Sunday, December 29, 2019


Quiet Christmas this year. My wife and I exchanged gifts early. We each decided to get the other something we each wanted and forego the little do-dads; although fun to open, do-dads collect on shelves and flat surfaces forever.

Christmas cards Christmas morning along with seasonal Swedish Pancakes. 

A prime rib was put on the cook and then transported to son and fiancee's home for Christmas day dinner and gift exchanges. 

We also pre-agreed with son that no big money gifts this season. Just simple things. Surprisingly, that worked wonderfully.

Books, some cooking ware, family memorabilia.

Son received his grandfather's Bristol Bay gill netting boat compass from the late 1920's. Just as it was passed down to me.  Now a grown man, he fits the male family history profile like a glove. A good man, a better man, a doer and a builder.

Herman, their golden retriever circled the dinner table. Of course, he picked up a legal scrap or two.

A Christmas in the books now and one to remember.


I am guessing that this photo was taken in 1948/49.

Several boxes of old photos teach me that both my mother and father had an eye for good photography and enjoyed recording family history. 

I never paid attention to any of this before, but this photo of my mother and me teaches me that dad had an eye for a good photograph over just a picture.  

It is very possible that my interest in photography was inherited. For so many years, I thought I came upon this interest all by myself, starting when I entered the Army in 1966. 

Although the photo is 70+ years old and has been stored for as many years, the quality is remarkable. 

Parents never ever stop teaching. Never!!

My mother, on the left, and her sister posed with this old man carving while vacationing near Crater Lake. They, too were younger once with senses of humor and love of travel. September 1966.

This photo taken in 1947+/- and shows me sitting in the cab of a "short log" truck my dad drove. I think my right hand was on the stick shift. 

Notice the mechanical arm that worked as a left turn signal. New technology then. The driver would pull a lever that pulled the arm up and out straight indicating the driver's intentions to turn. It could easily be seen from behind. They were yellow in color and had round reflective stickers on the front and back.

Sunset somewhere in the San Juan Islands many years ago.


If life is lived in moments,
those I cherish most,
I've lived with you.


It looks like the new year will come in with snow/ice accumulation. Enough to shovel and plow, and enough where we have to head to the store for extra bread and milk. The wood box is full and winter returns.

All that is the holiday season is winding down. Get-togethers with friends have been wonderful. Relaxing days with soups on the stove and the woodstove on high to keep the home a comfy 70 degrees.

I notice again many articles popping up re-visiting the top stories of this past year; but I have little interest in re-visiting any old news and especially media news stories. It, too, is in the history books. As for "the after", I/we are looking to 2020 as an historic year of years . I believe all of us will be "touched" by national and worldly turns of events. 

I thank you again for the visit and hope you return in the new year and take a moment to share this site with others. We are not setting the world on fire nor are we burning it down. We are living life like you and will continue to share simple things of interest, opinion and improving photography. 

Heads up and plan ahead for you and yours. 

Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 22, 2019


A new camera has replaced the Canon line-up. Fuji X-T2 with 18-135 image stabilization lens. 

Have I have moved from the devil I know for the one I don't?

The new camera is assembled. The functionality of all of the dials and switches are going to prove one of the reasons I have up-dated. Much easier from the get-go to make adjustments. 

Mirror-less and new glass will also prove to be worth the change. Add compact design that does not lose the SLR feel.

New snow, single-digit temperatures with gusty winds offer me nothing in my desire to find first shots to share. I fear that by posting time, it will be pictures not photographs I share. 

XT2 photos shot on full-auto and working with the histogram for help. I like being able to move the focus point/field within the viewfinder. 

Out of the box. If I only use this camera on full-auto, the three photos above indicate future quality. This camera is road-trip ready from the get go.





This is one of many photos accompanying the wedding pictures of my grandparents on my mother's side. These two are either a part of the wedding party or a shared photo of their marriage with my grandmother and grandfather. Late 1920's to early 1930's era. 

