Reversing Changes and More

As I said in a previous post, I moved the Ullrich Media website off of Squarespace with the intent of hosting it on our dedicated Media Temple server. But after I did I realized something: the site looked like ass.

The sad truth is I’m not a web designer, nor do I know that much about WordPress. And, if I’m being honest, I don’t really have the time to learn more about either of those things right now.

I would love to, believe me. But for now I’ve made the decision to return to Squarespace and keep that as the home of Ullrich Media for the foreseeable future. It’s just easier and I need things to be easier right now.

I think you can probably relate.

In addition, I made some changes to the site itself, which is actually quite easy to do with Squarespace. No, they didn’t pay me to say that. Although, I’m open to it . . .

For the site I added more photos and made the portfolio section a bit more organized to highlight my work. Mostly I grouped the photos in different sections depending on the kind of photo they are. If you go there it will make more sense.

And hey, I also decided to offer prints of some of my photographs too. You should buy one, framed, and hang it on your wall. I did. It looks pretty cool.

Here’s the direct link to my Print Shop. There’s also a link when you go to the main Ullrich Media website too, if you’re so inclined.

I think that’s it for the moment. At least where my website and work/personal stuff is concerned.

Wait. I know what you’re thinking: Hey Chris, where’s that book you were working on? Oh that. I’m still working on it . . . and a new one in an entirely different genre.

So far, so good for both.  More on those soon.

Oh, it looks like we might get a vaccine for the kids pretty soon, which I’m quite happy about. Good for the kids and, frankly, good for the parents too.

It will be nice for everyone when the kids can go back to school, be with their friends and worry a lot less about being exposed to a potentially deadly virus. Very nice indeed.

Let’s hope all the parents (or enough of them) decide to vaccinate their kids. They should, but you never know . . . selfish assholes can have kids too.

I hope you’re not one of those. But since you’re reading this, you probably aren’t. I don’t think that’s my “audience,” but who knows?

Okay, that’s really all for now. Be kind to each other until I get back. Okay?

 

Image: ©2021 Chris Ullrich. All Rights Reserved. 

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Even More Changes

Hello friends. It has been a minute, as it often is. I don’t update here as often as I should and for that I’m profoundly sorry. I really want to, however . . .

I just don’t have that kind of free time anymore, especially now that virtual school is in session again. In short, that’s very time consuming . . . and I’ve only got the one kid. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for those of you who’ve got more than one. Crazy.

That said, I did want to drop in for a few and update you on some recent changes. No, it’s not just that Summer ended and the boy is back in school, it’s more than that. A bit more, at least.

The first is my favorite website, The Flickcast, has finally gotten a much-needed facelift and is looking great. Kudos to to the entire team for getting that up and running. And by the entire team I mean yours truly. As in, I did it all by myself (cue Jamie O’Neal).

I think it looks great. The Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages have also been updated to reflect the new look. As you do.

We’ve also started uploading the podcast to YouTube, although it’s just the audio at this point. No video yet. We are going to start video soon, however, so keep an eye out for that.

I’ve also made some changes to the Ullrich Media website (mostly moving off of Squarespace and onto our own server) so that’s gonna look a bit different and have less content until I get a chance to finish it up. Doing all the work on The Flickcast took a lot of time, so other things were reprioritized in favor if that.

There’s nothing wrong with Squarespace, by the way. They’re great. I just don’t need to be paying them when I already have a server of my own that can handle the content and traffic. Plus, these days I mostly upload photos to Instagram and Flickr (remember that?). So I don’t necessarily need a full portfolio website right now. Just a place to give out a bit of info.

Moving on. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but I’ve been playing a lot of D&D the last year or two, especially during the fun COVID times. Three times a week, currently. I mention this not to reinforce the fact that I’m a nerd. That’s a given and should require no further support of proof.

I mention it to showcase the fact I play on Twitch with a great group every Sunday night starting at 6PM Pacific. If you like D&D and enjoy watching people play it (just like the pros do on Critical Role) you should check out our stream. It’s pretty fun.

I’m sure I’ve got more things to talk about but this is already pretty long, so I think I’ll call it for now. But don’t worry, I’ll be back.

Until then, please get your shots and wear a mask. Don’t be an asshole. That’s not too much to ask, is it? I don’t think so.

Also, keep on being kind to each other. It helps. Thanks.

 

(Oh, I forgot to mention the above photo is one I took during my recent trip to Colorado and points West. It’s not really supposed to look that way but something happened while shooting and the film was exposed that way. But that’s fine, I think it looks kinda cool).

