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Posts from the ‘Observations’ Category

Grasp The Nettle

I’m about to rewrite a book I wrote three years ago. The book is about photography and I focus on the use of the 35mm camera to provide examples of how to use a film camera. I suggest any camera can be employed using the ideas I provide within the book.

Microphone and USB Interface

Microphone and USB Interface

The book is also a handbook for an online video course. The online video course will be in three modules, and each module covers a specific area of film photography. I have already done much of the groundwork, indeed, the original book is the groundwork.

In a way, I dislike the old photography book immensely, because out of all of the books I have published on the Kindle platform: it is the one which has sold worldwide. My book “Never Let Anything Worry You” is my greatest seller. However, it only receives success in the United Kingdom. And it is a book which I spent an immense amount of time writing and editing.

The online video course is a challenging thing to put together. And to do the job properly, one has to spend an immense amount of time writing the script for each videoed section. I would imagine the predicted five hours of video will take over 150 hours to shoot and edit.

My advantage is I have many years of professional photography experience to draw upon. So the techniques being taught are second nature. Indeed, I would not embark upon an adventure such as this unless I felt that it would provide a finantial reward for the immense amount of work involved.

The three sections cover three aspects of film photography:

The first is the selection of the camera and the useful lenses which can produce solid compositions. 

The second section is about composition: Or the photographic eye, this module is about perceiving the final image before taking a photograph. This is an essential aspect of photography. As a professional photographer, I realised that it is imperative for the client to see images which clearly define the object, property or portrait he or she desired to be recorded. Fail in this and you are a failed professional: Whenever someone says they are a ‘professional’ always ask if they earn a full time living from their work. If the answer is NO – then they are semi-professional: and there is a difference.

The third section considers the aspects of developing film and producing photographic prints. I am aware that there are thousands of hours of information on this subject available on the Internet. In my online video course, I will use the most basic of darkroom equipment, and I have permission from my partner to convert our kitchen into a temporary darkroom: even though I have available an excellent darkroom. You see I wish to prove to the student taking the course that you do not need to possess a dark room to enjoy the mysteries of the photographic process.

One of the most important things about my course will be the photographer is guided to use the most simple and inexpensive of equipment. I suggest for the price of a secondhand Leica the photographer can own a complete photographic system. Indeed, I feel I will be able to prove that it is the photographer who uses humble equipment will be free to experiment and produce great compositions.

That is not to say that I do not embrace modern technology. I love using my digital cameras. The ability of the digital camera to take or record perfectly exposed pictures is a fantastic feat of contemporary science. There will be some of you who can remember opening a film processing envelope to see the results of images taken weeks before ‘Had come out’ (do you remember the phrase?). I’m sure there are many of you who remember the disappointment of poorly focused underexposed images and missed memories of a happy moment in time.

This was one of the reasons that I started to learn about the photographic and darkroom process. As time passed, I learned about colour chemistry and how to print from colour negatives and colour transparencies. This is the knowledge being passed on with the new Version of my rewritten photographic book and online course

However, this course and the 680 words you’ve just read is not the reason for this article. A few words ago I mentioned that I embrace modern technology and I am doing at this at this very moment because I am dictating this article not typing it.

I read much information on the Internet about dictation. And the information guides one to persevere and work with dictation. The authors of the article’s comment: the more you use it, the better it gets. Many claim they can write 5000 words in less than an hour. This is something that I can believe because I have less than 20 minutes to write the 796 words.

I’m going to persevere with dictation instead of the keys. Because: like moving from traditional wet photography to digital camera my images became somewhat better not from the point of view that I couldn’t produce good solid and clear photos. But from the perspective that I could take many hundreds of pictures and review them in my own time. And as I considered the images I started to see areas where I was weak in my composition. Dictation will allow me to write more words and provide more drafts.

And by using this rapid method of getting words onto the screen and paper the first draft will be one which takes hours rather than days. I haven’t the slightest problem of using this excellent technology. I know it’s not new and needs improvements: But do you know something? Digital dictation seems to me to have endless possibilities.

Many authors take a high-quality dictation recorder with them when walking and as they walk, they record their rough drafts. By dictating in the open many claims their compositions and the way that their words flow when they are finally on paper – changes. I’m determined to experiment with this, and I will persevere with it because anything which can allow us to consider all world differently must be beneficial.

Forgive me if this article reads strangely. It’s my first time out using dictation, and it most certainly will not be my last.

