What are your goals?

Goals-2I try to be a better person each day of my life. Not saying that I'm always successful but at least it's on my mind.  Each year at this time people talk about New Year's resolutions, but few follow through.  Why?  Maybe it's because there was no road map, no strategic plan. 

We set goals such as "I will lose weight" but that's too general, we need to be more specific.  I will lose 10 pounds in the next 10 months and I will do that by not snacking while sitting on the couch.  Now that's a plan.

I like to associate life with the game of football.  There's a goal at the end of the field and you get there with a game plan.  On each down the quarterback calls a play and that play has a specific plan.  No plan, no goal!  You can do anything in this world, the only thing that will stop you will be you! 

I found a web site that is chocked full of good stuff to help us travel down the highway of life in the happy lane.  Lots of good articles such as "7 questions to find passion" or "A better person in 7 days."  This is a site where you could spend all day reading and getting motivated!

It’s that time of year!

Westgate Xmas Tree 12-10

Snow seems to be capturing the headlines this week, in Europe and the U.S.  I spent most of my life living in the Midwest and it was usually a white Christmas.  There is something special about the snow flakes falling outside the window as you sip some hot chocolate and enjoy the fireplace.

Now that we live in Phoenix we don’t see the white stuff unless we drive a couple of hours north which we will do this weekend just to take pictures.

I took this photo with my iPhone yesterday at Westgate which is right next to the University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the 2008 Super Bowl.  That is certainly a different scene than most of the country right now.

I kind of miss the snow at Christmas time, but I don’t miss the shoveling and bitter cold temperatures.  After blue skies, warm temps, and sunshine for the past 16 years it would be hard for me to endure the harshness of a cold winter.

Wherever you are and whatever the weather, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and that 2011 will be the best year of your life!

Have you heard of “Wordle?”


I recently found a site on the Internet where you can use your imagination to create some cool graphics.

I created this one to use as the opening page in Power Point for my Photo Seminars. 

First thing to do is to open Word or Word Pad and type in some words that go along with the theme you want to use.  If you repeat words they will have stronger emphasis.  Copy those words that you created and paste them into the space provided in Wordle.  The reason for creating your words externally is so you have a back-up and don’t have to start all over again if you make a mistake in Wordle.

Click the “Randomize Button” until you find an arrangement that you like.  You will find provisions to change the font, layout, and color, at the top of the page.  When finished I do a “Print Screen” and paste it into my photo editor for any further enhancement such as adding the camera in the corner.

This is a free service and the site is  http://www.wordle.net/

The iPad

Steve Jobs

This person is Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Computers.  The object that he is holding is an iPad that was released in April, 2010.  Since then the company has sold over 1.5 million a month!  This man, in my opinion, is a marketing genius. 

People stood in line at stores for days to be one of the first to purchase the iPhone, and the same thing happened with the iPad.

I was a hold off on the iPhone but soon joined the ranks of proud owners.  It is just a marvelous piece of technology and I have really enjoyed all it has to offer.  I will upgrade soon to the iPhone 4G.

I have been holding off on the iPad, but finally gave into the temptation today.  This too is a wonderful invention and I will use it, among other things, to enhance my passion for photography.

I’m still a PC man, and probably will always be, but never say never….

America Has Spoken!


The day after the election and America has spoken!  The majority of our Nation is disgusted with big government and the direction the current administration has taken us over the past two years.  We are faced with no jobs, huge national debt, an unhealthy housing market, continued wild spending, a nonchalant attitude toward securing our borders, and a health care bill that Nancy Pelosi said “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it!”  No matter who you are or your party affiliation I think you’ll agree that was a not an intelligent statement!  What she said was “we are cramming something down your throat whether you like it or not!”

Our President ran on a platform of “Hope and Change for America.”  The problem is that his agenda is not the change we had hoped for.  This election strongly voiced that we need to get back on track of common sense and responsibility.

Elected politicians need to represent the people and not their own selfish interests.  Now, with a lot of fresh faces, we will see change, change in another direction. 

Black, White, Hispanic, Indian, Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, or Independent, we need to find common ground for making America the Country that we have always been proud of!