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Another 2021 Update

Well, I did it. I am “fully vaccinated.” Yay me.

Two doses of Pfizer and I feel a heck of a lot better about 2021 than I did a few months ago. We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re on the right path. Hopefully everyone will get their shots. I know a lot of people are, which is great.

If you haven’t yet, what are you waiting for? Do it.

And yes, before you ask, I’m still gonna mask up and socially distance. Just because I’m vaccinated doesn’t mean everyone else is. Plus, I’m still not over the whole quarantine and lockdown thing, so masks make me feel better. I may wear one for a long time. Maybe.

In other news I recently took a road trip through Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California. The trip was mostly just to get out of the house after a year and a half in lockdown, but also to do some photography and see some old friends, which I did.

Is it a coincidence the states I travelled through, although scenic and containing several of my friends, also have legalized Cannabis? Spoilers: It wasn’t a coincidence.

Another reason for the trip was research. I’m considering a new business venture and wanted to gather information. I like to gather information and research things. It’s fun for me. These states were the place to do it.

It’s much more difficult to conduct this kind of research in Texas, where I currently live. They’re still living in the dark ages, at least where Cannabis is concerned. Not everyone, to be sure, but many of the people in positions of authority certainly are.

They do allow you to grow hemp in Texas, which is a good start. And I’m going to start doing that soon. But there’s still a long way to go.

My trip was for that kind of research. Business stuff. I also managed to see a lot of friends and hang out, which was great fun. And, of course, visit a few of my favorite spots and also find some new ones.

I miss my old friends. But sadly, I couldn’t see everyone I wanted to see. I just didn’t have the time. H only has so much patience with me being gone, after all.

I’m planning another trip soon so I’ll make sure to include people I missed. I want to see all of you. It’s been too long.

The trip really was great, though. The only real downside to it was all the driving. I don’t mind a road trip and I don’t mind driving, but this trip had a lot of it and I needed to cover a lot of miles in a short time.

The Arizona to Austin drive in one day was particularly brutal. I did it and survived, but it was a lot. Not sure I’m ready to do that one again anytime soon . . . but maybe.

Good thing I had a lot of audiobooks to keep me company in the car. Here’s a few of the one’s I listened to on the trip:

Yearbook By Seth Rogen

Project Hail Mary By Andy Weir

Red Rising By Pierce Brown

Really enjoyed all three of these. Next up for me is the sequel to Red Rising called Golden Son.

As for other things in 2021, I’m still doing The Flickcast podcast and still playing a lot of D&D. I’m even on Twitch every Sunday night playing it. It’s pretty fun.

I’m also just trying to be kind, live my life and be a good father, husband and person. It isn’t easy. Fortunately, I don’t give up easily. I just keep going and keep trying.

And that, my friends, is sometimes all you can do.

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Further Updates for 2021

So far, I’m enjoying 2021 much more than 2020. Sure, this new year isn’t without its share of issues. But things are still looking up and still moving in the right direction . . . in my humble opinion at least.

Which brings me to the update promised in the title of this post. Here goes: we’ve started posting new content at The Flickcast. Not just podcasts, mind you, other content too. Fun!

Starting to post content again serves several purposes, not the least of which is getting me into the habit of writing every day. That’s a good thing.

Plus, who knows, maybe some people will go to the site and it will generate a few bucks of income? It could happen. It’s happened before. We have pretty small overhead so almost anything would be good.

That said, if you feel so inclined, head over and read some articles and maybe click on one of the ads? I’d appreciate it.

Speaking of websites, there’s another one you should check out for sure: Hapa Grey. I’m probably biased (I am) but it’s one of my favorites. If you love bargains and deals and knowing about the latest trends, Hapa Grey is the site for you. Check it out.

Other than that, I’m playing a fuckton of D&D (in private and on Twitch), we’re not frozen anymore, don’t have to boil our water, my son hates doing school online, it’s basically been a year since we started quarantine and I almost got my first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Maybe I’ll get it tomorrow? Maybe. Hope you get yours soon too.

Until then, stay safe, wear your mask, social distance and try not to be a dick.

 

Image: Adobe Stock

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Things Are Looking Up

As expected, the inauguration made me feel a lot better about things, life and the future. It’s weird how your life can change quickly and how the feeling of a giant weight pressing down on you for, oh, the last four years can be gone just as quickly.

