Can you believe it’s been almost four weeks? That’s right; you have less than two days before the voting closes. I wouldn’t wait until the turkey is in the oven, but that’s up to you.

If you are new to the SDS Challenge, a little background.

Three writers will each write one story a month going down the list of deadly sins. The stories can be anywhere from 666 words to 6,666 words in length, although those numbers are not set in stone. If ambitious, the writers will provide accompanying graphics. These stories will not be anonymous because some writers may want to use the same characters for each story and write a series — or book — encompassing all seven sins. Finally, interpretation of the titular sin is up to the writer. Meaning, each ‘sin’ can take multiple forms.

Disclaimer: The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories will likely span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

If you want to read the Seven Deadly Sins submissions for the Sin of Envy, and then vote, your gateway is THIS POST <<link. There, you’ll find links to each of the three stories and a poll for you to vote after you finish them (if you be so moved).

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

For a SmugMug slideshow click HERE<<link. 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.

~ 0 ~ 0 ~ 0 ~

Edited to Add: the caca Block Editor’s Paragraph Block is — for some probably stupid coding reason — highlighting all the text in yellow. I’ve tried to fix it a number of times, and I’ll keep trying, but if you see the distracting and unwanted yellow highlight, please curse whoever coded the editor (I do).

Edited to Add: Apparently, per the response I received, this is a recent and known bug. They are “working on it” without a current estimate for when it will be fixed. Yes, yes . . . the caca Block Editor is great!.

Edited to Add: One of the support people sent me this email, and the fix appears to have worked (except the text color is not what I had specified when I created the post); the yellow highlight is no more. Below, I include the directions and the piece of code to add to your site (use the customize link provided) as directed by the support team:

BELOW THIS LINE IS FROM THE SUPPORT TEAM

Can you add the following CSS code to your site?

/* -- fix text highlight issue | 4377763-zen (DZ)-- */
mark {
  color: unset !important;
  background-color: unset !important;
}

Please browse to Customizer ( https://wordpress.com/customize/ ) > Additional CSS and add the code at the bottom there below any existing code.

ABOVE THIS LINE IS FROM THE SUPPORT TEAM

This post continues my documentation of our 2017 Alaska Cruise which began in November 2017 (the documentation began in November of 2017 — the cruise was in September of 2021 2017). How’s that for running a bit late?

Anyway, current and previous posts relating to this cruise are HERE(link).

There’s a SmugMug gallery HERE(link). Photos in SmugMug can be viewed full-size.

You can click on the photos in the body of this post to see a larger-but-less-than-full-size-version. I should also mention many of these photos are of lesser quality than I would like as they are primarily taken with my then Note II. Not that the Note II didn’t take excellent photos; the poor quality is a combination of low-lighting and a bit of carelessness on my part.

From the ship’s souvenir shop . . . reminders of excursions (we did not take any of those).

This post documents our September 15, 2017, sea day leg between Ketchikan, Alaska, and Vancouver, BA. It’s also the continuation of my documentation of our 2017 Alaska Cruise which began in November 2017. How’s that for running a bit late?

Anyway, 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.

You can click on the photos in the body of this post to see a larger-but-less-than-full-size-version. I should also mention this will be a smaller (shorter) post than the previous posts because, well, the sea can be a bit boring In fact, for a goodly while, I just photographed the ship’s churning of the sea as the most interesting thing I saw.

Hey! … does anyone still remember these?

I know, I know . . . it’s been a while.

As mentioned before, all the WitW photos are collected in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  Each new post will identify the previous post’s photo. The poll at the end of this post is mostly to amuse and entertain (me), but I name the location of these photos along with a red herring or two. It’s fine if you look up the answer, and I won’t care much which name you vote for because, hey, you might want to amuse yourself as well. It’s open to multiple voting for people who like more than one answer. Let me know if multiple voting doesn’t work.

The photos in the previous post<<link showcased the Pikes Peak Highway<<link. For them interested in looking at it on Google Earth, here’s a screenshot of Google Earth’s street view. That’s close to the approximate location from where I snapped the first photo (the coordinates are in the lower right corner of the screenshots — click for a larger version).

Once more, it’s been a while since one of these. Such a long while that I almost forgot about them, so I can only imagine what a surprise this will be for the few readers of this blog.

What prompted me to author this post? Well, we’re not traveling, and not likely to travel much, so why not revisit past treks through the American (or maybe South American) landscape? No reason I could think of.

As mentioned before, all the WitW photos are collected in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  Each new post will identify the previous post’s photo. The poll at the end of this post is mostly to amuse and entertain (me), but I name the location of these photos along with a red herring or two. It’s fine if you look up the answer, and I won’t care much which name you vote for because, hey, you might want to amuse yourself as well. It’s open to multiple voting for people who like more than one answer. Let me know if multiple voting doesn’t work.

The photos in the previous post<<link showcased the Great Sand Dunes NP<<link. For them interested in looking at it on Google Earth, here’s a screenshot of Google Earth’s street view. That’s close to the approximate location from where I snapped the first 2007 photo (the coordinates are in the lower right corner of the screenshots — click for a larger version).

Readers are doing a decent job of trying to make the “Z” stories voting block the one with the most votes ever. It’s also nice getting feedback letting us know this is one of the best batches of stories yet. I mean, we always try doing our best, but it’s nice to read we’re ending the Alphabet Challenge on a high.

And you, yes, YOU, can help smash all previous voting records! Helping doesn’t mean just reading and voting for the stories, but also going the extra mile and urging friends and family to read and vote (presuming you have friends and family who like to read). This being the last group of stories, it’s not like they have to commit to much, especially since there’s only one day left.

