Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Project Unbreakable

Like everyone else in the country, I am truly shocked & horrified at yet another senseless shooting this past Friday at an elementary school in Newton, CT. You will eventually hear my own thoughts on this but at the moment, I'm still trying to process & articulate what I want to say.

In the meantime I'm bringing you something constructive. Bringing to light another tragedy that is equally horrific to those involved & how they've chosen to deal with the situation.

Its called "Project Unbreakable". Giving you the short version, its a campaign addressing & combating sexual violence & assault.

Below is a YouTube video from the founder.

As a photographer, I'm impressed with its simplicity. No elaborate concepts, no fancy illustrative reenactment of the violence. Just the victim & a placard w/ the words the perpetrator used in quotes. The very definition of the K.I.S.S. Principle (keep it simple, stupid).

Its revolting to read what the perpetrator says. Its even revolting to read what people have said who are SUPPOSED TO BE supporting the victim, people like family & law enforcement.

Its nice knowing a project that starts as simple as helping a friend can completely take on a life of its own in a good way.

Moving on...

As a photographer, its an extra special treat working w/ people on an unintentionally long-term basis. You're blessed with being a part of the big moments in their lives. See them find love (& sometimes heartbreak), get hitched, start a family, sometimes even seeing those family members grow up & having them in front of my camera.

Ceri is one of those people.

This was taken back in 2008 for my never-ending Abandonment Project. The locations may change but my interest in the visual contrast between the "dirty, blah" environment (something most people overlook) juxtaposed against the "pretty" model hasn't.


Feel free to comment away if you so desire.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Political Ad Observations - 2012 Edition

As someone who took multiple communication related courses during his Undergrad, I'm fascinated w/ political advertising.

My hometown is at the confluence 3 Congressional districts (2 of which are really competitive) & a few other races for the State Legislature. So I'm exposed to the broadcast advertising. I've noticed a few things.

We're all used to listening to the sinister, creepy, Scooby-Doo music if its an attack ad or the light, stringed or sentimental piano music if its a support ad. But I've noticed a change, the change being the source material.

For instance an attack ad could by running "Candidate X voted to increase your taxes by a whopping 55%" followed in tiny print stating something like "HR 1139-2019". Whereas others (particularly coming from any of the mysteriously named patriotic SuperPACs), will lay a claim to something "Candidate Y is in bed w/ (insert the National candidate of your choice) & has pledge to take away your Social Security. Are you going to stand for this?!"

I've noticed the more competitive the race is, the more likely the ads will respond to each other. "Candidate Y has claimed I bought a summer home in some foreign country. I want you to know that was a complete lie. I went to said foreign country because it was a fact-finding trip promoting the area in the hopes of creating jobs back home. While I was working hard for you, Candidate X was buying companies w/ the intent purpose of profiting from their layoffs."

I have to give Kirsten Gillibrand, my state's junior Senator, credit. Her ads alone are premised entirely on HOW she delivers her message. It just feels so enthusiastic & geniune. Of course except for the election where she unseated a 4-term incumbent back in 2006, she's won all her elections by 20 points or more & can afford to simply not acknowledge her opposition.

In other news...

This here is Shiloh.


Feel fee to comment on any part of this entry if you so desire.

Monday, October 1, 2012

UC Davis Pepper Spray Noncharges

Remember the Occupy UC Davis incident where the police used industrial strength pepper spray (the same product that Megyn Kelly of Fox News described as "essentially a food product"). Judge for yourself, the original incident is below:

I saw this bizarre line in a Washington Post news article reporting the noncharges.

"In reaching their conclusion, prosecutors said they relied on facts included in the task force’s report. Among them was the finding that the officers perceived they were dealing with a hostile mob and needed to spray the protesters to clear a path to safety." (emphasis mine)

They're saying protestors peacefully sitting-in (resisting arrest but not fighting back) are considered a "hostile mob". This vocabulary would make George Orwell proud.

