Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.
― Helen Keller
You’ve got to love these happy flowers. They’re blooming all over now.
I am often confounded by the software industry tweaking something out of usefulness, and the upgrades that Adobe is making to its Lightroom software may be just that. I’m willing to see where it goes, of course. But since mine apparently upgrades itself, this morning, when I wanted to get something done and move on, I had to deal with some unfortunate issues with the latest and greatest version of Adobe Lightroom CC (2015).
If you’re using Lightroom CC and you’ve deliberately or accidentally upgraded to the latest version, here is a link to instructions to go back to the last version of the software (CC 6, I believe). Lightroom is a great piece of photo-editing software, but it appears that rather than keeping this a high-end, usable program for photographers, Adobe is trying to cater to the mobile photographer set. To that end, they’ve dumbed it down, ostensibly so the learning curve is less steep. Unfortunately, in doing that, they’re eliminating useful things I, and many other users, have come to depend on. That said, I imagine we’ll eventually get used to that. The problem now is that several things in the upgrade just don’t work, although they’re supposed to. They’re things that are not being eliminated, just changed, I think.
So, if you use this great software and want to continue to use it until the engineers get the kinks worked out, downgrade. It’s so cool that you actually can, and it’s even more amazing how simple it is! I used the instructions in this article—Install a previous version of any Creative Cloud application—to do just that. It’s very easy, and I’m back up and running with what works.
One of my issues was importing. I imported all my pictures, but somehow Lightroom didn’t show all the pictures I thought I had imported. I could see that some I had shot were missing, and Lightroom said I had 20 more to import, but when I went to find the 20 missing ones, I couldn’t import them because Lightroom said they were already imported. In CC 6 (I think was the latest before this upgrade), I could tell it to ignore suspected duplicates or I could uncheck that box. Nowhere in the new import window could I find such an option. I also checked out all the Preferences panel (may be called something else on a Windows machine).
I then found I was now unable to copy from one picture to another, settings that worked for the type of picture I was working on. You know, if you make adjustments to the exposure, temperature, highlight, shadow, white, and black sliders, for instance, you can then copy those setting and apply them to the next similar photo by clicking on the “paste” button. That wasn’t working today.
Anyway, if you’re using Lightroom CC, and have any of these issues (or others), the answer for you may be to downgrade. It worked for me.
Here are a few of the pictures I was trying to work on. I took a walk in Downtown Grand Junction yesterday with my camera. Colors are great, but in Grand Junction, we’re getting almost to the end of color season. Leaves are falling off trees, and there’s less to shoot. I got a few that I liked and here they are.
Patrón and I took an eight-hour drive that took me through Glenwood, Carbondale, Redstone, over McClure Pass, Paonia, Hotchkiss, and Cedaredge.
We drove over the Grand Mesa first on 65, then the Old Grand Mesa Road, and stopped at the small parking spot below the Crag Crest Trail so Patrón could stretch her legs. She and I enjoyed some time sitting at the lake and walking along the road.
I took a few pictures of sunflowers that were obviously past their prime, but they were so pretty anyway. There’s some serious standing water in the low spots, too — presumably from all the recent rains.
We then got back on 65 at the Visitor Center and soon took off onto the Land’s End Road. That first mile or so going down is kind of spooky. (I have no idea how they do that Lands End Road Rally [?] every year without someone seriously falling off the mountain.)
It was a really nice day, but Patrón wasn’t too thrilled with being tied down in the vehicle. I gave her enough lead to hang her head out the window (I’m not a completely horrible mother), but I need to find a better way to tie her down. She got herself completely tangled in her leash and the harness I bought just to keep her in place in the vehicle. I’d hate to buy a cage for her to travel in when part of the purpose is for her to have some “head-hanging” time. But she cannot wander the vehicle. I stopped several times for her to water and pee. She did neither, and she wouldn’t get back in of her own accord—I had to lift her into the seat. I also wanted to do a little exploring (like Redstone Castle), but couldn’t with her in tow. (Why can’t I lock the doors with the keys in the ignition?!! I have another set of keys!)
I won’t take her every time, but this was interesting and fun trying to figure out what to do with her. When she tried to wallow in a dead fish, I was not completely sold on this arrangement.
Outside of Paonia, I finally saw the coal mine(s) where my son used to work. While in Paonia, I visited the Orchard Valley Farms & Market and Black Bridge Winery and discovered a new, interesting addition to their vinegars—Ripe Peach White Balsamic Vinegar. Yummy! Not sure it’s new, but it is to me.
It was a pleasant day, for sure!
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
I try to remember to see it. Last weekend, my daughter, her daughters, my friend, and I went to Rifle Gap, Rifle Falls, and Harvey Gap. From there, we drove through a beautiful sheep and cattle (and spring-and-wet-green) valley behind the Hogbacks, then we went through Newcastle and went back home to Rifle. We had a lot of fun, and I found it was beautiful there. I’ve lived in Western Colorado for 38 years, and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen those places. Below are pictures I took of our trip. I told the grand kids that when I went up there again, I’d take them with me. I expect that will be a blast.
