Saturday, March 31, 2007

A journey begins

Please remain seated
London, Ontario, March 2007 [Click to enlarge]

It's just before midnight, and my wife has just dropped me off at the shuttle terminal where I am about to begin my journey to the other side of the continent. The plan is to drive to Detroit and pick up my early morning flight. I'm leaving just before midnight because the prospect of waking up at 4 a.m. and making a mad dash into Detroit while I stare at the clock isn't my idea of stress-free travel. Better to get there early and enjoy some free time in the airport (see the apple juice pic for the result of this philosophy.)

While I wait for the two grandmas in the older-than-my-grandparents waiting room to finish discussing the finer points of knitting, I wander outside and happen upon an empty bench under a single light. I have a thing for starkly lit nighttime scenes (see here and here), so I instantly think this is a worthwhile first picture for my just-begun adventure.

As I compose it, I think of the people who have sat here for the better part of a generation. Some may have just left home, and were waiting for a shuttle to take them far away. Some may have just gotten back from wherever they were, and anxiously sat watching for someone they knew to round the corner and pick them up. Either way, this is not a destination, but a transient place where people really don't want to spend time, because they all have somewhere better to go.

Your turn: Imagine sitting on this bench for any length of time. What do you see?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Nothing but net

Colorful swish
London, Ontario, March 2007
[Click to enlarge]

Quick note: I got home from my San Francisco adventure well after 2 this morning, so I'm a little on the lagged side. OK, maybe more than a little. The good news is I took more pictures on the way home, and will share the best of the best in the days/weeks to come. It was a very cool experience. For now, here's a quick view from a recent stroll through the neighborhood. Enjoy, and thank you for your patience.

And now, back to our regularly-scheduled programming...

If you're lucky enough to live in a neighborhood with real trees, you can eschew the store-bought metallic basketball frames and go for something a little more organic.

At least until the zoning police figure out that citizens are expressing themselves in artistic ways and clamp down on this obviously subversive behavior.

Until then, it's up to us to enjoy the small flashes of color and life that pop up when we least expect them.

Game on.

Your turn: What makes your neighborhood unique?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Alone in the airport

Detroit, MI, March 2007 [Click for greater refreshment]

On my way to San Francisco, I had a 6-and-a-half hour layover in the Detroit airport. If you have to be stuck in an airport somewhere, this place in the middle of the night isn't a half-bad piece of real estate. The terminal is mostly new and fairly state-of-the-art. There are two main concourses connected by a funky tunnel that runs underneath the tarmac between the gates. It's huge, clean, bright, and for much of the time I was there, as quiet as a mausoleum.

So I found a spot at the end of one of the massive halls and tried to catch some sleep in a chair. Note to airport designers: if you're not going to add cots or lounges, the least you could do is install chairs that make it easy to recline and nap. End whining.

After an hour, I realized that the sleep thing wasn't going to pan out. My sense of logic was telling me that falling asleep in the middle of a strange place in Detroit wasn't the smartest thing to do when I was carrying enough technology to start my own research lab.

So I started to wander and shoot. I'll post a few scenes from the airport in the days to come, but I wanted to kickstart the festivities with this image. It exemplifies how I was feeling at 3:31 a.m. I was thirsty, but not so thirsty that I couldn't first plunk my juice can down on the pristine and deserted floor, get right down on the floor next to it and take a print ad-worthy shot. I thought it would stand out from the usual kind of travel pictures. Or maybe I was so tired then that I wasn't thinking much at all (no jokes, Mom. I'm being self-deprecating here.)

Either way, this picture works for me. Until the SunPac people call me and ask me to take it down because it represents a misuse of their intellectual property.

And if they do, I'm switching to another brand. Watch me.

Your turn: What picture of food and/or drink do you want me to post next?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Paying homage

Monochromatic golden
San Francisco, CA, March 2007 [Click all images to enlarge]

I'll admit to my little boy fascination with large pieces of engineering. The thought of suspending 4200 feet of road over a heaving chunk of sea is pretty cool no matter how you slice it. That it was done in 1937, before the advent of computers and all the modern-day tools of design, makes it that much more extraordinary.

But until yesterday, the Golden Gate Bridge existed for me solely in theory. As much as I had read about this structure and understood the subtle and not-so-subtle nuances of its creation, I had never seen it live. So when I found myself with a couple of free hours in the afternoon, I pestered the concierge for instructions on how to get there, hopped a bus and was on my way.

As I got off the bus and turned the corner in the Marina district, I had to pause as I first saw the familiar shape in the distance. Pictures don't do it justice. They never do. You never know how you'll feel until you're actually there. And I felt...small. It was at least a couple of miles away from me, and it still took up a large swath of my vision, dominating the huge gap between the two sides of the bay. No one else seemed to be staring at it on this sunny afternoon. I seemed to be the only person who found this anything but routine.

The technical side of me was disappointed with the light. Lots of haze, bad backlight and not enough time to really get up close and personal with the structure. But I was just being nitpicky: I was here, and I was privileged to spend a few solitary moments thinking about what I would take home with me from this experience.

More images from the road soon...

Your turn: You're far away from the people who matter. You see something neat. How do you bring the experience back to them?

Monday, March 26, 2007


Into the blue...
London, Ontario, February 2007

After dropping one of the kids off on a playdate, I got back home and heard a familiar sound as I stepped out of the car. I don't know why the distant sound of a jet makes me instinctively look for the source. No matter what I'm doing, I'll crane my head skyward and try to first find the plane, then identify it.

I post this tonight because, once again, I'm heading off into the big blue sky for a bit. This time, I'm headed to the other side of the continent for a couple of days in San Francisco, CA. I'll be attending a conference put on by HP, wearing my hat as a tech analyst for much of the time that I'll be there. I'll be bringing my camera and laptop, so I'll update the blog from there. I should be home late Thursday night, at which point I expect to kiss my sleeping wife and our sleeping children, then get caught up on my own sleep.

This picture speaks to me, because it reminds me that sometimes I'm on the ground looking up. And sometimes I'm up there, looking down. And while I'm slicing through the sky, I often wonder if somewhere down there, someone stands in his driveway, looking up, wondering the same things I do when I take pictures like this.

It's a pretty big world out there, but I'd still rather be in my driveway, listening to the sounds of my kids' voices as they gradually win the battle against the fading drone of a faraway jet plane.

Your turn:
Look up. What do you see?

