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Showing posts from January, 2015

Photo Reflection of the Day #31: Snowy Sidewalks of Salem

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What Is ItA snowy sidewalk near the old town hall in Salem, Massachusetts.


Why It's Today's PickI stumbled across this scene in the early morning, while trying to see if a nearby cafe was open.  I originally took a picture of the old town hall (you can see it in part in the upper right corner) with snow dunes in front of it, but I liked this image better, especially when I applied the Noir filter.  The light piles of snow in the walkway with the melted snow tells us that the snow is fresh as compared to the snow piled to the right, which also seemed to have a fresh coating.  I also like at the center of the bottom is a single footprint with not others in sight.  I didn't notice this until I took the picture, but it gives the scene more power as if someone was whisked away, that one step was his or her last.  


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under…

Photo Reflection of the Day #30: Blood Orange

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What Is ItTwo pieces of a blood orange; one of which is torn open.


Why It's Today's PickIn the winter, I eat clementines like candy.  I pick them up regularly at the grocery store and on occasion, when not paying attention, I grab some blood oranges.  I'm usually pleasantly surprised with this and take a kind of wishful-vampiric-delight in eating them.  They also often remind me of the open montage to the TV show, Dexter; though I'm never quite clear if those are blood-oranges or ruby grapefruit.  Regardless, it's the same effect.  So as I was eating my blood orange today, I snapped this shot to capture the meat of the fruit and all its fibrous glory.  I didn't plan to have such a light background but it works out rather well to show the stark red within the orange.  


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, c…

Photo Reflection of the Day #29: Ice Stitches

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What Is ItA shot of my windshield with a layer of grime and some ice stitches.


Why It's Today's PickI was fascinated with the ice stitches on my window today.  So much so, that I stared at them for a minute or two and took too many pictures to count, trying to capture them in a good way.  Unfortunately, I couldn't get them the way I wanted and went with this shot because I felt it captured them (you'll have to see it larger than here to see it) as well as the layer of grime on my window.  In doing so, it was fascinating to see the 3 layers of this picture, the ice, the grime, and the sky.  I like the juxtaposition of the grime almost seeming to be inbetween the ice and sky.  The ice stitches are just fascinating to look at and consider.  It's clear that they grew from one spot, but to trace them and see both a uniform pattern and a bit of chaos in one image is pretty cool.  

This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this l…

Photo Reflection of the Day #28: Ice on the Water

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What Is ItThe water in Beverly harbor slowly icing over.  


Why It's Today's PickI really liked this scene for many reasons.  The first is that it is a scene of transition from ice to water or water to ice, one cannot be entirely sure.  And like any transition it can be a little messy (going through a move right now, reminds me of this!).  I also like the ways in which the ice is breaking up (or forming).  Additionally, the ice is so thin, all one needs to do is to poke their finger through and it would break up the larger pieces.  It's also cool to see the gradation of color and reflection in relation to how thick the ice has formed.  


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.


Did you enjoy this read? Let me know your thoughts down below or feel free to browse around and check out some of…

Photo Reflection of the Day #27: Blizzard - New England Edition

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What Is ItMy street covered in snow from the blizzard of January 2015.  


Why It's today's PickI'm sure this is just one of a bajillion images that you will see or have seen by the time this blizzard is over.  But I felt it needed to be today's photo since I was out in the snow and turned onto my new street to see all the snow.  It's still snowing but it's done it's worse from what the news is reporting.  Heaps and heaps of snow coupled with an eerie quietness about the space.  There's ample noise--the wind howling, the scraping of shovels off in the distance, but there is no buzz and hum.  The neighborhood feels serene  as if muffled out by the blanketing of snow that has occurred.  


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.


Did you enjoy this read? Let me know your th…

My Most Recent Reads - December 2014

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As with the last few months, December wasn't as active when it came to reading as past months have been.  But I did get a few in and finished three physical books.  As I've mentioned in my goals for 2015, I am aiming to read more physical books and less graphic novels in the next year, which likely means my numbers will continue to fall overall but hopefully I'll still find myself making progress (and more importantly, shrinking my "to read" pile to some degree).  

As for my recommendations for the month, well the ones that I want to recommend I will need to hold off as I am reviewing them elsewhere.  But I will talk about one in particular:  


The Art of Explanation - Making Your Ideas, Products and Services Easier to Understand by Lee LeFeverMany are familiar with LeFever even if they may not think they are.  He is the leader of CommonCraft which produces those great videos about technology "in plain English."  This book provides a breakdown of exactly h…

Photo Reflection of the Day #26: #Selfie #NotSunday #4

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What Is ItA selfie that I took today, because I forgot that yesterday was Selfie-Sunday.