Having unindicted criminals in uniform degrades their colleagues who are on the level & it makes it 20x harder for those officers to simply do their job. Why would anyone cooperate w/ the "good" cops when they've experienced so many instances with the "bad" cops? You're seeing this already w/ the backlash over the NYPD's controversial "Stop & Frisk" policy.

Such impunity stiffles free speech in a different way. Being in a holding cell is like aversion therapy, it gives you PLENTY of time to think. You start going over all the events that lead you there, how stupid you were, & start blaming yourself (even if you did everything you could to avoid it). It sends the message that if you dare to stand up for your rights or even come close to anyone exercising theirs, this is the treatment you can expect.

This means the police have COMPLETE impunity to do what they want & when they want & those investigating after-the-fact will take everything they say at face value.

Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum we should ALL be worried about this mentality.

In other news...

The shot below is of Sarah & Breanna, two buds simply being themselves.


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

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dear New Start-Up Company

Dear new Start-Up Company,

Thank you for the offer but I cannot justify shooting your exciting new product line on a trade basis. I'm a small independent artist who does this out of love, not money. I fear that if I give you my time & efforts, you will not respect me in the morning.

I'm flattered you like my work but the promise of exposure is like over-usage of the exclamation point. Everyone uses that promise & I've NEVER met anyone who can actually deliver on those promises. If you can prove to me that you have the right connections &/or back it up w/ facts & statistics, I'm open to reconsidering at a later date.

Also if you're going to turn a profit, specifically based on the images I produce, I think its only fair I get paid. No, I am not inclined to work on spec either. Yes, I'm sure you're an honorable fella but I've been in to many instances where Person X promises L, M, N, O, & P only when it comes to crunch time, I'm the one left without a chair when the music stops. I have to protect myself. I'm sure you can understand.

Another reason why I'm declining your generous offer is that we do not have a preexisting work relationship. My (admittedly lame) justification goes like, "Well you already helped me out in the past when I needed it, I can justify helping you out now." Its my way of giving back.

I'm willing to negotiate a price that's not only fair & respects my time & the quality product I deliver but also is within your budget. My point being you've got to give me something to work with. I cannot draw blood from a stone, nor will I bother trying.

Its nothing personal.

In other news...

This is Ashley.

She's led an interesting & challenging life. I admire the battles she's faced, the difficulties she's overcome but want to wish her well on the long road ahead.


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

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

People Who Dive into First Base Should Be Shot

If you're playing baseball & slide into First Base, you deserve being summarily shot. No trial. No defense. Double tap to the head. Bamm, you're dead.

Anyone who knows me will confirm this is one of the things that drives me bonkers each & every (expletive deleted) time. So much so its #7 in my life rules, "If you slide into first base, you deserve everything that's coming to you."

The pet peeve is bad. It doesn't matter if I watch it on Sportscenter or a game at the local Single A level or high school baseball. I go apesh** each & every time.

The whole point of BEING ALLOWED to overrun first base is because the batter, unlike all the other base-runners, is starting from a stationary position & has no chance to build up speed. That & all their attention is simply focused on making contact with the ball. The act of sliding into any base is designed to slow down ones momentum so the base-runner DOES NOT overrun his base & thus be tagged "out."

Why buggers still continue to dive into First is beyond me? If I were the manager & one of my players does that, their butt is being benched for stupidity. I don't care if they're a highly priced free agent or a minor league trying to earn their spot on the roster.

Oh, sure they'll try to claim they were avoiding a tag. But this isn't American Football where one can strip the ball from the fielder (alla A-Rod in the 2004 ALCS style). To make this stupidity even worse, 95% of the dives to first base happen when another fielder (say the shortstop or 2nd base) is making the throw for the 1st base force out. Yes, those batters periodically will get on base by diving but (as the saying goes) a broken clock is right twice a day.

Below is the latest example & the player should not only be royally mocked not only for diving into first base but also because he's a big-time player w/ a fat contract who ended up hurting themselves doing something dumb he shouldn't have been doing in the first place.

In other news...

This is an outtake of Cait playing around in one of the local baseball/softball dugouts.


