Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Photo Club

WOW! I attended my first meeting at the Photo Club yesterday and was so impressed with the group!! The meeting contained a wealth of information about transferring photos from your camera to your computer, how to create file folders and organize your photos, renaming photos, and most importantly--how to back up and save your photos. My mind was buzzing with new ideas on how to organize my picture albums when I got home. Thank you to Jim Cornell for such an informative and interesting presentation!!

The meeting started with a "show and tell" display of photos from the club members. Each week they are given a topic and members go out to photograph subjects after which they then upload their favorite photo to the club website. These photos are shown at the beginning of each meeting, the group votes on their favorites, and the winners are printed and put on display in the Activities Center. Some of the photos are critiqued and suggestions are made as to making the photo even better. I learned so much new stuff!!!! I wish I could have joined this group sooner!!



Member photos shown & critiqued by Jerry Smith


Be sure to check out the photos in the Activities Center every week.  I don't know who got that hummingbird shot, but it is definitely a winner!

There won't be a meeting this coming Monday (Feb 1) as the members are taking a field trip to Saguaro National Park near Tucson. The theme for photos is desert landscape so they'll be in the perfect area for some spectacular photos. I can't wait to see their finished projects!

The final session of the meeting was instruction on PhotoShop Elements software. This program allows the photographer to crop, resize, and touch up their photos. Wish I could have stayed for that part of the presentation...but I had to go to work and couldn't stay.

Another project the group is working on is taking photos for the huge pickleball tournament coming up. The club has been asked to take photos of the tournament participants, etc so volunteers signed up to assist.

What an exciting club!  Come join the group at their next meeting on February 8 at 10:30 in the SanTan room.  It will be awesome to see their photos from the national park.

P.S.  Thank you to Ray Valentine for the three photos on this post.

  • The photo club exists to help members have more fun taking and sharing photographs. We welcome all skill levels – absolute beginner to accomplished photographer.   
  • We try to cover a wide range of topics such as how to use your camera, photo composition, use of the computer to fix and organize your photos, and different ways to show your photos.   
  • We select a weekly topic to photograph. At the Monday meeting we form random groups to go together at a mutually agreeable time to shoot the weekly topic.   
  • After you review your photos from the weekly shoot, and if you choose, you can post your two best pictures to the club's Yahoo Group –PCphotoworks. (We will teach you how to do this and if you don't have access to a computer, we will do it for you.) Each week members choose favorite photos from the weeks shoot and some are posted in the Activities Office.   
  • We have a Photo Scavenger Hunt for the season with a list of ten photo topics; you may enter one photo per topic. The deadline for the hunt will be in early March. An independent panel of judges (not from the club) selects two winners from each category; the photo with the most judges' selections is Best in Show. There is a prize for each category and for Best in Show, and the winning photos are posted in the Activities Office.   
  • Dues for the club are $10 for the season ($15 per couple), or, if you are in the park for a short time, $2 per meeting. Dues cover the cost of prints to post in the Activities Office and copy/stationery costs.
  • Meetings are Mondays in the SanTan Room starting at 10:30 AM and run from 1 1/2 to 3 hours depending on which parts you choose to attend.   
  • Tentative plans are to have a three part meeting. Part 1 – Showing and discussion of photos from the weeks photo shoot. Part 2 – Presentation on a photo topic of general interest to all photographers. Part 3 – Specific training to meet needs and interests as requested by club members:  Photoshop Elements every week; others such as camera use, doing aslide show, organizing photo files as requested.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Winter Storm

It seems the entire state of Arizona received a "winter storm" this week.  To those of us who live here, that meant some awesome sorely needed RAIN but it also meant a lot of blowing dirt and dust.  To our winter visitors it meant a day robbed of sunshine and warm weather.  It was good for them to see a dust storm so they get a glimpse of what our summer storms are like.  We had 1 1/2 inches of rain so instant ponds, little lakes, and some huge puddles appeared rapidly.  The desert ground is very hard so water runs off rapidly which can result in some true flash floods. 

Here's the "little puddle" that typically forms when a heavy rain drains off to the golf course.  This is the fairway for Hole 7 as you enter the resort.

