A Window into Scott's Life...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Moving on...

I want to use this domain for something else... plus the Blogger engine is a little weak, so head on over to http://www.scottbrownblog.com for my new blog.

I will keep this site up for awhile longer - thought it isn't like anyone actually comes here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Drought Continues

I don't know the cause, I can't pinpoint the reason - but I am still in a bit of a creative funk.

Only times I have used my camera has been for clients, I don't go shooting for fun anymore.

I dropped my 24-70L back on July 25th and it is dented, haven't bothered to ask Canon about fixing it. I just don't care about it right now. There are many days I think "finish processing the last two weddings and sell all your gear. Just don't bother with photography anymore".... and I would like to know at what point that happened? What caused that "switch" in me?

I've looked at getting into video... the crew over at Stillmotion inspires me a lot - would love to play with a Steadicam, etc -- but that is more gear to buy and more skills to learn... not sure if I want to do that now.

So I've basically been spending more time interested in the outdoors again. I've been going geocaching a lot and that takes me to some cool places. I am stocking up on GOOD outdoor gear -- during my Boy Scout years a lot of the gear I had wasn't so great and it kinda turned me off to hiking, etc. Now I do a lot more gear research and get good stuff (usually)

There is also all the work going on around the house.... building raised beds for the garden next year, weedwhacking, mowing, chainsaw work, replaced two faucets and one sink, fixing toilets, etc, etc, etc. It never ends. I was replacing the outdoor faucets, all except one went smoothly -- that one started to leak.... .... 3' underground. So I had to dig that up and fix that. Just a lot of work. I would love to move out... but my Mom can't take care of this property and house by herself, and she won't sell the house until we finish it (and the market improves... so like, 2012.

I don't know... it is late and I think I am starting to ramble. Maybe I will find some time this weekend to write some more.

Friday, March 13, 2009

At an Amy Seeley "concert"...

... at Coffee Cottage in Newberg... it is too late to make a fuss, but I didn't get the right change for my cup of coffee... so I will consider that my "tip" for the next, oh, 10 visits :-/


Anyways... Amy Seeley should start soon... I've got my 5Dm2 here, might try to grab some video.
Nobody from GFU (that I know) is here... yet... the night is still young.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tithing…

… I am not going to go into a debate of whether someone who attends church should or should not tithe, but I am going to give my perspective…
I think we need to be responsible with our money… and in doing so we need to “give it” responsibly as well.
I haven’t tithed to any of the churches we have attuned for the past few years because I don’t feel they use their money wisely. BUT – I am keeping a savings account funded with what I would tithe and if something comes up that I feel really deserves it, it will come out of there. I know of at least one person who wants to go on a missions trip in a year or so – I would much rather give a large sum of money to that endeavor than a church that feels like every service needs to be like a theatrical production.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Creative Drought

I haven't really felt like taking pictures recently... since December actually...

Well, I take that back - I have many ideas in my head, but they all need subjects - people - models... and those I do not have...

There are also many toys tools that I really want need to carry out my ideas... and while I could afford to buy them by the end of this year, I want to work on these projects NOW... during the Spring and Summer...

I have a few shoots lined up and I would like this gear before then... but I don't see that happening sadly... I am crunching the numbers and figuring out how long I can put off certain purchases...


I need to stop spending money elsewhere... I have been working on re-wiring the house with new coax for TV and Cat6 for data/voice... a much needed project - but a huge hole for my money... everything costs a fair bit - I think I have given Home Depot and Ace Hardware around $400-$500 so far... and then my car... yeah.... some slight body work - $539... things add up! Luckily I could pay for the car repair out of my savings account I made for unexpected large expenses like that...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Someday...

Valentines Day has come and gone – thank goodness! I have nothing against the holiday, I just get tired of friends and family questioning me about when I will get someone special…

I always tell them the same answer: Someday…

It isn’t like one can go down to the store and pick someone and go from there! Well… you could… but you might get pepper sprayed :-)

Maybe I am weird… I don’t think I could ever ask a stranger/someone I don’t know really well out… but, I have issues with taking “just friends” to the next level… because what if they say no? I would have no issues staying friends, but would they think differently? I think friendship is important and hurting that would be horrible…

That said… what if they are expecting you to go further than just friends and you are to shy to ask?

