The First Monday Event has the subject of composition.  There were only two of us – me and Gary Morse.  But, we learned a lot about composition.  I know Gary and I aim to make my photographs better.

We watched a couple of real good videos.  It amazes me, almost to the point of disgust, that photographic instructors don’t teach this concept.  Perhaps it is too difficult for the average person to grasp, so they over simplify things down to the Rule of Thirds (in most cases.)

My 2018 crusade is to educate my fellow photographers on composition!


I had a flu shot this year, but I’m feeling like I am coming down with the flu.  And, it can’t be because of the flu shot because that was a couple of months ago.  When I went to bed last night I felt like crap.  My muscles all ached and I felt feverish.   It could very well be an infection too.

Let’s see if I feel better tomorrow.


Elizabethe called to get her surgery time and was told she wasn’t on the hospital schedule, however, the surgeon had it on his schedule.  Oops!  Some dropped the ball.

So, we waited and waited for them to call back.  She finally called them and got a time.

Better Than Last Week

Better Than Last Week

I feel much better than last week.  Last Tuesday was one of those days when you think you’re getting better, but you aren’t quite sure.  Well, today I feel better than I did last week.

Today was my weekly meeting with the other CSMs  (Church Service Missionaries) serving as photographers.  There were some interesting tidbits brought out about photographing General Authorities while serving as CSM photographers.  In fact, a photographer did a demonstration on white balancing using a snapshot of President Uchtdorf.  I kind of whish President Uchtdorf would have been there.  I’m sure he would have had some funny things to day.

It is rainy and cold today.  I am glad it isn’t snowing, but I do wish to see some sunshine.  The good part of this is that everything is turning green and the daffodils and hyacinths are in full bloom.  The yard is starting to look colorful.

The new photography web site is shaping up.  You have to resign yourself to the fact that these days, a web site is going to change every 1-2 years.  If not, it is going to get left behind in technology and technique.  And, probably by the search engines too.

Tonight at the temple things weren’t real busy, but we did have a family from Utah visiting.  We are also starting to get the new wave of missionaries.  They will be here for 6 months.  Two new couples, both from Arizona, arrived today.

By the end of the night, I was starting to feel myself dragging.  I sure don’t wish that bug I had on anyone.  It knocked me down and held me there.  And, like anything that hits the body hard, it takes time to heal.

Feeling Much Better

Feeling Much Better

I’m feeling much better today.  No meetings are scheduled, and I can basically take things slowly.  My stomach is still a little sensitive, and I still shun certain foods, but at least I feel like doing more than just laying in bed.

Although I’m not up to going out and working in the yard, or even taking a long walk, I do feel well enough to get some computer work done.  So, I spent a good portion of the day responding to over-due e-mails and commenting on professional photographer issues at PPA.

Why is it people feel that just because they love to do something they can go in to business doing it?

Or, maybe I should ask this in a different way…

Why is it the jump in to business doing something they love without getting the ground work laid?

I just go nuts when I read a post by a fellow photographer who asks, “How do I show sales tax on my invoice?”


You total up all of the goods and services, multiply that by the tax rate, and then you sum the two together!  Actually, what she was thinking was she didn’t have to charge sales tax on her time.

Gosh!  Imagine buying a new car and on the sticker it showed the amount of labor costs to build the car.  Do you really think you could get away with not paying sales tax on that portion of the car?

Of course not.

Anyway, the way my accountant explains it is if your customer comes away with a tangible product, everything to produce that product is taxable. (I wouldn’t think mowing my lawn is a tangible product, but a service.  However, it too is subject to sales tax.)

I’m not an accountant, but I’m sure if you asked your accountant, or called the state sales tax board, you’d get an answer about your sales tax questions.  I’m very surprised how many business owners do not do that.  It’s not only crazy, it might be criminal.

Another one of my favorites are those who ask…

“How much should I charge?”

Well, if you have to ask, then you haven’t done your homework and you probably shouldn’t be at that stage of business yet.

Okay… I’ll stop.  As you can tell I’m feeling better and I really need to feel good enough so I can go talk a walk before my brain explodes.

Slow Healing

Slow Healing

I don’t think I’ve ever been hit this hard by an illness since I had pneumonia back in 1987.  This flu, even though the flu symptoms are gone, has zapped my energy.

This morning I got up and went to my networking meeting.  I came home grabbed an English muffin and then headed to my 10am meeting.  By the time that meeting was done all I could do was go home and crawl in bed and sleep.  I got up around 2 and by 4pm I was read to go back to bed and sleep.  I did.  I then went to a 7pm meeting and by the time it ended I was done.  I was just physically exhausted.   Drained.

Pirates Weekend

I was saddened to learn that Palmyra is not going to have the bed races at Pirates Weekend this year.  I don’t know all of the details, but breaking tradition is the best way to break a tradition.  Perhaps they will find a way to reconsider.

Slow Healing - copyright 2014 db walton
Bed Races

Perhaps it is the Pareto principle in effect.  Only 20% are making the bed races happen and they’ve got burned out?  Perhaps there are cost or safety issues?  I don’t know.  All I know is the bed races were one of the best activities Palmyra has every year.  I look forward to them every year.

