The 2017 Eclipse was like the other partial eclipses I’ve seen. This time, I used my pinhole lens to take a picture…
After spending time looking at the eclipse through my special sunglasses (made especially for viewing eclipses), I made a decision. The next time, I don’t bother unless it is totality.
The next full eclipse is in 2024. Totality will pass over Palmyra, New York.
Rooms at the Beckwith Mansion the night before and after are $50,000 each. (Okay… they probably won’t be that much, but there is this thing called supply and demand.)
I picked a good peck of tomatoes today. The last 2 days many ripened. Elizabethe is turning them in to tomato sauce with herbs for pizza and stuff like that. (She cooks it down so it is nice and thick.)
Our home teacher (John Harmer) told us about cucumber spiced apple slices. Elizabeth researched and found a recipe and is making a batch. She’s doing this to the huge cucumbers that went hidden until they got too big for much of anything else.
Elizabethe and I attended Michael Mowbray’s evening presentation. It was more about marketing than lighting, but all the same, he does a good job presenting.
They held it at Sharkey’s in Liverpool, New York. With a full room of close to 50 people they only assigned ONE waitress. The poor lady was over worked. As a result, things got missed. I wouldn’t go there by choice.
I’m glad Elizabethe came along for the drive. I have to make the drive tomorrow and Saturday too, however, by myself.
Elizabethe is getting her garden going. She’s saying she wants to write a book about tire gardening. I think that’s a great idea, because she has really made those tires work. They are cheaper than building grow boxes and they don’t rot.
That reminds me, I need to mow the lawn, except I won’t have time until Monday. I hope it doesn’t rain on Monday. Tuesday is cutting it short (no pun intended), and Wednesday… that would be tough.
The biggest thing I hate about gardening are pests. Insects, rodents, deer, birds, blight, and anything else that keeps the crop from developing fruit. I look forward to the day when plants produce fruit spontaneously.
I photographed the rehearsal for the Face to Face with President Eyring and Elder Holland today. Tomorrow Palmyra becomes the backdrop for the Face to Face broadcast. Today I learn how this all works.
They asked me to photograph behind-the-scene pictures. One such interview was with Emily Sine. Emily lives in a neighboring stake. She shared her testimony in the interview. For the first time in my life, the Holy Ghost bore his witness BEFORE someone began their testimony. As a result, I lowered my camera and listened intently.
You can hear portions of Emily’s comments here:
Other youth were filmed too. I felt so blessed to have the opportunity to photograph this event. Most of all, the Spirit was present during each interview, especially when they shared their testimonies.
A childhood friend, Buddy Blankenfeld, was there too. Buddy’s brother Ken was a good friend in Junior and Senior High School. I recall many a recess hanging out with Ken at Andrew Carnegie Intermediate School, in Orangevale, California. Ken had a way of making me laugh. While Buddy is closer to Mark’s age, I knew the family well.
I didn’t see much of Buddy today, but it’s always nice to see old friends — even if it is only for a moment.
Here are some other pictures from the day…
The evening consisted of a Fireside with President Eyring and Elder Holland. What an amazing experience.
Elder Holland basically set the tone for President Eyring’s remarks. President Eyring testified of our Heavenly Father’s love for us and how he knows us. He shared a little about his Patriarchal Blessing.
It was then I realized, photographing this event is a fulfillment of my own Patriarchal Blessing. How blessed I am to have this opportunity.
I drove to Binghamton, New York, this morning for a PPSNYS Meeting. The 2.5 hour drive is kind of boring. It is thruway the first 45 minutes, and then freeway the rest of the way. My timing for the drive is impeccable. I arrived about 5 minutes early — enough time to use the bathroom and find my seat.
The meeting went well. I’m excited to see Monroe Payne will be our next president. Monroe will be good for the organization.
