Adult Session

Adult Session

Tonight’s adult session of Stake Conference was very nice.  They started with a few speakers, and then called some people to come bare testimony.  One of them had that happen to her a year ago.  I especially enjoyed Sister Evan’s talk.

Winter Concentration

Winter is almost here, and it is time to figure out my winter concentration area.  I think I will concentrate on sketching and painting again.  Last year I had a goal which went by the wayside when the weather got warmer.  I’m okay with that.

Next year, I will break things in to winter/indoors and summer/outdoors.  My winger concentration will be stuff I can do sitting in my studio, while summer will involve getting out and walking around.

I have enough reference fodder to take me through the winter.  Plus, I have ideas to carry me through.  Themes for my winter creations will be fantasy, steampunk, and artistic portraits.

I’ve built quite an arsenal of paintbrushes for Corel Painter.  Half of them I’ve created, the other half I’ve purchased.  Between the two I hope to find my favorites and master using them.

copyright 2017 db walton
One of My 2017 Paintings

I need to work more on composing for excitement.  Take the above image.  She’s looking out the window in a seemingly empty castle.  It doesn’t tell much of a story, and isn’t very exciting.  In this case, I’m not sure what I could do.  Maybe paint an older lady (her mom), of to the right looking like she’s concerned about her daughter?  It needs something.

Ethnic Markets

Ethnic Markets

I love shopping at ethnic markets.  We visit them about once a quarter.  Chinese, Indian and Turkish are the three we visit the most.

Elizabethe and I went on our dinner date at Longhorn this afternoon.  We then went to our three favorite ethnic markets.  Doing this on a Friday night was a mistake.  While it is evidence their patrons work during the week, it is also a zoo at these stores.

I’ll go back to midweek daytime visits!

Chinese Sauces

I’ve got to create recipes for my favorite Chinese sauces.  Some are hard to find when you go back to restock.  While they are expensive, the ethnic stores are still cheaper than Wegman’s, Top’s and other American grocery stores.  Soy sauce is available in a hundred different brands and varieties, however, try finding the same Char Siu sauce as you did 6 months ago.

Most of the time these sauces draw from the same core ingredients:

  • soy sauce
  • bean paste
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • five spice
  • mirin
  • rice vinegar
  • fish sauce
  • sugar
  • red chilis

It’s like baking… it all depends on the proportions.  Anything else is supplemental.   Thus, if I can develop recipes I can make the sauce in a big batch and can it in small jars for future use.

I picked up sauces to restock the pantry, as well as dried mushrooms and pot stickers.  I’m ready for the winter.

 

 

Moderate

Moderate

I think moderate is going to be the word for our weather this year.  We had a moderate winter, and spring seems to be about the same, which makes me wonder if we will have a moderate summer too.

Today was one of those days you would have expected to reach the mid-70s.  Instead, it hovered around 68 most of the day.

copyright 2016 db walton - Moderate
Old Change Bridge Foundation in Macedon

I bought groceries for Elizabethe’s Mother’s Day dinner tomorrow.  I’ve decided to fix salmon over a bed of angel hair pasta with an alfredo sauce.  For the side dishes, a salad, asparagus, bread and carrots.

After I got all that done, and after a short nap, I headed down the Canal Trail to take a few pictures.  The weather was perfect for being outside.  It wasn’t too cool or too hot.

copyright 2016 db walton - Moderate
A Boat Leaving Lock 30

I keep waiting for the flowers on the trees to bloom.  The crabapples look like they are about to open, but they’ve looked like that for a week or more.  The same with the lilacs.  (In fact, this weekend is the lilac festival in Rochester.)  The tulips and daffodils are in bloom as well as dandelions.

Plug for Workshop

This is a plug for my 2016 workshop.  It’s September 13th-16th and you can read more and register here:

http://www.dbwalton.com/store/2016-workshop/

This workshop is for people who are serious about learning how to paint using their computer.  It’s not an automatic program that does the work for you, but a software package that allows you to PAINT with various mediums.  Here’s a sample of something I painted…

copyright 2016 db walton
A Still Life Painting

During the class we’ll learn how to paint various subjects.  It will be informative, fun and hands-on.

Nice Weather

Nice Weather

What nice weather we are having.  It is hard to believe we are getting this weather in February.  February is supposed to make you shiver.

My Tuesday meetings went well.  We received several photos and those gave me ideas for some things for me to photograph.  (I’ve been in a photographing idea slump lately.)

Our temple shift went well too.  Several of the missionaries commented about my photography.  I guess a lot of them didn’t know I do this full-time and have a studio.  As a result, a few of them asked if they can come see the studio.  (It is a good thing I cleaned it up last week!)

While on my break a few of us talked about Israel.  It was nice to hear another person say they felt safer in Israel than they do hear.  (For those who have not been to Israel, there is much hype by the U.S. media about terrorism there.  While there is terrorism there, we have more on U.S. soil in various forms.)

Get It Done on 31 ™

With this nice weather, it is time to start working on my book, Get It Done on 31 ™.  (Visit http://www.GetItDoneon31.biz )  I’ve decided tomorrow after the Chamber of Commerce board meeting I’m going to take a drive down NY SR 31 and Get It Done on 31 ™.

I’ve got to write up something about the Patty Shack.  It’s iconic and worth a write up.  So, tomorrow, that is what I’m doing for lunch.  Hold me to it.

Between here and the other end of Rochester I haven’t done much.  That is about where Paul and I stopped in 2013, and then we resumed the next day going east from Palmyra.  There are places like Mario’s and a few others I’d like to visit along NY SR 31 near Rochester.

