Canadians Love Bits.


My New Orleans travel journal is done. It’s not proofread yet; that’s a lot of work. We learned a lot of awesome things in New Orleans, but most important is this: Gangstas do what they want, suckas do what they can.


Camping was awesome.

For some reason Wendy and Amelia had the entire tick population of Minnesota in their tent, and we had none. There were plenty of mosquitos, and I discovered the largest spider in human history lurking between the slats on the table where we were playing cards (prompting lots of screeching and running away before we figured out how to get rid of it), but otherwise it was great. We kayaked on a lake and a river, did some hiking, and I started knitting a bass.


You can tell from this picture how delayed spring was this year… we had no shade because there weren’t leaves on the trees yet. Now we’ve moved onto summer already, which is fine for my garden. I think everything grew a foot in the last week.


I’m very very pleased with my order from ScanCafe.  I decided a few weeks ago that I had about 30 pounds in photo albums that I really didn’t want to move with us, now that we live in a magical age where pictures can exist in non-paper form. I figured I’d do the long, arduous process of scanning them myself, which I knew would turn into my own special kind of torture, since obviously all of them would have to be cropped perfectly and color-corrected.

A couple of people recommended ScanCafe, and I couldn’t really say no to paying a little over a hundred bucks to have them do the work for me. It took them less than a month for the whole process, and I got a DVD with the results.

I had somewhere between 10 million and a billion photos, but I was able to narrow down the ones I wanted to save to 400. It’s nearly everything I had from my childhood (I had a camera since I was 3), plus the non-crappy stuff from later years. The vast majority of the ones I got rid of were vacation pictures from places I’ve been back to, and have better photos of now. Plus you only need so many pictures of your ex hanging around. I uploaded them all to Flickr this weekend, and divided them into Chicago, Eagan, and Minneapolis eras.

Here’s one of my earliest masterpieces, with my parents, brother Scott, and some friends from the neighborhood (Addison, IL). There were actually four kids there, but I didn’t have my framing down yet.


My mom took this picture of me, Scott, and Stephanie. This would’ve been 1978… Jay didn’t come around til later.


Then there was a big batch of pictures I had to keep because I can’t really explain them. This was taken in a trailer in Bemidji:


I don’t remember what this was celebrating, but I feel like I should make it again sometime:


I’m not even sure:


This was a party where we all drew roles and dressed up as members of a wedding party. Then we had the wedding.


You know what else I have a ton of pictures of? MY CATS. I miss them. (Chloe passed away a while back, and Chiva and Cocoa were adopted since they made Matt’s eyes swell up in horrifying fashion.)


Then there are the vacation photos I kept. I’ve always taken vast quantities of travel pictures (I’m guessing 10 of my 16 thousand photos on Flickr are of various trips), so these were kind of perplexing because there are so few. For example, I have ONE picture of the Alamo. (And maybe four from that entire trip to Texas.)


I have two pictures from the Martin Luther King site in Atlanta. I’d even forgotten I had been there til I saw them.


I actually have quite a few photos of New York, but they’re almost all the same view of Manhattan, which looks a lot different now.


I took one photo in the entire state of Oklahoma. It’s a panorama of the former site of the Murrah Federal Building, and current site of the bombing memorial.


There’s only one real-camera photo of Glacier National Park (I do have a few digital ones on my travel journal, but they’re tiny and crappy). Nowadays I’d have 10 different versions of this. (Not sure that’s a good thing, but still.)

Right after this was taken, a mountain goat ran past yelling at me.


This one drives me craziest. I have ONE PHOTO OF GERMANY. ONE. It’s a church in Frankfurt. (There are reasons, involving the newly-formed government of Ukraine, that I only have one, but come on.)


And then there’s a bunch of pictures I’m glad I have to remind me of things, like the fact that you should always, always have renters insurance. This photo also reminds me of exactly what it smells like when a building burns:


That in Canada, they have McOnion Bits at McDonalds:


That Hilary Clinton and Paul Wellstone spoke at my college graduation! I always forget about that.


That a tree fell on my house once, and I got to be on the stupid local news for it. Also we didn’t have power for a week.


That my brother was once in the Naval Academy!! Seriously!


Also, the fact that my grandma was more hilarious than she was actually nuts. I miss her a lot.



Wendy found out about this organized kayaking/canoeing trip that goes 14 miles down the Mississippi with a lunch stop on Harriet Island. How awesome is that?? We’re signing up tomorrow!

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