Archive for February, 2009

Coin Splashes

February 18, 2009 By: erik Category: Geeky, Photos

ER DropRecently a friend and photography mentor of mine nudged me towards purchasing an additional flash for my camera. I’m still just learning to use it, but one of the things I’ve already discovered is that it is waaay more powerful than my built-in on-camera flash. My built-in flash doesn’t have nearly enough power to illuminate shots taken at maximum shutter speed (0.125 ms); they come out completely black. But with my new flash, I can take photos of things at very fast shutter speeds. So I thought I would go back and make another attempt at photographing water droplets.

Carried By Dog Sled

February 17, 2009 By: erik Category: Family, Photos, USA, Weird

John Beargrease Letter (crop)Dog sledding is one of those activities where I think it’s really cool that other people do it. Personally, I will go to only very short lengths when it comes to trading comfort for adventure. My Uncle Neil is one such dog sledding crazy person enthusiast. He recently sent me a letter that has about the coolest postmark I’ve ever seen: “Carried By Dog Sled”.

Every year in northern Minnesota, they celebrate the John Beargrease Dog Sled Marathon in honor of a Native American man who used to deliver the mail by dog sled along the shore of Lake Superior. From their website:

For almost twenty years, between 1879 and 1899, John Beargrease and his brothers delivered the mail between Two Harbors and Grand Marais. With the limited equipment available and loads weighing as much as 700 lbs. The trip was made once a week…an incredible feat for one man to accomplish especially when you consider the constant range of altitude along the shore.


Shrouded Spaniel

February 16, 2009 By: erik Category: Family, Photos

Shrouded SpanielI took these photos while I was working from my parents’ house earlier this month. It’s their English Springer Spaniel sitting in his favorite window sill, which allows him to simultaneously bask in the sunlight and keep a sleepy eye on the comings and goings of the neighborhood. I like the contrast and the lighting in these photos.

Like two halves of the same fuzzy fruit

February 14, 2009 By: erik Category: Food, Photos

This photo comes from the archives of the “Don’t Eat That Fruit Until It’s Been Photographed” Department from last September.

Kiwi Love

Happy Valentine’s Day, Marga!

33 Weeks, 3 Days

February 13, 2009 By: erik Category: Offspring

33 weeks, 3 daysYesterday Marga had a difficult audit at work (which she passed with flying colors) and she wore an outfit that my grandmother bought her back in The Great Black Friday Maternity Shopping Extravaganza of Aught Eight. I’d had a husband-foot-in-mouth moment the day before when I’d absentmindedly asked her if she was going to wear her business suit that she normally wears for business visits. Doh.

She’s looking pretty good, if you ask me. (more…)

Conversations With a Pregnant Woman – Episode 4 – Don't have a cow!

February 13, 2009 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Science

Evolutionary biologists have historically struggled to understand why the human animal developed a sense of humor. The best theory I have heard comes from watching when infants laugh. Babies don’t truly laugh until about the fourth or fifth month, and they do so as a response to relief after a fright. e.g. Mommy makes a scary face (fright), but baby realizes that it’s still his loving mother (relief); Daddy tosses baby into the air (fright), but catches him a second later (relief); the game of peekaboo; etc. Eventually we get to the point where we enjoy the shock-relief contrast such that we seek it out. All physical comedy is based on this principle. The man falling down is only funny after it’s clear that he’s really alright. I’ve come to classify the vast majority of British comedy as “humor from uncomfortable situations”. Monty Python and The Office are good examples. “Safe fear” is the apparent attraction of scary movies and roller coasters (neither of which appeal to me). While this fright-relief pattern is not the only dimension to comedy, it’s one of the first to develop in children and is definitely one of the principal aspects of why we laugh.

Myrtle Beach Classic 2009

February 12, 2009 By: erik Category: Golf, Photos, Travel, USA, Videos

Arnold and the BoysThis year, I wasn’t feeling very much like taking photographs at the annual February golf tournament that I attend in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I was recovering from a stomach virus that struck me down the day before we left for the beach. As a result, I only took 43 photos and made three videos.

I didn’t die in a fiery plane crash yesterday

February 10, 2009 By: erik Category: Complaining, News, Spain, Travel

Looking towards homeMy two-hour flight from Frankfurt to Bilbao was utterly uneventful. At least until we started our final descent. We flew out over St. Jean de Luz, out over the Bay of Biscay, and almost within view of my house. With slats extended, gears down, the plane started the worst stomach-churning wobbling I’ve ever experienced. We were blown on all axes, pitch, roll, and most terrifying of all, yaw! When we got down to about 200 feet, it became clear that landing was no longer an option, and the pilot put us to full throttle and got us the heck out of there. Then we went around again. The second time, he aborted even earlier.

I cannot recall the last time I was so concerned for my life. My brain churned up thoughts of my pregnant wife and the idea of my daughter growing up without a father. Then I actually thought, “I’m really disappointed with my final round of golf. If it’s the last round I ever play, that would be a sad way to leave the game.” In retrospect, that’s a rather stupid thought, but I admit to having it. To be fair, I had spent the week playing golf and had even played the day I started the trip.

Seven Hour Delays Suck

February 02, 2009 By: erik Category: Complaining, Photos, Travel

5 hour, 20 minute delayI spent nine hours (9:30 – 18:30) in the Frankfurt airport on the way to the Motherland on Saturday. The plane for my flight to Charlotte had been held up for maintenance in Philadelphia. Fun.

Power outlets to plug your laptop into are hard to come by in the Frankfurt airport, but after an hour of searching, I finally found one hidden behind a potted plant next to the Häagen-Dazs shop in Concourse B. I bought a single scoop of tiramisu-flavored ice cream and spent three hours seated at my table working on my laptop.

The other thing I learned is that if you put your iPhone in “airplane mode”, the battery will last for the viewing of more than three feature-length films. Apparently it’s all the radio transmission that normally burns up the battery life so quickly. I watched Doubt, W, and Pride & Glory, three completely different films, but all good in their own way.

Here are a few photos from my “German Holiday”. (more…)