Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How's this for a real causal effect

TNT channel has a new series centered around organ transplants.
http://www.upmc.com and the TNT site.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Current events

I am heading in a different direction professionally. I have two photographers looking over my portfolio and am thinking about moving whole heartedly towards being a pro photog. Another local pro has offered me a 1/3 partnership. We will talk about this in more detail Friday morning.

I also got a call from "C" (you can see her picture here http://www.flickr.com/photos/oneaday2007/513681626) her daughter is an up and coming photog and she wanted to know if I could offer any guidance. Of course I will!

One of the things the recipient gets is TIRED. He naps for a few hours every afternoon and I think he's getting a full night's sleep. But after 3 months, he can do more things, but it really saps the energy. We worked together today on a workbench in the new garage. I could see him struggling with the tools and with his strength. While it's better than is was 6 or 12 months ago, it's tough to see him like this.

I put up a new link down on to the right, but here it is anyway http://transplantheadquarters.blogspot.com there are many thing organ donation related on here. I haven't gone to far into it, but it's a plethera of info.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Bro

It's my brothers birthday and I want to wish him a happy one!

Melancholy funk

Much has happened over the past 7-10 days. I won't bore you with the normal details....if you're lucky.

I finished my first professional photo portfolio a few weeks ago. I culled through all of 2006 (35,000 images) to pull my 50 favorite shots. Currently I have two professionals reviewing it, one on each coast. When I get my reviews back, I will share with you all the....results.

The wife, kids and I took our first official family vacation together last week. Suffice to say, it wasn't without it's issues. We went to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to see the treasures of the Pharaohs. I have been planning it since the fall of 2006. We left a few minutes late on Wednesday....well if 240 minutes would be considered late. We also stopped in Gettysburg during a rain storm. Making it to our hotel in NJ, we eventually made it to the Franklin Inst. at 10 the next morning for our ticketed time slot. As we entered, the tickets were found out to be FOUR months old. When I purchased them, it was on Feb 12. The time/date was Feb 14 not June 14th. DAMN. I was in tears. I had been planning this trip so long and they wouldn't let us in. I had to buy tickets again, if they were available. Luckily they were and to the Franklin Inst. honor, they allowed us to purchase at a membership price rather than the normal price so that saved us a few dollars....

Saturday was the end of soccer. It was a long and very satisfying 12 weeks of soccer. My idea of an adult league was a resounding success. They will all be playing in pickup games through the summer.

The stick and ball season is almost done. The final record will be something like 14 losses and zero wins.

Grade reports came back last week too. Mostly even. A few improvements. My plan of using a cell phone for a reward wasn't enough. They studied only when they would get something now, not in the future.

We moved the recipients....stuff....from the old garage and it now FILLS the new smaller garage. I have moved some of the same exact items, three times now. Some of that stuff has been touched three times in four years. Only when it's moved. There's gonna be a big ass yard sale someday. Sell it, toss it or leave it. I'm not moving it again.

We started cleaning the 2nd floor of the new house. It's disgusting. The former occupant smoked and the previously white walls are GRAY with smoke.

I got to over hear the recipient talking to a former neighbor regarding his current health. He says he feels good. Unfortunately, he isn't following all of the doctors guidelines. But for the most part, his he only suffers from some tiredness. His energy level isn't what it used to be. He also has lost the feeling in the three fingers of his left hand. It' the same issue as before, but after shock therapy....?.... nothing has changed so we can probably expect that is the payment for a new liver.

We have to be out of the current rental the end of this month and we are nowhere close to packed or the new place prepared for us to move in. Then again, the recipient and his spouse are using all the boxes we need to pack. Not only that, but all their stuff is in the living and dining rooms as well as the kitchen. So we don't have a place to put our living room, dining room or kitchen stuff. Basically, I am sure it will go as it did two years ago. my wife and the recipients spouse will call the shots and I will have to deal with it.

I love my life, I just wish I enjoyed it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Quote Of The Day

“…If you talk to a guy in the Apple Store, you already know he's going to be modern and up-to-date and sober. It's healthier than picking up someone in a bar.” - unknown Apple store customer

Monday, June 11, 2007

Not what we like to hear


A woman working for Tennessee Apparel wanted to donate a kidney to a distant relative, sort of. But the company won't keep her job available if she donates. Because the surgery is an elective, they don't have to follow the FMLA.

