First shots with the 5s camera yesterday. Used the new filters in the iOS7 Camera app to make them BW, otherwise untouched. Seems a significant, even startling, upgrade from the iPhone 4. Though I kind of miss the more raw, scrappy, poetic look of the 4 w/Hipstamatic. In a way hoping the 5s won’t be TOO good… Well, guess thats what destructive editing is for :).
A new sketch of mine (best with headphones), just a simple repeating phrase for all the innocents killed in Nairobi… especially the children… I was also struck by the loss of 78-year-old Ghanian poet/writer/diplomat Kofi Awoonor, due to perform that night at a literary festival…
Travers Alders, Rincon. Photo: Maassen
I’m not into surfing or surfing photos, but this one’s quite nice.
— Jimmy Page ~ mid-1980s (via snortleme)
[L-R] Jim Spellman, Danny Ingram, Hunter Bennett, Terry Banks
So you may notice the guy on the left of this photo isn’t me. It’s official now, Dot Dash has a new guitarist, Jim Spellman, who used to play with Terry and Hunter in their previous band Julie Ocean.
Recently, after we had completed our third CD in as many years, I decided it was time to move on. DD was probably the best band I ever played in, and the only band I ever played in that got good press, and lots of it. I still think Terry is DC’s best current punk/pop songwriter, by a long shot. Hunter and Danny are all you could wish for in a rhythm section, and even with their storied pasts I’d say they actually improved another notch during our tenure together.
Personally I learned how to play guitar all over again in DD, after a long hiatus from music. I had to reinvent a lot of my old formulas, and discovered the joys of counterpoint. I felt each of our records was better than the last in terms of musicianship and production. We played gigs with a ton of great bands: Urge Overkill, Monochrome Set, The Stranglers’ Hugh Cornwell (with Blondie’s Clem Burke on drums!), The Godfathers, The Drums, The Chameleons.
There’s so much that I’m really super proud of. But sometimes you just know when it’s time to find the next thing. I may be getting older but I’ve never had the ideas and creative energy I feel now.
"If you have visions, if you have a goal - then you’d better hurry up. It’s up to you. You make the choice to act; you can’t blame anyone else if you don’t."
- Anders Petersen
First day back at work after summer break. First meeting of the year. Also by chance the anniversary almost to the day of my father’s death (it’s tomorrow). Walked in, the first thing I see are some big test prints someone left behind on the new photo printer installed over the summer.
The prints show my father and his twin sister, posing in somewhat younger days, with the Colorado Rockies in the background no less, not far from where both their ashes were spread near their late mother and a few other family members.
I have no idea where the file came from or how it ended up on a common iMac in the computer lab. I have a small print of this image but don’t remember scanning it. I suppose it’s possible I scanned it for pictures I printed for his memorial service, or to send to his twin sister before she passed away. But the memorial was three years ago and I would have sent his sister the photo maybe two years ago. The school computers are generally wiped every year.
I’m kind of stunned and flummoxed. All I can think is that this was a kind of greeting, a photo postcard from the afterlife, marking the anniversary. Very strange.
Evocative photos of men who were around for the American Revolution. They make you imagine those times, before pretty much everything we now see around us even existed.
Fast-forward 200+ years. I look around and I see a nation of flinty, hard-working, well-educated, modest people. Who are proud of their nation’s gains but constantly work together to improve, resulting in a country ranked at or near the top of most quality of life surveys. Who have civilized, highly-advanced, safe, cultured cities, which people enjoy yet also crave the rustic life of their rural cottages, where they can get their hands dirty and enjoy the simple, even austere, pleasures of their ancestors. You can really sense the thread back to our early founding fathers in these people, and appreciate the fine results of those long-ago sacrifices.
Then I remember I’m in Finland.
Then again, they’ve only been independent for almost 100 years, so still time to make a mess of things. But it’s impossible not to notice how Finnish society gets so many hard things right and we seem to get even the easy stuff wrong these days. Of course I understand we are infinitely different countries, and the complexity and size of America makes everything more difficult.
On this 4th of July abroad, I think about what I love about my country and wouldn’t trade for anything. But being away also gives quite of bit of perspective. Yes, many things have improved in the big picture over our long haul, not least the situation for minorities and women compared to past generations. And I know what you’re thinking, yes, the US even with its flaws can be a pretty exciting (ahem) place compared with the sometimes bland perfection of the Nordic countries.
Yet we are up to our eyeballs in so much that shames the legacy of those who created this country. I don’t have to list our ills. Frankly we probably wouldn’t even agree about what the ills are, though that would be a helpful first step.
Instead of (or at least in addition to) an annual spectacle of mindless whoosh-bang-bang, I wish we could use the 4th of July as a annual reminder of the need for self-improvement, for reexamining priorities, shedding petty baggage, and renewing our internal sense of the social contract. Not to be a buzzkill, but it would be great if we could get in the habit of remodeling ourselves as worthy heirs to this country. I used to think of the US as innately tending toward continual, almost compulsive self-improvement.
We certainly seem to have gotten away from that in many regards, to put it kindly.
A powerful piece of public art on an unexpected spot. From the artist’s website:
Powerful New National Monument Marks Nelson Mandela’s Capture Site
In 1962, on 5 August, an otherwise ordinary piece of road […] suddenly took on profound consequence. Armed apartheid police flagged down a car in which Nelson Mandela was pretending to be the chauffeur. Having succeeded in evading capture by apartheid operatives for 17 months, Mandela had just paid a clandestine visit to ANC President Chief Albert Luthuli’s Groutville home to report back on his African odyssey, and to request support in calling for an armed struggle. It was in this dramatic way, at this unassuming spot, that Nelson Mandela was finally captured, and proceeded to disappear from pubic view for the following 27 years.
The sculpture [on this spot], by artist Marco Cianfanelli, significantly comprises 50 steel column constructions – each between 6.5 and 9.5 metres tall – set into the Midlands landscape. The approach to the site […] leads one down a path towards the sculpture where, at a distance of 35 meters, a portrait of Nelson Mandela, looking west, comes into focus, the 50 linear vertical units lining up to create the illusion of a flat image.