Goblets and light

Crystal and silver
Laval, Quebec, December 2006 [Click to enlarge]

If photography is little more than the art and the science of capturing reflected light in two-dimensional media, then it's virtually a given that reflective surfaces can make for some of the most interesting photos.

Or maybe I just wanted to capture a unique view of some of the prettier things that have been in the family for longer than I've been alive. Quickly viewed, they're clearly beautiful in their fragility. But as I look closer at this picture, I notice the imperfections - namely, slight chips across the top, scratches here and there, the inevitable signatures of generations of serving.

I wonder what stories these glasses would tell. The celebrations, the sadnesses, the family members no longer with us. I conclude that the wonderful glow that surrounds this scene comes from the spirit of all that these have gone through. The imperfections do little to take away from their uniqueness: in fact, they tell a rich story of family and time.

I feel small as I trip the shutter. Almost as if I'm not worthy of the history I'm capturing through my lens.

Your turn: Family heirlooms moving through the generations. Please discuss.

One more thing: This is another one of those images that draws the viewer in. Look closely at the silver cup, where the ghost of another family scene is taking shape.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Caption This 11

You get to name this shot [See below for the rules, such as they are]
Laval, Quebec, August 2006

The Caption This parade continues this week with a somewhat more stark view of the urban landscape. If you're new to Caption This, here are the three things you need to know about it before continuing (cue the theme from Mission Impossible):
Speaking of last week's entry, please clap your hands for Blond Girl, whose caption will forever echo in my head as I tuck into a loaf:
Challah-lujah, that's good bread!
I read BG because she writes with honesty and empathy about how she simply wants to have a good life for her family. Like me, she uprooted to a new city far from home, and she writes about the challenges of everyday life in a strange new place. If you haven't yet read her, drop by. She's a worthy addition to the blogroll.

Judy and David get honorable mention for proposing the same heavenly term. I never cease to be amazed by the brilliance and kindness of the kind folks who visit my site. Thank you all for making CT such an enjoyable highlight of my week - and hopefully yours!

Your turn: Please think up a caption for the picture above and drop it into a comment. Come up with more than one if you wish - the more the merrier. Tell a friend. Vote for someone else'ssubmission. Spread the joy in any way you can think's time to take Caption This to the other side of the planet! Or at least to a somewhat greater level of Zen-ness.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A boy and his zaydie

Hold my hand
Laval, Quebec, August 2006

The technical shortcomings of this shot are many: it's mostly overexposed, thanks to burn-in from the oncoming late afternoon sun. It could also use a touch of cropping, namely on the left-hand side. I took it in August, a hastily-captured image from a point-and-shoot camera. I've had it stored in my blog's drafts list for a while, always intending to go back and massage the picture before posting it.

But I'm going to bypass my usual process this time. Sometimes, a picture just needs to be shown as is.

My father goes into the hospital this Monday, another step along a journey most of us would rather not take. The official word this time: monitoring. The lot of the cardiac patient, I guess, where every anomaly has to be watched, analyzed and fretted over, wondering if it's just one of those things, or something that really merits additional worry. But ultimately, everything is worrisome for someone with heart disease. And for his family.

I thought a spontaneously caught moment when he explored his neighborhood with his six-year-old grandson would be a nice way to put this latest chapter in its proper perspective.

More soon...

Your turn: Generations. Connections. Please discuss.

Oeuf means egg

Breakfast of champions
London, Ontario, February 2007 [Click for a larger serving]

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As much as I've followed this time-honored advice for most of my life, I sheepishly admit my frequent failure to do so in recent months. As often as not, I simply run out of time in the morning and leave the house without so much as a glass of orange juice. Bad Carmi.

So on a quiet weekend when deadlines aren't screaming and the clock fades into irrelevance, I often have time to not only eat a delicious, nutritionally balanced breakfast, but I can also pull out the camera for some photographic fun. Even better, I have enough time to use the tripod, the remote, the whole enchilada.

Note: there were no enchiladas on this omelette. I had to draw the line somewhere. End culinary digression.

This time out, I enjoyed the geometry of the toast and how it contrasted with the swirliness of the eggs. Yes, I said swirliness. Every day a new word, apparently. I also liked the color. It spoke of warmth, and that comfortable place when I'm sitting at the kitchen table and everything that matters to me on this planet is sitting in plain view. It reminds me of that sense of peace when you don't need to do anything more than drink in the scene around you before tucking into that first meal of the day.

I guess I'm a morning person after all.

Your turn: Your perfect morning starts off with...?

Friday, March 23, 2007


Rail, close up
London, Ontario, March 2007

One of the limitations of most modern SLRs is that the lovely screen on the back can't be used to compose the image. You can only review the picture after you've taken it: you're stuck using the viewfinder before you take the shot. The upshot of this is it's more difficult to compose high- or low-perspective photos. Which really ticked me off as I walked along the rails (I know, Mom, not bad) and thought a low-angle perspective would be neat.

Not content to leave without my originally-imagined composition, I picked the cleanest looking spot to crouch way, way down, listened even more intently for any distant rail activity, and got down on the ground. I shot quickly before getting up, dusting myself off, and scanning quickly over my shoulder for any rail cops who happened to be in the area.

There were none. I guess there are more rail pictures in my future. As with so many of my other recurring themes, I'm not sure why they become recurring themes, but I'm glad that they do, because they give me something familiar to work with when I head out into the not-always-pretty world to capture something memorable.

Your turn: What themes do you follow when you shoot, write, live?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Interviewed - Hello Moto, Goodbye Palm

I'm back at the media commentary thing at work. Rumors of an impending buyout of Palm Inc. prompted us to release a news brief on the subject, entitled, Has Palm Read its Own Fortune?

The speculation flowed every which way throughout the day, but by the end of it all, Palm released its quarterly financial results, but shared no news on a possible deal. Still, I'll gloat a little: I've been harping on this for a while (here, too...from an Israeli analyst, no less!) I sadly don't get fame or fortune from predicting the future, but I do get to walk around my living room with a smirk on my face for being sorta right. That is, until my wife tells me to stop being an idiot. OK, back on track now...

I had been speaking with other media on this as well:
Other recent Canadian media tidbits related to other issues can be found here:
And finally, a couple of really neat wins - one in a huge British newspaper, the other in a tech magazine that's been on my media radar for ages:
Somewhere in the middle of this, I squeezed in a television interview with BNN - Broadcast News Network, formerly known as Report On Business Television, or simply ROBTv. I spoke with Amanda Lang and Pat Bolland earlier today about Motorola's current difficulties, and the video can be seen here.

