Category Archives: Eric

365 Day Photo Challenge: 15-21

I have to confess that I did flop a couple (nearly all) of these days around for convenience and to work around special events. This is a practice I don’t condone, but one that I won’t shy away from in the future.

The 3rd 7 days of the 365 Day Photo Challenge:

.Day 15 - Simple
Day 15 – Simple

Day 16 - Arrow
Day 16 – Arrow

Day 17 - Crossed
Day 17 – Crossed

Day 18 - Food
Day 18 – Food

Day 19 - Faces
Day 19 – Faces

Day 20 - Shopping
Day 20 – Shopping

Day 21 - Hole
Day 21 – Hole

These are the themes for the next 7 days:

Day 22 – Fowl
Day 23 – At the Frame’s Edge
Day 24 – From Your Car Window
Day 25 – Pair
Day 26 – Path
Day 27 – A Group
Day 28 – Dream

I’m sure you are already speculating as to what I will do with these themes!

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Self-Portrait Project Week 15

So some of these might be “faked”, but can you prove it? Without checking the exif data?

06/18/2012 – 6:49 PM

06/19/2012 – 10:48 AM

06/20/2012 – 12:34 PM

06/21/2012 – 1:43 PM

06/22/2012 – 5:39 PM

06/23/2012 – 11:03 PM

06/24/2012 – 10:15 AM

I wonder what interesting places I’ll go next week?

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The Archives: Edition Thirty-Two

The following pictures are from:

Backup/Old My Pictures/Real to Life/Special Effects

The term “Special Effects” seems to be quite a bit of a stretch. There are only two “special effects” employed in this folder. The most obvious effects are created by filters. The sepia toned pictures were created by printing C41 process black & white film on color paper.

Real to Life - Special Effects

Real to Life - Special Effects

Real to Life - Special Effects

Real to Life - Special Effects

Real to Life - Special Effects

Real to Life - Special Effects

Real to Life - Special Effects

Next week’s folder will be:

Backup/Old My Pictures/Scanned Photos

The Archives: Edition Thirty

The following images came from:

Backup/Old My Pictures/Real to Life/Black & White

Real to Life was 1 of the many photo “business” names I have considered over the years.

I’m guessing at some point I considered these to be some of my best or most interesting black & white pictures.

Sugar Ray Hiatt

1 of the first black & white pictures I ever took.

This picture was taken with APS. Remember APS? I didn’t think so.

This dead tree was near the Grand Canyon. I always liked the idea of photographing dead trees. Don’t know I’ve ever taken a good picture of a dead tree.

Brandon and Johnathan during Easter

The Old Nuclear Library Photo

Clinton, Iowa

Also in Clinton

Best Dog Ever

Rick Poore’s hat, glasses, and cigarette. If you look closely you can see Rick and Paul Golden in the reflection. Me too.

Next week’s folder:

Backup/Old My Pictures/Real to Life/Color

The Archives: Edition Twenty-One

These pictures come from: Backup/Old My Pictures/Labels

I once had an idea where I had my friends do a little exercise in self-realization. I asked them to pick a word. One word that they wanted the world to think of when the world saw them. Then I had them write that word on a piece of poster board and then I photographed them.

I was going to follow this up with a project where I had them pick one word that they thought was how the world perceived them.

I sometimes think about bringing this project back. Perhaps if bring back the BIG birthday party next year.

These are pictures from the Labels Project.

Next Week’s Folder will be:

Backup/Old My Pictures/Master Wentworth

Proust No. Five

Jason Baier correctly answered the Christopher D. Bennett Trivia Question:

Q: What brand of camera does Christopher D. Bennett

A: Sony. I also would have accepted Minolta with a lengthy explanation of how Sony bought out Minolta. If anybody would have listed Sony, Minolta and Holga, well there wouldn’t be words for how I would feel about such a person.

Proust Quote

“Only through art can we emerge from ourselves and know what another person sees.”

Confessions Question

The military event I admire the most:

My 2009 Answer

Proust Questionnaire Number Sixteen

This answer won’t make me popular.

I’m actually quite surprised by this question being selected. I’m not really big into the military. I don’t even have much of a family history of military service. My Grandpa Bennett was too young to serve in WWI. He was too old to serve in WWII. My Grandpa Paris served in WWII. Stateside. As a cook. Even though he was entitled to a full military funeral:  The folding of the flag and the Three Volley Salute and the playing of Taps. None of these things were done at my Grandpa’s funeral. This still burns some members of my family. I bring it up not to tear old wounds, but to show how military isn’t a big part of my family’s existence.

