My Death Has Been Greatly Exagerated!

That’s a quote from some famous person but it sort of applies to me lately. With projects, Christmas shopping, medical appointments and life in general keeping me running I haven’t posted much lately. That used to bug me a few years ago but now I just roll with the punches. I’m good, everything is fine and I’m happy. Not to worry! We’re getting into a more serious Winter mode the past two weeks with arctic cold hitting us now and our first 5″ of snow melting, or trying to melt, outside.

The annual Christmas party is a week from today at our Senior Center and Christmas Eve is just 10 days away. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”! I can hear that singing in the background along with hundreds of other carols. I don’t mind as Christmas only comes once a year. No bah humbug from this guy! Enjoy the holidays folks!


Thinking Of My Friend, Warren

Our first snowfall yesterday has me hibernating for the first time this Winter. After the sun comes up I’ll need to venture outside all bundled up and clear the car for use. I have doctor’s appointments both Monday and Tuesday. Church will probably be out of the question today do to the timing of this snowfall. It’s 30 degrees here in the middle of the night and the 4.5″ of snow on the ground isn’t going to melt anytime soon.

Back in Portland, OR my best friend, Warren, is just beginning his weekend break from 12 hour shifts at Intel Corp. He’ll be recuperating from 3-4 days of 12 hour shifts and in no shape this first day off to do much physical activity. Neither will Jack the cat!

I just finished watching this cute video on YouTube that reminded me of Warren and Jack when Jack was a kitten. Kittens are inherently fun but Jack was a trip. I used to babysit Jack when Warren was out of town so I can tell you what a special relationship they share. The video reminded me of how much I miss my friends in Oregon, especially during the holidays. So this hared video is for all you pet lovers that love to blow sloppy kisses into your kitten’s belly. ๐Ÿ™‚


Warren 1_Leica

Jack The Cat

Jack 06b

The Sweet Smell Of Success

“I love it when a plan comes together”! I seem to use that quote a lit lately because I’ve had to purchase a number of technical devices lately that needed to be setup and programmed to my liking. My Macbook Pro,and Amazon Fire 8 tablet come to mind ad being difficult, at first, to get working properly. One by one I’ve overcome the hurdles thanks to YouTube, Google & a few phone calls for technical support.

Today I overcame the annoying differences between Amazon’s feud with Google to download and install Chrome, Google & Youtube on my new Amazon Fire 8 tablet. I have all my bookmarked favorite websites on Chrome and was not about to start all over with Amazon’s Silk browser. Now that I have Google’s Play Store installed and working properly I continued downloading and installing my favorite Google apps. It was a lengthy process but once completed I’m happily browsing and googling along. ๐Ÿ™‚


Here Come Da Snow

The weather guys have seen this storm coming all week. It acrually started in Texas in the Gulf of Mexico. Places that haven’t seen a snowflake in a decade are getting snow. Ours will arrive tomorrow morning and snow all day, accumulating 3-6 inches before it moves out. This makes it the first measurable snow of this Winter. I’ll keep my camera at the ready!ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Share Your World โ€“ December 4, 2017

Share Your World – December 4, 2017

What household chore do you absolutely hate doing?

That’s easy – laundry! Keep in mind when I moved from Oregon to New England I downsized all my worldly possessions tremendously. I still have two full loads of clothes remaining and I just added two new pair of dress pants and three dress shirts. Still, I dread doing laundry! It’s nonsensical to be that way because we have a laundry room in the office building across the parking lot from my housing unit. It does get to be a challenge in foul weather to roll my laundry basket across the lot to get it started.

At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

Sorry, I haven’t felt passionate about anything in 20 years. I lead a mind numbing boring life that rarely leads to anything remotely passionate.

How many times have you moved in the last ten years?

First guess is about 6 times with the last two in just the past two years. I’ve had a rough time with rent increases and paranoid landlords. I’ve been evicted twice in recent years with one nut job landlord threatening to buy a gun and shoot me if I didn’t get out. He had serious mental issues so I moved as soon as I could. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ My last move was into my government housing unit about 18 months ago. It looks like I have an opportunity to be here a very long time. Only a lottery win might change my mind about that. ๐Ÿ™‚

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? ย Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Hey, that was Thanksgiving week so a lot of things inspired me during the past week. My church & my Senior Center made sure we had some place to go and a hot Thanksgiving dinner to enjoy. I even received a generous $20 gift card to our supermarket in town by my veterans representative. What’s not to like about this past week?

Orangutan Collage

To save a bunch of money on expensive metal prints one solution is to put together a nice collage of common animals and have one big print made. A 20″x20″ aluminum print would cost me $115 from I worked on the next print purchase tonight and came up with the collage below.

By the way I sent the Oregon Zoo all three pictures with permission to use them freely. They sent back a heartfelt thank you.

