Super Blood Wolf Moon

Sunday night we got to experience a lunar eclipse. This will be the only one we will be able to see this year, and so I decided I wanted to adventure out and see it. Because I didn’t have work on Monday I could stay up a bit later and drive a bit out of town to get away from city lights.

I picked up my friend Michael and the two of us headed up, out of the city. Our plan had been to hit a bar and grill in Bethel, MN for a drink and a snack while we waited for the show to begin around 10:40pm. However, the bar and grill I had picked out decided to close at 10pm, despite their website saying differently. Thankfully, this is exurb Minnesota, so there was another bar just down the road that was more than happy to accommodate us with some food and drink.

One of the trickiest parts of photographing the moon is realizing that you cannot let the camera pick your exposure. The moon is incredibly bright, but it takes up only a small portion of the frame. Therefore the camera thinks that it needs to hold the shutter open for a LONG time, when in fact you just need the moon exposed.

I ended up with an exposure time of 1/2 to 1/4 of a second for most of my shots, and I think it turned out pretty well. My only issue is that I don’t have as large of a zoom as I would like, so I ended up with a lot more ISO grain than I wanted, when I cropped the pictures in.

Overall though, it was a fun night, and a really cool phenomena to see.

Hashtag Living My Best Life

A month or so ago, I was sitting in a small brewpub in rural Wisconsin, listening to some nice folk/bluegrass music on the PA, enjoying a nice beer, and soaking in a wonderful evening traveling with my wife. I was feeling wistful and relaxed. Therefore, I did what everyone does now, and I posted a selfie on Instagram, and for some reason decided to add the hashtag #livingmybestlife. img_3609I was feeling at peace with everything. We had just spent the evening with some great folks, talking about Winter Ultras, and in the morning we were going to get to run on a new trail. I had a craft beer in my hand, and music that I enjoy in my head. I was sitting in a lovely little place with my amazing wife, and at that moment, everything was perfect. The hashtag felt appropriate, and so I went with it.  One of the unique things about the photo I took was that it was a profile shot where I was gazing off into the distance and not looking at the camera. A little while later I was on a boat, performing a wedding for my brother and sister-in-law. While I was out on the deck I decided, “What the heck, let’s do another profile shot.” Because I was having a good time, I gave it the #livingmybestlife again. That’s when things started to take on a life of their own.  img_3727I’ve now embraced the profile shot with hashtag, and I’ve started doing it more and more often, just for the heck of it. It’s become something that is a mix of humor and emotional release. Humor, in that I’m obviously doing something very silly, and playing it up for laughs. But, emotional release because I’m trying to highlight the times in my life when I’m the happiest. It’s cathartic to me to go back and look at the pictures and remember those moments, breathing in the memories of simple times of joy.  Needless to say I’ll keep posting these shots, as I’m having a great time with them. I can’t promise that they’ll all be “influencer worthy”, but hopefully, they’ll give people a chuckle, and maybe a brief moment of reflection of what bring you joy in your life. img_3752 

Smokey morning sun

This morning I went out for a 15 mile run, and as I came around the corner of one of the turns on the single track I got a glimpse of the morning sun. However, it wasn’t the sun as we normally see it. The intense smoke from wildfires out west obscured the sun to the point that I could stare right at it. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but as I finished my run I realized how bad the air must be today. It’s horrible for the environment, but at least it make a pretty picture.

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First Day of Spring

Officially, today is the beginning of Spring. So in Minnesota that means that it’s cold and we’re experiencing snow. That’s just how we roll here. I can’t complain too much though. I got out for a nice 3 mile run this morning, and the cool air was crisp, but not cold. The dampness in the air was a little chilling, but overall, not a bad way to start the day.

I also decided to start my evening by drinking my last Indeed Stir Crazy winter ale. I’ve managed to milk the six-pack that I bought for many, many months. Many of these seasonal beers only come around for a very short time, so I like to savor them while they’re here. A lot of breweries are also retiring different seasonal beers, meaning that there is always the risk of never getting to taste a beer again if it disappears.

IMG_2384.JPGMy positive attitude is still with me, to some extent. Getting back to work after such an amazing weekend was tough. Even though I messed up my back a bit on Friday, it was still one of the best weekends I’ve had in a while. Good running, and spending time with running friends. Lots of good food. An awesome soccer game. More good food. Visits to awesome breweries. And yet again, more good food.

After all of that, Monday was tough. Trying to get myself psyched up again to be back in corporate IT was hard, and I admit, the ‘sads’ hit pretty hard on Monday afternoon. However, I’m trying to not let any of that deter my attitude, and try and still keep feeling positive for the year ahead. Tonight is an “office hours” evening where my wife and I spend time working on our non-work projects and endeavors. I’m really excited to make some progress on our ideas.

I did manage to pull the camera out today for a couple shots of the melting snow. It’s not quite Summer yet, but a few tufts of green grass and broken ice mean that hope spring eternal for warmer days ahead.

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