There's a lot more out there: I've been so busy with this that I haven't kept up on tracking this activity. I'll drop a few more links into future entries to kinda catch up on the material stuff.

Your turn: Why does technology fascinate us so?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

If wood could talk

Guardian of the past
London, Ontario, February 2007 [Click to enlarge]

Big old staircases in big old mansions that have been around for over a century seem to wear their histories firmly on their ornately carved surfaces. As I crouch on the bottom of the staircase and focus in on the base of the first post that anchors the handrail, I wonder about the scratches and gouges, and how they bear witness to a history that I can only begin to imagine.

I wonder if newer architecture prompts similar pondering. As I put the camera away, I decide it doesn't. Why is that?

Your turn: Why is modern architecture seemingly unable to elicit the same kind of emotional response? A hundred years from now, will our descendents get on the floor of today's buildings for close-up photography and reflection?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Textured canvas

Art, closeup
London, Ontario, March 2007

A few months back, I took pictures of a painting that an artist friend had created. Because I wanted the result to be as faithful to the original as possible, the image was a straight-on, perfectly rectangular photograph of the original work.

A few months later, I found myself standing in front of another oil painting, and I was struck by the richness of the texture used to paint the image. The colors seemed to leap off the canvas as they invited the eye in for a closer look.

So when I decided to photograph this lovely piece of art, I decided that a straight-on perspective wouldn't effectively tell the story of how I felt as I stood in front of the real thing. So I stepped right up to the wall and captured it from a somewhat different angle.

I felt as if I could see the artist's brush creating this rich landscape of color and texture.

Your turn: Do you look at works of art from funny perspectives? Do you perceive them differently as a result?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Birds of a feather...

London, Ontario, February 2007

The scene: a shopping mall parking lot. My daughter and I have been running errands and are heading home. As I open the car door for her, I hear familiar honking in the distance. As the noise gets louder, I look skyward and see the Canadian geese coming toward us. I grab my camera out of its bag and rapidly track the flock across the sky, shooting continuously as they make their closest approach and then gradually disappear into the darkening sky..

My daughter and I discuss the aerodynamic advantages of flying in a vee, and how neat it is that these beautiful flying creatures have these advanced behaviors practically baked into their DNA. It takes us about 15 minutes to drive home. We cover genetics, aerodynamics, and teamwork before we pull into the driveway.

She's nine years-old. I think I'd better study harder so I can keep up with her voraciously growing base of knowledge.

Your turn: Spontaneous wonders of the natural world. Please discuss.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Scene from a diner

Adelaide Street: Boulevard of broken dreams?
London, Ontario, March 2007 [Click to enlarge]

Last Sunday, I had some time to kill while the kids were attending an evening program. I could have driven home, but by the time I got there, I would have had about half an hour before getting back in the car to drive back. The eco-friendly angel on my left shoulder said I should save some carbon emissions by not making two trips. The photographer angel on my right shoulder said I should use the free time to take some pictures. They were both right, so pictures it would be. Since the sun was setting as I dropped the munchkins off, I took the tripod, too.

This is a 30-second exposure taken from across Adelaide Street. I was trying to get some long exposures of passing traffic (more in another entry) when I noticed the diner-ish glow coming from the Wendy's across the street. Although I do not, as a rule, shoot strangers' faces, I knew the long exposure and distance would render them unrecognizable. So I trained the lens on the restaurant windows and hoped that no one would look way across the four-lane road and notice the strange guy in a trench coat with a tripod-mounted camera.

I chickened out after only one exposure, but it seems to have been spot on. I like it because there are four mini-scenes going on in this one picture. I wonder what each person is thinking, feeling or saying. I wonder what brings four sets of strangers - alone or in groups - to a Wendy's at 8:25 on a Sunday night. I wonder how many other slices of everyday life go unnoticed because no one thinks they're worth capturing.

In the end, this picture reminds me that no matter how dark and bleak things are on one side of the street, there's always a friendly glow somewhere nearby that offers sanctuary. It's up to us to turn ourselves in the right direction.

Your turn: Do you have any scenes from a diner in your own personal storybook? If so, I'd be honored if you'd share one.

Quick technical comment: If you click on the image to enlarge it, you'll notice ghostly trails in front of the brick from at least one passing car. This is what I love about long exposure nighttime shooting: you never quite know what you're going to get (shades of Forrest Gump, actually.) And even if you preview it on the camera, the image really only comes alive once you've got it displayed on a full-sized screen back home. I love a good surprise.

Caption This 10

No caption...that's your job [see below for details]
London, Ontario, March 2007 [Click for extreme closeup]

This is a picture of challah, the traditional Jewish egg bread that we eat on Friday night to welcome in the Sabbath. It's also a holiday staple and, beyond the religious significance of it, it's my favorite bread of all time. Straight up or toasted, there's nothing at all like a fresh slice.

I took this image yesterday morning. The light coming through the kitchen window invited me to take the camera out. My wife and daughter looked on with the knowing stares of folks who've seen it all before. Our dog, however, didn't quite know what to make of the spectacle. As he had only been with us for three days, this was his first exposure to my crazy obsession with food-based macrophotography. Wait until he sees the fruitography thing. Poor puppy.

Anyway, here's the deal with Caption This:
Speaking of which, the winner is the brilliant and brilliantly creative Roxanne, aka SRP. Her blog, Melange, is an eclectic mix of life's observations and superb photography. Her work inspires, and if you haven't visited her, you're missing a treat. Somewhat differently this week, the winning entry is not a line, but an entire poem. Here's her work, entitled Ode to the Discarded Mattress:
Your roses have faded,
You're tattered and torn.
Your springs have all sprung.
Now you're weary and worn.

There's no firm in your fill.
There's no posh in your pad.
Though it pains me to say this,
I think you've been had.

Your turn: In a comment, please submit your suggestion for a caption for the challah picture above. I'll select the best of the bunch and announce it next week. Fame and pseudo-fortune could be yours, all for the investment of 15 seconds of thought for a catchy phrase. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A boy and his dog

It's 1 a.m. My wife and I are about to tuck in. It's a cold, snowy night. The kids are all asleep, the dog's been walked and is curled up happily on his dog bed beside the rocking chair in our room. Suddenly, we hear bumping from somewhere in the house.

