Work and travel plans in 2010

“Keep working on cruise ships, though structuring the my time away better than last year to maximize time in Berlin/with friends/doing my own thing.”

Win! I could have structured my time at home better than I did, but at least I did it better than 2009. I took all of May and most of June off work, which was a bit unfortunate due to the bad weather in May, but it was nice to have my parents over for nine days. Also I took all of September and most of November off work, though spent none of September at home.

“I already know I’ll be visiting, on various cruises, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, India, and Dubai for the first time, along with a few other places. I may be going to Antarctica again too.”

Win! Although this was a general “I want to see new places” kind of wish, rather than a goal in and of itself. Here is a list of all the countries I visited in 2010 (as normal I use the Century Travelers Club list of countries):

Uruguay.
Chile.
The Falkland Islands.
Argentina.
Antarctica… but didn’t leave the ship.
South Korea… but only in Seoul airport.
Guam.
Papua New Guinea.
Australia.
New Zealand.
China… but only in Hong Kong airport.
Qatar… but only in Doha airport.
India.
Oman.
Dubai, UAE.
Spain.
France.
Italy.
Greece.
Turkey.
Montevideo.
Switzerland… but only in Zurich airport.
England.
Denmark.
Germany.
Estonia.
Faroe Islands.
Iceland.
Greenland.
Newfoundland, Canada.
South Africa.
Namibia.
Finland.
Norway.
Netherlands.
Poland.
USA.
Canary Islands.
Belgium.
Corsica.
Vatican City.
Portugal.
Madeira.
Barbados.
Trinidad and Tobago.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Grenada.

47 countries, and 19 of those I visited for the first time. Not bad for one year!

“On top of work travel, spend some frequent flier points and travel home from various gigs independently. In this way I hope to spend a week in New Zealand, and a week in Japan.”

Win! Although as you can tell from the list above that I decided against New Zealand and Japan. I did, however, use my work travels to visit more places, and see more people, and not always try to get home as quickly as possible. I spent frequent flier miles to visit Rome for three days in November, but all my other travels I either arranged for free through work or spent my own money.

“Go to Poland. I live really close, but have never been. What’s up with that?”

Win. I was invited to perform at a juggling convention in Poland.

“Spend four to six weeks in New York. I’ve visited the city for a few weeks, but I want to get to know the city better. I hear so many people from there talk about it, and I want to experience it all first hand. ”

Win. Actually, I was there the 26 days, not four weeks. But I think that counts. It was an amazing month away, and certainly the highlight of my year.

“Maybe, if I can sort the dates right, I might go to DragonCon, to nerd out with the scifi and podcasting geeks.”

Fail. This was a spur of the moment addition to the list, and was never really a serious plan. I made sure that I arrived in New York before DragonCon began, just in case I got the motivation to go, but I never seriously thought would happen.


Jugglers’ Calendar 2011

I decided a fun way to share some of my photography would be to collect various portraits of jugglers into a 2011 calendar (plus Jan 2012). This is the perfect gift for the New Year, from me to you.

I have no permissions from any of these jugglers, so while I’m sure they wouldn’t mind you printing out a calendar, don’t try to make money with these images or anything like that. The images were captured at the four juggling conventions I attended this year, mostly during performances.

Here is the zip file of high resolution jpgs.













The jugglers are:

January: Patrik Elmnert and Wes Peden. Tempei Arakawa.

February: Guillaume Martinet and Stefan Sing. Pol and Freddy.

March: Sophie Zoletnik. Erik Aberg.

April: Jan Frisch. Intrika. Jay Gilligan and Eric.

May: Petter Wadsten. Viktor Gyllenberg.

June: Marco Paoletti. Zap.

July: Stefan and Cristiana in Tangram.

August: Declan Mee. Jochen Pfeiffer and Bar Mualem.

September: Eric Longequel. Cie Ea Eo.

October: Komei Aoki. Rumpel.

November: Daniel Shultz. Frida Odden and Luke Wilson.

December: Audrey Decaillon. Emilia Tau and Leo Cristiani.

January 2012: Bertrand Caudevelle aka. Beber. Morgan Cosquer.

I hope you enjoy these images!


Plans and Goals for 2010 in review.

Back at the beginning of the year I made a list on my blog of many plans and goals for 2010. The list wasn’t very well thought out, I just wrote it as I went, putting down things I wanted to accomplish in various areas.

