Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

This is Me in ’83 – Winter, Western New York

My Uncle Rob and Aunt Becky had their second child – my cousin Justin – in the last few days of 1982, so my family began 1983 with a trip to western New York.


That’s me in the middle, and my brothers, who are on skis. My glasses were of the oh-so-cool-automatically-darkening-outside variety.

I don’t remember if this was in Olean or Portville, New York, although there are photos of us eating pizza from the Portville Snak Shak: the restaurant which introduced me – on a later trip, I think – to the deliciousness of buffalo wings.

My grandpa had made the trip from Ohio, too – I don’t remember if he drove separately, or if grandma was there, or if we all traveled together – and I think I remember him playing pool with Dad and Uncle Rob in a basement room of my aunt and uncle’s house.

This trip was either during the last weekend of winter break, or possibly a bit into January ’83, since I didn’t go back to school immediately due to the Lake Local teachers’ strike.

January 28, 2013 Posted by | 1980s, eighties, Family history | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Icicle Works.

Because our house was built 30-some years ago and has old-style gutter guards, a couple times every winter we get these ginormous icicles just outside our back door. We’re talking 5-plus feet long and 6-8 inches thick at the top in some cases. This year one even managed to grow all the way down to a snow-covered patio chair, creating a continuous ground-to-roof ice pillar.

Click to embiggen.

These are the icicles Ralphie’s mom sees in her nightmares.

In fact, if you were quietly sharing a secret beneath these things, and one fell on you, I bet your voice would go quickly from a whisper to a scream.

There are a couple more shots in my Flickr photostream.

Click to make it bigger.

More sizes at Flickr.

February 11, 2010 Posted by | geek, Ohio, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Snow and trees at the end of 2009.

I don’t remember it snowing when I went to bed last night, but there’s a thick and heavy layer over everything this morning, and I like the way it clings to the branches. Because I know it means I’m facing a heavy-lifting driveway-shoveling session, I figured I’d better try and capture the beauty before I go out and get all pissed off about it. (Click any of the pictures to see bigger versions on Flickr.)

The backyard.

A tree, some snow, and some snow-colored sky.

I like the way this one came out, with the pine tree in the background:

More snow, more trees.

Ha - green! So there IS color out there.

This one was a bit of a surprise: Some of these, I tweaked the light levels slightly so the shadowed areas were less blobby (“blobby” = Clue #1,138 that I’m >shock!< not really a photographer.), but I left this one alone because I really like the “darkening woods”  feel.

Fangorn, Ohio.

It's quiet. Too quiet...

There are a few other shots in the set: Just put on your mittens and click here to see them.

December 31, 2009 Posted by | Ohio, photos | , , , , | Leave a comment

Something fishy.

I took five rolls of film (Yes, film. I dug them out from beneath the abacus and stacks of papyrus on my desk.) to the drugstore yesterday, just for fun. Had a vague idea of what would be on a couple of them, but there was still enough mystery that I was excited to get the CDs home – Prints, you say? When I don’t even KNOW what’s on there? How quaint. – and pop them into the computer for some family photoarchaeology.

Digression: I wish Walgreen’s had mentioned that their CDs aren’t straight data storage. They have the photos locked up within an editing/sharing software program that you have to run. At least you don’t have to install the software – although if you’re not careful, you will because the check box defaults to that setting upon exiting – and it’s easy enough to copy the files onto a desktop, but only after I got home did I see the fine print that this particular software requires (of course) Windows. Well, crap. Look, I get that by switching to Ubuntu, we’ve limited some of our software options, but come on: I’m ordering only digital photos, and nobody thinks to ask if I’m maybe running a Mac? >sigh.< I’m sure if I’d earned a higher Ubuntu-Fu belt by now, I could’ve given a shot at trying to run the disc in Wine or something, but I resorted to just using our one remaining Windows machine to read the discs, copy the photos onto a flash drive, and get the hell out of MS-Dodge.

So, what was on the film? A fairly significant time span, given that it was only five rolls – and two of those were filled with shots from the point-and-shoot fisheye camera Jim got for my daughter. One 24-picture roll even had pictures from two successive Christmases  – between which , oddly enough, we’d had the family room re-carpeted,  so our photos look like a Hollywood continuity error.

Mostly they were just family snapshots, but there were a couple of the fisheye shots that came out neat:

This is our backyard, snow-globe style. (Here’s a bigger version.)

And this is my daughter’s shot of me working amidst the glorious sugar chaos of our annual Christmas Cookie decorating day. (Big version here.) We had black-and-white film in the camera for this one, and I like the effect. The graininess and the offset shadow kind of remind me of those M.C. Escher “world reflected in a silver globe” drawings.

April 30, 2009 Posted by | geek, Ohio, Web/Tech | , , , , , , | 2 Comments


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