NCUR 2011 Day One

Wednesday March 30th, 2011.

After a brief and uneventful flight and a minor fiasco learning the bus system around Ithaca New York, my roommates and I find ourselves watching TV and scouring our hotel room for outlets to charge our various electronics.

Had a great dinner at Kilpatriks with friends.

A colorful bus ride back to the hotel…

Currently prepping for my gallery talk tomorrow

I’m more eager than nervous for my talk tomorrow. I am looking forward to seeing the gallery and hearing peoples reactions and questions.

More to come tomorrow

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It’s been a while…

A busy winter trying to keep warm by spending long hours in the glass and print studios. So far I’m starting to go stir crazy from not being able to ride outside.

A false spring a few weeks back motivated me to pick up a new mountain bike. A sexy 2010 Gary Fisher Mamba my very first 29er. A friend of mine who owns Milltown Cycles, a bike shop near my parents home was trying to move the bike fast so it was the right price.

Literally the day after I bought it Minnesota and Wisconsin got hit by a two day snowstorm. So I only rode outside for a half an hour and am now banished to riding the hallways of my apartment building. Which by the way are not ideal for learning to manual the bike but I wont let that stop me.

I haven’t been able to ride enough to write a proper review but expect one once the snow melts. Pictures to come as well.

Keep warm


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Oil and Water Don’t Mix

Everyone knows about the BP oil spill and how it isn’t really cleaned up

Here is a project trying to help continue the clean up even after the media is done reporting about it.

Printed with oil collected after washing up on the beeches of the gulf coast


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Oh it’s been a while

A brief update while I skip class and hide from the biblical amount of rain coming down outside.

To humor the only person to post on my blog I’ll post some pictures of my work now.


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Classes are going well and I got a 15 mile bike ride in yesterday.

I am officially registered for the Mid America Print Conference in October. That promises to be a riotous weekend. A couple of my studio mates and I are couch surfing with a friend of mine who live in Minneapolis near the U. Lots of pictures and stories will surely follow that weekend.

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Work Meetings


Thus begins the season of 7am work meetings

So long Monday night fun.

No coffee...

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A thank you to my Grandfather

So today was the first day of training for my job at school. Seems like some cool new people to work with; should be a good year for work.

I tell you this because I had to get from my apartment which is about 2.5 miles via my chosen route. Which means I rode my bike!

This is how my day went: get up, bike to work, work, bike home, eat some pizza, drink a beer (Summit Great Northern Porter), ride my bike again on an eleven mile loop, Had an epiphany about endurance racing and life.

Now here I am reflecting on the ride and things I’ve learned about physical strength, stubbornness, and determination.

The route I chose for my evening ride has a long medium grade hill. It gains something like 230 feet in a mile. Now this is by no means a big hill,  but for me it takes a bit of digging to get to the top. My legs felt like lead about half way up. My quads have the mass for lifting heavy objects (my profession of choice) but endurance is something I haven’t really trained my body for. I learned this in May while racing the General Clinton 70 mile Canoe Regatta in New York with my grandfather.

Not dead yet

I worked out a bit for this race but school and girls kept me from serious training. So I built some extra muscle in my shoulders but no endurance. After 10 miles in that canoe I thought I was going to die. I tried to quit at every pit stop. That’s 5 times for those that counted… Each time though something either kept me from getting out of the boat, or compelled me to get back into the boat after the portage at  mile 35. I hurt, my shoulders burned (until the left one went numb), I could hear my shoulders grind from time to time, and my not so old rugby injuries flared up. I stayed in that boat and we finished in 13 hours 59 minutes. we could have finished about 30 minutes faster had I not tried to die from heat exhaustion after 35 miles. We still managed to finish ahead of 5 other boats.

Here I am after getting dizzy, falling over, and dry heaving...

For the whole 13 hours I kept trying to figure out what had compelled my 76 year old grandfather to compete in this race for the past 19 years. Nothing about the experience I was having would have motivated me to paddle that distance in a day again. Every time I asked him he would say something about the beauty of nature and the peace of it all and that working hard for the sights made them better. I would promptly call Bull Shit and then brood and fume about the predicament I’d willingly gotten myself into. Icouldn’t begin to understand that race until after we finished.

In hind sight finishing that race was one of the most trivial, yet important things I have ever done. Trivial because it was just 14 hours out of my life, less than a day…

However that day changed my outlook on life.

Somehow in the sneaky silent way that he has, my grandfather taught me that life, like a race, is hard. I learned that to move forward one has to understand that the limits aren’t really the limits. There is a whole lot of energy you don’t even know about until you push past what were your pain thresholds. I came to that conclusion on my bike today when I wanted to quit half way up the hill, I told myself “lets give it everything and go a little further”. Once you give everything you find that you’ve got even more to give.

The real kicker I learned in that race; In those 13 hours and 59 minutes that I thought would never end…

It’s over before you know it and you have to “finish strong”.

I’m not going to forget that Grandpa… ever

We made it!

Now it’s on to a 100 mile bike ride

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There are a few key events that have stood out in the past week or so. Sadly I don’t have pictures for many of them, but there are a few that should be interesting.

Saw this after the Schells Brewery tour

1. I spent the night at my new apartment for the first time last weekend. It was fantastic, my room is small and not totally organized yet. I’m still debating on a bed or futon… The living room is huge. Kevin and I have three couches plus the TV and there is still room to sit on the floor or for a coffee table. It’s just fantastic to have one roommate and a dog, even when that dog drives me nuts.

2. While spending the weekend in River Falls I found my favorite beer The Maharaja Imperial IPA from Avery. I found a video review of Maharaja at Beer Geek Nation. The guy in the video is a bit overwhelmed by the Maharaja but it’s still worth the watch. I took one bottle to the Lowertown First Friday show to share with my friends there. The second bottle I shared with my friend Mark after he shared his clubs and paid for my first trip to the driving range. What a pal! Drinking a glass of beer that is 10.5% alcohol after two hours golfing on one of the hottest days of the year means I was pretty buzzed when we went and got dinner with friends at Mariachi Loco…

3. That brings me to my first trip to the driving range. The short of this story is that I suck at golf… but damn is it a lot of fun. Despite Marks constant mocking of my abilities and the God awful heat, I blazed through about 70 balls. Once I quit just trying to cream the ball I found that a straight drive was possible but not that much fun. So I kept slicing shots about 180 yard and watching them hook onto the fairway of the hole next to the driving range… opps

4. I haven’t had much work this week due to issues outside my control. Thankfully my Dad decided to invite me along on a boring trip to New Ulm Minnesota so he could drop off some custom shoes for a patient. Well I didn’t have anything going on so I decided to go with. It wasn’t until about half way into the drive that I realized the Schells Brewery is in New Ulm and that my father is a sneaky genius.

Fear not, the man who appears to be having a heart attack is our tour guide.

The tour wasn’t as impressive as I had hoped but getting to see where some of my favorite local beers are brewed and sample quite a few was worth the three dollars. On top of all the the history of the brewery is quite impressive. Schells is the second oldest independent brewery in the nation. They brew Schells, Grainbelt, and Fitgers Labels along with 1919 rootbeer… Now thats pretty fantastic but what really impressed me is this…


You might not know this but Peacocks are my favorite animal on earth

It's like heaven !

Needless to say I was ecstatic and followed several of the birds around the grounds for quite a while…

Those are the highlights this week hopefully it will cool off this evening and I can ride my bike.

Enjoy the sunshine

My windshield is dirty...

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