If I could choose between opening up the photo app on the iPhone or clicking the shutter of a compact point & shoot camera, I would choose the compact point & shoot camera.

I’ve taken hordes of photos with the iPhone. The photo quality is good. The instant gratification is additive. I enjoy swiping through the photo horde when I’m bored.

So, there is really nothing wrong with the iPhone photo app.

Nikon W300 Coolpix camera. Photo downloaded from the Nikon web site on June 22, 2018.

Nikon W300 Coolpix camera. Photo downloaded from the Nikon web site on June 22, 2018.

Yet, I want a compact point and shoot camera. Like this Nikon W300.

In my experience, it is rather annoying and somewhat difficult to call up the photo app on the phone. And, it’s not too quick, especially when you are driving and a photo opportunity has presented itself in traffic.

Not that I take many photos while in traffic. I actually take none. But I want to. There are some scenes that pass by which would be worthy of a quick photo.

Recently, I followed a rusted truck with a set of ‘balls’ hanging from his trailer hitch. Although the sight was odd and very strange and I wonder why a person would drag a scrotum from a trailer hitch, a photo could solidify the sight for future ridicule.

An available compact point & shoot camera would be the perfect solution. I could grab the camera and point and shoot when a scene appears.

I am a Nikon loyalist but price points are a concern. The Nikon A10 retails for about $90 and the W300 is on the high side at $390. I will probably never use the water proof feature of the W300 but I want a bit more video power than the A10 offers.

Why do I want more video power?


Maybe I’m just in the mood for a new camera. I have a Nikon D600 is a great camera in every capacity. Although it is too heavy at times.

From the Nikon web site the W300 has most of the features the Nikon D600 has, yet it weighs about ten pounds less.

  • Waterproof, freezeproof, shockproof and dustproof adventure camera with extra capabilities
  • Stunning high resolution photos, 4K Ultra HD videos, Time-lapse videos, Superlapse videos and music montages
  • 5x optical zoom NIKKOR lens with telephoto power and Hybrid VR image stabilization
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, eCompass, altimeter, depth gauge and more

I have an interested in time-lapse which the W300 features. And it appears W300 photos  will magically appear on the iPhone via bluetooth. So, Nikon photos will become iPhone photos.

Does anyone remember the lyric from Paul Simon’s song, Kodachrome

They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away


Summer Solstice 2018

From my research the Summer Solstice occurred at 6:07 am EST in central Indiana.

I was up at that time but could not watch the sun rise since I was getting ready for work. And, it was overcast and dripping rain at 6:07 am so I couldn’t see it anyways.

But, the longest day of the year is upon me. From this point the days shrink and the nights expand until the Winter Solstice.

I don’t find any significant in the Solstice, summer or winter. Unlike others who see the events in a spiritual or sexual context. I wouldn’t mind to be involved in the sexual context but not the spiritual. Being an overweight single old man, there hasn’t been much of that.

The calorie restriction must have caught up with me. There is no euphoria anymore. No calorie restricted ‘high’ that I felt last week. I have continued my calorie restriction with Slim Fast and salads this week. But the ‘high’ eludes me.

I may have to restrict even further to induce the euphoria again.

I know I’ve lost a few pounds as my belt isn’t as tight and the pants are a little baggy. One day I will blog about the ‘belt’. The belt will be an indicator of my success as I am on the last notch of the belt. If I need to tighten the belt, that will indicate some success as my waist has shrunk, a little.

Maybe one day I will step on the scale to record a number and start a time line. It’s been 21 days since I started and I seem to have picked up some momentum. For some reason I’m fearful that a number will diminish the momentum, fearful numbers will become the consuming factor in the effort.

Hopefully, I will be restricting calories when the Winter Solstice comes around in 2018.

I titled a series of paintings "Solstice Rain" because I completed the paintings on the 2017 summer solstice. This, the largest of the series, hangs in my kitchen. A smaller vertical panel is next to the door.

I titled a series of paintings “Solstice Rain” because I completed the paintings on the 2017 summer solstice. This, the largest of the series, hangs in my kitchen. A smaller vertical panel is next to the door.



Vacation Day

I took a vacation day, yesterday, June 19, 2018.

I didn’t go to work. Of course, it’s a vacation day — why go to work. Instead, I took a friend to the hospital for tests and sat with her during the day. It was not a bad day, nor a boring day. In fact it was a great day.

