Archive for September, 2011

While flipping through Budget Travel this morning, I came across a wonderful rundown of the latest tourist rip-offs. I was reminded to watch out for semi-trained monkeys that go after your valuables—and wild ones that may “borrow” your camera for a self-portrait. Photos: David J Slater/Caters, via I was also reminded that some scams […]

Today is the fifth anniversary of my dog Arrow’s death. I still miss him every day. Arrow came to us as a disheveled 90-pound bundle of anxiety. When we adopted him at two years old, he’d already had six homes. “He has fear aggression,” we were told. “He’s unpredictable with kids, and he’s terrified of […]

Think of the single thing you absolutely most love doing. Now imagine being told that an incurable disease will prevent you from doing that thing—ever again. That’s exactly what happened to Billy McLaughlin. I met Billy in passing some 20 years ago, when his career was just taking off. He used to play in downtown […]

When I accidentally documented the 35W bridge collapse in 2007, my photojournalist friends advised me to hire a rights-management agency—and fast. I was grateful for their advice: Within 24 hours, my images were all over the Internet. Most of the online news sites had acquired the photos through the Associated Press. But a handful of […]

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Today, we’ll see the horrific images of the billowing smoke and the desperate souls jumping to their deaths. We’ll hear the voices of the doomed, leaving one last message for their loved ones. We’ll mourn the true heroes—like Eddie Calderón—who gave their lives to […]

As I posted my blog entry this evening, the most recent “Freshly Pressed” selection caught my eye. It had no accompanying image and was titled simply 2996. I soon learned about the 3,500 bloggers who had volunteered to write a memorial for one of the 9/11 victims. Unfortunately, some of the links had since expired—and […]

The Twin Cities have a lot to offer, yet I seldom prowl their streets with camera in hand, as I usually do when I travel. I was pondering this the other day when I happened to drive past this mural: You are the artist. Life is your canvas. Talk about a kick in the (creative) […]

A couple of days ago, I wrote about traveling to Reykjavik, Iceland and the Golden Circle. Today I’m back with the promised follow-up on the inimitable Icelandic horse. First things first: Is the Icelandic a pony—or a horse? That depends on your definition, I suppose. But based purely on size and conformation, let’s say “pony.” […]

Each year, Labor Day marks the end of the Minnesota State Fair. Most Twin Citians have long since lost their ties to Minnesota’s agricultural roots. But for 10 days in late summer, the State Fair lets us remember that vanishing history. Of course, that’s just one of the reasons why more than 1.5 million people […]

I remember being furious as I sat on the bus from Kevflavík airport to Reykjavik, Iceland. The barren, rocky landscape was a stark contrast to the lush beauty of Kent, where Steve and I had just spent a week. Steve had been to Iceland before and he’d extolled the virtues of this small island nation. […]