Live Your Passion!

What is your passion?  Mine is simply the passion of loving & living life!
I’m wondering if that’s more prevalent after retirement as in our younger years we seem to be too busy raising children, making money, and being dedicated to our jobs. 

It doesn’t have to be that way though as we don’t have to wait until we retire to live passionately!  Just take time each day to give thanks and absorb the wonder of gratitude.

For a long time my passion was technology and it still is, but photography has taken taken a large place in my heart the past few years.  When you love taking photos you become much more aware of the beauty that surrounds you and life is more pleasurable!

Look at the beauty of this picture taken of Oak Creek in Sedona, Arizona during the summer months.

Oak Creek-Cezanne I 50%And now look at a winter view of almost the same place.
(Click to enlarge.)

It’s the breath taking beauty of this place we call “Earth.”  Beauty is everywhere, and now with the advent of smartphones we have a camera wherever we go!

Take lots of photos, because when you leave this earth those are the memories that you will leave behind!

“Live with passion, in a constant state of joy, and with an attitude of gratitude!”

The Best Christmas Gift of All !


Years ago Christmas was simple.  Families gathered, went to church, had a nice dinner together, and celebrated the true meaning of the day.  Presents were few and mostly homemade.

Now I know we can’t go back to “The Little House on the Prairie,” but we can bring back a few basics.  Number one is not feeling like you have to buy a hundred presents and even worse putting them on your credit card. 

Number two is that we live in a world of advanced technology, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could all put our iPads and iPhones down when the family is together.  Maybe we could actually engage in a conversation!  This holds true not only for Christmas but throughout the year.

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year.  It’s a time to experience joy, reflect on times past, and make plans for the future.  It’s a time to find inner peace and experience less stress instead of more.

The best Christmas gift of all is giving gratitude.  Make it a point this year to make a list of things you are grateful for.  You will love the feeling it will give you.  Make it a point to write a note or tell someone in person that you are grateful for them.

Take a moment, right now, close your eyes, take several deep breaths, and give thanks for all that you have and for who you are.

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

Your Cell Phone Number

Here’s a quick tip about your cell phone.  Never give your number to anyone on the Internet.

A lot of websites including Facebook will occasionally give you a message that says “For increased account security, please furnish your cell phone number.”  No, I don’t think so!

The Internet already knows enough about us as it is let alone giving them our phone number.

This Blog is on the roll….

In the past I wasn’t very efficient at posting thoughts here, but that’s changing now as the result of not authoring Cyber News anymore. 

This is even a better way of keeping friends and former Cyber News readers informed as to technology, photography, and other fun things because stuff can be posted at any time rather than just once a month.

The emails have been pouring in with accolades and comments regarding the cancellation of Cyber News and I thank you most humbly!  I have to admit a few of them brought tears.  I’ll try to reply to each one.

Many of you said that “when one door is closed another one will open.”  Well, within hours an opportunity came for me to be a featured photographer on a new International web site.  I am flattered and excited.  I’ll tell you all about it as the project materializes.

Stay tuned my friends……..and enjoy each minute of this day!

Cyber News




For over ten years I have authored an online magazine called “Cyber News.”  It is with sadness that as of December 1, 2014 I will no longer publish this online magazine.

Everything has a beginning and an end and it’s time to close the door on something that I loved doing. 

Thanks to the thousands who have read Cyber News not only in America but in over 100 Countries.  My blessings to you all!

Now it’s time to keep this Blog up to date by posting things about technology, photography, and anything else of interest.

So “Happy December” and let’s have a great month preparing for the new year!

The Smart Phone Battle–Continues……

Battle of the phonesBack in May on this Blog I wrote about the “Smart Phone Battle,” and the rumors surrounding the release of the iPhone 6.

Now all those rumors are laid to rest as the day has arrived.  Apple came out with two new models, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.  The six has a screen size of 4.7” compared to 4” in previous models.  The 6 Plus features a 5.5” screen.

I must admit that Apple continues to be a mammoth marketing machine!  The company possesses some magic ingredient that makes people want to purchase their products as evidenced by 4,000,000 iPhone pre-order sales in the first 24 hours on September 9th.

