Birthday self-roast


Greetings, gentle readers! Yes, today is my birthday, and to celebrate that, I have gathered some pictures from my past, including some of the absolutely worst pictures of me ever taken.

I was born on February 6, 1967, at Cortland Memorial Hospital, in Central New York, at roughly 7:35 AM. I was born in the middle of the coldest, most bitter winter on record up until that time. (The winter of 1977 broke any and all low temperature records for the area; it was a doozy.)


As a boy I lived in the town of Homer, New York. I did most of the usual kid stuff, though not as much as most other boys, because I had an almost pathological hatred of High School. Why? Well, I was what we would now call a “nerd,” and Homer Central was a school where (at least at that time) athletes were demigods. Need I say more?

I went to college at St. Bonaventure University, in Western New York. and those were among my happiest years. During this time I experimented, unsuccessfully, with facial hair.

Gads, I look like Leon Trotsky!

After working a various jobs for two years, I returned to school at SUNY Albany, for a Master of Science in Information Studies. That’s a fancy name for a Master of Library Science.

Had I been drinking earlier that day? I look like I’m about to fall over.

I had some good times at SUNY, and I made some lasting friends. But on the whole, those two years were part of my job.



Career developments moved me to the Washington, DC area in 1996. I met my future wife there, and we were married in 2003.


I started working for the Library of Congress in 2003, and in 2007 I took a lateral move to the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia. My daughter Caitlin was born in 2006, and somewhere during this time I went prematurely grey. I’m certain there is a connection.

In 2009, Lisa and I bought our first (and so far only) house, and in 2012 our son Michael was born.

Definitely the worst picture ever…

Last year, Lisa made me these cute Welsh cupcakes for my birthday.

And here is one good picture of me, just to show that it can be done:


And that concludes that. I have now completed forty-eight solar laps. I’ve done many of things I set out to do, and believe it or not, I think I’m in a pretty good place these days. Some things could be better, of course, and some things are a work in progress. And for some things, I’m just getting started.

Views from Mt. Pony


I work for the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center of the Library of Congress, located just outside of Culpeper, Virginia. The building is a converted Cold-war federal reserve bunker located on – and in – the side of a mountain. This building was selected for the underground storage rooms, which could be easily converted into climate controlled vaults for the storage of nitrate movie film, and other sensitive storage media.

Besides being an interesting building, and an interesting place to work, it offers some unique visuals of the Piedmont region of Virginia.


This image was taken on August 14 of 2014, from the cafeteria veranda. From here it is possible to see for several miles, especially on a clear day. The mountains in the background are part of the Blue Ridge Chain. The famous Blue Ridge Parkway snakes through those very mountains.


This one was taken from just outside the main entrance, on October 29, 2014. The interesting light greatly accented the wildflowers.


This one, however, taken from the same location but with a different angle on the camera, brings out the strange weather pattern that had been visiting the area. If you look into the valley, you will see a full cloud system settled right on top of the town of Culpeper. The driving was very strange that day, given that the town was fully engulfed in fog.


Finally, there is this impressive sunset, taken from the parking lot on the south side of the building. It was taken on November 19 of 2014, and it was bitter cold out. In truth, the cold may account for why the colors were so brilliant.