Tuesday Morning Tennis!

Whenever possible I enjoy playing tennis with a fun group of players on Tuesday mornings. I’ve had to miss for the last few weeks because of a synovial cyst that is irritating my sciatic nerve and causing a good deal of pain. I was hoping that laying off tennis would be beneficial, but it doesn’t seem to have helped.

Since I wasn’t playing this week, I decided to go and be a photographer. Here are the results. (You can click on any photo and get an enlarged version.)

20140408 Tennis 18056 (1) (Standing) Diane, Bea, Sandy, Cheryl, Sa. (Kneeling) Denise, Eric, Lisa. (Normally we have more men, but having so many women no doubt made the photos more colorful.)

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An Evening at the Clarks’

On Saturday evening, March 8, we had a delightful evening at the home of Dean and Joyce Clark in Capistrano Beach. The company was outstanding — in addition to the Clarks, those in attendance were Scott and Patti Smith and Don and Mary Mealing (along with their son, Brian) and, of course, Dawn. I brought along my trusty Nikon D800.

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We arrived shortly before sunset. The Clarks’ home sits on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean with both Santa Catalina and San Clemente islands clearly visible. As can be seen from the above photo, they are in the midst of a tremendous remodeling project. (This picture was taken from the edge of the bluff looking back at the rear of the home.)

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Santa Barbara Film Festival

Our sons David (and his wife, Alexis) and Matt (and his wife, Amy) gave us a wonderful Christmas present this year—a trip to the Santa Barbara Film Festival. I’m doing this blog post to memorialize the great time we had.

20140209 Santa Barbara 5753 - Version 2

Here are the six of us—Matt, Amy, David, Alexis, Dawn and me. I look stupid but, hey, sometimes that can’t be helped.

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Autumn in the Utah Mountains

Last week (October 3-5, 2013) I had the opportunity to fly to Utah to participate in a landscape photography workshop conducted by Willie Holdman, an extremely talented photographer who lives in Heber, Utah. Willie has a gallery at 580 Main Street in Park City, which you should visit if you’re ever in that area. Willie got his start as a boy, assisting his father on assignments for National Geographic. Although he has photographed nature all over the world, Willie says it can’t compare with the versatility and beauty of Utah.

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Mt. Timpanogos in the Wasatch Mountains
(Click on this and the other photos in this blog to see larger versions,
which will more fully illustrate the beauty of the scenes.)

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A Wedding Story (Becca & Austin)

Last week ago Dawn and I flew to Salt Lake City to attend the wedding of my niece, Rebecca Ostler to Austin Copeland-Rynders. For the record, the wedding date was October 7, 2012. It was a fabulous event at a beautiful location. Picture taking was fun—all the Ostlers clean up quite nicely! Here are some photos I took at the wedding.

The wedding and reception were held at La Caille,
a picture-perfect venue for a such an affair (though with a tragic history).

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Christina’s Surprise Party

Our neighbor and friend, Christina Reeve, has hosted wonderful pre-Christmas dinners for a number of years. Chris, a culinary artist, is in charge of the food for these parties, aided by her friend Anita and cousin Gigi, who likewise know their way around a kitchen. Recently, Chris’ daughter, Jessica, (aided by Anita), decided to turn the tables and surprise Chris with a birthday party. Jessica is a director of culinary services for Bon Appetit, a top-flight catering company. As you might guess, the feast was wonderful.

I took along my camera and shot photos of the food. But what I most enjoyed was shooting the people. (I know that last sentence sounds a bit odd.) I enjoy recording the character in the faces of friends we have known and appreciated for many years. Most of my photos are un-posed candids; I simply try to capture a familiar expression. Sometimes they turn out well; sometimes they don’t. Here are the ones I particularly liked from Christina’s party (in no particular order). My apologies to the folks whose photos I missed — there’s always next time.

Christina Reeve — Our frequent host and nearby neighbor for thirty-four years. Apparently she is only three years old (or maybe thirty, if each candle stands for ten years).

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An Angelic Visitation


OK, I may have gotten carried away with this blog title.

On my birthday (May 25) Dawn and I attended a baseball game at Anaheim Stadium between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Toronto Blue Jays. We don’t attend live sporting events very often so when my Fidelity Investments representative called a few weeks ago and offered two free tickets in their luxury suite I accepted.

Anaheim Stadium is located just a few miles from our house and getting to the game is quite simple. By leaving at 6:00 p.m. we were at the gates of the parking lot by 6:20, giving us plenty of time to park and find our suite before the 7:00 start time.

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A Magically Beautiful Night

I planned to spend the day following my Kennedy School panel traipsing around Boston and Cambridge, indulging in one of my loves: photography. I had even lugged my big, heavy Nikon D300 (with external flash attachment and spare battery) to Boston with me. On Wednesday morning when I looked out my window it was gloomy, so I dressed warmly grabbed my camera and headed for the bus stop, intending to go to Cambridge. As soon as I reached the corner it started to rain. I ducked into a little bookstore called “Trident Booksellers & Café” and found they had a terrific breakfast menu, so I ordered a New England-style omelette made with apples and creamy brie.

[Left: Tyson at the Middle East]

I had hoped the weather would clear a bit while I was in the café, but it was not to be. If anything, the rain was falling harder when I left, so I just went back to the Harvard Club and spent the afternoon in my room working on various projects – the Miller Eccles website and some family history research. It was a shame to spend my only free time in Boston in a bedroom, but there seemed to be no appealing alternative.

During the afternoon Tyson called – he was en route from New York City to Boston – and we made arrangements to meet for dinner at a restaurant that was part of the club where his band, called Magical, Beautiful, would be performing. By then the rain had mostly stopped, so I took a bus to Central Square (near MIT) where I soon found The Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub.

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