That said, only read and vote if you have the time and inclination. Life can throw loops at people and if something keeps you from these stories, that’s perfectly fine.

But if you’ve been a reader of our offerings and someone who votes — even if only occasionally — know that you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

The links to this last trio of stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) tomorrow Thursday, April 8th, 2021.

Since I don’t want to keep you long, just a few photo offerings . . . 

Some sights from our 2015 travels to Yellowstone NP.

The “Z” stories voting block is progressing at a decent clip . . . but it could do much better. Unfortunately, this is the last chance for the voting to smash previous records. That’s right . . . it’s now or never.

And you, yes, YOU, can be a part of it and help us reach that goal! I don’t mean just reading and voting for the stories, but also pushing them onto friends and family (presuming you have friends and family who like to read). I mean, it’s not that much of a commitment (for them or you) since this is the last group of stories. Still, I get people may be busy hiding or hunting eggs and stuff, so do if you can, but don’t feel bad if you can’t (or, don’t want to).

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

The links to this last trio of 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. That means you have less than five days left.

For many people I know, today is kind of special. Whatever celebration you might be having — even if it’s just to enjoy being alive — I hope it is a grand day.

. . . I should probably express that more often since it’s my desire for readers and non-readers alike regardless of which day it is.

But, seeing as today is a holiday for some, I thought I would do a quick reminder post, and what better way to do “quick” than take previous photos and artsify them? That’s right; there is no better way. 

All of the photos are treated with Topaz Restyle, Topaz Impression, and framed using Topaz Studio.

The “Z” stories voting undergoes bursts of activity and — since this is the last of the stories — I figure I would do a bit more reminding and prodding. You know, to maybe have this last block smash the previous voting records.

And you, yes, YOU, can be a part of it and help us reach that goal! I don’t mean just reading and voting for the stories, but also pushing them onto friends and family (presuming you have friends and family who like to read). I mean, it’s not that much of a commitment (for them or you) since this is the last group of stories. Still, I get people may be busy hiding or hunting eggs and stuff, so do if you can, but don’t feel bad if you can’t (or, don’t want to).

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

The links to this last trio of 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. That means you have less than five days left.

Yellowstone NP is (so far) our favorite National Park. I mean, there may be parks out there we’ve not seen and that would supplant Yellowstone’s lofty position, but they have a lot to live up to. 

I mean, Yellowstone has the views, the animals, the mountains, and valleys . . . and then there are the geothermal features.

It’s been a while since one of these. Such a long while that I almost forgot about them, so I can only imagine what a surprise this will be for the few readers of this blog.

What prompted me to author this post? Well, I got annoyed. I read a post on another blog (from which I’ve since unsubscribed) and stupidly commented. Do you know how annoying it is having someone imply you’re a bigoted white Christian? You don’t? Well, let me tell you . . . it’s annoying.

Anyway, I had a choice . . . I could fume and plot the demise of the Human Race . . . but I then worried about all the pets that can’t work a can-opener. So, I decided to relax by processing a few photos and composing this post. I’m not sure I made the right choice, but here we are.

As mentioned before, all the WitW photos are collected in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  Each new post will identify the previous post’s photo. The poll at the end of this post is mostly to amuse and entertain (me), but I name the location of these photos along with a red herring or two. It’s fine if you look up the answer, and I won’t care much which name you vote for because, hey, you might want to amuse yourself as well. It’s open to multiple voting for people who like more than one answer. Let me know if multiple voting doesn’t work.

The location of the photos in the previous post<<link showcased U.S. Botanic Gardens<<link. For them interested in looking at it on Google Earth, here’s a screenshot of Google Earth’s street view. It’s close to the approximate location from where I snapped the 2003 photo, but know that the landscaping has changed (the coordinates are in the lower right corner of the screenshots — click for a larger version).

My usual litany when I’ve been gone for a while goes something like this: sorry I’ve not been around much, but stuff be happening that precludes me from being more involved with the blog or the blogosphere in general.

Well, this is one of them times when the usual litany is applicable. Still, even when doing other things, I occasionally need to step away from “stuff” and dip my toe back into what relaxes me, namely, playing with photographs and posting them.

JPG output from Lightroom using “Auto” adjustments of the original RAW photo.

That’s a shot from the Rocky Mountains National Park, taken during a visit in July of 2010. The camera is the Nikon D200, and the lens is the Sigma 10-20mm f/4.0-5.6 at 13mm zoom (19.5mm effective). In fact, all the photos are shot with that camera/lens combination with the effective zoom ranging from 15mm to 30mm.
 

Would you believe it’s been eight days since my last post? Well, it’s true. Not only that, people probably forgot we’re still doing the Alphabet Challenge.

It’s been a long while since I’ve gone this long without posting, but my navel doesn’t clean itself, and filing my nails takes a lot of time and patience. As for the Challenge, this was a challenging week for a few of the writers and we agreed delays were prudent. I know I’ve said this before, but the “Y” stories should be up and running in one or two days.

Meanwhile, let me continue with this travel-related theme.

As mentioned before, all the WitW photos are collected in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  Each new post will identify the previous post’s photo. The poll at the end of the post is mostly to amuse and entertain, but I name the location along with a red herring or two. It’s fine with me if you look up the answer, and I won’t care much which name you vote for because, hey, you might want to amuse yourself as well. It’s open to multiple voting for people who like more than one answer. Let me know if it doesn’t work.

The location of the photos in the previous post<<link showcased Wilson Arch<<link. For them interested in looking at it on Google Earth, here are a couple of screenshots (the coordinates are in the lower right corner of the screenshots — click for a larger version).