Category: Aspiration

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Flickr a Day 23: ‘What I Wish For’

Searching Flickr for “what” churns up more shots of people’s bags, and what’s inside them, than you can imagine. It’s my strangest pic-peek voyeur experience yet. The look-see also reveals today’s selection—one of 11 related images spotted among the backpacks, messenger bags, and purses—chosen for what’s behind: The story and the photographer’s impressive portfolio.

Jorge Quinteros comes from Jamaica, Queens, New York, but lives in Brooklyn, where he shoots some of the best street photography portraits I have seen on Flickr. Today’s chosen pic isn’t representative of his style, which captures character in vivid photographs. Many street shooters are discreet. The self-titled “What I Wish For” series is what happens when a creative mind gets up close to his subjects,, engages them, rather than captures images from a distance. 

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Comic-Con Heroes: The Fighter

One week ago, I started serializing my ebook, Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make the Greatest Show on Earth, which will go into the public domain after the last segment posts on July 8, 2015, after my current commitment for Amazon KDP Select ends. The first installment featured Ken Camarillo, as The Dark Knight. There is no shortage of people like Ken who dress up as someone else during the Con.

But the pop-culture event, and others like it, come around just once a year. Some people wear costumes, and assume other personas considerably more often—and that is the case with today’s Comic-Con Hero. She and her wonderful cohorts reach back into the past, recreating in modern times flavors of an era few people remember but should. 

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Comic-Con Heroes: The Dark Knight

For San Diego Comic-Con 2015, I am required to reverify my press status—the second time since starting to attend as news media in 2009. I submitted the required documents and story links in early December 2014 and now anxiously await my SDCC fate. If denied, I will unlikely attend this year’s Con, having missed other opportunities to register. If that happens, the world won’t end. Life will go forward. But my birthday, which occurs during the July 9-12 dates, will be somewhat sorrowful this year.

I love Comic-Con for what it represents: Storytelling and attendees being or associating with the people they wish they could be. I laid out my thoughts on the latter concept in July 2010 post “The Roles We Play“, which I adapted as the introduction to my 2013 event project: Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make the Greatest Show on Earth. I had much hope for the ebook, when published about 18 months ago. But sales were never good—and as distance grows greater from the events told, time diminishes the content’s value. 

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Flickr a Day 8: Abandoned

Ontario, Canada-based Freaktography describes himself as a “self-taught photographer” whose current passion is “urban exploring”, which includes places abandoned—and it’s searching for the word on Flickr that reveals this photo among others.

I confess to being totally captivated by abandoned buildings, exploring them, and wondering what secrets they might reveal about the people who lived or worked within. Mr. Freaktography captures some amazing abandoned places, including an asylum, church (on an Indian reservation), and power plant.

According to the EXIF data, he shot this photo on March 12, 2014, using a Nikon D3200. Vitals: f/4, ISO 100, 1/3 sec, 18mm. Image is by no means Freaktography’s best work, but the story behind it is amazing, as he explains in “Abandoned House of Treasures“. 

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Photo Credit: Julia Folsom

What 2014 Life-Changing Tech Means to 2015

Three weeks ago, at BetaNews, I asked “What tech changed your life in 2014?” Readers answered there and on Google+. As the new year starts, I wonder what will make all our lives better. Apple Watch? I doubt it. Shake me awake from the nightmare if the wearable isn’t the most successful flop of 2015. Windows 10? Skipping nine is a good sign, but is giving users more of what they don’t want to let go life changing? Eh, no.

At the precipice of looking ahead, this is a last look behind. Once Consumer Electronics Show leaks and early announcements rush the InterWebs, all eyes will turn forward—blind to what many people have, focusing on what they want instead. That’s because “aspiration” is the defining word of the technology era, and the promise if you buy newfangled This or That your life will be better for it. Sometimes the promise is true, but too often not, which is why I asked the important question three weeks ago. 

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Now This is Different

Last night, I moved this site from hosted WordPress (at Media Temple) to WordPress.com. This is the first post at the new locale, which is both strange and familiar. I considered one of two Cyber Monday deals: From MT, moving my two sites from the service’s standard Grid Server to three-blog hosted WordPress—half off for $145/year and substantial savings over my existing setup. WordPress.com offered free, one-year themes package with $99 Premium upgrade, which I would have paid for regardless.

Tipping the decision: Difficulty migrating within Media Temple versus promised ease exporting/importing to WordPress.com; the value of the premium themes, which I will play around with; two-factor authentication; and potentially-improved community connections, among other considerations. I presume there will be some SEO hit, which matters little to me, as readers rather than pageviews are the objective. I don’t use many plugins, and so their limited-availabilty also isn’t a concern. I would want more control over URLs, perhaps, and that’s something sacrificed. 

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A Storyteller Returns (Or So I Hope)

One of my favorite bloggers is photographer Carl Rytterfalk, whose voice silenced several years ago. But in a post overnight (in my time zone) he asks: “Am I back?” That’s a good question, which answer is complicated.

“In February 2013 my life changed dramatically with the early birth of my son who was born with the rare and somewhat difficult chromosome disorder named Trisomy 9 mosaic”, he writes about his absence. “Since William was born I’ve been using Facebook instead of rytterfalk.com and I think it should be the other way around. So I’m trying to convince myself that it’s ok for a while to post more from life and when ready—about photography, too”. 

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This Is Me Then and Now

The photo left greatly embarrasses me, but I feel compelled to contrast it with the other. The heavyset me weighed 95 kilos (210 pounds), in September 2004. The other is from August 2014, when I weighed 70 kilos (152 pounds). I’ve lost another 2.5 kilos since my wife snapped the pic of me holding our cat, Neko. The change is dramatic.

Moving to California seven years ago on October 15 precipitated initial weight loss, which with increased activity occurred gradually to 82.6 kilos (182 pounds) early last year. The other 15 kilos (33 pounds) is result of massive dietary change, which is topic of my forthcoming book How I Beat Diabetes. Simply stated: I cut carbs and portions, switching to a diet high in protein, berries, nuts, and leafy veggies.