Feel free to comment on any part of this if you so choose.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Eagle Scout Award Turn-In

Its no secret this blog is a supporter of gay marriage & equal rights under the law. You can read the original entry where we make our case here if it floats your fancy:

W/ the nature of the internet where anything can be found if one looks hard enough (or wastes enough time), I found a Tumblr site dedicated to Eagle Scouts turning in their awards in protest to the Boy Scouts of America's discrimination policy against gays. BSA will not accept gay Scoutmasters, nor Scouts themselves who are openly gay.

Supposedly its about youth protection but for the life of me, I don't see why an adult guy liking another adult guy or (in the case of 2000 Supreme Court case Dale v BSA) an adult girl liking another adult girl is a threat to the health & well-being of young boys. Nor am I understanding how a person's sexual orientation violates the Scout Law (trustworthy, loyal, friendly, helpful, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, & reverent).

The Scout Oath also asks its members to be "morally straight". How can a person be morally straight if they have to lie about who they are? This makes no sense to me.

I don't expect it to. To quote Aesop, "A tyrant will always find ways to justify their own tyranny." Its the same w/ bigots. Just examine how the up-standing religious community in the South justified the existence of both slavery & Jim Crow.

The Boy Scouts of America I knew was more focused on providing good mentors (some of whom REALLY need it) as well focusing on being good citizens. My troop was like a 2nd family, providing a haven of sorts for the utterly depressing days of both my middle & high school life. My Scoutmaster to this day still feels like a 2nd father. My love of the outdoors grew from my many camping trips & hikes. The Boy Scouts of America that I currently see seems more about protecting its bank accounts & fundraising streams (75% of their national donations originate from Utah).

As an Eagle Scout myself, I've thought about getting involved again but simply haven't. I'd be lying if the reasons were based on upholding some great moral principle. I struggle w/ whether if by becoming a mentor at the local level if I'd be condoning the objectionable policies as set forth by higher headquarters. Since I don't want to deal quandrey one way or the other, I choose not to participate.

I don't remotely plan on turning in the Eagle Scout Award, the awardt I worked my ass off to earn, but I can certainly see why others do. This makes me sad.

In other news...

This is Amy.

I was blessed in being taken to shooting at her childhood escape as part of my ongoing Abandonment series. When we got there, it was burnt to the ground. Literally. This is what's left.


Feel free to comment on any part of this, if you so choose.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Paperless Employment Applications

Its not a secret that photography is something I do in my spare time. I've been searching for a 2nd day-job to simply keep me busy because the hours at day-job #1 alone, simply isn't cutting it.

The paperless application process is a headache because nothing ever goes smoothly.

The following is a recent conversation I had at a local, half-way respectable, chain eatery.

Me: I wanted to talk about what kind of positions you have available.
Manager: You'd have to go online. Its all there.
Me: I suspected as much & when I tried before coming in, it gave me an error message. Would you mind taking a look at my resume?
Manager: All employment opportunities go through the system. That's how its done now.
Me: If the system isn't working or someone is having problems, how do you suggest they rectify the problem or who would I talk to for help?
Manager: You'd have to go online & it'll point you in the right direction.
Me: I actually tried looking but I couldn't find any contact info or anything. Do you have any suggestions.
(Manager hands me a card that informs people how to do the online employment application. The same online application process that was giving me errors.)

Then there's another chain store who's manager even admits that he's had multiple complaints from prospective employees that their computer system (which of course has to be done at home because the store itself doesn't have an employment kiosk) kicks people out before they're able to complete the process.

Then there are those god-awful personality quizzes that go on, & on, & on. One establishment asked me over 150 different scenarios. "What would you do if you saw a coworker take money from the register but you knew he'd repay it later that week?" Or those mind-numbing "do you seriously disagree, disagree, no opinion, agree, or seriously agree w/ (the following statement)?" I never really know how to answer ANY of them. Whatever happened to just common sense or someone who either has the experience you're looking for &/or someone who is ready & willing to work? Has that become a thing of the past?

