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Showing posts from December, 2015

Photo Reflection of the Day #271: Finally--Star Wars

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What Is ItA bag of popcorn with two tickets to Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens and 3-D glasses on top.

Why It's today's PickI made it until December 29, a full 11 days after the film's release because I saw the new Star Wars film for my first time.  I am a huge Star Wars fan--probably the biggest among my friends, having seen all the films (even the Holiday Special), and read, easily more than 50 of the novels that have come out and close to 100 of the graphic novels that have come out that are all about Star Wars.  It's been my thing for decades.  So my delay wasn't because I didn't want to see it.  I was super-impressed that people were totally respectful with spoilers on social media, hinting at nothing but merely stating to what degree they enjoyed it.  But I finally took the plunge on Tuesday.  My avoidance was because I just wanted to sit and focus on the movie--to enjoy it to its fullest with as little distraction as possible.  So I wanted to wait until …

Photo Reflection of the Day #270: Trial By Fire

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What Is ItA chess set next to a fireplace.  

Why It's today's PickAfter the craziness of the holidays and of course, the end of the semester, my wife and I went away to Portsmouth for a few days, just to relax and get away.  We stayed at the Hotel Portsmouth, which was one of those boutique hotels.  They had a good deal and the place was quite nice.  In their common areas, they have a fire place and a chess set.  Growing up, I used to play chess with my father a lot--often several times a week while we watched Cheers or Jeopardy or whatever else was on.  So playing the game brings back those memories (mostly of me getting my but whooped, until on occasion, I would beat him).  However, Chris has never really played and only vaguely remembers being taught at some point, so I decided to teach her and now, we have a new game that we can play added to our games list.  We didn't actually play with this set--there happen to be 2 sets in the room.  This set was too confusing to dis…

Photo Reflection of the Day #269: Resilient Flower

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What Is ItA flower still surviving in mid-December.

Why It's today's PickIt is December and though we are still getting weather in the 50s and 60s occasionally, the cooler weather has set in, the bright colors of a changing fall season have passed...mostly.  I caputred this little flower on a short walk I took while waiting to meet up with some people.  I though the little flower screamed for attention in its landscape of rocks, dying grass, dirt, and weeds.  It's still thriving in a rather meager environment and provided a bit more color (besides the festive red and green, or blue of the holiday season) to this cool December morning. 

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.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Lice…

Photo Reflection of the Day #268: Meeting Strangers in Strange Places

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What Is ItThree strange dolls on display at Salem Arts Association.

Why It's today's PickNow this is quite the interesting family!  I met them at the Salem Arts Association in Salem, Massachusetts.  Like I said yesterday, there is such an odd and curious assortment of art that is free for the perusing.  Their strange animal heads with human bodies and curious apparel made me want to stare at them for a long time, just like they essentially are doing with their black lifeless eyes.  Of course, I can imagine having one of these in my house and at some point, coming into the room where it is displayed and being slightly freaked out if I was caught off guard by them. 


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.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Sha…

Photo Reflection of the Day #267: Break Open In Case Of No Internet

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What Is ItA book with a white cover, saying "What to Do When the Internet Doesn't Work" at Salem Arts Association.

Why It's today's PickI happened to pop into the Salem Arts Association on Essex Street in Salem, MA and if you get the chance, you should too.  It's filled with an odd mixture of art.  Some of it is intriguing, some of it is silly, some of it is kitchy.  But it's free to wander about and they have some great ironic pieces like this book.  That's what I like particularly about this display of works is that many of them are created from the mundane and yet twisted in some way into curious displays of art or displays that make you think differently.

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.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Co…

Photo Reflection of the Day #266: Car Wash

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What Is ItAn old sign for a still-active car wash in Peabody, Massachusetts.

Why It's today's PickIf this sign doesn't scream retro sign, I don't know what does.  I've passed this sign hundreds of times over the years and just happen to be walking by it and decided it was photo-worthy.  I took it, mostly because I double that it will stay up much longer--maybe a few more years, but with the yellow paint coming off, the clear ruse, and I'm doubtful it's been a while since any of those lightbulbs actually worked.  It is also strange to have the lightbulbs because the car wash is usually open only during the day and daylight hours, thus to illuminate the sign when it is closed never seemed like a great idea.  Beyond that, the rusted poles tell me that it's lifespan is quickly coming to an end.

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 #265: The Ghost of Christmas Present

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What Is ItA scene between Ebeneezer Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present in the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol.