Orangutan Collage

Remembering Packy

Packy, the oldest Indian elephant at the Oregon Zoo, was a magnificent animal. He passed away in February of 2017 due to complications from tuberculosis. Packy was 54 when the zoo’s management made the humane decision to put Packy down.

I’ve been printing my favorite pictures taken at the Oregon Zoo one at a time. In some cases the photos I’ve chosen are of animal favorites that are no longer with us. Packy was one of my 5 favorite animals to photograph. We had a connection that caused him to always turn and walk straight toward me, posing as he did so. The photo below has won many prestigious awards including Photo of the year by online photographers. I’ve even received compliments from National Geographic photographers who live and work out of India where Packy originated. They claim my portrait of Packy is the best elephant portrait they’ve ever seen. Now that is humbling!

My next purchase of a print on aluminum will be of the picture seen below. I’ve had it processed on a gallery canvas print at 20″x30″ that hung on the entrance hallway of my last landlord in Portland, OR, Paul Kwitek. I gave him that gallery print to thank him for sharing his home with me for a year.

Packy 20x30.jpg

Warning: Magswitch & DeWalt 745 Don’t Mix

Boy am I disappointed! I bought 4 MagSwitches only to discover yesterday that they won’t work. It seems DeWalt built their table saw out of old beer cans instead of ferrous steel. I was using a 90 degree magnetic saw guide to cut down a 2″x4″ when I quickly notices the heavy magnet in it held the handsaw just fine but doesn’t stick to the table saw top. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Now I’m trying to figure out how to use the MagSwitch starter base without the magnets. I’ve got over $100 invested in an accessory that won’t work. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Turns out not is yet lost. The MagSwitch Starter set, which I also bought, comes with plastic slots along its sides to add extra accessories to the jig. This will allow me to add a wooden guide rail, 3/4″ wide, that will fit in my saw’s miter slot. I have plenty of “T” bolts and matching 1/4″ threaded knobs to adjust and hold the base with a featherboard attacked. The magnets won’t work in their designed fashion but that featherboard and attachment will. The day is saved, sort of.

MagSwitch Starter Kit

MagSwitch Starter Kit W:Featherboards

News, etc.

Just a ton of stuff going on right now. Holidays will do that to you. Got a meetup with a local photographer who says she’s been wanting to meet me and compare notes. That’s happening Saturday at breakfast. I spent about three hours this morning cutting the parts for my shelf project. Marlene needs a shelf made, a bay window shelf. That an engineering challenge do to the fact that there’s no wall to fasten it to. I’m creating a 2″x4″ frame, vertical style, to hold up the oddly shaped shelf. I’m using 1/2″ baltic birch plywood edge banded with real 1/4″ thick red oak. That will be glues to the bare plywood edging and then trimmed flush on my router table. It’s going to look beautiful.

I donated my Zawadi close-up portrait, 12″x18″ on aluminum to the Senior Center. I received a call from one of the people buying a raffle ticket asking if she could buy a lion print from me as a Christmas present to a relative. I hinted that the donated print cost me $60 just to print. That ended that conversation as she had no intention in paying that much for a picture. Ok, if I sold it as a professional it would cost her $250. I’m retired no so I don’t sell prints anymore. Most folks have never seen a print on metal so they have no idea of the cost or beauty. It looks alive, three dimensional.

My semi-annual physical is December 4th, Monday. It’s purely routine as I had labs drawn and peed for them this past Monday. I also had my feet molded for orthotics this week. I’ve never had orthotics so I look forward to picking them up on Dec 11.

I think you’ve gotten the idea that I lead a very busy life. Never a dull moment around here. I finished all my Christmas shopping last week. Between internet Black Friday & Cyber Monday most of my needs were met. I did shop locally at my Dollar Tree store for little things to fill up Christmas tins I found there also. These will be tiny gifts for my next door neighbors. I did something similar last year. The 3-4 recipients were shocked. They’re not used to getting surprise gifts. I spent less than $4 a person but managed to put a lot of smiles on faces.

One last thing, Uxbridge First Night Celebrationย parade down Main Street this saturday afternoon. The whole town normally shows up to enjoy the festivities. I’m being picked up by our Senior Center’s shuttle bus. It beats driving and finding parking.

Have a good night and a better tomorrow. I love the holidays! ๐Ÿ™‚

Fantasy Publishing

In retirement there are many subjects open to your imagination. I’ve never written or published writing or any kind. I really don’t feel the urge to do so. I am a creative mind though and love the process of graphic arts as they apply to projects such as a book cover. There have been followers of this blog that have asked for permission to use my images on their book publications so I have, technically, been published. Blow I share a fun experiment I complete on a book about my beloved Oregon Zoo. It’s just a fantasy cover shot created with Photoshop magic and one of my actual photos of one of the zoo’s tourist trains. I hope you enjoy it!

The Oregon Zoo Book