Sunday, March 4, 2007


Being so new at this, I've spent an inordinate amount of time clicking the "Next Blog" button, trying to find out just what people write in these blog thingies. Despite finding that two out of three clicks bring up something called firmata or someone's foreign language AdSense blog, I have found a couple blogs worth reading. One of those was Wayne Meadows' blog on Memories. His post asked the question, "Do you keep pictures of things that bring back bad memories or do you discard them?" It was a great question and made me realize that I view photographic prints as indisposable - I won't throw even the most mundane photo away. Digital images, on the other hand, are a different story. I delete these in bulk, wiping out dozens with a single keystroke and nary a wave goodbye.

This, of course, raises a good question. Why do I refuse to throw away anything developed on photographic paper? I think it's because I've found a lot of joy studying old photos, and there's a part of me that thinks maybe some day, someone will feel the same way looking through my old snapshots. One hundred years from now, maybe these will serve as some sort of chronicle of my life.

Of course, as is often the case, this answer only raised more questions.

What story will my photos tell 100 years from now? Perhaps I'll scan and post a selection of the photos that are tucked away in my little shoebox someday. Hopefully, someone who doesn't know the whole story behind these pictures will be gracious enough to write my story, so that I can get a glimpse of what someone might think a century from now. In the meantime, let me just tell you a little about some of what the shoe box contains. I'll try to describe these from an outsider's perspective, not with the life experience that goes hand-in-hand with having been present when these photos were taken.

  • Two or three rolls of film showing rolling hills from high above, several people folding up a deflated hot air balloon and a young, mangy me in a tee-shirt that reads "Go Dawgs!"

  • One picture of a brown horse staring straight at the camera surrounded by a thick fog.

  • An 8x10 black and white photo of a bluetick coonhound, laying with one paw draped over an empty Jim Beam bottle, his nose at the at the bottle's opening.

  • A few hundred people standing on a hill side (pictured in many other photos as well, and likely presumed to be the driveway to my childhood home), watching a parade go past on a gravel drive. Three elephants trail a firetruck with a five-piece band aboard (and looking to be playing their instruments, including a string bass, a banjo and a trombone).

  • One full roll of poorly developed (and more poorly shot) film showing a rock and roll band on a distant stage.

  • A handful of school portraits, with kids ranging from approximately 6th grade through high school. Most are girls. Two color portraits are of the same young man. In one his hair is spiked in a mowhawk. In another, it's flat to his head. His name, embossed on the senior portraits, is Scott.

  • A dozen or so photos showing a green pickup truck crashed through the front door of a brick home, plaster and brick dust coating the scene.

  • Several closeups of flower blossoms.

  • Various photos, obviously shot at different times of the year, but showing another brick home from many angles.

  • Photos of my wedding day. Some show hundreds of people standing on the side of a hill while my white-gowned bride and I exchange our vows in a flower garden. And some show me dancing, kissing and holding my bride, but in these she's not wearing her gown. She's wearing blue jeans and a halter top. I'm still in my tux.

  • A man with an Amish style beard, his balding head draped in those miniature streamers and confetti that explode from party favors.

  • Well, there are lots more, and most of them are as disjointed as these. There are a few common subjects, but it's hard to imagine what story someone who didn't know me might put together based solely on these images.

    For now, my wife has convinced me that this post is further evidence of my narcissism, so it's time to stop the music. I'll leave you with this question - what story will your pictures tell 100 years from now?

    Saturday, March 3, 2007

    I am

    It occurs to me that, on the off chance someone is actually bored enough to read this crap, I ought to tell them (you) a little about myself so they can put what they've read into perspective. Having not written much yet, I'm not sure exactly what's going to need to be put into perspective, so I'll keep the background as broad as I can.

    I live in a tiny little town called Zoar (so if you found my blog and came here hoping I was a big fan of some Masters of the Universe action figure, sorry to disappoint). When I say tiny, I mean tiny. There are smaller towns I'm sure, but not by too damned much. Let's put it this way, when my family of four goes on vacation, the population dips by 2%. No stoplights. No gas stations. No grocery stores. Just me and 199 other people. Having grown up on 140 acres of wooded hills, surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of acres of undeveloped land, it has taken me a while to get used to living in the big city village. The town in itself could provide fodder for hundreds of entertaining posts, so I'm sure you'll be reading more about it soon.

    I not only live in Zoar, but I work here too. By trade, I'm an ad guy. I'm the heir apparent to a 35 year old business-to-business advertising agency that is much more successful than one might imagine an ad agency in a town of 200 people could be.

    My wife and I also own another business called The Assembly House. The Assembly House is an online retailer that sells primitive antique reproductions - Decorated Hat Boxes, Redware Plates, Christmas Decorations (including great Belsnickles) and Yellow Ware. We do have a bricks and mortar shop, but it's only open by chance or appointment. Now that we've got that shameless plug behind us, let's move on.

    Other than that, I am:
    a recovering alcoholic
    (mostly) honest
    overbearing (per my wife and stepkids)
    a narcissist (per someone named Amy)
    reasonably intelligent
    a gambler
    a web programmer
    a copy writer
    somewhat agnostic
    a smoker
    the funniest guy I know
    an entrepreneur


    My First Time

    Well, here I am. Staring at this blank box, wondering...what the hell am I doing here? I've thought for years about putting some of my many random thoughts out there on the net for anyone to see. In fact, I've been thinking about it longer than the word 'blog' has been something other than a typo. And so I've finally taken the leap. After teetering on the brink so many times, I finally clicked the button to see those intimidating words - "Your Blog has been created!" Now what? How is it I've had so many thoughts begging to be put in black and white for so long, yet I can't figure out where to start? Perhaps it's that I'm not used to creating and nurturing something over time. When it came to getting married, I had no fear of commitment, but when it comes to projects, fear I do. Messed up, aint it? It's true though. I feverishly apply myself to the project du jour, in hopes of getting it done before something else catches my attention. Because if I so much as glance the other direction, I know I'll never turn my attention back to the project at hand. Which explains the half full garbage bag of clothes waiting to be filled the rest of the way and sent to Goodwill (for one month); the half painted shelves in my attic (for 18 months); the half finished bookkeeping system I created for my company (24 months); and the seedlings that wither and die on my porch each year before I can actually get them in the ground. Ironically, I've set out several times to change that about myself, but each time I've either been discouraged by a lack of progress or I've gotten bored with the whole thing and moved on to something sexier. So will I stick this out? Will I blog religiously for the next 30 years? Will I see the light and finally stick