Friday, August 28, 2015

Anxiety and Perspective

I tend to work too hard. It's my natural inclination. My gears get stuck in overdrive.

As a result, my physical health gets strained and I often get sick. I've noticed that when I'm ill, life gets gloomy. Problems seem bigger and badder than they did before. My perspective is affected in a very negative way.

Then, gradually, my health comes back -- and, with it, a new perspective. The sun shines brighter, people seem nicer, and the universe feels more welcoming. Problems I was obsessing over recede in importance. Life becomes... easier. And more enjoyable.

Repeating this cycle multiple times has taught me that my problems aren't the cause of my misery. The real cause is my distorted perspective. The same difficulties are lighter and easier to bear once my health returns. So I need for focus more on maintaining my health than flailing at exaggerated anxieties.

Does this happen to you?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Is This Halloween Costume Offensive?

I love Halloween and dress up all the time.

This year a company is selling a costume that some people believe is offensive. It's a Caitlyn Jenner costume. Some believe the costume mocks Caitlyn and is transphobic -- it portrays a brave soul striving to be authentic as a ridiculous-looking man in a female swimsuit and cheap wig. Others, such as the company selling it, contend the costume is humorous commentary on a celebrity in the news.

What do you think? Do you believe the costume is offensive? Or is it acceptable humor? Does the answer depend on who wears it and their intent?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


We think according to modern conventions. Life hasn't always been like this, however; looking back in time can enlighten when it changes our perspective.

A healthy person today who avoids stepping in front of a moving truck can expect to live into their eighties. A century ago, average life expectancy was only 48. Most people did not live into their fifties back then. When I was young in mid-century, most people died in their fifties and sixties, hacking away from cigarettes.

Even scarier is a century earlier. In 1800, average life expectancy was 25 years old. Which means most people did not reach their thirties. Imagine that. Today we don't think of people becoming mature until the age when they died for most of human existence.

Another corollary to this startling fact is what we think of as "human nature," the qualities that define our species. For the entire existence of mankind until very recently, people lived and died in 25 years. How developed were they before Nature took them away? Can we really say qualities now associated with middle-aged maturity are innate to humans if they rarely existed before now? Most people during their short lives were undeveloped. As Hobbes noted, life in the state of Nature was "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short."

It's understandable that we're myopic in our view of humanity. When we look back in time, the reality of our animal species is surprising. Can you imagine a world where most people are under 25 and few older people are alive? Sounds like "Lord of the Flies" to me.

(P.S., The baby is me, many many years ago. They didn't have color film back then.)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Life At Wide Angle

My approach to photography has always been to find something visually interesting, get close to it, and focus your attention on it. To do that, I use several telephoto lenses (up to 300mm) that enable me to bring objects into close range even when they're far away.

I've decided to try something new. I just got a wide angle lens, my first ever (18mm). Wide angle lenses push you back from individual objects and focus, instead, on an entire scene. The scene itself becomes the subject, not anything particular within it. It's a different approach than the one I'm used to.

I played around with my new lens at Sagamore Hill, the famous home of Teddy Roosevelt. The results are quite different from my normal shots. I'm sure that a little practice will improve my skill at this new visual style.

Have you ever used a wide angle lens?




Saturday, August 22, 2015

New Paris Fashion

I'm on the cutting-edge of fashion here, wearing the latest style from Paris called "Poubelle." It's a new look from the legendary House of Rubbermaid, a famous French designer. It comes in an elegant shade of Midnight Black.

I'll admit the outfit is a bit avant-garde but most great art is. The best thing is it's one-size-fits-all.

What do you think? Would you wear this to a fancy cocktail party? Does it need a belt?

For those of you with long memories, I wore this once before. Searching through my old photos, I saw it, laughed and thought I'd share it again.

Friday, August 21, 2015

When Is Summer Over?

Several of my favorite bloggers took off for the Summer. (I'm lookin' at you, Two Birds.) Instead of entertaining us with unpaid work, they're lounging on beaches, visiting new places and yelling at their kids to stop eating sand. I miss them. (The bloggers, not the kids.)

When will be Summer over? When will my blogfeed fill up with pretty outfits and light banter?

I just planned a trip to Niagra Falls for a month from now. I've learned from experience that the best time to go to a tourist location is AFTER children have returned to school and before the cold of Winter arrives. That way you get the lingering warmth of the season without the crowds of children. Sept-Oct is ideal.

Have you ever been to Niagra Falls? I'm going to spend time on the Canadian side 'cause I love Canada and still have some plastic money from Vancouver. I hear the Falls are the most popular attraction in their entire country. There are some cool things to do that I plan to explore.

P.S., These cool shoes aren't new but I like wearin' 'em.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Humans are social creatures. We pay attention to each other. As a result, we influence others and they influence us.

Our strongest influence is in childhood. Parents influence their children directly and often. Later, in school, peer-pressure persuades us to do uncharacteristic acts as we struggle to fit into the social environment.

In blogging, we watch others and get inspired by their fashion-choices. Our friends influence us and we, in turn, hopefully inspire them.

Who influences you? Fashionistically and otherwise? Do you believe you influence others? In what ways?

I wonder about this. Because I'm quite different and open about that, I wonder if my existence affects anyone. Does it?