Ilene’s Car Blizzard Tips

Let me first bestow upon everyone a very Happy New Year!

New Year Card

A healthy sized winter storm looks like it’s approaching the Boston area on Tuesday (1/27/15).  It’s always good to make sure you are safe and sound in any hazardous weather event. Below I’ve included my list for items you should keep in your car in the winter that I’ve developed over years of driving.


My shot of a blizzard on or around Jan. 26 2006. This one didn’t make any record books!

While you should make sure your car is prepped with a full tank of gas, washer fluid, good battery, jumper cables and correctly inflated tires, there are other items you should carry for safety. Always charge your phone and iOS devices before you leave. If you have to drive in a storm, over preparation, is better than under preparation.


February 2013 Snowstorm

Prep your car in the winter by carrying the following items, especially if you know you have to drive in a snowstorm:

  1. Flashlight
  2. Spare Gloves (mittens are even better)
  3. Spare Coat (You can pick one up at a used clothing store or call me if you’re local.)
  4. Spare Hat and scarf
  5. Foot and Hand warmers
  6. Sturdy ice scraper
  7. Shovel – small and strong
  8. Blanket
  9. Bottle(s) of water (don’t leave in car when you exit car for the night)
  10. Cheese or peanut butter cracker packages
  11. Rock salt, sand, or some other ice melt  (I usually carry 3 coffee cans full of it.)
  12. A spare pair of boots – it doesn’t hurt to toss them into the car
  13. Windex and paper towels
  14. Duct tape – always carry duct tape! 😉

I also keep hand wipes, ear muffs, neoprene or turtle fur face mask, and pen or pencil and paper in my car.

While other people don’t usually carry the following things, I do because one never knows. I have a good sized trunk and often stop for photo opps. As my friend Barry always says, I will fill to capacity any empty space allowed to me!

  • Mat, like you’d use for camping
  • Foam or rubber seat cushion
  • Folding chair
  • Spare tripod

Another shot taken February 2013.

 Please stay safe and warm!

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Suburbs Gone Wild Photo Exhibit and Gift Fair Invitation

I am producing a Suburbs Gone Wild Photo Exhibit and Gift Fair on December 13th. It would be wonderful if you could stop in to say hello and see my new photographs and prints!

I did a similar “show” last year and was weathered out! I held the show Nov. 24th and it turned out to be the coldest and windiest day in the season. We even lost electricity in the building half way through the fair. Needless to say the show was a complete failure! Mary Kay Consultant, Kristen Culver helped with the exhibit and fair last year. She’s quite the trooper, even the dark hall didn’t dampen her holiday spirit. She will also join me for my exhibit this year with her carefully selected gift baskets.

Hopefully, the weather will cooperate this year!

For this new fair, I created a 2015 Local Wildlife Photo Calendar. Last year was the first time I offered a photo calendar for sale. Previously, only my family received these. While the response from my local community was good, the calendar was just too expensive to produce and sell. I decided not to create a new calendar, but a number of people approached me and asked me for one, so I bit the bullet and created a new one. Thankfully Vistaprint had a sale and the new calendars cost less than last year. I ordered a limited number of the calendars, so that I wouldn’t end up with enough to wallpaper my apartment, like last year.

Another new item will be a revised edition of my Dump Poster. This is a composite picture of all the different wildlife I’ve captured at the Needham Recycling and Transfer Station (aka The Dump). Presently, it’s a work in progress and not ready for public consumption.

There’s a wide variety of product available, ranging in price from $3.00 to $400.00. Your presence, regardless of whether you purchase anything, would be much appreciated!

Exhibit and Fair Information

When: Saturday, December 13
Where: 5 Chambers St., Needham, MA
Time: 12pm to 4pm
Notes: Free child’s gift with purchase, while supplies last. Hot drinks and munchies also available.

Thumbnail of my calendar photos with fair information

2015 Calendar Photos

2015 Calendar Photos

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Quick Photo Composition in Photoshop

Quick Photo Composition in Photoshop.

This quick and clean tutorial on creating a composite photo covers an amazing amount of detail, yet covers the topic well. Most tutorials I watch are mumbled, unclear, or leave out important details. In under four minutes, Howard Pinsky, tells you how to simply combine two photos into a new and more exciting display. Even though he talks very fast, his speech is clear and crisp. I was having trouble editing a dark shot of a flying hawk I took last month and this tutorial gave me ideas on how to fix it with his masking tools tips using the Refine Edges button on the Options bar. Good stuff!

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Avian Afghanis Invasion?

This gallery contains 5 photos.

As I drove down a street a mile from the center of town, located only seven miles from Boston, MA, I noticed a clutch of twelve birds, which turned out to be some kind of partridge. The gallery of  close … Continue reading

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Hess Memorial Macworld Events – Thursday Listings

Update: As of 10 PM ET, the Hess List web server is back up, so you can hit the link below to see the Macworld-iWorld 2014 events. Digital Fortress has assured me that an alarm of some kind will go off if the server has future trouble and will be reset immediately.  Thank you for your patience and understanding!

It seems the server at Digital Fortress has once again decided not to serve out my Robert Hess Memorial Macworld Events Page. This happens periodically and the company always has lame excuses as to why. For your convenience, here are the listings for Thursday night, March 27th. Please check back to the regular URL at intervals, because the page will come back up; the company always makes that promise. If I ever recoup the monies I pay for web hosting from this list, I will move The Events List to a more reliable host, but as I’ve only received one contribution this year, don’t hold your breath.

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Very sorry for the inconvenience!  Here are tonight’s listings!

Thurs.3/27 5:30 PM ?:30 PM
6 About to Break Cocktail Party
Moscone North
Ticket may be required. SF New Tech & Macworld/iWorld hosts.

Thurs.3/27 6:00 PM 9:00 PM
Silicon Valley iOS Developers‘ Meetup
Not Listed yet
Details missing

Thurs.3/27 6:00 PM ?:00 PM
Drinks at SF St. Regis with Paul Kafasis, of Rogue Amoeba
Just a fun time
(Tweeted by Gruber) (Update: It seems that Paul was there, but John wasn’t.)

Thurs.3/27 7:00 PM10:00 PM
Appency 5th Annual Macworld Press Dinner
Invited Press only.

Thurs.3/27 7:30 PM10:00 PM
iFixit Meetup at Techshop
910 Howard St.
Chat with iFixit crew over dinner and drinks. RSVP desired.

Thurs.3/27 8:00 PM?:00 PM
CultCast LIVE Party
The Box SF, 1069 Howard St.
Invitation Required. Cult of Mac team with DiskAid and MacUpdate. Live performance from DJ EGADZ. Open bar.

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