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Thursday, 24 July 2014


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I wish I lived nearer - I'd love to drop by but it isn't gonna happen from where I am currently in the UK. All the plans you have sound great though and I'm envious of those able to go to see you; perhaps some of conversations you have might form the basis for future blogposts though, so those of us far away can get to share a bit of the sharing if that's not too icky a thing to say? :)

Do you also cover plane tickets from Europe to come and say hi?

We should set up a pool as to how long it takes before the "unlimited" space is cramped.

Has to have a bookshelf that - when tugging the right book - opens to the bat cave or another room for a secret society of photographers.

What about sampling the specially home processed Kona coffee? Possibly in exchange for a print? Which, btw, I hope you get the roasting area set up and working soon.

One word.


You can use the nearly UNLIMITED space to start the TOP world domination plan.

Shark tank, with lasers.

I'm picturing something like Goldfinger's rec/world domination planning room...


Off the mark? You may need to find a good tailor.

A Tiki bar in the corner would be a nice touch. Although I guess that wouldn't be conducive to getting much TOP work done. But visitors would certainly appreciate a cool cocktail, I'm sure.

And how about a "Used Camera Gear For Sale" cabinet where you could display all the stuff you've tried and now dumped for something newer and spiffier?


It's great to know that you'll have room for all of the above. It doesn't seem long since the fundraising began.

Now, just as soon as you're able, can we have some photos of the new house and layout, please.

All the best with the move.


Secret sprawling underground headquarters sounds so much like Bond-villain-lair that I think it might require a cat.

You sound positively giddy. Wonderful :)

What…No Espresso machine ?

I will have to start commenting more regularly... does this one count?

[It does. --Mike]

Genuinely looking forward to a cup of coffee and a nice chat someday... :) I'll bring some records as well.

Hello Mike,

Oh the joys of moving; a chance to find things long lost, and a chance to lose things that weren’t lost.

Good luck,

Leslie Q.

Sounds great Mike. When/if I get up your way I would love to see TOP HQ. I could even bring my (can't talk about it) cue and some records.

Continued good luck with the move.

Mike, it's your only chance, don't hesitate to let go stuff!
Even if space is no more a constraint, moving is the best time (really the only time for me - and you, based on some posts you wrote) to get rid of stuff. For me it's a liberating moment and the only good aspect of this awful moment.
Good luck!

Hi Mike,
I'm really looking forward to seeing the photos of TOP HQ. I've been looking on Google maps for TOP top secret Headquarters and not found anything. If Google can't find it then it really must be secret.
It would be interesting to see some before (estate agent's) and after (you've installed the awesome technology (pool table) that keeps your global empire running) photos.
Don't let the move stress you too much.
Thanks for the Blog

Don't forget a room to put all of the things you want to keep but will never use or display again.

It may seem like a lot of space, Mike, but you'll be amazed how quickly it fills up.

Remember stuff multiplies to fit the available space, so don't count on to much extra space

Wow, what a generous offer - makes me want to comment again, and more ;-) So if I'd ever come to Wisconsin (where my wife studied, and got her B.B.A.), I'd make sure to drop by, and bring some coffee as well. Unlikely tho, it's quite a journey from Germany... ;-)

Best of luck with the move. One of my least favorite things to do. Each time I swear it will be the last. But alas, three months ago I was forced to endure the ordeal once again. Hope you have better luck than I did with divesting from needless possessions. I hopelessly carry around boxes of junk that I vow to throw out each time I move.

I actually have an ulterior motive for posting. I'm a longtime lurker here and after reading this post I figured I better start on a commenting history so I can qualify as a "visitor" to the new digs. There's a good possibility that I'll be in your neck o' the woods in January and hopefully will have the opportunity to drop in for a visit.

Thanks for all you do for Photography.

This sounds very interesting! I'd love to take advantage of it in a year or two when I can figure out how to work it into a trip out that direction.

