virtualDavis

\ˈvər-chə-wəlˈdā-vəs\ Blogger, storyteller, flâneur. G.G. Davis, Jr's alter ego…
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Rosslyn Redux: May Update

I’ve been a little more quiet than usual during the last month, and I hope that you’ll forgive the frequent ellipses. I’ve shifted gears to focus on a steady stream of Rosslyn programming over at the Rosslyn Redux blog. This has been a great way to funnel my blogging energy during the revision process…

Sally Lesh & Hyde Gate “One of the unanticipated joys of living at Rosslyn (aka Hyde Gate) has been discovering the property’s legacy… One recent reminder was the first chapter of All My Houses in which octogenarian Sally Lesh chronicles her itinerant life story by way of the many homes in which she has resided… Lesh opens the memoir with her birth on Janurary 19, 1921 in Boston, but the title of her first chapter and the origin of the journey she intends to chronicle is Hyde Gate, Essex, New York…”

Hail Storm & Apple Tree “An ancient and neglected apple tree… For six years I pruned and nourished the crab apple tree back to health… then the clouds erupted in a short but angry tantrum of driving rain, mothball-sized hail and driving wind. When the hail and rain stopped and the fog cleared, the crooked fruit tree had fallen, snapped off at her stem.” (video eulogy)

2011 Lake Champlain Flood Retrospective “Rosslyn boathouse is dry. Lake Champlain water levels are low. Our waterfront weathered winter — what winter there was — and spring without incurring the destructive flooding which tormented us a year ago… But all is not forgotten. Fully half of Rosslyn’s waterfront, maybe more, remains a boulder piled mess. Thousands of pounds of stone rip-rap installed last spring to stabilize NYS Rt. 22 buried two hundred year old cut stone retaining walls.”

Mary Wade’s Rosslyn “Each winter Essex residents celebrate the holidays early during a weekend-long event called Christmas in Essex. It was this tradition which connected me to Mary Wade, a folk artist who lives in Willsboro but runs a seasonal gallery in Essex each summer. She creates painted wooden models, silhouettes and paintings of historic buildings in Essex that are collected by her fans all around the world.”

Rosslyn Unplugged “Yesterday, Thursday, May 15, 2009 was windier than a subway median at rush hour. Lake Champlain wind blasts reached 50 mph. The forecast had threatened gusts up to 90 mph. The rain drizzled off and on all day, but the fellow building the stone wall near the mud room stuck it out and got the job done.”

Just Google it! “I collaborated with John Brookhouse of 1o’Clock Multimedia on this “long winded” but amusing Google Search vignette which was part of Redacting Rosslyn v1.0 at The Depot Theatrein Westport, New York in August 2011. Although I concepted the content and story arc, and even most of the search queries, Brookhouse was the video maestro who morphed my vision into a far more creative story than I could have managed on my own.

Fox & Squirrel Revisited “At the end of April I posted about a fox that was frequenting Rosslyn to grab a quick squirrel breakfast or supper whenever the urge struck him… Although the fox seems to have moved on, his apex predator slot was quickly filled by an always hungry hawk who’s dietary preferences run to dove rather than squirrel…”

Just Google it? “This video is one of several exploratory forays into the Google Search vignette I included in my Redacting Rosslyn v1.0 performance last August at The Depot Theatre in Westport, New York. Blending readings from my Rosslyn Redux manuscript with oral and digital storytelling, the event was a collaborative attempt to animate type, words and documents into interactive narrative.”

Rifle & Eggs “‘Mornin’,’ Wes said as he pulled the pantry door shut behind him and greeted Griffin with a scratch behind the ears. ‘Good morning,’ I called back from the kitchen where I was scrambling eggs. ‘You don’t want me to run that thing on the tennis court, do ya?’ he asked…”

Excavating Rosslyn “‘I look at it as an excavation, if you will,’ says the architect… Pete Lackey of Charles Myer and Partners in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is referring to “taking the long view” on renovation, specifically to reawakening the heart and soul of a building instead of willfully or inadvertently altering it… In our case, understanding Rosslyn involved literally and figuratively excavating the historic home.”

Rosslyn Roundup, May 4 “It’s time… to share everything Rosslyn-related that I didn’t get a chance to post over the last few weeks. Champlain Valley springs are unpredictable and exciting, sometimes arriving early (this year) and other times hiding behind rain, rain, rain (last year)…”

Rosslyn Rattlesnake “Have you ever ever heard of an Eastern massasauga rattlesnake? Or a Sistrurus catenatus? … As unlikely as it may seem, I now suspect that I may have spotted a massasauga rattlesnake with markings totally unlike our local Adirondack timber rattlesnakes.”

Orchard Rumination “Lately I’ve been reflecting on all the trees I wish I’d planted in the fall of 2006 and the spring of 2007. We’ve been adding new trees for a year now — a half dozen or so each spring and fall — and yet I can’t help but imagine what might be today if I’d started earlier. Fruit trees ten or twelve feet tall would still be blooming. We would have been harvesting apples and pears and plums and apricots and peaches for a couple of seasons by now…”

Reawakening Rosslyn “‘Rather than trying to coerce the house to do something new, we tried to reawaken it.” In Taking the Long View Paula M. Bodah refers to the renovation of a Victorian house near Boston, Massachusetts in unusually anthropomorphic terms… Despite the unfamiliar reference, Bodah’s terminology is precise, accurate and familiar. In the case of Rosslyn, reawakening is precisely how I describe our renovation process, though I didn’t understand this at the outset.”

