An Introduction to “The F.A.S.T Life”

I mentioned in the first post of the Simply Memories series that my dad George was a photographer in his younger days.  I found a short story that he had written and published while attending the University of Pittsburgh back in 1955.

The story is called “The F.A.S.T Life” and details a portion of his life as an amateur photographer and his foray into professional photography.  The story’s title plays on an old photographer’s mnemonic device;   Focus, Aperture, Shutter and Think.

As I read the story, I thought of how much the world has changed since 1955 in terms of photography and film processing.  I also thought how little the world has changed in terms of the challenges of freelance work, technical knowledge/skills and the passion to chase and live a dream.

Technology has changed the world in the last five decades and even quicker in just the last 10 years.   Dad passed away almost 20 years ago.  He never experienced the digital camera, modern personal computer, Photoshop or even the Internet.  He would have loved the new tools as much as the old ones because they would have allowed him to stretch his art and hobby even further.  The goal of the Simply Memories series is to bring his old photos, slides and negatives into the modern world and share.

Why should you read “The F.A.S.T Life?” This 3,000 word essay shows how time has changed the hobby of photography, but not the art and passion.


The F.A.S.T Life

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1st Annual PetSmart Car Show

This was a day of firsts:

  • 1st 100 degree day of 2011 in Phoenix
  • 1st Annual PetSmart SSG Car Show

Everywhere I have worked you get to know the cooler cars that lurk in the parking lot.  You recognize and quietly catalog the cars and eventually connect with the owners over time.  These are the cars that only make it out of the home garage on a great weather day or on a special  Friday.  PetSmart SSG (Store Support Group) is no different with more than 1,000 employees filling the campus.

PetSmart Car Show

About 20 cars and a couple of Harley motorcycles made the trip to the 6th floor of the parking garage that afternoon.  The time out of the office and ability to talk cars made for a nice distraction from the tasks of the day.
PetSmart Car Show

The collection of cars ranged from antique to modern and hot rods to Smart cars.  Although dominated by a collection of Corvettes and Mustangs the more unique cars gathered some attention too.
PetSmart Car Show

You won’t find this on the advertised list of car shows in Phoenix so don’t miss your chance to check out the Photo Gallery from the PetSmart event.


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The Introduction

As a teenager, who did not have an adult tell you that driving was a privilege and it should not be taken lightly. I know I heard that phrase about every 5 minutes for at least half of my young life. What Happened and When did it Change!

I learned to drive a beaten up Datsun B210 with a manual transmission under the tutorship of my mother. She was cool, I could pick the radio station or play my own cassettes while we spent the evenings driving the roads of Pittsburgh. I also had the typical Driver’s Education classes where you watched the “Wheels of Tragedy” style of movies and rode around in a car filled with teenagers and one crotchety old man barking commands. That is the material for surefire comedy gold.

In my later years, I attended several BMW driving classes where the focus was totally different and often encouraged harder braking and more gas. The goals where very different but it still translated to the real world driving experience. The key was to look where you were going and anticipate the road.

Still later, I attended MSF and Experienced Rider education classes for motorcycles. This further changed my view of driving and responsibility. A car can be forgiving but a motorcycle knows little mercy for the person who makes a casual error. Most motorcyclists ride safe and have few issues except for the lunatics in the cages.

Why a Driving 101 blog series? Because driving and drivers have changed! As a driver, runner and cyclist I have seen more cases of stupidity and lack of care than I can count. I can hardly think of a trip out of my house where I do not have a story. I wanted a way to highlight those stories along with driving behaviors/skills and most of all I wanted to start a discussion on Twitter.

Have you seen driving behavior that is worthy of a callout to the world! Use #Driving101 as a search term in Twitter and let’s see if we can’t start a trend.

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