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Random Thoughts…things I find odd or interesting…

Feb 11

In Rants, Thoughts at 2:07pm

Gary Fong  recently sent out an ad blast special for Valentine’s Day.

Now lemme get this straight. The Fongster evidently thinks a GPS attachment to your camera is somehow a romantic gift, the kind you would associate with Valentine’s Day? Does it come in a heart shaped box?

It might be useful. If in fact you have this, then you can exactly mark the spot where she fucking dumps you. You can take notes and re-visit it by your sorry ass self every Valentine’s Day. And if it comes to pass they build an Arby’s over it or something, you can go in and have a Super Roast Beef sandwich all by your lonesome. My advice guys? Lay low on the GPS and go the jewelry route.

Down in Vegas. Drew and Lynn sat next to each other in the emergency aisle. We’re casting today, and Drew has the wonderful duty of photographing about 150-200 beautiful women. He better be careful not to crack wise or say anything male or disgusting about it though, cause Lynn’ll reach over and slap that boy silly. Lynn is such an amazing producer. I know, come Friday when we shoot, I can walk to the camera and put my eye into it and not worry about anything else, cause I know everything’s been handled. And Drew’s been great. He came into the studio back in October and started traveling and running things without skipping a beat.

Lessee…more odd, ironical stuff. Walter Isasscson just wrote an interesting piece for TIME about the future of newspapers. Tough thing, though, is he writes about saving newspapers in an issue of TIME that’s about 4 pages thick. The supernova egos of the scribes and pundits at TIME must be really gasping for oxygen at this point, as the relevance of the magazine drifts. They still are doing a great job with a fraction of the resources they used to have, but man….TIME was always the photographic flagship as well, even though it was run by word merchants. The very good picture editors up there, like Mark Rykoff and Hillary Raskin, always got good shooters in the right places, even if they didn’t use the pictures all that well. As a magazine, it lives in the world of words. As one of their more peacock writers once proclaimed at a location dinner (I was actually invited), “Joe’s pictures are the whores that sell the chalice of my words.” Hmmm…

Good stuff…kudos to Syl Arena for outing the sumbitch who was just cloning people’s blogs and running it as his or her own proprietary site. Syl led the charge, and the site came down.

Great series of posts from David Hobby. As usual, helpful, informative, and funny. The Harrington link to cute kittens killed me.

I’m ranting of course, and that’s mostly cause I haven’t been able to have my daily morning rant with my buddy Bill of late about the state of things and I’m really missing it. He’s had this crazy bronchial pneumonia, bronchitis, throat thing for the last month or so. He’s been going in to work, but unable to talk at great lengths. I told him it was very clever to vector himself into the work force as a one man viral terror attack. Job security being what it is, if he can knock off a few co-workers, it might be just the thing.

Its jarring now when you get his phone message. I’ve gotten used to the new voice, which is somewhere between Tom Waitts and Darth Vader, but the old Bill is there on his recording, clear as a bell. Told him I thought he should change it up to some sort of Joe Cocker-esqe greeting, something where one protracted, guttural vowel sound would pass as a greeting. This would be punctuated by a resonant splat as he pulls the phone away, makes a long sucking sound like folks do in a Japanese noodle shop, thus accumulating the contents of his nasal passages in the back of his throat, which of late has been something of his own personal Baikonur Cosmodrome. The splat occurs when he then hocks an enormous loogie right up against the plate glass window he has by his phone. Give him a call. I can give you his number.  It’s an altogether bracing way to start the day.

Back on a plane yesterday. Cell phone envy. I guess I’ve got it. I have one of those really cheap, simple phones. It feels like it tumbled out of a Cracker Jack box. But everybody else on that plane had some Blackberry, Noodleberry, or IPhone with like 300 apps. It’s like a cult or club or something. Moose Peterson actually blogged about being over at Scott Kelby’s one Friday night, watching football, and everybody started comparing Iphone apps. I was teasing Moose, ya know, like whoo…baby, what a wild night! Were the police called?

I mean the guy next to me sat down and just started typing into this thing he pulled out of holster on his belt. Swear to God. It was like sitting next to the Dirty Harry of Blackberry users. This thing was enormous, and had like flashing lights and shit. He could type almost as fast as my youngest daughter, who types faster than those guys talk when they come on at the end of a commercial and need to qualify what was just advertised. “Rates vary in some states. What we just said was bullshit in every state. We really didn’t mean it, what you just saw was a come on cleverly disguised as an offer so we could entice old people to call our 800 number so we can get our mitts on their retirement accounts.” It doesn’t really register cause they talk so fast.