Then there are multiple establishments that want you to use 3 capital letters, 2 numbers, a nonalpha-numeric character, & needs to be 14 letters long. Do they really expect people to remember that stuff for every place they apply to?

Then there's the manager who said she hates the new corporate paperless policy because in a sea of apps, they all start looking the same. It also makes it harder to match the name to a face. She went on to mention, she doesn't see the point of it because the same corporate policy requires her to print out those same job applications once they come through the system.

Keep in mind these are all business that are actively looking for help.

Its a passive-aggressive way to ignore people because companies have become lazy & simply don't want to take the time. Its a lot easier to blow someone off if you never have to look them in the eye.

In other news...

The following is of Ally taken in Albany, NY's Washington Park.


Its also a piece currently being exhibited in the North Country Art Center's 2nd Annual Juried Photography show being held at Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls during the month of July. Y'all should go check it out because there's a lot of really nice work besides my own.

Although "Untitled" is a perfectly acceptable piece, I'm open to hearing title suggestions. The best I could come up w/ was "Morning Sunlight" or something like that.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How to Thank a Serviceman

I've been mulling over my previous blog entry, "Thank You for your Service," & felt like it was missing something.

As someone who has smelt a whole lot of BS in my day (& dealt my fair share), words mean very little to me. Yes, some peoples words are their bond. While others whether they had every intention of doing what they said but simply are not in a position to deliver or never had any intention of doing so in the first place w/ is quite irrelevant. Whatever was promised never materialized.

I've found what a person does speaks louder than what they actually say.

You want to thank a serviceman (from here on out they'll be referred to as a GI..."serviceman" sounds so sterile), mow their lawn.

You want to thank a GI? Give the non-deployed spouse some free time by watching their kid(s) while their spouse is deployed.

You want to thank a GI? Buy them groceries. It should be a national embarrassment that over $31 million worth of food stamps were spent in US military commissaries (as reported by the Military News).

You want to thank a GI? Donate your books to any of the book drive organizations that specifically cater to the military. Operation Paperback is a good one.

You want to thank a GI? Volunteer your time at your nearest VA hospital. If they're anything like the one in Albany, NY, they can ALWAYS use the help.

You want to thank a GI? Hire a returning vet. Nor does it hurt the company usually gets some sort of tax break.

You want to thank a GI? Send them a CARE package. Operation Troop Aid is an organization that does something like that.

You want to thank a GI? Donate the old, crappy cell phone that you don't use anymore. Cell Phones for Soldiers is an organization whose mission is to provide deployed and returning troops cost-free methods to communicate with family while serving in the United States military.

You want to thank a GI? Donate or volunteer to Operation Shower. Their mission is to provide baby showers for military families to ease the burden of deployment.

You want to thank a GI and a photographer? Join the Yellow Ribbon Photographers network. They provide pictures of loved ones for those who are deployed.

You want to thank a GI? Take a look at Operation Holiday Stockings. If you knit, you can make your own stockings. Or if you'd prefer, you can donate money to help w/ the shipping costs as well as paying for the treats that will go inside those stockings.

You want to thank a GI? Write them a hard copy letter. I can personally vouch that getting "snail mail" is still the highlight of their day. It reminds them they're not forgotten.

So there you have it. If you want to thank a GI, get off your butt & do something about it.

In other news...

This is Charissa.

She wanted to do a set partially to give something to her Afghanistan-deployed Marine husband but also partially to make a statement of sorts. As a veteran myself, I may have left the Corps but the Corps never completely leaves me. So how could I refuse such a request? =)


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

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thank You for Your Service

I often hear "thank you for your service" after someone discovers I'm a veteran. Though I appreciate the sentiment & have learned to smile & keep my trap shut, it makes me uncomfortable.

I'm not a dang hero "just because" I served. All I did was be stupid enough to sign up, meet the physical fitness requirements, survive basic, & just do my job day-in & day-out. I don't regret the path I CHOOSE because it was something that I needed at that point in my life.

But let's for argument's sake say that it does.

