A Month Before Christmas

A Month Before Christmas

It’s a month before Christmas… and no, I’m not going to attempt to make some silly poem about it.  However, it is one of those days when I do not want to go to any stores or malls.  That’s crazy.

Elizabethe and I went downstairs and took inventory of our food storage.  I think I should make a list of things to prepare during our 3 months of no grocery shopping.  For example, what can I make with _______ (fill in the blank).

While taking inventory I discovered a can that had been dropped, and the dented area had rusted all the way through.  Thus, it is important to check your food storage.  I also discovered the mice chew through the plastic containers of bullion.   We’re transferring it to glass jars.

Two Days Before the Shoot

It is also two days before my next shoot.  When I have slow days I like to get ready for the next shoot.  This usually means cleaning up after the last shoot.  That means finding things I misplaced during the last shoot.

Nobody makes studio organization stuff.  Camera bags are meant for organizing on-location shoots, but nobody… I mean nobody makes organization stuff for your equipment in the studio.

But then, amateurs support the photography industry these days.  They spend the money on equipment, however, they don’t have studios.  It’s a Catch-22 for those of us who do.

I have this idea for a studio organization system, but the manufacturing of a prototype is beyond my skill set.  It would even work for an in-home based studio.  (I also have an idea that would revolutionize lighting.  Hmmm… How do I get the attention of Canon or Nikon, or one of the big flash manufacturers?)

Refugee Health Fair

Refugee Health Fair

A group of students and staff from BYU’s Nursing Department put on a Refugee Health Fair in Rochester today.  Elizabethe and I went to help out.  It was a small group, but useful and fun.

The students worked with the parents and children and taught them about good eating habits, foods, and hygiene.  We were there to help the kids  do some coloring.  (They were supposed to color on a plate the food proportions for the food groups.)

After the health fair we stopped to eat at Root 31.  (You can see my review here:  http://getitdoneon31.biz/root-31-cafe/ )  Elizabethe really liked her veggie quesadilla.  It’s a nice little cafe.

Wegman’s was our next stop to get groceries for next week.  They are STILL working on the Perinton Wegman’s.  They keep expanding and growing.  The thing will be huge when they are finished.  In the meantime you have to figure out where they moved stuff since the last visit.

I was surprised when I found sharp cheddar cheese at $2.50/pound.  It wasn’t long ago that the same was a good deal at $4/pound.  I’m not sure what’s driving the cost of cheese down, but I like it.  (The price, that is… but I also like sharp cheddar cheese.)

 

Good Burgers

Good Burgers

There are hamburgers, and then there are good burgers.  Good burgers are seldom found at drive through windows.  You either make them yourself or you find a restaurant that serves up a good burger.

While my day was kind of lack-luster, Elizabethe suggested we go grab something to eat for dinner.  I was in no condition to cook so I caved to the temptation.

We started to go to the new Patty Shack, but I didn’t relish the idea of sitting in a fast food joint so we continued down the road to Empire Grill.  I’m told both places are owned by the same people, but I would rather be comfortable tonight.

I ordered the bacon and blue cheese stuffed burger.  Talk about a tasty burger.  It is quite the treat having the bacon and blue cheese inside the patty.  Now, that’s a good burger.

My only complaint about the place is all of the TVs tuned to sports channels.  I realize the place is one of those “sports bars”, but in the dining room?  Come on… save the sports TVs for the bar area and let people in the dining room have a quiet atmosphere.

We enjoyed our meal and then took a detour on the way home to check out Christmas lights.  One street in Farmington has quite the set up with music being broadcast on FM.  You can tune in to Christmas music on your car radio and watch the lights synchronized to the music.

We returned home, settled in for the night, and got a text telling us that our children and grandchildren will be arriving around midnight.  We are both looking forward to their being here for Christmas.  I texted back and asked them to knock on the bedroom door to wake us so we could welcome them and get hugs from the children.

Late Color Change

Late Color Change

This year we have a late color change.  There are still trees with green leaves, and very few with orange and red.  Fall is running a bit late this year.

Autumns in Upstate New York are beautiful.  The maples, ash, cherry, hickory, walnut and other hardwood trees turn beautiful colors as the days shorten.

copyright 2015 db walton
Autumn in Upstate New York

After my morning work my granddaughter and I went for a short walk along a leaf covered path.  This time of year, if the leaves aren’t raked or blown, you can only tell where the sidewalks and paved paths are by the absence of trees.  At one point, we ran into some workers blowing leaves off the pavement.  With their leaf blowers it was like they were painting a black path through the golden leaves.

She was quick to point out we did not bring any snacks or lunch for our walk.  (I really wasn’t planning on being gone long enough to worry about lunch, but I could see it was her way of hinting that she was hungry.)  So, we drove to McDonald’s where I was suckered in to buying a Happy Meal.

copyright 2015 db walton
A Happy Meal

We played a little game called, “If I were taking a walk, I would bring….”

