Good Sunday!

copyright 2010 Jim Lockman/Click!

Check out the “pretty coffee foam art” as you get your day started.

For those of you into your lawn, get your pre-emergent spread on your yard soon. By the time you see Forsythia or  other growth, seeds have germinated. Trust me!

Here’s a tip for planting seed, fertilizing or adding other product to your lawn. A perfect time to work  on your lawn is right before or after snow arrives. As the snow melts, your lawn is gently watered and you will not need to worry as much about your seed “washing away.” Be careful if you have ice on top of the snow. The birds will have a heyday if you make seeds easy for them to get.

Sugar snap peas! They are so sweet and tasty. And easy to grow! You should plant sugar snap peas in January or February. Planted later, they will burn during the warmer weather. They are easy to plant. Spread according to directions and push them about half an inch into the soil. If you don’t have a garden spot, you can plant them in a “pot” in a place that gets mostly sun during the day. Position a few sticks or other trellis material around the seeds so they can climb up as they grow. Sugar snap peas are great for salads, stir fry or just eating as a snack. You will find that only a few actually make it to the kitchen!

It’s time to clean out your birdhouses. Bluebirds, chickadees, wrens and other birds will be looking for a “family retreat” very soon. Dust off your binoculars and prepare for a wonderful time watching birds raise their families. Bird watching is very relaxing and it’s exciting to see these creatures working hard to provide for their family. If you want to see bluebirds in your yard , buy “mealworms” at your bird feeding store or online, and begin to place a handful out regularly for the birds to enjoy. They are very people friendly and will allow you to stand fairly close to them while they are gathering worms. You may have to scare away the robins who will eat you out of house and home.

Don’t forget to fill your bird feeders, especially during cold and inclement weather. Your efforts will result in many birds dropping in for a visit and coming back for more.

copyright 2010 Jim Lockman/Click!
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Nothing could be finer….!

 

“My experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more.”

Michael Gerber, author of E-Myth

 

From time to time I will be sharing other blog sites with you. These are either  blogs I have discovered that I thought were interesting, blogs that I peruse regularly that I consider invaluable, or blogs that have a specific topic or message that I consider  important to share. On my iGoogle page, I keep a number of news feeds and blogs available to check regularly. You can also save blog sites in your “favorite places” folder or even have them e-mailed to you.

Blogs that I read regularly, include photography, marketing, tech products, and news and political commentaries. My favorite photo blog is Scott Kelby. He is a photographer,  Photoshop  expert, marketing genius and a nice guy.

Recently, I stumbled on a blog by Seth Godin. Most of you will recognize his name as the author of Purple Cow. His ideas are among those of the latest marketing experts challenging the “business-as-usual” approach to  today’s marketplace. His blogs are short, to the point and very enlightening. And of course you can buy his latest books from this site. Last week I read “Quieting the lizard brain”  and found his message very encouraging. It was in the same vein as some of my comments from  earlier blogs about change.

Newspapers, magazines and other media are not going to disappear any time soon. But blogs offer information on topics of your choice, from people you respect, to be accessed and read when you wish. And with all the new methods of obtaining information and books from the internet, such  the Kindle, Sony Reader,  Apple’s iPad, or other e-readers, what  could be better than that?

Artistic Expression

Today’s post will be short and sweet.

One of the latest trends gaining popularity are “gallery wraps.” The latest offerings are digital canvas prints stretched over a wooden frame and sprayed with a protective coating. They give you decor the look of museum artwork with the contemporary feel of original photography. They look great on the wall!

Are these babies pricey? You betcha! But when you consider these prints do not have to be framed, it’s a different ballgame. Custom framing is very expensive and cheap frames look and feel cheap. Expect to spend about the same amount as a custom framed print.

Simply Canvas  is the vendor I have used for my first three gallery prints. If you Google digital gallery prints or canvas prints you will find a number of suppliers. If you need assistance, call me.

Bring that “museum look” into your home or office today.

Celebrate Life Today!

A really important meeting was scheduled for this afternoon. As I was preparing to  retire last night, I quickly perused the newspaper to check out the local news and obituaries. The wife of an old high school friend died. Judy had been ill for some time. Our families were not close, but when she had first become ill, my friend had called me to ask for prayer.

The dilemma I faced was whether to attend the meeting or go to the funeral. I spent most of this morning wrestling with what I should do.

As I was driving to the funeral, I was thinking about the death of friends, loved ones and even people I don’t know. A funeral takes a short amount of time and the impact of someone’s death doesn’t really hit us until after the funeral is over. When I was young, everyone in their cars pulled off the road out of respect. In larger cities, you don’t see that much anymore. Death is so prevalent in life that we become desensitized to the reality of it. Television programming exploits death and the news covers so much that we can’t really comprehend the seriousness of someone’s loss.

  Many times at a funeral, we are thinking if we hurry we can get back to the office to finish that report. Our lives are packed with so much stuff. We don’t have time to deal with death. On one hand, showing someone we care or grieving ourselves is important. But on the other hand, they’re gone. Life on earth is over except for the memories. We have to move on. I always feel bad after a funeral, as if there is a hole that can’t be filled.

Life is short. Life is precious. Life is a gift from God.

Celebrate life today! Don’t take any moment for granted. Spend your life loving people.

 Don’t get caught in the trap, “I wish I had gotten over to visit Aunt Jane before she died.” Visit Aunt Jane now, do your stuff later. Aunt Jane is not the only one who may not be around tomorrow!

I’m just a blogger!

