Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Welcome to Houston. Bored. Every. Night.

Argh, it's been forever since I've had much to say really. New job in a new city, but travelling back and forth home every week. That sucks, but the $$$ is good.

However, it's not my life's work, you know? I mean, as anyone that has been around me knows, I have no idea what my life's work is, but I know this (like so many other prior vocations) isn't it.

I am excited by the prospect of two purchases that the higher rate of pay may make possible, finally.

A Thing.

A DSLR? I've been thinking, after reading and following some photographers on instagram and tumblr and stuff that a mirrorless camera like the Fujifilm X series would be just right with the type of shooting I do with my iPhone. And then, one that I like in particular if for no other reason that he shoots the kind of stuff I like to shoot (only he's better at it), Robert-Paul Jansen, (instagram, tumblr, his site) writes this post where he has switched to a Nikon. Well, crap. (however, I see that he recently replied to a comment on that post that the Nikon and lens hurts his previously injured shoulder and he's switching back!)

Now, the X series can get pretty expensive, and I am not a pro (although I did sell a photo on Twenty20 once), the camera Jansen shoots with is the X-T1, about $1300, but I think something like the X-E2 or A2 is reasonable.

However, Chris Burkhard, who shoots nature the way I wish I could, is a Sony A7 guy. (instagram, tumblr, website) which is in the thousand dollar range.

Oh, and among those I follow on instagram is Ned Bunnell, former President of Ricoh Pentax Imaging Americas, who shoots mostly with his phone and a trusty Ricoh. Argh! Choices! Decisions! Great photographers! He's been comparing the Fujifilm X70 with his Ricoh lately on instagram, pretty interesting.

So, I clearly have some research to do, but I think I'm going mirrorless rather than full DSLR, especially after all the reading I just did to find all those links!

If, however, I go DLSR, it'll likely be a Canon, just because we've been shooting Canons for years. I still have my AE-1! (image not my actual camera)
I've said before, if I ever won the lottery, I'd just walk around taking pictures. I do anyway....

Oh, yeah, check me on





Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Typical "Journalism" Malpractice In One Photo.

Now, the article itself is what you'd expect, feel free to read it (or don't, it's crap) by clicking on the image, but it's the picture that I spotted immediately as a fraud. The commenters were all over it, too: those are cooling towers and the white "smoke" you see is water vapor. That's all. No emissions, no carbon dioxide, or carbon at all. Typical crap yellow journalism from the Independent. Buried in the story is a photo slideshow showing how we are Killing the Planet full of stock Getty images with stupid captions, led off by, you guessed it: cooling towers accused of polluting. It would be embarrassing if The Independent had any shame at all.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Dreams, Dreams, Dreams

I had another memorable dream, enough to share....

I was in a sketchy-ish part of town, on foot, similar to a route I take to pick up one of my kids from school, but the dream version of it. Not much to recall from the first part, but I ended up running (for exercise: in this dream, I was a runner, which I am not currently) and met some local kids, not sure what they were up to, maybe no good, maybe just hanging out, so I engaged them in conversation (as I do), and invited them on my run to give them something constructive to do, and to train them about how to run.

I am not a runner, but, as previously mentioned, I am a volunteer coach and have been one for a long time. This dream made me out to know enough about running and training for whatever I was training for to be a mentor running coach for the brief run before the alarm went off. We ran through some vacant buildings, industrial-ish, in the neighborhood. Dodged some adults that would have wondered what we were doing!

So, if there is meaning, I assume it will present itself eventually, but I do think I need to break out the new pair of Adidas I bought because they were on sale a few months ago...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Dream A Little Dream

This story starts with another story, from a while back in my college days.

A professor of Literature, in this case of a newly-created class on archetypes in literature, started by describing a dream in which he was standing over a field, planted some seeds (if memory serves), and knelt to tend and wave his hands over the seedlings so that they would grow. I can see him kneeling on the classroom floor. He then assumed that this was about this new class and his students, a brilliant lead-in to archetypes. Great class, learned a lot.

The other night I had a dream, now getting dimmer, about being out and about and running into 2 boys and some parents, that we didn't know, but, as I do, I engaged them in conversation. One of the boys said something about being bad at something (a sport or school, now I can't remember! argh) and I immediately said "you can do it, of course you can.: I encouraged him to keep working. It felt right, perfect, and good.

