Category Archives: Travel

Remembering Mrs “Swish” White

The Colonnade - Image taken at Rectory School
The Colonnade – Image taken at Rectory School

On Saturday (7/27), I had a chance to revisit “The Rectory School” in Pomfret CT, for the first time in 18 years, when I had attended the 75th Anniversary ceremonies.

This time, I was there to mourn the death of a beloved teacher, “Swish” White, who helped to shape this young teenager back in the late 1970s.

It was a small sweet ceremony held at Christ Church, located right across the street, where I once sat in the pews, twice a week for three years.

Memories flooded my mind, as I looked around the old church with it’s beautiful stain glass windows and vaulted dark wood beams reaching high into the ceiling. The chosen music echoing in the air.

I sat with my daughter and Peter Rosengarten, listening to the tributes to Ms. White, for all the wonderful things she had done during her lifetime as a Wife, Mother, Teacher, Tutor, Mentor, Musician and Friend.

During one tribute by Mr. Groom, he made reference to the school play “Oliver” directed by Mrs. White, and how she was able to temporarily ‘tame’ the boys, and harness their energy into something wonderful.

Of course, Peter and I had to starting poking and pointing at each other, like the little school boys we had been, bringing a chuckle to those in attendance.

I was also very fortunate to be introduced to Ms. White’s daughter, Jesse, when I was still a student at the school, and the two of us have remained close friends for over 35 years, and becoming an adopted “Aunt” of our two kids.

At the luncheon held after the Service, I was able to chat with some of my teachers that I had not seen since 1995 or before: Mr. Groom, Mr. & Mrs. Seaward, Mr. & Mrs. Washburn and my first tutor Ms. Barker!

How does one cram half a lifetime into 5 minutes of conversation!

Eventually, Peter, Madison and I, found Jesse and told her we were going to walk the campus, and not to leave without saying good bye.

We walked to the colonnade, a common meeting point so many years before, and looked out at all the changes, trying to describe them to Madison.

Peter was far more versed in the changes, since he had just at a son graduate the year before.

For Madison, it was a chance to see where Daddy lived for three years of his life, including two surviving dorm rooms, and enhanced stories from Peter.

After about an hour, we head back to the church, and found Jesse, packing up for a more intimate family reception down the road.

We chatted some more, trying to comfort Jesse as much as we could, and updating our information so that if there were a need, we could easily communicate with each other.

Finally, it was time to depart.

We hugged and kissed and went our separate ways – Peter to a local comic book store, and my long drive home with Madison.

To Mrs. White – Thank you so much for those various seeds you planted so long ago! They have taken root, and continue to grow because of you. You will be greatly missed!

- Andrew
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Converted 1994 Asia Travel Journal – DONE!

I have FINALLY converted an ancient Dreamweaver coded Travel Journal to WordPress!

Travel Journal to Asia in 1994

It was good to clean up some of the code, and get “it” back to a base standard in html!

Part of the joys over jumping various web platforms over the years…

In re-linking the various jpeg image files, I realize that I do need to go back and re-scan some of the old slides!

So if you are interested, please take a look and let me know what you think!

– Andrew
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Cold Weather and Your Camera

Snow Stream hdr 13 (2011)
Snow Stream hdr 13 (2011)

As Chester County was getting its first real snow fall of the New Year on Thursday and Friday, I was very anxious about getting out and getting some photography in, but was thwarted with the regular activities of life: Clients, Family, Plowing, Roads, etc.

But I was finally able to get out late yesterday afternoon, to shoot the little stream along Norwood Road heading into Downingtown, which was fairly untouched, except for a single set of tracks left by a dog and it’s owner.

As I trudged through the snow with my camera bag and tripod, I was reminded of an earlier series of comments I made on “cold weather camera tips“, and I thought I would revisited the post to single the content and to add additional thoughts and information.

Heading Out – Things that can slow down

Most people when faced with shooting in cold conditions, generally only think about what cloths and boots they are going to wear to keep them warm during their photographic adventure, which is very important, but it does not stop there.

Your camera also has moving parts that need to be included in your thinking.

The Camera Body

Before the advent of Digital Cameras, Traditional Film based cameras had many more moving parts that one had to be concerned with when working in cold weather.

On Traditional Film Cameras, the Film Transport mechanism and Rollers where usually the most vulnerable as the lubricants became more viscous and in extreme case, freezing altogether.

One also had to be careful with the film itself, because it to could be brittle, and break when being thread into the camera body.

There was also the increase in static electrical charges, that could cause little lighting patterns on the film, especially during the rewinding process.

With Digital Cameras, obviously there is no need to move film, so issues associated with the moving and winding film became less relevant.

In both Film and Digital cameras, the mirror mechanism that allows one to look in to the eyepiece and then see through the lens also has the potential of slowing down as the temperature falls.

