Category Archives: Writing

Rediscovering a Classic – the Pencil


I recently found my pencil box from 4th or 5th grade. It was full of cool old football pencils. I hate football, always have, but I remember wanting the pencils for some reason. Turns out they’re old enough to be the regular, beautiful, cedar wood pencils that are difficult to find these days. I bought a couple of sharpeners and I was off.


Using a well-sharpened pencil is a delight. I’d forgotten how neat it is to sharpen and then write until it need sharpening again. Erasing is a snap. There’s a feel – a resistance – to writing with a pencil. You have to exert  a little effort, but the payoff is wonderful. You get the cedar smell, the slightest drag on paper, and the smudging if you’re not careful. It’s a simple, classic way to take notes. I’ve really enjoyed reconnecting with lead and wood.


The small, round, brass pencil sharpener I bought German-made and a miniature treasure. Of course you need to have a garbage can handy to deal with the shavings, but it leaves the pencil sharp and ready to use. It’s affordable and well-built. This is not the cheap Chinese aluminum sharpener you had in grade school.


The hand crank pencil sharpener I bought essentially a throwback to grade school (although if you’re old enough to be out of school, the one you remember was likely U.S. made – sadly, this is no longer an option). It’s an X-acto, and while it’s functional and sharpens the pencil well, it’s far from a fine mechanical instrument. It’s affordable though, and works well enough. If you order one, it probably won’t come with a strayfoto sticker on it, but if you really miss that feature, send me a SASE (remember that?) and I’ll mail you one.


So buy some pencils! There’s some great US made ones here and here. There’s some US made ones on Amazon here. If you’re lucky, maybe you can go back through your old stuff and find a rare stack of football pencils.

Don’t forget to check out my camera designs at RedBubble!


End of the Year Roudup


Everyone else did their end of the year round up at the end of December… I was too busy napping on the couch and enjoying the holidays to care about blogging. That actually sums up my attitude toward blogging from about the middle of November until now. I’m ready to get back to it though – I had a goal to create 2 posts a week last year and I came pretty close.


In 2013 I created 105 unique blog posts. My blog got 19,000 views. In the big scheme of things that’s not many. For me though it’s 18,925 more views than I got in 2012.  My most popular post was a lament about missing my little Ricoh GRD IV that I sold in late 2012 to get the Fuji X100. It garnered 1,746 views. In second place was a post I created about making your own sandals – it got 1,420 views. Interestingly enough, both these blog posts were done kind of quick and without a lot of thought… funny they became my most visited posts of the year.


My busiest  day of the year was the 10th of September when my post about the Scott’s Peak aid station at the Wasatch Front 100 went live and I got 302 hits. Not quite a viral sensation, but it was a big deal for me.


My most popular Youtube video was an unboxing and comparison of the new Ricoh GR to the old Ricoh GRD IV – it got 1695 views and continues to be semi-popular.

My Redbubble page is a decent representation of what little success I achieved on the internet in 2013 – I closed the year with over 80 designs available, 25,000 views and 181 sales of stickers and t-shirts with camera designs I created.


I sold 82 books on Magcloud.

I now have 1107 photos on Flickr, 608 photos on Instagram, and 1109 posts on Tumblr.


More exciting than all the raw numbers that somehow add up to mean I lead a pretty dull life is the fact that I (we – my wife and kids traveled along the whole way) visited 28 of the 43 Deseret Industries stores in Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona on what we’ve been calling the DISPATCH PROJECT. We drove a total of 5,900 miles to see 28 of the 43. We have (obviously) 15 left, but they’re all in Utah and much more accessible than the one in Seattle. We drove from Vernal to Tucson, from Moab to San Diego while visiting Seattle on the (out of the) way, and most recently from Moab to Rexburg, Idaho. I ended up with some interesting photos, lots of memories and a couple flannel shirts I really like.


I’m going to try and do fewer posts this next year, but focus on doing somewhat more interesting ones… at least that’s my thinking this early in the year. I’ll keep adding to my Redbubble designs and I’ve opened some sort of wacky Amazon Associate Store I’m currently calling Strayfoto Supply on an unlisted page of my site – we’ll see where that goes. Right now it contains pens and camera gear I like – all of which I’ve owned and used extensively and think are pretty cool. If you choose to purchase anything listed there, please use the links. It doesn’t cost anymore and I earn a small commission that keeps me buying more pens and cameras.


