Photos of Christmas Tree posted

•December 21, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Click here to see photos and a couple animations of this year’s tree.

Baby Robin Photographs

•May 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I was fortunate to be able to observe and photograph the development of two baby robins.  Click on the picture below to view the photos…

Beatrice the Mallard Returns!

•October 31, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Beatrice came back today!  Click here to read about it and see a super-short video clip.

Toad photos

•October 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I took some photos of a huge toad my parents found, which I released afterward.  I also photographed my pet toads, Right Hand Man and Don.  Click on the first photo to see the big toad and Right Hand Man, and the second photo to see Don.

Hines Maple Tree Photos

•October 1, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I photographed my favorite maple for the 3rd year in a row.  Sadly, it appears that it is diseased this year.

Deer Mice Released Into Wild

•September 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I caught a pair of deer mice that got into my basement.  I released them today into the wild.  Click on the picture of them to read their story and see more pictures.

Double Rainbow on September 11th

•September 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

These are the best rainbow photographs I have taken to date.  Click on the picture below to see the rest.

Strange Fungus

•August 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I have never seen a fungus quite like this.  Click on the picture below to see more close-ups.

Female Platycryptus Photographs

•August 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I found a nice female platy.  I photographed and released her, but still gave her the name, Runa.  Click on her picture below to see a few other photographs.

White Leaf-hopper

•August 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

My dad found this neat leaf-hopper.  Click on the picture below for many more photos of it.

Photos of Interesting Moth

•August 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I found one of these in Ohio in 2006, but this is the first one I’ve seen here in Michigan.  This one was on the front storm door.  It has some crazy-looking stuff on it’s head and thorax—check out the close-ups by clicking on the picture below.

Gorgeous July Skies

•July 30, 2011 • 3 Comments

Some interesting things happened in the skies this July—beautiful clouds and sunsets, moon photos at dusk, an incredible red sky (pictured below), and a double rainbow!  Click the picture below to see all the photos.

New Rabbits Page

•July 27, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I started a new Rabbits Page.  It currently only has a baby cottontail on it, but I have several photo shoots of it as it is growing up.

Woody the Woodpecker

•July 25, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I tried to help a badly injured woodpecker, but was unsuccessful.  Click here to read his story.  I have no photos, only the video below.

Leucistic (Piebald) Grackle

•July 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This is the neatest grackle I’ve ever seen.  Click on its picture below for many more photos of this special bird.

Photos of Unusual Orb-weaving Spider

•July 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’ve never seen a spider like this one before.  Click on it’s picture below to see a few more photos.


Salt Marsh Moth Larva Photographs

•July 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

At least, I think that is what this caterpillar is.  Click on it’s picture below to see the rest of the photo shoot.

Anise Swallowtail Butterfly — closeup photos

•July 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

My parents once again found me an anise swallowtail larva/chrysalis.  When it emerged into a butterfly, I took some photos.  This time, I got some closeups of the wings like never before.  One can see all the individual scales making up the colors.  Click on the picture below to see the rest of the photos.

Matthaei Botanical Gardens

•July 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

My friend Robin was in from St. Louis.  We visited the Matthaei Botanical Gardens today.  Click on the picture below to see the photos from the gardens.

Polyphemus Moth

•June 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I haven’t seen one of these moths in 7 years (and the one I saw before was the first one ever, and was actually mailed to me by a friend as a cocoon).  Click the photo of this moth below to see its photos.  Then you may want to scroll up to see my first moth if you have never visited this page before…

Beatrice the Mallard is set free!

•June 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This mallard duck nearly died the day after Christmas, 2010.  Luckily she healed and was able to be released.  Click on her photo below to read her whole story and see videos and pictures.

Raccoon photos

•June 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The babies have started to come out to play…

5-spotted Hawk Moth Emerges!

•June 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The pupa that overwintered in some soil in my garage emerged today!

Hoppy the Grackle

•June 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This poor grackle fought so hard, going around on one leg for a few weeks until I never saw him again…

Ant Lion Emergence

•April 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The ant lion I found last fall emerged as an adult insect today.  Sadly, it’s wings were deformed and it was unable to fly.

Supermoon photographs 3-19-11

•March 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Tonight was what is called a “supermoon” because it was especially close to the earth.  Click on the photo below to see more shots…

The story of Blackears the Opossum

•March 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This guy came to my doorstep and ended up dying in my home.  Click on his picture to read his whole story and see more pictures of him…

Sunset photographed on 1-1-11

•January 1, 2011 • 1 Comment

Click on the picture below to see the rest of the photo shoot.

New Tjaps Page

•December 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Tjaps are beautiful, handmade copper stamps for making batiks.  They are commonly made in Indonesia.  Over the past few years, I have collected 10, so I figured they were worthy of a page so everyone can enjoy seeing this interesting form of artwork.  Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to try them out to create any batiks, so you will just have to enjoy the stamps themselves.

Lunar Eclipse Photos

•December 22, 2010 • 1 Comment

I attempted to take photos of the rare lunar eclipse on December 21st, the winter solstice, also Frank Zappa’s birthday.  Unfortunately, the clouds blocked the moon out at the peak time, but I did get some photos.

Christmas Tree

•November 29, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Click on the photo below to see more pictures and animations of my Christmas tree this year.

New Baby Platycrypti Page

•October 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Renita and Rakim, two Platycryptus undatus spiders of mine, had babies.  I started a new Baby Platycryptus Page.  Click on the photo below to visit.

Largest Maple Tree in Hines Park Fall Foliage

•October 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Again, I photographed this beautiful tree…

New Opossum and Groundhog Pages

•October 9, 2010 • 1 Comment

I started two new pages to document the visitors to my backyard.  One of the neatest things is that the opossums eat with the raccoons!  Click on the photos below to go to each page.

Unusual Jumping Spider

•September 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I found a type of jumping spider I’ve never seen before.  I found it about a month ago when it was just a tiny baby.  I made a new Miscellaneous Jumping Spiders page to display her photos on.

Tomato Hornworm Photography

•August 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I have always loved tomato hornworms, but this is only the second one I’ve ever seen in real life.  I got some great macro photos of it as a larva and pupa.  The pupa is shown below.  It will turn into a 5-spotted hawk moth if I’m lucky.

Pair of Orchard Spiders

•August 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

While I was removing diseased leaves from my boysenberry, I found both male and female orchard spiders.  Click on the photo below to see them.

Land Snail Photography

•August 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Brian found some more of those huge land snails while weeding the backyard.  Click on the picture below of the snail on a quarter to see the rest of the photographs of these awesome snails.

Invasion of the Tiger Mosquitoes!

•August 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this humongous mosquito in my kitchen, trying repeatedly to bite me.  Click on its photo to learn what I discovered about it.


Updates to Tom Gaskins and Toy Pages, New Stuffed Animals and Dolls Pages

•July 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I took some new photos of my Tom Gaskins cypress knees.  I also added some new toys to my Toys page, and created two new pages:   Stuffed Animals and Dolls.  Click on the photos below to visit each page.

Rakim the Platycryptus Undatus

•July 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I found this beautiful male Platycryptus undatus. Click on his photo below to see more pictures from his photo shoot and to read about his courtship with Renita, a female I’ve had for a while.

Cicada nymph photographed

•July 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I think this is one of the oldest nymphs I have ever photographed.  It had green wings and dark eyes, as if it was almost ready to break from its skin and become an adult cicada.  Click on its photo below to see all the photos from the photo shoot.  I took these in my moss garden.

Ricki the Raccoon

•June 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I started a page to display raccoon photos and video as I now have several regular visitors.  Their story is explained in detail on their page.  Just click on Ricki’s photo below to visit…

Baby orb-weaver spiders and Rhys the Platycryptus

•June 19, 2010 • 1 Comment

I photographed some baby orb-weavers after they recently hatched.  I also took some more photos of one of my favorite spiders ever, Rhys, the Platycryptus undatus.  Click on the photos below to link to the photo shoots.

Whitefish passed on

•January 14, 2010 • 1 Comment

One of my favorite goldfish died today.  Click on the photo below to read about Whitefish.

Project Object Winter Tour

•January 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I was so happy to end my winter break with 3 Project Object shows—one in East Lansing at Mac’s Bar and two in Chicago at Martyr’s.  I also finally got to meet Ray White!  Click on the photo of me, Ike Willis, and Ray White to see more photos and to watch youtube  videos from the shows…

New Jumping Spider Care Page

•December 23, 2009 • 1 Comment

Since there is at least one person a month writing me and asking how to care for the cute little jumping spider they just found, I figured I should make up a care sheet for jumping spiders.  If you would like to know how to successfully care for a jumping spider, click here to read my guide.

Christmas Tree Photos and Animations

•December 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I took photos of my Christmas tree in the day and night and made a couple of animations too.  Click on the one below to see the rest of the photo shoot.

Ugly Radio Rebellion Show

•December 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Ugly Radio Rebellion put on a great show tonight to celebrate Frank Zappa’s Birthday.  It was at the Black Lotus Brewery in Clawson, MI.  Ike Willis was a special guest—our picture is below…

New Bird Page, Baby Spiders Page and other new photos.

•December 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I have been very behind in my uploads because I have had no free time. Now that I am on winter break, I am getting caught up on things. I created a new Bird Page. Click on the woodpecker to go there. I also made a new Baby Spiders Page since I have been raising some special babies since last June. I figured all the baby spiders should be on one page. Click on the first spider photo to visit the Baby Spiders Page. I also have photos of a millipede, two new adult spiders (only one pictured below), and Rhys, my pet Platycryptus undatus (the one with the orange moustache).

Dad as Santa Claus (for Halloween) and Fish Photos

•November 3, 2009 • 2 Comments

Click on the photo below to see my dad dressed as Santa for Halloween (something he’s done many times before).  I also took some photos of my new calico goldfish and rubber-lipped plecostomus as well as my old white comet goldfish.  Click on the calico’s picture to see them.

More maple tree photos and Rhys the Platycryptus undatus (jumping spider).

•October 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I took another set of photos of that special maple tree in Hines Park again today.  It has lost nearly all its leaves now.  I also took some photos of my current favorite pet jumping spider, Rhys, on some gourds.  Click on the pictures below to see the rest of the photo shoots.

More fall maple tree pictures

•October 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I photographed that same maple tree in Hines Park, five days after the first photo shoot.  It was losing a lot of leaves.  This time, the ground was almost completely covered.  Click the photo below to see the rest of the pictures.

Photos of fall maple tree, sunset and frog.

•October 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I photographed a huge maple tree in Hines Park displaying its fall foliage.  That night I also captured a colorful sunset in the backyard.  A few days before, I photographed a wild frog that Brian found in the backyard.  Click on the photos below to see more of each.

New Honeybee Page, Awesome Orb-weavers, and Twista the Twisting, Turning Frog Video.

•September 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I started a Honeybee Page. In all this time of owning a digital camera, I have never been able to photograph a honey bee. Click on the photo below for lots more pictures of honeybees on stone crop flowers (which I just discovered they are very much attracted to). A few really neat orb-weavers are living around the outside of my house. Click on the photo below to see many more of this spider and the others.

Twista has always been a very unique frog with motions unlike any normal African Clawed Frog. I captured her in action while feeding with her siblings and dad. Make sure to watch to the end (or at least fast-forward to about a minute before it ends) for some real craziness.

New Meadow Katydid, Red-Banded Leafhopper and Spider Photos

•September 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Click on the photos below to see the insects and spider listed in the headline. I am especially excited about finding the leafhopper. It has been many years since I have found one of this species. The spider is a pretty incredible guy too—he is the largest Platycryptus undatus I have ever found.

Photographs of Hoya Flowers and Baby Jumping Spiders

•September 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I photographed my parents’ hoya plant, which is currently flowering.  I have also been raising some baby jumping spiders since they were in the egg sac.  Click on the pictures below to see the photographs.

New Watercolor Painting

•August 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Here is my latest watercolor. Click on the picture of it to see a larger view and close-ups of different sections.

My Uncle Bob’s Song

•August 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Yeah, I’m so happy—I just found my uncle’s song on youtube.  Their Michigan garage band, called Silver Hawk, only made one 45 record.  My uncle, Bob Rose, played the drums on it.  Now other people can finally hear this great song (it’s actually a George Harrison cover, but I just love their version)! Click here for more info on Silver Hawk.

Ike the Spadefoot Passed On.

•August 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Well, now three of my four spadefoots have all died from the same horrific disease.  Ike fought this for over a year.  It was very sad to see him suffer for so long, that I am actually happy for him that he is suffering no longer and is free of all his pain.  I buried him underneath my newly planted mulberry tree, where Napi, one of the other spadefoots is also buried.  To see photos of him when he was doing well, click on his picture below.

Woodward Dream Cruise

•August 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

As always, I took the Music Machine to the Woodward Dream Cruise.  Click on the car below to see the photos from the cruise.

Hold On! Another new watercolor…

•August 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Click on the picture below to see a larger view and close-ups of different areas.

Chickenfoot Concert!

•August 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Tonight, at the Detroit Fillmore (formerly the State Theater), was definitely a concert of a lifetime—Joe Satriani on guitar, Sammy Hagar singing and a bit of guitar, bassist Michael Anthony (founding member of Van Halen) and Chad Smith on drums (from Red Hot Chili Peppers).  What an unbelievable line-up! The main draw for me was of course, Joe.  It was very cool to see him just jamming up there as part of a band and not having to feel the pressure of being front and center for once.  He looked like he was really having fun up there, as did the rest of them.  Since I was familiar with the Chickenfoot album, I could totally rock out and dance to all the songs.  They even played one of the songs they wrote together that didn’t make it on the album, so that was a special treat.  The encore was one of my all-time favorite classic rock songs, “Highway Star” by Deep Purple, one of my favorite driving songs—it reminded me of my new Fiero that has restored my love of driving once again.  I have never seen so many drum sticks go flying at a show in my life—during “Highway Star”, Chad would reach into this girl’s shirt (where she was inserting drum sticks), get a stick, play for a little bit, then toss it out to the crowd.  He must have thrown at least 30 sticks!  It was definitely a night to remember.

Ugly Radio Rebellion in Kalamazoo

•July 31, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Tonight, I drove the Music Machine to Kalamazoo to see Ugly Radio Rebellion perform the music of Frank Zappa at Bell’s Brewery.  It was a great show!  I was going to take some video, but it was outside in the dark (they didn’t have all the bulbs lit for some reason) and they would have turned out pitch black.  Brian took a couple of photos of them playing that I was able to enhance in Photoshop.  Click here to see the pictures.

Another new watercolor finished!

•July 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I created another watercolor.  This one is completely different from my others, that are usually planned and sketched out before any painting is done.  This one doesn’t have a single pencil mark on it and was completely spontaneous and unplanned.  For this reason, there are parts I like and parts that I don’t.  It is not one of my favorites, but it was definitely good practice and enjoyable to make.  Click on the picture of it below to see a larger view and close-ups of the different areas.

