All posts by Matthew

Portrait of Uganda


Portrait of Uganda
Originally uploaded by blonboy

On the very last day we were in Africa we decided to explore a little bit and walk around the facility where we were staying. It was a very very good glimpse into the everyday lives of the Ugandan people. Regardless of their circumstances – these were happy individuals. As we headed up one particular hill making our journey back ‘home’, we encountered a brother and sister happily playing in the ‘street’ (all the roads in this area are dirt roads). When they saw us approaching they watched with intense curiosity. When I pointed the camera at the little girl she got a little shy and gave me this phenomenal expression.

Africa photos here.

The new generation

Remember back when we were growing up, you had the ‘Generation-X’, or “Gen-Xers” and we also had Generation-Y ?  Well, i think im going to go out on a limb and guess that I may be the first to dub our current generation.  Im going to call them “Generation-E”.  Perhaps it would only be apropos to call them the “eGen” in todays lingo of all things “e”, but thats actually not why I prefer to call them Gen-E’s.  Yes, it is true that todays youth THRIVE on E-lectronic gadgets of all kinds.  And yes, its part of the reason why i like to call them the Gen-E’s.  They all have cell phones, and iPods, little electronic gaming devices, bluetooth, blackberry……it goes on and on.  The real reason however that I am going to call todays youth Generation-E is because of one thing – ENTITLEMENT.  I mean COME ON!!  Ive been giving this quite a bit of thought lately and i wondered if our parents felt the same way about us but you know, i really dont think they did.  I know for a fact that I wasnt ANYTHING like todays youth when I was growing up.  I know times and trends change but my goodness you cant tell me that manners and a genuine respect for your fellow man doesnt exist anymore.  Perhaps it does.   I just kind of feel like that if I get ONE MORE of those “YOU OWE ME” facial expressions from someone im going to choke them.  We’ve ALL experienced the driving aspect of it.  You know, the ones that think you OWE it to them to allow them into traffic or how about the ones cutting clear across the parking lot and gape at you in utter disdain because you got in THEIR way?  I was leaving a Starbucks yesterday and saw a couple of young girls getting out of their SUV (im sure they worked hard for it), and walked directly behind a car that was backing out of a parking place.  These girls didnt even give the car a 2nd look.  Im 100 percent CERTAIN they knew the gentleman was backing out because they parked right NEXT to him as he was preparing to leave.  Oops I forgot – he OWED it to them.   I was at a doctors appointment a week or so ago and was sitting there engaged in a magazine when a good looking family came in and sat down across from me.  The kids iPod was turned up so loud i felt the urge to stand up in my seat and hold up a lighter.   I think what really finally got to me was what happened last night.  Following a photography meeting, i went to dinner with a buddy of mine so we could talk some business.  We found a wing place close by and since it was already late the place was pretty much empty besides one other couple.  So my buddy and I start cranking out our business and a group of about 5 young men come in and order.  As a guy, i know how this bonding thing goes – its natural to be loud and carry on – THAT i could deal with.  What absolutely put the nail in the coffin for me was when one of them decided to pace back and forth around the entire restaurant having a very loud cell phone conversation.  I just wanted to take that crookedly placed ball cap on his head and shove it down his throat.  I dont OWE you my personal space so that you can completely invade it with your inane conversation.  I dont know….(takes a deep breath)…..  Im just sick and tired of the “ME” mentality that is so predominant in our society these days – and hey, its not just the eGen youth (although a large portion of it), its a lot of folks.  Im sure ive had those days too where by goodness it WAS all about me.  Perhaps at the very least i didnt think you owed it to me.  Or did you?

What we knew all along…

My wife (the water engineer), has been telling me forever that tap water was better for us.   Something about FDA or EPA  standards CBS, GPS, FICA – whatever……  Basically that its just a lot of hype.  Well, we finally know now that she was right. 

Perhaps its psychosomatic, perhaps i just WANT to believe it tastes better, but i gotta admit – i love bottled water.   If for nothing else, i love it because its just plain convenient – and better for you than most other sugared down drinks.


Starbucks Nirvana

I never thought it would really be possible to O.D. on Starbucks.   I know, you’re asking yourself – “hey, id at least like to try – where can i do that?”.  Well, that would be here in Seattle.  Im up here for the week attending a conference for work.  The city alone has just under 300 starbucks stores….  Something like 287.   Nevertheless, as you can imagine its all over the place.  As there are attendees from all over the world here at the conference, perhaps its just the thing to do to have BARRELS of the stuff available at all hours of the day.  I gotta say tho with some of the topics Im having to endure – coffee is mandatory.  Dont get me wrong, everyone (at least everyone I know) loves Starbucks – I love Starbucks.  Especially FREE Starbucks.  Im not kidding, we are all just shy of having seattle’s finest hooked up with an IV.  Somewhere around 4:30pm yesterday as I was listening to the limitations of Ellipsoids and coordinate transformations I took one long last tug from a tall, black mug.  As  I swallowed the colombian richness I realized I couldnt take one more drink.    Oddly enough, here I am this morning bleary eyed and tired writing this post……. ready to give anything for a hot mug of the stuff……Where’s that IV?…………and if you picked up on the Nirvana inference………….good for you.

Wysteria-2 Matthew-0

Here at the end of February as we are on the verge of spring, I thought i would take advantage of a particularly warm day and trim the Wysteria.  If any of you read the post below where I fell off the top of a ladder while trimming the Wysteria LAST time – you know that im a little hesitant to try this again.  This time around I figure I’ll make it easy on myself and use a polesaw.  Basically this is a mini chainsaw that helps one prune hard to reach branches.  Im thinking that I’ll get all the really high stuff out of the way then the rest will be easy.  Again, I clambered up the ladder to do some cutting.  I grabbed a branch about an inch or more in diameter and with chainsaw in hand, revved it up and brought it down.   Perhaps it was the fact that the branch was flexible, or perhaps it was that my left hand holding the branch was too far away, but all the sudden the chainsaw started bouncing up and down on the branch and the next thing i know it twisted a little bit and made a bee line for my hand holding the branch…..ZZZZZzzzz…….ow.   Yup….. took a nice little chunk of my finger, thumb, and knuckle.  A tetanus shot and several stitches later, im still losing.

Maybe i need to use the full size chainsaw and start at the BOTTOM.

the cut

Change is good….I think.

Well, i dont want to say that SPAM won, but I was getting so much spam on my blog that I had to change the way my blog was handled.  Henceforth, you see the new look.  Might take me awhile to get used to it, but here goes nothing…..

The photo you see at the top was taken by me in the Great Smoky Mountains during a trip I took with my mother in the past year.  The weather was cool but it was pretty overcast.