Monday, October 14, 2013

He believes in you

I does not matter if you believe in God, the fact that he believes in you is why you are.
 D.F.S. 10/14/13

Hi Lord, it’s me. We are getting older and things are getting ...bad here.
Gas prices are too high, no jobs, and food and heating costs too high. I
know some have taken you out of our schools, government and even
Christmas, but Lord I'm asking you to come back and re-bless America! We
really need you! There are more of us who want you than those who don't!
Help us to let others know you love them and we pray for a re-kindling of the fire that made this country great. Give us a REVIVAL of people following you, for that is the only way to "change" this country in a positive direction.
Thank You Lord, I Love You. (Author unknown)

I got this as an e-mail and decided to pass it on this way so it can be easily shared.  Some of you might be thinking, "All this God talk is just for the Bible beating Christian fanatics." but God isn't Christian! He/she can't be claimed by any religion as their God only. God is the central anchor of ALL religions. Yes, he is the God of the Catholics and the Protestants but when you pray to God, you are praying to the God of All. He is the God of the Christians and the God of the Jews. He is the God of the Hindus and the God of the Buddhists. Yes, he is also the God of the Muslims.  The spirit has no denomination; it simply is. Life is a journey of the soul and at some time, when the soul has learned the lessons it must, it will return to its source. Only then can we find true peace.D.F.S

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Just getting to know this app

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Jumping a sinking ship

Some time back, I thought about changing wireless providers. On Friday evening we did it! We changed over from Sprint to Verizon. The process was simple. We kept our old numbers but got new phones and a new faster service. We even traded in our old phones knowing we would no longer need them. Life is good. . . .

Not so fast. As Paul Harvey would say, "And now, Page Two!" The real story is not quite as simple. When we tried to call each other, we found our calls were still going to Sprint as we found out when our calls were forwarded to Sprint voice mail. WTF! There is a process called porting which converts your new phone to the new number AFTER it removes the old phone from operation. We had not been ported. I called Verizon and found that they had done their part. Sprint was required to relinquish their HOLD on our number. They were behind. It usually takes an hour or so but due to high volume, it was taking up to 24 hours!  I called Sprint. They said, "no problem, just keep using the old phone until the porting completes. Ahh but we traded in our old phones! OUCH! We were "Shit, out of luck".

It's only 24 hours, one day to be disconnected. 24 hours came and went. I called Sprint again. "You are scheduled for porting at 10:30 tonight" (Saturday) she said. We all went to bed unported hoping we would awaken to new, fully operational, phones in the morning. We are now approaching 48 hours and still unported. Another call to Sprint customer Service and after a long hold while the representative probably went out for coffee, we were transferred to the porting department, obviously some place in a non-English speaking country. (They have a whole departmant just to help people get away from their service.) I could not understand much but I could understand 24 hours more wiat. Then she wanted a call back number where I could be reached. "What part of we can't get any calls, do you not understand", I responded with a touch of anger in my voice. To that, she replied, "Thanks you for letting Sprint provide the best possible service, have a nice day."  I couldn't even slam down the phone for fear of shattering my new screen. "It is too late for that!" I retaliated.

So, what is the message here? The message is, "Don't invest in Sprint." If they are so overwhelmed with people wanting to leave their service, business can't be too good. If two hours normal turn around is now 72 hours, there is a problem. Unlimited data is not much of a selling feature if you are puttsing around in 3G speeds when everyone else is running 4G in most metro areas. It would be a little bit like Hurtz offering a battery "Barbie Car" with unlimited mileage for a low price. When unlimited data translates to unlimited pain in the butt, Sprint, you have a problem.

If you know someone contemplating the change from Sprint, encourage them to jump ship now before it sinks but hold onto the old phone until the process is complete!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Last 12 hours

Holy Week is a time to investigate the true depth of your religion. Here is a look at the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus. We have all felt the pain of the last couple years. This adds perspective to your pain. Reading it, and taking it into your soul might give an insight of his last hours on Earth. Fortunately, you have seen the end of the movie. You know about Easter. But to be able to appreciate the spiritual joys of Easter, you must understand the physical price that was paid.

Click on the picture above to see it full screen.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Eagles in winter

Winter around the Sriner household often revolves around the annual quest for the Bald Eagle. This year was no different.
 Click on the above and other pictures to see them full sized! 