We both agreed on trail mix.  In fact, my granddaughter listed off some pretty good stuff like almonds.  We both agreed on water as well as granola bars.  From our little game, I surmised that the next time we go for a walk, I better bring some food along.

Bishop and Sister Taylor came home teaching.  They started asking about some LDS themed movies.  Before long, we had loaned them several DVDs from our collection:  Suits on the Lose, The RM, The Home Teachers.  I told them though they need to come over to watch Mormons and Mobsters as that is just too funny not to share with others.

Waffle Love

Waffle Love

Today’s breakfast was at Waffle Love.  It’s a small hole-in-the-wall place in Provo.  It’s a bit on the pricey side, but the waffles are sure good.

copyright 2015 db walton
Waffle Love, Provo, Utah

After that, we went to look at the Provo City Center Temple.  This is the former Provo Tabernacle turned temple.  It’s near completion from the looks of things, and is quite pretty.

copyright 2015 db walton
Provo City Center Temple

Our next stop was to find me a blazer.  They are hard to find here, and given so many men in Utah wear suits on Sunday, I figured we’d find one.  I struck out at Ross and Kohl’s, so we went to Mr. Mac’s.  Not only did I find one, it was on sale!  To top that off, it fit well right off the rack, so I bought it.

Tomorrow the plan is to go to Cove Fort, so we ended the day with a trip to the store to buy sandwich stuff .  We have to leave at 6am so we plan to just grab the food, put it in the ice chest and make our lunch at Cove Fort.

My Turn to Cook Mexican

My Turn to Cook Mexican

Today it is my turn to cook Mexican.  After last night’s dining experience I’ve decided to fix some good Mexican food for the missionaries.

I prepared some enchiladas, some ancho chili sauce, rice, beans and a slaw.  Each plate had two cheese enchiladas and one beef enchilada toped with the homemade enchilada sauce and some cheese.  I think I out did myself this time with the flavors.

I’m kicking myself that I didn’t take a picture.  My brain just hasn’t been fully functioning right since the accident.  While I joke saying, “You’d think I hit my head and not my leg,” when I’ve forgot important things over the last few months, it really isn’t that funny any more.

So, sorry, no photos of my Mexican cooking.  I think I’m going to ask the missionaries to remind me to take photos before we have a blessing on the food.

We had a lot of visitors at church today.  There was a huge group from South Weber, Utah.  They about doubled the size of the High Priest Group.

We also received news that some of our guests have been told they are not needed during Pageant.  This is sad as some of them already had tickets and non-refundable reservations.  I’m not sure why the change, but pray all will work out in the end.

 

Any Good

Any Good

Elizabethe wasn’t feeling well so we cancelled our plans to see the new Cinderella movie.  So, was it any good?

I ended up doing some minor repairs on a door knob at one of our rentals.  I also replaced the CO detector there too.

Time to vent…

We’ve had mostly good renters.  However, the previous renter in this one unit just trashed the place and the only way I can describe the filth and destruction left behind is to say they lived like animals.  I’m thankful my parents raised me to take care of my personal belongings, but to take BETTER care of someone else’s belongings.

Okay… done venting…

We picked up Chinese food from Happiness Garden.  I think if I could only choose one cuisine and I had to live off that one type of food the rest of my life, it would be Chinese food.

So, Elizabethe opens her fortune cookie and it says, “Get healthy.  Eat Chinese food.”

What?  A commercial?

I thought it was like the scene in a Christmas Story when he decodes the secret message and it is an Ovalteen commercial.  You don’t expect your fortune to be a commercial for Chinese FOOD.  For Pete’s sake.

Think about it… your fortune, after pigging out on Chinese food tells you if you want to be healthy you need to eat more Chinese food.

I watched a lot of the regional print competitions today.  For the most part it was good, but what really frustrated me was I had an 82 and it got knocked down to a 79 on the second round.  This entire second round thing should be done away.  You should not be able to remove a merit once it scores 80 or above.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Mission Tortilla

Mission Tortilla

You really have to do something remarkable or really screw up to make the title of my blog.  In the case of Mission Tortilla they really screwed up.  I thought being a big brand name in a New York store I’d be safe buying them.  Wow.  Was I wrong.

Being from California, I’m a little picky about my Mexican cuisine.  Imagine my surprise when I went to make a burrito with a Mission Tortilla to have it about disintegrate in my hands.

I inspected the package and it said something like, “Super Soft”.

Okay, flour tortillas are soft.  They don’t need any weird treatment to get softer.  And, as these tortillas demonstrated, you get them too soft and they won’t stand up to those already soft frijoles.

