Monday, May 29, 2006

I've been diagnosed with CAS...

That's "Canon Acquisition Syndrome," folks, a subset of the family of behavioral disorders known as GAS's, or "Gear Acquistion Syndromes." These disorders, most common in males but also present in females, cause a person to suddenly buy large quantities of a sudden kind of thing, or if they lack the means, waste countless hours wishing they could.

I have the second sort, in that I have been obsessively checking online camera retailers and classifieds for new gear to buy. I want to build my kit further, I want more gear. And even though I'm in too much debt to do that right now, I keep thinking I could afford that new lens or flash bracket or lighting kit. My mouth waters as I view a for-sale ad for a used 15mm 2.8L Fisheye or that bracket from Custom Brackets I want soooooooooooooooooooo bad. (Click link)

I'm a danger to my own self. I need help. Or a loan.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A late May Update

I resumed the writing of my novel "Stuck" today. It was very difficult as I had not touched the manuscript in almost two months.

That decision came when I realized that I was juggling too much as finals approached so "Stuck" was dropped so I could focus on keeping my grades, my business and my job airborne. I guess that it got stuck in the mud when I dropped it because I was only able to complete one page, and that's after throwing the last two away because they just sucked.

I've started a new diet and excercise plan. First off: no soda, ice cream, pizza or greasy/fried foods. None. Second, one hour of moderate excercise daily as well as trying to drive less and walk more. I did 200 crunches and 150 jumping jacks yesterday. I climbed the stairs at Memorial Stadium again and again for half and hour and did a few laps around the field today, and I'm going to do some pushups when I sign off.

I'm listening to this song by The Fray called "Over my Head (Cable Car)" and I really enjoy it. Some lyrics:

I never knew
I never knew that everything was falling through
That everyone I knew was waiting on a queue
To turn and run when all I needed was the truth
But that's how it's got to be
It's coming down to nothing more than apathy
I'd rather run the other way than stay and see
The smoke and who's still standing when it clears

Everyone knows I'm in
Over my head, Over my head
With eight seconds left in overtime
She's on your mind, She's on your mind

Monday, May 22, 2006

So tell me this. What does it mean when a woman messages you saying "We're going dancing at Longhorn's," and days after declining you find out that we really meant her, her boyfriend and another couple?

I've been trying to figure that one out all day.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Way to go, computer

I was surfing the internet this morning when a little box for a "Firefox Feedback Agent" popped up, saying it was a means of gauging my satisfaction with the program.

Only then the entire browser crashed and had to close itself while I was trying to read Nice job, Mozilla Foundation, nice job indeed.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Gospel of the Lord...

I don't have much to write about at the moment, so instead I shall share some biblical philosophy through one of my favorite passages from the holy book.
Matthew 25: 14-30
Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.

"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

"The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.'

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'

"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

I think of this passage when I need motivation in life, for I know I have been blessed with many gifts. It tells me that while I may have many talents (in the modern sense), I also must produce more good from those talents in my life to have lived it properly.

That's all I got today, folks. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I spent part of my last few minutes of being 20 years old watching a powerful thunderstorm roll overhead, shaking the house and soaking everything outside. I love these storms.

All I could do was stand at the window and watch in awe of nature as such energy flowed through the atmosphere. It was firing off great arcs of lightning that made the earth flicker brighter than daylight then releasing great reports of thunder as if light and sound were competing for better Nielson Ratings.

It was like a reminder from God. I may be 21, a man in the eyes of the law and my father, but I am still just one tiny being in a world that is there only because of the will of the creator. It said to me that the house I was standing in was still there only because God wished it to be there, and all he had to do to change that was a slight tweaking of air pressure and nothing else. I may be a cocky 21-year-old, but I still have much to do and there is far much more out there greater than I.

It's been a great 21 years, especially the last three. In fact, I don't think I really started living until about three years and a month ago, before then I was just coasting along without purpose. Today, I have some idea of what I'm supposed to be doing, and I'm working on it. I'm happy about that.

As I understand it, there are a few groups of my friends conspiring to get me drunk tonight. That's to be expected, I suppose.

This should be interesting.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

This weekend totally kicked my ass.


I woke up in Council Grove and did portraits for the Bravettes, the dance team at my old high school, and drove back up to Manhattan because I had many things planned for that afternoon and evening.

First, at 2:30 was the annual spring softball game between members of the Student Governing Association and the Collegian Staff. We won, 11-7. I played a whole half an inning in center field. Didn't even have a real chance to touch the ball. I don't want to say anymore about it.

At 5:30 was the annual Student Publications Banquet. There were awards for Royal Purple, the Ad staff and finally for Newsroom staff.

Our wonderful adviser Kim started talking about a certain staff writer who she said had done a great deal of work toward informing the public and serving readers. She started listing several stories this writer had done in the past year.