Snapping Turtle and Leech Photographs

•July 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

On July 26th, a large snapping turtle was headed for Hines Drive as I was passing by in my truck.  I photographed it and relocated it to a safer area.  It had two leeches attached to its shell, which I removed and photographed, then released in an area separate from where the turtle was released.  Click on the pictures below to see more photography of these creatures.

Rufus the Platycryptus undatus

•July 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I finally found a male of the same species as Radinka, my pet Platycryptus undatus.  However, 5 days after his introduction into her cage, she died.  I had already kept her as a pet for a year, so she was older than that—the oldest spider I have ever had to this date.  It’s too bad I couldn’t find her a mate sooner.  Click on the animation below to see more photos of Rufus.

Transient Unity, a new watercolor—the first in 2 1/2 years!!!

•July 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Finally I have had a chance to paint again.  With moving into the new house and everything, I have had no time and no good work place.  Now for the first time ever, I have a dedicated studio area where I can keep all of my supplies set up.  Before, I had to work on my kitchen counter and try to finish a painting rather quickly so that it could be cleaned up and life restored to normal again.  Having this studio will be life-changing.  It means that I can do a little bit on a painting every now and then instead of having to have a large block of time available.

This painting was mostly finished on July 15th, except for one small decision, which was made early this morning.  Click on the picture of the painting below to see a larger view, as well as close-ups of different areas.

Adrian Belew and the Power Trio Concert

•July 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I saw Adrian Belew and the Power Trio (Eric and Julie Slick) for the second time.  This show was at the Ark in Ann Arbor.  While it was nicer to see them play in a more intimate setting, one thing I’ve never liked about the Ark is that there really isn’t anywhere to dance, and I would have wanted to dance to some of this music.  After the show, we all went out for drinks and something to eat.  It was definitely a very memorable evening and I can’t wait until they come back again.

Click here to see a couple of photos and watch a 20-minute video from the show (it was too long for youtube so I had to host it from my website instead).

New Frog, Turtle and Swallowtail Butterfly Pages. Cicada Nymph, Bee and Jumping Spider Photos.

•July 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on my blog.  I wanted to be sure that Darwin, my border collie companion of 15 years,  got some quality time up on the main page and that my regular visitors could find out of his passing.

I have started three new pages, one of frogs, one of turtles and one of a swallowtail butterfly that I had the pleasure of watching the metamorphosis from caterpillar to adult.

There are also new photos (and a few animations) of a cicada nymph and carpenter bees at the Henry Ford Estate.

The Jumping Spiders 2 Page has some recent additions as well.

As usual, click on the desired creature for more photos…

Project Object Summer Tour

•July 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I drove the Music Machine out to see them in Cleveland, OH, Pittsburgh, PA and Annapolis, MD on July 5-8, 2009.  This time, the Zappa alumni were Don Preston and Ike Willis.  I had such an amazing time.  Click on the photo of me with the band to see the rest of the photos (and a couple videos) from the tour.

Darwin has passed on and will be missed forever.

•May 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Darwin died with both me and Brian by his side comforting him last night at 2:07 am and I drove him to be cremated.  He will come home again in a few days and will be kept in a beautiful urn that is in a room I am in every day.  I am so thankful that I did not have to make the decision to euthanize him.   His loss to me is more unbearable than the loss of any human I have ever known.  You can read more about his final days by clicking on the photo of us below.

Saying Goodbye to my Best Friend

•May 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

For nearly 15 years, I have had my companion, Darwin the Amazing Border Collie.  He was there the day I first had to sleep alone in my first house.  He was the greatest watchdog—I always felt safe with him around.  In fact, I never even saw him sleep until he was 10 years old.  If I was awake, he was awake, participating in whatever I was doing.  He never wanted to miss a thing.

Lately, he has been on the decline, and has needed more and more care.  He is no longer happy with his quality of life.  For all of my 33 years here, I have always had a dog.  There has always been an overlap—not even one day without one.  When two of my other dogs were old and in pain, me and my mom always passed it on to my dad to take them to be euthanized.  We just couldn’t do it.  But now, I have to make that decision, which has been one of the hardest.  I really wanted him to die naturally, but he just has too strong of a spirit.  He wants to continue pleasing me no matter what.  So I will have to decide for him that he has done enough for me and deserves some peace.   Tomorrow morning, someone will be coming out to perform home euthanasia and my buddy will be in pain no more.  I was so glad to have taken some photos of him outside on this sunny afternoon.

My own webcams!!!

•April 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I was so inspired watching all those other bird cams that I decided to have one of my own.  I bought some bird feeders and a camera.  When I am home on the weekends, I will try to consistently set it up for all to enjoy.  Currently, I usually focus the camera on the thistle feeder so that you can see the American Goldfinches.  There are 6 that seem to regularly visit the feeder—3 males and 3 females.

Click here to see my wild bird cam.

Also, at night, I sometimes have been broadcasting my African Clawed Frogs.  They aren’t super-exciting most of the time, but when I feed them, they go pretty crazy.
Click here to see my African Clawed Frog cam.

Taking birdwatching to a ‘whole nutha level’

•March 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I recently discovered that there are some really neat bird nesting webcams out there.  I embedded them all into one page on my website for easy viewing.

Click here to go to my Favorite Webcams Page.

Project Object with Ed Mann, Don Preston and Ike Willis

•February 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Wow what a line-up for this Project Object tour—these three amazing musicians on the same stage for the first time in history playing the music of Frank Zappa!!!  Click on the photo of me and Ed Mann to see some photos (mostly of me and the band members) and videos from the two Michigan shows.

Napi passed away, new Family Art page

•December 25, 2008 • 1 Comment

Just before midnight on Christmas Day, Napi, my spadefoot toad finally died from his disease I have been trying to cure for nearly 8 months.  While I am sad he is no longer with me, I am glad he is no longer suffering, as it was a horrifying flesh-eating type disease.

On a happier note, I created a new Family Art Page to display some of the artwork my family members have created.  So far, it only has two of my great uncle’s paintings.  Click on his painting below to visit the page.

Vintage Tape Measures and Chevy Perfume Pages

•December 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I created two new pages of my collections. Click on the tape measure or perfume to view the collection of your choice.

Frank Zappa’s Birthday with Ugly Radio Rebellion, Cool Frost Pictures

•December 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Tonight was an awesome night with Ugly Radio Rebellion at Club Bart’s in Ferndale, MI.  It was originally supposed to be held at a much larger venue, the Magic Bag, but Gail of course put a stop to that, threatening to sue the venue, and they caved.  Luckily, Club Bart’s held the celebration instead.  Ugly Radio Rebellion was accompanied by Ike Willis, who seemed to be in great spirits and put on an excellent performance.  One of the best Zappa birthday celebrations ever.

Before I went to the show, I noticed some interesting frost on the storm door, so I took a few photos of it.  Click on the photo below to see them.

Christmas Tree Photos and Animations

•December 19, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I took some photos of this year’s tree with different camera settings and turned a couple sets of photographs into animations.  Click on the one below to see the rest of the photo shoot.

New Spider Photos

•December 16, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I finally had a chance to photograph a few spiders I’ve had since the summer.  Click on the animation below to see them.

Joe Satriani Concert

•October 9, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Tonight was my 9th time seeing Joe Satriani rock out on guitar.  I was surprised when I looked up the last Satriani blog entry to find that I haven’t seen him play in 2 1/2 years—I hadn’t realized it had been that long.  This time, he played at the Royal Oak Music Theater and there were no seats set up (which is a good thing).  I ended up hanging out more towards the back by the bar area where there was a ton of room to freely dance, which is what I want to do most at a Satriani show, and often am not able to when there are seats.  I don’t remember hearing him ever play anything off the Time Machine album before, but tonight, he played the song “Time Machine” and it was awesome!!!  He opened with “I Just Wanna Rock”, which I commented just before the show started that I knew he would be playing that one.  This was the first concert I’ve ever attended that had an entire movie-sized screen composed of hundreds of LED lights that flashed different colors and produced different patterns.  I have seen smaller versions of those before as side stage accents, but never as a huge backdrop.  Really very neat.  The only thing that would have been better is if it were a little less crowded and not as loud, so that I could have been up near the front of the stage to have a chance at getting a guitar pick and Joe could have actually seen me going crazy to his music (since no one else was dancing).  Definitely a night to remember though!

In case you’ve never heard of Joe Satriani, or just want to see a good live video, check out this one of him playing one of my favorite songs, “Flying in a Blue Dream”.

African Clawed Frog Development Complete

•September 21, 2008 • 3 Comments

Over the summer, I raised african clawed frogs from the eggs my pet adult frogs laid and fertilized.  The story has finally come to a close as I am now finding homes for the baby frogs.  They are going to my students, which seem quite delighted to have them.  I am so happy that they will go to people who will be informed of how to properly care for them, so that they can live long and comfortable lives and possibly live to be 30 years old (I read about one at a college that lived this long.  My oldest was 24 years old when he died.).

If you haven’t yet seen the page that shows the whole development from egg to frog, click here.

Here is a video of the babies at 87 days old before they head off to new homes…

Grasshopper photos

•September 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I finally had a chance to upload these photos of a huge grasshopper I found earlier in September.  Click on the animation of her to see the rest of the photo shoot.

Carpenter Bee Photographs

•September 16, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I am very behind in uploading my photography since school started.   I forced myself to make time to process some today.  These photos are actually from August 23, 2008 and were taken at my parents’ house.  They have many more flowers than I do and there were more bees on them than I think I’ve ever seen in my entire life.  Click on the photo below to see more bee pictures.

Chieli Minucci Concert

•September 6, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I have been a fan of Chieli Minucci for 13 years, but have never seen him live until today. Click on the picture of us below to read about the show and see a few videos.

Ratdog and Allman Brothers Concert

•August 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Well, my last day before having to go to work again was a great one, spent at DTE.  I saw a show shared half and half by two of my favorite bands, Ratdog and the Allman Brothers.  Both bands put on an excellent show.  Derek Trucks played with the Allman Brothers, which was a nice treat (I hadn’t known he was going to be there).  Definitely an awesome way to end my summer vacation.

Woodward Dream Cruise

•August 16, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Click on the car below to take you to my Woodward Dream Cruise photos.

Steely Dan Concert

•August 15, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I saw Steely Dan for the third time tonight at DTE. It was my second time seeing them play at this venue. I spent the time up on the top deck, where things sounded good without my ear protection. I also had tons of room to dance up there as most people were sitting on the lawn or in the pavilion. For the encore, first they played “Don’t Take Me Alive.” Then finally, the long-awaited “Kid Charlemagne”, which of course, I danced like crazy for. It was a beautiful night for a concert (unlike last year’s rainy show) and I would definitely rank it up there with one of the best of this summer.

Photos of a Beautiful Orb-Weaver

•August 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

This is the most unusual orb-weaver I have ever found. Click on the photo below to see many more angles of this unique spider.

Photos of Praying Mantis and Jumping Spider

•August 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

The juvenile mantises are running about. I thought I might as well photograph one of them. The jumping spider is a Platycryptus undatus. I haven’t seen one of these in over two years, so I was quite happy. Click on the animations below to see more of each creature.

Peter Frampton Concert

•July 29, 2008 • Leave a Comment

As part of my mission to see all my favorite 70’s musicians at least once, I sure couldn’t miss Peter Frampton, whom I’ve never seen before. He played at DTE tonight.  It was an awesome show, although I didn’t end up sitting in my assigned seats. I had row P, a little left of center, but it was way too loud, even with my ear protection, so we ended up sitting in row SS, which was a more comfortable volume and cooler (there was no ventilation near the stage and it was hot from all the people and stage lights). So much for getting good seats anymore. I wish there weren’t such vast discrepancies between volume levels at concerts. Anyhow, the highlights of the show for me were when he played an instrumental version of the Soundgarden classic “Black Hole Sun” and of course, the famous “Do You Feel Like We Do,” which surprisingly was not the encore song. I thought it should have been because everyone was waiting for that one and it just didn’t seem right to play anything else after the climax of the show. Oh well, can’t ever complain about getting more music, but it did seem unusual to me.

First Michigan Avenue Cruise

•July 12, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Today was the first ever Michigan Avenue Cruise, so I took the Music Machine out for a ride. Click on the photo below to see some of the other cars we saw.

New Photos of Ike the Spadefoot, a Wolf Spider, and a Moth

•July 8, 2008 • 1 Comment

Unfortunately, Ike has the same disease as Napi—his leg is all swollen up. I figured I better take some photos of him since he could die without notice like Terry did when this happened to him. I also put up a few photos of a wolf spider and a moth. Click on the photos below to see them.


wolf spider


George Clinton Concert

•July 6, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I saw George Clinton perform at the Detroit City Fest, or should I say, heard him play.  It was too crowded to get anywhere near the stage.  Click here to read about it and see a few pictures.

Made a friend, lost a friend

•June 30, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I almost had a baby duckling for a friend, but it wasn’t meant to be. Click here to read the story.

Here is one of the videos of “Little Wing”, as Brian named it.

Tadpoles Have Arrived!

•June 29, 2008 • 2 Comments

If I counted correctly, 91 tadpoles hatched from the eggs. That left hundreds unhatched, but that’s fine with me—this is still a lot of frogs to raise. In the six days I’ve had them, not one tadpole has died, but that is unusual.  I am going to photograph their entire development with my macro lens.  Click on the photo below to see more.


New Pet African Clawed Frog!

•June 24, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Since one of my two frogs passed away about 3 weeks ago, the other one seemed very lonely.  I decided to get him a female companion.  He loves her!  You can see from the photo below.  She laid a whole bunch of eggs yesterday too.  Click on their picture to go to my new Xenopus Page.frogs

Yellow Jacket with Larvae and Jumping Spider Photographs

•June 20, 2008 • 2 Comments

I photographed a queen yellow jacket and her larvae (something I’ve never seen before). I also finally photographed the mother of the baby spiders that recently emerged. Click on the preview photos below to see more of the wasps or spider.

LOTS of new macro photos!

•June 16, 2008 • Leave a Comment

There are photos of a large ant (on the new Ants Page), some baby jumping spiders (ones from two spiders I mated), a junebug, ladybug, chickweed geometer moth, green lacewing, my pet african clawed frog, firefly, woodlouse spider, and crab spider.

Tufts Passed Away

•June 16, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Today, I found one of my very favorite jumping spiders, “Tufts”, on her back, dead in her cage.  I had her for nearly a year.  I knew she was getting old, but I had hoped to get more photos of her with my new camera (I only got one picture).  I had just made the new Tufts and Mr. Greenfangs Page a few weeks ago too, figuring there would be more photo shoots of her this summer.

