March is Here

March is Here

March is here and it’s a nice day outside.  The weather reports warn tomorrow won’t be so nice, so I’m enjoying it today.

We went to a late lunch/early dinner with our friends Ron and Mary Harris.  Elizabethe had a coupon for a free meal, so that governed our choice.  It wasn’t bad.  They had prime rib!

We stopped at the Indian store after dinner.  Elizabethe noticed she didn’t have her purse (credit cards, phone, ID, etc.)  Back we went.  Thanks to the alert people at Golden Corral, the purse was recovered with everything in tact.

Good and the Bad

That’s the good.  The bad is I noticed a charge on my business credit card for about $200.  So, I had to cancel my card.  It’s ironic.  The charge occurred immediately after I purchased an update to my WinZip software.

More Good

I wanted to stop at Best Buy on our way home.  I saw a very nice hp 32q monitor.  It was on sale.  Elizabethe came in the store to use the bathroom, and when she saw me looking at it, she said, “THAT’S WHAT YOU CAN GET ME FOR MY BIRTHDAY.”

I’m jealous.  It’s a very nice, better than 4K, monitor.  Easy on the eyes and BIG.

I took her old monitor, a 27″ 720p, and put it on my office computer.  It looks like crap next to my LaCie monitor. (But, then, most monitors do.)  I’m getting a new monitor.  That’s all there is to it.


I then got looking at PCs.  Hmmm… 6 cores, 16 threads, 16GB, … well, if it had 32GB, I probably would have bought it.

Hill Cumorah Pageant 2018

Can you believe it will be Hill Cumorah Pageant time soon.  We already have people inquiring, however, with fewer rooms to rent, we’re limited to small groups (couples and individuals mostly.)


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.


RIT Bookstore

RIT Bookstore

I was in the neighborhood and  visited the RIT Bookstore (aka Barnes & Noble at R.I.T.).  Their art department is nice.  The book selection is no different than other Barnes & Noble.

Why is it most of the creative software magazines are from the U.K?

Aside from NAPP’s magazine you don’t find any U.S. published Photoshop, Painter or artistic software magazines.  Yet, they have more publications on how to draw Manga art than any other.  Is it really that popular?

Golden Corral

I will never go to Golden Corral on a Friday night again.  It is noisy, crowded and weird.

You’ve seen those pictures of “The People of Walmart”?

They should do one on the People of Golden Corral.  The evil side of me wanted to go up to a lady and say, “Ma’am, if you can see your cellulite, then your pants are too tight.”

I had the impression I was the only person in the place who had shaved today.  I was probably the only person who had shaved all week.  All the men looked pretty scruffy, as did lots of the women.

On the drive home I said to my wife, “As I looked around at Golden Corral I had a terrible thought.  I thought, ‘Do we fit in with this crowd?’  Heaven forbid.”

I did a quick inventory…

  • Am I wearing a t-shirt 2 sizes too small?  Nope.  I’m wearing a button down collared shirt.
  • Are my pants down around my butt?  Nope.
  • Does my shirt say NASCAR, Insane Clown Posse (whatever that is), or I’m With Stupid?  Nope.
  • Did I shaved in the last couple of weeks?  Yup.
  • Am I wearing a baseball cap with some sports related logo?  Nope.

Okay, I’m a misfit at Golden Corral.  They are looking at me and asking, “Whose that clean-cut guy with a collared shirt?”

Studio Door

The studio door is installed.  It looks very nice.  When it warms up outside I will paint it green to match the studio’s trim.


Happy 8th Bri

Happy 8th Bri

Happy 8th Bri!  Today my granddaughter turns 8, and 8 is a big deal.  In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 8 is the age one can be baptized.

We had a long talk on the phone where she told me all about the surprise her parents had for her this morning.  Then, she played me a piece on the piano.  (Yeah, Grandpa can’t wait until we can work out a duet on the piano.  I was thinking something like 25 or 6 to 4.)

I’ve been trying not to think about my broken tractor.  I’m trying to decide whether to trade it in, or keep doing minor repairs to get my through this season.  It really stinks that I thought by spending a LOT of money on a tractor I would end up with one that would last and instead, getting a real LEMON.