Why do they feel the need to make a “softer” flour tortilla?

The answer to that question will baffle Mexican food lovers until the disappear from the market.

Dysfunctional

A guy in a forum on LinkedIn asked what he should do with his dysfunctional camera.  I told him to put it on Prozac.

ba-dum-dum

He obviously meant nonfunctional.  I explained the difference.  I hope he takes it the right way.  And, I also explained how Canon will give him a trade-in allowance or buy it back.  For that, I should earn his good graces.

Or, maybe he will think me dysfunctional.

Cover of LDS.org

I made the cover of LDS.org today.  Here’s a screen capture…

copyright 2014 db walton
My Work on LDS.org

President Francis, Sisters Tran and Johnson are the real stars.  I posted it on FB and after about 5-6 hours it only had a few hits.  Sister Tran posted it on FB and in about 15 minutes she had 44 likes.  I see who’s more popular.

This motivated me to go to the Grandin Building for a walk and take a few pictures.

copyright 2014 db walton
Sister Missionary Writes in Her Journal

And Now For Something Completely Different

I received a very disturbing flyer in the mail from the Democratic Party.  (Not sure how I got on their list.)  It was denigrating the a republican candidate because his handgun was used to kill two people.  At first glance you think, “OH, MY!”  But upon close inspection (and reading) you read in the facts.

1)  His gun was in a locked vehicle
2)  It was NOT in plain site, but in a duffle bag
3)  His vehicle was broken in to and the gun stolen
4)  The perps who broken in and stole the gun perpetrated the murders

The idiotic flyer goes on to say that the candidate should have had his gun locked up and not left laying around where someone could see it.  Yet, by the same, it points out that he wasn’t in plain sight and it was locked up.

Here is why I find it disturbing.  The information is there for all to read that the candidate did nothing wrong.  Yet, the flyer’s bold print twists the facts to make it sound like he’s a criminal.  It is disturbing because it is a smear campaign from an incumbent/career-politician who doesn’t represent his constituents views.  (I fail to see how the guy got elected again after losing to Ann Burkle a couple of terms ago.  I made this comment to a friend and his theory is was because he courted the student votes in Syracuse.)

The more I see stuff like this, the more I realize what those founding fathers were thinking when they wanted to limit voting rights to the owners of land.  I wonder how those same students would vote if things got as bad as they are in some socialist countries where you don’t get to decide where you live.  Instead, it is decided by the state.

I digress.  Smear campaigns are a sign that the candidate doing the smearing is worried about losing… and for very good reasons.

Open During Construction

Open During Construction

I find it nice that Tops in Parrington is open during construction, but I also find it a little odd shopping there during the construction.  I found myself on an isle that had construction with no food.  That was strange.

While shopping there, I was trying to figure out where they are heading.  There is a huge wall the divides the store now.  My first thought is, “Are they going to make the store smaller?”

My next thought was, “What will be beyond this wall when it is complete?”

Strange indeed.  I found some of the sections appeared to be smaller, as well as in different locations.  The meat and milk sections seemed smaller.  That struck me as strange too.  Perhaps it is just temporary until the construction is complete.

With a big wedding coming up on Saturday, I’m starting to feel the pre-wedding anxiety.  I can’t believe I’m the only photographer who feels these.  Sometimes, it is enough for me to ask, “Why do I do this?”  Actually, I love photographing weddings.  But, like performing on stage, you get the pre-show jitters only to find that euphoric high once you start working.

 

Organic Demo

Organic Demo

At our networking meeting today, the Morse Family CSA put on a little demonstration.  Jolene brought in some organic spinach from Wegman’s along with some spinach they grew.  She passed around the store-purchased spinach and let us sample it, and then she passed around theirs.

I was amazed.  The store stuff was tasteless.  The spinach from the CSA was crisper, more succulent and had flavor.

I’m not a big fan of eating organic, and I’m less of a fan of vegan diets, but this demonstration appealed to the taste buds.    I think the next time I make a dish with spinach in it I’ll get it from the CSA.

After that, it was time to do grocery shopping.  Walking through the produce section was a bit of a let down.  I started noticing things I wouldn’t have noticed before this morning’s demonstration.  You also start asking questions like, “How long ago was this picked?”  “Was it picked green and allowed to ripen in a truck?”   It really gets you thinking.

To me, nothing beats produce grown in your own yard.  Everything from my garden always taste better than what you can buy in a store.  If I had my druthers, my entire yard would be plants and trees that produce food.  (I guess sugar maples produce food if you tap them… providing they are old enough to tap.)

There is also a level of satisfaction in saying, “This came from our garden.”  We have lots of pickles, relish, jams and jellies, canned greens and green beans that all came from our garden.  Give me some homemade crabapple jelly over store bought jelly any day.