Yeah, weird.

Yes, even though seeing President Biden and Vice-President Harris sworn in was the cathartic exhale we all needed, we cannot forget poet Amanda Gorman was amazing and almost stole the entire show. I expect to see her again in the future. A lot. If you haven’t watched her at the ceremony, do it now.

And, as expected, with adults running things again, shit is starting to get done already.

What is that I’m feeling? Hope? I guess so.

Happy New Year. Fucking finally.

Photo: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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Some Thoughts for 2021

Well, it happened. The ball dropped and we’ve been magically transported to the year 2021. Yeah, good for us.

Please don’t mistake my tone, I am happy it’s 2021. As we all know, 2020 was kinda shit and a lot of bad things happened. So, having a “do over” seems like a great idea and something I can get behind.

But I’ve also lived long enough to know things don’t always work out the way you want them to. They sometimes suck and go in a direction you didn’t expect or plan for. Life is funny that way and, over the years, you kinda get used to it. Mostly, anyway.

The big question we need to ask for 2021, though, is will things change, especially given the recent horrible events at the US Capital and the continued unrest and dangerous acts committed by some of our elected officials and our citizens? And if things do change, will they change for the better?

The only answer I can muster at the moment is maybe. Sorry, that’s the best I can do.

But really, can you blame me? If 2020 has taught me anything it’s we can’t rely on our elected officials, or our fellow humans, to just “do the right thing.” Many simply can’t or won’t. And sure, some actually do.

But enough don’t so we’re approaching 400,000 dead from COVID. Not that people doing the wrong thing and not wearing a mask or social distancing caused all of those nearly 400K deaths, but I’d bet simple human selfishness or entitlement was a big factor.

But this is supposed to be more of an “optimistic” post for 2021, so I won’t get into any more of that.

At least there’s finally not one, but two vaccines. That’s a big deal. Yay science! And they do seem to be rolling it out and people are getting vaccinated. The process is not without its problems, which should come as a shock to nobody, but it is happening. Again, that’s good.

Even with all the problems in 2020 and the shit that seems to be starting, or continuing, in 2021, I really do think we have a chance to make this county better and for people to come together. Sure, we’ve been going in absolutely the wrong direction for at least the last four years, so reversing course might be a tall order, but I still think maybe we can do it.

We just have to try really, really hard. I think Biden/Harris is a great step and the Democrats winning Georgia and controlling Congress is also a wonderful outcome. But it’s not enough.

We need to call out this bullshit behavior before it happens. And put a stop to it. We need to confront racists, misogynists, fascists or wanna-be nazis now and set them straight, or destroy their potential influence or bullshit plots, before they can do any harm. Not after armed dickheads storm the Capitol of our county in an aborted coup attempt. That day was pretty bad, but it could have been much worse.

The bad guys are not on the way, they are already here among us. They are in our schools, places of worship, where we work and certainly online. Fortunately, some of their online influence has been curbed, at least for the moment.

And many of the terrorists who stormed the Capital have been apprehended and hopefully will face swift and severe punishment. Those are couple very good steps in the right direction. But we can’t stop there.

Our eyes have been opened to what’s going on in our country. We dare not close them again.

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A 2020 Short Story

I posted this on Twitter, but I thought I’d put it on here too. Why not? Although, I realize by posting it here it will also be posted back to Twitter. The circle of life . . .

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This Is The End

Well, it’s the end of 2020 at least. Almost anyway. None too soon, if you ask me. And since this is my site, if you don’t ask me, I’ll just go ahead and ask myself.

That’s just how this works, see?

What a pain 2020 has been, right? I don’t need to go into it here because you know what I’m talking about. Still, seriously, fuck this year.

And while I’m at it, fuck people who don’t believe in science, compassion or simple human decency. And fuck people who try to take advantage of the poor or the weak or try to oppress or persecute people based on their race, religion, gender identity, or for any other reason. It’s not right. None of it. Stop fucking doing it.

That was a lot of “fucks” and I apologize. I’m just kinda angry about a lot of stuff right now. More than usual. I’m also very tired. You can probably relate.

In fact, if I had to sum up this year in one word, I’d say “tired.” As in, I’m fucking tired. 2020 is the year that never seemed to end and continuously threw one horrible thing after another at all of us. I don’t know about you, but . . . I. Am. Tired.