I get up to see what's up and find our youngest son carrying a box of kleenex out of the bathroom. Matter-of-factly, he tells me he ran out of kleenex in his room and needed a new box. I follow him as he walks quietly back to his room.

He's been running a fever for most of the evening, and he's so congested that we can hear him breathing from the next room. The dog is now awake and has wandered into Noah's room, worried about his newfound buddy. He stands up on his hind legs and places his paws on the bed, stretching his little head to sniff out the little boy he only met three days earlier. He's already been in and out of Noah's room for much of the evening. Such an empathetic dog.

I hover over our son as I tuck him back into bed, asking him how he's feeling and ensuring he's not any worse than he was when he fitfully fell asleep earlier in the evening. We're all worried about him. His breathing is labored, and he can't fall back asleep. He talks to the dog, and that brings him a small amount of comfort on a cold, dark and uncomfortable night. He's worried that Frasier won't be comfortable on his floor. Such an empathetic boy.

I know that as soon as I head back to my room, the dog will follow me and little man will be alone. I quickly head back to our room and tell my wife my plan before I grab an extra pillow and comforter and return to Noah's room. The dog follows my every step.

I lie down on the floor and cover myself with the comforter. Frasier heads back to the bed to give Noah a final sniff before he plops himself down on the edge of my comforter and falls asleep. I talk to Noah in the dark until he drifts off, then I listen to him and the dog breathing in his darkened room.

A few hours later, I awake to find Noah has climbed down from his bed. He's now lying, blanket, pillow and all, across my chest. The dog is lying across my legs. I don't dare move lest I wake them up.

Morning comes and Noah wakes up with a smile. Still congested, still feverish, but happy that he's gotten to camp out on the floor with his dad and his dog. Frasier wakes up to find a six-year-old patting and hugging him. I get up very slowly to avoid further injury to my creaky and sore body. I wonder when I got this old. Then I conclude that a lousy night's sleep is worth it if it allows a sad little guy to have his dog nearby when he's feeling sick.


Your turn: If you've got any sleeping-on-the-floor tips, I'm all ears. I may be doing this again in the very near future.

One more thing: If you're just joining us, click here and here for more background on our newly-arrived canine. I've also created a new label for any pet-themed entries, entitled, interestingly enough, Act of dog.

Columnar, revisited

Look up, waaay up
London, Ontario, February 2007 [Click to enlarge]

Back in December, I took this picture of architectural columns. As I returned to the scene of that photographic crime, I thought of different ways of looking at a topic I'd already captured. (Carmi's photographic philosophy, part 8: you can take pictures of things you've photographed previously. The challenge lies in finding different ways to see the familiar. End digression.)

In keeping with my lifelong habit of looking up when I really should be looking ahead, I thought a view from the base of the column might be in order. As I composed the image, trying to ignore the growing sense of nauseating vertigo as I imagined what the two-dimensional image would look like, I thought about what it must have been like for the craftspeople who built this thing in the first place.

It would been built around the turn of the 20th century, right around when my late grandfather was born. No huge cranes or massive bulldozers. Just a bunch of skilled men with the gift of turning an architect's vision into large-scale art. I suspect my grandfather would have found it cool to watch them build this creation from scratch. He would have also found it cool that I'd be thinking something similar so many years later.

Suddenly, I felt really small as I tried to reflect the wonder of these century-old creations, and the fact that I got to look at history from a strange and unusual perspective.

Your turn: Do you feel small looking at this image? Why/why not?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Looking into alleyways

London, Ontario, March 2007 [Click to zoom in]

I continue to regularly walk through the neighborhoods that make up the central core of the city. As I've illustrated in earlier entries (see here, here and here), time generally hasn't been good to these places, nor has it been particularly kind to the people who live here.

Yet I find myself returning time and again because while the eye may be drawn to the flawless perfection found in more recent developments elsewhere in town, better 'hoods don't seem to invite the same depth of soul searching so evident here. This place wears its fading past, its gritty present and its uncertain future on its proverbial sleeve. There's always something new to see and toss around in my head as I walk back to my relatively safe and better off home base.

As an example, this fire escape looks like no one's been here in years. The same might also be said for so many other micro-elements of this neighborhood. As I veered off the sidewalk of the main drag - Dundas Street - I caught the attention of a couple of pedestrians who stopped and watched me as I pondered the scene before capturing it with my camera. I'm sure they wondered why I'd take the time to shoot something so run down and forgotten.

If they had stuck around until I was done, I would have explained to them that this was exactly my point.

Your turn: Beauty in decay. Please discuss.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Shades, revisited

Venetian, too
London, Ontario, February 2007 [Click all images to enlarge]

Back when I posted a simple photo of tassels in front of wooden venetian blinds, I had no idea that a low-key image would prompt so much discussion (see Anna's entry on this theme for more.) There's something about simple scenes of subtle light that makes them memorable. I'm not sure why, but perhaps it's similar to the appeal of a small, independent film that tells a small story in a poignant manner as measured against the bombastic impact of a Hollywood blockbuster.

Sure, the explosions and car chases will get the headlines, but the quieter, real stories will linger in our minds for a much longer period of time. If we take the time to look, that is.

The question remains whether we are, in fact, taking that time. I hope so, because the real joys of living life as opposed to simply surviving it, lie in those little moments that happen in between the big ones. When we play with a child or take a moment to share a thought with a friend or be kind to an animal (named Frasier, perhaps), we remind ourselves that joy comes not from standing atop a pedestal while seeking the attention of others. Rather, it comes from doing the right things for the right reasons, often anonymously, simply because our hearts lead us there.

While some folks are so intent on the big message, the obvious show for everyone around them to see, others take a somewhat more down-to-earth perspective. As I look at pictures like these, I think of the soft light they cast on the quiet lives inside, and the lesson they hold for the rest of us.

Your turn: Small, subtle moments as a means of living life well. Please discuss.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The difference a day makes

Frasier, all cleaned up
London, Ontario, March 2007

Barely 24 hours into our grand canine adventure (please click here if you're just joining us), much has changed for our newest addition. He had a peaceful night's sleep in our room and woke up just before 6. After my wife concluded that he wanted to go for a walk, I threw on my early morning walking clothes and took him out into the damp darkness. (Yes, I've learned to despise this newly extended Daylight Saving Time, but enough about me.)