I’m not going to lie to you. I’m posting this blog to get rich!

There are many blogs that exist solely for fun and entertainment. That approach is not wrong. In fact,  blogs are an easy method to voice a concern, share knowledge about a subject, or just communicate with an intended audience.

My original concept for blogging was to dialog about photography and share tips and experiences I have learned over the years. Who knows what my blog may become? Maybe I will end up with multiple blogs covering different subjects. I could have a photo blog, a business blog, a political type blog, or a blog on  spiritual matters. Maybe there will be five different blogs posting once a week or maybe numerous hours will be spent posting blogs each day. Or maybe this blog will evolve into a masterpiece that will set the “blogging world” on fire. Until then, I am in experimental mode. Each day I wake up wondering, “what will I say today?”

Taking pictures for over thirty years has provided plenty of experience in shooting, equipment selection and technique, dealing with people and running a business.

Also, I’m kind of a “news junkie.” Even though I definitely have my own opinions, I love to hear the debate over issues that confront our daily lives.

My second religion is “studying business.” I am especially interested in entrepreneurial ventures and the successes and failures of “cutting edge” enterprises.

Speaking of religion, my dedication to following Christ and living his values offers a perspective to every moment I’m alive.

Will this new endeavor become more than a personal reflection of the dreams, ideas, concepts, opinions, and experiences floating around in my head? WHO KNOWS?

Until then, I’m just a blogger!

Go blogging!

Blogs. I’m fairly new to this world. I have had a blog for a couple of weeks. Http://jimlockman.wordpress.com. I have been looking at blogs for at least a year  now and didn’t even know they were blogs. Through e-mail, Facebook, and sites recommended to me, I have been viewing topics, articles, and newsletters without realizing they were blogs.

Joining the world of www.WordPress.com was one of the easiest thing I have ever done. And it’s FREE! The other day I talked to a friend from high school and his family uses blogs to stay in touch with each other. Whether you are using a blog to get your specific message out, keep up with people, create a place to share ideas, or you just need an ego boost by seeing your thoughts published on the web, blogging is a great communications tool. Facebook is fun, but blogging has the potential for more serious and intimate conversation as you build a following that has an interest in what you have to say.

So start a blog! It can be about a hobby, some business focus or your viewpoint on life or politics. Your blog can offer tips on how to paint a rocker, things to do for fun in Antartica,  or offer viewpoints on why society abandoned the rotary dial on the telephone. Topics and ideas for blogs are as numerous and diverse as the people who could benefit from them. You could end up with a daily blog making you more money in advertising and product sales than you would ever make at your “day” job.

Dream Big!

copyright 2010 Jim Lockman/Click!

After a spectacular performance at the U.S. Figure Skating Champioship, Mirai Nagasu, who had become World Champion at the age of 14, commented, “We don’t have a strong Michelle Kahn or a Christi Yamaguchi to lead us on but I feel that even though we’re young, we have our big dreams to lead us on and that’s what motivates us. Hopefully, we can represent the U.S. well at the Olympics.”

Big dreams? Hard work and a lot of practice are imperative, but big dreams are the stuff success is made of. Dream big today! Don’t let worry about finances, friends and associates that say it will never happen, or the circumstances that surround you,  dissuade you from the accomplishments you have set before you. “Chart your path by the vision in your heart.”

Sometimes our dreams seem far-fetched. But as Howard Schultz, Chairman of Starbucks said,  “Who wants a dream that’s near-fetched?”

Stop! Thief!

copyright 2010 Jim Lockman/Click!

For a number of years I have been involved in a small non-profit corporation. I have been on the Board of Directors and have provided photographic services for events, advertising and general documentation of our accomplishments.

In the early days the organization was made up almost entirely of “dreamers.” Dreamers are sometime equated to business entrepreneurs, in that they are idea people. They can see an idea come to life. Napolean Hill once said, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

But where we were not entrepreneurial was in the area of securing financing to capitalize the endeavor. For as many years as we have existed, finances were always a problem.

The tendency today is to get government involved. We decided to go that route. Very quickly our dreams were being fulfilled. We were off and running. We were quickly becoming the organization of our dreams.

What happened? Instead of being that “entrepreneurial” organization that slowly but surely put flesh to our ideas and existed primarily out of our will to succeed, we became dependent on government to “take care of us” in a public-private enterprise.

Success was ultimately met with a series of setbacks, as government decided to change the rules and viewed the operation through the eyes of “the common good.” Our group has changed so much it is almost unrecognizable and the vision we once had has all but been squelched.

The great debate in this country is about the role and responsibilities of government. An empowered government not only takes care of your needs, but it can also steal your dreams!

The Daily Blog

A daily blog should have a “blog” every day. After eight days of blogging about change, two days of sharing about photo books and a quote about how to treat people, I don’t know what to do. I thought Facebook was time consuning. Blogging makes Facebook seem brainless. I spend much more time thinking about tomorrow’s blog than I ever did about my “status” or responding to other people’s comments about their lives.

This is just another example of why planning is so important in our lives. It isn’t that being flexible and willing to change directions is not important. Changing direction involves “going” in a direction.

Being ready for each day requires some preparation. If we don’t do some planning, our time will be consumed with  day-to-day tasks and “fires.” Take some time each day to list some of the items that need to be done, but require devotion outside of  normal tasks. After making the list, prioritize the items and block out time to complete them. Rather than being driven by our schedules and the demands placed on us, we need to learn to be in the driver’s seat and steer to our own destination.

Lewis Carroll said it best, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”