See you soon

For the ‘tekkie’ minded:
LEM Microphone
Sennheiser PX200
Presonus Fire Studio – Mobile

Too Late To Stop The Clock

I think of a word:

My thoughts enter ‘free-flow’ – here goes: one thousand words or thirty minutes. See you on the other side:

I’m beginning to suspect the future has more influence on my actions: 

Not in the way many inspirational thinkers suggest. Their idea that the Universe provides anything a man sets his mind to possess; seems flawed to me. The child dying of hunger and thirst screams out for food and water is chosen as an example: Does the Universe listen? No Bob: the big dark vacuum has closed ears to the horrors of poverty.

Ian Timothy

Ian Timothy

For the last decade: my thoughts are most often focussed in the present moment. Tapping keys today causes ripples tomorrow. Images recorded today, memorise tomorrow. Off the cuff comments break thin glass friendship. Small offerings of kindness become welded with love and respect. 

The wisdom of time changes perspective: 

Today the torch of awareness shines toward the possibilities of the future. Not in the way of seeing an object which becomes a desire. I shine the light on words in my mind. Happiness, health, security, maybe wealth. As I think about the words, the possibilities and methods of achieving their meaning arise within my imagination. 

I suspect considering words has more potential for realising one’s ambitions than wishing for an object. I will think about the word wealth:

Some will associate the word wealth with money. Money is nothing, earning money is easy, using the money to best advantage is difficult. Some believe cash is a gauge of success. In reality, the excess of cash is a gauge of understanding the use of a commodity. 

I know a man who is rich and has a simple job; he is also mean. I know of another who believes he is rich and intelligent; the story is he is a dealer, everyone knows where his money is earned. Arrogance is evidence of his illusion; he fools no one. Fickle failure dabbling in the degradation of people. He has no wealth; he is non-human.

Wealth is getting life wrong; it is a catalogue of mistakes a lifetime long. It is buying a child a Halloween present and laughing at ghosts and spooks and wizards and witches. Wealth is the ability to make a junk shop guitar sound like Rodriguez Model FF. Wealth is the ability to guide a man out of debt, not loan him money and enter debt oneself.

I think about the word security:

Security is living within one’s means. It is working for the daily crust. Loving ones work, even though setting the alarm early is the beginning of the day. And sleep the second the head touches the pillow is the result of one’s toils. Security is a house one can afford. Security is not being impressed by another’s accumulation. Security is being without fear. Security is knowing the reality of one’s thoughts. 

A woman once believed she entered my head: She suggested my written words were a deception: I saw her fear, her insecurity. I do not doubt my words; there is no need for me to make excuses. If I say or write something, I am secure and without fear. To comment my work is flawed is the perception of the critic. In my security, I do not doubt my integrity.

My moral compass spins. There is no need to be politically correct. 

To my mind, the minority is the bomber, the bigot, the wrong-doer. These are minorities who should be exposed. To me the drug dealer, the drug grower, the pimp, bully, thug, racist, and bigot are all in the same sewer, they taint society with the smell of lies and deception. Their crimes cost the hard working taxpayer millions. When caught they should forfeit all they own to pay for their imprisonment. So; you do not like this? That’s fine by me, wait until you have you home ruined and destroyed by an addict. Wait until four racist hags beat your friend on a tram. Wait until your child is run down by a doped out dumb – dumb. 

The grower, the supplier, are dumb dumbs who supply the dope that twists the minds of those who defile your home, rapes your daughter, kills the child on his way home from school. 

Dumb – Dumbs?  Yes, they are stupid and ignorant. Not geniuses who bathe in the wealth of their trade. Stupid people are unaware of the reality of their acts. Their ignorance is most often smoked-screened in arrogance and sometimes perceived intelligence. The truth is they flaunt the rules of society and are stupid to believe they are nothing other than scum.

These are the minority I do not wish to understand. My choice is to brand them for who and what they are: what are they? None humans who ruin the lives of the innocent. What? Do you not think they affect you? Well: my unknown friend: your taxes pay for the police force. The judicial system, and prisons which punish them for their crimes. I wish for them to be seen for what they are, I am secure in my mind. There is no doubt the growers, dealers and their trade are the seeds of many crimes, deaths and tragedies.

I think of the word health:

Physical health I understand. I have enjoyed being fit, enjoyed the freedom of health. I miss the pleasure of the feeling of health. I neglect my body. The possibility is there will be a price to pay. And I was a hypocrite because I organise and promote shows which are focussed on becoming a Well Being. With this in mind, I have changed my thoughts to tomorrow and the future. I have taken steps to move into health and become a Well Being. In twelve months time, I will be five stones lighter and bicycle fit. I am secure in the wealth of this knowledge.