There are so many complex variables and because of that I will always give my answer as “someday”. Would I like to be “in a relationship” sooner rather than later? Maybe… Is there someone that I would like to ask but am too afraid to? Absolutely. What will I do? I am not sure… I guess time will tell… Someday…

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I got sent this in an email...

A woman has a close male friend. This means that he is probably interested in her, which is why he hangs around so much. She sees him strictly as a friend. This always starts out with, you're a great guy, but I don't like you in that way. This is roughly the equivalent for the guy of going to a job interview and the company saying, You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we are looking for, but we're not going to hire you. We will, however, use your resume as the basis for comparison for all other applicants. But, we're going to hire somebody who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if he doesn't work out, we'll hire somebody else, but still not you. In fact, we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person that we hired.

Monday, January 19, 2009

2009 and no posts?

Wow Scott, you are slacking. It is 01.20.2009 -- almost a whole month with no blog posts.

Well, it is pretty late at night but I will try writing something at least.

What has happened... well, the snow is gone for now, but it may be back. I used to like snow when I was a kid, no school, sledding all day - it was a blast. Well, when you have to SHOVEL the driveway and when you have to drive in the snow and ice it isn't as fun. The snow can stay on the mountain, I will visit it there.

Work has been going well, very easy so far but that is good. It is a huge difference from SandyNet - no longer do I have to do everything. I have my area I have to deal with and that is it. Really cool! The best part is... I don't get phone calls in the evening or on weekends!! WhooHoo! I can have a life again.

That said, I do miss SandyNet at times... I invested a lot of time and energy in that system... something it has not seen in awhile. Of course, there is a reason for that. I am single and did not have a huge "fun" life and I could devote 10-15 hours a day on the system. I could make sacrifices on weekends for the job and for the customer. There were a number of times when I had something fun scheduled but something happened to the system and to me, that was a higher priority.


Still single? Yeah... let's not go there... I've been told I am a nice guy... maybe I am too nice at times... I know I am not the best looking of the bunch, but I am hard working... I figure I am 21 - these things will come with time. Not exactly sure *where* I will look... work is out of the question, Starbucks doesn't seem like a good idea, the Internet is completely out of the question... so I will just wait. As un-traditional as it is... I would rather BE asked than be the one asking...
Heck, even something slightly long distance wouldn't be out of the question - I drive and fly all the time... maybe I should spend more time in Seattle ;-)


Businesses... ... are going well, kinda. Riley and I couldn't make it to the bridal show this year - we were 4th in line and decided we didn't want to be called last minute. Maybe next year. We've got a few events lined up for 2009, including one @ Timberline Lodge - really excited about that.

My IT business has taken a back burner... I am still working on getting someones e-store working... I think it would have been ready 2 months ago if they listened to me back then and not now... oh well - such is life.


That is all for now... I will post more later.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

the real meaning of christmas


The Advent Conspiracy Promo Video from theadvance on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Businesses Paying Bills on Time

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Starry Night



The Starry Night
by Anne Sexton

That does not keep me from having a terrible need of—shall I say the word—religion. Then I go out at night to paint the stars.
~Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother

The town does not exist
except where one black-haired tree slips
up like a drowned woman into the hot sky.
The town is silent. The night boils with eleven stars.
Oh starry starry night! This is how
I want to die.

It moves. They are all alive.
Even the moon bulges in its orange irons
to push children, like a god, from its eye.
The old unseen serpent swallows up the stars.
Oh starry starry night! This is how
I want to die:

into that rushing beast of the night,
sucked up by that great dragon, to split
from my life with no flag,
no belly,
no cry.

----------------------------

So back in college I had to write a response to that poem... not my best work but I got an A+:

“Starry, starry night. Paint your palette blue and grey…” These are the opening words of Don McLean’s song “Vincent (Starry, Starry, Night)” but they are apt words for setting the scene of Anne Sexton’s poem “The Starry Night”. Blue and Grey – colors that remind us of cold, dark, loveless times. Sexton’s poem has a thick theme of being depressed, lonely, and wanting to die.

