Category: Aspiration

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Epitaph

On a blustery night in February 1978, I sat in my college dorm gripped with writer’s block. A song lyric wouldn’t come, so I decided to write a poem; a rarity. Pure poetry isn’t my thing. The verse is short, and I decided then, at age 18, that it would someday be my epitaph.

I originally posted the poem with title “Lay Me Down” on Jan. 31, 2004, when this blog resided at TypePad. Rather than restore the original post, I revive instead. 

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Flickr a Day 108: Bus Ride

Early Micro Fourth Thirds and oddballs like the Sigma DP1 led affordable, mirrorless cameras to popularity. Among the key benefits: Convenience of a rangefinder, like the one used on Day 87, but for much less cost; physically smaller size; and lenses that are less bulky. The DP line, like the Fuji X100 series or the Leica X1 and X2, stand out for being compacts with fixed lenses and APS-C sensors common among digital SLRs. Another, the Sony Cyber-Shot RX1, and companion RX1R, up the ante by offering something more: full-frame sensor.

A full-frame sensor is typically 24mm by 36mm with an effective focal point of 35mm. APS-C is cropped, by comparison, adding an effective multiple of around 1.5 times (depending on the camera) to the lens’ focal length. Full frame captures more detail, suffers from fewer visual artifacts, and produces better results in natural or low-light. You pay more, too. Either RX1 retails for around $2,800—for camera with fixed, non-interchangeable lens.

Justin Kern used the RX1 to shoot today’s selection, which I chose for its detail, rich color, and stark contrast—perspective smartly split between the bus interior and the road outside. Vitals: f/2, ISO 125, 1/80 sec, 35mm.

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Flickr a Day 100: Coachella

No single image can convey the spirit, creativity, and vitality of Thomas Hawk photography. He is the master street photographer and storyteller, who keeps his camera as nearly constant companion. Is the thing surgically attached? No effort to chose the one is worthy, so I don’t try.

Instead, for our one-hundredth selection, timeliness helps sort more than 100,000 Flickr pics to a choice of one among 880. Because, coincidentally, on Day 100, one of North America’s most popular music festivals, Coachella, kicks off the first of two weekends. I was lucky enough to buy my daughter tickets for the second year in a row. She is there now. 

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Comic-Con Heroes: The Departure

They say the end is only the beginning. Today’s installment ends serialization of my ebook Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make the Greatest Show on Earth. On July 8, 2015, after my current commitment with Amazon KDP Select ends, the tome’s release into the public domain begins—as promised. I plan to make copies available here, from Bunny Bows Press, and most likely Smashwords. I am still working out final logistics. Free also means removing the book from Amazon, which doesn’t permit the option. I am exploring a one-cent alternative.

A week ago, I posted the last of the dozen profiles, in order of appearance: The Dark Knight, The Fighter, The Collectors, The AcademicThe Nerd Culturist, The Writer,The Bicyclists, The Heroine, The Time Lord, The Volunteer, The Vendor, and The Millennial

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Luna Moths

On the afternoon of June 14, 2004, something quite remarkable happened in my Kensington, Md. backyard, about which I briefly posted on that day. My wife urgently called me from my basement office. Beautiful butterflies had taken up residence on my daughter’s snow sled, which she had dragged out and left for some inexplicable reason. I immediately recognized them as something better: Luna moths.

I was an amateur bug collector in my youth and teens (someday I should tell you about raising praying mantids). So interested, I came a hair’s width from majoring in entomology (e.g. study of insects) in college. I dissected a good number of animals during anatomy and physiology classes, but nothing grossed me out more than cutting open a cockroach. But I digress. 

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Comic-Con Heroes: The Millennial

Today’s excerpt from my 2013 ebook Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make the Greatest Show on Earth is the last of the dozen profiles, which I started serializing Saturdays more than two months ago. One more installment remains, posting in a week, after which, on July 8, 2015, when my current commitment with Amazon KDP Select ends, the book releases into the public domain.

