One Strong Belief

I often get into trouble with my family, friends and coworkers because I often challenge them to accept the idea that they are responsible for all the choices they make.  I believe that ultimately I always have a choice.  I may not like the choices before me and I may not be able to see what choices lay before me but I do have choices.  It gets me into trouble with my wife when she comes to me upset that she "had to" do something she didn't want to do.  My response is usually the same.

"If you didn't want to do it then why did you", I ask.
"Well ... I had to.  Who else would do it?", she says.
"I don't know.  Did you ask someone for help?"
"Who would I ask?" she would reply, rhetorically.  "I had no choice".
"You could have just not done it.  You could have asked me?"
"You're busy and I had to get done".
"Because ..."
"Because, why?"
"Because, someone had to do it!"

And so we go around and around in circles.  The more I press, the more each of us gets agitated.  I'm learning when to quit pushing.  Sometimes, I start suggesting possibilities and sometimes she uses them and other times she doesn't like any of the my solutions. At some point I may say:

"You're right.  If you don't like doing nothing or choosing any of the other options, then ... you have only the choice you made.  But still ... that's a choice"

I sometimes do this to myself.  I get stuck and frustrated because I feel like I have no choice but the one before me. It takes a bit of effort to realize that I have many choices, all of which have wanted and unwanted consequences.  I may choose the most desirable outcome and least negative consequence and feel like I have no choice.  Or I can accept the risk of a negative result, choose, and take the opportunity for a chance of the most desirable outcome I am seeking.  Either way, I have made a choice.

NOTE: I’m writing this as part of The Domino Project’s #Trust30 30-day writing challenge from

15 Minutes to Live

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emersonvia Gwen Bell – 15 Minutes to Live - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

In 2006 I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I had lost 30 pounds, was drinking almost as many gallons of water and feeling extremely tired. I was diagnosed by my family physician who sent me straight to the emergency room, My blood glucose (BG) was over 500. Normal is between 70 and 90. Apparently my blood was like a toxic soup and my doctor was concerned that I would go into a diabetic coma.

Was I afraid? No. Maybe I should have been but I wasn't. But the experience of being in a hospital bed for two night did change me. I realized that it could have been different. I could have gone into that coma and suffered brain damage. I could have been in a form of brain "death". For a person who makes his living "thinking" — I'm an information security manager, a knowledge worker — it would be devastating.

My brain is the muscle that allows me to act in doing the things I want to do. It's what helps me create the things I want to create. It's what helps me appreciate the things I hold dear. The things I cherish. For me, without it, I am nothing. I cease to exists. Ok. Now, I'm scared.

So what would I do if I was told I had 15 minutes to live?

I would call everyone I love and tell them I love them. Or maybe just sit at home and watch Tom and Jerry with my wife and kids.

NOTE: I'm writing this as part of The Domino Project's #Trust30 30-day writing challenge from

Export from Lightroom to Gallery 2

I'm participating in a group 365 photography project with members of the PHOTO-FUSION meetup. The 2011 Journey 365 — Daily Visions is a challenge for the group to have fun and learn over the year.  We are being challenged by the meetup organiser to take one photo each and every day and post it to a photo album he created specifically for the project.

The PHOTO-FUSION meetup organiser has chosen to host the photo albums on his web site using Gallery, an open source web based photo album organizer.  With Gallery a web site owner can easily create and maintain albums of photos via an intuitive interface accessible from any web browser.  But after exporting a few photos from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 and then uploading to the gallery I realised that I wanted a more efficient work-flow.

One of the things I like about Lightroom is the plug-in architecture. Plug-ins extend the capability of Lightroom allowing integration with external image-processing software such as Nik Software's HDR Efex Pro and Photomatix Pro. Adobe maintains a list of free and commercial plug-ins on the Adobe Exchange web site. I'm a big fan of Jeffrey Friedl's export Lightroom plug-ins which allow me to upload images directly to online social media services such as Flickr, Facebook, and PicasaWeb. Jeffrey offers these plug-ins as "donationware". A small donation — as little as one dollar cent to cover the PayPal fee— is all that is required to unlock the full potential of the plug-ins.

A few minutes on Google and I had a link to two plug-ins for exporting from Lightroom to Gallery. The first plug-in, written by German photographer and blogger Moritz Post, works with Gallery 2 — which is what PHOTO-FUSION is hosting — and the other is written for Gallery 3. The instructions below are for installing the Gallery 2 export plug-in for Lightroom on Mac OS X.


First, quit Lightroom if it's already running. Download the Gallery 2 plug-in from Sourceforge and extract the plug-in file from the zip file. Copy to Lightroom’s Modules folder. This will be different depending on operating system.

  • Windows Vista or 7: C:UsersusernameAppDataRoamingAdobeLightroomModules
  • Windows XP: C:Documents and SettingsusernameApplication DataAdobeLightroomModules
  • Mac OS X: ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Modules (where ‘~’ is your User directory)

Lightroom Modules Folder

Launch Lightroom and go to the Plug-In Manager. Scroll until you find the "Gallery2 Upload" entry.  Select it and verify that it is enabled.

NOTE: If the plug-in does not appear in the list, you can add it by clicking "Add" and navigating to the folder where you copied the plug-in.

Gallery2 Upload Enable

Creating export preset

Before we can use the Gallery2 plug-in, we need to create an export preset.

From the Lightroom File menu select the "Export..." menu item.

From the ExportTo drop down list select "Upload to Gallery".

Export Preset

Click "Add" to create a User Preset. Give the preset a name and click "Create".

Name the Preset

In the left hand section of the Export window, select the newly created preset.  Click "Add Server" and enter the requested information about your gallery server. The server URL is the same address you would enter in your web browser to get to the web site. Click "Save".

Add Server Info

Click "Login" to login to the server, then select the Gallery album from the drop-down list.

Select Gallery 2 Album

Make any other changes to the preset as necessary.  The PHOTO-FUSION server limits individual images file uploads to 2MB so I made sure to set that in my preset (2MB = 2048KB). I also made sure to enable the Watermarking feature. This will ensure my copyright information stays on each image.

When you are done making changes, right click on the preset (in the left hand section of the Export window) and select "Update with Current Settings".  Click Cancel.


Using the export preset

From your Lightroom library, select the photos you would like to upload and then from the Lightroom File menu select "Export...".

Export ...

Select the export preset.  Click Login.  Select the album to export to then click export.