in the temple.  I had a wonderful experience (not suited for posting publically).  The evening was busy, as a result time passed quickly.  It is my last shift before my Route 66 trip.

Other Preparations

Preparing for a 30+ trip is exhausting.  Looking for misplaced items is the bane of my existence.   I search everywhere.  It makes me crazy.

I am missing a pouch that carries 2 batteries.  For the life of me, I cannot figure out where it is.  Looking everywhere, I am ready to give it up.

Wildey Children

Elizabethe watched the 3 Wildey children this morning so their mom could go to the temple.  She excitedly prepared checklists for them.  The children are excited too.

Six Hour Car Wash

Six Hour Car Wash

It really wasn’t a six hour war wash, but two 3 hour car detailings.  We took both cars for detailing.  Each took about 3 hours.  So, in  a sense it was a six hour car wash.

While waiting for my car, we hit several stores in Henrietta.  We ate lunch at Taco Bell (Elizabethe’s choice), and returned to the car wash just as my car was being completed.

We then had another 3 hours to kill.  As a result, it ran in to dinner time and we ate at DiBella’s (my choice).

Whole Day Affair

It was a whole day affair.  I can’t think of any other way to do it.  It seems silly to drive 40 minutes back home and then have to turn around in an hour to go back.  If we had them start on both cars at the same time we would be restricted to where we can walk.

The wait was worth it.  Both cars look nice inside and out.  Every inch is clean.  They even cleaned inside the wheel wells.

Swiss Gear Bag

I bought a Swiss Gear bag for my big laptop.  It says it holds 17″ laptops (which mine is).

Upon getting home, I immediately tried it out.  The stupid bag will barely fit a 15″ laptop.  Oh, I’m angry at Swiss Gear.  As a result I am returning the bag.  (I measured the inside… 10×15.25 inches.  My laptop’s outer dimensions are 17×11 inches.)

I went on to Amazon and found a bag that had positive reviews and comments about holding 17″ laptops.  I order it.  It was about $50 MORE than the Swiss Gear Bag.  I’m hoping it does the trick.

Birthday Luncheon

Birthday Luncheon

We had a birthday luncheon for Becky at Longhorn Steakhouse.  We got for our favorite waitress, Stephanie.  Both Elizabethe and Becky got Elizabethe’s favorite – Parmesan Crusted Chicken.

copyright 2017 db walton
Me, Bethe and Becky at Longhorn

My favorite is beef.  Ordering steak is what I do at a steakhouse… no chicken here.  Nothing is better than the taste of beef in my opinion.

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Stephanie (our waitress) with Me and Bethe

First Monday Event

Today is the First Monday of August.  This means it is the First Monday Event.  Meeting at Corbett’s Glen, we took pictures of running water.  (That was our theme for this month.)

copyright 2017 db walton
Running Water – Allen’s Creek – Corbett’s Glen\

The above is a merged 2 photo image.  Because of the high contrast, I had to take one photo for the sunlight hitting the water, and another photo for the dark shadows under the tree.  As a result, the image is very detailed in both areas.

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Me and Paul

Paul and I posed for a selfie (remote in my hand).  Paul is going on the Route 66 road trip with me in exactly 4 weeks.   Between shots we talked about Route 66 stuff.

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Girls Walking in the Stream

These two girls walking through the stream said we could take their photo as long as their face wasn’t showing.  No face means no release needed.

Mowing the Lawn in Two Parts

I began mowing the lawn as soon as I got home.  We took a break to take Becky to her birthday luncheon, and when we returned, I started mowing again.  Breaking it in two sessions is not as bad as I thought.  The break meant I wasn’t as exhausted when I finished.


Kirtland in the Rain

Kirtland Ohio in the Rain

We got to see Kirtland Ohio, in the rain.  It was thundering and lightening when we woke.  Elizabethe and Becky ate food they brought.  I walked to Burger King and got a sandwich for breakfast.

We stopped at Historic Kirtland first.  They had umbrellas we borrowed.  After seeing a few of the buildings, we drove up to the temple to catch the 11:30 a.m. tour.

copyright 2017 db walton
School of the Prophets Room

Two of the sisters took us in to the store there in Kirtland.  I love visiting the store.  The revelations that were given in that place and the heavenly visitations makes it a special place.

The Temple

We got lucky for our tour.  Ron Romig was our tour guide.  He’s very knowledgeable about the Kirtland Temple and understands much about our beliefs and their (Community of Christ) beliefs.

copyright 2017 db walton
Becky in front of the doors of the Kirtland Temple

We then had lunch at Quaker Steak and Lube.  From there, we went back to Historic Kirtland to finish our tour there.

