This and That for 2003


From January to late April Ethan was at BYU-Idaho. Ricks sign. BYU-I sign. Dorm interior shot. Dorm exterior shot.

Of course we visited Salt Lake City. This is the top of the "This is the Place" monument at the heritage park, using the 300mm zoom lens I got for Christmas.

Playing with a digital camera, 1/11/03: Julie at a window. Meredith, same window. Some rather unconvincing digital fakery. Same thing, kind of reversed. Which looks better? The real thing (2/8/03).

A rugby friend and I went to see Riders in the Sky at the Birchmere on 2/6. If you have an opportunity to see this act, I highly recommend it!

Cari Clark (2/9/03)

During January and February Meredith was active with the Springfield Youth Club Cheerleaders; I helped out with the sound, using Ethan's 60 watt guitar amp. As a result I sort of became the Squad Dad. Why? It's deeply biological. The Terps Cheerleaders (Springfield Youth Club), Meredith and Chrissie, "One, Two, Down, Up, Down, Up!" Meredith and Andrea.

2/16/03: Big snow storm in D.C. - ten inches, with more coming. Church is canceled and nobody is going anywhere until the street is plowed. Cari copes with it. Here's a shot of the house. The snow was falling faster than I could shovel the driveway! When I wasn't shoveling snow, I was playing with a new flatbed scanner.
2/17/03: More sleet and snow fell overnight; the total we got on the table on the deck was twelve inches. Here's a small drift trying to get into the living room. Here's one shot of the house - here's another. And here's Cari, the intrepid shoveler.
2/18/03: Another inch fell last night, making our total 13 inches.

Good grief! More snow - another 4 inches - on 2/28. Icicle Princess Meredith.

The Terps Cheerleaders formal photo. Meredith.

A spring photo of Julie.

Meredith, April 2003

Julie and her church friends, Summer 2002.

Mother's Day, 2003

Another concert at the Birchmere, 5/19/03 - this time it was Dick Dale, "the King of the Surf Guitar." Rugby friends Kelly Watkins and Jesse Torgerson, DD and me. A DD concert is highly recommended - but bring earplugs. He plays LOUD.

The Oz Girls. Julie Crego, Jackie Southee and Julie on 5/30/03. I took them to a McDonald's before one of their drama performances, and had my digital camera with me. A little digital trickery (and an image file from the Internet) produced this result.

Ethan went to two proms on consecutive Fridays! Prom #1, Prom #2.

Meredith swam in cold water for swim practice.

Another trip to the Birchmere - my 4th this year! This time I took Meredith to see "1964 - The Tribute," a Beatles tribute band. She loved it!

As for Julie, she worked at the pool as a lifeguard. Here's a spy photo of her at work. Here's a photo taken with Kodak Portra professional film 400 UC ("ultra color") - the colors are nice and saturated; I like it!

Cari edits a book (by country star Charlie Daniels). Every now and then I shoot a roll of black and white film because I like that classic look. This is the best shot on the roll, I think.

On 27 June we attended the wedding of our niece, Mauri Dittman, to Leighton Jensen. At the Bountiful Temple doors, The Bilyeus, Cari kisses the bride, At the reception. Here's some digital trickery involving the image I liked the best because of the unusual light. (I blurred the background while retaining the sharp focus on Leighton and Mauri, and cropped the image a little. I also got rid of some white scanning spots on Leighton's tux. The overall effect, I think, is a little, well, celestial.)

Julie opened the front door to find this masked tee-pee squad: Jackie Southee and Matt Lent. Julie and Jackie. Fortunately it was raining, and so we thus avoided yet another tee-pee attack.

Cari and I went to great tiki party held by friend Vern Stoltz on 7/19.

I have converted to digital and am having a blast with my new 6.1 megapixel Nikon D100 SLR camera! Drumming Ethan, Cari and Julie, Julie the Lifeguard, Julie again.

A great rugby photo!: I took the D100 to a rugby scrimmage my club was doing on one Saturday morning. I used a very fast shutter speed. In about an hour and a half I got over 300 photos (of varying quality). Many of them, like this one, look like they should be in Sports Illustrated!

