For one year - I pledge to blog as much as I can - sharing thoughts, links, music, photos, and videos. Enjoy...
KST1 - November, 2012
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KST1 - November, 2012

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Alternative take of "角質の鬼 -> Kakushitsu no oni" - Week 41 of 52, Aug 29, 2010.
When Mr. Tucker moved from Royal Oak (my next door neighbor for 6 or so years), he left behind many things, some of which went into the trash, but many of which were donated to his favorite next door neighbor.  Robert had collected a number of bones and antlers over the years.  Since I had been doing some turnings (on a lathe) with antlers, he gave me the 6-8 sets of antlers he had collected - some of them still connected to partial skull-plates.
Several years later, when I was preparing to move from Royal Oak, I had to make a decision about how many - and which ones - to keep.  I found that I needed to leave a vast majority of the parts behind as Kristen and I were going to be living in an apartment for the foreseeable future and we just didn’t have enough room for ALL of my odds and ends - though Kristen, I am sure, will testify that I brought plenty as it was.
As I was in the later half of the “52 weeks of personal portraits project”, I decided to use the antlers in a submission.  I wired the larger pieces together in a form of a war-mask and found the best way to organize them around my face.  I held a couple of the individuals antlers. 
The above is a slight variation on the image that I actually selected for use that week (see below).

Another variation with the antlers shifted down a touch

I also like the below image - particularly the eyes- but the framing wasn’t right.  The door frame was awkward and a piece of hung art is strangely positioned right behind one of the antler tips.  The challenges of framing self portraits.

This is another angle where you can see the art arrangement.

The triptych is a collection of Robert Tucker pieces - below is an enlargement.  Perhaps I can take a better picture once we have more of the art re-hung in the new house.

T [2d:258:019]

Alternative take of "角質の鬼 -> Kakushitsu no oni" - Week 41 of 52, Aug 29, 2010.

When Mr. Tucker moved from Royal Oak (my next door neighbor for 6 or so years), he left behind many things, some of which went into the trash, but many of which were donated to his favorite next door neighbor.  Robert had collected a number of bones and antlers over the years.  Since I had been doing some turnings (on a lathe) with antlers, he gave me the 6-8 sets of antlers he had collected - some of them still connected to partial skull-plates.

Several years later, when I was preparing to move from Royal Oak, I had to make a decision about how many - and which ones - to keep.  I found that I needed to leave a vast majority of the parts behind as Kristen and I were going to be living in an apartment for the foreseeable future and we just didn’t have enough room for ALL of my odds and ends - though Kristen, I am sure, will testify that I brought plenty as it was.

As I was in the later half of the “52 weeks of personal portraits project”, I decided to use the antlers in a submission.  I wired the larger pieces together in a form of a war-mask and found the best way to organize them around my face.  I held a couple of the individuals antlers. 

The above is a slight variation on the image that I actually selected for use that week (see below).

Another variation with the antlers shifted down a touch

I also like the below image - particularly the eyes- but the framing wasn’t right.  The door frame was awkward and a piece of hung art is strangely positioned right behind one of the antler tips.  The challenges of framing self portraits.

This is another angle where you can see the art arrangement.

The triptych is a collection of Robert Tucker pieces - below is an enlargement.  Perhaps I can take a better picture once we have more of the art re-hung in the new house.

T [2d:258:019]

A Day of Firsts
1) Our first visit to a greenhouse together as home owners (we actually visited two)
2) Kristen’s first time driving a golf cart
3) Our first time spending a whole day (plus) working in the yard.
We went to two local nurseries yesterday.  The first one, Hawks in Wauwatosa, was nice enough, but it was farther away and didn’t have the selection I was looking for.  The second one, Johnson’s in Menomonee Falls is actually quite nice - reminds me a bit of Gee Farms outside of Detroit - though a bit more expensive.  We found out about this nursery via Angie’s List, and it also got rave reviews from out neighbor, Scott.  In addition, he does the websites for this business (see that little Maelstrom logo in the lower right corner)
We spent a bit of cash there - Kristen got into the plant selection, and she learned why I am dangerous when let loose in one of those places.  She didn’t balk at all though - cause she knows all this product will make our yard even better over time.
Here is the back view of the cart:

