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.

Photo Hunt Week 20: Clouds


Another shot from my recent weekend adventure. This was taken from one of the parks I visited, over the lake and train tracks that I framed in the photo hunt update for Lines. The clouds that day were sparse, but had that funky cotton candy look to them… where you almost feel you could pluck them out of the sky and have a taste of sugary goodness.

Damn. Now I’m craving cotton candy.

Photo Hunt Week 19: Trees

Reaching for sun.

I realized last night that I hadn’t actually posted the current week’s photo hunt theme… but the week before. So, to make good what I said, I’ve not only posted a photo for week 10 (Books), but I’m now posting this week’s photo, for the theme Trees.

I’ve always had a love of trees. I think part of it comes from just a general love of the outdoors and nature. As a kid, I always loved camping, climbing trees, and generally just getting outside. Which is kind of odd, considering the standard image of a computer geek being all cloistered away and not seeing the light of day. I’ve become more like that as the years have passed, but not to my satisfaction. In fact, I’ve promised myself an extended camping trip sometime this summer, hopefully up to one of my old favorites, Cooper Lake. You can bet my camera will be going along with me.

As will my love of trees.

These trees, in particular, are just outside of where I work. They were originally planted in a set spacing and pattern, which you can probably tell a little from the picture. The shade they provide during the summer months is fantastic, and they always turn a truly gorgeous shade of burnt orange and fiery red in the autumn. I like how these, in particular, have all grown at a slight slant.. towards where the sun typically rises. This has quite a bit to do with the lay of the land in the vicinity… but makes a good photo nonetheless, I think.

Photo Hunt Week 18: Shadow

Me and a Tree

Wow… it seems like I’ve blinked and two months have gone by. I can’t believe how long its been since I’ve updated this blog… and yet it still seems like hardly any time has passed. A lot has happened though… the week after my last update, my good friend Shawn had a death in his family… and since I’m fairly close to them, it affected me quite a bit too. It was a bit of a downhill slide from there. I haven’t been really active… and have let a lot of the things I love doing slide.

So I’ve recently declared May as the month of catching up. Not only in blog, but in other things as well. Today I waged a full scale assault on my living space. Spring has sprung and it’s time to clean up, shape up, and get things together. My little living area is actually presentable at the moment, and though its taken me most of the day, there’s nothing like the sense of accomplishment that comes with getting your shit together. This was not only a spring cleaning though, but preparations for my summer move. I’m slowly getting things organized for moving out and living on my own again. I’ve come to realize that I need some personal space once more… and a place I can truly call my own. I haven’t made full plans to what I’m going to do in that respect, but my goal is to be moved out before the summer months have passed into autumn. Things are looking good in that respect, though I need to buckle down and actually start looking for a place. Details, details.

I am going to post a photo for this weeks photo hunt, though… as you can see. This was taken really quick today, just as the sun was setting and I headed for home from work. I’ve always loved the carnival-mirror look shadows have just as the sun is setting. My shadow looks a little odd in this shot… but I blame having to hold the camera. It makes me look like I only have one arm.

I’ve got updates lined up for tomorrow… I’ll be posting the missing week 10 and week 11 shots… and will slowly be posting back dated entries for the other missing photos as well.

With a little luck, I’ll actually get around to putting in some of what I’ve been up to lately too.

For now, it’s just good to be back.

Photo Hunt Week 12: Lines


I originally had a tough time coming up with something for this week’s theme. I just wasn’t seeing a lot of things around me at the time that really made me think “lines”. That was until I took a recent week off to do some general adventuring and framed this beauty of a shot. It’s simple, but effective, I think.

And I’ve always had a thing for trains.

Photo Hunt Week 11: Technology

Mmmm... Apple

I had a lot of choices for this week’s photo hunt picture, considering the field I work in. This photo is the one that caught my eye, however. It was taken several months ago, during our December of installing lots of stuff in the attic (you can find the blog post about it here), and echoes back to my comment about Apple hardware being damn pretty in a rack. Pictured, on top, is an Intel Xeon Xserve paired with an Apple Xraid below it. Part of our summer project this year is transitioning fully to them after their testing period these past few months.

Now if I could only convince them to buy a few more.

Photo Hunt Week 10: Books

Slice of heaven.

Ahh… something I truly love. Books.

This is only a sample of my collection… though at the moment, it’s truly not the impressive looking, since it’s confined to two bookshelves due to space. In truth, I don’t have that large of a collection… but I have a good sampling of Fiction and Epic Fantasy (my genres of choice), and I’ve tried, over the years, to collect most of it in hardcover. You can see on the top shelf my rows of paperback stacked on top of each other. Most of these books are from my days working at Hastings, and, unfortunately, have the tell-tale sign of free books from an employer: their covers have been removed.

You can see here that I use my bookshelf for more than just books, however, and have a few bits and pieces that I’ve been given and collected over the years, all of which are dear to my heart.

Just like books, really.

Photo Hunt Week 9: Flame

Flame on!

I’m terribly late again this week. Though I do have a somewhat legitimate excuse this time. Aside from work and the usual bits that occupy my time… I’ve gotten terribly ill the past few days. I was doing good recovering from my last bout of flu related illness, when this second wave has pretty much shut me down again.

But it can’t keep me from this blog forever. Sickness, away! I have a photo hunt to do, after all.

