Fall Fun/Photo '13

Saturday November 2, 2013 at 9:38am family, photography, milligan Comments (0) »
Pumpkin Decoration Sheri, Hannah and the Pom-Pom Pumpkin
Sheri, Hannah and the Pom-Pom Pumpkin

Last weekend was some fun times.  Sheri helped Hannah decorate a pumpkin (with, I believe, 64 pom-poms), and then we went to Homecoming at Milligan.  This year was Sheri's 10th-year class reuinion (since she was a 5th-year senior).  It was a good time.

I, of course, had fun taking pictures.  Particularly at the parade, where I got to play with my 300mm.  I'm quite happy with the results I got.  I think the quality of the images is pretty professional.  So I now have really nice, candid photos of a dozen or so Millgian people I don't know.

Oh, and on a related note, my boss recently (self?) published a book, on the back cover of which is his instance of the ubiqitous bio photo.  Which, in this case, I took.

I really like autumn, but that particular season is rather abbreviated down here.



Tuesday November 13, 2012 at 2:47pm milligan, homecoming, friends, auto repair Comments (0) »
 Hannah at the '02 class reception
Hannah at the '02 class reception

Homecoming 2012

So Milligan's 2012 Homecoming weekend was a few weeks ago.  This also happened to be my 10th-year class reuinion, which seems bizarre.  I think the reason time seems to go so much faster as you get older is because you get insanely busy and your perception slows down to compensate for the barrage of information.  If I had as much boredom/free-time as I did when I was five, I'm sure a year would still seem like forever.  As it is, I think I've caught site of bits and pieces of 2012 as it has flown by at a rate well above any reasonable speed limit.

Homecoming itself was enjoyable.  I got to see some old classmates I have peripheral contact with via the book face, which was cool.  Also, we got to see some really good friends who, unfortunately, live way too far away.  Amber and her family came to stay with us for the weekend, which was a lot of fun.  Hannah had a great time playing with her boys, and they loved her too.  Also, Amber made an awesome doll for Hannah.  We also got to see Ginger again.  We didn't get to spend as much time with her, but it was great to hang out for even a little while.  We did all go out to dinner at Mid City on saturday night, and that rather massive gathering was awesome.

We miss them.

Scheduling Time For Nothing

I met Robb out at the Acoustic Coffeehouse last night for no particular reason - which is to say, just to hang out and talk about whatever was on our minds.  Ironically, a good chunk of what was on our minds was the fact that we don't get together to just hang out very often.  Yeah, it's a little mobius.  We decided we may have reached a point where being social requires a little more forethought, and some of us aren't exactly "planners".

Keeping It Going

Last weekend I changed the oil in the jeep (and the car).  Thrilling, I know, but I'm proud of me.  My parents were also in town a couple weeks ago, and my dad helped me fix the power steering fluid leak I've been tolerating for a while now.  So the Jeep's happy.  And the car...well...it's still going.  It's a bit past retirement age, but, unfortunately, we haven't yet found a likely replacement.


Parents, Puppies and Projects

Tuesday May 18, 2010 at 9:46am family, home, jeep, gadgets, gaming, milligan, birthdays, friends Comments (0) »
Parents, Puppies and Projects Image

Well, we had a good weekend. My parents and Rylee (my mom's havanese puppy) came to visit, which is always a good time. Ally wasn't quite sure what to make of the little white fuzzball that ran around the house, but overall I think they got along.

There were, of course, the requisite "projects".

The roof's minor issue has now been completely fixed (which is good, because it's raining) and the downspouts on the gutters have been flushed out too. The jeep's had some small tune-ups - changed the fanbelt and a small vacuum hose. There are some other little things, but overall I was told the jeep was running well.

We also spent most of saturday doing what we can to map out a deck plan. I've been wanting to build a deck on the front of our house for a couple years. The project is still very much in the preliminary stages, but we're making some progress. What we need to do now is discover where our septic system is for sure (we're pretty sure already) and have the water line marked - because those pipes are in the area in question. Also, we need to either figure out how to get 18ft support beams or shorten the width to 16ft (which might squeeze one section). Still, we're making some progress.

In addition to home/auto projects, we had a great time hanging out. We went to bay's mountain park and went for a short hike and got soaked with rain about 3/4 of the way back to the car. On the upside, the rain cover for my camera case has been field-tested with great success.

My parents also, of course, had their shiny iphones. I decided a while back that I want one of these. We kinda need (at least one) personal phone, and if I'm going to add another bill to our monthly expenses, I'm totally willing to pay a bit more to get something *fun*. As of now, I think we're waiting for Sheri to decide if she wants her own phone and whether she also wants an iphone. She isn't sure how much of a smart phone's capabilities she would use a lot (at first anyway), but she doesn't really have any gadgets and this would be several in one. I personally think it would be kind of cool, if somewhat expensive. Edit: yeah, we did it. We now have shinies. Rather sooner than I would have imagined, but we had put it off for quite a while...