There is some context, of course, that may have caused the dream, or affected it. My older son was just cut from the pool of basketball hopefuls, and there was talk of the life lesson there; sometimes you work very hard for something and still don't achieve it. My younger son and I (the coach) lost in the first round of our soccer tournament, ending our season rather abruptly. Also, I was talking to a colleague that is on the facility staff, she cleans up. She's a single mother and we chat fairly often about life ans stuff and I gave her a little pep talk about life stuff recently, joking that I'm preparing for my career as a Motivational Speaker. She replied that I should totally do that.

So, what's in a dream? Is the dream a reflection of my experiences, or is it a message? Is it a distillation of my experiences into some sort of lesson, or is just a reaction?

Not sure, but it sure felt like a revelation to me, that my ability to make people feel better about themselves, their circumstances and their abilities is what I'm supposed to be doing in life.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Women Are Frustrating...but not for the reasons you think.

I have come across a few news items and articles that gather into a theme (as they tend to do, it's how human brains work) that is a little, well, let me put it this way: after reading this, you will come to the completely erroneous conclusion that I am sexist. Unless you read the whole thing, then you'll see that I am not.

Preface: I believe that women and men are different, and if you don't recognize that, you are a fool. If you think we are the same, you should just stop reading and leave this blog.  Cognitive functions are unique, listening and attention habits, even skeletal identifiers point to subtle and blatant differences between human males and females.

Rapper T.I. got in trouble for his rash statement that the "world ain't ready for a female President" (how dare he!) which seems to me to be more a critique of the world than female candidates, but he may have a point when you see the reactions of the Women Of The View to the Democrat debate Tuesday 10/13/15:

It got worse:

COLLINS: We’ll get to O’Malley. We’ll get to O’Malley because there are some pictures, ladies, everyone gird your loins. That O'Malley, let me tell you something, if I wasn’t voting with my head, I think we know who would be getting my vote. I am in love. Look he his abs. That’s no dad bod. 
BEHAR: He has boobs. Those are boobs, aren't they? 
PAULA FARIS: Those are not boobs. Those are not boobs. 
COLLINS: Those are rock hard man things. 

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. These insightful comments have been brought to you by estrogen, I guess, until you readers find another cause.

This was just icing on the cake I was already baking in my head. My liberal female FB friends are all up in arms (get it?) about gun violence, and I let them be, but then some actual research comes by my Twitter timeline and reminds me that GUN CRIMES ARE ACTUALLY DECREASING BY A HUGE AMOUNT! Of course, the fact that most people don't know it is the real problem, thank you American media. Here's a nice video explanation, with a good Part Two as well.

How embarrassing for Moms Demanding Action, if they got embarrassed. It turns out that the President ordered the CDC to study the use of firearms, and the results weren't what they expected entirely.

This information wouldn't matter at all to my liberal FB friends, I know, so I don't even bother, They know what they  know, kids are dying, and something must be done about it.

This emotional response isn't limited to women, please don't misunderstand me, but it is essentially a feminine response, and one that has spread via the liberal philosophy. Let me also state that "getting in touch with your feminine side" is not a bad thing, either. I think fathers are involved in their children's lives in ways now that are fantastic and unimaginable in other eras, but we have lost some masculinity in the process, making The Art of Manliness necessary! Another symptom of this I see from the ladies and the progressive/liberals is projection of feelings and supposition of motive onto others.

This leads me to the next story that I was bothered by, the Engineering Student Who Appreciates Women. This guy expertly manipulated the emotions of females worldwide, and they loved him for it. The attention he received is crazy, and predictable: "aw, what a sensitive guy, I wish more guys were like him" from the ladies, and "what a wussy" from the men. The men instinctively know 2 things about this: the guy is hoping to get sympathy sex from women and it's not going to work. The women don't see this. (he also has a GoFundME page, which I won't link to. Clearly he has self-serving motives. Just because he is disabled doesn't mean he's a saint.)

This frustration with the female tendency to fall for any kind of emotional manipulation was then met with a story linked on Drudge about Pick Up artists training guys on their techniques. AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH! These guys are gross, and that drives home my point: what is it with women that they don't see through this crap? Why are they so manipulable? What kind of life have you had as a girl that any of those freaks is at all appealing, and that you have such low self-esteem that you would say "sure, I'll make out with him." AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH. Their "tricks" work because they understand how to manipulate the emotions of the women in the clubs and they are willing to do it.

