Going Analog

It’s no secret I love gadgets and technology, and products from Apple in particular. I’ve been a user and fan for as long as I can remember. But as great as gadgets and technology are, they’re not without problems. They can’t all be great, can they? No.

Some are crap for sure. Many of these devices or gadgets break, need updates or whatever at often the exact time you need them to work, which leaves you with no way to get done what you need to get done. Apple, at least, seems to do a pretty good job of putting out tech people want and products that, as they say, “just work.” But they’re not perfect either. The truth is, no piece of technology is perfect and it may never be.

I know. I’ve already said a lot of pro-Apple stuff here. But don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a pro-Apple or anti-technology article. I also won’t try to get you to switch to a Mac or iPhone. But I do have a few positive things to say on a related subject.

Put simply, I’ve re-discovered the joys of analog.

Even as a long-time tech devotee,  I’ve always used analog tools too. I believe they can co-exhist and compliment each other. I’ve written blog posts, articles, screenplays and more using a computer for many years, but I’ve always put things down on paper, in a notebook, using a pen or pencil first before I start banging away on the keyboard.

I’ve got notebooks full of the stuff in boxes. Recently, I was going through them in an effort to organize my office (after all, we did move almost two years ago so it’s past due), and I discovered something: I missed them. I missed my notebooks, my pens, my pencils and my paper.

The sad fact is I haven’t been writing much of anything lately. Being a father who stays home most of the time with a toddler has a tendency to stifle your creative flow. In a lot of instances I’d rather be catching up on sleep instead of doing any writing.

But that’s not all of it. There’s a lot of reasons not to do something and I’ve been good at finding most of them. Sometimes you just get into a slump. Consequently, I haven’t been writing much or using my analog tools.

But that changes now.

I’m going to embrace the analog and go back to my notebooks, pens and pencils. The spark, actually, was my return to film photography. It got me thinking. Then, going through my office I found the cache of pens, pencils and the notebooks I had spent years filling up. That was the rest of the inspiration I needed.

So, to kick things off, I’m starting a new journal project. My notebook of choice will be the Rhodia Webnotebook, which I will write in daily. To accompany said journal, it’s into the fountain pen and pencil drawer I go to retrieve my old friends the TWSBI Diamond 580AL and the Blackwing 602. I may bring other pens and pencils on this journey with me, but those two will be the main companions.

To help get the word flow started, I’ve decided to adopt this simple plan highlighted in an article I recently read. Unfortunately, I forgot to bookmark the link and now can’t give credit where credit is due. I wish I could.

If I find it, I’ll update this post. Or, if any of you know the origin, feel free to let me know in the comments so I can credit it.

The approach is simple. Ask yourself three questions in your journal every day. If you answer them, even in a few sentences, you will at the very least be writing every day.

What I’ve discovered is if I start answering the questions, I usually end up writing a few more pages beyond the simple answers. That may just be me, but I’ll bet if you try it, you’ll get similar results. And you’ll be writing.

Here’s the questions:

  1. What was accomplished? As in, what did you do today? Took out the trash? Read a good book? Had some great coffee? Made a new friend? Whatever happened, write it down. It doesn’t have to profound or life-changing, it just has to be something (or somethings) that you accomplished that day.
  2. What should not be forgotten? Did something really great and memorable happen today? If so, write it down. Did your baby crawl for the first time? Did you get that dream job you always wanted? Did you get to spend ten minutes just thinking and dreaming? If you want to remember it and never want to forget it, write it down. Years from now when you’ve maybe forgotten this day completely, you can open the journal, read all about it, and remember.
  3. What’s coming up? What are you doing tomorrow? Next week? Next month? Are you taking a trip, getting a raise, adopting a baby or going on a blind date? Write it down. Are you looking forward to something? What do you want to be doing in a year? Or, it can be as simple as reminding yourself that tomorrow is trash day.

Simple, right? Now all you need is a good notebook and a pen or pencil to get started. What are you waiting for?


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‘The Silence of the Lambs’ As a Romantic Comedy

Sure, The Silence of the Lambs is a creepy, psychological thriller/horror movie about women’s empowerment, cannibalism and the search for a serial killer. It also won a lot of awards (including the Oscar for Best Picture) and is, at least to me, an exceptionally well done film.

But what if it was a romantic comedy? This trailer shows you how that just might work.


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The First ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Teaser Has Arrived

I’m sure you’ve already watched the teaser for The Last Jedi a hundred times, but I just wanted to make sure. I’ve watched it quite a few times myself. In short, I like it.

It’s a Star Wars movie. Of course I like it. That said, it didn’t have quite the same impact as the first teaser for The Force Awakens did, at least for me. The Force Awakens was the first real Star Wars movie in a long time. A long time.

So, it was more of a big deal to me. And no, I didn’t have the same feelings about Rogue One either. The move itself was okay, but it was hard to make much of a connection to any of the characters and the story was, well, lacking in some areas. I still enjoyed it, but in my mind it’s more of a whimsical diversion and will never be a real Star Wars movie. Fight me.

But The Force Awakens had Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess/General Leia in it and looked, felt and smelled like a real Star Wars movie. So naturally, as those are the characters and story I grew up with and loved since that first dark Valley Circle, CA theater in 1977, those were the characters and story I was, and am, most interested and excited about. I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the new characters, especially Rey and Poe. And perhaps if I was seeing these movies for the first time as that kid who saw the first Star Wars, I might feel differently. I’m pretty sure I would. But it’s just not the same. It can’t be.

