Monday, February 27, 2012

A Tale of Two Workplaces

I have an interesting life. In addition to running eyeDance Photography Studio, I also have a day job as a software quality assurance engineer. For the purposes of this post, that means I work in a cubicle.

By day...

And I dress all normal-like, if casually, for a laid-back office environment.

By day...

And I am also a dancer/performer with Cycropia Aerial Dance and so my evenings are often spent rehearsing or in some sort of performance. The work environment and attire is decidedly different!

By night...

By night...

Both roles have a valuable presence in my life, and fill a different need. At the moment both are a bit stressful. The day job is new and so filled with ignorance and needed learning. The night job is in imminant-show mode and I am the administrative director for the show, so there is much to be accomplished in additn to rehearsing for three pieces. Both of those things are temporary so there is the comfort of knowing that the stress will ease.

Life is good!

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

My First Limburger

Today I snacked. I snacked my way across Madison. Accompanied by friends and spouse, I hit several high-end yummy-food places and had a gastronomical orgasm of flavors and sensation. And I had my first Limburger cheese.

Five cheeses and espresso

Among our stops today was a binge at Fromagination, Madison's (and maybe the Midwest's) best cheese store. I had some of a gift card left, so we bought three cheeses to savor. Our guests bought two more, some crackers, and a goat sausage. After a hard day of hunter-gather activity we needed a nosh. And an espresso.


We bought some interesting gourmet cheese: a raspberry soaked cheddar, an espresso dusted ...something...parmesian(?), a blued and aged cheddar, and a Limburger. Our cheese consultant at Fromagination - Priscilla (who rocks) - assured us that the proper way to enjoy a Limburger was to eat it on sweet potato crackers, with onion and unsweetened cherries. Coincidentally, one of our guests had brought us 4 lbs of unsweetened cherries from Door County. So that is how I experienced my first (and second through sixth) taste of Limburger: As a little tiny sandwich of cracker, cheese, onion, and cherry. It was pretty darned good.

Silver Streak and blued cheddar

Once the espresso kicked in and I was feeling up-and -at-'em, I poured a cocktail to go along with the cheese. I made a Silver Streak, sort of like a vodka martini, but rather than vermouth use a like amount of Jaegermeister. Pretty good.

Amusingly, despite all the espresso my friends are all napping as I type this. It is probably a good idea as the night is going to be long. We are going to experience Madison's take on Carnaval (Mardi Gras, Brazilian style) which means a long night of drinking, dancing, and glitter. Vita brevis, nudus pars.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

A Young Man's Fancy Turns to Thoughts of ...

Spring is definitely approaching, even though it was snowing here today and the roads are rimed with salt. Nevertheless, it is nearly spring, and a young(ish) man's fancy turns to thoughts of ...


At the Chicago Motorcycle Expo

This past weekend I went to the annual International Motorcycle Expo in Chicago. It is a deep dive into the motorcycle pool, a chance to see all the new bikes and shop for all the latest in gear, clothes and accessories, and snake oil.

At the Chicago Motorcycle Expo

I was delighted to see the above bike: The new incarnation from Erik Buell Racing. Like a phoenix, EBR arose from the ashes of Harley-Davidson's epic mishandling of the brand (and corporate stupidity and rigidity of mind-numbing proportion) to build this tasty, effective race bike. Street bikes cannot be too far behind.

This sweet yellow custom caught my eye and made me buy a raffle ticket in hopes that i would be lucky and one day soon it would be mine.

At the Chicago Motorcycle Expo

It started as a Honda VFR 250 and was stripped of all its bodywork and converted to a street-tracker. I would LOVE to rip around town on this bike!

There were many temptations and I drooled on many. In the end, all I bought was a fancy, high-tech shirt to wear when I ride in warm temps. We shall see if it was worth the money. Regardless, I had the experience I wanted, and am thus somewhat sated for the next six weeks of cold and snow before we really start seeing spring.

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Saturday, February 4, 2012


I have a little poem I read somewhere, many years ago, that makes an appearance around this time every year. It makes me giddy to type it. You see, it is the celebration of one of my absolutely favorite moments of the year.

First a winter storm awoke us.
Then the rains began to soak us.
Before our eyes could clearly focus:

Crocus!!! (DS3_4153)

Yep, you bet'cha. I have crocus coming up in my yard. w00t! Iris too.

Iris!!!  (DS3_4156)

I spent a bit of time with Nala out there nosing around, enjoying the spring-like temperatures, and more to the point, spring smells.

Nala Enjoying the Sunshine (DS3_4152)

We are not done with winter by a long shot, but it surely is comforting to know that Spring is lying in wait. Happy Imbolc!

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Thursday, February 2, 2012


We still do not really have "winter" here in southern Wisconsin. We are having either an extended fall or a long spring. No real deep freezes yet, and I still look askance at the ice-fishermen on the bay. Is the ice really thick enough? Today was one of those occasions when we have below freezing temps at night ... barely ... followed by just above freezing temps, so we had hoar, the sort of frost that grows into spike needles.

Winter Hoar

Since the sun never came out, the hoar lasted until mid-afternoon outside my workplace. It made for pretty distraction as I left the building to run an errand at lunch time.

Wind Blown Hoar

Interestingly, I shot these in jpg format rather than raw, and did the post-camera editing and uploading via my iPad. The tools are not great (I have only free apps so far) but they were barely adequate for this task.


I resisted the temptation to ruin the pics by making them look like I had shot them with a $30, light-leaking Diana camera rather than a $1,600 DSLR with a reasonable lens. *grin*

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