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Showing posts from May, 2014

Big Boy Chair

I'm a big boy (as my papaw used to say). I have one of those camping chairs that I got when I first moved in to the apartment (over a year ago). It says--no joke--Big Boy Chair. Because it supports up to 350lbs. The funny thing is, it's kinda tall (or was when I opened it for the first time today)--and my feet didn't hit the ground.

I'm digging it though. Sitting outside and writing.  Looks a little like this:
The second chair is for anyone that wants to come set a spell (can't really get away from my Kentucky heritage).  It's not a big front porch, but me and a couple of neighbors chilled on my patio for a few hours this afternoon. And that was cool by me.

It's been a great weekend so far. I had a Daddy-Daughter Date Night last night. We went to Thai Grille in Westerville and OMFrigginG was that place amazing!--AND--it's in walking distance. How can you beat that? You can't. Trust me. The Pad Thai was amazing.

Today was slated to be spring cleaning…

Short and Sweet

None of the books I've seen on becoming kick ass published writers actually list how to get over that hump and actually start writing.

That's the rub, isn't it?

I have a jump drive full of story starters and ideas and short scripts. I think that it's (past) time to fire that shit up and start fleshing them out...not necessarily as screen plays, but full on stories. Short stories. Long stories. Goldilocks just right stories.

Dammit man...start writing already!

Book Reports For Jesus And Other Observations

A friend of mine has regular bible studies at his house. I've known this couple for a few years and they never struck me as the in-your-face-Christians that seem to be all the rage these days.

So, it kind of caught me off guard when he told me that he leads bible studies and was a youth pastor in their church and did I want to come by sometime for bible study.

He asked again tonight and I had something come up, so I couldn't.

But if I didn't....would I have gone?

I really don't know.

I'm not necessarily an atheist. I do believe that there is energy...a force...a will, if you will, that is greater than what we normally tap in to as humans. Not sure if that makes me some kind of theist...agnostic...or what.

I think Jesus was a great teacher. I think he had some good ideas.
I think the same about Buddha. And Eckhart Tolle. And Wayne Dyer. And Richard Bachman.

I don't have a problem with Christianity per se.

I have a big ass problem with organized religion. Organiz…

On Faith

I hope that multiple posts on the same day don't throw the 6 of you off that still check here since I ditched FB. But, regardless, I didn't feel like this stream of consciousness could be tacked on to the turkey salad post. A question has been nagging in the back of my mind for quite some time (since I was about 13 to be perfectly honest)...How do you share the truth about something if the only "proof" you have is the feeling in your heart...your soul that what you are saying is a universal truth?
So...here's the thing. I think organized religion has it wrong. By setting up an 'Us and Them' construct, they immediately doom themselves to missing the entire point of this god-thing anyway.Here's something else I know. No single religion has it 100% right. And, no single religion has it 100% wrong. Chew on that for a few minutes. I have been since Friday night when a friend invited me to come to a bible study at his house.I don't think he's what …

You Big Turkey

I had plans for a yummy salad for lunch today. Opened the bag of lettuce and it smelled....bad. There was no visible browning on the leaves...well not on that many of the leaves anyway. It just smelled...off. So...scrapped it. Thankfully I brought enough turkey for 4 days worth of salads (or 2 days of eating just turkey). So...it seems that it will work out well. The irony is...there were two ...well three options in the above scenario. I could have been pig headed and consumed the salad anyway. I could have been pissy about my crappy lettuce. Lastly, I could have done what I did, recognized that I still had enough for a decent lunch and went on with it. Option 2 and 3 would have had exactly the same outcome, with one notable exception--I would have been in a foul mood had I been pissy about my bad lettuce.And...really...it's just lettuce. That shit goes bad all the time. Life goes on.Life always goes on. I'm not sure what kind of mood I'm in right now. Perhaps more in…

Firsts and Lasts

The weekend is always one of reflection for me. I usually go to the Westerville Field of Heroes, a display put on every year honoring those who serve and have served our country in the military. This year they had 3000 flags on display.

I generally cart quite a bit of my photo gear and have gotten some great pix in past years. They were on Facebook, some of them. Which means, they were pretty much fair game for anyone to use/steal/etc.

This year, I went armed with my trusty Instax Mini90.

I did take one digital pic, though.


