This video was a simple idea that became brilliant entertainment

I love seeing the subtile reactions of people when they realize what is going on. If you don't know about these type of restaurants in Japan, here is the gist. A conveyor belt rotates around the room with different food items. Patrons just grab what they want as the food passes by. The food item's price is denoted by the color of the plate. At the end of the meal the server totals up the number of plates you have and presents you with a bill.


We Had a Visitor Yesterday Morning

Here's what was outside the window yesterday morning when I looked out. A nice sharp-shinned hawk.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

My Next Boat

I have to get me one of these. That is one sweet ride!

My Next Boat

Here's how to get your own. Thanks John!

Fly Fishing Film Tour Dates Announced

Fly Fishing Film Tour Poster

First Light Anglers purchased the rights to the Fly Fishing Film Tour this year and are very excited about this event! They bounced around a bunch of different venues but decided to return again to Chunky's in Haverhill, MA as it offers food and beverages pretty easily!

First Light Anglers Hosts Fly Fishing Film Tour
Sunday, March 15th 6:30pm
Tickets: $15.00
Chunky's Cinema Pub
Haverhill, MA

Buy Tickets Here

View the trailers for the 2009 Film

Chunky's Directions


Southern Encounter

While I was down South during the Holidays, we stopped at the ABC to purchase some beer. It was in the 80's during yuletide. My brother-in-law and I spent a while debating which libations to purchase and we settled on Abita Turbo Dog made in Abita Springs, Louisiana and Sam Adams Boston Ale, made somewhere north of the Mason-Dixon Line. While at the register a voice from behind us asked "you yankees?" I turned to see a camo clad toothless gentleman as the question wholly sunk in. Knowing to not voice what I really wanted to say to someone still living in the mindset of the stars and bars, I paused. My reply was short, "I hate the Yankees, I'm a Red Sox Fan" I think we left him speechless.

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all the best for the coming year. May your resolutions be kept and your wishes come true.
Stay warm, It's 8° F (-13° C) here.

Merry Christmas From 77° Fahrenheit


This is still very hard to get use to. But we must go where family is. We're having a wonderful time in spite of our days not being "merry and white" We're just settling for merry. Speaking of merry, it's past 5:00 PM and the lock on the liquor cabinet has been jimmied oen so I must join in the merriment.

May you all have a wonderful Christmas holiday today!

Japan and Peru Videos

Greetings folks. Let's travel south and east today. I've now got this YouTube thing down pretty good. I'm also placing them on their own movie pages. Clever, I know. So Clever that I can even place them on this here blog page too. Please enjoy them with a little egg nog and christmas cookies.


Ice Storm

Ice Storm 2008
Photo by Chris Samoiloff

We were spared the wrath of last weeks storm because we live on the coast. Many folks were no so lucky. Many of my co-workers are not living at home due to power outages. Chris captured the essence of the storm in a Flickr stream that I want to share with you.

Amsterdam Video

Here is another travelog from a brief trip I took to Amsterdam in 2004 on business. There was a quick trip to Milan in the middle. I recently figured out I did not take a single picture while in Italy. Hopefully the set in Amsterdam made up for it. You can also find it in the Movie Album.

Comments (1)

Clouser Minnows on the Auction Block

Clouser Auction

Please check it out. They'd make a great gift for your favorite angler.

Secret Desire

Secret Desire

I just completed a set of flies for another fly swap. The theme for this swap was Steelhead Flies. This fly design has been swirling around my head for some time now. I'm glad I was finally able to interpret my thoughts into a pretty decent attempt. Please tell me what you think. Here is the recipe.

Secret Desire
Hook: TMC 7999 Salmon/Steelhead, Sz. 4
Thread: Danville's Flat Waxed Nylon, 210 Denier, Black
Tag: Mylar Tinsel, Silver
Tail: Whiting Bird Fur,Purple, Filoplume from the base of the feather
Body: Orvis Flexi Floss, Fuchsia
Rib: French Tinsel, Medium Oval, Silver
Underwing: Krystal Flash, UV Gray
Wing: Marabou Blood Quill, Hot Pink
Hackle: Whiting Bird Fur, Purple, Schlappen like larger feathers

Here is the family photo.

