Nice Baptism

Nice Baptism

Elizabethe and I attended a nice baptism today.  A couple, Cliff and Alice Dodge, were baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Many people from our ward attended.

Lance Camp and I talked about our missionary days.  We both served in the Colorado Denver Mission.  I served several years before he did, however, he says there was still talk of a mission president who made his missionaries spit shine their shoes and starch their shirts.  That was President Lambourne (my mission president from the start of my mission until June, 1978.)

The only overlap was Arvada.  We both served in Arvada.

Alien Skin Bug

I discovered a bug in the Alien Skin Exposure 2 software.  If you have an “@” symbol anywhere in the file’s path it won’t recognize the image.  It knows a file is there, however, it won’t open it or render a thumb nail.

They acknowledged the bug and said it will be fixed in the current version.  Once they fix it, I’m going to ask for a free copy.  After all, I found the bug, and as a result, should not be forced to buy a new version.

I keep hearing horror stories about Adobe Creative Cloud problems.  I don’t understand.  Actually, I do understand.  The same things happened at AT&T.  A company gets so big they forget who their customers are and they live off their economy of scale.

 

SEO Working

SEO Working

The other day my sister-in-law, Becky, was telling me about their business’ website and how it wasn’t coming up on Google.  Understanding SEO I offered to show her a few things.  The changes we made have the SEO working today!  Her husband did a search and was excited to see their business showing up.

I know enough about SEO that I can do this…

Church Today

The Rush family, a family we knew in California, was at church today with their 6 children – 3 boys and 3 girls.  They came over for lunch after church and we had a wonderful time visiting.

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Discovering Faerie Houses

Elizabethe got the children working on looking for faerie houses.

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The Rush Family

I wanted to get a picture of their entire family.  Amy, the mom, grew up in Garden City, Kansas, which was my favorite area of my mission.  While Amy would have been just a baby back then, I don’t have any recollection of her parents.  Which is too bad.  It would be fun to say, “I knew here when she was a baby in arms.”

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Amy and Mike Rush, Me and Elizabethe

And, It was fun to get a picture with them.

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The Oldest Two Children Whom I Photographed When They Were Toddlers

Now, the oldest two children I photographed when they were toddlers.  Now, their son is getting ready to go on a mission.

It was absolutely fun seeing them again.

Deliveries

Deliveries

After my networking meeting this morning, I made deliveries.  One was to the mission office.  The funny thing is, President Evans called me just as I was getting out of my car.  However, he wasn’t there, so we had our conversation on the phone while I was standing just outside his office door.

I should have done my bank deposits AFTER stopping at the mission office.  As a result, I made two trips to the bank to do the deposits.  Oh, well.

Pencil Boxes

Do you remember pencil boxes?

I do, and today I went looking for one.  I could not find any.

They still sell pencils.  Why don’t they still sell pencil boxes?

In the end I bought a toothbrush keeper.  It’s a little long, but at least it will protect my styli in my backpack.

Lunch with a Friend

A photographer friend I haven’t seen in awhile picked me up and we went to lunch.  He brought his new 5D Mk IV along.  It’s an impressive camera.

So, I came home and did some comparisons.  I’m trying to fight the G.A.S.  (Gear Acquisition Syndrome – the urge to get the latest and greatest.)  Here is what I learned…

My X-T1 which I’ve had for a couple of years now, holds its own against some of the new cameras.

from dpreview
X-T1 Report card

Now, one might think an 84% would be a “B”, but the highest rated camera, the Nikon D500, is only 91%.  I’ll write more in my photography blog.

I’ll be holding off on making a new purchase for a while.  Again, read my blog to find out why.

2016 Missionary Party

2016 Missionary Party

There are about 60,000 missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving throughout the world.  These young men and women leave their homes for 18 or 24 months.  They serve at their own expense, and volunteer their time and talents.  At the 2016 Missionary Party today I had the privilege of photographing the group serving in the New York Rochester Mission.

Being away from home for Christmas, many for their first time, is a hard thing.  This little Christmas Party eases the pain of being away from friends and family.  I’m glad they do this each year, and I’m happy they ask me to come photograph them.

 

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Christmas Party Mission Picture

Elizabethe and I stuck around so I could grab a few candid photos.  Their gift exchange is always funny.  My favorite was a Barry Manilow album.   (It’s funny to me because I think he’s a cheesy performer.  I used to joke I suffer from Manilowphobia.)

Getting Ready

Getting ready for Christmas morning was the next task on the list.  One of our roomers wanted to fix Christmas Eve dinner, and asked if I’d make a dessert.  I made a chocolate mousse.

