Steam Powered Giraffe charges through the States

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From left to right: Hatchworth (Samuel Luke), The Spine (David Michael Bennett), Rabbit (Isabella “Bunny” Bennett).

Taking their weird to the next level; Steam Powered Giraffe transformed their array of talents to fit todays generation of success. Twins, David Bennett and Isabella “Bunny” Bennet; along with their long time friend, Samuel Luke, have spent the last eight years evolving their band and their brand. What that brand is jumbles together to form what fits extremely well within the Steampunk culture. The bands music has a robotic sound that goes along with their old school robotic moves; hence, the metallic paint and jazzy retro robot appearance.

“Putting our costumes together was the easy part. Now it’s just tedious,” said Bunny, while signing autographs for her children’s book, Pudding Bat’s Big Night Out.

These characters are musicians, writers, artists, computer tech’s, and business men. They’ve been invited to perform on America’s Got Talent numerous times but have declined in order to keep their business manageable within their own constructs of operations. Performing entirely as independent performers, they have already released seven albums and are currently on tour for various conventions and fairs across the country. The group will be back home in San Diego for the Del Mar Fair. Performing on July 3, at 8 pm.

“We never really quite fit in going to school, so it was always nice to have a twin to get along with and do things with. We work well together even though we bump heads at times. We found an odd talent doing the robot in performance classes at Grossmont College. It just made sense to get into business together,” said David, as he was addressing a crowd of fans during a meet and great during the fifth Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention in Old Tucson (Tucson, Arizona) this past weekend. Working as computer programmers coming out of college, they have found their happy place establishing the performance group.

The Steam Powered Giraffe have been seen in various iconic places around San Diego, like the Del Mar Fair, San Diego Zoo, Wild Animal Park, and LEGOLAND. The band truly enjoys having the one-on-one interaction with people. Samuel Luke has an energetic personality that draws attention to his strength in never breaking character as Hatchworth. Visit steampoweredgiraffe.com to read the bands backstory and get more information about where they’ll be next. I will never look at green rock candy the same way ever again.

The Future of San Diego

sandag.org/priorities

                        sandag.org/priorities

The population of San Diego County is estimated to grow beyond 40,000 households in the next 15 years based on prior years expansions. With that in mind, the community has been working with SANDAG and TransNet to decipher what the best priorities for our local communities are in hopes of meeting the needs of such a population growth. SANDAG projects that by 2050 the county population would exceed 4 million.

These projections have established a great deal of contract work for housing and transportation and many members of the community who have been made aware of these plans have already begun acting towards the inquiries and foreseen projections on development. To help keep San Diego beautiful and to have your voice heard about the many progressions that will be taking place in the next few decades SANDAG and TransNet are urging people to participate in the conversations taking place.

 

Currently, there are three ways to participate:
Join a Telephone Town Hall Meeting
These meetings will be hosting conference calls about the many important projects and developments that are hoped to take place near your area.

North County Coastal and North San Diego will take place on Thursday, January 28, 6-7 pm.

North County Inland and East County will take place on Tuesday, January 26, 6-7 pm.

Central San Diego and South County will take place on Wednesday, January 27, 6-7 pm.

Spanish/Espanol will be available on Monday, February 1, 6-7 pm/Lunes, 1 de febrero de 6-7 pm.

Simply dial into the call at (877) 229-8493 and enter access code 112664

Another option to voice your opinion would be to “Select Your Priorities Online” by taking a survey at sandag.org/priorities

Lastly, simply attend a public meeting!
Provide your opinion and take an active part in person.
All meetings take place on the 7th floor in the SANDAG Board Room at 401 B Street, San Diego. Friday, February 5, 9 am: SANDAG Transportaion Committee meeting
Friday, February 12, 10 am: SANDAG Board of Directors meeting
Thursday, March 10, 10 am: SANDAG Board of Directors Retreat (which will take place at Barona: 1932 Wildcat Canyon Road, Lakeside, CA 92040)
Friday, March 25, 9 am: SANDAG Board of Directors meeting

Community members are highly encouraged to attend as we will all shape the future of our beloved community together. Find out more about the planning and operations for San Diego County at sandag.org

Opinion piece on Legislation

One of my favorite photographers in history: Lewis W. Hine.  Portrait photographer of laborers and our way of life.

One of my favorite photographers in history: Lewis W. Hine. Portrait photographer of laborers and our way of life.