Secret Desire Family Shot

First Try With The LensBaby 3G

First Snow
Due to the overwhelming influence from this gentleman. I decided to buy a LensBaby 3G. Today was my first set of experiments with it. Since the 3G and Nikon do not play well I have to use a hand held light meter to get the right exposure. Today was a dark overcast day with pretty even lighting. It was also late in the day. I went extreme for the aperture and shot with it wide open for maximum distortion. The shutter speed was between 1/160 and 1/60 for ISO 100. Since changing the aperture requires the changing of iris discs, I made exposure adjustments with the shutter speed. Take a look and see what you think. I have a LensBaby section in the photo album. I hope to play more with the aperture discs on a brighter day or when I have more time to play using a tripod. So far I think this thing is pretty cool.

Matinicus Island Video

The first time we went to Matinicus Island, Maine we fell in love with the place. While experiencing it's newness, we took lots of pictures. I put them into a little slideshow video. Here it is for you to enjoy. It is also posted in the Movie Album.


I Decided To Take The Night Off From Blogging

See. . . nothing here. Just this empty post. Move along now.

All I Got Was This Lousy Sense Of Accomplishment

NaBloPoMo Accomplishment Badge

NaBloPoMo has come to an end. The marathon is over. I'm glad I joined again this year. It is very fun to do and it does feel really good to accomplish this. I might even get to take a night off now. A huge congratulations to Andrea for also finishing this year. I knew she could do it. I'm also curious to hear who will be my prize recipient. I donated a dozen fly fishing flies to this years prize pool. As always, thanks to Eden Kennedy for creating such a wonderful event.


Washington, DC

The White House

Our Thanksgiving destination this year was Washington, DC. We met with family and friends and had a wonderful time. Lots of love, food, conversation, fun and memories. In order not to suffocate our host Tim, we ventured out to see some of the sites on Friday. We had a great time seeing many of the sites along the mall. They included; The Smithsonian Castle, Washington Monument, The Capital, Lincoln Memorial, WWII Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, Renwick Gallery, The White House, The American Art Museum and The National Portrait Gallery. I took a manageable amount of pictures on our tour and because of that, I've created an album with some of the highlights. Please have a look.

After the whirlwind tour we all met at Brasserie Beck for a wonderful birthday dinner and celebration. Kevin turns thirty this year and wanted to celebrate drinking Belgian beer. So we did! Thanks to our hosts and to the whole family for a wonderful time.

They Should Have Asked For My Advice

While flying to DC this week when I opened up my tray table I was accosted with these.
Airline Tray Table 1
Airline Tray Table 2
There was only one thing I kept thinking about. The pure white airsickness bags had no advertising on them and should have had Pepto-Bismol adds all over them.

What Did You Have?

The big meal came around 4:30 pm yesterday.

The Toast
Prosecco floated atop Creme de Cassi

First Course
Butternut Soup
Cranberry Nut Bread

The Main Event
Stuffing with Sausage
Mashed Potatoes
Brussel Sprouts
Mashed Turnip
Creamed Onions
Cranberry Sauce Jellied and Homemade Whole Berry With Ginger
Wines: Merlot and Shiraz
Apple Cider

Mile High Apple Pie With Vanilla Ice Cream
Pumkin Pie With Whipped Cream

What did you have?


This is misty, Tim's cat. Isn't she cute? What's the matter? You can't see the picture? Neither can I. Why you ask? Because I forgot to bring the card reader for the format my digital point and shoot camera uses. I have three of them. I also forgot a download cable. I have several of these also. Yes, the man who gets stopped at TSA checkpoints because he has too many electronic devices for a person to normally have, forgot some gear. Mrs. JohnLeJeune dot COM forgot hers too. Maybe another family member will make one magically appear and you will see Misty. Until that time I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful holiday.
I'm finally able to add Misty.