Why It's today's PickMerry Christmas to those that celebrate it!  Every year, my wife and I try to watch a Christmas movie we haven't seen and so when we looked at what was on Netflix this became the most likely option.  It's a pretty straightforward version of A Christmas Carol and all wrapped up nice and neat in under 70 minutes.  I grabbed this photo as within this version (I can't remember in the original) is the real turning point for Scrooge, wherein he decides to celebrate Christmas after seeing Bob Cratchett's family and his nephew.  I find that was a bit different from my memory wherein it seems like the only reason he changes is when he encounters the Ghost of Christmas Future and sees his death and how people think about him afterward.  This version seems much less transactional and much more redevelopment of him as a person. It'…

Photo Reflection of the Day #264: By Moon's Early Light

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What Is ItA shot of the moon in the early evening.

Why It's today's PickNo matter how many times I try, I still know moon shots are next to impossible with a mere smartphone camera.  But I'll keep trying because I'm that person.  I thought there was better chance because it was early enough in the day that I thought I might get some better light.  But of course not--it still looks indecipherable.  However, if you look at the line of cloud through the middle of the picture and the bursts above the moon, you have the making of a face with the moon as the nose. 


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.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photo Reflection of the Day #263: Do You Want Fries With That Railing?

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What Is ItA receipt randomly taped to a railing in a stairway.

Why It's today's PickSome photos jump out at you.  In this case, a Burger King receipt taped to a railing in a hallway at the college caught my eye.  It seemed the most random place to appear given that a Burger King is at about a half mile away and this particular staircase is half-way into the building.  I would have expected it near the entrance, but on the second-floor landing in the middle of the college seems like   a strange place for such a receipt to show up.  However, I also liked the randomness of it and it's place upon the railing--not on the floor or the wall, but somewhere it could not be ignored; rather some place that people had to interact with it.  That is, it was a clear placing and I wonder what the person thought as he or she did it.  Was it to amuse or to pester?  Was it a sign of frustration or a sign of disregard? 


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

Photo Reflection of the Day #262: Star Wars Legos

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What Is ItA shot of the start screen for Star Wars Legos on the Wii.

Why It's today's PickIt's clearly the season of Star Wars with the new episode having arrived and done well in the first few days.  However, that's actually not the reason for this photo.  It's more representative of the end of the semester and having survived, I retreat to enjoying playing a game for a week or two just to let me mind unwind.  This time around, it is Star Wars Legos on the Wii.   It's not a particularly hard or engaging game--it's pretty hard not to suceed at it, but it is fun and gives me some space to recover and be slightly mindless after a semester of brain-hurting. 
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.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attr…

Photo Reflection of the Day #261: Carte Blehhh

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What Is ItA collection of shopping cards clustered in a corner at the back of a Stop & Shop.


Why It's today's PickThere is a back path behind my local Stop & Shop that I don't often take when walking in this direction, but I did this morning and found this sight.  It's unclear why they are gathered here, but I can imagine this is where misfit shopping carriages go when they no longer work properly or maybe this is where they store extras.  Regardless, it seemed like a mortuary for shopping carts--waiting to be sent off for their final departure.  I think the streaks along the wall also add to this sad scene as does the child-cart.  All of it speaks to the demise of these carts. 


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.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a C…

Photo Reflection of the Day #260: Hanging Wings

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What Is ItA branch with drying and brown seeds attached in bunches.  


Why It's today's PickThis particular tree had bunches of these attached to them.  I'm not sure of their names--I think they're seeds of sorts, but I just remember as kids throwing handfuls of them up in the air and watching them twirl as they fall or peeling the thicker ends and sticking them on our noses.  This is why the only names that come to mind for them are propellers or Pinocchios (What can I say--I can be really smart in some areas and completely ignorant in others). But these bunches stuck out to me as the tree had several dozen bunches with hundreds of these fellas attached to them and something said to me, "take a photo."  I'm glad I did because it came out well and I don't think I would have noticed how much they resemble wings--that's something I have never noticed.  Indeed, with the center one in this photo, you can see the membranes of the leaf throughout and it r…

Photo Reflection of the Day #259: The Fog of Night

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What Is ItA view of Beverly from the Salem side of the bridge on a foggy night.


Why It's today's PickI recently took a similar picture of Beverly from the Salem side, but with the fog, I couldn't resist taking another.  It creates a soft glow around everything and that creates a mood.  It's the horror and fantasy reader in me but it speaks of moving into another realm or a coming change.  There's also a strangeness experienced when walking in fog--it sounds different and you're conintually trying to put things in focus.  It can be equally challenging of course, when you have glasses and need to clean them off.  But in this photo, I just like how it adds a subdued sense of the bridge and city.  

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.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is li…

Photo Reflection of the Day #258: Who Is Harry?

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What Is ItA brick wall with a window gap and the name "Harry" written above it.  