Vacation photos - the D100 worked flawlessly and I got some great shots!
New York City (8/23): At F.A.O Schwartz, Shopping at Times Square, At Rockefeller Center, Times Square at Night, Me in front of "Ground Zero", A sentiment I totally agree with (at "Ground Zero").
Newport, Rhode Island (8/24): In front of the Casey Mansion, used as "Collinwood" on the old ABC TV soap opera "Dark Shadows". It was weird being there, seeing a place so familiar from watching television as a teenager...
On the ferry to Martha's Vineyard (8/25): Julie doesn't like this one, but I think it's spectacular, A great sunset shot of Meredith, Ethan used to do this kind of thing as a toddler, too, Taking advantage of some nice golden light, Cari in front of an old building on Martha's Vineyard.
On the Coast Guard beach at Cape Cod (8/26): We weren't real impressed with the beach - Southern California or even Virginia Beach is much better - but got some great shots anyway: Somewhat reluctant photographic subjects, Cari on the prowl for beach glass (she didn't find any), Cari on the sea grass, Our umbrella spot.
At "the Cloisters" (Metropolitan Museum of Art in Upper Manhattan on the way home - 8/27): A wonderful exhibit of medieval stuff! Julie in front of a 600+ year old King Arthur tapestry I have only seen in books for 30 years (Very low light and I wasn't allowed to use the flash... I used a very high ISO speed setting to get this one. I'm surprised it came out. Once again, the Nikon D100 is an amazing camera.), Cari at the cloistered walkway, Meredith at one of the structure's Gothic windows.

Julie is taking a photography class in school, so we tested our the venerable old Pentax K-100 before she'd have to use it: Meredith and Julie, Julie. My favorite shot is this one, which I call "Artsy Threesome." Plain old Kodak T-Max 400 speed black and white film, shot into a mirror. Naturally, I did some Photoshop retouching.

Played some rugby.

Here comes Hurricane Isabel! We've got storm windows, propane lanterns and stoves, flashlights all over the place, three cell phones and two lava lamps. We're as ready as we can be! *** The storm has moved on, and we're okay. All of the roofing and siding seems to be intact, and we didn't lose power (a few brief interruptions was all we got). Telephones work. Power went out at the county water pumping plant, however, so the water coming out of the taps is very low pressure. The stupid potted evergreen bushes in the back - which normally blow over at every gust of wind - didn't blow over during the hurricane/tropical storm. (It figures.) There's something like 280,000 people without power in Northern Virginia and 1.7 million statewide.

Julie's 11th grade photo, October 2003.

Here I am, the Rugby Guy.

On 10/17/03 Julie and some friends performed as a band in front of Lee High School for the homecoming Chili Cook-off activity. Photo One, Photo Two, Photo Three. The next night, she went to the Homecoming Dance.

Meredith goes out trick or treating for the last time. Halloween Foursome, Meredith the Punk.

Meredith had her cheerleading squad over for a "slumber" party on 11/7/03. There wasn't a whole lot of slumber happening. The week after, the squad showed up at the Springfield Mall for a photo session and lunch. I'm going to miss that cheerleading squad. Helping out with sound and logistics for two seasons this year was actually a lot of fun! Maybe I'll see most of them again when Meredith tries out for cheer at Lee High School.

Now it can be revealed: The Demars Nose. A family trait for more than 100 years.

Julie bought herself a pink drumset. There goes any semblance of quiet in the house.

Cat helmet.

Meredith in front of the tree. Julie in front of the tree. I have taken many photos of the kids in front of the Christmas tree, but I like these a lot for photographic reasons. Before I wrapped the Nikon SB 50 DX speedlight (external flash) as my Christmas present, I played with it to make sure it was the one I wanted. I bounced the main flash upwards and used a diffuser over the built in flash - the result is a balanced shadows on the faces with the light apparently coming from above, like natural daylight. Then I used the rear curtain sync flash setting to make that Christmas tree come alive with warm, sparkly, blurry colors. (A photographic effect I've always seen and admired but never knew how to make.) My indoor photography just got a whole lot better!

Ethan's Mission

Ethan's mission photo - This is the photo that's on his mission papers. The Stake President sent the paperwork off to Salt Lake City on Monday, 6/30, and Ethan got his calling in the mail on 7/19, so that's about twenty days - fast turnaround! Ethan has been called to serve in the Utah, Salt Lake City South mission (English-speaking). The funny thing about this is that this is within the boundaries of where his aunt, uncle, and grandparents live. (Also, the current mission president was our former Stake President!) Ethan's reaction was funny!

