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Road Trip Snacks

Posted by on Feb 9, 2014
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A few months back I wrote about the challenge of finding things I can stick in the car or camera bag to carry for when I ‘m out in the middle of nowhere and need a quick bite to eat. At that time, I was evaluating some of the “no refrigeration needed” breakfast drinks like Ensure, and to be honest, I found them more or less undrinkable. The challenge — I want things I can keep in the car without refrigeration, so they’re there when I want them without having to plan ahead. I want something I can carry in my...

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Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival 2014

Posted by on Jan 30, 2014
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I’m back from the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival. I’ve been trying to sync this into my schedule for three years now and finally did; it’s the first time I’ve participated in a festival like this. For those that don’t know what I’m talking about, birding festivals let birders get together in a region to share information and go out and birdwatch with the local experts. Many are single day events, the bigger ones can go on for 3-4 days. They can be an interesting way to meet people, explore new areas and see...

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Looking forward into 2014

Posted by on Jan 1, 2014
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Where will 2014 take me? To be honest, I don’t know. I have some plans, but I also expect those plans to change. Mostly it’s about getting started, then iterating until I’m happy with them. There was a time when I was a serious planner-of-things. I couldn’t get started until I could figure out where the end was and I knew the path to get there. The end result of that is too often lots of planning and not so much actual stuff to point at. It’s taken me some time to learn to be comfortable with going and course...

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Looking back at 2013

Posted by on Dec 31, 2013
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2013 was a fascinating year for me, on balance one of the best years I’ve survived in the last decade. It was also a year of transitions. My photography has been in transition. In 2013 I shifted my wide angle work from Canon to Fuji, and so far, I really love the result. Beyond that, though, my work in general has been shifting from trying to take good and interesting images to trying to take good and interesting images that help to tell a story or share something with the viewer. Conceptually a simple change, in reality, the devil is...

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Birding in 2013

Posted by on Dec 29, 2013
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It looks like my birding year is more or less done, I don’t expect to get out and do any significant birding until the new year. My year list closes at 191 species, highest since 2010. A small number for many birds (it looks like the big year record has just been broken at an unconfirmed 746 species) but it’s about where I expect my birding to end up. I’m not a birder that chases rarities — twitch — or go out of my way to build the list count; I tend to return to a smaller number of locations because I enjoy...

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Planning forward…

Posted by on Oct 31, 2013
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The project at work moves forward; we shifted D-day from thursday to tuesday to make sure some server/cloud gremlins that have cropped up are properly dispatched. My task list has one more item outlined in red, and then I’m into the downhill run. But still, it’s mostly occupying my time and my brain. I have been doing some planning with Laurie about the next year. Everything is up for change, but it’s nice to have a general idea of plans for trips and outings where we can.  The first trip out to the refuges is this...

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Why I retired from writing fiction….

Posted by on Oct 30, 2013
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I get this question every so often, and I just ran across a blog post by Walter Jon Williams that wonderfully explains why I chose to stop writing fiction — almost 20 years ago (how time flies when you’re having fun…). He’s re-issued his novel The Rift as an ebook, and he talks about the environment that book was published in.  I ended my trip in Chicago at the World Fantasy Convention, where the fact of the collapse of the IDs, and the loss of paperback sales, were just being felt by the writers.  There was...

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NHL Season Predictions 2013

Posted by on Oct 2, 2013
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Time for my annual comedy piece, in which I make predictions about which teams will do well and which ones won’t in the upcoming hockey season. I have been doing this for more than 20 years, lockouts being the exception, and I’ll keep doing it until I actually get one mostly right, I guess. This year we have realignment, which changes a lot of traditional rivalries; there’s a new playoff qualification structure, and we have a new, balanced schedule where every team plays home and home with every other team (finally). I could...

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Is the end of fighting in hockey near?

Posted by on Oct 2, 2013
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Status quo not acceptable for fighting rules – Cross Checks Blog – ESPN: The NHL’s all-time winningest coach has seen it all in his day, and he agrees with Steve Yzerman that something has to be done to curb fighting in the sport. All of a sudden there is a groundswell of opinion among people within hockey — people who can make the change happen — that it’s time for fighting to stop. This decision is overdue, frankly. It’s hard to take seriously a league that is trying to stop players from hitting...

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Northwest Wines

Posted by on Sep 27, 2013
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As I’d mentioned in the road trip notes, when in Astoria we always stop by Cellar on 10th and basically beg them to put together a case of stuff they like that we don’t know to ask for. By now, some of the case is new vintages of old favorites, but some of it is always new to us and part of the exploring of the Northwest Wine industry. Cellar on 10th really know Northwest wines, and they work with a lot of the smaller wineries, and those wineries give them access to wines that normally aren’t sold except on the winery premises....

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