This is the list of things we bought:
1) Blue Ice Amsonia (I’ve never grown this before - it just looked neat)
2) Mini-star columbine
3) A nice chartreuse Coral Bells
4) Three Hosta: Sum & Substance, Guacamole, and Fire Island (Kristen picked out the last two)
5) Hydrangea - a beautiful blue one - hope the soil pH is such that it stays this color
6) Some ground cover: brass buttons, pachysandra, wooly thyme, and periwinkle
7) a couple of ferms: cinnamon and ostrich
8) a couple of lilac bushes: Meyeri and Red Pixie
9) a “Samurai” Toad Lily (this was my selection)
10) and some “Volcano” Red Phlox - to complement our blue/purple salvia
Some of these things I’ve grown before and some are new.  For those that I’ve grown before - many did quite well - but some not so much (fern, toad lily, etc.)  I’m hoping they do better in the shade garden we have - it should provide a much more appropriate home for many of these items.
So after we got these items back to the house, we ate a quick lunch and then started planning where items should go (a very fun part of the experience) - but before we started planting, we did some prep work.  I did some serious weeding and Kristen did some pruning of the rose bushes.  They were in desperate need of some dead-heading.  We both lost track of time as commonly happens to those in the garden, and we only got a few things planted before it got dark.  So we spent a good portion of today planting as well.  We’re still not done.
But the most gratifying part for me was that, not only does my wife humor one of my passions, she may actually be ‘catching the bug’.  She admitted to me that during the time when she was concentrating on the rose bushes, she didn’t think about her work tasks or any of the hundred other things she usually has on her mind (I’m sure you can all relate.)  She simply existed in the moment.  This is exactly why I generally describe gardening as meditative.
As exhausted as we are - its’ been a good couple of days.
T [2d:244:005]

A Day of Firsts

1) Our first visit to a greenhouse together as home owners (we actually visited two)

2) Kristen’s first time driving a golf cart

3) Our first time spending a whole day (plus) working in the yard.

We went to two local nurseries yesterday.  The first one, Hawks in Wauwatosa, was nice enough, but it was farther away and didn’t have the selection I was looking for.  The second one, Johnson’s in Menomonee Falls is actually quite nice - reminds me a bit of Gee Farms outside of Detroit - though a bit more expensive.  We found out about this nursery via Angie’s List, and it also got rave reviews from out neighbor, Scott.  In addition, he does the websites for this business (see that little Maelstrom logo in the lower right corner)

We spent a bit of cash there - Kristen got into the plant selection, and she learned why I am dangerous when let loose in one of those places.  She didn’t balk at all though - cause she knows all this product will make our yard even better over time.

Here is the back view of the cart:

This is the list of things we bought:

1) Blue Ice Amsonia (I’ve never grown this before - it just looked neat)

2) Mini-star columbine

3) A nice chartreuse Coral Bells

4) Three Hosta: Sum & Substance, Guacamole, and Fire Island (Kristen picked out the last two)

5) Hydrangea - a beautiful blue one - hope the soil pH is such that it stays this color

6) Some ground cover: brass buttons, pachysandra, wooly thyme, and periwinkle

7) a couple of ferms: cinnamon and ostrich

8) a couple of lilac bushes: Meyeri and Red Pixie

9) a “Samurai” Toad Lily (this was my selection)

10) and some “Volcano” Red Phlox - to complement our blue/purple salvia

Some of these things I’ve grown before and some are new.  For those that I’ve grown before - many did quite well - but some not so much (fern, toad lily, etc.)  I’m hoping they do better in the shade garden we have - it should provide a much more appropriate home for many of these items.