In been a prolific blogging stretch at Rosslyn Redux and a meager stretch here. Sorry. Perhaps I’ll do a better job of balancing in the future?

Pinterest Interest

Pinterest Interest? virtualDavis ponders Pinterest...

Pinterest Interest? virtualDavis ponders Pinterest...

Are you on Pinterest? Still trying to resist the way you resisted Facebook?

Watch out, because it’s a slippery slope. When your invitation comes and you say, “Okay, well, maybe I’ll just try it out…”

You know, kick the tires, maybe even zip around the neighborhood with the roof down and the music blaring?

Don’t do it. You’ll get hooked. Pinterest. Is. Addictive.

And that’s why it’s exploding. In the good way. Out of start-up obscurity and into the gotta-be-on-it rocket that is flashing through the interwebs.

After being largely ignored for the first months of its existence, Pinterest is now being mentioned with increasing frequency… It is easy to see why Pinterest is attracting such a buzz. All measures of its growth are phenomenal. (Street Journal)

Phenomenal is the right word, but it lacks the necessary whizbang to accurately convey what’s happening with this rather straightforward social media concept

The premise behind Pinterest is for users to gather, organize, and share things they find on the Web, such as home decorations, clothing, and food. The end result is curated pinboards that are meant to help friends discover new items or get inspiration. (CNET News)

According to Mashable‘s Zoe Fox, Pinterest drives more online t than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn. Beginners’ luck? That’s pretty formidable competition.

[Pinterest] now beats YouTube, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace for percentage of total referral traffic in January… Pinterest accounted for 3.6% of referral traffic, while Twitter just barely edged ahead of the newcomer, accounting for 3.61% of referral traffic. (Mashable)

You know how long it took Twitter

to get traction? You know how long it’s taken to get to this point. I suspect that the quirky crew over at Facebook are getting whiplash responding to the ticklish breeze they keep feeling in their hair, like something sneaking up from behind. Can you sneak fast? Okay, so maybe Pinterest isn’t sneaking…

Facebook reigns king of referrals, accounting for more than one-quarter (26.4%) of traffic, 4.3% of which comes from Facebook Mobile. After Pinterest, Facebook is experiencing the most referral growth, gaining almost one percentage point in December. (Mashable)

So Facebook isn’t giving up ground just to swig down electrolytes, but Pinterest’s mad dash out of the starting gates is noteworthy. Whether or not they can sustain this pace for the endurathon is another matter.

Who’s propelling its rise? 18-34 year old upper income women from the American heartland. (TechCrunch)

Hmmm… So not just bored teenagers party shopping.

To get to the bottom of what motivates Pinterest’s throngs of users, you first have to realize who those users are… Female… women tend to like to shop more than men do. You could easily define Pinterest as a way for people to “window shop” for anything that interests them… It’s a social shopping experience, disguised as a website full of interests. (TheNextWeb.com)

Brad McCarty may be right, but in my experience, there are plenty of gents aboard the good rocket ship Pinterest and more and more every day. Maybe there are male window shoppers too? Or maybe McCarty’s oversimplifying.

At heart, many of us are collectors. Stickers. Friends. Hats. Wine. Cars…

And many of us are voyeurs, happy to peak over the fence at the neighbor’s backyard digging project only discover he was planting a persimmon tree, not installing a hot tub.

In short, we’re curious hoarders on the lookout for inspiration. Is it any wonder that Pinterest has become the next runaway favorite? And with news a little over a week ago that Pinterest has partnered with Flickr “improve photo attribution” it looks like the visual floodgates may be opening. Happy pinning!

Addison Mehr’s Fort Apache

With five days to go, Addison Mehr is soooo close to meeting his $15k goal to direct and produce Fort Apache. This is a thrilling opportunity to support an Adirondack artist with smarts, vision and follow-through. And did I mention he’s one heck of a swell guy? Show him you’re rooting for him, and he’ll dazzle you with cinematographic magic!

“Addison is an emerging filmmaker born and raised in the Adirondacks. His short film “FIRECRACKER!” was selected for NYU’s Showcase and screened at the Lake Placid Film Festival. Addison has worked on music videos for MGMT, Devendra Banhart, Norah Jones, and Wyclef Jean as well as working for Martin Scorsese. Currently, Addison is a senior at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is dedicated to developing films that are unique, challenging, and promote change in our world.” (Kickstarter)

Fort Apache Preview

Here’s Addison’s Kickstarter video for Fort Apache:

Fort Apache Director’s Statement

I grew up in a really small town where the nearest movie theatre was over an hour away. For me, film has always been an escape- a way out, a way to transport myself into another world, and ultimately a way for me to reflect back on myself and make sense of the world around me.

While Fort Apache is a coming of age story, it’s also a story about injustice, social inequality, and the universal struggle to find your place. To me, the story is about pushing against boundaries and dealing with the frustrations, bitter disappointments, and ultimate realizations of growing up. It’s about escape and the deep desire to transcend ones place and time. By shooting in the places I grew up in I hope to bring the highest level of authenticity to the story while visualizing it to its full potential. ~ Addison Mehr (Kickstarter)

Help Fund Fort Apache

Addison Mehr is a personal friend, so I am biased, but he’s also a gifted and insanely focused/disciplined young artist. I am 100% confident that he will help shape the next chapter of movie making. This is your opportunity to propel Meh’s career forward, but it’s also a chance to connect before he’s out of reach! Please consider supporting Fort Apache. Thank you.

Fort Apache Update

Fort Apache is funded! They’ve sailed past their $15k goal with $17,115 pledged. Thank you for your support, and good luck, Addison.

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