What about our medical professionals, law enforcement, the academia? To me, its a lot more heroic in knowing full well what the odds are, go through the thankless, daily slog of trying to build something than it is to destroy ones target. I guess its just not as sexy losing life & limb from ones own people than from a "weird" foreigner.

Its tragic.

When did the military become a proxy for everything that is to be admired & great about America? The amount of time we in America spend promoting & "loving" the military really speaks volumes about how far we've ALLOWED the rest of our civil & private institutions to decay.

Heroes are people who do their job, knowing the odds of whatever it is in succeeding are slim to none, & yet do it anyway. Heroes protect their brothers & sisters at the detriment to themselves. Heroes do what they do because its the "right" thing to do, regardless if its popular or not.

Its easy for people wanting to lay down their lives for their cause or buddie or whatever because they don't have to expend the blood, sweat, & tears in fixing what they think is wrong w/ this world.

In other news...

This is a family friend taken years ago. I'd like to think that it still holds up.


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

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hoodies Really ARE Menacing

Contrary to what you may think, no, this is not a rant about the recent Trevon Martin case.

I work at a small, family restaurant as my day-job. My job requirements REQUIRE me to periodically make food deliveries in all kinds of weather, sh*** & otherwise.

Recently between 940-945p, I had to make one such delivery. It was dark, it was miserably rainy, & of course it was hard to see the numbers on the actual houses. At one point, I saw someone on her porch smoking a cigarette in the general vicinity of my delivery. So I parked & go out & asked her if she knew where (my house number) was.

While I was talking to her, some guy in a car starts bitching at me about the rudeness of shining a flashlight in peoples face. I questioned why he thought that, there was only one person out before he spoke up (the cigarette lady), & informed him I was making a delivery & needed to find the house. He kept bitching at me so I simply choose to ignore him & continued talking w/ the lady on the porch.

Holy sh**! The guy freaked the eff out. He gets out of the car (much to the protestations of [presumably] his wife) demanding that I apologize, all the while getting in my face. I outright refused because I had NOTHING to apologize for. He then continues lecturing me about the virtues on not shining a flashlight in peoples faces, all the while pointing his finger against my chest (assault?).

At one point, he demands I get off his property & leave the area. I have no clue if I was but made sure I was standing on the sidewalk & pointed that fact out to him. He demands I leave the (bleepin') area & demands to know my name & where I worked. Like hell, I'm telling this pedestrian road-rager my name & place of employment. For all I know, he could fire-bomb my workplace in anger & then I'm out of a job. When I refused, he got mad & slapped my hand, sending my flashlight flying to the ground. By sheer instinct, I gave him a nice, hard shove.

As soon as I did that, I'm like "Oh, sh**! Just my luck, this guy will blow a gasket & I'll end up in the hospital." I ran to get my flashlight that's still on the ground, bolted back to the car, to get the food I'm supposed to deliver, the ticket that accompanies it, & jetted over to the opposite side of the street in a seemingly fruitless attempt to find my missing house.

The lady whom I'm supposed to deliver the food to, eventually flagged me down & we were kinda talking about it because they could hear most of the exchange w/ the guy from across the street. It was that loud.

Anyway, I tell my "war" story to the guys back at the restaurant. They got a big kick out of it because its just one of those absurd things.

If only it ended there...

When I get home, I come to find out that the household was visited by the cops. They were asking all sorts of questions, "Did I have any friends in (that) neighborhood?" "Does he drive a (insert the make & model of the car)?" "Do you know what he was doing over there?" This is all the while the family dog's barking up a storm.

At some point, the cops figured out I was over in that end of town because I was making a food delivery. (Well ya, that's what I told the pedestrian road-rager a couple different times!)

While I'm telling the cops my side of the story afterwards, they were like "Well, that's funny. He didn't tell us about (the finger-pointing & the hand slap)." In my head, I'm like "You think he'd admit that he assaulted a complete stranger?" The cop continues & tells me that the guy was concerned because there'd been a string of incidents in that neighborhood (he didn't elaborate) & he saw a guy in a hoodie, shining a flashlight (nevermind where the flashlight was actually shining), & he overreacted. Like that was a newsflash.