Why It's Today's PickAhhhh!  It's ginormous Lance-head!!!  Being so wrapped up in the move and thinking about that, I barely realized that it was Sunday, the self-designed "Selfie" day.  To make up for it, I did one today.  Mostly, because I wanted ot track the hair growth and used it as a point of comparison when I shave sometime in the near future.  Again, this photo seems to help remind me how huge my forehead is and the ongoing disappearance of my hair on my head, of which I'm largely fine with.  I might need to try another camera for the selfies as the quality on this one doesn't appear too great--the picture looks a bit grainy (or pixelated I guess).  The facial scruff is now looking more like a beard and it's getting to the point where it's annoying, particularly when sleeping.  


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions,…

Photo Reflection of the Day #25: Almost There...

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What Is It
My bookshelves with books on them, but not quite organized.


Why It's Today's PickAnother day of unpacking!  Though the place feels more and more like home, I feel like this image captures the situation best.  Yesterday's picture was that of the empty bookshelves with boxes in front.  This time, we're looking at the boxes gone and the books on their shelves but none of them are in their right spot, or most of them.  The graphic novels seem to have magically transformed but I think that's because it's easier to do that or because I can use that as a starting point.  But the picture does work well as a metaphor for where we are in the moving process.  Books are on the shelves but not quite there. 


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.


Did you enjoy this read? Let me…

Photo Reflection of the Day #24: These Books Ain't Shelving Themselves!

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What Is ItBoxes of books in front of my empty bookshelves.


Why It's Today's PickWell, we made it.  Despite the snowy mix, our fantastic movers were able to load up the truck and make our way to our new home.  It's been a busy and chaotic day as moving tends to be.  Once the movers had unloaded and we had our fill out emptying boxes, I put all the book boxes near the bookshelves to be shelved later.  There were bigger priorities than my bookshelves.  However, later on in the evening, I managed to get all my boxes over to the shelves and snap this photo.  It feels a bit of a sad one.  The books are so close to their home but not quite there.  And this best summarizes my experience.  We have moved, all our things are here, but it's not quite fully home just yet.  Tomorrow will yield more unpacking of boxes and hopefully we will have our home situated soon.  In the meantime, the books have to settle for the fact that they are quite close--just not entirely there yet.


This …

Photo Reflection of the Day #23: Moving Day Eve

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What Is ItThe corner of our apartment right now, as we are neck-deep in moving.


Why It's today's PickIt's moving day.  Or rather the day before moving, which means everything is in a bit of disarray.  But most of the stuff is packed and ready to go.  It's a strange experience as many know to pack up your life into miscellaneous boxes of different sizes and shapes and put it all away.  I find myself walking through the apartment looking for something and realizing that it is packed away and some box somewhere.  So very close, but highly improbably to easily find.  Though there is stress involved, there's also the excitement of moving that will hover in the air and more than likely make it hard to sleep--kind of like Christmas.  There's much potential and intrigue about how these boxes shall be emptied out in the new home.  


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos,…

Photo Reflection of the Day #22: Pumpkin in Hiding

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What Is ItA picture of Pumpkin hiding out behind the TV.  


Why It's Today's PickI was sitting at my computer contemplating what to find a picture of when Bear and Pumpkin (my two cats) started to wrestle.  They wrestle a lot and while Pumpkin instigates a lot, she doesn't often win.  She's just shy of 7 pounds and Bear around 10 pounds.  Beyond that, Bear has been poise and spring.  But they wrestle regularly.  So as I was contemplating what to take a photo of she jumped up behind the TV (which is next to the table I'm typing at) to escape from Bear and I figured I would snap a photo.  It's funny to look at her and think she is nearly 4 years old.  She's still so small and light that she still seems and appears to be a kitten.  And once you throw the smooshy-face into it, it's hard to see otherwise. As for the look on her face, this is her inquisitive look--something has grabbed her attention and she desires to investigate.  I hope that I don't do …

Photo Reflection of the Day #21: The Start of Class

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What Is It
A picture of the starting slide on the slide deck for my first day of face-to-face class.