It’s been awhile since I posted anything. Between work (busy season), work (finishing up what I started), bowling, school and the accompanying homework, and everyday stuff, I’ve been pressed for time and energy. Bowling and school are out for the summer and all work seems to have calmed down for a little bit.
I came home for lunch today and found this flower in my driveway. It’s a weed, really, but it sure was pretty, open and full. I took a lot of pictures with a real camera before I headed into the house to eat lunch. About 40 minutes later I went back outside to head back to work. I was going to shoot a quick picture with the iPhone to show a co-worker. By that time, the flower had closed up completely.
When I got downtown, I noticed these flowers as I walked through the breezeway from the parking garage.
It’s that time of year! Finally!
I haven’t posted for a bit. Between a very busy day job, trying to keep up with the other job, school, bowling, and then being sick last Saturday, I’ve had a whirlwind existence lately. Tomorrow I’ll go in to work for awhile to get a head start on next week (for my comfort), take Patrón for another walk, then I’ll head to a friend’s for dinner.
I was able to go for a walk last Sunday and was saddened to see that someone had moved the weathered board so there were no more tufts of grass growing through its holes. Maybe that grass just blew away, but I doubt it. I was hoping for the grass to grow longer for a bit and be able to take another photo. I was sorry to see it no longer looked as it did. And I wondered that someone could come along and not see the artistry in that mess of old wood and clumps of grass.
Today I got homework done and that’s a relief. It was due Friday and we had a reprieve, thankfully. I was at wits end trying to figure out how I was going to get that done. What a relief. Just four more weeks, I think.
After bowling is over (two more weeks), school is over (fourish more weeks), and I’m not allowed overtime at the day job, I can take weekends and go sometimes. I’m tired of being trapped at home either having to do something — or thinking I should.
Today I downloaded a new camera app for my iPhone and I think I like it. I am disappointed with the native camera’s abilities and this app will at least make the photos look more vibrant. I’ve seen so many others’ photos from their phones and they look so good — and my phone photos kind of just suck. Anyway, the photos’ editability still isn’t great, but colors are vibrant and I am able to capture light and dark in a composition that is wildly different in tonal values. The name of the app is Pro HDR-X. It’s a toy, but a fun one.
I drove a little way up Unaweep Canyon this evening and took this picture.
This I took a little earlier on my walk on the desert. The clouds, where there’s nothing to block them, are so pretty.
After driving up Unaweep Canyon for bit, I backtracked to the Gunnison River Bluffs/Old Spanish Trail parking corral. As the sun set, I captured this. I didn’t get light adjusted properly, but even so, I thought this turned out cool. I had to wait until a hiker’s silhouette fell below the horizon. For the longest time, while the sun set lower, there was a solitary figure walking from the left to the right along the top of those hills in the background. Had I been able to zoom in on him, that might have made a nice photo, too, but with the phone, he would have just been too small for any artistic impact.
It’s been a nice quiet day and I’m ready to call it.
My relationship to plants becomes closer and closer. They make me quiet; I like to be in their company. —Peter Zumthor
It’s been a busy two weeks. The time change always kicks my butt. On top of that, there were reports and projects for school, learning gobs of new things at work, putting the finishing touches on documents for an old job, bowling, dinner with Dad, and enjoying the company of an old friend recently in town. I plan to relax this weekend and walk with Patrón on the desert. She’ll love it, and I need to get outside. It’s been SO nice here.
Last weekend she and I took an extra-long walk and we found this well weathered piece of plywood with grass growing up through the holes. We went back the next day with the real camera (instead of the iPhone) and took a few more pictures. It’s easy to pass up this sort of thing. I’m so glad we were less fixated on the destination, and more intent on enjoying the journey.
Breakfast is the best meal of the day; it gets your engine warmed and humming and gives you strength for the day.
You can make breakfast interesting very easily. I love omelets and have one almost every day. That said, you can use any of these ingredients in a tortilla, on a potato, on rice, on toast, pancakes, or biscuits.
I love an omelet for breakfast. Until I had breakfast with my Dad in Florida, for his 50th High School Class Reunion, I didn’t really know how to make one easily. There are a few rules.
1) Use water, not milk, in your eggs. Milk will cause the eggs to stick if they won’t ordinarily.
2) Use butter—not fake butter, like Country Crock. Use butter, margarine, and/or oil.
3) Get the butter hot without burning it. Add your “fillers” and cook them. Don’t burn them; cook them slow if you need to.
4) Pour in the egg/water mixture and cook, either shaking the pan to move the egg and distribute it, or using a rubber spatula to push cooked egg to the middle, allowing the uncooked egg to pool around the edges to cook.
Despite thinking the fillers go on top of the egg after it’s cooked and the egg folded over it, these actually work best, cooked with the egg. The exception is the cheese. That does get put on after the egg and fillers are cooked. Here are a few ingredients I like, but the ingredients available to use is only limited by your taste and imagination. They include:
Peppers (sweet, hot, you name it)
Onions (sweet, green)
Meat (bacon, chicken, sausage, ham—whatever is left in the fridge from last night)
Asparagus, green beans, squash, tomatoes, whatever you like!