New Links Page

  • The links page has been completed with commentary on each of the links.
  • Your welcome.
  • A lot more verbose than most links list.
  • Tell me about all the typos please.
  • I think I'll add a very concise favorite blogs list on the sidebar at some point.

Purple Sage Pottery

Purple Sage Pottery

A couple of weekends ago we had the opportunity to attend the fall studio sale at Purple Sage Pottery. The owner and principal at the studio is Iris Minc. I have known Iris for many years but have not seen her in for the past fifteen. It was nice to reconnect with her and also see her work. Many things have remained the same in her designs but she also has some new additions. It was fun to look at pieces that she has for sale knowing I have a twenty year old replica of the same thing. I'm always proud and delighted to use pieces I have gotten from Iris. Her pottery is an integral part of our kitchen. While other pieces have been victims of a free flight and an abrupt stop, I still have many that will become heirlooms upon my demise. Iris has classic arts and crafts style with her own touches of personal flair and whimsey. Browse her gallery and see what you like.

The Gnome Reserve And Wild Flower Garden

Gnome Moon

While traveling in England last summer I came upon a brochure and my heart leaped, I spotted The Gnome Reserve and Wild Flower Garden. Can you imagine? I did buy the gnome book in my youth but who would have thought. Four enchanted acres, one thousand plus gnomes, featuring the Gnome Airport, Space Rocket Launch Pad, the Circle of Imagination and best of all the Gnome Motor Bike Scramble. How famous is this gnome mecca of North Devon? Sixty plus times on T.V., touts the brochure. "Nowhere in the world is there anywhere like this magic spot at West Putford in North Devon" says United Press International. Travelocity eat your heart out. I know you're wondering what my first hand impressions are. What were the size of the gnomes? Did you get to see all the attractions? How were the cream teas in the garden? Um. . well, I don't know. We never went. Maybe next time.

Air Fish

The Guys over at First Light Anglers posted this on the forum and I have to share it with you. While watching you can almost forget that there is no water around.

Air Art
from flip on Vimeo.


Pink And Blue

I wrangled the boys over at the FFOTW Forum to do something nice for one of the hosts of the site. Jason Brown is expecting in December. I thought we'd have a baby shower for him. We didn't want him to stray too far from the Fly Fishing Fraternity (the other FFF) so it's a baby shower fly fisherman style. Jason sadly said he had already put his fishing equipment away in anticipation of two o'clock feedings and diapers. So we're all tying up some pink and blue flies he can look at while he practices sleep deprivation. Hopefully he'll be back on the water soon.

Here's what I came up with Pink and Blue Bunny Flies as well as Pink and Blue Ants. I call it "Eight is Enough"

Fly Fishing Baby Shower

Zoë Keating

Photo by Lane Hartwell

Zoë Keating

I had the good fortune to discover Zoë Keating while listening to a Radiolab podcast earlier this year. She is a musician and her instrument is the cello. The Host of the podcast Jad Abumrad seemed quite taken with Zoë as he interviewed her and discussed her music and the process by which she creates it. Zoë played during a live performance of Radiolab where hosts Jad and Robert discussed the making of the famous radio show "War of the Worlds." She supplied the interim and background music for the performance. Let me assure you that this is not classical solo cello that you would hear at a salon in a friends home.

I was immediately struck by the amazing sound and layering she creates as she plays. She uses a piece of computer technology that allows her to record or sample bits of music and then via foot pedals she can replay or loop that piece continually or for just a few repetitions. The affect is both mesmerizing and transcendent. I was immediately transported as I listened to the music she was creating. She uses not only bow and string to produce the sound but may also pluck, scrape, strike or pat her instrument to add percussive ingredients to her music. The part that still perplexes me is the precision that the music and recording are able to be laced together in a live performance.

