Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Hiking at Thousand Acre Swamp (http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/newyork/placesweprotect/centralwesternnewyork/wherewework/central-thousand-acre-swamp.xml) in the Polar Vortex!  If there was ever a time for the Quesobago to appear, this was it (http://www.quesoforall.com/).

This is the first time we've been out here on a winter hike.  During the summer, it's so primordial.   You almost expect a dinosaur or something to pop out.  

More vines overtaking the trees. 

A clearing in the middle of the forest.  It appears to be old farmland.  You can't see it in the picture, but theirs an old stone fence just slightly in the woods.  In the summer, the grass and other plants are over your head.

Snow covered boardwalk leading into the pond.  Just follow the little animal prints. 

Megan stomping through the snow. 

Steve's Diner (http://www.simos.net/steve/) for lunch.  We've only visited for breakfast and we've been missing out.  This is the O.C.D. Burger with sauerkraut, fried pickles, swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing.  You had me at steak fries...

After eating that burger, time to burn off some calories with more winter hiking through Linear/Channing Philbrick Park.  With the fresh snowfall, it looks like a scene from Calvin and Hobbes.

Snow hanging out on the rocks in Irondequoit Creek 

The little island in Irondequoit Creek 

Well, if there's one dog ready for spring, it's Scout...

Not sure if anyone else is on Reddit, but if you are please friend me at: http://www.reddit.com/user/mikekraus/

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Stumble Down Memory Lane

Found a ton of photos in a box while cleaning out my childhood bedroom.  What a great opportunity to embarrass myself and the one's I love.

My Jim Harbaugh grin at some ice cream parlor in Allendale, Michigan in 2002.  These kids to the right were doing something funny that was not captured on film.  But, I like the picture all the same...

"Excuse me Mr. Queer, will you take a picture with my sons?"  Nothing like being 15 years old and taking a trip down to Chicago to see The Queers, the Groovie Ghoulies, Screw 32, and Alkaline Trio (their first show) at the Metro.  That was also the trip where the highway caught on fire in Gary, Indiana and no one seemed to care.  They just drove through it.

Mike Nummerdor after the Chicago concert.  We stayed at some hotel in Michigan City, Indiana and stayed up all night (which was easy if you drank enough Bubba Cola).  I'll have to put up the pictures of us at the outlet mall next to the nuclear plant and other oddities at some point.

Meerkat Mike.  Probably about 1997 when the Nummerdor family moved into their home on the corner of Forest Park and Lake Harbor.  Lynne tasked us with removing a post at the end of the driveway, which ended up being a far bigger task than expected.  We did far more damage than help on that project.   

Nick Nummerdor as a groundhog.  

"Mom.  You just hit that button.  No, not that one.  The other one.  No.  What?  Did it go off?"  This was part of some project I was working on .  There are a series of these photos trying to instruct my mom on how to use the weird, cheap camera I use to own.   

Hey!  There's a gnome behind that rock!

J.T. Law teamwork retreat to St. Andrew's Hall in Pontiac, Michigan to see NoFX.  We're with Fat Mike, the lead singer and bassist.  Ben looks confused because he thought he was just some random guy we met in the parking lot.

Nick, Greg from the Bouncing Souls, and myself before the show at St. Andrew's Hall 

Ah, Ben figured out how I scored us free tickets to the show and we're not just randomly harassing people in the parking lot.  

 Grand Rapids is Burning!  On my way to something and got stuck when a building burned down near Division Street.  

Paul Bourdon, Me, Roddy Moon at our high school graduation in 1999 

Rodd Moon trying on an Inspector Gadget trench coat at ValuLand (RIP).   

And, more art.  A cool envelope by fellow SAIC alum, Jeni Gifford. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Galleria of Michael Kraus

Cleaned out my childhood bedroom last fall to make room for a new home office.  Found some stuff that I hope you enjoy.

"State and Madison Streets, Chicago", Pen and ink, 1999: The first piece of art I created at the School of the Art Institute (SAIC).  This was the view from my dorm (the Chicago building, which they renamed Jones Hall).  Classes hadn't started yet and I was trying to get use to moving from a town of 22,000 to a world-class city of 2.9 million people.  First thing they teach you in art school is to use something nicer than 20lbs copy paper.  This is an example why...

"Dorm", pen and ink, 1999: Another drawing I did in my dorm right before classes started.  This is a view of my roommate's side of the room.  

This was a series I started and never finished in 2004.  I believe this was for some project or show that never took place or something.  I forget.  But, it did lead to me creating a bunch more of these that I gave away to quite a few people.

