Fotoz 2023, Part 4

Well this project has dragged on a while, but is finally done.  The last batch includes our trip California last fall, including the SF Bay Area, the Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, and the PCOC Origami Conference.  All in it was twenty galleries, by far the most for a single year.  Ah well this year will probably be less traveling.  Can’t wait to get back to doing other things tomorrow.  Enjoy!

Fotoz 2023, Part 3

As this crazy world keeps spinning ’round, spring poked its head out then went back into its burrow this week. Saturday was a huge rainstorm, all night and all day. Way upstate and in Vermont they got snow a good foot of snow, and we toyed with the idea of going skiing, but it’s a long drive and an overnight say. Instead on Sunday I took the mustang out for the first drive of the season. It started right up and continues to run well, sounds and feels good, engine brakes transmission and everything.

In musicland, mixing and mastering my new Buzzy Tonic record Plutonium Dirigible is on hold while I turn my attention to mixing and mastering the spacecats record. I’ve made a rough stereo mix of each take, and now it’s on to deciding which is the best take for each song, and if we want to do any edits. More on that soon, I promise.

And, here’s a bunch more photo galleries. This takes thru Florence and Venice and the end of our Italy trip, and on to the rest of the summer and into fall. Up next: California!

Fotoz 2023, Part 2

It feels like spring is really right around the corner.  We had a few arm and sunny days, but surely it will revert to stormy and cold in the days ahead.  Probably not much hope left for skiing.

However, life comes at you fast and it’s time to move forward.  We’ve begun the spring cycle of yardwork, having raked off the old leaves and debris, and panted some new stuff in the flowerbeds.  Good to spend some time outside.  Next weekend hopefully I’ll get the Mustang out on the road.  Meanwhile Michelle is home for spring break, and has been busy baking.

Last week I completed a major project at work.  We migrated the backend our of app Permission Slip from of homespun R&D server hosted on Heroku to CR’s enterprise infrastructure.  This involved alot of people from alot of teams, and alot coordination and development effort.  As the deadline grew near, I ended up quarterbacking alot things just to be sure nothing fell thru the cracks.  In the end, the cutover went smoothly and everyone was very happy with the result.  The Innovation Lab VP Ben said to me that my presence raised our group’s credibility with the organization, which I consider a huge compliment.

Meanwhile in the recoding studio, I finished tracking and mixing Sisyphus Blues, the last song for my upcoming Buzzy Tonic record Plutonium Dirigible.  Now it’s on to final mixing and mastering, and releasing the record sometime this spring.  So watch this space for updates on that.

And not a moment too soon.  This Saturday was the long-awaited recording session for my jazz group Spacecats.  We did a whole album, ten songs, in one day.  All in all, it couldn’t have gone better.  Now it’s on to mixing and editing.  Lots to say about the songs, the session, and how it all came together.  So watch this space for storytelling and updates on that too.

Finally, been busy putting together more fotoz galleries, and have a bunch of new ones to present.  I’m up to halfway thru our Italy trip, which is Rome and Naples.  I usually try to get the year’s fotoz galleries done by the first day of spring, but last year was our biggest travel year by far, so there’s still a ways to go.  We’ll see if I make it.

Fotoz 2023, Part 1

Well it’s that time of year again, when winter is over but spring has not yet begun.  It’s been in the 40’s and rainy pretty much every day the last couple of weeks.  We’re vaguely holding on to hope for one last ski trip, but they got rain in the places nearby. We’d have to go way up to Vermont or the Adirondacks, which would mean an overnight trip.  I guess we’ll see. 

Meanwhile, following on from migrating the web site, and continuing with incremental updates, I’ve been working doing a new batch of photo galleries.  2023 was an epic year of travel and adventure.  I’m up the the halfway point of the year and have completed five galleries, including our trip to Bogota.  I’m midway thru our trip to Italy at the end of July, but there’s tons of pics to go thru.  So look for an update on that coming soon.

The galleries remain password protected. Please contact me if you need credentials.

Fotoz 2022

Well ski season is officially over.  We went one last time last Friday up to Catamount.  There was lots of recent snow, but it had turned warm, so the consistency of the snow was like wet cement, particularly where it hadn’t been groomed.  Then toward the end it started to rain, so that was the end of that.  We did meet up with our friends Seth and Cathy, who have a place nearby, and it was good to catch up and hang out.

Next comes the big push for big springtime, getting the yard in shape, getting the cars serviced, getting the mustang out on the road, and getting on our bikes.  More on that as it develops.

I did manage to get one task done before the end of the winter, and that was to create photo albums for 2022.  You can see them here:

As usual, this site is password protected. Please contact me if you need credentials.

