Friday the 13th: Awesome!

Friday the 13th:  Awesome!
Montana in March

Yes, it’s Friday the 13th. Wikipedia tells us that Friday the 13th comes around every 212.35 days. Now I’m not a mathematician. I’m not sure what .35 of a day is or how that shows up on a calendar. Thank God for Wikipedia. The next Friday the 13th will be with us in November. Then again in August, 2021 and again in May, 2022. Isn’t that just awesome!?!

Well, no. There is nothing “awesome” about it. The book I’m currently reading for educational purposes is Sam Bennett’s Get it Done which has done wonders for my own work flow. Bennett suggests that we set aside 15 minutes every day before we open our e-mail, and do something productive, creative even. We waste 15 minutes easily, and we all know what a time sink the internet can be. (Reading this blog doesn’t count as wasted time, by the way.) In my experience, if I set aside 15 minutes to work on processing a photograph, or writing in my blog, or even reading an educational book, I usually spend at least an hour on that project–an hour that I could easily have wasted.

So What is Awesome, if not Friday the 13th?

In Bennett’s book, an exercise in Chapter 7 has you fill in a grid to answer the question Who Are My Heroes? The grid is a table 14 rows deep and 3 columns wide. In column one, Bennett has suggested 14 different areas including “your own field,” literature, business, politics, etc. She even has rows for “TV Character,” “Cartoon Character,” and mythology. The second column is where you insert the name of your hero in each field. Personally, I will have trouble coming up with a sports hero, but that’s just me.

Column 3 is where the nitty and the gritty meet. That is where you list the heroic quality your hero exemplifies. And don’t tell me that you find Roger Rabbit “awesome.” What does that even mean? Bennett goes on at length about the misuse of adjectives and quotes Tom Robbins’ Skinny Legs and All:

The inability to correctly perceive reality is often responsible for humans’ insane behavior. And every time they substitute an all-purpose, sloppy slang word for the words that would accurately describe an emotion or a situation, it lowers their reality orientations, pushes them further from shore, out onto the foggy waters of alienation and confusion.

Tom Robbins, Skinny Legs and All

Does it inspire awe?

Now Tom Robbins is not one of my favorite authors. He certainly doesn’t rank on my heroes list, but I have to agree with him here. And I’m guilty as charged. I misuse language all the time. It’s one of the things I need to work on as I refine my blogging.

Bennett goes on to urge us to use language more accurately. She suggests that a cup of coffee, for example, may be hot, flavorful, delicious, but is not “awesome.” Describing something as “awesome” means that it inspires awe. I remember my parents telling me that the Grand Canyon, which they visited on their move west, was “breath taking.” That’s a great expression. I can honestly say that the first time I stood on the rim and looked out over the Canyon, my breath stopped. The view in front of me was, indeed, breath taking. I would even say it was awesome, as it inspired a sense of awe in me.

Today’s Classic Car of the Day

The Dodge COE (Cab Over Engine) I captured on Montana Highway 200 east of Dixon is a beautiful piece of American automotive engineering and design. From what I saw, it is a masterwork of restoration. Is it awesome? No. The design is admirable. I envied the owner. I was not struck with awe. Let’s work on cleaning up our language. I cannot even say that today’s picture of the day is awe inspiring, but maybe that’s because Montana’s mountains are too familiar. We know what familiarity breeds. That said, the Mission Mountains, on a clear day, rising above US Highway 93 as we drive north over Ravalli Hill, that can be truly striking.

You get the picture. I’m more inclined to be awestruck by the beauty of a hibiscus which blooms for a day and then fades away. To paraphrase Joyce Kilmer, “Only God can make a hibiscus.” Certainly nothing in my powers allows me to create such beauty.

Choices for Friday the 13th

Today’s Photo of the Day (seen at the top of this page), the Classic Car of the Day, and the Flower of the Day are all photos that Lightroom found in my March 13th, 2017 folder. Strangely, none of the three photos were taken on March 13th, but rather on March 6th of that year. Why Lightroom has them on the 13th and not the 6th is a mystery known only to the demi-gods at Adobe.

We are in the count down to the day when the whole world is Irish, St. Patrick’s Day. Accordingly, my recipe of the day is Irish Beef Stew with Guinness®. Now I don’t like Guinness®. I don’t particularly like beer of any sort, except (dare I call it by name in this era of fear and loathing) Corona with lime on a hot afternoon. But I would give Guinness® a try in this recipe. Watch for more Irish themed recipes over the next week.

And while we are thinking of food, yesterday’s recipe was for Keto Pizza Crust, a recipe Kevin and I have made several times and find delicious. It allows me to eat pizza without spiking my blood glucose levels. But the Keto diet may not be for everyone. Today’s Guest Site is an article from the Saturday Evening Post. Is the Keto Diet Right For You? I know it has worked wonders for many of my family members, but then we share the same genes. Read the article and decide for yourself.

A Final Look at Split Toning

Today’s Video of the Day is another Youtube video, this time by Mark Wallace, talking about Split Toning in Lightroom. I promise, this will be the last time I share anything about Split Toning in this forum. It’s a technique I did not understand, and frankly didn’t appreciate until I started this blog series. Now I see it as a simple and effective way of boosting the color in an image. But by this time, if you don’t know and don’t use split toning, it’s simply because you aren’t interested and nothing I can add will change that. I’ll be moving on to other ways to use Lightroom.

Adobe’s Lightroom is a program I heard about constantly when I was trying to learn how to process RAW images from my camera. I looked at it, and gave up. Like every other Adobe program I have used, Lightroom is not particularly intuitive. It was not till I took the CreativeLive.com class on Lightroom Classic that I began to see the simplicity of the program. Yes, it’s simple once someone like Ben Willmore walks you through it step by step. And all these Youtube videos help to hone certain skills. (Isn’t it always the case that something is simple ONCE YOU KNOW HOW TO DO IT. ) Look for more youtube videos on photography in general, lightroom or photoshop in particular. My main focus here is photography, after all. But occasionally you’ll be seeing a group of handsome, half-naked men, dancing. Count on it.

Friday the 13th, Redux

So what’s so awesome about Friday the 13th? Well, the origins of our superstitions have been traced back to Maundy Thursday, the Last Supper, and the 13 men attending that meal which led to Christ’s cruxifiction on Friday. More common is the story of how Philip of France rounded up and executed the Knights Templar, and their leader Jacques de Molay, on Friday, October 13th, 1307. The British website The Independent talks about the supersititions surrounding Friday the 13th and other superstitions. You may enjoy their take.

Until tomorrow, TTFN!

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