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3 years, 6 months ago 1


I drove up to Milwaukee today on my way to Oshkosh in the morning for the big Air Show.  I had a burger at one of my favorite chain places, Steak & Shake, and then headed on up the road.  Approaching West Liberty, Indiana, I saw a road sign for a place that claimed to be the best burger anywhere!  I wasn’t hungry but I couldn’t pass up that challenge so I got off the interstate and drove the 3 miles into town.


Triple XXX Family Restaurant is just that a great old place that got  it’s name from a local favorite root beer Triple  XXX which they still serve today.  The establishment opened in 1929 and the sign says “We were here before your mother was born!”  It was listed by USA Today as the “Best Burger in Indiana”, in their story on the 50 best burgers in America.  They were also featured on the Food Network show, Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dives.    They have the distinction of being the oldest drive-on in Indiana!


O.K. I know what your thinking, why is he putting off the rating??!!  Actually, I really loved this place, the people were great, very friendly, it had the perfect atmosphere for a burger and I love the history, but…….  the burger was not what I had hoped for.  Don’t get me wrong it was a good burger, just not a great burger.  Why?  First the meat was pretty thin, I should have ordered the triple paddy, that would have helped a lot.  Second, they used Miracle Whip (salad dressing) instead of mayo.  I love Miracle Whip on certain sandwiches, but not burgers, (admittedly a personal thing.)  The bun was fine, and the fries average.  But hey I would go back, though I might not be welcome after this less than glowing review!  I have to say they were very nice folks, it’s just that a lot of people out there have raised the level of the great burgers you can find today.  So I would say a 3.8 out of 5, not bad, just not in the top 25 or so top burgers.  But hey, really nice folks!


the pilgrim


3 years, 6 months ago 1

What a blessing to call Ricky Skaggs a friend!  I did a project for Nikon several years ago and it put Ricky and I into contact, and as is always the case with brothers in the Lord, we became fast friends. The other day Ricky had a birthday and my son Wes  saw it in the Lexington paper, so I just wanted to take a moment to wish Ricky a good one!  I also wanted to take a moment to thank God for the great friends He has surrounded me with!  This mornings devotional in, In Touch spoke of Paul’s  last messages and how he spoke of those friends that stood by him.  It reminded me how fortunate we are to have those people in our lives that are our best friends.  I count Chuck Summers and Jim Begley as two men that God has placed in my life to help me, and guide me, what a burden that must be, I need a lot of help!  Many others are on that short list,  but from fear of leaving someone out, you guys and gals know who you are, I won’t start a list here.  Needless to say it is a great blessing when God gives us such riches, friends.


A friend is more than an acquaintance, a friend is there with you, for you, in prayer for you, ready to council you, or just listen!  A friend is someone you can trust, and believe in.  If a friend lets you down it is the last thing they would ever want to do! I’m truly blessed, but more important, I want to try to be a friend to others, only with God’s strength can we ever do that.


Father give me Your wisdom, Your love, Your steadfastness, as I attempt to be a friend to those that have blessed and honored me with their friendship!


the pilgrim

3 years, 6 months ago 1

One of the things I love about writing the blog is the great interaction with you guys.  A little while ago I mentioned that I was desperately wanting an old Nikkor 25-50 zoom lens, they are pretty rare and hard to find.  My buddy John Gompf from New Jersey shot me an email with one he found on eBay, so I ordered it, and it came while I was at NECC, it’s near mint and I love it!  John had even made an offrer to see how low the seller would go, and so I knew I could save a little on it!  I bring the whole thing up for two reasons, first and most importantly, I really enjoy the old friendships renewed and the new ones mad, that have been a result of the pilgrim’s chronicles. It’s really fun to kick ideas back and forth with all of you and share spiritual insight.  When I was at NECC, last week, I had a half dozen people approached me and tell me they read the chronicles and it was meaningful to them.  It thrills me to know that God’s will is being done, and pray that He gets all the credit!


The second thing is that, like you, I’m a photoholic.  I just love my addiction to all things photography, what a great profession and hobby!  Since my experiment  with manual lenses I’ve wanted to get another 25-50 Nikkor zoom and test it.  I will do so at Oshkosh and I think I know what I will be reporting.  The history of the 25-050 is an unusual one.  It was the second “extreme” wide angle zoom Nikon ever made, you  have to remember in the 70′s 25mm was extreme for a zoom!  As our engineers always do, they attempted to make a near perfect optic, and they came very close.  For it’s time,  the 25-50 was a very expensive lens, and consequently, it never was a big seller.  A few years later it was sold out, at a bargain price, and only then did a number of people get their hands on a lens they could not have afforded otherwise. The lens became an instant classic and legend.  The interesting thing is the lens while very sharp is not what I would call legendaraly sharp, like says the 55mm Micro Nikkor. What made the lens so incredible was  that it was so well designed that it had virtually no CA (chromatic aberration)!  As a result the images from this lens have a color purity and, “look”,  that are out of this world.  Now, every lens sample is ever so slightly different, but I hope to discover that I got one of the very good ones!  Tests this week will tell the tale!


Thanks to all of you, out there,  many of whom I will never meet, or know, for coming here and letting me visit with you via a blog.  I know that God has inspired me to do this, and I pray He is reaching out to each of you and meeting your needs with “His” inspiration.


In Him,


the pilgrim

3 years, 6 months ago 5

Got in at 1:30 a.m. from Amherst.   Atlanta was it’s usual train wreck in summer, high winds and thunderstorms delayed my flight for four hours!  I could scream and kick and cry, but then it’s over, I’m home for a few days, and then it’s off to the next assignment, what’s new!  I had a great time at NECC, so many wonderful friends to visit with and meeting and getting to know a bunch more.  It was really nice to meet our new TSR Alex, the meet Kris Bosworth’s husband (just married), spend time with Bob Watts, and what a joy to have time again with Bill Durrence, a very good, old friend, he’s not old, well actually we both are, but the friendship is a long one!  I enjoyed presenting to the folks and Saturday night Joe (McNally) proved once again why he is one of the very best in the business, what a great shooter, entertainer and guy!   The bigger the stage the more impressive he is, he had over a thousand in  the audience!  I really enjoyed seeing Wayne Bennett, as always, and it was terrific to meet Mike Moats, finally, what a great guy, and really talented close-up artist.  All in all it was a great trip.


For the next few days it’s catch up on reports, organize for a week at Oshkosh, America’s biggest air show, and spend time with my bride!  I will be running a continuation of the manual focus lens test at Oshkosh, and hoping to post a lot of aerial stuff for you next week.


Today’s Principle from Charles Stanley’s 30 Life Principles;


5. God does not require us to understand His will, just obey it, even if it seems unreasonable. 



One of the hardest things for  me to do,  personally, is follow God’s direction and will when I don’t understand it.  I’m sure we all struggle with that, but Charles is right, we are not called to understand allHis ways, just be obedient to His will.  The good news is that in my entore walk with Him, I have never once taken the wrong path when I follwed His will and was obedient, not once!  So if I lean on my own understandign, I may miss His greatest blessings!


the pilgrim