New camera, new macro photos.

•June 11, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I bought a Canon EOS 40D to do all of my macro shots from now on. I just couldn’t resist the automatic sensor cleaning (which really helps when you are in the process of taking pictures and notice there’s a speck of dust in a crucial area of the photograph and can do nothing about it since manual cleaning requires about 20 minutes and should be done indoors). I’ll be using my EOS 30D for all the regular shots (even got a new 28-135 image-stabilized zoom lens with the package deal with my 40D).

I uploaded lots of new photos taken from this camera. I think the upgraded sensor also adds to the brilliance of the colors. I photographed a mayfly, cucumber beetle, jumping spider, and my spider friends “Tufts” and “Mr. Greenfangs.” Just click on the photos below to see more of that of insect or spider.

My 24-year old African Clawed Frog Passed Away

•May 31, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I woke up today to find that my pet of 13 years had died. The weather had gotten warmer, but it wasn’t any more than 83 in my house, so I can’t attribute it to the heat, like the last frog I lost. I don’t know why he died. He was 11 when I got him and he was my favorite frog. I have heard that they sometimes live to be 30 or more, but I guess 24 is a pretty long life for him. Still, it’s sad, mostly because now I only have one left and he has to live all by himself now. I am thinking about getting him a female friend.

Also sad, we discovered that upon returning from Kids in the Hall last night in the pouring rain, the car ran over a mature male toad (could tell by its shape). Wasn’t one that I have in my catalog of local toads, but still very sad. We buried him today too.

Kids in the Hall at the Royal Oak Music Theater

•May 30, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Some people may remember the Kids in the Hall, a sketch comedy group from Canada that had a show on CBC from 1988-1994. I have seen nearly all the episodes. Also saw them for their 2000 North American Tour, but haven’t really seen much of them for 8 years. Apparently, they performed at a “Just for Laughs” Comedy Festival in Quebec, from which they drew most of their material for tonight’s show. The show was great and I laughed a lot. Although I couldn’t even sit in my second row seats because the venue chose to put a huge speaker right in front of them and blast theme music so loud it was unbearable, not to mention the fact that the actors’ voices were also blasting super-loud through them. There was no reason to have stage-level speakers—the overheads would have been plenty. Anyhow, I had to leave my seat and view it from the bar area (which ended up being a better view anyhow). Didn’t realize I’d need earplugs for a sketch comedy routine. Oh well, still a good time overall.

Flowering Crab Tree and Detailed Moon Photos

•May 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I just uploaded some photos of the moon that I took with my macro lens (acting as a telephoto). Also, on my Flowers Page are some new photos of the flowering crab tree in front of my house. Click on the preview photos below to take you to more of that subject.

Photographs of House Centipede and Jumping Spiders

•May 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I photographed “Tufts” and “Mr. Greenfangs” on my orchid that just bloomed. Also, for the first time, I photographed a house centipede. These are usually too fast to capture in a photo, but this one was rather old and slow-moving. Click on the photos below to see more of each insect/spider.

Santana Concert

•April 18, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I saw Carlos Santana at the Palace of Auburn Hills. This was my 5th time seeing him play. The first four times were at DTE (Pine Knob) and were pretty hard to beat (since I love outdoor shows and the performances themselves were so incredible—he always brings an excellent group of musicians with him). The last time I saw him was June 25, 2005, so it’s been almost 3 years. I was amazed to be able to get main floor seats (12th row, but on the far left two seats from the aisle), something I can rarely accomplish for any of the bands I want to see at that venue, even if I am on Ticketmaster the second they go on sale. I actually got there on time to see opening act, which was The Derek Trucks Band (which I’ve seen once before, so I didn’t want to miss them). Most people weren’t too into them though and were sitting down the whole time, so although I wanted to dance, I didn’t want to obstruct people’s view. Also, with everyone sitting, and a lot of people not even in their seats yet, I had a great view of the whole stage (which wasn’t the case when Santana came on and everyone stood up). Just when Santana started the first song, “Jingo”, the couple who belonged in the seats next to me appeared. The main floor seating was quite cramped, not like the regular seats there. After a few songs, the people next to me were nice enough to switch with us and I stayed in the aisle. It worked out well for all of us because it gave them an extra seat’s space. Then I had room to dance and I felt so much better. He played many of my favorites, a lot of the older material that I love, “Everybody’s Everything”, “Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen”, “Oye Como Va”, and “No One to Depend On.” He also played several songs from the more recent album “Supernatural”, like “Smooth”, “Maria” and “Corazon Espinado.” Near the end of the show, Derek Trucks came out and played with them. They did some awesome versions of Bob Marley’s “Exodus” and Marvin Gaye’s “Right On”, with a long jam in between. It was one unforgettable night of music, along with Carlos’s inspirational words about achieving peace and harmony in our lifetime, something he always tries to speak of at his shows, but not something that a lot of people seem to care about. It saddened me that during the intro, when he started with a movie, instead of listening to his words, when people saw his face on the screen, they just started whistling and screaming, and I could barely make out what he was saying. If they truly had any respect, they would have been quiet. Oh well, can’t say I was surprised—I deal with much worse during my daily life at the workplace (public high school). The encore song was “Soul Sacrifice” and the show ended very abruptly, lights on, no time for anyone to cheer or anything. Everyone just left. The “hair test” proved it was a good show—at the end, my braid was soaked to the bottom (meaning I really was gettin’ down). One woman told me that I was the best dancer…ever. And another woman said “Thank-you”—never gotten that one before—guess she enjoyed what I added to the experience. Most definitely an unforgettable night.

Robin Trower Concert

•March 29, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I saw Robin Trower for the second time.  This concert was at the Royal Oak Music Theater like last time.  It was sold out.  I actually had to hang out in the lobby this time, because there were so many smokers, and so little ventilation, that I could barely breathe.  Out in the lobby, I could at least take a full breath.  Couldn’t see him play, but at least I could hear without my earplugs and dance freely without breathing cigarette smoke—never seen it this bad before.  Oh well, I still had fun—he sounded great.

New Paternal Relatives Page!

•March 24, 2008 • Leave a Comment

After spending a nice afternoon with my family at my grandma’s house (my dad’s mom), my grandma gave me some old photos of my relatives. I really want to preserve these things, so I scanned them in and created a new Paternal Relatives Page since there were so many. There are still more to come (my dad has more albums) and I would like to do a Maternal Relatives Page too one of these days. Click on the photo of my grandfather on the family farm to see the rest of the photos.

Tufts and Mr. Greenfangs Photo Shoot and new Jumping Spiders 2 Page

•March 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I photographed my favorite two spiders—Tufts and Mr. Greenfangs. I decided to start a new Jumping Spiders 2 page for my 2008 spiders since the other page has gotten so full (it had numerous photos of 31 different jumping spiders!). I made two animations from photos of Tufts. Click on the animation below to see the rest of the photos of Tufts. Click here to see the photos of Mr. Greenfangs.

Eric Sardinas Concert

•March 17, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I saw Eric Sardinas, an incredible slide guitarist, at the Ark in Ann Arbor. Click on the photo of me and Eric below to read more.

The Music Machine at the Detroit Autorama 2008

•March 9, 2008 • Leave a Comment

The Music Machine, my airbrushed art car dedicated to Frank Zappa, was accepted to display at this year’s Autorama. Click on the photo below to read and see more pictures from the show (other cars too).

Adrian Belew Concert

•March 6, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I saw Adrian Belew at the Magic Bag tonight. I also got to meet him and hang out with the rest of the trio after the show. Click on the picture of us for more info and another pic of me with Adrian.

Icicle Photographs and Stop-motion Animation

•March 1, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I really had fun with the last icicle photo shoot I did on January 26th and I was very happy to have the chance to do another one.  It’s really great when the icicles are melting because by modifying a few settings on the camera, one can produce amazingly different images from the same scene.  This time, the sky was bluer and there were some clouds drifting by.  It gave me the idea to do a stop-motion animation from some of the photographs.  I made three movies.  One is below.  Click on it to see the rest of the photographs and movies from this shoot.

My First Snowman in 7 Years!

•February 26, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I haven’t built a snowman for over 7 years. I made one today. Click on the photo below to see more pictures of him.

Icicle Photographs

•January 26, 2008 • 2 Comments

I took photographs of two icicles on my porch under different settings.  Click on the photo below to see the rest.

Winter Scenes in Hines Park

•January 2, 2008 • Leave a Comment

It was one of the first days in quite a while where the sun peeked through the clouds on occasion. I felt motivated to go out and capture some of the beauty of the winter storm we recently had. The snow was still in the trees, making them look like a fantasy-land. I drove down Hines Drive from Ann Arbor Trail to Northville Road and stopped at a few places along the way. Click on the picture below to see the rest of my photographs.

Tapes don’t suck as much as I thought, but some CDR’s do.

•December 26, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Ok, so I burned some CDR’s of some cheap brand called Dynex.  I put one in my truck’s factory CD changer (it’s a 1995 Ranger) and it played until about track 8, when it suddenly started skipping, then turned off, and the display said “no cd”.  Then I smelled an electrical burning smell.  It completely fried my CD changer!  I strongly suggest if you have any older CD players, you don’t use this brand of CDR in them.  I’m not going to use them in anything else I own, new or not.  So then, I was freaking out because I didn’t know what I was going to listen to anymore in my truck (and I hate the radio (especially talk radio in the morning on the way to work) and can’t stand silence while I’m driving).

So I dug out my old tapes.  Luckily, I had some that I actually didn’t mind listening to.  The funniest thing was that after a few days of listening to some of the tapes that I was listening to on CD, I realized that the low bass was sounding better on the tapes.  I always wondered why some of my rap cd’s never sounded as good as back in the day when I played them on tapes, but always attributed it to a new car, new stereo, etc.  I never realized it was actually the media!  So now I find myself wondering if I should buy some of my favorite rap albums on tape!?!?

So this could only last so long of course—I had to get CD capability back in my truck.  It was going to cost a lot of money to buy a new changer, which might also require a new head unit to operate it.  So I researched it and discovered that there are basically only two types of changers that were installed in Ford cars and trucks—one with a gray eject button and one with an orange button.  I had the orange button one, which used a 12-pin connector.  On one forum I was on, some guy said any 12-pin changer will work in any Ford car/truck.  Hoping he was right, I bought one on E-bay from someone who had it in a 2000 Ford, so it was 5 years newer and a different model number.  Installed it in about 5 minutes yesterday and it works great—it actually sounds better than my old one!

So what could have been a bad experience turned out well in two ways—I now have a better changer (although it cost be about $100 after shipping) and I discovered the benefits of tapes.

New homepage collage finished!

•December 24, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I thought it was about time to do a new collage for the homepage. I like to use my own artwork as the background, but I don’t do too many paintings with landscapes—the last one used the Vegetanimal in Outer Space watercolor as a background. This one uses the Toads of the Short Forest painting. I have been working on it off and on for a few weeks. It takes a long time to select and cut out the different collage items. Some, like one of the elements from the Elusive Sleep watercolor, took about an hour to cut out!

Click here to visit my homepage to see it and take a mystery tour around the site.

St. Alphonso’s Pancake Breakfast

•December 23, 2007 • 2 Comments

Well, I attended my first St. Alphonso’s Pancake Breakfast (I sure hope there will be more, but if Gail gets her way, they will probably all be canceled like she tried to do to all the Zappa birthday celebrations across the country this year—hmmm, what a pleasant way to spend your husband’s birthday—trying to ruin everyone else’s celebrations of all the happiness and inspiration Frank has brought to us). There were way more people there than I expected—King’s Brewery in Pontiac, MI was packed full of Zappa fans enjoying pancakes, sausages, coffee and beer, all while enjoying an awesome set by Ugly Radio Rebellion with special guest, Ike Willis. A great time was had by all—the best Zappa birthday celebration ever (usually I just celebrate at home—make a cake, light a few candles, watch Baby Snakes or some other favorite FZ DVD, and listen to his music).

Eddie the Parrotfish has passed away.

•December 20, 2007 • Leave a Comment

One of my favorite fish ever died this morning, Eddie the Parrotfish.  I’ve had him since 2001.  He lived with another one, Flo, that I bought at the same time and they were best friends.  That is the saddest thing about this—that poor Flo will be all alone now.

All Spadefoots Photographed!

•December 9, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Finally, I have photographed all four of my pet spadefoots.  Click on the photo below to visit my Spadefoots Page to see the rest of the photos.

New Jumping Spider Photos including Mr. Greenfangs

•November 23, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I took photos of three jumping spiders today. Click on the first photo to see more of Mr. Greenfangs. Click on either of the other two photos to see the other spiders.

Spadefoot Pictures

•November 17, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Since Frank the Spadefoot died in February, I purchased more spadefoots in May, but never photographed them.  I finally took some pictures of two of them.  They are on the new Spadefoots Page.  Just click the photo below to see them.

Van Halen at the Palace

•October 22, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I saw Van Halen for the second time.  The first time was right after the Van Halen 3 album, with singer Gary Cherone.  This time, David Lee Roth sang.  He is one energetic guy—he was doing all these crazy kicks the whole night.  They played for about 2 1/2 hours.  During the end of the second song, I was thinking how much I wanted to hear “Runnin’ With the Devil”, and about 10 seconds later, they played it!  Eddie did a special solo and he was doing things to the guitar from the back (he actually had the plate off the back).  I’ve never seen anyone do that before.  The encore was absolutely spectacular—it started out with a huge disco ball.  Then a blimp came out and floated around the crowd.  There were lasers and other light displays.  Then Roth carried out a huge blow-up microphone.  Then the best thing happened—all this confetti came out from the ceiling and was blown around by fans.  With the lights the way they were shining and the way the confetti pieces flipped and twirled, it was so magical-looking.  I’ve never seen such a beautiful confetti display.  I didn’t think any of the pieces would reach us, but just when the lights came on, one lone piece came twirling towards us and Brian caught it.  It was one of the most expensive shows I went to this summer (about $100 for a crappy seat on the side in the second level), but definitely well worth it.

Pandora Sphinx Moth and Wild Cucumbers

•October 16, 2007 • 5 Comments

A student brought in a Pandora Sphinx Moth and I took it home to photograph.  I had to put them on a brand new page because I took so many photographs.  Click on the photo below to see them.

I also photographed these unusual wild cucumbers.  I grew a plant from seeds my dad found last fall.  Click on the photo to read about it and see the pictures.

New Insect and Spider Photography

•September 26, 2007 • 2 Comments

I finally had a chance to process and upload some pictures from the summer. There are photos of a leafhopper, katydid, and jumping spider. Just click on each photo below to link to more photos of that creature.

