Another Day Shot

Another Day Shot

Another day shot.  I did not expect to spend the day chasing tenant problems.  They took longer than I expected.

Most of the problems were electrical.  I replaced a small fluorescent light strip, a thermostat and a dual gang light switch.  The thermostat gave me the most problems.  The 22 ga. wires just didn’t want to stay under the screws.  I hate dealing with hardware.

At Home

At home Elizabethe informs me I can take Friday and do whatever I want.  But, guess what… Friday we’re driving to Pennsylvania to visit our daughter’s family.  Hey, but that’s a fun thing to do.

We decided to do our date night tonight because of our weekend plans.  Nothing like a cheap date to Taco Bell.

It’s funny how many people dislike Taco Bell out here.  To me, Taco Bell is the go-to food of my pre-teenage years.  I guess had I been raised on perogies they would be my go-to food.  (Elizabethe is the same way.  If we’re looking for something fast and tasty, I can sell her on Taco Bell easily.)

Road Trip Tomorrow

Road trip tomorrow to Pennsylvania.  It’s a long drive, but we break it in half with a stop at Cuba Cheese in Cuba, New York.  It makes it a bit more tolerable to drive for 4 hours.  Of course, the real treat is seeing our family when we get there.

 

Six Hour Car Wash

Six Hour Car Wash

It really wasn’t a six hour war wash, but two 3 hour car detailings.  We took both cars for detailing.  Each took about 3 hours.  So, in  a sense it was a six hour car wash.

While waiting for my car, we hit several stores in Henrietta.  We ate lunch at Taco Bell (Elizabethe’s choice), and returned to the car wash just as my car was being completed.

We then had another 3 hours to kill.  As a result, it ran in to dinner time and we ate at DiBella’s (my choice).

Whole Day Affair

It was a whole day affair.  I can’t think of any other way to do it.  It seems silly to drive 40 minutes back home and then have to turn around in an hour to go back.  If we had them start on both cars at the same time we would be restricted to where we can walk.

The wait was worth it.  Both cars look nice inside and out.  Every inch is clean.  They even cleaned inside the wheel wells.

Swiss Gear Bag

I bought a Swiss Gear bag for my big laptop.  It says it holds 17″ laptops (which mine is).

Upon getting home, I immediately tried it out.  The stupid bag will barely fit a 15″ laptop.  Oh, I’m angry at Swiss Gear.  As a result I am returning the bag.  (I measured the inside… 10×15.25 inches.  My laptop’s outer dimensions are 17×11 inches.)

I went on to Amazon and found a bag that had positive reviews and comments about holding 17″ laptops.  I order it.  It was about $50 MORE than the Swiss Gear Bag.  I’m hoping it does the trick.

BDM Hike

BDM Hike

I got up early to meet one of the California-based CSM Photographers at Black Diamond Mines for a BDM Hike.  We got there as soon as the gates opened and began our hike.

He lives in Pleasant Hill and hadn’t been to Black Diamond Mines much.  I pointed to a hill and told him we used to live just over that hill.  This is my old stomping grounds.

I took him on the Cororan Trail.  The trails have not been maintained much in the last eight years.  It’s kind of sad.  Most of the markers are vandalized.  One thing lead to another and while I knew where we were, I didn’t know the best way back because one of the trails is closed.

copyright 2017 db walton
One of the Rugged Trails

After a few bad turns, we took the closed trail and begged for forgiveness.

Warren’s Dog

Warren brought his dog.  She’s a well-behaved German Shepherd who loves to play with the Frisbee.  The construction worker looked at us and told us the fastest way out was back up the hill.  He then saw the dog and said, “You’re dog’s probably thirsty and stressed, so here, I’ll let you out this way.”

The dog saved our lives.  Okay, that’s a bit of exaggeration, but if it weren’t for the dog we’d be hiking back up the hill.  Because he brought his dog, this guy took pity… not on us, but on the dog.

copyright 2017 db walton
Sugar and Warren – Black Diamond Mines

Post Hike Trauma

On the drive back to the ranch I stopped.  When I got out of the car, my knee was very sore.  I was a little angry with myself because I thought I shouldn’t have settled with the insurance company until AFTER I had attempted a hike like this.

I felt around my knee and my leg was tender where I broke it.   As a result, I came back to the ranch, laid down, elevated my knee and kept it immobilized for several hours.  It helped.

After a late lunch at Taco Bell, I went back and rested my leg more.  I then visited with Brad and had a late dinner at another taco place – Rubio’s.

Tested My 55-200mm

Tested My 55-200mm

I tested my 55-200mm this morning by taking it with me as I walked through the Sacred Grove at Sunrise.  This also allowed me to test my new lightweight tripod.

