Of family gatherings, old wagons and people that don’t smile.. (sometimes).


For mom and dad’s 50th wedding anniversary we spent a weekend at Spring Mill state park and had a professional photographer. album003Here is a picture of the two of them relaxed. We had a few traumatic events that weekend with one of my sons not wishing to be photographed. But all in all we had a good time.

We got amazing pictures.

Sometimes with photographs you have such a strong desire to center everything. This one presents very well with just the slightest bit of off center.

They both look cool in their sunglasses.

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This one is just the Grandsons. Matt in the center and the two boys on the sides flanking him. Matt is a great young man. Without a doubt one of the nicest people you could ever care to meet.

You will notice with Matt there Nick was smiling. Not sure why everyone was posing in front of the antique wagon. For these three I suspect a game controller or computer would have in the end been a more normal pose.

It was a great weekend. Family meals, All of us together. The outdoors and celebrating 50 years of marriage. Seems amazing when you think about it. Mom and dad were married in 1956. (these images from 2006). I came along in 1960. Lynne and Barb came along much later than that (they are far younger than I am).

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I will end with the whole clan. There were two whole clan pictures. This one that was taken indoors and another that hasn’t made it into the scanning system that was taken outdoors. You can see Nick isn’t smiling. Oh well.

I won’t name everyone it will be easier to point out that due to college Becca was not able to join us for the weekend (she was in Chicago at the time) and isn’t in the whole clan picture. So I guess it is the almost nearly whole clan picture.

Seems strange that this picture is 9 years old now. Seems like it was just yesterday, but that was many states ago and many years in the past. Everyone in this picture has changed a little. The boys are nearly the same height as I am now. Luke may even now be taller than me although that will never be admitted publically.

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Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Memories of the farm and a treasure found in the album we are scanning…


The farm. Or Andersen Acres. Dad put AA above the garage doors of the farm. We tried to get to him take them down for years.album162 Sometimes when dad decided tried was all you did if you disagreed.

This is from just past the driveway towards the house. To the right of where this image was taken was the pond/lake. It was called Kirksville lake by some locals. It actually had some fairly good fish in it. Also large Alligator snapping turtles and a load of Common American Water snakes.

The wooden walkway was used as the processional for Barb and my wedding. To the right is the large sloped field where we had the reception. To the left is the apple/pear/nut orchard.  Mom and dad built this house exactly the way they wanted it and then spent the next 20 years changing it. Buying the perfect house and then changing it over time is an Andersen tradition.

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This is the back of the house. So off nearly straight and a little to the right was the garage (with AA on it until they sold the house) to your immediate right is the apple orchard. Dad’s Greenhouse to the right of the picture attached to the house and a surprise for me today. I didn’t remember mom and dad adding a deck off the main level in the back of the house.

By the time this picture was taken Mom and dad were probably close to selling the house. Barb and I were in Cincinnati. Lynne and Gary were in Greenwood IN and Barb and Dana had just gotten married. Jakki would have been about a year old (Matt about a year and Megan on the way). Courtney and the Boys weren’t born yet and Becca would have been around 10 or 11 years old. The image is probably from 1992. The last Christmas we spent in this house as a family was December 1991. Jakki was a little over a month old and slept through the last Christmas at the farm. At some point within a year or so of this picture mom and dad sold the farm and moved to Kinser Pike. They were on Kinser Pike when we moved to Greenwood. album129That was in October 1999. They had been on Kinser for at least five years by the time we moved. I remember because Barb and Jakki had the flu when we visited in 1997 for Christmas. Barb was on bed rest because of the pregnancy and both she and Jakki were in the living room on Kinser Pike throwing up. I didn’t get sick until we actually started driving home on the day after Christmas (back to Cincinnati at that time).

The last image isn’t of the farm. Mom and her friend Maria Cluver started a business at one point. They called it Dolls by Marisa. I know the dolls were popular because both girls (Becca and Jakki) loved them. They were unique with gowns and hand sewn faces. This is actually one of the advertisements they made many years ago. The first time this has been on the Internet. The address and phone number are no longer valid. I suspect neither Mrs. Cluver or mom have any interest in reviving the business. It was just something incredibly creative mom did. Dad loved being outdoors working in his gardens. At one point he had 15 acres of gardens to play in.

I still think all these years later that the dolls were amazing. I wish I had that level of artistic ability. I do not sadly. My art works come out looking like stick figures drawn by a very sloppy four year old. I guess in the end I am the families Salieri. Cursed to see beauty but to never create the beauty I see.

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Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow)

My dad outdoors where he loved to be…


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Dad and Fred pre-deck expansion. The deck of the house on Kinser Pike was changed three times at least as far as I remember. I suspect there were more changes.

