Since Ben got here on Thursday, we’ve been doing a lot of camera reviewing. We use the same cameras mostly … with a few exceptions. He has more of the upscale professional Olympus lenses, though we have the same cameras. He also has Pentax Q-7, which I gave him.

I swapped the Olympus PL-6 for an Olympus 14-45 mm telephoto. It needs an adapter for Micro 4/3. He bought my least-used (okay, never  used ) 06 longer telephoto lens for the Pentax Q system — and took the broken Panasonic FZ-200 which he hopes he can fix. I hope so too. That was a wonderful camera and although I’ve replaced it, I’ve never enjoyed a camera more.

I don’t merely use cameras. I love them. I love the way they feel. Holding it in my hands. I even enjoy adjusting settings. I know that’s twisted, but I cannot help myself. To hang out with another lover of cameras is the total talking of tech. I hardly ever get to do that anymore. I used to get that itch scratched at work where tech was the business, but Garry isn’t techie and isn’t interested in conversation beyond “Your pictures came out really well!”

So here’s to the makers of lenses and cameras and adapters. Who have taken us to new heights in graphic exploration. Who have made taking pictures free from sending out film to labs and eliminated all those toxic chemicals.

Here’s to digital software, electronic auto-focus cameras and everything that comes with them.

Cameras. They matter.


My Fellow Americans,

I stand before you today to announce my resignation, effective tomorrow at noon E.D.T.

To all of you who supported my campaign to drain the swamp in Washington, this decision will come as a huge disappointment, but it will not come as a surprise.

6a00e554dac08588330115702f407e970c-320wiAs a real estate developer I know that some swamps can’t be drained. As the Bible teaches, the wise man built his house upon the rock; the foolish man built his house upon the swamp. And the rains came down, and the rains came down, just like they’re coming down now in Texas, and the floods came up and washed the foolish man’s house away.

I’m no fool. I’m a developer. I know when to get in, and I know when to get out.

No matter how hard I’ve tried to lead you out of this swamp, the evil press continues to undermine my efforts — efforts greater than anyone in history before me and, I’m sad to say, greater than anyone who will ever come after me — to rid the country of the snakes, alligators, and crocodiles that are destroying our beloved country and undermining my promise to make America great again.

Donald Trump

America will never be great again. Our best days are behind us.

You elected me because you wanted a winner. I’m a winner! Hillary lost. She lost big! She’s a sore loser. Just the other day she whined about our debate. “Donald stalked me; he stalked me!” Wa-wa-wa! I won. She lost. But the America I ran to save can only be saved by you, the American people. It can only be saved when you rise up to empty the whole swamp of Washington.

Tomorrow I will turn over the swamp to Vice President Mike Pence. Mike is a man who knows the swamp as well as anyone. He came to his office from Congress and will fit right in.


Pincely Diamond Suite, Hotel Hermitage, Monte Carlo, Monaco

Melania, Barron, Ivanka, Jarod, and I will be moving to Monaco at the invitation of Prince Albert II. Monaco is a principality, but it’s already great! The Prince has invited the Trump family to live as his guests in the Princely Diamond Suite of the Hotel Hermitage in Monte Carlo where our beloved Grace Kelly found a home outside he country as Princess of Monaco, and has invited me to be the grand marshal of the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix, the world’s most famous grand prix.

I love you all. I love America. I wish you well. I’m not a loser. I’m a winner like Prince Albert II whom the press also tried to destroy with vicious allegations of sexual exploits and illegitimate children.

Finally, I say to the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and all the other fake news media, Mitch McConnell — what a loser! — to Hillary and Bill (whose campaigns, by the way, I generously supported over the years without a word of thanks), Mr. Comey, and Mr. Mueller, as President of the United States of America, I hereby absolve myself of all responsibility for the swamp by issuing a presidential pardon of Joe Arapio and of myself for all alleged offenses past, present future.


May God bless Joe, may God bless what could have been the United States of America, and may God bless the son of our beloved Grace Kelly.

Oh, my, it felt so good to write this!  — Ghost writer, Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, August 26, 2017.


Source: Alt-News: President resigns


Hunter Hayes, Rich Paschall, Sunday Night Blog

Crowded hallways are the loneliest places
For outcasts and rebels
Or anyone who just dares to be different

He admits it.  He is a geek.  Someone who is a bit different from the crowd.  He was picked on in school, not severely like some others, but a little anyway.  He was not one of the cool kids.  Perhaps you would consider him a bit of an outcast, not a rebel.

And you’ve been trying for so long
To find out where your place is
But in their narrow minds
There’s no room for anyone who dares to do something different

He also loves music.  He always loved music.  He loves to play it and to sing and even to write it.  Perhaps the others just did not know, but he was good, real good.  He mastered the instruments he played, lots of instruments.  He was different and he dreamed different.

Live at Sears Centre, Illinois

Oh, but listen for a minute

He received encouragement at home and from friends and could shake off those who would look down on him, even push him around.  He was encouraged to seek out his dream, and he did just that.  Now he has advice for those who feel different, outcast, or even Invisible.  They may hurt inside, but he wants them to know they will not always be “Invisible.”

Trust the one
Who’s been where you are wishing all it was
Was sticks and stones
Those words cut deep but they don’t mean you’re all alone
And you’re not invisible

So Hunter made music and pursued his dream and people took notice.  He didn’t look different to promoters and friends. He looked like the All American Boy who could sing and play.  He got jobs and gave performances and got a record deal.  He became a sensation to the You Tube generation and could fill theaters and concert halls.  Soon he had hits and had a story to tell.  In fact his second studio album is titled Storyline.  He’s one of the cool kids now.

Hear me out,
There’s so much more to life than what you’re feeling now
Someday you’ll look back on all these days
And all this pain is gonna be invisible
Oh, invisible

And his message comes from the heart:

So your confidence is quiet
To them quiet looks like weakness
But you don’t have to fight it
‘Cause you’re strong enough to win without a war

Hunter was confident in his ability to play and write music.  He won his war.  He became what others in the high school hallway would not have expected.  He became a star.  He also got a Grammy nomination for Best Country Solo Performance of his song, “Invisible.”  In addition to writing the song, the studio album also credits him for “Lead vocals, Piano, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion.”

Every heart has a rhythm
Let yours beat out so loudly
That everyone can hear it

Everyone can hear Hunter now.  He’s hit the big time. He did not do it for the bling.  He does not have a crew of hangers-on.  He meets fans, signs autographs and gives thanks for what he has.  Now the cool kids and the geeks are fans of Hunter.  At age 25 Hunter Hayes has garnered a long list of award nominations since picking up Country Music Association Award for New Artist of the Year (2012) . It does not get cooler than that.  To his fans, Hunter wrote in the Storyline notes, “Thank you for not only giving the music its meaning, but also for giving me a place where I feel I belong.”

And someday you’ll look back on all these days
And all this pain is gonna be invisible
It’ll be invisible

“It sucked at the time…” I guess its okay now.

Note:  On August 26, 2017 Hunter Hayes was the opening act for Zac Brown Band at Wrigley Field, Chicago.

Invisible, Hunter Hayes, Bonnie Baker, Katrina Elam, 2014, Songs of Universal Inc.


Blackstone Gorge – Photo: Garry Armstrong

Friends for a long time. Probably even better friends now than we were when we were younger. Maybe we have more in common now than we did in the past.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Time? Too brief. Always not enough time. But maybe we’ll do it again … who knows?

Photo: Garry Armstrong



Blackstone Gorge – Sunday, August 26, 2017