Meet the family

So this weekend, we bought the dogs a gigantic bone to watch them play with it, for our own entertainment. After a while we had some good photos and I thought, “Nuts to just the bone pictures, we should put all sorts of stuff on there and introduce the whole family.”

You’ve already met me, I’m Alex. Here I am testing out a motel bed on a recent trip to Evansville.

I had to do this like 6 times before we got a good shot of me in mid air.

Here’s my lovely wife, partner, and accomplice at international jewel thieving, Meghan.

“What’s Alex doing in the photo above me? It’s not something embarrassing is it?” asks Meghan, “He put the bed bouncing photo on the Internet? Again!?”

Here’s Sookie. She was my dog for my lonely years before meeting Meghan, and now she’s our dog. She’s a bit hyper and is the “Alpha”, if you can call a 20-pound dog that.

Yep. Hyper. Bet you’d never guess with a photo like that.

And why is Sookie so happy in the above pic? The giant bone of course. Here’s her alternating between trying to figure the bone out and trying figure out how to get it, in its entirety, into her stomach.

“I don’t know what to do, but at least it’s mine.”

It always scares me when she uses her paws to do things because it’s just that much closer to her having hands.

The other animal I had before meeting Meghan, though not for as long as Sookie, is Edward, who we all have met time and again here on the ‘ole Blog. But here’s a new photo of my stunningly photogenic kitty.

That’s some other person’s messy table. In fact, we brought Eddy to a different house entirely for this picture.

Meghan’s little buddy before meeting me was the princess here, Laylah. She’s as sweet as a button, unless of course, you’re Bear, who will follow, then she’s kind of a B.

Laylah has just been woken from a nap by me. She’s a bit bleary-eyed.

And now, Bear, as promised. We got Bear together. He was Meghan’s parents’ dog, but they had to move for a new job and Bear would not have done well in an entirely new surrounding, so we adopted him. He’s an entertaining pup, that’s for sure.

This is my favorite photo of Bear, and is not exactly current. But then, the pictures of him with the bone make it hard to make him out really well…you’ll see.

Black fur does not make for the best exposure in poor lighting, especially not while he’s getting defensive about “his” bone.

– CHOMP! –

Finally, we have Sylvia, who Meghan and I adopted last summer, about this time. She’s “all growed up” now, but honestly, she’s still a very little cat. She’s a cutie though, affectionate, entertainingly vocal and gentle, so long as you’re not a fly.

She may have been a touch dazzled by my strobe. Which is pretty cute in and of itself. She is a strange one.

So there’s the mob. Thank you, Internet, for giving me my soapbox to write about ’em. And I hope the rest of you like my pictures of my fam.


Easter Pictures, belated

Here’s a gallery of pictures I shot for my friend Aubrey of Creative Creations Photography. One of the kids here, “NaNa” was in an earlier post, but now she had to get dressed up nice to get Easter pictures taken with her little brother, Jude.

James L. Haglund, my dad

Dad in front of one of the big towers in Shanghai.

“Mer,”says Dad. Not really of course. Yes, he’ll make sounds and grumbles as he goes through the day but, as he says, “I’m not the dog.” Our first dog, Henry used to “Moo” as he sat or laid down. Dad thinks that’s where we got it from.

Really, the whole “Mer” thing is something that I think my brothers and I just kind of stumbled upon. It’s a good approximation of the some of his hemming and hawing, without having a positive or negative connotation. Moreover, it’s an excellent tool in doing imitations of Dad, which is probably the real reason for its popularity and continued use.

Dad during his cool phase, from approximately November of 1976 through March of 1977 when he finally cut his hair.

Dad is smart. Dad is kind. And Dad is funny. Very funny, in fact. He has a kind constant dry sarcasm. He observes all and will constantly throw out puns and wordplay, which while not as funny as his less intentional humor, set the scene. He knows these aren’t funny exactly, but they are clever and the overall effect is very entertaining. I see this now as I grow older and find myself making the same types of throwaway cracks.

There are other things too. My dad has a sheepish little half smile. All who love Jim know this. Half is trying to be serious. The other half is an acknowledgement that, yes, whatever is happening right now is kind of funny, he just sort of wishes it weren’t happening to him.