Look Sharp!

Well it looked like spring was right around the corner. Last Friday was a beautiful day and I even went for a bike ride, but then Saturday and Sunday it snowed. No heavy accumulation, but enough to make a mess. Up in Buffalo the girls went skiing this weekend. Down here Jeannie and I decided the ski season was over two weeks ago and packed our stuff away until next winter. Ah well.

Meanwhile, I started a new consulting gig a few weeks ago, with the Digital Lab at Consumer Reports. More on that as the situation unfolds, but so far it’s lots of fun and very cool. It’s an R&D lab working in the space of consumer advocacy, digital rights, and online privacy. The people seem smart, organized and forward thinking. I’m doing a combination of hands-on software development, architecture, planning, design and think-tanking. Only problem is, it takes up all my time. Suddenly I’m very busy all day long, and have to plan ahead to slot in all the things I need to do over the course of a week. Hope it doesn’t cut into my saxophoning too much.

Speaking of which, one project I always do in the late winter is to update my photo galleries for the previous year. Considering there was a pandemic going on, we did a fair amount of traveling, and captured enough pictures for a few nice galleries (at least compared to 2020, when we didn’t go anywhere after February). I started thinking I wouldn’t have much, since we didn’t use the snapshot camera at all. However, everyone takes pictures on their phones nowadays.

As usual, these friends-and-family galleries are password-protected, so contact me if you need credentials. Enjoy!

Fotoz 2020

It’s been a year of mainly sitting around the house waiting for the pandemic to end. As a consequence we didn’t take that many pictures, but at least we got out around the neighborhood a bit, and upstate a couple of times. As always, ping me if you need login creds. Enjoy!

Spain Pics

It seems like everywhere you look these days there’s alot of gloom in the air. Here’s something cheerful: pictures from our trip to Spain last month. As usual, the galleries are under password, so ping me if you want login credentials. Enjoy!

Holiday Cheer

It’s been a busy holidays so far. Our jazz gig last week went really well. The place was packed and the audience included Jeannie and the girls, as well as a whole bunch of friends of our piano player Rich. The place is normally a lunch café, but they did a special five-course dinner. The food looked really great. I had some cake and it was delish.

Musically, we did a bunch of new material including Ornithology and some other standards, as well as some Christmas songs. Probably my favorite was our version of We Three Kings in the style of John Coltrane’s My Favorite Things. All in all a great time. I wish we’d recorded it.

Lots of family and visiting and cooking and baking. The day after the gig we went out to Long Island for a party for Jeannie’s extended family. Then we had a bunch of people over for Christmas Day from Jeannie’s side, and we have another bunch coming for New Year’s. Mostly I’ve just been enjoying slowing down for a little while.

We went upstate to visit my parents after Xmas. My Dad just turned ninety years old, so my Mum had a party for him with lots of great food. They’re both still going strong in mind and body and soul. Wow, just fantastic.

My brother Jim and his family were in town for the occasion. That was really nice because they live in New Mexico and we don’t get to see them that often. My nephew Will has really grown. He’s now fifteen and comfortable hanging and conversing with the grownups.

Martin and his family were there too. His oldest, Charlie, is now eleven and is into origami and folding at a solid intermediate level. He’s also learning saxophone. He and Martin played a few Christmas songs as duets for us, with Charlie on alto and Martin on tenor. He’s sounding really good. Charlie also got a really cool Hot Wheels Mario Cart racing toy/game from Santa and brought it over a set it up.

Some of my uncles and aunts were over from Canada too, whom I haven’t seen in a long time. Good to catch up. I printed out a few copies of a picture to give to my brothers. I took it Hungary and it was a snapshot of a picture that my dad’s cousin Rózsi had. The original picture was of me and my brothers as little kids; I was about five. Rózsi had a whole pile of pictures my grandmother had sent her over the years.

Lizzy came from school the week before Xmas. She has a trial month of Disney Plus, so as part of our program of slacking off we’ve been working our way thru the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe cannon. I’d seen maybe a third of them, and my general impression is that they’re mostly pretty entertaining, particularly the ones with Thor, but kinda silly and overly full of explosions and CG set pieces, and that while any given movie plot is pretty predicable, the overall story arc is nevertheless disjointed and full of plot holes. And of course the obvious problem that they make so many of these movies and they have such huge budgets, that there’s lots of other potentially amazing non-franchise movies out there that never get made. Ah well. If you keep in mind that they’re adaptations of comic books it’s easier to enjoy them on their own terms, including the multi-story sprawl that’s been going on for well over fifty years. And seeing the movies in order makes much more sense.