Saturday, December 21, 2013

Festive NYC

Family outing to NYC last night to see a rousing Christmas concert at Carnegie Hall by the NY Pops Orchestra and the 75 member Essential Voices USA choir. Then we walked down to Rockefeller Center Plaza to see the tree. It was crowded everywhere, even at 11pm!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I Robot

Pierce's pastel rendering of a robot from the film I Robot.

Where Has Deirdre Been for the Past Three Months?

She's been campaign manager (volunteer) for the local public school board elections. This is her second year as campaign manager for the team, after serving as campaign manager for a city council candidate before that. And, as of election day, November 5th, she's back! And her team won!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

ComicCon NYC

Our first NYC ComicCon! Pierce, two of his friends and I spent the better part of today walking the massive exhibition hall. It's safe to say we didn't get through it all. As Pierce said: geekgasm! Click on the picture for a short slideshow.

From ComicCon NYC

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Outsiders, a Graphic Adaptation

Here's Pierce's three page graphic adaptation of Chapters 6 to 12 of S.E. Hinton's classic novel novel of class divisions, gangs, and self-discovery in mid-west America.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Placemats From My Past

When I was young, our family meals were served on these placemats. Naturally, they were in better shape back then. Originally there were eight, but unfortunately these five are all that remain. I remember gazing closely at the whimsical illustrations between courses, absorbing all the details.

After I moved away from home, Mom must have given them to me to help me get set up. I used them a lot, but at some point they looked so shabby, new placemats were purchased and these were shoved into the back of a drawer only to be rediscovered recently. I couldn't throw them out without capturing the illustrations.

After scanning them, I noticed the artist's name at the bottom of a couple of them: Judith Bledsoe. A quick Google reveals that someone recently auctioned a complete set of these placemats in much better shape on the UK eBay site for £15.

As for the artist, Google indicates there is a living artist by that name. Her online portfolio exhibits a very different style but her biography states that Bledsoe "ran off to Europe at age 16 to discover her artistic calling." It goes on to describe how she, in her early years, illustrated children's books while living in London. So this, in fact, may be the same artist!

(click on the pictures to enlarge)

Friday, August 16, 2013


Pierce giving his presentation, along with his partner Sander, at the end of his summer course at the ‪‎AMNH‬. The topic was the "platecarpus", a 14 foot mosasaur from the late cretaceous native to North America's ancient western interior seaway.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Introducing Ceiling Cat (formerly known as Swingie) from the Liberty Humane Society. He's settling in as though he's always lived with us. Purrfect!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Cooler Climes in Canada

In early July we escaped Hoboken in the midst of a heat wave to begin our annual Canadian vacation. Canada did not disappoint, keeping the temperatures in the 60s to 70s, and as low as freezing one night camping in the Rockies. We first visited the Wall clan in Alberta. We spent some time in Cochrane with Clair, Ciara and Randy, visited Calgary's Heritage Park, paid a visit to the amazing Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, and then headed into Kananaskis Country for a few nights camping. Then we were off to visit the Bonds on Vancouver Island. We spent time at Arbutus Ridge with Mom, visited the wonderful Aquarium of the Salish Sea in Sidney with Ben, spent a few days at the relaxing Ocean Village Beach Resort on Mackenzie Beach in beautiful Tofino BC, hiked a short rainforest trail in nearby Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, and then paid a visit to Marianne, Allison, Ben and the cats in Victoria (Sannich, actually!). We were away for a full month but it feels like an eyeblink now that we're back (sigh!). Here are some pictures of our trip. Click on each picture to see a slideshow.


Vancouver Island

Looking for Bears in Kananaskis Country

In July 2013 I had the opportunity to ride-along with my brother-in-law, a Kananaskis Country Conservation Officer, as he monitored the location of the park's bears. Kananaskis Country is located between Banff and Calgary in Alberta's beautiful Rocky Mountains and more than 20 grizzly bears call it home.

Mackenzie Beach Sunset

Here's a timelapse of a cloudless sunset at Mackenzie Beach in beautiful Tofino BC, July 2013.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Walk in the Rainforest

Pictures from a walk in the gorgeous green rainforest near Tofino BC. (For photo buffs: I used 5 exposure HDR for each shot and Photoshop HDR Pro to merge them). Click to enlarge.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Grade 6 Moving Up Ceremony

Where did the time go? Seven years ago Pierce started kindergarten at Wallace School and in what seems like the blink of an eye he's finished Grade 6. He will start Grade 7 at the Junior High in Hoboken High School this Fall. He enjoyed seven great years at Wallace School and it's been exciting watching him grow and develop over the years. The students sang "Hall of Fame" from the Irish band The Script (with ensuring there wasn't a dry eye in the audience. We'll miss our Wallace School family but we're looking forward to the Junior High school and the start of Pierce's next academic adventure. Here's a few pix and a video from today's ceremony and a flashback to Pierce's first day at Wallace School.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dad and the Rockies

My father loved the sea and was never more than a few blocks from it growing up in Dublin, Ireland. I can only imagine his shock when he emigrated with his parents as a young man at the age of 20, to the dusty landlocked prairies of western Canada in 1957. But it took him no time to fall under the spell of the vast Canadian Rocky Mountains which became his new playground. As a child I was convinced that Dad was trying to torture me, with one hike after another. Nevertheless, he persisted and ignored the chorus of complaints and protests (not inconsiderable from four daughters) and inevitably, we came to share his passion for the mountains. Here are a few photos of Dad hiking with his good friend, John Secker, long before the outdoor comforts of Goretex and Moss tents. Who knew that these two young students, on their summer break from university, were on their way to becoming professors of English Literature.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Our last Wallace School Field Day

The Wallace School Field Day has been one of our favorite school activities for the last 7 years and today was no exception. The dedicated Wallace PTO organizes the amazing day and this year they even arranged for perfect weather with a sunny, breezy 78 degrees. Pierce starts Grade 7 next year in the new Junior High program at Hoboken High School so we enjoyed the day just a little bit more as we prepare to say goodbye to our Wallace School family.