Now, when I first read this, I was a bit concerned about it. But after reading the article, she is also the
sole financial provider for the family. Strike one. She has three kids, that apparently get sick often. Strike two. The third strike for me is thinking about the lack of care she nad her immediate family will get during her recovery. Sure, organ donation is important, but she and her family is too.

This is just one fo the issues facing everyone that is a living donor, what happens after I donate.

A new era

Over the past week to two weeks, I have been coming up with something of a new plan for my professional career path. Flash back to last summer when the recipient was really sick, we (actually just me) were thinking that if the recipient did pass away, we would fast track it back to the Great State of WA. Come fall, I was offering a slab of my own liver. Last November, I wasn't able to donate. This winter (February) the recipient received a liver. Spring=change, and we bought a house here north of Pittsburgh, thus securing our medium term stay, extending the 5 years that we (again, probably just me) would give Pittsburgh......sigh

Now, given my wifes penchant for being in a constant state of chaos, we are getting ready to move into said house. The recipient and spouse have most of their stuff in the house, and the flooring and paint is supposed to be going in. When I say "in the house" that's literally. The dining room and living rooms are FULL of their stuff. Both floors also have to be replaced so we will be doing a lot of move everything there, then move it again then move it AGAIN. Something I loathe!

So, that effectively brings you current.

The new era.....I would really like to head in the direction of a photography. Really! I would. Our new house has an out building that could server as an office/SMALL studio. I mean REALLY small studio. I also got a shot of hope from a Canadian web site that focuses on social change. You can see their images here http://www.photosensitive.com. Last month I was also reading about NGO's, otherwise known as Non Governmental Organizations. BIG non profits that are about bringing about the betterment of the world, one country at a time. The photographers that work for the NGO's are usually contract photogs. In some cases they are actually staff employees, but not often.

Right now I am in the discovery phase of the process. After I do my research, I will take the information I learn and to move forward by creating a non profit foundation/organization. File for the 501(c)(3) tax status. That will put me in the position of being able to request tax exempt donations from large corporations and individuals that might be sympathetic to organ donation and it's various associated causes. Right now, my cause is commendable, but I can honestly say, being successful puts me into the position of sacrifice that frankly, I am not prepared to perform. I don't mind working hard, but there has to be a payoff. My family can't eat off great pictures of organ donors. If I can actually pull a salary as a photographer, then putting 110% into this cause can then actually create some change. To wit there are 96,667 people waiting for organs this afternoon.

I have another photographer friend of mine that has offered to pull me in as a 1/3 partner. That should bring is some weddings and perhaps some team and individual portrait jobs next spring/summer. It's a tough gig to work full time on the weekdays, then shoot weddings and sports on the weekends. That's where I am not willing to sacrifice quite yet. The kids are young and I am involved, so I an staying on the side of caution before I jump headlong in to the mosh pit.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Yeah, I am that good

Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time with my kids. For those of you that know me, you know my standing on them, their activities and my devotion.

Last week, one of my offspring asked for a sleepover. No problem. Then another friend was added. Soon, the sibling wanted in on the action. That too, resulted in another friend.

Before long, we went from one sleeping over to EIGHT.

I had planned for dinner at a certain time and things weren't going too well. Food=good, timeliness=bad.

No matter, this is what I live to do. Cook, entertain and make people happy. I watched the kids hang out and chat. Then they asked to head to the store across the street.

As dinner was served and eaten, I really relished in the moment. So much so that my wife noticed that I was probably glowing and called me "super dad". I was the happiest I had been in quite some time. They wanted to go to ice cream and I offered up some cash for those that weren't prepared. (I even got change back)."Sure, but be careful." (I also WORRY, A LOT). They all headed off, over the hill. It was really a neat sight to watch the group as they mingled, jockeyed for position and really got along. My kids included.

After the ice cream was eaten, the kids got a bit restless. One of my claims came out with a water balloon and the war was on! I even let them throw water balloons from the upstairs bathroom window. (I did laugh thinking that "mom" would nave never allowed that!)

Looking back, I got to see, and really pay attention to the inner workings of boys, girls, and boy-girl relationships. It was just so neat to watch and be privy to what happens.

Later that night, they were all down in the theater hanging out. It's the only room where you can put your feet up, eat and hang out on the furniture. Yeah, it's cool!