Well, I’m in hopes that by saying this, there will be those who might be able to make this happen.  Yes, it costs money.  Yes, it takes time to organize.  Yes, it requires some careful coordination with state and local law enforcement.  But, look at how this benefits the community in the long run.

If we don’t do it this year, it will be a slow healing before it returns and has the same momentum.



I’m not sure what this flu bug is all about, but it is still playing havoc.  I only want liquids.  It is funny how the body craves what it needs.  I spent most of the day… correction… all day sitting up in bed and typing on my laptop interspersed with long naps.  Recovery isn’t as fast as I’d like it to be.

I thought I broke my fever last night, but this evening I got the chills and felt awful again.  On the other side, my brain is racing about all the things I need to do tomorrow.  One half is saying, “It’s okay to get sick”, while the other half is saying, “Work is piling up dude.  You need to get better.”

There is no happy medium.

Tomorrow is a new day.  We’ll see how I feel in the morning.


Making it Through the Night

Making it Through the Night

Somewhere in the middle of the night came what I feared… the dreadful vomit.

I seldom get sick.  I’ve got a cast-iron stomach, but when I do get sick, I get really sick.  Well, it hit somewhere in the middle of the night and I completely purged.  It seemed like there was more stuff coming out than what had gone in.  I am sick.

After returning to bed, then started to feel parched, but I didn’t want to drink the tap water because it smelled like fish.  (Yeah… this flu has increased my sense of smell and the tap water here smells like a fish tank.)  So, I laid in bed craving a tall cup of ice drenched with diet 7-Up or Sprite.

It was all I could do to make it through the night was to think about that cold cup of iced lemon-lime soda.  When the morning came, the first thing I did was to ask Spencer to take me to a local convenience store.  He kindly did, and they had just what I craved.  It felt pretty good going down, however, it just seemed to sit there.

We came back to the house, got things packed up, and Spencer took us to the airport.  Elizabethe’s feeling better, but I’m teetering on tossing my cookies any minute.  This is not the feeling you want to have when flying.

When we got to the airport, it was raining so hard the ground looked like a sheet of fog.  The water was bouncing off the ground with such force, it was this white haze.

We dragged ourselves to our gate to learn our flight was delayed.


To sooth my stomach I purchased some mint Mentos and some tums.  After sucking on those (and they did sooth my stomach) I was thirsty so I bought a soda.

“Was this a mistake,” I thought, “mixing soda and Mentos in an already sour stomach?”

This conjured up sick thoughts of projectile vomiting.  I think I’ll just sip the soda and suck on the ice cubes.

We finally got on our flight.  As we went from Houston to Philadelphia we hit turbulence.  Heavy turbulence.  Oh, boy.  It was not fun.

Have you ever looked at a barf bag on a plane?

I never thought about it until now.  As I said, I have an iron gut.  But, after last night I am looking at this bag thinking if I lose it, this bag isn’t going to hold half of it.  How do you put a quart of liquid in a paper bag that might, at best, hold a pint?

Time for Plan B.

Okay, if I barf, there is no way this tiny little barf bag will do the trick.  And, there is absolutely nothing in my stomach except liquid.  How will this paper hold up?

So, I made my way to the bathroom.  Seriously?  How can anyone get sick in that tiny closet.  There’s no way to face the toilet and get your head close to the bowl.  Oh, boy, I better not get sick on this flight.  I guess I could sit on the toilet and hang my head in that little bowl they call a sink.  Even then, I’d end up making a real mess out of this place.

Making my way back to my seat I found myself hoping I’d have to do neither.

We soon found ourselves on the ground in Philly.  Even airport bathrooms are not places to be sick.  I almost asked the housekeeper as she walked by with her large yellow cart, “Hey, if I’m going to be sick, where would you prefer I do it?”  I mean, bathroom stalls aren’t built for it, definitely not the urinals, and most public bathroom sinks are in the open where others would most likely have a bad time with it.

To top things off, they don’t make it very flexible.  Most air travel is non-refundable which kind of forces people to travel, even when they are ill, as long as they can walk on the plane.  It makes me wonder if that extreme heat in the plane on our way to Houston might have been a breeding ground for some airborne virus that made us sick.  Who knows?

Only one more leg of this trip and we’re done.

Our flight from Philly to Rochester was also without event, but also very turbulent.    It was so nice to get in our car and drive home.

If you’re going to be sick, there’s no place like home.

Church in Texas

Church in Texas

Another nice thing about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that no matter where you attend church you will find a consistency.  The people are different, but the teachings are the same and the procedures are the same.  It is nice to know wherever you go you can find an LDS church and attend services without feeling like an outsider.

One of the members of their ward came up to me.  I recognized the voice, and the face was somewhat familiar, but I hadn’t seen this guy in a good 25 years or more.  We didn’t have a lot of time to talk, but it was fun seeing an old acquaintance.

Things were going great after church and I was teaching the grandchildren how to play Monopoly when is started to feel a little sick.  Then, after dinner I was really feeling sick, and things quickly got worse.  I guess what Elizabethe had was the flu and now I’ve got it.

My grandson came in the room and asked if I wanted to watch a movie with him and his sister.  I was so sick I had to decline.

I find myself saying to myself, “I don’t want to throw up,” but I fear it might be inevitable.