After dinner the topic of Israel came up, so they asked if I’d show them a slide show.  We spent the next 90 minutes looking at photos of Israel.

 

Good Comments

Good Comments

I received a lot of good comments about my presentation last night.  Several people came up to me at the temple tonight and mentioned how they appreciated my presentation and they learned a lot about Israel.

Oh, how I long to go back to Israel.  It’s a wonderful place to visit and learn.

I’ve also received some good comments on the re-work of the Chamber of Commerce website.  You can also visit our listing there (click here).


Earlier in the day I had my mission meeting.  The church is coming out with new guidelines for photos and they were presented.  It represents a raising of the bar, and a philosophical change to the types of photos we have been asked to submit in the past.  It also means it will be more difficult to find people to photograph and a bigger technical challenge.


Tomorrow’s a busy day with FLPP (Finger Lakes Professional Photographers) meeting.  I’m hosting the meeting here because I’m going to teach them about our website and give them some WordPress instruction.  This means I have to clean the tavern room as it is in disarray right now.  (Translation:  It’s a mess.)

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…

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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.

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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.

New Mission Rules

New Mission Rules

When it comes to dinner appointments there are new mission rules.  We used to be able to invite any of the missionaries serving in our ward.  Now they can only go to dinner in their assigned area.

I’ve been told by the missionaries dinner appointments at the Waltons are coveted.  Well, I guess only one lucky companionship gets to enjoy my cooking from here on.

After church I was exhausted and so I took a very long nap.  For dinner, I made chicken with a Dijon cream sauce with mushrooms, new potatoes and leftover vegetables from the BBQ the other night.  Dessert consisted of s’mores made in the oven.

A few people came and asked me at church if I was surprised.  Very much so.  This was the most pleasant surprise I think I have ever received.  I walked out after church and took another look.  It looks so cool.

—–

Things are cooling down here.  It’s nice that we don’t have to run the air conditioner.  Fall feels like it is coming early this year.  So, watch for the snow updates on my season watch page.

 

 

Spending Christmas Eve with Missionaries

In December of 1976 and again in 1977, the saints of the Littleton, Colorado, Stake put on a Christmas celebration for the full-time missionaries serving in the Denver area.  I will be forever grateful to those saints who feed, entertained and kept us from getting homesick during those Christmas seasons.

Today, Elizabethe and I loaded the car and headed to Pittsford where we spent a good portion of the day with the full-time missionaries.  We started with a large group photo.  It took me about 2 hours to get the lights setup.  On of the senior elders assisted me with arranging the chairs and moving the ladder.  It was going to be a learning experience, but such is life.

After a delay due to weather affecting the arrival of some of the missionaries, we began the daunting task of arranging them for the photo shoot.

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The Plan
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The Chairs and Stage
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Looking Towards the Camera
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The Final Shot

The missionaries had a white-elephant gift exchange.  I was pretty amazed at some of the silly gifts.

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Elder Earns His Halo

Yup, even halos for elders.

They had a nice lunch and then the missionaries had games and a movie.  Elizabethe and I decided to head home and enjoy a quiet evening.

The night was spectacular. There was a fresh inch of snow on the ground, the air was crisp and clear, and you could see all the stars in the sky.  It was a storybook Christmas eve.

Grand Central Studio

Scheduling appointments every 30 minutes can create a very busy day.  I know people forget, and run late, and I take that all in to account.  I figure, the people who forget will create holes for spill-over from those who run late.  And, it all works out in the end.

Working on a mission assignment, I did a lot of expression shots today.  Here’s some of my favorite expressions.

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I’m sorry
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I’m disappointed
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I’m not believing you
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I’m guilty

If you think you can say a lot with your expression, let me know.  I’m still going to be gathering expression shots.  I’d also like to get some involving a work place.  (i.e. like someone sitting at their desk making different expressions.)

Mark’s is Open

Mark’s Pizzeria is open and I was excited to see 3 of my prints hanging in the dining room.

I went by after my missionary meeting and bought a slice of meat-lovers pizza.  It was delicious.

While I was there I saw several other Palmyra folks enjoying lunch on this opening day.

The dining room looks like it will seat about 80 people, or so.  Outside, there’s a little patio to the west that looks like it will seat about 30 people.

This is really going to be nice during Hill Cumorah Pageant!

I had a nice time at the temple tonight.  A young man whom I have been training officiated.  His parents were there and it was really nice to see how proud his parents were of him.  He leaves on his mission to Buenos Aires next week.