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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Men At Work, 3D Printing, Squirrels (Hint: Not a Recipe Post)

Currently, there is a squirrel hanging upside down from a baffle eating suet out of a squirrel proof feeder. Thank goodness they're so cute or I guess I'd be upset. What this has made me realize though is that if I ever get to design my own house, I don't want any window muntins, just sheet glass and screens that can be lowered only when desired. Sometimes there is cool stuff going on outside my window and if I go outside, it will stop, but if I take the picture from inside, I've got window panes and screens. This is probably the only thing standing between me and universal recognition.

In the meantime though I have gotten a cool gig writing articles for 3Dprint.com and have been learning some really interesting stuff about 3D technology. I'm still just a baby in the field (interesting visual for you) but am really enjoying the research and writing. I'm still working on liposuction stuff as well (writing not performing) and now all of the side bar advertisements on every page I visit are for cosmetic surgeons. Data mine much? I'm interested to see if it starts to combine these interests and offer me ways of 3D printing with fat. ew. sorry.

The day before yesterday I drove to my son's school to drop off a letter for the principal, and it took nearly 1/2 hour for the normally 5 minute drive. This is because I live in one of those suburban developments that has only one entrance and one exit and the city is repaving the road that goes between those two points. There's no way to get around it because every street is a cul-de-sac or only 2 blocks long and they all connect with this main road. I didn't really mind because my summer schedule is pretty relaxed but it gave me time to think as I was watching them do this work. There's so rarely anything of visual interest going on in my neighborhood. All the houses look the same, there's not much wildlife (not counting the squirrels hanging from my feeders and the chinchillas living in my house) and people aren't outside very much, so this would be a perfect opportunity to take pictures without going very far. 

So, I suited up in my new double camera holster. I really only need one camera with me most of the time, but it doesn't balance right with just one, so I wear the other too. Then I walked up and down the approximately 1/2 mile stretch of road where work was going on that day and photographed the men and machines. I got a chance to talk to everybody, even if only to ask them if I could take their picture. It was a very pleasant experience and kept me out of trouble. I did get one photobomb where two guys walking buy lifted up their shirts while I was taking a picture. Unfortunately, I missed them and I'm devastated because I'm sure it would have been the sexiest thing I had ever seen two unemployed guys do. Oh well, I guess that's the decisive moment that Bresson was talking about.

I have to admit that I sweat like an Olympic athlete. Actually, maybe more. I'm pretty sure that's my body's natural defense system because if I were living in the wild and something attacked me, it would be immediately repulsed and run away, damp, back to its hiding place to whimper. As I was working on this essay, People at Work, I realized that the next time I should do People at Work in Air Conditioned Places instead because it was just sad - I was sweating more than the workers.

It was good practice going around and talking to strangers too. I always want to go take pictures of people I don't know, but I'm generally too shy to ask or just take them from such a distance that people don't know. I keep reading that it is important to talk to the people you are going to photograph and then decided I will just have to either avoid taking pictures of people or that I will only be able to do it after several shots of Tequila. The problem with the latter approach being that the photos become somewhat less focused as time goes on. However, after 'screwing my courage to the sticking place' (or something of that nature) it really wasn't that hard - it was almost fun. Who knows...maybe I'll be able to do this again. 

I think I'll start by chatting up the squirrel.