Northern Wisconsin

Char and I went to her parents’ cabin way up north in Wisconsin. We had a great time, even if it seemed like all our time together was spent driving. Char got her license finally (“It’s great to hear you came out — of the garage” –char’s friend), but since the car was a rental I couldn’t let her show off.

The terrain up there is different from anything one sees in the Northeast. It’s mostly flat, but still has a little roll to it. It’s not farms, though, it’s all trees and national forests, and the trees are all conifer. Driving down the county roads all you see is a corridor of road between pine trees for as long as it takes to get to the next little town. The towns are a combination of hick and rich tourist, so you get the sort of sketchy gas stations along with gigantic supermarkets with organic goods. For this area of Wisconsin, most of the tourists are from Illinois, and if Char and her family are any indication, people in Wisconsin hate them.

Pick ‘n’ Save

Looking across the lake at the cabin

Char and I put 800 miles on my rent-a-car playing minigolf, going to a casino, cooling off at a waterpark, and driving lots of go-karts. While on the ferris wheel at the Riverview amusement park, we noticed a building across the street that appeared not to be level, and upside-down at that. After we had our fill of rides, we checked it out, and upon closer inspection we saw a car stuck underneath the building, as if the building had fallen on it. At the ticket window, we could see that it was called "TOP SECRET," contained strobes and other effects, and cost twelve bucks to get in. I won’t reveal the secrets contained within, but it was fun.

Char seems to be having some trouble

Us, outside TOP SECRET

The only photo we were permitted to take inside

I took more photos with my film camera, but I have to wait for them to get developed. I’ll add another entry when I get the prints.

Fourth of July Fireworks

Some pictures of fireworks

Fourth of July again! Remember last time? Well this time it was back in Newton. The fireworks were pretty impressive, and there wasn’t the always-unsuccessful attempt to set the fireworks to music.

The method in this case was basically "keep snapping, something will work." I set the focus to infinity, a reasonable shutterspeed (1/13 I think) and hoped for the best. I didn’t have a tripod, so there are a lot of blurry shots. Of the hundred I took, these are the best.

Your basic kablooie

A more interesting shape

The crowd becomes illuminated

Not the steadiest, but the colors are brilliant

Cape Cod Haze

I took a trip to the cape. Pics of haze, house, buddha.

I took a short trip to the cape this weekend. I didn’t do too much, mostly played some straight pool to practice. I did quite well. I didn’t run any racks, but I wasn’t missing a lot either.

I took some shots of the house for those of you who’ve never seen it.

Even my parents couldn’t resist putting up a flag at some point

Note the snow

The above photo was one of the first photos I took when I got the camera
after christmas ’01. The date indicates this was 1/5/02, my brother’s birthday. Anyway it’s a good shot of the pool table, so I figured I’d include it here.

It was extremely hazy on Friday night, so much so that mom thought her glasses were fogged up just from looking across the street. It made for some interesting photo opportunities, all of which I squandered.

in the bottom of the vertical photo there you can see a little buddha


Arnold Arboretum

Char and I took a walk in Arnold Arboretum today to celebrate 60 degree weather. Boy it was nice. We live right next to the park, so in literally five minutes we can get away from our apartment and enjoy the peace and quiet of an underused government property.

I love parks, because most people ignore them. When I was at Madison I’d go to Blue Mounds State Park, and invariably I’d be just about the only one there. There were gaggles of kids at the pool, but venture just a minute down the path and it would just be wind and trees and birds. See my old photos for pictures of the place.

Arnold Arboretum has a few more people in it, all walking their dogs or their kids, but mostly it’s empty. It’s not the large forest that blue mounds was, the trees are far apart and you can always hear the traffic. But compared to the parks I saw in Japan, which charged admission and were manicured to the point of insanity, it’s like a gigantic tropical jungle.

A map of the park. Hey, is that large mark a bullet hole?

Arty shot with Char.

The snow was melting quite fast, and made very interesting patterns. The following is a screencap from a short video I took with my camera. The quality is shitty, but you can get the idea. The water flows under the ice and snow, taking little packets of air. These bubbles make cool patterns under the ice as they flow.

click to download movie in quicktime (linux OK)

Bubbles where the water comes out

Closeup of water trickling