He had a quiet day at home, complete with much walking, playing and hugging. He's quite huggable, and the kids seem all too willing to wrap their arms around him whenever the urge strikes. Works for me.

We took him to the groomer tonight. He was so matted that he needed to be shaved almost down to his skin in some places. The groomer was the sweetest, kindest lady you'd ever hope to meet, and she worked over him for two hours to get every last knot out of his fur. What emerged was a beautiful gray and white dog who looked light years removed from the scraggly black-tinged thing we welcomed home last night. For fun, take a look at yesterday's entry again. Then look at this one. It's almost like we brought home a different dog.

I can't understand how someone can bring home a beautiful purebred dog and then not care for him for months on end. Part of me wants to be upset at the lack of care and attention he seems to have had in his previous life. Then again, I know nothing about these people's situation. Maybe they wanted to, but couldn't for whatever reason. Life isn't always as simple as a game of chess, and decisions aren't always binary, logical, or contained within a 64-square grid. Either way, it's not my place to judge.

My only accountability is to ensure this dog is cared for, is loved, and becomes an integral part of our family. I'm sure we'll muck up here and there: this is, after all, the first dog I've ever owned.

But we'll try. A face like his deserves no less. Our kids deserve no less as well.

Your turn: The life of a dog. Please share a thought on what that phrase means to you.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The family grows by one

My name is Frasier, Frasier Levy
London, Ontario, March 2007 [Click to see my face really, really closeup]

Because life isn't complex enough for us, we've adopted a dog. I've never had one, and we've been planning to get a dog for years, since our cat passed away. When we heard the story of this little dog's life, we decided we needed to add him to our family. He's an eight-month-old, Miniature Schnauzer, and his story is simple: the family that owned him wasn't able to give him the time that a puppy needs. He spent most of his time in the kitchen, with very little interaction with anyone else. When we met him last week, it was almost a given that he needed us almost as much as we needed him.

We brought him home tonight. Our youngest, who has always been petrified of dogs, now can't keep his hands off him. Our daughter said this is her dream came true. Our eldest son is adapting his daily routine down to the minute to ensure he doesn't miss out on so much as one walk around the block.

Sure, it's the honeymoon period for them. At some point, they'll start to complain about walking him in the rain, about getting out of bed to feed him, about keeping him from sniffing their feet while they try to eat supper. But those are issues for another day, and we'll get through them just as we have the initial transition: bit by bit, and as a family.

Welcome home, furry man. We've waited so long for you.

Your turn: Are we insane? Even if we are, what does his face say to you?

Ethereal water vapor

London, Ontario, March 2007 [Click to enlarge]

As I loaded little man into the van this morning, he looked up in the sky and noticed three intersecting aircraft contrails.
"They look like an H, dad," he said, pointing with that wide-eyed look of wonder of a six-year-old.
"They are, indeed," I answered.
"Are you going to take a picture?"
Not wanting to disappoint him, I dashed back into the house and grabbed the camera. In a scene that we seem to repeat fairly often, I took a few rapid-fire pictures as he chattered with me from his booster seat. While the rest of the world seemingly played out the same old morning routine, we found one of those in-between moments that seem to present themselves almost at random.

I showed him the pictures on the screen before it was time to go and got a big thumbs up from him. My wife smiled as she came out of the house and saw what we had been up to. She's seen it all before, of course, and likely will see it again before long.

About these pictures: London has an international airport, but it doesn't handle much real international traffic - unless you count the charters to Cuba and the puddle jumpers to Detroit as international. We're a mere spot on the edge of the air traffic network. But our geography seems to make us prime territory for overflying high altitude aircraft. Some mornings and evenings, the skies seem to fill with contrails of barely-visible planes. When the clouds are just so, a contrail just below the cloud deck will cast a shadow when the just-rising sun hits it.

It's one of those rare moments that we miss when we're rushing to get out of the house on time. But with the early advent of daylight saving time, we may yet see more sunrise-derived magic in the days to come. As much as I love to stare at the shadows-on-clouds uniqueness of these images, the importance of this image has more to do with who inspired it than the technical aspects of its capture.

Your turn: In-between moments. How do you take advantage of them before they disappear?


London, Ontario, March 2007 [Click to enlarge]

It's the middle of the day, and the street with a fried chicken restaurant on one side and the police headquarters on the other is filled with people who don't seem to have anywhere else to go. They wear dirty old jackets as they greet each other with a collective enthusiasm that defies the drudge that surrounds them.

Day in, day out, the pattern repeats itself, surrounded by painted-over brick buildings that have been witnessing this never-ending streetscape for longer than I've been alive.

The pipe strikes me as an interesting study in perspective, a not-quite-shining image that most of the folks that mill around just meters away from here have likely never taken the time to observe. One wonders what they'd think about their everyday environment if they took the time.

I quickly capture the image as whispered voices behind me comment on the strange scene of a trench-coated interloper taking pictures of "their" corner. I leave as quickly as I arrive, the voices fading behind. They'll no doubt be here tomorrow, as will the scene I've just captured with my camera. Not much changes in this place. Strangely, I find that comforting.

Your turn: When you take a moment to observe what others do not, what do you see?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Impressionistic tree bark

A tree grows on Waterloo Street
London, Ontario, March 2007 [Click to enlarge]

I take lots of pictures of tree bark. It's almost a given that an old tree trunk will look neat and gnarly (see previous post for more gnarliness) when you get up close and personal with a lens. It's also almost a given that these pictures can all look the same if you let them.

So I almost didn't stop walking as I happened upon this tree in the late-afternoon sun. I didn't think I really needed yet another tree pic in my collection.

But the low-angled light caught the twisted bark a certain way, and I couldn't just leave it behind. I probably walk past this same tree three or four times a week, but it looked oddly impressionistic this time. I took a few pictures, including some broader views that added context. But this one keeps pulling my eye back in - I hope you like it, too.

Your turn: The one that got away. Please discuss.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


A tree awaits spring
London, Ontario, March 2007 [Click to enlarge]

When I was a kid, I often bumped into things because I was so busy looking up while I walked. I was so enthralled with the world above me that I often failed to pay attention to the things immediately in front of me. So I fell down a lot.

I was always short for my age, so it's not like I had far to fall. Injuries to my pride notwithstanding, I learned to appreciate what was up there, beyond my reach. When I got old enough to go into the big city by myself, I'd see legions of people, all focused on maintaining a set distance from the people in front of them, all with their heads down, never looking up.

