(mostly) daily photoblog

Posts tagged “Star Wars

A juxtaposition of religion

This is a Catholic church that is in Jakarta, directly across the street from the Masjid Istiqlal (the mosque from my photo a few days ago).  Before moving here, I was given the impression that there was tension between Islam and Christianity in Jakarta, but I’ve not found that yet.  There seems, from the people with whom I’ve spoken, to be a mutual respect.

Also, is it just me, or is the ceiling a little tribute to Darth Vader?  I am a huge fan of all things Star Wars, and sometimes I think I see Star Wars everywhere, but the ceiling really does look a little Vader-ish, right?


What should I do with a bag I don’t use?

I bought a shoulder bag from Old Navy years ago and it’s been sitting in my closet.  I found it while cleaning and decided that, seeing as I wasn’t using it anyway, I’d modify it and stencil a little something on it.  It’s a nice bag, but I’d nearly forgotten I had it.

I admit that I have a little problem when it comes to three things:  bags, jackets and shoes.

I buy shoes very rarely, but I’m very specific.  I buy shoes that I know will last many years.  My Doc Martens have been around for more than five years.  I have one pair of Converse All-Stars, but they’re Batman shoes (the DC Comics release last summer).  I’m pretty picky.

I love a good coat, but most of them serve both a fashion and practical purpose.

But bags?  I’ve got backpacks – a couple of different daypacks and I still have the first Mountain Equipment Co-op backpack I ever bought.  I’ve got a 100 liter duffle bag that my wife once climbed into.  I’ve got a laptop briefcase and a laptop backpack and two different camera bags – one to hold all of my gear and a smaller bag that’ll hold my camera and an extra lens.  And then there’s the…well, I think that’s enough.

I guess my other problem is that once I’ve got a good bag, pair of shoes or jacket, I’ll never let it go.  Why get rid of it if it works?  I’ve learned that if I’m not using it, I should get crafty and change it and then I’m suddenly more interested in using it.

Oh, and yes, that is Boba Fett.   I guess Star Wars would be my fourth “problem”.


Snowflakes + Star Wars = AWESOME!

I love Christmas Holidays.  It gives me time to “craft”.  And…

Ha!  Hahahahahaaaa….no seriously.  I don’t “craft”.  I take photos.  That’s my hobby.  But when some evil genius designs Star Wars snowflake templates, I jump into action.  For my son…yeah…not for me…my son.

Here’s the details.  Anthony Herrera, a graphic designer, has designed a bunch of snowflake templates that appeal to the Star Wars geek in me.  If you want to download the designs and spend hours meticulously cutting them out with a scalpel and a self-healing cutting mat, here’s the link:  Star Wars Snowflakes.

BTW, if I’ve not said it already, Anthony Herrera is AWESOME!


WordPress Photo Challenge: Self Portrait

I am not one who likes to put himself in front of the camera.

In front of a crowd?  Yes.

In front of a classroom?  Yes.

In front of my peers?  Sure.

In front of my elders?  You bet.

In front of small children?  Why not.

In front of the camera?  I’d prefer not.

So this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge was more of a personal challenge for me than a photographic one.  In response, here is a collage of things that make up me.  Consider it a self-portrait, of sorts, please.  If you need an explanation of any of it, please ask.


Photo Friday: Recreation(al reading)

I’ve had the chance to do a lot of reading this summer and very little of it was applicable to my profession (which makes it awesome).  Photo Friday’s challenge this week is Recreation and I couldn’t think of a better definition of recreation than the reading list that exists in this photo.  Please allow me to explain a couple of things.  I have a Bachelor of Arts, with a major in English Literature.  I am a teacher of 11th and 12th grade English, creative writing and student leadership.  I am an unabashed comic book fan.

My reading list for tonight, above, is indicative of all that I find fun, exciting and interesting about the offerings of literature.  Here’s what you see above:

1.  Image Comics Trade Paperback 1st volume of Elephantmen.  I’m going to caution you about this series.  It is incredible, but involves a great deal of disturbing concepts and visuals.  It involves a number of Animal/Human hybrids who were the brainchild of, from what I’ve deduced, a psychopathic geneticist who saw them as his greatest achievement and a weapon to use against humankind.  They rebelled, or were decommissioned, and are now trying to fit into general society.  They re-created their own purpose.  Interesting premise, if you can get past the violence.

2.  DC Comics Trade Paperbacks (Superman, Superboy, Batman).  I’m not even going to explain this one.  If you don’t know who these characters are, shame on you.  Recreational superhero reading.  Yay!

3.  Marvel Comics Ultimate X-Men.  Mark Millar reimagined (re-created?) the iconic X-Men back in 2001 and retold the original series in a modernized setting.  From what I gather, the series was re-created in Ultimate form in order to bring in younger comics readers who couldn’t keep up with the many iterations of X-Men that existed as of the turn of the century, so Millar put his much loved edge to the series and rebooted it.  Very cool.  Seriously.  I would love to have Magneto’s hair.

4.  Dark Horse Comics Star Wars: The Old Republic.  This TPB (trade paperback) collected comics based on a video game based on a fictional history based on the movies of Star Wars.  Yup.  If you don’t get that, smile, nod, and move on.  Pure recreation.

5.  Terry Moore’s independently-published Echo.  This is the first volume TPB of Echo.  It’s about a photographer named Julie who accidentally witnesses the destruction of a military experiment.  The result is that she is exposed to a high-tech metal that fuses with part of her body and the repercussions involved.  She realizes that her life has been changed, re-created, and starts to accept her new purpose.  Lots of humor and adventure.  I can’t wait to read more.

