Monday, December 28, 2009

Waiting Wall


Patient in the Wal-Mart bathroom. Shot with a Motorola Droid cell phone camera.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

This is not Rockefeller Center

My wife loves Christmas. And love manifest is our Christmas tree. We have a perfect spot for a tall tree, but after going through three tree stands in four years and having to rig intricate wire supports to keep the tree from falling on our kids, I had to put my foot down. I had to take a stand... If you're going to insist on the biggest tree in the forest as our Christmas tree, then get a stand up to the task. Undaunted, Jenny enlisted a friend's help in building the monster stand you see here. My wife has a new career goal... welder... and I support that. She did a swell job.

Look closely at these pictures. My lovely bride is just a tad over 5 feet tall. The three double hung windows you see are maybe 8 feet across. The beam above the windows is 9 feet off the floor. This tree is 15 feet tall!

I, of course, am two inches shorter from getting the tree from field to truck to living room. But, my wife loves it and my kids love it. So... I love it too.

This is not Rockefeller Center

The Biggest Tree Ever

Happy Holidays.

Thanks to Chip for helping build the stand. Thanks to saintly Kathy for helping get the tree in the house and occupying the boys with dough. Look at this flip by Bridger!

Flippin' Dough

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tonto National Monument

I engineered a day off in Arizona and took a drive along the Apache Trail. The route runs runs east of Phoenix towards Globe, Arizona through the Sonoran desert of the Tonto National Forest. The Tonto National Monument features Salado cliff dwellings from as early as the 13th century overlooking the Salt River Valley.

Tonto National Monument 1

Tonto National Monument 2

Tonto National Monument 3

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween
Bridger throws the book at me.

Halloween Lion in the Road
Turner walks the line.

This looks like a composite but it isn't. The reflectivity of the paint makes it look like my son the lion is floating a little. No children were harmed in the making of this photo... our little village is pretty much turned over to trick or treaters on Halloween.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Schizophrenic Airport Sushi Bar

Schizophernic Airport Sushi Bar

... is the perfect antidote to Friday night business travel.

Elixir for Friday Night Business Travel

7:10 pm
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Detroit, Michigan

And here's the rest of the story... The 9:35 pm flight boarded on time, but didn't leave until 10:30 pm. There wasn't a gate for our plane in Boston and we parked for 30 minutes. By the time baggage arrived, I had lost my will for the 2.5 hour pre-dawn drive home. My head hit the pillow at an airport hotel a little after 2:00 am.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October in the Neighborhood

You'll find images from all over the country on Joe Blog. These photographs were all made within 10 miles of my house. There isn't much more inspiring than October in New Hampshire. It's the best time of the year.

Leaf Bridge
Forrest Brook, Madison Cascades
Madison, NH

Forrest Brook
Forrest Brook, Madison Cascades
Madison, NH

Fall Color
Eaton, NH

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Wish you were here!

Beach Path
Goose Rocks Beach, Maine

Horizon Line
Goose Rocks Beach, Maine

Chevrolet and Lobster
Cape Porpoise, Maine

Portland Head Light
Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Encounters with Giant Corn

The night before last I was lucky enough to avoid my "lonely business man eating a burger at the bar" impression when some new colleagues treated me to Mexican food and some great company. They knew I'm a bit of camera geek and asked if had taken any pictures in Columbus. I hadn't and made a comment about not finding much inspiration in suburban Ohio. After a minute, they told me I should go out to Dublin and check out the giant corn. It stuck me kinda funny that there should be giant corn, but I didnt' think much more about it.

At 5:30 am this morning I was somehow wide awake and guess what I couldn't stop thinking about? There had been a frost overnight and it was cold. I forgot a jacket on this trip and Avis forgot an ice scraper but made the trek anyway. I sort of got lost and ended up battling commuter traffic snarls. But eventually I found it. Amazingly, right in the middle of office park hell the fog revealed giant corn. Get the rest of the story here

Giant Corn II

Giant Corn I

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Everybody Polka!

Everybody Polka!

