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shutterBURGH | Archives
Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas is one of our biggest holidays in our house. Trying to organize Christmas between two sides of a family is challenging enough, but throw in a few golden retrievers and a photographer and the hectic nature of our holiday preparations becomes quite an undertaking. With my grandmother finally moved in to her new community, we were very thankful for the flexibility of shuttling her to and from North Versailles compared to the familiar rigor of transit between Cumberland and home. As usual, we decorated our tree in conjunction with some Captain and Cokes and cookie baking:

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Remodeling our Living Room

You wouldn’t believe how fast two 60-pound pooches can destroy a room. Our living room had always been a bit dated (wallpaper is just disgusting…. really), so combined with the collective dirt, dander, and fur that our old carpet was subjected to, my mom decided that it was time to drop a little cash and renovate our living room.

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Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Of all of the holidays, Thanksgiving is the one that has changed the least for me as I grew up. Christmas, Easter, and Independence Day all seem very different when I was young compared to what they are for me now. But Thanksgiving is as it always was; an opportunity to enjoy food, beer, football with my family. I spent the whole day inside with Mom, Doug, and my grandmother (and some canine companions) shooting photos, making food, drinking wine, and enjoying the freedom from the cubicle. Here are some photos from the day:

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Light Up Night in Pittsburgh

Light Up Night in Pittsburgh

I met some new friends at Siemens that are from Germany, and they invited me to go down to the Pittsburgh Light Up Night with them. I’ve been doing my best to show them some cool places in Pittsburgh. I’m sure that when I get the chance to go to Germany, they’ll do the same for me. Despite the heavy traffic in Station Square, the Light Up Night festivities are a lot of fun and the whole city seems to jump on the band wagon. Here are some photos and a video I took.

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Making the Blue Heron Sculpture

Making the Blue Heron Sculpture

Nathan and I have been volunteering at Blue Heron for a few years now, and this year, we wanted to have a major contribution to the festival. Him being a prolific artist, and me being an atypical mechanical engineer, we brainstormed some ideas for a large art installation.

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A Letter To My First Car

A Letter To My First Car

Dear Layla,

I remember standing in my driveway when your keys got turned over to me. That was back before you got most of the scratches, dents, and stains that I subjected you to, and you were more than flawless in my 16 year old eyes. You were a symbol of freedom; of that trancendental time my life where I was beginning to make my own decisions on who I wanted be. I was facing big choices in life – what college to attend, what major to study, who to date, who to be friends with – and you were the tangible extension of my own free will – the choice to go wherever I desired.

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The All Good Music Festival

The All Good Music Festival

What happened?

Seriously, I’m not sure. The All Good Festival is a place to make wonderful memories and forget them just as quickly.

I consider myself a festival veteran at this point. I’ve been to dozens of smaller outdoor music festivals and I usually feel very safe and comfortable. All Good made me feel like it was my first time. And everyone remembers their first time a little differently than the rest, don’t they? 😉

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Ledges ClassicFest 2011

Ledges ClassicFest 2011

I’ve grown to have a real preference for festivals like Blue Heron and events at Ledges because of their size. When a festival has about 3,000-8,000 people, it’s large enough to meet new people, provide new experiences, and draw some descent talent, but small enough that you don’t get overwhelmed in the flurry of glow stick juice and sin. (Not that glow stick juice and sin are always bad things).

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Sturgis Road Show 2011

Sturgis Road Show 2011

I got an invite to attend the 2011 Sturgis Road Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania last weekend, and offered to do some promotional photography for them. I ended up having to adapt to a bunch of interesting photography conditions and shot just about every type of photo you could imagine – glamour, product photography, editorial, humanity – and really enjoyed the experience, so I thought I’d share some photos.

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Compost Barrel on a Budget

Compost Barrel on a Budget

I’ve been wanting to start a compost barrel for a while now. We throw away a lot of food scraps at our house, and then buy overpriced, non-natural fertilizer for my garden. Pretty stupid when you think about it.

I was looking in to start a composter, but most available models are ludicrously overpriced – like this tumbler for $99, or this even-dumber tumbler for $199. I had little intent on spending three figures on what is essentially a trash can with holes.

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