And that’s not to say The Last Jedi won’t be great. I’m sure it will. Once the movie hits and I get a chance to see it, I have no doubt I’ll love it. Will I love it as much as the original trilogy?

Not on your life. And that’s okay. I’ve always got my copies of the original, un-altered trilogy to watch. In fact, I think it’s about time for a rewatch.

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The ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Trailer Looks Awesome

I realize this has been out for a bit, but I just watched it again and, gotta say, I still love it. The whole vibe seems just right as does the look, the tone and pretty much everything else. Of course, you can’t tell everything from a trailer.

Still, if the movie ends up being close to this, I’ll be very happy indeed. Plus, who doesn’t love Led Zeppelin?

Anyway, if you haven’t watched it yet, what are you waiting for? Here it is.

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Some of My Recent Photographs

I’ve decided to eschew digital photography and return to simpler times and shoot film. Yes, film. It’s still around. In fact, it’s around in a pretty big way.

Companies like Kodak and Ilford still make many different kinds of film. Actually, Kodak recently announced the return of the venerable Ektachrome and several other companies are coming out with new film stocks too. Plus, more and more pros, semi-pros and amateurs are shooting film again or trying it out for the first time.

It’s a great time to be a film lover.

No, I won’t be abandoning digital completely. I still scan my film after it’s developed (a process I often do myself) and take the occasional photograph with my Fuji X100T or iPhone. Digital isn’t going anywhere.

But for the last six months or so, I’ve used film pretty much exclusively. Black & White, 35mm film in particular. I just like the way it looks and I like the camera I’m currently using: the Leica M6.

Check out some more examples of my recent work after the break. Of course, that’s one of mine at the top of this post and another one as the header for this site.

For even more, take a look at my Instagram devoted to film photography.

Continue reading

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The Family Way

It’s been awhile. Yes, I know, you’ve missed me. I get it. I’ve missed you too. We used to have a pretty good relationship. And then I went and messed it up by not being around for, what, almost a year? Sorry about that.

It doesn’t really seem like its been that long. But time flies. Oh yes it does. In case you’ve forgotten what’s happened recently, here’s a bit of a refresher. I left LA/California and now live in Austin, TX. I’m a father. It’s a boy. He’s three. I’m semi-retired and stay home with him, which basically makes me a stay-at-home dad.

I love my life. I do, however, sometimes miss work. It was fun (mostly) and I’ll probably do it again one of these days. But I can’t complain, my kid is awesome and I get to watch him grow up every day. I’m very fortunate to be able to do that.

Also, I still do a podcast called The Flickcast with Joe Dilworth, my awesome co-host. And I take photographs, make things from wood and occasionally write. That pretty much catches us up.

Well, there is one other (pretty big) thing that’s happened since we last got together. As some of you may know, I’m adopted. Both of my adoptive parents are no longer alive and I miss them every day. I especially miss them when I want to ask parenting questions, but pretty much the rest of the time too.

I realize I’m far from perfect, but I think they did a pretty good job with me considering how much of a pain I was growing up. Spoiled only child and all that. Yes, I was quite the troublemaker. But in the end, I think I turned out okay. I only hope I can do the job half as well as they did. I’ll keep working on it.

But that’s not the big news. This big news is I’ve found my biological mother. Well, actually, H found her. H is good with stuff like that. But found she is and contact we have had. Quite a bit, actually. She’s great and we’ve discussed all sorts of things.

I’ve been to see her twice so far and plan on going again soon. I’m looking forward to it. But wait, as Steve Jobs used to say, there’s one more thing (at least). I’ve also got a brother and sister. And a niece. I know, right? A whole new family I never knew about.

I’ve spent time with my new Bro and Sis too. They’re terrific people and I look forward to getting to know them more. Actually, my sister, her husband and their daughter (the niece I mentioned) just visited us. And yes, a good time was had by all.

Just when I think life can’t get any better . . .

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‘Star Wars’ ‘Suicide Squad’ Trailer


As I’m a huge fan of Star Wars (of course) and also looking forward to Suicide Squad, this mashup trailer by The Usual Suspect amused me quite a bit.


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The History of Cinema in 100 Shots


This video, put together by Editor Jacob T. Swinney, is very impressive. It chronicles the history of cinema, starting with the 1915 film Birth of a Nation, by highlighting iconic shots from 100 films of the past 100 years.

Very impressive indeed. Enjoy this bit of history.

(h/t to the a.v. club)

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The Awesome ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 Stairway Fight


By now you’ve likely seen the entire second season of Daredevil on Netflix. If so, pretty great, right? If not, what are you waiting for?

Either way, this fight scene from Episode 3 of Season 2 is, if not the best, at the very least one of the top two or three fight scenes ever done in a TV show or a movie.

Kudos to all involved.

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Moving. No, Not That Kind

Hello all. You may notice some changes around here. You’re very perceptive. I’ve relocated this website to new hosting.

Nothing against Media Temple or anything, I’ve just decided to make a change. So, from now on this site will be running on servers powered by Mac Highway.

I like the fact that Mac Highway is all Macs and also gets all of its energy from wind power. That’s pretty cool.

Anyway, things might be a bit bumpy until everything is done, so bear with me. Thanks.

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