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Saturday, December 31, 2011

An end and a fresh start...

As 2011 comes to it's inevitable end, I have to take a few minutes and reflect on it, and what I have done, and what I will be doing in the future. Has this been a bad year? Nope, not at all. Yes, bad things have happened, but bad things happen every year, it's all a matter of degrees and how we decide to let them affect us.

The bad of 2011, I lost my Gramma Hubler. I loved her dearly, and family reunions will never be the same, but she is shed of her stress and pain, and I like to believe that she is where she expected to be. Maybe not the same place that I will end up, yet she was a woman of her convictions and I am sure that she made it.

Lost my job, got a new one, and then was let go from there for lack of work. Ok, pick myself up and move on. I could have gone back to work any number of times doing stuff that I hated doing, but I decided that it was time to do something that I wanted to do for a change. So, turned that around and now I am in school learning the trade that I wanted to learn 25 years ago. Refrigeration. Halfway through the course and I know I'm on the right road, because I am enjoying every day, and taking a few minutes here and there to help make the guys around me into better techs. Teaching tools and skills to guys who have very little experience in the field. After 30 years of working in various service industries, this is where I finally get to specialize and find my niche.

Been basically broke since I lost the second job, but at the same time I have managed to keep myself afloat with some photography. I still love taking pictures, and I still hope to make it a true livelihood someday, but for now I will continue to do it as a hobby. The goal is to use my newest skills to support the photography, and build me gear collection. Newer and better tools to let me use my talents to their limits.

Love is still something that I often feel is out of my grasp. I'm single, but always perpetually looking with wistful dreams at someone in my life. This year I have a focus, but I know that the time isn't right for her to feel the same way about me. If she ever will. I don't really care, I have become used to being on a one way street, going the wrong way. As I have said to myself and other people, what I care about most is that SHE finds happiness. I guess that's love too.

I still have a pile of friends, and people that I care about, and who seem to care about me. These are good things in my life. Family too, that supports my silliness, and encourages my creativity. I'm looking forward to seeing what the next chapter holds.

In 2012, I have some goals, I won't go so far as to call them resolutions, I don't have that kind of task commitment! Goal 1) is a decent job in the field that I am studying now. I would like to ultimately end up working in a commercial refrigeration company doing grocery stores, storage facilities and manufacturing process cooling, but for now, any job in the industry, to give me experience and a foothold is all I am shooting for.

Increasing my Photography skills, both in usage and in editing/enhancement. I want to get better at feeling how the lens will alter my own perception of a scene and making the adjustments to bring what I see into the picture. I want to capture more emotion, and keep finding better ways to show off the people that I shoot doing what they do best.

I would like to be out of debt by the end of 2012. I'm nearly there to be sure, and I have to keep from digging another hole. Some of this part is based on employment, but with full time employment at a decent wage, I should see the previous hole filled in and the shovel tamping it down before next fall. A long way off to be sure, but every week gets me a little bit closer!

On my health front, I really do need to get my weight under control and get rid of some of the excess. Not only to help keep myself out of the family diabetic circle, but also to help keep my joints and bones healthier. I seem to be pretty lucky to this point in my life, I haven't damaged much in my body other than skin, but being the size I am isn't good for so much of me, and I need to try and keep what I have in good working order!

That't about it for today, the end of the year, a few short hours away from 2012. I hope all of you who may read this have a great day, and an amazing year. Dream of good things, and then go make good things happen.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

been a while...

Just looking at the date of the last couple of posts and I realize that I have not been content, yet I have also been very quiet. I'm not sure why I have been quiet, maybe it has been a general feeling of uselessness, or perhaps the need to vent has been largely taken up by Facebook. These Interwebs have a way of sucking me in from one page to another and before I know it my whole night has been wasted. Now the day has too! But I progress... yup that's right, I said the word I wanted!

So since my last post, for anyone who cares or mayhaps didn't know, I have been unemployed, re-employed, and re-unemployed. Now I am collecting some weekly benefits from the state as I get myself together to get me some new edumications. I've long wished to get into building maintenance, and I am going to get my state certification to make me much better hire-able in said field. Why Building maintenance, you may be asking yourself, and it's actually a kinda easy answer. First, I like the fact that it's a multidisciplinary field, I can be a plumber, an electrician, an HVAC tech, a carpenter, a safety tech, a painter, and a landscaper. I can do indoor and outdoor work in the same day. I'm not stuck to a machine and I can walk around. B) While I like being a machine technician, it is often a high stress job because there are constantly people harping on you about getting the machine running so they can meet some deadline or another. And Lastly), it's a job that should afford me some time to pursue my true interest which is Photography.

