About This Site

Welcome.  My name is Mike and this is my personal web site.  I use it primarily to share news and pictures with friends and family, however, everyone is welcome to look around.  Given it's non-commercial nature, I have not attempted to make it compatible across multiple browsers.  The site is best viewed with Internet Explorer 6 at a screen resolution of 1024x768 or higher with "high" or "true" color depth.  (If you would like to upgrade your browser, you can download Internet Explorer 6 here).

All photographs displayed on the site were created with a Canon PowerShot G2 digital camera.  I use Adobe Photoshop for digital darkroom processing and, except as noted, all images are my property.

Please enjoy the site.  You can contact me at mike@skyeclipper.com if you have any comments or questions.

News and Goings On

05/31/02 - We had a death in the family yesterday.  Edith, our petite gray and white cat, was put to sleep following kidney failure.  Our veterinarian and friend, Bob Irmiger, made a house call last evening to help Edith, Susan and me through this.

Squeaker, her nickname in honor of her discrete meow, was the personification of the term "scaredy cat".  She rarely ventured more than a few feet from the guest bedroom, her home and sanctuary.  In fact, she had not outdoors even once in the 17 years since Susan rescued her from the Humane Society.

We buried Edith a few yards from the kitchen window in a area covered with summer wildflowers.

05/08/02 - At twilight yesterday, we were visited by several 4 legged residents of the mountain.  The black bears were camera shy, but this male elk wasn't. 

A Mountain Neighbor

04/26/02 - Jeff, a pilot friend who lives near Atlanta, was in town this week.  Bob, Tom and I met Jeff for lunch at Centinnial Airport to talk airplanes and swap stories.  Jeff flies a Cessna 170 hotrodded with a 220 hp Franklin engine.  He acquired his love of flying honestly.  Jeff's dad, Bob, flew for the airlines until he reached the mandatory retirement age several years ago.  Bob has owned a classic Cessna 195 and an Aeronca Champ for many years. 

Here is a snapshot of my friends.  Notice the sun glare from those high foreheads.

3 Amigos - Jeff, Tom and Bob

04/25/02 - Some people really get the short straw in life.  Take my friend Bob, for instance.  After recouperating from Sun 'n Fun at work for 2 weeks, he needed a break.  So he and Carol (his lovely wife) headed to Maui for the weekend.

A Maui Respite for an Overworked Manager

04/15/02 - My beautiful wife, Susan, has expressed some irritation that I haven't posted any pictures of her on the site.  So here she is!.  The picture shows her clowning with a present from her folks.  It was taken Saturday at her 50th birthday lunch.  I used a gaussian blur to mute the restaurant back drop.

Susan, the Birthday Girl, Showing Off

04/14/02 - Yesterday, one of my chores was to pick up 3 bags worth of garbage left behind by scavenging black bears  I guess they must be hungry coming out of hibernation.  We don't have curbside trash hauling here, so I fill my pickup with garbage and periodically make a dump run.  Unfortunately, I broke the rear window on the topper when I backed into a tree awhile back.  Black bears are good climbers so getting into the truck is no problem.  They like to dine in (the truck itself) and carry-out, so they can make a serious mess.

04/11/02 - My friend Bob just returned from the Sun 'n Fun aviation get together in Florida.  He passed along some pictures which I think you pilots will like.  Click on the picture below to go to the other Sun 'n Fun images.

Pictures from the Sun 'n Fun Fly-in

04/02/02 - It is utterly and completely Spring in Colorado.  Yesterday's tropical weather gave way to light snow and cold today.  I thought it would be a good opportunity to try some black and white images.  I am very pleased with the results.  I hope you concur.

Spring in Colorado

04/01/02 - I met with John Zimmerman of Thos. Y. Pickett & Co. today.  They are looking for development support to build a database reporting application(s).  It sounds like fun work (for a geek).  Part of the effort involves making their SQL Server data available for interactive queries on the Internet. 

This is exactly the market I targeted in a business plan that I proposed to OAO several years ago.  When OAO declined to pursue it, I quit the company.  I don't think I was being childish quiting.  One of the reasons OAO hired me was to build a commercial business as a counter weight to their defense work.  I had been working 50 to 60 hour weeks (plus a 4 hour daily commute) for 18 months.  My team and I had many successes, so the lack of support for a solid business opportunity was very disheartening.  Good or bad, I knew it was the best commercial opportunity I could devise.  When it was rejected, there was no reason to stay.