(Good to great photography is about the photographer, not the camera)




What's Up (1993)                   783 million views

"...I realized quickly
when I knew I should
that this world was made 
up of this brotherhood of
what ever that means...."

Yersi Berverisco's cover of the same song. Seventeen million views. My favorite. 

Dear Mr. President(1992)          7 million views 

(Political ads preceding this video are priceless when you listen to this song)

"I'm looking outside of my windows 
The view that I see 
Is a child and mama 
And the child is begging for money...."

Just found this band and songs. I have said here before that I come to many things very late in life. I find myself turning up the sound and lost in the lyrics and music.


Thank you again for the visit.
The days are getting longer.
Merry Christmas to one and all.

A present for you.
Try The Daily Time Waster for good photography and fun stuff.



Sunday, December 15, 2019


Her grandmother's Christmas Hermit cookies recipe, first batch out of the oven. They are laden with brown sugar, flour, raisins, nuts, vanilla flavoring and love.

Scooped onto a cookie sheet the size of a small meat ball, they cook 20 minutes at 300 degrees and exit golden brown and dripping with aroma. In the past 74 years, they would have been paired with a full glass of cold, whole milk and a half-dozen for first pass. These are once-a-year cookie treats.


The immediate problem with photographing this particular cookie batch is the amount of powdered sugar that collects on top of the camera. Tell-tale evidence of interfering with her cookie baking. Brother-in-law and 4 year-old great-niece will receive the majority of these before Christmas.



Revisiting a jar of experimental hardtack made three years ago. 

This jar was filled, lid snugged and then set aside on a common storage shelf in the basement. 

While looking for other goods recently, I happened on this jar and decided it was worth re-visiting and checking quality. If hardtack has quality?

There is no eating these from the get-go. They are tooth breaker unless soaked. 

Maybe break off a chunk if on the trail and let it dissolve in the mouth, but absolutely no eating as hardened.  Suck on it like hard candy and do not rush into chewing.

I soaked the piece leaning again the jar in the photo in the last dregs of morning coffee. 

I waited 5 minutes and tried the first bite. A small piece broke off. Crunchy like peanut brittle, but not as brittle and with flavor. Not gourmet yet not tasteless or bland. Still too hard, though.  

I was pleasantly surprised. As good as the day we packed them. Flour, water and salt. Hardtack history and nutrition here.  Take the time to do some reading about hardtack. There is an abundance of information and simple recipes to try. 

Maybe a great thing to do and teach children and teens.

Was the time and effort worth it in the making and learning? Absolutely YES. 

I would throw these in a pocket or bag if heading out in "the after" or outing. I would make sure of some simple method of soaking before eating.  

I soaked the piece I tried for 10 minutes and it was still very crunchy. A longer soak would be my plan if using on the trail. Stopping to warm up with broth, coffee or tea would be accompanied by a chunk or two of hardtack. Testing a soaked piece, stored in a small zip-lock plastic bag for later in the day; worth trying.

Looking back, we should have made a box full and properly stored. If sharing with someone who knows nothing of hardtack, teach them well!! Store with instructions for use.



The snow is all but gone in New Hampshire. Warm temperatures and lots of rain have washed much of winter away. Winter visited for a few weeks and then up and left.


Greta, the 16 year-old, has a solution for climate change. Bless her heart!!

Her quote according to this article: "we will make sure we put them against the wall and they will have to do their job to protect our futures."

Nice to see an young and up-coming leader with this solution matrix already in place.

Then there is "Virginia", Virginia.

Threatening the use of using the National Guard to enforce gun cofiscation. This ought to quell the 2A community?

The governor and democrats are determined to keep pushing against the constitution and law-abiding folks. Anyone who has spent a little time studying "government control escalating against the will of people" know it has never gone well. 

A can of worms that could soon be opened in Virginia and I fear there will be no turning back. 

I have been trying to stay away from all of this "crazy" in a blog that I initially designed to talk about "the after." But the crazy just keeps escalating in every nook and cranny of life. 

