Monday, December 21, 2009

cell phone pics

Craig was out taking pictures with his nice digital camera, and while I hung around and waited I took some pics of my own. Here is one of them, along with one I took at home and two I took in Chicago when Kristi and I went to visit the Art Institute.  You can probably figure out which is which.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Homemade bread

We got a dutch oven (in the background) that will hopefully provide us with many wonderful loaves like this one! Also, hopefully with less chemical stink. I'm assuming the noxious smell was just because it was the first time this dutch oven had been heated up to 450 degrees...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Glick Humor

Couldn’t help but be reminded of pretty much every Glick’s style of humor when I read this Mutt’s comic for 12/5/09.  Thanks to Patrick McDonnell for many laughs from these wonderful characters!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

typical morning

laptop and latte

This is not an uncommon way to start my day—a latte and a laptop.  Apparently my phone has some issues with focusing when taking pictures.  I’ll have to work on that. =)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Our windows this morning

Feels like winter hit hard yesterday.  When I went to take Kathy to work, I noticed the frost on our breezeway windows and decided to shoot it.

frost bw working

The sun came out so I went down for round 2. 

frost 3 working

frost 4 working

Thursday, November 19, 2009

something new

I was at the Maple City Market today and thought I'd try something new:

Reed's Preimium Ginger Brew - All Natural Jamaican Style Ginger Ale
It's sweetened with honey and pineapple juice, and made with fresh ginger.  The pineapple juice adds a really interesting flavor.
The same company makes Virgil's Root Beer, which is my favorite kind of root beer.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New softbox and light box

I worked on a fun project this week.  On Thursday I had supper with a friend and we were talking about photography.  He is a potter and mentioned that he tries to keep overhead down by doing his own photographs.  Taking pictures pleases me and it’s a lot easier to do if I have a project.  I knew that my sister-in-law makes jewelry which can be a pain to take photos of because they are so reflective.  Pottery and jewelry are pretty similar in that respect. 

So I decided to build a softbox for nice diffuse light.  The light box helps to keep reflections to a minimum.  Whenever you are shooting shiny surfaces you really have to pay attention to what is reflected in those surfaces.  A light box envelopes your entire subject in white, although there is usually a black opening where the camera sticks in. 

Instead of buying these two things, I decided to make my own, which will be much cheaper.  I started out with the softbox.  I purchased a plain old work light with a metal cone.  Then I attached 4 dowel rods with strap, screwing them into the metal cone—you can see the screws sticking through the metal here:

interior up

I also purchased a “daylight” CFL for the light source.  Turns out that it isn’t actually white, but it is close enough that I can easily correct it in Photoshop.

Once the dowel rods were in place, I measured and cut 4 square dowels for the base frame.  I used corner irons to give it some stability.  Then I used the strap to attach the round dowels. 

interior bottom

The bottom of the soft box is just a piece of white cloth that we had lying around, which I stapled to the square dowel.  I decided it would be much easier to staple to square dowel, which is why I went with square over round on the bottom. 

Originally, I was going to wrap the sides with black cloth, but then I decided I needed something shiny to reflect the light down to the big white diffusing cloth.  I thought about cutting the fabric and then attaching shiny fabric or tin foil to the interior, but eventually decided I didn’t really need the black cloth except for looks.  Since I’m the one who has to look at it the most, I decided it wasn’t worth the effort to make it look nice.  I stapled the tin foil to the square dowel and then wrapped it around the sides towards the top.  I left one panel easy to remove in case I wanted to change the light bulb or otherwise get into the interior.

Once I had the softbox finished, I took a couple photos:


This was with a grey backdrop, just a quick photo before I went to bed.  (I have also changed the bulb so now the shadow and white highlight are all but gone, as you’ll see.)

Pottery isn’t as reflective as jewelry.  You have to look close to see where the paper that I was shooting on ends in the photo.  For shiny metal jewelry, you really have to wrap the whole thing in white.  So I decided to build a light box to shoot in.  I took four pieces of foam board and taped them together to make a nice big white box.  I have a fifth piece loose to help with closing the top or side, but I wanted to be able to move my light source.  So here you can see it on the side and on the top. 


