Recent Photo Sales

Every once in a while I check out the stock photography website to see if I made any sales. In recent years the sales have dried up because my photos are ageing and the influx of people who became photographers overnight.

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Someone bought the rights to use the above photo a few months ago. I took this one back in 2007 with my new digital SLR. I remember how much I liked the diffused lighting. The caption I used to describe the photo had the word “Indian” which at the time I thought nothing of it. 10 years later I’m like, whoops. If there are some semi-inappropriate terms you like to use you better dig in now because you might not have the chance in a few years.

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This photo was taken in 2004 with a manual SLR using transparency/slide film. A magenta filter was attached to the lens and Photoshop was used to remove the bird shit on the lighthouse.

I got into stock photography from the professional photographer I used to assist. Back in his heyday all stock photographs were catalogued and sent to photo buyers such as magazine publishers. He was making $10,000 USD a month from commissions. And then the internet and digital cameras put a damper on his party. So many conversations will begin with, “Before there was internet….”

The question might be, why don’t I keep taking photos? I don’t want to bother listing off the excuses.

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Vancouver Real Estate Options

My old manager once told me the first house he bought in the year 1988 was priced at $88,000(Canadian dollars). In that same year he started working with the company he was earning $9 an hour doing the same job I was doing. Present day, that same job pays double but that same piece of land will cost you close to $1.5 million. To be in line with the price of real estate today the starting wage for the same position would have to be over $100 an hour.

Lesson #1: People needing a place to live is more important than a parcel delivery driver.

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This could be yours for $1,388,000 but it’s not near a waterfront

The lingering feeling was woe is me. With my saving skills I would have a house no problem back in those days. I could probably have had 2 or 3. That’s life though and it doesn’t matter hypothetically what could have been 30 years ago.

Lesson #2: Excuses will make you obsolete.

In 2013, in a suburb 30 minutes away from this 30-year-old transaction, a building of microsuites were going to be built. Not the greatest location and at 313 sq ft not initially very appealling. But for a price tag of $133,000 including taxes it wasn’t too bad considering the options available. Today they’re selling in the low $200,000 range.

Lesson #3: 313 sq ft won’t look so small when compared to a cardboard box.

 

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It could be a lot worse

I think I wimped out back in 2013. I could have made the microsuite dream happen but I talked myself out of it. I said it was too small and located in an undesirable area. If worse came to worse I could have just rented it out or sold it. There was a very big possibility though it would have sold out before I even would have had a chance to pick one up. People line up for these things, sometimes overnight.

Lesson #4: Sometimes it’s riskier to do nothing.

I’m sure there’s more lessons to be had here.

Casino Adventure

The casino is a 24/7 devil’s den that has ruined many who have taken too big of a bite out of the apple. In case you’re only on the fence of licking the sinful fruit it has plenty of alcohol to help push you over.

I went to such a place last night around midnight. The lights, sounds and the gathering of people is an attractive atmosphere.

“I’m going to the washroom,” I told my friend who just started at the roulette table.

When I came back he somehow managed to lose $200. “You lost $200 while I was in the washroom?” He was quite jovial for someone who just lost over a day’s wage in 2 minutes.

Over to the craps table we go. He asks if I know how to play this game. “Something about rolling 7s and double ones,” I reply. Casino games are often like baseball games to me, I’d rather just drink the overpriced beer and be a spectator. He on the other hand likes to drink and play. I think he broke even with his $100.

3 card poker? We’ve never heard of it but it doesn’t stop him. Within the first few games though he found himself unknowingly hitting a 50 to 1 payout. Following games within the next 10 minutes had him hitting other smaller jackpots. Within 15 minutes he’s up $900. The losers beside him aren’t too thrilled.

I encouraged this semi-degenerate gambler to walk away because I know his shitty track record. It’s 2 AM, we look for a cigarette machine across the street in the Poker Room. Nothing. I peeked my head inside and see about 40 men playing poker. I don’t think many of these guys have day jobs.

When you’re at the gas station at 2 AM you were likely to be doing unsaintly activities just previously. One young guy there was holding paper towels to his face. A bunch of guys had just badly vandalized his car.

We had a little chat before we retired for the night. As he smokes his cigarette he tells me he’s a Buddhist. “Get the fuck out of here,” I say. He insists though. I go on to list off the things that happened tonight that discredit his statement including the idea of visiting a hooker. I think the night was a success. He won and I didn’t lose.

