So what’s a forest rat?
To me a “rat” is someone who hangs out a lot in a certain place. So like, a person that plays a lot of hockey is a “rink rat” and someone that shops a lot is a “mall rat”. I like to hike and do lots of outdoor type stuff so I’m a “forest rat”. I don’t remember where I picked this terminology up. However…
Just the other day I was watching “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel. Mike, the host, was visiting an Air Force base. His job was to clean and repair Stratotanker fuel tanks which often entailed crawling around inside the wings of the planes. The nickname for the maintenance crew was the Tank Rats!
Anywho, as I said I like to spend a lot of time in the great outdoors. I also like photography so it follows that I would get into nature photography. This blog will mostly be about my hiking trips and include pics that I grab along the way. I will soon be opening a gallery/studio for my work at 74 Main Street (2nd floor) in Canandaigua, NY. I expect some of the entries will be about the trials and tribulations of getting that off the ground. I also figure I’ll offer my humble opinions on photo techniques, gear, and philosophy.
I have a photography web site (www.forestrat.com). It hasn’t been updated lately (this is probably true no matter when you are reading this), but you get the idea.
For those still reading this drivel – a little background about me (Mark Whitney). I live with my wife (Demara) and my son (Calvin) in upstate NY near Rochester, the Finger Lakes, and Lake Ontario. I have a day job working as a computer programmer of sorts for a mid-western medical laboratory. I work from home and connect back to home office three states away via the magic of the Internet.
I graduated from Butler University in Indianapolis with degree in environmental studies and one in chemistry. I got a masters in organic chemistry from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. (By the way, ESF students are not called forest rats they are called “stumpies”) So of course with all this education in chemistry and environmental science I ended up in computers – weird.
If this was “Jeopardy” and I had to come up with tidbits for Alex to ask me about between rounds, one might be that my family built our own house. It took us almost two years. We did everything ourselves except the foundation and framing. We did plumbing, electric, roofing, drywall, HVAC, insulation, trim, decking, flooring, etc. It will never really be “done” since there is always something to add or change, but at least we are living here now and I don’t have to go to the building supply store every single day anymore. You can see it at:
Let’s see…What else might be mildly interesting. Oh yea, my other car is a Kawasaki Vulcan 800 motorcycle. The bike is a lot of fun, but living in NY, I get caught in the rain a whole lot more than I did when I lived in southern California.
I like to read books. I like a variety of stuff from Hugo and Tolstoy to biographies of Alexander Hamilton to goofy stuff by Dave Barry or Yogi Berra.
I hope you find my blog interesting and maybe even helpful sometimes. Thanks for visiting.