So after we got these items back to the house, we ate a quick lunch and then started planning where items should go (a very fun part of the experience) - but before we started planting, we did some prep work.  I did some serious weeding and Kristen did some pruning of the rose bushes.  They were in desperate need of some dead-heading.  We both lost track of time as commonly happens to those in the garden, and we only got a few things planted before it got dark.  So we spent a good portion of today planting as well.  We’re still not done.

But the most gratifying part for me was that, not only does my wife humor one of my passions, she may actually be ‘catching the bug’.  She admitted to me that during the time when she was concentrating on the rose bushes, she didn’t think about her work tasks or any of the hundred other things she usually has on her mind (I’m sure you can all relate.)  She simply existed in the moment.  This is exactly why I generally describe gardening as meditative.

As exhausted as we are - its’ been a good couple of days.

T [2d:244:005]

Preparations for a “White Duke”
When Kristen and I were still living in an apartment, we cracked open one of our beverage recipe books and came across a drink called the “White Lady”.  You can find it in some restaurants (such as Carnevor in downtown Milwaukee).  It is made up of
1 part Gin
1 part Cointreau
1 part fresh Lemon Juice.
I honestly can’t remember if we tried this original recipe before modifying it - but after modifying it - we’ve never gone back.  Our modification is actually two parts - a clarification, and an ingredient change.
The clarification is simple - us a non-piney gin.  This was executed to try to ensure that my wife would like it as she doesn’t like ‘traditional’ gins.  We like Hendricks but other ‘botanical’ blends may work just as well.  On second thought - don’t mess with it - use Hendricks.  In fact - I hereby decree that if you are make a “White Duke” - you MUST use Hendricks.  Otherwise it’s not a “White Duke” - it’s some other White Lady wannabe.  Point settled.
Which leads us to the other modification - the ingredient substitution.  This is actually critical.  USE Limes instead of Lemons.  And make sure you use fresh lime juice - that you squeezed yourself.  DO NOT USE Rose’s!  It is sweet and not as tart and not right for the drink.
An interesting fact I uncovered while looking up other White Lady recipes online - some put one egg white into the mixture.  We don’t do that in our drink.
Some White Lady recipes also call for twice as much gin as the other two components - that is not how we roll it in the Trader household.  Here is our official White Duke recipe.
1) 1oz Hendricks Gin (get it at Costco to save some coin)
2) 1oz Cointreau
3) 1oz freshly squeezed lime juice.
If you use 1.25 oz or 0.87 oz - it really doesn’t matter - just make them the same general proportions.
4) Put all three in a coctail shaker and add as much ice as you can get in there.  Close shaker, wrap in a towel, and start shaking.
5) Shake 100 times - Yes Folks - ONE HUNDRED TIMES.  The duke likes it cold - which is what makes him white I suppose.  This ‘may’ water down the drink a tad - but I like the coolness it imparts and it just works.  Please trust me on this.  I suppose you could use another cooling device - such as plastic ice cubes that don’t actually melt but transfer heat?  But that’s not how we do it here!
Poor in your glass of choice.  To date, we have used martini glasses.  However, my friend Mary Fortuna gave a great suggestion - pour it in a narrow and tall glass.  At this point it can now be called… wait for it…  a Thin White Duke.  And I thought it couldn’t get any better.

T [2d:243:004]
P.S. - it’s NOT a David Duke - that is a different drink all together.
1) Substitute Wild Turkey for the Gin
2) Substitute Orange Juice for the Cointreau
3) Skip the fruit, you pansy
4) Pour ingredients into a Mason Jar
5) Drink and repeat until your warped world vision makes complete sense.

Preparations for a “White Duke”

When Kristen and I were still living in an apartment, we cracked open one of our beverage recipe books and came across a drink called the “White Lady”.  You can find it in some restaurants (such as Carnevor in downtown Milwaukee).  It is made up of

1 part Gin

1 part Cointreau

1 part fresh Lemon Juice.

I honestly can’t remember if we tried this original recipe before modifying it - but after modifying it - we’ve never gone back.  Our modification is actually two parts - a clarification, and an ingredient change.