03/26/02 2nd ed. - I was poking around in the Skyeclipper archives and found this shot of the CU Boulder campus.  Personally, I really like the queasy feeling of the image produced by geometry and a long (virtual) lens.  I'll re-shoot this picture later this Spring when the city is green instead of gray.

University of Colorado Boulder Campus

03/26/02 - In contrast to yesterday, this morning brought clear skies and sparkling sunshine.  Here is what the snow and ice looked like in the low morning sun. 

The Morning After

03/25/02 - There was no dawn this morning.  The blackness slowly yielded to gray fog.  This would have been exceptionally gloomy, if the freezing fog and light snow had not presented me with a photo op.

A Freezing Fog on the Mountain

03/20/02 - Wan-Bih Liaw and I worked together at Galileo.  She is an amazing person with a PhD in Computer Science and a Masters Degree in Nuclear Engineering.  She was on vacation recently and, as you can see from the following pictures, she didn't stay in Denver.  These images were captured with her Canon D-370 camera.

Canada Snow Geese on the Way Home over New Mexico

A Palm Tree Along Waikiki Beech

03/19/02 - It has been snowing on and off this month.  I have added some additional photos to the March Snow page.  Here is one of the new images.

More Snow in Colorado

03/11/02 - I started doing volunteer work today at First Presbyterian Church of Boulder.  I will be helping out with PC support and computer related odds and ends.

03/07/02 - I have entirely too much time on my hands.  I just finished another complete make-over of the site.  A lot of graphics work this time.  As always, let me know what you think.

03/05/02 - You might have noticed that I have been playing with the site again.  This time I diddled with the nav links and added the bug logo on the lower left.  I am having fun and learning a lot.  Let me know what you think.

03/01/02 and 03/02/02 - We finally had a decent snowfall: 16" - 18".  Click the picture to see some of my images.

Finally, a Heavy Snowfall

02/24/02 - I have completed the migration to the new site look and layout. I like it much better than the original version and will probably leave it alone for awhile.

Update - This "new" version of the site lasted all of 2 week.

02/22/02 - A new look for the site. I liked this flag picture enough to use a slice of it for the top banner.

Our Weathered 48 Star in a Sunny Window

02/17/02 - I am in the process of dressing up the presentation of the larger 800x600 images.  These larger pictures will now open in an appropriately sized window with a black border and caption.  To learn the DHTML and CSS needed for this trick, I read Dynamic HTML, Weekend Crash Course by Dave Taylor.  The book is divided into easy to digest lessons and covers the waterfront well.  If you happen to be so inclined, I recommend it.

Note: I am not addressing any potential cross browser compatibility issues.  Some of the modifications I'm making may not work with anything but IE 6.0.  If you would like to upgrade your browser, you can download Internet Explorer 6 here.

02/16/02 - Tom and I flew over the rock pile to Steamboat Springs.  Flying once every 6 weeks is not enough.  I can't believe how rusty I am.  The oxidation was most noticeable on my radio work.  When the tower could hear me (that is, when I had the radio configured correctly), I sounded like a 10 hour student.  Ugh!

02/06/02 - When I was a bit younger, I did some rock climbing.  I gave it up after I was bushwhacked by a thunder storm.  I was the lead climber and had just started a long pitch in El Dorado State Park when all hell broke loose.  The downpour turned the rock face greasy making hand and foot holds very tenuous.  Lightning sizzled and popped all around.  I was certain that I was a goner.  I'm not real sure how I finished out that pitch in the storm.  I climbed two more times, but the joy was gone.

Notwithstanding my departure from the sport, Boulder county is one of the best places in the country for technical rock climbing.  There are thousands of climbs along the northern Colorado foothills.  The picture below shows off a great practice area on Flagstaff Mountain.  The chalk marks on the upper rock are along a wonderful transverse flake. 

Rock Climbing Practice  

02/02/02 - First, let me explain that I am NOT a transvestite.  The following photo illustrates what can happen after several months of unemployment.  I was doing my couch potato thing and Susan was painting her nails.  Unfortunately, my feet became a target of opportunity for her artistic talent.  I could not gather sufficient motivation to protest or otherwise protect myself from her crimson ambush.  

