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While we're still in free registration grace period, the FAA is actively spreading the word about hobbyist Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) registration. They were even at CES in the South Hall among all of the drone demos.

P1060853.jpg FAA getting the word out at CES 2016. Photo by Derrick Story.

If you're wondering why you should register (other than it's required), here's a Top Ten List from FStoppers.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Opening Monologue

Now that the holidays are behind us, it's time to start thinking about the adventures that lie ahead. Today's show features three distinctly different opportunities for a photo adventure.

3 Photo Adventures

Having just returned from Las Vegas myself, I can attest to how invigorating it is to strike out into the world with camera in hand. See if any of these get the creative juices flowing.

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San Francisco, April 15-17 - This event has it all. Street photography, nighttime shooting, urban exploration, and a few surprises. I can tell you right now, there will be new street shooting gear, film photography, and more. Olympus Trailblazer Mike Boening will be joining the faculty for this event. Check out the itinerary here - 2 seats open.

Out of Chicago, June 24-26 - I'm going to debut my The Nimble Photographer Workshop in Chicago this summer. This is a great event with a stellar faculty including Rick Sammon and many others. In addition to the workshop ($199), I'm teaching classes, joining panel discussions, and leading photo walks.

Pt. Reyes National Seashore, August 19-21 - From its thunderous ocean breakers crashing against rocky headlands and expansive sand beaches to its open grasslands, brushy hillsides, and forested ridges, Point Reyes offers visitors over 1500 species of plants and animals to discover. This is our first workshop in this magical location, and you'll be sure to come home with wonderful images and warm memories. Registration forms go out this week. If you're not on the reserve list, you can add your name here.

In the News

Apple patent describes dual-camera design - covered by DP Connect

Looking at a new Apple patent that has recently surfaced, it appears we might see a dual-camera setup in future iPhone generations. The design uses two camera modules, one with a wide-angle lens and another with a longer focal length. Throw some Apple software wizardry into the mix and you get yourself a smartphone zoom lens that should get close in quality to fully optical zooms and much better than existing digital zooms.

However, improved zoom may only one be of several applications of the design. The dual-camera could also be used to create 3D images or increase image quality in wide-angle images by adding additional detail that is captured with the longer lens.

How to Pick a Frame and Matte for your Print

It's hard to visualize the best frame and matte combination for a print. That is, unless you have ImageFramer. Then, not only is it easy, it's fun. I explain in this segment of today's show.

Jacob has set up an ImageFramer Landing Page specifically for TDS listeners, with sweet discounts on the 3 different versions of the app. Please go over and take a look.

Products We Love: Lume Cube LED Light

The Lume Cube can pump out 1500 Lumens, which is so bright that they have to include a warning notice reminding you not to look directly at the light when set to a high brightness level. The color temperature is a bit on the cool side, 6000K. The integrated battery is robust, and when it does need charging, use the included USB cable to connect to a power source for replenishing. The Lume Cube is also waterproof to 100'. So there's no need to worry about using it in adverse weather conditions.

Member Quotes of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to Friday's Facebook Post: "Out of Chicago" we had some terrific comments that I want to share it with you now.

Ron Lawrence I'm glad that you are doing this, but why is it so hard to get people like you, to do seminars in the South? Places like Orlando, Atlanta, Charleston, Jacksonville, Tampa??? This part of the country is seriously ignored by almost the whole photo community except the birders.
William Booz Maybe Chris Smith will organize an "Out of Charleston" conference, Ron!
Chris Smith Or maybe Ron will! smile emoticon
Ron Lawrence Heck, no one would come take advice from me about anything photography but how to buy stuff!!!
Aaron Hockley Imaging USA, one of the two biggest photography conferences in the country, is happening over the next few days in Atlanta...
Aaron Hockley Also I know Rick Sammon does a workshop or two in Miami every year...
Ron Lawrence We could call it Do'in the Charleston, but that name's already taken.
Ron Lawrence Yes, I talked to Sammon. I don't want to have to sell a kidney to take one of his courses.
TheDigitalStory It's all about organization. Chris has created a platform for us to use, so we're able to fit it in to our schedules without having to figure out every detail. Workshops are a lot of work. These types of gatherings are attractive to speakers.

