All posts by Andrew

Farewell Grandpa Newcomb

Lompoc, California, the quaint town nestled amongst the coastal hills and vineyards of southern California, and a second home for me as long as I can remember, forever changed on August 25, 2017 with the passing of my grandfather, Vance Newcomb.  In a lot of ways, it felt like his quick-witted and light hearted spirit defined that town making it my Neverland—a place where I will always feel like a kid.  I can still remember, as if it just happened, the utter jubilation I experienced as a young boy as I was getting ready for bed at our home in LA and my parents surprised me with the announcement that we would be driving up to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house that night.  I remember lifting heavy eyelids as the car pulled into the driveway, the headlights illuminating the little green stucco house with the ‘Z’s in the white trim on the garage door.  I remember waking to the smell of coffee the next morning as there was every morning with my grandparents such that to this day the smell reminds me of them.  My grandfather would have used at least three different goofy voices, sang lines from multiple songs accompanied by hand whistling, all before breakfast was finished.  Oh how I would try and master the hand whistle! I never did.  Not even close.

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The long closed drive-in where I saw Beauty and the Beast

Selfishly, I wondered how Grandpa’s passing would affect my Lompoc.  I feared his absence would leave a big hole in the utopia that I have tended to take for granted as if frozen in the year 1993.  It was with a heavy heart that I entered the little green house for the first time after his death.  The hospice bed that had dominated the living room for many months was now removed and the chair that he often sat in was unoccupied.  But the spirit was light, and even in the circumstances, there was joy.  I was reminded that it was not one man that defined this town for me, but an entire family.

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A quiet highway winding its way through wine country

After the memorial, at the luncheon at the Lompoc Historic Society, somebody had the idea to photograph all of the cousins together.  David, cousin of my father and aunt, asked if they could use props.  Not knowing what he meant, somebody said Sure, and he promptly picked up the pot that the beans had been cooked in and posed with it in the picture just because.  It was so much something Grandpa would have done, that it struck me in that moment how great an influence Grandpa had on his family and friends.  We all have a love for the outdoors and more than a few of us still climb trees as adults.  Some still insist on calling it a “Crick” instead of “Creek” and there is a little bit of a holy war on this (as there should be).  Some of us have a passion for teaching as well as introducing children to literature.  A few are just as sentimental as Grandpa was and insist on archiving memories only now in blog form while others get overly emotional about football games.  Some make beautiful music and sing from mountain tops, but nobody can do that damn hand whistle.  We all have a very recognizable nose.  But above all we are kind and loving, which I’ll admit is a little bit biased.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a family full of jerks proclaim themselves as such.

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One of Lompoc’s many flower fields

No, Lompoc will never be the same without Grandpa, but it doesn’t have to be.  As long as there is family (and wine) there, it will always be a second home and we’ll continue our pilgrimages there to backpack Manzana “Crick”, to go out to Surf beach only to find you can’t go down to the water that particular time of year because of the endangered Snowy Plover, to get afternoon Espressos at Southside Coffee, to walk along the “crick” bed, to play disc golf at Beattie Park, and spend time with the people with noses like ours that appreciate absurd puns as much as we do.

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Grandma & Grandpa (Vance & Maxine Newcomb) at First Baptist Church

2 Embryoes Born in Petri Dishes, To Wit: A Retrospective

“Our thoughts and prayers will be with you” the IVF doctor said one year ago today as, with delicate confident hands, he folded up the stirrups that Tara has grown so accustomed to and helped her sit up.  In less than 10 minutes he and the embryologist had pulled our two best looking embryos from a petri dish and transferred them to Tara’s uterus via a small catheter.  I watched him moments before put the perfect bend in the device BY HAND to perfectly navigate it up the… you know… and to the uterus.  And just like that, the IVF cycle was complete and Tara was pregnant.

As we left the clinic, we had a 10 day wait ahead of us to find out if either (or both) of the embryos had actually implanted, but we were brimming with confidence and elation.  24 hours later, the embryologist called to inform us that five of the remaining 6 embryos had failed to develop further (died) and only one would be available for freezing.  In the scheme of things, this news was inconsequential.  All that really mattered at this point were the two embryos currently in Tara, but the blatant fragility of life cut through our thin veil of optimism and we simultaneously sunk into a deep gloom so debilitating that it was a daily battle to accomplish anything productive.  We had completely latched onto the 30% chance it would fail and simply could not reason with ourselves that the successful outcome was far more likely.