When reading “The Starry Night” without any contextual information, it maybe appear very random and without a direct meaning. Once you add the image of Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” then some of the text starts to make sense. “The night boils with eleven stars” – there are eleven stars in the painting. “The town does not exist” - Van Gogh was in an asylum when he painted the scene – the town was a creation from his own mind. The “black-haired tree” is a fitting description of the lone, black object in the foreground that is reaching its dead “branches” towards the heavens. “The old unseen serpent swallows up the stars” is referring to the lighter-blue swirl that Van Gogh painted on top of the starscape. While the painting doesn’t depict a serpent swallowing stars, a depressed and confused soul might visualize a serpent flying through the universe, swallowing the stars.

“This is how I want to die” is bold statement made twice by Sexton. Again, without context it is a confusing statement. Sexton had bipolar disorder and frequent thoughts of suicide. In 1974 she locked herself in her garage and gassed herself with the exhaust from her car. Van Gogh was also a troubled soul. He finally committed suicide by shooting himself in the stomach only to not die until two-days later. Sexton is putting herself into Van Gogh’s imaginary town. She wants to die in the beast of the night, without crying, and without pain. When she writes the sentence “This is how I want to die”, “I want to die” is set apart on a new line. I believe that she was trying to call out for help. I want to die, I want to die – if one only looks at the hurt of Van Gogh it is easy to overlook the subliminal cry for help.

Sexton’s “The Starry Night” is a dark and disturbing poem, but one that has many meanings. I am sure that it is possible to dig deeper into the underlying meanings of her poem, but I feel that to truly understand how she felt when writing the poem, one has to be able to experience depression first hand. “Now I think I know what you tried to say to me, How you suffered for your sanity, How you tried to set them free. They would not listen; they're not listening still. Perhaps they never will...”
--------------------------
I highly suggest hearing Josh Groban's version of the song "Starry, Starry Night"


Thursday, October 9, 2008

And so it begins...





Updating some of the wiring in the house... get to crawl around in insulation... lucky me!

Monday, September 29, 2008

First Video Post (and an update)

Monday, August 25, 2008

College

As many of my friends are starting to go back to college this fall, I am staying behind.

Some background first, out of high school (at age 17) I was recruited by a local city to run their municipal ISP as an “Paid Intern” for two-years and then head off to college with a scholarship from them too. During that period of time I “networked” with a lot of people and was fairly well known in the industry. I was really tempted to not go to school and forfeit the scholarship. I would have been starting out at $42K/year + insurance + PERS (retirement account with 8% interest, SO GOOD!) and that is basically out of high school. I already had a PERS account and 401K through the city as an intern, plus I had money invested in the stock market – I was doing quite well.

I also had the chance to go to the Caribbean for 3-weeks with my flight, food, and hotel paid for AND getting paid $200/day while working on this project. Sadly the project was in October and I was going to be in school.

School… George Fox to be exact. My sister went there for 4-years and got her Bachelors in Organizational Communications (part-business/part-communications – “exactly what businesses are looking for” according to her advisor) --- she didn’t have a job for 9-months after graduating. She finally got a job with a mortgage company, but she hated it, so she then got a job with Starbucks and worked there until this past month. Now she is a customer service rep. with CCLI making less than I did with the city as an intern.

Anyways, she really liked GFU, so I thought I would too. But I hated it to death! At every turn it was like a slap. My admissions counselor told me one thing while in reality it was something else. Orientation was a waste of my time with “group bonding games”. The first-year seminar class was a pointless waste of my evenings. I had teachers (yes, plural) that didn’t know the subjects they were teaching, I had teachers that couldn’t speak English, I had teachers that thought God was a woman, I had teachers that having been teaching for ages and don’t know how to teach anymore… I had a Jazz class that was not taught well and I suffered in it. In US History (Kerry Irish is awesome!) I started with a C and ended with an A-. In Jazz, I started with an A and ended with a B-…. “Understanding Jazz” shouldn’t have been hard. I love Jazz – but that class was horrible. I worked by backside off as a photographer for the newspaper… out of the 5 of us, I took the most pictures and was the most reliable, and not to be cocky, but I think my photos looked better. All for $200/semester. PSU photographers get that a month… I am not complaining too much – I was doing fine for money, but still, I spent a lot of time....