Cheap Technology and Being Cheap

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For the past 2 years I would look at this injured piece of technology and tell myself, it still works. Yesterday it stopped working. I’m not a bargaining type of guy but when it comes to used technology devices you’re paying for something that is dying. I found this one through Craigslist which was listed for $160 back in 2013. Since the ad had been listed for 30 days I figured the person would take $20 less, and he did. Him being a 5 minute drive away was another bonus.

Today I used my rebate to buy a newer version for almost the same price. It’s an older model and an open-box. I’m not blown away like I thought I would be. This model is 3 years newer so it should be able to grow wings and fly, right?

They say spoiling your kids is a bad thing but I might disagree. If you give them the finer things in life while they’re growing up you’ll set a standard for them. They won’t settle for working an average job because it won’t even afford them what they’ve been used to. I spent the first few years out of high school working a shitty job because it provided me with all these new experiences like gravy with my french fries and having more than $20 in my pocket. I’m lying, I didn’t start ordering gravy until a few months ago.

I’m cheap to myself. Owners and servers of restaurants hate my type.

“What would you like to drink?”

Water.

“Would you like cheese or bacon on your burger?”

No thanks.

“Gravy?”

Is it free?

I’ll go to a dollar store and think I might be able to find an item cheaper somewhere else.

The Mystery of Luck

There’s this guy I know who was always the lucky one in every situation. With such a track record of having luck on his side he could confidently walk into any situation thinking he wouldn’t come out the loser. His luck ran out once he got married.

We’re all lucky in some ways. Like they say, there’s always someone who has it worse than you. I wouldn’t consider that as being lucky though because it’s just not unlucky. Lucky is not beating the unfortunate 1%. Lucky is beating 99% of people.

There’s another side of life that gives luck too much credit. We have this tendency to label someone as lucky when seemingly unique opportunities happen for them. The idea is if you’ve never heard it happen to anyone else then it must be pure luck. Sometimes luck needs to be created in order for it to happen.

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

 

Daily Prompt: Mystery

 

 

Lazy Halloween

7 hours of uninterrupted sleep should be sufficient but something about not getting that extra hour just ruins me. If I had to get up for whatever reason it wouldn’t be a big deal but that wasn’t the case. I ended up laying in bed for 5 hours hoping to fall back asleep. When that failed I got up and ate something. I spent the following 3 hours trying to fall back asleep. Once 4 PM rolled around I gave up and knew I had to nourish myself for the impending rush of kids coming for chocolate. I basically laid awake in bed for the same amount of time people spend the day working.

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Carving a pumpkin requires inspiration that I didn’t have today. I put it out there to let the little buggers know that I’m open for business. From my observations, 1 out of 3 houses were giving out candy.

Holy Halloween, the number of kids must have been double of last year. I ran out of chocolates and started giving out quarters. I don’t think you can buy anything these days for less than a dollar though. I saved a KitKat for myself.

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I put a fake spider in the bathroom sink to scare my mother and it was a success. Even after she realized it was fake she was still too scared to pick it up. I wonder if you could be charged with manslaughter if you put a fake spider in an old person’s shoe and they died from a heart attack because of it.

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Gardening Surprises

This morning I was in the backyard hanging out when a surprise caught my eye.

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Nearing the winter season, growing vegetables had subsided in my mind which is why slight euphoria hit me when I saw this baby bok choy growing in the middle of my lawn surrounded by weeds. A couple of thoughts hit me.

  1. I didn’t think vegetables could grow so well on a lawn surrounded by weeds.
  2. How’d the seeds get all the way there?

They’re always talking about the importance of soil amendments and pulling weeds in order for your vegetables to grow. The only amendments to the lawn were canine excretions. I also just remembered that in late summer when my plants went to seed I threw some on the lawn just for kicks. On my plot of soil where I grow things, none of the seeds that I planted in late summer germinated.

When you see one you look for others.

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Cilantro

An old blind lady I used to visit thought it was weird that I wasn’t sure what a cardigan was. I thought it was strange she didn’t know what cilantro was. I guess cilantro is not used in many Western dishes especially pre-fusion era. In poor countries they call a cardigan the sweater with buttons.

My pathetic tomato results may have been due to me being one month late in sowing the seeds. I bet you that is not one of the 7 habits of successful people. It wasn’t a hot summer either though. I’m surprised I even got these ones.

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What is the difference between a weed and vegetable? Looking at the lush weeds in my yard, they look just as fit to be eaten as conventional herbs and vegetables. Do they lack the nutrients? I don’t get it.

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Semi-conclusion: Weeding might be overrated. Weeds might be underrated.