A problem of all sorts of different angles…

“We think that we can fix our lives by taking some simple step, but it’s not like that. Most problems need lots of sticking plasters. They need coaxing and massaging and looking at from all sorts of different angles.”

― writer Alexander McCall Smith, The Quiet Side of Passion

The picture is saved from way back at the beginning of 2020, during my visit to Swami’s Beach in Encinitas (North San Diego County) California. I stumbled upon this pic an hour ago, and felt it should be shared, though I had little context. I know little else about this stairway, just that it’s unsafe and off-limits to visitors at the time. It still deserves a nice metaphorical quote, at least.


Old-fashioned trinkets, hanging around

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.

– Emily Dickinson, Poems

The picture above is from the outside looking in through a nearby building at the Point Robinson Lighthouse at Maury Island. Sorry for slightly out of focus quality, but I hope you appreciate the content the camera still captures. See yesterday’s post for more on the outside.

Everything is familiar, and everything is strange

“Walking through a deserted city in the hours before dawn is sobering way beyond the undoing of the effects of alcohol. Every thing is familiar, and everything is strange. It’s as if you are the only survivor of some mysterious calamity which has emptied the place of its population, and yet you know that behind the shuttered and curtained windows people lie sleeping in their tens of thousands, and all their joys and disasters lie sleeping too. It makes you think of your own life, usually suspended at that hour, and how you are passing through it as if in a dream. Reality seems very unreal.”

― author James Robertson, The Testament of Gideon Mack

The picture above is from a late night walk through the University of Washington’s lovely center around the Drumheller Fountain.

PBS anchor Jim Lehrer, leaving a grand legacy for others to pick up

(Courtesy of PBS.org)

“Journalism is caring where the fire-engines are going.”

Jim Lehrer – novelist, playwright, and most noted..veteran news journalist, TV anchor, editor whose news career in journalism spanned over 50 years. Also, the co-founder of PBS Newshour TV program, and frequent presidential debate moderator. He won many awards, and to me, a prime example of journalism of how it’s meant in pure form, without the punditry and theatrics. He passed away on January 23, 2020 at age 85. 

But one important page of note, are Jim Lehrer’s NewsHour guidelines in 2009, as a standard for his show, and to inspire others who may follow:

I practice journalism in accordance with the following guidelines:
• Do nothing I cannot defend.
• Do not distort, lie, slant or hype.
• Do not falsify facts or make up quotes.
• Cover, write and present every story with the care I would want if the story
were about me.
• Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story.
• Assume the viewer is as smart and caring and good a person as I am.
• Assume the same about all people on whom I report.
• Assume everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
• Assume personal lives are a private matter until a legitimate turn in the
story mandates otherwise.
• Carefully separate opinion and analysis from straight news stories and
clearly label it as such.
• Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes except on rare and
monumental occasions. No one should ever be allowed to attack another
anonymously.
• Do not broadcast profanity or the end result of violence unless it is an
integral and necessary part of the story and/or crucial to its understanding.
• Acknowledge that objectivity may be impossible but fairness never is.
• Journalists who are reckless with facts and reputations should be
disciplined by their employers.
• My viewers have a right to know what principles guide my work and the
process I use in their practice.
• I am not in the entertainment business.

Moving forward, that should be the legacy unforgotten, and looked at for many generations ahead in professional news journalism overall.

– Orion T

The realization of long life, according to Jonathan Seagull

“Jonathan Seagull discovered that boredom and fear and anger are the reasons that a gull’s life is so short, and with those gone from his thought, he lived a long fine life indeed.”

― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

That moment above was taken atop a tide pool at Swami’s Beach in Encinitas (North San Diego County) California. That was one of many great things about that area, which I must share of, soon.

Orion T

Making no sense of colour…

“Colour is uncontainable. It effortlessly reveals the limits of language and evades our best attempts to impose a rational order on it… To work with colour is to become acutely aware of the insufficiency of language and theory – which is both disturbing and pleasurable.” – David Batchelor, Scottish artist and writer currently based in London.

– Orion T,

The picture was recently taken up close in a lobby of a new building in downtown Seattle, while waiting for a friend to arrive.

