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Saturday, December 3, 2016

The "A Bud Or A Kiss?" Story

My favorite ... the Wilbur Bud
It was an ordinary day.  Watching "Jeopardy" and eating Wilbur Buds.  Visited the new Wilbur Chocolate Store this afternoon to pick up a couple bags of one of the most delicious chocolate treats you'll ever find.  Wilbur Chocolate began in 1865 in Vineland, New Jersey and by 1934 had consolidated its shops to Lititz, Pennsylvania, which is a few miles from my home in Lancaster, PA.  In 1992 Wilbur was purchased by Cargil Cocoa & Chocolate North America who at the end of 2015 closed the doors on the plant in Lititz, planning to move the business to a more modern location they owned.  
The original Wilbur Chocolate Company.  The factory store
was located under the sign, up the steps.
On the first floor of the chocolate plant was a factory store and museum that was visited by both locals and tourists to purchase chocolate treats and the famous Wilbur Bud.  That store remained open until a few months ago when a new store, across the street from the old one, opened in what at one time was a lumber store and then a fast food restaurant.  
The new factory store across from the original one.
Cargil updated the old store with a new facade and "refreshing interior" and now features Wilbur chocolates as well as continuing the small museum  that they had before.  The Wilbur Bud is very similar to the Hershey Kiss, which was developed in Hershey, Pennsylvania, a 30 minute drive from Lancaster, but much more creamy than the Kiss.  I realize that is my opinion, but that's what matters when I'm the one eating the chocolate.  
This is the original drop-candy machine
that was used to make Wilbur Buds.
Patented in 1889 by John Smith.
Now, if you ask my wife, she prefers the Hershey Kiss since it has more of a chocolate flavor, even if it isn't as creamy.  The new store/museum employees about 20 workers who do everything from making chocolate treats to stocking the shelves to checking out the multitude of chocolate lovers who visit the store.  Carol and I traveled to Lititz this past weekend, but couldn't get into the parking lot so chose to return during the week.  Must say the store is extremely popular with cars that carried license plates from five states in the parking lot.  Well, I had my camera in hand as we walked into the store today to try and find some red and green peppermint pieces for my wife's World Famous Christmas candy.  As soon as we entered I saw a very unusual old machine to the right of the entrance.  
Wilbur Bud mold which hangs next to
the drop-candy machine.
Thing was invented and patented by John Smith in June 25, 1889 and was the original machine used to make the Wilbur Buds.  Even had the metal mold that was used in the machine. Had a chance to watch a few women making chocolate treats that were for sale and then found what I came for ... a few bags of Wilbur Buds.  They come in both milk chocolate and dark chocolate, both being fantastic!  As I walked around the store I saw many displays featuring tins that were used to sell a variety of chocolate products by different chocolate companies as well as one locked glass cabinet filled with chocolate pots from around the world.  The fine china pots are beautiful and reminded me of the chocolate pots we have that belonged to my mother.  To Carol's disappointment the store was out of the red and green peppermint pieces.  No trouble, since now we will have to return soon when they restock their shelves.  I'm sure the couple of bags of Wilbur Buds I bought will be gone by then anyway.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Old photo of a worker running the drop-candy machine.
Cabinet displaying a variety of chocolate pots.
Candy molds from a variety of candy manufacturers.
The many different ways that Wilbur Buds were packaged.
Old containers used to sell Wilbur products.
Part of the large display showing Cocoa products.
A worker making one of many chocolate treats that are sold in the store.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The "The Amazing Photography Of Dave Newcomer: Part III" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Final post featuring the outstanding photographic skills of Dr. David Newcomer.  Dave has been making yearly calendars for many years which feature photos he has taken during his lifetime.  The past few years he has made both land and aerial calendars; the aerial calendars mainly for his pilot friends.  I asked Dave the type of cameras he used for his work and he responded by telling me that when he was shooting 35mm transparencies (slides) in the '60s thur '80s he used German Exakta bodies with Ziess lenses.  He then began using Nikon film cameras in the late '80s and then changed to a Nikon digital camera in the mid-'90s.  He now uses a D800 as well as a D-90 which he still uses from time to time.  He has a variety of lenses, but tends to use his AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm zoom (f4) most of the time.  He also has a NIKKOR 500mm zoom that he uses on field shoots.  He naturally cannot use a tripod when flying and most aerial photos are taken at 1/1000 speed since the aircraft is naturally moving.  He does believe that the Nikon and Canon systems are equally good.  As I was reading Dave's email telling me about the cameras he has used in the past, I said to my wife, "Listen to this.  Dave said that if I'm interested, he can take me flying sometime."  If I'm interested??!!  Wow, what an offer.  I know he has many other friends that probably accompany him on his aerial photo-shoots and I would be honored to be placed on that list.  Enjoy my final post of Dave's remarkable photographs.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.  PS - Once again, click on images to enlarge.


