Adventures with my Kodak digital camera
My Great Leap Forward into the brave new world of gadgetry now extends not just from this humble webpage, but to the acquisition of a digital camera (Kodak DX3600 with docking cradle that I highly recommend). This increase in my personal cybertechnological capital has necessitated the addition of a standard "photos" page to the website, although I suspect that actual additions to it will be slow.
However, photos from various karaoke excursions have become so numerous as to be moved to a page of their own.
The Great Wisdom Tooth Extraction Trip (December 2001) that my family made to visit me during my dental convalescence
My mother, I, and her improvised solution for the keeping-ice-packs-in-place problem that hampered her efforts at swelling control after the surgery .
My father has recently become Bionic Dad, with a dual set of cochlear implants inserted into his skull as part of a medical experiment. (The hope is to restore hearing that, at least in his son's opinion, was lost mainly as a result of his working 30 years in the clattering environment of the Hormel Corporation shop floor, back in the days when meatpacking was at least a decent union job instead of the national shame that it is today.) But setting that parenthetical bitterness aside, you can see exciting front, side, and rear views of these implants, as well as my father's hearty thank you to those assisting him during the procedure that was published in our local newspaper.Kodak MomentsAlso: My parents in 1968, as well as their entry in the 2001 photo directory for their church.
Sociology Winter Gala (February 2002): My camera was used for taking pictures of the much-anticipated semi-formal event, which started off promisingly with the hosts, caterers, and social committee standing proudly around the spread that awaited our guests. For me, however, things take a unexpected turn: see graduate students Emily and Holly laughing heartily as their conspiracy to poison me at the event begins to take effect.
April 18, 2002: An indoor heat wave sweeps through the Social Science building, but my plan to plant orchids in my office is foiled when temperatures fail just barely to reach the requisite 90 degrees.
Greater Crater Days 2002 (June): I went back to the family farm for my hometown's Greater Crater Days celebration, which coincided with the 30th high school reunion of my older siblings Doug and Faye. Highlights from me on the farm include me checking out the corn crop and demonstrating my stunt where I drive our family's 1951 tractor at breakneck speed while standing up, as well as a picture of some newly hatched birds nested behind our house. Highlights from Greater Crater Days include pictures of me, four of my siblings, and my parents standing in the scientifically authentic replica crater that my hometown has erected in celebration of its famed meteor impact (that's me sitting bravely on top of the radioactive rock that has been placed at the epicenter), as well as a picture of us out at the town's other tourist attraction, a rare patch of genuinely pure prairie ground (meaning that it has never been plowed--I wanted to have this picture taken with us savagely wielding a garden tiller, but my Mom vetoed the idea). Also, see a photo of the Greater Crater Days Parade (and its most renowned participant, the local rodeo queen), a glimpse of the mayhem that ensued when the parade was interrupted by a train passing through, and a picture of my father and I sitting in a local convenience store playing our special variant of basketball.
August 2002: Screenshot from my first ever TV interview for a local news station (no, I don't actually study "Internet relationships").
August 2002: While people don't normally take me for the outdoorsy type, here--as rare as those smudged shots of Bigfoot--you can see me hiking through the treacherous lands of southern Wisconsin, including a perilous upward climb in the mosquito and wasp infested woods to my treetop camping perch.
Winter Spamorama (December 2002): Everything started fine at the official semi-annual semester-ending solidarity-building ritual for the Social Psychology and Microsociology area. Everyone was admiring the vegetarian Rice Krispie snowactor that Andrea made, as well as Teddy's smashing vegetarian chili. Then, however, as the snowactor sat joyously on the table, Tom rushed into the room and, with maniacal glee, stabbed it. While such an event might spoil the holiday cheer of lesser areas, Andrea turned it into a pedagogical occasion for SPAM by performing a fascinating public autopsy of the snowactor.
Important lesson that I learned on the drive to Iowa on Christmas Eve: That you continually smell something burning while you are driving should itself be taken as reason enough to get out and inspect things, rather than continuing to drive and waiting for a more visible sign of something wrong. A broken U-joint underneath my car caused the back end of my exhaust system to be in contact with the bottom of my trunk, which, in turn, caused the foam knee and elbow pads in my trunk to melt themselves to the front of my suitcase. Fortunately, my Dad and I were able to use the handy car repair pit he built in back of the garage to wrap enough wire and duct tape around things to make it so I could get back to Madison okay. (Although my Dad did offhandedly warn me not to sit idling anywhere for very long on the drive back, or else I would get carbon monoxide poisoning and die.)
Christmas at the Freese Family Farm was marked once again by controversy over Jeremy's persnickety insistence that my stuffing made with turkey broth is technically not "vegetarian." (My mother and I later posed for a photograph anyway despite our earlier fisticuffs over the stuffing.) On the presents side: my sister Peg strikes a Karate Kid pose with the "Happy Feet" booties I gave her; my sister gleefully Sandy grinds up the pet hamster we'd all become bored with using the "Cheese Mill" that I gave her; my niece Jamie tries to determine whether--as TV commercials apparently claim--you can really use "The Shark" mini-vacuum cleaner to pick up a bowling ball (verdict: not with the usual attachments, anyway).
New Year's Eve, 2002: Harnessing the powers inherent in the wholesomeness of milk, I dressed as "Dairy Queen" for a superhero themed costume party.
See my mention in Elle magazine (the April 2003 issue).
Parents' Golden Anniversary (April 12,
2003). My trip home for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary was initially
thwarted by my clutch going out somewhere near Mount Horeb (home of the world
famous Mustard Museum). A tow
truck brought me as far as Verona, and then the Hausers came to the rescue, even
being so kind to lend me their Volvo so I could make the rest of the trip.
This was the first time in history that a Volvo had ever entered the city limits
of my hometown.
Incidental declarative note: if our various pictures together on this page do not already suggest this, let me proclaim to the online masses that my mother is officially my hero (store this fact away in case you are ever a contestant on Jeopardy with "Jeremy Freese" as one of the categories). The depth of admiration and love that I feel for my mother is not something that can be possibly expressed in HTML, nor even in any of the fancier markup languages designed to make the web surfing experience even more fulfilling and expressive. And yet, sometimes even those we most revere do things that are inexplicable--lapses into poor judgment or, worse, cruelty. My mother has had one such episode, for which she knows she will never be fully forgiven and which, when I can bear to speak about it at all, is known in familial lore only as "the perm."
Insert standard disclaimers here.