When I later counted them up, the total number of plans and goals randomly came to 50. After a while I started tracking these in a spreadsheet, and at the end of every month I would tick off what I had accomplished (Win), what I was working on (In The Works), what I intended to get to in the future (Future Win), and where I had failed (Fail).

This would be very helpful, except that every win or fail was worth an equal number of points in this spreadsheet. For example, I decided to write an album’s worth of songs for the year, and this was worth one point, and at the same time I wanted to check if my iPhone could record audio as a dictaphone to use in podcasts, and this was also worth one point.

Going to four conventions? One point.

Playing a computer game? One point.

Writing a novel? One point.

Buying a new camera bag? One point.

Also, for some reason, I listed doing more juggling podcasts under both the juggling and podcasting sections of my stated goals.

So here are the results.

At the beginning of the year there were, of course, 50 things in the “future win” column and the other columns were empty. By the end of the year:

Fail: 12.45
Future win: 0
In the works: 2.5
Win: 35.05

Not bad, I think.

In fact, I don’t know if this is good or bad, because I’ve never tracked personal projects quite so specifically before.

And, to be very clear about this, I did way more than I outlined on this list. Some of the most interesting things I did this year, and some of my biggest accomplishments, I didn’t foresee in January. How could I? I might write a whole other blog post about the things I’ve learnt in 2010, and how I’ve developed as a person, as they feel more important than ticking boxes on a hastily and shoddily compiled a list.

Anyway, I’m going to take address these plans and goals for 2010 in a series of individual blog posts over the coming week. I’m mostly writing these blog posts for me, to help me keep track of what I’ve accomplished. If you haven’t noticed, that’s one of the main functions of this blog; to help me keep a centralized record that is easily searchable and browsable.


Photos with family/New camera stuff

In the past few months I bought myself a new camera (a Canon 60D) and my first external flash unit. I felt as though I had improved enough that I was no longer the weakest link in my equipment collection, and the quality of my previous camera (a 500D) was holding me back. And after dropping my camera in July it has been held together by sticky tape.

Also I feel that I’ve learnt enough about using “available light” and was inspired by a book (The Moment it Clicks by Joe McNally) to start learning about strobes.
Also I feel that I've learnt enough about using

Equipped with my new toys, I turned up to my sister’s home, and she asked me to take some “nice portraits”.

I’ve never done any kind of formal portrait, and the only person who ever poses for my camera is me. Virtually ever picture I capture of human subjects is candidly.

So not only was I trying to work out the controls on the new camera, and completely winging it with the new flash, I also had to deal with four girls aged 4 to 8 years old!
So not only was I trying to work out the controls on the new camera, and completely winging it with the new flash, I also had to deal with four girls aged 4 to 8 years old!

And with the mother of the girls, who got progressively more frustrated with their refusal to sit or stand still or pose for the camera.
And with the mother of the girls, who got progressively more frustrated with their refusal to sit or stand still or pose for the camera.

I felt like a complete novice again, as though I had no idea what was going on, and I had to relearn everything from scratch. If there are 4 kids in the frame, and you want a shallow depth of field, how do you line them up so they are all in focus? I think I need a DOF calculator on my iPhone. Oh yeah, I broke my iPhone.

Inevitably, the vast majority of photos that worked were the ones where I didn’t tell anyone I was taking a photo, and just snapped away in my normal style. Or when I said “Do something stupid!” and the girls pulled stupid faces.
Inevitably, the vast majority of photos that worked were the ones where I didn't tell anyone I was taking a photo, and just snapped away in my normal style. Or when I said

If you ever want me to work as photographer, say at a wedding or something, don’t expect anything controlled. I’ll hang out and take photos, and you can just get one with, and we can just both hope I randomly get “Bride and Bridesmaids with Mother of the Groom” and anything else on the traditional shot list.

Meanwhile, here’s the lot:

















Note to self: read the previous note to self where you wrote “Autofocus in falling snow is never a good idea!”
Note to self: read the previous note to self where you wrote

Finally, John has no recent photo to send people for use in programs where he is going to speak, so I tried to do the best “headshot” I could while small girls ran into my legs.
Finally, John has no recent photo to send people for use in programs where he is going to speak, so I tried to do the best

John is a church minister. I hope I made him look suitable. New note to self: strobes and glasses don’t mix well.
John is a church minister. I hope I made him look suitable. New note to self: strobes and glasses don't mix well.

That’s it! I hope I have many more learning experiences in the new year.