The drive home is equally boring. What kept me alert was watching for state troopers patrolling Interstate 81. They seem to like to hide on the downhill stretches. On the way to Binghamton I think I only saw two NY State Troopers. On the way home, I saw 10-12 at least. In one short stretch of road I saw FOUR! In fact, I could see 3 of them at once, and the fourth wasn’t far away.
Must be close to report time.
The rest of my evening was looking for tools for art reference. Sometimes it is too difficult to find people to model. Time, wardrobe, makeup, hair styling are all constraints that are difficult to pull together. So, I’m researching alternative means tonight.
It’s very wet. We’re not getting snow, but we’re getting rain! Lots of it too.
I heard a meteorologist on the radio say this is the wettest January ever. Well, two years ago we had the coldest, last year the warmest, and this year the wettest. We’re all about setting records.
The puddle on the back walkway is about 2″ deep. The bricks keep settling, and that creates a deeper puddle. The only way to fix it is to dig it up, add more gravel and sand under it, and put the bricks back in. That’s TOO much right now.
Getting Ready for Tomorrow
I’m getting ready for tomorrow. What’s tomorrow? My first day as Finger Lakes Professional Photographers of New York president. I get sworn in as president of my trade guild.
I went looking for my Craftsman Degree ribbon and couldn’t find it. It is frustrating. I specifically remember when I had it last. That’s what makes it frustrating.
One of these days it will show up. When it does, I will be very surprised.
I need a box for all the stuff I have to bring to the FLPP meetings. I’m sure we have something around the house. Some things I only take to FLPP meetings, while other things I use all the time. It’s the stuff I always take that should go in that box.
We have temple tonight. With the warmer temperatures I expect a few more attendees.
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.
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 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.
Apples here in Western New York are usually darn good. I bought some yesterday that were terribly mush and disappointing. Mush apples are not that appealing.
We usually find Honey Crisps the size of cantaloupes. This year, they are about the size of small apricots. The drought really took its toll on the apples.
It snowed a little as we left Pennsylvania to return home. The wet snow hardly impacted the drive home.
Cuba, New York, has become our favorite stop. We stopped at Cuba Cheese and bought cheese, crackers and summer sausage for lunch. I tried a few new varieties, sweet cheddar being one of them.
I know Wegman’s has a robust cheese department, but there is something about this little cheese boutique. Part of its charm is that it is all about cheese. Yes, they sell crackers and summer sausage, but those are things that go with cheese.
Home, Sweet Home
We arrived home safe and sound. I received a couple of packages so I was off opening them, and Elizabethe and Marilyn were off relaxing. Elizabethe’s mom goes home tomorrow so the two of them talked the rest of the evening.
One of the packages I received was a stylus for my new tablet. I had to test it out. Yesterday I started a portrait of Texas, so I used the stylus to do more work on it. The good news is the stylus works well. It was the most expensive of all the ones I ordered, but it was the highest rated. The others I ordered were cheap Chinese styli. We’ll see how well they hold up when they arrive. I think I’ll review them on my photography page.
Because Marilyn goes home tomorrow Elizabethe wanted me to take her portrait. I gladly did so. We had a fun time in the studio.
Immediately I went to work retouching my favorite, and here is the result (done in the Film Noir style with a bit of a Monte Zucker style soft-focus.)
Natalie arrives today. Originally she was to fly in to Rochester around 11:30am, but plans changed and she flew in to Buffalo around 9am. We are driving to Buffalo to pick her and the boys up.
Things barely fit in the car. I never packed a trunk this tightly. We got home and started to unpack when Natalie discovers she doesn’t have her backpack.
She called the airport and sure enough, she left it on the curb. Our friend near Buffalo is picking it up for her.
Natalie and the boys were beat so they took a nap. Elizabethe are off to the temple.
Our temple shift went well. I went on the first session. Elizabethe is excited because that’s another one of my male ancestors done.
A former missionary couple is spending the night. We didn’t talk to them much because it is late. They plan on leaving early in the morning. We got to see them at least.