With the light on the side, I can shoot down on things like jewelry.  With it on the top, I can shoot things that stand on their own, like Santa Claus. 

whole top

As you can see, the shadows all but disappear with this wonderful combination of softbox and light box:


The pitcher also takes on a little better feel with the light box:

pitcher with light box and softbox

Here is one of Kristi’s pendants that Kathy owns:

ginco pendant

I’m still working out some of the kinks, and need to find a good way to color correct, but I’m pretty happy with the results!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Water drops

I found this video online today and had to share it with you all.  We take some things for granted and don’t realize how strange and beautiful they are. 

Here is a video of a drop of water bouncing into a surface of water.  Really quite fascinating!

Thursday, November 12, 2009 West High Street: Jonathan Reuel: MP3 Downloads

I bought a new single by my brother-in-law Jon!  I was on Amazon and for some reason decided to search for him and his band JRL.  According to the site, it was released in September so I’m a little behind.  5 minutes of song for one dollar!  What a deal!

You can find three JRL albums on Amazon, too. West High Street: Jonathan Reuel: MP3 Downloads

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dishwasher Timer

I’ve been meaning to put this photo up for some time.  Our dishwasher has only been broken for six months…

This is the mechanical timer on our dishwasher, and it doesn’t work anymore.

dishwasher stripped

The little metal bars are switches that control the various modes.  The plastic underneath raises the metal to close the switch, unless of course, the plastic gets completely destroyed.  You can sort of see that several of the raised rims are stripped and “plowed” by the metal.  I might try to get a better picture…

Anyway, we have been hand washing our dishes since this happened.  Maybe I’ll get a new one for Christmas!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Cell Size and Scale

Kathy came across this the other day:  Cell Size and Scale

Every now and then we’ll find things on the interwebs that are just neat.  Drag the slider and delve into the depths of our world.  It’s pretty amazing what we know these days.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pickled Vegetables

On Saturday I canned pickled vegetables. The first picture is the vegetables, cut up and ready to be packed into the jars.
The second picture is some of the packed jars, ready to be filled with brine. The last picture is the finished jars.
Unfortunately, I now need to wait 6 weeks to eat them.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ultimate Club season over

Our Ultimate club season is over. 

Deep breath.  Just in time for the weather to turn colder.  Kathy and I were pretty happy with the season overall.  I think every team will have its issues, but we had plenty of fun this year, and met lots of wonderful people!

And we finished 5th at Regionals (came in as the 10 seed)!

Here they are:

hybrid 2009 2009 regionals

(row 1) Derek, Witham, James, Tom, Scooter, Coach Dave, Maria, Seth, Kathy, Craig, Lucarotti, Paivo, Putman, (row2) Jules, Lucas, Chani, Amish, Sam, Pug, Ashley, High School, Sherri, (laying down) Vic, Stewey, Juggles (reading a book:  Alicia)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Crazy sisters

Here are two crazy sisters with their crazy hats. We can add four eyes to yours, Kim!

Friday, October 9, 2009

New hat

I made myself a new hat last night.

Also, I got a haircut, tho that's harder to see in these pictures.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

new tree!

We have a new tree in the little triangle garden by the side of our house. It seems to have survived transplanting very well - we haven't noticed any drooping or dying leaves. I guess that autumn is a good time to transplant because the tree will spend more energy on roots and less on leaves. We've made sure to give it lots and lots of water (as evidenced by the unsightly hose in the photo).

Many thanks go to our small group, especially Dave and Janine Ostergren, who donated the tree to us in favor of more lawn space at their house. Our whole small group helped us dig up the tree, drive a few blocks, plant the tree, and then eat desserts.

Now I just need to finish painting all the trim on our storm windows and get a replacement pane of glass for the one that's missing...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sore ribs

My ribs have been sore for the last couple of weeks.  And I can finally blog about it. 

