Tag Archives: apple

Diving In…

Three years ago I moved to Chicago in what seemed to many like a random decision. I had gone through a rough patch in NY where I realized I had been doing the same things in the same places with the same people night in and night out since 7th grade. The weird part though is I had a job I loved working for Apple, but I could not get past the fact that I was working in the mall that I had been going to every day for as long as I could remember living in suburbia. I needed to change something and Chicago offered the perfect opportunity to make a clean break.

I was able to move out here and not only keep my job with Apple but get promoted as well. In the last three years I’ve grown immensely, made amazing friends, traveled extensively, started taking improv classes, started working with Long Pork and really started to build my photo career with the launch of my ChicagoNow blog and a few new clients.

The only down side? It worked too well.

Moving out here has been liberating beyond my expectations, but I find myself so busy pursuing my passions that sleep and friendships suffer due to it. I also find myself turning down photo and design work I’d like to be doing due to conflicts with my full time hours. Three years into living here I once again have found myself in need of a change.

Effective next week I’ve decided to step down from my full time role and leadership responsibilities at Apple and into a more limited part time hours.

This will allow me to pursue my passions even further, recover a semblance of a social life and maybe, just maybe start sleeping again. There is a lot of traveling planned, for starters Long Pork and I are driving to NY next week for Sketchfest NYC at the UCB Theater. I am also going to finally get certified to skydive this year.

Last week on Friday Sydney Owen and I head out to the Chicagoland Skydiving Center to go for a tandem jump and enroll ourselves in the certification program. It’s going to be an interesting summer.

While I’ll admit I am nervous about what I’m leaving behind I am really excited about the road ahead. More to come soon.

And We’re Off! – Thailand Part 1

So I’m typing this on my brand new iPad while sitting on a Cathay Pacific flight to Vancouver, from there I’m off to Hong Kong, then straight on to Bangkok. In Bangkok I’ll be meeting up with a good friend Christine and the agenda is pretty much unwritten. I just need to be back in Bangkok on the 12th so I can fly to Tokyo for a grand total of 26 hours.

So you’re probably wondering, what is the reason for the trip? My answer of course is the trip is the reason for the trip. I’m planning on continuing the photography and social media adventures that I’ve grown to love so much.

I was hoping to be able to post my photos nightly throughout the trip but unfortunately the iPad camera adaptor wasn’t available in time and since we’ll be backpacking most of the time I decided to leave at home the 7 lbs of computing power that is my MacBook Pro. I did however pay for the international data plan on my iPhone so I’ll probably snap a few photos on there and post them to Flickr as I go as a preview of the final images to come when I arrive home.

For this trip I’ve packed extremely light, since my days on the government watch list (explanation to come…) I’ve learned how to pack lighter and lighter and only bring what I can carry.

On this trip for example I have one bag, my camera bag/backpack. Which contains:

- Canon 5D mk II with 24-105mm f4.0 kit lens
- 4 Canon 5D mk II batteries
- 4 Compact Flash cards. (1 32gb and 3 16gb)
- Canon 50mm f1.4
- Canon 28mm f2.8
- Apple iPad 64gb WiFi
- 6 pairs of socks
- 6 pairs of underwear
- 5 shirts
- 1 pair of jeans
- 1 bathing suit
- 2 field notes, 2 pens
- 1 deck of cards
- assorted wires and chargers

Aside from a few sparse things I’m bringing one way to Christine, the clothes on my back and my iPhone in my pocket, that’s it. As I mentioned before I’ve paid for 50mb of international data but I’ve also paid for 50 outgoing text messages (Incoming are apparently free) and I plan to buy a prepaid phone over there to be able to stay in touch with Christine.

I’ll be active on Twitter, FourSquare, Flickr and Facebook throughout the week as well as hopefully blogging every night assuming I can find WiFi to post from so please follow me.

