Personal Life

MP3s From My Only Album, 2005’s ‘OG’

I wrote and recorded these songs in February and April of 2005 for my only album, “OG.”

Personal Life

Before and After Bard College

Today, I found some photos on my 2004 Apple iBook G4, which was my first major purchase after starting work at McDonald’s. I was so transfixed at the time with Apple computers and iPods (I might’ve even been the first person in my 9th grade class to have an iPod) that I exuberantly told my parents to invest heavily in Apple. Up to that point, I had never told my parents to invest in any company. I hope they did invest in Apple (they’ve always denied it), because then I’m sure we’d all be millionaires!

Back to the subject, I hadn’t been on this computer in 5–10 years, and I couldn’t remember the password this morning. Luckily, though, the heavens eventually let me remember it. I was most delighted to find a self-portrait I took shortly before leaving home to attend Bard College in 2007–which was also my first profile picture on Facebook–and a self-portrait I took in the spring of 2010, which was in between the times I left Bard College mid-semester in the spring and fall of 2010. I never returned to Bard College after the fall of 2010.

As mentioned, these photos are self-portraits. I took the 2007 photo with a DSLR and a tripod. I took the 2010 photo by holding my DSLR over my body while lying in my yard. The 2007 photo depicts the Temple of Eck in my hometown of 30 years: Chanhassen, Minnesota. This building is on the site of the headquarters of Eckankar, a cult-like religion. I have never joined this cult-like religion, though I believe my parents and brother are members. I did, however, write an article about Eckankar for Chaska High School’s student newspaper during my junior year of high school (the spring of 2006, to be exact) and got to go on a tour of the Temple of Eck with a member of Eckankar from my high school, his mom, and another unknown member. Otherwise, no one has ever talked to me about Eckankar, much less asked me to join.

Both of the following two photos were taken straight out of camera (SOOC), meaning I did not post-process or edit them in any way.

Here is the “before” photo and some EXIF data:

Self-portrait taken by the Temple of Eck in Chanhassen, Minnesota, on June 5, 2007 (it was also my first profile picture on Facebook)

Date taken: 6/5/2007 7:51 PM
Dimensions: 3008 x 2000
Camera model: NIKON D50
F-stop: f/9
Exposure time: 1/200 sec.
ISO speed: (blank)
Exposure bias: -0.7 step
Focal length: 50 mm
Metering mode: Pattern
Flash mode: No flash
Contrast: Normal
Exposure program: Aperture Priority
Saturation: High saturation
Sharpness: Normal
White balance: Manual

Here is the “after” photo and some EXIF data:

Self-portrait taken in my yard in Chanhassen, Minnesota, on May 21, 2010, which was in between the two times I left Bard College

Date taken: 5/21/2010 6:18 PM
Dimensions: 4288 x 2848
Camera model: NIKON D90
F-stop: f/3.8
Exposure time: 1/160 sec.
ISO speed: ISO-200
Exposure bias: 0 step
Focal length: 24 mm
Metering mode: Pattern
Flash mode: No flash
Contrast: Normal
Exposure program: Aperture Priority
Saturation: Normal
Sharpness: Normal
White balance: Manual

Out and About

Historic Downtown Chaska in Winter

For one reason or another, I haven’t taken many photos in downtown Chaska over the years. But this says more about me than it does their historic downtown area–because it is charming.

I took these five photos today from 11:34–11:50 a.m.

Carver County Justice Center
Formerly known as the “Co-Op,” this is SouthWest Metro High School. I had basketball practice here when I was in middle school and took a film photography course here–which I loved–when I was in high school.
St. John’s Lutheran Church & School
Pine garland in a gazebo, which is at the center of Chaska City Square Park
Chaska City Square Park
Personal Life

Cop Murders Witness

I wasn’t murdered by a cop today, but I did have a near miss as the result of bad driving advice from a 20-something deputy for the Carver County Sheriff’s Office.

What my vehicle looked like three and a half hours after the incident in question

Here is my report of the incident, which I wrote on Facebook about an hour after the cop left my house without even saying “sorry.” In fact, he blamed the incident on me not putting the vehicle in park (I did, of course, and showed it to him):

I almost got murdered this morning at approximately 10 a.m. after following a deputy’s instructions on how to get my mom’s vehicle up our driveway in this awful weather. My vehicle started rolling back down the driveway as I was getting out. I consider myself lucky for getting out of the situation without so much as a scratch.