The dog of depression once infiltrated my mental health. It is a disease of the mind which cannot be portrayed. The howling jackal is unique to each victim. We know what it is, how it feels, its effects. Truth to tell, the victim of the tearing teeth does not know the ‘why’ of the disease. You see; if the ‘why’ were identified, the ‘how’ to silence the dog would be recognised. Notice I write ‘was once infiltrated’:  depression no longer concerns me, it cannot sink its fangs into my existence, you see, reality and strength and courage and confidence quell its potential to destroy life hours.

The seed word was Depression: It has taken me on a journey of enlightenment.

See You Soon

Just Keep Walking Bye

Just Keep Walking Bye

I’m beginning to wonder if we are gardeners of the planet who have misunderstood our part in the eco-system. A lifetime of factory, office work, driving a truck, working at sea, and a million other occupations and for what purpose? Birth, labour and taxes, death, all which is accumulated becomes someone else’s to squander. In two generations all which is left is gone. What a pointless exercise.

I suggest an African warrior/hunters existence contains greater pleasure and happiness than a millionaire drinking champagne on a seagoing yacht: And what is the response? Probably ‘apparent’ indifference. Most are openly caring for the plight of the warrior and secretly envious of the tycoon. A penny in the charity box and a vote for equality is the way we deal with conscience and suspicion of injustice.

Walk on Bye - Ignore The View

Walk on Bye – Ignore The View

There is a seed of truth within the idea of a race of gardeners. Although, society, and civilisation’s evolution dissolves any possibility of a human race dedicated to caring for the planet. The majority does not care and applauds and aligns themselves with the minority who are environmentalist. For example, everyone is shocked by the suffocating plastic saturated oceans, and most continue to fill shopping baskets with polymer water vessels. One day soon shoppers will pay twenty per cent of each grocery bill for eco-packaging: glass bottles and recycled paper packaging is the future. Once this is instigated: the oceans will have a reprieve. Money counts, money is the tipping point, money is the influence. What a paradox.

Could an individual be an ecological gardener? I suggest it is near impossible. Because every individual is forced to make a taxable contribution. Maybe rateable taxation on property. A contribution to health treatment, payment for water or drainage. In some way, the gardener will have pay for a service. Therefore the need to earn an amount of money is enforced.  And with earnings comes taxes, with taxes comes to control, with taxes comes to waste, with waste pollution, with pollution comes death. Death of ethos, the death of reality. All becomes an illusion.

Unless of course, you’re the warrior/hunter, the proud man in his Savannah, the tribe member in his Amazonian forest. These humans are the last of the truth, real humans, knowing and understanding life purpose. Unfortunately, for the tribes, people have or are stealing their birthright. His land is stolen, and his tribe is cast to the winds.

Cast to the winds for your food, for your fuel, for your trinkets. Next time you fill your car with fuel, eat your imported fruit and meat, sigh at the sparkling carbon called diamond, pay fifteen grand for a gold watch. Remember, the cost is more significant than the money exchanges for the goods: The price is millennia of tribes and culture, their land, their birthrights.

ten-minute writing exercise

Turner Contemporary Margate

Sometimes we encounter a memorable experience which opens the mind to the potential of creativity. The artist has a responsibility to review the world from a different perspective: and then work with the utmost imagination to express their view of a situation, individual, or life moment in creation: a book, a photo, an abstract image, song, poem, painting or sculpture. However, the work has to have a potential to explode or captive. To explode is the opposite of capture, and when considering art, both words are valid expressions of viable and active creations. A creative mind must affect the mind of another human to such a degree, the life of the viewer is changed. Possibly forever.

I’m not writing of the shock tactics of a tent full of the artist’s possessions representing episodes of life. (an adolescents bedroom does this well). Or the shocking sculpture of half a cow in formaldehyde. (the slaughterhouse is full of swinging carcass’s awaiting the saw). I’m writing of the ability of an artist to create an artistic ‘piece’ where art and life meet in such a way that one aspect (art) is bound to affect the other (life).