This week brings a subject close to my heart. Flame. I’m a bit of a pyromaniac… though possibly not quite as much as my close friend, Vicky. The lantern pictured in this shot is an old family heirloom that I inherited when my folks moved away a few years ago now. It was always something I was fascinated with as a kid, because of that whole brass “shiny” factor, and, well, it produced really gorgeous flames when the power went out. It’s one of the few things I’m glad I’ve been able to hold on to… a little happier slice of my childhood.

Be sure to check out Vicky’s very cool picture of smoldering goodness.

And Nic has joined the ranks as well! Her quite sexy photo can be found here.

Photo Hunt Week 7: Critters

Awww.  Pout.

I love this photo. You must all be getting tired of the household pets by now, but I couldn’t help myself when I came across this older picture. Nakita really is one of the cutest puppies. Ever. She almost makes me want to get an American Eskimo when I get my own dog finally. Though I still think I’m going to stick with my dream of having a German Shepherd.

Isn’t she cute, though? *melts*

You can find Vicky’s way cute photo here. Some day I’ll get a photo of Nakita playing with the squirrels in the yard. And my head will explode from the cuteness overload.

Photo Hunt Week 6: Window

Rain, rain, go away.

I’ve had this image in mind for this shot for a while, though I’m not entirely happy with how it turned out. I had forgotten what a mess the window on the east side of the house is, as its sheltered by the fenced off yard and doesn’t get very much attention. The cat pictured here is Diana, and she gets a bit neglected of late. She perches there and tries to live vicariously through the other animals in the yard. It was a bit misty this morning, as well… so it has that whole dream-like rainy day look.

Photo Hunt Week 5: Autumn

This is Halloween!

This weeks’ photo hunt update was a tough one. Unfortunately I haven’t had my digital camera long enough to get some nice autumn shots of the leaves turning, so I had to dig into my archives and find something a little less recent. And, for me, autumn has always been strongly associated with Halloween.

Shawn’s little nephew is the one hamming it up in this shot. He can be a troublemaker, but he’s a good kid all in all. The jack-o-lanterns are our labor of love for Halloween 2005. On the left, you have Shawn’s mom’s jack-o-lantern, Shawn’s jack-o-lantern in the middle, and mine on the far right. All of them turned out awesome, and the picture of them glowing happily at night is incredibly cute as well.

Vicky has outdone herself this week, and you can find her picture here. It is absolutely stunning, and I wish autumn was here again already.

Photo Hunt Week 4: Furry

The sunbathers.

As most of you probably know by now, it gets cold here this time of year. And when its the middle of January and the sun makes an appearance, it’s generally something to be appreciated.

The animals in the back yard certainly do.

You’ll have to forgive the misfit cat. She’s not very photogenic. Plus I had to snap this through the glass of the back patio door, or the animals would of gone crazy for the attention. These are Shawn’s pets… well… his mother’s really but she’s seldom here at this point. The dog is an American Eskimo named Nikita. The cat was saved after a run in with a car and is appropriately named Bump. She’s the type of cat I’ll actually tolerate. She stays outside and enjoys her place out of doors.

I just love how Nikita has that glazed over, “damn this feels good” look.

Vicky’s awesome, as always, piccie can be found here. Isn’t he cute?

Sugar coated.

Sugar trees.

I know it’s way too soon to be posting another photo-hunt image, but I took this on the way to work this morning and had to share again. This has always been one of my favorite parts of winter, when the frost and snow combine just right to cover everything with that all too pretty sugar frosted covering.

It never fails to make me giggle like a little kid when I get to go outside to a white covered fairy-tale setting.

Photo Hunt Week 3: Light

Sunset over snow.

I’ve made a preemptive strike this week. Though not officially Wednesday here in the states, I thought it was somewhat unfair that my photo-hunt partner had to post everything a day before me. So here we are at week 3, with me posting a little earlier than I usually do.

Today’s shot was too pretty not to share, though.

This was taken today, just at sunset, right after one of the most beautiful snow storms I’ve had the pleasure to experience for a long time. The clouds block the sunlight a bit in this shot, as it would of been even more gorgeous to see the sunlight glance off the snow on the ground, but it was already too pretty to pass up. Imagine about an inch of snow falling not long before this photo was taken as well and you’ll have a rough idea of how magical a moment it was.

Not the best photo, but I’m quite partial to how it turned out.

Photo Hunt Week 2: Earth

Earth through the eyes of a child.

This photo isn’t what I originally intended, but I’m actually quite surprised with how it turned out. What I had first thought about doing is going up to Dry Falls and taking some photos of the gorgeous cliff structures that are there. It was the first thing that popped into my head, but, unfortunately, was rather difficult to arrange a time to go photograph. The winter months and lack of daylight mean I would of had to go over the weekend, and that simply didn’t happen.

This alternate photo is something I thought up at the last moment… and even if it’s a bit from left-field, I do like how it turned out. I was going for a depth-of-field effect with the photograph, something I was able to accomplish somewhat with the macro setting on my camera, but as I can’t really fiddle with the f-stop settings on my little point and click, it’s not completely how I envisioned it.

I still think it’s a worthy addition to the collection so far, though.

Vicky’s way funky photo for this week is here. I love her photo, even if it’s one from her archives. 🙂