Once again, job security is in question for our American way of life. As a former service member, and growing up as a military dependent in a saturated family full of service members, it was a known fact that benefits to serving your country included financial security as long as you were responsible and invested wisely in your financial endeavors. This article was recently shared by a friend of mine regarding the new policy for retirement and pension benefits for service members as of 2016:
http://www.militaryfamily.org/featured-news/the-fy16-ndaa-whats-in-it.html?referrer=https://www.facebook.com/
Much like union benefits I went over with my husband for his blue collar career, it now appears that service members will have even less of an ability to retire at the age of 40 when separated from service for their average 20 year retirement rates and be more likely to see the end of the labor tunnel closer to their 80’s.

Most service members separate from their duty with disabilities and physical conditions that limit their ability to work as hard and efficiently as they would have if they maintained their life as a civilian. To consider the fact that they would have to continue their years of employment extended for a considerable amount of time beyond their separation from service is frightening.

Currently, I am in my 30’s. My generation will not see Unemployment benefits at the rate that it has been distributed. With this percentage, all service members currently below the age of 40 will eventually separate with this retirement plan to look forward to; no assurance of senior living assistance and social security upon their years of seniority because most benefits that exist presently are based around a person over the age of 55’s income directly earned from social security; hopes that the stock market didn’t destroy whatever savings plan they did invest in considering TSP and 401k’s revolve around personal choices in stock market investments that are only protected up to a certain percentage.

At the current rates of market sales in economic development in the past couple of years and the lack of improvement in cost of living and actual full time employment of society another “great recession” is going to hit much worse than the last. People are again being placed in housing with high interest rates and incomes that do not meet the demands of the costs of living. Companies are primarily still hiring part time and temporary positions above any full time employment, so a strong majority of people are opening up small business versions of larger companies in order to create a means of employment rather than rely on big companies to hire, while those big companies are still outsourcing to foreign countries for cheaper labor.

I don’t know how it can still be considered a “great recession” just because people continue to spend money. Growing homelessness and starvation is what it is regardless of what media wants to call it.  This generation is the first in existence to be estimated to not outlive their generation before it.  Granted, our lifespan may be reduced in years: but that quality of life we’re forced to live while we are able is forced to exist, not as living, but as working much like the poor souls fighting for labor rights during the industrial revolution.

http://ehstoday.com/safety/remembering-our-past-photo-galleries-look-back-time-work-and-workers#slide-0-field_images-37371

 

Veterans Day 2015

© Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery  Published on www.behance.net/syreniaimagery

© Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery             http://www.behance.net/syreniaimagery

As a US Coast Guard Veteran who was forced out of service due to MANY issues that were deliberately overlooked and ignored for the sake of saving a buck, along with many of my brothers and sisters who were treated the same way over a 4 year span within all branches of service, I took this photograph on Veterans Day. No one will ever know the trauma that all of us have endured in our own ways. Some will never heal. We’re given companions to try and take our minds off the sorrow. They help, but I can’t help but think that they suffer with us to an extent.
I have been lucky enough to overcome my greatest of burdens. I am still working on recovering from them. It’s been more than half of a decade. Piece by piece and year by year I find a new accomplishment and a new goal to appreciate. I’ve been told “no”; I’ve been knocked down; I’ve lost many friends who didn’t want to understand; I’ve helped others like me; I’ve admitted the truth; I’ve healed myself spiritually because of that realization of truth, and now the physical shell that has maintained this tattered soul is very slowly finding its form for what it was. Hopefully, one day, this body will come close, if not exceed what it once was in it’s prime.
Giving in to asking for help and letting go of shame or pride is the first step I took to finding a better way. I’ve learned to ask for help when I really need it in the hardest way possible!
To all the others who sometimes feel that they’re invisible being wanders this world alone with their special companions at their side to drown out the things that make us weak and weary. So many of us know one another’s pain even though no two are the same. For all that you’ve given and continue to give: Thank you!

Process and Discovery

Wedding and pre-wedding photographs of Dotty Hall and Ralph Stevens wedding on November 11, 2015 in Carmel, CA.  Photographs taken by Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery solely for the purpose of use by the wedding couple and Syrenia Imagery.  All images are copyright protected and not for use by any other party(s).