I am not an artist, nor academic, nor genius. I write as an observer of life. There is no concern if no one has interest in my words. I write because I can, not for gain or fame. Today my words are focussed on a day at an exhibition. A beautifully created and well-conceived presentation. As a visitor, I could sense every aspect of the display. The curator, the staff, the building, the cafe, the art, the artists. All came together during my visit, as I climbed the thirteen steps, leading to the paving before the doors, how could I have expected to become so captivated with an exhibition?

My visit to The Turner Contemporary Gallery in the Kent sea town of Margate turned out to be one of the most memorable artistic experiences of my life. The simplicity of the exhibits would for a moment disguise the creative symbolism. And like the near-bye sea, they would soon draw me into a theatre of imaginations.

Perpetual Canon by Cornelia Parker – Friday 14 Sep 2018 – Sunday 17 Mar 2019

Perpetual Canon is an installation by Cornelia Parker RA. It is made up of sixty flattened instruments once belonging to a brass band. The artwork will be installed in Turner Contemporary’s Sunley Gallery which overlooks the North Sea.

The result is a magnificence which captures the imagination. Who played? How old? What tunes? Where? When? Why were the instruments given to the artist, did Cornelia ‘pay for’ or was she given the hapless tubes? Were they broken? Too old? No longer in tune?

And then you review the sixty flattened pieces. They become pieces of the artistic jigsaw. The hydraulic press erased the electroplated brass’s purpose. Never to be blown again, now art, not scrap metal. There is sadness, the murder of the sound instrument, to metamorphose into another visual art, from sound to visual:

I view the pressed bassoons, cornets, trumpets and trombones and wonder if Cornelia’s masterpiece demonstrates the madness of humankind?

Does this piece prove the ease with which humans destroy the functional, into pipe dream? Maybe, this is not what the artist desired to portray. However, in my mind, I asked: do we have the reasons for the damming of rivers to produce artificial light? The decimation of rainforests to rich man’s furniture, the land becomes grazing for the fat man’s beef? Sterile landscape atom bomb test site? Millions of miles of asphalt roadways, taking millions of people to nowhere for no reason? Plastic water bottle pollution is decimating the oceans and sea life. Man-unkind’s greed, destroying beauty and nature, for short-term satisfaction.

When a work of art opens the mind to the how and the why: and the art expands the mind into hundreds of parallels. It has succeeded. Perpetual Canon hits all the right notes.

Animals and Us – Friday 25 May – Sunday 30 Sep 2018

Animals & Us is a major exhibition exploring artists’ reflections on the relationship between humans and other animals. And yes, you have probably missed it! The presentation was an excellent blend of photography, sculpture, painting, videos and written comments.

The sadness of man’s cruelty and ignorance toward animals is snapped into close focus when we see the ‘google maps’ image of the Texan Cattle yards, which are protected by photographic bans. Having driven by a cattle railhead in Texas, I can vouchsafe for the inference of animal degradation involved in this aspect of the meat trade. There was a reference to other cruelties and also to the love and bonding between man and his pets.

Here again, the visitor had the vaults of their imagination opened. Art is like a key to expanded thought. It is not the splashing of paint on canvas or the ability to recreate a landscape or portrait to almost photographic reproduction. Art is the symbolic representation of the artist’s thoughts. Art can sometimes have the capacity to change another humans ideas, beliefs, morals. This exhibition achieved this with ease; it is rare to fulfil this artistic goal.

Artists featured: Cory Arcangel, Keith Arnatt, George Bernard Shaw, Joseph Beuys, William Burch, Marc Chagall, Marcus Coates, Mark Dion, Charlotte Dumas, Tracey Emin, Barry Flanagan, Laura Ford, Lucian Freud, Henri Gaudier Brzeska, Conradi Gesneri, Laura Gustafsson & Terike Haapoja, Paul Hazelton, Mishka Henner, Candida Höfer, Andy Holden, Marguerite Humeau, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Permindar Kaur, Laura Knight, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, Stephen Melton, Alice Neel, Pablo Picasso, Kananginak Pootoogook, Beatrix Potter, Stephanie Quayle, Paula Rego, Michal Rovner, Khvay Samnang, Roelandt Savery, Raqib Shaw, Ernest Howard Shepard, Maria Sibylla, Shimabuku, Gilbert Soest, George Stubbs, Andy Warhol, William Wegman, JMW Turner.

The curator and staff of The Turner Contemporary in Margate produced a remarkable visitor experience. I will return in 2019 to enjoy another.

See You Soon

☞TURNER WEBSITE

Look Before Jumping

There are stories which once read, can affect the way we think about how we act. One such anecdote is how the hierarchy of the late 1970’s Xerox company, dismissed the work of one of the research and development arms of the corporation (XEROX PARC).