However, one must take a look at Samsung and compare the new Galaxy Note 4 to the iPhone 6 Plus.  In my opinion, there is no comparison as the Galaxy wins hands down!  

The Note 4 has more memory, a faster processor, higher screen resolution, and more battery power. Speaking of the battery, it is customer replaceable whereas the iPhone must be sent to an authorized dealer. Also a fast charge mode! Memory in the Galaxy can easily be increased by inserting a mini SD card.  No such option is offered with the Apple phones.

The Samsung features split screen multitasking and again, no such luck with the iPhone.

The Galaxy Note 4 is heads above in the camera department featuring a 16 MP back camera and 3.7 MP on the front.  Compare this to the iPhone: 8MP back and 1.2 MP front!

This is just a partial list of Samsung’s advantages and you can see a more comprehensive list here.

If you haven’t already jumped on the Apple wagon, you might want to consider the Galaxy Note 4.  Another advantage is that you can forget the frustration of Apple’s iTunes!

Road Rage

Ever notice that it seems everyone is mad today?  Where is it all coming from?  Hollywood hasn’t helped the situation with all their sex, drugs, and violent movies. 

The art of being nice to each other is all but lost.  People don’t even make eye contact very often.  You say hi to someone and if you’re lucky you might get a grunt.

I’m not saying this is 100% of the time, but it’s pretty much the general rule.

Lately I have made it a point to say something nice to total strangers.

If I find someone giving an outstanding performance on the job, I will tell the manager, or go on the corporate web site and pass along the compliment so it filters down the chain of command.  It benefits all as the giver feels good and the receiver feels great!

I’ve lived in Phoenix for 18 years where the population is over 4 million.  That’s a lot of folks driving everyday.  One of the things that “trips my trigger” every time is someone who races up behind my vehicle and then rides my bumper. It’s called “tailgating.”  I’m lucky it hasn’t gotten me in trouble as people have been shot because they didn’t get out of the way!

I know you’ve probably been there too and know how it feels.  Your blood boils…..

Road RageIt has only been recently that I told myself not to let that crazy driver ruin my day. In the past I’d drive the exact speed limit, look in my rear view mirror and take pleasure as I watched the person on my tail have a conniption fit.  No more, it’s not worth it as the person could be drunk, on drugs, or just be in a violent mood.

Now I’ll move over, let them pass, take a deep breath, and smile.  Life is too short to let some dimwit get the best of you or worse yet get you involved in an accident!

A June Vacation

Everyone loves a vacation.  It's a time for fun and adventure!  This June we traveled through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Colorado.  4,600 miles of driving the highways and byways of America, visiting friends and family and taking in all the sights.

This is my home town, Davenport, Iowa where we have family and lots of friends.  We spent a week there with the highlight being my grand-
daughter's graduation party.

LeClaire, Iowa is a short distance up the Mississippi and we always stop by and visit the site of "American Pickers."  They have two vans now and this is the older one parked at the site. We traveled one day with friends to the Amana Colonies and had a delightful lunch at the famous "Ox Yoke Inn."

After a week in our home community we traveled to Milwaukee for my grandson's graduation party.  Great time at both events! 

We then traveled West on I-90 through Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota. The drive across SD was beautiful and we visited the Corn Palace, the famous Wall Drug, Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, and Crazy Horse. We spent all afternoon driving through the Badlands and it was a great experience.  You can see those photos here.  Besides family and friends, Mt. Rushmore was the highlight of the trip!  It's a sight that every American should enjoy.

South Dakota showed us a great time, and then we were off to visit friends in Ft. Collins, Colorado. It was a relaxing time riding the new "Max" bus to downtown.  Visited the farmers market, and had a lunch at the "Welsh Rabbit Cheese Shop" that I'm still raving about!

We spent one afternoon touring the devastation caused by a 100 year flood that happened last September.  The ride on Rt 34 through the canyon to Estes Park was very sad to witness, even though a tremendous amount of repair has been accomplished. 

Thanks to our hosts in all three cities!

After three weeks it was time to head home and we always love seeing this sign and clear skies at the New Mexico-Arizona border.

