Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bristol Headaches

I swear if I have to listen to people yap about Bristol Palin's horrible dancing ability & how outrageous it is she made it to the Dancing w/ the Stars finals, I'm going to turn green, rip my shirt off, muck up my hair, shout "Hulk smash puny humans", & then go on a destructive rampage.

How has this ridiculousness effected me personally? My own mother (god bless) spent 10 minutes trying to persuade me to vote for (I forget who) in this competition. All I know is is that it wasn't Bristol Palin. She went on & on about how bad she was. Quite frankly, I DO NOT CARE.

I may think the Bristol is not what I'd consider a good role model. Her only claim to fame is being an underage pregnant mother and then having the gull to promote abstinance only (how'd that work out for you, hon). I'm less than enthused how her mother, Sarah, uses her entire family as political props to further her own agenda...but that's an issue w/ the mother not Bristol.

W/ the amount of energy some people spend ripping on the Palins (whether it be Sarah herself or Bristol or young one Willow), you'd think people have money invested in this all. I'm sure some no doubt do.

Don't kid yourself. Shows like Dancing w/ the Stars (or American Idol) are NOT talent show but are glorified a popularity contest.

Its what happens when you give the audience a say in choosing a winner when they have zero expertise. American Idol went through this a couple years again w/ the infamous Sanjaya. The kid had nice raw talent but survived far longer than many thought he should have. Those kind of systems are a double-edged sword. Its great when the person you're rooting for makes it but not so great when its someone else.

To quote Simon Cowell, the former American Idol judge that everyone loves to hate, "The person who wins American Idol is not always the best singer."

Whatever but I've got bigger fish to fry. I'm just tired of hearing about it.

In other news...

Shooting sports photography is very tough for me. Constant movement, barely know where the plays are going, the less than ideal lenses I own, not to mention my eyes suck. LOL.

It all forces me to think on my toes. Shoot a ton & hope you get one or two keepers. Below is something I shot during the 2010 Queensbury at Glens Falls Varsity football game.


Feel free to comment away on any of this if you so desire.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spirit Day Reflections

I was perfectly willing to keep my mouth shut & remain neutral but something recent has compelled me to speak.

Facebook & other online communites started a "Wear Purple for Spirit Day on Oct 20th" in response to raising awareness about teen bullying & the recent high profile suicides surrounding the LGBTA community.

Speaking from someone who was a bully victim, I sympathize.

I graduated in the pre-Columbine school environment where bullying awareness was next to nill. I've been knocked out by a sleeper hold, pelted w/ a broom handle like its a baseball bat, hip-checked against a locker, countless bloody noses, glasses broken, name-called relentlessly, being spat-on, had another guy climb onto a locker & jump off it WWE style hitting me in the head... & those were just the guys. The girls were even nastier in their own way because they mess w/ your head w/ rumors.

What helped back then (especially in middle school) was I had a life outside of the school environment. It also didn't hurt I was ingrained to stand up for myself by my parents. But if I started shit, I was left to be high & dry where I deserved.

Many people simply don't have that support in life. When there is no hope & a person feels like no one is or willing to listen to them, suicide (among many other things) looks like a pretty attractive alternative. Lord knows I've known many a Marine brother who has at least thought about eating their weapon because they simply didn't know how to handle the transition or knew where to get help. The lack of adequate Mental Health Services has never been great for our servicemen (in comparison to standard medical aid) but that's for another story.

It saddens me that the Spirit Day promotion w/ so much potential leaves my stomach empty.

Contrary to how it was made out, bullying nor suicide is a phenomenon limited to the LGBTA demographic. I think that's what angers me the most. The event didn't try to raise money for organizations that address the bullying or suicide prevention issue. It didn't try to educate, nor point the victims to resources they could turn to in their hour of need. It didn't try to educate a victims friends on what they can do to help stop the bullying or be on the look-out if their friend is feeling so helpless they'll kill themselves.

