Ending my 31 day alcohol fast

Last Thanksgiving, I knew I wanted to take January off of alcohol. Just like all the cool kids in the world who do Dry Januaries. Last year, I did the Whole30 diet from around Jan 15 to Feb/March, which ended up being 45 days off of alcohol. I felt so good during that time. But habits creep in and sometimes stress has a voice that’s louder than Reason and more powerful than Will.

Today is day 31 of my alcohol fast, and I’m going to end it today, only because I would LOVE a beer, but I don’t want to drink over the weekend. We have a video production on Sunday that I want to be completely on my game for.

So tonight, I’m going to finish some beer I bought over the Christmas holiday in North Carolina. I can only buy it there, and damn, it’s great. So I’m going to consume it, and jump back on the wagon. Continue reading “Ending my 31 day alcohol fast”

It’s bitter in Chicago. We’re only going outside to take our dog for quick bathroom breaks

The New York Times writes:

Emerging research suggests that a warming Arctic is causing changes in the jet stream and pushing polar air down to latitudes that are unaccustomed to them and often unprepared. Hence this week’s atypical chill over large swaths of the Northeast and Midwest. Friederike Otto, an Oxford University climate scientist who studies how specific weather events are exacerbated by global warming, said that while not all of these extreme events can be attributed to climate change, the profound changes in the earth’s atmosphere raise “the likelihood of a large number of extreme events.”

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The Chicago Trib:

Indeed, the blast of frigid arctic air sent temperatures plummeting across the Chicago area. Even before 2 a.m., Wednesday had set a record low for Jan. 30, descending to 16 degrees below zero and beating a low temperature of minus 15 set in 1966. By 7 a.m., temperatures were down to minus 23 at O’Hare International Airport, with wind chill of 52 degrees below zero there, according to the National Weather Service.

Other areas saw wind chills as low as 50 below zero by early Wednesday. West of Chicago, Dekalb recorded wind chills of 54 degrees below zero by 6 a.m.

The U.S. Postal Service and Amtrak suspended service, and schools in the Midwest closed through Thursday.

“Today’s about as cold as it can get in Chicago,” said Matt Friedlein, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Continue reading “It’s bitter in Chicago. We’re only going outside to take our dog for quick bathroom breaks”

Why isn’t part of the American Dream sharing the wealth everyone?

Loving these videos of people plainly taking on the rich for the hypocritical jacks they are.


No excuses: movie making on iPhones

While I was running on Sunday morning in 8 degree temperatures, I passed two elderly women walking down the Lake Shore Path, one using a walker, the other with her hand under that woman’s arm. They were on a stroll.

I was running with my GoPro. I pointed the camera at them and once past them, I looked at the lens and said, “There’s no excuses. If they can be out here, no reason anyone cannot be out here.”

The above movie trailer is for a Steven Soderbergh film shot completely on iPhones called Unsane. There’s an article and discuss thread here.

Like any topic on ANYTHING, you have dissent and agreement. The response range is typical. But the message, at least to me, is clear. Storytelling is storytelling. Whether you do it on a $45,000 camera or a $1000 one. Or a $150 one. Making, generating and publishing content is easier than it has ever been. And I’ve been pushing myself to crank out as much work as I possibly can.

It’s part (im)mortality. Part creativity. Part instinct. Part necessity.

I need to create. I have no children. I claim to be an artist. So fucking art (as a verb), mother fucker.

That’s what I tell myself, anyway. And I guess I can tell you, too. If you’re so inclined.

Right now I’m creating a lot of content on a GoPro 7. It’s not excellent quality, but it works. I pick it up. I run out the door with it. I create with it. I don’t hate the footage. I don’t hate the sound. But I don’t LOVE it. But I’m not letting good stand in the way of perfection.

I, for one, am inspired.

A documentary shot on 70mm film about Apollo 11? Yes please and wham bam thank you, ma’am!

I saw this trailer and drooled.

Miller and his team collaborated with NASA and the National Archives (NARA) to locate all of the existing footage from the Apollo 11 mission. In the course of sourcing all of the known imagery, NARA staff members made a discovery that changed the course of the project — an unprocessed collection of 65mm footage, never before seen by the public. Unbeknownst to even the NARA archivists, the reels contained wide format scenes of the Saturn V launch, the inside of the Launch Control Center and post-mission activities aboard the USS Hornet aircraft carrier.

The find resulted in the project evolving from one of only filmmaking to one of also film curation and historic preservation. The resulting transfer — from which the documentary was cut — is the highest resolution, highest quality digital collection of Apollo 11 footage in existence.

“The film is 100% archival footage and audio. They’ve paired the footage with selections from 11,000 hours of mission audio.”

The other unexpected find was a massive cache of audio recordings — more than 11,000 hours — comprising the individual tracks from 60 members of the Mission Control team. “Apollo 11” film team members wrote code to restore the audio and make it searchable and then began the multi-year process of listening to and documenting the recordings. The effort yielded new insights into key events of the moon landing mission, as well as surprising moments of humor and camaraderie.

In a dual between accurate and dumb as rocks

In a bout of ignorance as predictable as global warming itself: 

But fortunately, the Washington Post reports:

According to the poll, 56 percent of registered voters — a clear and statistically significant majority — say they will “definitely” not vote for Trump in his 2020 reelection bid. That’s bad enough. But the Post-ABC poll provided the option that asks if people would “consider voting for him.”

In regards to 45’s tweet, I’ll post a memetic response under the fold. Continue reading “In a dual between accurate and dumb as rocks”

Sunday conversation starter: the history of the American bathroom

We photograph a lot of interiors and one of our favorite rooms to photograph are large, luxurious bathrooms. They can be both a challenge and a delight.

Tina and I dream of having a home with a larger master bath. We own a condo with two bathrooms (a his and hers), which, yes, is a luxury by many standards. Tina’s bathroom is fairly standard, but her bathtub isn’t deep enough to cover our legs when full, so the occasional bath is about as fun as sitting in a puddle on the street.

My bathroom is an addition to the space and VERY small. New Yorkian if you will. I have to step inside and turn sideways to shut the door. I have to duck my head to get into the shower. I turn off the shower to wash myself (which is probably environmentally a good idea anyway). It’s just a small space. While it’s nice to have, I’d love to have more space. Even the French with their water closet separated from their shower/sink space would be awesome for our lifestyle.

So when I saw this article about this history of the American washroom, I read over it a few times. I found it fascinating.

The article is: The Rise of the Luxurious Suburban Master Bathroom; How a utilitarian room turned into a pleasure palace.

A snip:

Bathrooms haven’t changed much since indoor plumbing became a standard feature in newly built homes at the turn of the 20th century.  This, coupled with changing societal expectations regarding the frequency of bathing and new technology such as the flush toilet, swiftly ushered in the era of the modern bathroom.

Indoor plumbing coincided with the discovery of germ theory—the idea that disease is spread by germs. More importantly, germ theory linked cleanliness to the prevention of illness.  The intersection of science, technology, and societal pressures for cleanliness ultimately led to the development of the “hygienic” bathroom—one clad in tile and other hard surfaces, absent of carpet, heavy drapery, or other porous soft goods thought to be good places for germs to fester. The easier a bathroom was to clean, the more proper, safe, and sanitary it (and the people who used it) was.

Read the rest. You’ll LOVE it.