Steve Vai Concert

•September 22, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I saw Steve Vai tonight at the Royal Oak Music Theatre for his Sound Theories tour.  Apparently, many people did not realize that he was going to make many of his compositions into more classical-sounding pieces by using two violinists—I say this because they were one of the most lame audiences I’ve ever seen—no one was moving at all.  I guess they expected Steve to rock out more like he usually does.  It would have been nice, but I still enjoyed myself and was able to dance quite a bit, but nothing like George Clinton last week.  As he has done many times before, he ended with my all-time favorite song, “For the Love of God”.

George Clinton Concert

•September 16, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I saw George Clinton at the Royal Oak Music Theatre tonight.  This was my first time seeing anything P-Funk-related.  I had such a great time—there’s nothing better than funky music to dance to.  By the end of the night, my braid was soaked all the way to the bottom from dancing so hard.  I was also quite thrilled that they even threw in a little Zappa and played the beginning of “I’m the Slime”!  Definitely a great time—I hope they come back again soon.

Jack and Jim Show

•September 15, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I saw the Jack and Jim Show, which was Jimmy Carl Black on percussion (from the Mothers of Invention) and Eugene Chadbourne on stringed instruments (guitar and banjo mostly). They also had a keyboardist, bassist (who played the huge bass), and another musician who played some crazy instrument that had strings and a horn—he used a bow on it like a violin. It was one weird thing. The keyboardist had some device hooked up that acted like a theramin—you could make different hand motions and it would change the pitches and effects. I saw Jimmy play back in 2000 with the Grandmothers (many former members that played Zappa’s music). I wished they would have played a Zappa song or two, but it was Captain Beefheart night. I don’t really know much Captain Beefheart and what I have heard, I didn’t care for too much. The show was held in an unusual venue—a place called the Bohemian National Home. It was advertised on Jimmy’s myspace as being the Bohemian Ballroom, which caused some confusion when I tried to find the place—I didn’t think they could possibly be the same thing. I mean, what is a “national home” anyhow? The show wasn’t advertised much and the venue didn’t hold that many people. I think there were only about 40 seats or so in the place and they were pretty much filled, with a few people standing, so it was quite an intimate setting. After the show, Jimmy came out to see the Music Machine, but unfortunately, it was very dark and the lighting was poor. Even with the lantern I brought, it was difficult to see. Tried to get a picture, but of course the hood didn’t turn out.  Click on the photo below to go to the page where you can see a larger view.

Stevie Wonder Concert

•September 12, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I saw Stevie Wonder tonight at Meadowbrook.  It was the most crowded show I’ve ever been to at that venue.  I was hoping to dance by my favorite tree (that’s the one thing I love about Meadowbrook—most lawns don’t have trees), but there was no way that was happening.  I was lucky to get a spot by the aisleway just barely on the grass.  It was awesome—he played all my favorite songs, or at least parts of them.  I thought he did a little too much talking (and I can’t always make out spoken words at concerts).  He could have fit in another song or two if he hadn’t said so much, but overall, I was definitely glad I got to see him.

Rush Concert

•August 28, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I saw Rush tonight at DTE.  It was a really packed show.  They played a lot of songs from their new album, Snakes and Arrows, which I guess just weren’t quite my style.  I expected to have more upbeat songs, but these were just a little too slow and melodramatic.  I just couldn’t get into them (maybe I’m just not that big of a Rush fan).  They had really cool lasers and other visual effects during the show, so at least there was something to look at during the show.  I know I wasn’t the only person who didn’t get all excited about the show—when I was leaving, the first comment I heard from someone was, “man, was that boring!”.  I didn’t stay for the encore, which might have very well been the best part, but I couldn’t afford to be stuck in traffic for an hour and then another 40 minutes to get home.  I had to get up for work the next morning.

Biglegs Passed Away

•August 13, 2007 • 2 Comments

This morning was a sad one.  When I went to check on Biglegs the jumping spider, he was on his back, dead.  I think it’s possible that Speedy attacked him, but I can’t be certain.  I had him for almost a year—he was the best spider ever.  I will really miss him.  If you haven’t seen his pictures and read his story, click on his picture below…

311 Concert

•August 9, 2007 • Leave a Comment

My friend Myla got some free lawn seats to the 311 show tonight at DTE. I saw them quite a few years ago, so this was my second time. I was glad that they played some of their older songs from the era when I enjoyed them most, back in the mid-90’s. Matisyahu opened for them and put on a great performance.

Zappa Plays Zappa 2007

•July 27, 2007 • 2 Comments

I went to see Zappa Plays Zappa today. It was at the same place as last year’s show—Meadowbrook in Auburn Hills, MI. This time, the special guest was Ray White, whom I have never seen before. I took some photos and two video clips. Click on the photo below to take you to my ZPZ 2007 Page.

New Insect and Spider Photos

•July 27, 2007 • 2 Comments

I finally had a chance to add some of the photos I’ve taken recently. There are two spiders—a jumping spider and an orb-weaver. As far as the insects go, there is a katydid, a stag beetle and a grapevine beetle. Click on each photo below to take you to the photos of that insect or spider.

The Police Reunion Tour

•July 17, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I saw the Police tonight at the Palace of Auburn Hills, MI.  I have liked this band for about 24 years—I don’t think I’ve listened to any other band for that many years without seeing them on tour at some point.  They opened with Message in a Bottle, and then played my favorite song, Synchronicity II.  It would have been an enjoyable show, but unfortunately, the people behind me were extremely disruptive and drunk and wanted to sing (yell out of tune) every song!  It was absolutely horrible and made it very hard to hear Sting’s voice and the accompanying music.  Worse still, during the instrumental parts, they talked as if they were half-deaf—it was so distracting.  I think I would have enjoyed the show more if it weren’t for them, although there was a lot of time alloted for audience participation—and that can be pretty bad if the people behind you can’t sing worth a crap.  Also, it was not mixed to my preference—I could barely hear the guitar, because I think Sting wanted the audience to hear him playing his bass.  My favorite guitar parts seemed to be far off in the distance.  Also, if you’re planning on hearing your favorite tunes the way they sound on the album, forget it—Sting changes the notes around so much that you can hardly recognize the song if it weren’t for the lyrics—not that it was bad, just different.  I would have had a better time without the people behind me, but I still wouldn’t rate it as the best concert of the year.

A Sad Birthday

•July 10, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Today was my birthday, but it wasn’t too happy. My central air died and it reached 90.3 degrees in my house according to my digital thermometer. It never went below 87 for over 36 hours. I didn’t think to check on my african clawed frogs because, hey, aren’t they from Africa? But one of them died. And the other two were a very pale green—just like a stressed fish tends to whiten. I immediately changed them into cooler water and moved them to my den where I hooked up a small window AC. They turned green again after a few hours and will most likely be fine. But I am sad about the other one, who has been my pet for about 15 years. I am thinking that because they were most likely lab-bred frogs, they probably have weaker genetics and can’t handle the heat like a wild-type frog. I guess I learned my lesson and will never let that happen to my other two frogs. These guys are known to live for up to 30 years, so they should have a lot of life left in them.

Also, one of my favorite spiders died. His name was Midnight Pouncer—he had the most beautiful chelicerae ever—they were blue! I think the reason he died was also because of the heat, although I was giving him water. Click here to see previous photos of Midnight Pouncer. I moved all of my other pets into the den today. It’s quite crowded, but it’s the only safe place for them.

Insect and Spider Photography

•June 26, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I just posted a bunch of new photography. My favorite insects were the weevil and nymph. My favorite spiders were the striped jumping spider and the mother with spiderlings all over her back. Just click on a preview picture below to take you to the rest of the photos of that insect or spider.

Steely Dan Concert

•June 4, 2007 • 1 Comment

I saw Steely Dan in concert for the second time today.  The first time was at DTE in Auburn Hills, MI.  This time, they played at the Freedom Hill Amphitheater in Sterling Heights, MI.  I had lawn seats and rain was predicted.  For about the first 45 minutes, it was a great night as far as the weather goes.  Then it started raining.  I was surprised that once it rained, this venue allowed everyone to fill in the empty seats in the pavilion.   This gave me a large cement area behind the pavilion to dance in with an unobstructed view—I was so happy!  They played so many of the classics—it was an awesome show!

Biglegs is a Daddy!

•June 2, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Speedy’s babies (fathered by Biglegs) emerged from their egg sac on May 25, 2007. I’ve never seen baby jumping spiders before! They’re so cute! I just added pictures of them. Click the photo below to see them.

Jean-Luc Ponty Concert

•June 1, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I saw Jean Luc Ponty at the Detroit Music Hall, the same place where I recently saw George Duke. This time, I hadn’t found out about the concert until much later, so I was unable to get as good of seats. I had front row of the balcony. The sound quality was excellent, even up there. I really like that place as far as acoustics go. He put on an awesome show and brought along some great musicians. There were two drummers, a bassist and keyboardist accompanying him.  Check out the encore below…

New Spider and Flower Photographs

•May 19, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I finally had some time this weekend to process some photos I took a while ago. There are photos of a jumping spider with BLUE chelicerae, a crab spider, and a tiny jumping spider. There are also photos of the flowering crab tree in the front of my yard which was in full bloom on April 30, 2007. Just click on the preview photos below to see more of that subject.

Heaven and Hell Tour

•May 12, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Tonight, I went to the Heaven and Hell Tour at Cobo Arena, featuring Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio.  Although I would have rather heard some of the songs that Ozzy sang on, I still had a great time.  Machinehead and Megadeth opened for them.  I missed Machinehead’s performance, which was only about 25 minutes.  Megadeth was awesome—this was my second time seeing them play.  I met them a while back too when their CD, “Risk” came out and they held a signing.  It would have been a great overall time except for what happened close to the end.  It didn’t say anywhere on the ticket or in the venue that there was no recording or photos, so people all over the place had their cameras out, me included.  Then, shortly before the encore, two of the ushers came by and told me to give up my camera.  I refused, stating that no where did it say I couldn’t have it.  Then they said I’d have to come with them.  While I was explaining to Brian what was going on, they walked off and left me alone.  Unfortunately, I was unable to take any pictures or video from the best part of the show, which was pretty disappointing.  I don’t understand why they weren’t harassing the numerous others with cameras out, especially those on the main floor getting way better pics and video than I ever could from my crappy side seats!  When I have time, I will post the few pics and videos that I took.

Fishbone Concert

•May 8, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I’ve liked the band Fishbone since 1991, when a friend of mine introduced me to their music. They have played in Detroit on several occasions, but for one reason or another, I was never able to attend. Finally, I made it to one of their shows. This one was at the Magic Stick in Detroit.  I was really happy that they played two of my favorite songs off the “Truth and Soul” album, one of their older albums. They did “Ma and Pa” and “Freddie’s Dead”. It was so much fun dancing to those songs live! There were several guys skankin’ and that’s something I don’t usually see at the shows I go to—wish I could learn some of those moves!

George Duke Concert

•April 27, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I went to see George Duke at the Detroit Music Hall. Click on the photo of me and George below to link to my new George Duke page. There, you can see photos from the show and watch some video clips.

Here’s one of his solos…

Emma the Jumping Spider

•April 24, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I found Biglegs a new girlfriend.  Her name is Emma.  Click on her photo below to see more pictures of her.

Biglegs Junior the Jumping Spider

•April 15, 2007 • Leave a Comment

My dad gave me a spider that looks almost like Biglegs! Click the photo of him below to see the rest of the pictures.

Speedy is Expecting…

•April 11, 2007 • Leave a Comment

My jumping spider, Speedy was recently introduced to my other buddy, Biglegs.  After a few weeks, Speedy allowed Biglegs into her resting sac and mated with him.  You can read all about the couple on the Biglegs and Speedy Page.  I just added some new pictures of Speedy, showing her huge abdomen.  Click the photo below to shortcut to the most recent photo shoot.

Glassblowing Class

•April 11, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I recently completed an introductory glassblowing class.  I just finished adding the photos of the pieces I created.  Click on the heart paperweights below to shortcut to the photos and a description of my experience.

New Jumping Spider Photos!

•March 29, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I took some more photos of my two favorite jumping spiders, Biglegs and Speedy, this time on an iridescent rock.  I also made 2 animations of Biglegs.  Click on the animation of Biglegs below to see his photos.  Click here to see the photos of Speedy.

New Animations Created

•March 21, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I made six new animations from my watercolors and tie-dyed bandannas by shifting the hues.  Click on the animation below to see them.

Photos of Tiny Jumping Spider and Biglegs

•March 18, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I uploaded some pictures of a really tiny jumping spider I found last as well as some new pictures of Biglegs. Click on the photos below below to see them.

Bob Seger at Cobo Hall

•March 17, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I saw Bob Seger for the first time. It might also be my last time, since I have heard that this may be his last tour. Tonight’s show was being filmed—it was the last show of his “Face the Promise” Tour. The Silver Bullet Band really sounded great—I’m sure it helped that they had already performed quite a few shows together. Kid Rock even made an appearance for the song “Real Mean Bottle” just before the intermission.  Here is the setlist…

Roll Me Away

Trying to Live My Life Without You

Wreck This Heart

Main Street

Old Time Rock and Roll

Wait for Me

Face the Promise

Sunspot Baby

Betty Lou

We’ve Got Tonight

Turn the Page

Travelin’ Man

Beautiful Loser

Real Mean Bottle



Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man

Cest La Vie

Nutbush City Limits

Good For Me

Fire Down Below

Horizontal Bop


First encore

Still the Same

Hollywood Nights

Second Encore

Against the Wind

Rock and Roll Never Forgets

Biglegs Ressurected!

•March 12, 2007 • Leave a Comment

No, not really, I’m just a terrible forensic scientist. When I found the dead jumping spider in my basement a few weeks ago, I assumed it was Biglegs because it had the same crab-like front legs. I should have looked at it closer. It wasn’t until last Tuesday when I almost stepped on a spider in front of my refrigerator, that I discovered Biglegs was alive and well! I fed him 2 crickets and gave him another photo shoot. Click on the photo below to see them.

2007 Detroit Autorama

•March 9, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I went to the 2007 Detroit Autorama tonight with my dad and took lots of photographs. Click on the photo below to see them.

Installation by Ann Savageau

•March 7, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Tonight at Washtenaw Community College, there was a reception for Ann Savageau, a teacher I had for my Elements of Design class at the Residential College at U of M Ann Arbor. She was also giving a talk about her latest installation. To see my photographs of her work and read more about it, click on the photo below.

A Tragic Night—Frank and Biglegs Passed On

•February 25, 2007 • 1 Comment

At around 10 o’clock on the evening of Feb. 24, 2007, I found Biglegs dead on the basement floor. I don’t know why he decided to go into the basement, after staying in my den for the past 5 months, but that’s where he was. I was lucky to spot him because he was in an area I don’t go in often. I never thought I would cry over a dead spider, but I did. His body was still limp, so I was able to mount it. I hope to have him encased in resin so that I can wear him as a pendant. This guy, Charlie Hines, at does a really good job with this art form and I talked to him previously about custom orders, so it should be possible.

