The West

Before heading off to California, I got the privilege to shoot for a couple evenings with Mumbo, this little bantam hen for a quick video to support the Billings backyard hen initiative, which is slowly making its way to the City Council. It’s a quick shot to raise some awareness around the issue. There were a bunch of people who helped out, who shall remain nameless lest I out their coops to the city.

Continue reading Magic City Hen video & Expo this Saturday

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The guy at the front of the Reno Trader Joe’s checkout line catches my eye and chuckles “A thousand bucks man. Eight days worth of Burning Man chow. For our whole camp. Crazy.” He and his buddy slap down their credit cards on what seems an impossible amount of food to consume in those days, even for people hardlining for some organic, free-range style munchies.

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“My feet. That’s the signal. They start twitching. And I know it’s coming,” C tells me.

Out the window of the rushing train, the sun climbs up out of the eastern horizon of Colorado. I met C early this morning for the first time after she agreed to be interviewed for a project I’m working on that involves Denver’s transit system.

She continues, “You know like on a roller coaster when the car slows at the top?”

“Oh yeh, of course,” I say “There’s that ‘clack, clack, clack’ as the car slows and groans beneath the weight and incline. Then it gets to the top and pauses.”

“Well, when I feel that—that twitching—I sit down ‘cause I know it’s about to happen.”

“Sit no matter where you are? Middle of the street? Anywhere?”

“Anywhere. I have to.”

“And then…”
Continue reading The Mind Eraser

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The cottonwood leaves, like teenagers, can’t sleep. They rattle nervously and drop to the ground or simply hang in the breeze waiting for someone to blow through and lift them away.

Jupiter still lights the twilight with her constancy, bright against dark robed trees. The moon keeps low, almost hiding. I pause to take a photograph of the campfire. Behind me in the darkness, an elk skull sits in a tree, a memento mori placed by a previous visitor to this Forest Service cabin.
Continue reading Acceptable Blasphemies: Reflections on Opening Day

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I’m waiting for the bobcat. She’s all the rage on our street. Neighbors call those with small dogs wondering if they’re inside, as the she was seen strolling towards the Rims with something largish in its mouth (turns out it was a squirrel). A dozen or so sightings this month has my hopes up that she’ll come traipsing past my office window soon.

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After reading Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, Bruce Springsteen sat down, wrote, and recorded “Nebraska,” perhaps his best social and political work. Zinn once said he decided to write A People’s History after listening to Woody Guthrie’s lyrics about Colorado’s Ludlow Massacre. Guthrie goosed Bob Dylan towards political consciousness who in turn moved Springsteen to consider writing stories “from below” — stories against the grain of the “great men” theory of history.

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This summer, Glacier Park Magazine editor Chris Peterson undertook a photographic project to take photos of Montana’s Glacier National Park over 100 consecutive days, starting on May 1, 2009, for a traveling photo show in 2010 to commemorate Glacier’s Centennial. He used a mix of film and digital cameras, including an 8 by 10 field camera, a Kodak Pocket Vest camera, circa 1909, and a Speed Graphic, among others. His idea was to use the cameras that would have been used over the course of the Park’s 100 years.

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