Brigham Pipes

Brigham Pipes: Voyageur 136 and Chinook 426

A new pipe arrived in the mail today: a Brigham Pipes Chinook 426 from It looks very fine and is my second Brigham. My  first Brigham (and first pipe ever) is a Voyageur 136. Both are picture in the attached photo gallery.

And now for the painful process (or the exciting one depending on my mood) — deciding when and were to smoke this new pipe and what tobacco to pair it with. I’m open to suggestions.

Word-of-the-day: Sawbuck

Sawbuck is not a common word in Canada (for my generation anyway), but may be more common south of the border — in the U.S. (not Mexico). Buck, a diminutive, was a common Canadian reference to the one-dollar bill, until the paper version was replace with a one-dollar coin (featuring an engraved Loon), then the slang “loonie” became popular.

SAWBUCK: Originally slang for a sawhorse, fashioned in the 18th century by lashing together two pieces of wood into an “X” shape. With an X-shaped support at each of two ends, the contraption served to hold wood for cutting. With the advent of the U.S. 10 dollar bill, which bears the Roman numeral X, “sawbuck” became slang for the bill, as people associated the shape with the sawhorse. The slang term “buck” originated in the mid-19th century in reference to the dollar.1

To ”buck wood” is the process of cutting a long log or tree into shorter sections, usually in preparation for chopping into firewood. I know this because I recently became enamoured with chainsaws.

1. D O’Regan @

Hello world!

The Past

I remember my first computer, an Apple IIGS (short for graphics and sound). In elementrary school I remember programming games and graphics in BASIC and Logo. I remember writing code with pencil and paper before typing it into the computer. I remember plotting pixel coordinates on graphing paper. I remember 5 1/4″ floppy disks.

All of this to say I remember a time before I was introduced to computers.

I was born in 1974, the year Nixon resigned, and the year the first UPC (Universal Price Code) was used to sell a package of Wrigley’s chewing gum for 67 cents. By that year, computers were pretty well embedded in the public consciousness. They featured prominently in movies. They were being used in industry. But the personal computer revolution was still a few years away.

My first Mac was a hand-me-down Mac 512K (with an astounding 512 kilobytes of RAM!) I had a massive (physically) 20MB external hard-drive (that plugged into the external floppy-drive port). With the Mac, I left programming behind and started producing graphics in programs like Apple Paint, and Aldus Pagemaker. I still have my first copy of Photoshop 1.0 on floppy-disk somewhere. I spent my high school years in the art room and the visual communications lab. I designed the school newspaper, helped run the printing presses, installed and maintained the first LAN, and pretty much lived and breathed anything visual.

In 1994, 10 years after the introduction of the Macintosh, Apple introduced the first consumer marketed digital camera — the QuickTake 100. While not a huge success, the QuickTake, and Apple’s vision even in their roughest period, heralded the beginning of digital photography as we know it today. (Coincidentally, 1994 was also the year an interesting thing called the World Wide Web went mainstream).

The Present

In this context, it might not be an accident that I am currently the VP of R&D for iStockphoto, a company that revolutionized the creation and sale of stock photography.

Today, we are in the midst of other revolutions. The near ubiquity of computers and the internet. A transformation in how we produce and consume media. Right now—today, this very second—mobile devices, social networks, and open platforms are supporting a convergence of experience, the full scope of which we cannot possible comprehend in this moment.

The Future

This convergence is the impetus for this blog. I’m not a full-time photographer who can teach you the latest HDR techniques. I’m not a hot-shot graphic designer with a requisite black turtle neck. I’m not the world’s greatest programmer. I’m an observer, and I always have been. I also like to think I’m a good synthesizer of information. This blog is the place where I will share what I see, and hopefully, start a conversation.