The clarification is simple - us a non-piney gin.  This was executed to try to ensure that my wife would like it as she doesn’t like ‘traditional’ gins.  We like Hendricks but other ‘botanical’ blends may work just as well.  On second thought - don’t mess with it - use Hendricks.  In fact - I hereby decree that if you are make a “White Duke” - you MUST use Hendricks.  Otherwise it’s not a “White Duke” - it’s some other White Lady wannabe.  Point settled.

Which leads us to the other modification - the ingredient substitution.  This is actually critical.  USE Limes instead of Lemons.  And make sure you use fresh lime juice - that you squeezed yourself.  DO NOT USE Rose’s!  It is sweet and not as tart and not right for the drink.

An interesting fact I uncovered while looking up other White Lady recipes online - some put one egg white into the mixture.  We don’t do that in our drink.

Some White Lady recipes also call for twice as much gin as the other two components - that is not how we roll it in the Trader household.  Here is our official White Duke recipe.

1) 1oz Hendricks Gin (get it at Costco to save some coin)

2) 1oz Cointreau

3) 1oz freshly squeezed lime juice.

If you use 1.25 oz or 0.87 oz - it really doesn’t matter - just make them the same general proportions.

4) Put all three in a coctail shaker and add as much ice as you can get in there.  Close shaker, wrap in a towel, and start shaking.

5) Shake 100 times - Yes Folks - ONE HUNDRED TIMES.  The duke likes it cold - which is what makes him white I suppose.  This ‘may’ water down the drink a tad - but I like the coolness it imparts and it just works.  Please trust me on this.  I suppose you could use another cooling device - such as plastic ice cubes that don’t actually melt but transfer heat?  But that’s not how we do it here!

Poor in your glass of choice.  To date, we have used martini glasses.  However, my friend Mary Fortuna gave a great suggestion - pour it in a narrow and tall glass.  At this point it can now be called… wait for it…  a Thin White Duke.  And I thought it couldn’t get any better.

T [2d:243:004]

P.S. - it’s NOT a David Duke - that is a different drink all together.

1) Substitute Wild Turkey for the Gin

2) Substitute Orange Juice for the Cointreau

3) Skip the fruit, you pansy

4) Pour ingredients into a Mason Jar

5) Drink and repeat until your warped world vision makes complete sense.

Alternate of “Weekend Assignment” Week 29 of 52, May 29, 2010
So this is the backyard of my Royal Oak house.  This was the last growing season for me at the Michigan address.  I decided to capture it for the 52 week personal portrait project.  Below is the ‘official’ pic I used that week.

It was a beautiful May day - a week or two later than I normally would start (don’t plant outside before Mother’s Day!).  But things were changing dramatically in my life.  I had just returned from a week in California where I introduced my future wife to my future best man.    
Two weeks later, I quit my job at Compact Power, Inc.  I had already given notice at this time - so perhaps that is why I look so peaceful.  It had been a crazy year and a half at Compact Power.  It was an incredible experience - but it was definitely time to go.  I had no concrete plans on where I would go next - but hubris and confidence in my skill-set gave me the strength to make this move.  That - and I was in love with this incredible woman and I knew I had to make some changes if we were going to have a constructive life together - and this would have been much more difficult if I had stayed at CPI.
Gardening has always been a meditative act for me - a physical experience so different from what I do ‘for a living’.  A chance to be - as my mother would say - with my “hands in the dirt and my butt in the air”. 
So the plants featured below are (in no particular order):
Zinnia, Violet Tubeflower, Sweet Potato Vine, Heliotrope (Love This!), Globe Amaranth, Tomatoes, Coral Bells, Hearty Aster, Coreopsis, Flame Calla Lillies, Parsley, Darker Sweet Potato Vine, Pocketbook Plant, Dill, Pimento Pepper, Verbena, and Basil
I can’t wait to try many of these in our new garden next spring - though - if I get really lucky - I may get some to grow yet this year (mmmm homemade pesto) 
T [44.228]

Alternate of “Weekend Assignment” Week 29 of 52, May 29, 2010

So this is the backyard of my Royal Oak house.  This was the last growing season for me at the Michigan address.  I decided to capture it for the 52 week personal portrait project.  Below is the ‘official’ pic I used that week.