High Sierra Mtns. (these are 13,000' high here) at sunset -- the mist is smoke from a forest fire.
Ivanpah Solar Furnace in the Mohave Desert, CA.  This is a closeup view of the furnace on a 475' tower; sunlight is reflected (by 175,000 mirrors) on the three towers to generate steam and drive turbines.
Heliconiinae butterfly, Costa Rica
Two Harbors, Catalina Island --- when the sea rises another 20', the island will be split into two
islands here.
Devil's Tower, Wyoming -- this is the throat of a long extinct volcano; it is a popular rock climbing
venue.
Grand Canyon

Forest fire smoke, High Sierras.
Independence Pass....you can see Rt. 82 in the foregound (that road is closed during the winter)
Lake Powell, CO about 30 miles north of Glen Canyon Dam.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) from 13,000'.
Sunset, Key West --- I have thousands of sunset and sunrise photos, many from the air.
Female Tiger swallowtail, dark form.
Here's a night shot of uptown NYC and the Empire State Bldg.  I really like the airplane wing in this photo.  I have the same photo without the wing and it isn't as good.  I have thousands of night photos from the air....mostly from the east coast.
Fowler's toad

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The "The Amazing Photography Of Dave Newcomer: Part II" Story

Saratoga on the field at Johnson Creek, Idaho.
I have landed here many times.
It was an ordinary day.  Sorting through the many photo- graphs from Dave Newcomer's collection of work that is included in his yearly travel calendar as well as the assortment of images he emailed to me after my asking if he would be willing to share his large body of images with the world through my blog.  He has sent a few emails filled with his work since the files are rather large and can't all be sent in one email.  In an email Dave told me he has been into photography for over 60 years and how he and his dad had a black and white darkroom in their basement when he was a teenager.  He has well over 100,000 photos in digital format as well as the same amount that were taken before 1995 that are slides (transparencies).  Those he can scan if he wishes, but rarely does that.  He told me to stop in his office and he will make sure I get more of his calendars.  I responded with much the same story about having a darkroom in my basement when my children were young and making black and white as well as color photographs.  I also received a call from his medical office, where he is called Dr. Newcomer, offering me calendars from many of the past years which feature some of his favorite photos. Those are the calendars I am now sorting through, marveling at all the great photographs.  Follow along today and see the magnitude of subject matter that Dave has accumulated in his lifetime.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy. PS - Remember to click on images to enlarge them.


Iguana in a tree on a golf course, FL.
The rare Key deer...these are about as tall as a large German shepherd dog.  Although they are
rare, they are very tame if you move slowly and be very quiet when you see them.
Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay.
Black Canyon in Colorado....so called b/c it is so deep (2,000') the sun never reaches the bottom.
​Blanca Peak near Alamosa, CO.  This is one of CO's fifty-four 14,000' peaks.
​Bryce Canyon, Utah.
Catalina Island 21 miles off the coast of Los Angeles.​  That is the mainland in the background.
Avalon Harbor, Catalina Island.  This is the biggest town on the island.  The big round bldg.
was a casino where celebs rolled the dice in thje 30's and 40' -- Bogart, Becall, Spencer Tracy,
Babe Ruth, etc. all vacationed here.
A spectacular view of all 20 miles of Catalina Island looking southwest --- although I have flown
there over a dozen times, this was the only time it was clear enough to get this photo.  It is
rarely this clear on the island.
Crater Lake, Oregon.  Crater Lake is a collapsed volcano.  The lake is about as deep as the walls
are high above the water on the sides of the lake.
Golden Gate Bridge and Angel Island in the background; 10,000 years ago sea levels were 350'
below the level they are today....at that time, there was no SF Bay and Angel Island was
connected to the mainland.
Glen Canyon Dam near Page, AZ....notice how low the water is in Lake Powell behind the dam.
All the reservoirs in the southwest at 100' or more below there full levels.
A "Glory" on a cloud....caused by refraction of the sunlight around the airplane --- pilots see these
several times a year if they fly a lot.
Grand Canyon --- created by the Colorado Rive over 17 million yrs.
Great Sand Dunes National Park (GSDNP) near Alamosa, CO.
High Sierra Mtns. (these are 13,000' high here) at sunset -- the mist is smoke from a forest fire.
Ivanpah Solar Furnace in the Mohave Desert, CA.  This is a closeup view of the furnace on a 475' tower; sunlight is reflected (by 175,000 mirrors) on the three towers to generate steam and drive turbines.
I like this bald eagle becuase you can see the nitatating membrane over the eye.