Well, I could have blogged about it before, but I was waiting for the video proof and it is finally available. 


You might have to watch a second time to figure out which one is me during parts of the video.  Look for number 42.  Or just look for the guy rolling on the ground.

**Edit** Yes, I was in two collisions in the same game.  I did not play the rest of the day after the second one.  My rib is still sore.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Another Ultimate article

Here is another Ultimate article:

It was published in the Goshen College newspaper.  I don’t remember saying half of those things, although they are definitely the general gist and I could have definitely said them. =)

Monday, August 24, 2009


Not quite Chritmas.

This is a new server for a client. CDW changed their policy and they now charge a hefty sum to prebuild their servers so we are going to try it ourselves. The big box is the chasis while all the little boxes are the components--hard drives, processors, controllers, memory, etc.

I get to open all the little boxes and put them in the big boxes.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Ultimate Summer Leagues are now done for the year. Last week was pretty busy, including 3 summer league tournaments, one of Kathy's sisters visiting, and one moving to Goshen. My team won the championship in Goshen on Tuesday. Saturday didn't go well since our team was missing a few athletic teammates. Also, my hamstrings were tight all day, never loosened up.

They felt much better on Sunday morning. Our team was called White Lightning, and we cruised through the day to the finals. Easy games and a shade tent kept us fresher than black and we pulled out an easy win in the finals!

What a great week! But I'm glad it is over...

Saturday, August 1, 2009


I think there's a bit of fertilizer on the fields at this tournament...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Client issues are my fault?

Kathy recently shared this article with me:

Since I do support for computers, most of these are highly amusing and sadly true. While we don’t write software, we do provide support for software and often run into similar situations. “Many users are lazy, stupid, or lazy and stupid…” My favorite is:

ISSUE #88318
Client Issue:
"your getting than you used to be" (That's the entirety of the message from the client.)

Problem Point:
While it is unclear whether or not this is actually a complaint, what is clear is that the technician's "getting" is in some way different than the technician himself was at some point in the past.

Improvement Goal:
Each technician should take better care of his "getting", to ensure that it stops differing from how the technician used to be. That way, the technician will potentially be praised by the client with the commendation that, "your getting is now exactly the same as you are now". And those are the type of praises that result in raises.

Sandblast was a blast

We went to Chicago last weekend for an ultimate tournament in the sand. This was the first time that I played in the sand, other than just tossing a disc around. It is a lot more work to run and cut and throw! We had wonderful weather as the only storm of the weekend passed just west and south of us. Beautiful weather, flying discs, Ultimate friends...

Plus, we got to spend the evenings with our good friends, Matt and Charlotta! (Don't forget Cassie!) A wonderful weekend! Even though my feet were incredibly sore on Monday.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

eTruth article

Some of you have already seen this, but most of you probably haven’t.  Goshen Ultimate Summer League made the paper.  You can read the article here:  I am getting a few extra copies of the paper, too.

I’m still amazed at the turnout we have had.  Everyone seems to be having a good time and to be learning the sport.  There’s nothing like looking across a field of 80 people playing a sport you love and realizing you had a big hand in bringing them all together.  Humbling, warm fuzzy feelings…  (and thanks to everyone who helped!)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Orsini sized box

He's cute in smaller boxes, but we finally found an Orsini sized box!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Camp Luz Benefit shirts

Kathy worked her magic again. She decided to make shirts for the Camp Luz benefit Ultimate tournament that we are going to this weekend. Bookfinders is my cousin Maynard's company. We'll get to play with him, and my brother Dave, and some other folks, too. Should be a good time. I'm looking forward to it!

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Time lapse cleaning

One of the things I have been meaning to try with my new camera:  time lapse videos. 

My office has been a mess and getting messier.  But I knew that besides cleaning it up, I wanted to move things around a little.  Kathy wanted a little space to work with her Wacom tablet, and the previous setup didn't work out so well. 

It seemed like a perfect opportunity to try out time lapse videos.  Watch the video and let me know what you think!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Am I really unsubscribed?


