Apr
20
2009
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Photo of the Week

Migratory birds beware

Migratory birds beware

Once again I find myself travelling to Austin.  This makes 3 times in the last month.  For whatever reason I decided that I should drive this time, which means taking a two hour nap at 10PM, waking up at 12AM and then driving 17 hours.  As I was driving on I-20, the sheer number of wind generators is astounding.  For about 15 miles around Sweetwater, TX, as far as you can see north and south is nothing but a sea of windmills.  I was lucky enough to grap this shot by holding my camera out the passenger side window.  Hopefully “green” companies are friendlier about leasing the land and royalties than oil speculators of the past.

Written by John in: Photos,Ramble,Travel | Tags: , , , , ,
Apr
06
2009
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Photo of the Week

Bless me father..

Bless me father..

REPENT MORTALS!  With Easter coming up I figured I’d throw up one of my more pious photos.  This was taken in the cathedral in Zócalo Square in Mexico D.F.  Sorry that the quality is so bad.  God would not allow me to use a flash in his house, and my point and shoot introduces a lot of noise at ISO 800.

Written by John in: Photos | Tags: ,
Mar
30
2009
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Photo of the Week

Dangringa, Belize

Dangriga, Belize

It snowed last week and more is coming next week…when will teleportation be available so I can hoverboard the beaches of Central America.

Written by John in: Photos | Tags: , ,
Mar
23
2009
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Photo of the Week

Congress Bridge Austin, TX

Congress Bridge Austin, TX

I need to dedicate an entire post to SXSW, but until I find the time this will have to do.  I have been in love with the 15 second shutter opening lately, so you may see many more blurry headlights, but damnit if it doesn’t turn a mediocre shot into…”oh…very nice.”

Written by John in: Photos | Tags: , ,
Mar
16
2009
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Photo of the Week

360 Bridge in Austin, TX

360 Bridge in Austin, TX

I love this pic, even though the guys in this probably hate me for posting it…too bad.

Written by John in: Photos | Tags:
Mar
09
2009
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Photo of the Week

Love Park, Philadelphia

Love Park, Philadelphia

From now on, I think I will be doing these updates every Monday.  This photo was taken on one of my first business trips.  That trip is actually the subject of the first couple posts on KFB, so enjoy the view and head to the archives.

Written by John in: Photos | Tags: ,
Mar
06
2009
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Photo of the Week

Flinders Street Station Melbourne, Australia

Flinders Street Station Melbourne, Australia

Today I am going to start a new segment on KFB, the Photo of the Week.  This may be an oldie from the archives (like todays) or something new, but basically this is a way for me to give everyone at least one thing new every week without stressing myself out over a full blown post.  Plus, it will have the added benifit of keeping my photography juices flowing.

Everything I post will be formatted for 8×10 prints, so if you are wanting a desktop shot (16:10), shoot me an email and I’ll recrop it or get your thinking caps on and do it yourself  :o)

Written by John in: Photos | Tags: , , ,
Feb
28
2009
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From WKFB Internet, it’s This American Wannabe

It’s no secret to say that I listen to a lot of talk media.  Anyone who has bothered to look at my last.fm profile has noticed a fair number of podcasts mixed in with the music.  Take into account that this only represents the time spent sitting by a device that “scrobbles” to that site.  Not connected are my mp3 player, Meaghan’s mp3 player, and the holy grail of analog – NPR.

At first NPR was a diversion from typical radio.  I grew tired of flipping between 7 clear channel stations trying to locate a song, any song, worth listening to.  As long as I was listening to bad radio,  I figured I might as well catch up on local and world news.

I had listened to public radio before, but this time it was different.  I stumbled into the appropriate demographic unknowingly.  Suddenly the problems or Uganda, or the droning music of John Ailey, or the happenings in Lake Wobegon became interesting to me.  Now I prefer to listen to NPR over anything else on the radio.  I find myself yelling answers at Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, or solving the puzzler of Car Talk.