Why It's Today's PickIt's the first day of my face-to-face class and this is the initial slide.  First days are always fascinating--like other "firsts"--it has such potential and brims with excitement, but can also be nerve-racking.  Even though I've had a full day of things to do, it's been this moment when the class starts that rolls around throughout the day.  What rolls around there is trying to strike the right balance.  I'm quite enthusiastic about literature (or any subject matter I teach).  I've been told repeatedly that this enthusiasm is a strength in my teaching.  However, I also have high expectations and want to push students in their learning (I'll often compare teaching to a physical trainer--instructors are trainers for the mind). However, coupled with this is an understanding that literature for some can be a very hard subject …

Photo Reflection of the Day #20: Before the (Semester) Storm

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What Is ItThe first floor hallway of the McGee building on the Lynn Campus of North Shore Community College.


Why It's today's PickIt's Tuesday morning and the start of another semester.  I came in just after 7am and the halls were empty and quiet.  This will of course change.  Maybe I should go back at the end of the day to see if it is still as pristine and undisturbed as it is now.  It was strange to walk down a nearly silent hallway--I almost expected a tumbleweed to past through.  I also liked using the Graphite filter here as I feel like it emphasizes the silence at the dawn of a new semester.  


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.


Did you enjoy this read? Let me know your thoughts down below or feel free to browse around and check out some of my other posts!. You might also wan…

365 Challenge: The Final Month of Reading

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And I crossed the finish line.  365 short stories read and discussed on this blog.  Wow...I'm still in awe of that.  So with that as a goal, it was definitely a success.  However, I unfortunately did not significantly put a dent in my collect of anthologies through this project.  There are two reasons for this.  The first is that as I became more and more interested in anthologies, I kept buying them, which is like the person who decides to eat more calories since he is working out more often (something I am notoriously guilty of).  The second reason is that a large chunk of short stories I read did not come from anthologies.  They came from my attempt to move my literature courses into the realm of OER and thus find lots of course readings that I might not have used previously and therefore, had to read.  On the one hand, this was great as I got exposed to even more literature, but on the other, it detracted from chipping away at my collection.  Oh well!

The project was successful…

Photo Reflection of the Day #19: Rusty Railing

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What Is ItA rusted out railing holder on an outdoor cement wall.


Why It's today's PickOn my walk back from dropping off my car at the mechanic's, I kept my eyes peeled for something that would be interesting to capture and talk about.  Luck was with me and I found this gem.  There's so many fascinating elements to it.  Let's talk about the color.  It's drab for certain but there is such a selection of color here that grabbed my attention, the greens, oranges, reds, grays, etc.  The layering is also interesting as you can feel full depth of the picture--the railing holder sticks out quite well.  Then of course, there's the curious treasure trove inside the holder, which looks like gum and maybe something behind it like a wrapper.  The worn look to it also makes it appealing with its missing screw up top and chipped side and almost invisible bottom screw.


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the…

Photo Reflection of the Day #18: #SelfieSunday #3

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What Is ItIt's #SelfieSunday, so we know what that means!

Why It's Today's PickWe'll see how this goes, but I might have to kick it back to #SelfieOfTheMonth as I'm not sure I will be able to produce 5200 words on images of myself or it means I will just have to get more creative and focus in on certain aspects of myself (e.g specific body parts).  I went for my whimsical thinking look here.  This is essentially where my face goes when my mind takes an adventure that the body can't follow.  It's also clear that I haven't shaved in a few weeks.  This is my "pre-semester" game face.  Sometime between now and the start of classes on Tuesday, I'll take out the razor and clean up the face, but for now, I'm a little shaggy. 


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album …

Photo Reflection of the Day #17: No Stumping This Tree

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What Is ItA tree stump with new branches growing out of it.


Why It's Today's PickThis is a tree in my backyard that sits near the garden.  I've been meaning to add this to the collection of photos here as I find this photo speaks to me about resiliency.  It's safe to say that I have tortured this tree over the years.  I regularly removed more and more branches from small ones to large arteries like the one in the photo.  I've done this, not out of spite, but in an attempt to provide more sunlight to my garden.  Of course, I've also worked on the tree's underbelly, hacking away at roots that are in the garden when we turn the soil.  However, the tree keeps going strong.  It is almost hydra-like in that innumerable branches are born from the place where one of its heads was cut off.  This ability to keep going and growing despite the damage has been a part of the reason why I haven't cut it down entirely as I generally like trees (and all plant life).  …

Photo Reflection of the Day #16: Packing the Bookshelves

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What Is ItA stack of boxes filled with books from the bookshelves behind the stack.


