Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hurricane Irma

My thoughts and well wishes to those who find themselves in the path of this monster storm. I'm concerned for friends who have property in the depths of this. I'm mostly concerned for those who did not evacuate, those who found out very late that they are now in the path. Stay safe, friends. Let's hope for very little destruction, minimal human injury, and no fatalities. These storms seem to be getting bigger and bigger every time.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Open Blog - Evening of Day 1

It was a very busy day. Met some wonderful kids. A new year always means new hope. I have over 120 new personalities to learn and to mold. I'm exhausted. Lets hope some deep sleep happens..... zzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor Day, 2017


It is okay to celebrate, to picnic, to spend the day with family and friends. Light up the grill, have a burger, toast the end to summer with your favorite beverage. But let's keep in mind the real reason of the day: WORKERS, which have made this country as strong and as great as it is.

Union bashing seems to be the latest trend. Workers are being vilified as lazy and greedy, while BIG tax dollars are being funneled to large, sometimes foreign corporations, with the "hope" that jobs will be produced. There is a focus on legislative changes to lower EPA regulation on pollution standards to increase profit for business. There are people with their hands out, alright, but it is not those who need a handout.

There are numerous new laws currently being implemented, attempting to stop the formation of a collected group of worker's voices. People, especially the uninformed, are buying into the rhetoric and hate. I challenge the followers of these politicians to read about the real reason unions were initially formed. Read about: the lack of safety, the abominable working conditions, the lives lost unnecessarily, the lack of compassion in hours worked vs. compensation, the discrepancy between CEO's income to their workforce, the corporations who let people go right before retirement to increase the companies bottom line, all these injustices that collective union voices fought to remedy.

We also have a new hatred that is being directed at immigrants, at specific races, and the lower socio-economic population.  This is not part of a movement I want to see in my country. Now, more than ever, we need to stay informed and speak against the hate.  Did we not learn anything from the past?

Friday, September 1, 2017

Open Blog - Weekend

I was just looking back at some of our previous posts. We sure know how to have fun. I swear, we would look just like this at the beach.  Happy weekend, friends. There will be a lot of people on the roads with the longer, holiday weekend... so be careful out there!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

Eclipse 2017

I haven't checked in here in a long time, but had to share my eclipse experience. I went to Waterloo, Illinois and stayed with an old family friend in the path of totality. Weather was really dicey but fortunately cleared before the eclipse stated and stayed clear until about 40 minutes after totality and had thunderstorms by the end. I can live with that since those very important 2 minutes were clear.

I had multiple cameras setup to capture the eclipse. Two of them got decent results, the third is still being analyzed but I think I got eclipse stupid so everything I was trying to do probably didn't come out quite right. Still, the most important camera, the one doing closeups of the Sun, worked well (not quite flawlessly...timing was a bit off for some reason I never figured out but it got most of the pictures I wanted). So here are a bunch of pics from the eclipse. They have different exposure times and processing to bring out different features. Some short exposures so the inner corona and longer exposures show the outer corona.





























As added fun, I was followed around by a film crew from Google for a documentary they are producing on the Eclipse Meagmovie Project (I was photographing for it). I hope to see the finished product soon!


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Twits and Tweets?


It’s time for bloggers to take a deep breath, look in the mirror and admit that something (dramatic) is going on here. The other week, I celebrated 12 years of blogging (not a typo). I have posted anywhere from four to seven items a week...To know me, is to know that I am still deeply passionate about my blog, writing and the digital publishing experience. I was there when it first started (remember Blogger)... and still - to this day - love to hit the publish button. With that, the world continues to change and evolve.
https://www.facebook.com/notes/mitch-joel/the-end-of-blogging/10156135218305506/


Has Twitter and Facebook put us all on the road to using emojis and animated gifs to communicate with each other?  It is an art to use words to express your ideas. There is comfort in sharing your thoughts, your experiences with others. We've been doing it for centuries. There is a sense of family and belonging that comes from closer friendships that is lost when leaving random comments around the internet to faceless readers. 

I noticed a friend of mine recently commented on a local news site. She was lambasted with horrible hate responses because her political opinion was not accepted by others. The bullying, random anger, and threats that occur behind a computer screen is something that is growing. Our teens are experiencing it more and more each year. There is a disconnect, an anonymity that allows some to behave in ways they never would in person. The threat of attacks, by a small group (often paid commentators) are silencing the voices of good people. It is not by mistake.

I miss the grandeur we once were. I hate to see us becoming temporary, transient, disconnected. It is sad to see friendships waning... because it is just easier to slip in an emoji instead of a comment....or, worse yet, say nothing at all.... 

                                    






"Nielsen research is showing that traffic to to WordPress and Blogger the two major blogging sites is stagnating, while Facebook’s traffic grew by 66% last year and Twitters by 47%. ...Facebook the social media giant has since arrived on the scene and developed into a multi-media rich social networking portal where you can invite all your friends and share your story with minimal friction."
http://www.jeffbllas.com/is-facebook-killing-the-blog/