After the omelet cooks, you will want to put on toppers. They might include:
salsa (any kind)
more of your favorite fillers
yogurt (if you like the flavor)
First get the butter hot. Then throw in the fillers to cook.
Second, when the fillers cook, pour in your beat egg. Shake it around and/or scrape it to the middle of the pan so more of the wet egg solidifies around the outer edges. Once everything done, add the cheese and let it melt. I very often turn off the heat at this point and do something else for a few minutes to give it a chance to melt and cool.
Third, slide the omelet onto the plate while folding it over.
Once all is done, you get to add the toppings!
For Office Procedures, we were tasked with making a presentation for our class. I struggled a bit to decide what to do and came up with a video for making an omelet. My granddaughter visited and she shot the video and I’ve spent the rest of the afternoon trying to put it together. I give up. QuickTime is now on Saving — About 11,000 hours (and I know that’s not right), and I finally uploaded the four videos separately. I don’t have time for this, and for today, the learning curve is too great for so short a time to learn. So, I’ll learn this later and learn it well.
Meanwhile, I thought I might do this instead, but I don’t think I can get away with it. Still, Savannah and I had fun doing this. I saw this done well (better than this), and it was so much fun to watch. There was accompanying music that made it a lot more fun.
The canyon speed limit is anywhere from 50 to 65. I never go as slow as 50. The road is winding and it’s just fun to drive. It’s not fun if your vehicle doesn’t handle well, or you’re afraid of driving (and many people are), but if you love to drive and your vehicle hugs the road, it’s a great run.
For the class I attend this semester, Office Procedures, my classmates and I are each tasked with making a presentation. We’re not allowed to use Powerpoint so I believe I’ll have to do a video, then figure out how to post it to my YouTube channel. I’ve done it before, but mostly of my silly Patrón, or a montage of photos I’ve taken.
The biggest challenge is to decide what to present to the class. I’ve presented HDR photography before, and that is fun. It has to be a relatively simple task since the entire presentation should take somewhere between five and ten minutes.
This morning I thought perhaps, if making a video isn’t too complicated, I might try demonstrating how to make an omelet. I also thought it would be possible to get a small burner and actually cook one in class.
Alternatively, I could demonstrate how to put drops in a dog’s eyes. The fact she does not like the process could make it that much more comical. The process includes straddling her so she can’t get away, then prying open her eye—a hair-width, if I can. I then hope some of the drops that hit her lashes ooze their way into her eye where it will do some good.
Perhaps I could show how to draw a sun. With a face.
Or change a photo to art using a filter package.
How to irritate Patrón? THAT should be pretty easy. I’ve had lots of practice.
Any ideas out there? I have until Monday to get it figured out and complete.
As irritating as it is that I don’t have any wonderful ideas, this will be fun—whatever the result. I’m excited to see what others produce.
Meanwhile, here are some close-to-the-ground photos. This is such a different perspective.
It was pretty warm on the days these were shot. It’s supposed to snow this weekend. In fact, I hear there’s supposed to be snow on the ground in the morning. I’d like that—and time to take some pictures.
Happy almost Friday!
It’s a beautiful Saturday and I have some fun tonight to look forward to. My friends and I (of many years), will have dinner and paint ceramics. I believe that is the plan. Perhaps included in the fun will be wine. Well, I’m involved; there will be wine.
Last night I spent a lot of time writing a note to a friend and my mind is mush today because of the effort to spill my thoughts in an organized way, to allow someone else a glimpse into my inner world. Doing that doesn’t come naturally and it’s not a stingy thing. It’s that there’s so much more interesting to know about you than I have to tell about me. But I think sometimes people misunderstand that lack of forthcoming information as a lack of trust in them. It is more an interest in their stories.
Last night I “friended,” on Facebook, someone who has recently piqued my interest. She’s a much younger person and I am sure we are misaligned in many key areas of discussion, but I have read some of her posts, and think she has a lot of wisdom to offer this world. She’s an old soul and I think she has a story to tell about why she is. She provided a brief glimpse into that possibility earlier this semester. She has spoken in class and she’s articulate and thoughtful, and I find myself drawn to discover what she will eventually offer the world. Whatever it is, it will be good. I’m excited to get to know yet another person, even if it is from the safe distance of a Facebook friendship.
I am so pleased to be in the class I now attend. It’s not a difficult class, but for the first time in a couple of semesters, I am not surrounded by middle-aged, entitled, and lazy women who were given this educational opportunity they don’t take as seriously as they should. I am now surrounded by motivated, bright, young and young-at-heart women who will eventually influence our world—and from whom I will learn a great deal if I keep my mind’s doors wide open.
Well. I need to get something done. I played with this flower in Topaz Labs’ Impression this morning. I believe I’ll eventually play with this one a lot. It is perfect.
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Author of the thrilling crime/detective novels SINK RATE, ROPE BREAK, SIDE SLIP and GROUND EFFECT... And now the historical action/adventure novels CAPTAIN'S CROSS and CAPTAIN'S SORTIE
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I am a writer whom journals about life, family, New England, everything and nothing and whispers of the Holy Spirit.
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