I purchased her CD and was also able to download other music of hers only available digitally. She also has a new CD coming out soon. While exploring her site I discovered Zoë's Incredibly Interesting Blog and her performance schedule. To my surprise she was playing at MIT at an upcoming conference and it was open to the public. I jumped at the chance to witness a live performance and demystify how she is creating all those magical sounds. After watching her perform I am still confused but more impressed. She was nice enough to sign my CD and talk briefly.

I want to urge you to go to her site and listen to some samples of her music because you have to experience it for yourself. It will be well worth it. She has been one of the top classical music downloads at iTunes which is no small feat considering iTunes is now the largest retailer of music in the country. I'm sure this will not be the last you have heard of this wonderfully talented artist.


New And Improved For 2008

New and Improved

If you remember last year I asked the question, what to do with a pile of sticks. This year we did not have quite as many sticks but we still wanted a quick way to start our fires. The materials this year were a bit different in that we had a lot of smaller branches and twigs to get rid of. The bundles would work but the smaller stuff was falling out and causing a mess. When you have a problem like this it deserves a creative solution. In this instance we not only solved the problem but actually improved upon the idea we had from last year. The new 2008 models now sport a newspaper wrapper that not only keeps the twigs from falling out and messing up the place it also helps with lighting the bundle. We use newspapre anyway to start the fire so this just makes even more sense. It even eliminated the box we used to align the bundles. We still do like the box for bigger bundles of sticks though. Go wrap some up and burn 'em yourself.

An Interesting Twist Of Fate

I just connected with a friend from high school. Someone I have not seen in twenty years. Although we had not spoken for such a long time, our intense experiences shared during three short formative years were enough to keep the conversation flowing non stop. The common bond of being raised in a city and in a time that was intensely exciting for young people. We were of course of legal drinking age before we received our diplomas. And due to the serendipity of timing we had never lost that right as we approached twenty one. We were in college with many people who were bestowed the right of legal libation but we watched as that right was legislated away after they received it. A cruel twist of fate probably the result our own excesses. Our friendship was also bonded by more that fluid consumption. We also had our common love for music and the dramatic arts. Many long days and nights of rehearsal and activities that centered around the school auditorium. There were many shared intense experiences that carried us through to graduation. We kept in touch in college but as lives and careers developed we drifted apart.

An interesting twist of fate, the same process that brings people together daily all over the internet via social networks, enabled us to connect. There was nothing so exciting as reconnecting with someone I thought I had lost. It was a real pleasure to experience. Although our lives diverged we still have the basis of our upbringing, no matter how dysfunctional, that will give us common ground. We both agreed that we throughly enjoyed our time in school and the place we grew up in. It was not until we were exposed to other students from other places in college that we realized the challenges we faced in the city by the sea. Those challenges made us tougher and created survivors. Meeting back up again after we both turned fifty requires a lot of catching up and explaining. The time flew as we both caught up with each others lives. I'm always so impressed with the things my friends accomplish in their lives. Even better is all the plans we have for the future.

I'm sure we will be in touch again soon. It was so nice to reconnect.


Somebody Wake Him Up!

When I got my last 401(k) statement I quickly turned away. La la la la, no no, go away I didn't want to see that. I quickly filed it away. Ji Lee seems to have depicted it best. He's not dead, He's sleeping. Where's da bear?

Sleeping Bull

The Man Named White Who Wears Black

Saturday night my wife took me to a wonderfully funny comedy concert featuring Ron White. He sold out two shows in one night in a very big venue. I laughed so much I had tears in my eyes. Ron's humor is unique and poignant and very adult. I wanted to share this one clip with you so once you finish you can click on another link and watch many more clips. Caution, some clips NSFW.


Soup Trifecta

As I dried the last dish in the sink, whomp! All the power in the neighborhood went out. That nothing running in the background dead silence took over the house. Crap! Plans for the next item to do for the day was to get a blog post out of the way early. That was foiled temporarily. I reported the outage to the power company and called around. Looks like it is just my street. I then called Kin and Jim and they still had power and WIRELESS. I'm over at their house right now enjoying their view of the river as I type this. Looks like the heavy winds knocked something out of the power grid. Hopefully we will have power soon or we'll be sleeping in front of the wood stove tonight.

