Choosing Paths

Katie Parish and I tried to counteract the sluggish feeling that comes with living in Minnesota in January by going for a morning hike. An internet search recommended some trails at Fort Snelling State Park but they turned out to be so flat and boring we didn’t even take any photos. As a plan B we drove to another part of the Mississippi where we had seen footpaths leading toward the riverbank. These couple are from a hike in St. Paul between W Dayton Ave and W Goodrich Ave. Much more scenic, challenging, fun, photogenic, etc., etc.

Dancing in the Dark

I’ve been having trouble shooting in the studio backstage at the Ritz Theater. The lights only provide for an exposure around 1/60, much to slow to freeze dancers in mid-pose. Yesterday, my third time shooting in the space, I found a single position from which my strobe would bounce off two mirrored walls and cast interesting rays of light around the room (second photo). I’m finally excited to shoot in there more often.

One Million Meals

Although scheduled long before the earthquake in Haiti, Feed My Starving Children is working with Cavalry Lutheran Church in Golden Valley, Minn., this week to pack and ship 1,000,000 meals to Haiti. Volunteers from the church, businesses and the community work in two-hour shifts bagging and boxing up as many meals as they can. In the two hours I spent there tonight, groups packaged over 40,000 meals, ahead of pace to meet their deadline this weekend. (captions to come)

– Calvary Lutheran Church members Kathy Simula and nine-year-old Stephen Tracy alternate dumping scoops of rice and dried soy into bags to be sent to Haiti. Of all the tasks on the assembly line, Tracy said, scooping was the hardest.
– Each MannaPack (TM) contains enough rice, dried vegetables, soy, and chicken powder to make six one-cup meals. The food contents currently cost Feed My Starving Children $0.17 each, a cost typically covere by the volunteers who come pack.
– Volunteer Jean Frantz Altema, originally from Port-au-Prince, asks Feed My Starving Children worker Rachel Hansen about the logistics of distributing the meals in Haiti. Feed My Starving Children works with 200 “partner” organizations in Haiti to make sure the food gets to where it is needed. In non-emergency situations the cost of shipping is about $7,000 per container, each of which holds about 200,000 meals, paid by the receiving country.
– Dan Racer of Calvary Lutheran Church and Arlee Anderson of nearby Solutran, Inc., team up packing meals into boxes. With eight work stations set up at Calvary, each two-hour shift required 160 volunteers. All the shifts were filled by Sunday afternoon, with more people requesting to be put on stand-by lists.
– 1,000 faces of children in Haiti marked the progress of meal packing and fundraising in the lobby of Calvary Lutheran Church. After just three days the total was approaching 400,000 – easily setting the pace to reach a million meals in eight days.

Walking on Water

I had coffee with my friend Elise Ogden today and she mentioned seeing crowds of people out ice fishing on Lake Calhoun. After we said goodbye I walked by the lake to see if anyone was still out. Already past sunset, I saw a single light shining not too far from shore, the propane lantern of Jordan Kimball and Mike Barkman. Fishing for over six hours resulted in just one walleye, their target fish, but they said it was all about the fun since they wouldn’t dare eat anything from that lake anyway.

Shower Beer

Of the informal, unofficial survey I’m taking, approximately 75% of those polled said drinking a cold beer in the shower is fantastic; 25% said it sounded pathetic and weird. I am part of the majority.

If you are intrigued–
Warning: Make sure you have a level spot to set your beer of choice.
Tip: Make sure that said level spot will not be hit by soapy water spray or shampoo bubbles.
Note: You may substitute a chilled glass of wine but the wider rim of the glass would make contamination more likely.


Emily Carroll invited me to dinner with her father and step-mother in St. Paul. The food was so good I forgot to take any photos until it was gone. Spinach salad with avocados and pomegranate seeds; purple fingerling potatoes and steak; fresh-baked, homemade chocolate chip cookies.