Not only did they demean the researchers: they chose to ridicule the development by placing the information into the public domain. By doing so, they believed they could demonstrate their lack of faith in the development and prove its insignificance. They hoped the peers of the computing industry would confirm the idea as worthless.

Mr Steven Jobs reviewed the research and realised the software designed by the Xerox geniuses as a turning point to the way computers would be used by their operators. Apple did not have the resources of Xerox, and could not fund the development of the solution to a basic aspect of computer operation. Indeed, the Xerox team had seen a need, and overcome the immense difficulties in finding the answer.

It is not an understatement to write that without the Xerox contribution: neither Jobs or even Bill Gates would be in the positions they have attained in the computing world. Indeed, without this Xerox invention, it is possible the personal computer would not be at the stage it is at today.

The two reasons the Xerox executives dismissed the geeks were: one: they did not believe the development had any practical use: two: they rejected the geeks as scruffy drop-outs, who had no part in the Xerox Corporation. The Xerox executives judged the research geeks by their appearance and from the perspective of their own beliefs. They were dinosaurs doomed to extinction.

A combination of arrogance and closed minded thinking has cost Xerox billions of dollars. In the realms of business decisions, this has to rank as one of the worse in history. Shareholders would have seen, and continued to see, dividends and increase in share values beyond the wildest of dreams.

Steve Jobs purchased the right to use the development, not for money, but for a few thousand Apple Shares. Yes! No money changed hands, and it is believed that the shares were sold as insignificant assets, by Xerox’s accountants.

The anecdote guides us to remember: much of our thinking is flawed. You see: the truth is many of us have the Xerox executives mindset. Believing our method is the right one, and all others are flawed. Of course, if you shout up and comment: “No! I’m always open-minded and listen to other people’s opinions” Then, I’ll accept your word and bow to your success. Because there is a suspicion: the majority of those who are open-minded and listen to the opinions of others will be successful.

Steve Jobs knew how to watch and listen: He could take the best of any situation and turn it to his advantage. Jobs also made significant mistakes and misjudged the market, the difference for Jobs was, he did not reflect on the past. In the end, he sifted the chaff from the wheat and changed the world.

If there is a lesson to learn: It is this: Take time to look around your life and environment. If you see something which is different and is changing the way many think about a subject. Do not dismiss it with “It’ll never work”. Yes, you are safe in your cocoon today, and you may be safe in your ‘place’ in ten years time. Although, the possibility is, you may be the only one of an old tribe, living in the past, envying those who believed in the potentials held in the word ‘improvement’.

When The Xerox executives dismissed the geeks and gave way their work for a few shares, they made what is accepted as the most significant strategic blunders in the history of commerce. The geeks at Xerox PARC invented the graphic interface which connected the mouse to the desktop. For twenty years it was used in every computer running Windows or IoS. Imagine if the interface had been patented and Xerox earns $20 for every computer sold. The figure runs into hundreds if not thousands of billions…

TrackPad

TrackPad

Tick Tock Woe

About forty years ago I went out for a drink. During the session, I met up with a family member. We both enjoyed drinking and took a journey into the city; There is no recollection of the film we watched or the bars we visited. The only thing for sure is my return home was late. Well past midnight.

The following day my father was on the phone early:

“One of the warehouses has been vandalised; you better get over here”.

The warehouse had been broken into, and one of the forklifts has been used in systematic destruction. I suppose the cost of damage ran into a few thousand pounds. In those days you could buy a new VW Golf for about four thousand. The vandalism was not insignificant.

I left the warehouse and went over to the main yard where our trucks were loaded, and much of the manual work of the recycling business was carried out. Around three in the afternoon, I was arrested by two police officers.

“Where were you between two and six yesterday afternoon?”
“I was with my cousin in the City. We visited a few bars, watched a film and visited a few more bars. I returned home just after midnight”.

That is the fact of the situation: although the two officers did not believe me. I was subject to six hours of hell. At the end of the interrogation, the older of the two said he’d drive me home. During the journey he said:

“If you have committed the crime, make sure you get your story right with your cousin. Conspiracy to commit a crime is a serious offence”.

My reply was simple:

“There is no way my cousin is going to sit back and listen to this crap. I have had enough, you do not believe me, and that is your problem”.