After getting some yard work done, Elizabethe and I headed down to Henrietta where we planned to get dinner.  When we got close, Elizabethe suggested we eat at Golden Corral. (groan)

We did.  This is only my second time there, and I’m thinking it will be my last.  I’m just not that impressed.

They had “steak”.  The guy cooking it asked, “What temperature?”

I said, “Medium rare”.

What I got was beyond well done.  So I went back and requested, “The rarest one you’ve got.”

This time I got one that was well done with a corner of it that was medium well.

Of course, there are so FEW people who understand what rare, medium and well even mean.  Obviously, the guy cooking the meat was one of them.

From there it was over to Harbor Freight Tools where I picked up a $21 impact wrench so I can replace my own blades on my lemon-of-a-tractor.  It will pay for itself in one blade change.

As we were heading home, my daughter sends me a picture of Bri…

copyright 2015 db walton
Birthday Girl at Golden Corral

It turns out the birthday-girl wanted to go to Golden Corral too.

I guess there was a reason for us choosing to eat there too.

2013 Hill Cumorah Pageant Starts Tonight

The 2013 Hill Cumorah Pageant Starts tonight. This morning I could hear the horse drawn cart going down Hanson Street. They bring it out every year during pageant and Canaltown Days. (I really think a bicycle rickshaw business would rake it in during pageant.)

Did you know they are already looking for people to volunteer for 2014 Pageant? In the Hill Cumorah Visitor’s center they had this display:

Volunteer for Pageant 2014
Volunteer for Pageant 2014


It is really a great opportunity for people who can’t serve a 6 to 24 month mission.  You’re basically here for two weeks helping with the crowds who come to Palmyra during pageant.  Many of these 2-week missionaries have stayed with us at the Beckwith Mansion.


I managed to get the lawn cut this morning.  A good five hours because it was damp and I was using the grass catcher.  What a job.

After a shower and a fresh change of clothes, Elizabethe and I decided to check out Golden Corral Restaurant.  This is a strange place; they have a strange business model for a restaurant.  As you enter, they have the drink machines, and you select your cup and fill your soft drink.  They all have free refills, but if you choose a larger container, you’ll pay more – go figure.

Next, you pay at the cash register.  Lunch was $8.99 + $1.99 for the beverage.  (Dinner is $11.99.)  So, figure the mid-twenties for lunch for two adults.

Once inside, the buffet has an awkward layout, and the tables position more like a large school cafeteria.  The layout and arrangement creates a very noisy environment, and it was difficult to walk around carrying your plate.  Several times I saw people drop food and plates, including the restaurant staff.  (At one point, the busgirl turned quickly and a big slice of onion went sailing across the room like small Frisbee.)

The food selection was quite varied, and the dessert bar had lots of options.  I decided to fix a taco.  The shell and meat were in one place, but I had to go searching to find salsa, cheese and tomatoes.  I can see the logic in keeping hot and cold foods separate, but they should be close enough to make it obvious (or have a sign directing you to the other fixings.)

Here’s my summary:

Service – 3 (It’s a buffet, what more can I say.)
Atmosphere – 1 (very noisy – worse than a Chucky Cheese)
Cleanliness – 5 (for a buffet, it was pretty clean – but then, they only just opened)
Menu Choices – 5
Food taste – 4 (everything I tried had good flavor, but some meat items were a little over-cooked.)

I can’t say I’ll be back there any time soon.  It was just way too noisy and for the atmosphere, I think it is over-priced.  I can spend a little less and eat at a quiet Asian buffet down the road.  I’d describe Golden Corral like this:  If you want a place where little kids can yell and scream and nobody gives a hoot, then take them to Golden Corral.  However, if you want a quite lunch or dinner, then you don’t want to go to Golden Corral.


We had some friends of my cousin come by the house to see us.  They were from St. George, Utah, and driving across the U.S.A.  It turns out he’s a photographer too so we spent time talking about photography related stuff and looking at his photographs.