The one member of my family that had extensive combat and military experience was my Uncle Dean. He served in Vietnam and he was exposed to toxic chemicals that slowly ravaged his health and finally extinguished his life.

I don’t even have many friends that have military experience. Even one of those few friends had a terrible experience in the military. Ending with his bunkmate committing suicide.

Even when it comes to war movies, my favorites are decidedly anti-war: Paths of Glory, Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now, Hotel Rwanda, Three Kings, Schindler’s List.

I’m not anti-military, but I also don’t get all jonesed up about the military.  I understand that its existence is a necessary evil, but at the same time our military is way too large. Do you realize that if you take the actual numbers, over 50 cents of every tax dollar spent goes to support the military? You’ll see figures that put it at 20 cents, but those numbers misrepresent how Social Security (among other things) is funded.

All things considered, I would rather 50 cents out of my tax dollar be spent on helping sick children. Helping sick old people. Helping sick middle-aged people.

Maybe a dime or so could go to keeping the military industrial complex welfare machine alive. Many of our technological advances have come through military research after all.

I understand that we need a military. We need it to press our (read Corporate America) economic interests in the world. It is also used on some level to protect us from the evil forces of today. Although if you told me after the Cold War ended that a few years later we would be engaged in a seemingly neverending War on Terror, I would have said, “Shut your mouth George Orwell!”

While I am very pleased with the recent retraction of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and I admire the heck out of Iowan and Medal of Honor winner Sal Guinta, the military event that occurred in 2010 that I most admire was the ending of military operations in Iraq.

The war began in March of 2003. During its peak, there were 165,000 American soldiers in Iraq. About 4,400 American soldiers died in Iraq. We will never know for sure, but it is estimated that 100,000 Iraqis were killed. Don’t just skim past that number. Where I come from (a little place I like to call Christianity), a human life isn’t less valuable because it isn’t American. Or Muslim for that matter.

I make this a separate sentence because I want to make it clear that I don’t consider the waste of life to be anywhere near on par with the waste of money, but as I write this the war on Iraq has cost this nation $747,323,475,195 and made us not even the slightest bit safer.With lack of Wall Street regulation and mind-blowing levels of corporate greed as contributing factors; our economy has been a casualty of this war.

With the ending of military operations in Iraq, there are less than 50,000 American troops left.

I know that is still a huge number and I know that we aren’t going anywhere. Just like how we are still in Germany, Japan and Korea. However it is a movement in the right direction. A movement to hopefully returning the United States back to being a nation of peace. A move back to being the “city upon a hill.” Yep, that is Jesus talk.

Christopher D. Bennett Trivia Question

Christopher D. Bennett bowls on Monday nights. What is the name of his bowling team?

Leave your answer in the “Comments” section of this journal entry.


I haven’t been as active blogging lately. There are several reasons for this absence.

  1. I have been spending most of my free time organizing the basement.  When I completed this project I moved on to the upstairs.  I am on the verge of being quite downsized.  Hopefully this project will be completed next Wednesday.  Or at least, I hope that the only room that I will have left to organize and downsize will be the office after next Wednesday.  There is always a fair chance that I will just give up on the office and declare it a permanent disaster area.  We’ll see how the other two rooms go.
  2. When I haven’t been organizing, eliminating and donating I have been moving furniture around. True this doesn’t take much physical time, but it is emotionally draining.
  3. I have been working on a personal facial hair project.  For one 36 hour period, I wasn’t intelligent enough to put a noun against a verb in a meaningful way.
  4. The last couple of Friday Night Supper Clubs have been emotionally draining.  The night we viewed Free Walking at Jay’s apartment was a visceral experience.  What a great movie!  Then the Jucy Lucy replication Friday Night Supper Club was an overt failure that ended with My Great Shame.  It took me several days to recover from that shame.  At least Dawn got to become an auxiliary member of FNSC.  She allegedly doesn’t even mind that it is a “Boys Club”.  I will believe her when she makes a return appearance. Plus Trivia Night.  Well, I can’t even begin to discuss how emotionally draining Trivia Night ended up being.  Plus Trivia Night fell in that 36 hour period where I was a moron. However, Team Stache (Geri D., Willy, Jay, Jesse, Shannon, Papa Smurf and his wife) was an undeniable powerhouse.  I only wish I had pictures to share so that you could relive the experience.
  5. The cleaning crew (Jill) for my Oscars Watch had to work at her “real job” and got stuck in Minnesota.  Therefore I had to do my own cleaning.  The bed maker (Sara) also got stuck working her “real job” so I had to make my own bed.  I tried to get that out with a straight face.  Sara had to work, so I just shut my bedroom door and pretended that the room was how it was supposed to be.  My kitchen crew (Jen and Derrick, well mostly Derrick) came through with flying colors though.  Still, I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I should add that my neighbor joined the Watch and listening to his plan to get his life back together by finding a girlfriend so that he can have some self-esteem.  Well, that was psychologically draining.
  6. Perhaps the most important reason why I haven’t taken keyboard in hand and banged out some words is because during the move from one blogging entity to a different blogging entity, I decided to completely recategorize my blog. I started this process with well over 770 journal entries to review. Through this process I eliminated several journal entries.  Things that I didn’t need any longer. Like videos that no longer existed or calls to donate to a “charity” that would lie and claim that your donation was tax deductible.  I even broke down categories by people and I left the number of blog entries by the category.  A quick glance down the left side of this blog will tell you who I seem to write about the most.  Are you surprised that Jay is number 1?