I’m tired of have trouble getting to sleep or sleeping through the night. I’m tired of worrying about what our country is turning into, or what it was all along and we just didn’t notice. I’m tired of worrying about the thousands of people dying every day while thousands more call a pandemic a “hoax” and refuse to take basic precautions like wearing a mask. I’m tired of the indifference, incompetence and seemingly wanton acts of cowardice and malice from our elected officials.

I’m tired of it. All of it. I’ll bet you are too.

And speaking of “anti mask” dickheads, fuck those selfish assholes too.

Perhaps it’s a character flaw but I have a lot of trouble comprehending people who just don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves, especially during something like COVID. Like I get you’re a selfish prick but maybe, just this once, can you do something for someone other than yourself and wear this thing over your fucking pie hole to protect others from your stupidity and anti-science bullshit? Once COVID is gone, feel free to return to your previous behavior. I guess. Thanks?

Now don’t get me wrong, I have a healthy ego. Ask anyone.

But my ego doesn’t replace common decency and regard for my fellow humans. As in, I do care if you live or die so I’m going to do my part to help stop the spread of COVID by wearing a mask, washing my hands, keeping my distance and staying at home most of the time.

I do it because I give a shit, not just about myself, but about all of you. Even you fuckers who don’t deserve it and wouldn’t do the same for me. It’s called being a good citizen and good human. Look it up.

I think being a good citizen and a good human is a good thing. You may not agree. If you don’t, well, I guess fuck you too.

I realize this all may seem pretty negative, and some of it is, frankly. But don’t despair. All is not lost. We have some hope, as I mentioned in my last post.

Compassionate, intelligent adults seem to be in charge again. Thank the gods. Will it help? Probably. Do we still have a long way to go? You bet your ass we do. Do we have a chance? Yep. I think we have a good chance.

Let’s really try not to fuck it up.

 

 

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Hope 2.0

Well, well. As much as I was thinking and hoping positive change was coming, I still had some doubts. 2020 has been a bit too rough to go quietly.

Fortunately, it seems, this year can still surprise me and it looks like the adults are back in charge of the country again. Compassionate, decent, thoughtful, science-loving, education-loving, kind and sincere adults.

About fucking time.

Sure, we’re not out of the woods yet. He who shall not be named is still squatting in the People’s House and looks to be staying, at least for the short term. But I’m not going to let that get me down. Not me. Not this time. He’ll be out soon enough. One way or another. If I get a vote I choose “dragged away in cuffs”, but I don’t think it will get that far. Too bad.

The important thing is my vote mattered. Your vote mattered. All votes mattered. And all votes counted. The will of the people has been heard. You love to see it.

But we’ve still got a lot of work to do. Millions of our fellow citizens voted for the other guy and now we have the unenviable task of trying to work with them to move our country forward. As our new President-Elect, Joe Biden, said, he wants to be the President for all of us, not just the ones who voted for him.

That seems like an almost impossible task. I sincerely wish him luck. Still, he needs to govern and he needs to move the country forward and eradicate COVID and get us back on the right track. No matter what.

If detractors from his own side, and those who didn’t vote for him, want to come along in the spirit of unity and improving the country, great. Glad to have you aboard.

If Democrats don’t want to help, or those who didn’t vote for him want cling to their old ideas of hate, divisiveness, bigotry, baseless accusation and fear mongering, then fuck ’em. We don’t need ’em. Some people are too afraid, too stubborn or, dare I say it, too ignorant to change. I feel bad for them but some people just don’t want help and don’t want to change. You can’t please everyone.

Whatever happens going forward, I’m happy to live in a county that elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Great job, guys. We did it. Optimism is back in style and the future looks a little brighter.

And to my new President and Vice President I say good luck. We’re with you.

Don’t fuck it up.

 

Photo Credit: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images

 

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Podcasting Setup Update and the Shure SM7B

As I mentioned in a previous post outlining my new, improved podcasting setup I’ve been waiting patiently for the Shure SM7B microphone to arrive. Well, it arrived.

I’ve already set it up and recorded a new episode of The Flickcast with it. Expect that one soon. In the meantime, I’m happy to report that, to me at least, the mic more than lives up to the hype. In fact, it’s great.

It’s so great, in fact, I’m done looking. As in I will never use a different mic. Ever. I’m hooked.

Anyway, that’s it. Let me know if you have any questions about the Shure SM7B, my podcasting setup or podcasting in general. Happy to help if I can.

Oh, I should mention we recently launched a Patreon for The Flickcast. If you feel like supporting our show, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks so much and stay safe!

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