Category : Uncategorized

3 months, 1 week ago 28
Posted in: Uncategorized

Celebrate

 

Last night Wes and Rhonda came home from the Markey Cancer Center in Lexington, Kentucky after a 29 day stay for extensive chemo and treatments.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a bigger smile on Wes’s and Rhonda’s faces than when they sat down on his patio surrounded by neighbors, friends, and his children!  Wes has been declared cancer free!  Now all he has to do is walk the long walk back to full strength! With Rhonda by his side I have no doubt he will make it!  Rhonda has been the living example of a great wife and partner.  She never left his side through out the 7 month fight, and as her father-in-law I’ve always loved and appreciated Rhonda, but my respect has risen to an all-time high!

 

There is no doubt in my mind that all of this is because of you!  The outpouring of concern and the fervent prayers of all our friends, and their friends and people we will never meet until in eternity they walk up to Sherelene and I and say I prayed for Wes!  If you don’t believe me, ask his doctors and staff of both hospitals and cancer centers, they will tell you his recovery was filled with miracles. I am sharing this because, from the deepest part of my heart,  I want to thank you, and I want you to know that God is there and He cares and still hears our voice and still performs miracles!

 

I pray that everyone that reads this post will know that this is “real”.  If you are walking though this life without Him, how are you going to face these difficult times that come into everyone’s lives eventually?  Inspite of the severity of Wes’s fight, with this disease, God continually gave me a peace that past all understanding.  I desperately want that for you too!  I don’t ever want you to have to walk through anything like this without His precious hand on your shoulder.  If I could wrap up His love and give it to you as a gift, I would!!!  Unfortunately that’s not how it works!!!  Each of us has to come to a place where we realize that we simply can’t do this thing called life in our own strength.  We can’t carry the burden of all our faults and actions on our own.  Only One can lift the burden and give us true peace and comfort.  Jesus stands at the door and knocks and asks if He can come in.  It’s simple, open the door and ask Him in and ask Him to forgive you and make you new.

 

You’ve given me the greatest gift, my son back, please join me  in reaching out to a lost world and encourage the lost to find the way! For some time I’ve known that ask James Taylor sings “That’s Why I’m Here” that is my purpose and my mission.  I want to share God’s unending, uncomprehendable Love with all that don’t know it!

 

There is nothing more imporant we can do with our lives than to steer others to Him!

 

Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart!

 

May His blessings be on you,

 

the pilgrim

3 months, 2 weeks ago 12
Posted in: Uncategorized

 

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I’ve found it interesting that most photographers have similar interests.  A surprising number are also into watches and audio equipment.  I am and I have really enjoyed great music for all of my life. As I have gotten older my audio gear has become very dated and instead of buying new amps, and speakers of the quality I would enjoy, I’ve turned to headphones to enjoy great music at high volumes.  With good headphones you  get a sound quality that might cost thousands in speakers.  So how to find great headphones?  How much do great headphones cost?  Actually you can get very good headphones for less than $100. and if you are so inclined you can spend well north of ten thousand!  Is a ten thouasnd pair a hundred times better than a hundred dollar pair? In my opinion no, but I’ve never bought a ten thousand dollar pair!  You might want to buy some and let me know!

 

The great news is a company called Status pronounced “Stay tus”,  not Status, because that is the opposite of their goal.  They state that they have no logos, and no paid endorsers, (guess I’m unpaid too), any way they attempt and succeed at making very exceptional performing headphones at unbelievably low prices, far far less than you would expect to pay for such sound quality!!!  In case you don’t know headphones are usually Open or Closed.  Open headphones allow sound to leak out the sides which helps the sound signature seem more open and expanded, but people nearby can hear a faint amount of what you are listening to!  So they are not the best for an airplane, library or anywhere you don’t want others disturbed.  Closed back contain the sound between your ears.  They are best when listiening in a public place.

 

The Status OB (Open back) 1 and the Status CB (closed back)1 are both exceptional and I own both,  to be honest the OB-1s are my personal favorites and the least expensive! I’ve heard $500. cans that are not as good as these!!!!

 

 

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Two other pair that I own are both very good as well;  the Sony MDRV6 are great for studio monitoring, you will often see them worn by sports announcers!  They are also very reasonably priced. They have a very flat frequency response and are very accurate.  The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is one of the more popular headphones and have a great sound.  They were as good as you could get a few years ago when I bought mine, today they are be eclipsed by some others, but are still great cans (slang name for headphones)!

 

I have a pair of Hifiman HE400’s coming at the end of the year.  These are Planar Magnetics which are at the top of the food chain, the ones I have ordered were around $500. however,  Massdrop is offering them for $169.  I think more are available so sign up with Massdrop!

 

Well, if you’re into fine sounding music, think about giving one of these a try!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

 

 

 

3 months, 3 weeks ago 12
Posted in: Uncategorized

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My post about the eclipse of our hearts really stirred up some thought with others and myself!  The manufacturers don’t make it easy on us.  Fuji Rumors says a new X-T2 is coming with IBIS (In body image stabilization), Nikon just released the D850  45.7 megapixels!,  one a rumor, one fact.  The real fact is all the camera companies don’t want you to be satisfied with what you have today!!!!  Now that is normal, natural and what drives the industry, but it doesn’t have to drive you.

