Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I found this website today called Wordle where you can create a customized word cloud using words of your choice or by linking to your website and letting wordle choose words used on your site. Wordle also allows you to choose from different layouts, fonts, and color schemes to fit your own particular style. There are lots of folks trying out this "toy" so why not give it a try yourself!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Newer Math

Here's an update to an earlier post, The New Math.
My wife stopped at a fast food restaurant to order a drink. The bill was $3.00. She gave the young lady a $20.00 bill. The girl gave her $32 in change. My wife pointed out that she had been given the wrong change and the girl rudely replied, "No I didn't...please move along you're blocking the traffic." Boy, that new math will put you out of business before too long...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Topographics

I imagine everyone has struggled with finding a purpose in one's life. I do know that when I take my last breath on my last day, I want to know that I've made a difference, and that I am leaving something behind (besides my dust).

I've always felt like a kid and I have never known what it is I want to do when I grow up. I've been successful at several careers, Navy, writing, publishing, printing, web design and banking. Sometimes I worry that I am a Jack of all trades and Master of none. At any rate, I recently renewed a passion for photography.

My interest in photography dates back to the 1960s. I was in a dark room with a professional photographer who was developing a recent crime scene photograph. It was a picture taken at a murder/suicide. I watched him work in the darkroom - develop the film - prepare the trays with developer, stopper and water - load the negative in the enlarger - focus and snap. He put the paper in the developer tray and the scene slowly came to life - a woman laying on the floor in a pool of blood with her hand reaching out for a Bible. It was sad - teary sad - but, at the same time magical. There's no other way to describe watching a blank piece of paper floating in a liquid and having it come to life. It was mystical, and I was hooked. Over the years I have dabbled in photography, taking pictures and developing them. I've even sold several over the years.

With the recent digital advances two of my passions combine - computers and photography. I have a creative eye for a photograph - but, sometimes it needs a boost with photoshop.

I've recently been asking myself, what type of photographer? What kinds of photographs should I take? There are a lot of choices, landscapes, animals, kids, portraits, flowers, bugs, stuff, Art, etc. You get the idea...
I have recently discovered Topographics which is a movement which purpose is to document the erosion and disappearance of urban and rural America. A lot of the barns I photogrph in the rural areas of Iowa and Minnesota are falling down - years of neglect, perhaps a side effect of the mega farm, or maybe they're just old.

I believe I am going to concentrate on taking photographs which document man's negative footprint on the environment. And who knows, maybe I'll take a picture of a bug or even do a portrait along the way.