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Doug Johnson
Works at www.mechamonogatari.com
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Doug Johnson

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My latest novella, To the Joys of Volunteering and the Beginning of the Future, is now available for download from Amazon!
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Ooh, a butterfly flutters by... QUICK GRAB THE CAMERA! Hold still hold still hold still hold still...darn, missed it! Hold still hold still hold still hold still...darn, missed it again! Holdstillholdstillholdstillholdstill...GAH, MISSED AGAIN. WHY WON'T YOU STAY PUT FOR MORE THAN TEN MILLISECONDS AT A TIME?!

Yes, I was chasing this guy around my driveway for a good fifteen minutes. It is, I do believe, a Red-spotted Purple Butterfly (Limenitis arthemis astyanax).

(Identification with help from Gardens With Wings, http://www.gardenswithwings.com/identify-butterflies.html)
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+Josh House I don't know any other way to go about things.
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Much better picture of the local cardinal.

I was taking a few pictures of some friends of the family when one of them saw this guy behind me, prompting a quick 180° pan.
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Just got me some fuzzy dice for Big Boss.

I was thinking on getting some fuzzy 20-sided dice, because I'm a nerd, but it occurred to me that those would just clash horribly with the classic theme. This pair of 6-sided dice, white with black pips, looks so much better.

But they are gigantic...I hope I can see around them when I drive.
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+Tony Lawrence I didn't even think about them being illegal. I guess I better find out before I go cruising... 
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The police officer who came by my house to check me out because I was taking photographs in a public place -- an act he assured me was not against the law -- really liked this picture.

I am so flabbergasted I can't even
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I saw this video shortly after it was posted in March of 2013, and four months later, with zero musical background, I purchased a violin and started to teach myself to play. I keep a logbook of how much I play, and what I'm playing, and what works and doesn't work and other notes on things I've discovered along the way. I'm not great, but by my reckoning, I'm good enough. In my entry for 18 August 2013 (a Sunday), at 8:37 am, I wrote:

"Played Tetris 2x, for variety. It is much smoother -- I remember all the notes! It was one month yesterday since I bought the violin."

"Tetris" doesn't refer to the video game, but to the song played in the video game, a Russian folk melody known as "Korobeiniki". In the next entry, for Monday the 19th of August 2013, I note that I practiced playing the Metal Gear Solid 2 Theme in addition to practicing the Tetris Theme, and also I note the total amount of time I had been playing the violin up to that point.

My total: 20 hours.

So I was twenty hours in, and I was playing at least two different songs. I wasn't that great, but I was good enough. My intent with this post isn't to brag on my mediocre accomplishments, but to point out that learning new skills, even complex ones, is something anyone can do, with a relatively small investment of time and effort. Twenty hours isn't much. A half-hour a day for a month and a half, skipping a few days.

Sitting around watching other people do stuff might be entertaining, but to me, learning to do stuff myself is more entertaining and far more rewarding. I will never be Hilary Hahn or Jascha Heifetz, but I'm good enough, and being good enough is good enough.

tl;dr Don't convince yourself you cannot learn new things, and if you do believe that, it would only take about twenty hours to disabuse yourself of that notion.
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All i can say is thank you :-)
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I came across this webcomic, Hinges by Meredith McClaren, today, and I'm hooked. I'm loving the art style and the moody, mysterious vibe.
Not much here yet, but I hope that when you do get around to it you don't forget to start a profile for this comic on Thewebcomiclist.com so more people might find it and give it a read. Until then, best of luck with the story you're cooking up. ReplyDelete. Add comment. Load more.
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Oh, and thanks to +Wendy B for sharing the link.
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And at the far edge of my camera's capability (or my ability to utilize my camera's capabilities, whatever) is Saturn.
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+Tom Mitchell Yes, that's the camera's 42x optical zoom at the max. I disabled the digital zoom and used GIMP to do the cropping and a little bit of color enhancement.
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This guy landed right outside the window and was nomming away at the grass.

Cue a mad dash for the camera. I had to shoot in between the Venetian blinds, because I feared that pulling them back would spook him. The final picture turned out really gray and muted, but fortunately, a little white balance, brightness, and contrast adjustments in the GIMP brought out the colors a bit better.
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One of these days I got to get around to either watching Game of Thrones, or reading A Song of Ice and Fire. In the meantime, here's Taylor Davis playing a lovely tune from the series...
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+Doug Johnson Yeah
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About two or three minutes after I took this photograph, I was stopped by a gentleman from the fire department who had come out to investigate a suspicious person who was going around taking photographs. He was a pleasant enough fellow, and he did not seem that concerned, but it was pretty clear that someone in the neighborhood had called up the authorities (they probably called 9-1-1, to boot) because they were afraid that the Turr'rists in al-Qaeder or ISSISS were a-plottin' some serious plot against 'Murica...by photographing scenery, birdhouses, roads, and clouds.

I get that people like their privacy -- I like my own privacy, too -- and if I'd been taking shots zoomed in to see inside their windows, or camped out in front of their house for hours at a go, snapping photo after photo, going full-on paparazzi on them or something like that, I'd understand them being alarmed. Except I wasn't doing anything like that. I was just walking along, and every so often some interesting sight caught my eye, and so I'd take a picture of it. You'd have to be completely and totally paranoid to interpret that as anything even approximating a threat. But paranoia is fashionable these days, I guess...

smh

just

smh

UPDATE: Holy crap. I just had a uniformed police officer come to my house to check me out...because I was taking pictures of scenery. Really, people? Really? Dial back the paranoia. That shit ain't healthy.
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+Darin Simmons Well, to be honest, most of my pics have terribly boring stories behind them. "See something, take a bunch of pictures, pick the best shot from the bunch"  -- that's my basic MO. Rest assured that the entertaining -- or the preposterous/outrageous -- stories will be shared here.
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Fueling up Big Boss... 
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Story
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Science fiction author and creator of the Mecha Monogatari series
Introduction
I am the author of the Mecha Monogatari series, which currently has two installments: Stone King and War and Snowflakes.  

Stone King is a science fiction story set in a world where giant extraterrestrial mecha known as the Eschatos are attacking the free nations of the world.  Saionji Kiyohiko is a young soldier of the Japanese Self-Defense Force, who operates a twenty-meter-tall bipedal war machine called a titan.  The story is told in an autobiographical style, with Saionji telling the story of how he became known as Ishio, the Stone King of Ibaraki.

Stone King is now available as an ebook on Amazon.  


War and Snowflakes follows a day in the life of Tsuruhara Iori, an ordinary high-school student, who has to seek refuge in a subterranean bunker during an Eschatos attack, and in the process, makes a friend of one of her schoolmates, Aragaki Koji, who has a history with the Self-Defense Force Titan Corps that he would rather keep secret.

War and Snowflakes is also available on Amazon. A sequel, titled War and Cherry Blossoms, which continues the story of Tsuruhara Iori, is due to be released on Amazon by spring 2014.

I have also written a standalone science-fiction story, called The Impossible Stairwell, which revolves around a high school student that discovers a hidden stairwell at his school that can transport him back and forth in time. The Impossible Stairwell can be found on Amazon.

More information on me and my books can be found at the TV Tropes Wiki.
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I wrote a novel!
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  • www.mechamonogatari.com
    novelist!, 2011 - present