It also neglects that just because one leaves the academic environment, it doesn't mean the bullying all of a sudden stops. Assholes are something people simply have to deal w/ ALL their lives whether its the idiot boss taking advantage of his position of power or the inconsiderate coworker refusing to use their indoor voice which effects your job performance because you cannot concentrate or the rural police officer giving you a hard time because they can or the college roommate who you despise or the boyfriend being in the mood when you're not or someone in the other department making shit up about you instead of *gasp* actually asking you in person or the wife nagging you to fix the fence when all you want to do is grab a nice cold one after working a 12-hour shift. (Some of these are hyperbole but they're all symptoms of the same thing, the application of power)

I see Spirit Day (at least how it was executed) as being similar to those bull-shitty "1-day not Buying Gas" protests. Its like people waving their arms, giving the impression they're "doing something" when what they're ACTUALLY doing is barely anything at all.

Don't get me wrong, its nice to complain an injustice but that only does so much.

If people want to address this problem, the victims really need to speak up & tell someone & keep speaking up until someone will listen AND will actually do something about it before it reaches a boiling point. They can't be subtle about it either. An argument I've heard against that suggestion is that it makes the bullying worse. I agree but in our society (especially within an academic environment), people have to be told what they're doing wrong, how inappropriate it is, & allow them to correct their actions. Think about it, if you get robbed & fail to report it to the police, you've forfeited your right to complain that the cops aren't doing anything about it. Its the same premise.

If speaking up about it does not stop it, victims needs stand up for themselves. Violence is rarely a good initial response but sometimes it IS necessary.

Furthermore if some schmuck online is relentlessly talking trash about you (trust me, there are & will be no shortage of them), get off the freakin' computer or learn about the block feature the person from your favorite social networking page. Do some activity & (try to) make friends outside of the school environment. It may be petty but take solace in making something out of your life when you graduate so you can drive the proverbial knife at your haters come the 20-year high school reunion by being rich & marrying a hot spouse. At the very least people really need to grow a thick skin.

In fairness, some of these solutions are overly simplistic but its a better start than simply "showing" solidarity, solidarity, solidarity & doing nothing about it once the day is over.

These are simply my views. If these makes me "insensitive", then, well, I'm sorry to hear but I'm hardly going to lose sleep over it.

In other news...

This here is an oldie but goodie of Gabrielle, messing around w/ her little brother.

Working w/ certain people just feels right regardless of the actual results. Gabrielle is in this category.


Feel free & comment away on any part of this if you so desire.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

11th Day on the 11th Month at the 11th Hour

92 years ago today, the Great War or what we now call World War I ended.

The conflict holds a certain fascination for me. The new weapons developed in the hope that they'd give each side a "decisive victory". The piss poor leadership sending their men to the slaughter, long after any tangible results evaporated. The major players making backrooms deals to anyone & everyone w/ no intention of keeping those promises. The horrendous living conditions both sides fought endured both in the trenches & on the homefront.

It plays out like a Greek tragedy. The character motivations compelling them one step closer to their own demise.

November 11th was originally called Armistice Day in remembrance of that conflict but has been rightfully changed in 1954 to Veterans Day. The focus shifted in honoring the World War I conflict to ALL living veteran.

In other news...

This is an oldie but goodie of Ceri.

She had this independent actress thing to her personality where I could just give her a set of general directions & she'd go to town w/ it. It definitely made my job as a photographer easy.


Feel free & comment away on any part of this if you so desire.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Adirondack Phantoms Offense Reported Missing

I was visiting the local AHL Adirondack Phantoms Facebook "fan" page & it got me thinking.

The team recently deactivated, fired, or released their leading scorer Pat Maroon. His exact status remains vague for reason to be revealed in a bit. This would not even be noticed except for how its played out.

The parent company, Philadelphia Flyers, GM Paul Holmgren, as quoted in this article, said Maroon was removed due to "probably a pattern" of problems. If that weren't coy enough, he continues, "I'm not going to get into the whys and the how comes. From time to time you have to do things that are not nice in the interest of the team, the organization and the hockey team. And this is a decision that ultimately I made on Wednesday."

