Monday, December 28, 2009

Where did Christmas Go

As I sit here, pondering the past few weeks or months, trying to come up with a respectable post I realized that the Christmas season was over. To me the Christmas season runs from Thanksgiving to New Years Eve. The reason it starts with Thanksgiving is that is when the pre-Christmas sales begin and the reason it ends with New Years Eve as that is when people turn their Christmas lights off. Why don’t I call it “The Holiday season”? I don’t because I am a Christian and the “Christmas season” is about celebrating the birth of Christ. There are others that celebrate their religion during this same period and they call their celebrations something other than Christmas, such as Kwanza or Hanukah and are all celebrating something other than the birth of Christ so I don’t blame them for wanting to call the time by a different name. That is their right. Don’t ever minimize or make a mockery of that last sentence because a lot of us had it in our heads that one of things we were doing over in Vietnam and the North Atlantic, back in the 60’s and 70’s, was protecting that right called the “Freedom of Religion”. At least that is what we told ourselves as we buried our friends and comrades back then and even more so today.

Back in the day [whatever that means] Christ was definitely in our Christmas celebrations. Christmas was in the school play; it was still in the Church in the sermons, the church play; it was in the shopping, the wrapping paper, and the music as we shopped; it was everywhere. Christmas was for kids and celebrating Christ.

It slowly started getting different as each year passed. Christmas became about presents, not just for kids but for everyone. Now the internet has rolled in and it is about something else. There are very few web sites, that we use to purchase our presents, that wish us a Merry Christmas but rather send us a Happy Holidays greeting while silent praying that they haven’t just offended some person or a group. As we shop those web sites, we don’t find much in the way of Christmas music which keeps us in the “Spirit” of the true meaning of Christmas. Yard decorations became about outdoing your neighbor, or the whole town, and nothing about the birth of the Christ child. There are less manger scenes displayed and fewer stars and wise men are depicted. It is all about lights as LED lights make their debut along with super obnoxious florescent colored light strings. What happened to the Christmas TV specials? All are now probably relegated to PBS to save. No Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Barbara Mandrel, or Dean Martin.

I just read an editorial in our local paper [yup we still have one] complaining about the same thing as I have and she said in summation that it has stopped becoming “Christmas” and is now “Santa Day”.

Merry Christmas to all

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Here I am just getting back into blogging and a major malfunction occurs. I have had my desktop with my computer guy to clean things up and he did a good job. I just brought it back and set it up, plugged in my new Tera drive, then I put in a SD chip to download photos and BOOM. A bright yellow screen appeared with bright blue letters. What the.........? You must shutdown your computer, a problem has occurred with a device, unable to save. Something of that nature. I have never had this happen before. After restarting my computer, I found that my terra drive was now empty, zero, nada, MT. Gone were all of my files and all of my pictures. Oh what should I do, what should I do? Think I'll start over again.

MERRY CHRISTMAS from our family to yours!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Laptop and so forth

WHAT this guy just bought a new camera, a Cannon Rebel T1i no less, and now he goes out an buys a new laptop. What gives? Is he rich or what? An acquittance just posed this question to me last week. I would answer that I am just CRAZY! I have had this camera for a few months now and I still don't know how it really works. I never expected this kind of a learning scale to be involved. I didn't know what a histogram was; how to balance the white scale or even why anyone would ever care. I have 40 years of photography behind me but I wasn't prepared for all of this. Film is all but gone and little tiny cameras, that hook into a computer, have taken over. I bought one the other day that cost $10 and it worked. That wasn't enough, most cell phones take movies along with still pictures. What is up with that? It is tough being old as the toys and tools advance at the speed of light and I foolishly try and keep up.

