Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

As a gadget guy with a photo obsession I try not to be swayed or get “lost” in the digital technology which often runs multi-levels deep and just enjoy the hobby for the sake of enjoying pictures as well as seeing what others can do with a camera.  

I’m often surprised at the great quality of pictures on the internet and when there is a story that goes along with the photo/artist I’m listening.   Such is the case with Kevin Connolly. Not only is he a great photographer with fascinating intellect, but he provides profound insight about people that will make you stop and speculate.  I really think it’s the start of something big. 

What makes this so interesting to me is that Kevin was born without legs.  Kevin prefers to get around on his skate board rather than wheel chairs. When the terrain isn’t skateboard friendly he walks on his hands.  Imagine being ask if you were eaten by a shark or lost your legs in Iraq?  He has been ask! 

My initial reaction was one of sadness, but after learning and reading more about this individual I have an incredible amount of respect for what he has accomplished and the obstacles he has over come. 

Kevin is a championship skier, world traveler, photographer and skateboarder.  He is a senior film student at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT.  Last year he completed a year of study at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch NZ – a world away from his native state of Montana.  He placed second at the 2007 X Games as a mono-skier.   

And while traveling around the world he captured the expressions of people from his camera’s unique vantage point as they see him getting around on his skateboard.  Kevin has exhibited his photographic study called ‘The People are Curious’.  The photo essay is about how around the world people react in the same way, they are curious and they stare.

The work is part of his The Rolling Exhibition is 3200 photos he shot while seeing 15 countries from his unique vantage.   I would truly like to meet Kevin and spend time listening to his travel stories.  

What an inspiration for all of us into photography or just living life.

Picture by Chris Toalson courtesy of Kevin Connolly.

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There are certainly varying viewpoints about the war, but one thing is for sure: The men and women who are fighting for us deserve to be respected and certainly there are many who have been disabled or severely injured who need all our support and assistance.

So, here is a big SHOUT OUT for all of you who served on this Veterans Day and do what you do.

We all show patriotism differently, but we can all do something good for a Veteran today and every day for that matter! Don’t be afraid to carry out even the simplest act of “thanks” for fear that your neighbor or some reporter for the Times is lurking in the shrubs to call you a crazy nationalist or accuse you of supporting a corrupt government.

Many of you will honor your brothers and sisters in arms in different ways…from working to increase public awareness of the cost of war or to end the arms race. Or maybe it’s a patriotic symbol of putting out a flag to demonstrate that you’re paying attention.

This year stirs more memories for me than others have because it seems like Iraq is the war that will never end. For comparisons:

WWI – 1 year, 7 months and 5 days
WWII – 3 years, 8 months and 26 days
Iraq – 4 years, 7 months and counting

**Vietnam War was certainly longer (1965 – 1975), and you could debate that we were involved as early as 1959.

Today I plan to say hello to a vet and thank them for their service. At the same time I plan to re-join the conversation vs. avoid debate because of my own ambivalence.

I’m a patriot and proud to be part of this country so, servicemen and women THANK YOU.

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Is this a bad dream? Imus coming back to the radio dial? Not to satellite radio, but to AM radio…didn’t he just leave? Didn’t the broadcast exec’s learn anything? I previously blogged on this HERE.

For nearly 3 whole weeks the offensive Imus statement focused attention on offensive rap lyrics. So called “leaders” leaned on the music industry officials to work and/or eliminate racial words from their artist gig list, but that has since faded…we’re right back to the same ‘ol same old with Gangster Raper T.I. (born Clifford Harris) arrested in Atlanta for buying a machine gun. He’s a convicted Felon buying a machine gun? Stick to rapp’n rythmes T.I.!! He has quite the “rap” sheet.

I think the exec’s learned that Imus makes money. He brings large national advertisers and his core audience is older, affluent and highly likely to rejoin. Lots of blog buzz about WABC-AM being his new home where several other syndicated hosts: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity reside. The “I-man” gracing WABC with his presence would only add to the Arbitron ratings.

I suppose the backlash could become very intense. After all it’s getting old news reporting on the home loan bubble and market crash. And how many times do we have to listen to “nanny-gate”, the Rita Crosby double top secret phone recordings of bribes?!

As I’ve stated before I’m not an I-man fan. He seems determined to take WABC’s money and rejoin the trash talk AM dial — absent thousands of angry people gathering outside ABC HQ.

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I’m sure you’ve heard about Justin — and Justin.tv — he’s 23 and been wearing a video camera and webcasting his life live on the web for the past couple months. Everything he does is broadcast live — similar to the Hollywood movie The Truman Show.

Justin’s 24/7 reality online TV show has turned into a bit of a mini-phenomenon. His apartment was raided by the police, and they were later evicted by their landlord. They were on the Today Show. Justin was hanging out with famous rappers. A month ago, he was apparently on a date — the camera is stuffed into the curly locks of some blond. Everyone was wondering if this is the girl from the other night that some are thinking he “got lucky” with. This is “spicy” stuff! It all seems intimate and after wearing the camera gear for six months in prep for the go live web site, he likely doesn’t even think that the camera is there. The site is way successful.

