Looking back

I’ve been clearing out old files, physical and digital. Incredible how much one person can accumulate.

But it’s been a fascinating way to reflect on my journey. The little bits and bobs of a life lived. What I was interested in, or involved with, as far back right now as 2011. When I eventually start digging through the boxes in storage, I’m sure we can go straight back to high school. 

Maybe even further. I did purge a great deal about seven years ago, but I assume there’s still more floating about. 

So what have I learned? I kept a lot of references to things I wanted to look up later. It’s much easier to do so now than it was then, apparently, and so I’m clearing things out. Looking back and forward at the same time.


Quagmire is a fun word, but…

The current political landscape is a quagmire. Everywhere you look, there is a new issue that is causing tension and controversy. From the economy to immigration to foreign policy, it seems like the politicians are unable to reach a consensus. Even within political parties, the divisions are growing as the electorate becomes more divided. 

The situation has become so dire that even the most experienced politicians are struggling to find a way. With tensions at an all-time high, it seems like there is no end in sight to the gridlock and stalemate that has become the norm. 

Despite the challenges, there is still hope that solutions can be found. Leaders must be willing to compromise, and citizens must be willing to work together to find a way to move forward. 

Off again

As I prepare to head out of LA for work, for another extended job, back to Atlanta, I can’t help but weigh the differences between moving around and laying down roots.

A word I come back to often is vagabonding; the act of living and traveling in different places for extended periods of time, with no definite plan or destination. Being stationary, on the other hand, is the practice of staying in one place. 

I love moving around. It’s been an excellent way to experience new cultures, meet new people, and gain a greater appreciation of the world around me. It provides freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to explore and learn. However, it can also be lonely.

Laying down roots can provide stability, security, and a sense of community. However, living in the same place for an extended period of time can lead to boredom and a lack of adventure. 

I guess, in the end, it comes down to preference.

What about Criterion

“Since 1984, the Criterion Collection has been dedicated to publishing important classic and contemporary films from around the world in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements. No matter the medium—from laserdisc to DVD, Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD to streaming—Criterion has maintained its pioneering commitment to presenting each film as its maker would want it seen, in state-of-the-art restorations with special features designed to encourage repeated watching and deepen the viewer’s appreciation of the art of film.”

Two occurrences recently brought Criterion to the forefront of my mind – the first was the discovery of another company, Vinegar Syndrome, doing film restorations and releases, its purview being genre films. The second was a question of if video games have a similar advocate for history and restoration. 

So what is Criterion? At its core, it’s a DVD and Blu-Ray distribution company that restores and/or preserves culturally relevant films, both historical and contemporary. The company has a long history of releasing films of all genres, from classic films to cult favorites, as well as films from around the world. Criterion also releases special editions of films, with extra features such as documentaries, commentaries, and restored prints. Additionally, they often release films that are difficult to find in other formats.

Criterion spoke to cinephiles during a time when movies were first able to be brought home, in VHS, Betamax, and Laser Discs. The history of Criterion is closely tied to the rollout of Laser Discs in the 80s. “Citizen Kane was the first film released by The Criterion Collection in 1984. The LaserDisc offered not only the best quality version of the film to date but special features that had never been seen before. Nowadays, special features are expected, but this Criterion LaserDisc is where it all started.” (MovieWeb)

The Criterion Collection was the first to introduce these features, such as audio commentaries, production stills, and interviews with the filmmakers. This set the standard for home video special features, and established Criterion as the leader in quality content. As home video changed to DVDs in the late 90s, there was a massive push to include all kinds of special features, perhaps as an incentive to purchase, maybe to build up loyalty for certain studios or distributors, or perhaps even to spread more knowledge of the inner workings of an industry where thousands of workers and artisans can bring a film to market, but only the performers, and maybe the director, receive any sort of notoriety.

And still, it started with Criterion.

I was told, years ago, that King Kong (1933) would never get a DVD release, because it was public domain, and there was no money in it. Of course, it certainly has. I picked up a low-quality print at Big Lots for like two bucks about fifteen years ago. But there’s a laser disc pressing, released by Criterion, I believe in ’87. It includes footage cut from the original pressing, a running commentary, and a visual essay on the making of the film.

As you can see, Criterion is dedicated to preserving film history. Criterion has become a pioneer in the field of restoring film prints and making them available to the public. They provide access to filmmakers’ commentaries and other materials, which can provide a greater understanding of the film and its production. In addition, they often include rare or never-before-seen footage and materials, which are invaluable to film historians and fans.

