Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween 2009

This year Alex had two (2) costumes for Halloween. Friday at daycare the trick-or-treat activities involve a LONG walk down the corridors. Boston Scientific employees line the corridors and hand out the candy. The walk is about 1/2 mile (really - I measured it on Google Maps) and takes just under an hour. Pam borrowed a Thomas the train costume for this event:

Saturday night was a bit cooler (35F), and so we used a different costume that Pam purchase a month ago. Alex dressed up as an elephant. The costume was perfect for the conditions, and looked pretty comfortable too. He liked pretending he was spraying things with his trunk, which he knew (from reading our books) that elephants liked to do.

It took Alex a few houses to get used to the idea. Once he figured out that people were giving out free candy, he became rather enthusiastic about the idea.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Alex reads a book

Here is some video of Alex "reading" one of his favorite books.

He didn't know I was filming him. I made some noise and he turned around:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Apostle Islands Kayaking

I spent the weekend kayaking with SKOAC up in the Apostle Islands. We drove up Friday night and paddled over to Oak island. Some folks were already there, but more showed up after we arrived (they scraped bottom around 10:45 or so - a very nice night crossing). Even though I normally am "out" by 9:30 or 10:00 at home, I stayed up until past midnight socializing with fellow kayakers around the campfire.

This was a mistake, which became clear at around 5:00 in the morning. A bird decided to serenade me. I am convinced he was mere inches from my tent, based on how loud the little fellow was. Having his various singing exercises, he eventually flew away.

Our group decided to break into two. I opted to join the crowd paddling over to Stockton island. We started off in very calm conditions, and were making good time. The picture below is our first snack stop - note how calm the water is:

We were soon on our way, and made it to Stockton with no problems. Looking behind us to the west, we saw a nasty squall line coming in. Leading front winds were reported to be gusting at 40 mph, so we ate quickly and watched the storm roll in. Dave and Sam made the best of in their chairs, as seen below. They are quite snug and cozy, and I do believe some napping was accomplished as the storm rolled through.

There were two nasty thunderstorms: one to the south, and one to the north. Checking the vectors on the weather radio, we decided to paddle between them and head back to Oak island. The sailboat in the picture below was a bit south of us, and looked pretty cool since he was lit up by the sun:

As we paddled along, we kept an eye on which way the storm was moving, but we stayed clear of any nastiness and arrived at camp without incident.

Excitement for that night was a "pot luck". In my case, I had brought my famous meatsauce, but quickly realized that the spaghetti was still at home. Thus, I was able to focus on the "luck" part of the evening, since I got lucky in spite of my mistakes and still enjoyed a very tasty dinner.

Sunday morning came quickly, and we were soon paddling back to Red Cliff. A nice surprise came when I looked over, and realized the guy unloading his boat ten feet away from me was Ron Steinwall (with whom I have done 2 circumnavigations of Isle Royale). It was nice catch up with him for a bit before getting into the truck for the drive home.

Done with School!

Well, after 5 years of part-time study I finally finished my MBA! The picture below is our last "night" of class. It was purely optional, since it was held during finals week. Nine (9) of us (out of around 45) showed up. After some discussion, we opted to head up to the Corner Bar to continue our case discussion for that evening. This was the final class of my MBA career, and I don't think I could think of a single way to improve upon the evening:

Two days later it was time for commencement. Since I didn't do the "walk" for my other Masters degree, I decided to go for the experience now. Glad I did - it was actually kind of fun.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Pam & Alex

I decided to spend part of my annual bonus on a new lens - the Nikon 18-200 VR. I've been watching the price/availability of this lens for some some time. It has two major attractions for me. First, it gives me a large zoom range. This is something I had with my film cameras (28-200), but gave up when I went digital (since there was nothing out there). Second, and more importantly, it has a vibration-reduction feature that allows me to shoot in lower light conditions than would otherwise be possible. It claims that I can shoot around 4 stops slower. I though this was hype, but initial tests confirm it. (I took a test shot at 200mm, with a shutter speed of 1/10 second. It came out razor-sharp!) Anyway, I am looking forward to getting shots of Alex that were impossible before.

Here is a picture I took of Alex and Pam yesterday morning:

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Alex on the Stairs

Here is a picture of Alex telling me to stay where I am as he goes up the stairs. He has become proficient at taking his pants off, and enjoys running around with just his diaper on (or even less). On this particular day, he decided he needed his boots on, which he put on by himself. Thus, we see a classic portrait of a little 2 year old boy, dressed in a way that makes perfect sense to him, issuing orders to all around him:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Waterpark Weekend

We spent last weekend at a waterpark in Wisconsin Dells, WI. This year we stayed at the Wilderness Resort. I was impressed by the size of our suite: 3 separate bedrooms, enough beds for 12 people to sleep, full size kitchen for only $250 per night. And that included water park wrist bands for everyone!

Alex was not overly excited about the water since he has not been in a pool for some time. He was happy walking around the edge, but had little interest in going deeper than 6" or so. Still, I think he enjoyed being out in a large open space that really felt like summer. (This is advertised as "America's Largest Indoor Wave Pool".)

Here is a picture of Pam and Alex on the "beach":

This picture gives a sense of how large the space is:

I acquired a nice waterproof camera last year for kayaking, and brought it along on this trip. Here are some picture of Madison Turnis swimming around:

We were in the wave pool, which was pretty cool. Wave height was around 3 feet, which is enough to get people bouncing around pretty good. This video shows the waves going by:

Monday, February 09, 2009

More Trucks

I've decided to play around with making cars/trucks out of pine until I get the dimensions figured out. I'm also skipping the finishing part - just sticking with bare wood. I had planned on using 1.25" wheels (seen on truck in the background), but then concluded that 1.5" was the way to go - it made a bigger difference than I expected. My 3rd attempt is the truck on the right hand side. It's unique feature is a real bed in the back.