Archive for the ‘Whinging’ Category

Facebook No More

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Recently I’ve done what seems to many to be unthinkable: I have deactivated my Facebook account.

This will be the third time I’ve done it and the third time I’ve vowed to walk away, and instead spend my time doing something more productive. I don’t know how successful I will be, but time will tell. So far I’ve been away from it for two weeks and everything is going well.

I’ve been on the Facebook bandwagon since 2005 or so, and up until recently I’ve never taken it very seriously. It was a convenient way to keep in touch with my friends when we left school and scattered across the east coast to attend university or pursue careers, and it was very good at doing that. I can confidently say it’s one of the main reasons I’ve kept in touch with many of the people I went to school with, as they infrequently come back to our home town and I rarely leave to visit them thanks to work and family obligations.

Sadly though, in the last few months I find myself getting obsessed, browsing through profiles of people I’ve known, people I’ve met and people I don’t even like. Tonight I had the realisation that in the end I am getting nothing out of Facebook anymore: I can contact my close friends by phone or by e-mail which is more private and much more personal. For the rest of the people I networked with on Facebook, I rarely actually contributed anything beyond interesting youtube videos and the occasional photo. Both of which I can continue to serve up here, and hopefully generate more regular posts.

So what to do with all of my spare time I have now? My intention is to get out there and start taking more photos. I recently bought a Yashica-C TLR fairly cheap on eBay, and beyond shooting a roll of film to make sure it worked I haven’t taken it out too much despite having 14 rolls of Kodak Tmax 100 to put through it. I also bought a Canon EOS 3 recently that I’ve only run a few rolls of Fomapan 100 through that I plan on shooting some portraits and landscapes with, a Yashica Electro 35 that I want to take into a larger town nearby and shoot some street with and my trusty Spotmatic, that I’ve recently adjusted and need to test to see that it is working OK.

I’ve also been spending quite a bit of time recently hanging out at the used bookshop here in town, so I will hopefully have a few new old books to read.

Finally, today marks the first day of my leave from work. Six weeks of it. I applied for this leave about 12 months ago, as a friend and I were planning to do an epic motorcycle ride across Australia from East to West coast and back again over 4-5 weeks. Sadly, he had some things come up and had to pull out of the trip. I considered my options for a week or so before deciding not to do the trip without him, partly because we each have some of the essential gear for the trip that I would have trouble carrying by myself, partly beause the Nullarbor is not a stretch of road I feel comfortable riding by myself with a heavily loaded motorcycle, and partly because this whole trip has been his idea and I wouldn’t feel right going myself while he could not. I do have another ride in mind, that I will go on either by myself or with my mate depending on his availability, planned for a week or two towards the end of my leave.

So there it is, some past, some current and some future news. Depending on my availability tomorrow I hope to shoot a few rolls in the Yashica C and have them developed tomorrow night, fingers crossed.

Finally, here’s a shot from the test roll I ran through my Yashica C:

Yashica C - Yashikor 80mm f3.5 - Kodak Tmax 100 in Ilfosol-3

Monster Of The Week

Monday, January 30th, 2012

When I was young, I was introduced to a television show dealing with the supernatural, science fiction and the unknown. That late night introduction, sitting inches from the television, on the edge of my seat, keeping the volume as low as I could to avoid waking my parents, and being quite terrified; the whole experience shaped my taste in entertainment from that point on in my life. Even now I have a soft spot for that series despite growing up and becoming much more demanding when it comes to realism. That show was The X-Files, my first experience with the Unknown Monster-of-the-week formula.

Since then, many series have come by and I’ve been sucked into them for various reasons: Stargate SG-1 with its Egyptian science-fiction themes and great stories, Supernatural with the fantasy creatures in a modern setting, Fringe a great series closely following The X-Files example, Doctor Who with its wacky stories and general fun along with many others. You get my drift. I love these series where each week I tune in to watch the protagonists grapple with a creature or situation for one, maybe two episodes before defeating/resolving it and moving on. This is what I and many other people watch these series for.

Why is it then that the creators of these series feel the need to shoe-horn a half-baked, confusing and overall stupid ongoing storyline into these series. Looking back at the X-Files everything was excellent most of the time, but every now and then Mulders backstory would rear its ugly head and waste several perfectly good episodes of the series only to never go anywhere and never have any consistency. Mulder was a great character, the eccentric but brilliant agent with an open mind, frequently mocked but confident in himself enough to push through the ridicule and prove the haters wrong. It was great! We don’t need to find out what happened when his sister was abducted by aliens when he was a child. It’s NOT IMPORTANT. It’s nothing more than a plot device to give Mulder his motivation for the series.

In Doctor Who, each series has an ongoing story always culminating in the final two episodes, and as the series goes on these climaxes get more and more ridiculous. I mean, look at this crap:

Fringe is what set this whole post off in my mind. Previous series have centered around the conflict between Earth in this dimension and Earth in a parallel dimension. This was fine, up until now the writers have kept things classy with lots of little bits of plot development mixed in with the Monster Of The Week stories. In the latest series however, apparently having two dimensions isn’t enough, because now we have two dimensions in a seperate timeline.

Why? Why can’t you guys just give us our monsters? If I want to watch a series with excellent storytelling I’ll watch Dexter or Breaking Bad. I watch these shows each week for the monsters, not for the overall story. If you want to write an epic then please, find somewhere else to let off your creative steam, because these series just aren’t suited to big stories.

Anyway, this has been bouncing around in my head for a few days and driving me crazy so I had to write it down.