Essay Question

By: Chris KompstCC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Imagine that it’s possible to upload any skill you desire directly into your brain (ala The Matrix). If you need to know calculus, you can upload calculus. If you want to know how to snowboard, you upload snowboarding. Skills must be purchased, and more complicated skills cost more (learning to fly a plane costs more than learning to drive a car, for example). Even creative skills (like playing the piano, or painting) can be uploaded.

Particularly as it relates to creative skills, having the skill inserted does NOT automatically imbue you with talent. Assess the effect that such technology would have on contemporary art. Would this technology make art more meaningful, or less? Neither?

This Is the Loathing

By: ed_needs_a_bicycleCC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Chatted a little with Wordy over the weekend, as I was working on my grad school apps.  I told him that as I reviewed my thesis in order to select a sample to send with said applications, I realized that it was the worst story I’d ever read in my life.

This is part of the creative process, unfortunately.  I guess if you never think that the stuff that you’re producing sucks, you’re probably a bit deluded and not cut out for it.  It doesn’t make selecting the sample any easier, though.

Any interest out there in recommending a section to use?  My judgment is not always the best.


My Books
by Jenn Calder

I have to admit that I am a terrible reader.  When I was a kid, I read a lot more.  These days, if I get through three or four books a year, that’s sort of a lot.  I’m pretty embarrassed to say so, and it makes me feel guilty on multiple levels.

First, as someone who claims to “write,” reading a lot of words sort of goes hand-in-hand with that activity.  When you are digesting a lot of words off the page, your brain works better when forming your own.  Someone like me, consequently, should probably be reading a lot more.

It also feels like a slight betrayal of the kid I used to be that had loads of books and nearly always carried one around in school.  I don’t think 13-year-old me would have predicted such a precipitous drop in reading.

One of the things that I’ve noticed about myself and reading, relative to others in my social circles, is that I am an EXTREMELY slow reader.  I can’t really explain it.  The way that I read, there is a performance of the material going on my head — different characters have different voices, the settings and conditions are completely fleshed out in my mind’s eye, and I pore over each word very carefully.  I’ve tried to speed myself up at times, but it doesn’t seem to work.  I don’t really know how to read faster.

Another issue that I’ve run into, particularly in the last 5-10 years, is that reading for any length of time seems to work like a sleeping pill on me.  The best chance I have to stay completely conscious while reading is to walk at the same time.  Every now and then, I do just that during lunch breaks at work.  But sit me down in a chair, even in the middle of a sunny day after I’ve had my regular compliment of coffee, and I will doze off within 20 or 30 minutes.  It’s hard to make a lot of progress in a book that way.

Is there some way that I can force myself to at least read more, if not better?  I sure do succomb to distraction easily, so I’d have to severely cut back on other available stimuli in order to make books the most appealing activity at my disposal.  Maybe audiobooks are the answer.  Some people feel like listening to books is not the same thing as reading them, but I figure if you’re absorbing the information, it’s all the same.

How long did it take you to read this?

Flick It

transparent-flickr-logo-iconI sort of forgot two things related to Flickr:

  1. I did not have my “pro” account set up for auto-renewal, so I lost it.
  2. Free accounts now get a terabyte of storage — more than adequate for backing up ALL of my photos now, and for a significant stretch into the future.

The one complaint that I have (and apparently I’m not the only one) is that bulk uploading of folders doesn’t seem to be possible with the Yahoo!-built uploadr tools.  There are a few third-party apps that folks have developed which purportedly have this capability, but I know from experience that using any such piece of software is going to be hit-and-miss.

I’m also running a Linux desktop at home, so that complicates things a bit more.  I tried Postr, but it can’t upload folders.  An app called folders2flickr seemed like a good solution, but it hasn’t been updated in over two years, and I couldn’t get it to work on my system.  The gThumb image viewer is another OK option; getting starting uploading is relatively simple, but drilling down through all my folders of photos seems like an epic pain in the ass.  It is the one thing I really want to avoid.

It’s possible that I’m doomed to take hours and hours completing this project, or else giving up on it completely.

Do you store a ton of your photos on Flickr?  How did the uploading go for you?  If not the Flickr, what other online photo storage options have you explored?

Back In Business

corner_modI had let my Etsy store listings lapse over the last couple of months, and for whatever reason, procrastinated significantly in getting that stuff back together.