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them.

Wood Prints Feel Like Art as Well as Look the Part

Print any photo from Instagram, phone or computer directly on wood. Blending the natural material wood with our professional print techniques every print is unique. Attention is given to every detail of our wood prints. From the crafted coved back, to the slotted hanging system allowing for simple hanging. Your print comes finished and ready to hang no frame is needed.

Wood Type: Baltic Birch
Thickness: 5/8"
Quality: Archival Quality Printing
Care: Moisture & UV Resistant

8"x8" is normally priced at $32. But you can get one for $24 using PROMO code: STORY. And in fact, you can get 25% off any wood print with that code at www.inkdot.com.

Found Treasure

The next edition of Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

Inkdot.com - Specializing in wood prints and other artistic treatments of your imagery - visit www.inkdot.com.

Red River Paper - Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

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I've been following the development of Lume Cube ($79.99) through its Kickstarter launch. The product has evolved considerably over that period (check out the early images of the device in press releases), and I was pleasantly surprised when I received mine in the mail last week (in beautiful Kickstarter blue).

The Lume Cube Apps

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Lume Cube is a powerful 1500 Lumen LED light that's controllable via iOS or Android apps. There are two versions of the software available, basic and pro. The basic app is free and the pro will set you back $2.99.

I've worked with both. Lume Cube (free) has brightness control from 1-100 percent, red eye prevention, auto sync, and a battery level indicator. The pro version ($2.99) however, has settings for brightness, duration, red eye prevention, OptoTrigger, battery level, signal strength, and the ability to fire up to five Lume Cubes. Both versions have a built-in camera function and video recorder.

The iOS app is actually one of my favorite features of this device. It's well-designed and easy to use. It allows for near-instaneous connection to the Lume Cube, and sets it apart from many of the portable LED lights on the market. In my opinion, don't even mess with the free version. Pony up the $2.99 and use Lume Cube Pro. It's worth the investment.

The Lume Cube Light Specs

As I mentioned earlier, the Lume Cube can pump out 1500 Lumens, which is so bright that they have to include a warning notice reminding you not to look directly at the light when set to a high brightness level. The color temperature is a bit on the cool side, 6000K. The integrated battery is robust, and when it does need charging, use the included USB cable to connect to a power source for replenishing. The Lume Cube is also waterproof to 100'. So there's no need to worry about using it in adverse weather conditions.

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Using the Lume Cube

The integrated tripod socket makes it easy to connect the Lume Cube to a variety of stands and grips. And since it's Bluetooth controlled, you can leave it where it's positioned and change the settings from your mobile device.

It syncs nicely with its built-in camera app. I leave the duration set to 1 second. I would really like to sync the Lume Cube with my iPhone's Camera app, but currently it only syncs with the Lume Cube or Lume Cube Pro software. That being said, it works quite well with both of those.

I also like that the device includes a light sensor so it can serve as a slave for off-camera flash with my OM-D E-M10 Mark II. The problem is that the sensor is on the front of the Lume Cube instead of on top as a small dome. It would even be better on the side or in the back. And in my testing, the sensor was not as sensitive as I'd like it to be. So it needs to be pointing right at the master light source to work - not practical in many situations.

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Being a smallish light source, the light can be a bit contrasty. So I carry my film canister diffuser with me, and it works great on the Lume Cube.

Bottom Line

The look, feel, and construction of the Lume Cube is outstanding. It's a work of art. And there's no arguing that the light output is impressive. The Lume Cube Pro app is also well-designed and a joy to use. Battery life is excellent. And the waterproof case is a nice bonus.

