Jul 31, 2008

Discovery AOI Shots

The other machinery shoot for Calumet Electronics this week is the Discovery 8. This is another visual inspection machine that does high-speed image comparison between original CAM data and data captured from an imaged PCB panel.

Jul 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Kriss

My wonderful wife celebrated her birthday this week. We had a nice dinner and made s'mores afterwards. Here are some pictures from our evening. As usual Ela steals the show.

Doing the math, Kriss and I have known each other for 27 years now. Wow, time flies.

Happy Birthday to the love of my life!!!

Jul 29, 2008

Brad's Birthday

This past weekend, I hung out at yet another kid's birthday party. This one was an outdoor pool party for my nephew Brad. Nothing more fun to shoot than a bunch of kids around water.

Jul 28, 2008

Film Plotter

Today's pictures are of our our Orbotech Plotter. The plotter prints circuit images on film. That film is then used to transfer the image on to the circuit board material.

Jul 26, 2008

U.P. Fireman's Tournament

Pictures from the 2008 Upper Peninsula Firemen's Parade Saturday morning. Some of the "floats" were so original, I have to say its the most interesting parade I've seen in a while. Makes me wonder what the Night Shirt Parade was like.

There are some personal shots on the back end as well.

Jul 25, 2008

Optek InnerVision

This equipment X-Rays features inside a board for size attributes and is able to obtain feature to feature measurements. Made by the same company as the previous Video Mic.

Jul 24, 2008

Optek Video Mic

You can tell I've been shooting a lot of pictures where I work lately. This batch is of our Optek Video Mic. This machine uses light and a high resolution camera to find features on a printed circuit board and measure attributes of the feature.

The Optek can also take measurements between features to ensure the board is dimensionally correct.

Jul 23, 2008

TMP Press

These are pictures of the Press at Calumet Electronics. This is the equipment that applies heat and pressure to create a multi-layer printed circuit board.

Jul 22, 2008

Daytona Cubs Game in Daytona Beach

These pictures are from a Daytona Cubs Minor League Baseball game we attended while in Florida. The Cubs are a farm team for the Chicago Cubs.

It was really a lot of fun in an informal setting.

Oh yes, Kriss's shells are at the end of this gallery too.

Jul 21, 2008


Not as in boxing, as in a machine that punches tooling holes in material that goes into a Printed Circuit Board. M

More machine photography for my employer Calumet Electronics.

Jul 18, 2008


No photography here, just some geek-talk.

Today's post is a plug for a really cool software service called OpenDNS. This company takes care of resolving Internet addresses to the servers where the web sites reside. While your Internet Service Provider does this for you already as part of your service, this company does it faster and more reliably.

In addition to fast, reliable DNS processing, they also offer additional services such as stats and site filtering based upon categories. The standard setup blocks access to phishing sites and you can add Malware, Adware, and any other nasty areas of the Internet you don't want your family or employees browsing to. The service also provides a guide page to help resolve mis-typed Internet addresses.

Check out the site, check out the service. Setup is easy and covered on their web page. Highly recommended by someone who takes care of this stuff for a living.

Jul 17, 2008

Brassard Media

Todd and Jessie Brassard are two of the most talented media people I have met.

Todd is an Application Programmer by day and a videographer and musician after-hours.

Jessie is a Graphic Artist and Webmaster for her employer and helps out with videography, design, and web production for their business after-hours.
Together this couple runs Brassard Media and they have produced some pretty neat stuff over the years. Their web site is brassardmedia.com.

I've hung out with them for several events and Todd has featured some of the pictures taken at these events on their web site.

Jul 16, 2008


Pictures of one of the Scoring Machines at Calumet Electronics. Scoring is one of the methods to remove individual parts from a larger production panel.

Jul 15, 2008

More Equipment

More interesting equipment shots from Calumet Electronics.

This batch of machines places a circuit image on a panel to indicate where copper should stay and where copper should be removed.

Jul 14, 2008

Black Bear Cabin

Updated pictures of Black Bear Cabin for the web site.

We'll see how a remote Zenfolio gallery works for the main web site.

Jul 13, 2008

Jul 11, 2008

It's Strawberry Festival Time

Strawberry Festival hit Chassell this weekend. For my wife Kriss, it's nothing short of a National Holiday. In the spirit of the holiday, here are some pictures from the Children's Parade and the queen candidates making their grand march to the Pavilion.

A BIG Thank You to the Chassell Lions for making this festival possible for the 60th Year!

View Pictures as a Slideshow.

Jul 10, 2008

More CEC Equipment

Thursday's task was to shoot the Develop-Etch-Strip lines at Calumet Electronics Corp. As you can see from the pictures, 75% of the room is bathed in yellow light so that circuit board panels are not exposed to light that can further develop the film.

The yellow light makes for some interesting color decisions. Do you keep the pictures as shot? Do you apply White Balance adjustments? Do you convert to Black and White? I tried a few variations of each. In the end, we'll let the marketing folk decide.

Jul 9, 2008

Meet the Dogs

These are our dogs Dorsey and Kasey. Kasey was adopted from the Copper Country Humane Society. About a month after we adopted her, she had three puppies. We (meaning I) decided to keep the puppy that looked most like her mom.

We named the puppy Dorsey.