Took it with my phone to send to a friend who wasn't able to make it to the fields this year. I took about 10 or so pix with the instant. I'm really happy with the way they came out. I took a couple of pix of the pix (yeah, I knew I said I wouldn't do that...sue me).

Sent those to my bro because his company helped with some of the aspects of the First Responder's memorial. 
It was a very humbling and amazing experience, as it always is. If you want …

Apologies

Sorry guys. I'm not really sure who Jonas Harman is or how the hell he got a post on to my blog. I gave the information to Google/Blogger and they are looking in to it. Don't worry. I've changed all my passwords and they assure me nothing else has been compromised.

For now they want me to leave the post up until they finish their investigation.

Again, apologies. And Happy Memorial Day and a heartfelt thank you to those of you who read this blog and have served our country.

Thanks,
A.T.

Not The Droids You're Looking For

I don't know how much time I have.

I can't really go in to too many details here. This thing has already turned my life upside down and if they manage to find me--it won't be turned upside down, it will be over.

I've been hacking various blogs..trying to get the word out. I don't really know how many people read this A.T. guy, but hopefully someone will remember this post when this shit really goes south.

I'm taking a big risk with this, but the worst that will happen is they knock on this shlub's door and find out they've got the wrong guy. By that time I'll be long gone.

Nano Flush. You may not know about it yet. But you will. Unfortunately, it will be too late.

Forget science fiction. Nano-technology exists. Hive-mind programming exists. And there are far more nefarious entities than the government out there. Using the American public as a massive test bed for experimentation.

There was a movement by aging hippies urging everyone to "Kill Yo…

Looks Good On Paper

We are becoming too wrapped up in the own importance of our tech.

There. I've said it. You can quote me on it.  For those that have known me for any length of time, you may be smiling at the above statement. Especially if you know of my love for all things shiny and gadgety.

But lately I've been doing some re-assessing. I wouldn't call it a mid-life crisis. In the first place, I plan on living well past 84, so this is not my mid-life. Secondly--it's not a crisis as much as it is an awakening.

Some of my friends see it as a crisis.

They can't understand how I can walk away from Facebook. Or how I can be completely content to take one pic with my phone and 20 pix with my instant camera...and NOT post them online.  The funny thing is, I've been on Facebook (off and on) since 2008. Six years. I would consider myself an early embracer of it. Some of the same people who look at me sideways when I say I've walked away from it are the ones who gave me the very same…

Doubtful

Doubtful.

To be full of doubt.

This thread was sparked by a conversation with a friend.  The particulars of the conversation are not necessarily important, but the idea of self-doubt is.

I'm in the middle of 2 books right now...reading them (not writing them--don't get too excited).  I just started one and am in the home stretch of the other. The focus of both is really just kind of getting the brain re-wired in to living a happy fulfilled life.

What's funny is...when I'm telling stories, I'm happy. Taking pictures (I'm really loving the instant camera these days).  Playing music (all guitars in my apartment are tuned but probably need strings changed--baby steps). But mostly writing.

Writing really gets me jazzed. I play/make music. I take photographs. Those are things I do. But if someone were to ask me how I saw myself, the answer would unequivocally be "writer."

Which...is funny. Really. Because I'm not published. I'm not famous. People a…

I Almost Forgot!

I can't believe that I almost forgot to mention something awesome that happened today. I got my new Couch Camera Strap!!

Yeah. I'm ridiculously pumped about it. So...when I got the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic, replete with retro stylings, I knew I wanted a retro camera strap for it. The vendor supplied camera straps almost always suck eggs (too thin...too narrow...always branded with the vendor...just...meh).

I found a cool vintage strap at one of the local camera shops. And yeah...it definitely had a 70's vibe to it. But I wanted something that was pretty uniquely "iTod"...ya know what I mean?

So I googled for vintage camera straps and stumbled upon THIS wickedly cool site. It's a company called Couch. Well, you can click on the link (the blue capped word that says 'THIS' in the previous sentence) and find out all about them. But in a nutshell they started out making awesome guitar straps and branched out to camera straps. They recycle old Au…

On My Way Back To Me

I am finding as I go through this particular lifetime that it is not the major events that make the biggest difference, but often a lot of little events.

Take for example, a couch. A couch that was purchased when a married couple was moving in to their first house. Their first big purchase together (the house, not the couch).