So there you have it, my own personal experience how simply wearing a hooded sweatshirt DOES INDEED cause a person to becomes 100x more menacing.

(rolls eyes)

In other news...

This is Kira.


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

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gold and Police Cars

I noticed something that raised my eyebrows.

My local paper on 11 April reported about a case where the Warren County Sheriff's office (along w/ the Feds) seized over $2 million as part of a illegal drug plea deal. The article is below:

Not even 48 hours later, that same daily is reporting how that same sheriff's department is reporting a "crisis" over a lack of available patrol cars. That article is below:

I find it funny (or maybe sad) how the Sheriff's department is just now reporting they're in desperate need of more patrol vehicles at the EXACT moment, they're expecting to receive a financial windfall.

Ok, maybe that doesn't surprise me.

Yet in an era of enhanced concern over public expenditures, I'm outraged that the department (& the board that approves such expenditures) is willing to go spend that money before they even receive it.

In other news...

This is Burgandy, a helluva muralist in her own right. The Art Studio major in me is VERY jealous that she's able to have her craft pay her bills. But at the same time, I know that isn't for me. I jokingly attribute that to my the ornery Marine in me & my inability to blow smoke up people's rear when they solicit my opinion. =)

At the time this was shot, I had zero clue how this would turn out. The extreme lights & the extreme darks forced me to completely wing it. I'm pleased w/ how it all turned out.


Feel free & comment away on any part of this if y'all so desire.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tiny Court System in NYS

After an acquiantance of mine was bitched out in open court because she dared to file a routine appeal, I feel obligated to recall attention to the ongoing problems w/n the small court system here in New York state.

To put in simplistic terms, those presiding (judges) have no requirement to actually have a law degree. Nor is there a requirement for them to know what they're doing. Nor is there a requirement in (at least pretending) to be impartial. Nor is there any real oversight pertaining to how such proceedings are held or conducted.

I would go further but the New York Times did an investigative series & their findings were considerably more detailed. Therefore I'm providing its link below:

The paper also examined how previous attempts (going as far back as 1926) have all failed for different reasons. That article can be read here:

This is an issue that effects ALL North Country residents.

Do you really want to be that battered wife (or brother of that wife) & have the judge tell that person, "Every woman needs a good pounding every now and then." Or does it inspire confidence in the system when a judge proclaims, "I just follow my own common sense & the hell with the law."

I think not.

In other news...

This is Shiloh, basking in a patch of late afternoon patch of light.


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

Monday, April 2, 2012

Post-Obamacare Motivation

This week the US Supreme Court listened to oral arguments surrounding "Obamacare." Let's assume for argument's sake that it completely strikes it down as being unconstitutional.

What other policy points does the GOP have?

"Obamacare"'s defeat has been a huge fundraising source & rallying point for them. Its dominated the public discussion so much (especially during the primaries) that it makes me wonder if they have any other policy points they want changed.

What are they gonna do talk about contraception for the next seven months?

In other news...

This here is Stashi, doing her quirky thing.


Feel free to comment away on this if you so choose.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wasn't There a Better Way

In late January, the Komen Foundation (one of the biggest nonprofits promoting Breast Cancer Awareness) took the controversial step of publicly revoking its donational support to Planned Parenthood, the reason being PP is an abortion provider & Komen doesn't support abortions. Because the uproar was fueled by member outrage on social media, Komen not only quickly backtracked but their Vice President, Mollie Williams (who is perceived to have led the anti-abortion charge) quickly resigned.

I also stumbled upon this GMA interview of former Victoria Secrets model Kylie Bisutti. (Link is below):

She entered the public conscience when she won an open competition held by the company, beating out over 10,000 prospective models. She's making news now because she's giving up Victoria Secrets gig & aiming for something more wholesome.

The question I'm asking is, couldn't there have been a better way?

Why am I bringing up these two seperate incidents? Allow me to digress.

