Archive for August, 2009

Photo365: August 21, 2009

Friday, August 21st, 2009

I’ll write about the farm share separately, because the skies were just so amazing out of the office window this afternoon that the photo of the day HAS to be this one… a set of three taken just before the thunderstorm hit and then combined in Photomatix, an HDR program…

Before the storm

Before the storm

Photo365: August 20, 2009

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Stopped by the security desk on my way out of the office tonight and made sure the regular security guard was on duty. Wanted to take some shots of an unusual bench set in the landscaping just outside the lobby and didn’t want to have the Rutgers police after me again! A Rutgers officer did go by on one of those scooter things (Segway) but apparently didn’t think taking a picture of the bench or the grasses behind it was a threat to national security…

City bench

City bench

Photo365: August 19, 2009

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

After an amazingly cold and wet spring and summer, August has brought the three Hs (hazy, hot and humid) with a vengeance. It seems like Mother Nature is trying to make up for all those cold wet days with the heat of August alone. It doesn’t even cool off much at night. Pulled into the drive after dark tonight, glanced down at the instrument panel on the car, and did a doubletake on the temp recorded there. Hot enough for ya?

The heat of the night

The heat of the night

Photo365: August 18, 2009

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

I continue to be fascinated by texture and the way it can be captured by a camera and enhanced with post-processing. The world small and large is full of texture, even — or perhaps especially — in simple things, like a basket…

The basket

The basket

… or a straw hat.

The straw hat

The straw hat

Photo365: August 17, 2009

Monday, August 17th, 2009

After being hassled by the Rutgers police one night in the office parking lot while taking pictures, I keep looking for opportunities to grab photos of the building. Contrary cuss, I am, I am… even when the shot may not be the best of the day.

The lobby in evening light

The lobby in evening light

No, the shot I did like best for the day was taken a few minutes later, while stopped at a light, looking east towards 1180 Raymond Boulevard.

1180 Raymond Boulevard

1180 Raymond Boulevard

Photo365: August 16, 2009

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

I made the terrible mistake of stepping outside for a few minutes this evening to see if I could capture a decent shot or two of the young male downy woodpecker who comes to the suet feeder early every evening. Not a mistake from a photographic standpoint: he showed up right on schedule and actually posed for me nicely.

Male downy woodpecker

Male downy woodpecker

No, the reason why it was a mistake is that, by this time in the summer, at that time of day, the mosquitos are about the size of butterflies and they are absolutely voracious. I was bitten, badly, in about a dozen spots including — of all things — on the palm of my hand.

Sigh…

Thank heaven for anti-itch cream…

The (short) lives and times…

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

My good friend Lynne, who’s also a genealogist, was visiting this weekend and she’s also got Bremen ancestors, so we took a virtual walk through a Bremen website I looked at some time ago. Then I only found a few things of use to us on the website, but BOY have those Bremen folks been busy. They now have funeral records for 1875-1906 for two big Bremen cemeteries online… and those happen to be the right years and the right place for the family of Marie Nuckel Geissler, wife of Hugo Ernst and mother of Hugo Hermann Geissler. (Short form: grandmother of the old farts like me, great grandmother of the whippersnappers)

I knew her father’s and mother’s names from her 1924 visa application: he was Carsten Hinrich Wilhelm Nuckel, she was Juliane Margarethe Smidt. Handwritten notes suggest he lived from 1860-1940; she was dead before the Geisslers came to the US. And Marie had two sisters that I knew of, Adelheid and Gretel.

Now we know more.

Carsten and Juliane were married before 1889, because a son, Carsten Hinrich Wilhelm Nuckel [I] was born around March 1889. And he didn’t make it to the age of three. He died 24 Jan 1892.

Six months later, in July 1892, another son was born and given his brother’s (and father’s) name: Carsten Hinrich Wilhelm Nuckel [II] was born about 1 Jul 1892. His fate however was no different. He died 19 Aug 1893.

Henrietta Johanna Nuckel, born 16 Jul 1895, died 1 Mar 1896.

Johann Friedrich Nuckel, born about 10 May 1897, died 22 Apr 1898.

An unnamed infant girl, stillborn, 10 Dec 1904.

And Juliane herself, age 42 years and two months, dead on 27 Jan 1907.

I know Bremen was a big, dirty, ugly industrial city and shipping port, wet, cold, with lots of disease. But burying five children — babies and toddlers –  is simply incomprehensible to me.

We also picked up some broader info. Carsten was a crate maker (probably for shipping). He likely had brothers named Gerhard and Johann Friedrich, who also made crates, and their father was probably another Gerhard who was also a crate maker. They were all born, lived and died in the area of Bremen called Neustadt, just south of the Weser River within walking distance of the Friedhof Buntenthor (Buntenthor Cemetery) where so many of these babies were buried.

Working class folks with lives so very different and so much harder than ours…

Photo365: August 15, 2009

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

My friend Lynne, who is also a genealogist, was in town this weekend, and we went into New York to see the exhibit at the Tenement Museum on Orchard Street. Unbelievable, just unbelievable. Families of six, seven, eight people and more in tenement flats that offered exactly 325 square feet of living space, no running water, no central heat, no electricity… amazing.

Then we took the walking tour of the district that the Museum offers. We learned some history, we had some fun, we thoroughly enjoyed Katie, the tour guide, and I for one thoroughly enjoyed the street art.

Street art

Street art

Photo365: August 14, 2009 Farm Shares 9-10

Friday, August 14th, 2009

I never got around to reporting on last week’s farm share — too busy a week! So here’s the report on farm shares 9 and 10. In a word: squash. Squash, squash and more squash. And if you’d have told me a year ago I’d be enthusiastic about squash, I’d have laughed in your face.

New for the two weeks were potatoes — red potatoes.

Red potatoes

Red potatoes

Last week we also got red cabbage (which turns cole slaw purple but tastes just as good and I didn’t get a picture ’cause I brought it to a barbecue and it all got eaten before I got a picture!), and chard, which I haven’t quite figured out yet (and didn’t photograph because, well, just because). And squash. Did I mention squash? Lots of squash.

This week, we also got… squash. I did mention squash, right? Lots and LOTS of squash.

Squash

Squash

So… you’re sitting there thinking five squash doesn’t seem like a lot, right? Maybe five wouldn’t be. But get a load of the SIZE of these things!

HUGE squash

HUGE squash

My guess is I get to spend most of Sunday cooking up squash casseroles to freeze for the dark days of winter.

We also got some new goodies this week. One was snap beans.

Snap beans

Snap beans

The other new goodie… and oh BOY was it a goodie… was a small container of nice lovely ripe raspberries…

And you have no idea how hard it was to get a picture first instead of just reaching for a spoon…

Raspberries

Raspberries

Photo365: August 13, 2009

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Many’s the time I think a somewhat marginal shot gets carried along because of its color. So I wanted to see if I could pull off a shot that I liked where the color couldn’t carry the day. And this one seems to do most of what I was looking for…

Mums the word

Mum's the word