Speaking of teachers that didn’t know the subject --- I learned more about business during my two-day trip to Napa, CA for OSP:West than I did during the whole semester of Intro to Business. And OSP:West only cost $40 + gas/food….

That said, I also enjoyed college because of the people I met. While there are too many to mention, I will mention those that I talked to the most and are on my Facebook…
Not in any order and nowhere near complete, but I don’t think writing paragraphs about each of you publicly would be a wise thing…
I enjoyed talking politics with David K. (and talking about the issues with GFU)
I enjoyed talking about the outdoors and hiking with Rusty T.
I enjoyed talking about Jazz and business (fudge project), and our classes with Jeremy P.
I enjoyed hearing about marketing (who knew that different colors mean different things?) and talking about our horrible business class with Cait S.
I enjoyed studying and working (on the fudge project) with Konnie C. (and having coffee together)
I enjoyed working with Kristin G. and spending time together in class, etc.
I enjoyed talking with and spending time with Katherine S.

So what are you going to do?
Well, I have been working at the city again this summer as the assistant to the guy who replaced me. There is a chance that I could start working there full-time next budget year (July 2009), but nothing is set in stone. There are a few jobs I am looking at that I am qualified for, but I am also working hard at my own companies and devoting more time to them.

Will you go to college again?
Maybe… I might take online classes or I might go to an “adult” program that is only two-nights a week so that I can still work. That said, I don’t really think a degree is the best use of my time and money. It used to be that if you had a Bachelors you were special, now everyone has a Bachelors and you need a Masters to stand out. I went through (with some complex spreadsheets) and calculated the implicit and explicit cost of college (undergrad and grad) and then took into account starting wages and wage increases over time, etc, etc. All is well and good. Well, then I added in life’s cost… car, food, house, insurance, student loans, utilities, fun, savings, etc, etc, etc… Wow – it adds up fast! And you know what? Compared to what I would have been making if I didn’t leave and go to school (but have no debt) – I would be better off than someone leaving college… now that is for about 15-20 years.. after that things start looking better for the graduated. But you know what I have? Time and freedom…

Well Scott, if you ever want a management position at a company you will need a degree…
Yup – I would… good thing I don’t want to work for some large company where I am just a number and not a name. Good thing I don’t want to work for large company with tons of office politics, etc. Good thing I don’t want to be a manager and have to deal with paperwork and employee issues instead of what I like doing.
No – I want to work for a smaller company doing what I like to do… OR I want to be solely supported by my own companies where I AM the boss.

You are making a mistake that you will regret…
Maybe, maybe not… I am taking the road less traveled – but that is a risk I am willing to take. What separates a millionaire from a middle-class citizen? What is preventing that middle-class citizen from being a millionaire? Is it their education? I think it is their drive, passion, and will. Some people say “I will never be able to make a million a year” – why? What is stopping you?

Anyways – it is 12:30am and I am tired and have a sore neck… I hope to see all of you again (maybe more than once) during the year. My schedule is pretty flexible, so let me know!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Once - Revisted

So I finally saw "Once" -- very good movie!

If you can't handle hearing the "F" word a time or two(-hundred) then the movie isn't for you... but I liked how fresh the movie was and how sweet the story was... it was a really well done movie that I might buy someday...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Once...

I've seen the trailer for this movie (embedded below) and there is something about it that I like. Same with the music (the two songs in the trailer).

I was able to see the last 20 minutes of the movie and I know how it ends - but I want to see the whole movie now.

From a film standpoint, it was really inexpensive for them to make - a lot of it was handheld (without a steadycam system) - but the whole movie just seems "fresh" and sweet.

I mentioned the last 20 minutes... what he does at the end... just wonderful... (something I would do ;-) )


Trailer:


Falling Slowly:


When Your Mind's Made Up

Sunday, July 13, 2008

DIY Projects

I decided that I would start working on some DIY projects around the home and yard. I will be posting details about them as I work on them - but first, the list:

1: Desk and shelf system for my home office
2: Outdoor low-voltage landscape lighting
3: Sprinkler system
4: Re-wire the house with multiple CAT6 drops... ugh...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stairway to Heaven - Guitar



Starting around the 2-minute mark is where it gets really good.

