Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2004 - 2010

Merry Christmas! I was thinking, how far back do my digital photos of Christmas go? And I found out, they go back to 2004. So, as I sit here waiting for family to arrive and for my wife to get home from work, I put together a short sequence of a picture from each Christmas since then.

2004: Phoenix, AZ. Pictured here with my cousins Daniel, Brian, Jacque, and my sister, Megan.

2005: Longmont, CO. The trees we could fit in that corner of that room were rocking. It was a fabulous room for many things, but on Christmas morning it was the best.

2006: Longmont, CO. Here with dad and Megan. I had to include a picture of the Christmas blizzard of 2006. Longmont got 20 inches. 

2007: Oak Creek, WI. Our first Christmas after getting married. The snowiest year on record in Milwaukee welcomed us to Wisconsin that year. We got over 112 inches of snow that winter.

2008: Oak Creek and Burlington, WI. Like the year before, the Bradleys visited and brought all of their dogs. Kate is here with Molly on her lap and Max on the floor. And this is about the time I discovered our then camera was busted. Notice the blurriness at the corners.

2009: Farmington, NM. We joined my parents in Farmington for their first Christmas there. It was an unforgettable and tough Christmas after all the crap and abuse they had been subjected to over that last year, but we did our best and we had an awesome time seeing their new home and experiencing their new life in New Mexico. 

2010: Denver, CO. This was our first Christmas spent by ourselves. It wasn't as depressing as we had thought it would be. Actually, we quite enjoyed it, knowing that in a couple days the Bradleys would join us for the New Year's celebration. We relaxed, took a long walk outside (it was in the 50s), and cooked a bomb meal. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve!

A few pictures from our trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens to see the lights last night. These shots are all big reasons we bought a lens with an aperture of f/1.4. All these shots are hand held. We really love this lens. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fresh Snow on Cherry Creek

There is easily a foot of snow along the creek. Due to the wind, sometimes more and sometimes less, but this morning was a great opportunity to go out and do some shooting because the snow wasn't spoiled by our feet, wheels, or the ubiquitous yellow patch. Shooting in snow is hard. For all the pictures I took there aren't that many of them. It's very hard to deal with the glare even when the sky is clouded over, but it was fun and beautiful by the creek. 

Our building.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Imported from Wisconsin

Here's what $175 of cheese, cheese curds, and summer sausage from Wisconsin looks like. It arrived last week from Pine River Dairy in Manitowoc, WI, a favorite stop of ours during trips up to Door County in the fall. And no, this isn't all for us. The blocks of cheddar are aged 5 years and, without a doubt, better and much, much cheaper than any cheddar you can buy in Colorado. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Movie: Senna

If you don’t know of Ayrton Senna, you don’t know about the greatest Formula One driver who has ever lived. Whether you watch Formula One or not, the documentary Senna (2011) is an inspiring movie, in both its storytelling and its material. Senna was not only a great driver, he was a man of God, and one who held his temper through many situations in Formula One, in which, he would have been justified in cursing many people. But he did not. He kept his composure and just tried to get back to pure racing despite the obstacles and the politicization of Formula One racing.

The documentary is unique in that it is told exclusively using archival footage. There is no one narrator. There are many. Besides Senna and a couple of rivals, you don’t see the person telling the story. And the stories themselves are brilliantly woven together using Senna family video, on-board racecar cameras, aerial shots, and television productions of the races and the subsequent interviews.

The movie should be nominated for an Oscar in the category. It’s one of the best documentaries I have seen and definitely the best of 2011. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Movies: Page One

I just finished watching Page One: Inside the New York Times. If you have any interest at all in the Gray Lady, or the challenges journalism faces in the digital age, this is an excellent documentary. And I’ve suddenly become a much bigger fan of David Carr. He is featured throughout the movie and is right on about the importance of a mainstream media establishment like the Times, a total badass.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Free December

Although my next quarter doesn’t start until January 3rd, I just finished ordering the last of its required 28 books. The idea is to get a good chunk of the reading done before week one. That may not happen, but as the books continue to arrive, I’m expecting them to either motivate me or smother me and I’m hoping for the latter.

Having time off has been great so far. I have more energy to devote to swimming (I’m swimming with the masters team at DU), to outdoor pursuits (although not today because it’s 9 degrees outside), and leisure reading (I’m in the middle of the second book of the Millennium series, The Girl Who Played With Fire). However, I have been a little bored from time to time. Urgency is a great motivator.

Last Christmas season, having worked right up to Christmas Eve in a crazy storm of frenzied Apple customers and red shirts, I had a hard time getting into the season because each and every day I saw its very, very ugly side. This season, I’m trying to be more intentional by meditating on the peace that can be found in God and the real meaning of the season (I know that’s cliché, but I don’t care). That also means savoring family traditions of food, gift giving, and making December last as long as possible. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

One of the Best

I know. No post in the last two weeks and I come back with some sunset pictures. Lame, I'll admit it. However, given that I've seen a lot of beautiful sunsets from my good vantage point, I have sort of turned into a sunset snob and have become very selective of the sunsets that call for me to bust out the SLR. But last night was the most beautiful one I've seen from my apartment. The interior of my place was glowing orange and the scene just kept getting better and better. It's quite a different scene now, a white wall of snow. I can barely see Colorado Blvd, but 16 hours ago I could see forever up and down the front range and I got sort of sad thinking about not living here at some point. There will be beauty wherever I live next and probably more living space, but I already miss the sunsets.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Penn State Collapse

If it wasn't, essentially, my finals week (the next 9 days), I would have a much, much longer comment on the Paterno/Penn State disaster...lots of thoughts there. I'll say this though, Paterno said he will retire at the end of this season. I would be very surprised if he is allowed to do so. I wouldn't be shocked if he coached only one more game, this Saturday, vs. Nebraska.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

The Next 13 Days

I won't have much of a life for the next thirteen days, but I may find some things to share on here during research for my two final papers. One of those papers is on Anwar al-Awlaki, the American citizen who was targeted and killed in Yemen on September 30, 2011. He is featured prominently in a book called Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go To War In The Name Of Islam, by J.M. Berger, that I just read this weekend and I just wanted to quote from a CNN article he cited in the book. To give you some context, Awlaki used to live in California and this is a conversation he had about possibly returning to California:
“He said, “I’m going back to Virginia, and shortly after that, I’ll be going to Yemen.” And I said, “Well, I do hope you’ll be coming back to San Diego soon.” And he says, “No, I don’t be coming back. And in a little while, you’ll understand why.”
To give you some more context, this happened not too long before 9/11. Awlaki is suspected of having direct contact with two of the hijackers while in California and later on in Virginia. So the "And in a little while, you'll understand why" just makes you sick.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Instagram: MKE and Late Summer

So good.

Only in Wisconsin. If you find yourself there, try some.

A pint of PBR and a burger at AJ Bombers. Perfect together.

A summer afternoon at Rootdown

Loveland Pass. August.

On a bike ride. Lake Dillon. August.

Thursday, October 27, 2011