Justin has big plans. He wants a lot of people doing the same thing in the future — so you could essentially flip through “life channels” of various people across the planet. Perfect for the bored at work generation…I could see people letting each other know what’s going on in “so and so” life at any moment.

Admit it…you’ve always wanted to start your own real-life television show? Now you can because Justin.tv is launching its own network to allow users to create and publish their own shows. Or, if you prefer just sit back and snoop/peek into other people’s lives — as they stream themselves live on the web.

Here is the ultimate Ustream.tv mash-up. Your computer screen will be turned into the security room of a local K-Mart or a Las Vegas Casino with all these live cameras.

Enjoy peeping…

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It’s that time of year, again, for a work move. No, I’m not moving downstairs to storage room B (Office Space), but I have lost track of the number of moves I’ve made over the years. This time it’s a quick and easy one down the hallway.

If you are like me and take pride in your workspace i.e. the things that made an emotional difference and brighten the “sea-of-gray” clutter — you’ll take stock, while you pack the papers, event give-aways and trinkets, buttons, magnets, calendars, lanyards, awards, and well, STUFF. I’ve got gaming posters duck taped to my cube and once a piece of paper has been saved in a file, I never seem to look back at my collection again…I like my cube, but the space is full of too much stuff to keep the vibe good.

So, this current “office move” got me to thinking about a makeover for my drab, clunky award placement, overly cluttered and non-intuitive cube. Like a PC with too many buttons it’s a cube with too much stuff! I read recently that PC manufacturers have realized that design matters and consumers are no longer satisfied with a fan laden beige box or a colorful faux skinned chassis and want PCs that don’t look like PCs. What took them so long?!

This Conan video of a famous multi-national corp., is similar to what it looks like in my “sea-of-gray”…

Well, I want a cube that doesn’t look like a cube!

What should I do? A contest? Yeah, that’s it, a contest! One with $$ for the winner. It can be the first annual Cube Design Contest (CDC). Surely this will spur employee innovation and make people more interesting around here? Besides, I spend more time in my cube than at home (excluding sleep time) and I’m sure we all want entertaining cubes that blend our warm house décor.

We can take design entries from around the globe. We could have judges look for the best style, acoustics, functionality, and features.

Possible criteria:

  • Acoustics: noisy, loud, chatter box neighbors vs. quiet/near silent communities
  • Usability: effective makeover for efficient AC adaptor access vs. complicated routing and full of quirks
  • Aesthetics: stylish/pleasant, brought to life w/ flyers/brochures, vs. “Pimp-My-Cube” for mgr attention
  • Overall: Best style with most innovative trophy/award placement that fits character of surroundings
  • Are we overtly focused on meeting the needs of our customers and have cube blindness? It could be the biggest and most successful contest/event ever, because we have the technology and the right workspace for making — Cubes that don’t look like Cubes (CDLC).

    It’s easy after watching that video to see how your surroundings can make a difference and amp up your creativity. Yawn, excuse me while I take a nap…

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    As I surf/preview a number of the social networks I can’t help but take notice that a lot of the “myspace” generation post annoyances about their parents. There are any number of variants on the same theme, but it is quite clear that some of these parents are in fact so darn annoying that they are starting to bug me and I haven’t even met them!

    Well – in the interest of full disclosure: I AM AN ANNOYING PARENT. My teenage kid and trust me when I say he can join a support group with all the rest of you. He can attest that I take annoying to a whole new level.

    There are multiple ways in which I am annoying to my kid:

    1. I do it deliberately for the sheer sport of it. As a parent I find that there is little that’s more fun than bugging my kid. If I can embarrass, tease, poke or otherwise disturb them I will. Quite simply that is payback for having to spend years wiping their butts!

    2. I am annoying based upon my rules, my perceived grumpiness (not true), my remarks regarding their behavior, their friend, their driving, their attitude, their grades… or any number of other things that they don’t like. As a matter of fact I am so annoying that the kid thinks moving out of the home before finishing high school will make me more pleasant.

    Take it from this ‘ol man – there is NOTHING harder in life than being a parent. As a parent you are personally responsible for the creation and personal development of a human being. Duuuude, that there is some heavy stuff!

    As a parent you do the best that you can but sometimes it isn’t good enough. You try to pass on wisdom, but it’s not always wise enough. You communicate the best that you can but it’s often not clear enough. It’s like participating in a movie production without a script and sometimes ad libing the part isn’t always perfect.

    I’m sure that despite all those posts out there on the social networks to the contrary, parents love their kids greatly. While there are always tragic exceptions, I don’t know of any parent who wants anything other than joy and happiness for their kids.

    So, bottom line is that no matter how much parents annoy you, they are your parents. You don’t always have to like them, don’t have to agree with them, but you should always love them. They sure aren’t perfect, but if you have a mirror handy…take a look at it. The apples don’t fall far from the tree!

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