The tests were done by mid afternoon. We picked up lunch and went back to her apartment. We watched the Great Gatsby movie and took a short nap. Then, it was a tour of a mutual friend’s new home. An amazing home which needs some minor renovation. If I were a younger and motivated man, I would have snatched up the home.

On the 86 mile drive home, I reflected on vacation and vacation days.

In the past, while married to Nikki, vacations were scheduled, planned and organized by Nikki. Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, New Mexico were common destinations.

After Nikki left I’ve taken a few vacation:

  • Colorado 2015
  • Jackson Mississippi 2016

There wasn’t a vacation in 2017.

Although I should clarify the Jackson Mississippi vacation was just a long weekend (Friday – Sunday) of driving to and from Jackson Mississippi with a stop in Vicksburg. But the Colorado 2015 was a true week long vacation.

Each year, I am allowed 15 days of vacation from the company I work at. It’s an earn benefit, meaning that you have to put the time in to ‘earn’ the vacation time, which can’t be taken until the following calendar year and the days do not accumulate. Technically, I’m allow two weeks of vacation and then five individual days per year.

Last year, I took four days of vacation. Each day was an individual day. I did stuff around the house or went to doctor appointments. Those days did not seem like ‘vacation’. They seemed more like an extra Saturday.

My definition of vacation is to ‘do something that you would not ordinarily do while at home’.

For 2018, I have a conceived a potential week long vacation plan to drive through southern Colorado, to the Four Corners and then back home. It’s about a three thousand mile road trip according to Google maps. It would be a good time to ‘car dwell’, meaning that I would sleep and ‘live’ in my Honda for the duration.

Recently, I bought a book (Planning an Epic road Trip on any Budget) from the 365 Days of Marriage blog. This blog encourages you to ‘Dream Big’ … which I need at this time in my life. Hopefully my conceived Colorado road trip of 2018 becomes an Epic Road trip!

Always thought about work camping as a means to make a living. Photo taken by Dave O June 2015.

Always thought about work camping as a means to make a living. Photo taken by Dave O June 2015.

Happy When I Left

As the weekend ended I realized there is really no chance a relationship could developed. So I gave up the excitement for a new relationship with one I could care for and love and make happy and cuddle with for the rest of my life and the euphoria quickly faded.  Maybe under different circumstances and maybe in a different time it could have developed. But, she seems enamored with this other guy who is available for her as he lives closer to her, and is buffed and strong with a six pack. And, I don’t want to disrupt that as it has for her the possibility of a long lasting relationship and some happiness for her.

Reminds me of this song. Elton John’s “Love Her Like Me” from his Songs From the West Coast album.

I would apply that song to another girl I knew from college, who I was enamored with but tidal forces kept her away even though I was the best man at her wedding.

Life can be cruel at times.

And so, the euphoria from last week is now gone. Although I kept the calories in check and only limited the beer calories to two bottles of Three Floyds Gumball Head with the euphoria faded the neutrality back into play I am once again wondering why.

But, in an effort to reduce weight and body fat and to get back in shape, I will continue to keep the calories in check, returning to the consumption of Slimfast and salads.

The Gumball Head gave me a head and stomach ache, too.

On another note, I had to shop for new clothes for a fathers day cookout. Going to my little brother’s estate (yes, it is an estate) is a trauma for me as it displays the economic and social separation between us.

I would say it is a gulf, a deep canyon of rock carved by years of parent devotion poured on him and indifferent tolerance toward me.

So, not having the having the right clothes to attend a fathers day cook out in a multi million dollar estate, I stopped at Kohl’s to shop for a simple polo shirt and a pair of shorts. Thankfully, I found a shirt and a pair of shorts.

Although, the shorts were a 38 and the shirt an extra large, I accepted my expanded girth and paid the dollars so I could at least be presentable at the brothers estate, knowing that it would be tolerated in quiet indifference.

A few hours later I was happy when I left the estate in my new clothes while Elton John’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes” hummed in my head.

Somewhere in western Kansas. June 2015.

Somewhere in western Kansas. June 2015.



Fathers Day at the Oaken Barrel

Last night, the kids took me out to one of my favorite brewery for Fathers Day, the Oaken Barrel in Greenwood Indiana. For calorie control, I had only one tall Razz Wheat with my chicken caesar salad.

My Fitness Pal reports one pint of Razz Wheat has 150 calories. I believe a ‘tall’ glass at the Oaken Barrel is one and a half pints. So, my beer calories for Thursday, June 14, 2018 was 225 calories.