So then we take off and he switches up to his computer which is some sort of monster Dell that makes kind of a Tarzan yell when he opens it, and man he starts peckin’ away on that like he’s getting’ paid by the keystroke. This went on for a while, and I just about had enough so I start pseudo-Photoshopping some pictures I thought might knock him off his stride a bit.  I’ve got the new Macbook Pro, the 15 incher with the glossy screen so there’s no way he couldn’t notice. That thing is so bright and contrasty they could use ‘em in the searchlight towers of a maximum security penitentiary.

It worked.I could tell he was sneaking glances, cause he started to make typos…heh-heh.

Today when we left JFK we had to make a tight turn to the runway and right behind us was an Air France jet, and I could just about see into the cockpit. In the interest of international relations, I pressed my face to the window and started mouthing “Frog Pussy!” I think they saw me, cause I swear the co-pilot was mouthing back, “Mick Bastard!” Runway fun.

You know I never really mean offense by any of that stuff. I’ve been on the road for over 30 years, and I’m pretty addled at this point, plus enormously sleep deprived, and that probably contributes to the oddball train of thoughts that trundle through my brain at all hours of the day, especially the early hours. I mean, ya gotta laugh doing this, or you’ll just start weeping uncontrollably. Remember in the Perfect Storm? The boat capsized and it’s over, and the tough guy on the crew, played by William Fichtner (who always does a great job) is standing in an upside down cabin of the boat, his macho exterior cracked and splintered, crying as it fills with water? As photogs, we could all just stop right where we are and do that. But I refuse. Hard as this is, just still love it. Love it, love it, love it. That essential thing, coupled with a mildly bent sense of humor, keeps me going. Bleary eyed, but still going. I’ve come to embrace the shot below as something of a self portrait. That camera made the entire 1000 miles of the Baja race, clamped to one of the dune buggies, and this is how it came back. Battered, beat up, but still shooting pictures. (It was a loaner camera, by the way, Nikon was not pleased.)

I’m sure they’ll box me up and cart me away someday. I have dreams about this sanitarium type place I end up, sorta like the one Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday ended up in towards the end of Tombstone, one of my favorite really bad movies. He’s in a bed, white sheets, white pillows, white walls. Everything white, then he can’t feel his toes, and then…nothing. His reported last words were, “Damn…this is funny.”  It would serve me right to make the passage in monochrome after shootin’ all that damn Kodachrome….more tk.

91 Responses to “Random Thoughts…things I find odd or interesting…”

Earl says:

on February 11, 2009 at 2:20 pm

I gotta tell ya, I get absolutely giddy whenever I see a new post pop up on your blog! Today’s is no exception.

Love it!

Alan says:

on February 11, 2009 at 2:31 pm

“..It might be useful. If in fact you have this, then you can exactly mark the spot where she fucking dumps you.”

You could have stopped right there, hilarious…Thanks for the laugh.

Alan

Rand says:

on February 11, 2009 at 2:36 pm

two things.
1 I finally succumbed to the temptation and bought an iphone over the weekend. I succumbed to my envious feelings.
Do it Joe, you won’t regret it.

2 I always thought the significance of the ending of Doc Holliday scene in Tombstone was that when he looked down at his feet before dying he realized that he didn’t have his boots on. The cliche being, of course, that all western heroes die with their boots on….

T Surratt says:

on February 11, 2009 at 2:47 pm

You are funny as hell Joe. I love reading your blogs.
Tell Nikon that if they don’t want it I’ll be glad to put it to use.
Tim

Dave says:

on February 11, 2009 at 2:57 pm

I’m loving the thumbs-up reflection in the Macbook Pro.

Scott says:

on February 11, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Thanks Joe for your ramblings. You really crack me up with your cheekiness. Reminds me of my Granddad!

Ryan says:

on February 11, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Joe, I check your blog daily and this post had me laughing out loud more than any other. I imagine the tone of this post to be pretty similar to shooting the sh*t with you after a few too many Guinness. A few favs:

“…mark the spot where she fucking dumps you”
“Frog Pussy”…?!
“monster Dell that makes kind of a Tarzan yell when he opens it”

An interesting read all around. While I enjoy the workshop and assignment entries, I appreciate a good, honest rant from time to time. I was confused when the entries slowed down after that string of every day workshop posts…”What, no post today?? Hope everything’s okay”

Also, the D2x above…How was the triggering going on throughout the 1000 mile race? Continuous timer? Following along within 1600 ft with a PW? You in the passenger seat triggering from inside the car?

