Musing About This And That – Part 1
It seems to me that the personal level on my blog is often missing now. Ok, I do sometimes talk about personal things in my photo posts, but I believe I did this more often in the past. When you do write a blog for so long, the focus might shift over time. I had a theme installed back then where I didn’t need to upload photos, and that was fine because I was not totally into photography at that time. With my recent theme a photo for the post is always needed, that’s fine too, because now I am into photography. But when you start with a photo, you will be inspired with the photo and your words will be inspired by the photo. Back then when I started with the text content on the old theme, it was the other way around and I spoke a bit more about personal things, sometimes like a waterfall.
This is why I will now start a series called “Musing About This And That”. I will use less important photos for the posts, and my thoughts will not be inspired by the photo but by the things that happened in my life in the recent time. In other words, it’s a series where I will do something that I did very often in the past, writing down some thoughts that I want to get out there. It will be a post series where I mix some things up, not focussed on any subjects, I will write down a mix of thoughts. When I started my blog, I called it a “diary”, the word is in fact still in the domain as I didn’t decide for a new domain yet. I think the word “diary” explains what I want to do with the “Musing About This And That” series on my blog. But it’s just a test, I am not sure how far I will go with the idea.
I just want to get quick thoughts out there, whether or not they are negative or positive. But let me start now. Recently some cool things happened. My uncle who got diagnosed with brain cancer back then feels much better now, he is still terminal ill and it won’t change, but his current condition looks good. He had all kind of problems during the therapies, including speech problems, psychic problems and other issues and he was a hospital frequenter. Now he didn’t have to visit the hospital anymore since quite some time except for some examinations, and he really feels good now. He started to eat well again, he can speak very well again too and there are no psychic problems anyhow. It surprised us all, it changed from one moment to another, we think his brain might not be swollen anymore.
I can talk with him again, as I did before the diagnose, and it makes me happy that we got the gift to spend a wonderful time together again. But then again, the future doesn’t look good, we know it. It seems my uncle got used to the fact, he told me “I am here to enjoy the remaining time, sometimes I want to think about the reality, but overall I rather want to enjoy the positive moments and forget about it for that time”. What is great too, currently he doesn’t need his wheelchair anymore. His disease makes us all feel like sitting in a rollercoaster, his condition can change so fast that it almost makes no sense to write about it. Writing about his current positive condition makes me anxious, because I know it might happen that I have to sound less optimistic another day. It’s been a rollercoaster ride.
I met his oldest daughter on the weekend. She is 14 years old and hangs around with another girl in the same age, they are best friends. I often see them when I visit my grandma, they do often bake cookies and cakes together with grandma. They do it so often that they can’t even eat everything they produced, do you see how I benefit from it? Free cookies and cakes for everyone! They are aware that I take a lot of photos, and they asked me to take “friends” portraits of them both. This happened right in time, because currently I really want to practice portrait photography as the autumn subjects rather bore me this year. I don’t want to sound conceited, but I really shot some awesome portraits of them both. They both were totally excited about the results, and it was a lot of fun for us all.
I wish I could show you the photos, but as I like to beware a bit of privacy for myself, I want to protect my family and friends on the same way. I think this is the right way to deal with the internet, but sometimes it’s also sad because I can’t show you all the cool portraits I shot over time. I told you once, people photography is very difficult to do in Germany, it’s not just about me or my family and friends, it’s that the majority of people in Germany take privacy very serious. But as said, I do it the same, and I understand it. Anyway, it’s a dilemma, because on the one side I want to protect myself and my loved ones, on the other side I start to love the art of portrait and people photography so much that I’d like to take photos of strangers to show the material on my blog. Maybe it’s even a contradiction.
There are other things that happened recently. I play Counter Strike with a friend online again, basically like every autumn, because that’s the best time for gaming, as I mentioned in another post. For us, it’s not just about online gaming, it’s about keeping company with each other too. We talk about the latest events, we talk about this and that during gaming, like I am doing with this blog post right now. I remember that I spoke often with him about the idea to stop smoking, but even if we tried many times, it was always difficult for us. Just recently he told me that he started to use vaporizers, so-called electrical cigarettes. I laughed a bit about it, because how could this be better than smoking a real one? But I listened to him, and some things really made sense and I started to research.
