Friday, February 29, 2008

Leaving for the north

Five years ago I shaved my head, then the very next day I learned I was going on a journey to the cold north. The expedition base camp was to be Alert, Nunavut (Canadian territory), a mere 522 miles from the North Pole. The scientists I was following would fly out to the ice near or at the North Pole to do their science thing and I would video tape them. I spent weeks getting ready. I grew my hair out. I wrote an outline and partial script for the video. I spent my allowance for gear that they gave me. I gathered video equipment. Then I packed it all up one night, and the next morning Minna took me to the airport while it was still dark.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Ryan

It's my friend Ryan's birthday. We've had some good times together. He's been in many of my videos from Hawaii and more. Wyatt and Britney made a birthday tribute to him.

I'll add my part to the tribute:

Ryan likes milkshakes

Ryan helped make the Canoe House famous

Skateboarding with Ryan

Ryan helped shaved my head

And Ryan stars in one of my all time favorite videos called "Making Up".

Oh yes I can't forget The hike

Monday, February 25, 2008

Pretty happy and tired right now

Well, I'm pretty happy with how my blog is turning out, at least right now.

But earlier today I said to Minna, "I think I've run out of stuff to put on my blog."

She laughed, "already?"

"Well I can't think of anything to post."

But it turns out that if it gets late enough I'll pretty much post about anything. It's kind of like, instead of filtering what I post with "beer goggles", its like I have "late hour goggles".

I have a question?

I work with a pretty tech savvy group, but when I asked this question, the answer was 'no'.

Have you ever sold anything online?

Minna and I recently sold a bunch of stuff on ebay and have sold some stuff on (the best garage sale ever). So have you, and what was it?

For us it was:
This wonderful table we were sad to part with, but it didn't fit in our small space.

We even sold Minna's car on ebay before we moved to New York.

Here is almost everything we've ever sold online. This doesn't include the leather journal business I used to have.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I was working at the APL one day...

This was almost five years ago to the day (2003).

I was working at the APL (Applied Physics Lab) at the UW, at the helpdesk. As I wandered the halls of the building teaching very intelligent scientists, and people with very high IQs, how to use their email and printers, I got to know the warm folks at the Polar Science Center. Most of the year these bearded scientists crunch numbers and write reports and ask for more money from the National Science Foundation. But for a few magical weeks, at just the right time of year, they get to go to cold north and gather data for more crunching. I assume the additional data will, in turn, help them ask for more money. I began asking if anyone was video taping this or making a documentary on the upcoming trip. "No, why?". I was interested. Their response was, "Well, we can look into it but don't count on anything."

A couple weeks later the secretary on the 6th floor asks if I "have a passport? Because you'll need it on the way through Greenland." I was so excited! Then I remembered how cold it is, and I realized, that must be why all those scientists wear beards, to stay warm. Then I was wishing I hadn't shaved my head bald the night before.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Tonight I want to be grateful. I feel like I have so much and have been given so much. For me, life is easy. I guess I'm feeling patriotic too because I give credit to the historical figures that gave lives for the liberty and security we have today.

Despite all the things I may complain about like late meetings, sparse parking and coin operated laundry. I should be grateful for everything I have. I have a comfortable home. I even like that it is small, and easier to clean. I shouldn't need to mention my wonderful family but they are a blessing. Not only do they provide so much happiness but without them I'd be a wandering rich bachelor with no purpose. It's really the 'purpose' that I'm grateful for. That 'purpose' provides stability and consistency to my life, making any exploration or adventure that much more meaningful because I shared it with them. You could take away everything and if I still had them I could be happy.

I should mention that I'm really tired tonight. It might just be easier to be content and grateful than complain. Perhaps this is why you get this missive tonight. Maybe on another night when I'm not so tired you'll get all the detailed complaints.

The photo is me with my girls, by Minna.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar eclipse tonight

I went outside during the eclipse. Luckily tonight there are no clouds. I walked up the street to find a place that had less street lights. Up at the corner I put the camera down on the sidewalk and almost immediately this guy stops next to me with his big Nikon and tells me his 50mm will probably not work. I can smell the cloves he is smoking. We both take a few photos. We share some settings. I'm having a tough time with getting the right white balance. It gets cold and I go back inside. I might go out when the sliver appears as the eclipse wanes. To me this is the most beautiful aspect of the eclipse. To me it shows movement and life, but not like everyday life. It's means that the solar system and universe we live in is real. It's like getting an outside glimpse of our universe by merely standing on the sidewalk outside.

This photo shows the moment just after full eclipse.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The opera

We had an amazing experience at the opera last night. I must say this is one reason I love being in the city. It feels sophisticated.

Anyway, I scored the free tickets at work (Because I was the first one to reply to the email offering the tickets, ok I'll attribute it to knowing keyboard shortcuts. I was only milliseconds ahead of my coworker Shana). We saw Otello. Minna wrote about it too.

Once again on my own

I haven't blogged here in a while. At one point it had been so long I swore it off and would just write with Minna on the family blog. But I'm feeling the need and the desire to write on my own again. So after two-and-a-half years I'm going to be blogging here again. But I'm doing this on my own, without the amazing blogging creativity of my wife.