Realizing the extent of the public outrage, Komen quickly reversed their descion. They could have acheived their objections in distancing themselves from an abortion provider by quietly withdrawing their donations. But instead, they had to make a splash & make it public thus insuring outrage but also making it a POLITICAL statement.

What did they get out of it? They're still paying PP for cancer screening (money which would not have gone to abortions because of the terms of those donations). But in the process, they lose their credibility. The Foundation can't claim to be the preeminent nonprofit interested in only promoting breast cancer awareness if they contract their elligibility pool. Nor was their founder's performance in explaining their rationale whe she appeared on Andrea Mitchell's program (the interview link is below)

As for Kylie Bisutti, I'm still scratching my head. If a person changes their mind, that's their business. But her justification that "(her) body is only for her husband" left me wincing. What is this like 1955? Don't even get me started that she's also doing it to "honor God". She certainly had no quams about showing off her body when she beat out her competitors (even going so far as saying "I want this, and I'll do what it takes to get it."). Nor did she have quams taking such gigs when it accompanied a big fat modeling contract. She could have easily shifted to more wholesome stuff & no one would have cared. But by making a big splash, it didn't become about her or her husband or her religious beliefs. It became about her ego. Last time I checked the Bible, hubris was a pretty big sin.

In other news...

This is one of my muses (its not a term I use lightly).

She earned that name by how she found me. Back during my undergrad, I posted a series of flyers "Seeking a Muse" citing the various benefits. "Eternal glory" was one of the perks. I did it more as a lark than anything else. Anyway, she found & responded to the flyer & we worked together MANY times before she transferred.


If you wish to comment away on any part of this entry, feel free to do so.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Jim Crow is Alive and Well

The following article was brought to my attention by a family friend:

...the guy is his Godfather, an important symbolic position w/n the Christian community.

Some things bother me about this case. The choir director was OPENLY GAY when they hired him & had remained at his post for over 10 years doing an exemplary job. He went out of his way to give his bosses a headsup that he was getting married to his partner, so as not to blindside them. They still kept him on the job. Yet the moment he got married, he all of a sudden wasn’t qualified & thus was fired.

But y'know, if church spent even 1/4 of the time cleaning up their own ranks from pedophiles as they DO spend rolling back women's reproductive rights (same goes for gay marriage), their congregation ranks might be more inclined to adhere what they have to say as well as to attend mass.

The biggest question in my mind, if that church's principles were so important WHY DID YOU HIRE THE GUY IN THE FIRST PLACE?! They sure can't claim they "didn't know".

Granted he'd probably lose because the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Jan 2012 in the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case that religious schools can legally fire their teachers for nonreligious reasons but I hope the choir director slaps them with a Federal Job Discrimination lawsuit or something just for shits & giggles.

Its sad that Jim Crow is alive & well in America & the law passes it off as "religious freedom".

In other news...

This is Morgan. Shot during a break on that day's storm.


Feel free to comment away if you so desire.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Religion and Abortion and Birth Control

I'm amused at how vehement & hypocritical the Religious Right can be.

I give you two separate instances that occurred recently; the revocation of Komen Foundation's breast cancer screening donations to Planned Parenthood because that organization is an abortion provider & the uproar over the Obama Administration requiring religious institutions to provide birth control as part of their health insurance coverage to their employees.

You'd think the church would WANT to provide free/low-cost birth control because it'd reduce unwanted pregnancies & thus (presumably) less "killings of the unborn". To say nothing about how a drain those unwanted babies are on the state coffers (another concern of the Religious Right).

But I guess that strand of logic is inconsequential.

It should also be noted that religious institutions have already been providing birth control as part of their insurance for the last TEN YEARS. Strange how this fauxtroversy is only coming to light now. Don't believe me, read this link.

I'm guessing this outrage is happening because its an even numbered year (meaning elections). Funny how that works.

In other news...

This is Doria, circa 2006. I always liked her creative spunk.


Comment on any part of this if you so desire.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nursing Shortage

As regular readers will know, I often lampoon how idiotic the NYS legislature can be. So the following should come as no surprise.