Dad prefers to be underestimated. He’s brilliant, skilled and due to his, ahem, advanced age, experienced. Some this may stand out to me more than other family members. We both are working in the same accursed field, something that I swear, I had no intention of happening back when I was in high school.

Dad’s chosen profession is as a journalist, where he’s been working, for a major newspaper, for more years than I’ve been around. All through my life, he’s played off that he’s not very good, exactly, just doing his job, a sort of C-student editor. But he’s not- he’s amazing.

“Did you just take my picture?”

The first clues came when I was younger and would pick my Dad up from birthday or retirement or work celebration parties with his paper friends. His pal/immediate superior came up to me, after having as many as Dad had, would tell me how great Jim was, how he pulled everything together, how it couldn’t happen without him. Dad would write this off as bullshit.

But, in college, a young photographer decided to try working for the school paper, run from a journalism school which he had two former colleagues working in. That student became a photojournalist. In the years that followed, he eventually began to work at a small-town paper where he filled a number of roles, including that of a reporter, and Dad’s abilities would make themselves clear.

My Dad and my friend Mark’s Dad, Norman. Presumably discussing Dad things like, I don’t know, pipe tamping, slipper wearing, whiskey drinking and newspaper reading while waiting for dinner to be made. Not really sure, not a Dad yet.

Working to get my paper put together on a Monday or Wednesday evening is a whole new ballfield when Dad is in town. He looks over the pages and each thing he tells me not only helps the publication, but also is an epiphany to me, each something I had never realized but would now never forget. Some of these are basic rules and ideas that, had I taken newswriting 101, or whatever my poor reporter D.E. Chums had to take, I would have known. Others are design and layout ideas. My Dad, a designer, who would have known?

Seriously, this guy is damn good at what he does.

Of course, it’s not the what of working with him, but the how. Things move quicker, but they’re higher quality and the whole newspaper flows better. He can motivate not by discipline but by bringing you in on a vision of a better paper, something that you can see your part in and are happy to do. This is how I learn, truly and in my heart, that editing is not proofreading. I had known the difference but when I really get to see it in action, it’s my own Dad.

Except of course, when it comes to try to shoot mini golf as pool. Seriously, right into the windmill.

Dad will probably deny all this. He’ll be embarrassed. But he’s good at what he does. He is a good Dad, just like he’s a good journalist. But talking about that is not so straightforward as talking about his editing. Still, maybe he should at least be told it, so that he’ll have to deny it, or play it off as bullshit. He may say that it was all my Mother, about whom he could truthfully say that he “Couldn’t have done it without her. Still, credit where credit is due: Jim Haglund is my Dad. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Dad, with the rest of the family, while garbed in the traditional tribal attire of the American Father, the Hawaiian shirt.

Of Ferris Wheels and Seagulls

We went to Navy Pier when we in Chicago over the weekend. Fun was had, plus some pictures were taken. Candid People Pics to follow…

Zoo Pics (part 1)

With Meghan and I living in Clay County, where she grew up and me being from Chicago, where my parents still live, there are plenty of roadtrips to make. I’m pretty close to my parents and I have a good group of friends I’ve had since High School or earlier that live there, so our trips are usually made on a monthly basis.

This last weekend’s trip was our first since we got married though and while it was for my friend Bill’s bachelor party, my Mother, Mary Sue, said she wanted to take us to Brookfield Zoo, where she is a member. My Dad, Jim, came as well. It was a hot Friday and we arrived at about 11 a.m.

Mom and Dad. Guess which is which!

First thing we did was beat feet for the dolphin show, but I’ll put some of those pics in a later post. Here’s some pictures of us and some animals at the rest of the Zoo. We’ll post dolphins, butterflies and cute kid candids later.

King of the naps.

If that guy is king, I've gotta at least be a baron of naps. Photo by Meghan.

Just because this polar bear is against global warming, doesn't mean he has to like Al Gore.

Sorry, I'm not coming up with anything as far as eagle-based puns to caption this with.

Lot of competition in the arena of napping on hot days at the zoo.

Apparently, even camels aren't huge fans of getting their picture taken while eating.

Here's Meghan. I took this right after me. I think we'll end this post with a picture of one of her favorite animals....

The stately giraffe! Picture by Meghan. That's all, thanks for reading.