All photos were taken with my Samsung Galaxy S4, and you can click on the photos for a larger view.

The Smart Phone Battle

Samsung VS iPhoneThe rumors are flying and the speculation is high over the unveiling of the next iPhone which should happen in August or September.  How will it stack up against the competition is the big question!

I have to give credit to Steve Jobs for the explosion of photography starting with the iPhone 4.  Pocket camera sales are at an all time low and personally I see them disappearing from the marketplace in the next couple of years, and that’s all because of smartphone camera technology.

It would have sounded far fetched if someone would have told you, not that long ago, you could access the Internet, send and receive email, send and receive texts, take great pictures and videos, pay your bills,  deposit checks, and even make telephone calls on a hand held device!  But we are doing just that and more today.

Smart phones just keep getting smarter so we’re constantly thinking what the next model will offer us.

Apple’s iPhone certainly had the market share until Samsung came along with the Galaxy S4.  In a lot of people’s opinion the new Galaxy S5 really out did the iPhone 5S on several accounts.

So the question is what will Apple bring to the table in a few short months?  If it’s the iPhone 6 or whatever they call it, will it take the lead again?  Here’s an in depth look at this whole discussion.

An Open Letter to Microsoft

Windows 8Those of us who have been using computers for years have experienced the steady progression of technology.  I started in the days of DOS and probably the biggest thrill was when you released Windows 95.  Then there were all those operating systems between then and now, some bad and a few that were good.  Windows XP was with us the longest.  Windows 7 was a solid platform and then you decided to create a nightmare!

The world is literally hating Windows 8.  We understand that you needed an OS to support tablets but there are millions of us that still use desktop computers and throwing the Metro system in our face was a huge mistake.

Who was the genius that decided to drop the start button?  Who was the genius that made the original setup so complicated?  Who was the genius that decided to drop the games that we have loved over the years?  You promised a start button with Windows 8.1 update and it still put Metro in our face.

Unless you’re a techie and know the secret of configuring a new computer you have to sign up for a Microsoft account and give your name, email address, date of birth, telephone number, and the size of your socks!  We are mad and frustrated before it ever boots up and then we don’t see the desktop, we are faced with the confusing  Metro screen!

Without research and more frustration, we can’t even figure out how to shut down the computer.!  We can’t find anything that’s familiar.  How do we get to the control panel, task manager, power options, device manager?  Why would you want to alienate millions of computer users all over the world?

If we had some clue as to Microsoft’s future plans we might feel more comfortable but they are tight lipped, or maybe confused themselves. 

We are begging you Microsoft to shape up your act before we all abandon ship!  We already have an iPad and an iPhone which we dearly love.  Is the next step an iMac?


TechnologyTechnology is an industry on steroids and is moving so fast that it can’t keep up with itself!  We have made further strides in this arena in the past 25 years than we have in the history of mankind!

The mind of man has not conceived where we’ll be even five years from now because it hasn’t been thought of yet!

I have been fascinated and intrigued by technology all my life.  Early on I owned an electronics business, but gave that up for a career in aviation.  Back in the early eighties I got involved with computers and after retiring from flying started a computer business.

Today we are enjoying these tremendous strides in technology in all kinds of ways.  The Internet, digital photography, high definition television, tablets, drones, and smart phones, just to name a few.

Sitting in the drivers seat of some new automobiles resembles the cockpit of a jet.  All these new innovations at your finger tips like satellite radio, bluetooth, USB connections, and electronic navigation.

Maybe the biggest thing that has really changed our lives is the cell phone.  How did we ever live without them?  With a smart phone the possibilities are becoming endless.  Sophisticated cameras, keeping track of your appointments, navigation, online banking including check deposits, photo galleries, the Internet, and all the other things we can do with them.

Cell phone texting serves a valuable purpose in many ways but its negative side is causing our society to loose social graces.  A great many people are spending more time in cyber space than they are in reality.  Driving while intexticated is causing more deaths today than driving while intoxicated!

I’m sure you’ve seen Mom, Dad, Brother and Sister at a restaurant having dinner.  While eating their food, the entire time all four of them are texting!  When you text while being with other people you are non verbally saying that the person you’re texting is more important than the person or persons you’re with!

