Since I received my Sony mirrorless a6000 camera with its 18-50mm kit lens, I have been taking more photographs than before. This new camera is a big step forward in capabilities than my old Panasonic. Since I have gotten my Sony I have purchased two news lens; a F1.8 50mm and a 55-210mm telephoto. I have to admit I love the ‘nifty fifty’ the best. I love the shallow depth of field and low light capabilities of the 50mm. Last evening I went down to the waterside at Portsmouth with my tripod and 50mm and tried my hand with some night scenes. The results, in my humble opinion, were pretty good. Take a look for yourself at a couple of them.
Fall is fast approaching. The leaves are starting to change colors and the temperatures are dropping. I will miss Summer but I love all the seasons. They are all chapters in the book of Gods creation of the Universe. Soon I will be doing fall foliage photos and before you know it winter scenes. Can’t wait. God is good all the time and all the time God is good.
While Fall doesn’t officially arrive until September 23rd I have noticed that it is getting cooler in the mornings. So I am making the best use of the final month of summer. The city of Portsmouth was visited last weekend by the USCGC Barque Eagle. The Barque Eagle (WIX-327) is a 295-foot barque used as a training cutter for future officers of the United States Coast Guard. While I missed its entrance and docking, I did get down to have a look. There was only one open house, which I missed, so I couldn’t go on board. But I did take quite a few pictures. It is a breathtakingly beautiful ship and I would love to have the chance to sail with her one day.
This weekend, there were two events that occupied my days. The first one was the Seawall Art Show at Portsmouth waterside. There were many vendors with some fantastic art to view and buy. There was one photographer there whose work was wonderful. I should have gone back and bought one of his photos. I think I took one of his business cards so I might go to his gallery yet and buy something. There were different live musical groups there and I listened to the Top Hats Orchestra while I was there. They play mostly big band music and they were very good. One of the vendors was selling fish with all the trimmings but I wasn’t really hungry although the smell was trying to convince me otherwise.
Sunday I attended the annual Tefft family picnic at Red Wing Park in Virginia Beach. It is one of my favorite parks and we have had a lot of picnics there. I have 5 brothers but two of them couldn’t make it. But the rest of my brothers and their families were there. The weather was beautiful and as always my brother Jon, who is a great cook, made it a big success. It is always amazing to see how fast the young ones grow up. I need to spend more time with my family. After I left I stopped at the beautiful Japanese Gardens which are a part of the park to take some photos.
So I have had a great summer so far. The weather has been great, the pool as always is relaxing, I have gotten to see my family, and enjoyed several events. The only downside to my summer has been that my Golden Retriever Max has been diagnosed with cancer. He has been on chemo and prednisone and is doing OK, although the chemo has its side effects, the main one being that it is affecting his vision. He will be 12 years old soon and I hope he will be around for a few more years, God willing.
Three more weeks until Labor Day. I hope to make the best of them. The weather has been nice, with the temperatures in the 80’s and the humidity down. I have spent a lot of time in the pool or on the back deck enjoying the day. Life has been good. Our church had three baptisms and five new members. Another church used our bapistry to baptize four people. God is great! Our Vacation Bible School starts Monday and we are hoping for 30 children or more. Our new Pastor will be holding an adult Bible school. Our new Pastor has been great since he answered the call. His sermons are great and if you want to hear them go to our website at Park View Christian Church (DOC).
I took a short trip to Suffolk to visit the Cedar Hill Cemetery. This 32 acre expanse of hilly terrain and ancient cedar trees has many stories to reveal. Also home to one of Suffolk’s official Virginia Civil War Trail sites, The Confederate Monument. There are an amazing number of unique headstones and grave markers. A lot of the graves date back centuries. It is the most beautiful cemetery I have ever visited. My reason for visiting the cemetery was to view and photograph some of the more famous grave sites. The cemetery is so big I will have to go back another day to see it all.
I am still exploring the capabilities of my new Sony a6000 camera. I bought a book covering all the capabilities of this amazing camera, and it is quite a long book. It is amazing how much capability they can put into such a small camera. I am thinking of getting another lens for it, but am not sure whether to buy a fast 50mm lens or a telephoto lens. Currently I am leaning towards the telephoto. I will be taking a photography class this month or next taught by a professional photographer friend of mine. It will cover sunrise, sunset photography. She is an amazing photographer and I expect I will learn quite a bit from her.
That is about it for now. Have a blessed day and enjoy the summer, or what’s left of it.
Saturday I went with my friend Teresa to the Farmers Market in Williamsburg, Virginia. I had been there before with my brother Skip and loved it. It is in such a beautiful location and offers everything you would want in a farmers market and more. William and Mary College surrounds the area and there are many other fine shops and restaurants within walking distance. As usual I bought some baked goods but Teresa went for scented soaps and shampoo. If we had brought a cooler we could have taken home some shrimp or crab dip. There was live music and as always people bring their dogs to the market. The dogs are pampered with quite a few of the vendors providing free food and water for the dogs. The most popular vendors are of course the fresh produce vendors. This is not a small farmers market and there was every type of fruit or vegetable you could possibly want.