Please contact the U.S. Marshals Service’s headquarters at (202) 307-9100, and tell them I need WITSEC.

Barry Scribner (my godfather in Armonk, New York), help!


Cc: Carver County Sheriff’s Office; Jones Lang LaSalle; FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation; Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); The White House

Posted at 11:25 a.m. Central time

I was still mad at him, so I made another post:

I hope the 20-something deputy who nearly killed me today never forgets about what he did. If he thinks he’s F.B.I. material, he better look at my current profile picture, which I made this morning, of the F.B.I. seal—namely, the words “fidelity,” “bravery,” and “integrity.”

The Orb – Rush Hill Road

Cc: Carver County Sheriff’s Office; FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation; The White House

Posted at 5:46 p.m. Central time

Here is the YouTube video linked in the above post:

If a deputy told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?

Gear Personal Life Pug Life

After Years of AfterShot Pro and GIMP, I’m Switching to Lightroom and Photoshop

It’s probably been over five years since I last used Photoshop. I even had a blog devoted to editing photos in Linux, which is possible but not nearly as feature-rich. As of this morning, I’m excited to announce that I’m back on board with Adobe! In addition to Photoshop, Lightroom is included with my subscription. The total cost is $10 a month–a steal in my opinion.

Here are 10 photos I took this morning around my neighborhood from 9:50–10:10 a.m. to test out Lightroom–of which I’m a first-time user–and Photoshop.

Missy and Pugsley sit on the stairs waiting for mom to come home
Sunstars are achieved by stopping down to the smallest aperture, in this case f/22
My (parents’) house
The leaves on the deciduous trees in my front yard fall later than any of the other trees in my neighborhood
Mail truck in my neighborhood
Stop sign for leaving my neighborhood on Audubon Road
Crosswalk for the other entrance and exit in my neighborhood
Pine tree between my neighborhood and the National Weather Service Forecast Office in the Twin Cities/Chanhassen, Minnesota
Doppler radar at the National Weather Service Forecast Office
The former house of the late U.S. senator Rod Grams, located along Audubon Road in my neighborhood. He owned all the land in my neighborhood before my family moved there in 1993.
Personal Life

Bard College’s Racism

I’ve been aware of Bard College’s racism against Black people since the day I first saw Leon Botstein. The college’s president did a Q&A after a lecture for Admitted Student Day on Saturday, April 14, 2007. The racism? Try thinking about his answer to a question from a concerned dad regarding the lack of Black students at the elite liberal arts college in upstate New York. Based on my memory, Mr. Botstein simply replied, “We don’t receive many applications from that demographic because of our rural location.”

This photo was taken within seconds of most students and their families (including me) seeing Bard College President Leon Botstein in person for the first time. I took the photo on April 14, 2007, at either 1:01 or 2:01 p.m. The photo shows Leon Botstein as he entered the stage; I did not see any other photographers in the audience, and I remember Mr. Botstein looking scornful.

It turns out I was right all along. A short while ago, while Googling another topic, I came across this article published on August 29, 2020, in The New York Times: “After 90 Years, Columbia Takes Slave Owner’s Name Off a Dorm.” The subheading reads, “Samuel Bard was George Washington’s doctor and delivered Alexander Hamilton’s first son. He was also a ‘pretty significant slave owner.'”

And he was also the grandfather of John Bard, the founder of what is now called Bard College.

During my last year at Bard College, in 2010, the college’s sesquicentennial (150th anniversary), my dad would frequently call me while under the influence–he is unemployed and disabled–and say racist things about then-President Barack Obama (whom I voted for in both 2008 and 2012, as I’ve only voted for Democrats for President). My dad would also deny my requests for money, under the guise of our family not having enough money because of his disabled status.

It got so bad, with my dad acting miserly and racist and knowing Mr. Botstein might be hateful or racist as well–both against Black people–that I told my “girlfriend” (don’t ask about the scare quotes) and my mom that “Bardians Against [N-word, plural]” made just as much sense as any of the other student clubs on campus. Of course, I now regret ever saying that phrase, but I was going through an extremely stressful time in my life. I identified with Black people, not Caucasians, at the time.