I wish the light were a tad warmer, say 5200K. And the slave sensor needs to be addressed in future designs. But aside from those nits, I would say that this supplemental light has dozens of uses with smartphones, digital cameras, and action cams. It's a good value at $79.99.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The Lume Cube has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

I'll be speaking at the Out of Chicago Photography Conference in June 2016. Among the sessions and photo walks, I'm also leading a Nimble Photographer Workshop on Friday, June 24th. This event is limited to 10 participants, and it's only $199.

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For those in the Midwest and on the East Coast who haven't been able to make it to California for one of my TDS Workshops, this might be a great way for us to finally work together. (Signups are going fast, however.) I'm also leading printing classes sponsored by Red River Paper where I'll show you how to "go beyond the pixel" with your images.

Out of Chicago is an amazing conference with an impressive group of instructors including Rick Sammon, Frederick Van Johnson, and Matt Kloskowski. In addition to their sessions, there are photo walks, one-on-ones, sponsor booths, and more. Check out these Top Ten Reasons to Attend.

And I hope I'll get to see you at my workshop or one of my sessions there. Super early bird registration ends on January 14 (huge discount!). So don't delay.


Nimble Photographer Logo

Out of Chicago has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Imagine being able to record true film footage with all the character of Kodak celluloid, yet with a device that has an integrated digital mic, 3.5" swivel LCD screen, and an SD card slot to store the dialog. Wouldn't that be an interesting convergence of old and new?

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That's what Kodak is endeavoring to do with the just-announced Super 8. They've brought together designer Yves Behar to create the look, and Logmar in Denmark to handle the mechanical fabrication for this hybrid camera. The result is one of the more fascinating devices I've seen at CES.

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Kodak writes, "By launching its first Super 8 camera product in more than 30 years, Kodak is demonstrating its resolve to ensure that film plays an important role in the future of filmmakers - both professionals and amateurs. This product, like many in Kodak's history, will be a tool for artists and all those who aim to capture special moments."

The Super 8 accepts C-Mount lenses; uses 50-foot Kodak film cartridges; provides variable speeds of 9, 12, 18, 24, and 25 fps; offers both manual speed and iris settings; includes cartridge detection; ships with integrated battery with charger; and includes an integrated mic as well as line-in for your own audio gear.

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The workflow is relatively simple. You shoot and ship the film, then Kodak processes it, scans the footage, and delivers it to your mailbox. You can add the audio and edit the content using any standard video editor... except that your source has the look of film instead of digital video.

If you need a more detailed view during capture, you can also send the SD video output to and external monitor (via HDMI) in lieu of the integrated LCD. The Super 8 really does bring together both worlds of filmmaking.

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Rachel Morrison (cinematographer, director) wrote this about analog storytelling, "There is something tactile about film that is inherently humane. I can't think of anything more fitting for a medium whose currency is channeling emotion into imagery."

Kodak is planning to make the first run of Super 8s available later this year. No price has been set yet, but the best estimates are between $750 and $900. Plus, of course, there will be the price of the film and its processing.

I'm looking forward to seeing what visual artists can do with this camera.

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

The USBCELL rechargeable battery offers an eco-friendly alternative as can be reused hundreds of times, and no charger adaptor or cable are required. It uses lithium polymer technology so you get both state of the art and convenience. It was one of my 5 Favorite Innovations from CES 2016.

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Instead of a copper top that's for branding only, the Pilot has a green cap that opens to reveal a USB connector that can plug into practically any mobile charger or even your laptop. Great for photographers and gamers who have open USB ports on their console. They can always have a fresh set of cells available for their controllers.

As an interesting sidenote, the Pilot ECO USBCELL is manufactured by Foxconn, the same folks who make millions of Apple's iPhones.

More from CES

Tune in to TDS Podcast 513, My 5 Favs from CES Las Vegas where I cover the USBCELL and four other hot picks, reporting directly from CES Unveiled at Mandalay Bay Conference Center in Las Vegas.