To look inside for the way out…

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 – 1930), author of Sherlock Holmes

I passed by a local bike shop, Free Range Cycles, in the Fremont district of north Seattle. It’s a good start for a better escape, but closed at the moment. However, I did peek inside admiring the sunlight merchandise. Here, is beauty observed of the stillness of these human-powered metal steeds. The look of the bicycle is a timeless, natural design, that I think serves as an extension of real body practicality. I admire the many parts both attached and loose, mixed in shiny metal, smooth leather, and mighty rough rubber. I love all here; meant to make local travel simple, enjoyable, yet empowering and healthy.

Hmm.

-Orion T

Happy Earth Day and so forth appreciation…

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“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”- John Muir

The picture above is from early this year, on a day hike through Bowen Island in Vancouver, Canada. Meanwhile, Happy Earth Day! Though much of the day is gone, continue to appreciate this planet we live on, with support and protection to its natural environments.

– Orion T

My 33 cents of V-Day Love

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Seriously, 33 cents worth of today candy all right here. Ugh, what a terrible effort.

Valentine’s Day is nearly over. I hope many of you made it special. I sadly, did not. But to make up for that, I leave a quote that should last longer than this one day..by Abraham Lincoln, inspired by Bill S. Esquire, and Ted “Theodore” Logan; bringing forward the connection we should share…

“Be excellent to each other.”

– Orion T

A Present Day for Martin Luther King Jr.

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“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be…
This is the inter-related structure of reality.”

― Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

Today is the 32nd third Monday of January, known as Martin Luther King Day, in celebration of the greatest civil rights activist leader of our lifetimes. We spend it as a day off for many, and in remembrance of King’s message and strive for justice, liberty, and peace for all.

Here in Seattle, there was a march and a rally held, of which I sadly missed. But the message remained on signs and shirts later on in the day. The current vibe focused on the road ahead toward the full accomplishment of Dr. King’s dream, with sentiments on social movements on civil rights for immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ persons, and others marginalized by oppressive systems.

A general theme can be seen throughout brought on by organizers to “Take a Knee for Justice” referring to the prayer actions of Martin Luther King and company during his famous march in Selma, Alabama, then recently brought back by modern civil rights activist/ NFL star Colin Kaepernick and company, overall in solidarity for wrongs in the system against people of color. Signs throughout are a reminder, there is still much to do, and more unity needed to achieve a nation where persons will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

– Orion T

 

Grow as People…

"Listen to me, Morty. I know that new situations can be intimidating. You lookin’ around and it’s all scary and different, but y’know … meeting them head-on, charging into ‘em like a bull — that’s how we grow as people."

-Rick Sanchez, of the Rick and Morty show.

Picture is taken by me, from outside the 2017 San Diego Comic Con, in a special area event hosted by Cartoon Network's Adult Swim cable programming. I love Rick and Morty, and ready for the new Season 3 episodes.

Picture of Today 7/10/2017, Bursts of Leaves

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“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” 

― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

The picture was taken by me, looking up during the day as the sun briefly came out and they sky turned partial blue, during an otherwise cloudy day.

-Orion T

Picture of Today 5/4/2017, May the 4th be with you..

You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive.” – Yoda, Jedi Master

Picture by me at Kobi Park in Seattle. Figurine obtained at a yard sale many years ago, for one dollar.

 Orion T

Picture of Today 5/2/2017, a stillness

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“Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance.”  – Morgan Freeman, actor and continuing inspiration

I took this picture in Belltown with my phone, on the way home.

– Orion T

A Day of Scattered Blossoms.

Photo Apr 08, 7 24 05 AM

The significance of the cherry blossom tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years. In their country, the cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life. It’s a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short.

– Homaro Cantu, famous American chef and inventor.

Photo Apr 08, 7 27 21 AMPhoto Apr 08, 7 26 52 AMPhoto Apr 08, 7 25 42 AMPhoto Apr 08, 7 25 24 AMPhoto Apr 08, 7 24 32 AMPhoto Apr 08, 7 26 28 AM

Pictures taken at Freeway Park, behind the Convention Center in Downtown Seattle. The scattered blossoms were from the previous days of heavy wind and rainfall.

