July 30, 2016
Open Photo Gallery(Decided that some years I had a cool enough trip to warrant a secondary album for the year.)
I'm grabbing place names from the much more detailed day by day travel log I did then (starting @ http://kirk.is/2008/03/14/)
Detail from a temple in Kamakura - besides the lovely color I liked that it used the "triforce" symbol I knew from Legend of Zelda.
View from Yokohama's Landmark Tower, Japan's tallest building (at 69 stories, because of earthquakes, but it has the world's fastest elevator.)
An enjoyable billboard on the walk to Hiroshima Station.
The imperial palace at Kyoto.
Statue behind protective fencing at the gate of Todai-ji in Nara.
Th Great Buddha hall at Todai-ji - look at the scale relative to the people! One detail is a "peekaboo" door the Buddha can peek out of.
Delicious calamari on a stick from a street vendor, in Osaka, known for its cuisine
I was a gray day and I really enjoyed how this girl's raincoat visually popped.
Josh is good at raising his daughter.
My final side trip was to Kanazawa, a town with an emphasis on the arts. This was a statue on a street corner
The 21st Century Contemporary Art Museum had an installation of Argentinian Leandro Erlich's "Swimming Pool", a facsimile of a small courtyard swimming pool... except there are fellow tourists moving around down there...
Is It Just Me, Or Is the World Going Crazy? Great article - maybe a little privileged, but like Jesus said, "the poor you will have with you always", so while we should always fight for economic justice we shouldn't think it's newly awful.
There's so much demonization going on. Our fellow citizen republicans are still people. Maybe misguided, maybe drinking way too deeply from this fountain of fearmongering, but people. And not even idiotic people, always.
No one stays home and watches TV on Sunday - everyone's out playing polo!(The title refers to putting in a scene early that makes the audience like the main character, for example saving a cat.)
After JP Honk played Figment, I got myself framed by artist Franklin Marval
Protestant Minster: "God loves everyone!"
Catholic Priest: "God is love."
Eastern Orthodox Presbyter: "God is who is."
Rabbi: "This is special? Who isn't who is?"
(People so inclined can see a more detailed day-by-day travelog at http://kirk.is/2009/09/29/ )
August 1, 2016
Open Photo Gallery
Lisbon has a vibrant street art / graffiti scene. Less colorful than some pieces, I like how this one was integrated with its canvas.
I'm not sure the soft focus was deliberate, but I like it.
Another shot of feeding time at the Oceanarium.
Jonny was so kind to host me! Here she is one the beach with her loved and lamented Papoila.
At a street fair, I was amused by the knickers-as-dream-catchers display.
The National Pantheon
Capela dos Ossos - the "Chapel of Bones"...
"Temple of Diana"
The Cathedral of Évora
Halfway through the trip, I shifted over to hang out with my old AFS brother Marcos. I was really impressed with his adeptness at throwing together a simple and wonderful grilled meat and vegetables combo.
On top of an Aqueduct.
Marcos and Eliane--
Highlights for July were a trip down to Ocean Grove New Jersey, Porchfest, a nice ladybug on the 16th, and lots of band as always... on the 17th, actually, after a pipeline rally, my tuba and I did a bit of background bass for a freestyle rap thing that I guess is a weekly event at Downtown Crossing Station.
RIP Seymour Papert, co-inventor of the "kid's" computer language Logo - "You can't think seriously about thinking without thinking about thinking about something."
The End Of The World
Quite unexpectedly, as Vasserot
The armless ambidextrian was lighting
A match between his great and second toe,
And Ralph the lion was engaged in biting
The neck of Madame Sossman while the drum
Pointed, and Teeny was about to cough
In waltz-time swinging Jocko by the thumb
Quite unexpectedly to top blew off:
And there, there overhead, there, there hung over
Those thousands of white faces, those dazed eyes,
There in the starless dark, the poise, the hover,
There with vast wings across the cancelled skies,
There in the sudden blackness the black pall
Of nothing, nothing, nothing -- nothing at all.
I just finished Sam Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation". It's a brief book but in a stridently and generally not too sympathetic tone... some quotes:
The same Gallup poll revealed that 53 percent of Americans are actually creationists. This means that despite a full century of scientific insights attesting to the antiquity of life and the greater antiquity of the earth, more than half of our neighbors believe that the entire cosmos was created six thousand years ago. This is, incidentally, about a thousand years after the Sumerians invented glue.
Imagine the consequences if any significant component of the U.S. government actually believed that the world was about to end and that its ending would be glorious.
The problem with such [atheist tyrants e.g. Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and Kim Il Sung] is not that they reject the dogma of religion, but that they embrace other life-destroying myths.