Anyway, they were playing a game and I got to play too. Being near 40 and getting accepted (to a certain level) by your children's peers, is a pretty big coup. I work very hard at letting all of them know my expectations. I don't mince words and I treat all of them with respect. I also am very adamant in that I expect some respect in return.

Forward to last night......I was at a sporting event with one of my kids. It is near the end of the season and the overall record is so far past dismal, it's beyond sad. No wins and really no close games. No matter, the kids are still playing.

I noticed that the opposing team was similarly matched in skills. Something we haven't experienced this season. All the other teams play year round, or the coaches are effectively a$$holes and winning is the only option. Those coaches like to know they walked away from a game that the score is 2 to 26. Class acts I tell you.......but pull the "Cl" and you know what you get.

So, two of our coaches were absent this game. So me being the one to take advantage of a situation, I pretended to be a coach. I did what I do naturally.

Recognize the talent.
Challenge the mind.
Motivate the heart.

I spoke encouragement. I challenged the kids. I made a few changes with their bats and how they hold the grip. It worked. Some got hits that normally don't. Many got on base. And several scored.

Sure, the team was better. But we...THEY scored 11 runs. Three times anything they had scored before. On several occasions, a player said they liked being ENCOURAGED.

While it wasn't just me, the other coaches were more encouraging too and they actually coached, where I just tried different things. But I did something different. I spoke to the players DIFFERENTLY. I treated them with respect. I think they responded positively to that.

Sure we lost, but they had fun doing it and enjoyed the game. I know it was the best one I had watched.

We have several more games left in the season, all against very good teams. Hopefully, they can play as well these next few games as they did this last one. But I suppose it might also depend on if I can be in a position that I was last night.

I know it wasn't because of me. But I know I was part of it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I would like to congratulate my brother and his wife on the birth of their child yesterday.
Pretty cool to have another one in our family, hopefully I will see her before she graduates from high school.

Friday, June 01, 2007

More time wasters

For those that use Google maps, or for those that don't.
This site has some funny issues with the new version (addition) of Google's Street View.

Opinionated cynic


Several things need to blogged today, but I am diverting from the important to allow myself some therapy. Bear with me.

We...er..."I" signed on the line of death, sold my soul, determined my (short term) destiny and bought a house last week. Last Friday actually. I still claim it was under duress so to speak. Regardless, I took one, two (and more) for the team. Even though the team consists of two chiefs and a handful of Indians. I feel like we're headed into Wabash and I just hope it doesn't turn into another St. Claire's defeat. Although the Indians were victorious in that one. Maybe I feel more like St Claire.......

While I am not great at anyone thing, I am pretty good at many things. Yesterday, I prototyped a cover for a robotic arm. Then I picked up the camera to take a picture of it for a marketing campaign.
Last week, when getting everything packed for phase 1 of the move, I fit nearly the whole house in a 26 foot U-Haul, with some room to spare. While not something you put on the resume, I was pretty damn proud of the job I did. Then the wife and I unloaded it in about three hours. Just the two of us. A great time I tell ya.

I won't go into any detail of the garage, but those of you that lived through the first move in '03, it isn't any different, but possibly worse. How many broken riding lawn mowers should one person own? For gosh sake, throw something away would ya?! Look, there's the top (side, part, crank, whatever) of a '49 make-a-name-up-here-cuz-it-ain't-made-anymore manufactured somethingorrather.

Me: "Um...do you have any other parts to make it work?"

Him: "Well, no, but it's a classic (top, side, part, crank, whatever) of a '49 make-a-name-up-here-cuz-it-ain't-made-anymore manufactured somethingorrather."

Me: (to myself) "That's......just.....really nice........"

Okay, so I told you the details. Oops.

Keep it moving, there's nothing to see here folks.

I have a good mind for small project management and a decent analytical skill set. It's never been truly tested in a professional setting, so perhaps my analytical skills are more "opinions" versus true skills. Just don't ask my wife.

We are in the early throes of phase 2 of the move.

The new house needs some cleaning. A smoking renter lived there and the carpet in the whole second floor needs to be replaced or deep cleaned. The attic/3rd floor also needs to be gutted floor to ceiling. The main floor is livable but the bedroom needs flooring. The carpet was removed (old and ugly) and we have been waiting for someone to make a flooring color decision.

......................waiting...........................waiting..........................waiting.............................still waiting................................(guess)................................

I started to write this post this morning then got side tracked with other things. It's amazing how time will cool the creative mind.