As for the photography, this spring I went and got my DBA, so I am considered a legit business. The next step of course is to get a tax number and start worrying about actually collecting and paying taxes, but please, baby steps. Besides, I need to be much better at math, and I'm not really. Have been taking pics though, and having a great time doing it. As with any business that depends on other people's input, sometimes waiting for customers to get back to me is the hard part. Elbow joggling and email stalking may become a part of my stock in trade. It's always interesting how people want the initial work ASAP, but then when it comes time to select the final product, they hem and haw forever. Oh well, I guess that's part of dealing with the general public. I need me a business manager, or at least someone who likes doing the business side of things. I'm SO much happier doing the creative part of the process. Practice helps, and the more practice that I get, the more confident I feel setting up shots with clients. I enjoy working with people, and trying to find that little bit of their soul that peeks out from their smiles. Sometimes it's not the easiest thing to do, because people can be really guarded, but when those moments show up, man, it's like magic.

Speaking of magic, I have that obsessive feeling again. There is someone in my life that I want to know better, and it is like pulling teeth to get close enough, or to get some time with her. She is definitely a busy lady, and I understand that, but at the same time if the universe would cooperate just a little bit, it would be nice. I know how my mind works, and maybe I'm seeing something that I want to see as opposed to what is really there, but I sense at least a little interest. While this isn't always in my favor, it is definitely in hers. Have I told you about my curse? Well, here it is, I have this odd thing in my life, where it seems that whenever I find a girl, (lady, woman, you choose!) who is actually interested in me, within a matter of weeks she will meet the guy whom she will end up marrying. To my knowledge only one of those couples is not still together, and I suspect that she wasn't as interested in me as she acted. That being said, I have been a little touchy about pursuing anyone that I am interested in, because it so often ends with me heart broken. Now I have found that one who fits my oh so persnickety tastes, and I just want the chance to try and woo her, and it seems like the roadblocks are starting to pop up left and right. It's funny how I came to be interested in this amazing lady, but at the same time it's truly an organic thing too, so I'm sort of trusting my senses here. Without being to specific since I don't want to embarrass anyone here, (besides myself, and what have I got to lose?) when I first met her I was not much attracted or interested, there were (are) a couple things about her are completely against everything that I believe in in my life. BUT, the funny thing is that as I got to know her through talking to her occasionally and listening to her family talk about her, I realized that she was way more than that first glimpse that I didn't care for, and when I had the chance to talk to her along the way, I found myself unexpectedly drawn to her. Now I would love to really try and win her over, and it seems like it's gonna be a chore. Well, you know what "they" say, if it's worth having, it's worth working for. I'm thinking that she is definitely worth working for. Time will tell. remember when you were a kid and you would do stuff that was gross to impress the opposite sex? Yup, I did it. I am not a huge fan of steamed clams but because she offered, I ate one. Felt like a little kid asked to eat worms, but you know what? For her, it was worth it! Now what? Guess I have to dig out my romance hat and see if it still fits. Been so long I'm not even sure if I remember where I stashed it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

have to answer...

So a friend of mine has a blog, and She wrote this post... (click the colored words to find the original post)

RE: Guess what, I know why people act like jerks.

Here's the comment that I tried to leave last night and ended up having to write all over again!! This time I am keeping it where I can find it until I know you will have a chance to see it.

In general I agree with much of what you have said, But I must argue with you about using Elvis as and example, not because I am any particular fan of the Big E, but because he never bought drugs from anyplace but a licensed pharmacist. You see, he never took a drug that wasn't prescribed by his physician. So while he was indeed drug addled and addicted, he was continually under a Dr.'s care and he never took anything that was considered to be an illegal drug. He was known to drink occasionally, but he wasn't a drunkard by any extant of the imagination, according to all that I have ever read about him. Now Instead of Elvis, lets talk about some real Icons of American Music, Johnny Cash, George Jones and Hank Williams, These men have well known and documented drug and drinking problems. One of them died before he ever had a chance to redeem himself, while the other two lived long enough to not only redeem their lives, but to go on and thrive in a clean life. Sadly, it is the state of Celebrity that they are given special treatment. The talented and the gifted will be allowed leeway that the general public would not, why? Perhaps it is the implicit understanding that with genius comes flaws, and a certain amount of eccentricity. But what about today's society and the 24 hour news cycle?

