Thursday, March 29, 2012

U.S. Figure Skating Nationals

Mr. Hunter tagged along when his family went to see the ladies' free skate at the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships.

Mr. Hunter watches the medal ceremony.

Ashley Wagner during her championship-winning routine

Finding out she's currently in first place.

Ashley Wagner takes a curtain call before receiving her gold medal.

During warm-ups for the last group of ladies.

Alyssa Czisny jump

Silver medalist Alyssa Czisny

Mr. Hunter and Rachel Flatt

Rachel Flatt was quite moved
after she skated a strong long program.

Random moment where Rachel Flatt showed up to visit her family nearby.

Smiles from atop the podium.

Ashley Wagner and Alyssa Czisny made it to Team USA 
for the World Championships in March.  Go ladies!

San Jose, California
January 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

U.S. Figure Skaters, Past and Present

Mr. Hunter lurked near the autograph lines 
in hopes of "posing" with U.S. figure skaters past and present.  

Hello, Kristi Yamaguchi!

Kristi Yamaguchi, circa 1992

Mr. Hunter was in the building at a ladies' figure skating practice session during the 1992 World Figure Skating Championships.  There's our Kristi Yamaguchi again.  She had just won the Olympic gold medal in Albertville, France and was on her way to winning her second consecutive world championship.

And here's Mr. Hunter "posing" 2012 U.S. silver medalist Adam Rippon.
A lovely skater.  Hope he does well at the World Championships this year!

San Jose, California
January 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Michelle Kwan

 One of Mr. Hunter's most favorite figure skaters is Michelle Kwan,
and it turned out that the ladies' free skate at the U.S. Nationals also featured a ceremony inducting Michelle Kwan into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

That's Michelle Kwan in the yellow.

Brian Boitano had introduced her.

She was especially moved.
Some of my favorite Michelle Kwan performances:

Winning the 2004 U.S. National title with this free skate to "Tosca":


Skating to music from Peter Gabriel's "Passion" for her 2003 short program:

Skating to Eva Cassidy's "Fields of Gold" at the 2002 Olympics:

San Jose, California
January 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bon Voyage, Rebecca!

Mr. Hunter finds tremendous inspiration when people set out on new adventures.  Here's one adventurer now: Rebecca, posing with Mr. Hunter in some golden afternoon light.

January 2007

Rock On, Jessica!

Mr. Hunter makes like a microphone, thanks to this creative pose by Jessica.

Rock on!

July 2008

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hail Mr. Hunter!

Mr. Hunter loves the rain, so his representative, Flat Mr. Hunter, was excited one afternoon last May when it unexpectedly started hailing.  
Since he's laminated, Flat Mr. H had no problem lying down and enjoying a lovely spring shower.

Here he is, showering...

May 2011

Monday, March 19, 2012

Airport Layovers: Minneapolis

Mr. Hunter can pin a place like Minneapolis on his map, but just barely.
Currently, Minneapolis is on the list of places Mr. Hunter has visited only on layovers between flights from somewhere else to somewhere else.  

The big moose of a Minnesota-themed shop.

Can you spot Mr. Hunter in this picture?
He's tucked into the canoe with some plush black bears.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
October 2011

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Red Umbrella

Have you ever seen those interactive ads for Travelers Insurance that are projected on the walls at some airports?  We've seen them at Bradley Airport in Hartford and at the Minneapolis Airport.  

Mr. Hunter finally asked if he could get in on the action and set some of the umbrellas in motion.

The umbrella, waiting.
See for yourself...

The little red umbrellas are on the move.

Bradley International Airport
Hartford, Connecticut
September 2011

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mr. Hunter and the Ocicat

What happens when a cat who likes to play meets a wooden tiki doll who likes to pose?  A festival of photos!

Rufus is an ocicat, and while he lives in the same house as Mr. Hunter, the two of them haven't really spent much time together.  But the other day, when Rufus got into his classic "seal" position, I grabbed my camera and then thought, Why not get Mr. Hunter involved in this?  I was just looking for a quick, cute photo.  

Who knew that Rufus would take Mr. Hunter for a new toy?

Rufus the Seal with Mr. Hunter the Soon-to-be Toy

Rufus springs into action


The two friends sit still for more formal portrait.

March 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ötzi the Iceman

Our friend, Ötzi the Iceman, has been in the news again lately.  
Mr. Hunter and his family have such fond memories of seeing the Ötzi exhibit at the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology in Bolzano, Italy.

See how pleased Mr. Hunter looks?

One of the most extraordinary sections of the Ötzi museum featured his clothes and his equipment.  It was a transporting experience--like time travel, somehow, and mind-blowing enough to bring tears to my eyes--to stand before Otzi's bearskin cap, his leggings, and his famous shoes, which you may have read about in this New Yorker article.  

A bonus feature of the museum: some notable souvenirs and postcards.
I could not resist this admittedly strange snowglobe that recreates the scene where Otzi's body was first discovered in the Italian Alps.  

If you're lucky enough to find yourself in northern Italy, Mr. Hunter and I heartily recommend a visit to Bolzano and this special museum.

Bolzano, Italy
June 2008

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hall of Fame: Mr. Hunter Gets a Scolding

...maybe it's because he likes to break the rules sometimes.

Can't say that Mr. Hunter looks particularly perturbed here.

Seems to me that Mr. Hunter has a defiant look on his face now.
I don't think the exterminator guy is going to get anywhere with him.

I was actually so excited when I came across this truck and realized that Mr. Hunter had an opportunity to make friends with the Western Exterminator Company mascot.

Hollister, California
July 2005

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mr. Hunter's Origins... Discovered?

Mr. Hunter came to his current family via a white elephant party many years ago, so we've never been sure just where Mr. Hunter originally came from.  It's always seemed most likely that Mr. H is a souvenir of some sort, but... from where?  Various people have speculated that Mr. Hunter has Polynesian origins.  The travel writer Richard Bangs posed with Mr. Hunter and weighed in on the discussion.  His thought: Mr. Hunter was probably a souvenir from somewhere in western Africa.

Well.  The Mr. Hunter clan has recently been preparing for a trip to the Bahamas.  And as my mom browsed through a little guidebook about the Bahamas, she noticed a photo of wooden figures in Nassau's Straw Market, and these wooden figures looked SO SIMILAR to Mr. Hunter.  I just browsed around on Flickr and found a few photos of carved wooden heads on the shelves of the Straw Market, and the resemblances are uncanny.  Seriously, I got chills.

Are we one step closer to learning just where Mr. Hunter comes from?  This trip to the Bahamas may turn into a Who Do You Think You Are episode starring our own Mr. Hunter!

You can check out photos of the potential cousins, brothers, sisters of Mr. Hunter here on moonball's photostream or here on Aneta & Mark's photostream.  But the photo below is the uncanniest of them all.

From Daniele Muscetta's photostream.
The one in the center looks SO much like Mr. Hunter!!

What am I going to do if I'm confronted with shelves full of Mr. Hunter relatives?  Well, yes, I'll be taking lots of photographs.  But you know that I'll probably have to buy at least one of these wooden figures.  A new brother or sister for Mr. Hunter...!  If that happens, how will they get along?

Stay tuned. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Imitations: Richard Bangs

Mr. Hunter got to meet travel writer Richard Bangs, who speculated 
that Mr. H might be a souvenir from somewhere in western Africa.
Mr. Bangs also did an imitation of Mr. Hunter for one photo. 

Two travelers.

Santa Monica, California
August 2005