January of this year, brought with it a trip to the operating room for Pat. She had to have major shoulder surgery. The surgery was extensive but she has been recuperating very quickly. During her 6 weeks off work, we practiced retirement. The freedom was great! The end of the practice period and the subsequent drop back into reality SUCKED BIG TIME! Although I am already semi-retired, there was no guilt relaxing while we were both home but once Pat had to start punching a time clock, my responsibility gene  started showing its ugly head again. I could not just sit at my computer and work on pictures or study new ways to manipulate them in Photoshop. I started looking at my watch thinking, "I need to do something to justify my time". The trouble is, when your heart just isn't in it, there is a great deal of wondering getting ready to work. It is hard even now to type that nasty four letter word. WORK. I'm not good at goofing off so I certainly won't ever completely retire but the difference is  the "have to" and the guilt. I can still hear my step-dad and his always demeaning manner. "Don't just sit there, be productive." haunts me still. Artistic pursuits that require periods of sitting resonate deep inside as non-productivity! I feel guilty reading or studying or tweaking pictures or writing my blogs.  Having recognized the problem is making it a little easier to pursue my God given artistic endeavors. But I still look around to see if anyone is watching me goof off at the keyboard. During our practice retirement, I felt much less of this distraction. If Pat is wasting time reading a book, I can waste time on my artistic outlets. June can't come too soon for me!

"So", you ask, "What about the eagles?" OK, I'm getting there. For me, my first eagle sighting many years ago was an awakening of my spirit. I don't understand completely why but I am captivated by their majesty. The desire to capture that spirit in pictures really opened me to photography as a compulsive artistic drive. Once I had a soaring American Icon in my viewfinder, I was hooked. But my tools were far exceeded by my desire to get that perfect image. I wanted images that I could share with others so they too could experience the feeling I got capturing the marvelous raptor in my camera. Each year brought a little better camera or lens. My weapon of choice now is a Canon D7 with a 400mm "L" series lens combination. This is about as far as I can go without another mortgage on the house. At this point I would need to go from thousands of dollars to tens of thousands. With retirement just around the corner, that jump will probably never come. Fortunately, at this time in life, I have come to grips with this drive for the biggest toys because no matter what you get there is something just a little bigger, a little better. I am ready to accept that fact and simply do the best I can do to learn how to use the tools I have.

OK, OK, I'm getting there. Eagles are basically fish eaters. Sure they will, on occasion take a duck on the river or a rabbit in the field but they nest and usually hunt on the rivers. As winter starts to swallow up the open water in the north, the eagles will start migrating south for food. Around here, they are found as they migrate along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. They need open water to feed so as the river freezes, they are drawn further south. Along their journey, they will often stop at the Locks and Dams along the river because the water rushing through the gates or turbines won't freeze. This provides them with the open water to fish. For than reason, they will congregate in large numbers at these locations. It is not unusual to see 25 - 30 in a single tree. Sometime even more when the river is nearly all frozen. But in the event of warmer weather, the river is not frozen over as much and they will spread out along the river due to the lower competition. There are probably as many eagles in totality but they are not bunched up. That has been the case the last couple years.

There is one favorite place along the Mississippi that attracts photographers from all over the country. That sweet spot is Lock and Dam #14 in northern Illinois near the Quad Cities. What makes this spot so special that it draws crowds all winter, is the configuration of the river. There is a small bay where stunned fish can often be seen floating on the surface. The eagles find this a perfect hunting grounds and the near-by observation walk has no visual barriers between it, the water and diving eagles. Every eagle photographer has pictures of  an eagle perched in a tree but to catch a shot of the dive and capture of the fish is the true feather in any nature photographer's cap. Many can go for many years without the opportunity to make this capture. L & D #14 seems to give the best opportunity to make the capture. Photographers from across the country will line the walkway with $20,000 camera set-ups.
This is a small weekday crowd.
 Most of these photographers are from out-of-state. You will notice the buckets by several of the shooters. No it is not to store fish they catch. They are full of fish used to bait the eagles. While some will question the integrity of this practice, it is common here. They will use compressed air in a can to bloat the fish and toss it in the river in hopes an eagle will swoop down for a catch. The eagles don't seem to mind the easy pickin' and the photographers are overjoyed with the results. Many of the baiters are professional photographers who offer "eagle safaris" to the participants. I won't pass judgement but I will say it works if the eagles are there.
An adult eagles swoops in for the floating fish

one leg catch

Hold on tightly and we are off

One thing I have learned over the may years I have chased the elusive eagles from site to site, is that they are unpredictable. The population can not only change from day to day but hour by hour.  But it is worth the try and the wait when you are rewarded with the above shots.