In a day when the media feels the need to fill 24 hours of the day with "news" they focus on things that are popular, rather than the things that really matter. Ratings are king, they sell eyes and ears, and they put up what draws eyes and ears. The more they can draw in, the more they can charge the advertisers. You of all people should know that. So when the world is falling apart and our hearts are tired of being wrenched by dead families in Japan and the Middle East, and the shock of flag draped coffins has lost it's zing, they jump right back into the celebrity "news" Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, and Lindsay Lohan, or whomever has done the new thing that is getting attention on TMZ. TMZ is the source for MSNBC, CNN and Fox News when it comes to that type of thing. The truth is that too many people in American actually take pride in the fact that they can't speak a second language, identify most foreign countries on a globe, or name their congressional representatives. These are things that actually matter, but they would much rather know who is driving in the race this weekend and what their standings are in the fantasy Baseball league. Is it any wonder that we elevate assholes?

A great author once said that the end of any great society is in sight when the people would rather have cake and circuses than worry about what happens in the halls of their government. We are at that point, and more and more people are becoming enamored with the circus, so the clowns will take center stage, and they are certainly the jerks of society.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sheeple and the Hoax

One of the greatest things about Social Networking, (Facebook) is the ability to spread a message quickly through the network. Even TV has to struggle to keep up with the speed of this amazing conglomeration of friends, fans, family and assorted hangers-on. Raising awareness, raising money, and simply raising spirits are all easily accomplished with the amazing thing that is Facebook. It is a powerful tool, made even more powerful by the very people who use it.

Power comes with a certain amount of responsibility. The people behind Facebook do their part trying to keep the users safe from the Loonies out there in the cybersphere trying to cause problems. Mischief Makers, and hackers, those that would create malicious viruses, and those who would steal our data and identities. Yet there is another responsibility that we can't depend on anyone but ourselves to exercise, and we must get better at wielding this responsibility.

The reason that we can spread a message so quickly is because we have easily grasped the "copy & paste" method of status updates. In many cases this has been a boon, spreading Amber Alerts across the world in a matter of hours. Getting out the message that Dragons are dangerous, (or that they like you with ketchup!) thanking our mothers and step-mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and every other family member that we want to butter up. We can raise awareness of anything and everything that we think needs the awareness of raised. Sometimes we get carried away and forget that not everything we read is the truth, and before we know it we have become part of a problem rather than a cure.

There are far too many people who get their kicks by starting and spreading misinformation and trying to scare society in general, and far too often they do it so sneakily that nobody bothers to check the facts. The facts are the biggest thing that most people forget. They can read a post that includes the words "on the news" or "from a reliable source" and never bother to check for themselves whether something is true or just some knucklehead trying to start a panic. When we are sitting at our computers we literally have the WORLD at our fingertips., Facebook security, and at least a dozen other websites specialize in finding the facts of any crazy "news" story that crops up online and spreads like wildfire because people copy & paste without ever looking for backing facts. No matter how outlandish something seems, if people read the words that their friends post and "saw on the news", they will copy & paste into their own status with all urgency and never look back. They feel that they have done a great service to society and never bother to see if any of it is true. Sometimes it's harmless, but other times, it throws a giant monkey wrench into something that was going so well, and doing some good.

The best example of this happened in the first weeks of December. According to a story on ABC News a group of friends in Greece ( the Mediterranean country not the town or city) decided that it would be fun to try and subvert their Facebook profiles and replace their usual pics with cartoon characters. This morphed into something with people trying to raise awareness of child abuse. So by putting a cartoon character in your profile picture, and copying and pasting the status one would be "joining" the cause. Even for those who did no more than read the status updates and see why suddenly, all of their friends had cartoon profiles, there was a little good being done. In the follow-up stories there was a notable spike in donations to child welfare causes over the second week of December, over and above the normal rise associated with the holiday season. Cut to the second Monday of December and suddenly there appears in the statuses the message that The cartoon characters are "a ploy by pedophiles" to snare children with their friend requests. It was "on the news" and "seen on TV". But it was nothing of the sort.