A surprising side effect of my reading is that I think I might have regressed as a writer.  I fear that I might have peaked and it is all downhill from here on out.  Some of my writings in the not so distant past were clever, witty and dare I say it – brilliant.  I fear if I was ever going to write a play for ACTORS that was going to revolutionize costumed (believe me I have tried – Geri D. will not let me put an all-nude play on her stage) drama in a meaningful way, I have missed my chance.  Rather than eloquently crafting phrases, I now rely on cheap tricks (like my over reliance on parenthetical statements that makes me want to punch myself in the face almost as surely as if I had moustache) and broad allusions.  I have surely descended into hack-hood.  See, that isn’t even a real word.  It isn’t like the old days when I used to invent words that are sure to be the next surefire hits in our lexicon.  I can’t come up with a word so I throw out a dash and postfix and then I merrily go on my way.

It didn’t used to be like this.  (I just don’t mean that I used to not end sentences with prepositions.)  I used to be growing as a writer.  For example, when I was in the 4th Grade I wrote the worst creative writing stories ever!! They were based loosely on a pet rabbit that most likely died due to my neglect.  Only I stole some ideas from a few cartoons and movies that I enjoyed and out of my pencil and on to some poor dead tree came writing that was so dizzingly bad that it makes me want to vomit when I read just a few short passages:

When Fluffy found him he took him to Leo the Lion. Leo took care of him. Pucky told Leo his life story. Then he told Fluffy what Jack, Jill and Joan said. Fluffy said “I better get going” then he left. He hid in Raspberry Forest and said “By the power of Carrot Castle! I HAVE THE POWER!” Then he said, “Up, up and away and he flew off to find Joan, Jack and Jill. When he found them he landed and said, “Pucky sent me.” Superfluff said.  “Let’s get that wimpy rabbit!” Superfluff picked them up and twirled them until they gave up and promised to stop picking on Pucky. Then he went after Swampfrog. When he was fighting Swampfrog he said a few words he shouldn’t of. When he returned he taught Pucky karate. When he stepped into the pond, Jack, Jill, Joan and Swampfrog were waiting for him but Pucky beat them up in 15 fish winks. Now everybody calls him The Karate Duck.

Fortunately I can still say that I’m a better writer than I was when I put that horrible drivel to paper. But I did slightly improve by high school:

Eric reached deep into his soul, past the candy wrappers and half-eaten bagels, to the insult department. Through the corridor with doors marked with signs that read “whites”, “blondes”, “Scott Kendall” and “dogs”.  He opened the door that read: “The Mother of All Insults”.

The glowing light almost blinded him. The brilliant shiny box in the room was his destination. He opened the box and was greeted with a cloud of rolling smoke. He reached into the box and grabbed a piece of paper. Eric read the paper and he knew he had his death blow!

Back in reality Eric stared at the landing party and said… and I quote… “Huh, freaks of nature!”

He was puzzled when this didn’t break their morale. They were laughing at him. This was the Mother-of-All-Insults and they were laughing at HIM!

Chris looked at Eric and broke into another 5 minutes of laughter. Chris controlled himself and said, “You sir are our inferior. You call us freaks in an attempt to manipulate reality. We have evolved into a place of superiority over you!”

“Liar! I’m not listening to you!” Eric screamed.

“Scott. Who-o-o-o-o-o is this m-m-m-an?” Captain Punjab whimpered.

As you can tell, I have clearly progressed from the terrible wretch that wrote those words. I just hope that I am not regressing to that level again!