To recap: “Comic-Con Heroes” is a collection of profiles. Twelve attendees. The people whom I believe are the real stars of the show. Not Hollywood, which presence feels larger every year. As I write in the book’s opening section: “While many Conners role-play fictional characters or superheroes, fans of every ilk play the most important role of all. They are Comic-Con. But no one tells their stories. I want to change that”. 

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Comic-Con Heroes: The Vendor

Serialization of my ebook Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make The Greatest Show On Earth rapidly winds down. With today’s installment, three remain, before I release the 2013 tome into the public domain, on July 8, 2015, when my current commitment with Amazon KDP Select ends. The other profiles, in order of appearance: The Dark Knight, The Fighter, The Collectors, The AcademicThe Nerd Culturist, The Writer,The Bicyclists, The Heroine, The Time Lord, and The Volunteer.

I interviewed the last two Comic-Con 2013 attendees on the final day, for which tickets cost a little less and when San Diegan families flow into the conventions center. You can only really appreciate what the Con represents, as a cultural phenomenon, by mingling with the last-day crowds. 

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Flickr a Day 79: ‘A Warped View of the SFPD’

Mirror shots aren’t unique, but this one presents fresh and clever composition and perspective—once again demonstrating the utility of iPhone 4, like Day 41 “Snow in Rome“, in competent hands. Ariel Dovas shot self-titled “A Warped View of the SFPD” on Sept. 30, 2012, using the smart mobile. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 80. 1/612 sec, 3.9mm.

I discovered Ariel’s photostream on the Ides of March 2015 when searching for art to top “At launch, HBO NOW is No GO“. I initially regarded his photography as being primarily object-oriented but on further inspection understand that it is more about San Francisco living—presented with frankness too uncommon. 

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Comic-Con Heroes: The Volunteer

Three more profiles, and the conclusion, remain before I release my ebook Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make The Greatest Show On Earth into the public domain, on July 8, 2015, after my current commitment with Amazon KDP Select ends. To recap: The tome features 12 attendees from the 2013 San Diego convention. This year marks my seventh, but I am a paying participant; for reasons I don’t understand, my press credentials weren’t recertified.

So far we have met, in order of appearance: The Dark Knight, The Fighter, The Collectors, The AcademicThe Nerd Culturist, The Writer,The Bicyclists, The Heroine, and The Time Lord. They represent a surprising cross-section of Comic-Con attendees, ranging from a toy anthropologist to a hopeful future storyteller. They’re all worth your attention. Place look back.

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Comic-Con Heroes: The Time Lord

San Diego Comic-Con 2013 was a great venue for Dr. Who. The 50th-year celebration was underway, and there was tremendous excitement about the new Doctor. The program is always popular at the Con, but there was special aura—and were attendees in costumes and garb of all kinds everywhere.

The Time Lord is topic of today’s installment from my ebook Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make The Greatest Show On Earth, which goes into the public domain on July 8, 2015, after my current commitment with Amazon KDP Select ends. Previously posted in order of appearance: The Dark Knight, The Fighter, The Collectors, The AcademicThe Nerd Culturist, The Writer, The Bicyclists, and The Heroine (Ericka Quesada). 

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Comic-Con Heroes: The Heroine

It’s Saturday, and that means another excerpt from my ebook Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make The Greatest Show On Earth, which profiles one-dozen attendees from SDCC 2013. One week ago, the Con held Open Registration, where participating for the first time I was fortunate enough to obtain passes for all four days and the Preview Night. From 2009-2014, accredited press status assured access.

Without press accreditation, I expect San Diego Comic-Con 2015 to be my last, as obtaining passes one year is no guarantee of getting them the next. Judging from social network responses to last week’s 59-minute ticket sales, many people who attended last year couldn’t purchase passes for the next one. Attendance is capped at 130,000.