Vita Rara: A Life Uncommon


2007: A Retrospective

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Personal Life

Sylva and I got married on April 28. It's been a real whirl wind since then. We are expecting our first child on April 1, 2008. My time with Sylva is special and precious. I have a great partner, and look forward to raising a family together.

Overall business issues have dominated this year. I doubt that will be that case next year.


It was a hard business year, but prospects for the future look good.


Quadran has arrived. About 63,000 lines of Groovy, Java and JSP, with some XML files to wire it all together, and it's up and running. We turned on our first Quadran installation on December 5, 2007. This was the culmination of a process that began with an initial meeting in September of 2004, and the consummation of the development agreement in July of 2006.

VanRensselaer Lodge No. 87 Officer Installation

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At our last meeting in May VanRensselaer Lodge No. 87 installed our new officers for the current year. A good friend of mine, David Neidrauer was installed as Worshipful Master. It was great seeing this occur. David is the first of a young group of Masons taking leadership roles in our lodge.

Grand Lodge of Wisconsin F&AM Annual Session

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Earlier this month I had the honor and privilege of being the Personal Representative of the Most Worshipful Neal I. Bidnick, Grand Master of Mason in the State of New York, to the annual session of the Grand Lodge of Wisonsin Free and Accepted Masons.

This was my first opportunity attending a Grand Session outside of my home jurisdiction of New York. I truly enjoyed the session. The Grand Master of Wisconsin, Most Worshipful Rodney Paulsen conducted the session with great joy and dignity. It was truly a pleasure.

Masters Lodge Number 5 Installation of Officers

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On May 14, 2007 Masters Lodge Number 5 Free & Accepted Masons held its election and installation of officers for the ensuing year. My congratulation to all of the new officers, and in particular to R.·. W.·. Robert Walenta on his election as Master of the Lodge. Here's to a great year.

The Shriners

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The Shriners of North America are likely one of the best known Masonic organizations in America. Many people do not know it, but to be a Shriner you must first be a Freemason.

The Shrine is involved in many philanthropic pursuits. It's greatest being their burn and orthopedic hospitals for children.

Shriners participate in parades in their local communities to raise awareness of their works with children, and to promote the organization. Members will ride motorcycles, miniature cars, play in bands, but probably the most recognizable participants are the Shrine clowns.

The George Washington Bible

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George Washington, the first President of the United States of America, took his oath of office on the Bible owned by St. Johns Lodge No. 1 in New York City. This Bible has remained in the possession of St. Johns Lodge since that time, and is maintained as a national treasure.

Frequently the officers of many Grand Lodges, New York in particular, ask to take their obligations on the George Washington Bible. Here you see the Bible being placed on the altar for the installation of officers for the Grand Lodge of New York during their 2006 grand session.

The Bible is always accompanied by a team from St. Johns Lodge. The gloves you see are always worn when handling the Bible. This prevents oils from our hands from causing damage. Also, all flash photography must be done from a safe distance.

The Great Light

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The Holy Bible, the Great Light in Masonry, is the rule and guide that a Mason should diligently search within to find the path to righteousness. Freemasonry, though, urgess upon all of its members that each should read the Great Light personally to find the light they need in their lives. Masonry is not a religion and we obligate our members on their holy book, if it be the Talmud, the Koran, or the Gitas. But in every regular and well governed lodge of Freemasons you will find a volume of sacred law.

Here you see a lodge room with the altar in the center upon which rest an open Bible. The three candles placed around the altar are always lit when the Great Light is open, as a sign of respect, and to illuminate it for the benefit of the craft.

Portraits of Freemasonry

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I'm starting a new project today. Over the past few years I have collected a number of pictures of Freemasons, doing various Masonic things. I will be working this into a full section of the site covering Freemasonry and illustrating it with photos from my travels in the craft. Be sure to check it out.

Installation Day

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Every year in most American lodges the officers are elected and installed into their offices. This brother is about to be elevated to the highest office in his lodge, that of Master. It is an office of great responsibility and authority. Masonry seeks only to elevate its best brothers to this office, and depends on them to exercise their wisdom as custodians of our honored craft.

Portraits of Freemasonry

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Freemasons are one of the oldest fraternal organizations in the world. Its members strive to live upright and productive lives benefiting their families, community, and the world.

Over the past few years I have taken photos of Masons performing various functions particular to Freemasonry, and at work in the world at large. Enjoy these images as I have enjoyed taking them.

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