I signed up for an Ultimate rules list serve, where people can post questions about the rules and other members will answer them.  I was only on for a week before I got annoyed and quit the group.  Ironically, it was another Craig that rubbed me the wrong way.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


We had our first Goshen Ultimate Summer League last night. We had a night of pickup so we could meet some new people, and then we came home and split up the players. As you can see, there were quite a few people signed up: 6 teams of 16 or 17.

We are quite excited about the turn out!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lebron leads to awesome text conversation


Kathy and I were watching the Cavs last night.  After blowing another big lead and going down 2 with only one second left, I received this text from my friend:

Cavs choke???? Denver-orlando in the finals???? Blasphemy!

I wrote back:

Pssh. One second left on my tv!

I had been pausing and rewinding so I jokingly wrote this, figuring he had already seen the end of the game.  But apparently not.

No sooner than I sent that text, I watched Lebron make the game winning three from the top of the arc.  I was even more surprised than most because as I said I thought my friend had already seen the end of the game. 

I called my friend to rub it in and found out that he had switched over to check in on the Cubs game.  He turned back to the Cavs to see everyone jumping around.  He missed it for the Cubs.  Take that!

Kathy kept rewinding and rewatching.  Lebron is calling it "the biggest shot I’ve made in my career."  Instant classic.  Apparently people in Cleveland want to call it "the shot" to try to forget Michael Jordan defeating the Cavs with the shot over Craig Ehlo.

I'm just glad I got to watch it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Summer plans

If you any of you have been curious what we are up to, check out  We are starting an Ultimate summer league here in Goshen.  We'll still be playing in South Bend, and occasionally making the trip up to Kalamazoo.  Should be a fun summer. 

As if that is not enough Ultimate, we are also joining a traveling team out of Ann Arbor, which is about 2.5 hours north east of Goshen.  We're excited about the teams prospects, for fun as well as competitiveness. 

Oh, there's a picture of me laying out on the Goshen Ultimate website.  Pretty sweet--and staged.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ultimate in the news

Bonnie Tsui has a nice article about Ultimate in the NYTimes, mainly focusing on women in the sport.

Monday, April 27, 2009

UPA coaches

Look what Kathy and I got in the mail the other day!


We are now officially certified UPA coaches!  It may seem silly but for a growing sport (any sport, for that matter) it is important to have training and accountability for those teaching the game to younger ones.

I don’t know that we’ll explicitly use it this year, although we are starting a summer league and leading a women’s clinic in about a month.  I am also going to help starting an official Goshen College team next year.  Should be a fun year ahead.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Camera toy--DYI-style

I finally got around to my little DIY project. I took a Pringles can, glued on a camera body cap so that I could attach it to my new camera, and then stuffed an old manual lens into it. Here is an image of the tip of a Dremmel bit. Below you will find a quick snapshot of the actual size...

As you can see, we're talking serious magnification. I also discovered that I need to purchase a remote shutter release. If I just peeked through the viewfinder things were steady, but as soon as I touched the shutter release on the camera, it started bouncing all over.
I'll try to get a picture of the Pringle lens itself, but I'm not sure where the other camera is...
Up next is a flash extender for the on-camera flash. It'll bounce the flash down onto the very close magnification to help with lighting and camera shake.

Front Flower Beds.

We took the opportunity of a beautiful day yesterday to work on our flowerbeds.  We got quite a bit done and they look great, although they will look better in a couple weeks when the new and split plants grow up.

I decided to take some pictures to share.  I just quickly snapped three photos and figured I would try Windows Live Photo Gallery's panorama feature (panorama test of our Florida vacation).  Here's what came out:

house Stitch

Our house seemed a little narrow, sans door.  So I put it into Photoshop and used their automerge feature:

house automerge

Um, wow.  These results are even worse.  So I decided to just manually put them together.  The blending isn't that great; I didn't really spend any time on it.  It does give a better idea of what our house actually looks like:

house manual