Fast forward 7 years later...or maybe 8. Heck it might have even been nine years by that point. Who can be expected to keep track of that.

The couple is divorced. The husband takes the couch because he's the one moving out. And he doesn't really have the money for furniture.

But every time he walks in to his place. This place that was supposed to be his next chapter, his new day, he sees that couch.

That piece of shit couch.

And to be honest I just couldn't take it anymore. Er...HE  couldn't take it any more.

So...yeah. I am he. He is me. And I got a desk. Because, well, my 6 ft. Steelcase desk was also hers. In the sense that it came from an off…

Insert Clever Title Here

I was driving home tonight and had come up with a really kick ass title for today's blog. I think it was one or two words and rather apropos to all the stuff going on in my life right now.

Given the hour and day of the week you would have valid reason to assume that a multitude of libations were the reason for my sudden loss in kick-ass-term-memory. But I'm not sure that a Graeter's chocolate malt (made with the Less Indulgent Vanilla Bean) and a mystery pint could be cause enough for me to forget the title that (I thought) had burned itself in my brain.

Disconnect.

That was it. Disconnect. Or maybe it wasn't. But it is now.

I know I've posted about this, but it's weighing on my mind, so feel free to skip ahead to the Instant Camera Segment of the post if you must. But I'm gonna dwell on this for a few minutes before I let it go. And by let it go, I mean, bury the feelings deep again and hope no one actually asks me about them at some point in the future.

S…

Detox

It wouldn't surprise me, if I looked through previous posts from about this time last year, that I would find a post very similar to this one (hell--it might even be named the same thing) about going through social media withdrawal.

But...thing is...I'm way too fucking lazy to actually go back through and read them to try to find it. I'm sure it's there.

There seems to be a difference this time around though (that lets me know it's probably the right time to do this)....I don't miss it.

I fought....literally fought myself last time. And by literally I mean mentally. Figuratively. Not literally at all, because who can really actually physically fight themselves. Except Tyler Durden. But that dude was nuts.  Great soap. Batshit crazy.

Last time I deleted Facebook because I know that by deactivating it only, you can turn the lights back on at any time just by logging in. If you delete the account, it's much harder to go back. Last time I deleted it as a deterr…

Unfriending the zeroes and the ones...back to the carbon based, in real life stuff...

I'm not mad at you (or anyone).I didn't delete or unfriend you (I deactivated my account, effectively 'unfriending' everyone).I don't know for how long.It became too much of a time suck and I spent way too much time on it being more annoyed than amused or entertained.More time for writing/music/real photos.Because it was time. The above list are the answers to the questions I expect to get about why I de-activated my Facebook account. If you're reading this, congratulations. You knew one of the places to look for me when you noticed I wasn't on your friends list anymore. Acceptable alternatives would have been talking to me in person when you saw me out, emailing me, or texting and calling me.
Because that's what friends...true friends do. They talk to each other. They don't post shit to walls. They don't start conversations (mostly gossip) with 'Did you see on so and so's wall....'
Facebook really has the psychological edge with the…

Life Support

You know when you're watching those dramas and the person is on life support and you get to the point where you're like "Oh for crapsakes, just pull the plug already!!"?  Yeah. I'm getting to that point with Facebook. I've already deleted my Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and MySpace profiles.  Facebook and LinkedIn are really the last 2 of the 'major' social media outlets that I have any kind of presence on.

And I really couldn't give two craps about them.

I was at Put In Bay this weekend. I had crap internet/network access on my phone. Prior to going up, I had already deleted the FB app on both my phone and tablet. So...the only way I could access FB this weekend was on my laptop. Which..for the entire weekend was in my room at the villa. In short, I made sure that when I was experiencing the island, I was actually experiencing it. First hand. Not through a series of posts. Did I take pix? Yup. Almost 100 total. Only 10 or so of those were with my…

Seeking Comfort

I'm sure there's a name for someone who has serious cognitive dissonance regarding social situations.

I guess I should clarify.  I like to have fun. I know that when I hang out with people and let go I tend to have fun. Therefore it stands to reason that I should want to hang out with people and have fun.

And yet...here's the dissonance--I really have to give my self a pep-talk to get over the hump of actually getting myself in to the social situation in which I can have fun.

So...if you haven't figured it out yet, this may one of those 'this is more than we really wanted to know about you Todd, can't you go back to writing about shitty drivers and farts?'

