Category Archives: Journalism

As Local As It Gets

As Local As It Gets

With summer has come a lot more time outside and less spent on the computer blogging or organizing and editing my photo archive. I am certain as the seasons turn I will return to the screen again to find a treasure trove of great content posted by all of those I follow. Until then I will be in the garden, at the diamonds, fields, and swimming pools watching the kids, or riding my bike around town and along the riverside trails. I will drop the occasional post when the mood strikes (like today) and both my photo series Backyard Beautiful and Queens of the Diamond will continue to update.

When you live in the Great White North summer is fleeting and the growing season too short to maintain a year-round garden. Most of the fresh food we consume comes from far-off places like California, Mexico, and South America. Of course, the war in Russia and government pandemic spending practices have sent fuel prices sky high and driven inflation upwards at a pace not seen in decades. The cost of food has not been immune to these upward pressures and is becoming unaffordable for many around the world.

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End of the Roll

Back in the day, Bushboy’s Last on the Card challenge may have been called Last on the Roll. Film cameras and the silver halide strips we put in them are pretty much relics from a bygone era. I have a huge collection of both negative and positive (aka slide) film packed away along with two Minolta and one Pentax cameras. The task of converting the volume of film into digital files will be monumental should I ever get around to it.

Today we take pictures from our phones, by the hundreds. All of today’s camera systems take images using a charge-coupled device (CCD). Believe it or not, this terrific device led to Eastman-Kodak’s Steve Sasson inventing the first digital camera in the early 1970s. The images were stored on magnetic cassette and would be available to view on any television screen. When he presented the technology to the company they were less than impressed. Sasson discussed management’s reaction to the invention in a New York Times interview years later:

“They were convinced that no one would ever want to look at their pictures on a television set. Print had been with us for over 100 years, no one was complaining about prints, they were very inexpensive, and so why would anyone want to look at their picture on a television set?”

Kodak was the dominant U.S. photography brand and they didn’t want to cannibalize their own film business. A shortsighted decision that prevented them from filing patents and when they did make the switch to digital eighteen years later it was too little, too late.

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The Man Who Stole the Golden Fleece

The Man Who Stole the Golden Fleece

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim at A Unique Title for Me asks us to explore songs whose lyrics mention or display amazement, astonishment, curiosity, shock, surprise, and/or wonderment.

Once again, I have chosen a song that doesn’t explicitly mention any of the keywords however one would have to agree that the things the protagonist does in the song are all of those keywords personified. Plus, the song is ridiculously fun and the video is a riot, literally!

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are the Ohio duo known as the Black Keys. Their influence on music over the last two decades is immeasurable. From a series of best-selling records to production, recording, and mixing credits for countless other acts.

For today’s song they teamed up with rapper, actor, filmmaker, and record producer Robert Fitzgerald Diggs aka RZA of Wu-tang Clan fame for the track, “The Baddest Man Alive” taken from the soundtrack for the Tarantino film “The Man With the Iron Fists.”

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No Ray of Sunlight’s Ever Lost

No Ray of Sunlight’s Ever Lost

Have you ever experienced that feeling of excitement when you’ve met someone new? All you can do is think about them morning, noon, and night and when you are away you just gotta get back to them.

This week Jim at A Unique Title for Me asks us to explore the primary emotions of excitement, pleasure, sentiment, or spirit for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday. The song I have chosen doesn’t explicitly mention any of the keywords defining this emotion but the singer himself exudes the excitement he feels about getting back to that someone knew he has met.

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Shameful Desires

Shameful Desires

There are times in our lives we do shameful things for which we feel no remorse. Slinking around in the shadows seeking instant gratification without caring who our actions hurt or the consequences that follow.

This week Jim at A Unique Title for Me asks us to explore the primary emotions of Disgust, Embarrassment, Guilt, Regret, Remorse, and Shame for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday. The song I have chosen is much more literal than last week’s entry and deals with shame or lack thereof for our actions.

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WTF

WTF

Eighteen deadly days. Buffalo (10), Uvalde (21), Tulsa (4). What the f*ck is going on in America?

Today’s mass shooting in Tulsa marks the 233rd mass shooting in the United States this year. A mass shooting is defined as four or more shot or killed not including the shooter. That currently projects out to 560 mass shootings or 1.53 per day for 2022. That is a ridiculously insane number that needs to change.

