Sunday, July 13, 2008

Conversations with myselves

or MPS* meets Nikon with a remote shutter. Click HERE for the rest of my 2am insomnia pictures.....

(*Multiple Personality Syndrome aka Split Personality)

9 comments:

jannx said...

An interesting group of photos. Isn't it great to live in a place where you can just walk out of your home at 2am without worrying about who is out, or what might happen to you...or your camera. Your photos reminded me of my time in Japan, where I could walk at at any time with barely a thought of danger. I said barely because I am from NYC and old habits (and imagines...and memories) do die hard.

About the pillars. I would have to agree that they are probably only temporary. It would be an incredibly sloppy job if the pillars (all with wood spacers) were left in place.

State liquor store. I thought this was very interesting. So does that mean Utah has a significantly lower number of alcohol related incidences (compared to a similar size state that doesn't sell liquor)? Thinking outloud. No answer needed.

Again, an interesting group of photos. I was also glad to see a few photos of the man behind the site. Maybe one of these days I'll get up the courage to do the same.

Thanks for sharing your 2am insomnia photos.

A Paperback Writer said...

Fun pictures. Everything looks so peaceful at that time of day.
But what intrigues me the most is that you felt relaxed about wandering all over at that time of night alone. Yes, I know: you're a man, a big man with a loud voice. It makes a difference. I wouldn't DARE go out by myself and wander about taking pics at that time of day. And yet you saw a woman walked by alone while you were out. wow. I guess I'm just paranoid. I'm even spooky about the early mornings (4:30-ish) shoveling the snow when I have to. I am envious of your freedom to do what you did, much more envious of that than I am of your ability to take really cool pictures and play with them on the computer.
If I couldn't sleep at that time of day, I'd be up reading or surfing the net, or writing something.

Max said...

Jannx; One of the nice things about living in Salt Lake is that, in a lot of ways, it still is just a small town. The only worries I had were being bugged for money or having to explain to the cops what I’m doing standing in the middle of the road with a camera and tripod at 2 in the morning. Part of it is, as Writer says, I’m a guy and a big guy at that, so I have less to worry about than women. Fact of life. But there are places in SLC that I wouldn’t go at that time of night, and as you said NYC is a whole other story, so most of it is that Salt Lake is just a small town. There’s just about a million people living in Salt Lake County (less than 200,000 in Salt Lake City itself), which if you go to this page http://www.srossi.net/ObamaIn08/2008/07/nycslccompare.html you can see how the valley compares to New York City.
Now, the State Liquor Store is kind of interesting. The government agency that oversees all alcohol sales in Utah is called the Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (UABCC). All alcohol coming into the state has to be cleared through the UABCC, so if you are coming in from outside the US, do not go through customs here in SLC, they will confiscate all your alcohol. The really funny thing about the UABCC is that it governed by a panel of 12 people, and up until just a few years ago, they All were teetotalers, not a drinker among the bunch. We now have a single drinker on the panel. Over the years this has made for some amusing, and counterproductive, liquor laws here. For years drinks were not allowed to be free-poured, you had to buy mini-bottles of booze and have the drink mixed with that. Ironically, the average drink takes 1 oz of liquor, mini bottles have 1 ½ ounces. Another good one was the bring your own bottle law. Restaurants were not allowed to sell wine with dinner, so you had to bring your own bottle. The catch was that you weren’t allowed to bring any home with you, so you had to drink it all there. Since you couldn’t buy more, people usually brought too much, and had to either throw it away or drink it all. Guess which one they choose most often? Then you could buy it at the restaurant, but you couldn’t order your before dinner drinks until you were seated and had ordered dinner, which led to many people having their cocktails at home and then driving to the restaurant. There are a lot more examples, and we have a Governor and Mayor of SLC that are pushing to make more sense of the laws, so things are getting better.
Writer ; Yeah, part of the reason I like going out at that time of night is that it is so peaceful. And, as a big guy, I’m lucky that I can do it in relative safety. Just one thing, though. Those are all the original photos, I didn’t mess around with them on the computer. I got multiple images of myself on there by setting the shutter speed to 30 seconds and then moving every 10 seconds. One of the benefits of taking the pictures in the middle of the night….

A Paperback Writer said...

Yes, but you know how to post a whole page of them through a website. I don't. That's still "messing around with them on the computer" as far as I'm concerned.
Ah yes. Utah liquor laws-- a joke even among Molly Mormons like me.
Did you ever listen to Z93 on the radio back in the day? When disc jockeys John Carter and Dan Bomice used to do that whole routine about the Church of the Whited Sepluchre and the Relic of the Holy Minibottle? Oh my but that was funny. So funny that I remember it more than a decade later....
And, oddly enough, I used to walk clear across Edinburgh after midnight and not worry too much (a little). The reason there, though, was that Edinburgh is NOT a small town with a lot of people in it the way SLC is; it's a big city that's rather small. In other words, people there act like it's a big city, even though it isn't. Thus, if you walk about at 2:00 AM there, there are plenty of people still out on the streets -- enough people that there would be witnesses to any mugging or whatever. This is obviously a deterrant. More than once, I made a 45 minute walk from one side of town to the other at about 1:00 AM -- and had no more happen to me than if it had been 1:00 PM instead. I wouldn't try that in SLC because -- other than the assorted insomniacs out taking pictures in the park -- most safe SLC folks are not out on the streets at 2:00 (maybe in their cars on the way home from something, but not out on the streets). People walk in Edinburgh. Few decent people walk the streets of SLC at that time. So, most people I saw on the streets of Edinburgh in the wee hours were a bit drunk but perfectly safe (since they weren't driving, that is). Most people you'd meet walking in SLC at that time would be cops, gang bangers, drug dealers, the homeless, and people scouting out victims. Edinburgh thinks like a city-- and you can walk the dog at 2:00 AM there. SLC thinks like a small town -- and "good folk" are in bed at 2:00 in that mentality.
Does that make sense?