His reply changed my life:

“In any other circumstance, I would accept your evidence. Only, in this case, your father is the one who has suggested your involvement. It is rare for a parent to imply a child has committed a crime. Most, defend their offspring no matter what the evidence or situation”.

I told the officer to drop me off at my local bar.

On that day, two things happened.

One: I never trusted a police officer again.
Two: I knew I was on my own, and always would be, and for the next thirty years I followed my path and lived as I chose.

It would have been my father’s birthday today and if ghosts exist and he reads this article. I finish with these words:

Tick tock the passage of time.
We joke about your deeds.
The truth about you in this story.
Woe.

Comment on the post:

Mercedes 280 E

Mercedes 280 E his favourite car

I saw this car during a visit to Berlin in August. Within minutes of taking the picture. I decided to write about this bitter and life-changing moment. We never forget the turning points in our life.

Let Down

Let Down

Some time ago a colleague emailed to inform he was unable to attend an event. (I’ll call him Joe). He was ill and was sure I’d understand. He was a man I liked, he seems to tick the right boxes. Big smile. Big heart, kind and generous. There was no doubting his integrity. So, I accepted his reason not to attend the event.

During a conversation with another colleague, I was informed that Joe had enjoyed a busy day at another event. ‘That was the same weekend as our event’ I commented. ‘Yes, Ian no doubt he was there, I spoke to him’.

My heart sank: We offered nothing but respect and encouragement to Joe. Liz and I had praised his goods and spoken to our own customers about the quality and usefulness of the products. I respected him, there seemed every reason to trust and help him with his business.

I am too old to be angry or surprised by people not fulfilling obligations. We have all at some time let people down, all made poor excuses. Who am I to judge? Those without sin, cast the first stone. And yet, I think back to the last time I had lied to excuse myself from a situation or obligation. Do you know? I believed the last time was almost a decade ago. 

The feeling of disappointment in Joe is total. There is also an uncomfortable feeling that my misjudgement may affect decisions and choices, where strangers are involved. If my assessment of another person is this far out, there is a need to take extra care in the future.

Trust is hard won and quickly and permanently lost. A mutual trust could be likened to a credit score. Once damaged, the interest rate climbs, even worse, a friend asks ‘what do you think of Joe?’ The answer ‘he deceived me’. Another domino falls in the chain reaction of falling reputation.

Once the deception is made, the game is over. Of course, Joe has done much damage to himself. To my mind, you must fulfil an obligation, no matter what the cost. And if there are reasons to break a contract, one must accept, the truth must always be the reason for the breach.

‘Ian, I am exhibiting with another organiser’ – That was Joe’s truth. And do you know? I would have respected Joes honesty. I would not have liked the fact, I would have accepted it and moved on. My attitude is to forgive and look to the future, I would have done my utmost to make my organisation more accessible to Joe. 

My sadness is for Joe. He has let himself down, he placed money before reputation. Believe me, when I write a good reputation can never be made with cash. Good standing is the seed of success and wealth. People talk about a humans reputation, it is like a shining light which opens the gates to the gardens of happiness. 

This essay is a cathartic exercise. A release, a reminder to myself, never to let people down. There is no concern for Joe’s deceit, he is another memory, another lesson. 

I wish him well, he’ll never read this essay.

The line is drawn: I do not need Joe in my world.

The Piper Calls The Tune

The Piper Calls The Tune

Menace? Malice? Ignorance?

Nottingham City Transport has introduced a new range of Scania gas-powered buses on many of their routes. The eco-friendly monsters represent another stage in the effort to clean up the city.

Watch it!

Watch it!

Buses evolve – passengers do not.

I travel the 36 route most days; listening to the odd sleazy conversation or just reading my book. Books are a good companion, I can peep over the top of the page to ‘spy’ on the bus-scape. If solitude is required, music isolates, plug in the ear-buds and listen to favourite tunes or podcasts.

Some feel they should entertain their fellow travellers.

Up goes the volume, the hip-hop intrusion is a selfish act, abusive and ignorant. The sound pollution triggers agitation, it is easy to see passengers are unhappy with the intrusion. I read my book, and watch the passengers shift in their seats: I have viewed this phenomenon many times, accompanying the music awareness, passengers become uneasy in their seats.

There is another consideration, high volume music is known to damage hearing. I’m sure the bus boy menace is aware of the risk. He has the attitude of a smoker, aware of lung cancer, or the drug taker, aware of addiction. A humans folly, a belief in immunity to the consequences of adverse action. 