Why It's Today's PickWell, we're deep into the heart of packing for a move that will take place next week.  It's so strange to see the bookshelves so barren, for as people who know me, know that I am a bibliophile to no end.  Barren shelves feel to me like what a full bottle of whiskey must feel like to an alcoholic: a pure shame.  I don't mean to pick on alcoholics though, I think the comparison formulated in my head because as you can see, many of the boxes are from liquor stores, which is my go-to place for packing boxes since they are constantly going through them.  Packing up my books is as much of a ritual as going to a bookstore or the more enjoyable task of unpacking the books and placing them on their familiar shelves in their new home.  My guess is that there will be a picture for that as well!


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, chec…

Photo Reflection of the Day #15: It Snowed.

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What Is It"It' Snowed" written in snow on the rear window of my car.

Why It's Today's PickOf late, I've been oblivious to the weather or rather, oblivious to what the weather is predicted to be.  I pay more attention to the weather during spring, summer, and fall, when it impacts my ability to run outside.  But in winter, I'm on the treadmill.  So when I came out to my car covered with a light dusting of snow I was pleasantly surprised and my first thought was, "It snowed."  So I thought it would be a good image to capture of writing that in snow on my car.  Not particularly deep, but mildly amusing to me.  


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.


Did you enjoy this read? Let me know your thoughts down below or feel free to browse around and check out some of…

Photo Reflection of the Day #14: SquareMan Pays Allegiance to Giant Pumpkin

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What Is ItA composed picture of a wooden toy figure standing on a laptop raising his arms in worship to the giant desktop photo of my cat Pumpkin.


Why It's Today's PickI decided to be a little creative and strange with this one.  The toy figure is something I got at the DeCordova Museum and I like to figit and play with it while I'm thinking.  This probably has something to do with all those years I played with G. I. Joes for hours on end, thinking while playing.  I found the juxtaposition of the figure on the keyboard with the giant face of my cat Pumpkin rather amusing and can imagine a story wherein the block figure is working for Pumpkin who is some overload of the Kingdom of Small Things (she herself is pretty small for a cat--about 6-7 pounds).  I also like the idea of Pumpkin appearing to be large and looming as she is anything but that.


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to al…

Photo Reflection of the Day #13: Leaves at the Picnic Table

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What Is ItA picnic table nearly swallowed up by leaves by the Alumni Office on South Campus at Salem State University

Why It's today's PickI got to a board meeting early today and wandered around to find a picture to take.  I really liked this one (among the others that I snapped).  That the brown leaves are so abundant, one cannot see the ground and it seems like the picnic table sits in a field of leaves as opposed to the shady little retreat that it must be during the summer days is a captured moment.  I like the trees in the background as well as since their barrenness further emphasizes the season and atmosphere.  I also look at this picture and think about what it must sound like to approach the picnic table.  There seems a solemn and quiet mood about the picnic table and yet to actually approach it would be to break that quiet mood with the crunching of leaves underfoot.  


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to …

2014 - HOT DAMN What a Year!

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2014 was a pretty spectacular year both professionally and personally.  There was a lot going on and it all went pretty well everything considered.  So let's take a look at what 2014 included:


Professional AccomplishmentsI finished and received my diploma for my third Master's Degree.  This was a Masters Degree of Education with a focus on Instructional Design.  This finished what I considered to be the hat-trick of education before moving onto a doctorates.  The final project of the program was a focus on hybrid flexible design, which I actually got to try out this past year and will be running it again this year.  Also, I have started applying for to doctoral programs, which I consider a different type of professional accomplishment in that I'm finally heading that path.  I've only been circling it for nearly a decade.  

I secured another position as a social media strategist.  This time, for NEPCA.  I have also taken over as instructor for a social media course at Nor…

Photo Reflection of the Day #12: A Well Rounded Lunch?

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What Is ItA picture of three items I bought at the college cafeteria.


Why It's Today's PickSo I bought this assortment of items at the cafeteria today, realizing that I might need a little extra umph on a day that I am here longer.  I was marginally amused that when I looked at the content, I could argue that this is a well-rounded meal when it comes to nutrition.  After all, the coffee technically represents fruit-juice (Coffee beans are the seeds of coffee berries).  The potato chips are definitely the vegetable (potato).  The cookie includes my grains and dairy.  Bam!  A well-rounded meal.  Ok, I'm largely joking here, but I guess the realization had me thinking about how things are true but not true.  These foods are not necessarily unhealthy on their own, but within certain contexts (such as this "meal"), they are.  If the chips accompanied a salad (with just veggies), it's not necessarily a bad thing, but taken in context with the cookie and the coffee…