Fake Security Alert

MS Security Essentials AlertThis is a picture of a fake security alert. If it appears on your screen do nothing. Don’t click on any of the buttons as it will only get you into deeper trouble.

If you have Malwarebytes installed, run it immediately to rid your computer of this scam.  If you don’t have Malwarebytes installed you probably won’t be able to get on the Internet because this infection changes browser settings.  You can download Malwarebytes from a clean computer to a flash drive, then install and run it to clear the problem on your infected machine.

If this is all too confusing then you can consult a computer expert.

Fall Colors

Private Drive

It’s fall again, and the colors of earth are changing!  It’s time to grab your camera and take some shots of all this beauty.

We recently spent some time travelling and took this shot in Waukesha, Wi. 

It’s a private driveway and I would have loved to have seen the home at the end.

The only problem with such a beautiful property is that somebody has to do a lot of yard work!

Photo Editing Software

Picasa Since I give Photo Seminars I like to acquaint myself with different photo editing programs.  There are lots of free editors on the market.  Some are packaged with your camera or printer. Some are good and some are bad.  Google’s Picasa seems to be a popular application and it’s free, so I gave it a try just so I could broaden my knowledge.

I downloaded the program, and installed it which went smoothly.  The problem started immediately after install when it scanned my computer for pictures.  Since I have over 50,000 this took a very long time.  I noticed that the photo folders were being duplicated and the reason was that it also scanned my external hard drive, without my permission I might add.  After that it started rescanning all the imported photos for face recognition which took forever.  This was also done without my permission. 

The nightmare was, that in the process of all this, some of my most valuable photo folders completely disappeared from my hard drive!  They had also been moved on my external hard drive.  This little experiment took me about a week to correct and get everything back to normal.

Long story short, I won’t recommend Picasa to any of my friends, customers or in my seminars.  There is no reason why any program has to be that invasive and do things without asking you first!

If you have upgraded to Windows 7 there is a program included called “Windows Live Photo Gallery” which is easy to use and gives you all the basic tools to edit your pictures.  Click the Start button, then All Programs and open the Windows Live Folder.

The most talked about photo program in the world is Adobe’s Photo Shop but it costs $700.  The learning curve is steep and so is the price.  There are two other alternatives for those who are more advanced with photography.  Adobe’s Photo Shop Elements which costs $80 to $100 and Corel’s Paint Shop Photo Pro, priced the same.


I have used this program to edit my photos since the day it was born, some 14 years ago, and believe it just can’t be beat.

No camera produces a perfect photo, no matter how expensive it is.  If you really want your photos to look the best they can look, then I highly recommend Paint Shop Photo Pro. You can download a fully functional 30 day trial Here.

There are those purists who claim that fixing a photo is cheating and to that I say “hog wash!” Post editing is half the fun of photography.  There’s a difference between taking a photo and making a photo.

California Adventure

We just returned to the heat of Phoenix from the cool temps of California. I have always wanted to travel up the coast on Route 1 and be a part of the magnificent beauty that the coastline has to offer.

We started in San Marcos where we stayed with friends for three days, spent a night in Hermosa Beach and a day a night with our niece and family in Santa Barbara.

Further up the road near San Simeon we made the discovery of Piedras Blancas Beach where the elephant seals hang out.  This was incredible!  In July the males swim from Alaska and stay here for over a month to shed their skin.  Some of them can weigh over 5,000 pounds!  You can read all about it Here.
We spent a night in Pismo Beach where the motels offer exceptional views.  This was sunset viewed from our room!

I love seagulls and they were plentiful along with pelicans.  It was offspring time so we saw lots of seagull babies.  When I see these beautiful birds it always brings back the memory of the movie "Johnathan Livingston Seagull. There wasn't a human being in the entire show and all the music was provided by Neil Diamond.

We spent all morning taking photos of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco from different sites.  It was foggy, cold, and windy, but we loved the time spent there.  The afternoon was an enjoyable experience at the Fisherman's Wharf.  I don't think I ever saw so many people in one place in my life.  Visitors from all over the world!

