From my perspective…

Faber-Castell as inspiration

October 2nd, 2007 Posted in General, Travel | No Comments »

I recently visited my local art supply store to look for something to write with. As I rummaged amidst all the multicolored, multi-inked implements they have there, I came to the Pencil aisle and found the answer I was looking for. I haven’t purchased a pencil in more years than I can remember but needless to say they haven’t changed much. Unlike the standard one-size fits all, unsharpened (why don’t they sharpen pencils in the US?) pencils found in a generic store, here there was the wide selection of soft or hard lead that artists need when drawing or shading. I was looking for something to take notes with, something soft but not too soft. I eschewed the middle of the road HB and went a little softer to a 2B. I picked it up and for some reason, smelled it… It had that same smell I remember from when I was a child, it also recalled the taste of the wood when you are chewing the end in class. At that point I had a flash back, images of pencils my Dad used for his ‘back of the envelope’ sketches and building plans – the yellow ones we had, the red and black ones that were standard issue at one of the companies he worked at, some of the more exotic blue ones from art stores, summer evenings at the kitchen table, yellow waterproof building contractor note books and more.

Its amazing what an innocuous object can do to trigger such an avalanche of memories, though I think the smell was the key that fired some long dormant pattern of neurons in my brain that started it all. I was traveling back from a meeting in Princeton, NJ last week and reflecting on the impact of the pencil and this inspired me to come up with this attempt at a haiku. Im not sure it has the correct number of syllables, etc. but with apologies to my hometown playwright, here it is:

2B or not 2B
new pencil, old smell
time travel in my hand.

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Photos from WACKO 2005

June 28th, 2005 Posted in Canoe/kayak, Photography | No Comments »

Ben & Jarret in the C2
The 2005 Wausau Area Canoe and Kayak Organization (WACKO) ran their annual Buttercup race and Junior Olympic Qualifier races over the weekend of June 25/26th. I spent some time photographing the paddlers as they practiced and raced and have put some of the better shots on this page.
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Get the latest news in Morse Code

May 1st, 2005 Posted in Amateur Radio | No Comments »

RSS is the latest and greatest thing to push news onto one’s desktop – how about taking a step back to an earlier age and hearing the news headlines in Morse Code? A while back I introduced RSS feeds into my online morse code generator so you can hear what things would have sounded like when news really did come over the wire!
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Hello world!

April 29th, 2005 Posted in General | No Comments »

Welcome to the blog – everyone else seems to be blogging so I thought I would leap on the band wagon before it ran me over. The title for the first post seems appropriate given I work in computing and every first attempt at using something new starts with the Hello World program. (Do people in other countries also write Hello World or is it “Bonjour Monde” in France, “Hallo Welt” in Germany?). It remains to be seen what will end up on here but getting the site and the blog up and running was step one. Im using WordPress which is very easy to get up and running and my next thing is to work on the graphics – either create my own theme or more likely start to mutate one of the many existing ones out there.