My World of Darkness game is now two sessions in and is going great. The players seem to be really enjoying it, and I'm liking the theme. Synopses' are posted on the Gaming page as useful. On a related now, I have now feared the entirety of the boot, and I've been poking around on the ftb forums. On another related note, I'm trying to figure out if I can pull off going to gencon this year.

Milligan's faculty/staff picnic was last tuesday, and that was cool. It's fun to talk to people we only see occasionally and meeting others.

A week ago last saturday was our friend Stacie's birthday party at Rucht & McKennas, and that was cool. I game with a lot of the same people, but that's a lot different from just hanging out. Plus, Stacie, McKenna and Jen aren't really gamers and they're really cool people - when we're gaming we sometimes "see" them, but don't get to interact with them much when we're roleplaying.


The View from Labor Day '09

Monday September 7, 2009 at 3:55pm sociology, milligan, photography, music, gaming, concerts Comments (0) »
The View from Labor Day '09 Image

Ah, yes. A holiday. This basically means I slept in (more). We haven't done a whole lot today. We did take Ally to walk around Sycamore Shoals - and she actually voluntarily jumped into the river!! So...maybe it's not the water that makes her dislike baths? It was quite hilarious...


I feel like I've been busy lately, but my calendar seems to disagree.

I've been trying to read some sociology lately. Dr. Beck, one of my favorite professors from Milligan, told me earlier in the summer when we were chatting at a Milligan picnic that if I ever wanted to sit in on any of her classes, I'd be welcome to. I responded by warning her that if she offered such an invitation, I would, in fact, show up. So ever since the semester started a couple weeks ago, I've been trying to make it to her Social Theory class on my lunch break on tuesdays and thursdays. I bring my laptop along and sit in on the discussions whilst going about my normal work - this is one of the great things about having a job like mine: I can pretty much work from anywhere I can get a 'net connection.

It has been very interesting. I've found that I miss having to think critically to understand things. While my job is very stimulating and requires a lot of creative thinking, it's far less taxing than reading Durkheim.

I got a call a while back from Sue Shanks at WAPC who asked me if I'd put up some of my pictures in Watauga's Gallery / Coffeehouse (Just Coffee) for about a month. I told her that sounded like fun, and since then I've gone through and selected about 25 of my pictures to get prints of and then mount in some mats and frames (where available/affordable). I've been getting the pictures printed as 8x10's, which necessitates some cropping since the aspect ratio of my camera's frame isn't the same as 8x10. For this and other reasons, I think some of my pictures look better on my computer screen than in the frames, but many of them look wonderful and I'm excited to have some hard copies and to get to share them. I've been working on getting them set up and thinking up interesting names for them (I like naming things). After the show, I'll probably end up giving quite a few of them away to people that want them.

The "show" officially "opens" this Friday, September 11th around 8pm 7pm at Watauga Avenue Presbyterian Church in the gallery downstairs. I'll be hanging out there most of evening. If you're reading this, you should come hang out with me, play some games, listen to some music (no salsa, I promise) and look at some pictures.

I've been playing my electric guitar quite a bit, but haven't done much with the band in the last couple of weeks.

On the gaming front, We had a very enjoyable second Mouse Guard session last night. As I've mentioned before, I'm finding that I'm needing to tweak a few rules to my liking, but overall I love the game immensely.

I've also been enjoying Patrick's Star Wars game quite a bit - last time, we found ourselves sucked into a Bonanza episode, and actually, it was quite awesome.

I've made a little more progress on my developing rp system, but I tend to go back-and-forth on a lot of things.

Sheri and I are making plans to head to AR for Ben's wedding in a couple of weeks and then, after that, we have tickets to go see the Decemberists in Asheville on the 25th!!!


Quite a Week

Tuesday May 26, 2009 at 12:23pm milligan, gaming, friends, moving, holidays, hiking, bicycles Comments (8) »

This last week has been pretty crazy. A lot of out-of-the-ordinary has gone on. This is really 3 or 4 blogs in one - and is mostly just a 'state of the penguin' address.

Last Tuesday, Sheri and I went to Milligan's faculty/staff picnic - which was open to "many" part-time employees this year (the wording of the invitation email left something to be desired). It was actually pretty cool. I knew quite a few people there and got to talk to some I didn't know so well. I also got to talk to Dr. Beck for a little while, which was cool. She was one of my Sociology profs at Milligan and one of my favorite professors overall. She told me i could sit in on one of her classes if I want sometime - which I'll probably do if i can find one at a time that doesn't conflict with other stuff too much.