Lens

The blades that make up the iris diaphragm or aperture of the lens and the mechanics uses for auto focusing can also be sensitive to the cold. These features may slow down, stick together or freeze, there by not allowing the correct exposure or focus quality.

Batteries

As the temperature falls, the chemicals inside the batteries used to produce a current, will begin to diminish, and at some point, the camera will stop working at all.

Ever have problems starting your Car in the winter?

Needless to say, I keep my batteries as warm as possible, and carry an extra set.

What to do?

The most obvious answer is to keep your camera gear warm by simply keep it near your body for warmth, and do NOT breath heavily on the camera in an attempt to warm it up!

This can cause condensation which is the biggest evil!

Condensation

As mentioned earlier, condensation, which is caused by the sudden changes in temperature, can damage your camera’s electronics.

This usually is a cumulative issue, meaning, it might not happen on the first time, but after many sessions.

What needs to occur, is the gradual transition of temperatures between indoors and outdoors on your camera.

Use your camera bag as a place to help in the transition. The bag’s cushions and partitions will help to absorb the temperature extremes.

It is also good practice to place your equipment into plastic bags as part of the transition and condensation control.

There does seem to be a debate about keeping the camera inside your coat.

Here you have to be sensible, and coordinate with you environment.

Remember:

  1. You body heat is going to make for a larger extreme when you take it out
  2. Your body sweats, adding moisture to the situation

If you have to keep your camera next to you body, use caution and common sense.

When traveling to your destination, keep your gear in the coldest section of your car, like the back and maybe even the trunk. That way, the camera can slowly cool down. Use the reverse when heading home.

In our house, we have a “mud room” area, that is not as warm as the rest of the house, but it is where I can acclimate the camera, before it reaches my office, which also happens to be a colder part of the house!

Other Cold Weather Tips

  • Carry an Extra Set of Batteries
  • Remove the Batteries until needed – Warm Batteries
  • Turn off the LCD screen until needed – Battery Drain
  • Turn off the Auto Focus feature until needed – Battery Drain

I hope you have found this posting useful, so go out an enjoy the cold weather with you camera!

References

– Andrew
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Heading Home

The voyage back to the states

13:45 P - UA Flt# 3806 - Hong Kong -> San Francisco (3E)
14:40 P - UA Flt# 394 - San Francisco -> Philadelphia (4C)

Breakfast at the Hotel

Limo to the Airport

Hong Kong Airport

I waited with Dad for his plane to Manila.

Armed Soldiers walked the Airport, and when someone tried to video them, they placed their hands in the way of the lens, and told the people to stop.

Airplane flight back to the States

Once again, I was in First Class.

There was more air turbulence on the way back.

I ended up drinking the booze that was on the serving table right next to me!

Apprx. 09:30am – I got into the San Francisco Airport

My flight out of SF was for 14:20pm!!

San Francisco to Philadelphia

The flight was a little late leaving.

The movie on the flight was “The Mask”

Holly & Russ picked me up at the Airport

I did not get Home and into bed until approx 05:00am!!

– Andrew
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Shanghai onto Hong Kong

We were joined today by a relatively new employee

Walk on the Water Front

Shopping in Shanghai

Yu Gardens

Uniquely shaped rocks with wonderful plant gardens.

I did not bring my camera, but if I had, I would have used B&W film.

Lunch at The Oldest Shanghai Restaurant

Mr. Cheng had problems with the original waitress, and complained to the manager.

From what I understand, we were first told by the waitress to look in another area of the
restaurant, but when Mr. Cheng persisted, the waitress did not wait to work because she was tired.

I could understand her plight, but if this had not been a Communistic country, she would have been right on our party.

More shopping in Shanghai

Bought the jade pendants for Amy & Debbie

Flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong

Hotel Limo from the Airport

Black Stretch Mercedes-Benz

Back at The Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong

The person at the front desk knew Dad visually as her approached the front desk, and she walked us up to our room.

Talk about Service!!

At the hotel bar

Dad and I had a wonderful conversation, while I was eye flirting with a blonde in a red dress.

There were definitely points in our conversation, that I wished Dad would disappeared and gone to bed!

After Dad left the bar, I meet Ian Crinters. He claimed that he was the retired Ex-president for CitiBank, Hong Kong.

Ian also introduced me to Dr. Wally.

Apparently, Dr. Wally is one of the leading Dentists in Hong Kong.

Dr. Wally and I ended up having a conversation about China and food. I mentioned that in the today’s paper, I had read about how to make snake soup, he offered to take me to a restaurant that served an excellent good snake soup.

The bill for Dad & I comprised of 6-7 beers for me, and 3 Scotches for Dad. I signed for the bill and it was for $766.00 plus tab!!!! Grant it, it was Hong Kong dollars, but it is still a shock!!

– Andrew
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