The tripod was a little stressed with a big lens on my X-E1, but it held up to the weight.  It just sags a tad once you let go.  So, you have to over-compensate by aiming high.  It would work a lot better with a smaller/lighter lens.

copyright 2016 db walton - Testing my 55-200mm
Fujifilm X-E1 on Sirui Tripod

In all, it’s a great combination. I kind of like the bright red anodized tripod.  You can’t miss it.

copyright 2016 db walton - testing my 55-200mm
Sacred Grove Just After Sunrise

Elizabethe and I went for the morning showing of the Mutant Teenage Ninja Turtles movie.  It was better than I expected.

After the movie we stopped at Taco Bell and that’s when I learned they have discontinued their verde sauce!  That’s right, their delicious verde sauce is no more.  I hope that comes back to haunt them until they bring it back.  How could they do such a thing?   That’s almost as bad as people voting for Hillary?

Testing my tripod was the highlight of the day, however.  I really like this new tripod and can’t wait to take it to Watkins Glen.

Sprained Thumb

Sprained Thumb

It turns out Elizabethe has a sprained thumb.  I took her to the orthopedic office.  They x-rayed her hand and determined nothing is broken.  She now has a brace she has to wear for the next several weeks.  It completely immobilizes her sprained thumb.

Since we were out that way, and since there is a Taco Bell close by, we stopped at it for lunch.  There’s nothing like getting your Taco Bell fix.

The young lady who took our order was very much on the ball.  She was working like crazy while a few others just seemed to be in their own little world.  She asked if we’d go on-line and take the survey.  Given how hard she worked for it, we’ll do it.

This was good to see because some of the other Taco Bells in the area seem to have a complete don’t care attitude — especially the ones that have a K.F.C. joined to them.  I’m not sure if it is the franchise owner or the corporation, but they really need to get their act together.  At least this young lady today had the right attitude, and if every employee at every Taco Bell were that attentive to the customers they’d see their bottom line increase.


The temple tonight was pretty busy.  I met a fellow photographer’s son there.  We had a nice chat.  He was on his way to BYU and traveling with a mission friend from Sweden.

Eye Shots

Eye Shots

Eye shots just sound creepy to me.  I don’t know how my wife does it.  Every six weeks she goes for a shot in her eye to slow the progress of macular degeneration.  Getting shots in the eye is something I hope I never have to do, but my wife is a real trooper putting up with those eye shots.

This morning was her day to get her eye shots.  I brought my camera and just stood outside the building taking pictures in the cold.

copyright 2016 db walton
Mailbox in the Cold

I could only stand a little bit of it before I went in to wait in the waiting room.  While I was in there I decided to download the McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell phone apps.  (They are supposed to give you coupons.)

Testing the App

After Elizabethe got her eye shots, we went to Burger King and I went to test the app.  It took a while for the coupon to come up, but when I pressed the button it sent a message back saying the coupon had already been used.

Well, thanks go some good customer service, the young man behind the counter looked up an equivalent coupon code and entered on his cash register and all was good.

On Line Meeting

In our on-line missionary meeting they decided to display a photo and allow us to use the software’s pen feature to mark where our eye goes in the photo.  In no time at all the screen looked like this…

copyright 2016 db walton
Markers in Meeting

You would have thought we were in a Nursery Meeting.

When we finally got serious, it was a good exercise.  It was fun to see what people saw off in an image.

Temple

Our temple service seemed to go quickly tonight.  I’ll admit.  I was a bit distracted as I was trying to resolve an issue with Lightroom before going.  But, it did me good to go.

 

Palmyra Needs

Palmyra Needs

What Palmyra needs is a couple of fast food franchises.  Oh, before you start groaning about how fast food isn’t good for you, thank about what it does for the economy.  Fast food provides jobs, convenience for shoppers and low price meals for people in a hurry.

Have you ever noticed you find fast food places clustered around major shopping areas?

One doesn’t need a PhD in economics to realize that when people go shopping, they get hungry and they want to eat and move on to the next store.  As business owners in Palmyra, we should be happy to welcome a Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, or some other fast food joint that is open all year.

Wendy’s for Lunch

Speaking of fast food, we had to run to the bank to make a deposit.  It was close to lunch time and Elizabethe suggested we try Wendy’s because I had commented that their new Gouda Bacon Cheese Burger sounded good.  We went all the way to Perinton Plaza just to try it out.  (Hint:  Palmyra is missing out on the tax revenues by not having fast food joins.)  The Gouda Bacon Cheese Burger is fantastic!

Nita’s for Dinner

A friend in the ward invited us to have dinner and watch a movie.  Both were great.  We watched the 100-foot Walk.  Excellent movie with a message of forgiveness.

Fuddy-Duddy

Call me a fuddy-duddy, but I have no desire to stay up past midnight.  2015 will pass; 2016 will be here in the morning.

——

New Camera Class

I’ve scheduled a spring-time New Camera Class.  You can sign up for it by clicking here.

 

Taco Bell

Taco Bell

Back in 1974 a good friend and I were working in the restaurant industry.  Taco Bell was a huge success in California, and I thought it would be great if we could bring Taco Bell to eastern United States.  I mentioned this to my friend who was from Wilkes Barre, PA, and he said, “They wouldn’t even know how to eat a taco.”  (Implying it was a bad idea.)