Why It's today's PickThis scene begs a lot of questions.  Why write that name up there?  How did they get up there?  Why has the name not been taken down (is it written in chalk or painted--it's hard to tell)?  Who is Harry?  Is this a Harry Potter reference?  However, among the brick walls found throughout University of Massachusetts' Boston campus, it seems to be one of the few examples of graffiti and it is strange in its presence.  I doubt that it hasn't gone unnoticed, but it has been there for over a six months (at least that I've known of) and it still lingers.  I wonder if there would be a stronger response if the name were different.  Would that garner and energize campus attention?  If it were a less Anglo-Saxon name or a swear? 

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

Photo Reflection of the Day #257: Follow the Signs?

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What Is ItA streetlight pole with a sticker on it that reads, "Have a Bad Day."

Why It's today's PickWalking home one night over the Beverly-Salem bridge, I stumbled upon this welcoming message.   I find it a curious message to be posted on a streetlight post that is going up to a bridge.  Morbidly, I can picture someone seeing this as the final sign they needed to go up to the bridge and jump from it.  Like I said, it's a morbid thought, but it stands in contrast to other bridge signs that I've seen wherein there are clear signs about "calling for help and support" to deter such people in darker moods.  However, for me, the sign made me laugh.  I wonder how long it has been there and how often I have missed it.  I pass this lightpost about once a week so I have to wonder if it was new or if I have completely ignorning it for months, but now, on a foggy December evening, I had decided to pay it some attention.  Regardless, it did not inhibit but rath…

Photo Reflection of the Day #256: A Message To End On

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What Is ItA white board with the words "Happy Holidays" on it, along with a breakdown of how much of the doctoral program we have completed and how much is left to go.

Why It's today's PickWhen our cohort came back from lunch on this past Friday, we were greeted with this sign, written by one of our cohort members.  It was the last day of our face-to-face classes fro the semester and a well-received message as we all staggered back into class, many of us looking hungover--not from alcohol intake but just from the intellectual exhaustion of the last few weeks as we crammed to write our papers while also trying to do our regular day jobs and of course, live our lives.  But I post this as today's photo because by the time it is posted, I shall be done with my papers for the semester and because of good planning with my wife, I have very little left to do in terms of the holidays besides to enjoy them.  So I'm looking forward to the downtime with the semester offi…

1001th post!

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So here it is--my 1001th post.  I'm pretty proud of myself that I made it into blogging this far.  I started it 5 years ago and am still going strong.  In fact, it was less than 3 years ago, that I was celebrating my 200th blog post, so that should tell you something about how much I've taken to blogging.  In fact, I've been pretty impressed in that I get about 10,000 hits a month.  I consider that to be pretty good for a blog that is just a miscellany of my mind.  

While I liked the early years, it's really been the last three years wherein I pushed to challenge myself to regularly write and produce on my blog through 365 Projects and that's helped immensely in getting over the 1000 threshold.  

In looking at my most popular posts, only one of them comes from before the 365 projects.  In fact, there's the breakdown:
Zero Hour by Ray BradburyThe Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket by Yasunari KawabataThe Sequel, Remake, Redux EditionThe Sacrificial Egg by Chinua Ache…

Photo Reflection of the Day #255: The View from Down Here

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What Is ItA view from the base of a church bell tower.

Why It's today's PickStanding at the base of tall buildings always inspires awe in me.  To look so high up and to know that people were involved in crafting and putting the finishing touches to such buildings is still something I admire as an adult.  With this church tower, of course, it comes with the idea that the height is also an attempt to reach (or direct messages towards) the heavens.  I was also struck by this tower in terms of its windows for each level from the porthole window on the first floor to the single  on the second floor and the double windows on the third.  The fourth and fifth-floor shifts from glass windows (at least in appearance-there may be glass inside) to the shutters and I can only assume that is because they do not want to silence the church bell.  Also in this photo, I thought about taking the photo without the branches, but I found they added something to the photo.  This could be the idea tha…

Photo Reflection of the Day #254: The Doorway to Your...

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What Is ItThe broad wooden doorway to a church.

Why It's today's PickDoorways are fascinating things.  For anyone who has ready a good deal of science-fiction and fantasy (or horror for that matter), a doorway can represent a passage to some place new and far away.  But the doorway itself is a fascinating marker of being in and out of a place.  I can stand next to the door, touch the door, or lean against it, but I still have not passed through the door and still sit outside.  This doorway with its broad wooden doors is a pretty demarcation of here and there and the glasswork above the pass is equally appealing.  Yet I am surprised as I expected the glasswork to be stained glass or at least fogged glass.


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.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed…

Photo Reflection of the Day #253: Rusted Roots?

