Archive: July 2008   |   View all recent posts

Friends with Talent ~ Gene Sulek
WHAT: Personal   |   WHEN: July 8, 2008
Contrary to the images I plaster all over this place, this blog is not all about me. Sometimes I need to share the love and throw a little spotlight on people with talents I only wish I had. One of those people is Gene Sulek. Gene's always been a special person in my book because he was the person to hire me for my first real job at Texas Instruments after I graduated from Ohio State. (Unfortunately being a college student at the greatest university in the world - or at least in Ohio - wasn't cutting it as a "a full-time job"). To this day, I still consider Gene the best boss I've ever had because he was more than a 'boss' - he was more of a coach and a mentor and a friend, and it was obvious he cared for the people that worked for him. I suspect some people work their whole career and never have a boss like Gene. Oh, and did I mention that he designed the Speak and Spell? Uh huh, without Gene, ET would still be hanging out with Elliot looking for a way to phone home.

Fortunately for Gene and unfortunately for me, he retired from TI just over 2 years after I started there. We've kept in touch over the years, and he even invited me down to stay with him and his wife Alice for a few days a couple years ago for a professional mentoring/coaching session... free of charge. How great is that? Every once in a while I'll jokingly ask him when he's coming back to TI and his response is usually something like, "I don't think I'll be back in the office next week." I wouldn't necessarily say retirement is agreeing with him because he seems more busy now than ever with personal projects, but he seems to be loving it, and I couldn't be happier for him.

Gene's also one of those people that's just crazy talented and determined to achieve excellence in whatever he does. He doesn't ever seem to do anything just 'okay'. Take painting, for example. Not all that long ago he started doing more painting, and just the other day he emailed me and attached some samples, and I was like, "Great googily moogily! These are fantastic!" I asked him if he had a website, and he indicated he's going to start working on one shortly. Until then, enjoy his work here.

Thanks, Gene, for all you've done for me and so many others. You're truly a role model for me an someone I hope to emulate when I grow up.


Congratulations Trace & Kristie!
WHAT: Weddings   |   WHEN: July 7, 2008
I'll have more images to show later this week, but I just got back from Bismarck, North DakOHta where I photographed the wedding of my friends Trace & Kristie. It was a little nerve-racking on my end since this was my first wedding as the primary (and only) photographer, but other than a few travel hiccups and an AWOL flash synch cable, I think it went great. Such a fun time, and Trace and Kristie really are fantastic together as you'll see in an upcoming post.

In the meantime, as I was downloading all the images, I thought this one below was killer. I love the American Gothic feel it has.

Thanks again, Trace & Kristie! Congratulations & God bless!


More California
WHAT: Travel   |   WHEN: July 2, 2008
Here's a collection of random images from the rest of my weekend in California. Enjoy!

There were several wildfires in parts of CA that helped create this hazy scene near sun down. Notice the deer drinking water in the lower right part of this image. To cool.

A few shots from Sausalito on the other side of the Golden Gate

And here's a few from our lunch down on Murphy Avenue in Sunnyvale during the Farmer's Market on Saturday.

Here's my mom. She just celebrated her 60th birthday. Can you believe that? All weekend her friends couldn't believe that I was her son. They thought we were brother and sister. Great for her... not so great for me.

And finally a few more from our jaunt over to Half Moon Bay for dinner on Saturday night.

My mom saw this and we thought this was pretty ironic.

Ahhh... another cool 'N'


Into the Woods
WHAT: Travel   |   WHEN: July 1, 2008
My mom and I put on our hiking gear (which basically means I put on some khaki colored cargo shorts) and headed just north of the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods. Man, these were some taaaaall trees, in some cases 260+ feet. Very majestic and kinda like being amongst a pack of old, gentle dinosaurs. So peaceful.

I love the 14-24mm lens for these types of situations.

This poor little guy seemed a little lost and kept making whimpering calls for his mom as he stood near the pathway we were on.

Yeah, I passed on the sip of water...


WHAT: Travel   |   WHEN: July 1, 2008
I was out in Sunnyvale, CA this weekend visiting my mom, and one of our stops while out cruising around was to see the Apple corporate headquarters just a couple minutes away in Cupertino. I'm still not sure how my mom has lived in California for a year now and never once mentioned, "Oh, by the way, did I tell you I'm 10 minutes away from Apple?" Hello?

I was a bit in awe about the whole thing... I felt like a six year old walking into Chuck E. Cheese for the first time. For a few minutes all was right in the world. It was a bit surreal to finally see the place that has effectively hypnotized me into willingly and eagerly handing over my future children's college funds just to have the latest, shiniest, coolest gadget with an Apple logo on it. I'm not ashamed to admit it... Apple has brainwashed me and I'm proud of it. I've been a card-carrying member of the Mac cult for 12 years now, and I'm pretty sure I bought the lifetime membership. If Apple announced tomorrow they were making washers and dryers, I'd be in line to pick a pair up when they came out because I'm sure they'd find some way to make it cool where I'd want to do laundry.

And here's the mother ship where all things cool are dreamed up.

We found some trash cans around back, so after the security guard drove outta site I went on a quick reconnaissance mission hoping to find a few iPhone spares or maybe a couple MacBook laptops thrown out with dixie cups from the water cooler. No such luck, but I did find a third of a pastrami on rye sandwich, so it wasn't a complete loss.

We went into the company store and I pulled up my flickr account photos on the Apple TV and HD display they had set up in the store before we exited stage right. I was hoping Steve Jobs would swing by, see the photos and want to book a session. No phone calls yet, but I think he might have been out of the office today, so hopefully he'll call tomorrow. Here's a quick photo I snatched with my iPhone.

Stay tuned for more images from our travels in CA.


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