I was having some problems with my desktop, actually a lot of problems, and I was getting very stressed so my Daughter and my wife took me to Staples and bought me a new laptop to make life easier. What they didn't realize was Windows 7 came along with the package and I had to learn a new operating system as well as learn how to use a touch pad. As I write this on my old desk top, my laptop is also running in front of me as some of the things are stowed on the laptop. but sometimes I move the mouse and nothing happens on the laptop. Frustrating at best. I have a cell phone that I am trying to learn how to operate and it has a little flip out thing that is a key pad or something. Look at the photo as those are my hands on that little dinky pad. My daughter is testing me or trying to make me learn how to

use it as she is constantly texting me and I have to text back. My phone is no exception to those fancy phones I described, above. It takes pictures, movies and goes on the Internet. I have taken a few pictures and they looked OK but I don't know where they went. I haven't taken a movie as all that looks to me is something that eats up my battery and memory and I have accidentally gone on the Internet twice but I didn't know where to go? Both times it scared me and I turned off the phone and let it cool down before I turned it back on. I wish it would stop calling people when it is in my pocket and I wish it would turn off properly when I finish calling someone so they can't hear what I say after I hang up. Sometimes it is kinda embarrassing. I wish someone would publish a dictionary for the shortcuts so I know what they are talking about in my messages. I know that I never sign off with BFF or call another guy my BFF. What the heck does LOL mean anyway. I can think of Lots of laughs, laughed out loud, lots of love?

Then there is Twitter and Facebook. Tried them both and I couldn't get the hang of it and people who I didn't know, never heard of, and probably wouldn't want them around were trying to be my friend. I quit them both. Now my daughter wants me to go back on and start a farm??? There are about six separate posts running around in this one post and I think, if I can come up with something about each one, I might write a couple of more posts.

Those that are returning after such a long hiatus on my part, thanks for coming back and it is really good to see you again. I will try to get out there and visit you.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Memory Overload

My computer was rapidly becoming full to overflowing with photos taken with my new camera, my Canon Rebel T1i. Because of the 15.1 mega pixel sensor the photos are all in the 3-5 megabits range on every photo and I was taking hundreds of photos. I resisted using my movie capabilities with the camera as I could picture megabits bursting out of the seams of my poor little hp computer besides I didn't know how to do it and unload the movies to my computer and I was unable to show my photos on our HDTV as was advertised. Also I have had my hands full understanding the full working of the still capabilities of the camera. I said that I was worried about the megabits bursting out the seams of my computer well it was really the information bursting out the seams of my poor little head. In an effort to solve the overload [computer] concerns I found myself at Staples discussing the problem with an on site techie and I walked out the door with a Western Digital Terabyte memory thing. All I had to do was plug it into my computer and put all of my photo work on it and my computer would be safe from overloading. Much easier said than done.

I was unable to make the transition of sending all of my photos [or anything else for that matter] to my new terabyte drive though it now had a name as my computer had decided on "Drive L" as the official designation. Well drive L was not making things any easier for me as I could not "wrap my head" around the problem. Wonder where that saying comes from? Anyway, the teradrive has been languishing on the side of my desk, taking up valuable space, and contributing nothing for about a month now so I had to call in the big guns to solve my problems. I called in my own personal "Geek Squad" also known as my daughter Ellen. In about fifteen minutes she downloaded step by step instructions of a document intitled "Change the default location of the 'My Documents' folder", typed in the necessary commands to my computer and while it was working went into the living room and took a nap. When she awoke she checked her work out, announced it was a success and went home to fix me supper [my wife is away for a few days in Los Vegas and without someone cooking for me I would probably starve]. These daughters are really a great thing to have around.

Today is the day to test out my movie making talents of my new camera and I have chosen my sister-in-laws dog as my subject. I was left with the dog because my sister-in-law went with my wife to Vegas and left me with her brand new Yorkshire Terrier 'Chulo" to take care of along with my two dogs and a cat. See if you can tell which one is the new Yorkie. Tried to get the cat to sit for the Pic but no luck. Tried taking a movie of the foursome but no luck. Seems that you need an 8GB, class6 SD memory chip to record the proceedings. None in town but are available online and at the camera store in another town. Amazing what you can learn from the "Owners Manual" when things don't work. Movies will wait for another day.