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

This week I peer into the future of technology at CES in Las Vegas and report on what I discover...

Opening Monologue

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A new year tradition of recent years is to trek to Las Vegas to cover CES. Here's where I, and thousands of other journalists, have the opportunity to see firsthand the tech landscape for 2016. And that's the focus of today's show.

My 5 Favs from CES Las Vegas

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I report from CES Unveiled at Mandalay Bay in this "Notes from the Field" segment.

In the News

Amazon's best-selling camera item this holiday was... film - covered by Imaging-Resource.

While there are some staggering results, such as Amazon shipping more than 200 million items via free Prime shipping this holiday season and over three million people joining Amazon's Prime service during the third week of December, perhaps the most surprising tidbit is that Fujifilm INSTAX Mini Instant Film was the biggest-selling item from Amazon's camera department. Following the INSTAX Mini Instant Film on Amazon's best-selling camera products this holiday season are the GoPro HERO4 Silver Edition and AmazonBasics Head Strap Camera Mount for GoPro.

Virtual Post Cards from Las Vegas

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I'm on the road this week covering CES. So, since I'm in Las Vegas, I thought I'd try my hand at making a few virtual post cards for sharing images with others. ImageFramer is perfect to add the finishing touch.

Jacob has set up an ImageFramer Landing Page specifically for TDS listeners, with sweet discounts on the 3 different versions of the app. Please go over and take a look.

Products We Love: The Indigo Marble 15" Protective Camera Wrap

I've been testing the Indigo Marble 15" Protective Camera Wrap ($24.97), using it with a variety of shoulder bags while on the go. And what I like best about it is that I have the freedom to carry my gear anyway I want, and still have good protection while doing so. I explain more in this segment of the show.

Member Quotes of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to Friday's Facebook Post: "Together we cross the bridge to 2016. Happy New Year! See you on the other side..." we had some terrific comments that I want to share it with you now.

Arron wrote: "And sometimes the path to new things looks wet and slippery, but we take it anyway :-)"
Michael added: " A very appropriate image Derrick - thanks for all your great work thru 2015 and I wish you all the very best for 2016."

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them.

A Holiday Poem from Red River Paper

And as she made her final print,
The postman arrived in a sprint.
He had to finish his final run
Before going home for family fun.
She checked the card one last time
Just to make sure all was fine.
She had used Red River Paper
And learned to add water vapor
Because humidity helps when the air is dry,
Such as when it is cold and dampness too shy.
Her card did not curl and was perfectly flat,
A gorgeous image of a holiday cat.
Into the addressed envelope her personal card went,
And even the postman confirmed it was money well-spent.
When you need help learning all about inkjet printing,
Make Red River Paper your source from the beginning.

A thought from Red River Paper

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

I've been testing the Indigo Marble 15" Protective Camera Wrap ($24.97), using it with a variety of shoulder bags while on the go. And what I like best about it is that I have the freedom to carry my gear anyway I want, and still have good protection while doing so.

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The wrap is constructed with no-scratch, water resistant nylon material on the inside, and soft durable velcro knit on the exterior. The stitched square in the middle has extra padding. It feels like closed cell foam, and is very dense, yet flexible.

There are Velcro fasteners on 3 corners. The fourth corner goes against your gear and won't scratch contents because it doesn't have the Velcro tab. I've used the 15" wrap for my mirrorless gear and lenses.

Also, the corner that does not have the Velcro tab does include a secure pouch that's perfect for an extra memory card or small battery. And when you're not protecting your gear during transport with the Indigo Marble Wrap, you can use it as a work area to place your gear on while packing or cleaning.

Gear-PC310640.jpg

The Indigo Marble Wrap is one of those seemingly simple photo accessories that can be put to use in a variety of ways, including serving as a gray card that you always have with you. I'll certainly have mine with me as I hit the road this month.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The Indigo Marble Wrap has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

My Best 9 Instagram Shots of 2015

Here's a fun thing for Instagramers. You can see your most popular 9 shots of 2015 by visiting 2015bestnine.com and entering your handle. After a few moments, your best 9 images will be neatly displayed. Here are mine.