I switched my Facebook from a profile to a page and I’m hoping to be a little more active there in 2014.

Here’s my two favorite photos I shot this year. They’re both available as downloads or prints at 500px if anyone wants to pick them up. Thanks for looking._1011222_strayfoto_2013__strayfoto_2014_ R0012647_strayfoto_2013__strayfoto_2014_


Wild Kratts PBS Contact Address

Why Don’t PBS Stars Wild Kratts Have a Fanmail Address?

Mountain Lion for Wild Kratts

Clarification: This is not the Wild Kratts. I’m a guy complaining about the lack of a fanmail address for the Wild Kratts. Candace (in the comments below) has gotten a response to a Facebook inquiry, and listed the address there. Thanks.

5 years after I wrote this one of the posters below finally got a response from the Wild Kratts. So you don’t have to scroll through all the replies, here’s her answer:

UPDATE: 21 Feb 2017:

From the comments below:

Hello everyone, this is [the] same Mara as [in the] previous comment. I wanted to share the great news! It took a while after my daughter mailed the letter to the Wild Kratt Brothers but she actually received [a] postcard!!!! It has [a] picture of [the] brothers and (electronic) signatures from both brothers. My daughter was so thrilled!! I would post picture of it on here if I could. It was [this] address: PO box 475, Stowe, Vermont 05672

I can’t believe someone finally got a response. 

See below for my original (and unanswered) kid’s letter to the Kratts.  

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out my photography, my cool stickers and t-shirts,  and my Youtube channel. Stay safe.


This has become one of my most popular posts of the last few years, demonstrating (I think) how well-served the Wild Kratts would be by an easily accessible fanmail address. Here’s a few of the emails I’ve gotten mistakenly addressed to Martin and Chris.

dear, chriss kratt I hope i spelled your name right. My name is (deleted) i am your bigist fan.if you dont mind would you send me a pick of you an a augograph on it. by the way i am 10 years old.aer crecher power suits real. if you can send a pick end it to (deleted). 

hi ts (deleted) again i forgot something i woul like to be on your show i go tongo bye 

Dear Kratt Brothers, My name is (deleted), and I wanted to ask you some questions that might help me with a project. If you could send me your email address, then I could send you a message in length. It would be great if you could get back to me ASAP. Thank you. 

dear Martin & Chris. I love your t.v. show. I would like to see you & an animal . 

Dear Martin&Chris. I would like to see a cheetah running. In Africa. 

I would like a kids small&a kids medium in shirts.Boots to please. 

And from a teacher looking for the address:

I’m a teacher and some of my students, as well as my son, wanted to write a nice letter to them. Very sad they don’t want their fans to contact them. Great show but terrible PR!!

I’ve got a 5 yr old who enjoys the Wild Kratts program on PBS. He watches it every day. He obsesses over the characters, pretends to be the animals, and talks about the show incessantly. He wants to visit the African Savannah so bad, I feel guilty for not having hauled him over there yet. His only complaint about the show is he’s never seen one about his favorite animal, the mountain lion.

As I imagine any well-meaning parent would do, I encouraged him to write to the Wild Kratts and suggest the topic. I figure if you can send fan mail to big-time (ahem) Hollywood stars, a couple dudes with a kid’s show on PBS should be at least as accessible, right? Wrong.

Wild Kratts Address He spent 15 minutes laboring over his letter suggesting the Wild Kratts do a show on mountain lions, and this was the best address I could come up with. It came back fast enough for me to question if it had actually crossed the border into Canada.

If you search for “Wild Kratts Mailing Address” (most “Wild Kratts” queries, in fact) Google usually returns links for The Kratt Club – a fan club, where it states at the bottom of the page (after the disclaimer that they’re not affiliated with Martin and Chris) that “The Kratt Brothers do not have a current fan mail address or email address for fans to write to.” (Written in Comic Sans of course).

