thoughts on learning while fiddling

search closed

new search bar – closed

I spent all yesterday afternoon and yesterday evening fiddling with adding a search bar to my website. I was pretty tired, but I still wanted to try and change it up. I’ve gone through many phases. In the beginning, all I wanted was to have a relatively static site that I could control all aspects of. That’s why I went with Joomla. Then I discovered WordPress and decided that I would go with that as a CMS because it was so aesthetically pleasing and easy to use.

new search bar - open

new search bar – open

I hopped on the Tumblr bandwagon, but never fully embraced it because it was not feature-rich enough for me. If my website was to be my face on the web, I wanted it to be something I was proud of and could control. WordPress hit all those spots for me. I had a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS, but not PHP. Still, I went for it and jumped. I’ve been self-taught all my life and that’s how I like discover the world around me. I find that as a hands-on learner, doing things and jumping right in helps me understand the fundamentals and gets me hooked. After a few tries I usually show massive improvement.

Continue reading

dreaming of love the imagination

Photo by Staffage via: kaboompics.com

Photo by Staffage via: kaboompics.com

We should all dream and we should, at some point, all dream about love. We’re not setting high expectations or even idealizing relationships. We’re just using our imaginations because sometimes, the imagination is all we have. We’re all just dreaming of love. This brings me back to what Victor E. Frankl says about finding meaning in life. When the odds are against us and we come face to face with immense suffering or unbearable grief, we dream. We dream of better days ahead and hold onto hope. Hope is the intangible force that keeps us hanging on and moving forward, with faith driving our feelings and actions. I think most people have a vision of what love looks and feels like, even if it is based on unrealistic fantasies. Fantasies, hopes, dreams, and visions of love are simple manifestations of subconscious erotic and neurotic desires. It shouldn’t be surprising then, that media turns our desires into a dramatic visual on screen. In effect, as a society, we’re taught to believe that love should feel a certain way and that certain actions are romantic while others are not only unromatic, but hindrances to love and budding relationships. I have my own dream and vision of an “ideal” love, but read it with this in mind: an ideal love is not necessarily a happy one, nor is it always the right one. It is the fictional one that we can escape to in times of need, when our lives become inundated with stress, responsibilities, expectations, fights, and synergistic effects of everyday troubles.
Continue reading

Meike MK-550DL Manual part two

LCD screen and back of the grip

LCD screen and back of the grip

My post from a while back on the Meike MK-550DL Battery Grip is one of the most popular pages on my site. I still stand behind the purchase and the grip has saved me a whole lot of time and also a lot of money. I don’t need to purchase any extras in order to take time-lapses or to do long-exposure photography with exposures longer than 30 seconds. I’ve personally recommended the battery grip to a couple of my friends, although they have yet to jump in and make the purchase. It was hard to find a Meike MK-550DL Manual that made sense.

It’s been over a year since I created and published the first post, so I’ve had a really long time to learn the ins and outs of the grip. I love it and use it exclusively. I keep the grip on my camera when I store it in my bag and I’d say that 99.98% of the time, I have the battery grip attached with two batteries in. The battery life is incredible and I always have two extras in my bag that I can easily swap out.

Continue reading

revisiting the old bringing the new

After a fairly grueling work week, I had a few experiences which redefined the way I look at things. Sadly, the shutter count on my camera only increased slightly and I don’t have much work to show for it. I revisited the old friends and values I thought were lost to me.

Again, I had a nice conversation with Bob over at the Temescal Community Foundation, albeit a short one. I’m tired of writing. I have a long post coming up in the next few hours and that has sapped my energy, so let me just leave you with a set of words. These words either rolled through my mind or relate to how I spent my weekend, so cheers and have a fantastic work week:

nostalgia, friendship, ice cream, thrifting, short hair, skull rings, beach, ocean, water, perspectives, assumptions, love, relationships, connections, communication, vegan, wood, mirrors, food, mediterranean, falafel, hummus, sunflowers, mind blown, coffee, cold brew, furniture, pineapples, juice, flat tires, life, nature, dog poop, museums, happiness, learning, music, country roads, horse poop, dense fog, self-love, beauty, quality over quantity, photography, story-telling.

the wanderer’s way unplanned

the wanderer

seal rock in san francisco, california

Years ago, when I was an undergrad at UC Davis, I took a class (my last class during my stay) about refuse in American culture. The course was titled: Objects and Everyday Life: Garbage, Junk, and RefuseIt touched on themes of garbage, refuse management, recycling, up-cycling, reuse, thrifting, second hand, and nature. If you’re interested in the lifestyle concerning secondhand and thrifting, because there is a thriving culture in it, I implore you to grab a copy of Second Hand by Michael Zadoorian. It is a novel and a great read, delving at lengths into the spiritual side of thrifting.

I blame the television for my sometimes overactive imagination and meandering mind. Early in my childhood, I spent hours glued to the tube, watching anything that mesmerized me. Just to name a few, I often caught episodes of Barney, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Power Rangers, Relic Hunter, and StarGate SG-1. I can attribute my love of sci-fi and history to these shows. They opened my mind up to new stories and new possibilities. It didn’t matter if they were unrealistic, fairy tales, or of lands full of magic, because they all reflected the values that I hold dear to the core of my being. This constant buzz in my head has never ceased and I don’t believe it ever will. It has forced me to incessantly wander whether I want to or not, but I’ve grown to enjoy it. Through it all, I’ve come up with a clearer understanding of this beast. The beast that holds me hostage and now, I also now know how to control it.

Continue reading

weekend explorations to be thrifty

I did a little bit of exploration the past weekend. It was a soul-searching experiment and a chance for me to experience things with nothing but my own thoughts and feelings to guide me. It was spectacular. Sometimes all you need is peace and quite, with no other influence other than your own telling you what to do. I live for that feeling because it’s both empowering and soothing. That said, I spent a lot of time drinking coffee and getting lost through the streets of Albany, Berkeley, and Oakland.

I discovered the Temescal Community Foundation, housed in an old chocolate factory. I recommend a visit if only just to trade stories with Bob – he’s warm, cheerful, and friendly. Love it. I picked up two antique keys and a picture frame because they called out to me. Next stop: Curbside Creamery and their new location in Temescal Alley – I went for a cookie sandwich. Along the way, I also discovered the East Bay Depot for Creative Resuse – a treasure trove of awesome things. There I picked up 5 lens wipes, two old floppy disks (one with photoshop loaded on it), an ink eradicator that is out of production, and red and white tape for my typewriter. All in all – good finds that just called out to me.

gallery update photos

I’ve added a few backlogged photos from my archives into the gallery. Too lazy to go there and look? No worries, I have them right here for you:

I’ve moved on from black and white editing to more of a faded matte/fashion-style editing. I think i’ll be on this phase for a while, but I hope it tickles your fancy like it does mine.