Tuesday, October 10, 2006

the photo bug bites again...

I had the pleasure this past weekend of spending Sunday morning/afternoon out and about in the great outdoors.

I've been itching to get out and do a bit of amateur-ish photography for a while now, and decided that Fort Popham was the place to get it done. I had completely forgotten how close to home that was. A quick drive later, and Sarah and I were exploring the old fort.

It really was a beautiful day outside - the sky couldn't have been a better shade of blue. The few hours we spent together exploring was theraputic to say the least with how hectic life has been lately.

I took something like 200+ photos that day...I'm hoping to get a handful of decent black & whites out of the group.

Here's a small preview :)


A few outdoor shots from a distance:







A couple repeating archways:







Some of the wider arches:

Wish those signs weren't on the walls - really takes away from the photo :(


I love the sunlight coming through the opening...


This photo almost looks like a drawing done in colored pencil, but is totally the real deal.



My ugly mug :)


And the lovely Mrs. :)


fini!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Fancy a round?

I had the pleasure of spending last Saturday out in the fresh air with my uncle and cousin at the Lake Winnipesaukee Golf Club.

I had never played there before, and was just as excited to try the course out. It had been close to 2 months since I last had the opportunity to get out and swing the clubs, and was happy to hear that we'd be scrambling that day.

Nothing like a little zero pressure golf to make an absolutely enjoyable day.

Couple of photos from my phone cam:


Not a cloud in the sky...perfect :)


From the 18th fairway looking back up at the club house.


Inside the clubhouse overlooking the course.

The 3 of us scrambled the course to finish +1 for the day. Not bad for never having played there before!

Thanks again Paul & Doug for a great day.

Halfway Between There & Nowhere

A quick little recap of a trip that I took down to Florida the other week:

Tuesday morning started at about 4:45am where I somehow willed my tired self out of bed and into the shower. 30 minutes later, I’ve kissed my wife goodbye and am on the way to Portland’s JetPort. Luckily, I’ve made this trip enough to the point where the car pretty much knows how to get there by itself.

Half asleep, I pull my gear out the car, and prepare for the half day trip ahead of me. After waving goodbye to the car (after you’ve had one stolen, you tend to not take things for granted) I make my way for the terminal for a good helping of fun and games courtesy of the TSA.

I’ve pretty much got the routine down now where I’ve got all documents, photo IDs, voodoo dolls, urine samples, etc. ready ahead of time so that I can cruise right through security.

Not today.

I had completely forgotten about the “No Gels, No Liquids, etc.” rule enacted after that whole fiasco a short while back. So I roll up to security, with paperwork in hand, and find out that my toothpaste and hair gel aren’t in the government sanctioned 1 quart zip lock plastic baggies.

I was in no mood to argue with the security agent (who, albeit, was doing his job, and giving me a hard time all the while) about the implications of me traveling with a free range tube of $0.99 toothpaste. It and the hair gel hit the trashcan, and I’m allowed to move through screening.

My own fault I suppose. I’ll know better next time :)

As with most of my traveling, my flights down are always smooth as can be. The weather is always good, things are on time, connections happen without incident. For this I am thankful.

Wish it was that easy coming home.

My whole purpose going to Florida for the week was to prepare a few of our remote offices there (remote…remember that word) for an upcoming conversion coming later this month.

I was to fly down from Portland, ME to Charlotte, NC, and then from Charlotte to Orlando, FL. I hit the ground at about 1pm, jumped in my rental car (a snazzy Toyota Camry, complete with GPS system) and headed off to our first office just outside Orlando.

Tuesday was pretty much a piece of cake. Work went smoothly, and I actually had a decent hotel for a change. The Hilton in Orlando was one of the nicer places that I’ve been put up in around town. I’d recommend it to anyone :)

Wednesday morning I’m on the road to a tiny town called Cross City, which is west of Gainesville, FL by about 45 minutes or so.

Nothing too eventful there. The drive was cake thanks to the NeverLost system in the car. It is in the middle of nowhere though, as you’ll see by the pictures.


Everyone and their uncle out there seem to run a horse farm of some sort. It was nice to get out there though – I’ve been dealing with this office remotely for the last 2 years, so it was good to finally put faces to all the voices on the other end of the phone.

I don’t want to talk about the hotel I stayed in Wednesday night in Chiefland, FL.

Yucky.

Thursday morning arrives, and I’m back on the road again – this time heading down a better part of Florida’s West coast heading for a tiny town called Bowling Green, FL.

If you’ve never been here, I’d recommend NEVER going there. The territory is so bland that it resembles all that is not Florida.

170 miles later, and 5 hours at that office was about all I could stand.

Another thing I don’t understand is why everyone in Florida has to have a mounted head of some sort of unfortunate animal on their office wall.

This was one example:

I realize my phone camera is lousy, but there's no way I'd travel with my DSLR :)

Another of the conference rooms had about 7 on one wall, complete with a menacing boar. Wish I’d gotten a picture of that.

The best part of my week happened Thursday night. I was getting myself in the mindset of spending another night in a crappy hotel (in Wauchula, FL of all places) when I realized that I was about 30 miles from my grandparents at that point. I hadn’t seen them both at the same time since Oct. of 2004, so a quick phone call later, and I’ve got reservations in Sun City Center, FL for the evening.

This was the first time I’d seen their home down there since they moved away many years ago. It was great to finally catch up on all that I’d missed. My grandfather was a professional black & white photographer back in his prime, so I spent several hours pouring over his photography, books, and anything else I could get my hands on.

They treated me to an excellent meal at their country club, and we spent the remainder of the evening just talking and laughing.

It really made a lousy week end on a high note. Thank you Memere & Pepere!

The next morning I was about 45 minutes from the airport,

and then it was pretty much a day-long event (as it usually is coming home) to get me safely back to Maine.

And away we go...

I’m done rambling now. It’s good to be home :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Halfway there...

Been a busy week over here so far. Work has been decent lately with travel and whatnot. Just keeping me on my toes constantly.

This is going to be a busy month with the move coming up. I'm hoping that once that's done, we'll stay put for a few years. I'm starting to feel like a nomad :)

I'll have photos of the new place up shortly as well.

Oh yeah, happy hump day folks :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Found this the other day and was quite amused.
Prepare to kiss 4+ minutes of your life goodbye :)





If you're familiar with stop motion animation, you'll certainly appreciate the effort that a project like this takes.

Just a quick first post to get this thing started off.

I've been hemming and hawing for far too long about starting one of these blogs, so I figure, what's yet another thing I can attach myself to in vain attempt to remove any ounce of free time I have these days?

Ah well...should be fun to say the least :)

Stay tuned...