Monthly Archives: August 2015

Easy over

easy over

… that applies to the eggs I had for dinner tonight and also to the flight of this Great Blue Heron as he overflew a mallard down at the ponds. One more day and I can fly too … please drive very carefully Heath … precious cargo and the cure to two months ground sickness. The wings and tail feathers await the fuselage :+)

My workstation is still not finished as the CPU cooler was not a good fit even though it was advertised as being compatible with the 2011 v3 socket. I’m going to pick one up at Fry’s when I’m down in Phoenix this afternoon and with any kind of luck I’ll have it working by Friday. I already know what my next upgrades are going to be and that will occur next year. Intel has rolled out SSD drives that fit in the PCI e x16 slots of the MB and boast speeds of four or more times the fastest speeds of current SSD’s that connect through SATA 3.0 connections. Also the core i7 5930K CPU has 40 channels compared to the 28 on the core i7 5820k that I have – it allows 2 PCI e x16 slots on the MB whereas I can only have one with the 5820k. Also the price on the new SSD’s will likely come down quite a bit next year.

In 1978 Cork and I bought a 10MB external HD for the Law Office … it cost $5,000 then and was $500 per MB. I have 256GB of memory storage in this laptop which at that price would be $128,000,000 today; instead we pay about 50 cents for a GB. Tech has come so far and is still on a major growth rate. Gotta love it! There are few things I find more fun than working with this stuff … flying … photography and the list goes on, but puters are special and a fantastic work tool. Sorry for all the tech stuff, but I have a blast with it and so do quite a few on this list.

A long day coming up so will put a wrap on Sunday. Pretty exciting stuff with another week coming up and maybe we’ll get it right this week for the first time or maybe for the umpteenth time. Smile and share your joy.


And in this journey over a thousand hills and valleys called life, he is wisest who

is patient where the way is hard, has faith when he does not understand, and carries

into the dark places the light of a cheerful heart.

Max Ehrmann


The hunt

Got it

… each and every day it is the responsibility of each creature in nature to provide its own source of food and shelter … they do it themselves … each and every day … no safety net, life real time and consequences that have meaning. This is one of my favorite eagle shots as he was searching for prey, locked on and went for it with everything focused on the target and survival.

It was a very good day today with a lot of tasks completed, the new laptop is almost done being setup and final orders for the new computer parts ordered for my workstation placed. I ran out of time to make dinner before the ISO 100 group convened and we had a great session with absolutely amazing photographs by nine pro photographers showing their best work. Thankfully Jordan brought some salami, pepperoni and cheeses which made a good dinner; perhaps dubious nutritional value, but very tasty and finished with excellent desserts others brought. Back to normal, whatever that is, tomorrow … or not.

Into the weekend … Mariah returns Tuesday morning and the test flight will occur at that time for final sign offs on the work; always a good thing when they fly like they are supposed to. Two months on the ground is all I can take so next week is going to be wonderful. Have a great weekend … enjoy the moment and share your joy



I ask no odds of any man, I am not one that follies sway.

I am the source of my rewards, I do my work each day.


Max Ehrmann

Shopping for food


It certainly looks like this Coopers Hawk is surveying the fresh meat market that nature serves up daily … like if I kill it, what do I do with that much meat? Can I get it home? He spent a few minutes sizing up the situation and I think he was about to strike (after this shot) when some golfers came rolling up to the then 2nd Tee box, now 11th tee box. I waved and tried to get them to hold up for a few minutes, but they would have none of it … by then the Gopher Snake was totally in the grass and the Coop flew off without making a strike. He might not have made a strike, but he was still pondering the possibility and it would have been fun to watch and record the event. Check those talons out.

All in all a very good day and I’m back deleting photos from the portfolio. This time it will be a little more deliberate and slower as mostly I have “keeper” quality images in the portfolio now. My deletion rate is about 20% this time through which is way lower than the first time through, but it will go up depending on the subject. The aerial shots are where I am thinking I can delete many more, but we shall see.

Dinner at the Hilton with friends tonight and Anthony was playing. Good food, good company and good music. A good finish to the day. Hoping to be in the air on Friday, but that is not firmed up yet.