It was a beautiful May day - a week or two later than I normally would start (don’t plant outside before Mother’s Day!).  But things were changing dramatically in my life.  I had just returned from a week in California where I introduced my future wife to my future best man.    

Two weeks later, I quit my job at Compact Power, Inc.  I had already given notice at this time - so perhaps that is why I look so peaceful.  It had been a crazy year and a half at Compact Power.  It was an incredible experience - but it was definitely time to go.  I had no concrete plans on where I would go next - but hubris and confidence in my skill-set gave me the strength to make this move.  That - and I was in love with this incredible woman and I knew I had to make some changes if we were going to have a constructive life together - and this would have been much more difficult if I had stayed at CPI.

Gardening has always been a meditative act for me - a physical experience so different from what I do ‘for a living’.  A chance to be - as my mother would say - with my “hands in the dirt and my butt in the air”. 

So the plants featured below are (in no particular order):

Zinnia, Violet Tubeflower, Sweet Potato Vine, Heliotrope (Love This!), Globe Amaranth, Tomatoes, Coral Bells, Hearty Aster, Coreopsis, Flame Calla Lillies, Parsley, Darker Sweet Potato Vine, Pocketbook Plant, Dill, Pimento Pepper, Verbena, and Basil

I can’t wait to try many of these in our new garden next spring - though - if I get really lucky - I may get some to grow yet this year (mmmm homemade pesto

T [44.228]

Disney Traders

There are a number of permanent ”Traders" at the Disney World Parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, & Hollywood Studios).

For a few days in May of 2012, there were a couple more!

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May 22, 2010 - Week 28 of 52 - “Obviating Evil in the Desert”
This is one of 3 photos (actually 3 of 9) that were posted to the 52 personal portrait project back in 2010.
Kristen and I were taking a vacation in California, visiting our good friends Robert and Yuri in Palm Springs.  Robert was also participating in the weekly photo challenge and had this idea for a set of photos we would take while out there and then the three of us would post them all in the same week - at the same time if at all possible.
So one evening, we took nine different photos against a black background.  During the next week, Kristen post processed the photos into the 3 different triptychs shown in this post.


It was a great idea and it came off very well.
This post is one in the ongoing series of discussions around the photos I posted as part of the FB photo group mentioned above.  Most times I post ‘alternative’ takes to show what wasn’t selected.  In some posts - like this one - there are no alternative pics, but I take some time to give some context, or to remember the experience.
T [44.213]

May 22, 2010 - Week 28 of 52 - “Obviating Evil in the Desert”

This is one of 3 photos (actually 3 of 9) that were posted to the 52 personal portrait project back in 2010.

Kristen and I were taking a vacation in California, visiting our good friends Robert and Yuri in Palm Springs.  Robert was also participating in the weekly photo challenge and had this idea for a set of photos we would take while out there and then the three of us would post them all in the same week - at the same time if at all possible.

So one evening, we took nine different photos against a black background.  During the next week, Kristen post processed the photos into the 3 different triptychs shown in this post.

It was a great idea and it came off very well.

This post is one in the ongoing series of discussions around the photos I posted as part of the FB photo group mentioned above.  Most times I post ‘alternative’ takes to show what wasn’t selected.  In some posts - like this one - there are no alternative pics, but I take some time to give some context, or to remember the experience.

T [44.213]

Statue outside the Scottish National War Memorial at the top of Edinburgh Castle, Scotland (July 2011)
Here are a couple of other views.


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Statue outside the Scottish National War Memorial at the top of Edinburgh Castle, Scotland (July 2011)

Here are a couple of other views.

