a view through a lens.

Through A Lens (2012)

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On a Sunday evening in April, I was sitting with Morgan watching TV like we usually do on Sunday when I read this article about changing habits.  To say it changed my life is a bit of an overstatement, but as I read it I began to think about my eating.  Eating is a necessity, but what, how much, and when you eat is more of a habit.  As I analyzed my patterns that was true.  Simply by focusing an existing routine (eating) on a new reward (which happened for me, to be the scale) allowed be to adjust my eating habits to lost 25 pounds throughout the summer without any drastic diet approach and eating pretty much whatever I want.  It was the first time I’ve ever consciously approached my diet, coupled with my passion for riding to improve my fitness, I was pleasantly surprised with the results.  The cool part, is that this approach can be applied to any habit you have if you think about it enough.

Beyond that unexpected diversion, 2012 was a busy year working on launching Target stores in Canada in 2013.  That work got in the way of a lot of my other interests and goals, but that’s ok.  We’ll get back to those soon.  In February I took a new role on the Canada project which gave me an amazing view to an incredibly complex project. Work took me to Israel, which was an amazing experience, and the year pushed me to work differently and challenged me on many fronts. Amazingly, we are very close to opening our first stores and it’s hard to believe that in less than a year we will have around 130 stores open for business. It sounds simple, but I can’t think of a project more ambitious. 2 years, 130 stores, starting systems from scratch. Just an amazing effort from an amazing team at an amazing company. I feel lucky to have been a part of the journey from the beginning.

Beyond work, I had a couple of simple goals, so let’s look back at how I did:

Almanzo (ARGS) Series: I wanted to shoot the entire ARGS gravel road racing series this year, but no luck. Work was too demanding. I was able to get away to shoot the Almanzo race itself in May and as usual had a blast. I love the spirit of what Chris Skogen has created. Pure passion. If you are not familiar with Almanzo, read this . Calling Almanzo a “race” is appropriate for about 10% of the people that ride. What I love about photographing the Almanzo, isn’t the “race” part. It’s about capturing people pushing themselves to complete something so personal across an amazing route in southern Minnesota. Truly a special event. Overall, my pictures this year were OK. I had grander visions going in, but was happy with some shots. (Grade B)

Lighting: As agreed last year, no grade here. Lighting is time consuming and I continued my self education and experimentation this year. Continued to be amazed at the talents of Joe McNally and his willingness to share his techniques. More to come in 2013.

The Boys: Didn’t take as many pictures as I would like this year (see the work note above), but did continue to document how the boys are growing up. Morgan started hockey this year, so my winter project is to document his Mite team throughout the year.  Watching 6 year olds learn how to play hockey is actually very similar to documenting the Almanzo, and I love it. (Grade: C)

Ride: Riding played a big part of my fitness routine, but it wasn’t obsessive. Weekly rides on both roads and mountain bikes helped me relax and connect with friends. A few big trips also made the year fun. A ride from Forest Lake to Amery Wisconsin, a super fun 70 mile mountain bike weekend in Hayward, Wisconsin, and a 100 mile Gentleman’s Ride on the Almanzo course capped off a fun year.  100 miles on gravel wasn’t something I really thought I could do, but thanks to Dan Steeves’ patience and partnership, I did it, and had a blast. Overall, riding was fantastic this year. I think I got stronger and better and look forward to more improvement in 2013 (Grade A-).

Goals for 2013, let’s keep them simple due the the amount of work ahead:

Work: Get these stores in Canada open!

Photography: Continue to document the Almanzo, work on lighting skills, learn long exposure photography.

The Boys: You guessed it. Continue documenting and finish the documenting of the Tiger’s Mite experience. Would also like to take the time to get a more formal portrait of the boys with thier grandparents. I think they are old enough to have the patience.

Ride: Continue to advance in endurance and speed. Take a minimum of three long ride weekends and get more comfortable with longer distances. Most importantly continue to find time to get out on the roads and trails and ride.  It relaxes me.

2013 goals look an awful lot like a repeat of 2012, but that’s cool with me. Important work ahead, so let’s just concentrate on that, and change things up in 2014! Here are some of my favorite pictures from the past year. Thanks for reading…




Classic Almanzo scene.


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Dan Steeves nearing the finish.


Site of the Crucifixion
The site of the crucification. Definitely makes you stop and think for a bit.

Stone of the Dead
The Stone of the Dead. Jesus laid here.

Western Wall
The Western Wall.

Disney with the cousins. So much fun. Truly a magical place.

Gentleman’s Ride – 100 miles on gravel with Dan Steeves.

My next year’s focus. Taking the Expect More, Pay Less promise to Canada.

The Boys:
Owen started mountain biking this year. Can’t wait for next year!

Morgan Tball.

Owen – Growing up so fast. Nine years old!

This sums up Morgan’s spirit! 5 years old.


Tigers Hockey:
Learning to Stop

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Written by craiglindner

December 29, 2012 at 8:08 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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