The “Z” stories voting block is live and running . . . and not getting much love (votes). Likely, it’s because so much time had passed between the end of the “Y” stories and this round, the last of the Alphabet Challenge.

That’s right . . . as a reminder to them for whom it may not have registered, this is the last round of the challenge — hard to believe three writers wrote 26 short stories each and posted them all here, for all to read. For them who procrastinate, this really is the last chance they will have to participate in voting for their favorite.

If you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021.

So, Note 20 Ultra . . . .

Once again, these are presented without any editing on my part . . . no post-processing of any kind . . . and today I want to address macro photography with the Note 20 Ultra.

“Say WHAT?”

You read correctly . . . the Samsung Note 8 is no more. My current phone is a Samsung Note 20 Ultra.

Let me explain . . .

It was the middle of February, and Melisa’s Samsung S8 decided it would change its state from that of a functioning high-end smartphone . . . and opted to become a sleek, pristine, glossy, and useless paperweight. No warning, it gave . . . it just had enough and decided to check out.

A little history on that phone and on the Note 8. It was 2017 when my then Note II decided it would no longer boot up. At that point, the phone was nearly four-and-a-half years old. Edited to add: here’s the LINK to the post about that event.

That’s when we upgraded both of our phones, Melisa going with an S8 and me with the Note 8.

The “W” stories are jockeying for the top spot with just six days — or five days , depending on how one counts them — before the voting closes.

We often have a rash of last-minute votes, so it’s still anyone’s guess which story will win the round. Reader’s choices have surprised me a number of times before, and also how narrow the margins of victories have been in many recent rounds. It bolsters the argument that in these voting rounds, a single vote — and sometimes one more — determines the outcome, so consider participating.

If you’re a reader of our stories and someone who votes, the writers wish to express their gratitude and appreciation. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge W-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Monday, January 25th, 2021.

So, gourds . . .

These were all photographed on the Note 8 at an orchard in Michigan during our September visit with friends and family.

This post documents our September 14, 2017, visit to Ketchikan, Alaska, a long-delayed continuation of my documentation of our 2017 Alaska Cruise. Current and previous posts relating to this cruise are HERE(link).

There’s a gallery at the end of each post and a SmugMug gallery HERE(link). Photos in SmugMug can be viewed full-size. Note that the SmugMug gallery will eventually contain all the photos from Ketchikan; those from this post (Part 2) and those from previous Ketchikan posts.

You can click on the photos in the body of this post to see a larger-but-less-than-full-size-version. If there’s a panorama, I’ll link the full-size files but be warned . . . they’re typically huge. Huger than people have ever seen before. Don’t click on those links unless you’re enjoying a biggly Interweb connection. Also, if you have biggly Interweb but you’re reading this on a phone — which is sad — VERY SAD — I wouldn’t bother with the full-size photos because they are HUGE; huger than anyone else’s huge photos. 

Ketchikan welcome sign

This post documents our September 14, 2017, visit to Ketchikan, Alaska, a long-delayed continuation of my documentation of our 2017 Alaska Cruise. Current and previous posts relating to this cruise are HERE(link).

There’s a gallery at the end of each post and a SmugMug gallery HERE(link). Photos in SmugMug can be viewed full-size. Note that the SmugMug gallery will eventually contain all the photos from Ketchikan; those from this post (Part 1) and those from other Ketchikan posts.

You can click on the photos in the body of this post to see a larger-but-less-than-full-size-version. If there’s a panorama, I’ll link the full-size files but be warned . . . they’re typically huge. Huger than people have ever seen before. Don’t click on those links unless you’re enjoying a biggly Interweb connection. Also, if you have biggly Interweb but you’re reading this on a phone — which is sad; VERY SAD — I wouldn’t bother with the full-size photos because they are HUGE; huger than anyone else’s huge photos. 

Ketchikan welcome sign

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow click HERE. When you click the link, it will open in a new window and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

So, a few days ago I posted this preview photo:

Here’s how that shot came to be.

The Alphabet Challenge “N” Stories voting will close at noon on Sunday, August 16th. I mean, it sure sounds like you have a lot of time left to read for about 30 minutes, then ponder about which story merits your vote, and then vote . . . BUT! . . . we live in a time where our sense of time is distorted by extraordinary events. If you haven’t acted, and if you don’t act now, it’ll be Monday before you know it.

I mean, it’s Monday now . . . I mean next Monday.

Of course, you have no obligation to do anything . . . but it sure would be swell — if you’ve not already done so — if you would read the stories and cast your vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge N-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

So, vultures . . . specifically, Black Vultures<<link (as opposed to Turkey Vultures<<link)  . . .

I plan a post specific to these vultures and the photo ops they gave me, but I thought I would preview a few of the photos.

The above is in B&W, but here’s the color version . . . except there isn’t much color.

The color photographs version of this post is HERE.<<link

This post is identical except most of the photos have been replaced by monochrome versions. Also, the word “monochrome” has been added where appropriate.

For them who didn’t read the previous monochrome post, I done do this to avoid mixing what are two different ways of presenting photographs. I aim to let each version shine on its own stage. Think of it as a nod to the days before color was invented . . .

This is the second (monochrome) post documenting our September 13, 2017, visit to Juneau, Alaska, a now even longer-delayed continuation of my documentation of our 2017 Alaska Cruise. Current and previous posts relating to this cruise are HERE<<link. The following introduction is the same as that of previous posts so that’s something else you can skip.

One more thing . . . there are fewer monochrome photos than color photos, so the posts are not exactly 1:1 comparable. In part, that’s because some of the color photos are duplicates taken with the Note II and there’s nothing gained by converting them to monochrome, and some of the photos were not all that interesting in Monochrome.

There’s a gallery at the end of each post and a SmugMug gallery HERE<<link. Photos in SmugMug can be viewed full-size. Note that the SmugMug gallery will eventually contain all the photos from Juneau; those from this (monochrome) post (Part 2) and those from previous (monochrome) Juneau posts.

You can click on the photos in the body of this post to see a larger-but-less-than-full-size-version. If there’s a panorama, I’ll link the full-size files but be warned . . . they’re typically huge. Huger than people have ever seen before. Don’t click on those links unless you’re enjoying a biggly Interweb connection. Also, if you have biggly Interweb but you’re reading this on a phone — which is sad; VERY SAD — I wouldn’t bother with the full-size photos because they are HUGE; huger than anyone else’s huge photos. 

The Alphabet Challenge “N” Stories voting has entered the doldrums period. Yup, during every round, there’s a point where voting stalls and the poll languishes in solitude with nary a click to keep it company.

You have no obligation to do anything . . . but it sure would be swell — if you’ve not already done so — if you would read the stories and cast your vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge N-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

Here are a few photos more photos from Hawaiʻi . . .

That’s another photo from The Big Island. Specifically, a view of the water from Aliʻi Drive. Even more specifically, taken while we sat in the car during one of the many backups one has to contend with when traveling Aliʻi Drive. That’s where all the shops are, the tourists are, and the main road for accessing the shore in Kailua Kona.

If you’re going to be stuck in traffic, there could be much worse places.