Ryan says:

on February 11, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Oh, and the iPhone is worth it. The plans are pricey, but the gadgets are endless. There were so many “wow, that’s SO cool” moments when I first got mine. It was the same kind of feeling as when I got my first Mac. It just works.

Justin says:

on February 11, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Joe, 3 things this post has taught me:

1 – When eating lunch with the wife, do not read blog posts on your fancy iPhone instead of paying attention to her.

2 – Do not sit directly across from here when you spit out your drink from a funny line in said blog post.

3 – Do not, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, attempt to explain why you think the phrase “frog pussy” is so funny to your wife, who is now covered in tea.

Anders says:

on February 11, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Oooh…I know someone who has yet to educate his wife in the finer meaning of “Valentines Day” (from Wikipedia):

Valentine’s Day or Saint Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated on February 14 by many people throughout the world. In the West, it is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other.

Aha! See, notice that last part? For. Each. Other.

Yes, I know, it took a while for me to discover this as well and you can be absolutely sure that the missus is not going to tell you on her own. ;-)

Hmmm…a GPS unit? Time to go make a list, I think…

Tony says:

on February 11, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Thanks for the laugh, Joe. The reflection of you in the screen cracked me up. I enjoy your blog and your humor. Regards

DC Chavez says:

on February 11, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Your blog posts never cease to amaze me… Frog Pussy… Classic…

:)

Keep on keeping on and don’t let the road get to you… Been there, done that.

Nicole Young says:

on February 11, 2009 at 3:59 pm

This was an entertaining read … I can relate to the “everyone has an iPhone” thing. Being at PSW, MacWorld, & UGCX always makes me feel like I’m the only one for miles w/o one.

BTW, you totally crack me up. I love reading your posts :)

Brian says:

on February 11, 2009 at 4:32 pm

I don’t have an iPhone. I have a very simple phone. When I went into the store to check out new cell phones, the sales girl asked what features I needed. I said that I needed it to be really good at “voice communications” She was lost. She had no idea which of the phones they sold were good for just talking to other people.

JBelle says:

on February 11, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Keep ‘em coming. (taps the bar)

NedJ says:

on February 11, 2009 at 5:05 pm

I never fail to laugh my ass off when I read your posts. Hoping I’ll bump into you at Vegas this week – maybe we can split a super roast beef ;)

KC says:

on February 11, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Love the reflection in the laptop screen! (smile)

My husband has always taken our cameras into places that most would not – attached to dirt bikes while riding through mud – harnessed onto his chest while skiing, surfing, etc. I’m surprised though that a box was not created for the camera that went on the baja trip. (smile) Camera’s nice and snug in it’s form container (remote trigger) Option to look through a viewfinder if the need be – all while securely protected.

Tom says:

on February 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm

“ah darling, Ringo is an educated Man”
“Poor Soul, he was just wired too tight”
“Your hypocritcy knows no bounds Wyatt”
“Here I am Daisy”

My Fav movie, good, bad and ugly….

Mark Basse says:

on February 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Hey, wait a minute. I think I just bought that D2X on eBay. #@$&^$. Always a good read.

Tom Marriage says:

on February 11, 2009 at 5:35 pm

I love it when you take off on a “rant”. Hurts my sides from laughing. I bet the guy next to you on the plane got eye strain from trying to sneak looks. Way to go.

Signed up for the Great Lakes DLWS. Really looking forward to meeting and learning from you, Moose and Laurie.

Thanks for the laugh. All the best.

Miserere says:

on February 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Normally, you’re funny, but today you took it to a whole nuvah leve’.

Over the weekend I succumbed to The Future and got a BlackBerry. My previous phone was powered by triceratops dung, so you can imagine how old it was. Come join us, Joe; there are enough BlackBerries to go around :-)

Marc says:

on February 11, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Joe, don’t be envious of those mobile smartphone users.

Rather have some pity for those people with their virtual electronic leashes, also known as Blackberries. A couple of years ago, a Blackberry was still a status symbol. I was promoted manager back then and got a Blackberry in turn. Gosh, I was so happy in the first couple of weeks.