In the meantime, heads up, stay informed and plan accordingly.

Thanks for the visit this week.

Sunday, December 8, 2019


Current camera of choice. Traded in 50D body for 7D three years ago.  This camera has become a "throw and go" and is with me all the time.

"Red sky at night, sailors delight"

The opportunity for this evening photo, after the storm sunsetting, lasted just a few moments.


1955 Copper Art Embossing.



 Eighteen years ago: Danville, NH.

52 years ago, posing with a 2.75" folding fin rocket in Vietnam, 2/20 ARA, 1st Air Cav Division.  

Vietnam Movie 1967.


In the scheme of all things winter, two degrees this morning is of no never mind. But for us, it is the lowest temperature so far this season. The wood fire is on high and two RYOBI fans are helping move the heat from the stove back into the office. The house is slowly coming up to comfortable. 

Small dinner gathering last night with friends at their house. Our hostess prepared an outstanding dinner. Lasagna, meatballs, ham and salads. I have been obsessing over not being able to eat lasagna for the past 7 months and that meal yesterday was a big treat for the little kid in me. 

Conversations around the dinner table lasted for several very relaxed hours; no politics and no cell phones. Every one told stories and there was laughter. Yep, laughter. How refreshing?

Thanks for the visit this week. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019


5 MINUTE ARTISAN ROLLS (an example. Look at other similar recipes.)


SUNRISE SUNDAY: "red sky in the morning, sailors take warning."

Ten to twenty inches of snow starting later this afternoon. A three-day event so this sunrise holds true to the old saying of sunsets and sunrises. 

Photo taken handheld and stabilized against a porch post 1/8 of a second. No time to set up tripod. This aspiring photographer should have seen this sun rise coming!!

Herman watching my wife eat lunch. High hopes!

Brick pile still life. Depth of field practice.

 Brick pile still life. Depth of field practice.

Sunday sanded driveway

Monday driveway with 7" fresh snow. Divots on the snow surface show sand and salt melting snow on the surface of the driveway. Snow blower takes the fallen snow down to the driveway surface and permanently removed to the far sides of the driveway. More important, the pre-sanding provides traction for driving back up.


Christmas ball and wreath
 Temporary rope knotted to tree trunk

Canon 7D practice in manual mode with auto ISO. 

These photos were taken on the last snowless day this year, 2019.

The anticipation of our first official snow fall is over and winter has set in. The waves of winter have touched many a state and community this past week altering daily routines coping with snow and ice.

Woodfires set for the coming months, weekly soups steeping and we start this winter course. 

It is said that "change is constant" and not working nor worrying about the winter months in our older years is changing our tack. How do we better navigate the years ahead? 

Thanks again for visiting youmeandtheafter.

Friday, November 29, 2019


Who's a good boy?

We are baby sitting Herman over this Thanksgiving holiday. Son and fiancee are across the country visiting other family. We volunteered for this duty. A chance to have "a good boy" in the home for a few days is a big treat for us. 

My wife is prepping the dressing a few days before Thanksgiving and Herman is tuned into every movement knowing that any time a snack could just appear.



The first bread my wife and I have had in 7 months. We have been 99% true to our diet, but prepping the day before Thanksgiving; home made rolls, pumpkin pie, from scratch dressing, brings with it the mandate to taste test. The above roll passed with flying colors. Yes, of course, there was a second roll!




I often think that I need to go "somewhere" to practice picture taking. Better photography practice. Not really. 

Good practice is learning how to see photographs and learn how to bring visual interest to the simple things. Can I find those things in my back yard and practice some of what I have been studying and learning? Can I use my camera beyond the automatic settings?

The Canon 7D is a marvelous camera and I have barely scratched the surface in its use. YouTube is a wonderful learning source and a few of the photographers I have been watching are good instructors. Time well spent.

The photos in this blog are an example of a long-time picture taker working on becoming a better photographer. Also still learning work in post production and posting. 