Ultimately, distracting ourselves from the elephant in the room was the only option.  Writing about our feelings only made it worse, which is something I have never experienced before.  So we did our best not to think about it, and focused instead on Thanksgiving, Tara’s family visiting, and taking a day trip up into the mountains to cut down a Christmas tree.

On the morning of day 10, Tara went in for the blood test that would reveal the news we desperately needed to hear.  The hours after the test felt like the longest of all as we waited for the call with the results.  Used to rejection by this point, I had cleared my afternoon of meetings and responsibilities and was prepared to immediately go home if that 30% were to rear its ugly head.

Tara, meanwhile, being connected to the medical community, was trolling her own chart hoping to catch the results prior to the phone call.  But it was still not posted, even an hour after we were promised it would be.

Finally, in the early afternoon, Tara called me.  Heart racing, I slammed my office door and answered the phone.  The second I heard her voice I knew.  Her joy jumped through the phone and enveloped me in a warm embrace as I sat alone in my office but had never felt closer to her.  He HCG levels were quite high.  She was definitely pregnant.

2 weeks later, during what would normally be called week 6 in a normal pregnancy, we returned to the Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine one final time for a viability ultrasound.  The visit started like so many before it: Tara strips from the waist down, puts feet in stirrups, doc comes in, squirts massive dollop of gel onto a device that I like to refer to simply as “The Probe”, then “Slight Pressure”, and we look at obscured images on the screen.  Only this time, instead of seeing ovaries or eggs, we saw two beans with perfect little heartbeats.

As I looked at them, I anticipated Becky’s gloating face.  We had a heated debate a few nights prior when she tried to convince me that since we now knew that Tara was pregnant, it was more likely that she was pregnant with twins than with a singleton.  Several drinks in and perhaps in a bit of denial, I was obstinate.  This is what happens when nerds drink.  The fact that the twins actually happened would be icing on the cake of her ego.

Despite Becky’s ego boost, we were delighted.  We had been hoping for twins since we decided to do IVF back in the spring.  The nurse brought in a box of adorable knitted baby hats that a former patient had made and let us pick two.  Then the doctor lingered to answer any more questions we had.  I wanted to know if there was any need for me to provide further contributions, but the doctor assured me that was no longer necessary. And before we knew it we were saying goodbye and walking out of UCRM for the last time.

 

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Taken at some point during IVF

IVF In Pictures

April 19th to 25th is Infertility Awareness Week.  As Tara and I were going through IVF this past Fall, I found myself picturing each step of the process in fun, obscure ways and decided to try and articulate it photographically.  These have all been published on my flickr, but now seemed like a good time to actually present it in a single body of work.  So check them out, and then go find someone who is suffering infertility and give them a hug.

Shoot Up

The number of syringes pictured here is only a fraction of the number of shots I had to give Tara over a span of 4 weeks leading up to the procedure.

Shoot Up

 


Sharps Refuse

We were given a legit Bio-Hazard sharps disposal bin, which we basically filled up. 

Sharps Refuse

 


Trigger Shot

Nearly all of the syringes were small, un-intimidating needles for subcutaneous injections.  But the last one, the trigger shot, was a massive intramuscular injection.  The nurse drew a target for me on Tara’s hip and gave instructions to pull the plunger back after inserting the needle to ensure I had not hit a vein.  If I had, blood would be pulled into the syringe and I would have to remove and inject in a different spot.  That’s if I had not already fainted.  Thankfully, I did not hit a vein.

Trigger Shot

 


Retrieval

The most invasive part of the process is the egg retrieval for which Tara was sedated and the eggs were removed from her ovaries in a manner that will not be described here, but involved the uterine wall and some kind of needle…

Retrieval

 


ICSI

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is the process in which the sperm is injected into the egg used for those whose sperm can’t do it on their own either due to Motility or Morphology issues.

ICSI Concept 1

 


Tara About to Become Pregnant 

Arriving at the clinic to have 2 fertilized eggs implanted back into her.  

Tara About to Become Pregnant

 


Twins

We were fortunate to get twins on the first round of IVF.  Does that make us awesome?  No, it makes us damn lucky.  Here’s to those still waiting for their luck. 

It's Twins!