T [44.197]

The best souvenir at the Cleopatra exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum
It cost me 50 cents (and I had to provide the penny).  In addition it was (in my opinion) the best souvenir they had (and not just by value).  The machine was located just outside of the souvenir shop (of course) which is - as is typical now - at the end of the exhibit.
I ‘collect’ these souvenir coins - you know - the ones where you drop a penny and two quarters into a machine and it smashes - either automatically or via your own manual labor - the penny through a die - which creates the embossed image.  I have about 18 of these that I’ve collected over the last decade and I plan to display them in a future post.
If you are going to Cleopatra in Milwaukee, make sure you take 51 cents - and make  sure you take a shiny penny - mine wasn’t so shiny and that’s the mis-coloration/oxidation you see above.  
Now - HERE’S THE IMPORTANT PART - make sure the penny is from 1982 or older.  
Everything from 1983 to the present has vastly less copper.  If you use a newer coin, the zinc core will show through and this makes for a much less pleasant impression and image - as you will see when I show the rest of my collection (I didn’t always plan ahead).
If you look at the smashed penny above - you can see the Lincoln Memorial image ghosted across Cleopatra’s face - at a slight downward (left to right) angle.  Sometimes you’ll get Lincoln’s face depending on which side gets embossed.
By the way - the Cleopatra exhibit was fascinating.  Kristen and I went a couple of weekends ago and we learned a ton.  The archeologists are constantly learning more about her and the history of the time period - Caesar / Marc Anthony (Marcus Antonius - not the ex Mr. Lopez) etc.  
And interestingly, MPM is one of four U.S. sites for this exhibit (sorry - I’ts not coming to Detroit)
T [44.191]

The best souvenir at the Cleopatra exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum

It cost me 50 cents (and I had to provide the penny).  In addition it was (in my opinion) the best souvenir they had (and not just by value).  The machine was located just outside of the souvenir shop (of course) which is - as is typical now - at the end of the exhibit.

I ‘collect’ these souvenir coins - you know - the ones where you drop a penny and two quarters into a machine and it smashes - either automatically or via your own manual labor - the penny through a die - which creates the embossed image.  I have about 18 of these that I’ve collected over the last decade and I plan to display them in a future post.

If you are going to Cleopatra in Milwaukee, make sure you take 51 cents - and make  sure you take a shiny penny - mine wasn’t so shiny and that’s the mis-coloration/oxidation you see above.  

Now - HERE’S THE IMPORTANT PART - make sure the penny is from 1982 or older.  

Everything from 1983 to the present has vastly less copper.  If you use a newer coin, the zinc core will show through and this makes for a much less pleasant impression and image - as you will see when I show the rest of my collection (I didn’t always plan ahead).

If you look at the smashed penny above - you can see the Lincoln Memorial image ghosted across Cleopatra’s face - at a slight downward (left to right) angle.  Sometimes you’ll get Lincoln’s face depending on which side gets embossed.

By the way - the Cleopatra exhibit was fascinating.  Kristen and I went a couple of weekends ago and we learned a ton.  The archeologists are constantly learning more about her and the history of the time period - Caesar / Marc Anthony (Marcus Antonius - not the ex Mr. Lopez) etc.  

And interestingly, MPM is one of four U.S. sites for this exhibit (sorry - I’ts not coming to Detroit)

T [44.191]

Alternate take for week 18 of 52.  I took about 20 shots trying to get the right feel for this image.  This is a recent manipulation of one that I took in 2010.
It was mid March 2010, and I had just returned from North Carolina.  I had proposed to Kristen and she said yes - we had a very chaotic and uncertain road ahead of us and I wanted to symbolize my readiness for the fight.
This is the pic I actually used

Week 18 of 52, March 14, 2010 - “Worth the Fight”
Yes, I have a ring on - though I didn’t know the term at the time, apparently is known as a “mangagement” ring.  There’s a funny story about engagement rings that maybe I’ll tell another time (I made Kristen’s).  The ring in these photos is a wood ring - lacewood I believe - and I am wearing for a number of reasons.  