 

Star Wars VII

Star Wars VII

Elizabethe and I finally saw Star Wars VII.  We went to the $5 10am showing in Pittsford.  As we pulled in to the parking lot, there were a LOT of cars by the cinema.  I thought, “Oh, crud.  Everyone’s going because it is a holiday.”

We get in to the theatre where Star Wars VII is showing and it is quite packed.  We picked two adjacent seats as far back as we could.  As I was about to sit down, the man I was about to sit next to looks up and it’s Elder Jensen — one of the temple missionaries.

I shake his hand and I’m about to sit and notice most of the people in that section are temple missionaries.  Surprise!  It was their p-day activity.

Well, I’m not going to talk a lot about the movie.  Harrison Ford offers some great expressions and on-liners that are typical of Harrison Ford and funny.


Snow

There was a blanket of snow on the driveway this morning.  It was not much snow.  It was only about 1″ maximum.  I guess winter is finally here.

Of course, last night on the news they were saying, “Wayne County expect 8 to 10 inches of lake effect snow.”

Wow, if I were that innacurate as a network engineer I wouldn’t have had a career as a network engineer.


Windows Tech Support

I got another one of those calls claiming to be from Windows Tech Support.  I thought I’d turn the tables and I asked him for his IP address.  He said it was 192.168.0.1.  I laughed and told him I know that’s a private IP address (one that cannot be routed through the Internet) and told him I needed his routable IP address.  He stuck to his story that 192.168.0.1 was his routable IP address.

He was pretty tenacious and insisted I work with him.  I just said, “Get yourself a good attorney”, and hung up on him.

If any of my readers get a call like that, don’t give them ANY information, and don’t do anything they ask you to do.

Autumn Cleaning

Autumn Cleaning

Autumn cleaning is like spring cleaning but a lot worse.  Things don’t seem to get as cluttered or dirty as they do in the summer.  It’s time to clean for the winter.

I tend to memorize where I put things.  Yes, there is method to this madness, and it’s called last-in-last-out (or LIFO as we called it in the IT world.)  So, as you’re sorting through old mail, the most recent is on top and the older stuff on the bottom.

It works for me.  It has for nearly 60 years.

It doesn’t, however work for my wife.  So, I gave her a day of my attention to get my stuff sorted and put away.  Oh, I many never be able to find anything again, but at least she likes how the bedroom looks now.

If I had a manufacturing plant that would build anything I want, I would be the most organized guy in the world.  Some people, like my wife, are really good at taking a cabinet and making it work to her advantage.  Me, on the other hand, will utilize something if it works for me.

Silverware drawers, for example, work for me.  I like those little trays that hold knives, forks and spoons.  But, if you give me a drawer and tell me to store my camera equipment in it… nope.  It doesn’t work for me.  (I’m still searching for the ideal solution for storing camera equipment.  There are many companies who cater to making camera bags, but NOBODY caters to making storage solutions for the studio.  Nobody.  None.  Zip.  I’ve got some great ideas, but I’m keeping them to myself until one of those manufactures are ready to hire me for my brains.)

That’s okay.  My photography office is due for cleaning too, but not today.  Elizabethe says I’m on my own.

 

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.

Springs Last Day 2015

copyright 2015 db walton
Palmyra Farm Land

Springs Last Day 2015

It is springs last day in 2015.  There was a while at the start of this year that many of us wondered if we would ever see spring again.  It was a cold harsh winter.

The day has been spent dealing another occipital headache.  While it isn’t as bad as they were a couple of weeks ago, it is still burdensome.

I drove out to Marion, New York, to pick up a framed print.  I managed to get a few pictures along the way.  Even then, I thought it would help relieve some of the headache… it didn’t.  So, I’m calling it quits for the day.

 

 

Ben Dover

Ben Dover

There’s an old joke about the doctor named Ben Dover.  Yeah… It’s time for than annual exam.

The bad news is I had to wait for 1 hour.  It sounded like there was some sort of urgent matter in another room.  The good news is PSA scores are very low and nothing has grown in size.

He did tell me to stop taking the herbal prostate supplements.  He said that European studies say they are no better than sugar pills.  He said to stop taking them, and only resume if things get worse after I stop.  Why waste money.

On the way home I stopped at Donut Delight in Rochester.  This old doughnuts shop, now owned by Salvatore’s Pizza, makes delicious doughnuts.  Since I’m only out this way about once a year, I figured I’d stop and pick up a dozen.

The snow is about 95% gone.  The rain today will probably finish it off.  This was a harsh winter as far as temperatures go.  Coldest in recorded history for this area.

In about 4 weeks it will probably be time to start up the lawn tractor and mow the lawn.  I’m thinking about getting an aerator for the tractor.  After that much snow the lawn is pretty matted.

Selecting Images

Selecting Images

Selecting Images for International Print Competition (IPC) is quite the chore.  Every year, PPA (Professional Photographers of America) hosts a huge print competition.

I anguish over the selection process.  And, for some crazy reason, time slips away from me and all of a sudden I only have a few weeks to come up with suitable images.

It would really be nice to have someone with a Master Artist eye could sit with me and say, “Yeah, that one… no, not that one… Okay, there’s a good one… oh, and that one there.”

Anyone qualified for the role?

A few years ago, I tried getting friends to help in the process.  (If you are one of them, please don’t take offense at what I’m about to say.)  The problem was they were all “yes-men”.  Everything was good.  Plus, one has to understand the process of Print Competition.

The ideal screener would understand the 12 elements of style and be able to say, “That needs this done and that done.”

Elizabethe suggested I not worry about print comp, but having a goal to shoot for gives me motivation.  Without that motivation I don’t get anything done.  I guess I’m just a goal-oriented type of person.

The weather is still cold.  I think this is the February Don McClean wrote about when he said, “February made me shiver.”

Yeah.  It’s cold.