One particular show resides above all the rest.  I must credit Meaghan with forcing her love of This American Life upon me, and I must thank her for it.  My attraction cannot compare to the almost obsessive love Meaghan has for this hour of radio, but I do love it.  I often fantasize about having Ira Glass introduce a story of mine on his show.  This is followed by public acclaim and having my memoirs reach the top of the New York Times bestsellers list.

So after many years of only being a passive listener, I am now going to assume the roll of storyteller.  If I were to have a story told on This American Life, it would go a little something like this:

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Written by John in: Audio,Ramble | Tags: , , , , , ,
Feb
24
2009
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The daily grind…

It seems that in life we always strive for stability and routine.  Of course too much of anything is said to be negative, therefore stability and routine cannot be allowed to become complacency.  Ironically however, some attempt to rebel against these ideas to the point of making chaos their routine.  I would love to tell you that I am the latter.  A romantic figure worthy of a Palahniuk novel, but my mind and body are constantly imposing their will.

A few days, maybe a week will go by and suddenly I’ll realize that a new pattern in behaviors had emerged.  Occasionally I place a wrench on the cogs, spinning the machine out of control, but invariably elves or nanobots or some other inner Mr. Fixit puts the machine back in working order and I’m back to my daily grind.

It sounds like I might think of this as a problem, but there is a certain amount of routine and stability that I enjoy and wish to maintain.  As long my routines don’t turn into hackneyed phrases like “I woke up one day and I was forty.”

As I’ve been pondering my current routines I find that I keep landing on only things I do before noon.  A good poop, making coffee, catching up on my personal email and favorite websites, and the series of events in which I groom myself.  Rarely, I think, do people put much emphasis on evening routines.  There may be a just got home from work routine, or a just before bed routine, but these are often skipped, and little discussed.  The fulfillment of an evening routine is dependent on the previous days actions.  Was it a good day, or a bad day?  Do you have more work waiting for you at home, or a dinner to go to?  The morning however always starts out the same way – wake up and get out of bed and therefore is itself part of the morning routine.

All that said, here is a little peak at my first and favorite routine of the day – making and consuming coffee.

Written by John in: Ramble,Video | Tags: , ,
Feb
22
2009
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Life in motion

I have never owned a video camera, but I have often used the video function of my digital camera to capture the nuances of time and space that sometimes eludes two-dimensional photography.  Having a video often gives the sense of 2.5 dimensions.  In recent history I had been fine with simply shooting the video and archiving it unedited believing that the raw footage was somehow better.  Something has changed and now I feel compelled to convert my perfectly good memories into more artistic visions.

Unfortunately, I find that while I’m a creative problem solver when math, processes, and electrons are involved, this does not necessarily translate into the arts.  A few years ago I was very interested in audio creation and production and became versed in the ways of Audacity, Sound Forge, Garage Band, Fruity Loops, Pro Tools, and Reason to name a few.  While I know know an incredible amount about how music is created and produced using these programs, under my direction, bad techno is still bad techno regardless of whether I’m using an intro program like Garage Band or and advanced tool like Reason.

Now comes my new found interest in video production and editing.  Currently I am trying out several different programs.  The first post from yesterday was done using Avidemux and VirtualDub (both open source and free).  Today I created a similar video using iMovie just to compare the processes and workflows of the programs.  While iMovie is definately easier to handle, I feel the options lost (and the fact it requires a mac) limit it to only certain basic tasks.  So welcome everyone to my amateurish films, hopefully with time they will become more intriguing and complex.  Along the way I hope to share why one thing worked and another one didn’t.

Now to continue yesterday’s theme of hitting the open road, here is some old footage of a drive through southern Australia on the Great Ocean Highway from Melbourne to the Twelve Apostles.  Pardon the pixelated and choppy nature of the video, it was shot with a 8 year old Sony camera in which high quality mode was 320×240 @ 15fps.

Written by John in: Ramble,Travel,Video | Tags: , , , ,

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