Profile

Cover photo
James Symmonds
Lives in Kansas City, MO
180 followers|228,083 views
AboutPostsPhotosVideos

Stream

James Symmonds

Shared publicly  - 
 
Just sent out my last day good bye email at work (of course, being a Google product, the youtube links might show up in a way they didn't in my email):

My last day is here. What is there to say after 13 years here? As some of you already know, I’ve always done some pretty big leaps in my life to “follow my bliss” (Aero E>Sports Med>Martial Arts Instructor>Outdoor Retail/Climbing Instructor>Museum World>… anyone?) and now is no exception. I’m off to test robots and interface systems that will end up in pharmacies. Huh? Whuh? Don’t worry, this video explains the concept crystal clear:

http://youtu.be/rFBlcS2Sg0k

(Don’t laugh, I’ve heard it’s also the latest part of the strategic plan that all must have memorized by Monday.)
(Don’t laugh pt 2, at least it wasn’t a rick roll!)

http://youtu.be/dQw4w9WgXcQ

(Ok, laugh. Because even though it was clearly going to be Rick Astley, we all know someone couldn’t resist clicking on it. I’m betting on at least 5 people.).

The art side of my brain has received a nice gentle massaging during my time here and now the science side is crying out for a little attention. Essentially, I’ll be a beta tester for industrial products (paid) versus being one for consumer products (not paid). (Beta testers use pre-production products you use every day to find as many issues as they can before they hit your hands. This is something I’ve been doing for at least a dozen years, mainly smartphones and computer peripherals.)

I’m going to miss A LOT about the museum. When people would ask me where I worked and I told them the Nelson-Atkins, they would further ask what it was like. I’m sure they were expecting stories of Oompa-loompas or art gnomes on LSD or something. These are the types of things some people just expect to come out of my mouth I guess? Instead, I tell them that it’s like any other office…  we just have better corporate art work hanging on our walls. (We see your “starving artist sale” couch painting and raise you one Monet larger than your entire cubicle, literally.) I will miss being able to pop up to the galleries whenever I wanted. I’ll miss being able to see a special exhibition one item at a time over the entire run of the show. I’ll miss being able to visit a favorite piece on a whim.

I’ll miss being able to see the pieces and artists we may not have. Where? Why at the library, of course! (Ok, I had to plug that one in real quick.)

I’m going to miss the people. We have some real characters here that you probably just couldn’t have anywhere else. It’s an art museum. Keep it a little weird. As I said to some of you yesterday, one really could write Office Space 2: The Museum based off some of the characters we’ve had around here. Let’s not forget the little get-togethers and holidays either. How about Roy dressed up for Halloween? No? Haven’t seen it? Click on the attachment. (I swear, it’s safe!) Love the new tradition with the Panto too! I think the idea of having a friendly rivalry with a museum across the pond is brilliant.

Speaking of people, if you occupy an office that’s squirreled away in some dark nook, get out and meet some of the other departments. I know some people have told me that they don’t often get to talk to people from department “X” or they have to check the intranet to figure out some of the people walking into the all staff. I highly encourage you to talk to the security officers. Want to get a pulse for how things are going with the public, they’ll probably know.

I’m going to miss all of those dark nooks too. I think one of my many highlights of working here was getting to crawl around in every tunnel, climb every ladder and squeeze into every wall space. One of the oddest was walking out on some wood planks over a bunch of other wood and then realizing I was standing over the Chinese dragon ceiling.

You collect a lot of memories in 13 years at a place and meet a lot of people. Going to miss that. I’d like to encourage you to get out and meet people, staff and public alike. There’s a lot of interesting people to talk to around here from all over. I’d also encourage you to “follow your bliss” as they say. Stuff happens and you have no idea how long you’ll be here in many senses of the phrase. “Oh, I’ll do that someday” is something I hear a lot. What if that someday never gets here is what I’ll usually follow up with.

What’s up with my best imitation of Bob Ross you’re probably wondering? Because I think we should have a Bob Ross painting, happy little trees and clouds and all. It would also be an excellent art world “Rick Roll”. Surely, there would be plenty of art critics that would get themselves worked up over the very idea of an art museum hanging a Bob Ross in their collection. Some people would probably feel like they’ve been smacked across the face. Exactly the reason an art museum should have one proudly on display. It could even “accidentally” be sent out on loan in place of, oh… I don’t, Church’s Jerusalem? (Remember, that friendly rivalry thing with another museum I mentioned earlier?)

Yeah, that’s a pretty long winded good-bye but hopefully it made for an enjoyable Friday morning read. I’m sure some are wondering how much is serious and how much is in jest. Actually, even people who know me pretty well probably wonder that all the time. Best I can offer… enjoy?

tl;dr….  see you around
3
Add a comment...

James Symmonds

Shared publicly  - 
 
Very telling that Ive puts down the Toyota but sings praises for Bentley. Really? Is Bentley really the epitome of car design?!? Yeah, they're pretty but they're far from the prettiest. I think they're drooled over more for their price tag.

That said, I really wish the Moto Maker concept was available for more phones. Moto Maker Nexus 6? Yes please! Any day over an iPhone.

+Motorola Mobility

Motorola boss at odds with Jony Ive http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-31511552
Motorola's president defends letting users design their own phones, after Apple's Sir Jonathan Ive attacks the idea.
1
Add a comment...