The fate is worse than silence, bussing and crackles accompany damaged hearing. Persistent mental torture, which drives the victim near to insanity during the early hours of a still morning. Excessive and continuous sound results in tinnitus, this horror will agitate and frustrate, as inevitable as the sun is hidden behind clouds. The spiritual would comment ‘Karma’.

Should I take pleasure from and be content from the knowledge the self-abuser will be punished? Is this a ‘kind’ statement? No, it is cruel, vindictive, without compassion. Bad vibes man, bad Karma? Yes, it signifies pleasure in revenge, malicious intent, the police state, unjust law.

I am concerned the self-abuser is causing himself harm’. Yes, that reads with more compassion. Your opinion of me is now changed for the better, forget the sentiments of earlier paragraphs: revealing the free-flowing words arising from the personal unconscious mind which knows only one’s truth.

Bus D.J’s are pathetic, the statement is: ‘look at me, I’ll infiltrate your life, make my mark, I’m determined you’ll remember my impression’. My reply is: The emptiest vessels make the most sound. Ironically, the music which ruins the environment of the innocent is damaging the rioter. The unwelcome sound is destructive and at the same time self-destructive. 

Why? I sense the agitator is within an act of rebellion which rewards with a twisted smugness, a sick idea that disturbing the status quo is empowering. In truth, the action generates a contempt or even hatred, and the victim’s emotion has a vibe, and the vibe surrounds the agitators being. In time their aggressive nature becomes more vindictive, and rebelliousness contributes to ultimate ruination. Further, self-abuse compounds the situation, alcohol, drugs, violence, lessen the chance of being presented with opportunities which can advantage a life journey.

They are subject to control. Control? Of course, if a human is capable of self-destruction, he is weak. An individual without concern for wellness and health cannot have cared for any other aspect of their life. Weakness resides in their spirit and soul, their only claims to identity are vandalism, antisocial behaviour, no respect for fellow man. They are weak and take the accessible path, one without intelligence, wisdom and understanding.

They believe the rhetoric of the ignorant: Hip-hop singer celebrates the death of a police officer. Racism is acceptable. The establishment is the cause of poverty. Society owes the deprived a living. It’s ok to steal, lie and deceive.

Or maybe, the reality is, they are already deaf!

Written in twenty minutes – Sorry Grammar Nazi’s – it’s the nature of the style.

Lucky For Some

No Fool

No Fool

A lady at the store comments ‘there is no such thing as luck’.
‘There is no such thing as ghosts, but we know what they are’.
This is my stock answer to the ‘luck’ conundrum.

I’m wondering if those who do not believe in luck are happy? Agreed, it is not a well-structured question, because, there will be many who dismiss luck and live a sublime life. The essay is written because I’ve encountered a few people over the last month who are ‘down on their luck’. I’m asking does unhappiness influence good or bad fortune? Even this question impinges on the word luck. Is there a difference between good luck or good fortune? Probably not, although the intellectual thinker may accept people are fortunate, rather than just lucky.

A counter-argument would be:
‘If one is going through a period of bad-fortune, then it is possible the unfortunate will also be unhappy’.
From my perspective, I can be happy even if life is not running in a straight path. Accepted, this emotional strength requires nurturing, although I’m convinced most people could train their minds to this attitude. Another aspect is a ‘happy outlook’ ensures issues, worries and difficulties are more easily overcome.

Beware of miserable and negative people:
‘If only there could be a little luck in my life’.
Or cynical sarcasm could be:
‘You’ll be lucky’.
When their negative attitude is questioned, they take offence and defend their opinion.

It is possible a miserable friend has scuppered many an entrepreneur or innovation. Negative and unhappy people draw others into their own despairs and torture. ‘Play safe’ is restrictive advice. ‘I wouldn’t do that’ is an opinion, not a directive.

Happy and positive friends encourage:
‘‘Take a chance, go for it!’ If we look back at our true friends, we will discover them to be supportive and forgiving. Maybe even ‘happy go lucky’ or even chancers. Chancers? Yes, there is a suspicion taking chances are associated with luck.

Over the last few months, the word ‘vibe’ is appearing as I type. Luck and ‘vibe’ are associates. The next time someone mentions how lucky they are I’m going to say ‘That’s down to lucky vibes man’. Maybe there is something in the idea? Lucky vibe, yes, it’s a good and happy thought. As I think about the idea of lucky vibes, I feel there is potential in researching the idea further.

