Vote Charlie!

September 2013 Archives

The ultimate burn

Posted at age 25.

Primarily the temple was a bridge to the hereafter, where many people paid tribute to their departed friends and family. From little messages to cards and photos and keepsakes to large sculpture tributes, burners have many creative ways to honor the dead.

There was more to this place, though. It also seemed to function as an outlet for emotions we no longer manage together as a society. This was apparent through reading just a small sample of the temple’s faces.

Some people released years of tension in their lives, apologizing for being a horrible father, forgiving a sibling for habitual abuse, or vowing to be a more sensitive friend. Some wrote inspiring messages and some asked questions, from personal to universal. “How do I be there for my son when he makes me so upset with his life choices?” “How can human kind achieve peace?” “Are we alone?” “Why me?”


Hundreds gathered in worship, remembrance and meditation all week at the Temple of Whollyness

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Burning the Man

Posted at age 25.

Saturday night around 9:30 is the big burn of The Man, the giant structure in the middle of Black Rock City.

I’m going to let the photos do the talking for this entry… enjoy!


The UFO begins to fall apart

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Radical self expression takes hold

Posted at age 25.

The nightlife at Burning Man is life entirely different than anything I knew before. If the day time is for wearing nothing, the night time is for wearing everything. The art pieces that are so strange, so epically large or so remote under the scorching sun come alive in the dark. It almost seems most of the people also come alive in the dark. Colored lights are everywhere, on everything.

Organizing how Burning Man provoked my mind is tough, and much of it doesn’t correspond with photos, as is usually the case with my life documenting. I’ll take a stab at providing a glimpse while narrating some photos that roughly fall into the categories of art structures, sound structures, art cars and art structure burns. Those are the things I was most able to document while immersed in my mental and physical explorations. As with most things at Burning Man, those categories aren’t even well defined. All the lines blur, sometimes disappear entirely, and you grow to appreciate fluidity.


Disco party at the sheep

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Lazy days of building mind, body and soul

Posted at age 25.

Everyone carries water, a dust mask and goggles for protection from the elements. Single ply toilet paper, sunscreen and snacks are also a good idea. Radical self reliance is the key. The weather was hot, but not horribly so this year. Generally people wear little during the day. Just about anything goes on the playa, and people can dress as they please without fear of judgment. This is part of another Burning Man principle, radical self expression. Nudity is not as common as I expected, but there are definitely many nudists. More commonly, I saw scarves or shorts, but not much more, which was definitely practical in the heat!


Brad and Matt

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The journey to Burning Man

Posted at age 25.

In early February, I decided to buy some tickets for that impossible to fully describe event called Burning Man. Despite prevaling wisdom, I actually think I had a pretty good idea what I was in for. I knew it is a city that rises on an ancient lakebed within a week and then in even less time diseappears entirely. I knew it is about acceptance and free expression. I knew it is not for the feeble.

What I did not know was how being freer than I ever have been would change me. Realizations, new experiences, new friends. It was undoubtedly the most awesome adventure of my life, even though I know I barely scratched the surface my first year. You really do need to experience it, though hopefully writing about it can help me better live it every day.


It was a pain to get the bike rack mounted on this vehicle, since the back was mostly plastic lined and I had to work hard to find secure mount points.

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Movable Type 5 error upon publish

Posted at age 25.

I haven’t gone back to see what version of MT this starts with, but this particular setup is a Movable Type Pro 4.37 installation that was upgraded to 5.2.7. Upon publishing an entry, I observed this error screen:

An error occurred

Undefined subroutine &MT::Template::Tags::Entry::_hdlr_entries called

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