Monday, February 26, 2007

The three H's

I was revewing an article I wrote for a scrapbooking magazine about "luring men into scrapbooking" and it got me to thinking about why men I've met scrapbook and what's appealing to me. It all boiled down to what I guess I'm now calling the three H's.

When I ask women why they scrapbook I get creative expression, time with the ladies, their children, their family, processing their thoughts and emotions, all kids of reasons.

With guys I wonder if it boils down to history, heritage and hobbies.

That's what's gotten me hooked anyway. :0)

Other than that much of the midwest went into hibernation mode under a foot of snow that dumped over night. It was a delight to finally have an excuse to spend a Saturday sitting around in front of a fire and watching the first season of "Lost."


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

outside of the ( 5x7 or 12x12 ) box

I made a bunch of 8x10's to put in a media kit for this China project I'm working on. Some of them looked kinda cool and I think I'm going to do some layouts with them. It got me thinking that I hardly ever see layouts with 8 x 10's in them. Why is that? Have you guys ever done them? Why isn't it more common? Good grief... what makes embellishments take priority over photos? :0)

I used to blow stuff up at mpix ( ) where you can get a 12 x 12 photo done for about five and a half bucks, but recently Walmart has matched or beat their 8 x 10 price for just under $2. I'm disappointed in Walmarts new un-easy to use online photo interface. In fact it ( imho ) sucks compared to their faster, easier to navigate and more flexible previous one but it still gets the job done and you don't have to sign up for yahoo like you do at Target's website.

So no excuses now. You can get some old school, juicy, super glossy 8x10's done for $2 and mailed straight to your door, have plenty of room to fire up that cropping tool and shock the world with your powerful imagery.

PS> Here's an example of critical analysis gone wrong. I thought you'd get a laugh out of how we critque ourselves. I caught myself making sure the picture "worked" even though it was for a blog and done in a dark basement @ 4:00 AM on a tiny Macbook camera.

So if you've got an 8x10 experience I want to hear it!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

WHy bE NorMal?

Why be normal? Well, sometimes normal is good - like this weekend.

Thursday I drove down to the Grezzo Gallery where we had the Scrapbook art show opening and collected all the layouts. ( Less newsworthy picking up the materials than opening night was. )

Friday I did voiceovers with my friend Dave who's also my partner in this next project about business in China. It "fills my tank up" to be back shooting, editing and turning all this footage I shot into a streamlined piece of communication.

Yesterday I started cleaning out the office, cleaning equipment and cleaning off hard drives. Then Connies brother came over and we played a little Guild Wars together online. As you'll notice I didn't get to actually cleaning off the counter top much...

Then I got an email from the friend I stayed with in LA a few weeks ago ( CHA week ). He's got a fresh reel up and is getting the word out that he's ready to tackle some new series work. If you get a chance please stop by and check out some of the work he's done and add some hits to his website. D.David would appreciate it and so would I. ( No, I don't know how there's so many David's in my life. )


So back to business as usual and it's nice. Coming up: Scrapped screens in Manila ( as in Philippines ), Alambama and I speak at a University in Iowa. ( What's up with that? )

Friday, February 16, 2007


The world we live in is so much smaller than it was a couple decades ago. I've been on four continents in the last three months and seen some crazy stuff but last night it was extremely refreshing to see a rusty old pickup with bits of hay in the back and a mutley old dog. The Great Wall of China was amazing, the Duomo in Milan was astonishing, The mountainous hillsides filled with sheep in New Zealand were breathtaking, the beaches of Northeastern Australia healing, Mid Town Manhattan electrifying, The Vegas Strip a spectical, LA and the people were comrades but last night when I stopped by my dad's farm, parked my truck and got licked by Sam the dog I unconciously let out a big sigh that I seemed to be holding in for a long, long time.

I didn't see my dad that often, before scrapped it was maybe 2-3 times a year. The project really did bring us back together and now we talk regularly, visit and just hang out. You've got to make time for that stuff don't you? It doesn't really happen out of convenience does it? Emails, voicemails and paperwork piling up but I took a drive down a dirt road last night and got to unwind as much as I could when the temps in the single digits.

