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Being nice…unsuccessfully

Once upon a time…well okay last night…I went out with some friends to get something to eat. We decided to go to Subway, only to find that they were out of bread. Who woulda thought that Subway would be out of bread? Anyway, next on the list was Pizza Hut so we marched over there. Since I can never make up my mind, I took a vote on what kind of food I should get. I first narrowed it down to everything that has a picture—I gotta see a picture of something before I order it. Well the poll came out unanimous for the Chicken P…Pr…..Prim……um, one of those Italian words that I can never remember how to pronounce. The picture looked good, so I took the challenge and found that it tasted every bit as good as it looked. It filled me up pretty well too.

But then the horror was unleashed, and the war started. The waiter brought us the bill and I raced to get it before anyone else was able to pay for it. I struggled unsuccessfully through the vicious crowd with everybody tearing at my shirt to hold me back, while they tossed around the bill to keep it from me. I lunged, twisted, and dived, desperately trying so fulfill the objective, and I hurled myself without any respect for my own body and managed to grasp the object with my fingertips. I seized the target with every ounce of strength that I could muster, and struggled to free myself from my oppressors. When I had managed to work myself free, I sprinted to the checkout register, threw my hand into my back pocket and pulled out………..nothing. After all the pain and effort of capturing the bill into my custody, not a thing could have saddened me more than to find that I had left my wallet at home. In disbelief, I felt around once more in my pocket for the chance that there was something there, but again found nothing. By this time the mob was already upon me, but there was no longer anything that I could do. They overtook me, and snatched the bill from my hand. I watched in unconceivable horror as they happily paid for my food, and I sunk into a sad pile of misery. It almost hurts sometimes to have such nice friends.

Blind date

I didn’t think much of it when the phone rang. Nobody really calls me anyway. So I was a little surprised when my mom gave me the phone and said it was a girl that wanted to talk to me. She also asked me if I was going to be home for lunch, figuring that the person on the phone wanted to go out. I was clueless, so I just grabbed the phone to find out who it was. The girl on the phone was someone I had never even met before. But she turned out to be quite forward, and got right to the point. So forward, in fact, that the only word I managed to get in edgewise was, “Okay.” The one-way conversation lasted less than thirty seconds, but in that time we managed to set up a date for the next day. I couldn’t even remember what her name was, but when the time came I headed over to the Wal-Mart Optical center for my appointment.

urht evirD

My friends and I decided to go for ice cream, so I drove us all to Culvers. After a few minutes of listening to them argue about what kind of ice cream to get, I made up my mind that I didn’t want to be the one doing the ordering at the drive thru. So I began stirring up this crazy idea in my mind, and once we got to Culvers I stopped and put the car in reverse. My friends thought I was crazy…until I pulled right up to the drive thru speaker backwards and let the one in the passenger seat worry about the order. Then they knew I was crazy. I got some pretty scary looks from my friends and I got punched in the shoulder a few times because they didn’t like everybody staring at us, but at least I saved myself all the trouble.

Legalized murder

Have you been planning the death of a loved one lately? Has that special someone really been getting on your nerves? Been polishing up that 9mm and charting out your evil scheme to escape from the law when it’s over? Well worry yourself no further. Recent studies have shown that murder can be done simply by going to court and telling the judge that you want this person starved to death. With legal murder, there’s no need to waste a bullet or even get your hands dirty. Thanks to all those who helped make every murderer’s dream a reality.

Hacking the system

I had a business meeting today with a couple of computer programmers. The meeting went really well, and we discussed everything we needed to discuss. But after the meeting, one of the programmers came to me and asked right out, “Do you hack?” I took a split second to think about the sneaky process of breaking into computer systems, called hacking (which often requires a lot of programming skills, and is in a lot of cases illegal). I wondered why he would be so open about it, and I wondered even more why he would ask me, since I don’t really do much programming yet. So after all things were considered in my mind, I intently replied, “…What??” He repeated, “Do you hack?” and reached over and pulled out, what else but….a Hacky Sack, or Footbag as some people call them. How ironic, I thought, and spend the next few minutes, um… hacking.

The cat theory

I think I just figured out why cats get run over by cars so often. You see, they’re trying to prove to their friends that cars will always move out of the way when they run out into the street. On my way in to work, I came across two cats on the side of the road. One of them ran out onto the road just as I was going by. Sure enough, I swerved to the other side of the road to avoid hitting him, confirming his theory that a car will never run into a cat. However, from my own research I’ve found that in most cases a car will never swerve away from the same cat twice. So next time that cat isn’t going to be quite so lucky.

My Struggle

I carried a wooden plank as I walked up the hill.
My hand received a splinter; I winced, but continued uphill.
The rugged plank I carried bumped hard into my head.
I thought of giving up, but I proceeded on instead.
Further up the beaten path, I stubbed my toe on a rock.
I tripped, fell, and scraped my knee; in shame, I would no longer walk.
Then a strange man came up to me, who seemed of good cheer.
He said, “Consider it joy; testing helps you persevere.”
I stared at him in disbelief, and thought, If only he knew,
The full extent of my struggle, and all I was going through.
I wanted him to feel what I felt, and let him taste my pain.
I dropped my wooden plank, and tied him to it with a chain.
I held my cry when I poked my finger on a crown made of thorns,
As I shoved it deep into his head, and laughed at him with scorn.
My hand was cut and bled as I mercilessly whipped the man.
I bit my tongue when I spat in his face, the pain I couldn’t stand.
A loud moan I could not contain when I hit my thumb with the mallet,
While driving the nails into his hands, enjoying his torment.
I sneered and said, “Consider this joy,” as I thrust a spear in his side.
I knew I had taught him a lesson, and I laughed at him with pride.
But then he spoke those terrible words that pierced my heart deeply.
Never before had anything been said that hurt me so severely.
While he hung up on my cross, his face all black and blue,
He looked into my eyes, and he said, “I forgive you.”

