wander project the land down under


I took two long walks on my first day in Sydney. It rained the entire Saturday. I landed around 6 am, and the hotel let me check in early. I didn’t want to take a nap; I had by that point of international travel learned the best way to adjust is to get out and walk. So I went for a walk. It rained the entire first walk, but I took pictures anyway. Then I went back to the hotel and had lunch. I was pretty fried, so I thought I’ll take a second walk. So I did. I went a little further feeling a little more confident that I could find my way back.  I also got a chance to see a little more of weekend life in Sydney. I was able, by walking to stave off taking a nap. That messes my sleep schedule up!

I also wanted to make sure I was awake at 8 pm so I could call home. I called home in the cab ride to the hotel from the airport. Back then, I used to buy a prepaid sim at the airport and used that on my phone. That way, I didn’t end up with a 1200 dollar cellular bill. When the Sim had used up what I put on it, I could choose how much to add.  That way, I never spent more than 200 or so dollars on calls home. There were a couple of trips where I was close to that amount. But normally it was more 100 or less. It just so happened that this trip was nearly three full weeks, so some of the calls were a little longer. My company would pay for one call home a day, which made it easier to do so!

The next day I took the climb the harbor bridge tour. You are using ropes, walk to the top of the bridge. I was terrified to take my camera, so I don’t have pictures from the top. But I made it. I was exhausted. The rest of the work crew arrived on Sunday afternoon, we went to dinner and relaxed that evening. The next day we drove across the Harbor bridge to our office on the other side.  This was one of maybe four trips ever where I was gone two full weekends. I did also learn that I love the sound of a Didgeridoo playing. I thought about buying one for the kids but realized the agonizing months of ear torture from bad Didgeridoo playing might be something my wife would hold against me.

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Wander project the land down under


When I traveled to Australia and other parts of South East Asia, there were limited times I could call home. 7 am my time was 7 pm at home. 8 pm my time was 7 am at home. I could and did call twice a day to check in and make sure the family was ok. The trip to Australia that I took was a bucket list checkoff! I had wanted to go since I lived in Thailand. It was everything I had ever heard and more. A land filled with Good days and sludge they called Vegemite. First, offer that stuff doesn’t taste good. I found myself walking around the city of Sydney and finding magical places everywhere I went. I was there with a good friend that had spent many days in Australia.

I got to go on the two-plus hour harbor tour. That was fun; I took a lot of video of that experience. But mostly I got to hang out with people that I didn’t see other than the once a year trip for a company event. We went to dinner; we hung out in the lounge of the hotel. We shared the moments that make people actual friends. I shouldn’t say actually. Virtual friends are actual friends as well. There is just something about knowing the moments of sarcasm. You can learn those in a virtual relationship, but it takes time. With physical and in-person friends, you learn those cues much faster. It is a different type of connection. I treasure virtual and physical friends.

The first pictures are of my initial day. I got to Sydney a day before the rest of the crew. I had to take pictures of the Opera house. Somewhere in my father’s pictures are his pictures of the Opera house. It is a grand addition to the Sydney Harbor. A magical lady, inside and outside one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen. The first day was just me. I like landing in land and walking. I’ve done that on every continent except Antarctica. I doubt I would land in the frozen world and walk right away outside. But I have walked on the other continents. Landing at the airport, driving into the city and then walking. The time for me back then to adjust to being without my family. It got harder and harder as the kids got older.

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Wander project what my Grandfather saw


The pictures today are from the same overall folder as the last ones. However, with these, you begin to see some of the issues that come with storing slides for years. The slide holders decay. The images decay. These are pictures from Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin. It was taken in 1962. So the pictures are of events that occurred more than 56 years ago. Some of the damage to these slides  I do not know at this point edit or modify the slides. They are as they were scanned. Yes, the scanning process modified the slides. Yes, I could straighten them, but them right side up. But I can’t do that personally right now. It has to do with the impact of who took the slides for me.

My memories of the Dells are few. I remember the playground that was near my grandparent’s house. I remember the boardwalk as it was then, and has been in 2011, close; I am sure to what it is now. My earliest memories of the Dells are around the original Amusement Park. We went to that amusement park, the kids and I in 2011. But in the 1960’s I remember it had a fort, wooden fort. It was called Fort Dells. The park back in the early days was comprised wholly of rides. Now it is a huge park with an indoor and an outdoor water park, and lots of rides. But my memory of the first time I went is only of the fort and none of the rides. We went to many amusement parks when I was little.

But I only remember the fort.

I do also remember my grandparent’s house, in particular, the main area when you came in the door. My grandmother often sat in the parlor and read. My grandfather had his Military stuff (saddle, saddlebags, and pictures) down in the basement. His tools and workbench were in the outbuilding that was behind the house. I remember him always have chocolate covered cherries (I love them to this day)! They did not live in that house when my father was little. Then, they lived above my Grandfather’s shoe store in an apartment. My father had three sisters. My dad was born in the Dells, and lived there until he was 18. I know we went back often but he never lived there again.

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wander project what my grandfather saw…


My father labeled many of his pictures by the trip. He traveled to many countries. I ended up adopting the same system for my pictures.  My grandfather stored his pictures by year. Each grouping of slides, representing a year. As I’ve mentioned before they both started around the same time, taking pictures. My Aunt taught both of them. You can tell that they have a common teacher in their early pictures. My father later attended classes to learn more about the art and process. That was right before the darkroom project. We added a dark room to our house in Bloomington. He and I built the walls, put the board up, painted and added a door.

The darkroom at that time was off the family room bathroom that made developing film and using the bathroom hard. So you have to wander across the house to the other bathroom. We were five people in the house with 2.5 bathrooms.  There was often consternation in the house when it came to how much time was spent in the bathroom.