                                      © Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery

I was working on editing photos for a family wedding and ran across an image I deliberately took with artistic views in mind. These young adults have a lot of life ahead of them.  I’m not going to share any opinions as spectators will always create their own. I’m letting the image tell the story.

As one of my favorite photographers said,

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” –Ansel Adams

and

“It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.” – Paul Caponigro

Sharing my talents

As I’ve been working this short time as a freelance writer I have already worked for a newspaper, a small reputable publishing company, and a strong developing SEO Company.  Now that I’m happily working to help Paradigm SEO serve their clients, I’m currently having the priviledge of helping promote Stick With It.

Stick With It is a local San Diego company that has quickly grown to serve clients nationally.  Originally designed with the traveling makeup artist in mind, the Stick With It Palette was made to serve the needs of it’s creator, Monetta Plassmeyer.  She constantly had trouble finding makeup palettes that were easy to clean, use, and keep the makeup she wanted to use.  Eliminating the restrictions set forth by most similar products out there, the product used for her Stick With It Palette (the Clingfinity Surface) makes all the difference!

As Monetta was marketing her product, crafters managed to get a hold of her palette and instantly fell in love.  Now, it’s not only being marketed for makeup artists, but also serving for various uses within the creative industry as well.  Crafters and hobbyists alike are fully enjoying all the possibilities that come with using the Stick With It palette for supplies and as a working surface!

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Image provided by Metanno Designs and Paradigm SEO

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For more information about the Stick With It Palette, visit StickWithItPalette.com.  You can find the on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +

Stan Lee’s Comikaze helps to support unite4:good

Panelists greeting fans after talking about how their ventures in the tv and film industry has influenced their lives and how they work to help make a positive difference in society. United4:Good booth for Stan Lee's Comikaze 2015.

Panelists greeting fans after talking about how their ventures in the tv and film industry has influenced their lives and how they work to help make a positive difference in society. United4:Good booth for Stan Lee’s Comikaze 2015.

The former unite4:good has now become DoMore4:Good. This nationwide nonprofit organization works to “help make the world a better place” and motivate people to do what they can to help make a positive difference in society. Stan Lee’s Comikaze 2015 has come together with the organization, along with Wilmer Valderrama (Minority Report TV Series) and Blair Underwood (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) to speak with Trevor Goring (Artist and Illustrator) and Dr. Robin Rosenberg (Psychologist and writer of “What is a Superhero?” and “Our Superheroes, Ourselves,” etc.) about how we relate to the superhero persona and how performers who portray those superheroes even help to motivate others to do good in the world.

“At their best, superhero origin stories inspire us and provide models of coping with adversity. Find meaning in loss and trauma, discovering our strengths and using them for good purpose,” said Dr. Robin Rosenberg, ‘The Psychology Behind Superhero Origin Stories’ article in Smithsonian Magazine (2013).  Consider all of your personal aspects and how to use them as a power for good.  Exercise those talents that are above average skills that you possess in order to find the Super within yourself.  The smallest of actions can change the world.  Often times, when we are doing something so extraordinary, we don’t even realize that we are actually doing something so grandiose as the effort is being carried out.

Sure, the heros we grew up with are so admirable because they posses powers that expand our imaginations and break realistic limitations, but the mind proves to allow us the ability to surpass these limitations in life in order to exceed all expectations and go beyond limitations of the present and potentially leave a legacy of good for everyone to benefit from.  Our mind is an amazing mechanism.  Regardless of the limitations placed upon us, our weakness are proven to serve as strengths when we pay enough attention to who we are and adapt those characteristics to allowing us to function at your highest potential.

DoMore4:Good inspires people to come together to inspire people to keep dreaming and aspiring for greatness in order to make the world a better place.  Exercise empathy, remove segregation, and realize that we are united and a part of each other.

“Exercising unity leads to understanding,” said Wilmer.  We forget how inspiring we are to society in general.  As performers, we are role models, especially to those that don’t have them in their lives.  As a message for people when looking for inspiration, “don’t wait for permission, and don’t wait around for someone else or something to happen.  If you really want to do something.  Get out and do it.”

“I think the overall theme to this is to find what you can within yourself to find those heroic powers or dynamics within yourself to give back, pay it forward and help other people,” said Blair Underwood.  Being of service to others is the main goal.

For more information about DoMore4:Good, visit https://www.facebook.com/domore4good/ or visit united4good.org or u4g.com as they transition to into their new image.