As a sidebar, at least one of the guys acknowledged that the men that he was training were just painfully LONELY. So, they need Hitch, not the pink haired freakboy. Gross.

I worked, briefly one summer, at a local concert venue, and the guys that worked security, disgusting fat ones even, had stories of girls offering sex and blow jobs to get backstage. Every time a woman complains about double standards and how awful men are, I think "you have to be joking, no guy would do what a girl would do just to heave the chance to get backstage." Sometimes I even tell them the story I just told you. Girls can be stupid just like guys can, just about different things.

There is some hope, though, there are some conservative women out there that see through the B.S.

@carolsjroth, for example laughingly pointed out during the debate that Hilary was apparently running on the fact that she is female, and Obama isn't. "Hilary has lady parts, in case you didn't know #DemDebate" and "Don't vote for me because of my last name, vote for me because I AM WOMAN. HEAR ME ROAR. #DemDebate"  @DLoesch tweeted "Hilary doesn't want you to vote for her because of her last name, but because of her anatomy #DemDebate"  They get it.

Lastly, because you stuck with me, know that this is because I love my wife and daughter, and don't want either of them to get scammed because their emotions were manipulated. I think they're ok, but you never know. This is for them. As they say at one of my son's schools, the unofficial motto is "Don't Be a Dumbass." Amen, sister.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Maxims, Guidance, Vision Walls, Affirmations, And The Like.

I have a favorite fitness guru, and he drives me crazy sometimes. If he knew me, I'd drive him nuts, too, by the way, because I've been reading his emails and stuff for years and never do any of it, so my life is the same it was before because of my laziness. That's a different post!

Why does he drive me crazy? Because he mixes fantastic content with crappy affiliate marketing crap. Argh.

Today's combo of the two was this email which then linked to his for-sale program somewhere at the bottom of one of the longest email marketing letters (that AWAI probably taught him to write, which was the marketing email I got three times from his sites last week) followed closely by this other email from his main site with great life advice.  That linked to his 12 rules, which are also good.

So the score is 3 great bits of info and 5 crap marketing crap. IF I had his ear for a moment, I'd beg him to kill the affiliate scam-style links, but that's how everyone is making heir money I suppose.

I agree with this especially:

The philosopher Immanuel Kant believed that we must all have maxims, a short list of essential rules for living, that should be strictly adhered to and followed for the rest of one’s life.
That is the Paradox of Success. More Structure = More Freedom. The freedom that people so desperately seek in life comes only from having more structure in your days. Celebrated author Paulo Coelho articulates it better, “Discipline and freedom are not mutually exclusive but mutually dependent because otherwise, you’d sink into chaos.”

I was just saying to someone last week that we, as humans, tend to forget our life lessons over and over again, and it is only by creating ways to remind ourselves, be it daily prayer, affirmations, vision walls or boards, or whatever, that we keep them in the forefront of our minds and then are able to live them.

This came up in church yesterday, funny how that works.... Wesleys' Simple Rules were:

  1. Do No Harm
  2. Do Good
  3. Stay in Love with God
Not easy, but simple.....

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Did I Mention I'm 50?

So, I've spent some time this morning thinking about what I can offer the world that's not what I'm currently doing, and I wanted to drop this thought: I've been 50 for two months and have nothing to show for it. Time to step up the game, David!

This morning's Youtube watching is this guy

So, I signed up for his site, started asking the 27 questions, blah blah blah, and in reading the comments on the video saw that he just died this past weekend in a climbing accident on Mt. Kilimanjaro. Typical Dave timing, like requesting information about being an extra on a local movie the day after the open call. Moron.

Ok, I shouldn't call myself a moron. Bad self talk is bad.

Most importantly, condolences to his wife and family, RIP.

Now, on to the self-help for me.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

VW THING THURSDAY!! I'ts Been A While....

So, I just found this Thing on Craigslist, which looks awfully familiar...

Asking $9000???????????

Seems like yesterday he was asking a LOT less..... $3800 or $3600 depending upon the post. Wow.

"This one has been hanging around on CL for a while, with several different links, and photos and prices.....

Needs body work
White with Green Fenders
No top
JOE (239) 249-0128

I've posted it before, too."