Our Palm Creek resort is built so that all the water flows over to the golf course and doesn't flood our streets or RV lots.  The golf course turns into a collective lake in a hurry during a heavy rain as can be seen by these pictures.  (Thank you, Verna Sheppard, for sharing your photos!)  Our lucky landscape crews then wade out to the center of the 7th fairway and "pull the plug" to pump the water into the pond system.  The next day after this storm, golfers were back on the course again.  I believe a few holes were kept off limits to allow them to dry out more, but the golfers were back chasing the little white ball again in no time.

This is the exact spot where all that deep water existed on the 7th fairway yesterday! 

This particular pond by the 9th hole is obviously over its banks but should recede in another day or so.  The goldfish, koi, and catfish love to explore the new territory so there is always some good news.

Everything in these photos looks so nice and clean and green.....BUT....not our houses, cars, and patios!  The blowing wind really stirred up the desert dirt and left us some heavy duty clean up chores.  Take a look at the grit on my patio table and our golf cart! 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Welcome Back Party

Thank you, Palm Creek, for another fun Welcome Back Party.  I've been to these events several times already, but this time had special meaning for me as I worked the table for our computer club which means I had to be there early.  I had a senior moment that morning because I went up to the area at 9:00 instead of 11:00 as I was supposed to....but I was glad to be there to see more of the set up arrangements.  I was in awe to see all the work that had already been done before 9am in preparation for the event.  We forget about all the work involved in making an event like this happen.  I took a number of photos for you to ponder.  There's not only the physical work of hauling out all the chairs, tables, food equipment, etc. but there are also hours of behind the scenes prep in making the layout, traffic flow, banners, signs, ordering all the food and supplies needed.  There's kitchen staff to order food, drinks, condiments, etc. plus someone to schedule the famous Budweiser truck, and arrange for music and entertainment.  In other words....WOW....congratulations to all those staff members and volunteers who "make it happen."  I stood there by myself (trying not to get in the way) while I took these photos and realized how proud and lucky I was to be a resident of this resort. 

Pat Mitchel is a familiar face around the resort.  Thanks for all your work, Pat.

Hundreds of tables, chairs, and tablecloths.  The red color really adds cheer.

Every club, sport, organization, event, and resort department has a booth at these welcome parties.  It's a fantastic way to get acquainted with all the opportunities we have to offer.  Everyone behind these tables is eager to talk about their activity and encourage new people to join in the fun.

Here is Sandi Feller from the Special Events Dept. busy at work with list in hand and checking it twice.

Peggy Fetzer (fearless leader of the Computer Club) and active member from Special Events.  That chili pepper guy on the right is Ray Valentine.  He and his wife, Sue, are active volunteers.

 Ray's costume was a fun way to advertise the upcoming chili cookoff.  Check your activity calendar for details.

Patio Sale Day!

Here are some early morning photos of my industrious friends and neighbors as we set up for the Palm Creek patio sale on Saturday.  The sale runs from 8:00am to noon and as you avid garage/yard sale folks know, the early bird gets the best worms.  For those unfamiliar with patio sale day, you're missing a lot of fun.  Usually several of us "shoppers" will hop in our golf carts and drive around looking to see what "treasures" we can find.  There's usually some pretty fun stuff where a resident has redecorated or has extra items no longer needed.  The RVers always have "stuff" to sell or trade.  None of us in this life style have the room to accummulate too much so a patio sale is a great opportunity to clean out the storage sheds, closets, and cupboards.  What's left usually goes to a charitable organization and hopefully not back in the closet again.  There didn't seem to be a lot of participation this year, however.  I don't know if it wasn't advertised enough or what, but it was a fun event anyway.  Be sure to watch for the event next season.  Some residents/guests put out their hobby items for sale...like homemade hotpads, towels, jewelry, etc. so it's always interesting.    

Friday, January 08, 2010

Another week at Palm Creek

Okay....it has been another fun-filled adventurous week at Disney Land for Seniors here at Palm Creek.  I have so much FUN here that I sometimes feel guilty.  Tuesday was a bright sunny day and perfect for our softball teams.  It was the kickoff event for this season.  Don and I hurried off to the field to watch the Rattlers vs the Sidewinders and what a great game it was.  Both teams are Palm Creek residents so to us it didn't matter which team won as long as everyone had fun and I believe they truly did.  While we soaked in some rays of warmth and sunshine and cheered and bantered with fellow fans, the rest of the country was shivering in icy temps and blinding snow.  Like I said, I "almost" feel guilty for having such a good time.