The day before we visited Monterrey Bay and had lunch at the Pebble Beach Country Club.  That was unique as only a couple of weeks previous it was the sight of the U.S. Open Golf Tournament. We spent a day in Napa Valley visiting wineries and enjoying the the sights of all the vineyards.

Next stop was Lake Tahoe where we took the time to drive around the entire lake, which took over 5 hours.  Wonderful small villages along the way and beautiful sights!  We also spent the night there.

Our last major stop was Yosemite National Park.  We were lucky enough to get this morning shot before the wind rippled the water and spoiled the reflection.  This may have been my favorite photo from the entire trip.

On our way back home we stopped for gas in Needles, California where the temperature was 122. Now that's hot!  It was a cool 114 when we arrived back in Phoenix.  Being semi-retired is nice because we can take off a lot in this terrifically hot weather.

This two week vacation was fantastic and consider ourselves very blessed for the experience.  I hope this summer is special for you!

You may click on the photos above for a larger view and I will be posting more pictures on my Photo Site, mostly in the "Misc Outdoor Shots" Gallery.

A City Unlike Any Other City in the World.

Las Vegas, in many ways, is one of the most intriguing cities in the world.  So much to see, the best entertainers, and just a fun place to visit.

We spent last weekend there and it's incredible how this city re-invents itself every year.  Buildings are constantly being torn down and bigger, taller, more beautiful ones are climbing to the sky.

Everyone's spirits are high when visiting this city because it's another world and far from everyday reality.  In one way it is very glamorous, and in another very sinful.

Gambling is fun as long as a person uses some common sense and thinks of it as entertainment.  What's shameful are the thousands who are pouring their money into the games and going home broke.  It can be very addicting waiting for that big jackpot.  They didn't erect all those buildings with their money!

The part of our trip that I found disgusting was walking along Las Vegas Boulevard and being hustled by hundreds of people handing out baseball cards.  The problem was that the cards weren't about baseball.  They had pictures of girls who were for hire.  The good part is that 99.9% of people discarded them but the bad part is that they ended up on the sidewalks and in the streets. Not a pretty site. I think the City Council would pass a law forbidding this.  All in all we had a great time and two days there was plenty for us.

The photo above was taken with my Iphone, believe it or not, as we were were waiting for the fountains to erupt in front of the Bellagio.  You may click on it for a larger view.  See my Las Vegas photos here.

What's going on in Arizona?

Arizona is one of the most beautiful states in America.  From the deserts of the South to the Grand Canyon in the North; it's a wonderful place to live and people move here by the thousands each year to enjoy their retirement.

Arizona is now being spoiled by thousands upon thousands of people entering our Country illegally.  This is happening because our southern border is not secured and the situation worsens by the day because our federal government will not take proper steps to alleviate the problem.

Recently our Governor signed a law that would enforce immigration guidelines, and all hell broke loose politically.  The Mexican President recently visited Washington, talked badly about Arizona, and spoke harshly against the law in front of Congress claiming it to be discriminatory.

Since when does the United States of America allow a foreign president to dictate to us what kind of laws we should implement?  And furthermore why did the Speaker of the House, the Vice President, the Director of Homeland Security and other members of Congress stand and applaud his derogatory statements?  I personally am appalled by these actions and ask our President to start standing up for America!

This Country of ours is filled with people from all nations and have been welcomed by the Statue of Liberty for decades.  People come to America because it is "The Land of Free" and offers unlimited opportunities for those who seek them.  If you want to live here you should become a legal resident, speak our language, fly the American flag, and abide by our laws. If you don't want to comply with this, then you are not welcome.  Why do you come here illegally and expect the world to be handed to you?  Why do you demand that we pay for your health care, your education, and teach YOUR language in our schools?  This is insanity!  Don't stand outside of our State Capitol and demonstrate for your rights.  You don't have rights in this Country unless you are a legal citizen!

If you cross the border of any other Country in the World, illegally, you are in deep trouble.  You could spend years in prison or even be shot on the spot.  But enter the U.S. illegally and we give you a job, a driver's license, social security card, welfare, food stamps, subsidized rent, free education, free health care, a lobbyist in Washington, billions of dollars worth of public documents printed in your language, and the right to carry your countries flag while you protest that you're not getting enough respect!

