Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fresh Start

2010 is just a memory now. Today we look forward to 2011 and all the possibilities it holds. This is a gift. We get this chance to let go of our old selves, with no strings attached, and to forget all the ways we've failed to be who we've wanted to be. We are new people today. We now eat better and exercise more. We are more responsible with our money. We are more focused on the positive and less on the negative. We don't let life's many struggles defeat us daily, and its minor annoyances are quickly banished from our thoughts. We give more compliments and criticize less. We hug each other more, and say "I love you" more. Today we are phenomenal.

I wish for you a phenomenal 2011.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Finally, it's here. The kids are on school break, Angie's on school break, I'm off for a couple days. We get to stay home and hang out together. How much better can it get?

I've always disliked the term "Xmas". You know, the whole "taking Christ out of Christmas" thing. I read some information today that changes my mind about it a little bit. According to Wikipedia: "In Greek, the letter X (chi), is the first letter of Christ, and it, or the similar Roman letter X, has been used as an abbreviation for Christ since the mid-16th century. Hence, Xmas is sometimes used as an abbreviation for Christmas". Makes sense to me.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing... For a child is born to us, a son given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests - Isaiah

Merry Christmas everyone.


Saturday, December 11, 2010


Long time no post. Sorry about that.

Yesterday, Alex & I went on a college visit to Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, IA. This is our first scheduled college visit. To be honest, I really wasn't looking forward to it very much. It was gorgeous out on Friday, like sunny & 50's. I didn't want to miss that, stuck in a cubicle at work or on the road to visit some boring expensive college that my daughter surely won't pick. I wanted to spend the day with Alex though, so we went on with our plans. It turned out to be pretty cool. Briar Cliff is actually on a cliff, overlooking Sioux City. It's the only thing on the cliff and is isolated from the city. Pretty neat. It's a small school, their enrollment is 1100. To contrast that, the University of Iowa has around 30,000 students total. It's a Catholic college. You don't have to be catholic to go there though, and a lot of their students aren't. They really stress values and service there, which is awesome. We both liked the school very much. Too bad it's around $30,000/yr tuition & boarding. They have lots of scholarships & Alex might be qualified for some of them. We won't get it below 20 grand a year though. Too bad.

Today, we Miller's had our annual baking day. We held it at our house this year. Funny thing is, my wife volunteered our house for baking day and then she skipped out on us to study for her nursing finals, which take place this week. Thanks baby. We're having shitty winter weather today, so Shannon & her family couldn't make it. We did what we could without them though, and will save some cookies for them. a few photos from today are attached.

Next Saturday, we'll have Christmas at my Dad's in the morning then at the 4H center in Boone County in the afternoon/overnight. We are all really looking forward to it. Angie especially, since she will finally be finished with her 3rd semester.

Camera Geek Mode On: I've reported in the last few posts that I've been having camera equipment issues. I sent my main camera in for service a few weeks ago. When I got it back, it seemed to work fine. After a couple weeks it started acting up again. Trying to kill two birds, I decided to sell it and to downsize at the same time, and to make some cash for Christmas shopping. I did that. I am now the proud owner of a new Pentax system (the K-5). I sold all my Nikon (D700) stuff. The Pentax system is quite a bit different from the Nikon system, cheaper too. For instance, I can't rely on autofocus or auto white balance. Pentax just isn't as good as Nikon in those areas. Pentax has some kickass small lenses though. I had the Cadillac system for a while. Now I'm back to the VW. I might have to work harder to get good results, but I'll have more fun doing it now. Anyway, that's a big part of the lapse between posts and the poor quality of photos lately. I've had equipment issues and now on a learing curve. I'll get there.

One thing I noticed on my drive to Sioux City on Friday. This winter light is just awesome this time of year. The sun started breaking the horizon at 7:30. It was still pretty low in the sky at 9:00, with nice directional warm light. In the summer, the sun comes up early and climbs fast. At 9am, it might as well be noon. The sun is high and harsh. In the winter it's low, which gives awesome light for a long time at both ends of the day. Look for it. Enjoy it. I hope I get a chance to get out in it soon.

Merry Christmas everyone. Love you,

Thursday, November 18, 2010


The Troutslayer trip was a good time. It was a short trip. We seemed to squeeze a lot in though. As usual, we caught trout, smoked cigars, drank spirits, and ate good food. We took a day long guided fishing outing on Tablerock lake (thanks Brian) and caught many white bass. It was a cold day, but mostly fun. I went into the trip with a cold and came home with a sinus and ear infection. Ended up staying home from work for a couple days coughing constantly and blowing my nose. It's amazing how much green shit can come out of one head. I'm finally feeling better today.
I've seen some amazing sunrises in my life, but I think last Friday's topped them all. Friday the 12th was Brian Smith's (fellow troutslayer) birthday. You'll remember that Brian's wife, Maureen, died suddenly and unexpectedly in April 2010. On Friday morning, Brian, Mike L, Mike P, and I headed to the dock before sunrise, anxious to fill our trout limits early. Walking down to the dock and eyeing the sky, I knew it would be a good sunrise. It was insane. The tree lined cliffs across the lake from us were lit up bright red, then the sky above them started turning pink. A few minutes later a partial rainbow appeared above the cliffs. Then a full and bright rainbow, then a double rainbow. All of it was reflected back in the lake. It was so amazing. None of us fished. None of us spoke. We all just watched quietly. Brian then said "good morning Maureen". It was Maureen's way of telling Brian Happy Birthday. What a gift to be there with him to see it. I've never witnessed anything like it. Wow. I took a couple photos of the sunrise with my crappy little point & shoot, but didn't get serious about it. I was taken away in the moment. I'm not going to post the photos though, because they don't come close. Anyway, thanks Maureen.

The new Harry Potter comes out tomorrow. It won't be the same as the book, but I hope they didn't change too much. Can't wait to see it.

Have a good weekend. Go Hawks.


Friday, November 05, 2010


Finally got my camera back from the shop. It's repaired and working beautifully again. Sweet. I felt naked and helpless without it. Now I need to get out and use it.
I've posted one of Alex's senior photos above. It's one of my favorites, but not hers. You'll have to ask her for a few wallets next time you see her.
The one of Madeline is from a few weeks ago when we went to the orchard. I need to get Abby in front of the camera. I don't have any recent shots of her.
This time next week I'll be sitting on the dock on Lake Taneycomo with a trout tugging my line and a big dumb smile on my face.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I missed trick or treat for the first time ever yesterday, not that I am bothered by that. I was at the Iowa/MSU game with my brother-in-law. What a great game! Best first half of Iowa football that I've seen. Thanks again for the ticket Kevin.
I should get my camera back from the shop tomorrow or Tuesday. Looking forward to that.
October's over. Damn. Only 7 more weekends until Christmas. Winter's coming. Time changes back next weekend. See you next month.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


You'd think that this time of year, with the gorgeous weather and changing leaves, that I'd have tons of photos to post. Not so, for two reasons. I just haven't been into it and my main camera is in the shop for repairs. I've been using my little point & shoot, which doesn't really cut it for what I like to shoot. Anyway, that's what you see here and why it's not up to par. Sorry.

Angie and Madeline are currently in Florida. It's been 90 there. Madeline's been loving the pool. Here, winter is on it's way.
The new Harry Potter movie comes out in about 3 weeks. I'm a geek and can't f-ing wait to see it.

The week before that though, I'll be joining the Troutslayers at Lake Taneycomo for a few days. I haven't been there since May 09 and miss the place very much. Going a little corny here but, part of my soul lives there. I've let so much go there and gained so much from being there. I'll be there again on November 11. I look forward to it.