Saturday, December 28, 2013

New fun photo

Check out the Fun Photos tab above. I added another fun photo.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The holly and the ivy by Thomas Scheidel · 365 Project

Click on the link below to see my latest 365 Project photo. You can also click through to look at almost a year's worth of pictures. 12 more days until the end of the project for me.
The holly and the ivy by Thomas Scheidel · 365 Project

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The 365 Project

About a year ago I noticed that one of my friends would occasionally make posts on Facebook from something called The 365 Project. The basic concept is that he would take a photo and post that photo every day for a whole year. 365 days in a year, thus the name. I was intrigued by the concept and decided to start my own 365 Project on January 1, 2013. To this day I have taken a photo every day and posted it. Some days, like if I'm on vacation, I take lots of photos and it's hard to pick just one. And some days it's 11:00 p.m. and I realize I haven't taken a photo yet. Those are the moments of forced creativity. Or maybe that's just a shot of a plate of bacon.

The project has been very interesting. There are people involved from all over the world. It especially fun looking at the photos from Australia. It's springtime down there right now and they're getting ready for summer as those of us in the northern hemisphere are taking photos of red and orange autumn trees.

Taking a photo everyday doesn't sound that hard, but it really has stretched me as a photographer to try and come up with unique images. The daily deadline also is helpful. On some days it would be very easy to say "I'll just take two pictures tomorrow". But that's outside the rules. That being said, I'll be glad when December 31 rolls around. The 365 Project has been fun, but I'm ready for it to be done.

Click here for a link to a recent shot I took at ArtPrize. Below are some of my favorite photos from the the past 10 months.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Disaster Tourism

The west Michigan area has had quite a "spring". I put that last word in quotes because with the exception of the last couple of days April hasn't been very spring-like. In fact by the 18th we had set a rainfall record for the entire month. Over 9 inches of rain had fallen. Then on Saturday it snowed. All this moisture has caused many of the rivers in the area, particularly the Grand River, to burst their banks. Record flood levels were reported on the Grand, Thornapple, Flat and Rouge Rivers. Many city streets, homes and businesses were flooded out. This is what leads me to the title of this article - Disaster Tourism.

The Grand River is four feet over flood stage. Notice the street lamps in the middle of the water.

We went to downtown Grand Rapids on Sunday to look at the overflowing Grand River. My unscientific estimate is that several thousand other people did as well. In Lowell, which is situated where the Flat River empties into the Grand River, Main Street saw bumper to bumper traffic of "flood tourists", at least until city officials closed the street due to high water levels. I understand that this is a once in a lifetime event, a true life depiction of the "100 year flood plan" we keep hearing about. But isn't it a bit perverse to go out and watch areas being devastated by Mother Nature? Perhaps I'm putting too strong a point on it. As far as I know no one has been killed by the flood, so we're only talking about property damage. Still I think about when Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast and the breathless news coverage. We seem to love a good disaster, whether it's in the movies or, better yet, real life.

I'm not condemning anyone for checking out the flooding, heck, I was doing it. It just struck me as a bit odd to see so many people out and about "enjoying" the flood.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Riding to Cure Diabetes

For the past nine year's my wife Mary and I have been participating in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Ride for a Cure. Three year's ago our then 15 year old son Ian joined us. Each year we ride train by riding hundreds, in some cases thousands, of miles to be ready to do an epic JDRF ride. Six times we've ridden in Death Valley, once in the mountains of Vermont, and last year all the way around Lake Tahoe. This year's ride will be in Nashville, Tennessee and will require the most climbing of any ride we've done. But all the bicycle riding is only half the story. The real reason we are out there is to raise money to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Our older son, Jake, was diagnosed with Type 1 sixteen years ago when he was only six years old. As a family we are committed to do everything we can to help him fight this life threatening disease.

This is where you come in. Since our first ride in 2005 our family has raised over $72,000 for diabetes research. This year we have a goal of $12,000. You can help us reach that goal by clicking on this link and making a donation. All amounts are welcome and appreciated. Thank you for your support.

Tom, Ian and Mary at the start of the JDRF Lake Tahoe Ride in September 2012.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Have a beer

There are over 100 craft breweries in Michigan. The state is becoming well known for it's exceptional beers. Grand Rapids shares the title of Beer City USA with Asheville, North Carolina. Recently I decided to visit as many as possible. This means actually going to the establishment, not just drinking their beer in a bar or at the Winter Beer Festival next month. So, in no particular order, here is a list of the Michigan brewers that have had the pleasure of having my butt in one of their seats.

Founder's, Grand Rapids
New Holland, Holland
Grand Rapids Brewing Company, GR
The Hideout, GR
Harmony, GR
Brewery Vivant, GR
Hop Cat, GR
Saugatuck Brewing Company, Sauagtuck
Arbor Brewing Company, Ann Arbor
Arcadia, Battle Creek
B.O.B.s Brewery, GR
Perrin, Comstock Park
Old Boys Brewhouse, Spring Lake
Olde Penninsula, Kalamazoo
Waldorff, Hastings
Mountain Town Station, Mt. Pleasant

I noticed a few things when compiling this list. First, there are a few breweries that I left off because they no longer exist (i.e. Mackinac Brewing Company). Second, even though I've had a lot of their beer I've never actually been inside Bell's in Kalamazoo. That will need to be rectified soon. Finally, it looks like I still have plenty of places to visit.