There was many a fine argument on that deck. Many a fine conversation as well but the arguments were the most fun. Discussing and breaking down the universe into smaller pieces. I spent most of my teenage years arguing with dad. I suspect if I had it all to do over again I would argue again.  As a young adult you have to separate from your parents. As a parent you want nothing other than to go back to the time when your parents were in charge and you didn’t have to worry about anything. Well except the rules and things your parents said that had to be argued with.

Dad and Fred were tight. Dad loved dogs. MacGregor our Collie was clearly dad’s dog. He loved dad more than anything on earth.

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Dad’s idea of a great vacation was being outdoors. Which by the way was also his definition of a good Saturday, a good Sunday or any other day of the week. Dad grew up outdoors in the Dells. This is him with their camper and the Westies Fred and Jessie.

Fred and Jessie’s idea of roughing it involved food and air conditioning. I am just saying.

The knees and beat up legs are genetic. There were times when we had three generation of spindly legs in the same room. Dad, me and the boys with the same knees and beat up legs.

Being outdoors made him happy. We didn’t get central air for our house until the allergist told dad and mom that Lynne needed central air to help her allergies. Even then he turned it on at 80. That was some relief in the summer in Indiana but we were outside most days then anyway.

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From one of their trips, poised by either the great lakes (Paradise Michigan) or one of the two oceans. My guess would be this is Paradise Michigan. The sand is awfully white for the Atlantic and I don’t recognize the beach area for it to be Pacific. We got a pop up camper and took it to Paradise Michigan. It truly is a beautiful place. I don’t remember much beyond one isolated memory of playing on the beach (the water was very cold) and the pop-up camper. I suspect we had activities and things we did I just remember them.

The name I remember. Paradise.

Mom and dad lived in Michigan for a couple of years. Dad got his Masters Degree from the University of Michigan and he did field world for that thesis somewhere in Michigan. But that was before I was born.

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Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Carillion Tower of Indiana University…


Slightly crooked. Black and white image. Taken by my father of the Carillion Tower or Bell Tower on the campus of Indiana University. This was where I was album001taking Barb the night I planned to propose to her.

It was in the car on College Avenue on the way to the tower that Barb proposed to me. I never got to say my proposal that I had spent hours writing. I did give it to her on our 15th anniversary. But at the time I never proposed. We talked that night after she proposed about the dreams we had. Barb wanted to live in a nice house. She wanted to go to Europe and see the history for herself. She wanted to have kids.

It was a magical night at the Carillion tower.

I still love the tower. When you go at night it is lit by lights that bathe the surface gently. Indiana limestone resonates so well with the bells when they play. The tower is both a work of art to see and to hear.

It actually sits on the top of a small hill near the part of Indiana University’s campus that is called Frat Row. I don’t actually remember when it was built. I suspect it was built-in the 1960’s. My first memory of it was upon returning from Bangkok but that was mostly because most of my early Bloomington memories were of IU Basketball and Football. Art didn’t interest me as much until later in my school years.

The current package of pictures we are scanning are all portraits. 8 1/2 by 11 and most of them are too big for the blogging tool I am using right now. The Carolyn tower comes through. I will get more of the family portraits up as we make them smaller.

We actually live near a church bell tower in Maryland. It doesn’t however ring a church bell. It is a Carolyn tower. It plays entire melodies with the bells switching to Amazing Grace on occasion. A Carillion is supposed to play more than one bell or two bells. Many places have a single bell they ring (such as the Liberty Bell). A Carillion tower plays a tune or many tunes.

It took until past our tenth anniversary to get Barb all the things she wanted that night at the Carillion  tower Smile.

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Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Images from Thailand 2004


There are two things you could always say about my pops (seen here sharing lunch with a group of Thai Science Teachers.). Actually now that I think about it album639there are three things you could always say about my father.

  1. The first was my father strove to be a life long learner. He was always trying to figure out how things worked. When it came to gardening and many other things he often did have a better way to do things.
  2. Dad was a teacher at heart. Get 20 people around him and the teaching would begin. I think of all the things he taught me over the years and I miss that.
  3. Oh yeah and the few times I called my dad pops didn’t go over well. That was not his style. Dad was dad from the get go and pops was not one of the names we called him (twice).

He so loved Thailand. I think the time we spent in 1971 and 1972 changed dad. He loved the culture, the people and in the end the opportunity to be a part album627of the change in that great country. Thailand is a place you may not be current in, but it is a place that never leaves your heart.

Thailand is a land of time as well. It was strange coming from the US where the oldest buildings in the town I grew up were barely 100 years old. Most of the old buildings were 50, 60 years old. To a land that didn’t consider a building old until it had been around for 500 years.

I learned so much that year in Thailand. I learned first off what it meant to be a minority (one of few) versus being part of the majority. I also learned that when the majority welcomes the minority the world is a better place. I never felt out of place or unwelcome when I was in Thailand. Truly in the end my sisters and I were different than many of the children we were around. In the land of album625smiles everyone was accepted.