As an added bonus, I'm very beatable at pool!

It's probably just as well I'm in the Antipodes. Otherwise I'd be very tempted to pop around for a cuppa and a chat. Frequently. And that would be likely detrimental for TOP.

I'm so pleased things have started to work out. Please just be a bit more careful than I was: I plonked my A3+ inkjet at the end of my desk, with the result it's stuck on the french polishing.

"free Mike portraits", does that mean free portraits OF Mike???

A free portrait OF you? Nyuk, nyuk.

I'm interested in hearing more about that stereo system. I don't have "golden ears", but I love a good sound system... Especially when it has a good set of headphones attached.

Can I bring LPs?

I assume you're going to have beautiful models on retainer just lounging around everywhere?

Also a lens sharpness testing arena complete with a mannequin's head featuring disturbingly oversized eyelashes.

My mother once told me that seven moves is as good as a fire. So far, I've proven her right. Twice. Because that is what it has cost me between getting rid of old stuff and buying new stuff.

Why not open an Art Gallery and and mirror your walls on the web?

Submissions anyone?

What a clever way to kill several birds with one stone (not the least of which is making a large tax deduction out of your new mortgage payment.) ;^)

Not likely to come any time soon, as I still have to find where you are (not very good in US geography -- I only knew where Seattle is because of Bruce Lee). But quite like to. If I did come, I may opt to ask to have a paid workshop as there is so many things to cover. It should not be free. Still, just a joke, I will have to ask for a free game using stick and ball.

Good luck for your moving.

I'm head deep in unpacking moving boxes myself, now in Duluth, so who knows, maybe I'll cross the bridge and explore Wisconsin a bit once you get visiting hours up. Sounds fun. Glad you found such a better place.

Gee... Now I'll really have to take the trip over the Atlantic again! Good luck on your move, and protect your back.

Well, I sometimes get to Chicago and/or Minneapolis, so a trip to sunny Waukesha could be a nice diversion. The stereo sounds appealing, and can I pre-order a coffee as well?

I just want to say, as someone who is moving from Michigan to Albany, NY on August 20 after eight years here, I feel your pain—and joy. Today is the day to pack up the cameras and gear. How do you decide whether to keep or throw the broken tripod that you never use but once in a while serves as a light stand? or that square thing that MUST go to something but damned if I know what?

Mike replies: Forgot to mention that. I'm also seriously considering doing regular demonstrations of home roasting for potential hobbyists!
Sounds good to me.

Juan Valdez

Be sure to leave your broom at the old place!

Congratulations. Those cold war missile silos with the concrete entrance bunker disguised as a ranch house are very hard to come by these days. Far more practical than the hollow extinct volcano you've been using up 'till now.

Does the new base come with a submarine pen? If you are bent on world domination it's always a good idea to have a hidden back way out. Just in case.

The constant temperature you get with a deep underground silo is just the job for a darkroom, and with the generous ceiling height in a silo there's just enough room for a nice 8" x 10" enlarger.

All the best to your secret underground headquarters. Makes my imagination run wild a bit whether some thumbs screws are also found in them drawers to extract grains of truth from your visitors.

Oh the joys of moving;) I've just moved from the back blocks of Western Australia to the Southern Beaches of Tasmania. In fact just sat down from unpacking as itis now beer o'clock. The dog and the car have yet to arrive - they are somewhere on the way. The dog should arrive tomorrow Virgin permitting.

I hope your move goes well Mike and I love to take a guided tour of your new TOP secret facilities, but the chances of it happening are slimmer than a gnats eyelash.

Good luck with everything, Mike, and I hope to visit one day.


Two things for the HQ - one of the worktables should be topped with an Alvin self-healing cutting mat. I couldn't live without mine. And one good reading chair with an equally good reading lamp, out of sight and reach of the computer but in a good listening position for the office system.

Oh, and no CFL bulbs anywhere in a work area you are spending serious time in. I like Edison halogen lamps.

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