If current trends continue, France will be a majority-Muslim country in twenty-five years-- and that is if immigration were to stop tomorrow.Most of the arguments he made I'd heard before... again, his tone was a little angrier and strident than I like, though I thought his points were well argued. One point he made I hadn't thought of, or heard elsewhere: "But let us assume, for the moment, that every three-day-old human embryo has a soul worthy of our moral concern. Embryos at this stage occasionally split, becoming separate people (identical twins)." He's stating it in terms of stem-cell research, but I think the argument also has implications for Pro-Choice/Pro-Life arguing, at least the form of it- if it's not a strawman - that says there's an immortal soul created at the moment of conception. If so, what happens with twins? Of course this argument fades away if you have a less supernatural conception of soul (though the hope for immortality usually goes with that) - I think even for people who believe it's an issue for women and maybe their doctors, there's a natural preference that abortion be "safe, legal, and rare"... the potential for personhood is worthy of some consideration, but I don't think too much, lest we go slip into the catholic view where every form of birth control is suspect... we're certainly under no obligation to make sure as many potential people become actual people as possible... in fact, to some extent the opposite.
There's a more detailed day by day photo journal at http://kirk.is/photos/2011europe/.
August 5, 2016
Open Photo Gallery
One of our first impressions of Paris was at the farmer's market near our place: a man with a fishbowl on his head.
Lovers in Paris.
Low shot of the Eiffel Tower. But, you probably guessed that.
I played with my camera's "tilt shift" mode when we went up the Eiffel Tower.
I guess I mentioned this was my favorite meal the entire trip. (Though "German Turkish Food" was a close second.) Great baguette and wine is so cheap in Paris.
Woman taking in the art at the centre pompidou. (I use a similar art arrangement for my wall of photos of peole dear to me.)
At l'orangerie, an artist taking an impression of Monet.
We had a meal or two at the photogenic cafe at the end of our street (so photogenic they shot scenes for a movie there during our stay.)
A brief stopover in Germany to visit Veronika and Volker and their kids. So green!
Then to London.
Englishman walking in tube station with umbrella.
View from the peephole of our tiny Air B+B flat.
Spooning is out, spatulaing is the next big trend. Slide up behind your partner and then launch them out of bed
(I kept a more detailed photolog for Alaska and later for the UK stuff)
August 10, 2016
Open Photo Gallery
Joined Riana in Juneau, and we took a puddle jumper to Gustavus. Alaska has a reverse rising oceans problem; its melting glacier weight means its land is rising. (Also Riana was amazing at spotting and knowing what random ambient plantlife to eat, from strawberries to seaweed.)
Margerie Glacier. That's a fullsized cruise ship there, for contrast. It is nearly impossible to get a sense of scale of things in Alaska; things are so often much farther and much larger than they appear.
Sea kayaking in Glacier Bay. Scary when the fog meant we couldn't see land anywhere but Riana's sense of direction was uncanny.
View from Mt. Roberts, back in Juneau.
New trip! My company was based in Cardiff, so John and I travelled to Wales, and took a sidetrip to London.
The hotel in London had nice chairs. Here I'm pretending I'm not setting up a photo.
Split view from the London Eye.
Another practiced in "distractedly" posing for shots, again on the London Eye.
Rainbow over London!
Shakespeare's Globe Theater.
John at Camden Market.
The British Museum looks like a sci-fi set.
Poop is the cause, diapers are the effect.Explaining how good comics stories tend to have strong senses of cause and effect...
November 29, 2016
Open Photo Gallery
"Relationships are all about asking people to hold things."
--Melissa. (This was especially true in the context she said this, the airport, as we both played that game of 'Ok do I have everything? Ok do I still have everything? Let me check again. How about now?')
My iPhone 6 was sort of on its last legs so I upgraded - but I went for the iPhone SE, which is the old iPhone 5 body with a 6S camera. There's something great about that old form factor, how easy it is to manage for quick camera shots etc. (Remember when smaller was considered better for electronics?)
November 30, 2016
Open Photo Gallery
--from Concept art of vehicles driven by Toads from Mario Strikers Charged. via Supper Mario Broth
"I think I just summarized my life philosophy really succinctly to my roommate:
'you do what you gotta do. and sometimes you do it in heels'"
In 2008 I got to visit Japan and I made a photolog of the 2 weeks I was there. At the end I put a baker's dozen of the best photos in a single gallery on flickr, but I no longer trust third party sites, so I'm mirroring them here, today.
March 15, 2019
Sweet, real time snuff films by alt-righters on murderous rampages. Yay, technology.
Watching "Catastrophe" on Amazon Prime - glad Melissa found it, and concerned I almost missed it! - I've recommended the Sharon Horgan's "Pulling" (which she also co-wrote and starred in) to a lot of folks, a BBC Comedy that deserves more attention (love how it has a bit of the sex in the city vibe, and the main characters aren't just kind of horrible people but also bad at their careers, which is sort of rarity in tv land)