Last Thursday I got to join Patrick's Star Wars game. I've generally enjoyed the Star Wars games i've played in before and the rules for the new system are fairly simple (which i like). It was a lot of fun and i'm looking forward to continuing it in a couple of weeks.

On Friday, Kevin and Steph (his fiance) came into town, along with Mike and Bethany (some friends we don't get to see much). The girls all went out to have a sort of bachelorette party for Ginger and Mike, Kevin and I went to see a (decidedly mediocre) movie.

After that, we all met up again to throw Kevin in the creek at Milligan around midnight. That might require a little explanation for some of you. Apparently Milligan has a "tradition" wherein guys who become engaged at Milligan are thrown into the creek by their buddies. The triggers for this operation have since been blurred to include Milligan alumni as well, so Ginger and Steph decided Kevin was fair game. I've personally always thought this tradition was dumb, and strikes me as locker-room behavior. (Sidenote: When I proposed to Sheri, I made it quite clear to some friends that this would not be happening - or, if it did, people would be physically harmed in the process and we might not all consider each other friends afterward. I have found that being physically forced into something I don't want is one of the few things that will trigger a violent reaction from me. I am very thankful they respected my wishes here.) Everyone else, however, seems to think this is great, and as long as all involved are reasonably amenable, it doesn't inherently bother me. The only reason I was involved, however, was because Ginger asked me to take pictures, which I did. Those have been posted in the Gallery :)

Saturday was moving day for Ginger. A bunch of us descended upon her apartment and possessions and spent the hours between 10am and 4pm (more or less) packing up stuff and loading it in a u-haul. After that we all went out to Mid-City Grill and had a good time relaxing and talking after a tiring afternoon. Unfortunately then we had to say some goodbyes, which sucked. I think things will be a little better for her up in VA, but we all miss Ginger a lot. Hopefully we'll get to see her from time to time. It's not the same when someone's missing.

Sunday was "recovery day" from the late nights and monumental-packing done earlier in the weekend. We went to church, but beyond that we didn't do very much. I briefly considered mowing the lawn, but decided against it (in part due to rain). That'll probably get done today.

Yesterday was Memorial Day, so we had an extra day off. In order to take advantage of the warm holiday, we decided to go hiking. The weather threatened to rain us out, but we decided to go anyway. We went out to the lower entrance to Laurel Falls and hiked around there for a while. Due to some trickiness in the trail, we never actually *found* said falls. Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous. At a certain point, none of us could find the trail and, given its location perched above the creek, I was disinclined to mess around too much since I had my camera. We talked to some people later who explained it to us and we think we know where it is now. We still had a great time and I got some good pictures, which have been posted in the Gallery.

After the hiking we grilled some hot dogs and then Sheri and I went into town and ended up buying some bicycles. Before that sounds totally random, let me give you some background:
Some time ago, we decided the 5th Anniversary is the Bicycle Anniversary and so we decided we'd get some bicycles as anniversary presents for each other. Sheri had said she wanted to get them before our actual anniversary because by the time we get to late July, a lot of the good cycling weather for the year is behind us - so we'd been looking around. We initially looked at Dick's Sporting Goods, but most of those seemed really expensive and we didn't really need anything amazingly cool. We also looked at walmart (though I was/am disinclined to buy a bicycle from them), target and even toys-r-us - just trying to see what was available and to evaluate some prices. So yesterday, we decided to go to the mall for something completely different - something we'd never actually end up doing, as it turns out.
We entered through Dick's (as we usually do) and decided to go look at the bikes again - just for fun. We ended up finding a couple that weren't much more expensive than one's we'd priced elsewhere and this was actually the first time Sheri found one she really liked. So after quite a bit of discussion, we decided to go ahead and get them.
I'm glad we ended up buying from an actual sporting goods place. The guy there was able to answer some questions and when we'd decided to buy something, he went over everything (gear changers, brakes, tire pressure, etc) on both of them, making sure everything was working smoothly and correctly and in good condition. IMO, this was worth the $20 price difference.
So we're excited about this. We know of a few places around here that will be lots of fun to go and ride (which will be practical once we have a carrying rack - getting them home last night was *possible*, but not pretty) and i'm sure there are quite a few others.

So now we're sort-of back to the usual grind - but not completely. It'll be a short week for me as I'm taking this Friday off since my parents are coming into town this weekend... ...so we'll be getting ready for that this week. That'll be fun too.


Over The Weekend

Monday April 14, 2008 at 3:15pm gaming, friends, milligan, video games Comments (2) »

Not too much to report or make note of, but here's the gist -

Had a great gaming session on saturday, which was lots of fun. I'm enjoying that game quite a bit.

Saturday night we went to the Midcity Grill in downtown JC. Hadn't been there before. The atmosphere is very relaxed and the food was great and cheap. We were scouting the place as a potential hangout for the Oots meetup we're planning for the end of june. The owner wasn't sure if he could handle our crowd (it's a small place and we may have 25 or 30 people), but we're hoping in addition to trying to come up with a plan 'B'.