Brats, Beer and Polka in German Village
Schmidt's Sausage Haus
Columbus, Ohio

Friday, September 11, 2009

Another Sunday, Another Drive

Great Glen Birches
Glen House Site
Pinkham Notch, NH

Ellis River
Ellis River
Pinkham Notch, NH
I've driven by this area on Route 16 my whole life. To say thousands of times might not be an exaggeration and I never knew this beautiful gorge and series of pools existed. I'm your friend,so I'll let you in on the secret. Heading North, past the Dana Place and Rocky Branch trail head... check out the first paved turn out on the right. You won't regret it and you can thank me by picking up a piece of trash or two from some of the less respectful visitors who should stay south of the border.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Go For A Picnic

Dolly Copp Shelter

Dolly Copp Picnic Area
White Mountain National Forest
Pinkham Notch, NH

The Dolly Copp picnic shelter is classic Civilian Conservation Corps construction built in 1936 and was restored in 1996. When I was a kid, my mother's family gathered here all the time. She had eight brothers and sisters, so it was usually quite a scene. We'd take over the whole place with food, card games and a fire in the big stone fireplace. Frisbee, baseball, poking around in the woods or trying to climb the shelter's massive log posts kept us kids busy. Of course, I always wanted to get in on the game the Dads were playing, but was never allowed. Jarts AKA Lawn Darts... the game whose demise was fabled in the great Ed's Redeeming Qualities song "Pegged in the Head with a Lawn Dart" ("so they're now off the shelves at the KMart").

Recently my family visited Dolly Copp. It was one of those things you do that closes a circle in your life. While our Sunday afternoon event was smaller than the fabled Ruel family gatherings, my boys enjoyed the same things. Unfortunately, there were no Lawn Darts. As a society, we don't picnic enough. I call on all of you to take a picnic this weekend. Give us a call, we might join you.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dessert at the Red Arrow Diner

Dessert at the Red Arrow Diner
The Red Arrow Diner
The Red Arrow Diner. Manchester, NH
If you're in New Hampshire's Queen City, check it out. I held off the urge for the first slice of this cake, but if you give it a try, let me know what you think.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Barbecue of Historic Proportion

Starving and driving way too fast down I-85, we poured over the map. This had been a long day that started pre-dawn and included two flights, rental car hassles (thank you Avis), several hours in said lousy rental car and two client meetings. There wasn’t time for lunch, but finally our obligations were complete and nothing mattered but my crumpled map of the North Carolina Historic Barbecue Trail. Seriously… there’s a map. I’m glad I found out because the Trail led me to righteous BBQ and a classic NC experience.

Barbecue means something different everywhere you go. In New England, it most often means hamburgers and hot dogs. When folks in North Carolina say barbecue they mean slow cooked pork, but after that the variations are many and people have strong opinions about what they like best. Despite their opinions, everyone spoke of Lexington, North Carolina as ground zero for chopped pork barbecue. Lexington Barbecue has been cooking on their pits since 1962, burning cords and cords of oak and hickory over the years.

Where all the magic happens

Our waitress said her favorite thing was the “brown, lean, course chop”. At that point, we admitted to needing coaching. She didn’t hold our Yankee, barbecue bonehead status against us and explained that “western Carolina” barbecue at Lexington is sort of like carving a turkey for Thanksgiving. They only cook pork shoulder here and the meat is separated by type so you can choose what you want. Brown means an area of the shoulder that isn’t covered in fat and has had more smoke than “the white”. You can get lean or marbled meat. And the chop is just that… not pulled or sliced but cut course or fine. It all made sense now and we were believers.

Brown, lean, course chop

The sauce isn’t what you find in the local Super Wal-Mart. Darn tasty, its vinegar based, thin and offers a kick. But, the barbecue is so unbelievably great; there isn’t much reason to put sauce on it.

Secret Sauce

The plate came with more regional staples, red slaw and hush puppies.

Try a Hush Puppy

When we paid our bill, the owner was helping with the overflow at the front counter. If he didn’t tell us he appreciated our business six times, he didn’t tell us once. He asked us what we had for dinner and was clearly proud to be part of the institution that is barbecue in this part of North Carolina. It’s rare that you get to look someone in the eye like that these days. The food here was great, but Lexington Barbecue is much more than that. Like so many local places I check out on business travel, the food, the people, the atmosphere and the tradition creates a genuine experience that isn’t easy to find anymore. There is something deeper going on here speaking to truly traditional and original food with a sense of place and time all its own. To top it all off, when we asked about separating the bill into three credit card charges, he took a look at our check and with a great big smile said “how about $12.17 a piece?”. What a bargain.

Friday, July 24, 2009

If it would only stay this way

If it would only stay this way
Manchester, NH
Delta Air Lines flight 3308 to Detroit. Final destination Charlotte, NC.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Lomo Escalator

Lomo Escalator
Lomo is short for lomography. Lomo is inspired by the unique quality of images produced by cameras made by the former state-run optics manufacturer LOMO PLC of Saint Petersburg, Russia and emphasizes casual, snapshot photography. Characteristics such as over-saturated colors, off-kilter exposure, blurring, "happy accidents”, and alternative film processing are often considered part of the Lomographic Technique. Photoshop processing can approximate the effect.

Boston, MA

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

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