They didn't fall or bump into anything. But along the way, they missed sights like these.

Your turn: Looking beyond the immediate, what do you see?

Caption This 9

[Caption to be provided by YOU - see below for details]
London, Ontario, March 2007

Garbage day. A pile of broken down old furniture sits on the curb of a dusty old main street. Empty storefronts outnumber actual stores. Its a cloudy, gray day, but I swear the color got sucked out of my vision the moment I turned onto this street.

I spot a mattress in the middle of this now-forgotten pile. There's nothing quite as grotesque as a used mattress on a run-down street in a dodgy neighborhood. The mind wanders about what must be on or in it. I want to take a picture of it, but I don't dare get too close. The ick factor is clearly off the scale.

But enough about my squeamishness. You all want to know who penned the top caption from last week's dog mural photo. Well, you need wait no longer. My thanks to everyone who submitted. I laughed till it hurt in most cases, and in the end picked this one from Pat:
"Quick there's that ginger tom from next door. give the flower pot a nudge!"
If you haven't visited her site, Past Imperfect, please do so and tell her I send my best.

Your turn:
  • Are you new to the Caption This phenomenon? Click here to read what it's all about.
  • Want to see all Caption This entries to-date? Click here.
  • Experienced or not, I want your submissions: Please submit your suggested caption to this photo in a comment, and I'll post the top response next week - plus yet another new image for you to ponder.
  • (Extra brownie points if you tell a friend to come on over and join the fun. Yeah, I'm a shameless shill like that.)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Daylight saving time silliness

Everyone and his/her dog has something to say about the early onset of DST this year. As we count down the final few hours before we spring forward, I think back to December 31st, 1999 and how I felt as Y2K loomed large in my immediate future.

The big bad company that I worked for at the time had limited all IT staff to a certain radius of the head office. We were expected to be immediately reachable if anything nasty happened to our systems. We were paid Y2K retention bonuses to ensure we didn't quit in the middle of being treated like mindless cattle.

Thankfully, the time thing this time out (I've called it Y2K+7, or simply Y2K7) isn't as scary. Computers won't crash, and the world won't end. But time-related anomalies will likely crop up here and there, and just how serious they are likely depends on who you are and how important the time thing is to you.

For example: if you miss a meeting with your afternoon tea group because your PDA is messed up, no one dies. If your plane is in the sky and the air traffic controllers can't find you because they weren't expecting you for another hour, it's somewhat worse than missing tea.

Your turn: I've spent the past month talking about non-stop about this issue with journalists everywhere. I first wrote about it in 2005. Now I'd like to know what you think. Is this DST change worthwhile? Or is it more trouble than it's worth? Will we really save energy? I'm a cynic on all fronts, but I'd like to hear your thoughts. The clock!

Tea time in London

Edible pattern
London, Ontario, March 2007 [Click to embiggen]

Weeks ago, I bought a package of crackers at the grocery store. They were on sale. Not just a few cents off, but a ridiculously low price that prompted me to silently question the sanity of the store's manager. I carefully examined the package to ensure the crackers hadn't been handmade by child-slave laborers in a Nigerian diamond mine. Everything looked kosher (and happily they were actually kosher) so I bought them and skipped happily home with my find.

My happiness was short-lived: They sat patiently in the pantry while our kids naturally defaulted to other food choices. One week went by, then another. I started to talk up the crackers, hoping against hope that they'd set aside their usual cracker choices for the new and much less expensive kind. I had scored a major bargain, and it bugged me that the crackers were emitting some sort of leprosy ray in the general direction of my children.

Finally, my wife tossed them - carefully, of course - into my lunch bag. Her logic made sense: I found 'em, so I'd also eat 'em.

When lunch came, I found myself peeling the still-pristine packaging open. For some crazy reason that I still don't fully understand, it saddened me that the story would end there, with me ingloriously devouring the inexpensive confection with little more than a passing thought to mark their journey through my life. Yes, it was incredibly stupid of me to devote any thought to a silly little package of crackers. But I couldn't let it go. I'm manic that way.

My camera just happened to be in its beaten-up bag right at my feet. I took it out, leaned the crackers against my desk lamp, straightened them carefully with the help of a notepad, and carefully positioned the camera a few precious inches away from the odd-looking scene. My colleagues observed from a distance, munching on their own lunch choices, comfortable in the knowledge that I was once again being weird with my camera.

The result is pictured above. I think the pattern, the symmetry, and the shadows all make it a keeper of a picture. It's the kind of photo that results when you throw out the usual constraints of what should or should not become a subject. But beyond the technical outcome, the image captures a seemingly insignificant vignette in the life of our children, and in my own life as their dad. Sometimes, you take a picture because you want to ensure that moment, that event, that whatever-it-is doesn't fade invisibly into the oblivion of history.

Your turn: Can a photo be a placeholder of one's life? How? And before I forget, what three words come to mind when you first see this surreal little scene??

Friday, March 09, 2007

Faded beauty

Sign of the past
London, Ontario, February 2007 [Click to embiggen]

I've been walking the neighborhood in recent weeks. The frayed-at-the-edges streets offer compelling, poignant views at every turn. You never know when you'll see something that is just sad because it represents something that no longer is.

I came across this piece of not-quite-erased history on my way back to the office. Typical of a winter's day shoot, my fingers hurt from the cold, and I really wanted to get back inside. But the old sign seemed so ideal for a picture. Sure, I could come back another day, but maybe the mood of a chilly, gray day wouldn't be the same. Maybe my personal sense of malaise - thanks to walking around a depressed neighborhood in the bitter cold - meant I'd see the scene somewhat differently if I waited to come back.

Whatever it was that compelled me to stop and take the shot, I'm glad for it. Stark, rectangular forms surround a faded message. How many women walked underneath this sign so many years ago, externally prettier upon their exit than their entrance? Where did these women go after this place closed? Did anyone remember what this place was like back then? Did it even matter?

Too many questions for my chilled brain on that day. So I metered, composed and took the shot before tucking the camera into my coat and heading back inside.

Your turn: Photographs as triggers of history. Please discuss.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Linear facadism

One London Place
London, Ontario, February 2007 [Click to enlarge]

This is London's tallest building (wiki entry, developer page). It's only 30 storeys, which is the equivalent of a front porch in cities like New York. But it's our skyline's icon, and it's ours. Well, not really, because the proles who walk and ride within its shadows every day don't own it. But the fact that it looms large in our lives means it's sort of ours, our city's.

