Friday, March 13, 2009


Figured it would be best to slow things down a bit to-day & take time to rest a troublesome lower back & sore leg. It's a warm sunny afternoon in southeastern Arizona making it a perfect day for wiling away the hours quietly reading my Walter Cronkite biography.

Kelly had a Yoga class this morning so it was a good time for me to empty some tanks, get the dishes done, do a little vacuuming & get some puttering out of the way before cruising into a relaxing afternoon.

Also might be a good time to answer questions from some blog followers.

-Someone asked a question about our fulltiming RV life.
At this stage of RVing we are still just winter snowbirds heading to the southwest for the winter. Fulltiming may very well be in our future at some point but for right now we are just seasonal.

-A question about when we will be heading home this year.
We really don't know yet when we are leaving but we're guessing it will maybe be sometime around the end of the month. We will have to get the wheels rolling on some travel plans very shortly. Is the snow all gone up there yet??

-Randy & Pam inquired, how do I get sharp looking pictures & what kind of camera do I use??
I have 2 DSLR Nikons....A D40 & a D50 & a Canon Power Shot A720IS fixed lens cam. The Canon has 8.0 pixels & the Nikons are probably the same or higher. I use a Nikkor 18-55mm zoom lens on the D-50 & a Nikkor 55-200 zoom lens on the D-40. I generally shoot on the automatic setting & let the camera do the technical work for me. I also have the camera's image quality settings set at normal or higher. I also use a great web based photo program called Picasa 3 by Google. It's a free download & I highly recommend it for people like myself who like to keep things simple. I don't use the Nikon or Canon photo programs that came with the cameras. I do have Photoshop installed on my lap top but just haven't gathered up enough patience yet to figure it out. I may consider taking some kind of Photoshop course this summer. Picasa 3 is a scaled down & simpler version of Photoshop. No, you can't change backgrounds, edit people out, put snow on mountains or smiles on grumpy old faces. But, you can sharpen up your photos, add contrast where needed, crop, straighten, enhance colors, plus a host of other things. I have been using Picasa for about 5 years now. You can find it here... It also goes hand in hand with Google's Picasa Web Album program for uploading photos to the web. The photo album program can be downloaded from the Picasa 3 site.

-Someone about a month ago wondered about the availability of our ranch sitting job. I was unable to contact that person because they had not included a return addy in their comment.
There is a ranch sitting job open right now for 3 weeks this coming November in Sunizona Arizona. The ranch is called Paws & Hooves & I blogged about it on Feb 28th I think. If interested, check out my post & then email us & we can forward the email to the ranch. Also, for anyone emailing us, please put "Hello to the Bayfield Bunch" in the subject line & that way I'll know it's not spam. Well, at least until some spammer lowlife reads this that is. Also on this subject, I'm sorry if I've missed some emails out there that people have sent to our Hotmail account. It's hard knowing which emails to open or not & I've probably deleted some that were meant for us. So, if I haven't answered your email, please send it again & hopefully I'll catch it.

-Another reader asked, "how long does it take you to do your blog everyday??"
That's a hard question to answer because it depends on how many pictures I have taken. To just sit down & write the blog maybe takes me an average of 30 or 40 minutes. To add photos to the blog tacks on another 20 minutes maybe. But, if I have fifty photos for the Picasa Web Album it can take considerably longer. At the end of each day I upload all the photos from the cameras into my Picasa 3 photo program. I then have to sort the pics from all 3 cameras into some kind of story order & into one single folder. Then I start from the beginning photo of the day & look at each & every one making changes to them as I go along such as cropping, straightening, color adjustment, contrast, & image sharpening. When I am satisfied with all that I add the captions to the bottoms of the photos. Next comes the photo upload onto the net into my Google Web Albums. Fifty photos could take10 or 15 minutes sometimes. From those fifty photos I generally pick 5 or 6 to insert into the blog itself & that can take about 15 minutes. Sooooo, all & all I would say to do an average blog plus edit fifty or a hundred pictures & upload them all to the web album we are probably looking at maybe 4 hours all to-gether. Maybe 5 if I'm tired & making a lot of mistakes. It's not unusual for me to be still at the computer at midnight putting it altogether. So, bottom line............I enjoy it & that's why I do it.....flaws & all:))-Someone suggested I maybe take too many pictures.
Well, yes & no. I don't think I take too many pictures but I do agree that I put too many of them in the web albums. I generally send about 20% of the days pictures to the trash bin but I know it should probably be higher than that. I'm just not the kind of perfectionist to whittle them down to maybe 10 or 20.