Even more depressing, it was around 3:40 am and I had just taken Frank out of his hypertonic ringer’s solution that contained the antibiotic. He looked really bad, although I still had hope because he had swallowed a worm down earlier in the day, he had lost a lot of the bloating due to excess water, and I even saw him urinate for the first time in about a month. I was holding him in my hand, as I try to do each day for a little while, and I told him “Frank, you know I love you, and you’ve fought really hard, but if you have to die, then please die with me.” I continued to massage his back and legs. He was barely moving. About a minute later, he took a few deep breaths and went limp. I saw his hind legs twitching and I knew he had passed. His exact time of death was 1-25-2007 at 3:43am. I had previously envisioned him dying in my hand. That was how I wanted it to happen. I didn’t want him to be all alone. Although it was very sad, and I am crying now as I write this, I am glad it happened that way and that he was with me. I will miss him tremendously.

Frank update #2

•February 19, 2007 • Leave a Comment

While I have managed to slowly decrease Frank’s water weight, he is still in very poor health.  Over the past week and a half, his lungs have filled with more and more fluid.  At times, I have seen him breathing with his mouth open, a sign of suffocation.  Because his nostrils were getting covered in soil, I can no longer keep him in his favorite setting, so he is rather uncomfortable now.  I have him in a container with a paper towel that is soaked with ringer’s solution.  Last week, I managed to force feed him a few crickets, but for the past 7 days, he has vomited them up.  Today, I am trying worm bits.  On try #1, he threw it up after about 15 minutes.  I am still waiting to see the results of try #2.  He was getting stronger after he ate a few crickets and I was starting to exercise him for about 30-45 minutes each day, but he hasn’t been strong enough to walk for the last 3 days now.  He hasn’t even opened his eyes for 3 days either.  Anyone that knows me knows that I won’t give up on him until he is dead.  I can’t lose hope until there is no more hope to be had.  So I will keep trying my best to save him.

Biglegs the Jumping Spider

•February 19, 2007 • Leave a Comment

My new ring flash arrived, so now I can photograph insects and spiders indoors. I could finally photograph my buddy, Biglegs, who has been living with me since late September. He came out yesterday and I took a bunch of photos, so many that I had to give him his own page. Click the photo of him below to take you to the new Biglegs Page.

Frank update

•February 4, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Amazingly, Frank is still alive. I found a way to get the excess water out of him. I know from experience that when he is in very dry soil, he weighs a lot less, so I thought—why not dry out the soil? I baked it in the oven until nearly all the moisture was released. I put Frank in the baked soil after it cooled. He dropped about 14 grams overnight! Since then, I have been monitoring his weight every few hours (while I’m at home and awake) and trying to look for patterns. So far, there aren’t any. He has both gained weight and lost weight in the hypertonic ringer’s solution (which also contains an antibiotic), while in theory, he should only be losing weight. He has both gained weight and lost weight in the regular ringer’s solution, while in theory, he should remain constant. He has both gained and lost weight in his regular soil. The only thing that went according to theory was that he always loses weight in the baked soil. So all I can do is keep giving him his treatments, try to monitor his weight and keep him from getting too bloated, and hope that the antibiotics are working. I’ll write an update if anything has changed from my current treatments.

Frank is very ill

•January 31, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Just when I thought Frank (my spadefoot toad) had recovered from his bout with fungus, he is now suffering from something more serious. When I dug him up to feed him on Monday, he was very bloated and having difficulty breathing. On Tuesday, I took him to the vet. The bloating was fluid, not air. It contained rod-shaped bacteria. He is on an antibiotic for the bacteria, which may or may not be effective against this type of bacterial infection. Even if the bacteria can be killed off, it is still not certain whether they are the cause of the bloating. That could be caused by liver, heart or kidney dysfunction. I mixed up a hypertonic ringer’s solution using some chemicals from work and a recipe given to me by the vet. It was supposed to help remove the water from his body. I weighed him before and after the treatment and he ended up getting almost 4 grams heavier! So it didn’t work. The vet had suggested I take him out of the soil and give him some moss to bury in, but he was so unhappy in that setup, constantly trying to dig. Since these may be his last hours with me, I figured it would be best that he is comfortable, so I went against the advice and put him back in the soil. As soon as I set him down, he was buried within a few minutes. Please keep him in your thoughts—maybe there’s some slim chance he can make it through this.

New Animations Page!

•January 28, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I made an animation from the different stages of growth on my Homer Simpson Chia Pet. I also started a new Animations Page where you can see all of the animations I have done so far. Click on Homer to visit my new page.

3 spiders living in my den!

•January 23, 2007 • Leave a Comment

This morning, I woke up to a great surprise. I knew I had two jumping spiders living in my den that I released there at the end of September. I have been feeding them crickets whenever I see them emerge and they’ve been doing very well. One is easily recognizable. He is the last one I photographed in September on my Jumping Spider Photography Page. He has very long legs so I call him “Biglegs”. I had a feeling that somehow a third spider had wandered in because the appearance of the abdomen of the other spider seemed to change shapes. This morning, on 1-23-07, all three spiders came out at the same time! I thought it was funny that they would choose today’s date (1, 2, 3) to emerge together. Even more surprising is that out of all the rooms in the house, they choose to live in the same room where I spend most of my time when I’m home. They haven’t left this room in almost 4 months!

Icy Tree Photographs

•January 17, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I took some photos of the trees and shrubs covered in ice over the last few days. Click the photo below to see them.

Project Object in Chicago!

•January 7, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I went to see my favorite live band, Project Object, in Chicago at Martyr’s on Friday, January 5th and Saturday, January 6th. They didn’t come to Detroit this time. They were awesome as always, even though Napoleon Murphy Brock wasn’t on this tour since he’s playing with Zappa Plays Zappa. I took a few pictures of the band playing. There are even a couple movies. Click on the photo of Andre to see them. I drove the Music Machine and took four new photos of it from the hotel window. Click on the one below to take you to the rest.

New Watercolor!

•January 5, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Over my winter break, I painted a new watercolor called “Frank and the Toads of the Short Forest”. Click the photo below to see a larger view as well as details of smaller sections.

New Tom Gaskins Postcard!

•December 25, 2006 • 1 Comment

If you don’t know who Tom Gaskins is, then please check out my Tom Gaskins Page. He was a very unique individual and I share his love for cypress knees. Below is a picture of a postcard showing one of his famous knees, the Bona Lisa.

Zappa’s Birthday with Ugly Radio Rebellion

•December 21, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I spent what would have been Zappa’s 66th birthday at the Magic Stick. Ugly Radio Rebellion played over 3 hours of Frank’s music. It would have been nice if more people had shown up on this rather unpleasant, rainy night, but I must say, I had a whole lot of room on the dance floor—more than any other time I’ve seen any live Zappa music. So I was really gettin’ down! It was an awesome night—the best celebration of Zappa’s birthday ever!

A sad day

•December 8, 2006 • Leave a Comment

This date was a sad date for music fans. John Lennon shot on this day in 1980 and Dimebag Darrell from Pantera shot in 2004. I miss them both and wish we could have enjoyed more of their musical talents. I am also sad because my friend Frank, the spadefoot toad, is very sick. He has a skin disease. I took him to the vet yesterday and got some medication to try, but there are no guarantees since this kind of condition is difficult to diagnose down to the specific type of fungus or bacteria. Please keep him in your thoughts and wish him a speedy recovery! I love this little guy!

More Orbweaver Photographs

•November 27, 2006 • Leave a Comment

The orbweaver I photographed at the beginning of the month is still alive, even after laying a humongous egg sac. I decided to do another photo shoot of it. Click the photo below to see the rest of the pictures…

Christmas Tree Up!!!

•November 25, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Yeah, I know, it’s early. But I love to enjoy the tree as long as possible, considering it takes 5-6 hours to put up. I took pictures of it, as always. Click on the animation below to see them.

Filamentous Fungus

•November 25, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I had been running behind on processing these photos, but I finally got through them this weekend. I photographed an unusual fungus that consists of long filaments covered in spores. To see the photos, click the picture below.

Three Pets Passed Away

•November 18, 2006 • Leave a Comment

It’s been a sad two days. Yesterday, I lost Little Toad and today, I found my blue botia (fish) and plecostomus (algae-eater) dead. Click here to read more about them.

Primus Sucks!

•November 14, 2006 • 1 Comment

If you know about the band Primus, then you know I’m only kidding because that’s just something Primus fans say. I saw them play live at the State Theater in Detroit tonight. This is my second time seeing Primus and my third time seeing Les Claypool. I saw his Flying Frog Brigade Band once and also saw the “Tour de Fromage” where they played the entire “Sailing the Seas of Cheese” album. Primus seems to have a pretty good following in Detroit. I was on the Ticketmaster site the second the tix went on sale and I could still only get the back of the mezzanine. My seats were in the center though, which was good. It was a great show. They did a couple of long jams in the middle of songs that were pretty interesting. One was during the song “American Life” and I can’t remember the other song. They also had a light system with bands of LED lights that pulsed to the music and changed colors. Luckily, there was only one row behind me and the guys behind me were really getting into it and were already standing up, so I figured I might as well dance. It was nice to have some room up there because the main floor was super crowded. I would not have enjoyed myself down there. Things were really crazy by the stage. During nearly the entire time, there would be someone down there at the front of the stage crowd-surfing (there were actually signs in the lobby stating “no crowd-surfing”, but it didn’t seem to be enforced). It was definitely a great time!

Croatan National Forest Photography

•November 4, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Today, I visited the Croatan National Forest in North Carolina. I had won an Ethan Allen Radius Collection dining set on E-bay and my dad and I decided to pick it up instead of having it shipped. Rather than simply pick up the set, we wanted to do something interesting and see some of the environment in North Carolina, since neither of us had ever visited. I discovered that the Croatan National Forest was only about an hour or so from the location of the dining set. We decided to explore three different areas of the forest. Click on the photo below to see the rest of my photography.

Orb-weaver Photographs

•November 2, 2006 • Leave a Comment

My dad found a beautiful orb-weaving spider and brought it over to my house for me to photograph. Click the photo below to see many different views of this spider.

Vegetanimal Woodburning with a Side of Old Sour Cream

•October 22, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I finished my first woodburning with my new Burnmaster woodburner. It is a cross-section of the Vegetanimal from Outer Space. Click the photo below to see and read more.

I also photographed some forgotten sour cream that was 8 months past its sell-by date. An interesting organic experiment.

Al DiMeola Concert

•October 18, 2006 • 1 Comment

Yesterday, I saw Al DiMeola at the Magic Bag in Ferndale, MI. I first saw him about 4-5 years ago at the Royal Oak Music Theater. The Magic Bag was an awfully small venue to hold this show, as he has so many fans. It was very crowded. I was near the front of the stage until the people got too packed in and I moved to the side, where amazingly, I found enough room to dance (I was the only one). Andre’ Cholmondeley is Al’s current guitar tech. I know Andre’ from Project Object. He made sure that after the show, Al got to see the Music Machine before he took off. Unfortunately, my camera was too cold and the flash wouldn’t work, so I couldn’t get a photo of us with it. Luckily, my friend Dave, who I know through Ugly Radio Rebellion, had his camera, so he sent me the photo of Al and me below. I enjoyed this show more than the first time I saw him—he did more of his older, faster-paced jazz fusion, rather than working with the World Sinfonia like when I saw him previously. I had an awesome time. And it was great showing the car to everyone in the band. Click the photo below for a link to the setlist.

Saugatuck Dunes

•October 14, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Today I visited my friend Matt on the west side of Michigan. I drove the three hours there all by myself this time, went for the day, and drove home that night. There was no way I was going to miss out on hiking through the dunes even though it was only about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. It had been over 2 years since my last trek. Matt and I like to do what I would call “extreme hiking”. We scale all these crazy near-vertical slopes and really push ourselves to the limit—something many hikers probably wouldn’t be up for. I had a great time, as always. Click on either of the photos below to see the rest of my photography from the trip.

Crab Spider Photography

•October 10, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Today, I photographed an unusual-looking crab spider. Click the photo below to see the rest of the pictures…

Robin Trower

•October 4, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Tonight, I saw Robin Trower at the Royal Oak Music Theater. I didn’t realize how popular he would be—the place was absolutely packed. I ended up standing in the back because Brian had school and we didn’t get there until 5 minutes after it started. Until several years ago, I had never heard of Robin Trower, but after my dad loaned me “Bridge of Sighs”, I was hooked. He played a lot of my favorite songs at the show. I was really glad to have had the chance to see him, since I doubt he’ll be touring much longer.

Giant Puffball and Strange Fruits

•October 1, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I finally got around to processing some of the photos from earlier in the week. My dad and grandma found a Giant Puffball while looking for wild mushrooms. They also found some strange tiny watermelon-like fruits with spikes. Click on the photos below to read and see more.

Ugly Radio Rebellion

•September 30, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Last night, I saw Ugly Radio Rebellion at Boulder’s in Plymouth. This time, there was no Ike Willis and they played as a three-piece—Just Scott, Layla and John. Sounded great though. Every time I see them, they just keep getting better!

September—a busy month for jumping spiders

•September 26, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I photographed four different jumping spiders during the month of September. Click on the photo below to see them.

Jeff Beck Concert

•September 18, 2006 • 1 Comment

Today was my third time seeing Jeff Beck in concert. The first time was with Jonny Lang at DTE Energy Music Theater (Pine Knob). I actually went to see Jonny and then ended up liking Jeff better! Then I saw Jeff again with BB King. This time, he was by himself. He had Vinnie Colliuta on drums (Zappa alumnus). I would have to say, he read my mind—he played all my favorite songs, several choices from Blow by Blow and There and Back (my favorite albums).

The neatest thing had to be the rainbow connection. This year, I have seen two rainbows, both after funerals or thinking about people that have died. Today, I was talking to my 1st hour class about my grandfather who had passed on and how the Music Machine belonged to him at one time. I also brought up my deceased uncle in conversation after school with another teacher. On the way in to the show tonight, at about 7:40, there was a rainbow—right in the heart of Detroit! The whole entire arch was there! To top things off, the last song Jeff played tonight was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow!” He had to have seen that rainbow tonight!

All in all, it was one incredible night!

Adult Cicada, Woolly Bear Caterpillar

•September 17, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I photographed an adult cicada yesterday and a woolly bear caterpillar today. Click on the photos below to see the rest of the pictures.

Ed Palermo Big Band, Photos of Mantis and Bumblebees

•September 9, 2006 • Leave a Comment

On September 4th, 2006, I went to the Detroit Jazz Festival to see the Ed Palermo Big Band play the music of Frank Zappa. Click on the photo of Ed and me below to see photos and videos from the show. It’s funny because on the first day of my summer vacation, I saw Napoleon Murphy Brock in Chicago, touring with Zappa plays Zappa. On the last day of my summer vacation, I saw him again playing with Ed Palermo!

