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Showing posts from February, 2020

Picture My Life - 2000

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As part of a creative exercise, I'm taking a picture from every year of my extensive photo collection and writing about it. I use the month and date to determine the folder # and picture #. This random but measured system will provide a glimpse into the people and places of my past.

This photo comes from the year 2000. It was taken on a city bench outside a favorite restaurant of ours in Myrtle Beach, the Sea Captain's House. The kids on the ends are my own, Sarah left and Ben right. The two in the middle are my nieces by my sister and brother in-law. 
For a time when the kids were growing up, Myrtle Beach was an Easter weekend destination for us and our New York family. They drove down from Rochester and we drove 20 hours from Wisconsin. We rented a condominium across the road from the ocean beach. It was an escape from the long winter and cool spring for both families as well as my Mother and Father in-law. 
If you put me in front of a beach, I'll sit there all week, so Myr…

A Statewide Network: WLIA v.2020

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I spent late last week in Middleton at the Wisconsin Land Information Association's Annual Conference. This is a statewide gathering of Geo/Map Geeks that features keynote speakers, GIS presentations, workshops and networking.

For a number of reasons, both organizational and personal, this year's conference was one of the best yet.

For starters, one of the Keynote speakers was Jack Dangermond, president of the Environmental Systems Research Institute, better known as ESRI. While this doesn't mean much to the average person, he is sort of a hero in GIS circles. He pioneered GIS back in the '80s and went on to startup the most successful GIS software company in the world.

Jack was gracious enough to attend and present a keynote address. I was fortunate to be granted a short conversation with him and a couple of my peers while he signed a few books. The four of us talked about the esri User Conference, esri products and a little about what we were working on at the statew…

Picture My Life - 1999

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As part of a creative exercise, I'm taking a picture from every year of my extensive photo collection and writing about it. I use the month and date to determine the folder # and picture #. This random but measured system will provide a glimpse into the people and places of my past.

This picture was taken in Hackensack, Minnesota, which not only has a great placename but was also the source of my Minnesota family's cabin for a few years in the late '90s. My mother was always good about getting the whole family together at a cabin for a week every year. It started in
Forest Lake, then moved to Aitkin for many years, later to Hackensack, and finally up to Mercer, Wisconsin.

This week away was always highly anticipated by both adults and kids. It was a chance to fish, swim, read and relax for 7 straight days. The tradition continued until about 8 years ago when the kids were starting to get jobs and such that made justifying the trip a little harder. Now it's dwindled to si…

Picture my Life - 1989

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As part of a creative exercise, I'm taking a picture from every year of my extensive collection and writing about it. I use the month and date to determine the folder # and picture #. This random but measured system will provide a glimpse into the people and places of my past.

This post's picture is of my wedding day, obviously. We were married in June of 1990, so I'm not sure why this picture was filed in the 1989 folder, but it happens.
The occasion was certainly one of the happiest days of my life, despite the 93 degree mid-June heat. After months of planning from 750 miles apart, we were finally in the midst of our day. 
My whole family made the trek out to Canandaigua for the wedding. Many of them continued on in a sort of east coast vacation afterward. I can't say enough about how much it meant that they all made it out. 
We were married in a beautiful, quaint Methodist Church in tiny little Gorham, New York. It was like Mayberry without Andy Griffith. The church …

Picture My Life - 1987

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I'm taking a new approach on my blog posts for the next while. As a creative exercise, I've decided to write about a picture. I'm calling it the blog series, Picture My Life. I will try and write how this photo, this moment captured in some cases decades ago, has made me who I am, or changed how I look at life.

I keep all my pictures on my laptop ordered by year. And because I have a zillion photos on my laptop, I decided to walk my way through with a method to my madness for determining which one is chosen.

To choose it I will take the date of the post and use it as my criteria for which picture is chosen. For example, I'll use the month as what drives the subfolder I choose, so February would be the second folder. Then, I'll choose the picture from that folder as the day of the post, so the 9th would be the 9th photo in that folder.

So, starting with my first folder, the year is 1987, and the photo is me and my godson Nicolas, goofing around with a Jack in the Bo…

Attention Deficit

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Some random thoughts, because I'm finding it difficult to stick to a single train of thought today.
It is a weird time of year for me. That first week after the Super Bowl is always a little disjointed. I don't watch like I once did, but I really don't watch any other sports, so it seems like something is missing. It's a first-world problem though, one that will pass soon enough.Speaking of Super Bowl, I thought it was a phenomenal one to watch. A back-and-forth affair for 3 1/2 quarters until it got out of hand. I was glad to see KC win.Like everyone else in the world, I have my opinion of the halftime show, but unlike many others, I don't feel the need to express that opinion. I was invited to take part in a Poet Laureate reading in Sheboygan at the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Conference in May. I consider it an honor just to be in the same room with some of the others that will be there. My 8 minutes of fame. I am halfway through season 2 of Outlander. What a gr…

Walking Toward It

It is a tough time for our country politically. An  impeachment hearing is probably as divisive an event as a country can go through. People get ugly about it. I know I am guilty of spending entirely too much time on Twitter lately which from a political standpoint is a toxic wasteland. All it does is enrage me. I need to stay off. I've always said I'm not a politically outspoken person, but in these times, it's hard not to speak up.

I'd be better served to notice the points of light and goodness around me than contributing to the cesspool of vitriol.

For example, on Friday morning of last week, as I was walking to work, the first two people I encountered said, "Good morning." It immediately changed my mood from nondescript to cheery in a matter of four words. The next person walked past looking down, but the next two I passed both said good morning as well. Altogether, 4 out of 5 gave some sort of greeting. Just a day prior it was only one of three.

Just to …