Even if you're not a true softball fan, you should at least come out to the games and cheer for the players.  I'm sure you know someone on one of the teams as these are some very active residents.  Mark your calendar for game days and plan to have lunch at the concession stand.  They serve some awesome hamburgers that put Burger King, MacDonalds, and even In/Out Burger to shame.

This being the kick off game for the season, our Park Manager (Wendell Johnson) and Diane Gaines were present for the opening ceremony.  We were very thankful to the park for supporting the teams and assisting with the installation of a brand new scoreboard for us avid fans.  Diane had the honors of pitching (well.....sorta tossing) the ball to home plate and Wendell was skillful enough to ceremoniously hit one.  It was nice to see them present. 

For those folks who don't realize how active the softball teams are, I'll put in a good word for them.  The teams really support the park by volunteering to help with a lot of set up and take down at events.  I know for sure they show up every Monday night to put up all the tables and chairs after bingo.  That's no easy chore either so I personally thank them on behalf of the bingo players.

Since Diane's name appears here, I'll put in a plug for her too.  In my book, Diane is part Super Woman with all she accomplishes for us.  I don't know what her official title is and I hope I don't miss something, but I believe she is in charge of the Pro Shop and Golf  Leagues, she is the Sports Director to oversee all the sport teams and events, she is in charge of that beautiful newsletter we receive monthly, she is involved with all the special events in the park.....and please forgive me Diane if I missed anything else.  I can always come back here and edit later.  The moment you give her a compliment though, she immediately gives credit to all the wonderful volunteers who assist with "getting it done." 

There is ALWAYS a line at the concession stand.  Great food!!

Tuesday was softball and Wednesday was another weekly meeting of the Palm Creek Computer Club which I truly enjoy.  I'm rather addicted to a keyboard and am fascinated by the cyberworld so I want to share that enthusiasm with anyone who will take the time to listen.  This week we talked about blogs, Skyping with friends and relatives, and a plethora of other computer issues.  The exciting part of the club for me is the fact that there are so many different levels of "users".  No matter how much you use your computer, there is ALWAYS something new to learn.  You can click on the link for "computer club" at the side of this blog to learn more.  Our attendance this week actually tripled in size and we're hoping even more folks will come to join us.  I tried to snap a quick photo at the end of the meeting but wasn't fast enough.  I'll do better next time.  If you have topics you would like to learn more about, you can always email our fearless leader, Peggy Fetzer, and she can add items to the agenda.  Email:  palmcreekcomputerclub@gmail.com

And now a word about AVATAR.  For those of you who have not yet seen that movie.............GO see it!!  WOW!!  It is a true technological wonder, fantastic, awesome movie.  We saw the movie here in Casa Grande at the Harkins Theater and just loved it.  After talking about it with neighbors, they advised us to see it in 3D.  Don and I needed to make a Costco trip so we took the time to go to the Imax 3D at Arizona Mills in Tempe.  Oh my gosh!!!  The world of 3D has come a long way.  It was sooooo awesome.

Gotta run and get started on another day of adventure.  Must get ready for tonight cause the gals will be coming over to play cards...another fun event for me.  Hope all you readers are having a great time too!!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all. I had to stop and snap this photo as I was driving by Site 1713, Ron and Nancy Mangini's home. Poor Santa sums it up. I hope he'll recover soon.

The holidays have had me out of commission with a nasty cold plus I've been working nine hour days at Print & Pack while the boss is away on vacation. I am soooo looking forward to getting back in the groove this coming week.

Just a reminder to all that the Palm Creek computer club meets again this Wednesday at 9:30. No need to bring a laptop, just come and get acquainted. This week's presentation is on how to create a blog. We'll also be asking for input for the next meeting so if you have requests, be sure to raise your hand. Participants are of all skill levels ... from beginners to more advanced and experienced techies. Hope to see you there.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Jeep For Sale

Here is a wonderful buying opportunity for anyone who has secretly desired to have a vehicle for exploring the wonderous scenic areas of Arizona. Steve Pedbereznak is selling his 2008 Jeep Wrangler. Call his cell at 203-305-7288 or email SSCamperBugs@aol.com