Yesterday we went to the Milligan vs Team USA softball game - or, at least most of it. The cold + wind + rain eventually caused us to leave a little early. We all pretty much knew that Milligan was going to lose terribly to the olympic team, but i figure that wasn't really the point of it. I saw the point as seeing what Milligan could accomplish against them. I was told the final score was 24-0 in five innings, but Milligan did keep USA from scoring one inning and even managed to get one or two people on base.

Last night we had some tasty quasi-mexican for dinner and a sort of video game night with Ginger, Nick & Tony. There was Dragoon, Gauntlet, Contra, Lifeforce and Katamari. A good time was had by all. Oh, and Nick and I are heroes that saved the universe. Booya.


Previous Week: VBS + Sycamore + Milligan = Lots of Photos

Saturday March 22, 2008 at 8:23pm photography, vbs, milligan, sycamore shoals Comments (0) »
Previous Week: VBS + Sycamore + Milligan = Lots of Photos Image

This last week was VBS at our church. We decided to do it during spring break this year (like we did a couple years ago) so as not to have to compete with other area churches for attendees.

We had a sort of kickoff/egg hunt last saturday and started the actual program on sunday night and ran it thru wednesday. Overall, I think it went very well.

In addition to my usual duties as A/V / computer-tech guy, I also got to be the "official" photographer for the week. I think I took about 300+ shots - about 160ish of which I felt were good enough for the slideshows that I put up prior to the opening each night (of the previous night's events). I have posted the handful of shots that I feel are truly wonderful in the VBS 2008 Gallery, as well as a few others I thought were pretty good for various reasons.

The weather this last week has been great overall. I even mowed the lawn (well, the front and part of the back anyway) for the first time this year today. Due to this fortuitous circumstance, we decided to go on a picnic friday afternoon at Sycamore Shoals and then walk around a bit. A few more images have been added to the Sycamore Shoals Gallery.

Later that afternoon, Sheri and I went over to Milligan to walk around and take pictures - the campus is mostly empty this weekend due to Easter and it seemed like a good time to shoot scenery without being in peoples' way. Several more shots have been added to the Milligan Gallery as well.

In addition, a few other, random pics have been added to a few other galleries (like the one I've included in this post). All told, I'm sure I took over 500 pictures this last week... EDIT: Actual count of pictures downloaded to my computer from the last week is 706 - which of course isn't counting the ones that i erased on the camera. The actual total for shots taken is probably well over 1,000.

Oh, and there will be some certain, other shots posted a little later... ;)


Milligan Homecoming Weekend '07

Sunday October 28, 2007 at 5:14pm milligan, friends Comments (0) »

Ok, so here's something I wouldn't have figured I'd have done. Not that I didn't enjoy my time at Milligan immensely, but I'm usually not such a huge fan of 'organized' social activities and most of the people that I spent my time with during those years either still live near me, or weren't coming out for the 'homecoming' thing anyway. Still, there was one notable exception.

Our friend Amber told us last week that she would, in fact, be coming down from Iowa for the event, and that she would be bringing here two munchkins (Seth and Charlie) as well as her mom and grandma. Despite the fact that this was my 5th year class reunion, I think the fact that she was coming and that Sheri and I hadn't seen her in about 3 years were really the reasons we attended.

And actually, it was pretty cool. Even though (like i mentioned before) most of my *best* friends were either local or absent, it was quite enjoyable to get to talk to a wide variety of people I knew at school, even if they weren't the ones I hung out with often. Despite the wide variances in our lives, there was some small sense of common heritage with these people (which is of course the draw to these sorts of events) and, despite its somewhat contrived nature, I'll admit that it was a nice feeling and an enjoyable time to get to socialize with those present once again - even if that interaction was mostly superficial. My description here may seem overly cynical, but it's not intended to be. I really found it interesting to get to meet again for the first time people you once knew.

So we spent saturday walking around campus with Amber and her entourage, talking to familiar people (some of whose names I remembered, others not so much), and generally hanging out on campus - something I hadn't done in a while.
We saw the parade, which was somewhat amusing. We got to see the progress that's been made on the inside of the new arts building on campus, which looks pretty cool. We also had lots of fun with Seth and Charlie, who were very cute. In addition to the Milligan festivities, we spent some time just hanging out with Amber - which was really cool. We all miss having her around.

I will put some pictures up in the gallery soon. (EDIT: pictures are up!)

On a somewhat sadder note, I also went by Robb's house for a while on saturday evening for Ken, Teri and Erica's going away party. They're moving up to Columbus, IN (of all places!) and we'll miss having them in the area as well. I'm going to try to make it a point to get together with them when I go up there to visit my parents.