Instagram Photo Project: Nearly at the End

I began my Instagram Photo Project on my 42nd birthday. Realizing that 42 was “the answer to life, the universe, and everything”, I looked for answers and then posted the corresponding questions.

As the year has gone on, I have started moving away from the answer/question format I started with. It feels like a natural progression. My Instagram photo project is almost at its end. The best 42 photos will be turned into a photo book.

The photos you see in this blog were taken on April 4, April 5, April 6, April 7, April 11, April 19, April 20, April 21, April 25, and April 29, 2016.

April turned out to be a busy month. The photos here are just a few of the things that I spent time and energy on during April. The most unexpected things were a little problem one of my birds created for himself, and how often I post food related photos on Instagram.

The answer is: Monopoly

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The question was: Is this what grocery shopping gamification looks like?

Gamification is when you take different aspects of a game (like scoring points, winning loot, leveling up, etc.) and apply it to a task. The idea behind it seems to be that turning something that just isn’t fun into a game makes people more motivated to do it. I’m not sure if anyone has studied whether or not gamification really has the impact it is assumed to have.

Our local grocery store started giving people some Monopoly pieces based on the amount of money they spent on groceries. I’m fairly certain that people could also earn Monopoly pieces if they purchased certain products that were part of this promotion. Did it make grocery shopping more fun? Not in my experience, it didn’t.

It had the potential to be fun – if we would have won something. Sadly, we didn’t win anything at all.

The answer is: brand new mouse

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The question was: What did I need after my old mouse died?

I used to have a purple wireless mouse. It was the first wireless mouse I’d ever had, and I wasn’t sure if I’d like it or not. I got used to it quicker than I expected. Over time, it started having problems and eventually died. So, I picked out a shiny red mouse of the same style that the purple one was.

Gigantic T Square I used when I was in college. @bendurbubble

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I posted this photo for a friend of mine who might have need of some art supplies. The best way to photograph a giant T square is, of course, to put it next to my 5’3″ self and to use the top as a mustache.

Slightly beat up drawing board I used when I was in college @bendurbubble

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Again, this was posted for a friend who might have need for some art supplies. You have probably heard the phrase “back to the drawing board.” Did you know that drawing boards actually exist? I can, quite literally, go back to the drawing board for another try at a sketch or drawing.

Assorted art stuff that I haven't used since college @bendurbubble

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One more photo posted for a friend who might have a need for some art supplies. These are some of the art supplies that I had to buy in college for a design class. I haven’t used them since. They are sitting on my slightly beat up drawing board.

The answer is: Two pieces from Haeger Potteries in East Dundee Illinois

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The question was: What is closing now after 145 years in business? Haeger Potteries was well known for its lovely ceramics. The photo shows two pieces that Shawn and I purchased from Haeger Potteries shortly before we moved from Dundee, Illinois, to San Luis Obispo, California. I’m really glad we took the time to do that, especially since there won’t be any new pieces from Haeger Potteries anymore.

Somewhere in SLO hopefully with sound

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It took two attempts for me to take this video and post it onto Instagram. I was hoping there would be sound, but the microphone in my phone didn’t pick it up. Shawn brought me to this little creek that wasn’t too far away from where he had a physical therapy appointment. I’m happy that we went there to stare at the water for a little while. California is still in a drought, but there are some small improvements. The video reminds me of when I was healthy enough to go “exploring”.


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#CheeseFryClub is something Shawn and I started on our Hyper Nonsense podcast.

The answer is : Moon with a halo

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The question was: What did I go outside the see? I put this photo onto my Instagram even though it’s not a very good photo. The moon had two small halos of light around it and a huge, very faint, circle of light around that one. I knew my camera wouldn’t be able to get a clear photo of it, but posted it anyway because I actually went outside.

The answer is : pink-streaked cockatiel

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The question was: What happens when Morris sticks his head in the water dish and the dries off on a pink perch?

Morris is a “special” cockatiel. So far, he hasn’t figured out how to use the big, ceramic, bath dish we give the birds when they are outside of their cage. It now appears that he has been trying to use the small water dish inside the cage instead. He dunked his head into the water dish and then tried to dry it off by scraping it against the pink perch that he is sitting on in the photo. I don’t think he had any idea that he ended up adding pink streaks to the feathers on his head.

The answer is: Bad feather day

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The question was: What is Morris having after we washed the pink streaks out of his feathers?

By the next day, it became clear that Morris realized his mistake. The soaked feathers on his head, combined with the granular material on the pink perch, formed something like cement. I’m sure it was heavy and uncomfortable. So, Shawn gave Morris a bath and I used my fingernails to “preen” the pink junk out of Morris’s head feathers. He seemed very relieved for the help. Normally, if you give Morris a bath and then hold him still, he starts kicking you. This time, he was turning his head and trying to guide me toward the heavy parts.

The Red Line by Doron Gazit at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art

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Shawn and I went to San Luis Obispo Museum of Art to see a photography show about abandoned places. In addition, we also got to check out a show that incorporated the giant red line you see sitting on top of the building into a series of photos. Those photos were taken in bodies of water that had dried up due to drought. The photos were taken at locations all over the world – and a few were taken in San Luis Obispo, California.

The answer is : Rainbow carrots

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The question was: What’s more fun than regular carrots?

I wasn’t feeling very well and wanted soup. Most people would go to the grocery store and buy a can of chicken noodle soup. I can’t do that because it contains gluten. You might be surprised how many other soups contain gluten, too. Lucky for me, Shawn makes excellent soup. We used these rainbow carrots – something I’d always wanted to try – in the chicken soup with rice.

The answer is: Cut Rainbow carrots and celery

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The question was: What veggies are going into a soup?

The plate has all of the rainbow carrots on it and about three celery stalks. I took the photo because I liked the colors and shapes.

The answer is : Chicken and rice soup

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The question was: What’s in the crock pot?

There is something extremely comforting about the smell of chicken soup cooking. This is especially true when I am sick.

The answer is : Chicken soup with rice and veggies

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The question was: What might make me feel better today?

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of this incredibly colorful chicken and rice soup that smelled so wonderful. It did end up making me feel a little better.

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