We later strolled around the area, taking in the campus of William & Mary as well as the Barnes & Noble bookstore. For lunch we ate at a Philly Cheesesteak place where I ordered chili and hot dogs with French fries. The waiter warned us that the chili was very spicy and it was, although it was delicious and not painfully hot. The staff were extremely friendly and I am anxious to return and try out their Philly cheesesteak sandwich.
After a delicious lunch, we decided to head down Colonial Parkway to Yorktown. The parkway is a very pleasant, scenic route that will take you to either Yorktown or Jamestown. We stopped in at the Yorktown Battlefield site and did a short walking tour of the battlefield. You could take a whole day there but it was hot and Teresa wanted to go to the York River beach that a friend had told her about. Yorktown is a pleasant little community on the York River at the foot of the Coleman Bridge. The George P. Coleman Bridge is a 3,750-foot-long double-swing-span bridge located in Yorktown, Virginia, and the bridge crosses the York River. There are quite a number of shops in Yorktown and several excellent restaurants. The beach itself is gorgeous but the swimming area is not very large. The Beach Delly looked wonderful but we had just eaten. Maybe we will be back before summer is over and give it a try. After walking around the riverfront for a while we decided to call it a day and headed back home. It was a great day, and that is why I need to get out more often.
Things have been going well since my last post. My back pains have gone away, I have been going to the gym regularly, and now that the pool is open I have been swimming for exercise. And of course I can’t forget that other summer exercise, yard work.
Teresa bought a new car to replace her rather raggedy Nissan. The Nissan was starting to nickle and dime her to death with repairs. She bought a beautiful forest green Toyoto Corolla. It is a 2015 model with only 9 miles on it. I’m a bit jealous as it has all the cool, new tech. in it. The center console screen has displays for phone, music, and car. It is also equipped with a backup camera which is one thing I hope all new models will have as standard fare soon. The music display works for her radio, cd player, and to connect bluetooth devices. You can make and receive phone calls hands free using buttons on the steering wheel when you connect your smartphone via bluetooth. It’s really awesome to hear your phone calls via the cars sound system.
Teresa also got a new smartphone. She has never had one before so I helped her with her selection at Cricket wireless. She bought a nice Motorola E 2nd Generation. It is a nice starter phone for a smartphone novice. I am buying her a case and screen protector as she is the type of person who likes to just throw the phone into her purse.
And the last thing is I had to satisfy my lust for a new camera. I have to work on that lust for tech. thing. I bought a Sony Alpha a6000 mirrorless camera. It was purchased from Ebay in near mint condition for $160 off retail price. It is an awesome camera and a big step up from my current camera. Looking forward to receiving it soon.
That’s it. All is well. Our Church is growing, our new Pastor is great, and I am truly blessed. Hope you are too.
Yes, it is almost officially Summer, although as far as the weather is concerned it is already here. First a quick update on my dog Max. He has started his chemotherapy and is doing very well. No side effects from the chemo and after blood work and a physical yesterday the vet says his liver is normal sized now and his albumen levels are going back to normal. Max himself seems just like his old self, active, and eating and drinking well. God is truly amazing!
I have been having severe back spasms for a week now, some of the worst I have ever had. But thankfully it seems to be calming down some now. I hate it when I don’t feel my normal self. Our new Pastor is doing a great job and we have had several new families become members. It is great to be able to minister to new people and help and watch as they grow in faith. As I have been going to the gym pretty regularly, my energy level is up and I am sleeping much better. I hope to be much more active this summer. I hope to take a few short trips and get to the beach, etc.
My new Meizu MX4 phone is a joy, especially when it come to taking photos. I also received my Zidoo X9 Android TV box and am likewise enjoying it. One nice feature it has is an HDMI input so that I can connect by Blu Ray player to it. Been reading several books as that is one of my main forms of entertainment in the summer. I have also realized that the library has a great collection of Blu Ray and DVD movies to rent. That is really cutting down on the movies I am renting from Amazon.
I have engaged a Realtor and have been looking at several house to buy. I have found two that I love although one is out in the middle of nowhere and too far from church. I am not ready to move yet but it is nice to know what you can get for what you can afford.