It begs the question, does anyone actually know or are they just pulling stuff outta their rear?

This probably wouldn't be an issue but Maroon was one of the lone bright spots on a truly abysmal offense. I seriously think being waterboarded is less painful than watching these guys.

The other conspiracy theory is that its a genius ploy to increase alcohol sales. Y'know w/ people drowning their sorrows as we watch the game.

Its not like management is giving us much to go on anyway.

If management wants the city of Glens Falls taxpayers to foot the bill for a new $150K+ replay board in order to blackmail **whoops!**, I mean, persuade the team to stay long-term, they've got to do a better job of explaining their decisions to the very people who support them w/ their ticket sales.

If they felt he was a problem in the locker, just say so. If he got a couple of DUI's, just say so. If he wasn't a team player, just say so. We the fans may not like it but we can understand.

This brouhaha really leads me to believe its simply a contract dispute & this is management's way of getting back at him. Ticket paying patrons are collateral damage.

In other news...

This here is Jenny.

I was blessed in working w/ her in NY before she chased her dreams to California. We only worked once but the rapport between us was, to put it mildly, awesome. Someday when the stars align Mr Camera will capture her visage again. :)

This here is a candid from that shoot.


Feel free & comment on any part of this if you so desire.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Howie Hawkins for Governor

I was initially going to vote for Andrew Cuomo for a variety reason. The main one being Carl Paladino's kinda a loose cannon looney tune. The mentality raises concerns how he'll deal w/ things if he doesn't get his way. It reminds me a lot of former governor Eliot Spitzer's campaign about "cleaning up Albany" only to do politically stupid stuff to get his own ass in trouble (Client 9 sex scandal aside). I'm talking about Troopergate.

A couple weeks ago, I was invited by local business owner Matt Funicellio to one of those meet the candidate meetings showcasing Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins.

Even if my mind is made up, I traditionally want to hear opposing viewpoints in order to give them a fair shake.

Howie Hawkins won me over.

I realized Cuomo isn't campaigning whatsoever. He's got a big enough lead that he doesn't have to talk about his plans. Because of that, we're pretty much left to what he has spoken about.

He believes in cutting state funding at a moment when there's a big push for it at the national level. He's believes in cutting Health Care funds. He's proposed a state cap on property which is a great idea now but if California did that in the early 70's & as any California resident will tell you, its next to impossible to get any sort of funding to undertake capital improvements (like a recent high-speed railway system running from San Diego to San Francisco was voted down).

What concerned me the most was Cuomo's support for hydrofracking. This is a process that mines natural gas. The problem is all this is that natural gas is orderless, colorless, & tasteless as well as it seeps into the drinking water supply. At a time when there's a big push to go green renewable energies, hydrofracking is completely an outmoded 20th century ideal.

Despite what the local Post-Star daily, I think Howie is easily ready for the job. I was impressed w/ the Green Party New Deal. I was impressed w/ his command of the facts. I was especially impressed by his proposal to resurrect the Stock Transfer tax (I think that's what its called) where all transactions on Wall Street would be subject to a 1/20 of 1% tax (where if I'm understanding it right, a transaction where there's a profit $500,000, the traders(?) would have to pay $100).

I also don't see things changing by reelecting the same two parties to do the same exact thing because quite frankly, there's no incentive for them to change even when they DO have power. This is further supported by the recently revealed Aqueduct scandal that effected nearly the entire NY state legislative leadership on both sides.

I'm voting for Howie Hawkins for governor.

In other news...

This here is Vanessa.

At the moment I'm playfully titling this as "She Makes Zombie Killing Look Good!"


This was actually a spur of the moment shot, done at the local Mead Lumber in Queensbury. The owner gave us permission to play since he & Vanessa knew each other. :)

Feel free & comment away on any part of this blog, if you so desire.