So how is Bard College doing today? First, their U.S. News & World Report ranking has slid from (I believe) #37 when I applied to them in 2007 to #60 as of this writing. You can also see this chart I made and posted to Facebook earlier this year:

Chart showing Bard College’s U.S. News & World Report ranking (Nicholas Scribner)

I should also note I was a huge fan of Bard College after they accepted me. I believe I am even the sole reason the “Newsweek-Kaplan College Guide” decided to add Bard College to their list of colleges in the former annual publication. I even received a personal letter from David A. Kaplan, the editor.

It should be noted that Bard College has hired a number of talented Black people as professors over the years. The name that comes to the minds of most people is probably Chinua Achebe, the late Nigerian writer, who left Bard College shortly before I left to become a part of the faculty at Brown University.

For Bard College’s 150th anniversary video, which one can watch on Vimeo at the moment, the college used a photograph I took and posted to my Flickr account (see 4:11–4:13 in the video). No one from the college sought my permission to use the photo, which had my full copyright protections on Flickr.

Bard College illegally used one of my photos for their 150th anniversary video (Nicholas Scribner)

Last year, Bard College received a $500 million gift from philanthropist George Soros, which will total $1 billion at the end of the endowment drive–one of the largest gifts ever to a college.

In conclusion, I hope Bard College learns from their mistakes and improves their reputation.

Personal Life

Some of My Scribner Cousins

While doing something unrelated on my new computer this morning, I came across a photo from 2010 with some of my Scribner cousins; we were visiting our grandparents’ home in Wisconsin at the time. I was even able to track down the original file (with some minor, automatic adjustments I made in Photoshop). See more EXIF data below.

From left: Ryan Scribner, Stacey Alston, Zara Scribner, Nicholas Scribner, and Alicia Scribner

Date taken: 6/20/2010 3:50:38 P.M.
Program name: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Macintosh
Dimensions: 4288 x 2848
Camera model: NIKON D90
F-stop: f/8
Exposure time: 1/200 sec.
ISO speed: ISO-200
Exposure bias: 0 step
Focal length: 24 mm
Metering mode: Pattern
Flash mode: Flash, compulsory, strobe return
35mm focal length: 36
Exposure program: Aperture Priority
Saturation: Normal
Sharpness: Normal
White balance: Auto
EXIF version: 0221

Thanks, Alicia!

Out and About Pug Life

Centennial Lakes Park in Late October

This afternoon, my mom, my puggles, and I visited Centennial Lakes Park in Edina, Minnesota. These photos were taken from 3:13–4:10 p.m.

Walking labyrinth/meditation maze
Prairie grass
Pugsley and Missy
My mom and our puggles next to a Rotary International clock at the entrance
Out and About Pug Life

Leaf Peeping 2022: Excelsior, Minnesota

For my third outing leaf peeping this year, I visited Excelsior, Minnesota, with my mom and our two puggles. I took these photos today from 11:42 a.m.–12:11 p.m.

Small plane that started flying over the Excelsior Commons as soon we got there
Scarecrow in someone’s yard
Licks Unlimited
Port of Excelsior
Tommy’s Tonka Trolley
Staircase to a pier
Pier Four
Missy, Pugsley, and my mom
Out and About

Leaf Peeping 2022: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

For the second installment of “Leaf Peeping 2022,” I visited the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum today in Chaska, Minnesota. I took these photos from 8:19–9:35 a.m.

Main road
Rose Walk sign
Main road (again)
Red flowers
House with picnic tables
The beginning of the Three-Mile Walk
Pond with green algae
Brick path
Purple flowers
Crabapple tree
The Canada goose on the right is eating a crabapple
Paul Granlund; American, 1925-2003; Swimmers, 1990; Bronze
Acer saccharum, the sugar maple
Acer platanoides, the Norway maple
Acer saccharum nigrum, the black maple
Rosa ‘BUCbi’ (Carefree Beauty)
Pine Tree Exhibit land art
Pinus nigra, the Austrian pine
Maze Garden
Douglas Freeman; American, born 1952; Family, 1989; Bronze
Sunlight on an oak tree
Vista over Green Heron Pond