Here are some facts, as far as I am, it’s not meant to be a way of healthy smoking, there are however some benefits related to health. When I smoke a cigarette, it contains around 9 mg and up to 14 mg of nicotine depending on the brand of course, apart from that I do inhale several hundreds of toxins. That’s very different with vaporizers, you don’t burn the tobacco but you heat a liquid, that means there will not be tons of toxins and tar entering your lungs, it’s not smoke but steam. If you mix the liquid on your own, you just mix propylene glycol and vegetarian glycerin as a base, and then you decide how much mg of nicotine you want to add, and last but not least you can even add a flavor. Is this the healthy alternative to smoking? Probably not. Is this less dangerous than smoking? According to my research, this seems more likely. To get to the point, my friend didn’t want to convince me that it’s healthier, he said it’s a way to get control over your habit.
I became interested because there is one interesting point. Instead of burning a tobacco product, vaporizers and self-mixed liquids would allow me to gradually reduce the amount of nicotine that I consume. That’s sounds like a game changers to me. To make the point more clear, my friend told me that he mixed 12 mg and reduced it gradually over time so that he now only consumes no more than 3 mg of nicotine. His goal is to consume a base with no nicotine at all, but at this point he want to quit with the vaporizer too. He tried a real cigarette again, and he said it was a hell, he couldn’t stand it anymore. Now you can come up with all kind of arguments, like vaping is so new, it has not the research history of tobacco products. You could say, it’s unknown what it’s doing to your body, it’s just a substitution for the previous bad habit and so on. But one thing stands out, he almost managed it to get away from nicotine and the other hundred toxins.
To be honest, I am not sold yet on vaping, because I don’t do decisions without thinking about it a lot. But I am interested to hear how this turns out for him. I like the idea that you can get control over the ingredients, that it’s not about burning tobacco but about heating the ingredients you choose. If something new is not around since a long time, we should be careful, but we should be as careful if all media channels start to bash an alternative. Wether or not it is a safer alternative, the control you can get with self-mixed liquids and vaporizers, is an interesting point. I researched hours over hours, and when I see how hard the media tries to only report negatively about e-cigarettes, I get the impression that this is happening because the tobacco industry and pharma industry plays a role too. Both industries lost a customer, it’s my friend, and he is definitely not the only one who decided for an alternative way to get off the cancer sticks or expensive medications. I am not sure what is worse, inhaling several hundreds of toxins, or trying a not well researched alternative that actually helps to get off it.
To blow all the smoke and steam aside, I am still thinking about getting a 50mm prime lens. No, in fact I am already so far to be sure that I want to play with a 50mm prime lens and I’d like to get my hands on the Nikon 50mm 1.8g lens. Over the last days I mobilized, I logged into my Ebay and Ebay classifieds accounts, I searched through every listing and did set my bids on several offers, on the classifieds website I emailed and called some people who wanted to sell the lens. On Ebay I was outbidden, on the classifieds website I got told several times that I came too late. Generally I don’t like the idea to purchase used products, but we are talking about a 200€ lens here, and we talk about a lens that definitely would not be the main lens in my arsenal. Talking about the 200€ retailer price in Germany, I did set my budget on 120€ when I bid on the lens or if I contact the sellers of classified listings. I won’t purchase the lens for a cent more than that for now.
Here is something not related to photography in general, it’s more about bidding and purchasing used things. You definitely need to know what a used product is worth to you. If you didn’t set a price for yourself, you won’t make a good deal but you will bid through the roof. Just a few days ago I saw how someone did just that, I am not sure if it was family or fake bidding, but if not, the person didn’t get a good deal and ended up purchasing a used lens for 10€ less compared to a new lens. This happens if people don’t do research, if they are driven by impulse bidding and so on. Will I get the lens for 120€? It will probably take a bit of time, because it’s mostly running out for 130€ – 150€, but my point is that I definitely know what I want, and I really want to make that deal. I might add 10€ to my budget after some weeks but as said, when it comes to used products, it’s about yourself and what it’s worth in your opinion, and you should act determined.
The lens is worth 200€ if it’s new, that’s just how it is, but I am not gonna pay an amount close to it when it’s already used. My budget is actually much higher, but I try to kill two flies with just a single clap of the hands. I will try to get this one used for the mentioned price, and then there is still enough budget leftover to purchase a brand new 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Sigma macro lens in addition. This is basically my current goal, there are still some alternatives on my list, but that’s really what I try at the moment. The 50mm prime lens could be fun, but I would just use it here and there, but I am very interested to play with a macro lens, and it would be cool if I can achieve both things with my piggy bank. I think this blog post is now long enough, there is not much more in my mind…
If you liked this type of blog post, let me know it in the comment section. It’s just a new idea, but now that I finished the first post, I think it’s a great way to get back to free writing and to get some of my recent thoughts off my chest. Sometimes it’s just not worth it to create individual posts for every single thought. I think my mixed “Musing About This And That” post will allow me to talk about several things at once like a waterfall. Let me know if you like the idea too.