How I Really Feel about Instagram

I am known in my circle of friends as the guy who hates Instagram. This isn’t really true, I don’t hate Instagram, I philosophically loathe it. That is to say, I don’t enjoy the way many people on Instagram treat the art of photography.

When I talk about Instagram I am often met with a rebuttal as strong as those over religion or politics. In the end we are all entitled to our beliefs. I have a feeling that a similar post as this was written by many film photographers when the first digital SLRs started hitting the market.

justex07-on-InstagramI’ll keep this brief but here is my gripe. People take ordinary photos, what we would call snapshots, what we would drop in a shoebox and forget about as quickly as we took them. These photos do not stand out like the ones we would put in a physical album, that we would pay to have printed or that we would submit to a gallery for showing. They are the epitome of disposable photography and there is nothing wrong with that.

What I have qualms with are people that elevate these toss-away photos to a level of importance not by context or content but by obscuring the banality and ordinary mundanity of the photo with a filter, sometimes to such a degree that the original content of the image is totally obfuscated. That is not art, that is glorified censorship. Continue reading

Ghosting Retina MacBook Pro is a Known Unknown

Just yesterday I noticed while editing some Illustrator and Photoshop documents that there was significant ghosting on my August 2012 Retina MacBook Pro screen. You know, the screen known for its brilliant resolution and eye-popping color. And also for this particular flaw.

Ghosting MacBook Pro with Retina Screen

I absolutely love my Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Screen (rMBP). It is the most powerful computer I have ever owned, the thinnest computer I have ever owned and has the longest battery life of any computer I have ever owned. It is so amazing that I plan on putting my iMac out to pasture, replacing it with this computer and a 27″ screen.

But there is this issue with the ghosting. When I went to my Apple Genius appointment today the tech told me something I couldn’t believe and reminded me of this famous Rumsfeldism…

Secretary of Defense Donald RumsfeldThere are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld

Oh those were the days… Here is an approximation of how it went down.

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My Rant to Inside Columbia Magazine

This is in response to an email I got this morning from Inside Columbia Magazine:

I simply cannot believe you guys are obfuscating the unsubscribe options from your emails. This is a violation of MailChimp‘s terms of service, which I am sure you already know.

White text on a white background is a deceptive way of hiding the unsubscribe option as well as your physical address. This is a violation of the CAN-SPAM Act. I recommend whoever is running your email marketing read up on the FTC‘s rules. I’ll be as kind as to provide a quick link.

Here also is an excerpt:

Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future.

I’ll even provide a screenshot of what I was sent so you can see the issue at hand.

I would not have unsubscribed, or blogged this situation, had you guys followed the rules. I’ve also informed MailChimp following instructions on their abuse page.

-justin
http://itsjustjustin.com

J Vineyards and Winery, a Bitter Taste

J Vineyards and WineryI tweeted earlier in the week that Kayla, Marris and I had a dreadful wine tasting at J Vineyards in Healdsburg. J Vineyards responded on Twitter requesting I direct message them my story so they could make it right. I told them I’d put it together here and so I have. A direct message, while definitely tidier for J, would never allow me to fully explain my disappointment. Here goes:

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you probably know about the never-ending renovation I’ve been doing on my house in wine country. I find myself going up north to meet with a contractor or furniture delivery person at least once a month. While this might be annoying to some, and it is to me, the best part of these trips is getting to see Kayla.

It’s a rare event that Kayla and I are in the same zip code and don’t do some sort of wine tasting. So on this trip to Sonoma County, she and I decided to hit up J Vineyards for a quick tasting and pick up my wine club shipment. Marris was in town and joined in on the adventure. But before we go there, let’s learn a bit about the winery and my history visiting them. Continue reading

The Gay Rights Movement

I just stumbled upon this video through a friend’s Facebook update and immediately felt compelled to share here. It’s a trailer for a documentary titled “Second Class Citizens” which you can sponsor via Kickstarter.

This documentary is something that is very near and dear to me; someone who is considered by my state and country a second class citizen. By extension, I am a second class citizen to all my friends and family members who continue to vote for people who fight against equality, donate money to organizations and churches who cast aspersions on who I am and look the other way all the while.

Explaining what it is like to be gay isn’t easy. I kept it a secret until I was 18 years old because I feared that I might be made a victim of harassment beyond what I was already experiencing in junior high and high school. I was so stressed out about being gay that I became physically ill; acid reflux, debilitating migraines, panic attacks & major depression.

If it wasn’t for the friends I made in college, I don’t know that I would have survived to be where I am today. Far too many people like me don’t make it through the bullying. They are commit suicide or are murdered because they or someone else was unable to accept the person they were born to be.

I can’t tell you the number of times I was verbally or physically harassed, my property vandalized and my life threatened. My first semester in college a neighbor in the dorms threaten to hang me in the stairwell because I was gay. Try explaining to your parents why you have to switch dorms when that is your reason. I never did because I never had the courage to do so.

Ryan James Yezak is hoping to produce a documentary titled “Second Class Citizens” and has created a Kickstarter campaign to help fund it. I implore you to check it out and if you find it worthy, to invest in his film. I am going to do that right now.

Rick Perry disgusts me

I try not to make it a habit of writing purely political posts but the new Rick Perry YouTube video threw me over the edge. If you like the video, you probably won’t like this post.

There is no shortage of reasons I don’t think Perry should be a presidential candidate for the Republican party. I don’t even think he should be the Governor of Texas. It’s not just because he’s a goof who embarrases most people from Texas, like myself, it’s the way he markets himself as a candidate.

For whatever reason, the loud, far right conservative politicians on the scene these days treat culture and intelligence as negative attributes. They forget that Christian law, much like Sharia law, is not United States law. They forget that smart people create solutions where others can’t. They forget a lot of things, many of which were their founding principles. I’m not talking about all Republicans, I’m talking about people like Rick Perry.

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It’s Time to End Marriage Inequality

My Twitter friend Gabe retweeted a link tonight from @Padbury that simply read, “Please watch this, ‘It’s Time'”. I stopped what I was doing and decided to click the YouTube link. What followed was one of the best marriage equality videos I have ever seen. Zero dialog, remarkably real and absolutely magical. This is what matters.

Please share this post, this video, this message with the people in your life. Also, check out http://www.getup.org.au/marriagematters. There are half a dozen ways below this video to share this with all of your friends. Take this step for marriage equality.

That is all, thanks so much.