I suppose so, but I really need to clear this one off the shelf and make a tasty dish with it*.

It's not shyness, exactly. It's more than that really. I'm not sure what it is exactly-if I'm being honest. I have a hard time shutting my brain off and just living in the moment. When I do, bel…

Unplugged

I just don't know what it is lately, but I feel the need with each passing day to really unplug myself more from this electronic teat that we all seem to be suckling.

I deleted my accounts last night on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, MySpace, and Google+. For two reasons. 1. I never really use them. 2. They are points of data that can be used against me. Not that I plan on doing anything criminal anytime soon, but the information on those sites can really paint a picture of who I am. My habits, my locations, etc. And you're fooling yourself if you think that the purpose of any social media site is anything other than collecting data on you to sell to advertisers. Or worse, being collected in government files.

But Todd, if you're not a criminal, that doesn't matter--right?!

Fair point. But consider this. Things that are criminal now--having children working in factories, for example, once used to be the norm.  Not only that, but who's to say that when we finally develop…

Skip Ahead

If you're tired of me gushing about the joys of my instant camera, you might want to skip ahead. I'm not sure where this post is going (to be fair, I never know where they're going).

It's funny...I mean being happy is funny. Seriously. It's like being in this head space where I'm smiling for no reason--I mean no discernible reason. I know why I'm smiling, but people around me might not now. And shit is bothering me a lot less.

The camera. I'm loving the camera. I have a crap ton of film for it and expect that I'll shoot quite a bit of it this weekend at Put-In-Bay. And I have 7 (6?) photo albums that each hold 80 pictures. It's going to take years to fill that. I say that for one reason and one reason only. I've got one almost half full now, but I have given away probably as many pix as I've snapped. THAT'S the part that makes me giddy. Taking the pic and giving it to someone. It's like 'here-you take this little card of joy …

So...Wait...Where's The SD Card?

This is what a box of joy looks like. I know that it may look like a box from Amazon with a camera...and a case...and an extra battery...and film, but I can assure you with absolutely no room for doubt that it is a box of pure joy.

But Todd, what is it--I mean, what is it really?

It's the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90. It's (in my humble opinion) the flag ship of the instant camera revival. There are plenty of technical reviews out there so I'm not really going to dive in to that. Why not, Todd? Well, to be completely honest-I got this thing for one reason and one reason only: I wanted to reconnect to the physical magic of taking a picture.  The uncertainty of not knowing if you actually got the shot you saw in the viewfinder until you actually see the picture develop.

That's right develop. As in print. As in a physical photograph. That you can touch. And pass around. And you can't crop it. Or change the lighting in post-production.

Here's what the box looked like ab…

Crave Case

I'm going to try something a little weird here. An experiment, if you will. Now...to be fair, and in the interest of full disclosure--I do enjoy feedback and acknowledgement. It's this weird thing that when I create something, I tend to want feedback, good or bad (but mostly good, if that's cool).

I have said off and on that I am falling out of favor with Facebook. It's no longer fitting my life the way it once did and is becoming more of a distraction.

I'm going to wind up leaving it, I think. Or at the very least if I find myself unable to completely abandon it (for reasons listed in one of my other soap-box derbies), then I will be cutting my time on it way down. I have already taken it off of the iPad (do I really need to be able to get to it on every device I own??).

And now here's the fun part--the mental challenge, to me, if you will. I'm going to actually do my best to not log in to FB all week. I'm not going to post about it (because it was rec…

In An Instant

I'm coming to the conclusion that I'm a relatively simple person. It doesn't take much to make me happy. Honestly. I don't need a house full of tech (although I enjoy it, I certainly don't need it).

And things that take me back to my childhood are, as of late, tugging at me. A month or so ago I picked up a Nintendo 2DS little handheld game. Not because I want to spend hours in front of the TV, but because I may want to pick it up and play a little Super Mario (which I'm finding I still suck at) or Tetris for a 20 minutes.

Next weekend I'm going up to Put In Bay with friends. I've never been. I hear it's a blast. I hear their stories from years past and the fun they've had. And I'm ready to step out of my comfort zone and have that kind of fun.

To that end, I decided that I didn't want to look at the whole trip through the view finder. I decided to pick up an instant camera.

You heard me. An Instant Camera.

Believe it or not, Polaroid sti…