As the days begin to lengthen, most of the eagle pairs know it is time to head back north to  get the nest ready for the spring hatch. New eagles will be born in the North Country and when winter spreads the blanket of snow and ice over the region again, the eagles will return to our backyard and I will again be able to spend the winter trying to outguess their location. But next winter, we won't be limited to the all too often cloudy weekends. Next year these same dives will be in sunny locations and the beauty will be multiplied many times as I am able to be seen ever so much more clearly.
Perhaps  by next winter, the above juvenile will have graduated to the adult white head and I will see him in all his splendor.

You can see more of my magnificent eagles at: my Smugmug Gallery Click on the preceding link  to see more. Watch for my next blog and see where else we have been.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

2013 Where is life going?

I start every year with good intentions for the new year and some how  the next thing I know it is December and I am writing another Christmas letter. Last year was no different. The time flies by like tissue in a hurricane. Sometimes it feels like I am riding on the tissue. You might ask, "Didn't you do anything to write about?" The answer to that is, "Oh, we did a lot of traveling, but when we got home, rather than chronicle the adventure, we were either off on another adventure or I was back at work. It was a little like a paratrooper hitting the  ground running. No time to look back. So, why should this year be any different? The answer is that magical word RETIREMENT! My wife retires the end of May. Once she retires, I won't feel like I have to work to remain productive. It is one thing for both of us to take a walk and relax but for me to do the same thing while she was working shouts out "LAZY" to me so I find projects to justify myself. Last year, I took a small house appraised as "possible tear down" and made it one of the best looking houses on the block. It was a lot of work but worth the time and effort and yes it made me feel good about myself. The fact that I was still able to  carry 80 pound bundles of shingles up a ladder, was quite a feat for an old guy of 66.

That was all in the past and the past is behind us. While we can learn from the past, we can't change it so it's time to move on and take on another year. With my new found "free time" I have been writing much more and I find myself driven to continue. Much of the writing has been directed toward FaceBook entries in the many groups I follow. I find myself driven to help younger photographers grow through helpful posts on several photography sites. I use these same windows to display some of my many photographs. Another of my endeavors has been a concerted effort to bring my high school graduating class together through Facebook postings and regular "Gatherings" . With our 50th reunion just over a year away, I will let the Reunion Committee take over much of that effort. I posted my "State of the Class" resignation just a couple days ago. This resignation included the discontinuance of my maintenance on the two class blogs and their website. 

That brings us here and the time is now. Look for a new resurgence on this spot. I will be going back to the original travel logs disbursed with pictures to bring it life.  I will also incorporate my love of photography and my need to teach by sharing my experience. So, future posts will contain some of the information that would have gone on my photography page. So, for the photographers out there, you will see how I got the shots and also links to where you can purchase copies of the photos that inspire you. 

For those who enjoy my humor, I will be incorporating that into all my work because that is the way I roll. I like to go through life with a smile and if I can bring that smile to others, I am forever grateful. What you won't find here is a place to comment. I will retain my FaceBook presence for that purpose. You can find me on FaceBook under DSDigitals.  Here is a direct link . You will find additional pictures there on a regular basis. It is also a great place to leave comments. My personal presence on FaceBook will also continue. That's where you will find my personal/political/philosophical  thoughts. If you are from my high school class, you will also find me on our private shs class of 64 FaceBook page. 

For those of you who have followed me here in the past, you might say, "haven't we heard this before, you promise to write and then don't" I can understand your frustration. The truth is, I have been writing much more than I ever have done before but I spread my thoughts and writing so far and wide that there never seems to be any time for the Em-T-Nest. I am going to change that starting now. 

Join me in this new year of 2013. 
© Dulany Sriner