Ethan went to the Temple on 8/19.

On Sunday 9/7 I took a family shot of all of us together for the last time in two years, and that evening we had a farewell open house at our place (Photo 1, Photo 2). The following morning we dropped him off at the airport. (Hug Mom, hug Meredith, in the airport line.)

All mail goes to the mission home. That address is:

Elder Ethan W. Clark
UT-SLCS Mission
7001 S. 900 E. Ste. 250
Midvale, UT 84047

Drop him a line - missionaries love mail!

Ethan's new MTC haircut (from a letter 9/11/03). He also says his companion is Elder Maybee (and promised not to make fun of that last name).

Some MTC photos: Elders Maybee and Clark, The Tree of Life, The Matrix Pose, Ethan and the Giant, Elders Williams and Clark.

Ethan and President and Sister Carpenter, Ethan at the MTC sign, Ethan, non-alcoholic wine and a U-No bar.

Ethan's first baptism, Ethan and Jello, Ethan's bike, Ethan's companion, Elder Sebourn, Ethan and Flan, The Must-Have MTC shot.

No doubt about it, he's in the Land of Jell-O! Fact: Utahns consume about twice the national average in Jell-O.

Ethan's companions so far: Elder Sebourn, Elder Wolf, Elder Hill.

Family films

Click here for my list of which family-friendly films to rent and which to avoid. Many years in the making and updated frequently!


The journal for my eleventh season - now completed - is here. How I got into this sport is explained in the first season journal, here. And, of course, my rugby web site can be accessed from the top of the page or from here.

By the way, I play with the Western Suburbs Rugby Football Club based in Merrifield, Virginia. I used to maintain the web site; lots of me on there.

Clark genealogy

Click here to see scans of old family photos. For extended Clark family members only, I would think.


1966 Benrus

I always like getting old mechanical watches! Over the holidays my father-in-law gave me a gold-plated 1966 Benrus that belonged to his mother's second husband. It had one of those twisty metal bracelets; I removed it and replaced it with a brown lizard skin strap. I cleaned it up, removed some of the crystal scratches with Brasso and put a touch of oil on the crown, to make winding it easier (it was stiff). It works fine! I really like this watch - it has a classic Sixties look. My dad had a Timex that was similiar, but this is a better watch.

Benrus, by the way, is a medium-quality Swiss make. The founder of the company was Benjamin Lazarus - hence the name.

c. 1945 Fidea

Here's another great old mechanical watch I got from my father-in-law, a Fidea. He says he bought it at the end of World War II. I have never heard of a Fidea, and can't find it in any watch books I have access to. An Internet search doesn't turn up much of anything, either. It has an interesting design, with a convex crystal and a concave case. (That crystal might be hard to replace.) I had a watch repairman fix and adjust it, then I cleaned it up a bit and replaced the strap. Now my wife wears it; it's smaller than I would prefer on my wrist, but it's just the right size for her.

1940's Waltham

This is the watch my father-in law wore during World War II. That's a little Lockheed P-38 Lightning sticker on the crystal. He tells me that Lockheed employees did this to foster patriotism and pride in work. (His mother worked there; he may have as well.) It doesn't run. I'm not going to get this watch repaired; it's just too hammered and dirty. Interesting WW II relic, though.

1970's Bradley Mickey

This is a watch my mother-in law gave me recently. It's a one-jewel Swiss movement made by Bradley; my guess is that it dates from the early Seventies. The interesting thing about this watch is that the head bobs with each tick. It doesn't run well - it needs a cleaning and adjustment. I might have that done later this year. (And replace the strap while I'm at it with maybe a snappy red one.) Anyway, I now have four Mickey Mouse watches, three mechanical and one quartz.

et cetera

Hey, I ran/walked an informal neighborhood half-marathon (13.1 miles) on 12/20/03! The idea is to lose weight and get my blood pressure down without having to take a pill every day, but as it turns out I'm enjoying the running. I run five minutes and walk a minute, then start again over and over. It helps balance the running muscles with the walking muscles, and so far no injuries.

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