– Orion T

Pictures and notes by Traveling Orion, (Orion Tippens). For external use for public use, please contact and obtain permission first.

 

Picture of Today 2/19/17, Life Puzzle..


“The experience of life that you and I have is pretty much a jigsaw puzzle in the box: Day-to-day experiences of disconnected pieces that don’t seem to justify the efforts we make each day.”

– Robert Adams, famed photographer.

Picture by me, Orion T

Pictures of Today 2/15/15, Shadow Play

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“Shadow is the obstruction of light. Shadows appear to me to be of supreme importance in perspective, because, without them opaque and solid bodies will be ill defined; that which is contained within their outlines and their boundaries themselves will be ill-understood unless they are shown against a background of a different tone from themselves.”

– Leonardo da Vinci

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Picture of Today 9/25/14

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“Nature will bear the closest inspection; she invites us to lay our eye level with the smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain. She has no interstices; every part is full of life.” – Henry David Thoreau

(Picture by me, after some rain)

Yoda’s wisdom

photo by Orion Tippens

Happy Monday. For many reading this, this is the beginning another long work week.

For some, this means heavy goal setting and impressing ourselves. For others, relentless work including: letters, proposals, brainstorming, massive paperwork, countless  emails, calculations, heavy lifting, exceptional customer service. Those in need of work are likely on the job hunt: revising resumes, pressing outfits, other self-sellings. College students are back from spring break, probably stacking notes and outlines toward their semester finals. Also for many US citizens, that tax deadline is faster approaching.

In times of stress, we could use a motivational iconic figure. Someone, whose wisdom comes from a galaxy far away. He could say something wise and wonderful, out us on track, ready those cover letters, develop solid thesis statements, place those exact numbers on charts, straighten our ties, make smiles effortless.

Seek Yoda, the wise and powerful Jedi from the Star Wars franchise.

Yoda says wonderful things about life:

“Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.”

On faith and leaving room in mind for the impossible:

“(Luke: I don’t..don’t believe it) Yoda: That is why you fail.”

On stress management:

“Control, control, you must learn control!”

On grim outlooks:

“Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future”

On goal setting:

“Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”

On negative behavior:

“Don’t give in to hate. That leads to the Dark Side.”

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”

On education progression and necessity:

“Mind what you have learned. Save you it can.”
“In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.”

On motivation:

“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”

So there you go, all from a wise wizard elf-man, as quoted from a few Star Wars films (mostly Empire Strikes Back). Think, for the next forboding moment. What would Yoda do, say? How would he handle a troubling situation or stress buildup? His calm demeanor and self confidence produced heroes, helped win wars, organize large groups, and kept him looking good for over 900 years.

Couldn’t hurt.

The picture above, is a life-sized Yoda statue on a water fountain (photo by me). You’ll can find the entrance to the Lucasfilm Ltd. corporate headquarters office in San Francisco, within the Presidio area, very near to the famous Palace of Fine Arts. For the exact location, click here.

Roger Ebert, thank you.

Roger Ebert (extract) by Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert, the greatest movie critic of our times, passed away yesterday, April 4, 2013. He died of cancer at 70, just days after announcing his retirement from the movie review business. I have much to say on his legacy, so here goes..

What made Roger Ebert so great? Was that being his long time dedication since 1967, to reviewing movies? Or perhaps his fuzzy personality and witty descript? Or perhaps his open-mindedness to see nearly every big-screen movie no matter how mundane, stupid, or childish? Or perhaps his willingness to speak his own mind without fear on subjects including: video games (not art?), and politics (progressive liberal), or the act of creative writing..

“There is no such thing as waiting for inspiration……the Muse visits during the process of creation, not before.”

Overall, I think Ebert’s success is due from his ability to make each review personal. He does not consider what the current mob is saying or by identifying with the current Emmy snobbery . You read his reviews, and he makes his points by also reminding us of who he is. Sometimes, that could be a grumpy old man not quite connecting with a film’s target audience. My favorite example, being his review of Kick-Ass (2010):

“Will I seem hopelessly square if I find “Kick-Ass” morally reprehensible and will I appear to have missed the point? Let’s say you’re a big fan of the original comic book, and you think the movie does it justice. You know what? You inhabit a world I am so very not interested in.”