The picture today is from Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. There is a great picture of my father and me in this grouping. The more I see pictures my grandfather took, the more I realize how close the two of them were, and how close my grandfather was to me as well. I have so few memories of my grandfather, my father’s father.

The rest f the pictures are of flowers and my cousins. They, the pictures are a little faded. They were stored in airtight boxes, but even that allows for image decay. The average slide lasts between 40 and 60 years. The average picture (print) lasts far less than that. Many prints begin to fade within 10 years. Luckily you can scan them, and retouch the pictures if you wish!

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Wander Project in, out, in again


Many years ago, the best man from my wedding and best friend for more than 30 years now got married. The pictures are of the twins preparing for that event. They attended the ceremony and reception. We had the reception at our house. You can in the pictures see some of the twins dancing moves! They stayed up that night well past their bedtimes (we were pretty set in the 8 pm bedtime).  I am not sure what caused the later pictures. I know I was told to take pictures of the twins dressed up. It seems strange now to think about things in Indiana. Indiana feels so distant to me now. I moved into Indiana twice in my life. Both times it was a huge change.

Living in Chicago, Illinois, for the early part of my childhood, I know that I missed the museums and activities of the big city. We, my parents and I, and later my middle sister, lived in the actual edges of Chicago (Skokie) after my middle sister was born we moved out to a near Western Suburb called Vernon Hills. I think Vernon hills was the subdivision name. We moved from our house; I have fragmented memories of that house to an apartment that was made from an old army barracks. WWII US Army Barracks had been disassembled and then reassembled in Bloomington Indiana. Most of the WWII Barracks were from Fort Benjamin Harrison near Indianapolis.

That was a huge transition. Moving from Cincinnati to Greenwood was a huge relief. We, with me traveling, needed support for my wife with twins. Moving closer to family was the best quick way to create the support system we needed. My sisters were close. My parents were close. It was no longer a 3-hour drive for family events.  I do miss Cincinnati, but I also know it was a different time. The last time we left Indiana was the third time my wife and I moved. The first time we moved, we packed everything we owned into a moving truck and moved. We moved the first week of June 1991; We got married later that month of June. We were still not unpacked when we went back to Bloomington to get Married.

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wander project Eagle Creek


The Pan America Games were held in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1987. The PanAm games as they are called focus on Olympic sports. They are an opportunity for the best and brightest athletes in the Americas (Central, South, and North) to compete. For the event, Indianapolis constructed a Natatorium (swimming) and several other venues. One of the venues was for rowing, canoeing, and other outdoor aquatic sports. That was Eagle Creek. Located, just north of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (where the Indianapolis 500 mile motor is traditionally run the Sunday before memorial day or for those reading this today, it was run yesterday). Eagle Creek is now a recreation park.

Although in honor of that Pan Am event, no motor boats are allowed on the water. You can canoe, skull, or other forms of self-propelled watercraft. I won tickets to several Pan Am game events, including the biggest, the Men’s Basketball Finals. The US lost to Brazil that year (1987) and would also lose the Olympic Gold medal in 1988. Tough times for US basketball. But I also won tickets to the swimming and the crew races. Many years later, we after moving back to Indiana often took the kids to the Eagle Creek Reservoir for an afternoon and picnic. Being outside with twins can sometimes reduce the impact of notice. Small spaces seem to bring out loud voices in twins.

Well at least in our twins.

We used to walk around the reservoir enjoy lunch and of course, stop by the playground. There was time, starting around 1994 and lasting until roughly 2004 that if we saw a playground we had to stop. First, it was stopping for our daughter. Then it was stopping for the twins. In the case of the Eagle Creek Park, they had several play areas.

Interesting, there is a restaurant on the side of the reservoir. In all our years in Indiana (11) we never went.

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Wander project Chicago


Today pictures I’ve shared before, but they are promised to Thomas G! The lighthouse is for the commercial harbor of Chicago. The pleasure marina’s also leveraged the Lighthouse, but its predominant use is for helping larger ships stay clear of the pier, and the water treatment plant.

The water treatment plant sits between ¾ and a full mile offshore. In part so that it could raw for the deeper water of Lake Michigan. In part to be away from the Chicago River. Many years ago the Chicago River emptied into Lake Michigan. Over several years, they reversed the flow of the river. Why? It was the largest flow of pollution into Lake Michigan.It also gets died green during St. Patrick’s day. Now the river flows inland. I have often wondered why instead of cleaning the river and city, instead they spent millions of dollars changing nature. I guess sometimes you just have to wonder. The way and why of what humans do is something that you can sit on a bench and wonder about forever. The lighthouse sits just off the end of Navy Pier. Navy Pier is a former US Navy installation in Chicago. It was created to be the exact length of an aircraft carrier. So pilots could learn to take off and land on the smaller surface of the carrier. Now it is a wonderful place filled with activities and fun things for a family to do.The Children’s Museum of Chicago and the incredibly cool Ferris Wheel were on the pier when we used to go. One of the most famous Navy Pilots that used to land on Navy Pier during WWII was former US President George HW Bush. For many years the art college of Chicago was just off of Navy Pier. It has moved now, but there is a sculpture garden in front of the pier. We always loved going to see the sculptures. Finally, if you are on the per, and look to the south, you will see two of Chicago’s world-famous museums and attractions. One being the Field Museum and the other the Shedd Aquarium. If you have really good eyes, you can see beyond those two, to the commercial harbor that lies a few miles south.

“NOTE: Content or links that are libelous, defamatory, vulgar, tortuous, racially or ethnically objectionable, invasive of privacy, hateful, promote any act of cruelty to animals, promote or provide instructional info about illegal activities are NOT ALLOWED.” This section is copied from the site.”

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