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What Is ItA pile of pipes on the side of the road.  

Why It's today's PickFrom a distance, this pile looked like a pile of tree trunks that had been stripped of bark with chunks of dirt clinging to them.  However, when I approached the pile, I realized they were pipes that had been dug out of the ground (there's some construction going on nearby.  This made the pile even more fascinating and I like the idea of snapping a photo even more.  They make for interesting viewing and I could have spent ten minutes just exploring the unique attributes of each pipe, wondering how they became what they became.  What allowed for some to accumulate more detritus than others and how do you account for the different shapes on them?  Or is it just a matter of they were pulled out of the mud or dirt  and this is solely what stuck when they were tossed aside?  I also wonder what will become of this pile.  Will it be left here indefinitely or carted off to some heap with other possible "…

Photo Reflection of the Day #252: The Guardian Cat

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What Is ItA black and white cat sitting on a porch with a front yard fill with weeds.

Why It's today's PickThis particular house appears to have no one living in it.  I've seen some people working on it, so I'm about 75% sure there isn't a dead body in there of someone who died months ago.  I walk by and wonder often what it's like on the inside as wild growth continues to consume the outside.  Apparently, I'm not the only one curious as this cat has taken the time to start sunbathing on the porch, probably figuring it is a nice high-up place where it can take in the sun and have several escape routes.  It's times like this that I wish I had a better camera or knew more about photography because I feel like I could probably have done some more intriguing shots that focused in on the cat but captured the decaying house.

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 #251: The Science Building Faux Owl

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What Is ItThe entrance to the science building at University of Massachusetts, Boston with a wooden owl standing upon the entrance.


Why It's today's PickLeave it to the science building to have a wooden owl scarecrow watching over all who enters.  I am assuming the owl is there to scare away critters and smaller birds from hanging out in the area.  Though I find it equally symbolic to have an owl standing at the entrance to a science building, hinting at knowledge to be acquired inside these doors--acting as a guardian of sorts.  I didn't have the time (because people kept coming in and out of the building), but I would have liked to square this photo off a bit more.  The light gray center with the own atop it is a nice contrast and form with relation to the brick-background.  I would have stepped back even further to capture the catwalk above the entrance because the symmetry and lines of it all were well laid out.  The owl's presence adds an interesting accent to it a…

Photo Reflection of the Day #250: Krampus vs. Santa Claus

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What Is ItThe window at Gulu-Gulu Cafe decorated with a Santa Claus and Krampus getting ready to box.

Why It's today's PickWho doesn't like a good face-off between Santa Claus and...well, whoever!  But this is Salem and it wouldn't be right unless Santa Claus was duking it out with some monster (We know he's conquered the Martians, so that question's been answered).  But this display was interesting because it clearly grabs attention, but it also a curious depiction.  Clearly, the article is playing with opposities, white pants for Krampus, red for Santa and reverse colored shirts.  Santa has round facial features while Krampus is all angular.  Santa's wavy hair is contrasted with Krampus's poiny hair.  But then, we come to the skin color and I wonder about the choice to have Santa as white and Krampus as black.  Artistically, it plays with the opposites presented, but I can't help thinking about the ways in which kids internalize the implications of…

Photo Reflection of the Day #249: Moths on the Window

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What Is ItA moth sitting on a window.  


Why It's today's PickYes, it's just your average run-of-the-mill moth.  It's not large or have a particularly fascinating pattern, but I found the picture set up pretty cool.  I only wish my phone wasn't so obvious in the reflection.  Still, the moth and its distinct image with the faded background is a nice capture, considering that the moth's intention is to actually fade into the background.  It's color scheme meshes with the background but being by laying itself out on a glass window, it's distinction becomes much clearer.  It makes me wonder if the moth sees color or if the moth might have seen the reflection of the green and browns behind it and thought it was a good place to land and hideout. 

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 #248: Tower Soda Cap

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What Is ItA bottle cap on the table.

Why It's today's PickI don't know that I strong reason for including this photo (though then again, many of the others in this project have been equally irrelevant).  But I happened to be at dinner at one of my favorite restuarants, Scratch Kitchen in Salem, and I ordered a root beer--something I don't order too often, but once in a while, I certainly enjoy.  Scratch Kitchen sources all of its foods from local vendors (pretty much through companies in New England) and so that includes Tower soda.  When the soda came out (in a bottle), I twisted the cap off and just placed it on the table and for some reason, with the way it it, I thought that it needed to be captured.  I do like the shadow cast by the bottle cap that is almost as long as the object is wide, which is surprising since the cap is so thin that to have any shadow is surprising.  I also liked the red/orange cap and how it draws out similar colors in the wooden table.  
This…