Ebert goes on in detail about why Kick-Ass reminded him of real life violence involving inner-city kids and its gratuitous shameless display of bloodletting (he is also not big on horror). I strongly disagree with his review on Kick-Ass, being that it’s just escapist fantasy and fun. However, I appreciated his understanding and willingness in the attempt to make a connection while sharing his personal thoughts on why the movie was bothering, affecting his review.

Then, there are reviews done that connected well with myself on the understanding of my own desires in new movies. Often, that calls for something different, creative and interesting. Also, we both seem to love intelligently written science fiction.

My recent memory and strong example is Ebert’s recent review on Cloud Atlas. This is a wonderful film, but not understood by many because of its odd and exhilarating editing style, switching often between six linked stories. Ebert said this in his review of Cloud Atlas (2012):

Even as I was watching “Cloud Atlas” the first time, I knew I would need to see it again. Now that I’ve seen it the second time, I know I’d like to see it a third time — but I no longer believe repeated viewings will solve anything. To borrow Churchill’s description of Russia, “it is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” It fascinates in the moment. It’s getting from one moment to the next that is tricky.”

He goes on to discuss its bold style, and how the film itself goes beyond the story to a work of art. His review felt like a journey, that needed repeating because there was so much for him to appreciate and understand. I rushed out to see Cloud Atlas for myself and fully understood what he said. I felt a kind of connection between our love for this movie. Also, I couldn’t push others to see this movie, and the Internet mobs were much divided in their opinions. I think Cloud Atlas was a movie for just myself, Roger Ebert, and others who keep an open mind and welcome daring, creative approaches in storytelling. We can still hate the result, but at least understand and welcome the good in putting the product out there.

I always appreciated his choice in a personal favorite of mine, Dark City, to be his chosen best movie for 1998, and Being John Malkovich the year after. Both are great movies, also daring approaches in creative storytelling. Yet both movies, I felt were widely ignored and dubbed too weird by the masses to give them the wider respect they deserved.

That being said, I looked up Ebert’s thoughts on another daring movie for its time. This odd movie, peddled as a space opera with laser-wielding wizards, handicapped designed robots, with a reluctant farmboy turned galactic hero. Here is what he said in his review of Star Wars, back in 1977:

“The movie relies on the strength of pure narrative, in the most basic storytelling form known to man, the Journey. All of the best tales we remember from our childhoods had to do with heroes setting out to travel down roads filled with danger, and hoping to find treasure or heroism at the journey’s end..”

See? Star Wars is not just about special effects and crazy battles in the usual epic struggle between good and evil. There is so much more, setting the first apart and special from the following sequels and prequels. It takes an open-mind soul to look deeper into a popular film for what it really is. Ebert does that well.

And often, Ebert likes to have fun in his reviews. He reminds us, that some movies are created to primarily entertain. If he is entertained, we are..or at least, could be entertained. For example, his review of Speed, starring Keanu Reeves (1994).

“Films like Speed belong to the genre I call Bruised Forearm Movies, because you’re always grabbing the arm of the person sitting next to you. Done wrong, they seem like tired replays of old chase cliches. Done well, they’re fun. Done as well as Speed, they generate a kind of manic exhilaration.”

Also, Roger Ebert displays wit even when the subject film does not. This is often refreshing; especially in this modern age of ridiculous explosion-laden, cleavage display, CGI fetishes disasterpieces  Here’s what Ebert had to say in his hilarious review of Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen (2009):

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a dog-like robot humping the leg of the heroine. Such are the meager joys. If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination.”

And, here is my favorite burn for Tom Green’s epic monstrosity, Freddy Got Fingered, a movie Ebert hated so much he gave it zero stars in his review (2001):

“This movie doesn’t scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels.”

Rest in peace, Roger Ebert. That personal touch in your reviews will be remembered.

Also, thank you.