Here a power lunch. The person in the center of the picture was Kathleen Hart. She introduced me to Clotted Cream (or what we call Whipped Cream in the States). Miss Hart was one of the smartest people I have ever met. She didn’t do well with children but that was because she wasn’t often around them. She was my mother’s dearest friend for more than 40 years. They met in Thailand Miss Hart from England and mom from the States and became fast friends. Miss Hart passed away about two years before dad did. The world lost a great mind when she passed.

Like I said my time in Thailand opened my mind to differences. I can honestly say I only worry about the ksi8lls of the person in front of me. I don’t worry about anything else. Thailand opened that acceptance door for me and I am forever in its debt.

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Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

My Kickstarter and Indiegogo project review blog…


Back to a Kickstarter and Indiegogo blog.

First off this time are a couple of really interesting Kickstarter projects.

Cordless 3d print finishing tool:

If you are doing freehand or printer based 3d printing there are bits left over. This tool is designed to help you finish your creation and remove the extra plastic quickly and effectively. Actually a very cool idea and concept. I really like the way they designed the tool and considered the fact that you need multiple scoops to pull the plastic out of various printed items. Very cool tool. A link to their campaign is here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/249225636/cordless-3d-print-finishing-tool.

Jamstik

A portable guitar for learning and playing. I have been using their excellent software to learn to play guitar. I was a backer of their first project. Overall the device is well made. The wi-fi connection allows you to create a portable guitar experience. Portable – easy to connect and frankly the software is simply amazing. All of that was Jamstik 1, This campaign is for their new and improved Jamstik 2. I can’t wait to see the additional improvements they will have made!!!! Great group, great campaign. Link is here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/80789521/jamstik-the-smartguitar.

ODIN: Mouse

I have now backed two project named for the Norse God. One was a projector that also created a touch surface for any device. This one is for the projector mouse. Overall this is one of the neatest tech projects I’ve seen in a while. More for the wow factor than anything. Laser projected keyboards have been around for awhile. They are interesting conversation pieces and reasonable keyboards. If you learned touch typing 38 years ago the laser keyboards aren’t as effective. But they are cool. This project. First they have taken mouse ascetics to a new level. I love the way it looks and the goals are solid. This is an amazing project. Link is here…https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/639589487/odin-worlds-first-projection-mouse

Indiegogo projects

Air Mentor:

A six in one air meter. A great tool for figuring out what is in the air around you. This goes beyond simply knowing the CO and CO2 levels in the air to being considering what else is in the air around you. I am all for the move towards more and more sensors in the home. The more you can measure the better you will be. A link to the project is here https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/air-mentor-a-6-in-1-indoor-air-quality-monitor/x/3230074.

Rocketbook:

Ok this one intrigued me just from the description. A microwavable cloud connected notebook. I mean who can resist that? Well for sure I couldn’t. It seems like an interesting idea. I am a huge fan of connected notebooks. I still love the feel of paper as I take notes. Warm paper just sounds like the perfect sit outside in the winter notepad for writing Robert Frost tribute poems. Or essays about the impact of snow on the blandness of grass. A link to the campaig is here https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rocketbook-cloud-integrated-microwavable-notebook/x/3230074.

My rules are simple for this column. First it appears in both my blogs from time to time. I try to do it roughly once a month. If I think the project is worthy of being backed I back it and if I think it is amazing I add it to my blog and further promote it.

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Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Fruit trees, Thai beaches and change…


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If there was a fruit tree within 100 miles of where we were dad would find it. Then he would start asking questions determining if he could plant one and grow them. Over the years dad planted apples, walnuts, pears and many other fruit and nut trees. One spring day dad and I wandered out to the property he had just bought out in the hills. He said he had a fun activity for us to do. We ended up digging 100 holes and planting 100 apple, pear and nut trees. I never really did understand my dad’s idea of fun.

It really wasn’t that fun to plant all those trees that day.

He also planned asparagus and grew the best tomatoes ever. His concept as a scientist was to create sustainable places where humans and other creatures could exist, eat and survive. The great solar movement in Germany and slowly here in the US was something I am sure he had his eye on.

album482I suspect based on the tree and the fruit that this picture came from a visit to Thailand. It is connected to a number of other pictures of Thailand.

A beach somewhere in Thailand. I am not sure this is Thailand but the Beach looks a lot like the ones I grew up with so I am guessing Thailand. Again there were a number of slides and pictures of Thailand from the same time period this picture was taken.

We used to spent weekends often when we lived in Thailand at Pataya. Playing cricket on a sand bar and having crab fresh from the ocean. We explored the beaches and the area around the cottages we stayed at. It kind of reminded me of the cottages my grandparents had at Lake Ripley. They were much larger than the cottages at Ripley but it was the same concept.

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When we lived in Thailand it was much older. The buildings were often very old. Now it is a mix of old and new. But it is well mixed rather than simply thrown together.

Not sure where this is in Thailand but it fits with the timeline of mom and dad being there.

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Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.