But then, people around me realized that I was available. Anywhere, at any time, even while being on vacation. And as I am working in a multi-national company and am also responsible for IT, you get emails from the US, from Europe and from Japan, basically all time-zones. 24 hours a day with people expecting you to answer as fast as emails are arriving in your inbox. Gone is that great feeling of belonging to the club of Blackberry owners.

Due to the financial crisis, our company decided to take away the Blackberries again from middle management for cost savings (I don’t think it will save costs, but that’s another story).

Guess what? I am actually glad that I don’t need to run around with that thing anymore. Now I only have my private phone, which has one big advantage: It doesn’t have email and I finally can have breakfast again without feeling bad because the red “incoming mail” light is flashing on my mobile device.

Regarding the Macbook Pro: Did you also consider the new Lenovo W700? It’s quite a monster (dimension-wise), but I read that it does have a better screen than the Macbook (don’t like glossy anyway) and it even comes with an integrated Wacom tablet and a colorimeter to calibrate the screen colors… don’t know whether it makes Tarzan-sounds though… ;-)

Marc

Mat Hayward says:

on February 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Thank you for helping me realize I am (semi) sane. :)

Mat

Dr. Ziv says:

on February 11, 2009 at 6:49 pm

As we discussed in our previous sessions, it’s important to take ALL the meds…

Lewis W says:

on February 11, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Hey, I am just coming to grips with lens envy. You mean I have to endure phone envy now? Damn you, Joe!

Phil says:

on February 11, 2009 at 7:43 pm

“Cheese eating surrender monkeys”

Moose Peterson says:

on February 11, 2009 at 7:54 pm

admit it Joe, you wish you were there comparing apps. Frog pussy….can you say that on the web?

Marty says:

on February 11, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Another great read!

BTW, I love the reflection of you on the screen of your Macbook, doing a thumbs-up ;-)

cfimages says:

on February 11, 2009 at 8:40 pm

That’s the kind of post I like while drinking my morning coffee. A laugh is a good way to start the day.

Norm Cooper says:

on February 11, 2009 at 8:43 pm

You kill me! Love the photo from your seat.. I did the same to piss off an obnoxious granny an aisle back on return flight from Hawaii after shooting hot models on the beach!

I hadta Looked closely at the Nikon, was kinda hoping you trashed the D3x, but I’m sure you were on Nikon’s list after the D2x was returned

We’ll be shooting in Vegas on Friday, too. Hope to run into you somewhere there! Stay warm, its supposed to SNOW!

Norm Cooper says:

on February 11, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Oh yeah.. the GPS unit is for the wife to be able to track , hunt, and kill her Valentines Day forgetting photog hubby… hopefully it remains with the camera , and the cmaera with the body, so that they can find his sorry @$$ before the coyotes or buzzards get to it.

Neal Lippman says:

on February 11, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Joe, this posting has to be the funniest thing I have read in…I don’t know how long! Thanks for putting a laugh at the end of a long day!

You have a great future in comedic writing if this photography thing doesn’t work out …

Callan Tham says:

on February 11, 2009 at 9:42 pm

This post is funny as all hell. My neighbour just popped over and asked what I was watching that was so funny. This is the kind of stuff that makes the day go by faster with a goofy grin on my face.

Great shot of your reflection on the MacBook btw. Thumbs up!

dave says:

on February 11, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Gary Fong… HAHAHA.

Matt says:

on February 11, 2009 at 10:18 pm

I just wet myself. Thanks for the laugh.

Annemarie Mountz says:

on February 11, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Hahaha, I roared when I read this post. The thing I found funniest though, was this: I read the part about the Valentine’s gift to my teenage son and he asked me which I would rather have, the GPS attachment to my camera, or jewelry. My answer? I’d rather have the GPS or other photographic equipment. Don’t get me wrong, I love jewelry, but I would get much more use and enjoyment out of the photo gear. I know, I’m not typical in that way.

By the way, I also liked the “thumbs-up” reflection on the computer screen. Reminds me of another photographer we both know …

gillian says:

on February 11, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Well, I knew who you were, or so I thought… until I stumbled across your blog. Your friggin funny. Love it. I’m excited that I get to “catch up” on your posts… when I have some time… which I must create. Worthy. Totally, worthy.