Two Strikes and…

I often use my blog to vent…. and to point out stupid acts, especially when it comes to business practices.  (That’s part of what is driving my to write the book 25 Things Business Owners Do to Undermine Their Business – and How to Correct and Avoid Them.)

Today Elizabethe and I decided to go to lunch at Outback Steakhouse.  I just had this hankering for a Bloomin’ Onion.  We left the house at 11:15 heading to Henrietta.  As we rounded the corner, I could see an empty parking lot in front of Outback.  We pull in, and the place is empty.  We then saw the front door:

FRIDAY    4:00-11:00

What in the world?

What type of place isn’t open for lunch on a Friday?

As we drove down the road heading to another restaurant, we noticed Olive Garden – packed, Red Lobster – packed, Joe’s Crab Shack – packed.  So, you have to ask why the local Outback Steakhouse is not open during a prime time.  (Perhaps all of their restaurants are only open for dinner?)   If the answer is, they can’t justify it financially, then they are doing something wrong based on the crowds at their competitors.  Needless to say, we wasted a trip, and I was ticked off.

Elizabethe then suggested we just go to Golden Corral.  She put it in her GPS, and we drove around the block twice looking for it.  There was NO Golden Corral.  I then noticed a building under construction.  I drove over towards the fence and sure enough, there was a small sign, “Golden Corral – Coming Soon”.


I drove across the street and there’s a Sushi and Hibachi restaurant.  I thought that sounds good.

The décor was pretty different, and kind of elegant in a gaudy way.  (Gold foil wallpaper, brightly lit panels, etc.  It reminded me of a casino.)

The buffet itself was quite well stocked with such a large variety of dishes there was no way you can sample everything.  I got my plate full and sat down.

The first bite was of some walnut shrimp.  It was room temperature.  I shoved it aside.

My next bite was of a shrimp noodle disk.  It was tepid.  I shoved it aside.

My next bite was of some meatloaf.  It too was tepid.  I shoved it aside too.

I called the waitress over and commented that their food isn’t being kept hot enough.  I suggested they check to see if the steam table had been turned off, or ran out of water.  She took me seriously and took my plate and ran back to report the problem.  I got up a few minutes later to go back, and this time, noticed steam actually coming out from around the pans.  (I believe the State of NY requires cooked food to be kept at 140F before being served.  The three dishes I had problems with were somewhere between 65 and 75F.  It kind of reminded me of the scripture where Christ says he’d rather we be hot or cold because if we’re lukewarm he will spew us out of his mouth.  2000 years ago they understood that lukewarm food isn’t safe to eat.)

Lesson learned:  When at a self-service buffet, look for steam coming from the sides of the steam table pans before dishing your food.


Wow, speaking of stupidity (actually, ignorance)…

I read where someone wrote, trying to justify gay marriage, that Adam and Eve had only 3 children, all sons, and some how we all descended from Adam and Eve.  I don’t know if this even deserves comment; to comment might fall in to the category of wrestling with a pig.  (For those who don’t know the saying, it goes like this:  Never wrestle with a pig.  The pig loves it and you only get dirty.)

It is very unfortunate that so many people do not believe because they have been taught false traditions and erroneous information.  God’s plan involving faith is a curious thing.  Belief gives way to faith; faith gives way to knowledge, but only when one lives God’s commandments.  In other words, you cannot fully understand the benefits of living any of God’s laws until you live it.  Thus, someone who is not living the law of chastity cannot understand fully why God has given that law until the start living it.  The same is true with tithing, honesty, keeping the Sabbath day holy, etc.

The argument that all things religious are subjective is a bogus argument.  Those who use the argument don’t know because they are not in a position to know.  If they did know, they would be damned and a loving Heavenly Father would not damn his children in ignorance.  The story of Paul of Tarsus is a great example of someone who goes from ignorance to pure knowledge.

On the other hand, those who know, can’t convince others of their knowledge because it is knowledge that only comes through doing and then is knowledge that comes from God.  For them, to turn away from that knowledge would make them Sons of Perdition.  The scriptures teach us that such is the worst of all the sins.