Actually, I plan to take it one step further than that… As it stands right now, I have no agenda for Tokyo, only a few suggestions. Like my day in Paris before this I know no one in Japan and I don’t speak a word of Japanese. My plan is to crowdsource my day… I’ve got 26 hours there… Where should I go, what should I do? Reply to me on Twitter and let me know how you think. I should spend my day, I’ll go do it, photograph it and write about it right here!

Stay tuned dear readers!

Berlin Day 5

Aki and friend.

Internet is down at 78 again. Although we can pick up an unsecured wireless in the big kitchen on the 2nd floor. Not sure when i’ll be able to post this.

Last night was interesting, we went to Fischladen and found the street to be swarming with Politzei. There were full riot vans filled with cops waiting for a reason to jump out. No one was quite sure as to why this was going on but as you can imagine it made things a bit tense. The cops came to the door of the bar on more than one occaision and then backed away. It’s like they were anticipating something that the community didn’t know was going to happen. Either way it ended peacefull with the cops eventually leaving as mysteriously as they had arrived.

Many members of the collective are hard at work here in the house. On Mouse’s floor alone they are installing a large kitchen and a bathroom. They both look to be the nicest in the house, I’m sad I won’t be here to see them. Downstairs they are building a bar into the front of the building. Mouse took us through it the other night, it looks to have a lot of potential as well. I’m not quite sure how or if this will compete with Fischladen which is just down the street. Mouse insists their community is large enough to sustain both.

Despite what I may have said in yesterday’s post regarding technology, this movement is strong and far from in danger of dying out anytime soon. They have built a place for themselves both figuratively and literally through hard work and dedication. There is definitely something there to be respected and admired.

Mouse is tending bar at Fischladen, we spent the afternoon lounging around there. He has mixed up Chocolate Martini’s for people with Hershey’s syrup that Aki brought back from the states for him. Apparently you can’t find that here at all.

Going to a cookout tonight at another house. Should be interesting. Tomorrow is my last day in Berlin and it looks like I have have picked up a last minute photo job as well. More details on that if it happens. That’s all for now.

oh yeah… pictures.

Berlin Day 4 – Technological Anarchism

Mouse, Vanesza and Aki.

Berlin is an interesting place. We spent all of last night at Fischladen where I left off last night. When we left it was morning. While Aki worked furiously on her work for Johnson Creek; Vanessa, Mouse and I discussed the merits of Wi-Fi, Twitter and technology in general in political movements, in particular the leftist “Anarchist” movement here in Berlin.

The German leftist movement has a fear and misunderstanding of technology. Wi-Fi in many places is not allowed and approached angrily. While 78 is legally owned and inhabited many individuals here are very much afraid of being identified for their political actions. Their fears, of course, are justified, many could and would be arrested if identified. However the group fails to mobilize and grow beyond it’s existing circles from what I can tell, most don’t even have cell phones either because they can’t afford them, or they believe them to be the tools of the establishment. Their numbers, while supported internationally are not as strong as they were right after the wall fell, and they likely won’t be again unless this group embraces technology. Aki and I cited examples of Mumbai and Iran to explain the values of it but the consensus is that it will fall on deaf ears.

Now please, do not interpret this as an endorsement of the actions of this movement or their beliefs, nor do I mean disrespect to their beliefs either. I am merely a guest here and these people are putting me up and treating me as one of their own. I believe that nearly any political movement has merits and from what I can tell, these are good people who want to life their lives free of political oppression and generally mind their own business, I cannot speak for all of their beliefs, only that I can say they feel very justified in them and truly believe themselves to be doing good to help society, as they see it. It’s sad to me to see their message and beliefs get lost or downed out because they refuse to adapt to modern technology.

An interesting side note, you’ll see that most of my photos from this trip do not contain people… weird seeing as I tend to focus on portraits quite often. This is because the men and women of “78″ refuse to be photographed and the ones who don’t know me react angrily to me walking about with my camera at all. While I respect and understand this concern it saddens me as many of them are amazing, beautiful, interesting people who should have their voices heard and choose to hide their face so that they can fight another day, a concern that I’m not entirely sure how realistic it is.

New photos are up, check them out…

Until tomorrow.