Floating hearts

I’ve had a couple of big heart-shaped valentine balloons floating around in my office since valentines day. Well today one of them finally started to give up and drop down from the weight of the string that was attached to it. Feeling sympathetic for the poor balloon, I couldn’t help but cut the string and set it free. To my amazement, as soon as I had cut it loose it started floating around the room perfectly balanced in flight. I was greatly amused and intrigued by it, and I just sat and watched it for a while. It just went up and down and up and down and all around my office without touching hardly a thing. If I had cut the string sooner, it would have just floated away never to be seen again. If I had waited longer, it would have never had the chance to experience the joy of freedom. I laughed at it for a while until it made me realize that the same thing applies to our own hearts. So many people feel confined by the string that’s holding down their heart and they cut it loose eager to experience the freedom of love and emotion. But if they cut the string too soon, their heart will go straight up, unbalanced, higher and higher with emotion and excitement until all of a sudden they can’t hold themselves up any longer and they find themselves in a doomed freefall leading to depression and a broken, shattered heart. If, however, they had waited until the time was right to cut the string, they would have had the unbelievable experience of perfectly balanced love with no regrets.

How can they be so cruel?

For some reason, I hear the words “My camera doesn’t work” quite often. Well this morning, one of the head dudes here at Mathews dropped off his camera at my office. He explained to me what the deal was, and asked if I could take a look at his camera (which happens to be the same camera that I use). So I agreed and he left. As I started to open the box, I cringed when the first thing that I saw was the bare, uncovered lens, dirty and fingerprinted. It was a painful sight as I continued to open the box and saw the beaten and scratched body carelessly wedged in tight with the external flash mount digging into the cardboard. My first thought was to check the battery. I opened it up and, to my horror, saw the battery contacts soiled and corroded. I continued to examine the camera and found that the viewfinder eyepiece was missing and one of the brackets on the flash mount was bent. And if all that wasn’t enough, the outside filter ring on the lens was broken in two places. The camera was set to fully auto as I expected, which makes me wonder why someone would have this nice of a camera and not fully know how to use it. I can’t bear to use auto mode myself because it disables so many of the advanced features.

Well I cleaned the lens for him, wiped the battery contacts, and dusted off some other crucial parts, but strangely, I can’t figure out why it won’t work. I thought about using my x-ray vision, but then it would be kinda hard to keep my secret identity. I think I’m just going to call the Camera Cops and report a case of camera abuse.


I was asked to take pictures of a local high school basketball team a couple of weeks ago. I, of course, accepted the offer and went to take portraits of all the team members. The pictures turned out pretty well, and the team and everyone affiliated were quite happy with the results.

Well just yesterday, the team gathered for a banquet at the end of the season and I was asked to take a group picture of everyone. So I brought in all my equipment and got set up while some of the moms arranged the kids just the way they wanted them. Lo and behold, another one of the moms came by who happened to be a “professional photographer.” So she took over and dictated the room and started yelling at the kids to get them where she wanted. She actually did pretty well too. So I just stood there hiding behind my camera and waited for her to be satisfied with the arrangement. When the kids were finally in order, I was able to do my thing with the camera, until… she grabbed my tripod and started moving it back. It was nice that she came to help arrange the shot, but touch my camera? Trust me, you don’t want to go there. I asked her what she was doing, and she said something about making more room for when the picture is cropped. “Cropped for what?” I asked. “I don’t know,” was the response. I didn’t say anything more, but what I was thinking was, “HELLO, I have a zoom lens for a reason. It’s this newfangled thing that allows you to not have to drag your tripod back and forth.” Needless to say, I stood there and pushed the little button on the camera. I was tempted to say, “Okay, here’s the remote. I’ve optimized the settings on the camera for the current light conditions. But since you took over the show, and you’re the ‘professional photographer,’ why don’t you just push the button.”

I’ve been asked before if I considered myself a professional photographer. But even if I was the best photographer in the world, quite honestly, I don’t think I would ever consider myself a professional. For one thing, there’s always so much more to learn. Each and every experience can be a learning experience, as well as humbling. But probably an even bigger reason is that…I simply don’t have a big enough mouth to be a “professional photographer.” Especially after my adventure yesterday it seems that, particularly for portrait photographers, they need to have the characteristics of a dictator and take charge and yell at everybody and all that good stuff. But that’s not me. I could probably manage one or two people, get to know them, interact with them, and make a natural looking portrait instead of dictating their every move. But what I find that works best for me is non-portrait stuff. Nature, macro, still, abstract, and so on. Things that I can be creative with, and put a part of myself into every picture (not literally). I even have fun taking pictures of people in natural settings, doing something other than standing and smiling at the camera. But for me, just photographer is fine without that other big fancy word.