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Photostrip: Mundane Art of the Last Week

After looking through some of the photos I have taken over the last year, I’ve realized that Instagram has given me an outlet for something I used to indulge with a film camera – photos for photos sake & indulgent shots of mundane things in an attempt to make them special. I’ve fully embraced this – I use the blur effects way too much, and lately I’ve begun turning things upside down for no good reason. Here are some of my favorites from last week, delivered to you this week.

If you’d like to some of these as they are taken, feel free to follow me on Instagram.

My September 11th Post

I didn’t expect to actually write anything for the 10 year anniversary of the September 11th attacks, but after waking up this morning and turning on the television, it occurred to me that it was indeed the day today, and that it had been some time since I had truly reflected on it.

I live in Indiana, and while I know some New Yorkers now, I only knew one in 2001. Like a lot of people, I was left feeling helpless and confused on that day. I worked at a comic store in Indianapolis at the time. I opened the store at 10 AM, and like most mornings, woke up at 9:00, showered, jumped in my car, and drove straight there, listening to something on CD. I didn’t listen to the radio, then either, or I am sure I would have heard about the planes hitting the towers. So I drove to work that day like any other, completely oblivious. I arrived at the store and turned on the small television on the counter. This was the only store with a TV, and for some reason I felt like watching it. I flipped through the channels a few times, and was a bit confused about what I was seeing. At first I thought I caught some mid morning Die Hard knock off, and that I was only getting one channel. Once I realized what was happening I was on the phone with my mom, and trying to make sense of everything.

While I had spent plenty of time cavorting with the counter culture, I had remained fairly apathetic toward current events, politics, and the world in general. I didn’t know who was responsible for the attack, or why it was happening. Honestly, I didn’t even know who Osama Bin Laden was, save a face on a most wanted poster that had been hanging on the wall where I worked while at Ball State University.

I spent most of the day sitting on the curb. No one came in that day to buy comics. I sat there and watched as cars lined up to buy gasoline and wondered if there would be a draft for this war the media was talking about. I spent the day alone, finishing out my shift, then returned home to my friends where we all sat stunned as the only person I knew from New York called everyone he knew from the other room.

A decade later, as I watched the memorial and caught the occasional Facebook update, I attempted to explain to my son what had happened ten years ago. He seemed to understand on the surface, but in a manner that appeared to be like my memories of history lessons. I felt thankful that I am able to tell my son about this, that he and his brother have a full family to protect him and love him. He will grow up knowing the importance of acceptance, remembrance, and the strength people have to carry on and persevere.

I can’t imagine what some people lost that day, but today I remembered what I have.

April’s Impending Reign of Showers

I found myself with some time during the Icepocalypse, and jotted this down, so I today present a little satire for your Saturday.

The mid-west froze in it’s slow paced tracks last week as, “Icepocalypse 2011” slid it’s way across the country.  Quickly followed up Snowpocalypse, meteorologists now turn their gaze toward something far, far more sinister.

Aprils’ Reign of Showers.
“I’ve already got me a pontoon boat.” said James “Jamie” Kurnch of Mooresville, Indiana. I use it down on Lake Cataract every summer – way I figger, I’ll just be getting drunk sooner!”

Not all residents are as laid back. “I DON’T HAVE A BOAT, OMG WTF WILL I DO TO SAVE MY TRENDY RESTAURANT!” wrote twitter user @winecellar1977. To translate, we went to local president of social media expert science lab, and mayor of 93 local foursquare locations, Kenny Savage, and he gave us this totally unrelated quote.

“Many have come to me, saying… how will you cope with the intrusion on your bohemian lifestyle,  and attend all of those networking events?! Let’s just say… someone owns some special twitter handles, and has already started working on something special for the future of the web.”

How will the world cope?! Time will only tell. Be sure to come back for our next report:

“Pilgramage – how May’s flowers will bring us home.”

Episode 3 of My Home Entertainment Trilogy: How to own your media with Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone

This is part 3 of 3 of my Home Entertainment Trilogy, where I detail out my journey to home entertainment awesome. You can read part one here and part two here.

Media Room of the Future

I borrowed this from Paleo Future - an awesome blog. Please check it out.

This year I finally figured it all out.

After bringing home the Sony Bravia and hooking it up to the Mac Mini, I quickly realized that the mini was not powerful enough to run everything I wanted to run. I sat dumbfounded at the unintentional mess I had created.

My PlayStation 3 quickly rose to the top of my list of solutions. I loved that I didn’t have to worry about ram or processor speed – it was an all-in-one device that required little mental overhead. I started looking at it as a total replacement for the mini, but found myself wondering if the solution would be worth the process of trans-coding the 200 + gigabytes of media and installing a new hard drive in the PS3.

Then I got distracted with a new toy.

On my birthday Apple gave me an iPad. I had to pay for it, but it came out the same weekend as my birthday, so I indulged.

The wi-fi only media player kept me distracted long enough to realize I didn’t necessarily need to experience everything on the TV. I loved watching movies in bed or on the couch, but as the apps rolled out and all of my new viewing options were presented, I realized I still like to watch TV on the big screen in my living room. This got my mind racing once again, and I decided it was time to upgrade to an iMac and just get this taken care of.

However, I never bought the iMac.

The mini was quickly becoming nothing but a receiver for my Macbook Pro, thanks to Airfoil from Rogue Amoeba. I looked back at my mini with more frustration, and I started thinking about the PS3 again. Hulu Plus was released, and I was excited to see it available for the PS3, as well as the iPad and iPhone.

“All I want is a box to get everything I want from – is that so hard?” I thought to myself.

Then it happened. I bought a new Apple TV.

I started writing this post before it was out. It was actually just a rumor. It is crazy how

  1. I take so long to finish blog posts, and
  2. How quickly everything can change.

I bought it on a whim. I had a gift card and picked it up at the Indianapolis Apple Store. I recommend you get yours from the Mac Experience, though.

I took it home and was streaming video from the mini instantly. I wasn’t surprised that the experience was much better than using the mini on the TV, so I quickly retired the mini to a new home under a chair and began enjoying it’s new life as a dedicated iTunes box.

I thought again about the iMac, but decided to upgrade the drive in the mini, keeping my music on my Macbook Pro. Airplay made it extra easy and removed my need for Airfoil, although I still use it on occasion.

What I hadn’t realized, but should have, is that Apple would change everything by updating iOS a short time later. The heavens opened and I witnessed it.

The holy trinity of Home entertainment = the iPhone, the iPad, the Apple TV.

It finally happened. I can stream from any device. Video, audio –  anything.  Access to all of my media, and more importantly, control. I can pull media up on my ipad and quickly toss it to the living room, I can play something right off of my phone, I can control 2 media libaries. It is so simple, it was always simple. I just needed Apple to connect the dots.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for new apps that can take advantage of the AppleTV Airplay connection. I’d love to see some full screen games with the iPad or phone as controller.

I have friends who have told me they are “just getting a mac mini” instead of an Apple TV, because they “will have a entire computer.” I tell them again and again, get an Apple TV, and save your computer for computing.

You’ll be glad you did.