So again I ask…

What the f*ck is going on in America? I’d love to hear your thoughts, feelings, frustrations and solutions to the United States’ gun violence problem.

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She Just Looks That Way

She Just Looks That Way

We have all met that person at some point in our life. They appear like a god or goddess and we end up completely enamoured with them, but then something unexpected happens. They open their mouths and your realized they are shallow, materialistic, cruel, and not at all what they appeared to be at first impression. Unfortunately, it’s too late, we are trapped. Stuck in a toxic and often one-sided relationship with no way to get ourselves out.

I’ve missed Song Lyric Sunday the last couple of weeks, but I am back. This week Jim at A Unique Title for Me asks us to feature a song that deals with the concepts of appearance, image, likeness, object, picture, or photograph. While the song I have chosen does not specifically mention any of these terms the song is all about the appearance and image a person projects.

The Northern Pikes are a Canadian rock outfit hailing from the prairie town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The band includes Jay SemkoBryan Potvin, Merl Bryck, and Don Schmid. Although they still perform and record the period from 1987 through 1993 was the band’s heyday with songs like ‘Teenland‘, ‘Things I Do for Money‘, ‘Girl With a Problem‘, ‘Believe‘, and this week’s song choice ‘She Ain’t Pretty‘.

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Same Shit, Different Day

The following is in response to Fandango’s Provocative Question #166. The prompt is:
Do you feel that President Biden’s plea to take action and to do something to stem the rising tide of gun violence in America have any impact? Or will lawmakers at both the federal and state levels do nothing more than offer their useless “thoughts and prayers,” which is all they ever do?

Content Warning: Offensive Language

Same Shit, Different Day

Ten days, 21 more lives, 19 of them ten-year-old children. The same old news with different names, different faces, and subtly different storylines. The one thing they all have in common is the same all too familiar outcome.

Unfortunately Fandango, I don’t believe Biden’s call for action will have any effect on Federal and State politicians, the NRA, individual gun owners, and most everyday Americans. These types of pleas have fallen on stone deaf ears in the past and there are no signs that America’s views on guns are any different now than in the past.

I have already heard from family and friends in the United States and in particular, Texas that don’t believe gun control is the solution. Instead, they believe training and arming teachers to carry in school is the answer. It appears the best option is to shoot our way out of these messes.

Hell, I suggest we not stop there, empty the entire gas can on the dumpster fire. Let the elementary kids carry too, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday they should take several hours out of science, math, and literature (but not religion) classes and learn how to shoot stuff (or each other.) If that sounds ridiculous, it’s because it absolutely is ridiculous. If you are reading this and it doesn’t sound absurd to you then let me spell it out…

The answer is NEVER more access to guns! NEVER!!!

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The Human Race

The following is in response to Fandango’s Provocative Question #165. The prompt is:
How do you feel about what is going on in the United States in regard to racism? Do you see any way of reconciling the concepts of White Replacement Theory and Critical Race Theory?

The Human Race

I identify as human, yes I have skin that categorizes me as Caucasian, my recent ancestors are of European descent and can be traced back to England, Ireland and France. That is how others identify me but I am human, we are all human.

As an outsider, I see the American race dilemma as an observer. I have a sister who moved and married in Texas and although I would not call her racist she and her family certainly represent conservative white America. From what I see that Trump supporting rabid white right is a scary place right now. Not from external threats but from within. Seemingly bright, educated people who have lost all perspective on reality.

Canada is not without our own racial discourse. Our treatment of Japanese Canadians during World War II and two centuries of oppression against aboriginal populations have been appalling.

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A New Pair of Kicks

A New Pair of Kicks

It’s said that shoes can change your outlook on life. Take a bad day and make it good. This week Jim at A Unique Title for Me has ask that we find songs that are about or mentions Socks, Shoes, Boots and/or Feet for Song Lyric Sunday.

This week I am highlighting a track by Scottish singer, songwriter and musician Paolo Giovanni Nutini. Nutini who hails from Paisley is Scotland released his debut album “These Streets” in 2006 where it peaked at #3 in the UK. The fourth single “New Shoes” reached #21 in the UK and #1 on the Adult Alternative Airplay chart in the USA.

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