First - I felt it was old fashioned to ask a woman to wear an engagement ring and not wear one myself.  It was a symbol of the moment - one that I was only too happy to celebrate with a token.  I did get a little grief from one friend about wearing it - I think they didn’t understand the sentiment or weren’t enlightened enough about my motivations.  Regardless - I never regretted wearing it.

I also actually LIKE wearing a ring.  I don’t wear a lot of jewelry - but this is so simple and elegant - it’s not flashy at all.  And I like the feeling on my finger.  When it’s not there I miss it.
I also like wearing it cause I made it.   I actually made several - some of which haven’t survived (making wooden rings has been a learning process).  I still wear one now and then - in addition to my actual wedding ring (which I did not make).
Finally - the posture - the fighting posture is an homage - a nod of recognition to the years (decade actually) of training that I have done - training that may NEVER lead to a physical incident (let’s hope) - but training that helped to make me the man I am today.  This training informs my personal life in many other ways - including the ways I attack adversity and challenge.  So there’s that connection in this time-frame as well.
T [44.171]


Alternate take for week 18 of 52.  I took about 20 shots trying to get the right feel for this image.  This is a recent manipulation of one that I took in 2010.

It was mid March 2010, and I had just returned from North Carolina.  I had proposed to Kristen and she said yes - we had a very chaotic and uncertain road ahead of us and I wanted to symbolize my readiness for the fight.

This is the pic I actually used

Week 18 of 52, March 14, 2010 - “Worth the Fight”

Yes, I have a ring on - though I didn’t know the term at the time, apparently is known as a “mangagement” ring.  There’s a funny story about engagement rings that maybe I’ll tell another time (I made Kristen’s).  The ring in these photos is a wood ring - lacewood I believe - and I am wearing for a number of reasons.  

First - I felt it was old fashioned to ask a woman to wear an engagement ring and not wear one myself.  It was a symbol of the moment - one that I was only too happy to celebrate with a token.  I did get a little grief from one friend about wearing it - I think they didn’t understand the sentiment or weren’t enlightened enough about my motivations.  Regardless - I never regretted wearing it.

I also actually LIKE wearing a ring.  I don’t wear a lot of jewelry - but this is so simple and elegant - it’s not flashy at all.  And I like the feeling on my finger.  When it’s not there I miss it.

I also like wearing it cause I made it.   I actually made several - some of which haven’t survived (making wooden rings has been a learning process).  I still wear one now and then - in addition to my actual wedding ring (which I did not make).

Finally - the posture - the fighting posture is an homage - a nod of recognition to the years (decade actually) of training that I have done - training that may NEVER lead to a physical incident (let’s hope) - but training that helped to make me the man I am today.  This training informs my personal life in many other ways - including the ways I attack adversity and challenge.  So there’s that connection in this time-frame as well.

T [44.171]

We should not write so that it is possible for the reader to understand us, but so that it is impossible for him to misunderstand us.

Quintilian (Marcus Fabius Quintilianus), rhetorician (c. 35-100)

A nod to my rhetorician wife (She is MUCH younger than Quintilian).

I get many of my quotes - but not all of them - from my “Word of the Day” emails.  I love the A.W.A.D. - I learn so much about our language, etymology, and - of course - I expand my lexicon a bit.

I highly recommend subscribing to it - though my posted quotes may no longer seem as ‘fresh’.

A.W.A.D subscription.

(Oh - and K - if we ever have a boy, maybe we can name him Quintilian? ;)

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Minneapolis Airport - awaiting our flight to North Carolina.  Dec, 2009
A couple of days after Christmas, 2009.  Our flight was delayed.  It was dusk and the Sun was streaming in the concourse windows.  We were clinging onto each other as we awaited our delayed plane to return (yes return) to our gate.  They were running test to see if they could get some system issue corrected (turned out it was the HVAC system - they couldn’t get it to turn off - that was a hot flight).
We had just spent our first Christmas together with her family (my first meeting with my future in-laws) - and we were heading down to her place in N.C. before heading off to Charleston for a couple of days.  It all worked out and is just one page in the travel challenges and woes we’ve experienced.
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Minneapolis Airport - awaiting our flight to North Carolina.  Dec, 2009

A couple of days after Christmas, 2009.  Our flight was delayed.  It was dusk and the Sun was streaming in the concourse windows.  We were clinging onto each other as we awaited our delayed plane to return (yes return) to our gate.  They were running test to see if they could get some system issue corrected (turned out it was the HVAC system - they couldn’t get it to turn off - that was a hot flight).