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You can see the best 9 for friends too by entering their IG handles. It's a great way to look back on your past year in photos.


Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography.

This is The Digital Story Podcast 512, Dec. 29, 2015. Today's theme is "My Blunders in 2015." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

There's a lot of looking back this time of year. The highlights of 2015, the best of the best, and various great accomplishments. But I doubt that you would be that interested in the shining moments of my 2015. Plus, a lot of them are personal anyway.

But, how about those blunders? Now that's something that we all can learn from, right? And the theme for this week's show focuses on three business missteps that I made over the last 12 months. Now, that sounds intriguing, doesn't it?

My 2015 Miscalculations

So, I made 3 business choices this year that just didn't pan out. I'll tell you the story of each during the feature story of this week's episode.

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Who Cares about Cuba? - My takeaway: A lot of people don't care about travel to exotic locations, especially those with a checkered past in terms of U.S. relations.
Don't Reinvent the Wedding - My takeaway: Apparently weddings don't need to be reinvented. Everyone seems fine with the agonizing process of hiring a photographer. And keep with warm, fuzzy names for these types of services.
No New Podcast After All - My takeaway: In all honesty, it's tough to depend on others who don't care about your art as much as you do. Give your power to someone else, and it's unlikely that you'll be happy with the outcome.

In the News

The First Leaked Photos of the Fujifilm X-Pro2 - covered by Petapixel

Fujifilm helped kick off the mirrorless camera revolution back in 2012 by announcing the powerful retro-styled X-Pro1 camera. Now it appears that a follow-up will soon be upon us: the first official photos of the new Fujifilm X-Pro2 have leaked. The camera will reportedly be officially announced on January 15th, 2016.

Virtual Matte Frames Directly from Your Printer

I've had a number of portrait shoots over the last couple weeks, and I've been printing out some of my favorites on Aurora Fine Art Natural from Red River Paper. And I've been creating custom custom mattes for these portraits in ImageFramer. And I can't describe how stunning they look, right out of the printer. I do my best to describe in this segment of today's show.

Jacob has set up an ImageFramer Landing Page specifically for TDS listeners, with sweet discounts on the 3 different versions of the app. Please go over and take a look.

Products We Love: Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader

Thanks to a recent iOS 9.2 update, we can now use the Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader ($29) with our iPhones. And how sweet it is! This is a welcome feature for those of us who shoot with older cameras, such as my Fujifilm X20 that doesn't have WiFi for quick image transfer on the go. I've gone into more detail about this process in my article, How to Upload SD Card Pictures to Your iPhone.

Member Quotes of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to Friday's Facebook Post: "Merry Christmas to All Who Celebrate! And don't forget to take the group shot...," we had some terrific comments that I want to share it with you now.

Brenda wrote: "Always good when the photographer gets in the image. Merry Christmas Derrick. Looking forward to another year listening to your podcasts!"
Preston added: "Merry Christmas Mr. Story! You are photography's George Bailey!"
And Mike finished with: "Merry Christmas Derrick Story. Hope you had a wonderful holiday and yes, no one at my place touches a gift till we get the family pic."

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them.

Print those Holiday Group Shots

Speaking of group shots, if you really want to preserve your memories you need to make a print. Your kids and grandkids will appreciate the effort. A thought from Red River Paper

Software Download - DxO Optics Pro for Photos

A new editing extension for Photos for OS X, DxO Optics Pro for Photos uses modules for many of the common camera/lens combinations, but presents the tools in a simplified format that's easy to use. DxO Optics Pro for Photos is currently on sale for $9.99 in the Mac App Store. You'll need Mac OS X El Capitan and a 64-bit processor to run either app.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.