When it’s cheaper

With the advent of email, the need to write a letter, place it in an envelope, verify and write the address, place a stamp, and post it – it all became more or less obsolete. Suddenly, the cost of sharing thoughts has very nearly gone away. There’s an opportunity cost, in that you could be doing something else as you write or record your viewpoint. But after, it’s a simple “click, send”.

This democratizes the marketplace of ideas, allowing for more voices to be heard. It also amplifies the potential impact of an idea, as it can be shared instantly with a larger audience. This has the potential to shift power dynamics and open new doors of opportunity.

What it also does, though, is causes the floodgates to be opened, and inboxes everywhere overflow. Sure, we can unsubscribe. Over and over and over again. However, even if we unsubscribe from every email list we’re on, we’re still going to get a lot of emails. So, while unsubscribing from emails we don’t want can help, it’s not going to solve the problem of all these emails.

That was a long way just to say that I simply can’t keep up with them all. 

On the US Postal Service

The USPS is said to date back to 1775 when, during the Second Continental Congress, Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general. In 1792, the Post Office Department was founded under the Postal Service Act. The Postal Service Act was signed by George Washington and established the USPS as an independent agency of the federal government.

Today, the USPS is the third-largest civilian employer in the United States and is responsible for the delivery of millions of letters and parcels each day.

And yet, somehow, email is still prevalent…

The cost to ship early parcels via USPS was priced high for letters and cheaply for informative periodicals. 

“James Madison and others saw how the post could support this fledgling democracy by informing the electorate, and in 1792 devised a Robin Hood scheme whereby high-priced postage for letters, then sent mostly by businessmen and lawyers, subsidized the delivery of cheap, uncensored newspapers. This policy helped spark America’s lively, disputatious political culture and made it a communications superpower with remarkable speed.” (Smithsonian)

Since then, the USPS has evolved to meet the changing needs of the public by offering various services such as Priority Mail, Express Mail, and Parcel Post. It also offers money orders and international mail services.

And still, we rely on email for so much.

Oh, email

I like getting mail. It’s tidy. It’s limited to a few pieces a day (for me, personally). And it’s quick to sort through it (if I’m diligent enough to do it).

Email, though. That’s a whole different animal. There is no centralized email delivery – it could come at any time of any day. 

Sundays off? I don’t think so.

The best you could hope for is a power outage, but even then, it’s just building up. 

Delete an email, seventeen more come in. Overnight, early morning, lunch. Whenever. 

I rail against email a lot, but it is invariably a time-sucking process; often unavoidable, but with huge potential to sap away precious hours. My hours, and yours. 

The case for doing less

Used to be, working hours were pretty standard. A general 9-5, then home. Lots of things are changing, such as work requirements, gender roles, and even family planning. And in all of that shuffle, we’re getting busier. 

We don’t have as much time for leisure activities or community participation. This creates a disconnect between work and life and a feeling of being overwhelmed or overworked. To counterbalance this, we should seek ways to make our lives more balanced and manageable.

The world needs big ideas

Ideas that can revolutionize the way we live, work, and play. We need innovations that can solve global problems, create new opportunities, and bring us closer together.

We need creative solutions that can reduce poverty, end hunger, and make the world a cleaner and safer place. We need new technologies that can help us harness the power of renewable energy, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and develop sustainable ways of living.

We need bold visions that can inspire us to reach for a better future. We need ideas that can improve healthcare and education, bridge the digital divide, and help us build a more equitable society.

We need big ideas to help us tackle the challenges of climate change, resource scarcity, and population growth. These big ideas will require hard work and collaboration, but they are achievable.

By coming together and embracing new ideas, we can create a brighter future for all.


I was told recently that my writing had changed a bit. I’ll admit, I’ve been working on these posts almost every day. I have also noticed a shift in my focus, topics, and approach to the practice.

The things that pop up time and again are entertainment, lifestyle, technology, organization, time management, and health and wellness. Additionally, I’ve got a number of notes with various ideas scribbled down, hoping to be made into a post eventually. Working at this daily, I’m finally making progress.

Still, even more ideas come up daily, and I think the best way to handle them is just to jot them down. 

I imagine that, going forward, my voice here will continue to change. Hopefully for the better.