James Symmonds

Shared publicly  - 
 
Happy Valentine's Day. I'm going to miss being able to shoot photos like this on a whim while I'm at work. :(
2
Add a comment...

James Symmonds

Shared publicly  - 
 
Are you human?

Negative. I'm a meat Popsicle.

Celebrating a new job at Fogo.
3
Jenit Escolastico Berroa's profile photo
 
mmmmmmm
Add a comment...

James Symmonds

Shared publicly  - 
 
Things I've realized about this year:

I will have had my car 10 years this month.

I will flip over 200,000 miles on that car. Meaning I've driven at least 500,000 miles in my driving life, as best as I can guess. (Could be close to 600,000.)

I will have been climbing 20 years as of this year.

I will have been shooting photos 30 years this year.
1
Brian Mills's profile photoJames Symmonds's profile photo
2 comments
 
Well, the E might be well and beyond broken in. It's time to start trying to figure out how to afford a complete overhaul. :-/

As for figuring out when I started shooting, I saw a book the other day about a photographer shooting for 60 years. That made me start thinking about all of this.
Add a comment...

James Symmonds

Shared publicly  - 
 
Haven't even listened to it. Just saw Steve Aoki + Free.
1
John Frye's profile photo
 
It's pretty good. Listened to it yesterday. Pretty upbeat.
Add a comment...
Have him in circles
180 people
Matthew Glen Evans's profile photo
rina noah's profile photo
Gary Hardin's profile photo
Sean Tracy's profile photo
Netflix's profile photo
Adrienne Magee's profile photo
Eric Cheung's profile photo
Mark Bonica's profile photo
dilanga madushanka's profile photo

James Symmonds

Shared publicly  - 
 
Next to the last day of working at the Nelson-Atkins. This photo is from one of my little guerrilla projects. One of the things I'll really miss is being able to pop-up into the galleries whenever I want. Sometimes I would pop-up during open hours and sometimes before the galleries would open.
During one particular show, the museum wasn't using all of the special exhibition gallery space. There was one room set aside with nothing in it but still viewable by all. The security officers kept asking if something was going to be installed in there. I told them I had no idea. After a few days of this, I decided to have some fun with this.
The gallery still had a central spot light installed from the previous exhibit. So I made a little origami box and put it in the middle of the room. Some time had passed (At this point, I can't remember if it was a day or a week.) and no had said a thing except a security officer who saw me put the box in there. I made the origami hat/boat and put it in there. After time had passed a a few more people were in on the joke but nothing said, I added another piece.
In the end, I added four pieces and a security officer added the tiny crane. (Seriously, this thing was miniscule!) It lasted maybe one more week before someone took notice and made it all disappear.
Yup, for a few weeks, I had my own show at the Nelson. :D
3
Pratik Home's profile photoJames Symmonds's profile photo
2 comments
 
I heard a couple had started asking about it once it got a few pieces in. Some of the other staff were starting to consider getting in on the act but it got taken down before they could.
Add a comment...

James Symmonds

Shared publicly  - 
 
1 of 52 of 42: Turned 42 last week and decided I wanted to start a photo project to force myself to photograph again on a regular frequency. Since 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life, universe and everything, the theme seems to be preset.

So shot one.... I love to climb. This is my 20th year of doing so. I began at university with grad climbing. Along the way, I've picked up sport, bouldering, ice and mountaineering. I've been lucky to rarely have a dreaded flapper. Last night, I got a matching pair while bouldering in a gym.
4
1
Pratik Home's profile photoJames Symmonds's profile photojoe m's profile photoJose Martinez's profile photo
9 comments
joe m
+
1
2
1
 
Ouch!!!
Add a comment...

James Symmonds

Shared publicly  - 
 
Want!
Google Cardboard seemed like a bit of a joke when it was announced at I/O last year, but as time goes on it becomes increasingly apparent that Cardboard wa... by Ryan Whitwam in News, Videos
1
Add a comment...
 
Quite the feat.... quite the view.
1
Add a comment...
 
Late morning start to climbing on the ranch in Arkansas.
1
Add a comment...

James Symmonds

Shared publicly  - 
 
Today is International Kiss a Ginger Day as I've been told. I missed it last year but I won't be missing it this year. So if you've been eyeing that cute redhead in your office, it's time to pull on your (sexual harassment law)suit pants and give it a whirl. :-P
4
Alan Talkington's profile photoJames Symmonds's profile photo
2 comments
 
Ha ha!
Add a comment...
People
Have him in circles
180 people
Matthew Glen Evans's profile photo
rina noah's profile photo
Gary Hardin's profile photo
Sean Tracy's profile photo
Netflix's profile photo
Adrienne Magee's profile photo
Eric Cheung's profile photo
Mark Bonica's profile photo
dilanga madushanka's profile photo
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Kansas City, MO
Previously
Monterey, CA - San Angelo, TX - Ft Mead, MD - Misawa, Japan - Des Moines, IA - Lebanon Township, NJ - Ames, IA - Greeley, CO
Links
Story
Introduction
I am completely serious 100% of the time.
Bragging rights
I once fibbed about fibbing and I could possibly fibbing about that right now.
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Single
Other names
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, Chimphappyhour