Have a beautiful day and share a smile or three with those you meet today …



Hold high your head and be an honest man.

May kindness guide your daily steps

And in each deed and thought let Christ’s sweet soul always reflect itself,

And love your fellow men as I love you.

May words unkind and false ne’er pass your lips,

Nor harsh and low ambitions drive you on.

Max Ehrmann

from Breaking Home Ties

Tail dragger


… this Ringneck duck is coming in for a perfect landing with his tail dragging through the water providing a braking action and his “main gear” deployed and extended waiting for the flying speed to drain off and make contact with the water throwing up a spray worthy of a water skier doing slalom. I love shooting wildlife and this is a shot I took a couple of years ago … it is a keeper.

Kind of an eclectic day with some law, some tutorials, the all-inclusive flu shot, visiting with friends and after a dinner of dubious origins One and I spent the evening with the lights off, front door open as well as numerous windows enjoying a fabulous series of thunderstorms and a lightning show such as you seldom see. When we were building our home during the summer of 1992, Cork and I lived at 135 Moons View at the end of our circle; Joleen was visiting us and there was a somewhat more intense storm that night and as we enjoyed cappuccinos on the deck the light show from the lightning kept the red rocks pretty well illuminated … a lot of lightning tonight too.

So even though it is raining I shall not reform myself tonight … perhaps another night or perhaps not at all … that seems like the best choice as I perceive no shortcomings in life.

Have a beautiful evening and day and if in this area sit back and enjoy the show.



I’ll not bother to reform myself today.

Perhaps tomorrow — if it is raining,

and I must stay indoors, and meditate

on the shortcomings of life.


Max Ehrmann

Rummaging through …


… the folders with some of my favorite photos this afternoon … deleting images and reworking the ones I am keeping. At the time I took many of these photos ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) was primitive by today’s standards and much of the work that I did in Photoshop can now be done in ACR … this is also the same engine that powers Adobe Lightroom but with a much more elegant user interface in Lightroom plus the more efficient database method of storing and cataloging your photos. Unlikely that I will ever switch over to Lightroom because to be honest I like the way I do things … and I am used to it and comfortable with it and that counts for a lot.

Elegance is defined by this Great Blue Heron coming in for a landing in a tree top. I took the shot four years ago and used a Canon 7D with the EF70-200 f2.8 IS II USM lens and the series III 2.0 extender. Never has anyone had a love/hate relationship with a camera body like I have had with the 7D (and the 7D MK II) I think I have owned six of them and captured thousands of great images with them … oh well, maybe when they do the 7D MK III I’ll try it again because you can get great images with it … and it is good for the economy :+)

I bought new computer parts to upgrade my workstation today as it has been more or less stable for something over a year. So, a new 6 core Intel core i7 5820K processor is on the way along with a new motherboard that supports the 2011-3 socket, DDR4 ram and of course the new ram kit. I did show some restraint in that I only bought a 64GB ram kit and the MB will hold 128GB.

A friend described my logic for all this to a person who uses an AK 47 to kill mosquitos … If that is true I have now graduated to a 50 caliber machine gun. The good news is that if anyone would like to buy the innards of a fabulous system I am selling my existing MB, CPU and Ram at a bargain price … you can either replace these parts in your system or buy a few more parts and have a very powerful new system. Intel core i7 4771k processor running at 3.5 GHz, EVGA Z87 FTW MB and a Corsair 32 GB ram kit – going for a fraction of new cost a year ago. If you have an interest let me know … or I could just build it out.

Mariah is likely back the end of the week and I can get the cure for about eight weeks of ground sickness … and more aerial shots as I replace older shots with new ones at 50mp each. One of my favorite digital cameras was the Olympus E-1 and later the E-3. The E-1 was a 5mp camera. Amazing the changes we are seeing.

So this was kinda the flavor of my day … the search for beauty and perfection continues and the meaning of life is revealed moment by moment. There is no big secret about life to be found … you simply have it while you have it and make those choices that make it good for you and those around you. Smile, share your joy and enjoy life as it continues to unfold before your eyes. We are blessed.