Sex, Drugs & Infertility

I sat in our living room during a power outage and listened to Tara tell her sister Becky the tale of our infertility.  I could see Becky’s concerned face on the other side of the sectional couch at the edge of the light thrown out from a small camp lantern on the coffee table, but I found it more comfortable to stare at my feet while Tara explained that my sperm lack the protein necessary to penetrate the egg.  Becky was one of the first people we shared our situation with and I was still a little embarrassed about the details which we had only recently gotten closure on after a year of failed attempts at conception and several months of doctor visits and tests.

It is impossible, or at least statistically unlikely, for me to naturally father a child.  The primordial basis for my existence is nonexistent.  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised—I was never one for the ape-like assertions of male dominance or cat calls, and perhaps the inability to get a sperm into an egg is indicative of my complete and utter ineptitude at basketball.  Damn you, Darwin.

Fortunately, society has advanced from chest thumping and there is a procedure called Invitro Fertilization (IVF) with Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) for men like me, where IVF removes the entire opposing field from the court and ICSI is Michael Jordan whom I pass the ball to and puts it into the hoop in an amazing slam dunk  all while wearing comfortable, tag-less underwear.

As I proofread that last passage, it occurs to me that the literalist may assume Michael Joran will be fathering our child.  No.  MJ, in this case, is a sort of syringe capable of grabbing a single sperm from a petri dish and injecting it into a single egg in a new petri dish.

As Tara completed our story and Becky gently berated us for not telling her sooner, it occurred to us that she did have a point.  And in the weeks that followed, as we shared with more of our family and close friends, we realized that nothing but positive things came from it.  On one level, it allowed us to reconnect with those dear to us whom we kept our struggle secret from for so long. But on a much bigger scale, it allowed us to connect with others that were also silently enduring and share laughs, hugs, and tears.

Society has brainwashed us into thinking that it is not appropriate to discuss baby making.  Couples happily announce they are expecting, but the details of how they got there are glossed over and unmentioned aside from a euphemistic joke or two from the more free-spirited friends and family.  Even the timing of the announcement is regimented: Not before the 2nd trimester, minimizing the risk of an unpleasant miscarriage announcement.

We talk about sex, even going as far to share notes with close friends, but we limit these conversations to the enjoyment of sex and try not to think about its actual purpose.  Consider the contrast between “Dude, my wife and I had the best sex last night!” and “Dude, my wife and I had the best unprotected sex last night!”

I’m going to break the walls down.  My wife and I had unprotected sex for a year and a half.  The quality was superb, but no baby.  18 holes of golf and not a single sunk putt.  We have not conquered infertility and we never truly will.  But today we had science on our side.  They pulled 11 eggs from Tara’s ovaries while I went into a special room and delivered millions of sperm to an unsuspecting cup.  Now, as I write this, there are 11 embryos developing in petri dishes up at the hospital.  They will grow there for 9 1/2 months at which point we’ll go pick out or favorite ones and take them home.

We don’t know if this will work.  In fact there’s a 30% chance it won’t, but life is too short to wait for victorious status updates, and the internet is way to saturated with people appearing much more super human than they actually are.  I have been trying to write this for seven months.  My latest draft, scribbled in a leather-bound journal that I bought specifically for this purpose, is a maze of x-outs and insertions.  It doesn’t  have to be pretty, and in fact it really isn’t.  After 3 long weeks of dreaming 40% twins, 70% one, 30% nothing, we will know, and for the first time in forever, may go to an actual OBGYN. Kenobi.

If you are going through this, you CAN talk about it.  Each and every one of us is surrounded by friends and family capable of more love and support than we’d have ever imagined.  Broaching such a topic can be awkward, but it is not more awkward than conveying to family why you need your own room on a family vacation without telling them that it’s that time of the month.  Lastly, be strong and remember that for every five couples boasting about pregnancy on FB, there is another one exactly like you, wondering why it hasn’t happened yet, but sure as hell loving the ride. 

 

IVF Retrieval

Day of Retrieval (Pre-Sedation)

2013: A Facebook Perspective

Here is how 2013 looked for Tara and me if you only go off of FB and blog updates.  I took the liberty of filling in the dots.

I started working at Lockheed Martin as a technical sales and manufacturing lead in January.

