Thoughts Of A Boy Waiting For His Turn

Why did I get out of the game so quickly? I just stood there like a tree. I should have jumped to my right, but Adrian was looking right at me and I froze. He kicked the ball right at me, and I was an easy target. Callie is watching this game. Tommy said that she likes me. This time I am going to stay in the game for a long time. Someone get out now. I’m next. This time I won’t get out. Adrian can’t be the best in the game every time. I hope the bell doesn’t ring. Not yet. Not yet.

Saving Memories on Video

I remember capturing a video of my son riding his skateboard about 10 years ago. I used my Sony video camera to capture about ten seconds of footage of my son riding his skateboard towards me. Afterwards, I plugged my video camera into my laptop and uploaded the video from the camera to the computer. From there, I was able to edit the video on my computer then burn the finished video on DVD. The video wasn’t just about my son riding his skateboard, but I remember that segment took about 15 minutes from upload to editing.

It is amazing how much technology is advancing at a blazingly fast pace. I took this video of my daughters launching their rockets at a science camp last week. I used my iPhone, and yes, I realize I could also use an Android or Windows phone as well, but I own an iPhone. The video clips never left my phone. I assembled about 4 clips and added transitions and music. I finished the video in less than 10 minutes. I was ready to share my video with my family and friends via email, text, YouTube, FaceBook, and all the other social-media-video-sharing apps available.

When I finished I asked myself, “Did I really just make a home movie on my phone?” Yes, I did. I think I made my first video on my phone years ago, but it is just getting easier each year. No more looking for cables and discs. I believe it is important to record the moments for yourself and your loved ones. Technology is making it easier.

Scott’s Wheels

  Scott worked long hours tapping away on the keys of his computer, occasionally interrupting his rhythm with a few clicks of his mouse. This middle-aged single man took his breaks like everyone else. Most of his coworkers drank coffee while posting pictures of their coffee on Facebook. A few others made the trip to the smoker’s area to squeeze in their smokes. 
Scott did neither. He spent his breaks playing with his Hot Wheels. It didn’t matter who was in the break room. Scott would get down on the floor with a toy car in hand and drive the car around his floor space in the room. His coworkers carried on with their coffee and smokes as Scott wheeled around his die-cast metal toy. 

However, once the break room was too crowded Scott took his cars outside. When he did, the break time turned into Scott’s showcase. His coworkers stopped drinking their coffee. They stopped smoking. Instead, they were busy about taking and posting pics of their quirky coworker playing with Hot Wheels.

Ice Cream Dream

Earlier this week I woke up to get ready for work, but I actually remembered a dream I had sometime between midnight and the morning.

I was in a 18-wheeler moving van with my wife and 2 unknown friends. We were parked at a truck stop happily chatting in the cabin of the truck when we saw a state trooper walking up towards us. Although I knew that we had not done anything wrong, the other 3 were noticeably nervous as the state trooper walked in a way that reminded me of Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane from Dukes of Hazzard.

“How y’all doin’?” the officer asked as she climbed up the cab and leaned into the open driver’s side window. We all cautiously said, “Good” in unison nodding our heads to hide our uneasy mood.  The state trooper scanned the interior of our truck cab, then after not finding what she was looking for asked, “Y’all got an ITS-IT? I know you got one.”

Shelley and my friends turned their gaze at me which caused me to realize that we knew that we had something that could resolve our current predicament. I had an IT’S-IT in my backpack.

For those of you do not know what an ITS-IT is, it is an ice cream sandwich sold at ice cream trucks, liquor stores, and grocery stores. It consists of a circle of sweet vanilla ice cream sandwiched in dark-chocolate coated crunchy-yet-soft oatmeal chocolate cookies. The way the chocolate coating breaks and melts while I bite through the cookies and my teeth sink into the ice cream is something worth trying… everyday if it weren’t for my doctor asking me if I’m keeping my triglycerides levels in check.

As I pondered on the request, a wave of rebelliousness grew inside of me as I looked at my backpack that held my lone It’s It. My wife and friends locked their eyes on me with plastic smiles that I interpreted as, “Give that woman that ITS-IT now!” I committed to sacrificing my ice cream treat by giving it to the that no-good law-woman and save my wife and friends potential trouble with the law.

As I rustled into my backpack to pull out the ice cream sandwich, I turned my attention to the state trooper who now had her mouth open for me to hand feed her the ice cream. “Are you serious?” was the non-verbal big-eyes look I gave my wife. Shelley silently mouthed these words, “Just do it.”

I awkwardly hand-fed the entire ITS-IT to the state trooper who ate it in one bite.  After a slow pause, the officer smiled and said, “Y’all have a good day,” and she walked away.

That was the dream. That’s it. ITS-IT! My addiction to that ice cream treat called an ITS-IT has now spilled over into my dream world. Maybe you do,  but I don’t know what to make of it. I think I am going to have one now.

A Meeting At Sunrise

I joined in an Instameet that happened in different parts around the world. I drove an hour before sunrise to make to the #GoldenRiseMeet at Golden Valley Ranch in Santa Clarita, California. It was part of Instagram‘s World Wide Instameet which happens about twice a year. This year’s #WWIM12 theme focused on meeting people and asked Instagram users to post a portrait of the person he/she met at the instameet. When I got to the parking lot, there were about 30 people already chatting in the dark. Once sunlight started to glow over the horizon, we trekked about a half-mile up the hills to take photos. These are the some of the folks who I met and their thoughts on this remarkable experience known as the instameet.

I met Attila. @popscure

This charismatic man did a phenomenal job of organizing and hosting the event. “When I joined Instagram I discovered that it wasn’t just about posting my pictures. I was part of this “safe” community. I realized that I could share my experiences with them. The instameet allowed me to actually share my shooting locations with others and gather them to photograph together at sunrise.” ~Atilla


I met Cheryl.
She was last in line on the hike up giggling about her age and pace up the hill. My foot issues kept me at the same pace. Cheryl didn’t hesitate to engage and share her life’s experiences through the lens as we walked up the hill. “I don’t have an Instagram. I was invited by a co-worker to come. I got my first 35mm camera in 1978. Many times, I will do road trips alone and will drive as far as Montana. I also know of a not-so-well-known location in this part of California.” ~Cheryl

I met Rafael @2071photo and Nicolette @nicomichelle.
 They were fun to watch. Nicolette has a lifestyle blog and Rafael is the photographer. He brought a ton of gear and she was ready to model. The 20-somethings made up most of the group, and brought a ton of creativity with them. “When I started using Instagram that I feel I was more directly influenced to shoot more and share more images with an audience I couldn’t imagine was possible before. When I’m not working as a photographer I feel that Instagram is a fun way for me to still stay motivated to shoot in my free time. The #goldenrisemeet was actually my first instameet for Instagram world wide instameet day. Nicolette and I wanted to attend since we only ever go out and shoot together, we thought we should meet more people who share the same interest of photography.” ~Rafael


I met Jose. @josecardoza

Jose is another creative force wrapped in California chill and a beard. Great to see someone good at what they are passionate about. Turns out Jose went to another instameet later in the day. “This is my second time. I’ve been shooting for 11 years. I grew up in and around L.A. and now work in the music industry.” ~Jose


I met a number of wonderful and interesting people this day that I didn’t get to interview. It was great to chat with John @jawntorres, Jonathan @mywitsend, and Doris @dodovo, who is frequently featured on Instagram. Funny thing is, I stood next to Doris not knowing she was the actual person behind the Instagram name. As an observer, I was amazed to experience what happens when creative people who are enthusiastic about the same thing come together.

You can also view my pictorial essay below via Steller.