This is the stir crazy time of year. Holidays are over and you're left with the last leg of cabin fever. I was on the couch last night looking through road map of the US trying to plan out road trips for a couple buddies and us to go on. "Maybe around Lake Superior for a 3 day weekend?" To long... it took me three days because of bad weather ( 40 mph in some stretches ) and I was driving 12 - 15 hours a day. Maybe a quick run to the House on the Rock? "We've done it enough" Connie would say. I just kept daydreaming thinking about open highways, warm weather, and loud music as your skin cooks in the sun.

I settled for watching Easyrider as I exercised this morning. Not quite the same and I forgot what a screwy movie it was. Perspectives on drugs, sex and hippies were a lot different in the sixties. I get where they were coming from as movie makers but I mostly fast forwarded to the riding sequences and the bit with Jack Nicholson.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Great White North

After many, many, many days of sub zero temperatures here in Minnesota it finally warmed up to 10 degrees fahrenheit which means ice fishing time! I'm not cool enough to have an ice house. I like to do it old school with a five gallon bucket, a boat cushion and a tub of wax worms which is really just a fancy name for oversized maggots. Ahh, a little slice of heaven. This was pretty much my view for several hours Sunday afternoon.

Connies brother Ken gave me a hand crank auger last year for Christmas but with temps so cold for so long we measured over 21 inches of solid ice base on the lake so we were fortunate enough to borrow his cousins power model. We moved around the lake looking for fish so having to drill a dozen holes by hand would've taken all the fun out of the freezing, sitting, fish guts frozen to your hands, maggot piercing, sun burn but only on the tiny exposed part around your snout, eating jerky and drinking beer experience.

Just how cold is -15 below, the daily hi temp for a day or two last week ( not including wind chill )? Well, it's 47 degrees below freezing. If you took that difference of temprature in the other direction it would be the change between living in an ice cube ( 32 degrees ) and 79 degrees, a nice warm day. It's so cold that I had bought some flavored, carbonated water at the grocery store, opened it up walking out the door, it squirted all over my jacket and by the time I reached my truck in the parking lot maybe 20 - 30 seconds later the drops had frozen solid.

So I'm a big pussy and don't go out to sit on a bucket when it's below zero. Ken ( shown above in the lovely brown Carhart ensamble ) dressed for the occasion and brought his own portable oral heaters. I was so excited about the temp rising I just wore long underwear with jeans and had my gloves off half the time. Here's a picture of the 147 pound walleye I had on the line but got away. Mmmmm, walleye.

Oh Yea, and I turn 39 in about ten minutes.


Have You Seen Me?

Does anyone recognize this woman or the person next to her? She's a designer for a company I wasn't familiar with. I sat across the table from her at the wonderful Scrapbook Adhesives Gala for the World's Largest Scrapbook and they asked if I could take pictures of them looking at the book, particularly of the pages that used their products... I can't find their email address to send them copies. DOH! In all fairness they wrote it on a sheet of scratch paper that was tossed into a suitcase with several other dozen pieces of scratch paper and then was set free to roam around the studio when I returned home. If you recognize this person or their whereabouts please contact me immediately. They could be armed and dangerous.

With the broad range of scrap-aholics that read this blog I figure someone has a lead. Normally I wouldn't give a rip but I ended up taking a dozen nice shots and hate to waste them.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Dr. My Eyes...

Yea, I've still got Jackson Brown on the brain.

Here's three things from last week that were easier to say through a photo. Man it was fun to have the time to take pictures again.

This is at the end of the Santa Monica Pier. It's what LA looked like on this trip. Big, colorful, flashing lights and larger than life - full of blue sky and big ideas. Hopeful with childlike fun and anticipation.

This is what God might have been saying to me, I just wasn't listening for the last year. It took getting some work under my belt and getting it out in the world to listen: No turning back now, you have a green light. Don't hesitate... you have one second to jump off the curb into traffic: GO!

This is what happens when you spend 3 of the last 4 weeks away from home and your wife. You get soft inside, romantic and remembering how good you've got it. Geez I missed her. I don't know what I'd do without her.