Actually, it's not your fault, it's us who have lost our minds.  It's the  bleeding heart liberals and extreme left wingers who are at fault, and come this November, they will be fired!

Here in Maricopa County, we have the best Sheriff in the world.  His name is Joe and he has done an outstanding job of protecting law abiding Arizona citizens for all the years he has been in office.  His job now has become very difficult because he is constantly accused of racial profiling.  Give me a break!  We have a great Governor who wants to "Build a Better Arizona" and uphold the laws of the land, but is now being severely criticized by certain "off the wall" jug heads in Congress.  Give me a break!

There are now three types of southern border infiltrators.  First there are hard working, honest, Mexicans who want a better life, and they are welcome to it if they go about it legally.  Secondly there is the fierce battle of the Mexican drug lords who are bringing drugs and terror into America.  Thirdly are the middle east extremists who are out to destroy our Nation.  Do we remember 911?

Phoenix is full of crime and is the number one city in America for kidnapping and it's all because of the Mexican drug lords.

If you think that only Arizona is effected by this problem, then you have a rude awakening!  It is effecting our whole Country. Here's a news report, not from Phoenix, Arizona but from Atlanta, Georgia, and it is a must watch!

This is what's going on in Arizona, but it's just the tip of the iceberg as to "What's going on in America!"

If you are reading this and feel as I do, then stand up and be bold!  Tell your Congressmen and Senators that we want our borders secured NOW, before it's too late!

Arizona Adventure

A Phoenix newspaper, last weekend, featured an article about Grand Falls.  Turns out that practically nobody has ever heard of it.  Located Northeast of Flagstaff on a Navajo Indian Reservation, this beautiful setting is out in the middle of nowhere!  The falls is actually taller than Niagara Falls and is sometimes referred to as "Chocolate Falls" because it's so muddy.  It only flows in March and April and gets its water from melting snow in the mountains.

Since we are always looking for adventure we loaded the cameras, made a picnic lunch, and headed out on Tuesday.  This was about a 3 hour trip with the last 10 miles on a rough and dusty dirt road.  We got there plenty early as to take advantage of the morning light.  We had the whole place to ourselves except for a father and son who were enjoying an outdoor breakfast.  This place is so unbelievable that you just don't show up, take a couple of pictures and leave.  We spent three and a half hours exploring this site from all angles and took hundreds of photos.  You can click on these pictures for a larger view and see more in my Arizona Photo Gallery.

Next, we headed for Sunset Crater which is just north of Flagstaff.  This is a place that we have passed many times but have never taken the time to visit.  1,000 years ago volcanoes erupted here leaving massive lava fields and a large crater.  Photos from this place can also be seen in the Arizona Photo Gallery.

The last stop of the day was Grand Canyon, which was an hours drive from Sunset Crater.  We have been here many times but never get tired of the breathtaking views of what has transpired over millions of years.  This is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth, and first time visitors are in total awe of their experience!

After 16 hours and 534 miles we were both tired out when we got home, but had much fun "making a memory." 

To see my tribute to the "Great American Southwest" click here.

Moab, Utah

We have been to Moab, Utah many times and I can't think of anywhere else where the word "Adventure" is more prevalent.  We just returned from another trip there and in a few days I took 600 photos!  This area of America's Southwest is truly amazing with all it has to offer.  We camped with our RV at Canyon Lands RV resort in the heart of town and were treated like a million dollars.  Our next door neighbors were Dennis and Carol from Alberta, Canada.  They are spending three months "on the road" seeing the sights of the U.S.A.  They were pulling a new Jeep behind their motor coach and believe me, that's the way to truly explore what this area has to offer.

We visited Dead Horse Point State Park and were greeted at the gift shop by the young lady featured in the video on the web site.  After that stop and many pictures later, we drove a short distance to Canyonlands National Park where again we experienced breathtaking views.

Our most exciting adventure of the week though was our visit to nearby Arches National Park.   We have been there many times before, but this time we decided to hike to the famous "Delicate Arch" which is the symbol of Utah.  We had never accepted this challenge before because of the 3 mile heart pounding trek.  Once there however, every step was worth it.  At my age it was like a younger person climbing Mt. Everest!  This was the view of the last 200 yard hike.  Right around the corner we were greeted to the magnificent view of the Arch!