I took a walk over lunch with the specific intention of bringing back a picture of its somewhat repetitive, soulless surface. It was a brilliantly bright, frighteningly cold day when I took my walk. I had to trudge into the back parking lot to get the southern exposure, and once I carefully negotiated the badly iced-over surface, I almost froze my fingers while shooting. But in the end, I liked the lines of the building, and I liked how the lamp standard put the whole thing into a somewhat different perspective.

Sometimes, some light, some lines and a little pain can result in a neat view of a building that looms in the sunlight every day. I'm glad that I took the time on this day to remember it with a picture.

Your turn: Big, ugly, modern buildings. I hope you'll explore one near you - and share the first three words that come to mind here.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Interviewed - CBC The National

More coolness from my world of work: I was interviewed for a report that aired on CBC's major evening newscast, The National, earlier tonight. [Short pause. Happy dance. OK, I'm good.] I spoke about the upcoming change to Daylight Saving Time here in Canada (and, by extension, most of the rest of North America) and the implications on the world of technology.

Ron Charles was the reporter. John was his excellent cameraperson, and they shot the interview and related b-roll footage at Info-Tech's Toronto office.

The clip, in Real (.rm) format, is available here. You'll need to install RealPlayer to see it. It's a free download available here. CBC has also posted an in-depth feature on this change here.

Beyond the TV hit, I've been quoted recently in the Vancouver Province/Windsor Star (byline Trevor Wilhelm) and in IT World Canada (byline Mari-Len De Guzman) on this topic.

Your turn: Time always seems to be of the essence. As we tick down to this Sunday, what's that clock saying to you?

Mixed signals

Stop and go
London, Ontario, October 2006

A funny thing happens when you use longer lenses on distant subjects: they tend to look sort of compressed. It's an effect I played with one autumn morning as I walked home from the grocery store. I thought lamp standards would look neat if I tried to look at them from a distance with a long lens.

I know what you're thinking: lamp standards are as interesting to look at as hydro poles. They're best ignored because they clutter the landscape. They're boring. The wires only add to the blight.

That may be. But on this morning, as I walked home with four litres of milk in my backpack for our three very thirsty children, the forest of lights against the pinkish-hued overcast morning sky made this moment worth preserving.

Your turn: I hope you'll take your camera out today and take an everyday image of something far away. When you post it to your blog, please link to it here so we can all share in your vision.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

On tonight's menu...

A simple corner
London, Ontario, February 2007 [Click to embiggen]

I take pictures at restaurants. Strange pictures, often captured in the fleetingly few minutes between the moment we sit down and the time the food is delivered. I don't pose my subjects. I shoot quietly, sometimes focusing on the faces of my family, sometimes on the objects on the table. Inanimate things are easier, because they don't move. When the light is dim and you're not using flash, static compositions tend to have a higher technical success rate.

I thought the edge of the menu made for a simple study in geometry and shadows.

Your turn: What else speaks of simplicity to you?

Ogres are like onions

Our kitchen table, London, Ontario, February 2007 [Click to enlarge]

By now, my wife and kids are used to my really annoying habit of taking whatever intrigues me and bringing it to the table for an impromptu photo shoot. When I start moving things away to ensure I've got sufficient light, they know I'm about to go fetch the camera and tripod. So when I do actually fetch the camera and tripod, they're already primed to roll their eyes and sigh. Loudly.

As maddening as my little photographic obsession can be, I think they secretly enjoy it. I see them cracking little smiles when they think I'm not looking.

I guess from this point forward, no onion is safe.

Your turn: So I've outed my admiration of all things Shrek. Are ogres indeed like onions? Are we?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Roses are red...

Fleur rouge
Our kitchen table, London, Ontario, March 2007 [Click for extreme closeup]

I don't bring flowers home as often as I should. Ideally, I'd bring them home every day. My wife deserves a tangible message of how I feel about her at least that often.

But life often gets in the way. Groceries need to be bought, the car's tank needs to be filled and the kids need to be clothed. So by the time we're finished doing the things we need to do, the wants often get left behind.

Still, when flowers do end up on the kitchen table, I often feel a pull to explore them with the camera. Even if it's just a photo or two, it saddens me to think that these beautiful creations of nature will be history in mere days. At least here, their beauty lives on in some form.

Your turn: Capturing perfection; stopping time. Doable?

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Toronto, Ontario, February 2007 [Click to embiggen]

I took this simply because I thought sugar cubes would make a cool picture.

Your turn: Do they?

Caption This 8

[Please submit a caption for this photo. See below for details]
London, Ontario, February 2007 [Click to enlarge]

Welcome to another exciting edition of Written Inc.'s Caption This extravaganza. This week, we focus on one of London's now-famous (well, sort-of-famous) murals. Come up with a caption for this photo (which I'll announce next week) and you, too, can enjoy entire minutes of fame and phantom fortune.
  • Don't know what Caption This is all about? Click here to learn all there is to know.
  • Want to see all Caption This blog entries to-date? Click here.
Oh, before I forget, let's end the suspense around last week's entry. It featured a forlorn picture of a green apple lying all by its lonesome in a parking lot. My son, Noah, provided accompanying banter from the open minivan door as I crouched down and captured the surreal scene.

I had so many wonderfully creative suggestions that I had a difficult time choosing just one. In the end, I had to make the call: The nod goes to Dave, aka Utenzi, who came up with this week's topper:
"I've escaped! Now what?"
This erudite research scientist from North Carolina manages to make uber-complex cutting-edge concepts understandable to dorks like me, and he mixes in equal parts great photography and straightforward views of the world around us. All in all, one of the most compelling ongoing reads in blogdom. Please stop by his site and congratulate him.

Your turn: Feeling doggy? Submit a funny caption for this image and come back next Sunday for the big announcement...and the next entry in this never-ending adventure. (And if you want to come back before next Sunday, I won't complain. Promise.)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Loneliness by the track

Union Station, deserted
Toronto, Ontario, March 2007 [Click all images to enlarge]

Every time I go somewhere, I take my camera with me. Although I don't always have a lot of free time, I try to grab a picture here and there so that when I get home, I have something tangible to share, a memory of where I was.