We had just spent our first Christmas together with her family (my first meeting with my future in-laws) - and we were heading down to her place in N.C. before heading off to Charleston for a couple of days.  It all worked out and is just one page in the travel challenges and woes we’ve experienced.

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Feb 23, 2010.  Alternate 52 personal portrait image.
"She’s gone"
This was an candidate image for my 52 personal portrait project I did in the 2009-2010 time frame.  When Kristen visited me in February of 2010, I had some flowers for her (I’m such a romantic).  It was our very first Valentines Day together…  She she left (by airplane) the flowers were left behind, of course.  So, as with all living things, they perished.
I liked the way the sense the flowers provoked as they turned and I snapped a few images while they sat on my kitchen counter.  This counter was under a row of can lights and when the other room lights are turned off, they create a unique, and attractive, lighting/shading situation.  I used this method and space for a number of my 52 portraits.

I ultimately decided to go a different direction - solely because I wasn’t sure if these images would freak out Kristen.  Our relationship was still new enough that I didn’t want to scare her away.  I don’t regret that decision, but I am glad to share them with you now.

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Feb 23, 2010.  Alternate 52 personal portrait image.

"She’s gone"

This was an candidate image for my 52 personal portrait project I did in the 2009-2010 time frame.  When Kristen visited me in February of 2010, I had some flowers for her (I’m such a romantic).  It was our very first Valentines Day together…  She she left (by airplane) the flowers were left behind, of course.  So, as with all living things, they perished.

I liked the way the sense the flowers provoked as they turned and I snapped a few images while they sat on my kitchen counter.  This counter was under a row of can lights and when the other room lights are turned off, they create a unique, and attractive, lighting/shading situation.  I used this method and space for a number of my 52 portraits.

I ultimately decided to go a different direction - solely because I wasn’t sure if these images would freak out Kristen.  Our relationship was still new enough that I didn’t want to scare her away.  I don’t regret that decision, but I am glad to share them with you now.

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Our FIRST photo together.
It was November 7, 2009.  I was down in Wilmington visiting Kristen’s place for the first time and we were out on the pier at Wrightsville Beach.
This close-up was not the original intent.  Unbeknownst to her, Kristen had the camera zoomed in (she had been taking picture of jelly fish).

Since Kristen has “crazy monkey-arms” (her words - don’t get mad at me) she has mad skills with the self-portrait mode of her little point and shoot camera.  The above has become of of my all time favorites.
This is a picture shortly afterwards when a passer-by offered to take our pic.  It was windy out there and I have some crazy-hair.

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Our FIRST photo together.

It was November 7, 2009.  I was down in Wilmington visiting Kristen’s place for the first time and we were out on the pier at Wrightsville Beach.

This close-up was not the original intent.  Unbeknownst to her, Kristen had the camera zoomed in (she had been taking picture of jelly fish).

Since Kristen has “crazy monkey-arms” (her words - don’t get mad at me) she has mad skills with the self-portrait mode of her little point and shoot camera.  The above has become of of my all time favorites.

This is a picture shortly afterwards when a passer-by offered to take our pic.  It was windy out there and I have some crazy-hair.

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A Valentine’s Day Still Life.
Sweets for my Sweets!
(Anyone in the metro-MKE locale should really check out Waukesha’s Allo Chocolat!)
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A Valentine’s Day Still Life.

Sweets for my Sweets!

(Anyone in the metro-MKE locale should really check out Waukesha’s Allo Chocolat!)

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