The closest Taco Bell to our house was about 10 miles away near the intersection of Auburn and Madison in North Sacramento.  My dad who had come to California before we moved there from Idaho, raved about this place where you could get anything on the menu for 19 cents and drinks for 25 cents.  The menu was simple:

  • Taco
  • Burrito (with hot (red) or mild (green) sauce)
  • Tostada
  • Frejolies
  • Bell Burger (a bun with taco meat on it)

That was it.  $1 would get you change and 3 tacos and a drink.  You could feed a family of four for under $5.  That was 1968.

So, by the time 1974 rolled around, this 18 year old was thinking about what to do with his future and I thought it would be great to save up some money with my buddy and buy a franchise or two in Pennsylvania, New York or somewhere in the northeastern USA.  But, my friend didn’t think it would take off.

Now I live in that area and Taco Bells are few and far apart.  The nearest ones to us are 12 miles away.  There are probably 6 McDonald’s for every Taco Bell in the area.  While I’ve been to a packed McDonald’s, there is seldom a line at Taco Bell.

This afternoon Elizabethe had an appointment down in Canandaigua and I went with her.  After her appointment, since we were close to a Taco Bell, we stopped there for dinner.

There were as many employees as there were people eating there.  I ordered a crunchy taco and some nachos.  The crunchy tacos haven’t changed much since the time when they cost 19 cents.  Now they are a $1 more.  The menu has expanded greatly.  You can get a crunchy taco, a crunchy taco supreme, a crunchy taco with steak or chicken, a soft taco, and so on.  It is ADHD overload just looking at the menu.

I’m not sure how well Taco Bell franchises are doing in this area, but I will say the food at Taco Bell is better than most so-called Mexican Restaurants I’ve tried here.  (There is a good one up in Sodus that serves authentic Mexican food, but many of the others… not so good.)

I’m actually glad I didn’t go in to the restaurant business, but it is fun to reminisce about the days when I wanted to bring Taco Bell to the Northeastern United States.

Big America

In the meantime, I’m lobbying

to bring the Big America Burger to USA McDonalds.  200 grams of ground top sirloin on a sesame seed bun.  It’s a two-fisted burger that makes the Burger King Whopper look small.  Yeah… so it cost $13-17 (US) for a Big America, fries and a drink.  It beats any fast-food burger we serve here.

copyright 2015 db walton
Eating a Big America Burger at McD’s in Tiberias, Israel

 

Year’s End

It’s hard to believe tomorrow is the year’s end. 2016 will be interesting given the political climate in this country.  I’m ready to close the door on 2015.  Life goes on.

Twice Now

Twice Now

Twice now I have visited the KFC/Taco Bell in Geneva, New York, to find a sign in the window at lunch time saying they were closed because their computer is down.  Keep in mind this is the same Taco Bell that took 30 minutes to serve me a crunchy taco last summer.

I really like Taco Bell and KFC food, but lately I’ve been quite disappointed in service at either place.  You would think a place like Taco Bell could operate without their computer.  And, this industry wants $15/hour for their employees?  I think not.

We must have made stops at every store between here and Geneva in preparation for the winter.  Elizabethe had a list of food items we need in the pantry.  The list had stuff like 8 cans of refried beans.  Those must be to go with all of that hot sauce we canned last summer.

I happened to have two $25 gift cards in my wallet.  One went towards Elizabethe’s Christmas present, and the other went towards re-stocking the pantry.

Okay, this is funny…

One of the most vital sauces in Chinese cooking is oyster sauce.  I’m standing in the Asian section of Top’s and I see at least 3 different brands of General Tzo’s Sauce.  (And this is funny too…. you won’t find that sauce at an Asian grocery store… at least not the ones we shop at.)  So, they have 3 brands of General Tzo’s, but NO OYSTER SAUCE.  NONE!  ZIP!

At least it is better stocked than their Mexican food section.

Moe’s

Moe’s

I just realized.  Yesterday I stopped at Taco Bell for a taco, today I stopped at Moe’s.  I must have tacos on the brain.

Moe’s is one of the very few fast-food places in New York where you can get a decent burrito.  By decent I mean pinto beans, not black beans, I mean slow cooked, pulled pork, not ground mystery meat, and salsa that tastes right.  (Who puts vinegar in salsa?  Not Mexicans, that’s for sure.)

I had a Chamber of Commerce meeting, followed by a networking meeting, followed by taking Elizabethe to the airport today.  What a busy day.  I was worn out by the time I got home.

I managed to paint another door on the door wall.  This one is the yellow door.

copyright 2015 db walton
The Yellow Door is Now Painted

This is one of my photography backdrops.  I have to paint the door on the left (which will be a light green), and add one on the right (which will be cerulean blue).  How cool is that?