Life is full of opportunity and decisive circumstance. But, to my mind, luck embellishes all the following words – education, communication, possibilities, connections, chance meeting, friendship, relationships. Do we make our luck, or does fortune smile on happiness?

Happiness, open-mindedness, and positive thought must be associated with or seeds of luck. I searched my memory to find the lucky people I’ve encountered. Within a few minutes a name came into my head, then another and soon there was a list. The conclusion is lucky people are not uncommon.

I’m a fortunate man, my life should have become a disaster, it is full of many wealths, good friends, reasonable health, positive and prosperous future. Many of the people on my lucky friend list have these wealths.

Is a lotto win lucky?

Apparently not! The aftermath of millions of pounds in the pocket of a pauper can have disastrous outcomes. Is this accurate? I suspect not, it is easy to find examples to support the case for anything. I’d bet my lotto ticket, most winners are happy and enjoy their winnings. If I had a fifteen million pound lotto win, I would be guaranteed a happy life. And I’d be sure to make more than a few of my friends very happy. I cannot think of better presents than paying off their mortgages.

We have all listened to the ‘I don’t want the jackpot – I’d like enough to pay off the mortgage and have no bills’. The answer is; don’t bother with the lotto, it is pretty easy to be debt free, it just takes time and dedication. George S. Glason’s ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ explains how to be secure; it is a masterpiece. If you are in debt or money is a problem, George will save you, he changed my life.

I imagine George in Heaven surrounded by souls who he’d save during their lifetime. Perhaps the spirits look down on the living reading the book and know if the advice is heeded: security will follow.

There is a certainty:  to be free of the many aspects of debt: Financial – Moral – Emotional – Intellectual – Spiritual – leaves one’s conscience clear.

I suppose anyone who understands this will be lucky.

Fear – 10 Minute Essay

Death Mask

Death Mask

Fear is the restrictor. The limiter of evolution and progress. Years ago fear dominated my confidence, fear of losing, losing money, losing friends, losing fights.

Overcoming fear demands loss, it demands to lose, it expects failure. No one can win every time whatever the conflict. Accept, loss even though the right is on our side – is necessary to becoming fearless.

The winner expects to win and cannot accept even second place. Everyone fails in the end, the athlete’s body broken, industrialist outgunned by progress, aged actor damned by youthful beauty.

Once a man said ‘you’re either with me or agin me’. His threat meant nothing, and I was young and worry-free: I did not care: he feared my mindset. Later, I cost him fortunes with letters. You’ll never know why or how the significance of the quotes broke his will. He struck the match, lit the fire and fell in the ashes. Bravado turns to fear in the hours without sleep, and dreams without solutions.

I knew a man who fell onto a bonfire. He was old and rich and foolish. Fifteen pounds for a gardener to cut the hedges, sweep the leaves and set the pile of cuttings alight. He feared poverty, feared losing money. Three five pound notes were as nought to him, save the money, prove the point, demonstrate greed. He died four days after the fall, a beautiful autumn morning. The listing of his will in the Gazette: an estate of one-million-seven-hundred thousand. Fifteen pounds for a gardener and a fear of wasting money.

When we have nothing, there can be no fear of loss. Without possession there is freedom and freedom is worth more than money. To be within freedom is to be within real wealth. To my mind, the greedy have nothing other than fear. Material gain or accumulation signifies following or understanding a process. What is interesting to me, is understanding how to make wealth. There is no secret to real wealth; I’ll write of the secret: It is age: to accumulate great wealth you need to be without fear: the young have less doubt and take more risks; accumulation is more natural.

The paradox is the young have no fear of losing: so their wealth is soon gone. A few are well trained and disciplined, they become the substantially rich. By the way, inherited wealth is of no consequence. To have real value – money has to be earned: savings has to represent an exchange of life hours, endeavour, work, even harder work, and toil. And then the savings account represents one’s expired life hours.

Be careful, heed the lesson Albert learned too late. Understand savings have less value than life. As his flesh scorched on that Saturday morning, he realised the truth. Too late, foolish old man. We could wager he’d have spent more than fifteen pounds to be free of the pain during those last days. What fears did he experience as he lay awaiting the blessing of the final sleep? Who knows, who cares?

A broken man just asked me for seven pounds. You would not give him a penny. As the money is handed over Wes says ‘I’ll repay you’ – The probability is; he will repay his debt. He has no food, mental and physical illness are his identity. I’m not taking a chance; I am making a choice, there is no fear of losing the money. Sixty years old, still taking risks, without worry of losing, without fear.

I am free.

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