I also took some photographs of bumblebees and mantises before I went to the concert. I finally had time to process them today. Click on the photos below to see them.

Photography of mantis shedding skin, canoeing trip, and jumping spider!

•August 31, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I photographed an adult mantis emerging from its skin on August 28th. On the last day of my summer vacation, I went canoeing on the Huron River. It’s funny because that is exactly how I spent my last day in 2005. On August 31, I photographed another jumping spider. Click on the photos below to see them.

New butterfly and bumblebee photos!

•August 26, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I photographed some butterflies and bumblebees on my butterfly bushes. Click on the photo below to see the butterflies. Click here to see the bees.

New Photos of Frank!

•August 24, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I took some photos of Frank, the spadefoot toad I’ve had since 2001. He is at his largest size ever. Click on the photo below to see more shots of him.

Lynyrd Skynyrd Concert

•August 23, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Just recently got back from the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert at DTE Energy Theater in Clarkston, MI (aka Pine Knob to the locals). I haven’t been to that crowded of a show in a long time (it took a whole hour for our car to move a foot in line on the way out). It was sold out before everyone even arrived. They were turning people back who didn’t already have tickets right at the car entrance gate. I’ve never even had them check my ticket at that point before. Interesting crowd—about half were over 40 and the other half under 20. They played “Free Bird” for the encore, like I figured they would.

New Antique and Darwin photos

•August 23, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Since school will be starting soon, I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning up and organizing (yeah, I know, what else is new?). I decided to put away some smaller collections of ephemera. It’s just too hard to keep everything from getting dusty. I photographed some of the items before storing them away. Click on the matchbox below to see some photos of my beer bottle collection. There are also a few additions to the Miscellaneous and Toys pages. I also took some photos of Darwin. Click on the photo of him to see the rest.

Dave Chappelle and Woodward Dream Cruise

•August 19, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Well, this has been a pretty fun weekend. On Friday, during the day, I took a cruise down Woodward with the Music Machine.

At night, I went to the Fox Theater to see Dave Chappelle. While Dave was absolutely awesome, the Detroit crowd was not. I was very disappointed that certain members of the audience seemed to think it was their show and not Dave’s—especially the people in the front row. They kept talking and interrupting Dave and affecting his concentration. Dave even said near the end as a joke that he “got through about 11 minutes of material in an hour and a half” because of all the people trying to steal the show.

On Saturday, I went to the Woodward Dream Cruise again. Unfortunately, there were more regular cars than cruisers, so it was a bigger traffic jam than normal. The average speed ended up being 1 mile per hour. So not many people got to see the Music Machine this year. One good thing though is that no one made any negative comments, or at least I didn’t hear them. In previous years, I’ve always received some negative commentary. I put up a new WDC 2006 page to display the cars that Brian and I saw while cruising.

Despite the few things that could have been better, both events were still a great time. Click on the car below to see the Dream Cruise photos.

Jumping Spider Photographs

•August 13, 2006 • 1 Comment

I photographed another jumping spider a few days ago. I really like this species because it has a row of light colored hairs underneath its eyes that kind of looks like a moustache. I don’t find many like this.

Photos of Green Fly

•August 3, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I photographed a really neat green fly yesterday. Click the photo below to take you to the rest of the pictures.

New Tie Dye Page added!

•August 1, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with tie-dye again (it’s been a few years). I decided to photograph the things I’ve made so far and start a new page. Click the photo below to take you there.

New photos of me

•August 1, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I decided to take some pictures of myself using one of my recent watercolors as a background. Click on the photo below to see more.

Emerging Cicada

•July 26, 2006 • Leave a Comment

For 23 years, I have wanted to see a cicada emerge from its shell. Last night, I did. You can read the story and see more pictures by clicking on the photograph below…

New Watercolor

•July 19, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Yet another watercolor finished yesterday. Click on the photo below to see more photos of the details…

New Watercolor

•July 16, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Yep, I’m just cranking them out this summer. Trying to make the best use of what little time there is to work on what I am most passionate about—art. So here’s the latest one. You can see closeups of different areas by clicking on the picture below.

New Watercolor

•July 12, 2006 • 1 Comment

I completed a new watercolor today. Click on the photo below to see a larger view and see details of different sections.

Leafhopper nymph photographed

•July 9, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Today I photographed an unusual insect. It is some type of leafhopper nymph. It looks like it’s got cotton tufts coming out of it’s rear end! Click the picture below to see more views of this bug.

Sonny Landreth Concert

•July 3, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Tonight, I saw Sonny Landreth at the Ark in Ann Arbor, MI. My parents’ and my tastes sometimes overlap. Such was the case tonight, as they also attended the concert with Brian and me. I was in the front row but on stage left. I got some pictures, but unfortunately, Sonny was on stage right, so he didn’t come out as well as I would have liked. After the show, I got to meet him. I also grabbed a set list from the stage and had him sign that as well as his “Grant Street” CD. Click on the photo below to take you to my Sonny Landreth page.

Ozric Tentacles Concert

•July 1, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I saw Ozric Tentacles for the third time. They played at the Magic Stick. There was lots of room to dance but only a few people were moving around. I was definitely dancing the most of anyone there—I just couldn’t resist. I even brought the camera and I took some pictures of the band playing—Brian was nice enough to hold it while I was dancing. I met Ed Wynne after the show and Brian took the photo of us below. Click on the photo below to take you to pictures from the concert.

Ugly Radio Rebellion with Ike Willis Concerts

•June 24, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I made it to three Ugly Radio Rebellion concerts. The first was on June 21st at King’s Brewery in Pontiac, MI. The second was at Boulder’s in Plymouth, MI on June 22nd. The third was at the Monterey Music Cafe in Allen Park, MI on June 23rd. Andre Lewis was supposed to tour with them, but couldn’t make it, so Ike Willis took his place. I took a lot of photos at this show. Click on the photo below to see them. Also, before the last show, I picked up Ike Willis in the Music Machine and took him to my house for a short tour. Click here to see a couple photos of Ike at my place.

Shedd Aquarium Photography

•June 20, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Since I went to the Zappa Plays Zappa show in Chicago on Saturday, June 17th, I decided to go to Shedd Aquarium on Sunday the 18th. Of course I took lots of photographs. Click the anemone below to take you to the rest of the photography.

Zappa Plays Zappa Concerts

•June 17, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I got to see two of the Zappa Plays Zappa concerts: one at the Meadow Brook Music Festival in Auburn Hills, MI on June 15th, and one at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago, IL on June 17th. Both were excellent, although it just wasn’t the same without Ike Willis singing his parts. I think I enjoyed the outdoor concert at Meadow Brook more because of the fact that I could dance to the music. I was confined to a seat at the Chicago show. While there was no photography permitted whatsoever at the Chicago show, I did get tons of photos from the first show. Click on the photo below to take you to my Zappa Plays Zappa Page.

Christmas 2000 Pictures Discovered

•June 10, 2006 • Leave a Comment

While I was looking for an old photo of Frank, my spadefoot toad, I came across some photos I took of my Christmas tree with a cheap Earthlink digital camera back in 2000. So I posted them on the Wintertime and Christmas Page. Click the photo below to see more.

New insect, spider and frog photos!

•June 4, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been photographing lots of living creatures lately. There are new photos at the tops of almost all of my insect pages. I’ve found a few different jumping spiders too. I also photographed my adult bullfrog that I will soon be releasing. Below are some previews of some of my favorites. You can click on each image to take you to more photographs of that creature.

Cicada Nymph Found!

•May 20, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I was working in the garden today and I pulled up a small tree. To my surprise, some creamy white insect was in the hole. At first, I thought it was a grub, but after closer inspection, I realized it was a cicada nymph—the youngest one I’d ever seen! So of course, I photographed it before burying it back in the ground. You can see pictures of it on the Cicada Page. Here’s a preview…

Project Object Concerts

•May 15, 2006 • Leave a Comment

This year’s Project Object tour is called the “Mission Accomplished” tour and it sounds like the guys might be done touring, which makes me quite sad, since I’ve spent the last 4 years trying to see as many shows as possible. I have now seen 19 shows! Four in 2006: one at Martyr’s in Chicago, IL on April 22nd; one at the Magic Bag in Ferndale, MI on April 24th; and two in Pittsburgh, PA on May 12th and 13th. As always, they were amazing! Click on the photo below to take you to this year’s pictures.

Even better Snake Photos

•May 6, 2006 • Leave a Comment

The snake shed its skin on May 5th, so I took some more pictures of it today. They turned out much better—the snake’s coloration is more brilliant and its eyes sparkle. Click here to see today’s pictures. Here’s a preview…

Garter Snake Photographs

•April 30, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been wanting to photograph this snake since last fall, but I had to get Brian comfortable enough to catch it while I did the photography. He can now catch it without squeamishness! So I took some pictures yesterday. Click here to see the pictures. Here’s a preview…

Yet another Jumping Spider

•April 20, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I used to find these spiders once a year if I was lucky. I’ve already found 4 this spring! I photographed the first one I found today, released it, then found another in my house about an hour later. That one was released outside without a photo session. Click here to see today’s photographs.

Flower Photographs

•April 15, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I purchased some flowers today, some of which I will be giving as gifts for Easter. I decided to photograph them since it was a nice sunny day. To see my first flower photographs of 2006, click here. Below is a preview…

Joe Satriani Concert

•April 9, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I saw Joe Satriani at the State Theater in Detroit for the 8th time. This time, I got 3rd row center, the closest ever! The people in front of me didn’t end up needing 2 seats about halfway through, so they let me move up to second row. The only thing I regret is not bringing a camera. I assumed it wouldn’t be permitted, but I could have gotten some incredible pictures of him playing. Oh well, maybe I’ll get lucky again the next time he comes to town.

Jumping Spider Photographs

•April 2, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Click here to see photos of the jumping spider I found today. Here’s a preview…

New Homepage Design

•March 24, 2006 • Leave a Comment

On March 16th, I attended a Photoshop conference for advanced users. I learned that I didn’t know as much as I thought. I took 25 pages of notes (front side only) in the 7 hours I was there. I have had Photoshop in my mind since last week. Every day since the conference, I have spent several hours working on the new homepage photo, compiled of many different photos. It was a tedious job, but was made much simpler by the new techniques I’ve learned. I am happy to be able to post it tonight because I thought it would take much longer.

New Tom Gaskins Postcards

•February 26, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I received a couple new Tom Gaskins postcards in the mail that I had purchased from E-bay. You can see them on the Tom Gaskins page. Here’s my favorite one—it is an oversized (6 1/2 X 9″) postcard showing Tom’s favorite knee, Mrs. Hippopotomus wearing a Carmen Miranda hat.


Details of Previous Artwork

•February 18, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Not much new going on. Just been keeping busy with lesson planning, etc. I recently decided to begin dismantling my vine sculpture that I’ve had on display for the last 9 years. The problem with textural art is that it attracts a lot of dust. Part of the sculpture was above a heating vent, which made the dust problem even worse. I took a few closeup photographs of the vine sculpture so that it is better accounted for on my website, but by spring break, I hope to have it completely dismantled so that I can frame and hang some of my watercolors. I also decided to take some detail photographs of the Family Tree, since it was also in this room, and rather underrepresented on the website. Lastly, I took a few more detail photographs of my woodburned door, one of which is pictured below…


New Watercolor Created

•January 8, 2006 • Leave a Comment

Over my winter break, I was able to create one piece of artwork—a 19 X 28″ watercolor. Click here to see photographs of it.

Here’s a preview…


Lynyrd Skynyrd Concert

•December 30, 2005 • Leave a Comment

I went to see Lynyrd Skynyrd today at the Palace in Auburn Hills, MI. This was my third time seeing them. The first and second times were at DTE Energy Music Theater. The first time, Deep Purple was the opening band. The second time it was .38 Special, which was the opening band tonight as well. Brian got us 5th row main floor tickets, so this was definitely the closest I’ve ever been. Great show!

Icicle Photographs

•December 20, 2005 • 1 Comment

I took some photographs of the icicles hanging above my porch. I took a few while it was still light out and a few when it was dark. Click here to see the photographs. Here is a preview…


Christmas Tree Up!

•November 28, 2005 • Leave a Comment

I put up my Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. This is one of my favorite things about Christmastime. It took about 5-6 hours to decorate it. I took eight pictures of it under different lighting conditions. Click here to see the pictures. Here’s a preview…


Big Mama Passed Away

•November 26, 2005 • Leave a Comment

My favorite toad ever passed away today. She wasn’t doing well the last several weeks. I think she may have eaten a yellow sac spider and succumbed to the same fate as one of my chameleons. Her tongue didn’t seem to be extending properly and she was having trouble catching crickets. I will always miss her. I wish I would have taken more photographs of her. I created a new page dedicated to past pets other than dogs and there are a couple photos posted there. Click here to visit my Pets of the Past page.

Zappa Jack-o-lantern Carved!

•October 30, 2005 • Leave a Comment

I carved another Frank Zappa pumpkin. I took it with me to share with everyone at the Ugly Radio Rebellion concert at Club Bart in Ferndale. URR is a local band that plays Zappa’s music. Tonight is “Zappaween”. Click here to see more pictures under different lighting condiitons.

fz pumpkin

Banded Argiope Close-up Photos

•October 10, 2005 • Leave a Comment

I took some more photographs of the Banded Argiope, a type of orb-weaving spider. There is a preview below.

You can see more pictures of it by clicking here.


Mantis photography

•October 2, 2005 • Leave a Comment

About a month ago, I found a female mantis. A few days later, I found a male. I put them together and they mated. She laid an egg sac. Before releasing her, I decided to take some photos. There are more photos on the Mantis Page.

Here’s a preview…


Fungi and Lichens Page

•September 25, 2005 • Leave a Comment

I added a new page that I am calling the Fungi and Lichens Page to display photographs of a very unique-looking fungus my dad found in northern Michigan. Here’s a preview…


Photography of the Moon

•September 19, 2005 • Leave a Comment

I never tried taking a photograph of the moon with my digital camera until last night. I had to experiment with the shutter speeds a bit, but overall, I am quite satisfied with how they turned out. Sure, a telephoto lens would have been nice, but given my limitations, I think they are still pretty interesting photographs.

Click here to see more photographs of the moon


Photography of a red orb-weaver

•September 19, 2005 • Leave a Comment

I photographed this neat spider last night at about 10:30. It was enjoying a late-night snack. It’s a really good thing I decided to take pictures last night, because it rained and the spider was no where to be found in the morning.

Click here to see more pictures of this unique spider.


Leaf cocoon moth emerged!