 

Personal experience:  When I was a Nikon shooter and owned a Nikon F, I immendiatly bought the F2 when it came out (actually 2 of them), I vowed that no matter what Nikon brought out next I was happy with the F2, that was until they released the F3!!!  I vowed again this was finally the near perfect camera and I was finished trading up!!!!  Did the same with the F4 and F5!  I even had a F6 because I worked for Nikon at the time and they sent me one, but by then we were fully into the digital age.

 

I think you get the picture!  D1, D2, D3 and D4 and I was out of the Nikon system and Fuji shooter before the D5 appeared.

 

Fast forword to my very happy Fuji days (2012 to present); X-10, X-E1, X-Pro1, X-T1, X-E2, X-T2, X-Pro2 see my point.  As of today I am convinced that the X-T2 & X-Pro2 are my stopping point, I find these cameras to be nearly perfect for what I do and I honestly can’t think of an improvement that I can’t live without!!  Of course if a X-T2s is really out there with in body IS, who knows!  For me, it has to stop somewhere!  I’m a little like the old man that said at his age he was no longer buying ripe bananas!  I know you can’t stop technology from moving forward and we should, and I do, welcome it, but I am going to try, very hard, to ask myself from now on, do I really need this?,  will it really make a big difference in my work?, is it worth the cost?, can I carry it?, how much will I loose by trading  up once again?!!!!

 

I know I can do it, I did with the GFX.  Is the GFX a not a remarkable piece of technology?  It sure is!  Would it be fun to own it?  You bet!!!!  Now the toughest question, do you need  it?  For me the answer is no.  Do I want one? Yes.  Do I need it’s capabilities?  Not really.  Have I shot one?  Yes.  Was I not impressed?  I was blown away with how indredible it was!  Then why don’t you buy one?  For the same reason I don’t drive an Aston Martin Vanquish, can’t afford it, don’t need it and where would I put all my AV gear!

 

If you bought a GFX and are happy with it, and I’m sure you are, good for you, it must be a good fit for you, it just wouldn’t be for me.  There comes a time when we need to ask oursleves the hard questions:

 

What will this do for me that I can’t do with my present gear?

 

Will I be terribly disadvantaged without it?

 

Is it worth the cost?

 

Can I afford that cost?

 

After you dance through that forest you will know what you should do.  Is it wrong to answer all those questions, Nothing , No  No and  No,  and still buy it?  It’s your money and I’ve done it many times before, but I’m trying to make that behavior…….. Dead and Buried!!!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

 

 

3 months, 3 weeks ago 15
Posted in: Uncategorized

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On a day that the entire world is obssesed with a solar eclipse, I started to study the photos depicting the progress of an eclipse and I got a wild thought!  Spiritually I have long battled with a familiar foe to our devotion to Christ, materialism.  Years ago I cherished my possesion too greatly, but that has softened.  I now appreciate the things I own and enjoy, but do not over-value them.

 

The enemy is not only evil, he is sneeky!  Let me give you an example, one I hate to share.  I’ve found something interesting about photographers, as a group, they generally like much of the same things, and don’t ask me why, I don’t know why…. they just seem to!  Many of my photographer friends are also in to watches, audio equipment as well as photography gear.

 

Some years ago when the America From 500 Feet book came out I bought myself a gift, a Breitling titanium chronograph worn by many pilots.  It was, for me, pretty expensive, around tewenty five hundred bucks.  Well I loved that watch and it started a flurry of watch purchases the vast majority far less expensive than that one.  I would get online and look at the watch websites, and order anyone I liked.  I soon had a large collection of over 35 watches!  I soon discovered several things about collecting watches, you can only wear one at a time, and it’s a chore to  keep them wound and set correctly and keep the batteries changed in the quartz watches!!!!  You know what they say, ” a man who owns a watch always knows what time it is, a man who owns many watches never knows what time it is!!!”  That’s becasue they all say something different!!!!  My point is this is a textbook example of obsession!  If you are spending most of your time looking at them, studying them, and admiring  them and not enough time in prayer, reading the word and enjoying your family that’s not good!  Watches are not bad, but being obssesed with them is.

 

Apply this to anything you find yourself obsessed with, then pray about it.  I’m giving away watches to grandchildren, friends and complete strangers.

 

The image at the top of a eclipse progression shows how insidious an obssesion can be, it starts as a little sliver and before you know it, it has blocked out all light!  Another way of looking at obsessions is they block out the light of God.  Anything that commands more of our attention than Him is not a good thing.  Watches are not evil, cameras and lenses are not evil, stereo gear is not evil, but if we find ourselves worshiping them by the amount of time and thought we give them, that is evil.  I confess my sin, I have counted many of these things as of far greater importance than they deserve in my life.  I recognize this does me great harm, and I, with God’s help, intend to place my heart and mind back on what is most important, my relationship with Him!

 

Today’s eclipse will be a wonderful example of the spectacular nature of the universe He created, just don’t let your interests and possessions, eclipse your heart!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

Wow, forgot about firearms and ammo!!!!  Do as I say, not as I have done!!