Have Fun Along the Way

"Traveler's Notebook and Fountain Pens" Austin, 2017
Photo info: Motorola Moto G (4), 3.64mm, f/2, 1/40 sec, ISO64
“Traveler’s Notebook and Fountain Pens” Austin, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

At my work, we have 6 core values, and my favorite one is “Have Fun Along the Way”. It’s actually a great value to live by, isn’t it? Anyway, whenever I pick up a new hobby, I tend to get obsessed with it and do so much research, watch videos about it, spend lots of money, etc. I’m sure I’m not alone in this! But what I am trying to do with my current watercolor/stationery hobby is to slow down, take it easy, and not go overboard. I want to make sure I don’t burn-out over it. And by going slowly, I make sure that I maximize the time that I am having fun along the way!

As I grow older (I am 48 as I type this), I start to think about making things last for the rest of my life. For instance, the things I buy like bags, penswatches, or sandals… will these last me (and will I want to keep them) for the rest of my life? That now goes into my purchasing decision.

And then I think about the things I do… will the new things I learn add anything to my life? I know that interests change, and that’s fine, but as the years go by it seems to be more important to focus on things that have real importance. When I was debating on whether or not to get the regular tickets or VIP tickets to see the band Scandal, my friend asked me, “When you are on your deathbed, are you going to be happier that you met the band or happier that you saved $50?” Of course, I bought the VIP tickets.

I think about that a lot when I have to choose things in daily life… “On my deathbed, will I be happier that I binge-watched another episode of Parks and Rec, or that I worked on a painting?”

When I was in high school and college, I loved creating things. And in my career, I’ve always had a job that involved creativity. I haven’t really given it too much thought to be honest. But it’s something that I can be proud of, and happy that I lived my life this way. So, my “new” hobby of watercolor painting is something I can fully enjoy, without any guilt. And it certainly fits the “Have Fun Along the Way” value!

"Color the Trees" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO800
“Color the Trees” Cedar Park, 2017

I hope you had a nice day!

またね~

Soreness

"Running Shoes" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/7 sec, ISO3200
“Running Shoes” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

I started running again, and today I ran for the third time in a week and a half. I hadn’t run for a year or so, so my legs were so sore!

But it’s a good soreness… not painful, but the type of soreness that shows that you made a good effort.

Usually, when I start running again, I can begin increasing my distance after about 3 or 4 runs and recovery, so I anticipate getting back on track this week. But, since I am almost 50, it’s only natural that it could take longer. (I can’t believe I am getting close to 50!)

If you are on Strava, let’s connect so we can see each other’s exercise activity! My Strava is here: https://www.strava.com/athletes/2721791

I hope you had a nice day!

Simple Camera

"Camera Love" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: Motorola Moto G (4), 3.64mm, f/2, 1/15 sec, ISO3200
“Camera Love” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは!How’s it going? Are you staying warm this winter? The temperatures will drop below freezing here tonight, but we’ll be warm and cozy in our beds!

Today’s photo is of my camera, the Fujifilm X100T which I have blogged about before. I’m still loving it – definitely my favorite camera I’ve ever owned. It’s not the fastest, doesn’t have the highest resolution or specs, but it has a certain charm in its body design and the image quality that the jpeg processing produces. That combination is why so many people love their X100 cameras, and Fujifilm cameras in general.

This camera has changed the way I think about making photos. Having multiple lenses that cover the ultra-wide to the super-telephoto range isn’t that important to me anymore. Simplicity has become much more valued to me now. The single focal length simplifies so much. Decision-making is easier. In fact, a lot of decisions have been eliminated… and I love it! It’s truly liberating.

Of course, I value the knowledge and experience I’ve gained from owning and using many different cameras and lenses, and it still comes into play with the photographic duties I sometimes take on at work, but for my personal photography, the X100T is all I need.

I guess this simplification is part of a trend in my life… getting rid of things I don’t need or use. Do I need all the apps on my phone? No, I only need a few. Having less keeps my phone light and fast.

Do I need to keep all the books I have already read? No. I donate or sell them, and free up physical space and clear the clutter. Seeing books that I’ll probably never read again just gives me a feeling of incompleteness. Get rid of them and close that chapter for good. (I made a pun!) Closure feels nice.

There are so many opportunities to simplify!

Focusing on just a few quality items seems to be a path that makes sense to me now. It gets me excited to think about jettisoning the things I don’t need anymore.

I hope you had a great day!

おやすみなさい!

– B Barron Fujimoto

End of the Trip

"End of the Trip" Long Beach, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/8000 sec, ISO6400
“End of the Trip” Long Beach, 2016

こんばんは!How’s it going?

We have returned to Texas from our week and a half trip to Southern California. It was a wonderful trip to see my parents, brothers, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. I actually most enjoyed just relaxing at the house watching tv, eating good food, drinking whiskey, wine, and cocktails, and our nightly mahjong games. It went by so fast!

But I am glad to come back to our Texas home. I never really realized it, but the life in California is a lot different from life here in Texas. I don’t mean geographically or culturally, but more personally the way I live my life and spend time in each location is very different. I’m still trying to process those differences, and maybe I will write about what I figure out, but I think it’s all good. The things I can learn about myself from these experiences can help me grow in a positive way!

I hope you had a great day!

おやすみなさい!

– B Barron Fujimoto

Kindle

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Kindle PaperWhite” Cedar Park, 2016

For my birthday this year, my parents bought me a new Kindle Paperwhite. It is awesome! I’ve had an older Kindle “Keyboard” version for a while now (I blogged about it here) but have wanted a new Paperwhite version because of the upgrades.

Here is a list of advantages of new Kindle PaperWhite (which I named “Echo”):

  • Backlight: Not only can I read at night without the light on (which bothered Mariko), but the backlight adds some contrast for increased readability in daylight
  • Higher resolution: The text looks sharper and the display is more like a printed page
  • Smaller: Although the screen size is the same as my old Kindle, the bezel is smaller and I can “palm” it with one hand
  • X-Ray: I can find out more about the characters in the story by tapping on a name
  • Goodreads: I can update my reading status on Goodreads directly from the Kindle Paperwhite

Although the new Kindle is superior to my old Kindle (which I named “Persephone”), the old one is still useful and works great. And it has a couple of advantages over the Paperwhite:

  • Lock screen art: I hacked the OS so that I could load custom lock screen images
  • Audio: I have loaded some nice classical guitar mp3s onto the Kindle, which I can play via the built-in speakers or the headphone jack

Having two Kindles is nice. I keep Echo (the new one) by my bed, and Persephone is in my messenger bag. Do you own a Kindle? I have to say, my Kindles are possibly my favorite technology gadgets. ❤