Photography Juggernaut!

Some fine words from Flickr Blog:

“It’s important to believe in the uniqueness and value of your own experience. When you’re just starting out, it’s easy to edit yourself a little too much, to think “Well, why should I bother taking this shot? I’m sure it’s been done before….” Well, it has all been done before, but it hasn’t been done by you. Take your camera (any camera, no matter the quality) with you everywhere and just get in the habit of paying attention and noticing what you’re drawn to. I’ve learned a lot about myself through photography, and in many ways the photos I take help me understand what I’m thinking or feeling at a given time. To me, photography can be as much about listening as seeing, about emotion as much as light and form. Be open to what you find, and know it’s worth recording and thinking about. (I’m not sure if that was one tip or eight, but there you have it. :)”

Been struggling with being inspired to take pictures for the last couple of months. Been struggling to do pretty much anything besides work but photography especially is just going nowhere. Every time I take a few pictures (and I take quite a few), I hardly find more than handful to be worth anything close to what I was feeling when I was taking them. Changed gear, changed techniques, changed perspective but for some reason the disappointment continues.

Don’t know what I am doing wrong… maybe I just don’t have the eye to make pictures. The count of number of things I am not talented in continues 🙂

Silence on the air…

Over the last few months, I have been tuning into this one particular radio station KUSF which plays some really good classical music that i had taken a liking too. I don’t know most of the music that’s played but I have come to appreciate it in between the crime filled newscasts of cbs or the financial talk on NPR ( I always seem to get this one program when ever I tune to NPR?!)

Anyways, the station was  static yesterday evening and continuous scanning was futile. And today morning I found out that KUSF was bought over by USC/LA and will now be converted from a volunteer run local sf station to a non-profit USC centric classical and commercial music station. Apparently, the decision to sell the station was made without inputs from any of the volunteers there and the station and dj were online when the transponder was shut down.

Why is it that I feel bad for a radio station being taken over in the natural resetting of market needs as opposed to a let’s say my bank being taken over? Does the issue of beneficiaries / victims making money or not play a part in this? Should the community have a say in this especially for a station feeding the soul of the community as opposed to the wallets of certain individuals?

Free markets do help but is there an argument to be made for sensible regulation on deals that affect large communities especially when it involves profiteering by a few?

Fairness in punishment

Now that the accused in the Arizona shooting a couple of weeks back is getting ready to be tried, is it just wishful thinking that in my lifetime, there is a chance that this 21 year old kid, who is obviously confused & partly convoluted in his head will ever get a second chance in his life and have the opportunity to walk on the streets as a free man?

No punishment will fit the crime especially in this case, mindless shooting due to ideological differences that left 6 dead including a 9 year old and a elected representative to congress who can barely breathe on her own. Nytimes and other mainstream media ran a profile of the defense attorney who has demonstrated capability to help these victims to skip the death row but then spend the rest of their life in one of the overflowing maximum security prisons filled with some of the most vicious criminals in the country.

Is it really a good thing? Is our society at a point right now to say that we even believe that such a person should ever be freed? Do we even have a plan to address the needs of such individuals and have a plan to rehabilitate them and make a sincere effort to solve whatever is the problem that made such a young fellow take such a drastic step?

All questions with no easy answers but if you look inside a democratic judicial system, especially American judicial system, it is setup to punish for sure but reform, it is not. Locking up all these criminals in solitary confinement and having penalties rack up quickly only means that there are tons of people out there who are facing 100 to 150yrs in prison. Is such a long prison sentence even a punishment? 150yrs?! How can a judgment be passed to say a crime committed takes 150yrs of punishment before its heinousness is abated?

And I guess there is an argument to be made about all the costs incurred to keep them in for such a long time safely including strict monitoring but I guess the question is more about humanity. When we as a society cannot forgive, should we then go the extra step and just crucify? Why the façade or reform?

Is the defense attorney appointed by the state really coming to his aid?

Update 01/21: Discussion on similar lines on nytimes – Link.

Melencolia – 1

Melencolia_I_Durero2

Started reading The Lost Symbol and this referenced picture really piqued my interest. Leaving aside the conspiracy theories, just imagine this picture with a modern man, surrounded by laptops, e-readers but still looking upwards for salvation (or just inspiration).

Did man really change so much in all these centuries? Seems like the more we know, the more we discover, we really don’t know.

Pic Reference. Artist Reference.

Secular?

Does being secular mean –

1. Not having the need to display a personal form of religious tradition at a gathering?

2. Allowing the display of all religious traditions at a gathering?

3. Having a need to display all religious traditions at a gathering?

4. Not allowing the display of any religious traditions at a gathering?

5. Not having anything to do with any religion in any gathering?

Advice, that I need!

These days I am in tall grass most of the time. I have no clue, no idea how to do somethings. Mostly I try to listen or remember what people I consider wise told me but mostly, I make things up and pray they work.

Which is good in a way, no? My deeds, my actions and my failures. I cannot tie them back to someone. Maybe this is what my mind really meant when it was pushed to be more creative/more original – Originality is over-rated, doing things better is the key!

So what I keep searching at times like this is advice. Not selfish words but advice that stems from voice that does not calculate “what’s in it for me”, blunt, harsh but honest. Friends help, I am glad I have a handful who do that but I am guessing its age and that people are becoming less critical and more accepting. But on a few days, I really need advice and it sucks that there is so little of it available. So so few wise men around!

Pressure!

It was not pressure when you have to put in 80,90 hr weeks to complete projects,
It is not pressure when you have to complete a presentation in a hr for a meeting that was just announced,
It was not pressure when you had to invent work arounds when things fail continuously,
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.
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What pressure as of today is when you are told you have a ship to steer towards a particular destination without knowing if there is water, space or land beneath your feet.

Pressure!

Still here…

… 2 months since I last posted here. Life has been hectic, crazy, long and a whole lot of more things.
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I finally went full time at my company after more than an yr of contracting. Had too, the market is too volatile for me to take a chance. Plus there is the visa thing.
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Moved to Berkeley! Finally a dream to live in a college town. Fabulous place, close to a hill, perfect commute to SFO. It’s a very very old place, in all senses.
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My first trip back home is inching closer and closer. 60 days to go. Really can’t wait. It’s been way too long.
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Got a photo blog finally setup after more than an yr of planning and planning. Will keep adding more to it. As always, I am still in search for a good template and a java app for displaying pics. 
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I got myself together and watched CNN-IBN last friday night for more than 4hrs for the election results. There seems to be no place for grace in victory or grace in defeat anymore. Pathetic host with a wonderful panel, totally wasted.  As far as the results go, I am disappointed, i guess, as always. 
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F1 is turing out to be intersting, finally. (Have to do a post on this soon?!)
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Was at IFFLA last month, watched 13 movies in 3 days. Quite an achievement for me. Some amazing films, some downright boring, as always. Sita Sings the blues is a wonderful film that i discovered there. It’s online, check it out.
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Have to start writing, again and need to find more things to do. Just been working and working and working…