Working with a tripod, manual settings, auto ISO and aperture adjustments for depth of field this past week.

A good photo will hold a viewer's interest and a few moments. A picture will be glanced and passed over.


Just two of us this Thanksgiving. A smaller bird and not as many side dishes. No house to clean for guests, spending the day in our lounging clothes. Keeping a wood stove on warm but still as excited for all the goodness of eats in the annual Thanksgiving meal. Leftovers will play as well as the main meal. 

A quiet prayer said, thanks given and a counting of our blessings.

Thanks for the visit this holiday.




Sunday, November 24, 2019




Meeting Senator "Scoop" Jackson from Washington State after he landed in Germany for a tour of our base. Someone told him that a boy from his state was flying him to the base and he requested we meet. He and his team of dignitaries (I suppose I can tell this now) got off the airliner and immediately moved to under the back of the plane to relieve themselves. We thought it not best to photograph that moment nor mention it beyond the flight line.

After that moment, they headed for our helicopters idling on the tarmac.

How many pilots flying senators these days get out of their aircraft to shake hands and meet their state senator while carrying a loaded .45. Curious? 

The weather was lousy that day as we landed inside Merrill Barack's,  Nuremberg.

These three photos were courtesy of the Army photographer accompanying the senator and his team. .




The photo I have been looking for more than 50 years. Mom kept everything and I mean everything.  

Thanks to her, some of these old moments are still recorded. This moment is mostly special to me. 

This was the closest I had ever gotten to a real airplane as a youngster, plus my first ride.

Maybe 5 years old when these two photos were taken. 

We often took off on the weekends to be near the water and when we could afford it, dad would rent a boat. These moments on the water were a real treat. 

A cold beer for my parents on a warm day and a packed picnic lunch always on a blanket near a beach. 

My father always had a sly grin on his face. Always. 

I think he was always looking for ways to play and on this day his son got to drive the boat and be a real man with a beer in hand. (The bottle had been half filled with water)

Can you imagine these photos taken and shared today? A father letting his young son steer a boat w/o a life jacket and then let his son drive the boat with "a beer" in hand - AND and with a can of gasoline near by? 

We laughed then and I am still laughing today. How did so many of us ever survive such an upbringing? 

MOST IMPORTANT: we were family-outing together and many times outing with other family members. Weekends were always a time to get together outside, usually near water, to go, see, do and with homemade picnic foods.



We carried 5 gallon containers of JP4 as we needed to stop for fuel on portions of the trip where fuel was not available.

Alaska offers some of the most beautiful scenery on earth. Flying and landing in remote areas like the photos above were always memorable. I spent the remainder of my time here casting lures into the river until the geologists returned from the brush. We always kept an eye and ear out for bear. Next to my fishing gear was always a 12-gauge shotgun with safety on, a slug in the chamber and 5 more to follow if needed. I never moved more than a few feet away from the fishing/gun kit.

Photography is a great hobby for memories, huh?

We lived in Eagle for three months and ate all of our meals at the one and only restaurant next to our hotel. In a few days we considered ourselves locals, especially when these kinds of meal options were listed on the meal board.



My guess is that this photo was taken in the 1930's and these two were friends of my grandparents on the my mother's side.  

I do not recognize them as family and there are no notes on the back of the photo.

There are quite a few black and whites of young folks getting married and I am guessing this photo was taken on this couple's wedding day. 

Old photos like this are worthy of sharing of times past and of youngsters at a moment in the times of their lives. Chances are these two kids were also immigrants who came to America through the front door.

Some photo editing cleared up the background scenery in this photo.


A good spin off from sorting through old family papers and photos brings my camera out again. I should continue with old hobbies. 

All of this is "forcing" me to get reacquainted with the basics of photography too. These are also skill sets that wane quickly over time without current use and activity.


Pot of beef stew on the cook. Will add some potatoes when this cooks down some. 

No muss and no fuss on a cold rainy Sunday.

Thanks for the visit this week.