Category Archives: challenges

Thursday Doors: The Door Table

I made this table from the old cellar door that was on our house. It had to be replaced last year and was partially water damaged. You can see the original door here. I liked the part that was undamaged and the vintage hardware. I cut away the bad material and built a frame to support the legs. To make the legs, I borrowed my father’s tapering jig and learned how to use it. It needed a bit of bracing on the legs. The base is made from recycled pallets that I get from a local ceramic tile shop. I cleaned up the metal parts of the hardware and repainted the black portions with glossy black paint.

Thursday Doors – Some of Boston’s More Interesting Doors

Two years ago, I took a couple of photo tours in Boston with Saba of PhotoWalks Tours. These are some doors that I captured on those tours.

For more information on Thursday Doors, please see Norm Frampton’s site at

7-day Nature Photo Challenge – Day 1

Mount Washington Hotel - View from the Rear Porch
My friend Lois at On Pets and Prisoners ( nominated me for this challenge. I don’t do a lot of challenges, but the conditions in New England are still not great for pretty photos and I thought it would be fun to do a retrospective of some of my favorite nature images.

This first image was made in March 2015 of Mt Washington in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

Monochrome Monday: R/V Marcus G. Langseth

Marcus G Langseth BW
We spent the weekend visiting my parents on Cape Cod. After dinner on Saturday, we took a ride down to Woods Hole, a charming village that happens to contain both the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the Marine Biological Laboratory. There is always interesting “stuff” down there. We had seen this research vessel earlier in the day.

The Marcus G. Langseth serves as the national seismic research facility for the United States academic research community. It is distinct among ships in the academic fleet in that it is a designated National Facility. Its operations are not determined by any one academic institution but by a committee of scientists from the larger community.

Below is a color version of this image and a photo made during the daytime with my iPhone.

Marcus G Langseth

Research Ship

Three Day Quote Challenge – Day 3

Bryce Courtenay
“Generosity overpowers greed.”

Bryce Courtenay

It was important to me that one quote be about generosity or service. I chose this because from the first time I read it, I thought that this is one of the unerring truths in the world. The people who serve and build up people or society succeed. Those who merely seek to gain for their own good may succeed in the short-term but at some level not in the long run.

Bryce Courtenay was an author from South Africa, who later lived in Australia. His most notable work is The Power of One. This quote is from an interview with Courtenay in Andrew Zuckerman’s book Wisdom.

Three Day Quote Challenge – Day 2


This is from the first two lines of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”. The full quote is:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

It is one of my favorite poems and one of the few I’ve ever committed to memory. The poem describes all of the wonderful qualities a person should aspire to attain: calm, patience, proper perspective, relating to the world, perseverance.

I like the first lines because they set the tone for the poem. The quote suggest the value in not getting carried away and going with the emotion of the crowd, even when they blame their plight on you. It suggests a Zen like attitude of relating to the world.

The full poem can be found here:


Three Day Quote Challenge – Day 1


Taken from the show Mad Men, this popular culture quote is a bit brash and bold, but from the first time I heard it, it reminded me of a man named Tom for whom I once worked. Several times, Tom and I attended a meeting or conference at which someone took over the conversation with a rant while everyone shifted uncomfortably in their seats. Tom had a great way of subtly shifting the conversation to a totally different topic in a way that did not embarrass the speaker and which brought relief to the rest of us. While I’ve tried to emulate this, he was the master.

On a larger level, this quote reminds me that when something strikes you as wrong, don’t just sit there, do something; take personal responsibility for your life.

Thank you to my recent friend River Hayden for nominating me for this challenge.