Captain Rick: how I got my nickname and passion for photography & journalism

Posted: July 21, 2013 in Atridim, Captain Rick, Photography by Atridim
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Captain Rick: I share how my passion for photography and journalism began and how my nickname ‘Captain Rick’ was born 40 years ago on the waters of Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota.

I have revamped my ANJ ‘About’ page to expound on me and the history of my passion for photography and journalism … and how my nickname ‘Captain Rick’ originated.

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I am a mechanical design engineer, with 8 United States Patents accredited for inventions used in surface cleaning & maintenance vehicles and lawn & garden equipment. My engineering career spanned 4 decades, working for manufacturing companies in Wisconsin, Colorado, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina and Arizona.

I am retired in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun in a town called Gilbert, where I have loved to call home since 1997 and hope to for the rest of time. Retirement has allowed me to pursue the things in life that I enjoy the best…

PHOTOGRAPHY … a life long hobby of snapping well over 20,000 photos.

It originated when my father gave me his old Mercury 35 mm half frame camera in the early 1960s. It was totally mechanical. I had to load a 35 mm roll, feeding the film across and wrapping it around the take-up spool. I had to wind the film ahead after each photo. If I forgot, it would result in a double exposure, of which some turned out ’pretty cool’. I went on to own several 35 mm SLRs.

The advent of digital photography allowed me to explore the world of shooting and editing digital photos. I was a Webshots member in the early 2000′s. My photos received over 1 million views. Webshots listed me as the number one photographer shooting in the ‘Arizona’ category. In 2007, as a pioneer, I established a photostream on a tiny, new web firm called Flickr. It has since grown to become the world’s grandest photo site with over 6 billion photos. My current photo view stats are well over 100,000.

When HDTV’s and widescreen computer monitors became popular, I began formatting all of my new photos for viewing full screen on an HDTV in Blu-ray quality. I present my 5 most recent Flickr photos in the left column of my blog. I created several photo groups on Flickr, including ’A Virtual Journey’, with views from over 8,000 people from 96 countries. My group ’16×9 Widescreen’ is Flickr’s top group for HDTV quality photos.

JOURNALISM … a newly discovered talent that was a lifetime in the making.

I took typing class in high school back in the early 1960′s. There were not many boys in the class. It was mostly a girls skill needed to become a secretary working for a future male boss. I saw it differently. To me it looked like a way to more efficiently put my thoughts on paper. I started keeping a journal when I was very young. I still have some of the early hard copies, which contain some very awesome reading. I hope to share them one day.

I purchased my first typewriter in the late 60′s. It was one of those big ugly black mechanical things called an Underwood. In the early 70′s I bought a Smith Corona electric. I was like typing in ‘dreamland’. The 80′s gave way to the electronic typewriters. The 90′s introduced the computer keyboard. My fingers were typing away during the entire spectrum. Today, I can type up a storm. I owe it all to that ‘girls’ typing class back in the 60′s.

I have always had a great interest in news, economy, government and much more. I have insight of these subjects and zeal to share my thoughts with the world. For several years I published news letters via email. In 2010 I discovered WordPress and established this blog. It remained dormant for over a year due to a lack of ‘guts’ to project my words to the world. It took my friend Bill, who was facing stage 4 cancer and undergoing multiple rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, to give me the courage to energize this blog. I convinced Bill to tell his story on a blog I created for him. He agreed and told his story with excellence. You can read Bills testimony and click a link to his blog in the comments on my ‘About’ page. Seeing the wonderful effect his writing had on his audience, I knew I had to begin writing and sharing my thoughts with the world via this blog.  Since then, I have ‘let loose’ … saying it like I feel in my heart, with hope that the world is listening and benefiting from my journalistic words.

CAPTAIN RICK … how did my nickname originate? 

As a child, I enjoyed boating/fishing trips with my father. We often caught some excellent walleye, northern and bass in Lake Michigan and the lakes near my hometown in Wisconsin. I loved the water and I loved boats.

During the early 70′s in Minnesota, I ceased my dream of building my own boat. I bought plans for a 17 foot ocean racing boat … a design that had won many ocean races in New Zealand. It took several years and over 1000 hours of construction, using lots of oak and mahogany wood and the installation of a Chevy Corvette 4-barrel engine with a Muncie I/O drive. I also designed and constructed its steel trailer. After launching, it became a dominating presence on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota, especially when the water was rough and most other boats headed for safe waters. At 40 knots (46 mph) in rough water, it’s heavy wood, 20 degree deep-V hull split the big waves and sprayed them far to the sides. It was a sight to behold. It road the waves with power and excitement like no other boat I have experienced. It was one of my greatest prides and joy.

My friends called me ‘Captain Rick’. The nickname stuck and has lived on ever since. I hope one day to tell the rest of this amazing story, complete with photos, of the construction and enjoyment of that great boat.

Read this and more on my totally revised About Captain Rick … Atridim page.

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Captain Rick

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Comments
  1. Kathy & Vince Robison says:

    We enjoyed reading how you became Captain Rick. Vince and Kathy Robison

  2. Mayor John Lewis, Gilbert, Arizona says:

    Captain Rick – I thoroughly enjoyed reading the history that you just shared. Thank you!

    • atridim says:

      Mayor John,
      I am honored by your words. They are sincerely appreciated. Thanks for your kind comment and for your many years of service as our Mayor. You represent our great town of Gilbert with excellence.
      Captain Rick

  3. Sandi Bartlett says:

    Wow, Captain Rick you have had a very interesting life. Your photo’s are amazing and I love to read your stories. Building your own boat must have been a real thrill. Thank you for sharing your life story. I had no idea you were a fellow cheesehead. I share your opinion of settling in Gilbert. We love living here and we have so many good people running the town.

    • atridim says:

      Hi Sandi,
      I sincerely appreciate your kind words. Its good to know there is another Wisconsin ‘cheesehead’ in Gilbert. Thanks for all of the great work you do for the citizens of Arizona Legislative District 17 (Gilbert/Chandler), trying to get the votes to go the right way at the Arizona Capitol and for our voters to cast a more intelligent vote.
      Captain Rick

  4. Bill Whitney says:

    Well written and very interesting. I have always been curious about why you go by, “Captain Rick”. Thanks for sharing part of your very impressive life story! Your friend, Bill

    • atridim says:

      Hi Bill,
      Thanks for your words of kindness. I sincerely appreciate them.
      The words presented on your blog played a role in gaining the courage to expand my story. Thank you!
      Your friend,
      Captain Rick

  5. Sandi Bartlett says:

    I appreciate all you do to keep us informed on Gilbert politics, current news events and your beautiful photos. Sandi

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