I go out into the night and stretch forth my arms, as

if to embrace one I love

…the solace of the stars is sweet, and the stillness has a voice I understand

Max Ehrmann

Empty handed


… technically it should be empty talons as this Osprey rises from the water having missed the fish he dived in to get. I have some shots with him below the water except for the wing tips still above water but they are not as crisp as I would like and for that matter neither is this one. I used the 1D-X with the new 100/400 to get the shot. The Osprey was more than a hundred yards from me so actually I am pleased to get anything that is kinda good … and the lighting was flat … and I had a terrific time.

Spent most of the weekend in the house taking courses in Adobe Camera Raw and about 3PM decided to bolt and get out. I had no idea where I was going, but took two cameras with me and first to the gas station then down SR 179 towards I-17 … still no clue where I was headed. As I approached I-17 the Verde Valley looked like it was getting pounded by a storm so I decided to head north and eventually ended up at Ashurst Lake where I took this series of shots. It was beautiful up there … first time on the ground there and thoroughly enjoyed it. My shin splints are doing a lot better too so it was nice to be able to do some hiking up there. I have a tendency to push hard and in June began bumping speeds and inclines much more than I should have on the treadmill … choices and consequences … so I have backed way off, cut down times and walking and they are coming back quite well … of course they did that last week too and I pushed hard again … big mistake :+)

Monday and the new week are underway … have a terrific day and start it with a smile … easy for me as when I determine I am still here, first thought is of a triple espresso :+)

Enjoy the day … it is your life we are talking about so do what is necessary to enjoy it.



Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Max Ehrmann

Looking for warp speed


… when Ted & Sus were taking me back to the airport on Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago Rte 92 out of HMB was stop and stop at Hwy 1 so it seemed like a good decision to head north on coast Hwy 1 and avoid the congestion; we got a late start had the anticipated slow and go going through La Granada and instead of the normally open and fast moving traffic we found stop and once in a while go … it was not looking good for making the flight. Just before we got to Devils Tunnels (officially Tom Lantos Tunnels) the traffic began to open up a bit and Ted began shifting the car into warp speed mode … we got to the terminal 30 minutes before the departure time, a late check of my bag, an extraordinarily helpful crew on security and I made it to the gate just before they began to board the flight and I got my A30 boarding position.

The Bay area being home to Star Trek Command I am always looking for shots and usually find them … this is about where Ted was able to begin to do his magic with the wheel and put it into warp speed, the lights were actually linear acceleration devices and we definitely had the green lights … so this one is for you Ted … great job of driving too. The two tunnels which bypass the area of Hwy 1 known as Devils Slide are the 2nd and 3rd longest road tunnels in California with lengths of over 4,000’ each.

Finished the Win 10 courses today and back to refresher courses on Photoshop … always more to learn and was finally able to get my contacts in Outlook saved as a .cvs file which can be read by my email servers on Network Solutions who host my websites and email servers. Within a month or so I will be able to totally discontinue the use of the local Pop3 accounts and have everything webmail … and that means that regardless of the device I am using, everything will be the same from each device … a deletion from one device will be recognized by all (currently 5 devices). Also Win 10 has a Mail app which will collect all my email accounts including my gmail and yahoo accounts into one app. Love this stuff!!!

We’re into the weekend again … wow!

Have a beautiful few days and may you find that which you seek and may you seek to bring beauty and love to those whom you meet and greet. Life is such an incredible gift, share it while you can.

Cheers … back Monday morning.


At nightfall…though I know I shall sometime no more

Open my eyes to the light or day, I am one who looks at stars when

Unchained from the work-bench at Nightfall.

They are a sign that I am not ephemeral,

Not you, nor you, whoever you are.

The dawn comes and the dark and the sign sparkling in the brooding night,

Forever and forever.

Max Ehrmann

the music

Kitaro The Molly Stone

… frequently my choice of images and writing is influenced by the music I am listening to. Tonight I was kicking back going through the shots from Filoli Gardens of a couple of weeks ago and listening to music composed and performed by Kitaro and I saw this photo of a water lily that was in one of the reflection pools at Filoli. So, I put my feet up on the desk, leaned back and dozed off gazing at this image and swept through nice places by enchanting music.