The rule applies even on a same-day trip like my visit to Toronto this past Thursday. Because the day itself was so rushed (see here and here for more background), I didn't any time to shoot. A massive blizzard/ice storm had slammed into the entire region, and I was so focused on preparing for a daunting series of interviews that the camera sat in its bag the entire day.

So as I took my seat on the late evening train - delayed, of course - to head home, I found myself disappointed that I didn't have an image of a memorable trip. I screwed up my courage, picked up my camera, walked back to the still-open stairway and asked the three Via Rail staff on the platform if I could get off for a moment to take some pictures.

One of them smiled broadly, said she liked my "big camera", and waved me on down. They said they were still waiting for the signal to leave, and I had a few minutes to have some fun. Cool, I thought. Couldn't do that in the airport.

So I descended to the cold platform. Because snow was still blowing randomly, I needed to ensure none got on the lens. I guessed the wind's direction and positioned myself really close to the side of the stainless steel car. I've always loved the look of stainless steel because it literally reflects the romance of the rails. I shot quickly before heading back and thanking them for their courtesy and understanding.

I took a final picture of the three workers before boarding the train, and handed my business card to one of them as we animatedly chatted about the crazy things I do to get a picture. In a very barren place, on a cold night far from home, I connected with three strangers and hopefully brought them a little warmth as they wondered about their own trips home.

Your turn: Connecting far from home. Please discuss.

Friday, March 02, 2007


I wanted to quickly share some details on where all the interview/media work I did yesterday ended up. I did four interviews on four different issues with four different media outlets. Two of them have already had impact.
  1. ROBTv: The first visible result is an interview with Report On Business Television's Amanda Lang and Bruce Little. I went to their Toronto studios to talk about Motorola's position in light of Carl Icahn's efforts to raise his ownership stake and get a spot on the board of directors. The show is called Squeeze Play, and my interview is in the middle of the hour-long broadcast. Click here to load the video, then scroll to about the midpoint to find my interview. This was a fun one, because I've only previously worked with ROBTv from remote studios in London and Kitchener. This was the first time I did the interview in-person. It totally changes the dynamic, and it's a much richer experience as a result.
  2. The Associated Press: The second visible result resulted from a discussion I had with AP technology writer Matt Slagle. He's based in Dallas, and he included quotes from me in three articles that he filed. We spoke about Dell's just-announced fourth-quarter results, and the articles were subsequently picked up globally.
Various headlines were:
  • Dell 4Q Earnings, Revenues Drop
  • Dell earnings slide 33% on weak sales
  • Dell fourth-quarter earnings slide
  • Dell 4Q earnings slide 33 percent on weak laptop, notebook sales
Some key pickups included the following (and, no, I still can't believe it went this far): Forbes, BusinessWeek, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, FOX News, Houston Chronicle, Newsday, MSN Money, San Jose Mercury News/,, Dallas Morning News, Baltimore Sun, Toronto Star, Sun-Sentinel (Florida), Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), The Age (Australia), and Euro2Day (Greece).

It also hit a bunch of newspapers I'd never heard of, including the Bismarck Tribune in North Dakota, the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel in Indiana, the Benton Crier in Idaho, and the Meadow Free Press in Idaho. If you really want to have fun, click here for the Google News search on my name. This one story spiked it from its usual 30-50 to well over 200.

There's more to tell, and I'll post more details on my ongoing media odyssey over the next couple of days. For now, I think I need to catch up on my sleep: Thursday was a brutally long and intense day. But so worth it.

Your turn: Crazy, eh?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A small moment with a small person

The alarm rang at an unholy early hour. I had to catch an early train to Toronto, about a two-hour trip away. I was scheduled to be interviewed by a news crew from a national television newscast, and I didn’t want to be late. I was nervous for the day, concerned that I’d forget to take something, worried that I wouldn’t deliver the goods. With the weight of the big bad world pressing on my still-foggy mind, I slowly tiptoed through the darkness, getting my things together, getting my head together, and trying to avoid waking anybody up.

Fat chance. Before long, I heard the telltale pitter-patter of a certain six-year-old boy. Resplendent in his one-piece jammies and bright yellow slippers, he popped his smiling head into the bathroom as I got ready to shave. He walked over to me and hugged me in that all-you-can-squeeze way that only a child seems to be willing to muster. “Big hug, Daddy,” he said in that sweet, sleepy little voice of his. It didn’t seem to matter that it was well over an hour before he usually wakes up. It didn’t bother him that the sky outside was dark, and that we were the only two people awake in the house. He was about to get to watch his daddy shave, and he was happy.

As I carefully worked the razor around my face, he sat beside me and played 20 questions:
  • How does shaving work? Why do you have to do it all the time?
  • How old will I be when I start to shave? Let’s count how many years, OK Dad?
  • Why does your hair always make a mess in the sink?
  • Is your face smooth yet? Can I feel?
  • Do you like to shave?
That last question gave me pause. Frankly, I hate shaving. It’s one of those necessities of modern life that I wish I could avoid.

But this morning’s ritual was much different. I enjoyed having a genuinely likable little person keep me company. I enjoyed hearing his voice. I enjoyed sharing a moment that I wish didn’t have to be so fleeting. I enjoyed him. I enjoyed us being…us.

I finished shaving and let him feel my face. Yup, it was smooth. Yes, Daddy was ready to go to Toronto and have a good day. My wife whispered to me as I finished getting ready how much she loved hearing us. Sometimes, life really is that good.

I write this on the train as it works its way through the wintry hinterland of southern Ontario. I’m coming back home after an eventful day. The big interview went really well. Then the phone rang. Twice. I spoke to the Associated Press. I did a live television interview in-studio. Different venues, different commentary on different, fast-breaking subjects, and I fought my way through a blizzard to make it happen.

If you ever saw the scene in Jerry Maguire where the title character says they had a “very big day,” my day today reminded me of that. On a professional level, it was an eventful day that convinced me more than ever that this crazy work/media life of mine is starting to pay serious dividends. That’s all well and good, but what will stick in my mind far longer is the sleepy, sweet voice of my son as we softly chatted in the dim, pre-dawn light. Because everything that came after that magic moment with him happened because he was there with me at the very start, and in spirit for every moment thereafter.

He’s asleep now, along with his older brother and sister, so I’ll have to content myself with quick kisses on their heads when I finally get home. But I’ll be up early tomorrow, and maybe I’ll be lucky enough to have some help and some company.

Your turn: A little moment that mattered. Please discuss.