"Leaving Iraq", scratchboard,  2004:  

"The Pizza Man and His Girlfriend (dark)", scratchboard, 2004:  

"The Pizza Man and His Girlfriend (light)", scratchboard, 2004:   

"Jacquie", scratchboard, 2004:  

"Back Alley", scratchboard, 2002:  Again, another view from my dorm at SAIC.  But, this the 162 N. State St. building.  The side of the Oriental Theatre is to the left and the ABC 7 building is straight ahead.  I was never bored living at an art school dorm in downtown Chicago.

"J.T. Law self titled cassette album cover (original)" pen and computer, 1999: Punk rock!  You couldn't get more DIY than this.  The artwork is a collage of photographs from various shows and activities we participated in.  A police officer that tried shutting down one of our shows actually made it in three times.  Hand drawn logo and band information.  Some snazzy work using scissors and glue with the song titles.  A friend of ours that worked at the copy shop of an office supply store printed a ton of these for us for free.  And, that's doesn't include recording the music ourselves in the studio.

 "J.T. Law Kids Flyer (copy)", computer, 1999: Nothing like appropriating strange photos for punk show flyers.  For the band, zine, etc, I use to have stacks of images from newspapers and magazines to use for various promotional items.  I'd pass out hundreds of these school and then drop them off all over town after 3pm.  The Big Wheels was a local powerhouse out of Montague.  J.F.K. (Just For Kicks) was a group with played with a few times out of Grand Rapids.  And Hoppin' Mad was from the Detroit area, I think...

"Monkey On a Hog Flyer (copy)", computer, 1999: Another show at Palmer Hall.  I remember going through the yellow pages calling every banquet, bingo, and reception hall in the county to try to find a place that would allow a minor to put on a concert.  They were one of a very few and they allowed me to do so frequently.  If I still lived in Muskegon, I'd love to buy that place and turn it into a venue as we always did well there.  I'd love to see the Wack Trucks, Temple of Doom, and "a mystery band" again.

"J.T. Law Tape Release Show with Liver Dye! (copy)", computer, 1999: The Ice Pick was an infamous venue.  The owner was in a constant battle with the police.  The graffiti all over the plywood walls.  The worst bathroom you could imagine.  Beer bottle dodging for every member of the band.  And, that's the tame stuff...  This was a memorable show.  And, if you've ever seen Liver Dye, you'll never forget them.

"Schism Zine One-Year Anniversary Show Flyer (original)", mixed media, 1999: By far, the greatest show I've ever been a part of.  Stephanie Rose was amazing at pulling this off.  For six hours, you could see Misled Youth, JFK, J.T Law (before I joined the group), The Big Wheels, The Addictives, Skeptics, and the Bounty Hunters.  To be in the show, we required each band to print and distribute at least 500 flyers.  It worked really well because we had people from as far as Detroit and Chicago show up.  It turned into a parking nightmare and when the only two police officers of the town arrived they decided it was better to pretend they didn't know this was going on than to try to shut us down.  If only I had a VCR, because I found a video tape that someone recorded and gave to me of the show as well.

And, if you're looking for some art, let me know.

To see more of my stuff, please visit:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The name's Kraus. Mike Kraus

"I like my martini shaken, not stirred.  Hold that.  Whiskey and Coke instead."  When I replace Daniel Craig as 007, I'll be known as the "Scruffy Bond."  Anyway, just picked up my new tux from the tailor.  Very nice.  Strange how people laugh when they find out I own a tux.  I wonder why?  I'll ask Dave if he gets that reaction...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Greetings From the Polar Vortex!

Nothing like -2 degree weather with -25 degree wind chill.  POLAR VORTEX!  It's the first time I've ever had to scrap the ice off the inside of my car windows too.


After.  This was from the previous snowstorm.  Nothing like shoveling a ton of snow and waking up to shovel another ton of snow.

 The backyard is a frozen wasteland.

Plans for New Year's Eve fell through.  So, ordered some pizza from Headliner's (http://headlinerspizza.com/).  

If I wasn't sold on Headliner's before, I certainly am now.  SLICE THE SIZE OF A NEW BORN!  Who ever does their marketing is a genius.

Mmmm...  Pre-mixed vodka a Gatorade on sale at the liquor store.  How convenient.

New coffee mug around the ol' house.  This is what I look like before my caffeine.

 After I've added some coffee.  Nothing like a heat activated cup o' joe.

And now for the misadventures of Scout.  This week's episode: Discovering the Lost Underworld of the Couch. 

It won't be long before she won't fit under there anymore.  I'm just waiting for her to go after her ball and start crying because she's stuck.  

This is what happens when you can't go outside...

That's all.  Hope everyone back in Michigan and Chicago are keeping safe in warm.  All's well over here.

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