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The "The Amazing Photography Of Dave Newcomer: Part I" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Looking at some of the most beautiful photography imaginable taken by David Newcomer who happens to be one of my wife's medical doctors.  Met Dave for the first time this past April when Carol made an emergency visit to Lancaster Regional Hospital in Lancaster, Pennsylvania due to appendicitis.  It was close to 8:00 pm when he found his way to Carol's bedside dressed in his blue scrubs.  Final outcome from that meeting was treating her appendicitis with antibiotics due to the fact that her white blood count was near normal and treating her malady with antibiotics has been the successful method of treatment in Europe for years.  That, and we were scheduled to leave on vacation in a few days to the the island of St. Martin and Dr. Newcomer felt she would be fine without removing her appendix.  He made the correct call and we both enjoyed our time on the beach.  That was until over six months later on her birthday, October 27, when the appendicitis returned in full force ... while vacationing once again … this time on the island of Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos Islands.  Well, her appendix was so inflamed that it was removed later that evening and we spent half of our vacation in the hospital and resort room.  Upon returning home we made a visit to see Dr. Newcomer to make sure the surgeon on the island had suitably performed the surgery.  Dr. Newcomer was impressed and gave his approval which made Carol feel more at ease with her decision of island surgery.  While in his office I noticed a few calendars which featured both land and aerial photographs.  Beautiful photographs which captured both landscapes and seascapes as well as wildlife.  Then I noticed that the photographs had all been taken by Dr. Newcomer.  Wow, what a talent!  Thanks to the office secretary Susan, I now have my own collection of over a dozen calendars that tell of the travels of this talented man.  I emailed him asking if he would mind if I shared his photographic talent with the world through my blog and I now have close to 75 files which he has graciously sent to me to share.  Most of the photos have accompanying information telling where the photo was taken, and in some cases his camera settings.  I plan to share some of his work in three different posts so you will get to see a variety of his photographs without flooding you with too many images all at one time and marginalizing his tremendous body of work.  Hope you enjoy his work which has been taken over his lifetime.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.  PS - Click on the photographs to enlarge them.

Florida Keys --- as you know, 10,000 years ago when the oceans were 350' below their present levels, the keys were just a peninsular extension of the state of FL.  There were no islands. 
​This is an aqueduct near Lancaster, CA.  I love this pic b/c you never see aqueducts east of the
Mississippi.
This is an interesting photo I took at the Penn State - Iowa game a couple of weeks ago.  There is a flight restriction over college stadiums to 3,000' above ground level...we were about 5,000' AGL for this photo.  I took about 70 photos and 4 of them came out in focus.  That is par for shooting night photos from a moving airplane.  You shoot a ton of photos and expect to get 3% to 5% good pics.  The stadium was packed with over 106,000 people that night.
This moon shot is fairly good quality considering that the lens was not intended for astrophotography.
Here's a night shot of uptown NYC and the Empire State Bldg.  I really like the airplane wing in this photo.  I have the same photo without the wing and it isn't as good.  I have thousands of night photos from the air …. mostly from the east coast.
​Tangier Island, VA.​
​Zebra swallowtail.  I have an extensive insect collection from college … but I no longer collect
anything but photos.
​Sunglare and Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  I have over 2,000 aerial photos of this bridge.​
​Okracoke and the outer banks looking northeast.  The Atlantic Oc. is on the right and Pamlico
Sound on the left.
Virginia Beach, VA, at night --- waves clearly visible.  I  love this photo.
Great blue heron --- alpha predator on the Susq. River
​Downtown Phila. --- can you find the Billy Penn Statue on top of city hall??  It's a little to left of and 
above center.
Portrait of a female golden eagle --- these are magnificent birds.
Lake Powell about 30 miles north of Glen Canyon Dam.
Great egret.