Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Robots Invade the Super Market

Today's trip to the supermarket left me feeling, as usual, conflicted. But today's conflict was not caused by the usual culprits of unruly taste buds and health conscience brain cells battling it out. No, this day's conflict was fueled by technology. It seems our local grocery store has installed hand held scanners that let you scan your food as you shop, thus outsourcing the checkout clerk's job to the customers.
I won't lie, it was certainly fun running through the aisles pretending to scan alien life forms and shouting Captain Kirk quotes. Checking out after our trip was also quite speedy. But as computers expand into every aspect of my life, my love/hate relationship with technology grows larger.
Set phasers to stun!

How many years do we have left before the coming robot revolution? They can already beat us at chess and build our cars. Now they follow me through the grocery store showing me digital coupons and begging me to buy more Oreos while I do the same job the use to pay a person to do. Not to mention I almost accidentally stole four items when I forgot to scan them. I've seen the Matrix enough times to know what happens next. All too often we seem to be blinded by the coolness of new technology to notice it's downside until it is far too late. I guess I'll just go home and blog about it on my computer.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Minimates: They're like your mates only mini!

I don't know how people do it. Hundreds if not thousands of Americans eventually develop the will to stop buying and playing with toys. But this grown man-child gave up that fight years ago.
The appeal of carrying around my childhood (and current) heroes is still much too intoxicating to resist. I'm sure it would make doing the laundry easier on my wife if I could resist. And if I were able to take all the time I've spent battling imaginary ninjas in the last decade, I could probably have done something incredibly productive like inventing paint that can block cell phone signals.

But I refuse to put away all childish things. We all need to hold on to something from our childhoods. I think it's important to do something kid Jeff would love doing with me at least once a week.I bet there are all kinds of statistics and reports that will tell you how playing and using your imagination helps keep you young or make lots of money. But who really cares about that? What really matters is 12 year old Jeff would like who he's become. That's excuse enough for me to give into my temptations and play with tiny mutant superheroes whenever I want.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

My wife is crazy. I suppose everyone is probably a little crazy, but sometimes I forget that. Recently my wife was stricken awake from a nap, apparently inspired. Inspired to make fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

I was immediately horrified. Wasabi ice cream, nacho cheese & anchovy smoothies, Ham & jellybean casserole; these are all food creations that belonged in the same league as fried peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, I was sure. But when you live with someone, you have certain obligations to try their food. Even if it does seem like an idea worthy of Dr. Frankenstein.

So I expanded my culinary horizons, into territory I was positive was better left unexplored. But it turns out I was wrong. Wrapping a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in pancake batter, and pan frying it tasted pretty good. And I realized you're not really exploring life if you only go where you're comfortable going or know you'll like. From time to time we all need to listen to people we disagree with, try things that sound scary, and eat fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Girl Scouts of America

I have been searching for signs of spring as of late. Little whispers have been appearing, like tiny flowers.

But today I stumbled across the most sure sign of spring there is, tiny children selling things.

Like Pavlov's dog, as soon as I saw that table full of cookies I instantly began to salivate. But after purchasing my cookies, I began to wonder if I should be suspicious of these small females. I know virtually nothing about the Girl Scouts, but their secrecy and strange pledges worry me. If I've learned anything from the free masons or the Illuminati, it's that anytime there are large groups of people surrounded by secrecy, they're probably trying to take over the world. What would we all do if we woke up one day to find that the Girl Scouts had all left to form their own nation, like some sort of modern day Amazon Warriors. Using their massive treasure to develop nuclear capabilities and leaving us addicted to cookies to which only they hold the secret formula? I think it's pretty clear we'd be helpless. Most girl scouts probably claim there is nothing to worry about, and they might even believe this. But who is to say they aren't sleeper agents, trained in deadly arts by ancient descendants of the great Amazonian Warriors??

I am calling for immediate sanctions and oversight of the Girls Scouts of America. The FBI needs to get some undercover agents in their organization ASAP, and the FDA should hold an immediate investigation of their cookies. If I'm right, and of course I am, someone bribed them years ago to look the other way as they began selling cookies that contain secret, massively addictive ingredients. I call on you to help me thwart their evil plans, America! Please contact your congressional representative and ask them to take action.

Friday, March 27, 2009

May Peace Prevail on Earth

As I was roaming through Morristown the other day I stumbled across a Peace Pole silently promoting peace on earth. It seems like such a crazy, radical suggestion to put on a pole and proclaim to the world. But it was ultimately a pleasant interuption to my day. It felt like running into an old friend who won't let me give up.

Peace poles are everywhere. There's one at the magnetic north pole, one at the pyramids, one at the Hiroshima peace memorial. This particular peace pole is planted directly next to the sidewalk, ready to confront the observant passerby. Written in four languages, (this one was written in English, Arabic, Hebrew, and Spanish) it is both a message and a prayer. There's a lot of things that are out there in the world trying to confront and challenge us if we pay attention. Peace is possible. Every freedom we now enjoy was once an impossibility, but here we are.

Today's lesson: pay attention to the world and to poles, you never know where you'll find inspiration. And hopefully peace will one day find us all.

Wander What?

Wanderlust: a strong desire for or impulse to wander.

The world is a strange and wondrous place, calling out to be explored. And this is my intention. To wander around the world meeting interesting folks, stumbling onto adventure, and finding beauty in the world's mischief. There is no destination, and the journey may turn difficult. But I will not be alone. My wife and my camera should be with me for most of the voyage. I may even learn something along the way.

I've apparently decided to blog about this journey and my daily adventures. I don't know whether maintaining a blog makes me self-indulgent or not, but the main purpose of this endeavor is to give me some accountability in reaching my goals. This is to be a photoblog. Each day I intend to post a picture and some rambling thoughts to accompany it. I love to take pictures and want to improve, and I hear the best way is to simply go out into the world and take pictures of what inspires you.

So as much as this blog will be about my journeys into the beauty that surrounds me, it will also be about my journey toward becoming a better Photographer. With a little luck it'll be entertaining and maybe even productive. Hopefully you'll come along with me and help me along the way when you can.

"It's a dangerous business... going out your front door. You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to." - J.R.R. Tolkien

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