February 13, 2009

Driving to Chicago

Heading down the interstate in Wisconsin.

February 12, 2009

Wintergreen Plunge Mittens


When I went up to Ely to go dog sledding I was pretty comfortable with most of my gear, but I wasn’t real sure about my gloves. I had decent liners, but the outer mitten wasn’t made for really cold weather. I was lucky that the forecast was relatively mild, but I was also aware I would be outside all day and cold hands can be a problem. I stopped into the Wintergreen Designs store in Ely and took a look at the Plunge Mittens, the ultimate trail mitt”.

These mittens are, far and away, the most industrious piece of cold weather gear I have ever owned. I have no doubt that you could wander around all day in severe cold weather and have nice and toasty hands in these things. If you suffer from cold hands and wish to make that situation disappear forever, these will do the trick. Of course, it may seem a little odd to walk around the mall with mittens that have double-insulating fleece liners and snow guards that go all the way to your elbows. The straps that hang around your neck would also look a little out of place, but they keep the mittens attached when you need to get your fingers out.

With all that said, I’ve never had cold weather gear that I could put cold hands, after taking a few shots with the liners on, and get my hands nice and warm again when it was -27° F.

They were a splurge. I’m counting them as my souvenir. And boy, do I have really warm hands. I’ve got my hands covered for a future arctic trip. As an added bonus, they are hand-made in Ely, MN.

Ely Travel
February 12, 2009

Photos from Wintergreen Dog Sledding Trip

I finally edited and uploaded the photos from the Wintergreen Dog Sledding Photography Workshop I did two weeks ago with Layne Kennedy. The workshop was amazing on all aspects. The dog sledding was great. The dogs were amazing. Layne did a great job teaching us how to take better photographs, and I truly think I stepped up my photography skills in a significant way from the trip.

At the end of the trip we put together a slide show of 10 shots from the trip that told the story of the trip. Layne really focused on getting us to ask ourselves What are you trying to say with this shot?” when we looked through the viewfinder. It was an interesting learning experience, because I found that I had to really immerse myself in the experience to try and see that story. He also highlighted different types of shots, and thinking about how they will be used down the road. You can check out the PDF of my Wintergreen Experience slideshow.

I also wanted to make more shots available to share with everyone on the web. I put the collection on Flickr and got an even 100 shots. You can see the slideshow right here.

I’m really happy with how they came out. It was great fun, and I really want to push my camera skills further.

Flickr Photography
February 12, 2009

Photography, Taking the Long Way

When I was getting ready to go up to Wintergreen for my dog sledding trip I was talking with my friend Jim about the trip and he told me there were two things I had to do. First, I needed to check out the two papers in Ely. Ely is a small town, but they have two vibrant newspapers and they have a spirited back-and-forth between the two. I enjoyed reading the Echo and the Timberjay on the couch at Wintergreen on my first day. As an aside, if you are looking for a little Ely love, go to WELYs website and start streaming the local radio station. It’s awesome. I’m listening to it right now as I type this.

Jim’s second recommendation was that I take the best road in Minnesota” while I was up there. The fast way” to get to Ely is to take I-35 North and then head up on 33/53/37/169. The slow way”, which is about 90 minutes longer, is to take I-35 North and go through Duluth, take the scenic drive on the North Shore, and then Highway 1 to Ely. On the way to Ely, I took the fast way. On the way home, I decided to put my camera with a couple of lenses in the passenger seat and head down Highway 1. It was great, and there were a lot of photography stops. Here are my pictures on the Long Way Home.

Ely Photography
February 12, 2009

Flashback: BigCharts Partnership Portfolio from 1997

We recently converted my home office to hardwood flooring from carpet. Doing this required that the room be emptied, including a big filing cabinet. I decided it was time to do a filter through that filing cabinet and found some fun things from a many years ago. One of those items was the BigCharts Partnership Portfolio from 1997-1998. This was a printed, high-gloss, portfolio item that we shared with clients so they could see how people were using the products. It’s pretty fun to see all these screen shots of sites (many of which are long gone now) from a decade ago. I scanned a copy so others could enjoy.

Some highlights that gave me a chuckle:

  • All the screenshots are so narrow. We all had little, tiny monitors.

  • BigCharts Canada, FTW!

  • Virtual Stock Exchange ended up being bought by MarketWatch, who bought BigCharts.

  • Note the error on the Schwab image (page 10) where the URL is datek.com”. :-)

BigCharts MarketWatch Business
February 11, 2009

Dumpy Restaurant…

But really great food.

Food Restaurant Dear Diary