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Umbrellas in Kirtland

Drive Home

We didn’t leave Kirtland Ohio until about 6:30pm.  We stopped at Steak’n Shake and got shakes.  About an hour later, Elizabethe suggested I get some protein so we stopped at ANOTHER Steak’n Shake where I got a burger and Elizabethe got ANOTHER shake.

It started raining again.  This time very hard.  It was hard like it was when we went down to Pennsylvania last week.  About 1 hour from home, that milk shake started to take revenge.  (I’m lactose intolerant.  Sometimes it doesn’t bother me.  Not this time, however.  As a result, I was stopping every stop along I-90.)

We arrived home around 11:30pm.  Our Internet service was out.  (Which is a good thing… otherwise Elizabethe would have wanted to check emails before going to bed.)

Taking Becky to Niagara Falls

Taking Becky to Niagara Falls

We’re taking Becky to Niagara Falls today.  I went to my networking meeting and then we headed off to the falls.  We’re taking I-90 because it’s faster than NY SR 31.

When we got the Niagara Falls, we were ready to eat again.  We found a tiny diner where ate outside enjoying this WARM day.

Niagara and Passports

We found a parking spot right by the Rainbow Bridge.  I saw a Customs Agent and yelled through the fence and asked about Elizabethe’s passport.  He said, “No problem.”

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Rainbow Bridge from Canada to USA

We walked across the bridge, but the heat about did Elizabethe in.  We managed to get to the Sheraton Hotel’s lobby where she said she’d wait for us to see the falls.

The Falls

The falls were beautiful.  It was fairly clear, but very hot and sticky.  Beck and I walked down to the bring of Horseshoe Falls.

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Becky with the Falls in the Background

It was a great day for photographing the falls because it was clear (vs raining).

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Becky Photographing the Falls

USA Side

We headed back to the Sheraton and met up with Elizabethe and walked back across the Rainbow Bridge.  Once on the USA side we purchased tram passes and road the tram down to Horseshoe Falls.

copyright 2017 db walton
Becky and Beth on the USA Side of Horseshoe Falls

When we were all done, we piled in the car and drove to Kirtland.  We stopped at the Angola Rest Stop for dinner.  That is the best rest stop on I-90 in New York.  They have a great selection of places to eat.  We also picked up a box of cinnamon rolls for dessert.

It was quite late when we arrived at the motel.

Kirtland tomorrow.

Tom Chapman

Tom Chapman

My dear friend Tom Chapman has gone on to his next estate. I learned today that he passed away last night. Tom and I would go to lunch on Wednesdays and he’d talk about Guantanamo Bay and being a Navy Seabee.  In addition, he’d talk about his adventures with other mutual friends like Bart Dahneke and more.
The people at Burger King and Subway (our regular stops) got to know Tom too. They’d tease him asking if he wanted onions (which Tom hated with a passion). Tom would laugh and say, “You put onions on my sandwich and I’m outta here.” Then he’d walk to the door pretending to leave.  And even up to the end, he enjoyed a good, roast beef sandwich or a Burger King Whopper.
Looking back, we started our Wednesday lunches back in April last year. Tom’s dementia was increasingly getting worse. Myself and a few others started taking him to lunch so his sweet wife, Mary, could get a break. I enjoyed spending time with him. Yes, because of the dementia he’d repeat stories, but that was okay with me.  As a result I could see how happy it made him to be able to tell someone about himself and his past experiences.
One day when I came to get Tom Chapman to take him to lunch, his wife met me at the door and told me Tom had been having a bad day. When she fetched him, I could tell he was a bit on the grumpy side. Mary reminded him that he likes going to lunch with me, and then she said, “He always does better after going to lunch with you.” That in itself was it’s own reward.