In fact what DID make the news was that the campaign had actually had the effect it had intended, raised awareness of child abuse and neglect. As cited above there was a spike in charitable donations world wide towards child welfare charities, yet all it took to dry this thing up, was the mere mention that it was a ploy by pedophiles. Within hours, in fact probably 5 times faster than the original "Change to a cartoon" Status, there came the wave after wave of the warning, all caps and screaming that it was "ploy by pedophiles". The hoaxsters know the buttons to push. In a matter of a day, all the good that was done in two weekends of cartoon characters was washed away.

18 hours after I first saw the "pedophile" update, I finally found the debunking of the hoax on Snopes. But it was too late, too many people had already seen the hoax and jumped on the band wagon, without ever doing their own research to verify the source of this "TV News Show" where this story supposedly broke. The Sheeple had fallen for the Hoax, again.

I can't blame people for being cautious, but what I do blame them for is being cautious in the wrong way. These days of 24 hour news channels have made people live in fear. What once upon a time would have been a regional story at best, lost hikers, parental kidnap, high speed pursuit, or anything that might make the local TV news is now blasted nationwide in a matter of minutes, especially on a slow national news day. Every story gets it's own graphic and trumpeting lead in. Teasers into the commercials, and shots from every angle, inside and out, up and down. Society has become the lookouts for "the next big story." Cellphone video makes the 6 o'clock news and gets picked up by CNN and MSNBC and FOX News. The stories are picked apart and analyzed by any expert who wants to make a few bucks and a little screen time. We are NOT the better for it. We panic at the slightest provocation, looking for a bogeyman behind every bush, and if we can do our part we feel that we have done right.

But our part is to be responsible with the power that we have, taking a few minutes to look for a few facts to be sure that we are sharing the truth with our friends and family. THAT is doing Right.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Where did the year go?

So here it is, the first of December, and my birthday is fast approaching! 43 this year,sure don't feel like I'm that old. Somewhere in the back of m=y mind I guess I'm conscious of it, but the rest of the time I feel like I'm still in my 20's and just learning how to live. Then I see the kids in the fire hall or the bar, and I know that I have so much more experience. It's not really doing me that much good in general, but it does give me the smarts to stop drinking way before I get into hangover territory. Haven't drank myself unconscious in years. maybe that's what I need... nah. I can live the rest of my life and not miss being on my knees in front of a toilet bowl heaving the last bits of mucus out of my guts because that's all that's left!

SO, what have I done with my life this past year, let me see if I can take some stock. I have realized that I have a talent and I have decided that it is what I will pursue for the rest of my life. Looking for some satisfaction in the work I do. I am a photographer. I may not be the artist of Adams, or Freytag, but I know what I want to do, and I know how to get there. I have to learn how to conduct business. That';s something I have never really had a hand on, but it's something that I know I can learn. So the goal here is to learn how to make a living with my photography, whether it is selling prints or doing senior pics, family portraits or even school sports. There is a living to be made with it, I just have to figure out how to do it. As I learn the mechanics of taking consistently good pictures, I am also figuring out how to market my particular sill set. It can't happen overnight, but it will happen.

Still single. Haven't really had much luck in lady-land. Not really for lack of trying, but more for a lack of dedication. I have become so used to being alone and being rejected that I just don't seem to enjoy the search like I used to, and I don't follow the opportunities. There have been a couple of chances, at least I THINK they were chances, that I just walked away from. I may be just so far out of practice that I don't know how anymore. I did figure one really important thing out about myself though, when I meet someone who is single and I am aware of that fact, I do and say stupid things right away. I never get the chance to be the smart and witty guy that I really am. I put way too much pressure on myself, and I try to impress instantly and I screw it up in a big way. I realized it when I was introduced to a friend's wife recently. Because there was NO need to try and impress her to try and get her to see me a second time, I was my natural sweet self and I made a great first impression. so it's in my own head, I just have to learn to control the "stupid Impulse" a little better. Secondly, I am still single because I have no place that I would like to take a girl. Can't take her home, and don't want to hang out all night someplace stupid, like a bar or Tim Ho's.

Joined the Fire Dept. as a social member. That means that I don't run into burning buildings! I get to hang out and drink beer with the guys who do! I joined for the opportunity to take pictures of firefighters in action. I have been to one fire scene this year, and many training sessions. Not really that unhappy that peoples houses didn't burn down. In fact I can only thing of three structure fires that dept was involved in, and I was nearly first on the scene for one of them, and none were in our home district, all in neighboring areas. But I have been having fun getting to know new people and leaning new things. I have become a fixture at bingo, and the ladies there love me! I actually enjoy the time I spend there, because I get to talk to people and hear some gossip about the town. I have fun selling raffle tickets to the customers, and calling numbers. I get to make a few jokes here and there and get people to laugh, so all in all that's pretty cool.