The next day we decided to hike to the back side of the arch.  It's a distant view and only a mile hike but got some good shots using my 200mm lens.  Along the way we met a young man who was demonstrating his level of testosterone. That wasn't for me, but they were having fun, and that's the name of the game.  If you visit Utah, a trip to Moab is a must!  Click on photos for a larger view.

More pictures from our recent trip can be found in the "National Parks" gallery on my Photo Site.

American Idol

I have always been a music lover and in my early years played the drums.  I was lucky enough to spend 12 years on the radio spinning records, so American Idol has always been a program that I have enjoyed.

This season however, in my opinion, just doesn't have the pizazz as in previous years.  The talent is weak, people are tired of Randy Jackson's jive talk, and Simon's "over the top" criticisms. Kara talks way too much and her flirtations with Simon are sickening.  Four judges are too many as it becomes very boring listening to all their comments after each song.

Simon is leaving the show after this season and the producers better think long and hard on getting the production back on track or the show will certainly lose its ratings.


What motivates you?  What is your challenge, your goals, your dream?  I have studied the philosophy of PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) since the 1970s.  One of the ways in reaching goals, realizing your gifts, and fulfilling your dreams is to think positive.  You are and you become what you think about!

One of today's great motivational writers is Ralph Marston and I receive a daily email from him with innovative ideas on how to lead a better life. Let me quote him from one of those emails:

Dare to say what you truly think. Dare to express what you really feel.

Preventing yourself from being yourself causes stress, anxiety, frustration and resentment. Give yourself
permission to be uniquely beautiful and uninhibited in your living of life.

Dare to attempt things you've never done before. Every well-honed skill you have, was once a new experience.

Dare to question your beliefs. For that is how you make them strong.

Open yourself to the possibility of failure. The fact that success is never a sure thing is what makes it so worth

Dare to imagine, and then to intently build that which you've imagined. Dare to dream, and to live that dream with passion and purpose in every moment.

See these words with photos and music.

Ralph's website is:  www.greatday.com

Hope and Change

Even people who voted for Obama are finally sitting up and taking notice of all the horrific things that are taking place in our Government.  It didn't take long for America to realize that the "Hope and Change" that Obama kept talking about in his campaign was change in a totally wrong direction!

This whole mess is not about Democrats, Republicans, black or white.  It's about America, "The Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave."

We the people are fed up with secret closed door meetings, crazy deficit spending, structured press conferences, pay-offs, bail-outs, high unemployment, and the list goes on and on.

Certain people in Congress and in the White House act like they are above the law.  They have been trying to pass a phony health care bill for a year now and we keep saying no.

Listen up Washington, you seem to forget that we elected you to represent us.  If you don't want to represent us then we will send you home.  We did it in Virginia, we did it in New Jersey, and we did it in Massachusetts.  I personally am so disgusted with the political scene that I'm changing my affiliation to Independent.

You want change?  You are going to see a big change November 2nd!  This video represent my views.

The Power of Prayer

Most people just don't understand the power of prayer!

Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Winston Churchill who organized a group of people who prayed every day at a prescribed time for the safety of England, its people and peace?

The same thing is now happening in America.   You may participate every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific).  Stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for the return to a Godly nation.


Health :

 Drink plenty of water.
 Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
 Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants.
 Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
 Make time to pray.
 Play more games
 Read more books than you did in 2009 .
 Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
 Sleep for 7 hours.
 Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily, and while you walk, smile. 


Don't compare your life to others.

Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control.
Don't over do. Keep your limits.
Don't take yourself so seriously.. No one else does.
Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
Dream more while you are awake
Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
Forget issues of the past. 

Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.
Smile and laugh more.
You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. 


Call your family often.
Each day give something good to others.
Forgive everyone for everything..
Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
Try to make at least three people smile each day.
What other people think of you is none of your business.
Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will.


Do the right thing!
Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
GOD heals everything.
However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
The best is yet to come.
When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy. 

I did not write this.  The author is unknown, but I thought it was a good blog entry!