Tom got in the car and as we drove down the driveway, he said, “I got some bad news today.” I acknowledge his comment, and he continued, “Do you know what my wife said to me?”
I had no idea what he was leading up to, so I encouraged him to go on.
“She told me I have Alzheimer’s. Do you know what that is?” he asked.
I told him I knew what it was, and we talked about his feelings about knowing what it might mean for the future.  Because of this he said his biggest fear was that there might come a time that he would hurt his wife. I could tell that possibility was tearing him put inside. By the end of our lunch together, we seemed to have pushed past the news of his Alzheimer’s and on to happier topics. That was the first, last and only time he brought it up in conversation. (I think he truly forgot about it.)
Tom taught me a lot about gratitude. Tom would take a bite of his sandwich, burger, or a cookie, or even a sip of lemonade and he’d just savor it. I can hear him saying, “Mmmm, this is a good sandwich”, and it was like the best sandwich he ever had. He’d express is appreciation to the workers at the restaurant, and he’d always tell me what a good time he had.
It’s been a wonderful 15 months getting to know this kind and faithful brother.
copyright 2017 db walton
Tom and Vis
copyright 2016 db walton - scamalot trois
Tom and Sister Jones

Re-roofing Starts

Re-roofing Starts

Re-roofing starts today.  I will be nice to get those leaks stopped.  At first, I thought the guy who lives upstairs was making a lot of noise.  Then, it hit me… They started on the roof!!!

I dashed outside and they were ripping the old shingles off.  It hasn’t got as messy as I thought it would.  They are being pretty clean about this tearoff.

Lunch At Tom’s

I had lunch at Tom’s today.  He’s starting to get a little difficult to direct when we go out in public.  I stopped at Dutchland Foods and bought sandwiches, cookies and lemonade.  We at out by their pond.  It was great weather for a picnic.  And, when Tom spills, the critters can come and eat it.

After our lunch I came home and got ready for a portrait session tonight.  President Evans and his family are all in town so they want me to do a family portrait.

The Evans’ Portrait Session

The portrait session went well.  They have 5 children – 4 girls and a boy.  They are a fun group.  After we photographed the family we did the children, President and Sister Evans, and then individual pictures.

I used my new AD200s in TTL mode.  They work nicely.  Better than Canon equipment.

Too Wet to Mow

Too Wet to Mow

It is too wet to mow the lawn today.  While that might sound like an excuse, which it is, I’m just not up to mowing the lawn today.  Or tomorrow, for that matter.

I realize it has to get mowed sometime this week.  When I do mow it, I think it will be without the catcher this time.  We’ll see how the next few days go.

Lunch with Steve

Steve, one of our tenants, took us to lunch today at Empire Grill.  We had a nice visit with him.  He’s a retired RADAR engineer and an all around nice guy.

Garden Supplies

From there it was a trip to Lowe’s and the ATM.  Elizabethe needs a new hose.  We got a 100′ no knink, no break hose.  Because they aren’t cheap, and because they come with a lifetime warranty, I suggested to Elizabethe we hold on to the warranty information in case it breaks.

Route 66 Admin Stuff

I spent time working on Route 66 administration stuff today.  We have a software company that is providing us with copies of their software.  In exchange we will feature and mention how we use their software.

Here are the links to our Route 66 pages:

Make sure you like and follow these pages.   You’ll have a front seat tour of Route 66 comes September.

BDM Hike

BDM Hike

I got up early to meet one of the California-based CSM Photographers at Black Diamond Mines for a BDM Hike.  We got there as soon as the gates opened and began our hike.

He lives in Pleasant Hill and hadn’t been to Black Diamond Mines much.  I pointed to a hill and told him we used to live just over that hill.  This is my old stomping grounds.

I took him on the Cororan Trail.  The trails have not been maintained much in the last eight years.  It’s kind of sad.  Most of the markers are vandalized.  One thing lead to another and while I knew where we were, I didn’t know the best way back because one of the trails is closed.

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One of the Rugged Trails

After a few bad turns, we took the closed trail and begged for forgiveness.

Warren’s Dog

Warren brought his dog.  She’s a well-behaved German Shepherd who loves to play with the Frisbee.  The construction worker looked at us and told us the fastest way out was back up the hill.  He then saw the dog and said, “You’re dog’s probably thirsty and stressed, so here, I’ll let you out this way.”

The dog saved our lives.  Okay, that’s a bit of exaggeration, but if it weren’t for the dog we’d be hiking back up the hill.  Because he brought his dog, this guy took pity… not on us, but on the dog.

copyright 2017 db walton
Sugar and Warren – Black Diamond Mines

Post Hike Trauma

On the drive back to the ranch I stopped.  When I got out of the car, my knee was very sore.  I was a little angry with myself because I thought I shouldn’t have settled with the insurance company until AFTER I had attempted a hike like this.

I felt around my knee and my leg was tender where I broke it.   As a result, I came back to the ranch, laid down, elevated my knee and kept it immobilized for several hours.  It helped.

After a late lunch at Taco Bell, I went back and rested my leg more.  I then visited with Brad and had a late dinner at another taco place – Rubio’s.