I bought their album because of this song. Well worth it.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Photos from San Diego

Link to the slideshow of photos from San Diego: CLICK HERE

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust - Revisited

Well, the farewell party happened today... I didn't have any 8x10 size paper for my photo printer, so I took them to the local store. They did an "okay" job, but nothing special.

That said, my photos were nothing special - exposure was off on a few, some were slightly out-of-focus or had slight motion blur, etc... but - to the family and friends that saw them, they were special... Sometimes photographers get so caught up in the little details that they miss the overall meaning of the image. Now, I am not saying that a blurry, out-of-focus, under/over-exposed image is worth the same as a "well made" image, but they still have a place in the world.

Sadly a trend I am starting to see photographers take is over-processing their photos. Adding glow here, changing some color there, adding a texture overlay, etc, etc... They can take a perfectly good photo and ruin it by doing too many things to it in post-processing. I think too many of us are starting to get lazy in our photography and decide to not worry about getting it right when you click the shutter because it can be fixed with a photo editing program. A joke I make with friends about how to fix a poor photo: make it black and white, add some grain, and vignette it... sad thing is --- it is true!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Amy Seeley - Gravel Lines

I first heard this song on Jesh de Rox's website (http://www.jeshderox.com/) -- if you actually listen to the lyrics, they don't make a lot of sense... but there is something about it that I really like. I bought the MP3 from Amazon (or her website... or? I don't remember - but I did buy it!) and it stays at the end of my MP3 playlist. Why at the end? Why not?

Oh, and Amy is a Portland resident, which is cool...

(Disclaimer: I didn't make this YouTube video - I just embeded it)

A Smile is worth a Latte...

I love coffee... though my taste in coffee has changed over the years. It started out as lattes and blended drinks, then it moved to Carmel Macchiatos, then to Soy Lattes, now I am really boring --- I get Americanos, Brewed Coffee (BLACK!) or Iced Brewed Coffee (Unsweetened). The really sweet stuff just doesn't do it for me anymore.

But what else has changed is my taste in coffee shops. When I first started working for the city I worked across the street from a locally-owned coffee shop. I really liked going there everyday and getting my favorite drink. They knew me by name and knew what drink I wanted. While they were all nice to me, there was one person that worked there, Jessica, who treated me the best. I always gave her a larger tip. I guess some of it was her smile. They all smiled, but I liked her smile the best. I knew she would work MWF from opening until 2pm... so I made sure to get my drink during those times. Sadly Jessica left around December of 2006 and then I left the city around August 2007 to go to school. Now I am back at the city and I don't go over to that coffee shop so much. While some of the original faces are still there it doesn't seem like the same place to me.

Now I go to, *gasp*, Starbucks on my way to work (or on my way home). Again, just like the "local shop" everyone at Starbucks treats me well - but there is one employee, Lisa, who smiles when you walk through the door, engages you in conversation, and is very nice. All of the Starbucks employees smile - but I like her smile more.

Something so simple is enough to make me come in and get my drink there. On my way to work I pass, *pauses to count*, 9 coffee shops (insane for a 4 mile drive)... But it is a smile that draws me to ONE to a certain shop.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust.....

Someone I've known through Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4-H, and then the City of Sandy is leaving the City next week. He is ill and can't continue to work, so he must retire.

This Thursday the city is throwing him a party -- I've gone through my photo collection and found six photos of him working and will get those printed @ 8x10 size and bring them to the party. Boy I wish my photo skills were better back when I took the photos.

However, it does show how much a photo can mean to someone. Even a blurry image - it brings back memories. We cannot stop time, but we can capture a split second of it. That is why I am a photographer.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Another quote I like...

"To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world. " ~ Author Unknown

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Update

I got back from San Diego on Sunday night. I had an amazing time... next time I will be there longer than a weekend... More details from that trip will come later.

For some reason this song got stuck in my head, so I headed over to YouTube to find a video of it.


Les Miserables is a very depressing play and this song has a really depressing meaning. Basically, .... nah, you will just have to watch the play or read the book....