Before the pandemic I started moving away from the fast posts on social media. I don't think there's anything wrong with the fast posts on social media. Seriously. There's a lot wrong with the big social media companies, but after that consideration, it's personal. Does it make you happy? Are you comfortable with the data mining? Is it a healthy relationship? If your answers are coming up yes, great, it's a product that you use, not a tool that uses you. At least not entirely.

Social media didn't really work for me. I wasn't addicted or chasing the likes, but I'd instinctively open it, and I could sense it re-wiring my synapses. A blog makes more sense for me. (Sorry, regular readers. You've heard me talk about this too many times. Typing-Thinking out loud here.)

Then I started getting into zines and the idea of printed work. I've become a big fan of Daniel Milnor, Blurb's creative evangelist, and I liked what he was saying about fighting the urge to post everything in near real-time. What's the point of dumping a bunch of images into blog posts and then repackaging them into a zine later? Hey, check out my zine! Oh, cool, but I've already seen all of those.

That leaves me with a dilemma. One that shouldn't be all that difficult to solve. Hell, I'm not even sure if I was aware of the dilemma a month ago. I'm sure you've had things your mind gets stuck on or stumbles over.

I love writing on my blog, and my blog is often a meandering stream of consciousness. The projects I'd like to do, or ones I think I'm capable of doing, will involve photos, video (amateurish video), audio, and written material. Figuring out how to balance that is challenging. For example, I have some journal notes (not enough) from my trip from Seattle to Phoenix. My idea for Lensatic Essays would have me start right in with a visual essay. My regular old blog wants me to write about what I'm doing and thinking. My interest in zines and print work is begging me to hold off on posting and make the printed work the priority. I know what you're thinking, and you're right - just sort it out you idiot.

I've just got to figure out a good balance I guess. Jason at Darts and Letters combines great storytelling about parenting, nature, and the Pacific Northwest with very carefully selected images. TB does something similar with her Instagram account. Quick short stories that are a subtle celebration of good food, history, and art. Chuck focuses on printed work. (He says writing isn't his thing, but I've very much enjoyed his rare blog posts.) It was great receiving his first No Context zine because it was the first time I'd been able to see the images, put together by him.*** Abstract images that I have no ability to see on my own. Daniel Milnor is something of a hybrid on steroids. He's been blogging forever, and his posts have changed a bit over the years according to personal and professional work, but for the most part his blog posts discuss biking, reading, printing work, etc., with large doses of humor and adventure. We get brief glimpses into the sorts of things he might be writing in his journals or putting in zines, but only glimpses, just enough to gently show people that they might find those activities rewarding, too.

Thanks for listening to my external dialogue that everyone probably would have liked to see me keep to myself. Too bad, kids, I'm posting it. I may need to refer back to it. As I suspected, I think I was creating a dilemma that only partially existed. I use a blog platform that allows tags for a reason.

The only real challenge is with the photos. Less is more. Initially in this post I started including some notes from my journal about the trip from Seattle to Phoenix. I culled and then culled again some images to go along with that, but there are just too many. Less is more. So I'm going to remove that portion of the post and work on it some more.

Still here? I'm including one photo. I'm 99% sure I took this at the Robert L. Mendenhall Scenic Overlook. Lake Mead, the Colorado River, and extreme drought are getting a lot of media coverage these days. Not surprising given the constant barrage of 115+ degrees days. I know weather is not climate. The stories run deeper than damn, today was a hot one...is the world coming to an end?

You can't tell from this photo, but the water levels sure looked low. I don't know enough to know what the normal water levels are, but everything I'm reading sounds alarming. For good measure I should probably search for an article claiming that we don't need to worry about the water levels and drought in the southwest.

Mendenhall Scenic Overlook
Robert L. Mendenhall Scenic Overlook, Nevada, early June 2021. I'm guessing this Mendenhall is related to the Mendenhall of the Mendenhall glacier. I also bet I should know the name.

I took that photo with a Leica IIIa. Not a great image, but it made me happy. My previous roll did not rewind, and I lost it. The rewind knob still seems a bit squishy, but it's probably user error. The newest roll shows evidence of a light leak. It doesn't really show in the photo above.

Still still here? A wonderful mail day. Holy smokes, look at this latest effort from Chuck. I opened it for a peek - a fantastic combination of images and text. I'm going to finish this post and then dive into this zine.

No Context zine.