-And I ask myself......why do I do this??
Ever since learning to type in High School back in the early 60's I had always enjoyed sitting at a typewriter tapping out letters, poetry, little stories, etc. Hadn't typed a word in maybe 20 years & then along came the computer age & I fell right into it. The written word is my favorite way of communication so it was a natural happening for me to take an interest in computers. The photography bug bit me back in 1965 when I was in naval boot camp up in Canada. Bought a little 35mm camera at the commissary & ran around taking lots of pictures of all the guys. In 1993 I lost interest in the photography world & rarely picked up a camera for the next 12 years. And then along came digital photography. We already had a computer by then so the digital photography interest fell right into my lap. My first camera was bought at a Staple store & was a 1 megapixel job. I literally wore that camera out in 2 years but it was instrumental in re-igniting my interest in photography. And then about 3 years ago, along came the blogging craze. Well, with my interest in typing, plus my love of writing & photography it all began to come to-gether. Add a couple more ingredients to the mix in the form of traveling & a wonderful RV lifestyle & it all leads to this moment with Mr. Blabberfingers sitting here at the computer on a sunny warm day in the middle of March somewhere between the Mule & Swisshelm Mountains in southeastern Arizona.

And, I would like add a few extra thoughts here about blogs & blogging. I try not to make the blog sound like a newspaper article with just a bunch of facts or events tied to-gether. And it's not a cook book of everything I eat every day. I try to put some thoughts & feelings into it & I try to make each blog different than the one before it. There are times in the middle of the night when I'll be bothered by something I've written, get up, turn the computer on & go back to the blog to either edit it out or re-write it. I am an opinionated person & that sometimes ends up in the blog as well & it's usually those blogs that wake me up at night. I am neither a hardened optimist or pessimist, but as a logically thinking realist I see things for the way they are & not for the way they are supposed to be. Sometimes those observations end up in the blog. And sometimes there is criticism, but as fellow blogger Rod commented once, it's your blog & you can say what you want.
Occasionally you will see flashes of anger if I get a rant going about something that upsets me. You will also find humor & that is my favorite side. When I sometimes read other people's blogs I look for the feelings behind the lines. I look for the person. I am not only interested in what they are seeing or doing but I like to know how they feel about what they are seeing & doing. I like Gypsy97's On The Road Again blog for example because she is someone who expresses her thoughts & feelings as she comes to grips with everyday RV life. It's the trials & tribulations of an older woman on the road by herself. I like her well rounded & honest writing style. Her blog comes from the heart. It tells you who she is.

Ok, it's about time I get myself outside & parked in the sun for awhile. I had no intention of getting into all of the above stuff but when your a true blue blabberfingers like me it's kinda hard to get your boots dug in good enough to get yourself stopped sometimes!!

Heard a great line to-day from the song Evil Woman by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)
"Got a hole in my head that the rain comes in." Now, how's that for some good old 70's song writing eh!! No photos for the web album to-night.



  1. I liked your blog today, for those who dont know you it explained alot.For the person that said you put too many pics in your albums, their WRONG.Those of us sitting and enjoying them cherish each and every one.Remember me saying about playing cowboys and indians? To put a few little dates in perspective. the Copper Queen in Bisbee was built in 1902 the same year my house was built. John Slaughter died in 1922, just two months before my father was born.
    Al i enjoy what your doing, and you do it well!

    the hermit

  2. Al, you brought a tear to my eye when I read your blog this evening. Thank you for your kind comments

    I hope our paths cross sometime because I would really like to meet you and Kelly. Take care now, and hope that pain goes away soon.


  3. It is your blog and you get to say what you want, but today you are talking to us with your heart. You let us in to who the real AL is, and we feel that we know you better for it. Your pictures are means of expression, just as your words, and I am glad you do not set a limit on either.

  4. Al,
    Great post! Thanks for the feedback on the cameras. Looks like you have some really good gear (and an eye to go with it) for those spectacular photos.

    I am using Picasa 3 also. What a great application. I like the way in works with google and blogger. I found where Chris Guld has a lot of good free tutorials.

    Randy and Pam

  5. I love your blog and everything you write and take photos of. Don't change a thing, just carry on. It's obvious you're having a great time doing it!