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Walks with Ippa, a photo project

So I was walking Ippa this week, listening to a podcast while looking at my email and thought: "this is some quality time. I should make better use of it." (see Wikipedia re: ADD). Jokes aside, the time I get to spend in the mornings or evenings walking Ippa, our two year old, nine-months -new-to-us pooch, has become some of the most valuable time I have. For starters, walking Ippa almost always pulls me away from something. Sleep. Work. School. (goofing off, shhh don't tell). And while I'm often not in the mood when we head out the door, by the time we are home I'm always reluctant to be done with our walk. Susan and I have been working on training Ippa. Walks are not something one can phone in; they require constant communication between Ippa and her walker: sit, wait, slow down, a body check, a pat on the head, good girl, lets go. Still, they take my mind off whatever it was I was fixated on before we left. I get to mentally roam a bit while she sniffs and heels.

Walks happen in the morning or evening. The photo books will tell you about the golden hour at dusk and being present for sunrise in the morning; they talk about solitary time, waiting for the perfect shot. The truth is not far off. Photography is a solo art. The light in the early morning and late evening really does amazing things.

For the past few days I've been carrying my camera while Ippa and I walk together. We explore alleys behind houses. The places where trash goes and weeds grow. Fences go un-mended and sheds unpainted. Alleys are like the exposed backend of a patient in an exam gown who is agnostic to the comings and goings behind them. I'm fascinated by both the quality of the light and the things Ippa and I encounter on our walks.

So, I've started a project: Walks with Ippa. Its like Travels with Charlie, only not at all. I'm taking my camera on our local adventures and challenging myself to find at least one interesting image a day. I'm trying to get better at seeing creatively, like neat light, or colors, or some interesting macro shot. The images are on Flickr here.

Finally, a note of thanks to Jessica Lucia who's flickr stream inspired me to start a photo project.

Pork Project - its back, for real this time

There are a few truths in life – death, taxes, jackalopes, freedom and the equality of all humans. Ponder that list, study it. Notice what is missing? Bacon. Maybe its sausage, maybe its a nice pate or a pickled trotter; regardless it is time to liberate our swine. Proclaim porcine freedom! What am I blathering on about? Let us go back more than 2 years ago to the Pownce social network (RIP). Those were the early days when we waxed on into the morning hours about the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of pork. We heard the call to arms with the first Pownce Pork Project (again, RIP). The concept was simple – make bacon as a group. We voted on everything from the spiciness of the cure to the wood it was smoked over. In the end we rattled the foundations of commercial pork production by auctioning off a luscious slab of salty bacony goodness. Whomever made the biggest donation to a food related charity got to…well…take home the bacon. The winner was @surlyshirley.

It is time once again crusaders of cochon to take up arms. We must not go gently into the factory produced, chemically cured BLT. Let us stand up together and say “We demand open source pork!”

Over the coming weeks we will resurrect the hoggett mission. Follow @nickdawson – help plan the next Open Source Pork Project. I will be asking YOU what part of the pig to lop off, how to treat it and in the end, it will once again come to a food related charity auction. So spread the word – let free pork reign and don’t miss your chance to get in on the action!