I couldn’t find an official calorie count for the chicken caesar salad but will estimate it to be about 850 calories since I ate the cheesed croutons.

So, yesterday, with the calorie control was ok for yesterday at 1,435. Of course, this is an estimated guess.

Yet, I didn’t include the calories in the glass of chocolate milk I had at bedtime.

The euphoria from Wednesday has faded a bit. But there is a glimmer of a new euphoria by the opportunity to see someone this weekend that may spark a relationship.

A self portrait take on September 26, 2014 via the basement portholes at the Lew Wallace Study and Museum in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

A self portrait taken on September 26, 2014 via the basement porthole at the Lew Wallace Study and Museum in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Wonderful Euphoria

So … yesterday was a good eating day.

  • Slim Fast shake for breakfast (180 calories)
  • Slim Fast shake for lunch (180 calories)
  • Salad kit with canned chicken (800 calories)

I know the Slim Fast is 180 calories per shake. But, I didn’t examine the numbers for the bag of salad and can of chicken. I just mixed it together and stirred it around. It was a salad and it was good enough.

Yesterday, I noticed a bit of euphoria. Maybe it was more ‘mania’ than euphoria but for some reason the world seemed to be a brighter place.

For context, I haven’t felt any kind of mania or euphoria or much of any enthusiasm for (maybe) several years. I had a duration of extreme sadness for about six months in 2017. That ended when the doctor adjusted the depression meds. However, there really wasn’t any high points after the med adjustment. Everything has been neutral to me for a very long time.

But for some reason, yesterday, I felt mania, enthusiasm, some happiness, some excitement.

I suspect that (maybe) it could be from the calorie restriction of the past 13 days. I’ve read that restricting calories can cause euphoria. A quick google search revealed a few explanations from increased cortisol levels to better blood sugar regulation to improvements in brain functioning.

Another explanation could be that I conceived of a road trip to the Four Corners, stopping at the Preston Monument and the 3 Points on the southern Colorado border, with a stop at the Wichita Art Museum and time to poke around Dodge City in Kansas.

I even went as far as to schedule dates in late July, calculated mileage, checked into possible accommodations including hotels and campgrounds, even scoped Wal-Mart parking lots to overnight in. Looked up flights to Denver and Wichita and rental car prices.

I don’t suspect I will actually take the trip. I’m known for planning road trips to the nth degree but never embarking.

If the euphoria is a result of restricting calories or conceiving a road trip, it is wonderful.

Looking west on I-70 to the snow covered mountain peaks. Photos taken by Dave O in June 2015.

Looking west on I-70 to the snow covered Gore Range. Photos taken by Dave O in June 2015.




Start Walking

Take a look at Brett Bramble Walks.

One of my pipe dreams is to walk, run, cycle across America. From coast to coast. Probably walk across the country but I’m leaving open the possibility of running and cycling.

It’s an epic challenge to do that. That is, walk across America. Sometimes I have difficulty walking across the room so I can’t really imagine walking across the country. The walking part is the easy part. The real challenge is keeping the motivation.

But on my walk across America, I envision myself leisurely walking, taking in the landscape, reading, writing, camping, losing weight and getting fit.

I stumbled onto Brett Bramble walks in 2016 when his was walking across America to raise awareness for overdose prevention, as his sister had overdosed on heroin. I followed his walk for a while until I lost sight and his blog seemed to stall.

Brett had walked through Indiana along Highway 50. Although I read his blog too late to meet up with him while he was in Indiana, I thought that I would keep the radar on for other walkers and maybe I could meet up with them.

Last year (2017) I met up with Abby and Daniel as they were walking across America. I came across their blog while they were in West Virginia. Their route was to bring them through Indianapolis. A few weeks later when they passed through we met up for a few beers and burgers.

Abby and Daniel with me at the Big Woods Brewery in Speedway Indiana.

Abby and Daniel with me at the Big Woods Brewery in Speedway Indiana.

So today I get the radar fired up and discovered that Brett is walking across America for a second time.

I’ve read a few books of people who walked across America. The classic is Peter Jenkins’ book, which I read while a teenager and through which I was introduced to the Appalachian Trail. Another book was by Ben Davis, ‘Ever Eastward. Another was by Nate Damm.

The advice from a Life Coach would be to ‘make it happen’ and ‘start walking’. And I would like to think it is as simple as that.

Yet, so many obstacles stand in the way, so many responsibilities, pressures, obligations.

Maybe one day I’ll take a walk.