•September 10, 2005 • Leave a Comment

A moth emerged from the cocoon Brian brought home a little over a month ago. Here’s a preview…

Click here to see more pictures of the moth.


Clematis flower photographs

•September 8, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Last night, I photographed a clematis flower from a vine that is climbing up the porch rail. I really enjoy the effect that is achieved by photographing flowers at night. Sometimes it is just too bright during the day and the light blurs the details.

Click here to see more pictures of the clematis flower.


Bold Jumping Spider Photographs

•September 4, 2005 • Leave a Comment

I found one of my favorite kinds of spiders today. It is a type of jumping spider called Phidippus audax. I decided to put on my close-up lens and see what I could capture. I was amazed at the details, especially the eyes. Here’s a preview below—it’s a close-up of its face.

Click here to see more photography of this spider.


Albino Xenupus Dead

•September 3, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Another tragedy. I came home from work yesterday to find that my albino xenopus had jumped out of the hospital tank I had him in. He seemed to be affected the worst and was spinning in circles shortly after the large female died, so I separated him. He was doing great and I didn’t think they could jump out of a 8″ tall tank. But he was gone. I found him after about 15 minutes, covered in dust behind some storage crates. His skin had gotten somewhat dry and he was a bit abraded, but I figured he’d be okay once he got back in some water. I was wrong. This morning when I got up and checked on him, he was dead. I’m still trying to save the remaining three frogs who still look like they have some kind of infection causing eye cloudiness.

Bodyworlds 2 Exhibit

•August 25, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Today, Brian and I visited the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, OH to see the Bodyworlds 2 exhibit by Gunther von Hagens. He uses a special plastination process that preserves real human bodies without having to be in a liquid like formaldehyde. Different layers are exposed to show different things like muscles, nerves, blood vessels, etc. Each one is posed in a unique way. It was an unbelievable experience and I would highly recommend seeing it if it comes to your area. With a Master’s degree in Biology, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what was underneath my skin. I have never had any medical classes though, so I’ve never seen a real human body opened up before. This was a truly eye-opening experience and I cannot forget the images I saw today. They kept coming back the whole drive home. It was very strange to see whole bodies without skin and with muscles detached and seemingly “floating” in space in an artistic expression or athletic pose. I found it a little difficult to view the ones that had skin because it was easier to start thinking of it as being someone’s loved one. Nonetheless, it was an incredible exhibit and I am thankful that these people donated their bodies, providing an enlightening experience for many people.

Click here to find out more about Bodyworlds.

New Watercolor Created

•August 25, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Well, it’s been about a year since I’ve had any time to do artwork. I had to at least finish the watercolor I’d started last August before going back to school next week. It is based on one of my praying mantis photographs. I worked on it during the few free moments I had this summer and finally finished it yesterday evening. To see a larger view and closeups of different areas, visit my Watercolor Page.

mantis watercolor

Wildlife on the Huron River

•August 24, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Today, Brian and I went on our annual canoe trip. We traveled down the Huron River near the Proud Lake Recreation Area in Wixom, MI. I brought my digital camera for the first time and got some great photographs of the wildlife.

Click here to see photographs of Huron River Wildlife.

Below is a preview of one of the most amazing creatures we encountered—a Great Blue Heron.

Cicada photographs

•August 21, 2005 • Leave a Comment

To my surprise, there was a cicada that just recently died right on the wall outside my side door. I have never been able to photograph a fresh specimen with my digital camera before. Unfortunately, it was a little too dark outside to really get a good shot. I’ll probably try again tomorrow. You can see my cicada photography on the Cicadas and Katydids Page. Here’s a preview…

2005 Woodward Dream Cruise

•August 20, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Today was the Woodward Dream Cruise. I’ve gone every year since 1998, so that makes this my 8th cruise. It’s only my 3rd cruise with the Music Machine though. Unfortunately, it rained for most of the morning, so I didn’t get there until 12:45. It took me until 4:00 to go north on Woodward starting at 10 Mile, turn around at Maple (15 Mile) and travel back to 8 Mile. I came back at about 7:00 the same way, only this time I turned around right before 13 Mile and only made it to 11 Mile before I was directed off the main route at 9:05. Although I received my share of negative comments, I try to focus on all the nice comments and the people who appreciated it. I only heard one person state that it was Frank Zappa on the hood, but I was glad to find at least one. It was definitely a fun time as always.

Click here to see pictures from the 2005 Woodward Dream Cruise.

Here’s a preview—it’s an airbrushed hearse!

ZZ Top Concert

•August 17, 2005 • Leave a Comment

I first started listening to ZZ Top when I was 11 or 12, but I’d never seen them in concert until tonight. They played at the Michigan State Fair. The Colisseum isn’t the greatest venue though as far as acoustics go. They had it cranked too loud and it sounded too distorted from farther back because there was too much reverberation. A lot of people I heard talking seemed to agree. Still, it was a great show and it was awesome to finally see them. When they first came out, they were sporting one of my favorite colors—lime green! They had lime green suits and lime green guitars. Even the drums were lime green. The drum set even had two drums at the bottom with spinners that spun in opposite directions. They changed outfits and guitars a couple times during the performance. They even played with guitars covered in fake fur! It reminded me of my own artwork. Would love to see them again someday.

Allman Brothers Band

•August 14, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Today I saw the Allman Brothers Band at DTE Energy Theater (Pine Knob) in Clarkston, MI. This was my 6th time seeing them. I have gone every year since 1999 and will certainly continue. Always a good show. This was their 35th anniversary tour. Moe opened for them and also put on a great show.

Death of a xenopus

•August 14, 2005 • 2 Comments

Although tonight was a fun night with the Allman Brothers, there was also a tragedy. About 3 or 4 months ago, I started feeding my xenopus (african clawed frogs) minnows instead of their boring pellet food. I thought I was doing them a favor by giving them not only a nutritious meal, but something challenging that they seemed to enjoy eating. It was a huge mistake that cost my female frog’s life. I’ve had her almost 10 years. This evening before the concert, I noticed she was not moving around much. Then I noticed she had a grayish cottony fungus on her back and she was bloated-looking. I immediately started researching on the internet and discovered that these frogs can get the same diseases as fish, including dropsy, or bloating disease, caused by a bacterium. I read that I could administer fish medication that kills bacteria and fungus. I already had some on hand, so I quarantined her and treated her water. When I came home, she was dead. After inspecting the other frogs, I found that they also had a few small patches of fungus. The white one was spinning himself around, which was an unusual behavior for him. I added medication to their tank and I am hoping that I can still save them.

New top view photos of the Music Machine and me

•August 8, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Today, Brian photographed me with the Music Machine from above. I have a few photos posted on the Art Cars Page and the rest are on the Photos of Me Page. Here’s a preview…


Ugly Radio Rebellion Show

•August 8, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Last night I saw Ugly Radio Rebellion, a Frank Zappa cover band, at Club Bart’s in Ferndale, MI. I drove the Music Machine and parked it close to the entrance. Scott, the guitarist, even announced that it was out there! It was an excellent show, but unfortunately for them, it was a pretty small turn-out compared with the last two times I’ve seen them perform. This time they played with only 3 members and the bassist had only been there 6 weeks, but they still sounded awesome. Brian got to choose the secret word, “muffin” and I won the dance contest. All in all, it was a great night.

George Duke Concert

•August 6, 2005 • Leave a Comment

I saw George Duke perform at Chene Park in Detroit tonight. I was really wishing he would play something from his time with Frank Zappa, but I knew he wouldn’t. A couple times, he asked the crowd what songs they wanted to hear. Everyone was shouting different things, so many that nothing could really be made out clearly. I was thinking “Uncle Remus” in my head. Just then, George said in a surpised voice, “did someone just say Uncle Remus? Half the people here don’t even know what you’re talking about!” Anyhow, what he did play was great. Finally, some people got up to dance and I joined them of course. At the end, he asked if we wanted to hear something slow or something funky. The overwhelming response was funky, so I got to dance again. It was a great night. I’m glad I got to see yet another FZ alumnus perform.

Strange Caterpillar/Cocoon

•August 1, 2005 • 6 Comments

Brian brought home a very unusual caterpillar/cocoon that is covered in pieces of leaves. Click here to see pictures and a movie of it crawling. Below is a preview…


Mating Skippers Photographed

•July 30, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Brian found some mating skippers on the side of my shed, so of course I had to photograph them. I only took a couple pictures though because there were too many wasps in the vicinity. Click here to see them.

Here’s a preview…


Gary Grimshaw Exhibition

•July 16, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Today I met Gary Grimshaw, music poster artist who got his start in the 60’s. I bought a couple limited edition signed prints and had the opportunity to see a lot of his work that is not shown anywhere else. He also signed one of my favorite Frank Zappa collectibles—my Mothers of Invention postcard that was created in 1968. He told me that he did the light show for that event as well. To see scans of the Mothers postcard and the postcard advertising Gary’s show, click here. Below is a picture of Gary and me.

gary and me

Birthday Beetle

•July 10, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Today is my 30th birthday. I took out my watercolors for the first time since last August and started working on the mantis and lily watercolor I had started last fall. It sure was nice to be creative again. A special surprise appeared on my side door tonight—an interesting beetle. There’s a preview below. You can find more pictures of this beetle on my Other Insects Page.


Mark Knopfler Concert

•July 8, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I saw Mark Knopfler at Meadowbrook in Auburn Hills, MI. I love that venue because one can sit on the grass and not be that far away. There is not only grass behind the seats, but two strips of grass (complete with trees) on either side of the pavillion. I have my favorite spot by a certain tree on one of the side strips. Unfortunately it was taken this time, but I sat nearby. When it gets near dusk, bats come out too. I saw four bats swooping around catching insects. Anyhow, I love seeing concerts at that place. Although I didn’t know most of the songs, it was very enjoyable. He played a few Dire Straits tunes like “Sultans of Swing” and “Money for Nothing” which really got the crowd going. Everyone stood up and many were dancing. That’s the kind of thing I like to see at a show. So many have such dull, unenergetic crowds these days.

Santana Concert

•June 25, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Tonight was the Santana concert. It was a sold-out show at the DTE Energy Theater, formerly known as Pine Knob. This was my fourth time seeing him. The first was in 1999 when he was doing the “Supernatural” Tour. He wasn’t so popular then. I had tickets for row BBB in the orchestra pit. I was second row, about 10 feet from him throughout the performance. That will never happen again. Ever since that album got more young people into his music, the shows are always packed and there’s not much chance at getting a good seat. I had row UU and ZZ is the last row. I was online before tix went on sale, refreshing the page until they did, and that’s still the best I could do.

He opened with “Jingo” from the first album. I had hoped for some of my favorites, but it didn’t happen. It was a pretty good show, but I think the past times I saw him were better.

Baby Sparrow Rescued!

•June 22, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Tomorrow I will be releasing the baby sparrow I rescued a few weeks ago. To see pictures and read about my experience, visit my Caring for an Abandoned Bird Page.


Summer Vacation and Darwin

•June 19, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Well, I’m on my summer vacation now, but I’ve been spending it in bed. I have been so sick I even went to the doctor thinking I might have strep throat, but the test came out negative. It’s one bad virus though. I was hoping to do so many things the past few days but I don’t feel well enough. Can’t wait to feel better again and enjoy my summer.

On a brighter note, Darwin did something amazing today. Since he was affected by tick paralysis (read Darwin’s Story for details), he hasn’t jumped on the bed anymore. He loved to sleep up there and I’ve encouraged him since he started going up stairs again, but he just wouldn’t come up anymore. He looked like he was afraid to try. But today, he did try, and succeeded!

Photos of Columbine Flowers added

•May 29, 2005 • Leave a Comment

I took some pictures of the Columbine flowers in my backyard. You can see them on my Flower Photography Page. Here’s a preview below…


Baby mantises have emerged!

•May 26, 2005 • Leave a Comment

The mantis egg sac I had been keeping since last fall hatched today. About 100 mantises emerged. Of course, I took pictures. You can check them out on The Mantis Page. Here’s a preview below…


Polyphemus Moth pictures added

•May 15, 2005 • Leave a Comment

On the evening of Friday the 13th, I got a wonderful surprise. My friend Matt had mailed me an interesting cocoon last fall from the Holland, MI area and the moth emerged! I took so many photographs I had to create a new page. Check out my Polyphemus Page to see them. Here’s a preview below…


Snow in April

•April 24, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Today was a pretty unusual day. We had snow! Last week it was 82 degrees!

Bullfrog Tadpole

•April 24, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Have you ever seen a bullfrog tadpole? A student brought one in about 3 months ago and it is almost a baby frog now. Click here to see more pictures of it. Here’s a preview below…

Tadpole front view

Project Object Concerts

•April 17, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Project Object’s “Social Insecurities” Tour started up a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, this time I couldn’t make both nights at Martyr’s in Chicago because this time it was a Thursday/Friday set instead of Friday/Sat or Sat/Sun. Oh well, I did drive all the way out there for Friday’s show on April 15th. It’s worth 5 1/2 hours of driving to me because there just isn’t any other way to hear live Zappa music played so well and with such devotion. Then Saturday the 16th, I headed back to Detroit to see them again in Taylor at the Trolley Stop Bar, a very small, intimate setting. I took pictures on both evenings which can be seen on my Project Object Page. Here’s a preview of me with Ike Willis and Napoleon Murphy Brock by the Music Machine


Steve Vai Concert

•April 8, 2005 • Leave a Comment

I saw Steve Vai at the Royal Oak Music Theater in Royal Oak, MI. He was on his “Real Illusions” Tour. I first saw him in December ’96 for the “Fire Garden” Tour. Of course, I didn’t miss “The Ultra Zone” tour in November ’99. I have also seen 3 G3 tours in which he plays with 2 other guitarists, but has never been the headliner (Joe Satriani always headlines). So this was my 6th time seeing him perform. I was glad he opened with my favorite two songs from the new album, “Glorious” and “Building the Church”. The audience wasn’t that into it. It was mostly guys standing still. I was the only one dancing but I didn’t care because I love this music and there wasn’t a song I didn’t know. And there was tons of room to dance too. Every other time I’ve seen him, it was either packed or I was confined to a seat. Some jerk from above threw ice cubes at me a couple times during the encore, which was my favorite song, “For the Love of God”. Messed up my concentration which was rather upsetting. But other than that it was a great night.

Autorama 2004 Pictures

•March 12, 2005 • Leave a Comment

I figured since I put up the 2005 Autorama pictures, why not put up my pictures from the 52nd annual Detroit Autorama at Cobo Center. The Music Machine wasn’t displayed at this show, but I thought there were more interesting cars than there were this year. Click the links below to take you to the albums, also viewable as slide shows.

