The Long Distance Commute

When I became aware that I might be accepting a job that was over sixty miles away from my house, I tried to research the ways of the road warrior on the internet.  I didn’t really find too much.  There were some stories of people who would commute an hour and a half each way to work (usually by train in a large city like New York), but not too many stories of people who drove an hour (or more) to work each way.  I wanted to know if there were any tips or tricks of handling the traffic and what to expect.

I’ve only been commuting to my new job for two weeks and I am sooooooo done with this drive.  I want to move to a place that is between five or ten minutes from my new job and I wanted that done yesterday.

The drive itself doesn’t bother me too much; although the drive back home seems infinitely longer than the drive to work.  (Honestly, us Metro Detroiters are used to driving anyway).  What bothers me is the two hours that is missing from my day, every day.  The ten hours that is missing from my week, every week.  How do long distance commuters deal with that?!  I want the scoop.

I’ve tried less sleep, going down to about seven hours a night.  The next place I could cut back, I suppose, would be on grooming – wear no make-up?  My hair doesn’t look too bad if I let it air dry instead of blow drying it and it saves me about five to ten minutes.  I started doing that when I was running late one day.

The real solution, is moving…

I’m still curious about what people do when they love their jobs but love where they live and have a long, horrible commute.


April 18th is Record Store Day

If you are a person who loves music, it is likely that you have gone to a record store.  It is also likely that some of your favorite record stores no longer exist.  (I can think of at least three.)

I am really excited about celebrating Record Store Day this year!  (And no, Best Buy is not a record store.)

So join me and other music lovers across the country by going into your local record store this Saturday and supporting them.  I am excited about stopping in some of the places I used to frequent as a teenager with a lot of spending money, and although I don’t have that kind of cash to throw around now, I wish I did.

If you are looking for some places to go in Metro Detroit, three locations right off of Gratiot are Record Time, Hot Hits and Melodies and Memories.  Those shops are located in the Roseville/Eastpointe area.  There’s also Rockabilly’s, which is off of Hall Road near downtown Utica.  Royal Oak used to have an awesome record store that also had great posters and rare recordings, but they’ve been gone for years.  I think they may have been shut down for selling bootlegs… but I’m not sure.  Anyway, I haven’t been to Royal Oak in awhile so I don’t know if there are any good stores there.  If anyone knows of any other record stores in the area, let me know!

The future of photography?

It was my grandfather’s birthday this past weekend, so I decided to start a photo project.  I went through family photos, both digital and printed, in order to find six that would fit the frame.  I converted the newer prints to black and white, so they would match the older prints, (which were taken before color film was available.

Here is my favorite photograph that I chose:

Grandpa with my dad and aunt

Grandpa with my dad and aunt

Most of the old prints I found were printed on Kodak Velox paper.  I am kind of curious about who the photographer was for this picture (likely my grandmother) and I am also curious about the type of camera that was used.  Perhaps I will ask my grandfather and see if he remembers.

It is interesting to think about the evolution of photography, and the future of photography.  I started out as a darkroom photographer who shot and developed 35mm black and white film.  Now, I mostly work digitally, although I still have much of my darkroom equipment and two 35 mm SLR cameras.

It is interesting to think of what might happen when film is completely eliminated.  One aspect of photography which might be lost in the transition is film grain.  Although digital cameras do have some type of grain/noise at fast shutter speeds, it is entirely possible that in the future cameras will be able to take pictures in this manner without any grain or noise.  What would that mean for people who like that kind of texture in their work (I’m thinking of Anton Corbijn)?  It could be as simple as adding grain in Photoshop (kind of like the way people convert color photos to black in white instead of actually shooting in b&w).  I am wondering how my potential grandchildren or great-granchildren will sort through family pictures.  On a computer, or will something else come along?

Selling your rights for a little money


I just came across this website called noequivalent art, where they claim to be able to make you money as a photographer.

The way they do it… is not something I would ever do.

Here’s a direct quote from their faq, which explains how their website works:

“Prior to posting your image you need to

  • Own the image and hold all rights to it. (authorship, copyright, and privacy releases)
  • Be comfortable that you are in the possession of all the high resolution versions of the image. (Otherwise, the image might already not be unique)

When posting the image you need to

  • Have NoEquivalent be the exclusive marketer of the image. (You cannot sell a unique image through two channels. If somehow both sell, the image is not unique.)

Once the image is sold, you need to

  • Assign copyright, excluding claim of authorship, to the buyer. (Transferring the unique image)
  • Get rid of all high resolution copies of the image. (The buyer will now have the unique copy)
  • Promise not to author a similar work. (Completing your part in ensuring the sold image remains unique)

So basically, you are not only giving up your rights to that image itself, as well as any personal hi-res copies you may want to keep or show (say… for your portfolio!?), but you are also restricted from “authoring” similar images. [Actually you are allowed to keep low-res images for your portfolio… how kind of them!]

The promise of uniqueness that the site strives for seems to imply that you would likely be unable to use other images that you took of the same location or during the same photoshoot.  This may also be an issue if you tend to shoot similar objects/animals/locations.  Many photographers do take hundreds of photos on one shoot or one location and under this system, these photos would become unprofitable or worthless to the photographer.

These requirements are equivalent to telling a musician that not only is that song not yours anymore (since you signed over the rights) but you must destroy any demo recordings you own, destroy the lyrics in your possession, and by the way, you are not allowed to write any similar songs, or to play that song in the future.  Ever.

Oh, but you’ll get about $500 bucks for your trouble.

Oh wait.

“Each image sells for somewhere between $500 and $800 US, with the artist controlling the price within this range. At sale, the artist receives 40% of the image price.

So… you’ll actually get less.  A lot less.

Personally, I think these type of ventures are more damaging than rewarding, and are aimed at people who may not understand the liabilities.  And many other photographers (see comments on this photography blog) tend to agree.

New Beginnings

Ahh.  My first blog post.

Eventually I’ll have everything all set up but for now I’ve updated the banner photo on my iLike page!   The original photograph is courtesy of my good friend Matt @

I’m working on several projects now, including setting up space to record some new (and old) songs, moving things around, and tuning a very old piano that I just purchased on Craigslist.

I’m also still working on getting any music/art related links out here on the web connected to this blog.  So I don’t have a lot to say right now, but I have a ton of stuff to do.  I’ll try to update at least once a week.