FB is misleading here.  I did start a new position at LM the beginning of the year, but I’m been employed by LM since January 2012 when they acquired Procerus.  The new position has been both challenging and exciting, which is exactly what I would like it to be.

Tara continues to enjoy her job as well.  Her group recently started a Newborn Screening Research Study.  The implications of this are very exciting, but it is keeping her very busy.

Isaac & Leah visited in January.

We like that Leah is from Boise because it means they pass through Utah a couple times a year and we get to see them.  This year they stopped by in January and in August.  In August, we had a little more time and were able to take them up Millcreek Canyon for a campfire and drinks.

I tried my hand at some home maintenance.

It does not feel like we did much in the way of traveling or camping in 2013.  I have often said this is because we spent more time on home projects.  This begs the question: What projects?   To which I draw a blank.  What did we do all year?  It certainly was nice having all those weekends free.  Heres a few projects we did:

  • Got permission from the neighbor that owns the empty lot behind our house to garden on it.  We tore down the dilapidated chain link fence that separated our yard from the lot and cleared a 10′ x 10′ plot to garden on.  The results were so-so.  Next year we hope to do better with watering.
  • Ben and I made a rugged shelf for our home-brew supplies and the fermenters.
  • I built a storage bike rack in the garage.  I’m very pleased with how it turned out.
  • We did a lot better keeping up with yard work.

We got into Pilates.  Although I found it quit awkward at first, it quickly grew on me.

We attended an Oscars party at Court & Annette’s.  Tara’s ballot won.

My parents finally sold our minivan.  This was apparently noteworthy enough for both a Facebook post and a ceremonial last drive.

This is the vehicle that took us all over the country on many family vacations.  I still remember waiting at home with anticipation while my parents bought that van in 2000ish. Once I got to college, they were gracious enough to let me and my friends take it on several rode trips: Hell, Detroit Lakes, and Breckenridge to name a few.

I got into home brewing and spent too much time on the labels.

Brewer-friend Gavin told me that making fun labels for your brew is one of the best parts.  I didn’t believe him, but decided to give it a shot just for kicks.  He was totally right.  It’s a presentation thing!

We took a vacation in Cozumel, MX in March and posted way too many obnoxious lovey-dovey photos.

We dubbed this our first “real vacation” since our honeymoon.  It was really nice.

The trunk-mount bike rack I inherited from old roomie, Chet Henry, was stolen off my car.

Sad day.

We went camping in Moab in May.

Moab is notorious for being packed out, especially in May.  A group from Colorado was kind enough to let us share their campsite with them because everything else was full.  Good conversations, good beer–this is what camping is all about.  This was also the final trip in our 12 months, 12 camping trips project.  I may post about this someday if I get around to it.

My Grandpa Ploetz passed away in May.

Tara’s Grandma Heimes also passed away in February.  These natural deaths are hard because you’ll miss the loved one that passed, but also because they remind you that you yourself are getting older and passing into new phases of life.

I posted Christmas photos 6 months late.

I started commuting via train.  Women riding the train tend to have bad gas.

Hyperbole, of course.  And I’d be lying if I claimed I’d never let one fly on the train.

I work with a bunch of nerds.

I’m an engineer.  This shouldn’t be news to anyone.

We climbed at least 1 mountain.

Several, actually, but the most noteworthy was 11,000′ Deseret Peak.

Laura, Bridget, and Tyler visited us.  We spent time at the LDS temple with Court and Annette.  Annette converted us to the LDS faith.

It was wonderful having everyone and showing them around Utah.  We also hiked to a mountain lake and went swimming in the Great Salt Lake.  Nobody actually converted to Mormonism.

We spent time on what appears to be a sand pit lake in Nebraska with the extended Heimes family.  We played disc golf, presumably during the same trip.

The biannual Heimes reunion took place at Mahoney SP in July.  We drove back with our bikes in tow.  I was able ride some of my old haunts which was super fun.  Uncle Terry’s family has a lake house near Ashland.  We spent a day there doing water sports.  I snuck away briefly to visit my old employer, KZCO.  So good to see those people again.

We celebrated our 4 year anniversary.

We celebrated with a trip back to Nebraska for a home football game.  See below.

I took engagement photos of Jason & Becky and Bryce & Sarah.  I also mentioned frustration with photos on Facebook and make noise about switching to flickr for photo sharing, but I never shared the link.

I learned photoshop.

I took a community education class.