6.  Vertigo Comics Fables:  Rose Red.   This series, which I’ve only read in TPB format, is incredible.  This is the 15th volume and it centers on Snow White’s sister, Rose Red.  The entire series is based on the idea that there is (was?) a war in the worlds of the Fables and our most beloved of them move into our world and occupy a magical borough called Fabletown in the city of New York.  The vulnerability and power of the Fables themselves is based entirely in our knowledge and belief in them.  This means that Snow White, thanks to Walt Disney, is nigh unto invulnerable to any attack (in fact, she is shot in the head by Goldilocks and recovers within weeks).  Incredible writing; incredible visuals; even more incredible creativity re-creating characters with whom we are so familiar.

7.  Finally, Onward by Howard Schultz.  I’ve barely cracked this book and already I’m impressed.  I wanted to read this book after I watched Schultz speak, on Piers Morgan Tonight,  about his boycott on political campaign contributions and impressed me with his seeming integrity and forthrightness.  It seems to me that he is re-creating the American business landscape and I want to know more about him.  So far (the Introduction) it’s interesting and bold.  I like it.

So, that’s my recreational reading.  What’s yours like?  Who or what do you read during your leisure time?


May the Fourth be with you…always

It’s May 4 and in the Casa del Bergen we celebrate Star Wars Day with some serious vigor.  Above is how we celebrate May the Fourth in our house.  It’s kind of a big deal around here.  I am a fanboy and have been working hard on passing down that feeling of total loyalty to that franchise of epic proportions.

My son, Ben (as in Ben Kenobi) has definitely caught the Star Wars fever.  He can quote from the movies; he watches Clone Wars on tv whenever he can.  He’s hooked and I’m so proud.

My daughter, Hannah (as in Han Solo – my wife thinks she picked the names, but I used a Jedi mind trick on her.  I’m trying to convince her to buy a dog so we can name it Chewbacca) can name most of the characters, but she’s growing out of the phase where she cares.  I think that she will come back someday into the geeky family fold.

My wife, however, is the great Star Wars hero in the family.  Not because she even really cares.  No.  It’s because she lets us indulge in all this inanity.  Thanks, honey.

May the Fourth be with you.  May the Force be with you, always.


Oh, sure. Darth Vader can fire the Death Star, but the rest of us have to conserve.

TK 413 was pretty sure that riding his bike was saving the environment, but he longed to ride his speeder again.

And he was darn sure that Darth Vader wasn’t riding his Schwinn.


Scattered Trees are awesome

I took the family B out to Cheam Lake Wetlands yesterday.  We’ve finally had some rain-free days, so I thought we should take advantage of them.  We had set out to visit Bridal Veil Falls, but the park/trail was closed, so we improvised.  The walk around the wetlands was great.  There were a lot of photos I would have loved to have taken, but they were only accessible via hip waders.  This shot was taken from a floating bridge. It was, in fact, taken 180 degrees rotated from this vantage point.  Please feel free to stand on your head or flip your laptop upside down to see it the way I originally saw it.  When I was processing it, I felt that it needed the rotation.  The reflection looked so much more appealing from this perspective.

The title of this post, by the way, refers to what could possibly be the greatest music video ever.  I am a Star Wars nut and this video is just amazing.  Check out the Scattered Trees.


Steve, the lonely Snowtrooper.

“Join the Corps!” his friends told him.  “See the galaxy.”

No one told Steve that the galaxy would be this cold.  If only he had some hot cocoa.


New recruits have to ride bicycles until they pass the TIE fighter pilot test.

“Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me.  Who parked this thing here?  How am I going to get to work?”


You think you’ve had a bad day?

Luke, quick!  Your lightsaber is just off to your left.  Just use the force and you’ll be able to avoid the scary Wampa heading your way.

Uh…I might have a little too much psychologically invested in Star Wars.  Thanks a lot, George Lucas.

My son got a lot of Lego for Christmas and all of it was Star Wars, which is to say I got to live vicariously through my son as we, I mean he, got to build all of it.  Awesome!


When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master.

Lord Vader, here, is mounted to my dashboard.  My son and I refer to the minivan as “The Executor,” a Super Star Destroyer made specifically to act as Vader’s flagship.  I am 36 years old and I have a Star Wars obsession.

Funny.  I thought that the first step in fixing the problem was admitting it, but right now I’m just jonesing for a Star Wars fix.  I think I might go watch “Empire Strikes Back” for the 53rd time.  Or maybe one of the animated series.  Or maybe…

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 50mm; f1.7; ISO 100; 1/800 sec.


Padawans

The force is strong with them.

My kids, the girl with the braid and the blond boy next to her, received their diplomas stating that their training as Jedi was complete.  I’m pretty sure I was giggling and wishing that I could have been up their with them.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f9; ISO 100; 1/250 sec.


Argh…

I can’t believe I get to see Vader.  The real Vader.  Darth Vader.  The Darth Va…what?  He’s not the real Vader?  But…(sob), but…

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f6.3; ISO 100; 1/125 sec.


Stormtroopers

Disneyland has an attraction called “Jedi Training Academy.”  Both of my children were called up, along with a couple dozen more, to the stage, given Jedi robes and lightsabers and taught to fight like Jedi.

I liked this attraction.  Actually, I loved this attraction.  After the kids have been trained, the Imperial Death March starts up and two stormtroopers (above) run down the aisle and onto the stage.  The stage floor starts rising and Darths Vader and Maul jump out and duel with every one of the Jedi trainees.

I, overcome with emotion and joy, leaned over to my wife and quietly exclaimed, “I think I just peed myself a little.”

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f5.6; ISO 100; 1/250 sec.


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