Before I was so rudely interrupted I had just completed the soup trifecta. Tomorrow is our annual harvest festival at work. Each person brings in a dish to share with the team for a pot luck luncheon. It is a nice way to enjoy the team without work on the agenda. My annual contribution is Butternut soup. I was also planning to try Lee Ann's Fall Vegetable Ginger Soup. and while I was doing inventory I realized that all the leeks in the fridge needed to get used pronto or they were going to be demoted to compost. I went to Epicurious and found this simple Leek and Potato Soup recipe. With all the ingredients ready It was time to execute the trifecta.

There was chopping, peeling, dicing, browning, wilting, reducing, stirring, mixing and blending all morning and into the afternoon. Each soup took a turn in the blender, until a tidy collection of storage containers were all filled. The Butternut soup is always a favorite. That had the biggest quantity. I'll use some tomorrow and the rest may be frozen. The leek and potato soup was transformed into a silky loveliness that is delicate and hearty at the same time. The Fall soup may become a frequent visitor to the house. The ginger adds a nice warmth and snap to the soup, while the carrots added an unexpected sweetness. I'm thinking maybe cardamon may be added to give it an even more exotic flavor. Thanks Lee Ann, for turning us on to this interesting variation on butternut soup.

Without me planning it, all the vegetable ingredients turned out to be organic. This was a nice bonus. Most things came from our CSA share. The grocery store was able to supply the organic carrots and squash. This was an effortless use of organic food. What a concept.

Now that the Soup Trifecta and the posting is over it is time for a very important Sunday activity. The afternoon nap. Ciao!

How'd I Do That?

Clouser Picture Setup
I've already been asked how the picture from the last post was done. I used some basic techniques and Photoshop to make it look half way normal. Double lighting and a curved background are the basics. The background is a piece of white 1/8" foam I had from fly tying. Close proximity to the light source also softens shadows considerably. I did so many things wrong. The exposure should have been calculated with a grey card. White balance was off by a mile. The arrangement could have been more symmetrical. I can go on and on. Dusting the cobwebs off my brain, plus adjusting to digital media rather than film, and owning no macro lens, all posed challenges. I've stated before that photography is a process of elimination. You learn to eliminate all the things that do not work until you come up with a formula for success. The huge bonus using digital media is that I went from nothing to published in about an hour. My minute abilities with Lightroom and Photoshop got me to results that I could at lease publish during the high pressure of NaBloPoMo.

Clouser Minnow Swap

Team Clouser
I just finished photographing, sorting and shipping a dozen Clouser Minnows tied by fly tyers from across the country. I was the host this fly swap. Participating in this capacity was a lot of fun. The swap even helped me learn some new tricks in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Here is how it works. Someone declares they want to host a swap on a Forum. The forum I hang out at is Fly Fishing On The Web ( The host gets to pick what type of fly to tie or a theme. I picked Clouser Minnows. Enrollment is open to members until there are a sufficient number of tyers and then the swap is closed. The host sets the due date and instructs the members where to send the flies. Forum members produce their creations, plus one extra fly. The flies are sent to the host along with a return mailer and postage. When all flies are received the host sorts the flies so that everyone gets one fly from each participating tyer. Many hosts photograph the flies to share with all the members of the forum. I did the team photo above and also made a composite of the individual fly photos I took. All the above steps have been completed and I also made a trip to the post office today to ship all the members their flies.

What happens to the extra fly? We auction the extra set off on ebay and donate the money to a fly fishing centric charity. We have selected Project Healing Waters. An organization that helps injured veterans that are returning home. Healing Waters assists in their rehabilitation by teaching them to fly fish. We have several more auctions planned in the near future for this great organization.