According to the NYS Nursing Association, the state already has a nursing shortage & is expected to continue for years to come.

What is our legislature's response?

They're proposing to make the entry barrier higher for new RN's. Specifically it proposes that they be required to be a 4-year degree within 10 years, otherwise they'll no longer be able to work within NY state.

I'm all in favor of educating a work force when its necessary & MAKES SENSE. But to me, this is reads as another way for the state to generate the much needed higher education revenue. If we want them educated, that's fine. But there's got to be a smarter way to go about doing this than removing them from a critical job field for months & often years at a time.


In other news...


Below is of Emily taken awhile ago. I've always like the depth of field play in that shot.

Last I heard she was putting together a homespun screen-printed clothing line, the Hidden Fox, or something like that.


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

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Speech Recognition

I have an antitechnology rant inspired by both the Terminator series & Arthur C Clarke's HAL from "2001". Basically, we should just give them the nuclear codes because "those damn machines" are going to kill us off anyways. The rant usually is brought on by technology arbitrarily telling us what to do. For example if I don't buckle my seat belt within the first 10 seconds I turn on the ignition, it CONTINUES to remind me every other 15 seconds until its buckled. Sometimes I just want to warm up the dang car on a cold day.

Knowing this, fellow blogger MOFYC sent me a link to NPR's On Point broadcast tackling/promoting/discussing Apple's new speech recognition program, Siri.

After listening to program, I am not as concerned with this technological development as one would think.


The computer program is not bossing me around because it THINKS I'm doing something wrong. Its user iniated. Its like when a person asks for my opinion (usually in regards to their photo portfolio). I won't go out of my way & give my opinion (unless its in a public venue...which entirely changes this equation). But if someone ASKS for my opinion, I have no quams in actually giving it. If they don't like what I have to say, its their dang problem.

I see this as more along the lines of Star Trek technology. We've already seen it in a lot of ways: the flip communicators, those were our cell phones from 5-10 years ago. Whenever the characters were reading a book (yes, they still did that in the 23th & 24th Centuries), they were looking at what we currently call an eReader. However I'm still waiting for the development of the transporter system (the machine disassemblies your molecules on the molecular level "beams" you some great distance away & then reassembles those disassembled molecules on the spot) because it'd save me a fortune in travel & car expenses.

Which is not to say the television writers wouldn't creates stories of technology running amok or being humans misunderstanding its application. For the most part the technology was one of benevolence. It'd help, it'd assist, it'd offer suggestion. That sorta thing.

However, I'm not saying that I have ZERO concerns about this kind of technology or our relationship to it.

Our codependency on technology is one example.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times my friends bitch when they drop & break their smart phone & god forbid, the person can't function w/ it out for a few days until they can get the new one. Or they leave the phone in another jacket & actually have to chill & do nothing for a few minutes. Or *gasp* they or the person on the other end goes into a reception dead zone (read my letter to those particular people here).

These devices have become extensions of our own bodies. People, especially the young, are excel at playing-games/texting/whatever on their smart phones & not breaking eye contact. This is classroom challenge that I do not envy.

Corruption is another concern.

Knowing how the capitalist world runs. Once they've got you codependent on a product, they've psychologically convinced you that you cannot live without out. I repeat, they've convinced you that YOU CANNOT LEAVE WITH OUT IT.

Its like being a junkie in a lot of ways.

Give you a little preview of how (for example) the application works. But to get more, you have to pay X-amount of dollars. Soon they've persuaded you in getting a whole bunch of crap that you never would have gotten in a million years on your own. Its cleverly insidious in a lot of ways.

The philosphical question becomes do you ACTUALLY need it or do you THINK you need it?

So far I've been able to reject the smart phone lifestyle. But I cannot say it remain that way indefinitely.

In other news...

This is Zoe.

You'd never know it by the shot below but it was one of those "scattered showers" shoots. We couldn't really depend on consistent weather so we just mutually agreed to both cross our fingers & hope for the best.


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