We went to Oktoberfest with Court, and rather pregnant Annette.

Just one of the times we took advantage of Annette’s required sobriety and used her as DD.  I’m kidding.  Oktoberfest was a blast and Court & Annette are great friends.  We’re so glad Laura forced us to meet one another.

We traveled to Nebraska for a home game.

It was really cold, but great to be back for a game.

I was featured mountain biking in an artsy vimeo film.

Bike buddy, Patrick’s brother used some of our footage for his short film.

I tried my hand at baking with Ben Newcomb.

Tara and Annette started doing weekly “craft nights”.  While they were doing that, Ben and I decided to make protein banana bread following a recipe that came with the post-workout protein shake mix we use.  It turned out really good.

My parents visited Utah in September.

They came out for Labor day weekend and stayed at a condo in Park City.  We had fun hiking with them and doing a PC parade of homes.

Tara’s family also visited this year, spending a week in June.  Her dad and I shopped for home brew supplies while the girls shopped for Becky’s wedding dress.

***

This coming year, we’re making a goal to spend less time on social media and more time actually catching up with people via phone and email.  We may even do some volunteering if we get particularly ambitious.

I think I say it every year, but our greatest blessing is always our friends and family.  Being a sentimental type, I love looking back over the photos, blog posts, and Facebook messages throughout the year remembering the moments we shared.  We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and get a chance to stop and relax even if only for a moment.

The Time I Didn’t Realize Kurt Cobain is Dead

When I was 16, I discovered secular music.  I don’t mean to say that my childhood was devoid of The Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, InSync, and, of course, Smashmouth.  It just wasn’t until I was 16, driving in my car, feeling that euphoria that comes with the freedom of first operating one’s own automobile, when a song came on the radio that spoke to me.

The song was “How you Remind Me” by Nickelback.  Did this song apply to my somewhat privileged, Papillion Nebraska life?  Not in the slightest.  But it somehow called out to the teenage angst I was experiencing.  You know, the I’m-mad-because-somebody-told-me-I-shouldn’t-be-so-happy-and-the-girl-I-like-in-social-studies-class-doesn’t-know-I-exist angst.  I was immediately hooked on Nickelback and alternative rock in general.

It wasn’t long before I discovered Nirvana.  Nevermind, with the naked baby on the cover, became one of the first secular albums I purchased.  I plucked it from the stack of jewel cases amongst the retro concert posters and incense smell of Homers record shop in Downtown Omaha (Either that, or I got it at Super Target in Papillion…).  “Smells Like Teen Spirit” became my anthem.  I immediately set about trying to learn to play it on my guitar.  “Lithium” with its religious theme told me that my new musical taste was alright with God.

It is safe to say that I didn’t really get Nirvana or grunge rock back then.  It did not occur to me that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is not a tribute to teenagers, but rather one of the most epic caricatures of teenage angst of all time.  Nor did I realize that “Lithium” was never intended to be a Christian song, but rather just Cobain’s twisted sense of humor as he observed a friend become a born-again.

My love for alternative rock and pop punk continued to grow through high school.  I grew my hair out and tried to learn guitar, dreaming of becoming a rock star.  When I went to college, in an effort to express myself, I got a Kurt Cobain poster to hang on my dorm room wall.

One day, a friend, (I’ll use her actual name because this is no doubt one of her proudest moments) Amanda, was hanging out in our room and she noticed my Cobain poster.  A conversation started about Nirvana, and I was about to find out in the most embarrassing possible way that the artist I’d been idolizing for the past several years had been dead since long before I even knew who he was.

I don’t recall the specifics of how it happened.  If Amanda leaked it or if my roommate Dusty had overheard the conversation and started it, but the gossip immediately went viral and soon everybody knew.  I don’t know how I missed such a blatant fact about one of my favorite bands, but to my credit, this was before Youtube and Wikipedia, so one actually had to work to study up on social doctrine.  Licking my wounds, I vowed to never again be the fool that doesn’t know an obvious fact about the music scene.

When Wikipedia became popular, I spent hours reading about my favorite bands.  My taste matured as well.  The summer after my sophomore year of college, I discovered Pink Floyd.  I listened to them so heavily that summer that hearing the music now brings back crystal clear memories of events and people.  My dad and brothers were also obsessed and we used to quiz each other on band facts while waiting in line at the super market.