Last year, I sold a print during the deer hunt, and since Saturday is opening day, I figured I should get that stuff back together.

It would probably be a good idea for me to add a lot more shots to the shop.  Still working on getting over that “what-I-like-might-not-be-what-other-people-like” thing with regard to my creative work.  Maybe I should post some potentials here on the blog and ask visitors to offer an opinion.  I suppose it can’t hurt.

A Helluva Year

By: funkblast

I know, I haven’t been here in a while.

2013 hasn’t gone exactly as I expected all the way through.  I’ve had to focus a lot of time and effort on my mental and emotional well-being, and reconsidering goals and aspirations for the future.  Part of me is starting to feel like I’m too old to have “future goals.”  I know that’s not the case, but thinking about it too much can bring a person down.  I’ve struggled through some poor habits, poor feelings, and poor decisions this year.  I want to get things back on track, but I often feel like I don’t know where to get started.

I am going to give more grad school another go-round.  This cycle I’m going to put forth more effort on applications than I have in any one year in the past.  Hopefully, that will mean a fruitful result, and help me to feel more like goals and aspirations are worth having.  Some way or another, I’ve got to bust out of this rut and push ahead.

Return Trajectory

8573145208_9366e8b674_oAfter an interesting weekend with a few email and website hiccups, things are coming back to normal with soloshootsfirst.  Happy to report that all web-related goodies moved over to the new host with just a few complications that weren’t that bad, all things considered.

I looked back at my Plan B post, and I am making a little bit of progress in the “look for new work” category.  Taking pictures of myself has to count for photography effort, as well.  Yet this week, I’m going to schedule another chat with one of the principals whose likeness is being portrayed in my current writing project.  The talk with Clint last fall was helpful, and it was fun just to think back on those days together.  I figure I should get at least the same out of Kelly.

Killer Crossover and Delayed Starts

8559444479_d62d5c8717_oMight end up taking a few-more-than-desired days off as I’m going to move this site over to my new hosting service as well.  The change should end up being transparent, but will probably take a day or three to complete.

I’m annoyed with myself that I haven’t made any new progress with writing in the last week or so.  I have occupied my time with some other projects, but I need to be sure I’m budgeting a little space for everything that I want to accomplish.  Making an actual schedule might be a nice idea if I thought I could stick to it.  I have to chalk up cutting back significantly on TV and general Internet-dicking-around as minor victories at this point.

In more general news, I’m taking a ride to Milwaukee on Saturday.  Prepare thyself for my descent.

Sooo Meta

Haven’t been spending a lot of time with photo and writing in the last few days, as I transitioned the podcast blog from over to a hosted wordpress installation.  I found a great deal on hosting with 1-click WordPress install, unlimited storage and bandwidth, unlimited domains, for $5 a month for three years.  If you want to check them out, they are the #1 recommended host on
So anyway, moving was a significant task, but I feel like it was a good way to test out the host and see if I would ultimately want to move my personal site there as well.  Probably won’t *right* away, but it is coming.  Moving this one should actually be easier, as it’s already a self-hosted wordpress site and essentially copying it over it what I would be doing.
I made a “banner” image for BKO Radio using my phone camera, GIMP, and Snapseed.  I like the way I was able to push the background out of focus with the various filters used, since the background in my apartment is kind of a mess.
2013-03-12 13.52.32

Portrait Fail

I got a little excited about taking pictures of myself this week.  If I’m going to learn how to photograph people, I am probably the most willing model that I have access to for the time being.  So, last night, after I finished the Drama Jocks show, I set myself up a little studio around my desk, built a crappy diffuser out of tissue paper and cardboard, and went to work.

I wasn’t nearly as impressed with myself as I had been with the outdoor shots over the weekend.  Maybe I just don’t like the way that I look in photos, or I don’t know how to do lighting, or both, but the shots I took last night didn’t turn out that well.  I might be able to massage a couple of them into usefulness, but I was hoping to do a little better than that.  I guess I’ll just need to keep working at it.

If you were me, and you wanted to take a picture of yourself, ostensibly “at work,” (not necessarily at your job, but doing stuff) where would you do it?  Or, what would you try to photograph yourself “doing”?

firing from the hip since 2002