I have now participated in a few fly swaps. All quite different but always a lot of fun. A big benefit for me has been an opportunity to be disciplined about producing a set of flies in a timely manner. Tying season is starting out and the swaps have given me a chance to get back into the groove for my winter sessions at the tying bench.

Oh No! - A Meme!

Seven random facts about me.

1. I sucked my thumb until I was nine. Since my mouth was busy a lot of the time, I was a quiet child. People are amazed to hear that. The quiet part, not the thumb thing.

2. Left hip = Titanium It's 15 years old. Fell through a window INTO a house. Talented!

3. I did not eat seafood until I was twenty three. Still won't eat beets.

4. Blue cheese tastes like metal shavings to me. I don't know how I know what metal shavings taste like.

5. I've lived in the same state my entire life. Traveled a lot, but always called Massachusetts home.

6. Plastic surgery on my face twice. No Improvement.

7. I know how to splice rope.

This Year's Harvest

I wanted to share with you what the results of the harvest were this year from our CSA. We just got a newsletter today and it points out that this list does not include all the pick your own items like cherry tomatoes, herbs, beans and berries we harvest ourselves. We split this share with our neighbors since we are both two person households. This was a wonderful year with only blueberries not being offered due to a severe late frost. We have continued participating this year by purchasing a winter share which supports late harvest farms within the area. We also are anticipating our pork and lamb shares in the weeks to come. As is every year the quality has been amazing.

16 bunches
18 lbs
14 hd
4.5 lbs
15 bunches
8 bunches
2 bunches
18 ears
7 lbs
4 bunches
16 bulbs
Garlic Scapes
14 bunches
4 bunches
13 heads
5 bunches
S. Squash
Pac Choi
4 heads
Hot Peppers
7 bunches
Ch. Tomatoes
2 bunches

This Is For My Sistah


I dare you to not touch it.

I Diserve This Lame Post

Why? Just look over there to the right. See that. See that new menu Item over there in the sidebar. The one that says "Links." That was one big mutha of a job I tell you. My neck is still sore from staring at the screen formatting all that. You can go have yourself a look. See what I enjoy on the interweb. Nice category headers, nice spiffy hyperlinks. It ain't blogging but it is more content for this here site. I hope you like it all tidy like and on it's own page. That is one of the benefits of having your own site. Another benefit is the heart attack you get when the web publishing software you use for the site presents you with an upgrade that tanks your blog during NaBloPoMo. No more upgrades this month! Live and learn.

Gilded Glow

Golden Light
It's time for the trees to do their spectacular display. It's one of the wonderful things about being in New England. Because our house is situated atop a hill near a river and next to a brook, we get a very specific microclimate that causes the maple leaves to turn golden yellow. As the sun arcs low across the sky the trees that surround our house filter the autumn light and give everything a gilded glow. This magic continues as all the reflected light showers the inside of the house with the same hue. It is as if mother nature is exhaling her warmth into the house to protect us from the chill of the approaching winter.

Say Hi To Marlin

"This is Marlin. Carol adopted him from a shelter. He won't bite. . . Say hi Marlin."


"Marlin Gimme your paw."

"I don't do that."

"oh. . . um. . . sit!"

"Can't you see what I'm doing already."

"Oh yah. . .sorry."

"No problem. Let's go sit on the couch so we can snuggle. That's what I do best"

Fly Fishing Film Tour Coming to Boston

AEG Media Bones Logo

I just found out today that the Fly Fishing Film Tour will again be coming to Boston. A huge thanks to the guys at First Light Anglers for sponsoring the event this year. It will definitely be a fun time. Details are still up in the air.

This is the third year of the film tour and I know it promises to be another exciting night of the best Fly Fishing porn produced. Entries are still being evaluated by the guys at AEG Media, but I'm sure the year over year improvement will continue to set the bar high and amaze and excite members of the Fly Fishing tribe. The footage is sort of fly fishing video meets Warren Miller. It infuses excitement for the upcoming season while we huddle around the fireplace with our tying vices. I'll let you know more details as they become available.
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