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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.


Archive for November 26th, 2009
by Gerald Boerner


“No photographer is as good as the simplest camera.”
— Edward Steichen

“You don’t take a photograph.  You ask, quietly, to borrow it.”
— Author Unknown

“My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph.”
— Richard Avedon

“Photograph:  a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.”
— Ambrose Bierce

“Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.”
— Ansel Adams

“No place is boring, if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film.”
— Robert Adams, Darkroom & Creative Camera Techniques, May 1995

“Often while traveling with a camera we arrive just as the sun slips over the horizon of a moment, too late to expose film, only time enough to expose our hearts.”
— Minor White

“I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it.”
— Author Unknown

“When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes.  But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls!”
— Ted Grant

“While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.”
— Dorothea Lange


Photographer of the Day: Yourself…

Look in a mirror… You will see our “Photographer of the Day”…

In this day of relatively inexpensive, high-quality digital cameras, the most appropriate “Photography of the Day” is YOU. You have in your hands a camera that produces images only available to the professional photographer of a quarter century ago. Take advantage of this fact to take lots of photos today and every day in the coming year. Photos used to be expensive, since they required you to load film, take 24 or 36 exposures (35mm film), and then take it down to a processor (drug store, camera store, etc.) to be processed. Now, you don’t need to wait days (or weeks) to see your images. You get to preview them immediately.

Mate in kitty basketNot only that, but you stand a better chance to capture that precious moment. With film, you would snap the picture and hope that it would come out OK. Now, if someone moved, frowned, looked goofy, or otherwise subverted that great picture of elderly grandparents, visiting relatives, college students visiting home after growing up so much, you can immediately reshoot it! And then take it to your computer (or printer) and print out copies in whatever size you want. That is INSTANT GRATIFICATION, if there is such a thing…

Besides, when you go about putting together family histories (like we are doing right now), you will appreciate those numerous photos that caught that long-passed Aunt Lucy or Jenny when she was in her “hippy” stage. So, let’s bring on Thanksgiving Dinner, but let’s also get out the digital camera and capturing those special moments…


You can improve your photos by following tips in the following articles:

Top 10 Photographic Tips for Better Holiday Photos…

Holiday Photo Tips…

by Gerald Boerner


“On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence.”
— William Jennings Bryan

“We give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.”
— Author Unknown

“Happy We-Stole-Your-Land-and-Killed-Your-People Day!”
— Thanksgiving toast, from the movie Sweet November

“On Thanksgiving Day, all over America, families sit down to dinner at the same moment – halftime.”
— Author Unknown

“An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.”
— Irv Kupcinet

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
— John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.”
— Meister Eckhart

“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.  No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.”
— H.U. Westermayer

“Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.”
— E.P. Powell

“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“It has been an unchallengeable American doctrine that cranberry sauce, a pink goo with overtones of sugared tomatoes, is a delectable necessity of the Thanksgiving board and that turkey is uneatable without it.”
— Alistair Cooke


Happy Thanksgiving Day…

On this special day of the year, I would like to wish all the readers of this blog a very enjoyable day. I would hope that you and your family will take a few minutes to reflect on all the things that you have to be thankful for…

  • Your Loved Ones
  • Your Job
  • Your Friends
  • Your Church/Faith
  • The Blessings Bestowed upon You this last Year
  • Your Country and the Military Defending It

We should be especially be thankful for those brave pioneers, starting with those who settled the Jamestown Colony and the Pilgrims who settled the Plymouth Colony. They survived difficult times, with both the help and threat of the native Americans, to make possible the eventual emergence of these United States to proclaim their independence from British rule. The U.S. introduced a new form of government that provided for “Life, Liberty, and Property” to all (eventually, we hope).

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner So say a prayer of thanks for these blessings as we prepare to sit down for our own Thanksgiving dinner. God Bless all of you on this day…

by Gerald Boerner


“…by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God…”
— George Washington

“I, BARACK OBAMA, … do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 26, 2009, as a National Day of Thanksgiving.”
— Barack Obama

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
— John F. Kennedy

“You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritative fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution.
— Sarah Joseph Hale

“It is therefore recommended…to set apart Thursday the eighteenth day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor…”
— Samuel Adams

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that (God’s gifts) should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens…to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”
— Abraham Lincoln

“In the year 1621, the Pilgrims held their first Thanksgiving feast. They invited the great Indian chief Massasoit, who brought ninety of his brave Indians and a great abundance of food. Governor William Bradford and Captain Miles Standish were honored guests. Elder William Brewster, who was a minister, said a prayer that went something like this: ‘We thank God for our homes and our food and our safety in a new land. We thank God for the opportunity to create a new world for freedom and justice.’ ”
— Linus Van Pelt, from a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Washington’s Thanksgiving Prayer

George_Washington As President, on October 3, 1789, George Washington made the following proclamation and created the first Thanksgiving Day designated by the national government of the United States of America:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best. Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

George Washington again proclaimed a Thanksgiving in 1795.

Other Events on this Day
  • In 1778…
    Captain James Cook discovers Maui in the Hawaiian Islands.
  • In 1789…
    President George Washington proclaims this day a national day of thanksgiving
  • In 1791…
    President Washington holds the first Cabinet meeting.
  • In 1863…
    President Abraham Lincoln begins the tradition of an annual national Thanksgiving Day.
  • In 1942…
    Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, premieres in New York City.

Dates and events based on:

William J. Bennett and John Cribb, (2008) The American Patriot’s Almanac Daily Readings on America. (Kindle Edition)

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclaimation that can be found at…

Forget something? Want a jump on Black Friday?

Well, here is a list of some of the stores that are open today (Thanksgiving Day) and/or tomorrow (Black Friday)… Be sure to carefully check out the reality of the come-on specials offered by many of these stores to get you into the store so you can "impulse shop" and spend more money than you had intended. A word to the wise should be sufficient…

Stores Open on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday – Yahoo! Finance 


To lure more customers into their stores this holiday shopping season, several big-box retailers are opening on Thanksgiving Day in addition to extending their Black Friday hours. U.S. News spoke with some shopping experts to find out how consumers can score the best deals this year and make the most of the longer store hours.

First, familiarize yourself with the stores’ policies and have the items you want to purchase in mind when you arrive, says Daniel de Grandpre, editor-in-chief of, which lists exclusive Black Friday specials. If there is only a small discount on the item you want, decide whether dealing with the winding lines and the in-store stampedes are worth the minor savings. He also says to find out whether stores have a restricted number of "doorbusters" and then decide whether you want to undergo the hassle to get those limited items. The early bird gets the special treatment this year, de Grandpre says, as some stores, like Best Buy, reward early risers with vouchers guaranteeing specific items customers want before the stores open. … [MORE]

These are some very good warnings to heed tomorrow…

Black Friday is probably a major trap, especially during this year of hard financial times. Hidden fees are the way that banks and businesses try to minimize their cost of doing business (at best) or a way of making more profit (at worst)… It behooves the all consumers to pay attention to this threat to our personal financial well-being…

worst-holiday-gotchas: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance 

black-friday-300x232 Avoid bank and retailer fees and other big money wasters this year.

Holiday time is tough enough on your budget. You don’t want to spend more than you planned because a retailer or credit-card company came up with some tricky way to squeeze more money out of you. Well, you can beat the system! You just need to know where to look for these sneaky shopping traps.

Trap No. 1

Hidden debit-card fees

Whipping out your debit card to pay for holiday goodies probably seems like a budget-friendly idea because the cash is immediately withdrawn from your account. No need to worry about paying interest on a credit card or fees for bounced checks. But using a debit card could end up costing you a lot more than you’d think. … [MORE]