Murphy’s Law. Just noticed I missed the Vancouver workshop by a smidgen. Well, I will just have to wait for you to take me under your wing. *ahem* Yup. Hold my breath, right? ;)

~gillian

Christopher Onstott says:

on February 11, 2009 at 11:48 pm

Your Gary comments got me laughing so hard at the coffee shot people started to stare…. Maybe because I just got dumped and I can’t pinpoint the spot on Google Earth.

Bill says:

on February 12, 2009 at 12:03 am

Sorry to be the killjoy, but I guess I’m one of the few people in the world who is still offended by vulgarity and profanity. It’s your blog and you have the right to use whatever type of language you please, but a lot of people read your blog in the hopes of learning something and I’m sure not all of them are adults. You can be just as funny without saying “fucking” and “frog pussy”. I mean, if we don’t set some kind of decent example for kids, who will?

BTW, that was a great story about Larry in your first book. He’s was great editor, is a great guy, and deserves the kudos!

Bill

Luke Townsend says:

on February 12, 2009 at 12:48 am

Joe, you crack my shit up!

keep um’ coming!!!

Brad Thompson says:

on February 12, 2009 at 1:48 am

No offense to your buddy Bill but I hope it takes a little longer for his voice to come back so we can enjoy some more of your ranting.

As always, thanks for the posts and keep them coming!

Brad

randy baran says:

on February 12, 2009 at 2:40 am

GPS, romantic? To me GPS means something other than a satellite, let’s say mine involves a hammer, and for the stupids, a beach. Here’s a romantic story involving geography, didn’t need GPS, just dumb luck. Last year, on Good Friday, I was officially divorced (almost 25 years). There was a major snowstorm here in Moscow of the Midwest and it was almost a whiteout as I drove home from downtown. As the cosmic tumblers would have it, I take this street and that and I wind up where we had our first date, a fancy fondue place across the street from where Jim McMahon once had a restaurant. All the romantic images of that summer night of our first date came back to me at a most inappropriate time as the snow beat down.

Kristof Pattyn says:

on February 12, 2009 at 5:04 am

You crack me up Joe…
The Iphone is just a toy compared to that new MacBookpro. Maybe I should upgrade mine too, it’s one hell of a shaving mirror for on the road !
I want a phone that doesn’t need to be recharged after a day. Bye bye Iphone then…

Keep ranting!

Greetz Kristof

mag says:

on February 12, 2009 at 8:10 am

Oh Joe! I’d take a GPS attachment over jewelry any day! Pretty much any camera gear over shiny stuff. You can never go wrong with chocolates!

You are one hilarious man! your blog entries are very entertaining for my morning read

Mag

Alan says:

on February 12, 2009 at 8:51 am

A Monday laugh on Thursday. I’m not sure what’s better, your extraordinary talent as a photographer and mentor, or as a comedic writer. Your blog is always something to look forward to, Joe.

Cheers,

Alan

Janice says:

on February 12, 2009 at 9:46 am

Thanks so much for starting my day off with your ramblings. I love your self portrait and the shot of you in the computer screen. You are too funny!!!

Mike Bruckner says:

on February 12, 2009 at 10:01 am

If you ask me, and I know you won’t, you can rant all you want. In fact as a follower of the Blog, I would request that you do this every once in awhile. Its great entertainment and it is as satisfying as a cup of Joe with salt instead of sugar. Just kidding.. keep it up, I don’t even take salt in my coffee.

Ken Romero says:

on February 12, 2009 at 10:10 am

“mark the spot where she fuckin’ dumped you”…..almost spit coffee all over my keyboard! Fong designs more crap and hypes it better than Billy Mays and Oxyclean.

Thanks for the morning laugh.

Look forward to your BLOG in my e-mail.

JerseyStyle says:

on February 12, 2009 at 10:18 am

heheh…nice post. Thanks for advancing international relations the way you did…reminds me of Maverick and Goose inverting on the Russian MIG in “Top Gun”

But to call “Tombstone” a good bad movie, well, that ‘slike being called the tallest midget (can I say that on the web?) Fine performance by Kilmer, fine mustache by Russell.

Jay Mann says:

on February 12, 2009 at 10:35 am

Ok, I gotta stop reading your blog at work. Here I am sitting a cubicle that isn’t big enough to change my mind in, almost peeing myself laughing and my new boss comes up behind me. He had already determined I might be a little odd….

Having fun Libya.

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