Windows into the past.

So… hello.

It’s been a while. I’m not going to make excuses or say that things have been busy and mildly insane lately. A lot has happened. And those of you I’ve kept in touch with know what those things are.

I thought I’d share a small facet of the aftermath of all that here though.

For Christmas my family found itself going through a lot of old family paraphernalia. A good portion of it was in photographs. My mother was notorious for taking pictures. Any time the family was together, she’d have the camera out. As kids (and adults) it generally became something we’d dread. My mother didn’t understand the concept of candid photos. Generally we’d have to pose or be gathered together for the big family portrait. Because Lord knows when we’d have such a photo opportunity again.

To her credit, though… there are a lot of photos and history that wouldn’t exist without her efforts. And she was damn good about notating the photos afterwards, so that a lot of the photos where we’d have no idea when or what was going on, there’d be a little note from Mom on the back.

After going through about a dozen boxes of family photos and history (I kid you not. A dozen boxes.), I have about a six inch stack of photos just of me. Most of them are scary. Very scary. But I figured I’d share a few choice ones here.

Mom and me.

One of the few shots I have of me with my mother. There’s not many because she was usually the one holding the camera. This was taken when I was about a month old.

Dad and me.

And here’s my Dad… who I still affectionately call Pappy. Not sure what I’m trying to stuff in his face here. Whatever it was I sure found it amusing. Just a little over a year old in this photo.

Messy me.

Ah the dazed, messy, satiated look. I’d like to say I was just a messy kid, but I’m still messy. Also taken when I was just over a year old.

Penguin shirt.

I had to include this one for the shirt. I’ve had a long standing love for all things penguin, and this just takes the cake. Also, I had really blond hair as a child. You’ll see more evidence of that in the next couple of photos. Taken just before I turned two.

Looking cute.

This was one of my grandmother’s favorite photos. She used to have it hanging right by her office desk. It’s still hard to believe it’s me. I just look way too cute. This was taken on my second birthday.

Me and my ass.

I love telling people that my favorite play toy and companion as a child was my ass. Here I have photographic proof. I miss that damn toy. Also taken on my second birthday.


Jump forward 11 years. Here’s (from left to right) me, my brother Pete, Matt, and Kerri. You can also make out my grandmother in the background… looking like she wants to be somewhere else. I apologize for the shirt I’m wearing. I had no sense of taste as a teenager, I assure you. I do love Pete’s snake skin boots, though.


This is how I spent most of my teenage years. Before I finally was able to get my hands on a computer full time, I spent a good chunk of my time reading. Voraciously. My love of epic fantasy and science fiction came out of the time spent reading as a teenager. I just wish I had the time to read like I once did. I’m 14 in this photo.


And finally a family Thanksgiving photo. My grandmother is sitting on the left, with me and my little brother Matt on the right. My grandmother is a fascinating lady, and I’ve been wanting to go see her for a while now… especially as her health and mental faculties have been going downhill lately. I remember her being a strong willed individual, and likely instilled in me my independence and sense of right and wrong more than my parents did. This is one of the few photos that’s not dated on the back, but by the looks of it I’m like 14 or 15 in this photo.

And that’s all for now. This is a sampling from just a small, small stack of the photos I have. I may post more if anyone is interested. It’s been a crazy holiday this year, with everything that’s happened… but I’ve had a sense of connectedness and family that I haven’t felt in a long time.

It’s been good.

An excuse to blow things up.

Ah, the 4th of July. Proof that vast majority of Americans really are psychotic pyros at heart.

I did my semi-annual visit to my brother’s house tonight. It’s almost tradition, considering I’ve gone for the past three years or so. And it generally ends up being rather fun.

I mean… family… plus explosives… plus lots of beer.

How can that possibly go wrong?

It was fun, however. The food was excellent, the company was good, and I generally have a blast seeing my brother. We’re not totally dissimilar, and have a few of the same interests. Plus there’s that whole mutual upbringing we have going on, where we can sit back, drink a few beers, and shoot the breeze about how messed up our family is.

Though I’m fairly certain that’s pretty typical for most families these days.

The casualties were fairly low this year, as well. No major aerial shells were shot directly into the audience. One of Pete’s car rebuilding buddies was lighting typical ground bloom flowers and throwing them into the air, however. And two of those came very close to hitting me, as I was helping light fireworks. One of those did fly directly into the audience.

But… you know… nothing major.

Pete also wanted to show off his new toy, an XBox360. I was fairly unimpressed. The graphics are nice, and there are some interesting games for it, but my issue is still that they all seem to be first person shooters. Most of which I can play on my PC anyway. For Pete, though, that’s a major selling point, as his computer is getting a bit long in the tooth.

The amusing thing was how Dawn and Kayla were completely glued to my Nintendo DS. Pete and I would be trying to head-shot each other with sniper rifles in Call of Duty 2, while Dawn was furiously trying to figure out how to get past the level she was working on in the New Super Mario Brothers game.

I found the whole thing thoroughly entertaining… especially with Dawn’s random cursing at no one in particular.

So yes. 4th of July. Patriotism? Rubbish. Just let me blow stuff up.