Kasey is an easy-going dog and Dorsey is an energetic pup. Both have enough hound in them to keep us on our toes.

Jul 8, 2008

More Cool Equipment

The Strip-Etch-Strip (SES) line at Calumet Electronics is another important piece of the expansive equipment portfolio used in manufacturing printed circuit boards. Its a complex three-step interaction with the materials involving some interesting chemical processes. Since I was never that good at chemistry, I won't even try to explain what's going on. I also understand its more of an art than a science.

Our Process Engineer for the line, Rob, was explaining some of the features of the line to me and I never heard so many words I didn't understand. I do know that the lines we use are the best in the world so that tells me we're making some of the best product in the world. Here are the pictures.

Jul 7, 2008

Good Drummer Gone Bad

When I showed up Saturday night to shoot a group photo and some candids for my brother-in-law's 40th High School Reunion from Houghton High School, I ran into my friend Mark. It turns out Mark was at the same venue celebrating his 30th reunion from Hancock High School. Can you smell the rivalry?

I've known Mark since our college days and played in several bands with him. We've also made a couple trips to Jamaica together when we were in the MTU Jazz Lab Band and he's married to one of my High School classmates. Most recently we backed up Hannah Bethel for two performances. Mark is the epitome of the professional musician and is one of the best drummers I've ever had the privilege to play with. Mark does have a dark side though. He's got one wicked sense of humor and at times its so off-the-wall you need modified military radar to pick it up.

Anyway, as I was trying to get a bunch of 58-year olds with a couple of drinks in them lined up for a group photo with Portage Lake in the background, Mark shows up again. This time he planted himself along the left side of the group with this goofy smile on his face like he just belonged. He was going nowhere. My sister-in-law who helped organize the whole event started freaking out and kept saying things like, "Who's that guy" and "He doesn't belong in the picture" and "Is he going to leave"? If you know Sharon, you know she's a pretty cool cucumber, an excellent Emergency Room Nurse and doesn't get easily riled so I was playing this out for all it was worth just to get a little reaction out of her. After all it was a night for a Houghton/Hancock rivalry and I knew Mark would eventually bow out of the photo (at least I thought he would).

Well...after about five minutes of this, I thought maybe he wasn't going to leave. The guys with their creaky 58-year old knees were on the ground (probably wondering how they were going to get back up), the ladies would not stop gabbing long enough to look at the camera and there's Mark with this goofy smile going nowhere.

So finally Mark left the immediate area and we were able to take the picture with most of the ladies stopping their gabbing long enough to look at the camera. As you can see from this series of photos Mark was introduced to and made-up with my sister and brother-in-law afterwards and all was well. I have to tell you it was one of the more humorous photo sessions I've been involved with.

Jul 6, 2008

Ponce DeLeon Lighthouse

Finally got one more set of vacation pictures uploaded. This set is from our visit to the Ponce DeLeon Lighthouse. Kriss tells me it is the second tallest lighthouse in the country. After climbing all the steps on a 98+ degree day, I think its the tallest.

The set starts with outside pictures and then shows us climbing up and down the stairs. The stairs were really neat and made for some abstract shots which may look good in black and white down the road. The pictures from the top are of Daytona Beach and the surrounding waterways.

The next pictures are of the grounds and museum buildings. One of the buildings had a bunch of the glass from decommissioned lighthouses. There are some pictures of the nature trail and finally a tortoise. If you look at the first tortoise pic, you see a bottom fence slat broken out. The tortoise had just broken that part of the fence when we arrived. A pretty determined creature.

Anyway, that was our hot muggy day at the lighthouse. Definitely a recommended stop in Florida.

Jul 5, 2008

Ela, Ava, and Supporting Cast

Some portraits of the little kids, Ela and Ava. The bigger kids participated too along with some pests pets.

Jul 4, 2008

Happy Birthday America

Pictures from the 4th of July parade in South Range. Check out Gabby's "bag" for candy. Its her Polly Pocket lunch box.

Also, for the dog lovers, there was a neat little encounter as we were leaving between a big boxer and a little boxer.

Jul 3, 2008

Cool Drill Machines

I work at a printed circuit board manufacturer in Calumet, MI called Calumet Electronics Corp. We manufacture boards for companies worldwide and we have some pretty cool machines and technology throughout our plant.

Since the whole plant is off for the the July 4th weekend, I thought it would be a good day to show off some of our Drill and Rout machinery.

Jul 2, 2008

Cypress Lake Airboat Ride

Some more Florida vacation pictures. This gallery is from our ride on an airboat at Cypress Lake. Kriss carefully researched and found that this one hour ride was the longest available.

I have to admit I was kind of lukewarm on the idea since the drive was so long to get there and it was in the middle of nowhere.

In the end, it was one of the most fun days we had and the photo opportunities were amazing.

Jul 1, 2008

Makenna is Six Years Old

Rodney and Erin's daughter Makenna celebrated her sixth birthday Tuesday evening. The celebration included a young juggler duo. They were great entertainers and really engaged the kids in their performance. If I could remember their names, I would give them a plug.

Congratulations Makenna, its fun (and sad) to see you and Gabby turn six years old. Before you know it, you two will be graduating from High School.

A full gallery of party pictures is found here...