Further searching reveals a “Yahoo Answer” that claims the reason the Kratts don’t have a mailing address “might be because they don’t want millions of kids to send them fan mail.” I refuse to believe that. I’ve watched the show and the brothers come off as genuine. According to Wikipedia they each have kids of their own. I can’t believe that two dads so concerned about teaching kids the value of nature and wilderness in the modern world can be oblivious to kids’ needs to learn effective communication skills. They have trailers after episodes where kids help save animals and protect the environment. Writing letters is an effective way to accomplish both these actions from a distance. Why not let encourage kids to write to them? Writing promotes thinking, individual activity and action at an early and influential age. It teaches young people to speak up and attempt to try and change something.

Kratt Brothers ContactI’d argue that without a mailing address, Wild Kratts is just another crappy TV show. Sure, kids can interact with the silly games at, and adults can get in touch with the production company to book appearances and promotional gigs, but no contact info for kids? Shame on you Chris and Martin.

Without a real address (or at least an easily located address for fanmail) I’ll do the next best thing. Here’s the letter in it’s entirety:

Wild Kratts I understand with the popularity of the show Martin and Chris could easily be overwhelmed by fanmail, but c’mon, that’s not the real point. Pick 50 letters a week to respond to. Post the best ones on Facebook and tweet some responses to questions. Let this be a learning experience for both the Wild Kratts by being more in touch with their demographic and for the kids and fans of the show by letting them know their voices are heard.

I never told my boy the letter came back. He keeps asking when the episode about the mountain lion will be on the air. Luckily, we’ve started writing a story about a mountain lion… imagination beats television any day.

Good luck!

New Kid’s Book The Cat’s Glasses Now Available

I’ve written and illustrated another kid’s book, The Cat’s Glasses. Last year I wrote Coyote Life, and made it available for download for the Kindle and other e-readers. With this latest book, The Cat’s Glasses, I’m happy to announce both titles will now be available in print versions from MagCloud.

The Cat's Glasses

By Quinn Hall in Kid’s Books

32 pages, published 4/20/2013

Does your cat need glasses? How do you know? Follow one little boy as he tries to find out in The Cat’s Glasses by Quinn Hall


The print versions have turned out pretty good.


The colors are bright and fun, and the kids love reading them. I’ve ordered several to sell at the Beehive Bazaar, so look for Leah’s booth there, where she’ll be selling wallets, camera straps and some really cool dopp kits.


Thanks for looking.


I’ve written and illustrated two children’s books that are now available in print and digital versions; Coyote Life, and The Cat’s Glasses. If you’ve got kids, check them out. If you enjoy them, please leave a review, tell your friends, etc. Thanks.

The Cat's Glasses

Kid’s Books: The Cat’s Glasses

Does your cat need glasses? How do you know? Follow one little boy as he tries to find out in The Cat’s Glasses by Quinn Hall

Find out more on MagCloud

Coyote Life by Quinn Hall

Kid’s Books: Coyote Life by Quinn Hall

Coyote Life is a short, rhyming children’s book about coyotes in the Southwest.

Find out more on MagCloud


Don’t forget to check out some of the fine art prints for sale in my Etsy shop.


My wife Leah also makes and sells some pretty cool leather stuff like minimalist wallets and camera straps. Check out her Etsy store for some cool gear. minimalist leather handstitched walletCamera Strap by Aestus Gear

Photography T Shirts and Stickers at Redbubble:

Buy my work

New Kid’s Book Coming Soon

I’ve written and illustrated a second children’s book. This one’s a little longer, it doesn’t rhyme, and I’m going to have a published, paper, IRL version instead of only the e-book, the way I did with Coyote Life. I’m waiting on the proof copy now, and I’ll announce when it’s for sale officially. Here’s a preview:


And here’s a gif of illustration I did… it’s more time-consuming than I ever would have thought:



Thanks for looking.


Don’t forget to check out some of the fine art prints for sale in my Etsy shop. I’ve also written and illustrated a children’s book for the Kindle Called Coyote Life. If you’ve got kids, check it out. If you enjoy it, please leave a review. Thanks.


My wife Leah makes and sells some pretty neat leather stuff like minimalist wallets and camera straps. Check out her Etsy store for some cool gear.
Camera Strap by Aestus Gear

Photography T Shirts and Stickers at Redbubble:

Buy my work