www.ideaforge.com

Another blog in search of a meaningful tagline…

The media coverage of Japan’s worst ever natural disaster, the 2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami, has given the world an unprecedented first hand view of the shear destruction that’s been inflicted upon this island nation. However, while arresting YouTube videos of the surging tsunami wave and live satellite feeds of the unfolding nuclear crisis capture center stage of America’s televisions, I can’t help but feel the real story, the suffering of the countless Japanese families who have literally lost everything, is receiving short shrift.

The Japanese were the best prepared “first world” nation on Earth when it came to quake and tsunami preparedness. Japanese officials made their emergency plans, informed and educated their citizens, and used the best technology available to monitor potential problems and alert the public when the danger warranted. And when the fateful day arrived, everything went exactly according to plan. And undoubtedly, many many lives were saved. But no reasonable extra measure of planning on the part of the Japanese people or their government could have prevented the horrific damage and destruction that nature unleashed upon the northeastern coast of Honshu.

My point is that many victims of natural and man made disasters bring much of their sorrow upon themselves by scoffing at preparedness or choosing expediency over proper safety procedures and sound building codes. Some simply fall victim to their own ignorance and an inexplicable failure to act in their own best interests. But not the Japanese. The Japanese did their due diligence. They did exactly what needed to be done. And still it wasn’t enough to protect them from what nature had in store. The Japanese not only need our help, they have, through their actions, earned and deserve to be helped in every way possible. And that is a story truly worth covering.

Old Dallas County CourthouseI need to invest in a tilt-shift lens for photos like this one taken with my recently purchased DSLR camera. What is a tilt-shift lens, you ask? In brief, it’s a specialized lens capable of preserving the proper perspective of the object being photographed. This image, taken on an otherwise beautiful day, is spoiled by the odd angles reproduced by a conventional lens.

First post!

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w00t! First post!

Ideaforge.com bids a fond farewell to Blogger with this inaugural first post using WordPress. As a former Blogger FTP user, my reason for making this change can be found here. Suffice it to say that Google’s business plans for Blogger didn’t mesh with how I choose to run my web site. However, I leave Blogger as a happy and satisfied customer of their past service. That’s the great thing about the modern technology marketplace: if one vendor no longer meets your needs, just take your business elsewhere.

Just returned from seeing the film (500) Days of Summer, staring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. A brilliant and funny film with a strangely satisfying ending.

Confession is good for the bolg. The rumors are true that I’ve been eying the local college catalogs for about two weeks now. Predictable. Whenever it appears that I have excess time on my hands *and* I become interested in taking on some task for which I am (currently) wholly unqualified, I inevitably turn to formal education. Hey, I’m not opposed to the go it solo “self taught” strategy, especially if I’m expanding on an existing area of my knowledge. For a truly new educational endeavor, though, and if I’m serious about success, I really prefer the classroom / lecture format. Simply put, it works for me.

Current Location: Richardson, TX
GPS coordinates: 32.968529, -96.734289
Local Time: 11:41 PM
Temperature: 44° F
Conditions: Partly Cloudy
Sea State: n/a

Yeah, I know, all dog owners say stuff like this. But, REALLY, there’s nothing quite like coming home to three love starved Italian Greyhounds. Molly and I made it home around two hours ago and it’s been one long non-stop puppy love fest since we walked in the door. Again, we’re so grateful to Momo and the bean for taking such good care of our boys. The trip turned out great and Molly and I had a wonderful, almost perfect time. The whole shipboard experience really surprised me and our various ports of call and excoursions were tremendously well done. Thank goodness I bought all that time at the ship’s ‘Internet cafe’ so I could blog the whole experience. Uh huh, that really worked out well.

Anyway, I’ll now be blogging about the trip after the fact. I’m also posting select travel pics to flickr very soon.

Day 1 – Miami

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Current Location: Miami, FL
GPS coordinates: 25.792569144871624, -80.18901586532593
Local Time: 1:46 AM EST
Temperature: 70° F
Conditions: Partly Cloudy
Sea State: n/a

It’s a beautiful night in downtown Miami and I’m exhausted. Yeah, and I plan on enjoying the view for about another 15 minutes and then I’m done. The flight really wasn’t that bad but it was packed. Even at less than three hours, I always feel grungy after flying in such close confines. The other challenge was luggage. Given what we have planned for the next few days, I’m not saying we over packed. HOWEVER, Molly and I are in agreement that we’ve never, ever, carried so much stuff on a trip before. It’s the cruise, of course, and we’re trying to be a little more civilized than just t-shirts and shorts. Today was a travel day and it’s done. Tomorrow should be beautiful and boarding the ship will no doubt be way more fun.

Current Location: Richardson, TX
GPS coordinates: 32.968529, -96.734289
Local Time: 10:31 PM
Temperature: 46° F
Conditions: Partly Cloudy
Sea State: n/a

I think Molly and I are really looking forward to tomorrow’s departure. Momo and the bean are house sitting. Oh, and dogs! There will be a critical mass of dogs here at the house. Our boys won’t even realize we’re gone with the girls over. Yeah, I’m a little worried about what state the house will be in with FIVE DOGS here. Nope, best not to even think about it. It’s going to be a great trip.

WWGFD?

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Saw a similar bumper sticker here in Dallas today. Freaking awesome.

Need one for your car? The guys over at Black Mesa, er, I mean Steam can hook you up.

When it comes to luggage, Molly and I are both big fans of the wheeled backpack design. With cavernous packing space and a built-in wheeled pack frame providing lots of carrying options, what’s not to like? Our fist set of Eagle Creek wheeled packs lasted for many years and thousands of miles. Looks like our last house move, however, did mine in since it’s currently nowhere to be found.

The REI store over in Plano, Texas has a great selection of travel packs and luggage. Normally I’d invest the time to research the hell out of the latest bags and packs. Not having that luxury this time round, I grabbed a REI Stratocruiser Wheeled Pack 2.0. It’s a little bit smaller than than the Eagle Creek bag it’s replacing. It does have the same generous packing space and a detachable day pack that I liked on my old bag. If nothing else, the easy to spot “mineral” color will make it easy for Molly to see me in a crowd. Next task: packing.

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