A story explaining that despite Manhattan water's foul taste, it really is safe to consume.

"Funny," I thought, "That sounds like something I did last fall."

A story that described the true creator of the Powercat, who is not Bill Snyder.

"Oh my God," I thought then, "I wrote about that last week. She's talking about me!"

I closed my eyes, covered my mouth and tried to keep my heartrate at a safe level while Kim talked about more of my best stories and said all these wonderul things about me that I had no idea how to handle.

Then Kim announced that I'd earned the Kelly Furnas Readership Service Award. I got out of my chair and approached the table, unsure if I was walking proud or stumbling all over the place. It was just too much to take, I thought I'd been a lousy reporter all year, and here I was being told I'd done a model job. I damn near cried.

I hugged Kim and accepted my award, which I later found comes with a $100 scholarship. The money, interestingly enough, comes from a fund set up by the Scripps Howard Foundation when Mr. Furnas received an award from them years ago. It appears the organization I have to thank for the best three months of my life so far is still getting involved with my life. Perhaps it's a sign of where my career might go after graduation.

So my name now rests on a plaque in Kedzie Hall along with past receipients of the Furnas Award, like Jesse Manning and James Hurla. I feel so special.

After the banquet I visited a friend buried not far from the hotel where we had the dinner, the same as I had done after last year's dinner. I told her what had happened and what I'm looking forward to for this fall. I said some prayers and bid her goodbye.

I saw something that made me stop in my tracks as I rounded one of the last turns out of the cemetery. There were three white-tailed deer, does, standing by the fence surrounding Sunrise Cemetery. I shut off my car, stepped out and took a few steps toward them, off the pavement and onto the grass. I stopped and watched for a few seconds, then some bird spooked them and they tore off into the woods. It was really inspiring.

I went up to one of the groups of apartments on the northwest side of campus to meet a girl. She'd been talking to me more often recently and with a tone of voice that suggested interest, and taken a few other actions I can't publish here that were strong indicators she had something in mind.

Those indicators were wrong, I now realize, but at least I don't have to sit around wondering what would've happened had I just gone home.


Busy. Freaking. Day.

I got up late in the morning because I knew I had a lot to do. My official day started with a meeting at noon with the fall Collegian editors to discuss plans for, well, this fall. We made progress and I'm glad I went, except for that it was at Panera Bread. I hate that place.

Then I had work: From 2:00 on I was the wedding photographer for the newly-wed Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Boos. I worked straight on till 8:30 with only a pause for a light meal and some cake. One terrifying moment came as I was trying to get past a parked stroller that wouldn't move. I pushed harder, thinking the brake was on, then discovered some moron had parked it literally on top of an ice bucket with two open bottles of champagne. They covered it with the handle and the clothes wrapped around the back.

The bottles went down onto the floor as I gasped, "Oh Dear God!" and righted them, but not before they leaked a bit onto the floor, along with ice and water from the bucket. I didn't feel bad for taking pictures and not drinking during the toast, I figured I'd already pourd the Booses a fine libation.

Around 10:00, I had two ice cold beers. Believe me, nothing feels as good after long hours doing
hard work as ice cold beer. Every job would be easier if you knew that cold beer was waiting at the end of it, every one. There should be could beer at the ends of marathons, not gatorade. I went home and got to work on processing and posting the images, which brings me to:


I went to bed a little before two after getting the upload started on more than 1 GB of images (210) to my Web site. I slept, and when I got up at 8, they had finished. I posted them in a new gallery and showered. I left at 9AM for Council Grove for another photo job, First Communion at St. Rose.

Once that work was done, I took the afternoon off to relax. I watched TV and went for a walk with my little brother, Neal. I taught him the basics of using my old Canon AE-1P and he shot off an entire roll of Gekko B & W 400. It was good fun for brothers, I'll see how the shots turn out later this week.

Oh, and to top it all off, this is my 600th post to this blog.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

To hell with civilization

So I posted a funny, tongue-in-cheek quote about people and their job choices that naturally praised journalism and mocked lawyers. And a future-lawyer friend of mine takes it as a personal insult.

Then I complemented this girl I work with who has been feeling down, and she turns it into an insult and now I can't really talk to her anymore.

I'm not dealing well with people lately. I make the slightest action and all of a sudden everyone is pissed off at me. I don't get it.

Oh, wait. Finals are next week. That explains it.

Best. Quote. Ever.

“Generally speaking, the best people nowadays go into journalism, the second best into business, the rubbish into politics and the shits into law”

Auberon Waugh, British Journalist

Monday, May 01, 2006


Several years ago, I vacationed in San Francisco with my family.

Today, I found this on Google Video.

Totally awesome.