I’ve even seen people in church spend most of the service with their bright screen antagonizing the people around them while they continually surfed Facebook.  Facebook should be an occasional visit and not an addiction.

Technology will continue to change the world but we must continue to embrace the family unit!

Photos Create Joy!

Your Birth Certificate proves that you were born.  Your Death Certificate proves that you died and your photos prove that you lived! 

Some people have traveled from the womb to the tomb without ever taking a photograph, and to me that’s rather sad.  Photos tell stories,  create joy and bring back memories!

In this digital world 85% of people today are taking pictures with their cell phones.  Technology has brought smart phone cameras to the center stage and has meant a drastic decline in pocket camera sales.  Facebook alone uploads 350 million photos per day.  The world of photography has exploded!

Technology not only has improved cameras of all types but has provided editing capabilities to turn a person like me into a “Photo Artist.”

One company in particular, Topaz Labs have provided filters, to be used in conjunction with a photo editor, that can provide dazzling results.  Here’s their website:

Park Ave Original GRS

Here’s an example:  I took this shot several years ago of “Park Avenue” in Arches National Park.  Click on it for a larger view to appreciate its beauty.  This is located in Moab, Utah and is worth a visit from  anywhere!

Now with some help from Topaz Filters let’s play with this photo and come up with something completely different.  Same photo but with a different twist.  The thing about altering a photo is the possibilities are virtually endless. 

Park Ave GRS

This is the result of the editing and it has re-birthed into a piece of art.  The exciting thing about this is that someone like myself can do this in 15 minutes whereas an artist might take 15 hours to paint it.

I would encourage you to take lots of photos!  The more pictures you take the more you will enjoy the beauty that constantly surrounds you.  The more beauty that you enjoy, the richer your life will be.

Photos create Joy, tell a story, and bring back memories!  Long after you and I are gone our photos will be remembered…………………….

A Wonderful Photo is sometimes Pure Luck!

It was a bright sunny day with temps in the 70s a few days ago when visiting the Phoenix Zoo.  We did a lot of walking while photographing many of the birds and animals.

Later in the afternoon we climbed aboard the last train of the day.  The route would take us around the whole park, about a 30 minute experience.  Late in the ride we rode past the lions and tigers.  The warm afternoon sun was settling in the West and the opportunity for a “Big Cat” photo was perfect!  But, we couldn’t get off the train.  By the time we got back to the station it was almost closing time, and I asked the conductor if there was any way we could quickly get back to the lions and tigers.  He said “Well, I’m not supposed to do this, but I have to put the train away for the day and we drive right past that point, so get back on and I’ll take you there.”

As a photographer I’m excited now.  The subjects are there, the light is perfect, but can I get some great shots?

Lady LionI ran between the lion cage and the tiger cage. They were pacing, in the light, and out of the light.  At one point the female lion sat down.  I stuck my camera through the fence, zoomed in and caught her in the sunshine!

His MajastyNow, for his Majesty.  Would he stop pacing and pause in the light?  Yes, he did.  I made every sound in the world trying to get him to look my way, but he had a mind of his own, so this is him!

Big CatsI ran back to the tiger area but she was wandering around with not a good chance to get a photo.  So it’s back to the lions and  got lucky enough to catch them relaxing in the sun! How romantic…..

Back to the tiger.  She is still pacing and I’m clicking away, but no photo that’s worth bragging about.  And then, she jumped up on a boulder about 4 feet off the ground.  She stood there looking around and seemed to be interested in a bird high above in the tree.  Again I’m making sounds trying to coax her to look my way. Obviously she’s  just not interested.  (Been there before!) 


At this point I put my  camera in high speed capture mode. It’s clicking like crazy trying to get the shot.  I must have taken at least 40 frames and in 1 frame, there she was, looking straight at me!

Sometimes you’ll get a great photograph when you least expect it.  It's talent mixed with a lot of luck and being at the right place at the right time. (Click on photos for a larger view.)

Pictures tell a story and create memories.  Photos are a universal language and create emotion and joy in your life. 

Take your camera or cell phone and take a photo today!