Now that the event has been documented and published, I will remove the polish.  To prove to everyone that I am a REAL MAN, I'll use gasoline as the solvent.  Please don't light a match for the next half hour.

The Crimson Ambush

01/30/02 - For a lark, I wrote a satirical article and submitted it to Connected Home Magazine for publication.  Actually, I did not submit it directly.  My new friend Michelle gave it to the Connected Home editor over lunch.  Michelle is another SQL Server wiz. She writes wonderful technical articles which are routinely published in Network Windows and .NET Magazine.

01/26/02 - Saturday was lunch with 2 good friends plus the movie Beautiful Mind.  LeeAnn, Ray and I worked together at Galileo.  Both are exceptional Java/J2EE developers.  LeeAnn's second love (her kids are number 1) is her flame red Honda crotch rocket.  I assume that biker chic demands that she use her tank bag as a purse even when traveling by car.

Friends LeeAnn and Ray

01/16/02 - I applied for unemployment benefits on-line.  If I ever build a web site as bad as the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, please shoot me.

01/15/02 - I met my friend Sharon for lunch. She is one of the world's best SQL Server DBAs.  We ate too much and gossiped about everyone and everything.

01/09/02 - We had another light snow over night.  It has been very dry so far this winter.

The View Up The Driveway

01/07/02 - The $100 hamburger.  I flew up to Cheyenne with fellow pilots Tom and Bob.  Actually, my friends took Bob's Cessna 182 from Centennial and I launched from Boulder.  The flying was great and so were the stories over lunch.  The old control tower at Cheyenne is being replaced with a facility which will propably work better, but will be soulless.  Here is a look at the old tower.

Control Tower at Cheyenne

01/05/02 - I bought an interview suit today. Time to get serious about a job.

01/04/02 - Susan and I survived the holidays.

12/08/01 - Thanks to my friend Sharon, I am being considered for a 12 week consulting gig.  The project appears to be of the office automation variety.  The client wants a MS Access application with a server side database using the Microsoft Data Engine,  MSDE is basically a striped down SQL Server.  I did some homework on the technology today and and it appears straight forward.

The possibility of getting work has brightened my mood.

12/04/01 - Last evening I took some shots of Boulder CO from Panorama Point.  The air was completely transparent having been scrubbed clean by high winds.  The moon and high altitude cirrus clouds appeared as if on cue.  This was the third consecutive evening I tried to capture this image.  BTW, I really like it.

Boulder from Panorama Point

11/30/01 - Susan and I moved my 1975 Cessna Cardinal from Jeffco to Boulder CO in order to save $25/mo. in tiedown fees.  I had flown to work from Jeffco daily for over 5 years, first to Colorado Springs and then to Centennial.  I appreciated Jeffco's tower most.  The folks in the cab are great, both competent and friendly.  To illustrate, one summer afternoon I was second on the approach behind a dry microburst with winds gusting to 70 knots.  I informed the tower that I was retreating to Centennial.  20 minutes later, as I turned off the runway at Centennial, the ground controller informed me that Jeffco tower had called to say the weather had improved and to come on home.

11/28/01 - I had my flight physical today (3rd class).  This time I couldn't pass the near vision test without reading glasses.  I wouldn't dream of flying without reading glasses anyway, so its no big deal.  Its just another affirmation that I'm getting old.

11/19/01 - Another day wasted taking pictures!  I went to an overlook called Lost Gulch about 2 miles toward town.  It has a great view of the southern stretch of the Indian Peaks wilderness.  I've posted some of the images.

Arapaho Peak

11/17/01 - Susan insisted that we buy a photo printer so she can have "real" photographs.  She is catering to the non-digital side of her family I suppose.  Anyway, I ordered a Epson Stylus Photo 820 and it arrived yesterday.  Both Susan and I were blown away by the prints made on glossy photo paper.  Not one dot out of place.  No banding.  No bleeding.  Truly awesome.  The Epson820 uses 5 ink colors and some fancy drivers.  It you print photos, get you one of these.

11/16/01 - I didn't feel much like working on my job search today.  Instead I headed out with the camera to document a bit of the neighborhood.

Paradise Ranch

Questions or comments about this site?
Send me an e-mail at mike@skyeclipper.com