More time with tutorials today and getting a pretty good grasp of Win 10 … also sold a laptop and bought another … it has been over a year since I have had a new computer and I have had the itch for a long time. I wanted a good laptop that is light and can handle Photoshop without hiccups and ended up with a Lenovo Yoga 3 14, 5th gen Core i7, 8GB of ram, 256GB SSD, 3.7lbs and .7 inch thick. I wanted the Yoga 3 Pro but the reviews spoke of the promise of the Core M processor and lamented how it didn’t come up to expectations in this device and that is a shame as it is only .5 inch thick and weighs a full pound less. This will be a good travel ‘puter for me and has the power I need to work on images whilst on the road and there is much more of that ahead. For those unaware of my penchant for technology, I have owned more than a hundred computers, have made dozens of them and am one of those who contribute to getting bugs out of systems and software by always being one of the first to upgrade :+)

I thought I had sent out a photo of The Molly Stone (large opal I cut), but have many requests for it so guess I didn’t. Here is a photo of the large gemstone (1040 carats) taken by Robert Weldon who is with the Gemological Institute of America and located at the Carlsbad Campus of the GIA. Not sure if Terri has put it on display yet, but I am sure it will be soon. The colors change depending on the lighting and the angle of viewing … it has 90% plus coverage of intense and electric color in any orientation and one of the most beautiful large museum quality gem opals in the world … it was fun to cut and finally unleash the true beauty that was in the rough gem material … 70 years out of the ground (Olympic Field, Coober Pedy, South Australia) and languishing in collections was long enough … very large smiles!!! Nice work on the photos Robert!

A pleasant visit with Jennifer at Sedona Dental Arts and my teeth are ready to go another three months … dinner at the Hilton and listening to the music of Anthony Mazzella … home, relax and here we are. A very good day! A friend stopping in for coffee in the morning (soon) so time to wrap the day. Face the day with a smile and gentle expectations … life is such a treat!

Share your joy … be responsible for a smile on someone’s face today.


I ask no odds of any man, I am not one that follies sway.

I am the source of my rewards, I do my work each day.

Max Ehrmann



Heading for shore

Shore bound

… I got this shot of a Great Blue Heron heading across the pond towards a new fishing position on the edge of the rushes on the shore ahead of him … there he will stand quietly waiting for fish to swim by him at which time he uses his head like an arrow and spears them or grabs them with his beak if they are small enough. I took the shot at Bubbling ponds and the day was more than warm …
The days I spend hours taking tutorials seem to go fast and leave me with a feeling that I have not done much … there are stones I want to cut, photographs to take and books and articles to write, but I need to learn new skills and hone the old and there is no other way to accomplish the learning other than by doing it. It is a good feeling when you near the end though, and you have acquired the knowledge you sought … learning never ends nor should it.
My friend Doug has a new book he is publishing and you can get a preview here: and his other books are also available there. Doug is a great photographer and a Professor Emeritus in earth sciences.
An excellent article containing testimony before Congress: “A Factual Look at the Relationship Between Climate and Weather; Subcommittee on Environment Committee on Science, Space and Technology, 11 December 2013, Testimony of John R.  Christy, University of Alabama in Huntsville”. 

Time for a wrap of the day … hope you enjoy the day and those with whom you interact today … and always smile.
If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember.
You are braver than you believe,
Stronger than you seem, and
Smarter than you think.
But the important thing is, even if we’re apart … I’ll always be with you.

Last flight

Last flight

It is not uncommon to see feathers on the ground, perhaps the host is okay, perhaps the host is sustaining other life, but in any case the feather has seen its last flight … you have to wonder at how it helped the bird fly and the places it has gone before it settled on the water in one of the ponds at Bubbling Springs Fish Hatchery. I like the look of the water too as it does not have a very watery look to it.

A day of study … mostly course work on the new Windows 10 … love it and fun to continue to learn new things. More of the same tomorrow, but with some writing thrown into the mix too.

Have a terrific day


I’ll not bother to reform myself today.

Perhaps tomorrow — if it is raining,

and I must stay indoors, and meditate

on the shortcomings of life.

Max Ehrmann