I’m back …

I’m back to my blog, after an unscheduled 2-month hiatus to recover from a torn Achilles tendon. Welcome to middle age. 🙂
Since being mostly confined to a sofa, I haven’t shot a whole lot during my hiatus. But I have been collecting random items for my blog during my down time so here goes, a smorgasbord of blog-worthy items.
Seems that a man in France thinks he has the answer to the problem of getting a hot fresh baguette after hours – a baguette vending machine. “This is the bakery of tomorrow,” proclaimed Jean-Louis Hecht, who foresees expansion in Paris, around Europe and even the U.S. “If other bakers don’t want to enter the niche, they’re going to get decimated.” “It’s like with banks: before, everyone went to a teller; now, everybody uses ATMs,” he said. “It will be the same with bread: Today, everybody goes to the bakery. Tomorrow they’ll go to the baguette dispenser.” Go Hecht !!!
CLICK HERE for a video of the dispenser.
If you’re ever looking for a different place to stay near Paris, you can try the new “Bubble Tree”. Located a couple of kilometers outside of Paris near a chateau, the “Bubble Tree” is actually a tent which promises 5-star luxury at an affordable price. I haven’t been to see it myself but seems like it could be quite cool to spend a night there.
CLICK HERE to see some video of the Bubble Tree room.
Here’s an idea that I adore. The advertisement, roughly translated, goes something like this:
To all those who were awakened by the roar of a washing machine, the morning fuss of a drill or the cry of ecstasy from a rogue night, avenge yourself with a CD made ​​up of some strongly unpleasant building sounds. On the menu: the cries of a newborn, spring cleaning, dog barking, doors slamming … Put on the CD at the highest volume and go out for a walk.
Someone is actually selling a CD that gets sweet revenge on your neighbors for making too much noise. Genius!
I’ve done one shoot since being back in Paris. I shot a Taylor Lautner photo call at the Hotel Bristol for his new film “Abduction”. I thought he was a vampire but evidently he was a werewolf.

Taylor Lautner

Here’s a very cool photography website called “Dear Photograph”, which asks people to send in “now & then” images along with an explanation. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Here’s a much less cool / disturbing photo website: FACESWAP
This story caught my eye a few weeks ago:
A Frenchman has been ordered to pay his ex-wife $13,000 in damages for failing to have enough sex with her during their marriage. The 51-year-old man was fined under article 215 of France’s civil code, which states married couples must agree to a “shared communal life”. A judge has now ruled that this law implies that “sexual relations must form part of a marriage”. I can’t make this stuff up. CLICK HERE to read the full story.
Here’s a pretty surprising story:
Employees in France now spend an average of 22 minutes on their lunch break as opposed to 1hr 38mins 20 years ago. 

The change in habits was revealed in a study by insurers Malakoff Médéric, which also showed that fewer people are going home for lunch – though it is still the most popular option. A total of 29% do this, as opposed to 34% in 2009. 

Almost as many now bring in a meal they have prepared at home (28%) and eat it at work, compared to 22% in 2009, while eating in a work canteen has dropped from 22% to 19%. Eating a sandwich (as opposed to a “proper” home-made meal) has gone up to 14% from 12%. 

A meal outside the office in a restaurant or café is now the exception – just 10%.
So this is what it’s come to with food marketing. I was at the Monoprix supermarket the other day and came across this:

Mystery Chips ... Taste them and give them a name

The writing on the packages translates to “Taste them and give them a name”. Just when you think you’ve seen it all …
I often mention to people that, at a high level, things like banking systems, health care and restaurants really pretty much work the same in the US and in France. But the joy/horror of the differences between how these things really work lies in the details. Here’s an example of one of those differences:
The cost of parking fines rose from €11 to €17 last week – the first increase in a quarter of a century.
I like THIS a lot, for a reason I can’t quite explain. If you watch this for more than 1 minute, I’m worried about you.
Photographers win one: Town halls across France are to be banned from taking their own passport photos, following complaints from professional photographers. A new government decree says only embassies and consulates can take photos and biometric data from people applying for or renewing their ID documents. More than 2,000 town halls are equipped with the technology to take and develop photos and fingerprints for passports. They will have until December 31 to stop. Professional photographers’ union API had complained that the mairies were putting thousands of jobs in the photo industry at risk. The union said the move was “a big victory for the photography profession”.
Modern problems:
Some teens are so connected to their phones that they sometimes text in their sleep, it’s a new phenomena called sleep texting. “It’s real. Sometimes you’ll be sleeping and you’ll dream something and text anybody just random text messages,” said James Fox, 15. “I’ve texted my cousin, Gretchen, quite a few times when I was sleeping, like two pages of random numbers and letters and stuff,” said Jadin Fox, 12. Sleep texting is so popular that there is a Facebook page devoted to sleep texting. But sleep specialists warn that the phenomena could be a teenager’s enemy. “Twenty percent are awakened in the middle of the night by getting a text, email or phone call. Not good,” said Dr. Kevin Smith, a pediatric sleep psychologist.
Thankfully we’re having a beautiful late summer in Paris at the moment. But too bad I missed the real summer a couple of months ago: CLICK HERE to see summer in Paris.
Here’s a musical performance I quite enjoy (for real): CLICK HERE to watch the video
Some photos of the week (month?):

Me, post-surgery, in Walmart electric cart


Secret photo taken from afar of my friends Steve & Lauren just after Steve proposed to Lauren (she said yes)


My friend Diane picking me up in Long Beach


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