Max said...

Actually, it does make a lot of sense. We, myself included, are way too dependent on our vehicles, the price we have paid for all these years of cheap gas. Europeans in general are a lot more independent of their cars, they walk, bike and ride scooters a lot more than we do. But then again they're a lot less likely to get mowed down by a Suburban or Excursion when on the scooters that we are. Kind of a catch 22. I know a lot of people who would drive scooters more if more people drove scooters. Or at least if fewer people drove Suburbans, while talking on their cell phones. (You just knew I was going to get that in there somewhere!)

A Paperback Writer said...

That's all right. I hate cell-drivers too.
Did you know that CA recently passed a law forbidden all hand-held phones for drivers? They can still have a blue tooth, which is still distracting, but at least they're not going to be texting while driving..... (I think. Can you text o n a blue tooth?)

jannx said...

A very interesting blog not only for the photos created, but the conversations that resulted. Those were some wild examples of "helpful" state laws concerning liquor sales. Some of those laws made no sense.

About being out after dark. Paperback made a good point. Being male makes it easier to go and do things that women would not, or should not do due to the times we are living in. In Japan, I felt comfortable going to the 7-eleven at 1 or 2am without thinking about it. Here in NYC, I get a bit nervous when it starts to get dark. Here is where people can get killed for looking at someone the wrong way.

Max said...

No, I don't think you can text on a blue tooth, but you certainly look like something out of Star Trek with those things on. Personally, I'd like to see Utah pass some laws, last year a 17 year old was killed by a driver texting just down the street from my house.
Liquor laws, you get some really absurd laws when they are drafted by people who have no idea of the culture of drinking, and I don't mean alcoholics. These people do not drink, probably never have drank, and probably don't associate with people who drink. Fortunately, since our new Governor appointed a drinker to the board (1 of 12), there have been some rational changes that don't loosen up the laws, but make them more reasonable.
Gender is an issue when it comes to safety after dark, but so is size. As a 6'1" 250+lb man, I'm less likely to be attacked than most any woman, but then again, I know some women who would be safer than a smaller, less imposing man. At least I would htink so...
And finally, thanks to everyone who comments on here - I also really like the conversations going on here, and appreciate all the input and comments..thanks.

A Paperback Writer said...

Jannx,
I've been to New York 10 times. Unfortunately, I've never left the airport. However, I assume it's rather like London or Paris or Moscow or LA (all of which I have been to) and you are probably most wise not to wander about by yourself late at night.
Yes, gender and size make a difference. I accept that. I think it's probably been that way ever since neolithic times.
But attitude makes a difference, too. We're all teachers. We've all seen kids of various sizes and both genders who just have "victim" written all over them and are a target for bullies.
I started travelling without my parents at the tender age of 11 (school tour to Mexico for that one). I did my first dance tour (to CA) when I was 15 and my first European tour at 16. I've been a woman (granted, I'm no petite, dainty little lady) in strange places alone many times.
I think I first figured out how to handle it when I was 16 and I took a wrong turn and got separated from my group -- in the red light district of Copenhagen, Denmark. There were shop windows there displaying stuff I'd NEVER suspected existed before. I was horrified and knew I was vulnerable. But I acted like I knew exactly what I was doing. I walked quickly and confidently, not letting the anxiety show in my face. And no one paid me heed. I used that trick when I had to get across Munich by subway a few days later. I was alone. I had never ridden a subway in my life. The people I'd been staying with spoke no English and my German was about 10 words. But they'd written down "Marienplatz" as the stop I needed. (Yes, I still remember -- but it's a famous plaza.) I remember thinking: I can't let anyone know I don't know how to do this. I was horribly anxious that I'd take the wrong train (they were color-coded) or get off in the wrong place and not know what to do or where to go. But I acted like I knew what I was doing -- and I got there, danced, and got back without one bit of trouble.
I have used this trick many times. I think criminals prefer easy victims. I NEVER let myself look like an easy victim, even when I'm very nervous about where I am and who might be watching. I also try not to push my luck. And taking photos at night in the park would leave me obviously alone and concentrating on something other than my safety. That would be making me much more of an easy victim than when I am the fast-walking, confident-looking woman moving quickly through the non-empty park in Edinburgh at the same time of night. (I wouldn't stop to take pics there at night alone either.)
Yeah, Jannx, you've only seen pictures of Max, but I know him well. As he says, he is a big man. And he looks much meaner than he is. He's also very, very loud. And, of course, he has the "teacher voice," that wonderful "you must obey me NOW" tone which we successful teachers use so very effectively that it works on all kinds of weaker minds (like Jedi mind tricks). All of this would make a criminal looking for an easy target think "Nyah" and pass him by. Only a crazy person or a really desperate one would pick him. That's why I said I was rather jealous of his freedom; his looks give him more freedom than mine do for me. But it could be far worse for me. I have never been small, frail, or weak-looking. And I have never been a beauty. This is a mixed blessing. It means I've never been one to attract men for either good or bad purposes. It sucks on a Friday night here at home and where it's safe. But it's a wonderful thing when I don't want the glances of men who might not be the sort I want following me for any reason.
This is really long. Sorry.
Max, I hope you get a good night's sleep tonight.