The Floyd was my gateway drug to classic rock.  I took History of Rock as an elective and paid more attention and took better notes than any of my engineering classes. Naturally, The Beatles would become my next obsession.  Sure I was brought up on Rubber Soul, dancing to “Drive my Car” in my undies and knock-off Ray Bans, but I had never experienced Magical Mystery Tour or the White Album.

When Tara graduated, we planned a road trip to California just the two of us.  The morning we left, Isaac solidified himself as best roommate ever by giving us the entire Beatles discology.  We drove over 3,000 miles on that trip, and I’m not sure if we listened to anything but the Beatles.  I remember driving through rolling pastures and green hills on our way to Rifle Falls in Colorado while listening to some of the earlier takes of “Strawberry Fields Forever” on Beatles Anthology.

A few years later, after moving to Utah, I was out at lunch with a group of coworkers and Crosby Still Nash & Young’s “Ohio” came on the radio.  One of the guys who hired on about the same time as me felt a certain allegiance as we had similar tastes in music and turned to me and said: “I bet you’re the only one here who knows who this is”.  I reeled, remembering that fateful moment Freshman year, but as the guitar riff came in, I immediately knew and answered with confidence while my colleagues looked on in awe.  In that moment, I realized I’d made it.

States I’ve Visited

I saw people doing this on fb and thought it looked fun.  Looks like I need to spend some more time in the Northeast.

States Visited

 

  • red for states where you’ve not spent much time or seen very much.
  • amber for states where you’ve at least slept and seen some sights.
  • blue for states you’ve spent a lot of time in or seen a fair amount of.
  • green for states you’ve spent a great deal of time in on multiple visits.

The Death of Google Reader Ruined Blogging For Me

When Google announced the imminent termination of their popular RSS reader app, I was indifferent.  Perhaps I’d taken the software for granted; forgotten how things were when it first came out and blogging was basically peaking.  I can remember the excitement of launching Reader every morning, a feed totally of my choosing there waiting for me: Dinosaur Comics, Cyanide & Happiness, XKCD, and of course, all my friends’ blogs.

I guess I just assumed the tech giant that whips out ridiculously useful free apps in its sleep would soon announce an even better replacement.  But that announcement never came.  When I returned from my typical summer hiatus from the blogosphere, I found Reader gone like bits in the wind.

I think theres a tendency to consider things in the online world immortal, like that heart you carved into that aspen tree when you were young. The cold truth that Reader was totally gone was like a punch in the stomach.  I wanted to check in on the blogs I’d neglected for so long, but found myself lost.  I couldn’t remember the URLs, so I was left conducting weak Google searches.  Do you know how many Laura Peters blogs there are?  I did finally find it, but no update since April.  Another victim of the downfall, I presume.  SinglePlusCat? No updates since 2012, but i’m probably 3 blogs of hers behind by now.

Reynolds Tribe!  My favorite Mommy blog!  Alive and well!  So good to see.  Just in time, too.  I was so caught up in my little blog eulogy that I was starting to hear Les Mis’s Empty Chairs at Empty Tables in my head, only with the words changed to “Empty blogs in empty readers”.

I’m going to attempt to power through and keep this whole blog thing going.  If you are reading this and still blogging too, please send me a link.  I’d love to read it.  Now to go find a rebound…

 

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AbsolutelyAndrew Outgrows the www

If you’ve been to this site in the past couple weeks, you may have noticed a very subtle change.  The www has been removed from the URL.  That’s because we’re big shots now here at AbsolutelyAndrew and we don’t want our readers to be bothered with repetitive entry of the letter ‘w’.  Actually, fearless host Gavin worked some magic under the hood to optimize server space or something crazy like that.

In honor of the shorter address, I decided it was time for a new look and feel to the site.  The most obvious change is the theme, but more exciting is the addition of the photography page.

I’ve been enjoying making pictures (look, I’m even using the pretentious photographer vernacular) more than ever lately and, consequently, liking Facebook’s photo app less than ever.  I’m going to let you, the reader, in on a little secret: all the photos on my  new photography page are pulled from my new Flickr stream.  That’s right, look who’s ahead of the times.  I think Gavin told me to get Flicker 4 years ago.  I finally got it and he doesn’t even use it anymore.

In any case, now I have all my creative inspirations in one place.  If only the cavemen could see me now.