Working again as a DJ. Still sitting with the decks. Well, not really! These days all my tunes are in the computer. I still have to run a mixing board, and pick and lay out the song list and keep people happy, but The pile of gear is a lot less these days! I'm not running all over hell and back to get gear and to do shows, I work one place with their gear and that's all I have to do. It doesn't pay as well as the other way, but I still get paid for doing a pretty easy job.

Debt. Man, I got myself into a hole over the last few years, and I had to make it bigger before I could make it smaller. Learned a WHOLE lot of shit about the credit card system this year, and if I knew in January what I know now, I would be SO much farther ahead in my pursuit of financial freedom. Live and learn I suppose, but at this moment I don't have a shred of credit. If I don't have money in the bank, I don't have any to spend. and sometimes that ain't easy. But I keep plugging away, and fingers crossed I may be ahead again in another year or so. Look at this post next year and see where I am!!

Health.... I don't know, the weight is back up, and I am not feeling as good about myself as I would like. I have been having the hardest time with controlling my eating. I have been binging something fierce, and I think I know why, but knowing the reason and stopping the behavior are 2 different things. Every day I wake up and start over and some days I do really good, and some days I do really bad. Sadly, the bad days are out numbering the good ones. I really believe that the biggest piece of the solution puzzle is going to be a place of my own. That's going to be at least another year, until I get my truck paid off so that I can put that money towards rent. I'm sure that by the time I have the truck paid off it will need something major and will take all my spare money again. Like my life always seems to go, but I am looking in that direction at least. I don't know if my waistline can wait another 10 months, but I'm gonna have to try. I just don't see any solutions sooner than that.

This year overall? I going to say that the positives seem to outweigh the negatives, but it's really a delicate balance. Something small could tip the scales. I hope things stay positive.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Life's little annoyances

Well judging by the title, one might think I'm in a grumpy mood, but truthfully, that's not the case. I have been too far gone from myself in the last few months to even know my own mind, and I'm not sure why. I have been busy, and bummed and broke. Some of that isn't new, seems that I have spent most of my life broke, but then unless you're born with the silver spoon, you did too! I guess broke is a subjective thing, because we all look at it based on our own experience. To some broke is about being able to do whatever you want to do, and to other broke is about being able to eat, so in that respect I guess I'm just not happy with my ability to Purchase and provide amusements. I am working on clearing up some of my excess debt for two reasons, One is so that I may finally be able to work on getting my own domicile of some sort or another, be it an apartment, or finally building my house. The second is so that I can get some more Photographic equipment, to go towards living my dream of becoming a professional photographer.

The bummed I am certain has 2 reasons, one is my simple loneliness in the love department. Being alone is nice for many things but when you want to share stuff with someone and there is nobody around to do it with, .... Second, bummed is because I am in serious need of a vacation and yet I don't have the time and money to take one. I'm not even meaning a trip to Europe ( as much as I would LOVE to go) just getting out of state for a week would give me a GREAT new outlook on life. There is one other bummed too, but I think it's about my overall frustration with my situation. I have gained weight like a pregnant elephant! I have nearly put back on all that I lost last year. in fact in the last 2 months I have gained nearly 15 pounds alone. last weekend I finally got disgusted enough with myself, and I have lumbered back up on the wagon and I am monitoring my carb and overall caloric intake. So it's a daily struggle to get a handle on my crazy appetites and cravings.

I know that part of the frustration comes from being lonely, and another comes from lacking my own place. I think they are linked though because I don't have the privacy to bring someone home. Oh well....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Man I should write something...

I have this damn blog and I haven't been writing in it much lately I haven't been too creative feeling in the writing phase at least not here anyway. I have been writing on Facebook, why? because I have Friends there who will see my stuff!! I like to write, and I like to do other stuff too, the problem lately is that I am much more busy with my other stuff. The other reason is that my ire hasn't been rised up much lately. Mostly because I have found a certain disgust with humanity and I have resigned myself to the fact that most of them are surrendering braincells and free will simply because they either don't know enough to think on their own, or they are willfully ignorant. Anyway, I just needed a post to keep my stuff active!