That’s it for now. Everyone enjoy your summer. God Bless you and keep you./
Life can change so quickly. “You’re riding high in April, shot down in May.” First thing, Memorial Day. Memorial Day is one of the holidays I have trouble with. It is such a sad day yet it is also a day to be proud. A day to be proud of the fine young men and women who serve our country yet be sad at the terrible loss of those same fine young men and women. Sometimes the loss is justified and sometimes the loss in needless, yet never meaningless. I fought in Vietnam and it stands out for me as one of the most needless, tragic wars in American history. So many fine young Americans sacrificed for no noble cause. They fought and died because they loved their country and each other. For no other reason, only that the lessons learned from that tragic war could possibly prevent something like that from ever happening again. Unfortunately, Iraq and Afghanistan have shown that those lessons learned at such a terrible cost were ignored.
As for the riding high in April, shot down in May, I found out that my beautiful Golden Retriever Max has cancer. It is malignant and involves the liver. It is not operable but is treatable with chemo. He has been prescribed Prednisone and another Chemo drug. The Chemo drug is very expensive but that is not a consideration. The Vet told me that the median life expectancy with treatment is 18 months. Max will be 12 years old this November. I pray that he and I will have at least a couple more years together. He is my constant companion and one of my main sources of joy in this life. It is always so hard to say goodbye but I wouldn’t have missed our time together for anything. I love you Max.
The last thing is it looks like I will be moving very soon. Long story, but at least I pray this will be my forever home as I am 66 years old and don’t want to ever have to move again. So it is one of the biggest decisions of my life where to move too. I don’t need anything big or nice, just somewhere where Max and I can have some peace and quiet in our final years. Not trying to sound maudlin, just a little overwhelmed right now.
That’s about it for now. May God Bless whoever reads this. May you cherish every day and everyone in your life.
It is a rainy May Day here in Chesapeake. Don’t know what I will do with the day yet other than go to the gym. I have a couple of good books to read, one being Holy Fire by R.T. Kendall. I have been pretty busy at Church. Yesterday I went out with our Board Chairperson and her husband to buy a new TV for the Sunday School/Nursery. We ended up with a 42″ Sharp LED model. It was on sale for $399 which was a good deal. We also bought a new blu-ray DVD player to go with it. The equipment we currently have is very old and outdated. Hopefully the kids will enjoy it. The DVD player even allows streaming media so that is a bonus.
Our planned family picnic was cancelled due to lack of interest. Everyone seemed to have something else to do. I was very disappointed. I was really looking forward to seeing my son. We had planned on going to a Norfolk Tides ballgame but the weather put a stop to that. He has told me he will find something soon for us to do together.
The rioting in Baltimore has been very disturbing. Baltimore is not all that far from where we live. There has even been concern of possible protests/rioting in Portsmouth, a stones throw from us, over the recent killings of two black men by the Portsmouth police. Hopefully it will all be resolved peacefully.
I am writing this post on my new laptop, which is turning out to be a nice machine. I am also using it at Church for our PowerPoint presentations as well as my Bible Study class. Now back to my devotions and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of this rainy but beautiful day. I hope everyone has a nice, peaceful, May Day.
February has been quite the month weather wise. It has snowed three times with the most recent blanketing the area with 3 inches or more. But the real story has been the cold. Overnight we had the coldest temperatures in 21 years. It was down to zero degrees overnight without a wind chill. We have had numerous days when the high temperature of the day never reached freezing and the nighttime lows were in the single digits. As I write this the snow outside has been frozen into solid ice that you can walk on without leaving a mark.
We have had numerous winter weather watches and wind chill warnings along with coastal flooding and high winds. Last year we had 4 major snowfalls but never temperatures like this. More of the same is expected for tomorrow and it won’t be until Saturday that some relief from the frigid temperatures starts to thaw things out. Last nights Ash Wednesday service was cancelled as was our once a month breakfast meal for the homeless at the Oasis Mission.
I will be glad when this winter is over, if it ever ends. Damn you Punxsutawney Phil. Well at least I’m not Bill Murray and stuck in Groundhog Day.
A friend of mine from church recently invited me to an Old Dominion University basketball game at the Ted Constance Convocation Center in Norfolk, Virginia. He had VIP tickets which got us VIP parking, free food and drinks in the VIP lounge, and great seating. ODU had a record of 17-4 and was playing against the Charlotte 49ers who had a 10-12 record. I have not been ever been to a college basketball game but have watched a lot on TV.
The Convocation Center is a great forum for basketball. It is a modern facility with all the amenities you could want. After parking we went to the VIP lounge and had some light snacks and some great sausage and hot dogs. Once we went inside I was amazed at how great a setup they had for the game. I was really impressed. There were probably 5,000 people in attendance along with the dancing group, cheerleaders, and band.
For the first half we sat up top at one end of the court. It was a great overall view of the action. For the second half we moved to our VIP seats down low mid-court. Those seats were even better. You felt like you were part of the game. It was a really exciting game to watch and Charlotte gave ODU a tough game. But in the end ODU won 61-57. I would really like to go back again soon. It was the most fun I have had in quite a while. If you live in this area I highly recommend attending one of ODU’s home games.