I will take Tom Chapman to lunch tomorrow along with Natalie and the boys. But first I have an eye doctor appointment. I just hope they don’t dilate my eyes. It gives me a headache. The plan is to keep my current frames.
When the kid at the shoe store doesn’t know what a shoehorn is, you’re old. But, when the shoe store doesn’t carry shoehorns, something’s wrong.
That’s how it was today. I have a hard time finding decent shoes. My feet are sensitive and I would rather spend a lot of money on a shoe that feels good on my feet than I would any other article of clothing.
I found a nice pair of Perry Ellis shoes. They are kind of like a desert boot, but with a smooth finish and a narrower toe. In fact, these could be worn with a suit.
Because of the height around the ankle, it is difficult to get past the heal. So, I went up to the clerk and asked, “Where can I find shoehorns?”
He looked at me as if to ask, “Why would you want a shoehorn? What is a shoehorn anyway?”
“We don’t sell shoehorns,” was his response.
In my brain I was silently playing smartalec as I wanted to respond with, “Wait… didn’t the sign outside say shoe store?”
Those words didn’t leave my mount as I realized this kid is in the generation that walks around with the heal of their shoe smashed down as if the shoes were meant to be worn like flip-flops. He’s probably never worn a Florsheim wingtip in his life, and has never had to deal with a very stiff leather shoe that requires that tool known as a shoehorn to preserve the integrity of the shoe.
It’s time to go on Amazon and see if I can find shoehorns. In the meantime, I’ve got to nearly unlace these things to put them on.
We found a place that serves authentic Mexican food! It’s in Waterloo near the corner of the 5&20 and Route 96. We’ll be back.
I took my canal ride down to where they are building the bridge on Canandaigua Road and back. It was the perfect day for it. Along the bike trail it was quiet and peaceful and very bucolic.
I stopped to capture a picture, and came straight home and painted it. I must admit, this is the first time I’ve painted while dripping in sweat wearing cycling clothes. I’m not 100% pleased with it and might work on it some more, but for 3 hours of work… you can at least tell what it is.
I got a call late this afternoon from my son-in-law asking if they could come spend the night, take us to dinner, and then to see the movie Zootopia. We arranged to meet up at the restaurant when I was done with my last appointment for the day.
Gary Morse was here with his pickup truck and offered to take me to Lowe’s to purchase the backings for the bookshelves. We got enough to complete 4 shelves. Elizabethe is excited.
We meet Jennifer and Spencer and children at the restaurant. It was a place called Cheap Charlie’s in Bloomfield, New York. They had great service, but I wasn’t impressed with the atmosphere or food.
I might as well give it my review…
When we entered, there was a very strong smell of cigarettes. (Later, we discovered that the mudroom was a “smoking area”. I wish restaurants would consider how much smoking is a deterrent to non-smoking clientele.)
Once you are inside, you are in the bar with a play room adjacent to you. As I looked around, there was a guy waving me to come towards him. I didn’t know if he worked there or another customer. I eventually figured out he must be waving for us to come to him.
He did work there and when we saw our daughter’s family, we let him know we were with them. They had been there for a little while and had already had some appetizers.
We ordered our meals, and the service was great. I have nothing but good to say about the service. Atmosphere, I’d give them a 2 out of 5 — especially the entrance and entering through the bar. If I had young children, I wouldn’t go anywhere where they have to walk through a bar. Cleanliness earns a 3/5.
Finally, food gets a 3/5. Elizabethe’s dish would have earned a 5/5, and the fish and chips looked pretty good too, but Jennifer’s, Spencer’s and my meals left something to be desired. I had the prime rib. It was overcooked and thus a bit on the tough side. It struck me after it arrived, they never asked how I wanted it cooked. That said, it was well-done, and for a rare meat guy, that was heartbreaking. Had it not been for Elizabethe’s dish, they would have got a 1/5 for the food.
The movie was cute. It’s a take-the-kids type of movie. While there are some cartoons that I’ve enjoyed as an adult, this was more of a kids’ movie.