Detroit Autorama 2004

Detroit Autorama 2005

Ugly Radio Rebellion with Ike Willis

•March 9, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Last night I went to see a Detroit-area Frank Zappa cover band called Ugly Radio Rebellion at the Hayloft Liquor Stand in Mount Clemens, MI. I had seen them once before last year. This time was extra special because Ike Willis, former member of Zappa’s bands, was there to play guitar and sing with them. It was awesome! Almost as good as a Project Object show.

Autorama 2005

•March 6, 2005 • Leave a Comment

Today was an interesting day. It was the last day of the Autorama. There was an awards ceremony at around 5:30. I wasn’t even going to go, figuring I didn’t win anything, but I decided to check it out anyhow. Turned out I won a 1st place trophy for my class (Conservative Hardtop ’80-’89)!!! Go to the Autorama Page to see pictures. Here is a side view with my trophy on the floor near the car…

music machine at Autorama

Autorama 2005

•March 4, 2005 • Leave a Comment

I’m so excited—I got accepted to display the Music Machine at the 53rd Annual Detroit Autorama 2005 at Cobo Hall this weekend! If anyone local is reading this and is planning on going, I am entry #431. You can find me toward the rear left (if you come in from the main entrance). On my new Autorama 2005 Page, see pictures of my car displayed as well as other neat cars I chose to photograph.

Dogs of the Past Page

•February 21, 2005 • Leave a Comment

I changed the design of the Pets Page. You can now link to separate pages depending upon which type of animal you are interested in looking at. You no longer have to scroll through them all.

Photos of dogs I’ve had were added to my newly created Dogs of the Past Page.

Pet Movies added

•February 13, 2005 • Leave a Comment

I took a couple short movies with my digital camera. One is of my parrotfish swimming. The other is a clip of Darwin in my den with rainbows circling the room from my three solar-powered rainbow-makers. Click below to shortcut to them.

Movie of Darwin in the den

Parrotfish Movie

I went favicon crazy!

•January 25, 2005 • Leave a Comment

If you bookmark pages from my site, you will now see these cute little icons to the left of the link. Some browsers even show the icons up where you type in a url. They are called favicons (for favorites icon).

I had noticed that more and more web pages had these icons and I was wondering how I could get one. After searching around in Google, I ended up finding a site that explained it all. Here’s the link if you want to know how to make your own…

How to make a favicon

You can get a program called IconForge from that you can use free for 20 days. It worked very well and opened my Photoshop files in psd, jpeg and gif formats. I’m sure it does many others too. I was quite pleased with the icons it produced from my pictures. Of course, you can also draw your own with this program. Here’s a link to download it…

Download Icon Forge

Unfortunately, my webhosting service didn’t allow me to upload directly to the home directory, so I had to do mine the hard way, adding a link in html code to each separate page. I figured if I have to have separate links, why not just have separate icons too. So I made different ones for different pages in the site.

Hope you like them!

Bottle Collection

•December 5, 2004 • 3 Comments

I’ve been collecting bottles since 1989. I collect mostly soda pop bottles, but I also have quite a few beer, milk and blob-top bottles too. Although I have a ways to go before all of my collection appears on the site, you can still see some of my favorites by clicking on the Bottles Collection Page.


Wintertime and Christmas Photos

•November 28, 2004 • Leave a Comment

I just added a new page to my Favorite Photos that I am calling the Wintertime and Christmas Photos Page. It contains photos of many of the Christmas trees I have decorated, snowmen I’ve built, dogs in holiday costumes, and other winter- and Christmas-related photos. I’ve even done some special effects in Photoshop to some (like the preview below). Click the link below to see more…

Wintertime and Christmas Photos


Tom Gaskins Collection

•November 25, 2004 • Leave a Comment

Click here to see my new Tom Gaskins Collection Page. So far, I have a 1950’s brochure about his Cypress Knee Museum, 5 postcards, a book and a turkey call. I also have pictures of my Tom Gaskins cypress knees on this page.

John Fogerty Concert

•November 20, 2004 • Leave a Comment

I went to see John Fogerty for the first time. It was at the State Theater in Detroit. I tried to get the best seats I could—even tried to do a presale through a local radio station, but the link didn’t work. I think all the radio stations bought out the whole main floor because I was on the Ticketmaster site as soon as they went on sale and couldn’t get any main floor seats. I ended up with first row center in the mezzanine. The show was incredible, definitely right up there with Project Object and Ozric Tentacles as far as concerts of the year go. He played for 2 hours with no break. Here’s the set list…

Travelin’ Band
Suzie Q
Green River
Who’ll Stop The Rain
She’s Got Baggage
Sweet Hitch-Hiker
Sugar-Sugar (In My Life)
Rambunctious Boy
Blue Moon Nights
I Will Walk With You
Born On The Bayou
Run Through The Jungle
Hot Rod Heart
Down On The Corner
Joy Of My Life
Deja Vu (All Over Again)
I Heard It Through The Grapevine
The Night Time Is The Right Time
Have You Ever Seen The Rain
Tombstone Shadow
Up Around The Bend
Keep On Chooglin’
The Old Man Down The Road
Fortunate Son
Bad Moon Rising
Proud Mary

Ephemera Collection Close-Up Photos

•November 20, 2004 • Leave a Comment

I just added some close-up photos of some of my favorite items in my ephemera collection. You can check them out on the new Ephemera Collection Page. There will be more to come as my free time permits.

Joe Satriani Concert

•October 21, 2004 • Leave a Comment

I had the privilege of seeing Joe Satriani play his guitar live at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, MI on Wednesday, October 20th. I had 7th row seats, but they were on the left side. Luckily, he chose to stand on stage right (where he has been most of the times I’ve seen him play). This was the 7th time I’ve seen him (including three G3 shows in ’99, ’01 and ’03). I also met him for a special signing back in the summer of ’99 when he was promoting the “Crystal Planet” album (still my absolute favorite album). He signed my guitar that time.

At this show, he played for about 2 1/2 hours and did a mix of songs from all of his albums. I think he must have played at least one song from every album. And he even played my favorite song from his newest album, “Is There Love In Space?” called “Searching.” It was awesome. The only thing that would have made it better would be a different venue. See, I know every one of these songs and I dance to them at home all the time. Nothing is more fun than being able to dance to my favorite songs while they are being played live. At this show, we were all confined to seats and no one was standing. The whole time, I just wanted to get up and move. Oh well.

The most special time I saw him had to be at the Orbit Room in Grand Rapids, MI. He was whipping out guitar pics into the audience just before the intermission like usual and one hit me in the neck. The lights came on and I mentioned to my friend that one hit me and other people could see that I was looking for it, so everyone around me is looking around on the floor and no one’s finding anything. It wasn’t until the show started up again that I had a funny feeling—what if it went down my shirt or something? So with the lights now out, I felt up my shirt, and sure enough, a pic was actually stuck to the skin on my chest (cuz I was sweaty from dancing). At the end of the show, he hit me in the face with another pic, but someone else found that one. I even got to meet him by the tour bus that night. There is a picture of us on the Me With Celebrities Page.

Project Object Fall Tour

•October 11, 2004 • Leave a Comment

On the 7th, Project Object (a Frank Zappa cover band with 2 former members of Zappa’s bands) played at The Magic Bag in Ferndale, MI. I drove the Music Machine, hoping to get a good spot to display it. Parking is sometimes hard to come by in that area and if anyone was to see the car, it would have to be parked on the street. I was so lucky that someone was pulling out of a spot right in front of the place just as I was about to drive past. It became a conversation topic very quickly and I met a lot of people that night. I also drove it out to Chicago for the shows at Martyr’s on the 9th and 10th. Again, it’s the same type of situation at this venue—either you are lucky enough to find a space on the street or you have to park far away where no one will get to enjoy the car. I managed to get a pretty decent parking spot on the second night. All three shows were incredible. There’s just no one else like these guys. I am so glad they are willing to give so much to help Frank’s music live on.

New Wheels

•October 6, 2004 • Leave a Comment

I got new wheels for the Kozmic Dream Machine! They really help improve the whole appearance of the car. Even the guys at Discount Tire commented on how the swirliness of the wheels went right along with the swirls on the car. Anyhow, here’s a picture of the car with the wheels as well as a closeup of the wheel. Look back to the Art Cars Page if you forgot or didn’t know what the old ones looked like.



Katydid photos up!

•September 25, 2004 • Leave a Comment

A student brought in this wonderful katydid with wings that look just like leaves! There are some pictures of it up on the Cicada and Katydids Page but here is a preview…


New Job

•August 29, 2004 • Leave a Comment

Well, the summer’s finally over. Tomorrow, I start a new job at a middle school teaching 7th grade science. Should be quite a change, considering I have been teaching high school for the past 4 years—1 year of art and 3 years of algebra and geometry. One of the first lessons will be about the praying mantis. I am going to bring in the one I’ve been keeping since most people never get a chance to see one of these insects up close. I am also bringing in a toad in a terrarium. I think it is very important for people to see toads as friendly, beneficial creatures. Too many people still believe that they can transmit warts, so I will be doing my part to help dispel the myth.

Yasmine LeBon Mannequin

•August 27, 2004 • Leave a Comment

I don’t know why, but since I was a little kid, I always thought it would be neat to have a mannequin set up somewhere in the house. I had been looking on E-bay for the last 3 years and just hadn’t found the one that caught my eye. Until now. This Adel Rootstein mannequin was modeled after Yasmine LeBon and is part of the Frieze Collection. I guess she’s the wife of Simon LeBon, the lead singer from Duran Duran.



Wild Detroit Toads

•August 25, 2004 • Leave a Comment

Since the summer of 2003, I’ve been tracking different toads in my area by the markings on their backs. Each toad is very unique. I am now tracking 19 toads. I finally got around to putting them online rather than having them in a binder. I found that it makes my job of identification easier too. Here’s a link to the page…

Wild Detroit Toads Page

New Truck

•August 25, 2004 • Leave a Comment

I recently purchased a 1995 Ford Ranger from my uncle. I’ve never had a truck before, but it will be great for camping. I’m also happy that I don’t have to drive the Music Machine to work (school). I was very fortunate that nothing happened to it last year at the high school except a little bit of harmless silly string on the side of it once. My previous art car was vandalized three times at two different schools.

My insurance company won’t insure my art cars for comprehensive. I’m not even asking for anything additional, just what a normal person would get for that type of car if it were to be damaged. All they could do was send the car to a shop and have the artwork removed from that area, restoring it back to the “original” paint job. This would totally defeat the purpose because then I’d have even more work to do since all the artwork would be gone!

I do plan to transform the truck next summer, but with a type of paint called 1Shot that just brushes on and doesn’t need a clear coat. This way it will be easy to repair if vandalized. I won’t be able to do a lot of the same effects, since it is an airbrush that creates the nice, smooth blended look. It won’t look as glossy as the acrylic enamel and clearcoat, but I can still create some kind of bold design that will be more pleasing than an ordinary truck. Here’s a picture of the truck as it is now…

Woodward Dream Cruise 2004

•August 23, 2004 • Leave a Comment

Well, I just recently got back from the Woodward Dream Cruise 2004. I did two separate trips with the Music Machine. The first time I went from 15 Mile south to about 10 mile starting at about 2:00p.m. Then I went home and took a break (that was about a 3 hour ride just going those few miles). I went back later at around 7:30 to see the end of it. This time I traveled north starting from 11 Mile. The night crowd seemed to like the car better than the day crowd. A few people made some negative comments during the day, but I got only good comments at night. No one seemed to know who Frank Zappa is, so I’m definitely helping spread the word. Overall, it was a good time.

Mantis Close-up Photos

•August 14, 2004 • Leave a Comment

I just bought a closeup lens for my digital camera that allows me to enlarge things by 10X! I photographed the mantis today with it and the results can be found on the Praying Mantises Page.


New Watercolor Finished

•August 10, 2004 • Leave a Comment

At about 6:30 a.m. this morning, after a long night of painting, Abstract Love III was finally finished. You can see a larger view on the Watercolor Paintings Page, but for now, here’s a preview…

Praying Mantis Photos

•August 9, 2004 • Leave a Comment

I purchased praying mantis egg cases this spring and allowed them to hatch indoors. Then I released them around my house. I was lucky enough to find two of them a couple days ago. I took some photographs, of course. They are on the Praying Mantises Page.

Photos of Fish added

•August 4, 2004 • Leave a Comment

I discovered that I can take pictures of my fish through the tank. I always thought there would be glare from the glass, but I was actually able to get some pretty decent pictures. Check them out on the Fish Page.

New Watercolor Finished

•August 3, 2004 • 1 Comment

I finished a new watercolor today. It took about 20 hours to complete. I haven’t made a watercolor since spring break, so it was very enjoyable. I tried something I’ve never done before—I took a previous work and re-created it with different colors and other slight variations. It is really neat to compare the two.

You can see larger pictures on the Watercolor Page

wc 2

Digital Photography Now Available

•July 29, 2004 • Leave a Comment

I was surfing the web today and came across some pretty neat photography by Mark Plonsky. See the link below.

Mark Plonsky’s Photos

He charges $30 to print out 8 X 10’s on his Epson 870 at 1440 X 720 dpi. So I got the idea of putting my digital photos up for purchase. Many of mine are definitely of the same calibur. I figured $10 would be very reasonable for nice paper, HP inks, and 2400 X 1200 Photoret III technology. So if you’re interested, click the shortcut below.

My Digital Photography for Purchase

Saugatuck Dunes Pictures

•July 26, 2004 • Leave a Comment

I posted some pictures of my trip to the Saugatuck Dunes. They were just taken Saturday the 24th. Click the shortcut below to see them.

Wooded Scenes Photography

Virtual Home Tour

•July 19, 2004 • Leave a Comment

Just put up some pictures of my home and you can now take a virtual tour. Click the link below to take a shortcut.

Virtual Home Tour

Have fun!

Zappa T-Shirt Collection now online!

•July 5, 2004 • Leave a Comment

I photographed all of the Zappa t-shirts in my collection so far and put them on a new page that you can link to from the Collections page. Click the link below to shortcut.

Frank Zappa T-Shirt Collection

Cicada found in underground stage!

•July 2, 2004 • Leave a Comment

This evening, my boyfriend came across a cicada in the underground stage that had come above ground (I think we were flooding him out). So I got some digital photos of him that you can shortcut to by clicking the link.

Cicada Pictures


Hagen Renaker Page is up!

•July 2, 2004 • Leave a Comment

Just got some pictures of my Hagen Renaker animal figurines up. Click the link to shortcut.

Hagen Renaker Collection

Cypress Knee Page is up!

•July 2, 2004 • Leave a Comment

I just took some photos of my cypress knee collection. Click the link below to shortcut.

Cypress Knee Collection

Hello Everybody!

•June 28, 2004 • Leave a Comment

Setting up this site has been a long, interesting and sometimes frustrating journey since I had no outside support or assistance. It is still not complete, but is anyone’s website ever really done?